Friday, August 27, 2010

review of m burger

The M stands for Mediocre.

(Went there on April 30th. Five Guys is better.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

getting the blood pumping

Found this video of the best runs of 2009. Football is almost here.

(Though you might want to mute/turn the volume down.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2010 census: favorite books

Another post in the 2010 Census series, basically a time capsule so I can see what I was into.

This list is probably the least reliable. As I said yesterday, I don't really read books more than once. And often, even if I enjoy a book, I might forget about it a few months later. I just finished City of Thieves and really enjoyed it. I know I read How I Became A Famous Novelist last fall--I think I enjoyed it, but can't elaborate on it.

Also, I tend to prefer authors, and I'm in the process of reading through Vonnegut's library (right now I think he's surpassed Palahniuk as my favorite author) and he still has some novels I've yet to read.

It's funny how easy it was to come up with my favorite bands, but pulling a list of my favorite books is almost impossible. I'm sure there's more that belong here, but if I can't remember them, what does that say about them?

Salinger: Catcher in the Rye
Palahniuk: Choke / Survivor/ Rant / Lullaby / Fight Club
Vonnegut: Slaughterhuse-Five / Timequake / Deadeye Dick / Breakfast of Champions
Gladwell: Tipping Point / Blink / Outliers
Dubner & Leavitt: Freakonomics / Superfreakonomics
Wiszowaty: My Massai Life

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2010 census: favorite video games

Another post in the 2010 Census series, basically a time capsule so I can see what I was into.

In this process, I've discovered something inherently different about how I consume films, music, video games, and books.

I almost never read the same book twice.

My favorite films (Fight Club and Lebowski) I can watch over and over. If I enjoy a movie, even if it wasn't in my top echelon, I might come back to it a few years later (Confidence, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Lucky Number Slevin come to mind recently). But generally, I'll usually only see a movie once or twice.

With music, I don't even think I can judge an album until I've listened to it at least 5 times. There are records that aren't even by my favorite bands that I've probably heard over 50 times (Third Eye Blind selftitled for example).

And then there's video games. Which because of technological advancements, means that something that was absolutely mind blowing, and may have had a profound impact on me, I might never play again because the experience doesn't hold up. So do I judge my favorites in 2010 by what I would pick up and play right now, or judge them in the context of the time?

I think I have to give some nod to the context, but also recognize what I would still play today, given the console of the time in front of me.

Super Tecmo Bowl

NHL '96

Metal Gear Solid

Tony Hawk 2

GTA3, Vice City, San Andreas
Hitman 2, Contracts
College Hoops 2k5

Assassin's Creed 2
Saints Row 2
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars

google news results are not safe for work

i'm easily amused by screenshots

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2010 census: favorite films

Another post in the 2010 Census series, basically a time capsule so I can see what I was into.

Here are my top ten favorite films, chronologically:

Groundhog Day (1993)
Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Seven (1995)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Fight Club (1999)
Memento (2001)
Adaptation (2002)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Inception (2010)

Honorable Mentions:

Back To The Future (1 & 2)
Little Miss Sunshine
American Beauty
Almost Famous
Dark Knight

And maybe some more that I've missed...leave 'em in the comments.

Friday, August 13, 2010

homemade lasagna

It's not a how-to, you just layer and bake.

half of a box of no boil noodles (box costs 1.99)
tub of ricotta (2.99)
pound of italian sausage (4.99)
tomatoes for sauce (2.99)
shredded parm (2)
peppers (1)

So it did cost $16, a little steep for homemade fare. But I did get 8 man-sized dinners out of it, so economical in the long run. Turns out it was a little too saucy, not enough ricotta, and I wish I had kept the foil on the whole time because the top layer was a little crusty for my taste.

Fav Five 2010

3rd year running...first a look back.

2009 Dave

Hon. Mention: Dorsey and Flowers/Carr

5. Charles
4. Thigpen
3. D. Johnson
2. Cassel
1. Bowe

2009 Mark

1. Megatron
2. Barry Sanders
3. Incomplete
4. Incomplete
5. Incomplete

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The players that I think are good, but are hard to get excited about, are Thomas Jones, our kicker Succop and punter Colquitt. I kinda like Chambers, but whatever.

5. Cassel
4. Flowers/Berry (stars of the secondary)
3. McCluster (The Dex-Factor)
2. Bowe
1. Charles

Charles is awesome, I would love it for him to break every record that LJ owns. Bowe has got in trouble, but I still think he's great. High hopes for Dexter and Berry.

not worried about the chiefs

Heads up for all you NFL Calcutta auctioners, the Chiefs look to be a top sleeper.

They are so well prepared. They even practiced half-time for their first preseason game.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Match #3, started 8.4.10: 5-3 Kirat (in progress)
Match #2, started 7.28.10: 6-7 (2), 6-2, 8-6 Kirat
Match #1, started spring 2002: ?-6, 6-?, 9-7 Kirat

Sunday, August 01, 2010

HOW TO: make pot roast in the oven (without a crock pot)

This recipe was inspired by my wife who asked me when the last time I had a real vegetable. When I said something like two weeks ago, it got me thinking about pot roast. This was a classic recipe from my childhood.

We always used to cook it in the crock pot, and if you've got one, you're golden. You just put it all in, let it cook for 8 hours and it's ready.

But what if you don't have one?

I started with a roast that was a little over two pounds. I rubbed the whole thing with olive oil, salt and pepper. And then I browned it in a big pot with more olive oil. Even though it was so big, it only takes about 5 minutes to get a nice brown crust on each side.

Meanwhile, I added my seasonings to 3/4 cup of water: onion powder, garlic powder, seasoning salt, montreal steak seasoning, and basil. I poured most of it into my roasting pan. Then I transferred my browned roast into the pan, and poured the remaining seasoning bath on top, making sure to get all the wet bits on top.

I covered the meat with foil (wet heat is key here) and put it in the preheated 300 degree oven. While that's in there, I prepped my veggies. I peeled and cut 5 carrots and quartered 3 potatoes. I took the meat out after 1 hour, 20 minutes, and added my veggies.

Recovered with the piece of foil, I put it back in the oven for another 1 hour, 10 minutes. I like my veggies on the tender side, but generally they will always need about an hour. If you have a bigger piece of meat, you'll need to cook it by itself for a longer time.

This is what it looks like when it's finished roasting:

What I love is how the liquid, which started as water, is now a delicious meat juice that flavors the veggies. I serve it by smashing the potatoes with a fork and covering everything on the plate with some nice spoonfuls of juice. The meat is fork tender and everything tastes delicious. This is a dish that could be served to company, yet it's super easy, and pretty cheap. My meat was $5.50, the veggies I used were each a dollar. So for 8 bucks, you can feed a table of four a high quality meal.

The only thing I'd do differently, is trim of some of the fat on the outside before I started. Coming from the background of steaks, I figured any marbling would be a good thing. But the slow cooking didn't render the fat. It was easy to trim off on the plate, but if I was serving to guests, I'd do it before hand.