I used my brand-spanking-new rice cooker today to make a big ol' batch of sushi rice, and then used my nifty new sushi mold to make Spam Musubi. Even though I had no furikake and no nori to wrap the finished onigiri, Rachael and I agreed that this is good stuff. Next time, I do believe I'm going to slip some diced pickle or avocado into the mix.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Alternate title: Forget, Hell!
The Raiders beat Tampa Bay to knock the Buccaneers out of the playoffs. Eat shit, Gruden!!!
Posted by Ted at 4:12 PM
Friday, December 26, 2008
Liz and I shop early for Christmas. This allows us to be done (usually) by Thanksgiving, thus avoiding the crowds, and it also allows us to get lots and lots and lots of goodies for each other because it's spread out over months.
And I'm all about the lots and lots and lots part. I like presents.
From Rachael, four glow-in-the-dark zombie finger puppets. A nice accompaniment to a set of silicone bakeware.
From Robyn and Henry, the aforementioned ink (two bottles actually, there was another bottle of Mont Blanc Racing Green).
For kitcheny goodness, since I've been cooking Japanese quite a bit lately, Liz bought me a rice cooker and a mold to make Spam Musubi (Hawaii's unofficial state food).
From the Dead Tree Department, I got a hardcover copy of Heinlein's Starship Troopers, Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, and the two volume set of Plutarch's Lives. For fun there were a couple of harmonica books too (yep, I'm still playing).
There were plenty of movie-liscious moments too. Nicholson in The Shining, the 20th anniversary edition of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, the two parts of the Ginger Snaps series that I was missing, and lots and lots of lesbian vampire titles (it's like it was a theme or something, not that I'm complaining).
Like I said, "lots and lots" and those were the highlights. I was very very good this year, or I fooled a whole lot of people.
And just in case you think that I'm shallow and crass and completely miss the real point of Christmas, never fear. Even if there were no gifts for giving, our family is still enjoying health and love, and we're appreciating our good fortune. Hopefully you had a wonderful Christmas too.
Posted by Ted at 11:03 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Books... made of paper? Interesting. Next you'll be telling us how you've taken up writing on stone tablets!
Well, no, not quite that far back. I have mentioned that I've relearned the forgotten art of written correspondence and now have pen pals from the USA and Canada. I also mentioned that I've rediscovered the retro-wonderfulness of fine fountain pens.
Three pens that I have at work every day are the Lamy Safari. I have the yellow with an extra fine nib (and usually blue-black ink), a red one with a fine nib (and red ink), and a "Vista", which is clear, that I keep filled with red-black ink (medium nib). The Lamy's are the personification of German engineering: all function over style. Extremely reliable and comfortable to write with for long stretches, but possessing the gentle good looks and friendly lines of a u-boat.
I also have a Reform 1745, which was a common pen used by many students in Germany in the 50's-80's. Someone found a bunch still new in the box and was selling them cheap. This one is my daily writer at my desk at home.
The rest of my fountain pens are Chinese economy pens, a couple of which I've reviewed on FPN (Hero 78 and Picasso 903).
For Christmas, daughter Robyn and Son-in-law Henry got me a bottle of highlighter ink and an eyedropper pen with a felt chisel tip. Basically, you use an eyedropper to fill the pen with ink, and then use it like a regular highlighter. Except that it's refillable. Very cool. Very neon yellow.
Posted by Ted at 7:53 PM
Monday, December 22, 2008
"Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head."
Posted by Ted at 9:50 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
My daughter Rachael has gotten me started on reading a series of books by Janet Evanovich. The main character is Stephanie Plum, who works as a rookie bounty hunter for her cousin in New Jersey. They're funny and the mystery parts aren't bad either. Recommended.
While devouring the third in the series, I discovered that Stephanie Plum and I share the same favorite pizza: extra cheese, black olives, green peppers and onion. What's more odd; that pizza, or that I have the same tastes as a fictional character?
I also delighted in this paragraph:
My parents lived deep in the burg in a narrow duplex that on a cold day like this would smell like chocolate pudding cooking on the stove. The effect was similar to Lorelei, singing to all those sailors, sucking them in so they'd crash on the rocks.
Heh. I love that my granddaughter has a name from German mythology.
Posted by Ted at 9:35 PM
Friday, December 12, 2008
Coworker: "Casual day, eh? And you're dressed all in black."
Me: "It's my 'Ninja Programmer' look."
Coworker: "A ninja with white sneakers?"
Me: "That's the 'Programmer' part."
Posted by Ted at 9:33 AM
Even if you didn't know her name, you probably recognized her.
I paid tribute to her in this Rocket Jones banner.
One in a million.
Posted by Ted at 7:58 AM
Follow the link for a picture and simple instructions.
How to make bedroom slippers out of maxi pads.
These slippers are:
* Soft and Hygienic
* Non-slip grip strips on the soles
* Built in deodorant feature keeps feet smelling fresh
* No more bending over to mop up spills
* Disposable and biodegradable
* Environmentally safe
* Three convenient sizes: (1.) Regular, (2.) Light and (3.) Get out the Sand Bags.
Because nothing says "I Care" like home-crafted gifts.
Posted by Ted at 6:26 AM
My Summer hiatus is over over at Wildside Cinema, over. Reviews by yours truly will be going up twice a month starting next week.
Posted by Ted at 6:05 AM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Obama Inauguration is shaping up to be a huge event in more ways than one. There are projected to be more people attending than ever before, the metro system is anticipating over 1 million riders that day (a %20 increase over it's previous one day record), and the inauguration will cost Washington DC more than any previous event - by a lot.
Two things in particular amuse me about the whole business. First, as Obama goes from event to event (including parties after the swearing in), a rolling "security bubble" will move with him, which will cause metro stations and bus stops to be closed as long as the President is nearby. So in addition to the enormous increase in traffic and ridership, they'll have to deal with unpredictable interuptions and disruptions in service.
In related news, due to security concerns during the inauguration, metro will be closing all of its public restrooms. To compensate, they've announced plans to put up hundreds of port-o-potties. A little back-of-the-napkin math shows that there will be one toilet available for every 8,000 metro riders.
I will be staying far, far away from Washington DC - and metro - during the festivities.
Posted by Ted at 6:16 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
With these tough economic times, people don't have as much money to put towards Christmas gifts. Sure, anyone can give out crap bought at the thrift shop, but true thoughtfulness costs.
Not anymore. At least, not as much.
Rather than spending hundreds of dollars for a portrait of your giftee, Rocket Jones is now offering the opportunity to get a custom and personalized drawing of your loved one as a stick figure. For a buck. And that includes shipping and handling.
Rocket Jones Customized Portraiture. Tiffany Elan at Dollar Store Prices.
Posted by Ted at 9:00 AM
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Affectionately known as "Forry" to legions of horror and sci-fi fans (he coined the term "sci-fi" as well as created the character Vampirella), Ackerman passed away at age 92. He published the classic "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine and also owned the world's largest private collection of genre memorabilia.
I saw him in a bit part in a movie just last week.
Thanks to Dustbury for the pointer to this sad news.
Posted by Ted at 8:22 AM
This was given to me by a co-worker. I did solve it, but it wasn't easy. I've also changed a few of the items up a little bit because the original was in Russian and was translated into clumsy English. If you like puzzles, you'll have fun with this one.
5 different people in 5 different color houses , smoke 5 different cigarettes, raise 5 different animals and drink 5 different beverages.
Question: Who raises fish?
1. A Norwegian lives in the 1st house.
2. А Brit lives in the red house.
3. A green house is on the left of the white house.
4. A Dutch dude drinks tea.
5. One, who smokes Rothmans, lives next to one who raises cats.
6. One, who lives in a yellow house, smokes Dunhill.
7. A German smokes Marlboro.
8. One, who lives in the center house, drinks milk.
9. The neighbor of the Rothmans smoker drinks water.
10. One, who smokes Pall Mall, raises birds.
11. A Swede raises dogs.
12. A Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
13. One, who raises horses, lives in a blue house.
14. One , who smokes Philip Morris, drinks beer.
15. They drink coffee in a green house.
This is solvable! Drop me an email for the answer.
Posted by Ted at 7:49 AM
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Written in 1946.
When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
But wait, there's more.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics'. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.
George Orwell wrote that.
Posted by Ted at 6:55 PM
Friday, December 05, 2008
My solution to the government revenue shortfall is to tap into the caring nature of people. Uncle Sam should send letters to every environmental group informing them that we're going to start cutting down trees to sell the timber unless they pony up pronto. I'd suggest $500 per tree per year or it comes down. Considering the money they spend on lobbyists and advertising to convince people that nature is precious, well, it's time they put their money where their mouth is.
I realize that it's not very workable, and that a better name than "Ransoming Mother Nature" would be needed.
On the other hand, Stephen Macklin has come up with an idea that makes too much sense to ever be implemented, called "How to Save Detroit, the Economy and the Planet". Follow that link, it's short and well worth reading.
Posted by Ted at 6:28 AM
I've mentioned before about how proud I am to live in Prince William county, Virginia. We're the guys who passed that anti-illegal immigrant law that resulted in a mass migration to neighboring, safe-haven counties. Our county council has stood up to the politically-correct pressure and lawsuits and we've saved millions of dollars in school costs and (surprise, surprise) hospital costs (huge drop in emergency room visits).
So now that times are tough and revenues have dropped? Neighboring counties are looking at raising taxes, charging for ambulance service, public library parking and usage fees and other schemes to increase income.
Prince William County? A 20% reduction in the budget. Fire, police and ambulance are protected, everything else is on the chopping block. We've been told that layoffs will have to happen.
Our county supervisors have remembered that the best way to stay out of financial trouble is to not spend more than you make. Instead of grabbing for more money when needed, they cut costs. It's remarkable, and it's sad that it's remarkable.
Posted by Ted at 5:49 AM