Thursday, 31 December 2015

My new friend, and more tea

Alone in the office today, so the bluetooth speaker that SantaDad gave me is getting its first real workout. Sounds pretty good to my non-expert ears, and for all you speaker snobs out there that's plenty fine for me. I mean, I was going to buy a cheap plastic $15 something, so this is about twelve steps up from that. For anyone who craves brand names, this one is Headrush, which is a The Source exclusive apparently.

Tea time, then. Or tea review time. I need to add a caveat even before I start, though. Both of these teas are fruit infusions, and I'm not exactly a fruity tea fan. Good thing that neither of these was a particularly fruity tea.

A couple of nights ago I tried Banana Nut Bread. This time I followed my usual rule of not sweetening it for the first taste, but this is one that I think would benefit from just a touch of honey or agave. Otherwise, the name pretty much says it all. It's liquid banana bread, all right.

Last night's sampler was Forever Nuts, which I was honestly a little leery of since they claim that it's one of their customer favourites. Hype like that generally sets me up for disappointment. It was good, though. I missed out on the "steeps pink" part because my evening teapot is generally a travel mug so that I can have the tea around for an hour or two if I get busy with something. It wasn't so much the almonds as the cinnamon that attracted me, I must admit. I guess I'm just a spicy tea girl at heart.

Verdict: would I buy it? Banana Nut Bread maybe; Forever Nuts probably. No duds so far in this year's Christmas tea.


One -- or two, really -- last thing(s). My speaker makes a decent speakerphone, according to my dad. He just called me to let me know that his first ever smartphone proved to be a dud. They've ordered in a new one (android) but in the meantime they gave him a loaner iphone. If anyone out there gets pocket dialed, you'll know why now.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Tea of the day:

And a mysteriously silhouetted Downy Woodpecker. He's only here a) to provide some sort of photo for a short post, and b) because the blur of the chickadee flying beneath him made me laugh. I didn't see it at the time.

Anyway, today's (well, last night's since I'm not having any right now) tea is Super Ginger, courtesy of Christmas and my brother and sister-in-law (mostly my sister-in-law). As well as being my art supply enablers, you see, they're also my Christmas tea enablers.

Anyway, Super Ginger is what I had last night, and for which I broke one of my own new-tea rules. In general, even though I like a bit of sweet something-or-other in my teas I always make an effort to try new teas without anything at least once so that I can get a feel for the tea itself.

Not last night, though. I put in a little honey for the same reason that I tried this tea first from the selection, and that's because I don't like black pepper in teas. I mean, I like black pepper in itself; I just don't think it belongs in teas because it masks too many other flavours. Thus, the honey to gird myself somewhat against the pepper. Just a little bit of honey, mind. The tea itself has stevia in it already, so I didn't want to take the chance of oversweetening.

Well, I needn't have bothered. Turns out that ginger is as good at masking -- or at least settling down -- the taste of black pepper as it is at hiding green pepper.

A note to those who don't know: I really dislike green pepper. The only way I can eat it is with ginger beef.

Anyway (again), if you like ginger (and I do), you'll like this tea. As advertised, it's also very soothing to the throat, and helps open up the airways a bit. It would probably be decent for an upset stomach as well, given that ginger is good for that in general.

Would I buy it for myself? Probably. Especially if it was on sale.

Back to work now for me.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Pointless photo of the day:

I've blathered a lot the past couple of days.

I don't think that I have any blather right now. I might later, but I should be back at my place by then so it would mean the usual half-assed post via my phone. Not exactly worth it, generally.

So, have a picture at least. Your standard Alberta winter wonderland. Pretty, isn't it?

Yeah, I guess, she says grumpily. I bet Belize is pretty this time of year too, and I doubt that it's covered in white.

Anyway, hope everyone had (or is having) good holidays. See you when I see you.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Naming of Cats

 Before I start, if for some reason you haven't read the poem that goes with the title, read it now. And remember that Andrew Lloyd freaking Webber had nothing to do with it.

Come to think of it, you should probably read all of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It doesn't take long, and it's nice to remember that the same person who wrote The Waste Land had his fun side.

Um, anyway.

Today's featured cats are, as usual, the Turkey Brothers. For those new to the program, that's Tom on the left (and the ugly candy cane is his fetch toy. He's asking me if I'm going to throw it. And yes, I did.) and Bob on the right. And yes (again), if you think that you're seeing an absolutely humongous lava lamp behind him, you're right. The thing takes about two hours to get warm enough to blob.

The Turkey Brothers are, indeed, brothers, and they have perfectly sensible names. Tom Cat and Bob Cat. There shouldn't be any sort of weirdness there, right?

Well, there is. The weirdness is me.

For most of my life I've seemed to be unable to call an animal by the name the owner's given it. Our last dog was pretty much always Dogbreath to me rather than Rikki. Todd's (that would be the office mate formerly known as Wheat on the blog. Long story) dog Arthur is Doofus. You'd know why if you met him. Our last cats, Max and Penny, were Smack and Lump. Actually, Max probably thought that Max (or Smack) was his second name. His first name? Jesus. As in, Jesus, Max...

And the Turkey Brothers? Once I noticed that they were responding to their names I honestly tried to do my best to use them. Tried. I do on occasion, but the urge to rename -- or alter names -- is, I guess, too strong. The result? Well, Tom often gets Thomas, which isn't so bad. Bob, however, I started calling Bobimus from early on. It was suggested by Terry Jones's Nicobobinus, which I'll leave you to look up yourselves this time. I don't know why I went for M instead of N, though. Bobimus naturally led to Tomamus, sadly. He doesn't get that too often. I'm sure he's happy about that.

Lately Bobimus is evolving (devolving?) into Bobule. As in Globule. He's a big, round cat who's pretty good at being a speed bump rather than getting out of a person's way, so the name seemed kind of obvious.

Where to next with them? Who knows. They're only a year and a half old or so, so I'm sure that over the course of long lives they'll develop more names from Yours Blatheringly. Since they're called the Turkey Brothers for a reason they already have a multitude of other names from both Dad and me depending on their behaviour. None of those really stick, though, since they're not exactly polite.

I'll end with the proof that we actually do have a Christmas tree, with minimal decorations in case the cats went full-on turkey. You can't really see the lights because of the flash, but they're there.

I have no idea what Dad's cowboy hat is doing on the lampshade. For that matter, I'm not really even sure why Dad has a cowboy hat at all. Stampede is only once a year.

I suppose that the hats don't just disappear after that, do they? Kind of like Christmas trees.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Something vaguely Christmas, I suppose, is appropriate.

Well hey, it looks like at least one reindeer was here.

Or maybe it was a Mule Deer?

Ok, let's try this again.
If I'm yet again scarved, wearing penguin earrings, and taking photos of the side of my head, it must be Christmas. Right?

Actually, Christmas almost didn't happen for me this year; at least not on Christmas itself. After yet another bout of insomnia, I was left headachy, brainless, and knowing full well that I wasn't fit to hit the highway (sleepless driving is still impaired driving, folks. You don't have to be drunk to be charged). I was planning to be in at Dad's place on the 23rd, but it was the 24th before he got the teary, probably slightly incoherent call that I just couldn't do it even then. What would have happened? A day's delay, maybe, which doesn't sound so bad except... well, Christmas, you know? Christmas should be on Christmas, if you're going to celebrate at all.

Long story short (too late for that?), I did manage to get some sleep that night and was able to make it in for Christmas morning. Gifts happened, turkey happened, and that evening we drove around and looked at Christmas lights. That's become a bit of a thing with the two of us: tooling around town, Christmas carols on the radio station because pretty much everyone has the night off, and both of us singing along. That last part is accidental. It just kind of happens.

It ended up being a good day, and I'm glad that I made it.

What else? Well, it was the Turkey Brothers' first Christmas with a tree, and they didn't destroy it. Granted, it was only partially decorated, but it's a good sign for next year.

In the gift department, you'll no doubt be hearing about my latest tech toy, so I'll save it for now. I did get a much nicer bluetooth speaker than the one I would have picked up at the after Christmas sales, though. Guess I'll be making more use of that Spotify deal from Rogers than I assumed that I would. And I won't just be throwing my phone into a cup to amplify it, although that works better than it should.

Also, tea. And when I make it back into town, my yearly art supply geek-out. So now you know what to look forward to on the blog in the future.

All in all, a pretty good day, and I'm glad I had it. I'll try to get out the camera and get some better (or at least a little more interesting) photos for the blog soon. Hope everyone's having (had, or whatever) a good holiday.

Don't let the Boxing Day sales wear you down.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Random post

As in, I have no idea what it'll be about.

This is my new favourite version of Carol of the Bells, though.

We could talk (briefly, since I have to get back to work) about this year's winner for Inappropriate Use of Christmas Music, I guess. This time around it's Coke  -- at least I think it's Coke. I haven't paid that much attention -- for its choice of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). Advertising folks, that is NOT a song about getting the family together around the Christmas tree to enjoy a fizzy beverage. It's about losing a lover for whatever reason and wishing s/he'd come back. Total, total misread there, boys and girls.

It's a song I'm actually pretty tired of anyway. All those years of Darlene Love on Letterman just really set in fatigue for me. I know, almost sacrilege, but what can I say? I'm not much for pop versions (geez. Pun completely unintended) of Christmas as it is. I you are, however, here's the non-sodafied, remastered Darlene Love version of A Wall of Sound Christmas.

Later, folks.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Assored swearwords

I've had assorted swearwords in my brain lately. It was a phrase I used frequently on the blog, since although it's not marked PG or anything I knew that some of my friends let their kids read it (yeah, I know. But I'm not a parent). Assorted swearwords, though, seems to be a big part of the world just now.

First, Donald Trump. WTF America? The man's not the idiot some mainstream press believe, but too many people believe the idiocy he's spewing. Well done, if you were planning to be seen as an uneducated, unknowing mass. You did that just right.

Next, let's tackle our fearless pretty leader. Well done with your face welcoming a few Syrian refugees. Not so well done with your face being all voguey in Vogue. Hands up all Canadians who really needed to see that. Just run the effing government already.

Let take a break to mention the Syrian refugees, though. You're welcome here. You should be welcome. And if any stupid Canadian tells you that a refugee isn't welcome, he or she needs to examine the family history. Sorry about winter, though.

Ok, who's next besides half-ton drivers? I may not need more, to be honest. It's winter. Forget you're an arsehole for a moment and drive like it's winter.

Think I'm done for the moment. Don't worry; there'll be more assorted swearwords. Life always supplies them.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Random signs of Christmas

  1. Very annoying music in stores. Seriously, there are plenty of good Christmas recordings out there. You must have to work hard to find such bad ones.
  2. My Dad playing Santa at local functions.
  3. My Dad putting reindeer antlers and a red nose on his Trail Blazer. Because Santa.
  4. My Dad finding out that the Santa costume scares the bejeezus out of his cats. Wish I'd been there for that one.
  5. Books of Christmas carols on my desk in case anyone at work feels like playing the piano. It won't happen, but I try.
  6. Inappropriate music on TV ads. Actually, I might save that one for another post because it's a good topic.
  7. The food in the usual staff snack area gaining an astonishing amount of calories.
  8. This:

Oddly enough, not my usual work attire. Ah well, if we're lucky it won't be cold enough this year for me to break out the Christmas stocking cap.

Yeah, I have one. Made it, in fact.

Anyway, there's your quick post of the day. Bad to work for me.

Enjoy the pseudoselfie.
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