Alex Camacho
Crosby, TX, United States
Born in Houston, Texas and raised all over living the life of an Army Brat. I Went to eight different schools (three elementary, one middle school, four high schools) and have one little brother who’s not so little anymore. I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now to a woman who rocks my world and I've been blessed with two wonderful children. Our dog, Sally, is a big black lab saved from a local shelter.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's Electric!

electricshort01I'm no electrician, by any stretch of the imagination, but I really don't think a plug is supposed to look like this.

As a temporary solution to our broken AC, we decided to put a few window units in the house. The only trouble was, when they were both plugged in and running, something happened. I say something because I really didn't know what it was I just know that the power to the bathroom, my living room TV wall, and the window wall just stopped working. Normally I would say a breaker flipped but when I went to check it out, it hadn't moved. I double checked it and triple checked it to no avail. Then I realized I had installed GFI in the bathroom and that was the problem. The trouble was the GFI wouldn't reset. I was thoroughly stumped. As I said, I'm no electrician. But... I do know how to read and follow directions so I hit the web and brushed up on some basic electricity knowledge.

After a few days of reading online and tinkering with the wires in the wall, I finally found out that the newer GFI's won't reset if their not receiving a full 120 volts which meant that somewhere I had a short. Reading more, I found that multimeters were a great way to track down a short. Turns out it's a pretty handy thing to have around besides just checking batteries. So I went to every plug and switch in the circuit to find that my ground was completing the circuit, not my neutral. So I went to every plug receptical testing and disconnecting until I found the culprit: my outside receptacle. To say the least I was rather proud of myself. And to top it off, I only managed to shock my self once. ;)

I treated myself to the last of the rice atole. Man, I love that stuff. I don't know what brought it up but I had a major craving for it and decided to find out how to make it. I remember being treated to this, every now and then, for breakfast when I was a kid. Lots of fond memories sitting at the breakfast table with a warm bowl of rice atole and some buttered toast in front of me. So I got the recipe from my Dad! Turns out me and Olivia are the only ones in the house who like it. Oh well, more for us! Here's the recipe my Dad and Bertha sent me...

Dad & Bertha's Rice Atole
  • 4 Cups of water
  • 9 Cups of milk
  • 2 Cups of long grain rice
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks

1. Wash and rinse rice.

2. In a large pot place 4 cups of water with 2 cups of rice and cook at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until water evaporates. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.

3. In a separate large pot place 9 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar and cooked rice; cook for approximately 30 minutes at medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Lower heat if the pot begins to over boil. You may need to add more milk if evaporation occurs too quickly.

Sugar and milk can be added to your own taste.

Plate is topped with ground cinnamon and raisins. I like to add butter and let it melt in the center of the plate. I also enjoy eating with bread and butter or biscuits.

This recipe is for a large quantity so you may think about cutting it in half. Bertha worked on this recipe which is easier and quicker to make and wastes less milk because you are cooking the rice before adding it to the milk. I used to cook the rice in the milk and it would waste a lot of milk due to evaporation. Bertha also found this video which may help a little but it is in Spanish:

For those of you who are fans of Matthew Stover, check out his next book. Caine Black Knife (Acts of Caine). Can we say bad motha fucker? I'm chomping at the bit already for this one.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Holy Fucking Shit Batman!

hulkandmarcel01If you haven't already seen the new Dark Knight movie - GO NOW!! Okay, not this very moment but ya need to go see this movie. Marcel and I went to see it today on the IMAX screen today and I was completely blown away. It's a good thing I actually bought our tickets on Friday night because they had sold out all of today's shows for the IMAX screens by the time we got there, before noon. (No spoilers I promise!)

First off, let it be said that to see a mediocre movie on an IMAX screen (Predator Vs. Aliens) is visually impressive. It feels like you're about to fall into the movie especially on the long aerial pan shots. But when you make the film on the screen something as dark, moody and visually stimulating, and add an incredible cast of actors and a well told story... Fan-fucking-tastic.

I won't give anything away but this is the movie I've been waiting for as a Batman fan. I've always liked the darker, a little on the sinister side, almost on the verge of mental psychosis, Batman. I've always hated for years the way Batman was portrayed as the typical "Hero". My expectations for this movie were met and exceeded beyond what I had hoped for. The story was engrossing, the dialog felt right and flowed, the cinematography was dark and dangerous, and the acting cast filled their characters down to the last pore. Heth Ledger became this dark, menacing, and sickly twisted animal that simply ripped every scene away and took for himself. I WILL be going back to see it again. This movie makes all other comic book movies look like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nothing in Particular

Oscar called me up a few weeks back in his usual fashion. Once the weird gay jokes were done he told me he wanted me to throw together a small game for him and Anthony since Anthony's moving out of state. One last adventure for the duo. Their last game ended with Anthony trying to save Oscar as a small dinosaur chewed on his face. Anthony rolled a critical failure that resulted in Oscar getting stabbed directly in the head, dieing almost instantly. It would have been instant but I was laughing too hard. If I had a weak bladder I would have peed myself. I guess you just had to be there but that shit was funny.

Anyway, I was a little nervous about GMing again being that it's quite literally been well over a year now. That may not seem like that long but it seems like ages to me. I have missed it so it was really nice to run something to get me my balance back in the saddle again so to speak. Being that I procrastinated until the last minute to throw together the game, I ended up digging out a few old NPCs for the game and through together a small supers plot that had been bouncing around in my head for a while now. It worked out well and I had a blast. As a bonus nobody's character died.

That, of course, sparked the gaming bug again. I went online, reactivated my MIB status, and hit the sjgames forums. I was blown away at some of the really great GM resources and gaming stuff posted there but my heart sank when I noticed that a majority was in the new fourth edition. Yeah, it's wouldn't be hard to convert to what I'm comfortable with, good ol' third edition, but I decided it was finally time to take the plunge. I figured if I'm willing to take on D$D's Fourth edition Living Forgotten Realms I should learn the new edition of GURPS.

To make a long story short, I've decided to earn the new books by demoing other Steve Jackson Games. Stuff like Frag, Munchkin, and Strange Synergy. It was pretty neat tearing through all my old demo boxes and gaming documents. Man, why did I stop gaming???

So I've been abuzz with demo game ideas, updating my demo fliers, and even started writing a few GURPS games. I've even been updating an old version of Batman I made as an NPC. Yeah, I know, but at least I'm not a pasty heavy breather that knows not the ways of the power of soap.

Speaking of Batman, Marcel and I go to see The Dark Knight on Monday!!! We would have gone by now but the IMAX screen where we go has been sold out for weeks! Monday was the first day that hadn't sold out yet so I snatched up a few tickets online. I can't wait!!!
For those of ya that care, there's lots of new pictures posted all over my webshots, so happy hunting. And just cause Tracy's a cool mo'fo...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Looking Both Ways

We spent our Fourth of July at Miller Outdoor Theatre this year. We got there relatively early and managed to get "Rockstar Parking". We settled down and waited for the fireworks. It was a really nice day and our spot was very shady just under a large tree but still open to the night sky view of the theatre. Unfortunately, the fireworks weren't launched over the clear sky area over the theatre (go figure). So our view was just ever so slightly behind some trees. It wasn't that bad though although the fireworks didn't last long enough.

It was really nice to relax outside under a cool shade. We had a little bit of a rough time keeping Olivia from wondering off. She has no fear of strangers and will approach anyone. Especially if they have a green ball she wants.

It really brought back some memories sitting out there on the blanket waiting for fireworks. We spent our Fourth of July in 1999 (I'm almost sure it was 1999) sitting on the lawn of Fort Campbell, Kentucky waiting for fireworks. I swear, that was one of the best fireworks displays we've seen and everything since then has been measured up to that. The only time I've ever seen a display as good was Disney World but even they didn't have the Golden Knights and a real artillery gun salute. I think next year we should see about a little drive to Fort Sam. I bet they put on a good show plus it's an open training base. To add to the trip, I could finally show Marcel where I trained at and he'll get to experience a little of what I did as kid growing up on/near military posts.

It would be nice to revisit.