Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Libation: Orange You Evil?

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

I’ve recently gotten into mixing drinks. Carrie and I are hosting a Halloween party on Monday night, and I figured I’d try my hand at coming up with a new drink to suit the occasion. I decided to go with something color-based, and so I went with orange. I call it Orange You Evil, because I love puns. The drink didn’t turn out as colorful as I had hoped (it’s more a light yellow than orange), but I think it has a good flavor. You’ll need:

  • Tequila (silver) — I used Lunazul Blanco.
  • Triple Sec
  • Galliano
  • Orange Soda — I used Dry Soda’s Blood Orange flavor. Dry Soda is a local Seattle soda that’s made with less sugar than normal. You could probably substitute Fanta or Sunkist, but the finished drink would wind up being more sweet than you might like.
  • Orange Juice — I used bottled juice because I didn’t have any fresh ones to squeeze. If you wind up using sugary orange soda, you can swap the orange juice for fresh-squeezed and make it an equal trade, sugar-wise. If you prefer fresh-squeezed orange and Dry Soda, you could add half an ounce of simple syrup to even things out.

I used a 1.5-ounce shot glasss for making this drink.

First, fill a highball glass with ice. Add a shot of tequila and triple sec, then add about a quarter-ounce (1/6 of the shot glass) of the Galliano. Fill the remaining space with a 50/50 mixture of the orange soda and the orange juice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

I had originally tried this drink with rum, but found it just too sweet. The tequila was a natural substition. I’d like to say there’s some sort of associate between Mexican culture’s Day of the Dead and blah blah blah, but the truth is I just thought tequila was the next natural spirit after rum. I really like the flavor balance of the tequila with the orange, and the Galliano helps to add some texture while still complimenting the other ingredients. Vodka might also work, but the other drink I’ll be serving at the party (Black Magics) already contains vodka, and I wanted some variety in my potent potables.

New Software – Sanebox

Monday, October 18th, 2010

One of the nice things about being a programmer is that if there isn’t a solution for some problem you have, you’re free to write your own. To that end, I’d like to present Sanebox, a lightbox plugin for jQuery. I initially wrote it for use on my portfolio, but soon decided that others might be able to use it, too. It’s got a few features worth mentioning:

  • You use jQuery selectors to create lightboxes from links.
  • It can display images, Flash video, and HTML 5 video.
  • The plugin was written to make it easy to customize.
  • You can also customize its behavior using callbacks and the plugin’s public methods.

But enought talk, here’s a demonstration. Click any link below to view it at full size:

The online documentation has a lot more info, including an options reference and a description of the methods and callbacks Sanebox allows.

It’s licensed under a Creative Commons license, so you can use it freely in your projects. The only hitch is that the Flash player is only licensed for non-commercial use. That means you have to use it non-commercially unless you also get a commercial license for the Flash player.

Lutefisk Lament

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Today, I ended a decade-long search for a specific recording. If you’ve ever tried to search for something very specific and obscure on the web before, you might know my frustration. The recording in question was a Christmas-themed song, “Lutefisk Lament.” It’s basically a satire of “The Night Before Christmas,” about how horrible Lutefisk is.

The song has great sentimental value in my family, as we are mostly Norwegian. I’ve never had Lutefisk and probably never will, a testament to the impact the song has had on me. Our family came across it by way of a cassette tape, recorded from many novelty Christmas records my grandfather came by. He sold RCA stereos back in the time when my dad was a kid, and would occasionally be sent various promo albums. Someone along the lines compiled lots of the strange or novel Christmas songs from those records onto a tape.

This is the tape I remember, although I don’t remember it well. Every Christmas season my mom would pull it out of storage, and I would listen to it on a tiny portable cassette recorder while laying on the couch and waiting for Christmas Eve. I can only remember bits and pieces about the songs that were on it. I’ve searched rather fruitlessly on the web for years, and unfortunately have come across very little. I remember some songs (“We Need a Little Christmas” from the musical Mame), but since it was a homemade tape there’s no way to positvely identify any of the performers or even some of the song titles.

Every year, I google around for a bit, and usually come up short. Today, I started working on the annual Christmas album I record for my mom (if you haven’t gathered by now, she’s the parent who’s really into the holiday, and she definitely passed that fervor on to me). Going through lists of Christmas songs, I recalled my annual search and decided to tread through the same old Google search results, the same old blogs, and the same old dead links, desperate for the song. It’s not on Amazon and it’s not on iTunes, which is unfortunate because I would have bought it straight away if I’d found it.

This year was different. The first page of results had a link to a new page I hadn’t seen before. It mentioned a webpage which included downloads from WCCO-AM (in Minneapolis, MN). I went to the page and — lo and behold! — the track was there. I had the usual moment of fear as I worried that the link to the track would be a dead link, but it downloaded straight away, and I saved it, and now the track is mine, and it’s just as wonderful as I remember it being all those years ago, when Santa was an actual person who came down our chimney.

The song can be found on this page. Scroll down to 1980 under the first section, WCCO Air Checks. This version is done by Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson (this was one of the frustrating things I’d found out in years prior, frustrating because having the song name and performers wasn’t enough to find it). Please listen and enjoy, and spread the word if you can, because the world really needs to know about the terrors of Lutefisk.

Why is OLGA down?

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Why is OLGA down? Because musicians want to A) find out how to play or B) share with others how to play their favorite songs. And apparently the musicians are upset, instead of flattered (which any other decent human being would be). What a way to say thanks to your fans, jerks.

By the way, if you ever needed another reason to hate KISS, here it is. (Read the ‘take-down letter’).

Lyrics: “Here There Be Monsters”

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Where is safety? What is freedom?
I don’t know
The sounds of pleasure and of failure
Cannot stow
Abord my heart and in the attic
We lose out
Heavy breathing, heavy burdens
Heavy burdens

Here there be monsters
Bloodcurdling hot calls
Inside is anger
Chipped teeth on our walls

I am one with all my brethren
Shards of meaning find their way home
Back to hate
Can they say monsters are here now
Or do they
Breathe in silence, watch in anger
watch in anger


Building fences, killing the lights
Our own past
Haunts us freely, daunts us daily
Chooses well
Monsters find us wherever we
Choose to hide
The chase beats us, we beat ourselves
We beat ourselves

Splinters, outbursts
They are coming for you and me
Preying on fear
The monsters aren’t coming anymore
They’re already

Here there be monsters
Devouring from within
Feeding on anger
Bathing in our sins
Here there be monsters
The monsters in us all
Feeding on anger
From within our walls

Harry Potter and the Magical Fanbois

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

According to the imdb’s readers, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the best picture of 2005.

…Excuse me? Sure, it was entertaining, but it was kind of a bad movie. Maybe I should be blaming JK Rowling, whose books always seem to follow the same formula, but the movie was about as innovative as its predecessors. I can see it being in the top 10, but… #1?

Further examination of the results reveals some interesting patterns. Sure enough, the big names are there… but Daniel Radcliffe was voted #2 for best actor? WTF? His performances in the Harry Potter movies have always been (if you’ll pardon the pun) unmagical. In almost every category on this poll, something Harry Potter-related places higher than it should have. I have nothing against Potter and company, but I don’t think Harry Potter (the film and the titular character) was Oscar-worthy.

But Hogwart’s isn’t the only scene of bias on this poll. Serenity (which is a fairly spectacular film) placed pretty high, too, for a film that so few people saw.

Hm… Harry Potter fans and Browncoats. Who would’ve imagined that the Internet would be populated by 13-year-olds* and Sci-Fi geeks? 😉

* PS — I don’t want to forget the 40-year-olds slobbering over Emma Watson. Grow up, boys!

Bad Religion Message Board Return

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

I have returned to the Bad Religion Message Board. And it is so much fun, it’s giving me gas.


Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

It’s half past midnight on a Thursday. I’m brushing my teeth in the first-floor bathroom of Jesse Hall. As the mundane events of the day tumble through my brain like grains of sand in an hourglass, I hear something. It’s quiet, but unmistakeable. “Ode to Joy.” Beneath my feet. Someone’s playing fiddle in the music practice room. Not super-fancy music-major pyrotechnics. Just good, honest-to-God fiddle.

I like to record music, and since I’m the only person I work well with, I like to do it alone. Unfortunately, my music misses the instrumentation I can’t play myself — pretty much everything but guitar, bass, and keyboards. Here’s a chance to get a real instrument in one of my songs, a musician besides myself. Of course, I have to get the building’s master key (I’m on the staff) to get into the music room. Would that seem weird to the fiddler under my feet? “Hi, I’m Dave, and I like to record music. Care to work with me?”

Or I could just go to bed. It’s late. Work is early tomorrow morning. And my teeth are brushed. What if the mystery fiddler is an exchange student, and I somehow intimidate him or her? What if they say no?

Ultimately, time becomes the deciding factor. As suddenly as it had started, it stops. I spit out my toothpace, race to the office, and grab my master key. At the elevator, I press both the down and up button, in case I catch the fiddler on his way up. He should be pretty easy to see, right? The guy with the fiddle?

I get to the basement and the door of the music room. No fiddling. I open the door, and there’s Nick. He’s a student in my building. We say hi when we pass by each other. We’ve even had one or two philosophical conversations. There’s a fiddle at his feet.

“Hi,” I say. “Wanna make some music?” I don’t have a fiddle part written. I don’t even have a song written.

But there’s plenty of time.

Submitted For Your Approval: PodBragger

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

podbragger. Noun. One who wears those white iPod headphone but feels the need to always be holding his iPod, too, so that everyone else knows he’s actually got one and is not fooling us with a CD player.

Speaking as one of the apparently billions of people on campus with an iPod, I try to hide the damn thing. Not that I’m afraid of being mugged or anything. I just don’t wan’t to look like a podbragger. I’m kind of ashamed, since iPods became this big status symbol thing.

Dinner in the Park

Thursday, September 11th, 2003
Cool Link: The Flat Earth Society

God, class was boring today. Even Astronomy. Poetry was okay; we workshopped poems and it was somewhat fun, but we didn’t workshop mine!

Current Listening:
Mineral: “LoveLetterTypwriter”
Summer unfolded

like a tapestry

And you were there

as you have always been

There glowing where

the sky meets with the trees

Air softly crowing,

singing fears to sleep

So after dinner we (we being John, Aaron, Carrie, and me) went to the “Dinner in the Park” thingie. The last one of the year. It was smoke-free, but it was raining! I guess good weather and these thingies just don’t mix. Guess who we saw? Sarah, who had just moved up today. Nifty! I invited her to Drew’s Margarita Monday next week, we’ll see if she calls or was just humoring me.

Then we played some mad Foosball.

My CD is almost mixed!