Archive for April, 2013

Here we go again!

feetscalesYup, that Monday thing.

So far nothing has gone wrong… I am waiting patiently.

Well, sort of. I arranged my work hours so they were uniform during the week, when my last factory student went to France for two years. Then I was informed over the weekend I have a new student at the factory, so my Monday and Tuesday hours get shifted to accommodate the new student. Nothing is ever simple.

I have new tomato plants growing. Which means in a few weeks I’ll have free tomatoes. I had a half-used one on the fridge, so I squeezed it over the compost heap and now have a dozen 4″ tomato seedlings on the way.

I had a break and read the news, then I had a nap and read the news again; it’s still bad everywhere.

Guess what’s for lunch?

That’s right, feijoada. I have this huge pot full to eat. Tomorrow I’ll have to freeze it for the weekend, because it won’t last.


Tastes like Chicken

“Gustatus Similis Pullus” which translates to “Tastes like chicken”


A blog that looked in on one of mine, had this link, and one part of the post captured my attention.

“This patch belongs to the U.S. Air Forces 509th bomb wing crew who flew B-2 stealth bomber test flights in the late 1940′s and early 50′s. I definitely think that extraterrestrial technology had much to do with secret air force air craft, and still does to this very day.

It looks like a pitch fork on the left side with a couple of lightning bolts on the right side. It looks like the stealth bomber is being grasped by an extraterrestrial.”

Check out the link above for more info.

Browsing around blogs and Google produces many and varied interesting facts. I can waste a whole day doing that.

not-stupidToday I found references to “Google makes you stupid”

Does it?

I can understand the reference to ‘information overload’, but I doubt it makes you stupid, not in the same sense as watching Faux News or CNN.

I will also agree that it has changed my reading habits, I skim over so much to get the nuts and bolts, only delving deeper when a topic is of particular interest.

Today was all planned. Ex & kids were due over for a feijoada. Time crept on and there was no answer to her cellphone; I know she has had problems with it. So I began to prepare the meal, chop and boil the salted pork, etc and in the end I had everything in the pot. About 1pm, she rang, just woke up full of flu’, make it next week.

So I had feijoada for lunch and then a nap.

Am I being spied on?

feedjPaloAltoGood question. I note that whenever I post on any of my blogs, I get visited by one of two sites; Palo Alto or Mountain View both in California within seconds of the post going live. The links are not traceable as to source nor IP.

I would not be at all surprised, given my views on almost everything American mostly being negative…

See, Google hasn’t made me stupid; yet.

Well, that does it for today. I’m off to watch the rest of the Sunday football (soccer) game.



1tumucumaqueLike the title?

Did you try to say it?

Tumucumaque is a national park established ten years ago in the state of Amapa in the northeast of Brazil.

I had never heard of it before last night when Globo Reporter excelled itself and produced a phenomenal programme, which is a rarity for Brazilian TV.

One of the amazing inhabitants

An amazing place, parts have never seen the footprints of man. During the reportage, just a few days, one biologist identified 70 new species of spider.

Tomorrow’ Nature Ramble on Eco-Crap will have more details.

Three years after being closed, the world famous Maracanã Football Stadium is open today for a friendly match between Brazil’s famous footballers. This is the final shakedown to make sure that everything is working before the international friendly between Brazil and England in June.

Today didn’t go as planned. I decided to have a rest and get some fresh air for the afternoon, something I don’t get enough of, so not a lot of blogging got done. But, I did manage to cut my toenails.

Just as I crossed the road, some friends I hadn’t seen for a while where having a beer in front of the botequim. Churlish to refuse an invitation, so even less blogging got done.

Now I will see if the damage can be repaired…


A Symbiotic Relationship


He even gets to pee on something new

Is one where both parties benefit in some way from each other.

Take my relationship with Lixo, for example.

I need nothing.

Lixo wants food, comfort and a medical plan (not Obamacare).

We both get what we need.

Today has just frittered away, it’s already 1:30, lunch is still in the oven, a pork roast.

I have had one of those days consulting the great god google. I put a phrase in the search and see what comes up. I have been looking for repurposing and recycling thisngs like computers, pianos and other junk. It’s surprising what comes up. It’s also a great way to waste a day.

I have discovered that now I need a new stove. This is the second time I have cooked a roast and noticed the smell of gas. Not enough to explode, but sufficient for a headache. I have opened all the windows to air the house, but a woozy head is not a nice sensation.

reverseI often have weird thoughts.

Like the one I had when I saw this meme thingy.

What would happen if animals treated us humans as we treat them?

The leopard has every right to her thong.

We don’t have a very good track record when it comes to such things.

Imagine a rhinoceros wanting human noses, or elephants wanting to rip out our teeth to make ornaments, song birds wanting to keep us in cages for amusement… the list goes on.

*Involuntary shudder*


This is what my roast pork looked like an hour and a half ago. The garlic is already done and the kitchen smells divine. The meat should be ready about now, so…


Synergistically Repurposed


Basically it means ‘fired’ for the team’s benefit. That’s as near as I can figure it out.

No, I haven’t been fired. I just found this phrase when I was reading that HSBC hasn’t ‘fired’ 3,000 employees, they’ve been ‘demised’. The moment I saw it, I loved it and had to use it.

Dead-Hard-DriveLate start this morning. I was awake until well after the witching hour swapping and changing hard drives in an effort to squeeze some more juice out of them and save lost files. I did find some forgotten files, but not the ones I had hoped for.

Using software has now become not an option. The next step is surgery. I have one drive that just ‘clicks’ and isn’t recognised. I have great hopes of curing this clickiness.

I eventually surfaced about 10am and being Wednesday, my first post is Change the World Wednesday on Eco-Crap.

I got that far when I read the news as I intensified the morning with coffee and realised that it was actually no longer morning.

I have washed no dishes, I have prepared no lunch. I have fed Lixo, I’d never hear the end of it if I hadn’t.

I have stuff to do, can’t sit here all day, although I probably will. Such is the life of a blogger.




Oh, so Intenso…

Yes, I am continuing on my ‘intense’ coffee streak.

As I explained yesterday today is a public holiday. St George’s Day, the world appears dead outside and it’s 10am. I heard the breadman tooting his horn, but apart from that; nothing!

Even Lixo knows it’s a holiday, after breakfast so far he has slept on the clean washing, he has slept under the coffee table and now he is sleeping on the sofa; he’s a cat, he does a lot of sleeping and he does it well.

Conundrum_red_Wine_zoomI have been rescued from a conundrum.

Not that type of Conundrum, I would hardly need rescuing from that, unless I over-imbibed.

Back in February I lamented about not being able to add one of my favourite widgets, Feedjit, to my WordPress blogs.

Well, last night I got a comment from a kind gentleman, Dante in Italy, who recognised my plight and gave me the link to his post on how to. If you have a need, check his post out, it has an obscure link to Feedjit that works. I promised him an honorable mention in dispatches to go along with my OBE… Other Bugger’s Efforts

I was testing my camera out the other day, and happened to point it at my modest wine rack.

No Conundrum here

No Conundrum here

Pity, I would like some Conundrum.

It has two more bottles on top now. I got a couple of sweet wines for my ex yesterday. She has this nasty habit of taking my good dry wines and adding sugar to her taste. Disgusting habit, I would much prefer that she pick her nose, or something similar than abuse a good dry wine.

She is coming over next Sunday with the whole famn damily to cook Feijoada for lunch.

Image credit -

Image credit –

Now feijoada is a typical Brazilian dish, usually served on Fridays or Saturdays. It’s difficult to explain to a palate not from Brazil. Black baked beans, with meat.

Now it’s the meat that’s the problem. Much of the meat used would make the average western stomach heave with disgust. Pigs ears, trotters and tails for example, they are salted and are actually quite tasty. Other meats include bacon, smoked calabresa sausage, salted pork cuts and ribs.

Almost always served with rice and couve (kale).

Meanwhile, my lunch today will be much simpler. Curried chicken on rice; which I really must consider making. It will be a heavy curry which will necessitate retiring to the botequim for beer o’clock afterwards; and that is probably where I will stay for the rest of the afternoon basking in the sunshine although the air temperature is cool.


An Intense Monday

apilaointensoI am having an intense Monday.

I used to drink Pilão coffee all the time, but once it got above R$6 for a half kilo (that’s about a pound for our non-metric cousins) I stopped and opted for acceptable brands that were below my R$6 threshold. Pilão is hitting over R$8 now, and I refused to pay.

I bought a sack of Intenso (I am not going to translate that, if you can’t figure it out then maybe you shouldn’t be left alone with a computer) when it was on special, and trying to economise, I only bought one some weeks ago and just opened it this morning.

Oh, it is so yummy!

I should have bought more.

Already looking forward to Friday

Already looking forward to Friday

Monday, my only student has cancelled. Tomorrow is St George’s Day here in Rio. St George is the state’s patron. Nobody wants to interrupt the weekend with a day’s honest labour when there is a holiday on Tuesday. So, let’s take Monday off too… This is a very Brazilian thing. I’m trying to arrange a substitute student, but I doubt he will ring and confirm.

We’re still having a cool spell. Cold fronts from Argentina are responsible, they keep sending them north. Buenos Aires doesn’t like them either, the last one dumped a shit load of rain on the city causing a lot of flooding and damage.

This week is a ‘beef week’. I managed a successful beefless week last week. Had a great feed of batter fried mussels on Saturday; Homemade chicken burger on Friday, Bacon and mushroom pizza on Wednesday and left over pizza on Thursday. Yesterday I had the last of the sliced pork and gravy, roast potatoes and pickled beetroot for a late lunch.

Today, I’m planning a real hamburger for supper and I’ll probably get a big sub-sandwich for lunch from the supermarket for lunch; that is if I can tear myself away from the PC long enough to get to the supermarket. Which sometimes doesn’t happen. I like an element of flexibility in my plans, it goes well with my habit of procrastination.


Sunday Travel Tales

Time for the truth.

BookCovModRedStrawberry Jam, Bread Rolls and Pisco Sours was a story written by me for an English language grammar book.

It was a project that I began in 2003, but lost the file through a crook HD. I duly recovered the file and almost finished the job, when a second HD crash caused its loss again.

I recovered it for a second time, but sadly it was an uncorrected version and while I have been posting chapters for your edification and entertainment, I have also been using the exercise to correct the grammar errors, sort of proof reading.

While the story has been written in the first person with me as a tourist and all the adventures related did happen, but they were not all the product of one trip.

You see, I was a tourist guide, and I did the trip many times with tourists from all over the world. I just added all the juicy bits into one story about one trip. I left out the grammar for you, it’s heavy grammar, and I didn’t want to check your homework.

The last chapter is rather mundane, about the flight to Lima from Puerto Maldonado and the end of the trip. Yes, our arrival at the same hotel we departed from, we were met with the customary pisco sours.

At the end of each 21-day trip, I got seven days off before the next one. I would usually spend my time and go down to Pisco or Nazca and relax by the beach or the pool for five days drinking beer, not wanting to see another pisco sour.

Now, I must go back through my posts, because I am not so sure that I included the first two chapters; if I didn’t then I will post them over the next couple of weeks.

Saturday is Ebbing Away

Yes, and fast. I thought of that title about noon today; and here it is after 6pm…



I seem to have done nothing, but I have. I strung up my guava tree to prevent it falling over, I had class for two hours in the morning, I made a tray of fried mussels and sunomono and took to the bar as a pseudo lunch to share with the locals about 2pm, I have successfully napped twice and had a short sit in the park doing nothing; between all of which I have posted on four… now six blogs.

So for a Saturday it has been quite successful.

Sunomono is thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers in rice vinegar, usually with sesame seeds and a sprinkling of some fishy type thing on top. I didn’t bother with the niceties like salting and washing, nor even the rice vinegar; I just washed the vege, sliced it and poured over ordinary white vinegar and as I didn’t have sesame seeds it got that good old standby treatment, chopped parsley.

Atlantic_City_T_Rex_bu_themechanismI read an article on extinction this week that made me think.

We are busy trying to save species from becoming extinct. But nature has been extincting species for millions of years.

Just imagine… Walking down to the corner shop for a loaf of bread on a quiet sunny Sunday humming to yourself and you are confronted by a giant snarling Tyrannosaurus Rex. OMG, shades of Jurassic Park!

Sort of put you off your lunch, wouldn’t it?

Isn’t it just as well that Mother Nature in her wisdom made them extinct?

While it’s nice that we have pretty species, like tigers and elephants and rhinos, and I realise their extinction is largely being driven by man, are we perhaps not going against the grain.

Look at whales…


Are we actually doing a disservice to them?

There’s a whole lot to think about there.



Betwixt Between

expensivetomatoI haven’t decided what to write about yet. The chances are that it will be about the tomato crisis that we are currently suffering here in Brazil, seeing how I have already chosen the image.

I have mentioned this in the past, that tomatoes have become horrendously expensive.

Normally they are about R$1 – R$1.50 a kilo. They have shot up varyingly to between R$6-R$10/kg. The supermarket cashier looks at me strangely when I arrive with ONE tomato. Tomatoes have become the new ‘gold’ here in Brazil. Some restaurants have even removed tomato bearing items off the menu.

If I didn’t write about tomatoes, I may have written about how I served Lixo’s milk on the floor today.



It wasn’t intentional, as I stood after pouring some in his dish, I stumbled. He looked at the milk, then up at me and ‘meow’, which I interpreted as “WTF?” To which I replied that he shouldn’t “meow” over spilt milk.

Then again, I could write about the annoying phone call I had at 11am while I was napping. On checking the number the prefix was 11. Now 11 is São Paulo, I don’t know anyone in SP, nor why anyone would be calling me from there. I hung up. I fully suspect it was a scam from a prison, they are very common; you are told that a relative has been kidnapped and unless you deposit R$XXXX in a bank account they will die. They also come in the form of SMSs telling that you have won a prize and that you have to ring a number to confirm your claim. All bullshit, and the corrupt prison system here can’t/doesn’t do anything to prevent it. Most of Brazil’s crime syndicates are run from prisons via cellphones too, ordering crimes, reprisals and killings.

aenosBut then, I could write about the wonderful pizza I made last night. Ham with Camembert cheese. At 3am it gave me gas… and made me get up for a glass on Enos. Which reminded me about the old school joke based on an Enos TV ad, “If the bottom is falling out of your world, drink Enos and let the world fall out of your bottom.”

I could of course tell you that I don’t know yet if I have a student tonight.

But none of the above is appealing as post material, so I won’t bother with a post today, just like yesterday and Wednesday.

See you tomorrow…

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