It’s a Bar!

Apr. 22nd, 2019 08:06 am
[syndicated profile] togs_from_bogs_feed

Posted by shopadmin

Our neighbour has acquired a hive of bees. It’s sunny and quite dry. I’ve “activated” (as in “soaked”) a block of coconut fibres in a plastic bucket a few days ago, to mix with soil for potting plants.

These three things, together, have resulted in this:

These are bees, probably mostly from the neighbour’s hive, having a drink. Actually not only having a drink, but filling up with water to carry back to the hive, to liquify food, be able to digest pollen, and to cool down the hive if necessary.

Which means I’ve been watering the bee-bar every morning now – and I have the pleasure of lots and lots of bees keeping me company when I sit right outside the wintergarden, where the bucket stands, having a break!

Sunday Sweets Has A Good Hare Day

Apr. 21st, 2019 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Happy Easter, Sweets fans!

I'm sure you've noticed, but today is the day for rabbits everywhere to shine. And who am I to deprive these sweet hippity hops of their moment in the spotlight?

So take it away, honey buns!

(Cakemel Lana, Russia)

Or maybe the balloon is taking HER away. Awww.

 

It's a proven fact: the floppier the ears, the cuter the bun.

(Veronika's Cake, Russia)

Flower crowns help, too!

 

This style first kicked off with unicorn cakes, but I'm loving all the other animal versions, too:

(Camrose Cake, Indonesia)

It's so bright and cheery. And lookit the heart nose!

 

It takes a little extra something for me to like a "naked cake" - AKA a cake without exterior frosting.

As it turns out, that extra something is a bucket load of Easter candy:

(Crumb's Cakery, UK)

YES PLEASE. Who needs frosting when you've got this much chocolate, am I right? :D

 

This Sweetie might just be a cake topper, but I think you'll forgive me:

(Crumb Avenue, online tutorials)

...because LOOK HOW CUTE.

 

And here come more Easter eggs, all loaded up by the perfect garden gate!

(Yener's Way, Australia)

I love the way the bushes grow up the side, and the little cobble stones!

 

Whoops, that didn't feature a rabbit, though. So here's the softest hand-painted baby bun to make up for it:

(Evgeniya Poddubnaya, Russia)

Really digging the monochromatic feel on this one. It's so tranquil, and the woodsy accents and eggs are gorgeous.

 

I'm an eternal sucker for all things pastel, though:

Plus this is just one part of a whole mini-cake set!

(Namelaka, Ukraine)

Eee! That chicken is so adorable, ermergersh.

 

And while we're appreciating non-rabbits, check out the little lamb cake that has me making grabby hands at the screen:

(Cottontail Cake Studio, Philippines)

Squee! Look at the teeny chick on her foot! And the lamb cake pops!

 

And finally, my friends, let's end with the prettiest Easter quilling cake that I almost included in my craft-inspired Sweets, but decided to save for this very moment:

(Kylie Marks Cakes)

Ta-daa! This is the most realistic quilling I've seen yet on a cake, and the dreamy pastels and cutie-patootie little bunny tail are SO GOOD hnnnnnng.

 

Hoppy Easter to all you who celebrate, and happy Sunday to the rest! Whatever you're up to today, here's hoping it includes something Sweet.

*****

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[syndicated profile] darths_and_droids_feed

Episode 1768: Inside Every Young Person is an Old Person Wondering What Happened

Separating body and mind is something generally unachievable in reality, so it makes excellent gaming fodder. There are several different means of achieving it in a fictional setting:

  • Spiritual: There is a conscious spirit inhabiting your body, which can leave the body and travel around independently, or perhaps even inhabit another body.
  • Magical: Magic might be able to manipulate consciousness by transferring it to a different body, or to a temporary storage container, such as a http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/magicJar.htm spell in Dunegons & Dragons. Some beings may have an innate magical ability to do this.
  • Technomagical: Magic with the trappings of technology. Someone invents a machine that can transfer souls or switch minds between people, with little more than a hand-waving technobabble explanation.
  • Physical: Like Yoda's midi-chlorians here, or the trill Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - consciousness resides in one relatively small physical part of a body, while the motive part is largely a vessel that can be inhabited, and changed if necessary. This can be relatively benign as in these examples, or it can be played as horror, with hostile parasites that infect and take over control of a body's personality.
  • Medical: Brain transplants can be performed successfully, and transfer a living brain from one body into a donor body. Perhaps a living brain can be stored in a jar, without a body, and be wired into a computer system so it can communicate and send control signals to robotic servants.
  • Computational: A sophisticated enough computer can replicate the synapses of a brain, and run a full simulation uploaded from someone's brain. This is a copy of the original consciousness, but philosophically some may consider it a continuation of the same consciousness, because it will possess all the original's memories and personality - especially if the original organic brain has to be destroyed to upload its memory patterns. The computer copy may run in a fixed computer system, or could be loaded into either a robotic or organic body, giving it mobility. See Ghost in the Shell or Steve Jackson Games' Transhuman Space roleplaying game.

Transcript

Fannish nomenclature

Apr. 20th, 2019 01:52 pm
vass: Small turtle with green leef in its mouth (Default)
[personal profile] vass
They should call "reverse bangs" gnabs.

never too late for a new hobby?

Apr. 19th, 2019 03:29 pm
kareina: (Default)
[personal profile] kareina
In my 37ish years in the SCA I had never tried illumination. However, staying at [personal profile] aryanhwy seems to have rubbed off on me. Yesterday, while she worked on a scroll she is doing, I made an attempt at copying a letter onto a scrap of parchment:

the knotty letter Q


Today, while she and Gwen went out to a Fun Fair, I stayed home and tried adapting the same design motif into a different letter (with the extra goal of this time not letting the letter grow right up to the edge of the parchment).


a knoty B

It may be a good thing that I am heading on to Blackpool tomorrow--her bag of scrap parchment is only so big, I wouldn't want to use it all upon beginner's attempts. Though these won't go to waste. She tells me that she will turn them in to the scribes to have calligraphy added. I begin to see why our scribes do so much. It isn't just that the people of Drachenwald are doing so much good stuff that the Crown wishes to reward them, but the drawing and painting turns out to be fun, too...
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Don't you just love Easter cakes, minions?

All the icing flowers and pretty patterns, and those springy pastel colors everywhere! Ah!

It's just so beautiful.

And... possibly deceased.

 

Well, at least Easter eggs are a no-brainer.

::siiiiigh:::

 

Real Talk: I thought this technicolor bunny cake was kinda fun:

Then Lorie told me it's supposed to be a mermaid tail.

::double take::

::head tilt::

::squinty squint::

Yep, still not seeing it. But I AM in the mood to listen to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat right now. "Bring ME my colored bun! My amazing colored BUN!"

They're singing along on the inside, honest.

 

For the longest time I couldn't figure out who this cake reminded me of:

 

Then with Star Wars Celebration last weekend, I finally remembered!

 

You:

"WHY, JEN, WHY."

 

Me:

"Mayhap I've said too much."

 

And finally, a little Easter ditty, to the tune of Silver Bells:

Saggy boooooobs
Saggy boobs!
It's Easter time In the bakery

Ring a ling
Headless screams!
Soon we will see
Nipple playyyyy

 

Thanks and deepest apologies to Christy F., Jessica G., Lorie B., Lauren L., Chad E., Carolyn S., Laura B., & Jaime J. for helping me get that off my chest.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

And from my other blog, Epbot:

Lamb-entations

Apr. 18th, 2019 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Like the Mardi Gras King Cake, I suspect that the Easter Lamb Cake is just inherently Wrecky. I mean, this one Jamie B. sent in is a good one:

So really, it's like shooting apples* in a barrel to go after these things: just too darn easy.

(*Yes, I know it's supposed to be "fish in a barrel", but I would never shoot a fish. Too messy.)

 

However, I will go after the smoking lamb cakes:

I've seen several of these cigarette-puffing lamb cakes now, and I'm totally baffled. I get the lamb/Easter connection, but where's the cigarette feature? This one Monique R. found actually has a "Happy Birthday" sign around its neck, but most say "Happy Easter".

 

Here's a better example:

What I find even more hilarious is the fact that it looks like both lambs are wearing chocolate yarmulkes.** Oy vay! An Easter lamb schmokin? What kind of mishegas is going on here?

(**For the record, this is the hardest word to learn to spell by looking up in the dictionary, ever.)

 

Here's a variation, lest you think only one bakery out there is making these crazy things:

I'm guessing this is some kind of regional tradition, but I look forward to you lovely readers filling me with your wisdom. Explain this madness to me in the comments, so we can all learn something today, eh?

 

And before I leave you, here's one more photo sent in by Kat:

It's not really a Wreck; I just love that little girl's expression as she's preparing to lop off the lamb's head. You can almost hear the Responsible Adult going "Now, dear, let me help you..." as she's gleefully hacking away. Heehee! Oh, and that spot of jam is well-placed, too.

 

*****

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[syndicated profile] togs_from_bogs_feed

Posted by shopadmin

Trying to live a green-ish life can be a challenge – sometimes because it takes more effort to do the green thing, or more time; sometimes because it’s more expensive, or means that you have to opt for an alternative that will work, but not be as satisfying as the original; and sometimes just because it is hard to know which choice is the greener one.

Take, for instance, electric cars. Yes, burning fossil fuels is not the solution – but with the current electric cars, batteries are a huge issue. Producing batteries takes a lot of energy and ressources, so it does take quite a while for an electric car to become greener overall, regarding its complete environmental impact, than a regular fossil-fuel car driven in an eco-friendly way. And that only if you fill up your batteries with electricity exclusively from renewable sources.

There’s a similar thing when packing stuff. Plastic or paper bags? At first glance, you’d think that a paper bag would be the greener choice by far. Unfortunately that is not the case, as manufacturing paper bags and even recycling paper is consuming quite a lot of energy and water as well. So paper and plastic bags… both not a good choice, though if you are using it only once, a lightweight plastic bag might even be the lesser evil.

While we’re at the topic of plastic and it maybe causing more good than harm, here’s an interesting thing from the BBC about plastic packaging, especially of food items.

The thing that irks me a little in these reports and assessments: It would be perfectly possible to use energy from renewable sources to produce paper bags, and while the reports mention that the trees could stay un-felled and absorb CO2 instead of becoming paper bags, they don’t mention that plastic is made from a finite ressource. So it does, overall, sound a little bit biased to me.

It would also not be so necessary to have plastic packaging for food if they are produced, sold and consumed locally. Which, obviously, is not possible for all kinds of fruit and vegetables – but buying locally from a farmer at the market will usually get you fresh produce at a fair price, and with little to no packaging. Especially if you re-use the bags you have, whether that is cotton, paper or plastic. As the plastic bags today are mostly very lightweight, it’s easy to just stuff one or two into your handbag or bike pannier or whatever else you carry with yourself on an ordinary day, for impromptu shopping stuff. (It never hurts to have an extra bag in the bag. Just like a spoon. Both totally belong in any handbag, if you ask me.)

So… I’m trying to buy things with as little packaging as possible. Which means I am trying to avoid plastic even more than paper, though, as I think that the environmental impact of microplastics and the problem of the non-renewable basis for this are still factors that speak for paper instead of plastic where packaging must be used. The bags that do land in our home are reused – paper bags from the bakery store dried bread leftovers that will be turned into delicious dishes a bit later, or – most of them – become bin liners for the compost bin. Plastic bags are re-used several times for packing things, like fresh produce bought at the market, until something really dirties them up or until they develop holes so they are not useful anymore. Some get a last call to duty as the kitty litter bag… which actually is one of the few things that would be a hassle without plastic bags.

So… what’s your stance on plastic or paper bags?

Sounds Like Easter To Me!

Apr. 17th, 2019 01:01 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

The warning signs were there, peeps.

BUT NOW

IT'S TOO LATE.

::ominous hopping noises::

::ominous pause::

::ominous foot-scratching-ear sounds::

::followed by more ominous hopping::

AAAAAAAAA!!


Woe, my friends. WOE TO US ALL.

Especially the hot chicks.

They're always the first to go.

But then!

The bunnies will come for us!

"NEE-HAHAA!"

 

::raspy breathing::

 

::sound of a long blade being sharpened::

 

What's that, you're afraid of clowns?

ON IT.

::sound of too-full balloons being twisted together verrrrrry slowly::

::without breaking eye contacting::

(As a former clown who used to make balloon animals, this one is legit terrifying.)

::loud crunching sounds::

"Pass the Doritos, please."

"Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be scary. Uhhhh... I've got it!

"I ATE ALL THE DORITOS."

::sound of five other murder bunnies face-palming::

"Dangit, George..."

 

But all of that pales in comparison to the ultimate Easter Party Killer...

::long, drawn-out, slightly squeaky farting sound::

::explosive toot::

"WHAT UP MY BEACHES?"

RIP, Easter dinners. You had a good run... but this one was runnier.

(Ewwwwwww.)

 

Thanks to Carol Z., Anony M., Daniel C., Dana S., Leslie M., Anony M., Mandy K., Valerie P., & Zakiya P. for find the Easter "Bunny" that keeps going and going and going...

*****

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Notre Dame

Apr. 17th, 2019 08:01 am
[syndicated profile] togs_from_bogs_feed

Posted by shopadmin

Notre Dame, that wonderful cathedral in Paris, has burned on Monday. It’s a very sad thing – and it does bring home again how devastating fire can be, and how hard to bring under control, even with modern firefighting equipment.

No lives were lost, though, which is a good thing. Another good thing is that the statues from the spire that fell had been taken off for conservation works just a short time before, so they are safe as well, as are a good part of the treasures that were housed in the cathedral (among them, luckily, the garment of King Louis IX – whew!).

It’s not clear yet what caused the fire, and no matter how it came to be, the damage done is huge. Though, again, it could have been worse. The roof is gone completely, as is the spire, and there may be structural damage done to the stones due to the heat, but most of the building is still standing, and a lot of the inside is still intact. Plus, for the restauration works, Notre Dame was the subject of many research works, so there is a good number of documentation about it. There’s also a lot of donating going on already to help with rebuilding and restoration.

If you are looking for more info, this BBC article provides links to footage of the fire and to several other articles about the topic.

distractions matter

Apr. 17th, 2019 09:18 am
kareina: (Default)
[personal profile] kareina
At around 23:00 last night [personal profile] aryanhwy realised that getting to her 08:30 interview today would be easier if I walked Gwen to the school she is at this week, and I happily agreed as I enjoy Gwen's company. This morning, however, Gwen was rather disappointed to discover that she and mom would not be playing games on their walk in as she had hoped, which meant that when Ary left the house Gwen started crying and said "I want my mommy!", which caused me to say "yah, me too, but mine died in December and I will never get to see her again, so then we were both crying. I told her it was ok to cry as we walked, and off we went. By the time we reached the traffic light to cross the street she was looking much more composed, so when we started walking again I asked her "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" When I told her the answer (If a woodchuck could chuck wood, a woodchuck would chuck all the wood that a woodchuck could chuck, wouldn't you?) she told me that didn't make any sense at all, and then started happily babbling about all the things that are of interest to a seven year old girl. I love how easily we as a species can be distracted from the ills of the world, if the distraction can be timed right.

I'd rather have her still with us

Apr. 16th, 2019 09:52 pm
kareina: (Default)
[personal profile] kareina
I got a message from my sister today saying that she has finally spoken to the company which handles mom's life insurance policy, and that since she and I were the only named beneficiaries on the policy, they will be sending us each a check for half of it. The money is more than I had expected, but nowhere near enough to consider compensation for losing her. Feeling a bit sad at the moment. I miss my mommy.

Homophoning It In

Apr. 16th, 2019 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

...and some lost?

(I love that you can clearly tell the W is the "fixed" version. What do you think it said before? "Juan"?)

(Great, now I desperately want to see a "Some Juan Is Having A Birthday" cake. YOUR MOVE, Juans of the world.)

 

Now is the "Are" of our discontent.

 

How much you wanna bet the customer actually wanted a picture here?

I guess the wreckerator wanted to keep that visual under wraps.

 

Oh, now, DON'T YOU START:

Followed by the all new Canadian Busy and Irish Industrious!

 

Thanks to Anony M., Nick N., and John & Kathy F. for the grate thyme.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada. 

And from my other blog, Epbot:

Petitions, petitions.

Apr. 16th, 2019 08:35 am
[syndicated profile] togs_from_bogs_feed

Posted by shopadmin

Sometimes, making a ruckus by getting a lot of people to sign something does actually help. The “save the bees”-Bürgerbegehren that was running a while ago had a huge lot of people sign, and as a result, the contents of this petition will actually be turned into laws. Nice, isn’t it?

So, since there is hope of things changing to the better if enough people speak up, here are links to some petitions currently running that seem like a good idea to me.

First of all, and for Germans only: The Elbe river is scheduled for works to deepen the river bed, starting very soon in 2019. Unfortunately, this deepening means a lot of excavators removing matter from the river bed, killing everything that lives in there – the microbiome in the river bed soil doesn’t withstand sudden changes in its environment. The excavated soil will then be dumped in the North Sea, where it doesn’t belong and in turn causes more death of local fish and crustaceans, as their habitat is disturbed.

A petition against this is currently running on the petition site of the German Bundestag. If you are a German citizen, you can register and sign. Unfortunately, it will only run for a few more days, until and it is very far from reaching the quorum number yet – so please do sign, quickly, and spread the word!

Another petition, also regarding stupid things planned in Germany, is against a mountainbike park in the Saar-Hunsrück-Region. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against mountainbiking and MTB trails – but the plans are for a huge beast of a park with lifts, ramps, and other fixed installations. The forest that this is planned for, however, is home to wild cats and technically under protection as a natural reserve. Not a good idea to get about 27000 people per year in there, mountainbiking…

Third thing’s the charm, finally – Greenpeace is asking for signatures for better protection of the high seas. That protection is necessary, as the high seas are in danger of overfishing, there’s plastic floating around, and that together with the climate changes is damaging animal and plant life in the sea. Which, in turn, will bite us humans in the butt – so it’s high time to have some more protected areas in the sea.

Le bon, le mauvais, et le laid

Apr. 15th, 2019 11:40 pm
luscious_purple: Boston STRONG! (Boston Strong)
[personal profile] luscious_purple
This was one of those "it's always something" days. Yeah, it's tax day ... but it wouldn't be, yet, if I still lived in Massachusetts. It's Patriots Day, which means the Boston Marathon ... and the sixth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. For a couple of my friends, it's the anniversary of the death of one of their parents.

And then we had the breaking news of the fire at Notre Dame de Paris. Shocking and sad, and not just for the Middle Ages aficionados on my list of Facebook friends. One of the most magnificent touchstones of human civilization, not just for Catholics, but for civilization itself, I would say ... art and architecture and the human spirit. How can it just go up in smoke and flames? During Holy Week, no less?

And yet again ... this morning I read online that a couple of long-distance Facebook friends are expecting their first child this fall. They decided to make the announcement on tax day because they'll have a cute lil' additional deduction next year. I know they have been trying for a while, so I am glad for them.

Life goes on....

10 Absolutely Ridiculous Easter Cakes

Apr. 15th, 2019 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

"PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS!!"

"Iiiittty bitty living space."

 

Ever wonder why cake decorators use so much plastic flotsam?

WONDER NO MORE.

 

Still, where there's a will to wreck, there is a way:

Bravo, wreckerators. BRAVO.

 

Because when I think of the resurrection of Jesus, I think of splattery tie-dye:

And carrots on a cross.

(I looked it up: carrots are NOT cruciferous vegetables. Dang it.)

 

Easter egg or old pepperoni?

Either way, WOW AM I IN THE EASTER SPIRIT.

 

Q: So how hard IS it to make an egg-shaped cake?

A: Oh, about that hard.

 

"Quick! To the Dimensionally Inaccurate Carrot Car, Bun-Man!"

"I'll be right behind you in the Electro Egg!!"

*zodzodzod*

 

"It's pronounced 'Buh-THEAD.'"

"And that's MISTER Butthead to you."

 

Confession: I actually love these and want a dozen of my very own:

Mostly because they remind me of this:

 

Thanks to Holly A., Kathy B., Nicole S., Jennie, Leslie G., Molly, Stacey K., Wesley T., Dimitra S., & Jenna M. for the excuse to post that clip. (The crocodile kills me. The wiggly feet! Ah!)

*****

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 Visiting Amazon through those links will help support the site, and costs you nothing. Thanks, guys!

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