Monthly Archives September 2011

Weekly Nerdy Music Video: The Browncoats Mixtape

Someone’s gone and made a Firefly rap album. From nerd rappers Adam WarRock and Mikal kHill comes “The Browncoats Mixtape,” a rap album in which all the samples are taken from the show’s home-on-the-range strings soundtrack and all the lyrics are about Firefly. I don’t just mean that they’re about freedom and a nomadic lifestyle on the fringes of society. I mean they’re about the crew of Serenity and about smuggling space-goods under the Alliance’s nose. Just call me DJ Captain Tightbeats.

Check it out for yourself in the video above. If you like what you hear, the album is free at Adam WarRock’s website.

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Portals of the Week

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Skill the Messenger

Monte CookMonte Cook is back on Team D&D! As an RPG designer with untouchable design credentials (Planescape, Ptolus, Iron Heroes, Arcana Unearthed, co-designing D&D 3rd Edition, and launching the career of Mike Mearls), he has been brought onboard to experiment with new approaches to D&D topics. His first target is skills, but there has been a mixed reaction. Who knew 4th Edition’s skill system had such loyal defenders? I certainly didn’t. You can debate the merits of his specific proposals, but I’m overall baffled by the gamers who say Monte Cook shouldn’t try to fix the skills system because there’s nothing to fix. I’m waiting to see what comes of Cook’s tinkering, but I was hoping for a little more substance right out of the gate. Regardless I’m definitely itching for something better than 4th Edition’s core skills system.

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Cook’s Recipe: Roasted Chicken and Gravy

The feast of kings and peasants all revolve around the same classic meal: chicken. A roasted bird is a majestic centerpiece on the table that brings people together with the idea of home cooked goodness.

There is nothing quite like roasting a whole chicken. For some reason, people seem to think that it’s a lot of work and are usually impressed by it when serving it for dinner. Besides, what is better than devouring a whole chicken leg?

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Innistrad Multiplayer & Commander Review: White

Whenever a new set comes out, everyone seems to flock to the splashy rares and terrifying mythics, but when you’ve got a set as full of flavor as Innistrad every card is worth looking at! So for the casual and Commander players, here’s a set review of Innistrad starting at the beginning: white!

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Lands

Abbey Griffin

Maybe if you’re making some odd griffin themed Commander deck, you could find a place for this winged beast. But for only one more white mana, you get a Serra Angel. This is a depressing way to begin.

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The Absolute Value of Sausage

Every ingredient in the kitchen has a value. It is easier to define the value of certain ingredients over others, for example eggs. If we were to apply a numerical score to every food item eggs would score extremely high. They can be the main focus of a dish or provide the necessary additions to pull a recipe together.

Ignoring individual cuisines or regional cooking practices (rice will certainly score a higher value in Asian cuisines than in German) the three highest value ingredients might be water, salt, and eggs.

Part of what makes seeing the value in those three easy is that they are base ingredients. It is not difficult to think of recipes that require their addition for a vast array of reasons. However when we look at a more complex ingredient, like chicken or sausage it becomes harder. We tend to focus more on applications where it is the star ingredient and thus it’s overall value is diminished because if it isn’t the center of the dish, we are less apt to use it.

Yet looking closer we see that proteins can be just as valuable. Think of all the uses you can derive from chicken stock; which requires chicken to make.

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The Great Food Truck Race 2 Recap: The Finale

Last night marked the finale of the Great Food Truck Race 2 and maybe it was the state of exhaustion I was in having helped prep a few dozen cupcakes, or maybe the grilling of veggies and steak for lunch this week, but for a finale it didn’t seem that exciting. The combination of over the top editing made the whole thing feel artificially neck and neck.

Hodge Podge and The Lime Truck faced off on the streets ofMiamiand the real challenge was simple: first truck to earn $15,000 would win the grand prize of $100,000. Plus more than a few speed bumps along the way to mix up the game a bit.

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Recipe: Apple Pork Loin

The days grew shorter in the wood, and one early morning Azel awoke. Darts of cold, honey-colored sun had slipped through cracks in the bark of her hollowed home at the base of the tree. The crisp air made her grateful for her blanket of moss, though her nose felt like a snowdrop. She warmed her nose with her hands and smiled. She knew where she would find her meal today.  She sheathed her dagger and slipped out of the opening at the base of her tree.

The trees were quiet, but murmured at the sight of the dryad passing into the orchard.  The orbs of fruit hung low on the branches.  Azel picked one and cut its skin, but just as the tangy scent sprang from the apple, there was a rude commotion  and the sound of clumsy hooves.  Azel sprang into the tree and readied her dagger for the hunt.  

Fall arrived in New England last week. Though it’s my favorite season, I bitterly resisted at first because the end of summer signals two things that I dislike:

1)  That the season has changed, but I’m not returning to school for the first time in memory. Thanks, necessary arrival of adulthood!

2)  Autumn is short, and soon I’ll be battling cold, snow, and ice again for at least six long months.

However, it only took a few days for me to fully welcome my fall favorites back into my life: Shipyard Pumpkinhead & Sam Adam’s Octoberfest, Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes, candles that smell like pie, comfy knits, and my Gryffindor hoodie. So I happily decided that it’s also time to transition to Fall cooking. Let me let you in on a secret: Fall cooking is the best cooking!

Each season I tend to have a go-to ingredient. I keep that ingredient plentiful, then I use it gleen inspiration or to spice up dishes I whipped up after a twelve hour workday. For example, this summer that ingredient was coconut flakes. This fall that ingredient is, as it usually is, apples!

Apples are perfect because they smell incredible, can be used in sweet and savory dishes, and, if you grew up in the Northeast, carry lots of childhood memories. I’m certain that my love of this season entirely stems from trips to my town’s apple farm and my grandma’s apple pie. Pure, simple, Americana.

Here’s the perfect savory combination:

Apple Pork Loin

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Portals of the Week

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Innistrad Gateway Promos: Bloodcrazed Neonate and Curse of the Bloody Tome & Intro Decklists

From MTGSalvation

Both Bloodcrazed Neonate and Curse of the Bloody Tome get new art and special foil treatment as the newest Gateway promo cards. I’ve got to say, I still hate the whole shooting-star expansion symbol look.

And Curse of the Bloody Tome definitely shows multiple tomes. Cheaters!

In other news, all five of the Innistrad Intro Packs decklists have been revealed.

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