Monday, September 29, 2008

Automated Phone Survey

I get a stupid amount of survey calls and telemarketing calls. A stupid amount.

But tonight I got my first every automated survey. To paraphrase...

"This is an automated political survey, it will take about 1 minute,
If the election was tomorrow who would you give you party vote to?

press 1 for Labour

press 2 for National"


Actually I preferred it to speaking to a real person. I didn't have to sit through the painful introductions and thank yous

"Hello, my name is blah blah blah, I represent blah blah, we are doing a survey on blah, this call may be recorded for blah.
Thanks for all your blah, I hope you have a blah evening, we appreciate you blah."


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mini Sushi and molded rice balls (Onigiri)

Here's my first go at making sushi, I made mini rolls with a bit of ginger/soy flavoured tuna(Trident Tuna Asian Delights Range, very very good for when you are sick of boring tuna. I really the teriaki flavoured one) in the middle and Some molded rice balls flavoured with shrimp Furikake (Flavoured sprinkles to jazz up rice.) I used a bit too much rice in the sushi, and yeah I could have made the tuna look better by taking more care in the placement, but it was YUM!

The Onigiri was also delish. In fact it was 10% tastier due to being heart shaped. I think I will use more furikake next time cause that's damn tasty too!

The rice molds are super easy to use and are only $3.50. I got a set that makes three different shapes, but I didn't want to completely overload on rice for lunch so I only made two. The Japanese store in Wairau (set of asian shops behind the Burger King) sells a whole range of them, very affordable and very fun.

I have been hugely inspired to create Bento Style lunches for myself and so today and tomorrow I'll be trying out the techniques so I can have some Cute lunches next week. Of course it require such Japanese type things such as patience, dexterity and skills to create a really great Bento. So I'll just have to settle for kinda good.
What a crazy couple of weeks.

Middle aged people at work having mid life crises, or having big bouts of paranoia. Suppliers trying to bribe me to promote their product at the conference as long as I stick to their scripts. (uh no thanks, I have ethics and your product is mediocre at best).

Purchasing departments making critical errors leaving me high and dry for essential items. Endless phone calls to sales reps at bio tech companies asking where my orders are. Endless phone calls to purchasing, endless emails, endless blah blah blah. Absolutely far to much talking for the average introvert.


The crazier my work week is the crazier I want my weekends to be, well not crazy but action packed.

First to the albany farmers market and bought some feta, lemons and veges. Yummo.

Then to the asian shop at albany mall to buy dumplings, assorted goodies and furikake. Yee ha.

Then a stroll around the beach and over the hills soaking up the sunshine.
Ah Sunshine, how I missed you.

So now for some lunching I may attempt to make sushi
and after that some gardening perhaps.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My garden is A HUGE disaster.

Weeds, lush vibrant weeds. You could say they are the area of my gardening expertise. Note the dense oxalis and abundant onion weed. Spectacular.

So I thought I should do some weeding. I think it looks worse! Mostly because I did a half arse job. (what do you expect, I don't exactly love gardening, I do it because its good for ones constitution.) Oh well if its fine in the weekend I'll get back out there.

It amazes me that things I could NEVER grow as house plants thrive in my garden which I carefully neglect. For example I have a massive maiden hair fern growing next to that black taro.

I hopped on trade me and bought a whole bunch more of those black taro plants. They seem to thrive under neglect and give a vague tropical look to my bog (winter) slash desert (summer).

More Dinners - Bacon and Asparagus Strudel

First take your asparagus goo slime mixture and lay on a sheet of pastry. Be amazed at how disgusting the mixture looks and wonder if chicken bacon is any kind of substitute for the real thing.

Second, freeeeeak out becuase the mixture is only just going to squeeze into one roll of pastry.

Then bake. Till delicious! (and it is!)

Look at that massive air pocket! Was I supposed to stab it to make a steam hole? I'll never know.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Morrocan spiced chicken - My dinner let me show you it.

I cook dinner. Quite often actually. Some nights I've been known to cook it twice. Just to prove it here is some morrocan spiced chicken with red onions beans and apricots. I served it with fluffy cous cous made with vege stock for actual flavor. I quite like cous cous, I am a recent convert, for some reason it was only ever served cold when I was a kid, but served hot it has a delicious melty yummness that I can't quite describe.

A recent tip I got off the internet for cooking small chunks of chicken is to dust them in cornflour first. So in this instance I coated the chicken in morrocan spice (thanks masterfoods!) and let sit for an hour in the fridge. Then just before frying I tossed through a couple spoonfuls of cornflour.
It keeps the chicken bit real moist!! The cornflour seal keeps all that goody good chickeny moisture in, and the dryness out. Awesome.

Its raining again and I want to retire

Another Monday and all is well in the world. I say well, but what I mean is everything is the same, and change is bad, apparently.

I work with women twice my age with chips on their shoulders twice the size of mine. I really thought they were supposed to get smaller with age.

Then my car wouldn't start. Then it shuddered all the way home. I think the damp has set in.
It is growing a small amount of lichen on the rear window.

I still long for my bach by the sea, rural, but with superfast broadband access, isolated, but a bus stop at the end of the road. A patch of land for growing things, chickens and three cows. Which I will eat. Yum. A room to make a mess in (you know a "studio") and a medium sized shed. Views but a flat section. I will work two days a week and earn just enough combined with the royalties of some great thing I create to live comfortably for the rest of my years.

Yes, yes its true, my wants are simple. (Sure man keep buying those lotto tickets!)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Oh Glorious Sunshine

Wow, I went down to Mairangi bay today, and the sun was shining. We walked around the rocks and watched people fishing, then back over the cliffs and a leisurely coffee watching the waves roll in. Two mad people swimming, some not so mad people kayaking. Almost feels like spring.

Friday, September 05, 2008

dumb personality test on the radio

Sometimes my work is a little mundane.

"But don't you get to see all the cool gross stuff from operations and surgery and stuff?"

Yes this is true, but once you've seen one hundred colons, 200 gallbladders, 500 "wombs" not to mention the thousands of vas deferens fragments you get a bit blase. er well everybody looks the same on the inside dear reader.

We had the radio on at work and the "host" invited us to close our eyes and imagine ourselves on a journey through the desert.

Suddenly you come across a cube, what does it look like, what colour is it, how big is it?

Well it fits in the palm of my hand, its shiny and hard, it feels like stone, looks like hematite to me.

Next you come to a ladder....

okay I see a rickety wooden ladder, tied together with handmade rope, it descends below the desert into a cavern.

now you come across a horse.

okay there's a horse in the dessert, I'm cool with that. Its a big freakin white horse, it bounces up onto its hind legs, but its silent.

Righto, now what?

listener this was in a way a simple personality analysis, the cube represents your ego, the ladder represents your ambition, and the horse represents your partner.


But thanks for taking my mind off work for a few moments. I suppose.

wait WHAT does it mean about my ambition then? my ladder went underground. I have NEGATIVE AMBITION?! oh wait, actually that's kind of accurate. cool.

Painting with Acrylics, and some guy called Ken

Yes the clouds look a little spastic, but hey, its my first attempt. Its a lake with trees. Amazingly i'll admit to painting this one when people stop by. All my other attempts may well be confined to the cupboard under the stairs, we will see.

Ken whatsit is our painting overlord. He's enthusiastic, but forgetful. He drives me crazy and is quite useless as a teacher, but a pleasant human being. I think he was an architect in a former life. As in most classes there are rules, no decorative panels, and no paintings of rangitoto. Fair enough.

Its quite realxing and a peaceful way to spend 2 hours once a week. Its gets fairly quiet and only a few random explosions of force against canvas ripple the calm. Oh and the drama class next door. So i'll probably sign up for another class next term, but I am severely tempted by the mosaic course. I want to make mosaic sculptures for my garden. Since nothing will grow in the wild jungleness.

Oh boy its the weekend

Got to love Fridays, the free expanse of the weekend lies ahead and all plans and ideas lay perched waiting to take off. And fly away they do, quite often into 'I didn't quite get around to it" land.

I saw these used wooden freight crates on trade me. They are heat treated only and come in a range of sizes that would be quite suitable for a raised garden bed. I just need to convince husband to go buy one for me. And borrow a car with a tow bar and borrow a trailer. And carry it down the steep steps to my garden. Wait, uh,....oh it sounds all to hard. Perhaps I can bribe with chocolate and wine.


yes I can swear because its my blog. avert your eyes children from the foul mouthed harlot.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

not even close

Dont even try tell me spring is here.

Well I'm thinking of attempting vege gardening again. I had random successes last year. Sweet sweet lettuce, bitter capsicums, abundant apple cucumbers and sporadic tomatoes.

To start I have just put some seeds in my "improvised green house". Lets just say it required no monetary outlay and thus is perfect for my needs. I am of course trying to do it on a budget so any thing free I can get my hands on is all good. So far I've sprung for some seed raising mix. What a sucker. Of course all my seeds are last years leftovers stored in dubious conditions all winter. I'm praying for any kind of germination (plant related).

Capsicums will be attempted again and cherry tomatoes. I want tons and tons of them. I want to bath in them, I want to squish them under my feets and toss them into the air letting the little bubbles rain down apon my head. I am so in love with cherry tomatoes.