Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

saw bucks

a couple of campings ago i decided that the whole getting firewood thing would go better for me if i had a saw, so i decided to go buy a svensaw. i will tell you later how i like it.

this here story is about my experience purchasing it.

i'm not telling you what store it was because i have shopped with this store often and i have mostly gotten good service and sometimes even EXCELLENT service, so while i want to tell you of this one horrible terrible visit it is not at all representative of my experiences with this store.

i walked into the store and went directly to the back where they keep the locked case of knives and saws.

i waited a long time for anyone to notice me standing there. a LONG time. and then the salesperson told me she would be with me in a few minutes while she continued to wait attentively on a man who could not make up his mind between two pairs of socks. because of course he is the sort of man who demands attention while he stands and thinks about socks.

at last she comes up and asks me if she can help me.

"i need a svensaw"
"they're in this case."
"i know."

and she stood there for a moment before asking me if i wanted to see anything in the case.

i told her i had come to buy a svensaw. she asked me if i would like her to take it out of the case.

"yes, please."

and she went to ask another employee how to do that. then she came back to tell me she needed to go find the key. then she went back to ask the first employee where the key was. after some conferencing, she found a key and figured out how to open the case.

"would you like to see anything in particular?"
"i need to buy a svensaw."

she looked around in the bins in the drawer. she did not find a svensaw.

"i can't find any"
"there's one in the case."
"it's the display."
"can i buy it?"

she has to ask someone else about this. another employee comes over and they search the bins again for another svensaw. which isn't there.

but seriously? there's no point in keeping a thing that is out of stock on display. when a new shipment comes in, they can put one out on display so people can buy svensaws again.

they decide that i can, in fact, purchase the item i came to the store to buy.

and now the hard part begins.

because the saw in display is fully assembled, and one of the reasons you buy a svensaw is that it folds up, blade retracted, and is safe to pack. i ask if there are directions anywhere and if anyone can show me what it's supposed to look like folded up, because i've never seen one up close. the salespeople fiddle with it for a few moments before calling a third employee at the counter to ask if he know how to do this.

he says to bring it up.

so i bring the half-disassembled svensaw to him and explain the problem for him and after a few minutes he has it FULLY ASSEMBLED and hands it to me with a look that says "see, that wasn't so hard."

and i say "yes. i know how to put it together. it was together when we started. the part i asked about was how to fold it for packing, because i'm pretty sure the blade goes inside the bar somewhere for safety."

and he fiddles with it for a moment and says "i don't know how to do that." he says this kind of pouty-like, as if it is somehow my fault for asking the unreasonable and he sort of tosses the saw down on the counter as if we are now done with this conversation.

"um, can i buy it, please?"

i do not know why everyone in this store has a basic incomprehension of the simple underlying motive of my entire visit to the store. i want to buy a svensaw. i want it today, so i can use it tomorrow.

anyway, i was permitted to buy it.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015


ok, it's still a hodgepodge of stuff over here at the blog. we got stuff from the camping trip, stuff from christmas, and -i'm sure you figured out yesterday- occasional bits of fiction. and rants!

anyway, so i was at my mom's house for christmas and she and some of her friends had seen this house on one of their drives around to look at christmas lights. apparently this house is so popular that a local child went ahead and put up a lemonade stand and before christmas, you couldn't find parking.

in case you are wondering, the rest of the street has either quiet displays or none at all.

kind of fantastic.

Monday, December 28, 2015


the mother-in-law was a problem.

decades had taught nan that "just drop your coat anywhere" meant "it goes in a very specific location in the hall closet, unnamed, and which you are unqualified to properly find and use." nan had quit smoking fifteen years ago, but still sudie made a display of bringing out an ashtray, a test and a reminder of the offensive habit, and the day when nan had foolishly understood "please smoke if you'd like" to mean it was ok to smoke and not a declaration that a person who would bring such a filthy habit into her home was beneath contempt.

"come any time after two" meant, of course, that there was a secret time, say, three-seventeen before which sudie would still be dressing, and nan and alan would be expected to wait to be received properly, and after which sudie would state explicitly that everything was now spoiled because the intended scheduling of the kitchen tasks was now invalid.

some of sudie's games were more fun than others. sudie liked to test nan by moving small bits of furniture and nan didn't mind remarking on which thing was different each time. nan minded when this was done overnight, in the dark.

a game nan liked less was "let's reminisce about family events from the distant past." this game wasn't so bad when bill and mitchell were there, because when you're sitting around a table with a lot of people showing old photos it seems kind of fun, even if you are clearly an outsider, but when only sudie and alan were playing, nan had no buffer.

it was also unacceptable for nan to read a book, or to wander away from the endless stories that almost seemed designed to demarcate the line between "family" and "outsider".

sweet, gentle alan. if his quiet ways and left-leaning politics were a disappointment to sudie, she did not let on. she reserved her polite disapproval for nan, who was not conservative enough, not modest enough, and did not wear ladylike underthings.

this last thing she mentioned quietly to alan over lunch in a way that suggested it pained her very soul to have to speak about such unmentionable unmentionables and that perhaps alan might quietly correct nan on the matter of proper dress.

this, of course, was the epicenter of the mother-in-law problem.

what made holidays with sudie so horrifying for nan was that beyond the usual discomforts of being with sudie and the additional discomforts of an overnight stay there was the awkward, painful knowledge that at some point in the visit, sudie would have gone through all of nan's bags.

the first time it happened, nan chalked it up to a weird accident, as if a person might legitimately for some reason have searched a houseguest's luggage out of courtesy or necessity.

on subsequent visits when nan tried to suggest that perhaps a gift of a half dozen pairs of fresh white socks might be simply handed over and not packed into the bottom of another person's overnight bag, sudie hinted darkly that nan was not appropriately grateful for these simple gestures of caring.

of course.

nan tried to be fair with alan when she considered whether it was advisable or even possible to oppose sudie on whether these searches were an invasion of privacy or whether they were an obligation under the laws of hospitality.

it was with a smile that nan admired the brand new, bright blue strapless double sided dildo that she held in her hand. it had a lovely substantial heft to it, and a pleasing shape that left little to the imagination, even when wrapped in an old t-shirt alongside a bottle of very nice organic hypoallergenic lube.

nan tried to imagine what sudie would look like as she tried to figure out what to do next. she would want to go to alan and tell him of the unspeakable things she had found in nan's bag and maybe even be halfway through her rant before she would realize that there really is only one reason a married couple might be traveling with such a thing on an overnight stay.

nan thought how hilariously crumpled sudie's face might look as she gradually came to realize who was necessarily going to be on the other end of the blue horror. it was pleasing to think about, that time after the discovery of it in which they would all be under one roof, sudie positively fuming, but being unable to bring the thing up with either alan or nan.

nan dropped the rolled package in the bottom of her bag and placed over it the red lacy bra and panties and a few pairs of clean white socks.

she zipped it up and went to meet alan at the car.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

how it went

so my mom went to albany to be with the misses kay and ajax and then came home and made the HUGE TURKEY DINNER.

wow. all told, there were twelve of us at table, and everything was delicious and -get-this- i got sent home with the majority of the leftovers. i just happened to have had brought a big honkin' chest cooler with me, so i was all set for bringing the food home.

why, yes, the chest cooler was a perfectly normal thing to have brought, because some of the gifts i came in the door with were frozen. about a chest cooler's worth of them to be accurate. 

so i just HAPPENED to have had an empty chest cooler in which to bring back the leftovers.

i'm gonna make me some casseroles.

yeah, BABY!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

bring a torch

come into my parlor

just for the record, it was a white pine that fell down on the site even though over a period of two weeks i kept calling it a red pine. i know the difference. i have no excuse.

anyway, when you go camping in the summer months or even the early fall, much less of your day goes to the work of keeping you warm and sheltered and fed. the part about fed takes more time in the cold weather, too, because you have to be more disciplined about it in the cold weather to manage your body heat and while you might just graze through your foodbag on warm days, on the cold days you have to plan ahead and make sure you have something heating so you can eat regular.

i spent a lot of time cutting wood on this site, which was, i think i mentioned, one of the reasons for being on this site.

here's a video of me in my sawing parlor.

Friday, December 25, 2015

daily download: joy to the world


before thanksgiving, my mom asked us (the grown-up children) if we would mind if she did not make a turkey for thanksgiving since she was going to make one for christmas and that was totally good with us.

first, mom doesn't owe us a turkey dinner.

it's one of my favorite things about the whole year, but it's not owed me. and the only reason i was sad about it was that i wasn't getting to spend thanksgiving with MB, so camping. there are a lot of things you can ignore by camping.

but there may or may not be a turkey for christmas, because miss k is pretty far into her alzheimer's and it's hard for miss a and my parents want to go and be with them if miss a wants, because that's what you do for people you love, even if it means driving to albany and back christmas eve.

so it's not really a matter of whether i mind or not.

i will be very sad not to get the big loud festive turkey dinner that i love so much. very, very sad. but if you pile up my sadness at missing dinner next to the sadness of miss a and how difficult and lonely things can be with miss k whom she loves and who is mostly gone, it seems way more important for my folks to go be with the misses a and k.

we'll still be all together for christmas, and we will still have presents and games and laughing, and there will probably be guests at our table -some of whom are strangers-  but it will not, probably, be mom's turkey.

it doesn't matter, really.

whatever we're having will be delicious.

so from our merry band of mostly atheists, happy midwinter gift giving light festival of your choice.

eat, laugh, be well.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

favor johnson

most of you guys are not from here, so you probably do not count it christmas tradition to listen to the story of favor johnson.

you should, though.

daily download

you know, in case anybody hasn't seen them.


this one's kind of self-explanatory.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

messing about

on the warmest day (how lucky is that?) my friend barb came out and she brought with her the young man.

the convenient thing about that is the boat landing isn't too far from barb's house, and it is in fact on the way home from the grocery store. the less convenient thing is that we have to put him in a boat to bring him to the campsite, and i have all the extra boats on my side.

still, not really a problem. i paddle over with a boat in tow and we put him in my kayak, which is a keowee. aquaterra doesn't make it anymore, but good luck buying one secondhand because people who have them don't get rid of them often.

a keowee is a short fat little boat. its good points are that it is stable, easy to get in and out of, and steers easily.

of course, all these things mean it doesn't track, but if you're putting a child in a boat for the first time, it's probably best to put him in a stable boat.

so we take a moment or two to explain to him about how it will feel weird and tippy, but that if he stays in the seat it will not tip over, and we explain to him a little about how paddling works and we let him have at it. it's a short paddle over to the campsite (about 300 paddle strokes by my count) and he does pretty well, even though the boat is too big and the paddle too long.

the boy's grandmother feels very strongly that he should get more of the type of play that we enjoyed as children: unstructured and outside.

so he climbed some trees. he played with tools. he played with fire. he played with rope. outside of the safety rules and some advice when asked, we left him to his own devices.

then for the paddle back, we put him under tow because we were going against a little wind and also boy might get tired. mostly he paddled on his own, but under tow is a pretty good way for a kid to learn.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

flask's protips: hangers

for me, places to hang stuff at camp are never in great enough supply, especially in moist weather, when you can't just drape things on your drying lines.

but you want to hang your headlamps where you can find them, ya? and your rain jacket? and your map bag? and a bazillionty other things you don't want to leave on the ground and you have limited table space?

yeah, you need hooks.

well, my friends. you tie a lark's head in a bungee cord on your ridgeline and you have hooks. slidey enough to reposition, but grippy enough to stay where you want them.

Monday, December 21, 2015

happy solstice, everybody.

tomorrow the days will begin to get longer.

may the light also grow within you.

slushie time.

a couple nights it was cold enough for all my water to freeze. some of those nights my water froze IN MY TENT, where it was (comparatively) warm.

it didn't have to happen more than once or twice before i decided it would be best to pour out the morning tea water into the pan and let it freeze there. it takes a little more fuel to heat your tea water from a block of ice, but there's a time savings of a couple of hours, which seems rather important when the thing you are waiting for is to put hot tea and hot oatmeal into you.

some nights it was warm enough that i knew my water wouldn't freeze solid overnight so i didn't pour it out, but in the morning when i poured it into the pan i got instant slushie.

fun times.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

so, yay?

when i am about to poop, i like to alert MB so she can cheer and encourage me.

maybe we should back up.

this, more or less, is a conversation we had on the day i was packing up from thanksgiving camp:

me: i had been hoping to have made my last trip up outhouse mountain.

MB: not yet, huh? at least later you'll be home to shit at leisure.

me: it doesn't seem like such an accomplishment at home. it's like leaving the gifted class.

MB: haha! i will cheer you on just as much.

me: you're going to regret you said that.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

industrial spooling accident

ok, for a lot of reasons, i invested in a big spool of 550 paracord. you can do a lot of things with this stuff, from stringing up REALLY STRONG ridgelines for your camp to making cute little holders and things, and i got it into my head that later this year i want to make myself a hammock because THAT would be lovely for reading in by the waterside.

you need a lot of cord for it, and you potentially need a lot of cord for the other projects you may make while you're practicing how to work with paracord. a 50 foot hank is five dollars, and a 1000 foot spool is about forty dollars. you do the math.

the thing about a spool, though, is that it's designed for you to be able to roll the cord off of it easily from the outside.

but when in an unfortunate accident the end comes off a spool and you now have unrolled cord from and end, you are basically screwed.

you're in for a lot of hours detangling. you just are.

Friday, December 18, 2015

come, o come emmanuel

ok, kids.

as usual, here's some christmas music. i have nothing new, but you know. sometimes i get new visitors who haven't seen them.

so. downloadable until 6 january.

happy midwinter gift-giving light festival of your choice.

just one? seriously?

so during the bug-out i went to a grocery store.

i thought maybe i would slide along to the part of the grocery store where they have cooked meals prepackaged and maybe get me some lazy food.

and they had this turkey dinner. i kid you not.

ONE green bean, like a garnish. what's the point?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

bugging out

in the middle of my thanksgiving camping extravaganza i needed to come in at least once to check the mail, go to the library, and run a half dozen little errands, and what the heck- maybe have a hot shower and put on clean clothes, maybe do a little laundry.

so i had a little look at the extended weather forecast, because if you're going to come out, you may as well come out on a day the forecast doesn't look so good.

wednesday. forecast of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow all day. good day to wake up in the early am, put on a lifejacket, and paddleskedaddle right out of there for a number of hours.

but then i was huddled by my fire tuesday afternoon with rain, sleet, and freezing rain coming down and i texted a friend to ask about my forecast. nothing about it was good. no break in the misery. and it's not so bad to just hunker down in a storm while camping. it can be lovely.

but hunkering down and then waking up early and having to manage the chores of getting up AND leaving camp without the benefit of having made a fire (because who wastes firewood and firestarter and time like that?) seemed like too much of a slog, and it was still early enough in the afternoon that i could get home before dark (really i only needed to leave camp before dark, but hey.) so i packed a big dry bag with the things that needed to go home, my overnight stuff, grabbed my paddle and jacket, and i bugged out.

at home i had my shower, ate hot food, and watched the storm from inside, knowing i could start from here to do my wednesday erranding and truly, i'd looked at the revised weather report and there seemed to be no reason to return to camp wednesday at all because the nasty wasn't going to lift until thursday morning.

ok, fine.

i'm not that comfortable leaving all my gear on a campsite for that long, but the only real access is by boat, and WHO WOULD BE OUT CRUISING in that weather?

so yeah, the only significant risk would be if the wind came up and my tiedowns failed. once again. weather forecast. i love that thing. wind supposed to be little or none until thursday afternoon.

so fine. warm and dry until thursday if i want. return around noon on thursday and check camp. if all well, continue camping. if camp damaged, pack up partly, go home. come out again on nice day to get rest of stuff.

good plan.

when i arrived thursday not a line was out of place. there was some moisture in the tent where the fly (old, old tent) had become waterlogged, but none of the water had leaked through to my sleeping gear.

friday was fine and dry and i put up lines and aired out all the bedding and took the fly off the tent and let everything dry.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

mainsail and jib

on wednesday when i arrived at camp i got immediately to putting up my main tarp shelter, the one that keeps the rain off, the one where i can stand up easily and tend to whatever business i'm doing with my gear. on the designated sites you often don't have so much of f choice about where you put your shelters; the fire can only be made in the firepit and you can only tie up your ridgeline where there are trees.

in summer you care less if your shelters are close to the fire, but cold weather demands you be more disciplined.

i string one ridgeline for that main shelter and put two tarps over it, with over lap at the top so water runs off and not through. when wind comes up, though, that thing becomes a giant kite and you then have to figure how to make ties that hold it up so you can be under it, but hold it DOWN when the wind blows.

after that, i discovered that the warm spot on the site was between the fire and the blowdown, and i decided to string up a second tarp shelter just to reflect heat and serve as a windbreak so i could sit near the fire and be warm.

that first windy morning i felt like i was trimming sails, running line and hauling the tarps in against the wind.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

thanksgiving feast

i told you that i was going to have an old school thanksgiving, in which i arrive by boat and eat in a temporary shelter.

it wasn't indoors grade thanksgiving dinner, but it was lovely just the same.

i bought a cooked turkey breast at the grocery, along with some stove top stuffing (which, it turns out, is quite passably edible in a pinch) and one o' them little cans of cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie. yes, i know, a storeboughten pie, but it's perfectly edible, especially for a pie that one tosses in a duffel and transports to a campsite.

and by the way, when i bought the pie at the grocery, the bag boy put it into my bag SIDEWAYS because apparently there was a piebox-sized hole there, so of course.

well, yes, very efficient, but only in terms of grocery tetris and not so much in terms of seeing the groceries arrive home in the expected condition.

fortunately it was a hardy pie and not much damage was done.

uh, anyway. so i'd made a couple of batches of popovers to bring with me because POPOVERS and early in the day when it still felt casual, getting fed, i paused in the wood chopping to warm up some turkey in the the fire and make a bowl of that stuffing. turns out you can tear open a popover and layer the turkey and stuffing and a little cranberry right in there and make a perfectly delicious sandwich.

one might even eat such a sandwich indoors if one had table grade fixings.

Monday, December 14, 2015

gear review: atlas fit gloves

no, the atlas glove company hasn't paid me to say this.  they don't know i exist.

but i have a lot of gear for various activities, and some of it i put to hard use. if i find gear that's especially good or especially bad or just plain interesting, i think it's worth telling you about.

five or six years ago i bought a pair of these things at a hardware store somewhere in central new york because i'd lost the gloves i LIKED and i needed gloves to protect my hands while i was poking into dark icy nasty crevices to look for geocaches.

once again, they were not the gloves i wanted.

but wow. they were grippy and kept my hands clean and mostly dry and could be worn with liners underneath for additional warmth and they were thin enough to be able to feel around with them.

because the back of the hand is a breathable fabric, they manage to breathe despite being waterproof on the palms and fingertips. and they're light enough to roll up small to stick in your pocket. you can also toss 'em in the washing machine when they're dirty.

i started using them for all my hand protection needs. pulling wooden stakes? splinter proof. i bought a second pair for when the first pair either wore out or to have a clean pair handy.

but that first pair? i've been using them rough for tree climbing and rock scrambling, for paddling and for bushwhacking and all manner of task for which i need hand protection but not a full on leather glove. and they're thin enough for knot tying, so not so many rope burns.

i used that first pair hard, and five or six years later they are only JUST starting to wear out. seriously. and i also wear then for wood carving and they are surprisingly puncture resistant. i'm not saying they're full on carving gloves, but they've saved me from some slices and you'd never know it, looking at the glove.

so yeah. they're good stuff.

i'm going to be buying some more of them because as i said, that first pair is starting to wear out.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

both legs, now.

ou know that expression about not being special and putting your pants on one leg at a time?

yeah, not so much.

i like to but on both legs at once, because symmetry.

it's not hard. lie on your back. position your pants over your feet. slide them in.

there you go. pants both legs at once.

i know i have helped you.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

brand new outhouse!

yeah, yeah, maybe YOU don't get excited about such things. i do.

i arrived on wednesday for my old fashioned thanksgiving and trudged up the hill to the outhouse only to find that IT HAD NEVER BEEN USED so i went off to pee in the woods so i could come up the following day with a camera and document it properly.

so here you have an actual photo shot down the hole of the pristine outhouse. that dark spot in the center is some kind of black fiber, like a construction material of some kind.

but seriously. how often to you get to see a clean and shiny fresh outhouse?

Friday, December 11, 2015

the campings

ok, so at this point i have pictures and videos and stuff and it's just honking pointless for me to try to put this stuff in any kind of sensible order for you people, so i'm just going to post is as it's ready.

by now i am home from my thanksgiving campings.

i stayed for two weeks on site 4, which you can look up on the map if you want.

i chose site 4 very carefully, since at thanksgiving you can pick any campsite you like, because nobody is camping but you, not even on the popular sites.

i wanted to stay somewhere close to a boat launch, because in cold weather things can go very bad very fast and i am still sort of experimentally camping in this way. none of the sites near the moscow launch were suitable because some poor sites to begin with, some are a forty minute paddle from the boat launch, and at that end of the reservoir it gets dark mighty early in the day on account of the placement of the mountains, and many of the sites offer very little protection from the wind.

also you never know when the channel will freeze. and how much would that suck?

yeah, and the sites off the dam boat launch are either poor sites with no outhouse, or a pretty far paddle over the widest and choppiest section of the res, so even though site 7 had good protections from the wind, it was not a top choice.

which really narrow down the practical choices to sites 3, 4, 5, and 6.

4, 5, and 6 are pretty well sheltered from the wind, but a little slopier than i like in a tent site.
. 3 is acceptably sheltered and the prettiest site, but it poses some difficulty for making dry foot landings with the boats, and in november and december you really WANT to be able to make dry foot landings.

only sites 3 and 4 have outhouses. ok, so site 4 it is then.

site 4 is less roomy than a lot of the sites. to compound this closed in effect, it has recently had a large amount of blowdown to the extent that the crew that built the outhouse had to go in with a chainsaw and make a path.

they did not really clear the blowdowns, nor the brushpiles.

this was actually an asset in my eyes.

first, i love to have a project.

second, that is a LOT of free firewood, even if you have to work for it.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


i had MEANT to post a video as the PSA and say i had no excuse for it, but then i left the house to continue camping and somehow forgot to post the video.

i was going to correct the oversight, but decided it was funny just the way it was.

here's the video.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

yeah, enjoy that.

on the most miserable day of my late OCTOBER camping trip, i happened to open up a teabag and read the words thereon.

i immediately consigned it to the fire, and felt much better.

Monday, December 07, 2015

if i seem slow and uncommunicative

...i mean, more than usual-

i am camping. i have been camping since a week ago wednesday and i am only posting through the magic of scheduled posting.

well, actually, i am home right now. today is sunday. LASY sunday. don't bend your brain too much.

anyway, i woke up this morning and realized i needed a charging cord for one of my little appliances, so i put on my paddling gear and went out in the frigid predawn only to realize that the needed cord was AT HOME.

suddenly this is not a problem, because going home to get that cord means an opportunity to shower and put on clean clothes and eat food and fully charge my everythings and consult a detailed long term forecast, which suggests that with the exception of parts of tuesday and wednesday, it's going to be nice out.

so yeah.

december camping is totally a thing.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

alarming advertising trend

d'ya notice WHAT consumer items are being hawked on television ads? which products are shown with ribbons to be given as gifts?

yep. work boots. power tools. mattresses.

what finer way to say "the economy is so screwed that we can't afford these necessities AND gifts, so merry christmas."

and on top of that, according to the commercials, if you don't put yourself into debt (men only) to buy A DIAMOND, you do not love your female partner.

also, "here is some cheap crap you can get your grandkids because you have no idea what they want and this will only use up half of your grocery budget this month."

happy shopping.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

flask's menu planning protips

people are always asking how to cook like flask.

so here are my menu planning protips:

have chewy food
have squishy food
have crunchy food
maybe also have juicy food.

alternately, pick a letter of the alphabet and eat only things beginning with that letter. if you decide to do this as a progressive alphabet exercise, you get a pass on the "d" day, because you can affix the word "delicious" to everything you eat.

Friday, December 04, 2015

haven't mastered it yet

ok, so BACK IN AUGUST i was simmering a pot of shiitake mushrooms in master sauce, which is a thing i do. it is a lovely dark brown sauce and you just keep using it, only you refresh it every time with more broth and more spices and then you strain and freeze it until the next time and it last years, only getting more and more delicious.

only this time i let it go and burned it right down, losing not just the mushrooms, BUT THE SAUCE.

i dried my tears and i decided to look instead at what in interesting little disc it had made in the pot, and how with only a little soaking it made a satisfying little splorch sound and came right to the top and i decided to take a picture of it for you and of course didn't do THAT for a number of months and have therefore had this thing sitting on a plate in my dining room for a rather embarrassingly long amount of time.

but here it is.

Thursday, December 03, 2015


i got a lovely box in the mail, with treats in it.

why am i making this face?

because this box comes with a lot of instructions for sealing it, but not for opening it. i know, i know, right?

but it was HARD.


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

so this happened in my house...

i had a houseguest for a couple of days.

the first night MS17 was here, i got her all set up on the sofa with pillows and blankets and such and i headed upstairs.

i hadn't but brushed my teeth when i heard her ask up "uh... do you have paper towels or paper napkins or something?"

so i was on my way back downstairs and she said "because there's some kind of bug in the sleeping area."

"oh, is that hernando? does he have five legs?"
"it has a lot of legs."
"it's probably hernando."
"he's kind of staying here for the winter."
"oh. i didn't realize he was a friend of yours. can you maybe...?"
"is it ok with you if i just relocate him to the dining room?"

the dining room is two rooms away. i also don't tell her that the dining room is close enough for him to find his way back to where he likes, which is the window by the sofa.

"nando? come on, nando." and he climbs onto my hand and i put him into the dining room.

he's one of these, by the way.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

two short films

a couple of years ago i saw these at a short animated film festival.

MB helped me find them online and i want to share them with you.

Miss Todd from Kristina Yee on Vimeo.

Damned from Richard Phelan on Vimeo.


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