Useful Chart

whole milk: 3.5% butterfat
half-and-half: 11% butterfat
light cream: 18% butterfat, though the rules say between 18 and 30%.
[single cream, UK]: 20% butterfat
light whipping cream: 30-36% butterfat.
heavy cream: 36% butterfat (or more, in theory)
[double cream, UK]: 48% butterfat. Or more.
butter (US): 80% butterfat
butter (European style): 85-90% butterfat

Maybe this is why the heavy cream totally failed to make butter–not enough fat.  Not that I object to whipped cream, but it wasn’t what I was going for…


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Dear drivers resident in the City of Pittsburgh:

Contrary to popular belief, it does indeed snow here–in fact, it does so every winter.  Therefore, there is no need to act as if you’ve never seen frozen water before the instant a flake hits the pavement.  By all means, take appropriate precautions; begin your braking a few feet sooner and moderate your speed if the road conditions appear to warrant it.  Please note, however, that the appropriate precautions rarely include travelling at 5 miles an hour on a road that is merely wet, and that some people inexplicably fail to appreciate your zealous attention to making sure that they cannot endanger themselves by passing you in an area in which it is legal to do so.  If the problem is that your eyesight is so impaired by falling snowflakes that you cannot make out the lines indicating lanes, perhaps you may wish to refrain from driving under such conditions.



Blue Velvet

I have finally gotten started on a new advent calendar–a thingie upon which you put an ornament every day counting down to a holiday.

I want this to be of a higher quality than the felt one I used to have.  That was gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but I’m planning to do this one mainly in embroidery, with some other bits thrown in, and one of the things I want to do is a lace snowflake.  I tried knitting it, but the smallest needles I own produced a snowflake with about twice the diameter I wanted.  C’est la vie; I have bitten the bullet and am working on a needlelace snowflake as we speak.  When it’s done, I want to mount it on some nice deep blue velvet.

Easy, right?  Just get some scraps…yeah.  Except I’ve never worked with blue velvet, and therefore haven’t any.  I certainly don’t have the spare cash to buy a whole bunch of nice velvet in order to make something and use the scraps for the calendar; the smallest strip I am likely to be able to buy, 1/8th of a yard, will leave one of those annoying scraps that’s too big to throw away and too small to do anything with (especially because I know what kind of velvet I want to use, and any scrap larger than a square inch is “too big to throw away” in that stuff…)


Mrs. Sree is off today; her husband is working downtown instead.  I haven’t seen this man since about 3 years ago, when I was working in Oakland.

He not only remembered me, he remembered what vegetable dish I like.  I am impressed and slightly chagrined–am I really that memorable?

The Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

I’m running a character that uses a non-PHB class, to wit the wu jen from Complete Arcane.  One of the things about this class is that, every ~3 levels, you have to pick a “taboo”, something your character isn’t allowed to do lest she lose her spellcasting ability for a day.

My problem with this is that most of the example taboos are things that you don’t, in D&D, really have to deal with.  “Oh, by the way, I never cut my hair,” you say, and voìla! your taboo for that level is fulfilled.  Even stuff like “make a small sacrifice once a day” doesn’t specify that you actually have to spend any money on it–heck, you could say that you prick your finger every day before memorizing spells, and that’d cover it.

So for Altariel’s 3rd-level taboo, I picked one I’m actually going to have to roleplay: Cannot lie.  (Note that this is in the sense of “cannot make an untrue statement”, rather than “cannot allow someone to come to the wrong conclusion based on what I say”, but still, it makes perfect sense.)  If the universe is to be expected to listen to me when I say there’s a fireball over there, I can’t go around telling lies about other things, now can I?