Friday, June 30, 2023

how to mess up an order

A while back, I tried to order myself some Diet Cherry Coke (or Cherry Coke Zero as it's now called). If you look at the waybill in the photo below, you'll note that it says I'm getting just regular Coke Zero.

To add insult to injury, a fragment of a Cherry Coke Zero box was included (see image below), which seems to indicate that someone in the order-fulfillment process understood I wanted Cherry Coke Zero. But this is not what I ended up with.

I ended up with twelve cans of regular Coke Zero. Fuckers. This order was fulfilled back in the States, so this isn't a Korean mistake. I'm guessing the order got fucked up by some nose-picking, Democrat-voting moron who resents his job and couldn't give two shits about not getting the order right. Because pride in one's work is racist or something. At times like this, I wish the Unabomber were alive. Someone deserves a happy little package.

So—make a stink? Send the shipment back? Demand a refund? I'm taking the Taoist way out and going with the flow. I drink regular Coke Zero, anyway, so I might as well guzzle my money's worth. At this point, I've had several Coupang-related orders get messed up. The worst is anything coming from China: shipping delays last forever, and after a long wait of several weeks, Coupang will send a contrite message asking me if I want to just cancel the order or what. I usually just cancel. If I'm desperate to have that particular product (and I'm usually not), I'll search for it via another service like Amazon, iHerb, or something. If this were a life-or-death matter, I might be more aggressive about the situation, but it's only diet soda. Which yet another report suggests is bad for you. Old news, but yeah.

surf-&-turf luncheon

Lunch was a success. It even coaxed a "delicious" out of the boss, who normally only ever grunts, "S'good." Here's the mac and cheese, heated up this time:

Here's the surf (stirred in butter, with Old Bay seasoning):

My plate, with two dipping sauces (chimichurri and garlic butter):

filet mignon, shrimp, mac and cheese, green beans with almonds

Same dish, different angle:

I really have no idea how to plate things prettily.

The all-important cross section:

perfectly done with thanks to my Instant Pot's sous-vide mode

I don't normally give you a "forkful" shot, but here you go:

Not pictured: my bread. Just type "bread" in my blog's search window, and you'll see tons of pics of it. All in all, a great and satisfying meal. My Korean coworker forgot today was our luncheon, so when I came into the office, he was already eating his wife's food (because he'd obviously forgotten to tell his wife not to make anything for him). Grrr. Still, he ate plenty, as did the boss, and I somehow managed to stop after a single plateful because everything was so filling. There's one more portion of everything left over, so I know what dinner tonight will be.

the slightest of stains

I examined my toe the same way, this morning, as I'd done yesterday, but this time, I remembered to take pictures. Here's the outside of the bandage:

And note that it's just a regular bandage, not a heavy-duty one. No leakage visible.

And here's the toe wound plus the bandage's interior:

I don't even see a hole anymore, but I know it's there.

As you see, there's only the slightest of stains on the bandage. This isn't as pretty a result as yesterday's bandage, but it's still a sign that things are moving in the right direction. A long, nighttime walk—maybe to Bundang, maybe to the Jamshil Bridge and back—will likely happen either tonight (assuming I'm not stuffed from lunch) or sometime this weekend.

a glimpse of the meal prep

Surf and turf is coming to a Daechi office near you. Along with filet mignon and shrimp, there'll be mac and cheese, green beans, and homemade bread.

I took the following two shots after the sides had spent time in refrigeration, so the mac and cheese looks rather congealed and gloopy. Sorry about that.

Those are bacon bits. Well, pan-fried lardons, anyway.

The recipe for the green beans also calls for bacon, but I ran out.

This loaf ended up slightly larger than normal, but only slightly.

I let the bread proof out in my apartment's hallway, where the air is hot and humid. I also let the bread over-proof by maybe thirty minutes, which might have affected the loaf in unknown ways. Then again, this reference says:

Over-proofing happens when dough has proofed too long and the air bubbles have popped. You'll know your dough is over-proofed if, when poked, it never springs back. To rescue over-proofed dough, press down on the dough to remove the gas, then reshape and reproof. (This method won't work for sourdough bread.)

By that metric, I might be okay. There were still plenty of bubbles in my dough. The dough is also too wet to poke or de-gas.

I'll try to have better pics of all the food (my steaks are currently sous vide-ing) later today.

Styx on the Supreme Court's affirmative-action decision

The US Supreme Court just ruled 6-3 against affirmative action in college admissions. Affirmative action might arguably have had good intentions, but it is a blight on the nation and has been used as a cudgel to discriminate against certain minorities (read: East and South Asians) while propping up others. Beyond that, it has been an excuse for anti-white discrimination. No longer, though: affirmative action for colleges is now ruled unconstitutional. About time.

"...not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

is my toe broken? I don't think so, but...

I said before that I don't think my toe is broken. But what do you think? Below is a pic of my left big toe looking swollen but not broken on June 24:

And here's a pic of my toe taken 90 or so minutes ago:

For the curious, here are the Google Image results for "broken toe." Note how all those toes look severely bruised or at least discolored, which is why I don't think my own toe is broken. It's definitely swollen (although the swelling appears to have gone down in tonight's pic), but I can move my toe by waggling it on its own or even by moving it around (slowly) with the fingers of my right hand. There's a bit of achy discomfort at times, and I still have no idea how the toe ended up injured. Ah, well. I imagine things will be better in a few weeks, by which time the next problem for men over 50 will have settled in to harass me.

Dana Carvey and David Spade take down Fauci

A kind of amusing YouTube Short.

"Female Body Inspector" humor, but one step further

As only the CrackerMilk team can do it:

Thursday, June 29, 2023

more DeSantis negatives

Tim Pool has talked negatively about Ron DeSantis before, not because he's a DeSantis hater, but because he has certain reservations about the man. Well, the DeSantis campaign did something anti-Trump that Pool thinks is unethical (involving Deepfakes), and DeSantis and his team ought to retract what they did and apologize. The moment Pool talks about what the DeSantis team did comes at around 8:44 in the video below. I've cued it up, so just hit "play" to hear what Pool has to say.

Styx thinks Ron DeSantis just went insane by vetoing a perfectly reasonable bill, HB605, supported by most Florida Republicans:

"Misdirection Month"

Two videos from totally separate content creators coincidentally vlogging on almost exactly the same topic. First, we have Irishman Dave Cullen reviewing 1997's "Wag the Dog," the story of how the media were used by the government to cover up a presidential sex scandal* by ginning up a fictitious war (I never saw the movie, but I kinda want to see it now):

Next up is the way-overcaffeinated RazörFist talking about Misdirection Month, in which Hunter and Joe Biden's scandals are downplayed and swept aside by (1) the Titan submersible implosion and (2) the weekend non-coup in Russia. With conspiracy theorists basically batting a thousand over the past couple of years, is it too much to think that the timing on both of these distracting events was a little too perfect for the Bidens?

We truly live in interesting times.


*Keep in mind that, in 1997, Bill Clinton was president (1993-2001). However, he didn't get impeached until 1998, so while it's easy to misremember "Wag the Dog" as a commentary on the Clinton White House, it most likely wasn't... unless someone knew something and was dropping a massive hint.

could this be good news?

I'm kicking myself for not having taken a picture, so I'm afraid you're stuck having to learn this story via my humble prose. Last night, before going to bed, I made the random decision to bandage up my toe with a single, simple bandage—not the usual, heavy-duty nonsense. I woke up this morning, and as has become the ritual since last October, the first thing I did was to look at my right big toe for signs of leakage in the bandage. Over the past month, the leakage has dwindled to a mere dot or splotch representing, at most, only a few drops of blood or fluid escaping over the course of a few hours. Well... today, when I looked at the toe bandage's exterior, I saw nothing. Intrigued and a little afraid, I gingerly peeled the bandage off my toe, fully expecting to see a wan little bit of leakage in the bandage's absorbent pad.


I don't know what this means, to be honest. I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean that I'm completely healed. It does, however, mean that I've finally had my first night, since this whole mess began, without any leakage whatsoever. What's doubly perplexing is that this reduction in leakage is happening a few days after I made the risky decision to clip away a lot of the callus that had built up around the toe wound. The night I did that clipping, I was worried that I'd discover the true size of the wound, and that it'd be a lot wider than I'd thought. As it turns out, the actual wound is pretty small now, and the clipping I did was apparently beneficial, allowing the wound to heal "flatter," so to speak, instead of becoming a cavernous divot that gets closed off at the top, i.e., not really healing at all.

Something to remember as well: I checked my bandage after a night's sleep, i.e., I'd been off my feet for several hours. Earlier in the evening around 9 p.m., when I'd changed from the day's big bandages to the night's single, regular bandage, there'd been some leakage, which is normal for where I am now in the healing process. Tentative conclusion: any amount of walking is still likely to produce leakage. More optimistically, though, a night without any leakage is a first: even after sleeping, after being off my feet for several hours, I normally see some amount of leakage through my bandage every morning. To see none is nothing short of revolutionary. Here's hoping I've reached a point where "leakless nights" become more common. And then, I can hope, I'll start having "leakless days." Several leakless days in a row, and I'll cautiously pronounce myself healed.

So my prediction of being totally healed by some time in July might prove true.

Fingers and tentacles crossed.


Remember the post I put up yesterday about the YouTube Short teaser video for 9-mm rounds versus chipmunk skulls? Well, the full video dropped yesterday. Given the graphic nature of the video, I'll do what I've done before and merely link to it below. I realize that doesn't make much difference: if I were to embed the video here, it'd still be up to you to click "play." But linking somehow feels more distant or abstract, so here we are.

Is 9 mm Too Much for Chipmunks?

The presenter asks the above question and concludes, after many skull explosions and eviscerations, that the answer is No. Why? Because from his point of view, such obliteration, being as catastrophic and instantaneous as a submersible's implosion (too soon?), is in fact humane. I can kind of see his point. The chipmunk literally doesn't know what's hit it, and since these are all head shots, the time it would take for the creature to realize it's been shot is greater than the time it takes for the 9-mm round to do its destructive work. It is literally lights-out for the chipmunk.

many of my linguistic pet peeves, all in one video

And I've learned yet another term: eggcorn. Watch the video to learn more about these quirky linguistic errors made by well-meaning anglophones everywhere.

The presenter takes a rather charitable and forgiving attitude toward people who use eggcorns. Hear me well: I. Do. Not.

And buck naked came first. Butt naked, I contend, arises from a mishearing.

I learned a new term: grocer's apostrophe

I never knew that there was a particular term for when you mistakenly use an apostrophe in front of a plural "s," but there apparently is: it's called the grocer's apostrophe.

In a 2017 WhatsApp exchange that further confirms Hunter Biden's culpability for multiple acts of financial malfeasance, Hunter erroneously writes the plural of his surname as "Biden's" when he really means "Bidens."

“The Biden’s are the best I know at doing exactly what the Chairman wants from this [partnership].”

Learn when and when not to use an apostrophe. Don't use it to pluralize anything:

WRONG: the 1960's, the Jones's, two elephants'
RIGHT: the 1960s, the Joneses, two elephants

One exception to the pluralization rule is if the lack of an apostrophe will cause confusion.

AWKWARD: My daughter got straight As. (confusing: "As" or "A"s?)
BETTER: My daughter got straight A's. (confusion avoided)

Don't mess up the apostrophe's placement or leave it out when it's needed:

WRONG: the childrens' toy car (poor placement)
WRONG: the childrens toy car (apostrophe missing)
RIGHT: the children's toy car

Use it for singular and plural possessives:

the rat's immortal soul (singular)
the aliens' still-quivering dinner (plural)
Max's portrait (singular—and don't be the idiot who writes "Max' portrait")
Jesus' sermons (singular, s-final ancient name)*
Jonas's songs (singular, s-final modern name)*
a car's engine problems (regular singular)
many cars' engine problems (regular plural)
a woman's promise (singular)
women's promises (irregular plural)

Watch your apostrophes. Avoid the grocer's apostrophe. Or the grocer will come for you.



*Different references will contend different things about this.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

the YouTube Short you dare not watch

I've said before that, compared to squirrels, chipmunks have very soft skulls. Well, the dude at the EDgun Leshiy channel has upped the ante. He's already shown the kinetic energy delivered by 9 mm rounds to squirrel skulls, and that was fairly dramatic compared to the usual .177-caliber pellets. But as bad as the 9 mm rounds were against squirrels... imagine what those same rounds would do to a chipmunk

So here's the thing: I'm going to leave the link on this post, but it's up to you whether to click it or not. You've been given fair warning.

YouTube Short: Chipmunk Skull Meets 9 mm Round.

It's a YouTube Short, so it's just a single chipmunk, but Jesus.

the Five Guys chain has finally come to Korea

Five Guys has finally arrived in Korea according to ROK Drop. If you visit ROK Drop, you'll see a photo of a long queue and a sign saying that, from this point in the line, it's a one-hour wait. I'm not so desperate to visit Five Guys that I'll wait a whole hour just to get my usual burger, dog, and fries, but I'll make it over to the restaurant eventually. All the same, I'm a bit nervous. How different will the Korean menu be from the US one? Korean fast-food joints often reduce their portion sizes (probably a healthy thing). Will I be able to get my customary double bacon cheeseburger, bacon-cheese dog, and an unbelievably huge mound of fries? I somehow doubt the fries will be as gargantuan as they are in the States. Given the current mad rush, I'll wait a few months, let the hype die down a bit (I'm sure a bunch of gyopos who lived in the eastern part of the United States will be telling all their Korean friends about how awesome Five Guys is because fuck In-N-Out), then finally saunter over. Meanwhile, it's nice to know that Five Guys is finally here. I hope nothing gets lost in translation.

I guess someone did the research...?


Trump only living U.S. president whose ancestors didn’t own slaves

Every living U.S. president, past and present, has at least one ancestor who owned slaves, with one exception — Donald Trump.

An investigation by Reuters released Tuesday into the genealogies of “America’s political elite” found that President Joseph R. Biden and all former presidents still alive are direct descendants of slaveholders.

That includes Democrats Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and even America’s first Black president, Barack Obama — through his White mother’s side — as well as Republican George W. Bush.

The only living president not descended from slaveholders is the Republican Trump, whose mother Mary MacLeod was born in Scotland and married Frederick Trump, the son of a German immigrant.

To be clear, I merely find the above amusing. If Jimmy Carter—whom most people see as a decent human being even if he was an incompetent president—has slave owners in his ancestry, this doesn't reflect on him at all. I'm not a believer in biblical notions of "sins of the fathers." This also informs my stance on slavery reparations. Yes, a horrible sin was committed against a huge collectivity of black folks, but you can't rightly expect the innocent descendants of slave owners to pay for their ancestors' sins. Besides, isn't there something crass about assigning a dollar value to something that heinous?

I imagine the Trump hagiographers, though, will have a field day: they can add Trump's pristine lineage to their list of reasons for lionizing The Donald.



Number 3: no comma after "with it."

There's some debate in the Instapundit comment section re: whether Homer went to college. The Simpsons Wiki says Homer graduated from Springfield University with a degree in nuclear physics.

Cat produces a field of unmoving air around itself, hence the unmoving fur.

how long has fake news been around?

A review of an oldie but a goodie: "Capricorn One":

Lord have mercy

As my firearms education continues, I learn about something called swan shot. Swan shot is essentially congealed droplets of molten lead packed into a shotgun shell, creating a rending, tearing Spätzle of death for anyone unfortunate enough to stand in its path. Most of the video below is okay, but my God—when the swan shot comes out, things get horrific. I feel sorry for that poor zombie torso. Swan shot to the head is not pretty.

The Critical Drinker on why "Indiana Jones" will flop hard

In the video below, The Critical Drinker explains the economics of filmmaking, and why a film needs to make back way more than its production cost if it wants to break even. With "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" costing nearly a third of a billion dollars to make, the film needs to make about a billion just to break even.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

"Master Gardener": review

Maya (Quintessa Swindell) and "Narvel" (Joel Edgerton)
I had no idea what to expect going into Paul Schrader's 2022 "Master Gardener." The ads for the film portrayed it as Man with Dark Past Must Confront It, which made me think this might possibly be a boilerplate action thriller about a man living a quiet life who is forced to rely on his mad skilz to survive when his old life comes calling for him—à la Keanu Reeves in his John Wick films, or any of thousands of other action movies in the same vein. What I got instead was a very slowly paced study of a man with a dark and scary past who finds himself in a strange situation, and I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole thing. If it comes down to the practical question of rewatchability, I'd have to give this film a no.

"Master Gardener" stars Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Quintessa Swindell, Esai Morales, Eduardo Losan, Victoria Hill, Amy Le, Erika Ashley, and Jared Bankens. It's the story of a quiet gardener with the strange name of Narvel Roth (Edgerton) who works for Norma Haverhill (Weaver), a rich matriarch who owns Gracewood Gardens, an immense property that Roth and his gardening team tend to. As we get to know Roth, we discover that he writes in a journal, mostly about gardening, but occasionally also about darker topics like guns. Mrs. Haverhill and Narvel maintain a sexual relationship, and as time goes on, we find out, through reveals and flashbacks, that Narvel used to be a white supremacist. His body is covered with tattoos of skulls, flames, and swastikas, and because he is a changed man, Narvel hides these symbols under clothing except, obviously, when he's trysting with Mrs. Haverhill, who seems not to mind the tattoos. Coming back into Mrs. Haverhill's life is her grandniece Maya Core (Swindell), an addict whose recently deceased mother was also an addict. Perhaps hoping to provide the young woman with some direction in life, Haverhill places Maya under Narvel's supervision: he is to teach her the trade of gardening. Maya initially doesn't live on the premises; she merely visits to learn from Narvel for one hour a day, then she spends time gardening with Narvel's team members. Things get complicated when Maya develops feelings for the much older Narvel, and Maya's background as an addict catches up with her. Maya manages to coax some information about Narvel's past out of him, and she unsuccessfully tries to seduce him. Mrs. Haverhill, however, misunderstands the situation when she sees Narvel hastily leaving Maya's temporary lodging on the property (she'd been beaten up by a "boyfriend" in her neighborhood) while adjusting his pants. Assuming Narvel and Maya had sex, Mrs. Haverhill expels both of them from her property. The story shifts to Narvel and Maya's life on the road. In the meantime, we learn that Narvel has been in witness protection this entire time, and his real name isn't Narvel at all: it's Norton Rupplea. As a white supremacist who was part of an organization, he had often been tasked with wet work, but when he refused to kill the wife and child of a black target and turned on his own organization, he was placed in protective custody. Maya, who's half-black, discovers Narvel/Norton's tattoos, and the movie goes in unpredictable directions.

Paul Schrader is the guy who gave us the frustrating "First Reformed." You'll recall that, in my review of that movie, I said that most of the film was amazing, but the final reel went totally off the rails and lost me as a viewer. While "Master Gardener" doesn't veer off wildly into surreality, it does stretch plausibility, especially when it comes to the consequences of some of Narvel's violent actions toward the end of the film. I also have to wonder at the choice of the name "Narvel": doesn't that name stick out when you're trying to hide someone in witness protection? Even stranger, there's what appears to be a weird bit of CGI silliness during the sex scene when Maya does finally seduce Narvel out of his clothes. And there's no way to put this delicately, so I'll just say it: the filmmakers mask out Maya's nipples. I had a confusing moment, when the sex scene started, where I thought she was still wearing a shirt because her breasts were perfectly smooth, but no: she was supposed to be naked, but the filmmakers somehow thought the artistic thing to do would be to paint out her nips (unless the young lady really was born without nipples!). I'll say this, though: it gave the scene a hallucinatory quality because I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing. I was also unconvinced by the film's ending: it seemed as if it were supposed to end on a happy note, but, true to the metaphor of the garden, the seeds of chaos remain, and happiness is not guaranteed.

The thing that kills the movie is its glacial pacing. This might charitably be called deliberate, or another critic might use the expression slow burn to describe the unfolding of the plot, but the film truly fails to build on any tension despite the potential for tension lying everywhere, like the roots of a particularly pernicious plant waiting to trip someone up. Narvel's journaling, given to us in voiceover, spells out the whole garden-as-metaphor concept: a garden is an expression of hope for the future, but it's also an expression of control, of human will dominating nature. One can easily see how this metaphor is meant to apply to both Narvel's and Maya's lives: Narvel is still contending with his racist, murderous past while Maya is still not free of her drug addiction. There are inner gardens to tend. Ultimately, the movie wants us to think that these two characters will somehow save each other, and in better hands, the story might have evoked more care in me, but the molasses-slow pacing meant that dredging up any emotion was something of a chore.

In the end, I don't think I can recommend this movie. I'm not acquainted with Paul Schrader's work except for the two films of his that I've seen, and both have been disappointments.* I can imagine that there are people who "get" Schrader the way people "get" Wes Anderson (another director I'm very iffy about), but I'm not in that club. "Master Gardener" has some nice garden shots; the quality of the acting is fine, but it's the story that's lacking any real oomph. Give me tension; give me drama; give me something to latch on to. The movie fails in terms of story and direction, and that's hard to forgive.


*I forgot that Schrader actually has a pretty impressive list of accomplishments in his résumé: he wrote the screenplay for both "Raging Bull" and "The Last Temptation of Christ," among other feats. I never saw "Raging Bull," but I did see and appreciate the Scorsese-directed "Last Temptation," which I thought was a good movie about a Christ who is, ultimately, tempted by domesticity—the shedding of his savior role, and a meditation on "Let this cup pass from me."

more border-related irony

Imagine being at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England, where you're protected by a long, 12-foot-high fence, and rock stars are on stage screaming about the need for open borders. No irony there, right?

the "sold a lot of state secrets" line:
awkward joke? Freudian admission? pure senility?

I guess the left can only say it was a joke. Admitting that it was a Freudian slip or senility would be admitting too much.


This coming July 4 is this blog's blogiversary, and not just any blogiversary: it's the 20th. I guess I should gear up to say something profound on that day, but I have no idea what to talk about. Should I talk about how the blog has changed, and how it's changed me? What an alternate universe without blogging would look like? My perennial intention—never realized—to move over to SquareSpace eventually? I really don't know. I can affirm that I've seen a lot of blogs come and go over the years, and it's with grim satisfaction that I can say

Monday, June 26, 2023

fat-shaming is funny

Griffy on the right:

Adam Olinger on the left:


"Listen, ladies." Vocative comma; don't capitalize ladies.
"So you don't like it when we treat you..." (add the verb)
"treat you like women" = OK, but "treat you like men treat men" = not OK: don't use like in front of a clause!
"treat you the way men treat men," "treat you the way women treat women," etc.

a scream of delight... but probably Photoshopped... or that skinny thing is wearing a training bra

still dealing with RINO fraud-deniers right now

It'll never happen.

I hope those nuts got totally scrambled.

ah-hwunn, ah-two, ah-three...

What punctuation should be there in place of the semicolon?

No idea how true this is, but the PDF does exist, and it's 156 pages long. The data might be in there somewhere.
UPDATE: a search in the PDF for the numbers "29,000," "29000," and "29" produced nothing.

...and then the fraud kicked in, and it didn't matter.