Friday, June 20, 2014

Day Zero Project #97: Put together a 1,000 piece puzzle


 As I've mentioned before, I love any hobby stereotypically reserved for the elderly. If your grandpa loves doing something then there is a 95% chance that I also love it. If there was some way I could make a living sitting on a porch playing cribbage and complaining about my wife cooking peas for the millionth time, I would be in heaven.

So, while some might find the idea of staring at puzzle pieces blankly for many hours over the course of several days to be a tedious exercise, I was looking forward to it. 

Plus, as it turned out, I ended up being sick for the entire week so it was a perfect week to stay home and do some puzzling. 

And what exactly does puzzling look like? Thanks to the power of time-lapse photography (aka a free animated gif maker I found on the Internet) you can now live the excitement of the past week. 

Enjoy. And you're welcome.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day Zero Project #93: Bake and decorate cupcakes.

Baking cupcakes in my house is a bit of a risky proposition. You see, my lovely wife, is quite the baker and cupcakes just happen to be her "thing." So for years I've just let her bake away without interfering. She makes the cupcakes. I make anything fried. These are the sacred lines drawn in the pearl tiles of our kitchen floor.

But, like all good rules, this one was perfect for breaking and my Day Zero List gave me the perfect opportunity to see how my mini-cakes would stack up against the pro's. 

Sunday she was distracted by making organic dog treats even though we don't own a dog, so I took the opportunity to sneak onto the battlefield...sorry, kitchen, to throw down the cupcake gauntlet.

A few notes on making cupcakes:
1) I knew they weren't healthy, but seriously, these had a Paula Dean amount of butter.

2) Cupcakes are easy to make. See these simple instructions.

3) Although easy to make, decorating is hard work. Sure you can make one look good by spending 20 minutes working on it.

But then you realize there are 23 more just like it and at your current pace it will take you three weeks to decorate them all.
I made two really nice looking ones and then it all went downhill, including six cupcakes that ended up with no frosting or decoration at all. Yes, I'm that lazy. 

My foray into cupcakes was fun and I did a decent job with them before remembering that I don't even like desserts that much. That said, from now on I'll stick to frying the appetizers and leave the baking to the household pro.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day Zero Project #56: Make a List of My 50 Favorite Songs

How does a person even begin to pick just 50 songs? That's tough work considering the fact that my iTunes is sitting at 8,688 songs (don't worry, I have never downloaded music. I buy it or it was given to me when I used to run a music website). 8,000 of which I think are pretty decent and 688 of which are weird indie bands with either banjos or girl singers on my computer courtesy of my lovely wife.

Anyway, through a very scientific method I figured out that these were my 50 favorite songs, complete with YouTube links.

These are in alpha-order rather than ranked 1-50 because narrowing it down this far was hard enough and ranking them anymore would be impossible.

Note: If you'd rather not click on each link, you can go here and listen to the whole playlist.

"Absinthe Party at the Fly Warehouse" by Minus The Bear
 "├ćnema" by Tool
"Anna Begins" by Counting Crows
"Baraga Embankment" by Bear Vs. Shark
"Bartender" by (hed)p.e.
"Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)" by Deftones
"Bermuda Locket" by Crosses
"Black Water" by The Doobie Brothers
"Buildings Began To Stretch Wide Across The Sky, and the Air Filled With a Reddish Glow" by Red Sparowes
"Bukowski" by Modest Mouse
"Bury The Evidence" by Tricky
"C. Thomas Howell as the 'Soul Man'" by Botch
"Casting Such a Thin Shadow" by Underoath
"Change (In the House of Flies)" by Deftones
"Cowboy Dan" by Modest Mouse
"Cross Out The Eyes" by Thursday
"Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" by The Gaslight Anthem
"F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X." by The Fall of Troy
"Fists Buried in Pockets/Threat Level Midnight" by The Riot Before
"Fox's Dream of the Log Flume" by mewithoutYou
"Galena" by Balance and Composure
"The Hustle" by Bars of Gold
"I See Everything" by La Dispute
"In The Wake of Pigs" by Oh, Sleeper
"In Threes" by Since By Man
"Inertiatic E.S.P." by The Mars Volta
"Jabberwocky" by Fear Before
"Jane Doe" by Converge
"King Park" by La Dispute
"L'Via L'Viaquez" by The Mars Volta
"A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology" by The Menzingers
"Let Me Go" by All Get Out
"Lives" by Modest Mouse
"More Than Just Music, It's a Hairstyle" by As Friends Rust
"Nerdy" by Poison The Well
"Pints of Guinness Make You Strong" by Against! Me
"Rise Up! Rise Up!" by Cursive
"Route 1" by All Else Failed
"Salty Grave" by Life In Your Way
"Seamless (Acoustic)" by Grade
"Searching For a Familiar Clarity" by Against! Me
"Short Stories with Tragic Endings" by From Autumn To Ashes
"Soulless" by Fake Problems
"Tiny Dancer" by Elton John
"The Water Vs. The Anchor" by On The Might of Princes
"Will to Die" by Strife
"The Year Summer Ended in June" by Misery Signals
"Wrongdoers" by Norma Jean
"You'd Be Cuter If I Shot You In The Face" by Curl Up and Die
"Your Pearly Whites" by These Arms Are Snakes
"Zombie Prescription" by Snapcase

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day Zero Project #63: Attend a flea market.

How does one even describe a flea market? These crazy places where one can find almost anything you could ever want and a billion other things that you didn't even know you wanted. I'd imagine hoarders have dreams of places like flea markets. As a guy who despises extra stuff, it can be a bit nightmarish.

With all that junk around I figured that today would be as good of a day as any to try out the Hipstamatic app that I've read a little about while Googling "How to make the pictures that I take on my phone not be the worst pictures ever taken by anyone ever."

The plan was to use the Hipstamatic's Random Setting feature and snap a few photos. I wasn't going to look at these and see if a different filter might be better or think about them at all until I got home. Some worked out really well. Some, not so much.

With this goal in mind we got into the car and headed to Pinellas County's shining beacon of stuff, Wagon Wheel Flea Market.

So without further ado I present, "Dustin's Magical Mystery Flea Market Tour and Photo Extravaganza."

We started, like most adventures do, at the entrance.

Wagon Wheel Flea Market
From there we walked through the wonderful Land of Rusted Tools.

Wagon Wheel Flea Market

After a quick tour of the Forest of Accidentally Inappropriate Signs...

Wagon Wheel Flea Market
Seriously, click on that picture to make it bigger and change the angle that you are looking at this monitor and read that duck.

Anywho, we then entered a place known simply as The Maze.

Wagon Wheel Flea Market

We wandered through The Maze for what seemed like hours enthralled by the decorations.

Wagon Wheel Flea Market
Unable to find the exit, time continued on...

Wagon Wheel Flea Market
The decorations become more odd and fantastic at every turn, we even found some porn.

Wagon Wheel Flea Market
Okay, the porn wasn't that fantastic, but what was it doing at a flea market?

We finally managed to escape The Maze. We were ecstatic to see the fresh air and were anxious to return home but were sidetracked by the best part of the flea market: a whole section dedicated to fresh vegetables and seafood and all sorts of other edible goodness.

Everyone loves pictures of food, so I'm going to finish this thing off by hitting you with a bunch in a row. Get ready to be hungry in 5..4..3..2..1..

Wagon Wheel Flea Market
Wagon Wheel Flea Market
Wagon Wheel Flea Market
Wagon Wheel Flea Market