SJB Gilmour Writes

…and rants and ruminates…

Month: February, 2017

If Stephen Hawking Said It, It Must Be True, Right???

So Professor Stephen Hawking has a message for anyone who has suffered depression.  Ain’t that nice?  He likens depression to black holes and reminds us to look at things around us to see the beauty of it all, and to wonder about the creation of the universe.  That’s nice too.  Thanks Steve.  I appreciate the gesture.  Thing is, I’d warrant any depression you’re likely to have suffered has had a lot to do with your physical state, not a bad mix of chemicals in your brain, over which you have no control.

This leads us to one tiny problem.  It’s the same goddamn message I’ve heard for years from people who don’t get it.  “You’ll get over it,”  “It’s all in your head,”  and my personal favourite (that it came from good Hawkes, only makes it that much more special, “Look on the bright side.”

Umm, no.   When you’re in a black hole of depression, (which, by the way Prof says, can be escaped from – and yes, I know that’s bad grammar – ), you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is impossible to look around to see the beauty of everything et cetera, BECAUSE YOU’RE IN A FUCKING PITCH BLACK BLACK HOLE!

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There.  Rant over.  Move along.  Move along.

Sam

 

I Get Where Veganism Starts, But Where Does It End?

Okay, now before I begin, just let me point out I’m not attacking vegans.  Not in slightest.  I don’t agree with them, but that has bugger all to do with this little piece.  I don’t agree with socialists, or just about every form of organised religion in which fanatical zealots are groomed either, but, like I said, I’m not attacking them.  Vegans, zealots, pinko commie bastards…  … they can all go their merry way and I’ll not lift a finger against them unless they try to shove their point of view down my throat.  Then we’d have a problem, but I digress…

Vegans used to be fringe dwellers.  Now, they’re pretty-much mainstream.  That’s fine.  I think I get veganism as a general ethic; don’t eat anything that was once a living animal, or came from an animal.  No meat, poultry, or seafood.  No dairy.  Okay, that’s cool.  But these can all be seen with the naked eye.

What if we look though a lens?  Take bread and beer.  They both use yeast.  Wine also uses a fermentation process where a living organism turns sugar to alcohol, and then dies in the process.  And don’t even start me on tofu or soy yoghurts.  The whole process is riddled with bacteria.

See the bubbles in the gunk in that jar?  (It’s not my jar, by the way.  I found the pic online, and pinched it for this post.).  That’s the gaseous byproduct (basically yeast farts), of yeast bacteria consuming flour, while living in the mixture of flour and water.  It’s a living thing, guys.  I have a similar, through less photogenic, container of gunk in my fridge.  We call it Walter.  I can tell by his smell, and viscosity how his health is.  I feed him every few days with more water and more flour.  He gets a mix of rye, wholemeal, and white flour.   Then, on weekends, I bake sourdough bread, and sometimes pizza bases for home-made pizza night.

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Why do we call him Walter?  Well, one day I was describing how he lives, my youngest daughter, who had just recently been reading the series of books by William Kotzwinkle and  Glenn Murray, about a flatulent dog called Walter.  Miss5’s  (now6,), eyes lit up and she exclaimed ‘Like Walter The Farting Dog!’   Here’s another pic I nicked for this post:
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Now, if wanted really not eat animals, or animal bi-products, I think I’d have tough decision to make when it comes to yeast.  It’s certainly not a plant.  Sure, it’s only a very simple organism, but it’s alive, and usually killed in the process of making some our foods like this:

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I baked these loaves of light rye on Sunday.  They’re my lunch bread for this week.  Just food for thought…

Sam

 

So Far, So Good…

Remember those New Years’ Resolutions I made?  Well the gardening & exercise bits seem to have merged into one.  In the past few weeks, I’ve dropped a couple of kilograms, and there’s a noticable difference in my muscle tone (not that I’m bragging, mind you,), but I can definitely feel it.  Must be all that hammering and prying apart of forklift pallets to make planter boxes like these:

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Not bad, eh?  I sold ’em to a local day-care joint for a song – they were prototypes after all.  Now I know what I’m doing and just how long it takes me to make them, I’ve got a better idea of what to charge, and that’s $50 a pop plus $20 per ute-load delivery.  They’re all made out of re-purposed forklift pallets, and roughly 100 cm X 100 cm X 50 cm.  If you’re interested, you know how to get me.

Sam

My New Gym

There’s something vety satisfying about being destructive.  Last night, I bashed and pried apart a couple of forklift pallets – I need the lumber for some box planters I’ve been comissioned to make for a local day care centre.  Once I’d done that for about half an hour, I’d worked up quite a sweat.  Then, I took a break for dinner, then went out and did it again for another hour.

My arms and shoulders hurt.  In fact, just about everything hurts.  But, it’s a good hurt, and I know if I keep going at this rate, it can only be a good thing.  Now all I need to do is just sit down with Superwife and figure out what days I can ride to work to burn off even more calories.

Sam

I Think I Might Be Onto Something…

Free classifieds like Gumtree and Facebook marketplace have helped me discover a whole new world.  Now, I’m not exactly dumpster diving, but I do collect plastic bottles from public bins, and also soil when it’s being dug up by local council workers when they’re doing various “improvements” to bike paths and footpaths (that’s sidewalks, to you non-aussies,).  Add that to the used coffee grounds I get from a local cafe, and I’ve got my pots and compost sorted.  Also I collect discarded forklift pallets to make planters; I sold three just yesterday.  All I really need to buy are seeds, nails, screws, and the occasional roll of builders’ film for lining the planters.

I doubt I’m making a fortune, but I’m certainly getting material for a how-to book (Shudder!  It’ll be non-fiction!),  and I’m scraping up enough to cover some, if not most, of the weekly groceries.  And, business is growing!  I’m having to amp up my production of herbs, and the pallet planters.

Not a bad little sideline, wot?

Sam