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I'm very happy to say that as of this morning, I now have broadband here at the farmhouse.

That is all.



Nov. 28th, 2008 01:01 am
prunesquallor: (life)

Matthew Yglesias dares to say that "turkey doesn’t taste good." Amen, brother, amen! That's why I always roast a duck for Thanksgiving instead. Dark fatty delicious duck-flesh versus bland dry white turkey? It's no contest.

I also made a few side dishes this year. The cranberry-orange sauce was very easy, if messy. The whipped and honeyed sweet potato with pecan & brown sugar topping was good even though I left out the roasted bananas called for by the recipe. I also prepared some chestnut dressing. (Note to self: next year, make the same dressing, but skip the chestnuts. Now I know why my father always left them to rot on the ground in the orchard. Shelling and mincing them is too much work for too little reward.)


A good year for fruit here in the North Carolina Piedmont, presumably due to the generous amounts of rain. Earlier this summer our orchard had a bumper crop of cherries, and the plums and damsons came out in force. Last week I let my aunt and uncle harvest most of the apples for their own use, and this evening I picked most of the pears during a light foggy rain (hence the post title, though seasonally speaking it's a week too early). I got seven plastic bags stuffed full, and there were a number of unusually big 'uns. God knows what I'm going to do with them - give most away to relatives, make a few into some desserts (looked up a few recipes online), and maybe make a few jars of preserves.

Nuts come later in the season and on into winter, but it's already clear they're not going to be as productive. The pecans are poor, and there are only three or four black walnuts hanging on their little tree. But the chestnuts look as if they'll do well.

(God, I sound like Chris Kimball.)


Tso and Tso

Jan. 21st, 2008 09:34 pm
prunesquallor: (life)

Today I had General Tso's Chicken at my usual Chinese restaurant, and afterwards as I was about to drive away, I was struck by a powerful gag reflex which I was barely able to control. After a minute the spell passed, but it made me think. I am a creature of habit, and have been getting that same order at that restaurant once a week for a year or more. On a number of occasions I've had slight attacks of nausea just after leaving there, though never before as intensely as today. I never made anything of it, as I have a very easily upset stomach and thought it meant I had just made a pig of myself.

I hasten to add that I don't think it's food poisoning, as I got pork with garlic sauce regularly for several years before that with no ill results. (I switched to the Tso because the recipe for the garlic sauce there was changed.) Furthermore, I suddenly remembered another incident from more than a decade ago. I used to get Tso's every Thursday for lunch at another place in Chapel Hill, and one evening I met up with some friends there and got The General again for my dinner. Later after we'd moved on to another event, I very inexplicably and embarassingly, publicly threw up.

Which of course makes me wonder if Tso might have unusually high concentrations of MSG. Though googling informs me that Chinese Restaurant Syndrome a) does not have vomiting listed as a symptom, and b) is probably just an urban legend anyway. So who knows. I think I'll be switching to a new dish next week.


No Thanks

Aug. 30th, 2007 12:06 am
prunesquallor: (life)

Lots of bad news on a certain front recently. First, a friend's father was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer not too long ago. Then my cousin had a spot on his right lung and had an operation to (apparently successfully) remove it. Yesterday he learned from a followup that he also has a tumor in his right lung, and that lung is too weak (from emphysema and scarring) to handle surgery or chemo. He's been advised to get a second opinion.

As it happens, I TiVoed and had been saving the movie Thank You For Smoking, planning to watch it at some point. I think I'll just delete it for now.



Jul. 11th, 2007 11:59 pm
prunesquallor: (life)

Well, just paid for this year's local con. Doing Saturday and Sunday only, one hotel night.


I'm sure it'll be gone soon, but right now the Wikipedia entry on Thanksgiving includes this line under the "Traditional Celebrations" subheading: "You sacrificed tons of Indians to celebrate this holiday."

Ah, Wikipedia vandalism: you've got to love it.

Update, 12:53 PM: it's been reverted.

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

On the other hand . . .
LogoThere are:
people named Donald Rumsfeld
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Oh, would that it were only so!

Liked the new location for the con, and had no problems while there (except for an encounter with an incredibly ditzy German waitress at breakfast this morning).  Some of the events did seem a little spread out, but I needed the exercise.

As usual, I only attended panels on the literary track.  The highlight for me was the slipstream panel Saturday afternoon: I thought John Kessel did a great job moderating, and Barry Malzberg was a vigorous Devil's Advocate. (And does Malzberg know the magazine publication dates of every major story?  Because it sure seemed like it.) I enjoyed seeing Gene Wolfe, though I was very careful not to talk to him.  (I rode up alone with him on the elevator this morning, and had absolutely zilch impulse to say Word One to him.)  I did talk to some of the other Names on occasion, and generally that was a mistake for me.

I bought a few dozen books in the dealers' room, especially from [profile] bud_webster's table.

Oh, and I saw Greg Fishel at Applebee's Friday night.  So my life is complete now.