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Prawn Hats

If you eat a live frog in the morning, nothing worse will happen to either of you for the rest of the day

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Location: San Jose, California, United States

I'm a Westerner.

Saturday, December 31, 2005


I love fuji apples. They even have a 'season', which implies an 'off-season', a time of year during which they are not available. Just the thing to teach humans patience, I say.

This morning we visited Tesco, I'm afraid our boycott of Tesco was short-lived. You see, Tesco receives one out of every eight retail pounds spent by Joe UK-Consumer. So, it only made sense to shop elsewhere, support the little guy, so to speak. For awhile, we did this, but... there's always a 'but' in these cases, can you dig it, man, Tesco is on the way home from York, plus they have my fave Fentimanns. I always hope Morrisons will decide to sell more Fentimanns, they only sell the Ginger Beer variety, no Curiousity Cola, no Dandelion & Burdock. So I go to Tesco, they stock all varieties.

It's not like I didn't give Morrisons a fair chance in this regard... I even went so far as to interrogate a clerk at Morrisons, busy in his task of stocking your Cokes, your Pepsis, and so on, I said: "excuse me, you stock Fentimanns Ginger Beer, but not any of the other varieties, you see, there's Curiosity Cola blah blah blah blah", and he said, "no, we don't stock those", and I said, "well, do you think you might, in future?", and he said, "No. No, I don't think so". A bit shattering, to a sensitive spirit such as myself.

But that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about fuji apples.

I bought fuji apples at Tesco this morning; in previous visits to Tesco, it never seemed like their fujis were anything special, not the high quality I've come to expect from Morrisons, but, today, they looked very nice. I bought four. Maybe five.

Now, skip forward in your mind, forward in time, into the future of those fujis, to a time when they arrive at my house. You all know the ritual...

1. You bring the groceries into the house
2. You remove the groceries from their paperorplastic (although we use, and re-use, our cotton fabric M&S bags, but don't let that deviation confuse you) (I don't really know if they are made of cotton or not. Maybe later I'll see if I can figure it out)
3. You put the groceries in pre-organised bins, as if they were just so many different Lego shapes

It was in the neighbourhood of step #2 where it all went horribly wrong. The plastic bag containing the fugi apples broke, the bottom of it splitting open. Disaster! We have hardwood floors, and each fuji apple dropped from a height of approx one metre. If memory serves:

v(final)=sq. rt. (2gh)

Where g is 10 metres per second squared, and h is, in this case, unity. So, v=2root5, or ~4.47 m/s. The kineteic energy of each apple would then be (1/2) m(v squared); if the mass of each apple is 200 grams ( 5 per kilogram? is that right?), then the kinetic energy of each apple is about 2 joules. All lost on that hardwood floor.

Or, more accurately, that energy was deposited into each apple...

Bruising was inevitable!

So. New Year's Eve lunch was a cinch- fuji apples. All of them. All of them, immediately.

Now I'm hungry again.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Big B, Little B, What Begins With B?

I reckon- I'm not very good at distinguishing patterns.

I see those words typed out, I can't get my arms around them... they are obscure, they relate to 'the other', not to me. I see disparate elements, seemingly disjointed, yet I detect an underlying... something... or, in this case, I don't.

If there was even a hint of talent, then surely, on Sunday, it would have occurred to me to buy bread, and fruit. But it was not to be. I was lame. On Sunday, I was less 'Oldhall', and more 'Idiot Boy, Clown Prince of the Yorkshire Rarebit"

Sunday turned smartly into Monday, with an inevitability usually reserved for the Chicago Bears... and I had no apples, no bread for sandwiches, no bananas (yes, we have no mañanas, get your mañanas today), no pears, no oranges...

Faced with this culinary crisis, I did the improbable, and simultaneously the inevitable: I stopped by the grocery store on the way to work. Now, I have to say I'm schizty about the idea- stopping at the grocery store on the way to work. On the one hand, the store is quiet, the vegetables are just starting their day, the lazy kale, the unnerving courgettes, the Herbert Walker Broccoli... but on-the-other-hand, I'm sad, because my life is not amongst them, I should not be there, when their mother is out, because I have to go to work.

I reckon, that seems to be all I can do today, is reckon, I'll be one of those retired guys who waits for the grocery store to open every morning. 7AM sharp, I'll be standing there. It is true, though, I may have to live someplace weird, with the ever-increasing numbers of 24-hour grocers. Which, I suppose, introduces an even more pathetic image- I'm standing with my pension waiting for a store to open... a store that wasn't closed in the first place. [sigh]


I bought my apples

I bought my pears

I bought my oranges

I bought my date 'n' walnut bread

I ate these things, I ate them in the car, I ate them in the jar, I ate them in the dark, I ate them with my friend Clark, I ate them in the rain, I ate them, because I'm lame.

Maybe, next Sunday, I won't be lame, and I'll remember to shop. Let me mark my calendar, Sunday, 25 December... "buy fruit, buy bread..."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Good Quote

My daughter just looked at the cover of the latest Ecomomist magazine and said, "All these Iraqi insurgents have unibrows".

What can I say?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Special Report

Today, for the first time, I ate organic celery. My-oh-my, what a difference! I expect celery to not-taste-like-much. ("Subtle", it's called in polite circles). But THIS stuff... it had a strong taste!

Was it good? Did I like it? I'm not sure... you see, I was distracted... there was a problem, the celery was causing a problem. I wasn't sure at first, perhaps it was unrelated to the celery, perhaps it was my fault (operator error, incorrect celery consumption), so I performed some tests, and... it was the celery. Problematic celery. Celery with an attitude.

The celery made my tongue go numb. It's true. I googled it, and this is (apparently) a known problem. Others have experienced this.

Chemistry is weird. Biochemistry is worse.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Another Sunday

The day started with church (it was a SUNDAY, after all) , which means, by custom, that we pop by the Kosherie for bagels on the way to St. Luke's. I've always loved the symbolism of this, engaging in the Jewish Law (if you will), before moving on to Christianity. (I suppose most of those terms qualify to have little quotes around them!) It just seems historical to me, I'm reminded of the birth of Christianity by being (at least momentarily) immersed in the Jewish tradition first. Does that make any sense? Sometimes I top off the experience by eating lunch with Muslims, but not today.

I ate a sesame bagel, then a cinnamon-raisin. Dee-lish! After church... another sesame.

We did our Normal Sunday Grocery Shop (NSGS) after that, and my guilty pleasure was... well, there were several. First, a bag of pistachios. I think, when I'm on my death bed, I'll ask for pistachios, and eat them until I'm dead. Also, I bought a chocolate fudge cake thing... actually, I bought TWO of them. The reason for this (I'll bet you're guessing gluttony) was that we had an invite to go to my friend Mike's house to watch football tonight. Fun! Social interaction!

This neatly brings us to the Evening Meal.

Well, not quite- first was an afternoon snack of Irish bread; I developed a taste for this delicacy in (ahem) Ireland, when we visited Cobh in Spring. I toasted the Irish bread, and spread jam on top. I think... it was strawberry jam.

I took this piccie in Cobh, out the window of our room.

The Evening Meal was homemade pizza, at Mike's house. He prepares the bases, and we each apply our favourite toppings. I had ham, onions, a few pepperoni slices... and that was it.

Afterwards, we enjoyed the chocolate extravagance... it was remarkable.

Good bye.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You're Not Going to Believe This

I laughed and laughed and laughed..

Should they form a club?

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I started my day with a stereotypical peanut butter and jelly sandwich on granary bread. Sadly, there was a rock in the peanut butter (or, to save typing, I can abbreviate it as "peanu butte".)

A small white pebble. It did NOT damage any of my teeth. What am I to do?

I was in class the rest of the morning, and very hungry by 12:30, when I regained my freedom. I did not hesitate, and consumed the other pb&j. It was fine.

I had leftover spaghetti with large meatballs, that was my intended lunch, and I finally warmed it at about 2PM. But not all at once, y'understand; I microwaved it for 77 seconds, and then felt the bottom, and it was still cold, so I punched in another 88 seconds, and then forgot about it. I returned later, the spaghetti had reached a kind of thermal equilibrium, but wasn't, you know, HOT or anything. So I dialed up another 77 seconds, and I was past caring. I'd done more than my share of microwaving for one day, that was it, I was at the end of that particular microwaving rope.

Ironically, I then only ate half the spaghetti.

The evening meal was a beef roast, or roast of cow as we call it. Along with super-sweet frozen corn, and el potato smasho. Toreador, dude!

Now I've a hankerin' for frosted flakes, I'm pretty sure they are available, if only I could finish this, and amble kitchenward.