Saturday, November 19, 2011


yet another beautiful sunset!

I have spent entirely too much of today wrestling with HTML to convert my short stories into Kindle type books (yes, you CAN do it from word, but it looks like a word document. I want it to look professional). I'm now stuck on things called entities, which not what I have been calling them.

Anyway, So I thought I'd write about things I know slightly more about. I thought about plants...

My seedlings are a testimony to effort and not to success...

Although we have just harvested our first ever cauliflower. It had a magnificent collection of slugs...

Well, maybe fish. Now I''m not expert or fast, but it struck me the other day filleting is quite basic, and yet buying fillets adds hugely to the cost of fish. And really all you need is a sharp knife. A pair of kitchen scissors also helps.

Methods differ, this works for me and wastes little and does not require much strength or skill. The key I find is cut on the side of the anal fin, to the spine keeping your knife flat against the bone. Then turn the fish over and do the same the other side. Now go to the dorsal fin, and putting your knife parallel to it (along the fish body, not using the point) cut in, using the bones as a guide, cut until you hit the spine. Now I cut with the tip touching the spine all the way to where the meat ends in the head. Turn it over and do the same. The fish is still intact at point. Some people with big fish like to continue over the belly, leaving the bones. I don't. Small fish or if I am feeling strong I simply push the point through the ribs near the head, and slice down through the ribs toward the tail. Lazy -or big fish I cut through the ribs from the belly with scissors. Once you reach the end of the gut cavity slide the knife point out of the cut you made around the anal and pressing against the spine cut down to the tail. Snip through the arch just behind the gill and you have a free fillet. Do the same on the other side. It is then easy to lift the rib bones on bigger fish or just slice off the belly on really tiny ones. The belly is the fattiest and often fishiest tasting area. The dark muscle next strongest flavoured. The trick is to keep the fish together until the last cut so that it supports itself. You should be able to see through the frame that is left - in the picture you can see the cutting board through it.

Skinning is easy - all you need to so is establish if the species you're dealing with skin best from head or tail (Flathead are easiest from head-end). Cut a little tag so you can hold the skin, put the kife at 90 degrees to the fish... and pull.
And you should have little meat left on the skin...


  1. Been playing with my automated scripts that convert PDF into HTML in order to get them to do proper ePub. (Which is XTML not HTML, although the difference is probably marginal at the level you are looking at). The irritating thing is adjusting the formatting for a wide variety of readers, all of which have different built-ins and handle the CSS formatting in different and irritating ways [especially with what they arbitrarily choose to ignore]). Each reader behaves slightly differently, especially in what they chose to ignore. Very irritating, and still the provenance of the amateur experts who are pushing the limits of the various formats to see what they can make an eReader do. It's like being back in the browser wars of the late 90s...

    I'd offer assistance, except I can't promise a fast turnaround (health has gotten a lot worse over the last few months), and I haven't even looked at doing stuff for the kindle (not even sure what the mobi format requires for its data formatting) since I am not intending to get one. [And also therefore don't have one to test the finished result - vitally important for this sort of thing to check the final result on the device people will be reading it in.] But with those caveats...

    Although you might want to look at Calibre [] for automated translation instead (it does a lot better job than Word, but then, that's not very hard at all).

    [For ePub, if you want finer control, try Sigil []. Although it's a WYSIWYG editor for ePub, you can also directly hack the code. Not sure if there is a WYSIWYG editor for mobi. A brief look indicates mobi may contain a bit more precision formatting data than ePub but less than lit. Hmmmm.]

    [Then again you aren't probably trying to get an eReader to do stuff that is outside its design remit - like I am by playing with the fine structure of the documents I send to it. <grin>]

  2. Your lesson in filleting a fish is probably stuck at the preaching to the choir level. Excepting ichthyologists, most people who don't know how to do it also don't know where all the parts you used as references are.

  3. Write a kindle book about filleting fish :D