Apartment Update

December 2nd, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

The shower water pressure’s good but the flush strength in both toilets is feeble.

I’m told I should shut the door to the kitchenette before taking a shower, thus ensuring any natural gas from the wall-mounted water heater there will go out the window and not insidiously into the apartment. I’d lend this precaution more credence if the shower weren’t two rooms and a hallway away, and if, every time I cranked the kitchen tap to warm to wash dishes, I weren’t standing right beside said water heater, close enough to see its pilot flare blue. Am I sucking in natural gas then? Not olfactibly. All the same, that window, the apartment’s only to face north, never gets closed, even though it would seem to provide the poorest ventilation, giving as it does on a building well. Curiously enough, this window has been getting the best breezes lately, whipping wildly the blue flames beneath the wok. It’s also the only one, naturally, without a sunshade; whatever wind drives down the hollow through the screen also brings in the rain. When I moved in, soot from the poor air had settled over floor and counter in a layer where the last rain could be read in spots. Overlapping tin awnings hide what’s below; across from me, the corrugated canopy to a neighbor’s window cage gives a green cast to his perennially drying shirts.

Okko.fr Site Excerpts

December 3rd, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Two pages of background information on the world of Pajan from Hub’s Okko series site for inclusion in the upcoming first issue. The imaginary Empire of Pajan (read: Japan) is Hub’s setting for his series. I’m not sure if these two pages, one on major clans and one on the Empire, will be reproduced in the issue in their entirety or edited, so I’m posting the translations below for all interested parties. » Read the rest of this entry «

I See Your Wok Kung Fu is Weak

December 3rd, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

800px-stickhandle-pekingpan.jpg
My genetic predisposition to cooking with a wok has yet to kick in. The stainless steel one left me is about as wieldy as a pioneer’s cast iron skillet, though admittedly much easier to clean. The superior heat conduction of the wok just means bits of food I chase up the sides are also scorching to the pan at the same time stuff at the bottom is deep frying. My dishes are regrettably uninfused with wok hei.

A Scourge of Fruit Flies

December 13th, 2006 § 1 comment § permalink

Electric Mosquito Paddle

I am a God of Extermination with my electric mosquito paddle. This is a badminton racket-shaped swatter strung not with catgut but twin layers of wire that hum with menacing discharge at the press of a button on the handle, creating between them a crackling field (I exaggerate) that—and herein is genius—makes it impossible to miss. Because if you swat an insect, even a tiny one, it won’t make it through the field. In essence, you can miss, and still a blue spark (I exaggerate not) and a sharp snap will inform you of the target’s spiraling demise. Swish! Swish! No longer are surfaces needed! A swipe through the air, the merest contact, and death to pests. Fruit flies, had they brains great enough to know fear, would fear me.

Here it retails for around five Yankee dollars. I am told these are available in Chinese-dense areas of California. What are you waiting for? Run, ye mortal fools, and get one!

Uh…

December 16th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Goodbye, Oat Bran Pancake Mix

Holiday Wishes

December 21st, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Merry Christmas!

祝您聖誕快樂﹗

Happy Hanukkah!

祝您光明節快樂﹗

Happy Holidays to All!

大家假日快樂﹗

All Blogged Down

December 23rd, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

1) ‘ “Apohele” is Hawaiian for “orbit”.’

2) Boxers or briefs? Why not ask a utilitarian? “[Jeremy] Bentham appreciated his creature comforts: according to Negley Harte, the University of London’s historian, his embalmed body wears a pair of knitted underpants, unlike most of his contemporaries, who simply tucked their shirt-tails between their legs.”

3) Noel Murray on Venus: “When he tells Whittaker that the naked female form is the most beautiful thing most men will ever see, while for women it’s the face of their first child, the sigh he lets out hints that he wishes, for the sake of his legacy, it had been the other way around.”

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