Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The newest Bionicle action figures. They are, apparently, "extreme." Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Kahab and the blue spider

Kahab

Blue Spider

Blue Spider

Kahab

As is usual when building the combiners of Bionicle sets, there are many pieces left over. The blue spider made from three of the Matoran of Voya Nui is no exception. Using the remnants, I was able to make most of another Matoran. There were not enough pieces to make his right leg, so he stumps around on a Hordika's forelimb.
He is searching for the blue spider that took away his leg.

New Matoran (Voyar)

I just received the new Matoran sets. They are all acceptable except for Kazi, whose design is just not good. The fixed-gear portion of the Hordika arm makes an OK torso, but the legs are useless. In appearance, his legs are far too short and their articulation is about nil.

Garan and Velika are identical in construction except for colors, tools and masks. Dalu uses Bohrok limbs and so seems heftier than the others.

I was disappointed enough with Kazi that I built the canonical combiner of Kazi, Garan and Dalu, a spider with a bulbous blue body, instead. Not a problem really since Garan is the same as Velika, Kazi is a dead loss from the outset, and Dalu doesn't quite fit in anyway.

It's been said many times in forums already but having the figures in hand really validates the point: new masks would have been better. Failing that, different colors for the masks would have been a step in the right direction. The "Hordika skulls" will be really useful for MOCs.

The figures are far more posable than the so-called Metruans (the worst design by far) and are the most diverse morphologically of any of the sets-of-six. Both combiners are worthy of building.

In the story, they are not residents of Mata Nui, but of Voya Nui. Confusingly enough, the residents of both are referred to as Matorans. It might be construed that the Matorans are not named after the island of Mata Nui, but instead after the mystical entity Mata Nui. There has not been any indication who or what 'Voya' might be other than 'not Mata.'

Monday, November 21, 2005

Because you asked

My recipe for pumpkin pie:

To prepare.
Go to the grocery. This step is unavoidable.
Find pumpkin in the can. Not that premixed stuff, just plain can of pumpkin.
Using the list of ingredients invariably printed on the label of the can of pumpkin, continue to wander the aisles until you find everything. Note: be clear on the difference between condensed and evaporated milk. Not the same thing, apparently.
Try to remember if there are spices left over from last year - they keep, right? Adjust shopping list accordingly. Do not use something called "pumpkin pie spice." You may as well just buy a ready made pie. (Which isn't a terrible thing. Most of the ready made pies are not bad at all.) You are already making something dead simple, leave a little room for variation.
An ingredient not always on the can of pumpkin: pie shells. These are in the frozen foods section. On the bottom toward the back. Wherever the less sexy frozen foods are. I believe that it is theoretically possible to make a pumpkin pie without the crust.
To bake.
Once home, follow the instructions on the can of pumpkin slavishly except use more spice than indicated. Nutmeg ("Need more nutmeg, Peggy Hill") and ginger in particular. Beware of ground cloves, very strong stuff.
Use big eggs. There is always pie filling left over so cook it in a custard cup or two. Don't eat it from the bowl, there's raw egg in there!
Wrap the crimped part of the crust in tinfoil if you think people will eat the crust. They won't, they never do.
Like tofu, there is a continuum of pumpkin pie firmness. Avoid the soft tofu effect. But don't bake too long or there will be a leathery skin on top. It's done when a knife slipped into the center of the pie comes out clean.
To serve.
Whipped cream is often used as a topping to balance out the fat and sugar with more sugar and fat. This strikes me as excessive but it is traditional. Eschew pumpkin pie cheesecake. There is a reason that first cousins shouldn't marry. Do not serve pumpkin pie with egg nog as nature herself will violently rebel. This is the holiday desert version of Egon Spengler's exhortation, "Don't Cross the Streams."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Chaotic Cranium Coffee

 
The crew at Cranium was a bit overwhelmed. I saw no progress on the remodel. Unhappy-making, that is.
 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pic taken by phone in the dark. Posted by Picasa

New Webcam Server Software

Logisphere is software from Switzerland. It's built with Logitech's Orbit (aka "Sphere") camera in mind. It will be linked from here soon enough.

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