Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Thing that Should Not Be...

This...
Broccoli

Plus this...

Cauliflower

Equals this:
Broccoflower!?

Someone look up racial modifiers on mutant half-breed veggies.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Scatter Shot Post 4/28/2008 - Movies

Ah, Netflix! catching me up on my movies! Much like Episode 3, here's my thoughts on several movies from the past few years (and one even older still):
  • The Transporter: I think I can watch anything with Jason Statham. Snatch, Italian Job, It's all good. I have Transporter 2 and Crank in my Netflix queue, so a Statham deficiency shouldn't be an issue.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: First one was great, 2nd was... alright, this one... meh. Interesting ending, sort of, but just bit too... slow. You'll get better entertainment by watching this pirate movie because it's funnier, shorter, and free.

  • Casino Royale: This one gave me all kinds of Elvis-esque celebrity sightings. Le Chiffe looks like a young Chris Walken, The local police captain (brief scene) looked like Stan Lee, and I think Richard Branson had a cameo in the airport security scene.

  • Clerks: Entertaining? Yes. Overhyped? Yes again. I think the big draw with Kevin Smith is that he's an independent flim guy which gives him street cred. When a Major $tudio makes a movie with potty humor, it's crass and appeals to the lowest kind of movie-goer. When an indie guy does it, it's high art! (There's a little more to the film than that, but not much). But from what I hear, Mr. Smith is a pretty down to earth guy, and recognizes this himself, so I can't begrudge him for his hipster fans.

  • Stardust: Suspension of disbelief works in tiers; you much choose which tier you need when seeing any fiction or fantasy movie. Sure you can rig a bomb to go off if the bus goes under 50, but there's NO WAY IN HELL it could jump that gap in the highway without any ramp.
    Likewise, if a star crashes to earth in hot-chick form and the only ill effect on her is a bit of disorientation, I can overlook the Wall. You know, the one with the broken part guarded by an old dude in lieu of repairing it. Nevermind that it's only about 6' tall and anyone with a step ladder or good running start could go over easily. And standing solidly on a cloud is just fine. Same with the air pirates making a living by bottling lightning. Once you establish the 'Bedtime Story' tier of SoD, it's perfectly acceptable. But the Bus jump in Speed? Pure BS.

  • Ocean's Twelve: I was hoping for a real thief-off between Lefleur and Ocean's team, stealing bits and pieces from all over. But there wasn't as much of that as I hoped for. The ending ranged from convoluted to lame, and just didn't do it for me. But the part where Julia Roberts' character, Tess, masquerades as {spoiler redacted!} just drops me with laughter. I always thought that someone should make a movie where a Big Name does something like that with their role.

  • Ocean's Thirteen: Ok, now we're back to what made the franchise great! (whether O11 should even have ever become a franchise is a different question.) Al Pachino screws over one of the team's good friends which sends him into a coma. Now, they're going to elaborately ruin his new casino with all the shiftiness that made the first installment great. Plus Pachino, who always does great when around gambling or mob activity in movies. And the means of how they get the funding for a major piece of equipment makes a great ironic twist. But LeFleur's Cameo seems tacked on. They didn't use that character to its full potential in the last movie, why even bother with him this time?

  • Shoot 'Em Up: Much like Snakes on a Plane, it's really all in the name. Escapist Action with a high body count and sweet gunplay. Should you watch it? Let me tell you this: The first entry on the High Body count list gets there by having a carrot forcibly inserted into his mouth, and then it's punched through the back of his throat. If that makes you roll your eyes disapprovingly, don't bother. Everyone else, check it out.

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll do another one of these in the future. In the meantime, I will not apologize for getting the chorus from the pirate song stuck in your head; you will suffer just as I did. Give it two weeks before the healing can begin.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Seen at the Department Store

Saturday I went into town to replace some worn out socks, jeans, and a few shirts. I almost passed by this tie rack...


Neckties
When I noticed one of the ties had some... Local Flavor to it...


Mormon Necktie

That's right folks, a nice little icon of the original book of Mormon with the LDS Opening Season Roster on the front.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Grubbin' with Fuzzy: Chicken Soup

This is something I wanted to try for a while. The Goal: To make soup using primarily Water and Raw Chicken (with, of course, the usual veggie and herb flavorings). Use of Boulion: -2 points. Using prepackaged broth: failure. So I looked around the Intarwebs for several recipies to use as a guide. Here's the recurring items I found most often:
  • Simmer a whole chicken in water for a long time to extract the deliciousness trapped within.
  • Veggies: the combination called mire poix (mEEr' - pwah) which is approximately a 2:1:1 ratio of onion, carrot, and celery.
  • Herb flavorings consist of all or most of the Scarbourogh Faire suite: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. (note: one of my cullinary heroes, Alton Brown, does not use rosemary due to the "woody flavor it gives off. Whatever that means.)
  • Some recipies eschew having actual chicken meat in the soup becuase their broth is flavorful enough. +2 points if I could pull that one off.

Hmm... simmering at a low tempature for long hours. I decided to employ the use of a slow cooker. I began buy putting some chicken quarters into the crock, along with two broken carrots and two stalks celery and a chopped onion. My dad used to chop these all thin and serve them in the soup, while most recipies I found discarded them after all the flavor got boiled out of them. I didn't feel like chopping, so they went in mostly whole.

I covered this all with water, turned the heat on low at about 11AM, and began the waiting game. After about 4PM, I had hot water that vaugely tasted of chicken, but was hard to tell that. After exchanging thoughts with my sister via IM, she informed me that the recipie she know would let that mess go for 12 hours or more. That's a long time for meat flavored water, especially when an easy alternitive awaits sealed away in a can.

So at about 11pm, I finially took another taste. Still kinda bland, as if it wanted to be broth, but couldn't quite cut it. I finally admitted this wasn't going as well as I wanted it to, and tossed in a few boulion cubes (-2 points!) and tasted it again. I think that helped, especially the salt. I extracted the chicken which was set aside. Now the vegtables I decided to taste to see if they would really be flavorless as was claimed. They were. Serisouly, there was nothing left after being in the soup for that long.

After tossing in some parsley and sage, I added some eggnoodles (rosemary and thyme would have to wait another day). While that cooked for a little bit longer, I shredded the chicken and added it in. I think between the herbs and the salt, I ended up with an edible product, making this a modest success.

So, the money question is: Was it worth the time and effort? I'd have to say... Meh. I mean it was good, but not good enough to justify the time or effort, on this chart, hommade chicken soup would be plotted juuust south of the pineapple; somewhat tasty, but too much work. (note: the positions of the fruit on this chart does not reflect the views of Fuzzy Goes West. I mean just LOOK at where he stuck the orange!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time Flies

Yesterday, I had two reminders of how time flies.

The first is obvious: Tax Day. I'm getting a tidy little refund, not to mention a piece of Dubya's economic stimulus package. Even if everybody drops all that money on consumer goods, in the long run it won't bolster an economy crippled by the housing bubble burst. Like that's gonna keep me from doing my patriotic duty to wantonly spend this windfall on impulse purchases. An HDTV would go pretty well with that PS3.

The second reminder of the quickly passing days was the six month anniversary of my new job. Tempus fugit.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Scatter Shot Post - 04/09/2008

Let's jump right in shall we?
  • Within three weeks of review day, we lost two employees. I'll not post the circumstances of each on the Intarwebs, but now we're looking for one entry level and one experienced programmer position in the IT department at our company, so those of you who know me, contact me for details if you're interested.
  • On weekends, I often visit a co-workers home and play board games with his family. His wife is a gentle soul, that doesn't have a competitive bone in her body, and she's made alternate rules to Settlers of Catan. The short of it is, the robber is out of the game, and anyone who rolls a 7 gets a free resource of his/her choice. Sounds fun on the surface, until you realize that it nullifies the ONLY way a person can directly affect the game. Way to destroy a game dynamic, there.
  • In the IT department, we have two or three chocoholics, the majority of whom are Mormons. I guess when your religion forbids alcohol and caffine, chocolate is the closest thing to a vice that you're allowed to have.
  • In other game news, Magic Online has shut down its 2.5 servers, and will go up as the new and improved Magic Online 3.0 server. As someone who has dealt with a server crash in the middle of a draft several times, I'll be looking forward to something that has a bit more stability.
  • It's April. It snowed here (lightly) for three of the last five days. I'm not pleased.

That's it for now. Good day!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

D&D Miniatures: Dungeons of Dread

About two weeks ago I played with the new miniautres with the new rules of D&D minis. I was gonna talk about it in this post, but I just uploaded some picutres to my Flickr account and noted them heavily, so I'm just linking to that. enjoy!

D&D Minis - <i>Dungeons of Dread</i> Expansion

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Home Economics - Toothpaste

Last Wednesday, I went to the grocery store to buy (among other things) toothpaste, and was amazed at my options for dental hygene.

Toothpaste: The promise
Must one be forced to choose betwen tatar protection and "Total" protection? How does whitening factor into it? After starting at about ten different variteties of Colgate, I looked at the Active ingredients.

Toothpaste: Just the Facts

It basically breaks down into two different varities: ones that have triclosan, and ones that don't. Triclosan is used here to fight gingivitis. (Yay! Learning is fun!)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sparky Celebrates Easter One Week Late

Hooray for Easter candy at firesale prices!! BTW, those are Cadbury Orange Cream Eggs, in the background, and Butterfinger eggs in the forground.

And the Horde grows...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'm Totally Crushing... (groan)

How the heck am I supposed to curb impulse buys at the grocery store when they put out stuff like THIS in the bakery display case?!?

Crush Cream Cake