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Jul. 13th, 2013

Broken world.

A friend was complaining on her blog about being unemployed. Being
unemployed sucks; she has every right to complain. Sadly ~nothing can be
done by nearly anyone to make the job market significantly better. I
commented this on her blog post:
It shouldn't be so hard to find
a job, but it is and will be for the rest of our lives (unless there's 1)
some sort of Diamond Age tech breakthrough that makes it worth it and
possible for the companies that own the governments to feed everyone and
the poor become slaves of those companies or 2) some sort of catastrophe
kills billions worldwide (e.g. a plague) or ruins US infrastructure (e.g. a
chain of major earthquakes in the New Madrid fault system) causing people
to work together instead of being Capitalists). The economy will never get
better through incremental change again. The best thing most people can do
is form communes and try to do an "of the grid" thing like you

Jun. 20th, 2013

Depression Plan

I've been pretty strongly depressed for some months now. In some ways, this
has been going on for almost two years. I'm able to enjoy many things while
they're happening, but afterward I can't get myself to feel good
remembering them. Any time I'm not actively doing something fun or really
focusing on a project, I'm feeling pretty shitty. I often want to wallow. I
love my job but have to fight with myself to get out of bed and go to work
almost every morning.

To combat this, I'm starting to do a bunch of things. Below are some of the
things I'm doing. I'd like you all to encourage and nag me if you see me
cheating (mostly #2, but some of the others too).

1. I'm looking for a psychiatrist. I want to get therapy from someone and
have the option to try antidepressants if what I'm doing here and in the
therapy isn't enough. I called one doctor today to see about setting up a
first visit, but she's out of town until Monday and I left a message to
call me back. I also contacted my Primary Care doctor (who knows me pretty
well) and asked for her suggestions of doctors she has worked with that I
might be able to see.
2. I'm going to limit my drinking more than I already do. I already have a
somewhat complicated points system that keeps me from living at the bottom
of a bottle, but it isn't really enough. It's usually not too hard to not
drink on a given day, but once I start drinking it's really hard to stop.
I'm going to keep the points system, but add a new rule: No drinking
allowed 0000 Sunday through 1700 Friday except up to one glass of red wine
with a dinner where red wine is very appropriate. I've only had ~4 dinners
on a weeknight this year where a glass of wine was really called for, so
most weeks will be alcohol-free during the week.
3. I'm going to go for a jog at least 3 days each week. I went for a jog
last night and much of my day today was at a higher baseline than usual.
4. I'm going to continue mostly eating "slow-carb" but I'm also going to
get back to fast-5 intermittent fasting.
5. No caffiene.

Mar. 19th, 2013

Almond Biscuits/Scones

2 1/2 c almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional spices (I use ~1/8 tsp cinnamon if making them plain or with dried
1/2 c coconut oil
2 eggs
Optional dried fruit/ham/whatevs

Dried ingredients in food processor. Pulse.
Add coconut oil. Process until smooth.
Add eggs and process until just mixed.
If adding dried fruit, fold it in in a separate bowl.
Portion onto parchment cookie sheets. 1/4c or 1/3c per scone is nice.
Bake at 350 for ~25 minutes.

Dec. 10th, 2012


  • 3 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 26 tbsp melted butter + 4 tbsp for greasing the pan (1 lb total)
  • 5 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 6 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Warm the milk in the microwave 1 minute just to get the "fridge" off. Add the vinegar and stir. Let stand for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Place a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Melt the 4tbsp butter and remove from heat and move it around so the pan is coated on the bottom and up the sides.
  4. Combine all of the dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix in the eggs, then the melted butter and soured milk.
  5. Pour batter into greased pan and smooth out the top with a spatula if needed.
  6. Bake 30 minutes or until a square-round toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nov. 5th, 2012


I've just finished reading a book on French parenting, prompted mostly by royal_spice's pregnancy and now newborn daughter (I'll get to meet her in a few weeks :D ). There was a section on maintaining the relationship of the parents. It made me realize how much I regret about staying with lalabob11 for so long. I still love her, but much of what I was feeling and how we interacted during much of our relationship was quite similar to how the author and her husband were failing at togetherness (for them, due to spending so much time and effort with their three children, for us, mostly because we could rarely communcate well). I wasn't happy for many years, but I thought that love was worth it. Reading back over that last sentence makes it so obvious that it's not. Love alone isn't enough to sustain a relationship.

I've never been good at expressing my feelings, but I've been practicing. To help me advance, I was seeing a counselor weekly for some months. Understanding my feelings better made it possible for me to break up with her. I feel a huge releif being out of our relationship, but I also miss her ~constantly. I've missed her for ~2 years already, but it got much stronger once we actually broke up a few months ago.

I'm miserable most of the time now and don't know how to do better, but I also no longer feel strangled. I hope that it will get better as I get out more and as time goes by and memories dull.

I don't know how to say any of this without pissing her off, but my holding back so she wouldn't get angry was core to our problems. We have so many things still to discuss and ~all of them need to be in person, but between my work travel and her personal travel, this won't be possible for another two weeks.

Lauren, I love you and I'm sorry I've hurt you, but I need to be selfish and express these feelings now even if they hurt you more.

Jul. 1st, 2012

Rhubarb Almond Crumble

1 1/2 sticks butter
3c almond flour
3tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
4 eggs

8c coarsely chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar
8oz cream cheese cut into ~32 chunks (optional)

  1. In a food processor or large bowl, cut together all dough ingredients
    except eggs to form a crumbly dough.

  2. Add eggs and mix until just mixed.

  3. Coat bottom of 13x9 glass dish with 1/2c sugar.

  4. Spread 1/4-1/3 of the rhubarb on top of the sugar.

  5. In large globs distributed evenly, add the dough to the dish.

  6. Pour the rest of the rhubarb into the dish, being sure to fill gaps
    between dough globs.

  7. Optionally place the cheese bits evenly over the top.

  8. evenly coat with the remaining 1c sugar.

  9. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. Tips of the dough should be just

  10. Serve warm.

Jun. 14th, 2012

Oatmeal Recipe

lalabob11's oatmeal recipe:
Base Ratios:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 Tbsp flax meal
1 tsp bran (oat or wheat)

I usually mix this up in a big glass jar and multiply the base ratios by 6 to get:
3 cup old fashioned oats
6 Tbsp flax meal
2 Tsp bran (oat or wheat)

To cook:
Use one part mix to 2 parts liquid (water, soy milk, milk, etc.) and microwave in a bowl that has a lot of extra room--it gets big as it boils and will boil over if it's in a smaller bowl.
I usually use 1/3 cup mix and 2/3 cup soy milk and microwave on 90% power for 3 minutes.
Sweeten/flavor with honey, agave nectar, yogurt, jelly/jam, apple butter, sugar, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, or whatever else you can think of.

May. 18th, 2012

I got an awesome email from WSDOT today.

Back in October I sent the following to King County Road Services Division:
The intersection of the northbound I-405 exit 9 ramp and Lake Washington Blvd is frustrating to navigate while on the bus due to the westbound traffic not needing to stop. Who should I contact to to request the intersection become a 4-way stop (or better, a roundabout)?
King County referred me to WSDOT, so I queried them. WSDOT then said I needed to talk to King County. I replied that I'd already done that and WSDOT roughly said, "Oh. Sorry. We'll look into this."

The above back and forth was spread between October and late March. Today I got this:
Mr. Lombardo,

First of all, my apologies for the time it has taken me to respond to this inquiry; it arrived on my desk a little out of order. Ideally I would have had a chance to review the earlier e-mail prior to its going out.

In response to your inquiry, we looked at the current operations of the intersection, and analyzed the location for three options; all way stop control, signal, and roundabout. We also looked at the accident history, which turns out to be minor - two rear end accidents in the past three years, both associated with the right turn onto the northbound ramp.

Our observation of the current operations is that overall, the intersection operates well. On the day that we choose to train our cameras on the ramp, we noted no discernible ramp queuing - that's not to say that it doesn't happen, but on the day we watched it didn't. We also talked with our freeway operations center - they monitor traffic on a daily basis, and they are not aware of a significant queuing problem at this ramp either.

In order to install a signal or all way stop control, there are certain traffic volume thresholds that need to be met, per national guidelines contained in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). We looked at the volumes for the intersection, and they are not high enough to warrant installation of either a signal or all way stop control. We also ran some traffic simulation models just to verify, if all way stop control volumes were met, what the impact on the operations of the overall intersection would be. Not good - the westbound movement in the morning, primarily right turning traffic onto the northbound on-ramp, would degrade to what we term Level of Service (LOS) F, with queues of almost a thousand feet and average vehicle delay of almost eight minutes. Since there is no restriction on this movement currently, the impact is significant.

We also looked at the operations for a roundabout, and as suspected, it would operate well. However, it is not a viable option due to the very high cost associated with it, and the lack of significant benefit, either capacity or safety.

Overall, the intersection operates well based on all of the criteria that we use to evaluate operations. I understand that there are times when the through movement of buses from the off ramp to the on ramp will be delayed due to traffic, but there are no viable options to address this minor movement delay.

Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any further questions. And again, my apologies for the slow response.

Rick Roberts, P.E.
Washington State DOT
King Area Traffic Engineer

I replied:
Mr. Roberts,

Thank you for the detailed analysis and response. I'm very happy that complaints like mine are taken seriously. I understand that there is only so much money to go around and it has to be spent where it does the most good, so I understand the reasoning for not changing that intersection.

Thank you,
Jarrod Lombardo

Jan. 26th, 2012

Tofu with broccoli

2-4 heads of fresh broccoli cut into florets and 3/4" dice.
2-3 12oz blocks of extra firm tofu, drained, each block cut into 32 even blocks
deep frying oil (peanut or coconut work best)

dried whole Asian long chiles to taste (I usually use ~10 chiles per block of tofu)

4-8 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp garlic powder (add to soy sauce in a small bowl; mix when added and again just before using)

4-8 tbsp rice wine
1-2 tbsp cornstarch or potato flour (add to rice wine in a small bowl; mix when added and again just before using)

1. On high heat, heat 1.5 inches of oil in your wok until it just barely starts to smoke.
2. Deep fry tofu in 3-5 batches, until it is crispy on the outside. Let the oil get back up to near-smoke-point between batches; as the oil is used, the smoke-point will lower, so beware that you'll have less time between batches. The fried tofu can rest in a large bowl;
don't use any paper towels to "drain" it as it will actually end up greasier that way.
3. Discard nearly all of the oil, leaving just enough for the upcoming stir-frying.
4. Add the chiles and let them cook for just a few moments (30 seconds would be a long time) to release some of their flavor into the oil and slightly caramelize (there is very little sugar in them, but there is some). Be careful to not burn the chiles.
5. Add the broccoli and fry until bright (1-4 minutes), stirring constantly.
6. Add the soy sauce mixture and then the tofu. Fry another 1-2 minutes.
7. Add the rice wine mixture and fry another 1-2 minutes to thicken the liquid in the wok and cook the starch (uncooked cornstarch taste ruins the dish).
8. Transfer to a large serving bowl to stop the cooking.
9. Optionally serve over rice or noodles.

Jan. 20th, 2012

Bacon Jam and Almond Bread

Bacon Jam makes ~3 pints.

1.5 lbs of the fanciest bacon you can find (e.g. bacon) chopped into strips 1/2" or smaller
3 large onions chopped fine
3 tbsp crushed garlic
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup brewed coffee
1 envelope gelatin
1/3 cup cold water

  1. Fry the bacon until mostly crispy.

  2. Move the cooked bacon into the slow cooker, leaving the grease in the

  3. Fry the onion and garlic in the grease until the onions are all clear
    and starting to brown.

  4. Add the vinegar and coffee to the onions and boil 1 minute.

  5. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker and stir thoroughly.

  6. Cook on low, partly covered for 12 hours.

  7. Add one envelope of gelatin to 1/3 cup cold water.

  8. Blend slow cooker contents with immersion blender (or transfer to a
    food processor and blend it).

  9. Add the gelatin to the rest and stir.

  10. Transfer to jars and refridgerate. It should last at least 4

Next time I make it, I'm going to double the recipe so it fits in my
slow cooker better.

Almond Bread makes 1 loaf

5c almond flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp baking soda
6 eggs
1 tbsp cider vinegar

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. In a separate bowl, whip eggs and vinegar.

  3. Mix eggs into dry ingredients.

  4. Pour into 4"x8" loaf pan.

  5. Bake at 300F for 45 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out

Dec. 22nd, 2011


I am not a doctor nor trainer. This is not medical advice. Use at your own risk.

For about 9 weeks ending 2 weeks ago, I was running three times a week using the Couch to 5K plan ( It's gotten cold and I've discovered that I just can't force my body to run for 30 minutes straight in this cold (it might be better once it gets warmer).

I was also doing pushups on the plan, but hit a wall in week 3 (I spent 2 weeks trying and failing to complete week 3 day 1 column 3, dropped to column 2 and then got stuck on week 3 day 2 column 2).

I changed to just doing one set of "max" count pushups every day and that worked for a while (when I started doing max every day, I was doing about 30 and now I max at 38-41), but I want to be doing more various exercises.

The Hacker's Diet ( has an exercise plan that's meant to be done every day without any special equipment. Every day, you do all of the exercises on your rung. If it feels too hard or too easy, decrease or increase a rung the next day. I didn't like the split between "introductory" and "lifetime" exercises and also wanted to change some of the exercises, so I made my own chart.

This morning I started on rung 4. It was too easy, so I'll be on 5 tomorrow. I think I'll end up at something like rung 9 within a week and then increase slowly from there.

The Chart

The Exercises
Bend (
"Stand upright with your legs apart, hands outstretched above your head. Bend forward and touch the floor between your legs, bounce up a few inches, and touch the floor again. Then straighten up and bend backward. Repeat the specified number of times."

If you have a BOSU Ball (, do Myostatic Crunches:
"Sit on the ball with feet on the floor. Roll down the ball until your lower back is supported by the ball. Extend your arms out over your head (they should be parallel to the floor here with biceps touching your ears). Keeping your arms extended, curl your body up until your arms are pointed to the ceiling. Lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat." (
If you don't have a ball, do "more" bicycle crunches than the chart shows ("more" should be somewhere in the 1.5x to 2x range, but I'm not sure what the right number is). The Bicycle Crunch is best explained with a video:

Cat Vomit (
"To begin this exercise, you must get down on all fours, keeping your eyes focused directly beneath your head or slightly to the front. Be sure not to strain your neck or arch your back. Exhale heavily from your mouth until you can't push out any more air. From this forcing out of all of the air in your body, your abs should be fully contracted. Then you pull your navel inward toward the spine with as much force as you can and hold it for eight to twelve seconds. After you have held this position for the eight to twelve seconds, inhale fully through your nose. For your rest between reps, take one breath, exhaling slowly out of the mouth and inhaling at the same rate through the nose."

Prone Lift (
"Lie face down on the floor, legs slightly apart, with the palms of your hands under your thighs. Lift both legs, bending at the hip, at least high enough that your thighs are lifted from your hands. Simultaneously lift your head and shoulders from the floor. Smoothly lower your head, shoulders, and both legs. Repeat the specified number of times."

Push-up (
"Lie face down on the floor with palms just outside your shoulders and arms bent. Keeping your back straight, pivoting on your toes, lift your body until your arms are straight. Then smoothly lower your body back to the floor, touching your chest. Repeat the specified number of times."

Run/Jump (
"Run in place at a brisk pace for the specified number of steps, lifting your legs 4 to 6 inches from the floor with each step. Every 75 steps, stop and do 10 'jumping jacks': stand with your legs together, arms at your side. Jump up in the air, extending your legs to the side and your arms upward as high as you can (ideally touching your fingers together above your head, but at least above your shoulders). Then jump up again, bringing your legs back together and your arms back to your side.
The 'Count' column in the table makes it easier to keep track of the running and jumping phases of this exercise. The first number is how many complete sets of 75 steps of running and 10 jumping jacks you should perform. The second number [the +Steps column] gives the number of extra steps you should run after the last full set (don't jump after these final steps).
Be sure to count a step in running only as your left foot touches the floor, not every time either foot touches. The easiest way to keep count is to repeatedly count to 75 as you run, do the ten jumps, then start counting from 1 again for the next running phase. I find that keeping count of the number of complete sets of running and jumping is best done by setting out a number of coins equal to the number of sets you're doing at the current rung and moving a coin from one pile to another after each set is completed."

Dec. 12th, 2011

NC pulled pork

This recipe is really rough; I may update it to be cleaner eventually.

Fresh ham or pork shoulder (you want something fatty).
Salt and fresh ground coarse pepper in equal proportions.
Hickory chips or chunks as appropriate for your smoker.

cider vinegar
Tabasco (roughly 2 tbsp added to each cup of cider vinegar)
red pepper flakes
garlic power

The night before you plan to cook, crust the pork in salt and pepper. You want to barely be able to see the meat through the seasoning. Set in fridge to marinate overnight.

Make the sauce now (the night before) so the ingredients can really mix and the garlic can fully rehydrate. Just mix it all up. It should be quite spicy and vinegary but with a hint of sweetness. A 12lb pork shoulder needs about a half gallon of sauce. If you make extra sauce, you can also make coleslaw (pork+slaw sandwiches are awesome). For coleslaw, chop green cabbage into 1/2" squares and add sauce until the cabbage is all wet but not swimming too much. Let the coleslaw sit in the fridge at least 8 hours before serving, stirring it at least once during the marination.

Prepare your smoker. Smoke the pork, fat side up until well done. Depending on your set up, this could take as little as 4 hours, but is probably more like 8-10 hours.

With insulated vinyl gloves and a large bowl, pull the crust and burnt fat off and put to the side. Tear the remaining meat into tiny bits, removing any very large hunks of fat. Add some sauce and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. The goal here is for the vinegar and fat to react, turning into a mildly spicy gel thinly coating all of the meat.

While that's sitting, scrape the uncooked fat from the burnt crust, and then chop up the crust. This is traditionally called "brownies" and used as garnish on an individual sandwich.


Nov. 7th, 2011

Generally unsure of my personal life.

It's been a long time since I've posted any personal content here. The last
few months have been somewhat unsettled in my personal life with Kim
breaking up with me in August and that causing me to really think about
many other things in my life. I'm not really happy and have had few times
where I was genuinely happy in the last ~4 years. I'm trying to figure out
what I want my life goals to be (and if they're the same as they were a few
years ago). I don't know if/how I can get there from here.

Aug. 19th, 2011


I've been dieting pretty seriously for a few months. I'm at my lowest adult weight by a significant amount. I was 235lbs when I graduated high school in June 1998. In May 2000, I was up to 315lbs. This morning, I was 192.4lbs.

I eat low-carb Sunday-Friday and cheat and eat without restrictions on Saturday. I fast most of the day Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, eating only breakfast. I add a second cup of beans to my eggs (see below) on fasting days.

In addition to the change in diet, I do kettlebell swings at least twice a week and some cycling for fun. I need to start doing some ab exercises since my belly is the only considerably flabby part of me left.

I use to figure out the nutrition info of the meals I make. I don't do this all the time, just when I want to calculate something, i.e. I make lots of things I don't put in there. I did the following calculations some because I was curious and some because I wanted to put some data into a diet discussion I was having with someone.

Here's roughly what I eat for breakfast every day:
    3 eggs (free range, no antibiotics)
    4 oz frozen spinach (the bag kind, not the brick)
    1 tbsp flax oil (Barlean's High Lignan)
    1 cup prepared black beans
    hot sauce, salt, pepper to taste 
    Calories:         578.7 
    Total Fat:         27.2 g
    Cholesterol:      555.0 mg
    Sodium:           286.1 mg
    Total Carbs:       46.8 g
        Dietary Fiber: 19.4 g
    Protein:           37.4 g 

Here's a usual sort of lunch (in only eat lunch MWF):
    4.5 oz fresh spinach (half a standard 9oz bag of prewashed spinach)
    4 oz of cooked flank steak strips
    1 tbsp flax oil (Barleans High Lignan)
    1 tbsp walnut oil
    2 tbsp cider vinegar
    1 tsp garlic powder 
    Calories:        451.0 
    Total Fat:        33.6 g
    Cholesterol:      56.7 mg
    Sodium:          196.0 mg
    Total Carbs:       9.0 g
        Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
    Protein:          27.6 g 

My dinners have the most variety. Here's something I made last week (I only eat dinner MWF):
    2 qts of various lentils
        (I used mostly toor dal and masoor dal, but there was also some moong
         beans and split peas).
    2 1lb bags of mixed vegetables
        (prefer Albertson's Fiesta Mix which has broccoli, red pepper, green
         beans, and 2 kinds of beans)
    1 tbsp flax oil
    Spices to taste. (I used 1/2 cup of dried NM green chile peppers) 
    Servings Per Recipe: 8
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories:         338.0 
    Total Fat:          6.4 g
    Cholesterol:        0.0 mg
    Sodium:           138.9 mg
    Total Carbs:       67.3 g
        Dietary Fiber: 21.2 g
    Protein:           21.7 g

Assuming I ate two servings of the dinner, my day had the following nutrition info:
    Calories: 578.7 + 451.0 + 676.0      = 1705.7
    Total Fat: 27.2 + 33.6 + 12.8        = 73.6 g
    Cholesterol: 555.0 + 56.7 + 0        = 611.7 mg
    Sodium: 286.1 + 196.0 + 277.8        = 759.9 mg
    Total Carbs: 46.8 + 9.0 + 134.6      = 190.4 g (124.2g digestible when you subtract the fiber)
        Dietary Fiber: 19.4 + 4.4 + 42.4 = 66.2 g
    Protein: 37.4 + 27.6 + 43.4          = 108.4 g

So, I'm not doing extreme caloric restriction (though it is a factor), but I am doing very high fiber and protien while staying low-carb. I'd like to be able to keep the digestible carbs below 100g, but I can't reasonably do that and be consuming remotely close to this much fiber. There's flax oil in everything because it bumps the calories and the fiber while also having a bunch of Omega-3 and other nutrients. I also take a "men's" multivitamin, 2g vitamin C, 500iu vitamin D, and 75mg Niacin every day.

During the week, I might drink dry red wine. Saturdays I drink whatever I want. Separately from the dieting, I have been managing my drinking (if I don't do this I know would be an alcoholic) by logging all of my drinks. I earn one point per day and drinking a glass of wine, a pint of beer, or a shot of liquor costs one point. I can spend points before I earn them, but I can't go beyond a balance of -10. Once I'm satisfied with my weight and have a balanced maintenence diet in place, I may bump the points earned per day to 1.5 or 2.0. I'm not sure how I'll feel when I get there; my current system (in effect since late December) is probably a little more restrictive than I need.

Feb. 9th, 2011

Cheesecake Recipe


2 gal whole milk
2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (~6 large lemons)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
1/4 lb. softened butter

1 lb cream cheese (room temp)
Fresh cheese from above
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. each of grated orange and lemon rind
5 whole eggs (room temp)
2 egg yolks (room temp)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream

Fresh cheese:
1. Slowly heat 2 gal of milk to almost boiling (at least 190F but not over 205F).
2. Stir in lemon juice.
3. Turn off heat. Wait at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Strain through fine cheesecloth removing nearly all of the whey.

Crust (prepare the crust while making the fresh cheese):
1. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla.
2. Make a well in the center of mixture, add egg yolk and butter and form into a dough.
3. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for 1 hour.
4. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
5. Ball 2/3 of the cold dough and get it smooshy in your hands. Press it into a thin, even layer on the bottom of the pan, being careful to go to the corners but not up the walls.
6. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes until lightly browned, then remove and let cool.
7. Break remaining dough into 4 small snakes. Line the sides of the pan with the dough (the 4 snakes make it easier because you can do it 1/4 of the way around for each). The dough should be thick on the bottom and taper to nothing about 1" up the wall.

1. In 6qt mixer bowl combine the cream cheese, fresh cheese, sugar, flour, and orange and lemon rind.
2. Add eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and beat well.
3. Add heavy cream and blend thoroughly.

1. Add filling to crust.
2. Bake at 500°F for 10 minutes (rotate cake at 7m), then bake at 200°F for 140 min. Do not open the oven door between rotating and the 140 min timer beeping.
3. Check center with a square round wooden toothpick (no other shape really works right). The toothpick should have some cheese "grains" on it, but not be visibly wet. If wet, bake longer.
4. Allow cheesecake to cool on counter for at least 30min then refrigerate.
5. The cake should mostly separate from the pan walls as it cools. Before opening the spring, slide a knife along the edge to separate the crust from the walls.

Nov. 7th, 2010

Just For Fun: Academia, Totally Sensible » Sociol


Nov. 5th, 2010

German Potato Salad

This recipe is the one lalabob11 makes. I've edited it to make it read a little clearer.

German Potato Salad

5 peeled new potatoes, cut into large cubes
5 strips bacon, diced
At least 1/8 c. apple cider vinegar (you might need as much as 3/4c for it to come out right)
1 T. sugar
5 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the potatoes until tender but not too soft. Drain and set aside.
2. Cook bacon until crispy, remove from heat. Drain 1/4 of the bacon grease without removing the bacon from the pan.
3. Return pan to medium-low heat and add vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer and then simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside. (You want the vinegar and the grease to react and thicken; this is why you might need more vinegar than 1/8c)
4. In the serving bowl, add potatoes, onions, and garlic. Mix thoroughly. Add bacon sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep at room temperature (at least an hour for the potatoes to absorb some of the sauce) until serving.

Oct. 24th, 2010

Oversimplifying is something I'm "good" at.

Love is largely letting your perceptions of another's actions and emotions multiply (or divide when signs are different) what you'd be feeling otherwise. This is usually good because it's buffering when signs are different and great when both are positive. The case when both are negative is shit though. This can be represented by something akin to a truth table (with 0 states to show neutral feelings):
A  B  A<3B => A feels
+  +  up to 2x +
+  0  +
+  -  kinda +
0  +  kinda +
0  0  0
0  -  kinda -
-  +  kinda -
-  0  -
-  -  very -
Now when you mix in poly, the table gets correspondingly larger and more complicated (0 lines removed to simplify):
A  B  C  D  A<3B^C^D => A feels
+  +  +  +  up to 4x +, everyone's awesome. :D
+  +  +  -  up to 3x +
+  +  -  +  up to 3x +
+  +  -  -  up to 2x +
+  -  +  +  up to 3x +
+  -  +  -  up to 2x +
+  -  -  +  up to 2x +
+  -  -  -  up to 1x +, but likely becoming -
-  +  +  +  up to 1x -, but likely becoming +
-  +  +  -  up to 2x -
-  +  -  +  up to 2x -
-  +  -  -  up to 3x -
-  -  +  +  up to 2x -
-  -  +  -  up to 3x -
-  -  -  +  up to 3x -
-  -  -  -  up to 4x -, everyone's miserable
If I'm A, currently I'm within two steps of the -00- row on some 4 ternary-bit Gray code. :(

Oct. 20th, 2010

Writer's Block: Torn between two lovers

Have you ever fallen in love with two people at once? How did it work out?

It's worked pretty well so far with my multiple partners for ~5 years now. Everybody knows about everyone else; no lies, no related secrets. :)

Oct. 8th, 2010


You will need:
3.75c milk
3T vinegar
14" diameter (inside) cast iron pan (this is important, the texture will be WRONG if you use glass or thin metal)
4T butter (0.5 1/4lb sticks)
6 eggs
28T butter (3.5 1.4lb sticks)
5.25c cornmeal
1.5c flour (should work with ~any kind, but I use white wheat flour)
3t salt
4T sugar
4.5t baking powder
Square-round toothpicks (surprisingly hard to find, but your baking will come out much better with them; they've got round tips for poking, but square edges for catching batter)

  1. Warm milk in microwave a little (I just do 60s on high in the 1/2gal measuring cup I measure it in)
  2. Add vinegar to the milk. Let it sit at least 5 minutes while you do other stuff.
  3. Put 4T butter in pan. Preheat oven to 375F. While preheating put pan in oven until butter is melted. Then take pan out of oven.
  4. Melt 3.5sticks butter at least 70% in a 2c liquid measuring cup in the microwave (2min on high should work).
  5. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl or kitchenaid.
  6. Break eggs into soured milk and mix it up well.
  7. Mix melted butter into dry ingredients, then mix milk-eggs into dry ingredients.
  8. Pour batter into pan, and move it around so it's sort of smooth on top. Bake 45min. Check with a toothpick. Bake longer if it doesn't come away dry.

Sep. 24th, 2010

Poster update

Even though most of you voted for Waves Crashing, I ordered Pink Sand. I found a 30% off coupon code, so it was considerably less expensive than full price. :D

Sep. 21st, 2010

Giant Poster

My new office is in an internal hallway. The hallway across from my doorway is ~30 feet of unbroken seafoam-avocado wall. I'm going to get a huge 8'x12' poster for it. I've narrowed down to these two:
Poll #1621819 Giant Poster

Which one should I get?

If you think I should get some other poster (possibly from some other site), suggest it in a comment.

Aug. 25th, 2010

Frustrated posting is usually bad

When I'm frustrated about something, and I post about it, it usually makes me feel better in the short-term, but makes things worse in the long-term because it oversimplifies and usually focusses on superficial problems instead of underlying causes. I need to learn from this.

Jul. 19th, 2010

[meme] Online Color Challenge

This hue ordering test is neat. You'll probably want to turn up your display's backlight/brightness. I got a 0. :D

Jul. 15th, 2010

Black Pepper Vanilla Ice Cream

I meant to post this yesterday, but got busy with other stuff. This recipe is based on at least three recipes I found online and in books and also my own experiences.

Initially you'll need:
1c whole milk
1c heavy cream
1c granulated sugar
2T fresh ground peppercorns
2t vanilla extract
1/2t salt

Later you'll need:
3 large eggs

Even later you'll need:
1c heavy cream

1. In a 2qt saucepan, over medium heat, warm all of the initial ingredients, stirring often. Get it thoroughly steamy, but not boiling.

2. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep for one hour.

3. Rewarm mixture as in step 1. Whip three eggs in a bowl. Drizzle warm mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly.

4. Pour it back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat, scraping constantly with a heat proof spatula until thick. If you heat it too quickly or don't scrape enough, it will get lumpy. If it gets lumpy, we can fix this later.

5. Place the "even later" heavy cream in a medum-large bowl. Pour the custard into this bowl, stirring as you do. Chill quickly in an ice bath and then chill thoroughly, covered in the fridge. If well sealed it can sit in the fridge for at least 2 days (probably longer) like this.

6. (optional) If it got lumpy in step 4, pour the cold custard into a blender and blend until smooth. Put back in the fridge to get it thoroughly chilled again.

7. Churn in your ice cream maker. It's ok when it comes out of the machine, but it's better after about 2 hours of firming in the fridge.

Speed of Light Marshmallows

This came across a C# language discussion list on the topic of the ++ operator (it was actually relevant to the discussion): is trivial to measure the speed of light. You can...cover the bottom of a microwave oven with marshmallows (remove the rotating plate!) and turn the microwave on until some but not all of the marshmallows melt. You can work out the speed of light by knowing the frequency of the microwave radiation (which is usually written on the oven somewhere) and the distance between clumps of melted marshmallows. The marshmallows will be more melty every half-wavelength, and if you know the wavelength and the frequency then you can work out the speed at which the radiation must be moving.

Jul. 8th, 2010

Base 60

Part of a comment I left on a friend's blog:
The ancient Mayans used the base 60 number system. We use base 10, meaning we count:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 ....
In base 60, we could count those same numbers like this:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b c d e f g h I j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y 10 11 ....
Base 60 is really powerful because of it's prime factors. For example, 1/3 in base 60 decimal notation is just 0.k, which is non-repeating unlike base 10's 0.33333333333....
Some numbers still repeat though, like 1/7 (0.142857142857... in base 10) is still 0.8yh8yh... in base 60.
Even better would be base 210 (prime factors: 2,3,5,7; 1/7 no longer repeats), but keeping 210 symbols in your head to make numbers out of is a bit too absurd.

Jun. 30th, 2010

Scott Pilgrim is missing.

All of my Scott Pilgrim books seem to be missing. Did I lend them to you?

Jun. 25th, 2010

[meme] 20 Actors

"Comment and I will give you ten actors and ten actresses. Then post in your Livejournal with your favorite films (or tv) of theirs."
I got my list from amnesiack.

Christopher Walken - So easy: Things To Do in Denver When You're Dead. Paraplegic organized crime boss? Oh yeah.

Ian McKellen - I'm not a big fan of the X-Men or LotR movies, and I haven't seen Coronation Street, but he was good in The Prisoner remake.

Danny Devito - Excellent on Taxi but I enjoyed pretty much every movie he was in in the 80's.

Sam Rockwell - Cofessions of a Dangerous Mind was the first thing I'd seen him in, but it was incredible (I watched it twice the night I saw it). He was great in Moon and The Assassination... too.

Jimmy Stewart - Meh. Rope?

Christian Slater - Heathers

Clint Eastwood - "You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

Jet Li - I haven't seen many of his movies, but Once Upon A Time In China was good. The One was fun.

Pat Morita - The Karate Kid movies are too easy/cheesy, so I'll go with a very cheesy but very different one: The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.

Cary Grant - I haven't seen any of his movies.

Audrey Hepburn - My Fair Lady is better than Breakfast at Tiffany's and those are the only two I've seen.

Julianne Moore - "Don't be fatuous, Jeffrey."

Helena Bonham Carter - She's the same in every movie and they're all not very good.

Judi Dench - As Time Goes By was a wonderful series, especially the first few seasons.

Jodie Foster - Contact

Jamie Lee Curtis - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Julie Andrews - The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

Milla Jovovich - The only thing I've seen her in is The Fifth Element.

Whoopi Goldberg - The Aristocrats, Corrina, Corrina, Jumpin' Jack Flash, The Associate

Marisa Tomei - I've seen movies she was in, but none of her roles don't stick out in my mind.

Jun. 23rd, 2010

Dr Who Finale Party

This Saturday, June 26th, we will be hosting a Dr Who Series 5 finale party. We'll be watching both episodes of the finale (we've held off on watching Pandorica Opens, so we don't have to wait the week frustrated). Food will be had (not sure what the serious dinner will be, but there will also be "Fish Custard" ala s05e01). We'll start the episodes sometime after we eat and dinner won't start before 5. Let me know if you're interested.

Jun. 7th, 2010

Metro replied, mostly not answering my question.

Hello and thank you for contacting King County Metro Transit.

We regret the circumstances that made it necessary for you to write and apologize for the negative experience you had while on a Metro Transit bus. Staff of the Customer Information Office has created a report with the information that you provided and that report has been sent to the driver's supervisor for review.

Again, thank you for contacting King County Metro Transit and have a
great day.

May. 28th, 2010

Complaint to King County Metro

At about 9:05pm last night, the bus I was on (MT54 Downtown Bound) arrived at 3rd and Seneca (already ~15 minutes late). The light did not turn green until about 9:25. Traffic was light and was cycling in all other directions. The driver refused to let anyone off the bus during this time. The passengers became steadily rowdier as the time progressed. One passenger jumped out of one of the emergency exit windows at about 9:20.

Being held against my will is something I never want to happen and was a very frustrating experience. What is being done to prevent this in the future?

May. 17th, 2010

Eat with us in Albuquerque

Tomorrow, May 18th, if you will be in Albuquerque and want to see lalabob11, two_pi_r, mblulukitty, and I, you can meet us for lunch or dinner. If you're going to join us for either, please comment here or call me.

Noon at:
Pho Linh Vietnamese Grill
5000 Central Avenue Southeast

6pm at:
328 Chinese Cuisine
5617 Menaul Boulevard Northeast

May. 9th, 2010

Travel and Welcome Pi to WA

I don't think I've posted about travel plans, so here's that first:
On Thursday, May 13, lalabob11 and I are flying to NM. We'll be in Socorro for a few days (probably until May 18), then Santa Fe for a few days, and finally flying back to WA along with two_pi_r on Sunday, May 23. If you want to see any of us, most of our time in NM isn't really planned out, so let us know.

Friday, May 28 is the next Movie Night. Since it'll be Pi's first after moving to WA, it'll also be a Welcome party. Anybody we know is welcome to come over for dinner, games, silliness, movies, etc.

May. 4th, 2010

Vee Nomenclature

I'm looking for words or phrases that both convey the meanings I'm trying to and aren't too unusual sounding in American English.

Someone at the point of a vee can refer to their partners as "co-spouses" and it pretty much makes sense to mono people and it's not too long of a word. The two arms of the vee can't call the other arm a "co-spouse" and have it make sense or accurately convey the dyadic nature of the relationship.

In a heterosexual poly vee with a man at the point, the women might refer to the other as "sister-wife" when talking to an outsider. If we reverse that, the two men on the arms of a vee would then refer to the other as "brother-husband." Brother-husband seems more awkward than sister-wife, but both aren't really great terms. There's also the problem of a bisexual vee; might the arm man call the arm woman "sister-wife" and the other way "brother-husband?"

I've been thinking on this lately and have considered using "brother-in-law" and "sister-in-law" but they are already overloaded with meanings. My best idea so far is to just use "brother" and "sister" but they don't necessarily convey what's intended.

What terms have you used? Which do you like?

May. 3rd, 2010

Regional Speak Survey [meme]

Age: 30

Where you grew up (Ages 0-18): 0-1 Hawthorne, NJ; 1-6 Clifton, NJ; 6-18 Wayne, NJ

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks: stream

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store is called: shopping cart

3. A metal container to carry a meal in: lunchbox

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in: pan

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people: couch or sofa.

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain from off the roof: gutter

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening: porch

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages: soda

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup: pancake

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself: sub-sandwich, hero-sandwich, or hoagie (never "grinder")

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach: bathing suit

12. Shoes worn for sports: sneakers or trainer depending on type

13. Putting a room in order: cleaning up

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark: lightning bug or firefly

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball: pill bug

16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down: see-saw

17. How do you eat your pizza: It depends on the pizza. NY style pizza is round and each slice is folded in half long ways and eaten from the tip to the crust. Round pizza in other styles is not folded until possibly the last few bites so there's some toppings and sauce on the bites of crust. Sicilian pizza (thick and square) is eaten with no folding and the crust may or may not be eaten last.

18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff: Garage sale or yard sale.

19. What's the evening meal?: dinner, but sometimes supper.

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are: basement

21. What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places: water fountain

Apr. 14th, 2010

Steamcon II Registration Open

Registration for Steamcon II is now open. You can now buy your full weekend membership. One day memberships will not be available on the website, and will only be available at the door if we do not sell out by that time. Memberships are will call style, so you will be picking them up at the pre-registration table at the con. Nothing will be mailed to you. You will need to present valid identification at the time of pick up, so please use your legal name to register. The prices below are good until July 1st, 2010.

The patron level membership is intended as a way for you to help Steamcon by providing much needed capital in the initial stages of our convention process. Your contribution is tax deductible, and will set you apart from the general membership. Rank has its privileges of course, so you will receive a special exclusive gift as our thanks, as well as an opportunity to purchase special event tickets early, early
seating for those events, a special reception with our participants and any other perks we can bestow throughout the Steamcon II weekend.

Children under 6 - no charge
Full weekend teen (6-17) - $20.00
Full weekend adult (18 & up) - $35.00
Full weekend teen patron (6-17) - $220.00
Full weekend adult patron (18 & up) - $235.00

A little info on registration that might help:

Typically the best time to buy a membership for a convention is the Sunday of the convention before. Obviously this isn’t always possible, but if it is, it’s usually a bargain. So Steamcon II memberships were available at Steamcon I on Sunday for the lowest price. This is so that the convention will have a little money on hand to start working on next year’s convention. It’s also usually less than a one day membership will cost at the door, so you might as well make the small investment even if you think you might not be able to attend all three days. Memberships can often be rolled over to the next year or transferred to someone else if you find yourself unable to attend. On Sunday of Steamcon I, we weren’t sure what weekend we would be holding Steamcon II, so it was a bit of a gamble, but not a very substantial one. As the con dates get closer, membership costs for a convention usually go up a few times, leading to the at-the-door-price which is the most expensive, if the convention even has any left. More and more conventions have been reaching their maximum capacity during the pre-registration phase and are then unable to sell any memberships at the door at all. This is a good sign for the convention, but can lead to disappointed fans. Steamcon I was very nearly sold out before the convention, and was only able to sell a small number of memberships at the door. While we have twice as much space for Steamcon II, there is still a possibility of selling out again this year, so pre-registration is a very good choice if you want to be sure you can attend. I hope this information is helpful to you. Feel free to email any further questions to

Apr. 8th, 2010

Birthday Dinner

It's my birthday on the 16th and I love Szechuan food, so I'm organizing a group dinner:

Sunday April 18th, at 6:00 pm
1299 156th Ave NE
(between 13th Pl & 15th St)
Bellevue, WA 98007

Meet at the restaurant at 6. I'll preorder some things and we can order more when we arrive. The check will be split evenly among the attendees; I expect it will be $20 or less per person including tax and tip. Bring cash.

RSVP by Saturday April 17th by commenting here or emailing
I hope to see you there. :D

Mar. 19th, 2010


I'll be having a 30th birthday dinner somewhere on Sunday, April 18th. I'll announce details once I figure them out.

Feb. 19th, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed for a position as a full-time Microsoft employee. They made an offer a couple of days ago. I just finished the acceptance paperwork. If it all goes through as expected, I will start as a full-time developer at Microsoft Surface, on April 5th.

Feb. 7th, 2010

General update

Things are busy and complicated ~always. Life is generally good. I'm in love and loved by two women. The relationships can be difficult sometimes, but they're both going well and I believe they will continue to be well for the indefinite future. Work is pretty good and prospects are blooming. Conventions abound, and I may need to scale something back to make room for deeper commitment to Steamcon*. I have many friends of varying degrees of closeness, though I don't get to see my closest ones as often as I'd like due to our busy schedules or distances separating. I'm going to Syracuse, Boston, New Mexico, Victoria BC, and Dallas in the next 4 months.

Summarizing, my life is quite nice right now. :)

*It's funny, I'm not really very into steampunk (or even general sci-fi), but I'm in a director-level position at the biggest/best steampunk con anywhere.

Jan. 13th, 2010

Describe me multiple choice meme

Here's a forced-choice meme stolen from several folks. Pick one from each of the following pairs of words that you think describes me better. Then, if you like, post in your journal to see what people think about you.

* dominant or submissive
* logical or intuitive
* social or loner
* kinky or vanilla
* cute or sophisticated
* kitten or puppy
* warm flannel sheets or sleek satin
* leader or follower
* quiet or talkative
* spontaneous or planned
* teddy bear or porcelain doll
* hiking or window shopping
* tequila or vodka
* top or bottom
* bare foot or shoes
* jeans or slacks
* tender or rough
* aware or dreamy
* nerd or jock
* brains or brawn
* common sense or book smarts

Dec. 30th, 2009

TSA == Terrorist organization

The TSA recently demonstrated their terrorist activities publicly:

Remember, if you ever receive a "security" document from the government that you think is at all fishy, it is your civic duty to publish it.

Dec. 29th, 2009


Since some of you are new readers since I set it up ~a year ago, here's a link to my Twitter journal: jaberwockytweet. It posts once a day at something like 0100 PST with whatever I tweeted since the last time it posted. I somewhat reserve this journal for longer or philosophically deeper items than go out on twitter. I don't post here very often, so if you care to keep up with my day to day [bullshit], you can add that journal instead of it posting tweets here and cluttering things up.

Dec. 2nd, 2009


Love is complicated.

I am in love with A.
I am in love with B.

I am in NRE with B.

I enjoy A.
I enjoy B.
I enjoy C.

I love A.
I love B.
I love D.
I love E.
I love F.

And then there are casual sex partners, cuddle buddies, and other family.

Love is complicated.

Nov. 19th, 2009

[Oct 2011, Australia] Bathurst 1000++

I know this is really far away, but I also know I can't make it work for 2010. I'm planning to go to Australia for the 2011 Bathurst 1000 and other touristy things. My very vague plan is to start in Sydney and work my way west over a few weeks. I'd like to add some diving and/or sea fishing in somehow, but in don't know ~anything yet. If you're interested in joining, meeting, etc., let me know.

Nov. 17th, 2009

Fahrenheit 451

I read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time. I should have been made to read it 20+ years ago, because then it would have been useful to me. I don't mean to say it was a bad novel; I enjoyed it. It just didn't teach me anything I haven't figured out through my experiences. Also, having read it finally, I'm surprised by the lack of modern allusions to it I've encountered given how famous it otherwise is. When I've read other similarly famous works, I recall many more recently made works that allude to them. With Fahrenheit 451, I recalled none.

I probably got a contract at Microsoft again; just waiting on the background check to finish. I could start as early as Thursday, but possibly not until after Thanksgiving.

Nov. 15th, 2009


Through a crazy sale, bad signage, and haggling, I got 75.83lbs of turkey for $37.45+tax at QFC. :D

Oct. 26th, 2009


Steamcon was the best first-year con ever.

I am super-proud of being a part of it. Most of the attendees that commented to me said it was an excellent con. Many attendees that have years of various con experience said it was run like a fourth- to fifteenth-year con. One of the people that said "fifteenth" has been participating in sci-fi cons for over 20 years.

Everyone on our staff is excellent. It is so awesome.

Also, even with my name misspelled, the Steamcon program book is the best looking con program book I have ever seen. Pel, our program book designer, did an incredible job. I've got a small wad of them to give out to people that couldn't make it to Steamcon.

Unrelated to Steamcon, ladymarguerite is arriving tomorrow night and not leaving until November 3rd. We're going to do lots of fun stuff including traveling around the Olympic Range (which includes visiting Forks even though we are not Twitards). The whole trip will be great.

If you can't tell, I feel ~awesome right now. :D

Oct. 20th, 2009

A film barely in my head.

I don't know why it jumped to mind, but now it's keeping me awake not being able to figure it out. Sometime in the last couple of years I saw the short film I'm about to describe (though I don't remember much of it); I'm trying to figure out what the film is.
There is a twitchy (more than just twitchy, really) man, alone in a ratty boarding house room. He has a photo of a girl (possibly his dead daughter?) and some related mementos. Often in the film there is some sort of scratching/destructive violence at one of the doors of the room like a monster is trying to get in. A man in a suit is there for a time and is present for/part of all of the dialogue. The suited man is possibly claiming to be a doctor or lawyer but maybe he's a demon of some sort? The twitchy man may already be dead?
Anyway, if this rings any bells, leave a comment to that effect. Thanks. :)

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