Duck fail

So I bought a duck. A dead duck but a duck nonetheless. Being that it was dead I decided my best move was to eat it. I dismembered it and pan seared the breasts. Very tasty but I was left with a lot of duck - including two legs. I was looking at the legs and, like any red blooded american male, the first thing I thought of was deep frying them. Southern fried duck. How could it be bad? How could it go wrong?

Turns out it can go wrong in a number of ways.

Primarily the problem is that ducks actually use their legs. So not only is the meat tougher its also a much stronger flavor which didn't work well with the minimalist seasoning I used. I have a couple more ducks coming in and with these I'll confit the legs and then southern fry them.

BTW: The duck breasts were good. One was slightly less rare than I like. The sauce was mushrooms, shallots, and pears in a seriously reduced chicken stock with some red wine. Need to bump up the acidity a bit next time.

A fountain of blood in the shape of a boy

So lately when I give blood it makes me tired and cranky. This is sad because it really used to energize me in some sort of weird way. Fortunately, this time it seems to have made me pleasantly lightheaded and relaxed. I guess my humours *were* out of whack.

Flynn's Arcade

So as some of the older geeks may remember Flynn's Arcade from the movie Tron. This was where Jeff Bridge's character, Kevin Flynn, worked. Early this morning I received a fed ex package containing a small envelope. In there were two tokens for Flynn's Arcade stamped on the obverse and 'Home of Tron' on the reverse. Additionally, there was a USB drive with a single file on it. An animated gif displaying scrolling html code that has been enciphered in some way.

I've been targetted by a viral marketing campaign! Woo! A number of other people have also received these and I've found a total of 4 gifs. I think I have a partial translation of #3. It looks like a simple substitution cipher.

If you want to see them and my notes they're at
If you want to see what's happening in the blogosphere google 'Flynn's Arcade Tokens'

This would all be going a lot faster if I had more than 4 hours of sleep last night.


I'm thinking about refinancing my house. Right now my APR is 6.575% and I can refi at 5.2%. This will knock around $169 off my monthly payments. It will take 18 to 22 months to recoup the closing costs from the savings. If I take the extra money and use it as a prepayment I can pay off the loan 8.5 years early and save 33% on the interest over the life of the loan.



No really

I did just write 800 lines of PHP code to handle a simple web site authentication task.

To be fair that included support libraries I'll be using later (exception handlers, some PDO method wrappers, some ui element functions, and a run time options loader).

Now to determine how ajaxy this whole thing is going to be.

The Cramps

Saturday morning I had the worst leg cramp I've ever experienced. Ever. Its unnerving because I've had maybe 3 or 4 over the past month after a decade (or two) hiatus. I think its mostly stress and the associated bad diet. Either way, this was the worst I've ever experienced. Usually I can get them under control by pulling my toes towards my knee but I couldn't get my foot to move at all. I leapt out of bed and tried standing on my foot to get it to move but I couldn't get it to budge at all. I punched my calf a few times and that had no effect. In all it only lasted around 30 or 45 seconds but it was excruciating and was kind of terrifying. I was completely helpless. Eventually something just shifted and I was able to move my foot and the cramp subsided.

My calf is still really sore and walking is painful.
WTF body? Get with the "don't disintegrate" program already!

Aside from that it was a good weekend. Went to Yo Rita on Carson street and ate tacos stuffed with deep fried softshell crab, menudo (tripe, hominy, spices), duck, and salmon with huitlacoche (aka corn smut). I also had an amazing 'corn dog' which was actually chorizo dipped in a blue corn batter. 4 tacos and the corn dog appetizer was perfect for two people. The next day I played pinball and ate at Dish for the first time. Last night was good beer (including a really tasty belgian red ale from Ommegang) and belgian fries at Point Brugge. Damn fine times.