All posts by Eisenhower

Mac and cheese because I typed it up for someone else and want it to go down for posterity. ‘sgood.

Ingredients: 1 lb dry pasta
2/3-4/3 cups cheese depending on taste and budget.
pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons flour, but when I say three I really mean 5 or 6.
3 tablespoons butter (for real)
any spices you like to taste. curry works well.

Boil a fat pot of water and dump the pasta in. Macaroni shells are classic, but I usually just use penne. pene? I don’t know. This will take longer than you think, start boiling the water 10-15 minutes before starting the sauce. Grab a deep frying pan ( I think what I use may actually be a dutch oven, but whatever. If it walks like a frying pan, and talks like a frying pan…) and put the butter in the bottom. Turn it on high. You have a limited window of time in which to melt the butter. Don’t rush, and measure 2 cups of milk into a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for 2 minutes. When the butter finishes melting, whisk in the flour. You should have a good rue (rew? roo? I don’t speak french) when you’re done and if you timed it right the milk will finish just as you finish wisking. Pour the milk in as soon as the butter and flour is ready, so that you don’t burn the milk pouring it in. Wait for this to start to thicken, then add the cheese, salt, pepper, and other spices. Once this tastes good and has thickened to where it feels right, take it off the heat and stir the noodles into it. Either enjoy like this or bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Freelance Whales – Weathervanes

I’ve recently run into a band via the extremely awesome mog. This band is known as the Freelance Whales. I’ve heard the music described as orchestral indie rock, and it”s a fitting description. They play an oddly uplifting kind of sound on an eclectic mix of instruments.

They’ve recently released their first album, Weathervanes, which is now one of my all-time favorite albums. From the opening track to the closing, the album is soothing, heart-warming, inspiring, and entertaining. The songs aren’t wholly lyric-focused, merely incorporating the words as another instrument. It’s a nice touch that serves to distinguish the band from the crowds of others that just use the rest of the band as a way to keep the singer in tune and rhythm.

I strongly recommend the whole album, but I especially like the first track “Generator ^ First Floor”, and its companion track, “Generator ^ Second Floor”. Nods also go to “Hannah” (which has some of the best-written lyrics on the album), and “We Could be Friends”. It”s not available on CD yet, but it”s available in all good digital music stores.

Living without social media

So, as I am a catholic, I am (at least nominally) required to give something up for the forty days before Easter, also known as Lent. So, it came down to 11:00 or so on the night of Fat Tuesday, and i still hadn’t come up with anything. A few minutes after this thought floated on through my head, I thought about precisely how much time I wasted dicking around on the Internet. And thus, an Idea was born. Fairly quickly I realized it was pretty much impossible to avoid it completely in this day and age, so I revised my proscription to what I deem the Big 3 (twitter, Facebook, and IRC). So, about halfway through now, I’ve decided to post my findings.

1) I’m reading a LOT more. I’ve read more books in the past three weeks than I have in most of the past year.

2) I spend less time on the Internet in general. While I haven’t completely stopped Internet-dicking-about, it’s reduced to reading technology blogs.

3) I’m reading far less webcomics, which is a combination of several things, but partially due to the lack of comic-related chatter on IRC.

4) My grades have not significantly improved. This further supports my conclusion that teenagers will find ways to procrastinate, even without the major time-wasters on the internet.

5) I don’t suck at StarCraft anymore. This could be related, or it could not be. However, it is something I have realized as the days have gone by.

In light of all this, I don’t think I’ll be staying away permanently. i would guess I’ll spend less time on facebook,at least in the time immediately following Easter, but I get the feeling I’ll still spend hours on IRC as soon as I’m able to.

Why Windows is, and will remain, superior to OSX.

To be fair, a 500 dollar dell is not going to be the same quality of hardware as a macbook. Where apple really dings you, however, is the high end. As far as I know, apple hasn’t released a core i7 system. Additionally, windows has A) a huge library of software going back twenty years (compared to OSX’s three, four at the most), B) real gaming support (mostly microsoft’s fault, but still), and C) I can install windows on whatever the fuck hardware I want. OSX I legally am not allowed to do that.

As to the virus issue, OSX is only mostly virus free because of its comparatively small market share. As that market share increases, more of the people who develop viruses will turn to developing them for OSX. Contrary to what apple may want you to think, OSX is no more secure than windows is. Additionally, anti-virus companies have a huge amount of experience combating windows viruses, and almost none combating OSX viruses, so when the time comes that it is popular to write OSX viruses, who do you think will be on top then?

Also: the leading anti-virus software on the market, both Kaspersky anti-virus and (my personal favorite) eset nod32, have a 90% plus detection rate. I’ll stick with windows.

And before some wiseass says that OSX has been around ten years, yes it has, however when apple switched from powerpc to intel, that rendered most of its previous software obsolete and incompatible.

(This is completely unedited from a facebook comment I made, I may edit for better blog-reading later. As it is, enjoy.)

The Orpheus myth, via rhyme

Now let me tell you bout my man Orpheus
He wasn’t the kind of guy to drive around in a prius
Naw, he was a pretty down to earth kind of guy
He had this girl, she was pretty fly
But then she had to go and die
Now this girls name was Eurydice
And she filled Orpheus up with idiocy
And so when she was killed most hideously
She cause Orpheus to cry most piteously
Orpheus went down to old man Hades
And said “Man, I ain’t got no rabies”
All I know is you got plenty of ladies
And I just want back my baby
Hades said a few different things
He said “Orpheus, I know you only just gave her that ring
And before that it was much more than a fling
And her death has taken away your ability to sing”
So I’ll give her back to you on just one condition,
Because you are such a fine musician,
As you embark on your expedition
Your head must remain in a forward position
Orpheus said that he could accede to that
And off he went with a rat-a-tat-tat
Off into the never-ending black
With Eurydice’s eyes boring a hole in his back
Now my man Orpheus nearly reached the light
But those eyes on his back were an un-ignorable blight
He just had to have Eurydice in his sight
The last thing he saw of her was her dress so white
When he turned around old man Hermes
Picked Eurydice up by the back of the knees
(He did it with a bit of a sneeze)
And flew away without so much as a please
And now Orpheus was exceedingly sad
He wrote some new songs which were pretty rad
Until the harpies showed up at his pad
And decided to take his torso home and call it Chad
His head floated down past his momma the muse
All the while it was singing the blues
And while with his lack of lungs this is bound to confuse
It’s Orpheus; so it ain’t exactly news
And that right there is the end of my story
I’m sorry it wasn’t full of blood and glory
But it was the story that needed to be told
Even if in this day and age it’s getting kind of old

Preconceptions and Misconceptions

Recently, I’ve begun to wonder how much of what we take for granted isn’t rooted in fact.  If we look back even 100 years, what seemed like solid science then (Black people have smaller brains, anyone?) is now obviously, and hilariously wrong. It took them until the early 1900s to figure out that if you stick a vibrator in a chick’s vagoo she feels better. What got me thinking on this, is that until recently I thought Death Cab for Cutie was absolute shite. And then I actually heard one of their songs. And now I love their music. It makes me think about what other great music I’m missing out on. And then I got to thinking, what if it isn’t just music?

About a week ago I heard a negative review of Gnome Shell (Gnome Shell is the window manager planned to be released with GNOME 3). I watched a video and thought it looked pretty cool. So i installed ubuntu 9.10, installed gnome shell, and fired it up. And i swear to god it is the coolest thing ever. When it is finished, I honestly can’t say I’ll use anything else. And previously, I’d sworn off all things Linux forever. With good reason, too. Gnome 2 is absolutely awful when compared to osx leopard and windows 7.

Take from it what you will.

A few haiku I wrote

I wander into
A room full of people who
Know him but not me

It takes a village
The old proverb tells us
But that’s subjective

I go out walking
And stop and smell the roses
What else do you want?

It smells like urine
In the park you don”t go to
The homeless folks park

To exist or not?
Raised by hamlet, who really
Has the right answer

Where are your weapons?
The general asks us poor
We can’t afford them

To look into the
Depths of another mans soul
Is not for the weak

Tread lightly around
Lions and Tigers and Bears
During the winter

I feel like breaking a pattern today (In other news, CAKE!)

Notice the lack of alliteration?
Today, I got a cake. The details are non-critical, but I got a cake, and I shared it with people because I can’t eat an entire fucking cake by myself. It was good cake. Chocolate with this semi-mintish frosting, and m&ms on top. I lacked eating utensils, so most of us ate with our hands. Quite honestly, it’s the best way to eat cake. Fuck this slices shit.

Also: ReactOS and Haiku

Two open source operating systems I’ve been following for a while now. Haiku is quite a bit further along, but their goal is far less ambitious. Just thought i would give a heads-up to anyone looking for an OS in a few years.

Why We Do What We Do

A question far greater minds than my own have tried to answer, to be certain. Never-the-less, as the clock approaches midnight and I stay up futilely hoping that my internet connection will increase ten-fold so I can install Dragon Age tonight rather than tomorrow afternoon, I feel inclined to tackle it. A lot of people would probably say semi-random signals fired in our brain. However, I refuse to subscribe to that philosophy. The Humanists have part of it right, in that we do what we do because it makes us feel good, but that isn’t all of it. I’m inclined to think we do what we do because we can’t decide what we want, and so we spend our lives groping in the dark for what it is that we want, with how good it makes us feel sort of like a game of Hot & Cold, but never really getting even close to it. I’m certain some people have, but they’re few and far between, and often start religious movements trying to tell other people what they’ve found. In the long run, I think everyone’s form of self-realization is going to be different, as unique as people are. Now, I’m going to go to sleep, because I think it will make me feel good. And that’s about the best any of us can hope for.

Metaphysical Munchies May Make Many Men Masturbate Mildly

I recently finished watching the show Odyssey 5, created by one Manny Coto. Remember that name. Do not watch this show. It is one of the most awesome shows ever, but the finale is non-existent. They never finished the show. Someone may tell you how awesome it is, and they would be right, but you could save yourself a whole lot of mental anguish by not watching it. This in itself would not be postworthy, except for the fact that Manny Coto is also responsible for the 4th season of Enterprise, with its notoriously bad finale. I have therefore come to a conclusion. The sonofabitch is out to ruin good tv for everyone. He’s like a vampire, only instead of blood he drinks lack of closure. I therefore propose a boycott of anything he works on in the future, until he learns how to do a real finale.