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Archive for the 'Potpourri' Category

Fake Friends

I always find intriguing human interest stories when I buy the New Zealand Herald, and the one I found this week has given me some great ideas for a new plot.

The story is about young professional people in Japan. They’re so busy working that they don’t have time to make friends. The new trend is to hire actors or fake friends to fill out party numbers and make themselves look popular. When a man or woman is getting married, and they don’t have a large family, they hire people to swell family numbers. Here’s a link to the story in the Telegraph.

Our Prime Minister John Key is currently in New York for the United Nations summit. Today he’s been on Letterman and he also rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. I really like our Prime Minister. He’s very down to Earth and has a real gift for chatting to people. He’s also doing a good job.

Do you think you’d ever hire fake friends? Did you see our Prime Minister on the telly?

Menace in the Kitchen.

I feel as if I should cue the creepy “Jaws” music because today I’m discussing a very serious topic…

Dangerous kitchen equipment.

There’s loads of potential for injury in the kitchen, but the one bit of equipment that has injured me the most, the one piece I fear is the…

Grater

Yep, the humble grater.

I’ve grated my knuckles on numerous occasions, drawn blood and bled on the cheese. These days I steer clear of it because grated knuckles take forever to heal!

Which piece of kitchen equipment do you fear most?

AUGUST BLOG PARTICIPATION WINNER
The winner of my August blog participation contest is Patsy Hagen. Congratulations, Patsy! I’ve emailed you about your prize.

Don’t forget every month I give away a prize to one person who visits my blog and posts a comment. You never know–this month it could be you!

Super Humans

Recently I watched the FBI drama Eleventh Hour and the episode dealt with super soldiers. In a coincidence, I’m reading the second book in Bianca D’Arc’s Resonance Mates series. (You know the one I mentioned in yesterday’s post—the one I don’t have time to read!) The series is about the Alvian race who takes over Earth. The only humans who survive the attacks are the ones with psychic gifts. The Alvians have taken genetics to the max and have no emotions. Anyone with emotions is suspect and the few remaining humans are subjected to experiments, some of which are horrid. Ms D’Arc writes a great book with awesome world building.

Nalini Singh’s Psy series also deals with something similar- the Psy race have managed to cancel out all emotions in order to make a “perfect” life.

In fiction I can live with this scenario, although I’m not sure I understand the drive behind a race seeking the perfect being. My personal opinion is that disease etc is nature’s way of limiting population. Emotions, both good and bad, bring color to life.

Anyhow, my question is do you think a super or perfect person is a good thing? Does anyone have any recommendations for sci-fi romances in a similar vein?

I have a guest spot at coco & kelley about travel. This blog is a new discovery for me and I enjoy my visits there, indulging my love of pretty clothes, interior decorating and the like. Here’s the link.

On That Farm There Were Some Hens

Mr. Munro and I both agree. On that alpaca farm, we’ll have some hens.

Hen and Chicks, istock

There’s nothing better or more satisfying than eating the fresh eggs you’ve collected. Of course, I know from experience that some hens take issue with egg stealing and they fight back. Hen pecks aren’t much fun. They hurt!

I also know (from experience) that if it’s meal time you don’t muck around with dispersing those vegetable scraps or hen pellets. Get in and get out. It’s no fun being mobbed by a flock of hungry birds.

At egg eating time, make sure you crack that egg into a cup first because there’s always the chance, especially if the kids have collected the eggs, that the egg might be a bit old. It’s no fun having to start measuring the baking ingredients again because the egg was off.

But there are good times as well. Picture that fresh breakfast egg and the way it tastes. It’s fun watching the chicks peck their way from eggs and seeing the hens with chickens pecking for grubs in the paddock. Ah, yes. Fun times on that farm.

Do you have any experiences to share? Do you like eating eggs?

I Wanna Be An Alpaca Farmer

A few years ago, during a trip to the Gold Coast in Australia, we went on a tour of the Hinterland. Part of the tour was a visit to an alpaca farm. I fell in love with the alpacas then and told my husband I wanted one.

Alpaca, Clevedon, NZ

Alpacas are the smaller cousins of llamas and camels and are natives of the Andes region. These days they are found in many different parts of the world including Australia and New Zealand and are prized for their fleece. Garments made out of alpaca fleece are soft and beautiful. Quite expensive too.

Alpaca Herd, Hamilton

Alpacas are herd animals and are happiest with others of their kind. They are quiet and intelligent, fairly easy animals to handle and disease resistant. They are known to spit, which apparently isn’t very pleasant, and this is their only method of defense.

Alpaca, NZ

So, the first thing I’m going to do, should I ever get a windfall, is buy a few hectares of land and stock it with some cute alpacas. Yeah, I’d really like to be an alpaca farmer.

Where Do You Hide Yours?

FYI – I hide mine in the fridge. :grin:

When was your last?

Um…I have to think about that…

What More Could I Wish For?

Ooh yes…I’ll take one now… :mrgreen:

Timtams are an Australian invention–one of their best, I have to say. And I don’t think we can take credit for the clever ads either. Hmm, I think it’s time. I’m going to add a packet of Timtams to my shopping basket this weekend.

What are your favorite store-bought biscuits?

#8 Wire

Number eight wire is a gauge or thickness of wire used for fencing. In New Zealand it’s also a term used to indicate a can-do attitude. A number eight wire mentality means that a person can turn their hand to anything or will attempt to do anything even though it seems impossible. This term comes from the fact that #8 wire was used to repair almost everything when a better alternative wasn’t available.

I like to think I apply #8 wire mentality towards my writing. I try to never give up, no matter how many knockbacks I receive. After a rejection, I dust myself off and leap in again with both feet. Insert wry grin – I’ve had a little practice at this recently…still ticking along…

Here’s the link to a Tim Finn song called Couldn’t Be Done which always cheers me when I hear it. It’s a song about doing the impossible. (Note – for those who think Tim looks familiar, he was in bands Split Enz and Crowded House)

Recently this new Toyota ad has started playing on our TV screens. It’s a cute look at the New Zealand can-do attitude.

What is your favorite inspiration for times when things are a bit tough? A saying? A favorite book? A movie? A person?

We All Scream Ice Cream

Mr. Munro and I watched a food documentary about the history of ice cream during the weekend. It was fascinating, charting the history of ice cream in Britain and giving us a glimpse of Walls, the ice cream people.

It’s said that ice cream was first invented by Roman Nero when he combined ice and fruit toppings. In China they combined milk and ice, and it’s thought that this method eventually made its way to Europe, the harbinger of our modern ice cream.

A lady called Mrs. Marshall invented an ice cream freezer. She was a famous cook, along the lines of Mrs. Beeton, and wrote four cookbooks. She also invented the edible ice cream cone, the recipe published in an 1888 recipe book. A very clever lady.

Check out this link for making Asparagus Ices. They look amazing and the recipe is from one of Mrs. Marshall’s books.

During the documentary they said that worldwide the favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla. Personally, I only eat vanilla if it has chocolate sauce with it. I much prefer a flavor such as hokey pokey or something with chocolate or fruit in it.

Do you like ice cream and what is your favorite flavor? What did you think of the Asparagus Ices? Would you try them?

The Vulcan Salute

There are some things my husband can do that I can’t, and it just drives me crazy.

One, there’s the Vulcan Salute. That’s the gesture Mr. Spock and his fellow Vulcan do as part of their greeting. There’s a photo and a description here. No matter how I hold my mouth and pucker my brow, I can’t do it! And speaking of open mouths, yes, I do that when I’m applying mascara as per yesterday’s Ever Wonder.

Two, I can’t touch the tip of my tongue to the tip of my nose. Now, there probably isn’t a good reason to actually do this. I mean it looks stupid. Hubby can do it and I can’t. Annoying because he gets this smug grin that drives me crazy.

I can, however, tongue curl. Not everyone can do that so there! Evidently, it’s a genetic thing.

Can you do the Vulcan Salute, touch the tip of your tongue to your nose or do the tongue curl?

Holidays and Ever Wondered?

I’m so excited – no, I haven’t sold another book. In fact I’ve been receiving a lot of rejections, but I’m not talking about those today. No, I’m not. Hubby came home last night and said, “How would you like to go on holiday in September?”

“September?” I said. “I thought we weren’t going on holiday again until next September.”

He grinned at me and said, “How would you feel about Phuket in Thailand?”

My answer was yes. (of course!) and so long story short, we’ll be jetting off to Singapore and Thailand in September for 11 nights. I’m really excited since we haven’t been to Phuket. We’ve visited Bangkok and also Singapore, but Phuket is new territory.

A few days ago Sandra Cox posted the following called Ever Wonder? It made both hubby and I chuckle, so I thought I’d repost for your enjoyment.

EVER WONDER …

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?
Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?
Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?
Why is it that doctors call what they do ‘practice’?
Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?
Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes? –
Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!
Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

I wondered recently what Samoan men wear under their lava-lavas. In fact, I’m still wondering because I didn’t like to ask…

What have you wondered recently?