Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

“Poor is the Nation that has no heroes, but beggared is the Nation that has and forgets them.”




Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't like it? I-35 goes north.

In an unusual display of common sense, the Texas State Capitol building security has put in an express lane for those Texas citizens with Concealed Handgun Licenses.

Yes, Gentle Readers, if you go through the training, and the background check, and the fingerprinting -- as well as coughing up the dosh -- and you decide to visit your Capitol building in Austin (with your handgun and license in paw) you have an express lane through Security.

If that doesn't warm the fuzzy little cockroaches of your heart, I don't know what will.

Do allow me to choose some select quotes:

"It's perhaps the only public building in the country where pistol-packing average Joes can walk through security undeterred."

"The general public has to get scanned at the entrances. State officials and gun toting citizenry do not."

I have no doubt that various types will most certainly get their knickers into a knot over this perfectly logical step, and for those gentle souls I have but one thing to say to reassure your timid little hearts: I-35 goes north; I-10 and I-40 go east and west. Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

Nothing but love -- and God Bless Texas!


Thursday, May 13, 2010


If you are a pencil-and-paper RPG gamer -- particularly if you play any incarnation of AD&D -- you must see The Gamers: Dorkness Rising from Dead Gentlemen Productions.

The movie is made -- probably in a garage -- from the perspectives of a gaming group, and switches back-and-forth between the players at the tabletop, and their characters in the game.

While by no means high-budget, it is side-splittingly funny, and surprisingly well-done. Hollywood should take notes.

Unfortunately, if you're not a table-top gamer, you probably won't like it nearly as well.

Watch for inside stuff -- Sean K Reynolds and Monte Cook both have cameo roles; Gary Gygax's name is used as a Glyph of Warding, and there are multiple references to various other RPG games.

Undead Turkeys Rule!


Friday, May 07, 2010


Gentle Reader Alisa asks:

"Dog, why do you call the spice grinder a "weasel"? I love it, but I can't figure out the connection. Thanks."

That is a direct result of my slight-off-of-centre sense of humour.

In the cartoon series "Futurama", there was a minor character named Elzar -- a four-armed chef from Neptune who was followed about by several "spice weasels".

When Elzar wished to spice up a dish, he would grab one of these weasels, hold it over the dish and squeeze, causing the "spice weasel" to sneeze a cloud of spice onto the meal.

I found this to be intensely funny, and when I discovered the McCormick-Schilling disposable grinders, well, the connection was obvious; in my home the grinders have been "spice weasels" ever since.

Hope that helps,


Monday, May 03, 2010

Skillet steaks


2 grilling steaks (I use ribeyes)
1 jar sliced button mushrooms, drained
1 Italian Herb spice weasel
chili powder
red wine
garlic powder

Take your steaks, and dose 'em pretty thoroughly on both sides with the spice weasel, then sprinkle a pinch of chili powder on one side, and put the steaks chili side down to contemplate for a while.

Fire up your electric skillet -- set it for about 300 degrees -- and when the light goes out, drop in a generous pat of butter, stir it about and drop your steaks in for three to four minutes. Neither turn, nor disturb, your steaks until the time is up, then flip them over and do the other side for the same amount of time.

Lift out your steaks out, throw in another pat or two of butter and then toss in the mushrooms. Stir until the butter is melted, then pour a glug of red wine into the mushroom-y mess and continue stirring, being sure to loosen the caramelized steak-y bits from the bottom the skillet and mix them into the 'shrooms.

When the mushrooms are just about sauteed to your liking, sprinkle a wee pinch of garlic powder over them, give them a couple more stirs, then ladle them onto the steaks.

Voila! Skillet steaks.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Read this. Now.

Go here. Read this. Now.

Apparently, damned near every digital copy machine made since the early 2000's has an internal hard-drive on board. This hard-drive stores an image of -- according to the video -- at least the last twenty thousand copies made on that machine.

Now this, in and of itself, is worrisome, but what is scary is that most of these machines are leased, and when the lease is up, the copy machine is returned to the company -- hard-drive intact.

In the video embedded in the story at Peter's blog, four machine purchased at random from a supply house turned out to belong to the Buffalo, New York Police Sex Crimes Unit; the Buffalo PD Narcotics Unit; a New York construction company; and last, but certainly not least: a New York health insurance company -- which yielded 300 individual medical records.

These hard-drives and the images contained therein are available to anyone with $300 bucks to buy a used copy machine, a screwdriver, and a free copy of forensic software downloaded from the Internet.

Think about it: every time an employer has scanned a copy of your driver's licence and your Social Security card -- it's stored on that hard-drive.

Every time a secretary has copied your medical file -- it's stored on that hard-drive.

Every memo or report containing your name, every copied cheque, every copied bill, every copied personnel file -- if the people, firm or company doing the copying don't wipe that hard-drive when the lease is up, any Joe Critter with a high-school computer class and some loose dosh can get access to those records.

Bring this to people's attention.

Grateful tip of the Stetson to Peter, over at Bayou Renaissance Man.