Archive for April, 2006

#673

2:51 am, Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

First of all, the salmon was marvelous. “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.” (Brett and I have been quoting that line back and forth a lot lately, ever since we watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off last week. “Oh my god, this parking spot is so choice. If you have the means…”) But really, those filets were amazing. Scrundelescent, even. I sprinkled both sides of each one with kosher salt, covered them in herb-butter, plopped them in my Pyrex baking pan, and cooked them for 30 minutes at 375°. Had them with buttered rolls and tea. Best meal I’ve had since my parents took me to Red Lobster. Of course, halfway through I had to take a picture:

Salmon Filet
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Oh yeah, I also made this thing last week that was pretty good — fried (then baked in a foil pouch) skinless chicken breast, sliced, mixed with a rich rice pilaf. It was filling, but a little bland. Not sure what I could’ve added to it though… some green peppers, maybe? I dunno. Any vegetables I can think of seem inappropriate to a buttery pilaf mixture or don’t help correct the blandness. Maybe it just needed the right side dish, like a spicy eggplant bisque. Of course, I’d never go to the trouble to prepare so much stuff for a single meal. Plus I haven’t even attempted a soup from scratch yet. Or even a stew… closest I’ve come is chili (Feb. ’06, Nov. ’05).

I know my posts about food infuriate Paige (jealousy, I assume), so if you’re her, skip the preceding paragraphs.

Here’s a pretty cool site I saw linked on Boing Boing: American Ethnic Geography. Lots of interesting maps showing the concentration of various groups by state and county. Everything on there is great, but the Religion and Socio-Economics sections are especially fun to look at.

Here’s something I learned today: Did you know apes can’t pinch between their thumb and forefinger like humans can? Apparently they can’t actually oppose their thumbs to their fingers. So a chimp couldn’t pick up a sugar cube the way we would normally do so; it’d have to grip it with the ends of its fingers or between its thumb and the side of its hand. I always knew we had finer manual dexterity, but I didn’t realize the gap was that large.

#672

9:07 pm, Monday, April 17th, 2006

Okay, so I forgot to mention this in my last post: Comcast screwed us by telling us to show up from 12 – 4 pm on Easter Sunday and then actually sending a tech at 9:25 am. So I had to reschedule for today. Anyway, we got there a little after 11:30 am, so we grabbed lunch at Arby’s and waited. The cable guy showed up around 2:00 pm which was good since it gave us a chance to get some stuff unpacked and put away. My new bedroom closet is unusually well organized now.

While I was there, I pinned up my Emek Weezer poster. Turns out it’s much nicer than I thought — it’s a limited edition (109/300), signed, and the artist even did a little doodle on the border. The paper it’s silkscreened onto is really thick, so it curls out between the tacks… I’m thinking about getting it framed. He also included another smaller, signed three-color poster (a matte version of this Ween poster, but without the text and only about 5″x7″). Think I’ll pin that one up in my bedroom.

After the tech left, we went to Costco (only about 2 miles from the apartment in Federal Way). Got some bulk TP and paper towels, yogurt cups, bar soap, a host of prepackaged beverages (Mug Root Beer, Wild Cherry Pepsi, some orange soda, Diet Dr. Pepper, and a variety pack of vitaminwater), some frozen food, and a couple salmon filets (for dinner tonight).

Put in a reservation for a 14′ U-Haul truck for the 19th. Guess that’s my official move date now. The price was lower than I’d expected — only $29.95 plus 79¢/mile.

I started reading the Jonah Hex comics. They’re not the sort I would’ve picked out on my own (Dan recommended them), but I’ve quickly become a fan. The genre is straight western — no magic, no superheroes, no zombies, no aliens. Just a disfigured civil war veteran-turned-bounty hunter/vigilante. He’s especially interesting because of his strict (albeit somewhat atypical) moral code and his hatred of God (which he would say is mutual). I haven’t figured out the comic’s continuity yet… is it a continuation, reboot, or retcon? Anyway, it’s super keen.

Today’s image: The cover of Jonah Hex #1.

Jonah Hex #1 Cover
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#671

6:16 pm, Sunday, April 16th, 2006

My jerk neighbors are actually pounding on the wall because I’m playing video games at 6:00 pm on the weekend. WTF? Jackasses. I am sooo blasting gangsta rap on my subwoofer the night before I move out of here for good.

#670

3:43 am, Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Been moving stuff to the new place in Federal Way. Almost all my books and DVDs are over there now. The cable installer is coming later today (12 pm – 4 pm). Got some stuff arranged and unpacked yesterday afternoon. Turns out I’m getting the master bedroom (it’s a little bigger, has an attached bathroom, and lots more closet space). Unfortunately, that means I’m going to have to park in the covered space on the other side of the freakin’ apartment complex. But I think I’m going to cancel the extra space rental (even though it’s only $15/mo.) and park on the street… it’s a much shorter walk to my car that way. Seems pretty dumb of them to have built the place with a shortage of parking spaces.

Other than the parking situation, I’m really liking the new apartment. This was the first day I’d spent a significant amount of time in it — Brett and I had lunch there (Arby’s) before unloading boxes from my car. Still need to figure out a way to run cable from the master bedroom to the other one though… gotta call management about that too. Maybe they’ll let me drill a half-inch hole in the wall if I do it where it could be covered by a baseboard. Hmm.

Some exciting post this is turning out to be, huh? Oh yeah, forgot to mention this — Finley appealed the IMBC disqualification, so we put it to a vote. Yadda yadda, he’s still in the competition. Beefy and I (and Posyden, apparently) have noticed some possible loopholes in the current rules. I’m not eager to begin a flurry of voting and pseudo-parliamentary procedure to fix them mid-competition, so I’m tentatively planning to simply fix them with Beefy after a winner’s been declared. It’d be kind of neat to expand the contest next year, I think. Maybe register IMBC.com and offer a real prize. Of course, if we did that then I probably couldn’t participate myself since it might give the appearance of impropriety. I dunno, maybe it’s better to keep it small and semi-informal. OTOH, it is getting to be kind of a drag already… my only major goal is to beat Beefy. Shouldn’t be hard though — he’s already told me he’s seriously considering wussing out at the end of this month.

SNL was okay this week. Not a whole lot of great sketches, but none that really sucked either. The TV Funhouse cartoon (“The Disney Vault”) was pretty good. Besos Y Lagrimas has become annoying though… it’s the same sketch every time: People speak Spanish, overact, kiss, look at the camera, cry, and say a single name dramatically a dozen times over. Yeah, Spanish soap operas are corny and melodramatic. We get it.

Happy Easter!

Vee-Dub, Yo.

#669

3:50 am, Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Ooo, Jones got a fauxhawk. I did a quick sketch to commemorate the event (and to see if I could make hair look the way I wanted). Here’s the drawing and a side-by-side with the actual photo so you can see just how horrible it really is when juxtaposed with something showing the correct proportions.

Sketch of Jones' New Fauxhawk
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Jones pics side-by-side
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That’s the problem with working in pen alone… some things just can’t be corrected. (E.g. the nose, the left eyebrow, the angles/curves of the eyes.) I’ve tried drawing in pencil first, then inking afterwards, but it doesn’t look as good to me. IMO, lines have to be drawn quickly to look nice.

Here’s something that really, as Krunk would say (à la Peter Griffin), “grinds my gears”: The overuse of bolded text in comic book dialogue. Some bolding is okay; it gives you an idea of the character’s inflection. But using it more than, say, a half-dozen times per page is overkill. Sadly, this is especially prevalent in Knights of the Dinner Table. It’s as if they write the dialogue, then send a monkey in to Ctrl+B random words and phrases. Some examples:

Good:

“I dunno. You ever heard of a zombie swimming?”
Deadworld #3

Bad:

“Did God tell only you that too? ‘Cause there is nothing in the bible about blunts. I know. I’ve read it and…”
American Virgin #1

Painful to read, isn’t it? I really have no idea what would make someone think that much emphasis improves anything.

The first post in this Awful Forums thread is probably utter BS, but it’s certainly interesting to read. Supposedly, this guy has some sort of job that involves close contact with various high-ranking politicians and he’s decided to reveal their unseemly secrets. Thread gets pretty funny towards page 21 when people start making fun of the guy who boasts about knowing Samuel Alito’s son.

Since I’ve already gone to the trouble of dragging the scanner out, here are some other sketches I’ve done. From left to right: Some male news anchor (from MSNBC, I think), a blonde actress at an awards show, Jane Skinner. I like the way the first one turned out, despite the distorted jawline.

Sketch: Male News Anchor
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Sketch: Actress Laughing
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Sketch: Jane Skinner
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#668

11:52 pm, Friday, April 14th, 2006

I think Posyden might be playing everyone. Just think about it: He’s managed to get everyone talking about him, thus making his blog possibly the most eagerly-read in the IMBC while simultaneously inventing a simple way to generate effortless, interesting content.

Really, it’s just a slight tweaking of the Beefy Master Plan — increase the nastiness of the insults and use them as content generators instead of instruments to discourage other participants. In some ways, it’s less underhanded.

Somehow I’m reminded of that old adage about the craft of journalism: “Better to be wrong than boring.”

I’ve come to think of the IMBC as the virtual equivalent of nine people trapped in a basement. Kind of like Lost without the mystery and intriguing flashbacks. I dunno. I guess my point is this: Posyden’s not as big a jackass as recent outside commentary would have us believe. And none of us should take anything too seriously when it comes from the personal blogs of folks we’ve never met in real life.

Seems this will be another “cutting it close” post… the above material was composed early this morning (after reading some comments on Beefy’s blog), but only accounts for about 160 words. Word count isn’t normally a point of concern for me, but it’s 11:42 pm right now so you can see why I’m paying a bit more attention.

I suppose I’ll mention this since I’m low on subject matter: I entered the contest in the back of Truth, Justin, and the American Way #1 — the one where you’re supposed to identify all the 70s and 80s references. Like the CHiPs cops showing up to help Agent McGee, or Sanford and Son being in the liquor store when Justin walks in. I got a total list of 22 pretty good ones… only two of them were a real stretch.

Phew, that’s enough for the requirement — time to hit the ol’ Publish button. Happy trails, everyone.