Sunday, September 21, 2014

Geekquinox: Redneck Rampage

Last night Sylvia and I met with friends at Pete's place for another of his mind-blowing Geekquinox meals. Summer may be behind us, but welcoming fall with a fantastic meal and great companionship softens the blow of cooler weather. This time around, Pete concocted a meat-heavy Redneck Rampage menu.
Since the weather was so nice, we started the evening on Pete's patio, enjoying these scrumptious green onion cakes with a sauce made of vinegar and some kind of spicy stuff.
Pete's green egg had been cooking beef brisket for many long hours the night before; here, Pete starts it up again.
I like that Pete starts it with a blowtorch.
Thanks to the magic of bad composition, it appears as though Mike is wearing one of Ellen's famous lime margaritas as a hat.
It would be pretty tough to describe any of us as rednecks, but Steve and Jeff attempted to get into the spirit of things.
Heather is too elegant to be a redneck, but I did notice she was sporting a new (to me) platinum blonde do.
Scott and Margaret were a study in contrasts.
Indoors, Heather and Audrey feasted on pickles and lime margaritas.
Sylvia came dressed as a Daughter of Anarchy.
Ellen and Scott had the best redneck outfits.
A better look at Scott's costume.
Pete's beef brisket was astounding - incredibly moist and juicy. Ellen's authentic Boston baked beans, cooked in an actual bean pot made for the purpose, were an excellent side.
Of course you can never have too much meat at a redneck rampage, so there was also pulled pork. I had a hard time deciding which meat dish I preferred.
Of course there was a vegetable dish - in this case, succulent squash creole. Delicious, and I don't even like squash. Apparently the key to enjoying vegetables is to smother them in cheese, garlic, butter and bread crumbs.
The drinkers among us enjoyed a strange but apparently flavourful combination - bourbon and pickle juice.
The Texas Whiskey Cake, inspired by a dining experience Pete had in the Lone Star state, was served up with saucy decadence, with caramel sauce and spicy pecans.
Late in the evening a van crashed into a police car just outside Pete's house, necessitating a detour when Sylvia and I finally made our way home, bellies fit to bursting. It wouldn't be an authentic redneck experience without a police presence! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Whither ImPark?

Today I took my car in for servicing and used the courtesy shuttle to commute to work, saving me $13.50 in parking plus the hassle of driving downtown. It was a nice change of pace.

Then I started thinking how nice it will be when driverless cars hit the market. We could program the car to take me to work, then Sylvia, and the car could park itself at APS and come pick me up at 4:30. No parking fees! I'd save $300 every month.

If everyone starts doing this, I wonder what will happen to parking prices downtown. Will they plummet in an attempt to delay the inevitable, luring folks with manual-drive vehicles to put off buying driverless cars? Or will they shoot up in an attempt to milk as much cash as possible while there are still a few people who need to park downtown?

On the other hand, what will the city do? If cars are driving themselves back and forth to work, that's a trip in the morning plus a trip in the afternoon - both ways. Will the city dump a levy on driverless cars to help pay for increased road maintenance?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but the more I think about autonomous vehicles, the more I realize the ripple effects of the technology are going to be enormous. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rocket Taps

I first spotted this amazing faucet in a movie or television show some years ago, and I was determined to find the make and model and purchase one for every bathtub and sink in the condo, even if I had to retrofit the sinks and tubs to make them work.

Imagine my shock when I discovered that these taps range from $2700 to $3200 each. For taps! I couldn't believe it. Is an affordable rocketship faucet too much to ask? Those price tags certainly signal "Taps" for my rocket taps ambitions.

Rocket Taps

I checked the prices out last night
Was expecting fifty bucks
But I had to cry at the sight of the price tags there

I want these taps so much, so does my wife (maybe)
Is this too much to ask?
A set of Flash Gordon faucets
Is my hopeless task

But I think it's going to be a long long time
Before I have enough green to make these faucets mine
I'm running hot and cold for them oh, no no
Rocket Taps

Rocket Taps
The gleaming chrome and retro styling turns me on
Your fins promise bath adventures far from home
But you're so very expensive I can't believe
Rocket Taps...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sean's Cheek Forking

From the late 80s onward, though with diminishing frequency in the 21st century, I've whiled away idle moments conjuring up Minions of C.H.A.O.S. and Paladins of O.R.D.E.R., some of which have made appearances on this blog. One such miscreant is the evil Cheek Forker, a minion whose only super-power (such as it is) is to painfully jab the fork he carries into the hapless cheeks of Paladins of O.R.D.E.R., or, failing that, innocent bystanders. As threats go, Cheek Forker falls into the z-list "troublesome annoyances" category - at least in the world of metahuman fiction. In real life, getting forked in the cheek can be quite painful, as my brother discovered last month when he absent-mindedly forgot about a fork he'd put prongs-up in his shirt pocket; when he looked down, he impaled his cheek on the fork.

When Sean told me about this, I asked him to re-enact the event, and he complied, though by this point you think he'd know better. Sylvia, as usual, wondered what in the world I was on about when I gleefully related the tale.