August 30, 2007

As If I Needed Another Reason to Hate the Denver Broncos

As a Raiders fan, I hate the Broncos with a fierce burning passion. This though, has nothing to do with the team, and everything to do with one of the players on the team.

Travis Henry, irresponsible whore.

[Broncos running back Travis] Henry, 28, has fathered nine children by nine women in at least four Southern states and has been ordered by various judges to provide child support for seven of them, according to court records involving one child living in DeKalb County.

Henry gets my vote as "Athlete Most in Need of Chemical Neutering". Michael Vick is being crucified for killing dogs, but that pales in comparison, because besides the lack of personal responsibility, Travis Henry is an asshole as well:

Although he signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Broncos this off-season that guarantees him $12 million, Henry's lawyer says, "He doesn't have any money."

The slime was almost jailed for failure to pay child support. This kind of crap just sickens me. Tell me again why we hold professional athletes up as heroes and role models?

I hate to say it, but I half expect him to be playing for the Raiders at some point,

Posted by: Ted at 10:46 PM | category: Links
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August 29, 2007

The Art of Bondage

Since I occasionally post on it anyway, I may as well have the category, eh? Besides, the world should realize that the Japanese have contributed more to culture than eating raw fish and anime.

twocents6614.jpg

Over time, I'll go back through the archives and add old posts to the category.

Posted by: Ted at 06:01 AM | category: Bondage
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If This Is Wrong, Then I Don't Want To Be Right

WalMart is now selling the canned squirt-cheese in PepperJack flavor under its own brand name.

Surprisingly good.

Posted by: Ted at 05:27 AM | category: Square Pegs
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August 28, 2007

Yes, I'm Sad and Pitiful

But well paid, so it evens out.

At work, I am what we used to call in the military, the "shitty little jobs guy". All of the crap tasks that nobody else wants to do get assigned to me. At first, it was because until I was up to speed on the office procedures, it was a way to keep me busy and to free up other people. Now, it's because management has realized that it doesn't matter how dull or thankless the job, I'm going to do the best with it that I can. It's a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I get attaboys for doing these important but excruciatingly mind-numbing tasks each and every day. On the other, I've done them so well that they can't imagine giving them to someone else who won't be as conscientious about it. I'm not bragging here. I've told my manager that I hate doing it with a passion, but as long as it's part of my job, I'll do my best.

So each and every morning, I spend anywhere from an hour to four hours doing mindless and repetitive (and critical) "chores", for lack of a better word. Lately, I've been listening to audio books while I work.

I linked to Podiobooks a while back (oops, I did it again), and most of what I've been enjoying has come from there.

Initial Impressions:

Come, Let Me Whisper - excellent short horror stories. I recently finished Burt's novel, Revelations, and that was very good too. I'm now downloading further episodes of CLMW from his website.

(these others are all available at Podiobooks.com)

Crescent - Science Fiction. I've heard the first two episodes, and so far it's easily keeping my interest.

Shadow Falls - This one is like a cross between Twin Peaks and Rosemary's Baby. By far the best audio production I've heard... as in, excellent sound and effects. It's too soon to tell whether the story can keep up the momentum after an awesome start.

Brave Men Run - an alternate history fiction, with elements reminiscent of The Incredibles. Another excellent beginning.

You download these to your PC or mp3 player, just as you would a podcast. Highly recommended.

Posted by: Ted at 08:05 PM | category: Links
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New Movie Reviews Are Up

This week, amongst the usual great reviews over at Joe Horror, is my look at a classic, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, done a little differently, in the theatrical style.

Comma, comma, comma, comma, comma, chameleon...

Posted by: Ted at 05:50 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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Yep

America really believes in education. The average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole game.

Posted by: Ted at 04:54 AM | category: Square Pegs
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August 27, 2007

Someone's in the Kitchen with Diinaaaaah!

Tonight was an experiment, not entirely successful, but close. I was inspired/challenged by Victor who sent me a link under the heading "Feel like cooking something bizarre?"

Here's an excerpt from his email:

There's a new food competition called They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT) and the fourth edition is coming up.

Here's a great explanation:

TGRWT is all about combining ingredients people might consider out of the ordinary. But the combinations are not just randomly chosen. The theory behind this is that ingredients with similar volatile aroma compounds should go really well together. But this is just theory. We want to test this by trying them out in dishes, and you can participate!

People have a month to try their recipes with the combination, and post the results on their own sites. It's not so much a competition as it is a challenge.

TGRWT #1 was coffee, chocolate and garlic.
TGRWT #2 was banana and parsley.
TGRWT #3 was strawberry and coriander.
TGRWT #4 was mint and mustard.

This link goes to TGRWT #4, which has links to the first 3 as well. Go here for TGRWT #5, which pairs up chocolate and meat. Horrors? Au contraire! Think mole sauce, then imagine the possibilities.

So anyways, I had a science experiment idea for a recipe in mind using mint and mustard, but didn't have time last month to give it a whirl. Then my neighbor gifted me with a big bowl of garden fresh tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, and I knew that it was time to roll up the ol' sleeves and cook. I made one major change to my original idea though...

Vegetable-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Orange Cream Sauce

1/2 cup zucchini, julienned
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, minced

2 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/8 cup parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1/8 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp crushed rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Veggies
Melt the butter in a skillet while you chop the veggies.
Add the carrots and zucchini to the skillet and saute for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
Remove the veggies to a bowl and toss with the mint.

Chicken
Put the chicken breasts in a heavy freezer bag (one at a time) and pound the hell out of them with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin until the chicken is about 1/4 inch thick.
Lay the chicken out flat on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.
Spoon half of the veggie mixture onto the chicken and then roll the breast up with the veggies inside. Secure with a toothpick if you want.
Place the breast, seam-side down, into an 8" square baking pan that's been sprayed with non-stick.
Do the second breast, then grate some fresh pepper over the top of them.
Toss the chicken into the oven for 20-30 minutes, until done.

Sauce
Melt the second tablespoon of butter in the skillet, then add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the wine to the skillet and turn up the heat. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan (deglase the pan).
Add the OJ, water and chicken stock. Mix well.
Turn the heat up and get it to simmering, stirring often. Keep cooking until it reduces by a third, and then add the heavy cream.
Bring back to a fast simmer and cook, stirring frequently until it reduces down by half and thickens.

When the chicken is done, put a breast on each plate, and ladle some sauce over each. This would go nicely with some good crusty bread and/or wild rice.

The above is the adjusted recipe from our first attempt. The original sauce was too sweet and the orange flavor was a bit too strong. Adding a quarter-teaspoon of dry mustard to the cream sauce as it cooks might draw down the sweetness too. Come to think of it, so would a bit of onion tossed in with the garlic.

Let me know if you try this. I'll probably be experimenting a bit more with the recipe.

Posted by: Ted at 07:01 PM | category: Recipes
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Nothing Is Too Good for My Widdle Shnookums

We passed a "Day Spa for Pets" yesterday. It's enormous, and the smallest part are the outdoor runs, because everything your widdle wuvvie-duvvie needs is inside, where it's climate controlled, 'natch.

I mused about how you could set up elite service, when every animal in there is already pampered to an insane degree. After a while, it hit me.

Charge a premium (say fifty bucks a day) and your beloved pet will be fed the meat from an endangered species! You know damn well these snooty twits will spring for it.

"Our Fifi positively *thrives* on spotted owl."

Posted by: Ted at 04:35 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Laugh Out Loud Funny

From Galacticast, it's:

RoboJew vs. Giant Nazi Woman of the SS

Thanks to Ghost of a flea for the pointer.

Posted by: Ted at 05:54 AM | category: Links
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Soon to be Added to the Blogroll

Over at Primordial Slack, Joan has gotten her first Instalanche. Go visit and be impressed, she's good.

I myself got an Instalanche once. Way back when I first started blogging. The difference is that Joan has gotten her *first* Instalanche, whereas I peaked early.

It's been all downhill for me ever since. But then, you already knew that.

Also, Mad William Flint fell off the ol' radar for awhile, but has made a reappearance in the comments. Another excellent read, and don't miss his take on the new Microsoft Vista.

Posted by: Ted at 05:24 AM | category: Links
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August 26, 2007

Every Silver Lining Has A Dark Cloud In It, and Vice Versa

Hold the Mayo has the pointer, along with these words:

You likely have some familiarity with the Broken Windows theory. It basically holds that a window left broken is an indication that the property is not valued and an invitation to further vandalism. That the effect of that broken window - if not countered - can lead to the eventual decay of the surrounding area.

If broken windows can be seen as an effective predictor of a neighborhood's future, then it must also portend good things - when there is New Glass.

Here's the original post, also well worth reading. Have a taste:

Today the boulevard is wide open and people are walking the streets. Women in abayah's, men in dishdasha, soccer attire, and a few in suits talking on their cell phones. Some people ignore our small convoy, some look suspiciously, and some wave.

There at the first corner, I see it. New glass. Someone has put new glass in a shop. Someone only installs new glass when they think it won't get broken. New glass is confidence.

As we roll though Ramadi I see more stores and small shops open. And more new glass.

New glass.

Posted by: Ted at 06:02 PM | category: Links
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Vinyl Cheese

Back in the day of real record albums, there was enough room on the jackets to really have fun *and* fit some real information on there. With the miniaturization of the media it's become a real challenge to create release artwork that is both catchy and detailed. Of course, not everyone used all that album jacket real estate to best advantage.

Uh, guys? How are you going to drink those with your helmet's on? I do like the bright pink brunette on the far left though. Rowwwr.
1958_LesBaxter_SpaceEscapade.jpg

Subtle humor. I likee.
apollo.jpg

Not much subtlety here, although the thought of all that mist makes my bones ache. Cold and damp, oh yeah, that's romance!
bluemist.jpg

But you know, if there's music for that, then why not music for other things?
bond-fr.jpg

daydream.jpg

elgart.jpg

privateeye.jpg

I like this one, it's cute.
contrasts.jpg

That girl certainly gets around though, doesn't she? Ah, the good ol' days, when it took a professional to photoshop something.
seasons-fr.jpg

There's probably a reason.
gers-bongos.jpg

Some things just naturally go together. Some things don't.
hawaii1.jpg

And of course, we can always just dance, dance, dance, because it's more fun if you say it three times.
carroll-dance.jpg

No, really!
tango.jpg

Sorta.
charms.jpg

And if all that was too modern, modern, modern for you, there were always the classics:
crazyguy.jpg

Full disclosure, I had a cassette of old roaring 20's honky-tonk that I played until it just flat wore out.
joe.jpg

Now, *here's* a strategy to sell records! Put bored looking people on the cover! Woo hoo! It's not a good strategy, but it is a strategy.
rough.jpg

Ragtime and Dixieland. Oh yeah.
ohkid.jpg

Although soft, romantic interludes aren't what come to mind when I think dixieland. Or a parade... what the hell?
parade.jpg

peewee.jpg

An interesting take on bondage. Immobilize her with a fishing net and then bring on the dixieland. The jackets add a visual aspect to the torture, which is why she's not blindfolded. Notice her smile? Kinky bitch.
springst.jpg
Alternate caption for the above: One time, in band camp...

Hint: Wrong one.
deeppurple.jpg

Hope you enjoyed.

Posted by: Ted at 07:47 AM | category: Square Pegs
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August 23, 2007

You've Dreamed About Doing Stuff Like This! (Updated)

Admit it.

Coming soon to a bookstore near you:

Forbidden LEGO
Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against

You know you want it. Follow the link to check out some cool video and then tell me you don't.

Once again, Texas Best Grok provides the pointer.

Update: Oh fer cryin' out loud, people! No, it's not porn! Sheesh. I said "bookstore", not "adult bookstore"...

Posted by: Ted at 10:13 AM | category: Links
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Since I'm On This Audio Kick

Check out this awesome list of free ebook resources!

Umm... yeah, they're not audio.

Thanks to Texas Best Grok for the pointer.

Posted by: Ted at 10:09 AM | category: Links
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August 22, 2007

Audible History

I talked a while back about podiobooks.com, and how I've been listening to a few different audiobooks while at work. So far, so great.

One I especially wanted to mention is Great Moments in History. By packaging memorable events in a modern "breaking news" format, you hear analysis of the action from various viewpoints, on-the-scene interviews, and an unfolding of the story that is rich in details that dry history books discard as superfluous.

For instance, during the description of the British surrender at Yorktown, we learn that French Admiral de Grasse, who was blockading the British from the sea and preventing reinforcements from landing, suffered from asthma to such an extent that he sent a deputy to the formal surrender ceremony. Similar details are given in every episode, from the trial and death of Socrates to Thermopylae to Hastings to Salem for the witch trials, and more. Altogether an extraordinary experience.

Highly, highly recommended.

Posted by: Ted at 07:52 PM | category: PDA Reviews
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One Ringy-Dingy, Two Ringy-Dingy...

Over at The Dangerous and Daring Blog for Boys and Girls, Victor has posted a nifty piece entitled: How People Lived: The Dial Telephone.

I love this part:

At midnight on Saturday, May 28, 1927, the city of Fresno was converting to dial telephones, so the phone company released this public service announcement to the local theaters, to teach people how to use that brand-new piece of equipment...the dial telephone.

He includes the link to an online archive video showing the PSA, which you can see by clicking the links above (and yes, I'm asking you to follow a link to a link just to drive more traffic to The Dangerous Blog. Neener neener). Well worth it.

Posted by: Ted at 05:17 AM | category: History
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August 21, 2007

Movie Review

You know the drill. Over at Joe Horror, the new movie reviews are up.

This week, I give the surprising lowdown on Gojira, also known (in it's bastardized and heavily edited American version) as Godzilla.

Posted by: Ted at 05:35 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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August 20, 2007

Baseball Nightmares

Bases loaded. Two out. Top of the ninth. Pinch hitter at bat. Wicked curve. Weak popup to first. Game over. *sigh*

Grant says it best, in picture form.

Posted by: Ted at 05:09 AM | category: Links
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August 17, 2007

What. A. Day.

You know that saying "Don't shoot the messenger"?

Today I was that messenger.

Shooting would've been a mercy.

Posted by: Ted at 04:10 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Electrifying

There's a new Taser on the market. It's small enough to fit into your purse, powerful enough to drop a threatening fool in his tracks and as inexpensive as a decent handgun.

Plus, it's available in metallic pink, electric blue, titanium silver and black pearl, for those concerned about style.

"We wanted to make sure that it was something that people were comfortable carrying and didn't make it look like they were 'Dirty Harry,'" said Tom Smith, the company's co-founder and board chairman, referring to the Clint Eastwood movie.

It comes with a laser sight. Heh.
But some of the nation's top police authorities are concerned that the gadgets could easily wind up in the wrong hands.

Nonsense. A civilian version of the Taser has been available for over a decade. I'm not saying that Tasers have never been used in a crime, but why try to rob someone with a one-shot weapon when a pistol can be bought for less money?

And that is a very strong reason why I don't think it's all that hot as a self-defense option. It's one-shot. Miss your target, and you're right back where you started, except the bad guy is now pissed off that you tried to Taser him.

There's a time and place for the personal Taser, just like there are situations where pepper spray or loud whistles are appropriate, but the bottom line is that having these things won't help a bit if you can't or won't instantly and agressively defend yourself.

Learn self-defense. Get a gun and learn how to use it. Be aware of your surroundings. By that last, I mean to get the damn phone outta your ear and pay attention! Same goes for the ipod, you might as well wear a giant blinking sign that says "Obliviot".

Posted by: Ted at 05:41 AM | category:
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