commodorified: A cartoon of a worried looking woman in a chef's hat (cooking for people who don't)
[personal profile] commodorified
About living with an Optimiser without losing your mind.

Said thread having left me with an irresistible urge to tell people how I think onions are best cut. As this is high on the list of Worst Things I Could Do over there - quite right, too - I have come back here to do it.

So, these are My Opinions:

0) Dried onions and frozen onions - which in Canada can be bought in large bags at M&M Meats, among other places - are imo under-appreciated.

1) Use your very sharpest non-serrated blade. The onion juice that makes you cry is released by crushing the flesh of the onion, so the more you minimise this the less irritant is released.

2) Putting the onion in the fridge for an hour before you cut it does, actually, help.

3) Keeping your mouth tightly shut from the moment you cut into the onion until you walk away from the cutting board helps a lot, but if you once open your mouth it stops working. I do not know why this is so.

4) Cut the ends off first, so that you have flat spots to stand the onion on rather than it being able to roll around. This may save your fingers if you do get teary-eyed.

5) When you put them into the pan to cook, starting them off on low will minimise the amount of onion juice that gets into the air to irritate your eyes.

6) If you do end up with streaming eyes, rinse out your mouth and nostrils, not your eyes. Putting a cool washcloth over your eyes is soothing and gets your lashes clean, but your eyes are already cleaning themselves.

7) Food processors are not, in my opinion, suitable for chopping onions due to an excess of crushing.

Please share your opinions about onions freely - with impeccable courtesy and bountiful goodwill - in the comments. Anonymous commenting is on (on DW) but screened, please do sign your anonymous comment in some fashion; initials, nicknames, etc. are just fine, I just want to be able to tell y'all apart.

n.b. Rice Cookers may also be discussed.
sasha_feather: a fox curled up around a rabbitt (fox and rabbit)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Last night a friend and I re-watched "Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home", also known as "The One with the Whales".

Why this is a feminist film:

this post contains spoilers for a 1986 film )

A psoas stretch

Mar. 3rd, 2015 10:10 am
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
[personal profile] redbird
[personal profile] replyhazy asked me about this stretch, and I'm putting it here in case anyone else wants it, and for to help me remember to do it. This is a stretch, not strength training or a cardio exercise, but it feels more like work than most of the stretches I've done.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Mar. 3rd, 2015 04:18 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1195 aged 70 Hugh de Puiset(my toy,wikipedia). Great grand child of William the Conker, Bishop of Durham, built a bunch of stuff.

Born on this day in 1778 to Grand Duke Charles II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Frederica of Hesse-Darmstadt, Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz(my toy,wikipedia). Wife of the son of George III (King Ernest Augustus of Hanover, who got to be King of Hanover when Victoria became Queen of England because Salic Law). Frederica's mother died when she was young, her father then remarried (to the first wife's younger sister) but this step-mother alas soon died; she and her sister were raised by their grandmother since apparently Charles didn't know what to do with girls. Frederica married three times (the second time only two months before the birth of their child).

In passing--

Mar. 3rd, 2015 01:40 pm
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
[personal profile] kaberett
It is a delight to me that I had a conversation on Sunday night in which I pointed out to facesfriend that I do not, in point of fact, know them very well -- I started paying any consistent attention to their existence about 6 months ago and we started dating about 4 months ago (which is weird for me; I am really not used to getting to know people by dating them); he looked gently baffled and said he thought that, in fact, I knew him pretty well. I paused. "Okay," I said, "my predictive model for your behaviour is based on a relatively small sample size, and what data I do have isn't necessarily representative." "Right," he said, "that makes sense." Hurrah for human interactions wherein I get to express myself like that and it's just okay; this is, of course, some of why Hel bemoans that there's no way they can ever write dialogue that is an accurate representation of conversations they have with friends, because nobody would believe people talk that way in real life.

(Tangentially relatedly, but only sort of sideways rather than directly: I am having a pretty bad case of the I-am-not-allowed-to-want-things/I-am-not-allowed-to-be-wanteds this week. Not entirely sure why, but it's a thing; sorry if I go a bit spiky and weird on you.)
azurelunatic: Dreamwidth is powered by [disco ball] (dw disco)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I woke up and got online to the devastating news that Leonard Nimoy had died.

Some months ago, Purple and I had discussed the way that both of us, and a lot of weird nerd children, had had a particular alien who had helped us get through a fuckton of loneliness and rejection by our alleged peers. His alien had been Mork. My alien had been Spock. After I cried hysterically in #yuletide for a few minutes, I guess the brief idea of calling out grieving floated through my mind but didn't attach to anything: I knew without even having to think about it that the news would be bouncing through #cupcake and [off-topic] and I would be among fellow mourners. I grieve with thee.

While my fingers and eyes were working, my brain spent a good chunk of the morning before lunch curled up next to a friend.

Over lunch (pizza, because the burritos are contaminated this week) I happened to mention that I'd gone to bed without writing about the day on Thursday night. Purple asked how much I typically wrote. I made a reasonable guess. After what I reckoned to be smiling at the quaint measurement system, he was impressed, because 3-4 kilobytes of text is not a small amount to just dash off, and he would probably not generate that much text about what he'd done in a day (and this is why he doesn't keep a journal). I allowed as how some days were more than others, and I did things like foreshadow and put in running themes. I gave the SUV thing as an example of a thing that I would have woven throughout the day until it reached the culmination in the parking lot. "You wouldn't have even recognized that it was the same guy who passed us if I hadn't told you!" he pointed out. (Let alone the part where I didn't even register that someone had passed us.) Hooray faceblindness.

So tonight, after writing up Thursday properly, I checked to see how much text I'd generated. That one was a little over 9 kilobytes. Oops.

Purple and I had been having a quiet conversation about Leonard Nimoy, a bit, and I was feeling sad, when Lennon Glasses Guy and one of the other lunch crowd turned to Purple to ask them to solve a debate: what exactly did it fuck up when there were two copies of one mac address on the same network. That got Purple going. He's the guy that everyone turns to as an authority about many of these things. So he held forth. It turned out that he had in fact personally experienced the bad effects of a MAC address conflict at work. His not!boyfriend had said: "Purple, I just logged in to your dev box..." Turns out a lab machine had faked the same MAC as Purple's. Oops.

I asked Madam Standards how many colors black I was wearing. She had not realized that there was so much variation in the things that she had thought were just 'black'. This was apropos of The Dress. (She and I do not see eye to eye.)

Got a chance to chat with my manager on her way out the door. She's had the flu, and there were allergies overlapping; she said something about all the yellow dust. I made an Amber Spyglass crack. She giggled.

Between all of the things that were going on, there was no milkshake run. radius discovered that he was actually kind of hungry, and his side of the office had run out of M&Ms and no one had restocked them in the afternoon. There were also no gingersnaps.

I reckoned that I needed a walk to clear my head, and it was also time that I checked in with lb's Overlady, so I decided a supply run could be in order. I grabbed a few little plastic cups and got together some chocolate covered espresso beans, a ginger cookie out of my break room, and some M&Ms. That was a little more than was easy to carry, so I stuffed the espresso beans in a mug, balanced the cookie on a napkin on top, and carried the M&Ms in my other hand.

Going out doors is easy. Going in doors often requires a badge. So I swapped the M&Ms to balance them on top of the cookie, operated the badge with my right hand, and opened the door with my left hand -- and promptly spilled the M&Ms off the top of the cookie onto the floor. As I tried desperately to salvage the situation, the cookie toppled as well.

I picked up the scattered M&Ms, looked at them and the cookie sadly, and put them in the nearest compost trash. Friends don't give friends floor cookies. At least I had the espresso beans, protected within the cheerfully patterned mug.

radius was glad to see the espresso beans. I cautioned him against overenthusiasm, as caffeine poisoning often offends.

My next stop was lb's Overlady, who gave me intelligence that the new guy, the one who was taking over everything after the last three clowns had been shuffled out, was also not much longer for the company, and his last day would be ... Friday! Yay! She urged caution and diplomacy. She was also glad to see the chocolate covered espresso beans.

A friend in another department did some research. Now, there is always a small element of Musical Executives. It is a very small valley. Thus we learned a few things:

The incoming exec implemented something based on the same root technology as the helldesk program at his old place.
The incoming exec is therefore unlikely to discard the helldesk software out of hand.
The incoming exec may actually know what $SOFTWARE looks like when it's functioning properly.
The incoming exec, if we are very very lucky, may recognize the helldesk situation as being terrible.

Lannister has a helldesk derivative of her own to deal with. She did not escape unscathed.

I'd had to do my hours first thing in the morning, because this was the day that the Old Contractor Management Company was letting go of me, and therefore I had to do my hours ASAP so they could get them put in ASAP and get everything done in the coming week. So 7pm was my deadline. I'd be done by then. Purple pinged me about dinner. I assented. This time I would not do dumb car tricks!

Purple thought he saw a little white car behind him as he made the U-turn, but it was a different little white car. It's so hard to tell these things in the dark.

We wound up attempting to explain Cards Against Humanity to Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. It was great.

I saw a guy who looked almost exactly like the guy who runs the Secret Milkshake Bunker, except he was wearing an orange headband, walking out. However, my facial recognition skills are dodgy at best, so Purple was not at all sure that this was the right guy.

Purple got something with a side dish of sour cream. So did Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. Mine didn't have it. Purple had extra, and offered me some. My knife was covered with the very bright red sauce that was all over the ... cheese thing.

"Sorry for getting my sauce in your sour cream," I said.

Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly made the face that meant that she was thinking dirty, dirty thoughts.

I made the appalled face, and it was only a tiny bit forced. "Oh god no," I said. "I know we're very close, but we're not THAT kind of friends."

Purple didn't entirely follow exactly what she'd meant, but he knew it was entirely filthy. Heh.

I have been enjoying doing all the bill-related math in my head. It makes a fun exercise for me. It had been a while since I'd refreshed my cash on hand, so I retrieved some fives and rather a lot of ones. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly stared. "Why do...?"

"Ice cream," I said. That didn't actually answer anything.

Purple clarified: when you get a $3-and-something serving of ice cream using decimal currency, you get a lot of ones. I'm not actually a stripper. :D

It came time to go home. I claimed a hug goodnight. "See you tomorrow!" Purple started to say, and then corrected himself. We both had plans. Mine involved shopping with Tif, and Jupiter Rising. He said I'd have to tell him whether he should watch it or not.

(no subject)

Mar. 3rd, 2015 12:27 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
It's been one of those weeks.

Updates on two of the things that have made it a hell of a week, for the people who I've told bits of this to and who would like an update:

* The city did finally come by on Saturday, one week to the hour from when we reported the unexpected water feature and a week and a day from when we reported the freeze, to replace the meter and stop the leak. So that's something, at least. (And the meter reading they reported when they changed it out was the same as when it first broke, so hopefully we shouldn't be charged for it. I'm still not underestimating the Baltimore Department of Water & Wastewater's ability to fuck things up, though.)

* Sarah's grandfather, who had been in the hospital at the beginning of last week and went into hospice care at the end of last week, died Friday night/Saturday morning, peacefully in his sleep. (You can tell Sarah's father, an amateur geneaologist, wrote the obituary; it has full names, including middle names.) He was a hell of a guy and the family will miss him.

I've also fucked my hip, fucked my spine, and fucked my knee. (No, really, it's making unpleasant crunching noises every time I put weight on it.) Which of the three is more painful and annoying at this point depends on how far I've been overcompensating for the previous "more painful and annoying".

On a slightly bright note, the best addition to our kitchen gadgets ever, the Anova Precision Cooker sous vide thermal circulator, has been doing double and triple duty for the past three weeks or so. I can safely say that if you have any interest in cooking at all, you want one of these things. Perfectly cooked proteins, every time!

(no subject)

Mar. 2nd, 2015 08:59 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Realistic assessment, I may not get through a full work day today. Last night I suddenly stopped being able to put weight on my right leg and any movement in my hips was painful. I got to the bathroom on 2 canes. I can put more weight on it this morning and have taken some tramadol. It is hard to bend over and also to turn over in bed, sit upright, etc. Very painful and sharp. Pain/tingling going down my leg into my foot. The "good" side is also aching but not super sharp pain.

I made my tea, ate some crackers, bent over to put cat food in the bowl (mistake)

Could not find my (spare) glasses and had to painfully tidy things up till I found them. They were in the bed in the first place I looked of course. I need to get new real glasses.

I will be very cautious today and will get d. to bring my walker up out of the garage.

Not going to despair. Laying low.

Wrote to my doctor to say what is happening. I will need some vicodin and I think a day or two of lying still. I am not sure whether to skip PT on Wednesday or try to do it. Right now I would not be able to get there anyway. But maybe by Wed. can do it with a ride (which I have already lined up)

Calling the pain clinic now to make sure my next sacroiliac injection is scheduled.

About to get my period so "not despairing" may also not completely be realistic as I usually have about half a day of PMS existential crisis/mood where I doubt everything and cry.

(no subject)

Mar. 2nd, 2015 04:26 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1619 aged 44 Anne of Denmark(my toy,wikipedia). Anne was the wife of James VI and I, and the daughter of the King of Denmark. Her marriage was not happy, but was fairly stable, and they had 7 children together; Anne may have converted to Catholicism at some point, and her Catholic tendencies were not the most popular thing in England. She was a great patron of the arts and not heavily involved in politics.

Born on this day in 1409 to Duke Jean I of Alencon and Marie of Brittany, Duke John II of Alencon(my toy,wikipedia). His mother was the daughter of Isabella of Valois who had been married to Richard II. Jean was most famous as a friend and support of Joan of Arc.


Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:20 pm
kaberett: (sokka-facepalm)
[personal profile] kaberett
Right, so scent is an important thing for me, right? Using familiar scented products (shower gels, moisturisers, perfume, etc) is very grounding and helps me remember where and what my body is, and so on. Consequently I tend to keep shower gel of my own at partners' houses.

Currently, the shower gel I have on the go at facesfriend's is Original Source Raspberry & Cocoa.

It turns out that Original Source only use a limited range of dyes in their shower gels; Raspberry & Cocoa is the exact same colour as the Black Pepper & Chilli MANLY MAN MAN MAN shower gel. It is genuinely quite difficult to tell the difference between the two if you're half-asleep and wholly-myopic.

... guess what facesfriend has acquired a bottle of. GUESS.

movie system biases

Mar. 1st, 2015 10:34 pm
graydon2: (Default)
[personal profile] graydon2
Past 30 days, I watched two big budget explosions and superpowers nonsense movies. They were pretty much both just "render-farm eye-candy", which appears to be all anyone in hollywood wants to risk putting on screen anymore.

One was from 2008, called "Iron Man". It was about an ultra-rich, weapons-selling, middle-aged, all-american loner man who escapes his bachelor pad of sports cars and sexy assistants to fly around blowing up poor middle eastern and central european people up in a super wish fulfillment power suit story.

One was from 2015, called "Jupiter Ascending". It was about a poor, toilet-cleaning, young immigrant woman who escapes her crowded family basement to fly around with a new space werewolf legionnaire boyfriend blowing up imperial slave-world-owning villains in a space opera wish fulfillment secret princess story.

Rotten tomatos aggregate critic score for the first shows 93%. For the second, it shows 24%.

That's about all I have to say about that.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

Because it's what I need

Mar. 1st, 2015 07:02 pm
serene: mailbox (Default)
[personal profile] serene
I gave myself until March 1st (hey, that's today!) to decide whether or not to turn in my grad-school applications and pursue my Masters in rehabilitation counseling (basically, counseling adults with disabilities).

I've decided not to do it. At least not this year. Rather than spend next year doing school and work both, racking up more student-loan debt, and changing career paths, I've decided to spend that energy/time/money on actually finishing some writing projects. This week, I'll decide which project(s) I'll be prioritizing, but I already feel happy and relieved, which is one way I can tell it's the right decision for me.

I may start blogging a lot about writing. I will try to be considerate with cut tags. Wish me well.
[syndicated profile] lazyevaluationranch_feed

Posted by everwest

1/29 Aw, someone was harassing Cody the Sheep until his neck stuffing puffed out like a plush toy with a split seam. Who could have possibly done it? Goofus the Peacock? Moustache the Chicken? Surely not this Goat of Pure Innocence and Love, wearing a brand new curly hairpiece?

(no subject)

Mar. 1st, 2015 02:31 pm
quartzpebble: (Default)
[personal profile] quartzpebble

Entirely successful estate sale day! I now have:

  • a dining table and chairs, could use some polishing
  • a sweet oak rocking chair and rocking ottoman that fit me very nicely
  • a set of small curves for drafting patterns, should do sleeve caps nicely
  • books! One on needlework stitches, an anatomy coloring book, Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, and one that cx might like with pictures of urban/industrial infrastructure.
  • embroidery hoops
  • a steel dough scraper
  • misc. glassware

I still need:

  • wood polish
  • an office chair
  • shelves for the kitchen
  • a filing cabinet or something for papers, electronics, etc. to go near the desk
  • rugs?

ETA: Eh. The beeswax hand salve I made will work for polish.

beach walk/socializing

Mar. 1st, 2015 11:48 am
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
[personal profile] redbird
[ profile] alanro and his partner Jeanne are in town for the weekend, staying with Loren and Lauryn. Alan suggested that [ profile] cattitude and I could take the bus down to Burien and we could all go for a walk along Puget Sound. That sounded like a good idea, so we went down there yesterday afternoon.

It was a nice spring day (I know, but this has been the warmest winter on record here), with lots of cherry blossoms visible along the way. We went to a park near Lauryn and Loren's home, looked at the waves rolling in, and picked up rocks and shells. Mostly we looked at them, and got Jeanne to identify some, then put them back. I put three small stones and one shell (with a barnacle living on it) in my pocket.

Visiting Lauryn and Loren meant we got to spend some time with their cats, which was good. There was also assorted conversation, tea, and eventually dinner at a good Greek restaurant near their home. Unfortunately, I seem to have discovered a food allergy, fsvo "food": my hosts don't keep regular sugar in their house, and Lauryn offered me an artificial sweetener, Truvia, which is a mixture of sugar, stevia, and erythritol. I noticed shortly after finishing my tea that my tongue was itching; I asked for a Benadryl, which took care of the problem. At the time I thought "I haven't eaten anything new today," thinking of the tea as black tea, ginger, and cinnamon, forgetting the sweetener. Both Lauryn and I thought of the sweetener as the likely suspect a while later. I'm not sure the erythritol was the problem, but it seems probable (I've eaten actual stevia leaf without a problem); fortunately, it shouldn't be too hard to avoid (I took yesterday's last cup of tea black, which was fine).
[syndicated profile] lazyevaluationranch_feed

Posted by everwest

1/28 Goats are very helpful, they’ll make your todo list shorter. Or maybe less wide, whichever.

We are getting ready to rebuild the poultry run, which was assassinated by an angry lodgepole pine a couple months ago. 

Since the run was destroyed, all the poultry have been confined to the narrow and muddy ruins, which sucks. Especially the peacocks, who have gotten their tails all covered in mud and spend a lot of time freaking out about it and hiding in corners, instead of their usual schedule of squeak-toy noises, bathing in goat poop, suspiciously inspecting grass blades that might have moved since yesterday, and weird interspecies hanky-panky.

Hopefully, the fancybirds will be back to their usual deranged selves as soon as we get the run rebuilt.

(no subject)

Feb. 28th, 2015 10:53 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
HI I have a working camera phone, have some pictures of Emily.

Yay, the return to catpix )

Tomorrow's to-do )

[restaurant] Cotto, Cambridge

Feb. 28th, 2015 11:30 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Verdict: the dessert was amazing; we were offered tap water; my mother was correctly invited to taste the wine; the vegetarian main was a particular brand of incoherent charming only because I wasn't paying for it, in that it was very clearly the case that every vegetable accompaniment to every other dish on the menu had been piled up artistically. The result was very pretty and sort of fascinatingly confused, flavour-wise; I'd be willing to go back if someone else were paying (the same is emphatically not true of Alimentum, who served me the most insipid £25 risotto it's ever been my misfortune to consume; four-or-so years on I'm still resentful).

Dessert was, as I say, sublime; I had an intensely vanilla-y almond tart in which was sat a whole poached pear, done not in red wine but something else altogether; served with rosemary & manuka honey ice-cream, which was enclosed in a beautiful pink spun-sugar sphere. Excellent, would dessert again.

The meat-eaters seemed happy?

... right okay so it's my dad's 60th today, basically, and I wanted to come and visit my mum because approximately every human being I know in the south of England is at a particular club night in London tonight (club nights are fundamentally incompatible with my sensory issues alas), and so I accidentally ended up being taken out to a fancy dinner.


tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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