Sunday, April 26, 2009

Traveling Love

I looked at Adam Sandler's Twitter feed. It was just a bunch of shitty quotes from his own movies. If it is infact Mr. Sandler updating it, or even if it's just his representation, it's pretty pathetic.

I've jumped on the humourous anagram bandwagon. I couldn't find a good one for Fragile Tranquility (damned 'Q'), but Roundabout Expressway gave me a wikkid idea for a new alter ego: Suey Pawn, Sex Troubador.

It's been almost an hour since I wrote that last paragraph. I just learned that Bea Arthur died. Then I started reading about Gladiators for some reason. Weird.

Gah! Got distracted again by B3ta. And perogies. Delicious, delicious perogies. Mmm.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beefy pt. 2: The Update

As I mentioned in the last post, I'd combined the remains of the pepto candle and the rest of the blue stuff. Here it is, all melty like.

Here it is in the energy drink can mold, and immediately after being removed.


Looks pretty good, right? Well, on closer inspection, it appears that someone ate a bunch of pink and blue cotton candy, then threw it up in a can. Once again, the dye didn't melt. Most of it settled to the bottom, and what remained speckled the candle rather garishly. I also managed to slice my fingers all to hell when I removed it from the can. It burned fine though. But as you can probably see, I need to work on centering my wicks.

I decided to pour another candle in this method, only without any additives. I wanted to see if it would sputter less, or stink like burning fat. Turns out it burns the same, and doesn't smell like anything at all. I also didn't cut myself this time. I think that may be because the can was slightly wet when I poured the tallow, and the tiny ammount of water that coated the can assisted in the removal.

So endeth the Beef Tallow Candle Adventure. I might try a few more, and maybe even go buy some beeswax (though it is hella expensive) just to try it out. I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest of my fat (I only used up about 1/4 of what I rendered). Maybe try and make soap, if I can get ahold of some lye. I've got some other stuff I want to try first, though, so I may just freeze it and leave that for another day.

Be sure to check out the first part of this adventure. If anyone has any questions, or would like to share their own candle making stories, feel free to comment.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Anyone who knows me knows that when I say I'm gonna do something, it's gonna get done. A few weeks ago, while wondering what to do with some excess hamburger grease, I decided I wanted to learn how to make beef tallow candles. I ended up having to get fat scraps from a local butcher shop because we don't cook enough beef, it turns out.

Because I didn't think I'd be blogging about it, I forgot to get pictures of the fat rendering process. There are a few different methods, I went with the 'chop-it-up-and-fry-it-then-drain-it' method. I then boiled the liquid fat to purify it. After refrigeration, this is what the final product looked like.

Nice, creamy white tallow! I ended up with about 8 pieces like this, some a little larger.

Using a pouring pot (you can get these at any craft store in the candle-making section) in the double-boiler style, I began to melt the tallow. If one was adding fragrance or dye, the second photo would be the time to do that. I declined to do so with this batch.

I had also purchased a candle mold (also available at any craft store). This is what the prepared mold looks like. I won't go into much detail here because they come with instructions, and in the end I didn't use this mold anyways.

As I was all by my oneseys while doing this, it would have been difficult/dangerous for me to try and get photos of the pouring of the tallow. Here is the filled mold, and again after cooling some.

This is where things went wrong. This mold is designed for use with wax (beeswax, paraffin, soy, etc.) There are significant differences between wax and tallow. Even after cooling for hours, the candles refused to leave the mold. After 3 attempts I got frustrated and I may have sworn a little bit. Maybe. Anyways, I decided to try something different, and used the bottom of a paper milk carton as a mold instead. I also figured that since I was no longer using a traditional method, I'd throw in some colour (red) and scent (apple blossom). Because I was pissed off I once again forgot to get pictures.

Here is the candle after being removed from the mold. It turned out pink, as you can see. Like, pepto bismol pink. Even though I used (what I thought) was extra dye. I made another mistake here, by putting the mold in the freezer. As soon as I removed the candle it cracked in half. I decided to just go for it anyways.

Since Crystal was home now, I enlisted her help in lighting the candle while I got photos. She burned herself with the lighter, flinched, and brought her hand directly down on the candle...

After some more cussing, we decided to light it anyway. This was one of the few things that worked out. Despite a little bit of sputtering, the flame burned clean. There was none of the black smoke our foul stench I had been warned about. After burning for a while, another crack formed and a lot of the tallow spilled out, so I decided to extinguish the flame before things got too messy.

Immediately after I was sure the candle would work, I poured another one. This time I used blue dye and rain forest fragrance. It turned out a pastel blue colour, even though I used even more dye than in the previous candle, and it had a bit of a speckled appearance. I think the problem may have been that I didn't allow the dye to melt thoroughly enough before pouring. You can see this candle in action at my daily photo blog.

For my next attempt, I combined the remains of the pink candle and the rest of the blue wax (and even more dye). Since I wrecked my paper mold removing the blue candle, I had to find a new mold. I decided to go for an energy drink can, though removing the candle may be a bit tricky this time. I'll update soon.

Read the rest of this story here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

And so the blogger fell in love with himself.

I watched Twilight today.

It was really, really, bad. Just. Oh. So bad. Like. Well, this is more of a description of the novel than the film, but other than the horrible acting and bad special effects, it is pretty much Twilight In A Nutshell.

The acting was, indeed horrible. Kristen Stewart (as Bella Swan, a gag inducingly gothic romance inspired name) occaisionally attempts to make her "acting" seem natural by stuttering, but really it's just forced and stupid. She actually seemed to show some talent in Into The Wild (2007), so this was really just a big dissappointment on her part. Robert Pattinson, I just refer to as Edward Cullen all the time now (as in "Oh look, Edward Cullen played Cedric Diggory") because really, who the f*ck is Robert Pattinson? Anyways, Edward Cullen can't act either. Supposedly he didn't have a dialect coach to help him speak with an american accent, so maybe thats why most of the time he sounds like he's got a mouth full of marbles.

The rest of the acting was equally crappy and unmemorable. All of the other vampires just reminded me of that other abomination Queen of The Damned. What a pile of crap that was. But that's another post.

I can understand the appeal of the books and the film among 15 year old girls, because it is extremely juvenile. And girly. I just don't get how women in their 20s are falling in love with a character from a novel (who, by the way, is rather ugly in the film. I do a pretty good impression, though. I call it my 'Edward Cullen.' Brow furrowed, lips slightly parted, head tilted foreward. No real facial expression or animation. Oh yeah, thats how I gets the ladies.)

Crystal is attempting to read the series and continues to fall asleep. I got about 80 pages in before I gave up in disgust.

Watch the film if you must. Read the book, it's probably better for your brain. But be warned. Both suck. So very bad.

(My Rating of both the novel and the film - 0.5 out of 5)

Friday, April 3, 2009


I enjoy this song. I heard it last night on CBC radio. It's by Canadians. Please, won't you have a listen?

Fool's Gold Rope - The Violet Archers

That is all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oh My Frick.

I have, at last, submitted to the will of Trend. Oh my frick, I got twitter. Just like every other arsehole what has Internet. You can see it there on the right, in the sidebar. I've decided now that I'm supposed to 'tweet' (what a stupid pretentious phrase) every day, I should make more of an effort to update the ol' blog (also a stupid pretentious phrase, when you think about it). So here I am, with an update!

My wife and I have moved to a new place. Come to think of it, I don't think I ever mentioned we moved to a new town last summer. Come to think of it, I don't know if I ever mentioned we got married. Anyways, rent and bills are huge now, and we have a lot of empty space. But it's our empty space, and they're our bills. It feels good to be on our own finally as a married couple. With, of course, our dog Max. Wait, did I ever mention we had a dog?

What's new, what's new, what's new... I'm sure I've seen a dozen or so movies that I could review since the last time I posted. Really, I haven't seen anything recently enough for it to still be fresh in my mind, so we'll leave that for another day. I will mention one movie: Watchmen. Go see it. If you've read the comic book, if you haven't read it, if you hate superheroes, if you love them, go see it. I personally don't think it strayed that far from the comic book, (especially not compared to X-Men and the like) though others would disagree fiercely. Be warned, though, there's a bit of violence. Okay, a lot of violence.

Other than moving (and making a short trip home for a funeral) I've just been up to the usual. Readin' webcomics and takin' pictures (which, by the way, you should go look at on my other blog). Also, I've been engrossed with, a fantasy league site with a twist. You can make a team of pretty much any athlete who ever played in a professional league (NHL, MLB, NBA, or NHL) and pit them against other player's similarly composed teams. You can have a whole team of Gretzkys if you want (and if your salary cap will allow it). Since the only sport I like is hockey, I usually just play the NHL. Since I suck at building a winning team, I usually just build teams of thugs and see how many penalties I can rack up. Anything less than 100 penalty minutes and 3 ejections per game, I consider a loss. You can try for free, and its not too expensive if you decide to buy a season.

So did you notice that up there I referred to Watchmen as a 'comic book'? What are you gonna do about it, huh? Even Allan Moore calls it a comic book. Of course, he is a crazy hippy and also refuses to see the film, but there I go arguing with myself again. 'Graphic novel' is a phrase that was created so grown men don't feel embarrassed about buying comic books. I'm never embarrassed that I bought a comic book. In fact, when I bought my copy of Watchmen I also bought some Lego. I bought a front-end loader, and I built it the next afternoon. I wanted the sweet bulldozer, but it was like 50 bucks. Anyways, what the hell was I just talking about?

Have you ever noticed that people show more sympathy for animals than they do humans? Whats that all about? I bet those animal cruelty charities make more money than World Vision. Not that I'm innocent. I cried in theater when I saw I Am Legend and Will Smith had to kill his dog*. I pretty much refuse to see Marley & Me because I know the dog dies, and I don't want to cry about it. I once found the remains of a kitten who'd been run over, picked it up, and walked it all the way to the nearest park so it could have some dignity and it's final repose among the trees, instead of on the pavement. My own dog was found on the side of the road in the middle of the night. I'd never do that for a person. Just an observation.

* Wanted to make this point, but didn't want to digress from the one I was making. Wasn't Omega Man so much better than I Am Legend? Nah, just kidding. I may not have liked the ending very much, but the opening scenes of Legend definitely made you feel alone. Omega Man did have Charlton Heston though...

Anyways, this post is way too long as it is, so I leave you with this video of Jimmy Stewart reading a poem about his dog Bo, which of course made me cry.

P.S. Happy April Fools!!!