Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Pie That Changes Peoples Lives

I'm not kidding.
We just got a call "you changed my life" they said, It's all about the pie.
more specifically it's all about the pie crust, and there are a few kinds that it won't work for,
but in general it make pretty good pie.  And yes it may even change your life ;) (and it may not).

But here is the super secret recipe for an excellent pie crust. (we'd keep it a secret, but we can't stand all the bad pies out there  Ü) (my mom says this is top secret and it's spreading too fast... she almost wouldn't let me post it.  So no sharing... but you probably could send them to this here website Ü)

Pie Paste (yep, that's where pastry comes from)

  • 3 cups
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar rounded (healthily)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • a pinch of salt (just pinch the salt and then what ever stays between your fingers is a pinch)
  • 1.5 cups shortening
  • 1/2 a cup of milk
Mix your dry ingredients first, then cut in your wetter ones.
It's practically impossible to over work this recipe. You may need a little more flour... you will probably need more flour.
then roll it out with enough flour that it doesn't stick, it shouldn't take much at this point.
mmmm hmmm
Poke it (with like a fork or something) or weight it to avoid large pockets of air.
Oh yeah bake it at 375º, or fill it with fruit, and then bake it at 350º

I hope your Thanksgiving was as good as mine, if it wasn't, and if the reason was bad pie, well, next year maybe better.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I can't believe I posted so many times last weekend.  I posted a survey, and I created one (but I had the good sense to save it). Then I posted on this blog twice, and on my other blog once.  but don't worry, I'm back to my normal infrequent postings. Ü

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Games People Play

I know this sounds a lot like a post that I just made, but I started this one first... I promise. I did!
Never the less I have some things that I would like to say about games, so I will just say them.

I like games.  Actually I like them a lot. I have a lot of good games, but I think there is plenty of room for my collection to grow.  And as tradition in  my house is to generally get a game or two for Christmas, I figured this was as good a time as any to share some insights about some games.
What I like and why I like it.

Mostly I look for games that fall into a niche that I don't have a lot of. Of course there are some good games in the niches that I do have too.  So here is a selection of some of the games that interest me most.

  1. HARE AND TORTOISE - It was the Spiel des Jahres in a year that, I feel connected to, and It is a strategy game for 2 - 6 players. And I have a bit of an affinity for games with 2-6 players.  Sometimes there are more than 4 people in a group. and sometimes there are less, a 2-6 player game is practically perfect... for some things anyway.
  2. Acquire - Thank you Devin! I love this game and I would love to have this game. And Devin was the one who introduced it to me.  3-6 players.
  3. Hit or Miss - I remember the first time I played this game, I was skeptical at best. But turns out it's a really really fun game, especially for parties... oh and for smart people. There's a good balance of strategy and skill, and it's a game for 3-8 players.  (3-6 is good, 3-8 is better).
  4. Incan Gold - Most Excellent. Alan R. Moon. And 3-8 players. I may be in love.
  5. Bohnanza - What a great game.  It's one part pit, and one monopoly, and just plain fun.  It's fast - ish, and versatile... and in theory it comes with an expansion pack (there are lots of expansions available).  3-7 players, but I've played it with as many as 11 people... I think.
  6. Agricola - I've never played this game but Devin says it is great, and I trust Devin and his taste in games. I really want to play this game. Unfortunately this game is a little bit more than some of the others, but I hear it is so worth it. 1-5 players.
  7. Fauna - Spiel des Jahres, but not available.
  8. Enchanted Forest - It's a game for ages 6 and up, but magically it seems playable by the ups. a solid game for people of all ages. Once again, 2-6 players.
  9. Scotland Yard or Mister X - My best friend introduced me to Scotland yard quite a few years ago.  Mister X is it's sequel.  It's a little tense sometimes, yeah it's suspenseful,  but it's a good game for 3-6 players.
  10. Railway Rivals / Dampfross -  It's not a short game, and to be honest I'm not sure how it compares with Ticket to Ride. But hey it was the Spiel des Jahres in '84 and it's 2-6 players.
  11. Such a Thing - Another good party game that sounds pretty fun. 2 -10 players.
  12. Pick Picknic or Razzia -  I like ravesnburger as a company, and It did win the S-d-J, but I'd totally pick the Picknic one over the Razzia, but I am intrigued.  2-6 players.
  13. Tutankhamen - S-d-J, cheap, and fast. 2 -6 players
  14. Slide 5 -  Cheap and fast card game 2 -10 players
  15. Medici - S-d-J  I know the line is getting a little old but I really like Spiel des Jahres games. It doesn't hurt that it's set in the Mediterranean. 3- 6 players
  16. Mü and Lots More - It's four card games in one. Awesome. Each with it's own way to win the trick. 2 -8 players.
  17. Elfenland - Spiel des Jahres and by the same guy who made "Ticket to Ride." It's not a short game, but it has to be good.  2-6 players.
  18. Citadels - Excellent choice.  It's a card game, kind of seems like BANG! 2 -7 players.
  19. Metro - It's another S-d-J and another train game, but every one seems interesting in it's own unique way. 2-6 players.
  20. Frank's Zoo - It's a card game, a trick taking card game. But you can play it with up to seven players. 4-7 players.
  21. TransAmerica - DAh it's a train game. If I actually got it, then everybody would have to stop refering to the other train game as "The Train Game." This one has an expansion pack which may or may not be essential. oh yeah S-d-J. 2-6 players.
  22. Alhambra - It seems pretty interesting, kind of like Carcassone and Settlers mixed. There are five expansions, but I'm not sure which ones are the best (and they can be mixed and matched). I have heard that the first and the fifth, are probably the weakest. S-d-J. 2-6 players
  23. Fische Fluppen Frikadellen - hard to find 2 -15 players (if you get three different sets)
  24. Mausen - Card Game 3-6 players.... can you tell it's getting late yet?
  25. Viva Il Re! - 3-6 players preorder only
  26. Typo - It's a word game and a card game. 2-6 players.
  27. Wicked Witches Way - yeah yeah S-d-J. and 2-6 players. yada yada yada.
  28. Jamaica - I little bit spicey... or um pricey. More S-d-J. and 2-6 players. and pirates. what could go wrong?
  29. Time's up - A last minute addition. You've probably already played it. But this is the actual game. It's a person guessing game. Three rounds, progessively harder and progressively funnier (if we were playing it we'd probably just write names and put them in a large bowl. Julie-style).
  30. Why did the Chicken - Another good party game. Another last minute addition. Good party games are always welcome. the end.
there you have it 30 of perhaps the most interesting games, that I don't have. Most of them I have never even played. But I want to. I can't garantee that all my links work, and no I'm not going to check them.  If I was really smart I would link them to Amazon, so I could make some money from this... but I just don't have the time or ambition right now. Maybe at a future date. What do you think?

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    Free Book

    I really thought that I posted a link to this a while back, but I can't seem to find it anywhere, and regardless, I think the post is especially timely right now.

    So there's this Guy named Chris(It's not like he's the editor of some big tech magazine or anything... or is he?) and he wrote a book about how free has changed, and is changing.

    Interestingly enough, the book is free. Or at least it can be, but it can also be purchased. To me the book is both interesting, and well interesting.

    And I would like to recommend it... Especially if you might possibly consider working for me in the next year or so. No seriously, this book is interesting, and it talks about the various business models that I think I am working my work into.

    I will say that I'm not an economist, and ironically, I don't really think that's what this book is about. But is is about business, and society, and it's got insights, and info, and I think it's worth the time.
    Oh yeah did I mention it's free? And did I mention that you can listen to it?
    So here's the deal. If you want to hear it you can get it on itunes.
    Here's the podcast.
    Here is the Free Audio Book.
    And if you'd rather not download it,
    I can give you a free cd... or I can send you the file, just let me know (though this option sounds a lot like the previous two).

    So if you want give it a listen, or find it at the library, or watch it on youtube (I wouldn't be surprised Ü).  And let me know what you think.  I was pleasantly surprised when I started giving it a chance, cause honestly when I heard about it the only word I could think of was 'hokey' now I think... 'hmm, surprisingly relevant."

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    A few movies that I have not seen or would like to see again.

    This list is not exactly in order, but I'm not going to take the time right now to fix it, so this is what you get.

    1. Monsters Vs. Aliens - I like animation, in fact I almost went into it. And Dreamworks seems to be catching up with Pixar, I mean nothing can really compete with Pixar, but I've heard good things.
    2. UP! - Pixar. Yeah, it may be a little surprising that I haven't seen this yet, but... I also don't have a cell phone.  Ü
    3. Flushed away - More animation that I haven't seen.  Me = intrigued.
    4. Wallace and Grommet were-rabbit  - I know how some of you feel about claymation, and I respect that, but I don't find it the least bit creepy, just funny, pure and simple.
    5. Galaxy Quest - I didn't have high expectations for this one, but it did surprisingly well on the Tomatometer®. And now I am über intrigued.
    6. Second Hand Lions - It's been a while, and it was good. And everybody always talks about it, so I'd like to see it again.
    7. The Story of Weeping Camel - It's a Docu-drama, and I hear really really good things about it. I like a good documentary type film every now and then.
    8. Any Red Skelton movie - Genius. Seriously I love Red Skelton. His movies are soooo funny, and I've seen a few, but I would love to see the rest.
    9. Madagascar. (1)  Surprisingly I really liked the sequel, but I still don't think I ever saw the original, so Madagascar... yeah I'd like to see that.
    10. Forever Strong - Rugby anyone?  I'm not sure whether it's the local flavor, or the story, or what, but I would actually like to see what they did with this movie.
    11. Ushpizin - conceptually hilarious; dry, like matzo but clever, and unique, and well made.
    12. The original Ocean 11 - Everything these days seems to be a remake of something.  I want to see the somethings.  yeah, I'm intrigued.
    13. The original Italian Job. - Ditto.
    14. Time Bandits - Connery and Cleese, (what an odd combination... which only makes it more intriguing) not my first choice, but I'd like to see it.
    15. Condorman - Ok I just watched it and it is good, but technically it no longer needs to be on this list
    16. We are Marshall - You know one of those sports movies, but different... kind of.
    17. Lion king 1 1'2 - Not a sequel... not not a sequel, an enigma. My aunt said it was very good.
    18. Bridge to Terabithia - Never read the book, never saw the movie, but I would.
    19. The Iron Giant - Somehow I missed this movie, Ok I was in Greece, but still, I think I've only seen snippets here and there, and I'd like to see the whole thing.  You don't really hear about it, but it's supposedly surprisingly good.
    20.  The King of Comedy - It's probably low on my list, but I wouldn't mind seeing it.
    21. Spiderwick Chronicles - yeah I'd watch that.
    22. Harvey... either version - I don't remember when my fascination with large invisible rabbits began, but I think I could really enjoy a good flick about one.
    23. The Three Caballeros - Yet another one that I probably have not seen... unbelievable
    24. The Late Show - A detective past his prime, what could go wrong?
    25. Frank and Ollie - A movie about people who make movies.  I guess this goes back to the days when I wanted to work for Disney.
    26. Modern Times - I've never seen a any of the great Charlie Chaplin feature length films, and I feel I'm missing something. This one I hear leaves you speechless. ü
    27. The Great dictator - Chaplin again. classic really. Classic.
    28. Being there - Peter Sellers.   "A highly unusual and an unusually fine film."
    29. Reds - It's a political drama, as if I don't already get enough of that, but it still has me intrigued, I could see myself hating it, but I'm still curious.
    30. Invincible - Yeah it's just football, but I like a little football, now and again.
    31. Z - Ok so I don't really know if I want to see it, but I did a graphics project about some of the best international movies ever and... it made the list.
    32. The last mimzy - It really just barely makes the cut, but I believe in supporting movies with family friendly ratings.

    Tuesday, November 03, 2009