Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wow hope for me yet!

I may yet get to improve my blog template with this super blog

Tis late but I will be figuring out all the tricks over time especially love the little url book icon!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The first three Christmas Light Gremlins

1) The Transformer Gremlin
This tricky little gremlin uses the ploy of hiding the transformer stored with a more demanding string of lights and swapping it with a weaker transformer, of the correct voltage of course so the lights do light, for a while at least before the poor under powered transformer goes into permanent melt down. The result is a double whammy two light strings out of action!

2) The Spare Lights Gremlin
One of the tricks that this gremlin uses is to provide copious supplies of different types of replacement bulbs, that one never remembers purchasing that fit none of the strings available. He gains much pleasure from watching his victims trying in vain to make any of the different bulb types fit any of their strings of lights. Another of his tricks is to retreive previously discarded dead bulbs and reinsert them into a seemingly new pack of spare bulbs. (His cousin the "Dead Match" gremlin uses a similar ploy with matches.)

3) The Invisible Dead Bulb Gremlin
This gremlin has many tricks up his sleeve, his favorite appearing to be the hands on "Swap the dead bulb" trick. Which due to his invisbility he can do during his favorite time, which is when his victim is swapping their spare bulb in a string of lights that clearly has one dead bulb stopping it working. There are many who will not have realised that it was not the fact that they lost track of which bulbs thay had not tested. It was the IBL Gremlin's greatest pleasure to swap two broken bulbs into a string that had just been proven to work. Another of his tricks is to carefully move the string of bulbs beneath the feet of his victim so that they crush at least one more bulb than they have spares.

I am sure many of you have had the misfortune to have been visited by these gremlins....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hot Press: Indian Ocean not safe for seals!

For those of you lucky enough to watch BBC TV, you will have realised that you "DON'T" want to come back as a seal in the Indian Ocean.

I was going to blog about my first meeting with the "Christmas Lights" gremlins, but then I read TMO's blog and as I had only just started with one set of lights and have thus far only met the Transformer Gremlin. I thought I would wait until I had met and identified a few more of them.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Grapevine Blog: about the Professional Lady

I know a professional lady, and I asked her what she would do for half her going rate, her response was :
"I wouldn't even get out of bed for that!"

Which was a good start!


There are some that will remember the "professional lady's" ability to fill the UniS, as it is now called, "grapevine" with her utterings! It was a section in the weekly student mag to capture the various unfortunate sayings that folks utter before they have fully engaged brain and checked for double entendre or unfortunate inuendo.
(The profession in question was in fact Counselling)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Emotional Stop-Press

I interrupt this important ethanolic rambling.... to share an emotional experience.

Some background.... three years ago I was standing in front of a body that was broken, it was my friend of many years standing... TOACC. He had had a stroke. Worse from a selfish point of view, I was standing with his wife and children. So I couldn't just cry.

We were in a hospital and this shell in front of me was not TOACC! It was one of the lowest points of my watching. A demonstration of the human units at their frailest.

Over the weeks and months on each of my returns across the pond, TOACC made amazing progress. With the support of his family, friends and faith; he became TOACC again.

But that is not the reason for this Blog...

Today, I met him in the cafeteria of our mutual place of employment.

He was BACK @ WORK!! Here I have to stop as I do not have words to convey my joy!
(PS Happy Birthday TEG, who is the son of TOACC)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Scotch is NOT Whiskey! PART 1

In my early days of exploring the vagaries of the human units, I came across a noxious substance known as Alcohol, an arabic word meaning "finely divided". It was named in 5,000 bc by the alchemist Paracelsus, of Harry Potter fame. A general formulae for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH. The specific alcohol of interest to the human units is ethanol (CH3CH2OH), which is created by fermenting sugars.

The earliest known use of ethanol beverage was some 9,000 years ago in Jiahu, in the Chinese province of Henan, where it has been proposed that a beverage fermented from a mixture of rice, honey and hawthorns was created.

Why would they imbibe these substances, the answer is found in their brain chemistry, for ethanol is a psychoactive substance, with sedative hypnotic and depressive effects. OK, so they are whacky. The human units find it easier to socialise after partaking of this poison, which is also unfortunately for them addictive.

The yeasts that break down the sugars cannot survive readily in liquids containing more than 18% Ethanol, and die above 25%, so the human units invented a means to purify the ethanol to make the ethanol based beverage more toxic, this method known as distillation was invented by Islamic Alchemists in the 8th or 9th century.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bonemeal and Bulbs, good idea or bad?

It all started with TPoSDT visited, they spoke of a structures as tall as 11 Red London Buses piled on top of each other! Biomes built into a sixty foot crater, it sounds and is, other worldly. Actually, it's anti-everything I have observed in the human units. Words like ecology and conservation flow from the crater in abundance, they are even researching "Green" surfboards!. The place is the Eden Project, so given the urgings of "TMO" I visited with SWWMD. Unfortunately we visited in the spring, at a time called Bulb Mania. When the air must be imbued with some form of mind altering narcotic gas, or perhaps it was the bubonic plague, argued to be the real origin of TulipMania. We ordered hundreds of the things. I must explain that I saw it as an investment! After all there was a time not too long ago in the history of this greeny blue planet (1637) that bulbs were sold by weight, and one weighing about half an ounce could be sold to purchase: eight pigs, four oxen, twelve sheep, twenty-four tons of wheat, forty-eight tons of rye, two hogsheads of wine, four barrels of beer, two tons of butter, a thousand pounds of cheese, a silver drinking cup (as well as clothes, bed and mattress, and a ship! ((Now, you don't think me so stupid eh!!))

As usual the above may or may not bare any resemblance to that thing called reality, which one human unit recently described as "just a crutch for people who can't deal with drugs" but I digress. As hinted at earlier, some see the whole TulipMania thing as an artefact of a mass histeria caused by the bubonic plague.

Well months later, after having visited BulbMania, just as promised, the said bulbs arrived in a distressingly large box. (Goodness knows how many hogsheads of wine they would have cost in 1637!) Needless to say we practised a few weekends of bulb procrastination. However I did do my research, on how to make the bulbs grow in weight during their planting, for after all this is how one makes money, every aas counts! (0.0018gm).

It seems the answer lies in allowing rapid root development, which in turn lies in the right feed: which according to the web is Phosphorous, which can be found in Bonemeal. Bone meal helps develop sturdy root systems and stimulates plant growth. As luck would have it the previous gardening season, I had purchased enough bone meal to plant thousands of bulbs.... Serendipity is such a wonderfull thing, as well as being a great spaceship, if you take out the "dip".

Just imagine the hogsheads of wine I will be able to buy now I have found this money spinning trick!

The saturday was sunny and both SWWMD and I focussed on the massive undertaking, OH Yes! did I mention that SGM had also chosen to add to the fun by buying us an additional 60 bulbs. Pits were dug and appropriately sprinkled with copious amounts bonemeal, pots were filled, again with generous dollops of the ground stuff! I was positively salivating at the thought of the resulting "aas".

Anyone spotted the flaw yet?

Many will have! And no it wasn't the downright disingenuity of the internet, for while researching for this blog, I came acrooss this link The best time to feed bulbs? When you plant them! You may think "and???" that's what you have been telling us. However, embedded deep within the reinforcing article, is this question: What about bonemeal, the old favorite? The answer a very disappointing:

Because changes in commercial processing have affected the nutrient quality of bonemeal, it's no longer the best fertilizer to use when planting bulbs.

That just served to rub my nose in it! Which unfortunately is part of the root of the real problem. For a certain TMTDUB has a nose that is very good at determining where he planted his bones, well most of the time, as he knows he has lost a few!

IMAGINE!, the next morning that he prances out into the garden anticipating the blessed relief that emptying a canine bowel can bring, when POW!!! his olfactory nerves start firing 10 to the dozen a garden FULL of BONES! Yippee.... where to begin!

Hence his DMLA, The Mutt That Digs Up Bulbs!

His disappointment is only matched by that of the merchant who lost his Semper Augustus to the sailor to whom he had just rewarded a red herring breakfast, who thought it was an onion and nicked it to eat with his free breakfast.

Now we have the fun game of reburying hundreds partly chewed bulbs.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Millie's Christmas Holly

The visit to choose our new puppy felt a little like visiting the dentist. I hoped it might be good for me, but I also knew I wouldn't like the smell and expected it to be painfull.

Good for me?..., due to the fact that SWWMD had a permanent smile on her face as we walked toward the momentous decision of choosing "which" little girl was going to be added to the FftS. For the gender was pre-determined, the ratio in the FftS household was to be re-balanced. As luck would have it, 2 of the 4 puppies matched the gender criteria, and due to TMTDUB's Kennel Miles, and SWWMD's friendliness we had first pick of the litter.

Zena, the Mum of the puppies is a West Highland White Terrier. The family of Tina, the breeder, traditionally names the puppies and then incorporates these names into the Kennel Club Registration Name. For as you may have guessed female members of the FftS always come with a certain pedigree! :-) Zena's puppies were named Holly, Annie, Bubbles and Squeak.

We chose Holly based on her being presented as the calmer and quieter of the bunch. After much discussion we agreed to try for Millie's Christmas Holly as her Kennel Club name. With Millie being selected as her family name. (When "TMO" reads this he will undoubtedly feel a sense of amused victory, as it was he who initiated the inexorable slide towards naming the innocent pup after a horse. At least I avoided the initial choice which was Lillie, heaven fore-fend! )

HWWGTA was mad as heck that he missed out on the visit to select Millie. So look out for future Blogs on his visit, as well as TMTDUB's visit to meet Millie.

To top it all off, the dental visit turned out very different to my expectations, and providing no-one blabs to SWWMD...
...I actually found myself totally smitten by the little white bundle of fur and all that in less than 5 minutes, imagine how I am going to be after a few months.

Now I am REALLY afraid! :-) But the canine unit I really feel sorry for is TMTDUB! He won't know what hit him as a quick read of the WIKI will disclose.

A goodly part of our virtual family visited...

Many moons ago... in a time when whole holidays, including flights and full board, could cost less than the boys last holiday bar bill! (Yugoslavia was that low cost!) We met the Toyotas. Mum and Dad Toyota were there at the same time with brilliant and musical offspring (girls and boy)

T3 arrived for Sunday Lunch with NQBF, we celebrated her partners recent qualification and then went onto discuss their future life plans. I found myself having to stop my selfishness coming to the for, as they talked of moving their lives to the antipodean provinces.

Then amazingly T4 called to say he was in the area, visiting some friends, and wondered if he could visit with us, which of course he could. So he arrived with his partner and we proceeded to an extended afternoon of Scotch tasting.... but more on that later... these human units have invented a drink so potent that they name it using an adjective meaning "of Scotland"!