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June 2nd, 2005


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02:05 pm - Ten-spot featuring driving, salads and permanent accounts
1) Happy birthday to missmarypotter and belated happy birthday to, erm, about two dozen other lovely people.

2) By far the best commentary I've seen on the UK's purported number one comes from dungeoneer and can be found here.

3) News: Keble alumnus and computer guru makes massive endowment to Oxford University. Hurrah! Take that, Bill Gates!

4) Poker fans will enjoy videos (pointed out by loogaroo) spoofing a certain Poker Brat at http://www.billfillmaff.com/ which are excellent if you get the jopke.

5) Last week, I went to see Kinsey courtesy of the local indy cinema company at the local arthouse as part of an audience of 15 - myself and seven couples. Oh dear. Attractively made and conveys a very likeable image of the subject, while emphasising he didn't know everything. Additionally, the film only tries to be funny a small number of times, but each one hits the spot with a belly laugh. Thumbs up.

6) Next Monday, we get to find out what the IOC Evaluation Committee made of the five remaining candidates' bids to host the 2012 Olympics. I perceive that London's bid is going really well, though it needs to go not just really well but exceptionally well to make up all the advantages Paris has long had over it. Nevertheless, it's not unknown for a strong second place finisher to attract favourable attention in the future. I anticipate Paris winning and doing a splendid job, but London's time may yet come.

7) How are we all doing with practicing puzzles, people? Keep at it; only 14 days to register for the test on the afternoon of Saturday 16th June. This morning I spent the statutory 2½ hours on the 1999 test and would've scored 98 (almost 118 if I had entered the answers correctly). I'm convinced that this would've easily been good enough to get on the UK team, had there been one at the time and had it used the online qualifier. If your score is around there, take encouragement; if not, keep practising, because your ability improves more through practice than the extent to which the paper gets slightly harder over the years.

8) So I'm learning to drive; six hours of off-road and ten hours of on-road instruction down, maybe thirty more to go, plus tens of hours of practice. These days, if you want to earn a drivers' licence, you need to pass a theory test. The driving school with whom I am learning have booked me in for this test on the grounds that the price is due to rise soon and I can change the date if I'm not happy with the one I'm given. OK, fair enough, good proactive thinking on their part, though I didn't tell them to actually book the test.

So the letter comes, a couple of weeks ago, and the test is booked for this Friday. It says "To rearrange or cancel your test, please telephone 0870 01 01 372 or visit our website at www.dsa.gov.uk at least 3 full working days before the date of this appointment. If you don't you will lose your fee. For example, to cancel a test booked for a Friday you must inform us on the previous Monday."

Fair enough. I forget about this for a week or two and remember it on the Saturday beforehand - the Saturday most recent, in fact. I find the letter, see "inform us on the previous Monday" and think "great, I'm not too late". In fact, a day early - Sunday - I go to the web site and try to change my date. After all, Monday may have been a Bank Holiday here in the UK, but by changing on Sunday or Monday, I would leave Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as my three full working days beforehand, right?

Wrong. Apparently I had to change by Friday, for no clear reason. The inference is that although you can book a change on the web site, the change is not actually implemented until the next working day if you aren't changing on a working day itself - so, if you're not changing during a working day, you must do it a working day further in advance still. This, of course, is not what the letter says; accordingly, I am somewhat upset. The site mentions a customer care e-mail address and a customer care phone line; a polite but highly aggrieved mail was sent off and a phone call was made to the line at 8am prompt on Tuesday morning. (Trying for the "working day starts at 9am so leaving Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday" angle, you see?)

No joy. I spoke to a customer services adviser and was escalated to a superior who would, or could, not see things my way and had absolutely no discretion. The supervisor did end up sounding extremely downbeat, though, so it may well be that she took my point and agreed with me but couldn't say or even hint that. If there's any satisfaction to be taken here, it's in reminding people that they have a crap job where they have no discretion to apply common sense because, as the saying goes, "it's more than their job's worth". Surely, given sufficient irritation at their jobs, everyone will quit them and the jobs will not be filled, resulting in the job changing so that someone can eventually be found to fill it. That's the theory, anyway. In practice, it doesn't seem to work like that.

I did learn, though, that the theory test bookings service is run by Pearson Vue, exterior contractors on behalf of the Driving Standards Agency. I next took my complaint to the Driving Standards Agency itself; they advised me to complain to Pearson Vue (which I had done) and then, if I was not satisfied with the result, to take it up to them. I have a customer service e-mail address for the DSA itself and will take the approach that Pearson Vue are not properly applying the guideline that the DSA have set down. The DSA lady even gave me contact details for their Chief Executive. Now that's service.

I can't decide how far to take this. There's a part of me which says "relax, Chris, it's only - only! - £22 lost, it's not worth the aggravation"; there's also a part of me which says "no, it's the principle of the thing". Certainly I'll complain to the DSA itself when Pearson Vue reply to my complaint e-mail; not sure whether there might yet be a letter to the DSA Chief Executive. (Unfortunately I forgot to keep a copy of my original complaint. Damn webmail.)

In fact, I reckon that I could take this to the Small Claims Court, as I think I have a good case; they say "three full working days", but they don't mean that exactly - the deadline seems to be the end of the previous working day, not the start of that working day. However, the odds are hardly good; I would be putting my £60-ish claim fee at risk (though refundable if I win) to win £22 back, and betting at 1/3 doesn't offer great odds. Additionally, I don't really want the money - if Pearson Vue say that "well, we don't agree with you, but as a goodwill gesture, we'll offer you your money back" then that would not be terribly satisfactory. What I want is official word of "Oi, Pearson Vue, no - you're not playing fair, sort it out or you'll lose the contract" and I don't really care whether it comes from the DSA or a court.

Actually, like any British TV geek of a certain age, what I really really want is Esther Rantzen, Doc Cox (*), Kieran Prenderville and the rest of the "That's Life!" crew embarrassing Pearson Vue on national television and singing a little song about it. Zig-a-zig ahh!

(*) not actually a porn star despite the name, though he did release some disreputable songs under the name "Ivor Biggun". Corks!

9) As announced in news, there's going to be a permanent account sale throughout Tuesday June 7th as defined by EST (so 5am British time Tuesday June 7th to 5am Wednesday June 8th). Permanent accounts will be sold for $150. Traditionally permanent accounts have previously been charged at $100, or the equivalent of four years' subscription; permanent accounts were, some time ago, revamped to include the optional paid extra of 50 usericons, so the $150 cost now represents 42/7 years of paid account and 42/7 years of extra icons as well - or six years of paid status if you wouldn't pay for fifty icons. (Buy a permanent account and you can probably transfer any remaining paid time elsewhere.)

I've been using this LJ for three years minus one week and it's still going strong; less frequent than before, but the impetus is still there. Now that I'm gainful, $150 is within reach as a treat with considerable belt-tightening. The big question for anyone who might consider themselves within the radius of a permanent account is whether I'll continue to use LJ for years to come - maybe four years, maybe more.

In my case, I think there's a good chance I will; I kept a private paper journal between 1990 and at least 1997, then contributed heavily to a postal games 'zine (technically, wrote a subzine) for a couple of years after that. I'll always have things to say, of dubious merit, and find it hard to imagine that I won't want to speak to many people at the same time. Besides, I like you lot, and in many cases LJ is the primary way I keep in contact with you. In many ways this isn't ideal - I can think of a few close friendships that have become primarily-LJ friendships. Of course friendships strengthen and weaken over the years, but friendships seldom wane altogether. I think the case for using reading filters not being dishonest is well-paralleled by people accepting the variability in friendship strength over the years.

Additionally, I think very highly of LJ as a networking tool. We often hear that, to get ahead in life, we need to cultivate and maintain useful contacts; a LJ friendship is a good (friendly, unobtrusive, low-intensity) way of maintaining that. Some of you are phone-a-friend candidates of incredible knowledge, some of you are very well-placed journalists, most of you are sufficient experts, to the extent that I will ever require expertise, in the field of your choice. I am happy to be a contact for all of you, too, in the fields where I am expert to a various extent. I like doing people favours, particularly if you ask me to do the right one! In this way, it may well be that any one of us eventually ends up with a Friends list of, say, five hundred, yet only really follows the lives of fifty or two hundred, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

The biggest issue, then, standing between me and a permanent account is whether I want to be tied down to LiveJournal permanently. It's not inconceivable that there may be a better blogging service some day and there's considerable migration in my social circle from LJ to somewhere else. If this happens, those of us who might choose to stay with LJ because of our permanent accounts might end up feeling slightly lonely. There'll always be RSS feeds and YADIS for cross-site interactivity, but there might yet be better ways of interaction that LJ does not have - or, at least, does not have for sufficiently long time to be problematic.

I firmly believe in the network effect, that the utility of a network is proportional to the number of links in it, which is proportional to the square of the number of users in it. LJ needs not only a large number of users - any users - it also needs sufficiently many of the right users. You Lot are the right users already, but if other people from my past start blogging then it would be nice if they were to start to do so on LiveJournal to make mutual discovery easy. (It was a thrill to rediscover mewcenary by seeing his headshot usericon pop up on a reply to verlaine; a dozen years ago, we used to play a simple space war game by post, but we had long lost contact.) There are tons of good folks who will start blogging in the future; all of us on LJ want them to pick LJ rather than some other service.

The other aspect of the permanent account is what might be given to permanent accountholders in the future. For instance, permanent accountholders were given the "50 icons" optional extra for free - but, when it became possible to buy extra Scrapbook space, this wasn't given to permanent accounts. Will permanent accountholders continue to get at least a little of every optional extra in the future? I would expect not; the extra icons were an anomaly based on the fact that, at the time, permanent accountholders had 15 icons to paid accountholders' 10. I would be inclined not to expect this to be repeated in the future - after all, current permanent accountholders have no free extra Scrapbook space, and you wouldn't expect new permanent accountholders to get it without old permanent accountholders getting it as well. All the same, I wouldn't be surprised to see some permanent extra Scrapbook space given as a sweetener to make the new $150 price more palatable.

Another question: if you like LiveJournal and want to support it for the long term, is it really in your interest to buy a permanent account and so deprive it of a long-term source of your repeat business? That's a tricky one; I'm not sure, but they've set the level according to their calculations and I don't think they'd be doing the public any favours here. Traditionally permanent account sales have been used as fundraisers to expedite the cashflow in order to make big-ticket purchases; in the Six Apart era, I can't imagine that being the case any more. Perhaps permanent accounts will be on sale from time to time as a matter of policy, though I did like this take on the issue. :-)

The other item of note is that we will be required to formally accept the recent change in the Terms Of Service if we wish to continue to use the site. I can think of one of you for whom this may be problematic; I hope he sticks around here in the end, not least because his posts have inspired many spirited discussions in his journal, but there's always RSS feeds if not. The changes to the Terms of Service have been analysed and found not to be too significant, but that's a call for each of us to make if we consider it sufficiently important.

On a ToS-related note, I observe that the Terms of Service both old and new say that (XVI.16.a) "You agree to NOT use the Service to... Engage in commercial activities within LiveJournal or on behalf of LiveJournal.com without prior approval. This includes... Displaying a banner that is designed to profit you or any other business or organization." No names, no pack drill, but a few people who I like and whom I dearly don't want to see suffer could be argued to be sailing a little close to the wind on this one. I like the cause and personally don't have any problems with the means of promotion but other people might. Capiche?

10) For your argument, the (not my, the) top ten vegetables savoury fruit and vegetables for salads.

1. Olives. Black preferred to green.
2. Gherkins. Also known as dill pickles. Haven't tried bread and butter/sandwich pickles yet, but they might possibly be better still.
3. Peppers. Sweet peppers, rather than chilies, though the occasional (relatively restrained) chili can go down well. No Scotch Bonnets or habaneros for me, though.
4. Onions. White onion, red onion, spring (green) onion, it's all good. I have a toothbrush and toothpaste which live in my locker at work now after my boss complained about post-onion breath, though. (See recent Flocked post...)
5. Cucumber.
6. Beansprouts.
7. Celery.
8. Cauliflower. Raw or cooked. The single best veg I ever had was battered cauliflower. Mmmmm.
9. Tomato. Normally a first choice in most salads, but, I dunno, tends to tire with the amount of airplay it gets. Also it's a fruit, hence the amendment above.
10. Miscellaneous leafy greens: cabbage, lettuce, spinach.... Almost wholly responsible for the unfair reputation salads have as rabbit food, but definitely where we start to get to the borderline of acceptable taste-to-effort ratio.

Not much love for beans or carrots in salads, though both fine when cooked. Only any love at all for corn when the lovely dezzikitty is around. Never any love for beetroot or radishes.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mewcenary
Date:June 2nd, 2005 06:20 am (UTC)
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Ah, yes, the fabled Conquest space war game. I can't remember the precise reason we started communicating though. Any ideas? It was either generic PD swapping, or maybe an advert in the Grapevine disk magazine. I'm at a loss. Good times.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 12:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
We ought to be able to look this up, oughtn't we? Emulators, PD reference, mumble mumble...

Actually, I'm pretty sure I still have your letters somewhere, and the first letter may be the best route. GV would've been involved somehow, though.
[User Picture]
From:wmk06
Date:June 2nd, 2005 06:24 am (UTC)
(Link)
Would agree with you on salads, but I enjoy beans and dislike celery. Not that I ever put 10 things in a salad at once, however!

My hopes for the 2012 Olympics look something like "anywhere but NYC!" I really don't want it here...too much of a hassle and I feel like we've been cliched and sanitized enough without being in the world spotlight in such a big way. Although I'm sure that's a problem for any host city...
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 12:53 pm (UTC)
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Variety is the secret of salad. I was really impressed by salad bars with tons of ingredients to select from, though at rather a premium price.

I think the level of support for that city's bid is about 65%-85% in each city, so not terribly different. (I think London may be about fourth of the five contenders on that front, though.)
[User Picture]
From:missmarypotter
Date:June 2nd, 2005 06:50 am (UTC)
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Thank you! :D Quidditch King! :D
[User Picture]
From:bateleur
Date:June 2nd, 2005 07:03 am (UTC)
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My salad tech: artichokes !
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
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Now I knew someone was going to mention them.

I had an artichoke heart on a pizza once. I liked it. However, I have no opinion on artichoke at large, really. Besides, I think they are a poncy southern vegetable; they don't exist to the north of the Watford Gap.

However, should I ever make it back down to Oxford, I shall be delighted to go to Waitrose (giggle) and buy myself an individual portion of artichoke for use in a Poncy Southern Salad. And, doubtless, enjoy it very much.
[User Picture]
From:brigbother
Date:June 2nd, 2005 07:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
Dude, you could try taking the test - it wasn't difficult when I took it (although that was some years ago now), the answer is always the one closest to "stay in bed".

Don't do what I did though and spend a grand on lessons (actually, it can't have been as much as that, could it?), fail your test three times (almost going into a lorry on a main road, jumping a red light and something else, in case you were interested) and then decide you don't like driving. Actually I decided I didn't like driving quite early on, but that's neither here nor there.
[User Picture]
From:imc
Date:June 2nd, 2005 07:50 am (UTC)
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Yes… spending £22 and failing the test is slightly less of a waste than spending £22 and not turning up, and there's always the chance that you will pass. I suppose that in Chris's case the problem might be if it clashes with a shift (though in that case one ought to have thought about rearranging it a bit more than three working days in advance).
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You can ponder as to which sex scenes made me squirm. Just not here - not that I mind your speculations, it would just spoil the film for others. Very brave to call it a 15, but I'd like the thought of 15-year-olds having their eyes opened by watching this.

Quite the variety, weren't there? All non-explicit, but very tasteful.
[User Picture]
From:acinonyxjubatus
Date:June 2nd, 2005 07:18 am (UTC)

In my salad days....

(Link)
Well, my idea of a salad is a bit broader than veg, so I'm going to include my favourite salad ingredients. (And I consider bacon to be a veg, as it's fundamental to everything that I cook! *biggrin*) I will assume the presence of lettuce (esp the crinkly type), lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and spices in the salad. Things I have noticed:

1. Tomatoes are almost always there, (especially cherry tomatoes fried in bacon oil - yummmm!!!!) as they provide a "fullness" to the flavour that is also provided by....
2. Olives, which also adds oiliness and the salt from the brine it's often packaged with that tomatoes need. This fullness is also provided by....
3. Onions, especially shallots.
4. Arugula (rocket) is my favourite leafy veg, as it has a raw, astringent quality. In isolation it's overwhelming, so it needs a liberal amount of vinegar or juice and spice/mustard to overcome it.
5. Mustard is a must in my salads; I always use a small amount of dijon mustard, as it goes wonderfully well with the sharp flavours of the other ingredients.
6. Fried crispy bacon is perfect for salads, as it provides a second crunchy texture as a counterpoint to the leafy veg. it also provides much needed oil, salt and mouthfeel.
7. Peppers are best roasted / burnt in salads, I think, as the nice roasting flavours are a soft, subtle mixture of complexity in the midst of the simple acidic flavours. Aubergines are also brilliant in this respect.
8. Artichokes are fucking brilliant in salads.
9. So are steamed asparagus tips.

In general, my recipe for salad is:

1. Fry chopped up bacon in extra virgin olive oil until crispy. Remove crispy bacon and reserve.
2. Fry cherry tomatoes in them until the first one pops. The rest are then ready.
3. Take the remaining oil and add more extra virgin olive oil. Add herbs (esp oregano, basil, thyme and a pinch of rosemary, although nearly anything goes)
4. Add balsamic vinegar, and lemon/lime juice.
5. Throw in a little mustard, or mustard powder.
6. Add chopped up raw shallots and garlic, crushed.
7. Squish olives and cherry tomatoes (with a potato masher) in a bowl. Add the oil/vinegar/spice mixture.
8. Add only a little sea salt and pepper to taste (the olives and bacon should have provided a fair amount of salt, which tastes more natural and integrated than the addition of any new salt)
9. Mix it all up with leafy veg, and asparagus, peppers, aubergine, artichoke etc.

Watch friends go ooh, aah....

And yeah! Good to hear Oxford getting a nice bequest. Now how can I find out if he'll throw money at another Keble person (ie me)? :-)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:08 pm (UTC)

Re: In my salad days....

(Link)
I am fully prepared to believe that you know your onions. And your rocket, and your aubergines, your artichokes, your asparagus and quite probably your aniseed for that matter.

To me, I consider a salad involving bacon to be "a bacon salad", with bacon as the feature ingredient. There's nothing wrong with that - I also like tuna salad and beef salad at different times.

Mind you, including olives in a salad is probably a bit sus, when you consider how fatty olives are. :-) But that's why they taste so nice!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The details to follow on http://www.gamesbids.com/ in due course, no doubt.

Yes, it's all about money. As ever. :-D
[User Picture]
From:imc
Date:June 2nd, 2005 07:31 am (UTC)
(Link)
I think you've pointed to the answers there, instead of the questions. (A bit silly of them to arrange the URLs that way round, but never mind.)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Surely everyone will stop reading the page when they see the link to the questions and stop reading the answers below?

Er, perhaps... :-/
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)

Re: stuffage pt. 1

(Link)
This is very true. We know Brad, we trust Brad, (for a working definition of we, paying respect to those outside the majority) we broadly like Brad and regard the vast majority of his decisions as Not Evil, though not always completely competent first time every time. The Six Apart folks have not yet earnt that degree of trust and respect yet from the LJ posse. It's far more likely that the Six Apart folks would sell the LJ playground to the evil nasty ad-crazed developers than Brad ever would have done, and the very sad thing is that Brad wouldn't have made nearly as much money out of it as the Six Apart folks do. (And yet, when people asked, the 6A apparently-spokey wasn't at all keen to answer the question about whether that might happen and whether there were plans to save LJ should this happen.)

Am I channeling the plot to every episode of The Raccoons here?
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Stuffage Pt. 2

(Link)
That's not a salad, that's a cheese, bacon and mushroom salad. Those aren't salad ingredients because they're burger toppings. Sure, you put lettuce and tomatoes and onions on top of burgers, but they're not toppings, they're salad.

Actually this one doesn't make as much sense as the Raccoons episode one did, does it?

*slinks off into the woods with tail between legs*
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:byrlakin
Date:June 2nd, 2005 08:06 am (UTC)
(Link)
Green peppers are my pick for salads as well as onions. I usually have mints or toothpaste handy, so onion breath isnt as much of a problem for me.

I love dill pickles, but have never had them on a salad. Must try that one.
[User Picture]
From:applez
Date:June 2nd, 2005 08:57 am (UTC)

Salad wrongness!

(Link)
10. Miscellaneous leafy greens: cabbage, lettuce, spinach.... Almost wholly responsible for the unfair reputation salads have as rabbit food, but definitely where we start to get to the borderline of acceptable taste-to-effort ratio.

This alone clarifies the callous ignorance of the diversity of tastes and textures that are embodied in these and many other proper salad greens. It's a shame really that so many live in such ignorance of such flavourful wealth as exists at least here, in sunny California. :-)

Given the extreme insult No. 10 (No. 10!) posits, it's not worth my while commenting on the hideous errors of the other 9. ;-)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Salad wrongness!

(Link)
Marvellous! Just the sort of pugnacious reply my decree deserves. However, I'm open-minded and willing to be convinced: please write a dissertation (10,000-15,000 words) on the joys of different sorts of rabbit food and their place in a twenty-first century secular intercultural salad.
[User Picture]
From:jumbach
Date:June 2nd, 2005 09:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
I had thought about a permanent account, but decided against it for the very reasons you cite. Besides, even at this juncture of unemployment, USD150 is a heck of a sum, particularly with my trip coming up next week.

As for the GBP22 matter: Well, USD35-40 is worth fighting for, IMHO. I once got screwed out of $400, and was pissed for years. (It was a clear contract violation; it was open and shut and I could have won.) But I didn't think it was worth the hassle to file a suit. Nowadays, though, I know that companies count on people deciding the effort is not worth it for such a small sum.
From:2ndavemusic
Date:June 2nd, 2005 09:24 am (UTC)

Yer just wrong.

(Link)
1. Olives. Black preferred to green.

These have take-or-leave status in my book, tho' I'm fond of them on pizza.

2. Gherkins. Also known as dill pickles. Haven't tried bread and butter/sandwich pickles yet, but they might possibly be better still.

Unnecessary, and redundant if you're also going to have cucumber.

3. Peppers. Sweet peppers, rather than chilies, though the occasional (relatively restrained) chili can go down well. No Scotch Bonnets or habaneros for me, though.

Agreed, tho' not an everyday item. I prefer bell peppers of any color in a salad, and save these mostly for sandwiches.

4. Onions. White onion, red onion, spring (green) onion, it's all good. I have a toothbrush and toothpaste which live in my locker at work now after my boss complained about post-onion breath, though. (See recent Flocked post...)

Green, yes. Red, maybe. Yellow or white--best when caramelized.

5. Cucumber.

Yes.

6. Beansprouts.

Eh. I seldom eat them fast enough that most of the package doesn't go nasty before I get to it.

7. Celery.

But of course.

8. Cauliflower. Raw or cooked. The single best veg I ever had was battered cauliflower. Mmmmm.

Raw or slightly cooked. Batter has no place in a salad.

9. Tomato. Normally a first choice in most salads, but, I dunno, tends to tire with the amount of airplay it gets. Also it's a fruit, hence the amendment above.

Only if it's very fresh.


10. Miscellaneous leafy greens: cabbage, lettuce, spinach.... Almost wholly responsible for the unfair reputation salads have as rabbit food, but definitely where we start to get to the borderline of acceptable taste-to-effort ratio.

As opposed to celery?

What you're missing
Lightly pickled beets are a lovely thing. Not so much that they're nasty-sour or candy-sweet.
Broccoli, see cauliflower. Keep your batter to yourself.
Shredded cabbage. Not so much that the salad turns into slaw.
Mushrooms. Or aren't you considering fungi as vegetables?
Barely-thawed frozen (or extremely fresh, but never canned) peas or corn. Or both.

What do you have against radishes, anyway?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Yer just wrong.

(Link)
Good call on the olive pizza. Cultures which don't do this are missing out.

Pickles and cucumber: well, you might not want them on the same bite, but they both play their roles. Objection overruled.

Yellow onions? I know not of these. Please explain! (Do they do onions in other colours, too? I'm now thinking of attractive vegan Winterval tree decorations...)

Ixnay on the Atterbay in an aladsay.

Celery: yes, yes! Celery has bulk to it, you can bite and chew and enjoy the texture. Lettuce, well, just crinkles and sometimes tastes a bit peppery. Where's the fun in that?

Beetroots: they stain everything within a 10' radius beet-coloured and beet-tasting, so no thanks.

Peas: ya got me there. Yes, peas can be the #11 item in the top ten.

I have two things against radishes. The first is the way they taste. The second is the way they taste. Technically that's only one thing but it's so important that I thought it merited mentioning twice.

I only rip off the very best...
From:quidditchmaster
Date:June 2nd, 2005 10:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Bill Fillmaff is -amazingly- funny. I was watching Hellmuth in the National Heads-Up Challenge a couple of weeks ago... yeah, Bill Fillmaff lampoons him brilliantly.
From:daweaver
Date:June 2nd, 2005 11:57 am (UTC)
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6) This represents very good news for Toronto, surely now favourites to host the Summer Spectacle in 2016; and for Östersund, twice defeated in recent years, and highly recommended by Mike "Hercules" Dixon. (Spoiler! Oh.)

8) The test itself is trivial to the point of insultingness - all you have to do is think smug, think prissy, think like a 50-year-old. (But then, I'm the guy who swotted up on the Highway Code for fun and profit, and who failed his practical four times before cutting his losses.)

As for the substantive point: your contract is with the DVLA, and the behaviour of their subcontractors is for them to deal with, not you. As the DVLA has clearly broken its contract, you have a right - and some would say a moral obligation - to go after them with everything in your arsenal. Certainly a stern letter to the Chief Exec, possibly followed by a letter to that Bell person - or the minister responsible.

9) Am I the only person round here who understands the economic concept of discounting, otherwise known as How Milliways Works? In this case, you want to withdraw #35 per year for four years, plus #10 in the fifth year, and need to know how much money to set aside now to pay for it. Assuming 5% compound interest per year, #138.54 is the answer if you are due to renew in the next few days, #131.94 if you're due to renew at the start of June next year, and varying amounts between for other renewal dates. (If you're only interested in the #25 paid account, then you'll be spreading #150 over six years, and need to set aside between #133.24 and #126.89. I'm not convinced this is a fair analysis.)

Some of us are exposed to currency fluctuations; it's my view that the sustainable rate for the pound versus the dollar is around 1.90 rather than to-day's 1.82, so factoring in a further 4% gain in each year after this brings the top price down to USD 134.56. (It has no effect on the lower price, and I leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out why.) That's £76.12, plus currency conversions. Call it 80 quid top weight.

As for the terms of service, the changes strike me as being very much like the European Constitution - a lot of tidying up, a little streamlining, yet unpopular because the government is widely seen as being out of touch and unresponsive to its electorate. My sticking point lies in the changes to the privacy policy, which was EU-DPD compliant, but now isn't. Or wouldn't be, if anyone here last year had actually accepted it...

10) Gorg!
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)

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6) Indeed it does, but possibly Vancouver getting the Winter games may put a turnip in its broth.

8) I tend to see it that the contractor aren't applying the agency's guideline properly. I'd be happy just for the agency to come down and give the agency a slap on the wrist with a chainsaw.

9) Heckuva lot of assumptions, but I broadly agree with you. I think this is the point where utility theory needs to come into play rather than pure discounted cash value analysis. How much extra would I pay for the cool cachet of having a permanent account? Eeeeeeh, Normal distribution with mean one pound and variance nine pounds per year sounds about right.

I want to call you on your assertion elsewhere that blogs without commenting facilities other than private e-mail to the author are sufficient. Given how much joy I have taken from interacting with third parties on other people's blogs, and how much joy I take from third parties interacting on mine (not least making new Friendships that way), for me it's a non-negotiable part of the fun.

10) Thank you for your support and good taste in this regard. I crown you jiggery_pokery Salad Official Top Banana. A celebratory meal may follow somewhere down the line.
[User Picture]
From:meggitymeg
Date:June 2nd, 2005 12:14 pm (UTC)
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My ideal salad: Waldorf.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:41 pm (UTC)
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Altogether now:

American: I'd like a Waldorf salad.
B. Fawlty Esq.: I'm terribly sorry, we're fresh out of Waldorfs. Polly! Polly! (exit stage in direction of Manuel)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC)
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:-D

I'm waiting to see the impact of Atom. The one thing it needs to do that RSS doesn't is focus the follow-up discussion in one place. Say I'm reading an Atom feed of a Blogger blog; I'd like to be able to see, with a single click, the comments that were posted in response to it, and I'd like to be able to post a comment to it with one click which appears in the original place.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's what Atom is meant to do. A shame.

Not sure that YADIS will take off. When will LJ support usericons for anonymous users through the http://www.gravatar.com/ scheme, for instance? A lot of these things just aren't in favour of defeating the inherent advantages of proprietary lock-in.
From:gamps_garret
Date:June 2nd, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
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Surely, given sufficient irritation at their jobs, everyone will quit them and the jobs will not be filled, resulting in the job changing so that someone can eventually be found to fill it. That's the theory, anyway. In practice, it doesn't seem to work like that.

No, it doesn't. Because the majority of people who work in crap jobs don't do so because they want to, but because there's a more urgently pressing need for them to be employed with some reasonable measure of security. It's the rationale we used to lobby for smoke-free worksites: what well-meaning single parent will choose his/her own future health over providing food and shelter now for her/his children?

I have to say, not just to be contrary, that I disagree with your interpretation of the three full days. Technically, they're correct. In any business-industry, "three full business days" means from the Open of Business on day one to the Close of Business on day three. So, yes, someone would need to receive your information before they left for the day on the last day of business prior to day one for you to be within their stated guidelines. Do I think the guidelines are crap? Sure. But within the statement, they're in the right on this one. Save your sixty quid.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 8th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC)
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In any business-industry, "three full business days" means from the Open of Business on day one to the Close of Business on day three. So, yes, someone would need to receive your information before they left for the day on the last day of business prior to day one for you to be within their stated guidelines.

If the information needs to be received and processed on a business day, I absolutely agree with you. However, when the information is to be sent to a web site, and there's no indication that it will only be processed during business hours, I don't see that there's any indication that you can't submit the details online up to at least the end of the calendar day of business day three in advance, or possibly the start of the working day three in advance.

In either case, the letter offers an inadequate explanation of their practices. Either they need not just three business days but three business days and a little more on the business day before, or they need to state that they only count business hours.

Happily, this didn't matter in the end; see point five of subsequent post!
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From:fruufoo
Date:June 8th, 2005 07:42 am (UTC)
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Regarding salads:

I can't stand olives, gherkins, celery or cauliflour. In fact, I think they're possibly my least favourite vegetables. *shudders* Though I would reccomend broccoli, red cabbage and mushrooms, which I believe have already been mentioned by someone else. I've read that raw brussels sprouts are nice, too, though I haven't tried it yet.

If you're including tomato as a vegetable, you may as well include every other fruit - you can stick almost any fruit in a savoury salad, as long as the other ingredients go with it. I'm particularly fond of apple, banana and orange for everyday salads (though all at once would be a bit too sweet!); apricot is extremely nice in creamy salads, or to go with mild vegetables like beansprouts and sweetcorn.

Almost as important as having interesting ingredients, I find, is the preparation. I think it's important to have a range of shapes, sizes, colours and textures, or the salad seems boring. :)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 8th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
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:-D I don't think I'll be sharing a salad with you, in that case. :-)

The fruit/veg distinction is for purists and fruitarians only, I suspect. For me, I care more about savoury or sweet. For instance, rhubarb is a very fine vegetable, but so sweet that I couldn't imagine having it with savoury ingredients. Fruit salads are fine inventions and a wonderful dessert, but a mixed savoury-and-sweet salad... well, would somehow be like having main course and dessert at the same time.

Good point about preparation. Expediency and limited time force me to think more about throwing things in rather than art. :-)

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