Friday, November 25, 2011

My Black Friday Shopping Spree

Went to the hardware store.  Bought a rake.

Oh Look! It's Black Friday already.

Guess I can say it now: Merry Christmas, y'all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Troll Hunter

What to say?  It's a mocumentary "found film" about three Norwegian students trying to track down a bear poacher.  Instead, they find something infinitely more interesting: a government-sponsored professional hunter who tracks down and eliminates trolls that have gone off Norway's remote troll reservations. Think Blair Witch Project without the profanity but with a good dose of humor.  A little too scary for the under-10 set, but lots of fun for anyone over that age.  Here's Rotten Tomatoes' take on the matter.  The best part perhaps is the twisted logic of the whole thing, the blending of clichéd troll fairytales with numerous "Holy crap!  That's a big damn animal!" moments.
My score: Three good big goofy fun stars.

How art came to computers.

Described in a PLoS blog, here.  I guess somebody had to design the first good computer icons.  Amazing history, I'm glad is preserved.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More than you ever wanted to know about cast iron frying pans.

Well, I mostly agree with the author.  Where we (very slightly) part ways is that he may be worrying about this stuff too much.  Cook tomatoes in my good frying pan?  Sure, did it for supper last night.  Let it soak a few hours afterward, no prob.  Then I scrubbed it with soap.  (Yes!  Soap!  Boo!)  And today I fried up a mess of pancakes today, had zero sticking problems.  I think what's getting that pan past all of this abuse is that butter is my grease of choice, with olive oil sometimes coming into play when it just seems more right for the recipe.  Sometimes (and this is really hard for me) it's just best not to over-think stuff.
But all of his stuff about drying a pan on a hot stove is spot-on.  And his explanation about how the newer pans don't have a machined surface, (a) wow, that makes sense, (b) why hadn't I heard of that before? and (c) will somebody start adding that machining step, please?  Because as smooth and planed-down by a metal spatula as my 15 year old Lodge has gotten with use, I'd love to get my hands on another nice pan.
Bottom line: don't over scrub, use plenty of good grease, and stop thinking of that black coating as something nasty to be removed.  It's a self-regenerative polymer coating that is both organic and non-toxic.  All of which is a hell of a lot more than can be said for any other non-stick pan coating.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seafood Festival

Was fun, despite taking me a week and a half to mention it.  Here's the official site and here's an article at the Apalachicola Times.  Did the Redfish Run 5K, and the Times also has a short article on the race.  I neither confirm nor deny either my or any other relatives' presence in any of the pictures at the links, but you might be surprised if you dig around a little.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Monday Morning

XKCD has a sort of ink-blot test involving map projection preferences and what they say about you.  And 65daysofstatic has their new album Silent Running streaming for free at their website for today only.
Either is fine and nerd-tastic in and of itself, but the combination of the two should be left strictly to the pros.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

So glad 11/11/11 is over.

All the hype was starting to weird me out a little, as seen here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The scars from WWI.

At The Daily Mail.
Hope you had a good Veterans Day too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Steve Jobs Cartoon Roundup

Courtesy of the brother-in-law.  (Thanks!)

In an office coffee pot conversation last week, a cow-orker commented "So what did Jobs ever do?  What's so great about the Macintosh?  He just borrowed – stole! – other peoples' work, repackaged it, and made a bundle off the deal.  I mean, the GUI had already been invented, that was the real work."  I thought for a moment and said "So what did Einstein ever do?  What's so great about special relativity?  He just borrowed – stole! – other peoples' work, repackaged it, and made a reputation off the deal.  I mean, the Lorentz transform had already been developed, that was the real work."
We both smiled and went back to our offices.

Schlitz is back?

So there I was in the local beer-snob store mulling over the various local and regional microbrews, when whatinthehell, there's a six of Schlitz (nb: must be spelled in italics) on the shelf in the midst of things...?  Sporting a fancy price and a promise that they're using the "Classic 1960s Formula"?
Well I always liked the taste, even during their swill era.  (Go figure, no accounting for these things.)  At $2.15 a six of 16's, the price was right for a grad student back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  It's just that the crap they were putting in there would rip your skull right off the next morning if you had more than one.
As it turns out, this resurrected Schlitz pretty good.  Tastes like beer.  Beer-beer, with hops and no subtle overtones and definitely no fruity flavors.  Over the years, not only had Schlitz lost their quality, they'd also lost the original formula, so the whole thing had to be reverse-engineered.  I've got to say, they did a credible job, tastes just like it did back in junior high.  But now I can also say, I felt just fine when I woke this morning.
Testing continues.