I know, typing the long URL for this blog can be a pain, but because I care, I'm gonna help you out. GoDaddy recently had a sale on XXX domain names. Of course, I bought SexyRedHeadedNuns.xxx and HulaGirlPorn.xxx and directed them here. Then I realized that maybe I could also grab a shorter one. Ah ha, SexyNuns.xxx was available. (The dot-com version was snatched up long ago.)
(While I have no immediate plans to actually set up an XXX site, in order to have the URLs forward I had to register as a member of the the porn
sponsored community. So, now I can if I so desire.)
So, yes, now you can get here via the much shorter SexyNuns.xxx, although the name of the blog and base URL won't change. I hope this valuable service will help my readers, both of you.
As you or may not know, I'm a consultant who works out of a home office. But, for the past two days, I've needed to be on-site, working in a real office building. As an aside, we started a list on Facebook as to why working in an office sucks when compared to working from home:
Okay, so I've had a bit too much BBQ lately. A few weeks back I was up in Arlington and partook of the sacred pig. That's wasn't too out of hand.
But last week I was in Norman, Oklahoma, which is teeming with a variety of local and regional joints. I was there four nights and had BBQ thrice. (The off night? Rib-eye!)
So, anyway, here are some reviews, if you're ever near one of these places. They're listed in chronological order.
Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company
3471 Washington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
Rocklands' take on BBQ is a little weird. It's a bit like my mother-in-law's pork chops. When she makes pork chops, she braises them in a tomato-based sauce. They're quite nummy, but not what I think of when I think of pork chops. The ribs here are similar. They're tasty, but almost seem braised, which makes them quite juicy and tender. The sauce is more tomatoey than BBQey. They're also huge. I was almost thinking they were beef ribs for a second. So, overall, I liked them, although they didn't really seem like BBQ ribs.
There's a sausage sandwich off to the left. It was fine, but just a grilled Italian sausage.
The sides were raved about in online reviews. I'm not sure why. The mac-and-cheese was thick and a little gloppy, not creamy at all. The cole slaw was more like midwest macaroni salad, only with cabbage instead of macaroni. Tasty stuff, but not exactly cole slaw.
The bottom line? Good tasting food but not at all like the BBQ you might be expecting. I'd probably enjoy it again, with my expectations scaled appropriately.
Oh, they also had a wall full of various sauces, mostly hot sauces based on a quick glance. But the ribs themselves were so saucy that additions would have likely been lost anyway.
And then I was off to Oklahoma!
Rib Crib BBQ & Grill
1131 Rambling Oaks Dr
The Rib Crib is one of those mid-level BBQ chains. It has its share of faux ambiance, more Smokey Bones than Famous Dave's. Nothing offensive, but nothing authentic.
The BBQ was a toss-up. The ribs were fine. Nothing spectacular, but not bad, either. Just fine.
Under the piece of toast is a pile of decent smoked sausage. The beans were tasty and the cole slaw was fine, although marred by overly large hunks of cabbage.
I don't usually get brisket. Too often, brisket comes out thinkly sliced like lunchmeat, tasting no better. The Crib looked like it cut it a little thicker, so I gave it a shot. Big mistake. It was very dry. I didn't finish it.
Like many chains, they had a variety of sauces, including an interesting Carolina-style mustard sauce.
Van's Pig Stand
320 N Porter Ave
The Pig Stand is awesome in many ways, although the food doesn't quite rise to the same level. The building is dripping with authentic ambiance. The neon sign up top is peeling and partially burned out:
Inside, the beautiful smell of hickory smoke is intoxicating. The decor is plain, as it should be. The folks are nice, as they should be. They also have a good selection of sweet T-shirts, already permeated with smoke. It's a shame to wash them, really.
The food ain't bad, although it's, well, real white-bread. I don't know how else to put it. Let's start with the ribs, which were mighty good. Meaty, tender but not too tender. There was only one sauce available, a typical sweetish tomato-based one.
The sausage was, well, hot-doggy. It was way too mild and lacked smoke flavor. It did pair well with the sauce, but, still... hot-doggy.
The chopped pork was also weird. Porky, without being at all smokey. Not as hot-doggy as the sausage, but nothing like I've come to associate with BBQ.
Cole slaw was great, crisp and clean tasting. The beans were creamier than most BBQ beans. You can see in the photo how lighter they are. Tasty, but, again, kinda white-bread.
Ray's Smokehouse BBQ
1514 West Lindsey Street
And, finally, we get to Ray's, which was, by far, the best BBQ I've had in quite a while. The decor ain't nuthin' to write home about as the building appears to be an old Pizza Hut. (Or maybe an Embers? I thought those were local to Minnesota, way back when.) But, the food? Oh the food!
The ribs were great, a good solid rendition. I was a little put out at first that I only received 2 ribs versus 3 everywhere else, but these were nice big meaty ribs, so I ain't really complaining.
The sausage was also good, with more smoke flavor than the other sausages I had in the area. The sausage could stand alone while also paring well with the one sauce available.
Now, I arrived not that long before closing and they were out of pork. The cashier suggested brisket. Note that I had already been burned once on the brisket front this trip. I took the chance; I was glad I did! The brisket was chopped-up, juicy and flavorful, with charred bits from the exterior providing both textural and flavor contrast to the tender meat. Honestly, this was a pile of goodness.
The sides were fine. The cole slaw was crisp and clean. The beans were a little weird. They were in a cumin-heavy sauce, tasting more like a thin beans-only chili than any sort of BBQed beans.
I've been pondering whether there's a case for implementing Hell, even granting a God. I just don't see it.
I guess the first question is: What's the purpose of Hell? Is it to punish folks? But why? We punish in real life to encourage people to act in a certain way in the future. With an eternal Hell, there's no future in which free action can be taken, so the punishment would have no behavioral purpose.
Punishment for the sake of punishment? I guess if God is just a sadistic asshole who gets his jollies hurting people, then He might go to the trouble of implementing Hell. But, in that case, why even warn anyone? Just fuck 'em up. Or, y'know, make up so many rules that folks can't help but break a few. But, y'know, if you're that big an asshole, well...
So we move onto what is obviously the true purpose of Hell, to act as a deterrent, as a threat, to encourage certain actions in the here and now. And, for some who believe, it works admirably, although sadly. (For others, it doesn't appear to work at all, which raises the question of whether they really believe at all. If I really thought I'd be tormented eternally for any transgression, I sure as shit wouldn't transgress.)
The thing with using Hell as a threat is that there's no way to verify the existence of the threat. You only find out whether it's true after you die, unable to communicate that knowledge to anyone still alive. And, if the threat can't be verified, then why would you actually implement it?
If people are willing to buy into the threat without evidence, then the actual implementation is simply a waste of resources and effort. (And this shit takes effort. Remember, God had to rest.) Why bother? The
scam system will work just as well regardless of Hell's actual existence.
So, I just don't see a case for implementing it.
(Of course, it's a moo point, as there is no God.)
She's very clear in the introduction that the following stories might rub some folks the wrong way. She makes a very good point that people, oddly, expect more veracity from erotica than they do from other forms of entertainment. These stories are dirty. They're not nice fluffy erotica and some of the things in them would be a bad thing in the real world. But this isn't the real world, it's fantasy. These stories are the things that get Greta off. They might get you off, too. Might not. You never can tell...
Anyway, I fully agree. After all, it's not that I actually want to be manacled and ravaged by a chubbly black female TSA agent. But there's no harm in fantasizing about it.
So, given that caveat, this is quality stuff. Greta's a superb writer in general and she's no less skilled in the realm of erotica. The stories are a good balance of set-up and pay-off. It's not just balls-to-the-wall sexual descriptions, but nor does it shy from those. For me, the build up and situation setting is just as important as the sex, so I was very happy. Many stories trail off, leaving the ultimate conclusion to your imagination. If I were going to pick nits, I would have liked them to trail off a little later then many did, though.
I found most of the stories to be blazing hot. A few didn't really
do it for me, but that's to be expected. And I didn't dislike those few, they just didn't really hit the spot for me as well as the others did. (The unicorn and rainbow story, for example, was clever and a nice break, but didn't get me turned on. The Catholic one did. The other religious ones didn't.)
The final novella is great, going on longer than anticipated, but in a logical way.
If I'm going to make an actual complaint it's that most of the stories are from a female bottom perspective. I could have done with a few more stories of men being treated roughly.
Okay, I'm not very handy at all, but I've always wanted to keep some sort of multi-tool in my pocket, preferably as part of a keychain. But everything I've tried has either been too heavy and bulky or was lacking in tools. Then I saw this Instructable about converting a Leatherman Micra into a wee little pocket knife. Damn, that's cool! I could maybe do that! The only tool you lose are the scissors. Who really uses the scissors anyway? Can't a knife fit the bill most of the time?
So I looked around for the Leatherman Micra I thought I had. Didn't find one. (Perhaps I have an off-brand clone somewhere. Perhaps not.) Luckily, I've recently become addicted to Amazon Prime and a new Micra was in my hands shortly thereafter. (Cost me a whole twenty bucks with free two-day shipping.)
Following the instructions, I took it apart. I didn't have the world's greatest locking pliers, so it took a bit of time and effort, plus it nicked the bolt-heads up a bit. Good quality locking pliers would make it fairly trivial to do. Here are the pieces with which I was left:
(Actually, that shot is missing some stuff, but nothing that's needed for the rebuild.)
Putting them together wasn't too difficult, taking me around 20-30 minutes. Frankly, it was easier than futzing with the awful Switch knife I bought off of Quirky. (Really sweet concept. Abominally poor execution.) The only piece I added that wasn't in the original Micra was a small o-ring to provide some friction to hold the tweezers in. The instructions suggest a small washer, but I had some teeny o-rings and one worked perfectly. Be sure to put the tools in the same order as the instructions, to ensure there's room underneath for the tweezers. Or leave the tweezers out. I don't care.
The end result is a really nice wee pocket knife that is small and light, providing the exact correct amount of heft for a keychain, while also providing a wide array of tools. Here's what it looks like:
Honestly, this was easy and the results are great. If you have a couple of decent locking pliers, really, drop a twenty on a Micra and give it a shot.
Then I realized that I might get better results if I put an object on my turntable and used my camera's burst mode:
And then I got bored and went on to other things.
And then I saw an eBay auction for some old prints by a guy who would take photos of nudes from a variety of angles. So, I horked down copies, cropped out the individual frames, and made some nude women you can twirl around:
I haven't figured out how to embed the damn things into a post yet. Maybe some day. Maybe not.
This is my 1000th post! Hooray! Not bad for a blog I set up solely to test blogging software I wrote in an evening simply to see if I could.
Speaking of the blogging software, I made some changes last week. A friend was commenting and noted that you can't see the actual post on the commenting page, which kinda sucks. At first I was going to integrate the post contents into the comment page, then I realized it would be much simpler to integrate the comments into the individual post pages. So that's what I did!
So, anyway, how long did it take me to reach 1000 posts? Well, my first post was on October 22, 2005, the day the Crusher died. So that's 2734 days (7 years, 5 months, 26 days), which is one post every 2.7 days, although they usually come in bunches with long stretches of silence in between.
You may notice that the date on the first post itself is August 15, 2008. The blogging software stores posts as text files and uses the creation date of the file as the post date. On that day in August, my hosting company migrated the blog to a new server, giving all the files a new creation date in August, meaning that all prior posts have that date as the post date. The only reason I know the true date of that first post is because it was about the Crusher's death.
Reading Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software gave me some pleasant flashbacks to some of my favorite classes from getting my degree. But it also has some problems.
The first part of the book is delightful. It builds up the various pieces of a computer CPU, starting with something as simple as the telegraph, moving through logic gates to transistors and beyond. Eventually, you end up with a pretty functional CPU. It's great. (We went through a similar process in an old class on CPU design, albeit in an abbreviated form.) I highly recommend this section. And then things start to fall apart.
He goes from this delightful built-up to describing the entire opcode set for a real-life CPU. Oh, yeah, that's interesting. Actually, for me, it wasn't all that bad, but nor was it good. If I wanted to read opcode descriptions, well, there are plenty of places to do that. (Hell, somewhere I still have my C-64 Reference Manual with all the 6510 codes defined.) I just don't get why this section is here. Sure, some exposure to various opcodes is valuable, but an examination of each and every one? It brings the whole book to a screeching halt.
After this torturous chapter, he moves up a level to describe the other parts of a computer. This section bored me. It lacked the delightful build-up of the earlier sections. It also showed off the age of the book, which is over a decade old. It was just kinda dull. (Which also reminds me of several classes in my youth.)
My advice? Give it a read, but stop after a couple of opcodes and move onto another book.