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30 May 2007

Deborama's WWW Number 24 - Radio 2 "Ask Elvis"

My ride-share driving guy, Jan, and I really look forward to Fridays, when the car radio is switched to BBC Radio 2 in the hope of hearing an installment of "Ask Elvis" on the Steve Wright show. The best size of drill bit to work on lath and plaster? How to find a vegan caterer for your upcoming wedding? Where to buy a caravan in Peterborough? How to change the oil in a 1959 Fiat? No one has yet found a question that can stump Elvis. And then he finishes it all off with a music-related question which usually involves him giving his own unique rendition of a contemporary chart-buster. Fast and cheap maybe, but priceless entertainment; it's the gen-yoo-ine article all right.

25 May 2007

Great British Menu results

It seems about 90% of my readership in the past few hours has been people searching for Great British Menu results, which were just broadcast tonight. (DH look away if you haven't watched it yet.) Folks were getting a hit on my blog as number 3 (of many) even though the post was for last year. So I thought I would be kind and post this year's results, which are not available yet on the BBC Food website (although they may be by morning.)

The starter : Sat Bains' Slow-cooked Egg, Air-dried Ham and Pea Puree
The fish : Richard Corrigan's Poached Salmon and Wheaten Bread
The main : Mark Hix's Rabbit and Crayfish Stargazy Pie
The dessert : Mark Hix's Perry Jelly with Summer Fruits, Ice Cream and Elderflower Fritter

Recipes available.

Cross-posted at Deborama's Kitchen.

23 May 2007

Deborama's WWW Number 23 - it can only be . . . The Illuminati!


I used to own this game, back when it had a much more reasonable price. And I used to play it, with my kids, if I couldn't get anyone else to play (usually.)

For those not familiar with all the arcana of the Illuminati, the fact that this the 23rd WWW of Deborama, and it is May the 23rd absolutely impels me to refer to the Illuminati today in this post. Now I need to find a way to put the game on my Wish List . . .

21 May 2007

Triumph of Serbia is also triumph of the "big-boned gals"


The Eurovision Song contest of 2007 was won by a 23-year old Serbian lesbian, singing in a deliberately non-glitzy but not what you could say is traditional setting. According to Germaine Greer (who seems over the moon about it):

It was wonderful enough that a solid plain girl in glasses won it for Serbia with an old-fashioned torch-song; that she should have sung it in passionate earnest as a lover of her own sex is what made this viewer switch off the iron and start praying that the gods might let her win. When Marija Serifovic was asked in interviews why the presentation was so subdued, no high kicks, no pelvic thrusts, she was puzzled by the inappropriateness of the questions. While all around her were writhing and mugging, she sang Molitva as her ostracised self.

Molitva is a traditonal Serbian ballad; the word means "prayer".

Cutty Sark can and will be restored


The Cutty Sark was burning this morning. The fire was stopped, and the damage has been assessed. At least it is not a write-off, and police seem to have moved away from an arson theory.
Cutty Sark was the last remaining tea clipper, an icon of the great age of sail, and a major tourist attraction in Greenwich.

17 May 2007

Mourning for Yolanda King


Yolanda King, 51, the eldest daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, died Tuesday. She was a social activist, motivational author and speaker and an actor, appearing in several major films and TV mini-series. She is survived only by her two brothers and one sister.

Riverbend's news

Riverbend's last post on Baghdad's Burning concerned the infamous "wall". She is right about the link between walls and concentration camps, or at least walls and racism. I always associate walls being built to divide a city with the early 20th century days of Atlanta's Jim Crow, a history I absorbed rather than being specifically taught (no I am not quite that old, but I am old enough to have seen de-segregation getting under way.) Walls were built on the "black" side of "white" neighbourhoods to prevent easy passage through the privileged environs. A lot like apartheid, or a literal rather than symbolic ghetto. Interesting that this presents itself as a "solution" to the ilk of the American "advisors". But anyway.
In the Guardian, Riverbend posted a more personally dramatic announcement: she and her family are planning to leave Iraq, as so many others have done recently.

16 May 2007

Deborama's WWW Number 22 - The Flash Girls, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly and QWERTY Ranch

A homage to lost Minneapolis things. At the May Day parade, I saw a young woman wearing a T-shirt that read "Keep Minneapolis Weird". Amen to that.
Some excerpts from Wikipedia about the Flash Girls and Emma Bull:

The Flash Girls are a now defunct folk music duo based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota..
The duo consisted of Emma Bull, a noted science fiction author, and Lorraine Garland, who went by the stage name "The Fabulous Lorraine". Garland is also notable as Neil Gaiman's personal assistant; the group formed at a Guy Fawkes Day party at Gaiman's home. The connections that both Bull and Garland had with the science fiction and fantasy communities allowed them to have an unusually notable group of people writing songs for them, including Jane Yolen, Alan
Moore
, and Neil Gaiman. These songs are mixed in with traditional songs such as Star of the County Down, and Lily of the West, as well as poems put to music, including works by Dorothy Parker and A.A. Milne.

Emma Bull is a science fiction and fantasy author whose best-known novel is War for the Oaks, one of the pioneering works of urban fantasy. . . She sang in the rock-funk band Cats Laughing, and both sang and played guitar in the folk duo The Flash Girls while living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Her 1991 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel Bone Dance was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards. Bull wrote a screenplay for War for the Oaks, which was made into an 11-minute mini-film designed to look like a film trailer. She made a cameo appearance as the Queen of the Seelie Court, and her husband, Will Shetterly, directed. Bull and Shetterly created the shared universe of Liavek, for which they have both written stories. There are five Liavek collections in print.
She was a member of the writing group The Scribblies, which included Will Shetterly as well as Pamela Dean, Kara Dalkey, Nate Bucklin, Patricia Wrede and Steven Brust. With Steven Brust, Bull wrote Freedom and Necessity (1997), an epistolary novel with subtle fantasy elements set during the 19th century United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Chartist movement.

Emma's Blog, Dark Roast
Will's Blog, it's all one thing
Steven's website, Dream Cafe
Neil Gaiman's Journal
Emma and Will's website QWERTY Ranch

I would dearly love to put a link to my Amazon.co.uk site and sell you CDs of the Flash Girls and Cats Laughing. They are unheard of at co.uk, and Amazon.com, there is one used CD available for each group (they both made several). The Cats Laughing CD is $44 and the Flash Girls will only set you back about $120.

15 May 2007

Parrot and Cockatiel pictures

Here are a selection of recent parrot and cockatiel pictures. We lost one of our two original cockatiels, Clemmie, to some unknown infection or wasting disease. But Cindy, our parrot rescue operating friend (also the person who gave us the pair of cockatiels in the first place) has given us a replacement partner for Winston, the survivor. We have named her Daisy.
Meanwhile, Cindy is on holiday in the US, and we are parrot-sitting three of hers, Frit, Frat and Maisie. They are all African Greys. Maisie has a liver condition which is why she is almost featherless. Finally, there is Han, our own little rescued-guy. Who says "Bye-bye" to me in a little boy voice every morning as I leave for work.


09 May 2007

Deborama's WWW Number 21 - Bookslut

While I was on holiday in Minneapolis, my friend Lou dragged me bodily into a Border's bookstore and forced me to buy books. No, I'm lying. I told her I needed books, and she is such a nice person she had to take me there. I needed books because I had no computer with me (no internet, no Mah Jongg) and I have gone off American TV and newspapers (mostly) and the radio reception was horrible. And you can only do so much Sudoku.
I bought one book for Lou, as a thank you (The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion) and I bought six books for myself, one of which was This Book Will Save Your Life, by A. M. Homes. So this week's website of the week is the result of my Googling the title, to see what there was out there, and rediscovering Bookslut. Bookslut is the kind of book review blog I meant to have (but obviously, don't, because I am so lazy.)

Blogkeeping again

Well, I am back from Minneapolis and I had a good time and accomplished most of what I intended to do there. I saw my daughter Aimee graduate from the U of M, I saw a lot of friends, I went to Walker Church and I saw the May Day parade. Sorry I didn't blog. I had only a few opportunities to get on the internet and mostly just checked e-mails when I did. I am lost without the internet. I do joke about it, but I was amazed to discover what a crutch it has become to my ability to plan, think and do anything.

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