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It is conceivable some may not yet have seen this Dinosaur Comic on furries. =:D

Agent A continues! The story's next installment (a little confusingly called the third chapter, as the first part's since been split into two chapters) is now available! Apparently, they're aiming for a total of five chapters. Remarkably, it's a free update - hopefully with some means of offering some kind of payment, given this reflects months more work by the team, but I haven't yet had a good chance to try it out.

The Bunnykick: a double (50ml) of Sipsmith VJOP, topped up with plenty of ice, and then Fever Tree ginger ale to a half pint. You'll remember it. ^_^ (VJOP is their "navy strength" version, at 57.7%, fortified with further botanicals)

Was it nou who showed off their spice selection a while back? Here's my current selection. Not shown: several more within the core. =:) Those are the less frequently used ones, like ras el hanout, and long pepper, plus a couple bags of ginger and cumin at the end, just peeking through. The little unmarked tub is black cardamom, which needs to be restocked before long. (I tend to use it mostly in Bolognese sauce - adds just that bit of robustness to the tomato)



Show me yours? ^_^

Radio Garden loads up a globe, and overlays all the radio stations it knows about. Zoom in and explore, and listen to any of them. It's really quite magical.

Here's a series of tweets noting the rather extensive ties the Trump team has with Putin.

Last Saturday, I set about creating a random beef dish. ^_^ I was nosing around one of my preferred supermarkets, and noticed the butcher counter had ox cheek, and for very little money too. Of course, I had to pick up a hefty chunk, aware it's both beautifully flavorsome, and in need of plenty of cooking. I was a little worried that maybe I could've done with a slightly larger cut, so I picked up some thickly sliced chorizo as well, both for the texture and its own flavor. What I actually wound up doing was slicing several portabellini mushrooms thickly into the crockpot, along with a can of good French onion soup. I then sautéed a red onion in a little olive oil, to help reinforce the base of the sauce, and added that as well, then sat the cheek on top. Then, some initial herbings: some rosemary, basil, sweet smoked paprika, Tellicherry pepper, and some ginger & garlic paste, plus a bit of olive oil, to ensure the meat didn't wind up going dry through what would, after all, be a long braising, this being 3am, with the intent of serving in the evening. ^_^

I turned out not to really need tweaking the seasoning - it was quite nomworthy around lunchtime as was, but I did add a bit of the red wine the roomie had picked up, to help add further body to the sauce, and turned the (same) cheek over again. I perhaps should've remembered to thicken the sauce toward the end, but, no matter. ^_^ I served it with boiled brussels and roasted carrots that had been soaking for a couple hours in very sweet water, along with gnocchi. Suffice to say - I'm happy with how it turned out. It doesn't really look all that amazing (TBH, not much of my cooking does =:), but the cheek was as tender as anyone could have wished for, needing but a nudge with a knife to cut it, and a hearty, zingy gravy, backed up by some balanced vegetables and their textures & flavors, and that nicely potatoey base.



Behold: perhaps the most perfect canid eyeroll ever. ^_^

Here's rather an interesting DSLR macro lens (available in just about every mount): Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2.0, offering 4-4.5x magnification. Manual focus only, unsurprisingly, but the sample photos indeed look promising, and it's very reasonably priced at a recommended $199.

Of some nerdy interest, maybe? We've all seen YouTube videos where, once you've posted them, you get to realise the uploader's chosen to block them in some arbitrary set of countries. But lo! There is a site that can advise. ^_^ eg The Daily Show's Year in Review is apparently blocked in Australia and Canada; now you can see just where YouTube's geoblocking is being applied. And likewise, if you're affected, there appears to be an easy alternative.

We were watching Mystery Diners last night - it's somewhat trashy TV, but I confess, it holds a certain appeal - and they visited an apparently prominent club in LA, and wound up with something of a train wreck where there's not much sympathy to be had for anybody involved. We start with the owners, who charge a mere $5000 per bed (they mostly have just beds and tables) per night; then the manager, who's found to be buying vodka from a local discount warehouse and sending his own "staff" around selling it for a mere $200/bottle (a mid-range rum was said to be $550, by comparison), the proceeds of course going straight into the manager's pocket, in cash; and the wait staff leader, seeing her sales swiped away, proceeds to tell customers that the kitchen's closed, but they can offer "gourmet sausages" from the bar menu, for only $15 each, which she promptly buys from the street vendor just outside. =:D
 
 
 
 
 
 
I had seen neither the comic nor the Agent A update! YAY!
Yay! ^_^ I've really been looking forward to this update - the first installment was just so slickly produced, with entirely professional voicework, and that gorgeously realised 60s setting, with more than a nod to the likes of Bond and The Man from UNCLE. (And there's an Android version coming in the New Year, though they don't currently have a release date)
Charlie sends his thanks for the shout-out. ;-p
What is his current outlook on the dish that inspired that wonderful reaction? ^_^

How did you two meet, btw? One pup I spent many years with, we actually first noticed in a newspaper ad, free to a good home - and pedigreed, too! Of course, there was a catch.. when the original first responders backed out, and they offered him to us, we naturally accepted eagerly. We later realised he absolutely loved running away, so it'd be at least a monthly activity for someone to go out scouting for where he'd wound up.

Unfortunately, being more or less in the countryside, that left a high chance of him having had great fun rolling around in the meadows, leaving him.. somewhat fragrant. =:P

Thankfully, he did wind up accepting it was much easier just to stay put and be fed well, even if that sometimes involved me smushing my face into his tum. (Golden Retriever - basically a big, savvy plushie =:)
Belatedly, I can tell you that Charlie has fallen in love with his new dinner bowl. Anything that conveys food is a good thing for him, no matter how perverse. :)

Charlie is a rescue dog, from an animal shelter over in Missoula, Montana. I'd been haunting the animal shelter websites for months after my pervious dog died, and there was something about the look in his photo there that broke my heart. He was so lost and forlorn when I drove over to see him, and his brother had been adopted away from him, that I couldn't say no. He had a struggle socializing at first, but it's turned into an amazing friendship.

And Golden Retrievers are the best!
Thank you for the herb shelf photo! I like the look of those Bart tins. I see you have one of those Waitrose “Cooks’ Ingredients” herb tubes — I bought a couple of those a while back and decided they’re the worst herb packaging I’ve ever encountered.

We have the same brand of fish sauce :)

Here’s my herb/spice storage solution in case anyone who’s not on my friends list is interested :) Very keen to see other people’s!
Aaah, indeed! It's a bizarre concept - a nicely squishy tube that's just happy to spurt out the rosemary or whatever if you happen to squeeze it too firmly! By contrast, the BART tins - well, you can see one in the background that I've made a point of keeping around, just because it's useful. ^_^ (Though they do succumb to rust) I've been really happy with their Berbere seasoning - I don't usually go in for "pre-combined" herbs, but that's such a handy combo, ideal for spicy stir-fries, or even just some zingy Bolognese. =:9

I guiltily admit to loving fish sauce. ^_^; Trouble is, I need to bring my blood pressure down, so I've been shifting away from fish sauce, and even my beloved oyster sauce. ^_^;; (So useful! Gravy, stir-fries, Bolognese, even a dash in macaroni cheese elevates it!)

BTW, I've noticed Waitrose stocking elephant garlic recently! I now have two bulbs, ready for roasting.. =:9 I first encountered it at a little.. fusion Mexican-ish place down on the San Diego coast (La Jolla or thereabouts), El Zapote. Just the roasted garlic, heritage tomatoes, and flatbread - really nice starter, tasty without being heavy. A favorite main I had there was scallops in a very mildly spicy yoghurt and black bean sauce, on a brown rice bed - really good, and not something I see around at all often. (Oh, would that scallops were much cheaper! Maybe my favorite seafood, next to any of the crustaceans)
I'm not a huge fan of roasted garlic for some reason — there's something about the roasting process that brings out a flavour I really don't like.

I also love scallops! I hadn't thought to do them with brown rice, but I can see that working well. I will ponder...
It is conceivable some may not yet have seen this Dinosaur Comic on furries.

Nicely done :o) I used to joke about being a closet furry before discovering the 'net! Close Encounters of the Furred Kind (without the mashed potatoes).
I remember always feeling quite sad at the endings of "traditional" werewolf films, where if they weren't killed, then the "happy" ending was that they would be cured. (Needless to say, I absolutely loved Curse of the Were-Rabbit =:)

I'm reminded I missed out on Arrival.. *sigh* That said, it may well still be playing somewhere in the city - it's just always such a difficult proposition for me, paying something like £10 to see a film once, when I can just wait a couple months, and have a copy to keep for not much more, along with access to much more fun snacks and drinks. =:)
Alas... our spice rack(s) are a mere shadow of what they once were when the folks were around... they did a lot more cooking than we do, and since then we have had to rearrange the shelves a few times, so many of the (very old) exotic spices were tossed...
I do like to use paprika sometimes.. and the other main one I use (when making cakes) is peppermint extract... :}
Oooo, I see I'm going to have to ask you for your culinary photography more often. =:)

I can't really not cook - I enjoy it too much, and I can't help but feel rather guilt at using something pre-prepared. Not that I don't use ready meals as a base, though - sometimes, the ingredients can be fine, just lacking in seasoning, and often whatever protein(s) you're aiming for, but I've sort of felt there's not a lot to be gained in starting there - I might as well just crush some potatoes myself, than buy a cheap "cottage pie" when I'm putting a good bit of ground beef or somesuch into the sauce, such as it is.

Paprika's wonderful stuff. ^_^ I've got some sweet smoked and plain sweet at the moment, but I think I need some hot smoked as well.

And then there's what it can mean for meats, across the spectrum of chorizo.. =:9
I saw that Mystery Diners ep. I can't conceive of places like that, I just sit in bemusement of how people with wads of money to burn allow themselves to be relieved of it.

That looks like quite a tasty meal you had there! I found a very nice glazed carrots recipe that I did for Thanksgiving and will be repeating Sunday (uses gingerale and a touch of chili powder!) and I'm quite looking forward to it.

Photos of my spices: forget it. They're in two cabinets and three boxes. If I ever get my kitchen properly organized, which could happen over the next couple of weeks, THEN it might happen.
I'm imagining that place sees a lot of corporate cards. =:) All the same.. wow. It was all such a game of everyone shafting everyone else, customers included! A real pity - until the prices started to be revealed, I was thinking that looked like a pretty cool place, with assorted acrobatics and cabaret, alongside comfy accommodations. For that much? Nah, I'd grab a RTW set of flights and literally see the world. ^_^ Even something like a Michelin 3* restaurant doesn't charge anywhere near those prices; MasterChef: The Professionals is reaching the end (well, just did, but I'm still 1.5 episodes away from that), and in the penultimate episode, the final three got to cook for and at Maaemo in Oslo, where the 20 course tasting menu (and it seriously looks incredible - it's worth snagging that episode if you can) is 2600 NOK, or about $300, optionally plus about $200 for wine pairings.

I was really pleased with it. ^_^ And it didn't hurt that it was really quite cheap, too! I'll have to pick up some more sometime - maybe a rich red wine sauce next time, for something arguably even more indulgent. ^_^ Mmm, glazed carrots work so well! Maybe I'll try that with the Crimbo duck.. =:9

Organisation: an interesting concept, I must say. =:) Sadly, the kitchen I currently have to work with is quite petite, so it adds that layer of complication with having to work out the sequencing of the various ingredients, and preparing them in appropriate order, rather than being able to get everything ready up front. Still, it works. And the crockpot simplifies things, of course - just add most/all of it up front, and leave it until it's ready to serve. Not that I didn't add a couple vegetables and the gnocchi last time, of course.. =:)
Merry Christmas Porsupah! What's a way I can contact you? I have a Second Life-related question.
Not a problem! If it's more complex than would fit here, I'm my name at lapinity.com by email. (The old domain will still reach me, too)

Another option, of course, is SLU - the brigade is indeed salty, but friendly:

http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/general-sl-discussion/

(SLU has quite a remarkable social community, too!)

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Oh! Well, essentially I'm looking for G-rated Second Life furry avatar screenshots, ones that look good and have obviously had a lot of work put into them. I want to show them to some folks outside the fandom. I tried googling, and mostly what I get are dance videos, porn, or trolling videos. I've been able to find a couple ok ones on the Second Life Marketplace website, but I'm hoping there are better images out there somewhere.
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Jackpot! Thank you so much!
That food looks very tasty indeed!
Indeed it was. =:D I'm terrible at presentation, but something like that would be a challenge for even a real chef. I do need to use that slow cooker a bit more often, especially when ox cheek's that cheap - under £5/kg, IIRC. Braise it away for a few (or several) hours, and you've got something just radiating that deep, rich flavor. ^_^
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That was indeed an excellent dog glare.

And I do love crock pot cooking myself... in fact I've been meaning to get a new one since the hand-me-down from my parents (purchased in about 1965 or so) finally gave up the ghost... although part of me would love to keep it going for a while longer, another part of me would enjoy being able to clean it easily and knowing that I won't burn down the house. :) But beef stew and sweet potato/carrot soup are a couple of my favorites, which I've become actually rather good with. :) And given it's mostly just me eating it, I've got healthy food for a week or more!