Friday, July 29, 2005

Bento Watch #23


Firstly, a cheer for the Blogger image upload tool, what a time saver. One jeer for the Picasa program which, for some inexplicable reason, does not have a clear way to save photos (!??!).

Anyway, more miso soup, miso rubbed beef and 'shrooms, rice (I put some of those little nori sheets on later), and grapes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bento Watch #22

I did an online survey the other day, and for my trouble I got a $25 Amazon gift certificate (not bad for five minutes work). I used that money to get myself a brand new toy...


Zojirushi Classic Stainless Lunch Jar

It didn't cover the whole cost, but I had trouble justifying the plus $40 expense for a glorified lunch pail. I couldn't wait to use it of course, so I tested it out today and loaded it up with miso soup, rice con ume (spangrish?), shrimp, carrots, and more lychees. It's advertised as being able to keep food hot, but as might be expected, the closer to the top (which is not insulated), the colder the food got (which was probably a good thing in the case of the lychees). The soup was near hot, and the rice was still warm, but the shrimp and carrots gave up what little heat they had when I removed the lid. Nothing a little ride in the microwave can't solve though.

This lunch device is kinda good since it will force me to make my lunches a little better (though I guess I could just fill all the containers with sausage gravy), but it brings up a concern that I had with any 'buffet' meal I've been privy to: that's a sheetload of dishes to clean. And don't be thinking you can just dump it in the dishwasher (which I don't own anyway) since the directions all but say to worship this thing when it doesn't have food in it.

Bow Down Before the One You Serve...

From Jonah Goldberg on Arnold Schwarzenegger:
I was against the recall on the grounds that the people of California elected Gray Davis and therefore they deserved to be punished. Seriously. Democracy isn't merely about "the people" getting what they want, it's also about the people getting what they deserve. Mobs get what they want every time. Citizens make informed choices and then live with - and learn from - the consequences.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Canada and Beyond

I guess the Toronto authorities wouldn't let Miss Universe attend an event of some sort because:
...city employees invoked a regulation against activities which degrade men and women through sexual stereotypes or exploit their bodies to attract attention.
Sounds like someone has a case of 'Mullahitis'. Next thing you know they'll be confiscating radios up there. I love it when liberals come up with tortured logic to support what a religion already supports - it's like watching a vegetarian wolf down a plate of broiled puppy. Of course Miss Universe couldn't let this idiocy go by without a comment of her own:
'I definitely don't think that the Miss Universe title is any kind of stereotype or sexual stereotype,' said Russian-born Glebova, a graduate of the University of Toronto.
Uh huh...


The unsexy Miss Universe

In the meantime, I know a certain mentally ill reader of this blog who is a fan of Rush (the band not the man). Can't stand them myself, but I was kind enough to snap this photo on the Candian walk of fame in Toronto (yeah, I know, ha ha...)

Which reminds me, didj'ya know that Pamela Anderson is Canadian? I couldn't leave Canada without finding that out!

In other news, I found an article in the WSJODT (Wall Street Journal on Dead Tree, July 18th, 2005) that handles two of my favorite subjects: the far east, and Mexican economic ineptitude:
The lack of economic and social mobility in Latin America is one reason why the region has developed slowly. In 1980, Mexico's economy was nearly four times the size of South Korea's. Last week, the World Bank's ranking of the world's biggest economies placed South Korea 11th, one place ahead of Mexico.
Of course what's amazing about this is that Mexico has the 12th largest economy, pretty depressing when you think about it.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Bento Watch #21

A little bit of a round up as I've been a lazy poster...

Yep, another cake pan of maki rolls. I really need to cut back to one roll, but it'd hardly be worth the time. At two rolls it just barely takes me less time to make it than it does to eat it, if I made just one roll I'd save like two minutes. It'll be a little easier when my son is back from the grandparents since he always 'volunteers' to munch down any excess. Anyway, I made the rolls out of the Louis Kemp stuff again. It's great since it's fat free (though I did add like a tablespoon of mayo to 'glue' it together). Carrots and Japanese pickles round out the roll.

This is carrots, somen noodles and teriyaki'd shrimp (shrimp also being fat free, though full of cholesterol).

And, getting completely away from the fat free motif, we have fried, beer batter coated Lake Erie Yellow Perch, hush puppies (fried) and Kraft Mac N' Cheese (myself being the only known person who is more than able to eat it cold).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hot Coffee

(Thanks to NRO for the link!)

I thought this porno controversy with GTA:San Andreas was kinda settled - "Politicians=Stupid" and "Rockstar=Sleazy Games".

For those of you living under a rock (at least when it comes to video games), the game GTA:San Andreas contains an unlockable nookie scene (named 'Hot Coffee') of some sort (thus far Rockstar has kept screen shots off the net, apparently). This fact came to light when a mod was put out for the PC version of the game allowing access to the bit.

I guess the controversy hasn't died yet and Tycho over at Penny Arcade vents about the inept rating system and (by inference) the fact that lovers of video games have to spend so much time and capital defending Rockstar (especially with the fear that the actions of one bad apple might doom the industry to regulation). The comic refers to the fact that the content was accessible on the PS2 (no, not that PS2) as well.

I figured this might amount to something since a strong component of my dislike of the political exploitation of this whole affair was predicated on the fact that it referred to a third party modification for a version that no one buys (the PC version).

I checked it out though and I still think it's a whole lot of nothing. You have to put in two miles of Gameshark codes (which as someone who has done it, it's no fun) and then there's a big caveat at the end. From GTA-SanAndreas.com Forum:
Note: DO NOT SAVE WITH THIS CODE ACTIVE
This cheat will save and MAY corrupt your save USE AT YOUR OWN RISK You will be stuck in an invisible box after adult scene
Sounds like real FUN! Politicians still =Stupid.

(After further thought, this really has more in common with naughty frames in Disney films than anything else. Of course content like that is available to any veiwer whereas GTA needs to be modified to view the offending content.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Join the Dark Side

I'm late getting to it but I finally got around to signing up for ALLOFMP3 last night. I held off because I didn't feel like handing over my credit card info to a Russian business of dubious nature. A friend who uses the service finally talked me into it when he said he figured the Russian mob already had his card info anyway (now there's a convincing argument!). I love the legal lingo on the site:
Users are responsible for any usage and distribution of all materials received from AllOFMP3.com. This responsibility depends on the local legislation of each user's country of residence. AllOFMP3.com's Administration does not keep up with the laws of different countries and is not responsible the actions of non-Russian users.
i.e. "I'm a legitimate business man! What people do with this service is none of my business."

I should note though that it does appear that the company does make royalty payments, according to the Russian rate schedule of course. This does pose an interesting situation though, and it contains echos of the whole prescription importation controversy. I did pay for the music, though not enough in the eyes of the RIAA. So if I buy a legitimate CD overseas and fly back with it, do I have to pay them the difference? An even better question: if I go to Japan and buy an audio CD for $40, will the RIAA pay me the difference if it is sold cheaper in the states? I'm sure this works into the logic the RIAA uses to strictly go after people who share music on peer-to-peer networks, rather than the downloaders. Those cases are tenuous enough as they are (no case has ever gone before the courts), they'd not dare tempt fate by trying to go after a downloader who paid for the music (though at $2-$3 an album, even that might be a stretch).

Monday, July 18, 2005

That Explains A Lot

From WKYC.COM:
CLEVELAND -- This week marks a big push in the battle against lead poisoning. Cleveland has the worst lead poisoning rate of any U.S. city.

Puss Cat Illusion

My brother wanted a picture of his cat (whom he shared with my sister). I figured I'd be cute and post this one with my other cat that looks a lot like her. Which cat is she?

It gets to be a little easier to figure out when you figure that she is half the size of the other cat.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Microsoft (anti)Spyware

Many of you might be aware that Microsoft has been kind enough to supply the beta version of it's anti-spyware product for free. What you might not be aware of is that that old M$ is in the middle of a huge PR Waterloo over it's maintenance of the package. It turns out that Microsoft is rumored to be in acquisition talks with Claria (aka Gator), and their crapware packages have mysteriously been relabeled as 'ignore' within the M$ (anti-)spyware package. Coincidence? C'mon people, this is Microsoft we're talking about! From Larry Seltzer:
The [Microsoft anti-spyware] standards are still there, and the document is dated March 15, 2005, so I assume they haven't changed. How then do we explain that Microsoft AntiSpyware now says to ignore GAIN, a program that exhibits many of the characteristics that the guidelines define as spyware? I can only assume the guidelines aren't the only input to the process. Given that business deal (the one we're ignoring, for the sake of argument), this is a scary possibility. And yet Microsoft denies it: 'All software is reviewed under the same objective criteria, detection policies and analysis process. Absolutely no exceptions were made for Claria.'
Yeah, and I'm a Chinese fighter pilot...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Street Justice

Hot on the heals of Matty's near collision with a criminal, a girl is killed by a fleeing suspect in Cleveland:
A 9-year-old girl was killed and two people injured late Wednesday night on Cleveland's East Side when a car driven by a juvenile fleeing police slammed into several cars and a group of pedestrians, police said.
Of course the angry people the news crews find on the street are quick to take their anger out...on the police. How is the public safer by letting these people speed through neighborhoods like that, why can't the police shoot them, or at least shoot up their car? If this slime were speeding towards police they'd be permitted to shoot them, but since they're just threatening the public, they're restrained, what gives?

Bento Watch #20


Yeah I've been slacking off.
This one got a little bit away from me. I have some teriyaki chicken wings, some maki sushi rolls that have (fake) crab salad, teriyaki soaked dried gourd strips and Japanese pickles; stuffed tofu pockets, and an onigiri made up of the left over rice. Hopefully the missus will help me eat some of it...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Aeon Movie

I guess the Aeon Flux movie rumors are true (thanks ODK). Though it turns out that it's a live action film starring Charlize Theron...


Although live action is cheaper that animation, translating an animated work like Aeon Flux into live action properly would be quite pricey. It would appear that this film will leave something to be desired and there's probably a decent possibility of it spending it's days in a can on a shelf somewhere, especially since most of the production shots looked bad. Visions of Catwoman came to my mind...


Abundant cleavage shots weren't enough to save Catwoman either

Of course if the movie is like the animated shorts and lacks dialog, it would be a step up on Catwoman, though I doubt there's a Hollywood producer gutsy enough to make that move.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Downward Spiral

In order in ensure that information this type of disturbing material does not make it into my mailbox again (which will hopefully cool any ideas to it's creation), I am posting the following for your review...

I'll not even go into the truly horrific reasons for this outfit's very existence...
(Yeah, I'm kicking the crap out of myself for not staying the night now, believe you me...)

Thanks again M$

I was receiving a 'no license' error when trying to run an old copy of MS access. "Naturally", I thought "this must be some weird licensing error". WRONG! From MS 'support'::
When you try to install Access 97, you have to avoid the 'Microsoft Access can't start because there is no license for it on this machine' error message caused by the presence of the Hatten font...
A font? Causing the application to fail? And then it issues an error message that has nothing to do with the problem? On what planet does this make sense?

The Live 8 dead end

Paul Jacob: The Live 8 dead end:
'For God's sake, please stop the aid,' Kenyan economist James Shikwati bluntly told a German weekly. 'If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit.'

In the 20 years since Live 8's predecessor, Live Aid, raised $2 billion for African famine relief, Africa's Gross Domestic Product shrank 25 percent. The continent's share of world trade has fallen from 6 percent in 1980 to just 2 percent in 2002. Of course, this was not exactly Live Aid's fault: compared to the over $25 billion in foreign aid Africa has received over the last decade, Live Aid's effort was a drop in the bucket.

As the late economist Peter Bauer pointed out, 'The argument that aid is indispensable for development runs into an inescapable dilemma. If the conditions for development other than capital are present, the capital required will either be generated locally or be available commercially from abroad to governments or to businesses. If the required conditions are not present, then aid will be ineffective and wasted.'
I'd love to think that ceasing aid to these nasty backwaters would finally set their resolve to fix their problems; but ineveitably the dictators of these areas would use the empty spigot to further demagogue the west; and I've little doubt that their populations would eat it up. Their enablers in the wealthier nations wouldn't help matters.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Weekender

After trying (and failing) today to catch any meaningful fish (and for those in the know, no this wasn't the big trip, that's actually on Sunday and yes, I didn't discover this until four this morning) we did what anyone does, go out to a restaurant and eat fish - sushi for me in this case. I got the big boat (for two...I ate it by myself...) but I noticed on the big board that they had toro. I'd heard this was quite tasty, but expensive. I asked the waiter how much it was, and I think in hindsight that he walked away thinking I was being cheap, since he game back rather shocked himself that it was ten friggin' dollars for two pieces of nigiri. I decided to indulge (with permission from the missus of course) - crimmy - that meat was like eating beef from a cow that had butter for blood. I don't see how someone could eat more than two.

After that we headed over to Coldstone where they have a wasabi-ginger ice cream. "That's gotta be nasty" I think to myself. I tried a sample....though it was edible, I had to ask myself "why?" That's a flavor that just shouldn't exist. In my opinion it's just a degree (or two) separated from that horse flesh ice cream stuff.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Posted without comment...

Limits of Compassion?

Some people took it upon themselves to make a Flickr pool on the London bombing. There's been noise about how Brits are used to such actions due to the IRA and all, but are they really? Many have noted that they basically sold out to the IRA when they learned that the IRA were only interested in screwing over over other Irishmen. Despite their military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, they're doing a pretty good job of selling out to the Islamofacists in their country as well. I'm sure if the Muslim radicals had similar limited aims of just looking to abuse their own countrymen (like the Algerians vs. France), we all would be more than happy to let them have at. Oh sure, we'd sign some checks over to assuage our guilt like we do for Africa, but our concern would probably only float above 'non-existent'. Unfortunately, though, their aims are completely divorced from any plausible ends.

(This brings to mind some stories about how the Iran-Iraq war was truly one of the nastiest conflicts the planet has known. But who cares? I mean really...)

Death by Pizza

I finally found my picture of the excellent BLT pizza that can be had at that one pizza place by Buckeye Lake whose name I can't remember...

I sheet you not, they put half a jar of mayonnaise and two packs of bacon on that bad boy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

On the Short Bus

Can you pass third grade? Nebraska and Kansas, as well as New Mexico and Arizona work to keep me in the third grade. Shouldn't I get extra credit for getting Wyoming right?

My Tank is Fight

I hesitate to make mention of this, due to the nature of the parent site, but this series of articles on weird WWII inventions have been pretty good, so good in fact that some sucker has agreed to publish a book on it. I signed up for the e-mail update and the artwork thus far looks very promising. The author notes:
The book will be delightfully packed with inventions ranging from everyone's favorite 1000-ton tank concept to a submarine that could drive along the bottoms of lakes and rivers! I'm talking nearly 150 large format pages overflowing with quips directed at poor old Hitler, black and white technical illustrations, and 16 glorious pages of full color art. All of that bound in real human skin assuming everything goes well with our Indonesian supplier.
What more could you want!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Side notes

My parents house is cable TV enabled, an expense I haven't been able to justify at any time since leaving home. Every time I'm at home or in a hotel room I mull it over once again. Although cable is home to some great programming (that WWII color series is particularly interesting), it's still not all that unusual for the upwards of 100 channels to have the same number of watchable programs as my rabbit ears: ZERO. As well, while I like cable news channels in small doses, I'm ever amazed at their ability to beat a story to death (Terri Schiavo, Natalee Holloway, and god forbid, the 2000 presidential election come to mind), and then prop it up on stilts to beat it some more, to the point that the story is but a faint smudge of its original relevance.

Speaking of which, the cable news networks are salivating like hyenas after a wounded deer with this Supreme Court vacancy thing. The sad part of it is, is that the Supreme Court should garner little interest; it's only its recent incarnation as a dictatorial legislature that drives up its interest. One news-head talked about 'pro-life' nominees, but in the conservative cannon, there's no such thing as a 'pro-life' nominee; just the belief that if it ain't in the constitution, it can't be 'read' into it. If you're going to beat a story to death, at least get the facts straight! (A former boss who was rather well educated (yet somewhat liberal) was amazed when I told him that not one fewer abortion would be performed the next day should the Court reverse Roe v. Wade.)

On a lighter note, I caught yet another baseball game - Reds vs. Astros. I'm not a big baseball fan, and I think the four games I've seen so far this season sets a personal record. My dedication should shine through with the fact that I haven't had to purchase any of the tickets for the games. Although the Reds were blown out 9-0, the crowd was sedated with the fact that they got to see future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens pitch seven scoreless innings. As a special bonus, he hit a ground rule double at his last at bat and eventually ran a run in. By the look of the many BoSox hats and shirts (not to mention the cheering), I think many came just to see him play.


Clemens hits one out of the park, on one bounce

One last note for something that bugs me a bit. Much is made of the stem cell debate, and I guess this is being pushed in Ohio as well. Legislatures around the country are seeking to affirm their progressive views on the subject by passing budgets that will fund research into the subject. Just to make this clear, this funding is CORPORATE WELFARE. If this stem cell research is such a great idea, then no help from the government is needed; but the fact that new bureaucracies are being set up to hand over cash to the cronies in state (and federal) government should provide a pause for thought on how viable the technology is. I've cleaned up a quote from this article to make the point:
Supporters of embryo stem cell research, including Nancy Reagan, say it could lead to cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other degenerative brain and nerve diseases. Opponents say taxpayers should not be forced to pay for such research when large numbers of them believe that the resulting destruction of the embryo is immoral because if denying welfare to pregnant teenagers is good, it's all the better to deny it to lazy, fat, rich white people.