Its the Oh Wait that gets you.

I'm losing my job in a few months, as the company that bought mine finishes the integration. People keep telling me that they'd be fools to get rid of me, but I've known too many successful fools to keep me from looking for other work.

As part of that process, I'm studying for my MCITP. In the process of studying, I keep running across things that would make my job easier. And then the thought goes I should think about implementing that at $JOB. It takes a moment for me to go, "Oh, wait..."

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The Blade Itself

Just finished "The Blade Itself" by Joe Abercrombie. This is the first of the "First Law" Trilogy of epic fantasy.

Its good stuff. It start slow, but then so does a freight train. Once the book starts getting up to speed, you don't want to get off.

Rate it a Solid B+.

A Capsule review.

Child of Fire, by Harry J. Connelly. 3.5 / 5

Former thief Ray Lilly doesn't know magic. Sure, he knows a spell or two, but can't be said to actually practice it. Unfortunately, that, and some shady unexplained happenings have gotten him a suspended sentence of death from the Twenty Palace Society, so he finds himself working for Annalise, the woman who wants nothing more than to kill him. When Annalise is taken out by a sorcerer using magic to keep his small town alive, it is up to Ray to find the sorcerer, the source of his power, and to stop them from sacrificing any more children.

This is a noir story with spellbooks. Some of the best noir tropes -- scrappy underdog caught up in events and factions beyond him, lots of fights, a femme fatale (and a fatal femme!). And werewolves. Its well paced and I like the characters, though I find Annalise to be a cypher and Ray's introspection felt clunky at times.

I'd recommend it. Worth your 8 bucks. Plus, this is Connelly's first novel, and he deserves it to be a success.

Food Bloggage

recipe adapted from Mario Batali
You will need:

1 whole chicken
1/2 lb of mushrooms: I prefer the baby bellas, known also as cremini.
1 generous cup of cubed potato, waxy. I used Sweet with success.
1 whole red onion, chopped
1 whole red pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp of tomato paste
3 - 4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin.
1/2 c. stock or water.
1/2 c. all purpose flour
Salt and Pepper
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil.

Take one whole chicken. Cut it up. Dump the Rack, the spine, the wings in a freezer bag for stock.
You should be left with 6 pieces: 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs. Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper, then dredge lightly in flour. Brown generously over medium high to high heat in olive oil. Remove from oil to paper towel to drain.

turn heat down and add onion. Cook until transclucent. Add garlic and pepper. Cook. Add Mushrooms. Place Chicken back in pan and throw in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan. Add paste, cook for a minute. Add stock/water to finish deglazing pan, reduce sauce to a sauce consistency. Serve chicken with cooked vegetables.

The veggies create this sort of ragu, the flour on the chicken forms a roux with the oil. Its an amazingly flavored dish.

Butcherin' Day

Today, Jess and I turned a perfectly alive cockerel into food. It went better than I feared, but worse than I hoped. I learned a lot and remembered to take pictures. They're on FB.
  • Current Mood
Al Cullen


So, the Chickens are now getting to pullet stage. I'm fairly confident we have 3, maybe 4 males of the Wyandottes. That makes me happy, as I want hens. On the chicken coop front, I have built the base, and framed the front wall. I've got to frame up the front door, and then three other walls.

Then we need to stake out the chicken yard fence, and we should be good.

The lettuces are starting to flower, which means I really need to go in and thin them. That will be a project for tomorrow. I'm also going to be planting the bell peppers. This week, we'll be ordering some Swiss Chard and a couple of other plants. I'm looking forward to it.


I made yogurt last night.

It was simple, fun, and entirely unsuited to starting at 8:30 pm on a week night.

When you read the following McGee article, don't get excited and rush out off to go make Yogurt like I did.


You will thank me.

But still make it.

The Article:

A neat Chrome feature

If you type the URL for a searchable site, such as or, then press tab instead of enter, Chrome will prompt you for the search terms.

For example, in Chrome, type and press enter. You'll get a prompt to search for: and then type in the text of your search.