Thursday, March 31, 2005

Prepare for insertion of the...

Oh, the ways to finish that sentence. In this case, "meat thermometer" would be appropriate. Since I don't use the oven much, I don't think about such things, but supposedly undercooked meat (pork or poultry) is dangerous. Now, this is not a theory I would like to personally test, so I'll believe the scientists on this one. I usually tend to believe scientists anyway (except for that cold fusion thing. that's a little out there).

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Livin' Large

Or small. It's amazing to see how small of a space you can fit all your stuff into. I was helping a friend move today. At first glance, I thought maybe we'd need two trips. He rented a 10' (I think) U-haul. It seems really small, but once you squeeze all the air out of your stuff, you don't really have much left. After packing up the truck, we had about 2 1/2' leftover! It's like your whole life can fit into a space the size of a small truck. You feel insignificant. A speck on the Earth. Would the Earth miss us when we are gone? Not in the grand scheme of things. But we are also so much larger than the possesions that we have. If everyone lived like I do (once I get back into cycling shape), we would need 2.6 Earths to sustain us, which we obviously don't have.

On the other hand, we are also so much more than our material impact. Moving is representative of the social interactions among people. Gathering a bunch of people together with only a couple of words to help move, you have changed the lives of people around you. Smiles and frowns. Sweat. Sore muscles. Is the impact smaller than a truck or is it as large as 2.6 Earths? I don't know, but I do know that I would absolutely hate it if I had to live my life as a hermit. It's good to have friends. People you can depend on when you are in a pinch. People who make your life better. They'll help you change the world someday (hopefully for the better).

Oh yeah, thanks for lunch!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

On the subject of movies

It was only recently that I figured out why they call them "movies." Movies are more formally referred to as motion pictures. The term "movie" is a cutesy name for pictures that move, kind of like how "talkies" refer to movies with synchronized sound. It's just not something that I'd ever thought about before. Isn't it weird how new words are adopted into the language? Sometimes the derivation is clear, like "movies Other times it's not, like kleenex. I mean, it just is what it is. I wonder what etymologists in the far future are going think about words derived from brand names. Ok. That's enough. Now back to not thinking about these types of things!


I just watched Pirates of the Caribbean. It's one of those movies that I missed when it came out and everyone said I should watch. That was a lot of fun. The really funny thing was that it had pirates, zombies, and a monkey in it. These are all things considered "cool" by the geek community. Well, I'm not sure it's the necessarily the geek community, but some community that I'm a part of. To prove this to you, I provide the best type of evidence possible, anecdotal evidence. Atomic Sock Monkey have made this game called "Monkey, Pirate, Ninja, Robot" where you duke it out to see which is superior. I remember telling a friend that pirates are the next ninjas and zombies were the next robots to try to highlight the ebb and flow of the fads over time. His response was to say, "Wait, are you trying to tell me that a pirate zombie is the same thing as a ninja robot?" Yes. Yes it is. I wonder what the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean is gonna be like?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What to do with an REI dividend?

REI is a cooperative. This means that, as a member, they pay back dividends based on how much you spend in their store. If you take your dividend notice to the store, you can use it like a gift certificate. If you don't want to do that, you can request a check. I just got my dividend for this year. $15.13. Not too shabby. It means that I didn't spend too wildly there this past year, but enough that it's worth the trouble to actually go and use the dividend. To encourage cash-flow back into the store, they provide a coupon for 20% one regularly priced item when you use your dividend (not too shabby!). How should I spend it? I don't really see myself climbing or kayaking in the near future. Camping gear is only slightly more likely to get any use. The best bet is bike stuff. I've already got plenty of bike-related clothing and accessories, but I went into the store to see if anything caught my eye. Timbuk2 has added a couple products to their messenger bag line since I last looked. They now have bags with laptop sleeves inside. This would be nice, because I usually carry around a Timbuk2 Metro bag, which is just big enough to hold all the stuff I need except for a laptop. When I need to carry my laptop, I have to bring my backpack, which I really don't like riding with. Instead I always seem to find a reason to get in my car and drive to the bus stop.

Ok, it was roundabout, but I finally got to the point of this post, how to get out of my car and back on my bike. I need exercise. Last week, I rode about 2.7 miles and it hurt. I knew I was out of shape, but hadn't realized just how bad it was. Last year, I'd laugh at 2.7 miles. That would be just a warm up. Last year, on a lazy week, I'd bike about 50 miles. What happened? I don't know. I can try blaming it on carrying a laptop around, but I can also test that theory by spending my dividend on a new messenger bag. Now I just have to figure out which color I want.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Drunk on Broccoli?!?

A funny thing happened on the way through the kitchen. I was cooking dinner today. "Beef and broccoli" was on the menu. I know how to cook beef and broccoli fairly well. It was one of my mom's signature dishes. Of course, since I like trying new things in the kitchen, I thought I'd try to adjust the recipe to add a couple new flavors. Paul had some extra basil and chilies (the tiny, fiery thai kind) which he said he wasn't going to finish before they went bad, so I thought I'd do a little fusion thing. Beef and broccoli. Basil. Thai chilies. What would go well with that? Pineapple! Sweet and Hot is my favorite taste combination. After hunting around the pantry a little, I decided that we didn't have any pineapple in the house, only pineapple liqueur. Now, Paul would say this is karma biting me in the butt because pineapple was not (in his mind) meant to be cooked. I say it was just poor execution on my part. Halfway through cooking, when the sauce was starting to come together on the bottom of the pan, I tossed a little bit of the liqueur in. Dinner time. I'm picking up big chunks of broccoli since they are one of my favorite vegetables (after green beans) but they taste kind of funny. Maybe a little bitter. I'm used to occasionally making something I don't like to eat, so I'm not really concerned about the taste. I figure that this experience will just make my next dish that much better. Then I feel my body heat up a little and my head starts to feel a little funny. Those buggers just soaked up all the booze! So much for my master plan of cooking away the alcohol and leaving a pleasant pineappleyness. In the end, I'm picking out the meat to eat just like I did as a little kid. Lesson learned.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Someone set me up the bomb


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Knives and Crazy Korean Beats

I saw "Cookin'" tonight. Music? Food? A bunch of Koreans running around hitting things to make noise? It was awesome. Comedy... romance... This show has it all. Did I mention food? The knifework is pretty crazy, as vegetables sacrifice themselves in the name of the beat. It makes me curious as to whether the knifes are sharp. It looked like they were using the back of the knives for pounding out rhythm on the cutting boards, but sometimes, they'd actually use the knives to chop stuff. In that case, it's probably safer to have a sharper knife, so it can go through vegetables with no slipping. Fountains of cabbage parts spray up off the cutting board while the performers chop away. It sort of makes me wish I had more rhythm so I could try it out. Unfortunately, I'd also need better knife skills or I'd be short a finger within minutes. One last thing preventing me from imitating them is the onion. It wouldn't do at all to start crying in the middle of a comedy. (I wonder if they have a secret technique for that too)

What is that infernal racket?

It WAS my computer. It had been making all sorts of noise for months. I finally cracked that bad boy open and waded in there, through all the dust bunnies to figure out what was wrong. Turns out it was the fan on my graphics card grinding away at itself. "You have served me well," I thought. I've gotten about 5 years of use out of the thing. I had bought a then top-of-the-line Creative 3D Blaster Annihilator Pro. That's a whole lot of marketing, especially if you add on the terms Geforce 256 DDR. But upon further reflection, it didn't really make sense to me to replace a whole card just because of a broken fan. After all, the card still worked fine and I don't play many games anymore. So I thought, "Self! Maybe you can replace this fan!" (except I didn't really think "Self". "Self" is already implied since I don't have the ability to use the "think system" on other people). After pricing out fans from $9-20 with absolutely no idea about what would fit on my card, I stumbled upon a FAQ specifically for my card. Lo and behold. They had a whole question dedicated to what to do about a fan that makes grinding noises! I guess it's pretty common. 5 minutes later, after a little cleaning and some lube, I now have a computer that only makes the noise of a regular computer with 5 fans inside, meaning it's still loud, but produces more of a humming noise than that awful grinding noise. Phew!
Looks like my computer's still good to go for now, but it's the first time I seriously thought about buying computer parts in a long long time.

Monday, March 07, 2005

First Post!

Yay! I got the first post! Of course, it's not very satisfying, since I'm the only one posting here. It feels almost like cheating.

Well, I'm going to play around with this a little before putting any real content up.