College Ruled

30 May, 2011 § Leave a comment

…but it’s time to move on.

I’ve recently dug up a lot of my old high school and college notebooks. The truth is I was trying to find notes and papers I’d written for a particular class in college but instead, I’ve managed to find notes and papers for pretty much every other class I took, as well as a whole slew of ramblings and drawings that I’d like to share with you. As with all other things on Fancy Hollywood Frogs, I will stretch this out by displaying only one picture or piece of writing per post. Today, you get that banner up there – “College ruled but it’s time to move on.

A lot of the things I’ll post actually have dates with them so you can know exactly when they were written or drawn. I’ll warn you right now – you’ll see pictures that may only be five or six years old but appear to have been drawn by a four-year-old. I remain to this day a very poor artist. Just so you know.

Are you going?

28 May, 2011 § Leave a comment

Scarborough Renaissance Festival (Waxahachie, ...
Image via Wikipedia

Today, Holly and I went to Scarborough Faire. For those of you unfamiliar with Scarborough, it is a renaissance festival held for a few months every year just outside Dallas, Texas. I didn’t take any pictures (though I had originally meant to) because I didn’t feel anything was particularly picture-worthy. That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy ourselves – we certainly did – I just didn’t have any really great photo-ops.

We went with a friend, my parents, my brother, and his fiancee. I’m not going to give you the step-by-step of the whole day; just some of the finer points.

At the end of the day, Holly and I came home with a new necklace (for her), a couple new candles (they last forever!), and a couple bags of the greatest candied nuts you’ll ever taste (we get two bags every year). And plenty of beer was had. This is the first of two family outings we’re sure to make every year where everybody comes home drunk. The second is Oktoberfest in Addison, which hopefully I’ll remember to post about in a few months.

Every year there are shows, plenty of food, souvenirs, games, comedy, music, costumes, people who look amazing, people who look ridiculous, people who just don’t make any sense, mud, dirt, dust, bugs, woods, wildlife, children… you get the point. It’s wacky, it’s exciting, it’s different, it’s whimsical, and it’s an awful lot of fun.

Long story short, we had fun. The evening was marred a bit by the news that Holly will have to go in to work tomorrow, despite her originally having the weekend off, but we still had fun while at Scarborough. If you’re in the north Texas area and you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. Try the Scotch eggs – they’re always there. And the mead – it’s good, too. The “King’s Nuts” are a staple for sure, and the Legendary Candle Co. is a must-see.

Wear your sun screen, spray yourself with Off, and make sure you bring cash. We’ll see you next time!

Size Small (album cover)

27 May, 2011 § 1 Comment

 

Band name: Size Small
Album title: Character of the Accidental
Original image: (link)

How to play The Album Cover Game

Tales of In-N-Out, Part 2

18 May, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today marks the one-week anniversary of our new In-N-Out Burger restaurant here in Allen, TX. To commemorate the occasion my wife and I met a friend in the Allen Event Center parking garage, then walked over to In-N-Out. I had my camera ready to snap some photos of the drive-thru and walk-in lines, but didn’t end up taking any pictures. Why? Because after a week the lines just weren’t what they used to be. The walk-in line ended outside the restaurant’s doors, but lasted no more than five to ten minutes. Another ten minutes later, we had our lunch.

My lunch: an animal-style 3×3 with grilled onions, animal-style fries, and a vanilla milkshake. I would have taken a picture of my lunch for you but I thought I’d let you work that image out in your mind, all on your own. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. Pretty hot, eh?

So there’s no denying lunch was pretty good. Flavor-wise, I mean; obviously not for-me-wise. I’ll even go back once the hype dies down a little. But I’ve got to be totally honest with you. You ready, California? Whataburger‘s still better. There, I said it.

Since I didn’t take any pictures, I’ll just share some that other people took on opening day.

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And a video taken of the drive-thru line at about noon on opening day.

So as you can see, it’s kind of a big deal. Me, I’d never tried it before and I’ve never lived in an area where In-N-Out is popular. Maybe that’s why I don’t really understand the cult-like following this restaurant has. Needless to say, none of the three of us today shed any tears of joy over our cheeseburgers. But this woman did:

Read the original post: Tales of In-N-Out

Vodka Worms

16 May, 2011 § 2 Comments

As an avid drinker and a fan of all candies of the “gummy” variety, I decided to perform a fun indoor experiment and soak some gummy worms in vodka for a week. Jell-O shots in the shape of worms, in other words. I took a small Tupperware container, placed three gummy worms inside, and filled it halfway with vodka. Then I closed the container and let it sit in my refrigerator for a week.

After the first day I could already note the change in size of the worms in that they were slightly larger than usual. Another couple days into the experiment and I could see that they were becoming a little less opaque. Around day four or five I opened the container and touched the worms: they were very rubbery and hard to grasp, and had nearly doubled in size. By day seven, “Tasting Day,” the worms had at least doubled in size as they had absorbed about half of the vodka that had been in the Tupperware container originally. While they had originally been completely submerged in the alcohol, the worms were now slightly above the vodka line.

I removed the worms from the Tupperware, arranged them on a plate between two “normal” worms (gummies that had not been trapped in a sealed container full of vodka for seven days) and poured the remaining liquid from the container into a couple shot glasses. The vodka had taken on a very pale orange color and smelled really sweet. The worms were incredibly rubbery and slipped out of my hands several times just while I was trying to move them from the Tupperware to the plate.

It was time to chow down. Holly and I each ate one of the regular gummies, then I took two of the vodka worms since she could only choke down one. And yes, we had to choke them down. These were some of the most vile-tasting things we’d ever eaten. All of the sugar and sweetness in the worms had been replaced with straight alcohol. They tasted like rubbing alcohol and nothing more. The consistency was like oysters – they were very delicate and broke (or just slipped back onto the plate) if we weren’t careful while handling them. It’s a good thing we ate the regular worms after the vodka-soaked ones, so we could add a little bit of flavor to our palates after torturing ourselves with the alcohol-soaked slugs.

The shots, on the other hand, were incredible. It was just gummy-infused vodka; nothing more. That’s where all the sugar and flavor went when it left the worms. They were very strong, of course, and after eating two alcohol worms and shooting the gummy vodka I was ever so slightly tipsy (I’m also a lightweight, which I’m not ashamed of).

If you ever wish to try this at home, do it for the gummy liqueur it produces and not for the worms. In fact, you’re probably best off just throwing the worms away once you’re finished infusing your vodka. Then again, I hate to waste alcohol so if I did it again I’d probably still eat the worms.

The “album cover” game

12 May, 2011 § 1 Comment

So there’s a fairly simple “game” I like to play every once in a while. The idea is to make a clever/creative/funny/cute/useable fake album cover for a fake band. This is a great way to test your Photoshop skills or just to kill some time and have some fun. The rules are thus:

  1. Visit a random Wikipedia article. The title of the article is the name of your band/musician. For example, I just clicked it and ended up with the result “Central City Historic District.” Not the best name for a band, but it can certainly be used.
  2. Visit a random Wikipedia quotes page. The last four words of the last quote on the page make up the name of your band/musician’s album. For me, I just got the Ethan Nadelmann quote page; the last four words of the last quote (my album title) are “a measure of risk.” That one’s actually pretty good. So far, we’ve got an an album by Central City Historic District called A Measure of Risk.
  3. Visit Flickr’s interesting photos from the last week. This is the part that can really mess you up or round off your whole album. Pick the third image on the page. This picture is what you will use for your album cover. This is the photo I just ended up with.
  4. Go into your imaging software of choice and create an album with the above elements!

Some things to consider:

  • For the first step, if the result is the name of an already-existing band or musician, I randomize it again. I will use the name of any other famous person or historic figure/place, however.
  • For the second step, it is possible your random quote page will just be a placeholder for a year (in other words, it’ll just be a number with no quotes following it). In this instance I will randomize it again.
  • For the third step, I will of course always use the third picture, but I may not use it in its entirety. I may get creative with it, rotate some elements of the image, take some elements out, etc. But I will not add anything (other than the text for my band name and album title) to the picture and I will always make sure some elements of the picture remain in the end. You’ll see what I mean when I post examples in the future.
  • Other than that, I absolutely will not just randomize things until they seem to go together well. I started out making album covers for every result. Now, if one of my elements (name, title, or picture) just doesn’t look right I’ll randomize everything again.
  • I generally use the dimensions 420×412. I believe that at one time I looked up the ideal dimensions for an album cover and that was the suggestion I found, so I just go with it.

So here’s what I’ve thrown together quickly, using the three album elements I ended up with at the beginning of this post:

I got lucky this time. In future posts I’ll show you examples of what happens when the band name, album title, and picture just don’t work out together as well as examples of what it may look like when you spend a little more time on your album cover than the two minutes I spent on this one.

Tales of In-N-Out

11 May, 2011 § 1 Comment

The In-N-Out Burger sign at Fisherman's Wharf ...

Image via Wikipedia

Okay, so In-N-Out Burger is a big deal. A really big deal, apparently. It’s an even bigger deal that we now have In-N-Out here in North Texas. So big of a deal, in fact, that people are willing to drive 75 miles and live out of their car for two days just to get a taste of those succulent, juicy animal-style patties.

The previous sentence, just so you know, is not an exaggeration. The first two In-N-Out Burger restaurants in Texas opened today. Ron Russek drove from Cleburn, TX and camped outside In-N-Out in Allen since Monday night just to be first in line. Kip Cummings, who drove considerably farther (from Shreveport, LA), missed his son’s graduation from LSU just to be sure he was one of the first people to try the new Allen In-N-Out. He managed to score a spot second to Russek in line. This link tells their stories. It leaves out the part about Cummings missing his son’s graduation, but that was confirmed in a radio interview after his double-double breakfast.

As I drove by today the line of cars waiting to go through their drive-thru was at least a mile long. Once again I must point out I am not exaggerating. In-N-Out’s parking lot was sorted out with cones so that once you managed to get into the parking lot you still had to weave through about a half-mile’s worth of cones before you got to the window. The street outside the parking lot was packed with cars waiting for the drive-thru as well, backed up at least another half-mile.

Did I wait in line for a four-by-four and a chocolate shake today? No, I did not. Absolutely not. In fact, I’ve never in my life tried In-N-Out. But y’know what? I’m sure it’ll still be there in another month or two. When In-N-Out is ready to provide me with fast food (not three-hour food), then I’ll give it a try. Until then, there’s always Whataburger.

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