Garden: Growing Parsnips

I didn’t think I liked parsnips based on the burnt sticky  things that accompanied occasional meals out, however it turns out that I do like parsnips when they aren’t overcooked; which was a good enough reason to decide to grow them in 2018

Parsnip seeds are apparently not very stable to the extent that using old seeds can lead to poor results – “old” can apparently mean even last years – which could be a pickle as my seeds for this year were bought in last year’s end of season sale

However I plan on trying them anyway, apparently parsnips should be sown directly into the ground between late March and June; planting earlier isn’t a great idea as parsnips hate wet soil and want the soil temperature is 12 degrees Celsius.

parsnip

(Photo from Pinterest)

The seeds should be sown thinly, or clump three seeds together 1.5cm deep and with 15cm intervals between sowings – multiple rows should be spaced 30cm apart.  Germination sounds very slow, up to 28 days, during which time the seeds may want watering if it’s very dry

Once germinated the seedlings want to be spaced 7cm apart – unless you want big roots at that point 10cm is better. Once they are growing parsnips don’t want much attention – however being too wet or too dry will split them.

Harvesting – the best bit of growing anything, can be from late Autumn until the end of January; the foliage beginning to die back is apparently the main indicator.  Although apparently even after the foliage dies back the roots can be left in the ground and picked as wanted. Rumour has it that being left in the ground until the first frost will lead to sweeter roots – I will be testing this!

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Food: Cadbury Snow Balls

It’s been mildly interesting to see how much left over Christmas confectionary is still languishing in the shop, slightly discounted but still largely overpriced

I was happy to accidentally find Cadbury Snow Balls discounted enough to make trying them seem amusing; they are little balls of chocolate which you hit with a small plastic spoon to decapitate and then eat the white sugary filling

The chocolate is the standard new Cadburys style, which is a lot less nice than the older recipes, the white filling is very sweet and the highlight was probably the spoon!

Although I only noticed the small instruction to “wash spoon before use” when it was too late, oops…

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Nails: Evil Cat

It was time for the cats annual checkup this week, it did not go well at all.

F made a larger fuss than normal and was generally uncooperative

Then when it came to my little monster things turned extremely violent, accompanied by noises that I didn’t think a cat could make; the only description that comes close to covering it is full on hellhound angry that it hasn’t got a soul to chew on

The trip went so badly that they only charged us for F’s checkup, as well as advising my spouse to urgently see a medical professional about the multiple deep bite marks that he now had

(Photo from Pinterest)

So yes not exactly a good trip to the vets and I suspect we might not be going back there – or be welcome back!

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2018 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Film: Pirates of The Caribbean 5 – “No shame in that, dear. We all have to make a living”

Depending on your geographic location Pirate of the Caribbean 5 will have been either ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ or ‘Salazar’s Revenge’ – which seems a stupid way to market a film but maybe they felt the Americans prefer dead bodies to foreign names?

Sometimes it feels a bit of a mystery who the target audience for a film is, for example is there really a huge market of people wanting to pay money for the fifth instalment of Johnny Depp playing an inept drunk pirate who inexplicably ends up coming out on top of any situation?

As IMDB list the cumulative worldwide gross as being $794,861,74 then yeah I guess there are, admittedly I wasn’t one of them, I just found the film on a streaming service that I already have a subscription for and had enough curiosity to press play on

pirates of caribbean

The first hour is watchable in a hammy sort of way; Will Turner’s son Henry is all grown up and looking for a way to break daddy’s curse – he thinks that way might be Poseidon’s Trident.

Henry meets the semi-zombie Captain Salazar who Jack Sparrow managed to trap in a Devil’s Triangle a few years ago.

In Saint Martin a young woman, Carina, who has an interest in astrology (that links to her currently unknown father) and is promptly accused of witchcraft. Jack is also on the same island and is being generally daft, after some hi-jinks he trades his magic compass for alcohol – which is a bad idea as somehow this frees Salazar from the Triangle and he isn’t a happy zombie so decides to hunt down Jack

zombie shark.jpg

The hunting down part takes a while and gets rather dull, apart from the underused zombie sharks. A surprise-free summing up of the entire last hour of the film is: Jack wins, all the named cast fulfil their guessable fates, everyone else is irrelevant and are treated as such.

Much like the last couple of films in the Pirates franchise there is absolutely no point or character development and only mild entertainment. Maybe they should just open another theme park ride based on the next script, it might just about work for a 5 minute ride.

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Book: John P. Logsdon and Christopher P. Young’s The Merging – “…walking around with his shirt open because he looks like a Chippendale’s model”

Ian Dex is a genetically-enhanced individual – as are most of the team of the paranormal police in Las Vegas. These enhancements also make him- and the rest of his team, very horny – which is frankly a weird thing to make a core part of your world building, but whatever it’s different I guess…

In terms of plot the book is largely about how Ian has slept with most of his team and pretty much anything female with a pulse, although there is a number of super-sized and super-strong vampires, werewolves and succubus picking fights all over town

the merging

Apparently this book is meant to be action and comedy – urban fantasy with a bit of police procedural and a sense of  humour, I noticed the action and it was ok however the comedy aspect passed me by almost completely. I’m wondering if I just wasn’t in the mood for it as the Amazon reviews for ‘The Merging’ seem really positive and I was totally indifferent to it

The only real impact this book had was to generate a thought-chain about why HR hadn’t got involved over what was very clearly appropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace

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Garden: Growing Sweetcorn from seed

Last year we did grow sweetcorn from seed; of the 30 seeds only 15 germinated, those 15 were moved to the allotment where the rats / mice left us with 8, however those 8 plants gave us some very nice corn.

So my aim for this year is to try again, however with more germination and less rats, so this means I needed to do some reading!

Apparently sweetcorn seeds should be sown indoors from mid-April to early May and want to be 18 – 21 degrees Celsius. They want to be sown 2.5 cm deep and really dislike root disturbance – I tried the little biodegradable pots last year and they were useless, so I might try the deeper root trainer pots this year

sweet corn plant

(Photo from Pinterest)

Resist planting sweetcorn out until after the risk of frost has passed and the seedlings are 15 cm tall – planting out for sweetcorn is a bit weird as they want to be put in blocks rather than rows, with about 45 cm gap between each plant

The logic for blocks is so the wind can pollinate the corn. However there is also a manual way to help maximise pollination, tap t he tops of the plants when the male flowers (tassels) open, last year I went a bit beyond tapping and starting covering my hands in pollen and rubbed it on the emerging silk  of corn on the other plants (NOT on the same plant though!)

When the tassels on cob turn brown it’s a sign that the corn might be ready – although this was a false positive, a more reliable way to check was to carefully peel back the sheaf and pierce a kernel with a finger nail and if the liquid is milky then the cob is ready.

Other useful stuff to know is:

  • Corn needs to be watered a lot when the weather is dry
  • Corn likes liquid feed when the cobs start to swell – they also benefit from you using fertiliser in the soil before planting them out
  • Corn is stupidly shallow rooted so be really careful when weeding and perhaps even mound extra soil up at the bottom of the base
  • Last year our corn didn’t need staking, however this can be a good idea

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Food: Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin CheeseCake Cookies

Despite liking Halloween I tend to avoid pumpkin flavoured confectionary as it tends to smell awful and taste similarly bad.

However on a highly iffy day at work a coworker offered me a Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie and I figured that it couldn’t make the day any worse

For a product that claims to be naturally flavoured it tasted pretty darn unnatural, however to be fair it didn’t deteriorate the quality of the already bad day despite smelling disgusting, tasting grim and leaving behind a nasty over-spiced aftertaste

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2018 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content