"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spiced Ham

Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? It was, thankfully, for less than 24 hours. My blog was blocked because Blogger's automated detection system had flagged it as a possible purveyor of, well, Monty Python said it best...

What I had to do was request a real live actual human person to review my blog to verify that it's not spam, and then it was restored. They said that it could take up to two business days, so I was pleasantly surprised to find my blog back up and running this morning. I'm not even angry about it anymore, and won't say some of the nasty things I was planning to about Blogger and Google. They are doing the best they can, after all. The only thing I wish they would have done differently is that it would have been nice to get an auto-reply when I submitted my request for review, just to let me know that my request was not lost in cyberspace; that would have made yesterday a lot less anxiety-ridden for me.

I'm still not entirely clear on what a "spam blog" is, despite having read half a dozen articles on the topic yesterday. All these articles are full of words that look remarkably like English, yet convey little or no meaning to a person who is not already an expert on spam. I did manage to glean than it was something somebody else did, not anything I did; but then, I had already made that assumption based on the knowledge that I am not a spammer.

So, as far as I'm concerned, this is what a spam blog would look like:

I've got a story about Spam and Spam-like substances, too. When I was 16 my family took a road trip from Atlanta to the Grand Canyon. It was a lot of fun, and the only downside was that the brand-new tires on our car turned out to be defective. One of them fell apart on the way out, luckily very near my aunt and uncle's house where we were spending the night. Another fell apart on the way back, in the exact center of nowhere, on Sunday July 4. Amazingly, we actually managed to find a service station open that could sell us a tire, but there were people in line ahead of us and we had to hang out there for a couple of hours. Needless to say, there was absolutely no entertainment available except for browsing the convenience store. During that time, my sister came across three items side by side on a shelf. The most expensive was "Deviled Ham", and the middle one was "Deviled Spam". Yeah, of course we were familiar with these items even if we had never consumed them ourselves. But then, just in case the Deviled Spam was too hoity-toity for some people, the cheapest of the three was "Potted Meat Food Product". Yes, that was the actual name of it. Some real marketing genius went into that one.

This is actual Spam, not some cheap knock-off. Doesn't it look appetizing? Now that your appetite has been whetted with this image and the thought of "Potted Meat Food Product", it's time to think what you're going to have for lunch today. How about a flavorful pulled Spam with slaw sandwich, followed by a delectable apple and Spam turnover?

Or if you're in the mood for something more exotic, why not try the Hawaiian classic Spam musubi, incorporating Spam with elements of sushi? Here's one variation on it:

I did consider trying to tat some Spam, but I realized that no one has dyed any thread in just that color-- and let's pray they never do. So instead, I'll show you the tatting I did do, day 2 of the TIAS. If you're new to the online tatting community, TIAS stands for Tat It and See. Every January, Jane Eborall presents us with a new pattern but doesn't tell us what it is. She releases small bits of it every few days, and you just tat what the directions say, then take a photo and send it to Jane to post on the TIAS blog, along with any guess you might have as to what it is. Here's what we've got so far:

I still haven't ruled out a locomotive, and I see on the TIAS blog that someone else has the same idea. Part of the trouble, of course, is that you don't know which way is up; it could be oriented any way, and we won't know till later.

I hope the one or two weirdos out there who actually like Spam haven't been too offended by this post; you must be used to the mockery by now.


  1. Good to see you've been released from 'spam land'!! What a day of frustration for you and the rest of us who live in the tatting part of blogland. BTW I HATE spam - that's in any form!!!!

  2. ...I am one of those weirdos who like Spam but I am always very amused with people's opposition of it! Totally amused and no offence was taken!

    I am glad that whatever was wacky with your blog got worked out and you are back on!

    Oh! I also like, even love Fruitcake. Again I am amused with the opposition of it!


  3. LOL! I do like Spam but rarely have it. I had some a month or so ago, the first time in years, and my son couldn't believe it. When I was a kid in the 50's, it was common to have it. I like it sliced between 2 pieces of toast and then chilled. I'm not too fond of it hot. I don't think it's as good as it used to be either. Sorry to hear about your blog experience.

  4. I enjoyed your delicious your version of Spamalot...
    Fox : ))

  5. Your post made me laugh! Did you know that the Hormel company also makes a turkey meat version of Spam? We call it Spurkey.

  6. Hey, maybe tatting will get really famous now that it has been "banned in Blogger"...LOL ;)

  7. Glad to see you back. I didn't think you just deleted your blog. Hopefully no one else has to deal with this.

  8. I like Spam as well, the smoked version. I use it in recipes like macaroni salads, or mac & cheese with spam. and in a pinch I will fry it and put it in a cheese sandwich on crusty bread. it really isn't that bad in the smoked version, the plain is well ... plain.
    glad you are back, didn't know you were gone, I was watching grand kids instead of reading blogs over the weekend.

  9. Miranda's dad here. As soon as she mentioned Spam, I started thinking about that road trip and flat tire. What Miranda didn't mention is that she was driving (with her shiny new driver's license) when the second tire gave out. She got to have her first experience changing a tire with the advantage of parental oversight, but the disadvantage of a car full of luggage on the side of an interstate in Alabama. Fortunately, the Potted Meat Food Product saved the day for us all.