Chocolate is Easy to Make – Who Knew?

Smiley Faces!

I had been whining at my… Man, [who shall be referred to from this point forward by the male pronoun, because reasons, and potentially “MoD”, because other reasons] about the lack of actual good chocolate available in the United States. You know. Chocolate without 90 additives for storing at room temperature; keeping it ‘fresh’ for longer [refrigerators and freezers exist, this is sufficient]; and generally keeping the cost down by using a ton of various vegetable oils and who knows what else to get chocolate consistency without actually using a proper amount of cocoa butter. He has a good chocolate source in his country, which is unsurprising, because Europe. Now is probably the time to note that he and I are what could be described as “Chocolate Snobs”. As if that wasn’t strongly hinted at from the first sentence.

So at some point, a couple of months ago, I found a chocolate recipe online, because I had become annoyed at the lack of good chocolate available, and the cost of importing from a certain place in Europe and another certain place in Canada was prohibitive. I figured if I can make complicated things, chocolate should be doable. It turns out that chocolate is probably the easiest thing in the world to make if you’re an attentive person in the kitchen. The recipe I found had 4 core ingredients and some optional ingredients: Continue reading Chocolate is Easy to Make – Who Knew?

Onboard iGPU [Intel HD Pro 4000] vs. Actual Card [NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960]

HD Pro 4000

I’ll be posting a few of these over the next while, but I recently had to upgrade my video card for what may

be a silly reason — I had friends recommend the Witcher books and games to me, so I was able to play through the first one no problem with my onboard card. The game is pretty ancient now. I had to put the second one on super-low settings in order to play it. Witcher 3 on the minimal settings in full screen was Geralt [main character of game] moving around like he was underwater and in slow motion. So, much like when the Lord of the Rings Director’s Cut DVD boxed set came out and I decided that was the time to buy a DVD Player finally, it was time to upgrade the video card. After discussing with the same friends who recommended Witcher to me, I went with a GIGABYTE NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960. There were budget issues and impatience issues.

Some told me to wait for the new AMD-based card, because it would be a nice price and supposedly much better, but after having fried almost every AMD anything I’ve ever had, I decided to go with NVIDIA. Below are a couple of screenshot crops from Diablo III. Keep in mind that I had to play D3 on the onboard card with low settings and frequently in windowed mode to avoid certain rendering issues with the onboard. I now play it on the highest settings and in full screen without issue.

Continue reading Onboard iGPU [Intel HD Pro 4000] vs. Actual Card [NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960]

2 Years into the Future

Okay, so it’s been a bit more than just 2 years, but it’s been a busy couple of years. I’ve been divorced, moved halfway across the United States to North Dakota from Connecticut, and been busy with life things. I figure it’s possibly time to start posting again. Maybe. It’s rather difficult sometimes to find the motivation to write, and well, it’s also a bit difficult to do so when your wrist frequently responds to typing with excruciating pain. This is a sign that I should be wearing my wrist brace more and trying to do less with that hand for a bit.

I’ve never been good at being incapacitated though. At any rate, North Dakota is nice, and practically Canadian. The city I live in is about as big as my home town in BC, Prince George, and the closets Tim Hortons is only a 2 hour drive away. I’ve gone a couple of times when I’ve had a craving for an Iced Cappucino and a sour cream glazed Tim Bit. I’ve had a few American friends express the notion that I’m crazy about that, but I keep saying that I like to drive, 2 hours is nothing where I’m from, and it’s Timmies. They don’t understand. The ‘equivalent’ is Dunkin Donuts. I put equivalent in small quotes, because it’s not very equivalent at all.

Anyway. I’m back. I think. There have been some new games added to the list of games I like to play, and I just got a new video card to replace the onboard. Posts forthcoming!



Phone Trials and Tribulations

HTC One M8
HTC One M8

My ancient, in terms of cell phones, LG Optimus had started acting weird a few months ago. It drops calls left and right, sometimes shuts off all on its own, and occasionally will even refuse to end a call. Flat out refuses. It’s always loads of fun having to take the battery off to get it to hang up.

So I decided that it was necessary to get a new one. A friend was helping me choose, and I got it down to the Nexus 5 or the HTC One. The Nexus had a better processor, and I have a Nexus 7 tablet, which I call “The Precious,” so there was a bit of a joke about having Precious 5 and Precious 7. Anyway, I ordered the Nexus 5, and it arrived a couple of days later. I was loving it, but I had some issues getting it activated through T-Mobile. It turns out that the micro SIM that came with it was defective. I went into the nearest T-Mobile store, which is a 30 minute drive from here, and they gave me a working card. It was working beautifully between there and home.

Continue reading Phone Trials and Tribulations

Stylists and Big Hair

Today, I decided to go have a stylist throw dye at my head again.  It had turned pink in the months since I had them put the bright red in.  The tall, robust stylist gave the girliest squeal when I said I wanted red and black this time.  For some reason, “crazy” colours make them happy.

I have to say, thank fuck for mp3 players and mobile IRC.  There are few things more boring than sitting under a dryer for 30 – 45 minutes with no entertainment options in sight than ancient hair style books and year old Cosmopolitan magazines.  Finally, the cut happened, then the blow drying.  Now, this is sort of my own fault for not saying, “Please, no product.  Please, no blow drying.”

Continue reading Stylists and Big Hair

American Health Care is Frustrating

I am Canadian, and I now live in the United States of America.  I’m a legal resident, and as such, I must follow the laws of the land.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one such law.  I’ve had people say things like, “Well, you should be happy.  Obama’s gone and socialized health care.”  This is said with such disdain that you can just tell they’ve only heard bad things and more than likely have never had any first-hand experience with such systems.

Granted, I prefer Canada’s system.  I’ve had excellent care over the years, and nothing really major to complain about.  Sure, I had a doctor miss something.  However, that was the fault of the doctor assuming I was too young to have a certain ailment, when obviously I was not, because I had the very thing he said I was too young to have.  At any rate, it wasn’t perfect, but nothing humans are involved with ever is. Continue reading American Health Care is Frustrating

The Road to Hell …

… is paved with good intentions.  I had all sorts of them when I came back in January.  I was going to write up a storm, and I was going to do it at least twice a week!  However, sometimes life decides that is absolutely must have more time with great urgency.  So, of course, I handed over all of it.  And now, it is nearly 8 months later.

Things have been pretty good of late, despite the diagnosis of a chronic disease, which I’m sure I’ll wind up writing about later on at some point.  But not today.

Today, I’ll let everyone know that I’m removing the writing services from the site.  Clients come and go in spurts, usually when I’m already drowning in other projects.  Because the timing has been horrible and I have little time of late, I’m going to only take on those projects that intrigue me greatly.

I’d like to spend more time posting here, creating more recipe posts, complete with how-tos, and working on my fiction writing projects.  Of course, I’m itching for summer to go away!  Soon, it will, which generally means more posts anyway!

Back After an Unplanned Hiatus

The last couple of months have been crazy.  Shortly after my last post, I caught a horrible flu.  A week later, I was over it, but I finally got a call for one of the umpteen resumes I had sent out, and wound up getting the job.

So, life has consisted of working full time — full-time from home is a sweet deal — and trying to write daily as well.  All of this while attempting to fit in some quality husband time and game time.  I’m finally at a point where I have things balanced.  I think.

Hopefully, I’ll have time to write here at least once a week.  That’d be nice.  It’s hard to grow when you don’t consistently post!

One of the Most Frustrating, Yet Fun, Guild Wars 2 Vista Points

The tower depicted below was one of the most frustrating Vista Points I have encountered in Guild Wars 2 thus far.  We (myself and a guild member) must have run around the thing 20 times or so trying to find a way in.

Finally, I talked to both of the Charr soldiers standing below it, and one of them said something about flying cows coming from past the harpy nests. We decided that maybe that had something to do with it.  So off we went, trudging past the harpies while being careful not to aggro any of them, and what do we find? Continue reading One of the Most Frustrating, Yet Fun, Guild Wars 2 Vista Points