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This airplane has new airplane smell!

August 17th, 2012 No comments

So I am off to Las Vegas for a quick weekend.   This is mostly a work trip with a bit of relaxation as the reward..

I figured I would dust off the blog so here I am!

Started my trip after an extended work day, and a fairly exhausting set of work days as the aftermath of Otakon…  Flying United, in style riding in first class..

This plane is BRAND NEW, no entertaient systems or wifi..  The leather smells like a new car.

Anyhow, landing in Vegas around midnight thanks to delays.  16 hour day tomorrow.   ONLY 103 degrees during the day.  Eep.

Photopost : Some random from Asia trip

May 5th, 2012 No comments

Still busy but trying out my cellphone app for posts…  Lets see.

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From the bird market — sometimes there is an itch you just have to scratch…

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Fine fine, here is your dosage of booth girl.

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Otakon’s Crabby is hanging out in style..

That is all for today’s spam.

Categories: Photo Post, Travel Tags:

Whatchu Cookin’ : Black Blood of the Earth Coffee Ice Cream

August 29th, 2011 No comments

Have you been feeling a little down? Need a treat that perks you up? Try this.

Black Blood of the Earth Ice Cream

How do you get there? First off, if you don’t know about it, read up on Black Blood of the Earth – the wonderful result of what happens when a mad scientist decides to make his own concentrated brew of coffee.. Then pop on over to the gallery for the recipe in a series of pictures. :)

 

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Categories: Food, Gallery, Photography Tags:

Crosspost : New York town clerk quits over gay marriage licenses

July 13th, 2011 No comments

 

Yahoo! News : New York town clerk quits over gay marriage licenses
HUDSON, New York (Reuters) – A town clerk in western New York has resigned to avoid being forced to sign marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples, citing religious objections to same-sex marriage.

I’ve heard it argued by Anti-Gay Marriage groups that the “Gay Agenda” seeks to force a change in beliefs, thus violating separation of church and state.  Whenever I hear this I get extremely fustrated, because to my mind these people seem blind to the fact they’re doing the exact same thing.   The distinct argument is the State cannot tell these people what their religious beliefs should be.   Why do these groups have the right to tell a gay couple what to believe?

Here, this town clerk is resigning because she believes, “the Bible takes precedence over man-made laws” — how do you square that belief away against your appointment to enforce and execute your civil duties, when one of the core aspects of that is separation of church and state?   As Cuomo appropriately stated – “When you enforce the laws of the state, you don’t get to pick and choose the laws.”

To my mind, every political argument that falls back on claiming “*Insert Religious Symbol or Dogma here* says this is so” falls apart.   I actually am glad this person stepped down, being clearly unable to square away this conflict.   However, it has been sitting on my mind lately.  Thoughts?

Categories: Jibber Jabber, Rants Tags:

Photopost : Chicken Dance

June 7th, 2011 No comments

So, I haven’t been posting much.   It is true, I’ve been quite busy, and have not been posting near enough.

However, I have been out with my camera nonetheless!  I just came back from North Carolina, seeing many old faces, all toasting the glorious charge of two friends into respectability and the institutional happiness that is marriage.   (No, really I’m happy for them.)   I shot their wedding, playing the part of the photographer…

Here’s a photo for proof.

Chicken Dance...

Right. Pretty straightforward right?   Bride & Father dancing…  but wait, there’s a story behind this, the kind of story that those of you who know me will find quite hilarious.  In the, “oops, there he goes again…” sort of way.

See, in the process of getting this and some other photos of the Bride and Father’s dance, I decided it would be great if I ducked behind the DJ’s table to take photos of the dancing partners against the backdrop of the guests at the wedding.  Pretty straightforward, yes?    However, as I was shooting, I got to thinking.

Right about now, I know what comes to mind.  “He started Thinking.  That’s the problem.” Stop that.   You might be right but still, stop.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I was thinking from behind the DJ, “Okay now, make sure you don’t step on the DJ’s cables or knock him over.   Can you imagine what the reaction would be?   WEDDING RUINED, WORST WEDDING EVER, CHINESE MAN HUNG FROM RAFTERS OF NC STATE ALUMNI CENTER.   Yeah, it would be bad.  So don’t do it ok?  Ok.” The bride and her father are doing a wonderful dance, and as I step away to take a different position, I hear a rather loud SCREECH, feedback, and sudden silence from the speakers.

The music had stopped.   The father and bride had stopped.   I was frozen in my tracks, looking down to check my footing, and seeing I was right next to the power plug.    “Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit” is all that crosses my mind until I realize that the plug is perfectly fine in the wall.   Right at that moment I hear the first notes of… the bloody Chicken Dance as the bride and father shrug and start dancing to that.

……

I laughed so hard I nearly ripped my throat out, all the while thinking, “I could strangle those two.  I swear it.  Oh my god I’m going to get them…”

So yes, there was my panic attack for what was otherwise a very nice weekend.   I got them back though.   While the newlyweds were away on their honeymoon, I cooked a steak dinner for everyone left behind, used their hottub, and turned their kitchen into a smokehouse.    XD

Categories: Life, Photo Post, Travel Tags:

Computer Doom

June 7th, 2011 No comments

So, over the past few months my computer has been slowing down, having oddball stops and wheezes, and generally behaving unwell. I figured it had simply been too long since I did your standard OS reinstall and refresh, and ignored it.  This was ultimately unwise.

I started seeing some significant issues on Thursday, enough to have me thinking that perhaps it was not just a normal run of the mill issue.   I yanked out the brand new 2TB drive I had purchased to back up everything again (having lost my previous backup drive to the voracious nature of my data usage) — and started a copy of about 700GB of data.

….  The next morning, it was still copying.  I let it run while I went off to Atlantic City to lose enough money to have purchased myself a good time in any massage parlor.   But that’s another story.   When I returned – I/O error.

Dismay.  Dispair.   But mostly just angry cursing.    Over the past few days I’ve managed to nursemaid my essential data off the drive, but as of this morning this drive decided enough was enough, and no by golly I would never see my partition data again.   25000 out of 50000 photos have now been eaten by a grue.

Oops.   I’m not without hope, and still doing some further tests, but life must go on and I have photos to turn in, so I’ve started up the data that DID make it over, and at least Lightroom 3 is working quite nicely now.

—–

Moral of the story : Backup your data.   You never know if there’s a Grue in your computer…  >_<;;

Categories: Rants Tags:

Food: Fun with Pork Belly for Thanksgiving

December 1st, 2010 No comments

So, Thankgiving has come and went.  I decided this year I would buy some PROPER pork belly, and try my hand at making some traditional Red Roast Pork..  The results were… Amazing.

More under the cut.
Read more…

Categories: Food, Photo Post Tags:

Food: Temper, Cookies, and Salvaging

November 18th, 2010 No comments

Like anything in life, sometimes a perfectly good recipe just falls apart right before your eyes. Then it becomes a test of whether or not you can salvage the mess.

*Today’s cooking experiment and photos beneath the cut…*
Read more…

Categories: Food, Photo Post Tags:

Changes, both small and large.

August 26th, 2010 No comments

So, I’ve been musing on what to do with this site along with the others that I still have.   The challenge has, and continues to be what I want to do with my sites, my career (gasp), and how to maintain these places.

From a social and networking standpoint, it is hard to deny the overwhelming trend towards Facebook and Twitter for keeping your work out there.   I’m far from immune from it, although I have some real problems with some of the business practices of Facebook.   That being said, since more and more of my daily blips are through my Facebook page, I’ve added the FB stream directly to my website.  (Look over there.  To the right.  See it?  There.)  I expect that my common blatherings about cameras and such will start to appear there, while this page will continue to remain for my personal blog about cameras, poker, conventioneering (is that like being a convention pirate only less… pirate-y?)  and such.

In other tidbits of note — I’m deeply saddened by the loss of Satoshi Kon – the topic of which has been written about by many people on the internet.   I had the pleasure of meeting him and having dinner with him and the rest of the Madhouse crew back at TAF 2007.   His final words are pretty heartbreaking, but worth a read.

That’s it for now.   I’m chugging right along.   Hope you are too.  Keep your chins up and your eyes open, we’ll get through this yet!

Categories: Life, This Blog Tags:

Yummmmm Pulled Pork

July 25th, 2010 1 comment

So here’s the dish.   (Inspiration for this recipe yanked liberally and with thanks from Ming Tsai’s excellent website.)

Pulled Pork, sloppy and juicy and oh so tasty.

Necessary Equipment

5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven (You probably could duplicate most of the results with a slow cooker, but I do not have one.)  I happen to LOVE this one — and it is always a reasonable price at Amazon.   Lodge Logic 5-Quart Double Dutch Oven and Casserole with Skillet Cover

Heavy tongs.   No really.

Ingredients

  • Pork – Half Shoulder (BONE IN and with skin!)
  • 1 Cup Sugar (I prefer “Sugar in the Raw”)
  • 10 Stalks of Scallion, washed and chopped into 2 inch lengths.
  • 2 Whole Garlic Bulbs, washed and peeled.
  • 2 Green Chinese Chilies, washed, halved and seeds removed, then chopped.
  • 3 Inches (roughly) of Ginger, wash, peel, cut into large chunks.
  • 1 Orange, peeled then cut roughly into six-eight slices.
  • Salt, Paprika, Thyme, Peppercorns  (Rough seasoning, a teaspoon of each will do just fine.)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup Red Wine
  • 0.5 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 0.5 Cup Whiskey

Okay, this sounds like work but it really isn’t that bad.

  1. Heat up your dutch oven, add a little bit of oil.
  2. Wash your pork shoulder in cold water, then sear it on all sides in your dutch oven.  For the love of your hands, please use your tongs and wear gloves if you have them.  Don’t burn the living daylights out of yourself!
  3. Pull the shoulder out and set it aside (if you have the dutch oven I have, you can set it right in the cover on your oven!  :)
  4. Add your “wet” ingredients to the pot and let it come to a simmer.  I like to do my prep of items like the orange, peppers, scallions and such while the liquids are coming to a simmer.   Toss your other ingredients in as you are preparing.
  5. When all items have come to a nice simmer, push the floating items to the side and put your pork shoulder in, SKIN SIDE UP.  IT should come up to about the skin without submerging completely.
  6. Cover and put in preheated oven at 300 degrees.  Cook as such for 4-6 hours.
  7. Check on your shoulder.  When the bone simply lifts out with absolutely no effort, you’re ready for stage two.
  8. Remove all meat, then remove the bone.  Set aside the bone if you wish for later prep.
  9. Strain the sauce of all solids, then pour back into dutch oven or a slow cooking device of your choice.

Okay.  So here’s the thing, you COULD serve it as is.   You could take the meat, chunk it out or pull it apart, and cut up the skin for serving to the brave and the bold.  You COULD just take the strained sauce and reduce it a bit, and use it for the pork.  But what is the fun in that?  So here’s stage two, which is quite easy.

  1. Take your sauce, pour it into a nice slow cooker.  (I use a Thermos cooker myself.)  If you don’t have a slow cooker of any sort, you COULD go right back into the dutch oven!
  2. Making sure you’ve removed all bone from the meat, chunk the meat if necessary to fit in your slow cooker.  Drop the results back in the sauce.   Leave the skin on, or if you’re scared you COULD just remove the skin.  But again, what would the fun be then?
  3. Once you have just the sauce (strained!) and the meat, cook this AGAIN for as long as you can.   My latest batch cooked for an additional 15 hours before serving.   You can choose to pull the pork apart with two forks, or serve it chinese style as big chunks of pork.   Serve with Rice, on bread, but whatever you do, serve it with a generous pouring of the sauce!  The end result is a very tender pork with a sauce that is glorious with just rice or any bread.  :)
  4. You can go further. Take the strained out “stuff” from the sauce, which should be a very potent and fragrant mash with big chunks of ginger and whole peppercorns just sitting in there.   I took this mixture and blended it down to a fine mash, then mixed it with broth made from the bone.  This yields a extremely potent sauce that I’m saving, but I imagine COULD be served with some of the meat if you were daring enough.   I have a jar of this in my fridge at the moment to experiment with.

Oh, by the way, I’ve been informed that the sauce, which you will have plenty of, is also great for serving up some other styles of dish.   Take peeled, softboiled eggs and simmer in the sauce for about an hour.  The eggs will absorb all of the sauce, yum.  :)

Enjoy!

Categories: Food Tags: