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Living with Kitchenfun
The life and times of a guy that can't sit still.
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Self service tills
Posted:Dec 26, 2010 2:24 pm
Last Updated:Jan 1, 2011 2:32 pm

In the last fifteen years or so, supermarkets seem to be employing less and less staff where it counts, on the shop floor. Supermarkets that were designed with twenty open tills are manning just three, even at peak hours. In place of staff we have bloody self-service tills. What next? Will I have to stack the shelves and unload the trucks next?
Self Service tills are great.
Self Service tills are bad
I like to mess up shop shelves, simply to make work for others.
1 comment , 1 vote
Yet again I go blundering in where angels fear to tread.....
Posted:Dec 17, 2010 4:56 pm
Last Updated:Jul 4, 2022 2:39 am

Yep, I'm working again. On the face of it, not a bad thing, however it's a job that starts at 7.45am, sixteen miles away where there is no public transport and hardly any parking. This means I either get a taxi to work, walk, find a flying carpet or cycle. Looks like I'll soon have buns of steel by March.
I guess I should have thought more carefully when I applied for the job, but after eighty failed applications, I have been applying for pretty much everything.
The people are nice but that early start.....ouch. Also poor is the catering. I get 30 minutes lunch.....reduced to about 15 by the sharp practices of call centre management. There is no canteen, just a lady that sells toast. I guess I should count myself lucky. The other site has a canteen, Christmas lunch there was a single sprout, a leaf of cabbage, a sliver of turkey, (We think it was turkey anyway, but it may have been seasoned rodent), and a solitary roast potato. All for the princely sum of four pounds. Erm, no thanks.
On hearing about the early start, that wasn't mentioned until the end of two weeks training, one of my colleagues was muttering about another job offer he's had for just a little temping starting monday.

Well if you happen to work in Birmingham and notice me in the same office as you next week, please say hello. That smell probably is coming from me. It's the stink of a very tired man. At least my call length will be good and short. I haven't got the energy to argue with customers.
The film called
Posted:Nov 27, 2010 4:01 pm
Last Updated:Nov 28, 2010 1:00 pm

I saw a film with friends and family today, entitled "Up", from Pixar, Disney etc. What a very sad movie. The first part of the film shows the main character meet the love of his life and enjoy a happy but childless marriage with her. This is dealt with in a sweet way that could get the lip trembling on all but the hardest of people. He is left with the regret that he never takes a long planned trip with is wife. A regret that we all know will never truly be banished by going on the adventure that takes up the bulk of the film.
If you like a good weepy film, or you know someone that does, this film ticks quite a few boxes. Bitter sweet action and comedy that pokes fun at old age, and dogs. Reference is also made to the dodo and the many broken promises made by parents.
Some days I feel like the love of Jamie Oliver and Paula Deen
Posted:Nov 26, 2010 1:35 pm
Last Updated:Nov 28, 2010 1:00 pm

Today I used a lot of butter, because I can......
No, not like that.....anyway, butter is a terrible substitute for lube in my opinion.
I made a butter flapjack.
Vanilla extract
Golden syrup or some pancake syrup.

I never measure my ingredients precisely. I prefer to cook by instinct. Pour oats and sugar to taste into a bowl and rub in butter lumps until the mixture is even and sticky. When the mixture is moist and buttery enough, add the vanilla essence and then the syrup. Some American pancake syrups don't cook well, and my advice is, if in doubt, substitute brown sugar.

Place the mixture into a flat cake tin and press with a spoon, plate, fingers, another tin, anything flat. When spread evenly and tight as a cheerleader's buns, bake until golden brown. The longer you cook it, the harder it gets.

Cool and serve with brandy butter, custard or whipped cream.
The Apprentice
Posted:Nov 25, 2010 3:52 am
Last Updated:Jul 4, 2022 2:39 am

I love the UK version of The Apprentice. I'm aware there is an American version but I've never seen it. Hmmmm, I might look it up on you tube later. This year the UK contestants have been quite interesting. The mix of competent professionals and those lacking basic social skills is fascinating to watch. I think I might apply to be on the show. The tasks are hard but it all looks like great fun.
The alerts.....
Posted:Nov 4, 2010 10:03 am
Last Updated:May 3, 2012 6:01 pm

Why is it that I see alerts that say people have commented on my blog but I see no comments on any blogs? I suspect it's something I might have to pay for....
1 comment
The wonders of Google Android and a low-end e pad
Posted:Nov 2, 2010 10:19 am
Last Updated:Jul 4, 2022 2:39 am

The other day I decided to take the plunge and buy a cheap and cheerful epad, running the Android operating system. It's from a company called MID and they have loaded it with a nice range of software. Sadly it's running Android 1.6 which is not the latest version. I suspect it's possible to upgrade the software, but I can't find any links to the new version 2.2 Gahhh....perhaps I need a coffee.
I'm aiming to have a demonstration of my work on a presentation, running on the pad. This way when I attend an interview, I'll not have to carry my laptop or worry about all the issues that could screw up the presentation.
The pad runs a USB keyboard, mouse, memory stick or 3G dongle. Battery life is about 40 minutes, less with an intensive application.
A happy week.
Posted:Oct 22, 2010 6:21 pm
Last Updated:Nov 2, 2010 10:07 am

Today I discovered that, just for now, I have work with a company in Birmingham. We arrange for the installation of a device that tracks the position of a car and watches for crashes. The system can detect if someone is upside down in a ditch and calls the emergency services. In the states I understand there is a similar service that comes with many new cars.
It's wonderful to have work after three years without.
Gardening in the rain
Posted:Sep 14, 2010 1:54 am
Last Updated:Jul 4, 2022 2:39 am
I love this time of year. Many people find autumn a bit depressing, but not me. I love the smell of the air, the crisp mornings and the temperature. Much better for gardening than the summer scorchers. Less stressful for the plants too.
Due to the hectic pace of life I haven't had much time for my own garden lately, however it's been growing well all the same. Here is a picture I took last night, just before I started some late night gardening.
I'm particularly pleased with the sunflowers. I grew them from seeds, out of date seeds at that. The budlia, (Butterfly bush) has done well too and the geraniums.
The cake
Posted:Sep 5, 2010 2:35 pm
Last Updated:Jul 4, 2022 2:39 am

I've been baking.
Yesterday I made a nice big cake with marzipan and two layers of royal icing. I also made two main meals. Well it makes sense to make best use of the oven when it's using gas. I also found time to bake some small vanilla sponge cakes which I iced.
My main sponge cake was made of two vanilla sponge cakes, layered with lemon curd and covered with marzipan, then the icing. Simple mix of fat, self raising flour, vanilla essence, two eggs and enough sugar. I usually use a lot of butter....because I can, ha! However in this case, I was using a vegetable fat instead.

My pride and joy yesterday was not the cake though, it was a batch of bacon scones. (Biscuits if you're American). I started by roasting five strips of full fat smokey bacon on a baking tray. Just ast they were starting to crisp up, I pulled the tray out of the oven and poured off the cup full of fat for use in the scone dough mix. A normal scone mix can be made with milk or fat or both. I used milk, bacon fat and a little extra vegetable fat. The resulting dough was moist and wonderful. Tearing up the bacon, I made five equal piles and then divided the dough into five lumps. Each dough ball received bacon bits in the middle and a topping of bacon. Thirty minutes baking later at gas mark...erm, high....and they were ready to serve with vegetable stew and rice.
A beautiful song
Posted:Sep 4, 2010 5:41 pm
Last Updated:Jul 4, 2022 2:39 am

Lyrics to Who Will Sing Me Lullabies?

to be found on U tube etc sang by Kate Rusby.

Lay me down gently, lay me down low,
I fear I am broken and won't mend, I know.
One thing I ask when the stars light the skies,
Who now will sing me lullabies,
Oh who now will sing me lullabies.

In this big world I'm lonely, for I am but small,
Oh angels in heaven, don't you care for me at all?
You heard my heart breaking for it rang through the skies,
So why don't you sing me lullabies,
Oh why don't you sing me lullabies.

I lay here; I'm weeping for the stars they have come,
I lay here not sleeping; now the long night has begun.
The man in the moon, oh he can't help but cry,
For there's no one to sing me lullabies,
Oh there's no one to sing me lullabies.

So lay me down gently, oh lay me down low,
I fear I am broken and won't mend, I know .
One thing I ask when the stars light the skies,
Who now will sing me lullabies,
Oh who now will sing me lullabies.

Who will sing me to sleep
Who will sing me to sleep
Who will sing me to sleep
Who will sing me to sleep

I may be going soft as I get older but I think Kate Rusby has a fantastic voice. The power to reduce me to tears with a simple song. Powerful stuff.
Providing a valuable service.
Posted:Aug 29, 2010 5:58 pm
Last Updated:Nov 27, 2010 3:47 pm
My family and I live in a wonderful area. It's friendly and quiet, even though the road gets a lot of visitors. I think they come to do drug deals, but the area is a far cry from the sort of grime and deprivation seen in other areas.

Anyhow, I'm continuing to work on my trailer for my business plan. Local garden clearing services and mess clearance. I think the trailer is looking quite good. Either that or the smell of the neighbours, wood stain and exterior varnish is affecting my vision.

I am aiming to complete the trailer this week. The website might take a bit longer.
1 comment
The gardening project
Posted:Aug 25, 2010 10:06 am
Last Updated:Aug 27, 2010 5:23 pm
Wow, time flies. Not too long before my go back to school, then Jess, my baby and I can go to the swimming baths without all the noisy school .

Anyway, on another note, this picture shows the progress I have made on my bicycle trailer. I think it will be superb for gardening projects, removal of waste material and delivery of new plants, bricks etc.

All I need to make now is a water/thief/vandal/drunk resistant lid. It will be nice to be able to visit several shops and store purchases in the cart while I continue shopping.

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