Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-31
Posted in Twitter
First watch, 8 bells (12:03 am)
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The New Refrigerator
First watch, 4 bells (10:19 pm)

Well our new fridge is looking pretty good. We had a heck of a time getting it in place, but it's totally been worth it. First off, my dad and I drove to Spokane to the Whirlpool rep to pick it up. Due to road construction and a GPS that was giving us bad information, we had a little trouble finding the place. Getting it back to Post Falls wasn't very hard, nor was getting it off the truck. My brother Wesley came over and helped.

The first challenge was getting it up the outside steps. Wesley picked up a furniture dolly and that problem was fixed right up. The next issue was the front door—the refrigerator wouldn't fit through my front door! We ended up having to take the doors off of it so it would fit in the house! Getting the fridge up the stairs was a piece of cake, though. When I had the house built, I made the stairs 48" wide. Even after you take off space for the drywall and the handrail, I still have plenty of room to walk the fridge right up. The only problem there was it weighed 350 pounds. But between the two of us (Wesley and I) we manhandled it up. When I hit the top of the stairs, he had to split, but I didn't need any more help. I put the doors back on and wheeled the fridge into place.

Right where I encountered the next obstacle. The wall cabinet above the refrigerator space has a faceplate that drops 1.5" down from the bottom of the cabinet. The refrigerator was 1/4" too tall, so I had to plane off some of the cabinet trim. No big deal, I actually ended up using a belt sander. It made a lot of dust. Finally, everything came together, and the fridge is in place.

It's a stainless steel Whirlpool Gold 25 cubic foot with french doors and a bottom drawer freezer and ice-maker. No water or ice dispenser in the door (I'm not a big fan of those, and neither is Lorien). It's super energy-efficient, it uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb. This isn't the exact model we got, but it's real similar (the one we have has 1' larger fridge space and 1' smaller freezer).

It sure is nice to have a way to keep things cold again. Living nearly a month without a refrigerator wasn't a lot of fun. We ended up buying a lot of groceries today so we could start filling it up again. You can see a picture of my new fridge (on my driveway) here.

Last Night On Earth, The Zombie Game
Posted in Reviews
Afternoon watch, 5 bells (2:34 pm)

Wednesday night my youngest brother Wesley came over and we (he, Lorien, and I) played Last Night On Earth, The Zombie Game. Although it can be a 2-player game, I suspect it's a bit more playable with more than two people. It supports up to six.

This game is pretty incredible, it even comes with its own CD soundtrack! The game board is made of several pieces, four randomly chosen and one central piece, which introduces a nice variance to the game. There are always two sides to this game, the survivors and the zombies, with at least one player controlling each side.

The cards are very high quality, and real actors were photographed for the content. There are numerous (14) zombie pieces, and eight human pieces. There are many assorted counters and special tokens as well.

To help get the hang of the game, we started with the basic scenario, "Die, Zombies, Die!" The goal is to kill enough zombies before the sun sets. The combat sounded a little confusing at first, but it's really not very hard to learn. The tough part can be getting a weapon to help you kill the zombies. With luck, searching through an empty building will yield a useful weapon (like the chainsaw!), but not always.

Lorien and I managed to defeat Wesley's zombie horde with about two turns to spare before sundown. Having the basic game down made it easy to jump into the next scenario we chose, "Defend the Manor House." This time our goal was to stop nine zombies from entering the Manor House (it's on the back of the town center board) before it was too late. At one point, we nearly lost the game: there were eight zombies inside, and several more only a step away. Fortunately, the stranger Jake got some gasoline and a lighter and was able to torch six of the zombies, but unluckily, he was caught in the fire and killed. He died helping the rest of the survivors, and at least he got to have his "last night on Earth" (a Zombie card event) with Jenny the farm girl before his noble sacrifice.

In all, it was a really fun game, and I'm quite glad I have added it to my board game collection. If you can't find it at your friendly local game store, check out Flying Frog Productions' website and buy it online!

Munchkin Death!
Posted in Hobbies
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:29 pm)

Today at lunch we played Munchkin Booty (Susan won). I would have won, had I not encountered a level 50 jellyfish!

I was at level 9 (you win when you hit level 10), so I would have won had I not got clobbered by cards.

In the fray were the following:

Ergo, ((5+4+3)x2)x2 = 48, plus 2 for the Jellyfish's original rating. A level 50 Jellyfish! Holy Carp! See the evil hand here (insert obligatory crappy iPhone camera disclosure here).

Fortunately I rolled a 5 and ran away! Ha!

PS If you don't know about Munchkin, I highly recommend it as a great card game to play with friends.

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Goals This Week
Posted in General
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:11 pm)

I'm setting three goals this week:

  1. Get new refrigerator
  2. Upgrade DSL connection
  3. Don't die

Number three is just in case neither number one nor number two get accomplished, so at least I feel like I get something done this week…

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Posted in Code
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:09 pm)

It's official, I really like boost::format!

Forget all that old-school variable argument C-style code with the ellipsis(…), boost::format is where it's at!

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Happy (Memorial|Towel) Day!
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 3 bells (7:44 pm)

Today is Memorial Day, and I'm grateful that so many people made so many sacrifices that I don't have to work today.

It is also Towel Day. Carry one with you.


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An Old Companion
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 2 bells (7:18 pm)

An old mission companion of mine is on page 102 of the current Ensign. Kevin Hsiung (Kuan-Yun) is a really cool guy. He lives in the LA area now, IIRC.

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Sourdough Bread
Posted in Recipes
First watch, 6 bells (11:24 pm)

I've got a great recipe now for sourdough bread, and it's time to share it:

1 cup sourdough starter
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour (bread or all-purpose)

If you don't have a sourdough starter, ask a friend that does, or google for a recipe. I use the Giza Culture and have been very happy with it. I got it from my uncle. It can live in your refrigerator for months at a time without any care or attention. It's quite hard to kill.

Mix all ingredients together (use dough cycle if you have a bread machine). Put dough in a greased bowl, cover with a wet cloth, and let rise for 24 hours. Sourdough rises much slower than normal bread, at least mine sure does.

Punch down the dough and shape however you want. You can let the shaped dough rise again, or if you're impatient (like me) just cook it. I like to use a baking stone and cover it in cornmeal. Put the stone and a glass bowl full of water in the oven as you preheat it to 400° F. Take the stone out, sprinkle with the cornmeal, put your dough on it, and bake for 22-25 minutes. The humidity from the water will give the sourdough loaf a crisper crust. You can also wet the loaf or spray it with water.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-05-24
Posted in Twitter
First watch, 8 bells (12:03 am)
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Boston: Bad for Zombies
Posted in Twitter
Afternoon watch, 1 bell (12:59 pm)

This is composed of 100% awesome:

Boston Police will notify about zombies

See the full story here.

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Yesterday’s Traffic Graph
Forenoon watch, 2 bells (9:08 am)

Yesterday I had a brush with fame. I posted the picture of the Naturally Occurring Mr. T and tweeted it on Twitter over to Michael J. Nelson (of MST3K and RiffTrax fame), who almost immediated re-tweeted it.

This is what happened:
21 May traffic for Naturally Occurring Mr. T post


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Naturally Occurring Mr. T
Posted in Strangeness
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:47 pm)

In the spirit of Naturally Occurring Torgo, I'd like to start a Naturally Occurring Mr. T thread.

I spotted this one last summer in Amsterdam:

Naturally occurring Mr. T

Addendum: I swear I had no knowledge of this beforehand, but the day I posted this was the real Mr. T's birthday!

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Screwed By Dell
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:16 pm)

Normally I don't have a problem with Dell, they take pretty good care of me, and I get a good discount on hardware.

This, however, is an exception:
expensive screws

(Sorry for the poor quality, came from my iPhone again—its close-up photography is teh s uck)

Let me clarify this picture. Those 12 screws were $1.99 each. Anything that sticks out at all will stop the device from being inserted into the server. And of course you need four per hard drive. Seriously, is that really necessary? This is a lot of goodwill lost over a stupidly cheap part, guys.

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Starting on Number Four
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 8 bells (12:15 pm)

I just donated my 25th pint of blood. This is the beginning of my fourth gallon donated. Woohoo!

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