Archive for May, 2007

#822

11:21 pm, Thursday, May 31st, 2007

So I emailed Jones to see how he’s doing in Castlevania — the goon is already up to level 40! In his reply, he wrote:

Sir my mastery of C:PoR is beyond fracktacular. I’m level 40 and just about done with Dark academy. also I beat the vamp killer whip and can use it with extreme prejudice.

He beat a whip? Aaaah… I’m so far behind. Though I’ve progressed quite a bit since my last post: I’m now level 28 and trying to kill Death on the Great Stairway. He is one tough mofo. 4,444 hitpoints, according to GameFAQs.

(Tangent: Don’t you like the way Jones writes? This is why I miss his IMBC participation. When you can actually get him to blog, he’s very entertaining.)

So last night’s dinner was pretty weird. We made these rice ball things Brett had seen on Iron Chef plus some chicken teriyaki. The rice balls were made with steamed basmati (probably not the best choice for this application since it’s not very sticky), whole kernel corn, bacon bits (from ends & pieces), and a couple eggs. Then we rolled them in panko and fried them in bacon grease. Fairly tasty, with a weird (but pleasant) crunchiness.

I’d never made chicken teriyaki before, but it didn’t seem like it could be very hard. I seasoned and baked some chicken breast, then sliced it up on the bias and covered it with a simple sauce made from teriyaki, white sugar, cornstarch (in water), and a couple spoonfuls of honey. Took on a beautiful translucency and viscosity after some aggressive simmering.

Chicken Teriyaki and Rice Balls

We had a lot of left-over rice ball mixture at the end. Because it had raw egg in it, we didn’t really want to eat it in that form. So I threw some in a bowl, covered it with grated Cojack, then threw in the rest and covered it. Two layers of cheesy goodness. Baked at 350°, plus a little time on broil to give the cheese on top those great dark spots. Produced a pretty good casserole.

Oh, and here’s a picture I took on my way back to Pullman early Wednesday morning. I think this was on WA-26 about 15 miles before Colfax.

WA-26 near Colfax

TotD:

Kirk or Picard? Why?

Sisko…? Okay, okay, Picard, if I have to choose between those two. He was so dignified. Plus his series is way more watchable than TOS. But Sisko has ‘em both beat. He ascends to godhood at the end of his series, for crying out loud. What’d Picard do? Dip his hand in the primordial ooze? Big whoop.

BTW, Peter’s been reinstated in the IMBC — see the main site for details.

(Wow, I finished a post before 11:50 PM!)

#821

11:59 pm, Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

TotD:

If you had to live off of one food and one food only for the rest of your life, what would it be? (Nutrition is not a concern.)

That’s a hard question. There are foods I love, like bison ribeye and super white tuna sushi, but I’ve never really thought about whether, or at what point, I could tire of them if I had an endless supply. Having now considered that for a few minutes, I think my best candidate is probably the turkey and havarti (on baguette) sandwich from Boulangerie Nantaise (the French bakery I lived above in Seattle). Even if I somehow came to loathe the taste, I’m sure I’d always enjoy the texture.

I think the key to this sort of decision would be picking something fairly light with a broad flavor profile. A good Chef’s salad might have worked as well. Or maybe a certain kind of spring roll.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is fantastic. I mean, I was a fan of Circle of the Moon, but this is so much better. Jones and I got the game on about the same day; I’ll have to see how far he’s progressed. I’m up to level 18 myself. I’m trying to beat Legion, the Nation of Fools boss right now.

This is probably the funniest skit from the past season of SNL: The gay couple from Connecticut. Bill Hader is so talented. I really like his Peter O’Toole impression. He and Kristen Wiig are the best people on that show right now.

Gah, yet another post that I’ve made dangerously close to the deadline. I was going to do it earlier, but I got caught up watching Intolerable Cruelty. (Decent movie, kind of like a watered down version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels-meets-The Wedding Crashers.)

#820

11:58 pm, Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Argh, another blog entry I put off till 11:17 PM. Oh well, I’ve done them in less time than this.

I was pretty busy today. Did a Kinko’s run, the payroll corrections, helped a lady in Finley create her first eBay auction (which kind of included a crash course in image editing), and met with a couple in Pasco to discuss making a web site (and registering with various FSBO directories) to help them sell their house.

The various trips and errands did give me two ideas of things to blog/complain about, though. Number one: I hate the Comic Sans font. God, it’s ugly. When I was at Kinko’s I saw this lady having flyers made for her church — the page showed a big cross in front of a multicolored sunset, surrounded by text in Comic Sans. Some of it was even rotated 90° to follow the vertical edge of the graphic. Hideous. Plus I just looked up the church’s web site and they’re Catholics. I dunno about you, but I never would have picked them as the sort to commit such a fontular faux pas. Didn’t they invent that badass Old English font?

Fontular, BTW, is my neologistic kludge for a word that desperately needs coining.

Number two: Air pumps at gas stations never work. Never! It seems like every Shell, Conoco, or Chevron I go to has a “free air” machine, but none of them produce more than about 20 lbs. of pressure. Even the pump at the Pullman Safeway, the one that costs 75¢ to use, barely inflates to 35 lbs. And the one I tried to use today at the Road 100 Shell station wasn’t even six month old. Why can’t anyone build a reliable air pump? Or maybe they can but every petrol company is just too cheap to install them.

Thing #97 that I miss about Federal Way: Ernie’s air pumps always worked.

And yes, I know I should just get the slow leak in my front-driverside tire fixed. I’ll get around to it eventually. I just hate going to repair shops. They try to rip you off almost as much as doctors do.

TotD:

Has any TV show had a profound effect on your life? If so, which TV show, and what was it? If not, is there a movie or other work from a different entertainment medium?

Great question. I can think of songs and books that have had a big impact on how I live and think (Be As, Flowers for Algernon), but it’s hard to come up with a TV show. I mean, like, I think My Name is Earl has some really fantastic messages in it, but I don’t think they’ve changed me. And most of the shows from my childhood were utter crap — I’d hate to meet the person who says Cheers or Full House influenced the major decisions in their life. Oh, I know; maybe Frasier. Not in any huge way, but it sort of made me realize it’s okay to be interested in stuff most people don’t like. I’d expound on that, but it’s 11:57.

#819

11:55 pm, Monday, May 28th, 2007

I thought I’d lost my camera today, but it turned out I’d just packed it in a pocket of my luggage that I don’t normally use. Dunno what I was thinking putting it there. More CRS.

I got Google Apps set up for the clinic site — it’s pretty awesome; your users get the Gmail interface and storage, but their address is whatever@yoursite.com. Plus you can admin their accounts in different ways, like creating aliases that redirect to their address, changing passwords, list management, and contact sharing. It’s not hard to set up; you just have to verify domain ownership by uploading a specific file to your site’s root directory, then alter your MX records to use the Google server. You can even set this up for domains that are just mirrors (which is fortunate, because that’s what I needed). Anyone want an Upsidaisium.com Gmail account?

Perhaps my favorite bit is that you can replace the Gmail logo with any GIF or PNG so long as it’s 143×59 px. Here’s what the clinic’s radiology account’s inbox looks like:

Google Apps - AHOP

I know my logo doesn’t look very good, but I was lazy and the only people that will see it are the staff.

So last night Jones and I ran to Walmart and I got a DS and a couple games — Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Kirby: Squeak Squad. I got the black DS, which I now regret since all you can see when you look at the shiny exterior are smeared fingerprints. They really should have made the black one with a matte finish. But the only other choices were white (Apple-y looking and identical to Jones’s) and pink (which I thought would be too girly). In hindsight, I wish I’d swallowed my pride and gotten the pink one. Oh well, I bet someone sells covers or something for them.

Most of you probably know this, but it came as a surprise to me: You can play some multiplayer DS games with only one game card by uploading some stuff to the card-less DS(es). It’s pretty much automatic and only takes about a minute, if that. We must’ve played like four hours of Mario Kart DS that way. I believe the score at the end of our last session was me 219, Jones 193.

Mario Kart DS is best played while listening to comedy albums. We went through Christian Finnegan’s new CD, then switched over to some comedy SHOUTcast server (BCN, I think?). Good stuff.

Okay, I’m getting really close to the deadline, so I better post this. Still have lots of computer stuff to do tomorrow, though the clinic stuff is just about wrapped up.

#818

8:57 pm, Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Jones and I just got back from seeing Shrek the Third at the new Fairchild Cinemas theater here in Pasco. Decent movie. Best bits: Snow White’s song, Pinocchio’s double-speak, and Shrek getting asked to the prom. Jones seemed slightly less pleased with the film, but affirmed that it was (just barely) worth seeing. The CG didn’t look any better than it was in the second one, but it was still okay. It was a little disappointing to see that the Fairchild theater (which just opened the Thursday before last) doesn’t use digital projectors. It’s not too big a deal; the picture just wasn’t as sharp and shimmied a few times.

Last night’s GURPS game ended up being a one-on-one, but I think it still turned out okay. Bobert wasn’t able to make it due to family commitments. So, basically, the game revolved around a cult that’d somehow gotten ahold of three of the magical animals from Valhalla — Sahrimnir, the boar that comes back to life every day (to feed the warriors); Gullinkambi, the rooster whose crowing resurrects dead warriors; and Heidrun, the goat who produces a healing mead. I swear it’s not as lame as it sounds. So like forty guys, lead by Otis and Tyrone (who believed themselves to be earthly incarnations of Odin and Tyr), had this bar in the middle of nowhere (near Paskenta, CA) that they used as a base of operations for their (lethal) fight club. That’s where Jones’s PC was dragged after one of the Valeries (kidnapped girls Otis used as valkyries) got him killed in a bar fight. Yadda, yadda, yadda, museum raids for Mjolnir and Gungnir, FBI showdown, betrayal, etc.

Paige submitted a bunch of awesome TotD‘s, which we desperately needed. Here’s today’s:

If you woke up one morning to find you were the last person alive on Earth, what would you do?

I guess I’d mourn humanity and play video games for a few days, then start trying to find out why everyone except me had died so suddenly. Well, actually, I’d probably start clearing dead bodies out of the important areas first. Probably fortify some location against the coming zombie attacks/alien invasion, etc. (That’s kind of what I’d expect next if I were in that situation.) I wonder if nuclear power plants will meltdown if left unattended… Eventually, I think I’d take to driving from town to town looking for answers. Isn’t that like the premise for The Stand or something? Kind of reminds me of Martin’s Riverworld GURPS game.

K, Jones and I are gonna try and play some multiplayer Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.

#817

2:55 am, Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Okay, I’m writing this tonight because I know I’m going to be pretty busy tomorrow. Normally, I’d just leave it till the last minute but we’re going to be gaming and it’s not uncommon for such activities to go past midnight. I’m not sure when we’ll start, but it’s going to be me, Jones, his friend Steave (or Steve — I can’t be sure which is correct since Jones is sometimes a very creative speller), and Bobert if he’s available. As per Jones’s request, I’ve laid out a micro-campaign that involves dragons and valkyries (though probably not in ways most people would expect).

Let’s see what’s in the imageboard/random directory tonight, hm?

ST:TNG Friends    ST:TNG crew in pot-head hats

That first Star Trek/Friends mashup made me LOL IRL. For some reason, Next Generation photochops almost always make me smile. I think it must be because I used to follow the show so seriously (when I was in the 9-12 range), but the vast majority of the episodes seem so ridiculously dated and corny when I watch them today. Like, what was the deal with Counselor Troi’s wildly non-regulation uniforms?

Blimps and a castle-ish thing    Flying monster and ship

What are these from? As they say on the imageboards: Sauce? They look cool.

Beowulf with Grendel's head    ADA McCoy, comic book style    Videogame Spaceship

And, finally, Beowulf carrying Grendel’s head, Hang-’Em-High McCoy (from Law & Order) comic-book-ified, and what I think is a screenshot from Homeworld 2, possibly with a little after-capture digital touchup. Man, I’d forgotten how beautiful Homeworld 2 is… I need to dig out my old copy.

TotD:

Bread (white or wheat, etc.)

Wheat, usually. I’m also fond of focaccias and anything with pine nuts baked into it. And banana bread is always awesome. But anything’s good as long as it’s fresh. Nothing’s better than a chewy, crusty loaf just out of the oven with a little sweet butter and honey. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Reminds me of the bread my mom made in our Dutch oven on a camping trip we took to Conrad Meadows back in… must’ve been 1994 or ’95.