Kraft durch Schadenfreude [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Peter H. Coffin

[ website | My Website ]
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Dear LJ [May. 15th, 2014|07:27 am]
Your main login link is in the footer of your main page. What happens when you make the main page one of those infinitely-scrolling things? Hmmm?
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Another Convergence in the books... [Apr. 28th, 2014|03:12 pm]
And pretty epic it was.

Bidders for 21 should probably start work. Call for proposals will probably come shortly, as we will probably want to run the vote in about four weeks.
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useless... [Mar. 31st, 2014|11:39 am]
Why does DataStage Designer even have these? It's not like there's any support for flipping between jobs using these controls...Clipboard01
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Barcode Scanner testing withiCalendar QR Code Scanning (Android) [Mar. 30th, 2014|10:07 pm]
iCalendar support in Barcode Scanner includes limited formats, but does recognize and offer to create a calendar entry.

SUMMARY:April Fool's Day

TZID, Z termination for Zulu time, local time zone supported
DTEND may be used instead of duration.
TRANSP property does not seem to be properly supported; calendar entry defaults to "busy" time.
CLASS property does not seem to be properly supported; calendar entry defaults to "default" security.
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Lazy Biscuits [Nov. 3rd, 2013|10:49 am]
Still working on the Laziest Biscuits In The World. The goal for these is to make a tasty-enough product with the absolute minimum of effort and cleanup. I'm getting very close.

Fire up oven and set to 425F. While it's heating, put in a big bowl:

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (Bonus lazy is getting to that volume by just using three scoops of a half-cup measure and not knocking the heap off)
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 c powdered milk (or, you know, "some". You'll get pretty good results from "almost none" to "almost filled that half-cup measure, dang it")
anything else you want. (1/2 t onion powder, 1 t garlic powder, some dried parsley and 4 oz shredded cheddar and you're making Red Lobster biscuits.)

In a two-cup measure,

1 egg
water to 3/4 c
veg oil to 1 c.

Beat with plastic chopsticks until smooth. Why chopsticks? You may already have them, they're good enough to use to mix the dough. and they're stupidly easy to clean, too. Pour the mixture onto the dry stuff in the bowl. Mix that with chopsticks with the goal of merely collecting all the flour into the mass. Set the bowl aside and go start coffee, and hit a baking sheet and a big metal or plastic spoon (also easy to clean) with cooking spray while the baking powder does its work.

Spoon lumps of dough onto the baking sheet, about the size of a child's fist. if you're perfectly on track, the dough will be bubbly. and you'll get about 12 lumps out of the dough mass. Bowl goes in sink and gets filled with water to soak, and add spoon and chopsticks. Baking time should be enough to dissolve dough gunk to the point that it comes off easily. The oven should be at least nearing temperature now, so shove 'em in there for about 12-14 minutes.
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Fud [Aug. 3rd, 2013|05:08 pm]
8 oz eye of round
8 oz mushrooms
1 large sweet onion
15-20 basil leaves
instant beef stock

Slice all of above. Cook in 1/2 cup oil, starting with onions (until translucent), adding beef (until browned evenly), mushrooms (until soft). Season with beef stock and optional hot sauce, then thicken with cornstarch or flour.
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Howdy, LJ! [Jul. 22nd, 2013|09:57 pm]

So, I've been reading a lot of Cruise Critic lately, for insight into a lot of things. Some stuff stands out that's really different. Or feels really different, at least.

I think what kind of started it is my usual wacky sideways walk into something. There was a movie I watched a little while back. Totally tacked on plots to what was more or less an advertisement for a particular kind of place. 1947's Holiday Camp Totally tacked on plot (make that "plots", plural, since there were about four of them) but basically talking about what had already more or less become a seedy parody of itself by the time The Who's Tommy came out. But from this contemporary cruising was born. So I've been learning more about it from "the other side", the run of the mill newbie cruisers, the people that make almost a career of going and writing up reviews and essays, and other groups like ours that do it together a lot. (They're usually a lot smaller than our group: 10-13 is a big social cruising group, while GothCruise is probably 40 core folks.) And seeing the other side shows me this:

Holy hell do people love going to the Caribbean. Yeah, the weather's nice almost all the time and there's a lot of nice beaches and stuff, but that's really where people spend most of their time cruising? It's a warm puddle, it's not very big, and a LOT of people really love the 4-5 night cruise that go out to the Bahamas, maybe all the way to Saint Martin, then back. Probably 30% of the cruises in the whole world are in that bathtub, and fully half of the people cruising for the first time are right there, even if they're from fucking Australia. Because they go see Mauswitz, the go out to Port Canaveral because otherwise their two-week holiday would put them in debt for years and a 5-night cruise is a bargain in a per-night comparison.

Speaking of bargains, there's a self-selecting class structure. For all the eglitarianism, there's the "inside cabin -- why pay a penny more than you have to?" group, and there's the "balcony or better" group. There's few fans of the rooms with just windows.

Why do people that "aren't big drinkers" even considering booze beverage packages? I am a "big drinker". I can soak up up four cocktails before dinner (admittedly over two hours) and I'm still looking at the wine list, and pondering if I want a brandy instead of dessert. So, yeah, the $50 per day is totally reasonable. But for those for whom six drinks in a day is a "don't want to do that again tomorrow" proposition?

Big boats are where it's at. 90-100k tons is what most people talk about as being their ideal with indoor parks and surfing simulators. Maybe I'm kind of leaning toward what I've been on but I'm much more used to 70,000 tons instead. And that's still a monstrous boat in my opinion. But it's still small enough to get through Panama. And the modern ships can't. And that's... somehow tragic to my mind. (I've been struggling through a very weighty book about the creation of the Canal and that's probably romanticizing things for me a little big. I've been reading this thing for a month now and the French haven't even really given up yet, though Lessup's company has finally failed. And I'm out of library renewals, so I'll probably have to give up and buy the damned book so I can finish it at my own pace.) Anyway. 105 feet of beam, less than 1000 feet of length, no more than about 30 below the waterline and no more than 200 feet above it. Limits so hard they have a name: Panamax. Big ships? 1,200 feet long, 200 feet wide. Can't fit. Gotta go around. Even after the expansion ("New Panamax" how original) is done in 2014-2015 or so, they still won't fit width-wise. As an interesting side note, people on the boards still can't figure out why Royal Caribbean's ship is smaller than the big boats.... But I bet you can, from context, and why the thing's scheduled for delivery at the end of 2014.

Cupcakes. Oh my fucking lard do people go apeshit for cupcakes. And decorating classes for cupcakes. And tours of places that make cupcakes. I don't get that at all. They're not even good cupcakes. Just yellow or chocolate cake with Way Too Much Frosting. Real cakes can have filling.

The people on Carnival-specific boards are there to bitch and chew bubblegum. Or are there to be fanbois who will excuse anything and admit no wrong could possibly have been committed by any but isolated lazy or criminal staff-members. But mostly bitch. Disney board cruise people are exactly like you'd expect. They all have kids, they all love the Disney Cruise Lines experience and it's totally worth the 30-50% premium for the 15% larger cabins and being able to bring their own beverages aboard. Royal Caribbean boards (where I've been spending the most time) are generally loony with a lot of in-jokes. Norwegian Cruise Lines boards are very serious, very loyal and all seem to have horror stories about British cruise passengers.

Oh yes, the stereotype of British cruise passengers is entirely that they all feel very uncomfortable being forced to share space with anyone that isn't British. Especially on cruises that begin or end in ports on the Isles. Americans and Australians on those ships are bad enough, but if you're from someplace where they don't speak English as a first language then it doesn't matter if you've had a hundred sailings in all parts of the world and own stock in the line, you cannot possibly know how to comport your self at sea. Or so I've been told, anyway.

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Back to MS-Flight [May. 26th, 2013|11:54 am]
Finally made flying userpic. That's not a simulated one, though. That's the Maule M-9-235, which to my mind is one of the most beautiful and versatile small aircraft out there. The thing will cheerfully carry 1100 lbs, which is like half again what many planes the same size do.

Hauled out MS Flight for a go-around again. I hadn't played since perhaps February seriously, and it's pretty different in terms of simulator (as opposed to simulatED) controls. It's also been much more twitchy for flying tail-draggers than FSX is, in my experience. It's far, far easier to bounce three or four times before finally getting the tail planted and ready to scoot onto the taxiway.

This time, no. Maybe the break helped, maybe some of the time with FSX indicated a real change in my skill, I don't really know. But this flight went really, really well. It was a short one, flying 325 pounds of chickens from Hilo (PHTO) to Kona International (PHKO), and being the game sim that it is, I felt no need to avoid the restricted area near Bradshaw, nor follow airways and went straight over the top. I remember to adjust mixture at the right places, watched the climb rate to keep it steady, and had much better control than usual of the corkscrew issues*.  The landing was especially nice; no bounce at all, just touched the two main wheels down, lower power, and wait for the tail to stop flying and drop to the runway. Even the parking worked well.

(*The propeller on a single-engine plane doesn't send air straight back. The breeze spirals. Which means the breeze from the right edge of the propeller goes underneath the copilot's butt, up pass the left rear passenger seat, and slams into the tail. The left and right breezes balance out with the two sides of the horizontal stabilizer, but the vertical stabilizer only goes up, so the left side gets pushed, and the plane yaws left. You use the right rudder to compensate, but it's a balancing act, and you have to sometimes use a lot of rudder pressure to keep things lined up at very high or very low power settings at take-off and landing.)
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start rice, stuff in pan, season [Apr. 28th, 2013|08:59 pm]
[Current Location |United States, Wisconsin, Waukesha]
[mood |fullfull]

That's my usual method of cooking. Today:

1/2 large yellow onion, diced.
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp peanut oil
6 oz assorted mushrooms (about half and half white button and beech)
1 large carrot, julienne-cut

Heat full on. stir occasionally. When onions are translucent,

1 lb firm tofu, cubed to about 1 cm.

season with

1/2 tsp dashi granules.
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp tuong ot toi

simmer a bit and thicken with flour or cornstarch.
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I need a new userpic [Feb. 26th, 2013|10:45 pm]
Over the weekend, I fired up the flight simulator again. When we last talked about this, I'd hauled a Mooney Bravo from the south Bay up into the hills and landed at Truckee Tahoe airport. (Hi, Rob & Smurf!) Getting out of there, with a full load of fuel, is interesting. The airport's at 6000 ft, more than a mile up, so the air's thin. It's ringed with 9000 foot mountains. Taking off and getting out means either circling around and around until you can gain about 5000 feet more of altitude, or follow the road to Reno, which is a valley and you only need to get about 2000 feet up from the ground to go that way... So where next?

The convenient range for a Mooney in the game is about 400 miles. The plane is *fast*, for a little piston plane, and it's easy to get it up to about 200, 210 knots at altitude, about 230 MPH. So 400 miles is a bit over two hours of time, including farting around the airport, setting things up, making sure all the planning is properly loaded in, and dealing with the the weather making you use runways you'd rather not, etc. What's about 400 miles away that's both in the general direction of home *and* doesn't have too many mountains in the way? Reno's right over there, but it's only about 30 miles away and hardly faster than driving..... Obviously, the answer is Vegas, baybee...
Read more...Collapse )
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Sequestration [Feb. 19th, 2013|06:55 pm]
Every news program I'm hearing these days on the subject of the US Federal Budget makes me angry. All the discussion about sequestration cuts (the "across-the-board cuts") are focusing on "Gee, this is really bad! This is a horrible way to make cuts! Why doesn't the President do something better than this!"

It's not supposed to be good. It's supposed to be BAD.

This was the thing that Was Never Supposed To Happen.

Back in 2011, remember, there was the whole huge deal about (what else?) the debt ceiling. The end of the amount of money that the Federal Government could borrow. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and and the Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed, which set up the Supercommittee (remember that? It had an official name too: "United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction") that was supposed to come up with a practical amount and selection of budget cuts that would be good enough for everybody. To create an incentive for the Supercommittee to succeed, this whole scheme of sequestration was come up with, which was basically "Okay, you jackasses, you didn't come up with anything. A pox on both your houses. You couldn't come up with a plan, so we're going to offend EVERYBODY and cut EVERYTHING more or less equally, because making cuts to government spending is more important than how it's done." And the Supercommittee met exactly five times over a two month period in the fall of 2011, basically covered "what had been done before" and give up.

So Congress either failed or abdicated. And then did nothing for a year while the President did what the President got to do as a result of the Budget Control Act. And then December rolled around and the rest of the government started getting prepared for this in accordance with the law (some faster than others), and the last week of the year turned up and Congress said "Gah! This is horrible! How could we have been lead into this state?!!?" and passed a measure that pushed the whole deal off for two months.

So, here we are, coming up on the deadline again, and Congress has still done nothing except whine that across-the-board cuts are dumb. Yet they are the ones with the sole power to change it. The President can't really do anything because the across-the-board cuts were the threat to make Congress and the Supercommittee act, at their own behest. And none of the news reports are covering the story from that angle. It's all "This is horrible! What a dumb way to make cuts!" Yes. It's working perfectly. And you jackasses are too stupid to remember that YOU MADE IT THAT WAY. We need the news to remind the public that they DID make it that way. We need the media to say "Any problems cause by this? Congress could fix this at any time, just by repealing the Budget Control Act and saying the cuts don't have to happen. Or even passing other legislation picking what else to cut. They just need to put their balls and tits on the block and DO SOMETHING.
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Flight Sim [Feb. 1st, 2013|09:58 am]
Played with VOR navigation a little bit yesterday. BADGER VOR radial 270 (straight west) almost perfectly lines up with Truax Field (KMSN). So, I set VOR, took off from Waukesha (KUES), bumbling generally north until I was on the radial at 2500 ft, then turned to keep it lined up. A complication of VOR navigation is that the further you get from the transmitter, the further you can range from what's "right" before it's noticeable on the instrumentation. 50 miles out, being 10 degrees off-heading can show up on the instruments only after a few minutes, and (obviously?) your compass heading isn't always what direction you're actually flying. (Winds aloft aren't always anywhere near what they are on the ground, and a light breeze at the airport can be a 60 knot crosswind 3000 feet up, which can mean pointing the airport southwest to fly straight west...) Which explains why, when possible, the flight sim planner seems to try to plop down intersections every ten miles or so if it can. Every 20 or 30 miles seems more practical for general planning, though, as you're still making changes and ticking off progress on the list every five to ten minutes, to at least note when something flips from "To" to "From".
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Flight Sim [Jan. 26th, 2013|07:36 pm]
Flew from Tiamiami Executive to Pindling International in Nassau, Bahamas in about an hour and a quarter using the Mooney Bravo. I'm getting a little better about sorting out approaches beforehand, and using the onboard GPS to make sure I'm lined up on the right thing. There's an interesting quirk about the Nassau airport in the simulator. The actual layout of the runways and approaches are correct out in the "world", but the comms radio dialog options for this airport have you announcing for Runway 12/30 instead of the real 14/32, and there's no such thing.

I should probably start taking screen shots of anything mildly interesting that happens. This also marks something like 65 hours of flying the sim, and the 107th landing.
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(no subject) [Aug. 1st, 2012|07:04 pm]
Just because I don't agree doesn't mean I don't understand.
Just because I understand doesn't mean I agree.
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(no subject) [Jun. 28th, 2012|08:40 pm]
I dunno about you, but to me, they've very specific:

"Envious" = "I want something like this, too."

"Jealous" = "You should not have this instead of me having this."

Very distinct meanings to me. Use 'em wisely.
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lime soda [Jun. 11th, 2012|08:44 pm]
1 oz lime juice
2 oz simple syrup (probably a tablespoon of granulated
stir up until sugar dissolved. (This is way easier with the syrup.)
9 oz seltzer
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Cabbage stew [Apr. 19th, 2012|07:08 pm]
A pound and a half of potato, diced to about 3/4", in a deep-sided skillet with a little oil. When potatoes are lightly browned, turn and cover with a pound of cabbage, similarly chopped. pour in 2 cups of dashi broth, and 1/4 cup soy sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Top with some fish cut to bite-sized pieces and cover for 10 minutes. turn off heat, stir, and serve.
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(no subject) [Apr. 12th, 2012|10:54 pm]
Inspired by finding this, which is a pretty good, dense summary of a lot of sources of semi-lost knowledge.

I realize it's probably a losing battle, but "button-down" refers to the collar or cuffs. You've probably seen button-down collars. You might have seen button-down cuffs. (More specifically referred to as "turnback cuffs" -- they have buttons to hold the cuff closed like normal barrel cuffs, but the also fold back like French cuffs (which differ by being not cut away and therefore tend to catch on a gentleman's jacket sleeve) and the folded-over part also buttons to the sleeve.) Just as a cuff merely having buttons doesn't make it a button-down cuff, neither does a shirt having buttons on the front make is a "button-down" shirt. It's just a shirt. Even pull-over shirts are distinguished from the base form that has an opening front. Similarly "Oxford shirts" refer to the material, not the style, and are distinguishing themselves from broadcloth, twill, or poplin.

Thank you for your kind attention.
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Mean humor [Mar. 29th, 2012|06:18 am]
I'm listening to one of the older Marc Meron WTF podcasts, the one with Carrot Top.

At one point in the middle of the podcast, Meron riffs a little bit on the props, describing thinking of Carrot Top standing at an airport service desk, saying "What do you mean, you lost my act?" Scott (the Carrot Top in question) then told a story about seeing Albert Brooks on television, saying "If an airline lost Carrot Top's luggage, he's got no act," to which Scott thought "duh!" But it still made him angry.

It's the same joke, but the telling and perspective changes the whole mood. Brooks' version is mean and petty. The Meron version sympathetic and understanding. It's a style change rather than subject matter.

Posted via LjBeetle
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Pork Gruel [Mar. 26th, 2012|08:55 pm]
  1. about a pound of pork, cubed up
  2. one monster carrot or 1/2 lb of smaller ones cut to 1/2" dice
  3. one giant baker potato, or about a pound of yaller taters, also 1/2" dice
  4. half head of cabbage shredded
  5. 1 cup broth or stock
  6. 2 TBSp soy sauce
  7. 2 TBSp butter
  8. 2 TBSp flour

Oil the bottom of a deep skillet with lid, and fire up medium-high. Add pork. Cook until starting to brown, then turn it all, add potato and carrot, and cover. Let cook dry for about five minutes, add broth, cover again, and lower heat to low. Set timer for 15 minutes, and take a break.

After timer is done, add soy sauce and stir, throw cabbage on top, and cover again. In a separate pan, start heating butter and flour to make a roux to the color of walnut shells. (If you've not done this before, just keep heating slowly. Flour will all end up suspended in the hot fat as long as you keep stirring. Keep stirring or it will burn and that will be Bad. Shortly after the mess foams a little (as the last of the water boils off), it will start changing color from yellow to beige to walnut-shell to light brown to dark red and finally mud. The change will start happening faster and faster, so watch closely. And for Auguste's sake, keep stirring!) Turn off heat under skillet and remove lid. Pour roux into skillet with simmering broth and juices, and immediately stir it in. It will sizzle and thicken in about four seconds, so stir immediately to avoid lumps.

Serve immediately but wait ten minutes to eat. The shit's hot, man.

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Income tax and who pays it [Mar. 20th, 2012|12:27 pm]
Saw someone waving around "So what? 48% of the US population didn't pay any income tax." Just for clarity sake, let's remember that 25% of the US population are children (US Census Bureau). Let's also remember that 19% of the adult US population live in poverty, officially even (Kaiser Foundation). Which means 44% of that 48% isn't dodging taxes, they essentially don't have income to be paying taxes on in the first place. The REAL number of people that don't pay income tax, that can actually carry the inference that they maybe should, is 4%.

In linguistic terms, that 48% number is what is known as "a shuck": A fact, possibly even a true one, that is presented to support an assertion or point that the fact does not actually support, or to misdirect a valid argument.
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Writer's Block: National Pi Day [Mar. 14th, 2012|10:39 am]

How many digits of pi have you memorized?

View 566 Answers

Eight. Plenty for any practical purpose I'm likely to encounter in day-to-day life.
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Onion hush puppies [Feb. 11th, 2012|02:06 pm]

2 cups corn meal
1 cup wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 large onion, 1/4 inch diced

1 cup cream
1/2 cup water
1 large egg

hot frying oil

  1. Mix dry ingredients until completely blended.

  2. Stir in onions.

  3. In separate bowl, beat egg

  4. Stir in cream and water

  5. Mix into dry ingredients

  6. Adjust water/flour until you have a batter that is soft, but holds its shape.

  7. Fry golf-ball size lumps in oil 90 seconds, turn, and continue cooking another 90 seconds.

  8. remove from oil and let drain.
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Trout season? [Jan. 29th, 2012|12:51 pm]
Trout salad made with (obviously) half a pan-fried trout, celery, onion powder, garlic powder, just a hint of cayenne pepper, soy sauce and a lot of mayonnaise, on a toasted bagel. Breakfast.

Oh yeah, if you live someplace where trout shows up cleaned in the butcher case sometimes, here's what do to pan fry them: remove heads if necessary; just cut 'em off right behind the gill flaps, and put them in the plastic tub in the freezer marked "for fish stock". Finish off the belly cut to the tail so you can open the thing up flat. That'll allow you to easily remove the spine and bones from what's now the center. If you live someplace really lucky, that's the condition you'll be able to buy them in from the store. Sprinkle bit of flour on both skin side and inside gets salt, optional ground red pepper and flour. Heat a little olive oil until it shimmers in a skillet, cook inside down for about 90 seconds, then flop it over to cook skin side for about the same, and they're done. Plate them or fold them back over into fish-shap and put them on a rack to cool before wrapping up and putting them in the fridge for later. Each fish will yield about two 4oz servings of meat.

Locally, a lot of trout come from Rushing Waters, so even if your grocery store isn't good for fresh fish, you can make a side trip there when you're in Jefferson County for other reasons.
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Golden Gates [Jan. 1st, 2012|07:52 pm]
Golden Gate Restaurant here in Bumble-Burbia is a really... odd place. You know how pretty much every Chinese restaurant in the US has been, for about the past 30 years, struggling to transcend .... well, pretty much everything? They've been leaving behind the staid and normal Chinese-American staples of Cantonese goodies, pork eggrolls, egg fu yung, etc. Korean influences and sushi are being added as fast as possible, menus with a dozen "martinis" made with sake and pomegranate seeds, and appetizers made of black-belly pigs and lettuce-leaf wrap. GGR has basically run in the other direction. Their entire focus is to do those traditional bastard dishes very, very well. There's beef, "bbq" pork, chicken, shrimp, the overpriced lobster that no one ever orders; there's no black bass, bitter melon, shark fin or bird's nest. You won't find exotic mushrooms in these dishes; the mushrooms come out of a can. The most exotic beer available in the bar is Tsing Tao, but you can get Mai-Tais and Singapore Slings faster than you can get a beer opened.

So how well do they do these staples? Exquisitely. Even that slight tang from the canned mushrooms is accounted for, enhanced and underscored when useful, balanced and neutralized when it's not. They do it well enough that they win awards. National ones. Year after year. They do THAT well with it. Every sauce is the exactly-right balance of sweet, hot, savory, or smoke as to be perfectly right.
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dinner. [Dec. 13th, 2011|06:47 pm]
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Dinner Goo [Dec. 11th, 2011|05:39 pm]
2 lbs of Yukon Gold potato diced

Throw into a microwave-safe casserole, salt liberally, cover and zap for 10 minutes stirring midway through.

1 lb carrots diced
1/2 lb onion quartered and sliced

Stir into casserole. Zap for 10 minutes more, again stirring half way through. Preheat oven to 400F.

1 lb ground beef

Brown in skillet and season with

garlic powder
chili powder
2 Tbs tuong ot toi

Stir into veg and and pop into oven for 40 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving with the cheapest Chateau Plonk you can find.
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(no subject) [Dec. 11th, 2011|10:37 am]
You know, one of the problems that I have with "new media" is that I really want to read things. I'm reluctant to pay attention to anything that comes from TED because it's all video and I won't want to spend the time to listen to it and watch the slides over someone's shoulder, instead of reading it as text, and glancing at pictures in sidebars. Reading lets me pace on my own. I can breeze through the introductions and background, slow down for difficult content, nearly instantly go back and refer to something from a previous sentence or paragraph. It's not convenient to do that in a video or audio stream at all. Parallel to this is a peeve about all the "photos" that are really nothing but text content. But instead of making the words work with the text that is, they're in an image, often out of focus, and carrying literally a thousand times the bandwidth baggage.
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Amtrak 40th Anniversary Train [Dec. 4th, 2011|11:03 am]
Pictures here:
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Charro [Dec. 2nd, 2011|04:34 pm]
Charro by hellsop
Charro, a photo by hellsop on Flickr.


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Peanuts [Nov. 30th, 2011|06:37 pm]
Peanuts by hellsop
Peanuts, a photo by hellsop on Flickr.


home roasted in ghee.

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(no subject) [Oct. 18th, 2011|06:23 pm]
I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other poeple's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces. I will not be sarcastic in other people's spaces.
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(no subject) [Oct. 5th, 2011|10:02 pm]
icanhascheeseburger lately? Too many videos. Okay, maybe just too many videos that aren't Maru. Not enough funny pictures.
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(no subject) [Oct. 2nd, 2011|09:53 am]

That'll teach me. I had something both sage and pithy to post here last night, and thought "I'll remember it in the morning." Nope...

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Today [Sep. 17th, 2011|05:36 pm]
Picked up a whole crapload of fireworks shrapnel at Lake Shore State Park as part of Dive Against Debris and Beach Clean Up. Not doing the diving part (nobody dove this year), but generally unmessing the place up.

Went over to Jerry's Dock and ate a boatload of brisket.

Played Cities in Motion for an hour. Lost in the tutorial when I ran out of money. Jackasses wanted me to build a metro line after I'd spent most of my cash on a really ass-kicking set of trams.
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Outdid myself [Sep. 8th, 2011|06:27 pm]
1 lb beef, cut into 2-inch by 1/4-inch strips.
1 lb broccoli florettes
4 oz peanut or other veggie oil

3 oz soy sauce
1 tbs miso
2 tbs tuong ot toi chili garlic paste

2 oz water
1 tbs corn starch

Dissolve miso into soy sauce. Stir in chili garlic paste.

Stir cornstarch and water together.

Heat oil until it shimmers. Brown beef in oil, and lower heat until juices flow out of meat and it begins to foam. Return to high heat, and add broccoli. As broccoli takes up oil, add splashes of plain water to keep liquid in the pan. When broccoli turns bright and starts to soften, stir miso and soy again and add to pan. When sauce begins to boil again, stir cornstarch and add. Stir continually as sauce thickens and thin to desired consistency with water. Serve over rice, noodles, potato, or whatever.
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(no subject) [Jul. 31st, 2011|07:00 pm]
I am amused that as soon as LJ becomes stable again, G+ breaks.
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Dredging through the unwatched pile [Jul. 17th, 2011|10:18 pm]
The Incredibles is good at pretty much everything Open Water was bad at. Good characterization exceptionally well brought out, characters developed and learned things, lots of smart references, and a comfortable pacing curve. 9 of 10.
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Open Water (a review) [Jul. 16th, 2011|10:30 pm]
Wow, are these people dumb. How does anyone ride a dive boat 8000 feet offshore, and NOT know which direction shore is? Even generally? Like "go east"?
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Steam Purchase List (recent) [Jul. 12th, 2011|08:26 pm]

July ... 20th? 27th?

Batman: Arkham Asylum (GOTY)

July (As of 12th)

  • Fallout 3 Game of the Year
  • Garry's Mod
  • Fallout New Vegas
  • Fallout New Vegas - Dead Money
  • Fallout New Vegas Honest Hearts
  • Paradox Complete Pack:
    • Arsenal of Democracy: A Hearts of Iron Game
    • Cities in Motion
    • Cities in Motion: Design Classics
    • Cities in Motion: Design Marvels
    • Cities in Motion: Design Now
    • Cities in Motion: Tokyo
    • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
    • Commander: Conquest of the Americas - Colonial Navy
    • Commander: Conquest of the Americas - Pirate Treasure Chest
    • Crusaders: They Kingdom Come
    • Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game
    • East India Company
    • East India Company: Battle of Trafalgar
    • East India Company: Pirate Bay
    • East India Company: Privateer
    • Elven Legacy
    • Elven Legacy: Magic
    • Elven Legacy: Ranger
    • Elven Legacy: Siege
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III: Divine Wind
    • Europa Universalis III: Eastern - AD 1400 Spritepack
    • Europa Universalis III: Heir to the Thrones
    • Europa Universalis III: Western - AD 1400 Spritepack
    • Europa Universalis: Romes - Gold Edition
    • For the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game
    • Hearts of Iron 2 Complete
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Hearts of Iron III DLCS: German II Spritepack
    • Hearts of Iron III Semper Fi: Dies Irae Götterdämmerung
    • Hearts of Iron III: For the Motherland
    • Hearts of Iron III: Germain Infantry Pack DLC
    • Hearts of Iron III: Japanese Infantry Pack DLC
    • Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi
    • Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Infantry Pack DLC
    • Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Music Pack DLC
    • Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Pack
    • Hearts of Iron III: US Pack DLC
    • King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame
    • King Arthur: Knights and Vassals DLC
    • King Arthur: Legendary Artifacts DLC
    • King Arthur: The Druids
    • King Arthur: The Saxons
    • Knights of Honor
    • Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West
    • Magicka
    • Magicka: Final Frontier
    • Magicka: Frozen Lake
    • Magicka: Marshlands
    • Magicka: Nippon
    • Magicka: Party Robes
    • Magicka: The Watchtower
    • Magicka: Vietnam
    • Magicka: Wizard's Survival Kit
    • Majesty 2
    • Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania
    • Majesty 2: Kingmaker
    • Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom
    • Majesty Gold Edition
    • Mount & Blade
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword
    • Penumbra Black Plague Gold Edition
    • Pride of Nations
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Ship Simulator Extremes
    • Ship Simulator Extremes: Ferry Pack
    • Ship Simulator Extremes: Sigita Pack
    • Sword of the Stars: Argos Naval Yard (expansion pack)
    • Sword of the Stars: Ultimate Collection
    • Take Command: Second Manassas
    • The Kings' Crusade
    • The Kings' Crusade: New Allies
    • Victoria I Complete
    • Victoria II
    • Victoria II: Interwar Artillery Sprite Pack
    • Victoria II: Interwar Planes Sprite Pack
    • Victoria II: Interwar Spritepack
    • Victoria II: Old Vic
    • Woody Two-Legs: Attack of the Zombie Pirates


  • Hydrophobia: Prophecy
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IPv6 Survey results [Jun. 12th, 2011|10:35 pm]

Yeah, kinda sucked.
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On video game ammo [May. 26th, 2011|03:01 pm]
Proposal for video game reloading mechanism that makes sense

Spoiler Warning today had a comment about reloading compulsion in video games. Simply put, most games train players to reload at every slack moment. It's a prudent thing to do, and most games track ammo by the round, even for weapons that use clips or have animations for revolvers that involve speed-loaders. (Those are little gizmos that hold an entire cylinder of bullets so you can load all six, seven, eight, whatever bullets in a single motion.) This kind of gets to an obvious problem. The way that the reload animation works, reloading doesn't put just top up your weapon, it also removes whatever you haven't fired, but the ammo inventory doesn't account for that. And running the reload animation typically takes a second or two of game time, during which you can't shoot.

What we need is to better model the actual clip of ammo, or drums, or whatever. Instead of having "reload" take two rounds from your stash and put them in the gun, reload changes out the clip for whatever the fullest clip is from your inventory. The game has to keep track of clips and how many rounds are in each one, but that's not a huge thing programatically. What it does do, though, is reward people for counting their shots, planning for how much ammo they'll need in the next 30 seconds or so, because if one continues with the "reload at every dull moment" model, you end up depleting clips to some small number of rounds, and having to reload more and more often. You might start out with 30 rounds per clip, but by the end of a firefight, you're down to several clips that only have 2-3 rounds left in them each, and swapping them out costs you that same 1-2 seconds every couple of shots.

Whether the game wants to just throw away completely depleted clips or allow you to take some game time to refill them probably depends on the firearm. For example, a Tommy gun, with one of the big drums in a gangster game could hold 100 rounds, but might take five minutes to refill which means you need someplace out of danger to do it. An automatic pistol might take a minute to refill a clip, but if you can hunker in cover for the duration, you can do it under fire. An energy weapon of some kind probably won't let you refill a "clip" at all.
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Today's Irritant [May. 23rd, 2011|06:28 pm]

A "button-down" shirt is not one that merely closes at the front with buttons through a placket (which is another meta-irritant), but specifically one that has collar wings that are secured to the breast of the shirt with buttons. If the collar can flap its little wings, they're not buttoned-down.

Thank you, world, for your kind attention.

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Dinner by shrimp [May. 18th, 2011|08:00 pm]
[Current Location |Home, 43.0203,-88.2129]

Shrimp, straw mushroom, chick peas, sweet onion, barbecue and other seasoning in tomato sauce.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

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(no subject) [May. 4th, 2011|08:01 am]
Did a quick schedule and pricing check for a random trip from CNN studios in New York to CNN studios in Washington starting at 8 AM on a weekday. (Why CNN? Media people travel, and I wanted to check what a heavy traveler might need.) I can show my work if anyone's really interested, but here's how it shook out in total.

By Air: $98. I cheated a bit for this one, presuming we actually planned a bit and had a week to buy a ticket, so fares were about $155 round trip. $76 for air fare, then. The rest went to the expensive connecting service between airports and transit systems. $10 on washington side, almost $8 on new york, plus the subway fares to get to within walking distance of the studio (I set cutoff at 1 mile -- more than that, and Janet would take a cab instead.) The flight is Jet Blue 1305 departing JFK at 10:35 AM, landing at Dulles at 11:54. Buses and Metro get us to the studio at about 1 PM.

By Rail: $78. Cheated here by departing at 7:30 instead of 8 AM. This gets us to Penn Station in time for an 8:00 Regional to Washington. It'll take 25 minutes longer than the Acela, but cost about half as much. 10 minute walk from there to the studio, so we arrive at 11:45 AM.

Hey, look, we saved $20, and have an hour for lunch before our meeting that we'd otherwise arrive out of breath for...
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Writer's Block: Portal 17 [May. 3rd, 2011|01:40 pm]

Do you think video games will still be popular in 15 years? How do you think they'll change?

First question listed was submitted by kurachu. (Follow-up questions, if any, may have been added by LiveJournal.)

View 684 Answers

They've been popular for the last 30. What's to stop 'em for the next 15?

("This internet thing... that's just a fad, right?")
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Writer's Block: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe [Apr. 25th, 2011|12:11 pm]

If you had to give up swimming, skiing, hiking, or biking for the rest of your life, which would you choose, and why?

View 1388 Answers

I've never skied in my life. So that'd be the one.
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Hai Denver! [Mar. 6th, 2011|08:55 am]
We're pulling out a little late and getting a bit later waiting for a freight train to clear the yard ahead of us. So here's a screen cap of the amusing SSIDs in the area where we wait.

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The cleanup proceeds apace [Feb. 2nd, 2011|10:23 am]

The cleanup proceeds apace
Originally uploaded by hellsop

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(no subject) [Jan. 27th, 2011|08:19 am]
Probably safe for workCollapse )

This is an alternative to me complaining about SAS again.
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