Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One of papers I am gonna be working on this semester...

is going to be an attempt to find some aspect of the connection between martial arts films from the 1970s and American (regardless of race) culture that hasn't been covered by quite a few more well versed people than I am.  I never thought my familiarity of chopsocky movies, Blaxploitation, and film scores would be actually useful.  I also never thought I would be listening to the Wu Tang Clan discography for research.  Did you know that the Wu Tang Clan was not to be trifled with?  Nor did I think that I'd be watching Fist of Fury or The Five Deadly Venoms as research.

Any helpful ideas, source material, or input would be much appreciated.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Frank Nac: meal one

Frank Nac had it's grand opening on Friday night and while I missed attending a friend and I swung by last night around 9.  The place was jam packed but we got a table after about a minute wait.  Put an order in for chili waffles cheese fries and a Hot Polish (Vienna beef Polish sausage, spicy Dusseldorf mustard, sauerkraut).  These are some serious dogs and tasty.  The sticker shock of a $4.50 sausage is dispelled on how damn tasty they are.  The fries never arrived because the restaurant hadn't expected ninety gajillion people to show up and they were sold out.  They were also sold out of the Jackalope.  C'est la vie.  I'm definitely coming back to try out the other dogs.  One of the main things I am interested in are exploring the appetizers and the Cobb salad.  I love a good Cobb salad.  I'm gonna have a hard time breaking my Delacroix's loyalty for Brunch though.

The atmosphere was unexpected: the main dining area is one large open area packed with tables, booths around the edges but with enough room to maneuver.  I didn't check out the bar and only glanced at the outside seating area.  I'll be more interested in the outside area when it's not a hundred friggin degrees out.

So initial impressions are good, food good, layout good.  I'll be interested to see what the rest of you folks think.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Potential recipes with BenMor chiles:

So after a bit of cursory research re: BenMor's chile shipment  I think I have some cursory ideas:

  • Bhut Jolokia
    • Fried paste
    • Soak the bastards in vinegar and use as condiment (on greens for example or fish'n'chips)
    • Keeping away rogue elephants from my apartment
    • A red Thai curry with coconut milk
  • Congo Blacks (aka Chocolate Habaneros)
    • mole negro ("negro, negro, number uno")
    • add to my Northwestern African spice rub
    • driving out the Belgians
    • roast with apricots then blend
  • Santakas & Ring of Fires
    • use as I would japones or thai chiles
    • slice paper thin as garnish
    • more chile paste
    • add to Abuelita J's puerco rojo
    • add to a shrimp ceviche

Mental Aussie tests the Bhut

How to make Hooliganyouth's day:

An old friend from back East turned my day from shit to sunshine.  How?  With a shipment of fresh Bhut Jolokias, Congo Blacks, Santakas (a chile I have been waiting years to try), and Ring of Fires.

Frankly I'm a little scared.  The pile of chiles are sitting on the counter and for some insane reason the Do Lung Bridge scene from Apocalypse Now came into my head.  The smell alone gave me goosebumps.  Some people ride roller coasters, some people scale cliffs, some swim with sharks.  Me?  I'm a chilehead.

Photos and reviews and recipes pending as soon as I can figure out what I am gonna do with these.   

Friday, August 19, 2011

A brief tirade about 3D movies:

Fuck em.

To clarify:

I loathe 3-D movies, the 3-D movie trend.  The two movies I would actually see in the theater I don't know if I can because they are in 3-D.  "But Joshua,' I hear you say, "It's really cool and is going to open a whole new..."  Fuck you.  I wear glasses.  I already see in 3-D.  The glasses they charge you an outrageous sum for, yeah they are about as comfortable for me as a Dreamcast controller bashing me in the ocular region.  Additionally the lighting of 3-D movies is off so I can't watch the movies without the glasses.  But I can't wear the glasses.

grumble grumble grumble

Daryl Hannah: Still sexier than Megan Fox

One of the Gen X bombshells from the mean streets of the Windy City.  Happy improptu "God damn Daryl Hannah is Hot" Day.  

Here's one for you "Lolita" fans:

Maybe this should be tagged LOL-ita!  Ha!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

EVE: Changes to Null Sec -A- Evacuation

Kevin Kosar on Whiskey: A Global History

Sunny Anderson eats a Bhut Jolokia

How to Make Henry's Anytime Chili for One - Henry's Kitchen

The reason why Rick Perry doesn't believe in global warming is...

here in Texas there are three seasons: not hot, whew startin to warm up early this year, and jesus christ on a cracker it's fucking hot.  Seriously, summer here is what winter is in other parts of the country.  It never ends. It's been over 100 (without the heat index) since June and will continue to be so until September.  This isn't a record breaking summer either so no wonder Rick Perry (whenever you hear Rick Perry think of the ol Rocky Horror response to Brad Major's name) "expresses doubts on global warming".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Many moons ago, even before badger badger

This is my new crack (drug not butt)

Sequential Art review

As many of you may know finding a webcomic that is good, genuinely well done, is akin to ye olde needle in a haystacke.  Sure we read the same dozen every day but I get tired of the same old, same old.  So I browse and 95% of the time I am disappointed by what I find.  Oh goody another manga knock off from some Westerner who grew up in the aughts.  Sometimes though I stumble across something that catches me off guard and has a certain hook and I spend an entire day reading the complete archives - Phillip M. Jackson's Sequential Art is one of those gems.

It's one those webcomics that in order to describe would make you sound like a crazy person.  There's an Englishman living with a cat girl and a penguin and then a squirrel girl shows up and it's funny but it's also a horror/sci-fi/action/gamer/comic geek/gamer...oh yeah and then...uh...boobies!  In all honesty though I have to say that it's one of the funniest webcoms I have read in a long time, well drawn, and Mr. Jackson manages to keep story, characters, and action constantly moving  forward at an excellent pace.  There are some brief lulls but he managed to keep me reading (and entertained) through nearly six years of comics.

Very well done Mr. Jackson.  Very well done indeed.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

World of Tanks review in three words:

Fuck this shit.

To clarify, World of Tanks is an MMO tank combat game set during WWII.  Should be awesome right?  Well besides the fact it crashed my computer because my video card wasn't up to snuff the second time I logged in the game has no learning curve.  There is no curve, in fact there's no tutorial, no directions, no helpful hints, nothing even resembling useful information at all.  It reminds me of one of those Avalon Hill war games that are made for model train/ham radio sociopaths (I love model trains but the hobby draws a certain spooky element) that is a box of paper and fucking math.

World of Tanks sets you up in a garage with a choice of three starter tanks and some crew.  Uh ok.  Guess I'll pick a tank and enter battle.  Enter battle.  Now the fuck what?  I shot a lamp post trying to get the shit heap fucking tank moving.  Hmmm...W?  Okay going forward, oh wait now I'm stuck on a fucking car.  Game crashed while I was trying to get unstuck from the car.  Click here to uninstall World of Tanks and go back to playing EVE (which at least has a fucking tutorial).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Caught on the World Wide Web

Y'know what's interesting?

Frank Hot Dog and Cold Beer in Nacogdcohes Texas!

"Making Nacogdoches Weird" reads the slogan on the sign of the as of yet unopened Frank Hot Dogs and Cold Beer.  2304 North St is the location of the ATX branch to be opened here in Nacogdoches and I'm feeling a wide range of emotions.  I'm excited because it's within walking distance of my apartment and it's a new restaurant/beer/music venue here in "there's one option for a bar next to campus and it's a fucking sports bar" Nacogdoches.  I'm excited that they brew their own beer.  Generally I, and several people I know, are excited just have somewhere new to go.

I have some grumbles mainly focused on prices on dogs - a plain dog for $3.00 is bullshit let's gouge tourist prices.  How much is a soda? $2.50?  The other food looks solid and I'm always on the lookout for new appetizers.

Truth be told the thing that sticks in my craw is the simple fact I hate Austin and I hate the "Keep Austin Weird" slogan.  It reeks of 78704 smug.  Granted Nacogdoches used to be known as "Little Austin" back in the 70s and Lord knows this "college-town" (which truth be told is more along the lines of a college in a retirement community) could use a fucking kick in the ass and unleash the potential for awesome lurking here.  I just don't want to get Austin smarmalade on my shoes.

Still, they brew their own beer and that's awesome and it's not a fucking sports bar.  Hope to see you there.  Review will be up once I can get in the door.

A clip of one of my besties being awesome:

Thanks to Scott for hepping me to this:

When it rains it pours: HYR Movie extravaganza!

No time to waste, I'm launching a fusillade of movie reviews!

Insidious (2010) - Dir James Wan.  
I wasn't expecting much from the folks behind the Saw series (which I view with contempt usually reserved for Insane Clown Posse) but I must say I was very surprised by the quality of Insidious.  Let me get the bad out of the way first: it's predictable, there scares stop 2/3 of way through the movie, a couple of moments of shaky camera work annoyed me (as always), and in the end felt like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone or a watered-down version of Poltergeist.  On the upside: there were a few moments where the movie scared the fucking bejeezus out of me - genuinely (the last time I remember a scare like that was during The Unborn) scared,  the casting was pretty good - I like Patrick Wilson (the guy from Hard Candy) and Rose Byrne were solid parental characters, Lynne Shaye and Barabara Hershey were highlights - Lynne Shaye particularly nailed the part, and through the first half of the movie I was seriously creeped out.  Also the opening credits were really well done, none of this pseudo-Se7en crap, it was very smooth and neatly done.

Insidious was a pretty solid creeper that went in a different direction than what I was expecting. Leigh Whannell's script moved along nicely until the third act clunk where the movie strayed too far into Poltergeist country.  Whannell sets up a reasonably convincing  family dynamic though it was impossible to suspend disbelief long enough to accept a schoolteacher and a stay-at-home mom (who is a musician taking time off for her family) have enough money to buy the home they live in.  Well, maybe they invested well and...fuck I don't want to think about the housing market and economy during a horror movie.  It's worth seeing and considering October is right around the corner you'll want to add it to your stack of horror movies.  I wouldn't watch it again but it's definitely worth giving a fair shake.

The Rite (2011)  Dir Mikael Hafstrom
One of my fellow horror movie buddies brought this over the other day (along with Insidious and Rango).  I didn't know much about it except Anthony Hopkins, exorcisms, Catholics, yadda yadda yadda, it's gotta be better than most of exorcism movies that been crapped out over the last decade.  Basically The Rite is Catholics, exorcism, Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donoghue, Rutger Hauer (but in a good way), and off we go.  I have to admit that this was a solid movie, not exactly a frightfest but a really well done movie.  The denouement kind of fizzled but what exactly was supposed to happen?  A parade and a pie fight?  The Rite might not dethrone The Exorcist but it certainly stands head and shoulders above the Satanic endeavours of the last decade.

Side note:  Though she doesn't say anything, wears a simple black dress, and is only on screen in support of another side character (which is a god damn shame considering her acting career), Maria Grazia Cucinotta is stunning.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for raven-haired smoldering hot Italian beauties.

Rango (2011)
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp makes me want to puke.  Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp work but the whole pirate thing makes me unhappy (I fucking hate pirates - I take a British Naval stance towards them) but Verbinski and Depp working on Rango = fucking awesome.  If you've seen the preview you know exactly what the movie is about, I don't have to recap events here.  What the previews don't show you is the complete (in some ways predictable) insanity of Rango, the brilliance of the animation, the sheer quality of production, and the amount of enjoyment I had watching it.  Now I'm not shitting all over myself with Pixar idolatry (aka HYR loves Monsters, Inc, Ratatouille, and The Incredibles) over Rango but I think that was puts the movie apart from the Pixar pack.  It's thematic qualities and at times brilliant humor really worked for me.  Sure there are the expected pop culture references and inside jokes but there were a few moments where the creators just went abruptly sideways.  For example a tired use of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" suddenly is turned into jug band "they didn't start chasin us until you put on that get away music" greatness.  While I can barely stand Depp's cartoonish acting (75% of the time) in an animated form it works, it's almost as if the elasticity of a digitally rendered lizard was made for Depp to inhabit.

I'm buying this as soon as I can, that's how much I liked Rango.

Sniper (1993)  Dir Luis Llosa
Yeah I'm givin up some review space for 1993 Tom Berenger/Billy Zane vehicle Sniper.  What?  Sniper was one of those movies from the early 90s that form part of a core movie experience for many of my peers and myself.  1993 also saw the release of Hard Target and The Last Action Hero.  Sniper is currently on for free and since I had nothin else to do and I was sober and bored I said fuck it.  Y'know, it was fucking bad ass, like shit this pretty good.  I started getting all into it and I realized that Tom Berenger gets a bad rap (I know Billy Zane gets a bad rap but I don't care I still love him.  I love you Billy Zane!).  Most of the people who remember Tom Berenger equate him first with 1996's The Substitute and then maybe Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Major League (1989), and Sniper (hur hur hur that's the one with Billy Zane in it I hear you say - fuck you Billy Zane rules).  Tom Berenger's Gunnery Sgt Thomas Beckett (two T's the other Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury assassinated in 1170AD only has one T) was one hell of a character, the way Berenger plays him you can't tell if Beckett is a total sociopath or simply trying to maintain and somehow hold onto his humanity.  It's an interesting role compared to Berenger in Platoon.  Definitely worth the rewatch.

Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)  Dir Takashi Miike
I'm just gonna pour hate-o-rade on this fucker in the following order:
  1. Fucking god damn Tarantino shows his fucking mug in the first section of this movie and I have no idea what the hell he said because he spoke in this wretched faux "Western" drawl mixed with some kind of racist interpretation of a Japanese narrator from one of the movies he is constantly ripping off.  The hyper-stylized set would have been interesting to look at except for the fact I kept fighting the urge to instantly turn off the movie the moment I saw and heard Captain Self-Fellator.
  2. The accent wasn't racist after all indeed the entire cast - Japanese speak English with the same unintelligible garbled accent.  With no option for subtitles I couldn't figure out what the fuck they were saying.  Not that it really mattered because...
  3. After about slogging thirty minutes into this movie I said fuck it, I can't put up with this shit.  I might have eaten it up with a spoon ten years ago but now...jesus.  It was just tedious.  So I ended up watching - 
American Yakuza (1993) Dir Frank A Cappelo
Yeah I know I was expecting a complete dog with a title like that too.  Then the movie starts up and the credits are rolling and I see Viggo Mortensen, Ryo Ishibashi, and Michael Nouri...nani desu-ka?  

Now before we go any further I will tell all you HYR followers that I fucking love Yakuza movies.  Some people love Mafia movies.  Some people love Russian Mafia movies.  Some people love Triad movies.  Me personally, I give the most love to the 8-9-3.  I grew up loving movies like Black Rain and Rising Sun and once I really began my exploration of Asian cinema i just went kind of apeshit for the genre.  That being said...

American Yakuza didn't really suck at all, in fact, it was pretty awesome.  The plot is pretty cut and dry and the movie moves on rails to a fairly predictable conclusion but it's one of those movies that Viggo saves just by being Viggo.  I really dug the rapport Viggo and Ryo build, like wow these guys actually respect one another.  Plus Viggo is dreamy mcdreamy.

Definitely worth watching if you're in the market for an actioner or if you want to watch a movie with Viggo you haven't seen before.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Star Wars insanity FTW:

FOR SALE: Electronics

Well folks here are the specs for the TV.  Links and specs are listed below.  If you're in the East Texas area and will pick up then drop me a line.

Both items are in damn fine condition since I'm not a slob who breaks all his crap.  Haven't had any problems with either item. The VIZIO is a plasma and while in the past there have been problems with burn in with plasma screens this model has a screen cleaner you can use.  It's a handy thing  for me since I'm a marathon gamer.  It has been my TV/primary display for almost two years rigged up with consoles and a PC.  Truth be told I wouldn't be selling it except for my transition to PC gaming.  Comes with remote and directions.

Asking price: $200.

Product Features
High Definition TV formats supported (1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i)
Amazing 30,000:1 contrast ratio
Digital HDTV & standard TV combination tuner
Computer monitor (RGB) up to 1366 X 768 WXGA
Wall mounting capable
Technical Details
Typical lamp life of 60,000 hours, equivalent to 27 years*
1x RF, 1x RGB, 3x HDMI, 1x Component, 1x Composite, 1x, S-Video Inputs
2x Built-In 10-watt Speakers
Supported TV Formats 1080i, 720p
Supported PC Resolutions 1366 x 768, 1024 x 768, 800 x 600
Panel Type: 32" Diagonal (31.96" Viewable), 16:9 Wide Screen, Plasma
Display Compatibility: HDTV (1080i)
Colors: 16.7 million
Viewable Angle: 178° (horizontal and vertical)
Contrast Ratio: 30,000:1 (typ)

Holy frickin Moly!

While searching for how to tweak EVE for single large monitors I found this:

A major stumbling block appears in my attempt to become a PC gamer.

If you've been paying attention to the last couple of tech related posts you'd probably know HYR is considering and attempting to achieve the first steps on the path of becoming a PC gamer.  EVE Online was the catalyst and so I began learning about monitor technobabble and digging through forums and the like.  I realized a fundamental flaw in my desire to become a PC gamer Thursday evening when I finally realized what specs I wanted as should look for in a monitor.  Talk about a fleeting sense of victory...hey stupid your CPU won't even support...fuck.

My overall mistake was not beginning with the CPU and seeing where I could go from there.  By researching and daydreaming about monitors and everything else I failed to realized that I was doing the PC equivalent of someone researching rims and low-lights and hydraulics and failed to realize they drive a fucking Plymouth Horizon.

So for now my entry into PC gaming will remain with games that my system can handle - which truth be told are plenty.  Awesome and flashy ka-boom Baysplosion games will be played on the 360 - which truth be told I don't play many of anymore because they are so god damn expensive and I'm still pissed off about getting screwed over by DLC, GOTY editions, and the like.   

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