Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A question of etiquette


WARNING:  Adult content.  Do not read further if you do not want to encounter adult content.


In conversation yesterday, Kyle raised a question of etiquette that none of the etiquette books I've read (yes, I have read a few) ever addressed:  

"When you're getting a massage, and the masseuse is rubbing the inside of your thighs, what is the right amount of chub to show?"
To clarify, Kyle was referring to a normal massage, not one in a trailer with "Happy endings $100" and "All girl staff" signs on it.

Kyle was leaning toward a middling amount, on the theory that showing none would be insulting to the masseuse but that going full tent-pole would be intimidating.

When I asked a few women, all of whom declined to let me name them here, for their opinions, I found no consistent answer.  Responses included
"None; if you want that kind of massage, go somewhere else."

"None; ask them to turn up the air conditioning."

"Enough to show interest but no more." 
What's your answer to this unexplored matter of etiquette?


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Kickstarter program I recommend


Prodigal Farm, a local farm and artisanal cheese maker that produces some wonderfully tasty goat cheeses, has started a Kickstarter program to fund the building of a facility for aging some cheeses.  I am all for this program, because I'd love to have aged goat bleus, goat-milk combos, and other hard cheeses in addition to their current softer, younger offerings.  I supported the program by pledging a bunch of seats for a dinner that Sean Fowler, the chef of Mandolin, will host at the farm if the campaign succeeds. 

Right now, these good folks are way short of their goal, with pledges totaling just over $10.5K of their $45K target. 

Check out the program.  If it interests you, and if you pledge for the Sean Fowler dinner, and assuming the program succeeds, all you have to do is let me know you want one, and at the dinner I'll give you a personally signed copy of a first edition of one of my novels.

By the way, I don't know these folks and have no financial interest of any form in this farm.  I just want to support what strikes me as a good thing for our local foodies and our community.


Monday, April 14, 2014

What flavors won the ice-cream tasting?


Since I posted a picture of the birthday party ice-cream tasting offerings in this earlier blog entry, a few folks have asked which flavors won. 

I'm sorry to have to report that the results were entirely inconclusive.  We had so many people at the party with so many different preferences that no unanimous winners emerged.

Having said that, two flavors stood out as winners among almost all of the tasters:

Best salted caramel:  The Parlour's salted butter caramel

Everyone I know who likes this type of flavor loves The Parlour's version of it.  Smooth and creamy and just the right blend of these ingredients, you can never go wrong ordering this one.

Best intense chocolate:  Jeni's dark chocolate

I've raved about this flavor since I first tasted it some years ago, and it is still an amazing treat.  Though a minority preferred Ben & Jerry's chocolate therapy and a couple of other flavors, for my taste and money the Jeni's is the best.

All of the ice creams on hand were delicious, but none garnered as many comments as these two.  I highly recommend both.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Raid 2


An Indonesian film with subtitles that runs two hours and twenty-eight minutes and features no actors you'll recognize.  A sequel.  A director you've probably never heard of whose main claim to fame is the previous film in this series. 

Despite the impression those facts may leave, The Raid 2 is one of the most fast-paced movies you are likely to see this year, and one of the best action films since The Raid: Redemption, its predecessor.  Writer/director Gareth Evans has created one of the most over-the-top, violence-packed sagas ever.  Astonishing fight sequences alternate with character-building scenes and sharp looks inside Indonesian gang culture in a film that is not for one second dull. 

If you're wondering if this is yet another of those movies that only I like, consider that as I write this entry the film's Rotten Tomatoes critics rating is 80% and its audience satisfaction rating is 94%.

If you like action sequences and can handle violence that goes way over the top, do not miss this movie.

By the way, I have to believe that Hollywood will soon snap up Evans, though he is supposedly signed to The Raid 3--and has Tony Jaa (of Ong Bak fame and next year to appear in The Fast and the Furious 7) on board for that one.  I can't wait to see if he can translate his pacing and penchant for crazy fight scenes to American crews and American big budgets.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Things that piss me off: Not owning the bits I buy


When you buy an ebook from most outlets, including Amazon, the leader, you don't really own that ebook.  That pisses me off.

The thing is, even though you may think you're buying an ebook, you're not.  You're licensing it.  The "seller" has the right to freeze your access to the book by freezing your account, and Amazon has even in the past wiped purchased books from a Kindle account.  I know the license makes clear you are licensing, not purchasing, but that's just bullshit.  When I buy bits, I want to own them.  I want to be able to store them anywhere I want, use them on any device I want, and generally treat them like any other bits I own.

More to the point, I want to treat the bits like any other product I buy.  If I want to loan a CD or a book to a friend, I can.  I can store those items where I want.  Etc.

I must note here that not all outlets behave this way.  If you buy an ebook from Baen, my publisher, you not only own it, you get it in multiple formats and can do whatever you want with it. 

I understand the piracy concerns of the outlets, but I just don't think they're worth worrying about.  If someone wants to steal my ebooks, nothing I can do will stop them. 

I want to own the products I buy, even if those products are digital.  Until I can, this aspect of ebooks will continue to piss me off.




Friday, April 11, 2014

I didn't see this show at TED


because I was at TEDActive in Whistler, and Chris Hadfield played these songs at a show, an impromptu event that Amanda Palmer organized, that took place in Vancouver.  I sure wish I had been there, though.



Then Palmer sang "Astronaut" for Hadfield.



Very cool indeed.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

My power is out


and I'm dealing with various related household issues, so I have nothing for you tonight. 

Oh, okay, here's something:  It now seems likely that I'm going to debut a new spoken-word show at Balticon late next month.

More on that another time.

Even without electricity flowing to my house, I can tease.


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