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Great weekend 
1st-Feb-2009 09:41 pm
People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007
On Friday I met plumtreeblossom after work (see her weekend write-up here) and we took the train to Quincy Center together. We had dinner at Outback Steakhouse. I don’t like their corporate politics, but I love their food and sometimes I just need a hunk of cow. As it turned out, I’m very glad we did, because I ordered an Australian beer I wasn’t familiar with — Cooper’s Brewery Sparkling Ale — and it was so good I ordered a second, and then went looking for it at the liquor store later in the week. (If you are wise enough to follow my example, be cautioned that it’s fermented in the bottle, so there’s some sediment in the bottom; you want to pour it into a glass.)

After a yummy dinner, we went to my house and watched Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, which was very funny, and a little bit of the original 1930s exploitation/propaganda movie, which was a bonus on the DVD.

That night I had a political dream, which I might get around to posting about later.

In the morning we got a lazy start, and ended up getting to the nearby hole-in-the-wall diner too late, so we went to IHOP for brunch before going shopping. (When we have a date where I’m going to be driving her home, we sometimes go grocery shopping so she can bring her groceries home in the car rather than schlepping them on the T.)

When we got to her place, she made a yummy Comfort Cafeteria meal of tater tots and sloppy joes while I set up a wireless router for her (so now she can bring home her work laptop, and I can surf the net on my laptop while she surfs the net on her desktop). Works fine for my Ubuntu laptop, but we weren’t able to get vanguardcdk’s Windows XP laptop to authenticate properly — it saw the router, but didn’t get to the point of asking for a WEP key.

Anyway, when dinner was ready, vanguardcdk joined us to watch I Am Legend, which I really enjoyed. Then we had our nightcap out in the kitchen, browsing Wikipedia with my laptop on the kitchen table, which was an improvement over our usual practice of having our nightcap out in the kitchen, browsing Wikipedia on our cell phones.

We both slept really well, and in the morning we had oatmeal and cinnamon toast (like sloppy joes, another nostalgic childhood food for both of us) before I went home.

When I got home, darxus and cathijosephine and I played a game of Munchkin and several games of Fluxx, and cathijosephine made a yummy (and healthy! Probably the healthiest thing I ate all weekend!) rice-and-beans dish of her own invention for dinner.

At some point in the weekend, plumtreeblossom took a whole bunch of pictures of grim warrior beowabbit, including the one that I eventually munged into my new userpic, and I also took some pictures of her cats, who were sleeping together on her bed looking especially cute.

The one bad thing about the weekend is that towards the end of the workweek I’d been having little twinges in my hip, and they got considerably worse over the weekend. I’m going to need to drive to the T tomorrow (where parking is $7); there’s no way I can do the normally 15-minutes walk to the T station with the ice that’s on the sidewalks. I’m not sure if this is a return of my sciatica or if I did something to my hip slipping on the ice. But if a hurt hip is the price for all the joy and fun I had this weekend, it was worth it.
2nd-Feb-2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Yay new wabbity userpic! I love what you did with the background. I'll have to have you show me how you did it sometime. *kisses and love*
3rd-Feb-2009 01:27 am (UTC)
The background was actually way more work than anything else. I wanted the colours along the edge to be similar to the original colour of the background at that point, so that the border between the foreground and the background would look natural. So I made a layer that was just the background, with the foreground clipped out of it, and then I made a layer that was just foreground, with the background clipped out and made transparent.

Then I worked on just the background layer, and filled in the space where my head and ears had been with similar colours to the adjacent background. I also took the opportunity to dab some darker colours into the bright spot on the right so it would be more irregular and less bright.

Then I blurred the background layer quite a lot.

So basically, the background is the real background you took that picture against, blurred and tweaked a bit. Happy to show you in more detail the next time you're over here.

(I also trimmed my right ear, which looked a bit big in the original picture., and toned down one of the highlights on the helmet.)

Nudge me and I might get around to posting the original, and the full-size modified version.
2nd-Feb-2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Outback Steakhouse corporate politics?
3rd-Feb-2009 01:37 am (UTC)
They give a lot of money to Republicans (well, as a corporation, they can’t give directly to Republican candidates, but they can give to the party itself and to stuff like that, and their senior executives give a lot to Republican campaigns), and almost none to Democrats. Lots of companies give to everybody, or give to whichever party seems to have the power; Outback Steakhouse’s political contributions are much more focussed than that.

At least, that was the case about four years ago when I looked into this. Might have changed by now. (Google, google.) Looks like Outback itself gave $250,000.00 to the RNC in 2002 and hasn’t made any political contributions since. I also found that their PAC gave about $500,000 in 1996. (Didn’t see a breakdown of to whom, but the late 1990s where when I first heard about them being a big Republican donor.)
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