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Chant of Waves
my journal
July 2011

Date: 2011-07-21 20:13
Subject: My nerd score, I has boosted it.
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Want a geeky, GURPS-stat-heavy article on blowguns? I wrote one here: http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG37-2633
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Date: 2010-06-30 12:33
Subject: Girl can sing.
Security: Public
I love P!nk's voice. LOVE. And I try to not justify aesthetic decisions. But if I did, I think this would help explain it:


Now I'm fighting the urge to search for every cover she's done of anyone ever.
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Date: 2010-05-18 04:21
Subject: Cast Iron Skillet
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I'm insomniacing, so...

I got a cast-iron skillet a couple weeks ago. I'm still learning to cook with it - it transmits heat much faster than my enamel skillet (and slightly more evenly), so I have to use lower temperatures to achieve similar results. It also heats up faster, so where I used to throw part of the ingredients in and then chop-chop-toss the rest in, I now have to chop-chop ahead of time or the first ingredients burn while I'm still chopping!

It also requires more upkeep. I scrape and rinse it while it is still hot from cooking, and then lightly oil the pan. This is part of a lifelong process for caring for cast-iron cookware, whose mysteries I am inducting myself into, and it's a bit more work before eating (although not more work total - cast iron takes less time to clean than my enamel, so I'm actually saving work, just putting it all up-front before I can nom).

With all that said.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Allow me to enumerate my love.

1. Food cooked on cast iron releases more smell into the air. At least, so far, mushrooms, sweet onions, green onions, eggs, pastured bacon, turnip slices, parsley, soy sauce, butter, and fresh garlic do. I haven't tested everything, obviously. I have no theory why this is so. I wasn't expecting it. I do like it.

2. When I get the temperature right, nothing sticks to the pan.

3. Mushrooms get more even heat. This discovery has prompted more mushroom dishes than is our usual, particularly in a simple garlic brown sauce.

4. I can bake in the skillet. I haven't had the time required to do this yet, but I'm itching.

5. I now have a weapon in the kitchen. Like a real weapon. Like, I could kill the shit out of someone with this skillet. (I have knives, too, but they lack the size, reach, and overwhelming massiveness of my new cast-iron skillet.)

6. Unrelated to its cast-iron-ness, the skillet is large enough for serious pancakes.

...And there's probably more, but I've only had it a couple weeks, and I'm sleep deprived.
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Date: 2010-02-14 10:01
Subject: Google Buzz is a symptom
Security: Public
I've turned off Google Buzz, as best as I can. I stopped using Google Mail a long time ago, because of privacy implications, and Google Buzz hasn't really changed that.

(EDIT: To remove it, try this - thanks to Msss, via Archangel Beth.)

The issue is this:

1. Take a Google Engineer. He's smart, talented, and a bit cocky. He's not an expert in privacy, or security, or even how users of Google Mail use the service. He's not familiar with the broken homes that some people come out of, and he's not particularly sympathetic to the needs of divorced couples, and he's never been in an abusive relationship, and he's certainly never been entrusted with the well-being, safety, and privacy of a psychiatric care client.

2. Give him 20% of his work week, in which he can work on anything he wants. Grand projects! Fabulous visions!

3. For building blocks, which he can use to build an app however he wants, applying his own expertise and understanding, with no filters, give him the live Google Mail service and all of its data.

An engineer at Google came up with the idea of Buzz. Other engineers at Google, similar in many ways, bought into it, and pushed for it to be more important in the company. And then Facebook added email, someone at Google panicked and saw this "ready for the real world" app that some engineer at Google had put together...

Now go back and read point #1.

Google can only be trusted as far as every engineer - in their 20% time - can be trusted.

Buzz is not the first time that they've proven that to be not so far at all. It's definitely the worst, of course.
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Date: 2010-01-07 20:53
Security: Public

Refined roast chicken recipe, ingredients:

  1. Two quarters of *pastured* chicken. Pastured is important - chickens are insectivores, and pastured is the only way you can get the best chicken meat. Chickens fed corn and/or grain flat-out do not taste as good.
  2. Drizzle of olive oil (no olive juice this time). I use Grove Master's Reserve from Texas Olive Ranch - it's crap to saute with, but it's yum in soups and baking. I've only found it for sale at their booth at the Farmer's Market, though.
  3. Dash of sea salt, basil, oregano. Black pepper if you want a little extra kick.
  4. A pat of butter if you can handle lactose, a few chunks of grass-fed bacon fat otherwise. Either works about the same - butter is just closer to hand and easier to cut off a few pieces for me.


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Put chicken quarters in a stoneware pie pan, small aluminum foil "bowl," or similar. The goal is to catch the juices, fats, and herbs as they melt off the chicken. My stoneware pie pan kicked ass for this.
  3. Smear olive oil over entire chicken skin, then dash sea salt and herbs on the top side. Lay pats of butter or bacon fat on top.
  4. Stick whole thing in the oven, near the middle of the oven. Let it roast for 10-15 minutes, then drop temperature to 350 degrees. That initial "blast" is important for the skin, and is about the same no matter how large the chicken is.
  5. At 350 degrees, the total roast time should be about 20-30 minutes plus 20-30 minutes per pound of chicken you are using. At the midway point of that time period, open the oven, flip the chicken over, and add a dash of salt and herbs on the top. No need to add butter or bacon fat - it will have already coated this side!
  6. Start checking the chicken a little before the time is up. Both sides should be brown, and if you poke it, clear fluids should run out - that means it's done roasting.
  7. When it's done roasting, take it out, and set it aside to "rest" for 10-15 minutes. This lets the meat soak back up some of the juice and fat that it lost to heat expansion, and lets those juices settle better in the meat. This is also when the skin finishes crisping.


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