Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Missed One

The whole time I was writing the previous post, I knew I was going to miss one I wanted to put up.

The reason I missed this one is that I can’t find an MP3 of the song. Now, it was done as a promotion for a Star Wars music video contest, or some such thing, so it’s got a pretty high production value, but the song itself is what I writing about.

Now, I’ve looked hard for the MP3. They had a blog for a little bit that had a link to the song. I missed out on it and the song is now gone.

Fun Music

So there are a few fun bands that have championed the term Nerdcore.

These are bands that sing or play songs that are based on nerdy things like science fiction, video games, and such.

Weird Al touches on this a bit with some of his songs. “The Saga Begins” is one of his best, and tells that tale of “The Phantom Menace” to the tune of “American Pie”.

Jonathan Coulton is kind of another one, but he’s become popular because he actually wrote the final songs to the games “Portal” and “Portal 2”. He even challenged himself a few years ago with what he called Thing-A-Week where he wrote a song every week for a year.

Then there’s a scattering of others. Richard Cheese wrote “Star Wars Cantina” to the tune of “Copacabana”. And every now and then you come across songs on an album that are hidden references to a band’s favorite thing. Apparently Iron Maiden loves the original Dune series by Frank Herbert, and lots of their songs have reference to the series. Even Fatboy Slim likes Dune; just listen to “Weapon of Choice”. And watch it for Christopher Walken.

Then there’s full-on Nerdcore.

The band Powerglove does (mostly) all instrumental rock versions of video game and cartoon theme songs. I got to see them in concert a year or two ago, and their musicality is pretty amazing. especially their drummer. And the whole time they were dressed up as World of Warcraft style armor. The drummer even had campaign flags on his back.

And the latest I’ve come across is Kirby Krackle. I don’t even remember how I came across them last week. I enjoyed the music you could stream from their website, liked them on Facebook, and then I came across the song “Ring Capacity”. It struck home with me. And apparently it’s struck home with a lot of other people because there is a campaign to have it be on the soundtrack to the new Green Lantern movie. And then today, they posted an official video for the song. One that I heard about through DC Comics itself, so they seem to be getting some approval.

Monday, May 30, 2011

This Looks Familiar

I was doing some job hunting today, and on Craigslist, I came across this ad for a Project Engineer/Geologist.

It sure looks a lot like the add that I answered 5 years ago. Except for the last bullet before successful candidates.

Essentially it makes it look like I became too expensive for their tastes, and so they downgraded the job that I was doing.

Today did at least provide some opportunities. I sent out 5 resumes today.

Now, we’ll see how long it takes these people to respond.

Testing, 1,2,3…

This is a test of using Windows Live Writer.

It’s nice an visual to see how things will look in the column of the webpage as I write.

And now a test of a picture:


I still giggle when I look at this.

Okay, posting now.


Yeah, I got it.

No call backs.

No motivation to do much of anything.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ups and Downs

Tonight, Jennifer asked for a cocktail, so I made her her latest favorite: a trader Joe's cherry cider with half a lime and a shot of vodka.

She asked me what I thought I'd have, and I decided to have the drink I had devised in my head the last time I was at St. George Spirits on Alameda.

I made a large mug of homemade hot chocolate. Then I added a shot of St. George's Firelit coffee liqueur. And it tasted wonderful.

The downside to this is that it contains quite a bit of caffeine. And I've cut down my caffeine intake in the past few months. Like down to cups of tea and a Throwback Pepsi once a week.

So when it turned out to be 11:00 and Jennifer was falling asleep watching television with me, and she asked why I was so awake, I remembered the caffeine content of the Firelit. Then I started to giggle, and Jennifer said it was definitely the caffeine.

So she's in bed, and I'm sitting up at the computer. It's a good thing I've got nowhere to be tomorrow.

And addressing that, I've written to the person I interviewed with a few weeks ago, and haven't heard back from him, so I've got no idea if I'm still being considered for the job or not.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Alpha-Bits, the Breakfast of Me

For some background, refer to my earlier post. (No pun intended.)

Yesterday, Jennifer and I were at the new Target in Emeryville. It's one that has regular Target type stuff, but also has food. We were combining a run for sundries, and food, and happened to be walking by the cereal section.

I ducked my head in the aisle to look, and all I saw was Kellogg's cereals along half of the aisle. the rest of the aisle was breakfast bars.

I was pretty bummed. But then, Jennifer said, "What about the other side?"

I turned around, and the whole other side of the aisle had cereal boxes, and there were the Big G and Post cereals.

And there, towards the far end of the aisle was a double row of Alpha-Bits.

I just stood there staring at it, and Jenifer asked me how many I needed. I said I needed all ten boxes so that I would have then when Post stopped making them again.

But I settled for two, and had a bowl for breakfast this morning.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I was reminded of some of the short animation festivals this morning, and so i went lookign for some of my favorites.

The first is one that if we had had the internet when I was an undergraduate, another trumpet player and I would have had this memorized.

Another favorite of ours was this one.

This one was my first introduciont to Joe Satriani's music.

Then Dad had this one on a Laser Disc.

There are a few others that I wish I could find. One was called "A Story", and was about a fairy tale that goes wrong. The villain was Randy, the Killer Clown, and his Goon Squad. Another that I don't remember the title of was a sketchy black and white that took place in a child's nursery. The toddler's pet giraffe comes to life as a monster and tries to attack him. It was so well done, and quite scary.

Monday, May 09, 2011


So I'm working my way through The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. The story arc is called "Kingkiller Chronicles".

On page 56 of the latest book, I think I have come up with who the king is that Kingkiller will eventually kill.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


When I read my webcomics in the morning, I tend to open several tabs at once. Not all of the comics tabs at once, but one page worth of shortcuts for that day.

Lately when I open the syndicated ones from The Washington Post, I've noticed something strange. When I get to that tab to read them, there is nothing on the page, but it does suddenly start loading.

It's like the page is in a state of existing and not existing until the moment that I look at the tab, and it suddenly comes into being.

A little Heisenberg-esque to say the least.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Zork Addendum

Today over dinner with Jennifer I had a mild geek revelation.

So I had posted earlier a video about the grues from "Zork".

"Zork" was a text adventure from the masters of the genre at Infocom. I never played it, instead playing "Apple Adventure" which was apparently similar. The difference was that in "Apple Adventure" when your torch or lamp went out you were likely to fall down a hole. In "Zork" if you entered darkness, or your light source went out, you were likely to be eaten by a grue.

Now, this was a text adventure. No one knows what a grue looks like. First, they were never shown, it's a text adventure after all. Then of course they they only came out in the dark, and were seemingly terrified of the light.

So I'm thinking all of this while I'm describing the game and grues to Jennifer over dinner, and it hit me.

The movie "Pitch Black" takes place on a planet populated entirely by varying species of grues.

Zork Bitches

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Nanny Ogg Cooking

Nanny Ogg is a character from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. She's a witch. She's also someone who sees everything as a double entendre. In Maskerade, she makes a cake that is an incredible aphrodisiac.

Soon after writing it, Pratchett wrote a Nanny Ogg's Cookbook with ways to make things from Discworld. Usually toned down for our simplers tastes. One of them is a recipe for this cake.

Ever since buying the book, I've been wanting to make the cake, but the original recipe is in metric units. It also has some out of the ordinary ingredients.

Finally, I took the time for measurements and conversions and translations, so what you have below is a best approximation for Imperial units with American ingredients.

So here follows:

Nanny Ogg's Chocolate Delight
Special Secret Sauce

For the Delight:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp salt
5/6 (1/2 + 1/3) cup corn starch
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup + 3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 eggs (beaten)
3/8 cup milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
5 tbsp dark chocolate syrup

For the sauce:
5/8 cup cream
7 pods cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4+ cup (heaping) milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup white rum

Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix all the dry ingredients for the delight in a bowl, and then rub in the butter. Add the eggs and milk and beat thoroughly. Swirl in the white chocolate chips and syrup, making sure not to overmix (the syrup should give a ripple effect). Divide between two 8-inch, deep, well-greased cake tins and bake in the top part fo the oven for 30 minutes. [Reduce cooking time for 9-inch pans] or until skewer comes out clean when testing.

Note: This is a cross between a pudding and a cake and should be moist. When baked, allow to cool for five minutes and if not for immediate consumption transfer to airtight container.

Start preparing the sauce about 10 minutes before the delight is ready. Warm the cream with the spices, taking care not to boil. Break up the chocolate and stir into the cream. When it has melted, add the rum. Keep stirring for a couple more minutes, then remove the cardamom pods. Serve with the delight fresh from the oven.

An additional note from me: We found that it might be better for the sliced delight to be served in a bowl to better contain the sauce, although we mopped it up pretty well. It was truly amazing.

Status Quo

Not a lot of things happening right now.

Had a good interview on Friday, but otherwise things have been pretty quiet.

The weather has been wonderful, so Jennifer and I have been lots of cycling.

I'll update as news come in.

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