Laughing at The Horror of Being Alive

A Weblog by Heidi and Stu
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Heidi's Stuff
What I'm reading now: 'Thinking in Pictures', by Temple Grandin
What I read last: 'Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim', by Deavid Sedaris
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Throwing Things
Television Without Pity "Spare the snark, spoil the networks"
Friends of The Horror
Leach Family
Big Head Todd
The Land of Audra
Being Katie
Odawg's Blizzog
Daiquiri Natural
El Diablo
Hot Buttered Rum
Martini Perfect
Mint Julep
Old Fashioned

Friday, May 30

Stu Greene Muscle Car Fund Candidate #2

On a tip from AL at Pathetic Earthlings, I did a quick search on AMC Javelins, and came up with this ad for a 1971 Javelin AMX. Maybe it's just the angle of the photo, but there's something about the proportions I'm not sure I like. It's definitely nasty, though. Inside, the diamond-pattern on the dash and the passenger-side grab bar are nice touches. And according to the ad text, it not only "Runs super strong" but it also "RUNS SUPER STRONG!!!!11". And I can only imagine that in a place called Licking County they know what they're talking about.

Questions? Check the NBAQ.

Thursday, May 29

Yesterday, Stu and I took the Geek Quiz.

My score was a paltry 7.3% Geek.

As per my prediction, Stu scored higher, 24.26% Geek. Primarily because he really racked up the points in the last couple of categories on "I know what .... means." All in all a rather poor showing for a couple of engineers.

Uncharacteristically, I proposed a few questions for possible inclusion on the next revision of the Geek Quiz. In case they aren't included I'll share them here.
1(a)I know what the Turing Test is.
1(b)I am working on a machine that will pass the Turing Test.
2(a)I know what Riemann's Hypothesis is.
2(b)I am trying to prove Riemann's Hypothesis.
2(c)on nights and weekends.

I was reading a review of Simon Winchester's new book Krakatoa. I thought for a minute that was the subject of the Wine Dark Sea, however the Krakatoa explosion occurred in 1883, far to late for the incident to have played a roll in an Aubrey/Maturin book.

The review goes on to discuss the explosion of the volcano Tambora on Sumbawa in 1815 (the one I believe is from the Wine Dark Sea). The explosion of Tambora was: twice as powerful as Krakatoa, killed 10,000 people as a direct result of the explosion, caused the year 1816 to be considered "the year without summer" due to all of the ash in the upper atmosphere, and killed an additional 82,000 as a result of the weather changes.

Tuesday, May 27

The Boss is watching Entertainment Tonight and they've got some story coming up on speculations that Michael Jackson is bankrupt. It put me in mind of this web gem chronicling Jacko's facial mutilations. That in turn reminded me of the revelations about the infamous "Doc Hollywood", including this one:
"On multiple occasions Mr Jackson would be anaesthetised and the clocks in the operating room would be turned ahead by hours. Mr Jackson would then be revived, look around the room, and settle back to sleep, at which time the clocks would be reset to reflect the correct time.

"This scheme gave Mr Jackson the perception that he had just undergone a nasal surgery of several hours, when in fact he was only unconscious for several minutes."
Funny, I must have missed that part on Extreme Makeovers.

Apparently ESPN will be broadcasting the Mathcounts national finals on May 29th. I myself was a junior high Mathlete. Our squad of four took 2nd place in the Pittsburgh area, and included the top Mathlete overall (KP). Of the various scholastic contests and competitions I participated in (Mathcounts, Constitution Competition, Presidential Knowledge-thingy, Linguistics team, Scholastic Quiz, some national math test whose exact acromyn escapes me but always reminds me of AFSCME and whose ass I ate like a chicken fried steak & eggs), I thought Mathcounts was the best. As I recall it had three main sections: an individual test, a team test, and a speed round. The team test was a blast - in order to complete it on time, we had to assign individual problems to whomever we thought was the best in that area, then debate each other's solutions. I think we even kept one or two of my answers. It also had a good mix of problems that required knowledge of math fundamentals and problems that required more creative solutions. If I had cable, and if I could navigate the nightmare that is ESPN's website (you'd think a former Mathlete etc., however dissolute in recent years, would be able to figure out where they're hiding their TV listings) I might actually watch this.

Thanks to Throwing Things for pointing this out.

I got my Chicken Fried Steak on this weekend at the 59 Diner. Specifically, I got the Country Fried Steak & Eggs breakfast.

Steak: C - not that it matters; the S is actually the least important part of a CFS
Batter: B - thick, salty crust which stays more or less in place
Gravy: A - well-spiced, classic taste
Consistency: B - mine was a wee bit overdone this time, but it's usually right on
Price: C - it's like $8 for a reasonable portion of steak, plus 2 eggs, baked good, and hot side. If you pick biscuits and hashbrowns you end up with a serious spread. Personally, I go for rye toast and refried beans with cheese. Not a bad deal, but not an incredible value either, considering standard Houston portion sizes.

Notes: This is my current favorite CFS. Nothing beats a good CFS, except a good CFS dipped in egg yolk. They need to stop putting lettuce and tomato underneath the steak, unless maybe they're trying to be funny. Until a few years ago, the 59 didn't even list the CFS&E on the menu, so only the hard-core regulars would order it (along with the pork chops and eggs, which I recommend to people who have reasonable expectations about the quality of diner breakfast meats). The updated menu has it right up at the top where it belongs, but it does take some of the thrill out of the ordering process. At the original location between Shepherd and Greenbriar, there's a sign that reads (more or less), "There are only two places to eat chicken fried steak, the 59 Diner and Phil's." Phil's is essentially the 59 Diner's predecessor.

Stu's Stuff
What I'm reading now:
'Post Captain', by Patrick O'Brian
What I read last:
'The First Man In Rome', by Colleen McCullough
If the above seems out of date, I've almost certainly reverted to either Patrick O'Brian or P.G. Wodehouse
Web Art & Design
Orisinal (online Flash games)
Coudal Partners
Presstube (daily doodle)
Exploding Dog (cartoons from submitted titles)
Others' Writings
Kevin Whited's Reason Forum (Houston-related) "chronicling the high cost of our legal system"
Pathetic Earthlings "Science, Politics & Single Malt Whiskey"
Century Research Foundation "Testing the Limits of Good Taste"
Favorite Columnist:
John Derbyshire (@ NRO)
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