Tweets on 2008-10-31

  • Chuffed at the knowledge I have brought at least 10 mug cakes into the world, and off to make another one for myself. #
  • Listening to snorts of laughter and derision from down the hallway as P discovers “spEak You’re bRanes” #
  • Bugger – it’s hard to pretend you’re not in to trick-or-treaters if you leave your radio up loud whilst you cook #
  • @hughmcguire – I just tweeted mine! Cat of Stripes food diary has loads of nice vegan recipes. #
  • Eek, overdid the chilli a bit. #
  • Hearing myself say “mockons la semaine, chat-i-kins” #

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Tweets on 2008-10-30

  • Per-lease! Manuelgate?! Are you kidding me? This is not sodding news, it has no place on *my* radio. Stop, stop stop! #
  • Sequestering UTI Kitty in the sitting room with a special litter tray and a bowl of water up until he produces a sample. #
  • @willhowells were you thronging the gate? #
  • @markpack and twittered about #hashtags too, for good measure. #

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Exclusive: What Obama said to John McCain

Sometimes towards the end of a hard-fought campaign a blog post emerges that changes you how you think about the whole election. A posting so inspiring, or with such a new perspective that you cannot fail to sit up and take notice, and maybe – just maybe – change your view about the whole shebang. Such a posting emerged tonight. I was just minding my own business, cooking chilli and rice-pudding, sitting down to watch Dead Set on E4, then idly checking my twitter and blog feeds on my phone, when BAM – the following dropped onto my consciousness. Suddenly, life will never be the same again.

Read the top 10 redonk things said in the election – as retold by kittens. Awww! How cute.

A slightly more substantial video has also dropped through my feedreader via JoeMyGod about how the candidates have re-used the same words and phrases in each of the debates. And not just the same words and phrases, but exactly the same intonation each time.

It’s not that surprising. A radio programme I was half listening to last week pointed out almost the same – one secret to fluency in public speaking is to have a whole series of words and phrases that you can build your argument around. A sort of verbal thinking space. In the time it takes you say, “Good evening, my fellow Americans,” your brain can be a long way down the synaptic paths it needs to be in order to string together the words and phrases of the new stuff you wanted to say. And it’s partly why ministers and clergy men can speak fluently. After years of reading the liturgy, there are whole groups of words that will just flow off the tongue. Slot a few into a sermon, add a few more words, and with all the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, you’re halfway there already.

(Something a little screwy happens if I try and embed the video, so you will have to make do with a link to it instead.)

Tweets on 2008-10-29

  • I’ve just discovered where the Goose Fair giant goose lives for the rest of the year. #
  • It’s been so long since I last went leafleting, I almost forgot to have cake. #
  • Irritated that mobile internet seems to work in coffee shop queue but not at table 2m away. #
  • Well, I’m enjoying xkcd even if others aren’t. #
  • Writing a #postcrossing card in German. And even I’m wincing at the mistakes I’m making. #

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Tweets on 2008-10-28

  • Watching outdoor temperature plummet (now 0.4 deg C) and feeling hugely grateful boiler man got here today! #
  • @alanfleming wrist straps? #
  • Temperature at the bottom of the garden has been as low as 0.2 but has now risen again to 0.5. No FREEZING KLAXON tonight 😦 #
  • -0.2 deg c! Awooga, Awooga! #
  • Eek, 13 messages waiting on my answerphone! #
  • Hehe – Lab council leader wants to be my friend on Facebook. He has 5 friends so far! #
  • Colder still tonight – is already -0.8 deg c #
  • ooh, ooh, -2.7 now. Checking out of window for snow on cars, but it turns out it’s just one of those Minis with a white roof. #

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Don’t read this unless you use Twitter and WordPress

WordPress bloggers who use Twitter have known for some time that you
can use the plugin Twitter Tools to reproduce your twitter content into your blog in one daily mindump at a time of your choosing.

You can also use Twitter Tools to point twitter readers at your blog whenever you write a new post – which has been controversial for some. My view is that it’s probably OTT for those who still blog multiple times a day, but ideal for the many of us who used to, but who now twitter many times a day instead and blog only infrequently. The practice was annoying back in the day when tweets arrived as SMSes and you couldn’t do much about it from your phone, but now that Twitter have removed this function far more people are reading Twitter from a computer.

But the aha! moment I had last week which prompted me to write this piece was an interesting bit of additional functionality you can get from adding in the plugin KB Linker to the mix. KB Linker scans your blog post texts for key phrases and inserts a link.

It’s fully configurable, so you choose your key phrases and the links they generate. At LDV, we have a full list of all Lib Dem MPs and other representatives, so that whenever one of our correspondents idly tosses in a name, the site automatically plugs their website.

Using KB Linker and Twitter Tools means you can have a system where key words in tweets can become links by the time they make it into postings on your blog – without having to use awkward tinyurls and so on.

You could use this to direct blog readers to useful posts or pages on your own site which unpack some of your shorthand. For example, councillor bloggers could point the word “ctte” to a posting explaining which committees they serve on and what they actually do.

You could use it for SEO, and point regularly occurring twitter words at sites that need a little Google boost.

You could even use it to link a hashtag to the hashtag-summary page on Twemes. And hope that the world doesn’t explode in a massive mess of Web 2.0 self-referential geekery that vanishingly few people will actually understand.

Tweets on 2008-10-27

  • Cleaning the kitchen specially for the boiler repair men. #
  • There’s a grate outside the Guildhall that steams when it’s cold. Is this Nottingham or New York? #
  • Settling down to watch Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set and can’t quite believe Friends is still on TV. #
  • Kevin Eldon just gives the game away. Too recognisable a face. #
  • Hoping for Zombie Davina #

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Mug cake evangelism

The following was found on a forum somewhere enlightened on the internet, and DAYAM, THE WORL’ NEEDS TO BE TOLE!

Put 4 tablespoons of plain flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa in a mug and mix thoroughly.

Add 1 egg, and mix well.

Add 3 tablespoons of milk and 3 tablespoons of oil – mix again until well combined.

If desired, add chocolate chips and a splash of vanilla.

Microwave the mug for 3 minutes at 1000 watts or 4 minutes at 700 watts (the cake will rise above the top of the mug but don’t panic!)

Allow to cool, turn out onto a plate if you like.

Apparently margarine tastes better than oil – but you have to add this before the egg and milk instead of after.

This is absolutely perfect for those occasions at the end of a meal when you think, “I just fancy some pudding now.”  I’ve been making microwave steamed pudding for ages, but always have to faff around looking for recipes and quantities, but now mad cow memory be damned, even I can remember the stuff with the tablespoons!

Last year there was an episode of Dave Gorman’s Genius where one of the contestants launched a manifesto for in effect The Campaign for Hot Puddings.  He  needs to know about mug cake, fo’ shure!

This handy recipe can easily be adapted.  Take out the cocoa and substitute a handful of raisins, and, egad, ersatz Spotted Dick!  A bit of jam, and you have what I think used to be called Dead Baby when it was part of school dinners (although googling ‘dead baby’ has not turned up anything particularly germane).  Desecrated coconut would be a nice addition. Add mixed spice and a bit of grated carrot, and you even have a form of carrot cake!

Tonight’s variation: add a dessertspoonful of instant coffee and a handful of walnuts. And cook it in a bowl, where mixing is much easier.

Might work better if the coffee was fully dissolved in hot milk first, as there were distinct coffee flavoured granules extant in the final cake.

(and I wouldn’t like to give the impression of being the sort of person who gives instant coffee house space, but I have two jars knocking about – one in the camping crate and one in the “Lib Dem meetings” kit)

It could easily be vegan, if you replaced the egg and the butter with, erm, soya margarine and, erm, tofu?

It could even be lo-cal if you used low fat margarine and some sort of sugar substitute.

So spread the word. Everyone needs to know about mug cake.

Tweets on 2008-10-26

  • Putting back the clock on the oven… and the clock on the heating… and the cuckoo clock… all the rest are automatic, I think. #
  • “I worshipped him blindly / He worships another / Attend to me kindly / this lady’s… my MOTHER!” DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM This lady’s his what? #
  • Grr. Looks like the boiler’s on the blink again. 😦 #
  • Waiting for the immersion heater to do its job and wishing we had an immersion heater that could power the radiators #

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Tweets on 2008-10-25

  • Rudely awoken at 9am on the dot by oik with a ladder wanting to clean my gutters. Offer too good to refuse. #
  • Alan Shore vs the Supreme Court?! OMG! Amazing! #
  • Briefly hating Steven Spielberg, on @stephenfry ‘s say so #
  • Drinkin’ beer and enterin’ canvass data. #
  • Oh boy, if the supreme court weren’t enough, now we have Denny Crane for President?! #
  • @doctorvee football hooligans? Stopping the train to get Transport Police to evict non fare-payers? #

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