Friday, November 19, 2010

Midnight Harry Potter and bowling!

So last night was busy.

Bowling from 8:30 to about 11:00 PM.

And we won both games!
Our team "Mark it Zero" (anyone get the reference?) is now 3-1 so far this season!
We had a really lucky day though, first we played an all-girls team that usually kicks everyone's asses, but I think they had one or two substitutes, so it wasn't their normal team. We beat them by about 20 pins with a final pin count of about 530 (it was close the entire game)
The next team was looking like they were going to kick our ASSES in the beginning. They were rocking a bunch of strikes and spares, not very consistently, but we waited till the THIRD frame to even close something out!
Our second game, we ended up with a score of EXACTLY 500.
Note, now, that if a team member doesn't show up, their absentee score is automatically adjusted to 100.
And there are five team members.
So it was virtually like none of us had even shown up. And we still won! And only by FOUR POINTS.

Ok, so while bowling was going on, my wonderful girlfriend got on her fancy phone and bought us movie tickets for the midnight showing of HP7.1 Deathly Hallows.

Left the bowling alley and immediately headed to the movie theater to wait in line.
I took a video, and you can't see anything in it, but I'm posting it anyway:

It was about 45 degrees F outside and there must have been at least 1500-2000 people waiting in line.

I seriously could have sat through another two hours of that movie. I wish they had gone more in-depth with some characters and situations, like with Creature, Bill and Fleur, Tonks and Lupin, and I felt like they could have done a better job building up the (spoiler, highlight to read) emotions involved with the scene with the destruction of the locket horcrux. Specifically, in terms of the jealousy that Ron was feeling toward Harry and Hermione's "relationship" (which was really just a friendship, but the locket convinced Ron otherwise obviously). Maybe I was just out of it when I saw the movie, but it really seemed like it was just "oh well we're in the woods now. I'm so jealous of y'all!". And the duologue that Locket-Harry and Locket-Hermione communicated to Ron could have been much more heart-wrenching and painful, in my opinion. I feel like the movie really didn't do enough to show the unbelievable level of spiritual and emotional fortitude Ron had to possess to be able to overcome the locket's illusion.

I feel like this movie really did a better job of (very serious spoilers) portraying Bellatrix LeStrange as a character to be hated and despised. In the books, the reader is lead to almost relish her death and the revenge that Mrs. Weasley gets by fighting her in the Battle of Hogwartz (am I remembering that correctly?). In my opinion, the previous movies either didn't spend enough time with her character or just didn't do a good job of painting her as this cold, inhuman, unfeeling beast. In the previous movies it was just like "oh she's a bad guy" but the newest movie worked hard to lead the viewer to despise the character. I mean really, hearing Hermione's screams and cries from being tortured by Bellatrix is probably one of the most effective ways of learning about Bellatrix as a character in a film setting.

What did everyone else think of the movie (if you've seen it yet)?
Are you even going to go see the movie in theatres?
Are you even going to see it when it comes out on bluray?

You should, cause it was awesome

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Bacon Creole Asparagus

This dish is PERFECT for a side to a main course, or can even be eaten as just a (not very healthy) snack.
I made this dish alongside some grilled smoked sausage and mashed potatoes and it was all nearly too delicious for me to handle at one time.

So, for this dish you'll need one bunch of asparagus and at least four thick slices of bacon.
Fry the bacon on low heat, flipping only once, until the bacon is how you like it. I prefer mine a little crispier just cause I feel like bacon fat rendered more thoroughly tastes better than less rendered fat.
While the bacon is cooking, prepare the asparagus.
Rinse it under cold water and shake of excess water, and cut off the thick fibrous stalks at the very bottom of the asparagus. I usually cut around where the stalk turns whiteish or purple instead of green.

Once the bacon is done, pull it out of the pan onto a paper towel or something that will allow the grease to drip off, and drop the prepped asparagus into the bacon grease, with a small amount of salt on top.

While the asparagus is cooking, cut up the bacon into maybe 1cmx1cm squares, or strips, or really however you want to.
When the asparagus is about halfway done, season them liberally with Tony Chacheres and stir it in well.
The asparagus should be fully cooked when they are limp, but not flimsy. They will be soft, but not soggy.

Once the asparagus is done cooking, take them out of the pan, trying to drain as much grease off as possible before plating. Once they're all on the plate of your choice, top with the bacon pieces you cut up earlier and cover lightly with fresh ground pepper.


Bacon Creole Asparagus!

If you try this let me know how it works out for you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It releases this thursday at midnight!
I haven't read all of the books, but I've heard them all as books-on-tape, and I am SO excited to see how they interpret the last two installments.
I think the thing I'm most excited about is the scene at Malfoy Manor where Harry has the stinging curse on his face and Draco has to try and identify him.... BUT I'M NOT GOING TO SPOIL IT!

So my girlfriend and I are planning on going to the 12:05 showing, because the 12:00, 12:01, 12:02, 12:03, and 12:04 showings were completely full.

I'm showing up as a hogwartz student, too. (made easy by my identical halloween costume from this year)
With wand in hand and everything!
A Gryffindor, too!

This is going to be right after three hours of bowling league, too! Normally it starts around 8:30 and ends at 11ish so we're going to be up till like four AM exhausted!
Totally worth it though!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brand New Dog video! And a trip to Dallas

I'll start in reverse order; I was in Dallas-Ft.Worth over the weekend for my Granny's birthday and thought my parents backyard was picture-worthy:

This is a view from their back porch looking over toward the greenhouse. My dad decided to build this after we were constantly moving plants in and out of the house to keep them from dieing during the winter.
Plus, their cat loves it!

Here's another video of my dog doing acrobatics trying to get a balloon:

Recently he's started getting really bold with how high he jumps for the balloon and how acrobatic he's willing to get to try and pop the balloon, so I thought I'd take another video to show his progress over the last few months.

Finally, I got a free Conan shirt!

He was giving away 1000 free shirts every day for 10 days and I got one on the last day!
It was really cool how he was giving them away, too; you had to follow his twitter and watch for a twitted secret code, which you would then have to take to BustedTees.
If you were one of the first 1000 to put in the code, you got a free shirt, and I did it!

Check it out below, it's Conan riding around the twitter Fail Whale (renamed the Pale Whale for this design):

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hey wow!

50 followers! Glad everyone is so interested in the minutia of my everyday life! And the occasional guide or whatever I put up, too.
I just realized, though, damnit, that I forgot to take pictures of my Granny's 85th birthday party today!

She's a wild lady and it was a wild party, pictures would have been great.

Anyway, back to Austin tomorrow with my dog, my girlfriend, my little sister, and my little sister's boyfriend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bowling and other things, dude

I was forced to clarify on this post: who exactly it was that managed to pick up the split in the second game.

So a new season of our bowling league started last night and it was tons of fun.
The way it works is kind of like tournament-style play, where for the first game, two teams play against each other on two lanes, alternating between the two lanes between each frame. For the second game all the teams are shuffled around and the alternating lane gameplay starts again.
For our league I think there are something like 20 teams or so, each of five people, and each having at least two girls (a requirement to form a team).

You can check it all out at the Austin Sports and Social Club website:

Anyway, for the first game things were going pretty well; we ended up winning. At the very end of the first game though, one of our opponents picked up a spare on a split, and informal rules dictate that pretty much everyone has to take a shot when someone picks up a spare on a split.

So we took shots.

Second game, my amazingly awesome girlfriend picked up a spare on a split early in the game.

So we took shots.

After several beers and multiple shots, we ended up not even breaking 500 between the five of us on the second game. Our opponents broke 700.

Well, so we won the first game and lost the second game, and got pretty drunk, too.
Very fun night, have some pics!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunset over west Austin horizon

Was walking the dog the other evening and turned around to see this beautiful sky looking back at me. Hopefully my phone was able to capture the full glory of this sunset.

Then this morning we got up early and I looked outside to see an other-worldly fog looming on the other side of our back door.

In between these two occurrences, I found out I wasn't getting hired for a job I needed, and got stung by a wasp on my foot.

Well as Kurt Vonnegut said, so it goes!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bummer Bro

"The client decided to go with another candidate"
In other words: "We aren't going to hire you"


Well, at least that means I'm not going to China for the holidays....
Any of you ever been denied for a job you were counting on?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Update

First - Gypsy Picnic
It kind of sucked.
The event was planned around hosting 1000 visitors, but I can estimate that there were well over 10000 attendees over the course of the day, and easily over 1000 at the event at any one time.
This resulted in long lines, lots of annoyed hungry people, and loud angry children.
My dog was seriously about to explode if he saw any more dogs so we ended up leaving pretty soon after we arrived, unfortunately without getting any food.
My sister's car made it on the news that night! The lady was talking about the Gypsy Picnic and was in the middle of saying "the traffic was terrible" right as they flashed a short one-second video of my sister and her boyfriend in her car stuck in traffic outside of the venue:

Yep that's them in the blue car there. Can't believe I spotted it in the short clip of it they used!

Second - Wurstfest
It was pretty amazingly awesome.
It was down in New Braunfels, TX, right on the Comal River.
They had somewhat reasonably priced beer and so many different types of sausage I couldn't believe it. Maple sausage, jalapeno sausage, cheddar sausage, pork sausage, beef, turkey, chicken, pork, spicy, sweet, salty, smoked, seared, cured, EVERYTHING!
My favorite was the Wurstkabob, which came with five different types of sausage all on the same stick with a honey butter roll also skewered.
The two German import beers they had were Dunkel, which was a dark, heavy beer, and Paulaner Oktoberfest, which was much lighter and had a sweet, fruity hop flavor.
This meant, of course, that they treated Shiner Bock, arguably my favorite beer, as a DOMESTIC, which is virtually unheard of, despite the distillery and bottling plant being in Texas.
That's right, Shiner Bock cost the same per pitcher as shit like Bud Lite and Miller Light.
Naturally, this lead to multiple pitchers of beer drank and way too much sausage eaten. Which made me incredibly happy, but seriously dehydrated me throughout the rest of the night.
It was worth it.

They had two stages, both with live polka and other traditional German music and lots of dancing, here's one of the stages:

Girlfriend sitting next to the river drinking some Paulaner:

Just a shot of the crowd toward sunset from one of the many funnel cake stands:

A similar shot earlier in the evening:


Y'all ever been to a sausage fest as awesome as this one?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Austin Awesome!

So I remembered what the other event this weekend was that I mentioned I forgot about in my last post: Gypsy Picnic (
It's the largest gathering of food trucks and trailers in Austin (which has food trucks and trailers just about everywhere anyways).
It's FREE to get in and then you can get super cheap samples of the food they make in each of the food trucks. It's in some small park just east of Zilker, right on Lady Bird Lake, which is obviously an outdoor venue so I'm bringin my dog woot!

In other news:
If you have a boat that you need to store for the winter, I hope you've already winterized it!
I just winterized mine after a near-frost last night here in Texas, but I should have done it a long time ago!
For a really complete guide to winterization, you should do some googling, but I'm going to do a quick run-down of a few of the most important steps to winterization.

1. Remove all water from the engine.
This is among the most important steps, if there is water in the coolant lines, your engine can rust from the inside out, or even worse, if the water freezes it can actually crack the engine block itself and then all sorts of horrible things will happen.

2. Fogging oil in the cylinders
As the engine sits for several months at a time unused, the oil in the piston chamber can seep out back into the sump, allowing water to potentially condense on the exposed metal and cause it to rust. Also, if the oil seeps out of the piston chamber, when you start up the engine for the first time in the spring, the piston can scrape against the inside of the engine block and do some serious damage. Read and follow all the directions on the can of fogging oil!

3. Fill the gas tank entirely
I'm no chemist but apparently if there is too much gas vapor in the tank, it can re-condense on the inside of the tank and basically turn to a gummy plastic sorta substance that can cause all sorts of harm if it gets sucked into the engine. Apparently you don't need to use one of those fuel stabilizers if you just fill up the tank all the way, but I don't see why using some of that stuff would hurt.
Anyway, if you have a metal gas tank, water vapor could condense on the inside of the tank and cause it to rust if there isn't enough gas, which is never fun for anyone.

4. Cover the boat
Again, this is a water precaution. If it rains or snows or sleets or whatever into the boat, and then liquid water freezes, it can do some serious damage. All the water drains to the bilge, and if your bilge is full of water and then it freezes, there is the possibility (however unlikely) that it could go so far as to split your boat in half. Water expands when it freezes, and any cracks or crevices it's in could turn in to gaps and holes by spring if you don't cover your boat.

So there you have it. This is some of the more important maintenance you should do before storing your boat, but don't forget to do things like change the oil, regrease bearings (steering, outdrive hinge, prop, etc), and maintain the exterior of the engine as well. WD40 seems to work well for keeping the outside of my engine clean and rust-free, but it can sometimes collect dust, and there are products designed specifically to endure the heat, vibration, and corrosive liquids that a marine engine will encounter better than WD40 can handle.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upcoming fun in the Austin area!

So I doubt it, but if any of you live in the Austin area and like going to a sausage fest (lol), Wurstfest ( is for you. I'm going for the first this coming up Sunday, and very much looking forward to it. They have imported German beer, local beers, and TONS of local food of the German and Bavarian varieties. Think like 20 different ways of making sausage-on-a-stick kind of German and Bavarian food.
I'm also going to something else this weekend but I can't remember what it is at the moment, I'll post abut it later this evening, possibly after bowling league.
Which I've been OWNING at recently (except for last week, actually).
TWO weeks ago, though, I got my highest score ever in a game of bowling: 149. CRAZY HIGH SCORE I KNOW.

I only posted one pic I think, from the Halloween party I went to as a Hogwartz student, so I'll post a few more now, of some of the other crazy things that showed up.
Dwight Schrute:

An Ill-Equipped Fireman:
Later on, I remember seeing Dexter, from the eponymous series "Dexter", The Dude, Sexy Police Lady, and even a Double Rainbow, but I was far too drunk at that point to be taking pictures with my fragile cellular telephone.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Winter... MOAR LIKE *WIN*ter amirite?

Woke up today and it was FINALLY cold outside. Like low 50's, steady high winds, very cold rain kinda cold (for mid-Texas region that's officially cold).
Anyways it piqued my appetite for skiing so I decided to post these pics of me jumping around in Crested Butte, CO:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MPAA notice?!?

So I tried to get online this morning and this showed up (click to supersize):
Fun stuff, right? So it's got all these threatening sounding phrases like "criminal prosecution" and "Thank you for subscribing to RoadRunner" so I decided to call them and they said something about my wireless network being insecure. <insert hilarious joke about how my router has low self esteem>
After being on the phone with them for a little while they reset everything and I didn't have to click on that link to be able to go to websites! I did go to the website they suggested, and read the whole thing. Unfortunately, only a very small portion of the website was dedicated to steps on securing one's wireless network, which I think is the primary reason people are sent these sorts of notices in the first place; I mean who would use their own network for something SO illegal, right?

Hopefully Gene Simmons and Lars Ulrich don't come kicking down my door!
I wonder if my decision to merely not to purchase their songs on iTunes is equated with the lost record sales due to piracy in their minds?
Whatever, I know they aren't a part of the MPAA.
Have you ever gotten one of these notices? And did you also just not have your wireless network secured? That seemed to be my only problem, because I highly doubt they've been able to see my network uploading any movies since I secured my network.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I can haz triforce?

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Happy late Halloween and Rally to Restore Sanity!

Weekend was awesome.
Went to the Austin Satellite Rally to Restore Sanity:
There were a reasonable amount of reasonable people there, which is really what the rally was all about, right?
They said that it was the largest rally at the Texas State Capitol building since 1984, which got me wondering: what the hell was so important in 1984 that so many people gathered at the Capitol building?
After some research, I still haven't found out.

Halloween! I got way way too drunk Saturday night at a friend's house party, as a Gryffindor, and ended up just laying in bed all day Sunday recovering.
My girlfriend and I as Gryffindors:

Saw this in my backyard, and, unfortunately, didn't quite feel the same level of emotion as YosemiteBear famously did:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Salad recipe! sort of!

At the request of my girlfriend, I'm posting some food we made recently.
This is the plate I ended up with (click to embiggen):
+1 internet to you if you can identify all the ingredients before reading the rest of the post!
It's got raw cucumber, avocado, carrots, and lettuce, along with a hardboiled egg, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing, steak (of some sort, i think it might have been strips of flank or skirt), topped off with the cooked-down drippings from the steak as well as some salt and freshly ground pepper.


Since a big part of the dish was the steak, I spent some time seasoning it with.....
oh yeah I forgot I put raw onions in my salad, too.
But I seasoned the steak, on this particular occasion, with some apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper powder.
Once the steak was done there was a lot of steak juice left over so I decided to cook it down to use on top of the salad.
After I took out the steak, I added some more salt, some red wine vinegar, a little bit of sugar, some worchestershire sauce, and some more garlic powder to the steak juice and let it simmer down slowly while I stirred it.

This is a fairly well-balanced meal for an active person, with fiber, fresh, raw veggies, lots (kinda) of protein from the egg and steak, and some carbs from the avocado and ranch. Eat with some fruit and top with some seeds or nuts and your nutritionist would be PROUD.

Toothache Relief?

So I never had my wisdom teeth removed, thinking I could use the extra wisdom (hilarious, I know), so now every few months or so they rub up against my other teeth and it starts to feel like my TEETH ARE GOING TO EXPLODE OUT OF MY HEAD.
So usually I would just go to the dentist and he would say there's nothing he could really do and give me some mild painkillers and it would be over in a few days.
At the moment, however, I don't have any insurance, so I had to figure things out for myself!

After a little experimentation, and a lot of research,
wash out mouth with some antiseptic mouthwash
dip a q-tip in some high %age rubbing alcohol and liberally rub it all around the affected area
dip a q-tip in some VANILLA EXTRACT (this is what made all the difference for me) and liberally rub it all around the affected area
rub ora-gel all over the affected area
take a low-dose of a pain killer/anti-inflammatory such as naproxen (aleve), ibuprofen, acetaminophen (tylenol), or asprin
If you're having trouble sleeping because the terrible tooth pain is just THAT bad, don't be afraid to drink some nyquil or some equivalent medicine with detromethorphan, which is a psychological dissociative, meaning that it can cause your body to feel distinctly separate from your mind, and in combination with the acetaminophen already in nyquil, this will give you some significant pain relief and allow you to sleep very well.

REMEMBER: I'm not a physician, nor a pharmacist, and I don't guarantee any of this will work, and please PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON ANY MEDICATION before you take it.
Just.... please don't sue me?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This time, a "Black and Yellow Garden Spider"
Argiope Aurantia, for you spidernerds. Saw this one outside my front door and decided to feed her a few grasshoppers and record it. My little sister and I sound like dorks because we are.

Had an interview today for a job in the semiconductor industry.
They want to send me to CHINA for three weeks as a part of a two month training thing.
Isn't China supposed to be the communist evil on the other side of the Pacific?
If I go, should I be worried about being abducted, or robbed, or murdered in a communist riot? I mean, I've been overseas before but never as a part of a job. Although I have been to Turkey before, and it was only one year before they were put on the US governments list of
I haven't even gotten the job yet, so it's really not a big deal anyway.

is China dangerous for Americans?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boating on Lake Travis!!

HEY another video I took! I think this was around my birthday, and we decided to take the boat out and show Lake Travis who's boss.
Just in case you're curious, it's a 1976 Chrysler Sport Fury (16 ft) with a volvo penta inboard/outdrive 2.0 liter inline 4 engine with bloody 110 horsepower.
Next step: towing skiiers and wakeboarders. after winter is over of course!

So like i promised, here's the dog going after a balloon!
I know I'm a dork but whatever.

Dog and the balloon

Teasing the dog with his most favorite of toys, a balloon. I'll post a video of him going bonkers and chasing and biting balloons when I get a chance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Wow, it's like an oven up on top of this hill"
                        "Wow, it must be negative degrees in this valley"

First blog post!

Just testing this out.... Walked the dog a few times today, he's making good friends with the dogs in the building next door. Pics of the dogs together soon?