Monthly archives: November 2009


I’ve wanted to smoke my own food for a while, but lacked anywhere to build a smokehouse. Then I found a portable smoker, designed for fishermen who want to cook their catch on the river bank. LAst week I had a go at smoking salmon.

Seasoned and ready fillets

I took two fillets and halved them, then rolled them in a little sea salt. They’re laid out on the smoker’s grill tray in this shot.

Smoking "dust" in the bottom of the tray

The tray goes into the smoking box, but first the floor of the box is coated with smoking dust- basically sawdust by the look of it. With the fish in the box the lid slides on and closes tight.

It's all powered by meths

The tub is then heated over a pot of methylated spirits. With the lid sealed the hot smoke from the wood dust cooks and coats the fish. I left it for as long as it took for all the meths to burn out, between fifteen and twenty minutes.

After smoking

At first I thought I’d burnt the fish. However, that’s just the smokey coating.

Succulent and tasty

Inside they were cooked through and succulent. The flavour’s mostly in the coating, and it’s very different to more traditionally slow smoked salmon. But very nice.

Later this week I’m going to experiment with smoking chicken.

I got my smoker from Clas Ohlson. If you don’t have access to their fine establishment you can get similar food smokers from Amazon.

Sign this petition

I’m a bit behind the curve when it comes to commenting on the proposed Digital Economy Bill (here’s one professional writer’s opinion, and here’s another’s). Frankly, the fact that Peter Mandelson is in any way connected to it should be enough to convince you it’s going to be awful.

Sign this petition on the Number 10 website to register your disapproval. It only relates to the proposal to cut people off from the internet for no good reason and without the necessity of evidence.

I’l try to investigate it all more thorouighly, but I don’t know if I want to be depressed and angered that much.

Days of the Corn Exchange

Whilst in the Corn Exchange earlier my sister and I checked out a mini exhibition on the history of the “Triangle” (as it now wants to be called) and reminisced about its shabbier glory days. I thought I’d go looking for remnants of the Exchange online. Didn’t find mny links.

A few pictures of Fennel Corner bookshop, which I almost certainly visited.

Exhibition of model planes, Manchester Corn Exchange, March 1956.

The Bead shop’s history. I don’t remember it in the Corn Exchange but I’m certain I’ve visited its Afflecks incarnation.

The Corn Exchange, on the other hand, is dying

With between a third and a half of its units empty it has to be in a bad way. I think the management of the "Triangle" should take a hint from the Christmas markets, and hark back to the buildings previous incarnation, and let spaces as short term, multi tenant mini flea markets.

The Christmas markets are taking over the world

Every year they cover more of the city centre. And that’s a good thing. There’s a fair amount of tat, to be sure, but there’s a lot of independent spirit too.

Ian needs to get his groove back

Before I moved I was beginning to get a routine of sorts- Monday was 3d creation day, Sunday was for bike rebuilding, comic stuff fit around the days I was working etc.
Obviously, packing everything away- and not being done unpacking yet, has messed with that routine. Discovering I can stream mother from LoveFilm now I have the internet back hasn't helped. Today has to be the last day of post move dithering. I shall start to establish a new routine as of tomorrow.

If looks could kill, I’d kill your television

The cathode ray tube is a dying technology. This one drowned.

Canine testicles, as requested

Dog’s Bollocks is selling well, but I was told I should do a sign for it anyway.

Hitchcock moment at the Hulme Asda 1

Whilst eating my breakfast pork pie in the hire van I had visitors. Several of these little fellows (starlings? I’m not an ornithologist, can anyone identify them for me?) landed on the door mirror and started staring at me. I threw a bit of dropped crust out of the window to distract them and sped off.

More bench spotting

More bench spotting, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

This one’s outside Strangeways. Maybe people need a little whimsy whilst waiting to catch the bus after visiting a friend or relative who’s on the inside.

I’m in danger of becoming a bench spotter

Since I started doing the 3d printable designs for model railways and wargames I can’t pass a new piece of street furniture without wondering whether I could make it. These benches, near Manchester cathedral, are particularly nice.

Some ideas on comic formats

Both via BoingBoing

First, the Revolver notebook

Read two different versions of the same story, or two tales that start or end at the same point. I admit, I’m not sure yet what I’d do. I’ll have to find out how to make one of these and then let it inspire me as I flip it round and round.

Unfurling is a comic on a scroll of paper 400 feet long by 1 foot high. By its very nature this one has to be a one off. MAybe with the right printer a short run of a shorter version might be possible.