British mysteries/comedies

November 16th, 2014

One of my frequent indulgences is British mystery shows and the occasional period soap opera or comedy.

The OAM will put up with most of the  mysteries and likes quite a few of them. His tolerance for the soaps is almost nonexistent and the comedies have to be pretty good for him to put up with more than a few episodes in a row.

We’ve been watching Thorne lately. More like movies than tv shows, the first one, Thorne: Sleepyhead is 3 hours long but originally shown in 3 parts, so I guess a mini-series. Watching the second one, Thorne: Scaredycat, tonight. Both have actors I like. Very standardly British murder mysteries but solid stories and decently done. It would appear that there are only the 2 episodes and they are based on a series of books. Which is good – means I have another book series to pick up after I work my way through the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford books. Those are satisfying my taste for murder mysteries and WWI (along with immediate aftermath) time period. Sure, they all get formulaic after a while, but…

Also watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Fashionable lady detective in Australia in the 20s. I don’t especially feel the need to read these at this point but maybe in the future. Essie Davis is just beautiful. Of course, eventually the character becomes predictable in her outrageous society shocking-ness, but so far I don’t find that to be a downside.

Started The Vicar of Dibley as well. I like most of Dawn French’s work and the show has a couple of pretty funny characters. Female vicar arrives to shake up small English village.

Another series that I have watched through all the episodes on Netflix currently is Rosemary & Thyme.  A duo of middle-aged-or-just-past gardening detectives. Felicity Kendal was apparently known for cute roles in her younger day and I can certainly still see it. The addition of gardening to the mix adds interest for me – although I have no patience or talent for it.

Although I watched it quite awhile back, The Bletchley Circle was good. Mystery set after WWII in England. Group of women who worked in a codebreaking center during the war team up to solve a series of killings.

I also found The Land Girls enjoyable (only seen season 1 so far). Follows a group of women working the land during WWII to do their bit for the effort.

The Paradise was quite enjoyable as well (at least through the end of season 1, haven’t seen 2 yet). Shopgirl with bigger dreams working in one of the first department stores. Emun Elliot is a tasty bit of eye candy. :)

I couldn’t get into The Grand enough to watch after they switched actors for some characters I liked midway through the first season.

Gonna be on my own for tomorrow evening since the OAM is out of town on business. Maybe I’ll invite Mom up for dinner or maybe I’ll eat tacos and grab the latest season of Downton Abbey.


Well, I can see where my holes are in my exposure to the US…

November 9th, 2014


Via Dustbury comes this nifty little site that generates a map of where you’ve traveled. There is a guide on the site for how to fill in with what colors, but below is how I interpreted it:

Red = passed through, not spent much time in, seen a few sights

Amber = seen sights, taken photos, spent at least one night

Blue = spent a good piece of time in, seen quite a bit of

Green = Know quite well, spent a lot of time in, traveled extensively in

Maryland & Virginia only appear on this map due to my trip to DC.

This makes me feel better about owing something from Government Motors

November 7th, 2014

GM is donating leftover Corvette adhesive to create artificial stalactites in bat caves to help stop the spread of white nose syndrome.

Artificial stalactites give hibernating bats more surface area from which to hang, thus spreading them out around the cave. Creation of the stalactite is simple; robots that apply a structural adhesive that helps join Corvette body parts are purged regularly to keep the adhesive applicator clean and free of dried material. This dried gunk is the perfect shape for a stalactite, and its use in artificial bat caves avoids sending it to landfills.

Like almost everyone, my sense of outrage can be mollified when a pet cause of my own is involved. :)

Hah. I just noticed I left out the “n” in “owning” in the title. It won’t let me strike it through, which I think would be funnier.



The new addition to the family

November 6th, 2014



The proud papa with his new delivery

The proud papa with his new delivery (astonishingly, he didn’t even try to flip me off while I was taking the photo)

The OAM decided that it was time to get himself a toy to makeup for constant work phone calls, texts and the 50-70 hour weeks over the last several years. Works for me because 1) the garage got cleaned out and 2) the renewed interest in cars means that the paperweight Camaro is finally being fixed! The new Corvette is a pretty thing, I’ll give it that. Really a marvel of technology all in all. And totally terrifying to drive. It takes way too little time to be going way too fast. It honestly is a race car masquerading as a regular car.

And it makes little electronic noises even after you turn it off. Like way after it’s been turned off. The first night we were trying to figure out why the interior reading lamps were not going off after the car was off. Sitting in it, power off, reading the manual. All of a sudden the center screen came on. No display, just grey. Then the screen in front of the driver came on. Also just grey. Center screen fades off, driver screen still on. Not reassuring. After figuring out from the manual that there is an auto shut off at 10 minutes to save the battery, I gave up and went inside.

It may kill us in our sleep some night.

So there is an inaugural road trip through the southwest coming up after Thanksgiving. Breaking in the Camaro was one of the reasons for the first road trip we ever took together. It was the first vacation we ever took together in fact. We set out for New Orleans and ended up at the Grand Canyon. Wrong turn in Arkansas… I’m hoping for no early ice in Oklahoma since we will be either leaving through it or coming back through it. If bad weather happens, it may be an extended trip…



Election Day

November 4th, 2014

Yes, day as in singular. Not Election Week or Election Month. Day. Get your ass to the polls today or go to the hassle of getting an advance ballot. But this advance voting week(s) crap bugs me no end. Not only do you not have to show the same identification you have to show to cash a check but you don’t even have to be bothered to show up on the day of the election. Anyway…



Wild Rice Chicken Salad

November 3rd, 2014

2 cups smoked rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 cup cooked, cooled wild rice
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 can diced water chestnuts, drained

Mix all together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I didn’t add any salt or pepper. You could always cook your own chicken. I am finding that when the grocery stores have their rotisserie chickens on sale, it works well for me to buy a couple, chop them up and freeze them to have on hand for chicken salad. Part of what makes this recipe so tasty is the smoked factor but obviously it could be made with any kind of seasoned chicken. For a crunchier salad, add some almonds or celery. Or a get a crunchier and sweeter salad by adding chopped carrots.

It is a chunky salad, so it works well served over lettuce. Not as well on crackers but decent on croissants or bread.


So, should I sign up for her “tweets” so I know where she is going to be traveling?

October 31st, 2014

I am obviously not a doctor. I know diddly about Ebola. At least I know diddly about it that I can say for sure is a fact. I blame that largely on the politicization of the issue which has meant that actual reporting has been pretty thin on substance. Panic, don’t panic, ride the bus, don’t ride the bus, 21 days for symptoms, at 40 days you can still be infected, it lives for 2 hours outside of the body, it lives for much longer outside the body…

But what I am pretty sure of is that a judge has no business dispensing medical advice. (an autoplay video eventually started up when I left the tab open to this site, just a heads-up)

District Court Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere rejected a court order drawn up by Maine health officials that would have required nurse Kaci Hickox to avoid public places and keep a three-foot buffer with other people until Nov. 10, when a 21-day incubation period for the virus will end.

LaVerdiere said Hickox should continue self-monitoring for Ebola symptoms.

I understand the objection to setting health or public policy based on fear and knee-jerk reaction. But I am very unconvinced that the CDC or any “authorities” really know what they are doing or that anyone truly knows what is the best course of action to take. It may well be that I am wrong. I am not privy to insider information. All I know is that their public statements and how they have been reported don’t lend any confidence to their abilities.

And – if a 21 day quarantine is what has been determined at this point to be the best for public safety – this woman should be publicly shunned. She should be made to feel ashamed. Everywhere she goes people should just quietly leave a 3 foot distance around her. Her actions at this point don’t convince me she is in any position to self-monitor. Her apparent selfishness and disregard of the rest of her fellows doesn’t persuade me she has anyone’s best interests in mind other than her own. Which is a shame. I applaud her for going to Africa in the first place knowing what she was facing. And that is the crux of it – knowing what she was facing. She knew when she went what the possible outcome could be. Bitching later about how she feels treated like a criminal is just pathetic.

There is also a Nobel Prize winning doctor in medicine & physiology on record saying that a 21 day quarantine is a good thing.

“It may not be absolutely true that those without symptoms can’t transmit the disease, because we don’t have the numbers to back that up,” said Beutler, “It could be people develop significant viremia [where viruses enter the bloodstream and gain access to the rest of the body], and become able to transmit the disease before they have a fever, even. People may have said that without symptoms you can’t transmit Ebola. I’m not sure about that being 100 percent true. There’s a lot of variation with viruses.”

In fact, in a study published online in late September by the New England Journal of Medicine and backed by the World Health Organization, 3,343 confirmed and 667 probable cases of Ebola were analyzed, and nearly 13 percent of the time, those infected with Ebola exhibited no fever at all.

But that’s okay. I’m sure Ms. Hickox knows best.

When male strippers have more conscience than our medical professionals we are in sad hands.



Another reason Uber needs to be in every city

October 29th, 2014

They deliver kittens.

Kitten delivery.

That. Is. Awesome.

Beset by a large carnivore…

October 20th, 2014

Or more likely omnivore. This is probably a raccoon leave behind. But it was unsettling as hell to find a freakin’ 6 inch long bone in a hanging planter when I brought it in for the season last night.

That is a business card on the right for size comparison.

That is a business card on the right for size comparison.

Dear lawd. It better not be a spider.

At last, a post

October 19th, 2014

And it’s a food post. So, not really a post. But it was good and it was easy so I thought I’d share.

pumpkin pecan dump cake 002

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 can (15 ounces) canned solid pack pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 yellow cake mix
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350F. Whisk first 7 ingredients together. Pour into greased 9×13 inch pan. Lightly sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin layer. Slice butter into 1/8 inch thick pats and place gently on top of cake mix, covering as much area as possible. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 1 hour till mostly firm throughout but not until cake is brown on the edges. Let cool at least 30 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or chill and serve cold or room temperature like pumpkin pie.

If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and cloves. Or just use a lot of cinnamon and whatever else you have on hand of the others to make up 2 teaspoons. I don’t often use pumpkin pie spice since I share a lot of food with my Mom and she is allergic to ginger.


Seattle trip!

October 12th, 2014

IMG_3830Seattle travel blog is up!

good spam

October 9th, 2014

This one made me laugh:

You need targeted traffic to your ravening-gragask-demon.

Why, yes, he is much easier to feed with targeted traffic rather than with the random passerby.

I’m sorry you live somewhere you actually like…

October 8th, 2014

I’m working on a Seattle travel post but I just wanted to vent/bitch a little bit here since some of those involved might read the travel blog but won’t be stopping by here. I went to Seattle for the Northwest Tea Festival this past weekend. The organizers had generously agreed to meet with me and share some insider info about how to set up and run something of this scope. While we were chatting, one of them said, “So, you are having your festival where you live? Where is that?” I replied, “Kansas City.” To which their response was, “Oh, I’m sorry.”


Really? There was nothing apologetic in my tone. Nothing that might have led my listener to deduce that I wished I lived somewhere else. If there had been, I’d have understood a commiserating “Oh, I’m sorry,” with that small I-know-what-you-mean chuckle.

I do it, too – make judgements about cities to which I’ve never been. But I hope I’ve never been so rude as to diss them to the face of someone who lives there and who wasn’t inviting criticism.


Since the internet is all about cats, here is my Tumblr style reposting of other peoples’ cat stuff.

September 30th, 2014
True? Unlikely, but hilarious to think about.

True? Unlikely, but hilarious to think about.

I hate when this happens.

I hate when this happens.

Life. It's the same for everyone.

Life. It’s the same for everyone.

Cool art

September 25th, 2014




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