Jan 13: How do you make T-shirt yarn?

Thanks untrendylife.com for the photo.

Making heat packs = excess T-shirt material.

I read a rad tutorial not too long ago on how to make yarn out of old T-shirts.  This was my excuse to find it.

Follow the link if you’re interested:  HERE!


Jan 12: What is the best filling for a heat pack?

Wubsy Jnr.

RIP Wubsy Jnr. Wherever you may be!

Injuries suck balls.  Good thing there are things like heat packs to make you feel better.  Unless of course your beloved hand-made heat packs got lost in the move somewhere between now and 2 years ago.  Frown.

Time to make new ones.

I was essentially looking to see if certain fillings held heat better but there seems to be no real consensus online.  Essentially, the best option seemed to be something organic (such as rice, flax seed, barley or buckwheat) unless you had allergies/sensitivities, in which case you’d use something like ceramic, glass or synthetic beads.  However, these have the potential to become hot enough to burn and there’s always the contentious issue of heating plastics and what they release.

I chose to go with the tried and tested Jasmine rice.  It’s worked for me in the past, is cheap as chips and has a really pleasant fragrance when heated.  I also don’t find the need to use herbs or essential oils as the smell of the rice pleases me as is.  Is it better than other fillings?  Who knows, who cares… all I know is that IT WORKS.


Home made heat pack. Now with added grimness.

Jan 11: What is the highest temperature on record for Perth?

Current Forecast.

Current Forecast.

As we head into an absolute scorcher of a weekend, I ask myself… how hot is really fucking hot?


46.2C (23 February 1991)


Jan 10: What does chromhidrosis look like?

Medical transcription teaches me strange things… like the fact that people can sweat COLOUR.

I shit you not.  Chromhidrosis is a condition caused by deposition of lipofuscin in the sweat glands and wikipedia tells me cases of red, blue, yellow, green and black sweat have been reported.  What can it look like?



For more information and an interesting case presentation, see here.

Jan 9: Can you make porridge from masa harina?

Short answer:  YES.  And it’s not only easy but delicious.


I love this flour and can’t believe I only discovered it a year ago.  I swear it is some kind of black magic.  Just add water and you’ve got instant dough – perfect for tortillas, corn chips, dumplings and even thickening up chile con carne.  And the flavour!!  It’s just so mexican.

Being thrifty and trying to live off whatever food is in the pantry got me wondering whether I could make some sort of porridge with it.  The idea spawned from wanting the flavour of tamale but without all the work (I will make them properly… one day!).  So the search today led me to this page:  turns out masa porridge is actually a thing.  It’s called atole.  The recipe I found suggested serving with honey/butter but I was after a more savoury meal… here’s my recipe:

Fry up finely chopped garlic and green chilli.

Add diced capsicum and saute until cooked.

Chuck in your favourite mexican chilli seasoning and mix well.

In a bowl, whisk together 1 part masa harina to 4 parts water.  Dump this into your pan and bring to a simmer, continuously stirring.

Keep stirring over low heat until it thickens up into porridge-like consistency.  Add salt to taste.

Serve topped with quartered cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese.



Jan 8: Can you stop basil from bolting?

I’ve been spoilt by an amazing abundance of fresh basil for the past few months (perfect with the abundance of cherry tomatoes in the garden!), which has surprised me since it’s just one plant sharing a relatively small pot.  Unfortunately, all good things come to an end eventually and he’s now starting to bolt.  NAOOOOOOOOOO.  So what can I do to keep this wonderfully tasty plant going???

If you’re good at foreward planning you may be able to prevent the basil from bolting in the first place by heavily mulching before the weather gets too hot, as it seems the temperature of the soil may be what instigates the flowering process.  I’m not one of those people.

Fortunately, unlike some other edible plants, the taste of basil leaves does not change once it starts to bolt.  However, if it is left to flower the plant can start to get gangly as it stops producing so many leaves.  By pinching off the flower buds as they start to form, you can keep the basil continuing to pump out those tasty, tasty leaves.  Hooray!  It does seem that often times it will continue to try sending out flowers so you need to keep on top of things.  At least one person out there has had success in cutting back the plant severely (right back to a few inches) and having it come back bushy as ever…

So the plan?  To keep pinching buds as they appear and then cut it right back down soon to make a giant pot of basil pesto.  YUM!

Jan 7: Why is dealing with Centrelink always an uphill battle?

I think I might just leave this one as a rhetorical… … …