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Category: social commentary

03/30/09 07:30 - 36ºF - ID#48244

people please

Can we quit with the shooting rampages already? Seriously.

- Z
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Permalink: people_please.html
Words: 11
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: food

03/23/09 10:25 - ID#48176

you've got to change your evoo ways

Public service announcement: you should not be frying with extra-virgin olive oil. Spend some dollars and buy a bottle of peanut oil. Then spend some other dollars and buy a pound of bacon.* Then use this recipe to get rid of those boneless skinless tasteless chicken breasts that you've been freezer-burning.

Catfish Fried Chicken
1. Eat the bacon. Mmm, bacon.
2. But save the drippings in a little glass cup in your refrigerator.
3. Thaw the chicken breasts. If you wanted, you could pound them flat. If you wanted, you could also make schnitzel and join the Luftwaffe, you Kraut.
4. Breading: one cup of corn meal plus one tablespoon of chili powder. Next time I make it I'll probably also put in some fresh ground black pepper. Use as much of this as you need.
5. Heat two tablespoons each of peanut oil and bacon fat in a cast-iron skillet. If you don't have both, you've totally missed the whole point. If you don't have bacon fat you can substitute goose fat, lard, or butter. If you don't have peanut oil, skip the rest of the steps and stick your head in the oven.
6. Roll the chicken all around in the breading until it's evenly coated, and slide it into the frying pan.
7. This step is going to take a while.
8. Flip them over. They should look delicious on the bottom, which is now the top.
9. This step is going to take a little while too.
10. Flip them over again. They should look delicious on the top and bottom, which are now the top and bottom again.
11. Put them on a plate. Realize that you forgot to make side dishes.
12. Put the chicken in your mouth and chew. Notice that it is both crunchy and moist. Notice the super-subtle smoky flavor from the bacon fat.
13. Put $20 in an envelope and mail it to (e:zobar)

- Z

  • The calculus of bacon.

1) Does thick-sliced bacon taste different than thin-sliced bacon? The answer is no. Buy thin-sliced bacon - there's more slices.
2) Low-fat bacon has more meat, but regular bacon costs the same and comes with a free half-pound of lard. Buy regular bacon and eat it twice.
3) Is a pound of bacon too much? Do you want to take your bacon Higher? Go to Spar's and they will give you exactly the amount of bacon you require, and it will rock your world.

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Permalink: you_ve_got_to_change_your_evoo_ways.html
Words: 401
Location: Buffalo, NY

03/12/09 12:03 - 26ºF - ID#48024

earthlink can suck it

My network went down this morning. That would not normally be a big problem, except that through a convoluted ordeal my network provider is EarthLink which is commonly considered to be only microscopically less awful than AOL. I had previously used an independent DSL reseller based in the southern tier, but when they discontinued their DSL service they sold my account to EarthLink. I did some research, found that FiOS was 'coming soon,' and decided not to bother switching. [Still no FiOS, by the way, but they swear it's 'coming soon.']

So I called up EarthLink technical support, which is somewhere in India in the middle of the night. I am thrilled, by the way, because I have a fair amount of trouble with accents over the phone. Now it turns out that, due to the extremely dodgy way that EarthLink happened to get my business, the DSL router I have is not actually supported by the company. And furthermore they can't even begin to diagnose the problem with my router -- which has had 100% uptime for nearly two years -- because it's unsupported.

So Technical Support conferenced me in to Sales to get me a new modem. This is pretty ludicrous already, like if you complained to your web designer about the site she did for you and the resolution was 'well first we'll order you a Mac with Firefox on it...' Then it turns out that Sales is in Hong Kong, which is just awesome. Sales starts with 'ok we can get you a new modem for $40 with a one-year commitment,' and I said 'so, you can't fix my problem without me signing a contract?' 'One moment sir ok we will waive the contract and fee, it will arrive in seven to ten days.' 'So my network is down for a week and a half?' 'One moment sir ok your modem should arrive in two to three days thank you for using EarthLink.'

Then I get sent back to Technical Support who says 'call me back when you get your modem thank you for using EarthLink.' Sweet! Have I failed to mention that I'm an independent consultant and that downtime is slowly bleeding me dry?

Anyway, the network came back on its own somehow [and oddly enough, much better than it was before], but not before ordering DSL service direct from Verizon. Turns out if you get Verizon DSL they'll let you use a 'dry loop' - which is to say, a line with no phone service. So the offices of Scott Windsor, the collections agency which mistakenly has my phone number on robodial, can also suck it, perhaps on the opposite end of which EarthLink is sucking it. Which brings me to:

Public Service Announcement about +1 716 877 4788, because as of the 18th I will no longer be able to address these issues personally:

+1 716 877 4788 is not the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York. The correct phone number is +1 877 478 8083. The difference is whether you start by dialing one as is mandatory, or whether you are a moron.

+1 716 877 4788 is not a fax number for Elite Appraisal, Inc., and has not been for several years. When dialing a fax it is considered polite to stay on the line to ensure that it is actually a fax line and not, say, a residential voice line. It is considered exceptionally impolite to send several faxes at once and leave it on autodial all afternoon.

The people at +1 716 877 4788 do not owe you money [this means you Scott Windsor]. If you are a collections agency but cannot articulate who you are collecting for and are not prepared to immediately accept payment, you are missing an important part of 'collections.'

Linda, your prescription is ready. Also, your phone number is not +1 716 877 4788.

Mary, there is a really creepy dude who keeps calling you. I don't blame you for giving him the wrong number, although I wish you hadn't given him +1 716 877 4788.

+1 716 877 4788 is no longer a real phone number. If you have that number on file for anything, it was either wrong, or given to you because we didn't ever want to talk to you.

If you insist on calling +1 716 877 4788 [this means you Scott Windsor] - you should update your records to +1 716 877 1932. The new number does not carry voice service; nevertheless we are committed to providing the same level of service, friendliness, and picking-up-the-phone that you have come to expect from +1 716 877 4788.

- Z

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Permalink: earthlink_can_suck_it.html
Words: 744
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: misc

03/09/09 12:44 - 32ºF - ID#47995

rush limbaugh ate my kitten

Sex sells pageviews but so does politics.

I've basically been working nonstop since Thursday morning, except Saturday which was all derby [which is a lot like working except I don't get paid for it]. We have a .NET web app that they're converting to use Windows domain accounts, and it's working about as well as an external combustion engine It sure seems like a good idea to apply a user's actual permissions to the files & processes in a web app, at least until you think about it, say, or try to do it.

Some scattered thoughts I haven't had time to write down:

- The roller derby scoreboard now posts live score updates via Twitter . This has cool implications for a distributed national roller derby score system [which is a lot more compelling than you might think]. If you didn't tune in on Saturday, sorry but you missed it.

- Those annoying video game machines they have at bars run Linux. Somebody managed to crash one at Ava's last week and I saw it rebooting. I always kind of figured they ran Windows but I guess it makes sense since Linux is so much cheaper.

- Salisbury steak!


- What's the difference between terrorists and dissident paramilitaries? Dissident paramilitaries are white. [No, really. Pay attention to the news, and keep in mind that the paramilitary Real IRA is about a hundred dudes with guns and no political connections whatsoever, while the terrorist Al-Qassam Brigades are 40,000 trained fighters with long-range rockets and guided missiles, affiliated with a majority political party.] The Northern Irish peace process has been long and difficult but ultimately quite successful, and we should avoid giving these nitwits legitimacy.

- Z
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Permalink: rush_limbaugh_ate_my_kitten.html
Words: 287
Location: Buffalo, NY

03/02/09 06:25 - 13ºF - ID#47926

that kind of day


Also, a secret that web designers won't tell you: if you set your browser to 800px wide, the only thing you're missing is advertising.

- Z
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Permalink: that_kind_of_day.html
Words: 27
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: words

02/27/09 12:11 - 51ºF - ID#47903

poetry korner!

OK poetry world, I'm sorry (e:zobar,47483). I like you again.

Bridal Shower
by George Bilgere

Perhaps, in a distant cafe,
four or five people are talking
with the four or five people
who are chatting on their cell phones this morning
in my favorite cafe.

And perhaps someone there,
someone like me, is watching them as they frown,
or smile, or shrug
at their invisible friends or lovers,
jabbing the air for emphasis.

And, like me, he misses the old days,
when talking to yourself
meant you were crazy,
back when being crazy was a big deal,
not just an acronym
or something you could take a pill for.

I liked it
when people who were talking to themselves
might actually have been talking to God
or an angel.
You respected people like that.

You didn't want to kill them,
as I want to kill the woman at the next table
with the little blue light on her ear
who has been telling the emptiness in front of her
about her daughter's bridal shower
in astonishing detail
for the past thirty minutes.

O person like me,
phoneless in your distant cafe,
I wish we could meet to discuss this,
and perhaps you would help me
murder this woman on her cell phone,

after which we could have a cup of coffee,
maybe a bagel, and talk to each other,
face to face.

- Z
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Permalink: poetry_korner_.html
Words: 243
Location: Buffalo, NY

02/22/09 04:35 - 25ºF - ID#47860



- Z
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Permalink: sunday.html
Words: 4
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: a series of tubes

02/21/09 01:08 - 24ºF - ID#47840

attempted not known

attempted not known

Thing three: we finally did get the Obama coins, ugh. (e:zobar,47301) They were addressed to 40 Hartford St, 14221, which I am told does not exist, so they sent it to us instead. I brought the package back to the post office and explained to the woman at the counter what happened. She put it in a stack and sent it back to 14221. As I was walking back home it occurred to me that we may be headed for a problem.


Sure enough, two days later we got the same package again. This time it said ANK, which is short for 'Attempted Not Known,' which itself is short for 'If this gets to its intended destination you owe the entire post office a beer.' (e:dragonlady7) said she'd try sending them back this time. I said the suspense was killing me and if we get them again I'm keeping those hokey-ass coins. [It's inexplicable why I want them.] So she went to the post office and told them the package just wasn't going to get through to Mary Sheehan, and they should probably just return to sender. The post officer told her that since they weren't the stated destination they weren't allowed to make that decision, and the only thing they could do is send it back to 14221. You can see where this is going.


But no, she blacked out the address, put a couple hundred stickers all over it, and finally got rid of it once and for all.

- Z


Deep thought: Transit Road is a perfectly straight line, thirty miles long. God will judge us by our works, and that's going to be a tough one to explain.

Google Image Search tells me this is a photograph of a 1981 Zenith television. Not so much 'steampunk' as 'we may as well have poured this one in concrete, cause it's not going anywhere.

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Permalink: attempted_not_known.html
Words: 333
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: education

02/19/09 07:00 - 19ºF - ID#47815

tv trivia

I'm starting a new category called 'education,' where we can get ourselves smart'd -- together.

My great-aunt used to live in this house. She was the only person I knew with an antenna rotor. On top of her big oak television* she had a small plastic box with a knob on it that was labeled with a compass. She had neatly stuck labels on it pointing to where all of the broadcast towers were, so that she didn't have to fiddle with it when she changed channels. Adjusting a TV antenna was always such a black art I figure she must have just marked them all out trial-and-error-like.

Twenty years later people are getting fed up with the cable company and the DTV changeover has renewed interest in terrestrial broadcasts. But the whole concept of antennas has left the vernacular. Now that we're living in the age of Total Information Awareness you can just type in your address and get a cute little map telling you where to point your antenna.


But it only tells you compass heading and distance. Inexplicably, this is nowhere near enough to satisfy my craving for information. Why does it say Channel 4 is 25 miles away when their studios are right down the street? So I asked the FCC. Apparently I'm a total idiot because it turns out that they don't broadcast directly from the studios. All those antennas and satellite dishes, it turns out, are decorative.

Channels 2, 4, and 7 broadcast from various locations in and around Colden, whereas channels 29 and 17 broadcast from Grand Island. And almost every Canadian station that I've ever heard of broadcasts from the CN Tower.

The upshot is, because I am easily amused and I enjoy putting things in order, here's a map of every broadcast tower within 60mi of Buffalo. Unless you're going to go crawling around on the roof I wouldn't expect to get anything more than 30-45mi away but at least you'll know you're pointing in the right direction.

And the weirdest part about it is, I don't even watch TV. We got no cable, no antenna, the DVD player is disconnected, and the digital converter is still in the unopened box. I guess I just like mapping things.

- Z

  • They don't make electronics out of oak anymore. I want an oak microwave.
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Permalink: tv_trivia.html
Words: 417
Location: Buffalo, NY

02/14/09 12:15 - 24ºF - ID#47750

escape from riverside

The cosmos has been trying to tell me all week that I am out of favor. I did not get the message until today. I am not a superstitious person but when the cosmos is trying to tell you something, the message will get through and it behooves you to pick up on it sooner rather than later. There's not much more to say about that.

Yesterday (e:dragonlady7) ran an errand for me to Riverside Anybody here from Riverside? Riverside is my dad's ancestral homeland, so I feel that I can say this freely. Riverside kind of freeks me out. [That is not why she ran the errand for me.] The thing about Riverside is, there's only like four roads that go in or out And I didn't really think about this until yesterday, but almost every one of them is an underpass. And sometimes, like yesterday, underpasses get flooded. And when one underpass is flooded the others probably are too. So it turns out that you can have this pretty basic situation that ends up cutting off Riverside from the rest of the world.

OK, so I have this weird habit of thinking about weird things as I'm drifting off to sleep, and this whole situation with Riverside totally bound to my sleep receptor. Only instead of just screwing up public transportation, it's a transapocalyptic world and Riverside is the last outpost of civilization. It's somewhat difficult to fully articulate my vision, but suffice it to say, it's pretty fucked up.

I leave you with this unrelated thought. In 1945, Navy Island which is just off the northwest side of Grand Island was proposed for the location of the United Nations. Its location was symbolic or something but mostly they just really liked the view But instead they moved to some boring-ass building on 47th St, pssht.

- Z

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Permalink: escape_from_riverside.html
Words: 349
Location: Buffalo, NY



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