Category: Uncategorized

Status of the Realm: 03 September 2017

So I thought I would try to add a more frequent update section, filled with items that don’t necessarily merit their own, complete posts. These could be things that I am working on, what I have experienced, or other items of note. I’ll do my best to make it at least once a week, twice if my projects are progressing along at a faster than previously expected rate or more noteworthy items happen during the week.

Why not just use a Facebook/Twitter/IG smattering to do this? I’m not really looking for thumbs of approval, nor do I feel like keeping them all to myself. Since any updates I push here appear on at least two of the previously mentioned items, it just makes more sense to do it here and save the effort for the more important tasks at hand.

To-Do: Create SotR banner(s). Due 1 Oct 17


Items of Note, 3 Sep 2017

UMich (33) v. Florida (17)

The Good:

• I liked the alternative uniform colors for both teams, especially UMich. Uncertain as to whether or not I would like to get a jersey in that color, might be a bit too bright in person, burn maize permanently into retinas of many an unwilling passersby, disapproving tuts possible.

• Defense for UMich was definitely present, stopping many plays that would have resulted in a steamroller win for Florida.

• Fantastic turnout of UMich fans, despite greater distance of travel required.

• A far more interesting game than PSU (52) v. Akron (0), which was being abandoned by dedicated PSU fans

The Meh:

• Easily preventable INTs cost more points than they should have; first week jitters in new season suspected cause.

• While understandable, neutral location for game prevents students/alumni of either school being able to easily attend.

• Status of Viewership/Team-Based Sartorial Curse still unknown, further research required

The Bad:

• Rules/regulations of Debatable Quality continue to be debatable in quality, slowing down overall flow of game. Seriously, when even the paid commentators are noticing the phenomenon is happening, something is seriously wrong.


100% MSPaint Work Update

While the first for this location, work continues on my first serious attempt at creating a work of art entirely within MSPaint. While not much at this point in time (see detail snippets for more information), work steadily rolls on, with the intended result being a work worth of any dual 1080P monitor setup, as was originally intended. While still very rough at this point in time, only time will tell what it truly ends up being.

100% MSPaint Detail 2
Spooky skull, on a tower perhaps? 09032017
Dubious Sun, Striped Landscape, Seussian Nightmare
Purple Liquid of Sorts
So Much Red

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song/Site of the Moment:

Song:

The Song of the Moment is not a song at all, but a band instead. Being stupidly late to discover things, like i was for Ghost, Gost, Carpenter Brut and others, this one really takes the cake, especially being as large of a Rammstein fan as I am. I present my latest discovered-obscenely-late find of KMFDM. Yes, KMFDM, considered by many to be industrial contemporaries of bands like Rammstein, Megaherz and Oomph, all of which I listen to quite frequently. I’m not certain why I took so long to start, really. Since it is neither a particular song or a relatively new band, I won’t bother to link to one particular song, as their discography is huge.

However, as I was writing the above, I did remember a song that I have been listening to increasingly more the last few days. Fronted by a QuickBooks-using accountant and hailing from the Dallas area, Ctrl+Alt+Delete is probably my favorite song by them at the moment.

While it has potential to be a catchy song, I am of the opinion that Rescue the Mouse needs to work on creating their own sound, which I am confident will come about as they not only tour more, but also spend more time in the studio. I would hate to see them forever trapped in Adult Alternative Land, sharing space with the likes of Seether and Nickelback. Very few bands truly deserve such a fate and Rescue the Mouse is not one of them.

Site

Today’s Site of the Moment is for those intrepid consumers who value a good deal over what the box or its contents look like. Cosmetic/arrangement in the box, that is (very few, I imagine, would pay money for broken/mangled and disheveled items/cables/etc., no matter how good the deal was), not functionality wise. Enter Jungleflip.com, whose mission it is to scour the depths of Amazon.com for used/open box listings, allowing you to browse for deals that may not look as pretty as a completely new, aesthetically pleasing virgin retail purchase but will function just the same.

Walls of Barely-Readable Text: Grammar Edits

Aside from finding suitable content to write about, the lack of an editor is probably the greatest detriment to the overall content of this site. Written primarily in the dead of night in lieu of beneficial sleep, what sounds great at midnight can result in a post that makes one regret typing the first letter.

So, from now on, all late-night work will sit unpublished until a rested set of eyes scrutinize what the toil of the midnight oil could not.

Site of the Moment: Ever since it drew the ire of the incessantly annoying realtor aggregator website Zillow, I have been thoroughly educated and entertained by McMansionHell.com, a site run by an architecture student, mocking everything that is wrong with the tacky, overpriced monstrosities that have the gall to call themselves mansions. Even if you’re not a fan of architecture, you’re likely to enjoy her well-written commentary. You’ll most likely learn something along the way, too.

Song of the MomentHumans are Such Easy Prey – Perturbator

While I may be obscenely late to the agressive side of 80’s soundtrack inspired synthwave, this song has been on my gym playlist ever since I discovered it by accident on Spotify. Clearly obsessed with the Terminator saga, namely the first one, this lyrics-free anthem to the destructive capabilities of the T-800, model 101 is catchy, aggressive and inspiring when you need just one more rep to finih your set or a few more parts to finish your masterpiece.

The Table: Casual Class, Sad Risotto

Saturdays are great for doing many things, be they fixing the various broken/malfunctioning things that a busy workweek not allow time for or just sitting on a park bench watching your children play at the local park. They’re also great days for going to places that thirty minute work lunches otherwise prohibit, such as a casual sit-down restaurant that just opened up downtown.

The Restaurant: Cooking Food So You Don’t Have To

Promising simple, well-made food from quality ingredients is nothing new, as the less-is-more trend is nothing new in the culinary world. However, for the area, a new face promising such things is always a welcome break from the well-tread landscape saturated by fast food chain restaurants.

The Good: Replacing the well-loved Mac’s on Main, there are many great things to look forward to at The Table. Immediately after entering through the familiar heavy wooden doors, one is greeted by a well-thought out, striking blue-grey with white trim aesthetic, tasteful lighting using the currently trendy retro light bulbs with the long elements and the bold, golden glow to cast a welcoming warmth and adding to the overall casual atmosphere. Above the bar, a mounted bicycle accompanies the confident message that The Table is the best place place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A bold claim indeed.

Wait times were short, fortunately, which was a relief since the first question after the initial greeting was whether or not we had a reservation. After a five to ten minute wait, a table that had been sitting bare for the entire time we were waiting. No matter, we were sat, drinks and appetizer ordered within five to ten minutes of arriving. Initially, we were a tad suspicious of the recommended tomato tart, worrying about the possibility of the eggs overtaking the flavor of everything else. Thankfully wrong we were, as the tomatoes truly shined, a sweet star setting high expectations for the entrees yet to come with its flaky crust, the right amount of eggs and oh, the tomatoes! Honestly, if I wanted a light lunch, I’d take the tart with a trio of well-prepared scallops or perhaps the hanger steak that came with the other entree ordered.

Not long after the appetizer was finished, the main stars of the evening arrived. For the tot, a meal of a grilled cheese sandwich and a side of thyme and salt seasoned fries as what she really wanted, a stack of pancakes, were not available to order for dinner. As for the girlfriend, she ordered what was to be the true celebrity of the evening, an exquisite hanger steak, prepared rare accompanied by mashed red potatoes, Rockefeller butter and grilled vegetables. Beautifully prepared to order, the steak was tender, juicy and a melt-in-your mouth delight. When paired with the potatoes, vegetables and butter, culinary bliss was achieved.

The Bad: Being a off-and-on watcher of Hell’s Kitchen, I was quite happy to see a dish that contained two of the staples used to test the mettle of contestant’s culinary might: scallops and risotto. After the exquisite heirloom tomato tart and locally-brewed pale ale had come and gone, I was excited to see what these often difficult to pull off menu items had in store. I’d like to say that my taste buds went on a journey of delicate flavors, well-defined textures and satisfying finish. Unfortunately, such was not the case, with the scallops being rubbery and the risotto mushy with both completely devoid of flavor.

Neither entree item was helped by the heavy dusting of breadcrumbs, which gave the risotto the appearance of snow with a heap of sand on top. On the menu, it mentions royal trumpet mushrooms and brie to be in the risotto. Aside from a tiny sliver the size of my thumbnail, no further trace of mushroom was present and the almost non-existent brie is a tad too subtle for me.

What really saddened me was that, for the first time in almost thirty-two years, I had to send a dish back to be re-prepared. Upon re-preparation, the scallops were properly cooked, if not particularly flavorful and the risotto was relatively the same. It is my hope that a new batch of risotto was made after the dish was sent back. For the price of this one dish, I could have eaten four spicy chicken sandwiches, all of which would have had twice the texture and flavor I was expecting from the risotto. With the breaded chicken, the breading would have helped; with the risotto, the breadcrumbs seem to be an attempt to hide the lack of flavor and underwhelming texture in what should have been a shining example of a upscale casual dining experience.

By far the biggest disappointment, as I had been anxious to try risotto ever since first hearing about it and watching it being made on television. This disappointment was made all the more striking by the fact that even my daughter’s simple plate of grilled cheddar on ciabatta and fries with just the right amount of salt and thyme. How does a kid’s meal at five dollars taste better that a fancier meal that costs more than three and a half times as much?

Conclusion: Though Gordon Ramsay would have spat the risotto out and called the chef a donkey or something worse, I still have high hopes for this restaurant and want it to succeed. Hopefully, this experience was a fluke, a bad night in the history of a restaurant still going through the settling process after opening. If I had gone by myself and had nothing else to base my experience on, I wouldn’t be going back. However, despite the failure of my dish to impress, everything else was more than enough to ensure a return visit in about six months or so, to see if tonight was more than a one-time occurrence.

Rating: 3.5/5

Whiteboards: Christmas Time is Here

Christmas: a joyous time of the year for most, as people make plans to meet with their loved ones, both far and nearby, and non-retail business operations nearly grind to a halt under the massive weight of holiday cheerfulness. Who wants to balance the books for the year when there’s merry to be made and had by all but the most stringent of bean-counters? That’s what January the first is for, they say! While this was not always the case, for many wanted to do their due diligence in making sure their balance sheet was in fact as close to even on both sides as humanly possible before letting the eggnog flow, call volume was far below their usual volume, allowing for more whiteboard doodles, with a more decidedly secular Christmas theme than usual. Due to their fragile nature, I was only able to document two, one for me of Santa ready for flight, complete with flight goggles and a sleeker, more practical garb more akin to a flight suit than his traditional garments. The second was more traditional in nature, with the milk and cookies set out next to a fireplace and a Christmas tree, decorated to the nines and well-stocked to boot.

Santa, Flightmaster

Free of Bugs and Frozen Eyeballs

Dry Erase Marker on Whiteboard
2016

To say this was done prior to the fireplace scene for a co-worker would be a fib. I actually ended up doing this to help decorate my desk after doing so much to help others make their desks more festive, as was the purpose for the Christmas Eve scene. Not only had I run out of whiteboards to doodle on, I was feeling a tad burnt out at time, which would explain why while Santa is relatively detailed, he’s not particularly high quality or even finished really. His goggle lenses aren’t filled in, the beard is not but a blob and the fur lining depicted in the button line, cuffs, hat and hem are just as blob-like as the beard itself. The dingleball on the end of the hat shares the same fate, make this a nice doodle, but not much else. As usual, the overhead lighting manifests itself here as with every other whiteboard doodle, which irks me to no end.

The Rest of the Story…

Relaunching Saylock.com

College is over for the time being, the books are stowed, the gears of knowledge creep at and ever slowing rate, rust gathering as slowly as it did last time I stopped going to school. Creak…creak…creeeeak… wait, what? Why does learning have to stop? Did it ever stop? Unlikely it ever will.

After letting the site lapse (again) into deletion due to financial hardships and lack of time, it is time to start anew! With more time and fewer x and y variables, I am free to do more with this and other online things. When I thought of doing this again, I thought to myself: what do I like doing? The best places to visit are places that are ultimately useful to someone other than the author. Someone else has to have the possibility to benefit in order for the ordeal that comes with site ownership to be worth more than a nickel or dime.

So what’s planned?

Photography: Though I have never made much off of photography, I still enjoy doing it some ten years later. Currently, the only commercial usage of my photo compositions have been firearm related, since I am currently employed in the retail part of the industry. Mainly, my photos have been featured on Gunbroker and as of recent, Instagram, all for the betterment of my place of employment. I enjoy capturing these devices with a camera in a strangely beautiful light, which especially recently, has not been the case in mainstream society at large.

Painting/Drawing: In addition to photography and digital media, I still create works using physical materials. One day soon, I’d really like to try my hand at oils, but due to having a rambunctious toddler and naughty cat, for now it is an item on the “to do” list. Acrylics and pastels seem to be safe materials to use, with the tot contributing regularly when the mood strikes her.

Bathroom Reviews: “Why would you honestly want to review the places where people defecate, urinate and do untold number of other things? Isn’t there already a place that does that?” Yes, but it isn’t my work, so I want to do it my way. Originally, it started as a project for a freshman college composition class which went well enough, despite the requirement of entering and writing about every bathroom I came across and trying to photograph them with no one else there. Once the project ended, I thought that was that and nothing more.

Sadly, nothing could be farther from the truth. Everywhere I go now, I find myself mentally rating it by cleanliness, decor if any, smells, sounds and other identifying characteristics. So if I still do it without really realizing it, why not write about it?

Firearms: It would not be a convincing online presence if it failed to cover one of the tenets of my life currently: shooting. Not people, as I rather never have to do that, but targets of paper and cardboard. Compared to the number of some of my regulars, I have but a few, but I like them quite a bit, but not to the point that I love them, as that’d be a bit weird. Like politics, I’ll be keeping the firearms posts mainly about my own experiences with them and do my best to stay away from one side or the other, as the discussion can become quite heated very quickly. Mainly, I’ll be talking about new guns I’ve read about, found at a local gun store, mainly work, or have personally bought. Since I compete from time to time, I’ll probably take some time to reflect on my results and the stages in what is hopefully an entertaining way.

Gaming: Not that I have a terrible lot of time to do so these days, but I do enjoy playing video games from time to time. With the arrival of the tot, I have limited it mainly to PC, as it usually doesn’t require expensive peripherals that are oh-so-attractive to munchkins with small, sticky hands. Someday, I will return to owning a modern console, but today is not that day. New games, mods, utilities and wanted games shall dominate this section.

Other Stuff of Interest: While the main subjects are listed above, other things that catch my interest shall have a home here, provided I can make a description of the topic entertaining to someone other than myself.

Categories are subject to amendment, deletion, abandonment and modification at any time.