Saturday, May 2, 2015

Eggs

I grew up believing that eggs could be successfully boiled in a microwave, and, according to legend, I have done so on no less than--and bear in mind this is an absolute minimum--one occasion.  Apparently, though you can't do it.  Or can you.......


Directions to boil a single egg (multiple eggs was out of scope for this milestone)

  • pre-heated water for 10 minutes; dont know if it boiled  (2.5 quart bowl, mostly filled)
  • forgot salt
  • cover with dish (note: water temp will be much lower if you dont cover it)
  • 8 minutes at power level 2
  • (water measured 188F)
  • 11 minutes in water
  • still above 170F
  • cooled egg down fast with cold water to prevent bacterial growth
  • egg was delicious

Further notes:


the cooling down fast is to prevent bacteria growth

From:

http://www.eggsafety.org/consumers/egg-safety

"For eggs, the white will coagulate (set) between 144 and 149° F, the yolk between 149 and 158° F, and whole egg between 144 and 158° F."




Unfortunately, the internet says I need 270 grams of protein per day (in order to...well I don't know; I didn't read the article very carefully).  At 17g per egg, we're looking at 15.8 eggs every fucking day.  I could do it....

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Achievement Unlocked: Musical

Its been on my list for a while now to go to the big four:  a play, a musical, an opera, and....some other thing, probably with music...oh yes, a ballet.  And probably an orchestra.

Tonight I saw Finding Neverland with my parents.  My mother said they were interested in that one, but would be happy seeing any play I want.  When I read the description for Finding Neverland it sounded interesting so we went.  My enthusiasm was somewhat dashed as they launched into their first song and I realized that is was not a play but a musical.  So there was a lot of songs, like a disney movie, and not, you know, symphonic metal songs, these were just...songs.  Why doesnt anyone make a musical of metal?  Or rap?  I would totally go to a Metal Musical, and if there was a Rap Musical I would absolutely love to skim through it on you tube.

Despite being a musical, though, it was actually quite good, and it was actually a funny surprise to find out that there was a famous (i.e. movie-famous) person in it...a second detail that I probably would have known if I had spent more than 30 seconds reading the description.  He was very good; I think his character was my favorite.

The best number, in my opinion, was the end of the first act, which was a song about pirates, and the music was actually exciting and incredible.  I wish all of the music could have been like that, but the rest of it was kind the music they usually put in musicals.

I don't know why I perceive such a bifurcation of what must technically all be classical music;  things like Two Steps from Hell sound amazing, but this shit just makes me want to drink myself into a coma.   And its not like I hate violins; I'm a big fan of Lindsey Stirling.  What I'd really, really, really really really reaaaaalllly like would be a musical where every song is an Irish drinking song.  Holy fuck that would be amazing.  Especially if they served whiskey during the performance.  Yes.  That would be amazing.

So, anyway, musical:  check.  I've gone to one now, in New York City, and it was in or around Broadway, so hopefully I won't need to watch another musical again, unless I accidentally date a girl that likes them.  Oh shit.  I just thought of a fifth thing I should go to, an Orchestra.  Ok.  Here's all of the sort of...boring show stuff that I feel obligated to do since I live in NYC, in decreasing acting-to-music ratio:

  • play
  • musical
  • opera
  • ballet
  • orchestra
And maybe a burlesque show.

Friday, April 17, 2015

[fiction] Damaged Goods: The Water Tower

Jason finally reached the top of the ladder and collapsed onto the platform that ringed the water tower.

"That...was...way higher...than...I thought.  It would be," breathed Jason.  While still lying on the grating he unslung the rifles and pushed one towards Snow.

"Aren't you the one who was in the army?"

"Dude I know.  I know!" said Jason.  "Last night I was fucking this girl?  Like after half an hour, I swear, my abdominal muscles just cramp up.  We had to end with her on top because I felt like I was going to pull something."

"That's because you're a pussy.  And you're getting old," said Snow.

"I just need to go to the gym more," said Jason.

"If you had sex three times a week, you wouldn't need to go to the gym.  For anything.  Cardio...missionary for press, against the wall for squats...."

"Yeah sure.  But then then I'd lose three whole nights," said Jason.

Snow looked at Jason.

"Well you know, you gotta get drinks first, and maybe food, and then you know she's gonna want to stay over.  That takes out a whole night."

"Aaaaaannd...?"

"What?  What if I want to do something else?" said Jason.

"I don't understand what you're saying."

"Like what if I wanted to do something instead of getting laid?"

"What the hell could you possibly want to do more than have sex?"

"Like...you know, stuff.  Don't you do stuff?"

"Yeah.  I do stuff so I can get sex.  That's the whole fucking point of doing anything."

"What about when you're not in the mood for it?" said Jason.

"That's...that's not a real thing."

"Yes it is!"

"Maybe for girls, sure.  I've heard them say that."

"No for guys too.  Sometimes I don't want sex."

Snow blinked.  "Are you asexual?"

"No, I'm not-"

"You are, aren't you?"

"No!"

"Its ok if you are."

"Shut up."

"Oh...this explains so much!"

"No I like sex, and girls, but I just don't want it every fucking second of every fucking day like some people."

"Does Biff know you're asexual?"

"Goddammit Snow I am not asexual!  What the fuck is wrong with you?"  Jason made a point of looking out into the field, even though their quarry wouldn't be there for hours.

Snow raised hands "Ok, ok, I'm sorry."

"Geez."

"Don't worry. I won't tell anyone."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

[fiction] Damaged Goods: 0xdb0

The half man, half cow beast of the Blood Moon Clan raised the limp body of the Amazon into the air and, with a bloodcurdling scream, broke her body in two.  Before she hit the ground the Barbarian's Axe cleaved the beast's head in two, but he was seconds too late to save he.  He and the Demon Huntress caught each other's eyes and exchanged a significant glance.

The barbarian whirled himself around in a tornado-like motion, clearing the path through monster and beast until he stood shoulder to shoulder with the the Huntress.  Around them lay the dead bodies of countless human cultists and beast of the Blood Moon Clan.  Beyond them, a tide of monsters, demonds, ghosts, and deformed human swarmed to meet them.  They were climbing over the cathedral walls and dropping into the graveyard like spiders.

The barbian kicked a gravestone, sending the top if it crashing into the closest cultist, sending the man to the ground with a broken neck.  "To me!" screamed the Barbarian.

Meters away the Paladin sent five bodies into the air with his tower shield, following the direction of the barbarian's voice as he hacked and slashed is way back to the party.

"Aryssa is down!" said the Barbarian.  "She had our last portal scroll!"

"Then this is where we die," said the Necromancer.  He sent a bone spear tearing through the oncoming wave of monsters, killing hundreds.  Unfortunately as if in answer to his words, a skeleton dodged the Paladin's sweeping attack and ran a sword through the Necromancer's head.

The Sorceress materialized in that instant, and with little more than a nod, sent the skeleton flying over the Cathedral's outer walls like a mortar shell.  Her named was Jade, and she wore a sexy tunic and a tiara with a green gem.  The sorceress joined ranks with the Barbarian, the Huntress, and the Paladin.  Her eyes glowed, first blue, and then white hot, with small streaks of lightning arcing over the surface.  She raised her hands and formed a glowing, spinning, and most of all deadly ball of ice in front of her, then sent it into the approaching crowd.  It killed anything it touched and also sent spikes of deadly ice out at every angle.  That spell brought down everything in its path like a threshing machine in a field.  Then the Sorceress sent three more in opposite directions, filling the inner walls of the Cathedral with blood and brains.

Jade collapsed to the ground and sighed:  "I'm spent."

It was a glorious but temporary reprieve, as even now hordes of Moon Clan, cultists, and skeletons ran to take the place of their fallen comrades.

The Paladin dug his boots in, and raised his mace, waiting.  The Demon Huntress let loose with everything she had, rapidly killing hundreds of beings with her arrows.  The Barbarian threw every spear, every knife...every throwing weapon he had, his arms working opposite beats like two pistons.  Yet still the horde closed, and it barely took any time for the Demon Huntress to run out of mana as well.

The Barbarian raised his sword and gave a war cry that checked the very nearest creatures.  Yet just as he was lowering his sword to the nearest, something happened that no one expected.

There was a great whirring sound on the roof, and then temporarily, a blue, metropolitan police box materialized out of nothing.  Its door opened, and Snow Monkey came riding out on a moped before the police box vanished again.  Snow Monkey's massive armor dwarfed the tiny little machine, but the mopeds tiny two-stroke engine could be heard above the din.  Snow Monkey reached down and pressed a button on his ipod, and suddenly Sabaton's "Night Witches" began to blare from large speakers duct-taped over the moped's front lamp.

Snow rode along atop the cathedral wall, elbowing man and beast off the edge, occasionally negotiating up or down a curved stairway with a grace of skill that no moped deserves.

But the real show started when he turned on his Mark IIIa Heretic Pattern Flamer.  It was thus that he arrived at ground level, bursting out of a tower in a ball of flame.  He circled the doomed party twice, laying down cover in a wall of fire that burned for minutes.

Snow Monkey joined their ranks, offering a metal glove to the now-recovering Sorceress.

"Are you a nephalem?" she asked as she stood.

Snow looked down her tunic and said, "For you I'll be anything you want."

"They're coming through the fire!" shouted the Paladin.

"Ready yourselves.  We talk later," said the Barbarian.

They raised their weapons as the horde descended upon them.  Snow, the Sorceress, and the Huntress sprayed death in three directions, while the Barbarian and the Paladin covered them, dispatching anything that entered the ring of fire.

Slowly, the ring of dead bodies at the fire line grew, foot by foot, into a wall.  Snow fused the pieces together with his flamer and the adventurers stood upon as they killed.

But Hell had more to send, and send it did.  The very ground beneath them cracked, allowing an ugly purplish light to seep through from depths unknown.  Then something in front of the barbarian exploded, sending the party off their feet.  When they stood up again they were staring down the monstrous form of Diablo himself.

Snow Monkey squeezed the trigger of his Flamer, but being that he had used the last of his fuel, all it did was make an unusually audible clicking sound.

"You fools!  You think you can content with me with your toys?  Witness my power."  With a wave of his claw, Diablo ripped the countryside apart, pulling the entire Cathedral and its grounds down into Hell.

As then descended down the great chasm, Snow opened his cell phone and saw that he was roaming.  He sent a discrete text.

They landed on the very edge of Pandemonium, on the slopes that descend into Hell itself.  Magma flowed past them in rivers.  The stone beneath them was so hot to the touch that it seared the skin, the the foul air burned their lungs.  Black clouds of smoke and ash hung everywhere.

Above them, streaks of fire and light descended upon them.

"Are those Angels?" asked the Paladin.

"I don't think so," said Snow.

As the party collected itself, they saw great mountanous walls all around them, crawling with demons, and they in the center.

"There must be a hundred thousand demons here," said the Huntress.

The Barbarian sneered.  "More."

"I can't take another pounding like that," said Jade.

"We can't win this.  We are too depleted to fight Diablo himself, let alone this many on top of that.  Unless, dear stranger, you have another trick up your sleeve, this will be our last stand," said the Paladin.

Diablo approached, his host gathered behind them.  The party assembled into battle formation, but Snow Monkey broke ranks and approached the prime evil.

"Diablo!  If you ask very, very nicely, I will let you surrender.  You have to beg though."

Diablo opened his mouth to reply, but he was suddenly bathed in the plasma fire of the braking rockets of the drop pot that had descended to Hell all the way from low orbit.  A moment later the drop pods rockets cut and it fell on top of Diablo, thoroughly crushing his body into a purple slush.  On each wall there was an emblem:  a fist inside a circle, with the middle finger extended.  Before the pod was even settled into the ground, the release bolts exploded, sending the four walls of the drop pod falling away, revealing the Space Marines.

Immediately, a torrent of bullets streamed from the marines to the mass of enemies.

More drop pods descended around the Party in a circle, depositing more marines and two large war machines with feet, hands, and very, very large bolter guns.

Of all of the marines that had suddenly appeared, only three lacked helmets, and it was these three that approached the party.  Snow introduced them:  Force Commander Biff Becker, Librarian Lawrence Lee, and Brother-Captain Jason Webb, of the War Ninja Chapter of Space Marines.

"You are most welcome to join us, brother," said the Barbarian.

"We gladly join any fight against the forces of Chaos," said the Librarian.

As they spoke, Terminator squads teleported onto the field of battle, each squad leading a column of Space Marines into the fray.  The enemy was quickly driven back, demonflesh pierced by bullet and evaporated by plasma fire.

Lawrence tossed Snow a war hammer and Biff, Jason, Lawrence, Snow, and the Party joined the fighting at the front of the line, making sure the enemy melted like butter.

A column of Predator tanks arrived, escorting two Land Raiders full of Grey Knights, guest warriors renowned for their effectiveness against demons.

"This is just so...easy," said Snow.

"Don't...oh why would you said that," said Jason.

And it was then that the battle field was filled with flame from the sky.  It swooped down, engulfing the Terminators in flame, and then out of the flame, the dragon landed in a whirlwind of flying space marine bodies, reaching down and snapping up a Terminator from the party's honor guard, severing the marine's armor and body in half with its massive jaws.  The dragon looked at Snow--directly at Snow--with its evil, evil eyes, and then went for one of the Dreadnaughts, next, but the war machine punched it in the face and it recoiled.

The dragon screamed.

Snow looked at the dragon, and then looked back at the far cliffs, which were now crowded with Whirlwind Missile Launchers.  Snow looked back at the Dragon and gave it the finger.  The Pradators and Land Raiders aimed their guns at the fiery spectre.  Whether the beast showed any recognition no would could say, but there could be no doubt that it had by now realized that it was faced with 3 companies of the most lethal military force in the galaxy.

"All marines, all tanks, target the dragon," said Biff.  "Dreadnaughts move in and engage at point blank."




And then Snow felt a jolt through his entire body; a sort of smooth, rolling, warmth, that shook him awake.

"Snow what the hell?" said Aryssa.

"Did you just cum in your sleep?" asked Jade.

"Yes," said Snow.  "Yes I did."  He smiled.  "Whose ready for round two?"

Friday, April 10, 2015

[fiction] Damaged Goods 0xff

Despite all of the turmoil and firefights in the area, the Welcome Center still had one window standing.  It was a front window that looked out to the pavement where the tour cars would have picked up the tourists.

It was this window that Snow smashed through on a motorcycle with a 50 cal rifle strapped to his back.  He took a quick left, joining the envisioned tour route, and gunning the throttle.

Enormous doors blocked the route.  They were probably 400 feet height, with torches on either side.  Snow radioed back to the carrier, which opened the doors just in time for him to shoot through, and which sent the signal to close them shut behind him, lest anything escape.  There was no backup for him...he was the backup.

Coming around a bend, Snow saw his first dinosaur.  It was a velociraptor standing in the middle of the road.  One of the big ones.  There was no time to stop and bring the rifle into play.  Besides, that wasn't his style.  Snow slowed, and let the velociraptor charge.  Just as the dromaeosaurid reached a distance of only bike length or two, Snow twisted the throttle and shot away, messing up the raptor's timing and leaving in the dust.

Snow looked back and considered the event a tribute to that section of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's basic course which described how to safely deal with dogs.

Snow reached the T-Rex paddock and saw the smoke from the downed helo.  The bike was actually a high end japanese sportbike that someone had bought in Japan with the intent to transport home before the carrier had gone active.  It was perfectly suited to pavement but not at all to rugged terrain.  Snow blew it a kiss as he abandoned it.  He would have to come up with a name for it, as well as some suitable exaggerations on the size, speed and count of velociraptors that it had defeated.

Only half a mile from the paved road was the downed helo.  The pilot had dragged himself out and was bravely defending himself with only a sidearm.  One dead dino lay in front of him already.

"Can you walk?"

"No sir."

The man's leg was covered in blood.  A makeshift tourniquet had stemmed the flow, but he looked pale.

"I can't carry both you and my rifle, and I need the rifle," said Snow.

"Heh," said the airman.

"Enterprise, SNOW 5 2"

"SNOW 5 2, Enterprise.  What is your status."

"Cannot move.   Staying at the crash site."

"Understand staying at crash site.  The 51st will-"

Snow's attention was diverted by a momentary change in the sunlight.  Looking up, he saw a pteradon diving.  At him.

Snow rolled and shoved the airman down.  The pteradon got a beak full of tree stump before heading back into the sky.  A second one was already on its way down.  Snow loaded a round into the rifle and blew it's head off.

It wasn't exactly a hip shot, but he didn't have time to warn the airman to cover his ears.  Consequently they were both temporarily deaf as Snow lined up to shoot the other flyer.

Unfortunately, that deafness obscured the approach of an even more deadly threat:  the T-Rex.  Snow noticed the flyer back off, and by the time he turned around the T-Rex was too close to fight.  The 50 cal would only make it mad in the short term, unless Snow was lucky enough to hit its heart.  Unfortunately, the critical areas of dinosaurs were not covered in basic training, nor printed on those targets they practice with.

Snow raised the gun for a hail mary attempt at a head shot at the exact same time the T-Rex lowered its massive jaws to eat Snow.  The T-Rex was slightly faster, and might have won, had it not suddenly caught fire.

Maybe became engulfed would be a more apt description.  There was so much fire that the dinosaur's body became a dark silhouette by comparison.  The beast screamed, writhing its body in torment.  Then a large wing blotted out the sun for a second, and a creature even more massive than the T-Rex landed and snapped up the former apex predator with its massive jaws before flinging the dinosaur aside.  Snow Monkey found himself staring into the eyes of the dragon.

He emptied the 50 cal, attempting to aim for the body, but the dragon was too fast.  Instead, the bullets ripped enormous holes in the dragons wings.  The dragon screamed at each hit.

The dragon's head descended, its jowls sparking another heavy flame to life.  It wouldn't get that chance.  Snow took running steps, launching himself freely into the air from the top of the helicopter, knife out, aiming for the dragon's eye.



"Snow!   SNOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW" screamed Nikka from farther up the embankment.

Snow turned around.  "What?"

"Get your ass up here!  What are you doing?"

Snow turned back to look at the tornado.   Then, loudly, to Nikka:  "Hey!  Get a picture of me with the tornado!"

"What?"

"I want to look like I'm holding it in my hand!" screamed Snow, sticking his hand out.  "See?"

Eventually Snow was coaxed up into the area of refuge in the concrete structure of the overpass.  However instead of an apology all he could think to say was:  "I hope that doesn't damage the McLaren."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Achievement Unlocked: Heavy Metal Concert



Well, there's not much to say.  Tonight I went to a metal concert, for the band Nightwish.  I believe the technical term for this band is "symphonic metal."

The only downsides to the night are the fact that they did not play my favorite song, Ever Dream, and also the fact that tonight made me realize that I should have been going to metal concerts my whole life, but I haven't been.

I could probably go on and one about that...but I am too drunk.  Those bartenders may have overcharged for the rum & cokes, but they certainly didn't water them down.

Also, even though I don't officially have a "type" I will say that a pale skinned, dark haired girl wearing a leather corset at a symphonic metal concert is most definitely awesome.

Also I met some Nightwish fans in McDonald's.  So that was exciting also.

I think the ideal night for me would be to hang out in an Irish bar with the members of the band Nightwish, and then we'd all do Flaming Dr Pepper shots.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Achievement Unlocked: Spanish Classes

There is a part of my brain dedicated to analyzing everything I hear, at all times, in order to gauge the potential for a that's-what-she-said joke.  There is another part of my brain, right next to that, which is constantly monitoring the gender ratio of my environment, and it makes me automatically sad or happy based on the circumstances.  That part came to life while studying computer science at a primarily engineering school and has been active ever since.

So that part of my brain was quite happy when I showed up to "spanish class" at a particular book store, which was recommended to me by multiple sources.  The gender ratio is like 3:1 on the good side.  I don't really see myself finding the one here, as they say, but hopefully there is as least some friendship potential.  We will, at least, speak the same language.

I personally was not particularly impressed with the other dudes; it often seems like they aren't even paying attention.  But, whatever.  We're  all here to learn and all that.  So far the class is pretty easy since its Spanish 1 and I took four years in high school.  I am learning a lot though; this guy is way more thorough than the high school curricula, especially regarding pronunciation.  I don't know how many class I have to take, but I'd like to visit Spain.  Mostly Barcelona and Madrid, because those are the only two Spanish cities that I know by name.

In other news, I am scaling back the sort of fervent scheduling of new experiences.  They were great, and they certainly seem to slow down time (I probably lived more during those few weeks in February and March than I did in the four months leading up to them) however being out of my comfort zone that frequently is exhausting, to say nothing of the amount of scheduling work that is involved.  Plus, it kind of prevented me from going to the gym with any regularity.

It is regretful though; I was pretty close to finally doing a real fencing lesson.  I did a lot of sort of unofficial fencing in college, which mostly just resulted in broken practice swords and a lot of weird looks from people at parties.  Someday, hopefully, I'll be able to pick that up, but its a pain in the ass to schedule because most studios are built to serve a market made entirely of children, and only offer an adult class as an afterthought one night a week.  I seem to be one of very few people who dream of learning every style of swordsmanship known to man, followed by a short stay in a real castle to practice what we learned.  For example, did you know that castle tower steps were curved clockwise, with deliberately uneven steps, in order to give the defenders an advantage (most swordsmen were right-handed)?  Yeah.  I'd like to try that shit out.  Maybe we can get a trojan involved and have a grand old party.

In lieu of fencing, we do have salsa, spanish, volleyball, and a possible photography course that I genuinely need.  If all goes well I will both own a DSLR camera and actually care what that means.