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Bullet Sunday 662

Posted on May 17th, 2020

Dave!The weather is finally warming up, but the hottest place to be is right here... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• More Brothers! One of my favorite films to pop up in my foreign film binges is Kardeşim Benim, a really charming and funny Turkish film about two estranged brothers on a road trip after their father dies. A subtitled version is available on Amazon Prime streaming and for sale on iTunes...

I loved it and was happy to see that they made a sequel. Alas, Kardeşim Benim 2 was not available anywhere... even without subtitles... and all I could find was a trailer, which looked every bit as good as the first movie...

Fast forward to this past week and I saw that Amazon Prime Streaming finally had the sequel available to watch... with subtitles! It was darn good, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first film. It was a bit confusing, however, because the female lead from the first one has mysteriously disappeared. I was left scratching my head while thining "Wait... what happened to Zeynep?!? Who is Didem and where did she come from? Hakan is marrying her? Did I miss Kardesim Benim 1-1/2?!?" Still, well worth a look, especially if you saw the first one.

   
• Mow Your Tuna! I love languages and have studied more than a few of them. The only language I ever felt fluent enough to hold a conversation in was Japanese, which has long-since escaped my memory. Languages I studied just enough to blunder my way through when traveling have been Swedish, Thai, Portuguese, and Italian. The first language I studied was German and I studied Spanish in high school. Neither stuck. I did attempt learning French before my second trip to the country. It did not go well. Which is why I had a good laugh over this...

Now, I am the first to admit that English is no better. There are loads of homophones that make zero sense and can easily confuse anybody attempting to learn the language. But when it's the language you grow up with, it just makes sense.

   
• Casting! QUEEN LATIFAH AS THE EQUALIZER?!?!? SIGN ME UP, PLEASE! I am absolutely fascinated at how a show like that might work. I am so happy to have some really different television to look forward to and this fits the bill nicely.

   
• Electoral Math! "Democrats and losing elections is like Princess Peach and getting kidnapped by a lizard. At a certain point it starts to seem like y'all like this shit." — Oh... here we go... a total breakdown of how politics work where I live and how Democrats are 100% fucking it up. AGAIN...

He's not wrong. About any of it.

   
• Mo Betty! NEWSFLASH: Betty White to star in new Lifetime holiday film at 98 years old. — Squeeeeee!

   
• Magic! As we remain locked down in quarantine, I've been incredibly impressed with how much Disney has been doing to distract us from it all. On their blogs they've been releasing a slew of amazing recipes for some of their most popular dishes and desserts at their parks. As if that wasn't enough, theyve been posting videos to their YouTube channel of all kinds of things... from fireworks displays to attraction ride-throughs, like their latest and greatest: Rise of the Resistance...

So cool. Really hope I can ride it in person next year. The Disney Parks Blog is here. The Disney YouTube Channel is here. Enjoy!

   
• Hugs! And because I want to end today on a happy note, here's a video of people hugging animals hugging people...

Doesn't get much sweeter than that.

   
And that's all the bullets we have for today.

   

Cracking the Perfect Egg Bite

Posted on January 17th, 2020

Dave!Happy birthday to one of my favorite people on earth: BETTY WHITE! 98 years young! I've been a fan long before The Golden Girls... mostly thanks to appearances on The Tonight Show and reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Anyway...

Today I finally finished a project I've been working on all year long (ha!), so I decided to leave a couple hours early so I could bake bread and do some cooking.

Namely, trying to figure out the perfect egg bite recipe.

There are dozens of recipes on the internet, possibly even hundreds. I've gone through a lot of them and have cooked many of them. Eventually I started experimenting on my own, combining recipes and adding my own ingredients.

Some things I've learned...

  • Green onions, purple onions, sweet onions, any kind of onions make the entire egg bite taste like onions. If that's your thing, go right ahead. I avoid avoid avoid.
  • Cottage cheese makes them more fall-apart, so I avoid it.
  • Most cheeses are too mild to have much impact. I eventually solved this by using SHARP Cheddar Cheese and spicy Queso Blanco (Totino's brand, which sucks for chips, works really well).
  • Bland egg bites are yuck, and most of my experimenting was trying to find a way to spice them up while still getting a good balance of flavor. Again, Queso Blanco was my solution.
  • Many of the recipes I found call for Greek yogurt (anywhere from two tablespoons to a quarter-cup). I didn't find it made a lot of difference, especially after I started going down the Queso Blanco route.

Which brings us to...

Dave's Spicy Egg Bites.
Start by dumping all this in a blender...

  • 3 Large Eggs (or 4 Egg Whites)
  • 1/4 cup Queso Blanco (plus 1-2 Tbs. extra, if you like added spice)
  • 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Sour Cream
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Crumbled Feta Cheese (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. Tabasco (optional)

Blend on medium speed until well-mixed. Then add...

  • 1/4 cup Red Peppers, diced into small pieces then heated in a microwave-safe bowl until they just start to brown. I cook for 1-1/2 minutes, stir, then cook for another 1-1/2 minutes. Your microwave may vary. Don't let them burn!
  • If you want ham or bacon in them, dump in a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of whatever. Be forewarned that a lot of extra stuff will cause the egg bites to fall apart easier.

Pulse-blend on slow just until mixed, don't pulverize the peppers!

Spray silicone egg cups with cooking spray (I know they say you don't have to, but they always stick if I don't). Evenly divide egg mixture amongst cups. Place a cup of water into the bottom of your instant pot then lower the silicone bite tray into the pot with the wire steam rack. Most recipes say to put a circle of foil on top of the egg tray so condensation doesn't drop onto the eggs. I don't bother.

I have an 8-quart Instant Pot. I have no idea if this makes a difference if you have the 6-quart, but I often have to increase cooking times from recipes I find. There are two ways I've tried to cook these things. There doesn't seem to be a big difference. I prefer to steam because they seem softer, but I am including the pressure-cook version which also works...

  • STEAM: Cook on STEAM-HIGH for 15 minutes. Quick-release. Cool/deflate for 5 minutes, then gently pop or scoop out of the cups.
  • PRESSURE COOK: Cook on PRESSURE-LOW for 10 minutes. Natural-release for 5 minutes, then quick-release. Cool/deflate for 5 minutes, then gently pop or scoop out of the cups.

Egg Bites on a plate with one cut in half to show the red peppers inside.

If you don't eat all of them, you can put them back in the silicone egg cups and use the provided plastic lid to store them in the refrigerator for a few days. I just pop them on a microwave-safe plate, cut in half, then cook for 30 seconds to warm them.

If you're not going keto you can chop them up and eat them on toast, which is my most favorite way to eat them. Also delicious? Chop up, mix with crispy hash brown potatoes and more cheese, put in a steamed flour tortilla with salsa.

These are pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself, and it's the Queso Blanco which ended up being the key. I didn't find it on any recipe I dug up, which is strange. Adding it seems obvious, it was the other factors that took a lot of time to figure out (I wasted many a batch with different onions and cottage cheese until I got rid of them completely).

I'll keep experimenting and post any changes if I find out they work better.

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Categories: Food 2020Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Vegas Redux, Day Two

Posted on June 21st, 2017

Dave!Since I didn't have work until 10:00 this morning, I decided to sleep in. At least that was the plan. Ultimately I decided to study my work notes and make sure I was 100% comfortable with the material. Sure it's kind of a lame use of time when in Vegas, but there's not much else for me to do. In order to save money for my vacation, I've vowed not to gamble, not to see any shows, and definitely not to eat at expensive restaurants (which is my Vegas Kryptonite).

And yet...

My colleagues wanted to eat in Paris, so there goes my vow not to eat at expensive restaurants...

Paris, Vegas

I gotta say... as somebody who has been to France-Paris many times, American-Paris is clearly the superior Paris. Not once in France-Paris did I see scantily-clad ladies walking around offering free cocktails. Not once! Also... American-Paris is air conditioned. BONUS: No people speaking weird French as you are wont to find in France-Paris and lesser parts of Canada. Except... the signage is still all in French, so most of it is just incomprehensible gibberish to me...

Le Car Rental Sign at Paris, Vegas

After lunch I was walking back to my hotel and spotted BETTY WHITE SLOTS as I was walking through the casino!

Betty White Slots at the Aria Hotel in Vegas

Holy cats! I'm guessing I'll eventually be breaking my vow not to gamble. How can I resist not giving Betty White a spin? We shall see.

I had time to kill before dinner, so I wandered over to M&M's World so I could try the new CARAMEL M&M's that have been advertised. And, oh, there's that M&M's race car I keep seeing...

M&M's World, Las Vegas

M&M's World, Las Vegas

The Caramel versions are okay. From the advertising, I had thought the caramel would be more liquid, but it's actually firm and chewy...

M&M's World, Las Vegas

Across the street in New York New York is Hershey's World. Not as much fun as the M&M's, but still kinda cool. Especially for Reese's and Twizzlers fans!

Hershey's World, Las Vegas

Hershey's World, Las Vegas

And, of course, there's Chocolate Liberty...

Hershey's World, Las Vegas

I was pleasantly surprised to see that they completed The Park adjacent to New York New York. It's pretty nice!

The Park, Las Vegas

The Park, Las Vegas

And... other than some hotel hopping for dinner, that's all she wrote on Vegas today.

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Categories: Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Happy 95th Birthday Betty!

Posted on January 17th, 2017

Dave!I first became a fan of Betty White when she played Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show... and proceeded to fall in love with her over her many game show appearances through the 1980's. Then The Golden Girls came along and everybody fell in love with Betty White. She's been an American icon every since.

And today she's 95 years old!

Which got her an interview with Katie Couric...

Happiest of birthdays to you, Betty!

   

Bullet Sunday 448

Posted on August 30th, 2015

Dave!Don't play with matches... because a smokey edition Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Horror! I was very sad to learn that famed "Horror Maestro," Wes Craven, passed away. While he was most famous for his Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream series of films, I'll forever think of him as the director of Vampire in Brooklyn. This "so bad it's good" movie was supposed to be a comedy-horror film, but came up a bit short in both departments. Even so, I've watched it a half-dozen times because my love of all things Eddie Murphy has no shame. Well, that... and ANGELA BASSETT...

Vampire in Brooklyn Poster

Rest in peace sir. Yours is a legacy that shall haunt the night for a very long time.

   
• Denali. At long last, North America's tallest mountain, Denali, has its name back. I'm sure President McKinley of Ohio was a great guy and everything, but it's categorically stupid that an entire mountain which he never visited and had nothing to do with him or his legacy could be renamed without permission from the native people living there. This goes for a lot of lands and landmarks around the world similarly appropriated, so it's kind of nice to see the right thing happen every once in a while. Despite objections, of course. As noted in Wikipedia: Ohio Congressman Mike Turner vowed to fight the change, commenting that "I’m certain [Obama] didn’t notify President McKinley’s descendants, who find this outrageous." Which, so far as statements go, is even more outrageous given that McKinley's two daughters died as children, thus leaving McKinley with no descendants to notify. Just another piece of shit lying politician trying to manipulate people with bullshit. What a fucking surprise.

   
• NEVER GIVE UP!. I cannot decide if this is good news or bad news.

   
• BETTY! This, on the other hand, is great news. Even if I'll have to watch the horrendously shitty show Bones to see it happen.

   
• Soap. Nurse Kathy is high again!

You're welcome!

   
• Hypocrisy. For the handful of county clerks saying "I'D RATHER DIE THAN ISSUE A MARRIAGE LICENSE FOR GAY COUPLES"... you're not the heroes you think you are. You regularly grant licenses for divorced couples, atheist couples, and a myriad of other couples who are getting married against "Biblical principal," so you are, in fact, just a bunch of pathetic hypocrites and certified assholes refusing to do the work your job requires. If marriage equality is SO offensive that you can't bring yourself to do what you're paid to do... then quit and find something that won't go against your hypocrisy.

Or just fuck off and kill yourself so you can be the martyr you profess to be. Except I think we all know that, in reality, it's more likely you're just being an attention-whore drama queen whose words are as hollow as your true convictions. Or whatever. I dunno. Feel free to prove me wrong.

Whichever. Totally up to you. Just so long as I don't have to see your "religious liberty" bullshit hypocrisy being applied to a government job that's supposed to be independent of your faith. Something you knew when you signed up.

   
And... I can't see to post any more bullets because the air has gotten too smokey.

   

Betty

Posted on January 17th, 2015

Dave!Happy Betty Day!

That would be 93. She's 93 years old today...


   

   

   

Bullet Sunday 415

Posted on January 11th, 2015

Dave!No, this isn't shaping up to be the worst year ever... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Rain! The best thing I've seen all week is this wonderful photo that was entered in the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. It doesn't get much more adorable than this...

Orangutan in the Rain Photo
Photo by Andrew Suryono for Sony World Photography Awards

One smart primate right there.

   
• People's Choice! I loved Betty White long before it was the cool thing to do. Moments like this are why...

I don't know what's better... Betty White accepting her award with such genuine surprise and appreciation... or the fact that Captain America himself, Chris Evans, escorted her to the stage.

   
• Vegetarian? I can't wait to try it!

Vegetarian Beef with Real Beef!

   
• Back! In Thailand, male friends hold hands all the time. They think nothing of it, and they find it strange that people find it strange. The Thai people are amused by Western hang-ups that make something so innocent and natural be looked upon as scandalous. I, on the other hand, can't be amused, because I know in some areas this simple act could get a guy severely beaten or even killed... gay or not...

Insanity. This society we've build is just plain nuts.

   
• Charlie.

   
• Carter! After the disaster that ended up being Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, I admit to being a bit pessimistic about Marvel's Agent Carter. Yes, it stars the divine Hayley Atwell and is being produced in the style of the brilliant Marvel One-Shot that was attached to the home-video release of Iron Man 3... but there was just so much going against it...

Marvel's Agent Carter Poster

And then I watched it and it was wonderful in every way. It's beautiful to look at and the story means something. And it looks like it's going to be tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terrific ways. We're probably going to see the fallout between Howard Stark and Anton Venko... fathers of Tony (Iron Man) Stark and Ivan (Whiplash) Vanko, respectively. And I'm sure there's going to be an appearance by the Howling Commandos... maybe even Arnim Zola? (please! please! please!). If you're not watching, you should be...

Great stuff.

   
And that's a wrap! Only seven days to go until your next Bullet Sunday fix...

   

Bullet Sunday 364

Posted on January 19th, 2014

Dave!Hold on to those Super Bowl XLVII predictions... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Seahawks! And speaking of the Super Bowl... looks like the Seahawks are getting their second trip to the big game. Ironically they'll be playing the Broncos, which means it's a battle between the two states that legalized marijuana. That's quite a bowl.

   
• Security! Show of hands... who thinks that President Obama would have held a press conference concerning infringements on civil liberties and new restrictions on NSA surveillance if the government hadn't been caught spying on all the wrong people? Another show of hands... who thinks anything is going to actually change? Meh. It's all bullshit anyway. Politicians can say whatever they want to mollify the public, but whether it's our own government... or a company like Google... personal privacy is gone.

"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither" — Benjamin Franklin

   
• Freedom! To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Freedom Industries (the company whose badly maintained waste storage tanks are responsible for a chunk of West Virginia losing their water supply) have declared bankruptcy. Typical. Big corporations pay for politicians to advocate the elimination of environmental protections under the guise of "job creation," when everybody knows they're only angling to avoid paying for eco-friendly business practices. Then, when their reprehensible excuse for "public safety" fails, they declare bankruptcy so everybody responsible has their ass covered and everybody else gets screwed. Now that's freedom!

   
• Gilligan! Was sad to learn that Russell Johnson, the guy who played the professor on Gilligan's Island, has died. As the guy who could make a nuclear reactor out of a coconut and two bananas, he was always my favorite castaway...

Russell johnson as The Professor

Smooth sailing, sir.

   
• Betty! Very happy birthday wishes to Betty White who turned 92 this week!

Betty & Dave

Still one of my favorite actresses.

   
And... time to put away my bullets and pack a suitcase.

   

Homeward

Posted on January 17th, 2013

Dave!HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETTY WHITE!

And so I didn't get to leave Spokane yesterday as planned.

In an attempt to make the best out of the situation, I decided to go to Pita Pit for a falafel sandwich last night. It was delicious. Back home, most people don't even know what the heck "falafel" is, so I don't pass up opportunities like this.

On the way back to my hotel, I passed two guys fighting over change on the sidewalk. One of them screams "MY DARK SIDE IS COMIN' OUT AND YOU DON'T WANNA FUCK WITH MY DARK SIDE!" The other guy pushes him away, grabs the quarter off the sidewalk, then runs off screaming "I'M THE JEDI MASTER, BITCH!!"

How cool was that? Witnessing this exchange made me feel better about not being able to go home.

Sadly, this moment of happiness was fleeting. Lately I've been having an even worse time sleeping than usual, and last night I got no sleep at all. Methinks it may be time to revisit my insomnia with a new doctor. Not that doctors have been much help in the past, but I suppose I owe it to myself to keep trying.

Breakfast this morning was the same as yesterday morning... leftover pizza from my dinner two nights ago. Since I don't have any plates, I had to get a little creative in finding something for my pizza slices to sit on while heating...

Hotel Pizza Microwave Cooking Cups

Anyway...

The drive home was pretty uneventful.

Normally, that's a good thing when traveling... but on such a long, boring drive, a little bit of "eventful" would have been nice. Especially since I was working on no sleep.

Oh well. I survived it. I'm home. Anything on top of that is gravy.

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Travelogue

Posted on January 30th, 2012

Dave!My lunch today consists of a 5-Hour Energy Shot and some oatmeal-raisin cookies. I'm hoping that they will keep me awake while I make my way through the heap of emails that took a dump on my in-box this morning.

One of the emails I got was regarding my mention of traveling in the 1990's, and was asking if I had photos of what I looked like back then. I suppose I have lots of them. But that was from the pre-digital era, so I don't know where the photos are. I do have this one of me from 1994 stuck on my bulletin board though...

Dave in 1994

And here's one from 1992 that I had posted earlier...

Dave On Maui

Yes, yes I know... I was so damn hot back then! What happened? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm willing to bet that Jägermeister is involved.

The strange thing about looking at these photos is realizing how different things are for me when I travel now vs. how I traveled twenty years ago. I've hinted about it before, but back then I was redefining the meaning of "budget travel." All my money went into just getting there. I remember times of having to decide between such luxuries as "eating" or "having a place to sleep at night." Heady days of having $25 to last three days, so I'd sleep in a train station and try to find a bakery selling day-old bread for cheap so I could eat... then rationing the loaf so it lasted for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Absolutely every move I'd make would have to be weighed against the cost, and many days were spent just scraping by as I went from place to place.

Looking back, I should have been miserable... but I truly wasn't. I wanted to travel to as many interesting places as I could, so I'd take a new trip the minute I had enough money for airfare. I didn't care that this left me with nothing to live on once I got there, I was compelled to go. And being hungry and trying to find a safe place to sleep because I blew all my money on a museum ticket was just the way things were.

Yet... I was having the time of my life.

And nothing anybody could say would convince me otherwise.

Of course today I look back on some of the more dicey days and am both horrified I put myself in those situations... and amazed I survived them... but that's youth for you. I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing. Life is good.

Now I should probably get back to work. The rest of these emails aren't going to answer themselves.

But one more thing before I go... congratulations to one of my favorite people on earth, BETTY WHITE, for her SAG win last night! Big buckets of awesome...

Betty SAG Winner
Photo from Kevin Winter, Getty Images

I wish Betty had time to do a guest appearance on Raising Hope, Happy Endings, or The Finder... her cameos are always legendary, and it would be sweet to have her appearing on my favorite shows.

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