F 1 D 0 -- 02 08 08 at 03 15 A lesson against my will. Instant pudding is a gift. It is! You come home at 230am, and want something with milk in it. You want something sweet. You want pudding, and instant pudding provides instant gratification, such as it is. I had a package of Vanilla flavour. Jello brand. Sugar free variety. Easy enough to make. It calls for 2c of milk, and I like it less intense, so I make it with 3c or 4c of milk. I just use the hand blender, and in about 30 seconds it is mixed. And in about 5 minutes, it is fully set. Blueberries are a gift. They are! They don't have a long season, and they decay quickly when their time is up. But when fresh they are sour and sweet and brightly coloured and truly wonderful things to have around. Hey, what happens when you mix Instant Vanilla Pudding with fresh blueberries? I was expecting something as enticing as blueberry yogourt. That's familiar, right? I blended a cup of berries with enough milk to make about 2.5 cups in the big plastic container. And I whizzed it until it was a beautiful purple colour, with many bits of seeds and skins. It was nice. It was also starting to get thick, just on its own. Perfect. Vanilla pudding is just offwhite in colour. So this should be just fine, right? A purple with offwhite. I learned a lesson suddenly. A lesson in colour? A lesson in chemistry? Something in the pudding reacts to something in the blueberries. It turned a most awful grey colour. Like fresh wet cement. The blueberries seemed to make my plain vanilla powder turn a strange banana yellow before it mixes in. What a surprise. It is in the fridge getting set. I'll tell you more about that at the end. I'm not really a handyman guy. But today Ann had earmarked for the building of the new shelving for books. These shelves would go floor to ceiling. Since the room is tall, we will build a base cupboard, and put the 87 inch unit on top of That. We started late. I wanted a workout, and did errands during the day. I got back from the Complex at 915pm, and wasn't really halfway ready until 1015pm. And then what should I hear on television? Law and Order. So we didn't actually arrive at the wood shop until 1130pm. So we wouldn't build it today, but just saw the shelves and the tall sides. Fear. This thing seems to suck the wood out of your hands. And I'm wondering what the feeling is when it cuts me. Oh, I don't have a wish to try that, but it kept surfacing. I really wanted to end our little trip to the wood shop by having all my fingers just as they were at the outset. I had some introduction to table saws etc when I was in grades seven, eight and nine. At first, Ann was just going to get me to do the holding of the wood, and she'd run the table saw. These long melamine pieces had a mind of their own, and if you don't track straight, the saw throws the stuff back at you. So we switched places. I found old memories returning. And the primal fear of getting hurt. But at first we went very slow. I'd position, she'd position. Ready to go? Okay. I turn on the saw. How do you (readers) deal with sawdust getting in under the safety glasses? Or with all of the steam which accumulates? I also had protective stereo ear protection. These things don't take batteries. In spite of that, they really amplified everything I said. I avoided speaking. We developed a system doing this tonight. I'd position the stuff, and then set my hands so that the blade would go right between them. I'd look at Ann, and confirm we were both Good To Go. I'd remove a left hand, and turn the thing on. She'd move the long end forward in unison with me, so that we could make 32 shelves, each 22" x 12". Working with melamine covered wood was a joy. It behaves. And the table saw was predictable too. It rewarded us with a growl if we took a piece away from it while the blade was still in motion. Even turned off, it takes a long time for that thing to stop being powerful. We had to also watch that we moved straight. The blade will happily cut a slow curve. But that curve will hug the blade again, and that can make it stop. I think we may have blown a breaker. We moved the plug into another socket when that happened. The first pieces were truly difficult. I felt myself getting on-the-job training. Eventually, while the fear remained, I also got a sense of muscle memory, and the relief that if I stayed with this, I'd finish the job. We did. I'll try to get you some pictures as we build this thing. Oh yes, I promised. The Blueberry Pudding Report. The stuff doesn't set as well as it would with even four cups of milk. I used 3 cups of milk and berries all told. The taste is right on the money. And now that it is is set, it REALLY looks like cement. The bits of blueberry skin don't help the appearance. They're like rocks in cement. Ann is consuming it now. She thinks it would look like vanilla pudding with blueberries if I didn't whizz it up. That's all I know.