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Well, I LOL’ed

Watch this stupid video. With the sound on.

It popped up on my Twitter and I laughed. Turns out if you search YouTube for it, it’s been done multiple times by multiple people. Still, I laughed. That’s worth sharing, right?

True story: I played trombone in junior high band. We already had one (my big brother played). Also, it meant I got to sit with the boys and poke those snooty clarinet bitches in the butt with my slide when the teacher wasn’t looking. I reckon I could still belt out the scales if I had to.

But don’t put a trombone in a warm bath to clean the gunk out of it. Don’t do it. It’s gross. Spoiler: the gunk comes out of it.

*pic unrelated

March 21, 2019 — 10:01 pm
Comments: 2

Note to self: buy more beer

Well! I’ve just gotten a work email (yes, I get them at home) reminding me that next year is the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. We’re going to party like it’s 1620!

March 20, 2019 — 10:13 pm
Comments: 10

First lambs!

We saw the first lambs of the season on the way to the supermarket today. Well, the first lambs we’ve seen — there’s a farm in the back of beyond that always has the very first lambs, but we have to go out of our way to see them. These were just RIGHT THERE, like nothin’.

Not the ones in the picture up there, though. That picture is stolen from Middle Farm, a local open farm. They sell tickets for lambing. I can’t decide if that’s a very city thing or a very country thing to do. Their lambing starts April 1, like ours.

I bought my second two chickens from Middle Farm, a long time ago. And very excellent chickens they were, too.

But never mind that — LAAAAAMBS!

March 19, 2019 — 8:42 pm
Comments: 6

Liquorice, yay or nay?

My current chai recipe calls for star anise, which I’ve slavishly added because I’m an idiot obviously. I hate this shit. It gives me the willies.

Anise, star anise (totally different plants, I did not realize), fennel and liquorice all derive their flavor largely (I have learned through a cursory trawl through Google and now I r expert) from a compound called anethole.

But they each have lots of other stuff going on. Like, “90% of the world’s star anise crop is used for extraction of shikimic acid, a chemical intermediate used in the synthesis of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)” Wikipedia tells me.

And once most liquorice was used in cigarette manufacture, giving American cigs a distinctive flavor, until the FDA banned it in 2009 for some reason. Which means the cigarettes I knew and loved no longer even exist.

My mother in law loves the stuff. My mother did, too. We could always con her into taking the black jelly beans.

Black candy. Surely, Mother, they are trying to tell you something.

Can you bear this stuff, or is it just me?

March 18, 2019 — 9:29 pm
Comments: 14


‘Tis the Ides of March.

The Romans did not number days of a month from the first to the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st of the following month). The Ides occurred near the midpoint, on the 13th for most months, but on the 15th for March, May, July, and October. The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar. On the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the new year.

Our upstairs toilet is working again, my bike has gone to the shop for a thorough tune-up, and the wind is supposed to blow over 40 miles and hour from early tomorrow morning until late tomorrow night.

Facts that bear no relation to each other, nor to the good weekend I am wishing you!

March 15, 2019 — 7:13 pm
Comments: 9


Geez, the image quality of the stupid shit I steal off Facebook is getting worse and worse.

Sorry, y’all, I was out late tonight. See you mañana!

March 14, 2019 — 9:56 pm
Comments: 5

From the moist bowels of FaceBook

I got spotted dick. Because of course I did.

Liner notes: a crumpet is an english muffin. I’ve heard of Americans making potato chip sandwiches, but not Brits — my guess is that should be a chip butty. Also, it’s only a shepherd’s pie when it’s made with lamb; most people make it with hamburger, which is a cottage pie.

Confession: I like mushy peas.

The images was credited to Getty Images/Buzzfeed, which doesn’t seem likely.

March 13, 2019 — 10:04 pm
Comments: 16

When pushbuttons go wrong

You know what’s really swell? When you’re a stranger in a strange land and you cannot figure out how to flush the toilet.

I never worked out Uncle B’s toilet in London at all. It was a lever action, but you had to kind of lift it and then put a little english on it (appropriately enough). I actually had to call him in once. (Can you picture it? “Hello, man I am courting — I HAVE MADE BOOM BOOM”).

Shown above is our toilet flusher off the master bedroom. It’s easy enough. You push the button.

Well, you push the little button for a ‘half flush’ and the big button for a ‘full flush’ — or the other half of a ‘half flush’ if it hasn’t refilled. Okay, it’s stupidly complicated – and you haven’t seen the insides yet.

It went wrong tonight. It won’t flush. The button, it is dead. We took the lid off and…honest to dog, I’ve had cars that were less complicated.

I never thought I’d be homesick for a float valve. (Yeah, you thought I was going to say “cock and ball mechanism” didn’t you?).

March 12, 2019 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 19

The most inconvenient of tails

Uncle B took this snapshot in the garden yesterday (gosh, phone cameras are getting better). My boy Boo, who is now about ten months old and the sweetest khet ever.

That tail, tho. The longest, skinniest, most inconvenient tail of them all. And there’s a white ring just before the tip, which seems an unnecessary mockery.

I feed all three beasts first thing in the morning; the kitchen floor is a minefield of lashing tails. Or one of those Russian sword dance things: step wrong at your peril.

See the snowdrops in one corner? They’ve been bursting out for a couple of weeks. It’s been very funny weather here. The sunshine says it’s Spring. The wind says, “fuck you and the horse you rode in on.”

March 11, 2019 — 10:04 pm
Comments: 8

Thus endeth a strange week in a recipe

My new favorite snacky:

Soak a cup* of dried soybeans overnight**
Drain and toss into a hot wok with 1 tablespoon† of peanut oil
Wok for ten minutes⁑
Sprinkle with salt‡

Keeps for days in a bowl. Tastes like popcorn, but more satisfying because it’s full of protein-y goodness. (Careful, fellas — don’t grow soy tiddies!).

Image stolen from Sincerely Nuts, a charmingly-named American online purveyor of foodstuffs. Recipes at the link look interesting, too.

Good weekend, all!

* a cup is kind of a lot. I do less in one go, usually.
** Seriously, WTF does this mean? I hate it when recipes say overnight. Is it eight hours? Is it twelve? Is there some magical alchemy that happens to food while the world sleeps?
† I need to start measuring this. I keep eyeballing it and using too much oil which is gross.
⁑ give or take. Less, and they’re chewy. More, and they’re crispy. I like them both ways.
‡ last, before you turn them out of the wok. I think it coats better if it goes on last, or perhaps it protects the surface of the wok. Chunks of coarse sea salt in a grinder is the best.

March 8, 2019 — 8:56 pm
Comments: 13