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Once upon a time in Pepperland - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Once upon a time in Pepperland
The Nelvana early-80s animated cult film Rock and Rule is coming out on DVD this summer! The company that's putting it out is taking pre-orders, and if you pre-order directly from them, you get entered in a contest. They have two versions available. The slightly more expensive version has the original voice acting. (Unearthed Films - click on "Store" for advance purchases.)

At work, one of my co-workers got a set of educational French DVDs to catalog that I recognized - Il était une fois... l'homme, known in English as Once upon a time: Man. It's old. I looked it up... 1978! And it's still being marketed, egads. I can't say any of the history sunk into my brain and educated me. I remember a lot of the episodes were filled with repetitive stupid jokes. Even a seven-year-old gets tired of seeing the big burly guy hit the swarthy evil guy over the head for the umpteenth time.

But you know, I'm kicking myself 'cause I told myself that I'd sit down at the DVD terminal tonight after my co-worker left to nostalgically watch some of it, and I forgot. Because the introduction/closing credits (I forget which) of that cartoon kicked ass, at least to a seven-year old mind. Evolution and the history of human culture speeded up, all to REALLY LOUD pipe organ music and then the EARTH EXPLODES. Yeah, that's the way to draw an educational cartoon! Although the people turning into satellites at the end always creeped me out.

The magazine Retro Gamer has an article on Star Control II, including a DVD with the game on it! Although I don't know if it's the version with the latest updates, which now include the opening and closing sequences - both very integral to the artistic wholeness of the game.

Recent cooking experiment: General Tao chicken. I didn't really end up making it, but something edible instead. Coating chicken in a mixture of egg and cornstarch and stir-frying it only made most of the mixture fall off. I was hoping for that pseudo-bread-like coating that soaks up sauce really nicely. The sauce part worked out better. Pureed garlic and ginger mixed in with water, vinegar and soy sauce, then some more corn starch to thicken, simmered, with chopped-up onion and green pepper added. Quite nice.

I also had dried chili peppers in the sauce, but the heat didn't translate in at all. I'm wondering if I have to marinate the darn things a day in advance, which is bothersome. Or I could dispose of the dried chili peppers which I have no idea how to use, and instead use either chili oil or cayenne powder. Maybe throw in the Chinese five-spice powder that I never use too. I also bought some honey to sweeten the mixture next time. I never use honey for anything, so this'll sit around a lot. Much experimenting ahead to find good ratios for everything. (Note to self: buy more soy sauce and couscous.) (Second note to self: ham is expensive)

Or I could use my hot peppers. At current count, my plant has about 16 of the darn things, its new record. This is about it's 4th batch. This is turning out to be a very high-maintenance plant, and me without a green thumb. If anyone wants a pepper or two, let me know!

The biggest pepper of all is a shade under two inches long and quite bulky. It's starting to turn orange. This process is very rapid and usually takes place in less than two days.

Of the approximately 16 peppers on the plant (not all visible), one is left from the previous batch, two or three are tiny useless things, three have yet to turn orange, and the rest range in size from small to the biggest one I've grown yet. The plant has decided to re-enter its "grow leaves, stalks and flowers" stage, which it really needs to do, because the largest leaves are dying off and the central stalks are now largely devoid of foliage.

I should trim down the many extremities in the hopes that new growth will start from the center, but unfortunately (1) the extremeties are where most of the leaves are, and (2) most of the peppers are on those extremities too, and are far from ripe. Dangit, I have to figure out what dishes to use these in. They're small, but man, they pack a punch.

I'm thinking of making custom emoticons using photos of my own face. Only problem is that's a lot of work. Choosing which emotions (there are dozens), taking the photos using multiple poses, shrinking 'em down small, and then seeing if they look o.k. And I'm laaazy.

Hey, Winnipeggers: Anyone interested in coming over this Tuesday night to watch the new Doctor Who episode when it airs on CBC at 8pm? I could also play other Doctor Who eps. (I've got The Mutants and Survival kicking around if I can find them.) No idea what to do for dinner though.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: Stars - Elevator Love Letter

8 comments or Leave a comment
boinggoat From: boinggoat Date: April 1st, 2005 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
It'd be cool to have a Dr. Who night! If only I could, y'know, be there :]

The Mutants and Survival are both good episodes. And neither has been released on DVD yet. If you wanna enhance your who, look for released episodes on DVD. I personally recomment The Robots of Death, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Spearhead from Space, The Curse of Fenric, The Caves of Androzani...

Oh, and star control 2 rocks everything. Frungi Frungi Frungi!
From: momentrabbit Date: April 1st, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Nelvana early-80s animated cult film Rock and Rule is coming out on DVD this summer!

And it comes with "The Devil and Daniel Mouse", a far superior 'toon. What I watched about three million, zillion times growing up. Heh..

Evolution and the history of human culture speeded up, all to REALLY LOUD pipe organ music and then the EARTH EXPLODES. Yeah, that's the way to draw an educational cartoon!

A variation on 'Fugue in D Minor' by Bach, if I recall correctly... I loved that show. The little alarm clock guy in the corner showing the year, reusing the same characters over and over again in time.. sorta like Dr. Who with a repertoire cast of Tintin villains.
From: momentrabbit Date: April 1st, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Ahh, it's a good day when I can run midi classical music files all morning..)

Ok, I'd need to hear the 'toon credits again, but I'd lay odds on it being a chunk of 'Tocatta in D minor' with one of the endings of 'Fugue'. I've always assumed the "classical music for educational films" is the reduced royalty costs rather than the 'culture' of the music.

(listens more) Note to self, bring the Gould discs to work...
niall_ From: niall_ Date: April 1st, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Boy do I ever remember this show!

Yes, the Toccata in D Minor was used (in altered form) for the opening credits, and the Fugue for the closing one. The reuse of the same characters is nothing new, and may well have been inspired by Tezuka - the French of the 70s were intimately acquainted with his work, especially animated. I sure as hell saw enough anime dubbed in French gorwing up in the 70s when the US had none...

There's also the follow-up series, Il était une fois... l'espace where the same crew blasts in space because Earth is unliveable and tries to cooperate to survive, or somesuch, but the two big bad guys keep making things difficult. The credits song was really nice, and I still have a recording of it on tape somewhere...
pyat From: pyat Date: April 1st, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rock! And Rule!

From: cjthomas Date: April 1st, 2005 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe ask lastmx (Marc) for advice about the General Tao chicken. I know he's done the "breaded coating on meat" thing before.
porsupah From: porsupah Date: April 1st, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, my.. all this talk of spicy extremities has left me feeling quite faint, I declare. ^_^

Personally, I don't bother with any sort of batter on the chicken - that omission might be regarded as a cardinal sin by some, but it's just that much simpler, and leaves the taste of the meat unaffected. (For crispy beef, I understand one way of coating them before frying is simply rolling the beef strips in custard powder before frying. Given I seldom use oil in my cooking, it's not something I've actually put to the test)

Are those Scotch Bonnet peppers? Those certainly would be at the potent end of the scale. I wonder where I could pick up such a plant? I love using the occasional hot pepper, but of course, the local supermarket only sells them in packs of four or so. Not much of a waste, but still, it'd be fun to have them available whenever I felt like plucking one off - besides, they seem to diminish in strength with age, as they sit in the fridge (certainly, bird's eye peppers do).

You could always try Red Panda Chicken. ^_^ It might sound rather odd, but, it does work.. very well. I never use scales or measures, so it's all very rough: take a handful of shelled pistachios, and crush them into a nutty gravel. Add a few anchovies, and mush it all up, then a few drops of lemon juice, and Thai fish sauce, to a consistency where it's moist enough to be coated around a skinless chicken breast. Grill, and serve with.. well, asparagus with a few flecks of cream cheese would go nicely, and something simple like good new potatoes mightn't go amiss either.

It's one of those combinations I thought might work, and ye gods, it does.. the sweetness of the pistachios, plus the intensity of the anchovies, combine with the chicken quite remarkably. (Quite what cuisine it belongs to, I've no idea. Let's just say Californian, given that's where it was born :)

You've restrained yourself from watching "Rose" so far? My, your self-control is admirable. ^_^ BTW, did that video download proceed okay? Sphelx seemed to be having peculiarly poor throughput, for no reason I could fathom.. might well have been just some transitory matter.

And then there are only a few weeks to go until we discover for ourselves just what the H2G2 movie really is like..
entropicana From: entropicana Date: April 2nd, 2005 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Rock & RULE....

I neeeeeeeeeeed that movie. Curse them for putting the Canadian version in the special edition only. It's the far far superior version. Omar's actually kind of an amusing jerk instead of a whiny dork.
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