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Tactical Ninja - Oh yeah, that other shiny thing I made

Jan. 31st, 2014

09:20 am - Oh yeah, that other shiny thing I made

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Last night I made pasta with a tomato and courgette sauce/base thing - like, from scratch, without buying one of those jobbies in jars. Nothing unusual in that, right? But apart from the mushrooms and a capsicum, everything else in it was from our own garden. Including the herbs.

I am inordinately pleased about this. Also, I see a lot of tomato-eating in our future. And possibly salsa-making. And sundried-tomato-doing. Although, I've no idea how to do that. Preserving? Eep!




Taken by the very talented Pete Jennings, whose Kiwiburn photoset on Flickr is the best I've seen so far. He's done a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of the event, so if you're wondering what Kiwiburn looks like, please go have a look. And at the top of page 4, there's a nice pic of the Sensorium (Dr Wheel's art project).

I was wearing all black in that pic, deliberately. However, this has highlighted that it makes me look like a floating skirt (or a jellyfish, depending on your state of perception). So I've had another brainfart, which involves adding a hairpiece with illumination, just to balance it a bit and demonstrate that yes, I do have a head.

*more soldering yay*


Yes, the Brainfart is supposedly now called the Hypnotutu. Because that's at least a little bit descriptive, right? It's going to get another outing in about a month's time, and this time I'll deliberately ask someone to take some video footage, because it's shiny! And ever-changing! Apparently this makes it difficult to photograph...

Tomorrow I have to shear sheep. Polwarths, even. Wheeeeee, back to reality. Oh wait, I have a picture of a fluoro orange monster sitting on a purple fluffy unicorn (photo by Kylee Bowater) on my desktop.

As you were...

Comments:

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From:ms_danson
Date:January 30th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
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Ooooo... glowy gloves too. Then your whole body would be defined in its absence.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 30th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC)
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That is a fantastic idea! Especially if they were individually addressable to match the patterns of the skirt...
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:January 30th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Showed my work colleagues Tangle on a unicorn. They now want to use it as my intro photo!

( I said to hold off though, as there'd be many people to check with, and I'm not entirely sure I want conflation between personas anyhow )
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From:tatjna
Date:January 30th, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Well, we know who took that particular pic, so that'd be easy enough. ;-)

But it certainly wouldn't help anyone meeting you for the first time to recognise you in a coffee shop...

.. or would it?

Mwuahahahahaa
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From:pombagira
Date:January 30th, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC)
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that Kylee Bowater took some excellent photos of kiwiburn.. whoot

and Mr Jennins, i have the skill envies of his pics they are wonderful!

:D
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From:tatjna
Date:January 30th, 2014 10:41 pm (UTC)
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They really are. I think he set out to capture the event, though - so it's a bit different from someone just taking some snaps. I'd love to see what you'd come up with these days, with a decent camera and having had some tuition..
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From:pombagira
Date:January 30th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)
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maybe a plan for next year, i make a bit silly hat with a tagg saying press, and run about taking photos.. *grins*

also i keep on seeing photos of a bowl of tiny wrapped soaps.. bwahahah so awsome!

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From:tatjna
Date:January 30th, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC)
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Apparently it appealed to a wide range of people - both the humour and the soap! I only have a few left, and that's because after Sunday I couldn't be bothered filling it any more.

You should totally be press in a Mad Hatter hat.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 30th, 2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
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ohh i can do that.. i even know where to find instructions on how to make such a thing.. mwahahaha...

:D
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From:meri_sielu
Date:January 30th, 2014 11:01 pm (UTC)
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I love the glowy jellyfish look personally! ;) I enjoy the name hypnotutu greatly!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 30th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
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I am becoming one with my inner jellyfish... ;-)
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From:bekitty
Date:January 30th, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
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Oh look, I'm on page 4 too! :D

Also, I reckon that you should thread LEDS through the tubular fingertrap tentacle gauze stuff for your headpiece. Because that would look seriously AWESOME.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 30th, 2014 11:25 pm (UTC)
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That is pretty much the plan. But I don't want to use pre-made strip because I think having 360 degree visibility will work better with tubular crin. This means I have to:

a) find addressable individual RGB LEDs
b) solder them together
c) find a microcontroller that'll work with them and learn how to use it
d) find a battery that'll power them for 2 hours, that I can wear on my head (ie doesn't weigh more than about 50g)

Simple, right?
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From:bekitty
Date:January 30th, 2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
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Better you than me! \o/
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From:fbhjr
Date:January 31st, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
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That is a cool skirt!

My wife is always looking for things like that for the pre-show when we do a fire act. Is it OK if I show her the photo?
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From:tatjna
Date:January 31st, 2014 12:07 am (UTC)
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Please do. ;-)

I have moved away from fire and toward LEDs in my light-emitting pursuits over the last few years, partly because even pegasol gives me a headache, and partly because I got fascinated with the colourscape possibilities.

Although, I've noticed that one of the big differences between performing with fire and performing with LEDs, is that when you use LEDs, everyone is looking at them. When you use fire, everyone is looking at you. There is no LED that can replace the flattering light of fire.
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From:yshaloo
Date:January 31st, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
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your tutu is fabulous!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
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I really like it. Wish I could sit down in it though..
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From:pundigrion
Date:January 31st, 2014 04:53 am (UTC)
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I love the wearable LED jellyfish!

Sooooo I am more than happy to talk your ear off on how to start preserving stuff if you like. I realize I'm in the wrong season for you to just play follow the leader in my posts and I'm kinda bad about that tagging thing...

To get you started though, water bath canning is really not too intimidating and not uber-expensive to start up with. I started with diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes. I found I don't really use these as fast as sauce and actually it is easier to just dry tomatoes rather than bother to can them because everything that calls for canned tomatoes wants you to simmer them anyhow. I use a dehydrator for this. Some people faff about with an oven, but if you also plan to do lots of herbs (and you should and yes, they are better that way than in pretty little upside down bundles) or want to do some fruit, etc as well, get the dehydrator. I don't recommend the super cheapo ones, but that is how I started and it'll totally work most of the time just in very small amounts.

Here's my favourite salsa recipe of all time: http://preservingtraditions.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/large-batch-tomato-salsa-canning-recipe/ I really, really like that they give the measurements like this in a table. Nice an quick to look at and a good concise workflow since it is really meant as a class.

For tomato sauce you can always make your favourite recipe/concoction (and damn it feels good to be a gangsta gardener!) and simply freeze it if you have space, but I find it more convenient for future use to can this as well. The instructions here are reasonable decent for sauce although I have minor quibbles: http://www.pickyourown.org/spaghettisauce.htm I've never found onions or garlic to go bitter and I have found it is better to use more spice and salt otherwise the final product is a bit flat. (That goes double when you freeze things!)

You will see many, many warnings about never, ever using recipes that have not been tested blah, blah, blah. Botulism is bad. That said, this is not entirely a problem if you understand what and why you are doing things! Boiling water canning can only be done with acidic foods. If you put too many tasty but non-acid things like onions, you risk throwing the pH off. This is the ratio I also use for sauce. For whatever reason they are much less foaming at the mouth about only using exactly two teaspoons of this and a tablespoon of that when it comes to veggie juice: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_veg_juice.html
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
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Salsa and pasta sauce were the two things we decided we'd use if we preserved tomatoes. Since those both come in jars from the supermarket, I figure they are doable.

That recipe up there looks interesting, although it seems to deal with larger quantities than we are likely to get. At the moment we're looking at 2-3 tomatoes per day coming ripe, and it may speed up when the second string plants get going (a couple of weeks). But I was thinking I'd probably do a couple of small batches rather than a large one.

Thanks!
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 4th, 2014 03:07 am (UTC)
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Haha, funny thing about tomatoes. You don't *think* you will get that many at the start of the season. But then as soon as you have happily harvested the first few and turned your back to head into the kitchen with them and fast forwarded a couple of weeks, suddenly you are inundated!

I've only ever made the small salsa batch. I normally do two-three batches of it at a time. It's a lot of chopping and I never have as many peppers as tomatoes! For tomatoes I normally do 20-30 pounds at once. This is much easier to grow than you might think....we keep growing fewer plants each year and still getting more tomatoes!

This year we are only doing two or three plants though, so I'd be pretty shocked if the trend continues. We'll have plenty of salsa and sauce left still, so I can use that space for other things. I like to alternate.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 4th, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
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At the moment it feels like we are being overwhelmed by a very slow tide. I figure doing a small batch to start with is a good plan given I've no clue what I'm doing, then I'll be prepared for the onslaught when it comes.
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 4th, 2014 09:01 pm (UTC)
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I can't type... I meant to say that I only ever do the small batch and I do it two or three times a *summer* not at a time. That made no sense whatsoever the way I worded that before!
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:January 31st, 2014 06:25 am (UTC)
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so excellent!!! i love the flouro-monsters very much. they are perfect.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
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I am so pleased with how they came out. ;-D
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From:fuvenusrs
Date:February 1st, 2014 09:22 am (UTC)
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BUTT-TENTACLES. Also, Hi :)
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From:fuvenusrs
Date:February 1st, 2014 09:29 am (UTC)
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Also also, have you got tips on basil management? Mine took a thrashing in the last rain storm and it's gone sad now.

There really is a certain awesomeness in gathering your food from your own garden, isn't there? My Dad's always had a garden for vegetables - potatoes, corn, peas, carrots and radishes. I think if I could get over my revulsion of slugs and snails* I'd have an awesome garden. As it is I have basil, catnip, thyme, and oregano growing in pots in the front yard.

Oh! Speaking of, you haven't started on the 'Nip Cage, have you? Monster's respecting the No Playing In The Pots rule, and beats the tar out of the neighbourhood cats when they come on the property, so if you haven't started, don't worry :) (If you have, I can use it for something else...)

*Absolute phobia level. I don't faint, but I get close.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
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I hadn't started the 'nip cage, and I saw this before I got started, so at the moment it's not happening. If you find you need one after all, let me know.

Meanwhile, I haven't seen any slugs or snails in our garden this year. Nor aphids. I picked a few caterpillars off the broccoli at Christmas time, but that's been it more or less.
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From:adam_0oo
Date:February 1st, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Sensorium is cool!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 2nd, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
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It totally is. And he has such plans for it, now the hardware's all tested and working...
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