Friday, April 24, 2009

A Glove for Your Feet

Erin Keane disapproves, but this is a fantastic idea.

I definitely want some Vibram Five Fingers.

I was discussing this with someone last night, and a stranger, overhearing, piped up to amazedly note that they were selling them at the Mall in St. Matthews.

Felix Salmon boils a hog's head

Bicycle is the only proper way to transport a flayed pig's noggin, I'd reckon, on a bridge over the East River.

Pig's head ( dug a fork into Sally and started ripping through her head, collecting as much meaty-meat as possible. There was a lot of fat, about half the mass was fatty. We saved some of that and threw it back in. The eyeballs, teeth, and some of the snout stayed put. Anything else got tossed into the beans with reserved liquor, radishes, carrots, ramps and watercress for a light "wilting".

...Without a doubt (and there were some doubts in the beginning) it was probably in the top 3 best dishes we've ever made.

I must try this, but first I have to convince someone to let me toss a couple of trotters in the slow cooker.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Lapine Phrasepost

Lapine is a constructed language used by Richard Adams in his 1972 novel Watership Down. It's a lovely conlang, with a music laden with many fricative and liquid consonants, but few plosives. Although the book only lists a few dozen words, fans, furries, and scholars have extended the language into several forms: Frithaes! An Introduction to Colloquial Lapine, and Patrick Jemmer's Lapine.

Here are some Lapine words. North American rabbits build nests like hares, rather than warrens like European rabbits.

naylte - rabbit
nayilf - hare
rooli - kitten
zyzay - sleepy
i - you
a - I
nahl - no

Here are some example phrases in Lapine. The "Four Essential Travel Phrases" or "I Can Eat Glass..." translations may be difficult, as rabbit warrens rarely have either facilities for tippling, or broken windows.

Layi zyzay? (Are you sleepy?)
Layi u naylte zyzay? (Are you the sleepy rabbit?)
Nahl, laya nahl naylte. (No, I am no rabbit.)
Layi elil? (Are you an enemy?)
Nahl, Laya nahl elil. (No, I am no enemy.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dave Arneson has died

D&D co-creater Dave Arneson has died.

I saw him a few times at GenCon, and heard him lecture there the first year I went. I hope they have a moment of silence for Arneson this year.

I realize that my post on gold pieces and US dollars didn't include the prices of goods at 2001 gold prices, which were more typical of recent decades. If you use the 2001 gold prices, a longsword would cost $1,166; a +1 longsword about $100,000; a backpack $155; a vial of ink $622; a day of trail rations $6.40; a light riding horse $5,800; and a skilled 1st-level commoner would earn $8k a year. Raising the dead would cost a half-million dollars, and a cure light wounds potion would be worth almost four thousand dollars.

By way of contrast, a MRE costs about five to seven dollars retail. According to some recent Googling, prices for a Beretta 92FS run about $550; a semiautomatic civilian Colt AR-15 about $1,200; and an automatic, legally transferrable M-16 about $15-25k. However, even a fully-automatic firearm has no chance of hitting the incorporeal undead without a wizard on hand to cast magic weapon.

Shippingport Island to open spring 2009...?

McAlpine Locks Work Nearly Done (BrokenSidewalk): As part of the project, the original sandstone lock dating from 1931 was removed to make way for the larger, modern lock. The Corps of Engineers has saved many of the stone blocks that made up the lock walls and resurrected them as a monument in the future visitor’s center park along with several artifacts related to river commerce. The McAlpine Locks are one of the only such systems to be located in an urban area and the project architects and engineers paid special attention to pedestrian and aesthetic concerns. A new bridge providing access to Shippingport Island features “aesthetic screening”, giving the appearance of a suspension bridge and a new pedestrian overlook will allow future visitors to peer over the lock walls as barges pass through. The new lock is functional but still in testing phases as the finishing touches are applied to the overall complex.

While the entire area around the McAlpine Locks is subject to strict security clearance, when the project is done early next year, visitors will be able to walk, bike, or drive across the new bridge to Shippingport Island for fishing or boat launching. The views up- and down-river from the bridge are quite beautiful, and the entire visitor’s center will be tied into the RiverWalk bike and walking trails.

New McAlpine Locks chamber completed (C-J)

The visitor center is supposed to open in May, and presumably the bridge to Shippingport Island will be open then.

The bridge and facilities are right alongside the Riverwalk path, and it's always been really tempting to think about going over there. It'll be really cool when it is open to the public...

My looeyville points us to the guided tours of the Louisville Mega Cavern under the Zoo, apparently the largest civil defense shelter of the Cuban Missile Crisis period.