Archive for November, 2014


A Mucky Day

My laundry lady is about this old

My laundry lady is about this old

Laundry lady came.

Chatter.

Laundry lady went.

Chatter stopped.

The day started out sunny, then it unsunnied and remained cloudy for the rest of the day.

Things didn’t pan out the way I planned today. So I had a beer and went home for some Nap-fu practice.

The chorizo (black pudding) didn’t arrive.

The sausage man didn’t arrive.

The fridge man didn’t arrive.

Had some more Nap-fu practice.

Football time.

I was an hour early. Still can’t get the hang of this bloody daylight savings time.

Football…

Football finished.

It wasn’t my team, they played yesterday and won 4-0.

No fridge = no food.

Got dressed and called a taxi. More than an hour later it arrived. You can’t imagine what I was calling that taxi!

Dinner out.

Home… and here I am.

That about sums up my day.

A total non-event.

Later, I’m off to bed.

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Getting in Early

Another screwed up Saturday.

Rained again overnight, so it’s still cool.

fridge_cleaningMy fridge is having a mid-life crisis, it’s decided it doesn’t want to be a fridge anymore. I mean it’s not fridging. Techy type neighbour had a look yesterday and put in a new part that was burnt out, but there is more of a problem. Hopefully he will find the solution today. But I have to go to work this morning, and he’s likely to escape.

The horrific part about it is, my icecream melted.

The good part about it meant that I had to have a BBQ yesterday to use the all the meat.

I’ll probably have another today to use the rest.

So, apart from the BBQ there’s not a lot to write about.

Silly Box: Inmates in a Venezuela jail rioted and broke into the infirmary taking a variety of drugs, a combination of anti-seizure drugs, insulin, antibiotics and hypertension treatments. Silly buggers, serves them right.

A new survey has now shown that 80% of chicken in British supermarkets is contaminated with camphylobactor. There are calls to people to boycott chicken until the industry cleans up its act.

Later.

Back peddling to Wednesday

A day full of excitement.

First of all a quiet lunchtime tipple became the event of the day when  we heard the ‘Whoo-whoo!” of the bombeiros (firetruck) and the bright red machine appeared around the bend in our street. We all searched in vain for the telltale smoke that normally heralds the need for firemen. Nothing to be seen.

Eventually the stopped at an empty lot about 100 metres away. Still no smoke. We surmised that maybe a hoard of bees or wasps was the cause.

But after an inspection, they got a lasso on a pole from the truck and a big green net.

Capybara - world's biggest rodent

Capybara – world’s biggest rodent

I wandered down to see the action. Other bystanders said it was a capybara (biggest guinea pig you’ll ever see) hidden in the tall weeds. Okay, a capybara, I was non-plussed as I had seen plenty of them in the Pantanal. But in a residential section, they were a rarity. They like swampy ground, and we surmised that it had got into our area by the creek that runs beside the bar.

It gave the firemen the slip and ran off up the street, with several people in hot pursuit. Apparently in another lot it gave them the slip again before being finally caught a half hour later in the street.

The fugitive was then paraded in front of the bar in a cage on a fire-pick up. It was an adult about the size of a large dog like a rottweiller.

Show over, folks, back to the serious business of beer and a post mortem of the events.

It was a rainy day. Lunch was a paella and a bottle of wine.

A late afternoon BBQ was mooted. And, another bottle of wine. It was that second bottle of wine which was the real reason I didnt get to post on Wednesday.

I went home to bed.

10:30…

BANG!

The PC died and the fan came to a standstill, waking me instantly.

Another BANG! and a shower of big green sparks outside my gate.

Dressed and outside in the darkness. The botequim was in darkness, my candle made two.

After a half hour, the lights flickered on briefly.

Then on the street at the side of the praça, BANG! A huge red lash, and the high tension lines weher swaying crazily, tehn BANG! again in front of my house and another shower of bright green sparks as the swaying HT lines swung together and hit.

The lights went out again.

At midnight a power utility vehicle showed up.

The weight of the rain had made branches on one of the trees fall over the HT lines. The bar closed and I went home again. The power was eventually restored at 1am.

No net…

In the morning still no net. I rang the ISP. The power surge had melted some of their equipment.

So I spent the day twiddling my thumbs. I have come to the conclusion that a PC without net, is useless.

Finally at work last night I managed yesterday’s little post. Couldn’t do much else, I was teaching at the time.

Cool day today, day off…

Wonder what the day will bring?

Later.

BANG! And that was it!

Just to let you know that we got our storm last night.

And a resulting power surge and cut.

Which melted equipment at my ISP and I am off the air.

Until they get replacement equipment, I have no net.

I have managed to log-in at work, just to let you know that nothing dastardly has happened.

Later, back to teaching…

I did a terrible thing

icecreamLast time at the supermarket, I bought some icecream.

I haven’t done that in more than 20 years.

I’m eating some now… lovely, wondrous chocolate chip icecream.

I feel so wicked.

It wasn’t just an icecream cone, it was a whole kilo pack (2.204lbs).

I have been in a bind about my future here in Brazil, so today I bit the bullet. It turns out that no-one’s really interested and it can wait until next week.

My passport arrived, right in the middle of my first beer of the day, They’ve changed, they’re prettier now. Considering that it is 20 years since my last was issued. But the trick is they’re only valid for five years now and the cost has doubled; that’s a 400% increase. Being a Kiwi is expensive business.

I haven’t had a Nap-fu practice today, and it is telling on me.

We got rain this afternoon. I had just closed the padlock on the gate, and it began, but the time I got to the botequim for shelter, I was soaked. Remember that’s a whole 11 metres (yards, near enough), so it gives you an idea of how much rain.

Tandoori lamb chop

Tandoori lamb chop

Silly Box: A lamb chop has been sent into space. I didn’t read the article, it seemed too puerile, so I don’t know by whom, nor from where.

My question is, why?

Yes, this qualifies for the silly box.

I mean I can understand the necessity for an espresso coffee machine on the space station, but a sodding lamb chop….

That’s it, too tired.

Later.

Bower Fluds

Little bower fluds

Little bower fluds

You know what a Spoonerism is, right? Then I don’t need to explain the title. The rain has brought new growth, and my passion fruit vines are now sporting bower fluds…

These will grow into the garishly beautiful passion fruit flower. That will take about 6 days.

Why bower fluds? Well, when I am talking to myself, I often come out with Spoonerisms. They say talking to yourself is the first sign of madness; I disagree. Sometimes it’s the only way I can have a sensible conversation…. It’s when I answer myself that I start to worry just a little.

Still cool today, the sun did make a brave effort to shine earlier, but failed miserably as the sky clouded over again. I do hope we get more rain to reinforce the weekend.

My new passport is winging its way on the final leg. I am tracking it via the internet, it has left Madrid and I think the next stop is Rio; that flight I think is about eleven hours. I think it should be here about midnight for delivery tomorrow.

That is one chapter nearly finished. Now I have other hurdles to face. Let’s see what the future holds.

Cucumber, chopped parsley and lemon zest

Cucumber, chopped parsley and lemon zest

My sushi adventure on Saturday was wonderful. I do love making it, and feel it is quite an achievement to have discovered how. I had planned to take photos of the process, but ended up with just one; having made the green fillings.

By then I was in full flight and didn’t stop until the tray was at the bar. By tht time it was too late… gone.

One novelty that I hadn’t tried before was the inside-out makimonos. With the rice on the outside covered in black and white sesame seeds. It wasn’t as difficult as I had previously thought.

I do feel that I must tender my apologies for the two crappy posts over the weekend, but I was having so much fun out there in the 3D world, that my 2D adventures seemed to slide over to the backburner. One must make hay while the sun shines.

My clock has stopped again. I have been running on 3:30am since I woke this morning. These cheap wall clocks chew through the batteries faster than Brazilians in a bar chew through sushi. But not to worry, in a few hours it’ll be right again…

American police have shot and killed a twelve year old boy playing with a replica pistol. The kid was in a park brandishing the toy around, the despatcher didn’t pass on the fact that the person who reported it doubted it was a real gun, the kid didn’t obey the police to put his hands up. A witness has said that at no time did the kid threaten the police nor point the gun in their direction. So who was right and who was wrong? To me the parents are at fault for failing to educate their son.

So far this morning, I have successfully burnt the two slices of pizza that I had planned as a brunch snack, not totally beyond recognition, but I will have crunchy pizza. That was a direct result of spending more time in front of the keyboard than in the kitchen where I should have been. Oh the sacrifices I make to write a better post.

Time for crunchy pizza followed by some Nap-fu practice.

Later.

Unbottled

Funny-Coffee-03Today was a quiet day after yesterday.

Very cool, rainy on and off. A pleasant change.

It was a do-nothing day, so I did nothing.

I drank coffee, lots of coffee. So you are well protected.

I blogged a little, but not every where, this will be my last post for the day, and then it’s bedtime.

I watched Flamengo’s game at the botequim, and took a tray of delicious squid rings to share. They didn’t last long.

It was the first game shown on the new TV set up at the bar. On Friday, the bar underwent a transformation. The big screen TV was taken out; a hole punched in the beam across the ceiling and a projector fitted. The back wall got a coat of white paint and now TV is projected on the wall. The screen is nearly two metres across, so everybody gets a good view.

I don’t know what has heppened, but yesterday and today I had to log-in to reply to comments on my own blog… weird.

Can’t think of anything for the silly box, but Google has rented the world’s biggest billboard. I don’t know why, but someone thinks this is headline news; I don’t.

Bombs, a F1 winner, six new saints, a new computer bug, a 100 year old woman has seen the sea for the fist time, and they are now wondering if contact lenses are safe…

That’s about it in a nutshell.

Later, I’m off to bed.

Sushificating

Yes, I am busy sushificating. So the chances of getting something meaningtful as a post comes from the realms of obscurity.

I.E. Bugger all!

I am waiting for the rice to cool.

So I have a few moments before panic-mode.

Principally, it is my lunch, but I am always prepared to share.

Seven hours later…

Bottled again.

The sushi was well recieved, people kept buying me beer

Then I opened a bottle of Sake…

The end.

Later, um, er, tomorrow.

I can count…

potato…to potato.

I saw this as a meme today and it tickled my fancy.

Yesterday, Beersday, I got bottled. Not seriously but I had a glow.

After I left you, I did, indeed, go to the botequim. There was the usual crowd of drinkers and boasters… and a guy selling fresh cheese and homemade sausages from the back of a pick-up.

Cheese samples were being handed around, which of course went well with the beer. R$15 for a kilo of cheese and R$15 for a bag of sausages. I got one of each. More cheese was cut, I produced a jar of pickled onions from home and we all proceeded to much away.

The day was hot, and more beer was drunk.

The day wore on, and in the afternoon I fired up the BBQ and sacrificed my bag of sausages. They were delicious and appreciated by those that were still clinging to their glasses. The sausages were served with pickled beetroot and homemade chimichurri.

Garlic-ButterThe breadman cycled past, I got 20 breadrolls. Back home, I got a block of butter, a head of garlic and some parsley from my garden. Fifteen minutes later there were garlic bread rolls on the grill.

Now the locals know that I am a chef, they’ve never actually seen me cheffing apart from flipping meat on the BBQ. Things like garlic butter are usually made at home and taken to the bar, but as I had the makings already there, I proceeded to chef away. peeled and chopped the garlic, chopped the parsley and beat the ingredients in the bowl. The onlookers stood there open mouthed at the speed I worked, and how fast there were garlicked bread rolls toasting on the grill. Of course, I was quite willing to show off (I am a bit of a ham) and accept the accolades.

The garlic bread disappeared off the platter as fast as it left the grill.

Had João, the breadman, gone past again, they would have had me making garlic bread way into the night.

While doing all this I got bottled… Various bottles of beer that I had in the fridge migrated to the freezer to get that chill on, you know that layer of ice on pouring.

Now that I have regaled you with yesterday’s exploits, I am about to do the same again today.

Oh, my kilo of soft cheese is salted with rock salt and in the fridge. Salt for three days, wash and turn daily for a month… and yum!

Later.

Bottled

Green-bottles

Lovely green bottles

I love glass and find an ethereal beauty in a collection like this. Wine bottles and drinking glasses too.

Recently someone had the temerity to suggest wine in a box. What an obnoxious thought. Wine in a box is just the epitomy of tackiness; not a shred of class.

I am not tied to classy things, but some things just don’t ring right. I guess it is the tradition genes working. I am a traditional person.

This is NOT Zumbi - google got it wrong again

This is NOT Zumbi – google got it wrong again

Today is a holiday… yes, another one. Brazil has plenty of them. Officially it is Black Consciouness Day in memory of Zumbi de Palmares, one of the 17th century leaders for slaves escaping and being sheltered in quilombos (slave settlements) hidden in the bush.

It promises to be hot, like yesterday, but more so; and the day before. Yes, we had two brief days with rain and back to the hot. The forecast is for 34ºC but we are expecting it to be hotter with the UV indice 11 on a scale of 10… go figure; and the humidity dropping to 20%; that’s drier than some parts of the Sahara Desert.

That’s where the bottles come in. Big brown bottles, filled with beer, chilled so that when the beer is poured it forms ice on the top, served in glasses from the freezer. The nothing that was interrupted yesterday will happen today.

Tomorrow too promises to be a nothing day. Nobody will work between a day off and Saturday. Already a good number of people in Rio and São Paulo have gone to the beach for the four days. Most left yesterday, the rodoviária (bus station) had a hundred extra buses to the beaches east of Rio, and on TV last night the highway from SP to the coast was bumper-to-bumper. Me, I wil hobble leisurely the 11 metres from my gate to the bar, no traffic. I will leave my bengala (walking tsick) at home so I can’t be accused of driving and drinking; my small contribution to road safety.

Then of course there are Saturday and Sunday to contend with.

I was up early today, morning constitutional before 7am before the sun was really up. It was so early that I heard sparrows farting. So there is some truth in the saying ‘before sparrow fart’ to denote an early hour. Once home, I watered the plants and set to blogging. Not very productive, I’ve only managed two so far.

Silly Box: North Korea is throwing a tantrum. Threatening nuclear tests if the UN goes ahead with its probe into NK human rights. What a little wanker!

breast2I was really miffed earlier. A small local restaurant in England put up a sign that breastfeeding mothers should use the toilet rather than breastfeed at the table.

That is truly despicable.

If some of their patrons object to breastfeeding mothers, then they should retire to the toilet to eat, then their prudish sensibilities won’t be offended.

Society really does have some problems if breastfeeding mothers are considered offensive.

In my mind bottle feeding (unless by medical necessity) should be considered child abuse. These companies that make and promote baby formula need to be censored; and baby formula added to the list of prescription medicine. We do need to get our shit together.

America is really obsessed with death. Utah has now approved a return to the use of firing squads if execution drugs are not available.

Did you know that McDonald’s in India is vegetarian. More than half of Indians are vegetarian; they worship cows, not eat them.

So McD’s had to ‘localise’ their menu.

Aloo Tikki Burger

Aloo Tikki Burger

The Aloo Tikki Burger has a vegetarian cutlet of mashed potatoes, veges and Indian spices.

So, inline with Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… this is Beersday.

I have already Nap-fued.

The hot sun and cold beer beckon from beyond my gate.

Later.

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