DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

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Odds and Ends

I finished Gaiman's American Gods a week back, and really liked it. It's sort of the book I was hoping Winter's Tale would turn out to be off Tale's early chapters. I liked Gods a lot better for a couple three reasons. First off, Gaiman doesn't fall in love with his own prose. Mark Helprin wrote a lot of beautiful prose just for the sake of writing beautiful prose. A lot of it did absolutely nothing to advance the story, which bugged the heck out of me. Second, Gaiman actually provides an ending, rather than having the book just trickle away incoherently. Finally, he actually explains what is going on, and ties up various loose ends in a satisfactory manner, something Helprin never did. Tacking on an epilogue that states "draw your own conclusions" just doesn't cut it. Anyway, if you haven't read it yet, do. I see that there's a sequel coming soon, and I'm looking forward to it.

I'm currently reading a couple of Wodehouse books, one a collection of early stories, the other the novel Right Ho, Jeeves. I've seen all of the Laurie and Fry Jeeves and Wooster episodes, so I'm well familiar with the goings on of the Wooster social circle, but it's fun to see them in their original form.

DeLowe threw a one-hit shutout through eight last night before leaving because of a blister, beating the Reds, 4-0. It was an impressive performance. It does seem that his contention that he's fixed his mechanics may be accurate. That'd be nice.

Best ninth inning commentary during a baseball watch & post ever:
Since Schmoll is warming up and Lowe is picking on a blister as well as sitting on the bench with his belt undone and his fly open, I would say that there will be a pitching change in the 9th.

I may need to use that as a tagline...

Alton Brown tried to kill me yesterday. I tried making his recipe for ribs. I have a recipe I developed over the years that is a bit like his, but I never actually wrote down any measurements for the rub, so since he has a system, I figured I'd give it a try. His system is simple 8:3:1 + 1, 8 parts brown sugar to 3 parts salt to 1 part chili powder, plus one part other spices and herbs. As I said, this is similar to my own recipe, except for the 3 parts of salt. I rarely added much salt at all, if any. It turns out 3 parts of salt is a helluva lot of salt, even if I wasn't supposed to watch my intake. I only had two of the ribs, and not only did they taste way saltier than I like, but I could just feel the jolt on my blood pressure. His brining instructions tend to produce really salty meat, too.

It's summertime, and once again my town's water system is comtaminated with E. Coli. This is the fourth time in five years. Fortunately, the base where I work, and my end of town have their own systems, so I don't have to boil my frelling water like the majority of the folks around here. It does affect the Dunkies where I get my coffee, though. They're using bottled. The state ordered the town to begin chlorinating that part of the system a year ago. They procrastinated until this past week, a couple of days before the contamination was found. Now, part of the problem is that the water towers involved are, like, sixty years old, but you'd think that someone in the water department would show some measure of intelligence about this. Those folks have let the system fail four times in five years. The first time could happen to anyone. Even the second, maybe. But the third and the fourth? Especially after the state ordered you to chlorinate, and you dragged your feet? Sadly, civil servants don't get fired. They get pensions and full bennies from my ever increasing taxes. Feh.

In the midst of this, there is, of course, a shortage of bottled water, exacerbated by folks who now refuse to trust any water in the town, even in the newer systems.

Russia’s Biggest Spammer Brutally Murdered in Apartment

I have to admit, there are times I have fantasized about beating a random spammer's brains in with a rusty shovel. Yesterday I received spam with the subject line "Congratulations! I'm Hispanic!" WTF?

Also, it's wicked hot out, and the a/c in my office doesn't work very well.
Tags: baseball, books, computers, cooking, news, rant

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