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[personal profile] juli  and I just got back from one of our biannual trips to Cambridge for her schooling, and I am having trouble readjusting to ordinary wash-the-dishes life. Also, one of the goats seriously injured herself yesterday, and while she's now totally fine and harassing the sheep as usual, I keep having flashbacks to the overwhelming image of holding a struggling goat with blood matted in her fur at inopportune times, such as while trying to eat.

Time for happy distractions. Suggest to me a subject for a Tiny Papercutting!

Tiny Papercuttings will be made out of 3x5 index cards (8ish by 12ish cm), and I'll post a reasonably sized photo, and also a dreamwidth-icon-sized image, like the icon I'm using for this post.


Jun. 7th, 2014 11:52 am
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Tonight we are leaving for Boston, where we will be a couple weeks. If you would like a postcard from Boston, please leave your address and your favorite species of nudibranch, if any.

Comments are screened.

No, I don't already have your address, even if in any sort of sensible universe I would, such as if I lived with you for four years and you haven't changed your address since then. Not to pick a totally true example or anything.


Jun. 5th, 2014 06:57 pm
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Yesterday [personal profile] juli  took me (and some friends) to dinner at a Korean restaurant, where she had called ahead and persuaded them to make dotorimuk just for me. Dotorimuk is jello-like stuff made from acorn starch. It is served with chrysanthemum leaves, shredded bell peppers, sesame oil, and a sauce made out of hot pepper, honey, garlic, and soy sauce. The acorns are earthy and slightly sweet. I had only had simplified dotorimuk preparations in the past, and I was blown away by the real thing. I am reasonably sure it is The Most Delicious Thing.  

I did not think to take a picture of the dotorimuk, because I was too busy PUT IT IN MY MOUTH, so I'm shamelessly stealing a picture from this website:

picture of Korean acorn jelly dish

I really admire [personal profile] juli 's ability to talk to the chefs at a restaurant and get them to make something that isn't on the menu. That seems almost supernatural to me: she's doing something outside the rules that govern the world as I understand it.


May. 9th, 2014 11:10 pm
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Still enjoying cutting holes in things, and now I have proper black and white paper. Crow inspired by a woodcut of Holly Meade's, not the least bit original.
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Last week I posted a goofy image of Tesseract the Goat and one of [personal profile] juli 's idea, Tess is always curious about anything she seems humans handling or doing. She's pretty sure she's people and doesn't understand why we make her live with all these weird goats and sheep.)

So far the photo has:
  • received 6885 likes or reblogs on tumblr, in large part from people with disturbingly obscene usernames
  • shown up on twitter where [personal profile] tim  saw it posted by someone who doesn't know [personal profile] juli  or I.
  • migrated to reddit at least once
  • and become an ... um ... interesting youtube video I can't honestly recommend but am listing for completeness.
Tesseract is mildly famous! Internet: still pretty weird. Neat, but weird.
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[personal profile] juli requested I post this recipe, which was thrown together so she could have oreoish cookies despite the fact that she is allergic to about 80% of all puny human foods. There's not much going on in these, flavorwise, so a good cocoa powder is important.
  • .75 cup mesquite flour
  • .375 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons stevia powder (equivalent to a little over half a cup of sugar)
  • .125 teaspoons salt
  • .25 teaspoons baking powder
  • .125 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir together the dry ingredients (mesquite, cocoa powder, stevia, salt, baking powder, nutmeg). Cut the butter into pieces and rub it into the powder, like you're making a pie crust or biscuits, until the mixture is in little sand-sized crumbs, and you can pick up a handful and squeeze to stick them together. A pastry cutter would be great for that step, but we didn't have one, so I cleverly decided not to use it. Mix the yogurt, water, and vanilla together separately, then stir into the crumb mixture until the whole thing mostly holds together. 

Dump the dough onto aluminum foil and shape into a cylinder about 20 centimeters long. Wrap up in the foil and stick in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the cylinder into half-centimeter thick slices, lay the slices on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. After cooling, they are dry and crumbly, much like oreos, though with an oddly complicated taste - the mesquite flour tastes like cinnamon and fava beans, or something.

Modified from this recipe.
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 It is my great pleasure to inform you all that a reporter at the Wall Street Journal called [personal profile] juli "impetuous" today. :D 

index card

Feb. 26th, 2014 09:13 pm
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Today for no particular reason I cut a bunch of holes in a 3x5 card and ended up with a not-terribly-accurate version of Russian archeologist Elena Shumakova's reconstruction of a reindeer tattoo found on a 2500 year old Pazyryk woman whose body was preserved in permafrost in the Altai Mountains.

(Archeologists are divided about what the decorations on the reindeer's antlers are - either flowers or eagle heads.)

That was fun. I would like to do it again.
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Today, for no particular reason, I cut a bunch of holes in a 3x5 index card. That was fun. I think I would like to do it again.
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This is some excellently goofy old news footage about three platypuses, Betty, Penelope, and Cecil, brought to the Bronx Zoo in 1947. Betty died shortly thereafter, but Cecil and Penelope paired up and had a bunch of whatever passes for sweet lovin' in weird venomous duckbeaver electro-beasts. In 1957, gravid Penelope escaped from her enclosure and was never seen again, and platypuses are no longer seen in American zoos.

All I want out of life (today) is for some urban fantasy set in New York City to feature PLATYPUSES ROAMING THE SEWERS OF NEW YORK CITY. Or wereplatypuses, ghost platypuses, vampire platypuses, whatever; I'm not picky.
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animation of a green aurora being rapidly covered by clouds
We saw a few minutes of aurora last night before the clouds covered it! It was a tough night for auroras - the moon was only two nights past full, and there was heavy ocean-haze, but it was pretty great anyway. :) [personal profile] juli  shot this amazing animation.

metapoll )
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Tonight is a pretty good aurora night! (Kp = 6) We've given up, since it clouded over here, but we did get to see some lovely hazy sky-green before the clouds completely ate it. If you live somewhere North-ish with clear weather, take a look.
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(an odd mushy poem ... story? ... catalog? ... uh, some kind of word thing ... for my beloved. An introvert describes important silences in the relationship. Bad Romantic Poetry Day has arrived a day late this year!)

Seven Silences )
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I'm sure rescuing Gracie the Sheep from being stuck behind the hay feeder was the best possible use of my 2AM.

I don't understand how we ended up with a sheep without a reverse gear, so that she can walk into a dead end and be stuck there roaring all night.


Feb. 7th, 2014 07:02 pm
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rainbow sheen visible in thick ice on top of a muddy pond

Apparently my old friend thin-film interference1 can operate on thin sheets of water trapped inside cracks in thick ice. Neat! I have learned a thing.

In related news, we are suffering a second freeze hard enough to block the well, the livestock are miserable, and we had to break a hole in the ice on the duckpond so some newts who thought it was spring last week and got into the pond to have dirty newt sex and lay eggs all over everything could breathe. :( I want a shower like a black hole wants a passing alpha particle.


(1) Thin film interference is the rainbow colors visible on very thin, transparent objects like soap bubbles, oxide layers on knives, and oil slicks. It is caused by lightwaves reflecting from the front of the object and the back of the object interfering with each other.
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Today I ran into someone wondering why Chinese speakers who learn English use the 'incorrect' contraction "there're" for "there are." I am a native English speaker, and I say "there're" too; it rhymes with "terror". This calls for a Very Unscientific Internet Poll!

Poll #14751 There're
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 12

Do you use "there're" as a contraction for "there are"? Such as "There're ten books on that shelf."

View Answers

No, and I would consider it incorrect English.
0 (0.0%)

Not personally, but if someone said it around me, I wouldn't blink.
5 (41.7%)

Yes, in spoken but not written English.
3 (25.0%)

Yes, in both spoken and written English.
4 (33.3%)

If you don't use "there're", do you use a different contraction?

View Answers

I would say "There's ten books on that shelf."
3 (37.5%)

I would say, "There're ten books on that shelf."
3 (37.5%)

I would say, "There are ten books on that shelf," and use no contraction at all.
2 (25.0%)

Approximately what dialect of English do you speak?


Dec. 3rd, 2013 02:30 pm
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 Took the feral kittens off to the spay/neuter clinic today, we finally found one in another county.

The spay/neuter clinic is across from the infamous and utterly terrifying $1 CHINESE FOOD sign. The sign was not actually associated with any establishment that I could see. I will know the hour of my death is near if that sign starts following me around, peering at me over rooftops and the slopes of mountains. Also that I will not enjoy my afterlife assignment much.

Here is the entire reason for this post: the clinic had a giant banner hanging up to advertise their special $10 holiday rate for neutering male cats, dogs, and rabbits. It said.... wait for it .....


Now you have suffered as I have suffered. :)

The feral kittens needed names for record-keeping purposes. I said we hadn't named them and suggested "Feral #1", "Feral #2", et cetera. The intake technician had a moral objection to that, and started naming them after the Beatles (the fluffy mellow white one was Ringo). For some reason, while I was perfectly happy for them to be "Feral #4" I didn't like the Beatles idea.

So now, at least on paper, they are multi-fandom wizard kitties. The sweet fluffy white one is Gandalf, the evil grey demon-kitty (who bit my thumbnail so hard this morning that blood is pooling underneath it, is that even a possible thing?) is now Voldemort, the shy grey runt is Dumbledore, and the grey kitten of no particular personality is Sauron, but I should have written down Radagast, The Wizard-Kitty Not Even Appearing In This Book. I don't think they'll be able to tell the grey kittens apart once they are sedated (and not trying to Bite The World And Every Good Thing That Is In It) anyway.

I am going to experiment with more frequent inane posts. Tremble before me!

Also, I don't think I've ever recommended a fanfic before, but I grow bored with all my existing depravities and wish to commit a new one. You should read this awesome fanfic about Anthony Bourdain In Narnia if you are familiar with the source materials; the writer very convincingly apes Bourdain's voice. Marsh-wiggle cuisine! Metaphors involving lines of coke! You need nothing more from fanfic: read it and sin no more.

I’m crammed into a burrow so small that my knees are up around my ears and the boom mike keeps slamming into my head, inhaling the potent scent of toffee-apple brandy and trying to drink a talking mouse under the table. But is it really the boom mike that’s making my head pound? I know for sure that my camera man doesn’t usually have two heads. I have to face facts. The mouse is winning.


Nov. 29th, 2013 10:34 am
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[personal profile] juli  and I went nuts with the American Thanksgiving menu this year. Planning and cooking a gajillion things with my beloved was actually more fun than eating them (though that was good too.)

menu )

Awesome waterfall-shaped mushroom spotted on the traditional post-prandial hike. (Well, traditional in my family).

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Hooray, we have finally trapped all threefour feral kittens living under the house!

Or possibly three feral kittens and one evil demon-possessed hellbeast, most likely some sort of octopus in a kitten suit, entirely boneless except for claws and teeth.


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