Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pop Punk Coffee Beans

Sorry, but if there's ever been a time to yell "sellout", it's now:

Edit: Okay, maybe "sellout" is a bit harsh, but "absurd" and "ridiculous" still apply.

You're not emo...deal with it.

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Fall Out Boy...you're not emo.

13-year-old girls with RAZR phones...you're not emo.

Anyone who's ever said "I'm so emo"...you're not emo.

Anyone who's never heard of Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Roadside Monument, Christie Front Drive, Texas is the Reason, The Promise Ring, or Mineral...you're not emo.

Stop hijacking words you don't understand.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Trash Truck meets Fire Truck

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Ever wonder what happens when trash spontaneously combusts after the trash man picks it up? Now we know. Apparently the procedure involves finding the nearest parking lot and dumping the entire load until the fire department can come clean up the mess.

Sunday, December 3, 2006


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Who says there's nothing worth reading in the newspaper? I found a couple of read-worth articles today. The first is about archive.org, which is apparently where old webpages go when they die. It's kind of a time machine to the past for the internet. So what did Google look like before anyone had heard of it?


And the second article for today - PKD (and at last, a decent DVD release of Blade Runner.)

Monday, November 27, 2006


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I think I've figured out why I write so much on here. It's not that people are actually reading it (I know, hard to believe, but there have been something like 700 hits on my blog since I started). Somewhere along the line, maybe around the end of college or the next few years following, I began to feel a desire to write. I was already through with all my English, Writing, and Literature classes I would ever take, at that point, but I believe the desire came from somewhere else. First of all, starting with one summer during college, I started reading for enjoyment again. From that point I've pretty much been collecting books and wearing out my library card. I'm not saying I've read a tremendous amount of books compared to a lot of people, but my reading list is more than I can keep up with (I'm not even that fast of a reader.) Secondly I've grown, through books, movies, and television, to have a great respect for the art of presenting a story that can be maintained for as much as 800 pages, or 2-3 hours on screen. It's this second factor with which I think I've been obssessed.

I've always had a great respect for art in general (maybe not so much with the opera.) For someone like me who doesn't have any great artistic skill, it's easy to be in awe of someone who can paint a masterpiece, compose a great song, or write an epic novel (or seven) telling one story with dozens of characters, settings, and subplots without having it fall apart at the seams. Also there's just something about that image of a person alone in front of a typewriter (or laptop, now) actually creating something out of nothing. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Okay, so maybe Kubrick and Nicholson don't make the most compelling argument for being a writer.

At least with music I can comprehend what it takes to develop the skill to be a decent musician, although songwriting is a whole different level. I took a photography class several years ago because I saw that as an art form I could actually take part in. And I did for awhile. But something like painting, or sculpting, I can't even begin to understand. So why do I have some illusion I could write a great story. Maybe even one someone might want to read? I think it has to do with the fact that writing, in and of itself is that that difficult. I could sit here all day long and write pages and pages of meaningless unconnected thoughts that wouldn't be worth the bandwidth they're wasting (and maybe that's all I'm doing now.) It's easy to tell myself that if I only had a really good story idea, or a really well developed character to write about, that I could write it. That's probably the equivalent of saying that because I can strum a few chords I should be able to write Stairway to Heaven.

(Don't expect a better ending. I'm not a writer. But I wonder if I could play one on TV?)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Customer Disservice

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It seems to me lately that people in service industries aren't even trying. They don't really care anything about doing a good job, and would do their job from home if they thought they could get away with it. It's like not effort is being made, and the only reason anyone will help you is to get you to stop bugging them.

Red Lobster: Clueless waiter allowed three of us to sit at a table with garlic cheese biscuits and 1 dirty biscuit plate without ever bringing any extras or clean ones. My side dish was not what I ordered and I think he stopped at the table a total of two times after taking our order. We actually had to send a waitress to look for him so we could get the bill.

Sam's Club: After making a purchase that required going to the customer service, they took approximately no interest in actually getting what was already paid for. Couldn't find the keys to the cage, and after they did, took their sweet time actually getting it.

Circuit City: Okay, first of all, their stores are just arranged poorly. The cash registers are scattered all over the store, and they apparently don't do any training whatsoever for Black Friday the way Best Buy does. But $13 for a 2 gig micro flash drive for my keychain was too good to pass up at 5 AM. The girl running the cash register in the back by the computer products wasn't even in her own department. At least one employee had failed to show up. It took two people to figure out how to open the little plastic boxes that hold smaller products using the magnet. It took her about 35 minutes to get through 6 customers. Meanwhile there are about 300 more people still in line outside in the cold because she doesn't know how to ring up a computer, and the cash register software is running slow. (Then I saw the guy who figured out how to open the security boxes later tonight at the Schuster Center where he was apparently seeing Cats. I wasn't there to see Cats, but that's a whole different story.) It's one thing to find a good deal, but is it really worth is when it costs 2 1/2 hours of sleep and a total of an hour standing in line as well?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Imaginary Midgets

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Okay, so it's probably not socially acceptable to laugh at drunk people, but no one got hurt, and I can't help it...

So maybe drunk people aren't funny, but you have to admit, seeing midgets that aren't there warrants a laugh.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Blazin' Buffalo and Ranch Doritos

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In the course of some Thanksgiving grocery shopping I happened upon a new(er) flavor of Doritos I had not seen before. [Repeat subject line here.] I picked up a bag on impulse. I like most "buffalo" flavored foods, and I like Cool Ranch Doritos, so what's not to like?. I guess I was expecting a bit of literal taste interpretation of the name. Like Frank's RedHot with some creamy ranch dressing. But it seems they really did just mix together Cool Ranch with one of the spicy Dorito flavors, so there's not really a creamy flavor at all, and the buffalo portion, while spicy, is only arguable as "buffalo".

The original buffalo sauce was nothing more than Frank's RedHot and melted butter mixed together at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. (Pay attention Jessica Simpson. No buffalo meat required.) So until Frito-Lay is prepared to partner up with Frank's to get some real "buffalo" flavor, I'd suggest a more conservative use of the word. That being said, as corn chips go, you could do a whole lot worse (unless you just hate spicy, cool-ranchy flavors, of course, in which case you need help.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


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"There comes a special moment in everyone's life, a moment for which that person was born. That special opportunity, when he seizes it, will fulfill his mission, a mission for which he is uniquely qualified. And in that moment, he finds greatness. It is his finest hour."
- Winston Churchill

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

2 Cor 4:16-18

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Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Starflyer 59 vs. Jeremy Enigk

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Okay, the title is really misleading. Jason Martin won't be squaring off with Jeremy Enigk, but yesterday both of their new CDs arrived in my mailbox together. Both of these artists are responsible, in my opinion (along with Dave Bazan, Poor Old Lu and others - thanks Seattle), for pushing musical boundaries and allowing me and others to enjoy some originality in music. (I know, nothing is truly original in music.)

For Enigk, it's his first solo release in 10 years, having reunited Sunny Day Real Estate for a time and formed The Fire Theft. World Waits less avant-garde than Return of the Frog Queen and a little closer to The Fire Theft, yet it still employs some acoustic guitar and more guest musicians than I would think to be possible. For me the highlight of Enigk's music has been his voice. His vocals manage to be heartbreakingly painful and unabashedly joyful at the same time.

With My Island, Jason Martin takes Starflyer 59 on its continuing evolution that logically follows Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice. As an album, it's creative and playful, yet a little dark and very gritty. If Jeremy Enigk is about the voice, then Starflyer is about the guitar. It's ALWAYS been about the guitar. Perhaps not a guitar virtuoso, Jason started out on the first albums with about 20 layers of guitar on each song, but has come to be a catchy songwriter with simple but memorable guitar solos, and sometimes more than simple (I Am the Portuguese Blues). TV vs. SV saw Jason's guitar with a whole new set of pedals from Smart People Factory. It sounds like they're still there, but this time around with a little more distortion. Overall the songs are faster and more driving than the laid back sound on TV vs. SV. The song "Good Sons" might fit on My Island, giving a glimpse of where the current sound came from. My Island's bass lines also have a lot of movement compared to any previous SF release. It can't be easy to put out songs of this quality, but Jason has managed to continue the streak.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tea Fee

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Somehow I've become a bit of a TV junkie this fall. I had about 5 shows on my "must watch" list last year. Then I had to go and add two more incredible shows to that list. The only new show I've really bothered to watch had me hooked before it ever aired. I downloaded a copy of the Heroes premiere over the summer and knew I'd have to watch it when it showed up on NBC in the fall. Now, four episodes into its first season, it keeps getting better with every episode. I was never really into sci fi, even though I did watch Star Trek TNG back in high school. Ever since Lost, though, sci fi has been making a mainstream comeback. Battlestar Galactica is moving to NBC in the spring and Heroes has the largest audience of any new show on TV. I'm not able to quantify the reasons for a mainstream sci fi popularity, but I know for me it's been the shift in the approach to storytelling. Writers bring such a fresh approach to the genre by focusing on the drama and making us care about the characters first, and secondly creating an incredible story shrouded in mystery.

Twice I've come away from Heroes with goose bumps. The first time was seeing NYC in the middle of a nuclear explosion just before Hiro jumped back to Japan and 5 weeks earlier. It took the story to a new level. We knew the stakes were huge and the time was short for a Japanese office worker to try to save a huge portion of the American population. The second was seeing a ninja Hiro (if Heroes is the best new show, he's the best new character on TV) from the future speaking perfect English and bringing a message to help the Heroes on their mission.

Lost has had a goosebump moment in each episode so far. Seeing Flight 815 crash from the Other's POV, Ben revealing several big secrets to Jack, and Desmond's new ability to quote speeches from the future as if they were past.

I can't imagine there's ever been a better period to be a TV junkie than this time of incredible writing, ensemble casts, and storytelling that knows no limits.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

On Teaching

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I never imagined at any point in my life that I would be a teacher. A year and a half ago when I set out on the road to become a flight instructor, I hoped I would be able to find a different exit ramp to flying and time-building before I got to that point. Even though I've only flown with two of them so far, I have five students that I have to take from zero hours to FAA certified private pilots. Now, as I'm sure most would assume to be the case, I know quite about more about flying airplanes than any of my students do. If I didn't then they wouldn't need me to be there. I've passed 5 ground schools, 5 FAA written exams, 8 FAA checkrides consisting of ground and flight portions (my initial instructor ground session being 8 hours long). So clearly the FAA has found me proficient to instruct others in flying.

That being said, after just under 25 total hours of flight instruction given, there are times when I feel a bit like a fraud because I don't have all the answers on the tip of my tongue. I certainly have my strengths when it comes to ground material: systems, aerodynamics. Those come easier to me because they can be understood. Other classes of ground knowledge are just rote memorization: FAA regs, etc. The rote stuff is "use it or lose it." There are things that I'm certain I knew when I took my private pilot checkride that I'm not sure I could answer or rattle off if asked to right now, most likely because of disuse of that information. Granted, 18 months ago I had zero flight hours logged, but I sometimes wonder if people in other professions have the same feelings on occasion. I guarantee my job is easier than being a doctor, but I wonder if a doctor ever feels like there's something they should know better than they do. I sincerely hope more confidence will come in time, but I want to be good at what I do, and be better than / know more than just enough to get by. AOPA's Flight Training magazine has a motto of: A Good Pilot is Always Learning. Maybe that's all it really takes.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Lost Season 3 premiere

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Is it sad that I've been waiting for this night for more than three months? I guess we all need things to do with our Wednesday evenings.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How to Make a Hollow Book

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"Things I Found On Wikihow.com That Amuse Me", part 3 of a trilogy.

This is one I actually intend to do. [I never did, but my brother made one for me.]

How to Make a Hollow Book

A hollow book can be a nifty way to hide something, whether it's a spare key, a secret note, or even money. Most people wouldn't think to browse your library for private or personal things. It's also a great way to pass something to someone discretely--an unsuspecting onlooker will just think you're sharing a very good read!


  1. Select a book, preferably a thick one with a sturdy hard cover. Make sure that you own the book. Never use one that belongs to either the library, a friend or a family member. Rummaging through books at either yard or garage sales might allow you to find a book with the proper thickness for your particular need. Libraries often have a section with old, used books for sale, and for very little, you can buy great hard-covered books.
  2. Enlarge
    Select the first few or as many pages as you want and hold them to the cover with a rubber band so they do not get messed up with the glue. These, except for the last one of these pages, will not be cut out. This will allow the book to look like a book when it is opened up and will cover the hole itself. The page nearer the hole will be glued later on and explained in the last step.
  3. Mix a solution of white glue and water. Make the consistency just enough for the glue to be runny, and absorbed by the edge of the book's pages. 50% to 70% glue (30% to 50% water) or half a coffee canister full usually works well, but use your judgement given the thickness and size of the book.
  4. Hold together all the pages after the one you set aside earlier and brush the edges with the glue solution so that it is reasonably absorbed. This will hold them together.
  5. Enlarge
    Let the book dry for fifteen to thirty minutes. Place two or three sheets of wax paper in between the glued pages and the page(s) (if any) that will not be cut (including at least the previously selected page and the front cover) so that they do not touch and stick together. Place something heavy on top of the front cover so as to apply pressure.
  6. Enlarge
    Open the book to reveal the first glued page. Draw a half-inch border within the edge, on all four sides (including the spine).
  7. Enlarge
    Cut along the inside of the drawn line with a straight edge knife (a box cutter works especially well). Try to make the cut as vertical as possible, or else try to tilt it so the hole will narrow as you go down. Using a ruler, as shown in the image, can help a lot. Apply enough pressure to cut a few pages at a time.
  8. Enlarge
    Continue cutting through the layers. Do not rush this step, because the slower and more carefully you do this, the smoother and straighter the inside edges will be. Remove the bits of paper from the inside that accumulate from the cutting.
  9. Enlarge
    Brush the glue solution onto the inside edges of the hole and allow it to soak in. The glue dries clear, so if it drips a little, do not be concerned. While waiting, apply a second coat of glue to the outside edges of the pages.
  10. Enlarge
    Brush the "frame" of the hole with a light coat of glue. The saved page will be glued directly on top of the hole, essentially covering it (for now).
  11. Enlarge
    Close the book again, this time without any spacers. Allow it to dry for about 15-30 minutes. In this drying phase, the saved page will become affixed to the hole, as mentioned in the previous step.
  12. Enlarge
    Cut the saved page along the edges of the hole so that the hole is visible and accessible once again. The insides of the book may still be moist because the book had been closed while drying. Now is a good time to let the book dry while it's open.
  13. Enlarge
    Check to make sure every part of the book is thoroughly dry. Touch it with your fingers, and when you are certain it is dry, fill it with your treasured items, shut the book, and put it in the bookshelf. Only you will know that this book has a compartment because it will be surrounded by many other books!


  • Enlarge
    Utilize the book as you continue to work on it by storing some personal items inside while you take a break. This gives you a feeling of accomplishment that will help you complete the project.
  • If you ask what is the purpose of saving the last page to glue on top, and then cutting through it just like the others?" It's to cover up the lines you initially drew to cut the book apart.
  • Make sure you only use a hardback book. If the cover is soft, you will end up cutting through the back of the book.
  • When you place the 'hollow book' into the bookshelf, make sure you remember the name of the book!! If you forget, you may never know how to find the book, unless you remove all the rest of the books.
  • The Dremel tool makes quick work of 30-40 pages at a time, and sometimes the heat of the cutting disk burns the inside edges, leaving smooth brown lines on the inside.
  • This is a novel idea - put three books together!! The Books are glued together, and then the covers as well at the pages were cut through. This provides two advantages. #1) You could potentially make your "secret hollow book" as deep as you want it, and #2) looks cool on the bookshelf, as it looks like you simply have a bunch of books pushed together, and only you know the truth!
  • Multiple books can be held together with long skinny bolts. Use a template to cut through each book separately so the knife or Dremel tool will reach. Leave the back cover open on the last book, and drill through the book corners and countersink for the bolts before gluing the back cover on.
  • Some people have suggested other things to put in a hollow book, like a hidden wireless router or a hidden teddy bear.
  • It is best to use a book that people think you might actually read. (But not so interesting a title that they might want to take the book down and flip through it.)
  • Use a metal ruler (or a wooden ruler with a metal-edge insert) to guide your knife. The illustration pictures a plastic ruler, but the knife can easily bite into plastic (or wood), messing up both the ruler and the project.


  • Pay close attention when you're cutting the pages. The last thing you want is a hollow finger and a bloody book!
  • Make sure you're not destroying a potentially valuable book, or one that you may want to read some day!

Things You'll Need

  • Hardcover book
  • A second book in case you mess up the first
  • Elmer's white glue
  • Plenty of food to keep up your strength
  • Container to hold glue solution
  • X-acto knife, or box cutter. Both if you have them
  • Brush to apply glue solution
  • Rags to wipe up any spills
  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Extra ink refills
  • Ruler
  • Table to work on

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How to Make a Lego USB Flash Key

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Part 2 of the series "Things I Found On Wikihow.com That Amuse Me"


  1. Take the case off of the USB Stick.
  2. Depending on the size of stick you may have to sand off the edges of the circuit so it will fit inside of the lego brick.
  3. Cut out the inside of a 2x4 Lego brick.
  4. Cut some of the bottom of the brick off so that the brick is the size of two flat 2x4 pieces stacked on top of each other.
  5. Cut a slot in the front of the brick for the metal plug to fit through.
  6. Glue the bottom of the lego case on. The bottom is just a flat 2x4 lego piece. (you may need to sand the bumps off if your usb stick will not fit inside with the bottom on.
  7. The cap is a 2x2 brick sanded so that it is the size of two 2x2 flat pieces stacked on top of each other.
  8. Cut out a slot of the 2x2 brick.
  9. Glue the bottom the cap on which is a 2x2 flat lego piece.


  • If the USB stick is loose then use some type of packing (sellotape).
  • If you use a knife to cut the bricks be careful not to cut the brick too small.
  • Try this with a cheap usb memory first stick because you may mess up and have to throw the stick away.


  • In the process of sanding the circuit board you can ruin the usb memory stick, thus making it not work.
  • If you cut the brick too small then you have ruined the brick and will have to throw it away.
  • When cutting the lego brick be careful because you might cut yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • A 2x4 Lego Brick
  • A flat 2x4 lego piece
  • A 2x2 Lego Brick
  • A small USB Memory Stick
  • Sandpaper
  • Something sharp to cut with


Friday, August 25, 2006

3-D Revisited

I entered a conference room in Manhattan and a woman on the TV tossed a handful of rose petals out of the screen, where they floated in the air before my eyes.

At least, that's what I saw. In truth, the image resided on a perfectly flat, 42-inch LCD screen. But the 3-D illusion was fully believable, and I didn't have to wear a dorky set of polarizing glasses.

A new line of 3-D televisions by Philips uses the familiar trick of sending slightly different images to the left and right eyes -- mimicking our stereoscopic view of the real world. But where old-fashioned 3-D movies rely on the special glasses to block images meant for the other eye, Philips' WOWvx technology places tiny lenses over each of the millions of red, green and blue sub pixels that make up an LCD or plasma screen. The lenses cause each sub pixel to project light at one of nine angles fanning out in front of the display.

A processor in the TV generates nine slightly different views corresponding to the different angles. From almost any location, a viewer catches a different image in each eye.

Providing so many views is key to the dramatic results. Sharp Electronics makes an LCD display that projects just two views, requiring an audience to sit perfectly still in front of the screen. With the Philips technology, viewers can move around without losing much of the effect -- one set of left/right views slips into another, with just a slight double-vision effect in the transitions.

The TV can also display standard two-dimensional images, close to HD quality.

The uncanny 3-D illusion stops people in their tracks, as it's meant to. Philips is initially selling the 42-inch screens -- which debuted at the Society for Information Displays conference in June -- to retailers who will create 3-D ads to grab the attention of passing shoppers.

Casinos are interesting in the screens -- the mesmerizing effects may help patrons part with more of their money. Holland Casino just announced plans to install the screens throughout its locations in the Netherlands.

Finding content for home users is more of a challenge.

One nearly ready-made source of content is modern video games, which actually generate three-dimensional objects internally, then flatten the images into 2-D representations for standard monitors. Philips has developed hardware and software that can extract the original depth information from the game engine and use it to create 3-D images on a WOWvx display.

In New York, the company demonstrated the technique with the first-person shooter Call of Duty. It looked almost perfect, except for a little shimmering around the edges of objects, which Philips says will be fixed in the coming months.

The company also has plans for video. The ultimate hope is that studios will produce more 3-D content, like the recent 3-D version of Sony Pictures' Monster House that screened in 162 U.S. theaters. But Philips is developing software to convert standard video to 3-D by analyzing movement to determine the original depth position of people and objects.

A standard laptop running Philips' software was able to convert the DVD The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King into 3-D in real time and display it on Philips's new 20-inch "3D 4YOU" LCD monitor -- a retail-kiosk implementation of the 3-D screen.

The result looked vaguely 3-D, though it was marred by some blurriness and double images.

"I think for consumers this is simply not good enough," said Philips executive Rob de Vogel. "But the progress in the past year is amazing." He expects the company to show a better version of the conversion software to the public in the coming months -- possibly at the next Consumer Electronics Show in January 2007.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How to Taste Dark Chocolate

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Disclaimer: What follows is not an original work of my own. I was browsing through wikihow.com and found what I consider to be one of the most absurd things I've ever read and felt compelled to repost it instead of just posting a link. As far as I know there's not a copyright to it, but I believe whoever wrote it to be completely serious, which is what makes it so funny. Enjoy the flavor...

How to Taste Dark Chocolate

The actual flavour compounds found in dark chocolate exceed that of red wine, and detecting all these notes can be an extremely fun and educational endeavor. The following will serve as a guideline so that you can extract the fullest flavor potential from dark chocolate.


  1. Find a location free from background noise, such as television, music, a crying baby, etc. Being able to concentrate as intently as possible will facilitate flavor detection.
  2. Clear your palate. This means that your mouth should not contain residual flavors from a previous meal. Eat a wedge of apple or piece of bread if necessary. This is crucial in order to taste the subtleties of chocolate's complex flavor.
  3. Make sure that the piece of chocolate is large enough to accommodate full evolution of the flavor profile. A piece too small may not allow you to detect every subtle nuance as the chocolate slowly melts. The important thing to remember is that flavor notes gradually evolve and unfold on the tongue rather than open up in one large package. So remember, don't think small here. 10g should be a minimum starting point.
  4. Allow the chocolate to rest at room temperature before tasting. Why? Cold temperatures will hinder your ability to detect the flavor. Sometimes it is advised to even rub the chocolate briefly between your fingers to coax the flavor. This procedure is optional.
  5. Look at the chocolate. The surface should be free of blemishes, such as white marks (called bloom). Observe the color and manufacturer's job at molding and tempering. Does the chocolate appear to have been crafted carefully or slovenly? The bar should have a radiant sheen. Chocolate comes in a multifarious brown rainbow with various tints, such as pinks, purples, reds, and oranges. What do you see?
  6. Smell the chocolate. The aroma is an important component of flavor. Inhaling the fragrance will prime the tongue for the incoming chocolate. It also gives you a chance to pick up the various nuances of the aroma.
  7. Break the piece in half. It should resonate with a resounding "SNAP!" and exhibit a fine gradient along the broken edge. This is quality stuff!
  8. Place the chocolate on the tongue and allow it to arrive at body temperature. Let it melt. This step is crucial, for it allows the cocoa butter to distribute evenly in the mouth, which therefore mutes any astringencies or bitterness of the chocolate.
  9. Observe the taste and texture. As the chocolate melts, concentrate on the flavors that are enveloping the tongue. Melting will release more volatile compounds for you to smell. Close your eyes, take notes, enjoy this moment of bliss, and bask in contentment. Revisit when the time comes.
  10. Chew if you so desire. However, do not chew more than three times. After all, we're tasting and not eating!
  11. Now the chocolate is nearing its finish. How has the flavor evolved? Is the chocolate bitter? Heavy? Light? Was the texture smooth or grainy? Do any changes in texture and flavor occur? Take note of how the chocolate leaves the palate. Is there a strong reminder lingering in your mouth, or does it quickly vanish?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

1024 x 768 = 786,432

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So I'm not sure what the most popular setting is these days for computer monitors. The only reason I bring it up is that I cropped and sized my background image for my page so that it fills the screen when set at 1024 x 768. I have no idea how to make it look the same for every setting, but the background image was repeated in larger screen settings and it looked kind of stupid, so I took it off repeat. Anyway, I doubt anyone but me cares because my page doesn't really look all that cool anyway, but I think it looks a lot better when it fills the monitor completely.

BTW, anyone who doesn't buy Leigh Nash's new CD (out today) is depriving themselves of some quality songwriting by an amazing singer. Such an incredible fall for music. New releases from Starflyer 59, Jeremy Enigk, Leigh Nash, mewithoutYou, and Fair (already out). Fingers crossed for a solid date on Richard Swift.

"Stay away from whores." - Dwayne 'Dog-The Bounty Hunter' Chapman

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A New Way to Watch Movies

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I just got back from seeing Monster House in digital 3-D. No more red and blue glasses, here. Two polarized lenses allow each eye to see only one of a doubled image on screen without changing the colors. The effect is mind-blowing. It's not about a lot of objects coming out into the audience as a gimmick, like the Hitchcock 3-D movie at Universal Studios. Instead what you get is a deeper, richer, more realistic film world. The difference is similar to watching Toy Story after only having seen Snow White or Bambi. The screen, instead of a flat surface, becomes a deep stage full of actors and sets, but not limited to one position or point of view. This is the way to watch a movie as far as I'm concerned. And since it's a digital process, things don't have to be shot with double cameras the way they used to do in the 50's. They're taking previous 2-D movies like Nightmare Before Christmas and converting them to 3-D for theatrical re-release. And my understanding is that this isn't limited to animation, but fully usable with live action films as well. So expect to see lots of re-releases of popular movies, but now in 3-D. Probably Star Wars...hopefully The Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Or maybe I'm completely wrong, but I thought I read that somewhere.)

The only downside...$2 extra on the ticket price. You do get to keep the glasses, but no word on whether that'll save you $2 when the next Real D movie comes out or not.


Friday, August 11, 2006

World Trade Center

[migrated from myspace blog]

If you think you can handle the emotions inherent in the viewing, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. Visually, the movie is flawless, seamless. There's not a single shot that looked like an effect or computer generated. Of course, the real accomplishment is telling the stories of heroes and their families. Only 20 people were found alive in the rubble when we were expecting hundreds. This film stays with two police officers who were buried together. Both as a film, and as a reminder, the movie excels.

"We will never forget"

Saturday, August 5, 2006


[migrated from myspace blog]

I'm so completely digusted right now. Two young sisters were visiting the house this morning when the 4-year-old decided to take a handful of saliva (do you even realize the amount of effort it takes to create a handful?!) and wipe it from my bare knee down to my ankle. I think that's about enough to put me off having kids.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I'm a Hunk

[migrated from myspace blog]

I'm sorry, I misspelled that. I meant Hulk. And here I was hoping for Batman. I guess I'll have to work on my martial arts skills.

You are Hulk

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are a wanderer with
amazing strength.

Monday, July 24, 2006


[migrated from myspace blog]

First of all I want to say I'm amazed anyone is actually coming here to read these. Apparently there were 16 people on my blog page in one day.

I live in a house with a lot of phones. There is one connected to the wall, two cordless, and two cell phones. Apparently I'm the only person in the house who realizes that when a phone rings, it doesn't mean you have to answer it.

I won't name names, but lets just say that someone here today was complaining after a second phone call in a very short period of time because he was trying to get something else done at the time. I just thought to myself, "Then why are you answering it?"

And then, also today, the phone rang during dinner and a second unnamed person decided to answer it while putting off eating. Do you really think you're that important that the outside world can't do without you for 20 minutes?

All this got me thinking about the fact that most people don't stop to even think if they should or want to answer the phone. Many people screen their calls, but there isn't even caller ID in this household. Most people under 50 or so were raised in a house with a phone, and anyone else with a phone could get ahold of you at any time, if you were home. So intentionally or not, we've all been indoctrinated that when the phone rings, you automatically pick it up and answer it. Maybe people just hate the sound of the phone and want to stop it from ringing. But I encourage everyone (all 16) to stop and think, do you really want to answer that phone right now, or would you rather be doing something else? I support not answering the phone once in awhile, just to see what happens.