Archive for August, 2010

Dear Neighbour

My dear Neighbour down the street;

I noted with considerable personal interest the remarkable ingenuity and problem-solving skills you displayed last night when you “mowed” your entire lawn, between eight-fifteen and nine-fifteen, in the dark, using only your gas-powered weed-trimmer. May I commend you on owning a most remarkable piece of well-engineered, professional-level equipment? German, is it? The way its mono-filament blade tore through the dandelions and other weeds in your yard was a most impressive sight to nearly behold in the faint glow of the streetlight. The deafening roar of the engine, might I add, must have – in addition to significantly interfering with my attempts to enjoy a quite good movie – struck terror into the hearts of every living thing in your yard. I dare say it would have brought a tear to Tim Taylor’s eye, had he been there.

Incidentally, I thought you might like to know that you missed a whopping great spot near the boulevard, next to the maple tree. Also, you’re an appallingly inconsiderate excuse for a human being and a burden to society, and I hope you drop dead very soon of something tremendously painful, you disgustingly corpulent autofellator.

Sincerely yours, your neighbour,
Nemo de Monet

Published in: General | on August 31st, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Form (Should) Follow Function

Nearly everything these days is made in China, which is not necessarily a bad thing. What may be a bad thing is the compulsive way the Chinese factories seem to produce Chinese-designed bargain knock-offs of just about everything – sometimes, it seems, without a complete grasp of just how it is you’re supposed to use the item in question. (One of my favorite Chinese drop-shipping sites, DealExtreme, has started carrying “personal massagers”, as I discovered when browsing their “new arrivals”. One of these “massagers” bears a striking resemblance to a surprised porcupine, i.e. it’s covered in a gajillion quite long, hard plastic spikes, sticking out at acute angles. Either there was a great untapped market for, um, custom-designed tools to exfoliate the inside of your yoohoo, or the people who developed this painful-looking thing don’t quite grasp how phallic “personal massagers” are normally used.)

Anyway, I really like pickles. So do my roommates.

What does this have to do with China? Well, there’s a family at the local farmer’s market who sell extremely tasty homemade pickles…
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Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General | on August 30th, 2010 | Comments Off on Form (Should) Follow Function

A Brief Hiatus

Not that you care, but I’ll be taking a brief hiatus from this blog – and anything else that requires typing – for a few days. I, uh, had a little mishap with a knife while making dinner, and am down to eight usable fingers at the moment, which is phenomenally annoying for a fast touch-typer like me…

You don’t really appreciate how important your index and middle fingers are until you can’t use them. D’oh.

Hopefully the bandages will come off, and the swelling will go down, in a couple of days. Until then, have a gander at a factory smokestack here in Saint Paul which got struck by lightning in a recent storm:
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Published in: General | on August 26th, 2010 | Comments Off on A Brief Hiatus

Kwik Hits

Ugh. It’s been a busy couple of days, I haven’t been sleeping well – and when I do get to sleep, I have the most amazingly surreal dreams…

Anyway, random observations of interest or amusement…

Minneapolis Will Pay $165,000 to Zombies. The headline says it all, really…

Fun cult-of-personality article from the Russian propaganda ministry: Putin Takes Care of Bears, Says They Should be Afraid of People. Regrettably, his “taking care of” the bears did not involve stripping off his shirt or personally wrestling a bear.

Fun America-Sucks article from the Russian propaganda ministry: 18 Signs That America is Rotting Right in Front of Our Eyes.

In England, apparently people are complaining because lamb prices have risen almost twenty-five percent in the last year. The cause is simple – increased demand, as lamb is a popular and inexpensive meat, and the economy… sucks. Poking around online, it looks like basic cuts – shoulder roasts and the like – start at prices (in GBP/kilogram) that work out to $2.50-$3.50 per pound.

Lamb is astonishingly uncommon in the United States, or at least here in the midwest, where cheap pork and chicken are the inexpensive protein sources of choice. I wanted to make Irish Stew last week, and the recipe called for lamb. When I finally found some for sale – at the fourth grocery store I tried, mind – they wanted $11.99/pound. For those of you following along at home, that’s more expensive than steak.

Happily, I eventually found another source – the University of Minnesota’s “meat laboratory”. It’s more than a little bit scary – the place is a basement freezer room in a working lab building, most of whose doors – as you wind your way through the halls towards the sales room – are adorned with friendly reminders that “all food products are meant for scientific purposes and are not for human consumption”. (The warning doesn’t apply to the stuff for sale, obviously.) There I was happy to pay a mere $5.50/pound for a shoulder roast. (And, just to give everyone an idea of how expensive lamb is, even at the U’s bargain prices – I got a boneless sirloin roast for $3.60/pound.)

It was very good meat, mind you, and well worth the hassle. (The “meat lab” is only open three hours a week.) Unless it’s the reason I haven’t been sleeping well…

Published in: General | on August 24th, 2010 | Comments Off on Kwik Hits

How to Pirate TV in a Post-DedicatedTV World

Well, it’s official – DedicatedTV is no more, and the former owner thinks everyone who misses the site is an “asshole”.

Aww, how touching.

If the absence of DedicatedTV has left a gaping hole in your emotional chest, fret not. There are other places to go to get your pirated television.

They all just suck a little bit more than DTV, that’s all.
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Published in: Geekiness, General | on August 19th, 2010 | 3 Comments »