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2009-03-11 00:46:21
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Valentine
Valentine
Page 217.

There's not much to say, I'm busying myself with another game-in-a-month challenge, so there's still a chance for disruptions to the schedule throughout March.

Although I did make some arancini di riso, which turned out pretty well! For anyone adventurous in the audience, it goes a bit like this: make about 450ml of short-grain rice (makes eight) as if you were making a risotto; allow this to cool. Make some ragu, or cook some ham and get some cheese or something like that for the inside; allow this to cool as well. Mix two beaten eggs into the rice, beat two more eggs and pour them into a plate; scoop up some of the rice/egg mix and make a hollow in it, put the ragu/ham-and-cheese/whatever in there, put some more rice over the top to make a ball; coat the ball in flour, roll the floured ball in the beaten egg 'til coated, then roll that in breadcrumbs until coated again, then fry it 'til it's golden brown.

It turns out they're pretty great microwaved for two and a half minutes for lunch at work, and very filling!

 

2009-03-03 02:06:19
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Page 216!

Not much to say today, but hey! I got a page finished actually on time! Before the day it was supposed to be up! Yay me! Exclamation Marks!


Also: the Mui-Mui who runs the Mui-Mui crane in LocoRoco deserves a good kicking; he's a little grinning saboteur.

 

2009-02-25 01:29:19
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Page 215.

Black and white again, because I didn't have time to finish it. I place the blame wholly at the doorstep of Capcom. On a totally unrelated note, Street Fighter IV is a pretty good game.

I got nearly all of the colouring done, as can be seen here, but not enough to put the final page up. Tomorrow! Observant readers will note that I put the previous week's coloured page up earlier than today!

 

2009-02-19 01:21:49
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Page 214.

It's only in line-art form right now - I went off to spend a long weekend in Italy with my girlfriend and between the flights and the getting up at obscene-o'clock in the morning and all that, I've been exhausted the last couple of nights.

Hopefully I'll get it coloured tomorrow, in between attempting to cook dinner and maybe uploading photos of ancient Roman ruins that looked like they dropped out of Ico.

 

2009-02-10 02:24:53
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Page 213.

"Page 213" is synonymous with "Action"!

Unfortunately, it's also synonymous with "being up late at night finishing the page on time despite my best intentions", so I'll leave it at that, for now.

 

2009-02-03 23:07:08
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Page 212.

I got a new mouse! I mean, another new mouse. This one has no lasers, and it has a cable, and it works perfectly. I'm not sure which of the two was giving me trouble, but I'm glad I'm shot of them.

Someone suggested I might add a recipe every week, but I'm feeling too lazy, right now. Maybe later. ;-)

 

2009-01-29 00:59:01
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Page 211

Sorry it's late, this week. It's down to a lot of things, starting with my hosting company helpfully changing all my passwords to require an extra class of character [1] and limiting simultaneous connections from the same username to 1 [2] and changing the hostname I had to log into to upload files [3].

They broadly ended with my adventures in buying-a-new-mouse land, where my last mouse lost complete use of its middle-mouse button [4] and I had to go and buy a new one. From a shop, because I didn't feel like waiting three days to have such basic functionality restored.

Except, you know what? It turns out that it's basic functionality that's pretty missing from high-end mice these days anyway. My local PC World, for example, is typical of Peterborough retailers. It sells two kinds of mice: wireless laser mice with a billion buttons, or tiny notebook mice with maybe three if you're lucky. I like five, as MS have been putting on their Intellimouse Explorer for about ten years, but there weren't any Intellimouse Explorers in PC World. I expect they're too mundane, not cutting-edge enough for PC World's notoriously discerning customer base. Instead, the MS offering was the Sidewinder X5, a gaming mouse that looks like it was carved out of a block of wood by someone who learned how to use a chisel a month ago and hasn't got the hang of sandpaper yet.

I ended up buying what looked like a standard Logitech mouse, forgetting that every single Logitech mouse I have brought into my house in the last five years I have hated with a passion. It seems that ever since they switched from LEDs to lasers for their surface tracking, their optical mice have been suddenly really bad for precision graphics work, which is a good deal of what I use a mouse for. I'm not sure whether it's the resolution or the response time or what, but one way or another they've sucked. This new one - the MX620 Cordless Laser - takes this sucking to a whole new level by also overriding Windows' default mouse acceleration which everybody is already used to in their drivers. You can change the mouse acceleration in the driver settings, but none of the options seem to be "the same way it was before you messed with it".

Also, the accursèd thing doesn't have a working middle-mouse button. It has some annoying free-wheeling tilting scrollwheel which has to be really heavy to freewheel which I turned off because it's annoying, and as a result of being really heavy is also about ten times as hard to press as a mouse button should ever be. So I had to re-map another, too-far-out-of-the-way button to middle-mouse, and now I'm contemplating ordering a normal mouse which works online and then taking this piece of crap out into the garden and whacking it with a lump hammer until I feel vaguely better.

Did I mention how it bluescreened my PC the first time I plugged it in because - as best I can tell - it draws a huge amount of power from the USB socket you plug it into? Other devices on my powered hub don't work at the same time as this mouse's reciever is plugged in. I am filled with hate.


Congratulations on reading this far. As a prize for putting up with my enraged drivel, have a recipe for a curry which I thoroughly enjoyed for dinner today:

[Serves two hungry people or more not-so-hungry people.]
350g lamb
1 medium onion
chunk of ginger root ~2cm cubed
2 cloves of garlic
6 cloves
2 cardamom pods
3cm stick of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
1-3 teaspoons red chili powder (depending on how hot you like your curry)
some black pepper and salt
350ml sugocasa
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato puree

First, grind up all the spices with a mortar and pestle.

Trim and dice lamb.

Next, heat about 50g of butter and a bit of vegetable oil in a large-based pan with a lid [5]

Chop up onion into quarter-rings or so. Grate ginger, crush garlic.

Put the onion, garlic and ginger in the frying pan with the oil, and fry on a medium heat.

When the onion has gone a bit soft, put the lamb in the pan. Pour half the ground-up spices over the lamb, then shuffle it a load so the chunks get covered, then pour over the rest and do it again.

Once the lamb is cooked, pour over the sugocasa (or half-blended tomatoes, if you don't have any) and stir into the meat, then add the tomato puree and about 500ml of hot water. Cover the pan simmer it, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has been reduced so that it's thick and doesn't drip off the spatula. If this takes less than twenty-five, thirty minutes, you may need to add a little bit more water and continue for at least that long.

Goes well with rice.

 

[1] Which they told me about.

 

[2] Which they spectacularly failed to tell me about.

 

[3] Which they told me two different things about on two different pages on their website.

 

[4] My second-favourite button.

 

[5] I have a straight-sided frying pan which has a clear lid with a tiny hole in which is perfect for this kind of recipe. It came from Tesco.

 

2009-01-20 02:24:23
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Train
Train
Page 210!

I've been trying this new method of colour-picking recently, thanks to an ever-useful Ren... I like the way it looks, but it's taking me longer than it always used to.

Anyway, speaking of Rens, she painted over the last panel to create a bishounen version of Ivan - I suppose it's to balance out the panty-shot in the last page? ;-)

Readers interested in ugly, messy sketches may also want to see the colour sketch I did first for this page.

 

2009-01-14 01:29:55
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Page 209.

Many thanks to Ren for sitting up and advising me on colours and lighting and so on. Even if it did mean that it took me two whole evenings to do this page, which is about six times as long as I'd wanted to spend every week when I started doing this... there's some bits on this page which I'm really happy with the way they turned out.

Pretend there's some continuity of colour between the last page and this one, OK?

 

2009-01-06 01:54:44
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Page 208.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year - aside from the minor part where I couldn't speak for about a week, I know I did!

Also! Have some Kikirin fan-art.

 

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