Sunday, October 30, 2011

Deck evolution

My U/W deck has existed with me in some form since I started playing; it was my first deck. I bought it from Eric Zorn for $4? $8? in 2000.

2x Accumulated Knowledge (yes, 2!)
2x Gush
1x Brainstorm
3x Opt

2x Rethink
2x Exclude
2x Snap
2x Prohibit

4x Dream Thrush
2x Vodalian Serpent
1x Sea Monster
1x Air Elemental

1x Heightened Awareness
1x Mental Discipline

14x Island

Holy crap! Pretty good memory! Well, I had 6 white cards at the time, including Guard Dogs, so naturally I should make it U/W and expand my list to be a legal 60 cards.

I kept trying to compete with green for creatures, except at the time it was when blue had terrible creatures (not like them kids these days and their 3/2 fliers for 1CC).

Cards that I remember putting in and taking out over the years include Planar Portal, Lotus Petal, Sibilant Spirit, Copper-Leaf Angel and Serra Angel.

Wish I still have a Copper-Leaf actually...just for nostalgia. I first saw someone older than me use it in a game when I was 9, therefore it must've been good! And it's a rare from Prophecy! Wow! Prophecy was also the best set because its creatures were so big!

Too bad I traded all my angels to Don for all of his blue cards. (This might also explain why I have no angels left to put into the EDH deck)

I did get a playset of Vizzerdrixes though, that makes a better story.

The only vestiges of that deck left are the Accumulated Knowledges and the Excludes. The blue has stayed with me though, islands 4 lyfe yo.

Affinity started as a precon; I got it as a gift. At first I thought it was dumb, because there's nothing in it that could go in my U/W deck. But then I discovered that affinity was fast. And everyone's decks were terrible then, so this shit was like lightning!

I never did give it the same loving attention as my other decks because it was aggro and aggro is dumb. That could be why it went through one refit that year and then its composition has barely changed since 2003. I just sort of trusted that the setup worked because it was performing solidly ever since, but as I discovered yesterday, apparently my deckbuilding skills were not at their sharpest then. I think Maks noticed though...the "slowest affinity in the world" I believe he said. <_<

Non-basic cards left from the precon: Broodstar, Lodestone Myr, Somber Hoverguard(2), Frogmite(3), Myr Enforcer(3), Thoughtcast, Assert Authority(2), Talisman of Dominance(4), Tooth of Chiss-Gloria, Seat of the Synod(4), Vault of Whispers(4) Total(26)

I bought the Izzet deck on impulse because the flavour seemed wonderful. I honestly thought it was hopeless when I started playing with it though. I think I would've taken it apart totally if it weren't for the flavour, but I stuck with it and now it is the most fun of my decks.

Non-basic cards left from the precon: Izzet Boilerworks(2), Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind, Gelectrode, Tibor and Lumia, Wee Dragonauts (1), Izzet Chronarch(1), Izzet Guildmage, Repeal (2), Electrolyze, Total(11)

If it weren't for flavour, I'd have cut the Chronarch, Dragonauts, Tibor and Lumia, and Nivix. Nivix is terrible because I literally never activate it for fear of tossing a force multiplier like Guildmage, Gelectrode, Swans or Niv-Mizzet himself.

But Tibor and Lumia is actually the worst card. I rarely want to play it and I only end up doing it if I'm feeling ballsy. Then, I am silently relieved when my opponent kills it because it means I don't have to deal with them myself later.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

That's old news

Australia is doing well, but they're anxious these days because they are an Asian country, but they're not Asian and their major partner is China but they're suspicious of them.

So? That's kind of like Japan too.

No, it's not.

Why? All the East Asian countries certainly hate each other more.

Yes, but that's an old problem they've all gotten used to, for Australia this is a New Problem.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good news!

Meanwhile, Canada’s early production model F-35 Joint Strike Fighters won’t have the satellite communications gear necessary to communicate with the outside world while flying over remote regions like the Arctic, according to the Winnepeg Free Press.


Canada isn’t slated to receive F-35’s equipped with Satcoms until 2019 and Ottawa is apparently looking at installing communications pods used by Canadian CF-18 Hornets on the F-35s as a stopgap measure for Arctic ops. This move would obviously trade stealth for communications.


Friday, October 21, 2011

One more thing

So we all know that Spetsnaz guy, this guy, and sometimes we wonder, just how often does such a situation come up?

Anyways, here's a Chinese SWAT member in action during a drill:

Apparently 18 SWAT teams participated in the drill.

Of course

They occasionally take down the portrait to replace with a new one.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crash safety probably isn't as easy as they make it seem in those commercials...

I see that in China, the crumple zone is driver inclusive.

They say North American safety standards are higher than those in Europe. Well, maybe the Europeans don't have to worry about getting T-boned by a Chevy Suburban.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

That's cool

Ruby has no interfaces, but let's see what we can do:

module FooInterface
def bar(a,b) raise "bar(a,b) must be overridden"; end

class FooClass
include FooInterface
def bar(a,b) a+b; end

It's not particularly robust, but ehh, this isn't Java.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

I've experimented with a lot of turkey recipes in the past, some were pretty crazy, like there was one stuffed with apples. Anyways, for the last many years I've just stuck with this one because I've been really happy with it. So I'm sharing it if anyone cares to try for next season (American Thanksgiving? Christmas?).

• 1 x 12 lb. young turkey (about 5.5 kg)
• 8 oz diced pancetta (240 g)
• 8 large shallots, sliced lengthwise
• 2 tbsp butter (30 ml)
• sprigs of thyme, whole and chopped
• sprigs of sage, whole and chopped
• sprigs of rosemary, whole and chopped
• 1/4 cup sugar (60 ml)
• 1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar (22 ml)
• Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• Butter, for rubbing the outside of turkey
• Sprigs of herbs, for garnish, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Add pancetta to medium saute pan over medium heat. Sautee until fat begins to render, about 4 minutes. Remove pancetta and reserve.

3. To the same pan over medium heat, add butter, shallots and chopped herbs. Saute shallots until translucent, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and continue to saute shallots 2 more minutes or until lightly browned. Add the vinegar and remove from heat and stir. Season with freshly ground pepper. Combine shallots with pancetta. Let cool to room temperature.

4. Remove giblets and turkey neck from turkey cavity. For additional flavour to pan drippings roast turkey neck in roasting pan with turkey. Remove any pockets of fat from bird cavity. Thoroughly rinse with cold water. Pat turkey dry with paper towel.

5. Run your hands gently between skin and meat of the turkey breast and legs to separate skin from meat. Do so carefully to prevent the skin from tearing. Gently slide about ½ of the shallot mixture and some fresh chopped herbs between skin and meat of the breast and legs.

6. Rub bird with butter and season with salt and pepper. Fill bird cavity with remaining shallot mixture and whole sprigs of herbs. Truss legs together with butcher’s twine to maintain shape while roasting.

7. Roast bird, breast side up, in a large, lightly oiled roasting pan on the lower portion of oven at 350 degrees F. for first 30 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees F. Continue to roast, basting often, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 180 degrees F. about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Remove remaining shallot mixture from cavity of turkey and place in roasting pan. Transfer turkey to serving platter. Cover loosely with foil and keep warm and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Garnish platter with fresh sprigs of herbs if desired. Make gravy while turkey is resting.

Sorry, don't remember where I got it from, it's just been sitting on my hard drive.

My mom to dad: Pancetta is really good, it's not like bacon, it's really sweet!

Little does she know that I just like adding large amounts of sugar to everything I cook.

Putting the punk in steampunk

I should write about a realistic steampunk universe.

Everything is going to be broken all the time because everything is as complicated as shit and there is a constant part shortage.

There will also be a perpetual engineer, mechanic, fabricator shortage because everything is as complicated as shit and broken all the time.

There will be no stacks; Stirling engines, bitch! So much more practical.

People will get burned all the time because everything is powered by hot steam and made of copper.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

This is getting a bit out of hand

I like Steve Jobs as much as anyone.

In fact, I probably appreciate his work more than the average person.

Suddenly today I find on my feed "Steve Jobs' Influence on the Military".


He invented iPods, not penicillin.

People need to stop treating this like the death of an American hero.