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Archive for January 2006
Acetone
Posted January 30, 2006 at 11:42:42 AM by Bean
A recent RealTechNews post about acetone caught my eye. It's all about adding acetone to your gas tank to improve your overall MPG. It's a rumor that's been around for a while, and there's lots of people with lot's of opinions, and even a few who have tried it. I plan on joining the later list. I am reasonably comforted by this wikipedia article, which has a pretty good compilation of personal experience and very few negative comments. One guy even drives the same car as me (1 year earlier model).

Here's the gist of it: Add 1-3 ounces of acetone to 10 gallons of gas and you should see a noticable MPG improvement. The reason, according to someone much mo betta smarter than me, is that the acetone "improves the fuel's ability to vaporize completely by eliminating the surface tension that causes an increase in particulate vaporization temperature." Some people who may or may not be smarter than me claim that high concentrations of acetone may eat away at plastic parts in your fuel system. Well, loyal readers, I'm going to throw my 2 cents in over the next few weeks and get to the bottom of this mystery! Stay tuned!
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Snowshoe 2006
Posted January 27, 2006 at 10:15:14 AM by Bean in the Vacation category
Snowshoe 2006 has come and gone, and boy was it fun! Now I'm gonna blog a blog about it. This is an overview blog, and might suck. Mo betta funny stories to come at a later date.

I regret to inform you, loyal readers, that I did not take very many pictures. I got a few of the group, a few of the slopes, and one of Terri's butt crack. Here's the album.

We all met at my place Wednesday night (Feb 18) and figured most of the driving details out. It was me, Joe, and TP in my car and John, Terri, Brandon, and Jamie in Terri's car. We departed bright and early Thursday morning - rolled down the driveway around 8AM. We stopped quite a few times on the way out for food, gas, bathroom, etc. The drive time was a whopping 10 hours.

We arrived around 6PM and checked into our room. It was a little smaller than everyone expected, but in the end it worked out okay. It was "cozy". Location-wise, it was probably one of the best rooms on the mountian. We could ski right onto the slopes and we were at the tip top of the mountian right next to the best, longest, fastest lift.

The skiing was great. It only rained one day, and only for part of the day at that. The third day was the best, snow-wise, because the blew snow the night before. I tried snowboarding that day and spent a lot of time on my ass. Luckily, I didn't spend much time face-down. Terri and Jamie took lessons the first day, ski'd on days 1 and 2, and went snow tubing the third day. TP boarded the whole time and a few bad falls caused him to transform into Popeye. Everyone else ski'd the whole time, and everyone seemed to do pretty well.

There was a sweet heated indoor-outdoor pool that we had access to every day and night. It was flanked by 2 large outdoor heated hottubs, a sauna, and a water-slide. It, was, awesome. The mountian has changed a lot since I was there last. I only recognized a few buildings - everythign else was condos and stores. That place has exploded.

On the drive back, my wipers stopped working. This was TRACH since it was raining. We had to tie some stuff together with a shoestring (thanks John) and use them sparingly. We made it back in 8 hours.

I don't know about everyone else involved, but I am definately interested in making this an anual thing again. Currently taking applications for Snowshoe 2007!
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Lost: Fire + Water (S02EP12)
Posted January 26, 2006 at 08:36:23 AM by Bean in the Lost category
Fire + Water was a Charlie-centric episode, but it touched on a lot of other hotpoints as well.

Fat Guy and Hot Chick
Yeah, even on a deserted island, I don't think Hurley has a real chance with Libby. In one part of the ep, Hurley and Libby head down to do some laundry in the suprisingly modern laundry room inside the hatch. Hurley's been mentioning that he's interested in her to various other Losties for a few episodes now, and he finally get's the nerve (thanks to Sawyer) to seek out some alone time. While doing the laundry, Hurley asks Libby if he's met her before. She mentions that he stepped on her toe when he boarded the plane and then distracts him by asking about a little purple top (clothing) that she found. She eventually asks him to turn around so she can strip down and try it on. Way to change the subject, slut. Hurley sat in and boarded the front of the plane, Libby was in the back - she's lying. Something isn't quite right with her - here's a discussion thread over at thefuselage.

Locke/Charlie/Claire/Baby
Without gushing with too many details, I'll just say that I think Locke is up to something. He is the primary person that continues to isolate Charlie and push him away from Claire and her baby. He may even have done somehting to cause Charlie to halucinate - put some magic jungle goo in his water, hell, maybe even herion. Some of the halucinations were really creepy. Anyway, Locke IS saving all of those statues (why didn't he trash them?) for somehting. Whatever the cause, Charlies visions and dreams caused him to pretty much be exiled from the group. In the end, his wish was granted though. Claire, taking in all of this drama, decided to heed Charlies warning and have Eko baptize the herself and the baby. Lock belittled the whole baptism thing, and throughout the episode, I got a really bad feeling from him. He's working on something and he's being pretty sneaky about it. Something isn't quite right with him either - here's a another discussion thread at thefuselage. Plus, the preview for the next new ep indicates that Locke hides the guns from Jack. ???

Love Triangle
Well, the love triangle between Kate, Jack, and Sawyer seems to be all but gone. Kate and Sawyer are always together, as are Jack and Ana. Fine with me. I could do without all of the lovey dovey wishy washy stuff - show me more scenes with the monster!

Charlie's Backstory
Seems like he (along with his brother and band) was a one-hit wonder. He and his brother got into heroin before they started to fall from teh spotlight. The tried to stay afloat by doing some wicked crazy baby diaper commercial using their hit, but eventually bottomed out. Charlie's brother sold the piano that Charlie loved so much and split (with wife+kid) for rehab, leaving Charlie alone and broke. Serious abandonment issues - and now he's being abandoned again.

That's it for now. For other great Lost stuff, check out Sledgeweb. PS - next week is a repeat. SUCK.
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Lost: The Hunting Party (S02EP11)
Posted January 24, 2006 at 09:18:55 AM by Bean in the Lost category
I'll start off with two disclaimers. 1: I left for vacation right after this ep, so I was unable to bask in the message board afterglow and fully take in everything that happened. 2: I already blogged once, but my browser crashed and I lost it, so you'll be getting a summary.

The Others
Michael went out after Walt. Jack, Sawyer, and Locke followed to try and find him and bring him back, and Kate tagged along too. They ran into the Seabilly and his group, who surrounded them and took all of their guns. Seabilly aknowledged that Walt was okay, and we hear him reference Alex (Danielle's daughter) too. However, his reaction to the Losties mentioning Ethan was perplexing. Are there two groups of other or are they all the same? Seabilly also seemed to know a lot about the Losties. They are obviously being watched very closely. And is Walt in the upper right of this pic?

General Impression
I liked watching this ep, but at the end I was frustrated that it did not reveal very much new information. It's an ongoing compaint with the show for many people - why don't the Losties ask more questions? When they met Desmond, Danielle, Seabilly, etc., why didn't they ask about the monster? Or the bunkers? Or anything? Yeah, yeah, it's a TV show, but still - Hurley and Charlie are chit-chatting about girls instead of talking about the GIANT MIND-READNG BLACK CLOUD that Charlie ran into? Seriously?

Jack
Interesting back-story with Jack. Work-o-holic doctor who spends too much time at work and loses the love of his beautiful wife. Maybe he's gay.

Sorry, but that's all I have for now. I'm looking forward to an in-depth blog about tomorrow's ep, so stay tuned!
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Back, Back, Lost
Posted January 24, 2006 at 08:28:34 AM by Bean
Went on a kick-ass ski/snowboard trip over the long weekend, and now I'm back. Also, my back hurts pretty bad and I am one sore mothereffer. I plan on posting a propper blog about the trip tomorrow and a detailed review of last week's Lost later today.
Technorati
Posted January 18, 2006 at 12:54:05 PM by Bean in the Blog Updates category
So I finally got my "Technorati Tags" working. When relevant, they'll appear at the bottom of the post with the prefix "TTags:". Each tag perfoms two functions. First off, it flags my post as having to do with a certin subject - this way, when Technorati spiders my site, it is able to categorize my post. Secondly, it provides a link to the Technorati Tag page that will list related items (blogs, links, and pictures). Nifty. Thanks Seleb.
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Some Great News About Cookie Crisp
Posted January 16, 2006 at 09:45:54 AM by Bean in the Plugs category
I'm going to write this blog assuming the following premise: Everyone loves Cookie Crisp breakfast cereal.

Cookies for breakfast, I mean, come one, who could pass that up? I'll tell you who: anyone concerned about their health. After all, doesn't it seem like eating miniature cookies first thing in the morning might not be great foir your health? Well, my cookie-loving blog readers, I'm here to tell you today that YOU CAN EAT COOKIES FOR BREAKFAST AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO FEEL GUILTY!

A cursory comparison of the nutritional value of 1 cup of Cookie Crisp cereal versus 1 cup of Cheerios shows very little difference.

Cookie CrispCheerios
Calories117111
Fat (g)12
Carbs (g)2622
Protien (g)13

Cheerios has a little more protien, but twice the fat too. And I don't know about you, but I have to add either sugar or fruit to my Cheerios to make them edible.

Long live Cookie Crisp!
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Top Ten Complaints About the Human Body
Posted January 13, 2006 at 09:13:47 AM by Bean
Sure, the human body is a wonderfully complex, awe-inspiring design. There are chemical pathways, neuro-electric this and thats, and all kinds of expensive-word-containing phrases that describe the stuff that makes us not only alive, but king of all living things (that we know of)! But there are some serious design issues that seem to me to be, well, stupid mistakes. Perhaps the whole thing should have gone through a (or another?) design review. Following is a list of what I consider to be fairly serious flaws in the design of the human body.
10. There is absolutely no reason the funny bone should exist. And before you tell me "But Bean, it's not a bone, it's a nerve," I'll tell you that I know this, as I am able to access the Internet and look it up too. The ulnar nerve should be re-routed under a muscle or up to the inside of your elbowpit. There's few things as suprising and shocking as accidentally popping that sumbitch on a table top or wall.

9. Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two hands, two feet, ONE MOUTH?! What the fuck?

8. As my cousin Bleach (mothereffer) once pointed out about his face and I am now realizing about mine, the older I get and the more I shave, the closer to my eyes the facial hair seems to grow. By the time I'm 60, my beard may join forces with my eyebrows, or else I'll be shaving the bags under my eyes.

7. This one only applies to men. Why does it have to hurt so much to be cracked in the nuts? Seriously - for those of you who have not experienced this, the pain is almost unreal in it's magnitude.

6. Personally, I am not a big fan of having my brain hangin out there at the end of my neck. Being such an important organ, it seems like it would be safer in there with the heart and lungs, protected behind a lot of flesh and a ribcage rather out there encased in an eggshell. I don't like the fact that you can fall down, bang your head, and be a vegitable or dead. When's the last time you heard about someone fatally damaging their heart in a motorcycle accident?

5. Since when is bilateral symmetry better than, oh, say radial? Wikipedia says that bilateral symmetry "permits streamlining, favors the formation of a central nerve center, contributes to cephalization, and promotes actively moving organisms." I say it's holding us back. Now that we have already developed legs and brains, we should cook up some new radially-symmetrical superhumans. Here's what they would look like.

4. Male nipples are simply not needed. Either get rid of them or make them squirt out something useful. Beer. Windshield washer fluid. Gravy. Something.

3. Scientists always note how the opposable thumb has allowed us to do so much. It led to tools, which led to advanced thinking, and so on. So why aren't there more of them? Why isn't my big toe opposable? Are monkeys ahead of us after all? How wicked cool would it be if your pinkey was a thumb, too?!

2. Butt cracks are poorly designed. Wouldn't it be nice to NOT have to dig up into your crack to wipe your ass?

1. Death. Too bad we can't live forever. Yet.
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Lost: The 23rd Psalm (S02EP10)
Posted January 12, 2006 at 08:47:38 AM by Bean in the Lost category
Boo yah! Lost is Back after a 6 week break! Last night, there was a 1 hour recap show that covered all of season 1 and the first half of season 2 followed by a new episode. Lots of new information, particularly regarding the monster, Eko, and Charlie.

Eko's Backstory
This ep was definately Eko-centric, giving us Eko's complete backstory. As a kid in Nigeria, Eko was playing with his little brother and some friends when a truckload of thugs ride up and gather all of the children into a circle. They handed a gun to Eko's little brother and told him to shoot an old man. They kept pressuring him and pressuring him until he was just about to do it. But, at the last second Eko swoops in, takes the gun, and shoots the man himself so his little brother doesnt have to. The terrorists/thugs liked what they saw and drafted Eko into a life of crime. His brother went free and eventually became a priest. As grown men, they still kept in touch, but had very different lives. When Eko came to his brother to help him smuggle drugs out of Nigeria, his brother agreed, but only after Eko threatened to burn down his church if he didn't. They stuffed heroin into a bunch of Virgin Mary statues and got set to fly them out of the country under the guise of Christian missionary work. His brother signs paperwork making Eko a priest so that he himself can fly the drugs out. Just before take-off, his brother shows up with the military. A gun fight ensues and his broither is shot, then at the last second, Eko's partner crosses him and takes off with the drugs (and Eko's brother's body) himself. The military mistakes Eko for his brother the priest, and we assume from that point forward that Eko takes over in his brothers place and is a "saved" man.

Charlie and Mary
The drug plane? Yeah, it crashed on the island. Fast forward to season 1 where Locke and Boone find it, and eventually Sayid and Charlie as well. Charlie begins to find statues full of his past vice (heroin) and stashing them in a hidden place. When Eko finds one on him, he is ousted by Claire and the baby and forced to take Eko to the plane.

The Monster
By far the greatest revelation last night was a long, detailed shot of the monster. It was a black cloud of smoke that moved like an amorphous entity rather than regular smoke. En route to the plane, Eko get's an up close an personal shot of it (so does Charlie, who is in the background). As they stand face to face, the camera pans through the cloud and we see images from Eko's past in it. It seems to be either reflecting or extracting memories from him. A detailed discussion of the Monster is going on over at the Fuselage. Also, this guy has captured a lot of screenshots and posted them (he runs a great Lost fansite). It does no harm to Eko, and eventually swooshes away into the jungle. They reach the plane and Eko finds his brother's body, along with a lot of drugs and whatnot. They burn the plane and recite the 23rd psalm. Little does anyone know, Charlie has a nice big stash of statues hidden. Some great pics of the monster can be seen here.

Rambo Michael
Michael gets some gun training from Locke as he prepares to head out and look for Walt. He uses the computer again and is able to get through to "Walt" who tells him to come to somewhere (we can't see the whole sentence). Jack walks in, the screen clears, and the camera jumps to another plot point. Previews for next week indicate that Michael knocks out Locke, takes a bunch of guns, and head out to find the others and Walt.

Integration
The last few minutes were of the people at the base camp. It showed the Tailies integrating into the group. Hurley helped Libby put up her tent (I think Libby is going to be very importent later on) and Sun and Jin bring Ana some fish for dinner. When Charlie and Eko get back, Charlie seems more concerned about getting kicked out by Claire than by the close encounter with a GIANT BLACK CLOUD MONSTER.
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Attention: Important Notice
Posted January 10, 2006 at 10:18:36 AM by Bean
Are you sick and tired of being back at work after all of that great Holiday time off? Do you wish you could just have a few more days to relax and not have to report to bossman? Do you enjoy drinking beer and/or skiing?

Well if so, you should join your friends TP, Bean, and John (and assorted wifs) for a splendid 4-day vacation to the hills of West Virgenia! While there, you can enjoy the winter sports and relax with a cool drink in a warm condominum with friends while dining on fresh cooked food from the full size kitchen. Spend a few nights at the local pubs and clubs and practice jackassery in front of your fellow vacationers and spend the days skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or, drinking more.

Jan 19-23

3/8ths of our original IN's became OUT's and now we need some pinch hitters.

Who's IN ?
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Sausage Balls
Posted January 09, 2006 at 09:01:50 AM by Bean in the Recipes category
So, here's a bangtastic recipe for a great breakfast-on-the-go meal, snack, or family function comfort food: Sausage Balls.

Mix 3 cups of bisquick with 1 pound (1 log) of sausage. It takes a while to mix it all together, and it'll seem too dry, but it's okay. Once mixed, add in 1 pound (which is generally 2 bags) of sharp shredded chedder and mix well again. Roll into balls (about 1" diameter) and bake in the oven at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Best served in my mom's ceramic sausage ball dish, but just about anythign will work.
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Side Stitch Prevention
Posted January 04, 2006 at 08:33:25 AM by Bean
Mothereffer blogged a while back about side stitches.

I get these too, and was pretty much under the impression that there was no bonafide cure for them. But a recent fark->msn link had the following in it's list of tricks you can teach your body.
If you're like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.
Wikipedia confirms this and lists a few other things you can do to prevent or halt them. This is great! I plan on trying the whole exhale-left thing soon. What's next, a man on the moon?!
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Well, it's a new year again. I'm not going to list every adventure Stef and I had this past year. I think it's fair to say we had a good time, and leave it at that - especially since this marks the 2nd complete year I've been blogging - it's all archived. Beanblog's 3 year anniversary is coming up in march.

So rather than list what we've done, here's what's planned for 2006 so far.
  • Ski trip to Snowshoe, WV - coming up in 2.5 weeks.
  • Basement work this winter - drop ceiling, etc.
  • Possible mini-trip to Florida in March.
  • Trip to Ney York City at some undetermined time.
  • Back yard landscaping and an expanded garden in the Spring.
  • SDP, back-from-the-dead party-barge, and StraBenfest action in the Summer.
  • Hallobean 7 in the Fall.
  • Then repeat the gut-busting Thanksgiving/Christmas gorge in the winter.
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