bzarcher: (Feather)
Resolved - no matter what shit I'm dealing with all around me, I am going to make a habit of setting aside $10-15 to go to books each paycheck.

I forgot how good it could feel after a long, frustrating day to lay down on the couch with a new book and just disappear into it for awhile.
bzarcher: (BBQ)
There's more pictures in my Flickr, but here's the basic details on how those ribs came out.

Ribz 012

Ribz 013

Ribz 016

Om nom nom nom.
bzarcher: (BBQ)
We went to Carfagnas to get a pork shoulder or two to smoke over the holiday weekend, and one thing led to another, and people were coming over to do D&D and some board games tonight anyhow...

Ribz 001

Ribs! )
bzarcher: (BBQ)
The Mangalica pig has been saved from extinction. So we can eat it.

I've heard of this pig several times as I delve into the depths of BBQ wisdom.

I've frequently heard the taste of it described as 'orgasmic'.

If it didn't cost $490 for 10 pounds, I'd love to get some to throw into the smoker.
bzarcher: A stand mixer with blue and white flames (Default)
Just a followup / anecdote from this morning.

I'm a 'get the shower warm' person, too. So this morning I got the shower going while I brushed my teeth. As I did so, Mr. B decided to come into the bathroom to see what I was doing, because he's part of that cat subsect that -MUST SEE- what is going on when a person goes into the bathroom.

After a cursory inspection of my legs, the sink, the toilet, and the door of the medicine cabinet, he decided to start poking at the shower curtain. Normally this doesn't last very long and he leaves.

Today, for some reason, he decided to start playing with the curtain until he had flipped an edge over, exposing a path into the shower.

I looked over at him, and said "That's really not a good idea."

He blinked at me and then he jumped up on the edge of the tub and started to play with the curtain for a bit.

"That's -really- not a good idea."

He continued to go about his business and I shifted over away from the tub, because I could see what was coming next.

Turning his attention to the tub / shower proper, he leapt in....and about 3 seconds later a flurry of claws and teeth burst back out and gave me a look of utter betrayal.

"I -did- warn you."
bzarcher: (Feather)
I'm pretty much a 'Cat Person'. Cats are the only really interactive pets I've ever had. (The fishtank we used to keep when I was growing up was pretty, and fun to watch, but it's not like they can really be more than a fixture...)

Ever so, I will not, cannot, and do not ever understand cats. Tonight is a perfect example.

Anyone who has met Mr. B knows that he is a very friendly cat - to a point. He'll let you pet him, he'll climb up on you, he might even jump onto you as a stepping stone to somewhere else, but he's not a lap cat, and attempts to forcibly make him so usually end in scratches and bites.

So of course, tonight, as I was sitting and reading while I waited on my laundry, he decided it was time to jump up onto my armchair and settle in my lap.

I have to admit I was so surprised at this I just sort of stared at him until he looked over and gave me a very severe 'Pet me, dumbass!' look. So I started doing so. Who am I to argue?

Eventually, he popped up and left, and after a bit I went to go get my laundry out of the dryer. As I was putting things in the hamper to take upstairs, Mr. B came into the laundry room to see what I was doing, and jumped up on top of the dryer, so I reached out to pet him.

And he bit my hand.

No, I do not understand cats.
bzarcher: (Feather)
Via Alexxx:

Vote for TSN's remixes of Depeche Mode!
Okay, so first, a quick update: several new TSN songs are done, and the progress toward the next album (30 songs from which we'll cull 10 or so) is steady, at last. Two or three of these tracks will see the light of day on compilations soonish. We'll also be putting the New World EP up on iTunes shortly.

But the main reason for this post is that TSN has completed two remixes of Depeche Mode's "Peace" for DM's official remix contest hosted over at beatportal.com. Because the contest winners are determined in part by how many votes they get, we are asking — nay, BEGGING — you to register an account at

http://www.beatportal.com

and to give our mixes a listen. One is a straightforward "classic" DM synthrock mix, and the other is a 100% a cappella fugue and chorale.

http://www.beatportal.com/remix/detail/peace-thoushaltnot-mix/
http://www.beatportal.com/remix/detail/peace-fugue-and-chorale/

If you like them, please click "SPIN THIS" to vote. Feel free to listen to others; there are something like 800 remixes of the song up there.

The winning remix gets an official release on Mute Records.


Seriously, LISTEN TO THE FUGUE. It is really, really, really good and deserves note.

I also thought the synth remix wasn't bad, but the fugue. OMG, the fugue.
bzarcher: (BBQ)
What you are about to see is completely and utterly unsafe for anyone.

By popular request...the Bacon Explosion.

Bacon Explosion2
You have been warned. )
bzarcher: (BBQ)
Obtained for tomorrow:

* 7 lb. Pork Shoulder

* Makings for a Bacon Explosion

* 2lbs. brats

* 5 packs of pop

* 2 packs of Gatorade

* Paper Plates

The tofu we'll be smoking for Elissa is currently in the slow thaw process, and we were also bad and took advantage of the Carfagna's annual sirloin sale. We bought the full strip loin and had it done into 16 3/4" steaks, plus about 2.5 pounds of ground sirloin from the trimmings.

I'll be getting the pork shoulder onto the smoker somewhere between 9 and 10, I think. Bacon Explosion will need to go on somewhere around 2, Tofu will go on around 3 or 4.

IT BEGINS

May. 23rd, 2009 10:20 am
bzarcher: (BBQ)
Looks like we're probably going to do smoking / cookout on Monday. Currently looking at double-ground sausage and beef burgers for Mr. Scott, a pork shoulder for pulled pork, perhaps a Bacon Explosion or similar relative, and smoked Tofu for Ze Finn.

Anyone else who'd like to come, if there's something in particular you were hoping for us to make, please let me know? We'll be gathering SUPPLIES today and tomorrow.
bzarcher: A stand mixer with blue and white flames (Default)
A ton of the food bloggers / communities I follow are talking about Brussels Sprouts this week. Did I miss a memo?

Oh, well.

Parts of D&D last night were a lot of fun, and parts of it had me so frustrated that I very nearly got up and left. Those parts could be cleanly divided into 'RPing' and 'Combat'.

I think the problem is that Scott has no idea how to build a balanced encounter. With a party of low level PCs, one or two enemies who can cast a bunch of status ailments (like, say, BLIND, which is how my Paladin spent about 4 real time hours of combat last night) are pretty challenging, and can become very frustrating. ("And you take 10 damage, and you're blind." Get to my turn, stumble around for a bit, end turn, "OK! I save", then immediately after, "And you take 10 damage, and you're blind again." Repeat ad nauseum!)

Putting us in a situation where the ground is suddenly entirely difficult terrain really doesn't make this any better.

Scott keeps justifying this by saying "Yeah, but look at all the XP you'll get by the end of the session!", and I have to argue that XP matters very little compared to spending a night being frustrated and unhappy.
bzarcher: (Feather)
Woke up, stomach and throat are both complaining at me, but there's two meetings this morning that I really want to get done so the associated projects can be kicked out the door.

I think I'm going to try to balance responsibility with yuuurgh and take care of business, then see about taking the afternoon off to lie down.
bzarcher: (Feather)
Someone turning off about half of the lights in our area does not really help my attempts to resist napping.

GAH!

May. 11th, 2009 12:21 pm
bzarcher: A stand mixer with blue and white flames (Default)
I think I figured out the worst part of having my desk by a window at work.

*working*
*working*
*working*
*working*
*working*
fwip!

Oh, hey, is that rope?

*WHAM*
(Window cleaning guy -slams- into the glass about two feet from my head)
JESUS CHRIST!

Window Cleaning guy pulls a suction cup thing from his belt...

*WHAM*
*WHAM*
*WHAM*
*WHAM*

gwugh.

*vague attempt to get back to work*

*WHAM*
*WHAM*

...

squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek

Hell with this, it's lunch time.
bzarcher: (BBQ)
So we're being productive and went to the grocery store. As we unloaded everything, Alex was putting a large thing of chicken that he bought into the freezer, and then stopped.

Alex: "Y'know, actually I'm gonna put this into the fridge for a bit, and then separate it into a couple smaller packages. Otherwise it'll freeze and we'll get..."

Me: "CHICKENBRICK!"

and that's when he fell over laughing.
bzarcher: (Shotgun)
Every day, Mascot Bob is tested.
Every day, Mascot Bob grows STRONG.

Trek

May. 8th, 2009 09:10 am
bzarcher: (Feather)
OK, so far my personal review constellation is either "OMG AWESOME", which is about 98% of you who have seen it so far, or "WHAT HAVE YOU DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE?" which is basically 3 people I know on M3 or EVE sperging out about it, and I don't really take them that seriously.

Given that, I'm -really- looking forward to seeing it this weekend, but I also have a small frisson of concern. Is it possible that because so many of my friends like it, I could walk in with too high of an expectation? I'm hoping that by realizing that -could- happen, I'll avoid it.

I'm also really hoping I can get my Dad to come with me to see it while Alison and Mom are in NYC this weekend. Dad tends to channel his geek into guns and occasionally Dr. Who and other British adventures (he's a total sucker for The Avengers), but Star Trek has always been important enough to him that when TNG first came out, I remember him making popcorn (no microwave crap, either! Honest to god, popped in popping oil on the stove popcorn with melted butter and a bunch of spices popcorn!), turning down the living room lights, and watching that first episode / pilot like it was a movie, and telling my sister and I that we should both remember it, because "This is important."

Thinking about that also makes me flash-forward to when Phantom Menace came out, and we went to see it in the theater the first night it came out, and the huge waves of fan excitement that were rolling through the theater as the lights went down and John Williams' score blasted out from the speakers. The cheers at the lightsabre fights, 'oohs' and 'aahs' at the podrace, and the applause as the movie ended.

In retrospect, it really wasn't that good, but that excitement of getting to see it with a theater full of excited fans, that was really something special, and I think it'd be nice to get that again.
bzarcher: (Shotgun)
David Willis does probably the best possible birthday card for Transformers.

It's really kind of scary that it's 25 years old. I remember getting the toys at Christmas for the first time, and how incredible it was. I have to admit that while I sort of remember playing for awhile with the Autobots I got (Jetfire and Prowl, if I remember right), I spent the majority of that Christmas day playing with Soundwave and a bunch of casettes, because they were totally AWESOME.

Oddly enough, for being a total TF nut as a kid (and OK, I still am, I just don't buy the toys as often), I never actually owned an Optimus Prime until Powermaster Prime came out. No idea why.

The cartoon also had some special associations for me, because WTTE used to only show Transformers on late Sunday mornings when it first aired, so any time I go to see the show, it meant that we were skipping church, which when you are 5, has this great mix of 'AWESOME!' and 'Are we gonna be in trouble?' It also meant I go to to see The Muppet Show, so I guess what I'm trying to say is that the reward for denying God was really good TV.

Ah, those were the days.
bzarcher: A stand mixer with blue and white flames (Default)
John Scalzi gives you a brief synopsis of all the previous Star Trek movies...in haiku form.

Kirk learns true meaning
Of Kobayashi Maru
When Spock dies nobly


Also, bonus points for use of the word 'cromulent'.
bzarcher: (Shotgun)
Where's Klegman when I have something worth showing him?

Ah, well.

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