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A colleague just wandered past with an extremely fancy box of chocolates (agency gift, I think) and offered me one. I chose one that looked like a little tiny barrel.

(There was a legend available, to tell me which was which. But it was very long, and I decided to go for pot luck instead.)

I bit into it... and was extremely surprised to find some sort of liqueur chocolate ganache. That's not right. Little chocolate barrels contain caramel. That is the rule.

Isn't it? Should it be?

I mean, everyone knows salt and vinegar crisps go in blue bags, but Walkers has been openly flouting that for years. Is it reasonable to assume that little chocolate barrels contain caramel, or was I just born in an era where Cadbury's Roses were the height of sophistication?
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A quick request for data points (or actual genuine knowledge, that would also work ;)

I've started getting physio for the duff knees (of which more later). I'm pretty sure that, when I was a kid and there was always someone in my class with a pot arm (usually for reasons of a falling-off-bike nature), no one was offered physio afterwards. A friend tells me that he did not get physio for a broken leg in the late 80s. A colleague who fractured both her arms a couple of years ago did.

So... is it that NHS treatment of injuries has moved on and decided that yes, physio is a bloomin' useful part of recovery? Or is it just that physio isn't offered to kids, on the grounds that they're bound to start running about as soon as physically possible?
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Can any ornithologically-inclined person tell me what I saw yesterday?

Bird! )

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So, people of the internet, tell me your thoughts on climbing stairs.

Step by step, ooh baby )

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Enquiring minds wish to know...

[Poll #1990058]
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Next door to my station, a former sandwich shop has been turning into something else. Today it's got its pink-and-black fascia up. It's called "Afters", and helpfully lists what it will purvey:

Coffee
Gelato
Crepes
Frozen yogurt
Cold stone
Waffles

Err.... a nice cold stone for afters, anyone?

(I'm familiar with places advertising "hot stone" pizzas or steaks, but I have absolutely no idea what they mean here...)
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Does anyone want to help me out with the 80's (or maybe 70's) Doctor Who episode which featured a lot of grabbing hands appearing from unlikely places? Specifically, I remember a hand thrusting out of a water butt to grab the Doctor round the neck, and a series of hands trying to pull him down into a sandy beach.

Weirdly, I can't remember which Doctor. And my Google-fu appears to be failing.

[livejournal.com profile] spindlemere did once track this episode down for me, but I've forgotten his answer :(
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Tell me, oh, UK-based people of LJ, what are your general thoughts and impressions of the Nisa chain of corner shops?

Please answer before reading this next bit. )
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A month or so ago, enthusiasts for traditional folk-singing all over the world collectively mourned the death of Louisa Jo Killen. She had been singing traditional songs - to great acclaim - since the 1950s.

Writing an obit for her, however, comes with a logistical problem. Y'see, Louisa Jo has only been publicly known since around 2010. Up until then she was known as Louis Killen; a bearded, beer-swilling tenor who specialised in bawdy songs. All her well-known albums were recorded as Louis and almost all of her performing was done under that name, too. She came out as female at the age of 76, just three years before she died.

Read more... )

Here's Lou Killen singing one of my favourite songs: Blackleg Miner
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I mentioned in passing a couple of days ago that I had a very poor night's sleep one day last week. I was stopping at a friend's house, and I retired to bed in a sleeping bag on an air mattress.

It was a pretty comfy air mattress, and I settled down... and didn't go to sleep. I continued to not-go-to-sleep more or less until it was time to get up again.

The state of asomnia )
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Hmm. LJ's stylesheets for individual journals seem really quite broken this morning. Looking at venta.livejournal.com, the headers seem to be all over the place (and all the cut-tags have Collapse added next to them, though they still seem to work as normal).

I presume other people are seeing this, it's not just me? (Some people's journals look fine - I'm guessing that S2 styles are OK, and everything else isn't? Haven't tested exhaustively.)

Edit: whatever it was has gone away.
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Never mind all this popery. The big news of the day is that Google is retiring Google Reader in July.

I use Google Reader, and am thus disappointed. On the plus side, with that gone, I'll have no reason to be signed into my Google account most of the time. I do use Google Docs, but that tends to be an infrequent sign-in-use-sign-out business. And anything which takes me one step away from Google's Giant Data Extraction Vortex is probably a good thing.

I'm lightly surprised, though. Apparently usage of Google Reader is declining. I'm not sure if this is indicative of better software being out there, or of a general decline in RSS use. Maybe all the cool kids use Facetweet as aggregators these days?

So, ladies and gentlemen of LJ, how should I read my RSS feeds in the future?

[Poll #1901989]


(Ars Technica is running a poll on "where should we go instead?", and they probably have a slightly bigger readership than I do. They're also better informed about the large number of RSS readers which rely on Google Reader to work.)
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Help me, LJ, you (and your knowledge of physics) are my only hope.

Why do LEDs bounce up and down in car mirrors?

The mirror never lies, it's just these foolish eyes )

So... has anyone else seen this happen? Anyone know why it happens?
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OK, you people know Stuff about Things. Please can you help me out?

Board game recommendations, please? )

PS [livejournal.com profile] beckyl, if you're thinking "why don't you just come in to the shop and ask me this?", then I shall probably be doing exactly that on the way home this evening :)
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I rarely, if ever, write LOL. When I do, it tends to be in emails to people who understand that when I write it, it's a shortcut for "I actually am actually laughing out loud". In other situations (most recently, in reply to a comment of [livejournal.com profile] sammason's, which quite caught me off guard), I feel the need to spell out that whatever they've written has actually made me laugh. Out loud. If I haven't caused at least three colleagues to turn round and look enquiringly at me, it just ain't LOL-worthy.

Laugh? I nearly did )

Do you laugh out loud a lot reading the web? Do you LOL?
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You'd think that, by now, I'd have exhausted all my weird words and phrase. Or, at any rate, learned which ones of them would get me funny looks. Apparently not, though.

Last night I sent a text message which ended "... and once you've found your keys you'll be framing".

I got the response "framing?"

Er... ok. You know the drill now, don't you? Clicky time!

[Poll #1871848]

And not relatedly: microwaves. Why are they so complicated? I don't want to be able to set 10% power for a fish-based plated meal of 350g, I want to choose a time and press "go". Full power.

Do people really use these features? Assuming we're not talking about combination microwaves and ovens, or anything like that, does anyone do anything other than full power, go?

I'm perfectly happy that such microwaves are on offer, for those as want them, but why are there none available which have basically a time dial and a big green button?

[Poll #1871849]
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So, tell me about foods you don't like.

What do you mean when you say "I don't like <food>"? Let's leave aside for the moment allergies, intolerances, things that bring on funny tummies, and so on, and think just about preferences.

I don't *like* it )
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I just regaled ChrisC with a story about the lowly position of empiricists at the French court in the 17th or 18th century. The story goes like this:

All the finest minds of the era were busy debating why a bowl of water should become lighter when you put a goldfish into it. The debate was heated and wide-ranging. Until someone came along and said, er, actually, I don't think a bowl of water actually does get lighter when you add a goldfish. Look, I have here a bowl of water, a fish, and some scales.

His comments were immediately discounted because, well, who would be so low as to actually
try the thing?

Which is a lovely story. But when I went a a-googling to try and find out whether I really meant the French court, and which century, and whether the man with the scales was someone whom history remembers...

Well, I can't find any evidence that I haven't just made the whole thing up. I'm sure I remember being told it in school. Has anyone else ever heard this story? If you heard it from me, it probably doesn't count.
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A boring request: does anyone live in an area, or organise their life, such that they are likely to be going to Lakeside IKEA in the reasonably near future?

If anyone meets those criteria, and feels they are either likely or willing to meet up with me sometime thereafter, could they pick something small(ish) up for me, please?

Details )
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Continuing the theme[*] of pointless curiosity about other people's lives, today I would like to know what other people have on their keyrings. Do you have a "keyring", ie some sort of novelty object attached for the aesthetic wossnames? Do you have useful things which aren't keys? If your bunch o' keys is massively bulky, how do you carry it about?

Mine... )

What've you got on yours?

[*] You are almost all wrong about mayonnaise, y'know.

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