J P and Julia visited Harry Potter World and loved the butterbeer they had there. It's part of their nature to make it themselves back home.Video )

Thinking about Harry Potter too much is not healthy. I got to thinking about why Harry was casting Lumos under the covers at the start of Prisoner of Azkaban when he'd been sent a nasty warning about doing any magic outside school in the book before. Of course, by Order of the Phoenix the rule seemed to have morphed to doing magic in the presence of a Muggle. But aren't we all suspicious that Hermione was showing off in front of her proud parents every summer, and thus shouldn't we be puzzled why Harry would get in trouble for doing magic in front of his cousin, who knew he was a wizard, well before the weird kangaroo court at the Ministry of Magic?

What did Hermione's parents tell their friends when they asked where Hermione was attending school? St. Brutus' like Harry's Aunt and Uncle?

Who saved Harry from the Dementor by the shore? Yes, we were shown that Harry saved himself eventually. But trace the time line through the loop. The first time through Harry would have been a soulless husk if *some else* doesn't save him. Think about it. If some one else saves him then he can go back with Hermione and the next time through the loop he can save himself. *Not the first time.* So did Dumbledore save him, and think, "Oh this is a mess! Harry's a wuss and I still can't save Sirius. Why don't I get Hermione and Harry to go back in time and straighten it out for themselves? Harry thinks I was his dad anyway, and it will be great practice for them!'?
cactuswatcher: (Sirius)
( Nov. 18th, 2016 12:10 pm)
The first name of the lady who checked me out at the grocery this morning is Deer. She's a Native American. The curious thing is that my German dialect last name translates to roughly 'venison.'

I was driving along this morning and noticed a sign at the entrance to a strip mall advertizing the businesses there in. Nothing particularly exceptional except that two of the signs that were together had the same font except that one was red and the other green. It occurred to me that if I were red-green color blind the sign would read quite clearly "Bug and Weed Grooming."


In honor of the new Potterverse movie, I'm going to talk about a Potterverse game that was released this year called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. While this kind of tie-in-with-mass-market-movie/book/TV-show game is often poorly done and not worth looking at, this particular game is both well thought out in terms of the tie-in to the subject and is a good game besides.details )

Hogwarts Battle is a game best for adults, though it takes awhile to get it going at adult level. It encourages the players to play all seven games over time, something not everyone is going to have the patience for. It's certainly far too much game to experience it all in one sitting. It's fun, and at least spaced out over a few weeks real time, it doesn't get boring. I like the game quite a bit and recommend it to anyone that doesn't mind following instructions to get through complex games.

Only in Canada EVA )
Edible nail polish again. Emmy decided to record trying it for our edification. Her glowing review. )
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Feb. 7th, 2016 11:58 am)


Do not take your mom to Panda Express unless a) she likes really bad Chinese-American food or b) you want her to avoid you till next Chinese New Year!
You can skip the prelims unless you really wanna see them... The song starts at 1:08.



A neighbor taught my father how to make snow ice cream and he frequently did make it in the evening during a fresh heavy snowstorm. The recipe he had used whole milk, sugar and egg instead of condensed milk as a thickener. It was close to an eggnog slushy... just would have needed some nutmeg! Of course raw eggs aren't safe anymore. :o(

Several people in the youtube comments were concerned with pollution in the snow. They need not be. The first few inches of snowfall aren't usable for snow ice cream (because of leaves, grass, rocks) and those first inches would have most of the air borne tiny bits which those people were worried about. It would have been far more polluted in the old days when every household locally was burning its own coal. Even back when, you'd never make it with anything but the freshest snow. You'd never make it in a city environment, that is you need a big back yard away from alleys, streets and roads. It was fun to have it, but once a winter was plenty.
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Dec. 31st, 2015 11:34 am)


I resolve to sing almost as well as Laina next year!
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Aug. 19th, 2015 08:34 am)
Elly Awesome is a cute young Australian who does a lot of food videos. Like most of the women who do this kind of thing, Elly samples the worst kinds of foods imaginable but only in small portions, gives away lots of left overs, works out and eats healthy most of the time. It's not unusual for these women to suggest healthy snacks, though Elly's turn out to be amusing if not exactly unhealthy:see the vid )

1. Frozen bananas. Tip: eat them within 24 hours. A friend of mine in college used to leave bananas in the freezer and eat them whenever. They turned disgustingly black in a few days and drew raucous comments from everyone seeing him eat them like that. Obviously frosting doesn't make them healthier.

2. Elly's pronunciations "guack-a-mole" and "tor- till-uh" make it a lot harder to accept "PAP-rick-uh" which may well be standard in Australia. Elly is in the States at the moment, and her boyfriend obviously called her on "guacamole" off camera. I'd probably substitute chili powder for paprika. It almost always contains paprika anyway. Otherwise it's a nice simple recipe.

3. I don't eat apple cores let alone the seeds. Not sure about Elly here. I think I've had peanut butter on cored apple slices. Not crazy about it. Elly is right about low quality peanut butter. It's often full of cheaper vegetable oils, and thus a source of too many transfats.

4. Oil popped corn may be delicious, but it ain't healthy. Microwaved prepackaged bags are the same. There are microwave corn poppers that don't need oil to work as well as air poppers. The results admittedly aren't very tasty, but if you are going to put on butter or margarine anyway... Personally I use olive oil instead of butter and sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese.

5. This little toasted open-face sandwich looks like the gateway to overdoing every snack. How about cheese or ham on a cracker instead? "Capsicum" is the Australian word for "bell pepper." I loathe green bell pepper but that's not Elly's problem. ;o)
Bunny's Internet persona is a good example of the opposite of "elegant." But she does give honest and thoughtful reviews.



I'm thinking of trying the reuben flavor to see how bad it is. I think I'd like the Gyro flavor. Truffles don't do anything for me. I'm prejudiced against Southern-style biscuits and gravy. I don't like (American) biscuits. Biscuits and gravy was what poor folks ate for dinner where I grew up, not what farm folk ate for breakfast. My family occasionally had chipped beef on toast, the first cousin of biscuits and gravy, for lunch. I ate it, but can't say I miss it much.

ETA: Couldn't wait. I went out and got a bag of reuben flavor this morning. They are surprisingly like a reuben sandwich, not meaty tasting but there is certainly a strong hint of corned beef, a strong hint of rye bread, fainter hints of sauerkraut and dill pickle. I think they aren't bad, but then again I like reuben sandwiches.


I'd substitute Monterrrey Jack or Pepper Jack for the Colby, probably cut the total amount of cheese and add more onion. I might leave the red bell pepper out and sprinkle it raw on top after cooking with the other garnishes. I personally would never add green bell pepper before cooking. It overpowers everything else. But if you like that... Mild Hatch chilies would be fine, though if heat is a problem for you, it's easy to get a really hot Hatch chili among the mild ones. (The canned green chilies I use are usually mild. But the last batch I opened was really hot.) Emmy's using Old EL Paso enchilada sauce which is fine for this kind of quick and simple recipe.
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Apr. 4th, 2015 09:22 am)
Tam is odd in that the first expression you see on her face is apparently disgust whether she loves what shes trying or hates it. She is more than a bit clumsy and doesn't worry about it. I enjoy her efforts a lot.

cactuswatcher: (icon2013)
( Jan. 15th, 2015 08:59 pm)


Who would believe now, that I used to get carded at movies?
Re Sweety, etc.: Senior citizens don't like that either.
cactuswatcher: (Sirius)
( Dec. 24th, 2014 03:49 pm)


We had two different kinds of TA's at Ohio State, Teaching Assistants who graded papers for massive lecture classes and Teaching Associates, like me, who ran their own classes. Yes, I admit I occasionally drank a beer or two before grading tests when I had little hope of finding good grades amongst the papers and if I went to a bar it was over 21 only. (18-year-olds could drink 3.2 beer in Ohio and had their own very noisy bars). At Mizzou as an undergraduate I never went to a bar, but I was assured that though the drinking age in town was strictly 21, at least in those days, if you could reach the bar to pass the bartender the money you could get served.

Though I was a TA for a few years I never actually had office hours. I announced the first day of class that anyone who needed to talk to me could make an appointment, and maybe once every couple of terms I did meet with a student outside class.
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 13th, 2014 10:08 pm)
There are a lot of Youtube channels with folks giving food reviews or impressions, many of them from hulking guys who can only express a thumbs up or thumbs down, or at best one to five stars. Emmy besides being one of America's cutest moms gives a pretty good idea of the things she's tasting to let her viewers decide for themselves what they might like. This was sponsored by American Express, but it gives you a good idea of how expressive Emmy can be.


Just ask Sirius. I was sitting in an armchair last evening with a margarita. Sirius kept trying to put his nose in the glass. He made no attempt to lick, but no matter how often I moved the glass around he kept trying to stick his nose in it. It took a long time for me to realize if it was warm enough in the house for me to want an icy drink. it was warm for him too. I got his water bowl and put in an ice cube. He merrily played with it and lapped up cool water, leaving me and my drink alone.
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