06 January 2017

Daft Science: COINS Brings the Noise




A guy (COINS) made a bootleg record of Daft Punk and the Beastie Boys. This is the best track by some distance, but the others are worth a listen if you are the type of person that enjoys some Daft Punk or some Beastie Boys. This remix, and this project, is over two years old(!!). I finally caught up with it this year, so that's fun. Enjoy. 

04 January 2017

Bears!

Sam Harris is smart. And occasionally funny. But mostly smart.

02 January 2017

Hot Jamz from Earlier This Year: Bury It by CHVRCHES, remixed by Gareth Emery



No idea how long this song will stay up on soundcloud - it might stick because the audio quality is not very good. If not then just go here - it's the first song in the mix. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

01 January 2017

Science!

This is a hangover 'cure' from Chubbies. Apparently it's the same thing the WHO recommends if you have cholera. I haven't had a cholera type hangover recently but still: thanks, Chubbies.

Dr. Connor's Hangover Cure:
  • 1 liter of water
  • 6 teaspoons of sugar
  • A half teaspoon of salt
  • Squeeze of lemon or lime for flavoring

Happy New Year! Now Get Up and Get Going

Photo was taken earlier this year after my friend Tim and I had worked ourselves into a right state on the Assault bikes*. We both died. You can see the outline of my body on the ground left over from before I began the resurrection. (RIP, Tim.) Visited with Tim about this photo yesterday and he said, "I didn't even know you were dead too. I thought I was dead all by myself." Good focus, Tim. But no, I was also dead.

There's a life lesson in there somewhere and I think it is this: man tights are a-ok but sleeves will make you weak.

Good luck in 2017. See you out there.

* Yeah that's what they are actually called. It's an airdyne, but it needed a new name because IP infringement and all that. 

25 December 2016

Merry Christmas! Happy Festivus!

There is a guy in my neighborhood that puts out a Festivus pole in front of his house every year. It's on a busy street, just a couple blocks up from a Catholic church, so he knows what he's about. I appreciate that, because I reject both the bullshit religiosity and the bullshit commercialism that typifies most Christmas events.

I remain a fan of the Winter Solstice celebration as gift exchange (and because it's fun when the days start trending brighter), and also the reminder that you should do something nice for people you care about, maybe take some time to sit with them and enjoy that experience. Or punish yourself and hang out with family members and in laws that you don't like. Up to you.

Whatever you end up doing I hope you had a good 2016, and that 2017 makes you rich in happiness and friendship.


15 December 2016

RIP 'Smart' Watches

I'll just leave this here:

http://gizmodo.com/smartwatches-are-dying-because-they-are-worthless-1790001341

With some tags so that it's easier to find later: iphone / apple / apple watch / smart watch / I don't find these articles / they find me

14 December 2016

Smart Watches Remain Poop, and Skateboarding is Rad



//Edited to fix the text glitch. HTML oopsie.//

This skate video is insane. There are so many out of this world tricks that you get numb to it after a while. Almost. Enjoy.

Big shout to Big Cheese for sharing the video. But also, he writes:

while i agree with you that the smart watch is unappealing in every way, this sounds a lot like your abhorrence of smart phones. 

regardless, I got a hand-me-down g-shock about 10 years ago, and with a new band the thing is pretty amazing

Yes! My loathing of 'smart' watches has a lot of overlap with my well-documented loathing of 'smart' phones. Part of this is my general luddite attitude, and part of it is rebellion against inaccurate language, and part of it is a simple rejection of a shit product.

My luddite attitude is a bit overstated. I heart the technology as much or more than the next guy. It pays the bills! (As I type this I'm listening to music on my iPhone via Soundcloud. With proper headphones you can dodge much of the bullshittery associated with your smartphone. It's nice! Good thing apple didn't fuck that up. Oh wait. Very courageous. Seriously. Courage.) Inaccurate language is important - 'smart' phones are not really phones, and 'smart' watches are not really watches. Both are computers, and while the phone really is a revolutionary gadget the smartwatch is lame junk. Someday it may not be so lame, like when the battery lasts for more than 12 hours or it replaces your phone altogether

My other spicy hot beef with these products is that 'smart' watches violate most of the principles of good design. What are they good for? Not much. They aren't good computers, and they aren't good watches. There is no reason to buy one unless you cannot look at your phone. Save your money. Or buy something that isn't shit, and wear it with the warming knowledge that you're a jackass that REALLY knows how to waste money on prestige brands.

06 December 2016

Smart Watches are Poop

Excellent Photograph of a Beautiful Instrument
I went in on 'smart' watches a while back. My position has not changed (nor will it, until the product utility improves and/or the price comes down) but it is interesting to know that the products themselves are not proving very popular with consumers. It's almost like people recognize that they are overpriced trash. Weird.

You were probably (not) wondering what a truly smart watch looks like. Any Casio Calculator would be good, and what lack in water resistance is more than made up for by the ability to do maths on a verrrrry tiny keypad and screen. Plus all the ladies will love you.

There are watches that function as an altimeter, watches that are designed to survive the nuclear apocalypse, and watches that just tell the time, but do so very elegantly ($20 for that watch is great).

Thanks to the power of ye olde intertubez it is possible to get small runs of watches made with Miyota movements, such as this affordable model with no branding whatsoever. That's some straight underground shit right there! Robust, classic design in a tidy package sounds very smart to me.

If you want to go upmarket then the Omega Speedmaster Professional (pictured) has a stopwatch and a clever little tachometer on the front. I'm not convinced of the utility of either feature but it's forebear was the first watch on the moon, and it remains the very definition of 'classic design' and still looks the business. Supposedly they use digital watches on all US space missions and have for years but they still bring these analog watches anyway, just in case. I'm not sure I believe that, but it sounds like something you can tell your well heeled associates at your working lunch.

Any one of these remains a better value than a 'smart' watch, so get out there and tell people what time it is.

04 December 2016

What's Better Than Kittens? Nothing!

Ugh Stop It Already
Maybe a kitten and his hunky owner. You can decide for yourself.

Blah blah royal navy pilot found a kitten stowed away in his bumper (!!) and of course the place the kitten feels most comfortable sleeping is in his flight helmet and of course he's ridiculously photogenic and of course his squadron mascot is a tiger and ughhhh kittens and navy pilots and ohh lordy men in uniform and is that stubble even regulation what the hell?

Kittens are better than puppies every time. True fact. Dogs are great, but puppies are a nightmare.

30 November 2016

Flan is Yummy and Sort of Easy

Pictured: Hassle
I mentioned that I made some treats. Aside from pumpkin pie and apple pie and samoa cookies (twice) and brownies and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I also made a flan. It turned out pretty good. I ate half of it and gave the rest to my peeps that I shared the samoas with. They live walking distance and they have small kids so they're often home and (importantly) they don't mind if I show up with desserts that I already ate a generous portion of, as with the flan. Best kind of peeps.

Getting the caramel right is the hardest part of making a flan. I made a mexican flan with the lechera sweetened condensed milk so the custard part was a breeze. Making the caramel was a bitch. Fortunately I had the advantage of having eaten hundreds and hundreds of examples of flan over the years so I had a pretty good idea what I was aiming for with the caramel.

Took a picture of the finished product but the coating was the real magic. That's the goods right there. Gaze upon it in wonder.

28 November 2016

Getting Caught Up

How was your thanksgiving? Was it good? Did you give thanks? It was a Thursday again this year (weird). Mine was good in that I got to visit with some friends that I enjoy, but not so good in that I made some pies that were merely adequate; the recipe sucked for one of them and then the other one I sacrificed so that my friends pie would turn out better. We shared filling, and she needed more filling for her pie so that it was amazing and delicious. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the greater good. It was tough but I managed. Oh also shitty was my back went out on Thursday. I maybe aggravated it doing some boring and lame yoga poses (I don't do the zany shit any more). So I dunno. Just the cost of doing business I guess.

Did I mention that I made some treats the past couple weeks? I made some treats. It's not all about me but still: treats! Pictured here are the homemade 'samoa' cookies I got from a recipe off ye olde internet. They are no longer called samoa cookies btw, and the recipe got pulled for some unknown reason. Could be that the cookie name is culturally insensitive, or it could be that the recipe was not well vetted. It was obviously something that they built in individual parts and then gave you the quantities for those successful recipes; not much care was given to the amounts relative to one another.

Aside from not being well written, the recipe did not make nearly enough cookie dough relative to the enormous amount of caramel/coconut mixture, and then I needed about 2x as much chocolate as they suggested. In other words it was about what I would expect from a recipe that I got from a popular  internet site that puts shortcuts in almost everything. (Biscuit dough from a can is a regular ingredient.) Upside: The price was right and everything turned out well enough, all things considered.

Photo is from the second iteration because I had enough filling/topping to make a second batch. All I had to do was make more cookies, which was pretty easy since I didn't bother with the doughnut shape cookie called for in the traditional samoa. Rolling and cutting and baking all this was enough of a hassle. Plus it made spreading the topping on a little easier. I ended up sharing most of these with my peeps. They probably took them to work; it ended up being a lot of dense cookie by the end. I could barely eat three or four at a time like I usually do.

23 November 2016

16 November 2016

Colin Nissan is a True Hero for Our Time: Decorative Gourd Season



It's that time of year again! That's right, it's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. I'm ready. Are you ready? I SAID ARE YOU FUCKING READY? Get fucking ready because it's called Decorative Fucking Gourd Season for a reason, motherfuckers.

Usually this time of year is above average. I hear Fall is lovely in certain parts of the country. Recent events may have crushed dampened your spirit somewhat, but that's no reason to throw in the towel on Decorative Gourd Season. Now more than ever it is essential to fight the good fight. Do not let unrepentant asshats normalize aberrant behavior, and by that I mean fuck gluten free vegan desserts right into the goddamn trash where they belong. What did you think I meant?

Are you lonely and depressed and disappointed and disillusioned? Me either! So I'm going to give this playlist a try, make some desserts. It might be good. It might be rubbish! There's no knowing until you give it a listen. It's like a metaphor for life in that way. First track is very strong, so start there, and see where it takes you. If that's not doing anything for you then maybe try and take a nap.

See you out there.

15 November 2016

Fundraisers: Wade's Army

Me in a t-shirt / Meredith is festive in a cape (She's rad like that)
My gym participates in a fundraiser every year for Wade's Army. It's a good cause, and the group that organizes it donates their time and resources so that all of the money they raise goes to families or groups that support the families with housing or resources. This is important, because most of the money donated to charity goes to the overhead associated with running a business, which is why most charities end up spending more money on marketing than they do on actual support.

So if you didn't already have enough commitments and were interested in supporting an organization that helps families with children that are battling neuroblastoma, then you can go here and make a contribution. If you sign up for the mailing list you can donate next year and get a free t-shirt (weights and man-tights not included*).



* It's very important to stay warm during workouts. Science.