Saturday, October 31, 2009

goats are neat

This article on goaty outdoor maintenance and Google's recent use of goats to do the lawn got me all nostalgic.

My family had Nubian goats on our bit of land and they were hilarious and useful. The billy reeked but that's his job. Ate a few cabrito, which does wonders for my street cred with my Hispanic students. :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tasting: canned beef

I canned some beef (cubed) earlier this year and broke some out last night for dinner. It was tender and tasted like roast beef.

Served with mashed potatoes and steamed cauliflower. I think I'm going to try frying cauliflower sometime. I had it fried at Ali Baba and it was interesting; the high heat developed some brussel sprout flavors in the white veggie.

Speaking of mashed potatoes, have you had instant mashed potatoes lately? I'm something of a purist and use a potato ricer for my smashed potato adventures. I have rejected instant mashed potatoes as heresy, partly for their "instant" nature and partly for the horrific flavor and texture I remember from the 80s. Recently my SIL gave us a packet of them to try. I sneered for a couple of months and then we made them. Wow. I don't know what happened to the technology since the 80s but these were really good. And at ~$1/bag they are pretty cheap. And storable. The thing that's really got my head spinning is that I don't think I can consistently make homemade smashed potatoes as good as these new instant packages.

So now there are a couple pouches in our pantry and a couple in our 72hr kit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lottery fraud in GP

This same thing actually happened to me once in Richardson, albeit for a much smaller amount.

This was in the late 90s when there was a (different) craptastic Quickie Mart near Star of Siam on SpringValley/75. One night I took my four-out-of-six winner to the counter; it was due an $85 prize based on the size of the lottery that drawing. The details are fuzzy but that's the idea.

Me: [handing over ticket] "I got four"
Clerk: [runs ticket, looks at printout, pulls $4 out of the register] "Four dollars"
Me: "No, I got four numbers. It's $85"
Clerk: "Oh". [pulls $85 out of the drawer]

He would have pocketed $81 on that deal. Safest way to check numbers is to scan them into one of the lottery machines at the grocery store. Much faster than checking nums on the website.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another reason to love Mickey$oft

MS slips a Firefox extension in a windows update. It makes FF users vulnerable to IE-style drive by infections, and is nearly impossible to remove.

Yes, it's not enough that they make their own software into virus incubation tools. They want to infect everyone else, too. Now watch them claim that FF is no more secure than IE after poisoning the well.

Nice. When you get sick enough of the MS crap, take a spare PC and install linux on it. Ubuntu is probably the easiest to get started with.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

stop yelling

Although I am libertarian and predisposed to support Ron Paul's quixotic adventures, I was disappointed in hecklers that shouted pro-Ron Paul statements at Sen. Graham at a recent town hall meeting in Greenville, SC.

Hecklers: make your statement in a civil manner at the microphone when it is your turn. If it is not your turn do not shout. I know it's not going to get anyone on TV, but please display enough self-control that people are not worried that you have the right to drive, breed, and live on your own without a parent (or nanny state) around. Be an adult.