Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bits And Pieces Of Happy....

Long day, and lots going on. Done with Tubes, nearly anyway, and now it is all about Coraline. I know I don't talk about work too often, but I feel I can mention this, as most of you know this movie is coming out on February 6th.

And movies, like rockets, do not launch themselves.

The amount of work that goes into it is staggering. And I am only dealing with it in relation to one person. Press junkets, the marketing, opening, travel, e-mails, dates, screenings, mis-communication, great communication, the people who made the movie, the people who distribute the movie, the international people, who the heck does what and the list could go on. And the people who are working on this are handling the Big Picture of everything and making it come together. Kudos to them. It's huge.

Two things that make me laugh tho. It is always a good idea to copy as many people as possible on every e-mail, so the more people who need to know (or not) get in the loop. This can work both ways for you tho. Sometimes I laugh about some of the e-mails I write or respond to that end up copying, 10-20 people...None of whom I know. And I might be writing an answer to a question of "What does Boss like for Lunch?" But that's what makes it work. Think about it next time you see a movie.

And so far, every movie, I've gotten copied on a stream for a completely DIFFERENT movie.

It often takes the entire day before I figure it out.

Anyway, here's my take on Coraline. It's truly wonderful. You will want to see this. As soon as possible. What you will see if something that you will not have seen before. It's a world you want to see, a dream you want to have, and music you want to hear.

Moving on, Stacy told us her exciting news today, which did nearly make me cry. She is getting her first Bengal foster shortly! Stacy, you can't know how happy that makes me feel, that what I do and write, has inspired someone else to step in and help. We're saving one more. I thank you. You are in for an adventure you can't begin to believe. And if I can ever help, please let me know.

Another thing making me happy, is all the people who have been de-lurking and leaving comments. It is SO good to know you are out there and hear from you, and have you come and be a part of all this! Sometimes wonder if the things I am feeling so strongly about are coming thru, making people happy, making a difference. Seems I am. I'll keep it up. Your love and support this past weekend with Cabel (who is doing nicely) meant so very much.

Speaking of which, we are getting VERY close to the new website! Had a 2 hour talk with Dr Wicked about it tonight, tweaking, changing, plotting, planning. He really gets it, or gets me, and what I want. And yes, Greedy Fiends, you DO have your own tab, and all sorts of other Fiendish Goodies. It's ALL going to be there!

And we will have a Party then, won't we????

Love and Adventures,
lorraine

343 Comments:

At 8:36 PM , Blogger Beez said...

Too late

 
At 8:37 PM , Blogger ivenotime said...

dang. too late

 
At 8:38 PM , Blogger ivenotime said...

beez, you are Number One, oh awesome one, why are you too late? well, maybe i should read the post....

 
At 8:39 PM , Blogger Beez said...

Too late to do 200 on the last post :P

'Lo, we are not greedy Fiends we are...enthusiastic.

That's it- very VERY enthusiastic.

(our own tab? squeee!)

 
At 8:40 PM , Blogger Chantrelle said...

Sooooo excited for Coraline!!! Kudo ms fablo.

Off to watch the last episode of season 2 of Dexter...go serial killer, go!

 
At 8:41 PM , Blogger Annie said...

They've started showing Coraline trailers on local TV....and seems like once they start, they're everywhere!

 
At 8:42 PM , Anonymous kali_licious said...

Heehee..I've already planned to go see Coraline with a couple of friends at the IMAX. Can't wait.:)

 
At 8:45 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Not too late, if I may beg your pardon! My post saying the new post was up came in at 201, so it counts as over 200 for the day.

I make the rules you know.

 
At 8:46 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Yes, the ads are everywhere. I keep seeing them and thinking wow, well that sounds cool, when I see the spooky add, forgetting , I , er, know this one.

 
At 8:46 PM , Blogger ivenotime said...

aaagh, why isn't my trip to portland now instead of june! conference is always in june (fumes). coraline looks very cool, the promotions like the button keys are amazing, the boxes,etc. i'm sure it's busy for you but what an exciting time.

were we up to 200 on the last post?? close i bet... i can't keep up these days, so much fiendish goodness going on. oooh, chantrelle, i love dexter too - had free showtime for a bit and got hooked.

our very own tab? cool.....

 
At 8:48 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

El & I can't wait to see Coraline. I just know the cat will be my favorite; of all the characters I've ever read in books; Bossman got the cat personality spot on & it was my favorite part of the story!

As far as my foster child goes; I have pics of him from the co-ordinator but I think I'll need to wait and post once he has been 'surrendered' to my care. I'm so excited! Of course; my cats all ready broken in the large cat tree so I imagine I'll be needing to buy another one for him... best get busy drumming up more quilt commissions.

meanwhile; posted my latest commissioned work up on my blog. now that my computer is fixed; I have the technology! Go me!

 
At 8:49 PM , Blogger ivenotime said...

sally, just read your last comment on the last post. you are too funny, snort, i am still laughing.....south park plus monty python, what could be better??

 
At 8:49 PM , Blogger Siri said...

All these people have their own blogs and websites and I can't even figure out how to do italics here.....I must become one with this technology stuff.

Do we need a countdown to Coraline? Widgets or something?

 
At 8:53 PM , Blogger Eve said...

Thanks for the very warm welcomes. :)

I'm so very excited for Coraline to come out. I've already told the B/F that I'm dragging him along kicking and screaming if I have to. (He hates the crowds and the sticking-to-schedules of going to movies.)

Its way to amusing that you get sent info about completely different movies, Q.

I can't remember who asked about electric kettles earlier but the one I have is a toastmaster brand. Its less a kettle and more a small plastic pot. It heats water very quickly and I can even make single servings of pasta and have steamed veggies in it. It doesn't hold a whole lot however. Only about 3 mugs of water worth.

 
At 8:55 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

My day has been a success if I have made you laugh.

Wow, we haz a tabz, lucky Fiends we are. Can't wait for website AND Coraline, although I expect its a little longer before it hits Oz

 
At 8:56 PM , Blogger AletaMay said...

Stacy I should have said this last thread but I am so happy for you! Very exciting!

One of my Christmas gifts to the godchild was that I'll take her to Coraline when it comes out and she can bring a friend. I am very excited for that. (This month we will go to the orchestra as another part of her holiday gift. It is fun to be a godmother!) It is wild to start seeing the adds.

Life is an amazing thing.

 
At 8:58 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Keep at it Siri, you'll get it! I can't do italics in the comments either, and have to work pretty hard to link.

People were asking about electric kettles? You mean some of you don't HAVE them???? How do you make endless cups of tea, without which the world will not turn?????

You are very welcome here Eve!

 
At 8:59 PM , Blogger Na said...

I wrote "Coraline" in my calendar for the sixth of this month, and was so puzzled... but Hurray! I still have time to read the book first.

Siri, I haven't figured out italics yet, either. :)

Stacy, we are fiended on fb (my full first name is Renata).

 
At 9:00 PM , Blogger Na said...

Oh busy fiends!!!

And I have been remiss - Eska vou vou, Jane! and Eve!

 
At 9:01 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Tis amazing, Aleta.

Can't wait for new foster pics!

One of the things on the site is going to be a sort of ROOM for everyone, doesn't mean there won't be as many comments, there had better NOT be, but you will have more places t chat. Take THAT twitter!!

And a skull map, and a night garden, and music you can listen to, THIS blog, my writing, all of it!!!!!!

 
At 9:03 PM , Blogger Dread Val said...

That's awesome about your website, Quiche!

Okay, how did my glass noodles get scorched while thy were in boiling water?!

 
At 9:05 PM , Blogger gaypet said...

Congrats Sally! I'm sure you will to wonders.

Night, Fiends. I am still sick but enjoying reading here. :)

 
At 9:05 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Val; the cat had to wash down the gin so he drank the water from the noodle pot. Go figure.

 
At 9:06 PM , Blogger AletaMay said...

To make italics put an i inside one of these < and one of these > -- then write the word or words you want italizized -- then put a /i inside those same symbels at the end of the part you want italizized.

It will look like this but without the spaces around the i and the /i:

< i >words that I want italicized< /i >

 
At 9:07 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Glass noodles? I am so missing something here...But it IS Dread Val, and we do know ANYTHING is possible with that women.

Feel better Gayle!!!!!

 
At 9:09 PM , Blogger Eve said...

Oh my, forgot to say CONGRATS to Stacy in my last post so... Congrats and good scritchings! I'm sure you'll make a great Bengal foster mom.

Also, a warning to other fiends! There is a virus that has been going around lately called 'VirusRemoval2008' Its being spread on websites that have a lot of advertising. I've been hearing about it mostly over on DeviantArt the past couple of days. So update your anti-virus/malware programs to the latest update. Norton doesn't seem to notice or protect against it so get some other program if you use Norton. (Or just avoid sites with a lot of advertisements and pop-ups.)

 
At 9:09 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I am sure that will clear it up for a lot of people Aleta, she laughs. I am so non-tech! (She says in italics)

 
At 9:12 PM , Blogger Na said...

Thanks, Aleta!

 
At 9:13 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

According to IMDb Coraline opens here on 2 April, so I ahve to wait a few more months *sigh*
Don't suppose Boss is coming here for its opening Q, and if he is he can bring you. Actually, why can't he send you here for the opening?

 
At 9:13 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Well, I don't have a lot of advertising on my new site, tho I am not exactly OPPOSED to it, it would have to be a lot of $$ for the RIGHT sort of product.

Brain eating Fiends, Zombie servants, seriously weird inventions, anything Mango, How to take over the world in 30 days websites.

I'd be up for any of those.

 
At 9:14 PM , Blogger Dread Val said...

Yeah, glass noodles, the clear ones you get in Thai and Korean food, made from sweet potato starch or acorn flour or some third thing Which eludes me. Gluten free clear noodles of goodness. Or scorchedness.

 
At 9:14 PM , Blogger Jess said...

Glass noodles are those itty bitty thin rice noodles, I believe. Mmm, noodles.

Fillums, Bengals and Websites, oh my! It's a good time to be a Fiend. I have always wanted to be included in a tab. And they say not all dreams come true. Pah!

Once again, yay Stacy! Ya done good. :)

Had a dream last night that I was in a Bond film, running around with a pistol and exploding things. It can only mean (if not that I need to lay off the cough medicine) that it's high time I went to see another movie. Coraline will be that movie. Yes Ma'am.

 
At 9:15 PM , Blogger Jess said...

Val beat me to the noodle knowledge. Her explanation was better. Carry on. Never mind me.

 
At 9:15 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Well, no Boss can't come, and isn't that I have heard, but I am up for it.

Are you very near Tasmania????? And do you have Cane Toads???

Saw the BEST doc on Cane Toads once...

 
At 9:17 PM , Blogger Jess said...

Will there be a tab for Cane Toads? I'd love a Cane Toad tab. :D

 
At 9:17 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Well, I do know what the noodles are, but why were you making them in a tea pot???

Just curious, I mean, I used to roast hot dogs over the gas flame on the stove....

 
At 9:18 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Fond as I am of them, no Cane Toad Tab. I will do a report on them tho, if someone reminds me.

Interesting disaster they were...

 
At 9:19 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

OH, GOODY!!!!
We get our own corner in our Queen Empress' sandbox! ::BIG GRIN::

::deeeeeep breath::
I, Ariandalen, do hereby promise not to hide any dead bodies in Ms. Fabulous' sandbox.

Unless, of course, she asks me to.
CX


Italics are easy: < i >text< /i >
Bold is the same, except you use a "b" instead of an "i." Be sure to take the spaces out within the arrows, or whatever they're called.

 
At 9:21 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

I'm as close to Tassie as you cold be without being in the water or Tassie!
No cane toads in Victoria - yet.

 
At 9:22 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

or, you could use em instead of i and strong instead of b.
Go figure!

 
At 9:23 PM , Blogger Dread Val said...

*checks*

My teapot is in the pantry. I managed to scorch a few noodles while cooking them in a regular pot, on the
Stove. A pot of boiling water. I think they must've been incinerated on the metal pot.

I think.

 
At 9:26 PM , Blogger Annie said...

"People were asking about electric kettles? You mean some of you don't HAVE them???? How do you make endless cups of tea, without which the world will not turn?????"

I manage with an old fashioned shiny red kettle on the stove.....is nice because it sings to me....could be worse :)

 
At 9:30 PM , Blogger AletaMay said...

Well miss Q it seems to have helped one fiend anyway! :-P

:-)

Oh the web site sounds very exciting. I think Dr. Wicked must have drinks bought by fiends in June!

I think I missed saying hi to Jane. Hi Jane!

I must go to sleep now. I have to get up early to move my car. Snow emergency. WeeFun!

 
At 9:30 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

dude i thought that's what microwaves were for; heating water for tea. two minutes; done!

 
At 9:31 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

I do not have an electric tea kettle. I have a microwave oven. :)
I also still have a Whistler tea kettle for the stove top, the the plastic whistling lid is long gone. I bought it in 1984.

I was typing while Aleta was posting.

 
At 9:33 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Is Dread Val saying she can't boil water without burning it??

(Ducks)

Annie, I like that idea too, but electric kettles shut off , so when the phone rings, an e-mail pops up, Boss needs you, the dog has to go off, people come to the door, Someone Needs Something.....Well you get it. Then you don't burn the house down having had forgotten you were making tea in the first place.

 
At 9:35 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Q; microwaves won't burn your house down either. unless they implode; which is unlikely.

 
At 9:37 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Oh, Adriandalen, you may get to hide bodies, but not in the sandbox, skeletons belong in the closet.

Oh, Dr Wicked will get drinks. Did I also mention the guy is HOT? Weirdly hot. I don't often think about guys that way, not exactly my thing, but he is, objectively speaking.

Did I also forget to mention he is going to be streaming the St Pats show at Charlie's LIVE from 6 to midnight in the balrrom????

Might have...

 
At 9:38 PM , Blogger Jess said...

I go the microwave route for tea, which the manwife tells me is several levels of horrific Wrong. He says the flavour's different when you pour the water over the teabag. Is this true? Can't say I've noticed.

 
At 9:38 PM , Blogger Annie said...

Good point. So far I've only turned on the stove and forgotten a couple of times. I'm far more likely to fill the kettle, put it on the stove and forget to switch it on. Then I start wondering, half an hour later, "Why isn't that thing whistling yet??"

Microwaves work too. Better than my friend Jenny who'd make tea just by running tap water over the teabag....

 
At 9:39 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

I have "The Late Show with David Letterman" on and Jimmy Walker is the current guest. He was talking about a little to do that happened to him in Seattle at a Westin hotel next to the Space Needle. This leads me to ask:

Will we be allowed to bring our finger guns to the hotel in the Twin Cities in June?

 
At 9:39 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Some things need to be done in certain ways. I do not mess with a proper cup of tea.

 
At 9:39 PM , Blogger Dread Val said...

*mutters* Hrmpf. And here I WAS going to make you my tandoori chicken when I come visit, but now I shall have to be Cajoled. I suppose the truth must come out, though. I have completely forgotten about a pot I was boiling water in ... and came back into the kitchen to find one very hot pot with a lot of hard water deposits. Only to the Fiends will I admit this.

In my defence, I was busy Painting, and lost track of time. Sat down at the easel, and next thing I knew, it was three hours later.

 
At 9:40 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

Annie - eeewwwwww ::shudder::

 
At 9:41 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

I went back to a stove top kettle a few months ago after 3 electric kettles in a row gave up the ghost too quickly.
We discovered yeaterday that you don't hear the whistle when you have a noisy air conditioner on though.

 
At 9:41 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hate to side with the other side, but he is right, Jess. It does matter.

Hot water over a teabag?? Shudder....

And the water in the kettle should only be boiled ONCE.

Adriandalen, I don't know what finger guns ARE, elaborate please.....I am all for taking out the odd bad guy, but...

 
At 9:43 PM , Anonymous Lysandwr said...

My Krieger single cup (adjustable size) coffee maker could simply be called a water heater. In that there are pods for it with lovely cocoa, and organic fair trade Chai, and Earl Grey and even green tea.

or, slip in a different attachment, and I can use any of my own tea bags. OR just fill my cup w/HOT water, and have the bags in the cup....or a small pot.

It provides hot water on command with less than one minute of waiting. I know, I plugged the darn thing before. And it is mostly for us coffee drinkers.
Just sayin'.... heck, I even use it for my Ramen / Udon noodles!

 
At 9:43 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Val, make the chicken. You are young yet, and not yet grown to your full power and do not know that Assistants boil noodles while you make art....

 
At 9:44 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

Annie, that's not tea - that's sacrilege.

I never think microwaved water tastes right. Dunno why.

 
At 9:44 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Still feeling strange about this cooking in coffee or tea kettles...Strange ideas...

 
At 9:45 PM , Blogger Eve said...

Microwaved water tasted different to me. It gives it a slightly metalish tinge to it. Tho I do use the microwave if I'm only going to make one cup of tea.

The proper way to make tea however is to place your tea bag or tea ball in your cup, then pour hot water over the top and let steep for however long that variety of tea needs to steep for. I used to work at a tea parlor. Is that showing?

 
At 9:47 PM , Anonymous Lysandwr said...

Someone told me that microwaving water releases oxygen. Go figure! Don't ask me how....but it was a seriously scientific friend, and I don't THINK he was just messing w/my brain. So from then on....whenever microwaving any liquid...I add a little afterwards. Not enough to cool it, just enough to "freshen" it. Seems to help.

OH, and much eager awaitingness for the new site. SOOOOooo looking forward to it. Yay.

 
At 9:47 PM , Blogger Annie said...

I tried not to be rude when she made me tea like that, and accidentally spilled it back into the sink. I use the microwave if for some reason the stove isn't working....

 
At 9:48 PM , Blogger Eve said...

Oooooo. I am jealous of your Krieger, Lys. I've been oogling one for some time now.

 
At 9:49 PM , Blogger Annie said...

On the subject of microwaves....someone told me if you stand in front of a microwave while it's on, it'll fry your brain. Or turn it radioactive. Am wondering if this is true....

 
At 9:49 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

Ms. Fabulous, you point your index finger out with your thumb pointing up and your remaining fingers curled into the palm.

Two members of the staff at the Westin accused Jimmy Walker of threatening them with a "finger gun." He was "What?!" The general manager asked him if he would apologize to the staff, he said, "No."

I haven't really given the description justice. Jimmy Walker was serious, it wasn't a joke. I think the Westin was a ::ahem:: bit ridiculous.

 
At 9:49 PM , Blogger Jess said...

I'm drinking that Lemon Zinger stuff at the moment. Made with microwave water. Tastes like Pledge. Don't much care. :D

 
At 9:51 PM , Blogger Annie said...

Jess--you're familiar with the taste of Pledge? :)

 
At 9:51 PM , Anonymous Lysandwr said...

and not that you thought we were going to let that one slip by....
but does Dr Wicked have pics on FB?

Just askin.
All I want to do is look. And maybe sniff his CLEARLY spicy brains.

 
At 9:51 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Fods, you all make me laugh.

Going to bed, have to be up REALLY early tomorrow, like in six hours and I need a bit of brain for it...

'Night!

 
At 9:53 PM , Anonymous Lysandwr said...

Hasn't everyone tasted Pledge?

I mean, chewing the scenery when young? Or that big puff that would go straight into your mouth no matter how far away you held the can when spraying?

Night, Fabulous! sleep well....

 
At 9:54 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

I was a-wondering the same thing Annie.

 
At 9:55 PM , Blogger Annie said...

I've tasted lemon-flavored dish soap.....no Pledge though. Some integral part of childhood I've missed out on? Perhaps I should rectify this.

Night Q!

 
At 9:55 PM , Blogger Eve said...

Finger gun wars! Those are the best.

Past my bed-time. Have a good night/morning/day all.

 
At 9:59 PM , Blogger Jess said...

Did some digging. Snopes on microwaved water: First of all, water heated in a microwave oven is no different in "structure or energy" than water heated with a gas flame, on an electric stove, or over a wood fire: It's just water, plain and simple.

Snopes on microwaves frying people: seems to indicate it's very unlikely.

 
At 10:08 PM , Blogger Annie said...

Jess--think I've read the one about the poodle. Also recall a story where a girl tried to dry her hair by sticking her head in a microwave and cooked her brain.

 
At 10:11 PM , Blogger Jess said...

That must've been some junker of a microwave: they're not supposed to work with the door open.

 
At 10:17 PM , Blogger Dr Wicked said...

So someone said something about a Coraline Countdown widget and I looked around and saw that there was none.

So I made one.

I put it up on my site.
Just click on Share on the bottom of the widget and spread the love!

 
At 10:21 PM , Blogger Annie said...

Jess--yeah, I think it was a myth.

 
At 10:46 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

I am so sad about not being able to see Coraline. Not in 3D anyway. They might (might) show a normal version later in Rome.

Congratulations Stacy!

Oh and Val, no creating and cooking: that's asking for disaster. You were lucky that this did not burn your house down (says someone who almost burnt her rhubarb stew while writing just the day before).

Do you have a DA page, Eve?

 
At 11:00 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

I wonder if we'll be able to see Coraline in 3D in Australia. Hope so, I really want to enjoy it in full.

 
At 11:01 PM , Blogger Annie said...

I've never actually seen anything in 3D. Deprived child, I am.

 
At 11:05 PM , Blogger Dragonsally said...

Neither have I Annie. Something I hope to remedy soon

 
At 11:29 PM , Blogger vampi said...

b is bold
i is italics
if blogger wasn't such a meanie foo foo u is underline and strike is strikethrough

gordon ramsey f word is such a guilty pleasure.

 
At 11:52 PM , Blogger vampi said...

so... could the bbc please hire a headline reader. i know its limited space, but with the popularity of things like tweeter, you would think they could hire someone to make a better headline than "Man City in talks over Kaka deal"

let's not all book our flights to man city now...extra kaka for everyone!!!

(yes i know what they meant, silly football)

 
At 11:59 PM , Blogger Dread Val said...

Assistants... *looks around in bewilderment* When does one qualify for an Assistant? You're right, I'm a fledgling, I only have a little fanmail and weirdness to deal with. (And noodles, those tricky bastards.) But if it means I can focus on Painting, instead of distracted cooking, I covet one. Even if it does mean I would resemble Bernard from Black Books even more than I do now.

 
At 1:15 AM , Anonymous Lysandwr said...

Val, my dear....an assistant is simply a minion one gets to take home at night :) No, not that way! Minds out of gutters, here!!!

So you already have minions; it is not such a big step for you. And you will know how to use, er, treat one when you do get one. :)

(note: the above description in NO way should be construed as bearing any resemblance to Lorraine. She is an Executive Assistant -- as well as being her Fabulous self --and unique among beings. But you all knew that.)

 
At 1:30 AM , Blogger Starshadow said...

Late to the discussion, but I spent the whole morning culling "expired" papers out of the filing boxes - they're either recycled or shredded. I can actually hear my home office exhaling in relief...

Cannot wait for Coraline to arrive in the Philippines. I am quite sure bad pirated copies will show up first, but I refuse to watch it in any form but the original, be it theatrical release or DVD. (Alas, the way I manage my life, the latter is more likely.) However, my youngling friends are already hatching plots for a group viewing, and joy attend them! The theater will never be the same. :D

Tea. Now tea is all kinds of love and yum. (Especially Hangzhao Dragon Well green tea.) I have these Chinese ceramic cups with built in tea strainers; toss in the loose leaf tea, add the boiling water and steep. When you've reached the desired strength, you remove the strainer and enjoy immediately.

Looking forward to all the developments with the web site - hope to pop in more often some day soon!

 
At 2:25 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Quick ticky-box comment. Back soon when I've read all the comments

 
At 3:05 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Making Tea - to do it really really properly you need a tea pot. You hve to warm the pot first, then add the tea leaves and boiling water. Boiling, I say, not just hot, and, as Q says, boiled only once. Then let it steep to desired strongness and pour, using tea-strainer to catch the bits.

If you must use a microwave, microwave the water until it boils then add the tea. Don't microwave the tea-bag.

(Public Information Comment Ends)

 
At 3:19 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Now, having got that off my cheat, I can Say:

Yay to Stacy, fosterer of Bangals, and do post pics as soon as you can. Also - your wall-quilts are absolutely exquisite.

Eve - hello & welcome

Dr Wicked - I like your counter,but it makes me sad becasue Coraline isn't out here in the UK until May - I don't suppose you an do country-sepecific ones for people such as Sally & I?

Q (and Dr Wicked) Getting very excited about the new site, and the thought of a a tab all of our own! I think there ought to be pictures recording Dr Wicked (in full mad scientist mode) throwing the switch (backdrop of lightening and an Igor or two in attendance)

Lysandwr - not eveyone has tated Pledge. To have tasted Pledge you have to have done proper cleaning, with the whole polishing of stuff. (I have never tasted pledge)

Burning water and such - I do tnd to leave my coffee pot on til it evaporates dry - as yet have not burned down the hosue or even burned out base of jug. Must try harder.


Grace - hope the stuff making you angry and puzzled is resolving itself.eanwhile, {{{{Grace}}}}.

Work now.

 
At 3:45 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Cumin is brown and starts with C, but does
NOT go on oatmeal.

I want to qualify for an assistant too! Is it anything like qualifying for a mortgage?

My livingroom window faces eastish, and the first hints of light are showing. Not pink or orange yet, but that clear blue that you don't even notice until you can suddenly see the silhouettes of tree branches.

 
At 3:56 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Curried oatmeal? Why not...

 
At 4:01 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

I admit it has possibilities, and could possibly even be made to work with the walnuts and dried cherries, but I was really more interested in the neighboring cinnamon.

 
At 4:05 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Great curry ingredient too!
Still, I suppose that it can be surprising at breakfast time.

 
At 4:08 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

Put me in line for an assistant too - I bought an electric pot after turning on the stove, walking away, and returning a few hours later to wonder why it was even on - never put the singing kettle on the flame, which is necessary to make hot water. this is cool, thank you for the knowledge - i had always wondered feel better Gayle!

 
At 4:24 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

I fear that if qualifying for an assistant is like qualifying for a mortgage we may all be due for disappointmetn, in these credit-crunchy times!

(BTW,I got a letter from my mortgage company yesterday which said 'we notice your current fixed term is coming to an end. Wouldn't you like to pay us lots of arrangement fees to switch to one of our other fixed eals, so that you can spend the next 3 years paying higher interest than if you do absolutely nothing and revert to our standard variable rate?' (I may have paraphrased slightly!)

Cumin on oatmeal. I think I'll steer clear of that one for now. (although I did have linseeds, and accidental coconut in mine this morning. And cinnamon. And a little bit of maple syrup.

It's almost lunch time - feeling hungry.

 
At 5:00 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Morning. I think. Hard to tell. Dark. Cold. No Tea.

Hurrah for the Coraline WIdget!!!!!

Nice to see youStarshadow, DO pop in ore often, have you put a skull on the skull map of Fiends yet?

Marjorie, they are tricky like that.

I have never tasted pledge.

Tea.

 
At 5:30 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I keep refreshing, waiting to see this Fabulous Website!

I am so, so looking forward to seeing Coraline with the kids.

 
At 5:31 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

100!

(It's not "First!", but I'll take it.)

 
At 5:34 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

DanG! Why are you here pressing refresh when you should be working on cloning La Quiche so we can all have a Fabulous Assistant to take home? (Cracks whip)

 
At 5:39 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Good enough, Dan Guy. Don't re-fresh yet, we are still, perhaps a week, maybe less out with it.

Didn't SLEEP so much last night as got in a couple naps. My bedrooms upstairs are SAUNNA's and even opening the window and lying half out in the snow didn't help.

Then Lear and Venus played Rattle the Door at eachother, and finally I went down to the romance room and slept on the love sac, where I became stop 2 in the Bengal obstacle course.

Until finally around 5 I fell asleep, Benagls curled about me and dreamt we had our gathering at Pauls family Xmas, which naturally they did not like.

And then got up and went into the dark and -14 below zero, only to hear words on the radio like "High of -5" and "Much colder tomorrow"

But I do have tea.

 
At 5:40 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I need a Me too...

 
At 5:41 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

I am at work, having walked the two miles in the 9F / -13C morning chill. Beautiful sunrise, though, the kind where the sky goes from being light around the edges to the sun being UP all in a blink.

Now: Coffee.

And two clarifications:
1. No cumin was actually consumed in the making of today's oatmeal.
2. I am SO a greedy Fiend.

 
At 5:42 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

I think you might have slept better with Magic. Being an obstacle in a race is not problem as long as racers jump very clear of you and NOT using you as stepping stone.

 
At 5:43 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Mistress, Fiends were born Greedy and that is as it should be. Your Skull Map is already on the site.

And no, sadly, no peeking.

 
At 5:43 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

And yes, at 14 below I would have driven to work, if the car would start.

 
At 5:44 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Tea is good. If you had a You, she could bring it to you before you got out of bed/couch... (They'll be your clones, I'm sure you get first pick)

 
At 5:44 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Fiends are greedy, and should be. We want good things for ourselves, just not at the expense of taking them away from others.

 
At 5:45 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Why do I see an endless line of Assistants, all bringing each other tea?

 
At 5:46 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Is it really 5.45a.m. where you are, or is the blog set to somewhere-else-standard time? It seems very early to be conscious.

 
At 5:51 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Marjorie, the blog for some reason is set to California time.

It's 8:45 for me, 7:45 for Q, 6:45 for Lys, and 5:45 for Val.

 
At 5:52 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Well, work pays me for my spicy brain, so I should devote it to them for a while. See ya later, Fiends!

 
At 5:54 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Thanks, Phiala. That's slightly more civilised! (Must make a note for myself somewhere - + 5 hours for Phiala, 6 for Q...)

 
At 5:55 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

And how come our Lorraine is awake at such ungodly hour?
Kitties' rumpus?

 
At 6:01 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

8 A.M's not that ungodly, is it? (I always imagine the Ungodly as being late risers....)

 
At 6:29 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Lorraine is working. See Boss blog.

And yes, 8 is way too early. I like the 10-11 range myself. Especially in the winter where it isn't light until, sat EIGHT!!!!!!!

Yes, the blog is on west coast time, this will be changeling as we make the switch to the new site. Not to worry tho, the blog is coming with, and all the archives.

Dr Wicked has a Plan.

 
At 6:32 AM , Blogger Eve said...

Good morning.

NatLaw, I do have a DA it just hasn't been updated or maintained in quite a while. The stuff there is old and somewhat embarrassing. Tho there are a couple things I'm proud of still.

Starting to get way excited to see this site, Q!

Phiala, thats the image I was seeing as well. So funny.

And I must be off to brave the wide world.

 
At 7:03 AM , Blogger Dread Val said...

It is ungodly.

Been up since 4:45, now am at the office, with coffee. Waiting for coffee to work. One of the minions called in sick, so now I have to see what he left undone.

Phiala, I cannot believe you walked in that cold. Dude. Quiche, -5° seems like a temperature reserved for outer space, something you need an astronaut suit to survive.

Everyone else: carry on while I drink my coffee.

 
At 7:10 AM , Blogger Jane said...

I've always thought I'd like to be an assistant to a creative person, rather than have an assistant. It seems like a way to be a part of the creative process without having to be actually creative oneself. If the Fabulous Lorraine (and you do sound way cool and quite creative yourself)is freeing the Boss up to do more writing, all the better for his fans.

 
At 7:23 AM , Blogger Arwenn said...

I'm with you Jane, for me to make someone's life easier is much more attractive to me and gives a great feeling of accomplishment without having produced something.

I'm going to try to make a career out of it too....one more semester of paralegal training!

 
At 7:38 AM , Blogger Jess said...

I'm all for a tea-and-coffee conga line, Phiala. Sign me up when it comes to my door!

Good morning, Fiendses. The cat will not stop going "Meow" at me. She does this every morning. She doesn't seem to want anything, either. She just wants to make sure i know about "Meow." Argh. Shush, kitty.

Hi, Jane! Don't think I said hello before. :)

 
At 7:41 AM , Blogger Dread Val said...

Conga line? Screw that, I want an IV line of caffeine.

Eve, Jane, hello; missed you in all the bleary haze.

 
At 7:45 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Hello Jane (did I say hello to you before? meant to)

I see your and Arwenns point, although the thought of having someone to take responsibility for all the organising and making-things-happen-on-time is very appealing.

Arwenn - I'm curious, what does paralegal training involve? Over hear 'paralgal' doesn't imply a specific leval of training or specific qualification. (Most are either law graduates who have not cpompleted the necessary formal legal quals. to become a lawyer, or people who hav experience and training in advising suspects at the police station, or people gaining experience before completing their legal rainng (without having to be paid the Law Society's minimum wage for trainee solicitors))

 
At 8:05 AM , Blogger Arwenn said...

"Paralegal" varies from state to state here, some have started instituting certification exams and requirements. Most law firms require completion of a course of study (6 classes for college graduates) at a technical school with a program approved by the American Bar Association. It's a pretty nebulous term though, and can involve anything from legal research to document preparation.

 
At 8:16 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Val, yes, walked. Not sure what will happen Friday, when the cold front REALLY hits. It's only supposed to be -3F, cold but not impossible. The problem comes if it's at all windy. And still nothing like MN!

Nope, definitely want to have an assistant rather than be one *shudder*. It's GOOD that not everyone feels as I do, since that way the folks that need them can have assistants.

Not having one, I think I need to go make myself more coffee. (Jess, where did the conga line come from???)

 
At 8:21 AM , Blogger vampi said...

*dances about in the conga line* not enough of me to go around at work. good thing i think.

 
At 8:23 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Tea is hot
Tea is good
Tea is Fod
Tea is the Solution.

 
At 8:24 AM , Blogger Jane said...

Feeling warmer here in NC, where it is 38F and sunny. Keep warm, you all in the snow!

 
At 8:26 AM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

all hail the assistants....

Dr Wicked, i am in awe, you are approacing Danth Guyth's pedestal. (silver medal perhaps?? He is my gold winner)

hope all is well in the land of Lorraine.
We have been very busy around here, Red got the Britney rehearsals, Drew just contracted to do ELTON JOHN/Billy JOEL tour for MArch and I am working on a new screenplay---life is beautiful.

and through out the entire life, there is Kylie the sweet and bold. she is Eater of plants, and Batter of Batman.

 
At 8:27 AM , Blogger Arwenn said...

Jane - whereabouts in NC? My folks live in the mountains, in Brevard.

 
At 8:32 AM , Blogger vampi said...

ooh billy and elton. that should be fun. i've not seen them together.

tea is fod. truth. off to work to have some lime tea. i have this for my desk at work. makes a good cuppa and confuses the coworkers.

 
At 8:34 AM , Blogger Jane said...

Arwenn, I live in Oak Ridge, NC, with DH Steve and cat Calvin.

 
At 8:41 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Phiala - you mentioned an infinite line of assistants making each other tea. Conga line seemed like a natural progression.

Tea and coffee con-ga.
Tea and coffee con-ga.

Happy writing on the screenplay, Kitty. :)

 
At 8:46 AM , Blogger Arwenn said...

Caffeinated conga
Maakes fully-functioning fiends
Surely Fod is pleased

 
At 8:54 AM , Blogger Jane said...

Nice haiku...

 
At 9:33 AM , Blogger DataGoddess said...

Late to the party, but it's been a morning. A mouse has made itself known, and we're not sure what to do. We called the mgmt company, but they're pretty useless.

We've set a trap that was already here, with the thought that if we capture the poor thing alive and set it loose in a field it would freeze to death, so maybe a quick death in a trap would be better? I don't know, I'm conflicted.

We need a cat!

And I love my kettle, boiling water in less than a minute. I had only ever used a microwave or stovetop to heat water for tea before we took a trip to Paris & London and I discovered the joys of an electric kettle. I loves mine.

*joins end of conga line*

 
At 9:37 AM , Blogger DataGoddess said...

and I forgot to check the box.

 
At 9:46 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I do love being Boss's assistant, and I love the idea of HAVING one. I do have people who help now, Cat is also his assistant and takes whatever she can, Hans will do any job, and Merry Housekeeper gets roped in from time to time...

 
At 9:46 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I can get you a cat...

 
At 9:47 AM , Blogger gaypet said...

Thank you for the well wishes. I have some meds that should help soon.

I really can't wait for the new site!

 
At 9:55 AM , Blogger Jess said...

You know what I want? My own Hans. That would be fantastic.

 
At 10:02 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Jess, why think small? Collect the whole set! :)

I just got out of an hour-long seminar on manure. Yippee.

 
At 10:08 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

that has to be riveting, Phiala. No kidding. Bit unpalatable maybe, but I am sure interesting.

 
At 10:12 AM , Blogger Adri said...

Augh1 I'm two days behind on Fiendish commenting!

Stacy-- HOORAY!! THANK YOU

I have a Hollywood Client and they are basically unreachable during this phase of movie production. At least days aren't boring?

Can't wait to see Coraline. I'm going to look for promo keys during my trip to San Francisco this week. :D

 
At 10:13 AM , Blogger Adri said...

DG-- I got an electric kettle less than a month after I got back from a London trip. They are miraculous.

 
At 10:18 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Seriously, Nathalie, yes.

Er, the rest of you can skip this...

The US has an agricultural system that is based on doing certain things in parts of the country that are good for them. We grow corn in the midwest where the soils and climate are favorable, raise cows in the northeast, likewise. This makes sense in a lot of ways, and is crucial to feeding the country.

But. And there's always a but (even leaving out any puns involving butts and manure).

To produce that much corn, you have to fertilize. The nutrients are taken up by the corn, and the corn is shipped to the northeast and fed to cows. Not all the nutrients in the corn can be used by the cows, so they end up in the manure. Now you have piles of nutrients in a part of the country where they are not needed, and where they cause problems for water and air quality. You've lost nutrients from the part of the country where they are needed to grow corn.

So what do you do? It's too expensive to store and ship the manure. Too much manure is produced in the northeast to just be able to spread it on fields locally.

And you need to both continue producing affordable food, and to not drive farmers out of business.

The system worked for decades, but now is falling apart. Water quality problems, high transport costs, high fertilizer costs... How can it be reassembled?

 
At 10:24 AM , Blogger Ticia said...

Okay. I'm diving in. I checked in at midnight and ran screaming from the blog. 75 comments were too much for my exhausted brain to digest. I've had tea and eggs now, I'm equal to this challenge.145 comments ::sigh:: Wish me luck, I'll see you at the finishline!

 
At 10:24 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Local production according to nature and needs? Otherwise burn the manure for fuel.

 
At 10:29 AM , Blogger Marjorie said...

DG Re: Mouse - I suspect the trap is probably the best way - releasing it would probably mean it froze, if it stayed ouside, and I'm not sure it would stay there - we had a mouse (at my parents house) a couple of years ago - my dad unespectedly caught it (under a pudding basin) and took it out to release (about 1/2 mile away avross fields). It was back within the hour (it was recognisable as it had very distinctive ears) I suspect a trap may be more humane, if less naural, than a cat, too.

 
At 10:40 AM , Blogger Adri said...

Phiala, these are all reasons I'm a big proponent of local food. Where I grew up, the only business there is is agriculture. But over the course of my (relatively short) lifetime, farmers have changed from our traditional crops to corn, because it's subsidized. Corn and soy in fields that used to be full of cotton.

I'm fortunate it again live in a region with a year-long growing season, and it's easy for me to source my food locally (I get most of my dairy and vegetables from a co-op delivery), at least what I eat at home, so I'm spoiled in that regard. It's more expensive and in a lot of regions just unavailable/unattainable due to weather or lack of markets etc, but I do think it's important.

Also, food allowed to ripen in fields rather than in trucks is delicious.

 
At 10:42 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Plus farmng always the same type of cops in one place does really impoverish the soil, thus making fertilizers more needed. These things are toxic too, that we should not forget.

 
At 10:46 AM , Blogger DataGoddess said...

No need for a cat. That poor mousie was hungry enough he went for some american cheese I'd baited the trap with. About 2 hours after we put the trap in the closet we saw him come out of earlier, we heard a "thud".

At least it was swift for him, he was dead when we opened the door. Looked like a very small dark brown field mouse. I need to go through the stuff in the closet and check for damage (it's the closet under the stairs, sigh). We're going to watch for signs of any others, but hopefully he was alone.

I think he's been living off the popcorn that I accidentally drop under the sofa, because there's no sign he's been in the pantry or cabinets.

And I didn't realize how much it's been snowing until we went out to put him in the outside trash can. Eeep!

Oh, official closing date on our house is January 29th! Yay, one less millstone around my neck!

 
At 10:50 AM , Blogger DataGoddess said...

Most of what is grown around here in corn, but a lot of farmers rotate between corn and soybeans.

Since we moved to a smaller community, we've been able to eat more locally, too, and I'm really missing the farmers' markets (Lafayette and West Lafayette each have their own on different days). I like that we have a local farm we can get meat from year-round, at least. It's great stuff.

 
At 10:52 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

There are lots of ideal-sounding solutions.

But.

We have 6.8 billion people. We have cities.

Local is good, but limited. Do people who live in areas where grain cannot be grown efficiently not get bread? Or only on special occasions?

Not using artificial fertilizers sounds good, but we CANNOT feed the world's population with organic methods.

Short of major global catastrophe, including the population dropping by 90% and the remaining people moving to "breadbasket" areas, we are reliant on modern agricultural methods and on transporting certain basic foodstuffs long distances.

I'm not claiming modern agriculture is perfect. It's entirely obvious that it isn't. The challenge is to maintain environmental health and human health and community health all simultaneously.

 
At 11:12 AM , Blogger Adri said...

Phiala, Absolutely agree. I live in a city, I love living in cities, and going back to my family's rural homestead is a nice break, but I would LOSE MY MIND if I had to live there, I think.

Farming practices, modern agriculture, government subsidies and regulation, environmental concerns, these are all hard problems. I just hope for some balance between corporate farms and the small and family farms that produce foods I want to eat and that make up most of the economy of my home region. (North Louisiana isn't productive enough for most factory farms; not enough area for field farming)

I'd also love to see the US's dependence on corn (in terms of processed foods, food-stamp approved products, school meals, etc) reduced drastically opening up more opportunity for OTHER grain staples (in Louisiana, we're rice-eaters, for instance). There's something a little broken about a system where a twinkie or a coca-cola, made entirely from processed corn products, is MAGNITUDES cheaper than an ear of corn, which is a more nutritionally dense whole-food product. Even taking into account the difference in cost and effort to produce field corn versus sweet, table corn.

This is the sort of thing I'm interested in, and care about, and love to debate, all while understanding that there's no way I can have all the answers, or even understand all of the issues. It's always good to talk with people who have more info, different opinions, and different perspectives, though.

 
At 11:21 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

This corn dependence is now creating people who are allergic to the stuff too, something that I've never heard of around here. But it gets everywhere in the processed food (and you guys seem to eat a lot of that as a nation, thus building gradual intollerances).

 
At 11:21 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Adri, no disagreement here. The monocultural (large fields of one crop) agricultural system we have in the US is not sustainable. And the corn subsidy system is just weird.

The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollin, is a thought-provoking non-technical book on this subject. His article "Power Steer" is available online, and also quite interesting.

And I do buy as much as I can from local and regional sources. :)

[Disclaimer, for anyone reading my discourses: I am a research scientist for the Agricultural Research Service, part of the US Department of Agriculture. I work with small dairy and beef farmers interested in grazing management and ecology. I am NOT in any way shape or form speaking for my department in any capacity whatsoever!]

[[Nor, by saying that, am I trying to invoke the "I'm a professional, you can't disagree with me" clause, just in case anyone thought that. I don't have all or even most of the answers, just some informed opinions, and I'm always eager to discuss these issues. I just wanted to make sure that anyone interested knew what my perspective was.]]

 
At 11:22 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Nathalie, to the extent that you literally can't avoid corn if you eat anything you didn't make from scratch yourself. It's just amazing.

 
At 11:23 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

But of course!

And sadly enough, there do not seem too be a solution to that problem.
which is crucial as we all need to eat. At least once a day.

 
At 11:31 AM , Blogger Arwenn said...

We also are not doing ourselves any favors by paving over some of our best farmland here in the Midwest. More subdivisions because everyone has to have their own McMansion and has to be as close to the city as possible.

 
At 11:49 AM , Blogger DataGoddess said...

Phiala - oh, cool. It's nice to discuss topics like this with people who not only have clue but like talking about the subject.

There was something I read, and I can't find the resource (but it was something reputable, like the BBC) that in researching cost of growing specific crops in parts of the world that were the right climate (like bananas in more southerly regions) was still less expensive from a carbon standpoint than growing them in hot houses in "local" environments (the example was in Britain, which is why I think my source was the BBC).

I think the whole "corn is the solution to everything" that some people are pushing is just wrong. In some ways it reminds me of the way soy was pushed when I was younger. I know people who are allergic to corn and some allergic to soy, and it has to be from over exposure.

There's a plant in Lafayette that produces corn syrup that is huge, and there are some refineries that make ethanol-85 in Northern Indiana. I really think the whole corn-as-fuel thing needs to be rethought.

Then again, I think that surburban lawns need to be something more useful, like gardens.

 
At 11:49 AM , Blogger Adri said...

My older bengal, Rocky, has a corn allergy! So that rules out commercial pet food for him (even the canned stuff is full of corn).

He doesn't mind, since instead he chows down on chicken and turkey.

Today I used canned whipped cream on my coffee. It's a processed corn product!

Arwenn-- close to the city, but not in it. Though, there's definitely a re-urbanization push these days. Denser populations means less concrete on farmland, and also less need for long-distance/car travel. But there are very few American cities dense enough to support serious public transport systems, since it's way easier just to build out onto all this land we have. (I've done extensive research on this, as I would like to move to a place that doesn't require me to have a car. The options are, in case you were wondering: Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco)

 
At 11:54 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Corn as biofuel is a DISASTER.

(Er, soooo not speaking for my agency!)

DataGoddess, the "ideal" solution is not to have bananas. But... I LIKE being able to get imported fruit, veg, cheese...

 
At 11:54 AM , Blogger Arwenn said...

Milwaukee is marginal for not owning a car. I get away with it for the most part but I do need to get rides with friends or rent a car for some things.

 
At 12:00 PM , Blogger Arwenn said...

Have you guys heard about "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver? She and her family made the switch to trying to grow much of their own food.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9891473

I haven't read it yet, but I love her fiction.

 
At 12:01 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

So do I. Her stories are brilliant and very touching.

 
At 12:11 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I like her fiction too.

Been trying to keep up with the talk as I Arrange Things today, but I have to tell ouy..

It is getting pretty corny, and 'ear me when I say it is getting to be a real thassle keeping up..... Sweet, no?

I need to sleep.

 
At 12:12 PM , Blogger Dread Val said...

That was an earful, Quiche.

Now I'm stalking away.

 
At 12:13 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

On the subject of tea; can someone elighten me as to why; only occasionally mind you; if one leaves the tea pot on with the tea made inside, does it give you that weird filmy thing that breaks all into bits when moved & then sticks to the sides of your cup? It doesn't taste different; it just looks weird.

 
At 12:14 PM , Blogger Siri said...

Phi - "Corn as biofuel is a DISASTER."

Would you elaborate? I am curious.

 
At 12:16 PM , Blogger Siri said...

Quiche - your comment came out of left field. 'syrup with that?

 
At 12:16 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

I do believe it an effect of tanin, Stacy, but would need to check.

 
At 12:17 PM , Blogger Phiala said...

Stacy: if you have hard water, compounds in the tea (black only, I think) can react with calcium from the water and oxygen from the air to form the film.

I live Pennsylvania, and what comes out of my taps is more like liquid limestone than water.

 
At 12:19 PM , Blogger Siri said...

Oh, and tell Himself to wave as he drives south - if he's taking I35, he'll go right past my back deck. I'd go hang over the fence to watch for him (A small car with a BIG white dog), but not even he's worth 3 degrees and -16 wind chill.

If it were you, on the other hand, I'd be right out there!

 
At 12:21 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Philala wrote: "Not using artificial fertilizers sounds good, but we CANNOT feed the world's population with organic methods"

I have a different view; I think if we really wanted to and there was money to be had behind it; they would be doing it absolutely. Methinks there is a secret 'corn cartel' much like the drug cartel and gas cartels. Farmers have it particularly bad considering they are in essence the 'middle men' between the buyers & sellers. They seem to always get robbed from both sides.

It's a mess.

 
At 12:22 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

You also have the problem of taking up good, rich farm land to make reservoirs for big cities miles away. Fort Worth built a(nother) reservoir, Richland Chambers, 15 years ago on some of the richest soil in Navarro County. Richland Chambers is close to 100 miles away from Fort Worth. It is closer to Dallas than to Fort Worth. I know a bit about it as it was my grandmother's land that was taken under eminent domain, as well as others' land.

Then there's the plan for a highway through Texas from the border with Mexico to the border with Oklahoma. The name "Trans-Texas Corridor" has been shelved, though it has yet to be revealed whether or not the idea is dead. Much of the land through Central Texas that was proposed for the new highway would have bought all, or worse split, farm and ranch land that in some cases have been in the same family for over 100 years.

I think I've probably said enough for now.

 
At 12:26 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

and thanks for the news about the hard water! That is exactly what it must be; sometimes I'm desparate & take the tap water rather than wait for my fridge to dispense a whole pot of clean, filtered water. It's laziness; I supposed I should have figured that out by now.

corn = sugar

'Sugarbusters' diet was ahead of it's time and it's too bad there are so many bad eating formulas out there that have no scientific basis in fact at all. If you get the chance; check out the book; I lost 40lbs on it and if it werent' for my sugar addiction (much like heroin or cigarettes I'm told) I wouldn't need a special diet at all. Again; my own laziness. Why do my problems always come back to ME??? I want it to be someone elses fault!!! wwwhhhaaaaaaaa!!!

 
At 12:32 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

...eminent domain... don't even get me started.

 
At 12:32 PM , Blogger Phiala said...

Stacy, there is of course much propaganda on both sides. But good estimates based on long-term production numbers for organic cropping systems estimate that if _all_ available farmland were converted to organic (all that is conventional now, plus [I think, it's been a while] all currently unused, so all arable lands), then 3-4 billion could be fed. The world is heading rapidly toward 7 billion, so there's a bit of a problem.

There certainly is a not-so-secret corn cartel, but there are also biological and physical limitations on plant production.

There's a 2007 (?) study by some Univ. of Mich. scientists that came to the opposite conclusion, but it's been heavily challenged.

Organic agriculture as currently-practiced isn't a panacea. Organic farms often end up with more soil erosion, more weed problems, etc. Best management practices, a combination of conventional and organic tools and techniques, has the greatest potential for long-term viability.

The real solution is major lifestyle changes world-wide.

 
At 12:34 PM , Blogger Phiala said...

Siri, the short version of the corn-biofuel-disaster is turning lots of marginal lands into cornfields for very slim returns (negative energy returns according to some research, small positives according to others). The political spin is also a problem: biofuel will solve all our energy problems, so we don't need to conserve.

Again, the true answer is major lifestyle changes.

[Which, let me note, I'm as reluctant to make as anyone. I have a house that's large for 2 people, and I want to fly to MN in June, both non-sustainable things.]

 
At 12:36 PM , Blogger Fluffy said...

Oooh, tea! (Not an ag expert, so I'll stick to caffeinated drinks) I have to agree with the no-microwave contingent. It always makes foamy water for me and it does taste funny. I use good teabags and brew it a pot at a time. I've used good loose tea as well but can't detect any superiority (my failing, I'm sure.)

How do you make endless cups of tea, without which the world will not turn?????
By making a potful at a time and keeping a good tea cozy on the pot. I make them to fit the pot and they keep it hot for two hours. If someone can tell me how to embed a URL I can link to a pic on Photobucket.

you don't hear the whistle when you have a noisy air conditioner
You do if you have a Chantal kettle. It sounds like a train whistle. I need to see about contacting the company. I've worn mine out to the extent that the base seam weld leaks now.

 
At 12:39 PM , Blogger Siri said...

The reason I ask is I live in Iowa, and, naturally, there is a huge push for bio fuel, and E85, and it will be the savior of us all, and we must increase our production, etc., etc. I wondered what a knowledgable person outside the epicenter thinks. We also have problems with the massive pig farms and manure spills and herbicide runoff and all nature of unnatural things. There is now a groundswell for wind energy, which rasies a whole other set of problems.

However, on a day like this, we could create enough energy to power the universe, and all the electric tea kettles in it.

 
At 12:42 PM , Anonymous Lysandwr said...

Adri--Angus has food allergies, too! and cannot eat MOST commercial canned food. He can eat IVF/Limited ingredient brands, of which there are precisely two (one commercially available in SOME specialty pet stores, the other only available-seriously-with a vet's prescription.)

Elsewise he comes frighteningly close to dying....so I am probably more careful about his diet than my own. We've finally found a source within reasonable range for beef and bison liver (natural, grass-fed, no antibiotics) and a ground beef/turkey blend (same thing, cage-free vegetarian diet) which SEEM to be okay.

It never occurred to me that his allergy might have developed due to the corn.

What an educational bunch o Fiends! :)

Val: Bruce Stirling had this great line in one of the Eclipse books; character is at cafe and when he orders caffeine, the waiter looks at him and asks "cup, or hypo?"

My kinda place...

 
At 12:44 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Phiala; absolutely true; world wide change is necessary and putting corn production as a fault when it's really only a symptom; we've got to get a handle on population. Like the Matrix; we are the virus for our lovely little blue marble and Wall.e is closer than we think.

I can say that each time I've tried my hand at growing food (just a few tomato plants; cukes, etc..) it's so much WORK & in a few nights can end in DISASTER with bugs, etc. taking out entire plants! So frustrating! After all that work it was nearly impossible NOT to resort to chemicals but I couldn't... I was too afraid all my beloved birds; mantis', ladybugs etc... would be destroyed and for what? Something I could buy at the store. So sad.

 
At 12:46 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Siri, was talking with Boss when your comment came up and he said he is driving thru Mason City, not sure where you are, but he said he would wave from time to time...

 
At 12:47 PM , Blogger Adri said...

Solution is major lifestyle changes OR amazing technological breakthroughs in clean energy.

Tea talk! My kettle doesn't whistle it all, but it has an auto shutoff and keep warm, since it's electric.

I just got a ton of samples from a niche site called Ocean of Tea, which has been fabulous. I also love going to huff the loose teas (and spices) at the gourmet grocery.

 
At 12:48 PM , Blogger Siri said...

Des Moines - if he's taking I80 west, he'll be about 4 blocks north of me - if he's going on south of Des Moines, he'll drive by.

If he needs anything, I'll be home, and can assist as needed. I've watched the best, and learned a thing or two.....

 
At 12:49 PM , Blogger Siri said...

I can even get him sushi.....

 
At 12:49 PM , Blogger Fluffy said...

Tell El Jefe that if he wants to stop in Texas we have a great yard, a nice park, extra beds, and it's supposed to be in the 60s this long weekend. Plus the Spouse is Computer Guy and has a nice encrypted wireless network. And all the tea you can drink.

Just saying.

 
At 12:51 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

Fluffy, to imbed URL: < a href="http://remainingaddress.com" >URL< /a >

Take out spaces immediately after < and immediately before >.

For the record, I only use the microwave to heat the water in the cup, not tea. I do make tea with a glass kettle on the stove, but it takes 20 minutes or more for the water to boil if I'm making an entire pot, and that's usually for iced tea.

I don't think I need an assistant. What I really need is a babysitter. ::sigh::

 
At 12:54 PM , Blogger Maureen said...

Shucks... guess there was a kernel of truth that FabLo was stalking the corny conversation 'cos she popped in.

I'll stop now.

Data - I agree with suburban lawns. We're on about 3/4 of an acre and I've nearly got all the grass out of the front. It's native plants for birds and butterflies, sustains itself with very little need for water (only if a serious drought) and needs no chemicals, labor from me, nor insanely overpriced lawn people with noise and fume belching equipment (yeah...how do I *really* feel about that?)

Most people like it. One windbag stopped by uninvited and said "your flowers are ugly". She's been a running joke around here ever since.

We've got veggie gardens in the back. Lots of trees. I like to garden but have no desire to babysit a lawn, so intend to get rid of it all and have groundcover in the open areas.

 
At 12:57 PM , Blogger Fluffy said...

Matzoh ball tea cozy:
URL

And, 20 minutes to boil tea??? Cor. Takes two minutes or so on my stovetop.

 
At 12:59 PM , Blogger Marjorie said...

I've been following the discussion with interest. I agree with what Toni (I think) said about beiong interesting to hear from/ discuss with someone who actually knows what they are talking about. I suspect part of the pdoblem is that there is no one ideal solution and no simple answers (much like life in general) probably we need to look at specific solutions on a mix-and-match basis to suit different circumstances and local conditions, rather than looking for The Answer.

My suggestions:

* Carbon footprint labelling for foods (rather than 'food-miles' which is what is being suggested here, and which assumes that (say) tomatoes grown in heated, plastic greenhouses in devon are always better than those grown in fields, in the sunshine in turkey and flown or shipped in.
* More focus on sustainable energy but again, on a case by case basis (I'm not clear why we are so focussed on wind turbines, here, when we have the resources for tidal energy surrounding us)
* And, as Phiala said, major lifestyle change.

Maybe after the mutated bird flu destroys (almost)all of us we'll start again and manage better.

 
At 1:01 PM , Blogger Siri said...

Is the bird flu thing happening soon? I've got some projects at work that I'd just as soon not tackle, if I'm going to be gone in 6 months.

;)

 
At 1:02 PM , Blogger Marjorie said...

cheep. cough. cheep

 
At 1:06 PM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Stephen Fry has just said that if you put a strong magnet next to a beehive they will build their comb as a cylinder instead of the normal shape. Strange but, apparently, true.

 
At 1:09 PM , Blogger Phiala said...

Today's experiment: I put niobium wires in a favorite pair of earrings. I have now worn them for 9 hours, and my ears do not hurt.

HOOOORAY!

I can rehabilitate all of the earrings I haven't been able to wear for years.

 
At 1:12 PM , Blogger Marjorie said...

Yay! (PS, What's niobium?)

 
At 1:14 PM , Blogger Fluffy said...

Earring Rehab With Dr. Drew

 

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