"Do something with the shrimp. 6:30."
Now, the danger in a situation like this is, this is end of the grocery cycle in our house. This means my usual cooking supplies are very, very short. Very short.
So, I get home, do the chores, and start looking at supplies. No onions, no fresh tomatoes, no peppers of any kind, and no coconut milk. There's 75% or so of my shrimp ideas out.
I dig more. Carrots, potatoes, rice, diced canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and my creole spice mix that I made up the last time we had jambalaya. Minced some garlic, tossed some rice on the stove to go, chopped the carrots and potatoes, fried them up in a touch of olive oil, and dumped the rest of the stuff into the pan along with some of the leftover grilled italian sausage we had. The shrimp went in last.
Went past 6:30 by five minutes, but it was fine.
I could tell by the look on her face she didn't like the idea of what she saw before her when it was served. She had been looking forward to a Lipton rice or noodle pack with shrimp in it, apparently. But, she took a bite. Then another.
I asked, "alright?"
"Yeah," she said between bites. "Not bad at all."
Afterwards she admitted to me she really didn't like the looks of it and really didn't want to taste it, but she decided a long time ago to always take at least one bite when I cook something because most of the time it surprises her in a good way. She said it was a really good meal and thanked me.
I could really let that go to my head if I didn't remember all the disasterpieces I've created in the kitchen over the years. I've had a surprising number of good make it up as I go along dishes lately though. Maybe I'm actually good at something after all?
The boss (Destro) and the plant engineer (Brak) have a band together. Now, they've upgraded from being a really, REALLY shitty cover band to being an OK cover band. They mainly play eighties pop tunes, with a bit of teh rawk thrown in from time to time. However, they think of themselves as being TEH SHIT.
Good for them.
Unfortunately, we were regaled with tales of boobies this week. Apparently some drunken audience member raised a shirt for them at some point late in the evening on their weekend gig. By the way they're acting over it, you'd think they've never seen boobies before. In the words of BB, "You're married men for christ sake. You should be able to see titties anytime you want."
Still, they twitter like twelve year olds that caught the neighbor hottay changing without closing the drapes. The scary thing to me is, if they were really as good as they say they are, this would not be such a huge occurrence. They don't seem to get that being the bestest band of all time ever should lead to seeing lots of boobies. I mean, I hate to sound sexist or whatever, but that's generally the way it works. Hell, even our suck-job band back in the late eighties saw it's share of underdeveloped teenage breastices. And we were all young enough at the time that alcohol really didn't play a factor.
Still, there is a certain something about seeing a thirty plus year old man giggling like a school girl as he says to you, "we saw boobies."
A certain something that makes you wanna slap him across the face and say, "man up, you tool."
Got my test kits yesterday. Readings:
- PH: 8.3
- Ammonia: Undetectable
- Nitrite: Undetectable
- Nitrate: Barely registering, certainly less than the first stop above zero.
- The rock was live enough in the curing vats to take care of the minimal die-off and even more minimal living organisms already present in the tank and the cycle really wasn't so much a cycle as a continuance of what was already going on.
- The life to water ratio is currently so low as to not provide enough umph to kick off the cycle at all.
- There is no cycle, only Zuul.
- Something something imagination something involving metaphysics, belief and ridiculousness.
I'll test for a few more days and see if anything more shows up. If the nitrates continue to rise slowly, I'll assume the cycle is kicking slowly and I just need to be careful about adding low-waste-production life for the next few residents. Already part of the plan, so no big deal.
There are some signs of a diatom outbreak. While that's panic time in the freshwater world, my understanding is that live-rock based marine systems almost always go through that as the cycle ramps up. Perhaps undetectable levels just means the cycle is happening at such a low level I can't pick it up? I'll give it more time. Once the diatoms get to be enough to support them, I'll toss in some itty-bitty blue-leg hermits and snails to clean them up.
Picked up the first signs of salinity fluctuation. I'm needing about a 1/4 cup of water on each end of the day to stay level. Without that, it bounces up from 1.025 to about a quarter of the way to 1.026. Target is 1.0255, so that fluctuation should be acceptable for what will most likely be tidepool lifeforms. Basically, things that are used to far greater fluctuations in the wild.
Mrs. NFB's comments: "You look like such a nerd with all your test tubes and chemicals lined up there like that."
Hey, who married the nerd? That's right.
Yesterday was a BITCH. The boss decided to play games with a non-problem that HE declared as a non-problem several months ago. Why? Because the bitchiest field rep we have raised a stink about it. I gave it about half a day, then finally dug out the old email the boss had sent me saying to never waste more time on this nonsense because it could be worked around with one extra click by the user. This is why I save emails forever. Because the boss has the memory of a really badly toked up fly.
And that's all I've got to say about that.
|< OK. Maybe I am a kettle. | 45 ACP vs. 40 S&W >|