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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 589562 times)
JonP
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« Reply #2745 on: January 22, 2011, 05:45:51 PM »

Still might have caused a bit of a woof though smiley  Interesting, though. So why did the guy who serviced our boiler a few years back insist on putting in a vent that causes most of the heat to get sucked out of the kitchen in the cold weather?
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Ed
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« Reply #2746 on: January 22, 2011, 07:45:25 PM »

If you've got a conventional flued appliance rated over 7kw (25,000 BTUh), or two that combine to be over 7kw, then you've got to provide additional ventilation, otherwise you risk incomplete combustion, which results in carbon monoxide being produced and if that's happening it's probable you won't get enough flue draft to fully evacuate the products of combustion. So basically, it's there to stop you getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

It's a pain in the backside, though. We recently had wall cavity insulation put into part of our house. The guys who turned up to do it insisted we have a black hole vent installed through our wall to provide draft for our wood burner, otherwise they wouldn't insulate the walls. There's plenty of adventitious ventilation (natural draft) in the room already. I can tell, because even with all the doors and windows closed, the fire still draws. Regs are regs, though. I had to have the stupid vent, which I taped-up the day they fitted it rolleyes
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« Reply #2747 on: January 23, 2011, 06:46:30 AM »

Had a rare night without the kids last night. One was off at his friend's house and the other we managed to offload on Grandma. We thought we'd make the most of it, so we tried to book a table at one of our favourite restaurants, but they were all fully booked, so we tried a few others and finally found one with free space. Once we experienced the place, it was clear why.

When we got there, the two waitresses were stood behind a serving counter polishing glasses. My wife said, "Hi, we have a reservation for quarter to eight, in the name of Dempster."

"Hello," says the girl, "and what's the name, please?"

She escorted us to our table in the track-lit dining room, where the lighting levels were far too bright, and if you sat in the wrong seat you found yourself in the full glare of a spotlight. This alone wasn't enough to put me off the place, obviously, but the longer we stayed, the more it seemed like these people had no clue how to run a restaurant. The menu was half Italian food and half Mexican, with an enormous choice, but the Italian food had bizarre touches to it, like a starter of mushrooms, garlic and cream, with a topping of cheese melted under the grill (so far so good), with pineapple chunks... huh?

My wife loves Mexican food, so she ordered Mex potato skins for her starter, and a spicy chicken burrito for her main. I ordered the garlic mushrooms, minus the pineapple, and a carbonara for my main. We sat without being offered drinks or anything else for twenty minutes. The waitress finally came and took our drinks order, which we got within a few minutes. I looked around and counted heads -- twenty-four people in total. The waitresses served food to the largest table, of eight people, then went and stood behind the serving counter, chatting while they wrapped paper napkins around bundles of cutlery, which took them several minutes -- then went and gave the cutlery to the people they'd delivered the food to. They had been sat staring at their food all that time waiting for cutlery grin

Our starters came after 35 minutes of waiting. My wife's bowl was so hot we could smell the china, and when she inserted her knife, the potato hissed steam at her. Any part of the jacket spud that touched the bowl sizzled. We reckoned it must have been nuked in the microwave for fifteen minutes or more. She had to cut it open and leave it a few minutes before it was cool enough for blowing on a forkful to have any effect.

My mushroom thing was quite nice -- a little on the bland side, but ok as a starter. My biggest bugbear was the lack of bread. A small crusty roll, or a slice or two of bread would have made all the difference for me. We finished our starters and then waited another ten minutes for our main. The girls offered us another round of drinks. As one of them placed the burrito in front of my wife, she said, "Hmm, that doesn't look much like a burrito, does it?" And it didn't. It looked more like a (rectangular) parcel bomb with bubbles of bright yellow cheese on top. My carbonara was a bowl of penne pasta with mushrooms and bits of bacon piled in the centre, wetted with a thin cream... I hesitate to call it sauce, because it didn't taste of anything but cream. I asked for some bread, but they didn't have any. They offered garlic bread, but when it came it was burnt (black around the edges) slices of toast that somebody had sprinkled dried garlic on. Funnily enough, it didn't taste of garlic -- it just tasted burnt. We ate some of the food, but left the majority. It wasn't good.

I think what was going on there was they were, at heart, a fast food joint trying to be a restaurant. The staff were pleasant enough, but inexperienced, with nobody watching over them to set them straight when they went wrong. Instead of having a few great recipes, they had dozens of bland/confused ones. And the owners had no clue how to set a mood with decor and lighting. It's a shame, really. I'd have gladly paid a few more quid to have a basket of fresh bread rolls on the table with a carafe of wine as soon as I was seated. Let's face it, split between a table of four, a bottle of house wine would cost a quid a head, and a few bread rolls would be pennies, but it would make all the difference.

We laughed about it, because we'd rather say thanks and not go there again than kick up a fuss and sour the evening, and we still had the cinema to look forward to at that point. I think we would have been very disappointed if the meal was to be the highlight of the evening.
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« Reply #2748 on: January 23, 2011, 07:54:42 AM »

Your restaurant experience is a perfect example of a writer's night out - observing and logging for future characters and setting... you have to imagine the creature oozing out of your meal, but not much.

Imagine, me as a vegan, having to steer around the menu and the dimiwt staff. I was given Oxtail soup once, after I'd asked for vegetable soup. At least they owned up to it being Oxtail. I said, "Sorry, but this isn't vegetarian." She blanked me so I tried another angle. "What do you think it's made of?"
"Isn't it vegetables?"
"Maybe but the main ingredient is from the tails of beef. Isn't it?"
She laughed. "Nah, that's just what it says on the tin."

 bangh  and yet  Wink
It's why I mostly self-cater.
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« Reply #2749 on: January 23, 2011, 10:08:54 AM »

My wife went to a coffee shop and asked for a Decaf-Latte.  The girl behind the counter asked "Is that with cafeine?"
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« Reply #2750 on: January 23, 2011, 10:21:30 AM »

Yep, I have trouble with decaff stuff too. This is because I have yet to find a decaffeination process that doesn't have health issues - chemical residues etc. I do have ordinary coffee in the mornings and love grinding arabica coffee beans for the filter coffee. Too much caffeine ain't good for us so aim for other hot beverages too. The other day at Sainsbury cafe I asked for a NON-caffeinated hot drink. They offered a decaf, but that's no good. They offered Green tea, and to their great surprise discovered it was caffeinated. Luckily, they had a good fruit tea. I'm not being awkward am I? Don't answer that! All this trouble to try and be healthy and then I eat a Cinnamon Whirl...
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« Reply #2751 on: January 23, 2011, 10:50:22 AM »

A cinnamon whirl will make you happy. Being happy boosts your immune system. Therefore the cinnamon whirl is healthy.  azn
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« Reply #2752 on: January 23, 2011, 11:15:40 AM »

Yep, you heard it here first, folks -- cinnamon whirls are health food afro

Back in my teens, I used to drink nothing but coffee, but I began to get heart palpitations, so I switched to tea. I'm told a strong cup of tea contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but I've never had heart palpitations from drinking it, so I guess that can't be true. I do love a good strong cup of coffee, though. BTW, I think smoking must bring out the flavour in, or compliment the taste of coffee, because I can't remember enjoying a cup of coffee as much as I used to when I smoked.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #2753 on: January 23, 2011, 11:51:52 AM »

I make the strongest coffee on the face of the planet  Shocked..... and drink about half a pot a day (all before 5pm, so I can sleep).... no palpitations yet...   grin (are you sure it wasn't the combination of nicotine and caffeine, Ed?-- says the snarky non-smoker  grin) Of course, I drink at least as much tea through the day... green, black and herbal... Which, of course, proves that while caffeine may be a stimulant... it doesn't necessarily improve one's energy levels.  cheers

Some restaurant employee's ignorance is remarkable, isn't it?  scratch

I eat out very, very rarely anymore... between my food allergies, food intolerances, and the local restaurant choices, it just isn't worth it. I'm a decent cook though, so it isn't that much of a sacrifice.  afro Cheaper, too!

« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 11:53:11 AM by Rook » Logged

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« Reply #2754 on: January 23, 2011, 12:00:58 PM »

Yep, could well have been a combination of the two. They're both stimulants, so it stands to reason, but the tea having as much caffeine as coffee thing still doesn't add up.

I'm cooking roast lamb at the moment. Got the roast potatoes nicely crisp already, and the lamb is nearly there. I've marinaded it in a paste made from butter, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. It smells lovely. Also got honey glazed carrots on the go, and swede, which I'll mash with plenty of pepper and butter -- yum
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« Reply #2755 on: January 23, 2011, 12:48:27 PM »

they had a good fruit tea....? ---.... tea is tea -- friut tea is an infusion..... but you knew that. Wink
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Caz
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« Reply #2756 on: January 23, 2011, 12:50:44 PM »

Wasn't sure if I'd done the right thing when I told the guy I've been working for, since last summer, that I wouldn't be coming in any more. But when I worked out how much we'd earned for one day on the new site I knew I had been right. Seven hours stumbling around in a mud filled footing loading out concrete blocks, mixing the mortar by hand, setting out the walls and then building them and all for the grand total of sixty quid a piece. Piss take is what I call it.
It's hard enough as it is in the building game, no holiday pay always at the mercy of the weather, without the prices being slashed in half. I suppose when things do pick up there'll be the usual moans that there ain't enough people to do the work. Well there is but most of us will have left the building game by then as we don't want to break our backs for not much more than the minimum wage. pissed

Oh well, rant over.
I've got some of my own work for next week so it's as good a time as any to try again with my own little business.      
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« Reply #2757 on: January 23, 2011, 12:56:46 PM »

The most highly caffeinated black tea can compete with the least caffeinated regular coffee (that is, there's some overlap in the range), but the typical numbers for each beverage put tea's caffeine content at about half to two-thirds that of coffee.

From ehow.com:
Quote
Tea vs. Coffee

Ounce for ounce, tea leaves contain many times more caffeine than do coffee beans. However, whereas 1 oz. of coffee won't yield much more than 2 cups of coffee, an ounce of tea will yield as many as 20 to 30 cups, and that's assuming you don't go back for a second infusion. For that reason, a cup of tea almost always has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.


Read more: Caffeine Levels in Tea and Coffee | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5122312_caffeine-levels-tea-coffee.html#ixzz1BsjFkGmB

Out of several sites I visited just now, most peg a cup of black tea at 40-65 mg caffeine, and brewed coffee at 80-150 or more (drip coffee provides higher levels).

A single Excedrin tablet has 65 mg caffeine.
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Rook
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« Reply #2758 on: January 23, 2011, 01:00:39 PM »

I'm cooking roast lamb at the moment. Got the roast potatoes nicely crisp already, and the lamb is nearly there. I've marinaded it in a paste made from butter, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. It smells lovely. Also got honey glazed carrots on the go, and swede, which I'll mash with plenty of pepper and butter -- yum
Now you've got me drooling!

It's hard to get decent lamb around here. Most of the real butchers are long closed-- most of the meat we consume is from the Amish at the local farmer's market, and they rarely have lamb. They aren't cheap if you order it, though they give regular customers a break, if you get the owner.

They have great fresh geese though, which here in the hinterlands is about a miracle.  afro
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« Reply #2759 on: January 23, 2011, 01:01:44 PM »

I've got some of my own work for next week so it's as good a time as any to try again with my own little business.      

Good luck, Caz!  smiley
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