April 18th, 2015
I’ve done all the recipes I want to do from Hugh’s Veg Every Day book, so I’ve started going back over them while combing in extra ingredients that I have found lying around during the Saturday inventory.
This one was the new potato, tomato and boiled egg salad. I swapped out the mustard in the vignette for honey and mild chilli powder. Then I (and by “I” I mean my sous chef Elina) fried up some turkey that we had marinated in some kind of substance. I think I put sunflower oil, freshly-ground black pepper, Jamaican jerk, lemon pepper, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.
April 17th, 2015
It’s been ten months since the last edition of the guide was published, but the drought is over. This edition features 14 brand new reviews and is available now in the Amazon Kindle store.
- Almost Famous
- Bem Brasil
- Bird & Beast
- Buca di Pizza
- Bulgogi Grill
- Griffin Hotel
- Meat Liquor
- Teppan 260
- The Man Behind The Curtain
April 16th, 2015
About a decade ago Worfolk Online was running a series of web portals that brought a lot of lovely content together from across the web and put it in one place so that we didn’t have to go through that tedious process of typing in the first few letters of URLs before auto-complete finishes it for us.
One of which was Frinks. Then, years later, it closed down.
Since then many people have asked if and when it would return. I mean, they didn’t exactly state it per se. However I could see it in their eyes, hear it in the intonation of their voice, and feel it in their embrace.
Well never fear, because Frinks has indeed returned. It is mostly syndicating large pictures of my face at the moment, making it largely only of interest to Elina, but I hope to expand the content in time.
April 15th, 2015
Oh, where did it all go wrong?
Last week Elina took me out to Everyman Pizzeria where we were scheduled to have our usual: duck pizza for me, pepperoni pizza for Elina, and then sharing a boozy sundae. I’m nearly 30, I have simple needs but am too old to change now.
However, Everyman Pizzeria have rolled out a whole new menu. And it’s not as good.
They have replaced the pizzas with ones that look fancier, but that does not necessarily make them taste any better. My pulled pork pizza was good, but not great. Elina had to get the veggie burger instead which despite listing what we thought was all the ingredients on the menu, came covered in onions.
Finally, when we got to dessert, we found out they had scrapped their menu and now only had a make-your-own sundae. This did not have enough options to re-create their previous range, so we decided to leave it.
The staff were friendly and attentive as always, so no problems there. However, I have written to Everyman Cinema management to request that they send all future changes to me to be approved in writing.
April 14th, 2015
Dune. Arrakis. Desert planet.
Dune is a 1965 novel by Frank Herbert. It is gripping. I usually make it through a novel. It’s rare when I actively seek out extra time to get in reading. However, this was one of those novels. Intricate and interesting, yet not overpoweringly complicated.
It has also aged very well. Despite being 50 years old, it did not sound out-dated. Herbert died in 1986, coincidentally the same year as follow science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.
It does mean however, that I now have five sequels to add to my reading list.
April 13th, 2015
I am a proponent on the free market. That doesn’t mean I am a hardcore economic libertarian that thinks the state should keep its nose out. Far from it. I think the free market works best well in a strongly regulated environment that forces companies to provide a high level of service and prevents them from gaining a monopoly.
Housing is a tough one though. House prices continue to go up. Why? One answer is, that people keep buying them. Getting into more and more debt. Which, as we saw in 2008, can only go so far. Yet the property market continues. While the rest of the world burned, house prices never really dropped that much.
Another reason is that the government know that home-owners vote, and so continue to push out policies that prop up house prices. As I have written about before, any consideration of the help to buy scheme quickly reveals it as a trick to help the middle class. Rather than forcing home-owners to lower prices to those affordable to first time buyers, it forces young people to take on even more government-sponsored debt while allowing the home-owning class to extract their silver.
The problem with the housing market though, is that there is no opt-out. With consumer goods, if they are ludicrously expensive, you just buy something else with your money. Housing is not like that. You need somewhere to live. While house prices may be irrationally high but we face the same problem that those who said they knew the 2008 financial crash was coming. Just because you know it to be the case, does not mean you can stay solvent longer than the market can remain irrational.
Another reason that the free market fails with regards to house prices is that people have stronger non-financial considerations. They want to live near their friends and families for example, and have jobs tying them down to locations. In a free market, everyone would move to Darlington to enjoy cheap, spacious houses. Yet people continue to rent hovels in London for £2,000 a month because their connections keep them there. They are trapped in a restricted market.
In contrast, an increased investment in council houses could help fix the market. Having council houses with reasonable rents could provide a genuine alternative to buying or renting from private landlords, forcing the private housing market to compete for customers on a truly free market.
April 12th, 2015
Louis Theroux’s second documentary to arrive this year is “Transgender Kids”, a look at children who are transitioning.
It makes sense. Louis voices the question many people think at first – “what if we’re wrong?” It’s true that some changes are irreversible; you can only go through puberty once. However, as the doctor points out, we know the risks of not allowing people to transition. In contrast, we don’t have much evidence as to how many people transition back to their birth-assigned gender, and I’ve never heard of it.
Theroux has previously been accused by some critics of poking the bear with unjustifiably probing questions, or using the same tired format of looking dough-eyed into the camera while he watches people’s struggles. However, I saw none of that in this documentary. It was carried out carefully, bringing insight into a topic without leading the audience.
April 11th, 2015
Yes, it’s official!
If you are in the City & Hunslet ward of Leeds you can vote for me for Leeds City Council. I’m standing as a candidate for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.
You can find my personal manifesto here.
April 10th, 2015
Recently I registered with the new Virgin Money credit card service. They have just taken over the running of their own credit cards from MBNA so everyone has to re-register on their new system.
I selected a 14-character password containing a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
Five minutes later I was changing it to a simple easy-to-remember phrase. Why? Because every time I log in to my account I have to enter a set of certain digits from my password.
The problem is that I have no idea what my password is. It is safely secured away in 1password; I never look it at, I never know what it is. But thanks to Virgin Money’s so called security measures, much like other financial organisations do, I am instead forced to use a far more easily crackable password.
April 9th, 2015
Where exactly was the debate? There were a few topics, each candidate then said what they stood for in turn. That isn’t a debate. Has nobody who conceived of this show actually seen a debate or understood what a debate is?
There was a bit of back and forth between the candidates, but nobody really got to the meat of it. There were no real discussions of the advantages or disadvantages of different policies.
Nobody even said that much about their policies. If you didn’t already know what each party stood for, would you have watching that? Think of all the Green policies for example. They were hardly mentioned throughout the two hours.
Two of the candidates are not even fielding candidates in most of the country. According to The Guardian, one of the most popular questions after the debate was “can I vote SNP in England?” The answer is no.
Thus the SNP seemed mainly there to chip in “we’ve already done that” when an English politician put forward a good idea. That should probably be a wake-up call – we do trail Scotland on hospital parking charges, prescription charges and preventing letting agents from charing unscrupulous fees.
The one thing that Nigel Farage got right was that he was the only person saying something different. As person after person trailed out the message “we want immigration and to be part of Europe, but we want tighter controls on it”. Their answers blurred into one. Farage was the only person with something different to say. Is that the debate we wanted? One where Farage, king of the bigots, is the one offering an alternative?
Everyone else was too scared to step out of line. Nick Clegg pushed the boat out by asking the rich to pay “a little bit more.” It would have been far better if Natalie Bennett had at this point screamed “we’re going to make the rich pay loads more!” and Cameron to jam in “I think my friends pay quite enough.” But they didn’t.
In summary then, it felt like a complete waste of my time to watch it. Maybe we would be better to have a two party system with the ghost of John Stuart Mill running one party and Arthur Scargill running the other.