Sunday, November 10, 2013

NaNoWriMo '13

Well, I started this month fully intending to do NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. It's a challenge, held every November, where contestants write a 50,000 word novel in a month or less. The first few days I did pretty well. Then I started a new job. Due to my schedule, I'm not able to write at. While I'm still hoping to finish my current WiP by the end of the year. It looks like NaNo is a lost cause. So here's hoping to 2014.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Stupid start phrase ignore this



The lump loves the worry inside the resident food.

More Posts, more problems.

Any of you who read the blog, I have a few followers, so I know I have consistent readers, have seen my ads in the sidebar.
Well these aren’t cuttin it. So I’m moving to monetize this blog. So, I’m going to start posting a few sponsored links through commission junction, and a few sponsored posts through pay per post.
That’s all.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A question for my readers.

I'm posting this from Droid, so bear with me.

Okay, I was going through a magazine and I saw a device for the iPad that was thirty dollars and would let the kid draw on it.

What ever happened to watercolour paints and sidewalk chalk or letting your kid get dirty?

I mean, it didn't hurt me any, and you can't put a iPad on your fridge.
So my question is,  when you/if you have/ plan on having kids, do you plan on going/ are going the technological route or are you doing things the let-em-get-dirty "old fashioned" route?

Let me know in the comments below or facebook/twitter.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wow, I've been under a rock.


Now, this summer has been crappy for television. Falling Skies was mostly meh, True Blood was annoying, and Master Chef isn't finished yet. (Yes, I do watch reality TV shows, but only like three of them.)

So, I was browsing across Netflix, and somehow I haven't watched their newest series. (Orange is the New Black)

This is one of those prison drama shows, like Oz. It was a bit before my time, it had male nudity, and it was totally off the rails the last couple of seasons.

Now I guess it's an okay kind of show. It's not my cuppa, but it's got great dialogue. Anyhow I was watching it, and I realized, I knew that Russian.


It was Kate Mulgrew. She was awesome. I'm glad of this.

Now I've watched Voyager (yet another Netflix binge) and I HATED Katherine Janeway, absolutely hated her.

I didn't like Voyager either. It was probably the only series ((well the OS was crap too) There. I said it. Strip me of my geek cred.) Where I WANTED the ship destroyed.

Anyhow, after watching her portray the russian chef who could, I'm glad I found out it was the character.

That was my summer in television.





Sunday, August 11, 2013

Yes, I'm alive.

I'm still blogging. I just haven't had any ideas about what to blog about. In the mean time, I've been working on a few things.

My WiP which has been burning a hole in my keyboard since December is being edited, and I've started a Facebook page. Seriously, go check out Insert Witty Comment.

I also have started a tumblr. It's great, I post pictures, songs and odd things I find.

Now, what do you think I should blog about? Suggest it in the comments.




Tuesday, May 21, 2013

XBox One, thoughts.



To Summarize:

DRM Will be determined by the publisher.
It is controlled by face and voice recognition, and can read you heartbeat. Skynet help us.
It will allow you to skype, and watch movies or play games at the same time.
Xbox Live players are matched through game, film, television, and music choice.
A partnership with EA Games will yield four new titles exclusive to Xbox:FIFA 14, NBA Live, UFC and Madden.
 Halo is now a television series in its own right, streamed to premium subscribers on Xbox One.

You need to install every game to play and pay a fee for installing it  on a different account. 

The max blu-ray disc size at the moment is 60GB, but on average it's  50GB for games. 50GB a game  on a 500GB HDD.

In Conclusion:
Microsoft has created an Xbox with Windows Eight. Good Job. So long, and thanks for all the fish.


Hello Sony. With my pending purchase of a Mac (either Pro or Air, haven't decided yet), and my computer I am going using being formatted and linuxed, My life is going to be Windows free. Interesting.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm Done

YES. I am done with my first year of college!

That is all.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Adventures with Caviar


Well I was in Wal-Mart the other day and saw caviar on the shelves. I bought it just because I found it odd
that caviar was at Walmart.  Keep in mind this is lump caviar, not the very expensive Ostrega or Beluga. Well, I’ve obviously never had caviar before so I decided to try it. Let me tell you, lumpfish caviar tastes horrible without any flavoring.


 I was looking for what to do with the rest of the eight dollar, two ounce, waste of money and found this recipe by Andrew Williams over at The Billionaire’s Butler.
I followed the recipe to the letter and I’ve gotta say, it wasn’t half bad. The over saltiness of the caviar was balanced by the chives and tangy sour cream, but I found the texture odd.  Would I try it again? Probably not, but it was interesting experience, and I don’t regret trying it.




Saturday, May 4, 2013

Iron Man 3 Review.


           

I've tried to keep this spoiler free. 

It’s been a year since Whedon’s The Avengers took the movie world by storm. The wait is over, and the newest film in Marvel’s film franchise. The first entry in Marvel’s “Phase Two” begins Iron Man 3, the first Iron Man film not directed by Jon Favreau, and it shows.

There are three things I’ve come to expect from an Iron Man film. Killer special effects, awe inspiring battles, and snarky humor.  
Iron Man 3 doesn’t disappoint on two of these.

Tony Stark is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and tries to cope with it by building new suits. With a new terrorist in town known as the Mandarin, Tony will need all the help he can get.
Pepper Potts has always been one to watch from the sidelines, and this really doesn’t change in Iron Man 3 aside from a brief, but awesome, scene near the ending of the movie.

Tony is pushed to the limit in the film. Without his suit, or any of his gadgets he must make do with his wits and resources at his disposal. He does this by macgyvering together a small aresenal and leading a raid on the Mandarin.

I am disappointed because of the lack of action in this movie. It’s not like the first two Iron Man, or the Avengers, and relies on a slightly boring story and annoying child sidekick.
The one brief battle in this film doesn't disappoint, but feels rushed almost. This isn't what I've come to expect from a Marvel Film, or an Iron Man film, at all.
I liked the ending, but I had the feeling that they put it in based entirely on the rumors that Robert Downing Junior is thinking of stepping away from the film franchise.
The acting, is, as usual, excellent and the dialogue lives up to the witty banter we've come to expect from Iron Man.
Over all I’d give it 3/5 Stars.


Happy Trails

Justin

Oh by the way:

Give me a like on Facebook.




   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

An Announcement.

No, sadly, I did not get published. Yet.

But, I did finally get around to making a facebook page which you can find here:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Insert-Witty-Comment/169399513208135

I made a facebook page because it's super easy for me to update facebook, and kind of tedious to update blogger. Don't worry though, I WILL still be posting here.

Happy Trails

Justin.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

My adventures with Mac and Cheese, or my second foodie post.

Well, since I was bored, and the last foodie post I made had 140+ hits (the most traffic any post in my blog has ever received  I've decided to post another entry in my adventures in amateur photography/cooking.

First of all I'd like to say whenever I bake something, I without fail, burn myself.

That didn't happen this time.

Also, this was my first time ever making "real mac and cheese."

Usually I use this:
















with a little dijion, and it turns out pretty good.

But I was looking through a collection of old magazines and saw this:


and thought I had to make it. So that begin my adventures with Mac and Cheese, and the first time I've ever used a recipe. What can I say, I learned to cook by watching(mostly food network!)

The first thing I did was cut red peppers into inch(ish) sized pieces and boil them with a little garlic until they were soft.





Those smelled awesome as they were cooking.

While that was going on I toasted some panko breadcrumbs with a tiny bit of butter.
The recipe called for golden brown, but they didn't get quite there because I was afraid they were going to burn. So I pulled them off the burner and mixed them with about two tablespoons of butter, and a 1/4 cup of parmesan.



It browned up later when I baked it.

After that I added some very very finely chopped roasted red pepper from a jar and 1/4 cup of the jar's juice to the boiled red pepper along with a cup of sharp cheddar, a cup of mozzarella, a quarter cup of cabot white extra sharp cheddar, and a good spoonful of chili paste. The recipe called for peppadew but I live in a hick town, and the grocery store person hadn't even heard of peppadew.

Then I mixed it for awhile (the recipe called for a food proccessor, which I don't have for some ungodly reason, and I highly reccommend you do that if you don't like chunks of red pepper.

This is what the mix looked like when I was done:

Yes, that is a horrible picture. I was afraid the mac and cheese would turn out watery, but it dried up quite nicely.
The recipe called for cooking the noodles until tender, but I cooked them until al dente, while the noodles where cooking I buttered my cast iron baking dish:


Then I put the noodles and sauce in the pan and topped it with the panko bread crumb mixture from earlier:


After about thirty minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit, this is what I pulled out of the oven:



My mistake was topping it with parmesan half way through cooking, and yes those are breadcrumbs you see on the bottom of the picture.

No, I didn't eat all of it, there is still a good half a pan in my fridge.
Anyhow, it was pretty good, and a lot better than "normal" mac and cheese. I think if I had used the peppadews it would of had  a sweetness that would have counteracted the slight spicyness of the red pepper. I might make it again.

Below are the original and my recipes,

The orignal:

Ingredients

  • 7- to 8-ounce red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup drained mild Peppadew peppers in brine, 1 tablespoon brine reserved
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
  • 1  (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
  • 8 ounces medium shell pasta or gemelli
  • ingredient info

    Peppadew peppers are available in jars or in the deli section at some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and from peppadew.com.

    Look for panko at supermarkets and at Asian markets. Ground ancho chiles are available in the spice section of supermarkets and at Latin markets.

Preparation

  • Bring 1/2 cup water, bell pepper, and 11/2 garlic cloves to boil in small saucepan. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pepper is soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Toast panko in skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm. Rub 1 tablespoon butter into crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  • Transfer bell pepper mixture to processor. Add Peppadews and 1 tablespoon brine, 2 tablespoons butter, ground chiles, and 1/2 garlic clove; then add cheddar and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Blend until sauce is smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 8-cup baking dish (or 6 individual dishes). Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return to pot. Stir sauce and mozzarella into pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon pasta into dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  • Bake pasta until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes (15 for individual). Let stand 10 minutes.


Mine:


Ingredients

  • 7- to 8-ounce red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • garlic clove.
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup drained roasted peppers in brine, 1 tablespoon brine reserved
  • spoon chili paste.
  • 1 8ounce pack  grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 8ounce coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
  • 1 1/4 cup of cabot extra sharp white cheddar.
  • 8 ounces medium shell pasta or gemelli
  • Preparation

  • Bring 1/2 cup water, bell pepper, and garlic clove to boil in small saucepan. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pepper is soft

  • Toast panko and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm. Rub 1 tablespoon butter into crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan.

  • Transfer bell pepper mixture to bowl. Add roaster red pepper and 1 tablespoon brine, 2 tablespoons butter, chili paste; then add cheese. 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8-cup baking dish (or 6 individual dishes). Cook pasta in pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain; return to pot. Stir sauce and mozzarella into pasta. Spoon pasta into dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  • Bake pasta until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 40 minutes 

Let me know if you try one(or both) recipes and how they turn out in the comments section.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

American is getting dumber.

Warning, this is one the posts where I swear. Moral Guardians, cover your children's eyes!

Okay. First of all, I was in the drug store today getting cough syrup today, and I got carded. Yes, a nineteen year old getting carded for freaking Robitussin. That's just bullshit.
Now, unto the second part of my post.
I was on facebook today and saw this on my news feed.
Click Here.
According to the article


"A 14-year-old honor student from Northridge, Los Angeles, died this week after inhaling computer keyboard cleaner."
All I can say is what the fuck.
What the fuck is or was wrong with this teenager that they would huff compressed air.
According to the parents this was her first time "dusting."
I am calling bullshit on this.

"Her older sister found Aria in bed with a can of compressed air still attached to her mouth, her nostrils taped shut. A plastic bag was found nearby."

This person had definitely been using this for awhile, or they had experience. 
Any addiction starts small, and I don't think someone trying anything for the first time would tape their nose shut.

I am going to get reamed for this, but this girl was stupid. Extremely stupid.

Yes canned air has a refrigerant in it, but who the hell would think to use it as a drug?

This stupid girl got what she deserved.



Monday, March 18, 2013

Absolute Write and Self Publishing.

Whether or not I'm going to catch heat for this remains to be seen, but this is my blog, and freedom of the press and all that still stands, right? So here goes.

I'm a semifrequent poster on Absolute Write, and by no means am I considering the self publisher route. I might down the road if I can't find an agent for the Steampunk I'm working on, or the novella currently lurking at the back of my hard drive is to short, and that it might be.

Now, I absolutely love Absolute Write, and there Share Your Work/Query Letter Hell sections have been invaluable to me.

Anyhow, I've lurked around the self publishing boards there because I was curious about the process. I've noticed that some of the users are, to phrase it nicely, prejudiced, against self publishing. I was wondering if I was imagining that so I did some googling and found some interesting things.

Namely that two users (I'm sure it's more than two, but those are the most prolific) have been banned while discussing selfpublishing on the board.

I just find it odd that these two did nothing against the rules and were both banned, but other members of the forum called them "hostile" when they were anything but.

Anyhow, that's just a random musing.

And now a random video:
Please note, it contains profanity.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Product Review: Star War's Earbuds.

Product Review: Star War's Earbuds.


Well, I've been looking for another pair of headphones. I don't really like the "big" earphones that cup against your ears, they hurt my head, so any of those type were out. 
 I was on Think Geek and I found these gems.

I ordered them and they took about three days to get here. Although they don't come with extra or different sized buds they have an excellent sound quality. They come with a microphone but I haven't tried it yet. 

The wiring is kind of cheap, and I think it would be thicker.
 They only cost about 16, and I got them on sale. You can find them here
Edited to Add:
After less than a month of owning these, and using them roughly five times, the left earbud has stopped working. I'm never buying these again, and I'll be contacting Think Geek about them.

Have any of you guys bought these, and what do you think of them? Let me know in the comments section.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oz, the Great and Powerful




Oz, the Great and Powerful Review.

I’m not going to do a summary of the events in the movie, you can find that on imdb or wikipedia, but let me say that fans of Wicked will have problems with their personal Canon.

Oz starts slow, but the story progresses nicely, and the finale is awesome. I loved the little cameos the future heroes of Oz made (The cowardly lion attacking Theodora aka Mila Kunis) (The Scarecrow in the first battle).
The special effects were amazing, not the battle scenes which were lackluster in my opinion  but the flora and fauna scenes.
One thing I liked was how they used parallels with the characters in the “real world” and Oz, like the original film did.
The acting was so-so. I really didn’t like Franco’s portrayal of Oz, finding him Hammy, but that goes along with the character.
Michelle Williams, who played Glinda, was just creepy. I know that good witch is supposed to be all happy and sweet, but the oversweetness was downright unsettling.

While I wouldn’t recommend seeing it in theaters, this is worth a rental.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

A letter to Scrivener.

Dear Scrivener: You used to be the best program ever. I could keep track of everything with you. Then you started randomly deleting things and freezing. I'm am sorry, but I can't keep up this sham of a writer-word editor relationship. I am deleting you for Word 2013, and taking the documents. You can have the recycle bin.
Sincerely Justin.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

TV Show randomness


.

Once Upon a time:
Season One was an interesting take on fairy tales  and the overall plot: Emma Swan, an "ugly duckling" who wants a family of her own, finds her parents, her long lost son, and saves them and  Storybrooke from the Evil Queen's curse. This was one of my favorite tv shows of the 2011-2012 Season.
Now season two has rolled around. Character derailment and flanderization abound, and I've grown tired of the little drama that could.

Revolution.
Revolution started with an intriguing plot, and had J.J Abram's as its director. This should be a winner, but the formulaic "Help Post Apocolyptia's various denizens and let's have a flashback" made me grow tired of this show quite quickly. Then the mid season finale-usually a month long break turned to three weeks.
Honestly? Had they just called it a season wrap at the end of the "mid-season" finale and then made us wait until next season I would have been fine with it, but this is just ridiculous.

That concludes this rant. Happy Trails.

What TV shows have you watched and have grown to love and hate?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I been doing number 5? Yeah, I think it's five.

What I've been doing post five.

As readers of this blog know, I've shelved the work in progress I've been writing for, oh, five years or so.
So right now I'm working on a steampunky/school of magic idea, and a timey wimey novel. Yes timey wimey is a word. Just ask The Doctor.
The Timey Wimey novel is the one that has been on my header for awhile, so that one is going ok. The Steampunky one I'm working on is in the outline phase. No Victorian clothing though. I know Victorian clothing and Steampunk should go hand in hand, but since when have I stuck to conventions?

Any how. My second semester of college is going excellently, and I'm working on another project I"m not sure where it's going. And I'm looking for a video camera, cheap.
So what you have you been up to my loyal readers? Let me know in the comment section!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A conundrum or a writer confused.

First an apology:
I am sorry to all my readers for not updating either of my blogs for almost a month. The cause of this was a combination of connection issues and beginning my second semester of college. I plan on returning to my regularly scheduled randomness with this post.

This is a question I am posing to my readers, some of whom I hope are posters from absolute write. What do you do when you have too many ideas?
Right now I'm literally bouncing back and forth between this awesome steampunk idea and a fantastic idea for a time travel book. I just don't know which to tackle first. That's my post.

Oh and link of the day:



Enjoy, and as always, Happy Trails.

Justin

Sunday, January 13, 2013

An Announcement.

I've started a new blog. Don't worry loyal readers, I'll still be updating this. You can find the new blog here:
http://www.fromthelocker.blogspot.com/
It's a sci-fi, fantasy and (sometimes) horror blog where I'll post news, reviews and previews about those three genres as well as video game reviews.

Check it out and let me know what you think of it in the comments section.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My New Year's cheeseball or my first foodie post

First of all, I hope everyone enjoyed their New Years. Also Happy Belated New Years. Actually I'm writing this on the second, but you won't see it until the fifty.

Anyhow. This is my first foodie post, or at least my first post about a recipe. Today I will be posting about cheese balls.

Usually these are found in you deli area and are normall covered in almond slices and taste like powdered cheese or salt.

This is the recipe I use.

You will need:

4 ounces of shredded cheese (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp)
1 ounce of  a fruity Wine or your favorite sparkling juice, I used St. Julian's Sparkling Raspberry Spumante. (optional)
4 ounces of cream cheese (Philadelphia of course)
2 tablespoons of french onion dip.
4 walnuts (optional)

To start mix the cream cheese and the french onion until the cream cheese is soft. I did this by hand but if you use a mixer it should take all of thirty seconds.
Combine the sparkling liquid/wine into the mixture. These will add a hint of sweet to the cheese ball. The mixture should be slightly runny, but it's fine. Add the shredded cheese and mix until the cheese is incorporated into the mix.

Form into a ball and garnish with walnunts. This is what mine looked like:

Yes, I know, it's shot from an iPhone. I didn't have my digital camera handy.

Before you garnish it you should let it stand for roughly an hour so it will thicken up.

Let me know in the comments if you tried it and how it turned out.

Happy Trails

~Justin.





Friday, January 4, 2013

Personal Goals 2013.


My personal goals for 2013 are as follows:

Lose twenty pounds.
Cook Coq Au Vin according to the recipe on Adam Robert's (Aka the Amateur Gourmet) Blog.
(Note, These two goals are not mutually exclusive)
Become a published author.
Spend more time with my family.




This is a first in a series of three about my goals for 2013.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blog Goals 2013

My 2013 goals for this blog are as follows:

Write at least two posts a week.
More content driven posts (ie posts about writing  or photography or an opinion piece.)
100 views a month.





This is a first in a series of three about my goals for 2013.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Writing Goals 2013.

My writing goals for 2013 are as follows:
Finish Editing my First Project
Finish and Edit my Second Project
QLH (Query Letter Hell) Both of them.
Find agent representation for both hopefully.
Write at least two blog posts a week.







This is a first in a series of three about my goals for 2013.
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