Cherry Saturday, July 13, 2019

Today is Embrace your Geekness Day.  If that takes too much energy, it’s also French Fries Day.  I find it takes me no effort at all to consume French fries, geek or no geek, although I am a fiction geek, so geek it is.  And you?

68 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, July 13, 2019

  1. Geekiness is easy because it’s my default. Toning it down because it’s inappropriate for the event I might be at is exhausting.

    I love talking books to smart people. It makes me a happy.

  2. I attempted geekiness yesterday, involving the use of html. It failed. Today I shall eat fries. Specifically, Five Guys fries, lightly salted and peppered. There used to be Boardwalk Fries in various malls, but I haven’t seen one in years. Five Guys is the nearest equivalent, although they lack a hot cheese dispenser.

    The problem with transporting Five Guys fries from the restaurant (in Colonial Heights) to my place of employment (through Prince George into Waverly) is not unlike that of transporting chocolate in a hot car, and like the chocolate conundrum, results in no fries actually surviving the trip. If only the Five Guys was closer to work, this would no longer be a problem. There is, however, an Arby’s merely ten miles from work, and while curly fries are not at all up to the standards of Five Guys fries, they will Have. To. Do.

  3. I’ve just finished my sun-track analysis of the garden, involving nearly 500 photographs taken from early February to midsummer. I scrutinized shadows, worked out mirror dates pivoting on the solstice, divided the garden into ten areas (and then was surprised when I next looked at it how small it actually is), and eventually tracked down a workable definition of how many hours of sun, when, constitute sunny, semi-shady and shady areas.

    I think I qualify.



      I am now making this number 1 on the to do list. Take pictures of garden to track sun and work out best conditions for plants. Thank you three thousand, Jane.

      1. You’re welcome! I found it helpful to take a series of photos from the same spots (each corner of the garden, basically, of which there are about six in mine), ideally every hour from when the sun first hits the garden – although at this time of year that’s a while before I get up – until it leaves in the evening. You only need to do it for half the year, and if you start now you’re only just past the solstice, and in my garden nothing’s changed significantly yet from then. (The sun actually stands still for three weeks here in the UK; no idea if that’s the same where you are. But I’d guess you don’t have as much variation in day length as we do here.) Good luck!

      1. The thing is, buying all the shrubs and climbers to cover the walls/fences is going to be expensive, and I really can’t afford to make too many mistakes. I’ve taken out nearly everything that was here – a lot of gloomy triffids – so there’s a lot of ground to fill.

        1. I’ve been spending too much money on plants which are native to New England in a general way (with climate change all sorts of southern US plants now thrive here). But in the four years since we moved to a home in western Massachusetts, the natives have flourished and spread like crazy. I added some plants this year, but I mostly divided things and added them to other gardens. Numerous varieties of butterflies and bees have shown up, and lots of birds. I like the fact that I start the day with birds rousting out of the tall, blooming plants and end the evening with bats chasing fireflies. I’m very impatient, so the plants are teaching me to sit back, take time, and smell the native roses.

          1. Your garden sounds lovely, Elizabeth. I love all the wildlife that comes when you plant with them in mind. Mostly at the moment I’ve got sparrows and blackbirds taking baths, but it’s a good start.

          2. I would so like to put bird feeders by my bedroom windows so I could watch the birds while I work–I stare into space a lot–but bird feeders bring bears. Even if I put them high up in the trees, bears climb trees. And the last thing I need is bears strolling through my back yard on a regular basis like it’s the neighborhood McD’s. I think bird feeders might even be illegal here because of the bears. I like bears, but they should stay out of my yard (they can have the rest of my woods).

        2. Do you belong to any gardening clubs? At one time I did and while the meetings and talks were fun, my fellow gardeners turned out to be sharing fools. I have friends that try not to slip up and admire something in my garden because I am always looking for a home for divisions. I have been known to take a spade within minutes of someone foolishly saying how wonderful something looks – usually daylilies and cutting a chunk right out and giving it to them. I have great daylilies, which were all named, usually expensive varieties, which were given to me by professional hybridizers because I used to host the meetings at my house, and I cannot stand to divide those plants and just throw the excess away and most of my friends don’t want or need more. So a new gardening friend is much to be valued.

          Any one with a mature garden is always looking for homes for their darlings. The trick of course is not to take something that turns out to be invasive or to compost it immediately. I never inquire how something I gave to someone is growing. Plants die, best not to ask how.

          A friend volunteered at a specialty plant nursery to water and weed a certain number of hours a week. Instead of pay she asked that she be given the equivalent amount of minimum wage as credit to apply to purchasing plants. The owner knew her and knew she was capable. I don’t know if she could have worked this with someone she was not personally aquainted with.

          1. I’m about to rejoin a local gardening club, but I’m focused on my structural plants right now – I want to put them all in this autumn, to get the bare fences clothed a.s.a.p., and I want to grow mostly photogenic and unusual plants. Too, when your space is small, everything you plant matters more. They’ll all be on view all the time.

            I did pick up an eccremocarpus cheap yesterday, at a village gardens open day. If it’s a good colour I’ll overwinter it in a pot and then find it a congenial home.

          2. I had to google. That’s really pretty, but . . . it reminds me of Little Shop of Horrors. It looks like it could take over. Is it orange?

          3. Three years ago I bought a really good red Chillian glory vine to plant in a container with a small shrub. Unfortunately it was not a good solution for either. It very quickly set seed, sent a kind of mess growth all through my shrub and was a big disappointment. In retrospect, it was all my fault. Had I grown it on its own, the seeds, the stems and the flowers would have had a kind of inner coherence they did not have with another plant as its support. These garden gurus who are always recommending growing vines into small trees and shrubs as a way of layering flowering season must have huge borders so that the resulting lack of structure is not a visual blight.

          4. It’s usually orange, but can be pinkish red or yellow. It’s usually an annual here, so I grew some from seed to put around my new ‘patio’ (old stable floor I’d unearthed) at the cottage. Most didn’t even make it through the summer, but one – which I’d planted right next to a grapevine I’d just put in – got its roots down into some rubble and thrived for years, through winters down below minus 10C. It used to start flowering in March or April and go on to November. But the grapevine wasn’t as happy as it should have been. It’d probably be a triffid in a milder climate.

          5. I kept thinking a triffid was a real plant even though I knew about the book. Googling for that was a trip.

  4. The Netherlands are fries-land no.1, presumably anyway. Belgium and America can probably put up a good fight too. I tend to prefer Flemmish fries – the thicker kind of fries that can scoop up a lot of ketchup/mayo/whatever sauce you prefer with your fries. A friend of mine, who lives in North Carolina, says Americans dip them in the milkshake…

    I haven’t checked what needs to be eaten first of the stuff in the fridge, but one thing is sure: It won’t be fries. It’ll probably be something more in the direction of bami goreng (fried noodles) or marinated pork with mashed potatoes and corn.

    Geeked out on a live-recording of one of my favourite concept albums yesterday. It was truly brilliant and I don’t know why it’s taken me 3 years to dare to listen to it… I need to get myself a copy. Then someone made a Tom Hiddleston-comment about it and I felt like a super-weirdo and my happiness about discovering this was ruined. So screw Tom Hiddleston…Hiddleton…whatever, Taylor Swift’s ex-bf. He did it!

    Going back to geeking about Sam Vimes instead. At least all of you know all about his greatness. And I can geek inside my head as much as I want without nobody coming with comments about you-know-who-begins-with-T. HAH!

    1. The milkshake thing does happen, but ketchup is usually the go-to.

      For fancy people, store-made ketchup or “aioli.” Aka fancy mayo.

      I started putting malt vinegar on mine because of Jenny years ago and still do that sometimes. Or Frank’s hot sauce.

    2. You have Chip Sauce, On a visit to the Netherlands I discovered chip sauce and heavenly chips

  5. I am ass-deep in graph paper and colored markers and having a wonderful time with scene sequences and echoes and arcs and the misperception I am accomplishing something. Serious geekiness.

    But no fries. I’m having orange chicken stir fry leftovers and some form of ice cream for lunch. Then back to marker-and-graph-paper bliss.

    1. It was actually mint chocolate chip gelato, and I ate the entire pint. Delicious. The stir fry was great, too.

  6. I will write today. And hem and alter more dresses. I am definitely still in a MOOD. Other than letting the dogs out, and then feeding them I lay on the bed until noon.

    I think it’s at least partly because I don’t want the car my friends gave me. No air conditioning and it’s a bitch to drive. Plus it sounds like a hundred Harley’s are coming at you.

    So I’m ungrateful. I should just embrace the awfulness of it and wave happily as I drive by my neighbors. But instead, I want to cry. I’m telling you, I’m in a MOOD.

    There is no one to Geek out with at the moment and to get french fries (which might actually help with said MOOD) I have to get in Thunder Road and drive. I used to love to drive standard transmission cars, but I can’t ever tell what gear I’m supposed to be in with this beast.

    Perhaps I should walk around my house and make a list of the things I’m grateful for. I’m feeling rather like a whiny child at the moment.

    1. Now, if I were trying to make a geeky comment, it would be along the lines of, “Your friends have given you a lemon? Find Tom Hiddleston, give him some paper cuts, slice that lemon and SQUEEZE.”

      I don’t know how to make lemonade from a hot, noisy car. Maybe, don’t look a gift Pinto in the radiator?

    2. I couldn’t get out of bed until noon today either. I emphatically do not believe in astrology, and I’m sure it’s just some sort of noticing bias (I never know when astrological things are happening, but I have to say the whole Mercury in retrograde thing currently is coinciding with catastrophic electronics failures and general crankiness. My tv first refused to stream things (the only way I watch tv) night before last, and then just went black last night. It could be the device I’m streaming from — it’s five years old and Google tells me it’s no longer supported as of about six months ago (ChromeBook). Or, of course, there’s also the favorite explanation — it’s BOTH things failing. Sigh.

      But French fries are happening today. Or maybe potato salad given the persistent too-hot-to-breathe weather. Sort of the same thing, right? Cooked potatoes with stuff on them.

    3. Do you really need to accept the gift of the car?

      Bad cars burn money. And you don’t want to feel constantly unsafe.

      I’m hoping that you find a different solution than letting yourself be stuck with a dreadful auto.

      (Your friends are very aware that they managed to get rid of the clunker by “giving” it to you. Believe me, I’ve been there.)

  7. I’m getting a haircut at my old, ludicrously priced salon, but I just can’t take the bad haircuts I’ve had the last 4 times at discount chain salons. I figure if I go 4 times as long between cuts, at least I’ll have one I like and if I want 4 times as long between cuts the cost will be the same.

    I’ve been telling myself too stay in the vegan lane, but really craving a burger and fries. Why can’t sodium-free Moroccan lentil and red pepper soup be as tasty and satisfying as a burger and fries? Why?

    1. Try the original version instead of the sodium free. Trader Joe has a roasted red pepper and tomato soup that I would die for, but when I tried the no salt version it really left me cold. So I now only open the 1 litre package when I know I will have guests who will eat the other 3 portions.

    2. One thing about the good hair-cut is that it will grow out better than the bad hair cut so you can go four times as long between cuts and not be desperately unhappy with how you look while it is growing out. Just remind yourself that it is cheaper than therapy and probably makes you feel as good.

      1. Yes, I knew a hair stylist in Beverly Hills who people flew in from all over the country to see and she said that she always felt like she had to make the cut really great because it might have to last a long time.

  8. Board games, sci fi, books in general, superheroes, etc. You know, the kind of woman The Big Bang Theory says doesn’t exist. 😡

    1. Well rarely, in BBT Stuart dated one.

      I have always a geek, among other things. I read comics, watch Star Wars, Star Trek and liked other sci-fi fantasy TV series, films and books. Played tomb raider among other games on play station etc, in the time before social media, growing up I thought I was rare.

      1. When? I thought he met someone once who said she was, but really she just ducked into the store for…something. The bathroom? She was bored? I stopped watching around season six maybe. I was just so disgusted.

        1. Season 11

          He hired her to work in the comic book shop after it got popular and invited her to Sheldon’s wedding. She only agreed after she heard Mark Hamill was officiating. Then Stuart dazzled her with his Star Wars knowledge.

  9. I guess I’m a hibernating food geek, not to be confused with a foodie. I couldn’t care less about the latest fads or exclusive experiences. But give me a Mom and Pop place that makes a few things really well and I will sing their praises forever.

  10. Uh oh.

    I typed a sentence between in reply to Jane, and it disappeared, making my next paragraph and the blog’s like number for my post in italics.

    In my test post I typed, “Is this in italics” between the same notation and it is missing. Nothing italicised.

    Is the blog breaking? Or have I discovered something odd in the coding? I’m feeling Urkle-ish “Did I do that?”

    1. I don’t know. It isn’t in the Spam or Trash folder. It must have just disappeared.

    2. try, open angle bracket uncial i close angle bracket Is this in italics open angle bracket slash uncial i close angle bracket
      Is this in italics?

      It usually works for me, although when I tried yesterday with ampersand special characters, only one of the angle brackets appeared. Boldface usually works (b instead of i), too.

      1. Let me do that again substituting [ and ] for angle brackets.
        [i]Is this in italics?[/i]
        [b]Is this in bold?[/b]
        [u]Is this underlined?[/u]
        And now with the angle brackets.
        Is this in italics?
        Is this in bold?
        Is this underlined?

        1. Well, that’s a bit interesting. It’s how I have to tag display quotes (prose, verse, epigraphs) when I’m editing on screen. Maybe I’m doing more that I thought! (I assumed it was just to enable the setters to pick those bits out for special formatting).

  11. Yesterday was the annual dinner party for me SIL’s birthday. Everything turned out spectacularly good: Smoked salmon dip, sausage rolls, nibbles, grilled rack of lamb with grilled asparagus, melon with prosciutto and lime, green salad with heirloom tomatoes and my guy made his signature strawberry-rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream. I made a huge amount of food and we ate it all. I believe I am a food geek.

      1. I don’t do it often because my first step is to open a pint jar of my sister’s smoked salmon strips which she brings me as a hostess gift when she visits from Alaska. Her MIL who was Tlingit taught her how to do them and they really are good but, alas, not commercially available. I must have called my sister three different times to ask if she put some particular ingredient in.

        But for what it’s worth. 2 cups hot-smoked salmon, flaked. About 2 Tablespoons finely minced shallot mixed with 2 Tablespoons finely minced celery sautéed in 1 Tablespoon butter. When the shallot appears to be cooked through but not brown, turn off the heat and grate 1 small garlic clove into the mix. Let set for a minute or so to lightly cook the garlic. Then mix this into the flaked salmon. Add about 2 tablespoons minced chives (green onion will do) and about 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley, plus pepper to taste. In a separate bowl cream together 8 oz of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and the juice from a small lemon (I used a meyer lemon). Mix the cream cheese mixture into the salmon. Adjust the thickness if necessary by adding either a little more lemon juice or water, depending on if it tastes tart enough. The salmon has plenty of salt so you rarely need to add more. Finish by spinkling with smoked paprika. If you like, serve capers with it (I don’t). I try to keep it simple so the taste of the salmon comes through. I buy a square of focaccia and slice it in 1 inch sliced to serve with the salmon dip. I’ve tried various kinds of crackers but they are usually too salty. Toast or baguette also works really well.

  12. We spent the day building LEGO so, yes, geek day for me.
    I’m not an AFOL, just a mum desperately trying to separate the pile (ten years x four children worth of LEGO) back into sets so I can sell most of it on eBay.
    The smaller the pile gets, the easier it becomes.

  13. For those who do not have it, Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion for kindle is 0.99 on Amazon.

  14. Argh. The line disappeared from within my reply. NOT the post.

    As in, I had a bit showing that I was whispering using lower case, to make up for my upper case yelling. Imagine this line without brackets:

    (This was meant to show my contrition.)

    Thanks Gary, the point is that I actually didn’t want to make italics. That’s why I’m surprised that they showed up and I’m trying to figure out if the coding is off.

  15. Test post to see if bits turns italicized even though THAT IS NOT MY AIM.

    Same sentence, twice. Once in brackets, once with >< only as I first did without 'i' and /i' at all. Followed by a sentence on a random problem that's bugging me.

    (I can't believe I missed a Random Friday!)

    Random problem that I did not want italicized: The localisation of the Google search algorithms are bullshit. We live in a place where many, many names are based on the UK. There’s a Nottingham Road in our province. I wanted information on Nottingham in the UK, but my entire first page of search results was local. Argh.

    1. Uh, why do you want italics? I thought you didn’t want italics.
      Anyway, it’s WordPress coding. Google for them.

      1. Gotcha.

        I was trying to figure out why italics showed up, and another sentence, within the same post, disappeared. 😁🤷🏻‍♀️

  16. Yup. Something is wrong. That whole paragraph was not meant to be in italics. Phooey.

    Jenny, I screen shot what I typed before posting. Webmistress may email me for it if required.

  17. All this shows how much I like to investigate with a view to problem-solving. It is my intrinsic geekiness.

  18. I initially mis-read this as “Greek” day and thought, well I’m not Greek, but I did just watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.

    So close.

    I did have left-over French fries with my lunch though, so I’ve got that covered.

  19. I have not geeked out much today, but if I can activate an ejector seat under the husband tomorrow I am hoping for a geeky double-feature (in an actual movie theater because the forecast is HOT AS HELL and if we have to use air-conditioning it might as well be air-conditioning that comes with entertainment) of ‘Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love’ (one end of geek spectrum) and ‘Spider Man: Far From Home’ (other end).

    Oh wait! I did geek out today! We watched ‘Julius Caesar at Donmar,’ on PBS Great Performances. OMG SO GOOD.

  20. I did not geek yesterday but will make up for it today with much geekiness around counting people in the 2020 census (part of my job involves advocating for a full and fair count. In case you were wondering the group most missed is 0-4 year olds so count your kids folks!)

    I first realized I was a policy geek when I read a federal rule and laughed out loud. In my defense the rule said “This is the law. We have no authority to enforce it.”

    Thus giving states free rein to violate the law which, in this instance, was a good thing.

  21. I went to Readercon in Boston, and hung out with readers and writers and editors of SFF, and it was Gloriously Geeky!

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