Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Ninja Blender

A long, long time in a galaxy far, far away1, I asked Twitter what blender I should buy2. There were several suggestions and much debate, but in the end I decided to get a Ninja blender, and only partly because it has an awesome name. It got great reviews for its blending power and I found it on sale at Canadian Tire, where I could get the blender with a jug plus an attachment and several blending cups so that it can be like a magic bullet for making smoothies in, only way more powerful than a magic bullet3 – for the price of just the regular blender and jug. That’s $50 off! And you know how much I like a deal!

The main reason I wanted a blender was to be able to make hummus and spinach & cilantro rice, the latter of which involves blending up spinach, cilantro, and parsley with vegetable stock and then cooking rice in that. It looks like this when you blend it4:

Day 75

So far, I’m pretty pleased with my Ninja. I haven’t yet tried out the crushed ice setting, but perhaps that is something I can do in the new year!

  1. This is one of those postings that was in my Drafts folder, as just a title, that I mentioned in my last blog posting. []
  2. My ex owned a blender when we moved in together and my magic bullet blender was on its last legs, so I got rid of it. When my ex became my ex, I then had no blender. []
  3. OK, I can’t talk about magic bullet blenders without linking to this blog posting. []
  4. OK, I can’t talk about blending without linking to this blog posting. []

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Backlog of Drafts

I’ve just realized that I have 80 (!) draft blog postings in my appropriately named “Drafts” folder1. Some are partially written, some are just a title to remind me to blog about something. Since I’m looking for ideas for blog postings this month, I figure why not use it as an opportunity to clear out that backlog? So I will look at the drafts and either complete them or, if they are no longer relevant, then I’ll delete them!

I’ve also gotten some great ideas in the comments on my previous posting asking for ideas, so I’ve started a list! Feel free to feed me more ideas if you have something you’d like to see me write about!

  1. Apparently I’m a digital pack rat in addition to being a pack rat in real life. []

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My Favourite Christmas Tradition

Ingredients for brandy snapsHands down, my favourite Christmas tradition is baking with my family. As far back as I can remember, we’d get together to bake Christmas goodies that we’d give out to family and friends and have around the house for when people came to visit. When I was young, my Aunt Wendy would come over to our house and bake with my mom, my sister and I. And it was always so much fun and the tasty treats were always much appreciated by whosoever was lucky enough to receive them.

Coddled Egg
When we got older, my sister and I carried on the Christmas baking tradition, and for a couple of years we made ornate ginger bread creations – one year it was a whole village of little gingerbread houses, another year it was a living room on Christmas Eve (with a fireplace, a chair, a table with cookies for Santa on it, and a cat asleep on a rug). I wish I knew where I put the photos of those gingerbread creations!

Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake - mixtures ready to go

Long time readers will know that in 2009 we held the first ever Snow Family Cyber Cookies, where my mom, sister, and niece baked in Toronto and I baked at my place in BC and we hung out via Google Video Chat so that we could bake “together”. Not as good as baking in person – you can’t sample the baking over the intertubes – but still pretty fun. In 2010 I was in Toronto, so I could bake with my family in person and in 2011 we did Cyber Cookies again. In 2012 we couldn’t get coordinated with dates – I spent a bunch of time at the holidays on the Island with my then-boyfriend’s family and we couldn’t coordinate a day when I was home to do CyberCookies. And this year I’m in Toronto and we are having baking day this coming Saturday!

Chocolate Chip CookieWe decided that we each only get to choose two things to bake, as there are five of us in total who will be bakers (my mom, my sister, me, my niece, and my sister’s friend Daniel1 ), so that will be 10 different baked goods. I have to make shortbread, from my Great Granny’s secret recipe, because everybody loves it2, but I still have to pick my second item. I’m thinking I should do something that calls for sweetened condensed milk, because omg, I love sweetened condensed milk. I should probably get out some recipe books and make a decision!

  1. My nephew will also be helping, but he’s only 2.5 years old, so he’s still to wee to be able to make stuff on his own. []
  2. Everybody except me. I don’t like shortbread! []

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Rick the Frog

My niece has an aquatic African dwarf frog, just like my fraggle of frogs. She used to have two frogs, Bob and Rick, but Bob passed away and now there is only Rick. This is Rick:

Rick the Frog

Isn’t he adorable?

Last night, after everyone else had gone to bed, I was watching Rick – I’m worried that he must be lonely all by himself in that tank – and he seemed pretty happy to see me. He was jumping around in the water to get my attention and such. And then he started humming! Humming is what male African dwarf frogs do to entice female frogs to mate. I think Rick likes me!

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Men of Curling Calendar

So Heather just told me about the Men of Curling calendar and suggested that it might be relevant to my interests. Not the curling part – I totally don’t understand how people watch curling – but the men in a calendar part. So I was all excited to check it out… and then I got to their website and found out they only have one picture online!

Epic fail!

Anyone out there actually seen the photos? Any of the photos better than this one?

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Blog Posting Ideas

So, as it turns out, it’s pretty challenging to come up with four new blog posting ideas per day, especially when you are trying to think of ideas that can make for short but interesting postings. I have a few ideas for more involved postings, but during the past few days I’ve been working on writing my industry project paper (that last bit of my MBA that I need to finish up) so that I could have something halfway decent to show my project supervisor to get some feedback and so haven’t had time for such endeavours as long blog postings. But at the same time I don’t want to write tiny postings about nothing.

And so I turn to you, dear readers, for ideas. What do you think I should write about?

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Flickr Angst

Why is it that every time an online service tries to make an “improvement”,  they make their service worse? Case in point: Flickr. I’ve used Flickr for years store my photos and then use their handy dandy embed code to embed photos here on my blog. In fact, Flickr is one of the few online services for which I actually have a Pro account, because I like Flickr and felt it was worth paying to get the unlimited amount of uploads. Recently they changed their site so it looks slick, but seems way slower to navigate through and this morning while I was composing my blog posting about wine, I discovered that they fucked up the embed codes!

Prior to this, when there was photo that I wanted to embed in my blog, I just grabbed the embed code from the photo’s page on Flickr, entered it into blog posting in the Text edit mode and viola! – my photo would be in my posting. When you switch to the Visual edit tab, you could see the photo and it would show up in the posting and it would be hyperlinked to the photo page on Flickr and all would be right with the world.

But now, when you use the embed code and then look at the Visual tab in WordPress, you see this instead of seeing the photo:

If you “Preview” your blog posting, you just see an empty space where the photo is supposed to be. That is also what happens when you embed a video from YouTube – a yellow box in the Visual tab and a blank space in the Preview. So I posted my posting and discovered why this was happening. First, you notice right away that there’s a big Flickr logo stamped across the photo:

(I had to take a different photo to create that screen shot, because I fixed the one on the wine posting before I thought of writing this posting).

Then I noticed that there were little left and right arrows on the photo – you can’t see them in the above photo – I think perhaps they only show up when you mouse over the photo, but when you click them, you flick through the photostream from which the photo came.

So the embed code now results in not your photo being embedded, but rather it’s more like having a little mini slideshow embedded. Which is totally not what I want -I just want the photo.

So I figured that I was now going to have to grab the photo’s URL and then use that to put the photo in my blog posting and then hyperlink it myself… but now, after writing out that ranty email, I just noticed when I was inserting the above two photos the long way, that they actually have checkboxes for three different options to embed the photo: embed, HTML, and BBCode. So it turns out that “embed”, which they set as the default option, embeds the little slideshow, but “HTML” gives you the code to embed just the photo. So now I’m slightly less annoyed at Flickr. I’m annoyed that they changed their stuff to trick me into thinking that I couldn’t easily get the code to embed photos, which prompted me to write this long, ranty email which I’m far too invested in now to just delete, and I’m annoyed that I will now take me one extra click to get the right embed code. But I guess at least I don’t have to insert the photo manually like I thought I was going to have to. Hooray?

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Wine

I seem to have been drinking a lot of wine since I arrived here in the Big Smoke1. I suppose to be more clear, I should really say that I’ve had a lot of different wines, rather than a large volume2. And by “a lot”, I mean four. My family had been out to Prince Edward County in the summer and picked up some wine at Huff Estates, three bottles of which we have opened on three different nights this week. We tried their rosé, their pinot gris, and their riesling off dry. They were all great, but the latter was my favourite. And then last night when I was out, Jen and I shared a Fat Banker Cab Merlot. Because we were in the financial district and “Fat Banker” is an hilarious name for a winery. It was actually pretty good.

So, yeah, to me that’s a lot of wine – and we haven’t even touch the Dirty Laundry wine I brought from BC!

Image Credit: Posted by Uncalno Tekno on Flickr.

  1. I have no idea why I find that nickname so funny, but I do. []
  2. Because I am the world’s cheapest drunk and volume is not necessary for me! []