Thursday, 31 December 2020

We Had A Lazy Day,

and made a start on putting some of the Christmas bits and pieces upstairs,

Diana is not working until next week, so we took things easy today, for a our evening meal Diana cooked herself a Filipino dish, a pork sandwich for myself, next a game of Monopoly, which I lost, again, my lucky token seems to have lost it's luck! we used the bigger old property cards as they are so much easier to read, also for our next game we will use the old 'Chance' and Community Chest' cards, the new ones where an opponent can take one of your property cards we did not like, game over it was feet up,

Diana decided she would like to watch The Andromeda Strain, which has stood the test of time well, it is now nearly 50 years old! we both enjoyed the film, the story line could be so true, we followed the film with one from Endeavour and rounded the evening off with a Midsomer Murder, next for us we were off to bed.

As It Is New Years Eve,

here is a message,

and a dance to a tune I imagine we all know, from Boston Dynamics, the above video posted by them on YouTube, their message,

Our whole crew got together to celebrate the start of what we hope will be a happier year: Happy New Year from all of us at Boston Dynamics.

and from Diana and Myself a Happy New Year To Everyone!


Could Santa Have An Alternative To Rodolph?

well here are a few whimsical examples,

I am sure there are lots more, and below a few books you might never receive in your Christmas stocking,

if you like this style of cartoon head on over to this web site, bird and moon, where they have literally hundreds of cartoons on the theme of science and nature, the problem for myself is once I started looking at them I could not stop!

As More And More People Are Taking Up Bicycling,

and as snow is forecast I thought a look at snow cycling would be interesting,

and it was, there is a German word for enjoying pleasure at someone else's misfortune, Schadenfreude, and I have to admit I suffered from it, as I watched this extract of the annual Mountain of Hell downhill race, held at Les Deux Alpes ski resort in France, 700 bicycle racers against a 15-mile course of snow, ice, rocks, and single track, the riders descend 8,530 feet in the process, what could possibly go wrong? to watch the full video have a look here, there must be something wrong with me, as I found the short clip above so funny, even more so knowing that no one was injured, except their pride!


Wednesday, 30 December 2020

We Had A New Visitor,

in the garden,

a green woodpecker, (Picus viridis), a little difficult to see as he was just below our window,

and he did not make things easier by settling again behind a bush,

and only just moved to be only a little obscured, then he was off,

next I had a telephone call from that nice chap Joel at Jessops, my camera had been repaired and although they were not open, he had to pop into the shop for a couple of hours and whilst he was there, I could call by and pick it up, so I was off to the bus stop,

arriving in Bromley,

I made my way to the market square,

and along the High Street,

past the Churchill Theatre,

in the distance,

Jessops, I telephoned to let them know I was outside, what a nice gesture to think of telephoning me, camera picked up,

and I was on my way back, past the Christmas tree,

and into the crowded park, joining huge numbers of people out for the day,

not a single parking space in the road leading to our home, cars everywhere,

we had a quiet afternoon, but in the evening after our meal,

our new Monopoly set had arrived, tilted the Monopoly Longest Game Ever edition,

Diana used one of the new tokens, I decided to use one of the tokens from the old game we already had,

there had of course been a lot of changes, the worst for us was the fact that the property cards had been made smaller, without glasses I could not read them and even Diana had trouble with some of them, as we played we change the rules slightly to the way we normally play, and decided that some of the community chest and chance cards we would ignore, I will not labour the point about who won, but I lost, we rounded off the evening with one from Endeavour, followed by one from Midsomer Murders and with the end of that, we were off to bed.

You Might Remember This Fearsome Creature,

a nearly blind eel like fish,

with a set of teeth that look like they belong in a horror movie, we actually made a post about them in October 2019the mud flats of Japan’s Ariake Sea are home to this fish that is reportedly as delicious as it is disgusting-looking, introducing the “Warasubo”, an eel-like fish that for obvious reasons is known as the “Alien of Ariake Sea”, the green eel goby, aka “warasubo” can only be found in Japan in the Ariake Sea, a large bay in Kyushu, although it can be found in other parts of Asia as well. However, it’s in towns and cities around the Ariake Sea that the Alien-like creature can be enjoyed as a scary-looking delicacy,

and here they are again, this time served as delicious dumplings,

first introduced in 2017, as a promotional collaboration between the Saga prefectural government and Tokyo-based restaurant 蔓餃苑 (Dumpling Kingdom), Ariake dumplings got a lot of attention online at the time, due to their unusual appearance. They consist of traditional dumplings with the xenomorph-like fried or boiled heads of warusobo fish sticking out of them, 

according to Asahi, Ariake dumplings were served for a limited time at Dumpling Kingdom, but you can most likely find them at restaurants around Saga Prefecture as well. After all, the warusobo fish is very popular in this area,

and here is the video above, of how to make this treat, for myself, thanks but no thanks!

Apparently In 2016 Lab-tests Commissioned By Bloomberg Business,

found wood pulp and cellulose in several cheese brands sold in the US.

so it came as a bit of a surprise to a German baker who has reportedly been selling sawdust cookies for around two decades, who has recently been ordered to stop, photograph Olia Nayda/UnsplashAn administrative court in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe has upheld a decision to ban the sale of cookies made with sawdust, despite the producer’s claim that they were a traditional vegetable product. The unnamed baker had been operating a mail order business, selling his sawdust cookies all over Germany. He openly listed sawdust as an ingredient on the packaging of his biscuits, and had already written to the city of Karlsruhe about his practice back in 2004, but received no answer. Then, in 2017, a routine examination of a biscuit sample led to a sales ban which he then contested in court, “These cookies must not be allowed into the food chain because they are not safe, and are, objectively seen, not fit for human consumption,” the Baden-Württemberg’s State Higher Administrative Court decision read. In it, the judges added that despite the baker’s claim that sawdust was a traditional ingredient, actually “it isn’t even used in the industrial animal feed sector”, 

photograph Shop Reddish, the baker claimed that the “microbiological” sawdust he used in his cookies was a “herbal product” similar to bran, and therefore suitable as a substitute for flour. As for historical use of sawdust and other wood byproduct in food, there is a lot of it, dating back from the 1700s to present day, according to the Conucopia Institute, in the 1700s, European bakers started using sawdust in their products, so they could lower the cost and thus attract more customers, “At some point some clever miller was like, ‘Hey, what if we combine the flour with sawdust?’” Penn State food historian Bryan McDonald told the Cornucopia Institute. “‘We’re selling stuff by weight, and people don’t really have a good way of knowing what’s flour and what’s sawdust.’” so is the ban on the bakers sawdust cookies a good or bad thing?

Whenever I Think Of Walls Of Death,

I think of the one we saw at the steam fair,

way back in September 2010, but this book it is not wall, but Walls of Death, back in 1874 by Dr. Robert M. Kedzie, a Union surgeon during the American Civil War who later became a professor of chemistry, knew something that many people did not, the arsenic in the wallpaper on their walls could make them ill and even kill them! knowing this he published a book, Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall Papers, of its 100 or so pages, 86 are just samples of arsenic-pigmented wallpaper that people used to decorate their homes during those times. Even though arsenic was a known toxin capable of killing a person if ingested, no one imagined it could kill even when used as an active ingredient to make wallpaper colours more vibrant. Kedzie did,

at the end of the 19th century, about 65 percent of all wallpaper in the United States contained arsenic, and Dr. Kedzie already knew something that would later become scientific fact – that, over time, the wallpaper-decorated walls released this poison that slowly killed inhabitants, arsenic ended up in the air, in food, on people’s hands, it made them sick, and sometimes killed them, as part of an effort to raise awareness about the mortal danger of arsenic-laden wallpaper, Robert M. Kedzie produced 100 copies of Shadows from the Walls of Death and sent them out to public libraries across Michigan, along with a note explaining the purpose of the book and a warning to librarians not to let children touch the pages,

out of the original 100 copies of this amazing book, only a handful are still around today. Two remained in Michigan, Dr. Kedzie’s home state (one at Michigan State University and the other at the University of Michigan), one ended up at Harvard University Medical School and the fourth is at the National Library of Medicine, which also scanned it and made it available online, handling and even storing copies of the Shadows from the Walls of Death is a challenging affair. Before having each page encapsulated in plastic film, in 1998, the copy at MSU could only be touched by people wearing special gloves. There were all kinds of restrictions regarding the period of time it could be left out for, and people had to be careful not to touch anything else while wearing the gloves, let alone lick their fingers, as an aside it was thought for a time that the arsenic in the wallpaper of Napoleon's prison killed him, but this theory was later disproved.

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

We Had A Quiet Day,

as we were low on milk we went into town,

it seemed quiet in the park, 

but looking behind us,

it was packed with no social distancing, considering we were in tier 4 I did not think many people would be out and about, but in town the food shops were packed, the queue in Waitrose far to long to wait, so one of the other food stores it was then, looking at some of the bags people were walking around with, it seems that many were delivering Christmas presents, with the lock down in place a lot of family gatherings were cancelled, but Santa must get trough even if a little late! Good news from Thailand we had been trying to get in touch with Mr. Tony, our Skype did not want to work but thankfully Mr. Tony got through to us, he is well and sends best wishes to everyone, in the evening we watched a couple of Sherlock Holmes, rounding of the evening with a New Tricks before we were off to bed.

Now This Is What I Call A Tart,

what a picture,

Redditor emkay95 made a full-size apple rose tart for Christmas and wanted to show it off. Isn't it lovely? She said it was so labor-intensive she probably wouldn't ever make another, it is a good thing she took a picture before baking it,

so no apple pie for Christmas dinner? "Well. It had tinfoil over it so it was kind of saved. We still made it and ate it but it wasn’t so beautiful anymore and kind of tasted like defeat" such a shame, here's the recipe she used, although she did make a few alterations, if only I knew how the oven works.

When I Think Of Louis Vuitton,

I think of handbags, suitcases, shoes, clothes, etc,

I certainly do not think of transport, certainly just before Christmas when we visited the London store, we did not see any bicycles there, but it appears the company has teamed up with Maison Tamboiteno words are needed to describe LV but a few words are in order for Maison Tamboite. It is a century-old bicycle maker that delivers only the highest, most exclusive bicycles to its select clients, including the likes of Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, and Edith Piaf, all Maison Tamboite bikes are hand-made and hand-crafted, using a combination of steel, wood, and leather, in what is described as “a subtle combination of materials, often noble and oftentimes unexpected.”

these bikes are all custom made: in order for one delivery to go through, there’s a several months-long process behind it, starting from the 15 or more appointments for measurements with the client, which can occasionally involve traveling across the world. Then, for another three months or so, the skilled team at Maison Tamboite builds the perfect bicycle for each client, the philosophy behind each Maison Tamboite bike is that “like a tailored suit or shoe, a bicycle is the extension of the owner’s body. It must embrace his morphology without restricting it.”

the LV Bike is based on the Maison Tamboite Paris model, which has been modified and upgraded in typical Louis Vuitton style. There’s expert leather craftsmanship and woodwork, and styling cues that make it an instantly recognizable LV product and, at the same time, a very elegant appearance on any street, the metal framework is made of enameled and chromed steel and has been stretched and lightened without compromise to strength and reliability. The frame is clad in monogrammed brown leather, and there’s even a monogram flower chainset. Red accents make the LV Bike really pop: a red leather, monogrammed saddle, red leather-clad handlebars, and red wheel trims and mudguards,

keeping up with the modern times, the bike comes with discrete LED lighting, built-in tracker, and shock absorbers under the seat. You’ll want all of them, considering this thing probably costs a fortune and has no suspension, other features include airless tires and a leather luggage rack in the front. It’s also made from brown monogrammed leather, of course, four models of this special bike are available at LV stores on a made-to-order basis: the LV Bike monogrammed with red Louis Vuitton perforated Mahina leather, the “Damier Graphite” model with black, gray, and yellow details, a special “Lime Yellow” colorway, and an exclusive Nicolas Ghesquière-designed “Since 1854” Monogram. For each of these four models, you can opt either for a step-through or closed frame, with a two-speed drivetrain,

the LV Bike was revealed at the beginning of December 2020, with no mention of pricing, but I should mention that Maison Tamboite bicycles start at €11,000 at today's rate £9,950 or $13,461 for the most basic model (they also do e-bikes), but with the LV stamping on it, if you have to ask you really cannot afford it! 

Only A Couple Of Days Ago,

we watched a movie,

one of the characters in the film was Cousin Eddie Johnson played by Randy Quaid, a still from the movie above, well,

when I saw Timothy Browning from Ashland, east of Lexington, Kentucky, clearing his driveway of snow dressed in just a white bathrobe, slippers and a hat with a cigar in his mouth and a can of beer in his hand, using a flame thrower, I was immediately reminded of Cousin Eddie photographs Timothy Browning/Facebook,

the likeness is uncanny,

and there is even a video, His wife, Beth, who was filming the clip states at the start on camera: 'Browning snow services removal now available!'  you could of course use a shovel, but the flame thrower seems so much more fun!

Monday, 28 December 2020

Sunday And We Had A Visitor,

one of the crows called by,

just as the rain started,

the choice, be hungry,

or get wet?

get wet it was then!

Diana had popped out to buy a few things,

including these roses,

for todays Sunday lunch,

we treated ourselves to three huge ribs,

we cut them into three, we are going to need a bigger baking dish! for tips on how to cook big ribs, that for many chefs, a bone-in rib of beef is the Rolls-Royce cut, have a look here,

a pre-meal sherry,

in one of the new glasses, talk abut a mix of patterns, a polka dot cravat, a check shirt and tartan waistcoat!

for our starters, some of the salmon from yesterday,

open the bubbly,

I must be getting weaker, or the corks are getting stronger!

that's the way to do it!

there was still so much meat left on the bone,

I could not resist it!

 the meat was so full of flavour,

and I still had the slices to go,

hopefully when we have eaten the other two M & S will still stock some smaller tomahawk steaks, this was just so nice,

we had a long break, and gave the birds a few more peanuts,

it happened again, every so often a pigeon flies into one of our windows, a bit difficult to see, when it hits the glass it leaves the outline of its body,

and its wing feathers, apparently the image is left by natural oils that the bird produces,

after a very long break,

Christmas pudding,

so out with the brandy,

it was still bright outside, so I could only just see the flame,

then cream, lots of it!

Diana had a hard day, what with the Malibu, bubbly and brandy! just joking! really, we both thought it would make a fun photograph,

in the afternoon a favourite film of mine, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, there are some films that I like so much I just have to watch them over and over again, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End is one of them, this is what I wrote about it when we watched it before, 

'what can one say about Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, not so much a black and white movie, more sepia toned, so many wonderful lines', 

'If I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink,' sounds like me! 

the one great thing about Sir Henry is that he combines his interests with a passion, take the still above from the movie, he takes three of his favourite vices, boats, a Purdey shotgun and his couple of drink optics placed on the side of the boat, what could possibly go wrong?

the film is totally mad, and of course in these PC times it could never be made, the uproar over a white man playing an black man would echo for years in todays culture, I mean could you ever think of a black actress playing someone one as white as say Ann Boleyn? back to the film, Vivian Stanshall narrated and starred in the movie, as it happens I saw him live in The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, when they performed at the Goldsmiths Collage in New Cross, and here is a piece of trivia, the real Sir Henry Rawlinson, of whom Viv was unaware, died exactly 100 years to the day before Viv, the film you will love or hate, I loved it, Diana fell asleep!'

now here a strange thing she fell asleep when we watched it again this time! you can watch it above or go to the Youtube link here, 

in the evening some cheese and biscuits, 

followed by a Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides, which we both thoroughly enjoyed, we rounded the evening off with a couple from Sherlock Holmes with a nightcap before we were off to bed.