I blame Tony Soprana

I have loved cannoli ever since watching The Sopranos. I was intrigued by their seemingly constant reference to them. It was as if Cannoli was another one of his family. It was a bit of a surprise to discover they are a sweet Italian delight completely unrelated to organised crime.

Having tried my first one, in real life, I was hooked. While they vary in quality, they are usually beyond delicious. So, whenever I’d see one in a shop window, I’d have to buy and eat it. It was almost an addiction.

And today, for the first time, I made my own.

I admit that I left the shells in the oil for too long and it was too hot but, even so, they tasted lovely. The fill, especially, was excellent. I was very pleased. Georgio Locatelli, I thank you.

Of course, I made my cannoli late in the day because, being a Saturday, we had our usual brunch at the Holly Bush.

We sat in the Shack again, the weather being excellent, and I enjoyed the poached egg on harissa yoghurt, pitta bread and crispy prosciutto. It really is the perfect way to start the day. Not that it marked the start of my day given I’d been up since 6am, and we ate at about 11.

In fact, Freya, it seems, had already worn herself out to the extent that she was falling asleep on Mirinda’s lap with her head raised. I have no idea how she does it.

Her weariness reminds me of Poor Dave.

Poor Dave was fielding for one of the teams playing cricket today at Frensham. I have no idea who the teams were as there was nothing online to indicate their identities. I only know Dave because he was fielding below me when he misfielded two consecutive balls that ended up going for four. He also fell over a couple of times, which didn’t help.

He did make up for his mistakes a little later though because he took quite a sharp catch at square leg which brought cheers from his teammates as they crowded around him, avoiding hugs and handshakes. Sport without physical congratulations is one of the sad victims of The Great Fear.

Poor Dave is the white haired chap with his hands on his hips and his back towards the camera in the photo above.

And, for the first time since I’ve started watching the cricket at Hollowdene, I was required to do a bit of fielding. A couple of off side strikes saw the ball mount the hill and head into the car park. To save Poor Dave the climb, I chased the ball down and returned it to him.

It occurred to me during one of their numerous hand sanitising rituals that I probably shouldn’t have handled the ball. But Dave wasn’t bothered, so I didn’t care for long. In fact, I found it quite odd that the wicket keeper removed both pairs of gloves in order to sanitise his hands. Why? If he was concerned for the transmission of disease then surely he should have sanitised his catching gloves.

While it would have been more enjoyable knowing who I was watching, it was still very pleasant. I managed to see some good batting, bowling and a few excellent wickets during my two and a half hours of watching. I even saw two consecutive sixes which were beautifully struck though not so beautifully bowled.

Eventually, Mirinda returned from her very long, yet satisfying walk and we went home so she could have her fortnightly guitar lesson and I could make some sugary treats.

I should add that, during her walk, she sat down in something foul and quite possibly dead which Emma then rolled in. As soon as we reached home Mirinda went straight into the shower, her clothes in the washing machine and Emma into the laundry sink. Freya went to sleep.

Today, this happened

In 1883, Thomas Alva Edison applied for a patent for a system of lighting which would retain the same amount of light regardless of how far the lights were from the power supply – up to about six miles. He called it an Electrical Distribution and Translation System.

My reading of the patent application seems to indicate that this invention would give an even light across a string of bulbs. Like Christmas lights. Apparently, prior to this invention, the bulbs would flicker and did not glow as brightly as each other. It begins with a central power station which then feeds electricity out using Direct Current.

I can’t even begin to understand how electricity works, let alone the different between AC and DC. It seems, though, that Edison’s invention, while using DC was soon eclipsed by the more far reaching and powerful Alternating Current. His business was in jeopardy as everything he’d created worked with the lower voltage version. (This is very much like the railway gauge argument in the UK where networking beat passenger comfort.)

Anyway, for Edison, the whole thing turned into a Battle of the Systems with companies engaging in a war of words, illustrating the benefits of their own system while highlighting the lack of their opposition’s.

To show just how inhumane he was, Edison set out to prove that AC was more dangerous by electrocuting various dogs, horses and cows without any thought for the inherent cruelty. It heralded the first ever death by electrocution…if you ignore lightning strikes.

I guess there’s a sort of happy side in that this Battle of the Systems saw the end of Edison’s involvement in electricity. He was once the most advanced man of his age but was brought down by his “…steadfast resistance to a more advanced technology…[Andre Millard – Notes]” which is exactly what happened when the gas companies fought against the introduction of electricity in the first place. And, of course, the same sort of thing happened with the Luddites and their hatred for farm machinery.

Technological advancement always comes at a price and I’m very surprised that Thomas didn’t realise that.

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