The Time Has Come (the Walrus said) Archives

Seriously good Hummus

I’ve had Hummus from a few places over the years, some good, some bad. Mostly the bad ones are too lumpy.

Anyhow, with some old friends around for lunch today, I decided to have a crack at making a Seriously Good Hummus – and it worked out very well. Here is how:

——-

Take about 3/4 to a cup of dried chickpeas, put them in a bowl and cover with plenty of water. Soak overnight. They will swell so make sure the water level allows for this.

Next day, drain the water off, then put the chickpeas in a saucepan with enough salted water to cover, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour.

Drain the chickpeas, and put them in a food processor with the juice of 2 lemons and 2 (peeled) cloves of garlic. Add about a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Also add a little cayenne pepper or chopped chilli (or both). With the pepper / chilli, start with a little – you can add more later.

Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Tahini (ground sesame seeds – available in supermarkets).

Blend the mix, adding up to about 1/2 cup of good olive oil. If the consistency is too thick, add more lemon juice and then more olive oil.

Taste as you go. You want the lemon to be present without being overpowering. You can also add a bit more chopped chilli if it’s warranted.

Keep blending, adding more olive oil if needed until you have a good paste / dip consistency. It will take longer than you expect to get the coarse texture out – keep going.

To serve, scoop it all out and place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle a little ground paprika and a little drizzle of olive oil over the top.

Scoop this out with some crackers or bread, or phonecian bread, or similar and just eat. Yum!

——-

You want the Hummus to have a smooth texture without lumps. It should taste of a hint of lemon, and the sesame flavour of the Tahini should just be apparent. It should not be too oily, and you should have a nice after-taste from the garlic. The chilli might not be authentic but it gives a nice zing. You don’t want it to blow your mouth off.

Nuvver one

Had another anti-Howard blog referred to me (thanks Mel).

For all you rampant Howard-haters out there, check out Bilegrip.

EDIT: I just had to add this quote:

I think we had better get used to the taste of Victory Gin. The thing about John Howard is that he is a master at wearing people down with his incessant presence; like a political Freddie Krueger who invades everyone’s dreams and waking states, he keeps the Australian electorate paralysed with the fear that if they lose him they will regain their souls. After supporting him for eleven and a half years, they are in too deep to admit they sold out their humanity.

Such is the power of John Howard that to have a soul is now regarded as un-Australian.

Those in the electorate who a few months ago felt a surge of courage at the thought of getting rid of this predatory automaton will soon be gibbering in a colloidal goo of their own faeces as he turns their taxpayer funds into a campaign of stark raving fear of everything that moves.

Things that make you go GRR! (Part 2)

Continuing from before…

6. The woman from Brand Power.

Who IS this woman?

Why does she always smile? And not just any smile, this is a SMILE where you need sunglasses for protection.

Am I supposed to know who she is? Is she famous for some passing fad I missed?

And what the heck is with BRAND POWER anyhow?

See, I thought business worked liked this: You think of a name for you / your product / your service. You use the name (that’s the Brand, see) and build its reputation over time. You become known, recognised and respected. You have earned some power for your brand.

So along comes this Brand Power thing… isn’t this like a meta-brand? The brand is not important any more, what matters is to have it plugged by the Brand Power lady with the extremely white teeth.

Gahhhhh! I just don’t get this!!

7. School newsletters printed in colour

Our school has just started sending home the fortnightly newsletter, printed in full and splendiferous colour.

Somebody has a new toy – a colour laser printer. YES I KNOW THEY ARE CHEAP TO BUY. I have one. It was about $300 – delivered! The toner cartridges though are far from cheap. A complete set for the one I bought comes in at a mere $500 – so we are aiming to make the primary colour units last a long, long time. The black toner is about $90, so you can see what the cost of the others is.

The school print off 800 copies of the newsletter, in colour. The newsletter has a lifetime of about 8 hours. Long enough to get home so we can see the pictures of somebody else’s liddle darlinks, and then it goes into the recycling.

But somebody has to pay for the colour refill cartridges that have led to such a short-lived thing, and that somebody is me. Well, ok, me, and all the other parents of the liddle darlinks. Printing in colour will MULTIPLY the costs of the newsletter by about 4 times!

This is not a wise use of my hard-earned. No doubt it’s good for some administrative ego-tripper. But I don’t want it.

Time to write them a nasty letter. Perhaps I should suggest they bring back stone tablets.

8. Politicians who have suddenly discovered there is a lack of water… And all the boofheads screaming for desalination

Der… There must be an election in the air.

Suddenly Our Glorious Leader has discovered that the capital cities have little water in storage, and his prayers for rain have not been answered. Perhaps God is listening to somebody else.

At the same time as Dear Leader is posturing, we have the Victorians who won’t play the same game as the rest of us and try to actually allow centralised management of the major waterway of the country. See, they have spent years putting in more irrigation ditches and growing crops and moo-cows on irrigated pasture. Makes cheap milk.

And we have the Queensland Government who are still selling off water allocations in the upper reaches of the various waterways!

These are all Labor states. They are all supposed to be on the same side. Just imagine how difficult it would be if one of those states was not Labor!

While that’s going on we have cries for huge numbers of desalination plants to be built. Now this might be a Good Thing, in terms of actually having something to drink apart from ones own urine (Adelaide excepted… see later). However for those concerned that Global Warming has caused the change of weather and thus lack of rain, they seem to have overlooked the fact that desalination uses a LOT of electricity. Thus, more power consumption, more coal burned, more CO2, etc etc.

Next we get told we will be able to have some water, but because it’s desalinated it will be expensive so water bills will go up. The unwashed masses start whining that this isn’t good enough. SA Liberal Opposition in particular plays along with this one.

Fer crying out loud you morons, stop ya bloody whining and accept either eating shit or paying more.

Adelaide is in a special position: being at the tail end of the Murray Sewer, we’ve been eating other peoples shit for years. Strangely enough, it’s not good enough for Toowoomba. Last I checked only 3 of my neighbours have 2 heads.

9. Corporate OMO-Men

“Corporate What?”, you may ask.

Remember the adverts for OMO washing powder: cleans so well your whites won’t be white, they’ll be whiter than white.

There is a certain class of corporate junkie, mostly the sort who are desperate to climb the greasy pole of success. These are the OMO MEN.

When the boss says “Hmm, I wonder what the effect of XXX would be”, these are the guys who turn the musing into Holy Writ and pronounce to all and sundry the new policy and that henceforth we’ll be doing XXX – oh, and a little bit more dreamed up by the OMO MAN on the grounds that, well, more is better. And the boss will love it for having gone that little bit further.

I should hasten to add that OMO MEN is a catchy title, but some of the worst OMO MEN I’ve come across have been women. You know what I mean.

Omo Men are not new. They are the clich├ęd chaps in the Army who when told to go jump ask “How High, Sir?”. They are always on the lookout for the next thing that will make them look good. Usually they struggle to find a single brain cell to actually think with, but their quota of self-preservation drive is exceeded only by their quota of self-advancement drive.

Thomas Becket (Archbishop of Canterbury in 1170) was done in by OMO Men, when the King in frustration cried “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”.

10. Career Managers

There have been advertisements appearing in some newspapers for months now, something along the lines of “Earning > $250K? Want to be head hunted? Want a board position? Want advancement?” etc etc – I’m sure you get the drift.

Now you can outsource your own climbing of the greasy corporate pole!

Pay somebody money – and while you meddle and scheme, or act as an OMO Man, or more frequently, futz about avoiding decisions – they will look after your career advancement for you!

Those who get advancement by plotting and scheming, or by outsourcing it, are like politicians: Those who want to be there are precisely those who should not be there.

I really seriously need a bucket – the contempt I feel for those who would use such a service warrants a quick throwing up!

Things that make you go GRR!

I’ve been thinking about those things that happen where you (OK, I) get cranky / grumpy or pissed off.

So without further ado, here are a few:

1. TV advertising.

How stupid do advertisers think we are?

Do ALL mums really have an angelic smile when their cuddle-umpkins arrives covered in mud, with grass-stained clothes? I think not.

Last I knew they either heave a sigh of oh-no-not again, or start ranting about who buys the clothes and how difficult it is to repair / replace / wash this stuff.

And its not just washing powder, or chocolate bars. It’s all that other patronising crap. Singing about your product has to be the last refuge of the scoundrels.

And why are these damn things always louder than the program we were so rudely interrupted in watching?

2. Radio Advertising.

If TV advertising is bad, radio advertising is worse. Far, far worse. Especially if you are ever unfortunate enough to have to sit through commercial radio.

I’m convinced that the reason some people are as thick as two bricks is because they started out quite smart, and through the sheer horrors of commercial radio their brain cells imploded in a misguided attempt at self-preservation.

Which brings me to:

3. Morning Radio Announcers – commercial radio

These folks seem to take some kind of super-grade happy pill each morning.

Every sentence, everything they do, say, think, announce – all are done with a voice TONE filled with breathless excitement at the sheer wonder and fantasticalness of what they have to say.

Er, pardon me, but after about 5 minutes of this I want to go after these people with a baseball bat. Trouble is, I expect that education with a baseball bat applied liberally around the ears would be narrated with a tone of breathless excitement at the sheer wonder and fantasicalness of the experience.

4. Car drivers who mind the gap

Adelaide drivers are renowned for their rudeness, my pet hate above all about Adelaide drivers being their inability to let anybody merge.

In Adelaide, a gap is an EVIL THING, to be eliminated at first sight. And if somebody else is indicating to show they wish to change lanes and move into the gap, then the gap must be EVEN MORE EVIL, and eliminated ever faster.

Perhaps some Adelaide drivers should be eliminated instead of the gap. A slow, painful elimination has appeal.

5. Toilet paper that breaks

This is for those who have been waiting for the next poo-post.

Know how some toilet paper is not quite strong enough?

There seem to be 5 types of toilet paper:

- The Sandpaper. Tough, never breaks. Usually sold as eco-friendly, the give-away being the chunks of wood still in it, showing off its low-processing credentials. Shame about your arse. If the roughness don’t get your, the splinters will. Owww!

- The Cheap and Nasty. Comes in two sub-types: Shiny, and Thin. This type can be used provided you fold between 2 and 4 sheets over each other – thus making you use lots, and finding that its actually very expensive.

- The Baby Bear. This is the one that’s Just Right. Not too thick, not too thin, and does not break when you use it. Able to withstand chilli, red wine, nuts, and other challenges. If you’ll excuse the pun, this one is a bit thin on the ground.

- The Deceiver. Looks fine, and does a reasonable job, apart from the one time in about 4 or 5 when it tears at that critical moment and you end up with poo on your fingers. Oh bliss!

- And last but not least, The Commercial Monster. These are the giant rolls about 14 inches in diameter that are so beloved of workplaces. The rolls are so big and heavy that the paper either breaks when you try and pull it off the roll, or it’s so tough that you call pull it from the roll but then can’t tear it. The Commercial Monster is the ultimate abomination, specially chosen so that recalcitrant employees won’t be tempted to save a few bob by defecating at work.

The two I really dislike are, naturally enough, The Deceiver, and the Commercial Monster. The other bad ones are easily avoided, but the Deceiver gets you at home when you least expect it, and the Commercial Monster is in every workplace – as unavoidable as breathing, but far more noxious.

——

There are bound to be more, todays list of pet hates will do for now. No doubt I’ll find more to post during a fit of boredom or stupidity.

To pee or not to pee?

Should one pee on ones citrus trees?

In the best spirit of “The Worlds Fastest Indian”, I’ve been taking a tinkle on the lemon, lime and orange trees.

There’s lots of urea, and thus nitrogen, in urine. Citrus trees are supposed to need plenty of nitrogen. So the uninformed make-it-up-as-you-go-along theory seems credible.

Another off the cuff thought. With a dual flush loo, each flush is about 3 or 4 litres. Urinating about 3 times a day, and assuming one is home rather than at work, that’s about 1000 widdles a year, with about 3000 or 4000 litres of water to carry it away.

Flushed with pride at this advanced mathematics, it’s easy to see how a few males in the house can go through a lot of water, and thus save a lot by peeing on the citrus trees instead of using the loo.

But is it really good for the trees?

Lemon Grass

The Lemon Grass was way overgrown, so I’ve ripped out all the dead bits and pulled about 1/2 of it out. Now it’s thinned enough it might survive.

What does one do with mountains of lemon grass?

dscn2031.JPG

Why – chop it finely and freeze it.

And Mmmmmmm – the smell of freshly chopped lemon grass!

Bling’s the thing

Son #2 had his eleventh birthday a while ago, so folks, today was the the day to finally go and buy a decent watch.

Y’know, a wrist watch.

One a them thingys what tells the time.

We did the same for son #1 at the same age, and found something acceptable within an hour in a nearby large department store.

Today though, times have a-changed.

Bling’s the thing.

Really, we don’t ask much. Our needs are simple, but finding something is damn hard.

The current range of wristwatches are pretty awful. All we want is a DIGITAL watch, with a METAL wristband. Easy huh?

You’d think we were looking for leprechauns. After 2 hours of traipsing through the Modern Monster Consumer Mecca (aka the shopping mall) we’ve come home empty handed.

Old faithful, the department store, had barely enough stock to load into a shoe box – that’s what modern new private equity owners do.

And dare I mention the horrors that befell us in the Discount Department Store? Oh lordy, what hideous cheap, horrible looking crap they have there.

The only other alternative was the 32,000 jewellers dotted through the MMCM. One held some promise, but colours were not quite right. Everything else, everywhere else, is BLING.

Bling to the right, bling to the left. Bling in front, and bling behind.

Taste, simplicity, a reasonable price, functional and understated? NO SIREE! None of that sinful stuff for us in outer-Bogansville. It’s bling, or nothing.

A choice of chronometers for sir? Dials, knobs, buttons, display of tide heights and levels? Time in New York, Paris, and Nepal? Gold and silver, perhaps? Shiny shit, diamonds, twirley things? A watch so big the poor kid would have a permanent crick in the neck from lugging it around?

What the heck is it? Plastic bands get sweaty and dirty. Clear plastic watch bands discolour and look like crap – Literally. Leather bands fall apart.

So why are metal link watch bands so hard to find?

And kobs, dials, and twirly bits. EXCUSE ME! We want a watch to be able to tell the time. Here. Today. Not in London or Paris. It’s a watch for a kid – to last from age 11 to about age 20 or maybe longer. It’s going to take a few knocks and bumps.

Why, oh why, is it so hard?

Drug test

Stuart Stevens decided to test what taking drugs does to improve your sporting ability.

It’ll take you 10-15 minutes to read, worth it though.

Here.

Kevin (Andrews) and Little Johns Citizenship test

Thanks to Catherine Deveny at The Age for dumping far better on Little Johns citizenship test than I ever could.

Especially good:

When you go to a bring- your-own-meat barbie can you eat other people’s meat or are you only allowed to eat your own?

and:

Is it possible to “prang a car” while doing “circle work”?

and particularly:

What purple root vegetable beginning with the letter “b” is required by law to be included in a hamburger with the lot?

Those who quiver with delight at the real thing can find Kevin Andrews’ booklet and sample citizenship tests here. Part 1 – “What does it mean to be an Australian” is telling.

A few paras about Australian values that our friends in Canberra might try and live to:

  • respect for the equal worth, dignity and freedom of the individual
  • peacefulness
  • tolerance, mutual respect and compassion for those in need.

Bring on the election!

Todays blatant rip-off – APEC

I found this rather amusing, especially Condi Rice:

Ripped off from Crikey (again):

Barry Everingham writes:

Our DFAT mole has reported that things in Canberra got very nasty last week when the spotlight was turned on our Second Lady and Lord Downer of Baghdad and Kabul following the American First Lady’s call to Janette saying she wouldn’t be coming down – I got a pinched nerve in my neck honey and my doctor said don’t fly.

Janette went spare, according to the mole, and she sent for the Man of Steel and her instructions were clear — fix this now.

Our Lame Duck leader in turn sent for Lord Downer and his instructions were very clear — get Condi on to this.

Damn and blast said LDPM. What if the Lame Duck President pulls out too? There would be more withdrawals than on Tony Abbott’s honeymoon. His lordship giggled with uncontrolled delight – “Yes sir,” he said to John. “Condi and I can talk about my two weeks with her when she showed me her country.”

LDPM’s patience was running thin by now – Janette hadn’t let up, the Embassy in Washington reported there was a real possibility Dubya wouldn’t make the trip either and without him the whole re-election campaign, called APEC, would be a flop.

“Lex,” said John. “Try to get a grip. Janette wants Laura and I need George. Tell me they are both getting ready for the trip.”

Condi alas was no help. “Get a grip (that phrase again) honey chile. Laura aint able to fly and the Massa ain’t decided whether he will or not. Baby, you’ll be the first to know,” she told his lordship, who by now was over the moon. And he was taking a grip, though probably not in the way Howard and Rice had in mind.

Meanwhile, back at Kirribilli House Janette was fuming. Her last hurrah was quickly turning into a disaster and her own doctor told her that as Air Force One was the size of football field, Laura could move around with ease, notwithstanding her neck.

At the time of writing, his lordship’s pleas had fallen on deaf ears – Laura will not be subjected to four days of campaigning against Maxine in Bennelong, the Lame Duck President looks like dropping in, Sydney is a total disaster, Janette won’t talk to John, Downer is still smirking and giggling and through it all Kevin Rudd is convinced there is a God after all.

Cords & cables

dscn1018.JPGWe lead a battery operated life

With toys for kids, and mobile phones, and cameras galore

All run from chargers – there’s the rub

Death by cords and cables!

And other such menial strife.

(With apologies to John Betjeman who sort of inspired this tripe)

Powered by WordPress 2.8    Rendered in 23 queries and 0.344 seconds.    CleanBreeze Theme