Daily Archives: July 8, 2014

Jasper Fforde – The Fourth Bear

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read, despite the fact none of you ever take my advice about authors and books.  I’d be disappointed in you if I didn’t know you probably wouldn’t have liked them anyway.

For instance, Balzac’s Droll Stories, you’ll probably recall, I told you was the funniest book I’ve ever read.  Told you where you can download it free on wossname, gutenberg.org website.  And I’ll go to my grave confident not a damned one of you bothered to have a look.

So when I tell you about Jasper Fforde I can do it with a high level of confidence I could say anything and not get caught in a lie.

I first told you about The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde, along with The Well of Lost Plots, and maybe some others in that series.  I’ve managed to actually get a few people to try some of those and nobody liked them.  Gave some the books free.  Poof!  Not a, “Hey!  Funny, intriguing book.”  Nothing.

Jeanne likes Jasper Fforde.  Might well be she introduced me to his works.  Shows how the coincidence coordinators are always at work.  Two people, the only two in Christiandom who’d enjoy Jasper Fforde, happen to be close friends.  I love those guys, the CCs.

Anyway, The Fourth Bear is a good book I think you’d enjoy if you were ever stuck in a prison cell the way Steve McQueen was in Pappilon and not allowed to talk to anyone for several years, do anything but read the book.  Fforde explains the deep mystery, for instance, of why three bowls of porridge all poured at the same time, are vastly different temperatures.

 Fforde, for the purposes of this book, lands the reader in a world where talking bears are fighting for their rights, trying to become civilized the way Native American tribes tried to become civilized to keep from being slaughtered by whites.  But the bears come at a later time in history, when a larger or more vocal part of sympatric humanity carries some weight. 

Not to say they’re able to pass legislation, THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND ARM BEARS, to allow bears to defend themselves from hunters.  But the do put them on reservations where it’s more difficult to shoot them.

 Fforde’s main character, Detective Jack Spratt, heads the Nursery Crimes Division of a city police department.  Constantly he’s chasing down criminals out of nursery rhymes.  Persons Of Questionable Reality.

But he’s one himself, and from the time his wife died from overeating fat, he’s able to overcome certain behaviors considered compulsive.

This  plot contains a fast moving set of  plot devices involving the Gingerbread Man, various bears, Goldilox, and giant cucumbers responsible for cuclear detonations threatening the bears, the humans, and possibly world peace.

Read it if you’re ever in prison.

Old Jules

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Low sodium / no sodium Saimin

Hi readers.  My occasional yearning for saimin [ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saimin ] experienced a hiccup when the various sawbones convinced me I needed to be serious about sodium if I wanted to keep making a nuisance of myself.

The other ingredients aren’t a problem, but finding a low sodium, easy to prepare broth is.  I tried using the onion ice cubes and it almost worked, but not quite.  Onion ice cubes, jalapeno ice cubes

But there’s an auction near here every Saturday, and everything that doesn’t sell goes out into the parking area to be sifted through by anyone who wants it before they haul it away to the dump.  I occasionally find things I want there because Jeanne’s been a frequenter and trafficker of auction castaways for a number of years.

Saturday I hit the jackpot.  A brand new, unopened box of Herb Ox NO SODUM chicken bouillon broth.  I never knew such a thing existed.  Never thought it might enough to search for it.

So when I arrived back at Jeanne’s I immediately used one package to test as a cup of bouillon hot drink and it was great.

Yesterday I used one of those onion ice cubes, a package of Herb Ox NO SODIUM bouillon as the base for my first post-discovery saimin.  Everything added was sodium free, or only had naturally systemic sodium.

I used bean sprouts, thin wheat noodles, shredded cabbage and carrots, mushrooms, some corn off-the-cob, and various seasonings.

Tasted precisely as saimin ought to taste, which varies.

Old Jules