Archive for January, 2011

The Nurse’s Dirty Secret

One of the most rewarding aspects of writing a blog is the opportunities it affords for interaction with the readers. Mostly, owing to the nature of the medium, this is limited to the exchange of comments, be they (frequently) entertaining, instructive, insightful, or (very rarely) banal. I appreciate this very much, and thank you all for your diligent efforts in this area.

Many of you also e-mail me from time to time, and these interactions I also find greatly rewarding, on the whole, despite the less-structured, private nature of the interaction. For this I again am by and large very grateful, because you as a whole have been very kind about sharing your thoughts and ideas with me. As always, thanks.

Recently, someone e-mailed me with a suggestion for something I should write. This is not an uncommon happening, truth be told.

However, I can say with relative certainty that nobody had ever before asked me to write erotica.
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Published in: Geekiness | on January 18th, 2011 | No Comments »

Coffee and Tea, 1905

Courtesy of the Myrtle Reed Cookbook, some brief, terse, and not-at-all-opinionated thoughts on “the nectar of the gods”, coffee:

The breakfast beverage par excellence is coffee, at least in American households, but, rather than have coffee poorly made, it is better to have no coffee at all. The French method of coffee making has practically superseded the old fashioned boiled coffee. Cheap coffee, carefully made in the proper kind of a pot, has a better flavor than the more expensive brands can possibly have when improperly made.

The best coffee pot on the market, which publishing ethics forbid us to mention by name, is made of nickel, comes in five or six different sizes, has a close fitting cover, a wooden handle, and has inside a finely woven wire strainer which does away entirely with the questionable, and often unclean, cloth strainer. A cloth, no matter how carefully kept, will eventually become saturated with the grounds and add the flavor of reheated coffee to the fresh brew in the pot.

The nickel coffee pots having the wire strainer inside are easily kept clean with boiling water alone, and about once a month may be boiled out with a weak solution of baking soda.

Various blends of coffee have their champions, and the blended package coffees are in the main very good. It is better to buy in small quantities, a pound or two at a time, have the coffee pulverized very finely at the grocery, and keep a watchful eye on the man while he does it lest he add alien elements to the coffee. Pulverized coffee keeps perfectly in ordinary Mason jars, tightly sealed, if bought in small quantities, as suggested.
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Published in: General, History | on January 17th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

Culinary Sarcasm, 1905

Reading through the Myrtle Reed Cookbook, published in 1905, I stumbled across a quite charming bit of sarcasm that struck my fancy:

Concerning the humble chicken egg:

“Strictly fresh eggs come from the country sometimes with the date of their appearance stamped indelibly in purple on the egg. This is done by giving the hens chopped calendars with their meals. Care should be taken, however, to furnish this year’s calendar. Nobody wants an egg with a last-year’s date on it and the error is likely to disarrange the digestion of the hen.”
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Published in: General, History | on January 14th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

The Unpredictable Repercussions of Tragedy

Over the weekend, as I’m sure you’re aware, an individual shot a number of people in Arizona, including a member of Congress. This was undoubtedly a tragedy, and one which a lot of the country is more than willing to fixate on for days or even weeks.

Beyond the shock and sadness, though, there are a lot of interesting effects that will play out for months or even years to come, and they all pretty much revolve around one thing: Fear.
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Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General, Security | on January 13th, 2011 | No Comments »

Kwik Hits

It’s great to feel indispensible. It truly is. However, being indispensible can be kind of tiring, alas. I’ve been very temporarily re-hired – on, like, two hours’ notice – by my last contract employer, to complete a year-end project I worked on last year. “Nobody can make heads or tails of your notes”, they said, so why don’t I just come back for a week and work on it?

Oh, by the way, it’s due Friday morning…

So, while I struggle to finish this thing by then, here are a couple assorted bits of amusement I’ve spotted:

Russian “porn king” defends his business in the wake of a ban on his movies being sold: “All of our films are intended for private use only. We also have a taboo on making films involving necrophilia or zoophilia.” That’s the best defense he can come up with?

A young man in Italy sneezed out a bullet after being shot in the head. Man, where’s a kevlar facial tissue when you need one?

‘Non-passive’ transformer failure in NYC, indeed.

Read this story and pause for a moment to mourn the death of competent journalism.

When daylight savings was changed in the US… nothing happened. When it was changed in Russia, theater performances got censored and people warned of increased crime and heightened depression. Then again, Washington didn’t claim changing daylight savings would “make governing easier”…

That’s it for me. Back to the grind I go, whoa whoa…

Published in: General | on January 11th, 2011 | No Comments »