Sunday, 8 June 2008

Another reason to buy a scooter

Sometimes when I'm making dinner I get a little internal narration going, like I'm the host of my own cooking show.

"Now most people like to steam their bok choy but prefer to quickly char-grill them. I like the nutty flavour...."

Thursday, 5 June 2008

With great sweetener...

The sugar container that sits in the kitchen at work is always full first thing in the morning. I think it’s fair to assume that the person who acts as quartermaster for the building’s tea and coffee reserves doesn't empty the sugar out every day, rather they simply top it up. This got me thinking, ignoring the Great Milo purge of 1994, there won’t have ever been an occasion when the sugar in the cylinder has ever been finished. The sugar in the bottom could have been there for years.

To make vanilla sugar you place a vanilla pod in a jar with some sugar and leave it for the flavour to be absorbed. What if the ancient layer at the bottom has soaked up the combined marketing knowledge of the floor? I’m too scared to find out as I remember my lessons my Find your Fate Indiana Jones game books: nothing good ever comes from holding the key to unlimited power.

I guess I’ll be heading to Mt. Doom this weekend to make sure that The Sucrose Canister of Influence doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Credit, where credit it due

I watch a fair amount of my TV pre-recorded. I don’t tend to record too much to VHS these days but when I was at boarding school Mum would tape a few choice programmes (Red Dwarf and Mary Whitehouse Experience come to mind) for me to then catch up on during my exeats. Now I think about it, even before this, as a young child, I’d have a tape or two filled with children’s programming. Sick of me requesting Dr. Seuss or Richard Scary for the googolinith time, they’d wack the one of these compilation tapes on.

As we now live in a future where even Airwolf is available on DVD, I love to sit down and watch multiple episodes of a show in one sitting, gorging myself on all the best that the telly has to offer. From Band of Brothers to Arrested Development, being able to skip straight to the next episode, not having to wait a whole week to see which power Peter is going to use to get him out of the cliff hanger of the week, makes me feel like I have near god-like powers.

Despite no-longer having to wait for an ad break to grab a snack or nip to the john, I rarely skip the opening credits. In some cases it’s all about setting the mood: the helter-skelter opening of Buffy and the over the top gravitas of the Doctor Who theme are the perfect warm up for the following 45 minutes. In the case of The West Wing it would seem somehow rude and disrespectful to skip Snuffy Walden’s majestic opening. Even with Lost, a show that’s taken the minimalist approach to opening sequences, the brief flyby of the title is just long enough for you to catch your breath and buckle in for what’s about to come.

The best of all is Alabama 3’s magnificent "Woke Up This Morning". It fits so well and does such a good job of setting up the rest of the show that it feels like an additional cast member; The Sopranos’ Stuart Sutcliffe if you will.

All this just makes me glad that we no longer have to sit through a montage of smiling cast members (Love Boat, I’m looking at you) otherwise I’d have a lead finger on the fast forward button every time I cued up the next episode.