We have entered the dark time of year.
Lately, I'm getting up on train-catching days before the sun is properly up and biking home in the last little trailing bits of sunset. That means it's time to start buying my lunch more often, so I can take it out to the park and soak up some sunlight while it's there.
The other day, I went and bought lunch at the Indian place around the corner from my office, as I often do. However, it was cloudy and yucky out, so instead of taking it to the park I sat at the counter and watched the kitchen go. I knew the place was busy, but I hadn't realized quite how busy. I was really impressed watching all the various cooks zooming around doing six things at once, fetching and patting and frying and passing things off to other cooks and plating and serving and generally doing the well-oiled machine thing. An overclocked well-oiled machine.
One advantage of getting up before sunrise is that I cannot possibly be woken up before the alarm by the chickens or wild birds or anything, because nothing whatsoever is stirring out there. The chickens have been slow with egg production lately; Norska and Phoenix are both molting, so they're out of commission for a while. I may give in and buy store eggs again to support my ice cream creation experiments / late-night chocolate cake needs. (The five-spice syrup, by the way, worked stupendously. Piña colada next!)
Lunch today was exciting. I made a new recipe, kale bread, which is a fried Indian flatbread with kale, coriander, and chilis in it. They came out fairly tasty, although next time I am going to knead by hand, not using the food processor, because the food processor isn't really big enough and just makes a mess to clean up. Also I put too much water in, so the dough was really sticky and had to be overfloured to work with properly. As a proof-of-concept they worked, but I think I can make them better next time. brooksmoses
helpfully fried them for me while I was finishing up the rolling and making a salad to go with them.
After the frying was done, the pan got a little overenthusiastic and set off the smoke alarm, which set off the dog, who remained agitated for quite a long time. One of the other alarms decided that ten minutes after the first one had gone off was a good time to start beeping for a battery replacement, which I'm sure reassured the dog not at all. He decided, after the beeping had in fact stopped, that the best thing to do was let himself out the front door. After being retrieved, he tried the back door (open to the screen to let out the smoke, so that one was easy). After being retrieved from there, he was not any happier about existence, and kept running around whining like something was making a noise I couldn't hear, although none of the other alarms were beeping or anything. After I sat out back with him for a while, he calmed down (and did a great job ignoring the chickens). Sunlight is magic, I guess.
I have noticed that some of my shirts are fitting differently in the arms and shoulders lately. I can only assume that I'm putting on muscle from climbing. In the abstract, this is good, but it is making it even harder
to find shirts that fit, which I frankly didn't expect was possible.
Clearly I should only wear tank tops from now on.
The other day, coming home from the train station after Sociological Observation Shopping, part of my rear bike light fell off. I didn't realize it at the time -- I thought the noise was me running over a plastic cup or something of that nature. The next morning I checked the spot where the noise occurred (in the park) and found the light cover and the batteries. I reassembled the light and continued on my way. Unfortunately, the cover fell off again later in the ride, and before I could safely retrieve it a great big car ran right over it and pulverized the poor thing. (I did manage to get the batteries, which had not been pulverized.)
So now I have a nice new rear light. The screws holding it to the rack don't want to go in very far, so I'm a little concerned about its stability, but it seems to be doing okay so far.
 Sociological Observation Shopping is like shopping, but without the expectation (or in this case the fact) of buying anything (well, lunch and cream puffs, but those hardly count). It's much less stressful than the other kind. Oh, and we went to Paxton Gate
, which I will have to take my sibling & sibling-in-law to if they ever come visit, because it is awesome
. I wanted to buy them this lamp with chicken feet and a sort of bathysphere aesthetic and an anglerfish/lotus flower thing on a stem and a tentacle, but it was too expensive. (Aha. Not this one
, but a similar one.) The website looks all respectable; this is a lie. The store is full of disreputably alarming things like mouse skeletons dressed up as cherubs and taxidermy unicorn heads and bowls full of penis bones and strings of dried pufferfish. Occasionally you get this feeling like you're being watched, and of course you are, by six things that have been dead for years and have their heads swapped around on the wrong bodies.