No More Tears

December 29, 2010 2 comments

This has nothing to do with shampoo and everything to do with cutting onions without crying.

A friend of mine wondered why the chefs on the food network don’t cry when cutting onions. In truth, it’s one part fancy camera work and one part skill. When you cut into an onion it releases a gas. This gas then mixes with an enzyme and forms sulfur gas. With this makes contact with the lachrymose solution in the eyes it forms a mild acid which irritates the eyes. Solution to problem? Wear goggles OR follow the these steps to stop or reduce the effects of tearing up when cutting onions.

Categories: Good Eats Tags:

Hot Buttered Yum

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Alrighty. I’ve added my second recipe to the site.

Tis the season to be jolly. I am neither a lush, nor am I a teetotaller. I do enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time. And with winter coming here to the Great White North, some hot buttered rum can warm you right up on these chilly nights.

You can find my recipes at the link the top or here: recipes. You can find it here directly: Hot Buttered Yum

Categories: Good Eats Tags:

War in the Skies: A Hope, Rekindled

December 5, 2010 Leave a comment

It is a time of war.
Colonial dirigibles, striking
from hidden camps, have won
their first victory against
the evil German Empire.

During the battle, colonial
spies have managed to steal
designs for the Empire’s
ultimate weapon: the Himmelschiff
von Zerstörung, a giant sky
ship with enough power
to level an entire city.

Pursued by the Empire’s
sinister agents, Lady
Lianna races home aboard her
dirigible, custodian of the
stolen designs that can save
her people and restore
freedom to the British Empire
and its colonies…

Set in the Edwardian era, the German Empire has taken over the Royal Republic of Britain and Her Colonies. Its Kaiser and his loyal Erzmagier — both of whom are steeped in dark druidic magickal arts — lead death squads of Sturmkriegers who are routing out the strains of rebellion in the outskirt colonies of the last vestiges of the British Republic.

A German Träger-schiff has tracked down and boared a Colonial dirigible in search of the stolen designs. A royal family member is on board feigning a mission of diplomacy. She is captured by the Erzmagier and is to be taken to the Kaiser, but not before she is able to hide the designs for the dread ship inside a nondescript automaton who escapes the notice of the Erzmagier.

Fate brings the designs of the now operational Ship of Destruction to a Kansas farmboy with the arrival of two automatons. He meets up with a former paladin who is an old acquaintance of the lady of court. They decide to return the plans to London, not knowing that the lady has been captured.

This rag-tag group heads to Carson City, Nevada where the book passage on a rickety pirate airship helmed by a brash outlaw and his firstmate, a sideshow freak. They head for Londontown but find it already has been destroyed as show of power by the German army.

The young farmboy has a novel idea of rescuing the lady of court. So they attempt to smuggle themselves aboard the death ship. They rescue the lady, and are able to escape due to the paladin, who sacrifices own his life in an epic swordfight with the erzmagier.

They find their way to a colonial encampment hidden deep in the Northwest Territory. And, after an exhaustive analysis of the ship’s designs, a fatal flaw is discovered. A plan is hatched to launch a small squad of balloon busters against the death ship. A small hatch at the top of the ship is without armor. A precisely placed bomblet would cause a such a vibrational dissonance that the entire airship would shake itself apart from the inside out.

The young farmboy, having been learning martial arts from the now-deceased paladin and launches the bomblet that destroys the ship of death (with some timely aid from the swashbuckling outlaw); falling from the sky in a fiery explosion.

Or, something like that…

So, this was an idea that popped into my head and has been plaguing me for the better part of the day. Had to get the thoughts out of my head. Maybe I’ll flesh this out a bit more. Who knows.

By the way: I HATE fan fiction.

The Waving Buzz

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently, Google has released two new applications: Google Buzz and Google Wave. Both have their pluses and minuses. But ultimately, I really don’t see them being used by many people.

Googel Buzz: This is Google’s version of Twitter. It allows you to post quick status updates, similar to what you do with Facebook or Myspace. It integrates easily with Gmail and a host of other Google apps. It also does not have the pesky limit that Twitter does. But, I know of only on person who is actively using it.

Some sites have a Buzz icon that reference when a page has been tweeted or buzzed. Buzz will also help you find information and places of interest in reference to your current location. I believe that Twitter does this as well.

Actually, I think that’s the problem I have with Buzz. Twitter is already doing it. And doing it well. It’s a niche market that I really don’t think that Google needs to attempt to invade.

Another problem is that most of the world is now communicating through social media like Facebook, Myspace and Orkut already. One more place to have to update friends and family is just that: One more place to go. Facebook has ways of keeping people glued to the site by offering various games and other forms of social interaction. Buzz is just too much.

Do I have Buzz?  Yes. But, I just don’t use it. Most of my tweets on Twitter come from my cell phone. I’ll use either Spaz or Twee or just directly as a text from my phone (thanks to Preware, I have a wonderful patch on my phone that adds a number of Twitter features to my text app). Were there a Buzz app, perhaps I’d use Buzz a bit more. As of now, not so much.

Google Wave: Just what is Google Wave? Honestly, the video from Google explains it best. If you have time, I really suggest you watch the video. There is some fanwank going on but, on the whole, the concept behind Wave is solid. It just hasn’t caught on yet.

Wave is an amalgamation of email +  instant messenger + Twitter (Buzz?) + live document collaboration. At it’s core, this concept really works. Start an email. But wait, your contact is online already? Emails suddenly becomes an IM chat. The two of you have been working on a blog posting together. You work on the posting; editing each other’s work as you go until you have a working blogpost. Another associate comes online. Add them into the wave.  They can play back the entire wave from the beginning and now can add and edit information to your post. Once finalized, port the blog portion of the wave to its own wave. Add the blog robot and that post will be posted to your blog and managed by the bot.

Want to organize a party? Send a wave to all involved in the planning. Then thru emails, IMs and document collaboration you can organize the party, add a location robot to add mapping and direction information as will as other gadgets to aid others in the wave make the most of the coming party.

I know of one group of people who are,  or at least were, using it to manage setup and then live communication for multimedia events from multiple locations.

But, I really don’t see Wave being used to its fullest extent.  The wave just hasn’t really caught on.  Honestly, I think it is just too uber-geeky.  And, again, Facebook allows for chat as well as event planning and photo sharing (another thing that Wave tauts as being able to do with ease).

From a business standpoint, live document collaboration is almost a necessity these days, as businesses are global. But, Microsoft already has Sharepoint.

Personally, I think that both Buzz and Wave are busts for Google. If anyone has anything to say to the contrary, I’d love to hear from you.

Scoots

Stirring the Pot

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Fair warning: This post has nothing to do with food.  It does have everything to do with social networking.

Facebook recently unleashed another new service. The ability to “like” content from third party site. And then the media stirred the pot about how Facebook is now sharing all of your personal information across the web  and without your consent. And I cry foul. Loudly.
First off, Facebook is a social networking site. It’s heart and soul is sharing information about you with other people. In Facebook’s case, they are VERY upfront about what information of your’s they will share and will always give the opportunity for you to opt-out. But, at the end of the day, they put YOU in charge of what information YOU will or will not share.
Every time Facebook adds a new feature, folks on Facebook freak out. If you don’t want to share information on the internet, stay off it. You will leave your electronic footprint all over the web as you engage in various blog discussions, forum discussions and social networks.
Here’s what Facebook posted on the page when notifying users of the newest change:

You can easily opt-out of experiencing this on these sites by clicking here or clicking “No Thanks” on the blue Facebook notification on the top of partner sites. If you opt-out, your public Facebook information can still be shared by your friends to these partner sites unless you block the application.

and:

To learn more about the different ways you can find Facebook across the web and manage your privacy on these websites, visit our Help Center.

Be responsible for your personal information. But don’t be a “chicken little”. Read the fine print. Make appropriate changes. But don’t be a doomsayer. If you don’t want to share information, then don’t.

Sorry, but I’m ticked at the moment and needed to vent.

Scoots.

Write Now

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

It has begun. Created the Twitter account for Tales Of Grimm. Created the blog, Tales Of Grimm. And finally, a Facebook fan page for Tales of Grimm. It’s a veritable multimedia frenzy.

I was able to get half a weeks worth of tweets done. The first week’s digest is complete. All around, I feel like my first week was a success. Ran into a problem with Twitter and Blogger feeds to Facebook. At this point, I’m going to be manually posting until I can get that straightened out.

So, here are my current goals:

  1. Around 3 tweets a day.  That should be about a paragraph a day.  Yes, it’s a small amount of writing for an author. But, this is a new project for me and I’d really like to follow through with it.
  2. A weekly sort of a digest that goes up on Saturday or Sunday. This will be a compilation of the previous week’s tweets.
  3. The digest will be an edited form of the weekly tweets. Consider the tweets a rough rough draft and the blogpost the true rough draft of the story.
  4. As my writing get’s better or begins to increase beyond what can be held in a daily grouping of tweet, allowing the focus to shift a bit. The blogpost will become the rough draft, with tweets that point to that particular day’s posting.
And there you have it.  A bit of insight to what I am thinking. How I am thinking. Will this experiment work? Dunno. My hope is that it will. I may also fall flat on my face in front of everyone. Time will tell.
You are welcome to follow me on Twitter, follow my blog or become a fan on Facebook. Heck, you can do all three if you’d like.
Categories: Write Away Tags:

An Exercise in Fruitility?

April 6, 2010 2 comments

I have always wanted to write a book. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write one. And, for the last 10 years or so, I’ve had one pinging around my head. Most of the characters are fleshed out. I’ve even nailed down the opening line.

The problem lies in the fact that I am somewhat undisciplined. I have lots of grand ideas that, for one reason or another, never come to fruition. Laziness. Boredom. Overtasked. Forgetfulness. These are just some of the excuses or reasons for me not putting pen to paper or pixels to monitor.

Recently I ran across a few Tweeps out on Twitter who write fiction. For those not in the know: Twitter is a site of, basically, status updates, called tweets. Tweets are limited to 140 characters. And people use Twitter for all sorts of reasons. Thought collection. Status Updates. Social interaction. News Updates. And many other reasons.

I stumbled across Very Short Story. It got me thinking. A sort of thought experiment. What if I were to write my book in tweets. Then, as story pieces and ideas form, I can just text a tweet to Twitter and the story moves forward. At the end of the week, I can make a digest of these tweets and roll them up into a weekly blog post.

Again, at this point, it’s a thought experiment. I’d need to sit down and map it out as to how I’d like to do this, if it’s really feasible. Is it worth it? Will it be Fruitful or Futile? Fruitile?

Categories: Write Away Tags:
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