Monthly Archives: December 2013


A couple of postscripts to the last post …

A view across our courtyard … very close to sunset:

The redness of the raking sunlight is very apparent.
And a closer view, focusing in on an interesting bit of Nature’s snow sculpture:

Nothing of any great importance; just fun and interesting.
I apologise for any failures in quality; I was shooting through rather dirty glass (4 panes!), but I was prohibited from opening the window by popular opinion … it was -1°F out there.
Cheers, all!


Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


At Last! A REAL snowstorm!

… and, with just a bit of fiddling:

And I can’t find a “Centre” key here, nohow, so, too damned bad, it ain’t centred, so there!

Back to normal:

Dang! Another vertical one:

And that’s about it; I’m glad I could get out in time, before we got a wind to mess it all up. Thank the carpark-cleaning chaps that I had to get out of there anyway, so they could have room. The irony is that I got back and everyone’s place had been ploughed save mine … there was nearly as much snow there when I got back as when I left. Yes, my space is an end one, and is, basically, in a corner … actually it IS a corner … but these blighters are paid to clear out the snow, so WTF?


Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Our first snowfall of any significance …

We’ve had a bit of snow; only about 3½ inches in this locality, which isn’t very much, but it was sufficient to cause a 40-car pile-up on the local expressway just to our south. No pictures of that, though you might be able to find videos of it on the TV archives … ours even made the national news. Our snow was part of the really massive winter-weather system that has been torturing the South and and the Atlantic Seaboard for the past few days. A few deaths, from various storm-related causes. I got out the second day, and got a few pictures:

Hmmm … seems I don’t know how to centre these. Oh, well …
I suspect this is but a small sample of what we can expect, come winter, though if the weather follows last year’s pattern, we might be sitting in a “precipitation island”, where the storms go north of us, the storms go south of us, but we get bloody little moisture of any sort, snow or rain.
The old folks I live with think that’s wonderful, but it really messes up the local ecology.
Take care, folks,
and Cheers!

Sorry I lost all your comments, folks … I tried to do a little editing, and the editing software on this benighted site just hashes everything up to the point that it can’t be corrected. It gets to the point where you just have to chuck it all out and repost it as it was at first, and that means you lose all the comments. 

But I did find that TV vid of the pileup on US 41/45:


Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


Another one …

The Thanksgivikkah Dinner post received such a good reception that I thought I’d post this old comment from Jill’s blog on MyOpera. It’s a variation of a traditional Italian recipe called Olio e Aglio(Oil and Garlic).

Capellini in Olio e Aglio con Spinaci
Hokay, here ya go:
1) Pour about ¼ cup E.V. Olive oil into a frying pan … a smallish pan, so the oil has some depth.
2) Add anywhere from 3 to 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (depending on how much you groove on garlic).
3) Add a pinch of dried basil, and if desired, about half that much dried oregano.
4) Hey, when has a little bit of onion hurt anything? Onion powder will do, if you don’t feel like cutting one.
5) A wee bit of salt … not much.
6) OK … swish all that stuff around so it’s kinda mixed, like, and set it aside … don’t start heating it yet.

Next, salt a bunch of water, and cook up what seems to be a reasonable amount of pasta … my favourite is capellini, but others like spaghetti or maybe fettucini. Hell, I’ve even made it with Polish egg noodles. With capellini, I use about a ¾” bundle of full-length noodles, maybe a touch more. (Is it possible to have too much pasta?)

While the pasta is cooking, put a thawed package of chopped spinach into a strainer, and squish all the water out, using the back of a big ol’ serving spoon. It shouldn’t be dead dry, but it shouldn’t be sopping, either. Set it aside.

Drain the pasta, and oil it very lightly. Sprinkle in a goodly amount of grated parmesan or romano (or both) cheese, and swish it around. Set it aside in a place where it won’t cool off too fast. Cover it.

Now, start heating the stuff in the frying pan, gently … a sort of sauté temperature. Keep it moving, and keep heating until the garlic is softened and golden. Stop heating … there’s nothing worse than burnt garlic. And don’t ask me how I know that.

Pour all the stuff from the pan and the strainer into the pasta, and stir like crazy, until it’s reasonably well-mixed.

Serve. It’s really groovy stuff, and even kids like it, because garlic and onion, when cooked, turn sweet. And the spinach is good for you, and you don’t even have to squeeze the can to open it, à la Popeye! Besides, I like spinach.

You have just made a variation of what the Italians call “Oil and Garlic”. I call it “Capellini in Olio e Aglio con Spinaci”!
Well, I have a small addition to the recipe above … this is something that I hit upon when I was using a smaller pasta … this would work well even with the smallest sized shells (BTW, shells and cheese are better than macaroni and cheese, and obviously, anyone who’s ever eaten macaroni and cheese as the books tell you to make it, the cheese sauce MUST be “doctored” … I tend toward Italian herbs and spices, but other folk can do as they like, including ignoring this advice. Blech!). Now, back to the subject (I think) … I needed to make the spinach into smaller pieces, because the stuff, as frozen, is full leaves, or perty near. So, being a clever sort of chap, or “resourceful” as a boss told me once, just before giving me an insultingly inadequate raise, I bethought me of the kitchen shears that I keep in a drawer, under everything else, so no one will steal them and get them all gobbied up with glue and hair and stuff. I took the more-or-less dry spinach out of the strainer, and it held together nicely in my hand, so I went at it with the kitchen shears, cutting the”mat” of spinach into about ¼” strips. I used that, and, by Neddy Dingo, it worked!. I resolved to do the same thing in future. 
It was later, sitting and pondering, (idly, of course) that I remembered a curious shears that I had found in my late daughter’s effects: There were five parallel sets of shearing blades worked by one pair of handles. “Curious”, I thought, and assumed they were a cheap device for cutting up credit cards and the like … I tried them on an old debit card, and it was obvious that they were a desperate measure, at best, for that use, so I set them aside. Then, I thought of cutting up the spinach with them, went rooting about, found where I’d stashed them, and found them to be ideal for the task. I made a picture, so everyone would know exactly what I was talking about; they are the objects in the middle of the picture, regular shears are shown for comparison:

And then, making sure that these things could be purchased easily, I googled “five-bladed-scissors” expecting to be taken to office-supply sites. Instead, I was taken to kitchen-ware sites … it turns out the bloody things are called “Herb scissors”, and I had inadvertently stumbled upon the intended use. Amazon carries them, as do other places. 


Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

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