November 27, 2003

Bananas Brulee

Alton Brown almost made me sad again (that pie crust is still a sore spot...), but persistance ruled the day. Bananas brulee is a success! Cut a banana in half, then half again (but this time lengthwise). Put cut side up on a rack over a cookie sheet covered in aluminium foil. Stray molten sugar and burn marks are things you'd probably rather wrap up and throw away rather than try to scrub off. Cover cut side liberally and evenly in sugar. Apply flame (propane torch in my case, but I hear a broiler will work as well) and proceed to melt sugar as you would with a creme brulee.

There are some gotchas. Unless your bananas are under-ripe, you need a good bit of sugar. Alton just dipped his. Mine soaked through the dipping of sugar and needed another heaping. After one melting, if your banana tops look clear instead of brown (as mine did), wait for the sugar to cool, apply more sugar, and melt again. I could tell that first heating was wrong because the sugar was bubbling as it would if you were making candy by boiling sugar dissolved in water - not as if you were finishing off a creme brule. Clearly the moisture from the banana was coming into play. A second application of sugar and melting works quite well since the first application acts as a small barrier to the moisture.

Add ice cream and enjoy.

Posted by kstroke at 03:52 AM | Comments (18)

November 26, 2003


I just saw a McDonald's commercial announcing that McNuggets are now made with white meat. Doesn't that sound suspiciously like "now made with meat rather than feathers and bone and other stuff like that"? Scary.

Posted by kstroke at 02:38 PM | Comments (22)

November 24, 2003


I'm seeing people from minor movies all over the place. First the Better Luck Tomorrow guy in the Dell commercial, and now the guy who played Teddy Chin in Antitrust as a non-speaking, in and out Chinese food delivery guy in 7 Days.

He speaks! Later on. Girl trouble. Ha ha.

Posted by kstroke at 02:16 PM | Comments (14)

Teen Titans

Teen Titans is a show that's back on the watch list. It didn't fall out of favor - it just didn't come out with new episodes for a while. Luckily, Monkey was paying attention and grabbed the latest new episodes while I was busy with Twin Peaks.

I think Teen Titans is superb through and through. Can't beat the heavy anime-influence and the J-pop girl band singing the intro. My cartoon show is SO going to have a J-pop girl band sing the intro.

I hope they don't pair up Raven and Beast Boy. There was a little flirtation going on today. She needs to actively supress desires in order to conform to the cool character they started out with. And I hope they bring back the Japanese version of the theme song. I swear that early on they were alternating between the English and the Japanese version of the theme song every other show, but I haven't heard the Japanese version in a while...

Posted by kstroke at 01:49 PM | Comments (55)

November 21, 2003

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks rocks. I remember friends liking it when I was in middle school, but I never got around to watching it. At the time, our tv barely got the major networks, and I think even those channels came in fuzzy. I got a copy of the pilot and the first season from my local library. Check to see if yours has it. Get it. Watch it. Love it.

Man, I really need season two. The first one ends on the typical tv show cliff hanger.

Posted by kstroke at 05:22 PM | Comments (14)

November 19, 2003

Inadvertent Atkins

The bagels don't have any visible mold. They've been around for a while. They should have mold. They scare me. I'll eat my pepperoni and cheddar without the accompaniment of this scary bread. Bread should not be so invincible. I need to write the purchase date on all of my groceries when I bring them home.

Posted by kstroke at 04:20 PM | Comments (25)

Better Luck Tomorrow

I think I just saw the Better Luck Tomorrow main character on a Dell commercial. No speaking, just playing the part of a customer service rep. on the phone in the background.

Posted by kstroke at 04:13 PM | Comments (19)

In The Rearview Mirror

At a red light yesterday, I saw a young woman knitting something pink from the driver's seat of a blue BMW X5. I had sort of thought knitting was all but extinct -alive only in the elderly and the crafty. Elderly she was not. She was anywhere from late teens to mid-twenties. And crafty is not something I would automatically associate with a driver of a shiny new BMW SUV. But these are minor ironies. Who in the world thinks to while away red light time knitting? I can understand other things I've seen in the rearview mirrow (makeup application and shaving come to mind) because they help prepare the driver for his/her destination. Was she on her way to a knitting club meeting and frantically trying to finish her assignment for the week? Is this hobby limited to the car? How long would it take to knit a sweater if you only knitted during red light time?

Posted by kstroke at 04:11 PM | Comments (29)

November 13, 2003

Who knew?

For most of today, I was lamenting the fact that my physical fitness is the worst it's ever been. I've know for a while now that I've been getting fatter and losing muscle, but my shirt was especially tight around the stomach and loose around the chest today. Good posture (thanks to my elementary school teacher, Mrs. Eberhart) had helped me deny my decline by making t-shirts fall in a flattering way. As long as your chest sticks out past your stomach, you look fine. Today, that wasn't the case. Then I noticed that I had my shirt on backwards, flipped it around, and the world was right again. Until today I had thought that t-shirts were fairly symmetrical between front and back, but they're not. I'm still fat, but at least I don't look as much so. Back to eating my Twix.

Posted by kstroke at 08:08 PM | Comments (20)

My Childhood Crumbles

Everytime I check something out that I loved as a kid and haven't experienced in a while, I find it to be terribly disappointing. Buck Rogers is the latest casualty. I just finished watching an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century where he's accused of being a traitor in the 20th century and starting the nuclear war. It was an unimaginative, predictable story that was poorly acted and produced. Painful. I can't believe I used to like this drivel. I still think Twiki is cool. Maybe that's the only thing I liked about the show when I was a kid. The way he walks and says "bigi, bigi, bigi, bigi".

Posted by kstroke at 04:07 PM | Comments (16)

November 12, 2003


I'm more productive when I'm tired. I don't know why. Do I have ADD and I need to be tired to focus? Is my brain so big and active that it just can't help solving things quickly, getting bored, and moving on to thinking about other things? I used to think that I liked working at night because the world was quieter, but now I think that it has more to do with being just the right amount of tired. Mmm... Btw, creating custom Swing components isn't so bad. There just aren't any great tutorials out there. You have to piece things together from all over the place.

Kit Kats are great. TheyaresodeliciousespeciallywithabigglassofCoke.

Posted by kstroke at 04:35 PM | Comments (16)

November 07, 2003

Resin Casting

Gave polyester resin a couple of tries. It blows. Polyurethane resin is much better. No stinky smell and quick curing time.

Posted by kstroke at 12:01 PM | Comments (23)

November 03, 2003


Playing with osCommerce. Seems pretty cool so far.

  1. rename admin directory after installation
  2. go ahead and chmod includes/config.php and admin/includes/config.php to 706
  3. after installing, chmod them to 644

Posted by kstroke at 09:35 PM | Comments (24)