Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween Too

An early foreshadowing of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "The Corpse Bride" from Tim Burton:

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Super Tuber Review

Senator Larry Craig has endured a lot of ribbing for, among other things, coming up with a recipe involving sticking a weiner into a potato. We here at Nuclear Toast Laboratories like to look past the controversy and examine ideas on their own merits. Especially where food is involved. So I deliberately set out to recreate the Craigs' infamous recipe.

I prepared the meal several times, both in the microwave and conventional oven. Here is a pictorial progression of the most successful experiment.

First, cut both ends off the potato and use a corer to remove a hotdog-sized plug from the center.
Core the potato

Select your weiner. I used only the finest vegetarian soy dogs, but you can use whatever strikes your fancy.
Mmmm, tofu dogs!

Insert your weiner in the hole. Heh heh.
Insert your weiner

Insertion complete! (Sometimes you might have to carve out the hole a bit here and there.) Use toothpicks to re-attach the ends to the potato.
Tuber plugged

Put the potatoes on a cookie sheet and spray with Pam. (I was too lazy to coat them with shortening or butter; I figured this was an acceptable compromise. I was right.) The oven is set to 375.
All greased up and ready to go

This is the boring part.
Mmmm toasty warm

While they're cooking, prepare an acceptable topping. Mine was Safeway brand "Santa Fe Recipe" beans with some Tabasco Chipotle sauce.
Beans n chipoodle

When the super tubers are done, slice 'em up.
Almost there...

Spoon/pour your topping over the potatoes and serve. Nummy!

Things I learned:

  • I first tried dipping slices or pieces in mustard like the recipe says. The potatoes are too dry to eat with just a little mustard. Or even a lot. That's when I switched to beans. They have tasty juice and add some nutrition to the mix.

  • Cutting off the ends of the potato and re-attaching them with toothpicks worked better than just making a hole. The potatoes were moister that way, and then you get rid of the usually icky ends.

  • Microwaving is definitely faster. There was no discernable difference between the two methods, although the conventional oven might be easier for larger batches.
Would I do it again? Probably not. I like hotdogs and all, but it's not really worth the effort to cook them inside the potato when you can just add them to the beans for the same final effect. But it might be worthwhile stuffing a hollowed potato with other suitable fillers!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cards Playing Cards

For Halloween, Raggs and I "dressed up" as the King and Queen of Hearts. Since we started out at our favorite gay pub, guess who was the Queen?

Picture of the costumes:
Card costumes
Picture of us wearing them:
Cards dressed as cards
Oh yeah, those are some badass costumes right there! Go ahead, be jealous, we won't mind.

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Puttin on the riiiiitttttzzzz!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is newcomer Tony Easton. Well done!

See the original image here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Activity Corner

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Seen It!

I just bought this t-shirt. If you know me, you know how fitting (pun intended) it is.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lava Lamp Primer

I have a lava lamp in my office. Ok, officially it's a LAVA® brand motion lamp, but I'll call it a lava lamp for ease of... calling it. Every day, I turn it on, and it gradually warms up to produce the familiar lava dance throughout the day.

However, there are distinct stages that the "lava" goes through before it finally reaches its lava-y goodness. Those of you that have one of your own will nod along with me. Those of you that don't, prepared to be enlightened.

Stage 1: Glowing Lump. When you first turn on the lava lamp, the lava is a darkened lump at the bottom, and the light illuminates the liquid from the sides of the glass container.

Stage 2: Brain Tentacle. At some point, a portion of the lava gets melted enough to overcome the lump's seal against the side of the glass container. The melted lava shoots up the side of the glass in a thin stream and forms a folded mass at the top, cooling almost instantly. The "brain" at the top, with the "tentacle" that connects it to the lump. This stage lasts for a while. Sometimes the tentacle breaks and the brain falls onto the lump, sometimes the brain remains through portions of the next stage.

Stage 3: Bubble Factory. The bottom of the lump continues to heat, while the top is cool. The heated lava eventually melts a small hole in the lump. The hole bloops out small spheres of lava almost continuously, which rise to the top of the glass container, cool, and fall back onto the lump, where they tend to stick and coalesce. The hole and the bloops get bigger, leading to the next stage.

Stage 4: Tree Trunk Tornado. The lump has melted, and the lava forms a column that extends the entire (or almost) length of the glass container. As lava is heated, it rises within the column; as it cools, it falls back to the bottom. The writhing column sometimes takes on the appearance of a twister, hence the name. This can be a fun "game" stage, as a rising hot blob can threaten to pinch the top off the trunk, only to have singularity restored in the nick of time by a falling cool portion. This stage lasts for a while.

Stage 5: Full-on Lava Love. The one we all know. Multiple blobs of lava rising, mingling about, and falling in the liquid. The interesting (and mesmerizing) aspect of this stage is that once the lava leaves the heat source at the bottom, a blob's surface tension is too great to combine with another blob. The only way to merge is to return to the light at the bottom and be re-heated.

One interesting tidbit I learned about lava lamps is that the shape is important. The narrower top causes the liquid inside to be subjected to more surface area per volume than at the bottom, allowing it to cool more quickly and aid the rising/falling cycle of the lava. Cool, huh?

This posting brought to you as a public service. The author has received no funding or remuneration from LAVA® brand motion lamps, Lava World Internation®, or Haggerty Enterprises, Inc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Practice Safe Computing

Is your anti-virus software up to date? There's a Storm coming...

Art Imitates Life

Darn you, Scott Adams, for putting me in your comic strip!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Caption Contest

Caption contest

I don't get it...all I see are nose-hairs.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is DK. Good job!

See the original image here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Activity Corner

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Nemesis

For those that haven't heard me go off in a while, let me refresh your memory.


And no, I don't feel better.

Stormy Weather

It's Storm Day 2007 in Seattle. The winds are picking up, and there have been dire predictions of power failures. The first one hit work this morning for a few minutes. And all it takes is a power failure to drive home just how awesome my laptop is. You know, because it has a battery.

As the entire building goes dark, except for my screen, I'm the only one on my floor who doesn't scream out in pain and anguish over lost work. Take that, suckas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Open Letters to the Strangers in my Daily Life

Dear Lady in the Exercise Room,
     The TV has a million channels. Why the hell do you want to watch a friggin' infomercial? WHY? I'd kinda like to see the news and weather, rahter than painfully learn about a water filtration thingy or a bagel slicer. I tried to smile at you; did it work?

Dear Guy Who Wears Sunglasses Every Single Morning,
     Dude, it's October. Have you noticed that it's actually dark outside at 7am? Seriously, quit it.

Dear Bus Driver,
     What the hell? STOP SINGING.

Dear People Getting On the Bus,
     Stop looking at me that way. I got here first, it's my damn seat, move on back. Thank you.

Dear People at the Park-n-Ride,
     Every single friggin' morning, it's a surprise to you that I'm getting off the bus and have to walk through you. Move the hell out of the way; your bus isn't here yet. Thanks.

Dear Drivers Stuck in Traffic,
     Yes, I have to cross the road in front of you because there's no friggin' crosswalk. It's not like you're going anywhere any time soon. Just chill, m'kay?

Dear Cafeteria Manager,
     Dude, I don't know how you keep such a cheery disposition every single day, but keep it up. It may sound cheesy, but you light up my life, even if for a minute while I pay for my lunch. Rock on.

Dear People on the Stairs,
     They're STAIRS. That means other people will use them to go the opposite direction you're going. I thought you learned how these things work a looong time ago.

Dear Guys in the Bathroom,
     Come on, dudes, you're GUYS! Don't be afraid to giggle when someone lets out a massive fart. I know I'm not the only one. Guys normally find farts funny; it's even allowed in here because it's, you know, the bathroom. And it'd be less embarrassing if we all laughed. Just sayin'.

Dear Jerks That Are Too Lazy to Recycle,
     It's not like the bins aren't right outside of, oh I don't know, EVERYWHERE! Use them. It's not like the short walk is going to kill you. And most of you could use the exercise. Thanks.

Dear Shuttle Van Drivers,
     Excessive use of blinkers. Ever heard of the story The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Try decaf.

Dear Bus Driver,
     What the hell? STOP SINGING.

Dear People in the New High-Class Restaurant That Looks Out Over the Sidewalk,
     Hey, your table is right at my eye level. You wanted a window seat, that means while you look out, I get to look in. It also means I get to eye your food. And your cleavage too, lady. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

All Your Base

If you swim in geek circles, you likely know about the "All your base" phenomenon. (If you don't, the details and full transcript can be found at wikipedia.) But if you're a big geek like me, you know about Zero Wing and the "All your base" opening.

But if you're a supergeek, like someone at my work, you have a scrolling display in the hall outside your office looping through the entire thing.

(Crappy cellphone picture. Sorry.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Area teens enjoy a friendly game of "look like a dumbass".

Friday, October 12, 2007

Caption Contest Winner

This week's prize goes to apohle. Good one!

See the original image here.

Activity Corner

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Irony of Cellphones

Why is it that it's always your cellphone that drops the call, and not the cellphone of the annoying jerk who talks too loud?

And speaking of cellphones, the next time you hear a ringtone so lame that it makes you laugh, remind yourself that someone chose it on purpose.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who Shot First?

Any Stars Wars ner... er, enthusiast will tell you that before Lucas butchered their childhood memories with revisionist editing, that the lovable scamp Han Solo shot Greedo in the cantina. Variations of "Han shot first!" have popped up all over the web.

So I busted out laughing when I saw this derivative work. Click for more-big:
Who shot first?
Get your pre-order in at Half Pixel Stuff.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Quote Irony

I'm not one to make fun of someone's grief. Only what they say when they're grieving. So, and I quote, here goes:

"He would want everybody to know he died living the way he wanted to live."

It's ok. I'm already going to hell.

The "Rainy" Season

It's fall in the northwest, which means even more rain. And additional layers of clothing for warmth and dryness.

Fleece and Gore-Tex®, the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich of outerwear.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Caption Contest

Caption contest

"Just gotta zip up and... HURK!"

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Caption Contest Winner

Hurley182 claims the prize again this week.

See the original image here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Activity Corner

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Quote Roundup

After I was admonished by Raggs for stealing her blog post, I thought I'd continue blog mining. Here are a few things so funny that I wish I'd come up with them. Well maybe I did, but someone else did first.

Kyle Haight says:

You Know You're A Geek When...
... you're listening to a history lecture on the Reformation and you have to fight down the urge to ask the teacher why Superman didn't do anything to stop the spread of Lutheranism.

Tycho Brahe writes:

I picked up my copy of Phantom Hourglass yesterday, along with a Cinnabon, returning later to buy another Cinnabon for a "friend who really likes cinammon," proceeding to eat both in the front seat of my car, sometimes honking inadvertently.

Matthew Baldwin chimes in with:

July 25, 2007
2007 New Year's Resolution
Stop procrastinating.

And in a post seemingly tailor-made for me, Dong Resin asks:

Dawn of the Bread

Does bread know that it is bread? Or does it long to be wheat? At which point does it become toast? Is the moisture which escapes when you toast it the soul of the bread leaving dead toast behind?

Is the smell of toast in the kitchen a haunting by the long since bread?

A definition I like: Originality is the art of concealing your source. I guess I have to work on that a bit.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Laughing on the Job

When things catch me by surprise and are funny, I just bust out laughing. Sometimes I can manage to contain it, but usually my guffaws just gush forth. Such was the case when I got this message from Raggs, who is working an interesting job at the moment (in case you haven't been keeping up).

Raggedy Angst says:
     This is so going in my blog: Disney 3-pk. High School Musical Panties

That's right, I just blogged about what she was going to blog about. HA!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Here's something that's good to know. Don't run up two flights of stairs and then go into a heavily-used bathroom. That's not the kind of place that you want to be breathing hard. For several reasons.

Monday, October 01, 2007

New Wheels

The Mustang is no more. This weekend I slid into a new ride:
Civic Si
2007 Honda Civic Si. Six-speed, 197 horsepower, zero to grinning in 2.2 seconds. And not yellow.

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Ugh what a party. I'm never gonna do Milk shots again.
I don't even know who this lady is holding me.