Kick names, take ass.

9-07-2020 8:04 pm
David: Damn You Swinging Wonder
Just read the autograph page of my Sophomore yearbook, and this phrase brought the entire comic strip it was referencing back and gave me a good laugh.

Thanks, 15 year old Brandon.

7-06-2020 5:20 pm
David: Masterclass
I've been eyeing a Masterclass membership for quite some time. I probably heard an ad for it on a podcast at some point, but when it really started to pique my interest was when I heard that Steve Martin was "teaching" comedy.

My initial thought was comedy can't really be "taught", but it would be interesting to see how Martin approached the class. If anything, it would offer insight into what he thinks of his process, and that alone would be valuable as entertainment.

Alas, when I looked into it further, the sticker shock pushed me away. Taken as entertainment, I didn't see the value in whatever the cost was at that time.

About a year ago Neil Gaiman started talking about his Masterclass series on writing. This seemed to be more practical than learning from Martin, but still more entertaining than utilitarian. Still, it forced me to reconsider whether there was value in a subscription. I looked, did whatever internal calculus was prevailing for me at the time, and decided that it still was a no go.

Last week, however, they got me.

I've gotten way into barbecue over the past couple of years. My ribs have gotten infinitely better. My pork shoulder pretty solid, and my brisket finally good enough that I'd share it with others (and even cook a few on request as gifts). Still, I felt like I was only 50% of the way there. The flavors were getting really solid, but I wasn't nailing my textures. I'd get close on one cook, adjust for what I thought was off next time around, and then give it another run only to find that it was further off the mark.

Enter Aaron Franklin's Masterclass on Texas style barbecue.

Finally the value proposition for Masterclass was there.

I cooked a couple pork butts over the weekend with what I picked up, and they were honestly better than anything I'd done before. It was all about timing, spritzing, wrapping longer, and not being a slave to the meat temp.

If you can find 3 or 4 "instructors" on there that you are interested in learning from, I'd say it's worth it. I would have paid the full price just for the stuff I got from the Aaron Franklin stuff, but Martin and Gaiman are pretty solid watches as well (I'm working through both concurrently), and there's a ton of other ones that I'm planning to follow them up with.

Plus, as someone who just likes to learn new things, it's pretty awesome to have well produced instructional videos on tap.

6-15-2020 8:06 pm
Okay, well shit. I guess I need to look into building that VR rig now...

STAR WARS Squadrons

4-09-2020 4:33 pm
David: Half-Life Alyx
Not getting a VR setup anytime soon, so I read up on the game's story. No spoilers ahead, but if you've played through or done your research you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Yikes. They did the thing that I hate the most. There are certainly ways to explain it, but all of them cheapen the connection between the games that came before and whatever lies ahead.

Which I guess is good because now I can put Half-Life behind me. I'll let Epistle 3 be my ending point and just trust that humanity is doomed.

2-07-2020 3:42 pm
David: Debates and Investigations
I never watch these things because they're largely staged by the hosting parties to drive the discussion towards a desired narrative. The result is a "debate" that is exhausting to watch, due both to the leading questions and the candidates' continual need to pivot away from the chute.

I do, however, like to read the recaps the next day from third party sources. My prediction is that tomorrow I'll be reading that Mayor Pete gets attacked a bunch, Sanders is suspiciously ignored (attacking him doesn't deter his supporters and usually ends up losing the attacker a few), Biden suddenly has a clearer message that appeals to nobody, and Warren tries her damndest to not appear as a trend chasing candidate of opportunity.

Kloubachar (I got that spelling right first try!), Steyer, and Yang will also stand up there.

Also, this article is interesting.

I can't see someone as notoriously impartial as William Barr abusing the authority he just gave himself at any point this year.

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