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Everything not a comic page

face time

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One of the pages from my last sketchbook.  I think a couple of them look like Nicolas Cage from Valley Girl.

Recipes

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Here we will answer the age old question:  what can you possibly mix with J&B?  There are plenty of suggestions in bar books, but none have really flown in my household.  When taking on a Giallo marathon we were stuck, once again, with finding a drink to make out of the famously Giallo J&B.  We came up with:

GINGER FINGER

  • Finger of J&B (thus its name)
  • splashes of Canton (ginger liquor) – maybe even a shot of it
  • squirt lemon juice
  • ginger beer – for the rest of the glass.  The more, the weaker the drink.

A finger, by the way is when you have your hand wrapped about the bottom of a rocks glass so that your fingers make measurement lines up the side of the glass.  This drink also works with Becherovka – a crazy bitter slavic drink that also doesn’t taste good mixed with anything.

 

 

Bananafish aka Singing the praises of obese consumer giant

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I have to tell you how Amazon made me happy today.  I am a guilty, reluctant consumer, so you must appreciate how big a thing this is for me to be free advertizing.  Yes.

I subscribe to this blog JRock Explosion and on the most recent JRock Fridays post I was introduced to Bananafish.  Instantly impressed by the talents of each and every instrument and how they fit together fantastically in deceptive pop style, I wanted some more.  I’m used to looking all over for international musics and have ordered CDs from far and wide (why doesn’t amazon-japan have an mp3 store?).  So, can you believe how crazy surprised to find out that amazon-us had Bananafish mp3 albums for purchase?!?  Holy cannoli, I’m shopping!

Bananafish for you:

Smelling books

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Allow me to preface this little trip to information you most likely have no use for with an explanation of how it came about.  Theseus by Jake Wyatt swaggered into my feed reader for free comics day (it’s been a while I know) and I had to follow it to The Anthology Project where it was included in volume 2.  While there, hitting the ‘add to cart’ button, I felt compelled to add volume 1 as well and possess both.  I highly recommend these books, they are beautiful and chock full of fabulous talent.  The books arrived a few days ago and while I was thumbing through volume 1 I noticed that it smelled amazing.  Now I’m not a book sniffer normally.  I appreciate pleasant inky/papery smells that make it to my nose, while reading, drawing, and whatnot, but I’ve never sought them out.  I work in a library – believe me, the smells that end up on the books I most come to contact with are not the kind I want any where near my face.  This is why volume 1’s scent took me by surprise and why I then proceeded to smell every book in my to-read stack.  Volume 1 of the Anthology Project was definitely the best smelling one.  Volume 2 couldn’t even stand up to it.  I began wondering if paper, in the book printing industry, was marketed with any reference to smell.  This is how it began.

I can’t say I was really surprised to find a whole host of people talking about their love for the smell of the printed book.  Many people have asked the question:  why do books smell in the particular way that they smell?  The answer varies from book to book and printing process to printing process.  For old books, decay of the organic components, especially the lignin (related to vanillin) creates a sweet musky scent many have fallen in love with.  That is, of course, if the book hasn’t molded or mildewed or been in a house with a smoker or a cat.

I was surprised to find that part of the great e-book debate, among consumers at least, was directed towards the fact that e-books didn’t smell like books.  This brings us to book perfumes.  I’ve run into them before.  Specifically, I’d run into CB I Hate Perfume‘s In the Library before.  New Book Smell from Smell of Books seems created specifically for scenting your e-reader.  Other scents are available:  Classic Musty Smell, Scent of Sensibility, Eau You have Cats, and Crunchy Bacon Scent.  Steidl‘s Paper Passion, is by far the poshest of all bookish scents and made quite a few waves when it was created.

However, book perfumes weren’t going to answer my question about the book printing industry’s awareness or use of scent.  I have to admit, I have only searched enough to get a larger picture of the components of a new book’s smell.  I would not term my search exhaustive.  It was more of a lark, really.  I’m not even sure if I’ve managed or can answer my question. Here is what I found.

Paper itself doesn’t seem to be marketed in regards to smell at all, but their are plenty of reasons why the smell of any paper would vary.  First is most likely the type of wood used in making the paper.  There are a handful of pulpwoods (that is, woods often used in making paper):   acacia, aspen, birch, eucalyptus, maple, pacific albus, pine, and spruce.   Balsam fir has been a large supplier of pulpwood for paper in U.S. and aspen is heavily used in Canada.

Canada, thanks to the Swedish Forest Industries Facts and Figures 2010 (http://www.forestindustries.se/facts_and_figures), is one of the world’s largest exporters of pulp and paper.  So aspen woodpulp is most likely found in much of the paper floating around the world. But paper makers are pretty crafty when it comes to getting raw materials.  Pulp and chips from construction byproduct, recycling, forest thinning, and fire damage can all be present in paper woodpulp.

Of course, after the tree is chosen and felled there are a variety of ways to pulp it.  High quality papers are most often chemically pulped – a process that removes the lignin from the wood fiber.  After this the fibers are bleached.  Without as much lignin content, I am guessing that our industrial aged paper books are not going to smell the same as those faintly vanilla antiquarian books.  By the by, chemical pulping is why paper mills often smell like rotten eggs – a sulfur like gas is created as a byproduct.

But then, the paper itself is only part of what makes a new book smell.  There is ink as well, and, as I am a long time collector of pens and user of paints and pigments, I am very familiar with how varieties of ink smell very differently from each other. I found a few mentions of ink that were specifically marketed with scent in mind.  Most of these, or I should say all of these, were devoted to children’s books.  I found smells of rose and citrus first and then I found Smellessence books for children.  Smellessence is creating characters and stories with the intention of weaving together the smell of the story into a child’s reading experience.  This is where my information trip ends.

Basically, I don’t think there is any special reason why Volume 1 of the Anthology project smells so good.  It is a combination of ingredients and timing that sometimes makes for a fantastic olfactory experience in a book.  I did learn a whole lot more about an industry I’ve taken for granted.  Verdict:  learning done for now.

Mentioned in the search:

  1. US Forest Service
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Swedish Forest Industry

 

More about White Trash Cooking

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I said I would probably talk some more about White Trash Cooking by Ernest Matthew Mickler and now I’m gonna.  Here is the LEETTA I was talking about before.  Some time ago I was contacted by another LeEtta who was researching the origins of the name.  You know, there aren’t many of us, but there are enough to wonder where the name came from (I was named after my Great Grandmother, whom I never knew).

Anyway, White Trash Cooking by Ernest Matthew Mickler has more to recommend itself than just another LEETTA.  And if you know anything about the populating of the Appalachias then you’ll recognize the blend of truly southern and something Scottish in the recipes.  A few that I want to try right off:  Peggy’s Pig Eggs, Butts’ Gator Tail (though I have no idea where I’d get my hands on one), and Dirty Rice.

White Trash Cooking was republished for a 25 year anniversary printing, which is good because the out of print copy seems to have been in demand.  Amazon’s got a healthy preview available for you to peruse – that’s what the links are for.

In-Library eBook Lending Program Expands to 1,000 Libraries | Internet Archive Blogs

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The internet archive finally did it – or did it while I wasn’t looking.  If you are not aware of the internet archive then I suggest checking it out.  There are tons of public domain books, recordings, and videos there as well as the way-back machine.  Ever wonder what a website used to look like years ago?  The way-back machine has got you covered.  Well, as long as the images still exist – but the code is saved.

Anyway, e-books aren’t as easy for libraries as you might think and there haven’t been many lending platforms that make library lending possible and easy with e-books.  This one is awesome and promising:  In-Library eBook Lending Program Expands to 1,000 Libraries | Internet Archive Blogs.

Cartooning Scholarship

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Ever get the feeling that you picked the wrong unmarketable degree?  Now, now, don’t take that the wrong way.  I just had this passing feeling that it would be great to study and dissect comics all day long.  Have a look.

Center for Cartoon Studies

The Comics Grid:  Journal of Comics Scholarship

Reading With Pictures

Comic Studies at UF

 

flopped it

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dunno if I like it better, but I was starting to not really like the other way at all.

Baaa-aa-aa-aa-aa

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Dinner challenge

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The ingredients from the pantry inventory:  farfalle pasta (bowtie), alfredo sauce, a can of quartered artichoke hearts and crumbly sausage.

The idea:  brown the sausage and then mix all the stuff together after cooking and bake (to take the jarred alfredo sauce taste out of the alfredo).  Unfortunately the alfredo sauce surprised me with a use by date of January 2012.  I wasn’t willing to tempt fate.

The solution:  cook other ingredients as planned and assemble with goat cheese and parmesan (found in the fridge).  It worked out pretty well and I’m only slightly irked that the alfredo sauce expired under my watch.

How to solve impossible problems: Daniel Russell’s awesome Google search techniques

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How to solve impossible problems: Daniel Russell’s awesome Google search techniques is the most fantastic thing I have read in a while.  I am often swimming in search results pages, looking for something that other people can’t find and just when I’ve got a whole list of tips and tricks – I don’t know what to search for first.

These things really work

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Forest FruitsSo, I’m juggling being a work-aholic with caring for family and I got a cold.  I tend to stock up on healthy snacks and vitamin drinks when I know I am overtaxed and that’s when I found Belvita Breakfast Biscuits | Biscuits specially designed for breakfast.

I carried them around in my purse for a couple days and ended up shoveling a single serving pack of four biscuits in my mouth during a commute when I realized I’d waited too long to eat.  They did the trick, but I didn’t realize how AMAZING they were until I had another pack at work when I got to that point in the afternoon where my cold was reminding me that I should have stayed home.  Did I say AMAZING?  THESE BISCUITS ARE THE BOMB!  Anything that can make me with a cold feel semi-human in the afternoon deserve to be sought out and hoarded.

Apparently they’re marketed for special slow release carbohydrates that can energize you for hours.  I recommend them highly.  I am going out to get more of them.

Recipes – stuffed peppers

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Not original by any means, I know.  Basically mine is just another vehicle for other things you might want to get rid of, that is, left-overs:  some rice, tomato puree, chick peas, ground beef, cheese, etc.  I picked up a tip to coat the peppers in olive oil to help them cook.

Then bake at 350-400 until the peppers change color and get all flimsy.

Like I said, not original.  I have to post them because my husband likes them so much.

Just a distraction

Just a distraction published on 2 Comments on Just a distraction

I’ve had this open on my computer for weeks now.  I’d work on it whenever I couldn’t think of anything else to do or was actively trying to avoid doing something else now.  I think I’m done with it now.

T-Shirt contest

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Yo.  So, I entered the Giraffes?Giraffes! t-shirt contest.  I didn’t win, but I thought you might be interested in the design none-the-less.  Here tis:

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