Sunday, December 31, 2006

Broccoli Loaf

I was in the mood for a broccoli loaf tonight. So I made one.

It's easy, and it's really good.

Start with your favorite hamburger loaf recipe (Okay, maybe I'm being pedantic, but it's only meatloaf if it's made with ground beef, ground pork and ground lamb.)

Here's what I use:

1 egg
11/2 lb. hamburger
1/2 med. onion, chopped
3/4 cup cornflake crumbs (the recipe actually calls for breadcrumbs, but I think cornflake crumbs give it a better texture)
1/2 cup catsup
1 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

beat egg with fork, mix in remaining ingerdients until well combined (use your hands, but wash them first)

lay out a piece of aluminum foil, about 18 inches long.

Put hamburger mixture on foil and pat into a rectangle, about 8" by 15"

Put eight half-slices of VelveetaTM on hamburger ( leave at least an inch margin all the way around)

add a layer of chopped broccoli (if you use frozen broccoli, thaw it to room temperature first, if you use it still frozen, the center of the loaf will still be raw after baking)

roll the loaf by lifting the aluminum foil and rolling the hamburger as you go.

Seal the ends and edge of roll. Place seam-side-down in a loaf pan. pat loaf smooth.

Bake for 1 hour. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.


Saturday, December 30, 2006


Check out the link in the title.

This made me laugh so hard I started to choke.

If you don't get the punchline (or do get it, but don't think it's funny), you probably aren't a geek or nerd.



Tom introduced me to this really cool game last weekend.

I have made it to level 23 of 25, and there I am stuck.

I have several solutions that require one more mirror or one more refractor.

In this one, for example, I have a refractor at the end, but I need a mirror instead.

It's pretty frustrating. But the game is cool. Check it out. (the title is the link)


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas aftermath

Well, I'm back in Green River. The drive back from Greybull was much better that the drive up.

It was good to spend time with my parents and my brothers.

However, I'd like to say something about gift-giving.

Buying gifts for children like Maggie and Jonas is easy. Buying gifts for adults can be very hard. That is why places like let people make wishlists.

I refuse to take the blame for a lame gift. I put a lot of effort into finding something I think will be appreciated, but without a wishlist I am probably working with insufficient data and really only guessing.

(Salutation of your choice) (Occasion of your choice).


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas survey

I usually don't bother with these, but hey, it's Christmas.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Mulled Cider or Wassail

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa? Uh, sorry Virginia, I hate to break it to you, but...

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I go elsewhere for Christmas and don't decorate.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
See above

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I don't. See above

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Blueberry bread pudding.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
Get togethers at Gary and Sue's.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What Marie said. ("I don't think I ever really believed in Santa. I do remember getting gifts from him, but my Mom never "promoted" Santa because he was not the real reason for the season.")

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
See decorating comment above.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
A bit of both. Hey, you try driving over South Pass in the snow. If it's even open.

12. Can you ice skate?
Used to be able to a little. It's been a while

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Dad gave me this really cool electronics experiment lab one year. Of course, I lost most of the pieces within a few months.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Meh. I could do this stuff without a trumped up reason.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
See favorite holiday dish.

16. What is your favorite Holiday Tradition?
Don't really have one.

17. What tops your tree?
Enough with the decorating questions already!

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving Christmas gifts?
Giving, but really only to Maggie and Jonas.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I have two. "Christmas at Ground Zero" and "The Night Santa Went Crazy"

20. Candy Canes?
Oh yeah.

21. Favorite Christmas Movie?
"The Most Horrible Chrismas Ever" (Invader Zim Christmas episode)


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hobby fun.

The Master of Magic saved game editor is nearly done.

My new favorite tactic:

Walk nine spearmen units up to a city. Save the game when they are able to move. Run editor. Change spearmen to Great Wyrms. Attack the city. Save the game. Run the editor. Change the Great Wyrms back to spearmen. Continue play.

I need a way to cut the Styrofoam for the shrouds (also called ducts). I have a rotary saw attachment for my Dremel, and it will work, but it makes an awful, awful mess of Syrofoam dust (I know. I tested it). I could buy a hot-wire foam cutter, but I couldn't find any that were quite the way I want. So I'm making one.

There a lot of websites that tell how to do this, but come on. It's a wire carrying an electric current on a support frame. It isn't brain surgery.


What insane historical figure are you?

I'm Ludvig II, the Swan King of Bavaria!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

I'll take credit for Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee. Those places are pure genius.
He wasn't a bad guy for a lunatic, either. Okay, when he was fourteen he tried to behead his younger brother, but hey, you should have seen the things I did to Phil and Tom when I was fourteen.


UPDTATE: Tom scored as Nikola Tesla, dammit.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Project, Master of Magic editor, and the BP Christmas party

Okay, I went to the BP Christmas party, instead of going to see Stonecircle (which I would have much rather done). I had already committed to the party and am trying to convince BP to hire me directly (they are looking for an automation technician). So I decided I'd better go. It was pretty much what I expected. Mediocre food. Boring speeches. Lots of alcohol. I hung around through the dinner and speeches, but took off as soon as the actual "partying" started. I don't drink, and drunk-watching is not my idea of fun.

I had managed to kluge together a working editor for Master of Magic saved games (all except towns and units) when I thought of a better way to do it. So I scrapped the whole thing and started over. I am now back to the point I was before.

It's still pretty kluge-y. If I were to do it right, I would write my own Windows components for the specialized functions of the program. I could do that, but it would take more effort than I want to put into this. So I used pre-packaged components and hooked them together with event handlers.

Is it efficient? No. (But more so than before)
Is it elegant? No. (But more so than before)
Does it work? Yes.

I may have to make a custom dialog box when I add the capability to edit units, but dialog boxes are easy compered to most other components.

Finally, The Project.

I have been telling myself I'd do this for a couple of years, but now I actually will.

There's this r/c flying platform, the Dragonflyer. It is pretty cool. I decided to build something similar myself. There are a couple of websites dedicated to this same kind of hobby project, so it isn't like I'm doing anything particularly original.

That isn't the point anyway. Neither is having one.

The point is to build one.

I will be documenting my progress (probably very slow, as I have a job that takes up most of my time), with pictures, too.

The size will pretty much be determined by the rotors that I get. Ironically, the only matched set of counter-rotating rotors that I could find were replacement parts for the Dragonflyer. So that's what I ordered.

Unlike the Dragonflyer, mine will have ducts around the rotors. This will increase the lift they generate. I, being the kind of guy that I am, plan to make my own ducts from Styrofoam and ultra-light fiberglass. I also plan to make any special parts I might need the same way.

I have vague plans to mount a camera, too. But that will not happen until I'm satisfied with the flyer itself.

Anyway, that's as far as I've gotten for now.

I have ordered rotors, Styrofoam, fiberglassing stuff and motors.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Save game editor

I started writing code for a saved game editor for Master of Magic this morning. So far you can change your wizard's name.

Hey, it's a start.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Wintersmith, redux

I put "Shadowmarch" on hold to read "Wintersmith."

Anyone who reads this blog (or just happens to know me) is aware that I often gush about how much I like a book (or movie) then give all sorts of reasons not to like it.

That's because I have a very hard time explaining why I like something, so I point out problems to highlight that I liked it in spite of them.

I really don't want to do that with "Wintersmith." Mostly because there were very few bits that were disappointing.

Terry Prachett is one of the few authors that can make me laugh out loud in public. Douglas Adams was another. Surprisingly, Robert Ludlum can, too (yeah, I didn't know he wrote comedy either until Dad gave me "The Road to Omaha")

In "Wintersmith" this happened:
1: Whenever a Feegle said or did, well, anything.
2: When Prachett made an unexpected reference to a joke from an earlier chapter (*werk*)1

You don't need to have read "Wee Free Men" or "A Hat Full of Sky" to enjoy "Wintersmith," but it will help to have done so, because there isn't much introduction to the characters.2

Like the two previous Tiffany Aching stories, this is written for a younger audience (I'd guess 10 to 14 or so), but it is still a great book for any age. As far as I can tell, the only real difference between these stories and Prachett's other Discworld books is that the main characters are younger (Tiffany has a dictionary and looks up any words she doesn't understand 3).


1 You'll get this once you've read "Wintersmith"

2 Except for Miss Treason (a witch) and Wee Dangerous Spike (a young Feegle)

3 Of which there are very few, as she sctually reads it, too.