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A lot of people on my twitter timeline were sharing this article approvingly this morning, and given that it prompted one of the very rare disagreements I have with my beloved PPC for Calder Valley, I thought I would detail my issues with it. And the first issue comes right at the beginning:
a small engined car with four people in it has lower emissions, lower pollution, than four people traveling by train. So it simply isn’t true that everyone benefits from more train travel
The second sentence there does not follow on from the first. While the first sentence is, indeed, true, when was the last time you saw a car of ANY engine size being used as a commuter vehicle that had more than one or two people in it? And aside from that small disingenuousness, whoever said that the only benefit that everyone gets from train travel is lower pollution? There is also less congestion for those who DO drive, and there is also the small matter of the fact that for many people public transport is the only option.

My second problem with the article is illustrated by these two sentences:
Some City fund manager who commutes in from 50 miles outside London should not have his lifestyle choice subsidised by the rest of us... why should the poor pay taxes so the middles classes can live in the greenbelt?
The blithe and blind assumption that the train is a rich person's mode of transport tells its own tale: if the train is a rich person's mode of transport, then what are those of us who can't afford a car supposed to do, hop? In reality this is a perfect illustration of the fact that trains are already too expensive, rather than that subsidies need to be cut, pushing fares higher.

I suspect this probably comes from a London-centric mindset. Up here in the Frozen North, those of us in mimimum wage jobs sometimes have to commute long distances to get from housing we can afford TO the minimum wage job. I use the train to commute to work, and the bus, and I'm quite happy for what taxes I pay to go towards subsidising public transport because otherwise I would not be able to get to my minimum wage job which Tim professes to have such concern for.

My third problem is the argument "my taxes should not go towards something I don't use", which is basically the point of the snide comments about mimimum wage workers paying for rich people to travel by train. I'm never going to need prostate surgery, but I don't object to paying for other people's. Nor do I object to paying for jobseeker's allowance, or disability benefits, or pensions. Nor do I object to paying for my bloody useless Tory MP who has actively gone against my interests several times while he's been in the House. Nor do I complain about paying for the street-lighting to be on all night, even though it bloody KEEPS ME AWAKE. I don't object to paying for these things that I don't use or am actively annoyed by, because I recognise that they are necessary.

Something that I definitely think is necessary is a working public transport system. Mass transit which is cheap and reliable creates a more mobile and flexible workforce, and that keeps the economy going. I am certainly not going to object to paying for THAT. And I would happily cut spending in other areas to obtain and maintain a cheap and reliable public transit system, because I am fully aware that there isn't a magic money tree.

Finally, most of the people who shared the article approvingly did so while sharing this quote from it:
We should not be taxing the man who cycles to work at minimum wage in order to pay for wealthier people top travel longer distances.*
Well, yes, because we shouldn't be taxing the person on minimum wage AT ALL**. Which, happily, is Lib Dem policy. So yes, vote Lib Dem, get angry blue-haired nascent train geeks cutting your taxes.

*typo included was in the article, not mine. As was the assumption that the minimum wage guy cycles to work, while the posh city gent uses the train *rolleyes*
**not income tax anyway. There are, of course, other taxes available.

Honey Lemon Chicken

22 Aug 2014 10:08 am
[syndicated profile] norecipes_feed

Posted by Marc

Honey Lemon Chicken

It may not look like much, but this easy chicken dish was one of my favorite dishes growing up. It’s just pan-fried chicken with a honey sweetened lemon and tomato sauce, but for your pittance of effort, you’ll be rewarded with a plate full of tender morsels of chicken glazed in a delightfully comforting, sweet, […]

The post Honey Lemon Chicken appeared first on No Recipes.

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miss_s_b: (Mood: Tough)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The party's headless chicken response to this whole farrago has been utterly disappointing, and Rennard's utter inability to see what damage he is doing to the party he claims to love due to his own massive entitlement complex is sickening in the extreme. We have already lost enough people over this - many of them, Susan G especially, worth ten of an over-rated & out-dated campaigns strategist - so I won't be leaving the party.

It is true that Lord Rennard has not been found guilty of any crime in a court of law. He should not be subject to any legal sanction for his alleged actions. He is free to associate with whomever he wishes to associate, so long as they wish to associate with him.

HOWEVER I am not a court of law, and just like Lord Rennard I am free to associate with whomever I choose. Therefore I will say now, and publicly, that any room into which Lord (allegedly) Grabbyhands walks, I will walk out of. It will be safer for both of us that way, I think.

Egg Curry

19 Aug 2014 10:50 am
[syndicated profile] kayotickitchen_feed

Posted by Kay

Egg CurryBoy, am I glad to be back in my kitchen. Even though we took a 20ºC drop in temperature. It feels like autumn here. We vacationed in Spain, Mallorca, and the hotel we choose turned out to serve absolutely horrible food. Nothing was fresh or properly cooked, it was a nightmare. Dried out cucumber slices and carrots and overcooked frozen fish are really gross, trust me on that. The rest...
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[personal profile] miss_s_b
This serves 4 and is about 750kcals per portion


Deep lasagne dish or similar that holds at least 2 pints
Balloon whisk & mixing bowl
Measuring jug because baileys doesn't come in pints


6 thick or 8 medium slices of bread
Some butter
Some dried fruit - I used sultanas today
Some booze to soak the dried fruit in - I used Jack Daniels today
3 eggs
1 pint of Baileys or equivalent - I used tesco salted caramel irish cream today
Nutmeg/cinnamon/mace/vanilla extract to taste.
NB: you don't need any sugar because baileys is full of it

Soak the dried fruit in the booze for as long as you can stand it before you absolutely must have pudding.
Drain the fruit and save the booze for future soaks. Or drink it. Whatever.
Pre heat the oven to 180 electric/160 fan.
Butter all the bread.
Cover the bottom of the lasagne dish with bread, butter side down.
Sprinkle dried fruit over the layer of bread, then add another layer of bread, butter side up this time.
Keep layering fruit and bread til is level with the top of the dish, and make sure you sprinkle some fruit on top.
In your mixing bowl whisk together your baileys, eggs and whatever spices etc you are using.
Pour it over the bread &butter slowly so it soaks in.
Stick it in the oven for 40 minutes or so till it's golden brown and risen.
Eat immediately, it won't keep.

Summer Sangria

17 Aug 2014 01:47 pm
[syndicated profile] mattbites_feed

Posted by Matt


Dear Sangria, hey sorry about going so Rosé-crazy that I forgot all about you. I’ll fix that. Starting today. You see, some friends are coming over and you’ll be perfect to have around. Chilled wine, the best of summer fruit, some mint or basil from the garden… DONE! I might even need to have you arrive BEFORE the other guests, if that’s not too much of an imposition.

Summer Sangria from Martha Stewart

In a pitcher or large bowl, combine 6 cups assorted fruit (such as mango, pineapple, cantaloupe, and apricot), sliced or cut into pieces, 1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger, 1 to 1/2 cups fresh basil or mint leaves, and 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur. Mash gently with the back of a wooden spoon until basil is bruised and fruit releases juices. Add 1 bottle (750ml) chilled dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, and 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon). Stir to combine. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 1 day. To serve, add ice.

dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from a couple of friends, saying "Person X is looking for a DJ and we've recommended you", so I got in touch with them. And as a result, ended up doing a four-hour set last night for the Barfleet party at LonCon3/WorldCon 2014 at ExCel, London.

The Barfleet crews are nice folk who put on organised parties at US SF conventions, with bar, cocktails, DJs, and so on (and carefully placed plastic wrap on the floor in front of and behind the bar tables, to ameliorate spillage), and an alleged belief in "responsible drinking to excess". They had a small away team at LonCon3, and were therefore looking for auxiliary crew. Unfortunately, they were also on the road for the fortnight before the event (transporter lag?) (actually, they were touring Scottish whisky distilleries, and filling their luggage with everything that wasn't shipped to the US already), so the mission briefing was ... err ... brief. And necessarily second-hand. Still, I turned up with a recently acquired folding trolley stacked with CD boxes, my decks, and a second-hand netbook with back-up tunes on it (I didn't want to rely on a partially-tested bit of kit for the whole night, so it was a test of concept), was directed to the helpful guy who'd managed the booking, bearing a fine waxed moustache, and headed down to set up in one of the conference suites (well, two, with the dividing wall pulled aside). The Barfleet crew set up their 'dispensary', with plastic tubs of cocktails and serving measures (small jugs), while I hooked my stuff up to the room's PA and one of the con volunteers popped in to wrangle some LED PAR cans for lighting. And then the punters started to turn up (slowly at first), so, on to the music ...

According to one attendee, I made it so ...

Setlist )

¹ At this point the Barfleet crew thanked everyone for attending - and then announced that the cocktails had run out. "These idiots ... people ... in front of the bar with their hands in the air, have in their glasses the last dregs of the Photon Torpedo². These drinks do not like each other. They definitely do not like people. We salute them!" Announcing that the booze has run out does put a certain amount of pressure on the DJ - a bit like the main bridge crew teleporting off mid-battle, turning, as they dissolve, to the remaining ensign and announcing "You have the conn".
² Which I believe is a cocktail analogy of the drip-tray dreg mix.
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Eggplant Parmesan

17 Aug 2014 01:00 am
[syndicated profile] norecipes_feed

Posted by Marc

Best Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Since posting my recipe for the Best Chicken Parmesan, I’ve been getting tons of requests for my version of an oven-fried Eggplant Parmesan. It might sound like a simple substitution, but eggplants are quite different from chicken and so it’s not as simple as swapping out the chicken for eggplant. To understand how we need […]

The post Eggplant Parmesan appeared first on No Recipes.

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miss_s_b: (Self: Innocent)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
So, who wants to bid for a slot in my Liberal Youth Election Sweepstakes? How long will it be before one of the elected officers resigns in a fit of pique? One week slots are available from the announcement of results. We're playing for pride only here, folks, I don't encourage gambling.

I reckon it'll be about 6 months, so I'm claiming week 26.

Any other takers? I'll edit you in to a list below

Before result declaredNick Barlow
2Sarah Noble
3James Moore
5Matt Downey
7Josh Dixon
10Ryan Cullen
13Ab Brightman
16Alisdair Calder McGregor

PS: I would hope it goes without saying that, even for pride, I will brook no officers resigning in their own slot :P
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miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
If you send me a friend request for foursquare I won;t even know any more, because after several attempts to delete, deactivate or otherwise remove my account I have now set all emails from foursquare to automatic delete.

Sorry about that.

If you DO see me checking in on Foursquare, it ain't me.

(obviously I am also still not doing Failbook either)
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