Sunday, July 26, 2015

So life

I've been more or less inactive because I got married and started a job. Balancing that with my normal hobbies has left me little time for blogging.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to completely unload a visa gift card into Rixty or to purchase Rift credits

How to purchase Rixty:

1) Activate your card
2) Go to the store and buy pre-loaded cards (Wal-mart, Kroger brand stores, 7-Eleven sell them). You can't buy Rixty online with a wells fargo visa gift card because the transaction comes from Ireland and out-of-US purchases are not allowed. BUT because the store is the one who pays Rixty for the cards, using your credit-card in store to buy rixty works because you're paying back the store. Confusing. But it works! I did it.
3) Cash them in on the Rixty site.


How to purchase Rift Credits

This is trickier because if you activate your card online, you can buy rift credits, but just not so much that it completely unloads the card. There is a way around this. You buy Rixty money as above and cash it in to buy credits.

I started off explaining the process it took me to learn all of this, but really, it's just a bunch of bureaucratic poo. In short, I did file a ticket with Trion to let them know about not being able to completely unload the card directly through them, and how crappy that was because I've been able to completely unload cards for Riot points.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sorry Random Brownie recipe


So sometimes I see a recipe and want to try it, but I'm afraid the link will break. Hopefully, one day I'll get to try these. The author said the brownies cook better when you take them out in the middle. I mean that's an easy trick to remember, but I've been dying to get my hands on a home made brownie recipe for a while now. My dad never gave me his (yes, you read that correctly, my DAD not my MOM. My mom can cook desserts, but it's the men that have the big guns when it comes to desserts in my family...) 

FUDGY BROWNIE THINS WITH SEA SALT
Ingredients:
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (100 percent cacao), chopped
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (any type, as long as it’s unsweetened)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Maldon sea salt, if desired
  • EQUIPMENT: an 18- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet (a.k.a. half-sheet pan)
Preparation:
FUDGY BROWNIE THINS WITH SEA SALT
Heat the oven to 325°F with the rack in the middle. Lightly grease or butter the pan and line it with parchment or foil.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a large metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and whisk in the sugar.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition, and whisk the mixture vigorously until it is smooth and cohesive. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Sift the cocoa over the batter and stir with a whisk until it is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Sift the flour over the batter and stir with the whisk in the same manner until the batter is smooth.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan and, if desired, sprinkle the top lightly with flakes of Maldon sea salt. Bake 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies rest 15 minutes at room temperature. Return the brownies to the oven and continue to bake them until a wooden pick comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack. Cut the brownies into serving pieces.
Ingredients:
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (100 percent cacao), chopped
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (any type, as long as it’s unsweetened)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Maldon sea salt, if desired
  • EQUIPMENT: an 18- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet (a.k.a. half-sheet pan)
Preparation:
Heat the oven to 325°F with the rack in the middle. Lightly grease or butter the pan and line it with parchment or foil.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a large metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and whisk in the sugar.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition, and whisk the mixture vigorously until it is smooth and cohesive. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Sift the cocoa over the batter and stir with a whisk until it is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Sift the flour over the batter and stir with the whisk in the same manner until the batter is smooth.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan and, if desired, sprinkle the top lightly with flakes of Maldon sea salt. Bake 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies rest 15 minutes at room temperature. Return the brownies to the oven and continue to bake them until a wooden pick comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack. Cut the brownies into serving pieces.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Pain He Wouldn't Let Me Feel

So I have a friend who is struggling with a pornography addiction. This friend is literally thousands of miles away from me in Belgium. I figured if he was coming to me under these circumstances, that he didn't really have many people who could come to for help fighting it. That makes me feel like I have a lot of responsibility for helping him. So I decided on the next time I would fast, I would fast specifically for him. I also wanted to make this fast special in that I wanted to show Heavenly Father how much it mattered to me. As part of that, I decided to eat a special meal just before I started it. This meal would blow quickly through my system, despite having enough calories. I wanted to make this fast hurt just to show Heavenly Father how invested I was in getting him to help my friend.

It seemed to work. Two hours after my meal, I already started feeling hungry. But then things got wierd. The closer it got to my dinner time, the more my hunger seemed to fade. Usually when I've tried fasting for a dinner, it just has been unbearable, but this time it worked. Not only that, but I slept fine, which is also weird, because the few times I've done an overnight fast, sleeping hasn't gone too well for me. In terms of hunger pangs, this has been my easiest fast, which is super weird, because everything about the way I set it up should have made it hurt.

Looking back I think that this was Christ trying to show me that he suffered for my friend. And because he did that, he didn't want me to suffer for him too, even if I was trying to. I guess I'm posting this to show the world that I know that Jesus Christ is real and he suffered for us so we don't have to. Because of this experience I've learned that he not only hears prayers, but wants us to be happy. And I'm grateful for that.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oatmeal, the breakfast of champions (revisited)

I love oatmeal now, which is ironic because I hated it growing up. I thought it tasted bland and no matter how much brown sugar or fruit I added to it, that bland flavor of plain oats still grossed me out. Well, when I decided to switch to a low-fat diet (ish, I still have 1 low-carb meal a day, far after my blood sugars have dropped), I needed a simple breakfast idea, and I found one for oatmeal in a cookbook for athletes called The Feed Zone. I was skeptical about if I would be able to eat it, but it seemed the easiest meal to make given my schedule as a college student. I changed up the recipe a bit too, but I noticed that cooking oatmeal with the little bit of brown sugar, molasses and chunks of frozen fruit totally changed the quality of the oatmeal. You see, when my mom made oatmeal, she made it plain and it was my job to add in stuff after. When I'm cooking it, the stuff I want cooks into the oatmeal and consequently drastically changes the flavor. I guess the recipe I used also calls for cooking the oats in a little bit of milk later and that might be another factor, but my point is, oats aren't gross when other flavors are cooked into them, and if you haven't had oatmeal prepared in this way, you should give it a shot. My energy levels are so much higher after eating this kind of meal as opposed to my scrambled egg breakfasts.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Socialism of the worst kind: taking from the poor to benefit the rich

Lately I've been getting a lot of emails from moveon.org trying to get me to sign petitions to support Obamacare or things I should do to stop the program from failing. A lot of these emails have pointed out a certain fact: that Obamacare needs the young to enroll in order for the program to work.

The reason for this is most young people don't need healthcare or need less than they would actually pay in health care premiums, this extra money is then used to take care of the older portion of the population whose contribution to the insurance company is less than what the insurance company pays to take care of them.

The problem? According to this report, the young are actually the ones that don't have the money. In fact much of my generation is unemployed. Blame who you will, the fact of the matter is most people in my age group are either 1) not employed or 2) not making much money.

So basically, this program relies on wealth redistribution from the poor to the wealthier. This is a travesty augmented by the fact that the young are the ones who need to start families before their fertility drops. Right now, our birth rate is below replacement (and adoption ain't cheap folks). Just having bad population growth in and of itself bankrupts socialist programs that rely on the young to pay for the old. So the young need to have kids AND fork out extra money to insurance companies to pay for the old's healthcare. Obamacare is a poorly designed system and it isn't helping with some of the larger issues the USA is facing.

Don't get me wrong, I think reform needed to happen. But the problem with Obamacare is that it focused on the cost of healthcare from the standpoint of the insurance companies instead of from the standpoint of the actual cost. Right now, we have a shortage of doctors. Right now, most of our doctors leave med school in huge amounts of debt. Both of those facts drive up health care cost. Prescriptions for the elderly cost a ton and too many politicians in Washington are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies to stop them from price gouging. That's why we passed legislation to subsidize them for the elderly instead of finding a way to drive down the costs in the market. Reforming the way insurance companies do business does little to alleviate the problem when most of them are coming from the industry itself.

But as you can tell from my analysis, my will to support a poorly designed law and poorly designed form of socialism is near zero. So every time I get those emails, I chuckle a little wishing I cared and move on with life.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

These aren't the leaders we want.

So I read something somewhere. Some people believe it's historical fact, others just a fable made up by someone, but I feel its message is definitely applicable to the current situation in Washington. The story goes like this: there's two military leaders who each control a portion of the same country. Each one believes they have the right to the whole country, and so naturally, a war breaks out between the two different factions. Well this carries on for a very long time, to the point at which everyone is involved in the conflict. At this point, the leaders of one of the factions sees how much destruction has been wrought and offers to surrender his portion of the country to the other military leader. The other military leader demands that the one who offered to surrender give up his life along with the rest of the country. Well, the one who surrendered looked around and realized everyone fighting for him was so embittered, that surrender would do no good, so they carried on the fight. Well, in the end, because neither side would budge, both factions and the country were destroyed.

The same thing is going on in Washington right now. The new Senate deal? It was pretty much the same thing Boehner proposed in the House.  Compromise? Nope, all communication between the House and the White House is shut down. Obama actually almost folded (according to one story I read), but then Harry Reid egged him on saying that they wouldn't compromise and Obama not folding was justified. Basically, both sides seem so embittered that they don't want to surrender. What's at stake? Well only the lives of two little boys my former High School English teacher is trying to provide for off of her meager salary, the world's economy with the US dollar as its reserve currency and the entire economic well-being of the entire nation. Looking at the language between the two different parties, it seems to me like both want the default. I think both as self-assured the other will take the blame and it will cause people to give their party more power and influence.

Well here's my little message to America: we don't want leaders that are willing to sacrifice our well-being and our way of life for their own ends. Our history is playing out like the story, and leaders like that don't deserve to lead the world's most powerful economy or the world's most powerful democracy. We seriously need to start a 3rd party that is not unified within itself that everyone votes for instead of either party, so no one will ever be able to believe they can wrest the control of our country at the expense of everyone else and we as a people, show our leaders we will only support leaders worth supporting.