Archive for the ‘work’ Tag

Iron Duke   Leave a comment

 

Almost exactly a year ago I rode to Reading with one of the professors I work for/with/despite (strike through as appropriate). On the trip back to Oxford, he was telling me about this wild professor — John Albery — that preceded him and who, amongst quirks too numerous to review here, would demonstrate the enthalpy of solution with gin-tonics. Alcohol figured, as it should, prominently under his tutelage:

His first year chemistry tutorials usually (depending on the time of day) involved a glass of sherry which, by the end of the third year, had become a “White Lady” (gin, Cointreau and lemon juice). Research students graduated to “dry martinis of ludicrous proportions” and, as a “coup de grace”, at chemists’ dinners were often served with a lethal concoction known as “Iron Duke punch”.
–From John Albery’s obit in The Telegraph

 

 

 

The Iron Duke punch is named after the ship (HMS Iron Duke) that is named after Wellington and this may go some way towards explaining Albery’s preferred salutation, “Hello, Sailor.”

So now nearly a year later, my erstwhile leader has tracked down the original recipe for The Iron Duke. I suggested it might blunt the edge of some upcoming student talks and he gathered supplies forthwith and, the next day, appeared at my office with a sample of this brutish concoction. Not at all vile, it still rates somewhere between ghastly and dreadful. And, oddly moreish … I could drink this until the Iron Puke.

 

Posted April 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Recipes

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Lyme Bay Garden Mead   Leave a comment

lyme-bay-garden-mead

The day after I bottled the Winter Solstice 2016 Mead, I had scheduled a day after Burns’ Night lunch with some fellow offalteers from around the labs.  Two of them had just returned from a group retreat in Devon where they, when not brainstorming how to push back the frontiers of science, went on a winery tour.  From this, they brought me back this bottle of professionally made mead (unaware that I was making mead at all).  Hooray.  So, now I have the baseline of our immature mead tasted at bottling AND this bottle to tell us how it actually should mature.  Exciting.

And, intimidating.  This one is very crisp and clean and slightly sweet with a hint of fresh mint.  It would be great with a splash of club soda and, while I expect our run to mature to something like this, ours is much drier and may benefit from a shot of simple syrup along with that fizzy water spritz.  We’ll see.

For the next couple of days, though, this is our dessert beverage.  Yum.

 

Posted January 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, work

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Colonel E. H. Taylor Small Batch   Leave a comment

taylor-small-batch-bourbonAt the end of a logistical note from a former visitor to the lab who was returning after a few years to gather some data to answer reviewers’ concerns, she asked a dangerous question: “Do you need anything from the States?”  At the end of my reply, I took a punt with, “No, nothing from the States, thanks.  I like decent bourbon, but I can get that here.”  Then, I hoped for the best.

And, very nearly the best came out of it: a bottle of Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch.  No complaints, mind, as a bottle of Evan Williams (even the green label) would have made me quite happy … I can GET decent bourbon here, but it costs a fortune (factoring in the exchange rate, I could buy more than 3 bottles of this in the States for what only 1 would cost here).

And, it IS remarkable booze.  Bottled in bond, 100 proof, and evokes wisteria, magnolias, kudzu, and the heat…the glorious, Southern heat.  I try not to review things that deserve a proper review.  Here is a lovely one if you really want to know what an expert thinks.

I, on the other hand, love to have something like this around for when a doubting visitor asks what I mean by ‘good’ bourbon. I can then hand them a glass, neat, and stammer over the words, “well, this one is all right…see what YOU think.”

Posted January 25, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, work

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Last year can fuck right off: 2016 by the numbers (mostly)   1 comment

2253-mile-asics-soles

Numbers, or so, listed in bold and underlined.

Everyone has shit to talk about 2016, and so do I; but, I’ll minimise that, here.  I finally sprang for two new pair of running shoes to replace the pair, featured in the photos here, that I picked up in Chattanooga in September 2015 and subsequently added 2253 running miles on before retiring them last weekend (with walking, as these were my usual day-to-day shoes, these had much closer to 4000 miles on them).

2253-mile-asics-top2253-mile-asics-toes

 

Over the Christmas break, we watched a shitload of TV and a bunch of really cheery movies (highly recommended of these are the drama Martha Marcy Mae Marlene and the documentary The Coming War With China.  To recover from those you might want to find Twenty Feet From Fame.  But, we also caught a bunch of shit tele and some old stuff.  In keeping with the theme of the year, we downloaded a collection of the Tonight Show (with Johnny Carson) and spent the entirety of each show playing the middle-age white person version of Jew-Not-A-Jew (aka the straight person’s version of Queer-Not-A-Queer) by pointing at each corpse we spotted on screen and saying, “DEAD.” “Bob Hope. DEAD.” “Joan Rivers! DEAD.” “Gary Shandling, DEAD.” (By the way, that’s Not A Jew, Jew, and a little of both).

2016-sgt-reapers-lonely-hearts

 

So, instead of the multitude of other celebrity deaths everyone is banging on about, here are the 17 I noticed but did not eulogise (and some of whom you may have missed):

17 January: Blowfly, 76
2 February: Bob Elliott, 92
16 February: Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93
6 March: Merle Haggard, 79
3 June: Muhammad Ali, 74
17 June: Fred Tomlinson, 88
22 August: Toots Thielemans, 94
29 August: Gene Wilder, 83
8 September: The Lady Chablis, 59
16 September: Edward Albee, 88
30 September: Hanoi Hannah, 87
18 October: Phil Chess, 95
2 November: Dolores Klosowski, 93, American baseball player (Milwaukee Chicks)
7 November: Leonard Cohen, 82
25 November: Ron Glass, 71
22 December: Miruts Yifter, 72
25 December: George Michael, 53

In a similar vein, here are the other numbers of my year…

Obits actually in the blog: 16

Bowie
Alan Rickman
Nancy Reagan
Swindon’s Stagecoach Bus Depot in Old Town
Robert Ford, Madman Mayor of Toronto
Prince
Station Jim
Atlanta/Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field in apparent murder-suicide
Brownie’s dad
The jihadi sparrow
American democracy
The villages of Longford and Harmondsworth
America, the not so great pre-Trump version
Fidel Castro
Andrew Sachs
AA Gill

New Years Honours of Note: 1 (for the name): Mr Fabulous Flournoy, (MBE)

Mileage (running): 1589.8, quite the slack year — the least in two decades of keeping track

2016-cumulative-mileage

Pub write-ups 1 January thru 30 June: 38

Pub write-ups 1 July thru 31 December (we moved house 28 July): 216 (254 for the year)

Recipes, such as they are, published here: 5

Brunswick Stew and BBQ Sauce
Chicken Llewyn
Malted Milk Ball Hot Toddy
Chicken Breasts done as if for Pakoras
Pesto

Kebabs: 2

Fish: 22

International trips: Except for returning from Cork, technically a 2015 trip, 1 (Bremen)

Marathons: 1 (Wales Marathon)

Other races: 0, but a few planned for 2017

Weight (high): 169 lbs (12 stone 1 pound, Winter drinking weight)

Weight (low): 150 (10 stone 10 pounds, at the Marathon)

2016-weight

Great Western, Hayes, London   Leave a comment

great-western-hayes

 

The Great Western is a large house made more intimate by fitting two full size pool tables into it.  Good local crowd really making good use of the billiards rooms and the quieter lounge area on the opposite side of the bar but the real attraction seems to be the kitchen which was doing a hectic takeaway service early Monday night.  Probably better to come with (or meet up with) someone you know, though…non-threatening but lonely.

 

great-western-hayes-bar

Posted November 16, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Pheasant, Harlington, London   Leave a comment

pheasant-harlington

 

Two days at the Socialist conference were followed by two days at a very corporate-styled mass spectrometry conference at the Marriott next to Heathrow.  Day One was pretty good, surprisingly, since the focus was ostensibly on proteomics but also featured some FTICR and imaging mass spec courtesy a guy I did some of my PhD work for at NHMFL and a guy I post-doc’ed for at AMOLF, respectively.  Ten or eleven other presenters were former colleagues and another 6-8 were people I’ve been out drinking with — more of a reunion than work.

But, as it was only a few miles from home I had planned on cooking supper at the house and, at the end of the day, stripped down to running gear and started my commute (with — of course — a couple of stops along the way).

The first stop was at the Pheasant, a pub/restaurant that seemed busier with staff than punters at 6 pm, a strong indication that it is more the latter than the former.  The beer was good, the Welsh barmaid a hoot, and the music annoyingly poppy but low.  Not really worth a stay for a lone drinker with five miles still to go.

 

pheasant-harlington-bar

Posted November 16, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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It continues shining exceeding a time   Leave a comment

hat-and-breakfast

One of the profs I work for at Oxford picked this hat up for me in Japan because it said something about running and it was fucking hilarious.

It seems that something went wrong at the hat manufacturing plant and random words were programmed into the embroidery machine. A former colleague sent me a similarly funny menu from China a few years ago, so I think it might be a result of Google Translate applied to Asian languages.

Regardless, I can’t find anything online that this collection of words might mean:

Fly On The Horizon Like A Cloud
Speed Wings
Infinite Running
It continues shining exceeding a time

[As a matter of fairness and transparency, that’s my breakfast to the right in the photo: a sausage and a potato patty on brown bread drizzled with Marmite.  Brits are indecipherable, too.]

Posted October 13, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Made Me Laugh, Running, work

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