Kevin's Compendium of Useless Fantasia
1 January 2003
Welcome to the sixth issue of Kevin's Compendium of Useless Fantasia.
This is my attempt at a monthly publication of some of my creative
endeavors. Despite the holiday madness, I still managed to do some stuff. I
was expecting to have the month of February off, but my contract got extended
until the end of July. Nevertheless, I'll try to stay creatively productive
the next seven months.
Let's take a look at what I did in December:
That's it for this sixth issue of Kevin's Compendium of Useless Fantasia.
Watch for Issue 07 coming out 1 February 2003.
- I wrote a haiku
about my balaclava after meeting someone for lunch in the cold in
- I wrote some
more poetry based on the Word of the Day.
(See Issue05 for my first Word of the Day
- I made a picnic lunch and brought it in to work to take for lunch with a
friend. Boneless chicken thighs in red wine, Thai red curry paste, lemon
juice, and ginger powder. Chocolate mousse from the Betty Crocker cookbook,
with my now-intentional slight overcooking of the chocolate to leave little
solid bits of chocolate in the mousse. The chicken was good, but the mousse
was especially appreciated. I suppose I should try to make a non-dairy mousse
- I made London broil for gaming at my house one night. I didn't have
enough lemon juice, so I added some red wine vinegar (the vinegar was my
idea; having it be red wine vinegar was someone else's idea) and some Frank's
Red Hot Sauce. It wasn't noticeably different than my usual London broil,
which means it was very good. And I managed to make a less-cooked one and a
more-cooked one, since different people at the dinner have different
- I can't remember the last time I wrote a limerick. I composed an on-the-spot,
over-the-phone limerick. For what it is, I'm pleased with the results. It
managed to do its job of bringing a smile to someone's face, and it reminded
me that I can be good at extemporizing.
- I made a recipe called Sweet Potato Wears
Banana Pants for a solstice potluck. I've had a mashed banana sweet
potato side dish at Naked Fish, which is what I searched for. I ended up with
the above recipe, which was really more of a dessert than a side dish. It
just wasn't some people's thing, but others really enjoyed it. Next time, I
think I will just mash some bananas and sweet potatoes together and try to
re-create the side dish from Naked Fish.
- A while ago, I made a Perl script to find random LiveJournal userpics. They recently
changed how userpics are stored, so I can no longer find them at random
easily. What I have to do now is find a random user and then load up that
user's pictures. This requires parsing of a couple of pages, and it's a lot
more time intensive. I wrote up a script to do this, though, and it was fun
figuring out how to parse the various pages. Later, I decided that it would
be faster if I just generated a list of LiveJournal users to store in a file
and then have my script just pick a random one of those, instead of having to
load up LiveJournal's random
user page every time someone runs the script. So, I wrote a program to
start with a user (specified or randomly selected) and traverse the list of
friends of that user, and their friends, and their friends, to a specified
depth. At the time of this writing, I have something like 10000 user names. I
imagine I'll probably stop when I've reached 50000. You can see the current
state of the userpic
- I updated my Jotto page with
some actual content. I put links to my full and easy five-letter word lists,
which I created as symbolic links in my public_html directory to the actual
lists. Hooray for remembering about symbolic links. I also put up the
variants of Jotto that I have played.
- I organized a story reading night at my house. People read stories of
various lengths, and someone even read some nice essays. I read "Taste"
by Roald Dahl. The evening was enjoyable, and I'm going to try to repeat it
monthly (I've already got January's scheduled). I occasionally have ideas for
social gatherings, so it's nice to actually see one of them happen. Now, if I
can just manage to put together that Simpsons night, I'll be all set.
- I made dinner at home. Boneless chicken thighs cooked in onions, garlic,
condensed cream of chicken soup, paprika, and water (less than enough to
fully reconstitute the soup). Put this over small shells of pasta. With some
added salt, it was very good.
- Continuing a family tradition, I made homemade pizza on New Year's Eve. I
even managed to get some fake cheese (Veggie Shred) to put on it, so it was a
non-dairy pizza. Of course, I ruined the non-dairyness of the meal by having
egg nog with it, but I couldn't find any of the Silk soy nog. Pizza
toppings included pepperoni, olives, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano,
tomato sauce, cheddar-flavored Veggie Shred, and mozzarella-flavored
- For the first time ever I made some New Year's resolutions.
- Learn the recorder well enough to sight-read most any piece of music.
- Compose a song (with lyrics, if appropriate) for the recorder.
- Pick up French again so that I know it well enough to read Le Petit
Prince without too much looking things up.
- Learn Rikchik well enough
to communicate simple ideas.
- Take a month off from working.
- Make more food for myself.
- Bike enough so that I can ride 100 miles in one day at least once.
- Read at least one non-fiction book for every fiction book I read.
- Write and submit at least two articles for publication.
- Write and submit at least one story for publication.
- Write and submit at least one poem for publication.
Issue 01 | Issue 02 |
Issue 03 | Issue 04 |
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Last modified: 01 January 2003