Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh blarg.

The good news: I wore sandals to work for the first time in close to a year, and so far my ankles are behaving themselves. So yay for that!

The bad news: They keep the AC cranked here, and my current cubicle is under a vent. And since my feet sweat for any (or no) reason, I'm freezing. Seriously, it's set to 72F or some such, which is way too low unless you're one of those "OMG it's so hotttttt in here" types, and I believe they are much rarer than the "OMG I can't feel my fingers" types.

I know, I know. First world problems. Still better than a stick in the eye.

I Am Not A Fast Cook: Bacon Spinach Quiche

I put this together on short notice Friday night, going from "Preheat oven" to "insert quiche into said oven" in about 20 minutes. I had nothing prepped before I started. I'm pretty proud of that, actually.

1) Preheat oven to 400F.

2) THE CRUST, part I. In a food processor, combine 1 cup flour, a pinch of kosher salt and 1/4 stick COLD butter, cubed. Pulse until thoroughly crumbed, then add another 1/4 stick of butter and repeat. Move to narrow, high-sided bowl and cut in 1/4 c. cold 2% milk (I used a table knife). The dough will seem very crumbly and not quite wet enough; this is okay. Shape it into a ball with your hands, cover the bowl with a paper towel, and set aside.

3) THE FILLING, part I. Chop four pieces of turkey bacon and begin to saute in a buttered skillet. Chop one half of a large white onion and add to the bacon. Chop one cup crimini mushrooms and add to skillet. Stir occasionally. Grate three ounces cheddar and three ounces gruyere cheese. Set aside. When mushrooms are almost cooked, remove skillet from heat, add four cups fresh baby spinach, cover and set aside.

4) THE CRUST, part II: Shape dough into a disc and place on a floured board. Roll to about 1/8" thickness and lay into a 9" pie dish (glass is preferred). Adjust/trim edges as needed. Set aside.

5) THE FILLING, part II. Combine four eggs and one cup 2% milk. Beat until thick and creamy. In a separate bowl, toss the bacon, onion, mushrooms and spinach with the grated cheese and arrange in crust. Cover with custard and place in oven for 35 minutes, or until a knife blade in the center comes out clean. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Do I know my readers, or what?

Technically, this icon is for Facebook accounts. I don't have a Facebook account, so I'm putting it here. Besides, I know a statistically significant chunk of you will dig it:


That's right: It's the long-awaited donation drive to upgrade the NaNoWriMo servers! Also, vacuum tubes. If it wasn't for the vacuum tube I would just do a boring old link, but ... yeah.

Toldja you would dig it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wow.

A before-and-after comparison of an intersection in Joplin, MO.

I Am Not A Fast Cook: Summer Spaghetti

A quick and easy dish for when you want a real meal for dinner, but it's starting to be too hot to properly cook (and you're feeling tired and lazy anyway). All portions for one serving; scale up as necessary.

Start by cooking three quarters of a cup of penne pasta in salted water. Before the penne is done cooking, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium to large skillet or saucepan. Saute one pressed or chopped clove of garlic, one half cup chopped artichoke hearts, one quarter cup sliced black olives, one half cup sliced red onion and one chopped tomato. Drain the penne and add it to the skillet, stirring to incorporate the vegetables. Add two generous handfuls of raw baby spinach, cover the skillet, turn the heat to low (or off, if using something like cast iron) and let sit for two minutes or until the spinach begins to wilt. Toss with shredded mozzarella or quattro formaggio and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Storming Le Moostille

Because everything's funnier with cows (even things that really shouldn't be): Famous World Ideologies, As Explained By References To Cows:

-- Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

-- Pure Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you all the milk you need.

-- Bureaucratic Socialism: Your cows are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you should need.

-- Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.
It gets worsebetter from there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dude, and then, and then, and then it, like, explodes! Dude!

Scott Adams points out the blindingly obvious:

Let's see if you can solve this puzzle. We've learned that Osama Bin Laden's compound had marijuana, pornography, and some sort of herbal Viagra. He had no air conditioning to keep him cool in the blistering heat of summer, and no heat to protect him from the cold of winter. He had no phone and no Internet connection. He had a home office and three wives living with him. Using only these clues, help the CIA solve the following puzzle: Why didn't Bin Laden come up with any good plans lately?
Be sure to read the whole thing. Drink warning is definitely in effect.

Hipsters ruined everything.

Well, this certainly explains a lot. Get a job at someplace other than a coffee shop, hipster!

Why should chemistry have all the fun?

Behold: the periodic table of storytelling elements. I especially love the examples at the bottom, showing the atomic structure of famous works. Man, this'll come in handy come NaNoWriMo time.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Man, being this awesome is exhausting.

It's Friday -- more to the point, it's payday -- and that means t-shirts! I picked up one of these and one of these, and I made a special point of getting one of these.

I know, I know; I'm a nerd. But I'm a cute nerd, and that counts for a lot.

Next up is one of these and one of these. Oh yeah. I am going to be stylin'. Happy Friday! Cheers!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Tastes like ... well, like a mix of chocolate and AWESOME, actually.

Taking years of flak and abuse for things that could have been done differently, but that you believe were done right, despite the naysayers: That's gotta be hard. Being proved right when your opponent is forced to follow your playbook: Priceless.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Nope, they're not under warranty. Dangit.

So the doc says the only reason my left foot's still at the end of my leg is because there's skin holding it on, and because there's really nowhere else for it to go. The way he moved it around, it was obvious the ankle's only there for tradition's sake -- he used the word "rattle", and not as a sound effect -- and the visuals reminded me of articles I've read about internal decapitations. He also gave me the name of a colleague who focuses on surgeries, and told me to call him whenever I was ready and they would get me all set up.

Yayyyyyyyyy.

It's going to take a little while for my finances to line up, plus I want Righty to have had a full year to heal, so right now I'm looking at the latter half of September. That's barring incident; if I fall off a flat surface and sprain something -- it's happened more than once -- that'll get bumped up.

Woooooooooo.

Ha ha ha ha ... oh, wait.

So apparently Ahmadinejad and his pals are being asked to step down and arrested, respecitively, for, quote, "being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits)." More fun from the article:
Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as "a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds".
[snip]
Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a hardline cleric close to Khamenei, warned that disobeying the supreme leader – who has the ultimate power in Iran – is equivalent to "apostasy from God".
It's funny until you remember ... these are the guys who are trying their darndest to get The Bombah. In your best squeaky voices, all together now:

I'm scared. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Things I learned the hard way today

-- If you're running late and don't have time to make coffee, bringing your coffee press and fixin's to work is a great idea. It is rendered entirely moot if you forget to bring the coffee itself.

-- Crappy instant is better than twice-used grounds.

That's all I got. (Unless you want to hear the one about my emergency bra ... )

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Imma check the warranty on these things again. Maybe it's still good.

Breda makes a good point about gimps with guns (her words): Namely, since it's harder to run away, we're that much more likely to get mean. I bring this up for a couple reasons; mostly because it's funny as hell, but partly because the slice-and-dice on a certain R. Ankle puts me into that category, and that qualification will no doubt be doubled by the end of the year.

I mentioned in the comments on Breda's post that I always end my range sessions with an off-balance stance. Righty gets tired and wants to go home pretty reliably at about the two-hour mark, so I always take a few shots leaning on something to take the weight off. I figure it's a good skill to cultivate, especially since Lefty goes in to get his picture taken on Friday. I'm guessing the x-ray will look like that one kitchen drawer that's always full of pens and batteries and rubber bands. Something's been popping in and out of place since last week, and I'm training myself up to drive with my right foot again (my lower back thanks me). I could joke that once Lefty gets cut up, I'll be balanced again; I could also joke about getting two weeks' vacation from work, plus painkillers!; I could joke about a lot of things, but fact is I don't want to. I mostly just want to get it over with. If I can wait 'til after Labor Day to have the surgery, I will; that would give Righty a full year to recover, and it would be less pinchy financially. I hope I can. The sooner it's done, the sooner I can recover and, hopefully, finally, get some real exercise.

Also: Hot DAMN but I miss my bicycle.

WHAM WHAM WHAM

That's the sound my forehead makes when I bang it on my desk, because:

-- I'm within listening distance of our resident office kook, the guy who indulges in UFO conspiracy theories and likes to hold forth at length on various political issues and current events, and all from that "I have it on good authority" outlook that goes hand-in-hand so well with leftist entitlement politics;

-- He's discussing this with a group of women who work pretty much solely from the emotional center of the brain when analyzing arguments and statements, and who eat the kooky gentleman's crap right up, wide-eyed and credulous;

-- I am not, however, within speaking distance of this conversation, and cannot contribute or offer a countering view without either raising my voice or getting up from my work;

-- Right now, they're discussing the price of oil and how the eeeeevil oil companies make huge profits at the expense of the consumer.

WHAMMITY WHAMMITY WHAM.

Fun with dates and numbers

One of my driving habits (taught me by my parents) is to keep a small notebook in the glove box, and to note down the date, the odometer and the price and amount of gas each time I fill up my car. It's useful for a lot of things: Checking for changes in miles per gallon, figuring out how many miles I put on the car in given amount of time, things like that. But it's also turned out to be a handy historical record.

For instance, the first entry in the notebook is from Feb. 22, 2008, shortly after I acquired the car. (It's a Focus, if you care. Good little car.) I bought 10.005 gallons of gas at $3.04 a gallon, for a total of $30.51. On Nov. 01, 2008, I bought 9.306 gallons for $19.25 ($2.069/gal). One year ago, on May 06, 2009, I bought 9.825 gallons for $22.00 ($2.239/gal).

And on Monday, May 02, 2011, three years into Barack Obama's presidency, I bought 10.304 gallons of gas at $4.299/gal, for a total of $44.30. That's more than twice what I paid on the day before he was elected.

Isn't math fun?