Archive for September, 2014

Well, that was September!


Wasted time

Yes, another one bites the dust.

Three more months and we’ll be into 2015. But before that all the hooha of Xmas.

I am debating whether to go to the supermarket. Writing this post is a justification for procrastinating.

List of Things to do today:

1. Make a list of things to do.

Well, that takes care of that.

I really need to go to the supermarket. I need bread, water and most of all food.

Muggy today, rained a little overnight, so I don’t need to water the plants today. Expected high of 34ºC, it’s not there yet.

Classes later.

I’m jealous. My neighbour got a new kitset BBQ delivered last night. Now I want one.

It’s pitiful. The Hong Kong leader pathetically tells people to go home. Doesn’t he realise that he’s lost it? China has blacked out the news of the disobedient little colony and wants HK under control. But that’s not going to happen. Xi has mad a grave mistake, and he knows it. Time to panic. Can you imagine 1.3bn Chinese in an uprising?

anti-FaceBook, yes, there’s a new site that does basically the same as FB, except they don’t have advertising and don’t use your information. Thousands of people are flocking to Ello. We need more of this.

George Clooney got married. Like he was the last eligible bachelor on the planet. I thought he had more sense. Wrong again!

Parody is now a crime! They take all the fun out of life.

Owing to a complete and utter failure of my inspiration mode, I’m off to the supermarket while the sun is shining.

I apologise for the breveity of this post.


Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

Yup, I’ve got the lot now.

Move over Simon and Garfunkel!

before my shopping spree last week, sage and thyme were missing. I have sage and parsley growing, I must get thyme and rosemary plants.

This song was always one of my favs of S & G.

Oh, I just realised I posted the full album…. okay so enjoy it. It is playing as I type.


The clip was removed from YouTube for copyright breach, this is a different clip and not the full album…

This post will be interrupted by the need to eat. The rice is cooloing off, the sweet curry sauce has the strips of fast grilled rump steak marinating in it. As soon as the rice has had its ten minute rest…. I’m off to the botequim.

wrong-way-sign-03Monday, so far nothing has gone wrong.

Let’s hope it stays that way.

Nap-fu practice went well. I was up earlyish (emphasis on ‘ish’) and after six posts I was exhausted.

Remember my tree dilemma?

I have an authoritive answer courtesy my Happiness Engineer.

Lunch and the news are over.

We return to the normal programme.

The concensus of opinion was an acacia, apparently not.

Yes, my tree. Well, it’s not mine, it’s in the park.

A comment from Rachel: “I asked my dad about this tree and he just got back to me. He’s an expert on legumes and this tree is one. Here’s what he said, “The tree is the Kassod tree or Senna siamea. It is native to SE Asia but recognised as a weed in north Qld.”

So, a kassod (cassod) tree. It is used in Thai and Burmese cuisine. It also has nedicinal value, but in excess can cause liver damage.

Thanks for the heads up on that Rachel.

New Zealand has a problem with glowing bones in pet food. The manufacturers can’t explain it; the dogs won’t eat it.


Capture from Press video

“The eerie fluorescent blue glow emanating from a pair of dog bones bought for her dog Tyke left Taranaki woman Fiona Wallis hunting for answers. “The Press

Apparently they have discovered the cause, check the link and see why.

It appears that The communist leaders in China have created a problem in Hong Kong over the decision not to allow full emancipation of the little colony. The people in HK aren’t taking this refusal lightly. Many parts of HK are blokaded by demonstrations, and look likely to remain that way until the decision is reversed. Initially the police tried to disperse the protestors with tear gas and pepper spray, but it backfired; it merely encouraged more protesters. The police have now been withdrawn.

The new face of Windows 9

The new face of Windows 9

Windows 9. MNicrosoft have finally realised that Windows 8 failed. Windows 9 will be launched soon. Like all Windows products since XP, I expect 9 to fail as well.

The news report has disappeared… so I can’t link you to it.

Maybe it has already failed? 🙂

The sooner MS realises that they have to bring back XP, the better off the world will be.

Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 all absolute rubbish.

So, it is with a heavy heart and a full belly that I will say…


I’m Stuck!

smallcomaI wanted a really good post title today, but my brain is not functioning. It’s not a lack of coffee, I’ve had three mugs already, but I need a nap because I spent a lot of last night waking, awake, trying to go back to sleep.

A small coma would be fine.

This working on Saturday is injurious to ones well being.

By the time I get home at 2pm, I just want to practice my Nap-fu and by the time I wake, the day has gone, evaporated, disappeared.

On the way home, I was invited to a BBQ by my neighbour who lives above the botequim, I was invited for a beer by rgeulars at the botequim, but I was knackered, I just wanted my bed.

Today, the laundry lady arrived at 7am and woke me, she’s gone now, I have the house to myself. I have managed most of my blogging, some I even did yesterday and scheduled..


A vegetating mind

I just have to find an animally thingy for Some Animals are Crackers, and finish this post; then my lot is done for the day except reading blogs, replying to comments as they arrive, and doing my weekly cryptic crossword (that takes all of 15mins, but I do it to keep my mind agile).

Too many people allow their minds to vegetate.

No thanks, I grow my veges in the garden.

My lunch yesterday was flounder fillets poached in milk with sage and capers It was yum yum.

Then I went and had a beer. We were presented with a side of BBQed lamb from the BBQ upstairs, unfortunately it was over seasoned and very salty, pity, because you don’t often get lamb served in Brazil.

Rio is going crazy. Some tart named Miley Cyrus is in town and doing a show tonight. I wouldn’t give that strumpet the time of day. She is a prime example of humanity at its worst, and one we could do well to preventing the younger generation from being exposed to.

coca-cola-obesityI read an interesting piece a couple of days ago. A man suggested that if he were to be king for a day, he would ban Coca Cola and all similar drinks. Good fellow, but no politiciam has the balls to do this because Coa Cola wouldn’t contribute to their re-election funds. But should it ever happen, the obesity epidemic would disappear overnight.

Another blog post I read, Mental Housemates. It was about the problems that foreigners working as English teachers overseas face when finding accomodation. It struck a chord, because when I came to South America in 1992, I travelled alone. Whenever I have travelled around SA, I have travelled alone. Wherever I have stopped I have stayed alone. The reason;. to avoid the other crazies. I have been invited to join groups, and to share accommodation, but have steadfastly refused. I like to make my own decisions and be beholden to nobody.

I had enough crazies when I was working as a tour guide with groups. But at least I was getting paid. Hypocondriac Americans, neurotic women and people who were just plain disagreeable were all part of my daily routine. Problems like “I can’t sleep” at 3am, “get a doctor.” “My toast isn’t the right colour!” I could go on…

Mind you, I have no doubt that others may find me equally as crazy and irritating… but that’s life.


Canny do it?

busyfrogI think I can!

I’m nearly there.

Running on two coffees and I have nearly completed my post load for the day.

I’m really quite excited.

I’ll even have time to make fresh coffee… *quivers*

It did rain last night, just as I was about to go to work, so I wore my jacket to keep dry although It wasn’t cold. By the time I got to work I think I was wetter with sweat, than I would have been walking in the light rain.

Today, of course, is another screwed up Saturday, I have classes from 9am to 1:30pm, that’s the reason I am up at this god-awful hour to keep you all happy… Such stupidity dedication.

I didn’t tell you that in my hunt for sushificating stuff, I discovered something else. In the same shop they had herbs; herbs that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Exciting stuff like sage and thyme, which don’t appear much in Brazilian cuisine. They also had bulk bins of some commonly used ingredients, flour, sugar, etc. This shop will feature on my shopping list, because I can now pursue my aim of being greener and not forced to buy pre-packaged items. My final find of the day was a small potted sage plant, so it is now living happily in my garden alongside the parsley.

Headline news… Chelsea Clinton has given birth! Somebody has finally had the guts to call Israel’s war against Gaza… genocide! Argentina is still trying to squirm out of its debt obligations. The Russians had a serious talk with Hungary, three days later, Hungary stopped supplying Ukraine with gas. Finally after 18 years of corruption, India has jailed a politician. The Nigerian government isn’t taking measures against the evangelist owner of the collapsed building, he is now being sued privately.

The world is still as screwed up as ever.

The big hand on the clock is slowly edging towards the 12, while the little hand is on 8, that means I have 30 minutes before….

Panic attack warning.…and I’m still siting here in all my smelly sweaty glory.



I had to have another go while I had plenty of rice left over.

My lunch yesterday.

Lunch at the botequim

Lunch at the botequim

To sit on the veranda at the botequim, sushi with beer. Wonderful way to do it. It was so yummy.

Cool day, it’s trying to rain. I hope it holds off until I get to work in an hour.

Is this a wlid flower, or is it just angry?

Is this a wlid flower, or is it just angry?

Reading a post yesterday and it was about wild flowers. It made me think, just what is a wild flower? What would make a flower wild?

My mind wandered, and I came up with this daisy.

Remarkable event; I did the dishes, then I cooked lunch. You’d never think I went near the sink this morning.

Nothing much doing. I’ve been a bit slack today. Currently enjoying a late afternoon coffee.

North Korea has reported that its illustrious leader is sick; doesn’t say what with, but it has caused him to miss some official engagements. With any luck he won’t recover, one more despot less.

An American worker fired from his job beheaded a colleague and wounded another. Yes, he is a Muslim and had recently tried to convert his colleagues to Islam.

Ah, the pitter patter of raindrops on the carport…

China has uncovered $10bn in fake trading, thet’ll dent their wallet.



Weird, cricketers played a game on top of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania; making it the highest game of cricket in the world at 5,730 metres (about 18,800ft). Clouds stopped play.

Daft buggers.

Now the internet is playing up, downloads so slow. So it’s time to say…


Image credit

Ta Dah!

I know you are all waiting…

My first attempt at making makimonos.

The first half dozen

The first half dozen makimonos

Okay, they’re not exactly round, and I couldn’t get them to close off nicely; too much filling.

So I ate the ugly ones, and made some more…

Getting better

Getting better

That’s the platter that went to the botequim. None came back alive; the makimonos that is, not the fregües (regulars)!

They were what we call here in Brazil Filedefia, salmon with cream cheese coloured off with chopped parsley.

Learning curve – I cooked way too much rice; which turned out perfect btw.

Today, I am going to roast off the salmon skin and have a go at making nigris, I hope the rice survived the night in the fridge.


This is fun.

I’m addicted to love coffee!

Just made fresh. Had to use yesterday’s leftover first. I hate waste.

Apparently, the Queen does NOT purr, as per David Cameron’s remark when referring to HM’s reaction to the Scots referendum.

He said that he’s embarrassed and apologised to HM for the off hand remark.

HM was not amused. These royals are such a stuffy lot.

notpurrGoogle has been threatened with a $6bn fine if it doesn’t play ball with the European over their methods of prioritising search results. Google is just too big for its boots.

Nasty little buggers

Aedes aegypti – Nasty little buggers

Two bits of news from Brazil. First Brazil refused to sign the deforestation pact; the blonde bimbo was miffed that the world didn’t consult Brazil when making the draft.

Secondly, Brazilian researchers have turned the Aedes aegypti mosquito against itself. That’s the one that causes dengue fever which can be fatal. They’ve got a bacteria that turns the second generation sterile; so reducing the breeding population.

Reports show that where the mosquitoes have been released in other parts of the world there has been a 30% reduction in numbers.

Shellshock! There is another new bug out there. According the report Heartbleed affected 500,000 pcs, this new one has a potential reach of 5 million. And what’s worse, is that where Heartbleed was a sniffer, Shellshock allows the machine to be controlled. It is aimed at Macs and Linux… You can read about it on BBCNews.

TEASER-Barack-Obama-coffee-cup-saluteThe Latte Salute… Obama is in the poo again. Returning a military salute with a Starbucks cup in his right hand. The disrespect caused a bit of a ruckus on Twitter.

Watched football last night. Flamengo vs São Paulo 2-2, so am tired today.

I’m off to unwilt my plants, by then it will be time for Nap-fu practice.

Short day today, lessons start at 4pm.


Sorry I’m Late

Yes, late I am.

Nap-fu practice is eesential after lunch.

I am late because I stopped to watch this while downtown this morning.

I had grandstand seats

I had grandstand seats

The Corpo dos Palhacos Bombeiros (clowns, Firemen) were there, late, but they got there, it was such a circus.. They had no more idea how to fight a fire than I do of flying to then moon.

Now, I am not a trained firefighter, although, I have done several courses while in the air force on basic and advanced firefighting first aid. My walking stick has more idea of fighting fires than they do.

Firstly, they parked the fire tender in the wrong place. Secondly, they should have torn down the plastic façade which would have given them direct access to the seat of the fire. Thirdly, they ran out of water and the tender had to go away to get more. It was 45 minutes later that they discovered there was a water source in the mall opposite. Fourthly, it was sadly hilarious to watch two of them try to figure out how to oparate an extension ladder, they had no idea.


By the time all this was done, the fire took hold.

The futile comedy of errors resulted in this

The futile comedy of errors resulted in this

This gave  me a much needed respite after walking, walking downtown. I felt guilty sitting there watching while I had a deserved cigarette.

Why was I walking?

Good question, Last night I happened to mention my plans to learn the art of sushification. One student on hearing that I was going to go to Mundo Verde (Green World) for sushi making supplies, told me of a small shop nearer to downtown that sold stuff cheaper than MV. I found said shop, and indeed it did have cheaper nori (seaweed) than MV; R$9 as opposed to R$25. The internet of all things bright and beautiful informed me there was an MV near the supermarket; it was only three bloks away, so off I went. I arrived huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf… where was the MV? Only in Calçadão (downtown pedestrian street), I was informed…. I had just come from there.


So off I hobbled, that was when I saw the smokey beginnings of the fire. I paused for a well earned rest and obligatory cigarette. I watched the show for an hour, and continued on my way.

Passing by various shops including the MV, they had next to nothing,  and supermarket, then the restauarant for lunch and eventually home.

Certainly more excitement than your average day orff.

The net result of my excursion was that I arrived home with enough makings for a practice sushi run.

Last night I was reading horror stories.

Yanagibabocho, second from top

Yanagibabocho, second from top

In an endeavour to get things right, I was perusing sites that sold sushi knives. A hand-forged steel yanagibabocho can set you back $2,600, so after looking for something suitable, I found a Brazilian knife that hopefully will do the trick for R$6.90… Yeah, I know, I’m tight fisted. But I figured that I was fighting salmon, not some enraged Samurai.

At the supermarket, I found pieces of frozen salmon suitable for the trick. I also got some black and white sesame seeds and some cream cheese.

My mornings shopping looked something like this.

Sushi making paraphernalia

Sushi making paraphernalia

The half kilo (1lb) of shortgrain rice was the most expensive item, what you see set me back R$50. The special bamboo bowl for mixing the rice was another R$170… meanwhile I will use a plastic mxing bowl.

I’m ready to begin my adventure.

Now the question is… Can he do it?

I have decided that if my efforts look remotely like sushi, I will take them to the botequim to share. However, if I produce a dismal failure, I’ll tuck my tail between my legs and eat at home like a whipped cur.

An exciting and somewhat frustrating day.


Bun in the Oven

Bun in the Oven

Bun in the Oven

Well, it’s not actually a ‘bun’.

I know what you are all thinking… “Silly old duffer has done it again!” No. 14 on the way.

I have sole fillets poaching… Lunch.

Bousous Weblog has just been having a field day in my blogs and spread ‘Likes’ around like crazy. All appreciated of course, especially as it’s taken another post to the dizzying heights of 21 Likes. Go and check his blog out, very funny. Most in French, but the humour is not lost.

The smell of lemon zest is wafting through the house, *Mouth waters*

My shrimp omelettes yesterday were delish.

Shrimp omelettes for breakfast

Shrimp omelettes for breakfast

Expensive, but delish.

There’s not a lot happening today. Yesterday, I escaped unscathed for a Monday.

It was decided by two votes to nothing that my beautiful tree in the park is an acacia. Thank you for that. I had never knowingly met an acacia before.

The Australians have killed a knife weilding terrorist suspect. Abbott idiot can go back to sleep again. Some guy in India jumped into the moat around a tiger enclosure; another idiot. The tiger assumed it was lunchtime. ‘Crucial’ climate talks begin in US, lot of hot air, can only add to our problems until they start talking seriously. There’s a row in Ecuador as to where the stuffed tortoise from the Galapagos Islands should come to rest; Quito or be returned to the Galapagos. You see there are some really important issues at stake.

The news was interupted by…. Lunch.

A gay mosque opened in Cape Town last week was closed because it didn’t have any parking spaces….  China has been selling tools for torture. Apprently, Queen Elizabeth purrs, according to the prime minister when she heard the news of the Scots independence vote. I wonder if she likes a good tummy rub too?

Now to tie of, we all enjoy a good Gregorian Chant…

I found this on Lenny Says yesterday.


A chant for every mother that’s ever been.


Ohayoo gozaimasu

Sushi Me - my future

Sushi Me – my future

Well, the process has started.

The sushification of AV!

I was up most of the night watching YouTubes on making sushi, which I discovered means vinegared rice, what we commonly call sushi is actually nigri… there ya go; learn something everyday.

Actually, I knew that nigri were called that, I didn’t know what sushi meant. And I already knew about makimonos, gari, wasabi and stuff, but nori (seaweed) was new to me as well.

I also learned how to cook the ‘perfect’ Japanese rice, all that remains now is to see if I can make it perfectly.

I also learned that ‘sushi grade’ fish is bullshit. What they mean is really fresh fish. Calling it sushi grade is just a reason to double the price…

After a few more videos, I reckon I’ll be ready to experiment when I can afford the makings.

More rain over night, but the sky is clearing this morning. Still cool with the slightest zephyr of wind, just enough to make the leaves on my guava trees move. Not brave enough to venture outside shirtless yet. I’m old, not silly!

I haven’t really read the news yet, so I don’t know what’s happening or happened in the world….

*pregnant pause* while I read the news.

Lots of protests about climate change. 10,000s of Russians took to the streets over Russia’s interference in Ukraine, demanding that ‘he who shall not be named’ tell the truth. Venezuela is going to disarm the people… idiot. Miley Cyrus has upset the Mexicans, now that doesn’t surprise me, she’s always upset me. Hong Kong students are boycotting classes in protest at China’s refusal to grant them democracy. New Zealand now wants a new flag vote in 2015. Abbott Idiot syas that security comes before Australian freedoms; he’s been listening to too much Obama. Apart from all that, the planet is still headed for disaster.

Nap-fu Master gets grumpy if he doesn't practice

Nap-fu Master gets grumpy if he doesn’t practice

I am about to make breakfast, shrimp fritters.

By the time I have done that it will be time for Nap-fu practice.

And get up in time for lunch.

Then I’ll be ready to face what’s left of the day.

I have absolutely nothing planned, so it should go smoothly, despite being a Monday.

I might add, that so far nothing untoward has befallen me this day… yet.



Salmon makimono

Salmon makimono

Yes, I have been sushified.

I have resolved that I will undertake a new project. I am going to learn the art of making sushi and makimono and stuff.

I love sushi.

I can’t afford sushi.

So, I will make it!

What’s more, I have discovered there is a shop near a supermarket that I sometimes go to that sells the seaweed and other makings.

I’m not going to rush into this, besides, I have to wait for pay day… which is more than a fortnight away. So I am about the spend the next two weeks salivating in anticipation.

I have to find out where to get fresh fish now. The supermarkets I normally go to only have frozen stuff, and the one that has fresh stuff, I wouldn’t buy from because the place is filthy. I only buy commercial packed stuff there, nothing fresh or prepared by them. A few months ago the Health Dept closed them for a week to get their shit together.


São Bras Market in town

There is a market in town, São Bras, that has many fish stalls, but I don’t recall seeing salmon or tuna there.

I’ll have to investigate. Maybe they can get some for me when they do their buying over in Niteroi where the best fish markets are.

In the praça in front there is a lovely tree. Well, I think it’s lovely

So far it hasn’t been destroyed by kids like some of the other trees because it’s harder to climb.

I was sitting there last week and I noticed it was in flower. Unusual yellow flowers.

treepraçaI have no idea what sort of tree it is. It’s just nice.

The unusual flowers

The unusual flowers

So many people today are in such a rush, their lives are stressful, they don’t have a moment to stop and enjoy what is around them. I find it so peaceful to just sit and observe.

Delicious onion rings

Delicious onion rings

After work, I stopped off at the botequim after my Nap-fu practice. I had fried up some onion rings and battered pieces of hotdog. Great to have a snack to share while enjoying the company and a beer, or two.

Yesterday the weather took an expected turn.

Hot and sunny in the morning and clouded over in the afternoon, eventually turning quite cool and refreshing with heavy rain in the evening. The cool and rain continue today.

Most of my blogging has been done for the day; just Tomus Arcanum to go. I haven’t found anything suitable yet, but that could change before the witching hour.

Before I succumb to the need of a further Nap-fu session, I’ll point you to a reblog post on Shit Happens. The Queen’s message after the referendum defeat on Scot’s independence. There’s a surpise ending; and yes, it’s satire.

New Zealand got what it deserved. The return of the incumbent government for a third term. After the revelations about mass government spying and dirty tricks in the last weeks sullying the PMs reputation, I fail to see how so many Kiwis are so stupid. Just makes me glad I’m an ex-pat.

So the Scots failed to change anything, The Kiwis failed in the same endeavour. I wonder if the Brazilians will follow suit and reelect the blonde bimbo. At least in four years they will have to vote for somebody else, because Brazilian law limits the presidency to two terms.

I here the sounds of slumber summoning me….


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