Shadow Footprints

Wanderings in Virtu and Verity.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

A minute in the life of...

There is a project at gaybloggers.tribe.net, A minute in the life of... suggested by Corin. We each take a photo at a specific time. The time chosen was 31 July 2004 16:17 UTC, with an allowance for those of us in difficult time zones to take the picture at 17 minutes past whichever hour we chose. 4:17am is not a time I want to be aware of for taking a photo so I chose 6:17pm, ten hours in advance.

I like how the incandescent light gives the yellow colour. A trial photo where I avoided that effect looked flatter. Dabbling with pre-set filters in Paint Shop Pro I get a very different effect.


I honestly love my mother Trish. Sometimes she is quite crazy, then today she just shocked me... I asked for her advice talking to someone about homosexuality in the coming decades, then she started bitching:

"Damn! If I hear another thing about the coming decades I'm going to shoot somebody!"

At first I screamed "SHUT UP!" but the next day I just shut up and started grinding my teeth. After all, she *is* my mother and she wants what is best for me...

Link of the day: Become Cooler

The above is not a genuine post. It is randomly generated by Flooble Instant Blog Post Generator for those days when you want to post but haven't anything to say.

My mother's name was not Trish, and she would never say she was going to shoot someone. She disliked guns. Even before my father died from a shotgun she would not permit a gun in the house. As children we never received a toy gun from her. She never complained about us playing at friends places with toy guns, just that we could not bring such into the house. She made no objections when someone taught me how to use an air-rifle.

Quote - itch of literature

“When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.
-- Samuel Lover

Friday, July 30, 2004

Today's hot men

There's a Nike ad on TV, with a really hot coach (see left). I'm not a subscriber of adcritic, but it's here if you are.

Ben, at the Food Show (see previous post, no image.)

The cop, Jake Reese, played by Shemar Moore, (see left) in Birds of Prey

Joe, from Joe My God, via tribe.net. I started reading his weblog and the first entry I read made me laugh and cry. Joe leaves us dangling with some of his posts. I'm reading all his posts as I write this. Some are very powerful but I'm going to continue. I haven's seen his picture on his blog, just tribe.net (deliberately not linked). I like his comment about the leather scene "We're just in it for the outfits." This is not a blog that you can read quietly while at work, so be warned.

I've just finsied reading it. It's only taken me a few hours, with the occasional sidetrip. Joe needs to be published.

Food, glorious food

Since I don't work Fridays (although I'd like too, and the bank manager would like me to,) I was able to schedule going to the Food Show today. I got up late, had a coffee and a muffin for breakfast (thanks David). I picked up Lin, a real foodie. (Where's your blog Lin, and why won't you comment on blogs, apart from the four you admitted to? You're not so shy but do you need others to ask?)

We made our way to the Auckland Showgrounds for the Food Show. I was able to get tickets cheap via the NZ Wine Society for us. We were expecting today to have less visitors than on the weekend. We didn't anticipate all the prams.

We sampled and nibbled our was all around the show, enjoyed a presentation.
Get Set Party!
One box of mystery food and drinks plus two dynamic presenters divided by 30 minutes = Get Set Party!™ An exciting and entertaining stage presentation by World Champ Flair Bartender Hayden Wood from the liquid kitchen and fun, fast-paced chef Graham Wilkinson

The chef made some great tastes, and the bartender's production encouraged me to check out his stall for other tastes.

While Lin checked out more stalls I learnt how to taste olive oils.

Choosing and Using The Good Oil
A step-by-step guide to healthy eating with olive oil - what to look for when tasting and choosing.

We each picked up a lot of leaflets and a few samples (cereals, pre-measured pasta, soup, good honest chocolate) before seeing the final show of the day.

Stunning Small Tastes
Prepare for a tastebud transformation out of your comfort zone. Tantalising tapas with Paul Burns from Kapiti Cheeses

This guy needs more experience talking to the crown while doing his demonstration. One of the guys working with him, Ben was hot. I could see him while he was waiting to bring the coffee on-stage. I did enjoy the affogato this was used to make. It's on my list to serve at dinner parties. I bought some Crema di Balsamica from Casa Rinaldi. I'll be keeping this concentrated balsamic vinegar for serving on ice cream even though the bottle suggests using it for garnishing and seasoning meat, fish and vegetables and flavoring ice cream and strawberries. I might serve strawberries with it to my guests but as I'm allergic to them I won't be adulterating the flavour.

The only other things I picked up was some coffees for work and for home, and some limoncello.

After all the eats dinner was unnecessary.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

My day

Kept hitting the snooze button for half an hour until I was awake enough to jump out of bed and into the shower. I shave while in the shower as it is both fast and easy. Fed the cat then it was on my bike to come to work. No idiots in my path today, so I managed to get a good ride. Racing the cars at the end is exhilarating, they weren't too slow today.

At work I checked my email, then had a shower to rinse the sweat off. Ate breakfast at my desk and made a coffee using the last of my coffee. (I hate Harris Special, which is the coffee provided here.)

Moved cubicles (highlight of the week) to one about 10 metres away. Now that side of the room is empty and I'll hear what the developers are working on.

Walked up the road to get lunch, and a flat white. (Very popular in NZ, it's like a latte without the foam). Ate lunch at my desk and enjoyed the coffee. Responded to some messages.

Had a call from a bank looking for my account number. I confirmed it was genuine and that someone who owed me money was putting it into my account. I looked later and saw it wasn't all he owes.

Changed clothes and left work at 4pm, biked home, passing a few cars where it gets congested. Home by 4:20. Juiced a beetroot and a couple of pears, not a good combination. No staining by the beetroot, unlike my white curtains after recently having someone accidently empty a large full glass of red wine over them.

Currently cooling down and responding to messages as the mince thaws for dinner. I'll have a shower as soon as this is finished and I'll prepare dinner, bolognaise, for David and me before going to see The Chronicles of Riddick at 6:20.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


As a kid I got used to people mispelling my name as Brain. This isn't usually a problem as the person who wrote it knows how to pronounce it. A few weeks ago, in Starbucks, I found out different. The barrista gave a double-take when he looked at the name and then called out what was written. That's not as bad as Ernie got one day.


For those looking for a charity to support, check out Save a Circuit Boy.
A tragedy is occurring world wide. Everyday thousands of circuit boys are forced to go to parties without pills in their pockets or designer clothes on their backs. These unfortunate boys are living in large, overcrowded cities, forced to share their luxury apartments and condos with roommates, borrowing money just to make the monthly payments on their BMW's. They have been forced to shop at designer discount stores and drink cheap vodka. Their gym memberships are behind and their bodies are beginning to suffer. This suffering does not have to happen! You can make a difference. We have established SCb, the Save a CircuitBoy Foundation. A for profit organization set up to globally aid our party goers in need. For only $25 a day you can help a boy out.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, UK style

Gashlycrumbkid describes the cast of the UK Edition of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Dane (Design Doctor) is straight from a Kristen Bjorn video -- that's porno, sweety.
Peyton (Food & Wine) = daddy.
Julian (Fashion Savant) is the chiseled fop you'd love to have at your next cocktail party.
Tristan (Grooming Guru) is cute euro-trash.
Jason (Culture Vulture) is the hawk-nosed English gentlemen you'd snog after tea and biscuits.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Lots of reading, not much sleep

I got some books from the library recently and have been busy reading them. They are: Dime Store Magic, by Kelley Armstrong; Shadow of the Hegemon, by Orson Scott Card; and Shadow Puppets, also by Orson Scott Card.

Saturday night I was awake until 3am finishing Dime Store Magic. Last night I was awake until 2am last night, finishing Shadow of the Hegemon. At 4am I was woken by the rain. Jack, my cat, work me at 6:30. Finally my alarm work me at 6:45. I spent the next twenty-five minutes hitting the snooze button evey five minutes until I finally gave up and crawled into the shower to wake me. It's a good thing I can get by with little sleep.

I started reading Shadow Puppets on the bus today and it looks to be as good as Shadow of the Hegemon. The shadow books are direct sequals to Ender's Shadow, which is a parallel novel to Ender's Game.

Dime Store Magic doesn't indicate it is a sequal, but it referred to events having occurred previously which I suspect to be in her earlier books featuring a different character. Unfortunately these references occurred enough to be noticible. This is her third book in her Women of the Otherworld series; from the excerpt, the fourth is a direct sequal while I'll borrow from the library.

My reading will slow down as I'm giving up the bus. I finally finished fixing my puncture last night, but wasn't in the mood for a rainy ride while getting over a cold. Tomorrow I have no excuse.

Tonight, as in as soon as I finish this, I'm off to grab tickets to The Chronicles of Riddick opening here on Thursday, and to get the ingredients for dinner tonight.

Apache configuration

A .htaccess file Generater is available. This will show you what is needed in a .htaccess file for you site.

An explanation

So that's how it happened. Watch out Glenn.

AngryLeft has a large collections of stuff. I could happily wear this shirt.

Dinner tonight

Crash has posted a recipe he modified from the Barefoot Contessa. I'm thinking it sounds a nice for my dinner tonight. I've modified it to single servings
Crash's Chicken and Cheese
1 Chicken Breasts, split, bone-in with skin
50g Feta Chevre (soft, unaged, goat's milk cheese)
1 Basil leaves
Olive Oil

Peel back the skin from the chicken breast, insert two fairly thick pieces of feta, some dill, and a basil leaf under the skin. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake on a baking sheet for 35-40 min. at 190°C.

An alternative to try will be to use the Feta and skip the basil.

Updated to correct the cheese, and highlight an alternative we discussed.

Monday, July 26, 2004


Thanks to Gay Bloggers on Tribe.net I have too many blogs to read. Gay Geeks, Goatee Nation, and New Zealand are also tribes I joined.

Goatee Nation is one of two I was invited to join. Someone has a selection of haikus
I wear my goatee
It sits proudly on my face
Others, so jealous

My Goatee's Gone Grey
Found New Pigment From Lost Youth
'Twas Fine, Red As Fire

My goatee grows wide
Like an inverted forest
Eden on my chin

Like the tree of life
What treasures does my beard hold?
Goatees catch it all

So proud yet humble
Only one explanation
God wears a goatee

A roaring whisper
The wind blows through my goatee
Everyday is Spring

Contemplating life?
Stroking chin aids pondering
Unless it is bald

I grew a goatee
At the age of eighteen and
I comb it and wash it now

Speeding down a country road

I just received this topical joke.
Helen Clark and her driver were speeding on a country road when a cow appeared in their path. The driver tried to avoid it but couldn't. The cow was killed. "Go to that farmhouse and tell them what's happened," said Helen.

Two hours later the driver staggered back to the car his clothes in disarray "What happened?" asked Helen.

"The farmer gave me beer, his wife gave me cigars and their daughter made passionate love to me."

"My goodness, man, what did you say to them?" asked Helen.

"I said I was Helen Clark's driver, and I'd just killed the cow."

Most loyal fan enjoyed I, Robot

Isaac Asimov's daughter Robyn enjoyed the movie.
Yet the world's most loyal Asimov fan actually likes the new summer blockbuster that bears the title of his 1950 book of robot tales. Of this I am sure, because I am that fan, and Isaac Asimov was my father. I believe he would have liked this movie, too.

But let's put it right out there: The movie departs in many ways from his book.

"I, Robot" was nine stories that addressed the questions my father loved to consider: Could machines be aware of their own existence? Would such sentient beings have morals? Could they be corrupted? And what were the limits of the laws themselves? Did they permit robots to scheme? Be tricky? Display empathy? Even love?

via Sore Eyes

Ice Cream

I want an ice cream maker. Emeril has Guinness Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce.
Guinness Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce
12 ounces Guinness stout
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 egg yolks
Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce, recipe follows

In a large saucepan, simmer the Guinness until reduced by 3/4 in volume, about 8 minutes. Combine the cream, milk, and sugar in a medium, heavy saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and add the vanilla bean halves. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, to the hot cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and add the Guinness reduction, whisking until well blended. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup honey
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, scald cream and honey medium heat. Remove from the heat. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the hot cream, let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Let stand until cool but still pourable. Serve over Guinness ice cream.

Via Teledyn where I got the link to Heaven in an Ice Cream Bowl.

Guinness ice cream
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
11/2 cups evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Guinness stout

In a heavy saucepan whisk together the water and the cornstarch and simmer the mixture over moderate heat, whisking, for 2 minutes. Add the milks, the salt, and the sugar, heat the mixture over moderately low heat, whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved, and remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture cool completely, stir in the Guinness, and freeze the mixture in an ice-cream freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes about 1 quart

Choices, choices

Simon Clarke writing at 365Gay.com explains how to identify boyfriend material by his footwear choices. Sex puppy, wandering sausage, bottom boot boy, disco qyeen, polyester, lentil-eating activist, or Shirley? I think I'll stick to barefeet.

Friday, July 23, 2004

A movie a night

I saw I, Robot last night, and Spider-Man 2 tonight, again. I do so like having a cinema within walking distance.

I read Asimov's books many years ago. I'm glad I haven't read I, Robot more recently as there were a lot of things necessary in a current movie which did not fit with the book. I enjoyed the movie.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Fear of RSS

I like RSS and I really appreciate sites using it. I can keep up to date easier with sites providing a feed. Business Logs writes about the Fear of RSS demonstrated by some sites. I use Bloglines to keep up to date with most of my online reading and can do so from different machines. It does mean I don't read the comments, unless I know the site is one where the comments are worth going to. Many of the sites in my blogroll are only there as a courtesy, to let the owner know I'm reading their material. If you can provide a feed then you should do so, unless you consider the appearance of your site more important than the content.

Civil Unions in NZ

On the Civil Union Frequently Asked Questions page it asks How will overseas civil unions be recognised?
Civil Unions entered into under another country?s legislation will not be recognised in New Zealand. The Bill establishes civil union for New Zealand. Only civil unions entered into under the Bill will be registered or recognised under New Zealand law. Civil union does not have the universality of marriage and there is wide variation in the forms of civil union and relationship registration available overseas.

This is a surprising answer as earlier I had been told that gay marriages made overseas would be recognised as civil unions. Looking at the text of the bill, and searching for overseas I see the following:

The provisions largely repeat those that apply to marriage but are simpler because the only relevant civil unions are those entered into under this Bill, whereas the equivalent provisions for marriage provide for the registration of marriages entered into overseas as well as certain marriages entered into otherwise than under the Marriage Act 1955.

To my understanding this says a gay marriage from Massachusetts will be recognised as a marriage, but a civil union registered in Vermont will not be recognised as a relationship of any sort.

Not recognising foreign civil unions means one cannot dissolve a foreign union, and a marriage or civil union could be performed in NZ. This means you could be a bigamist only while outside NZ.

In the wording you don't get to call someone your husband. They are one of the parties to a civil union. For wife the term is the other party to a civil union. These phrases really roll off the tongue <sarcasm/>.

Queer Eye for the Dead Guy

No, it's not Six Feet Under. (When is the next season going to be shown in NZ?) The Hearse is a new weblog written by a funeral home driver.


This morning, while I was walking down my street to the bus stop I saw the bus with the cute driver go past. (My street comes off New North Road, the one with the bus routes.) A moment later I saw a second bus go past. I figured I would be in for a wait. When I got to New North Road I saw a bus at the stop prior to my stop. Sweet, no big delay. And as a bonus it was one I could use.

I have been catching the bus for the past few days due to a puncture on my bike. While I had a cold I had no motivation in fixing it. Last night I hoisted the bike up, removed the tupe and found the puncture and the bit of metal causing it. I roughened the tyre in preparation to putting the rubber cement on, only to find my half empty tube of rubber cement had died. Tonight I'm scheduled to see I, Robot, so tomorrow I'll get it fixed.


I seldom recall my dreams but a few days ago I had a new one. I was interviewing for a PA. (That's Personal Assistant, not Prince Albert.) I was in a home office, which felt like my home but the house is not one I know. I'd say it was built in the seventies. My ex, Hermione, was helping me. He told me about the person I was due to interview, made a cup of tea for us, and was discretely out of the room while I talked with the prospective PA. He was acting exactly like a PA. My thoughts were I don't need a personal assistant, but it would be nice. In writing this I guess my subconscious is telling me I should enlist his help in dating, even though in the past couple of years I've seen how our tastes are so different.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Hawking was wrong

And he has the theory to prove it.

Go outside and enjoy the sunshine

Sunshine is overrated.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Not so deep

I wrote this doggerel in October 1998. We never did do the scavenger hunt.
The Scavenger Hunt
A Scavenger Hunt for you here today,
A hunt with a difference so listen to what I say.
Today Halloween was to be the theme,
But it didn't parse well so, so bring what I mean.

We're in Mt Eden, named after the garden, you know where.
Forget about seeking Adam and Eve, what else was there?
An apple of course, and a serpent too.
The symbol's important, doesn't have to be true.

Mt Eden's in Auckland, City of Sails.
Show me its icon. Please don't fail.
Jo's off to Australia, she's going over there.
Let's change the rules and bring Australia here.

I am an ordinary guy
Though at times a little shy
What I really like to do is kiss
Oops, I'd better give that topic a miss

My heart's all-alone, it's big enough to share,
So all I need is another heart to care.
When I have that heart, I'll need a ring.
They say diamond's best, fit for a king.

With a king there needs to a queen.
Search high and low, is any to be seen?
Romance is for St Valentines Day, which Halloween ain't.
So make it different and bring me a saint.

Let's increase the variety, bring me a rose.
Damn, that's romance again, it shows.
A dog. It's man's best friend.
Oh no, it's that theme again!

For Halloween, a witch; a skull or bone;
Jack o'Lantern, if known.
Other things to bring to our host,
Casper, Casper, where's the friendly ghost?

Halloween is a time for trick and treating,
What's out there? Bring a treat and a trick in.
All these treasures, what a sight!
How can I see? I need a light!

Some more rules; yourself or anything you own
Is forbidden. So trade, but don't take a loan.
Present them all at once, before the end of time.
I can't think of anything to make a proper rhyme.

I've gone on and on, all of this blather,
All of these treasures I doubt you'll gather.
Be quick, be original, unique and clever.
If others show it first does it count? Never!

For Halloween I wrote this doggerel verse.
If I had to keep going it would get much worse.
To start the hunt, in teams you need.
By yourself I doubt you'd succeed.

I've issued many clues within this rhyme.
(Though to call is such must be a crime.)
Now I'll sit back and have a rest.
I'll have a beer and wait for the best.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Enhancements, yeah right

Blogger has been "enhanced" is such a way that editing of posts is difficult. I'm fiddling with b2evolution and so far it's looking good.

Update: They have already made some changes to fix a few of the reported problems.

Work in progress

Autumn Roads
His road met mine
As we meandered through Autumn.
Our paths distinct
We travelled together.
With Winter our paths diverged
His back from where he came
Mine onward into the snow.
Our paths may meet again
Somewhere in the distance
But for now I travel alone.
The snow is falling
I cannot see ahead
But Spring, I know,
Is just around the corner.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Downloading the internet

It looks like you can download the internet to save tying up the phone line.

Militant Feminist Quiz

Are there any Militant Feminists out there?

The Prisoner

I have a cold, a nose cold. It's been coming on for the last couple of days. On a good note, my domain change has propagated and I, behind the scenes, have a lot of things to try out.

Last night I saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I decided to see it before my cold got worse. Afterwards I sober-dialled an ex and left a message that I was going to call him Hermione because of the way they both say "How Rude!". I checked out MovieMistakes and they have not listed one I saw: When an animagus changed back into human form clothes were included in the transformation, but the change to animal form again clothes were excluded.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Domain progress

I have changed the name servers, republished this blog with the new ftp details. So now I am waiting for the change to propagate. When this post is seen then I can say success.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Shrewd and aggressive

Well, whadda know?
The first name of Brian creates a shrewd, aggressive, business nature, intent on personal gain. You are capable of very logical and analytical thinking along practical business lines, and could excel in financial fields, law or politics. Your judgment is seldom swayed through your feelings. You have definite executive and leadership abilities, however you are inclined to be too blunt and forceful in dealing with people. There is a need to show more tact and understanding toward others in order to moderate a rather self-centred nature. The desires for independence and financial success have been strong motivating forces from very early in your life. Sacrificing much for material ambition will result in a lack of harmony and balance in your personal life, particularly a lack of appreciation for social courtesies and things of a more inspirational nature. Your health could suffer through ailments centering in the head. Also, the generative organs could be affected.

Via de-generationx.

Captive Audience

It looks like there is another reason to move away from Windows, as Microsoft puts an online store on Start menu.

Church and State

It seems we have a conflict in the separation of Church and State. Unfortunately I can't google any requirment of this within New Zealand law, so the church's tax exempt status will continue.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Service interrupted

I've signed up with Webbase to move my domain there. (Thanks Julia.) I had some queries and they were quickly answered, which is a good sign.

As it's 11pm I expect to get contacted tomorrow regarding the details of the move. As it's my first move I don't know what to expect. I'm currently taking a fresh backup of my entire site (excluding this post). I'll use blogger to republish everything once the new host is configured.

After that I'll start looking at new blogging software, but do not have urgency to move from blogger. B2evolution looks a likely solution, or WordPress.

For my news server needs I've signed up with TeraNews. A one-off payment of $3.95 gives me access to 50MB/day which is easily within my meager needs. I spend too much time reading blogs to read many newsgroups.

Update: As I'm still using Blogger, I can continue to post, safe knowing I can just tell it to publish all at the new site.

Update: The new host is all prepared to receive my site. I need to get the username/password to update the name servers (I think). The details listed against my site include an old email address I've now reinstated. I sourced my domain via my ISP, and having used their web based contact form to ask for my the bits I need I'm now stuck with waiting for a response. It's been about three hours so far.

An evening on wheels

The day was so nice I went rollerblading tonight. Clear, cold, crisp air made for a good skate. It was my medium run, about nine kilometres return, taking forty minutes tonight. I was tired at the end of it. It's been a while since I've been on my wheels.

Coming home to hot soup is nice.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Domain hosting needed

I'm looking for suggestions for domain hosting. I want the option to leave blogger and have more control over my blog. My ISP does not allow such scripts with my current plan, plus I'm getting close to my limit and I haven't updated my photo gallery for ages.

I'm also considering going to Woosh sometime in the future, so separating my ISP and domain hosting will be good. Recommendations in comments or to hosting@shadowf... One of the diasdvantages of Woosh is a lack of usenet services, so that will add to my costs and suggestions that way will be appreciated, binaries not necessary.

Are You Damned?

You can laugh at the silly superstitions of the religious, safe in the knowledge that we are only dust and lies. All that will be left of you after you die is a slow decay and some fading memories in the minds of your friends. Hope you're enjoying your life at the moment- there's nothing better to come.

Are You Damned?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

War On Pornography

Just a Googlebomb for the War On Pornography.

Another Marvel

The probable Cast of The Fantastic Four movie, due out this time next year.

Experiments in the kitchen

I stumbled across a crockpot recipe that doesn't use much liquid.
Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken
  • 4 large Chicken breasts, skinned and boneless
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
Place chicken in the slow cooker. Squeeze lemon juice over the chicken. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Add more lemon juice if needed.

I haven't given it a try yet, and looking at it again I can't see any advantage in using the slow cooker when you can just use the oven. The recipe got me thinking as to whether a crockpot was safe to use dry. I haven't been able to find any other recipe with so little liquid but I did find the following recipe which I made last night.

Crockpot Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 13/4 cups hot water
Lightly grease crockpot. In large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients and stir to combine. Add milk, and vanilla. Stir well. Pour into prepared crockpot. In another bowl, stir second amount of brown sugar and second amount of cocoa together. Add hot water and mix well until blended. Pour over batter in crockpot; do not stir! Cover crockpot and cook on high about 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 8-10 servings.

This recipe is rich, and it does pass the cold-the-next-day test. It's very like a recipe of my mother's, and one I've seen many variants since. The above version has a softer, moister crust.

Quick Chocolate Pudding
Mix this pudding in the dish you cook in.
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tab Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 oz Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • Vanilla to taste
  • 2 tsp Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 2 cups Boiling Water
Mix Flour, Baking Powder, first measure of Cocoa, and first measure of Sugar together. Add Butter, Milk, and Vanilla to dry ingredients and mix well. Combine second measure of Cocoa with Brown Sugar and sprinkle on top. Carefully pour Boiling Water over. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 minutes.

As kids this was a favourite for my brothers and me. Seldom was there any left for the next day. According to her recipe book she got it from someone named Clarice, and while I think I should know the name it is way in the past. I think many of the early recipe's were written into this book around 1970, and Clarice would have been from before 1966.

I imagine the recipe I use for Rice Pudding in the microwave could be made in the crockpot, taking longer but with less intervention. It was good for the mulled wine at my party, I just put in all the ingredients a few hours prior to the arrival of guests and switched it on. It took care of the rest.

Crockpot Mulled Wine
  • 3 litres Red Wine
  • 1 Nutmeg, crushed with hammer
  • 10 Cloves, whole (You do not want to crush these, and a trial run told us.)
  • 2 tsp Allspice, whole
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks, broken up a bit
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar (I used Muscavado.)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
Combine spices and tie up in a muslin bundle (like a Bouquet Garni). Put everything into the crockpot and turn on three hours before serving.

Next thing to try in it is bread. The only thing I question with the recipes I've seen is the lack of the step of knocking the dough back, so I expect these recipes to make holey bread.

For the record, yes, I have cooked fish in the dishwasher. The only problem was I used Terekihi which was slightly overcooked. This recipe looks good. Google is my friend. The Surreal Gourmet looks great. Who needs a propane torch from the hardware shop for the kitchen? (This is something Alton Brown recommends in his book, instead of a fussy butane one.) I used to have a copy of Manifold Destiny : The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine! but never got around to doing any of the suggestions in there.

Friday, July 09, 2004

With great power comes great responsibility

"With great power comes great responsibility".

These are the words that Peter (Spiderman) Parker heard from his Uncle Ben, and they colour his perspective. I've been watching the extras on the Spiderman DVD and they talked about this. The words colour my perspective too, not that I have any funky powers.

I read Spiderman comics as a kid and am still willing to read them now and again, but with all the titles available I find it too expensive to buy regularly. People might suggest just getting one title regularly, but with cross-overs I want every issue. I don't do moderation well. I'm a big fan of the X-Men, they appeal to the outsider in me. Daredevil was another favourite as a kid. Seeing all three done well on the big screen were great.

The fourth recent adaptation, The Hulk, doesn't fit my psyche; I seldom lose my anger. I can recall two occasions where I did at school.

The first was when I was in standard two, about nine or ten years old. Wesley, a year older than me, and in a class a year ahead of me, decided to pick on the bookworm, me. He baited me and baited me until I lost my temper. My bother (two years older than me) told me only a few months ago that he got into trouble with our mother for not stopping it. Because I'm not the fighting type someone went to get him. He saw no need to protect his kid brother as I was winning. My mother was involved in school sport and Wesley later told her during one practice that he wouldn't make the mistake of picking on me again.

The second occasion occurred when I was in the seventh form, and I would have been eighteen at the time. I recall sitting in an easy chair in the common room, and there would have been a handful of students present, including Mark, who had been baiting me for several days. This was many years before I came out, even to myself, and I was very introverted then. He did something involving water, I think he was about to pour a cup over me. I kicked it out of his hand and leapt up enraged. The look of terror on his face, as he realised he had gone too far, his sudden fear of me and what I might do, broke my rage and made me laugh as he fled. One of the girls in the room later said she thought I was going to kill him.

Maybe I am a bit like the Hulk, simply containing my rage easier than he does. I don't fight.


TV2 will be showing The Amazing Race on Saturdays, starting 17 July. To anyone who knows me, please assume that I am booked during that time, until the end of the series. As it's two-and-a-half weeks after the show in the States I have to avoid sites that talk about it, such as those by MAK and Bob. The Practical Nomad doesn't give away any significant spoilers. (I found his site during the second series when I searched for sites about the show.)

Last year TV2 showed most episodes three days later than the US, so I only had to avoid things for a brief time. When I visited the US I asked for an episode to be taped so I could watch it when I arrived (on a Saturday). For some reason TV2 decided last year to skip a week to show the final of Australian Idol, (no, I'm not bothering to look for any Idol links,) in the time slot, so that they could show a double episode final. (A real pain. I program a everything I want into the VCR so know I won't miss things and I can have something to watch when I want to watch it, and yes, all the good stuff to watch in a week can fit on a single tape.) I am happy that TV2 will does show it so soon, as a comparison, I saw an episode of The Apprentice while I was in San Diego in March. According to the TV Guide this episode showed this week, only four months later, and that's pretty good. (Friends was five weeks later than in the US.)

Side notes

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Sex and Marriage

On Anonyblog a poster writes that he wants to leave his wife. He is from a religious background and in that culture sex and marriage are tied together. Even though he had sex with her before they married (five years worth) he felt reconciled it in his head that he would marry her. Without the religious emphasis of sex = marriage both of them would have moved on with their lives and could be much happier.

The historical baggage of the combination of sex and marriage and children and property rights is not necessary in today's society.

In many countries children get property rights from both parents and support growing up with or without marriage. Paternity tests can be used in cases when there is doubt. With today's contraception there is low risk of an accidental pregnancy. Both partners are educated about contraceptive needs and the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy.

Marriage to benefit possible children is no longer necessary. State interest in marriage is unnecessary. When I started writing this entry I didn't expect to end up arguing against marriage. I live in a country where, unlike in the USA, laws are passed to revent discrimination against marital status of couples and the State needs no involvement in marriage. Perhaps we should go back to the situation in 1957 where marriages were not a State function.

Once in a Blue Moon

There's a Blue Moon this month, on the 31st. The link to NASA talks about this, and times when the moon is visually blue.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Fortunately, during elections, voters look at the whole picture

Or so thinks Just Left. Unfortunately I don't agree with him. Too many people follow populist politics, and election time is no different. It seems that the party in power always offers a sweetener before the election, and both major parties offer a spin on issues to favour themselves.

It seems that the highest priority of the party in government is to stay in government, and the highest priority of the parties in opposition is to get into government. The concept, that opposition parties should not be starkly-drawn alternatives but should act to give frank debate about issues, is not a concept currently showing in New Zealand politics.

I don't care too much for chocolate

The Amateur Gourmet explains Vanilla is NOT "Vanilla". I'm definately a fan of vanilla.

Parking an SUV

There are a lot of problems with Sport Utility Vehicles, but parking it at the neighbours is not one of the usual problems.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It's not easy, being me

I used Portrait Illustration Maker to have a go at drawing myself. This is the closest I got in fifteen minutes.

Via Holycola.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Thirsty work

How to make a Shadowfoot

3 parts success
1 part crazyiness
3 parts ego

Layer ingredients in a shot glass. Serve with a slice of fitness and a pinch of salt. Yum!


Personality cocktail from Go-Quiz.com
Via Tam I Am: Meme's Aplenty

Sunday, July 04, 2004

What a punch

I had some Jacob's Creek Reserve 2001 Shiraz tonight. Very nice but what a punch it packs at 14%.
Shiraz Whether it be lamb, beef, game or cheese, rarely is there an occasion when a bold full-bodied Shiraz isn't called for. Ours is a truly outstanding example of the variety, regarded by many as the Shiraz drinker's Shiraz.

One gold medal, three silver medals, and one bronze medal. A very nice wine. I may be wrong, but I think Abbas gave it to me for my birthday. Thanks Abbas.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Books galore

Crash asks what books I got recently. My response is too big for a free HaloScan comment.

From Amazon:
The CD was How It Works. Two Dungeons and Dragons books: Complete Divine, and Eberron Campaign Setting. And a book I saw of my sister-in-law's bookcase in March: Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen.

From Borders:
The World Encyclopedia of Cooking Ingredients, and Forever Summer.

From Whitcoulls:
Kil'n People, and Perdido Street Station.

Because I didn't have enough to read I picked up a couple of library books: Marvelous Mosaics for Home & Garden, and Garden Rooms: Easy Gardening & Stylish Decorating for Outdoor Spaces

Friday, July 02, 2004

Marvel movies

I saw Spider-Man 2 last night. Nice!

From Newsweek
"In the past, these kinds of movies tended to focus just on who the next villain was going to be," says studio chairman Amy Pascal. "But the heart of 'Spider-Man' is Peter Parker. It's about making sure his story is as complicated and angst-ridden as it was before, if not more so." Not coincidentally, that angst is precisely what has made "Spider-Man" one of the best-selling Marvel Comics characters for more than 40 years.

I liked the touch with Dr Conner, just as I liked the one of Hank McCoy in X-Men 2. I see Bryan Singer will be directing the third X-Men movie, so contuinuity will be good. Hopefully Sam Raimi will continue to direct the Spider-Man movies.

Quote - Bookstores

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?
-- Henry Ward Beecher

This certainly applies to me this week. I bought two cookbooks on Wednesday from Borders. Thursday morning a parcel from Amazon arrived with three books and a CD. Thursday evening I killed time in Whitcoulls and bought two novels. (50% off all paperback fiction.)