Archive for April, 2012

I haven’t really decided yet

The perfect cup for a bloggers coffee

But I will make the effort, even if it to tell you that I haven’t decided yet.

Of course it’s Monday.

But it’s not a Mondaily Monday. You see tomorrow is another holiday. 1 May, Labour Day. So, of course, Brazilians don’t work on the weekday between the weekend and the public holiday.

So this is a day-off Monday, but things can still go haywire.

For a start its raining, has been on and off all night. But then rain doesn’t necessarily have an adverse effect on blogging, apart from the fact that the room is a little darker than normal.

I have found the perfect cup for bloggers’ coffee. This cup would save so many hurried trips to the kitchen.

Yesterday, I went over to the ex’s, she had a set of old kitchen cupboards that she was going to chuck out. So my neighbour, Lincoln, along with his pickup collected it and managed to get home before the rain started. They are not in the best of condition, but are cleaned and installed. Beggars can’t be choosers. The result is, I now have plenty of shelf space in the kitchen, which is something I lacked.

The rain persists, in fact for an hour now it has been persisting down. I had to use a plunger to free the drain in the backyard before it got to the stage where I would need a canoe just to get to the bar. The things one does for a beer.

I am now in a quandry, do I have a nap or make lunch…

The nap wins.


Sunday Travel Tales

Sucre, Bolivia

Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia

Fooled? I bet you thought it was La Paz.

One of its most famous attractions…. A cement quarry.

Why a cement quarry?

During the excavation of raw materials for making cement, they discovered a hillside that 70 million years ago was the floor of a swamp. The fossilised footprints of dinosaurs left in the mud became the hillside through geological action. It’s just a few kilometres from the city toward the airport.

Sucre has since capitalised on its fame.

Parque Cretacico

5000 footprints, belonging to at least eight different species of dinosaurs.  It is one of the most important dinosaur footprint sites in the world. The park is like a theme park, not much info, but realistic BIG dinosaurs.


One of only two places in the world where Ankylosaurus footprints have been found

So you want to see Jurassic Park…

Tuesday Tag

Tuesday this week is the ‘Monday’ of the week because we had a holiday yesterday for St George. Brazilians just love their holidays, so I get sucked up with the flow.

Long weekends are good, but they are so tiring. Saturday, I chose to do nothing. I never get to finish doing it in one day, so I always finish what I started on Sunday. Doing nothing can be quite exhausting, especially if you do it three days in a row.


Upon waking this morning at 6am, I discovered that I had been ‘tagged’ by a recent bloggy friend.

You can find the culprit ah, tagger behind this link; ExpertofNone I must say that I love her choice of template and have it on my ‘test blog’, but it is marred by the fact that you (at least I) can’t see the post tags, pity.

Having participated in many of these ‘taggy’ things in the past, I found this one quite different.

I note that there is a serious flaw in this tag, there’s a rule missing, I’ve added it to 2…


Tag – you’re it!’ – The rules:

1.You must post these rules. [done]
2.Answer the question the “tagger” listed for you in their post. Post the link of the culprit (you don’t get away that easy).[done]
3.And create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer. [done… nearly]
4.Choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post. [done… almost]
5.Let each blogger know that you have tagged them. [to do]

The question I was requested to answer is: Who is your favorite author of all time?

Now that I have my second coffee, I can do stupid things faster.


My favourite author. Now that’s difficult, for there are many who would fall into that category. I would firstly have to mention W.E Johns; he wrote ‘Biggles’ books. Biggles was sort of like a human Snoopy WWI flying ace; and was my introduction to reading at age nine; I exhausted the school library content and began to buy and collect the books. Without a doubt, it was my introduction to a lifetime of books and reading. Next I would have to mention Eric von Daniken of Chariots of the Gods fame because he opened my mind to thinking for myself at age twelve and not following the flock like a sheep. Bram Stoker must be mentioned, because it was his book Dracula that opened the road to research as I followed the route from Romania to England, pinpointing where I believed the Castle Dracula to be,  and learned about things like lycanthropy; thirteen year olds don’t usually learn such things. It was at this age that I subscribed to Science Journal, a monthly magazine for scientists. I used to pick it up from the bookshop along with my Donald Duck and war comics each month (see, I was a little normal). I wasn’t at all interested in school, school was a place to eat lunch and learn boring stuff, I was well on the way to self education. My disinterest in school was evident that I became a ‘high school dropout’ as Americans would put it; but I was the only kid in our class that could answer the question “What does L.A.S.E.R. mean?” when asked by the science teacher in first year general science. Arthur C. Clark, Robert Heinlein are significant among a host of science fiction writers, because they showed me the future; as did George Orwell in Animal Farm and 1984, the latter we are watching live in the USA today. Et al.

I cannot pin down a favourite author, I can only say those who were most influential in my upbringing and responsible for casting the mould that I am today.

That was the easy bit. Now… for those I have tagged and therefore, “dragged” into making serious confessions:

:: 1 – Reduce Footprints: If you could go back in time, what would you change to make a difference to a ‘greener’ world today?

:: 2 – Rowing Through Life: As a traveled person, where would you live outside New York and still feel fulfilled?

:: 3 – Tinkerbelle: Why is living just outside London which is a blessing and a curse?

:: 4 – It’s Not Easy to be Green: Explain this statement of yours; I want to save it [the world] from humans.

:: 5 – Sarcastic Cooking: Why did you stop being a vegetarian?

Told you I couldn’t count to 11… besides, I ran out of coffee!

Now…don’t shoot the messenger…remember, I was tagged too!!!

I seriously need more coffee!

Sunday Travel Tales

Uyuni, Bolivia

Train Cemetery

In the past Uyuni in the south west of Bolivia was a major hub for rail transport. Today, much of the past lies in ruins, exposed to the elements, rusting, but remain a reminder of a more glorious past.

Tourists passing through the Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Lake) normally visit this graveyard.






Miles of ghost trains


The legacy, axle deep in the drifting sands


Asi es la vida = This is the life


NB: These photos aren’t mine. Had many, but like all my momentos… gone to the ravages of time. If you are the owner of any please contact me for recognition.



But then I am old.

I love old things, the old ways, the old everything. Well, almost everything, I still like newer girls in bikinis, but their attitudes today are crap.

Look at the eggbeater in this kitchen drawer…

My mother had one of those for thirty years or more, it worked and worked and never broke, although I must admit I don’t know of its final resting place; but thirty years.

You buy one of these new fangled plastic pieces of shit today; you’ll never get thirty years out it. You’d be lucky in some cases to get thirty minutes. Old things are good things.

Last night, I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I stewed some fruit. Last week at the supermarket, I saw some plums, they were just sitting there, beckoning to me. They ere the dark type, cool to the touch as I bagged them. I got a half dozen, they weren’t cheap, but I have resolved that I must eat more fruit.

The other night I turned two into juice in the blender.

But last night, I cut the remaining four into quarters and filled a saucepan with water so that it covered half the fruit, a couple of dessert-spoons of sugar and boiled them.

I had them with fresh thick white liquid, you know that stuff in the box, it’s supposed to be cream, but it’s not like the ‘old cream’ we used to get. See old is good. I sat on the sofa and had one plate and I just couldn’t resist getting the second, it was supposed to be for tonight. So yummy, temptation truly is the devil.

But my point is that many people today don’t do these little things that make life. They buy canned fruit at the supermarket, totally unnecessary and wasteful… and expensive. I had a litre of juice and dessert for two and the plums cost me R$3 (about USD1.80) whereas if I had bought a can of plums, I would have paid R$5 just for enough plums for the dessert. People don’t know how to economise today.

One of my stepkids said to me the other weekend. “I love coming to visit you because you do stuff.” I replied that I ‘do stuff’ because I was taught to ‘do stuff’, parents today don’t teach their kids to ‘do stuff’ anymore.

Yes… old is good.


Another One… Damn!

Yup, Brazilians sure like their long weekends.

This one for the benefit of St George on Monday.

That’s two this month.

But it gives me a chance to do important things like evict the polar bears from my ancient fridge. It’s defrosting automatically at the moment. Not that I have an auto-defrosting fridge. I simply turn it off and open the door and it automatically defrosts… Technology, isn’t it just wonderful?

I am procrastinating. Should I, or should I not go to the supermarket. If I don’t there isn’t a thing to eat in the house. Well, I have some crackers and milk, but it’s hardly what you would call nutritious. I must have a look at my bank statement to see if I have the funds to go shopping. This month I am a bit skint. I am watching my pennies… as they flow out the door. Payday is still two weeks away, Monday. Man cannot live by bread alone, I don’t even have that until I go shopping.

I have toyed with the idea of a nap, but shelved that idea for the moment. Raimundo at the botequim is using a power saw on hardwood making some project and the noise is terrible. I don’t know what he’s making, but in due course I’ll wander along as the project becomes more apparent.

There’s not a lot going on to write about really, I’m here because I have been feeling guilty of neglect.

Boys will be boys

I did read a report during the week about how the professionals are concerned at the ease of access to pornography; stating that some 70% of primary school children have seen pornographic material on the internet. I’d say that was an improvement; when I was at primary school it was a 100% who had seen Playboy. Boys will be boys. They have an innate curiosity… mostly about sex and it doesn’t improve as they get older.

The internet just means that you can do it in the safety of your own home, rather than behind the bike sheds like we did.

Of course for us it was more difficult to hide bulky magazines from the prying eyes of parents than simply clearing your history.

It appears the power saw has finished, I am seriously considering that nap.



How do you Measure Success?

To measure success

Today is all but gone. I have managed to write one significant post on Eco-Crap. Hardly what I’d call a measure of success. The post itself may or may not be successful; it’s too early to tell. But one blog post in a whole day means I am not up to my usual par.

Now, not only cannot I manage success, I cannot load an image into the post. This is not being successful.

I am more than a little miffed, the rotating candy bar on the Upload/Insert, isn’t rotating. That little flash screen has but one purpose in life, and that is to rotate while you are waiting for the upload page. If it doesn’t rotate, there is no purpose.

There, success takes on a whole knew meaning. Image installed….

I had hoped to write a second meaningful post today, but the aforementioned problem has determined that I will not be successful.

Time has been eroded to the point where I need to take my shower and get desmellificated in an attempt to mimic the pose of a teacher of the noble Queen’s English.

It has been deemed by powers greater than my humble self, that I shall not succeed in this endeavour.

An aside…

I had a wonderful lunch. I had some Alaskan pollack in the freezer. I decided to poach it in a homemade tomato sauce with capers. A simple recipe, that was devoid of any chance of failure. Three fillets of pollack into the oven dish, one jar of tomato extract, one large chopped tomato, three teaspoons of capers and lashings of olive oil, peppered and salted and into the oven. 25 minutes later, edible.

Now that I call a success.



And so far nothing has gone wrong.

But then I haven’t even been out the door yet.

Coffee was great, marmalade on toast, Lixo (my cat) has ironed my shorts three times… Yes, he’s ever so clever. Last night in the case of comfort while watching TV I kicked my shorts off and flicked them unsuccessfully on to the next sofa. They fell on the floor and I left them there. Lixo has decided that they’re the purrfect place to sleep.

First class, 3pm. Gentleman’s hours. Home by 7:30pm.

Now that my novela (soap opera) has finished, there’s only the news to watch.

I recovered wonderfully from the BBQ birthday on Saturday. I continued with my planned “nothing” on Sunday because I hadn’t finished doing it.

In fact the most strenuous thing I did on Sunday was walk to the shop for my ciggies. Return trip, 50 metres.

I am now about to follow the excellent example set by my feline friend and have a nap. Oh, he does set a good example.


Sunday Travel Tales

The Most Dangerous Road in the World

La Paz – Coroico, Bolivia

70kms (44 miles)

La Cumbra Pass – 4,640 metres above sea level (12,000+/- ft)

Descending 3,300 metres to Yolosa – 1,295 mts asl



A quick look…


The Full Monty…


Sun, BBQ & Beer

Yes, that’s the order of the day.

Today is Denise’s birthday BBQ at the botequim (local bar) which is all off 11 metres from my gate. I have no idea how old she is, and I am far too much of a gentleman to ask; there are few enough of us left.

Saturday… apart from the BBQ I have planned to do nothing today. I fully suspect to be successful. Success = happiness.

Last night one of my novelas (soap operas) finished. Aquele Beijo (That Kiss). It is being replaced with a horrendous gaudy social mess, one that I will not be watching. In fact between the regional news and the main news the TV will be off, saving power. I tend to do that, especially during the obligatory political bullshit that is on most nights on every channel; I save 10 minutes of power.

Stupid Freakin' Robots on BBB

I forgot to mention that Big Brother Brazil has finished.

So that is one more lot of TV tripe that I have to avoid.

Honestly, these (un)reality shows are so bloody stupid, I am amazed that people watch them. Anybody with half a brain can see that they are beyond stupid… which makes me wonder if the people who watch them even have half a brain.

Brazil took a major step into the 21st century this week. The Supreme Justice Tribunal approved the regulation that women who are diagnosed as pregnant with an ancephalitic baby can opt for an abortion. Brazil is a very catholic country and as such believes the church can control people’s lives through the law. So this is a major breakthrough for Brazilian women.

Hops make wonderful juice

The music has started…

I do believe it is beer o’clock, again. I had my breakfast ham sandwiches with juice (hops juice) at the botequim this morning.

Sometimes my youth shines through my dotage; although I am past the days where I put beer on my cornflakes.

Have a nice day folks, I will.

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