Jul 132006

Never Trust a Skinny Chef…: Ups and Downs:
It’s an old post off of a food blog that I enjoy reading, but it gives me hope. I know everyone I talk to about losing weight says “I’m sure you can do it,” but I’ve had my doubts. But seeing someone who actually did exactly what I plan to do really does boot my hope reserves.

For the record, this guy went from 280 to 179. Granted, it took him twice as long as I have initially planned to devote to this exercise, but since I have similar goals (I weighed in at 273 on Monday morning this week, and I hope to be at 180 by late 2008). Let’s just hope that I don’t spend a year and a half hovering at 220 like Mr. Conway in the link…

50 tanks later

 50 tanks later  General  Comments Off on 50 tanks later
Jul 132006

I just realized that I’m on my 50th tank of gas in my truck. 13,800 miles, 768 gallons, and $1777 later, I have some statistics:

average MPG: 17.6
average cost per mile: 13¢
average miles per day: 26.1
average cost per day (only for gas): $3.43

Interesting, eh?

Jul 102006

So apparently the machine I’ve been using as a web server for the last couple years decided to up and die on my this evening. I didn’t even know about it until I went to see if anyone had commented on the last post (I didn’t expect anything, but I checked nevertheless). It looks like the motherboard is dead, ’cause I moved the HD to a “backup” machine that I’m glad I didn’t let Heather make me throw away. That machine (a wimpy K6-2 400) is what’s running the domain until I manage to get enough funds to put something new online. Which may be a while.

So if you emailed me, or any address on my domains, between (according to my log files) 6:00 PM and 9:20 PM today, you might need to re-send your message.

oh, but *that* series isn’t *on* DVD

 oh, but *that* series isn’t *on* DVD  General  Comments Off on oh, but *that* series isn’t *on* DVD
Jul 102006

Given the abundance of TV series that are coming out on DVD, by season or in “best of” packs, it’s pretty much become my common assumption that any TV series is available on DVD. I mean, I’ve got entire seasons of things like Buffy, Alias, Babylon 5, Cheers, and two Good Eats collections.

But apparently one of my favorite shows for watching on a lazy Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning – The New Yankee Workshop – is only available one episode at a time, on VHS, and costs 25 bucks a pop because it comes with a “measured drawing and materials list”. That’s a little much for me; I don’t really plan on making any of the projects featured on the show, given that I don’t have a wood shop. Or even a hand saw. I just enjoy watching the craftsmanship. And of course, it’s not popular enough of a show to be easy to “acquire” off teh Intarwub. There’s only 4 or 5 episodes posted within the last month. And I’ve seen all of ’em anyway.

Oh, well. I guess it’s time to set up a watch list in my newsreader, and hope that whoever posted those 4 or 5 episodes keeps it up, and manages to get some of the older episodes. Oh, and to start downloading the episodes off of my Replay TV and putting ’em on DVD; I need to justify having these copies of Final Cut Express and DVD Studio Pro.

PS to WGBH: If you make entire seasons of this show available on DVD for, say, 25 or 30 bucks a pop (there’s only 13 24-minute episodes per season; this seems like a fair price to me), I’d totally buy all of ’em.

PPS to Spike TV: If you released old seasons of Trucks! or Shade Tree Mechanics on DVD, I’d probably buy those, too. But only the ones with Stacey David. I don’t like those new guys so much…

Ctrl-Alt-Chicken is educational via counter-example

 Ctrl-Alt-Chicken is educational via counter-example  General  Comments Off on Ctrl-Alt-Chicken is educational via counter-example
Jul 062006

So on episode 4 of Ctrl-Alt-Chicken, Alex Albrecht and Heather Stewart make Beef Wellington. I know the show is supposed to be about people who don’t (can’t?) cook, but who nevertheless are cooking things. But come on; this was pretty bad.

Let’s start with the obvious: If you’re making something according to a recipe, and you aren’t the best of cooks to start with, you really should follow the recipe more closely. To paraphrase Alton Brown, cooking is like jazz. Improvisation needs to wait until you have the chops for it.

So Heather, even though you don’t like chicken livers, use ’em anyway, and pick ’em off when you’re done if you don’t want to eat ’em. Alex, here. ‘Nuff said. Pie crust doesn’t “puff” like puff pastry does, so it really makes a difference. And yes, using “real” ham probably makes a difference over Deli Selects. (That said, I do enjoy the Deli Selects. Just not for something like this.) Also, nobody really wants to watch mushrooms being chopped, it’s boring; prep ’em beforehand and put ’em in custard cups like you did for the garlic and tomato puree.

If I had sufficient funds to buy filet, I’d totally make this myself (with photo documentation). I’m not that much of a cook (and definitely not a chef), but I think I could probably turn out a more appetizing (or even simply edible) result. Oh, well… maybe after I win the lottery.