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darth_libris [userpic]

1970s SciFi

July 10th, 2009 (10:44 pm)

current mood: sleepy

Having heard that a movie version of the 1970's British television show UFO was in the offing, I actually went and rented the first three episodes on DVD to refamiliarize myself with the show and see if there was anything worthwhile to it beyond cute girls with purple hair in silver lame cat suits. A couple of things jumped out at me:

1. It really was an awful show, although the miniature work has a certain faded charm. And the moon shuttle 'launch via plane' arrangement actually has more in common with Spaceship One than anyone had a right to foresee at that point in time.

2. My GOD people smoked a lot on television in the early 1970s. The main characters are lighting up at a rate that would guarantee lung cancer by the age of 40.

3. I can't *believe* that this show did not become a minor icon of the gay community. If nothing else, the hunky lads on Skydiver with their tight beige pants and fishnet sweaters should have gotten somebody's attention.

4. I can't *believe* that this show did not become a major source for slashfic. The Commander Straker/Col. Freeman relationship alone seems like an endless source of material.

darth_libris [userpic]

left overs

April 16th, 2009 (01:05 pm)

current mood: busy

What to do with left over grilled salmon? Make a risotto with asparagus, lemon zest, lemon juice, mascarpone and parmigiano, and put the salmon on top of it. Yum.

darth_libris [userpic]


March 28th, 2009 (08:30 pm)

current mood: hot

We went out to consume mass amounts of barbecue at Black Dog Smoke and Ale House, Urbana's latest culinary addition. They do one *HECK* of a pulled pork; they are in the North Carolina barbecue tradition, and have a very nice vinegar sauce. The ribs were absolutely the best I have ever had in my life; dark char on the outside, perfect pink, sweet and juicy inside.

However, their vinegar sauce, while tasty, lacks a certain incendiary appeal. Our friends J__ and M__ thoughtfully brought along a bottle of Dave's Ghost Pepper hot sauce. The Ghost Pepper is the Naga Jolokia pepper of India. It has a heat measurement of 850,000 - 1,100,000 Scoville units. Habaneros/Scotch Bonnets usually check in at 300,000 - 500,000 in comparison. I thought that the sauce would have the same consistency as other Dave hot sauces -- fairly thick. I was wrong. It came out of the bottle quite quickly, and gave a nice serious dowsing to my smoked brisket.

Yes, the Naga Jolokia is *exactly* as hot as it is reputed to be. It took my tongue about an hour to recover after the first bite of that brisket. Darned tasty though, and the hot sauce actually combined pretty nicely with the house vinegar sauce. Definitely worth reducing the inside of my mouth to a smoldering ash heap.

darth_libris [userpic]


March 10th, 2009 (10:41 pm)

current mood: enthralled

If anyone's wondering what to get me for Christmas this year.

Just sayin'.

darth_libris [userpic]

Your Tax Dollars at Work

March 6th, 2009 (09:31 am)

current mood: tired

Apparently my state government has just declared Pluto a planet. Glad to know that they're focusing on the pressing issues of the and not letting themselves get sidetracked by trifles like a cratering economy and rampant corruption.

darth_libris [userpic]

e-mail must die.

February 16th, 2009 (05:41 pm)

current mood: annoyed

My view of e-mail today:

darth_libris [userpic]

birthday wishes

February 15th, 2009 (08:53 pm)

current mood: accomplished

Happy Birthday Galileo!

darth_libris [userpic]

25 things Memeage

February 1st, 2009 (10:30 pm)

current mood: tired

OK, I've been tagged so many times now that I'm going to provide the requisite list just to make all y'all be quiet about it.

1. I'm not going to tag anyone with this meme because I just don't like putting people on the spot.

2. I have thrown myself out of an airplane on more than one occasion. Free fall is overrated in my opinion, but parachuting rocks.

3. You know those 9" cardiac needles you see on TV? I've been on the receiving end of one while fully conscious. It doesn't actually hurt that much, but trying to remain completely motionless so that the surgeon stabbing you in the chest can stab you just so is really very unpleasant.

4. I have been to the Great Wall in China, as well as the Forbidden City.

5. I won an award from the American Legion in Junior High for an essay I wrote on the theme of "What's Wrong with America Today". I believe I said political apathy.

6. The fastest I have ever driven a vehicle is 117 mph. The vehicle in question was a Honda CB400 motorcycle. I was impressed it could actually make it to that speed.

7. I was in Los Angeles in for the Sylmar quake, San Francisco for the Loma Prieta quake, living in the East Bay hills for the Oakland Hills fire, and at an airport in New York preparing to fly to Washington DC on 9/11. Standing next to me during meteor showers is not recommended.

8. I spent the late 1980s trying to be a science fiction author in San Francisco. I drew enough rejection slips to realize that this was not the wisest career choice I could have made.

9. Having grown up in Southern California, I still think snow falling right where I live is so cool that I don't particularly mind having to shovel it. That being said, I have now lived in snow country long enough to be very grateful for the invention of the snow blower.

10. I have stood on the Great Cairn of Knocknarea in County Sligo watching the sun go down towards the Atlantic. I've stood on the banks of the Hudson River on a mid-Winter night watching the Northern Lights. But for sheer, jaw-dropping awe induced by seeing nature at its most beautiful, neither one compares to being in the high country in Glacier Park in Montana.

11. The coldest weather I've experienced is -28 degrees Fahrenheit (-45 with wind chill) in the Adirondacks. The hottest weather I've experienced is 114 degrees, rock hounding in the Mojave desert.

12. I am a reasonably decent cook, although I am much more at home on the stove top than in the oven. I like the ability to taste and tweak as cooking progresses. As far as stove top cooking goes, custard is my nemesis.

13. As mentioned elsewhere in this meme, I met my wife while mocking our fellow undergraduates in astronomy class for their professed lack of interest in cosmology, and proceeded to impress her with my knowledge of how the dome of our class's observatory could serve as an acoustic mirror to reflect sound efficiently from one side to the other. Yes, we are tremendous nerds. How did you guess?

14. New York is the most magnificent city I've ever been in, with London a close second. San Francisco is the most beautiful city I've ever been in, with Edinburgh a close second.

15. The hardest part of an academic lifestyle is that you go where the job is, which unfortunately all too often means leaving where the friends are.

16. I dropped out of U. C. Berkeley as an undergraduate. I tried to get readmitted as a graduate student without having finished an undergraduate degree on the strength of a 2400 GRE score. I met personally with the Dean of the Graduate College to plead my case, who informed me that anyone smart enough to get a 2400 on the GRE should have no problems at all finishing a year of undergraduate education in order to pursue a graduate degree.

17. I decided against having kids while still in high school. I haven't changed my mind yet.

18. I make a mean Sazerac, and a pretty fair Paez.

19. I am not the Jerome McDonough responsible for "Juvie," "Alky," "Addict" and "It's so so sad when an elf goes bad." You can feel free to stop writing me for help in staging a production of one of Mr. McDonough's plays.

20. I have been at two concerts that were released as albums: John Denver at the Universal Amphitheater ("An Evening with John Denver") and Chuck Mangione at the Hollywood Bowl (logically enough, "Chuck Mangione: Live at the Hollywood Bowl").

21. I have an excessive fondness for Broadway musicals from the 1950s and 60s which I appear to have inherited from my dad. If you need to know some of the lyrics from Irma La Douce or Kiss Me, Kate, I'm your man.

22. I have an unfortunate tendency to start unconsciously mimicking the accent and speech patterns of those around me. Worse yet, the accents get filed in my head and tend to intermittently resurface. I got a lot of curious looks from my dorm mates in college after I spent the summer working with a bunch of people from York, Edinburgh, Leeds and London, as well as questions as to why I kept saying 'pissed' when I meant 'drunk.'

23. The MOA2 project was responsible for my first trip to New York (a good thing), my meeting Bob DeCandido for the first time (a great thing), and my heading up the METS initiative. Two out of three and all that.

24. I am not particularly fond of public speaking, which is definitely a drawback for an academic.

25. I doubt that I deserve the good luck I had in meeting my partner, and in making the friends I've got, but I'll take it.

darth_libris [userpic]


February 1st, 2009 (12:08 am)

current mood: sleepy

Sometimes, a menu just really comes together.

Pecan/thyme crusted rainbow trout with horseradish creme fraiche
Broccoli sauteed with garlic and white wine and finished with orange and lemon zest
Mashed potatoes

We cannot get great seafood here, but darned if we don't get some pretty tasty river fish.

In other news, we just watched The Life Aquatic, and I think it's going to take me a loooong time to make up my mind about that film.

darth_libris [userpic]

(no subject)

January 28th, 2009 (10:53 am)

current mood: working

NASA has made a very high resolution image of the cockpit of the space shuttle available on their website. And you know you are just way too much of a nerd when your first thought on seeing the image is "man, if I was flying that thing I would so put plastic dinosaurs on the dash, like Wash has in Firefly."

"Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

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