One of the more fun presents I got for Xmas was a package of Giant Pocky.Â For those not familiar with the Japanese confection known as Pocky, it is crunchy sticks coated in chocolate (or other flavors not shown on the page I linked to – of which there are many).Â I’m a big fan of Pocky, though don’t eat it all the time because it tends not to be cheap.Â I’ve tried several flavors, but never the Giant ones, though I believe they were probablyÂ reviewed by Ms. Boo (though I can’t find a review in her snack review archives).Â The Giant version are quite a bit bigger than the normal kind; I photographed them here next to an ice-cream truck for comparison:
As you can see, the scale is well above that of a human vehicle.Â Giant, indeed.
Regular-sized Pocky has the sticks grouped in bags within the box – at least 4 sticks to a bag.Â These are individually wrapped:
When unwrapped, they look like the usual chocolate kind, only bigger:
And they taste about the same, except that the biscuity stick taste (kind of like a barely-sweet cracker) dominates the chocolate more, perhaps because the chocolate layer is not as thick in proportion.Â They’re still tasty, as they use a slightly bitter chocolate on these (as opposed to Men’s Pocky, which is even more bitter).Â They’re still good, and I’ll definitely eat the whole box (though it will take a while to go through).
I’ve updated several pages on my website over the last few days, which included adding links to some webcomics that I hadn’t linked to before.Â I’ve also added links to these in the blog sidebar (over there on the left and scroll down a bit), but I thought it would be good to give them some explicit recommendations in an entry.
First up, I’ve had Shaenon Garrity’s comic Narbonic listed on my comics recommendation page for quite a while, but haven’t had her in the sidebar.Â She has several strips that she’s done online, som in collaboration with others.Â This seems like a good time to list her, as she has a new strip that started 2 weeks ago, called Skin Horse.Â I’d give a description of the strip here, but it’s a bit hard to categorize as yet.Â There’s certainly a sci-fi element, and it’s humorous like all her work, and this one is rather surreal so far as well.
Next, I had heard about Questionable Content for a while, but just started reading it about 4 months ago.Â It took about a month to get through the 1000 strips.Â Jeph Jacques (pronounced ‘jacks’) is the writer/artist, and he lives in Easthampton, an adjacent town to me.Â The strip is sort of romantic-comedy-slice-of-life-indie-music-fan type stuff, if that makes any sense. Â It also seems to take place in a world just a little different from our own, as there exist little sentient robots known as AnthroPCs.Â The strip has well-written characters and is often really funny.Â The strip also spawns various T-shirt designs, which Jeph sells on the site.
Last, but not least, is Templar, Arizona. Â Spike is the name of the artist, and she is wildly hilarious.Â This strips cracks me up to no end much of the time.Â The setting of the strip is a fictional city in a sort of alternate history Arizona.Â The rest of that world might resemble ours, but not so much Templar.Â This is another comic with excellent characters, whose personalities contrast withÂ each other greatly, but where details of the city and backgrounds are very important as well (so don’t just pay attention to the people).Â I actually discovered Spike a few years ago when she had a different strip running on Girlamatic, and have been following Templar almost since it began.Â Besides her wonderful writing, I love her art style – lots of heavy lines and subtle sepia tones over grayscale.
I discovered this quiz via Amyable’s blog. According to the result I should be supporting Dennis for president. Fortunately, I already am! I’ll be voting for him on Super-duper-mega Tuesday here in Massachusetts (known simply as February 5 for the half of the country that doesn’t vote that day).
93% Dennis Kucinich
92% Mike Gravel
80% John Edwards
79% Joe Biden
76% Chris Dodd
76% Barack Obama
70% Hillary Clinton
67% Bill Richardson
28% Rudy Giuliani
26% Ron Paul
23% John McCain
16% Mike Huckabee
16% Mitt Romney
13% Tom Tancredo
7% Fred Thompson
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
There is good news and there is bad news regarding cats in our household.Â I’ll give the bad news first, which is also the more recent news.
Arzachel, who was the very old cat of the household, died 2 weeks ago on December 23.Â He was about 19 years old, which is quite a bit older than most cats live.Â He had survived many things which could have killed him, but avoided getting cancer (which killed both Shark and Nematode), or kidney failure (very common problem in older cats).Â We discovered that he had congestive heart failure, and treatment by a cardiology vet ultimately couldn’t do enough for him.Â The weekend before christmas he was no longer eating, so we took him in to end it.
The good news is quite a bit outdated.Â That is, we have a new cat – one that we got 3 months ago.Â We didn’t tell anyone for so long because we wanted to settle on a name first, and that took a while.Â We started with a list of possibilities, and tried them out on her frequently to see what she would respond to.Â The final choice was made a few weeks ago, so I now present Deodat:
A couple of weeks after Shark died, we started looking for a new cat.Â We might have waited more, except that Arzachel seemed lonely being the only cat in the house.Â We got here from a shelter in Springfield, and thought she might be a good companion for him.Â Unfortunately, she seemed to be afraid of him from the get go, and even after she calmed down and started tolerating his presence, she was never friendly to him.
She is friendly to humans, though, and likes to sit on our laps (especially at the dining table, oddly enough).Â She also is a big ball of energy, and wants to play much of the time.Â This is not too surprising, as she’s much younger than our previous cats were (the shelter estimated that she was a bit over 2 years old, making her 2.5 now).Â She’s a bit weird, though.Â Besides the lap-sitting at table, she also likes to run past someone who’s headed up the stairs, then grab the top step as she gets there, letting her momentum flop her onto her side on the landing.Â For the first couple of months she lived here, she would spend a good deal of time under the couch, and in particular would squeeze under there when she see someone coming (it took a little while to figure out that she was playing, not hiding in fear).Â She still goes under there occasionally.
I have yet to put up a web page for her, but I will get around to it at some point.