March 11, 2009
Because I Care About Your Enrichment
OK, this first part has nothing whatsoever to do with your enrichment.

1. This morning, I accidentally dumped about a cup of honey on my steel-cut oats and fresh raspberries. It was awesome, though I have a feeling it upped the calorie content significantly. H2 agreed, and I couldn't feed him his bites fast enough. Mmmmm... honey. That got me to thinking about the spies that went out in the Old Testament and said that the promised land was flowing with milk and honey. Do you think they saw a lot of bovines? Or goats? And bees? Or is that more metaphorical?

2. This whole spring forward thing is kicking me in the tail. I'm in a constant fog, and I can't adjust. It's a good thing I don't have a real job. I might have gotten fired this week.

Now, for your promised enrichment! Aren't you excited? It's because I want you all to be well-rounded, and it might come in handy should you ever make it to final Jeopardy. I've been reading Vienna 1814 by David King this week, and I've marked some interesting facts to share with you all, as I'm guessing you're probably not going to run right out and check it out of the library (it's pretty good, if a little dry in a couple of spots. My big gripe is the way the notes are done, all at the end without footnotes, so you can't look up something you find interesting right when you read it. I'm guess that as a successful author, David King doesn't care what I think, but I hate them all the same). Did you know that during my stint as a history major in college, my favorite of all my majors, I think, I actually took two entire courses covering European history from 1789-1814. It's true. I'm a colossal geek, with a hundred or so hours of electives to prove it. So, without further ado, my notes on Vienna 1814 and the Congress of Vienna:

  • "Politics is the art of making war without killing anyone." Prince De Ligne I love this quote
  • Catharine the Great had a "tester," that is a woman who would try out the guardsmen selected for the empress's bedroom. Her name was Anna Protassoff, and she was in town during the congress. Seriously, a tester? How important are you if you can't take the time to figure that out yourself?
  • Talleyrand, while being dressed and coiffed by 3 valets, would suck in water through his nose and blow it out his mouth into a silver basin, "much the way an elephant uses his trunk." And he often did this with visitors looking on. Ummmm... gross....
  • The supplies for giving a grand ball at the congress would include no less than: 300 hams, 200 partridges, 200 pigeons, 150 pheasants, 60 hares, 48 boeuf a la mode, 40 rabbits, 20 large white young turkeys, 12 medium-sized wild boar, an assortment of roasted baked and cold meats and other delicacies, including 600 pickled and salted tongues (yuck). Also, a supply of pies and pastries, almond, pistachio, chocolate, Seville orange and French puff-pastry gateaux. Between 2500-3000 liters of olla soup, 2500 biscuits, 1000 almond filled pastries, 60 sponge cakes, and other cakes and sweets. Almond milk, lemonade, chocolate, tea and many kinds of wine. Can you imagine? I can't even cook for 7 other people without having a complete breakdown.
  • The night before the battle of Waterloo, Napolean stayed in a farmhouse named "Le Caillou." If he had only known about that bald Canadian kid, he would have seen that fortune no longer favored him.