Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Bet

A little old lady went into the Bank of America one day, carrying a bag of money. She insisted that she must speak with the president of the bank to open a savings account because, "It's a lot of money!" After much hemming and hawing, the bank staff finally ushered her into the president's office.

The bank president then asked her how much she would like to deposit. She replied, "$165,000!" and dumped the cash out of her bag onto his desk. The president was, of course, curious as to how she came by all this cash, so he asked her, "Ma'am, I'm surprised you're carrying so much cash around. Where did you get this money?" The old lady replied, "I make bets."

The president then asked, "Bets? What kind of bets?" The old woman said, "Well, for example, I'll bet you $25,000 that your balls are square." "Ha!" laughed the president, "That's a stupid bet. You can never win that kind of bet!" The old lady challenged, "So, would you like to take my bet?" "Sure," said the president, "I'll bet $25,000 that my balls are not square!" The little old lady then said, "Okay, but since there is a lot of money involved, may I bring my lawyer with me tomorrow at 10:00 am as a witness?" "Sure!" replied the confident president.

That night, the president got very nervous about the bet and spent a long time in front of a mirror checking his balls, turning from side to side, again and again. He thoroughly checked them out until he was sure that there was absolutely no way his balls were square and that he would win the bet.

The next morning, at precisely 10 am, the little old lady appeared with her lawyer at the president's office. She introduced the lawyer to the president and repeated the bet:  "$25,000 says the president's balls are square!" The president agreed with the bet again and the old lady asked him to drop his pants so they could all see. The president complied. The little old lady peered closely at his balls and then asked if she could feel them.  "Well, Okay," said the president,"$25,000 is a lot of money, so I guess you should be absolutely sure."

Just then, he noticed that the lawyer was quietly banging his head against the wall. The president asked the old lady, "What the hell's the matter with your lawyer?" She replied, "Nothing, except I bet him $50,000 that at 10 am today, I'd have the president of the Bank of America's balls in my hand."

More Later...

Monday, June 29, 2009

More -- Marriage Humour

  • You have two choices in life: You can stay single and be miserable, or get married and wish you were dead.
  • At a cocktail party, one man said to another, "Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?" "Yes, I am. I married the wrong Woman."
  • A man inserted an ad in the classifieds: "Wife Wanted". Next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine."
  • When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.
  • A man is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished
  • A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" Fatherreplied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."
  • A young son asked, "Is it true Dad, that in some parts of Africa a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her?" Dad replied, "That happens in every country, son."
  • Then there was a man who said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married, and by then, it was too late.
  • Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
  • If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep.
  • Just think, if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.
  • First guy says, "My wife's an angel!" Second guy remarks, "You're lucky, mine's still alive."
  • "A Man's Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray for: Wisdom, to understand a Woman, to Love and to forgive her, and for patience, for her moods. Because Lord, if I pray for Strength, I'ld just beat her to death"
  • Husband and wife are waiting at the bus stop with their nine children. A blind man joins them after a few minutes. When the bus arrives, they find it overloaded and only the wife and the nine kids are able to fit onto the bus.

    So the husband and the blind man decide to walk. After a while, the husband gets irritated by the ticking of the stick of the blind man as he taps it on the sidewalk, and says to him, "Why don't you put a piece of rubber at the end of your stick? That ticking sound is driving me crazy." The blind man replies, "If you had put a rubber at the end of YOUR stick, we'ld be riding the bus, so shut up.
More Later....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day of Photographic Adventure... (Update 2)

Day of Photographic Adventure... I've uploaded the HDRs to my flickr account and added the other half of my GPSed track.  I didn't like any of the pix I took of the Lamont County boys fighting the brush fire so I'm not going to upload them.

More Later....

Couple more ways to waste time on TV

Over the last few weeks I've caught a couple of more TV shows that have caught my interest
Doing Da Vinci is on Discovery Channel and is a reality show about a group of people building various war machines from the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Merlin is new in North America, but is a British fantasy series about the Aurtherian Court and the wizard Merlin.

More Later....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Intelectual Conversation - Little Girl on a plane

A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, 'Let's talk.  I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.'

The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, 'What would you like to talk about?'

'Oh, I don't know,' said the stranger.  Then 'How about nuclear physics?' and he smiles.

OK, ' she said. 'That could be an interesting topic.  But let me ask you a question first.  A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff — grass — . Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?'

The stranger, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, 'Hmmm, I have no idea.'

To which the little girl replies, 'Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear physics when you don't know shit?

More Later....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Abstract Art and Photography

On Flickr there is a group called ROTHKOesque. These are photos that look like they are in the style of the abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko.   Mark Rothko was known for doing paintings with blocks of colours, called Colour Block Painting. It's an interesting style, and I have a number of sunsets that might be considered Rothkoesque
I will have to explore taking more photos in this style.

More Later....

Day of Photographic Adventure... (Update 1)

Day of Photographic Adventure... I mentioned I took a bunch of HDR pics I've uploaded them to my flickr account and linked them to my GPSed Track.

More Later....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jesse James is a Dead Man

A new show on Spike TV that has a passing interest to me is Jesse James Is a Dead Man. Jesse James, owner of West Coast Choppers, and star of Monster Garage, and Motorcycle Mania, is back in a new series.  It looks interesting. 

More Later...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day of Photographic Adventure...

I had to get out and see if I could capture photos of a thunderstorm.  Instead, I ended up playing with some HDRs of clouds.  There were a number of lightning strikes, and I got a couple of photos of the Lamont County Firecrew putting out a fire from one of the lightning strikes.  I will be uploading these to my flickr account over the next week or so.

On my Blackberry 8830, I've been using a piece of software GPSed which acts as a GPS data logger.  I've been having very mixed results with it.  At times, it looses GPS connectivity, and I don't know if it is the a problem in the blackberry GPS or the way in which GPSed is interacting with the 8830.  So a number of my tracks on GPSed.com, aren't complete.  If I catch it in time I can reset my blackberry and start a new track but, I think I will just have to get a Garmin to do my GPS data logging.

More Later ....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Programming Methodologies -- Time for me to join the modern age.

Before I became a BOFH System Admin / Network Admin, I started walking down the path of a software developer.  If you look at my bookshelf Software Development books out number my SA/NA books 3 to 1.  In the previous shop, I was going to do 50-50 SA work - Software Development.  There was enough interesting SA work that I decided to leave Software Development behind, at least as my primary means of earning my paycheck.  That didn't keep me from dabbling in my spare time.

After a lot of reading, contemplating, and searching I came across the Extreme Programming  Explained by Kent Beck.  I saw the light, a programming methodology that I could get behind.  I became an XP (Extreme Programming) convert.  I preached XP to whomever would listen.  The main stumbling block that I had in getting people to buy into XP was the concept of pairs programming.  While the documentation from most XP based projects should that 2 people working together overtime were more productive, it was often view by management as an excuse for the programmers to slack off and goof around.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Trollkarl -- the meaning of a name.

People often ask where does this come from.  They ask about trolls, they wonder if my name is Karl.  The simple answer is none of the above, it's the Swedish word for warlock or illusionist.  This was my preferred character class when I played any number of RPGs. Also, warlock was just too common of a pseudonym on the Internet for me to use that, so I picked something from my ancestry.

More Later....

Lazy Saturday

I spent a day messing around with a number of Firefox plug-ins, YSlow and Page Speed.  They analyze your webpage and give you suggestions of how to tweak things to make you site faster.  In the process I watched two very interesting movies
Amal is about a rickshaw driver that has a heart of gold.  He gave a ride to an eccentric millionaire, who without Amal's knowledge write Amal into his will.  A well done movie.

August Rush, is the story of an untrained musical protege that ran away from foster-care.  Everywhere this amazing kid sees and hears music, he discovers his gifts while he is on a quest to find his parents.

More Later ....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tacos al Pastor de Gregorio

Continuing on my recipe spree, last October, I made a variation on Tacos al Pastor for a friends birthday. I did a whack of research and came up with this variation of a Mexican classic.
Tacos al Pastor
  • 10 Pasilla Chiles
  • 10 Mexico Nuevo Chiles
  • 10 Ancho Chiles
  • 5 Pasilla Negro Chiles
  • 5 Mulato Chiles
  • 2 Pablano Chiles
  • 1 to 3 Chipotle Chiles (preferencia)
  • 1/2 Large Sweet yellow onion minced
  • 5 to 10 cloves Garlic (preferencia)
  • 250 ml Packed yellow sugar
  • 500 ml cider vinegar
  • 500 ml stock (low sodium beef, chicken, veggie whatever is available, water in a pinch)
  • 250 ml pineapple juice (un-sweetened)
  • 125 ml orange juice
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons mexican oregano
  • 1/3 of package of achiote
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • 2 days before you want tacos make the marinade/ salsa

    Toast all the dried chiles and remove the seeds and stems. Roast the Pablanos and make Rojas. In a large pot heat a tablespoon of oil, sweat the minced onion, add the tomato paste, and garlic. To the pot add the cider vinegar, sugar and the lime juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Turn down the heat to medium, add the toasted dried chiles, cook until soft. Add the rojas and chipotles. With an immersion blender start pureeing the chiles, add the stock to thin the mixture. Add the pineapple and orange juice and blend until smooth. Add the Oregano and achiote and blend again. Simmer until all the flavours have melded. If the salsa is too thick, thin with either pineapple juice or more vinegar (if the salsa seems too sweet use vinegar, if it too tart/sour add some pineapple juice.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool overnight.

  • 1 day before

    Take a couple of kilos of pork/lamb shoulder steak, butt steak or beef flank
    steak and coat well with the marinade.  Message the marinade into the meat
    well. Every couple hours move everything around making sure the meat
    absorbs the marinade ( add more marinade if things are dry).

  • Day of the tacos.

    Remove all the excess marinade from the meat, scrape it clean if necessary (this will
    be very messy). If you are using lamb or pork, in a pan cook the meat
    over high heat until the meat is medium rare ( we are cooking it again later so
    even rare is ok). For beef bbq/grill it to the desired doneness cut
    across the grain and serve. For the lamb and pork, to get a better
    texture, slice the partly cooked meat into thin slices across the grain.
    In a wok on high heat, add a bit of corn oil, lard, or shortening something
    with a high smoke point. Stir fry the meat until cooked, don’t be afraid
    to get a little crispy on one side to simulate the meat being cooked on a
    trompa (rotisserie)

Server with you favorite taco fixings and grilled pineapple.  This will make a mess, but it tastes good.
More Later....


Since I'm writing starting to through some food in the mix.  It's been a while since I made fresh gnocchi, but I'm getting a hankerin' for it again.  Last time I made it was last summer!!
Gnocchi Recipe
  • 2 lbs Russet Potatoes (Baked)
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
Bake the potatoes, I cheat and nuke them until they were 3/4 done, then I put the in the oven to finish. Let them cool, peel them, and put them through a food mill, or grate them if you don't have a mill.  Mix in the salt and beaten egg.  Add enough flour so the dough  no longer sticks to your hands.  Pour everything on the bench and lightly dust with bench flour, kneed for 3 or 4 minutes until the dough is smooth.  Make a ball, and cut into 6 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 3/4" rope.  Cut into pieces 1" long. You can add the ridges either with the back of a fork, or I have a ridged gnocchi paddle. Now you can either cook or freeze them. I found the recipe here.
Last summer I made a brown butter sage sauce with some scallops and prawns to be served with the gnocchi.  One thing to note you need Russet or some other high starch, low moisture potato, this keeps the gnocchi light and tender.

More Later ...