Archive for April, 2007

#791

11:57 pm, Monday, April 30th, 2007

Wow, the IMBC‘s in day 30 now. And we still have 40% of the original group in the game. Color me amazed. I’m especially impressed with the first-timers who’ve made it this far (Peter and Amy). It’s a milestone for me too; in IMBC ’05 I failed on day 11 and in ’06 I was out on day 20.

This Plasma Pong game Krunk found is pretty keen. It’s kind of like playing table tennis underwater with garden hoses instead of paddles. And lots of glitter. The game itself gets tiresome after a few matches, but the “sandbox” section is really cool (esp. “jello mode”). They should use this thing to make a fluid-physics version of Armadillo Run. That would be so boss.

I’ve got two final exams out of the way now. I’ll probably run back to Pasco Thursday or Friday to finish up some digital X-ray stuff — gotta remember to snap a picture of Jake’s circuit board kludge while I’m there. And Jones is coming to Pullman this weekend, so that’ll be fun.

Argh, I just wasted a half hour playing “indie games,” thanks to this link on the Plasma Pong page. I had only meant to queue up some tabs for later perusal, but the music from Flow caught my attention.

Today’s TotD isn’t exactly inspiring me, so I’ll have to write about something else. Let’s see… I’m making a kind of jambalaya for dinner in a few minutes. It’s going to be mostly cut-up kielbasa, pinto beans, and rice. I’ll probably throw in some chili powder, garlic, and bell peppers too. And maybe a little minced mushroom and onion (I go light on those cuz Brett hates ‘em). I guess this stuff is more like red beans & rice, but I don’t use red beans…

Don’t you hate it when you get lost in Wikipedia? I was just checking the entries for red beans & rice and jambalaya and somehow wound up reading about flameless ration heaters.

Enjoy these random offerings from 4chan:

Grindhouse wallpaper    Hey Bart, remember Alf?    Poorly thought-out CD design

#790

11:57 pm, Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Ah, I’m back from the Tri-Cities. Hot Fuzz was terrific. Amazingly enough, Jones and I made it to the theater on time, even though I had to blog and he had to stop for gas. Anyway, Simon Pegg is so cool in this one. He looks really different from the character he played in Shaun of the Dead. I’m kind of surprised how well the film works; it’s probably the most un-corny farce I’ve ever seen. The repeated exclamation Frost and Pegg use (“By the power of Grayskull!”) made me think of the “By the Hammer of Thor!” phrase they’ve been using on 30 Rock lately.

Jones and I both agreed that every Shakespeare play should end with the whole cast singing a Cardigans song.

I messed up my ankle something fierce this weekend. Last Wednesday or so, I stepped funny and something in my foot went “chi-crick.” It hurt a lot, but seemed to go away pretty quick. But then on subsequent days I’d occasionally make some kind of very subtle misstep and it’d happen again. But it was really infrequent — only occurred like once every five hours. But then it became more frequent and on Saturday I was on my feet all day at the clinic and it got much worse. Started swelling noticeably. I bought an ankle brace at the sports store over by the Loew’s in Kennewick, and that helped a lot. Tends to cut off my circulation though, so I only wear it for a couple hours at a time.

My internet access was really slow when I got back. It took me a long time to realize what the cause was — my ghetto wifi adapter mount had come apart. Cheap adhesive on the velcro pads, I guess. Drove me crazy for a while though.

I’m almost to the end of Super Paper Mario. Just finished fighting Bowser in the Underwhere to get him to rejoin the party. Also, I downloaded a couple “virtual console” NES games on the Wii. There’re some N64 games I want to try, but I need to buy different controllers to play ‘em.

#789

9:40 pm, Saturday, April 28th, 2007

I’m making this post from the clinic. Hopefully I can do it quickly enough that I can still meet Jones to see Hot Fuzz at 9:50.

Today has been sooo crazy. We’ve run into way more issues with the digital X-ray system than anyone expected. The worst part of it all is that it turned out the new trigger for the X-ray is incompatible with the old foot pedal. Jake, an electrician friend, came over to wire up something to fix it. This is what I’ve been helping with. It’s very ghetto — a lot of Radio Shack bits wired together with cable I scavenged from unused CAT-5 and an old power adapter from a laptop. I’ve inhaled way too much solder smoke today. It seems to work though. The relays tested okay and it just needs to be plugged into the X-ray machine’s mainboard and somehow affixed to the outer casing (with either adhesive velcro pads or zip ties).

But the good news is I finally got the router working properly. Turns out I had some crossover cables where they shouldn’t have been and the cable modem/router wasn’t in bridge mode like it should’ve been. But now it’s all up and running and I have a web filter white list set up so people can’t browse porn and message boards on company time. Oh, and the server is all set up. 500 GB hard drives take forever to format.

Last night I made Jones help me crimp ends for twelve ethernet cables. The firm that wired the clinic was supposed to give us male ends in the cabinets and near the switch, but someone goofed and put in nothing but female ports. Then we watched The Soup and American Dad on the Moxi.

Is this 300 words yet? I don’t even know. Oh, duh, I can use Google Docs. 308. Cool beans. Of course, as I learned from Tim’s now-legendary off-by-six-words catastrophe, you shouldn’t settle for the minimum. Boy am I dreading Monday. Appointment at 8:30 AM, finals at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Last week I was planning to use this Sunday to study. Looks like that won’t be happening. I still have most of the day on Monday though, I guess.

Alright, I’m outta here.

#788

6:42 pm, Friday, April 27th, 2007

You know what annoys me? When people refuse to acknowledge a dog’s correct gender. I’ve seen this happen so many times:

“Aww, what a cute doggy. How old is he?”
    ”Hah, thanks. She’s twelve.”
To the dog: “What a good boy! Aren’t you a good boy? Yes you are!”
    ”Heh, she really likes you.”
“What a pretty boy! Joojoo-joo!”

That scene played out in the unloading area at the Lewiston dog show at least a half dozen times right in front of me. I guess most folks just attach genders to particular breeds. Rottweilers must all be male, shelties are always girls, that sort of thing. I think it irks me cuz it’s kind of rude to the dog. Oh sure, they don’t know that they’re being insulted, but it still seems kinda wrong. You wouldn’t call an infant obscene names, right? Same thing.

While we’re on the subject of dumb stuff that bugs me, why do borg ships have control panels? I was watching Voyager yesterday (the one where Janeway travels to the borg dreamscape by mind-melding with Seven of Nine through Tuvok) and there was a scene where a drone could be seen tapping out something on a keypad in the background of a cube interior. Why don’t they use their “cortical transciever” (or whatever) to send those commands wirelessly? For that matter, why do drones retain most of their (organic) bodies after assimilation? And don’t even get me started on the absurdity of holograms being the only form digital intelligences can have (well, that or androids). The Doctor should be able to run in some kind of simulation without always needing to be projected somewhere physical.

Check out these Extra Manly™ pigs-in-a-blankets I made last night. You might not be able to tell from the photo, but they’re huge. Each one is almost as big as my fist. They were good, but the crescent rolls were a little on the rich side.

Super Manly Pigs-in-a-Blankets

Okay, I gotta get going — just wanted to get today’s entry out of the way before I headed to the Tri-Cities to meet Dr. Waldsmith and work on the digital X-ray system.

#787

11:57 pm, Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Holy cow, I almost forgot to blog today! If I lose, that’s how it’ll happen. That, or I’ll lose internet access at 11:30 PM one night. Or I’ll go out to get a burger at like 10:00 and get hung up with something and not make it back in time. I think that’ll be the case for most of the other final-fivers in the IMBC. (Which makes Finley‘s odds of winning (again) pretty darn good. He always seems to blog early in the day.)

Did you see that the sequel to 28 Days Later is coming out in like two weeks? I didn’t even know they were doing one. Different director, unfortunately. I’ll still see it though.

I set up Google Analytics yesterday. (Heard about it from Ung, who seemed to be enjoying it.) It’s really keen. I love the geo-tracker thing… I never would’ve imagined someone from Khopoli, India would visit my site. I can’t wait till I have a solid month or two of statistics to look at with this.

Google Analytics Geo Map

I caught some of the democratic candidates’ debate on MSNBC this afternoon. I expected a lot of phony, liberal rhetoric and wasn’t disappointed. But I was really impressed with Mike Gravel — I love his demeanor. He is not shy about speaking his mind. The Reagan quote he delivered towards the end — “I won’t hold my fellow candidates’ lack of experience against them,” or something like that — was great. Obama’s probably the wittiest, but no one was as laugh-out-loud funny as Gravel. Old man rants are the best. And he supports the FairTax plan, which is really awesome. He’s the first mainstream politician I’ve seen talk about it on television. I like a lot of his other issue positions too. Too bad he doesn’t have a chance of winning the nomination.

TotD:

Do you think we are alone in the universe?

I think it’s very likely that there are other forms of life out there, even if it’s just microbial. But do I think there’s sentient life beyond Earth? I sort of doubt it. 75:1, if I was pressed for odds. Of course, this guess is based on little more than my own rudimentary grasp of astronomy and a lot of science fiction.

K, gotta post this and go make some pigs-in-blankets.

#786

8:27 pm, Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

I made some awesome pork tenderloin steaks last night. Coated ‘em in cracked peppercorns, pan seared them with just a little light olive oil, and finished ‘em in the oven. Then I deglazed the pan with a dry Gewürztraminer and sautéd some elephant garlic and chopped onion. When this mass reached a darkish brown color, I added some milk and butter. When it started simmering again, I added flour as a thickener. Seasoned with salt and a few dried herbs. After twenty minutes or so, I pulled the tenderloin out of the oven and added the juices back to the sauce. That’s the really important part. Here’s a little composite of the sauce and tenderloin/juices:

Peppercorn/Pork Tenderloin sauce collage

Then I just stuck the meat on a plate, generously ladeled some sauce over it, and added some mashed taters and apple sauce. Pork is always better with apple sauce.

Last night's dinner

For breakfast this morning I made up some eggs (sunny side up) and cottage bacon. That sauce is amazing over the latter. Not bad with the former either. I could probably eat it with just about anything… pity I only have a half-cup left.

For dinner tonight, I’m making beef ribeye steaks. They’re marinating right now. I’ll probably steam some broccoli for a side dish. Man, I love food.

I expect reading about other people playing video games is super boring, so I’ll keep this brief: Got the Wii to connect to the internet. The news reader is really cool. Also, I got a new high score in Wii Sports’ bowling — 212. Getting better at tennis. Made it to chapter 4-3 in SPM.

TotD:

How do you get where you’re going?

By car, mostly. I take the bus for school (WSU students ride free). Of course, lately I’ve been getting lazy (well, impatient, more like) and have been driving to school in the mornings most days. Last week I ran out of days on my ten-day green-zone permit, so I’ve been using the metered parking by Heald Hall. I really need to break that habit though — parking there for one class runs me $1.75.

But yeah, I mostly drive my ’99 Pontiac Grand Prix. It has a heads-up display and gets 21 MPG. I like it.