Friday, April 24, 2015

HOME ENTERTAINMENT UPDATE: THE EMBIGGENING


  1. Chromecast
  2. CD storage
  3. Antenna
  4. Blu-ray player
  5. Apple TV
  6. Receiver
  7. Record player
  8. VHS
  9. Tape player

So, I decided to spend my tax refund on home entertainment this year, as TV keeps getting better, whereas movies... not so much. My computer is old, but it still works, and replacing a computer seems less urgent when you have mobile devices. It feels like a long time ago when RAM and processor power seemed so important in order to use the latest bloated software, but now with so many webapps and sites designed for mobile, as long as your Internet is fast enough, you're OK.

Lifehacker says to spend money where you spend most of your time, and I now use my tablet more than my desktop. Also, with all the streams I have access to, there was one chink in my entertainment system -- my TV was not actually big enough to appreciate high definition. Well, it seemed like a good deal in 2007, at $200 more than my new one which is almost twice as big.

The main thing stopping me was having to get new shelving, as a bigger TV wouldn't fit the current shelves. I was going to go to IKEA, but then I remembered JSeux's love of Menard's, so I tried it first, and was lucky enough to find the exact same color and design as my old wire shelves, just in a larger size. Shout out to my parents for helping me with the measuring, as I have the spacial sense of a drunken hamster.

The great things about wire shelving:

  • Cheap.
  • Sturdy-I can break almost anything.
  • Flexible - can adjust shelves where you like, store items in different ways.
  • Modern-looking.
  • Doesn't need much dusting.
  • Open shelves give a sense of space- my place is small.

JSeux has also convinced me of the genius of tub-based storage, though I like mine to be pretty. These ones from IKEA were really cheap, but look nice. If I need more space for DVD's or whatever in the future, there is plenty of room on the shelves.

My CD shelving was falling apart, so I bought these because of an online comment from a librarian that they were sturdy, plus they kind of look like the old card catalogs.  They can also hold CDs in envelopes if I run out of room for cases.

Now, I just need an extra digital audio out, since TVs don't have the old red & white anymore apparently. Plus, a switcher, as my receiver's two digital audio ports are filled by the Apple TV and Blu-ray. Although, with my terrible reception, I will probably just watch live TV in emergencies and/or when the Internet is down.





Friday, March 13, 2015

GO HOME HOLDEN CAULFIELD, YOU'RE DRUNK: A RANT ABOUT HYPOCRISY



The older I get, the more I find myself unable to muster up any caring about the sin of hypocrisy. Everyone is a little hypocritical sometimes - no one can live up to their ideals 24/7/365. When you're a kid, it's shocking that your parents don't always practice what they preach, but when you're an adult, maybe it's more important to care about actual bad things that happen rather than the way people act towards those things. Like if someone is against gay marriage, I don't care if they are 100% faithful to their spouses or wild swingers, I just disagree that their personal views on marriage should prevent gay people marrying.

So, how about we all care less about hypocrisy, do our best to live up to our ideals, encourage good things and discourage bad things? Would that work? You know who's never hypocritical? Awful people, that's who. Anyone who says they're always honest and "tell it like it is" -- run far, far away from them. They will %100 for sure leave you when you get cancer and empty your bank account on the way out. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

JFRO'S 2014


http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/actually-its-about-ethics


Format once again ripped off shamelessly from the Librarian in Black

Books -- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Peripheral, The Summer Prince, Ride The Pink Horse, The Quick, The Golem & The Jinni, Nexus, Hild, The Lions of Al-Rassan

Comics -- Order of the Stick, XKCD

Movies -- Big Hero 6, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Obvious Child, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, Rigor Mortis, New World, Veronica Mars, The Grandmaster, Let The Fire Burn, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolf Children, Mama, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bronies, American Juggalo, Citizenfour, The East, The To-Do List.

TV Shows --  The Killing (US), Red vs. Blue, Broad City, RuPaul's Drag Race, Burning Love, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Continuum, Adventure Time, The Americans, The Strain, Lost Girl, Nikita, Danger Five, The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, Arrow, The Flash, Agents of SHIELD, Person of Interest, Portlandia, Masters of Sex, Sons of Anarchy, Bitten, My Mad Fat Diary, Ripper Street, Orphan Black, Louie, Psycho-Pass, Orange Is the New Black, Eastbound & Down, Vikings, Tabletop, @MIdnight,True Facts, Diamanda Hagan

Albums -- Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats: Mind Control, Lo-Pan: Colossus, Truckfighters: Universe, Chatham Rise: Chatham Rise, Blonde Redhead: Barragan, Superchunk: I Hate Music, M.I.A.: Matangi, Guided By Voices: English Little League, Dark Earth: Dark Earth/Bibles & Hand Grenades Split EP, 

Songs -- Kitten: "I'll Be Your Girl", RuPaul: "Geronimo", Richard Butler: "She", MIchael Holborn & William Henries: "Tell Me", The Wolf Council: "Victims of the Sea"

From the Vault -- Girl Trouble: Hit It or Quit It, Cabaret Voltaire: #7885, Various Artists: Purple Snow

Apps -- Instapaper, Feedly, Can I Stream It, Slice, Amazon Music, IFTTT, Tunein Radio

Devices -- Apple TV, iPad mini, Nook Simple Touch, Freedompop

Adorable animal videos -- Tiny Hamster vs Kobayashi, Baby Bat Burritos

Events -- Anime Detour, Convergence, trip to Monterey, Toys of the 50s-70s at Minnesota History Center, Boris at The Triple Rock, Art-A-Whirl

Recipe -- "Instant" Pho

Items of clothing -- spiderweb corset, grey buckled boots, Fluevog Mary Janes, camera skirt, Peter Pan collar blouse.

Games --  Plants vs Zombies, Candy Crush Soda, Interface Zero, MAS-F, Cosmic Patrol

Web sites: Librarian Problems, Lifehacker, Dice Shaming,  Awful Library Books, Great Cosplay,
TV Tropes. 

Twitter Twerps --  @a_man_in_black, @skullmandible, @SnarkeysMachine, @robdelaney, @WernerTwertzog, @libraryyeti


Animal --  The Hedgehog

Boyfriend -- The one and only JSeux!




Sunday, November 16, 2014

TIPS FOR DEALING WITH EXTROVERTS



On the Achewood Facebook page, someone commented that many of the listicles and cartoons floating around about introversion tend to be somewhat condescending, treating introverts as fragile beings who can't learn the simplest social skills:


Yes, I actually can make small talk when entering a room, I don't require total silence after a single greeting.

I thought it might be fun to turn it around for the purpose of parody. I know, dear extroverts, that only rude extroverts do these things. Or worse, introverts pretending to be extroverts in hopes of financial/romantic success (I see you brother, and it hurts my heart).


  • Extroverts have trouble understanding that social outings have to be planned in advance, so tell them that you will make other plans if you don't hear from them by a certain time (they don't have to know that the plan is reading a book).
  • Shock and stun extroverts by mentioning the name of their family members or referencing their hobbies now and then. Listening is like magic to them. They pepper you with personal questions as a way to feel "connected" to you, rather than to get information. They are not so good with the remembering. 
  • At work, extroverts will, out of a need to "connect", come to you personally about things that could easily have been shared in an email. Nod and smile while planning your weekend book-reading, then say, "Could you send me an email to remind me?"
  • It is physically painful for extroverts not to speak in a meeting, even if they have nothing to say. Let them speak for a couple of minutes, then say, "Thanks for sharing, X. Let's put that in the parking lot for now."
  • Salespeople and waitstaff are often extroverts, and will engage in nonsexual touching and use of your name, as it increases their income when dealing with others of their kind. Kindly explain that touching strangers in inappropriate, and keep telling them they are mispronouncing your name until they finally give up. 
  • When dating an extrovert ....DON'T. *
 Remember, be kind to extroverts: It's easier to learn social skills than how to enjoy being alone,

*Or at least, limit it to your twentysomething "experimental" phase. Do you really want to go to endless extended family functions, reunions, work parties and spontaneous potlucks for the next fifty years? 




Please share this widely, Jfro fans, so I can get a piece of that sweet zeitgeist action. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I MADE SOME SOUP & DIDN'T SAVE YOU ANY

I'm a lazy cook. I tend to get obsessed with one simple dish and make it until I get tired of it & move to the next one: spicy Indian green beans, pasta with ham & tomatoes, scrambled eggs with fried potatoes.

So, when I read in Lifehacker about a guy who had an idea for homemade "instant ramen" with fresh ingredients, I was excited because I love soup, but it seems hard to make. Plus, I had some soup containers already (plastic ones, those glass ones in the article are very cute, but wouldn't survive a trip with me on the bus).

Getting the noodles half-cooked seemed like a challenge, so I bought rice noodles, which.the author said would cook in the boiling water straight from the package (actually, after trial & error I found it worked best to completely immerse them in cold water for an hour first). Rice noodles made me want to try pho, one of my favorites. I added snap peas because I had some frozen ones, which I rinsed in cold water first.

Meat is tricky, because it has to be fully cooked before you start, or you're in trouble. I like the author's suggestion of jerky, but for pho the taste is too strong. Again, I had some prosciutto, which is not exactly traditional, but the taste is delicate enough.

For the soup base, I mixed chicken Better Than Bullion, soy sauce, frozen crushed garlic, and lime juice. Then the noodles, ham & peas. After adding the boiling water & letting it sit for 2 minutes, I put in basil, pickled garlic & cilantro. Scallions & bean sprouts would also have been good, but I didn't have any.

All the ingredients were either already in my fridge, or from Target, except for the rice noodles, Better than Bullion, & pickled garlic, which came from Amazon (Prime means why not get it if you can wait 2 days, don't need to check for freshness, & would get it from a big chain anyway).

The result? Actually very good. There was some graininess at the very bottom, but I might not have mixed it well enough.

 

I MADE YOU AN INFOGRAPHIC



Infographics are all the rage, so I decided to make one too. I tried to make it with the I Visual Info Touch app, but I couldn't get it exactly how I wanted it, so I ended up using Pages, which worked pretty well. I don't even know if it makes any sense, but I enjoyed making it. Finding the silhouette clip art was my favorite part. The sunburst and skull symbolize the combination of spaciness and heaviness of stoner rock.

I kind of stole the idea from Doogie Horner's Heavy Metal Band Name Flowchart, but I added a certain 6th-grade-science-fair cheesiness.



Monday, September 29, 2014

I MADE YOU A GIF

 This GIF brought to you by andythebeagle, Gfycat, and Memecenter.

I was looking for a reaction GIF of obscure Looney Tunes character Sniffles the Mouse and I couldn't find one I liked, so I made this one. Sniffles the Mouse was the DJ name I gave myself because my voice is so lousy for radio.

Now that I know how, I must keep creating them to ensure that 90% of GIFs are no longer from Disney's Frozen. What will they be from? Flash Future Kung Fu? 1990: The Bronx Warriors? Sweet Smell of Success? The Valley of Gwangi? The Masque of the Red Death? Garzey's Wing? Any requests, dear readers?




Monday, July 07, 2014

MY CONVERGENCE DIARY




Photos from Convergence. 
 
Thursday:

12:30 Making Lanyards. Failed to make a lanyard, but no-one else was doing well, either, so we commiserated with each other. Met someone from Hennepin County Library who remembered me from Anime Detour.

2:00 Hung out at the free book room with M_ and B_.

3:00 Art Show.

5:00 Crafty Geek Meetup. I made a fairy crown. I'm not used to working with dried flowers, but it actually came out decent.

6:30 Burgers on the patio with M_ and B_.

8:30 Fractured Fairy Tales. Panel discussion of media that puts a twist on traditional tales. White As Snow sounds intriguing.

10:00 Just a Minute.   Speaking for one minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition is surprisingly hard. Panelists cheat, insult each other, and make stuff up. Their suffering is our amusement. Thank you, sirs and madams!

11:30 Nescaflowne. Hilarious fan dub of one of my favorite anime, Vision of Escaflowne. An ordinary girl from Japan must save the tiny kingdom of Folgeria's coffee recipe from the empire of Starbach. With giant robots!




Friday:

11:30 Lunch at TGI Friday's with M_, B_, and their friend.

12:30 Steampunk in the Details. Steampunks sharing their costume and prop tips. I'd love to try using liquid latex to give myself a clockwork cyborg look, but I'm too sensitive and would probably scratch it off. The lady who drew outlines on every piece of clothing to look like she stepped out of a drawing left me in awe.

2:00 One on One with Marina Sirtis. I'm actually not usually that into actor Q & A's but she is one funny lady. I forgot she was a villain on Gargoyles, I should watch that again. 

3:30 Dealers' Room. I told myself, no books or tchotckes, but they had a lot of clothes and jewelry, so that didn't work too well.

5:00 Dinner and Angry Orchard cider at TGI Fridays with L_ and T_.

7:00 Joseph Scrimshaw: Future Hole. This man is super-funny. I got to sit in the front row, and didn't even have to buy two drinks. Go follow him on Twitter.


8:00 Party Room crawl with L_ and T_. I drank out of test tubes and played pirate beer bong (it involves tiny cannons).

 
Saturday:

12:00 Lunch at Dairy Queen with M_, L_, T_, and T's friend from Crafty Geek,

1:00 Impromptu photo shoot. M_ was kind enough to take some pictures of me in front of a backdrop. Photoshop, here I come!

2:00 Geeks Read discussion of favorite urban fantasy titles. I don't read that many, so I talked about The Obsidian Mirror, since it's a faerie/time travel/dystopian future/steampunk book - something for everyone!

2:45 Steam Century Mystery: Secrets in the Asylum.  I didn't solve the mystery, but had fun role-playing, The Red Ribbon Society folks are good at the improv.


3:45 Ran into another librarian from Hennepin County at the House of Toast.

4:15 Theater Nippon showing of Tiger and Bunny. A promising anime, I like the idea of sponsored super-heroes, but it could fall into cliche if it's not careful. The character designs are more detailed than most new anime, which is nice.