Saturday, May 28, 2011

Next celebrity fad?

Will be interesting to see if this is part of a new trend:

The Mark Zuckerberg diet - only eat what you kill with your own bare hands

MARK Zuckerberg has a heart after all.

A goat's heart.

And a pig's and a chicken's.

The man popularly portrayed as a cold, ruthless dispatcher of friends is sort of, kind of living up to that reputation by publicly announcing his new challenge for 2011.

"I just killed a pig and a goat," he wrote on his private Facebook page on May 4, after telling his friends that 2011 was the year he would only eat meat that he's slaughtered with his own bare hands.

Zuckerberg sets a single new goal for himself every year.

In 2009, he wore a tie every day. Last year, he learnt Chinese. Both were fairly innocuous, but his latest campaign has caused some consternation amongst his Facebook fans.

Fortune reports that Zuckerberg was introduced to the practice by Silicon Valley chef Jesse Cool in his home town of Palo Alto, California.

She directed him to some nearby farms and helped him knock off a chicken, pig and goat.

"He cut the throat of the goat with a knife, which is the most kind way to do it," Cool told Fortune.

Zuckerberg started his kill-to-eat diet by boiling a live lobster.

His girlfriend Priscilla is also keen consumer and the two recently carved up a chicken together, eating the heart and liver and making stock from the leftovers.

According to Fortune, he posted a pic of the chicken on his Facebook page and listed all the meals he made from it.

"Every year in recent memory, I've taken on a personal challenge - something to learn about the world, expand my interests and teach myself greater discipline," he wrote by way of explanation in an email to Fortune.

"This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have to eat.

"I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being thankful for what I have."

Zuckerberg said his next step was to go hunting.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Things you find on the web ...

Seven Blunders of the World

The Seven Blunders of the World is a list that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi gave to his grandson Arun Gandhi, written on a piece of paper, on their final day together, shortly before his assassination.

The seven blunders are:

* Wealth without work
* Pleasure without conscience
* Knowledge without character
* Commerce without morality
* Science without humanity
* Worship without sacrifice
* Politics without principle

This list grew from Gandhi's search for the roots of violence. He called these acts of passive violence. Preventing these is the best way to prevent oneself or one's society from reaching a point of violence.

To this list, Arun Gandhi added an eighth blunder,

* Rights without responsibilities

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, May 23, 2011

The mind is a weird thing ...

I've been working in this job for just over a year. So every workday I drive down the main road, pull into the turning lane at the lights near my office, turn right (you've always got to wait at these lights) and then turn left into a private road that runs down the back of the building, then into the car park.

Last Monday, I did the above, only to discover that they've closed the private road. Not a big deal, do a U-turn right out of the private road, turn right at the lights, travel down the main road a bit, pull into a turning lane, cross over and drive in the front entrance of the building.

Discover, via email, that the private road is going to be closed for months.

Now, I discovered that last Monday ... TODAY was the first day I've NOT turned right at the lights to head down the private road!!!

I can't believe that it took a whole week for me to get through to my brain that YOU don't turn right at the lights any more!

Now, I'm just hoping that today's success isn't a once off.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Honey and Harissa Glazed Eggplant

I picked half a dozen nice sized eggplants from the garden today. The variety I'm growing is mini-Lebanese so these were all about 12-15cms long and about 3-4 cm in diameter.

Awhile back I had gone searching for eggplant recipes and amongst the hundreds of "interesting" ones found I had located one for Honey and Harissa Glazed Eggplant.

Mum gave me a jar of Jalapeno harissa about a month back so I had been looking forward to trying it in the recipe. Here's the original recipe with my comments in purple.

Honey and Harissa Glazed Eggplant
serves 3-4 as a side dish

750g eggplant (about 2 medium-large), peeled Didn't weigh the eggplants just used what I picked
50ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for frying
3 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh ginger Didn't have fresh so used about 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp harissa paste Used 2 generous tsps of the Jalapeno one I had
1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
2 tsp tomato paste Used a bit more of the paste - probably about 3-4 tsps
2 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.
2. Halve each eggplant crosswise then slice each half into 6-8 wedges. Place the wedges into the baking tray and drizzle with 50ml of olive oil. Coat the wedges thoroughly in oil, then spread them out in a single layer. Roast the wedges in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are deep golden, turning them halfway through the cooking time. I used a "turbo cook" to roast them in worked fine. Next time I'll coat them by putting the oil in a plastic bag and shaking them in there rather than the 'drizzling' method.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Then stir in the cumin, cinnamon, harissa, honey, tomato paste, lemon juice and salt. Cook until the mixture starts to boil, then turn off the heat.
4. Remove the eggplant from the oven and carefully place into the honey mixture. Cook in a single layer for 8 minutes, turning once. Be careful, as the honey may start to burn.
5. When the eggplant is cooked, season to taste with extra lemon juice and salt, if needed. Then put them into a shallow serving dish, and spoon over any remaining honey glaze. The eggplant can be served warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or so; just reheat in the microwave for 40 seconds (it tastes even better then). I'll be trying the leftovers tomorrow :)

Recipe adapted from delicious (June 2010)


I'll certainly be making this again. I think it would work great as a side dish for a roast.

PS Miss 9 and me also made a roast cauliflower soup that Miss 7 devoured (even with a chili in there) and Miss 9 also created her own seasoning for fried eggplant along with a tomato based sauce. Very yummy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Illegal hunters?!?

From today's news:

Horse shot and skinned in paddock near Esk

FOREST HILL police in Queensland are searching for a person who shot a horse and skinned its head near Esk.

Detective Senior Constable Scott Petrie, of the Forest Hill Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad, said the horse was in its own paddock off Esk-Crows Nest Road in Biarra when someone shot it in the heart sometime between May 8 and May 12.

He said whoever shot the four-year-old thoroughbred also skinned its head.

Det Senior Constable Petrie said the skin was not left at the scene with the body.

"It's a bizarre occurrence," he said.

"People need to be aware of illegal hunters in this area and if anyone sees anything to call us or Crime Stoppers."

The horse was bay with a white star on its forehead.


Awful, terrible and I hope they catch the person that did it and prosecute to the full extent of the law but where the heck did the comment on "illegal hunters" come from?!?

I'm only assuming that the Det Senior Constable used full sentences and maybe a paragraph or two that the journalist didn't manage to write down?

I hate "pieces of paper" ...

I was filling in a form for our insurance. Apparently firearms aren't covered under house contents insurance (with this company), unless a separate form is completed and submitted.

The form isn't that onerous, I guess, there were only 5 questions:
1. "Address where the guns are normally stored" (mmm I'm applying to have it put on my contents insurance, I would have thought the address was given)
2. "Do you belong to any firearms clubs, if so, name and address". None of your business really but hey what the heck.
3. "Are the guns stored in a safe? If so list make and model". They give you one line for make and one line for model. Um, okay, this is where things are going to get tricky. We have three firearms safes. One is a custom built one (to appropriate legislative standards) which of course doesn't have a make/model. So I just wrote that "we have a number of safes which comply with appropriate legislation and have been inspected by the police under this legislation", let's see how that goes!
4. "Is the safe securely attached to the building? Please provide additional details". At least they give you four lines here, but as the safes are all attached in different ways I decided to go with "all safes are secured in accordance with relevant legislation". I NEARLY gave them the appropriate legislation to go look up but decided that was going overboard.
5. Then there are 4 lines on which we're supposed to list the make / model / serial number / bore size of each firearm and state whether or not they are licenced.

As owning an unlicensed firearm here is a criminal act I'm interested to know if there really are people who would submit all of these details for unlicensed firearms. Maybe there are?!?

Anyway, between me and my husband we have more than four guns - not the arsenal that some of my readers posses, but more than four. I filled in the information scribbling on the bottom of the sheet of paper wondering what people who had good sized arsenals did?

While I was filling in this form, I needed to get my licence - not because they ask anything about it - but because the make and serial numbers are all listed there.

I then noticed that the licence (in my Firearms Licence folder) is expired! The expiry date on it is 24 July 2010.

OH NO! Panic.

A) It is illegal to have unlicensed guns in your possession
B) You are responsible to ensure that the licence is up to date even if you have not received a renewal notice
C) The licence system here is so um, "messed" up that a lot of people are discovering that their licences are years out of date or guns have mysteriously disappeared off the piece of paper ... so I'm now thinking that I didn't get the renewal and life could get difficult

So I ring Firearms Branch - some of my longer-term readers may remember the joyous experience this has been for me in the past. I get through straight away!?! To a PERSON!?! Things are looking up.

I initially ask what the story is if you have an expired firearms licence. Apparently if it is less than 12 months expire you can just renew it - phew - however, if it is over 12 months you HAVE TO REAPPLY FROM SCRATCH!?!

(Now, I'm secretly thanking the insurance company for their stupid rules and forms).

Anyway, I ask her to check whether or not my licence is actually expired. It isn't! Apparently I renewed it 10 June last year. So now I have a paid up licence but not the piece of paper that I'm supposed to have.

So I ask her what to do? I can obtain a copy for $41.50 BUT as it is due in July and I should be getting a renewal (which is a copy of your licence to which you affix the receipt of payment) in June it really doesn't seem worth selling out $41.50.

So I decided that I'll just live without the piece of paper for (at the most) a month and hopefully won't have any issues. She concurred with this decision. (I'm guessing a copy licence would take as long to get here anyway).

One thing I've forgotten to mention is that the licence is a PIECE of paper (well for me, I know people with two or three pieces of paper). Each piece is full-sized (A4) which is a PAIN to store and carry (you need to carry it when you transport your firearms). I'm really, really, really not sure why, in this day and age, we can't have a credit card sized licence (real licence not the credit card sized Extract of Licence that we also have, don't ask) that can be put in the wallet with all the other cards and forgotten about.

I really hate having to look after a piece of paper ... not quite as much as I hate this whole licence scenario thingy anyway.

Guys, if you live somewhere without gun licence and registration FIGHT to keep it that way.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vote for me ... please ..

Bleg time ...

I've just entered a competition and need people to "vote for me" ...

Click here to vote.

Oh and you can vote once per day :)


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Specialisation is for insects ....

The comments on my last post got me thinking about the phrase "specialisation is for insects" and whether on not this was true.

Bob (in comments) is correct when he stated that you really don't want brain surgery done by the local GP.

I think there is a place for specialisation. In many ways, this is what a career is all about. Becoming skilled in something so that you're employable. But even within these confines there's advantages to having a wide range of skills rather than just one. I see no reason why a brain surgeon shouldn't be able to bake a loaf of bread.

One of the benefits of having a wide range of skills is that pretty much no matter the economic circumstances there's a job that you can turn your hand to. You might need refresher course (or a bit of reading) to get up to speed with the latest developments in the area, but having a basic understanding of something is a good place to start from.

Or, if you are unemployed, you can do a lot of things that need doing without shelling out cash for an "expert" in the field.

Looking back over my working life the people I have most enjoyed working with and those I have the most respect for were those who were not only good at their jobs but who also had a wide range of knowledge, interest and skills of related and unrelated fields. I found these people stimulating and challenging to be around. The time spent on learning and acquiring skills did not detract from them mastering their primary specialities either.

I have also worked with people who are brilliant in their field, but have no idea of anything else. I find these people, on the whole, frustrating to work with and for. Mainly because they have such a narrow view of things they don't even understand how something "upstream" will affect their project. It's like (to pinch an analogy from Cajun) they turn on a light switch expecting the light to go on, with no understanding of the multiple stages the electricity needs to pass through to get there.

I guess most of you who work in the computer field have heard the "pack it up and take it back to the shop and tell them you're too stupid to own a computer" joke, well unfortunately, in my experience, this isn't that much of a joke.

I'm not sure the education system is to blame, or whether people have just lost the ability to be curious but it really seems that on the whole people don't look around and ask questions.

One of the things I love about spending time with my girls is the number of questions they ask. (It can also be frustrating too :) ). It seems as if they want to know the "why and how" of everything. I hope they never lose this desire to understand the world around them. This also serves to remind me of how little I know and how I should be looking at the world and asking the same questions.

I've often asked myself what "life skills" I need to pass onto the girls. And so far, the skills that we have decided are important for them are:

* Reading
* Clear and articulate pronunciation
* Neat writing
* Ability to read music and play an instrument
* Ability to swim
* Development of a range of physical skills
* Ability to read a map and use a compass
* Ability to shoot a firearm
* Ability to cook basic meals
* Ability to do basic maths in their heads
* Basic computer skills
* Basic housework skills
* Care for an animal
* Behave in a restaurant
* Speak in public
* Speak a foreign language
* Write a letter

All of these the girls have or are actively developing.

In addition there's a few more I would like them to be able to do in the future
* Touch type
* Kill, skin and prepare a rabbit
* Drive
* Navigate by stars
* Build a fire
* Basic knowledge of first aid

I think all those skills are important regardless of what career they choose. (There's probably more, but these are all that I can think of at the moment).

What about you. What skills do you want to pass onto your children (or think children of this generation and the next need to have)?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Something to think about ...

“A human being should be able to:
* change a diaper,
* plan an invasion,
* butcher a hog,
* conn a ship,
* design a building,
* write a sonnet,
* balance accounts,
* build a wall,
* set a bone,
* comfort the dying,
* take orders,
* give orders,
* cooperate,
* act alone,
* solve equations,
* analyze a new problem,
* pitch manure,
* program a computer,
* cook a tasty meal,
* fight efficiently,
* die gallantly.

Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Wasn't in his right mind ..."

"Wasn't in his right mind ...", well that bit of the story makes sense, the rest, well ... judge for yourself:

Man 'high on bath salts' arrested in bra, panties, accused of stabbing goat

A US man found wearing women's underwear and standing over a goat's carcass told West Virginia police he was high on bath salts.

Mark L Thompson of Alum Creek was arrested at his home on Monday. A criminal complaint in Kanawha County Magistrate Court charges the 19-year-old with cruelty to animals.

Sheriff's Deputy JS Shackelford says witnesses reported Mr Thompson standing near a neighbour's pygmy goat in a bedroom. He was wearing a bra and female underwear. The goat had at least one stab wound.

Corporal Sean Snuffer says Mr Thompson indicated he had been high and "wasn't in his right mind".

Mr Thompson was held on $50,000 bond yesterday at the South Central Regional Jail. Jail records didn't indicate whether he had a lawyer and no listed phone number was available.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden is dead

Breaking news today is that Osama Bin Laden is dead.

This is GOOD news. Although I would have liked to see him stand trial.

However, unfortunately I don't think this will make the world a safer place.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Range Report and Newbies (Twofer)

Well I went up to shoot a match on Saturday. It's my first weekend shoot in I-don't-know-how-long and I was pretty nervous.

Due to hubby running late I got there EXACTLY on time. Everyone had just broken up into squads and headed onto the stages. With the help of Shooting Buddy, I signed in, grabbed some score sheets and joined a squad.

It was a nice squad, four 'old' club members, three of my 'ex-trainees', Shooting Buddy and myself.

There were four stages set up. The squad had finished the 'walk-through' on the first stage before I joined them, so luckily I was shooting second last and had plenty of time to get an idea of the layout before I had to shoot.

The stage went well. I didn't have a 'good' grip on the gun but even so managed 1 Alpha, 1 Charlie on pretty much all the targets.

By the second stage I was feeling more settled. Also a good shoot. Had a better grip this time and got mostly As. I was reasonable slow though :( Seriously out of practice.

There wasn't anything stunning about stage 2 and 3, but on four I couldn't get the first round to chamber when I loaded.

I tried both type of mags I carry (Chip McCormick 38mags & the standard Springfield mags). So I asked the RO if I could shoot later and went to an adjacent range to see if I could figure out what was wrong.

Turned out to be a projy stuck in the barrel?!? Checking my rounds I discovered that for some reason they didn't seem to be crimped and when I unloaded at the previous stage the projy must have stuck.

I asked one of the other shooters for a rod and removed the projy. I managed to shoot the stage without further issue - listening very carefully for any squib loads. I will have to check my press to see what has gone wrong and recrimp the rest of the rounds.

It was fun to shoot with the weekend squads again. Will have to try and get there more often.


After the shoot two gals that I chat to on gbc came up for a shoot. They have had some but not a lot of exposure to firearms.

We started with my Ruger 22/45, moved onto the Glock 9mm and my 9mm Springfield. They really seemed to enjoy themselves - here are the pics: