And The Waltz Goes On by Anthony Hopkins

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Before SAH was established in acting, he says he fiddled around with composing. The piece in the video was written November 7, 1964. A gloomy, cold, rainy day. I'm no classical music expert but I think it's a really lovely piece.

Meet Frimmy's New Computer


It has been a rough few months but the worst is over, I'm past my probation at my new job and have proven myself. I had some serious issues in the beginning at my new post. Yada yada, my boss now thinks I persevered, stepped up when I was forced to and it's behind us now, she thinks I'm doing great. In truth haven't changed at all but certain influences have left and perspectives have cleared up and that's the difference. Bottom line is she thinks I'm a natural for this position, as I believed I was and my inner calm has returned.

Blogging was becoming a taxing thing because I had been working with an old clunker computer. I replaced a power supply and kept it running on its last legs but eventually the processor and memory were running at full capacity and it felt like being on the computer was like running on a treadmill - a lot of effort being exerted but no progress forward. 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I started her up and got a black screen. Two restarts later and it was going but that was enough to scare me into looking for a replacement. I felt the same frustration I always felt when considering a new computer. I have no idea what any of the components do or even what some of the descriptions meant. So, I decided to get a bare bones computer and teach myself.

Plus it's cheaper.

Except my tower is way cooler. They must have sent me their last one because right after I bought it, they subbed this other "Cougar" case. 

So this is what I got. I didn't go with an i7 processor because I really didn't need it and this one is a 4670K which means I can over-clock it. Nay, it's meant to be over-clocked. Currently I've over-clocked it from a 3.4 to a 4.2. It's dreamy.

Look...look at it!!

So after checking out options, letting this group of components sit in my wishlist for a bit, I finally shut my eyes and clicked buy, then confirm, then shipping info, then confirm, then confirm again. All very hard to do with my eyes shut.

And voila:

Missing from photo: DVD player
DVD player, sold separately

I would have used my DVD from my old computer but it wasn't compatible. I don't have a preference to Asus products, this was the only DVD the place had.

Motherboard, CPU, DVD, memory and power supply installed wires, plugged into motherboard.

Notice the CPU fan (blue and white label top centre) as well as three case fans, top left, top top and the blue one you can see on the picture above this one which is on the front bottom. The video card and hard drive are not installed in this photo.


Also, there's the PSU fan which vents at the very bottom left.

This fan right here...

Also, there's room to add two more fans if I want.

Up and running.

Besides the USB ports in the back, there are also a few on the top of the tower.
As well as a slot for a removable hard drive.

I keep my external hard drive on top because: Why not? There's a fan up there. I had some issues with SATA cables.

Me: I need a SATA cable
The Source: here you go
Me: There are two cables I don't need in there. Not only do I not need them,
they are obsolete. Can't I just buy one sata cable?
The Source: No that's the only way we sell them. You can try Calgary blah blah
Me: *tuning out* I'll take it. $14.99.

Had I been patient I would have discovered Asus included two in the motherboard box. Inside a smaller box of assorted spacers, screws and other spare sundry items.

Instructions are easy to follow and every connector on the motherboard is clearly marked and so are the plugs that need to connect to them, making the installation virtually idiot proof. Not saying I didn't have a few issues while I figured that out.

I was on holiday this week so I've had lots of time to bond with the new machine. I hope this one lasts at least as long as my first one which was a good ten years. While I know a heck of a lot more about computer guts than I used to and that still isn't much, they don't frighten and confuse me like they used to. 

Food Hacks & Fails

Friday, April 11, 2014

Frimmy at her computer

Any semi-literate dolt with a computer and an internet connection can write an online article. Look at me. Right now. Who am I? Just another person in long, long line of other people with a personal opinion, a computer and an internet connection.

I subscribe to Buzzfeed. Checking out articles there gives me a mental holiday. Generally quick reads, random trivial information that I don't have to ponder to understand and a few absorbing articles about things like beautiful or unique geographical locations around the world. Most of the time Buzz articles consist of lists like: "Which Lost Character Are You?" or "Which Snack Food Are You?" or "Celebrate Valentine's Day With Honey Boo Boo". Valentine's Day and Honey Boo Boo together like each of those things on their own isn't sickening enough. I like lists of hacks though.

Who doesn't want suggestions to cheat time, or expense by substituting an inexpensive replacement for some day to day item? Except my definition of hack and theirs are two different things. For me, a hack has to be very close to the item I'm replacing, it actually has to work and it can't sound like some bored or entitled 15 year old came up with it for giggles.

MY idea of a food hack is if your recipe calls for lemon juice and you have none, substitute vinegar. Both tart liquids and both pretty much interchangeable. Unless you're trying to make lemonade.

That doesn't even look like ranch dressing in the first place

Let's see...I'm in the mood for ranch but don't have any so what do I do? Make something that's as far from ranch as it can be and still be a condiment? No. We need to clarify with internet people what they can and can't call a hack.

Mayo has sugar and saturated fat?

From my Hellman's mayo ingredient list: canola oil, water, liquid whole egg, vinegar, liquid yolk, salt, sugar, spices, concentrated lemon juice and calcium disodium EDTA.

First, no saturated fat. Second, minimal sugar. I'd be way more concerned about the "calcium disodium EDTA". This is properly known as Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and is made from "formaldehyde, sodium cayanide [sic], and Ethylenediamine" I got that info here where, again, it could have been written by anyone.

Mayo is nothing like mustard. They each have their place in a sandwich. If you're so concerned with minuscule amounts of sugar, make your own mayo. Mayo is vegetable oil and vinegar or lemon juice and a tiny bit of seasoning, emulsified with an egg yoke. No sugar whatsoever and 1.6 grams of fat per egg yolk.

Got a whisk and an arm? You can make mayo that doesn't taste anything like mustard. Am I missing the point?

Are you kidding me?

First, personal opinion, please just give me a pancake shaped pancake. Second I strongly believe these pancakes were cut from a normal pancake with the cookie cutter and placed back in the pan. The one they're showing being made is already leaking out of the bottom of the mold.

French Toast hack!

Apparently layering ordinary white bread in a slow cooker is a hack for making French toast. There were no instructions, but even if you pour the egg and milk mixture into the slow cooker all you're going to get is a really, really, disgustingly, bad, bread pudding.

Dent your burger patties so they cook flat.
See, I don't make meatball shaped patties, so I don't have this problem
If you eat instant oatmeal, not a bad idea

This would be known as a 'rule of thumb' kind of thing.
Not a hack.

I guess...


Too time consuming. Not a hack, more like bacon styling

It's a good idea not a hack

Trying to replicate the awesome ideas people find on Pinterest and failing, either because the idea is without basis in reality or the person has not followed directions properly, has spawned its own meme - "Nailed it"

I've made the blooming onion pictured above and it was awesome. It looked more like the bottom example than the top but it didn't matter.

How Mayo Is Made

My dad hates all cream based products. He refuses to eat mayo on anything. Little does he know, not one drop of cream is found in mayo. 

Anna's Horse in "Frozen" is an Actual Horse

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

So a quick Frozen recap and because I haven't seen it I asked IMdb

Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

OK then.

The movie depicts a horse with a decorative mane. I didn't notice the horse at all however I've seen a few pages where images were posted of the actual horse after which Pixar patterned Anna's. 

Pixar's horse:

Anna and horse [I found this pic here]

The actual horse is called a Norwegian Fjord. It has a two toned mane with a dark stripe in the centre between two blonde stripes. As someone said here, sort of like a two toned Mohawk and who wouldn't want that in a horse? Or any four-legged domesticated creature (which was my way of avoiding the use of the word "pet" because: pets are family members)

[photo found here]

[photo found here]

[photo: Carol Rivoire]

Check out this page for more images of Norwegian Fjord's of all ages.

When grooming the mane, artistic Norwegian horse owners will snip patterns into the mane because: why not? Horse.

And voila:


I got a lot of these pictures on this page so check them out for more pictures of Norwegian Fjord haircuts.

Here is the Wiki page describing Norwegian Fjords. They're small, strong, good natured, hard working and pretty much all the same colour in five varying shades of dun. So kinda nice they got that black stripe in the mane.

Living Bridges of Northern India

Monday, January 20, 2014

[The Meghalaya region of northern India is home to some amazing bridges. This is a repost of one of the most interesting and beautiful examples of living and useful art I've ever come across. It bears another run]

A living bridge [photo: Timothy Allen]

Going through the pictures I found on the internet, I couldn't help but imagine hobbits using these bridges. Literary and movie references point to the fact that they built their homes and structures as organically as possible, living and blending their structures into nature so well that they became part of the landscape. Unlike hobbits these bridges actually exist. Bridges around the world, constructed of steel and concrete, have a kind of beauty, these bridges are beautiful in an entirely different way. 

[photo: Timothy Allen]

[photo: Timothy Allen]
During monsoon season the Meghalaya region of northern India is said to be the wettest place on earth. Bridges build of materials available to them - wood or woven vines - would decay and rot quickly in the humid conditions. The living bridges only grow stronger with time.

Ficus Elastica tree

The Ficus Elastica tree is a kind of rubber tree that has aerial or secondary roots. These are the trees growing along the river banks in the Meghalaya region of India. The local engineers use hollow betal tree logs to train aerial roots and branches in the direction they are needed to form the bridge structure. Once the tree roots have grown long enough, the builders allow the root to come in contact with the earth on the other side of the river and anchor there.

The bridge's structure is filled in by training branches and roots to form the body of the bridge and the bridges even handrails.

A bridge trainer at work [photo: Timothy Allen]

[photo: Timothy Allen]

This is bridge formed around a rock cliff face [photo: Timothy Allen]

In some places the bridges are so steep they're ladders
[photo: Timothy Allen]

[photo: Timothy Allen]

Living ladder [photo: Timothy Allen]

[photo: Timothy Allen]

As you can imagine the planning for these bridges and the actual bridge formation take ten or fifteen years to become fully functional. Unlike other bridges, these structures grow stronger with time and some are said to be over 500 years old. Also, bridge maintenance is minimal as they leave the growing and maturing to the host trees. 

Larger bridges are over 30m (100 ft) and can hold up to 50 people.