[Wednesday, January 27, 2010]

So a colleague of mine asked me about blog-creation and multiple users for one blog. As Blogger has all the required features including photo uploading, I steered him there as he was not so into messing around with html codes (and neither am I--not beyond the template of my blog at any rate).

He remarked that I seemed to like this stuff and I said that it's not so much about liking it as being extremely used to it as I have been at it (blogging) for around 10 years. (As soon as I said that, the "10 years" started to reverberate inside my head. Oh fuck, I am old.)

It's not as though I am any where near the cutting edge--I don't do the tagging for all the other collectives and feeds with the names I cannot quite recall right now. I was one of the last on Facebook*--and that was by the weight of peer-pressure. It's just comfortable here on Blogger and on my LJ. If I had to update that many blogs and mini-blogs, I'd never have time to do other stuff.

Comfort versus change. Familiarity versus evolution. Stagnation versus upgrading. One is supposedly better than the other, right?

But how much more online networking must we do before we are completely cut off from the real world? I like talking to my friends face to face and I want to meet more online friends someday. (I have met most of my local friends and visited two of the overseas friends. This only works if 1) there is no skeevy business going on, 2) you meet in a public place first and 3) you are travelling in the company of friends/relatives.)

*Facebook is no longer cutting edge. My Mum's on it.

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[Saturday, January 23, 2010]

Further adventures in kitchenland.
I made scones again.

Left, raisins and fruit peel scones, right, cheese scones.

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[Thursday, January 21, 2010]

Only in Japan . . . would Tama the stationmaster cat get promoted for boosting tourism. Yes, only in Japan would a cat in a hat be a tourism-booster. To the tune of 1.1 billion yen. Making Tama the most cost-efficient tourist attraction in the region for the price of some cat-food and a cat-sized stationmaster's hat.

Tama also has her own souveniers, Tama-themed train, summer uniform, X'mas uniform, office and a photo book. I can see the appeal--I like the Cathedral Cats series. And now I have a strange urge to go to Wakayama the next time I am in Japan. And ride the Tama-train.

Hmm, wonder if Kotora of Kichigahara station and Bus of Aizu Ashinomaki Onsen station are going to be slated for a promotion? Will Maron the terrier, stationmaster of Okunakayama-Kougen station, beat them to it?

(I bet Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat wants a raise now. )

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The cat left something in the box at [7:15 PM] 0 comments

Reason #532 why I love the British:
They make the damnedest documentaries. Like Japanorama, hosted by Jonathan Ross. Yaoi, air sex and onnabe. All within ten minutes in the middle of an episode on why there's no ai and koi in RL. Oh, and they've just gone onto talking about doll love in a plastic bordello. This is better than those human behaviour studies and all those essays trying to explain it all.

Not that some bits were damn creepy, but it just goes to show, there's nothing above, beyond or under the spectrum of human imagination that humans won't aspire to.

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[Monday, January 11, 2010]

So my sister wanted me to pass her the recipe for my hamburger steak, but I never wrote it down.

Until now. Mind you, I never measured anything . . .

Hamburger patties from scratch / hamburger steaks

- minced beef, about 200 to 300 grams (lean or whatever you like)
- about a spoonful of chicken liver pate or pork pate
- some mushroom sauce / beef gravy seasoning mix (powdered form, McCormick's is good)
- garlic salt
- coarsely ground black pepper
- Mixed herbs or Italian Seasoning
- some minced garlic
- some mustard (Djion, English or honey mustard--whatever you like)
- for super hamburger steaks, add in a few finely chopped button mushrooms (white or brown)
- 1 egg (small egg for 200 grams of beef, larger egg for 300 grams of beef)
- some Japanese style breadcrumbs

1) Dump minced beef into mixing bowl.
2) Season beef liberally with garlic salt, black pepper, some Italian Seasoning, some gravy seasoning mix, a spoon of minced garlic, a spoon of pate and a squirt/teaspoon of mustard (depends on type of mustard--the teaspoon is generally for hot English mustard).
3) Mix the beef and seasonings together, then add in the egg (and finally chopped mushrooms if you are having them).
4) Mix in the egg until everything is well combined. The mixture will be rather gloopy at this point.
5) Add in some breadcrumbs to the gloopy beef mixture, mix and add more breadcrumbs until the beef mixture starts to become more dough-like and you can shape patties from it. (200 - 300 grams of beef can give you around 4 patties. The thickness of the patty depends on you. The thicker the patty, the longer the cooking time.)
6) Heat a frying pan and slosh in some olive oil and a bit of minced garlic.
7) Do not burn the garlic, turn the heat down to low.
8) Place one of beef patties into the pan and cook for a few minutes and flip it over with a spatula. (The side that has been cooked will show some browning.)
9) Turn over the hamburger steak a few more times in the pan before placing on paper kitchen towels to drain off some of the oil. Do the same for the rest of the patties.
10) Using the same pan, fry some chopped button mushrooms.
11) Add some water to the pan, sprinkle on the rest of the beef/brown/mushroom gravy mix and turn the heat up so that gravy can boil and thicken.
12) When the gravy thickens, turn off the heat and transfer the gravy into a bowl before serving with the hamburger steaks. Buns/bread with cheese is optional. Alternatively, a nice salad by the side will do.

Refreshing Salad

- Butterhead lettuce (around one small head of butterhead lettuce per person)
- Fresh mint (however much you like)
- Fresh basil (however much you like)
- Japanese style sesame-seed and peanut salad dressing
- Pepper to taste

1) Chop the butterhead lettuce finely. Place into a bowl.
2) Pick fresh mint and basil leaves, wash and add to the lettuce. (Mint and basil leaves may be torn into smaller shreds if preferred.)
3) Sprinkle on pepper to taste and slosh on as much salad dressing as you like.

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[Sunday, January 03, 2010]

I-actually-watched-movies! (Making 2009 the year with the least movies watched in a cinema . . . as I watched these two in 2010.)

Sherlock Holmes:
Victorian bromance with more bang than the original novels and better characterisation than previous adaptations. Very amusing. But . . .

Erm. I think one of the many reasons why I don't watch movies very often is that the Science doesn't quite make it.

The science/big plot machine thingy in the movie went something like "mumblemumblemumble--some arsenic containing compound--mumblemumblemumble--refined in the stomach of pigs--mumblemumblemumble--in these wonky cylinders that will produce a poisonous gas if a solvent is added--mumblemumblemumble--and only those who drank the antidote previously will survive--mumblemumblemumble."

Eh. I have to take off my science goggles for movies. Case in point . . .

The largest contributing factor to me not watching most movies is the predictability of the things. For Avatar, everyone probably feels like me. The plot is formulaic and is the paint-by-number-version of Dances with Wolves. Crossed with Pocahontas for good measure.

And the science in this one . . . oh dear. You can't breath it, but you can light a match in it. (Though my friends pointed out that there could be some other combustible non-oxygen gas in Pandora's atmosphere. And that James Cameron does anvilious story-telling. George Lucas does the detailed world-building.)

The evolutionary iPod dock was the most interesting thing. And Ripley Signorney Weaver as the scientist/biologist was let down by the fact that if every living thing on Pandora has the evolutionary iPod dock/can dock with the evolutionary iPod dock, wouldn't that be the first thing they would do intensive research on?

Sorry. My inner researcher is appalled for science and scientists.

We concluded after the movie that James Cameron had to do the white-guy-saves-the-day-trope because no-one in his country would watch it otherwise. Then again, he also had to hammer the point in with anvils because his target audience won't get it otherwise. But the sad thing is that some of them still wouldn't get it--nice try, Mr. Cameron.

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