Friday, January 23, 2015

Lying scumbag couriers

Just had an interesting experience with a courier company.

I've been waiting for a delivery today, for which their depot promised I would be called in advance.  I'm home all day, so no real matter.

I just wandered out to get the mail and found their truck in the street, with some lumbering cretin of a driver just getting out of the cab.

Cretin driver:  Lucky you caught me, I've been ringing for 15 minutes now.

Me:  ???  Ringing what, the doorbell or my phone?

CD:  Um, the doorbell.

Me:  Yeah?  I've been in the front room of the house for the last 15 minutes, it's a security screen door and the inner door is open.  I haven't heard a single knock or ring.  Let's give it a try, shall we?  Push doorbell, and unsurprisingly the doorbell rings inside.

I sign the delivery note and off he goes.  Not worth arguing with McCretin.  I'll give their office a serve.

I pull my phone out and there's *one* missed call from 3 minutes ago, I call back and it's their depot.

Depot:  Our driver has been trying to get hold of you for 15 minutes, he called and said there was nobody home.

Me:  Really.  I've been home the entire time, the front door has been open, I've been about 10 feet from it the entire time he says he was trying, and I haven't heard a knock, a doorbell or a phone call before yours.  I just went out to get the mail because the postie went past a couple of minutes beforehand, I saw him ride past and there was no truck parked out the front then.  I also just rang the doorbell in front of him and it worked fine, and that's before falling back to a good old-fashioned knock.  So the reality is that your driver is a lying scumbag who is running late because he's skived off somewhere for a bit, and is now trying to blame me for him being late on his run so you won't bust him for it.

Depot:  Um... yeah.  We'll be having a word with him.

Me:  Good, you do that.  While you're at it, why didn't he try calling me?  Like your office promised yesterday when I confirmed the delivery timeslot?

Depot:  Um... he might not have had your phone number.

Me:  And that might be complete crap.  It's obviously available to you because you just called me on it three minutes ago, and I confirmed it with your office yesterday - christ alone would know why I had to do that though, considering I was returning the call where they *already* called me on it.

Depot:  Um...

Me:  I also saw it on the delivery note I signed to accept delivery, and I'm looking at it right now on the delivery details taped to the side of the carton he just handed me.  And he obviously has a phone, because he managed to get through to you to bullshit you that I wasn't home.  So, to reiterate, your driver is a lying scumbag, yeah?

Depot:  Um....

Me:  Um, yeah.  Have a nice day.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Making sawdust

Spent about 6 hours today building the world's most overengineered shelf to put the handbrake's baby photography crap really expensive props on.

Did the folding bench below on christmas day - this is similar construction.  18mm marine ply with 42mm square runners.  45mm thick mounts on the walls with three 10x120mm dynabolts each because I hate bolting too hard into brick in case it crumbles.  Brackets are 300mm square 2.5mm gal steel because I was too lazy to make timber struts.

It's probably rated for small brontosaurs, I did a chin up off it and it didn't move, and that should be a fair sort of test for anything.

Next sub project will probably be to add a small sub shelf below it, level with the bottom of the wall mounts.  About 200mm wide should be a useful ledge for stuff without running my forehead into it while moving about.  I'll also do some shelves to fit into the alcoves, just a vertical up each side with shelves screwed in from the side first before fitting.  I'd like to recess the shelves a bit but no table saw, so ah well.  A small t-piece brace below each shelf should fix that without compromising too much depth.

One advantage of being ahead on points with the handbrake is you get fed, in this case a slightly culturally confused anglo-italian ploughman's, complete with some potted stilton.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

TGI Friday's Jack Daniels dipping sauce - success!

Finally got this one close to right last night after quite a few attempts.

Best used as a moderately thin dipping or drizzling sauce on steak or chicken.  Doesn't work well as a basting sauce as the sugar will burn, although you could do a glaze right at the end on ribs or wings.


1/2 medium onion
2 whole heads of garlic (pick the heaviest ones you can find)
1 tablespoon tabasco or other chilli sauce
1 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup bourbon
2 cups of brown sugar
2 beef stock cubes
4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

Put the oven on at 200°C.  Chop a bit off the root of the whole heads of garlic so they will sit upright.  Chop about 1/4" off the top so you can see the individual cloves.  Sit these on a roasting tray with a little olive oil on top and stick them into the oven to roast.  This will take about 40-45mins, you want the top quite brown so the inner is well cooked.  Pull them out to cool when done.

Finely chop or mince the onion, or grate the thing with a microplane.

I had a lousy time finding pineapple juice on new year's eve, as the shelves had been stripped to make punch.  I ended up buying a big tin of pineapple chunks and draining them.

Do not bother using good bourbon.  Buy a $30 "cooking bottle" and drink the good stuff.

It sounds like a lot of brown sugar (and it is), but it balances the pineapple juice.

Stick everything in a saucepan.  When the garlic is down to handling temperature, just turn the whole bulb upside down and squeeze hard and all the garlic will come out easily.  If it's still hot, thermonuclear garlic will remove the skin from your fingers, you have been warned.  If you get a few shreds of garlic paper in the pot don't worry about it, pick out any large bits.

Cook down about 1/2 volume, keeping it at a low boil so you've got some decent evaporation going.  Stir occasionally but it doesn't burn with the amount of liquid in there.  Make sure all the sugar is totally dissolved.  Don't get the heat too high or it will bubble over due to the sugar content foaming.  You're probably looking at around 30 mins cooking at a low boil.

When you hit 1/2 original volume, make a thin cornflour slurry of about 1-2 teaspoons of flour and a little water.  Stir well before adding so there are no lumps.  Bring back to a low boil to cook the flour out and get a nice thin syrupy consistency.  Don't reduce too far, it's a dipping sauce.  I ended up putting about a shot more bourbon in at the end to thin mine a little and put a little punch back into the flavour.  I also gave the chilli a little top up and added a dot (like a 5c dot on a spoon) of tomato ketchup for some richness.

I didn't bother straining, most of the onion and garlic had liquefied to pulp.

Seriously yum on a charred steak off the barbie, and we're having the remainder on barbecued chicken tonight.