odiousgambit's Blog

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Gee, Thanks a Lot, JulianaNovember 2nd, 2019 at 5:08:46 am
I guess for the most part I've bought into the idea that it's just as well to start a thread as to make a blog post, which might get ignored. On the other hand, if you want to be able to find something again easily, blog posts work well. 

And this one I want to be able to reference again as it took me a while to hunt this down. Terms of Venery, it's called. 

You see, I finally have had it with being told that the 'proper' term is a "murder of crows, a convocation of eagles, an exaltation of larks, a cast of falcons, a gaggle of geese, a parliament of owls" or [I could go on] ... this has struck me as fanciful BS. It isn't just birds, but the ones that bother me the most are, as you can see. "A pride of lions" is an example of a fanciful term like that getting so ingrained into the language that I have to throw in the towel and would use it myself. It's likely to have come from this woman Berners as well. 

I have been wondering for a long time where this baloney got started. I've finally tracked it down to one Miss Juliana Berners, a 14th century woman privileged enough to be allowed to write and be published at a time when books were rare enough to be influential for long periods of time. Possibly others came up with some of this but it's easy to believe that since this person is known, that she came up with the bulk of it. That the silly stuff didn't get guffawed out of existence instantly is unbelievable and surely a testament to the power of books back in the day. 

If I can remember this name I'm going to instantly tell the next person who hits me with any of this nonsense that they are accepting that some 14th century nobody can make language rules on a whim and we are all supposed to follow like sheep*.

*she probably came up with a 'hurtle of sheep' which thankfully doesn't seem to have caught on. Indeed bird flocks seem to be where she did the most damage


November 2nd, 2019 at 12:55:47 pm
The writing she did was before Gutenberg and the printing press, just checked that
November 3rd, 2019 at 7:40:21 am
Gutenbergh = movable type, not printing press.
November 28th, 2019 at 3:40:38 pm
>privileged enough to be . . .
This may be where you make your fundamental mistake. Yes, she was female.
Your assumption is that females at the time did not run businesses, fight duels, ruin men thru commerce and scandal, etc. This is an utterly false notion.
As a female she would have been accorded all the respect she demanded.
November 28th, 2019 at 4:53:38 pm
"privileged" carries a lot of meaning including just being lucky enough to have an education, be able to read, which women were often excluded from automatically

hopefully she was published and distributed because she was such a good writer she couldn't be denied. In any case, she did a lot of damage. Damage to my sense of BS anyway.
January 30th, 2021 at 7:31:48 pm
You make a very good point. I think the whole thing is kind of ridiculous and probably intended as a joke. Any array of hedgehogs. Wait, I kind of like that one. The topic reminds me of the scene from the Big Bang Theory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZfAM5pl214). Can forward to about the 1:05 point if you're in a hurry.

However, I must admit I like to catch people in these mistakes, as Sheldon did, just out of fun. If you came back at me with that retort, I would thought it very witty and bought you a beer.
July 15th, 2021 at 7:21:49 pm
Glad we agree, Michael
July 15th, 2021 at 7:31:59 pm
Not sure I wouldn't have held it against you, if you had caught me saying something like "a flock of doves" and corrected me to "that's a Piteousness of Doves, Mister!"

Your punishment would have been for me to go off about this woman who started all this! But now that I know you read this, it would be fair game. Love to have a beer.

Clue 2018/2019December 28th, 2018 at 11:55:11 am
Actually this is where we left it, with "day of the week" added to solve, which I assume will not change. Miplet's custom weapons/suspects/rooms distributor will be key, I assume he'll start each game still .


the modifications:

*the boardgame rules are the 2002 rules as there is a pdf file for them, see below. We have used these rules except as noted below.

*In a new variant, players solve suspect, weapon, room, and day of the week.

*Additionally, there are more secret passages. Such a passage exists now in our variant between rooms opposite each other, with a passage between Dining Room and Library but none connected to Billiard Room. Also, there are no passages between adjacent rooms etc.

*no dice, instead players move from one spot to another by declaring their move. A forum thread will be used for play and comments.

*We do not bid for which character we will play, this is chosen in a random process.

*The order of turns goes clockwise along the official board starting with Miss Scarlet as per the board game rules.

*In order that each person gets the full compliment of cards, none getting extra cards, dummy players will be used as needed. These will only say if they can or cannot disprove a statement. They donít move or make suggestions. Thus there will always be 6 players, including these dummies. This all possible thanks to Miplet.

*When someone makes a suggestion, Miplet's software is used and it nicely handles the disproving [or the confirmation] - this is done automatically but follows official rules.

*Play will stop when a person who is not present is supposed to take his turn... "what to do" in the event of someone failing to continue play? ... any 'official' way was dropped and there was never a case of intolerable suspension once we had Miplet's software, but it seems now by vote we can change the player to a 'dummy' if necessary.

*Once a player takes his turn , the results are to be posted in the thread.

*We don't use dice to move. To start the game a player begins in the corridor directly across from where situated on the perimeter. Miplet brilliantly realized this is all easier to understand if the corridor is placed outside as a circle around the rooms. A move of a piece down the corridor to get to rooms goes clockwise or counterclockwise, the only shortcuts being the secret passages. Otherwise a player moves from one "step" [in lieu of a better word] to the next adjacent step in corridor moves and can move 2 steps. Alternatively, a player could move one step and into a room if starting the move in the corridor or from the initial game-start position. Moving out of a room means moving out one step and then one more step can be achieved, but not a room since two steps in the corridor are thus taken. A player can just take one step if desired, but cannot step back into a room just vacated. Once in the room a suggestion and accusation can be made all as one turn.

*in the boardgame it makes no sense to move down the corridor if an accusation was intended, however using the Miplet app a player has to move before he can accuse. Note that sometimes a player's only move is "out of the room" so note this need to move in the corridor at times, even on a move where the player really only wants to make an accusation .

* a move into a room always ends the player's turn, after any suggestion. An accusation ends the player's participation, becoming winner or loser [the Miplet app takes over for answering suggestions]

*There is only one door to each room in this version.

*The doors cannot be blocked.

*For an accusation, as opposed to a suggestion, the player need not be in the room, or any room. It only needs to be the player's turn. I mention this as I have seen this misunderstood.

Link below is a pdf file for the boardgame rules [as a reference] as of 2002 below. Of course we will play with the above necessary modifications [or whatever is agreed on].


BBB's printable detective notepads: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1CcsLnUGEQpQ1BVdUhiX1FOVDg/view?usp=sharing

starting positions

Foraging UpdateDecember 4th, 2018 at 7:19:32 am
*The plantain herb, known as the white man's footprint to those aggrieved by invasive species, or the driveway weed to yard poisoners, and on which I had promised an update, works great in canned mixed greens at least. I was a little doubtful since when it is raw it is a bit fibrous if older, and I didn't eat much that way. The canning process really takes care of that it seems. 

*I've really come to appreciate foraging videos on you-tube. Previously I've only used books and field guides, and although the images in the newer such have gotten very good, videos using the modern very good camcorders that seem to be out there all over the place are really hard to beat. The better videos just keep showing the subject from different distances and angles, over and over again. I've decided this activates the same part of the brain that recognizes faces. Other images don't really do this, and after all sometimes in the old guides all they show is a drawing. 

*In case I haven't said this before, in the case of the Hen of the Woods, anybody who spends time in the forest in the Fall and who wasn't looking for them has been missing the boat. They are absolutely delicious and must be the easiest of all mushrooms to identify nearly risk free - it is just so unique. I keep saying that if you pick something toxic thinking you had Hen of the Woods, you just aren't really trying. 

*I was surprised to see what was in the grocery store the other day, bunches of dandelion greens on sale. Really? And something new to me, celery root. I didn't buy the latter, wanting to see how it is used first. Turns out it can be cooked or eaten raw. I'll report on that after trying it.

December 4th, 2018 at 1:12:34 pm
Wait until you see what they charge for celery root powder or for it in pill form!
Best incentive ever to go foraging for it.
December 4th, 2018 at 5:27:41 pm
Did VA get relocated? We've had 3' of snow, how you still pickin?
December 5th, 2018 at 5:04:06 am
I think I'll have to rely on the supermarket instead of foraging for celery root for now, fleastiff, and it isn't what i would call expensive btw

Face, just getting our first bit of snow today. As far as any foraging, some of the greens can pop up if no snow and just a few days of moderate weather, I've found.
December 5th, 2018 at 7:40:56 am
>and its not expensive btw
We share an interest in biology and botany but I live in the county poorhouse so I would indeed imagine our financial scales diverge a bit.
December 6th, 2018 at 5:36:18 am
not particularly expensive compared to , I dunno, the cost of apples. More expensive than carrots and such. Tried it yesterday raw; tasted like celery in that same mild taste way, with the texture of carrots. A tiny hint of spicy grew on me, so possibly a different sampling would be spicier, horseradishy, this sample was 'just a hint', almost unnoticeable. I'd say it is a preferred way for me to get my celery fix, only I don't have a Jones for celery at all!
December 6th, 2018 at 11:11:36 am
celery stalks and celery root are each great. Lowers blood pressure perhaps due to coumarin-like compounds but
probably due to its very high potassium content. Its anti-cancer compound, apigen, can't hurt.
Mainly its very tasty stuff that is beneficial but not at all toxic.

Another day in the woodsSeptember 30th, 2018 at 8:12:54 am
This time of year I get some motivation from foraging to get out there and stomp around, that's new - used to be only if I wanted to go small game hunting [larger game being out of season in Sept here]

I collected these mushrooms just to identify them, they all have gills which is still a bugaboo for me. According to guide book we have left to right Wooly Chroogomphus*, an Anamita of some kind, Oyster Mushroom, a Milky of some kind ... my confidence being 70%, 10%,  85%, 50%, resp., although the second and the last as you can see I don't try to get pegged down all the way as to species. The ones down to species are edible if I got them right. Not eating them though.

Also found more chick o. w. which I seeded about on other stumps and logs. It appears this will become an "all you can eat" thing if the seeding works, or even if it doesn't. I'm just finding it regularly. Some books discourage eating too many mushrooms at one sitting. They all build their cell walls out of the same indigestible stuff that constitute our fingernails, so if you don't cook them to break that up you get no nutrition. And in any case you are eating something that is to some degree going to pass through you unchanged. You don't want to stuff yourself with that i guess is what they are saying. So this is the kind of thing I am learning now. 

oh, two old bottles there found in the woods too. I clean them up and use them for homebrew, I have about a case of them now I use. They usually are less than 12 ounces, and I like to make a batch that has various sizes for various servings ... sometimes 8 ounces or so is what I want!

* I would say somebody needs his butt kicked for coming up with that name, except that on the other hand it is fun to say it. The genus name is derived from the Greek χρω- chroo-, meaning 'skin' or 'colour', and 'γομφος' gomphos meaning 'plug' or 'large wedge-shaped nail' per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroogomphus

September 30th, 2018 at 8:34:19 am
I consider mushrooms to be somewhat akin to coffee. We mentally classify a cup of coffee as a few compounds but biochemically there are hundreds many of them unexplored. With exploring shrooms we are in the same beginning phases. We really do not know what is being ingested or what effects it has on us.
That ten percent certainty gave me quite a laugh. As always, leave a bit set aside to aid the coroner.
What is it that you homebrew? A whole lot of people have jumped on this Kombucha Tea probiotic stuff, even Walmart sells it now.
September 30th, 2018 at 8:40:35 am
Factoid: Out of several thousand different kinds of wild mushrooms in North America, only five or six are deadly poisonous! Fear of mushrooms is known as my Mycophobia and a fairly large percentage of Americans suffer from it.
September 30th, 2018 at 8:44:54 am
Americans eat four pounds of mushrooms a year, up from a pound per year in the 1960s. That figure is paltry compared to the eight pounds a year eaten by Europeans and the 25 pounds per year eaten by Chinese consumers.

According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, almost 98% of mushrooms eaten by Americans are the Agaricus bisporous, commonly called white button caps, and criminis, which have brown caps. (Portabellas are very mature criminis.)
September 30th, 2018 at 12:14:57 pm
>Mycophobia ... a fairly large percentage of Americans suffer from it

I think it is pretty clear we suffer from Mycophobia here, there seems to have been a remarkable lack of information about mushrooms all along, with the first Euro settlers. I'd say these days that has morphed into an unwillingness to present some basic facts out there to indicate some types are plenty safe [I've learned] as long as you stay away from some other types. They're afraid of lawsuits? Some people get really sick, some die, from this lack of information - instead you just get "check with an expert" which encourages amateur experimentation instead if you ask me. 

Something I read said that if someone gets mushroom poisoning in the US now the chances that they are Vietnamese-Americans is way the hell up there. Apparently some of the worst ones here are similar to good ones in SE Asia plus those there have no poisonous look-alikes. 

Homebrewing beer is one of my hobbies, Fleastiff, though I only brew about once a year now.
October 1st, 2018 at 7:54:00 am
OG: I can barely walk to the dumpster or the housing office so you are safe from a visit from me, but do please let me know if you ever brew acorn beer or pumpkin wine.

Mycophonbia: I think its akin to the PIlgrims stepping off the Mayflower, finding pristine rivers and streams but refusing to drink the water due to their ingrained fears based on polluted European waterways with raw sewage, tannery wastes, etc. Their set minds may have been clearly incorrect but no amount of evidence would alter their views or behaviors.

Its the same way with 'shrooms. With so many stories of dying with the fork still in your mouth, people do learn to fear mushrooms and with foragers being quite naturally protective of their stomping grounds, such stories tend to get spread far and wide. Washington and Oregon tend to have problems particularly with Cambodians who are thought to over pick areas. The problem is not so much that of immediate agonizing death but far more subtle and longer-lasting effects. Its also a marketing problem too.

I've already mentioned that mushrooms and mushroom products (teas, beers, etc.) can affect people with The Gout (note the affectation) or other joint diseases and immune system diseases but there are conditions wherein the effects are subtle but long lasting.

As to marketing, you need only venture to rural areas where there are mushroom festivals and the like. The consumption may be more for cultivated than wild mushrooms, but the consumption is rather high. Stores carry them, there are paper bags available, recipes available, etc. Try going to a supermarket in an urban area and even finding a stack of small paper bags near the mushroom display. Heck, even health food stores often don't have paper bags available for mushroom buyers.

With recent developments in the medical field and in the area of utterly resistant pathogens, I think mushroom sales will begin to take off but it won't be foraged mushrooms.
October 2nd, 2018 at 2:27:26 am
I've thought about acorn beer, Fleastiff, I'll keep you posted on that.
October 12th, 2018 at 2:52:11 pm
Mushroom harvest season is closing down. I know kids in college were growing shrooms for fun and profit. Have you considered growing some from a commercial spore source, until you get comfortable with one kind or other and the mushroom fear disperses?

Mushrooms may save bees? https://greedmedia.com/mushroom-extract-could-help-save-bees-from-virus/
October 12th, 2018 at 2:53:18 pm
Mushroom harvest season is closing down. I know kids in college were growing shrooms for fun and profit. Have you considered growing some from a commercial spore source, until you get comfortable with one kind or other and the mushroom fear disperses?

Mushrooms may save bees? https://greedmedia.com/mushroom-extract-could-help-save-bees-from-virus/
October 26th, 2018 at 1:53:38 pm
>Have you considered growing some from a commercial spore source

I am trying to grow shiitake mushrooms. Turns out you need to use logs that are just cut with no other fungus started. That makes it ideal for someone with a source of fresh logs! Like someone already cutting his own trees for firewood

I threw a small freshcut log [and small is OK] I found lying by the road into the back of my truck and have the experiment going. Could take up to 2 years to see some mushrooms. Image from gardeners.com

August 22nd, 2019 at 1:02:38 am
A Bath physician in 1630 referred to mushrooms as earthly excresences but the Folger Shakespearian library has recipies going back as far as 1670.

Two different world views, you might sayAugust 12th, 2018 at 8:36:09 am
Just identified that I have wood sorrel growing in my unpoisoned yard. I thought it was a type of clover, but it has yellow flowers. Ran across two different ways to look at this:

"Woodsorrel can easily take over a lawn and it's important you remove it before it sets seed. Try to remove it in winter, when it's dormant. Mowing is ineffective because the plant can still grow and set seeds because it's low-growing. Pull dormant plants out of the ground and then dig or till the area to break up the roots. Repeat this whenever you see new seedlings. You will have to patch the lawn after you've removed the woodsorrel. If you mow a lawn with seeds from this plant, rinse your mower before using it on another piece of lawn that does not have the weed.

Chemical Remedies

If you decide to use a chemical, [blah blah blah]"

from https://www.hunker.com/12490705/lawn-weed-with-a-clover-leaf-small-yellow-flower

View #2

"Wood sorrel is an incredible thirst quencher and is refreshing to eat. The leaves, flowers, and immature green seed pods are all edible having a mild sour flavour that some say resemble lemons. Wood sorrel can be added to salads, used in soups, sauces and it can also be used as a seasoning. Wood sorrel tea when cooled can make a refreshing beverage especially when sweetened with honey. In moderate dosages, wood sorrel is cooling (refrigerant, febrifuge), diuretic, stomachic (soothing to the stomach, relieves indigestion), astringent, and catalytic."

from https://www.ediblewildfood.com/wood-sorrel.aspx

From my own perspective, I'd love for this plant to [nearly] take over my yard. For the height it currently is, I see no need to mow it. I usually don't mow clover patches, but they need to dominate so they aren't half filled with grass. This one really fits the bill for that. And guess what? I'm going with the ediblewildfood.com folks and their view of things.

first image from second link above
next image a picture I took with the cell phone

August 12th, 2018 at 7:20:14 pm
Isn't that carillon lovely?
What? I can't hear you over those darn bells?

There are always two views of anything. However no matter how attractive you find one particular item, do you really want a monoculture? That is what made the Irish Potato Famine so devastating.

Pasadena or at least the older parts of Pasadena has small houses on small lots but there is one family who for almost twenty years has used their home and yard for a permaculture operation that feeds not just their large family but much of the neighborhood soup kitchens. You don't need much space but you do need variety.
August 13th, 2018 at 5:54:57 am
>do you really want a monoculture?

well, that's why I said "nearly". It certainly can replace all the grass, I pretty much think grass is way overrated as you can tell

I still want dandelions, real clover, wild onions, different types of dock, plantain herb, pokeweed, and dandelion relatives to grow but I don't think the sorrel will crowd all that out. And wildflowers. The dandelion relatives are interesting, they'll be close enough looking to dandelions early on, but then realize you haven't seen the flowers [some other flower usually comes up, but not superfast like dandelion]. Hard to identify sometimes, but they have to be edible otherwise people would be getting into trouble thinking they are dandelions.

Some of these greens that come up I'm a little wary of. Many are phases of wildflower. One concern is what you might call the "rhubarb problem"; 'they' say not to eat rhubarb leaves as the presence of oxalic acid is too high, and I think a forager could accidentally run into something else with that problem. Interestingly, though, there are some now who think the rhubarb leaves [not used for pie etc] got a bad rap in WWI, see link. If you shouldn't eat rhubarb leaves, you shouldn't eat carrots or spinach, etc, either! And then there are some things that have too much purging effect, like uncooked pokeweed.

August 13th, 2018 at 6:42:59 am
oh, forgot wild mustard ... really trying to encourage that to spread. The best wild greens for sure.
August 13th, 2018 at 9:00:59 am
Excessive rhubarb in the UK during the war was probably better than starvation. Oxalic acid is present in tea and you know how the British love their tea, so its not a bad thing per se. Rhubarb and Rhubarb-Strawberry pies are a great thing to have. Also salads but as with many things it depends on time of year, quantity and method of preparation. Wartime instructions had to be simple and straightforward without too many exceptions there was enough fears about invasions and bombings without inducing worries about the safety of home and community gardens.

What creatures do you observe eating this plant? That might be a way to prevent excessive encroachment.
August 13th, 2018 at 9:32:07 am
I'll have to see if anything eats it; we have a lot of rabbits about these days
August 14th, 2018 at 12:19:52 pm
also forgot chicory ... I encourage that too. around here you see it all over the place

if you let it get started, and then mow, it often comes back with a big burst of leaves, which I find very edible [I've confirmed the edibility of the whole plant]. The roots are well known as an adulterant for coffee.

August 14th, 2018 at 12:59:26 pm
Chicory a/k/a Blue Dandelion is great stuff: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, antiviral effects... so many good things in it its hard to isolate the cause of any particular beneficial effect. During the civil war it was the South's "coffee" and often to this day coffee is served with chicory in the American south. Its often used as a liver cleanse particularly for males who have to get up several times a night.
August 16th, 2018 at 4:43:57 am
>>>the best wild greens for sure
Your reference to wild mustard is quite apt but don't focus solely on the leaves.
Have you ever had potatoes cooked in fermented wild mustard roots? Great stuff.
August 16th, 2018 at 5:02:29 am
Remember the roots are fibrous and inedible but fermented the brine becomes a wonderful flavoring agent for the potatoes.
August 17th, 2018 at 3:01:15 am
I make homebrew and even use yeast for bread, but have never tried to ferment other things. I've heard of it.
August 18th, 2018 at 6:15:00 am
Many culinary items have more vitamins after they have been fermented than before.

Garlic scapes are best when fermented.
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