Archive for February, 2005

Warning: Things when heated are hot

I was roasting chicken last night in the oven. We were making a good chicken stock to serve as a base for Italian Wedding soup. I was using a big All Clad roasting pan, it had about 3lbs of chicken parts in it. The bits had released an impressive amount of water, so it was my idea to drain off some of the liquid so that the remaining bits would roast rather than just stew.

Shortly after I removed the pan from the oven I was distracted. When I resumed my previous plan I quite stupidly just grabbed the handle… The stupid part was forgetting the oven mitt. OH, FUCK! Unfortunately, the few short minutes that the pan was out of the oven did little to reduce the temperature of that handle. The searing (literally) pain in my hand quickly got my attention, and I just let go… allowing the pain full of hot chicken parts and about a quart of the rendered juices to smack off the kitchen floor.

It wasn't a total loss. The pan remained upright, and only about half the chicken was strewn across the floor. At least Greenbean will appreciate our new chicken flavored kitchen carpet. I grabbed a handful of ice cubes which helpfully kept the blistering to a minimum, but still left my mood simmering. That stock better taste a hell of a lot better than the shit you can buy in a can.

Inversion of Control

No not this

I'm talking about things I own, and things I like, that are taking over my life.

I am a rat in a Skinner box of my own design. A few months ago, I broke, or at least attenuated my e-mail checking addiction, only to replace it with the crack cocaine that is Bloglines.

And then there's the MP3 collection… I feel compelled to organize it even though I hardly listen to music. I'm hoping this Napster-To-Go makes it easier… but I still have to fool with playlists, and now I have a million possible songs to choose from.

And the fleet of vehicles (cars, bikes, motorcycles, kayaks, a sailboat, windsurfing boards…), too many hobbies to count let alone do… Argh!

Maybe we should have a kid… it would consolidate all my life controlling pursuits into a handy 8lb package.

I need to be more like this guy

Defending Napster To-Go

This morning thanks to Slick Deals I picked up a iRiver H10 5 gig, color, mp3 player + 1 year of Napster To Go for $180.

Keep in mind that the H10 by itself runs $270 or so… even without the service it's a sweet deal.

Now about the service: Lots of assclowns are hatin' on the subscription model of Napster To Go (henceforth: NTG). The fine folks at the UK's Register are no exception.

With NTG you pay $15/mo for access to a metric shitload of songs. You can download as many as you want to 3 different computers and to your nifty new iRiver H10. You have access to this collection as long as you continue to pay the subscription fee. Sounds reasonable to me, but this is what gets the Register's panties in a bind.

They breathlessly point out:

The big detractor, however, is that you still don't own the music. You rent it. Stop paying the Napster tax man, and all your music disappears.

Oh my! No one would ever fall for that… I mean what kind of service where you pay for access to the content would ever catch on? Umm… How about Cable/Satellite TV, Satellite Radio? If I stop paying, I can't watch the content. Hell, I can't even pick what/when I want to see that content. I have to pay a monthly fee for phone, internet access, and Tivo service too. If I go see a concert I have to pay, and the only copy of the music I get is what sticks in my brain. The Register's argument is retarded.

A more convincing argument might be: $15/mo is too much for the service Napster is providing. But they never even consider Napster's implementation or the convenience/size of their archive.

I already own most of the music I like, and I've been disappointed often enough when buying new CDs, that I've all but stopped buying them. This leaves me stuck listening to the same old stuff. However, with an all-you-can-eat approach, I'm encouraged to download tons of shit, and maybe I'll get lucky and find something new I like. If it sucks, or the novelty wears off… no loss for me, it gets deleted. So, for me the subscription model holds some promise.

NTG's promise is dependent on how convenient it is to use… If it's a pain, it might not be worth even $1/mo, but if it made access seamless, and if helped me find the content I want (but was possibly unaware of) it could be worth even more than $15/mo.

I'm surprised to report that NTG is thus far well worth the $15. I've been able to easily find and download the content I'm looking for. And I've already stumbled onto some good content I wouldn't have thought to download.

I know some people hate the subscription/renting model… I generally do too. But I think Napster's price is right (at least for now.) Besides, if I find something I really want, couldn't I just steal it via bitTorrent?

PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

We fell out of the habit of preparing regular home cooked meals in the last few months. While I certainly enjoy going out for dinner, I quickly become bored… A $25 entree that delighted a few weeks earlier, simply becomes an expensive source of calories. With a freezer full of deer meat to use, I have some motivation to get cooking again.

Deb is still a bit weirded out by the idea of eating deer. I'd give her some grief about it, if I hadn't so recently tempted her back into being a carnivore. So with this in mind I've been focusing on recipes that deemphasize the main ingredient.

So far I've been on a roll… Many of my favorite dishes have no recipes. I just keep cooking, witches' brew style, until I achieve the desired end result. This often leads to enormous batches, as I need to keep adding things to get the proportions right.

Brush your teeth with frosting

We picked up a bottle of Crest's Vanilla Mint flavored toothpaste last week. While I am sure that it is an ADA approved dentifrice, there is something unwholesome about brushing your teeth with something that closely approximates Betty Crocker's vanilla icing in a can. Although I can think of at least one person for whom this product would be perfect.

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