Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Whirlwind tour of an overcrowded club

This is what happens when I go one of those places with live dance music and no possibility for conversation.  

(1)  Enter, take picture of gyrating crowd as a spotlight strikes my lens.  

(2) Take another picture when the spotlight goes away, and get nothing but colored shafts of light...

(3) Go outside to rest my ears and watch other people smoke.  

(4) Return inside and take pictures with condensation covering my lens because it's f*cking cold outside and a sweaty mess inside.

(5) Catch some interesting moments. 

(6) Catch some people forgetting that they're in public.

(7) Leave and go to a nice, quiet bar that allows me to hear my own ears ringing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stay classy, Columbus.

Well, that's all the time I have for you, Columbus.  Warmer climates are calling (or is that the job?) and I must return to the sweaty city.  Thanks for another round of holiday fun with friends and family.

Friday, December 24, 2010

New adventures with old pals

Those adventures won't be detailed here because my head hurts too much to write.  Good times, fellas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sh*t my wife says

Honest and open communications are the bedrock of a great relationship.  An example of good communication is when my wife says the following.
Honey, if you buy me a Snuggie for Christmas I'm gonna kick you in the balls.  
I've taken good note of this request, and there can be no doubt that there will NOT be a Snuggie under the tree Christmas morning.  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Need a Christmas tan?

Am I wrong in thinking I should be able to take my sunglasses off once I enter a building?  During the Christmas season....yes, yes I am.  I guess I'll just sit back and wait for Santa to fly by flinging presents at everybody.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to make buckeyes

I thought I'd share the process for making buckeyes, the delicious confections named because of their similarity in appearance to a nut (that is named because if its similarity in appearance to the eye of a male deer), that contain the "butter" of a different nut, and are in reality just a tasty fast track to diabetes.  To make this more interesting (or pointlessly confusing), we're going to go in reverse, like starting with a fully assembled piece of furniture and ending up with its parts back in the box....except you don't melt the parts of the bookshelf and roll it into little balls and what not.  

(1) To kick us off right, here's an empty soup can full of liquid chocolate.  This is what to do with the leftover melted chocolate chips.  Drinking it is delicious and optional.  Replacing the lid and putting back in the cupboard with the rest of the soup is recommended.  

(2)  This recipe makes a LOT of buckeyes.  By the time you're finished, your fridge will be full of trays like this, and you'll really get an idea of how fat you'll be getting eating all these things throughout the next week or so.  

Once all of them are properly coated in chocolate, they're done!  Cool them, take them off the wax paper, and store them for midnight snacking.

(3) You'll be using toothpicks to stab the peanut butter/sugar/butter balls and dunk them into the molten chocolate.  I've always wanted to stick my whole hand in there and encase my fist in chocolate, but I'm slightly afraid of the intense pain and loss of skin that results from sticking your hand in molten anything. 

If you didn't stick the balls into the fridge prior to dipping, they're probably melting and sliding off into the chocolate, in which case, you might get to try the chocolate hand scalding experiment described above.

(4) You use a double boiler to melt stuff like this, right?  I really need to start paying attention to things...

(5)  Melting stuff is fun!  Mix the chocolate continuously to keep everything from burning, but a word of caution:  the whisk is great at acting as a prison for half melted chocolate chips.  If the whisk gets stuck and you put pressure on the handle in the just the right spot along the edge of the mixing bowl, those melty little prisoners are adept at leaping right at your face. 

(6)  In that last picture you were wondering what the little white bits were, weren't you?  It's wax!  That's right, with every buckeye you're coating your innards with tiny amounts of paraffin wax.  Sorry, our buckeyes don't have the thin candy shells that keep them from melting in your hands...

(7)  Grooves or no grooves?  Using the method described below the balls come out with deep grooves in them.  You have to roll them out by hand, otherwise, they're flat on one end and have deep, chocolate absorbing ridges.  

Make sure you put wax paper over all the trays unless you want a sticky mess.  Although, sticking them on thin paper plates is fun because you get to watch the butter melt through...

(8)  The first time we made these we pulled gob after gob of the peanut butter mixture by hand to form the balls.  Go ahead, try it.  You'll quickly learn that this is a pain in the ass that leads to poorly formed and unevenly sized buckeyes.  Break down and get yourself a melon baller or mini ice cream scoop so you can behave like a proper, tool using homo sapien. 


(9)  Get your hands in there!  This mixture is not a good opportunity to use the $4 Walmart mixer you picked up on Black Friday, unless you like the smell of motors catching fire.  Mix thoroughly.  A buckeye with a big chunk of butter in the middle is not a buckeye, it's just disgusting.  

(10)  You didn't really want to see the basic ingredients, did you?  A few pounds of powdered sugar, a couple pounds of peanut butter, and a  pound of ...butter butter.  There are certain things that you'd just rather not know the ingredients of if they're to be properly enjoyed -- salad dressings, any food bought from shifty-eyed street vendors with dubious health inspection certifications, and buckeyes.

That's it!  I don't have any other pictures, (1) because it was pretty late when we made these and pictures were an afterthought, and (2) I'm seriously hoping you can figure out how to put three ingredients into one bowl.  Hint:  It helps to heat up the butter first.  

Just in case you actually want to make these, here are the ingredients.  

In the mixing bowl:
1 lb butter
2 lbs peanut butter
3 lbs powdered sugar

In the double boiler:
30 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 bar of paraffin wax


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday evening editing

I dragged myself away from The Simpsons long enough to go through some photos from a Christmas party last night.  I figured I'd get these posted while Jenny is napping and can't tell me not to put them up.  :D

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cords, computers, and camera crap

Every so often I break down and make an attempt to organize bits of my life.  Today, the clutter on my desk finally gave me the resolve to do stuff I've been putting off for eight months.  First step - get rid of the old emachines desktop that has been sitting idle since I got the dreamy iMac.  Unfortunately, my refusal to ever delete anything means that I have to back up the hard drive one last time.  Transferring five years worth of music, pictures, and movies from the PC to multiple external hard drives takes FOREVER.  So much for getting all of this out of the way quickly.

The stack of external hard drives that I've accumulated is another problem in itself.  Despite my making fun of black friday deals, I ended up getting a pair of 2TB external drives for next to nothing, which I hope can give me sufficient space for a few years of primary and secondary backups.  Losing data sucks.  I've experienced it before, and because of that I'm willing to be a little obsessive about preventing a total loss again.  

Speaking of losses, it's a lovely Friday afternoon and I should be saving this computer junk for darker hours.  Time to go see some daylight.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't read this (unless you want to see a penguin statue wearing a tie)

Yeah, that was a test.  If you're reading this, you (a) don't follow instructions very well and you failed, (b) win because you defied the rules and hey, the world needs some rule breakers, or (c) you really like penguins in formalwear, in which case you can join the club of people with unaddressed personal issues.

No really though, I said don't read it because this is one of those "I've changed stuff on my site" posts.  Nothing major on the blog, just some additional text thrown on here to add some much needed clutter.  On, I finally got around to adding a more legitimate "about me" page.  I'm finding that I'm not thrilled with the service that I used to make the site (BigBlackBag) for a number of reasons, but until I decide to spend time learning some web design (not currently on the schedule) or decide to pay somebody else to do it (not currently in the budget), I'm stuck with BBB.  There are a few layout things I'll be doing over the next week, but I won't get into reasons here.  Why are you still reading this, anyway?!  Go back to watching funny animal videos like everybody else on the internet.

I bet they don't have a penguin wearing a tie on that site though...  That's what I'm here for, folks --  Providing more distractions that keep you from doing anything productive.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reality, for better or worse

One of the things I most enjoy about photography is its ability to capture those moments that are absolutely and unequivocally real.  No fake smiles and skinny-arm poses; no huddling together waiting for a flash; no opportunity to look at a tiny screen and say "aw, that's cute."  I get to use plastic and glass to share the genuine moments that people would love to forget, but can't deny that they happened.  

That's it.  The rest is up to the viewer to decide.  That's where the "reality" of pictures like this gets interpreted, reinvented, and flat out fabricated to suit the viewer's own point of view.  Time to make up your own story for why these two are passed out on the bench.  

And before you go laughing at somebody else for how they look while snoozing, remember that you most likely resemble a slobbering infant yourself while you sleep.  I certainly do and there's proof thanks to unnamed a**holes that commandeered my camera one night. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recovering from the Bulldog

I feel terrible.  The Bulldog's dead guy burger, beer, and cheese fries for second dinner will do that to you.  Time for a breakfast pizza and several hours of football.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So I'm going to be an uncle: Part 2

Today my sister was informed that she would be having a boy.  I'm suddenly finding myself pondering all sorts of ways to corrupt the child and annoy the parents.  I'm thinking a mini drumset when he turns about two years old.  What else makes lots of noise and/or smells bad?

Congrats to the future parents.  I can't wait to meet this guy.  Ya know, once he' of the womb.