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hydrogen_crane
      Thanks to an alert article from SAVEUR, I am aware of the potential loss of recipes from the BBC cutting budget.

Lardy Cake: This traditional tea bread is made with dried fruit, sugar, and spices. It's eaten during special occasions, and you can even get them if you can snag an invite to a Buckingham Palace summer garden party.

Summer Pudding: The pudding is a complicated category of food, and it includes the Christmas pudding, the Spotted Dick, Bread Pudding, and Summer Pudding. The last one used to be served in health spas, but now it serves as a popular fruity dessert.

Treacle-Cured Beef with Yorkshire Puddings and Roast Potatoes: Treacle is a uniquely British syrup, and while you can use it a number of desserts, treacle here is used with savory beef.

Pork Pie: Did you know Shakespeare killed two of his characters with pie? Most of it, luckily, is not nearly as dangerous. This one is made with pork shoulder, bacon, and plenty of sage.

Picalilli: The ultimate British pickle: cauliflowers, pearl onions, and...beans?




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hydrogen_crane
     Avengers member and synthoid The Vision was experimenting with a "Sokovian" recipe for chicken.  You too can lif yor own sprits with Hungarian Chicken Paprikash, which is available on SAVUER in recipe format :      




  • 14 cup lard or canola oil
    1 (3-4 lb.) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
    1 large yellow onion, minced
    3 tbsp. Hungarian sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
    2 cups chicken stock
    2 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1" pieces
    1 Italian frying pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1" pieces
    12 cup sour cream, for serving
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    • Melt lard or heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook, flipping once, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside. Add onion to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add paprika; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Return chicken and its juices to the pan. Add stock, tomatoes, and Italian frying pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is fully cooked, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken and sauce to a serving platter; spoon sour cream over top and garnish with more paprika.




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hydrogen_crane
       The United States Marine Corps has officially adopted a side arm as of last year.  The Colt CQBP M45A1.  Also known as the M45A1 Close Quarters Battle Pistol.  It'as sort of a modern updated version of the original 1911 model that was the standard sidearm of the U.S. military up until 1986.  It holds 7 rounds of .45 ACP in the magazine; virtually unchanged since 1911.
       Why seven rounds?  Other companies like Sig Sauer, Double Star, and Nighthawk Custom have 8 round magazines of the .45 ACP round.  Why not go for the more powerful 10 mm round?  

      The United States Army just rejected the latest version of thier Beretta M9A3 .  Holding 17 rounds of the 9x19 mm bullet, it's been the Army standard service pistol since 1986.  

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hydrogen_crane
      Halloween could have been better.  No kids came by for candy for some reason.  Maybe we should have gone out to Ghost Golf or the Haunted Hornet.  Or at least chosen to play "Last Night on Earth".


      Thanksgiving was at an Uncle's house for the first time in a few years instead of Hometown Buffet.  We did a lot of cooking.  Grabbed a bunch of groeries and went to the kitchen in our Uncle's house.  My brother and sister had recipes i their head.  Toad in the Hole, the infamous Bacon Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese that got a drunk student expelled from University of Conneticuit, ,

       Anyway, I just learned about what was really eaten at the very first Thanksgiving Feast from an online article.  Lots of Eel, Venison deer, geese, cod, clams, and lobsters.  Turkey was not on the menu that day.


...work in progesss...

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hydrogen_crane
      "Fall of Equestria" was a certain tumblr account that gained some hate from bronies because of the graphic subject matter and turning all the ponies into anthros in addition to feature graphic sexual abuse.  It's gone now.  good riddance.  But stories are still archived on fimfiction.  The power of poorly written plot device is used to make anthro caribou conquer anthro-Equestria and rape the female characters. I much prefer the Post Fall of Equestria stories because the boring invincible caribou villains raping ponies get their comupance.  Some have crossovers with human heroes or a human military putting the smackdown on the evil caribou.
      Anyway, I was thinking about what kind of rifle and round would be good against evil misogynist anthro caribou.  Maybe if I wanted a gratuitous story Garth Enis style where the mooks bite the dust. (Bounty hunting story perhaps?)

      A recent issue of GUNS talked about the 300 AAC Blackout rifle round for hunting.  The Ambush Arms .300 Blackout rifle is an AR platform.  It comes with a 5 round magazine but accepts all AR magazines.  So you can go to town with a 30-round "banana".  Ambush Arms is actually a subsidiary of Daniel Defense.  One could say Ambush Arms is for the sporting arms market while Daniel Defense is for well, defense firearms.  The 30 round magazines are actually standard.  All rifles and carbines are still semi-automatic.
 
      That same issue of GUNS also mentions the Caribou Killer in .308 Winchester. Actually, it also comes in .300 AAC, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, and 7mm-08 Rem.  It's a bolt action rifle with a 4+1 capacity.  This is the Kimber 84M Adirondack hunting rifle.  It's manufactured in Adirondack camo pattern for forrest hunting.  

      So far so good for rifles.  But many who go boar hunting actually bring sidearm pistols in addition to rifles because the boars being hunted tend to be dangerous and aggressive.  The Caribou in "Fall of Equestria" will be strong, aggressive, and armed with medieval melee weaponss.  Boar hunters often go for a hard hitting pistol caliber like .44 magnum, 10 mm, and .45 ACP.

work in progress....

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hydrogen_crane
      The Cypberpunk future is mobile.  Like the cowboys of the Old West, most people carry their lives on their backs-miniaturized sleeping, eating and entertainment components crammed into carryalls and the back seats of cars.  The stuff you carry around is known in streetslang as your outfit.  A typical outfit might include:

* Inflatable bed (folds tp a 6"x6" package for easy storage).
*Compressable down sleep-bag (wads to the size of a paperback book).
*Micro-stereo comp (a microsized boom box with stereo speakers or headphones, possibly CD, chip/tape player, TV and certainly radio).
*Handful of tapes or datachips.
*Laptop or pocket computer (for notes, writing, business, links to computer networks).
*Cybermodem, cables (for Netrunners).
*Pocket Cullular phone (the phone is bought, the service is rented by the month).
*Handgun, knife or both.  Possibly an assault rifle or SMG, and a couple backups as well.  Always extra ammo.
*Body armor (usually an armor jacket or bullet-proof T-shirt).
*Personal thngs, like clothes, toothbrushes, etc.

     Most of this is crammed into a shoulderbag or duffelsack.  Most Cyberpunk characters aren't much for settling down. -


      "Your OUTFIT- your worldly possessions stuffed in a 2x4 carry bag"
     - page 57 of Cyberpunk 2020 Second Edition.  Usually a common nylon carrybag.


       The year is 2015.  The projected future of Cyberpunk second edition by R. Talsorian Games is just five years away.  Technology from that future should be showing up now, such as vending machines for civilian clothing. (Buy their stuff here!)   Other things we have today are more advanced like the cellular phones mentioned on page 70 of the second edition core book from 1993.  They never foresaw the advent of the smartphone.  Yet, the smartphone is on it's way to becoming the prjected pocket computer.  We're also getting closer to datachip tech.  Tapes are as good as gone.  Still waiting on mass produced kibble for human consumption.  (Curious if anyone is going to think there's a market for that.)  
   
THE FUTURE IS DISPOSABLE (Rootless and mobile)  That's how R. Talsorian envisioned a computerized future circa 1990.  Not quite there.

Apartment Cube: 10' x 10' x 8' living module in which all major furnishings and appliances are hidden in flush wall recesses and are extended only for use.  Contains bed, closet, small stove, refridgerator, TV and digital entertainment center, two chairs, fold down desk, removable table.  Rolls into place and can easily transported.  Cubes are usually so small that if you had all your furnishings extended at once, there'd be no room for you to stand!

- Page 71 of the Second Edition core book of Cyberpunk 2020.  We have rooms and flophouse lodgings of comprable size.  The level of tech for compartmented furnishings is a work in progress.  China has a few people working on such accomodations.  

        Now, for a look at some of my favorite weapons from 2020, used by my Solo. (Cybernetic mercenaries that are my choice player character class.)

        The Militech Ronin Assault Rifle is the choice assault rifle for my Solo character because in part of the name of the rifle.  Solo's are essentially the ronin of 2020, but with more guns and cybernetics.  I usually give my Solo's a katana to keep with the theme of wandering Samurai for hire.  The standard edition is a bullpup design that fires 5.56mm rounds from a 35-round magazine.  Standard range is 400 meters and the weapon weights 3 kilograms when loaded.  Overall length is 35 inches. (Just short of a meter.)

    Machineguns of Loving Grace shows how the Militech Ronin can be a very versatile asault rifle to fit the needs of soldiers and mercenaries everywhere.  All Ronins and Ronin variants can have extended capacity magazines purchased at the normal price for 50% additional capacity, and there is an adaptor available to allow Arasaka Minami 10 magazines to be loaded into the Ronin 10mm chassis.
Variants include:

Conpact Edition - shorter stock and forend assenbly.  Range reduced to 300 meters.

"Tommygun 2020" - The 21st Century answer to the famous Thompson SubMachineGun. Chambered in the mighty 11mm caseless load, and firing at a controlled 600RPM, the TommyGun 2020 has the options of loading 35 round magazines from the 11mm Commando edition or 100 round drums specifically designed for it. The TommyGun 2020 has an assault-style foregrip and full stock and retails at 900eb. It is also occasionally available in 12mm (Rare, 1,100eb, 30 rounds or 100 drum, ROF:20)   Range reduced to 200 meters.

Commando Edition - Based on the success of the M16 commando editions (chambered in 9mm), various commando units converted the Compact Edition Ronins to fire the caseless 10mm pistol load. The weapon is very accurate as the heavy weight and long barrel almost completely cancel any recoil felt from the high rate of fire. Ronin Commando 10mm's retail at 625eb, and are also available chambered in 9mm (600 eurobucks), 11mm (700eb, 35 rounds, ROF:20, ST reliability) and 12mm (800eurobucks, WA:+1, 30 rounds, ROF:20, ST reliability).


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hydrogen_crane
       Just because I happen to like Stan Sakai's USAGI YOJIMBO, I've taken a mild interest in stuff about Feudal Japan in the 1600's.

Koku: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koku:
        The koku (石/石高?) is a Japanese unit of volume, equal to ten cubic shaku. In this definition, 3.5937 koku equal one cubic metre, i.e. 1 koku is approximately 278.3 litres. Thekoku was originally defined as a quantity of rice, historically defined as enough rice to feed one person for one year (one masu is enough rice to feed a person for one day). Akoku of rice weighs about 150 kilograms (23.6 stone or 330 pounds).

In 1891, a smaller koku was defined such that one koku equalled exactly 2401001331 litres, which is approximately 180.39 litres, or about 5 bushels (40 imperial or 48 US gallons).


An old issue of Protoculture Addicts stated that Koku was defined as either of the following:
- 180 liters of rice.
- 40 salmon
- 60 Trout
- 3 square meters of wood

Ryo:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koban_(coin)  Actually the coin is called a Koban.  The Ryo refers to the meassurement of gold used to make the coin.  (Equal to a Chinese Tael.)
The Japanese economy before the mid-19th century was based largely on rice. The standard unit of measure was the koku, the amount of rice needed to feed one person for one year. Farmers made their tax payments of rice which eventually made its way into the coffers of the central government; and similarly, vassals were annually paid a specified koku of rice. The Portuguese who came to Japan in the 1550s, however, preferred gold to rice; and the koban, which was equal to three koku of rice, became the coin of choice in foreign trade.

  A bigger version of the Koban/Ryo was called the Oban, and worth about 10 Ryo/Koban.  The weight of the coin itself was 165 grams.

Food in Japan during the Tokugawa Era of the 1600's wasn't what you'd find in many Japanese restaurants today.  "Samurai Food" did not have ramen or modern sushi.  Noodles would be udon, soba, or somen.  Red meat and tempura were also off the menu.

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hydrogen_crane
      My job has been busy the last couple weeks.  I worked overtime on Halloween Friday 12p-8pm because the SF Giants won the World Series again and the parade went right by the mall where I work.  The Westfireld imported about a hundred security guards from San Diego, Valley Faire, and one other place.  I got stuck inside the Bristol Farms as inside security.
       All week I've been averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night.  My leg muscles got sore working an extra day for eight hours of overtime.  Did not get to go to Platform 13 in Oakland or the Fear Overload in San Leandro.  Too tired to go to KINK's Hell in the Armory on Mission Street.  (That's an adult's only porn show experience.  Tickets sold out and are $45.)
       I did carve out a pumpkin the night before.  I got home a bit before 9pm, lit the pumpkin and put out a couple hundred pieces of candy in a carboard box out front.  90% of it was gone before 10pm when CONSTANTINE came on NBC TV.  It's a good adaptation of Vertigo Comic's HELLBLAZER.  The only thing I have to say is that the character John Constantine is a notoriously terrible brawler.  The TV version isn't so sucky in the throwdown.  Anyway, the show is always good to watch for Halloween.  I still plan to make pumpkin soup or pumpkin Japanese curry.
       
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hydrogen_crane
      Mr. Breakfast would like to remind us that it's World Egg Day today. Includes a link to his tips for the perfect scrambled eggs.

       The official page for World Egg Day.



Bonus: Gordon Ramsay's Scrambled Eggs.

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hydrogen_crane
      I hope the The Haunted House of Horrors comes back to San Franciscofor Halloween this year.  San Francisco hasn't had a decent Haunted House attraction for Halloween since Gyro's 3D Fear Factory left several years ago.  Halloween is on a Frday this year. Anime FX may be doing a Halloween party again.  I may bring a few hundred pieces of candy again like last year.
       Still have a ticket won in some raffle for San Francisco Chinatown Ghost Tours.  The group is supposed to meet at Four Seas Restaurant in Chinatown.  But that place is getting new owners and may not be open much longer. (Saved their menu pdfs to hard drive.)
      Shoot.  Another familiar San Francisco Chinese place is gone. U-Lee just got evicted. 30 years in the game and now they're gone.   (How long will the web page stay alive?) They were known big fat potstickers and being an unpretentious hole in the wall dive.  Food was good enough.
I hear they will be moving to Balboa street in 2015.  This is another symptom of San Francisco real estate prices getting out of control until only rich plutocrats remain.  Also annoying trust fund hipsters.  
      Gumbo Paradise! This month, SAVEUR issue #168 is out and features 8 Louisiana Gumbo recipes.  Fried chicken gumbo.  Oxtail gumbo.  Even Goose gumbo for Christmas!

Rice Palace restaurant recipe for Oxtail Gumbo.   (Wow!  I never heard of oxtail gumbo before!  Why didn't I think of it!?)

SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS


  • ⅓ cup canola oil

  • 4 lb. beef oxtails, trimmed

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 lb. pork sausage

  • ¾ cup flour

  • 2 tbsp. Creole seasoning

  • 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes

  • 6 scallions, minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 stalks celery, minced

  • 1 large yellow onion, minced

  • 1 smoked turkey neck, cut into 2" pieces

  • 8 cups chicken stock

  • Cooked white rice, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat 1½ tbsp. oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high. Season oxtails with salt and pepper; cook until browned, and fat is rendered, about 20 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Cook sausage until browned, 5–7 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add remaining oil and sprinkle in flour; make a dark roux. Add Creole seasoning, chile flakes, scallions, garlic, celery, and onion; cook until soft, 10–12 minutes. Add reserved meats, the turkey neck, stock, and salt; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, and skimming fat as needed, until oxtails are tender, about 3 hours. Uncover; cook until thickened, 35–40 minutes. Serve with rice.

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hydrogen_crane
http://www.usatoday.com/experience/weekend/entertainment/10best-emerils-favorite-fall-dishes/16214371/

Click on the links for recipes.  The gumbo one leads to other recipes for other gumbo pots.

Hungry for fall fare? Well, you're in luck! Celeb chef Emeril Lagasse, starring on TNT's cooking competition On the Menu (premiering Oct. 3, 8ET/PT), shares his top fall dishes with USA WEEKEND.

1. Honey-butter baked chicken with mashed sweet potatoes

"My family loves this dish! Even though it's very simple, the honey butter melts into the sweet potatoes and it feels like a special occasion every time I make it."

2. Butternut squash lasagna with Italian sausage and sage

"We love this during the fall and winter when butternut squash is easy to find. The surprising addition of apples and walnuts adds both flavor and texture. It's not only great as an entrée, but can be a killer appetizer as well."

3. Mr. John's chorizo and seafood gumbo

"My dad is a big fan of gumbo and it's the perfect dish for fall. For this one, I combined (my dad's) love of seafood with Portuguese chorizo."

4. Andouille and chicken jambalaya

"This is great because it can be made ahead of time – perfect for having friends over for the Saints games!"

5. Apple fritters

"This is one of my kids' favorite desserts – I make it in the fall when apples are at their peak."

6. Roasted beet, fennel, mâche and Gorgonzola salad

"The unique combination of flavors and textures here really makes this one of my favorite salads. The beets combined with the fennel and Gorgonzola really pack a punch. It would be a wonderful start to a holiday meal."

7. Creole duck breast with Abita beer glaze and sour apples

"The flavors in this dish make it killer for the holidays. Serve it with cornbread dressing or spoonbread for a robust combination."

8. Andouille cornbread dressing

"Oyster dressing is always a favorite at my house, and I just can't help adding a little andouille sausage to kick things up."

9. Jalapeño corn muffins

"These muffins are always on the table at Emeril's Restaurant in New Orleans. We bake them 12-plus times a night. A great bread option is always a crowd-pleaser."

10. Pork loin with dried fruit and orange cider sauce

"Pork loin is a great entree option for holiday meals when you need to serve a crowd, and this dish is a cinch to put together. The dried fruit and cider makes a terrific sauce that would be awesome served over sweet potatoes or wild rice."

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hydrogen_crane
       Some guy i Germany made a starship size comparison chart on Deviantart.  Ships from "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" are included.  Just to compare between those two media franchises, Star Wars has the biggest ships.  (Not including the Death Star)

       There is also Jeff Russell's STARSHIP DIMENSIONS online with more detailed comparrisons and space megastructures such as a Dyson Sphere and Ring Worlds.  (HALO and the Niven Ring.)

      The size comparison chart is an exercise in the Mile Long Starship Trope.  A visual aid for those wanting to comare ships from different settings side by side.  Size is legnth meassured by meters.  There is something of a size cap so certain megastructures like the Death Star from "Star Wars" are excluded.  Same with the moon-sized battleship the Cathederal Terra from the "Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagan" anime.  Those fall under the Planet Spaceship Trope.  

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hydrogen_crane
      Let's start off with a special edition of Kel-Tec's P3AT; the "FREEDOM" edition.  6+1 roundsin .380 ACP like the regular version.  The regular edition is $318 for retail price.  For the "FREEDOM" engraving with the date "December 15, 1791" commemorating the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights, the price jumps up to $600.  This limited edition was sponsored by controversial convervative pundit Michael Savage.  (Who interesting enough, breaks with his contemporaries in conservative media on the George Zimmerman trial.  BTW: Zimmerman used a Kel-Tec PF9.  7+1 9mm rounds.  That gun doesn't have safety because it's a cheap handgun at $333.00)

      A new company is moving in on the market held by American Deringer and Bond Arms.  The Double Tap Tactical Pocket Pistol is the first modern iteration of the Deringer.  Two shots (one for each barrel) and two more bullets in the handle for memergency reloading.  Comes in 9mm for .45 ACP.  American Handgunner has an exclusive online review of the Double Tap HERE>

      SCCY is a new handgun company.  They just came out with their CPX-2 series in 2013.  It's one of the smallest pocket guns I've seen that hold ten rounds of 9mm in a magazine.  It's also about $331.

     FMK has their new 9C1 handgun: The 9C1 G2 Bulldog edition.  It's 849.95 as a limited edition.  Made to commemorate the U.S. Marine Corps., the magazine holds 14 rounds of 9mm.  They still have their cheaper Bill of Rights engraved version with ten-round magazines.  

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hydrogen_crane
        So, I think I'll just pick up where I left off from last year or the year before and talk about some unusual kind of shotguns.  First off, I mentioned about a variant of the classic double barrel shotgun.  Iconic classics like the "Coach Gun" of the old west. Stoeger Industries is known for their line of "Coach Guns".  They have their Supreme Model as well.
        Some say that a double barrel shotgun for home defense should be the over-under model.  Legacy's Escort series makes such a model.  The reason being is that some shooters feel that an over-under double barrel can be aimed around corners within the home more easily than the old fashioned side-by-side double barrel.  
       Eh?  What about that triple barrel shotgun?  Look to Chiappa Firearms for their series of triple barrel guns.

      Back to the Mare's Leg type of guns; I only covered rifle rounds and carbines before.  I never mentioned the shotguns.  Chiappa makes those too.  Their 1887 Mare's Leg is much like the illegal sawed-off model.  It holds 5+1 rounds of shot shells and is lever action.  Some might remember such a gun in "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" used by the series 800 Terminator.  Chiappa knows this and references the movie as such with their 1887 T-Series variant Mare's Leg shotgun.  Also hold 5+1 rounds.  I don't know how easily one can cok and fire the gun one-handed on a motorcycle though.  

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hydrogen_crane
     Busy on Facebook that is.  I hardly stopped to write in this LiveJournal I am ashamed to say.  Missed reporting on Anime Expo, Fanime, Sac Anime, Japan Expo in Santa Clara, and my Halloween report.  I made pumpkin gumbo this year!  Okra and mushrooms were thrown in like in "The Princess and the Frog".
      In October, I got into a phone game from Zynga called Ayakashi: Ghost Guild.  Not in Facebook, jush smart phones.  There have a facebook promo page though.
      This year, Christmas was at my Uncle Ron's.  It's like done every other year.  Nice house.  There is a carp pond in the foyer.   
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hydrogen_crane
      I haven't seen a decent sale in the Big 5 ads for guns in a while because of the controversy surrounding guns due to shootings in the news like the Sandy Hook Massacre.  This week, the Rossi R92 lever action carbine is on sale for $499.99 instead of the usual $549.99.  It holds ten rounds of the .44 magnum bullet in a tubular magazine.  Sounds like a carbine I'd like to own.  I also would like a .44 magnum Ruger Redhawk to compliment the carbine.
      Rossi actually makes some other interesting lever action guns, such as their Ranch Hand series.  Technically, they're all short carbines with large D-ring action levers.  Their barrels are 12 inches in length and they come in pistol calibers since it made sense in the days of the wild west to have a "long gun" of sorts in the same caliber as a pistol, but shortened so as to shoot from horseback more easily.  The bullet calibers available are .44 magum, .45 Long Colt, .45 Colt, .38 Special, and .357 magnum.  Either way, the payload for the Rossi Ranch Hand was 6 rounds.
       Certain shooting enthusiasts may recognize Rossi's Ranch Hand series as based off of the iconic "Mare's Leg" made famous by television and movies.  Originally, it was a customized Winchester 1882 .
      Henry Repeating arms offers their version of the Mare's Leg.  It comes in .357 magnum, .44 magnum, or .22 caliber.  5 rounds in a tube magazine.
      Chiappa offers a Mare's Leg series.  A variant of thier Mare's Leg series is thier T Series shotguns.

UPDATE:  A bit of a history lesson is in order.  The "Mare's Laig" was initially created for Steve McQueen's bounty hunter character in the 1958 television Western series "WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE".  It stated off as a sawed-off Winchester Model 1892 lever-action.  In real life it was chambered with .44-40 rounds in a 6-round tube magazine.  The show had .45-.70 rounds on the bounty hunter's belt for show though.  

      Legacy Sports offers their Puma line "Bounty Hunter" as another replica Mare's Leg based on the "WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE" TV show.


      The double barrel shotgun has been a classic for over a century.  But what about one with a third barrel!?

to be continued...

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hydrogen_crane

"Jet: I hear that the captain is eating like a king while we feed off his scraps. Doesn't sound very fair, does it?
Iroh: What kind of king is he eating like?
Jet: The fat, happy kind.
Iroh: *drools* "
- "Avatar: The Last Airbender", Book Two: Earth, episdoe 32: "The Serpent's Pass"


       You want to eat like an Imperial Chinese Magistrate?  I'd say you're in for a nice 7 to 10 course dinner; perhaps 9 dishes on average.  You want to eat like the Emperor of China?  Try 108.  The fabled Manchu Han Banquet is truly a feast fit for an emperor.  One such Chinese tour company says that many dishes featured in the original banquets are on the endangered species list, such as bear paws and tiger tails. The ratio of dishes in a 108 course banquet was 138 hot dishes and 48 cold dishes.   There is also and official Wikipedia entry on it.
      NPR did a story a few years ago on the legendary feast.  There are high class hotels and restaurants that offer ways to dine on fine dishes like stir-fried peacock drumsticks with hot peppers and peanuts.  For about $54,000 U.S., you could spend a year sampling between 108 and 208 dishes.  The emperors of old would spend three days holding lavish feasts as it took his legions of cooks, fishermen, and hunters to gather all the right ingredients and preparing the food for presentation.  As the feast was for the Emperor, fine tableware was used such as jade calyx, gold cups, silver plates, and ivory chopsticks.  Servants would also bring rose water for the diners to wash their hands and faces with on a frequent basis.

      Last weekend, my family had a bit of a New Year's banquet to welcome the year of the snake.  My Uncle's idea.  We went to Hong Kong Flower Lounge in Millbrae.  A seasonal special banquet was ordered consisting of:
Pa-Boiled Giant Surf Clams (10)
Special Assorted Appetizers
Fresh Crab Meat Soup with Fishmaw
Walnut Prawn
Peking Duck
Braised Black Bass with Bean Curd Stick and Tofu
Seasonal Vegetable in Soup with Assorted Mushroom
Sauteed Lobster with Ginger and Green Onion
Fook-Kin Fried Rice
Desert of the Day

plus some other dishes.  (Steamed Country Chicken and "Chinese Sticky Rice Chicken" ) All for $299 for ten people plus the cost of the 2 additional chicken dishes.

UPDATE: December 28, 2013. Meals for Emperors at China.org.cn  Info is mostly on Qing Imperial records on the two formal meals the Emperor took each day.  They did not have any one single designated "dining room".  The Emperor ate wherever he wanted to and the tables were set up where he watned them to.

Hot pots included:

Steamed duck, bird’s nest, and fresh mushrooms without soy sauce, duck, bird’s nest and lotus seeds; bird’s nest and wild game; stewed pork leg and grouse; stir – fried shredded pork, chicken, and kelp; stir – fried chicken slices and stewed bean curd; stir – fried chicken slices, stewed spinach, and bean curd; stir – fried chicken and quick stir – fried pork, pickled vegetable and stewed pork leg; quick stir – fried pork and stir – fired Chinese cabbage; shredded pork and bamboo shoots; duck stewed in soy sauce and duck stewed without soy sauce with Chinese cabbage; sheep’s intestimes and stomach with vinegar and pepper; Chinese yam and smoked duck with onion and Chinese prickly ash; stewed chicken and braised meat balls of three delicacies; and omelet with scallion, shredded sheep’s stomach, roast dog’s meat, and duck kidney sautéed with vinegar.

Hor’s d’oeuvres:

Steamed chicken and deer’s tail: roast duck, barbecued pork, lotus root, duck, and pork leg; stewed venison and deer’s tail; steamed chicken and stewed roe deer’s steamed chicken and deep – fried mutton slivers; roast pig; and duck with fruits.

Soups:

Shredded chicken and bird’s nest, bird’s nest and shredded duck, sliced beam curd, bird’s nest and eight delicacies, sheep’s intestine and stomach, duck and broad bean, and mixed duck.

Staple food:

Cooked non – glutinous rice, small buns steamed white sponge cake, lotus leaf cake, spoon – shaped red cake, steamed wheat cake, steamed broomcorn cake, steamed wheat cake with Chinese dates, cowpeas recooked in boiling water, steamed buns filled with minced duck meat, steamed buns stuffed with minced duck and mushrooms, steamed dumplings with the dough open at the top filled with minced duck and mushrooms, steamed dumplings with the dough open at the top filled with minced chicken and mushrooms, steamed buns filled with chives, deep – fried triangular dumplings filled with minced pork, and steamed buns filled with minced mutton and pumpkin.

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hydrogen_crane
"One helluva ship y'got here Jimmy. How'd you get a hold of a floating palace like this?"
"The Hyperion wa Mengsk's flagship back in the day. Me an Matt decided to 'borrow' her when we parted company with him. This old baby's seen us through some tight spots."
Tychus Findlay and Jim Raynor after the escape from Mar Sara(src)


     The Lunar Year 4711 arrives in just a few days.  It will be the Year of the Snake on February 10th, 2013.  My thoughts go back to last month when I was thinking about the earthenware army of China's first Emperor.  For an East Asian fantasy setting, that is indeed an army worthy of an empire.  Got to me thinking about the "Big Fancy House" or "Big Fancy Castle" that would be the Emperor's palace.  For the last two Chinese Imperial dynasties, that would be the famed Forbidden City.  This "Jade Palace" is said to be the biggest existing palace on Earth.  Perhaps he'd dine on fancy food like the one in Martin Yan's latest restaurant, M.Y. China.  Or perhaps where my Uncle has decided the family should be eating for the new year; Hong Kong Flower Lounge.
     Anyway, before I start drooling on my keyboard, I'd like to mention how this led into me thinking about more fantastic palaces, of the mobile kind.  In space.  First, a list of tropes that apply to the ships.  Each trope dish lists starships that apply to the tropes.

Starship Luxurious -  

Cool Starship -

The Battlestar -

Mile Long Ship -

Planet Spaceship -  

      A personal favorite starship dreadnought I've seen is the KAME-1 from Stan Sakai's "Space Usagi".  In his "funny animal" sci-fi samurai setting, the KAME-1 dreadnought is made from the carcass shell of a space-faring megafauna called the Kameyama.  These huge space turtles must be at least a couple kilometers in length.  (Peter Laird has a draft picture of the KAME-1 for animated adaptation.)  

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Current Mood: pensive pensive

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hydrogen_crane
      Some of ancient China's famous Terracotta warriors will be on display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco just as the year of the Snake is about to arrive.  Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses.  Weapons such as swords, spears, battle-axe, scimitars, shields, crossbows and arrowheads were found at the pits of the terracotta warriors.  
      Anyway, Paizo saw fit to take inspiration of an imperial burial army to make the Terra-cotta Soldier.  The clay swordsman is a formidable Challenge Rating 6.  That's more formidable than a 2003 fan-stated Uruk-hai from "Lord of the Rings" averaging Challenge Rating 3. (Same as the average D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder Ogre.)  Alternately, there is this Challenge Rating 2 Uruk-hai warriror.  Incidentally, the D&D Wiki has a table for making the Uruk-hai a variable Challenge Rating by making it a whole racial character class here.  
     

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hydrogen_crane
        I may as well do one last LJ update for 2012 as well as for the month of December.  I actually went to work on Christmas day, but not much happend.  I even got the chance to just sit around and play Pokemon White on my DS and then to have dinner at the R&G Lounge with some family.  ("Classic" Jewish Xmas.)  Photographs will be placed on Face Book later.  
       The nation could use a nice holiday, though not everybody will feel the cheer.  Certainly not the people close to victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting that left 20 little kids dead.  The shooter had about 4 weapons, which ignited a national debate over gun control.  The most famous one was a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle.  As an AR platform, it is a semiautomatic.  It also had an extended 30-round clip in the shooting, leading to some people decrying the "assault rifle". (Caliber for 30 round clip is normally 5.56m NATO, but the massacre involved .223 hunting rounds.)   CNN has a fairly comprehensive list of the guns we do know the killer Adam Lanza used.  A Glock 20 or 29 was used but the only public information released was that it was in 10mm.  Several choices were given for the Sig Sauer 9mm used.  Most likely a P220 or P226, P229, or even a P250.   
      Being the epic troll that he is, Fred Phelps wasted no time in picketing the Sandy Hook massacre.  The hackivists of Anonymous decided to take a break from their usual Scilon targets and hit the Phelps Church in the website.  The troll church got their personal information posted to the public.  Suggestions with what to do with said information includes mailing gay porn to the following address:

Westboro Baptist Church
3791 SW 12th Street
Topeka, KS 66604

       Also, the trolls got hacked live on air before by Anonymous.   

      This month I obtained Klingon Bird of Prey Owners Workshop Manual.  I already have the Haynes Workshop Manual of the Enterprise. 
     

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