Archive for July, 2012

Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre made with Montilla rum

At the moment I am looking at the world after my third Cuba Libre…

It’s looking good.

I don’t do this often, but it’s good to give the old engine an overhaul now and again.

I have just had a pleasant session at the kiosque, reopened, in front of the botequim as a soparia… They sell sopas e caldos (soups & stuff),

Tonight I had, not one, but two plates of Bobo de camarão (Shrimp soup). I would have had a third, but I’m on a diet, not; I just didn’t want to appear to be a pig.

It was delicious.

For this reason, we will be foregoing our Sunday Travel Tales. To create an STT I need a clear head.

The people in the neighbourhood think that I am somewhat stoic, and when I let my hair down (what’s left of it) they are surprised and realise that I am human after all.

And, that’s all part of the plot; I love to keep them guessing. I hate being predictable, that smacks of ‘normal.’

I tried being normal once, didn’t like it; so I became myself again.

Vagner Love

Flamengo lost to São Paulo, 4-1, which is not good. Enough, in fact, to make a grown man cry. While I am proud to be a Flamengista (Flamengo supporter), it is disheartening to see the recent results. The team has suffered immensely since the goalie Bruno was arrested for doing away with his pregnant girlfriend a couple of years ago, then another player, Adriano, was under suspicion of drugs connections, and another, Vagner Love, went overseas to play for Italy (I think) and the team has never recovered. Wagner has returned, but still the team is down in the dumps. They sacked the coach last week and got another, but I think that was a case of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted; because the new coach was sacked from International, a Rio Grande de Sul team, for the same reasons. Go figure.

The kids have been and gone. No blood was let, so I consider the visit successful.

I will now rest…


I can Foretell the Future

This harmonious scene will be nothing like the tooth and claw mayhem that will reign here for 24 hours

Yes, I can. In about two hours, I am going to lose my PC.

I know this will happen because the kids are coming to stay. The next 24 hours will be spent umpiring and allotting time for each to have a fair share.

Me? I will be relegated to the kitchen, because growing kids need a certain calorific intake during that period.

I have that planned. Poached fish and parsley sauce on a bed of rice for lunch. Pizza for dinner,  breakfast will be a matter of serve yourself and lunch… I’m still working on that. Probably franks in homemade tomato sauce on spaghetti. There, that’s the menu sorted.

The chances of getting a full blogload done tomorrow remains remote. I’ve managed it today, this is the last blog to post on.

So for a Saturday it has been successful so far. The remains of the day, remain to be seen. If I can prevent blood being spilled, then I may consider that success.

I must admit that after four years since the separation and living on my own, I am not as used to kids as I used to be, and I get a bit frayed at times.

But that’s not their fault, life must go on. I only get to see them about once a month, but that is for financial reasons; I don’t have many students at the moment.

So I am forced to be somewhat frugal, and unfortunately for the kids, they are expensive. I have had to remind them that money does not grow on trees.

I’m off to read the news while I still can…



The wrong end, is the top end

NB: Just had a call from the ex… four are coming, not the three I was expecting. Now I have to think is that good or bad…


I’ve just discovered from Twitter that today, 28th, is National Hamburger Day and I’ve planned pizza for dinner. If anyone of you tweets this in Portuguese there will be hell to pay, I will personally see to it that your nose implodes, or your knees fall down around your ankles, or that you meet your fate with the wrong end of a pineapple.

Lunch is Simmering

Yes, on a fast simmer. You see my stove, a donated gas affair, has only one heat, hot. One day I’ll buy myself a new one with more variation than just hot.

Lunch is not a fancy affair, it’s one of those look-in-the-fridge affairs. Scrag end of bacon, chopped into the pan; last piece of rump steak, diced into the pan; last grotty looking stock cube, into the pan; dregs of soya sauce bottle, up ended, into the pan; small jar of tomato extract, into the pan.  Simmer on a fast sim for ten minutes to reduce the liquid. Serve on a bed of parsley rice.

Lunch is served.

I’ll be back as soon as the inner man is satisfied.

Leave well enough alone

Mission accomplished. My light green T-shirt now has a bright red tomato dribble down the front; looks quite fashionable. People actually pay to have clothes marked like that.

I see in the news yesterday that Windows 8 could be another Vista. Vista is synonymous with disaster.Why, oh why couldn’t they leave XP alone? Still the best product that Microsoft ever made. I still run XP, alternatively with Linux.

Needed to fix XP

But, alas, the bastards at Microsoft are going to force me into Windows 7, because they won’t make a patch, bandaid, or whatever for XP to read the new IP system that is already out.

I had my TGIF moment earlier today, just as my students were leaving class at 8am.

I can see that I am going to have a dry-as-a-little-wooden-god moment soon. Lunch was quite savoury and passionfruit juice just isn’t doing it. Well, I mean it’s nice, but I can feel that it’s getting closer to beer o’clock.

The Olympics have started. I have waited four years to say “OMG, here we go again!” No news on the telly, just bloody Olympics. I’m afraid I’m a boring old fart, the Olympics just don’t impress me anymore. Maybe that’s because I’d jump for joy if someone bought me a bottle of whisky rather than jump over a gym horse; mind you I hated that at school too.

Corporate sponsorship

I mean, they Olympics are all about McDonald’s and Coca Cola, the sports are a minor attraction, sort of sideshow alley.

Disgusting, should be banned. I can see why the Muslims are upset about the logo, it does look like Zion is written there, but then the bankers are paying too I guess, so they have to be represented.

Had to laugh at the clowns for upsetting North Korea, of all the countries to stuff up the flag… Mind you, it also shows how thin-skinned the North Koreans are, no sense of humour; communist dictatorships and regimes ban a sense of humour, it’s non-productive.

It’s supposed to rain today. Looks like the weather forecasters have cocked it up again. Of all the professions, they would have to be the most unreliable. I guess they try, they’re not like lawyers who actually lie for a living; or doctor who tell you are sick when you aren’t really just so they can prescribe pills that they get a commission for.

That’s it for the moment.


I feel behooved

I feel as though I should post. I tried yesterday, but the words just didn’t come. I see, I have a new follower… *waves at Oak*, so it behooves me to post and thereby justifying his decision to follow ‘Life.’

Yesterday, I read a story:

It was about a palaeontologist’s view of the film Ice Age 4.

I found it interesting, because I have the same thoughts when I see a film with a shoot-em-up. I cannot help but be similarly critical. Even the news here in Brazil, I watch on TV here, how the police use their weapons. Honestly, they are clowns. The old story of a ‘John-Wayne six shooter that fires at least 20 rounds, holding a weapon by the magazine expecting to have a secure shooting platform (magazines wiggle in their housing), it’ a laugh.

I haven’t seen Ice Age 4 yet, will soon, but not at the cinema, too expensive, and they force feed you Coca Cola Zero (all that yummy aspartame to cause cancer) and popcorn, which is a waste when it should be making bio-fuels.

Interesting point that, corn to make bio-fuels. Corn is a very thirsty plant, so we sacrifice water (which creates another problem) to save on petroleum products… Screwy idea. It’s actually the theme of my Make you Fink on Friday post on Eco-Crap tomorrow.

I designed a lovely ‘button’ for Eco-Crap this morning, so if you feel moved, even the teensiest little bit, you can grab the code for your blog. If you don’t know what Eco-Crap is, then go and find out; and then send me a note from your mother explaining why you are not reading all my blogs.

I used to have these cutsey buttons for my blogs, but when I changed to WP, I sort of forgot to add them. I will slowly, then you can add them too.

Today is Thursday, which really means it’s nearly Friday, which is really good, because when Friday finishes it’s Saturday and that’s beer and BBQ day.

Now it’s lunch time and I feel behooved again, this time to feed the inner man…


Sunday Travel Tales

Sillustani, Peru

Thirty odd kilometers north of Puno is Sillustani. You pass the turn off  going to Puno from Juliaca airport (Puno doesn’t have one).

Lake Umayo by David Baggins

You’ll find this and some other amazing photos on FlickRiver

On the shores of Lake Umayo, up on the hill, there are an amazing collection of chullpas (tombs) representing three stages of the Inca civilisation. The tombs of the Incan royalty.

The older chullpas, less sophistacted

From the earlier era the structures are much less sophisticated. Here you see the entrance facing the rising sun in the east.

Compare with the famous Lagarta Chullpa.

The famous ‘Lagarta’ chullpa

This chullpa was struck by lightning some time in the past and it has exposed the inner structure; hence the appearance of being ‘half a chullpa.’

Temple of the Sun

The complex is not just about chullpas, there is also a temple to the sun, and a smaller one to the moon.

A strange plant

The flora in the area is also interesting. No idea what the plant is, looks like a birds nest with flowers…

Most tours to the area spend between an hour and two hours walking over the hill with a guide and visiting the museum. The museum has some interesting exhibits, but poorly displayed (at least the last time time I was there, 2001) maybe things have changed.

NB: The photo are mine, except the top one and the one below.

One nuevo sol, 2011

Once again…

…it appears that I have abandoned the world.

But it’s an illusion. I’m still here.

I plead temporary insanity.

The world has been full of doom and gloom this week, the Japanese Tepco company has been accused of disguising radiation readouts, G4S has made a thorough balls up of the Olympic security, Mitt Romney and his wife seem determined to remove themselves from the race (actually, that is good news), then of course there’s the shooting in Colorado by some deranged gunman, tragic, but I point out that while one deranged gunman went on a rampage, millions of others didn’t; so the issue is not guns, it’s people.

While all that has been happening, here on the home front, not much. Last two days have been sunny, not hot, but it has been a pleasant respite from the previous month of unrelenting cold.

Lunch today was a wonderful piece of rump steak seared on both sides after marinating in garlic, rock salt and soya sauce, then topped with molten blue vein cheese on top.

an hour later

Well, there was more, but I lost control of my mouse and lost the lot. Thank heavens for autosave. I am not disposed to try an recreate it.

Apparently, they do. The Japanese get a new government after each one.

And, the USA is due to have one in November. Nice to see that Romney’s blown it. Now if Obama would do the same, America might get Ron Paul.

The title of this post came from a weird thought as I read a tweet, “China’s #economy continues to grow, but at a slower pace:” from @i2economy …and I thought, yes, I understand that problem now that I am approaching 61, “‘I’ still grow, but at a slower pace.”

Which, in turn, left me wondering if normal people have these naughty thoughts?

Or is it some kind of syndrome/dementia that begins about 60?

Well, that was meant to be the opening tomfoolery of Saturday’s post that never got to be. Now here is is… Monday.

Damn, it is so cold here in Rio. Since yesterday we have been subjected to Antarctic polar air following a cold front.

My new mouse has decided on a career shift. It doesn’t want to be a mouse anymore. It is having worse ‘left button’ problems than the mouse it replaced. Can’t trust anything made in China. I had problems with three consecutive battery chargers made in China. I do wish they’d get their shit together.

I failed again yesterday. No Sunday Travel Tales, it was so cold that I spent much of the day wrapped up in bed. You see, this is such cold weather and our houses in Rio aren’t built for cold weather, no fireplaces, no insulation and nobody has a heater. I am not the only person suffering, last night everyone in the bar had a jacket on; now that is unusual, because we are usually in shorts and T-shirts.

My lunch is still frozen. I took a chicken breast out of h freezer this morning and it is doing a pretty good imitation of ‘frozen’ at 4pm.

Must shiver along…



Paraskefreakin’ what?

Image: found on

Paraskevidekatriaphobia, is one of the words which talk about fear of Friday the 13th. There are some others, but less impressive, check Wikipedia for more info.

The word “paraskevidekatriaphobia” was devised by Dr. Donald Dossey, who told his patients that “when you learn to pronounce it, you’re cured!”

Not sure what the image has to do with the subject, but it cropped up in Google and I just thought it was awesome.

So does this Friday qualify for a TGIF?

For me, yes. Because it’s the end of the week, tomorrow (should the world continue on it’s present course) will be Saturday.

AAaaaah! Saturday, no classes, I can just blog the day away, oh, and drink coffee. Apart from that I have no other plans, so it should be the beginning of another successful weekend. The weekend should always be a success. If you can’t make the weekend successful when you don’t have to do anything, how the heck can you be successful during the week when you ARE required to do something?

My sink NEVER looks like this

It’s 3pm, I should really be thinking about lunch. Actually, I should be more than just thinking about it, I should be making it. If I was a normal person, I would have washed the dishes already.

I had a strange thought yesterday, after a concerted effort I washed all my dishes, as I realised that the sink and the surrounding area were empty, dirty dish-free, “Wow, the sink does have a bottom!” flashed through my mind. I am trying to put some importance to that idea, and wonder why I should have suddenly thought it.

OMG I couldn’t live in the same house as one where the sink looks like this, even after a party.

Well, now that I have disturbed you all, I’ll blog along…

Oh, the good news is…. *drum roll* There won’t be another Friday 13th for 14 months. Apparently that’s the longest the calendar can go without one.

Is today Wednesday or Thursday?

OMG, I hate days like this.

It started out as a Wednesday, well, it certainly felt like a Wednesday, the coffee tasted like Wednesday, but then I just woke at 6pm from a late afternoon nap, and now I’m not so sure anymore.

I am drinking my umpteenth coffee for the day, so I’ll come right.

7am, class, 8am, no class.

Bus to town, pay the rent. Had hair cut, well, hair and beard. No. 3 comb all over. Bought a new mouse; necessity, the old one wanted to double click every time I hit the left button. I ended up having to do some things three or four times before it would go right.

New mouse supersensitive, just need to think about moving, and Whhheeeeeeee! Went. And it’s so damned tiny, it’s really dinky; I’m used to a handful, not a Matchbox toy.

Still, it’ll do, it works as long as I can control its errant ways.

I window shopped on the way to get the Kombi home. I love window shopping, all those wonderful things that I could have, if only I had the money.

I came home and did my Wednesday thing on Eco-Crap, the Change the World Wednesday challenge from Reduce Footprints, that always takes two or three coffees.

So, no nostalgia today.

Another day and no net & Stuff

At least it wasn’t like Sunday, only a short break. No great harm done, but I did drink a lot of coffee…

Saw this photo recently…

Bren LMG & Lee Enfield No. 4

The two bestest!

As a 14 year old air force cadet I was trained initially on the .22 version of the Lee Enfield, then graduated to the big brother, the .303, the real McCoy. I learned what a thump in the shoulder was. The surprising thing was that shooting was the first real activity that I excelled at, apart from academics (not school subjects, that was another of life’s disasters). I was no good with anything that involved a ball, still aren’t. But shooting gave me the confidence that I could do something, and do it well. I was still 14, when because of my proficiency with the Lee Enfield, I was selected to be in the first group in our squadron that used the .303 Bren LMG (Light Machine Gun, despite the fact that it weighed 28lbs).

It was from that moment that my life revolved around firearms. After high school I enlisted in the air force as an armourer. That career was short, the electronics beat me, and they still do. But I was to continue in the cadets involved in training. I also took up shooting as a sport, both militarily and civvy street. I had my own workshop at home and repaired, made and took care of my firearms. I reloaded my own ammo, in many calibres (some that you never heard of), caste my own projectiles and had a ball. For 21 years my life revolved around weapons.

I gave all that up many years ago. But it was fun seeing the photo of my two favourite weapons together like that.

For anyone who is interested, a YouTube clip on the Bren. Probably bore the pants off most of you. There is some music in the last third of the clip.


So, just a touch of nostalgia today.

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