2021-03-29: Multidisciplinary Updates

So I made myself a pizza on Saturday. Sourdough crust that I kinda overdid. I ended up splitting it between a little pizza and a bunch of garlic breadsticks.

Now I can bake a loaf of bread but my pizza-fu is…less than impressive. After all, pizza cheese isn’t really just mozzarella, for starters. Then my sauce is…well…jarred pizza sauce. I don’t think my marinara would serve.

I overcooked the crust (you’re supposed to parbake it first, not fully bake it) added sauce, cheese, and pepperoni and put it back in the oven with the breadsticks.

I ate…just…all of it. Holy hell did I feel disgusting afterwards. After all, the serving size of pizza is “the.”

Even while I was doing it I knew I didn’t want it. But I plowed through it out of some strange completionist urge. Then I sat in my chair and whined about it, quite thoroughly disgusted with myself.

“Yeah, I’m not eating tomorrow.”

Half way through Sunday I thought “Ya know, I should just fast ’til the end of the month. There are only 3 days left and I can do that standing on my head.”

Well, it’s 4 days, Sunday included and today is day 2. Maybe I’ll commit to it all the way through, maybe not. I’m not that married to it. It’d be a fun accomplishment and it’s worth doing things like that to keep myself on my toes about not staying too comfortable.

Normally I’d be here at the cigar lounge on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But I predict that tomorrow I’m going to be in no shape to get much at all done. Besides it’s going to be gorgeous out so my tentative plan is to open all the windows, pull open the garage door, and get some work done in the shop, which is a damned disaster.

Rex Kruger posted a video on bench making mistakes (immediately below) that kinda lit a fire under my ass about building a bench again. I’ve still got the top I laminated for the roman-style bench build, a behemoth of 2x4s. It’d make a pretty awesome normal bench top if I attached legs, stretchers and maybe a couple more laminations to bring it up to width.

I’ve been ignoring the woodworking stuff for too long as it all sits in my workshop, staring at me accusatively every time I go down there to do laundry. I’m overdue for building myself a simple platform bed to replace the rickety nonsense I’ve been sleeping on for the last year.

Let’s see, what else…

The big batch of rice wine is coming along really well. It’s fermenting up a storm and, looking through the side of the fermenter I can see it’s separating really well. Last time I made it I went through all kinds of nonsense to try and pre-game separating the rice from the wine. I tried putting the rice in a big paint filtering bag. I put a bunch of stainless steel wool in the bottom of the (conical) fermenter, thinking that would help keep it out of the valve. All of that was just a damned mess. This time I just spooned the rice in directly and it’s behaving just fine. So in 2-3 weeks I’ll lift the thing up and let it pour into a 5g carboy, where it’ll stay until it clarifies and I can bottle it.


I made a round of beef jerky a couple weeks ago and just used Cajun Garlic Sauce in a 36 hour marinade with nothing else. Took me a little bit to warm up to it as it was a bit sweet. But I’ve only got a little bit left.

The biggest pain in the ass with that is cutting the beef thin enough. But otherwise I really enjoy it. It got me to wondering what a deli slicer would cost, since I ALWAYS get tired of cutting it so damned thin that by the end my slices end up a quarter inch or thicker. And yes, that’s even with putting the beef in the freezer for a couple hours first to make it easier to handle.

I figured a slicer would be a couple/few hundred bucks which…is really too much for dicking around with jerky. But I found a bunch down in the $80 range, so I’m seriously considering picking one of those up. If I could factor slicing out of the equation I’m pretty sure my dehydrator would always be going.


A few days ago someone on one of the alternative social media platforms (gab or mewe, I don’t remember which) posted a deal on Ender-3 3d printers for something like $165. That’s…a really great deal.

So I pulled the trigger on it. I want to print up some interesting stuff and I fear my CraftBot is just not up to the task.

Well I got a text message from my bank saying that fraud detection had denied the charge and to respond “YES” if this was really me. I did so, then got the response that they’d allow future charges to that vendor. Okay fine.

By that time I’d gotten the email that the charge had been denied. Sure, fair enough. I still had the store’s browser tab up, so I hit back a couple times and re-bought it.

Well…guess what happened. Go ‘head, guess. I’ll bet you can get it in one.

Yep. You guessed it.

So by the end of the week I’m going to have…heh…3 3d printers. I thought briefly about cancelling one of the orders, but figured I could load them with different filaments and keep them going. The radio project, a couple other far FAR more interesting projects are coming down the pike as well. So I ordered some red ABS to accompany the PLA I’ve got.


I got that great comment from Joan of Aaargh (seriously. Best nom de plume of all time) on my post from last week and it really fired me up about my fantasy fiction writing. So I’ve been plugging sporadically away at that, determined to actually get the damned thing at least framed out. But I’m finding writing a large piece like that such an amazing bitch and a half, just flying blind like that.

The problem is all the tools and tricks, templates and techniques I see always feel like cheating. But that’s a bunch of horseshit. It’s the over-engineering problem writ large.

“I don’t need help. I can do it all myself from scratch!”

That’s an attitude that actually got me extremely far in software development, if it was a bit counter-productive on the short term, since it forced me to figure out how the hell to build things that I could (and almost certainly SHOULD) have just pulled a 3rd party library for. As a result I know things I couldn’t possibly have learned any other way.

But I’m not at all sure it’s appropriate for writing. Writing isn’t software development. These are really well-trodden paths and there’s all kinds of great information out there about the pitfalls people have encountered along the way. Hundreds of years of the stuff.

At this point I should really be long past worrying about whether or not I’m going to have an original (or at least authentic) voice to my writing. I mean shit, really? But it still gets under my skin.

And yeah, I understand where it comes from. It’s not REALLY for exploring in this venue. But draw a line back in time to “I don’t need help, I can do it by myself!” and you’ll see it all pretty clearly.

Bit of an issue trying to prove something to someone who’s no longer on this earth.

Gak. Didn’t mean to run head-first into THAT line of thought. But that’s where it took me, so that’s what it is.

Sadly though, dear readers, as I said above, there’s a limit to the depths into which I’ll descend on this particular outlet, so I’m going to cut this off here quite abruptly and hit post.