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Well, I have to say, I don't often get presents from banks - but there they are, one bottle of 2005 Ruitersvlei Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc and one 2006 Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Villages. I think this should happen more often. And they're not even my bank. ^_^

As brigus asked about food porn pics, here's a simple example (high res) from Friday evening. Basil papardelle with wild mushroom, caper, and artichoke sauce, asparagus, baby corn, and fillet steak (aka filet mignon). Photo courtesy of the very cool coworker and his amazing dancing Minolta A200, which I may take on a trip this weekend, if I can decide on where.

Poll #1192854 It's Eurovision Time!

Will you be watching?

With friends! And blackjack!
Probably. Cheesemas comes but once a year.
Going to a gathering, but mostly for the company.
Maybe, in the background.
Other plans!
I'll be busy pushing matchsticks under my nails.
The whosian whatsit now?

The Baltics will give douze points to:

whomever they consider the most worthy entrant

Like many others watching the British electoral scene, I was quite pleased with the recently Crewe & Nantwich result - whilst giving the Conservatives a leg up, it's sent a clear message to "New" Labour that attempting to eradicate the 10% tax rate for the lowest earners was one step too far, atop a litany of discontent with Blair, and Brown's utter failure to stand for any positive change away from those mistakes, so far removed from the promises that swept them into power. It's unfortunate the LibDems fared so poorly, but Clegg still doesn't seem to have stood for much inspiration either, seemingly also swallowing the line that the party must, for reasons unknown (and not voted for!), echo Labour's lazy - but lucrative, for those sufficiently connected - drift to the right.

Sorry about my slow replying to comments sometimes, especially those inviting a more detailed reply; they aren't forgotten.

Dalek Diary, part 1. Not a heavy-handed attempt, either.. a bit more Charlie Brooker meets mild-mannered Chris Morris. ^_^
A bank gave you wine? Is this some sort of crazy new wine bank I've not yet heard of? And I demand to know why a branch hasn't opened in my area!

Yeah, that's a pretty little dinner, there.
My Russian Night a few years ago, while consumption-wise a total fiasco, at least looked nice.

Well, there's a little tale hanging off that.. ^_^ I borrowed a little money from the company to cover the moving costs - not quite as bad as back in San Jose, but still a chunk of change. They went ahead and initiated a bank transfer, which the financial director said would arrive in my account that evening. So, having made a long-overdue visit to the optician in town, I checked my balance at an ATM to see if that had indeed worked out.

It had, but with a little more enthusiasm than I'd expected.. I now had five digits, where I'd been expecting low fours. (I spent long enough boggling at the receipt that the ATM then swallowed my card, prompting a visit to them the next day) Yes, in a Fully Automated Foolproof System, somehow an extra zero had been tacked onto the figure to be transferred. A few days later, a manager from the company's bank called up and asked nicely if they could have their ball back, please. ^_^

Aw, were the seasonings wrong? I'd like to try making some authentic Russian food sometime - I'm led to believe good боршт is simple deliciousness, and that even щи can be its own reward.
So they gave you the wine as an inconvenience gift?

No, everything was as the recipes said. I spent two days preparing that meal. I may have added too much saffron to one of them, but I think the main point is I'm not Russian. Next time I want Russian food, I'll get it from a Russian person. I only make three dishes really well. Quesadillas, Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and lasagna (the recipe to which I've not been able to locate).

боршт is simple deliciousness, only I simply failed to re-create its deliciousness.
I do love cabbage.