Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Get Stuffed

The grotty bit of paper that the stuffing recipe started from got lost in the cleanup this year, but I wrote this down from memory on Monday, so its probably not _too_ far wrong. If you taste it before you add the bread and bake it you'll swear you put in too much chilli and its going to take someones head off, but it always seems to come good in the end...

From memory:

500g italian sausage, skinned and crumbled (used half chorizo this year)
4 cloves garlic, diced
3 cups onions, chopped
3 cups celery, chopped
1/2 cup fresh jalapeno peppers, diced
4 teaspoons ground cumin seed
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups walnuts, chopped
corn bread and/or regular bread. I can't remember what the recipe specified for amount here, but I used (scaled to a single batch of stuffing) 1 loaf of cornbread from Mouse's recipe and about 1/2 a vienna loaf of white. Cut it all into ~1" cubes.
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 cup chicken stock

Saute the sausage in a bit of butter til browned (~8-10 minutes) then add garlic, onions, celery, and jalapenos and saute til softened (~10 minutes). Stir in cumin, chili and walnuts over heat until thoroughly mixed, then remove. Add bread and cornbread. (At this stage, before or after the bread, you can cover and refrigerate overnight.)

Add the fresh coriander and stuff the bird. Put the leftovers in a baking dish and sprinkle the chicken stock over it. Cover with foil and bake at 220 for about half an hour, then remove the foil and give it another 20 minutes to brown.

The recipe I took this from claimed to feed 10, but they must be voracious eaters those 10; I've found it'll do about twice that. I tripled it for 55 this year, and it came out about right.

Mashed Potatoes, a la Robs Gran

500g Butter
300 ml Sour Cream
a splash of Milk

Garnish with one small potato, if desired.

Putting The Mrs Back into Mississippi

Pandagon has a article about polygamy and the sister-wives bitchin about not getting sex very often, cause they only get to be a ON wife once a month, rest of the time you are OFF.

We all live in the same house. We have a bunk-bed double on the bottom and single on the top. Husband, first wife and the "ON" wife sleep on the bottom and the other two "OFF" wives sleep above. We find this very intimate as we all are sleeping in the same bed though on different levels and we can still feel and hear what is happening when sex happens in our bed.

I'm never looking at a bunk bed the same way again....

Lucky I'm moving to a more enlighten state where this sort of thing never happens....

The Cornbread Recipe

I missed out on Turkey Day because my uterus is crap. An unspecified infection attacked early friday morning which had me in a bit of pain. Three days on many intraveinous antibiotics had it in retreat and we are now at home with many more antibiotic pills.

The thing that was most worrying about the experience was that they threatened to send the boys home without me while they kept me in hospital, since there was no room to put us in the maternity ward. But luckily I got a single room in a normal ward and beds were found for the boys so they were allowed to stay with me. Jasper charmed every nurse on the ward, of course.

Some of my cornbread did make it to Turkey Day, and as usual various people apparently want the recipe again. It's been almost as traditional as Turkey Day itself to hand out the recipe in the week following. And so I'll put it here and maybe people will be able to find it in years to come... maybe.

This recipe was given to me by an American family I met in Adelaide years and years ago. It's more like a cake than bread.

1 cup sifted plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup yellow corn meal (polenta)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup margerine (slightly melted)

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and corn meal. Add eggs, milk and margerine.

Bake in hot oven for 20-30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Der Warnecke Code

Associated Press reports from the Vatican and South Korea broke the news to the world today that world famous cryptographer, Lord Mattress Hammer, and slightly reknowned art-thing-guy, Sir Harry Simspon KA have finally cracked Der Warnecke Code.

Crazy Old Ana and Two Eyed Pete have produced a crazy two-eyed baby.
This was the final piece that allowed the code to be cracked in quick-sharp time.
The baby's name is Eliza. 'El' is Spanish for 'The'. Which means the baby is 'The Iza.' The Iza, I tell you.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And we're back

Yes we do have a new e-mail address. The first bit stays the same and the second bit becomes It only took me three tries to set it up using the 'foolproof' fast set up CD that came with the modem. Of course if I had read the instructions and had the password with me rather than thinking my raddled mummy brain could remember it, I would have been right the first time.

Yes, I was at Turkey Day. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Also, for people who don't have children of their own, I was very impressed with the hosts' laid back attitude to small children, namely Charlie, laying waste to their house.

Despite being an alleged geography teacher I would be hard pressed to tell you where real countries are, much less imaginary ones. At least I think it's imaginary.

My guess about the stain is that it was either left too long before being treated or was given the wrong treatment thus setting the stain. Lucky you never really liked that shirt anyway.

I think that was it? If not, I blame the raddled mummy brain.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Pride and Prejudice Postscript

And so Elizabeth moved to Pemberley where her love for Darcy grew ever strong. And for his part, Darcy's love for her turned to growing adoration with each day. And so it was that ten months later, despite the Darcy's being immensely rich and socially connected, Elizabeth died in childbirth screaming in pain and terror.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Don't DO that!

Just got a phone call from the butchers. He's got an order written down for _A_ 30 kilo turkey - the idea of which kinda makes the skin crawl, if not the earth tremble - as opposed to 30 kilos of turkey, in turkey-sized lumps (for a given genetically-inbred hormone-infused definition of "turkey-sized".) He was confused. Which is fine, except he started the conversation by saying:

"I'm looking at my order for Christmas turkeys..." which point he paused, having picked up on a certain amount of angst from the other end of the line. It may have been my yelling:

"WHAT?!? Those aren't for Christmas, they're for TOMORROW! Please tell me I have turkeys for tomorrow!"

All sorted; not a problem. I have not had a heart attack, the butcher knows the plan, and you will not be eating turkey-shaped lumps of mashed potatoes. Unless you're just into that sort of thing. Don't let me stop you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Jasper Stats - finally

For those of you who didn't get the emails (we were tired and distracted and didn't quite get all the email addresses right!)

Jasper Rufus was born 10.01 pm, Saturday 11th November 2006 by c-section, weighing in at 4.305 kg and 53 cm long.

The fun started at 1am that morning when the waters broke. There was thick meconium (baby poo in utero) so we were immediately put on a monitor and given a drip to speed the labour at 6am.

Since I couldn't move much because of the monitor (which showed Jasper's heart rate was perfectly normal and stable the entire time despite being 'in distress'), I worked my way through the drug options throughout the day until reaching epidural stage at 7pm. By 9pm we hadn't got past the 9cm we had reached in early afternoon and thus pulled the c-section card rather than waiting any longer.

I must say the nitrous oxide is brilliant!! It turned the world into a happy spinning place until being dragged back down into contraction land... but then I forgot about it. It also gave me synesthesia (I could feel sounds). So Topsy suggested I use it. So for most of the afternoon I sang through the contractions. Well, more like a loud drone note, 3 per contraction, but it was probably better than moaning or screaming on Topsy's nerves. My brain has already filtered out most of the day's experience into a few vague memories.

Okay. TMI, I'm sure.

Here are some photos

Monday, November 20, 2006

anything you can do, we can do with oil and maple syrup

Picture this if you will, I go out for a jumping good time at the Enmore Thetare dancing around like a fool at The Cat Empire gig. Eventually get home, have shower to wash the drid sweat off and collapsed in bed going ooh, ooh i hurt and i'm sooo tired. sleeeep for me. It;'s your turn to look after the baby tomorrow.

So, I'm preacefully sleeping, the sleep of the exhausted the next morning when Daen tries to get my attention by having his own smashing good time.
The bastard!

Yes, in a concerted effort to deny me my sleep in, he pulled the kitchen cupboard over on himself. We lost all our big serving bowls, some plates and bowls, a jar of oily marinated eggplant and a jar of maple syrup. It was a delightful mess.

And before you panic, MrNw and Torby and I are fine

Friday, November 17, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Time to say farewell!

The time has finally come. While I have had an enjoyable stay with you all, and have learned much, the time has come for me to leave. I must once again live amongst my own people.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

here, Ob, have another Atheist hell...

... this one's less yellow.
but, relatively, it's a lot less funny and harmless, too.

I was going to just call this post 'AAAAAArrrrrRRGggghhHHH my eyes!', but Ob has unwittingly helped me to be more succinct. spooky coincidental bloggin', dood.

I was reading about Ted Haggard's downfall on TOA's site today and took a bit of a trawl to find out more... which took me here... which led me... here.

it's a documentary from the outside looking in, not the other way around, which is good, or I would have passed out from hyperventilating from now. but it's still freaking me out that A) there are people like this in the world, and B) they feel that this is a positive portrayal of themselves and are pleased with it. I think it might still be a good idea to build the For Battle Bunker up under the garage. y'know. just in case. bring a shovel to the Chrissie Pissie, m'kay?

I'll leave you to fume at a nice little quote from the movie via a review at The Guardian:

"I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam... I want to see them radically laying down their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine."

sigh. listen, don't let me do another post unless it's funny-ha-ha, not funny-freak-me-out, alright?

An Atheist Hell...

Is here. Funny, I always thought it would be warmer, and less yellow.

All together now!

This is one that we can all join in on.
My friend Cassie wrote a more thorough diatribe than i have time to recreate anew, inspired by this article:
Original post is here is you want to comment to Cassie directly.

I don't know if I am spelling evisceration right...
Simon Jenkins, once a self-anointed defender of Standard English, is now celebrating the fact that the Scottish Qualifications Authority has decided to allow SMS speak in their exams. Oh, thank the heavens, that this lofty knight has coming riding out of the backwoods and given up the cause of archaism!

Sir Simon seems to think that a revolution is coming, heralded by the decision of the SQA, a revolution carried on the backs of the ‘champions of reason’ – and that these champions are the people lazy enough to use SMS speak in examinations.

The revolution for Sir Simon is one of spelling reform, but I am confused as to how SMS speak can signal a reform any of us would want.

I have no problem with SMS speak as a functional language for short, simple conversation – necessity being the mother of invention, in this case she invented a way to circumvent character restrictions on a cheap form of communication. What I object to is its use in longer, more in-depth communications, such as essays, fiction or opinion pieces, when it clearly doesn’t have the range of meaning to convey what needs to be said.

Sir Simon seems to be confused: on the one hand he wants spelling reform, to make the English language more democratic and accessible, but on the other he is championing this ludicrous new ‘language’, which is patently incapable of speaking for the multitude.

SMS speak is fine to tell people you’re running late, or you’ve got the job, or any number of other teaser messages – a way to give the bare bones and wait to flesh out the story when you’ve a keyboard or a person in front of you – but it won’t allow you to tell your story there and then. You can condense basic words – you, two, then, etc – all you like, but what about more complex words – terrified, ecstatic, depressed? How can they be incorporated into SMS speak?

I notice that Sir Simon doesn’t use his lauded SMS speak in his own opinion piece on the matter. Perhaps because it can’t adequately convey his meaning?

Sir Simon goes on to champion spelling reform, saying that our labyrinthine and archaic orthography is a way of, essentially, keeping the rabble out, as Latin was once used, when “knowing your ‘ie’ from your ‘ei’ or ‘-ible’ from ‘-able’ does not affect a word’s meaning one jot.”

What about, Sir Simon, the difference between a good, honest knight, such as yourself, and the perpetual night of orthographic antiquity, which you long to save us from? What about, Sir Simon, the difference between wholesome, as it is currently spelt, and holesome, as you suggest we spell it?

I suggest Sir Simon’s argument is holesome, indeed.

For example, Sir Simon gives the Americans as an example of those who readily embrace spelling reform (and suggests that the British have rejected it only because it reeks [or would you prefer wreaks, Sir Simon?] of Americano). Sir Simon has obviously forgotten the uproar that occurred when Webster’s Third was published – this edition had the audacity to suggest that the meaning of words could be dictated by their use. “How will we know the correct way to speak?!” the Americans cried.

Of course, this isn’t the same as spelling, but it shows that Americans are as willing to be told how to use language from on-high, and to use these commandments to distinguish themselves from the rabble, as the ‘deplorable’ British.

Sir Simon also gives Shakespeare, and his multifarious spelling choices, as an example of how it was possible to “convey the clearest of messages with random spelling”. He is, of course, ignoring the fact that Shakespeare communicated in a primarily oral medium, which meant spelling was a non-issue, and the fact that Shakespearean spelling isn’t clear, and has to be regularly tidied up for the general public.

“[George Bernard Shaw] was right in claiming that archaic spellings were maintained to keep the poor illiterate,” Sir Simon writes, insulting poor people everywhere by calling them too stupid to understand something rich people have no trouble doing. I was always under the impression that what kept the poor illiterate was not the confusion of two, to and too, but inferior or no education. Does Sir Simon know better?

Obviously not, because earlier in his piece, he claims that whenever he writes ‘cough’, ‘bough’ and ‘through’, he thinks of the “teeming millions of students who ask their teachers: why? There is no answer.” An example of bad education if ever I heard one. There is an answer and reason to every spelling quirk – from its language of origin, to a craze for a particular clump of letters, to popularisation by an author. It may not be a reason you like, but it exists.

The fact is, English is a confusing language, its spelling especially so. It is so confusing because it is confused – a hodgepodge of loan and portmanteau words, a vital and changing language. This is why I and thousands of others love it. It’s confusing, but millions have mastered it, and millions more can – all they need is a decent education.

Sir Simon brings Orwell to his arsenal, claiming that he associated the dogma of orthography with totalitarianism. But what I remembered from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was a language stripped of meaning by being rendered simple and dull. A language which shares a lot in common with SMS speak.

I doubt Orwell would be praising the rise of ‘ur’ ‘2b’ and ‘l8r’ as heralding a new wave of spelling reform. By suggesting that it is, Sir Simon offers us a brave new world in which, because we are too stupid to understand Standard English, we must use a language too cramped to express anything but the meanest, poorest sentiments.

Rage, rage against the dying of the lite.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Having a la

Gratuitous plug for a concert wot is happening in the next few weeks. I should be singing in it, but there is a chance that my presence will be required elsewhere should someone decide to be extremely late, err I mean, fashionable (just my luck he'll rebel so early :)

But even if I'm not there, you'll know everyone else - Fitz, Bethan, Annabel, Gui, Nick, BaggyTrousers, Kitty, Wenchilada. It's a bunch of pre-1600 stuff we've been working on and need a chance to use it.

It's on the afternoon of turkey day... so come hear us sing and then we'll go stuff ourselves stupid.

Darlington Concert.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I guess I shouldn't have expected anything else.
The tabloids of London are giving a foretaste of the world debate. Two armies face off at the entrance to London tube stations...
Two tabloids, both with the Stern repot on Climate change on the front page, are sold side by side. However, one of them is whinging about how the taxes to fund climate conservation will cost Joe Taxpayer.


Australia, as a nation, votes with it's back pocket. The war debate was overshadowed by interest breaks on mortgages, and so on and so forth.
I very much expect it lives by its back pocket. Supporting local industry is all well and good, but we'll buy the cheaper option.
It doesn't look good people.