Monday, September 10, 2007

Machines Still Hate Me

A few weeks ago, I ranted in this space about how the machines in my life were ganging up on me to make life miserable and drive me crazy (Agnes would tell you this is a mere putt, not a drive, but that's not important now). As of this morning, a new machine has joined the conspiracy.

Some time back we bought a new set of spiffy cordless phones which included a base station with answering machine and two remote phones. One of the reasons I selected this model was that one could also purchase a special remote station which included a clock radio, and this appealed to my desire to minimize the clutter on my nightstand. By combining phone and clock radio, I thought I could leave more room for piles of books and the bottle of water for those late-night cravings.


The clock-radio-phone is nice looking, but the radio's volume control has two settings - "off" and "too loud" - separated by about four nanomicrons of space on the volume control. In order to get the volume loud enough to wake me up, yet low enough that it won't wake up Agnes (who is not nearly as beautiful and loving when unnecessarily awoken), requires the supremely exact positioning of the volume control at exactly the right spot. And that supremely exact positioning can be knocked askew to the "off" end by the least vibration...such as when Amanda's son Aaron sneezes in Brisbane, or John bumps the table while removing a rabbit from a hat during his show. This morning, one or the other of those events seems to have happened, as the alarm went off as scheduled at 4:10 AM, but with the volume off. Happily, I automatically awoke about a half-hour later, so I won't be late for work (and will still get this post done, lucky you!)...but I still have to contend with the fact that my clock radio has joined the Conspiracy of the Machines.

Looks like I'll be trying to find a new alarm clock. And somehow keep it away from the evil designs of the other devices.

Wish me luck.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


P.S. - I just had to pass this recipe on to you...I found it in an Austrian cookbook over the weekend, and just had to make it, if only because of the name. It's delicious, and not nearly as much trouble as it may appear at first:

Maidens in Their Nightgowns

1 package frozen puff pastry (two pieces)
1 pork tenderloin
Chopped Rosemary
Chopped Parsley
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 slices deli ham
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees Celsius).
Defrost the puff pastry, separate the two pieces, and roll each out to a thickness of about 1 mm. Separate the halves of the tenderloin, rinse and pat dry, and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Fry the tenderloin halves in butter until well-browned and almost cooked through, then remove them from the pan and allow them to cool.
In the same pan, adding more butter if needed, lightly fry the parsley, then add the mushrooms and fry them until soft.
Form the “maidens” by placing two ham slices on each piece of puff pastry, then placing a tenderloin half on each. Spoon the mushrooms over the tenderloin halves, then wrap the filet in the puff pastry and seal the edges by pressing them together with water. Pierce each one a few times to let any steam escape. Decorate each maiden with any extra pieces of pastry, brush with the beaten egg, and bake about 25 minutes.
Serve with a cabbage salad and a nice white wine.

Let me know if you make it...I'm curious to know if everyone else thinks it's as good as I did.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

One large hammer should solve your volume problem.

noisms said...

4:10am? 4:10am!?!?!

Anyway, I used to have this great alarm clock that was in the shape of a football and coated with soft sponge: when you wanted to turn it off you just grabbed it and threw it across the room - if it hit something hard, it would stop bleeping. It was supremely satisfying.

Amanda said...

I agree with noisms.....4:10am!!!!!

I'm sometimes awake at that time but thats only because I have an alarm that is too cute to throw across the room or drop a large hammer on!

Stephanie said...

What a great recipe title. And it looks tasty! I might give it a try.