Author: phattlmann

Let’s Make Some Stock & Broth

One of the easiest and most versatile things you can do for yourself in the kitchen is to make your own stock & broth. Up until recently, you could typically buy stock at your local supermarket for about $1.00 / 900ml carton. Nowadays that same carton is selling for $3.00 for the cheap stuff, or upwards of $10.00 for the “premium” or “organic” varieties. It’s all a rip off, you can do better at home for pennies, and I’m going to teach you how.

By making your own stocks and broth is something even the most amateur cook can do, and it’s a great place to get started. All you’ll really need is a big soup pot, some scraps from vegetables (and, ideally some meat scraps too), some vessel to store it in, and a little bit of time. I suggest a lazy weekend day, but that’s up to you. Let’s get started.

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I’ve Gone Virtual

I doubt that few reading this will have much of a clue what I’m about to talk about, and fewer more may care, but it’s a lot of fun for me. It’s a story about learning, tinkering, and forever evolving. It really all started about 25 years ago when I built a couple web pages back in the early days of the Internet, and has culminated in me more or less having a small farm of servers running in my 676sqft condo. Along the way I’ve learned a LOT of things, and the beauty (or, brutality) of it all is that I have done it all on my own. Self taught. I’ve fallen more than a few times, but with failure comes an opportunity to learn.

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I Just Spent $160 On A Toothbrush

Pretty excessive, right? I thought so at first, but now I think it’s worth every penny. To be fair, this didn’t happen overnight – it was (in my mind at least) a logical progression where I continually justified spending money I probably shouldn’t have on something I really didn’t need. I’ll also note that I may have been a little drunk at the time. I suppose of all the drunk purchases you can make, this is one of the more responsible ones as opposed to realizing you just ordered $100 worth of googly eyes to stick on inanimate objects. Anyways, here’s why after 3 weeks it’s been life changing and my argument on why you should consider it for yourself, too.

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I Almost Got Stabbed Tonight. Maybe?

It was a completely innocent walk to the post office, most specifically the Shoppers Drug Mart at Queen & Beverly – my local one. I dropped off my mail, took a jaunt over to the LCBO to replenish some stock, noticed they were closed, and turned to head home. As I passed back in front of the post office, there stood a man who appeared to be high, likely on meth as evidenced by his shaking, muttering, and erratic posture. As I got within about a step of him I realized he was brandishing a sharp metal spike in right hand, something I could only see at the last second. Motherfucker has an ice pick.

I immediately open my body to skirt around him outside of arms reach and backed away as quickly as possible. He didn’t explicitly lunge or swing at me, but his erratic body posture put me on alert, and as he took a step towards me, I immediately reacted. I got within a safe distance and then I was faced with a pretty considerable moral and ethical dilemma. What do I do now?

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Tipping Culture Needs To Die

I’ve held this opinion for a long time, but whenever I brought it up I’d be completely dogpiled with hate. Understandable, seeing as a lot of people only are able to scrape by through the tips they collect. By saying it needs to go away, they feel threatened that their primary source of income would dry up, and this is more or less me saying “you don’t deserve to make this money”. I’d be upset if someone was to suggest I get paid less too – but that’s not at all what I’m saying.

We have been conditioned to think this way in North America and it’s one big massive fucking grift by our corporate overlords so they can reap massive benefits we’ll never see as the working class. So, let’s talk about it, and why this needs to stop (but, likely never will).

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You’re Probably Doing Backups Wrong.

If you care even a little bit about your digital life, you should probably read this and think about it. What do you have on your computer, your phone, or in “the cloud”? What’s on social media? What’s on some CD you burned 20 years ago? Is it pictures of your wedding, or your child’s first steps? Maybe it’s a copy of your thesis that’s taken you 2 years to write. Or, maybe it’s a picture of your wang, at a moment when the sun was JUST right, and somehow this is the most triumphant and proud you’ve felt in the past decade. Three cheers for toxic masculinity.

What would happen if all of that was permanently deleted, right this moment? No warning, nothing. Gone. Would you be sad? Would it change your life? Would it make life harder? Would your business be in jeopardy? Are your passwords backed up? What about your browser bookmarks that you’ve spent 10 years curating? Poof. I’m going to tell you how to prevent this.

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