Archive for June, 2013


It Happened Again

say-cheese_o_618144

Just love that smile

Nope, not my pants falling down, but I didn’t get round to my Saturday post, for which I was duly punished my having my worst day ever for visitors on all blogs.

It also happened again when I was looking for a suitable image to go with my thoughts of ‘say cheese’. I can’t just be content with finding a suitable image, I have to browse and look through everything, so time consuming.

As you can see, I found a lovely ‘say cheese’ image, but it’s not even that kind of cheese that I was thinking about. I was thinking about real cheese, the stuff that is made from milk.

Back in 1999, I lived in Bolivia, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, actually and I got a job on a farm about 2o kilometres from the city. Of course I had to live at the farm, because it wasn’t the kind of 20 kilometre commute where one just catches a bus to get there.

The job I had was to use Excel and make an accounting system for a collective of six farms.

It was in my ‘off’ hours that I began to watch the local workers make cheese in the quesaria with the excess milk that wasn’t required my the milk company.

I began to make cheese.

It was great because while I am a chef and used cheese, I had no idea about making the stuff.

I learned about many things, how to make cream and ricotta cheese from the left over whey, how to flavour and mature cheese, it was fun.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I went into Santa Cruz laden with bags of cheese and peddled my wares around the deli and health shops.

I even made a poster which has long been lost, but I found the photo I used on an old hard drive.

cheese17

I sold the cheese under the name “Vaca Feliz” Happy Cow.

Living on the farm was a happy time, away from the chaotic city, peace, quiet and solitude.

If I had the chance to live on a farm again, I would jump at it.

My Pants Fell Down

It wasn’t quite a ‘rip whoosh thud’ affair, but they did, they fell down.

I have borne a relatively prominent paunch since 2004. I paunched as a result of yet another attempt to give up smoking.

Caught with pants downIn 1997, when I lived in Bolivia, I was a trim 76kg (160lbs +/-), my current weight has been around 120kgs, most of it in the front-end loader; and I have been using size 54 jeans and they have been a snug fit.

Yesterday when I arrived home, flicked the switch on the monitor and undid my belt as I prepared to shed my outer ‘fur’. Something in my mailbox caught my eye and I leaned forward to click the mouse on it; that’s when it happened. My pants fell down around my ankles.

Sagging, bloody pathetic!

Sagging, bloody pathetic!

No, I haven’t taken to ‘sagging’, that is disgusting.

Until this happened, my belt was mainly decorative, it wasn’t necessary to hold my pants up due to the snug fit.

It dawned on me that I am losing weight!

Life is full of little surprises. I am happy.

My weekend has started.

First successful task of the weekend was a nap; executed perfectly.

Lunch (at 5pm) two homemade bacon & cheese hamburgers with coleslaw.

Went shopping, bought some clothes, including a Brazilian national team T-shirt, seeing how Brazil has made it to the finals of the Confederations Cup, I thought it necessary. Got a set of eight wine glasses, some underpants (to make me feel good all under) and a potato masher. Talk about heavy duty therapy. Felt good.

Almost as good as discovering that my ample girth is becoming a waist again.

🙂

Wasted

frabz-WASTED-IM-BLOODY-SMASHED-7383a8No, not that kind of wasted!

Wasted as in lost.

Four hours work in the morning, supermarket, home for a nap… and the day’s wasted, because I have to go to work again in a couple of hours.

Anyway, I’ve decided to change tack on this post. While I was searching for a suitable ‘wasted’ image I found this one and it reminded me of a story that I have been telling for many years. I will now bore you with that story, but I will make it simple by using pictures.

270px-Gum_tree_hazelwood_park

Australia has a lot of gum trees

And, it is in one of these gum trees that a koala bear was enjoying himself, toking on a reefer.

This is cool, man!

This is cool, man!

A little lizard came along.

He heard the koala giggling in the tree

He heard the koala giggling in the tree

“Hey, Koala, whatya doin’? Asked the lizard.

“Havin’ a toke liddle fella,” said the koala. “Come on up and join me.”

The little lizard scampered up the tree and had a toke of the koalas reefer, together they sat high in the gum tree giggling about nothing.

The little lizard got thirsty, and the koala told him where there was a lagoon where he could get a drink.

The little lizard scrambled down the tree and went off to the lagoon.

He was having a drink, when he began to get the giggles, overbalanced and fell into the lagoon.

Nearby, a large saltwater croc saw the lizard fall; he felt sorry for the little lizard, and helped him back on to the bank with his snout.

How come you fell in?” asked the croc.

The little lizard explained about the koala, the reefer and the giggling.

“I’m goin’ to have a talk with this koala,” said the croc, and he made his way to the base of the big gum tree where the koala still sat giggling to himself.

“Hey, Koala!” shouted the croc.

The koala looked down…

aussiecroc

…and saw the croc.

“Shit man, how much damned water did you drink?”

Beef, Beer & Bunny Food

Even work doesn't interfere with Hump Day

Even work doesn’t interfere with Hump Day

Hump Day, what better way to get over the hump than with a big juicy steak, grilled mushrooms, salad and beer for lunch?

Unless you are an elephant, of course, there are better ways.

This morning while making coffee, I filled the sugar jar, then I filled the salt jar… guess what I put in my first coffee of the day?

A nasty shock for Hump Day.

The rest of the week is downhill, weekend starts on Friday at 10am for me. No complaints here.

A Church warden

A Church warden

Something that I have failed to mention about me here. I smoke a pipe from time to time. A frequent commenter on one of my blogs mentioned smoking a pipe as a relaxation and I admitted that I had neglected to mention my pipe-smoking habit which is one I started at the age of seventeen when I was the proud possessor of a Churchwarden pipe. The pipe I use today is much more conventional and less ostentatious. But to sit at the botequim with a beer, charging my pipe and chug away while watching the world go by on a Sunday afternoon is just so relaxing.

My student just rang, he wants to swap hours with the next student so he gets to watch the Brazil vs Uruguay game in the semi-final. I plan to see most of the game at a bar near the course. I’ll miss the last 15 minutes and extra time and/or penalties if there is a draw. Of course it would have been nice if he cancelled… then I would have seen the whole game, like last week.

This game won’t be an easy one, Uruguay has a strong attack, but Brazil could be compensated in that they have a weak defense. I am picking 2-1 to Brazil.

Sunny day here, not hot, pleasant after a string of cool days, but I fear the sour weather that is in São Paulo will arrive here overnight and make a wet day tomorrow.

Must go and give bones to the neighbour’s dog, and blog right along.

Later.

 

Chewing Nuts

coffeebreakbutton

I need a keyboard with one of these

OMG, here we are, its nearly a quarter to Wednesday!

I have been MIA since Sunday. Good intentions, but they never manifested.

As I have warned you, expect this intermittent, erratic posting while I am on split days for work. It’s the proverbial pain-in-the-butt.

Tomorrow Brazil vs Urugay in the semi final of the Confederations Cup… and I have class. It’s enough to make a grown man weep.

I am rattling this off before flying off to work.

Lunch was great, boiled spuds and mince. Haven’t had that for so long. Peppery potatoes with oodles of butter. Not good for the health, but great for the soul. It is one of my childhood foods, the mere smell of white pepper on the steaming potatoes is enough to transport me back to mother’s kitchen.

one-real-coin-thumb19645582On Monday night, after work, I was at the botequim for a whistle-wetter, when one of the local scallywags asked more for R$1.

I fished around in my pocket, declaring I didn’t have one; and I pulled out a R$2 note and gave it to him. Then I made him stop in his tracks when I asked him for change… I love teasing them.  The grin I got was worth R$2.

The kids know I am an old softy, despite being known as the neighbourhood velho caduco (grouchy old man).

Time to fly…

Later.

Forgot to mention, they were cashew nuts…

Deja Brew

alchemyEver had that feeling that you’ve had this coffee before?

Long ago, I discovered that the old alchemists were wrong. No, not about the gold thingy, but the four elements, earth, wind, fire and water; they forgot coffee.

Of all five elements, coffee is the most important, it’s what makes the world go round, and more importantly, it makes blogging possible. Without coffee, blogging would be a dreary dull exercise.

But, I will carry on regardless.

Is this the Brazilian Spring?

Brazil ProtestAs I predicted, the scraps from the kitchen table that the Blonde Bimbo offered the people of Brazil, weren’t going to wash. They have all been suggested or promised before and didn’t happen. So why should Brazilians believe any different this time? Unfortunately the vandalism and violence continues by a small disruptive element, but the police have already rounded up a few of the perpetrators and thieves.

There have been many protests without incident, but the foreign press seem to ignoring those, doesn’t make for spectacular press.

There’s a good synopsis of the situation on Expanding to Brazil in English, if you’re interested in an informed opinion.

Today is Sunday. Oh, you’d noticed? It’s a cool dull day here in Rio, but the coffee makes it tolerable. Again, I have planned nothing, there’s nothing in the fridge to plan with, I had thought about going out for lunch, but lethargy has taken care of that idea, besides the restaurant has upped its Sunday price again! That’s twice in two months, bugger that.

My Mean Green Leaf Eating Machine has not surfaced. I googled and discovered that it is possible the pupa has gone underground, probably in the big tub where the savaged guava tree grows, and will only emerge in the Spring, which hasn’t sprung yet; it is only June, and spring is about September+. So I will still be on the look out. I’m not going to try and find it for fear of killing it.

Brazil Soccer Confed Cup Italy Japan

Italian coach in a moment of dispair

Brazil played well against Italy yesterday and managed a healthy win, 4 – 2, so they will go into the semifinals of the Confederation’s Cup.

Their opponents haven’t been decided yet, I think that game is today being played about beer o’clock.

Blogging right along.

Later.

 

Percy Verance

coffeeNWonderful man is Percy.

Found this definition today.

Oh how true that is.

I stole purloined it from Living Simply Free, her Friday roundup post offers a lot of good links.

Leftovers for lunch today. It was one of those inspirational meals where you open the fridge door and throw whatever you see on the grill.

What did I see? Well, sliced fatty ham, chicken roll, last of the sliced cheese, open bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (ah, that didn’t reach the grill… what do you think I am, stupid? <— rhetorical question). I toasted the last hamburger bun, mustard on the bottom, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce on the top, slapped everything else in the middle.

Now my fridge is officially empty.

Which is a good reason to eat out tomorrow and shop on Monday.

The Brazilian protests continue, the president, Blonde Bimbo Dilma, gave a speech to the nation last night on the telly. In it she offered the people the kitchen scraps from the table; There were more scraps in my leftoverburger.

I quite agree with her, and the rest of the populace, that the violence is reprehensible. There have been many cases where the legitimate protestors have turned against the vandals.

FIFA’s anus is quivering over the protests.

Today is another footy match; Brazil vs Italy, I believe a draw or a win will ensure Brazil’s continued presence in the cup.

Yesterday I discovered a plant that eats sheep… yes, it dines on sheep. Puya chilensis eats sheep I knew about plants like the Venus fly trap and pitcher plants, but never imagined one could digest sheep whole.

Managed Satireday posts on all blogs today, my students came late and left. I am going to have a glass of chilled Chateau Neuf de River Water and a nap before the footy.

Later.

Getting in early today

Because after lunch and wine, there’s not much chance of getting in later.

european-horse-meatI discovered one thing during the recent horse meat scandal. Yes, the one that everyone has for gotten about… You can’t say “Minced horse” without it sounding like a condiment for roast lamb.

Freeday today, not doing anything that remotely resembles useful.

Brazil has a few problems at the moment. You’ve probably read/seen on the news about the protests. It’s been a long time coming. Brazil is one of the most taxed countries in the world while paying more for it’s government than most of the world.

It was never an issue before, because the majority of the people were too poor to understand. But with Brazil striving to make a place for itself on the global theatre, they have expanded the size of the middle class exponentially. Now it is this new middle class that has the balls to start asking questions and demanding answers.

The protests began with a rise in bus fares. My own local bus fare went from R#2.75 to R$2.95. Now that doesn’t sound like much, but when you have a population as big as Brazil’s who depend on public transport, that’s a hell of a lot of money.

The issues spread, the people are asking why they haven’t got a decent health system, education system, etc; and the big issues, inflation and why have we still got so much corruption? The cost of the new and renovated stadiums for the World Cup when the people are suffering have also entered the fray.

Now the city councils have rescinded the bus fare rises, foolishly hoping this will quell the collective umbrage. But of course it won’t. The bus fares were just the key that opened Pandora’s Box, the issue that sparked public dissatisfaction.

I feel this issue is going to spread, as it is indeed doing already. First night reports said ‘hundreds’ of protestors, the next night it was ‘thousands’ of protesters, then ‘tens of thousands’ and subsequently after the bus fares were lowered ‘hundreds of thousands’. Last night it was ‘millions’ protesting throughout Brazil’s big and various cities.

Brazilians want answers.

Meanwhile, it’s lunch time.

Later.

No Crash, No Bang!

frozen-fish-2The crashing and banging has stopped, no more broken plates.

I am at present thawing out my fish for lunch… and it is nearly 3pm. Looks like I’m having fish for dinner.

I watched the Brazil vs Mexico game yesterday afternoon, my student thoughtfully cancelled, wasn’t that nice.

I figure that Brazil’s star Neymar is beginning to suffer from old age at 21. The Japanese game last week he scored the first goal at 3 minutes, it took him 9 minutes against Mexico; he’s slowing up. He’ll be on a walking stick before he’s 25 at that rate.

I drank that Stout/Porter (last post) during the game, it’s nothing to write home about, tasted a bit like a caramel popsicle. I discovered that it is a Brazilian brew. When I was at the supermarket I didn’t have my glasses, couldn’t read the fine print. It’s brewed in Teresópolis… the mountain area of Rio de Janeiro state, so instead of having a fancy imported brew, it came from just up the road… massive let down.

I have come to the conclusion that Brazil doesn’t have a decent beer, it’s either lager or sweet black shit. Brazilians get most upset when I tell them their beer is for ladies and gaily overt homosexuals.

Late class tonight, that’s why I get a chance to write something ridiculous for you to read. Hating these split days, I seem to be perpetually tired. Tomorrow my morning student has cancelled, and no evening classes… Hey, I just realised I have a three-day weekend.

My friend Grace is opening her barzinho/restaurant thingy tomorrow. I’m going round to have lunch, taking a bottle of Italian fizzy Rosé with me to wet the baby’s head. Grace complained when I told her of my plan, can’t go drinking at work. I just told her start as you mean to carry on…. she just smiled. I’ll take the camera with me, so there may be a photo of the enterprise.

Now with apologies to the late Freddy Mercury…

Then, I saw this…

fantasea

Later.

Crash, Bang!

Irish coffee with chocolate

Irish coffee with chocolate

That was it, crash – bang!

5:30am, and the neighbour’s cat had knocked one of my heavy ceramic dinner plates to meet its demise off the prep-table to shatter the edge on the slate floor.

This is NOT a good way to wake up, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day. It takes more than coffee to repair the damage.

A strong Irish coffee with chocolate could have gone part way to repairing the damage, but I was so furious that I couldn’t make it.

Quote –

My Monday moaning could well be about the fact that I didn’t get to moan on Monday.

I am suffering a terrible affliction at the moment, it’s called work. Not just work, but it’s worse than split ends, it’s split days. Split days do not bode well with my post load.

It’s now Tuesday late p.m.

That was my opener on Eco-Crap a half hour ago, it applies here too, to explain my absence yesterday, and on other days when I don’t get here.

Looked so good, just fell into the shopping cart

Looked so good, just fell into the shopping cart

A trip for therapy helped me after class, yes, I went to the supermarket; the one that has a whole aisle of drinky-poos.

I got three bottles of wine, a bottle of Cointreau, and a bottle that looks like a Champagne bottle but with Stout Porter in it. I have absolutely no idea what Stout Porter is, except that I like stout.

I bought some food too, but I won’t bore you with those mundane details.

Except the cheese, got some stinky fancy cheeses.

Oh, I got two new knives as well. A carving knife and a bread knife, they are matching and looked so nice, that they fell into the shopping cart too.

Talk about impulse buying, but that is the best part of the therapy.

Should I mention that I bought some dirt? Maybe not, you may think I am silly. Yes, I bought some potting mix, okay?

That’s a rhetorical question, there’s no need to answer.

By the time I got home, put my treasures away, ate the puff pastry cheesy thingies and read the news, it was time for a nap; so here I am late on a Tuesday catching up.

I am not a ‘blogger’, I have discovered. Bloggers are common, I am…

wait for it…

*raises nose 30° to the horizontal*

I am an “artisanel publisher”, there, doesn’t that sound nifty, even a little snobbish? Not part of the hoi polloi anymore; I am separate from the masses.

Thunder pot

Thunder pot

My discovery of the day; chamber piece.

I always thought a chamber piece was a potty, or as some would call it a ‘thunder pot’.

Apparently not.

It’s do do with music in a restricted place…

that takes all the fun out of it.

That means that chamber music isn’t what you’re listening to when you do your business.

Just before I rush off into the wild blue…

Another quote, not mine –

“I have never had a prouder moment as a mother. This is by far your most ridiculous post.” – Dawn’s mother commenting on Fit to Teach

Later.

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