Chicken Stock

I’ve written elsewhere on this site that one of the most significant discoveries I made late in life was making chicken stock. A couple of years back, I experimented with making several different whole roast chicken recipes and learned to make stock while doing so.

Every time I roast a chicken now, I make stock. Typically, I use an onion with the skin on (or half an onion depending on how big the onion is), a carrot, a celery stalk, and some parsley.

Last night, when I prepared the stock, I found out I had no carrots, celery, or parsley. I decided to make the stock anyway. I put the chicken carcass in the crock pot, covered it with water, and put in a small onion (skin on), a radish, a bay leaf, four peppercorns, and half a teaspoon of celery seeds. I cooked it overnight on low and poured myself a cup this morning. I threw in a bit of salt and was blown away by how good it was for something so dead simple. Like other stocks, I’ll freeze the rest for other dishes, as the homemade broth always makes meals taste better.

I probably cook a chicken once a month, and there is no practical way not to buy store-bought stock for all the cooking that gets done, but it’s still a great way to use the entire bird and also get another tasty treat that can be used alone or for other meals.

August Bloggy Thoughts

Tim did a lot of work getting this site functioning correctly again, so I thought I’d do a quick post about what I’m looking forward to here in the last stretch of summer. After this week-ish, I have a vacation with my wife, and then I have to shift gears to get ready for work again.

I’ve been working on a script/movie idea with a collaborator for about a year and a half. We had a lot of ideas and ran into even more dead ends trying to figure out just what the story was, and finally, in the past two weeks, some pieces fell into place, and it looks like it is going somewhere. I’m excited about this because it is a cool idea.

I had also hoped to set up a Bandcamp landing page for some music/sounds I’d written, but… that may happen sometime in the fall/winter? I don’t know… I guess that is in the wings. I have the music; it’s just a case of setting up the page.

Finally, I hope to finish a book of mermaids I’ve been reading while concurrently watching mermaid films. Splash, by the way, is a bizarre film but a true testament to the acting chops of Tom Hanks. John Candy is funny, and Daryl Hannah plays the fish out of water mermaid quite well – but wow – the film moves from fantasy rom-com to full-on farce at points. The world of the mid-80s was very different than today’s. I’ve yet to compile my top 5 best mermaid films, but maybe Splash would make it to give the list variety.

This morning I got some BDs I ordered way back at the top of the summer today. I also got a free copy of Showgirls; I don’t know why; maybe it’s my lucky day.

(Top Left to Right) Gorgo, Camille Keaton in Italy Set: Madeleine, Tragic Ceremony, Sex of the Witch, Terror Tenkiller, and Showgirls (bottom)
(Top Left to Right) Gorgo, Camille Keaton in Italy Set: Madeleine, Tragic Ceremony, Sex of the Witch, Terror Tenkiller, and Showgirls (bottom)

In closing, the video game that has defined my summer is Mordhau, which is as inspiringly insipid as it is addictive. My time would be better spent on Diablo, but that’s how these things sometimes go.

Site upgrade

The chickens have come home to roost.

After not upgrading the Protozoic server for roughly five years, running an end of life version of WordPress because I couldn’t upgrade PHP, I finally had to pay the piper. Protozoic has been running WordPress since 2004, and all (well most) of the posts are stored in the database as Markdown. I chose this setup when WordPress was only about a year old and Markdown was only months old. Sounds like I had great foresight, no?

No, I did not. Apparently the Markdown plugin I’ve been using for WordPress was retired back in 2013. It took me some casting about to find a setup that worked with the way we write posts, and the way most of the posts are stored in the database. Much of our media is stored in directories, since I think they predate the WordPress Media Library. I have made an attempt to bring all that media into the library to ease future migrations at the cost of my whole Sunday.

Even our poor theme has suffered. Apparently the widgets at the bottom of the page were legacy widgets – those too have now been upgraded.

There’s a lot of link rot in those old posts and I know we are less active, but here’s to another five years. Let me know if you find any issues that I missed in the transition.

Dune (1984) – More Pugs Please

On record – Roger Ebert’s review of David Lynch’s Dune (1984) is one of the more damning statements about the film. In a populist way, it’s arguable that Ebert’s sentiments lay part of the bedrock for the decades-long debate of whether or not Lynch’s Dune is a misunderstood masterpiece. Ebert complained about its story, undeveloped characters, effects, and dusty look.

Dune is not the 80’s sci-fi/fantasy wreck like, say, Krull (1983) is, but neither is Dune without flaws. The first hour and a half of the movie are easy to follow, and I say this with the inability to recall any of the first novel. It does, however, fall down and apart in the last 30+ minutes, which feels like a highlight reel of plot points.

By some ’80s Lucas or Spielberg standards, maybe the effects are subpar, but they also have a dreamy, at times, hyperreal quality to them, which is unique. The sets have also aged better than they may have been received, with steampunk vibes and lots of gold and slime greens. Kenneth McMillan’s Vladimir Harkonnen is truly crazed, and I always forget people like Patrick Stewart, Brad Doriff, Sean Young, Max Von Sydow, and Sting with his doofus grin are in it. Virginia Madison’s preamble to the story is also truly one of the weirder opens to a film, where she fades in and out a number of times as she sets the stage for the story we are about to experience. When she fades back in over the star backdrop for the last, she apologizes with an, “Oh, yes. I forgot to tell you,” like she’s some absent-minded narrator.

My own childhood memory of the film is that it was murky, but memory is tricky. When I watched the new 4k transfer of the film put out by Arrow, I was taken aback at how good it looked. Yes, it’s ‘dim,’ but Lynch has never been a fan of the brightly lit.

Lynch disavowed the movie after its release, but he’s come back out of the woodwork recently and voiced an interest in doing a director’s cut. If he does, I hope there is more pug footage.

Sir Patrick Stewart and a pug in Dune (1984) directed by David Lynch.
Sir Patrick Steward & Pug.

Evil Toons not Souls-like

Evil Toons is another film that isn’t soul-like, though there have been moments in the soul series that I’ve felt are spooky, and the “spooky” line delivered by Madison Stone (who plays Roxanne) was my favorite bit.

Clip and review below.

Evil Toons (1992) – 1/4 – Though the second half of its name is ‘Toons’, due to budget restraints, there are only about 90 seconds of so-called cartoonery in the movie. It does star thee – “Who appears in the film slightly longer than the amount of animation in it” – Dick Miller and pays homage to him along with a nod to Bucket of Blood (1959), directed by Roger Corman1. Bonuses: David Carradine has a killer entrance at the end, and the cast-credit sequence is aspirational.

  1. According to Fred Olen Ray, Corman himself passed on backing the film as he felt it was too risky of a premise. 

Souls-like Demons 1 + 2

Demons (1985) and Demons 2 (1986) are not Souls-like, but there was a moment in Demons 2, where a group of bodybuilders is trying to escape a demon horde and they go down a spiral staircase.

If you played any of the Souls series, the phrase “a spiral staircase moment” most likely conjures an image of something, such as Havel the trashcan. I was going to try to make a GIF of the effect, but it didn’t work; however, in the process of trying to capture the staircase moment, I inadvertently got this photo, and it struck an even deeper chord with my experience of playing the game(s) with friends.

Reviews of Demons and Demons 2 beneath the meme12.

Me On a DS1 run
Run away.


Demons (1985) – 2/4 – A horror movie that turns into reality and attacks the audience. There is a WWF-style demon-zombie vs. moviegoer brawl, a motorcycle & katana head-chopping scene outdone moments later by a helicopter head-chopping scene, and an apocalyptic ending where the preppers survive. Don’t say Nostradamus didn’t tell you so.

Demons 2 (1986) – 2/4 – Best watched hot off the heels of Demons (1985).

  1. The Church (1989) – 1/4 – Demons Souls deep cut.
    The Church (1989)
    Damn you, Latria! And double damn you Prisoner Horde…
  2. The Church (1989) – 1/4 – …or, Elden Ring.
    The Church (1989)
    Look at my dumb ass mask. Check it, now I’m in another minor