Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Friday, November 28, 2008

A winner is me

I have completed National Novel Writing Month 2008, two days early:

nano 2008 winner

posted by neil at 9:46 pm
under Uncategorized  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good News Everyone

I got sarnath, my Macbook Pro, back early. Hurray!

Moving day is December 8th.

Housewarming probably early 2009.

posted by neil at 12:31 pm
under rambling  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sadness Times 2

Two sad pieces of news to post about:

  1. I didn’t get the apartment I really liked. Instead I got the one with the panoramic view. The most sad thing about this is that the world will not be getting a “zelda secret found” playing device. Oh, one nice thing about this new place is that it is really close to my CSA pickup place. I am kind of mad now that I realized this is the pickup place with about the worst hours (12-6) in the city. I was looking forward to changing to one near the other place that was open a bit later a night, so I wouldn’t have to leave work “earlyish”
  2. The optical drive in my Macbook Pro is busted. It’s in the shop now. AppleCare to the rescue again, I guess. This is worse than it would normally be because it is nanowrimo and I liked to write on it. Well, I will just use my work laptop for this last week or until I get sarnath back. Double points to anyone who knows what that name is a reference too

I think I will be moving around 12/5 or so, if all goes to plan.

posted by neil at 5:20 pm
under daily tribulations,emo  

Friday, November 21, 2008

Apple Pancake Copycat

I am a copycat. I made an Dutch applep ancake for dinner, spurred on by Joan, as well as my friend mike talking about one on irc. Here is a picture of the pancake soon after it came out of the oven (it was even more puffed when it was still in the oven!):

puffy pancake

And flipped over:

flipped pancake

Anyway, I modified Joan’s recipe, which she further modified from Mr Breakfast.

  • 1 cup whole milk (I’m sure 2% is fine, but whole is what was in the house)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup never bleached flour
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and cut into 1/4″ thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 fluid ounce (1/2 shot) cognac or brandy if you are less fancy like myself
  • 3 tablespoons powdered “icing” sugar for dusting (optional)
  • 4 Lemon wedge (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, flour and granulated sugar until batter is of consistent thickness (no lumps). Stir in the Cognac.

In a ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes, or until the apples are softened slightly. Remove pan from heat. Pour batter over the apples in pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pancake is lightly browned and puffy.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

posted by neil at 8:05 pm
under cooking  

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Enough is enough with the house, and Stega wants to move in with her boyfriend (and they’ve already found a place), so for the third year in a row I am moving. In the past week I’ve looked at 9 apartments. Three of them I found worthy of submitting an app.

1) The first day, when I found out that Stega and Agent Smith found a place, I just went to an open house. In retrospect it was pretty good, but at the time I didn’t have enough context. The positives:

  • location – 19th and Arkansas or so, as I recall.
  • Generally nice – hardwood floor, clean.
  • Easy parking (see location above)
  • In building laundy
  • Gas stove

The only real negatives was that it was near my spending limit and a bit smaller than I would prefer.

2) I saw a small flat in Potrero last week. It wasn’t bad per se, but it was too much like the place I lived in in San Mateo. It had easy parking and a pretty good location, but nothing else going for it.

3) On Thursday I saw a flat in upper Noe Valley, the bottom floor of an Edwardian. It was an eccentric place in a way – it has a SECRET ROOM. It also has an rather fantastic vintage gas stove, which probably dates from around when the flat was added to the house, in the 1930s. It is near the upper end of my range, and probably a not exactly where I was looking originally, but close. It is right by 280, so driving to work would be easy. There is street parking that is reasonably easy to get in the neighborhood (but it’s not in a sticker zone, albeit adjacent to one, which might mean some early morning car moving on occasion). And it doesn’t have laundry, although it has hookups for stackables. I liked it when I saw it, and I dropped off an application the next day (Friday), and the more I think about it, the more I want it. There is an open house tomorrow though, so I won’t know anything until after then at least.

4) A regularish apartment in a boxy building at 28th and Church. It was not a bad place, at all, but not what I want at all.

So that was from last Sunday until yesterday. Then Today I saw five more places.

5) A 1 bedroom apartment in a 60s type building at 20th and Kansas. Great location with easy parking, and a pretty reasonable apartment, save for the carpeted bedroom, which is not ideal, but liveable. No laundry, but parking and pretty good space. Also, a gas stove/oven which is a big plus to me. Oh, and there is a roof deck with neat views:

Expensive but not right at my limit. I faxed an application and credit report in to them tonight.

6) A flat in a four flat Victorian. Pretty spacy, wood floors, gas stove (which they said would be upgraded – although I’d be OK with what they had), no parking, and a neighborhood that could be difficult at times, but if you go far enough you can find parking, and just move your car later? Also, non coin op laundry in the building, and a good price, lower than the other two I liked. Really nice location (18th and Church). I faxed in an app tonight.

7) A flat in a two flat Victorian. No grounded outlets, no counter space in the kitchen. Not for neil.

8) An “upgraded” apartment in Mission Dolores. It was nice, but small, and the most expensive place I looked at. Garage parking is a plus, but, no.

9) An inlaw apartment in Bernal that I looked at just because. The price is low, but it doesn’t really have a kitchen, a tiny fridge with a tiny shelf of a freezer, and no oven. It was pretty spacious though, at least as big as the expensive one above, and with a better layout.

I have a few more places set to look at, and so I expet to find one more worth applying to. I am most hopeful for number three, if that is not clear!

posted by neil at 11:39 pm
under adventure  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Reflection

I backed 3 horses (financially).

The first horse won, and won big (Barack Obama).

The second horse lost, not hugely, but soundly (No on Prop 8).

The third horse is still undetermined (Al Franken in MN).

Obviously it could have gone better. But sometimes you need to take stock and be glad for what you got.

I’m always going to remember where I was when Barack Obama was declared the 44th President of the United States of America – The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. And I hope to always remember watching Obama’s speech on the big screens there. Just before Obama spoke, my brother called me from Grant Park in Chicago. It must have been amazing time to be there, although for the majority of Americans (ok, 52-53% is a majority!) it was a great time to be anywhere.

I fully expect to be disappointed by a lot of what Obama does over the next four to eight years. I have no delusions on him being perfect. But I do believe he was the best man for the job at hand, and the country will be a better place under him. I just have to hope my belief is not unfounded.

posted by neil at 10:56 pm
under Uncategorized  

Monday, November 3, 2008


Look, most of you probably know my politics, and I might have even tried to convince someone to vote for something or other. Well, we’re past that now. Just make sure to vote, it’s a right you shouldn’t take for granted.

(Still, if you are undecided, here are my suggestions:

  • POTUS: Barack Obama
  • California Propositions: Yes on 1A, No on 8 and No on 4. The rest I don’t have strong feelings about


posted by neil at 10:38 pm
under Uncategorized  

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