Smug Bastids

Why do I love them?  Big Damn Heroes and Smug Bastids.  These are, strangely, a few of my favourite things… in fictional characters, anyway.

I noticed a name, Bayushi Rentatsu, on AEG’s cards for koku order list.  I looked it up because, hey, I’ve always had a soft spot for Scorpion courtiers and I’ve already put in to get the Crane courtier.  I loved, LOVED, the art.  It took me a few minutes to realize who it reminds me of… Lucius Malfoy, another favourite Smug Bastid of mine, who hails from Slytherin House, easily the Harry Potter equivalent of the Scorpion clan.


“The hair is fake, but the cane is 100% badass.”

I thought and I thought.  “Why do I like these characters?  What is it?  What part of me is engaged by this Scorpion courtier and his card art?”  And then I summed it up by creating my own take on a popular meme.

Enjoy. 🙂



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Sewing Altering and Conversion Projects

I think I’m putting this list here so I don’t forget and I keep myself on track for those times when I know I want to do some sewing/crafting but I’m not sure what to do. Also, sometimes people ask what I’m working on.

To Do This Week
– Convert VNV Nation shirt to tank top for concert Wed.
– Convert Alabama Crimson Tide shirt for gameday Sat.

In Progress, to Finish
– Chinese embroidered blouse – add grommets, ribbon
– Black Tripp pants to skirt conversion
– Altering corset top to fit

Other Planned Conversions
– Irish fairy girl top to tank/sleeveless corset laced top
– Altering Dropkick Murphys babydoll T to fit

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Peanut Butter Cookie Crust Peach Cobbler

So, I had another cooking adventure today. I got it in my head that I was going to make peanut butter cookies. I haven’t made cookies in ages, and they’re a healthy alternative to other cookie types. So, I decided to forego the butter/margarine because we don’t have any and just use olive oil instead.

It doesn’t work, folks. This is how you can tell I’m relatively new to baking because I didn’t anticipate this.

I ended up with something very crumbly and very hard to make into balls. I was able to make a few balls, so I did bake a few cookies. However, the majority of what I had was too crumbly to use that way. I decided, whatever, this looks like awesome crust for something and I’m creative.

It dawned on me… We have cans of sliced peaches! F’n peach cobbler! I’m from the South. I hadn’t had peach cobbler in AGES. It had to be done.

1/2 cup of brown sugar
4 tbsp vegetable or extra light olive oil
1/2 cup of regular sugar
(Or you can just use 1 cup of regular sugar – that’s what I did)
1 cup of peanut butter, creamy, unless you like random nut chunks… I won’t judge
1 egg

3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup flour

1 can/jar of peaches
1 packet of oatmeal or a reasonable amount of rolled oats (eyeball it; live dangerously (it’s just oats))

Put the oil in with the sugar and stir them together. Then, throw in the rest of the first set of ingredients (so, oil, sugars, egg, peanut butter). Stir them up well until you get something kinda thick and creamy. Sift together the dry ingredients from list 2 (baking soda, baking pwdr, flour). Dump the bowl of list 2 ingredients in with list 1. Stir together and you’ll get something kinda doughy, kinda crumbly.

I’m not sure you have to do this part if you’re making a cobbler, but since I was initially trying to make cookies, I left the dough in the fridge for 3 hrs, as the instructions called for. You could probably just not bother chilling the dough since you don’t need to be able to make balls with it.

So, take the no-balls, crumbly dough. Get out a pan or casserole dish or whatever of choice. Make a thin layer of the peanut butter crumbldough for a bottom crust. Do not use all of the crumbldough. You want a top crust too.

Now, peaches and oatmeal time. I had a bowl of peaches and syrup sitting there, so I just dumped a pack of instant regular flavour oatmeal on top and stirred it all up. I learned in the process that I really like raw oats with peach juice… anyway, so, yeah. You can do it that way, or I guess you could painstakingly roll the peaches with the oats if you have a bushel of oats and REALLY want the peaches thoroughly covered.

Make a thorough layer of peaches. I mean it. Cram as many peach slices in there as you can. I ended up wanting more peaches. In fact, I have some crumb of my cobbler sitting on a plate behind me, and I’m saving it so I can eat it with a few peach slices. TL;DR version: PEACHES!!! Yeah.

Add the remainder of the crumbldough as a top layer. Sprinkle the top layer with cinnamon.

I only had one external judge, but he hoovered it away like it was a real hit, and really seemed to like it. I really liked it too! I wasn’t sure what to expect. I think it’s a pretty tasty alternative to the typical white flour based cobbler crust. 🙂

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On the Fly Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing

Last night, I found myself wanting salad but out of salad dressing. After picking through everything in my cabinets and fridge, I came up with this:

3 parts apple cider vinegar
1 part extra light olive oil
pinch of salt
parsley flakes
3 dashes of soy sauce
1 dash of worcestershire sauce

Whisked together, it resulted in a tangy but not overpowering vinaigrette that goes very well on raw greens. It’s a light flavour so I don’t recommend using it on anything cooked where you’re looking for a flavour that packs a punch. Best used with raw vegetables.


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No Longer Just an L5R Blog

I just really don’t have enough to say about L5R and the Crane that isn’t already being said over on the clan forum or the main AEG forum. However, I have a lot of other stuff I want to post like recipes I come up with, art projects I’m working on, and so forth.

So, the name of the blog probably isn’t going to change. I came up with “The Rice Paper Crane” after taking “ricepapercrane” as a username elsewhere. It fits me well. 🙂

There will just be a much wider variety of content here than before so I’ll be more motivated to maintain the blog.

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Politics: Congressional Hearing on the Gulf Oil Spill

I need a place to put this up, and my LiveJournal is being wonky.

Today, I’ve been watching the Congressional hearing on the Gulf Oil Spill and have been writing this bullet-point summary. This will expand as the hearing continues.

– It could take 3 months just to get the siphoning process to cover the full depth of the spill.
– Blowout preventers had never before been used at 5,000 ft, the depth of the oil well.
– A dispersal agent is being used to help break up the oil called Correxit. Correxit contains arsenic that is now part of the Gulf food supply.
– BP had other options for what dispersal agents to use and others were less toxic but BP has a business relationship with the manufacturer of Correxit.
– Transocean is a Swiss company and may not have paid US tax dollars.
– The Deepwater Horizon was built in Korea, not in the US.
– Most of Transocean’s vessels are flagged under the Marshal Islands.
– There was mention of the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 which BP could try to use to limit their financial liability at roughly $28 billion, but BP publicly claims to take full economic responsibility.
– Blowout preventers are made out of a rubber agent. An employee reported detached portions of rubber found in the shale shakers, and it was considered to be immaterial to the BP company.
– Possible prevention methods for this disaster would have cost about $12 million.
– BP’s “beyond petroleum” ad campaign cost the company $20 million this year.
– Most of the response protocols for oil spills have been for surface spills, not for deepwater spills like this case.
– The entire BP protocol for safe deepwater oil drilling involves a working blowout preventer, the device that failed in the Gulf Oil Spill.
– BP says the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf is at about 5,000 barrels a day. Other reports suggest it may be at 80,000 barrels a day or more.
– Ecologically, the entire United States will be affected by the oil spill.
– EPA may reconsider allowing the usage of dispersants, finding that they contain carcinogens.
– EPA’s Worst Case Scenario estimate for the Deepwater Horizon was 162,000 barrels a day.
– BP was not required to submit an OSRP (oil spill response protocol).


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Kotei Megagame 2010: How Best to Help the Crane

After going to my closest Kotei in Tacoma, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can help the Crane the most in the Megagame.  I was absent minded and knew very little about the Megagame, so I didn’t renew my long since expired IA membership before this started, but my hat’s off to AEG for coming up with something really fun and interactive that allows players of all levels of competitive nature to be a part of what happens in the Plague War.

That said, I’m stuck with Koteis and what I can hope to accomplish as my ways of contributing.  I’m only making it to one more Kotei this year, the Abbotsford BC event, and I’m going to try my best.  It’s been a long, long time since the year I made it to single elims at two Koteis, so I don’t foresee myself making it to top 4.  Here are some ways, though, that I think I and other average players can do our best to get Crane some points and some story time.

1.  Play your clan.

Unless you think you’ll just wreck house with some other clan you’ve been super practicing with, play Crane.  It sounds like clan participation totals are having some bearing on what the story team does, though I don’t know specifics.

2.  Participate in the Honor events.

A lot of players don’t participate in side events, which narrows your competition.  Especially, it seems like fewer players do when it’s a costume contest.  Put something together!  I’m sure a lot of us are on a budget, me included, but some creativity will go a long way and effort is noticed!  We are the Crane.  Surely we have fabulous artisans who can make beautiful costumes and accessories, charming courtiers who can don a kimono and properly tie an obi, and strapping samurai who can fill out a hakama with pride!

3.  Tell people you’re competing in the Honor event.

I didn’t tell anyone at the Tacoma Kotei that I was trying to go for Best Clan Attire even though I was wearing a Crane kimono.  I thought it was obvious.  I got a lot of compliments on my outfit… after the votes had been cast and someone else had won.  It’s not pretentious or ostentatious to mention to your opponents, win or lose, that you are trying to compete in the Honor event for your clan and you would appreciate their contribution.  The Crane have always been great at lobbying for the Favor!

So that’s my two cents.  I know my post count will be something like TWO with this post, but I am a longtime Crane player, 12 years now, who just recently re-registered for this forum after the domain change.  I love the clan and there’s not a single clan in the Empire more suitable for me.  I’m a politics and law dork who dabbles in art, though doesn’t display much of it.   I love my clan, and hope these suggestions will make a few more people think about their own plans for the Kotei season.

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