Archive for May, 2012

Disaster Area

It’s Thursday, the week has gone, not only that Thursday is rapidly drawing to a close too.

Now I am trying to figure out what happened.

The last thing I remember was looking at the kitchen with a sink full of dishes and then promising to write another post here for Sunday Travel tales…

Neither got done.

Then, it was now!

I have just woken from my after-lunch-nap, disorientated, confused and my eyes are bleary.

I have coffee which is a consolation.

I have begun a new series on They Say it’s in the GenesPhilosoraptor Friday, it will feature the strange musings of a Philosoraptor.

Yes, crazy stuff like that.

So you are welcome to come and visit me there, if you don’t already.

Work is not good. My students have deserted me, for legitimate reasons, but legitimate reasons don’t fill my bank account.

US – We have an army… Brazil – We have a Hulk (20)

I have really had plenty of time to write a post here, and I have had good intentions of doing so, but they just didn’t evenuate. Like yesterday, I wrote a post on Eco-Crap with a secondary subject, that created a series of long comments, that I responded to with equally long replies, then because Brazil was playing the USA in a ‘friendly’ before the upcoming World Cup, TV programmes were all at different times, then there was the match itself. Brazil 4 US 1

Yes, the Brazilian team has a player nicknamed Hulk.

Now, I must away. Beer o’clock.

The Perfect Button

The perfect button

I have finally found the perfect button for my PC.

Every PC should have one. Veges and vegans can opt out, that’s a problem for Microsoft..

Middle Rashers

Bacon, wonderful thick middle rashers of carcinogenic bacon. Dripping with lard straight from the pan to take their rightful place alongside the perfectly fried eggs.

I love bacon.

I’m waffling. I missed posting yesterday, and the day before that. I have accumulated a number of topics that I thought worth mentioning. But, now that I am here, they’ve gone; as so often happens.

I am actually waiting for Shirley and the girls to arrive for lunch. It’s ready, just have to cook the vermicelli. As usual, they’re late, but then they are Brazilians. A prearranged time does not mean a lot to Brazilians. Midday was accepted as the best time to arrive, of course, being a non-Brazilian, everything was ready at the appointed hour. So now the waiting game begins; began, actually as it’s now 1:00pm.

I have been a busy boy this morning. I have posted on all blogs, cooked lunch, tidied the kitchen, written two drafts for Eco-Crap, which will save me time Monday and Tuesday. I have, so far, resisted the temptation to call a beer o’clock stop and wander along to the botequim (bar), they are having a BBQ for the local soccer team. They must have won their game this morning. But if Shirley doesn’t arrive soon, that’s where she will find me. At least frm there I can see them walk across the square, so it’s not like I am going to disappear.

I have decided that it is beer o’clock, I can’t resist the temptation. BBQ is like a magnet.

Later, I should have the Sunday Travel Tales up.


I bought a new cloth filter for my coffee.

No, it wasn’t a new coffee machine, nothing like that, simply a coador  (strainer) like in the photo.

I wouldn’t have a coffee machine in the house if you gave me one. No machine can make coffee like the old fashioned strainer. The coffee from a machine is agua de batata (potato water), detestable stuff that does coffee a complete injustice.

They get clogged from use over time (3 or 4 months) and need to be replaced. For R$1.39 I sped up the process of making my wonderful coffee and can now enjoy my morning coffee quicker.

That was the most exciting event of the day.

One doesn’t have to spend thousands on an espresso machine to make one happy.

Shock you all!

My mind is blank.

So blank that I left a Post-it note to remind me.

Today, it was work at 7am. Home at 10:30am (work done for the day)

Turn on PC, read e-mails, put all in the ‘pending tray’, check stats.

Indispensable nap.

Woke at 12:00.

It is now 2pm, I am coffeeless, bleary eyed and disorientated. I have a vague recollection that it’s Wednesday and that something always happens on Wednesdays…

Need coffee!


Rectified coffeelessness…

I have a problem…. I can’t lick my wenis! Want to see why? Check here.

Yes, I know this may come as a shock to you all, I mean, it is most inconsiderate that I post two days in a row. It’s just not fair.

Meat sliced straight from the skewer to the plate

Just thought I would dash off a quick note before I go out for dinner. BBQ! All I can eat. Before I begin my regime (diet) tomorrow.

Who else does that? Go out and abuse themselves before going on a diet. I am not actually going to diet, but as a part of my efforts to comply with #CTWW this week I am making some modifications.

Such debauchery!


LOL cat talking in ‘capshuns’

This is something that I have often wondered.

Self doubt is a terrible affliction.

I talk to my cats in ‘capshuns’; is that enough proof. Am I the only person who does this? It’s worrying.

It’s worrying because I am a stickler for correct English, it’s one of the problems of being a teacher of the language, a prerequisite, if you like.

But I must admit that I do get a certain perverse pleasure from butchering the language for fun. I do silly things like make regular verbs irregular (arrive, arrove, arriven) and vice versa; or try going a whole day without conjugating the verb ‘to be’, as in I be happy today. In some cases, it actually makes sense, makes the language simpler.

Have a read of this and you will see part of the problem that makes English so hard to learn, besides its system of verbs being easier,it’s just… just so irregular.

The chaos

A poem on English pronunciation

Charivarius, (G.N. Trenite: 1870–1946).

Dearest creature in creation,
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
It will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye your dress you’ll tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer:
Pray console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it.
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, Lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain,
(Mind the latter, how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say–said, pay–paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak:
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak,
Previous, precious; fuschia, via;
Pipe, shipe, recipe and choir;
Cloven, oven; how and low;
Script, receipt; shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery;
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore;
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles;
Exiles, similes, reviles;
Wholly, holly; signal, signing;
Thames, examining, combining;
Scholar, vicar and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far.
Desire–desirable, admirable–admire;
Lumber, plumber; bier but brier;
Chatham, brougham; renown but known,
Knowledge; done, but gone and tone,
One, anemone; Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen; laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German; wind and mind;
Scene, Melpomene, mankind;
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross; brook, brooch; ninth, plinth.
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which is said to rime with darky.
Viscous, viscount; load and broad;
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s O.K.
When you say correctly; croquet;
Rounded, wounded; grieve and sieve;
Friend and fiend, alive and live,
Liberty, library; heave and heaven;
Rachel, ache, moustache; eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed;
People, leopard; towed, but vowed.
Mark the difference moreover
Between mover, plover, Dover;
Leeches, breeches; wise, precise;
Chalice, but police and lice.
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, discipline, label;
Petal, penal and canal;
Wait, surmise, plait, promise; pal.
Suit, suite, ruin; circuit, conduit,
Rime with: “shirk it” and “beyond it”;
But it is not hard to tell
Why it’s pall, mall, but PallMall.
Muscle, muscular; goal and iron;
Timber, climber; bullion and lion;
Worm and storm; chaise, chaos, chair;
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Ivy, privy; famous; clamour,
And enamour rime with “hammer”.
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but dessert, address.
Golf, wolf; countenants; lieutenants
Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.
River, rival; tomb, bomb, comb;
Doll and roll, and some and home.
Stranger does not rime with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul, but foul; and gaunt, but aunt;
Font, front, won’t; want, grand and grant;
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then; singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal; mauve, gauze and gauge;
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.
Query does not rime with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath.
Though the difference seems little
We say actual, but victual;
Seat, sweat; chaste, caste; Leigh, eight, height;
Put, nut; granite but unite.
Reefer does not rime with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull; Geoffrey, George; ate, late;
Hint, pint; senate, but sedate.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific;
Science, conscience, scientific.
Tour, but our, and succour, four;
Gas, alas and Arkansas!
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern; cleanse and clean;
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian.
Dandelion with battalion,
Sally with ally, Yea, Ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess–it is not safe;
We say calves, valves; half, but Ralf.
Heron, granary, canary;
Crevice and device and eyrie;
Face, preface, but efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic; ass, glass, bass;
Large, but target, gin, give, verging;
Ought, out, joust and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and wear and tear
Do not rime with “here” but “ere”.
Seven is right, but so is even;
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen;
Monkey, donkey; clerk and jerk;
Asp, grasp, wasp; and cork and work.
Pronunciation–think of psyche–
Is a paling, stout and spikey;
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
writing groats and saying “groats”?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel,
Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don’t you think so, reader, rather
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally: which rimes with “enough”,
Though, through, plough, cough, hough or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of “cup”,
My advice is … give it up!

See what I mean?

Now on with the day. Brazilian… Love them, but they have a terrible problem. Brazilians need to know everything. For example a simple road accident report in a western newspaper might take a couple of column-inches; here a whole full page spread covers the same accident in almost indecent intimate minute detail.

Here’s a case in point.

Pedro Leonardo – Singer and heart throb

The story so far: 32 days ago a young singer Pedro, son of one of Brazil’s famous sertaneja (country & western) crooners, Leonardo, had a car accident in Goias. After a gig in the north of the country he decided to drive home alone, against his father’s advice. The result was, he fell asleep at the wheel and rolled the car. He broke a leg and had some head injuries and was rushed to hospital and they induced a coma and later transfered him to a major hospital in São Paulo, where he had a couple of cardiac arrests.

The kid was in bad shape. Now I have nothing against the young man, he’s about 20, clean cut and the girls love him. I can’t castigate him for rolling the car either; I did the same to my Dad’s car at 16.

But, every day there have been reports in the papers, big spreads, double page in some cases. Every news bulletin on TV carries the news. There has been no let up. Doctors, hospital workers, relatives, father, fans giving televised interviews in front of the hospital. The news, ‘he flinched,’ ‘he’s breathing on his own,’ ‘he turned in bed,’ ‘he reacted to stimulus.’ It has all been news.

Yesterday, the fervor began again. ‘He’s out of the coma,’ ‘he spoke,’ he recognised some songs,’ ‘he talked to his father.’ His father heard about the news during a show up north. He then interrupted his repertoire to give the audience a blow by blow reporting of his son coming out of the coma. The fans just lapped it up.

But already today, both news slots, devoted more than the average news item to the miracle. Of course, it’s all ‘graças a Deus’ (Thank God), ah, I don’t think anyone has said thanks to the doctors yet, not publicly anyway, that wouldn’t be newsworthy.

Maybe I’m just jealous that I didn’t get this coverage when I rolled Dad’s car. Quite frankly, I’m glad I didn’t. I didn’t want the world to know what a fool I had been.

See, maybe I am crazy…


The Pussy is Warm

I am busy, Lixo just came in from the sun and meowed at me. I bent down to rub him, he was so warm.

The sun is out today, it looks pleasant outside. I should be out there instead of suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder in a house that has retain the chill of the last few days.

My first e-mail today was from my student, he’s not well. No class. So the day will be quiet, I only had the one class, blogging away happily.

Saw this image over the weekend. How appropriate for a teacher of English. I know my shit…

The kids didn’t arrive as planned. Apparently there was a local festival/party that shunted Dad/StepDad into the background. Makes one feel wanted.

No problem, I was broke anyway. Next weekend will be a little more viable, I’ll be able to afford pizza at a real restaurant.

That’s it for now, got a blog post in mind… must go and do it before I forget.

My mind is like lightning, one flash, and it’s gone!

Five Reasons To Visit Peru That Aren’t Machu Picchu

Huacachina Oasis near Ica

I am cheating this week, tempus fugit…

Peru has its fair share of awe-inspiring sights, but most visitors skip right over them and head for the grand finale, Machu Picchu. And though the ancient city is certainly worthy of your time, there is much more to this vast country than a litter-ridden Inca Trail. Dine with the Peruvian elite, walk a manmade island, or raft a canyon that requires a mule to get to; but whatever you do, don’t beeline for the Andes then skip town.

Here are five really good reasons to go to Peru that don’t include Machu Picchu.

Visit for the rest

I have visited each of these locations, although Máncora was just a lunch stop when I was returning to Lima from a spell living in Zorritos.

Claude Bawls

I was too busy blogging and not paying enough attention to the small, but ferocious, feline that shares my abode, hence the title.

…and saw this

After the initial shock of having talons pierce my garments, outer and inner; there followed a howl of pain mixed with threats about the said feline’s immediate future and a short spell of pure agony, then  I looked down…

Why do cats do that?

Friday today… *TGIF moment* Class first thing, student sent me home in a taxi.

Mentally preparing myself for the weekend. Kids are due over tomorrow. Peace and quiet just flew out the window.

Emmylee wants my lap and chatters when I’m at the PC between Ellen playing her games and Erick listening to his music, so the chances of some serious blogging are about ‘zero.’

It’s 4pm. I have just realised I am hungry. Is it too late for lunch?

Later. I’m off to the kitchen.

Life’s Little Ups and Downs

Up @ 3:30am, down again…

Up @ 6:00am, down again @ 7:00

Up again @ 8:30, down again @11:00

11:05 The bloody phone rang!

Bang goes my day off, substitute class this afternoon.

Ah, life’s little ups and downs.

So, I finally figured it was stay up time and needed more coffee…

Then, I read this post title on a new blog visited:  Sometimes When I Sit Down Too Fast I Get a Whiff of My Crotch

I spluttered coffee all over my keyboard and screen.

Clean up keyboard, trip over cat lying languidly in the middle of the floor.


Need more coffee.

This is Thursday, not a Monday. There is no reasonable excuse, no rhyme nor  reason why these things should happen on a Thursday. Somebody has goofed up terribly.

My day has been thrown completely out of kilter, oh I have blogged and washed the dishes, but those things happen everyday; well, maybe not the dishes. I feel as though I have done nothing.

And now I have to go to work. I’ll miss my novela (soap opera) because I’ll get home in time to see the final credits. But I will see the local news programme, then there’s another soap opera which is crap, talk about dragging ideas from the scrap heap. Pity, because it replaced a good one too. To watch this one you have to be cans short of a six pack.

It’s time to go! There, I have less than an hour to get desmellified and adopt the role of a teacher, or a t least a reasonable facsimile of one.



A Great Pile of BS

A pile of bullshit

Yes, I have been absent because of a pile of bullshit.

Oh, you don’t believe me…

There it is, over there —–>

The other day I got a bee in my bonnet, I began a new blog:

Bullshit Corner

You can find it here.

The url is similar to this blog, because I was lazy and built it on top of my old test blog that I used for testing out ideas before applying them to my other blogs.

I haven’t really decided what I am going to post there, but I have started with a few frivolous bits and pieces.

I guess I am trying to show that we live in world where bullshit reigns.

This is a wet week. It has been raining basically since Sunday, it’s raining now. It will rain on and off tomorrow. The temperatures are falling, overnight lows of 12ºC have been promised for the weekend. Now that might not be cold for some parts of the world, but it is low enough to make the Carioca (people from Rio de Janeiro) gonads twinge.

Last night I slept with a blanket, in tracksuit pants and two T-shirts. That’s almost unheard of.

No Brie cheese this week, I have discovered I’m broke again. But I did buy some rump steak, thumped it round a bit t make it thinner and turned it into schnitzel. I love schnitzel.

I have tomorrow off… so I’ll probably post again.

There’s not really a lot going on at the moment.

If you want a giggle check out the newblog.

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