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April 29, 2007

Silly rabbit ()

by fluffy at 3:06 PM
Yesterday while grocery shopping I noticed that Trix were on sale so I got a box out of misplaced whimsy. Just now I noticed they're advertising the "new shape! same great taste!" and of course the "new" thing is that all of the cereal nuggets are little balls, like Kix, rather than having any association between color and some vague fruit shape. This means that Trix have finally dropped the last conceit that the flavors had anything to do with real fruits, and all that's left is the conceit that the different colors represent different flavors.

(I also presume that this "new" shape was solely to cut down on production costs, since now they only need to change out dyes, rather than dyes and molds, and they can probably reuse the molds from other cereals now too.)

April 28, 2007

Ugh outage ()

by fluffy at 10:43 AM
So, Speakeasy's Seattle connection went down, which is why all my sites were down. This is why I don't host email off my home connection, and why I really shouldn't host websites off it either (fortunately it's not like any of my things really need high availability).

On the plus side, this is the first outage I've had with Speakeasy in the two years I've been with them, and as annoyed as I was at their automated phone-based tech support thing (which suggested I go report the outage at the website, which is a neat trick considering, you know, outage), when I did get to their prerecorded explanation for home support which explained the situation it was fine. (Of course the first thing I tried was their "report an outage" thing which just sent me to some message with some incomprehensible technician with a heavy accent AND a speech impediment, so it was a bit frustrating.)

April 27, 2007

Wii should be friends ()

by fluffy at 5:33 PM
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April 23, 2007

The irony of symphony performances in high definition (, )

by fluffy at 7:25 AM
Traditionally, members of a symphony have dressed in black suits so that they wouldn't visually stand out and distract the viewer from the performance, since the performance was to be heard, and not seen. So it's ironic that now there's such an emphasis on making a visually stunning presentation which focuses on the individual performers — which actually does make it more interesting and therefore easier to watch.

Of course the audio quality is somewhat better than on an analog broadcast.

April 15, 2007

Finally gave up on waiiting ()

by fluffy at 2:38 PM
Seeing as how the Wii "family bundle" at EBGames had pretty much exactly what I wanted to get to begin with, I just ordered that. Of course it's a little more expensive than buying the things separately (since they add on a stupid "handling charge" at the end), and I could have done without the compulsory purchase of Sonic the Hedgehog or the 1GB SD card (though the former could be resold and the latter can be used in other things as well) but now I can at least look forward to when I can finally freaking play Twilight Princess.

So which will arrive first, the Wii (estimated shipping: 4/23) or my new TV (estimated arrival: 4/25)? THE RACE IS ON.

April 14, 2007

Toxic a capella (, )

by fluffy at 11:15 PM
Two of my guilty pleasures, together at last:

April 10, 2007

Heimlich ()

by fluffy at 3:49 PM
Today at lunch, my coworkers and I had the opportunity to see what really happens when the Heimlich maneuver is performed on a choking person.

You know how in cartoons and TV shows and so on, the piece of food flies out like a cork from a champagne bottle?

That's not quite how it goes in reality.

April 6, 2007

How to cook like Charlie Trotter (, )

by fluffy at 7:53 PM
First course: Take everyday vegetables and one exotic ingredient and sauté them together as a filling. Roast a vegetable, and stuff it with the filling. Toss some of the remaining ingredients into a bowl, put the stuffed vegetable on top of them exactly in the center, then ladle a pureed soup base (either pea or acorn squash) around it. For bonus points, drizzle heavy cream on top.

Interlude: Talk about the spirit of Jazz and how it applies to cooking, especially with how every instrument is equally important.

Second course: Take yesterday's stale bread, lovingly make fancy croutons out of them, then pulverize them into bread crumbs. Stir the crumbs into a vinaigrette. In another bowl, make a salad out of beans and expensive imported ham. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice. Add some microgreens and "beautifully caress" them. Arrange it on a plate in a "random" fashion (make sure the long pieces are sticking up just so). Add hard boiled quail eggs. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top and in patterns around the salad. Keep on fussily arranging every little bean and egg and sliver of radish and whatever until it looks perfect (especially the little bits which have "randomly" fallen around it).

How to store open wine bottles ()

by fluffy at 7:25 PM
Vacuum pumps work great. Just evacuate the bottle as much as you can and then store it in the refrigerator. I've had open bottles last for a month with these things. You can get them at any decent restaurant supply and even at some grocery stores (though grocery stores usually charge way too much for them).

Obviously they don't work for sparkling wines (the best thing to do with excess champagne is to turn it into vinegar, as champagne vinegar is a great addition to many recipes!), but for everything else they're great.

How to store cheese in the refrigerator ()

by fluffy at 7:20 PM
I used to have trouble with even small amounts of cheese going moldy or stale before I could use it all, but then I learned this technique, and haven't lost any cheese to spoilage in months:

Remove the cheese from all plastic wrap (which traps moisture in and makes it easy for mold to develop). Wrap it instead in wax paper, held loosely closed by a large rubber band, and then store that in a plastic zipper bag which has been "burped" (meaning, crack it open a little bit and then roll the contents up to squeeze the air out before sealing it all the way).

The wax paper keeps the moisture away from the cheese, and the plastic bag keeps the moisture in the bag, so now even large loaves last forever, or at least long enough for me to use the whole thing.