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    • On 5/16/2019 at 3:00 AM, Pasanda said:

      Ahh. The balance between life and a life-worth-living. 

      ... and that is the premise of the next story I'm about to write ...

      I took last Thursday and Friday off from work for an extended weekend treat to myself.  It was partially to get a few things done around the house, but I like to tell myself it was also in celebration of the 39th anniversary of moving to my current hometown.  :D  The weather cooperated and was mostly sunny, so grilling dinner seemed like a good idea.  The missus suggested we could go out for dinner, but I opted for cooking my own.  I didn't end up grilling the star of the meal, but I did a few ears of buttered sweet corn.  They, along with fresh coleslaw, made the perfect accompaniments to the main dish - meatloaf with a twist.  It turned out so well and so tasty I was forbidden from ever making it again.  Not bragging, just a fact.

      The meatloaf mix was nothing special, but I'll describe it anyway for those who haven't ever had a good one - it's a popular request at our house, and made with moose instead of beef if we have it.

      ---------------

      Elovia's Meatloaf

      Ingredients:

      1 lb ground beef (low fat)

      1 lb ground sausage (I like to use "hot" breakfast sausage, but "sage" is good, too)

      2 eggs

      3/4 cup Quaker oatmeal (the oats, not the instant kind)

      1/2 to 3/4 cup water

      1/3 cup Elovia's bbq sauce (see the first recipe in this thread)

      1 envelope of Lipton's instant beefy-onion soup mix

      Directions:

      Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Mix all ingredients in a counter-top mixing station until just mixed.  Don't run the mixer for too long or the loaf will turn out tough and stringy.  Hand shape the mixture into a loaf shape in a shallow baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 50-60 minutes until done.  I usually brush a light glaze of Elovia's Triple-S BBQ Sauce on top right before baking, and once again about half-way through.

      I use the same recipe to make meatballs, except I generally use an Italian sausage instead of the "hot".  The difference is that I use 1/4 to 1/3 cup water to make the mixture stiffer, and a scoop to hand-craft ~1 1/2 inch diameter meatball spheres.  I then bake them ~20 minutes at 400°F without the BBQ glaze.

      --------------------

      Okay ... that out of the way, here's what I really did for the special meal.

      Elovia's Meatloaf with a Twist

      Ingredients:

      2 lbs (+/-) of Elovia's Meatloaf meat mixture (see note below)

      1 to 1 1/2 lb thick cut bacon slices, full length package

      1/4 lb bacon slices, diced to 1/4" bits

      1 small onion, diced

      2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

      1 cup (more or less) of shredded colby-jack cheese

      a pint of Elovia's Triple-S BBQ Sauce (or your favorite)

      your favorite BBQ rub appropriate for beef and pork

      Directions:

      Note:  I made up a batch of Elovia's Meatloaf mixture, except I reduced the amount of water to 1/4 cup.  I then placed the meat mixture in a gallon Ziploc bag, flattened it to completely fill the bag and force out all of the air, resulting in a relatively and evenly flat square of meat mixture approximately 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick (I don't recall the exact thickness: I didn't measure it).  I set that aside in the refrigerator while I did the next few steps.

      Fry the diced bacon in a pan until mostly done; you don't want it completely crisp in the final state, but you also don't want it raw.  Add the diced onion and minced garlic and continue to cook until the onions begin to turn translucent.  When done, drain well of excess fat and set aside to cool.

      While the bacon, onion, and garlic mixture is frying, take the package of full length bacon slices and split/separate out half of the slices.  Lay out the first half package of slices adjacent to each other on parchment or waxed paper on the counter.  Then peel off a slice from the second half and weave it between the layer of slices from the first half.  Continue in fashion to create a basket weave layer of bacon slices which should be roughly square and roughly the same size as the meatloaf mixture in the gallon Ziploc bag.  It helps to pull back every other slice on each successive interwoven slice.  The result should be a tight weave.

      Preheat the oven to 225°F.  This meatloaf will be slow cooked to keep from burning the outer layers.

      Now that all that is done, the assembly process begins.  Lightly dust the basket-weave bacon layer with BBQ rub.  Next, cut the Ziploc bag along its seams to retrieve the slab of meatloaf mixture, and lay it on top of the basket-weave bacon layer.  Again, lightly dust the top of the meatloaf mixture with BBQ rub.  Spread the shredded cheese, and then spread a layer of the cooled bacon, onion and garlic mix on top.  Add a drizzle of BBQ Sauce to the top.

      Carefully roll the meatloaf mixture into a log shape around the cheese and bacon layers.  The meatloaf mixture will be a little stiff, so try to keep it from breaking while forming the log.  If it does break, pinch the seam closed and relax up a bit on how tightly you're rolling the log.  Tuck the log ends and pinch them closed as well.  Carefully wrap the basket weave bacon layer around the loaf.  Brush the outer surface with a light glaze of BBQ Sauce, and place on a rack in a roasting pan so the juices fall away from the meat while baking.  Insert a baking thermometer probe into the center of the loaf, and bake/roast (?) the loaf.

      After an hour or so of baking, remove the loaf from the oven and again brush a light glaze of BBQ Sauce over the entire outer surface.  It's ok if you don't brush it on the bottom of the loaf as it sits on the rack; you don't want to risk unwrapping the basket-weave.  Put it back in the oven and do this again when the loaf has reached an internal temperature of ~155°F - or when it's about done.  The goal is to create a thick and sticky BBQ glaze crust.  When the loaf has reached an internal temperature of 160°F, pull the pan from the oven and allow the loaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Slice across the loaf into ~1-inch thick slices.

      What you should end up with are slices with tightly adhered candied BBQ glazed bacon over a meatloaf stuffed with all the other goodies.  When sliced with a sharp knife, the outer bacon crust should stay affixed, and the internal stuffing should appear to spiral through the loaf.

      The loaf is awesome as the main course of a meal, but also thinly sliced the next day or so after being refrigerated and served on sliced bread or toast as a cold meatloaf sandwich with a touch of creamy horseradish ... mmmmmm.

      Enjoy.

       

       

      Edited by Elovia
    • I was of the same opinion until I learned it is not just about pay amount.  They are after equal treatment.  Like the men's team only plays on natural grass, the girls don't get the option.  The men get chartered flights, the women only get commercial flights.  The men get paid for every game they play, the women only get paid for the first 20 games after that they are playing for free.  There maybe more but these are the differences that I have found so far.  And it is not just the USWNT, Ada Hegerberg (she won the award for best female player) of Norway's national team is boycotting the World Cup, to protest against the inequalities.  Would be like Messi or Ronaldo boycotting.

    • I am in France right now and you wouldn't know it's here. Not a single place with a TV on has shown any matches.  I flipped on the TV the other night and couldn't find it. Seen plenty of random men's games going on but never the women WC. 

      While I am here, can I lobby a complaint? I am sick and tired of hearing about equal pay with the ladies. I'm all for equality, but in this case the economics don't support it. It's pretty simple math: Men TV+advertising $ > Women TV+advertising $

    • Anyone watching the women's WC?

    • We started some hardcore guys for the season 17.  I like the seasons, it gives us a small reason to come back for a couple of weeks every few months.  Hardcore makes it more exciting for sure.

    • Those are fun.  I played a few with getting the object a to b and/or catapult engineering puzzle type ones.  I have not looked at the pure puzzle.

      Elovia likes this
    • I have a bunch of those that are similar. 

      Challenging, fun and some of them can be very informative. Had a chemistry one that you had to line up how the atoms bonded. I'm not a chemistry guy, so it was good for me.

      I play solitaire on my phone every day. Similar to what you described. It can be tough to find a solution for one that you know is solvable. 

      Elovia likes this
    • It's the kind of game i would want to take to a desert island with me to play for the rest of my life, but could not get up the motivation otherwise. I'm also extremely non-competitive and would feel no compunction to beat anyone else.

      Edited by Pasanda
      Elovia likes this
    • Does anyone here play machine-logic puzzle-type games?  I picked up Opus Magnum at GoG's summer sale, and have been having fun with it.  This genre has been around for a long time.  I recall playing The Incredible Machine and others back in the DOS days.  I also have Spacechem by the same makers of Opus Magnum.

      Thus far, the puzzles in Opus Magnum haven't been terribly difficult to solve.  The most intriguing part isn't necessarily solving them, but optimizing the solution to use fewer parts, or fewer instruction cycles.  The maddening thing is, once you've solved the puzzle, you're shown heuristics from other people's solutions (an online connection is required), but you're not shown their solutions so you have to guess or retry your solution to see if you can do as well or better than the others; you could if you search their solutions out on the internet, but where's the fun in that?

      Usually there are components you must use; a limited tool set containing different ways of handling, moving, connecting, rotating, etc., the components to create a final form.  You use a crude programming language to time and sequence the actions; the controls are fairly easy to pick up and learn, but the challenge is in how you apply them.  Both Opus Magnum and Spacechem present the puzzles along with story interludes.  The stories are interesting, but their premise is more for context rather than provide meaning or hints to the puzzle solution.

      Below are a couple examples.

      The first one requires you to take one resource, use a converter to make a second resource, then combine the first resource with the converted resource..

      Spoiler

      5cfbfc16d7f8c_OpusMagnum-FacePowder(50G8272019-06-08-07-21-58).gif.9607a0ea8abaea7415b44c47f3a98a88.gif

       

       

      The second one requires you to start with two resources and one reagent, transmute one of the resources into a third resource using the reagent, then combine two units of the third resource with only one unit of the non-transmuted resource into the final form.

      Spoiler

       

      5cfbfc28d005a_OpusMagnum-PrecisionMachineOil(150G76142019-06-08-10-11-03).gif.7dbaf16f56a3bc4763f11f4d11a0dcfc.gif

       

       

       

       

      I know some of you are IT folks, and possibly programmers, so it would be kind of cool to share and compare solutions.

       

       

      Edited by Elovia
    • 16 hours ago, Jag said:

      So Destiny 2 going free forever?

      I've heard rumors that they are going to allow cross platform saves.

      Edit: https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/06/bungie-destiny-2-free-to-play-update/

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    • Damn. Well, you have talked about burnout for awhile now. I kinda of felt the same way when I was writing/blogging about hockey... eventually, the fire goes out and the passion wanes. That said, don't be a total stranger.   
    • I loved seeing pauper on camera, but it also showed that why WOTC wouldn't want it to be on video more often: The matches took for-ev-er. MTGO forces players to click and play fast, especially Dinrova Tron and the like... those paper matches had a lot of moving parts and really did drag. 
    • I'm glad I'm not the only one who despises social media.  There are definitely cliques and if you aren't in one of them or align yourself with what they think like a lemming, it will make it much harder to get your content out there. Lots of the bigger creators talk about 'muh community' but it's all lip service.  With one click to share a link or a post from another creator would expose that content to thousands of people.  They don't owe anyone anything, of course.  They don't have to do anything to help anyone else, but don't talk about how much you love the community and how much you want to help and do next to nothing to help new creators or creators who have been grinding for years but just need that one click to push them over the edge. Twitter especially is such a cesspool of negativity and drama.  Creating content is tough, and I have the utmost respect for those of you who put in the time, money and energy to create content that most of the time goes unnoticed by most players.  It's too bad, because theres so much great stuff out there that doesn't get the attention it deserves.  I'm glad some of you still create content because I enjoy it and know there are others out there who do too.
    • Well, like any draft, if you can't decide on a path early enough, you end up thin on playables. It hurts a bit more in a multicolour set because if you draft Orzhov or Simic cards and end up Azorius, you may have dead cards you can't play without good fixing, even worse if I had picked up Gruul. The lack of 5 guildgates (from the other set) means splashing only works for certain combos I also probably ended up passing good Azorius cards. I was the only true Azorius player, but the guy who went 4-colour gates had a few of the cards I would have loved to have.   
    • If you don't decide on a guild and spread out a little, does it spread you too thin?
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