Sunday, December 17, 2017

Caturday Post: Fainting in Style

I recently bought a fainting couch. The kitties helped with assembly.

We can now have vapours together. 

But the best part is definitely the box it came in. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me! Let there be madness!

I made the cake in yellow, following this recipe  but with a different topping. A few things I learned:

  1. I really need a grater.  I do not have the patience to zest lemons with a paring knife
  2. Ganache has to cool before being applied, .  
  3. I am not good at drawing with frosting.
I was attempting to draw the yellow sign in yellow buttercream on the top of the cake, but the result did not drive anyone mad.

It was still yummy.  The lemon curd makes the cake fairly dense, but very lemony.  Also I put REAL coffee in the chocolate frosting rather than instaespresso mixed with milk because really. 

In the process of looking for recipes and inspiration for a Cake in Yellow, I stumbled across a kickstarter for the Necronomnomnom, which is the cookbook I clearly need.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Words for Wednesday: anthropodermic bibliopegy

Binding books with human skin.We should all use this term as frequently as possible.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Literary Technology: Phone Phreaking in Hell

In Lord Dunsany's "Three Infernal Jokes", published in 1917, a dictionary salesman makes a deal with the devil.  That is not important.  The important thing is that to do so, his intermediary has to hack the phones and splice into some bizarre telephone exchange.

without more ado he began with a pair of pincers to cut the wire of the telephone and the receiver....Along a passage they went and away to the back of the club and there the stranger leaned out of a window and fastened the severed wires to the lightning conductor. My friend has no doubt of that, a broad ribbon of copper, half an inch wide, perhaps wider, running down from the roof to the earth. "Hell," said the stranger with his mouth to the telephone; then silence for a while with his ear to the receiver, leaning out of the window.

I am confused and have questions.  First of all, that the stranger is specifying his desired destination implies that there is an operator on a switchboard somewhere, so who else is on that exchange?  And how do you get the job of switchboard operator to supernatural phone lines?  How well does it pay, are there penalties for the operators getting caught listening in on phone conversations to supernatural places, and are there pay phones that connect to hell?

Second, I guess splicing a phone wire to a lightning conductor would work?  They are both copper but beyond that I don't know enough about electronics to speak about it. Umm, according to the internet lightning conductor wires usually connect to underground wire grids, which could probably also be used as an underground phone exchange.  I wouldn't vouch for a clear connection, but I guess it would work. Since Hell is clearly already on a phone exchange I don't know why they wouldn't just be connectable through more above ground exchanges that require less wire cutting, but maybe the intermediary just didn't want to pay for long distance.

Now, of course, we have cell phones so the point would be moot except for the fun of trying to get a signal underground, so this might still be necessary.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sometimes I Miss Being a Horse Girl

From my recent trip to Tobago, Trinidad and. There is a therapeutic horse center there for people with disabilities, run by a German lady who used to train circus horses.  Currently, they make extra money on the side by taking tourists on bareback rides through the surf and then offering them pictures of the experience for extra money.  I'm okay with this. I rode a beautiful Brazilian flea-bitten grey named Simbu. He was broad and smooth and comfy and sweet. While in the water they also told me I could try standing up, so I did!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Caturday Post: Cat Toast

I recently purchased bread-shaped mats for the kitties.  Retail therapy.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Caturday Post: Level 1 Adventuring

 Starting out, we are dubious, but we have our harness of +1 defense equipped. 

Detecting traps by the garden hose. 

Dexterity check: passed!

Unfortunatly, Scaramouche then failed his save vs loud plane and had to run back inside and wash his foot. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Salmonella Challenge

I offered a co-op at work $5 per roll to eat the month old sushi in the fridge and he took me up on it. I am a bad person.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Belated Caturday: Rescued in Houston

Both my kitties are rescues from Houston.  If you have a moment and few dollars, there are a lot of lost animals in Houston right now.  I donated through Funimation's crowdrise to the SPCA because Funimation is doing a matching donation thing right now, but there are a lot of people and animals in Houston right now that could use a little help and a little kindness.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Now Defunct Confederate Monuments in Baltimore

I saw these in Baltimore, and according to the NYTimes this has now been removed, which is at least a nice gesture though I have my doubts that it will be accompanied by meaningful change. 

The inscription read "They were great generals and Christian soldiers and waged war like gentleman."

Stonewall Jackson was, in fact, noted for his ostentatious refusal to march on Sundays, and of course for owning slaves, the latter of which actually conforms more to the Christian holy book than the ostentatious demonstration of the former, but maybe now we can have better monuments.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Caturday Post: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzu-Scaramouche

Scaramouche found a skink!

How this skink came to wander inside, or at what point it lost its tail, is unknown.  Only that I found Scaramouche in the middle of the floor, crouched over a tiny skink, about to start munching it up.  At which point I snatched Scaramouche up and shut him behind a door and scooped the skink as gently as possible into an empty container and took it back outside to a nice mossy little hole in our railroad tie retaining wall.

Scaramouche was very disappointed.  I took away his skink!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Poe's Grave

 Westminster, in Baltimore.  Poe's original grave, and later grander memorial

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Traditional Dress of Alicante

As part of the San Juan festival there were parades featuring people in fabulous traditional outfits.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hogueras de San Juan Part 3: THE BURNINATING

In a glorious pagan display of fire and ash, at the end of the festival all the hogueras are set on fire.  Safely.  Firefighters are on hand to keep the palm trees from catching on fire, and also to spray the crowd.  I did not realize until this happened why so many people were in bathing attire, and then it made sense.  A good time was had by all.