Archive for September, 2011

As always they start with the best ingredients.  Last night it was a delicious gumbo.  Smoky andouille sausage, succulent shrimp, and garden fresh okra all simmering in a perfectly seasoned broth with a deep brown roux.

Sometimes it’s Italian food.  I love a good Alfredo sauce all rich with butter and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, served over tortellini with browned Italian sausage.  Or maybe a spaghetti with homemade marinara?  Garlic sauteed in olive oil, a red wine reduction, crushed tomatoes and fresh basil and oregano from the backyard.

Or may be we use the grill?  A well-seasoned chicken breast with perfect black lines, and all the juice still inside served over wild rice.  Maybe a 1/3 pound burger, shaped so that the patty just barely hangs over the side of the bun, and cooked so that a delicate brown crust forms on the outside while the inside is bursting with flavor, topped with melted fresh sliced cheddar or colby-jack, and served over a lightly toasted bun.

And then sometimes there’s dessert.  Oh, the dessert!

Also my wife and son are there.


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Japanese (ninja type) concealable weapons

Image via Wikipedia

So there I was at this Japanese steakhouse and the waiter had just set the Fugu I ordered in front of me.   It was then he decided to tell me that the chef was feeling “a little off”, and I looked down at the fish on my plate, any piece of which might be deadly poison, and wondered which bite to try first.

But that wasn’t the dangerous part.

Because after I saw the fugu I decided it looked pretty disgusting anyway, and certainly not worth risking my life over like, say, a really good pizza.  I ate fried rice instead.  Then the Yakuza burst through the front door with their smart suits and deadly weapons and began shooting indiscriminately.  Apparently they’d had some sort of run in with the owner.  The man at the next table dropped face first into his miso, and a stray bullet sent the fork spinning out of my hand.

But that wasn’t the dangerous part.

Because then the ninjas came streaming out of the kitchen, and the Yakuza suddenly had someone a little more dangerous to shoot at than the random diner with a craving for sushi.  I took a second look at the fugu, because surely a ninja wouldn’t screw up cutting a fish, but I didn’t have the chance to give it a try because the raging Yakuza/ninja battle claimed my table as a casualty of war, and my food went with it.  So now along with flying bullets there were flying shurikens not to mention the swinging fists and slashing swords and cries and yells and bodies piling up.

But that wasn’t the dangerous part.

Because that was when the dead rose.  They came shuffling down the street, moaning and glassy eyed, little rotten bits of themselves falling off like a trail of breadcrumbs back to the grave. Of course nobody bothered to tell us, probably because we were in the middle of a small-scale Japanese war, and also everyone who noticed the zombies were running and screaming and not saying much of anything to anybody.  The zombies were doing what zombies do, grabbing people and eating people and generally making more dead people — of which we already had a healthy supply on account of the Yakuza and ninjas killing so many folks — who then came back as even more zombies.  And that’s why the ranks of the Yakuza and ninjas started to deplete, but the ranks of the zombie Yakuza and zombie ninja started to rise.  Also zombie diners, but they didn’t seem as menacing.  Fortunately there were plenty of swords and guns to go around.

Milt of Globefish

Image via Wikipedia

But that wasn’t the dangerous part.

Because then the army showed up to “contain the area”.  The problem was that “contain the area” meant blow this town to ash and scatter it to the winds, and whenever anyone came in saying hey didn’t there used to be a whole thriving community over there, they could just shrug there shoulders and say I don’t know what you’re talking about.  Their guns were big, of course. And there tanks were strong, of course.  And they didn’t mind using either one.  Bullets flew again, but this time they were accompanied by shells and various other large explosives, none of which was all that great for the structural integrity of a fairly small restaurant, and that was when the whole placed collapsed around me leaving me covered in dust and debris and a random dismembered arm that, from the degree of putrefaction and the fact that it was still trying to grab me, I guessed must have once belonged to one of the walking dead.

But that wasn’t the dangerous part.

Because it was then that the Earth decided to split along an unknown fault line that left seismologists scratching their heads and wondering why they bothered in the first place, and a great yawning chasm opened up, and the army and the zombies and most of the restaurant rubble went careening into an abyss so deep the bottom must be nothing but a blazing hot mass of boiling magma and fire.  For my part, my leg had gotten tangled in a downed and, fortunately, dead electrical wire, so I didn’t fall far before the wire pulled tight and I was left dangling by my leg over the Crack of Doom.

But that wasn’t the dangerous part.

Description unavailable

Image by AlaskaLoneWolf via Flickr

Because my leg is pretty well attached.  No it was then, as I dangled over a thousands foot deep hole in the ground with nothing waiting at the bottom by a fiery death and the screams of the falling still echoing in my head and the blood of the wounded still staining my new jeans that I had really liked and an unattached zombie hand still trying to climb it’s way to my throat and throttle me that I came to a realization.

I had neglected to mow the lawn.

My wife was going to kill me…

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National Museum

Image via Wikipedia

Are you kidding me?  I’m a public school teacher.  I’ve already pursued, and acquired, a job where money doesn’t matter.  It’s one of the lowest paying jobs in the country that still requires a college degree.

Not that I’m complaining.

If money were no object, what would I want to be?  Hmmm.  Let’s start with-

  • Blogger – Ah the perfect job for the committed slacker.  You just write some crap and throw it on the internet.  It doesn’t even have to be good.  In fact, if you run out of ideas you can just let WordPress randomly select some prompts for you or write about a random Wikipedia article.  If I really wanted to, I could crank out half a dozen posts on Sunday night, set them to publish each day, go lay by the pool that I would have if I already had enough money to justify being a professional blogger, and not even think about it again.  The job that doesn’t require work.  I think it may be my true calling.
  • Movie Extra – I like movies, but I don’t really like being the center of attention or talking on camera.  What better way to combine those things than to be the nameless guy in the crowd?  I’d get to participate in making movies, so I could tell my friend ‘Hey, I’m in this one!’, over and over again until he freaks out, punches me, and leaves to talk bad about me with all of my other loser ex-friends who didn’t get to be in movies.   On second thought, maybe I should avoid glitz and glamour.  The lifestyle might change me.
  • Downer Doctor – I don’t really want to go to med school, or anything silly like that.  I’d really just like to don a white coat, listen to a patient tell me what’s wrong with them, and then say “You think you’ve got problems?”  before launching into some convoluted tale of my own woes.  Or maybe I could solemnly announce that a patient has sixth months to live, and then look at my chart and go “Sorry.  My mistake.  That’s not a six.” before turning and walking out of the room.

You know, maybe it’s best I went into public education, where I can’t damage anything but our nation’s future.


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Valley of Dreams Trailer Park (1957) - Adults ...

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Nngyah! – the involuntary sound made when one experiences simultaneous feelings of shock and revulsion, as if something you definitely wouldn’t want to touch has suddenly and inexplicably appeared on the floor of your living room.The exclamation point is part of the sound, by the way.  Nngyah! accompanying, as it always does, shock and revulsion, can only ever be exclaimed.  Often when a person let’s out a Nngyah!, they also either clutch their hands to their chest as if getting them as far from the offending object as possible, or to their mouth when the offending object is a particularly grotesque and surprising person.What are some situations where you might accidently let fly a Nngyah!?  Consider the following:

Person 1: “Check this out!  A Raccoon bit a chunk out of my calf, and now I have gangrene!”

Person 2:“Nngyah!”

Supergirl's first appearance in Action Comics.

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Person 1: “Egads!  What is that?”

Hideous Creature: (waving  disfigured appendages, and dripping alien goo) “Bleeargh!”

Person 2: “Nngyah!”


Person 1: “Check out the cover of this comic.  Did you know Superman was apparently really sexist?”

Person 2: “Nngyah!”

Person 1: “What’s wrong with you?  It’s just an old comic cover.”

Person 2: “Sorry, but I just realized you’re not a dude.”

Leather! Belts! £5!

Image by itspaulkelly via Flickr



Person 1: “Guess what?  I’m marrying your mom!  We won’t just be childhood friends anymore!”

Person 2: “Nngyah!”

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The logo of the blogging software WordPress.

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Image by muffinlover via Flickr

I don’t know if you knew this or not, but every time I publish a post to WordPress it gives me some random prompts for my next post.  I usually don’t pay much attention to them, although a few have been intriguing.   I was thinking about this as I sat in a meeting today, and I realized this was a perfect way to generate and easy week’s worth of content for my blog.

So here’s the deal.  All week long, starting with this post, I’m going to choose one of the three prompts I’m given to be my next post.  Then I’m going to tag it with all of the tags WordPress gives me, and stick at least three pictures in that I’m assured would be perfect for my post.


Image by Michail via Flickr







This should be interesting.

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This is only the first step in video games saving the world.

I love that scientists decided to let online gamers have a crack at determining the structure of this enzyme, but you know when they say they “wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed” and “People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at”, it’s not the real reason they picked gamers for this.  The conversation probably sounded more like “Who can we get that exhibits obsessive behavior and is willing to spend an inordinate amount of time in front of a computer performing a repetitive task?”.  It’s like grinding for science, and apparently it only took three weeks to hit the enzyme-unfolding level cap.

But this is the best quote:

The ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems.

Look out World Peace.  Video games are coming for you next.

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There’s just something about Tuesdays that really brings out the lazy blogger in me.   I know you don’t mind, though, because I know you love learning.  Even if it’s useless facts and trivia.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Michael York (actor).

This guy’s been in dozens of movies including several works of Shakespeare, the 70’s and 80’s adaptations of Dumas’ Musketeer novels, and the 70’s mini-series Jesus of Nazareth; but what have I seen him in?

Austin Powers.

On an interesting side note, he also acts in one of the installments of the Tex Murphy series of adventure games, all of which are currently sitting on my computer unplayed.  Maybe they’ll be next on my video game queue.



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