Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Guess who's a typewriter collector?

Ralph Bakshi.

Ungh. It brings to mind a mental picture; something along the lines of a seething, rolling, motion-sickness-inducing mass of typewriters, complete with double-vision style blurred keys and distorted clickity-clacking noises, marching toward you on walking grey typewriter tables, through a sea of twitching cartoon ink-ribbons.

In case you can't tell...I was forever scarred by some of the Bakshi Lord of the Rings footage. I *hate* rotoscoping. Hate, hate, hate.


Blawg vivisection

Today I did some poking around in the guts of my template. I found the HTML and figured out the images that make up the background and adjusted them, as well as playing with some of the widths. It gives me a little more wiggle room for pictures, though I think I did a bit of a messy job of it. I don't really know what I'm doing, but it does open my eyes to some possibilities. Now I'm wondering about maybe replacing the background with a real paper image...hm.

Hasty pudding

The other night I really, really wanted something sweet-creamy-chocolatey, like pudding or ice cream, and didn't feel like actually leaving the house for it. I also didn't have all that many ingredients on hand, or the patience to spend much time on cooking. I did a Google search for "quick chocolate pudding", and voila, this recipe from AllRecipes.com came up. Here's my version:


* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 cups milk
* 2 tsp vanilla extract


1. In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch. Whisk in milk a little at a time so the mixture does not have any dry lumps.
2. Place in the microwave, and cook for 3 minutes on high. Stir, then cook at 1 minute intervals, stirring between cooking times for 2 to 4 minutes, or until shiny and thick. Stir in vanilla. Chill.

That's it! I'm not going to say it's the best chocolate pudding I've ever had - it's not. But it's pretty good, and very, very quick and easy. Changes I made from the original: cut the sugar in half, for starters. I ended up discarding almost the entire first batch because it was gaggingly sweet. Bleh. I also upped the cocoa and vanilla for richer flavor.

The original recipe also had this step:
3. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming

To which I say...why?!? Why would you do that? Why would you kill the skin? The skin is what sets homemade pudding apart from the competition! Don't mess with the skin!

I didn't have any regular milk, so I used powdered and water, which worked just fine. It *might* be cheaper that way, too, not sure. Using the powdered milk, and cooking over a burner of some sort instead of in the microwave...this could be a good pudding to make when the revolution comes...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Everybody's doing it...

My first attempt at a...well...what would this be, considering it's not a typecast? This is using a very unfriendly scanner at work...it doesn't like anyone, especially me. Click for a better view of the image - I made it too wide this time around!

Verbal pitch

I've been on various music-related mailing lists over the years, and every so often, the subject of perfect pitch comes up. The general consensus is that it's not necessarily a fine thing to have perfect pitch (at least according to the strictest definition of the term), because it makes most music impossible to enjoy, as even the slightest deviation from absolute pitch becomes painful.

Sometimes I feel like I've got a mild form of the verbal equivalent of perfect pitch. Irregularities and imprecise speech annoy me, depending on the context. I can watch a movie or TV show or read a book where characters don't speak perfectly - I'm not quite that uptight. But...well..sometimes...

Yesterday, for example, my boss said he was feeling "nauseous", and I just *had* to give a lecture on why that was the wrong word. Nauseous does not mean "nauseated" - or it didn't until people misused it to the point where that definition got added to the dictionary. Strictly speaking, it means "causing nausea or disgust". If you're feeling queasy, you're "nauseated". You aren't "nauseous" unless you're causing other folks nausea; which could, of course, be the case if you insist on detailing your symptoms, I admit.

Signs and labels also annoy me sometimes. I have a few bottles of Bath and Body Works' aromatherapy shower gel stuff. They each have a word describing what they're supposedly for: the Ylang Rose stuff says "Sensuality" on it, for example. Umkay. Anyway. The Mandarin Lime says "Energy." All good so far. Both nouns. But the third bottle is Eucalyptus Spearmint, and it says "Relax". "Relax" isn't a noun. It doesn't fit. It should be "Relaxation." If I just had the one bottle, it wouldn't bother me, but in the series, it bugs me every single morning.

Another bottle from Bath and Body Works says to use a "button sized amount." What does that mean? Are we talking shirt button? Coat button? Elevator button? I can't use the stuff without pondering this imponderable. It's mentally paralyzing. Not a good way to start the day...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It has evolved...

Dang, that was fast...I just came across my old van on Craigslist, being sold by one of the local very-used-car dealerships. *snif*

Apparently it now comes with power widows, though. Interesting enhancement.

I’m just wondering what exactly power widows might do for ya, you know?

Do they keep the inside nice and clean? Nag you if you drive recklessly? Bake?