zesty_pinto: (Default)
I forgot to note one thing that stuck out to me:

Podcast
I was listening to episode 40 of My Favorite Murder and they talked about that infamous Jenny Jones episode where a man was murdered for admitting he had a thing for a man back in Texas on that talk show. I remember growing up to this news and it was more interesting when they mentioned that this happened back in '95 I forget that this was little more than 20 years ago and yet it was still considered all right for people glorify homophobia. When things like this still seem so not that long ago, it's no wonder people think the country is changing for the worst for them when they think they're still living a time that doesn't look that different from those times.

I have to admit, a lot of progressive issues have come to a head as a result, and the fact that Caitlyn Jenner is a thing (a terrible, terrible, thing that in a way I'm glad has the same daddy issues as log cabin Repubs have with the GOP) says how much times have changed. Hell, another ten years back and interracial relationships weren't exactly embraced, either.

What times we live in, huh?
zesty_pinto: (Jar)
It's been busy.

Well not for me, mostly for Michelle. The issue release has been keeping me busy with deadlines, but Michelle's got several accounts to worry about from her end transiting details left and right so we tend to get home late and then it's on to Animal Crossing and watching television. Yesterday was even worse because she needed to visit her lab so we spent time there before we got to a supermarket (where I go to pick at discounted meat to brainstorm new recipes and pick up random missing bits in my inventory of staple ingredients) and then got home at 10:30. Between all our trips, I've been playing mobile games.

I checked the slot for the screen door and it's not going to come off easy, I think it's glued in. Pain in my butt, I might need to use a scraper to pull it off, but first I need to find a place that can sell some sort of replacement for this. gauging by eye, I think as long as it's 1/2 inch, I can use it.

Cooking
I've been trying forever to make a decent tomato mozzarella salad, and I think I finally found the right combo. It essentially boils down to a deconstructed pesto in a way with a few other things.

-add grape/cherry tomatoes into a bowl
-julienne basil leaves
-peel and slice cucumber
-dice ball of fresh mozzarella
-Combine in bowl
-throw in two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
-throw in tablespoon of sesame oil
-drizzle in two tablespoons of olive oil
-garnish with pine nuts
-Combine lightly and serve

My previous problems was that I was putting too much thought into playing with the formula. As it stands now, this works. The sesame oil provides a light toasted element into the flavor and doesn't overpower the other flavors like I was worried it would. Tiny tomatoes also don't add wetness to the batch which makes it a lot less of a PITA for me since I tend to have this combination come off as really wet and does not handle storage well. Yay for success! The mozzarella also comes off as brown because of the balsamic, so maybe I can replace with apple vinegar mingled with maple? It'll look more dun/tan instead though, so...

I also just realized that it isn't entirely a deconstructed pesto as I would have added parmesan if it was. I'm glad I didn't, I'd worry about it overpowering the flavors.

Television
I've been following up on Star Trek DS9. I'll be honest with you: never was big on the Trek. The films were interesting sure, and I found them to be hit as well as miss (wtf was with Nemesis seriously). When I was a kid, I thought Next Generation and the original series were amazing and I keep reading about how NG just doesn't hold up as well as we used to believe, and I thought DS9 was boring because it was about a station; no exploration or anything!

Then I grew up.

I've been giving it a try these days and I've been finding that it feels more palpable as a series about people living in space from different regions. I still believe that we, as humans, are not going to be the Federation but the Ferenghi since we're being ruled by hyperreligious wealth gluttons that can't take women seriously unless money is involved, ESPECIALLY if Americans and the Russians are the ones with the space race in its reins. I keep noticing how there's no real black and whites in this series but everyone in the end does mean well in their intentions despite that.

At the same time though, I have to admire how well the storylines hold up. A lot of the stories seem to find a lot of analogues with our current events issues. An episode about a female Ferenghi seemed to resonate with a lot of issues with the 4channers (e.g. Kira despises the Ferenghi for being backwards bigots, but Dax finds them decent enough if you enjoy them for the lulz). Then there was an episode about a society of lost colonists who intentionally shut themselves off from the Federation because they wanted to return to nature and their reasons read like every anti-vaxxer website you can come across.

The Cardassian scheming simultaneously seems to involve tactics that seem to reflect everything we find so frustrating about our current political parties by hiding under pretenses to disgrace the Federation but pulling back and cutting off losses ruthlessly the moment they find someone no longer useful, not unlike Trump and hell, even with Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the DNC.

Just finished up Season 2 and I don't think I'll finish it up anytime soon, but I have to admire the writers of the series for writing material that reflects our modern life even 20 years after its original release. I did joke with a friend though that if Apple followed their same policy with touchscreens, we'd have people wondering why their iPhone is full of digital lines and buttons framing their tiny screens, lol!

The Garden
I'll check the garden when I get a change. The beans I planted have sprouted. I'm going to need to get those poles soon and I didn't even have time to plant the tomatoes (which are doing well inside, by the way.

Oh, one of my neighbors also offered one of their cabbages, which I will look forward to seeing if I can make something out of. I need to see if I can get enough light from the kitchen to let it grow from there, not sure if the patio will do it.

Post is too long, posting this. Will see if I can get some photos today if we don't end up too busy.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Calm day, despite how I'm waiting for a big thing to be rushed out in the next 24 hours and then I will MOVE MOVE MOVE GO GO GO with the materials. But for now, I float.

I pulled out some duct tape and started to check for gaps in the screen door and found a few issues.

1. The screen for the screen door is coming loose. The string that holds in the screen is not holding in and I think it's because of constant bombardment by june bugs. We'll need to hit a hardware store to get a thicker line.

2. The slot that the door closes into has cracks in it and the cracks are preventing the door from closing properly. I'm going to need to find a replacement spline for that door. I have no idea what the term is for that bar though, the z-bar maybe? I'm just as tempted to snap off the cracked part, but that's lazy and delaying the inevitable should we move.

The weather is raining on and off. Eating the last of the biryani and I realized that I really could use a more flavorful playfulness with the flavor mixing.

Cooking
I wanted to try again with the pad thai now that I have all the proper parts. Now I added the cilantro and really chunky peanut butter and more eggs. The result is better; much better! Well outside of the sand from poorly washed cilantro. I may make this a regular thing now. I did forget to add lemon juice, though. I'll still mark it a success. I know at least if I can toy with this formula a little more, I can make a proper drunken noodle for once.

Gardening
Spread the plant food into the outside planter where I put some dill seeds, coriander, and basil. We'll see how it goes. Also set up some pods for some squash and watercress. Again, we'll see.

I'm hoping the plant food in the indoor planter is going to succeed. The tomatoes inside are doing decently enough, so I'll see if I can set up some cages soon enough. I think they're ready. I'd like to do it while the weather is still wet so either today or tomorrow.

Amazing, a short post for once, huh?
zesty_pinto: (Waldo)
This weekend has been interesting. Actually, it's been boring. Blessedly boring! No trips out! No obligations! No last-minute disasters! No crises that miraculously macguffin'd their way into our life!

As a result, I got to enjoy a Saturday of absolutely NOTHING to do. Along the way-

-Another big spider found its way inside. Out you go, enjoy eating the insects! (I should probably break out the black duct tape and start checking for more holes)
-We took a walk on Saturday that was spurred by Pokemon Go but ended up becoming a visit of the town hall and the school nearby. There's apparently a camping summer program back there and a mess of trails I've never known about. The playground there is also really new: they have this rail slide thing that looked so cool but I am way too weak in my upper body to enjoy, which really annoys me because it looks so fun!

Gaming
I finally have honed my oneness with the Animal Crossing. I have caught those damn tree insects and filled the museum with my captives. I have tamed the mighty Dorado and have him displayed for amusement amongst the lucky Arowana and the rebellious piranha, and the mortgage has now shrunk to a tiny thing in such a way that I wish I too, in real life, could tame my debts with such passivity. For I... am mighty!

Yeah, actually, I'm just saying that I finally am getting a hang of the game.

Planting
The garden is sprouting more. I took some photos of the outdoors as I weeded out the sprouts. I bent down to do it before, but then I realized that one foot and ample ankle pressure can uproot almost anything on new mulch. Pulled the plants, and then buried the mulch over them to let the heat kill them out. Or maybe I made them root deeper. I guess we'll see soon enough.

Journey (no, not the band thank god)
On Sunday, Michelle realized she needed a bra, and the yellowing of the plants in that planter made me wonder if I should get some proper nitrate source and we noted the fan has a flimsy pull chain, so we needed to go out. Since we relaxed at home all day, we drove to Plattsburgh. I didn't bring my gear bag with me this time, but did slightly regret it as the insane heat of the weather opened up and exhibited the fierce summer sun. 90 degrees over here. I can only imagine how people even survived Father's Day in triple degree heat.

By the way, today seemed to be filled with discounts for dads, which I thought was odd. I joked occasionally to Michelle to call me a dad.

We stopped for ice cream where a brown poodle rushed to the counter between my legs. Ever imagine a fluffy pillow being shoved between your legs (not in a crotch-shot sort of way)? That's what it was like. The owner apologized, but I thought it was adorable. Yay, surprise pupper!

So coast driving, a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond for washing bags for "intimates," then Lowe's for some plant food, fan pulls, and denatured alcohol for stoves. We spent several minutes on this because there's denatured alcohol and this "green" denatured alcohol for cheaper. Michelle felt sure about using the regular one since it says "burns clean for stoves" compared to the green alcohol which just "burns clean." I was inclined to the green one because "green" alcohol means that it's likely going to be mostly ethanol instead of partially ethanol. Several minutes looking for the MSDS for both finally found the green one to be mostly ethanol, a bit of methanol, some sort of fatty acid, and vinegar. I went with that. We could work with the regular one, but one thing I remember from my camping days that I liked about ethanol is that I can clean my dishes with it as an alternative in case we run low on water and I don't have to worry as much about the absorbed toxins as much as I do with methanol.

We had spare time because of course we did, so we went to Target. Because Target is a rarity in our neck of the woods, that's why! It was honestly because we wanted to get some more walking done and that was it. So why was I almost walking home with an upright food slicer?
Michelle found a purse that is larger than the one she has (she said she wanted something that could hold more for longer trips) and is more rustic looking, although it also means that she won't be wearing Coach, which she seems to get a lot of compliments for. I also ended up finding a huge series of Lego knockoffs that are specifically geared towards the Yankees: the perfect birthday gift for my brother! Bought them all, that'll save me a gift idea four months later. Also, peanut butter because...

cooking
I wanted to make pad thai because we haven't had a noodle dish in awhile and I wanted to use up some more old produce.

-boil out some rice noodles
-Bake some frozen popcorn shrimp
-Mince ginger
-slice onions
-Throw in two ounces of oil, heat low
-Throw in ginger and onions and some red pepper flakes, immerse
-Throw in half a stick of butter because that's apparently not enough oil, sigh
-in meantime, put in three tablespoons of chicken stock, two tablespoons garlic powder generous helping of fish sauce, quarter cup of soy sauce, three spoonfuls of honey and mix. There's supposed to be turmeric too, but I almost never use the stuff
-Throw in sliced kale, slivered jalapenos, some leftover pulled pork, sliced mushrooms, fry until cooked to nearly done
-Make hole in mix, throw in three eggs, stir and try to scramble and don't swear to self if it COMES OUT GRAINY DAMN IT I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE USED NONSTICK INSTEAD!!
-Ahem, anyway throw in rice noodles
-Pour in sauce, mix
-Top with peanut-oh damn it. "Michelle? Have you seen the peanut butter?" "I can't seem to find it." "Darn, I thought we had some."
-Throw in pumpkin seeds and hope it makes a decent substitute (it doesn't)
-top with baked popcorn shrimp

For the record, it still came out pretty decently despite that.

Anyway,
Now I can make more peanut-based recipes again. Chunky should be good enough for this.

The drive back came with warnings of thunderstorms. In fact, the weekly outlook is nothing. but. thunderstorms. And to think I was worried about not watering my plants.

We are literally racing against the storm as we try to make it down from Plattsburgh back into VT. We get hit by one part of it as we approach Burlington and the pelting is like a giant car wash on high power. No car handles this readily and a string of cars blink hazards as they brave against the spray and traffic crawls to 35mph.

Michelle is tempted to pull over or take an alternative route, but I assure her that the formation is going to pass us if we move quickly enough. Ten minutes of the washer and highways that are flooding quickly, and before you know it we're back to a spray and then the air that hits our windows with bugs instead of rain. So much for the clean car.

We make it back ahead of the storm and we sleep to a night of a quiet fan breezing into our skin and the drumroll of a relentless rain.

Today is pretty quiet for me. No complaints here thus far. Hence why I am writing yet another long post.

Photos
-to come. This post is too long.
zesty_pinto: (Self)
So I'm now part of a new team! Temporarily, as the team will have a new lead in time. My old team lead gave her best wishes as she headed off to the sunset, and I stayed until 6 because one of the hires who left made us realize she did sloppy work. Joy? I sent a weekly report with a photoshopped image in "welcome" to being part of his team for the time being. Hopefully he'll take it in good humor (but I think most people here do).

We had a meeting for a picnic planning and it looks like I'm definitely a photographer for the event and I'm also going to see about setting some lighting for this.

The Friday rains and its coming chill tampered the heat of 80 degree weather and replaced it with something that runs against the skin like mint on the tongue. Crisp and cool weather overall.

This weekend, Michelle's grandfather is going to have an operation and he's concerned about it, so Michelle's sister is having a party to show that we're all thinking of him. She knows we're worn out and won't be attending, so wants us to make a video to say hi. I told Michelle I may do it with a gas mask on as well as a speaker option (yes, I still have that US military gas mask in the icon because swag like that is awesome).

This Saturday promises warmer climates and fair 80 degree weather. I should start setting up some more lines in the back garden. The plants are growing and while the beans that held through the cold are growing, I can't help but wonder if enduring the cold has made them stunted.

I have no plans, and that 's how I want today to go.

Podcast
Science VS on ghosts. Some studies remarked about how the feeling of haunting has to do with mold, which I found interesting. Also great to hear Katie Mack getting referenced as I am a big fanboy of her work and they tried to validate the concept of dimensional black holes. That it was being faced with some attempt to consider it with a straight face was amazing to me.

I've been trying to find this podcast episode on a hoaxer that claimed their daughter lived off nothing but water. I keep forgetting if it's Lore, Criminal, or one of the other supernatural-type podcasts I listen to. What interested me about it was how Breatharians are becoming in again. What a world we live in.

Television
I remember constantly seeing ads for "Crashing" on HBO and I kept thinking, "Gee, that looks like it might be decent." Then a few months passed and then every so often the stray thought went to my head: "did I ever check out that show?" And then I'd get back to work.

Tonight everything in my head clicked together and I remembered that show and finally caught it. What to think of it? It's... interesting. I did research about it and it seems to be (from what I can imagine to be) an aggrandized version of Pete Holmes journey from a Bible Belt transplant wanting to become a comedian to the man he is today. It paints an image of him as this terrible comedian and its his inability to escape his white bread milquetoast persona that makes it hilarious, like he's an actual Kenneth the Page. I like how it's something like an odyssey of his as he lives from couch to couch with people whom he looks up to and realizes what comedy is really about. Sort of like watching a comedy equivalent of a Kerouac piece. I can see why HBO greenlit it for another season after four episodes.

All right, off I go! Here's hoping today's looking good for the rest of you.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Getting close to getting issues sent, so I might spike with business for a week. Otherwise, all seems calm. For now?

I'm at work just waiting for Michelle to finish up then it's a trip to a theater and it's Rifftrax Live! Also dinner. No idea what we're doing for that.

Listening to Hasan Minhaj on The Sporkful talks about how he hates soggy cereal, the philosophy of "Honey Bunches of Oats," and helped confirm to me why biryani is such a mixed concept; apparently, he noted that every South Asian mother has their own special way of personalizing it to perfection. Clearly my problem is that I am not a mother!

Hah! No, seriously, it does explain why the versions are so diverse. I think I need to understand how to create a decent masala first. Once I find the mix that works for me, I think everything else will fall in line. Maybe I could even figure out how to make a knockoff chicken tikka eventually (which would be nice since I think a good portion of it I could crockpot). My palate is too set I think, so maybe if I try mingling it with more spices I am familiar with?

I have to admit, if I can eventually perfect this, then I will abuse this technology into terrible fusion experiments. Tikka masala dumplings? Sure! Curried ranch? Why not? Casseroles of biryani and cheese will dominate my kitchen!



...okay, so maybe I won't Galadriel with the One Ring this concept, but I do like to experiment with recipes I am familiar with and I'd like to expand my knowledge. Though to also be fair, I still haven't perfected thai curry, either (in that I can make it tasty, it just always comes out looking brown: red curry, green curry, yellow; BROWN).

I'll have more to talk about tomorrow, promise. Well maybe on Saturday since I'm going to be back home late tonight. I'll need to figure out what to make for lunch tomorrow and I'm thinking banh mi with jalapeno rolls if we're going into the city. The leftover pizza was not enough for me for some damn reason and it's driving me crazy.

Gardening
I checked the garden and everything looks fine. I noted some growth. I also read this one article by on Top 17 problems all bean growers must face and it looks like a lot of my problems had to do with the soil just not being warm enough. Still, watered the beans. The disturbed earth still looks fine and I noticed the stakes that represent fence boundaries are gone. Plus, I got to pet a neighbor's golden retriever, which is always awesome!

Okay, might as well log off and get ready to go.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Have another comic from Bird and Moon's Our Wild City.


Never tangled with a cottonmouth, but I have with timber rattlers. I almost stepped on one and only realized it after the fact. That was the only time I seen one even try thinking of attacking me since I was stuck in the rain and was seeking cover a few feet away under a table umbrella.

Don't Even Try to Tread on Me
Did lead to this neat photo, though!
zesty_pinto: (Man of Popsicle)
I'm also going to throw this in as an old New Yorker who has a big thing against tone-deaf "big politicians":

If you need a good reminder of how awesome New Yorkers are, feel free to look at the responses to a tweet by Andrew Cuomo about autonomous vehicles. As much as I hate the subway, my hatred stems mostly from its issues, and I'm glad to see so many willing to take Cuomo to task for it because I really do want infrastructure and healthcare to be the terrors we can all win a war on.
zesty_pinto: (water bear ready for beach)
Oh hai, Dreamwidth!

I suppose I'm Wiseau'ing it up because Rifftrax is tomorrow and it's my favorite subject they're going for: shorts! While the whole MST3K process can be a bit of a trial to push through for bad films, shorts are the most deep-fried, sugar-frosted, cheese-injected junk food for the ears that I think anyone can enjoy about Rifftrax. Short attention span? No problem! Not really getting the original subject? It's only ten minutes anyway! Most of these shorts are either extended ploys to sell stuff or are mental hygiene films, so the only thing they're mocking is old school capitalism or those boring videos you were forced to watch in class in elementary that are now way too outdated anyway.

Want to watch it? A fair number of movie theaters will have it playing live tomorrow! Ahh, the joys of nerding out to bad mental hygiene films awaits.

No real cooking as Wednesdays usually means frozen food and Michelle wanted some pizza. We have now tried almost every major brand available here and we could probably make a site about reviewing them, we've tried so many. This, by the way, is a terrible idea and I wouldn't recommend it (although I'm sure someone more dedicated to the idea could profit). On that note, Dr. Oetker is surprisingly good.

Work was surprisingly calm, which was good since one of my other accounts had a lot of backlog. Learned a few more processes along the way.

On Fiancees, Fungicide, and Fresh reminders? )

Not much more to say, I'm probably going to catch up on Tower of God or play Crypt of the Necrodancer and then coma sleep in bed tonight.

Saw lots of good news for most of you today, so hope it's the same deal for the rest of you (except for that screwy ex-coworker one of you is dealing with that is utterly lame and petty).
zesty_pinto: (Default)
While we're on the topic of heat, enjoy this video on animals reminding us how they beat us to some of these ideas before us.



Also, another Garfield Randomizer because those are always awesome.
zesty_pinto: (Abe Lincoln)
Good grief, the heat! It was like that walk on Saturday though thankfully without me being exposed to that and the sun for several hours. I've been waking up with headaches and I think it's dehydration. Aceteminephin and caffeine this morning is not cutting into it as well as I'd like, so I'm ingesting salty foods as well in the hopes that it'll help compensate for this. The headache is still here, throbbing mutely in my head. Save me, sesame sticks.

Gardening
I went to the garden to move the tomatoes and another set of bean plants. The ones by the window sill are yellowing hard, which means stress from water or something else. Maybe I should be enriching the soil? I'm wondering if growing beans inside is not conditioning these plants properly, so planting again, this time in the ground sown a few inches below. We'll see how many manage to survive not getting eaten. I set up some strings and tightened the twine lines, added a few lines to attach to the sprouts in the hopes that they grow up off of them as they grow. Really hope those bean sprouts are going to be okay.

More mosquitoes came by and this time they got me; three bites to mark the occasion. They may have been waiting for me: the spiders I fed are gone, as though they were provoked away or mysteriously killed by unseen forces in an act of revenge... Regardless, my pants have been stained with their sacrifices, so great. When the weather cools down, I need to start picking out the weeds again.

Speaking of Which
I saw a spider last night in the bathroom; decent sized, not half dollar sized like the wolf spider outside, but large enough to be significant. One grab with my boxer shorts (I took a shower), and I quickly unloaded it to the patio, where it can go dine on moths or whatever else decides to try coming in like those june bugs that keep battering my screen door.

Cooking
On Sunday I picked up most of the ingredients to try making biryani. Now, here's an interesting thing I learned about biryani: there is no one, true, recipe.

Now a lot of websites are like that, I get that; I know three different ways to make an alfredo sauce, so I can get that. But when I say there is no one recipe, I mean every single recipe I saw diverges wildly. Cinnamon? Sometimes used. Saffron? A few mention it. Some also mention coconut oil. But do you cook it in one vessel or several? Are potatoes classic or is it better to use fruit and nuts? I even found a few that don't use yogurt, which threw me off most since most of the recipes I found mentioned it so I figured it was standard!

So the only thing I really found that was universal was that it involves making a roux (masala?) and then mixing the rice into it.

I ended up trying a fusion of different ideas.

-Throw in half a stick of butter, melt in stainless pan
-Throw in stew beef and pork chunks, brown them and put aside (okay if a little rare)
-Throw in diced potatoes and onions, move it around a bit, then throw in diced ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, cumin, some adobo (since I have no sodium source in my ingredient list) and toss around until potatoes start to soften and onions start to glass up. While this happens, slice up cubes of meat
-Deglaze pan with half a cup of white wine, throw in two cups of yogurt, mix
-Throw in some more coriander and cardamom and cinammon because I can't get the flavor to stay no matter how hard I try!
-Throw in basmati rice, mix
-Throw in meat slices, along with sliced mint leaves and cilantro, mix
-Cover with lid and set to low and steam the flavor out before letting the potatoes fully cook through and then serve

I ended up upping the recipe again by adding some maple syrup because the flavor could use some mix since I only get a barely registered sour note with the savory and the mixture of the ingredients.

The end result isn't great? I think I'll have to toy around with the idea until I figure it out right, but it may also be because I used greek yogurt instead of regular. It was the only one I could get in plain form but was available in cup increments instead of pints. In retrospect, I think I could have gotten away with vanilla yogurt without too much problem.

Next time around, I'll try using coconut butter since I have a few things of that left as well. I'll have to try seeing if I can play around with the flavor profile better too. I wonder if I should deglaze with some chicken stock instead so that there's more opportunity to flavor it too. Perhaps paprika and black pepper as well. I was honestly tempted to use some rosemary as well, but I noticed that none of the recipes I saw mentioned using it. Maybe even a whole stick of butter may have been a better idea.

Michelle thought it was good at least.

Television
Finally finished MST3K with one last episode. Dear god, these 70's era films based on Victorian fiction. Birds exploding. Things like this would have turned me off science fiction as a kid. I'll probably rewatch it regardless though. Season 2 is only bound to promise being better since this return is with a green staff, so now they can troubleshoot what works and what doesn't and make a stronger product.

Miscellaneous
I ran out of dandruff shampoo a week ago, and now me and Michelle are on a quest for a dandruff shampoo that we can use equally because dandruff shampoo seems to be a men's product for some reason. A giant bottle of tea tree oil shampoo is coming later today; would have gotten a smaller one, but this one was highly regarded on Amazon and the other alternatives I considered were basically salon products at salon prices with no option to upsize. The irony is not lost on me as tea tree oil often adorns my body as part of my morning ritual to fight athlete's foot and the like. Given how badly I've had some fungal issues, it's amazing how effective it is (it's the only damn thing that took care of one strain that the store brand and even prescription fungicide couldn't get rid of).
zesty_pinto: (Default)
Thursday is relatively quiet, not sure in Michelle's case, but all crises have been caught up with thus far. Spent this morning listening to the hearings and all I'll say is that it was depressingly railroaded and when it wasn't, it was completely left field "say anything just so we can divert the intention of this hearing." When people wonder why I'm independent, listening to people endlessly verbally fellate someone just isn't my thing no matter where it comes from.

Podcasts
Sporkful is delivering: found out about a Sweeney Todd production that serves the audience a pie. According to the podcast, they use truffle, which does lend to a very human smell.

Another great episode is on Rosa Parks and recipe for pancakes. The episode on this one is fantastic; lots of details about the woman behind the myth. It's a reminder of how certain histories are modified to make it work better with our modern narrative. Also, there's a recipe for lemonade that involves boiling the lemon that sounds like something I should do just to bring out an awesome smell in the house. Plus, it offers a suggestion for a George Washington Carver episode to come.

Nerdy Show Network has The Orphans, and it's got a bit of a We're Alive vibe to it in a sci-fi world. I'm not engaging into it as easily as Liberty: Critical Research, but it's interesting. Would be nice if it was easier to find their drama pieces between all the review/commentary casts they do which just don't interest me as much.

I listened to some Dumb People Town as well, and there's something awesome about hearing Sam Richardson having fun with it. He shares a great story about the guy who held the hot beer in an episode of "Detroiters" that is amazing. By the way, if you like watching two dudes being dumb guys in a friendly "everyone's welcome" kind of way, then I recommend giving it a watch. So glad Lorne is giving it a green light for season 2. Which brings up...

Television
I can't believe OITNB is coming back by the end of this week.

No photos today. Really was too busy, otherwise I would have documented the making of the filling portion. Nothing to really show though; a lot of it was pretty standard fare. I'll try to remind myself to get some shots of the crust now that I have the leisure to.
zesty_pinto: (Waldo)
Caught up on work.

Yesterday, I got a clump of work that came at the end of the day; that tends to happen. I think it's going to stay slow for this week until Memorial Day finally resolves. Visited the supermarket and there was a sale on beef! Oh, glorious beef!

Gaming
So I was referred to Magikarp Jump. I do know that I have some AAA titles on Steam I haven't even cracked into yet, right? Ugh, waste way too much time on Puzzle and Dragons already.

Planting
I got three sprouted beans so far, two more planters are still not doing anything yet. I'm tempted to plant one by the window so I can add to that window motif, but I guess we'll see how that looks. I am liking how the plants are so large.

The garden looks bleak but hopeful; a lot of leaves are dying out, but I can see new shoots coming out; I think there's a good chance that the beans will start growing out. I'm thinking that is the beans start growing the same way as the ones by the windowsill, then I'm going to get a pole in the next two weeks and start maypoling the plants.

Cooking
Despite my love of getting a sale on beef, I really should play around with this textured vegetable protein to see if I can make a decent substitute out of it. I can think of a few things if I do it vegetarian, but vegan? That'll require some more brainstorming to get some new flavors out of it. An advantage is that because it's dry, it's soak up whatever wet mixture I give it much more readily than actual meat, so it'll make for nifty marinade-based mixes.

Originally, I was tempted to do something with it for protein bowls for that birthday that I forgot about, but since that didn't work out, maybe I'll try something else. Maybe I'll put it in congee to test it out, marinate it in sesame oil, soy, and kimchi brine and then throw it into that potato-rice congee I kept telling myself I was going to make (although the kimchi itself uses fish sauce so isn't really vegan, but this is more of a test to see if I can do it than anything else).

I'll make this as well once the fridge starts to clear up more. I think there's still some stirfry, but not that much, so I'll go that direction.

Photos
So I dug from the back photos: not a lot of them came out good or that detailed.

For example, the comps for these snails wasn't too good. Part of the problem is the weather, the other is that I take these close to sunset, and the last is that I can't really handle staying outside in the rain for long periods of time yet. So in the meantime, enjoy this photo as much as, uh, those two snails are enjoying each other.



So yeah, a photo of when I finally cleared the stripped screw. That dremel is amazing. I should note though that most of the stuff in that case doesn't get as much use as you'd think with me; the grinding bits I used were actually bought piece by piece.

By the way, see that plastic hard case of screwdrivers? Those things were CRAP. The bit on top is slightly more useful since you can get better torque out of it, but the Moody bits? Excellent if you want to undo tight screws.



The feral green onions have started to really grow out properly despite the transplant, as they're starting to get ready to flower. Mosquitoes are coming out, so that's a good sign that the gardening weather is getting there.


-which explains this spider I found hanging out around the flowers. Those spider webs around it? Exactly.

I'll see if I can get some other shots; I took some of the recent hike up and down (me and Michelle are doing it more regularly to get some acclimation to the endurance test with it) and got a few more landscape shots.
zesty_pinto: (Default)
I will not start a community. I will not start a community. I will not start a communi- Hey, stop it hand, stop going to that community section!

Sigh. After yet another comment on writing, I keep realizing these great potential ideas for communities. As much as I don't want to commit, I do think that maybe once I have more free time, I should.

I have two ideas running in my head so far:

-Writing: A theme-based short story monthly workshop. We throw in random prompt ideas and each month, you try to write a piece of quick fiction using those ideas one way or another. You keep it intensive like a class so that way you make sure someone does it and, if you can't, you post saying you can't for that month for one reason or another. Maybe whoever pulls the prompts is done in a round-robin style where everyone critiques it off a Google Doc and a summary comment if interested. I don't know whether it would make sense to make the posts private or public in that case.

Somehow I would be surprised if there wasn't a community like this on DW, but I think it would be good to have something more dedicated like that; only problem would be I would also consider making everyone admin and I'd need to make sure that whoever is in it will take it seriously and will also not take it so seriously that they become strict with style and not so much the effort. I know writing groups can go terribly wrong and that is part of the reason why I'm afraid to look at the ones people here have.

-Photography: A dedicated 365 a day share community. Crosspost the photos between each other, basically turn the community into a collage of work.

I don't see a lot of photog groups here that are active, so I think it would fulfill that need and a large enough group would encourage people to keep posting and taking photos even if it's mundane.

I'm tempted to also push the ideas of "buddies" to check on each other in case they seem to be having issues, just to encourage brainstorming by bouncing ideas off each other through chat sessions.

I know, this sounds more like a class than anything, and that's what I think my main goal for starting a community is; not so much to teach others as much as to get myself in the mindset of one.

I dunno, I think it would also depend on if there was anyone out there willing to basically join in something that they end up treating like a class. Thoughts?
zesty_pinto: (Abe Lincoln)
Yesterday, or What the hell was I doing?

Books, Boston, and me being a cranky baby. )

Photos
Since I want to keep this momentum going, I'll post two shots I took the other day. I'm not used to uploading every day like this, especially since I invested in a pair of SDXCs, but I need to get some routine back.

1. I forgot, but there was a bird digging through one of my hanging planters stealing coconut liner to likely make a nest. I scrambled for my camera as quickly as I could and ended up taking lousy shots with the manual macro lens. Like all old lenses, the thing suffers from a fair share of issues when used improperly, but I also knew I didn't have enough time to switch so went with it.


As far as I know, this may be the jerk responsible for trampling some of my sprouts last year. So fie on you, you little nesting thief! Fie on you!

When I got the camera adjusted better, he realized what I was doing before flying off.


2. This is a much more appropriate shot that I feel willing to admit I took: the bridge between Wellington station and the garage I always liked for its symmetry I'm glad I was able to get the reflections of the girders holding it this time. Plus, I used the Minolta 35/2 and didn't need to fast adjust everything to compose it properly.

Okay, off to sell my soul to that damn raccoon in Animal Crossing. Happy Memorial Day and may your foods have proper grill lines in them today.
zesty_pinto: (Mario Jackson)
Tired. I gave myself a sugar coma from treating myself to a soda from the Sodastream because...

Well yes, because I like diabeetus but also... (photos inside!) )
zesty_pinto: (Default)
It's the coming weekend! By myself. Huh.



I stayed up late watching more Mike Tyson Mysteries. Mmmm, rice noodles. I ate myself fat and went to bed feeling sick from my own gluttony. To assuage my laziness, I also made a stir fry with eggplant, chopped beef, and silk tofu, all old ingredients, so should be good by the time Michelle comes back, she always loves these mixes. Also did the dishes, and probably should do the laundry once I get the chance. Also guzzled lots of raw honey and tea just to see if the allergies will finally stop now.

Today is quiet. So quiet in fact that I am wasting time in the office. I have been trying to figure out the art of peeling oranges into an art form and have much to learn.



Like I said, it's a quiet day.

I haven't heard from Michelle all day. It's raining and it's been raining for two days I might need to replant new beans at the rate it's been going. Sigh.

I gave in and am allowing the bean plants at home to grow out. One of them has coiled onto the drawstring. Another I am putting against a string I tied to the window lock. Let's see how far this will take me (at the rate things are going, though, I'm probably going to need to self pollinate these plants myself. I think I can get away with it by using a damp q-tip, yes?

The tomatoes are sprouting, so I'll look forward to seeing them get bigger.

I'll see if I can get some laundry done as well, maybe walk down and drop off the rent check. I'm so looking forward to leaving work early, even if there's nothing for me to really do. Shame it's cloudy, it would make sense for me to try and take long exposure shots. Maybe I should try anyway? We'll see.

Oh, also

May. 25th, 2017 02:21 pm
zesty_pinto: (Saint Oolong)
Birdies! I love Bird and Moon, so just saw this and felt it worth spamming your feed.



Well truthfully, it also gives me an opportunity plug an episode on Pigeons that talks more about them. It's really fascinating how pigeons basically used to be the pet chickens of the city.
zesty_pinto: (Driving cats insane)
So some odds and ends:

I looked through the photos I cleaned through and decided to post some actual things we've seen.


This is one of yet another group of landscape photos that I was getting bored of. I dunno, I really need to challenge myself more, bring the equipment at more places and be more liable to look for things.


This was the pizza quiche, which I loved because:
1. It's the first time I ever made a quiche in a springform pan, which confirms that it is an AWESOME way to make quiche in the future because for a lazy attempt by a guy like me? It actually doesn't look as bad as it normally does. Imagine if I actually cared and topped it with arugula or little slices of tomatoes!
2. It's the leftover pizza quiche that I mentioned a week ago.
3. I finally finished the damn thing yesterday. It was too rich. It. Just. Wouldn't. Go. Away...!

Been listening to the latest Cracked podcast, which is this time another episode about the Simpsons and the writing room.

What I've been finding interesting about it is that it's maybe 20% about the Simpsons. The comments are more about everything from politics to "Parks and Rec" to the PSX game "Gex."

One particular that I thought made me worth mentioning this was how they talked about writing drama and comedy. I wish I remembered who they quoted (these types of episodes get way too dense for me to ascertain everything through one listen through), but they mentioned how writing drama was about building something carefully and removing everything there to make sure it follows your plans. Comedy is like building around a tree and making sure both stay intact.

I probably mangled the quote, but that was the gyst I got out of it and it reminded me why I enjoy writing comedy so much more since I feel like it's an organic process. Other fiction is fun too, but I always feel like I fixate on the details to the point where it loses its impact and I jade myself out of the excitement. Does anyone else ever feel this way? I honestly stopped writing fiction for awhile because of this, and people have even noted that my prose tends to read very stiffly as a result when I remark on the grim instead of the rude.

Anyway, just wanted to posit that out and I'll finally hit the sack. Just looking forward to not being a druggie for another five to six months (maybe more if I don't get any fall allergies, whew).
zesty_pinto: (Jamie Impersonation)
Since I follow some rather savvy folks and I have 10 minutes before I can leave the office for the week, I'm going to post a few interesting bits I just read that I think are worth mentioning here (in other news, I'm sure Michelle has 20 notifications from me from all the stuff I posted):

The end of the personal essay? Although the author seems to wonder when the boom came, I think, being here, it is easy to see where these authors originated from. It may be these stories that I remember reading and sharing on LJ that helped lead these people down the path to becoming journalists and writers for bigger and greater things. Personally, though, it was never about monetizing for me. I guess partially because I didn't want to do it for that, but the experience itself. Consider it a form of exhibition, perhaps? Although, in all honesty, I liked the intimacy of sharing things that I couldn't normally around normal people. It's cathartic, like a good place to vent and not be judged too much (though to be fair, I'm sure you could, but at least you wouldn't be doing it in my face).

Another, for my gardening idols, is on how CRISPR is being used to build the better tomato. Michelle has been trained in the process, so I love sharing these things associated with her art. It does make me wonder as well if Monsanto may invest in a research department devoted to using Cas9 to create future strains since this might be the easier way to go for them. I don't know if they do already though, and hell, as far as I know they probably have spliced some of their breeds using zinc fingers.

I should say more, but it's getting close to leaving time. I'll definitely speak further, unless tonight is busy, but god help me if it is because I've had enough for today.
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