Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bah, Humbuggery!

'Tis the season... be annoyed.


Besides the other annoyances at this time of year that really - and I mean REALLY - screw up our business schedule, we have to endure annoying television commercial loops (i.e. certain ads that endlessly repeat themselves during commercial breaks).

Last year it was Dr. Dre pitching the latest in music technology for personal computers that featured him in this getup:

I sort of understand the necessity of the Kevlar-type vest to protect his innards from melting due the excessive amount bass emitting from the sub-woofers on the wall, but really...a nut-cup? On his face?  What, if anything, does that have to do with music?

Speaking of music, I am utterly annoyed at the increasing bastardization of Christmas songs in commercial advertisements.   Mind you, this year there is one that makes me chuckle.  I'm sure you've all heard it and I'm certainly not the first to point it out, but when you have a rather attractive brunette dancing around in a pink dress with numerous elves - of both genders - with pink hair and all you hear is, "...walking in an 'orgy' wonderland", it kinda of makes you think about what is actually being promoted, no?

I don't judge.  I just wonder.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No, I'm Not Dead...Yet

And, thank you! to those who checked up on me.

Yeah, yeah.  I know I've been absent - not to mention absent minded - but I do have a few articles in the works, one of which deals with yet another appliance repair.  It will be a long one.  I promise.

Heh, heh.

In the meantime, guess who is back in town?  Murphy.


Before he even landed things went awry:  On the way to his apartment, I stopped to get some groceries he would need for the evening, expecting to take him shopping on Tuesday.  While at the checkout, the woman before me purchases some items that were marked down except the scanner would not accept the discounted price even after several attempts by the cashier to correct the problem.  As this was taking too long, I waved off the customers gathering behind me to go to another checkout.

The problem with the scanner is finally solved.  Great, I thought since I was already running late and I only had a few items, I'd be out of there in no time.

I am so naive.

Apparently, the discounted price of the items was still wrong.  As the customer and cashier were haggling out the correct price, I am rolling my eyes at the people behind me and respectfully wave them off to another checkout.

The haggling continued for another five or so minutes.  At this point, I decided to heed my own advice and go to another checkout.  By the time I repacked my basket, the problem was sorted it out and I was next in line.  I proceeded to unpack my basket for the second time.  No worries, I thought to myself since I only had a few items and nothing that was marked down.  I should be out of there in no time.

Yeah, right.

It must be the mere fact that Murphy's impending arrival causes bad luck.  I had gone to the deli counter and got some sliced meat and salmon fillets, both of which were tagged with a bar code label by the deli department.

Not only did the the label for the ham get rejected by the scanner, but the label for the salmon fillets was also rejected.  After several attempts at the bar code for the ham, the cashier looks at me and says, "I'm sorry, this product is not in our computer", to which I responded with a look that said, "And how is this my problem?"

After another bout of haggling, this time between the cashier, some know-nothing price manager and - oh my gods - the 'override' button on the keyboard, I was in and out of that store in a half an hour:  10 minutes for gathering my goods; 20 minutes at the checkout, excluding the time for customer before me.

So, I get to the apartment, turn on the water, hot water tank, open a window, etc.  I rush back to my house for feeding time at the "zoo" which leaves me about 20 minutes to relax before I pick Murphy up at the airport.

Honestly, I thought his flight would have been delayed, diverted or - god forbid - downed, but it wasn't.  In fact, it was early!

Go figure.

So, after all of the grief and delays I went through Monday, it got me thinking that maybe it really isn't Murphy. It might be me after all.

Again, I am so naive.

About two hours after I drop Murphy off at his place, he calls to say that the toilet tank is leaking.


He's here until December 24th.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm Starting to Love This Reporter

In my last post, I made reference to a headline from a front page article of one of our newspapers, insomuch that it appeared to be grammatically questionable.

I stand corrected.

This reporter (the same one from my last article) appears to have an underlying and very wry sense of humour.

At first glance, anyone familiar with the current political climate in the Bahamas would hardly give it a second thought.  I, on the other hand, did:

In my opinion, "bran" -  in any amount - will teach anyone a lesson.

Heh, heh.

To clarify, since the Bahamas follows the Parliamentary rules of the United Kingdom and the Prime Ministerial term of office cannot exceed five years, the government is gearing up for an election.

Yeah, it's that time.  They call it, "Silly Season" here.  Let the mud slinging begin.

Hubert Ingraham is the current Bahamian Prime Minister and leader of the FNM (Free National Movement) Party.   There is also the PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) which is the official opposition.

To further clarify, the "Bran" to which the headline refers is Branville McCartney, the leader of the the newly birthed (and, yes, the upcoming pun here is totally intended) DNA Party. (The 'pun' refers to the fact that most Bahamians are, in one way or another, related to each other.)

That so much can be read into this headline, I look forward to more.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's No Wonder I Can't Write Comprehensively...

... when I read shit like this in our newspapers:

Evidently, there were four victims.  A couple aren't quite dead yet.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Maria ... I Just Met a Cheese Named Maria"

Okay, so I don’t know if there is a cheese named “Maria” but I do know there is a storm named Maria which could be a potential threat to the Bahamas.   So far the forecast is leaning in our favour – she should be a gutter ball - but I can’t get that song out of my mind. 


Every time I visit the storm site, there she is and damn it if that song doesn’t pop into my head.

If you think about it, Maria is kind of a cheesy song anyway.

Speaking of cheese …

I’ve neglected my monthly Cheese Calendar reviews* and in order to get my mind off Maria - the storm, not to mention the song - I now update you with my late reviews of the July and August recipes for the calendar.

*(If you are new to my blog and have no idea what I'm talking about, click here to get a general understanding of the Cheese Calendar, or just click on the 'cheese calendar' label below.)

Kiwi Mascarpone  (July)

  • 6 kiwis (the fruit kind – not actual New Zealanders, unless your into that sort of thing)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Peel and slice the kiwis into rounds.  Sprinkle orange juice over fruit and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix mascarpone, honey and cinnamon until well blended.
  • Layer kiwis and mascarpone into ramekins 3 times, ending with kiwis.  Sprinkle tops with a pinch of cinnamon.

Oh, yum!  This would make a great dessert for any meal.  It’s not very heavy on the “cheese” taste but the mascarpone, with the honey and the cinnamon, compliments the kiwis very nicely.  It would also be an appropriate dessert for the following recipe.

Note:  If you are going to use the other Kiwis (real New Zealanders), just make they have been washed and are clean shaven, substitute the orange juice with a hot tub full of Orange Jello, whipped cream for the mascarpone and ... oh, never mind.

Goat Cheese Quesadillas  (August)

  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • Two 10-inch flour tortillas (I used three 8-inch tortillas)
  • 4 oz herbed goat cheese (or slightly more if you use the 8-inch wraps)
  • ½ cup cooked ham, cubed (I used Black Forest ham, cut into quarter-inch cubes)
  • In a skillet, heat 1 tblsp of olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the asparagus, stirring occasionally until tender and lightly browned.**  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  • Spread one side of each torilla with ½ of the goat cheese.  Spread ½ the asparagus and ½ of the cooked ham cubes evenly on each tortilla.  Fold tortilla in half over contents.  Brush the outsides of the quesadillas with remaining oil.
  • Over medium-high heat, cook the quesadillas about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Cut in half and serve.
**Note:  I sometimes cannot get very fresh asparagus (as it was in this case), so I lowered the heat a bit, added a tablespoon of water and covered the skillet with a lid to steam the asparagus to prevent them from drying out.

Yum, again!  This is a simple, easy peasy recipe if you don’t want to do a lot of cooking, especially in the summertime.  The ingredients are simple (and I did adhere to the recipe), but one can always add other stuffings or seasonings to taste.  I also liked the bit of crunch that came from toasting the wraps in the skillet.

Well, that wraps up these recipes.  September's recipe is apple Camembert stuffed crepes.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Are They Sirius?

I don't know about you, but one would think that a "meteorologist" deals with things like, say, planets, stars and - god forbid - actual meteors.  Apparently not.   "Meteorologist" is the official job description of one who predicts or forecasts the weather.  Predilection is, as a science, iffy at best.  Hell, most people already pooh-pooh psychics, yet the "meteorologist" moniker given to - gasp! - weathermen is to be revered:   we are supposed to trust these people when it comes to the weather.

If you ask me, it's the name given to those idiots who go out and report on a hurricane in the bloody middle of it.  I'll have to say, though, that those meteorologists on the beaches of the eastern U.S. seaboard kept me quite entertained during Hurricane Irene.

Speaking of being entertained, I can't imagine that the job is otherwise very interesting.  Boring, actually.  So it doesn't surprise me that those guys at the hurricane centre might hope to have something upon which to report for six months of the year.  (One has to wonder what they do for the other six months.)  And, if it's a 'slow' year, how do they spend their time?

They probably sit around thinking of "headlines" like this:

Evidently, a bored meteorologist has been channeling Howard Cosell.

I'm waiting for the third round update.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Goodnight, Irene.

I wish.

As some of you may or may not know, I presently live in the "Hurricane Alley" of the Caribbean and the 5-10 split is extremely wide in my neck of the woods at this time of year so, yeah, it's technically a crap shoot.

Most bowlers aim just right or left the Number 1 pin for a strike.  Currently, our island is just left of that desired 'sweet spot' for Hurricane Irene.

There have been several tropical waves forming off of the east coast of Africa that are potential tropical storms since the onset of the hurricane season but, thankfully, most have been gutter balls.

I have found that if I talk about upcoming storms in my blog, they generally peter out or divert their respective routes to non life threatening areas.  Hence, this post (and crossing fingers, toes, eyes. etc).

Just to give you a perspective, as of about 5 p.m. EDT today:

And if that wasn't bad enough ...

My mom just called me the "Hippy Dippy Weatherman".  Really, she did, mostly because I've been obsessed in monitoring the hurricane updates all day.  This is how it is in our household.  It can be satirically comical at times yet we cannot control many things, let alone 'Mother Nature'.  I just hope we're still laughing come Friday.

I think we will be.  What else can one do?

I might be "off the grid" for the next few days (week?).

In the meantime, tonight's forecast:  dark.




Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oh Auntie Em!

'Tis the season.  Hurricane season, that is.  Whilst Tropical Storm Emily is making up her mind upon whom she will render her wrath (she's been rather indecisive for two days - hey, it a woman thing), we have been inundated with other problems that need to be tended to in order to make Emily's stay with us as comfortable as it can be.  Our comfort, that is.

On Monday, we discovered that the main waterline to our house has sprung yet another leak.  Fun.  Wow.  *starts humming the song to an advertisement for a theme park somewhere in western NY State*  (Okay, so you'd have to had grown up in Buffalo, Western New York or Toronto and watched Buffalo television feeds to understand that one.  Annoying sums it up quite well.)

At any rate ...

About two weeks ago, I finally decided to check our diesel generator because the impending doom of the hurricane season does not appear to be in our favour this year.  Well, "Vin" here turned over and merely farted.  Typical.  So we called the best diesel engine tech on the island to tune-up our generator - or at least find out if we needed any parts, etc. - so that we could buy supplies should they be needed. He (the tech) was scheduled - did I tell you that Bahamians don't know the definition of "schedule"? - to do a work-up on Vin early last week.  Guess what?  (Yes, it is a rhetorical question.)

Back to the water main:  Monday was a holiday here so we were "SOL"*** on getting any repairs done on that day.  Yesterday (Tuesday), we were able to secure a contractor with a backhoe to dig a new trench which was scheduled for today.  Our reasoning for the new trench being that the existing pipe would continue to fail - it would be easier to replace the whole line rather than try to fix the current leak.  The contractor was to arrive sometime this morning to start digging.  Yeah.  Right.  Have you read the subtitle of this blog?  (Yes, also a rhetorical question.)

Enter the plumber:  We contacted the best known plumber on the island (we milk that "who you know" thing quite well, it's just the "small world" thing that can bite you in the ass sometimes) who couldn't arrive last night but did, in fact, get here early this morning.  Wonders never cease.   "Joe", the plumber (and I only call him that because Palin hasn't fallen on her sword in a few weeks - that, and I have no other lame-ass joke to insert here), wanted to do the entire job in one day so that we would not be without water.

Frankly, "Joe" is an angel.  He was absolutely prepared to do the entire job in one day.

Water supplies are ordered and delivered (about 10 a.m.).  Generator's tech is delayed but, "will reach within the hour" (that was about 10 a.m.).  Contractor for the new trench: "We have to repair a tire on the flatbed transport" (that was about 12 p.m.).  It's been overcast all day.  The forecast is indicating isolated thunderstorms which, in turn, brings isolated torrential rains.  We get a mere drizzle in our area, elsewhere it is raining buckets (normal for here but no one wants to venture out in it.  God forbid it should ever snow).

The generator tech finally arrives at about 1:30 p.m.  "Vin's" dipstick is given a clean bill of health and - other than the fuel supply - he is all good to go.

Now, the backhoe contractor and Joe the plumber were to have spoken with each other to co-ordinate the digging of the trench with the installation of the new water line in order that it happened all at once.  Apparently they know one another (considering the size of this rock, this does not surprise me).  And I have to hang around the house all day to control the dogs.  However, neither showed up, mostly due to the contractor.  The third or fourth call (I lost count) to the contractor said they couldn't come out because the torrential rains had flooded their yard so bad that they couldn't get the vehicle(s) out.  When asked about the 'flat tire' problem - the original excuse for the delay - the response was, "What flat tire?".

So, basically, I've been sitting on my ass all day waiting for people to "reach".

Tonight's forecast:  dark, with isolated torrential rains.

Thursday's forecast:  lighter, with isolated torrential rains.

Friday's forecast ... take a guess.

Emily arrives at 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

Fun.  Wow.

***SOL = shit outta luck



Thursday, July 14, 2011


The following comics that are normally published side by side, appeared in a recent issue of our local newspaper:

Is it just me or does anyone else see the irony here?  Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought it apropos that these two panels happened to appear on the same day.

Well, I thought it was funny.





Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It's All Greek To Me

(be thankful this isn't an audioblog)

After this long weekend, everything is probably "all Greek" to many of those on both sides of the border strugging with their hangovers.

Heh, heh.

Ah, yes, this is my usually late monthly instalment of the We Work For Cheese cheese calendar recipe review.   June's recipe was Greek Salad which I had, in fact, neglected to make but as recipes go, salad is as salad does.  It ain't rocket science and it's all about the dressing anyway.

Since it's likely to get hotter here throughout the summer, I will probably make this salad for a main course.  Although our appetites diminish as the mercury rises, the need to feed does not so this would make a nice light dinner with some bread and maybe some gestapo gazpacho and a fine Chianti.

Greek Salad

The Dressing:
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 tblsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic (although the recipe wasn't wasn't specific, I'm assuming it is to be crushed or minced)
1/2 tsp honey
pepper to taste

The Vegetation:
Romaine lettuce
1 tomato
1 small cucumber
1/2 green pepper

The Garnish:
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
fresh dill, chopped
12 black olives (pitted if you prefer and I do prefer pitted) - chopped, or not.


  • Wash and dry hands - preferably with soap.
  • Wash and dry lettuce - preferably without soap.
  • Chop The Vegetation, place in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  • In a small jar, combine all of the ingredients listed for The Dressing and shake well (it's less messy if you affix a lid to the jar or container prior to shaking).  I usually set my dressing aside for a bit to mind meld.
  • Pour The Dressing over The Vegetation and toss again for even dressing distribution.  Hey, toss your hair while your add it, just make sure it stays out of The Vegetation.
  • Sprinkle The Garnish atop each serving.
  • Eat.
Note:  Windex is NOT an ingredient.
    Yeah, I took a little liberty with this recipe but not with the ingredients.  Double-up The Dressing in the event you have to double-up on The Vegetation.  And since this is just a salad, anything goes.  I prefer Caesar salad but, hey, it's all Greek to me.




    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    I Could Quiche You!

    Due to technical difficulties with Blogger, the recent heat wave we are presently incurring and my usual lazy ass self (upon which I blame the heat), I am just now posting my review of last month's Cheese Calendar Recipe. For those of you not familiar with these recipe reviews, please click on the "cheese calendar" label at the bottom for the history of these reviews because, frankly, I'm just too hot and bothered (and not in a good way) to do the links.

    At any rate, May's recipe called for a quiche - namely, a bacon quiche. Now, I'm not a great fan of eggs in the first place but the recipe calls for, basically, scrambled eggs with bacon, cheese and baked in a pie crust. I like scrambled eggs. I like bacon. I like pie crust. Oh, and I like cheese. A no-brainer!

    It’s a very simple recipe and great for a brunch and would even suit as a dinner entrée for those who want protein without having to mess around with too much cooking after a long days’ work. Oh, and did I mention it has BACON!

    Bacon Quiche
    • 6 eggs, beaten
    • 12 (or more) slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
    • ½ cup of milk
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 1 cup grated Havarti cheese
    • 1 deep dish pie crust (in the frozen section of your grocery store – or, hell, make one yourself!)
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    • Beat eggs, milk, bacon, salt, pepper and basil until frothy
    • Pour mixture into pie crust
    • Sprinkle cheese over mixture
    • Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until knife inserted into centre comes out clean

    That is the basic recipe in the calendar but you could dress it up anyway you want. For instance, the bacon they sell here is very fatty, rather expensive and without much flavour (yeah, it sometimes sucks to live in the Bahamas – we get all the crappy food) but you could use a nice pancetta or capocollo (spicy or not) or some other flavourful meat.

    Even though I made this dish to the specifications of the recipe (as I promised to do with all of recipes in the calendar), I would likely add sweet peppers, onions and some Worcestershire sauce.  As it is a quite versatile recipe, one could use it for those leftovers that won't make a full meal.

    So, guys, real men can eat quiche.



    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Happy Happy Joy Joy**

    In my last article I expressed my frustrations of not being able to post comment responses on my own blog.  Some other members of Blogger were (or still are) experiencing the same problem along with another glitch of not being able to publish articles on their own sites.

    Another issue I was having was not being able to install Disqus on my blog and gave up on it a few weeks ago until this commenting problem arose.  Hoping to circumvent this recent commenting problem, I tried and tried and tried again to install Disqus with no luck.  I even went as far as to disable a majority of my internet security features but it still would not install.

    Finally, and after a major mondo-blondo moment (three days), success!!  Disqus is now installed on my blog.

    Disqus would not install because my internet browser (Internet Explorer) would not allow it, suspecting a cross-scripting (malicious) attack on my blog site.

    As for the Blogger issues (commenting/posting/signing-in), my major concern was responding to comments on my own site (which I was prevented from doing), but I could still publish articles to my own blog and comment on other Bloggers' sites without problems.
    (June 3, 2011 Update:  I posted a comment (using IE v.9) to one Blogger member's site, but later could not do it on another Blogger's site (while still using IE v.9).  I could, however, post a comment using another browser.)

    Hmm, you say.

    In the hope that I can shed light or some assistance to those who are experiencing some of the same problems I've encountered with Blogger and/or installing Disqus, I offer the following (please note, however, I am NOT a computer techie):

    FYI (some shit that may or may not be relevant):
    • My platform is Windows 7
    • The internet browser I normally use is Internet Explorer (v.8 then, v.9 now)
    • I was born blonde (not that it really matters)

    For Blogger:
    I think it (Blogger) is still experiencing the same issues - now that I have Disqus, my only issue was commenting on my own blog and is now resolved.

    Anyway, it may be your browser - try using an alternative for the time being.  I used Google Chrome.  It allowed me to sign in, sign out, post comments and articles through Blogger without problems.  Yeah, you probably won't like it much either but it got the job done for me.  Do a 'test' publish - it can always be deleted and you can alternate between browsers.

    For Disqus (not being able to to install it on your site):
    If you merely want to circumvent the commenting issue on your own site (I cannot speak to the problems others are having with commenting on other Blogger sites) and want to install Disqus but it is blocked because of a "cross-scripting" error:
    • If using IE (Internet Explorer), don't even bother to turn off the XSS filter(s) or related toggles.  They won't work.  Trust me, it don't work and you might save yourself a few clumps of hair (and from possible virus attacks).
    • Try an alternate browser (my "mondo-blondo" moment) to install it.  Again, Google Chrome worked for me - you can always go back to your regular browser afterwards (as I have).

    I hope this was helpful and informative to those may still have problems.


    **Ren & Stimpy / Happy Happy Joy Joy Song




    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Testing ...

    One, two, three.

    (two seconds later ...)

    Oh, shit!  It worked!!

    Sure, I can publish a post on my blog but can't comment on it?? WTF??  Is it just my site or what??

    Alright, I've had it.  I've got to get Disqus but I don't know how to do it stick it in there, if you know what I mean.  A little help, please?  (Assuming you are able to comment, of course.)

    Hey, Blogger:  Blog this (points to Moooooog's crotch - seeing is that I don't have one of 'those').


    Okay, since I can't comment on my own friggin' site, I guess the following will be the only way I can respond to comments for the time being:

    Helen:  Whoa, you've changed (love your new pic)!  I see you could get through - nice to know that someone can.  Thanks for dropping in!

    Ziva: ...dix, onze, douze.  Yep, that's as far as I'm gonna count because I'm gonna lose it in a moment.  Heh, heh.




    Friday, May 20, 2011


    With what little eyesight I have left, I've been neglecting my reading list mostly because I've been misreading things.  When one reads, "Wore" as "Whore", one should avoid reading fine print - or any print for that matter.  And I won't go into my recent Wheel of Fortune incident.

    My new eyeballs (glasses) are supposed to "reach" this week.
    Reach (as a Bahamian verb):  whenever it/they/whatever arrives at a destination; emphasis on whenever.
    At any rate, during my blog skimming I discovered that two blogging awards were recently bestowed upon me by that crazy Arizonan zombie wombat we all know and love as  Quirkyloon.  Imagine my surprise when I saw these:

    So, in keeping with true Quirky fashion:


     "Stylish"?  Moi? Just be glad that this isn't a video blog.  I didn't know what "matching" meant in fashion jargon until 10th grade but I try to adhere to that rule when I now go out in public.  Alright, I know that that's not what is meant by this 'Stylish' award.  Notwithstanding, I'm still verklempt!

    *vapours hand-fan*

    "Versatile"?  Granted that I don't really have a 'theme' to my blog and I write about dis, dat, and de udder tingum so, in that respect, I guess I am versatile!

    *sheepish grin*

    Alas, with greatness comes responsibilities.  Whether it be a Pulitzer Prize or a Blogging Award, obligations are attached, implied or not.  In this case, the cling-ons are:

    1. Thank and link back to the person giving you the award.
    2. Share 7 things about yourself.
    3. Award 10-15 blogs you think deserve this award.
    4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

    When I was given my first blog award there were "rules" attached, and when I received it I was quite the 'newbie': my task was to award 7+ bloggers and state why I thought they deserved the honour. Gah! I barely knew a handful of people at best and, likewise, they barely knew me. Little did I know then that it wasn't completely taboo to break the rules. And, like Quirks, I'm not all about rules.

    Let's just call them guidelines, shall we?
    1. I thank ye, O Quirkyloon, and graciously accept the honours ye have bestowed upon me.  (Um, no biggie but you forgot to drop me a nugget note about the awards.  I'll assume it was due to a DDP withdrawal - that or Blogger was still experiencing its own Twilight Zone).  You like me!  You really like me!!
    2. Seven things about meself ... well, I've probably already shared more than that and more than you care to know throughout my posts.  Fine.  I'll give you one of which you may not be aware:  I am NOT a cat.   I am, however, a bit of a 'dozo':  I get confused; then again, I am so easily confused.
    3. Pass the awards to 10-15 bloggers:  

    Heh, heh.

    I could surely name at least ten - probably more - blogs that deserve these awards but I think I'll just stick with the few bloggers I think will have fun with them.  Hopefully I will not overlap any other honourees that may be named by my co-recipients but, you know, shit happens.  So, in no particular order:
    • Sandra at Absolutely Narcissism.  She's a beautiful and very funny lady who should try stand-up comedy (or at least write some), and gets up all in your face with her 'naughty bits'.  Really (I mean with the 'naughty bits').
    • Nicky, Mike (and occasionally, Jepeto) at We Work For Cheese.  They are wonderfully cheesy people and are responsible for unleashing upon the blissfully ignorant the cacophony of caustic concoctions known as poutine (not to be confused with 'poontang').
    • Cheeseboy (Abe) at The Blog O' Cheese.  When he's not role playing as kitchen appliances (his most recent post), you might spot him at the local Chinese take-out dressed as Barney the Dinosaur, waxing his arm hair or doing some other crazy stuff like that.  Hey, he works with kids - young kids - the kind of kids that drive you bonkers - all day long.  Yeah, he's entitled.
    • Meleah at Momma Mia, Mea Culpa.  She hails from Jersey, complete with the attitude (she loves the badger), is so versatile that she surfs the 'net while sitting on the john, but above all, she has a heart of gold.
    I hope you visit these sites -  they are worth a look-see.  Hey, you might even learn something about your private parts, cheese, kids and/or badgers!

    Once this is published, I will be off to complete the last of my obligations.  Speaking of obligations, I'm then off to go pick up some beer booze butter.  Oh, and the newspapers.



    "Eyeball" update:  They are now to arrive sometime early next week.  Yeah, right.  I won't be holding my breath.





    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    "Hell Hath No Fury ..."

    Honour thy mother on this her special day.

    Or else:

    Water vapour satellite image of "Mother Nature" courtesy of (stolen from) NOAA

    Happy Mother's Day!





    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Potatoes Ugh Rotten

    Late last year I won a cheese recipe calendar from the wonderfully cheesy people at the site formerly known as We Work For Cauliflower, hosted by Nicky, Mike and - occasionally - Jepeto and in honour of such honour, I declared I would make the recipe that correlated with each month and write a review of same.

    It’s April and this month's cheese calendar recipe is "Potatoes Au Gratin" (for those of you who are not familiar with the French language, it is pronounced - more or less - "potatoes aw-grat-eh" and not as indicated in the title of this post). And I’m so proud that I have beaten the end-of-the-month review publishing deadline that I had imposed upon myself.

    Yay me!

    I had a few little problems with this recipe.  First and foremost was the cheese – no such animal exists on this rock – but the substitute (as suggested by Nicky) is just as good.  Secondly, I did not have, nor could I find, the potatoes that were called for in the recipe. No worries – I used a ‘cousin’ spud which worked just fine. Thirdly, the size of the casserole dish seemed a little large and I thought there might have been a typo. I was so wrong.  I now have a bowl full of potato slices wallowing in water in my fridge, awaiting their fate to one of my many other torturous cooking methods.

    The most fretful part of this recipe is – at least for me – that it calls for “thinly sliced” ingredients. Since no one here personally knows me, I love to cook but I am an absolute klutz when it comes sharp objects, particularly knives. So to avoid possible future visits to the E.R. (which I have done quarterly on several occasions in Canada - something one would wish to avoid here), I previously purchased a mandolin – and no, it is not the stringed instrument so don’t even try to play Going to California on one.  It was definitely worth the price (an upper end model), even though I once almost sliced off the entire end of one of my pinkie fingers.

    Moving on.

    This is a very simple recipe, very tasty and would make a great side for any main entrée. So, without further adieu, I present:

    Potatoes Au Gratin
    • 3 tblsp butter
    • 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced *
    • 8 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced **
    • 7 oz. Oka cheese ***
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • In a skillet, sauté leeks in butter with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until softened – about 12 minutes. Scrape into bowl and set aside (yeah, right, like I need another dish to clean – just get it off the heat and leave it in the pan until you need it).
    • Generously butter (or grease) the bottom of a 10-cup casserole dish. Layer ¼ of the potatoes along the bottom, then spread ¼ of the leek mixture on top. Repeat layering 3 times. Cover with foil.
    • Bake on bottom rack of oven until potatoes are tender (about 1 and ½ hours).
    • Remove (cut) rind off cheese and slice into thin pieces.
    • When potatoes are tender, remove from oven, increase temperature to 450 degrees, cover potatoes with cheese.
    • When the oven has reached the higher temperature, bake potatoes (uncovered) until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    *Sometimes leeks collect soil or sand in between their shoots (or leaves) as they grow. It has been suggested that you wash them before cooking: cut the shaft lengthwise to loosen the leaves and rinse in water. For this recipe, I used three leeks instead of two – even though they taste like onions, they aren’t nearly as strong but I liked the extra ‘oomph’.

    **Since I could not find the Yukon golds, I just used red potatoes. And as for peeling them, forget about it (unless you don’t like the skins) – the skins are full of vitamin C, so just scrub your potatoes well if you don’t want to peel them.

    ***As I indicated, we do not get Oka cheese here but I found that Gruyere is an excellent substitute.

    If you use all the potatoes called for in the recipe, you will need that larger casserole dish.  Personally, I like a crispy top on such dishes and used a rectangular vessel and tried to toast the potatoes before I added the cheese.  Unfortunately the visualisation électroniques foutues (pardonnez mon francais) on my oven heated up and I was unable to read the temp, resulting in slightly overcooked cheese and a overly crisp bottom (not top).  I really gots to gets me a gas range.  Next time I'll just use the broiler.

    I vowed to myself that I would cook each recipe of the calendar as it is written (other than necessary substitutions) and so far each recipe is quite good on its own, but there is always room for tweaking if you should feel the need.  I normally use onions in my potato casseroles.  The leeks, though, have a milder flavour and I will probably use them more often.

    Next month:  Bacon Quiche  (Does anyone remember, "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche"?  Yeah, right.  If there's bacon involved, they'll eat it!)





    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Punny Stuff

    Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but this week ...

    ... an honour bestowed upon the winner of a weekly caption contest hosted by nonamedufus, given  for my entry for last week's Pause, Ponder and Pun pic.   A new photo appears every Wednesday - that's tomorrow people!  Be there or be square.

    But, hey, if captions aren't your thing, comments are always welcome and you just might be the recipient of the Golden Clothespin award:

    Collect enough of these and you'll be hangin' with nonamedufus, too!


    On another note, I was glancing through the classifieds the other day and came upon this:

    Well, I do own a plunger.  Does that count?




    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Momisms (Part 2)

    I am of the firm belief that there isn't anyone who hasn't been embarrassed by their parents, either by actions or by words, at one time or another.

    Take my mom, for instance.  She mixes metaphors and analogies, misuses words and/or phrases, loses her train of thought, etc., but she is otherwise very intelligent and generally serious so much so that she doesn't get the punchline some of the time.   I've already introduced you to Momisms (Part 1), so here is a continuation of her flubs:

    One day we were discussing gardening with one of our employees and the subject of fertilizing and composting came up.  Some people use horse manure, worm casings, chicken shit, vegetable waste among others.  Then my mom piped up with, "Bat iguana is supposed to be very good for the garden".  Bat iguana??  She meant "bat guano".


    Her explanation for my fast eating habit?  When I went to a boarding school for a couple of years, I developed a habit of eating quickly because of the little amount of time allotted between lining up at the dining hall, eating, having a smoke and then getting back to class or to go and spend some free time with my friends before the dreaded "study hall".  So, if someone would ask why I finished dinner long before anyone else, she'd say, "She sniffs her food".  No mom, I "inhale" my food.

    Heh, heh.

    This one is priceless:  The government here took a census last year.  A woman from the census came by one night but we did not hear her at the gate (one is supposed to announce their arrival here by honking their horns) so she left a note to call her at her office.  The following night, mom called and answered the census questionnaire over the phone.  When asked about my educational details, mom told her that I graduated "phi-beta-kappa".  Rolling my eyes and cackling,  I quickly corrected her:  "It's summa cum laude".


    Yes, she reads this blog.


    Note:  While reviewing my article history, I discovered that my "Bloggaversary" was three days ago.  I know, I'm three days late -  again.  I'm going to have to start setting my calendar ahead three days (I used to set my watch ahead 20 minutes because I was always 10 minutes late).  Anyway,  I also discovered that I had not posted this even though I wrote it almost a year ago.  I don't know why.


    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Attack Of The Killer Zucchinis!

    In case any of you were not aware, late last year I won a cheese calendar from some fellow Canadiens at We Work For Cauliflower Cheese, in which contains cheese dishes for each month throughout the year.  And, as usual - yet still living up to my job description - I am late in posting my review of March's mozzarella meltdown.  Okay, so there is no mozzarella involved in this month's recipe but there was melted cheese.
    The recipe for March called for zucchini as the main suspect ingredient.  The only reason I am publishing this article sooner than my lackadaisical ass generally allows is because I am, apparently, deathly allergic to this seemingly benign widow vegetable.   I've been told that I have only a few days to live.

    My Grassy Knoll Bullet
    (Heh, heh)
    Okay, I missed April Fool's Day too.   So I'm three days late and too many dollars short.  Sue me.
    Anyway, this is a wonderful springtime recipe, extremely simple and very versatile.  It can be served as an entree or an appetizer and leftovers make an excellent starter base for a cheese sauce.

    Creamy Zucchini Soup
    • 1 onion (approx. silver dollar sized or slightly larger)
    • 2 pounds chopped zucchini
    • 2 cups water or chicken broth (I went with the broth)
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • fresh dill to taste
    • 3 to 4 triangles of Vache Qui Rit cheese (Laughing Cow, Boursin or cream cheese)
    1. Simmer onion and zucchini in water/broth for about 15 min. or until tender (you don't have to peel the zucchini)
    2. Puree in a food processor or blender (I used a "Daily" hand mixer right in the pot  - really, who needs more dishes to clean?)
    3. Add cheese, salt and pepper (and dill - I didn't have any and omitted it since I don't like it)
    4. Stir until cheese has melted

    That's it.  Easy peasy simple.

    Oh, right.  The cheese sauce:  If you have some leftover soup, just add some extra cheese (any type will do), some extra broth or milk if it becomes too thick, and other seasonings to taste.  It's great over steamed broccoli, cauliflower, boiled potatoes or anything else you like dressed with cheese sauce - even peas (yeah dufus, I'm lookin' at you!).


    Some of you may be wondering why "pumpkin" is included in the labels for this post.  While I was looking for pictures of zucchini, I came across this:

    (I think this might have been found at Charlie Brown's house)

    Some time ago I participated in a weekly writing challenge hosted by a fellow blogger,  Jenny Matlock.  The prompt was a photo of a pumpkin patch and the above pic reminded me of my post for that week since it also involved zucchini.  If you are interested, you can find it here.




    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    There They Are ... Gone!

    Alas (a.k.a. "thankfully"), all of the 'offworlders' have left this rock, the last being this morning and I hope she isn't sitting in a jail cell through her Miami flight connection merely for the banana bread I made for her.

    So, I have a little more time nowadays to devote to my blog - not that you really missed me or anything.  *winks pitiful puppy-dog eyes*


    In lieu of me writing something thoughtful, provocative or ass-blasting funny (which I really doubt I can do and to dispell any rumours that I have, in fact, died), I leave you with a link I recently received in an e-mail that sums up the frustrations of those that wish to travel (particularly those who have visited with us and wished to extend their stay), and basically sums up air travel these days:

    Feck it.  I'll swim.




    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Holy Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake, Batman!

    As promised in my post,  I Baked A Cake And Ate It, Too!, here's the recipe for that scrumpdelilicious cheesecake.  I've added some tips at the end but if you have any questions, please ask and I'll try to answer the best I can.



    For the crust:
    1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
    1/4 cup butter - melted
    2 tblsp sugar
    1/2 tsp cinnamon

    For the cake (two parts):
    3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sugar
    3 eggs, room temperature
    8 (1 oz) squares of semisweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
    2 tblsp whipping cream

    1 cup sour cream
    1/4 tsp salt
    3 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
    1/3 cup coffee liqueur (Kahlua or Tia Maria)
    2 tsp vanilla extract

    For the frosting:
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    2 tblsp icing/confectioners sugar
    2 tblsp coffee liqueur
    2 tblsp chocolate syrup


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter (or grease) one 9” springform pan.
    • Combine chocolate cookie crumbs, softened butter, sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and press into the buttered springform pan. (1)
    • In a medium sized bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the 1 cup of sugar, mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat at low speed until very smooth. (2)
    • Melt the semisweet chocolate in a microwave (intervals of 30 seconds on high – stirring between cycles). Once melted and smooth, let cool before adding to main batter.
    • Stir melted chocolate and 2 tablespoons of whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and blend well. Stir in sour cream, salt, coffee, 1/3 cup coffee liqueur and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour mixture into pan. (3 & 4)
    • Bake in the centre of the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. The centre will be soft but firm up when chilled. Leave cake in oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for 45 minutes. Remove cake and chill in refrigerator. (5)

    For the frosting:

    Beat 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form, then beat in the icing sugar, liqueur and syrup. Spread topping on chilled cake. (6)

    Tips and Tweaks:

    (1) Since I did not have the cookie crumbs and being my lazy-ass self, I used two pre-made, store bought chocolate crusts (Oreo), then crumbled them with some melted (or softened) butter to set the crumbs for the crust into the bottom of the pan. In hindsight, I might have used the butter-and-flour method (using the crumbs in place of the flour) to coat the sides of the pan as opposed to trying to press the crust up the sides of the pan. Or you could just dispense with a side crust altogether.

    (2) I have a Kitchen Aid mixer with a large bowl and the attachments tend not to reach the shallowest parts of the bowl. While beating the cream cheese (regardless of your mixer), occasionally scrape the sides, but mostly the bottom and your mixing attachment(s) with a rubber spatula to make sure all the cheese becomes incorporated with the batter which should, hopefully, eliminate any tiny lumps of cheese (or if you really want to go the extra mile and you are a masochistic narcissistic baker, you could push the batter through a sieve to eliminate the bumps and zits). But it’s always a good idea to add the separate ingredients before turning the power back on to the mixer.

    (3) You can use ground coffee instead of instant, just make it strong. And if you are really into espresso (or cappuccino), the stronger the better!

    (4) Once all of the batter ingredients are well blended and just before you pour it into the crust, whip it – whip it good! (Sorry for that earworm.) This will help the mousse-like texture of the cake.

    (5) To prevent cracks in the cake, place a shallow pan of water in the oven. This is not always successful in preventing cracks but they (the cracks) are easily covered up with topping. If you see a crack developing after 30 - 35 minutes of baking, turn off the oven, leave the door closed for about 10 to 20 minutes then leave the oven door ajar for about 45 minutes.

    (6) If you are going to use the whipped cream topping, make sure the cream is very cold (but do not freeze it), and that the bowl is chilled before whipping. I set my bowl in an ice bath while whipping (and it does take some time to whip).  Else, you could use a cherry pie filling or other topping of your choice. I might try a meringue topping next time.

    I really hope some of you try and enjoy this recipe.

    The recipe for March is Creamy Zucchini Soup.  Stay tuned.




    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    I Baked A Cake And Ate It, Too!

    Having been busy with the poopettes, another visitor - this time from Canada and who also happens to be Murphy's mom - and being a bit laid up with more stomach problems, it was my birthday in late February and, as if I didn't already have enough to do,  I had to make my own birthday cake!  Really??


    Well, not really - I mean I really did make a cake but it wasn't just necessarily for my birthday. In late 2010 I won a calendar from the wonderfully cheesy people at  WWFC (that would be Nicky, CheesyMike and Sme Jepeto), with each month in the calendar featuring a different recipe with cheese as an ingredient.

    February's recipe was (is):


    Okay, delete the "Holy" and "Batman" from the above and that gives you name of the recipe.  If you are a lover of cheesecake, especially CHOCOLATE cheesecake, this is a great recipe and relatively simple, too! The only problem I had was with the springform pan: I usually cheat and use the store bought crusts but the ingredients were such that they called for a larger vessel. I did, however, use the pre-fab crusts for the cookie crumbs which was way easier than scraping the cream filling off of chocolate cookies (we don’t have just plain chocolate cookies here) and then crushing them. Hey, the easier the better, right?

    Since I am not much of a sweets fan, I was going to forgo the topping but the cake developed a crack (and, apparently, some teeth, zits and attitude) while baking:

    Eat me.

    As you can see, I had no idea what I was doing slightly overdosed on the crumbs for the side crust (I really didn’t know if I was supposed to do that or not - a side crust, that is) which shrank inward, making the cake look kind of like a flattened curling rock (and I mean the sport of curling, not hair curling unless you use rocks to curl your hair - hey, whatever floats your boat).  Regardless of its appearance, the cake was lighter than a regular cheesecake - almost mousse like - and definitely fabulous!

    So, here it is in all its glory, the finished product:

    Happy Frakken Birthday To ME!!!

    In hindsight, I probably could have gone with a meringue topping but that may have been just as sweet as the icing the recipe called for.  Hmm … maybe cherry pie filling for the schmear next time. Yum!

    Instead of including the recipe here, I will post it in the next few days with some tips and tweaks (i.e. so your cake won't grow 'teeth' if it develops a crack, etc.).




    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Apparently, Toronto Isn't The Centre Of The Universe After All

    Just a shorty today - still busy with the poopettes, but I needed a break.

    These days, it seems one has to shake one's head in disgust at the education system.

    Having a business here, we often need supplies, parts, etc. and we will order most of our needs via the Internet and most of it comes from the States (yeah, I be talkin' about the good ol' U.S. of A.).

    Now, living in a foreign country can be tricky in that, when purchasing, many of the online forms require U.S. billing addresses for credit cards, among other information.  No worries:  we generally don't run into this problem and when we do, we phone the seller and place our orders directly without any further snafus.

    What happened today totally boggles the mind.

    We were trying to purchase an item online but the online order form required a "zip code".  There are no zip codes in the Bahamas.  Sometimes we can work around this problem via Internet but not today so me moms called the supplier and explained the problem she was having with its online ordering form.  All was well and good until the order taker asked for a zip code.  We explained that there are no zip codes in the Bahamas and that entering "00000" (five zeros) will generally be accepted in most computer program forms.

    Okay, so the credit car information is given, the shipping address is given and after about ten minutes of trying to explain that our shipping address is different from the billing address - and, yes, we are in the Bahamas but it's going to Ft. Lauderdale - and then plugging in the necessary details, all is going smoothly until the seller's representative asks, "What State are you in?"


    "We are in the Bahamas", moms says.

    "So, what State is that in?", asks the phone rep.

    Moms - now completely exasperated - asks for (and gets) the rep's supervisor on the phone.  Pleased with being able to speak with a 'real person' and after going through the whole rigmarole with the supervisor again, he asks my moms ...

    ... wait for it...

    ...(honestly, I can't make this shit up) ...

     "So, what State are you in?"

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Will I Ever Post Again?

    Since the arrival of the Poopettes one week ago, I've been busy looking after them, trying to do daily chores without stepping on them at every turn and ensuring they don't become puppy chow for our larger dogs.

    My daily routine hasn't been very routine in the past week and I barely have time to read and/or comment on many blogs, let alone trying to write a post myself, so I apologize for lack of appearances.

    Back in November, I won a calendar in a  'name that cheese' contest from Nicky and friends at We Work For Cheese.  The calendar contains recipes for cheese dishes, one for each month of the year, and I promised Nicky that I would try each and every recipe.  January called for cheese rolls.  Great.  My bread making skills are severely lacking, particularly in the moist and rising departments (not a euphemism).  I followed the recipe to the letter but the rolls didn't come out as cheesy as I was expecting although that could have been my fault in determining if it was supposed to be a 1/4 cup of cheese, grated or a 1/4 cup of grated cheese:  in baking, this apparently makes a difference.  Also, bread does not like me - if I merely pick up a glazing brush, my bread falls even before I get near it with the egg wash.  The rolls were good, bigger than they should have been, but they dried out after a couple of days.  I blame it on the climate and our sea level or, maybe, I just suck at it.  No worries, I'm looking forward to this month's recipe:  Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake!

    In other news, I recently won an award for a caption contest hosted by vicki (aka vickilikesfrogs), a very funny and snarkastic blogger, at Glitter Frog.  Her contest is presently on sabbatical but will return soon. Check her out when you can.

    Thank-you vicki!!

    We are experiencing a mini heatwave right now - I am sooo not looking forward to summer - but I feel sorry for all of you who are stuck in the cold weather, particularly those in the northeast, for having to endure all of that snow.  So, in the hope of bringing a bit of levity to your situation, my cousin (who is a 'custodian' himself) sent me this link:  Janitor's Revenge.  I hope it makes you smile.

    Now, I have to get back to chores.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011


    We are proud to announce that we have been (temporarily?) adopted by "Chewy" and "Prancer".

    On Friday morning, a young couple came by inquiring whether or not these two young pups belonged to us, seeing that we had four dogs in the yard. Of course they weren't, but the couple couldn't take them with them - they already had ten dogs of their own! – so I decided to hold onto them in case they were escapees belonging to someone in the area. After further inspection - and a bit of de-ticking - it appears that they might be "drop-offs": pups that are unwanted by their owners. This happens way too much down here, but it is a fact of a dog's life in these islands.

    This morning, however, our trusted and beloved gardener Josie tells us that the pups belonged to the new owner of the house at the end of our road. Considering the condition of these dogs, they no longer answer to that house and we still suspect the owner of the house let them out on purpose (they also have a vicious pit-bull which does not like puppies, so we are told).

    Two days later, I discover that all of our dogs are ‘drama queens’: two are on hunger strikes, not having eaten their dinners in two days; Ben – our bigger Shepherd – thinks he has been banished from another family unit once again (he really is a sad-sack otherwise) and is now very timid about entering the house; and, “Garbage Guts” Elvis – the reigning “Queen”, as it were, who normally and oh, so woefully howls at feeding time for food (and will happily clean out any scraps left by the others whether they’ve finished their dinners or not), lay possum-like at the side of the pool, rolling his eyes pitifully to say, “You’ve already replaced me. I am dead to you. Just shove me into the canal, why don’t you? I’ll eventually drift out to sea.”

    It's times like this I don't regret not having kids.

    Whether we keep the pups remains to be seen – this depends on our original brood. I must keep them separate because of their size (our dogs will render them like they might a cat that strayed into our yard). Hopefully they will soon get their noses of out joint and accept them (Elvis is not long for this world, I’m afraid). I really didn’t think they would be so jealous of these young ones – but aren’t they soooooo CUTE???!!!

    Heh heh.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    It Rained On My Parade.

    Well, it did. Literally.

    Sometime ago I mentioned having plumbing problems and - just to further piss me off - my dishwasher went on strike. The dishwasher was, at times, somewhat co-operative and I could actually do a few loads once in awhile. For the last two months, however, it finally gave up the ghost. We needed to order a part. Part of the problem was trying to discover exactly which part was needed. Dissasembly required. Been there, done that, the part arrived today. Hooray!! We were actually expecting it yesterday but it was delayed. So, my counter top and sink is full of dirty dishes which I didn't do in anticipation of the arrival of said part.

    I have four dogs: two German Shepherds; two 'potcakes' (mixed breeds). If anyone know anything about dogs, 'shepherds' are bred for, well, herding. Now, keeping flocks of sheep, goats, cows, etc. will undoubtedly involve inclement weather. Shepherd dogs are bred for this purpose, right? They should be used to rain, sleet, snow, etc., right? Years ago, I had an Old English Sheepdog - not the brightest bulb of the herding group - but he was okey dokey with bad weather. It didn't phase him in the least. We've also had German Shepherds over the years with the same attitude. Snow, "oooh - it's nice and cool!"; rain, "I prefer the snow"; thunder storms, "oooh ...ahhh... fireworks!".

    We have a defective Shepherd. Her name is Chase. For the purpose of this post, I will use one of her (many) nicknames, "Velcro".

    Two out of the four dogs that adopted us are afraid of thunder storms. One would guess it would be the "potcakes". You would guess wrong.

    A cold front started moving in earlier in the day and, along with it, thunder. As her name would imply, Velcro was stuck to my butt wherever I moved. I finally did escape to get the dishwasher part and by the time I returned the rain and thunder had subsided.

    Re-assembly now required. I get started on installing the new part. After cursing and swearing a few hundred times - and one crantini break - I finally got the new panel to sit properly in the door. (Did I mention I have a short temper??) I get the major control part partially re-installed. Here comes the rain again and the thunder along with it. Velcro now decides that she wants to crawl into the dishwasher to hide because it's the closest place to me. This goes on for the next hour or so.  The dishwasher is still incomplete.

    I give up.

    So, as I am writing this, the zoo has been fed, the rain and thunder have subsided and come Hell or my temper, I'm going back to the problem (hey, where did these extra screws come from?)  to get my dishes washed tonight!

    I hope.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011


    After screwing around part of the day trying to get the DVR to project louder audio (my moms is getting hard of hearing, whereas I can hear a spider fart in the next room), I was almost tempted to fire both components out into our still empty pool and be done with them. Of course I could not - I'm addicted to television.

    So, I instead ran out to grab the newspapers and a few groceries but in my head I was still trying to figure out the problem with the A/V units. It was like a insane ear worm: one input only to the wireless speakers; two outputs from the components; split the cable input signal for recording separately from watching the television; combine and re-split the audio to the wireless speakers. (Do I really need to do this? Damn instruction manual - written in Japanese, translated into English by Italians (I'm guessing here) - which friggin' hole do I put the cable into? Where is the friggin' hole anyway? They really should put some hair around it.)

    Well, you get the gist.

    I return from shopping, etc. Feed the "zoo" it's dinner. Make me moms a drink. Have a smoke and another crantini. Get dinner started. Check my e-mail. Then I thought that I should do a post to get my mind off today's tribulations. I was going to compose something different altogether but wound up venting about my day's frustrations.

    But, you know what? It worked! I'm calmer and more relaxed now and probably - or most definitely - about three sheets to the wind.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    The Russians May Be Coming ...

    ... but the Germans have arrived.

    I've been busy lately with visitors from Germany, hence my lack of posts and sporadic commenting.   That, and I've been busy trying to emulate the "White Tornado" tidy up the house (you know Germans - completely spotless people) just in case we invite them over before they leave in February.  They (Germans) even scrub the road in front of their own houses, or so I've heard here in the comments.

    At any rate, just letting you know I haven't died, but I am old enough to remember Carol Burnett.  So, in lieu of a regular post, I offer you some great old comedy with this outtake from her variety show.

    Oh, and Happy New Year everyone!  (Yeah, I'm late as usual.)