Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Blog Post Where I Put Together a Half-Assed List and Wish Everybody a Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow we give thanks to living in a country led by a president who spends more time thinking about how to resolve the situation in Afghanistan than which turkey to pardon on the White House lawn. (One gets the feeling that it was the other way around with the last guy).

We give thanks that this is one of few holidays where we can gorge ourselves silly and watch football without feeling obligated to offer some sort of tribute to Jesus (man that guy is a serious attention whore…)

We give thanks to the wondrous gastronomical opportunities provided by this holiday. I, for one, am a big fan of Rooster Tooth’s take on the Thanksgiving staple, the Turducken:

“Start off with a hummingbird, put that in a sparrow, stuff 'em both in a cornish hen, then put that in a chicken. Put all that in a duck, then in a turkey, then in a bigger turkey, put that in a penguin, stuff that in a peacock, then an eagle, shove it all in an albatross, then and emu, next comes an ostrich, then a leopard. Put all that in a pterodactyl, and stuff it in a Boeing 747.”

We give thanks to all those magnificent bastards who remain undeterred from deep frying their turkeys, despite the fact that they’ve set fire to their houses the last 87 times they’ve attempted it. Happy Thanksgiving you morons, please try to refrain from napalming your house this time, OK?

Most of all, we give thanks to cranberry sauce. Sweet sweet cranberry sauce. Some people like to screw around and make their own, but let me tell you: nothing beats a perfectly cylindrical blob of cranberry sauce retaining its natural can shape (complete with the ridges!) Thanksgiving isn’t complete unless I hear that slimy sloughing noise as the cranberry sauce slides free of its aluminum confines.

Have a safe & happy Thanksgiving everybody.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Your Weekly Nerdery

So this unrepentantly shitty looking little fellow represents my first attempt at painting a Warhammer 40K miniature. Egad, I suck. Moral of the story, a Badab Black wash over a light colored basecoat yields some really fugly results. If these guys were supposed to be undead space zombies, this would all be good and fine. But they’re not. They’re supposed to be proud and angry Space Wolves. Space Wolves with sizeable cod pieces.

Just look at this poor guy, you can just tell that he's definitely going to have some sort of self-esteem issues. Kids are going to pick on him in Space Wolf school. A few more of these and I'm going to need to thumb through my SW codex to see if some sort of Space Wolf therapist class exists that I can add to my army. Anyhow, things improve notably from here. BEHOLD, THE AWESOME:
For these next two, I switched over to Space Wolf Grey for my primary color, which oddly, isn’t grey at all but actually blue (kind of like how “Nantucket Red” is actually pink). I’m pretty happy with the outcome so far on these guys. Still not impressed? Consider for a moment that these little dudes are only one inch tall. THAT’S 25 MILLIMETERS, PEOPLE!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

On Turbinate Reductions and Real Estate Malfeasance

So the wifey had surgery a few days ago to repair a deviated septum. Thanks to a steady diet of matzo ball soup and oxycontin, she’s recuperating nicely and hopes to be in ship shape for the coming Thanksgiving festivities (because if you’re going to be zonked out around this time of year, it damn well should be on wine and turkey rather than painkillers and antibiotics). Should it tickle your fancy, feel free to wish Erika a speedy recovery in the comments section below. Also feel free to express your sympathies for a man who has to sleep next to someone with splints in their nose and makes nighttime noises that sound like Darth Vader wrestling a wolverine in an earthquake. Goddamnit I miss my 7 hours of sleep.

The medical release form the hospital provided us advised Erika to avoid making any major financial decisions while recovering from the anesthesia for the next 48 hours. This however didn’t stop me from cajoling her drugged up carcass to sign her life away several dozen times on our mortgage application. Look, it had to be submitted promptly, OK? Don’t judge me.

Vital documents signed under duress? Er, I have no idea what you’re talking about…

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Promised Myself I Wouldn’t Blog About the Hiatus…

And yet I still feel somewhat obligated to offer somewhat of an explanation to the five readers who stuck around…

What exactly compels a man to cease blogging? Many things: the perpetual give and take of busyness and laziness, a lack of inspiration, the siren call of the television, blah, blah, blah, but most of all, THIS: Well this can't end well. What you’re looking at here is a pack of miniature Warhammer 40K figurines (Space Wolf Grey Hunters, to be precise) intended for one purpose only: to conquer my tabletop gaming opponent. They may not look impressive, but bear in mind that these snarling fellows came completely unassembled and had to be painstakingly glued together piece by piece. They arrived looking like THIS:And I haven’t even primed or painted ‘em yet. And if you think that’s bad, it gets worse. Oh so much worse.

See, this cringe-worthy endeavor started a few weeks back. Driving to an annual fly fishing trip with a few buddies, a friend asked me if I was interested in an exceedingly geeky activity. Now let me tell you, this man is a total menace. He’s living every 13 year old’s dream: he’s 30, gainfully employed as a lawyer, and has more than enough spare cash to indulge himself in a myriad of hobbies. We’re talking R/C cars & planes, comic books, online gaming, modeling, etc. At one point he had even approached me about renting apartment space in Manhattan for the sole purpose of building a model railroad layout. Like I said, he’s a menace. No man should have this kind of freedom to indulge themselves.

And so he told me about Warhammer 40,000. For those not in the know, (99.99997% of the human population), Warhammer 40K is a British invention and is essentially a precursor to modern day RPG videogames. Only the Brits would come up with something as quirky as this. How does it work? One creates an army on paper, assigns each model attributes, carefully adhering to a set of rules governing each faction, then goes about physically assembling a battleforce consisting of a certain point value. Once you’re all done (this can take months or even years) you duke it out against an opponent’s army by rolling die, assigning hits, and tallying up damage. If you’re a stats freak, it’s an engaging endeavor, kind of like Strat-O-Matic baseball, because you’re essentially doing all the work that a computer would normally do. Oh joy.

It’s all very low-tech and brutally demanding of the participant. Just getting a 40K army builder software program to run involved actually downgrading to an old Pentium II computer that was collecting dust in the apartment. (shockingly, the program doesn’t run on Apple’s OSX).

But being the easily susceptible type, my buddy totally convinced me to get into it. For my army, I’ve selected Space Wolves, because let’s be honest here, if you’re going to build some sort of futuristic space army, it damned well better incorporate wolves somehow. Best as I can figure based on the literature I’ve come across, Space Wolves worship some dude named “Russ,” and like yelling a lot and attacking things. And also drinking lots of Space Wolf mead and presumably neglecting their Space Wolf wives.

If getting married makes a man seem attractive to women as some claim, then engaging in an activity like this completely negates whatever net gains I would’ve made. Here, I’ll break it down in 40K statistical terms:

Marital Viability: -2
Societal Worth: -7
Useless Esoteric Knowledge: +9
Relationship Saving Throw: -17

You get the idea. It’s nerdtacular. I’ve already been exchanging emails with a buddy who uses sentences like “and don’t even get me started on trying to pin down Eldar skimmers.”

Moreover, the stats side of it is just half of the picture. If you’re a hobbyist, this lets you go hog wild: filing down individual components, meticulously gluing them together, spending hours painting tiny details, etc… Anytime you can alarm your landlady by wandering around outside wearing a surgical mask and spraying a 1” tall figurine with an aerosol primer, it’s a good time.

[LENGHTY ASIDE: Things have been rather eventful in the apartment recently. I thought our landlady had died last week when I left the apartment Monday morning and noticed a terrible smell. It was as if a sewage line had ruptured in a Roman vomitorium. Fashioning myself as a bit of an expert on smells, unable to place this horrific one, and realizing that our landlady is of an advanced age, I made the seemingly logical conclusion that she had perished several days ago and her decomposing body was causing the terrible odor. I’ve seen enough police dramas to know how these sorts of things happen. I spent the entire commute to work rehearsing just the right tone of solemnity in which I would deliver my official statement to the police (“yes officer, she was a kind woman who lived an active and social life… I last saw her two days ago”) before I called Erika to ask that she investigate the rotting landlady problem. Meanwhile I weighed the ramifications of how this dead landlady issue would impact our search for a house. Erika of course knocked on her door at 7AM and totally startled our landlady out of the shower, and it was discovered that the smell emanated from the garbage outside. Never a dull moment. END LENGHTY ASIDE]

But getting back to my fledgling pack of space wolves, they’re coming along nicely. I’ll update you with their progress as I go, because I’m certain you’re just gagging for it…

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rickey Recommends

This is where Rickey posts recommendations of noteworthy consumables, practices, and pastimes that have been deemed invaluable for the reader’s betterment. All products and pieces of advice listed herein have been Rickey tested and approved. Again, this is in no way shape or form a complete rip off of McSweeney’s (fa-la-la-la-la, lawyers, Rickey can’t hear you). Enjoy our latest installment of....


Carefully reviewing your local zoning laws before purchasing a flock of domesticated fowl. No, sadly, I don’t have some zany news story involving rampaging fowl to link to. I’m just a man. A man who has an accepted offer on a house and is now one step closer to fulfilling his lifelong dream of raising guinea hens in his backyard. I hear their eggs consumed raw are delectable! (or so I’m told by a miscreant at work). Guinea hens, they’re like chickens but infinitely cooler! Perhaps I just like saying the name “guinea hens.” Guinea hens! They rank right up there with the Jewfish as “animals badly in need of nomenclature adjustment.”

Making your own pepper vodka. Take a handful of peppercorns, toss ‘em in a bottle of cheap vodka (perhaps that one with the robot on it) stick it in the freezer, wait 3 weeks and presto: a tasty adult beverage! Nice sipped straight or even better in a bloody mary.

The Droid. Now this is podracing! a phone. This bright touch screen wonder runs multiple applications simultaneously, it provides turn by turn voice-guided directions, it has wifi, it sports a full qwerty keyboard, it syncs up all your Facebook and Gmail contacts, and it even makes phone calls when you feel the inexplicable urge to have a live conversation with another human being. In 5 years, this thing will be doing your job for you. Apple may rave about its 100K apps for the iphone, but the applications for the Droid are also incredibly numerous and rather impressive to boot. The other day I downloaded an app that stores my bevy of account passwords and only unlocks them after a retinal scan via the 5mp camera on the phone. ‘nuff said. Best of all, it runs on a stable network, unlike AT&T’s, (which one might compare to a lethargic raccoon ambling back and forth from your phone to a cell tower with a basket of bytes tied around its neck). Viva Google and this wondrous device. Did I mention that I can now blog from directly this thing? The a few weeks ago, I saw a bohemian lady on the street with a bird in a cage strapped to her back--just imagine the possibilities had I been able to live blog about it!

“The Prisoner” on AMC. I haven’t seen it yet, but my mom says it’s good. She’s usually right about this sort of thing.

Sunrise Earth. I used to watch the news in the morning. I have officially evolved past that, primarily because the mere sight of Al Roker fills me with an uncontrollable urge to kick things. Now, every morning, I inaugurate the day with a good cup of coffee and imagery of the sun rising over an exotic locale. No music, no narration, just the natural sounds of wherever the camera is situated. It’s strangely mesmerizing and utterly relaxing. This morning’s installment: buffalo roaming across an expansive plain while rosy fingered dawn illuminated the horizon. Solid stuff!

Modern Warfare 2. And on the other end of the cultural spectrum, we have the most batshit intense videogame ever made. Ever wanted to repel a Russian invasion of Washington D.C. while a Hans Zimmer score blasts in the background? Or perhaps see the battlefield through the lens of a Lockheed AC-130 gunship and rain down molten death from above upon your online opponents? Well friend, this game is for you. Not a thinking man’s game by any means, but still a romping good time. In other news, the Mrs. has noticed a serious uptick in the use of the phrases "we're Oscar Mike," "pave low," and "Hooah" in the household as of late...

“Modern Family” on ABC. Are you watching this show? Why aren’t you watching this show? It’s like “Arrested Development” featuring Ed ‘O Neil. Go watch this show. It ranks up there with “Community” as one of my new fall favorite comedies.

They Might Be Giants. People aren't recommending this band as much as they used to, so I’m here to pick up the slack. Nothing says “hey, I know i'm a dork and, post-college, I’ve come lastingly to happy terms with it” quite like owning a few They Might Be Giants albums. Give ‘em a listen to sometime.

Goldcoast Maine Lobster Spread. Available NOW at your friendly neighborhood Costco, this delicious spread consist of 70% lobster, 30% whitefish, and 100% win. Academics and dilettantes may disagree, but in the end, you really don't miss the 30% void of lobster. And it goes without saying that I heartily approve of any seafood that comes in spreadable form. I could eat 17 pounds of this stuff and not even realize what had happened. If possible, I’d eat this stuff in the bathtub, societal conventions notwithstanding.

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