Weather Is Not Always My Friend

I woke up badly, late, and with a headache today. The headache was explained by the severe weather warning announced for my county, and was somewhat responsive to medication.

But weather headaches are never full responsive, and the weather, while no longer severe, is still in flux, so I'm still well within the syndrome.

The worst part of it is that it really dulls cognitive ability. As a result I've achieved very little today. After yesterday, when I helped sort out a bunch of semi-disorganized data with a friend, it feels even less productive than it actually is.

And I think the meds are starting to wear off. Gonna go fix that, I think.

Aureolin or New Gamboge?

For various reasons, I've been thinking about the meanings of "friend" and "community."

It tells me a lot that when I type those words, I find my mind automatically drifting towards social media. And of course, I'm writing this in a social media channel. Channel informs content, I suppose.

I don't know whether the social media adoption of these terms cheapens or strengthens them. Or maybe just leaves them neutral and unaffected.

I do know that "friend" is one of those words for which exact meaning changes based on context, and on who is speaking, where and when. Social media hasn't changed that, though it may have added some to the many possible meanings.

When I worked in an art store, I learned that there were more kinds of yellow than I had ever heard of, and they all had names. Now that I don't work in an art store, the distinctions are fading, and I don't remember the names.

But they are all still yellow.


Online Living

The problem with getting used to doing most stuff online is that it starts to depend on being able to *get* online.

Also, FB has f****d with my ability to think about posts lasting much more than a few lines.

There may be a recovery curve here.

Adventures in Fandom: Westbound TAFF Race Promo

So as you may recall, I was a Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) candidate in 2012, which was an Eastbound - North America to Europe race.

In 2013, the race runs Westbound - Europe to North America, and the successful delegate will attend LoneStarCon 3. There are two candidates: Theresa Derwin and Jim Mowatt.

More information on the candidates can be found at

If you are thinking of voting on the 2013 TAFF delegate (or if you weren't thinking of it before but maybe are now), the deadline for voting is 23:59 on Friday 19th April 2013 (British Summer Time aka UTC+1).

Voting fees support the fund. It is possible to vote for one of the candidates, for no-preference, or to hold funds over to the following year.

The ballot is available at

I've also put a copy of the ballot at, if for some reason you'd rather get it from someone you know. [Clif, I'm looking at you. :)]

For more information on the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund, visit the official unofficial website,

For news, follow on Twitter, @TAFFnews; at; or at

Calling the Internet: Where should we eat?

Polling the great Internet Fire Hose: Where should Motorcycle Boy and I have dinner for our anniversary?

ETA (because timill was totally right to ask): This is our 10th anniversary. It needs to be in Houston, TX, and we haven't set a dollar limit, though we will likely take that into consideration in making our final decision. Of course, no place that is analogous to any of the following: Squid Hut, House of Brussel Sprouts, or All Organ Meat All the Time!

Instant Reaction

Just saw a friend's status on my IM buddy list.

Their status reads Just back from next week's time traveller's convention. Did you miss me?

My first thought: Not yet.

Onions. I haz em.

I'm making spaghetti sauce this week, and possibly lasagna.

My spaghetti sauce is my take on a family favorite, which is my Dad's recipe. All three of us kids (and at least one grandkid) all make this sauce. And we all say the same thing: we can't get it to taste/look quite like Dad's.

My guess is that, in part, we all got the recipe at a certain point in time, about thirty years ago. Because Dad makes his sauce more or less by eye/feel/taste, "getting the recipe" was more a case of "writing down the ingredients and approximating amounts." So we have this basic recipe that we all work with, and we may have modified it a bit to suit ourselves a touch, and we've been working off in our own directions for thirty years, not necessarily making it as frequently as my Dad did. Meanwhile, Dad continued to make his sauce, which we ate and considered the canon, and he continued to tinker with it and so the darn thing evolved over time.

But it is the standard. It changed, but it never stopped being the standard. And we don't know quite how it changed. As far as I can tell you, it is the same sauce Dad made when I was a kid.

There are other possible reasons why my sauce, at least, doesn't turn out "right". I probably use less oil and a leaner cut of meat. I'm using a different kind of pot, and because of that I'm probably using a lower heat. The onions I get here in Texas are different from the ones my Dad buys in Ontario. They really are. They are usually bigger, wetter, and caramelizing them in a pan takes for freaking ever.

Dad tells us (all of us, right down to the grandkid) that the onions are the key. We need more onions and we need to cook them longer and hotter. My Dad gets downright brutal with his onions (and the pans he cooks them in): lots of oil, lots of time, and as high a heat as he can manage. And he gets these lovely onions as a result.

I can't quite seem to manage that when I'm making this sauce. So this week I'm trying an experiment: making my sauce with roasted onions. I bought small onions for a change, as one of those rare moments of small onion availability occurred this week and have sliced and oven-roasted ten onions. Today I will use those onions as the base for my sauce, adding the meat and other ingredients and *trying* to get the proportions "right."

I'll let you know how it goes.