December 2008

I’m your customer, not your fscking QA department!

Those following this blog will know that I’ve had many hassles with Lansdowne Boards. This is the second time I’ve run across this specific problem, which is that the board goes through the machine at a slight angle, which means that things don’t line up.

It’s not a lot, but it makes the front of the shelf stand proud by half a millimeter or so, and that looks bad.

The whole point of Lansdowne Boards‘ system is that they have the precision machines so that you can just assemble the stuff without using any complicated tools. In theory this is good. But if your machines are out of calibration or your operators just don’t care, this is the result — one pissed off customer.

So, sadly, I can’t recommend using them. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to suffer, and if you do know what you’re doing, you don’t need them anyway. Go to Davidson’s or someone else instead.

Chinese steamed buns

There’s a chinese shop close to Cavendish. They sell, amongst other things, frozen Dim Sum type stuff, and I bought half a dozen veg and half a dozen pork buns this afternoon. Steamed them in my bamboo steamer, excellent. The veg ones are nicer than the pork, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try the pork too.

Served them with lots of rice, umeboshi, and sweet and sour sauce (I doubled the sauce recipe).

Tanya doesn’t like the umeboshi. That, was to be expected. Jessica doesn’t much like it either, but she might grow into it. (Tamsyn, of course, had hamburger patties :-)

Me, I like it, but a little bit will last a long time. Now I want to try making Nibuta.

Footnote: since this blog posting I referenced above, we’ve tasted the Confucious Family Liquor. I prefer the Baijiu. The Confucious stuff is really bad.

Pot(ter)ing around

We got this yucca tree from freecycle. In a large pot with a small base, so it wasn’t very stable. We found a better pot at Builders Warehouse, transferred the yucca to that, and then figured that the new pot was still not big enough.

So we found an even bigger pot at Harry Goemans, which meant that we had to buy another yucca to go in the smaller pot.

In the process of transferring yuccas and moving pots around, I pushed the larger pot just a little too hard. Sprained my arm. Ouch.

But I think it looks good.

Happy as Larry

So we have this somewhat crazy cat. We think he suffered brain damage when he was little, Tanya rescued him from a bunch of little hooligans in Kuils River, and it took some really good vetting work (Four Ways in Sun Valley, Fish Hoek) to pull him through.

Anywayz, so it was time to bring him through from Bellville, where he’d been living for the past couple of years (chasing “my” cats, Benny and Joon, to go live with my parents, but that’s another story). When he was little we took him everywhere — to Bellville, often, and to Gansbaai in the Rand Lover, and so forth, and so on, so he doesn’t mind cars much. Just don’t put him in a basket.

I also packed a whole lot of other stuff that had to go through, but the front seat was free… nope, he wanted to be on the mattress in the back. It got a bit stuffy after a while and he was a bit upset, but Baden Powell drive runs next to the sea so I opened a window and all was fine again.

I asked the ladies at the pet shop about relocating cats, the one said “keep him inside for a month” and the other said “make that three months”. Hah. We kept him inside for almost two whole days and he’s fine. He’s been slowly expanding his explorations (I believe one should never carry a cat from one spot to the next, they need to walk there themselves to memorise the route and the way back) to the point where the neighbours’ yards are next.

Now to teach him to use the cat flap. And to sleep at night.

(Picture of Benny by Tanya)

Braaivleis, Rugby, Sunny Skies & Chevrolet

To tell you the truth, it rained yesterday evening. December isn’t what it used to be. But we’ve managed to braai a few times already, and more of the same is planned for the next week or so — life’s good as long as the beer holds out. And I’m really enjoying Marko not coping with his summertime decision to move to a snow zone.

In contrast with the fact that it’s high summer, SWMBO insists on turkey for Christmas. This is not your traditional boertjie Christmas fare, I grew up in a leg of lamb kind of house. I’ve managed to make a few decent turkeys in the past couple of years, and the leftovers get frozen and made into stock, and we end up making risotto in June after discovering more turkey in the bottom of the freezer. This year I’m brining the turkey in vinegar, which is a bit of an experiment, since our turkeys come pre-basted from Brazil, and one’s supposed to brine a non-pre-basted bird…

Turkey, gravy, roast potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Brussel sprouts is [1] nowhere near in season. It’ll have to be frozen stuff.

Of course having a vegetarian teenager around is a new challenge. Did you know that packet gravy is vegetarian? Saves a whole lot of hassle, that does. So we started making a nut loaf for Jessica last night. It’s a bit like meatloaf, with nuts, of course, and it needs to be frozen before it goes into the oven. Will see how that goes. Then we got pizzas and watched Taken, a sort of a vindication feelgood movie for the paranoid.

(And for those of you who don’t recognise the title of this post, it’s a Chevrolet radio advert from toeka).

[1] I think it should be is. And if it’s not, y’all be sure to tell me and I’ll phone the queen and ask her, OK?

The stupidest concept I’ve heard of.

Excuse me while I rant. Maybe I don’t get it. Or maybe things are different where these people live.

The word of the day is “flexitarian“. This, apparently, is a vegetarian who also eats meat.

[Long rant deleted, because I cannot put my total bewilderment into words].

Quick road trip

We had a bit of a booze-up at Amperbo on Friday, my brother had a few people over because the moon was full or something (actually it was his birthday but at our age we’re quiet about that).

So we looked and felt our best when we had to go to Knysna the next morning.

6 hours and 6 minutes of driving, 519km, at an average of 85km/h and 6.3l/100km according to the trip computer, which lies by about 1l/100km about these things. I normally get better fuel consumption but I was towing a parachute trailer.

The bottom half of the display cabinet we took to Knysna is on the trailer, the top half is inside.

Saw a nice looking Forward Control in George.

In Knysna we swapped the display cabinet for a dining room table, and then we drove all the way back again on Monday.

But at least we now have a dining room table :-)

Filk in progress

On the first day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
A honking south eastern wind storm.

On the second day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the third day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Four rain storms,
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Five broken windows,
Four rain storms,
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Fish Hoek sent to me
Six rooftiles flying,
Five broken windows,
Four rain storms,
Three dust devils,
and two slammed doors,
In a honking south eastern wind storm.

(Work in progress, but lemme tell you, if you don’t like wind, Fish Hoek is not for you).


Deb posted a recipe that looked interesting. So I mooshed everything together, stuck it in the fridge, stuck it in the oven the next morning.

Tanya took one look at this, said “This is not French toast, it’s bread and butter pudding… I don’t like bread and butter pudding!”

Now, to be fair, this recipe does more resemble bread & butter pudding than the traditional savoury French toast we’re used to — I’ll have to try it again, in savoury mode.

And you ask why my back is sore?

[SFx: Cannibals, Mark Knopfler]

I was on my way to Bellville when they phoned to say the shower door had arrived.

So we checked to see if it fits in a Golf 4 Estate.

It does… but the driving is… interesting (it’s 60km from Bellville to Fish Hoek).