Thursday, October 31, 2013

Double Vision

I've mentioned before how Mr. Dude got some free t-shirts from PAX this year.

What I didn't realize was just how many free t-shirts he got.

Uh, is it just me, or am I seeing double? 

I discovered the multiples while putting away laundry with Little Guy and sent Mr. Dude a text message about it, wanting to investigate, you know.

[Is now a good time to mention that PAX was almost 2 months ago, and I'm only just now noticing these?!]
Me: Can you tell me what is wrong with this picture?
Mr. Dude: We're missing a halflife 2 t-shirt.
Me: Moooooooooo
I'm hoping that means his t-shirts don't have an inverse relationship with socks in the washing machine gaining a nerd t-shirt for every sock you lose.

We could end up with a lot of nerd t-shirts that way.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Giraffe Nonsense and Snarkiness

Giraffes are cool.

But not cool enough to make me change my picture on Facebook.

Social media gimmicks are most decidedly not cool.

I use Facebook as a way of keeping in touch with various people, and occasionally post ridiculous, and usually very impersonal, thoughts.

But if you ask me to play Candy Crush Saga, copy and paste a status, or "like" a picture so that something amazing will happen, I will ignore you. I promise.

So there I was, scrolling through my news feed, when lo and behold, a bunch of people had suddenly turned into giraffes!

What the whaaaa ????

Oh. It's one of those "everyone is doing it, so I will, too" gimmicks. Probably just something else to ignore.
Try the great giraffe challenge! The deal is I give you a riddle. You get it right you get to keep your profile pic. You get it wrong and you change your profile pic to a Giraffe for the next 3 days. MESSAGE ME ONLY SO YOU DONT GIVE OUT THE ANSWER.Here is the riddle: 3:00 am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, It's your parents and they are there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?Remember... message me only. If you get it right I'll post your name here. If you get it wrong change your profile picture.
Yep. Definitely just something else to ignore.

And then, I saw it. Even she had given in.

A college roomie - with her bachelor's of science in biology, a master's degree, pending medical school applications and all - had changed her identity to that of Giraffa camelopardalis

I decided that if she was going to give in, then I'd bite. But with pizzazz. 

If you're with me for an hour, you'll know that I love to cook. If you're with me for just 5 minutes, you'll know that I'm snarky. Sarcastic. Irritatingly meticulous about loopholes and technicalities. And slightly ridiculous. 

So here was my answer to the riddle: 
Eyeballs ... you have to open your eyeballs. I guess technically it's your eyelids - you get the point. But the riddle only supposes that I'd give in to my automatic reflex since I'm not blind. If I WAS blind, then would I still automatically open my eyelids? Or would I keep them closed since my body knows that it doesn't utilize that sense anyways? And it could be the door if I manage not to open my eyelids, but that assumes that I"m not sleeping underneath covers, so you could argue that you have to "open" your bed, in a manner of speaking, in order to get out of it. But if you're one of those weird people who doesn't sleep with any sheets or covers, then you'd have to open your bedroom door, if it's closed, and then your front door (if that's where your parents are ringing the doorbell from - some people may put their doorbell at the backdoor). Ooh, I almost forgot - what if you need to open your closet to get out a robe, slippers, etc, in order to answer your parents' ring? Heck, on the way out to the door, you may need to open the liquor cabinet to get a stiff dose of courage, depending on what kind of a relationship you have with your parents. Or maybe you need to open the fridge for a snack since you shouldn't store jam at room temperature in warm conditions (you could be in Florida in this scenario, you know). Since they're unexpected visitors at 3 am, and you haven't answered the door yet, maybe you need to open your firearms safe? It could be a sketchy neighborhood, you know. Seriously. So many holes in this riddle that it's ridiculous. No WONDER you have to change your profile picture to a giraffe if you get it wrong.
You know, if I wasn't the mother of a young child, you'd think I had too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's All Been a Beef Misunderstanding ...

If you've been around me for longer than an hour, you know I like to cook.

Okay, so I may be obsessed with cooking. And food. Mmm ... I like food. The technical term is "foodie", although you could make the argument that I'm something of a "food nerd". It fascinates me and I love learning how to make new things from scratch, so I guess you could also say that I "geek out" over food.

Didn't used to be that way. I used to be a REALLY picky eater. I wouldn't try very many new things, couldn't do any fish, didn't like the thought of not knowing every ingredient that was in the item I ordered ... there are some things I still haven't come around to (ahem, calamari, mustard, mushrooms, pickles, and lots of other things that Mr. Dude "sacrifices" by eating for me), but it's a much shorter list than it used to be.

I blame my college roomies. Some of them were vocal performance majors who couldn't eat dairy or cooked tomatoes because that would mess with their vocal cords too much. We each took turns cooking dinners for all of us, and all I knew how to make was Italian and Mexican. Translation: lots and lots of dairy and cooked tomatoes. What on earth do you make for these people?!

So the internet and I became best friends and I branched out. I learned about quinoa, risotto, cooking with wine, why the crock pot is my best friend, how legumes and grains make a whole (and dirt-cheap) protein ... but I digress. Suffice it to say that cooking has become an addictive hobby that Mr. Dude certainly appreciates.

I made a kick-butt stew (seriously, it's spicy enough to kick your butt) tonight for dinner and do you know how Mr. Dude reacted?
Mr. Dude: "You know, I like it, Stephanie. But the beef is really tender ..."
Me: "Um, it's supposed to be like that. That's why you cook it so slowly at a low temperature. That's what makes it tasty."
Mr. Dude [with a sheepish grin]: "Oh. Uh. Then it's good!"

For all the geek speak that he teaches me, apparently I need to return the favor and start showing him what I know about cooking. If he doesn't know the basics about how food is supposed to taste, then I haven't been doing my job!

Or maybe I just don't talk his ear off about what I'm making the way he talks my ear off about technology ... 

For the record, here's what I made. Props to Cynthia Lair and her Feeding the Whole Family cookbook. Everything I've ever made from there has been phenomenal. No joke.

[Side note: I may have been giddy when Mr. Dude's aunt, a registered dietitian and college nutrition professor, offered to introduce me to Cynthia. It'd be the cooking equivalent of meeting Bill Nye, the Science Guy. True story.] 
Yes, that's Mr. Dude's keyboard in the background. 
Yes, it glows. In multiple colors. 
Because why wouldn't you buy a keyboard that glows? 

Spice Island Beef Stew

Prep time: 10 minutes to prepare stew, 2.5 hrs cooking time.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 habanero pepper, minced (remove seeds if you're not a fan of "heat")
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 flour
1 bay leaf
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange plus water, wine and/or stock to equal 1.5 cups
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 tsp sea salt
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup cooked red beans

Heat a large stew pot or pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and meat. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove meat and set aside on plate.

Add remaining oil to pot along with onion. Saute briefly, until onion begins to turn translucent. Add garlic, habanero, thyme and allspice. Cook for 30 seconds, until garlic and spices are fragrant.

Return meat to pot. Sprinkle flour over sauteed mixture and stir to coat meat and vegetables. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add bay leaf, orange zest and juice, liquid, tomatoes and salt.

Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer 1.5 hours, or until meat begins to tenderize.

Add bell pepper and zucchini. Return to a simmer and cook, covered, 20 minutes, or until vegetables are nearly tender. Add beans and simmer 10 minutes more, until flavors have blended and meat can be shredded with a spoon. Discard bay leaf, adjust seasonings if necessary, and serve.

[It's super tasty with toasted homemade bread. Just sayin'.]

Monday, October 28, 2013

Overclocked ... Computer-Wise, Not the Schedule

Mr. Dude likes to tell me all the time about overclocking his Intel Core processor.

Apparently, after much tinkering, it's in a "sweet spot" right now - something like a 2.67Ghz running at 3.60Ghz.

I'm sure he'll correct me on the numbers later, but I get the basic concept. It's designed to run at such-and-such a speed, and he's running it a little bit harder without melting down.

Oh, and there's hyperthreading in there, too. Because why send a dotted -line stream of information, when you could make all those little computer brains send a solid-line stream of information and do so much more?

He gets really excited that he can run Crysis the way it was meant to be ("because the technology finally caught up with what the game developers had intended, Stephanie!"), or that he can run a really intense graphics program (read: "games", or "Netflix" ... you know, one of those) while simultaneously running Folding@Home on full-strength. All in the name of cancer research, you know. Or Parkinson's disease. I can't remember which project it is. But he's contributing the most "work units" to his group right now with all of his computing power. [He doesn't like me to remind him that he'd have even more "points" in the epic geek contest if he stayed off his computer and let it just run F@H.]

And RAM. Let's not forget the RAM. All 24GB of it. Oh, it's so lovely to run so many things without even needing the CPU or GPU.

And you'll never even hear it! Passive cooling + uber quiet fans + uber quiet power supply = optimized temperature and efficiency with very little noise to bother Mr. Dude's ears.

"Listen! Listen, Stephanie! You can't hear anything! The computer will always be the quietest piece of technology in our house. Isn't that awesome?!" 

Add in a sizable monitor with 1920x1080p resolution, an LED-lit keyboard, a gaming mouse, and a decent 2.1 sound system, and it's not a bad set-up, really.

Kind of reminds me of this scene:

For the record, Mr. Dude has actually set up infrared repeaters, fans and considered putting in a water cooling system to his computer.

Translation: The conversation the guys have amongst themselves has actually happened in our apartment. And it was just Mr. Dude talking to himself. The scary part is knowing most of what he's talking about ...

You know the best part about Mr. Dude's computer set up, though?

Commandeering it so I can open a simple web browser and a PDF viewer in order to complete some accounting projects for our home finances.

Oh, and run Pandora in the background.


Friday, October 25, 2013

First Gaming Console


They happen in the theater, and sometimes they happen in real life.

Like when Little Guy hits a growth spurt and decides that a full meal every two hours between 10 pm and 6 am for a week straight is necessary to life.

There's not enough coffee in life for me to function well after that, let alone blog.

In the meantime, Mr. Dude has made a declaration:

"Look, Stephanie! Little Guy's first console will be a Nintendo Gameboy. I'm going to start showing him how to use it!" 

Aren't they just the cutest? 

Okay, okay, I'll confess my bias. I only think they're cute because they're mine. But you have to admit that it's cute to watch a munchkin and his daddy hanging out together.

Side note: Curious as to how Mr. Dude acquired a Nintendo Gameboy?

A friend of ours decided to have a "Hipster"-themed birthday party and posted this as the cover photo for the event: 

Source unknown. My apologies to wherever he downloaded this from! 

Mr. Dude saw the guy on the right and immediately yelled out, "That's awesome!" 

A search on craigslist and ebay ensued for a Nintendo Gameboy in good, working condition. 

A trip across town and $20 later, and he had a new toy. 

A trip to Goodwill and $5 later, and he had the appropriate gold chain. 

A pair of shorts, a button up shirt, an origami paper bowtie and white socks helped him look like the hipster version of a guy from Weird Al's "White and Nerdy". 

Ergo, more proof that my husband is most definitely a nerd. And a sucker for nostalgia. 

Was there ever really any doubt, though? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dr. WHO?!?!

Mr. Dude has a lifelong goal: Have our very own computer museum in the basement of our someday-house.

Doesn't matter that others before him have already built a collection for the public to enjoy so he could go visit anytime he wants. Nope, he wants to gather a bunch of "legacy" machines and tinker with them to his heart's content.

[Yes, computer museums exist. Didn't you know there's one in Seattle's very own SODO district? Mr. Dude passes by it every day on his way to work. I'm surprised he hasn't stopped by yet and just gotten lost inside, ogling at all the amazing technology. If I remind him about it, we may never see him again. He'd be lost in a world of computer nostalgia.]

So in yesterday's BBC news (yes, I read international newspapers; no, that doesn't make me cooler than you), the article on "Flossie" caught my eye.

You know, the 50 year old "computer".

Source: BBC
Didn't you know about Flossie? Oh good, me neither.

But now I know that it's found a home and they want to get it working again in the next 2-3 years so people can interact with it in its very own museum-like environment.

I'm waiting for Mr. Dude to announce that we're headed to England to go visit the computer. Handy, since I want to visit England for a bunch of other reasons, too.

One quote in particular jumped out at me: 
"Other editions of the machine were later used as props thanks to their arresting design. Doctor Who, the Pink Panther and the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun all featured ICT 1301s." 
Those are some good credits, Flossie! I've seen most of the Pink Panther and James Bond movies, so I guess I'll have to watch them again more closely to look for you in there.

Now comes my big confession of the day:

I've never seen a single episode of Dr. Who

[Insert collective gasp from every Dr. Who fan everywhere. - 
"Not seen Dr. Who?! Stephanie! How could you?! It's the best show EVER!!!!!!"]

For all the nerdy things I've watched, I've never watched that

Shoot, I'm stalking the TV listings to figure out when the next season of Sherlock is coming (bother - Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch are in such high demand for things like The Hobbit, Star Trek and Comic Con that they can't even finish a lowly BBC series) and already have Downton Abbey on the calendar, much to Mr. Dude's shagrin. I'll gladly watch an episode of Mythbusters (despite their lousy science - they're mostly just hilarious). And I've seen episodes from most of the TV shows featured in Glove and Boots' History of Television.

But I have never seen Dr. Who

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is yet another reason why I am not actually a nerd.

Who needs to watch Dr. Who when I could read and drink tea instead?
We call this picture of last night's agenda #nerdalert.
And I blamed my sister for introducing me to such literature.
She told me I'm not a nerd until I can say the Ring's inscription in the language of Mordor.
I think I'm safe on that for a very, very long time. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

In a Galaxy that Looks a Lot Like Home ...

... and in a not-so-distant future ... 

Mr. Dude and I have been taking a lot of walks lately.

They're a good way to escape the soon-to-feel-really-cramped-when-Little-Guy-starts-crawling apartment at the end of a long day and enjoy whatever sunshine we have left here in Seattle before the gloom and doom of winter sets in.

[This is where Mr. Dude chimes in, "But Stephanie, you have to admit that we've had a good summer! You had 80 degrees and sunshine most days!" And my reply will always be, "Yes, but I will still miss my Rainbow flip flops."]

It's also great for keeping Little Guy placated in the late afternoon doldrums somewhere between I'm-too-tired-to-be-cheerful and it's-too-close-to-bedtime-for-another-nap.

So, we suit up with jackets and the Ergo (aka, "Little Guy's Kryptonite") and head out for a nice stroll.

Because we live close to one of the universities in town, we often see college kids. They look at us walking along with our munchkin and smile. And we look at them walking along with their load of books bag that probably just has a tablet and smart phone in it and smile. (And then I remember how long ago our own college years were. And I start wondering when the gray hairs are coming.)

Late last week, we saw another family walking with their two children and I'm sure the mom gave us that knowing smile which said, "Oh, that's so cute that you just have one who's not mobile yet. Just wait till you have two and one of them talks and runs everywhere!"

[Side note: Mr. Dude's mom keeps reminding me that he was running - not walking - at ten months old. Ten months old!!!! I'm quite content for Little Guy to just sit up on his own and only roll one direction at six months, thank you very much. Once he's mobile, it's game over at our house.]

The family's older son looked around 3, almost 4 years old and the little one was only a couple of months old. Mom was pushing the stroller and dad was attempting to hold the little boy's free hand as he bounced around like a jack rabbit.

The little boy's other hand clutched a light saber, drawn and ready to use on any Sith Lord who dared attack.

And I suddenly had a glimpse of my future. 

A few years from now, when Little Guy is running and jumping and talking about a hundred miles a minute, we'll be on another family walk. I'll have the next Little One in the Ergo and Mr. Dude will be attempting to contain Little Guy's free hand while the other one grasps a light saber.

Um, does that mean my kid is going to end up like this?

I wonder if I could get him a play version of Peter's Sword from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to use instead ...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Suddenly Seymour


Can we say that Mr. Dude has some really odd taste in movies?

This weekend, he decided that Little Shop of Horrors was on the docket, thanks to Amazon Prime's list of Popular Movies.

Might I suggest the sheer fact that a bunch of other people decided to watch it does NOT make it a "good movie", nor one that should be popular?

Seriously. A giant, people-eating plant from outer space that looks suspiciously like a Venus fly trap and named the Audrey II?

Movie Poster
Mr. Dude would like to point out that this version (yes, there were multiples! on and off Broadway and film!) came out in 1986. 

Therefore, it is (supposedly) good. 

Anyone think it's a tad bit on the tacky side? (*cough!* *sarcasm!* *cough!*)

Mr. Dude likes just about anything that came from the 80's and 90's. He considers that to be a strength. I, um, do not. 

But this one is a conundrum for me. 

I, for one, like musicals. As in, I've seen a lot of them. As in, I can sing the songs or remember the quotes from a lot of them. As in, I was skeptical of Wicked being as good as everyone claimed it was simply because I had seen so many truly amazing musicals. 

I also like oldies music. It's one of my default musical genres for listening to at any time (although I do make fun of my parents for how some of their favorites like Chicago and Journey keep showing up on the free stages at the fair). 

So Little Shop of Horrors is a musical. Offbeat. Weird. But a musical. 

AND it has Levi Stubbs playing the part of the Audrey II. Yeah, I couldn't remember who he was, either. That's what Wikipedia is for. He was the lead singer of The Four Tops with such hits as "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" and "Baby I Need Your Lovin'". 

Oh, and we'll just throw in Rick Moranis (dad on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), Steve Martin and Bill Murray because we can. 

Great lineup. Great genre of movie. Fantastic singing ability. 

Still very, very, VERY tacky. 

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhhhhh ......

Do I have to like it? 

Okay. Fine. I'll say I do. But I don't want to. 

Just don't tell Mr. Dude. He'll be all giddy about the chance to say, "I told you so!" 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Red Flags

It's always reassuring to hear that your spouse didn't have cold feet before your wedding.

But this weekend, I heard about a (at least semi-) serious conversation between Mr. Dude and his parents before he proposed.

He was home for just one summer during his entire college career - he had an internship back in Seattle after working at the on-campus IT help desk for a few summers. It was the one long stretch we were apart for while dating.

And it wasn't fun.

Towards the end of summer, we were heading into our senior year at college and getting serious about marriage. As in, I may have told him I was willing to move to Seattle after graduation just to be close to him, even if we weren't married.

Mr. Dude's parents were wanting to help him be sure that he was making a thoughtful decision because marriage is for a lifetime.

[Uh, random side note - He had also just managed to burn a hole in their tablecloth that summer after soldering a powerjack back together in his laptop while working at their kitchen table. You know, because the garage would be too inconvenient. And sensible.]

Mr. Dude's Mom: Now, Mr. Dude, we know you're getting serious about Stephanie. Are you thinking you're going to propose to her soon?
Mr. Dude: Yeah, I think so. We work really well together and she understands me really well. She's my best friend!
Mr. Dude's Mom: And you haven't seen any red flags go up? There's nothing about her that makes you concerned, right? Because marriage is forever and we want you to be sure.
Mr. Dude: Nope. No red flags that I've seen. Well, aside from the fact that she doesn't like to play Quake 4. But I think she'll still be okay. 

Quake 4? Really?! You were considering asking me to be your wife and that's all you had to say about red flags?!?!

Then again, that's the only red flag he had.

Okay. I'll take it. :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Six Months

Yesterday marked six (6!) months of life with Little Guy, post utero.

Man, time flies when you're having fun. Or when you're Sleepless in Seattle. Literally.

It was a loooooooooooooooooong labor, starting at 2:45 A.M. on a Friday, and going all the way to 9:41 P.M. on a Saturday. 43. Freakishly. Long. Hours.


This weekend, we celebrated by taking it easy. Coffee. Walks. Naps. Parks. Sunshine. Reading.

I'm reading Fellowship right now, but the day I went into labor, I watched Peter Jackson's Two Towers and Return of the King.

I'm not kidding.

I listened to the soundtracks while I studied in college. I pretty much know the movies by heart. I've read the books. I figured it was a good (long) distraction while dealing with the contractions in early labor.

Good thing Mr. Dude and our doula didn't care. Or that they knew better than to argue with a lady in labor.

Someday, Little Guy is going to be watching those movies or reading those books and end up hearing all about his birthday. Hope that doesn't traumatize him ...

Never too early to start going to story time at the library.
Or to start reading classic literature. 

Side note: I borrowed The Hobbit from a friend and she was out of town when I needed (not wanted) to start reading The Fellowship of the Ring, so I got it from the library when Little Guy and I went for story time. I looked in the fiction section to find that Tolkien was not there. Then I looked in the library catalog via the app on my phone ("Oh those kids and their newfangled contraptions these days!") to see if our local branch had it.

Yes, they did. In the science fiction section. You know, where you'd find Star Wars, Star Trek, and comic books of all kinds.

Does that make Little Guy's mama a nerd?

Sunday, October 6, 2013



Mr. Dude: Stephanie, I've had an epiphany.
Me: Oh really? What's that?
Mr. Dude: I'm a super nerd.
Me [guffawing, chortling, snickering, LOLing, etc, are all appropriate here]: Oh, please. Do tell me what made you realize such a thing.
Mr. Dude: I'm playing Defense Grid while wearing a Defense Grid tshirt.
Me: Yup, that makes you a super nerd, all right.

Zoey the Cat would like to complain about how she's not the center of attention by making sure she was part of the picture. Literally. 
And in case that wasn't nerdy enough, later in the week he was watching videos on the making of Defense Grid 2 (complete with multi-player! And no, I won't be joining him in that).

Then we got to watch the full version of this ad by Ford and Microsoft that totally makes fun of nerds who still live in their mom's basement and think Master Chief is the coolest person ever.

Oh yeah, and we learned that Steam OS isn't going to kill off console gameplay. Yet.

Excuse me while I escape his brand of nerdiness by reading LOTR: Fellowship. Frodo's trying to make it out of the Shire without becoming a Black Rider's lunch.

Just for kicks and giggles, we'll throw in a picture of this tshirt, too. NVIDIA was giving away tshirts at PAX that became your own greenscreen. You put on the tshirt, walked in front of a projector, and if the word "winner" showed up on the green controller, you got a prize. Otherwise something like their logo showed up and you just got to keep the shirt. AKA, you just won a chance to be dirt cheap advertising for them. It would have been funnier if the words, "I went to PAX and all I got was this lousy tshirt", had showed up for the non-winners instead. True story. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Talk Nerdy to Me, Lover"

[Props to the hilarious eponymous FB page, by the way.]

While at Cousin Julie's house this week, Mr. Dude was sorting through all kinds of wires, cords, batteries, etc, to help her set up the Wii, a cool sound bar for her TV, and her internet connection. I'm taking care of Little Guy (who is kind of fussing since he hasn't had a good nap since the morning) and oohing and aahing over the amazing home improvement stuff she's done.

Mr. Dude, as usual, is giving commentary on what he's doing - stuff about how the sound bar could be positioned over the tv or under the tv, here's an interesting factoid about some component on the desktop you have in there, you could hide the cables from the desktop computer over here, and did you know that the Wii has HDMI cables available so you can get the full high def signal from it? Yeah, you should order one from Amazon, Julie. 

Most of the time I manage to tune it out. Or at least smile and nod.

[Guys, it's not just your move. We gals do it, too. In my defense, I actually know what he's talking about 90% of the time. I just am not always interested. But I rarely tell him to stop talking about tech stuff. Yes, I love him that much.]

But one item made my ears perk up: The modem and wireless router were in the second bedroom/sewing room. The Blu-Ray player was out in the living room. If Julie wanted it to connect to things like Amazon Prime and Netflix, she'd have to run an ethernet cord all along the baseboards. 

That was promptly vetoed. Julie hates visual cables almost as much as Mr. Dude does. 

Me: Mr. Dude, couldn't you just set up a wireless repeater in here and connect the Blu-Ray player to it so you wouldn't have to run the cables in here?
Mr. Dude: Yeah, I could. That's a good idea! I'll look and see what she has. Maybe the internet company left one - they had an extra device in there that I hadn't looked at yet.
Julie: What did you just tell him? You actually understand all that, Stephanie? You go, girl!
Me: Yeah. Sometimes I talk "nerdy" to him. [insert rim shot here]

Some days, I shake my head and sigh at the #geekspeak things I say ... 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Snacks: Dragons = Good and Vampires = Bad

We joke (in all seriousness) that in our house, we'll never watch or read Twilight because we eat FAR too much garlic for any vampires to come anywhere near. (We're not quite as crazy as my college roommate who bought 46 heads of garlic when the recipe called for 46 cloves of garlic, though. But that's another story. It also helps that we have standards when it comes to what can actually be called literature. Again, that's another story.)

We also are well-known fire breathers. (Does that make us part dragon? If so, I'd rather be Eustace than Smaug. Smaug dies.) As in, we have to remember not to put so many spices in when we cook for other people. We don't put jalapeƱos n our tacos - we use habaneros. Oh, and I may have found grinders of dried ghost chili peppers during the 5 minutes Trader Joe's carried them ... and bought 2. It's okay - ghost chili peppers only have 850k-1.5mil Scoville units (compared to a jalapeƱo's 3.5-8k) and they're only one of the hottest (non-genetically modified) peppers on the planet.

Side note: When I was trying to go into labor, people kept suggesting spicy food. Problem: I had been eating ghost chili flakes on lots of things during the whole pregnancy. I don't think they were going to be triggering contractions at the end if they hadn't done so in the first or second trimesters, and it doesn't get much hotter than ghost chili peppers ... 

But I digress. As always.

Our favorite snack of late has been stove-top popcorn.

Do you know how cheap popcorn kernels are - even the organic ones - and how easy it is to make that stuff?

First, gather your ingredients:

Next, put some of that coconut oil (or any other oil with a reasonably high smoke point) in the pot with a few kernels, set the heat to medium-high or high and put the lid on top.

Wait for the oil to melt and the kernels to start popping, then put in enough kernels to fill the bottom of the pan. I give it a good shake every few seconds so the kernels don't burn. 

When the kernels slow down their popping, or stop popping altogether, I take it off the stove, pour into a waiting bowl, and start dumping on the goodness. No measuring, just dumping. In the kitchen world, they call it "season to taste". In Mr. Dude's world, it's "Stephanie, I want the food to kick my butt. Please add more cayenne." 

Pro-Dragon/Anti-Vampire Mix: Coconut Oil, Granulated Garlic, Ground Cayenne Pepper, Salt

Steph's Favorite: Coconut Oil, Ground Ginger, Salt

"Traditional": Melted Butter (but cook in olive oil), Salt

Toss it all together, and hope that you don't eat it all in one sitting. But if you do, know that there weren't any crazy chemicals and it was dirt cheap. 

Oops. Empty bowl. Sorry, forgot to take a picture before we ate it. All. In under half an hour.

Bonus points if you aren't playing Defense Grid while eating it.