Friday, December 31, 2010

Rock Slyde (movie, 2009)

I've been a fan of Patrick Warburton for quite some time--I guess I would have to put him close to the top of my list of favorite character actors as well as voice actors. I have found recently that he keeps turning up in unexpected places--the voice of the Wolf on Hoodwinked, which I and the kids saw recently and was quite funny, especially the parts including the Wolf; and the voice of the sheriff on the newest incarnation of Scooby Doo, to name two. Of course he's the voice of Brock Samson on The Venture Brothers, which is probably my favorite animated series at the moment. I was first introduced to him as Elaine's weird boyfriend on Seinfeld, who always wore that huge furry coat. But I've never seen him in a leading role. So I was pleasantly surprised when I came across a movie (I think it was on The Movie Channel) starring him, called Rock Slyde.

Rock Slyde is a comedy that spoofs both hard-boiled detective stories and villain-who-wants-to-take-over-the-world stories. Other major characters are played by Andy Dick (the villain), Elaine Hendrix (Slyde's secretary), and the beautiful Rena Sofer (Slyde's client). The rest of the cast is made up of many people who could, and have, starred in their own shows & movies but who play relatively small parts in this movie, which is unusual. For example, Jason Alexander plays a small part as a mailman. All three of the aforementioned supporting actors have appeared in lots of places and I'm sure you know them well.*

Andy Dick plays the leader of a weird pseudo-religious cult known as Bartology (which in itself is a spoof of Scientology), because his first name is Bart, although all his followers refer to him as "the blessed guru." However, instead of wanting to rule the entire world, Bart wants only to occupy one whole office building. The only one who stands in his way is Rock Slyde, who refuses to give up his office. Slyde has a shameful secret from his past, in that when he was younger and desperate for money he appeared in a gay pr0n musical called The Jolly Roger. Bart uses this information to attempt to blackmail Slyde. Slyde's skills as a detective remain in some doubt; he has a reputation as a poor detective and often makes stupid mistakes, however he has certain genius-level abilities such as being able to identify the make of a car, the key from which was used to key his own car, by simply looking at the shape of the scratch.

The humor is not over-the-top. I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it "subtle" but it doesn't usually (usually, I repeat) hit you over the head. I did laugh out loud several times, and I would recommend catching it sometime if you can. I think it's worth spending 90 minutes on.

*By the way, the first time I saw Rena Sofer, she appeared in a short-lived Sci-Fi series called The Chronicle which I enjoyed quite a lot. Unfortunately it seems this series has never been released to DVD; Netflix isn't even aware of its existence.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stuff I want to see but can't get from Netflix

A self-explanatory post title. There are some titles that you can look up at Netflix, and they are listed but not available. So, instead of adding them to your queue, you can "save" them so you won't forget about them just in case they someday become available. So here is the list of stuff on my "saved" list. Some of them I've never seen and some of them I don't even remember what prompted me to add them.

Davy Crockett -- the TV series. Never seen. I've seen the movies.
Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow -- movie. Never seen.
Fat Albert -- the TV series. Saw it. Wanted to get them so my kids could watch them.
Get a Life -- TV series. Saw them all when they were on TV, but want to see them again.
Haibane-Renmei -- anime series. Never saw it.
Le Femme Nikita -- the movie. Saw it several years ago on some movie channel. Never saw the TV series, which I've read totally sucked if you were a fan of the movie, so I'm not interested in it.
Lupin the Third, volumes 1, 2, 3, 7 and 10 -- anime series. Never saw it. Volumes 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 are available, for some reason.
Philip Marlowe, Private Eye -- British TV series. Never seen.
Monster Squad -- Saturday morning live-action TV series starring Fred (Gopher) Grandy. Saw them all, I'm pretty sure, when it was on TV. Just thought I'd give it another go and also the kids would probably like it.
The Sword and the Sorcerer -- Saw this one in an actual theater, which is unusual for me. Of course they do have Krull (which I have ranted about before), so I don't know why they don't have this one. I saw Sorcerer as a double feature with the first Death Wish.
Tron -- They don't have Tron. WTF. Saw this one in a theater, too.
Vampire Hunter D -- anime movie. Never seen. Read about it. Read that Hellsing bore a lot of resemblance to this earlier movie.
Walking Tall -- the original. Can't believe they don't have it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Worst album covers of 2010

Link. I agree with most of them, but I thought the Devo cover was quite good.

Death Metal: Metalhit Free Download Series (mp3 download, 2010)

As I said before, I knew I wouldn't enjoy listening to some of this series, and this is one of them. I still downloaded it because all the intricate variations of the metal genre interest me.

Like all the other Metalhit samplers thus far, this collection focuses mostly on outside-the-U.S. bands; only one band from the U.S., the others being mostly from Europe, with a few from Russia, Mexico, and South America. Several of them are listed at Encyclopedia Metallum as "technical death metal," which is defined at Wikipedia thus: "a musical subgenre of death metal that focuses on complex rhythms, riffs and song structures." Further: "Phil Freeman, ex-editor of Metal Edge, has described the sub-genre of technical death metal as 'the hidden side of its genre, having more in common with prog-rock and jazz fusion than with the mechanistic, Satan-obsessed grinding that's the music's dominant public image.'"

I can't vouch for any of this stuff being "Satan-obsessed" or not, because I can't understand a word they're saying. It's all gutteral vocals, some reduced to the point of a monotone growl, which doesn't do much for me. I didn't hear a whole lot that seemed to be influenced by prog-rock or jazz fusion, either, but maybe that's just my uneducated ear.

There's not much point in me giving this one a rating of any kind, although if forced I guess I'd give it a 1.0 but I'll try listening to it more and see if I can hear anything I like. Still, it goes into the archive as a good collection of examples of what death metal sounds like.

Two more of these yet to go: Thrash, which I haven't listened to yet, and Doom, which hasn't been made available yet but which I'm looking forward to because it tends to be more "musical" to my ears and sometimes uses "clean" female vocals, which I really like.

Around the corner at Bill Miller's, probably

In the department where I work, we use our own personal vehicles when we have foot routes. Some routes must be driven, however, and for those we use a company truck. It was decided this past year that each employee should have his own permanently assigned company truck and never use his own personal vehicle again. That means we're getting 27 new trucks.

Today as I was working, I was struck by a thought. All parking at our office is full. There is no place to put 27 new trucks. So called in and asked my boss: "Where are we going to park all those new trucks?"

The answer: "That's what everyone is speculating about. I have no idea. I guess we'll find out when they get delivered."

I hadn't had a good, hard laugh like that in a long time. [Your utility company] in action, folks!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cleaning My Gun

I keep a weather eye on the horizon, back to the wall
I like to know who's coming through the door, that's all
It's the old army training kicking in
I'm not complaining, it's the world we live in

Blarney and Malarkey, they're a devious firm
Take you to the cleaners and let you burn
The help is breaking dishes in the kitchen, thanks a lot
We hired the worst dishwasher this place ever got

Hidden below the radar
They want to spoil our fun
In the meantime
I'm cleaning my gun

Remember it got so cold ice froze up the tank
We lit a fire beneath her just so she would crank
Keep a weather eye on the horizon
Tap the stone glass now and then
We got a case of old damnation
For when you get here, my friend

We can have ourselves
A party before they come
In the meantime
I'm cleaning my gun

We had women and a mirror ball, we had a DJ
He used to eat pretty much all that came his way
Ever since the goons came in took apart the place
I keep a tire iron in the corner just in case

Hang a little magic bullet on a little chain
Keep me safe from the chilly winds and out of the rain
We're gonna might need bullets should we get stuck
Any which way, we're gonna need a little luck

You can still get gas in heaven
And drink in kingdom come
In the meantime
I'm cleaning my gun

--Mark Knopfler, "Cleaning My Gun" from Get Lucky (2009)

Have a Heebie Jeebie Christmas

A really creepy Big Brother Santa flanked by a pair of sinister black-shirted elfenstürm. (I made that word up). Found today in a yard on a street that shall remain nameless in the far northwest nosebleed zone of S.A.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you had a great Christmas. Ours was one of the best so far, I think. My best gift was just seeing the kids happy.

The new Wii is a lot of fun--it's some kind of special anniversary version that came with an extra Mario game plus the usual Sports disc. Oh yeah, and it's red. The kids are busy running Mario to death. I played quite a lot of bowling and tennis (btw, I almost look like I know what I'm doing with Wii tennis--completely the opposite of how I would look on a real tennis court), and after about the fifth round of bowling I really started wishing I had some demons or zombies or various other monsters to shoot or hack apart with a sword or something. I'm going to have to find something with a little more violence in it.

I fired up our little fireplace today, for the first time ever. It's nice. Doesn't do much to heat the house, but I still like it. I'll have to see if I can get my chainsaw working and start cutting up some of the dead wood around here.

As far as material gifts went today, I got a couple of new shirts, a new toolbox, some chocolate-covered cherries (a traditional gift for the adult males of our family, for some reason), and $50 cash. I also count the Wii as part of my own Christmas because I know I'm going to have fun playing with it, too.

I stuffed one of those pre-paid Net10 phones in my daughter's stocking. We activated it this morning and took it with us because I wanted to check its signal strength. That sucker had 5 bars solid all the way from La Vernia to Gonzales, while my T-Mobile phone is completely without signal starting around Stockdale until just outside Gonzales. The rest of the time the best I could get was 2 or 3 bars with T-Mobile. The Net10 phone lost its signal completely for a little while around the Nockenut area on 1681 on the way back (alternate route because I wanted to see if it had a signal back there in the boonies) but it just beat T-Mobile all to h***. I think I'm going to be switching mine and my wife's phones to Net10 also.

By the way, the reason we use T-Mobile is because way back in the olden days when we first got cell phones, back when T-Mobile was Voicestream and Jamie Lee Curtis did their commercials, that was the only company that got any coverage out here at all. We had tried AT&T before that but their coverage out here sucked--I actually had to stand on the roof of my truck one time to get a signal for a semi-emergency. Even now I have to stand next to a window to use my cell phone at home, and then I only get 2 bars and have to stand on the east side of the house or it goes completely dead. My daughter can go anywhere in the house with hers and get 5 bars.

And Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

There ain't no such thing as a universal universal remote

I don't for sure how long ago it was now, but I guess 4 or 5 years ago, one of the remotes for one of our DishNetwork receivers wore out. I was able to extend its life for a few months by carefully opening it and cleaning all the contacts with a pencil eraser (old computer tech trick), but eventually it gave out and many of the buttons had stopped working.

Thus began my quest to find a universal remote that I could use for a replacement. Note: I did not need a universal remote that would run everything. I just wanted one that I could program to replace the worn out satellite remote.

The first one I ever bought worked very well. Unfortunately, it wore out quite soon. I don't know why it wore out so quickly, but it did. Buttons stopped working, cleaning didn't help, it was shot. After that, I was never able to find one that worked exactly like I wanted it to. Something was always wrong with it that made it very inconvenient--something that I always had to figure out a workaround for. The last one was still working, sort of, but it kept doing things that infuriated me and finally I smashed it to pieces with my bare hands. I bought a new replacement a few days ago, made by Philips, which completely sucks. It sends the correct codes all right, but it sends a burst of repeat codes several seconds long so it's impossible to enter only one command at a time. Try selecting a channel with a remote that does that. My current workaround? I press a button and then quickly put my hand over the IR transmitter to block the remaining burst until it's finished.

And then suddenly it occurred to me: why not just see if I can get an identical replacement from DishNetwork? Man, how stupid I have been. I've probably spent $50-$60 trying different universal remotes during the past several years when I could have just spent $20 for an identical replacement.

So, the replacement is now on the way.

Don't think so...

You'd have to pay me a lot more than $1.00 to subscribe to that worthless garbage.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bizarre Records

Recently found this: Bizarre Records. Posts scans of strange record covers. Check it out.

I have pretty much lost all motivation for posting. I did make a start on writing up a review of Viva Max today, but those movie reviews I did before are very time-intensive, and it's going to take me a while.

So...that's all for now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Today is this humble blogger's seventh blogiversary. Just thought I'd mention it. Nothing to see here now, just move along...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Folk Metal: Metalhit Free Download Series (mp3 download)

The Metalhit label ("the first extreme metal digital music store and digital record label") is releasing a series of free samplers via I wrote about their Gothic Metal sampler previously. I have learned over the past few years that I have an affinity for this type of music (and goth-rock in general), and as I mentioned I liked the sampler quite a lot. I am looking forward to downloading more of their samplers, mostly for my musical education and not necessarily because I think I'm going to like the stuff. In fact I know I'm not going to enjoy some of it.

The "Folk Metal" label piqued my curiosity; I had never heard of such a sub-genre before. Upon looking it up and reading about it, I didn't like everything I read. So I'll have to make a clear qualification here.

Musically, I really like this collection. It's metal, but with mostly clear (or clearish) vocals, and it incorporates various folk instruments from the various groups' countries of origin. Most of this sampler is European and Russian, with one British group and one Australian group (updated to add: and one Canadian group). Many of the lyrical themes are based on folktales and mythologies from those countries, which to me is also interesting.

The dark side is that these groups tend toward nationalism, along with all the uglinesses that can entail. Two out of the twelve groups on this sampler are openly racist--not necessarily in the songs included here, but according to some things I have read. So, you have been warned. This sampler gets a 2.4 in my personal scale of 0 to 3.

Nevertheless, there are songs on here that I will include in my general favorites playlist, the stand-out groups being Fferyllt (who, in spite of being Russian, seem to be focused on Celtic lore), Leshak and Temnozor from Russia and Heorot from Finland.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A couple of free Christmas Samplers

Both from If you do listen to some Christmas music this time of year, here are a couple of quick samplers to inject some freshness into your playlist. The Acorn sampler is all instrumental, while the X5 sampler is all vocal and sounds like groups of professional carolers. I would especially recommend track #1 of the Acorn sampler ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen") for a great example of some hammered dulcimer music. That's an instrument I haven't heard very often. If you haven't ever heard the hammered dulcimer, here's your chance.

The Cthulhu Ngram

From Ars Technica:
Is it possible to study something as ill-defined as culture in a quantitative manner? Researchers from Harvard have collaborated with Google and some traditional publishers to answer that question with a qualified "yes." By leveraging a portion of Google's massive library of digitized books, the team has created what they call a "culturome," with which they can track the use of language and terms across hundreds of years. This lets them track not only trends in language and usage, but the rise and fall of celebrities and historic events in the books of many eras. And, thanks to Google, the underlying data has been exposed via a Web interface, allowing others to perform their own analysis.

The authors didn't work with the full complement of Google's digitized texts, but the amount of material they did use is staggering: over 5 million books. They estimate that's about four percent of the books ever published. Google has about three times as many works scanned, but the scan quality and metadata on these—date and location of publication, etc.—isn't uniformly good, so the research has focused on the material with the best quality. Works start appearing at 1500, and include significant contributions in seven languages. They estimate that it would take someone 80 years to read it all, assuming said individual didn't eat or sleep.

Given this data source, the authors performed a simple analysis, identifying the frequency of a word relative to the total number of words produced that year. This compensates for the vast expansion in the printed word. In 1900, about 1.4 billion words a year were being printed; by 2000, that figure had reached 8 billion. With this data in hand, they performed a similar process for what they call "n-grams," or short phrases of up to five words.
And it's fun to play with. You can see it here.

click to enlarge

I don't know where that little blip at 1900 came from. Curious.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane (2002, yard sale CD)

I don't really bother to keep up with contemporary pop groups anymore. It took me several tries to listen to this; about 30-40 seconds into the first track I kept bailing out. Tonight I finally listened to the whole thing. This is the last of the CDs my wife picked up at a yard sale for 14 discs for $1.

Well, it's not really my thing. I understand this was one of those multi-platinum albums, but that doesn't mean much to me. I'm not going to delete it--it will go into the big archive, but that's about it. There's nothing on it that offends me musically, but I'm not thrilled by it, either, and occasional flare-ups of autotune doesn't help (apparently the singer isn't too solid on the high notes). So...mostly, this is the kind of group that would not make me change the station on the radio, although I'm stumped as to why I would be listening to a station that would play this in the first place.

I do like the cover.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Various Artists - Verve Unmixed 3 (2005, CD)

Just got this from yesterday. Apparently, Verve had put out a collection called Verve Remixed 3--part of a series in which jazz classics "were remixed by today's finest DJs." I am so totally uninterested in any such thing that I can't accurately say I have "zero" interest. My interest in it would be something more like negative 15. Anyway, they followed it up with this collection of the original untampered-with recordings which did interest me. It's basically a jazz sampler, mostly vocal, mostly female artists. Included are Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Horn, Blossom Dearie (who I hadn't previously heard of), Astrud Gilberto (who you probably know as the woman who sang "The Girl from Ipanema"), Jimmy Smith (instrumental), Hugh Masekela (instrumental, mostly) and Dinah Washington.

Pretty good collection, and it doesn't duplicate anything I already had except for the Jimmy Smith track. The Dinah Washington track is from her more jazzy stuff--not the kind of thing that could be considered pop by any means. "Little Girl Blue" by Nina Simone has a very strange and poignant juxtaposition of melodies--the piano is playing "Good King Wenceslas" but she's singing a completely different tune.

So...a good addition for the collection.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ultravox - Vienna (1980, LP)

I have mentioned this one before but I recently re-ripped it to encode it at a higher bit rate. In short, I bought this one because I heard Geddy Lee mention it in a radio interview. I have one other album of theirs but I haven't re-ripped it yet. Ultravox were a British synthpop (for lack of a better term) group, fairly heavy on the electronics. Their music--that is, of their music that I'm familiar with--has a kind of darkness of atmosphere to it. I like it quite a lot. It's not the kind of thing that ever got played on any radio stations around here, to my knowledge. They recently re-formed and are active again, I think. This was their first album with then new lead singer/guitarist Midge Ure. They had three previous albums with a different lead singer.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gothic Metal: Metalhit Free Download Series (mp3 download)

I haven't been downloading as much this year as last year, mostly because I've been spending more time trying to digitize my old records. Anyhow, I've seen others from this series before but skipped them. This one was in the regular email from Amazon several days ago and I decided to download it and see what it was like.

I like it a lot--the lyrics I posted yesterday were from a song in this collection. In my personal ratings system, which, as a reminder, goes roughly from 0 to 3, although higher than 3 is possible but extremely rare, this album gets an overall 2.9.

Generally, in this collection you're going to hear metal that is heavy yet melodic and harmonic (that is, musical), some keyboards (including piano!), and some growled male vocals along with "clean" female vocals. Tempos tend to be slower and lyrics tend toward the dark and doomy, as they should in this kind of music.

One problem with this one, however, is that track #10 is incomplete. It is a sampler collection, after all, but since all the other tracks are complete and this one just abruptly stops at 5:55, it must have just been a goof on someone's part. A commenter at Amazon said that the actual track is about 3 minutes longer.

Twelve tracks, total playing time about an hour. I might also mention that I tried to look up several of these groups on Wikipedia, but of the ones I looked for none of them were included there. However, the Encyclopaedia Metallum has proven most helpful in filling in more information on these groups.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Word of the day: Mysteriarch

Darkness devours me again
the whirling, black depth of abysmal night
And he stands before me like a dreadful prophet
like some ancient Mysteriarch

O those eldritch eyes
they glow like sorcerous orbs
like fearful stars of unseen spheres
wise with the secrets of Time

I know he came for me
through the vast gateways of hell
passing from fearful, grey worlds
hidden deep in nightmare's well

The ravenous demons of time fed upon me
like vultures upon the flesh
O, cryptical phantasm let me drown
with the oblivious flow of non-existence

Come swiftly sublime spectre
reveal the endless voids that Night does hide
Spread thine empyreal wings
and lead me to the vast eternity of dark

--The Nameless Eidolon
Even Song

Doom metal. Very beautiful and ethereal music. Man, I'm really liking this stuff. Here's a link to the video, possibly, but I haven't watched it yet. Might download it later tonight. I actually had to use a dictionary for a few of these words--I felt like I was reading Clark Ashton Smith again.

More on this later.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A glimpse into the future...

Me in 40 years.

Actually that's Thomas Johnston Taylor, a.k.a. Lord Taylor of Gryfe, found at Famous Pipe Smokers.

If, and I repeat, if I lose that much hair. If I take after my father's side of the family, I will lose my hair but keep my hair color. If I take after my mother's side, I will keep my hair but it will turn a magnificent silvery-white, which is what I'm hoping for. Also my eyes will probably not change from blue to brown, but you get the idea.


Found this carefully laminated recipe today lying in the street near Fantasia & Reverie.

I got the stomach bug. I started feeling it Sunday afternoon, it hit with full force about 8:00 Sunday night, and kept me horizontal almost continuously through this morning, when I was able to get up and go to work even though I still felt (and feel) shaky.

My jerky supplies came in today but I don't think I'll be making anymore jerky just yet. I don't know if I'm up to handling raw meat yet.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Another pointless ramble

We were supposed to be at a Christmas tree lighting/flag raising ceremony tonight, but my daughter has come down with the stomach bug that my wife had last week. She is miserable, weak, tired and sporadically feverish. Since my wife has to work tonight I've just been trying to ease my daughter's discomfort all day.

Other than that, I have been setting up more "Santa with pipe" posts for The Briar Files, finished cleaning up/converting another record, and tried a couple of dehydrating experiments. Dried apple slices are quite nice and I have been enjoying them by popping a couple in my mouth along with a piece of jerky. I'm slowly working up to creating homemade pemmican.* Dried banana slices are also okay--my son likes them much more than the apple but he doesn't really care for apples. I'm just the opposite--I greatly prefer apples over bananas. And lastly, I tried dehydrating a little yogurt to make a yogurt leather. It tasted great, but I forgot to spray "Pam" on the leather sheet first so it stuck pretty bad. We scraped it all off and ate it, anyway.

My curing salt and liquid smoke have been shipped. Should come in this coming week. I bought more meat yesterday so I can get started as soon as the stuff comes in.

I note that my followers list for both this and The Briar Files have grown a little recently. Welcome aboard to all the new folks. Glad to have you around.

I have it on good authority that Santa is going to be bringing our family a Wii this Christmas. Can anyone recommend any halfway decent similar-to-D&D games available for it, if any? I understand that the system will also run older Gamecube games, so any of those are acceptable for recommendation, too.

I found two $20 bills blowing around in the street in Helotes this week. Christmas bonus!

"Pemmican" is in Firefox's spellcheck dictionary, but "briar" is not? My next project is to edit my own spellcheck dictionary. Also apparently in the previous sentence the first "spellcheck" is spelled correctly but the second is not. Neither is the one in that sentence. If anyone can see the difference, please let me know.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Last Airbender (the movie)

Spoilers ahead.

Saw the movie version of Avatar: The Last Airbender tonight. If you haven't seen it yet, and if you have never seen the animated series, here is my recommendation: don't watch the movie. Just watch the animated series, from beginning to end if you can. The movie attempted to condense 20 half-hour episodes into an hour and 45 minutes. It resulted in about the same kind of movie that Dune was. If you had already seen the series, you knew what was going on, or what was supposed to be going on. If you hadn't, well... The bad news is, there has to be two more movies like this to finish the whole series.

A couple of technical gripes. Aang running sideways along a wall (using his airbending skills) looked really slow and lame. Actually, pretty much all of the elemental bending special effects looked far too slow. Also Aang never used his airball technique, which was a disappointment for both me and the kids. I was looking forward to seeing a CGI version of that. Another thing that bugged all of us is that the pronunciation of some of the names was changed from the series. And if you only watch the movie, you'll never know that Appa and Momo had names. Also the movie was entirely lacking in the humor that made a large part of the series, which meant there was no tension at all between humor and suspense. Another weird thing was that the Fire people all looked Middle Eastern, the Earth tribes looked Asian, and the Water and Air people looked like everyone else.

Another thing that was different was that in the movie, Aang was told by a spirit-dragon that the Avatar is not allowed to hurt people. This was absolutely not so in the series. Aang's avoidance of killing and even injuring when possible was purely his personal choice, and several spirit beings as well as the spirits of previous Avatars told him he was going to have to get over that if he was going to save the world.

And for the love of sanity, don't form an opinion on the overall story arc if you only see the movie. There is so much more background and development in the series that the movie is just a joke, but not the funny kind.

I keep thinking of more things I could say that were wrong with it, but I think I've had enough. Like I said, just watch the series.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Another jerky update

The last batch of venison jerky was very good. Very simple and old-fashioned, no measurements, just eyeball everything. Sprinkle lightly with tenderizer, bang it with a meat mallet, sprinkle with a little black pepper, flip all the pieces over and repeat for the other side. Then I dry them at 155 for about 3 - 3 1/2 hours, the smaller pieces get a shorter time than the larger pieces. Then just to be safe, I used a trick I read in a book on dehydrating that I recently got. I pop them all into a pre-heated 200-degree oven for about 30 minutes to make sure they're safe to eat.

I've begun carrying a small ziplock baggie with several pieces in it to snack on while I'm working; I'm able to go without stoking myself up with junk food to get more calories. That's sure to be a good side-effect in the long run.

One advantage of our new house is I have a lot more room for this stuff; I don't have to constantly move things around in the kitchen to make room for the dehydrator. I plan on soon getting more accessories for the dehydrator and trying some fruit leathers this weekend. Still waiting for my shipment of liquid smoke to come in. I won't be making any ground meat jerky until I get it.

I draw the line at tofu jerky, however. I'm not going to touch that stuff.