February 28th, 2006


The Changing Face of Spam

The overwhelming majority of spam I have been getting for the past few months have been messages telling me my home loan has been approved. I don't own a home, don't plan to ever buy one, have never even looked into getting a home loan, so why am I being sent all this useless email?

Coming in a close second is email touting "hot stocks" to buy. This I blame on making the mistake of getting an account on Motley Fool. And it may also be due to my online brokerages selling my email address. I don't own much stock, but thanks to changes in 401k and stock options at a Microsoft and my current company, I've had accounts online with 6 different brokerages.

And I blame Matchmaker.com for a recent spike in spam sent to an email address which I only use for personals ads. That site is a crock - they advertise a free service, but as soon as you sign up they start sending bait-and-switch email claiming someone has expressed interest in you. You log in only to discover that (a) you can't reply to this "interest" unless you buy a "Gold Account". And when you view the profile of the person who is allegedly interested, they turn out to be way out of your stated geographical range, out of your age range, and not a match at all. I have closed my account, but the damage is done, the spam continues.
  • Current Music
    Spam - Monty Python

Why it's called a Mother board

My new ASUS motherboard is crapping out. Sometimes it doesn't boot up - it hangs in different places, which rules out the CPU or BIOS or memory. I've updated the BIOS twice, installed all the latest drivers for everything, even loaded the latest firmware into both my DVD drives.

The final blow was when the built-in microphone port went south.

ASUS tech support gave me the phone number (in Fremont) to call for an RMA, I called, it was painless, after a 10-minute on-hold time, and they sent email with instructions. The instructions said it would take 10 days. That's a long time to be without my main PC, but the seller won't take it back without all the accessories, which would mean tearing the whole machine apart, and I can't do a Fry's instant exchange because they track serial numbers. I may end up getting a new one at Fry's or Microcenter and selling the refurbished one on eBay.

While I'm at it, I'll look for a bigger case, too.

Recipe of the Day: Orange Whiskey Chicken

Last night's foray into the culinary arts was a variation of a recipe I learned in the summer of '69 when, among other summer intern chores, I ran camera at KOMO-TV in Seattle for their local cooking show. The chef was a woman about the same age as Julia Child, but I recall her to have a lovely speaking voice and very approachable personality.

This one show, her special guest was a representative of a Kentucky distillery, and together they prepared a main dish and a dessert. The dessert was crocked cherries (which is an other story altogether) and the main dish was Orange Whiskey Chicken.

They made it in a cast iron skillet atop the range, flaming the whiskey, which looked great on camera. And they used chicken breasts, which came out a little dry. But the taste was great so I adapted it for my tastes (dark meat) and oven:

  • Preheat oven to 375°.

  • Put as many chicken legs & thighs in a glass roasting pan as will fit in a single layer.

  • Pour enough cheap whiskey as it takes to come up 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the pan

  • Slice one or two large naval oranges into 1/4-inch-thick disks. Place the discs on top of the chicken until most of the chicken is covered.

  • Slice up an apple and place the slices strategically in the gaps between chicken parts

  • Cover with aluminum foil

  • Bake for an hour, or until the chicken tests as done

  • Uncover, remove the orange slices, drain off most of the liquid in the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is golden brown

I serve the chicken with the apple and orange slices, but YMMV on that.
  • Current Music
    Whiskey River

Rainbow Connection

You Are Kermit

Hi, ho! Lovable and friendly, you get along well with everyone you know.
You're a big thinker, and sometimes you over think life's problems.
Don't worry - everyone know's it's not easy being green.
Just remember, time's fun when you're having flies!