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To all my Jewish friends

Hello all, I have a question directed to my Jewish friends. I've been invited over to a friend's place for a Hanukkah dinner, and offered to bring dessert. Now, I know about the Passover rules of unleavened bread and such, but want to know if there are any dietary Hanukkah rules. They don't keep kosher or anything, so I don't think that's an issue, but don't want to show up with a major dessert faux pas.

Also, are there any traditional desserts I should try my hand at? Preferably something ridiculously rich and sweet.
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    curious curious
CWAC

On a funnier note

This was an actual conversation I had at the army this week. Back story: we're having a family event this weekend, and they were talking about the plans.

Captain: So does anyone know of someone who can do face painting for the kids?
Me: *raises hand*
Captain: Yes, you know someone?
Me: No, I can do it.
Captain: Really? That's great.
Me: I can also do balloon animals, if you're interested.
Captain: *pause and weird stare* Um, yeah, that would be great.

*more talking about plans and setup*

Captain: And we're going to have a cotton candy machine dropped off at x:xx time.
Me: Sir, is there someone who knows how to operate the machine and spin the candy?
Captain: I hope so, they're supposed to show us how it works.
Me: Because I know how to do it, if you need help.
Captain: Are you a Carny?
Sergeant: You look like a Carny! (joking)
Me: Small hands, smell like cabbage.
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    amused amused
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Don't Use Off-Leash Photography

So, I got a gift certificate for Christmas for a photo session for my dog with Off-Leash Photography; a lady that specializes in pet photography. (it was a gift, I'm not one of those crazy pet people who sign birthday cards with the pets' names)

So, made the booking, had the photo shoot, the photos turned out well, and she asked me how many prints I wanted to order from her. I said I don't want prints, just a digital album because I don't really use photo albums any more.

She said that she would sell me the digital photos for $150 EACH!!! So for the bargain basement price of $6,900, I could have the digitals (for 46 images), or she would burn me a CD if I bought more than $1,000 in prints.

*pause for indignation*

Yeah, for my wedding, I spent a little over $1,000 for photography, and got TWO photographers for 4 hours, and a CD of all the images, and that's hundreds of photos worth. This photo session cost my friend $200, and she wouldn't give me a single image to walk away with, digital or otherwise.

So I said it was ridiculous in a digital age that there was no digital option available, so later she sent me a digital album, with a print ordering service. I downloaded the digital photos, and ordered a few prints for her time. A few days later, I get this e-mail:

"I just wanted to let you know that the images you have downloaded from my website are copyrighted and cannot be used without my permission.
I would request that you will not post them anywhere on the web or use it in anyway.
I wanted you to have other options, I was counting on your honesty and integrity that I thought I could expect from person working with the law enforcement and the Canadian army. You live you learn."

For any business owners out there, insulting the integrity of your clientele is NOT the best way to garner repeat business. She also left me a voice mail threatening legal action for downloading her photos, because she tracked my IP and left me the information for her lawyer.

Keep in mind I did not print, distribute, publish, or otherwise do anything with these images, and she's threatening legal action.

So, you know, tell your friends NOT to use this service. It's a rip off and the customer service is terrible!
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    frustrated frustrated
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Vegetable Garden

So, the garden is coming along very nicely (there are pictures, but I can't find my cable to upload them right now). Everything except the peas are sprouting, and I actually ate some tomatoes from my garden last night. The tomatoes are the Early Girl variety, and I have to say, I have never eaten a better tasting tomato in my life! They are so sweet and juice, just fantastic. Even in a salad with an aged balsamic dressing, the tomato flavour is really prominent.

*sniff* I'm so proud.

Next up... onions! (or possibly bell peppers)
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Psychics

So, someone posted on a community I belong to about where they can find a good psychic.

*pause for hysterical laughter and comments of "government intelligence", "safe sex", and other assorted oxymorons*

I am absolutely stunned to find out that people are actually gullible enough to think that someone with cosmic power to speak to dead people, see into the future, or make magical monkeys fly out of their ass would be working in some dark scummy room making 20$ an hour. If I could see into the future, I'd be making sports bets, clearing out my bank account, put it on the winning team, and retire!

P.T. Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute, and it's totally true. The people who drop money on psychics are the same suckers who buy into the Nigerian scam e-mails.

Really? A prince from a country I've never visited and can't even find on a map wants to give me 20 million dollars? That sounds TOTALLY legit. I should give them my money for the "transfer fees" and then I'll be rich!

Every day I see people making police reports for being scammed on something that is a completely obvious fraud.

Wizard's First Rule!
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Who thinks this is ok?

Why is it that someone on my facebook list posted a full size picture of their kid vomiting, and everyone thinks it's cute? I actually had to adblock the picture, it was making me sick to my stomach just looking at it.

Who does this?! Why would you post a picture of someone actively throwing up - it's fucking gross!

/rant
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Gardening

So, in the spirit of me taking on too much, I've decided to plant a vegetable garden. Yes, I'm trying to be green, and eat local, and all that jazz, but it also placates my Ukrainian cheapness genes, not to mention my English gardening genes.

insert quote

"The English have always been keen on gardening."
"Yes, but flowers. This is not so?"
"You can't eat flowers."

/quote

(name that movie for 50 points... one of my favourites!)

Since I have a really, really oddly-shaped backyard which I've done next to nothing with, I thought a vegetable garden would be ideal to fill the bowling-alley space we have in the back. It gets lots of sun, and is pretty much unused, so vegetables work well, being sun whores and all. I've planted just about everything from seed, and started late in the year, but have seen an ENORMOUS amount of growth thus far.

I've planted carrots, lettuce, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, bush beans, sugar peas, and corn, and pretty much everything is sprouting, and a few are already fruiting. I think it's partially the Vancouver weather (and the fact I've been religiously watering in this heat), but the garden has totally taken off. I might post some pics of the work so far, but it's really cool to think that I may have veggies in only a few weeks!

I'm also thinking of starting a composter, but have never had one before and would prefer one that doesn't smell. Does anyone have any good recommendations?
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    accomplished accomplished
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Movie recommendation

Now, while I haven't seen a ton of movies lately that are really noteworthy, one I saw this week really stood out. It's the Stone of Destiny and it was a lot of fun. It's a movie about a bunch of college kids who break into Westminster Abbey to steal the Stone of Destiny (Coronation Stone, Stone of Scone, etc.) and bring it back to Scotland.

The movie was great, and the book was even better, and it was written by the guy who actually pulled off the heist.
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    pensive pensive