December 27th, 2005


Important Safety Tip

When toasting cheese and bread in one's toaster oven, if using a new kind of cheese, do not leave the oven unattended. (Are you listening, scott_lynch?) Manchego cheese releases oil under heat which drips through the bread on to the heating element below. Ahem.

For your delectation, I include my action tested checklist from this morning's excitement.

1) Check to see if flames are contained within toaster oven.
2) Remove smoke alarm from ceiling mount and place inside freezer.
3) Remove burning toast from oven.
4) Shut cats in back room.
5) Open front door.
6) Using towels, carry burning toaster oven outside into the rain.
7) Leaving front door open, turn fan on high, facing outward.
8) Eat blackened cheese toast.
9) Reinstall smoke alarm.

Question regarding email I received

Anybody ever heard of a series or reference book called Contemporary Authors, from the Gale Group? I got an email from another organization claiming to be contracting the editorial process for CA on behalf of the Gale Group, soliciting biographical and personal detail from me. At first blush there doesn't appear to be any money involved (the most obvious spam/theft effort), and Gale Group appears to be legitimate. Is this a known, reputable publication that I'm simply not aware of? Or should I killfile the mail?

Mail falls from the sky

Went to lunch and checked mail, found a nice check in the PO box, along with the hooded sweatshirt I'd ordered featuring this left-leaning political artwork. Yeah me! Also a copy of the new Locus which happened to include two photos of me in the color spread on WFC. In both photos (taken at different times during the Con) I appear to either have had my eyes gouged out or be wearing criminal amounts of mascara.

Neither of which, I assure you, was true.

I soldiered bravely onward to the bank, where I was delayed for some time in the teller line due to the fact that the elderly couple at the window in front of me had apparently never made a counter deposit in their lives. They seemed to be utterly baffled by the strange technology known as a "deposit slip", and the teller was trying to work with them with a combination of social grace and obviously mounting frustration. Now, I'm used to the fact that a significant number of people in airports have apparently never flown and aren't familiar with the procedures for security, boarding, where seats are on a plane, etc. (Though I confess I do find even that puzzling.) I'm used to the fact that a certain number of people who enter fast food restaurants seem to have never been to one before, as the idea of "cheese" on a "hamburger" can engender long discussions and peering at a menu written in a speaking vocabulary of 40 words or so. But I am profoundly amazed that anyone can have passed through multiple decades of adulthood, dress as if they were middle class (ie, not homeless or poverty stricken or otherwise unlikely to be a regular banking customer), and not know how to fill out a deposit slip.

Live and learn.

On a final note, my toaster oven seems to have recovered from its incendiary experience of this morning, save for some soot streaks on the door glass and the upper part of the casing which I could not scrub off.

Don't forget Malapropism Monday, my latest lj game, as well as Christmas Cheese Blogging, if you didn't catch it the other day.