Gentle Readers

The last little while has been pretty good. Last weekend was the Tournoi du Glace where I placed 3rd in the tournament. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't do better, but the 3rd place prize was more useful to me than the second place one, so that wasn't so bad. We ate off board at that event because too much of the feast was Cortejo unfriendly and I have to say our dinner was at least as good as the official feast. The company was also great.

We got to watch the UFC fights that night in good company and then got to spend the next day visiting with various friend on the way home. It was a lovely way to end/start the week.

The week following was good, but a couple of frustrating bugs at work had it going slower and more vexingly than it could have done. This was thankfully balanced by a great week at the sword hall. We usually had at least 4 students in each class and even had 8 in the Thursday evening class. I'm so thrilled that things are going well there.

This weekend was a little more relaxed. The most momentus thing was deciding that we were done with Fringe, about 5 episodes into the second season. I can put up with some plot related stupidness, but constantly forgetting major events from the last season and even from the first episode of the first season? That is just too much. It's not even like they couldn't have done almost the exact same thing without the obvious plot enforced dumbness.

Ah well, I should know better than to trust network television.


Nov. 7th, 2010 09:39 pm
Gentle Readers,

If it is after 8:30pm and you would like to make Bisket Bread as you need to get it done for your pent entry, you would be well served to look for the beaters for the electric mixer before you break the mixer attachment on the food processor if only to ensure that you have a fall back position other than a wisk because you won't find the hand mixer that the children use in the bath tub until you have given up in frustration because it is too late.

Here's hoping the batter will still be good tomorrow.

Sincerely, an aggravated me.
Gentle Readers,

I'm having one of those days exacerbated by lack of sleep. So, either I decided to make my self feel better with terrible food or I was too tired to fight off temptation any longer and I went and got myself a KFC Double Down.

The ordering process was quite smooth and efficient. One of the customers ahead of me had a problem with his order, but it was resolved without drama so there was no delay in my getting mine. In fact I even got my "sandwich" ahead of the couple in front of me, likely due to the less complicated order. Which is fair. They took forever to get their order completed.

Anyway, I took my little bag with it's little "sandwich" back across the street to the office. No one looked askance at me, in fact I'll have to assume that no one knew what was in the bag as there was no reaction from anyone I encountered.

Back at the office, it was a different story. Everyone had to come and take a look and the other John could not resist the sight and had to get one for himself.

I have to say, it was not what I was expecting. Based on the photos, I had expected the chicken to be fairly uniform, perhaps with a cardboard container to hold them delecatly protecting the crisp batter from steam condensation and allowing the cheese to be contained as it fused together the two pieces of chicken.

Instead what I got was a clumsily wrapped lump, carelessly placed into the paper sack. I flipped it over and quickly unwrapped it, the scent almost identical to the one that wafts from the restaurant while I wait for my bus in the evenings; a heady mix of grease, salt and hydrocarbons.

The appearance did not match that of the ads. No perfect golden brown concoction was this. Its colour had about as much in common with that perfect specimen found on the advertisements as Gollum's skin tone does with a Californian beach bum. It was a pallid gray-beige, with spots of black (sites of a deposit of the magical herbs and spices). The chicken pieces, instead of being uniform and phallic, instead had been slightly flattened into irregular lumpy triangles. Between them, was the cheese and cheese sauce slowly oozing out the side while the bacon stuck out like unruly hair.

I took my first bite.

Now, in general I like salty food. Salt is the ultimate axiom of food perfection. But the first bite of the double down was so salty I could feel it burning its way down my throat.

The only flavour more overpowering than the salty batter was the "cheese sauce" which to my tastebuds was much more like thousand island dressing.

I couldn't really taste the bacon or the actual cheese.

In the end, I do think the actual premise is good, and I'm certain that a home made one would be quite delicious. However, the "sandwich" made by KFC is not something that I will ever eat again.
Gentle Readers,

I'm in New York City on business. I'm here for Interop. Mostly it's a lot of standing and telling people how awesome our company is. This works reasonably well. Many of them seem to agree with me.

I'm staying at Ink48 which is pretty cool as hotels go. It's brand new and shiny and I like the decore. The bed is even super comfortable and futon like which should make for a good nights sleep. The alcohol that I end up drinking while out with sales guys certainly won't hurt either. My coworkers are wasted on beer and lemoncello. I was smart enough not to have the later (if only because it is packed full of sugar). We were at an Italian place on the corner of 9th Ave. and 50th called Terrazza Toscana. yummy food and overwhelming service. Very nice. Would nom again.

After the dinner which took about a half an hour longer than it should have and thus pretty much demolished any chance to see Userundefined, my coworkers headed off to the Vendor party while I tried and failed to meet up with the aforementioned Userundefined. However, as I walked back to the hotel, I did catch a whiff of horse and glanced over to see a couple of carriages. How cool is it that my hotel is around the corner from a stable? Very cool would be the answer you are looking for.

So tomorrow back to the show and then off to the airport. No time for other fun.
Gentle Readers,

Last night I didn't want to cook, so I invited a few people over for a pot luck. This worked even better than planned as one of them (blinkus2000) decided he wanted to try his new experimental baked salmon recipe on us.

Today we are sitting around listening to the rain and the close lightning strikes and being very glad we are not in a tent. It's Cortejo's Birthday today and we are thinking about the things we could do, but don't really seem all that motivated to do any of them. I suspect that once I finish procrastinating with this, I'll go and do some cleaning/purging/tidying down stairs while C&L go out to do something fun.

Tomorrow is Lydia's birthday. She's going to be 7. She makes me feel so very very blessed.

If I can get her away from the toys that she missed, I am going to try and get her to look at some paintings with me to see if we can find a dress she likes for me to make for her and at least 1 of her dolls so that she and they can be dressed the same.
Gentle Readers,

Copperbadge was good enough to share this.

Chocolate Ketchup - It's not what you think, it's even better.
Gentle Readers,

So I'm sitting here in my uncle's house celebrating Christmas with my jewish aunt, agnostic family and pagan wife and child. Somehow that seems just about right. Last night we stuffed our selves with seafood and other delacacies and my Mom ruined Christmas by making us open all of our presents last night.

More food this morning and my aunt is telling us that we are not allowed to help with the preps for dinner but only need to make sure that we bring our appitites because she doesn't want to be left with any food.

The ride down was clear and dry and we had a lovely visit with Mister Robinson on the way through. He made something spicy that Lydia loved which was a first. For the record we loved it too.

We were talking about going into the city but today we spent just hanging out and playing video games. I should have gone for a walk. I think I still might before dinner.

I hope you and yours are enjoying a break for whatever reason, and if you are not blessed with a job that gives you some time off, I hope that it is at least being more pleasant than usual.

For those who weren't paying attention, I remind you of my belated birthday bash on the 1st. Show up any time late in the afternoon.
Gentle Readers,

So today is being a great day so far.

Aikido was good this morning. I was able to identify problems thanks to insite from sensei K, I was able to at least be aware of the correction, even if I wasn't doing a great job of correcting the action. K also thinks I should be thinking about my 4th Que test, and to be honest, I've been putting it off, but really I think I shouldn't be worried about it until I can managed to get my name plaque done and up on the board.

It was pretty demanding though and I could feel myself getting slower and slower as the class went on. Sensei N at Kickboxing (I think that's the correct term) pointed out that if you are doing a repetitive exercise and your speed and rhythm have not changed, it's your brain and not your body that is making you stop. My body was really complaining this morning. We weren't doing things that were that demanding, just falling down and getting up again. I'm hoping that means I'm doing better with my intensity.

Other good things: we're about ready to review my design here at the new job. If everyone is cool with the direction then I get to zip off and see if I can get it to work. It's going to be developing some new and valuable skills so that's pretty awesome and thankfully it's got some divisibility into some nicely sized chunks so it won't be too overwhelming. I won't be looking at it thinking how the hell am I going to even start. That helps keep the procrastinating to a minimum (and lest you think I'm procrastinating now, I'm going to use the excuse that my first presentation meeting got bumped to the afternoon).

Things look good for the event this weekend. We have a place to stay and things to eat, even a packing list. The only tricky part is making sure we have room for everyone/thing in the car. There will be multiple tourneys and at least one affair of honour.

In addition, it looks like my chainmail is in Syracuse, hopefully to be delivered soon so if we can work out timing I'll both get to pick it up and see Mister-Robinson, maybe even in time to use it at the event.

Also, I've got rabbit stew for lunch.
Gentle Readers,

Last night the lovely cortejo had slow-cooked a turkey breast for me. I took the left-overs with me for lunch today. For the record Aikido mornings, slow afternoons and L-tryptophan do not make for a productive combination.

On the plus side, I'm researching AMI and cloud computing which, I know, is so 2007, but I'm just getting back into the web. I'm a little behind the times.

In other news, tomorrow is our first Feast of the Hare. It looks like things will be slightly more scheduled than I had hoped, but what can you do. This is what we signed up for and what the populace thinks we are capable of.

I'm a little concerned that I have not had any feedback from the marshals but it's no big deal. In the end, it's not really my responsibility, just my idea.
Gentle Readers,

It's finally Friday and although while you are unemployed it means less, it's still something to take note of as otherwise all of the days kind of blur together. All together it's been a pretty good week.

While Cortejo was off learning more ways to kill people, Lydia and I had a lovely couple of days with Reyl and his pumpkin. We had a great game of catch in the freezing cold park and then had a buffet lunch. Lydia got back to Aikido and had a great time, even if it took her a little while to decide that she did want to go. I think she was especially thrilled that N was there. Wen we got back we headed over to Reyl's again where he stuffed us full of Koussa Mashi.

On Sunday we chilled for a bit then headed out to Finitedancer and Peredur's for Thanksgiving. They stuffed us till we could not think. Lydia and G. played for over 24 hours.

We got back late on Monday and setteled into our week which has been uneventful. I've started studing Survey Methods and Practices for the Mathematical Statistician job which Metawidgit both pointed me at and loaned me the book for. In applying for the job (and necessitating the test) I spent way too much time trying to get my Transcript and the transcribing it. We tried several methods to get it, but finally my parents found it in some papers and scanned it and sent it to me. I took some really weird classes in university.

I found a couple of jobs to apply for but as none of them have any personal connection, I'm not expecting to hear back. I haven't heard back from last weeks where there was some networking. Rejection is so much easier to handle than just nothing. I do understand that part of the problem is that my resume is lacking in J2EE and Struts and Spring. Not sure what path I want to take to get that experience though. I know I need something tangible as motivation.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the sunshine and wondering if last nights frost killed my grass seed or if I should go out and water it today.
Gentle Readers,

I made Saag with red chard. It seems to be a success.
Gentle Readers,

This morning I'm feeling old. Not mentally old as I'm still pretty much twelve but physically old. I was told that there comes a time in everyone's life when you can no longer eat whatever you want but I thought that was just a description of the metabolism slowing down.

This was wrong.

Last night I went out well past my bedtime (which is usually 9) and had some greasy pub food. It was called "The Threesome" and included spicy chicken wings, nachos and spinach dip. Later that night I threw up a little in my mouth and exercised a significant amount of willpower to keep everything down as I was in the car. The night before I ate way too many Cheetos and felt similarly although not quite as extremely disgusting.

I am too old to eat grease.

How did that happen?

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