Thursday, May 27, 2010

Leftovers become Epic

At the inspiration of (another) web forum user's suggestion, I prepared Sandwiches for Illiway's on Friday and being a wise Cheddar monk, I also documented the process for future generations.

So without further delay, I present "The SnArL epic coronary delight" What follows may frighten children, panic politicians and cause miscarriage in pregnant women. It is not recommended for the amateur and should only be consumed within 10Km of a fully equipped emergency medical facility.

1. The first step is to assemble your ingredients. For each sandwich you will need the following.
- 2 (two) slices of sandwich bread white or whole wheat
- 1 (one) medium egg, fresh, raw
- 3 (three) slices of thick cut bacon
- 1 (one) block of strong hard cheese Cheddar is preferred
You will also need a 20-30cm frying pan Teflon no-stick is advisable.
2. Place the three strips of bacon in the frying pan and turn on the heat to medium low. it is easiest to cut the bacon strips in 1/2 before cooking. The stove setting will depend on your stove and frying pan. You want a warm even heat that will cook the bacon but not scorch the juice and fat. cook the bacon slowly, patience is a virtue. Turn the bacon several times during cooking to prevent curling.

3. While the bacon is cooking, cover both slices of bread with thin sliced cheese (use of a cheese scraper is recommended)
The cheese is the `force' that will bind your sandwich together. A light cheese will not lead you astray.

4. Once the bacon is done to your preference place three 1/2 strips on each slice of bread as shown.

5. Next comes the egg. cook it in the bacon fat. pinch of seasoning salt, basil, or black pepper is optional. keep the heat low, and cook the egg flipping over once. cook until both sides are done but the yolk (yellow stuff) is still a little runny.

6. Slap the egg on to one slide of the sandwich. things are now starting to take shape. At this point you have the option of adding a slice of tomato (not shown).

7. Add a few extra slices of cheese. When the sandwich is grilled, the melted cheese will act as a stabilizing material and hold the completed meal together.

8. Using the remaining bacon fat, grill the assembled sandwich in the frying pan with a lid. (Lid removed for picture to show sandwich) Use care in flipping the sandwich over, as it will not hold together until both sides are cooked and all the cheese has melted.
Use care to brown the sandwich without scorching the bread. You may need to increase heat to medium, but keeping it covered while cooking is the best way to get even heat.

9. Your SnArL epic coronary delight is now ready for eating.

Note: This meal is neither recognized nor condoned by the Cheddar academy, The Jedi Council, Darths & Droids, nor the UserFriendly family of forum users.

Any one attempting this meal does so at their own risk and neither the Author, nor affiliated forum administrators may be held liable for any health issues that may arise.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cutting the cheese

Well it seems that the Cheddar masters have decided that I am in need of some more training in the kitchen. After being bested by the chocolate, they felt that perhaps the cheddar monk's natural affinity to cheese may help regain some of my confidence. Who am I to question the wisdom of the masters?
So once I acquired a moderate sized slab of cheddar, my next problem was what to make, that would both reflect the skill of a cheddar monk, and impress the cheddar masters. (in so far as they are immune to a student's influence)
Well what would a cheddar monk be without a Cheese saber? so, with the Supervision of my Cheddar Kitty, Knuckles the Mafia Cat, I set out to convert the cheese into a tool of aggressive negotiation.
The completed cheese saber

Detailed view of activation switch and beam emitter

Three views (with hand for size comparison)

Two views with switch activated.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Follow the bouncing Butt

Ahh the opportunity for redemption. After being bested by the chocolate, I needed this one.Force jump from a sitting position. I'm not sure when this would be used, but it is very much like levitation, but with greater acceleration provided by Jedi-flexing the buttocks. A quick tensing of the muscles while levitating will propel you bodily upwards out of your seat.
Three pictures taken 0.22 seconds apart show this technique in action.

With practice, a sufficient altitude may be achieved so that you can unfold your legs, and land in a dignified manner on your feet ready for battle (or running away as the situation requires)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The anguish of defeat

For Captain Kirk, it was the Kobayashi Maru. for Luke Skywalker, it was the tree on Dagobah, for Dylan Hunt, it was the black hole. For every hero, there is an unconquerable foe. A point in their career where they must accept that some things in the universe are not achievable, and accepting defeat and moving on is the only option no matter how painful.

For this Cheddar monk, it was not alien environments, feats of engineering, or battling great armies that has done me in. Nay, it was a mere confection that has brought me to my knees.
A simple task, or so I thought, Create Chocolate dice...child's play, simple sweets, a novelty below the skills of one with such lofty goals such as I.
Alas, it was not to be. While my plans were near perfect, the results were less than envisioned.

I started off with the finest ingredients and tools.
High quality dark chocolate, the finest of synthetic fibre brushes, Laser cheese knife, and assorted confectioners buttons and chips.

Inspecting the chocolate showed quality workmanship in the raw product along with care in packaging. The regular not quite square divisions of chocolate, lovingly crafted just called to my creative side.

Carefully separating the pieces with a kitchen Laser knife, and paring the beveled edges square, then crafting the individual pieces in to a (near) perfect cube and welding the pieced together with melted chocolate provided the foundation for the dice. The micro fractures where the pieces did not quite fit together, were filled with a 70% cocoa dark chocolate slightly softened with a drop of olive oil.

(Base Cube seen with Cheese knife for scale)

The final step was to apply the `dots' of the die, which consisted of white chocolate chips fastened with a glue made from confectioners sugar then refrigerated until hardened.

The dots seem to have migrated during the process, I believe the cause of this to be a combination of planetary axial tilt, continental drift, and a recent Earth quake in South America.

The results, some what less than spectacular, were sufficient to cast a saving throw of five.
Perhaps next time I will be more successful if I Stay away from the dark (chocolate) side.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Freedom of the open road

Cheddar monks are all about freedom. Freedom to eat cheese. Freedom to roam the galaxy. Freedom to explore strange planets, and freedom to race at break neck speeds in home built hot rods.
One such garage or backyard built hotrod is the Pod-Racer. Pairs of two or four over-powered turbine engines linked by power coupling energy fields and a control harness to a small control cockpit (or `pod') which is stripped of every ounce of unnecessary weight. Of course, the first thing on the `unnecessary' list is every last safety feature that might have at one time existed.
Jumping from basic mechanical skills of building a lasersword, to a full sized pod racer is a big step and should be approached with caution.
The first step is to determine the laws of the land where you intend to build and fly your pod racer. Of course if you are on a planet where the cheddar monks enforce the law, you've got it made.
Researching the types of turbine jets and power plants is essential before you start the design phase. knowing all the technical mumble-jumble such as power/lift ratios, control phase delay loops and materials strengths will ensure success of your project.
Design and construction Phase is the most time consuming, You want your vehical to look as impressive as it functions, The psychological conquest of your opponent is the first step of beating them in the race.
Finally once construction and component testing is completed it is time to test all the parts together. Test flights, while great fun, should not be referred to as 'going for a joy ride' (at least not with in the hearing of the cheddar masters).
It's always good to document your process, including any failures, for the cheddar

Full size Youtube video here
Note: YouTube videos load faster and are larger.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Covert Infiltration

There are times that a cheddar monk may have to infiltrate enemy strongholds, or leave a location with out being detected. In most cases a simple wave of the hand and a suggestion that there is nothing to see will suffice. However there are species that are immune to forced suggestion, and some high tech planets will have electronic and optical surveillance. In these cases the wise cheddar monk will have a disguise handy, Lets look at some of the disguise options that are open to us.

1) Try and look like the `locals' - While blending in with the natives may seem like a good Idea on the surface, there are often subtle cultural mannerisms that will distinguish you as an outsider. This option should only be attempted with the approval and assistance of the locals to disguise from other outsiders that would not notice any social gaff that you may let slip.

2) Blend in with those you are trying to evade. - Again, when there are 300 enemy troops running around, you could attempt to blend in, While this is great in bed time stories, there are several difficulties. First is finding a trooper who's uniform will fit you, then you need to isolate that individual from their squad or platoon. Finally, even if you manage these two, you need to be well versed in their operating procedures, and the lay out of establishment you are entering or leaving.

What is needed is a disguise that will not raise questions, can blend in with the environment and evade electronic surveillance. The answer is now obvious. Robots are embedded throughout our culture fulfilling all manners of tasks. No one questions a droid going about their business. So now we have a starting point.

Some robots are more suitable for the cheddar monk than others. Let have a look at some and discuss their merits.

Industrial Robot: while very prominent on factory planets, the limitations of such a disguise should be obvious to even the youngest padawan. The lack of mobility would limit your movement towards what ever objective you have in your mission.
This type of robot is not recommended for the covert operations.

Mobile security Droid: while this will allow the cheddar monk to move around unobserved in an environment it's usefulness is limited to species that are very small in stature. Also like guard troops, security droids may have check in routines and self destruct mechanisms to defeat any tampering. (also they do not navigate stairs well)

Humanoid Droids are of course the best option however it must be stressed that picking a model that attracts attention is counter-productive. this goes double if there is a "destroy on sight" order for the particular model. Find a model that is easily accepted and generally ignored by all including other robots.

The Domestic robo-butler (protocol) Droid

With this disguise you can infiltrate anything from a hotel kitchen to a space going cruiser with little difficulties. Personnel will go out of their way to avoid you, and other robots will focus on their tasks when they see you approaching. There is enough variance in the design of protocol droids, that you can make do with what ever you have at hand to simulate a mechanical look. The real key is to make sure that your movements are short jerky so as to preclude an organic being and talk insistently to yourself about the weather, local sports, and how big your brain is. These, along with your disguise will be your `B' plan any time you need to move through a hostile environment.

Sample Improvised Disguise

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Hothstyle Environment (2 for 1 challenge)

Some times the life of a padawan is not an easy one. While I respect the Masters, some times I wonder if all that knowledge crowds out more vital information. Case in point; Last week I get a Galactic Text Message from Master Morgan-Mar "Hieraco - Need you to go to Hoth. Left academy keys in Field Generator Control room - MMM"
Well a Padawan is helpful, and Hoth isn't that far out on the rim, so after navigating the asteroid field (someone should clean up that navigation hazard) I managed to find a place to land - Smack in the middle of the ice fields.
With nothing but my laser sword, and faithful droid B1Na for company I hiked across the ice plains to the foot hills of the frozen forests, through blizzard like weather. It took several days, and I was fortunate to have brought my Taun-Taun sleeping bag. (Remind me to air it out, they really smell bad on the inside after a few days).
Once I found the entrance to the field generator the door was locked (Yup, MMM left the keys inside on the console) and I tried to cut my way in using my laser sword, Unfortunately Hoth is so cold, and the metal doors so thick, the heat dissipated as fast as the sword cut. I ended up looking for an air vent and climbing through the duct work to get in, while B1Na waited out side.
I'm on my way back to the academy now, and looking over the Droid's archive footage, I see that the cold has corrupted the recordings. I've recovered what I could and uploaded it to the Academy Archives.
If anyone knows of a more versatile Droid than the B1Na, I'd be interested in hearing about it, as I have no Idea where the Cheddar Masters will send me next.
-Below: Short exert of Hoth video
-Full length recovered video stored in the ACADEMY ARCHIVES

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


What Would a Cheddar Monk Do?
Negotiation, Level 2:Negotiation, Level 2: Suggest a Challenge

Truly an easy question to answer. Looking back over the previous months and the challenges put forth, it seems that a Padawan will do almost anything short of joining the dark side to get their diploma from the Academy. The true challenge in this case is to come up with some tasks that not only can be completed by the padawans, but is both ethical and legal.

After a moderate period of meditation, I have come up with the following challenges for the Padawans. As always the final decision will be up to the cheddar masters to determine suitability and points to be awarded for their completion.

1) Charity Level 3: Feed a hungry person (donate food to a local cause, soup kitchen, food bank, etc) (Fixed 4 points)

2) Negotiation Level 3: Convince the cheddar Masters to give points to ANOTHER padawan by posting a plea to YouTube or other video hosting site. (Maximum 6 points at the master's discretion)
Negotiation Level 3: Convince another Padawan to post a plea for points on your behalf. (successful padawans get points for both making a plea and having a good plea made on their behalf) (Maximum 10 points at the master's discretion divided between the requester and receiving Padawans)

3) Force Sensitivity Level 2: Communicate with a Non-sentient beast Using Cheddar Monk psychic powers- post video of your effort (2-6 points at masters discretion based on the receptivity of the beast)

4) Laser Sword Level 2: photo or video of the Padawan in public in robes with laser sword (or 10 foot laser pole) 4 points

5) Force Negotiation Level 4: Video of padawan negotiating with a shop keeper or other sales person for a lower price. 2 - 7 points depending on the skills demonstrated.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Creativity, Level 1: Title Crawl

There is not much to blog on this challenge. the criteria that we have to work with are rather straight forward:
"Create your own opening title crawl - preferably video, but a still image is acceptable - summarising one of your own adventures as a Cheddar Monk Padawan. It must be brief: No more than three paragraphs of 35 words or so each. Points will be awarded for creativity in content and presentation."

At first I thought that 35 words per paragraph was too restrictive, but after a few trial runs with the scrolling text, I saw how difficult it was to read long paragraphs as they scrolled.
In keeping with the spirit of brevity that is the challenge, here is the Full sized video on YouTube as restrictions in the blogging software makes the embedded video too small to see clearly.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Doing Good Feels Good

(Challenge level 1 Charity: Make a donation)

The Cheddar monk order was founded with the purpose of maintaining stability in the republic. This stability comes not just from the enforcement of laws, but also the protection of those who are preyed upon by evil. Aiding and defending the weak, and ensuring basic freedoms and rights of all citizens is the foundation of the the order.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees humanity as a whole, and will sacrifice individuals for profit and power (both of which are illusions).
While still under the ministrations of the masters, I go where ordered, thus I was unable to personally attend the enslaved, I was able to financially assist those who have under taken the task to Free the Slaves by donating some surplus credits. A worthy cause to ensure that others enjoy the basic right of freedom that many of us take for granted.
Special thanks to Padawan Metruis who brought this cause to my attention, and sacrificed her time to raising awareness of this issue.