This isn't what I would call a proper recipe, as it starts with a packet of cake mix. However, other people want to make it too, so here it is in any case.
Preheat the oven to 180° celcius. Mix first the wet ingredients, then the dry in a mixing bowl until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the mixture into a greased 20cm cake-tin (personally I line it with baking paper) and bake for 50 minutes. Take the packet of chocolate buttons that comes with the cake-mix, put it in a bowl and feed it to your flatmates, you won't need it for the next part. Cool the cake for 10 minutes before icing. The biggest problem I have with this recipe is the cake sinking a bit in the middle, but I think my baking dish is a bit too big (i.e. bigger than 20cm in diameter).
Ingredients: Chocolate Ganache
- 125g (½ Block) of Whittaker's 50% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
- 1 Tablespoon of the best honey you can get
- 25ml Barkers Blackcurrent with Cranberry Fruit Syrup
- 25ml Cream
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
Break the choclate into small chunks and put it in a pyrex bowl. Add the other ingredients and microwave for 50 seconds. Stir until smooth, microwaving again if necessary. Cool until it thickens (you can do this by floating the bowl in cold water). Apply to cake with a spoon. Give the bowl with the remaining ganache to your flatmates to lick clean. I also find that this ganache makes an excellent chocolate fondue for those louche 70's style parties.
For some reason the cake tastes better when it no longer warm and the ganache has solidified, so you may want to cool it in the fridge.
Come on, give it a spin.
- Current Location:Up
- Current Music:Fatboy Slim - Bird of Prey
Friday the 13th was the night of the Gothic Vampire Party (or Gothik Vampyre Party if you're taking the mickey), and although it's an annual event that been going on seemingly forever (which probably means since the 90s sometime), there was one seemingly obvious thing that had never been done.
Dracula. Bela Lugosi's Dracula
It was hard work getting the costume together, and I still have beeswax in my hair, but I think it was well worth it in the end. I realized when I was putting it all on, that I was a pair of high waisted trousers short of perfection, but I don't think that bothered anybody else. Props to Kat for making the opera cape (and getting it exactly right).
I only lapsed into counting things 5 times. 5 glorious times! (cue thunder, lightening and maniacal laughter)( more photos behind the cut...Collapse )
... and even more photos here
- Current Location:Carfax Abbey
- Current Mood:sanguine
- Current Music:Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Surveillance Round
A killing-round/scavenger-hunt with cameras, Christchurch, Monday the 11th to Sunday the 24th of April. Late entries accepted until the 14th. Please note that this round has been designed so that you can hopefully fit it in around work and/or study. Note also that a cheap digital camera can be had on Trademe for under $50.
In this round there will be a series of photographic assignments to be carried out. Some will be open to all entrants, some just to particular teams, and some to individuals. Assignments will be worth a variable range of points, and may be time-limited or open for the duration of the round. You will be advised by email of upcoming assignments throughout the round.
The round will commence at 5am on Monday the 11th, and run until 5pm on the 24th of April. You must submit any photos taken by the end of day after taking, this will include a grace period after the end of the round. Late entrants will be accepted until Thursday the 14th of April and entry is open to KAOS Agents (see Izzy regarding membership). There will be a number of truce periods during the round, when you may not photograph other players, to allow for social events and so forth. Photographs may otherwise be taken at any time, throughout Christchurch with the exception of the area inside the Four Avenues (Moorhouse, Fitzgerald, Bealey and Deans avenues)
For the duration of this round you may refer to me as "The Fat Controller". I will assign entrants into teams of 2-4 people, endeavoring to balance the free time and mobility of the players, and assign bonus assignments to teams or players that meet preselected criteria. During the round you can submit photos to me by email at email@example.com; obviously it's expected that you will use a digital camera, but you can make other arrangements if you only have film or only one or two cameras in your team. You will know which other players are on your team, but will not know the team affiliations of other players until you submit a photo of them (you may trade information with members of other teams, although they may of course lie).
Photos must be submitted without prior photo-manipulation (i.e. no photoshopping). This is so that the tag-data on the photo remains unaltered. Set the correct date and time on your camera, and it will do the rest. The running score for each team will be posted periodically throughout the round.
Here is the standing assignment for shooting other players that will be open for the duration of the round (minus truce periods):
Here is an example which illustrates the scavenger hunt aspect of the round. This assignment will run from Thursday the 14th of April to Sunday the 17th of April, including truce periods (as the targets aren't other players). Assignments of this type may also be assigned to teams or individual players when they fulfill pre-determined criteria.
Here is a final example of a "Fox Hunt", not as an actual assignment but to give you an idea of how one might be conducted.
How to Enter
- Set the date and time on your camera
- Take a photo of yourself and email it to The Fat Controller
- In the email, you must also state the following:
- Your full name.
- Any nickname or codename you'd prefer to use.
- Your occupation and place of work (your place of work will not be divulged).
- Other entrants you would like to be on the same team with, if applicable.
- Other entrants you don't want to be on the same team with, if applicable.
- Whether you have a camera.
- Whether you have a motor transport.
Questions 4-7 will be used to assign people to teams. I will try and balance the teams, but will give priority to individual preference where possible.
You will be informed of your teams and be put in touch with your team-mates by email before the start of the round. Everyone will be informed of the nicknames or codenames (or name if not provided) and the occupation of all the players in the round before it starts. Your photos will be posted for the duration of the round only at http://paradise.gen.nz/~simeon/lux/; note that this isn't a major photo-site and the photos are not tagged. Information on late entrants will be distributed to team-mates and other players when it becomes available.
Additional truces may be declared during the round, however there are two known occasions which will be subject to a truce:
- A Truce will be in effect from 9:00pm on Saturday the 16th of April to 5am on Sunday the 17th of April on the occasion of The Perversion Party.
- A Truce will be in effect from 8:30pm on Friday the 22nd of April to 5am on Saturday the 23rd of April on the occasion of The Toga Party.
Players may apply to the Fat Controller if they believe there is another occasion for which a truce should be declared during the round.
People's first instinct is to provide food, and make no mistake, that's essential. However, after talking with Zane and Noel, it became apparent that other people were providing enough of that, so I started thinking about what other things I could buy to supplement that. Noel and I talked about it and made an exploratory shopping expedition. The two main things that we hit upon were portable gas rings ($29) and solar showers ($9.10) from Bunnings and Gas ($2/cannister) from Sun-Mart Supermarket both currently open on Blenheim Road. You can get the same things in other places, but this is the cheapest we've found them.
Glenn and Cameron have been generous, sending money to me which I've converted (along with some of my own money) into 12 solar showers, 6 gas rings and 24 cannisters of gas. If you have been wanting to do something similar I can send you my bank account number. Anita, Izzy and Sarah have been amazing in organizing the distribution of this and other stuff into the east, and in getting the ball rolling in the first place. Carolyn has been busy too, I gave her a 12 loaves of bread the other day. Zane, Garth and Noel have provided food and transport; Che Homer has provide empty bottles (for boiled water). This is just my corner too, lots of other people like Diana and Susan have been busy with efforts that aren't directly connected with mine, and there's hoards of people that I don't know or don't know about each doing their bit.
Large parts of Christchurch are pretty munted, and will be for years. But it's still home, and I'm not leaving. It's good to be doing something to help people out, and to put things back to together again.
I've been threatening for some time to put up a Kylie Minogue poster in my flat, perhaps this flat is the flat I've been waiting for. But which Kylie? Here is what I consider the best I've found so far, vote for all the ones you like
Other - Please provide URL:
- Current Music:Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky
- Current Mood:amused
- Current Music:Cab Calloway - Minnie The Moocher
All comments are screened, so feel free to post your address, shoe size and any indecent propositions in the comments. The address in particular, unless you intend to break into my house and steal it off my desk again.
Edit: If correspondence via screened comment becomes too awkward, you can email me via the address listed in my profile.
Parrots aren't terribly smart by human standards, one might even say bird-brained. They're pretty smart for a bird though, most of them devoting quite a bit of that tiny brain to talking and dancing. Rather like me really.
(The Kea of course devotes most of its brain to vandalism)
Edit: Of course, if you prefer cats, here is one that plays the piano.
Incidentally, no, and anything made by Buzz Bee Toys should probably be avoided. It's The Warehouse's main brand, and they're all pretty much complete junk. If you're about 6', you might be able to shoot about 5m, which is pretty useless compared to actual nerf guns or supersoakers. So I took out all the little screws (I've got other Chinese toys and you never find that size anywhere else, they'll come in handy) and binned it.
On the plus side, they are good screwdrivers. While I was there however I saw that they have these dinky little petrol powered leaf blowers for only $124. I was sorely tempted to buy one, bring it home and attach red, orange and yellow streamers to the end to make a pacifist warfare flamethrower. I resisted the temptation, I'm going to need the money at the end of the year, but they're still down there in Porirua, calling to me.
Oh, I want one. I want to set the world alight. Or at least the ALFs.
I'd need a Fireman's hat too.
- Current Music:She Wants Revenge - Tear You Apart
Last night, parliament unanimously voted to grant Gerry Brownlee dictatorial powers (1, 2, 3). I can't think of any politician in Australia, the US or UK who has enjoyed such powers in modern history. The Greens and ACT "expressed reservations" but... obediently voted in favor, so as not to appear not to be supporting
The excuse of course is the current state of emergency (not of course the first or even the worst emergency NZ has had to endure), but granting such powers to a politician is like feeding human flesh to a tiger. It used to be that the office of PM was as high as any MP could hope to go, now the example of Gerry, Czar of all the Canterburys will dangle before them all, Left and Right, like a ripe, luscious fruit.
In short, we are all so totally f*cked. Not today, not tomorrow, but one day, and probably within our lifetimes, or those of your children. We're on the slippery slope to hell.
I doubt most of you have noticed.
Supermarkets are probably badly hit from the pictures I've seen, and ... oh after-jolt, I understand that the buses are not running and that police have closed parts of the central city to pedestrians; some people can't leave.
This is probably the last entry that I'll make before the battle, tomorrow night I'll make the badges for recruits to mark their first battle (it's nice to pass out a bit of bling), but tonight I'm going to write about being a casual cultist.
I've written previously about being a casual dodgy auntie/uncle (basically, go wild in your local $2 shop), but they don't have such a good line in sinister cultist. Just throwing on something black is a good start, I've posted previously about how you can glue together a robe out of black cloth, but maybe you don't have the time or the money. You could also wear a nametag, but perhaps you want something a bit more obvious. Here's something simple you can do to to show your allegiance to the Elder Gods.
Tentacle Motif Mask. Pulling faces isn't compulsory :-)
This is easy and simple to make in a hurry. You will need:
I've tried to make these instructions as simple as possible, in case you've never done any craft type stuff before, ever. It's unlikely I know, but I'm a bit mental like that, so don't worry about it.
- Cut out enough of it to make sure it fits. If it's a little too big or small, go back to stage 1 and adjust the scale of the printout.
- Glue it to the colored paper or card (see image). BTW you'll notice that in these images that I don't have a notch at the bottom for your nose; don't worry about it, I added that to the pattern at the end to improve the fit. Anyway, don't worry about keeping the glue inside the lines either, you going to cut off everything around the edge anyway. Wait for the glue to dry.
- Cut around the edge of the pattern, and cut out the eyes.
- Attach the ties (see image). What you do here is that you staple it onto the back going inwards, as you can see on the right side of the image provided. Then you fold it over the staple and staple it again between the first staple and the edge, as you can see on the left of the image. This stops it pulling through.
That's it. You could stick glitter or extra eyes to it if you wanted to; run amok.
I've been informed that I need to provide some guidance in the area of Dodgy Uncles and Aunties, being somewhat of an enthusiast of the theme, and the instigator of the upcoming Auntie/Uncle/Cultist Battle at the 48 this year. Of course, there is no one thing that makes the Dodgy Uncle or Auntie, it's more a matter of family resemblance (pun intended); a combination of one or two things from a broad set of dodgy memes. So I thought I'd cruise through some old pictures (you've probably looked at the more recent ones yourself), and pick out a few examples. I've thrown in a bit of outside media as seemed appropriate.
Of course, with some of these parties, almost anyone could qualify as a Dodgy Aunt or Uncle, so this is only a sample. You could cruise around in there all day looking for "inspiration". Leave a comment if you can think of any other particularly fine examples.
- Dodgy Uncle Brian* and Dodgy Auntie Wanda
- The Winners of the 2005 Dodgy Aunties and Uncles Competition: 1, 2
- The Dick Valentine Look: 1, 2, 3
- Sex and The City
- The Heif and The Hoff
- Dancing with the Stars
- Cross-dressing is always a favorite: 1, 2, 3
- Bat Country
Basic accessories can be had at your local $2 shop
* Not be be confused with Evil Uncle Brian, because he hates that. The name was chosen in Dunedin by somebody who didn't even know him. Fortunately "Wanda" is a much less common name.
- Current Music:Rupert Holmes - Escape
These instructions are for making a simple "square" robe without any sewing. Of course, you can sew this together if you know how, but this is aimed at those people who have no experience of (or competence with) sewing machines, and who think that needles are strictly for donating blood.
The Finished Robe
The finished article will look a little like this( I put on my Robe and...Collapse )
You will need...
You will need the following:
- A tube of Bostik Multi Bond glue. Selleys Urethane Bond worked just as well, but the Multi Bond cost $3.50 at Bunnings while the Urethane Bond cost $12.00. I've tested these glues, and can confirm that they do the job and survive washing, at least for a while.
- A ruler or measuring tape
- A stapler
- Somewhere to hang the robe while the glue dries, I used a clothes rack.
- Fabric, wide. Unless you're about 5'3" or less (or are happy with a shorter robe) you will need to buy fabric from a 150cm roll. For the best results the fabric should be about the same weight and density as a polycotton (not flannel) sheet; thicker fabrics won't drape as well. The edges of the fabric (i.e. when it is on the roll), or "selvage", will make up the top and neckline of the robe.
You can find a list of fabric retailers in Christchurch here. I suggest you start with Kutwell Fabrics.
Pattern and Sizing
As you can see, the pattern is very basic (and not quite square, being wider than it is long). To assemble it you simple need to glue it along the dotted lines, leave it to dry overnight and turn it inside-out. You should allow a 36-34cm gap for your head (i.e. the neckline) and 18cm for the sleeves. The chart below lists dimensions based on your height.
|Height in cm||(feet, inches)||Robe Width||Robe Length|
|185.5cm||(6'1")|| ||174cm|| ||140cm|
|183cm||(6')|| ||171.5cm|| ||138cm|
|180.5cm||(5'11")|| ||169cm|| ||136cm|
|178cm||(5'10")|| ||167cm|| ||134cm|
|175.5cm||(5'9")|| ||164.5cm|| ||132cm|
|173cm||(5'8)|| ||162cm|| ||130cm|
|170cm||(5'7")|| ||159.5cm|| ||128cm|
|168cm||(5'6")|| ||157.5cm|| ||126.5cm|
|165cm||(5'5")|| ||155cm|| ||125.5cm|
|162.5||(5'4")|| ||152.5cm|| ||123cm|
|160cm||(5'3")|| ||150cm|| ||121cm|
|157.5||(5'2")|| ||147.5cm|| ||119cm|
Bear in mind that retailers usually measure to the nearest half meter and you will need to buy twice the width listed above (front and back). The appropriate roll widths are 150cm or 120cm; so if you're 6'1" you will need 3.5 meters (rounded up) from a roll 150cm wide, and if you're 5'2" you'll need 3 meters from a roll 120cm wide.
Using the chalk and tape or ruler to measure the fabric, cut two panels in the appropriate width, bearing in mind that the ends of your fabric probably won't have been cut off square. Your best bet is probably to fold the fabric over end to end, aligning the edges to get front and back sections the same shape and size. You will want to do this on the floor or a large table, smoothing away any wrinkles. Don't worry about trimming it to the length listed above just yet, you can trim the bottom after assembly.
Once you have cut out your two panels, lay them out one of top of the other with newspaper under the edges, and mark the gaps for your head and hands with chalk; 38cm-34cm for the head, 18cm for the hands. Don't skip the newspaper, as glue will soak through the fabric! Glue the seams together as marked in the pattern, then staple them.( Gluing the seamsCollapse )
Peel the robe off the newspaper and hang it to dry overnight. When the glue has dried, turn the robe inside out and check for gaps in the seams. If you find any, apply more glue, and staple it closed. When all the seams are closed, remove the staples and trim the bottom to length. That's it, unless...
You might want to apply some sort of decoration to the robe, bearing mind that this is fiddly, and if you screw it up you'll smear glue over the outside of the robe. However, to show you what I mean, I've applied some decorative ribbon (you generally find it in craft or fabric shops) to the sleeves of the demo robe.( Applying decorationCollapse )
So you know how it goes, I was hanging around on the internet, without any pants, and somebody was passing around the weaponised hallucinogens. Which led to this little piece of disturbing mental imagery.( The eyes! The velour!Collapse )
Which just goes to show, you should be careful online. You might be talking to a bear. Kids, be careful of bears on the internets. They may even try to gain your trust by talking to you about spaceships or model aeroplanes. Be on your guard!
Now you may of course think at this point, "That Xeno, hanging out on the internets on a Saturday night; he's such a geek, a nebbish, an aging nerd, a socially retarded swivel-chair-pilot with an ever expanding arse slipping quietly into the passive indoor pursuits of middle age." In my defense, this next act of GIMPery required a considerable amount of playing-on-the-motorway in the big blue room.( Chainsaws at dawnCollapse )
In order to take these photographs I had to wait on the far side of Aotea Quay until the traffic cleared, walk across and stand on the narrow curb in front of the chain link fence, hold the camera above my head, stick it through the fence and then take a photo. This had to be repeated about 8 or 9 times for the forestry murals, and another 8 or 9 times for the Japanese murals further along. All this was done while wearing a black coat and hat and looking like a burglar casing the joint, all and all a bit of an anecdote.
Having done that, I had to stitch the photos from the forestry murals into continuous image, a process which required a certain amount of folding, spindling and mutilation. The lens of the camera is curved, so even under ideal conditions the image curves inwards at the corners, and although I held the camera as high above my head as was practical, it was still below the mid-point of the murals, which meant that the resulting image curved inwards at the top. In addition, the photos that I used were not always taken from directly in front of the section in the photograph, meaning that they would be pinched and foreshortened along once side. All of this mean that a fair amount of repeated bending, rotating and bending, and partial scaling were required to make the image in the photograph look flat enough to be joined to it's neighbor. This is what the border of one of the photos looked like after the image had been flattened.( Folded, spindled and mutilatedCollapse )
Relax dear reader, the repeated twisting of the images required to translate them into a view less unsettling to the human mind, plus the supernatural corruption that occurs when you attempt photography in the twisted Realm of Leng is the cause of distortions that you can see when you view the images at full-size. It is not because the building is melting.
You may of course wonder why I would go to such efforts to acquire an image of a piece of corporate art that you can look at every day. Murals like this are however not permanent, eventually they degrade and are painted over, and these are already over a decade old. I thought it was time that these murals were preserved on the internet, where twisted individuals like yourselves can admire them; possibly while not wearing clothes, watching anime and figuring out new ways to stick watch-parts to your clothes (when you do in fact put them on). No, don't thank me.
- Current Location:Leng
- Current Music:Shriekback - 3am
- Current Music:The Dust Brothers - Space Monkeys
The zip-file contains 7 gifs. I have a large head, and this is too big without padding, so you might want to scale them down a bit. This should also help if you want to print this on US letter-sized paper, as this was designed to be printed on A4 at full size. The stiffer the paper the better, in fact if you can print to thin card, it'd probably be ideal; however I've done all my work on this to date with regular A4 80GSM. The 100mm scale printed on figure 3 will help you to calibrate the pattern to your printer; I will eventually produce a PDF for this, which should eliminate much of the stuffing around.
The idea is that you print all 7 at the same scale, cut them out and glue them together in the center by gluing the "hubs" one on top of the other. The cross-hairs on the hubs will help you align the various different sections. Don't bother to cut away the space between the segments at first, just cut around each section; the illustration on the right should give you an idea of what I mean, although this is a later pattern and will look a little different.
Once the glue has dried, go around and tape the outer segments together. Then cut away the remaining space between segments, and tape them together, one at a time. I recommend that for taping this curving surface, you put the pattern over your knee.
With the finished article, I will put a hat-band around the outside (over the numbers), probably line it with space-filler foam, and paint it. I haven't got that far yet though.
These pictures, although of an earlier, rougher prototype, illustrate the general effect.
This is a project that's been on the back-burner for a long time. I first thought of it years ago, as something that would make it easier to recruit enemies, although doubtless other people might find a use for it.
My currently thinking is to eventually produce a PDF of that when printed would contain instructions and several (8 as it turns out) pages of pattern that could be glued and taped together to form the shape of the pith helmet. You would then apply something like paper-mache or space-filler foam to the inside of of the shell to make it into a rigid helmet, attach a hat-band (probably of bias binding) and paint it.
At this stage I've only just got around to scanning the segments (see below) and producing a proof of concept model. I haven't even finished taping the seams together, and there is a bit of work to do in cleaning up the pattern-images and evening up the bottom. Nevertheless, the shape looks like it's working, which makes it worth carrying on in this vein rather than scraping it and thinking of a different approach.
Click images to embiggen
So, after 7 years, here's the photos from Operation Kumquat, without a doubt one of the largest Pacifist Warfare battles KAOS has ever been in. Having edited this gallery; synchronizing the timestamps on the photos from 5 different cameras, sorting it by time, and then with the astute assistance of lutramania editing it down from about 700 photographs to 310; I can see why nobody else had ever done it.
Nevertheless, it's done now. Some excellent photos in there, you should go look. ALFs vs the Asian Ancestral Army, KAOS supposedly on the ALFs side, but in reality fighting on both.
(X-posted to kaosians)
"I don't understand people who like to work and talk about it like it was some sort of goddamn duty. Doing nothing feels like floating on warm water to me. Delightful, perfect."
"I wish to live until 150 years old but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other."
"A reporter once asked Gardner what she saw in Sinatra, a ‘hundred-and-nineteen-pound has-been’. Ava blandly replied: ‘Well, I’ll tell you – nineteen pounds is cock.’"
"There’s no term for the female equivalent of ‘womanising’, but if there were, Gardner spent twenty years doing it."
Reading the google-notes I'm struck by the way that people write about her; either as the fearsome man-eater, the object, or as the somewhat pathetic and lonely woman. All of these just seem to be reactions to the role of femme-fatale; the authors can't put their sexual or social expectations. I find the last perhaps most absurd because they think that they are so much more enlightened; they think that life is empty without marriage, 2.5 children and a house in the suburbs. In it's own way, it's just as insulting. What I see is that she was a hedonist who made hay while the sun shone, and I admire that sort of thing.