Thinking - Aunty Dulcie

Our aunty Dulcie died this week. 

She was a major player in my young life and in the life of many of our young friends. 

I cant remember who it was, but some kids that were friends of the family on an overseas trip bumped into her in Italy or somewhere, and much to their parents surprise said "Aunty Dulcie!".

She had no kids but had infinite time for them. 

Aunty Dulcie was that aunty that would rally all the kids and take them all to the park.

She ran a switchboard for GoodYear tires, and as a result could multi task her conversations in what I suspect was magic based. It allowed for maintaining a conversation with the grown-ups at the table, and simultaneously with every kid within earshot that wanted any attention at all. 

In short...

the perfect aunty and half sister to my mum.

So tonight we took mum to a little restaurant we discovered a few weeks ago. It's a Uyghur restaurant owned and run by a couple and their very bored 10yo kid. The kid sits in the dining room playing very loud games on his phone, the mum sits at your table telling you stories about China, and the husband cooks your food and drinks vodka. She's Muslim, and he seems a little closer to the Russian, more drinky side of the world. 

The place isn't licensed but you can BYO as long as you keep it out of sight. 

So you sit there pouring drinks under the table chatting to the owner and eating some of the best food ever, and then when you leave, there's no charge.


They refuse our money no matter what we do. 

We have no idea why.

They dont know anything about this being a wake as the subject never came up. 

Mum takes an ice cream from the Uyghur supermarket freezer that fronts the place on the way out so I slip some cash into the freezer under the guise of deciding I wanted an ice cream then changing my mind, but I get busted by the kid. 

So the owner is chasing us out into the car park waving my money at us trying to give it back. Mum left her walker at home and is using two walking sticks, so she's only moving at half pace and the owner is catching up fast. 

We try to outrun her with general giggles all round, but mum's in front blocking the way and as result we eat for free after all, leaving a perfect wake.

Thanks aunt D

Epic adventurer - Customs

I just received the ten pieces of paper I need to get my solar panels through customs.

Actually it was only nine, but I'm trying to make a point here.

What's with all this paper?

Why am I even involved with the process?

If someone has to send something to someone, and then they have to present that to someone else, just make it so the someone else can get it from the someone!

And make it all online.

And call "something something international import export clearing house"

120 things in 20 years thinks this might be why some people don't become major players in import export. I also think I might be wrong. But seriously, what do you do if you are a major international import export business, and don't happen to own a printer? Then what? Is my lack of printer ownership hindering my ability to be seen on the S&P 500? The world has gone totally crazy.

Aquaponics - Silver Perch

I just spent a very pleasant 45 mins watching (and patting) my silver perch eat duckweed. 

I took some video but ran out of arms to do everything (lighting, camera, patting) so tomorrow I'll get someone to help and get some decent footage.

I know this doesn't really qualify as worthy of you taking the time to read it, but I was pretty excited, so have to bang on about it to someone. And Mrs 120 Things in 20 years is already asleep. 

Wasabii - cold house

I've been thinking of growing some Wasabii and have been following a thread on Backyard Aquaponics discussing things like the temperature it likes.

It seems it likes to grow in less than 10c water, and less than 25c air.

I'm about to get two solar panels for my epic solar boat adventure, so when they're are not powering the boat, I'll be using them to power my aquaponics system, and I've been thinking of ways to keep the system cool to extend the trout growing season, so perhaps I could use them for that as well.

I ran the problem through the invention engine, and it suggested running coils of hose through a container of water in a fridge as a heat exchange. And connecting the hose to my system. This would obviously cost a lot to run because each time the water went through the growbed, it would collect a stack of heat on a hot day.

But if I put a shade house over the top, I might be able to work something out.

Wasabii likes shade as well, so it should be easy enough to get a couple of layers of that grown up bubble wrap they use for pool covers, and make a tent. Wasabii doesn't grow very tall, so it should only need to be around half a metre high. Perhaps on hinges so it can be lifted when access is required.

I'd add a window so I wouldn't need to let all the heat in whenever I took a peek.

120 Things in 20 years is being told to finish the boat first.

Thinking - 懐かしい


Now there's a word we need an English equivalent to.

Why is my native language so incomplete? 

I want my money back!

120 Things in 20 years is slightly disappointed!

Thinking - Baby spinach with blue cheese and a drop of lemon

Baby spinach with blue cheese and a drop of lemon is really nice.

A small amount of cheese on a leaf like a cracker, add another leaf and a drop of lemon juice.

Making smoked foods - A better way to brine

If like me you have no room in your fridge for a bucket full of meat when you're brining, try putting into an icebox.

Throw some ice in with it and you're set.

120 Things in 20 years  thinks this might be a record shortest post ever.

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