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Friday, November 30, 2012

Longest week ever

This week has just seems so very very LONG.

Yesterday, after an extra long day at work, I got to come home later but got to treat myself with a bit of seafood. J isn't a seafood fan so whenever he works late and misses supper I have a some...last night was some prawns with mushrooms, red pepper and onion with ginger and garlic and some rice.
So. Good.

Then I put a coat of black paint on the speaker stands I've built and primed and relaxed with my kittehs. The shelves look really slick painted up. One more coat and they're good to go. I love painting...I get it everywhere, but I love it. For the record, black paint washes off really easily. That dang primer from the shelves is still there on my legs tho. Seriously...4 scrubbing showers now and it won't come off...sheesh. At least I know it's good primer! :)

I may or may not have to work tomorrow (I find out today) but I have plans for some more organizing on the weekend. We have a whack of books, old VHS and clothes and stuff to give away that we've purged, so I need to drop those and the recyclables off on saturday and do some more purging and organizing.
Counds crazy I know, but it's so...cleansing. For so long I've felt out of control and with school and life I never had the time to really work on my home. Now, I can pick away at it here on my own terms and really go thru things. Instead of looking around and being frustrated at all the little things I keep meaning to get to, I am actually getting to them. Things in my life I don't need or that are not what I want are being removed. And, most importantly, I have my craft room back. It's not organized yet, but I had no idea how important it was for my sanity to have my space to make crazy stuff in. I love making stuff...it gets my brain all smiley and sparkley on the inside. :)

Best of all? December is tomorrow.
Oh yeah, it is! That means I can officially lift my self imposed decoration ban and start whipping out the holiday decorations. Hee hee! By next weekend, when my Dad gets home from visiting my sister I hope to have them all up.
I plan to invent some peppermint candy cane cupcakes for family dinner on sunday. I found a box of candy canes in the pantry while organizing and I have to bring dessert, so we'll see what I can come up with. I have cream cheese for icing too so they should be good. I'm not sure if I should make them red or green tho (or green and white marbley maybe?). I don't know how edible a green cupcake would seem.
Hmmm...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gah

I am currently trying to play tetris to get all the new and old lab equipment to fit into the new labs before we confirm the orders. Blueprints with little cutouts. Matching up outlets to units. New researcher moving into my space I have to find room for. Grown men acting like children about "their stuff"...

Rediculous really. They're fine with whatever I do...provided I do it all and I can actually fit it all in.

*sigh*
I need a beer...


discordian radio at it's finest

I've gone on before in the past about the KLF and how fantastic they are, and what that bunch of crazy artist musicians did way back when, when sampling was forbidden and a car could be a Timelord and the Justified Ancients of Mumu made some great music, doctored the tardis and burned some money.

Some guy (JMR Higgs) has written an ebook about the KLF and interviews and little bit about their life. The author has set up an online broadcast, Radio Eris, starting November 23 for 15 days, reading chapters form the book along with random sound quotes, poems, music and weird randomness. We've had it on at home lately to listen to it all. Last night's Chapter 6 excerpt was really interesting...a lot about Doctor Who and how the KLF Doctor Who track came to be. Really interesting perspectives and odd takes on things...J, who is enamoured with both the KLF and Doctor Who was over the moon. I heard snippets as I primed and painted in the basement and was impressed as well. I look forward to reading the book. I need to dig out my KLF CDs for a listen...

If you are interested, or want a little oddness in your day, check out Radio Eris for the next while. Or the KLF. Or the book.
Or not.
Y'know.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shiny

Remember Much Music Big Shiny Tunes Compilations from the 90s? I do. They started when I was in university...which dates me I know. They had some good songs on them...I remember owning a few on CD. I think they're still kicking around downstairs somewhere...

As a fundraiser for the local community run Broadway theatre, they had a great event last night. Local bands and artists did covers of tracks off of Big Shiny Tunes 2 and proceeds went to the theatre to help keep them going for another year. Rockabilly, punk, country and soulful versions of Bran Van 3000, Sugar Ray, Third Eye Blind, Blur, the Tea Party, Chemical Brothers, capped off with a beat poet rendition of Marilyn Manson's Beautiful People. All totally different than the originals and all really well done. The event ended up raising 9000 for the theatre to keep it running for another year. It was a great night

This is why I love the community I live in. Yes it's a smaller city in the frozen wasteland, but the arts and music community is thriving here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ramona

I really enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim VS the World comics and the movie made of them was also fabulous. I have coveted the round bag of Ramona Flowers since seeing it both animated and in the film (which is odd, as I'm not one for coveting bags of any kind really). I tracked down "the bag" after on the interwebs and was mooning over it and my friend Heather kindly offered to get it for me for my birthday. In colours I like.
It just arrived in the mail.


Joy. :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Open letter to Iomega

Dear Iomega,

I have had 2 external hard drives from you, and both have failed after a brief use in the exact same way...as in they are useless bricks. Your "warranty" appears to be fake and I cannot get any customer support for a replacement unit so far, although I will continue to try my best. The first time the store it was bought from was good enough to give me another unit, but now they will not. After going to your website for help I have learned that I could pay $25 for technical support and likely be told to go away (um...no) or call a number that redirects me to your website or try emailing in a technical ticket for support on an item you say may or may not be under warranty, even though there should be at least a 1 year warranty on it. Since it was a gift, I have no receipt and highly expect that you and your horrible company will tell me I have a very expensive door stop. I may end up playing macguyver and drop the drive into a new case to try and get it to work so I am not totally out a few hundred dollars...which I have not done yet since it would void my (ha ha) warranty.

Suffice it to say your company and your products are of very poor quality, and from what I can find on the Internet you have a record of inferior products and terrible customer support. If you cannot assist me, I will ensure that everyone I know is aware of your utterly awful products and service. I will never buy another product from you again.

Geo

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Getting jiggy


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't label me man

Put together a label for my blueberry wine.


I am most curious to crack some open over christmas. It may be more than 9% if I did the math wrong...and it not be ready to drink yet, but we'll see...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stuff and things

We are still in the midst of Operation Organize Our Sh*t.
It involves...well...organizing, putting things into bins on shelves in a labelled way so we can find them, and getting rid of a lot of junk. About 3 years of it. I've made a huge dent in the basement and my craft room and our bedroom is nearly complete. J is redoing his basement studio and I am trying (feeling somewhat like it's in vain) to organize the sub-basement. It's full of so much JUNK...you kind of have to make a huge mess in order to clean it up properly...but it's coming slowly but surely. Still much to purge.
If only we didn't have 2 van seats and a van bench stuck in the middle of the basement (GAH) I'd be a bit further along... Still tho - we will keep organizing and getting bins and purging as needed. I've been repainting our dresser to match the bedside tables Dad and I made and it should be ready to go back by the weekend in to the bedroom. That will do for starters. Bit by bit...it's kind of never ending, but really really necessary. It may take me all winter, but I am determined to organize the basement and eventually our closets and pantry so that they're not just random piles of stuff. Perhaps move the workout stuff down there eventually...
Soon I'll be pulling out all the Christmas stuff...and purging some of that too. Cuz really...a lot of it is just stuff I feel obligated to keep but don't like. I'm so over that stage of my life...

I keep wondering as I come across stuff - where the hell did all this junk come from anyways?

Courage...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Appetite suppressant

Glorious weekend up at the lake. My Dad is away visiting my sister in Ottawa so J and I had the place to ourselves. Fireplace and wine and snow and fog, with some grilled cheese and croissants and fruit thrown in for good measure. It was gorgeous. Only about -7, with lots of fog to coat all the trees in a thick frost and glisten in the sunlight. We even got out for a hike one afternoon to somewhere J's never been before and saw lots of bunny tracks and even (thankfully a day old) wolf tracks. No bears or elk, thankfully. It was a great weekend away. The first time in ages where we had nowhere else to be or things to do but just be together. :)

Only odd thing while up there -My dad's friend used to be a conservative MP and I'm sure it was him who gave my dad a 2013 Stephen Harper calendar. Yeah, you read that right -a whole year of charming photos of Stephen Harper and his family all smarmy and posing for the camera. It took all my willpower not to burn it...it's not mine so I didn't,  but I do want to insist Dad does the same with it. Instead, to calm my brain, I tucked it away and placed a 2013 wildlife federation calendar out in plain view where it had been. I refuse to have a calendar of that man up. Yeesh. The fact that such a thing exists, is just...well...really? What kind of an ego puts together a calendar like that for someone other than your family? I would assume my Dad's friend didn't want it or gave it to Dad as a joke...I hope so. Because really, even if I were a supporter of the conservative party I wouldn't want that man smiling at me every month.  It hangs right by the kitchen table. Way to kill your appetite.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Meh

Cold. Snowy. Dark.
This time of year it's dark when I get up and dark when I go home. Just another month and thankfully the darkness recedes again, but it's still gloomy. I am happy that I can avoid the holiday shopping madness, but I still am feeling like it is february, and it's (gak) only november. This real life business is odd...I have time to think and scheme and find I often have to reign in my mind as it can wander too far to places it should not be. My brain is floundering I suppose. After doing elaborate science non stop it's hard to equate making bread or painting furniture to my mind as acceptable substitutes, never mind just sitting with a book and some tea. Come December I can go mad with christmas decorations, but until then...well gnawing at the back of my mind is the fact that I really need to get to publishing my papers from my thesis and focus on my life more. Academically, the university I work for is going through a huge transition, and I fear that I will be swept up in it and find I do not belong or want to be in it all when the dust settles. Or I could love it here even more.
Meh. Poor me and my under-stimulated brain.

For now...2 hours left until I can flee into the dark snowy world for the weekend. I am quite looking forward to a weekend of warmth and wine and relaxing with J.
Yes...that will do nicely for starters.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Experimental boozery

I was given a recipe for homemade Kahlua, so I decided to start some up tonight. It takes about a month so it will be ready or christmas. My J is a girly drinker and I admit I too am a sucker for Kahlua and milk, so I am looking forward to a tasty holiday. I seems really easy compared to wine...more on the level of lemoncello. It is easy peasy. All you need is:

4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup decent instant coffee
3 1/2 c sugar
3 c vodka
1 vanilla bean, cut into 3 and slit open a bit

You dissolve the coffee and sugar in the hot water, add the bean and bring to a boil. After this cools, you just put it in a jar with the vodka and put a lid on it and ignore it in a warm place for a month. After you remove the bean it's ready to drink, and should be kept refrigerated from then on.
Currently the coffee syrup is cooling, and once it is combined with ze booze in my sterilized 2 L jar, it will be left alone until Christmas eve.
I am excited...just in case the blueberry wine is a flop we have this.
Yum.

Come to the dark side. We have cookies

I read this today and I feel this way too around this time of year when the world goes crazy for chocolates and candy and cake and everyone's diet goes out the window.

"Food is not a reward. I am not a dog. I am not working hard in life for a cookie."

It is something I struggle with because eating for enjoyment and savouring the yumminess is one thing, but food as a reward is not something I can do with restraints. Maybe it was just the weekend of insane consumerism I lived through, but there are so many really important things in my life that need tending to. My ass and stomach will be just fine as they are...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rowbits!

I survived a US christmas shopping trip to Minot with my muminlaw and sisinlaw...my reward for surviving their crazy shopping frenzy was to be finished my christmas shopping for the family along with getting some nice work clothes and a few cool things that I've ever seen before (like a Gir blanket and Gorillaz shirt). No annoying christmas music yet too, thankfully, and time to find tasty foodstuffs you can't get at home...including gingerbread oreos and almond joy coffee creamer (drool). Spent most of my time following them around, drinking coffee as they shopped like demons. Somehow managed to get free wine every time we ate out...which helped me stay sane thru it all.
My only real goal was spending hours in my new favourite store - Hobby Lobby. It is a ginormous craft store...everything conceivable for sewing, crafts, baking and specialty tools of every sort. I now have leather punches and fabric and paints and lots of things for future creative ventures...even a few christmas robots.  I am currently fixated on 1950s style robots at the moment, or as J would say in a 1950s style newscaster voice - rowbits :)

We managed to beat a giant 2 day blizzard going down which conveniently stopped again the night before we came back. It was a nice drive. I must say though, I have no desire to shop for a very long time...and I so very much am glad to be back in J's sane and handsome company.

Only goal in the next while is to make some spiced ale for christmas and enjoy being home.  Starting to get festive in spite of myself :)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Message from the Queen

This made me snicker this morning....there has been a lot of rediculous things going on in Canadian politica that have made me ranty, and we've been inundated with US election stuff.  This was a bit of a reprieve from it all  :)

A MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN  

(From Michael Yon's page)

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:


In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
-----------------------

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Uberweekend


I didn't get everything done that I wanted to this weekend, but it was busy and productive.
Bottled my blueberry wine, which looks gorgeous. It fermented out uber-dry and my attempts to sweeten it helped a bit, but I didn't make it as sweet as I probably should have for my own palate. Still a newb at this wine stuff and I'd rather have it a bit dry than too sweet. It's a nice semi-dry red - good for most people. Wouldn't really know it was blueberry and not grape. Since it will likely be gifted out (and consumed) over the holidays I figure it will do nicely. :)



I also finished painting up the bedside tables Dad and I made a few weeks ago. Then J and I did a crazy super clean of our bedroom to suck up the cat fluff and dust in there, especially taking down the canopy we have had over the bed for years. Preparation for the new tables. Baha.
But wow...So. Much. Dust.  My sneeze record was 16 in a row. Sheesh. My allergies went absolutely insane, but it was necessary...and it will be so nice to have the bedroom organized. I'm repainting our dresser to match our new bedside tables this week, and the bedside tables are ready to used in the bedroom today. Hooray!  In the spring we are replacing the windows in our bedroom and will repaint then and get a new duvet cover. For now, this reboot to our sanctuary is so very nice :)

After a ridiculously convoluted installation of the snow tires, I made a treat that I haven't in a while - meat cheese buns. Fresh buns with spicy hamburger and a square of gouda baked into the centre. I haven't made them since before I started school, because they take all day. I made up 4 dozen and after a late late supper of them there are still lots left to freeze for quick suppers over the next while. Sooooooooooo good.

Tonight is belly dancing and more bedroom attack and basement organizing. Now that we have the shelves I built downstairs we can really sort through things. I'm rebooting the house one room at a time...I have over 2 years of clutter and mess to fight back against. I will win. :)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Made me laugh out loud

As crude as it is this made me laugh out loud...


But seriously tho...American politics right now are just simply insane. Canada is hopeless as well and voter apathy could result in some seriously messed up lives in the near future. If the US votes in Romney simply by people not showing up to vote, I am turning in my human race card and starting a Newfreeland. There will be cake and scotch for all the disenfranchised.