Archive for December, 2012


12 Hours to Go

champagne_corkYes, the last 12 hours here in Brazil.

Many parts of the world have already partied, Auld Lang Syned and filled our precious atmosphere with all sorts of carbon, pollution and flying champagne corks.

Do you realise that these champagne corks could spell doom for mankind. Just think, how many light bulbs have been broken and need replacing, how many loved ones have become the targets of errant corks. It is a relatively unknown fact that these flying missiles are dangerous and you’ll never see this reported in the mainstream media because such danger is suppressed by governments and media moguls worldwide. Forbid that people might begin to stop buying bubbly to celebrate New Year.

I’ve had my Monday Moaning on Eco-Crap, been the thorough killjoy; and I have posted on the first of the New Year celebrations on Tomus Arcanum, there’s a link there to some magnificent photos of New Year around the world.

The world outside my window is already abuzz, the botequim is quite lively, the sun is shining, a hot day is promised. Last night while I was writing my post we had thunder and lightning and rain, which is badly needed after our three week dry spell. It was also refreshing to have a cold shower that was actually cold and allowed for a good night’s sleep.

I had plans to spend New Year with my neighbours, but at the last minute they decided to go to another part of the city for a family party. I have been invited, but they will not return until the next day. I am too old for that kind of caper, I like the comfort of my own bed and the freedom to go there when I am ready; I am not comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings when they are enforced beyond my comfort zone and I am dependent on others.  A clear demonstration of my advancing age, I like things to be as they have always been, I don’t like change.

It is possible that the botequim will be open until midnight, I’ll take my bottle of Italian bubbly and share it with the regulars present.

If not, then I will have an early night and do the popping on New Years Day.

I don’t make New Years resolutions, I can’t. I made one many years ago and have stuck to it since. “I will not make any more New Years resolutions!”

The only thing that can be guaranteed is the New Year will bring another 365 days; can we survive them?

I believe the next year will be grim. The US is in the shit up to its eyeballs, the Republican Party have signed their own death warrant by their obstinacy; they are not interested at all in the people, only gaining ‘Brownie points’ with the rich to fund their next campaign. If the American politicians were half serious, they’d cut their military budget by half, halve politicians salaries and stop funding Israel, but Israel have the US by the balls, one squeeze and… you guys know what I mean.

I refuse to write another post until next year.

The Silly Season

Here we are in the midst of the Silly Season.

We have survived the end of the world… again and have probably got through Christmas relatively unscathed. Although, can the same be said of your wallet?

I have been through with Christmas presents for some years; I get none and I give none. Now some may think that to be soulless, but it’s practical. I don’t have to compete in shops with the milling crowds, I am not held to ransom by inflated prices and I remain sane and unstressed, if not a little tiddly.

The world economy is in the shit. Governments want you to spend to boost the economy. But what have you got to spend? Certainly not money. So put it on the credit card and spend the next year paying off your excesses, just in time to do it all again.

Using credit cards is a fool’s game. It keeps you permanently in debt. Oh sure, it’s nice and easy, but can you control your spending. If you answer ‘yes’, then you are self deluded. The only way to control your spending is to cut your card in half. I did it, and now all my money is mine.

Next we must brace ourselves for New Year. How will you survive?

Just had a break, neighbours are having a BBQ, and I always get asked to make the garlic butter, they supply the ingredients and I make it. Most Brazilians believe that garlic butter should be made with mayonnaise, and as a result it tastes like shit, well burnt shit actually. I make it with margarine and it makes beautiful golden garlic bread.

So, I am now about to enjoy the fruits of my labour, it’s beer o’clock…

I was wrong… again

Street clocks that show the temperature

It’s not often, but yesterday I was wrong. It takes a man to sit here sweating in his underpants to admit that.

When I wrote the post about the weather yesterday, I hadn’t yet been outside. But on leaving the house to go to work, I discovered my folly. Yesterday was actually hotter than the day before, a fact that was confirmed on the TV news last night.

Hottest day of the year. Official temperature 43,6°C. But here in the west of the city, they showed one of the street clocks in our area marking 48°C (122°F), now THAT’s hot!

No wonder my beer was boiling in the bottle.

Last night, it was impossible to sleep. Despite several ‘cold’ showers and lying in bed sopping wet under the direct fan to try and stay cool enough to drop off. I finally stopped trying and got up and wrote a post I have issues. Pop across and read it, there’s some personal back ground there that could well apply here.

Did you get the riddle in yesterday’s post title? = Blowed if I know! and the other = A man’ best friend is his dog. I had the book years ago, but sold it with the rest of my library when I decided to go abroad.

murphys-irish-stoutI am hoping that my student will ring soon and cancel today’s lesson.

It’s too hot to even think about work and I have a can of black sludge (Murphy’s Irish Stout) in the fridge that needs drinking. I drink it as a black ‘n tan (half stout, half beer) because it’s so expensive, that way I get double the pleasure.

Although I am not in the more affluent class, I am at an age when small pleasures are deserved.

I have been invited to my neighbour’s for New Years Eve, and apart from a nice imported bubbly to celebrate the New Year, I have two more cans of black sludge  to share with him.

Now I must off, my plants are doing a collective wilt. This heat has already killed off my mint and also, I’m afraid, my bonsai has succumbed as well.

 

Blow divine eau

Christmas is over in Brazil, we don’t have Boxing Day, so  it’s back to work in 20 minutes.

In case you’re wondering at the title, it’s a common expression used by New Zealanders and, I think, Aussies to express doubt or a lack of knowledge. Say it aloud, you’ll get it.

45thermometerYesterday was officially the hottest day of the year. 46°C, in Fahrenheit it sounds even hotter, 118°F. The thermal sensation was 53°C. Today is also hot, but not quite yesterday.

Looks like we’re in for one hot as hell summer, because these temperatures don’t usually arrive until mid – late January.

It’s time I was off into the wild blue youder. Did you get the title?

Here’s another, ‘Immense pest frenzies dog.’

They’re actually from an old book called New Zild and how to speak it, it takes a swipe at the way Kiwis talk.

So, it came to pass…

Another Christmas Day.

Before I ruin it, I’d just like to wish the faithful, the followers and other assorted visitors, even if you landed here accidentally,

Merry Christmas!

Santa-CocaColaI had intended to do that yesterday. I mean, I really did. I had the ‘new post’ box open for so long that WordPress told me that my session had expired and I had to sign in again.

You will note that I didn’t use RED for the Merry Christmas. After all Christmas is red, isn’t it? Well it is, but only since Coca Cola used the paintings of Haddon Sundblom  who is generally accepted as to having changed the colour to red, although a red Santa had appeared earlier. But, Coca Cola saw the red Santa as fitting into its corporate image.

So, by not using red I am protesting at a corporate level because since 1984 Coca Cola has been using HFCS as its sweetening agent because cane sugar is too expensive. HFCS aggravates obesity and type-2 diabetes and should be a banned substance, but of course, with Coca Cola’s lobbying power, this will never happen.

Last night, as I tried in vain to sleep from about 10:30, the air was split with bangs and booms and the occasional ‘whumph’ in the distance sounding more like an artillery piece being fired.

Brazilians have decided that Christmas should be split asunder with fireworks like New Year.

The traditional ceia (midnight dinner) is a feature of Christmas for this largely Catholic country. the meal features a turkey, Brazilians are big on turkey, and features familiar dishes and the not-so-familiar. Bacalhau (slated cod) is always featured in some dish or other, along with staples like rice and farofa (a mandioca flour side dish). For many the midnight mass, then home for ceia, but this year they decided fireworks were needed as well. There have always been a few, but this year featured more than I can remember.

We continue to have hot. It has been two weeks since any rain, despite forecast promises. Today is already sunny and hot, but a wind has sprung up in the last few minutes which is refreshing.

Today, nothing will happen. Brazilians do not ‘do’ Christmas Day; their excesses are on Christmas Eve making Christmas Day rather a non-event. They don’t ‘do’ Boxing Day either, so tomorrow, it’s back to work.

Such is Christmas.

Next weekend we do it all again for New Year.

The Dishes are Still There

My kitchen doesn’t quite look like this, but you get the idea

I was sort of hoping that with the end of the world being imminent, that I would be saved from the drudgery of doing the dishes.

I woke up this morning and the bloody things are still there.

I could, of course, be washing them now instead of writing a post, but the idea is somewhat less appealing.

More coffee wouldn’t go amiss, but then I’d have to stare down the dishes.

Why is life so complicated?confused

I had a bad dream last night. It wasn’t a nightmare, but I was transported back to being about 11.

I had to suffer the indignity of going to a therapist. It wasn’t because of anything I did, or a court order; nothing more nefarious than the fact that I talked fast. She was actually a speech therapist.

Stupid woman had me enunciating my vowels with a wide open round mouth, reading texts, practicing… It was all rather pointless, and eventually my mother desisted as I showed no signs of slowing down my speech.

Nobody even thought that the reason I talked fast was because I tried to keep up with my thinking, and the brain works faster than the mouth. This reasoning came to me later in life and has since been supported by reading on the subject.

Now as a language teacher, I do slow my speech down for my students because they’d never keep up with my normal pattern of speech. In fact some Brazilian English teachers have problems.

To expand on the theme, I ask, are therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists really necessary?

I mean, I know they are in certain types of institution; but I feel that that’s where they belong. Not let loose on society at large.

Basically in my day, one never heard of a psychologist, let alone have them in schools, etc.

Now they are a dime a dozen. How much good do they do? In my opinion, not much. They seem to me to create problems, where in my day you got a clip around the ear and told to deal with it. Now you are a victim, with the associated lowering of ones self esteem. If you look at it bluntly, the role of a psychologist is to make you dependent and thereby a source of income; it has nothing to do with making you ‘better.’ They prescribe antidepressant drugs that can make you suicidal or turn you into a murderous beast. The difference between murder and suicide is merely, who is the target.

Really, the world would be a better place if all these specialists crawled back into their holes.

Having vented my spleen, I find the dishes are still wanting…

I think I’ll go to the supermarket!

Listening for the rumble…

Must go to store and buy new calendar

Well, yesterday I had hoped for a ripple, and today the day, not even a rumble.

Have we been duped again?

Here in Brazil it’s nearly 11am, which means it’s 2am on the 22nd in New Zealand, and I have scanned the news and apparently New Zealand is still there, and Google Earth shows no gaping hole where Australia should be.

Oh well, all that hype for nothing. I guess I will have to pay for the beer after all. I was informed yesterday by a realiable source, that should the world end and we all finish up on the other side that there the beer was free… sounded a bit like heaven to me.

As I said, it is 11am here, already the day is hot, the fan is blowing hot air, Lixo is looking for a cold place to cat nap, I even let my coffee get cold so I would break out in a sweat drinking it.

Looks like the USA is about to meet the ‘fiscal cliff’. The Republicans have withdrawn their Plan B and there is nothing else on the table that would appease the Obama admin, and there is unlikely to be within the next ten days.

I rather hope that the moment arrives, because it’s about the only thing that shows promise of a solution to the greed of the 1%, the bankers and Wall Street. Of course, it will have serious ramifications for the rest of the world, but given the current climate, I think it is necessary to bring the world back to some form of sanity because anything suggested by the government would take eons to reduce the debt and reduce spending. It might just bring America to heel with regard to military spending. No money, can’t fight wars and kill innocents. The whole system has become one massive failure.

Maybe that’s what the Mayans were on about…

Ah, a rumble!

Is it happening?

But alas no, it was just the truck delivering beer to the botequim next door. At least there will be beer this weekend.

 

So far, not even a ripple

With the end of the world supposedly approaching, you would have thought that there may have been some signs already.

I am curious as to whether it will be a slow rumbling sort of end, or a ‘rip-whoosh-bang’ ending. The latter would be so disappointing for one such as myself expecting a spectacle.

I got an email from a great friend yesterday. The tone of which was most unexpected given that this person is a scientist who has published many papers and speaks several languages fluently. He is also a pianist and has composed hence his reference to Beethoven’s 5th. Being such a serious type of person, it goes without saying that he is almost devoid of a sense of humour, not quite, but close. I sent him the YouTube link of my passion fruit flowers being inspected by an abelha negra (big black bumble bee) for pollinating (you can find the clip in this post). This was the reaction…

“I always wondered who uploads these shitty videos on youtube 🙂

Very beautiful humble bee, indeed, I kept watching the video for hours. I mean, four hours. Again and again, absolutely stunning images. They fit very well to Beethoven’s fifth symphony (beginning). They also combine well with rice, vinegar and dehydrated cucumbers. And to the number 777. And, of course, to my favourite colour: smelly.

I think I am wheeled. Or at least, completely tired. Wheel, tire, who cares. The Chinese would anyhow say that I am a “wheeldo”.”

I was stunned. Having known this person for more than ten years, I never suspected, nor expected that.

Moving right along…

I see that the latest tragedy in the USA has planted the idea of gun control in Obama’s tiny little brain.  The aim of the government has been for sometime to de-arm the populace so as to reduce resistance to the government in the event of the coming crisis. What better way to achieve one’s aims than riding on the crest of the public hysteria wave; make it seem as it is what they want.

Today, I am classless. I cunningly combined today’s classes with yesterdays. So very shortly it will be beer o’clock, but before that I thought it only right that I should write a post.

The days continue to be hot, although yesterday showed promise of rain, lots of thunder and lightning, a light sprinkle and that was it. They have been promising storms since the weekend, so much for the hit and miss technology of the meteorologist.

People ask me if I am animado (looking forward) to Christmas. I am about as animated as a dead fish. Christmas fails to stir an iota of interest other than it’s a good reason to drink beer. The hype and commercialisation has destroyed any pleasure. In effect it is a day when I can’t give class, therefore don’t get paid.

My coffee cup is empty. I should consider lunch before beer o’clock looms over the horizon. The clouds of a good storm are already looming… probably come to nothing.

A bit dramatic…

I saw this photo on a friend’s blog…

…and I thought, “Wow! It’s started, the end of the world!”

But apparently it is only a sun pillar. I was rather disappointed despite it being rather spectacular. A sun-pillar reflects light from a Sun setting over Östersund, Sweden.

The world has been rather preoccupied over the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT, me too. I have put a lot of thinking time into the incident, and like many people asking myself, “Why?” I have found the answer, although most people won’t; headlines and hysteria will blind them, as they have blinded Obama. You’ll find my thoughts on my blog They say it’s in the Genes.

Damn, WordPress is not behaving: I can’t add images, nor links… http://avgenes.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/headlines-hysteria/ so there’s the url. I managed the above image, because I posted it to my Blogspot blog then ctrl c, ctrl v it here.

I can’t sleep, it’s too hot. I have had five cold showers in the last two hours to cool off wet under the fan, but it’s not working. That combined with the bare bones ideas for this post coursing through my mind, sleep has eluded me entirely.

The world is due to end on Friday.

Now that’s rather a dramatic event, or at least it should be. I had considered rushing off to some exotic locale like Milliways to watch it all. Milliways, you ask? Yes, that’s the restaurant at the end of the universe where you can watch the end of the universe over breakfast.

But the end of the universe is a bit far, and there are no buses from Rio…

So I thought it prudent that I should watch the world ending whilst indulging in a can of black sludge (Murphy’s Irish Stout) from my local botequim, which is almost next door and I don’t need a bus; it’s so close that I don’t even use my walking stick.

The botequim is where I often sit to watch the world passing, kids playing in the park, lovers necking on the benches and the council rubbish truck passing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

I thought that as it was only the world ending, and not the universe, a much more modest locale would suite.

Now there are somethings that are worrying me about this Mayan Calendar End of the World Thing.

The Mayans never actually predicted anything, in fact, not even their own demise, but then neither did the Romans.

What has got everyone’s tits in a tangle is that the Mayan Calendar finishes on the 21st December 2012.

My kitchen calendar finishes on the 31st December every year and I just hop along to the bookshop and buy a new one and the world continues as though nothing untoward has happened; that is if you ignore the New Year hangover.

So I suspect that nothing is going to happen on the 21st either, but I’ll be at the botequim, just in case. At worst, we’ll have a refreshing thunderstorm about 4pm after another intolerably hot day and I’ll get wet walking to work for evening classes.

NB: This post is not exactly as I would have liked it due to WordPress problems, I only hope it publishes okay.

Major Cockup

12-12-12 may have been a great day to be born, but it was crap for me and Brazilian football (soccer for our American cousins).

Major Cockup is a member of any armed forces who appears whenever something goes wrong, he’s a close relation to a General F**kup who often appears as well.

Firstly me, my PC crashed in style.

It was having a gender identity crisis, it didn’t want to be a PC anymore.

After three hours of tinkering, bandaids, a new rubber band and many four letter words I managed to convince it that its vocation in life was to do PC-like things.

That and a threat that Windows XP wasn’t the only window it would be seeing that morning.

But it sought revenge. I lost all my passwords, my email disappeared, and probably some other buts and pieces that I have yet to discover.

Meanwhile, I blog along…

I stayed up to watch the Wednesday night football; São Paulo vs Tigre from Argentina. Their first game ended in a 0-0 last week after a very dirty game and a piss poor arsehole referee who swept the dirt under the turf.

Last night’s first half was just as dirty, Brazilian player Lucas got his nose bloodied and the arsehole referee didn’t see anything; in fact he gave a yellow card to the Brazilian goalkeeper for daring to point out the error of his ways.

Police try to separate players at half time (Photo: Agência Reuters)

Half time and much confusion. The police had to go down to the players dressing rooms to sort out the confusion that resulted in the Tigre team deciding to invade the Brazilian team’s area and continue the dirt. Two players were ‘red-carded’ in the changing room confusion.

After a lot of negotiation, the Tigre cowards wouldn’t show, and the game awarded to São Paulo.

Tigre played the dirtiest football I have ever seen. They were clearly outclassed by São Paulo and the only way to reduce the deficit was to play dirty.

My opinion, Tigre should be removed from football.

After days of waiting, we finally got rain last night, a torrential downpour for an hour which cooled the night off and made for sleeping.

 

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