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Morning, LJ. I've got stuck in that loop where I have buckets of posts I've been intending to make, and thus can't post about anything because I need to sort the backlog out first.

Accordingly, I'm declaring Amnesty On Everything, because I'd like to ask a question :)

I have a lot of Word documents, where I have pasted in text written in a text editor and then edited it in Word. The net effect is that I end up with a mixed bag of "straight" ASCII quote marks and apostrophes, and fancy Unicode left- or right-handed quote marks and apostrophes.

What is the best way of sorting this out?

I expect to continue writing ASCII text documents in my favourite text editor and pasting them into Word, so anything that prevents this situation from arising would also be useful.
venta: (Default)

I have two problems. Well, I have many. But there are two of a culinary nature, on which I hope some kitchenly types might offer advice.

1. Owing to the choux wreath  I have an imperial shitload of leftover eggwhites.
2. I am going to a neighbour for dinner tomorrow[*] and am requested to bring a pudding.

The solution? )

[*] Yeah, a neighbour. Not a friend who lives nearby, an actual neighbour whom I have only met as a result of the geographical proximity in our dwellings. Yeah, in London. No, I didn't think that was allowed either.

venta: (Default)

It's a long shot...

Does anyone in vaguely plausible car-range have a static exercise bike that they would be willing/able to lend me for a few weeks?

(Or, I suppose, one of those Thingies that converts a real bike, though I don't think they're very common.)

venta: (Default)

Help me, o LJ.

Next week is the birthday of a small girl of my acquaintance. She'll be 6.

I haven't seen her in a year, and am not sure what she'd like (requests for advice from parents have not yet produced results). Last year she was all about pink stuff and craft supplies. However, shopping is a bit difficult at present, so I'm tempted by the idea of sending her money or a voucher.

If one is turning 6, what voucher would suit? Where would one wish to shop? Am I overestimating the consumer-awareness of today's kids? It was all book tokens in my day, but I don't think she's a huge reader. I'm not sure whether she has an iThing, so don't know if iTunes is the right answer.

venta: (Default)

Reading recommendations sought!

I am off to hospital on Monday, so am looking to stock my e-reader up with extremely lightweight reading matter. (I'm not opposed to proper books, of course, but during non mobile periods the simplicity of download vs. shop and clicking next vs. going to the bookshelf is quite appealing.)

So, what should I be reading?  I think, for mental bubblegum my tastes run rather more towards (say) YA sci-fi than they do towards chick-lit. Everyone keeps telling me I should be stocking up on T.V. boxed sets, but T.V. isn't really my thing.

I'm currently reading The Screaming Staircase and sadly finding it a little unsatisfying. I'm not sure what age range it's aimed at, but it does seem very simplistic. I loved the Bartimaeus books, but have been a bit underwhelmed by Lockwood & Co.

EditJust for clarity, I don't require YA sci-fi. It was intended as a frinstance, not a demand. Thanks for all suggestions!

venta: (Default)
Things I want to achieve this weekend:

1. Get the rest of the burnt lentils off the cast-iron saucepan. Note to self: do not attempt to debug hastily-written linked-list code late at night while making soup. You will get distracted and forget about the soup.

2. Purchase material and a pattern to make a dress for a one-year-old. Does anyone have any good recommendations for places to purchase sewing patterns in London?

3. Get rid of this cold. Bored now.
venta: (Default)
On a whim, at the weekend, I picked up a guinea fowl for Sunday dinner. I was milling about in the butcher's wondering what to buy and figured well, why not. I've never cooked guinea fowl before, so had a little hunt through the cookbook shelf and decided to go for a pot-roasting recipe of Jamie Oliver's. Mr Oliver himself may well be an irritating little sprunt, but his recipes are usually decent.

Guinea fowl pot-roasted with blood oranges[*], celery and sage gave me a few problems, though. The recipe could have been written a lot more clearly, but the issues were all to do with actual bird-wrangling. Maybe there's something obvious which you lot all know that I don't.

Guinea juggling )

[*] OK, so I didn't quite play by the rules. I don't like oranges (and they don't like me) so I used lemons.
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Today's strange request, from the Venta's Strange Request Catalogue:

Tell me you favourite lolly-stick joke.

Please :)

Or your least favourite. Or merely one you remember but don't have any real opinion on.

To clarify: ideally I'd like actual, genuine lolly-stick jokes. Not some sort of post-modern, ironic take on the concept. And absolutely definitely not ones that sound a bit like lolly-stick jokes but are, in fact, funny.

(I take it there's on one here young enough to be saying "a what joke"? Although I guess there may be someone who was insufficiently based in the UK at the time. Just in case... ))
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Once upon a time, there was a dance team that wanted a flyer. A nice, A4, tri-fold flyer. Dr Fiona heroically tackled it. Then she said sod this, Word is a fair bugger, I cannot get the columns to line up nicely on both sides of the paper.

Haha, I thought, I am so very clever, I will use a downloadable tri-fold flyer template from Office Online. And lo, I did, and it was also a fair bugger because it is completely un-customisable. You want three folds? Well, some of it will be bright orange. No other colour is available. Just bright orange.

After an awful lot of fiddling about, I finally had something I was at least not-unhappy with. And then I printed out a trial run, and it turns out the US-centric world of Office Online makes its tri-fold flyer templates for Letter sized paper. Not A4. Which I had not checked. I am, in fact, not so very clever after all. I imagine the template can be tweaked, but then it's back to the original problem of getting columns to line up manually. I haven't even successfully worked out how to get three evenly-spaced columns yet :( I've never liked Word.

Does anyone have... a tri-fold A4 template, a better knowledge of Word than I have, a burning desire to show off their graphic-design skills, or a large bottle of gin[*]?

Any assistance greatly appreciated.

Edit Or, of course, does anyone have a source of Letter paper, a colour/duplex printer that will handle it, and a generic willingness to assist in exchange for cake? (I have never owned a printer, I have no idea if they mostly do Letter...)

[*] Not strictly relevant, but I might stop caring about the flyer...
venta: (Default)
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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