Saturday, August 29, 2015

You die in seconds

Australian drop bear
I had to go to Petco today to buy another dog bed for downstairs. Just to clear up any confusion – at night  Georgia sleeps upstairs in our bedroom in a bed which is inside a dog crate.

Downstairs she sleeps in another dog bed – which is exactly the same as the one upstairs. Except that now Sissi has decided that Georgia is harmless – and probably a bit dim – she has started sleeping in Georgia’s bed downstairs.

So that Georgia does not have to sleep on the floor I have bought another bed – exactly the same as the other two – to put in the kitchen for Georgia.

The people who make the beds are probably at this very moment putting on extra staff to cope with the demand.

We have had web worms in our mulberry tree. I had never heard of web worms until we saw the nests and looked them up on Google. They may or may not do any harm to the tree – there is some uncertainty about this – but in any event they make monster webs and it  looks like giant spiders live in our tree - and I just cannot deal with spiders.

I have never been the same since I was about five years old and my brother was chasing a large huntsman spider around the ceiling with a broom. He knocked it off the ceiling and it fell down the front of my shirt. This was a scarifying and unforgettable experience.

Lenny also has arachnophobia – possibly from the time when he was much younger and I asked him to clean the spider webs off the windows – and then clean the windows.  He used three cans of spider killer – so the spiders sort of drowned rather than being poisoned –and the area around that house is still a dead zone without bugs or spiders or any other living thing.

Anyway since then he has been very wary of spiders – which is good in Australia because we have spiders the size of kittens that can jump 10 feet and bury their fangs in your eyes.

The good part is that you die in seconds.

I was reading something on the Internet the other day and it listed all the venomous creatures in Australia – and there are a lot of them. Snakes, spiders, jelly fish, Irukandji, sharks, crocodiles, bunyips, drop bears, giant kangaroos that can disembowel you with one stroke of their massive paws -  and the list goes on.

In Vienna the most dangerous creature was a hedgehog. In Indianapolis it is a squirrel.

Of course around here the most common form of death is gunshot but I have read the statistics and have found that most homicides are carried out by family members.

Which is why I will not let my family visit me in Indianapolis  - and I keep a close eye on Cate.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I think I know

Antonio has finished and he and John have left – albeit temporarily. The only thing that remains is the sounds of Spanish songs ringing in my ears.

Whenever we part company we know that we see each other again real soon as more bits and pieces of this ancient house need fixing. There are very few things I can do because they mostly require carpentry skills and I am not good at all at that sort of stuff.

Georgia is a bit more relaxed now because her bed is back where it should be in the lounge room. But she is of a somewhat nervous disposition and when I took her to Petco on Tuesday she peed on the floor of the grooming salon.

She may have been worried about the roasting of dogs to death that Petco has engaged in previously but I told her that those machines have been  removed and there has not been a dog roasting since January.

There is a food festival in Indy on the weekend and are going to savor the delights. There will be no corn dogs or giant donuts – just lots of good stuff being made in Indy from local ingredients - and there some really good restaurants. We may even sample the local wine – but do not expect too much.

In the USA there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth because of the journalist and photographer who were killed by a nutter. The cable stations have been talking about this non stop for 24 hours. Oh why does this happen in America so often? They ask. I think I know the answer and  I am prepared to disclose it as soon as Donald Trump is president.

In the meantime – and I am not making this up – our peanut brained prime minister in Australia has been panic stricken about his ratings – which are lower than a snake’s testicles.

Needing something to distract the masses he announced that President Obama has asked Australia to help bomb those bits in the middle east which contain terrorists. There are a lot of places from which to chose and our six planes over there will be a bit stretched.

Turns out that – needing a real distraction form his abysmal performance – peanut brain asked president Obama to ask him (peanut brain) to participate in the war on Isis. And he is considering it.

Spare me. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A turkey four feet tall

So we went to the State Fair and it was exactly how I thought it would be. There are more types of food than you would think possible – including some which to us were incomprehensible.

One of these was funnel cakes - which of course we had to try. It is had to describe so I have included photo. It tastes a lot like a donut.

I also tried the corn dog which was much to corny for my liking and I had a hot dog which was up to the usual high standard of dogs in America. There was simply too much to try – and some of them – like the turkey legs – were impossible to contemplate. These must come from turkeys that are four feet tall.
We saw dogs jumping hurdles – this is apparently called ‘agility’. This is not something Georgia could do. She can surely jump but is not good at following directions.

We saw a lot of very large horses and very many rabbits. There was a whole pavilion of rabbits. Some of them had won prizes for something – I just cannot imagine what. I man let us pet one and it was very soft – perhaps it got a prize for this.

Cate offered to let me watch the tractor pulling but I had had enough excitement for one day.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sissi is in charge

Dexter works in here
Sissi has taken charge around here.

She now wanders around the house wherever and whenever she likes and monsters Georgia. She sits in front of Georgia – about two feet away - and gives her the death stare. Georgia wags her tale half-heartedly – knowing full well that Sissi is not going to play – then slinks away.

I would not be surprised if Sissi soon steals Georgia’s bed and Georgia has to sleep on the floor.

Antonio is fixing the ceiling. He is aided by listening to a Spanish radio station at full blast. This does not help me as my Spanish is still at the baby stage. However – it seems it helps him along and I am all for this as the house is a shambles.

Georgia – who is proving to be a dog without oodles of courage – is afraid of Antonio – and indeed most other things as well – and will not come into the house. She will also not come out of the bedroom.

This morning I let her out of her crate and told her to go downstairs with me. Instead she jumped on the bed and tried to burrow under the covers with Cate. As she weighs 40 pounds and is the size of a small horse this did not work.

Antonio has built a wall of plastic around where he is working and she is deathly afraid of this. I think she thinks Dexter is in there dismembering dogs. I told her Dexter only did people but she is unconvinced.

Anyway the hole in the ceiling is fixed and Antonio is now doing the plastering. This is excellent progress.

There is panic here as Donald leads the race by a wide margin – and is rapidly overtaking Hillary. So both the Republicans and Democrats are squeaking with fright.

This is an enormously entertaining but unedifying spectacle as candidates shout at each other and try to top the outrageous statements of Donald Trump.

This of course is impossible.

How do you build on the hypothesis that you will deport 11 million illegal immigrants?

You can see what they are up against – although they are giving it their best shots.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Put it on a stick

Deep fried butter on a stick
The State Fair is on and we have decided that we really must go this year. We are just busting to see what it is like and to also try the food. I think they have  deep fried butter on a stick there this year and I am looking forward to testing that.

All the presidential candidates have visited the Iowa State Fair and have all been seen eating fair food – mainly pork chops on a stick. There does appear to be any edible substance in America that cannot be put on a stick.

Our specialty here is probably corn dogs because our state is covered in corn. But a corn dog is not made of corn it is made of meat and is covered in corn batter. You would think it would be a meat dog but what would I know about these things.

An incidentally – to ‘corn dog’ someone is to knee them in the bum when they are not expecting it. I don’t know what it is called if you knee them in the bum when they are expecting it. But it probably doesn’t happen – I mean – who stands around expecting to be kneed in the bum.

There is some fabulous entertainment – mainly country - but for the old folks who have memories of the 70s there are The Village People and KC and the Sunshine Band. Now it might be just me but I reckon that if I had a band and was getting gigs at state fairs I would seriously consider retiring.

In the meantime there are the first signs of fall. Some leaves are turning and the grass is not growing quite as fast as it was. This summer has been brutal and I will be glad to see the end of it. The climatologists say that July was our hottest month ever and 2015 will be the hottest year ever.

Georgia ate one of my Cole Haan shoes. I can now only wear them in the garden because one shoe has the end eaten out of it. It was my fault because I provoked her by leaving it on the floor where it was just begging to be chewed. I mean – what else could she do faced with such a tasty morsel.

Jason Day won the PGA championship. It is a little known fact that Cate and Jason grew up in the same town – Beaudesert Queensland – but at different times. Cate takes no credit for Jason’s success but we are very pleased for him as he has been very close to a major win on a number of occasions.

Friday, August 14, 2015

It was not her

Georgia has a new friend – it is called the fountain – and she spends a lot of time next to it. She also likes to drink from it – probably because the water is green and slimy and full of mulch.

She does not really seem to like the fresh water in her bowls. This is much too sterile and tasteless.

I am amazed by the number of scams that are going on here – many of them advertised on mainstream radio and TV.

One I heard yesterday on the radio says that you can ‘piggyback’ on the Canadian social security system and collect thousands of dollars each month. It is probably just me - but when I hear an obvious scam I just have to know what it is.

Turns out that if you invest in Canadian securities you will eventually get dividends – you know – just like investing in stock in the USA. Except with the Canadian one you pay someone extra money.

One I really like is the ‘Tesla machine’. You pay to get the blueprints to this machine which will then generate all your electricity and you will never have another power bill.

This is the ‘secret machine that power companies do not want you to know about’.

It is not easy to find out what these scans are. You always have to watch an extremely tedious video lasting at least half an hour - until finally you are asked to send money.

Now I simply cannot imagine anyone sending money to get the plans to the magic machine that will generate power for life.

But people do! I have seen complaints online from idjits who have sent money and have received only gobbledygook plans. They are disappointed and unhappy.

These might be the same people who are going to vote for Donald Trump.

Oh and I have checked. It was Jeb Bush’s brother who invaded Iraq and he was also the one who agreed with the Iraqi government that all US troops would be withdrawn by 2011.

So I really don’t think he can blame Hillary. Indeed she has been very quiet since she murdered Jimmy Hoffa, ran a gigantic cocaine ring out of the White House and blew up the World Trade Center.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What can you expect

Well John and Mike found the leak. They did not use the ‘keyhole’ method where you make a small hole in the ceiling and insert a micro-camera. They prefer the more robust ‘ tear the ceiling down’ method – which was highly successful.

But the ceiling had to come down  anyway – it was absolutely sodden and gallons of water poured out when holes were made.

So the leak was the air conditioner – which had not been installed properly.

John has fixed it and Antonio will arrive when everything dries out and put it all back together again. I love watching Antonio work – he is the best craftsman I have ever seen.

In the meantime our piss ant Prime Minister – Tony Abbott – by a sleight of hand – has managed to kill a parliamentary vote on gay marriage.

Had we had a free vote in parliament - gay marriage would have been endorsed overwhelmingly – indeed in the general population 75% is in favor of gay marriage.

This is the man who is trying his hardest to kill the renewable energy industry in Australia.

Tony Abbott is a bully, a liar, a misogynist and a homophobe and I simply don’t know how we end up with these sniveling chicken shit mental midgets as leaders.

Oh and in case you were wondering who caused that steaming pile of crap that is Iraq – Jeb Bush says it was Hillary Clinton- with help from President Obama.

No mention of Jeb’s brother - who I am almost sure was president when they invaded – I will check Wikipedia. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Why do they do this?

We are getting ready for our bicycle ride in German and France in October so are going for long rides along the cycle paths in Indy. There are actually some good ones - and they are much better than the roads.

Anyway the Indiana State Fair is on at the moment and when we rode along we heard this enormous roaring noise. Cate thought it was motorcycles because we had the Motogp in Indy on Sunday and there are bikes all over the place roaring up and down the streets.

I explained to her that she was not hearing bikes - she was hearing tractor pulling - and I had to explain to her what that is. Well - I said - these gigantic modified tractors pull these enormous weights along a dirt strip and they try to pull it as far as they can.I did not get into ‘full pulls’ and ‘pull offs’ 

She could not quite grasp this so I had to go over it a couple of times. She asked why they did it and I could  not think of an answer except that we live in the mid west and this is what a lot of people do  here - apart from hog rasslin’ and shooting critters. 

I mean you might as well ask me why young black men wear their pants down round their knees so the we can see their underpants. There are many things I do not understand. 

Anyway we might go to the show but I don’t think Cate wants to see the tractors - she is more into cows and other furry animals - having been raised on a farm where she had to milk cows. 

Meanwhile - our lounge room ceiling is leaking again and I have asked John to have a look. Last time he patched it up but I think this time he will have to remove the ceiling to find the leak and this will be lots of fun for Georgia  because the lounge room is where her bed is.

We have moved her crate upstairs so that she now sleeps in the bedroom with us - and the cats sleep on the bed. This works OK except that Georgia now whimpers are 4 AM to get up and go downstairs and then Sissi  square dances over the bed and our heads for a couple of hours. 

Cate read an article about dogs last night and found out that so far we have done everything wrong. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

It is much more entertaining

Mary on the hill
We are home and both flights were on time.

There is always a chance that a United pilot’s cat will have the sneezes and have to be taken to the vet - in which case the flight gets cancelled and every United flight in America is two hours late.

This was our first South American trip and has been quite fascinating. Quito is quite wonderful and we have enjoyed it immensely. The food is good but they do not make wine so were quaffing Chilean wine - which is most enjoyable.

The people in Ecuador are very short and we tower over most of them.  We narrowly avoided stepping on a couple of really small ones.

They look like they are supposed to look - like people who live in South America. 

They all wear the same types of hats and garments. Every second person in the street is selling bags of fruit or plates full of ice-cream and some strange red concoction which could be ice-cream or mashed fruit of some description – or bat entrails.

They eat Llamas and Guinea pigs here but we managed to restrain ourselves.

Every other person is selling Panama hats and vats full of various types of juices. We did not buy a Panama hat but looked at a few.

They are very religious here and there are more churches than there are in Indianapolis - but they are all of the one type - Catholic.  

Mary is very big here. There is a colossal statue of her on top of the hill overlooking Quito. If you wish to pay homage you can walk to see her by climbing up a gigantic stairway of about 6,000 steps. The local sanitation department picks up the bodies of devout tourists who expire trying to do this - and their souls go straight to heaven.  

Cate has recovered remarkably well although her foot is swollen and she thinks she may have been bitten by a small critter. She is already thinking about the Gobi desert next year.

Now – back to normal.

The first Republican debate is tonite on Fox and I just can’t wait. Of course it is Fox so they won't be asking any tricky questions like:

Do you believe in evolution?

Do you believe in climate change?

Do you think President Obama was born in the USA?

But it will still be such fun and I think the Donald will blow them all away.

This has turned out to be much more entertaining than I had expected.

Monday, August 3, 2015

She did it

Well my girl did it and I am both amazed and proud.

250 kilometres in 6 days carrying all her clothing and food. She had freeze dried food and dried noodles and nuts and other inedible but calorie rich muck. Just add water - hold your nose and swallow

More than 18 runners pulled out after the start. Many were affected by the altitude and some just quit and some were pulled out by the medical teams. Three runners quit because of dog bites. One man was particularly badly savaged. Imagine training for so long for this event and having to quit for a dog bite.

They finished in a little village in the middle of Ecuador. This was the most amazing thing that had ever happened and the local populace was out in force. It was a very special occasion and a there was a local band which sang many Ecuadorean songs - all of which sound the same. It was a fabulous occasion.

The winner was a Norweigan who is tall and thin and lopes along like an Antelope. He crossed the line looking as fresh as a new born lamb. This is one of the many races he has won.
Many of the racers who had done previous Racing the Planet races said that this was the hardest race they had ever done.

Cate is completely knackered and we are just mooching about in Quito. It is a fascinating city full of fascinating people - most of them very short and wearing funny hats. I shall report on all of this soon.