Hits and Misses

It’s been an up and down time at “Chez Les Deux Petes” and one of the things on the downswing has been my motivation to actually write anything, good or not, to put on the site. So as I tend to do in these times, here is a collection of short thoughts that I never managed to turn into full on wank sessions.

Hit: Decent Potato Salad

I’ve never been able to make potato salad. There is something about it that just eluded me. But then I was half paying attention to the latest Alton Brown episode on the TV and I saw him drizzle vinegar on the cooked potatoes and stick them in the fridge for a few hours. Brilliant! Potato salad has been solved. Just have to try it with a Cuisinart-made garlic mayonnaise next time.

Miss: Chicken Fried Steak

Tried to make chicken fried steak. Instead I got sort of a soggy chewy mess. Clearly this is going to take some more research.

Hit: Grinding Diablo

Part of the reason I have not written anything is that my thumbs are too sore from clicking on the trackpad as I slowly grind my way through Diablo. How many games make it possible to replay areas just for the fun of turning more bands of minions from hell into jelly?

Miss: Costco Chicken Packs

We were told to bring food for 20, which was a bit of an overestimate. As usual, we overestimated how much 20 people could eat. So we ended up with three huge cases of plastic encased chicken parts. This is the first time I’ve seen food wrapped in blister pack. In addition, the chicken is not of this earth. It comes from some strange alien chicken world where the humans and chickens must be much larger. I am never buying chicken at Costco again.

We didn’t even crack open the “emergency” steaks.

Hit? NCAA 2009 Demo

The demo seems to play OK. They’ve fixed, almost, the play calling screens. The hot route and audible UI is fixed. The game almost feels responsive. But I’ve been fooled before. No conclusion here until Madden comes out.

Miss: Nerdcore response to E3 Presentations

Every year now it’s the same thing. The intertubes are full of streaming video of the E3 presentations and all you can conclude is that none of these companies knows how to do a product rollout as well as Steve Jobs. It’s really sad.

But what is worse is the constant whiny river of vitriol that flows out of the “hardcore gamer” set about how lame the E3 announcements were. What do they expect? Do they expect all game companies to be [as good as Blizzard](http://tleaves.com/2008/07/03/click-click-click-click-click-click- click/#more-1067)? Do they expect ponies?

Most of the recent wrath is again aimed at Nintendo, who for yet another year have “abandoned” the important core gamer set in favor of making bathtubs full of money by creating products that everyone likes, not just the male 18-34 year olds who already spend all their time on Xbox Live or playing World of Warcraft. We’ve [gone over this before](http://tleaves.com/2007/08/15/hail-to- the-hard-core/) so I won’t repeat myself any more than I already have.

Hit: Pancakes

Take [this recipe](http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/instant- pancake-mix-recipe/index.html). Make sure you mix the dry ingredients really really well. Use a bit less buttermilk and replace it with a bit of low fat milk. Avoid shitty electric griddles that don’t get hot enough. The result will be thick, light, fluffy pancakes that soak up syrup like a sponge. Pancake heaven. Now if I only knew what Dottie’s used for a spice mix.

Miss: Adventures in Data Loss

My laptop hard disk decided to head crash while I was cloning it to my standard backup clone drive. As a result, I also had no backup clone drive at the time. Thus, I had to spend an excruciating weekend laboriously reinstalling everything I normally use on the laptop and setting it all up again. Usually the MacOS migration utility does this work for me, and I like it that way. It’s by far the most useful thing that MacOS does. I’ve only done this sort of rebuild twice in the almost 7 years I’ve been back on Macs.

Hit: Paranoid Redundant Backups

Happily, the head crash did not wipe any data I really cared about. The music is somewhere else. The work stuff is mostly at work. And most importantly, the photos are periodically backed up in at least three places at any given time, so the week of pictures I thought I lost were actually in backup disk number three in my office. Let this be a lesson. There is no level of paranoia too high for your picture archive.

I also bought a second pocket drive for laptop Time Machine use. And made a second clone disk in case this ever happens again, so I can at least try to boot the laptop the next time I am completely screwed.

Hmm, now that I have written this little missive, I guess I’ll go back up my photos again. See ya.