Monday, March 27, 2006

Its been a while

Ok, so its been a while since my last post.

What has been going on?
  • Read a few books
  • Went to a hockey game
  • Took part in an Iron Chef competition
  • Decided to go back and finish my degree no-matter-what
  • Was rejected at BYU
  • Still going to finish my degree no-matter-what (now I just don't know where)
  • Participated in my first ARES event: "Scouting for Food"
  • And MORE
Each event has been "blogworthy" I've just not had the time or inclination (sometimes I've had one, but not the other) to record it all, or any of it for that matter. So I'll be trying to catch up over the next week or so.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


If you like board games such as "Settlers of Catan" check out Carcassonne. This game was introduced to Superwoman and myself, by some friends of ours. We had an absolute hoot playing it. I highly recommend it.

There are a few reasons why I like this game. First, its a fun strategy board game. Second, it has competitive elements, but to win, players should work together. (I suppose it could be played cutthroat, but I don't think it would be nearly as fun) Third, this game is fun to play casually, it appeals to a wider audience than your average hardcore Strategy Board Game, there are elements of gameplay that just about any player can enjoy.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


I'm a member, albeit a new one, of UCARES. Utah County Amateur Radio Emergency Service. On Tuesday we had a meeting and built 'hombrew' Yagi Antennas. We built the antenna out of an arrow shaft and piano wire. The Transmission line was 3 feet of Coaxial cable connected to the driven elements of the antenna by alligator clips and to an HT (Handy Talky, a hand held amateur radio) with an SMA (or BNC) connector. The antenna is intended for use on the 2 meter band, and is light and small enough to carry into remote locations. (Remote locations are ideal spots to have a good antenna. I went expecting to spend about 2 hours on it, 4 hours and a burnt thumb later it was done. I now have a love hate relationship with SMA connectors, getting that little blighter on there was the hardest part. I love the small size of the connector, but it was a pain connecting it to a loose bit of Coax.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sushi Dinner: Happy Sumo

Last Saturday we went with our friends Marc and Danielle to the Happy Sumo, Danielle had just delivered a baby (2 months ago now) and this was her "Return to Sushi" dinner. I have had a few pieces of sushi from Happy Sumo before (left overs that one of the gals at my job couldn't finish) and it was really good. But the sushi wasn't the greatest on the night we went, it may have been an off night for them.

I had four maki rolls. Spicy Yellow Tail, Spicy Salmon, Spicy Tuna, and Unagi (eel). The spicy rolls came together at a discount. I'm not one to complain about things being spicy, but the spicy sauce completely overpowered the dish. Yellow Tail and Salmon have a subtle flavor, the Spicy sauce didn't. As a result the fish didn't come through. The Tuna has a stronger flavor and barely came through the sauce. I'm not quite sure what to think about these rolls, I don't think they would have been good on a good night, the wrong match of sauce and fish. The Unagi was good but the rice was too old making it a bit sour. Superwoman had a bento box (Japanese style lunch box) dinner with grilled salmon (cooked really well), Tempura Veggies (also cooked well), potstickers (overcooked), and a california roll (not fresh). Marc had Tonkatsu and a tuna maki roll and shared a Rainbow roll with Danielle, who had the same spicy platter that I did. Danielle didn't really care for her spicy rolls so I got to finish them off. (No sense letting them go to waste).

The ambiance of the restaurant was very swank and trendy, with dark paint, interesting booths, layout and architecture. (there was even a tastefully inserted lava lamp or two planted around the dining area). The booths had some sheer curtains that could be closed and good view of the rest of the restaurant. So I think we ended up paying more for the ambiance rather than food quality. The specialty rolls looked good but were very expensive, (and with the rice the way it was Saturday probably wasn't the night to try them) so I'll have to give those a shot after I make my first million.

After we had sushi we went back to our place and Marc and Danielle introduced us to a game called carcassone, I plan on devoting a whole post to Carcossone later... Stay tuned its a cool game.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Good Weekend

We had a busy, but fun, weekend around here.

Friday Night Superwoman went out with the girls and I watched the kids. That night I joined a Guildpact release league on Magic online(the digital cards are released about a month after the paper ones). I played 4 matches with a record of 2-2, I have one more game to play by next Friday.

Saturday I ordered my sushi knife, took Cookie Monster Roller Skating, and that night we went to Happy Sumo (sushi joint) with Marc and Danielle (names have been changed of course). We even had a sitter for the kids. That made things extra fun. For parents having food prepared for us and no kids to look after is bliss. After that we played a cool game that I had never played before, Carcassone.

Sunday the kids were sick, so I missed church to keep an eye on them. When Superwoman go home from church she took Cakes to the doctor, Cakes has an ear infection and maybe some pink eye. That evening we had my Sis and BroInLaw over for dinner and games. I played Magic with BroInLaw while Superwoman and Sis gave themselves pedicures, then we all played some Dominoes ,the "Mexican Train" variant. Superwoman won every game, she is a dominoe master.

The weekend was jam packed, a lot of fun, and will probably give me stuff to blog about all week. What more could I ask for?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sushi Knife

I ordered my Sushi Knife! I am really excited about it. Why? A nice knife (or at least one that isn't total crap) will make sushi a lot easier in a variety of ways. 1. Japanese style knives are ground down with a single bevel to form an edge, compared to western knives that use two bevels to form an edge. ( |/ Japanese knife edge, \/ western knife edge) Single bevel edges can be honed to a much sharper edge, but the edge doesn't hold as long and is harder to care for. Dual bevel edges are not as sharp, but hold an edge longer and are easier to care for. 2. The knives are made from materials that can be ground to a sharper edge (like carbon steel instead of stainless) the drawbacks are the same as a single bevel. 3. No serrations. To get a nice and clean cut it is important to slice and not tear to make the cut. Tearing cuts will cause the Nori to have small tears, and the serrations also catch the rice and other ingredients inside a maki roll and make the cut look messy. 4. Sharper knives allow a cut using less pressure. This allows making a cut without deforming a maki roll. Having a sharp knife will take inside-out-rolls from "very difficult" to "somewhat difficult", or at least I hope so.

So my new knife should "kick my sushi up a notch". I was thinking about a more expensive knife (mine was $24, I was considering a $60 one). Since it was my first knife of this style I decided to go cheaper while I learned to care for it. So if I screw up (highly probable), my life lesson will only cost me half as much. My only fear is that I have gone a little too cheap and the knife won't perform. I also picked up a wet stone (same price as my knife) the wet stone should last for years. So I need a honing steel and my sushi cutlery should be set up for a while. I can't wait to receive it and start cutting.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I haven't written anything in over a week. Why so long? Psychonauts!

This is probably the best new game I've played in well over a year. In fact this game is close to an all time favorite. (Pending on going through it multiple times) It has great artistic style. Well done and funny dialog. Smooth animation. Different, innovative and (most importantly) fun gameplay. So when I have been having fits of insomnia, instead of blogging, I've been playing Psychonauts. A lot of the gameplay takes place inside the minds of other characters, such areas include; a 3D velvet painting in a artist obsessed with bullfights, inside a playhouse of a manic depressive actor where plays change from comedies to tragedies at the flip of a switch, rampaging (think like King Kong or Godzilla) in a city of tiny lung fish, and flipping-jumping-sliding-fighting through a giant circus. If you like video games (especially platformers) you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this game. It hasn't been selling well and you can get it new for a meager thirty bones. Otherwise there may never be hopes for a sequel, or something else totally new and original from Double Fine, and Majesco. So as you can tell I really liked it. I've even done a drawing of the main character Razputen. (I'll post that whenever I decide to do my next art update) I'd continue to rave about it, but that would be wasting valuable time that you could use to run out and buy this game. If you still need convincing check out what these journalists had to say. IGN Review , UGO Review , EuroGamer Review. Pick it up and actually have fun playing a video game!