Friday, September 20, 2002

Came across a link to a virtual race track today but got fed up waiting for it to load. Went arse racing instead.

Happy birthday friday 5:
1. Would you say that you're good at keeping in touch with people?
No, bloody hopeless, then years later think, it would be nice to have a tot with so and so....too late.

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why?
Osmosis. At work I am a frequent victim of phone rage, although it is possible to have a laugh even with people you haven't met. On balance though, the phone is my enemy. Meeting in person is ok but fraught with hazard for misanthropes such as myself. Tonight I met someone shopping for the second week running. This person is harmless enough but he is work related, so now I will have to change my shopping habits . E. mail is best, short sharp to the point with no waffle or bullshit.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it?
I do, I have 1. I use it most days, never let it be said I am an old fogey.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away?
I have no friends.

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person, or do you believe that "distance makes the heart grow fonder"?
Depends on my alcohol intake.

Talking of arses, the landed gentry and Tory muppets who make up the Countryside Alliance have been gettin massive coverage in the print and broadcasting media this week. Complete overkill in fact. I haven't been able to drive down the any local road without being assailed by massive banners urging everyone to march for liberty and livelihood. It would be nice to be at liberty to roam the hundreds of thousands of acres that a small minority of these jokers own, but they won't allow it, despite being almost entirley funded by the state. Bastards.
Of course the boys of Eton and Harrow have been granted the day off to attend. I hope our comprehensives are as accommodating at the next stop the city do. This is class war, pure and simple and those chinless wonders are taking us all for mugs, or trying to. No doubt it will be reported as a great victory when they bring London to a halt on a working day. Its the rich wot gets the pleasure and all that.
It's not often I agree with Polly Toynbee but she has it about right, notwithstanding her support for terrorising and mutilating defenceless animals.

Apropos of nothing:
Mushroom, Leek and Chickpea Burgers
450g chestnut or closed cap mushrooms
1 medium leek
2 tbsp light oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 and a half tsp ground cumin
1 and a half tsp ground coriander
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt and black pepper
2-3 tbsp oil for frying
chop the mushrooms finely by hand or in a food processor. (If using a food processor, do this in batches.) Trim the leek and cut in half horizontally, then slice thinly. Heat the oil and cook the mushrooms and leek for 5 minutes until soft, then stir in the garlic and spices and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until any liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. The mixture should be as dry as possible.

3. Crush the chickpeas roughly with a fork or pulse in a food processor. Place in a bowl and add the mushroom mixture. When cool enough to handle, shape into 8 burgers. If you have time, place on a plate in the fridge to firm up ? this will help them hold together better for frying.

4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and gently lay the burgers in the pan. You will have to do this in batches, depending on the size of the pan, adding more oil as needed and keeping them warm while you fry the next batch. They fall apart easily so the important thing is NOT to poke them with the spatula or palette knife until they have cooked for 4-5 minutes and have formed a crust on the bottom. Gently turn them over and fry the other side for another 3-4 minutes, trying not to move them too much.

An alternative friday five, courtesy of Bluetitch:
1) What is the song/tune that means the most to you and why.
2)Have you ever been in love?
3)What attracts you most in another and why?
4)What physical thing do you hate most about women and why?
5)Have you ever cried after reading a book and what was it?

1) at this precise moment it's "Cool Cool Water" by the Jayhawks because it's lovely and I have just this minute listened to it. But it's more complicated than that. "The Whole Wide World" by Wreckless Eric" is marvelous and sums it all up. Me and my Mrs would caper about to it when we first met even though it was already about 10 years old by then. Anyway every time I hear it now I melt. Then there is "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" which just about killed me the first time I heard it. Knocked me down dead. To be honest I had been bit of a reluctant punk, walking around in torn paint splattered work clothes rather than look the stereoypical part, trying to explain EATER were not better but different. White man blew all that nonsense away, made punk respectable, by which I mean I was happy to be back in the mainstream, in the warmth of the mainstream where it is safe. This is a question that will change by the minute, but White Man is the one I think, it defines me.

2) I have been in love and I am in love. I am a lucky man. Even now after ten years the thought of Mrs Buddha puts my belly in knots.
Then there is the kids, which is a whole new scenario. And the Blues. And Bob Hatton.

3) A fairly easy one by the standards of Bluetitch. Heart soul and passion. The ability to feel.

4) At the risk of sounding like a berk, there is nothing I hate about women.

5) Many times. Most recently Cutter and Bone which is chuffing tragic and bears repeated readings. Captain Corellis Mandolin, but not the end which is poxy, and another De Bernieres thing but I can't remember which one. Bukowski on turning 43 is a bit moistening too. There are loads really.

Thats that for the ,Bluetitch 5 which was 10 really, at least. Questions, questions, questions.
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