Monday, September 26, 2005

Tea Pizza With Shitake Mushrooms and Steak

TeaChef has just gone live.

I promised to try to make a tea-flavored pizza and have done so it turned out great and I posted the recipe this weekend. I plan to do a post some time this week with some pictures of the process. Until that time has come I suggest you check out the new TeaChef page. I'm only going to link to my recipe because I'd prefer you voted on it (there's a rumor of some form of prize), but you're welcome to look around.

Tea Pizza With Shitake Mushrooms and Steak

Now go have a slice.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How Does One Say "Teasire?"

I was presented with this question upon running into a schoolmate of mine the other day and thought it was a good one. I had an answer but would he believe me? Being in several of my classes he was well aware of my ignorance in such things so, no he wouldn't. At least not based on my word alone. Thus inspired to prove myself once and for all I set about to prove it.

How could I prove that my pronunciation was the one true pronunciation? With Maths of course! I dusted off my handy Look Around You Textbook turned to the appropriate chapter for pronunciation and found the proper formula:
Tea multiplied by the addition of peace and the emotional state of happiness is but a fraction of the whole number Addiction proportional to Desire and that this fraction is equal to the square root of Green.

According to Formosa's law we know that Green is equal to (99cc33) or (446666), but not to (bbccaa) and the square root of all good colors is Dee Toot over Hamburger. Since green is only a decent color its square root must therefore be De over Honk.

Adding Peace and the emotional state of happiness gets us toot (You should write this down!) and as we all know any time you have Toot on one side of an equation and Honk on the other they cancel out making Honk merely Cha and Toot becomes Pop. Now we're getting somewhere!

Applying Darjeeling theorem Pop cancels out Addiction leaving us with Tea divided by desire equaling De divided by Cha.

Wait a minute this is getting pretty tough you might want to take a break and read a book now. Can I make a reccomendation?

Done reading? OK, lets get back to work...

Now all we have to do is reverse the dividers using Murphy's Law. While we're at it lets eliminate that pesky De from the equation leaving us with the pronunciation "sire".

Since Tea is equal to Cha we have achieved the whole number of Tea and it can thus be pronounced as "Tea."

Oops! The equal sign was a plus sign in disguise all along. Silly plus sign, I'll catch you yet!

(supplemental photo)

Too late to start over now so we will just continue by adding "Tea" to "sire" leaving us with "Teasire."

Armed with a properly proven answer I now sought out my school chum only to find out that it was a case of mistaken identity and that I had never actually met him before. Leaving me with only one reasonable option:

Now, go have a cup.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Does Tea Equal World Peace?

It has come to my attention that earlier this month Japan appointed Sen Genshitsu as a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations. Sen Genshitsu is an eighty two year old tea ceremony master. It is hoped by them that his appointment will improve public interest in the activities of the United Nations.

That seems like a good way to go about such a thing to me. As you may have noticed here in America we've taken another approach in a recent appointment that accomplished the same results. Our way of getting people interested involved a scary mustachioed man. Unfortunately the mustache is the least scary thing about his appointment. That's a bold statement that can only be appreciated if you've seen the thing.

I have to say though that I would really like to see what would happen if these two had a nice cup together. Although I suspect it would result in a green mustache and not much more.

As long the Britt's don't try to get in on this "shock the world" type of U.N. appointment by nominating Gorillaz lead singer 2-D.

I wonder who Sen Genshitsu would give the "honored guest" position to if they all had tea together...

This story was found on: Japan Today.

Now go have a cup.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Brought To Us By Resourceful Canadian Prisoners: A Cigarette That's Good For You!

I've been pretty busy this last week so this one skipped by my sixth sense of tea related oddities.

Last week a Manitoba jail began serving up cruel and unusual punishment by banning tea. No, not tea-bagging, bagged tea. The prison has been attempting to be smoke free since November of 2003 but so far the inmates have shown just how smart an addiction and jail boredom can make you.

The inmates are now making tea cigarettes:
''The gum is boiled and there's a nicotine residue that's removed and dried and then sprinkled on the redried tea bag leaves, and then rolled''

Jail superintendent Cathy Sandney

As exciting as that sounds it can apparently take up to two days to make just one. I call foul on addiction getting any real credit for this as I was first inclined to believe since they could have got their fix from the gum a lot easier. I think peer pressure and boredom deserve the credit here. Before they tried using the tea bags they turned to the good book for the thin pages that probably made for a very nice smoke and showed just how tough they were.

He walked onto the yard with a devil may care look in his eyes as he puffed on his Bible Brand Cigarette.

As a result use of the Bible is being monitored very carefully.

Now I repeat that this is the wrong addiction for me but I can't help wondering how a smoked tea bag sprinkled with nicotine gum juice compares to a regular brand. I'm not willing or qualified to judge this comparison but I beg of you if you happen to be a smoker to try this. I would love to have a review on this page or even just to be able to link to your page. I was upset that I couldn't find a picture of the finished product as I think to fully grok this phenomenon we need to see a picture of a person smoking one.

I took the quote in this story from The Brandon Sun but it looks like it was a wire story since most every version I've come across is almost the same. If you happen to have come across a more detailed article (perhaps with pictures) or are willing to try this out feel free to share your wisdom in the comments here. If you want to email me about it you can do so at:

Now go have a cup.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Dangerous Tea Tin That Was Not A Tea Tin

Tea is not my only addiction.

I have an addiction to hidden things, they call them eggs, or hidden eggs or Easter eggs or sometimes even subliminal messages. Several years ago I took a class in Psychology that covered subliminal messages extensively. Since then I've found that I cannot look in a magazine without looking for hidden things. I've found two shocking ones on my journeys. The first and worst was a swastika on a mountain in the background of a car ad. I don't trust my memory of which car company so I won't chance blaming the wrong company until I track the magazine down again. I know I kept that one. The other less controversial, and OK to laugh at, one had a glamour model posing in front of some trucks selling some expensive clothing. If you look really close you can tell that the trucks are carrying manure. Now, these were both ten or fifteen years ago so you'll have to forgive my not having examples. They aren't what this post is about anyway.

I vaguely remembered seeing something about a controversial tea tin a few months ago that had to be changed because it had tiny people and animals having sex hidden in the scenery. I've spent the last few days tracking down where I saw this and finally found it at Sadly enough I could not find an actual image of it anywhere on the web but I did come across a blog that had something almost exactly like this. Only problem was that it wasn't a tea tin after all, it was in fact a tea biscuit tin. Close enough, but not what I was looking for. I'll give you a little photo but if you want the story you might as well go over to the sayanythingblog to see a larger version and the story that goes along with it. It's not all that shocking but still a little entertaining.

I think that there must be some really good hidden things in tea packages or on tins out there and I'll keep my eyes open for you. By any chance do you happen to know of any?

Feel free to post about non-tea related eggs or even subliminal messages you've found in this posts comments. Please remember that everyone probably already knows that the Joe Cools nose looks rather phallic. In fact it would be best to just avoid cigarettes and alcohol ads completely. Wrong addiction! It's more interesting to find a genital or two in an ad put out by one of the "good guys." Since were on the topic, here's a strange page that has "The Phallic Logo Awards." I'd rate the page PG just because these are actually the logos of the companies mentioned. Fortunately no tea companies have made the list...


Now go have a nice hot cup.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Almighty PG Tips, Plastic Spoons, and a Wine List That Speaks Tea.

Over the weekend I received an email from a person with the same name as me asking if I was a different person with the same name as the person who sent the email. Sadly I had to answer that I was not in fact the person named me. Thankfully he seemed like a nice person himself and it's always good to know you might be mistaken for someone else that doesn't suck. As I understand it the person he was thinking I am is quite nice as well. We all seem rather nice in fact.

Once the email moved beyond the identity portion he mentioned a very popular tea: PG Tips. Which I accept to be a fine tea, but unfortunately is not really to my liking. It's just a little off, I like my black teas a little perkier I think, but it's hard to nail down exactly what it is. His mentioning it brought back a tea story to the front of my mind and I shared it with him, so I'll do the same to you.

Last year around the holidays my girlfriend was working as a receptionist in an interior design firm (no link here) as the token hot receptionist (again no link here, sorry). Part of her job was to ensure that the clients' thirst was quenched. While they were waiting for the designer she was to offer them the choice of coffee, tea or water. I was beaming with pride that my girlfriend worked at a place that provided tea to the thirsty. That is until I found out the selection of tea consisted of an apple cinnamon flavored herbal tea, a very old box of vanilla flavored black tea, and what she called a bag of generic green of the kind you buy in discount shops for less than a dollar.

I was perplexed at this until I remembered that this was the same place that spent five hundred dollars on a newsletter (it worked out to about three dollars a piece, and was mostly spent on the extra thick shiny paper) but had my girlfriend washing the plastic spoons (it says disposable on the box!) that they gave to the clients. You can go to TJMax (we know they shop there) and buy a box of shiny stainless steel utensils for less than the cost of five newsletters.

Now when I heard what they were serving I gladly donated my box of PG Tips knowing that a tea lover would come in and subconsciously think "one of these things is not like the others" and be grateful.

Shortly after this my girlfriend lost her job and was quite bitter about the whole thing but I insisted that the PG tips stay. A decent tea loving person should not have to suffer. I wonder how she ever managed to work for someone that would supply their customers such a foul selection of such a fine beverage. In the email I spelled foul as fowl. Probably because I was thinking about how jive those turkeys were. As they often say "Never trust a spellchecker, always proofread."

The person named me also mentioned recently visiting the Dorchester Hotel in London and being presented with a tea list rather than a wine list. Now that is true class.

It makes me wonder at the stories you might have. Have you ever been to a place that pleasantly surprised you with either some tea that was unexpected based on location (perhaps a roadside cafe frequented by truckers on Route 66) or in a spectacular place like the Dorchester Hotel where you might have been expecting a wine list? You probably havent thought about it for a while, but I'm betting the story is worth telling. It's time to share your secret find and send us there. If they brew it we will come!

Now go have a cup, even if it's a tea I not particularly fond of. In fact, especially if it's PG Tips!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Post To Thank the Most...

Well this is the obligatory thank you post to all the web pages and people that helped get this page up and going thus far.

On the design end the original template used was "Rounders 4" by Douglas Bowman This seems to be a very popular template so I had and probably still have quite a bit of work to do keep it unique and memorable. Most of that work will be done with GIMP. Or if you prefer Photoshop you call always try GIMPShop a project trying to make the GIMP play like Photoshop. I'm all about the free.

This article on Photoshop was instrumental in inspiring me to attempt messing around with graphics (something I'm not necessarily skilled in) and was chocked full of resources. I found it through the ProBlogger 31 Days... page.

The pre-GIMP photo used for the header came from stock.xchng. They had the best selection of free tea photos I could find, if you've found other great places please post them in the comments for all to see. They had many other wonderful photos as well but who cares? The original was called "Fresh Tea" by Sandy Ardiansyah. I don't know anything about her but the few photos she has up on stock.xchng were all nice.

I've been using to host the template images without any trouble (or registration) and blogger is hosting the rest via "hello". For a helpful list of free hosting services check out: Blogger Template. Give it a look around as they have some other nice things for someone starting out as well.

Probably the biggest boost came from Anitbland at who allowed me to get back to writing with his great post on fixing the Google AdSense flicker. I use Firefox always and the Adsense ads are annoying on most pages and probably dangerous to your epileptic readers. I've seen sites that don't have it and was having a hard time figuring out how to fix it. He came to the rescue. He also has the distinction of being the first person to compliment this page, and it was the most important one since it didn't come from a friend at my request for feedback. It came on a rather experimental post that I wasn't too sure would come across as intended. Without the encouragement at the time it came I probably wouldn't have had the confidence to do some of the strange posts I'm working on now. A thanks also goes out to all the other people that did the same for me on that post who's pages can be reached by following their profiles on that same post.

Super big ups to Tea Posur for being the first place to link to my page unprompted and before I knew of her page. Thanks!

Most of the traffic I've had so far has come from Blog Explosion and from BlogClicker. Most of you I should say came from one of the two but both are working quite nicely. If you're just getting a blog started click on these links to get some people seeing you. It's all free and didn't require installing anything on my page. P.S. I get bonus points if you sign up via these links rather than saving them to your favorites for later use. ;)

I should also thank Jeff who mentioned in the same comments putting slices of onion on my head to help with the baldness. Unfortunately I live in an onion free house and my girlfriend would likely shave my head in my sleep if I tried to pull a stunt like that.

The (probably funny only to me) question in the corner that I'm linking to here because it will be disappearing shortly uses SFESurvey
but I don't have a server I can upload it to so I've just been using the test one I made on their page. :( Sorry. I'm going to be replacing it with a poll question I'm working on from The International Voting Center.

I'm using w.bloggar to write these posts since the Blogger page always crashes when I try to do a spell check. Nice program, worth a try.

I'm going to thank myself for making the cute little cup icons 'cause I love them so much. If you have a tea web page and want to use them go ahead! If you mention me even better, but I'm not going to require it.

Thanks to my uncle Greg Phelps for suggesting a few months ago that I start a blog about tea. And a special shout out to my girlfriend and a wonderfully orange towel that I think will be making many future appearances.

Whew, you'd think I was accepting an Emmy. Thanks again gang! I do my best to make it worth a visit back here to see who it was that linked to you.

Now go have a cup.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Waiter, There's a Tea Bag In My Oatmeal!

In the morning I usually start the day with either oatmeal or cereal and a cup of tea. Today I was having oatmeal and right after starting to eat it I realized that I should have used the tea to make the oatmeal. So I started working on a second bowl! I looked in the cupboard for the most teacup like bowl I could find, grabbed my camera, brewed some Twinning Earl Grey and...

I know what you're thinking.
What no lemon, milk, or sugar?

The only oatmeal I tend to have around is instant "Maple and Brown Sugar" so I figured it had enough sugar in it already. Then I combined the oatmeal and Earl Grey. Yes I used a teabag, I prefer my Earl Grey that way.

Notice how I covered up the
filthy stove from the first photo
with a wonderfully orange towel.

Then it was time to do some eating. The first bite was admittedly a cautious one. I really didn't know what to expect.

Wow! Lesson learned...

I was completely shocked. I suspected it would be good or I wouldn't have bothered, but I had no idea how good it would be. That was quite literally the best bowl of oatmeal I have ever had. I was actually laughing! I'm not sure if you can remember the last time a bowl of oatmeal made you laugh, but I'm betting it was a long time ago if you can. How much was I laughing? Enough time to think it would be a good idea to make a happy face in my bowl.

Happy Oatmeal!

This was a complete success! The worst part of the experiment was trying a dozen or so times to get a decent photo for the happy face. Not so much the picture taking part but the waiting to eat its eyeballs out.

You must try this, I am not kidding about how good it was.

Now go have a bowl.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tea is "The Great Baldness Cure!"

How will you know until I try it? Today I'm beginning an experiment. I'm going to try to cure my baldness using tea. I've been drinking tea for quite a while now and can only assume that either I would be completely bald by now if I had not been doing so or that it has had no effect whatsoever. So I'll just skip that whole part and move onto more interesting ways.

How bald am I? Not very, I've just got a little shine on the back of my head. When it's windy there is still enough up there to catch a bug or two. I'd rather it not get any worse so now might be the best time to start working on a cure.

The first method is of course to apply it directly, but it raises more questions.
  • Should I grind it up and smear it on my head as a paste?

  • How long should I leave it there?

  • Should I just use some brewed tea as a soak?

  • Should I boil some shampoo up and brew some tea with it?

  • What if I just tape some dry tea back there?

The second method is to eat it. Seems rather straight forward, I can add it to many of the recipes I already eat. Some might be trickier than other though. Anyone have any Ideas how to add it to:
  • Spaghetti Sauce?

  • Pizza?

  • Nachos?

I do eat healthy foods as well, but adding tea to those is not as hard or interesting.

Third method is osmosis. I could just put some under my pillow at night.

Fourth method mind over matter. I know it will work!

The only other method I can think of is one I won't be using but was sure to be the most suggested is using tea as a suppository. If I ever get hemorrhoids and want to try using tea to cure that we can go down that path then. If that does happen I promise to check my head as well (for baldness curing, possible for sanity).

I'd like to include before and after photos so it'll be a while before I can start showing the results (reason number seven not to try method number five) but I promise you we will get to the bottom of this.

Thanks for stopping by!

Now go have a cup.

How About A Tea Bath?
Waiter, There's a Teabag In My Oatmeal!
A Tea Pizza Is A Happy Pizza