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Talisker
26 October 2010 @ 04:53 pm
I’ve just noticed that none of my blog posts have been cross-posted to livejournal since August 10. The wordpress plugin I use apparently decided to die silently. Joy.

For those people who still read livejournal, I’m not dead. I just moved platforms. Bookmark my blog directly or import the RSS feed. It’s going to be more reliable than the buggy plugin, which will shortly be removed if it doesn’t get its act together.

Blog: http://www.flubu.com/blog/
RSS: http://www.flubu.com/blog/feed/
 
 
Talisker
06 August 2010 @ 01:30 pm

Accordionated – being able to drive and refold a road map at the same time


Blogish – a variety of English that uses a large number of initialisms, frequently used on blogs


Dunandunate – the overuse of a word or phrase that has recently been added to your own vocabulary


Earworm – a catchy tune that frequently gets stuck in your head


Freegan – someone who rejects consumerism, usually by eating discarded food


Fumb – your large toe


Furgle – to feel in a pocket or bag for a small object such as a coin or key


Griefer – someone who spends their online time harassing others


Headset jockey – a telephone call centre worker


Museum head – feeling mentally exhausted and no longer able to take in information; Usually following a trip to a museum


Nonversation – a worthless conversation, wherein nothing is explained or otherwise Elaborated upon


Optotoxical – a look that could kill, normally from a parent or spouse


Peppier – a waiter whose sole job is to offer diners ground pepper, usually from a large pepper mill


Percuperate – to prepare for the possibility of being ill


Polkadodge – the dance that occurs when two people attempt to pass each other but move in the same direction


Pregreening – to creep forwards while waiting for a red light to change


Smushables – items that must be pack at the top of a bag to avoid being squashed


Stealth-geek – someone who hides their nerdy interests while maintaining a normal outward appearance


Vidiot – someone who is inept at the act of programming video recording equipment


Whinese – a term for the language spoken by children on lengthy trips


Wibble – the trembling of the lower lip just shy of actually crying


Wikism – a piece of information that claims to be true but is wildly inaccurate


Source: The Telegraph




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker
05 August 2010 @ 10:51 am

So far, I’ve had 3 driving lessons. The first one was only on a closed course to try get to grips with the basics of clutch control and low-speed manoeuvring. The other 2 were mostly throw-you-in-the-deep-end on the road. I have been both thrilled and terrified and I’m a bit wrung out.


I’m at a quandary here. It seems like I have a triple-whammy going against me. I’ve never driven before, so I’m a total newb for roadcraft. This would explain why I cut across oncoming traffic while doing a right-hand turn and almost got run over twice on roundabouts (having said that, Joe told me that every new driver does stupid shit like that). My eyesight – being its normal self – makes it difficult for me to read the instrument gauges easily (the speedo mostly is a git – it’s in KPH and has a small inner dial in MPH, but it’s painted brown on black and I can’t make it out unless I lean in, which is not a good thing to do when you’re doing 50 MPH). So that means that I have difficulty maintaining the correct speed for the road I’m on, and that’s dangerous. Both of those combined as well make it difficult for me to anticipate things well enough in advance for me to react appropriately, like judging the correct speed to take a bend or timing gaps to enter the flow of traffic. The final whammy is confidence. I’ve told myself all my life that I can’t drive, and now I’m trying to prove myself wrong. All of that taken together at once is proving… difficult, dangerous, scary.


I had a good long chat with the instructors at CamRider. I can’t commend them enough. They’re being really professional and genuine about the whole process. What it boils down to is that they don’t want to just write me off, they don’t want me to just write me off and they don’t want to just keep taking my money if this is something that won’t be safe in the long run. The head instructor, who I was with on the 3rd lesson, tells me that if he thought I was untrainable or unsafe, he’d stop things then and there. He says that no single problem in itself is a no-go. He’s trained people with worse eyesight than me. He’s trained complete newbies before. We just need to address things a little bit at a time and find a solution that works for me.


The thing is that on a closed circuit or a cul-de-sac, I can handle the bike correctly. My clutch control has already gotten a lot better in those 3 sessions and I can do the Module 1 manoeuvres. The real problem is that when I go out in the real world, all of that control and confidence goes out the window. I get flustered and I start doing stupid – and potentially dangerous – things.


Again though, the instructors tell me that this isn’t anything they haven’t seen before. I’m probably just over-thinking things and making my demons bigger than they are.


There have been fun moments though. The rat race in the Villages and the straight road to Sawston were really cool. On the other hand, having my first real road ride while it’s pissing it down with rain and having both the inside and outside of my helmet visor (as well as my glasses) sopping wet while on a national speed limit road was… not a fun moment. I was a bit wired that night.


So. Where we’re at now is that I have a one-on-one lesson tomorrow morning where it’s just going to be me and an instructor and we’ll assess the situation after that. If they think I can’t, then so be it. I’ll have at least tried. If they think I can, we can work on a plan so that I can think I can.




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker
05 August 2010 @ 10:21 am

It’s that time of year again. The seed pods are out en masse and Tolstoy refuses to let us brush him. As a result, his coat got so matted and dreadlocked that he was shedding large clumps of fur everywhere and he was actually bristly to pet.


So we shaved him.



Again.


He looks farcical without all that fur. He looks like he’s wearing Ugg boots. And that tail!




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker
04 August 2010 @ 09:17 am

For the few people who actually comment occasionally, I’ve disabled comments because I’m fed up of the volumes of ‘I like your blog, great posts, here’s a good link I found to some free ipads/designer shoes/blablabla’ spam comments I’ve been getting in the past months.


Update: If you want a username/password to comment, please ask me for one and I’ll set it up.




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker

My grandfather passed away in his sleep this morning. He was a shade past his 103rd birthday. I’m saddened by his passage, but at the same time I am relieved. He was tired, at the end, and just wanted to go see his wife again. He had time to say his goodbyes and went peacefully. I can live with that. He doesn’t need to be scared and lonely anymore. He can be with Cecile now.





Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker

I have to admit that I stole that headline from Fark. It does cover everything from the article though.


The cross-dressing man was caught with the animal in the dry moat of King Henry VIII’s Pendennis Castle overlooking Falmouth Bay in Cornwall. The 33-year-old mounted the pet after it chased him out of sight of its woman owner. The owner had been walking around the ancient castle with a friend when the pair spotted the lone transvestite on the morning of Saturday July 10th at around a quarter to twelve. He was wearing a black dress and walking around the steep-walled, empty moat.


As the two ladies spotted the cross dresser he ran away. Later one of the dogs chased after the man; by the time the women had caught up, the man was having sex with the pet. Castle staff then restrained the man while police were called. Pendennis Castle, managed by English Heritage, is a popular family tourist attraction and was heaving with visitors in high season.


He was escorted home and later made a “full and frank confession”, and received a caution for outraging public decency. A police spokesman said: “Other agencies were liaised with and he was handed over to them”. A spokesman for English Heritage said: “This was a very rare incident”.


I love that last line. It’s a classic Britishism :)


Original Source: The Telegraph.




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker
23 July 2010 @ 02:40 pm

Food expert holds doctorate in noodle lore


OSAKA–A food expert, who has re-created dishes enjoyed by the nobility in the Nara period (710-784), was so taken with the 1,300-year history of noodles in this country that he wrote a book about it. “I simply wondered why ramen and soba noodles always rank high in Japanese favorite food surveys,” Ayao Okumura, 72, said.


His book, “Nihon men-shoku-bunka no 1,300-nen” (1,300 years of noodle culture in Japan), won the Tsuji Shizuo Shokubunka-sho food culture prize in spring. The book was the culmination of two years of fieldwork. Although he is a well-known expert in traditional foods, Okumura believes a person can always learn something, no matter how old he or she is. So he entered Mimasaka University’s graduate school in Okayama Prefecture shortly before turning 70 and chose noodles for his doctoral thesis.


He sampled noodles not only in Japan but also overseas, such as in Italy and China, and learned various ways to cook them. He sometimes ate noodles six times a day, raising his blood sugar level so high that he wound up in a hospital. In his sickbed, Okumura read 45 books from the Kamakura period (1192-1333) and later compiled a paper based on the books.


He began his culinary career at a relative’s delicatessen and studied under food culture giant Osamu Shinoda (1899-1978), who always said, “Visit the places where dishes originate.” Okumura devoted himself to studying noodles at his own research kitchen in Nara. “The reason Japanese love noodles is because of the way we cook and eat them,” Okumura said. “Now I’d like to study the aesthetics of color and the presentation of food.”


Source: Daily Yomiuri




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker
19 July 2010 @ 12:34 pm

Christmas comes early for shoppers in Oxford Street


One of the country’s top stores is to start its Christmas trading 145 days before the holiday. Selfridges in Oxford Street will launch its Christmas season on 2 August – its earliest-ever start for the store. People keen to plan ahead can purchase trees, crackers, fairy lights or even a £500 life-size donkey.


The store said previous sales had shown some customers, especially overseas tourists, started thinking about Christmas during August. Last year, its festive shop sold more than 1,000 baubles during the first week of trading after opening on 8 August. The shop said customers could paint their own baubles this year.


Geraldine James, Selfridges Christmas Shop’s buying manager, said: “Christmas is coming earlier each year. I can see a time when we offer a capsule Christmas collection throughout the year.”


Taken from the BBC




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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Talisker

It’s been a loooooong weekend. Katy’s been working 12-14 hour night-sit shifts since Friday night so she’s knackered, and she seems to be coming down with a bug, which isn’t helping her energy levels. It’s still a transitional process, but I’m finding it a bit rough to not see her these days. It seems that we’ve only had three night in the past month when she hasn’t been working, and two of those were in Leicester. She leaves shortly after I get in from work, so we have maybe 15-20 minutes to chat a bit before she has to get ready. I generally put beastie to bed and then spend the evening cooking and watching TV. When she’s not working night-sits, she comes home between 10:30 and 11:30, so we might have another 15-20 minutes to chat, but by then we’re both tired so we just go to bed. I’m sure we’ll both get into the routine of things.


The beastie is just being a beastie and is into everything, biting everything, throwing everything, climbing everything and scratching everything that shouldn’t be scratched. I discovered that he can climb into his high-chair by himself during one of those “it’s too quiet” moments. He was sitting happily next to the fridge eating my fridge magnets. Oy, vey.


I had my first motorcycle lesson this weekend, the Compulsory Bike Training (CBT) course. It gives very high-level pointers on maintenance, controls, maneuvers, road safety and the like. I’m doing the course with Joe and he said it best when he said that it feels like it’s too much to take in at once and the best way to get everything to become automatic (like it is for him to drive a car) is to get out on the road and do it. That’s actually a bit intimidating, but I’m looking forward for more.


The day started out with a bit of stress because I had to pass a field eye exam. Now I know that this sounds dodgy, but I knew where they kept the fixed-distance license plate they use and I already knew what was written on it, but all of that went out the window when the guy said “just read the plate on either of the cars at the end of the parking”. I took a deep breath and said what I saw. The dude squinted a bit and said “yeah, that’ll do”. HAPPY DANCE!!!



Joe and I didn’t go on the road on Saturday, even though a road ride is normally part of the CBT. That’s because we’re doing the direct access course that will allow us to ride bikes bigger than 125cc. We’re going to be doing the rest of our lessons on 500cc bikes that require a things be done a bit differently than with the smaller, lighter bikes. The other guy who was on the course with us, a loudmouth Ozzie who will someday wrap himself and the 1100cc crotch rocket he wants to get around a tree, was only doing the CBT and went on a ride. I find it a bit mind-boggling that, in most cases, people are let loose on the road for unaccompanied riding after only 6 hours of training on a bike that can do 70 mph with very little difficulty – without even needing a theory test. Still, that’s how things work here apparently and who am I to question a system that will actually let me drive :D


It is a lot to process, the things you need to unconsciously think about to be able to drive safely. The good news is that they seem very competent teachers and they’re very safety oriented. Still, I’m a bit humbled to say that I expected it to be easier. Anyway, I have a feeling that if all goes well, I’m going to be very proud of myself for accomplishing a goal that I’ve always thought impossible to achieve. Go me.




Originally published at The beaver is a proud and noble animal
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