Monday, October 31, 2011

Story time

(The following is a pre-NaNoWriMo exercise. It was about 25 minutes of typing random semi-story just going with no pre-planning, plot or anything else.)

“Hi butterfly. Hi Turtle. Hi Grass.”
The bright and bubbly girl was off for her morning trip to take goodies to her wicked wolf grandmother.
Everyone knew her real granny was dead but they all liked to pretend that the wolf was the granny. That way no one ever died.
The forest was dabbled with light. It was a cool place, mostly of very tall trees with the occasional patch of light and grass. Birds twittered overhead as the girl wandered through the forest.
Now once the basket of goodies would have been filled with newly baked bread, fresh fruit and maybe a flower. Now the basket held a few raw pieces of meat and a jug of wine. No, wine is not good for wolves but he rather liked it and no one dared say nay to the wolf.
So the girl in blue (HA!) made it to her grandmother’s place.
“Granny, are you in?”
“Don’t be an idiot child, of course I’m in. Where else have you ever found me?” Originally the wolf was going to save the little girl for a second meal, the dead granny having been his first meal. She realised quickly that no matter what the person in the bed said, it wasn’t her real granny. Once she knew it was a wolf, she made sure that the next basket had enough food to keep a wolf from needing to eat her. And ever since, she had been bringing a basket with meat to granny’s house.
“Shall I pour you some wine?” asked Adelina.
“Yes child. Pour the wine. And what goodies have you brought for me today?”
“Well, old man Codger just butchered his old cow. So he sent you a few bits that he thought you’d like.”
Adelina placed the meat on a plate, poured the wine into a large mug and set the two down on the table. It was rather a cruel thing to do, the wolf had to walk over on two legs which was a rather difficult thing for a wolf to do.
“So, Granny, would you like to play a game today?”
“No thank you dear.”
“Would you like to sing songs?”
“No thank you dear.”
“What would you like to do today?”
“Oh, now that these old bones are out of bed, I might just see how my garden fairs. Would you like to help by tending the plants?” The wolf always waited till Adelina had turned her back for a moment before eating the goodies. While the wolf could do somethings that looked human, eating was never one of them. The mug of wine was also hard but the wolf had learned how to hook two claws around the handle so he could drink more like a human.
Adelina skipped outside and started gathering the veggies that were mature. She placed them carefully in the basket.
“Granny, you don’t mind if I take this stuff home, do you?”
“The vegetables?” the wolf shuddered for a moment. “Of course not dear.”
Adelina turned her attention to the weeds. Her wicked wolf granny didn’t really tend the little garden patch, but granny’s garden was worth some effort. Before the wolf ate her, the garden had been one of the best in the neighbourhood.

Now why, you may well ask, did the village do nothing about the wolf that had eaten Adelina’s garden? Well, my children, after the wolf moved in, he actually was less of a problem then he had once been. The village could send him the parts of the animals that there were few or no uses for and that keep the wolf from killing anything. Before, they had tried to kill the wolf but he was too clever for them to catch. Clever enough to pretend to be a granny and that’s a very clever wolf you must admit.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Current food blogs

I haven't entirely given up on Cheap Healthy Good but I'm not hopeful that it will ever get back to as active as it was.

Dulce Dough - nice little blog featuring yummy baked goods.

Over a Tuscan Stove the author lives in Tuscany - blog includes some of the local eateries, shops, festivals as well as some recipes from around the region.

Still looking at other food blogs from time to time.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Shoebox Chuck and Beans

Chuck and Beans

This is a cute little strip, I think I'll try it in my feed.

Family recipes

Most families have a few special dishes that have some twist that make them personal.

In my case, my mom's family has roots in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture - this means that I consider normal

Apple butter (we used to regularly take cottage cheese and apple butter sandwiches to school)
Chicken Corn Soup
Ham and Corn Fritters
Pork and Sauerkraut
Pickled eggs (this are pickled with beetroot - turn a dark red colour over time)
Shoofly pie

While some of it I knew was from Penn Dutch (Pickled eggs and shoofly pie in particular) others I didn't really know. I found out about Chicken Corn Soup being a speciality via a cookbook once.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Defeating writers block - tip from LifeHacker

From a LifeHacker article
Writer's block isn't hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.
I believe that everyone should write in public. Get a blog. Or use Squidoo or Tumblr or a microblogging site. Use an alias if you like. Turn off comments, certainly—you don't need more criticism, you need more writing.

Do it every day. Every single day. Not a diary, not fiction, but analysis. Clear, crisp, honest writing about what you see in the world. Or want to see. Or teach (in writing). Tell us how to do something.

Full post at lifehacker

I've read similar things before. And I am trying to write every day. Maybe not quite the writing they talk about in that last para but to just force my brain into writing space every single day. Even if it's only for a few words or paragraphs. Just keep at it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Followup to the lunch thief

On way to refect yesterday, I noticed 3 blue-winged kookaburras flitting around looking for their lunch.
My lunch was a sandwich, which I carried away from the danger zone.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kate Bush - Experiment IV

When we finally broke down and bought our first CD player, Kate Bush's The Whole Story was one of our first CDs

Eventually, we saw some of the videos associated with those songs

This is an impressive song and a fascinating cast of British actors doing parts in it.

Thanks to Simon for reminding me about Kate.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lunch theft

So peacefully eating fish and chips outside.
Suddenly there was a flurry of wings by my ear followed by the removal of about 1/3 of the fish.
The culprit? A local kookaburra. I don't think this thief will be brought to justice.

Kookaburras can be quite aggressive if they have been fed before. This one was obviously a practiced lunch thief.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Blogger's new interface

Some bit I like. Some bits I am not too keen on. Most of what I'm not keen on are the parts of the interface that don't have the functionality of the old one - like setting the options for comments. You have to go to the old interface to see all the options.

But one thing that has really come home to me with the new interface is that my blog stats - I really should look at the sums across the blogs and not the totals for any single blog. Especially true of the Sims blogs, most people only use one or two blogs - not 5. Each of the story blogs has a different set of followers - though they do share a number of users too.

And I finally stopped getting depressed that the group blog has far far far more hits then any of the story blogs I actually work on. That's never going to make me happy but at least I don't get depressed about it.

They've finally announced dynamic views but at the moment, dynamic views don't allow you to have your widgets - at all. And no custom banners. So, sort of cool but I'm not going to recommending them for awhile.