kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
I've been wondering whether I should compile the various posts (and unposted drafts) that I've done on fandom, and try looking at them as a collection of chapters about fandom and fanfiction. I think the current count is that I've been quoted now in (or at least asked for permission to be quoted in) five different grad-level dissertations.

Or maybe it's just that I may never be able to truly equate "published on the net" with "published, like, for reals". Wouldn't quoting me count as quoting from an unpublished work? How the hell do you cite someone's blog post?

I really need to dig out my craigslist acct info and get rid of some of this stuff... so I can replace it with new stuff. Like, say, butcher-block countertops. The ones that have been out of stock for the past two months, for crying out loud. I could use different ones instead of continuing to wait, but then I'd have to deconstruct the countertop bases to make room for the extra 3/16" I'd need. Much easier to just wait for the countertops to come back into stock. Someday. Damn it.

Ta-Nehisi Coates' series on the Civil War continues to fascinate me, interrogate my own education and long-held unquestioned cultural assumptions, and make me ponder what I learned as a child and what I just sort of absorbed even if no one ever said it. His most recent post, "The Civil War Isn't Tragic", has had me thinking today about how the war, overall, was presented in my childhood (formal, not family) education. I think the message in grade school was that it was tragic because so many people died, and so many families split north/south... but by high school and then into adult (informal) education, the tone shifted. It became more that the Civil War was tragic... because of the stupidity of people who kept it going and/or insisted on fighting in the first place.

That it was not averted by a peaceful resolution of outlawing slavery when there was the political chance on the board (as Britain did, in the 1830s) is the real tragedy, and that it dragged on for so long and cost so many lives is equally horrible. But the outcome? Not tragic at all. The aftermath and the scars? Tragic, mostly for (similar to the origins) being so badly handled, and so on.

But in the end: no, not tragic. Just stupid and horrible. And I think Coates has a significant point about the fact that we don't have a holiday to celebrate the re-unification of the Union. Why don't we?

Okay, rain would be great. Rain that consists of only 1/4" worth of water doesn't even make the ground damp. It just kind of made everything glisten for a few minutes, before it evaporated again. This is more than a little unnerving, to know we're coming up on heat-lightning season and we're in the worst drought in fifty years.

ETA: Rain! ... and the whole "20% chance of thunderstorms" was really "a few minutes of dark sky, followed by a single drop of rain." ONE DROP. One big honking drop landing smack in the middle of my A/C repair invoice.

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Still waiting to hear from my dad about his mother's chocolate cake recipe (and his rhubarb pie recipe, just because it sounds bizarre but it's best evidence to cite of making pie from anything) -- but here's my Mom's (and now also my) favorite bread recipe for when guests come to visit. I could've sworn I'd posted this before, but apparently not. Bread recipe behind the cut... )

This is not a bread that's ever kept well when I've made it, simply because there are always two-legged rats willing and able to devour the bread as soon as it slides out of the baking pans. This is also why I always make a double-batch, which gets me three large loaves, two medium loaves, and two small loaves: that's the only way to make sure there'll be some bread leftover for me.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 fear the toolmonger)

Considering how much he eats, either he's got two hollow legs, or he's just storing the food where normal cats would have bones. And seeing the way he sleeps, the lack of bones might explain a lot.

Also, I am 99% done on the mother of all lazy susans.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 no srsly)
Anyone on my flist familiar with and/or know of any good cooking pans that are non-teflon, but aren't cast-iron? I've heard of some kind of cast-iron hybrid that doesn't require seasoning, but isn't coated with teflon, the most prominent brand-name being Creuset, I think. I'm just not sure of spending that much money on new pans without being certain it's really as good as it's supposed to be, especially if there are equivalent (but less brand-name pricey) pans by someone else.

It looks like we're going to need to take a trip (to wherever) and investigate Revere Ware and Faberware in person -- those two sound like the best bets when it comes to durability for the price.

Thanks, everyone!

though I'd still really love me some Le Creuset, but only if someone else is footing the bill...

le sigh

14 Dec 2010 11:52 am
kaigou: life would be easier if I had the source code. (3 source code)
I really wish I could find architecture books that'd show me the interior construction of a roofline like this one.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 fear the toolmonger)
At Nissan dealer. I mention I used to have a Porsche 914. Turns out our salesman used to have two, a '68 and '71; mine was a '70. Naturally this led to...

Salesman: It's such a great car, and no reason to spend all that money on Porsche parts, it's just a Volkswagon engine!
Me: A Bus-4 engine, at that -- parts are a dime a dozen! I had a mechanic tell me the Porsche clutch cable'd be a hundred bucks, so I walked across the street to the local Buggy Barn and picked up a replacement VW cable for $10!
Salesman: Oh, yeah! I did the same thing when I had to replace my brakes, all that money for just having Porsche stamped on it!
CP: *cough*
Salesman: And the best part is you have tons of friends when you have a Targa!
Me: Oh, no, way, I switched out the shocks and put in Bilsteins, tightened them up to the limit, and all it took was one ride and none of my friends would ride with me after that!
Salesman: What, they didn't like being in a car that's only two inches off the ground?
CP: *COUGH* We're here about a new car...
Me: Not when the ride's that tight! Man, I miss that suspension!
Salesman: And it was so easy to work on, and so much you could do with it! I upped the butterflies and recalibrated the sparks to just a micro wider and that engine just roared!
Me: I put in dual Dellorto racing carbs!
Salesman: That's awesome! Nothing like having to balance--
CP: *COUGH* New cars. You two can geek out later. Right now we're--
Me: Carbs! With the little mirror over it so you didn't get a backfire--
CP: --for a--
Salesman: --and burn off your eyebrows--
Salesman: Uhm. *looks sideways*
Me: Uhm. *looks sideways*
Salesman: *opens mouth*
Me: *opens mouth*
Salesman: *shuts mouth*
Me: *shuts mouth*
CP: *looks satisfied*

A little backstory, perhaps: clutch cable broke on veedub; decision was made (while veedub was out of earshot) to, hrmm, maybe, y'know, consider a second car. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
I was going to do 3w4dw (even if I had no clue of any real theme) but then there was the weather and the weeds and it's been more like a month for rocks.

There are posts to be written and to be read and to be caught up on, but first I need morning tea and then water the newly-spread grass seed... and if the past month's any example, I'll probably move a few rocks as long as I'm out there...

The little white sheet in the bed in the foreground is a sunscreen for plants put in just two days ago -- all-day full-sun is a bit more intense without a nursery's overhead shades, even if the plant really is a full-sun plant. And the destruction in the background is because I've ripped out whatever sod we have and have been pulling weeds left and right, to prep the main circle of the yard for grass seed (and up along the driveway).

So it looks like destructo-yard, but that's still better than 3' tall weeds. Really.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 dot dot dot)
When weeding, after overturning the soil and getting down to pulling out roots, if the root is patchy-brown and wriggling, Do Not Pluck. That's not a weed, that's a baby rat snake.

(Yes, I did try to pull it. And then it wriggled right out of my fingers and I went GYAH. I did not scream like a girl, but I did kinda jump. Just a little.)
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 fear the toolmonger)
I got the new belt on the tablesaw, after much fussing and arguing. I got the tablesaw's outlet wired up with a replacement on/off switch (ended up using cheap lightswitch since I couldn't find a full-stop on/off toggle like I wanted, since the only ones at the hardware stores these days are for electronic items, not full-on power stuff), I got the blade cleaned of all resin per instructions (windex! imagine!), and checked every single carbide tooth for chipping (immaculate, actually, whew)... and then I started it up.

Went slow at first, so I let it keep running, and the belt stretched a bit (the belt actually supports the weight of the motor, so the motor kinda 'hangs' in the belt's loop, but okay), and then there was a strange click, a second softer click, and the tablesaw stopped working. I tried off, on, off, nothing, so I turned it off and unplugged it, looked it over, tried the reset button, still nothing, and decided I'd just call Delta on Monday and see what their customer service had to say.

About twenty minutes later I finally wandered back into the house to find my APC unit beeping. But the microwave's on, how can we not have power? OH. So that's what the click was: I blew the fuse. Apparently the garage's one wall outlet is on the same circuit as the living room (stereo, computer), hallway, dining room, front hall light, and half the master bedroom.

Makes me suddenly think of all those times I start up the circular saw and the lights in the garage dim, just a fraction. My computer is on that circuit (thank goodness for APC units).

Guess there'll be no table-sawing until I figure out how to install a new circuit in the box and put in a dedicated outlet in the garage just for power tools.

I really, really hate the wiring in this house.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
To really get why this past week had its moment of OH GOD I GET IT NAOW, I need to backtrack and first explain about my mother and the medical records clerks in Montgomery Alabama. Every transfer meant going on-base in August for the usual school physical-check-up thing that you have to do when entering a new school system. And that meant going to the medical building and the medical records office, where Mom would fill out a request slip so the clerks could retrieve our records. Something like that.

Those records (from what I recall) are stored in two general collections: one for active duty military, the other for retired military. So when the clerk accepts your records request slip, the first question the clerk asks is, "active duty or retired?" Except when we were in Montgomery, the clerk didn't ask that. I was nine at the time, so my mom had just turned 30... and I recall distinctly (thanks to my mother's tone of voice and the look on her face) when the clerk accepted the paper and simply asked, "retired?"

My mother's smile was cold enough and sharp enough to cut diamonds when she replied, "active duty."

The saga of not-needing-bifocals THANK YOU VERY MUCH, new eye prescription, a slight tangent into what astigmatism is, and a final celebration that naturally involves power tools BECAUSE MOAR POWER WAAAHHH. )

On that note, there's a chapter of Koji Ma Oshi upcoming, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sharibet. (And a short story of whatever [livejournal.com profile] hinotori wants, and another for [personal profile] clarentine.) If I make it through a day without a headache, I'll consider that a good sign & will start writing, since that's at least a half-day at the computer and a bit more for polishing before posting. Fingers crossed my eyes'll be completely adjusted to new scrip in the next few days. There! Something to look forward to.

erm, assuming I don't get so happy with now-working power tools that I cut anything off. GUH. I don't even want to think about it. that I get distracted by the shiny and spend the next week doing cabinetry. *cough*
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (W] organizing)
A few days ago in answer to a post, [livejournal.com profile] chibidrunksanzo mentioned she has recipes to offer, and I realized, hrm, that's a really good idea (especially with the way things look economically for a lot of us right now). Instead of fancy stuff, just give me TESTED RECIPES. Although I promise not to fuss if I fail a recipe on my own, but I do prefer "I grew up with this and it's a solid tasty good meal" recipes. Those are the best. I think.

I grew up with chicken & fish, so if it's got chicken in it, I can usually come up with something, and failing that, it's casserole. (Hey.) The only other meat we had with any regularity was ground beef, because we were military and there's a lot you can make with ground beef for really cheap. (And actually, my mother makes a really fine meatloaf, which leaves me baffled why she only made it at most once every year or two.)

But the upshot is that CP likes red meat, and I just don't have much experience in cooking it, but I know there are excellent long-cooking recipes that use the really cheap cuts to really good advantage. Yeah, so you can't do steak with shoulders, but I know there are things you can do that are awesome... but what are they?

So, if you know, or have some other recipe that's a tried-and-true, and uses few ingredients OR uses basic, affordable, even cheap, ingredients, do tell. I can't be the only one reading me that would be curious.

In return, here's a few things back from me, but I'll skip the casserole basics for you. No need to make you suffer (unless someone really really wants to know).

Substitutions when baking! )

What you get when you substitute... )

Oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, because the oatmeal is good for you. REALLY. )

Now, don't you feel smarter? Possibly also hungrier, but sorry I can't help on that one.

All that's left now is to wait and see if [livejournal.com profile] clarentine made those rumored double-ginger shortbread cookies herself, because those sound rather intriguing... Oh, and MEATLOAF. Right. Wait! The ultimate cheap-ass barbecue sauce ever, which now that I know what's in it, I will never ever eat again, SORRY MOM.

1 can grape jelly
1 bottle ketchup

YEAH. That's it. One of those things that tastes great... until you find out WHAT'S IN IT. And then no eating, EVER AGAIN. *grosses*
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (source code)
I ache all over, I managed to get bitten by a nasty spider (though it took me a day to realize that's what that ill-looking bruise/knot was from), my head hurts, everything is covered with a not-so-fine layer of drywall dust, I haven't written in a week (or more?), the rebuilt iMac is still under sheetcover with all the rest of the electronics to protect it from the dust, the paint color is just a bit too off to be tolerable, the ceiling is only half-de-popcorned, the entire living room is mostly in the dining room, did I mention I ache all over, every outlet in the room is hanging half-out of the wall waiting for drywall surround, ache too much to bring in the most recent drywall compound purchases from the car, and do I ache, do I ever ache.

On the other hand, for better or worse, about five hours of battle at least, FINALLY, got me this. )

Tomorrow, back to de lovely popcorn and drywall.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x origami)
I picked up an old poster for CP, while on my Major Roadtrip a few years back, and I've constantly forgotten to get a picture for translation purposes. My best guess is a magician (possibly part of a circus?), but if anyone can puzzle out the wording, color me curious, and much appreciative. Sorry the image isn't the sharpest; I had to turn off the flash so the protective plastic didn't bounce the light.

Anyone? )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
The worst thing about ADHD is that good ol' diffused attention span as I walk through a house with a thousand possibilities. I need to do this, but there's that to finish, and I want to do this, but I never finished that, and what about this, and if I could just finish something...

This entire post is mostly to organize my thoughts, make something I can come back to, refresh my memory so I don't forget -- again -- where I'm at and what the Next Steps are. And, of course, if you have suggestions or personal experience or input of any sort, please do feel free to jump in. (Some items in my want-to-do lists have example pictures, which are also all in the scrapbook, if you want to see all at once.)

Unless you're big into renovation, or you like the vicarious thrill of watching me run around with hammer in hand, you might just skip this... ) or read more about my new MINION! And this one would probably PAINT MY HOUSE! )

And I still need to get my haircut before Thursday... bleah.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x ganesha no obstacles)
Boy, that phrase has taken on a new meaning around here.

When we bought this house, we didn't know until we were driving through West-by-god-Virginia that we were purchasing a house in the 100-yr flood zone. (Gee, thanks for the warning, assholes.) Given the type of loan, flood insurance would be mandatory -- there goes about $750 a year. Lovely.

The hidden teeth-kick in that tidbit? The BFE (base flood elevation, aka the big fucking exasperation), as last measured by FEMA, was 612.8 feet. Our house's oh-so-pedestrian concrete slab (and thus the foot-level of our only living space) is 613.5 -- not quite a foot outside the BFE, but close enough. Reason for our insurance cost? Our garage floor -- on the opposite side of the house from the creek -- has an elevation of 612.6. That's point-two feet: only 2.5 inches below the BFE! Not even a bloody half-foot! Barely a quarter-foot!

My grand scheme all along -- because you just know I've had one -- has been... )

On the other hand, go ahead. Ask me about levees, flood walls, flood zones, urban reforestation, ephemeral ponds, edge growth versus deer population, retaining wall construction, microclimates, elevation measurements, wet and dry flood protection, or building berms. Go on. I can take it.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (mushu news)
Not the entirety of my todo but it's at least the house-related part. ) ...Will update in a few, with rest of list -- eh, this is just to keep me organized; you can ignore if you like.

Updated. Also, CP asked me tonight what if he doesn't get into this univ's doctoral program, and we move elsewhere? What about all this work?

Way I see it, first, there's a lot that's jury-rigged in this kitchen, but I've learned tons, not just in the past few but in doing drywall and curves and support beams, and building sturdy indestructible shelves and mitering and all that jazz. And second, in some things, the joy ain't in living with it, but in creating it.

Besides, if we lived here eight years and by then I was completely done, I'd be bored.

and trust me, you don't want a bored Sol wandering around the house...


7 Mar 2007 04:48 pm
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (execute the lot of you)
Dear Mr or Ms Fancy-Pants Architect:

I'm sure you think your site is just lovely. The flash is certainly spectacular, even if this means I have to use a screenshot to capture any examples of your work. (And you thought you'd managed to avoid that, how little you know of technology and determined visitors.) But I really must ask: is it absolutely necessary that you have an entrance page, and clicking that link (after hitting "skip intro" six times) must then open a new smaller window, and any links within those then open additional windows, and so on?

It really doesn't speak for your ability to conserve -- let alone recognize the use of space -- if you bloody well insist on taking up the entirety of my computer screen with your bazillion pop-up windows.

Not impressed,
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (tea and cake)
Must be spring: I've been working on the house like a madman, and in between downloading like crazy, getting ideas from various sites and checking on how-tos from carpenters about some of my ideas. I know I'm terribly behind on replying to folks' posts, and I think I've missed some big events/announcements from some of you, so my apologies for being in hyper-focus mode. If you see replies to older posts, over the next few days, that's just me catching up.

In the meantime, I've realized a few more truths of the universe. First. That design show -- While You Were Out, something like that -- was the brain-child of a Virgo. I'm almost positive of this. Who else would say, "hunh, I'm alone in the house without my usual entertainment/conversation companion, this seems like a great time to paint the hallway a different color!" As for the rest... Architecture is the skeleton of a house, and if you don't have the bones, you won't have the muscle, ) a cabinet-making question in re wood dye, and... ) now, I need to go deal with laundry... and I could've sworn I did it only just three days ago. Ffffttt.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (walmart no go)
First, I think it must be the tape measure. Really. I measured the distance from fridge shelf to ceiling at least three times, and was reasonably satisfied that two 30" high cabinets would come no closer than 4" to the ceiling, enough room for a strip of drywall, the moulding, blah blah blah.

Err, NO.

Starting with cabinetry, and moving into bedframes: how much would you pay? ) Odd, how our psyches comprehend the value and price of things.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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