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Jan. 12th, 2011


Weights and measures

I was quite annoyed to notice that Sainsbury's were labelling red onions with 2 sets of measures: 1 - (manky) loose onions were per kilo, and a set of 3 were per unit, with no comparative weighted price.

The price of the loose red onions were labelled at 90p/kg and the set of (cleaned) 3 onions in a net was labelled 110p (with no weight). I had to go and weigh the set of 3 to work out a comparative price - they weighed in at 0.55kg, so were effectively twice the price of the non-cleaned onions.

For shame.

(I'd prefer to shop in Waitrose, who don't seem to indulge in such bad practise , but that's not currently possible).

Dec. 31st, 2010


TV for the masses

So I've been playing with my folk's Humax, and I have a question - the video section suggests that the HDD is 83% full, yet each 30 min HD program we delete only removes 1%, and there's only 8 shows left. Where's the remaining 75% taken up? (I couldn't find it on any of the different media types?)

The only suggestion so far is that it could be live record - any idea what to tell my parents how to find and delete it?

Generally, I quite like the interface - much better than Sky's EPG, and faster to get around.

Happy hols!

Have had a great Xmas with family - avoided the nephew's flu, thankfully. Lots of great pressies all 'round, and still some snow left over, though way too cold to go outside! Still, it's nice and toasty back home in the south! A nice relaxing day spent playing video games before going out on the razzle tomorrow - we're all off out to our local hotel for a night of dinner & dance! Amazingly, I can fit into my evening jacket again (although I think a haircut and a new dress shirt is in order!)

Dec. 14th, 2010


Using up the scraps

Ok, I actually roasted the lamb for cold meat for breakfast and lunch during the week, but this was a nice change for a lighter evening meal, and could be v.tasty if my timing had been on the ball! (and had used tomatoes with flavour rather than the insipid ones I had in the fridge...) Added a base of jasmine rice - perhaps a dash of turmeric or saffron wouldn't have gone amiss either?


Still, tasty enough for a late school night dinner!

Dec. 1st, 2010


It's 3 in the morning... Relief!

How ravenously odd it feels, waking from a drunken stupor, (as usual, in front of the tv)
With a thirst and a hunger unrelated to food, a blooming of the subconscious, of imagination
Where thought and temperature take a second place to a physical need first and foremost
but are transformed by it into something so clear, dreaming is almost irrelevant:

the need to pee is physical, the drunken need to pee is sublime.

Nov. 3rd, 2010


Televisual gratification - and how channel loyalty is a thing of the past.

Dear Sky,

So, the brand new series of Bones (3 eps into series 6) is moving from Sky 1 to Living (in the new year >_<). Should I care?

There are many shows I watch - at the latest count, 14 series have accumulated themselves onto my HD box this Autumn. All I need as a viewer is to say Yes - record this for me. I don't care what channel it's on, and if there are clashes, I don't really care how you sort it out, but I want every series I've tagged to be recorded, no matter what channel it's on, or when it's on. Timeshifting allows the recording device to work out the best times to record. I have no desire to watch every single episode at the moment it comes out, I want to find at the end of the week that all the programs I desire to watch are there safe and sound on my PVR.

The only job of the PVR should be to ensure that those programmes I have chosen to record are there at the end of the week. If there are scheduling clashes, sort it out. If two HD programs are simulcast, then I don't really mind if one of them has to be recorded at a later date, or if not, then recorded in SD instead. I'll understand. What I don't want is to have to trawl through all of the recordings to see if any have "failed", and then have to manually reschedule them myself. 50% of the time, I notice failures too late to find a re-showing. Then I have to go and "acquire" the shows from an alternative source, from which you aren't going to get any revenue.

If you are going to make me manually sift through channel offerings, please at least put a series and episode number in the corner. 5 characters. It's not much, but I'll thank you for it.

Regarding films. I don't care what you think, films are broadcast on all channels. I really don't need to know if it's Sky Premier 1 HD or ITV1; I want to know all films that are being broadcast in the next week. If it's got a HD version, fine; record that for me, regardless of what channel that HD version is on or when it's on. Just ensure I get the best viewing experience. To ensure I can find _all_ films that are being broadcast over the next week, give me an A-Z by film title. Better still, let me also sort it by genre, across all Sky channels. Some of the best gems are broadcast on channels that don't devote themselves solely to films.

Regarding new series. If I have watched a series in the past, chances are I'm going to want to watch it again. So don't make me have to look out for the same series - you can automatically find and record the newest thing, regardless of how long ago the previous episode was. Then I can be pleasantly suprised to find new eps when I turn my PVR on.

A televisual user.

Aug. 27th, 2010



So this is completely forbidden on my diet, but I had to make something with the gallons of chicken stock I've been accruing; so risotto it was.

Sticking to the recipe with my usual substitutions, I made an Italianesque risotto :)
So starting with an onion sauteed in an ounce of butter, followed by chunkily chopped asparagus; then adding the risotto rice and finely sliced mushrooms, instead of a glass of white wine (which I didn't have to hand) I used a mug of blonde beer; After much stirring and slow adding of 1/2 pint of heated chicken stock, I ended up with something rather tasty. Salt and pepper seasoning throughout the cook, plus the addition of that well known italian staple, finely chopped cheddar cheese (2oz) and a heated thru portion of roast chicken topped it off nicely. The Vina Ecoyen Reserva 2001 was perhaps a little too heavy for this meal - let's see what Virgin provide next time around.

In eating, fabby.

Aug. 19th, 2010



Apparently, I've lost 11 kilos since my birthday (11 weeks ago). Isn't willpower great! (At this rate, I'll be done by February!)

Mostly sticking to a low carb / no processed food diet (that includes all flour/sugar based foods & drinks), little to no beer and generally no starchy foods like tubers or rice. Now if I could only control my portion sizes when I cook for myself...

Apr. 8th, 2010


Reading Beer Festival

It's the 16th Reading Beer Festival in a few weeks time. I'm taking Friday 30th off work to go along. Anyone else interested?

Dec. 15th, 2009


Home Ec

After contemplating the cost of meat recently, I have finally gotten around to buying a chicken and butchering it for parts. Ok, so doing it on a shop bought bird is not quite the same as doing it to a freshly dead whole bird, but it still gives one a sense of connection. Will definitely do this again, as it seems daft to spend as much on 2 breasts of chicken as for a whole chicken, even though it took half an hour to do (will probably speed up significantly if I get more practice and have sharper knives).

So, after cutting it into breast, legs, wings and trimmings, I fried off the skin to get plenty of fat for cooking, fried off the wings and sweetmeats for snacking on, roasted the legs (with parsnip chips for more snacks) for lunch (2 meals), created a pint and a half of stock from the carcass (browned, then simmered with a carrot & onion) (1 future meal) and created a stew (carrots, leeks and red pepper, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, thyme, mixed herbs and half a pint of the stock) with the breasts for freezing (another 2 meals).

No idea what to do with a pint of stock, may have to buy more chicken to create a nice soup, or something more interesting. Suggestions?!

No photos, though - didn't even cross my mind til I had got the last dish in the oven. It would have been quite tedious to keep stopping and cleaning up every 5 minutes - I think it would have prolonged the prep time considerably. I'll try and give this more thought next time (possibly co-opt someone!) I did think a timelapse butchery video could be of some interest :D

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