Jul 27 2014

cannelloni medley

Category: foodspimento @ 12:06 am

G’day mates! How’s shit? Shit? That’s no good, take a squizz at this and see if that changes anything.

I had some leftover lasagna sheets and some mince in the freezer, so I decided to make some las.. cannelloni?! What?! This is madness! No, this is cannelloni medley! Basically I’d never made cannelloni before and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to fill it with, so I went with everything.

All the ingredients.

Basically we have:

Mince, prepared how I like it (mix 500g mince, garlic, chilli, 1/4ish cups of worcesteshire sauce, cold drop cofffee and water, mix up, leave for a while, fry on medium heats with some olive oil)
Roasted capsicum (peppers, for you northerners)
Smoked chicken breast (was meant to be duck, but I missed)
Blue cheese to taste
Ricotta with parlsey, basil and baby spinach mixed in

Once all of the above is prepared, stick some passata in the bottom of a baking dish of an appropriate size. Cook your lasagna sheets (if it’s fresh you generally want to whack it in a pot of boiling water for about a minute, but ask the lovely italian nonna you bought it from for more precise directions) then slice in half and schlunk the following along it before rolling it up and plonking it into the baking dish:

Ricotta mixture
Chook, prosciutto and blue cheese
Hams, capsicum and chedder

Revolve through the set until all the sheets are through. I went through six sheets and had two layers in the dish, which means that any 2×2 slice of toobs contains one of each. Plop some more passata between the layers and again on top, then finish with a bechamel sauce of your choice. I use this one. Bake at 190 Cs for about 45 minutes or until it seems delicious, then take it out to rest. Make a salad while it’s resting, then serve and consume ruthlessly with a nice red.


Chop, change and experiment every time you make it!


Jun 22 2014


Category: amusement,awesomenesspimento @ 3:43 pm

Last night me and a mate played a large amount of Towerfall Ascension. Basically it’s an super great little vs/co-op actioney platformer. You can stomp enemies mario style, or arrow them. With arrows. You have a limited supply of arrows through – you start with three – but you can retrieve arrows from the walls or fallen foes. You can grab anyone’s arrows though.. so it’s not unusual for one player to have all the arrows, with the other desperately flailing about trying to boop enemies and not get cornered. There are also all sorts of powerups to grab as they appear – laser arrows, drill arrows, wings.. many many. It’s super fun and super recommended for some 2-4 player local co-op action action action. We had to hack about with the controls XML file to get my table‘s MAME focussed sticks working, but there’s some google for that. Turned out to be pretty easy and totally worth it. One thing that the game does that is awesome for the local crowd is replays of the kills in VS mode. And you can super easily save them in animated GIF format…

trick shot

The world scrolls around the edges.. so watch out.

mutually assured destruction

Sometimes great minds think alike. Ours did too!


Still not sure how I survived that one…


You can set it to start with random arrow types. I was hoping for drills, I got lasers..


Drill arrows are pretty handy, see.


More great minds.. this time with exploding corpses turned on.

ha! oh..

Watch out for stalactites…

Anyway it’s super awesome and you should play it because hilarity.


Jun 05 2014


Category: musingpimento @ 10:52 pm

I’ve been overseas a rather a few times lately. One thing that I rather like about hotels is the bathrobes. There’s a reason here.

I tend to hang about in just the towel after I shower. I’m generally an evening showerist, being that I tend to sleep in too much to shower in the mornings. Weather dependant, I can spend the entire period between shower and bed in nowt but the towel. Perks of living alone. It’s very freeing being such, just me and that towel. In winter though it can get a bit nippy. Well, given I’ve no heating or insulation here, rather a lot nippy.

So herein comes the bathrobe. It’s basically a long coat made of towel. Someone was sitting about in late autumn, thinking ‘you know I rather like sitting about in my towel, but I could be cutting glass with these nipples here. What if I had a nice big fluffy warm coat that was all towel, allowing me to just laze about and have the moistness of the shower be absorbed?’ And thus the bathrobe was invented.

Until recently I thought this might be the height of single man decadence.

I’ve since realised though that there is a product available now that takes it one further. This product, this love letter to bachelorhood, this alter to single person consumerism, is the curved screen LCD television. A solution to the no doubt horrifying situation in which a person may have a screen so large that they may not be capable of taking it in all at once. That the might be a movie so rich in detail, that has at all times 1080 indivudual unique Ps, that requires so much attention to detail that some measly flat panel will cast its presense in too wide a beam for one person to fully appreciate. Clearly the ultimate solution is to curve the panel such that there might be a single ultimate viewing node in the living room, preferably with 7.1 speakers surrounding it for optimal aural pleasure, so that one might take in a movie with all the important senses fully and optimally utilised. A singular node of media consumption so optimal, so perfect, so.. REAL.. that the latest superhero flicks might as well be taking place in your kitchen. Plug in your games console and be in the game. Experience personal movies so real that she might as well actually be….

Well, you clearly weren’t going to have friends around, they would spoil the optimisation of the setup.

May 28 2014

culture shock

Category: musing,ranting,wordspimento @ 12:38 am

So, I read this article recently. Have a read, the rest of this post is tangentially related at best.

So anyway this is maybe the first post on here that’s related to what I do for work. I’m a consultant for possibly the leading IT security company out there, in terms of network security. We do endpoint stuff as well that honestly seems pretty good, but I’ve no idea how we stack up to the competition in that regard. Anyway, this isn’t really about our products per se, I just wanted to give some context to it.

So, security as a culture thing. Most of you probably don’t immediately know what I’m talking about here, but it’s something that’s been talked about in the IT security field for years. Hands up who gets frustrated at the seemingly arbitrary rules that are in place around your IT stuff. Mandatory password changes, must have a number, something symbolic and a capital city somewhere in there. We’ll let you browse the ‘net at work, but we’re logging everything you do and you’re not allowed to access your webmail service. I guess you can look at facebook, but none of the games on there will work. Don’t even thing about something like Dropbox. Its frustrating, right? I mean, what’s the harm?

So it turns out there are actual reasons behind all this draconianism. A lot of it comes down to the preventing of data leakage. Sure, it seems that there’s no harm in emailing that spreadsheet home so you can keep working on it, right? I mean, it’s a good thing! You’re being productive! Unfortunately email is about as secure as a post card. Email is a system that lets your stuff pass through about as many places as places as a letter through the post office would be, except that in this case your mail routes to your home via the US, or Iceland. Maybe both. The point is that there’s many people who can read that post card that you just sent with this year’s financial figures on it. Sure, chances are they won’t, but some things aren’t worth the risk. Especially now with things like data breach disclosure regulations coming in – companies will have to disclose to the public when they find out that the personal data they store has been exposed to the outside world (presuming they find out about it.. but that’s another thing.)

So why is this a culture thing? Because most of the time you try and do something convenient, it just fails. Let’s use the Dropbox example. When I first received my work laptop, I had a go at installing dropbox on there, because I wanted to access some personal stuff on there from time to time. I installed it, it said it finished installing, the little box icon appeared in the system tray… then disappeared. Huh.. check the start menu, add/remove programs, nope.. gone. First reaction is, of course, indignation. ‘What?! I’m The Security Professional! I can be trusted not to put anything work related on there! This is madness!’ No pimento, this is Sparta, and the same rules apply to everyone in the company. Sure, I’m fully across the implications of this stuff, but what about everyone else? This is a worldwide company, there’s a bunch of employees who aren’t here because they’re at all interested in security.

So, again, why is this a culture thing? It’s a culture thing because if at first you don’t succeed, try again. You try to load a webpage, it just fails. Internet Explorer cannot load the page. Try again, nope. ‘Stupid IT mooks couldn’t run a damn network if they… oh hang on, I can just tether this laptop to my phone and email this spreadsheet home! Excellent!’ Next day you email it back to yourself, the inbound mail filter picks it up and you have a meeting with HR. A more useful appoach is when you try to go to gmail and a page pops up and states ‘Hey you can’t do this because it’s against corporate policy and you’d have an uncomfortable meeting with HR and hey, you know what, have a night off.’ It’s about changing the way people thing about IT security and privacy.

Privacy? Why privacy? What does that have to do with security, I thought we were just avoiding that HR chat? Turns out that they’re two sides of the same coin. I have a job because IT security is mostly there to help corporations maintain the privacy of their data. (Our corporate slogan is magnificintly backwards, but that’s another thing.) Basically put, anything that’s online is not private. Even more so, a lot of things that you put on line are owned by the companies that gave you that space to put things up there. Facebook? You’re not a customer of facebook, you’re their product. They sell your interests and statistics and details in the form of targetted advertising. Google tracks where you browse and what you email about and what you search for and what you watch on youtube and tried to make a facebook alternative for even more data. Why? Ever more targetted advertising. Ever noticed that if you go browsing for some new glasses, the next few months you’ll have huge amounts of advertsising anywhere you go trying to sell you glasses? Book an hotel in Hong Kong, see all sort of ads for acommodation and things to do in Hong Kong.

This is all OK because.. because.. that’s how it is I guess? I mean, what’re you going to do about it? Sure, there are ways to block the ads on your PC which will have a genuine effect on these things. The first thing that it does is ruin a major source of income for people running little website, be they webcomics, niche news outlets or free sources of recipes. Running a website properly costs time and money, and without advertising they’ll have to rely on t-shirt sales and subscriptions to survive. Many have tried, many have failed. I don’t have a better way for that.

I’m still failing to really address the point here. Part of that is because I’m not sure what my point really is. It’s one of those things that can go a bunch of ways. Capitalism! (it’s more lucrative to own people’s data than to not) (it’s cheaper to write crappy insecure software) (it’s cheaper to run an insecure network). Ignorance! (why the heck can’t I use dropbox this is shit) (why the heck do I have to change my stupid password again, I need another post-it note for my laptop to write it on) (what do you mean the NSA has access to all my emails, they’re on my computer, stupid) (the process says I do it this way, even though that vendor guy says it’s bad). Motivation! (I know this is dodgy, but who cares).

Really I guess it’s summed up by all the USB keys that the train guys in NSW auction off every year. When folk failed to be able to email things home, they chucked in on a USB key that then got left on a train, and bought in a bulk lot by.. someone. In one case it was some researchers who found an awful lot of private corporate data in the seats. It’s really not hard to encrypt a USB key to prevent that data from leaking out, but.. hey, that costs time/money! (Capitalism!) .. what? why would that matter? (Ignorance!) .. eh, fuck it, it’ll be fine. (Motivation!).

Ignorance about things leads into other things that’ve been going down lately. UKIP stuff in the UK. MRAs aligning with the NRA in the US. Political woes in Aus. All sorts of shitty things going on everywhere in the world, far more important than some corporate data on a USB stick, but pretty much all caused by ignorance, and the exploitation/celebration/reinforcement thereof.

Ignorance is a bastardly powerful thing. Manipulated ideas that circulate around ignorant folk lead to dangerously narrow-minded political policies, state promoted racism, and mass murder. I’m not going to get too deep into UKIP because I’m not super informed about it, nor MRAs because they disgust me, but I will urge you to seek all sides of an arguement. Take your opinions and ask yourself why someone might disagree. Argue with yourself. If the only reason you’re right is because that’s just like, your opinion man, then you might need to really consider things a bit more here.

Conversely, next time you confront someone who says something hateful, don’t fire back with hate. 9/10 times they’re utterly ignorant about the situation, and just informing them that they’re a fuckwit and asking them to consider dying under a bus isn’t real helpful. Take it off twitter, go with something long form around the situation and gently inform them. Sure, it’s a lot of effort (Motivation!) but changing the world isn’t easy. If it were, we’d’ve sorted the place out by now. It’s also generally going to lead to a lot of failures individually. We’re all individuals. Even you. But we don’t have act that way. Rocks of ignorance will resist a surge of information, but wave after wave of knowledge, gently flowing over time, will erode it away until it’s gone. Be the change you want, and don’t be cynical. Cycnicism is boring.

To bastardise, everybody would be dancing if we’re doing it right. Everybody would be dancing if we’re feeling all right. But.. we aint.

The ending note of the article I linked to at the top there is basically ‘things are fucked, and it’s up to us to unfuck it’. The writer isn’t wrong there. I think you all know that. The question is.. are you going to get involved?

Tags: , ,

Apr 02 2014


Category: wordspimento @ 4:19 pm

If you ever see a folder or a file somewhere called ‘other’, it’s probably something really interesting. Especially if it’s from an interesting person. It may be something that exists where it shouldn’t be, or something that isn’t meant for you to see, hidden in plain sight, camouflaged amongst things with more immediately descriptive names. Taxes. Photos. Expenses. Work Documents. Crap I Store For No Reason. Music. Movies. Other. What else is there that wouldn’t be allocated to a more descriptive folder already? Oh, it’s nothing, really. Just.. nothing.

It’s something that I don’t want you to know about. It’s a secretive thing that I hold close because you’d ask questions that I don’t want to answer, or don’t want to admit that I don’t have an answer to. It’s a surprise. It’s a half-finished masterpiece that’s not ready for the world. It’s some musings that have yet to be stitched together. It’s not for you.

It’s the singularly most horrifying and revealing thing about me, something that will make you question everything you thought you knew about me, and throw it all into a weird and uncomfortable new context.

Or it’s mostly recipes I want to try some time and sheet music for songs I might want to play one day, but will probably never get around to either.

Nov 04 2013


Category: amusementpimento @ 2:20 pm

I thought I’d share something amusing I just found. My car has a sensor on it for the washer fluid to tell me when it’s emtpy, but for ages now the light’s been on but it’s had plenty in it. In the dim recesses of my mind I recall that the only time the light wasn’t on was when it was actually empty, so I figured maybe it was just wired backwards or something. I found though that it was something altogether more amusing than that, but first.. some how stuff works.

Basically there’s a float on the end of a lever that is raised up by the water level to close against a flap. Pretty basic really, but here’s an explaination anyway.

So why wasn’t it working? It’d rotated so that it was upside down! Gravity would close it when it was emtpy, the water would push it open when it was full. A quick twist, and no more warning LED. Bonza. All I need to do now is find out why the fuel level is so pessimistic.. somehow I don’t think it’ll be quick so easy…

Oct 22 2013

ok, shut your face

Category: musingpimento @ 2:48 pm

So I went to Israel last week for some work training. Our head office is in Tel Aviv, see. Good hummous. It took about 36 hours to get there (SYD > BKK: 10 hours; 8 hour layover; BKK > AMM: 9 hours; 5 hour layover; 1.5 hour delay; AMM > TLV: 0.5 hour plus jerking about in airports before/after) which is a long arse time, then when I got off the plane I was randomly selected for immediate rapid fire grilling from a security guy (why are you here, where did you come from, why is your passport empty, where are you staying, how are you getting about etc). Immigration and customs were super quick and easy though, then it was out the front to confuse the cabbie (there is no street there!) before landing at the hotel. Nice hotel, walking distance to the office and close enough to the beach that once I found my co-worker we could saunter down to the beach for beers, sunset and deep fried goodness. A good way to drop into things.

The local brew is called Goldstar by the way, and it’s not bad at all. Many were consumed over the course of the week. We also on one night found a craft beer stall that had some great red ale. That was extensively sample for quality assurance purposes. This stall was in the old port of Jaffa (4000+ years old that is) that we’d had a tour about in earlier that night. Nice place, populated by artists and an orange tree that’s suspended in a clay blob. As you do.

Getting about Tel Aviv was pretty easy, we mostly walked places as we had a nice central location. There’s a lot of scooters there, we kept walking past a scooter parking strip that seemed to also be a place to strip mine scooters for parts. There were a few there that had been seriously lightened. The hotel we were at is in the Azraeli towers, which is across the road from the main IDF base. This means that the were a lot of young adults wandering about in uniform – everyone in Israel has to do national service, including the ladies. This has the upside of ensuring that the people are very fit – there were ladies there seriously rocking the baggy uniform look. Some were accessorising with an M16.

So one thing that everyone told me about Israel is that leaving is harder than entering, as the security process at the airport are rigid and extensive. It was made easier for me because I had a mokdan – basically work registered me as one of the good guys, so I had less scrutineering through the security checks. My colleague didn’t have this, so he was not so lucky. Basically once we had some light interrogation our check-in bags were scanned, then his was opened and physically searched to make sure he had all his socks with him. We then could check in and move on to the usual screening (x-ray the carry on, metal detector, like that) where he had another long chat with the security personel and showed off all the stuff he had with him. They were very curious. No-one won a free prostate exam this time around, but maybe next time we visit our luck will change.

So anyway, that was that. It was a fun trip, the training was good, and it was nice to meet people I’ve been emailing over the past year and a half. Also hummus. Not enough garlic in it, but otherwise tasty.

Oct 22 2013

highly factual chicken pie

Category: awesomenesspimento @ 2:06 pm

This is a recipe for a big, dense chicken pie.

1. Dice into chunks 3 chicken breasts (skinless) – about 1kg.
2. Marinade for a few hours in a mixture of olive oil, white wine, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic and french mustard.
3. Roll chunks in flour and brown in a large saucepan with some olive oil.
4. Remove, set aside.
5. Chop/dice:
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 0.5 zucchini
- 7-8 button mushrooms
- 1 spring onion
- bit pf pumpkin
- 3 rashers of bacon
- 1 can of corn kernels
(You probably don’t have to chop that last one.)
6. Place in frypan and soften bacon and onion. Add the rest of the vegies and lightly fry
7. Add in ~350mL chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
8. Add chicken chunks and simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce until consistency is right – not sloppy but not dry. (Can add more chicken stock/marinade if required)
9. Grease a honking great pie tin with butter
10. Lince base, then sides (press to join sides to base) with shortcrust pastry.
11. Pour chicken and vege mix in.
12. Place sheet of pasty over top and press down at sides to seal. Trim hanging bits.
13. Prick top with numourous holes, then brush with milk
14. Cook pie in pre-heated oven (180C) until pastry is golden brown. Turn off oven and leave pie in.
15. After an undisclosed period of time, remove pie and do with it what you will. We don’t judge around here.

If you’re cooking this early you can reheat in the oven at 150C. If the pie tin has removable sides, remove them for reheating to crisp up the sides.

Last I had it this was a pretty delectable pie. The contents can be adjusted for taste/what’s in the fridge, so go nuts. Also, invite me ’round when you make it.

Aug 12 2013

ze table to end all tables

Category: awesomenesspimento @ 6:55 pm

Hi gang! I made a table! It has buttons!

It’s basically a table with a PC inside and some custom controller work.

It’s my old desktop PC running Windows 8 with MAME and Steam installed for game delivery services and a pair of 19″ screens in there. They’re currently outputting as mirrored so that single screen PC games will display on both. It’s possible to have MAME use them as two separate screens which is all well and great (for VS games for example), but it’d break PC based games like Streets of Rage Remake.

The monitor stands are actually designed to hang a screen from under a cabinet or similar like that, but they are just tall enough to use them in this fashion. It’s a Bratek dealie. They also make height adjustable ones that would likely work for bigger screens.

The button layout is based on a standard Sega Japanese arcade cab button layout, but I had to play with the spacing as the buttons I bought are a little bigger than those templated with. Also I went with 6 buttons because.. reasons. It seemed like the things to do at the time. You’ll also see that I didn’t leave enough room to add more buttons in the future. Planning ahead is boring, I live in the now! You can find all sorts of button layout templates here. Shout out to JJ for the advice on all that.

The buttons are all wired back to the keyboard encoder you can see in the earlier picture of the guts. Marvel at my super pro wiring job. The encoder is a KeyWiz ST 40 – it’s basically a PS/2 keyboard, but the keys are wired back to the sticks and buttons. It’s super effective! I also have a little wireless keyboard/trackball combo for doing the windows things.

So that’s it! In a nutshell it’s a box on legs with a wooden frame lid with glass inserts, with the controllers hanging off the side. The box and controllers are made from 12mm ply, the rest is various widths of 19mm pine. Nothing fancy. If I did it again I might plan the inside better – it’s a little tight to fit it all in. I pretty much sized it around the angle of the screens (and got it wrong because they were initially too shallow) and decided that everything else would probably be fine. It was.. just! Anyway, it’s awesome so come visit and we’ll play some Street Fighter.

May 27 2013


Category: awesomeness,musingpimento @ 8:00 pm

I made sausage rolls. This is the recipe.

In a large mixing bowl: 1kg sausage mince and 1kg normal beef mince with 1 carrot, 1 onion, 7 button mushrooms and 7 cloves of garlic, all finely diced. Add a dash of soy sauce (or fish sauce or bbq sauce..) 1 egg and.. whatever else to taste. Food processor kicks bottom with this.

Mix with hands until homogenous.

Take a handful of mixture and roll in flour until an even roll – the length of a pastry sheet. Repeat ad nauseum.. should be about 12-14 of them.

Thaw 6 or 7 sheets of puff pastry. (presuming a sheet is about 25-30cm square)

Place a roll o’ filling on one end of a thawed pastry sheet. Roll over until sealed, it should be half a sheet. Slice through and do the same with the other half of the sheet.

Cut into two or three rolls, depending on whim. 4 if you want party size nibbley ones. Score the top a few times across them, about 7mm apart. Tamp the ends down gently.
Repeat until all mix is wrapped.

Place all onto a baking tray greased with butter, making sure they’re separated.. they’ll expand. Recommend you line the tray with alfoil. Brush them all with some beaten egg.

Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180 C, then reduce to 100 when pastry is golden brown. Leave in oven to cool. Recommend you put a drip tray in place…

Admire and consume tasty handywork. Freeze the ones you don’t eat to be consumed later.. will be nicely warmed in the oven when you want them.. (microwave for 2 mins on medium then oven until the middle is warm)

Click here.

Also I made a pasta bake.

So it turns out that these Vine things are kinda great if you do em right. Who’da thunk it?!

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