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Homemade Jerky

I don't often post on LJ these days; don't particularly feel the need to angst anymore, and really, people pretty much know what I'm up to. Still, I thought I'd share a major victory ElectricSheep and I have had today: HOMEMADE BEEF JERKY.

It's an amazing thing. The bags you can get in supermarkets are stuffed full of preservatives, and hideously expensive. We bought a KILOGRAM of beef for the same price as two or three bags, and made a whole load of jerky, in a variety of flavours.

Simple recipe (though there's plenty of info online) goes something like this:

1. Get as lean a cut as possible.
2. Cut the rest of the fat off as you slice into strips.
3. Marinade overnight.
4. Cook at around 70°C for about 8 hours, making sure to let initial moisture out of the oven, and flipping/turning etc.

We made a couple of different batches, from Hickory BBQ to Cajun Chili, and they are all pretty damn nice. The marinades we used all had some staple things in, like soy sauce, garlic or onion salt, pepper, worchester sauce, but I get the feeling you could experiment endlessly on that regard.

Some things I learnt:
- I think we cooked these a little too long; the thinner strips are a bit crunchy.
- Not at strong as they could have been, flavourwise; thicker marinades or longer marinades next time!
- About the right amount; 1kg fitted one oven (with four griddle shelves) pretty evenly; more would have been awkward.
- Don't worry about getting them too thin; the thicker ones are still tasty as heck!
- More black pepper; it doesn't marinade in well unoless you add a lot more than we did.
- Do this again! It's amazing.

I'm tempted to try a stronger garlic, with fresh garlic paste next time, and a wine-based one, and another strong bbq one, and... so many ideas! Beef Jerky homemade; cheaper than shops, pretty damn easy, and fun, and just as (or even more) delicious.

Fell Rune - Player's Guide

Is now available! This includes all of the up-to-date class trees and spell lists, as well as the full rules, which I've hopefully made a lot clearer.

Fell Rune

This is just the system document, there will hopefully be some background and world-details published later in a separate document. Please feel free to ask questions about stuff contained here in comments, I'll do my best to answer them, but be aware some of the high-level abilities are written deliberately concisely, and will be expanded with specific calls and suchlike if and when anyone obtains them.

Thanks for continuing to support and enjoy Fell Rune!


Late night musings.

Hello all, I haven't spoken in a while. How're you all doing?

It's the night of the day after Boxing Day, and I've decided to have another ramble at lj, mostly about nothing at all. How've all your festive periods been? I still haven't seen my paternal grandad this year, am somewhat looking forward to it. He's pretty lonely at the moment, I think, so it'll be good to see him again. I saw the whole of my maternal family (all four of them) yesterday, and it was passable, grandparents are moving further and further from reality, but I suppose that's only to be expected. Christmas day itself was fairly good, relaxed, as has been much of this holiday so far. Not too much of the friction that I often have with my parents while at home, and fingers crossed it'll stay that way until I return to Lancaster on thursday.

Not got too much work done, but I suppose that's to be expected. Installed a fair amount of new games on my laptop, mostly due to a handy present of an external CD drive. Back into the swing of Blood Bowl, had a crack at NfS: Carbon (though riddled with compatiblity errors), and started a ten-day trial of everyone's-favourite-mmorpg, WoW. Only had a couple of sessions on it so far, barely got out of the Night Elf starting area on one of the New Players servers. It hasn't grabbed me as much as I thought it would. Even on SUPER MAX graphics, it isn't what I'd call 'pretty', and the quests seem boring and formulaic. The player interaction seems nonexistant (although maybe this is just a product of the specific server - will try an RP server with next char, if I have time), and the amount of character customisation minimal (still only lvl... 7? 8? though). I guess I just expected more, that's all. Anyone got any suggestions of some more 'interesting' classes to play than Warrior, which seems a little button-mashingly dull so far?

Back onto everyone's favourite part of christmas; gifts; I also received a trackball for my laptop, something i'd been pondering for a while, so I've been grinding that skill quite a lot, getting a lot better already. I've solely been using a trackpad on laptops for about five years now, so i'm pretty much as good as you can get with them, but there are some things you need a mouse for. I don't particularly like conventional laser mice with laptops (rarely enough room to get good precision unless you have a VERY high resolution mouse), so a trackball is an interesting solution. I went for a thumb-powered ball in the end, a Logitech M570, which I like for its retention of a classical two-button-plus-scrollwheel profile, just with the addition of a trackball on the redundant thumb. It's also very ergonomic; I hate the current fashion of tiny mice, particularly among the more expensive wireless echelons, I find them very uncomfortable in my giant hands. Almost all trackballs however, are built to fill the hand, and this is no exception, lovely and chunky. As a side benefit, that also means it takes simple AA batteries, and will thus last (according to included literature), until the END OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT.

That aside, I've also managed to recieve both Invaders Must Die and In Silico making for a very cyber-happy postfestive season, I'm now well amped up for the January darkside. My sister also bought me a simply awesome hat (for those of you that know me well, I do like my hats) which I'm sure you'll be seeing around soon, it's hardly unnoticable. The list so far is neatly rounded out by a much-anticipated and highly exciting copy of the 4th ed. L5R corebook, which is so very shiny and pretty. I've also bought myself (on the cheap) the Saga Edition Star Wars supplements entitled Galaxy of Intrigue (which functions somewhat as the Noble handbook), and the Unknown Regions (similarly for Scouts), which bring my collection up to twelve, missing only the Legacy Era campaign guide (mostly for those rare YV fanboys), which I'll pick up at some point (along with a second copy of the corebook) for completionist's sake, but I'm not really that fussed. There's some nice stuff in there, the Imperial Knight PrC, a great talent tree for Gunslingers wanting to use rifles, and one useful feat for unarmed fighters, but aside from those (which I can get from pdf), it's not really an era I ever really expect to play (or run) in.

Hmm, okay, what else to talk about? I'm doing fairly well at uni, missed a couple of deadlines but nothing drastic, getting marks varying from awesome to passable, looking forward to the rest of the course. Computer Science is definitely a better (read: easier) course for me than Physics was, I'm finding it a lot more in line with my actual interests and knowledge, which was getting to be a problem with Physics; I was just hitting the wall where I could no longer focus enough to follow the mathematics necessarily underpinning the theory we were learning. In CompSci, I have a much better understanding of the theory to begin with (better than some of my coursemates, I fear), and so picking up the specifics is proving interesting and fun. It helps that there are, maybe, six or seven friends on this course as opposed to one or two kind-of-friends before.

Well, that's academia covered, what else? Personal stuff, that's what. Looking back a year, I'm in a lot better state than I was then, even without the very specific circumstance that lead to a certain period of downright depression shortly afterward. I've got a solid bunch of good friends that I know will stick by me no matter what happens. I've been attempting to get out of the relentless cycle of lurpsitude this past term, and have, to a greater or lesser extent, achieved what I intended; getting out there and making more opportunities for myself, romantically speaking. RocSoc, although in specific cases hasn't been tremendously useful, has been a nice way of getting to know new people, and I've had some very good times (:P I'll say) at some of their events, very... confidence-building, which is one thing I think I've had problems with. And still do, in a way, although I do have plans. Plans aside, I still miss a certain someone, quite strongly at times, even though I haven't seen her in person for a fair while now. Without diving headfirst into self-inflicted angst city, we had some very good times together, and it was really my only REAL experience of such... intimacy of soul, to date. I hate phrasing it like that, but there's something more between two people who've been going out a while, more than just the physical and emotional intimacy i've since experienced on numerous (for the former) or a couple of occasions (for the latter, and which I am heartily grateful for). Out of the three, I'd say that emotional intimacy is probably the most important, but I do long for the closeness of a long-term relationship.

Anyway, I don't want to labour the point too much for fear of sounding a little too much like a whining bastard. I'm happy to have got over the barrier that lack of opportunity presents, for it seems there are a couple of opportunities I'd like to follow up at the moment. The next barrier seems to be a little bit of actual self-confidence to say the words, make the moves, that interestingly I once found easier than I do now?

Right, it's getting pretty late, so I'll move on. What else have I done this holiday period? Watched films, read books, comes to mind. I managed to pack in both Richard Curtis classics, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Notting Hill, over the last two days, as well numerous Poirot mysteries by the powerful combination of Agatha Christie and David Suchet, which have been (as expected) excellent. Unfortunately I haven't had time (as yet) to break into the loft and retrieve my Mother's collection of Christie for rereading, which she assures me is actually fully complete. I have perused them before, but not in many years, and thus my memory is not so excellent as to be able to confirm that. However, in the case of mystery stories, a weak recollection is actually a solid advantage in rereading! In lieu of those i've been reading my favourite discworld novels, The Truth, Thief of Time, and Going Postal, going to break into Mort and maybe Moving Pictures if I get the time. After that I guess it's random picks. I do have a hankering to reread the Stravaganza teenage novels, maybe I'll see if I can extract them from my heaving creaking bookshelves to have a delve into pseudo-historical Italy.

Anyway, I'm getting to the point where I'm rambling now, so I'll avoid talking about the latest complex strategy game I've gotten into (Anno 1404, totally reminded of it by thinking about Stravaganza), how gorgeous its graphics are, how deep the production management strategy is, how frustratingly slow it can be, to wish you all a good night, and for those of you I won't see at a certain New Year's Eve cocktail party, a very positive New Year's.


ViP Players!

It seems the news has made it around quite effectively, so this is a reminder that tonight’s ViP session will be running off campus.

We will be meeting for pre-court at the Sir Richard Owen Wetherspoons at 6.00.

In Character details - you have been cordially invited to attend the Court at Manchester.

For those planning on monstering - please dress smartly! It will be entirely indoors, aside from the walk from Spoons to the venue, so no need to worry about the cold weather.



Hey guys.

Can anyone in Lancs lend me any of the following films?
  • Total Recall
  • Imposter
  • Paycheck
  • Next
Thanks. Also bonus cookie if you get the connection (without looking it up!)


Film Review: Requiem for a Dream


Normal Post is Normal

Vagaries of life aside, I recently downloaded and watched the 3-part television miniseries The Lost Room. Below, I present to you, a review of this. Slight spoilers, but nothing that will ruin anything beyond the first ten minutes or so.

The Lost RoomCollapse )

RIght, next things next, I spotted darkluke putting up an interesting meme... Have a look at his post for the rules, but in essence, it's the How Does Your RP Character Fit Into TVTropes!

Rak Khan [Far Shores]
Archetype: The Drifter
Defining Tropes: Being Personal Isn't Professional
A Chat With Satan
The Exile
Former Teen Rebel
Not A Morning Person
Reluctant Warrior
Smarter Than You Look
Twenty-Four Hour Armour
Death: Dying Alone

Curse you TVTropes!
Firstly, here's the meme;

My Life According to...Collapse )

Anyway, with that foolishness over, I have a couple of things I should let people know;

1. I am scheduled for a meeting with the Standing Academic Committee on the 23rd, where they will decide whether to throw me out of uni for good, or let me withdraw and transfer to Computer Science, following an enthusiatic interview on their part confirming that I could indeed start straight away in Part II CS next year.

2. I'm going away for a bit under a week. Leaving on weds morning, coming back sunday for wargaming (though i'll be quie late, 4ish). It's my sister's 18th on friday, and what with not doing any uni work at the moment, and other things to boot, I decided a bit of time at home will be actually very useful. So yeah. Have a good time while i'm gone? You probably won't notice my absense :P

That's it really, first post in a while. In the last couple of weeks I've nearly posted on numerous occasions, but with the state of mind I was it, it would have only been brain-drippings of the probably-not-so-sensitive kind. This is much better, this way I'm feeling.

New Year's Resolution

This isn't going to be a long post, because the thoughts in my head right now defy literary expression. I'm not going to talk in-depth about how I'm feeling right now, you can come and talk to me if you want to know. It should be fairly obvious to most that I'm in a horrendous down patch right now, and this time, rather than being caused by 'meh, life in general' like I've felt before, this is caused by a very specific situation.

So yes, back on topic; My New Year's Resolution sounds a little fluffy and hardly concrete in its terms, but it's something I truly want to do, not just on a petty day-to-day level, but in a meaningful change to the way I act.

I've been feeling and thinking very bad thoughts recently, and some of them have been because i've been on the recieving end of some very thoughtless and insensitive actions and behaviour, to put it mildly. While I was sitting in bed tonight thinking bad thoughts of violence and self-despair, I came to a point where I realised that the best thing to do from here on is to make sure that I'm never causing this kind of trouble in others. My resolution for this year, is to think carefully about my behaviour, be a more thoughtful person, do more for others and make sure I don't do to them what was done to me, or anything similar at all. Although I'm far from religious, the Christian message of Do unto Others is still valid, the best way of starting is with yourself.

So from now on, I'm going to try to be a more thoughtful and considerate person, to think how my actions might affect others rather than just doing what seems easiest. If I don't know how to deal with a situation I won't just ignore it, I'll take positive action towards making sure no-one is hurt.

Because I don't want anyone to feel the way I do right now.

*EDIT* This isn't meant to be a bite, or a rant, at anyone, I just felt like I needed to speak objectively about the way I feel and the origin of this resolution. Maybe I should have just stated it and been done. Or just said nothing at all.

Birthday Update

Today is my 20th birthday.

So I thought I'd make a post. But it ain't gonna be a happy one; apparently birthdays don't cure these kinds of feelings.

I nearly cried tonight at darkside when these Code 64 lyrics played:

I am drifting away
This is my goodbye
No need for me to stay
This is my way out

I'm truly sorry if I am
Loosing my grip
If I'm fading away
Watching the stars as I set sail
I know that I will miss you
But it's time for me to leave
The arcadia is calling my name

Because they ring so true with my current feelings, emotions.

I don't often quote lyrics in LJ posts, mostly because a lot of my favourite music doesn't have any, but I feel that these are appropriate. Especially since this song was playing at the clock ticked over to midnight. Happy Birthday Justin.

I've taken to talking to myself a whole lot (and indeed is this not what LJ facilitates?), if only to stop myself from crying. But it works, and I find myself slowly feeling better.
I think I've been deluding myself. What I thought was the problem with my life is now I think only a scapegoat, and I'd much appreciate some advice from anyone else that's been in a similar situation. Maybe the problem is that I'm thinking only of problems, pessimistic bastard that I am.

Even hugs help, if only for a little while.


Angry, Ref, LARP, Fell Rune
Justin Dee

Current Roleplaying Characters

Rak Khan
System: Far Shores
Build: Orc Thug
Diplomatic Attaché

Leon 'Cerberus' Miller
System: Vampires in Public
Clan: Cerrdor
Hacker and Clan Head

Guhco Alzahabi
System: D&D 3.5
Setting: Sand & Shadows
Orc Greatclub Rogue

Jennifer Evermayne
System: SIFRP (D6)
Role: Merchantess
Minor Noble

Mikhail Uranov
System: M&M 2
Superpowers: Ghost
GIA Technician

System: In Nomine
Band: Shedim
Servitor of Beleth