I decided to invite Kaylan and Michele over yesterday to have lunch and to show them I’m an awesome cook (which I am, stop giggling), and I was actually going to take pictures and teach you guys how to cook this stuff. Yeah that uh, didn’t happen because I put fresh, just charged batteries in the camera… and it died. WTH?! So I put the old ones back in, nothing. So no awesome pictures of food that I made personally, so just accept pictures from the internets.
Cheese Potato Casserole
2 lb. bag of cubed hash browns,
~1.5 sticks of butter,
1 tablespoon of Salt,
1 can of Cream of Chicken (or Mushroom) soup,
15 oz. jar of Cheese Whiz,
8 oz. of Sour Cream
1 to 2 cups of crushed Corn Flakes (unsweetened)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take the thawed hash browns and lay in the bottom of a 9x13 in. pan. Mix 1 stick of butter (melted), salt, cream of chicken soup, cheese whiz and sour cream in a bowl until well mixed, then pour over hash browns. Mix crushed cornflakes with a half stick of butter, then sprinkle over the top. Bake for 30-45 minutes in the oven until center starts to bubble and it begins to brown. Let set for a minimum of 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy.
Southern Style Secret
I used Pillsbury biscuit dough in a tube on these because I didn’t have all the gear to do it properly, but there’s a secret to making the biscuits stand up nice and puffy, and that’s all about spacing. The recommended spacing for adequate baking is about an inch apart, but the biscuits don’t have time to rise before they’re baked and you’re left with a flat biscuit. Instead, pack them in close, even so far as smooshing them together. The additional time it takes for them to bake will be offset by the extra time they have to properly rise, giving you nice big fluffy biscuits.
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned… I forgot to put white gravy on top of the country fried steak when I served it. I accept my place in culinary hell. I decided to get store-bought frozen steaks, which are just fine for most meals, and left them in the fridge to thaw overnight. It seems to have worked out nicely, because they were very tender and very good. I recommend 3 min for an 1100 Watt microwave, so just convert for your own microwave.
Poor kitties are confused as all hell as I move furniture around in my little office. Computer’s now facing the window so I can peek outside, but it’s one of their favorite windows to lounge in so they’re kinda pissed. Hopefully I can teach them not to climb up onto the computer. Planning on a few other things to get shuffled around so as soon as I have that done, I’ll post pictures :D
Imagine you are with two other people in a small room just barely big enough for the three of you. There’s light, but outside it’s dark, has been for days. You’re excited, because you’re on a trip, everything’s going fine. You flip a switch…
Something explodes. The lights go out. Everything’s going crazy. You’re spinning. Oh, and you’re in a small craft hurtling towards the moon and if you don’t get your ship under control, fast, you’re going to either smack into it or float off into deep space forever and ever.
This was the day, in 1970, when the oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 exploded.
That picture is of the service module, with a nice big chunk missing when the oxygen tank exploded when the fan inside shorted out. In the pure oxygen, it made a minor problem into a huge one. It took out so many systems that it was only because of the amazing training each astronaught received that they were able to return to the Earth at all. If you’ve ever complained about travelling, just remember that the guys aboard that ship were on their way to the moon when their vehicle exploded. Oh, and despite that and the numerous other problems? Space travel is still the safest method of travel, airplanes be damned.
Expected cost: $20 to $30 dollars. I used to have a play area covered in carpet for them that used a rod to go to the ceiling and hold it stable. However, I think for the cost, I can just cut a hole in some shelves and cover them with cheap rugs and have it last even after I move it as needed.
A Water-Bowl Filter
Expected cost: $15. The problem with the cats’ current setup is that they have to hop up on the counter to get water after their store-bought water filter crapped out, and it cost a hefty $35. I can buy a metal bowl and a cheap aquarium filter for far less than that. If the filter dies, I can buy a new one on the cheap.
A Top-Access Litter Box
Estimated cost: $10. This one is so simple I hate I haven’t done it already. The problem with the cat’s pan right now is that it’s open, meaning the cats will often kick out the litter when they’re done. Rather than make an unsanitary mess, I will just cut the top off a large storage bin big enough for them to climb into and do their business, while keeping the majority of it contained inside. To make sure their paws get cleaned off, I’ll probably use any of the leftover mat from the playplace project to coat the top around the hole so they can wipe their paws.
On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, starting the first battle in a war that would span over 4 years and cost thousands and thousands of lives in the worst fighting seen in North America. Some were fighting for a state’s right to impose it’s will on the Federal government, some were fighting for slavery, and some to defend their homes. Regardless of reason, the battles to come would be bloody and numerous all across the South.
Meanwhile, 90 years later, Yuri Gagarin aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft took off and became the first man in space on April 12, 1961. The humble farmer turned pilot rocketed off and saw the Earth the way no one else had, famously saying “The sky is dark, the Earth is blue.” He would die 7 years later due to his own piloting mistake, but he left a legacy respected by both sides of the Iron Curtain.
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”—Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy
Ok so, this was Easter Weekend, or Zombie Jesus Sunday for those of you who prefer a little kick-ass with their choice of holidays. For me, that meant working Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and from the get go it was pretty brutal and a whole mess of bat-shit insane.
So Friday starts off normal. Classes weren’t in so I got to sleep in, got up and got ready for my shift at work starting at 1PM. Turns out my friend Heather was coming into town and because of work, I’d have to wait until Saturday to see her. Major bummer. But it’s a fairly slow day so besides a few notes left by management, it’s fairly slow and we just take it easy. I get off at 10PM and go home. That’s when I remember that Heather is in town and so I begin a scramble to clean up my apartment before she comes over, and I get done around 1AM. So I go to bed.
Saturday decided to make things… interesting when they had me do a rapid turnaround and come in at 8:30AM, which isn’t really that big a deal, but I had stayed up to 1AM, so I was running off 5 hours of sleep. Already tired, I had two of our incompetent managers to deal with, who were trying to stack crap on top of crap to make a shit sandwich with all of us in the middle. So after finishing my notes left by management, I decided to clean up, only to find out there was some freight left in furniture, and I had less than an hour to do it before I went home. So, it’s super rush mode to get everything finished for my supervisor, who was happy and so I went to take my last break before I went home. While on break, incompetent manager shows up and starts listing off things I was supposed to do right away. I just nodded my head, waited till she left, then went and clocked out to go home. At home, I proceeded to finish cleaning up and got ready for my super lady friend Heather, who came over to enjoy some time together, eat pizza, make super awesome blueberry cheesecake muffins, and enjoy some Whose Line is it Anyway, before she had to go home to spend Sunday with her parents. I stayed up a bit and went to bed around midnight.
Sunday decided to be the day from Hell, which I guess might be somewhat appropriate given it was Zombie Jesus Day. With most of my area zoned and clean, I decided to take to dusting the large furniture displays with the help of Michele in Housewares, agreeing to help her with the notes she was unaware of that I had a copy of. Since my stuff was fast and easy, we were able to spend quite a bit of time working on her stuff to make sure it was done properly, even making one guy happy when we asked a manager to lower the price on a deleted display that we were going to trash anyway. Around noon, Kylan and Michele invited me to lunch at their house, where I enjoyed a bowl of cereal and got to meet Bebo Jr, Princess Leia and Vader, their three boy kittens that are 5 weeks old. It was here that they invited me to play D&D with them that night along with a few other guys at work. I agreed, and we headed back to work. I was scheduled to 5:30 but my foot was killing me, so I left a little early at 5. I went home, chilled for a bit, grabbed a shower, and then headed out to grab pizza for the game. I brought plenty, and we spent the time bullshitting and carrying on, creating my first ever D&D character, Humphry L. Watt, aka Wattle, complete with my hilarious Scotish baroque every time he had something to say. We played a quick game and then Michele had to get some sleep, so us guys, Kylan, Ray and Jeffrey, just chilled outside talking about how much bullshit Wal-mart puts us through. Around 2AM we had to call it a night, and I went home and slept.
Princess Leia (male kitten) sleeping in my shoe. Yes, I need new shoes.
Vader lying on top of Leia trying to smother him.
Leia overcomes Vader’s smothering influence and both lie sleeping.
Marijuana is one of those things that is divisive for too many reasons to get into properly. And there’s a real reason for that. Originally, marijuana was banned because it supposedly caused drug-fueled attacks by blacks on whites, just like cocaine. And ever since, it’s mostly because we have a real issue regarding our past that we continue to hold onto these laws, though that’s mostly because of the Reagan era (remember them?). Today, its legal status is being brought up and questioned, while medical professionals debate whether it is genuinely helpful or harmful, and the politicians, already strapped for cash, try to decide if a major loss of tax dollars can be turned around and used to float bloated budgets.
See, Marijuana is not something I personally smoke, just like I don’t drink alcohol or smoke tobacco. The reason I don’t is because, basically, I have no real reason to. All three are vices that are only affordable to those who make enough money that it won’t hurt them, but traditionally are so addicting that people already in tough financial states will spend money they don’t have to obtain it. And that, in and of itself, is part of the problem. Unlike alcohol or tobacco, which is relatively cheap, the illegal nature of marijuana makes it difficult to obtain, and thus more expensive.
People are, of course, eager to say that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous, but I counter that with the question, “When is breathing any kind of smoke or ash good for you?” but that’s just one major issue. Generally, if anything affects you mentally or physically, it will have a side effect, for better or for worse. Why aren’t I looking up exactly what those side-effects are? Because I’m not only lazy, but because I know I’ll find two major sources of information: The websites claiming marijuana is going to kill you, and the websites claiming marijuana will heal any and all wounds and lead you to the promised land of health. When there’s so much disinformation being spread, it’s hard to find real, objective information without calling it into question, even from otherwise reputable sites.
Now, onto the big question. Should marijuana be legal? In a word, partially. Like alcohol, which is a mind-altering substance, marijuana should have laws placed on it making it illegal to drive while taking it, it should be illegal to give to young, developing children, and it should probably be taxed properly in order to sell. There should also be a full gamut of tests performed to ensure that it doesn’t have unknown, long-term side effects that make it a health hazard for people. If marijuana is a hazard due to long-term exposure, it should be properly labelled as such on the packages. But other than that, if it’s safe and people can use it responsibly, then I see no reason why it should be deemed illegal.
And no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be sporting pro-legalized marijuana propaganda all over this blog. I’ve stated my opinion, and that’s that.
This is Bess. I found her two years ago in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. She was so tiny and came out from hiding under a Corvette. I picked her up, put her in the truck, went inside and bought emergency supplies, then took her home and kept her. She’s a bit of a biter and aggressive, but when you get to know her and she gets used to you, she’s a total whore.
This is Biscuit. Biscuit was adopted a year ago from a woman giving away kittens at Wal-Mart. She’s a real sweet heart and I rarely see her get mad or aggressive. She loves being petted and loves tummy rubs, and will come and bug you if you don’t give her enough love. She’s so cute.
I was watching The Big Picture with Moviebob the other day when he brought up relics, and how back in the day, as explorers wandered the rainforests of Africa and discovered ancient, lost civilizations, they attributed them to the lost epic cities like Atlantis, but were scared to admit that it might possibly be the work of the local natives, who were unfortunately darker skinned.
Today, it seems that case continues, with people saying the Pyramids, Machu Pichu, the Aztec pyramids, Stonehenge, all of it was built either by aliens or for aliens, who were obviously there to try and uplift the people or at least use them for pin cushions. Why? Why do we believe that everything that doesn’t have a clearly obvious excuse, like an ancient rusting backhoe, belong to aliens here to make us their genetic guinea pigs?
Unfortunately, I think it’s the same mindset as before, only spread across more people and cultures: that humans of ancient periods were obviously retarded and unable to construct anything simpler than a stick hut. Really, it’s an insult to all of us to assume such a thing. The only thing separating our works today from those in the past, except for the tools we use, is time. A human from 5000 years ago could probably be taught everything he needs to know to survive in modern times, simply because he’s got a brain.
People love to scream, “But the pyramids are so intricate and complicated and there’s no way a primitive person with only basic tools could figure that out!” and to them I say, “Yes, they can and did, and just because you don’t know how they did it, doesn’t mean they didn’t.” There are a multitude of ways, many of them clearly documented by the builders themselves, that these tasks were accomplished, and it would be easier for them to find time since for many parts of the year, there was literally nothing for them to do while waiting on the harvest.
Things like this irk me for a whole host of reasons. Automatically assuming someone is dumb because they didn’t have a modern education is an insult, because even with a PhD in quantum physics, a person can still be dumber than a lamp-post. Education does not equal intelligence. The sooner we figure this out, the better we’ll all become.
I’m not sure why, but something about the rain makes people freak the hell out, and I’m not sure why. People on the roads tend to drive slower and more cautiously, while a few actually use the excuse to drive a bit crazier. People stand around under cramped shelters desperate to try and stay as dry as possible while their partners run through the rain to try and bring the vehicle closer. People run through the rain like it’s going to melt them like the Wicked Witch, and all of it makes no damned sense.
Personally, I like the rain, and if I have nothing better to do, I don’t mind walking through it. If I have to be somewhere, like to work, I might hurry through it but that’s only to make sure I’m somewhat presentable to work. So why do we hate the rain? I think it’s a bit of vanity and also people don’t want to feel wet.
Feeling wet is something that, I admit, is a bit disconcerting. Your clothes, which normally feel fine and keep you warm, become clingy and cold, making you a bit uncomfortable. The smell of wet people, like wet animals, makes us all a bit self-conscious. Women worry about their expensive haircuts, though guys are just as guilty about trying to cover their heads.
Rain is natural and, during the summer, a bit hard to come by. So the next time you have nothing better to do and it starts to rain, go outside and let the rain pelt your face and soak your clothes. Just don’t be standing outside during a thunderstorm. Ya’know, be safe about it.