Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mixed Microwave-Laptop Stir Fry, with a Pinch of Nerve and Smoked Sinus



1 Laptop
1 Microwave
1 human body
1 trip to smoke loving country


For Mixed Microwave-Laptop Stir Fry:

This is really more like a case of waiting for your microwave to mature. You can't really make it happen. Like mushroom, it needs to grow on its own. So, it's only a matter of knowing when the microwave is mature enough. To do this:
1. Stick a cup of water in the morning, punch 15 seconds, press start.
2. krrrrrr----phaatttttttt -- this sound says you could have a mature microwave.
3. Turn mains off, change fuse in microwave. Repeat 1.
4. If you hear another krrrrrr----phaatttttttt, you have a fairly well mature microwave.
5. Repeat 3 again. If your microwave goes krrrrrr----ph--kkkrrr--phaatttttttt, it's done.
6. Set aside.

7. Leave a laptop plugged in day and night for months. Even years.
8. Turn on laptop one morning and if you hear "kweee--phtt" then you know your laptop is fried.
9. Set aside.

Smoked Sinus:

For this, you need to be allergic to second hand smoke. If not, you can never make smoked sinus. Sorry. I know. It's unfair, but that's just the way life is. You could try making Sinus Pollen(ta) if you like? But if you are allergic to second hand smoke, here is the recipe for smoked sinus:

1. Take a trip to a smoke-happy place.
2. Forget your antihistamines when you pack. (this is very important)
3. When your sinuses inflame like a hot-air balloon, start to believe in your super powers to fight the allergies on your own.
4. Keep believing for 4 or 5 days, until your body begins to burn up with fever.
5. Now hurry to the nearest pharmacy and get yourself some anti-histamine and some decongestant. (after all you don't want to smoke your entire self into oblivion, do you?)

Pinched Nerve:

This is also a case of letting happen rather than making it happen. But, you can speed up the process to create a perfectly pinched nerve if you do the following:

1. Ignore everything you have ever learnt about good posture
2. Get a job that needs you to be on the computer constantly
3. Stick a laptop on your lap and slouch on the couch
4. Crane your neck forward. Stick it out like you mean it. Stick it out like you want to be sucked into the screen and spat out into the Internet.
5. Do this for a few years.
6. When your triceps start to feel like someone's drilling a hole through it and the nerves in your arms start to tingle, you'll know that your pinched nerve is ready for the harvest.

That's it, your Mixed Microwave-Laptop Stir fry, with a Pinched Nerve and Smoked Sinus is ready.
Add antibiotics and NSAIDs to your taste and serve with generous amounts of humour. Enjoy! If you neglect it long enough, it can even last 25-30 days.

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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Mid June Garden Update

 Time for another update on what's going on in the garden right now. I missed the entire peony show because of my trip to London, but hopefully I will get some pics from my sis who was dog and cat sitting for me.

I did catch the early peonies, which were actually transplants from my back yard, where these guys were not flowering all that well because of the lack of sun light.

Technically, these bloomed late May and were gone by mid-June. I was glad that the transplant took, considering the cavalier fashion in which I handled it. Most books will advise you to transplant after the first frost in the Fall. I transplanted in the Spring. A little late-ish. I accidentally chopped the root of the peony which basically snapped in two. I took this opportunity to plant one on either side of the bird bath in the front yard. Finally an opportunity to create some symmetry in the front yard.

Elephant Ears
I thought I had killed my elephant ears by planting them in early May when the weather was not yet warm enough. But, looks like they are ok. One has even got a nice looking leaf in the making, although the others look a bit weird!

The little yellow flowers tucked under the large spreading juniper was going strong as well. Someday, I believe that I will complete my demolition of the raised bed in the front yard and rescue this little yellow thing from oblivion.

I did manage to catch a quick look at the irises in the front yard before I left. This is the first time I am actually seeing the all purple flowers. The deer/groundhog/hares/something else was eating these plants to the ground the last two or three years (ever since I planted the bare root irises).

Here is a quick look at the main garden in the front yard.

The hibiscus on either side of the bird bath are filling out, the big disappointment are the lavenders that  
I had planted in a row in the front. Two of them died creating a vacuum where there shouldn't be one and the two that did survive, had a strange kind of damage. The parts that were closer to the roots were brown and seemingly dead, but the outer parts of the same branch were doing fine! They have even made flowers, attracting butterflies, but they look like ground cover. I don't think I am going to get the neat, even sized mounds, I was hoping for, from the these plants.
The lavender looks more like ground cover now!
Meanwhile, in the backyard the lilies are looking striking against the white wall although the delphinium looks rather faded.

These lilies were hurriedly transplanted to various locations in the backyard two years ago because they were getting decimated by the deer! However, I seemed to have missed one or two bulbs in the front yard and now they stick out like errant strands of hair on a bad hair day! May be I will use these as a source for cut flowers.

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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens --- Part I

It was the best of trips, it was the worst of trips. It was a trip that almost didn't happen, but eventually did! First it was the passport that almost never arrived, then it was DH's visa drama, then it was the Icelandic volcano again! All in all, by the time we knew for sure that we were going to London, we had 3 days to plan our trip, including getting the flight tickets and booking hotel rooms! No exaggeration. This, coupled with everything that needed to be done before we left, meant I completely forgot one ground truth about Europe --- the amount of smoking that goes on. So I forgot to pack my antihistamines, which almost made this trip memorable for all the wrong reasons!

Although I was not sure that I would make the trip, I had made up my mind that if this trip ever did materialize, I would go see Jane Austen's Bath (which she hated for the most part) and the Bard's birth place. Since the trip straddled two official events, we decided that we will do some aimless wandering in London on the day just before the first conference and after the second one and use the time in between to visit Bath, Stratford on Avon and the Stonehenge. The plan was to drive to all these locations starting from the Stonehenge, passing Bath and working our way to Stratford on Avon before driving back to London via the castle where Churchill was born but where he never really lived.

That was the plan. Of course, that was not what happened. By the time we finished the first conference  it was so late, that we were worried we would not be able to find hotels to stay. Frantic late night search revealed that all hotels in Bath were already taken and the only one available in our price range was a Best Western in a place called Limpley Stoke, 6 miles from Bath. Chafing at the fact that we could have found a charming B&B in Bath for about half the price, if we had planned earlier, we booked this boring Best Western anyway. All we had to do now, was wake up early in the morning, pick up the car, drive to Bath, check in by noon, grab lunch, then head out to Old Sarum and Salisbury then to Stonehenge to see it in at sunset. Simple.

Stonehenge and Old Salisbury: Yeah, simpleLike all self respecting travel plans, it fell flat on its face.  The hotel staff forgot our wake up call (which they remembered very well for our conference thankyouverymuch), we woke up at 10:45 (still jet lagged at that point) and called the car rental to tell them that we would not be able to get to them until about noon! Then came the issue of driving on the left in a country where the streets are so narrow, that I kept crossing them accidentally before even realizing that I was on a road! Long story short, we drove like we were in an electric bump car. Krr-Bump! Krr-Bump! Dhadank! The bumps where from hitting the sidewalk and the Dhadank was from climbing on one!