Owlish Mutterings
Google Migration
Well, let's see how well this works.

is this working?


MuNu Down
The hyperactive owl flies at midnight. The hyperactive owl flies at midnight. This would normally be a great opportunity to take advantage of what I've heard described as "sunlight," but I've got a cold.

Mu.Nu looks to be temporarily down, so I'll post this here, for now. Instapundit has a comment on various things about the Mainstream Media. Interestingly, the Houston Chronicle has a short article here on blogs, just ripe for a fisking: A few warnings about blogging Ooh, scary headline. Blogging causes lung cancer? Blogging causes male pattern baldness? Let's find out. NEW YORK - Many people have become obsessed with blogs, which are personal journals posted by individuals on the Web. I'm not addicted to blogging, I can stop any time I want. And can we please get beyond this "Blogs are personal journals" meme? Some are, maybe most are. But a lot of blogs are a whole lot more than that, and the ones that are kicking your collective MSM butts are clearly more than that. According to a Pew Internet Study, 50 million Internet users read blogs regularly. Ooh, they've got a study. This article must be well researched and scientific then. Blogging can be both a cost-effective and efficient way of connecting with people, but there are some warnings: Hmm. "Cost-effective." So I guess they're talking about blogs being started by corporations? I don't think the average man on the street thinks, "I need to connect with more people. What's the most cost-effective way? I know, a blog!" •Don't trust everything you read in blogs. While more and more news organizations and companies are creating blogs of their own, many blogs are filled with false information. I had to read that statement a couple of times to get it's meaning. Some news organizations and companies are starting blogs. Those you can trust. Many of the other ones are "filled with false information." Yeah, bite me. Corporate blogs are exactly the ones that I have the least trust in. Including the 11 blogs run on the Houston Chronicle site. Like the Au Paris blog [HC accountant quits and goes to Paris to be an Au Pair], or say this post from About:Chron. Some of those blogs had somewhat interesting info, but none of it was stuff I hadn't read elsewhere. •Never keep a blog in which you trash the company you work for or your boss. Also, never put your company's sensitive or inside information in your blog. There have already been cases in which people have been fired for blogging about their employers. Useful advice, I guess. •Don't give out too much personal information in your blog. Don't use your real name, which could put you at risk. Rather, use a pseudonym. Every single blogger should be blogging under a pseudonym? Why? I do it, but have some specific reasons to do so. If JohnL hadn't been blogging under his real name, I never would have noticed his blog, and probably never would have started myself. So there may be reasons not to anonymously blog. A site where you can start your own blog for free is www.Blogger.com. Hmm. The only site you give in an article about blogging is Blogger? Because, you know, you wouldn't want to point people to blogs that they might want to read, because then you might hemorrhage readers even faster than you're doing now.

Is Blogger possessed too? I give up.

Pumpkin Pie
My MuNu site is having some permalink problems, so I'll doublepost things I submit to Carnivals there and here. Another of my grandmother's recipes, this time written out in the blank pages of a cookbook: Pumpkin Pie 9" pastry shell with high fluted edge. 2 slightly beaten eggs with 1 pound can of Del Monte pumpkin Combine: 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp salt, t tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves. Blend into pumpkin mixture. Stir in 1 can (1 2/3 cup) of evaporated milk. Bake 450 for 15 min reduce oven to 350 and bake 25 to 35 min more, or until knife comes out clean 2 inches from edge. For pecan ring: take pie from oven 10 min before done. Spoon a mixture of 1.2 cup chopped pecans, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter. Add 1 1/2 tsp grated orange rind around edge of pie. Bake 10 min more.

Moving Time
mutter mutter gotta pack everything up mutter mutter where'd this lampshade come from? mutter mutter man, comics are heavy mutter mutter i need a hobby that doesn't involve collecting heavy, breakable crap mutter mutter This blog is moving to MuNu. http://owlishmutterings.mu.nu/ It'll be a bit before I've worked the kinks out, so bear with me.

Babel Too
Hey LlamaButchers! This is Fun! Or this: Evening came yesterday to the bottom, 10 dead the word in Chinatown. Innocently, its only crime too was in the false place, with the forgery bad weather, statement of the people, which is false today with the kids, you declare itself that at the present time, they do not have anything to lose are to you buildings KINGDOM! Johnny used, after school in Kinoerscheinen to work. One received oneself to push, if it wishes a formation which it has a long manner. It is now outside on the road all the day to which the jump sells to the people who pay. A AK-47 for its business of the best friend the American manner received. Eastside meets of Westside downtown area. No don't times, the walls fall can to the bottom you believe him to come? RICHLY! Can't you intend it to name? The black man, included to again hold its chain in its hand. The brother of setting with died of brother for the profit of others, not of play, anybody gains. Acceptance, right in time. What did it arrive at the sublime dream? break it that all the niederwerfen, we place him high of still violently. Another KINGDOM? Eastside meets of Westside downtown area. Time, no line, the walls fall downwards. Can't you believe him to come? RICHLY! You cannot hear it next KINGDOM! Somebody cannot stop it here...??!!

Babel Indeed
Meme from LlamaButchers: 1. Take the lyrics to a favorite song. 2. Go to Babelfish, translate the lyrics into German, then from German to French, and finally from French back into English. 3. Post the results verbatim. 4. Invite friends to guess the song based on the interesting new lyrics. This is probably not the whole song, by the way. _ it must fight not still, him time, something have make distort some this night the be drink which it sector alive become a ring of box, him time must be run, if it him see, its hand press it a woman be still right me hear its Scream, of hall which it can all same parlerelle me go, it go to the bottom surpamment with bed terrified me which it dead its hand roll up, be of return a woman have be again just ahead, however not thus which be however not considering so ahead him, not, I which indeed him this one Nurse, you slipped and drops some start to him in the passing, as it starts, to inflate it consider, it wish the truth, him in the sector of discussion with these hands Lookin are outside there precisely as gently right, as him still can considering him ahead, however not if which to have been, ahead never, but before I which is actually seen to him this bad, it a woman is not so still precisely to bring a name that you did not acquire, but you are not a child with one reheat have intended yourself "one injury to precisely only strike? Kickin ' your ass would not be a pleasure still, these are to him a time which even old Scheisse to precisely fight over another night which him those rifle seizes, it rather drinkable have, evening it still discovers this can considering it ahead, however not if which A is been, ahead, however not if, as fucking durable this one man of trains excursions thus quickly is, as it before I which is actually seen to him this bad which is yet just never it a woman

LlamaButchers vs Wonkette
This post from LlamaButchers explains all. Yip Yip!

Memorial Day
Lots of posts around, this article by Mark Steyn may be the best. H/T: Right Wing News. What did I do to observe the day? Not much, truthfully. Raining off and on, cool weather when it wasn't raining though. Made walking around the Strand pleasant.

The Risen Empire
Just finished The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld. Interesting hard SciFi space opera. One of it's basic themes is transhumanism; the people of The Risen Empire work to become posthuman by becoming undead [more or less], the Rix are all cyborgs and work to create planetary scale AIs. Other races are mentioned, one working towards biological solutions, one towards informational immortality [videotaping every second of your life, keeping a weblog, etc.] The author has recently started a blog. I think I need a category in my sidebar for authors' blogs.

Via Fark comes this editorial from the Washington Times. The fun section, discussing Rathergate and Newsweek:
Three now-common themes appeared in each controversy: (1) The misinformation erred predictably against the current American government. In CBS' case, anchorman Dan Rather impugned the president's past military service. The Newsweek article questioned the ethics and sense of the U.S. military. (2) These were not minor slips. The counterfeit documents Mr. Rather circulated undercut a sitting commander-in-chief in the midst of a national election. The fraud had the potential to alter the very governance of the United States. Newsweek's wrong information incited the Middle East's lunatic elements. Rioting and death followed, complicating the U.S. military effort. (3) Neither organization was markedly contrite when exposed. The culpable Mr. Rather refashioned himself as the maligned target of the blogosphere. Newsweek spokesmen whined that a vindictive administration was hounding their management. In response, the public assumed haughty news organizations were caught exhibiting the usual partiality -- and then on spec retreated to victim status when challenged.
Nothing new to people who are watching, but still.

In response to Time's 100 Greatest Movies List, A Small Victory has made her list. From my Standpoint, a much better list too. So, movies I've seen in bold, movies I plan to see in italics.
  1. Empire Strikes Back
  2. The Big Lebowski
  3. Spirited Away
  4. Shaun of the Dead
  5. Fantasia
  6. The Phantom Tollbooth
  7. Army of Darkness
  8. Cemetery Man
  9. Battle Royale
  10. 12 Monkeys
  11. Se7en
  12. Fifth Element
  13. True Romance
  14. Suicide Kings
  15. Leon
  16. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  17. The Sting
  18. River's Edge
  19. Legend of Billie Jean
  20. Star Wars
  21. The Godfather
  22. The Fly (original!)
  23. Road Warrior
  24. Aladdin
  25. West Side Story
  26. Airplane!
  27. Slapshot
  28. Apocalypse Now
  29. Back to the Future
  30. Winged Migration
  31. Fog of War
  32. Lost in LaMancha
  33. Serpico
  34. Akira
  35. Guys and Dolls
  36. Snoopy, Come Home
  37. Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring
  38. Bad News Bears
  39. Interstate 60
  40. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  41. Jaws
  42. Boondock Saints
  43. The Last Waltz
  44. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  45. Super Troopers
  46. Ghost Dog
  47. Raising Arizona
  48. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
  49. Toy Story
  50. A Christmas Story
  1. Nightmare Before Christmas
  2. Edward Scissorhands
  3. Dog Day Afternoon
  4. And Justice For All
  5. Spider-Man 2
  6. The Untouchables
  7. Real Genius
  8. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  9. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  10. Chocolat
  11. Three Kings
  12. Dawn of the Dead
  13. From Dusk til Dawn
  14. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  15. Prophecy
  16. Nothing to Lose
  17. The Last Boy Scout
  18. Happy Gilmore
  19. Ghostbusters
  20. Sixteen Candles
  21. The Longest Yard
  22. Legends of the Fall
  23. The Outsiders
  24. Office Space
  25. Napoleon Dynamite
  26. Blazing Saddles
  27. Young Frankenstein
  28. The Muppet Movie
  29. Quick Change
  30. Dead Alive
  31. Mallrats
  32. Session 9
  33. Heathers
  34. My Life as a Dog
  35. Clerks
  36. X-Men
  37. Princess Bride
  38. The Sandlot
  39. Breakfast Club
  40. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  41. Boiler Room
  42. The Hills Have Eyes
  43. Evil Dead
  44. Heavenly Creatures
  45. Spartacus
  46. Titus
  47. Mary Poppins
  48. The Omen
  49. Smokey and the Bandit
  50. Revenge of the Sith

Movie Meme
JohnL at TexasBestGrok asked for volunteers on this meme, so ok. Other people who have done it include Blackfive, and a zillion other blogs that I read, that I can't find right now. 1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video: 24 DVDs, about 32 VHS. That counts various DVDs of anime which aren't movies. 2) The last film I bought: I'm not completely sure, but I think it was the extended edition of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King I bought as a Christmas present. 3) The last film I watched: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith 4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order): Animal House The Lost Boys Star Wars: A New Hope The Princess Bride Beauty and the Beast [Disney] 5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal: Nah.

Ok, what's really going on? At least partially, I was thinking of going to Scarbourough Faire, [this is the last weekend], but with the forecast for rain, rain, rain, it didn't seem reasonable. So, I've got a mix of being pissed at the weather [always useful] and pissed at myself for being a procrastinating wuss.

This is kinda cool. Need to frame someone? Just make a copy of their fingerprints. Do not try this at home. Also from Geekpress.

You know essentially all advertising is sexual in nature, right? This is a good selection of logos that feature hidden male genetalia. H/T: Geek Press. God, I'm a nerd.

Carnival of recipes
is up at Fresh as a Daisy. Mmm. Sun Comprehending Glass has a recipe for flan. Shrimp and Grits? My dad would love it. Me, on the other hand - Chicken Breasts with portabella and blue cheese sounds tasty to me.

Hangin out
The bar across the street has a band, playing 70's tunes. Pink Floyd, "Play that funky music white boy," and now "Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight." Yippee. Shake your booty, everyone. Update: now the damn "Piano Man." Crowd's loving it, though.

Stryker's got a post on watching movies in this day and age. Basically, lots of commercials, rude patrons, and high prices. I went to see Revenge of the Sith this afternoon, [at a MOVIE MEGAPLEX] with two friends who rarely go to movie theatres. They were not impressed with the whole experience. About 10 minutes of video ads [at a volume louder than most rock concerts], 20 minutes of previews, an audience that didn't really detract from the experience but didn't add to it either. Oh, and of course they wanted to get to the theatre 20 minutes early to get a good seat. With regard to the movie, she liked Episode 1 better, he liked Episode 2 better, I liked Episode 3. We all watched Episode 2 last night, she watched Episode 1 the night before. Fanboy thoughts: (1) As cool as Yoda is in a lightsaber battle, it just doesn't fit. He's much smaller than a human, he usually hobbles around, and yet he can catch a full on strike [which takes strength and leverage]. He should be a badass in other ways. (2) Wookies get a tiny amount of time in RotS, compared to Ewoks in RotJ. And why are they fighting water battles on their jungle planet? (3) I just don't care about any of these characters. Blah blah, I want to be a Master, blah, illegal love, blah, I'm pregnant, blah, Jedi Masters get taken out like paraplegic gnats [and shouldn't some survive, so Vader can spend the next few years hunting them down and killing them?], blah, volcano fight. (4) The political crap is too complicated to be useful as a comment on present day politics. If President Bush = Dark Jedi Master, then he not only wanted a war and pushed for it, he was directly responsible for 9/11 and the creation of the Islamic "army." (5) If we're following the rules of the universe, people don't just die because they lose the will to live. I can accept the Dark Side having something to do with Padme's death, but it isn't telegraphed. Is the Emperor doing it long distance? Is Vader sucking out her life force, to heal himself as he crawls out of the lava? Or due to his previous force choke? (6) So, basically the morals of the movie are "Love is Evil" and " Don't Give a Whiney Angst-Ridden Teenager Ultimate Power." Yippee. How the fuck did Anakin Skywalker grow up, first as a slave on a desert planet that makes Arakis look like WaterWorld, then as a Jedi trainee where he would presumably see a large slice of life, and then suddenly come to the amazing conclusion that life isn't fair? If life were fair he would still be a slave, probably repairing droids and landspeeders. Instead, he's the right-hand-man to the most important person in a government spanning thousands of worlds, and doin' the dirty with the beautiful Senator and ex [Democratically elected] Queen. (7) Uncle Lars, watching the sunset. How heavy-handed with the visuals can you get? So, on the positive side, it's a movie in a cool scifi universe, with amazing special effects. And ultimately I like the "Anankin turns to the Dark Side to save his beloved wife" concept. But, even when I [as TexasBestGrok puts it] check my cynical, 30-something ass at the door, I tend to think about what a great movie it could have been, rather than how much better it was than episode 1. Maybe that's because I went with 2 other cynical 30-somethings rather than an 8 year old, I don't know.

Tortilla Soup
So, continuing my search for the perfect tortilla soup recipe, I made a batch for some friends yesterday. Used the recipe, but: used pork loin instead of chicken [held up well, added it about halfway through the cooking]; no corn [will add it next time, unless I'm avoiding corn due to Adkin's]; no celery [fine]; didn't have cilantro or epazote on hand during cooking, so added some fresh cilantro on top of the soup at the end, which worked ok, but not great; figured out why the last batch didn't have enough heat - I didn't use any peppers from the can of chipolte peppers, so chopped up 3 peppers and used that and most of their seeds, which was a little too hot [not too hot for my friends, since they'll eat thai soup that hot, but hotter than any tortilla soup I've eaten in a restaurant].

From Impenetrable Prose and Poetry: HASH(0x89a7438)
Your Lightsaber is Blue Blue is often associated with depth and stability.
It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom,
confidence, and truth.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Han Shot First
Going through Mu.Nu, ran into Shoes, Ships, and Sealing Wax. She's got a post asking about Star Wars, and the Han Shot First scene came up, so I answered this: [I watched the movie last week, and thought I have got to get me one of these shirts.] The Han Shot First thing: there's a scene in the original movie that's involved, right after we're first introduced to Han Solo. He's leaving the bar, and runs into a bounty hunter, who will get paid for Han, dead or alive, preferably dead. The bounty hunter's got a blaster pointed, point blank, at Han. They sit back down, chat, the bounty hunter offers to forget he saw Han for a large enough bribe. Han doesn't have the money, is slowly preparing his blaster under the table. The bounty hunter says something like "I've been looking forward to this for a long time," Han counters "I bet you have," and shoots him. The Han goes to the barkeep, flips him a coin, and says "Sorry about the mess." This scene establishes Han as a "does what he needs to do to save his own skin" guy. With the release of the Special Edition, though, the scene was changed. In it, the bounty hunter fires, hits the wall to the side of Han's head, and only then does Han fire. Now, the bounty hunter was close enough that a blind quadraplegic couldn't have missed, and Han, knowing that this guy was going to kill him in the next few seconds, had a reason to fire. So, yes, it's a small point, but it's a good example of Lucas' seeming mistakes/ overwhelming ego.

That's fookin Smurftabulous!
A fun webtranslator, in case you need something translated into smurf, pimp, redneck, or other useful languages. The hAcK3r one seems to change the coding of the webpage, I'm not sure if that's a bug or feature. H/T: Rishon Rishon

So, JohnL saw this list of the 100 best movies of all time from 2 movie critics at Time. He did his usual bold movies he has seen, italics for ones he intends to see. Rob the Wonder Llama does the same thing here. To me, it's a fairly strange list, with a bunch of movies that are unfamiliar to me. So, bold for ones I've seen, italics for ones I intend to see, small print for ones that have no name recognition at all.

Aguirre: the Wrath of God (1972) The Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959) The Awful Truth (1937) Baby Face (1933) Bande à part (1964) Barry Lyndon (1975) Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) Blade Runner (1982) Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Brazil (1985) Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Camille (1936) Casablanca (1942) Charade (1963) Children of Paradise (1945) Chinatown (1974) Chungking Express (1994) Citizen Kane (1941) City Lights (1931) City of God (2002) Closely Watched Trains (1966) The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936) The Crowd (1928)

Day for Night (1973) The Decalogue (1989) Detour (1945) The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Dodsworth (1936) Double Indemnity (1944) Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) Drunken Master II (1994) E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 8 1/2 (1963) The 400 Blows (1959) Farewell My Concubine (1993) Finding Nemo (2003) The Fly (1986)

The Godfather, Parts I and II (1972, 1974) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) Goodfellas (1990) A Hard Day's Night (1964) His Girl Friday (1940) Ikiru (1952) In A Lonely Place (1950) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) It's A Gift (1934) It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Kandahar (2001) Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) King Kong (1933) The Lady Eve (1941) The Last Command (1928) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Léolo (1992) The Lord of the Rings (2001-03) The Man With a Camera (1929) The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Metropolis (1927) I've seen the version re-released in the 80's, assuming that counts. Miller's Crossing (1990) Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980) Mouchette (1967)

Nayakan (1987) Ninotchka (1939) Notorious (1946) Olympia, Parts 1 and 2 (1938) On the Waterfront (1954) Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Out of the Past (1947) Persona (1966) Pinocchio (1940) Psycho (1960) Pulp Fiction (1994) The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) Pyaasa (1957)

Raging Bull (1980) Schindler's List (1993) The Searchers (1956) Sherlock, Jr. (1924) The Shop Around the Corner (1940) Singin' in the Rain (1952) The Singing Detective (1986) Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) Some Like It Hot (1959) Star Wars (1977) A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Although I tend to think of this in terms of a play, rather than the movie. Sunrise (1927) Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Swing Time (1936)

Talk to Her (2002) Taxi Driver (1976) Tokyo Story (1953) A Touch of Zen (1971) Ugetsu (1953) Ulysses' Gaze (1995) Umberto D (1952) Unforgiven (1992) White Heat (1949) Wings of Desire (1987) Yojimbo (1961)

I was in a he said/ she said triangle kinda thing, but it's all better now. So, the plan is to see RotS this Friday afternoon, with my friends. Looks like he never formally asked his parents to babysit. Or... who knows.

Alien Loves Predator
One of the wackiest web comics I've seen in a while. H/T: Rocket Jones. And no, it isn't Aliens-Predator slash fiction. More or less work safe.

My Banjo is Wet
From Deskmerc: kermit.jpeg You are Kermit the Frog. You are reliable, responsible and caring. And you have a habit of waving your arms about maniacally. FAVORITE EXPRESSIONS: "Hi ho!" "Yaaay!" and "Sheesh!" FAVORITE MOVIE: "How Green Was My Mother" LAST BOOK READ: "Surfin' the Webfoot: A Frog's Guide to the Internet" HOBBIES: Sitting in the swamp playing banjo. QUOTE: "Hmm, my banjo is wet." What Muppet are you? brought to you by Quizilla

Cold Fury
Looks like wedding bells are in the future. Getting a wife and a co-blogger at the same time, impressive.

My animal nature
From Anarchangel: Wolf What Is Your Animal Personality? brought to you by Quizilla

Deskmerc has a chuckle worthy photoshop, Bush as dungeon master, with Advanced D&D books. Cool.

Book Meme
I've been tagged by JohnL for this book meme. [And this afternoon I followed it back as far as it would go, where it's bouncing around a bunch of Jesuits. Some interesting lists there]. 1. Total Number of Books I've Owned: My best estimate is that I currently own 700-750 books, without counting each one. 2. Last Book I Bought: The Queer Eye for the Straight Guy book. Hey, it was cheap. 3. Last Book I Read: Way of the Wolf, by E. E. Knight. Fun stuff to read while eating dinner. 4. Five Books That Mean A lot to Me: 1) The Bible. Yes, everyone is mentioning it. Yes, I don't believe it's the verbatim word of God. But, it has had a profound effect on my life and my civilization. 2) In The Moment, Harvey L. Rich, MD. A book written by a psychoanalyst, discussing his cases and a way to approach life. Big impact: when I first read it, I could barely get through a page without crying. Wouldn't affect everyone the same way, but it was helpful for me. 3) A book of poetry by Keats. Not so much because I love the poetry, but because the book itself has meaning for me. A gift from a long time ago. 4) The Kid, Dan Savage. If you have to ask why, I'm not going to tell you. 5) The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis. For a while I was reading one or another of these almost constantly. When I understood they were a metaphorical retelling of various bits of Christianity, it pissed me off, sort of like when your mother tries to get you to eat a vegetable you hate by hiding it in a casserole. But still, they were probably the first fantasy that I read [maybe LoTR or The Hobbit came before]. No books that I've read have had a huge philosophical impact on me. Classes in college, yes; specific books, no. I have a zillion SciFi books with varying levels of impact, but no one stands out. 5. Tag five people and have them do this on their blog. It's late, let me sleep on this. If anyone reads this and wants to be tagged, comment.

So, looks like this blog is going to be moving to mu.nu sometime in the future. That's partially why I haven't bothered to put back up my sitemeter [I removed it accidentally when I changed templates], nor to add stuff to my blogroll. I've been doing a survey of mu.nu blogs, going down TexasBestGrok's list. It's interesting. A fair number [5-10%] exist but haven't really started, some on hiatus. A higher proportion than I was expecting tend to be more diaries than anything else. And today was the first time I was reading a blog and unknowingly came upon a link to me. Kinda cool. And I'm coming up on my first blogaversary. More cool. Anyway, I think I need at least an owl picture or drawing as a symbol. I've looked around some, nothing has hit me yet. I could use the drawing I have for a planned owl tattoo, but since I didn't like it enough to get it inked, I don't know if I want it here either. Anyone got a way to scan a 5ftx5ft cloth panel? Hmm. Time to play with my digital camera, maybe go to the zoo.

The Keys to my Heart
This is a fairly odd quiz, based entirely on animal questions. Hat tip: Martinis, Persistence, and a Smile.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.
In love, you feel the most alive when everything is uncertain, one moment heaven... the next moment hell.
You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage pessimistically. You don't think happy marriages exist anymore.
In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.
What Are The Keys To Your Heart?

How to Cure the Star Wars Blues
Heartbroken that the movies are finally done? Fear not, for ESPN [H/T: Physics Geek] has the script for Star Wars VII: Lucas Strikes Back. Chewbacca, radio psychologist? It could happen.

Your Inner Dragon?
Puttering around, saw this quiz on Idle Mendacity.

A SILVER Dragon Lies Beneath!

My inner dragon color is SILVER. Click here to try the Quiz!
My inner dragon is to dragons what the Ranger is to humans. I possess considerable intelligence and self-confidence. I live by my own code of ethics and I stick to it at all times. Click the image to try the Inner Dragon Online Quiz for yourself.

The fun things you can find with google. confabulation has blogrolled me, thanks! As has Reflections in d minor - quite a cool blogroll, with some scifi links. As has Monkeywatch. And I've outed myself in signing The Online Coalition petition. Oh well. Anyone who knows me in real life, who knows I blog, can probably find this.

Another cool gay NYC blog, ER physician who likes tortilla soup. Fairly irregular posting though.

Ok, so, I couldn't start an Adkins diet before getting all the carbs out of the apartment, right? So, for lunch I wanted to eat the last package of Ramen. And since CalTechGirl has the crazy idea that I'm sort of a cook, I thought I would do something a bit more than the usual dumping in a can of tuna. So, chopped half an onion, and cooked it with some pepperoni, in the non-stick pot. Worked pretty well. Cooked till the onion was transparent but still a little crunchy. Added some water, noodles, flavor packet [in theory, roast beef flavor]. Cooked, ate as a soup type thing. Worked fairly well, tasted pretty good, except... boiled pepperoni has the flavor and texture of cardboard.

Rails Across the Galaxy & Sanctuary
If you haven't read Sanctuary yet, go do so. Part 1, Part 2. As the saying goes, rich bloggy goodness. 3 thoughts come immediately to mind: 1) Maybe my high school wasn't so dumb, insisting these spoiled rich kids go camping. 2) One of my favorite stories in Analog was Rails Across the Galaxy, printed as a serial, ending in the mid-September 1982 issue. Written by Andrew Offutt and Richard Lyon. It deals with a first contact situation, present day Earth, with the aliens making the contact. The earthlings have something the aliens want; the earthlings don't know what to ask for it:
"But what then,?" Angel demanded, his arms writhing like a pair of cobras in heat. "What you are telling me is that although the Railroad has desperate need of your services, there is nothing you and your people need from us!" ... "We have a custom," I said mercifully. "When one is in need and cannot pay, one says ... Please." The Star Trader's hands became steady. "Other races have similar customs, Trader Quinan. It is absolute Railroad Policy that I may not practice such a custom; for if I did, your race would forever after have the right to say Please to the Railroad."
The moonbat who asked the security agent to say please wasn't making a point of politeness, he was making a point of power - who had it in their interaction. The security agent was absolutely right in not giving up his power. Now, on the other hand, I disagree with so-called security measures that call for me to give up my power, yet don't offer me any more security in exchange. Strip frisking grannies, confiscating fingernail clippers, and forcing a woman to drink her own breast milk do nothing to improve my safety. But the proper place to debate this is in Congress, not in the airport. 3) There was a short story I read a while back in a Dragon. In it, Merlin comforted a dying King Arthur, by telling him what the future would be like. He talked about the poorest children having more clothes than current kings, and he discussed vanilla ice cream, with vanilla and sugar being from places that were currently unreachable, on an undiscovered continent. The highest technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Star Wars costumes
Saw this link on TechTv. Studio Creations has a lot of info on how to make your own costume. Looks like making your own stormtrooper suit would take quite a bit of time, but maybe a tusken raider outfit isn't impossible.

Weight and Diets
When I got back from my parents, I expected to have lost some weight, since I had been more active than usual [although not really aerobically] and eating roughly the same. No change. For the past week I've been much more of a slug than usual, and not particularly focused on eating well, but I've lost 4 pounds. I don't get it. So, maybe, I can get back into a diet. To avoid cheating, I'm going Adkins, walk at least 40 minutes a day, try to figure out some sort of weight training pattern I can keep going.

It's a strange world, mark 2
Got that craving for human flesh, try some hufu. I don't think it's a joke, but who knows. Hat tip: Northshore Politics, via Carnival of Comedy. Update: No, it's not a joke. Homepage.

Fun quiz
A very well done quiz [well, at least the questions were clever]. H/T: View from the Pew
What military aircraft are you?

EA-6B Prowler

You are an EA-6B. You are sinister, preferring not to get into confrontations, but extract revenge through mind games and technological interference. You also love to make noise and couldn't care less about pollution.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Carnival of recipes #40
Carnival's up. Another chili recipe. I need to develop my own. Panang Beef, a Thai recipe. Somewhat complicated, but not impossible, assuming you can find red thai curry paste. Stuffed steak - round steak wrapped around stuffing, sounds good. Brisket - easy, crockpot meat. Chocolate dipped strawberries. Mmmm.

Star Wars
So, I know this couple who see maybe 2 movies in theatres a year, who are planning on seeing the latest movie. I would like to go with them, for camaraderie. They're trying to get his parents to babysit his kid, and won't go opening weekend anyway to avoid crowds. Being the martyr, I offered to babysit if his parents can't/won't do it. So, I'd kind of like to go this weekend, partially because IT'S STAR WARS and partially because I've read so many reviews which are all over the map that I'd like to go and form my own opinion. If I knew I was going to babysit, I'd go ahead and go. Not knowing, I'm not sure I will want to see it twice [I've seen very few movies in theatres more than once. Disney's Beauty and the Beast is the last one that comes to mind].

Sullivan Pile-on
The Daily Pundit has a great post on Andrew Sullivan's stances. It's always fun to see something that pretty much directly mirrors my own thinking. H/T: INDC

Indus Script Indus, (Pakistan 2500 B.C.E.) You are INDUS. One of the most famous undeciphered scripts, however, modern scholars have no text any longer than 17 symbols. You might be concealing a dark, mysterious heritage -- or you could have been used to mark whose beer was whose. Which Indecipherable Script Are You? brought to you by Quizilla H/T: Pixy Misa.

Women in the Military
Sgt. Mom has a fun yet serious post on women in the military. My favorite section:
2. Alas, only one country that we have fought since 1941 has given more than lip service for the Geneva Convention, the forces of militant Islam would appear to have about as much use for traditional chivalry as Orky the Killer Whale has for a stair step machine, and it is abundantly clear that in this war, there is no front line, there is no safe area. When an enemy can take a clear shot at the Pentagon, and kill civil servants sitting quietly at their desk jobs— well, that should make it pretty clear that there is no rear in which to park the gear and the ladies’ auxiliary safely out of harms’ way… even of going back to the old way were still even possible.
As they say, read the whole thing.

It's a strange world
Need some human leather for making charms? Only 18$ Man, life is cheap sometimes. H/T: Fark

Things that make you go hmm
I wandered into some posts on the GayPatriot brouhaha from a couple of months ago, and it occurred to me that I know a guy who's gay and named Michael Rogers. It's a fairly common name, so it's probably not the same guy involved, but maybe.

Lyrics 2
Or, there's the Jedi Drinking song.

Just because I've got the tune in my head, a silly [traditional?] drinking song: The Scotsman Oh, a Scotsman clad in a kilt left a bar one evenin' fair. And one could tell by the way he walked he'd drunk more than his share. He fumbled 'round until he could no longer keep his feet. Then he stumbled off onto the grass to sleep beside the street. Ring-ding, diddle-iddle, la-di-oh! Ring-dye, diddle-lye oh! He stumbled off onto the grass to sleep beside the street. About that time two young and lovely girls just happened by. And one said to the other with a twinkle in her eye. "See yon sleepin' Scotsman so strong and handsome built. I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath their kilt." Ring-ding, diddle-iddle, la-di-oh! Ring-dye, diddle-lye oh! I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath their kilt. So, they crept up on that sleepin' Scotsman quiet as they could be. They lifted up his kilt about an inch so they could see. And there, behold, for them to view beneath his Scottish skirt, was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth. Ring-ding, diddle-iddle, la-di-oh! Ring-dye, diddle-lye oh! was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth. Well, they marveled for a moment then one said, "We must be gone. Let's leave a present for our friend before we move along." As a gift they left a blue silk ribbon tied into a bow around the bonney star Scot's kilt did lift and show! Ring-ding, diddle-iddle, la-di-oh! Ring-dye, diddle-lye oh! around the bonney star Scot's kilt did lift and show! Oh! The Scotsman woke to nature's call and he stumbled towards the trees. Behind a bush he lifts his kilt and gawks at what he sees. And in a startled voice he says to what's before his eyes, "Oh Laddy, don't know where ya been, but I see ya won first prize!" Ring-ding, diddle-iddle, la-di-oh! Ring-dye, diddle-lye oh! "Oh Laddy, don't know where ya been, but I see ya won first prize!"

Star Wars
Much anticipation for the upcoming movie. I've been watching the first three, and it must have been a while since I've seen them, since when Luke was first shown, my thought was "hey, he's kinda hot." I'm pretty sure that's new. And in a true fanboy geeky kinda way, I'm identifying most of the aliens, and some of the robots. For more fun, I recommend Three Dead Trolls' Vaders Employee Evaluation. Scroll down about halfway.

Puttering around on the Carnival of vanities, we come upon Bad Example, talking about Arianna Huffington's group blog. In general I agree with what is said, but this bit is different:
Good blogging IS good writing. You don't just toss off a steaming pile of unfinished thought-crap, call it good, and wait for Lady Fortune to kick in your door toting buckets full of gold coins. Bloggers CARE about what they write, which is why they write it. Even on tiny posts, it's the blogger's best efforts that get published. They know it's not Hemmingway, but they do the best they can with what they have. Anyone who's struggled for half an hour tweaking a 3-line throwaway post knows what I'm talking about.
Emphasis mine. Dude, is spending 30 minutes writing a 3 line post that useful? If you're trying to write great literature, maybe it is. Of the blogs I read regularly, only Lileks' Bleat and Joe.My.God seem to be working towards that kind of writing. Especially when your most recent post was on Glenn Reynolds and Porn for Penguins. Update: On the other hand, I could understand if Protein Wisdom takes that long to write.

3 Dead Trolls in a Baggie
Musical comedy for geeks. Good stuff.

Andrew Sullivan
There was a time when I was reading him daily. Around the presidential election I was checking him over a couple of times a week, and recently not at all. Yesterday, after his semi-defense of Newsweek, I delinked him. Now, given the readership of this blog it's fairly unlikely I've sent him any hits at all, so who cares. Glenn Reynolds, on the other hand, is a big deal. See also INDC.

50 Foodie things
From Downtown Lad comes this list of 50 food related things to do before you die. Things I've done: 13) Learn how to make a dry martini 18) Shuck an oyster 20) Wolf down a hotdog on Coney Island 29) Pod fresh peas 30) Queue for fish and chips 35) Grill a steak [although their version requires aged organic Guernsey beef, cooked with foie gras] 40) Bake a loaf of bread Ok, my tastes are not into 2000$ bottles of wine.

Media, News, and Information
My post here has gotten some attention, so I thought I'd expand a little on what I believe, rather than on what seened like some other interesting posts. (1) Local news sucks. The only marginally useful information for me is the weather report. I don't care that a house burned down, that someone got into a fight, or that a local restaurant had some problems on its health inspection. And sports generally don't interest me, although watching a close game can be fun, so watching a summary of various sports is pointless. I don't watch local news unless I'm with someone else who is watching. (2) The same kinds of problems apply to national news coverage, to a less extent. In general I prefer to get information through reading rather than being lectured to; I prefer reading a newspaper to watching TV to get info. (3) Most of my friends are more liberal than I am, especially economically and politically. And, OK, they don't trust the media either. Basically, they're generation Xers. The post on Dean's World was primarily, though not exclusively, talking about baby boomers losing trust in the government and the military and reinvesting that trust in the institution that brought those institutions down, the media. (4) The media errors that have had the greatest impact seem to have been anti-Republican, anti-current-government and anti-military. There was a short-lived meme that Senator Kerry had an affair [if I remember right] [maybe from Drudge?]; compare that to Rathergate and Newsweek. I'm ignoring Jeff Gannon; that whole affair is something different. (5) Readership in newspapers is down; viewers of CBS, ABC, NBC news are down. That is probably evidence that everyone has less trust for the media, rather than just conservatives or just liberals. Oh, and this Ace of Spades post? I agree.

Star Wars
Yup, this week various people will be talking about Star Wars, like A Small Victory or Vodkapundit. Then there's a factsheet on the Endor Holocaust, explaining what would happen as the debris fragments from the second Death Star rained down on Endor. [H/T: Classical Values] Then of course there's Darth Vader's blog. And my Star Wars Personality:

James Alan Gardner has a website here. He apparently wrote a Planescape novel in '95, not adhering to whatever absurd history existed soon after he wrote it. It wasn't picked up, and is published on the web here. Fun quote:
You have to hold the berry lightly in your fingertips, testing the weight and texture in the fruit. Then you lift it to your nose and smell its bouquet-a light, sugary fragrance, with a teasing hint of musk. Then, and only then, do you slip it between your teeth and bite down gently... whereupon, you discover the sodding berry tastes like pure rock salt.

Red and Blue States
When did Blackfive turn into a group blog? Anyway, Grim's got a post about Red State economics that every Democrat should read. Update: Guest bloggers, not a group blog.

The Press
A post on Dean's World [H/T: INDC Journal] argues that:
Yes, that does seem to be the defining trait of today's "liberals"--they trust the press, they don't believe there's any bias in the press, and they share the working press corps' cheap and shallow cynicism about the government, the military, and everyone else.
Compare with this post on Lies and Statistics:
I do not dispute the bias in the Media, I do not dispute that the media has been doing a crappy job, but I do not think that any of these things have to do with how liberal the media is. (I think some of the bias has to do with our own personal biases and) I think that they have to do with how lazy and or corrupt the media is. It is easier to talk about things that you agree with than it is to really question what is going on from an objective point of view.
My question is, what if the MSM suddenly flipped? They automatically publish anything presented by the White House, and take with a huge grain of salt anything said by the other side. Would (1) the War on Terror be helped? (2) sites like Instapundit take as strong a stance on poorly reported subjects?(3) today's "liberals" still trust the press?

Lileks geeks out, discusses the ending of the show and the history/social impact/power of Star Trek. He description of Worf and Troi's relationship is classic.
Bad romance: Worf and Troi? The big mean feral warrior and the ship’s shrink? I NEED TO MATE. IT IS MY TIME. Worf, I sense you are feeling stress. I HAVE MANIFESTED THE SWORD OF KAHLISS IN MY LOWER UNIFORM. I AM . . . CONFINED. Let’s have some tea and discuss this.

Political quiz
Somewhat interesting quiz, I come out as an Enterpriser, which could be described as a small government conservative. I don't like some of the questions, which are set up as 2 opposites, agree or strongly agree. #15 Immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents vs Immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care. Anyone want to make a point about the difference between legal and illegal immigrants? #20 Books that contain dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries vs Public school libraries should be allowed to carry any books they want. What the heck is a dangerous idea? A murderous free-floating meme? Hat tip: Diggers Realm, although I've seen it elsewhere.d

And from Pirates, comes this quiz:
My pirate name is:
Iron John Flint
A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.

More fun blogs
Pirates! Man your Women! Looks like posting has been a little slow recently, but it's a cool blog. IT professional, has LARPed, likes ren fairs and The Food Network's Alton Brown. Pointer from TexasBestGrok.

2blowhards has a long post on his experiences in "Weirdos and Culture." [Hat tip: Reflections in d minor] Huge number of comments, a couple of which got me thinking. 1) I've met some of my sister's gay friends, and while they're considerably more left wing than I am, they aren't "weird." Own a house, have retail jobs, not particularly flamboyant although significantly more interested in clothes and skin care products than I am. My sister may be in the category of too weird to function well in the "real world." although I'm not sure. 2) Weirdos in medicine: that would be a fun thesis subject. At least in academic medicine, the only really successful oddballs are the extremely obsessive, low socialization type in obscure disciplines. The ones who are able to diagnose diseases that no one else has ever seen. Those types are much more useful in a tertiary care center. By the way, I'm ignoring the stereotypical surgical god complex, since it seemed to be an artifact of some old training - the attendings I came in contact with who acted as if they walked on water were much more likely to be older than average. 3) Weirdos in psychiatry: yeah, ok, there are some whose interest in psychiatry is partially due to a desire for increased self-knowledge, me included. Anyone who gets through American med school has some ability to work in our real world; foreign grads vary greatly by country. Residents who have significant emotional problems will have problems in residency. 4) The other part is, anyone in medicine doesn't have time or energy to get too extreme, and they have to be able to interact with the state and federal government, which also limits things.

So, I'm puttering around with RealPlayer, had it search my harddrive, and listening to various gaming bits. I have more random sounds than I know what to do with. The amusing thing: the Star Wars Christmas album, which I listened to at some point, and apparently downloaded at the same time, is classified Genre: Terror. :)

I'm a cow
Really fun, bizarre, not safe for work, animation. I'm a cow.

Ever wonder how a lightsaber is constructed, or whether or not you can use one to reheat coffee? This article tells all. Thanks Suzi.

This quiz shows why conservative/liberal labels don't mean much anymore.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 65% Conservative, 35% Liberal
Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

What Your Dreams Mean...
Your dreams seem to show that you're a very well adjusted and happy person. Overall, you are very content in your life. You tend to be a very productive thinker. You have a very vivid imagination and a rich creative mind.
What Do Your Dreams Mean?


Your Geek Profile:

SciFi Geekiness: High
Academic Geekiness: Moderate
Gamer Geekiness: Moderate
Internet Geekiness: Moderate
Music Geekiness: Moderate
Fashion Geekiness: Low
Geekiness in Love: Low
Movie Geekiness: Low
General Geekiness: None
How Geeky Are You?

Tax Reform
In the category of it'll never happen because it makes too much sense we have Tigerhawk's plan for tax reform. H/T: Instapundit.

Gay Gun-Nut Demographic
Instapundit points to this post on Alphecca noting Condi Rice's comments about the Second Amendment, that got edited out of CNN. Rice '08 works for me.

Carnival of Recipes
#39 is up. Chicken enchiladas. Yum. One of these days, I'm going to make Baked Alaska.

JohnL thinks he's a geek merely because he's describing his reallife stats in D&D terms [1st edition, by the way]. [and get well soon]. Oh how wrong he is. A true geek translates him into various, more complicated RPGs. Here he is as a GURPs character [I think about 120 character points is reasonable]. ST 12 [20 points] [weekend athlete] DX 11 [10] IQ 15 [60] [genius-minus] HT 7 [-20] [weak] [much lower than this and you're paralysed] Appearance: attractive [5] Wealth: comfortable [10] Status: 1 [5] Advantages: common sense [10] language talent 2 [4] musical ability 3 [3] ally [ 100 points, 5; appears almost all the time x3, 15] [wife] Disadvantages: Bad sight, nearsighted, bought off during play, [0] honesty [-10] dependents [ 2 25 point dependents [and one 50 point dependent that doesn't count] [-24], loved ones x2, appears almost all the time x3] [let's limit this to -40 points, no wonder he doesn't go adventuring much] 72 points so far. Skills: Musical instrument: piano [2 pts, 14], electronic keyboard [2pts, 14], pipe organ [1,13 ], bass [1, 13]; singing [1, 7], writing [4, 16]; running [1, 5], skiing[1, 9], swimming [1, 11]; cooking [1, 15]; hobby: rock music [2,15], science fiction[1, 14]; languages: English [5, native language, 22], Latin [1, 17] German [2, 18]; hypnotism [1, 14]; computer operation/ TL 7 [1, 15], law [10, 18]; computer programming/7 [2, 14], history [1, 13], literature [1, 13], mathematics [1, 13], physics [1, 13], research[2, 15], theology [1, 13], carousing[1, 6], diplomacy[1, 13], fast-talk [2, 15]; driving (car) 7 [1] 52 points in skills instead of the planned 48. Cut out a few more, or add 4 points worth of quirks.

I'm back
I'm back; I survived. The floor is almost done - 3 panels left, each of which will require a little cutting. I left it for my dad mostly because he is much more anal about it than I am. He'll measure a cut that I know isn't physically possible to fit, then cut it several more times until it just barely fits. Me, if the crack around the border of the room is slightly larger, who cares? The molding will cover it anyway. So, I'm being anti-social this weekend, avoiding personal interaction that would lead to much babysitting. Tough. My temper's not the best right now, and I don't want to say some things I might regret later. On the other hand, why in the world are there fireworks going off over the harbor?

Time Travelers Cash Only
From Instapundit comes this review/ analysis of MIT's time traveler convention. Cool. And yes, Instapundit can post a huge amount when you lack internet access for 4 days.

Doing various random things in the Tiny Texas Town, basically fixing whatever emergency popped up in the last 24 hours. Broken toilet on the second floor flooding everything? Check. A guy has a painful enough elbow that he needs an emergency visit to his doc? Check. The place that we're planning on putting in flooring is cleaned out now, but may need more work before we start putting flooring down. Saw perhaps the most obnoxious family in America 2 days ago. 2 couples, husband and wife around mid 50s, husband and wife around mid 20s. Younger woman is pregnant, younger husband is black, all others white. We were in a Subway waiting for sandwiches. The older woman started making various comments. The most ridiculous was "You're a pig" when the guy ordered a footlong sandwich, and she kept making snorting noises for the rest of the time. I don't know how much longer I can take this.

Posting may be light for the next week or so. I'm going to my parents' house for Mother's Day and to lay down some more laminate flooring. Whee.

Carnival of recipes
#38 is up at Techno-Gypsy. No contributions from me. A chili recipe for Real Men. Refried bean soup?

How can I put this. I've got a friend, that I'm getting to the point that I disagree with almost everything she does or believes. Everything - from her politics to how she treats her dog to what cookie recipe she decided to use for an event at her kid's school - makes no sense to me. I read Timothy Zahn's The Green and the Gray a couple of days ago. Not a bad book, but not one of his better works either. There is something of an overriding theme of "If we can just talk things out, and understand each other, everything will be better." This applies both to the hero's marriage and to the conflict between the Greens and the Grays. Sometimes communication is helpful, sometimes it isn't. The more I communicate my actual beliefs, sometimes more conflict arises. On the other hand, growing up, my family's tendency was to have no conflict whatsoever. So I'm not sure all my instincts are useful or common. So, I've gotten into the habit of disagreeing with /bringing up with little things that bother me, but not the big things. This isn't getting anywhere, let me give a concrete example. Their family was asked to bring about 4 dozen bite sized cookies for a party given on Saturday in celebration of Mother's day. Kids ages range from about 1-6, maybe a little older. Growing up, she has some fond memories of making cookies at home with her mother [I think], and so she at times makes homemade cookies. For the party she decided to make some fairly complicated cookies, requiring making the batter the night before, then making tiny balls, rolling them in sugar, and then putting a chocolate chip in the middle of each one. Now, she wanted a recipe in which her 3 year old son could contribute - he could put the chip down. And, it wouldn't have been so bad if we were making bigger cookies. But if I hadn't been there it would have been fairly late for them to finish the cookies, which would have just gotten the kid angry [ok, more angry]. [Is she specifically having projects around for me to do when I'm at their house? I don't think so, but maybe]. Hmm, I'm feeling taken for granted again. A recurring theme. bleh.

Crooked Cops
Holy crap. This is insane. My college had a very good campus police force. A small number for the number of people on campus, all of them at least with masters in criminal justice. A small number of dedicated people seems like a better idea than a large number of cops who were and still are gang members. Hat tip: Right side of the rainbow.

Insanity and Historical Revisionism
LGF has 2 fun posts today, the first on the crusades and the second on a post by Daily Kos which tries to prove Rondal Reagun had more to do with causing 9/11 than bin Ladin. Come on, we all believe "the single most critical moment in American political history" was Reagun taking solar panels off the White house, don't we? [underlining his].

Kitty Cannon
And for those cat haters out there, we have this game. My high score is 853 ft. Hat tip :LlamaButchers[899 ft]

Star Wars
2 different reviews, one from BigFanboy, [hat tip: PvP], one from Variety, [hat tip: Volokh Conspiracy]. And if you're still in the mood, TexasBestGrok has a post of various Star Wars links, including the script. Pete from A Perfectly Cromulent Blog has seen it, but his review isn't up yet. His comments:
That's kind of an extremist view. Parts ruled. Parts kind of sucked. I was wishing I had a fast forward button during the early Anakin-Padme scenes, but once Obi-Wan goes to Utapau to "arrest" General Grievous, it's essentially wall-wo-wall evil and lightsaber-fu, sprinkled with the requisite wooden dialogue and goofy made-for-videogame action sequences. One Jar Jar scene, and he doesn't talk.

If I ever put up a military section on my blogroll, Scottish Tanker Hooligans will probably be on it. Why exactly he wanted to get a second flaming walenza is not clear.

Knights of the Old Republic
Finished the game, using a light side fighter type. I'm heading to my parents over the weekend; the perfect time to go to the dark side. On the other hand, I'm now having dreams in which I'm walking into the/a villan's lair, which was a posh library [bookcases, leather bound volumes] that had been taken over by a jungle, with streams running everywhere. Looked kinda cool, though.

Homosexual Blog
A Perfectly Cromulent Blog was briefly rated #6 on the Google search for "homosexual blog." Why, I have no clue. On the other hand, a fair number of the results look like discussions on conservative blogs about homosexuality. Plus, there's a note on Duck Homosexual Necrophilia.

Spork Films
This article starts out as a review of a supposed combination sports/chick flick - a spork flick - Fever Pitch, a movie I would never, ever consider watching. It goes on to suggest the 10 rules to a chick flick. As I don't really watch a lot of movies, and when I do, it's almost never a chick flick, I can't comment on the accuracy of his rules. However, I've seen a fair number of real life couples acting as if rule #6 were true:
6. Your boyfriend's friends only get in the way. The sooner you can destroy them, the better.
Hat Tip: Houston's Clear Thinkers.

Runaway Bride
In honor of the wacky woman, RightWingDuck has some runaway bride jokes. My favs:

I'm a very traditional person. I believe the key to a good marriage is trust, honesty, and not faking your own disappearance.

So she disappears the day before the wedding and wakes up in another state penniless, tired, and with bad hair. Which reminds me, it's been ages since I've been to a good bachelor party.

Protein Wisdom
By the way, his URL has changed. New one up in blogroll.

The LlamaButchers do significantly better on this little quiz:

Your English Skills:

Vocabulary: 100%
Grammar: 80%
Punctuation: 80%
Spelling: 40%
Does Your English Cut the Mustard?
Update: And TexasBestGrok nails it. And have I mentioned lately how much I like spellcheckers?

#37 is up. If you're looking to impress that special someone, this salad including rose petals is just the ticket. A tasty chicken recipe - sear and bake. Avgolmado soup? And another recipe for crawfish etouffe.

I'm housesitting for some friends this weekend, which is why blogging has been reduced. It's kind of annoying - I feel somewhat taken for granted - but I don't really mind doing this. I knew I was going to be fairly bored, so I bought the first Knights of the Old Republic, and have been playing that. It's fun, but light side/dark side decisions are heavy-handed -> do you give beggers some money [light side], or kill them [dark side]. I didn't know it's D20 based, either. Cool, though.

100 gay things
Crazy Tracy has a list of 100 things about her and her homosexuality. I may try to make such a list, but I don't think I can hit 100 things without getting way too personal to blog.

Wil Wheaton
I don't usually read his stuff, but I headed over there today. Turns out he's getting big into poker, and his cat died. Sorry. If he's ever on Bravo's celebrity poker show, I think I'll watch it. He's bound to do better than some of the idiots on it.

Go here for my previous post. Probity Rules made a comment on it and a post on his blog here. I misunderstood what he meant originally. And since part of my post did mention mockery ["5) Science and Religion are not enemies. People trying to claim anti-science points of view as scientific [intelligent design] will be mocked."] I apologize. From my standpoint, an all-powerful God is by definition able to have created the Earth whenever He wanted. He could have created us all yesterday, a year ago, 38 years ago [at my birth, of course], 6000 years ago or whenever. But to me that feels like cheating, like being amazed by a magician who made a woman disappear on stage an then reappears instantly across the auditorium, and then finding out he used identical twins. To me, a God that created a universe 4 billion years ago, knowing that after a certain length of time humanity would exist, is so much more awesome than a God that created a world 6000 years ago, with all species existing already, or than a God who had to continually tinker with life to create eyeballs, and legs, and hair, and... Anyway. To me that's one of the main purposes of blogs: read a post, see what strikes a cord with you, and write about it. The fact that when I reread my post I didn't notice anything mocking about it, doesn't mean it can't strike someone else differently. And obviously, it did.

Movies to live in
The Sheila Variations has a post on Movies She Would Like to Live in, [Hat tip: Truly Bad Films] and includes several, including Only Angels Have Wings. The comments have some choices that are closer to what I would want [and have heard of!], like Star Trek2: WoK, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Buckaroo Banzai. There are some other choices that are pretty much suicidal, like Aliens and Blade Runner. Trust me on this one, even if you never see an alien [or a predator], the Aliens universe is not a friendly place. Star Trek would be kinda cool to live in, even if they have moved beyond capitalism. And I would have at least a chance of a useful job there [I could be a much better ship's counselor than Troi, even without psychic abilities]. LotR and Star Wars are neat universes, but unless you're a main character you're cannon fodder. Pretty much the same for Bond. Buckaroo Banzai seems like a happy place to be. And even if you're not a member of the group, you could watch them play, read the comics, join the extended group [whatever they were called], and help out if the World Crime Syndicate had its hooks in your backyard. For the non-scifi list, might I recommend Max Dugan Returns? People who try hard, catch a break, and then succeed?

The fun of some of these quizzes isn't so much the outcome, it's what the quiz says the outcome means: QBASIC screenshot You are 'programming in QBASIC'. This programming language (of which the acronym stands for 'Quick Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code'), which is so primitive that it cannot easily be used for any purpose involving the Internet nor even sound, was current more than a decade ago. You are independent, in a good way. When something which you need cannot be found, you make it yourself. In writing and in talking with people, you value clarity and precision; your friends may not realize how important that is. When necessary, you are prepared to be a mediator in conflicts between your friends. You are very rational, and you think of things in terms of logic and common sense. Unfortunately, your emotionally unstable friends may be put off by your devotion to logic; they may even accuse you of pedantry and insensitivity. Your problem is that programming in QBASIC has been obsolete for a long time. What obsolete skill are you? brought to you by Quizilla Hat tip: LlamaButchers.

Tortilla Soup
I am on a quest for the perfect Tortilla Soup recipe. Found a couple in cookbooks I own, one which looks like it has less taste than the recipe I tried last week, one which I've made before and made a huge mess. [it required pureeing some ingredients, then the soup itself, before being poured over chicken and stuff]. On to Google. This recipe from texascooking.com, looks very similar to another recipe I have. Or, there's this list at cdkitchen. Compared to my last try, lots of these recipes use fresh cilantro. Seems reasonable to add. I am not adding kidney beans, black beans, or the bizarre vegetable mix found in the copycat recipe for El Torito. I'll go buy some ingredients, and post what I finally do. Update: ~2 cups chicken breast ~2 cups chicken broth 2 beef bullion cubes 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium red onion, chopped 1 14 oz can corn 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with peppers 3 pieces celery, chopped [more because they were in the fridge and going bad than anything else] 1 tsp chili powder 2 tsp ground cumin ~1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp epazote 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro [maybe a cup?] 1 tsp chipolte peppers in adobo sauce 1 tsp Worcester sauce Throw into the slow cooker, let it cook overnight [and remember to make sure it's plugged in!]. Presumably more taste than the previous attempt, but I may have to add more chipolte peppers or some Tabasco depending on how hot it is. Update: It ended up having just a hint of a bite to it, so I added a couple of drops of Tabasco sauce to each bowl. Served with tortilla chips. Overall, pretty tasty, although the chicken disintegrated and turned the whole thing into more of a stew than a soup. Either the chipolte peppers or the cilantro added something that was needed, though. Note that I had prepared the chicken breast and broth from a fryer I cooked in the slow cooker overnight, with a little salt and pepper for seasoning.

Homosexuality and AIDS
2 thoughts this morning, brought on primarily by GeekSlut. 1) How much of the "If you're gay, then you must be a Democrat" thought was brought on by the AIDS crisis? Specifically, if several people you know are dying of AIDS [say, back in the 90's] and it's your duty to help them, you're doomed, but if it's the duty of the state, then you're off the hook. I wonder if most of the conservative gays blogging are younger than 30. 2) The first guy I knew who was fully out was in a committed [at least, as far as I know] relationship, and had been for almost 20 years. Which is probably why they were both still alive, and not dead of AIDS.

His life, my life, I dunno
So, doing a random walk through peoples' blogrolls this afternoon, and I come upon GeekSlut. Warning: no X-rated pics, lots o X-rated content. So, he's similar to me in several demographic areas, completely opposite in others. He contracted HIV in a time that it was usually an inexorable death sentence. [I'm neg, in case you wondered]. He has partied hard, has an automatic reflex to check how much illegal stuff he's carrying when he meets a cop, etc. He delays sex to play World of Warcraft. Conservative christian family. Bodybuilding tips, recommends lots of fiber for rather specific reasons. Likes Justice League, Stargate, and gay porn. He has some video and audio blogging. He seems to have stopped recently. Could my life have been similar to his? Maybe. I haven't found much on his formative years. If I had the chance to trade lives with him, would I? More realistically, should I try to aim my life to be more like his?

From Penny Arcade comes the link to the trailer: "This is going to get pretty interesting." "Define interesting." "Oh God, oh God, we're all gonna die." Sweet. I've seen maybe half the shows, now I must get the DVDs.

A political quiz, from Eric's Grumbles:
You scored as Anarchism. <'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'>
















What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In? created with QuizFarm.com

Third time's the charm?
Your Life as a Celebrity by Karen_Walker
reason for being famous
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how long you stay in the spotlighta year
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