Quote Soup

What makes Todd so awesome?  OK, it is a question not often answered.  But also never until now answered.  You take a serving of quote soup.

  • 2 drams of “There is no Dana only Zuul.”
  • 1 cups of “Fetchez la vache.”
  • 1 rasher of “It’s the stuff dreams are made of.”
  • 1/2 lb of “How extravagant you are, throwing away women like that. Someday they may be scarce.”
  • A generous dollop of “You used to tell me the most wonderful stories. Were they true?”
  • 3 tsp “Johnny Five is alive!”
  • 1/2 L of “Stand up. Your father’s passing.”
  • To taste: “It can’t rain all the time.”
  • 2 whole “Back to the beginning is the rule.”
  • 2 dashes “Curse my metal body, I wasn’t fast enough, it’s all my fault!”
  • 2 cups softened “We nine can’t understand how you three are still so sure. Maybe you can tell us.”
  • 1 package of “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
  • As much as needed: “Pop.  Pop.  Pop.. Popcorn.”

Put half the dry ingredients in a bowl except the rasher.  Mix well and sift three times.  Mix in the “We nine” and “metal body”  while slowly adding the rest of the dry ingredients.  Knead the dough and make into small dumplings.  Push a couple “you could miss it” into the centre of each dumpling.     Throw them into the oven.  Oh yeah – preheat the oven.  Bake for just twenty minutes.

Bring a large soup pot to a boil.  Drop all the rest of the ingredients in randomly.  Heat sporadically.  Use the “Pop.  Pop Popcorn” as a thickener.  Continue to cook until it has a nice consistency.

Throw the dumplings into the rest of the soup.  Simmer for two hours.

Throw into the fridge immediately.

The next day heat on stove.  Add some noodles if you like noodles.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

 

 

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Yay! Election time!

The budget seems to have failed with a dull thud.  Now all the parties have to get an apathetic public excited about an upcoming election.  Tough job.

It is amazing to me that a minority government has survived so long and several elections already.  I’m certainly not upset about the coming election.  That is the cost we have to bear for electing a minority.

But our opposition are doing a horrible job of getting ready for this.  What are they planning to sell to the public?  The pumps should be primed – issues ready to fall from the publics lips already.  Instead it seems that there is a shrug of, “What has changed?”  That is just marketing.

The good thing is that the issues that start an election are generally sidelined by issues that arise during the election.  Good issue for the opposition that is.  But of course surprise issues can just as easily work in the Tories favour.

Why get excited?  If the result might simply be another minority Tory government…  I’m enthused about the chance of getting a majority government with a clear mandate whomever it may be.

That is enough for me.  Lacking an issue I’m not sure it will be enough for everyone else.  I predict a low, low turn out come election day.

Am I wrong?  Is there an issue to drive this election that the parties can campaign on?

Weekly Recap

Well a week of firsts.

I slept hardly a wink last night.  I’m not sure there was any deep sleep in the whole time.  Grr.  I was nervous about work.  This is atypical behavior for me.  Normally even in stressful times I sleep fine.  This was only a little bit stressful.

In related news, I went into work for the first time on the weekend since over a year ago.  Not something I want to remake a habit of, but doing a big change is something that I do miss.  The whole team was in.  I was mostly useless as the one part that I really wanted to get done did not work properly.  Even after working at it for most of today it is not working.

In related news, I went into work by the front door for the first time yesterday.  I no longer need to call my coworkers to open the door so my scooter can make it through.  There is a big sense of freedom there.  Wow – it will be a huge sense of freedom when I am able to drive to work and call my own hours.  The guys all went out for drinks after the change yesterday and I still judged it too slick out there to be heading to a bar.  Hopefully by this weekend or next I’ll be able to join them for post-work mingling.

Outside of work, the biggest news was our second week of making characters in the new game system we are trying.  There is likely another full week before we are done.  We aren’t the most efficient and the system is new, but I think it has been a lot of fun so far.  Part of the reason I want to take another full evening is to revisit some of the chosen aspects.  I’m worried about two things.  First that some characters has multiple aspects that really elucidate the same character trait.  Second, that none of the final aspects really highlight the relationships between the characters.

I gave a poor review of Ruse #1 last Thursday, but the overall week in comics was awesome.  Other standouts include Thunder Agents, Morning Glories, X-Factor and the final Knight and Squire.  I give all of those thumbs up good ratings.

OK that is work and gaming and comics.

I went over to celebrate Dad’s birthday on Wednesday.  I think I’m starting to gain on him.  It was the day before St. Paddy’s so I brought over an Irish Whiskey to celebrate the occasion.  A note – it is a fine drink alongside of Indian food.

All in all a fairly busy week for a slouch like myself.  Let’s see what happens this week…

Music

Has anyone heard any good music lately?  In the last year I’ve liked the new Arcade Fire album and the Mumford and Son’s album.  I bought the Black Keys album and Muse album and they were a little disappointing.  There were lots of singles here and there, but no other ones that made me want to buy.

I love music.  I wish I was a musician.  I’ve done lots of music lessons over the years.  Classical guitar.  Some folk guitar.  Several years of piano.  I like playing, but I haven’t done much of it lately.  Barely any at all in the last few years.

I don’t have any musical talent though.  I’ve got decent rhythm – not great.  I can carry a tune, but that is the extent of my ear.  I can’t harmonize.  I can’t pick out a melody on the piano.  I can’t figure out the chord that goes with a certain phrase.

That is what I mean about the difference between myself and a musician.   I could pick up a guitar and piano and some sheet music and follow along, but I couldn’t make music or just jam.

I still sing.  I sing in the car.  I sing along with Guitar Hero.  If I attended church more often, I would sing there too.  I miss driving to work because I can’t sing on the bus.  I’m not much of a singer either.  My voice is fine, but my range is limited.  I barely have a full octave.  That sucks.  It is perfect for singing in a car though.

I can’t really envision a life without music any more than I can a life without reading.

Hmm – I ran out of things to say there pretty quickly.

Ruse #1 Review

Last week’s comics may have been a bit meh.  This week’s were a bit weird.  Weird and awesome.  Ruse #1 was the best of the bunch.

Ruse and Way of the Rat were my favorite of the Crossgen titles.  Ruse had Mark Waid – great writer, Jackson Guice – who I had been enjoying since he drew half a Deathlok series back in the late eighties or early nineties, Mike Perkins – who since became a big part of the success of Brubaker’s Cap and Laura Martin – the most accomplished of the colorist I followed coming out of Wildstorm FX.

That team is only reunited on the cover.  Waid does the writing duties throughout, but the artwork was handed over to Mirco Pierfederici.  I was a little worried by a splashy candle flare effect on the second page, but the rest of the art rises to the same level I remember from the Crossgen days. The art is detailed, conveys the emotion of the characters and is flashy in the same way the Crossgen art used to be.  I’ve never read anything by the artist before, but I am eager to.

The setup of Ruse is basically a lift from Sherlock Homes.  Simon Archard is the Holmes character.  A brilliant but eccentric detective in a Victorian London pastiche.  He is slightly different by adding a more caustic personality and larger ego.  Emma Bishop is the Watson.  She is the POV in the series and has a mysterious past.  London is replaced by the fictional Partington and most of the cases had a hint of the supernatural that Archard eventually disproves.

The new series doesn’t seem to have any of the supernatural bits, but it has the same hallmarks as the original.  The mysteries are intriguing.  The dialogue between Archard and Bishop is lively and fun.  And the detection is intermixed by action.

There is a set piece carriage chase in the issue.  Chase scenes often work poorly in comics because the pacing is tough to achieve.  This is one of the issues where it works very well.  Yay!  That was the point that really sold me on the good chemistry between the writer and artist.

The series ends on an obvious but thrilling cliffhanger.  I cannot wait for the next issue.

Highly recommended!

Happy Birthday

the birthday paradox hits again today.

Dad is one day older than he was yesterday.  That seems to be a good reason to celebrate.  It is also the anniversary of his birthday.  But he is no older than I than he was yesterday.  Best wishes Dad!

Plus it is Andi’s birthday too.  I hope you are having a beautiful day.

Cussing

Grr.  After my day I feel more like cussing than writing this blog, but I’ll give it a shot.

I have a few rules about cussing:

  1. No defamatory cussing unless it is obviously in a teasing manner.
  2. Cuss in a socially appropriate manner.  (e.g. not on this blog or in court, but more hanging out with, um, dockworkers)
  3. No using words I don’t understand. (cuts down on my swearing in Yiddish.  But not completley.)
  4. No blasphemy.

So if adhering to those, I’ve got no problems cursing.  Not that I’m perfect.  I break my own rules from time to time.

Hmm, where to go next.

In general, I like cursing.  Not that I enjoy hearing it from others who break my rules, but I don’t enforce them on others either.  I think that cuss words serve a useful purpose in language.  They are among the most impactful exclamations and interjections.  While rarely the most precise language to use, they are often an effective shorthand for expressing emotion. Finally in the same vein that all men find farts funny, cursing is often humourous as it breaks societal taboos.

I think you can also play junior cultural anthropologist by listening to how people talk.  While it isn’t fair to draw conclusions based on cussing alone, it is an interesting part of the picture.

There is such a broad range of different ways people cuss.  From those who won’t even use a non-cuss euphemism ever (like darn!) to those who use the F-word less as an interjection than commas.  It just seems interesting to me.

When I was just a little kid, I decided to make a conscious decision not to cuss until I felt I was old enough and knew what I was saying.  When I finally got around to swearing at all in grade four (it might have been five) I was the last person in my class to do so.  Funny, that seems like I was so young now, but every kid I knew started younger than I.

There were two incidents I remember later on in grade school.  The first where I used “damn” in the hallway and got in trouble from the science teacher (M. Laurin) for cussing.  My rejoinder was that it couldn’t have been a curse because my parents used it at home (my parents didn’t develop truly foul mouths until I was older).  I lost that argument.

The other time I had started to use the word dildo in teasing people.  “You’re a dildo!  Dildo-head!, etc”  I didn’t actually know what it meant.  That is until I called my little brother a dildo at the dinner table and had my error explained to me and the word defined over servings of potatoes.

Both incidents really enforced my resolve to not use words unless I knew what they actually meant.  Or at least to think before I spoke.

I also often use nonsense words or humourous euphemisms instead of actually curses.  Gunky, Jiminy Cricket,  groovy, nifty, hoser, son-of-a-gun, etc.  I’ve gotta say that even more than curse words I love these nonsense words.  I feel I get to achieve the same effect as actually cursing while standing out as somewhat different and unique and quirky myself.

Still, still, if you drop a hammer on your toe a real curse is called for.

Since I tend to use such nonsense words more than actual cussing, I often seem to surprise folks when I do really cuss.

Obeying my little rules and being “true” to my own sensibilities is sometimes a tricky row to hoe.  But I don’t think any harm can come from actually trying to pay attention to the words that come out of my mouth.

Now if I could only to the same thing with the thoughts those words express…