Rabbie Burns

portrait of Robert BurnsToday is Burns’ Eve. Robert Burns was born on 25th January 1759. He wrote Auld Lang Syne, and Neil mentions every time it’s mentioned that people only know the first verse and chorus.

(On a related note, I’ve read the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, and I still don’t think I could manage with that accent.)

I’ve been ‘blessed’ to be born on or near dates of national importance in two of the countries I’ve lived.

I don’t think there’ll be a formal Burns Supper cooked at home tomorrow, although we do occasionally get haggis for our supper. And I will not be waxing lyrical (haha) about haggis. The Selkrik Grace, on the other hand, is another matter:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Thank you for meat. Heehee.

Never trust a stranger (or a tattoo artist you don’t know)

Terry sends me the breaking news that an Argentinian football fan wanted to get a tattoo of his favourite team on his back, and went to a tattoo artist who was a fan of their rival. Result? He got a tattoo of a penis. It’s one thing to sue the artist, but now he’s going to either have to live with a willy on his back or get a cover-up job that won’t be as good — had the original idea been executed.

Linlithgow Palace photos

Doug Monkey posing outside
Doug Monkey near the entrance to the palace

I brought Doug with me when Neil and I went to Linlithgow (at my behest). He said it was really cool, but hadn’t been there in years.

The palace was so quiet — there weren’t too many other tourists about. And I have, shall we say, an overactive imagination. Thus I wasn’t super keen on going into the small rooms and corridors with minimal lighting, in case I ran into someone dressed in period costume. I’d’ve had to change my underpants if I had. I did wander up and down the towers (and managed to get lost in a palace that doesn’t really have floors or ceilings or even roofs for the most part), but only the roof on the Queen’s tower was open to the public.

The thing that really got me was how icy cold it was — even with wooden floors and ceilings, they must have had fires going 24/7. I was imagining what it was like to live there, walking through those dark narrow corridors. Can you picture yourself being one of the permanent household staff who had to maintain the palace day after day? Or the people who worked in the brewery?

It was an awfully windy day, Doug was getting blown off sills and seats, so I didn’t get many photos. Hehe. Flickr set here.

This weekend I…

  • stayed up late playing on the ‘puter
  • spent the day in Linlithgow (photos of our exploration of Linlithgow Palace to come; had a nice, if slow to come, meal at The Four Marys)
  • went to Brian and Carene’s (box of White Zinfandel and large wineglass = bad idea)
  • had some potato and leek soup for lunch
  • had steak pie for dinner
  • went for a walk with Neil
  • watched Hackers (for the nth time; I still know most of the lines; Jonny Lee Miller is squee and Angelina Jolie never looked as hot after playing Kate Libby)
  • watched part of Contact

Run Glasgow is telling me how to do it right

Run Glasgow has a training schedule for beginners to a 10k run (note to self: their race is in May). For the Oxygen Deficit race, which is a measly two weeks away, I should be running practically every day.

Erm…

On Monday I did about 3 miles or so (I forget). I felt kind of tired on Wednesday so Neil and I went for a walk instead. I jogged four miles yesterday (the treadmill I use is still Imperial). Tomorrow the plan is to do a bit of sightseeing, so I guess I’m back to the gym on Sunday. I don’t like doing a tiring workout every day.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have an issue with jogging pigeon-toed (my colleague who is running the race too has never even heard of someone being pigeon-toed!), and now I have also taken to lying with my right leg… akimbo… if that’s the right description, when I first get into bed. The good news is I haven’t had any joint pain — I’m taking Glucosamine Sulphate and eating yoghurt (although not drinking milk regularly — the shame), so maybe they help.

I know I’m not a beginner, but I don’t meet the definition of ‘experienced’ (45 minute target) either. I’ll be lucky to complete the race in an hour, and that’ll only be because it’s too bloody cold to be slushing along outdoors.

I’ve covered about 2/3 of the required distance on the treadmill, and anyone who’s ever used a treadmill knows how boring it is, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever do the entire 10k (about 6.2 miles) on it. Since I’ve managed 10k on more than one occasion, I’m sure I’ll be okay.

The Sydney Morning Herald needs to fire their tech writer

They don’t know how to check their facts, for starters. I’m no fan of designer-labelled mobiles, but the LG-Prada phone is not an Apple iPhone lookalike. Mockups of the Prada phone were out in December, and since we know that the secrets of the iPhone were kept well under wraps until the announcement at MacWorld, the author of this article obviously did only the most rudimentary of research, possibly by surveying rabid Apple fans.

The Burmese junta are barking mad

I wonder (only slightly) what it must be like to live in Burma and have only one source of news, and it is complete and utter crap:

“She avoided paying taxes to the State by asking her family members abroad to spend all her cash awards provided by international organizations and honorariums presented for her works she had created abroad, instead of spending the money in the country,” the newspaper wrote.

Yes. Now they’re trying TAX EVASION as an excuse to keep her under house arrest. And even then, they say she’s getting off lightly!

“It was very considerate of the government to put only restrictions on her, instead of punishing her in accordance with (the) law,” the paper said.

A country like that is just the slowest train wreck ever. We are all watching this disaster slowly get worse and worse, and all ASEAN can do is talk. Something really needs to be done about this. If they had abundant oil resources, could we undertake a humanitarian war of liberation?

Foodie Friday — Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn

roasted cauliflower

When I was a child, I only really liked two vegetables — mushrooms (my favourite) and broccoli. The broccoli I ate was lightly stir-fried with some oil and (I think) light soy sauce (maybe a touch of oyster sauce as well). Biting down on ‘the trees’ was seriously tasty. So I ate cauliflower too (it looked close enough to broccoli).

These days, I like quite a range of vegetables, although I draw the line at bittergourd (blech). I love popcorn as well, so when there is a recipe for cauliflower cleverly disguised as popcorn, I pay attention. Cauliflower, garlic, breadcrumbs, a tiny bit of salt, and a touch of fresh chilli pepper baked till brown sounds absolutely mouthwatering.

This would be a great snack for a movie session! It’s just preparation, and I hate the preparation part of making food edible.