Sunday, September 27, 2015

I am still around

We just got back from New York and tomorrow are leaving for South Haven and Chicago.

We visited the 911 memorial. This coincided with the Pope’s visit so there were a million people waiting to get into the museum. Great timing. We did not join the line.

New York went totally berserk over the Pope and mass hysteria broke out all over the place. A woman rushed from the crowd and grabbed the Pope’s hand. She will cut her hand off and sell it on eBay.

The wedding was great success and cost a bit more than John’s new jaguar. But he only has one daughter – for which he is extremely thankful.

Well I got all the things that Cate needed for our dinner party.  

Well that’s not true – I got the things I thought she needed but I got the wrong type of mozzarella and the wrong type of ricotta. I needed to get delicatessen cheese – not cold food section cheese.

I also could not get chanterelle mushrooms so got some other ones - which were not acceptable for the purpose - and have been put into the mulch bin.

Given that she did not have the appropriate things Cate nevertheless made some things which purported to be ricotta and cheese cakes but which when completed looked not much like anything edible at all and could have been survivors from Pompeii.  

So these were not served and reside in a plastic container in the fridge. I cannot throw them away because Cate says she will eat them for lunch. Eventually they will turn green and can go out.

My quiche was dry. This is because I cooked it on Friday evening and warmed it up on Saturday. Even so it was delicious

My chicken was dry because I cooked it with the lid on the dish in the oven had to brown it under the griller.

The steaks were no good and were badly cooked.

Fortunately the wine was wet and cold and alcoholic so everyone  was not too worried about the food.

Friday, September 18, 2015

No one else even came close

Cate’s brother and sister in law are coming from Washington for the weekend. The planning for this is akin to the landings in Europe on D Day.

By the way – if you have ever wondered what the D in D Day stands for - it stands for Day.

First of all there is cleaning. Everything must be very clean so I have spent the last few days vacuuming, dusting and polishing. Yes I have polished the toaster and the microwave and I have cleaned the inside of the washing machine.

Then there is the food. I have acquired enough food to feed the Queen’s Royal Hussars – and their horses – for a month. But it is not just the quantity of food – it is also the type.

On these occasions Cate just loves to make something really nice for a starter. (I do the main course).

She scours cookbooks and always finds something completely delicious – and which will require substances of which I – and the people at the supermarket - have never heard. 

These will include things like frosted lark’s tongues, free range smoked eel ears,  Patagonian high mountain snow corn and Venezuelan beaver cheese. 

After much diligent searching I will find these things – or the next best thing. I will find that I can in fact buy smoked eel ears but only in a 20 pound bag. Cate will only use two ears so the remaining 19.9 pounds will be stuffed into a cupboard and there they shall remain until they turn to dust.

Our cupboards are full of these types of these things. I noticed yesterday that our downstairs fridge contains a bag of about 10 pounds of cranberries. What are these doing here? I wondered and then remembered that we needed about 2 ounces of cranberries last Christmas – but I had to buy a 10 pound bag. I found some obscure spices a few months ago that had a use by date of 1995.

We have bought three dozen bottles of wine. If this is not enough I have a cellar downstairs with another five dozen.

The florist will arrive this afternoon with a truck full of flowers. Then of course there is the jumping castle and the balloons.

Some really churlish people made a list of all the lies the Republican candidates told during the debate. Carly was the winner and Donald Trump came second.

No one else even came close.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Weird stuff indeed

You mean like how old the world is?
I have been so excited about what is happening that I forgot to blog.

I have settled down after the execution of Tony Abbott. All that is left is a warm glow – which I am sure will be with me for some time.

I have taken delivery of my new car. It is not in fact a very exciting car but is a common or garden variety Subaru SUV type thingy. But it is all wheel drive so that I will no longer get stuck in snow in the back lane – or slide all over the roads when we have icy weather. 

It also has something called EyeSight which is intended to prevent me from crashing into other cars – and tells me when I am wandering out of my lane. This will be particularly useful when Georgia decides to bite my ears while we are driving.

And if I try to crash into something the car brakes all on its own. How clever is that.

They still do not make a model with bullet proof glass so I will continue to be exceedingly careful and courteous – and even smile when people cut me off.

I have acquired a back set cover to attempt to protect the seats from Georgia’s large white teeth. They did not have one made out of kryptonite so I had to settle for canvas and I am assured it is almost indestructible. Almost is not quite good enough - but we shall see.

Cate has sort of accepted the destruction of her garden. It is called learned resignation. She still sighs and whimpers when she sees it - but will get over this with time.

I really enjoyed the debate last night. It is unimaginable to think of Donald Trump as president but he seems to have excited a lot of voters. Which means that they believe what he says he will do. Could that be true? Are people that dumb? (Yes).

But he would be better than Ben Carson who thinks the world is 6,000 years old, climate change is a hoax and straight men turn gay in prison.

Weird stuff indeed from a retired neurosurgeon!

Monday, September 14, 2015

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

I am much happier now.

The bullying, lying, homophobic, misogynistic, science- hating climate change denier has been deposed. He can do no more damage to the future of Australia.

I am happy to now leave things to Malcolm Turnbull who is very smart, believes in gay marriage, believes in climate change and is someone who wants Australia to be a republic. I am very happy to have him as my Prime Minister.

So I say to Malcolm.

And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

Things are sort of settling down. The cats are now OK with Georgia except when she gallops after them. Sissi sometimes forgets that all she has to do is stop and give Georgia the death stare and that will end the problem.

Monika is still a bit timid and has not yet mastered the death stare but today was sleeping in the bed with Sissi – only a few feet away from Georgia.

I am about to start feeding the birds again. I have not given them any feed this summer because it apparently makes them to reliant on this form of sustenance.

I have been feeding the squirrels but I don’t know why.

Cate said I should get a blue car but I wanted a brown one so she gave in and let me buy a brown one but the man just told me that the brown one he got did not have all the gizmos that I wanted so I am now getting a blue one.

The colts had a very bad start to the season. From the way the played it appeared that they had only just met each other five minutes before the game started. In fact some of them looked like they had not played football before.

I am sure they will get better – and the basis that they could not get worse.

Friday, September 11, 2015

There is something seriously wrong here

As my favorite (dead) comedian – George Carlin - used to say ‘There is something seriously wrong here’.

Now I appreciate that Mike Huckabee is a dickwit and is desperate for some coverage in his pointless and doomed quest to be president but when he says something like ‘We only need to obey the laws that are right’ he is on a very slippery slope indeed.

See – I thought that the laws that the Supreme Court made were the laws that had to be obeyed. Now I don’t agree with many of the laws that they have made – and even though I am not a US citizen they apply to me – but I kind of figured that once they passed a law then that was sort of it.

Now Mike – and some other pea-brained nincompoops – suggest that if they don’t think the law is right then they do not have to obey it. Of course this applies to the perceived rules that they believe their particular invisible man in the sky made.

For me there is no invisible man in the sky. I look at the this very imperfect world and see nature – which incidentally is being totally fucked over by us.

But that is just me. I am totally content with people believing whatever they want to believe as long as they do not bother me. But it would be nice if they felt the same way. 

I was watching Rachel Maddow this week. She is my favorite political commentator. She says she has had her show for 7 years and this is the most fun she has ever had. I know what she means. It’s brilliant!

But I am also very pleased that the lawn has stopped growing very much at all. I am maybe three mows away from the leaves falling off our mulberry tree.

PWC has finally finished Cate’s US tax return. It runs to 116 pages. 

I thought perhaps I might do it next year but have given up this idea. Apparently having assets in Australia and the USA – and stuff that is still lurking around from Austria – complicates things immensely.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I suspect romantic troubles

Time for a kitten photo
The new dog-proof tree protection system worked. Georgia has looked at it and sniffed it but has not attempted to tear it apart. I am not ready to proclaim success - as she is capable of many devious things – but I have hope.

We have done no cycling for the last week or so because it is so damn hot. According to the news we have had more consecutive days over 90° than we have had since 1912. But the trees think fall is here and are turning – so they must know something.

I have been so hot that I have been thinking about becoming a Republican so that I don’t have to worry about the climate.

We have found a big park for Georgia to play in. It is at the Indianapolis Humane Society and Georgia can run around and play with other dogs. She is very happy about this – and so are we because it exhausts her and she sleeps a lot more.

She has met some dogs – all bigger than her – and has had an enormous amount of fun. She has such fun with other dogs that we thought we may get her a friend. (Joke).

I went to the dermatologist today and this is quite a process. When you get there on time you fill out the same forms that you have filled out every time you go there – and answer the same questions you have answered many, many times before.

You then sit in the waiting room for about half an hour and read about all the famous people who are doing famous things. It does not worry me that I do not know most of the people who are famous because I understand that in America you can become famous overnight and vanish just as quickly.

I did read on the front page of The Enquirer last week – while waiting in the line at Marsh - that the Queen has confessed that she asked Prince Charles to murder Diana. I suspect he did this by disguising himself as the chauffeur driver and driving into the pole at 100 miles per hour. I have always suspected him.

You can also think about why– if you go there at 8:45 – the doctor can already be running half an hour late. Then the nurse collects you and takes you into a small room where she asks you all the questions you just answered on the sheet of paper you were handed when you came in.

Then she goes and you sit there for 15 minutes until a doctor comes in. This is not the real dermatologist – this is the assistant dermatologist – who examines you and asks many questions.

After another 15 minutes the real dermatologist arrives. She is called Dr. Klenk and seems pleased to see you – probably because of the amount you pay her each time you visit.  She is the one who squirts you with icy cold stuff that freezes off problem spots.

The dermatologist duo was concerned about the wounds on my nose and arms but I told them it was just my dog - who likes biting me even more than digging holes in the garden.

After this I went to get my license renewed. I was expecting the worst but when I gave the young lady my old license and my green card she was more than pleased to give me a new license.

Actually she was not pleased – she seem to be very unhappy. Nothing I said cheered her up.

I suspect romantic troubles and I think her boyfriend – or girlfriend – might be fooling around – but I did not broach the subject as I was keen to get out of there before they asked for more forms.

This was the first time I have been to the BMV and not had an excruciating experience.

But – I have bought a new car and will need to go back there this week to register it – so perhaps this will be like the old times.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I suspect a trap

So the pond rocks lasted not very long at all and are now scattered from here to Missouri. She ferreted  through them and dug an enormous hole which exposed the tree roots – which she then ate.

So the current score is Georgia 2 Badger 0

When Cate left yesterday she said ‘WE have to do something about this today’.

Meaning YOU have to do something about this today.

I had two mugs of my Fresh Market Cafe Noir while I pondered the problem and decided that much more extreme measures were required.

Beheading the dog has some merit but would not be popular so I went to Lowes to buy some poultry wire (chook wire in Australian). I cut a piece about 4 feet by 4 feet and then cut a hole for the tree trunk – and of course had to cut the entire thing down the middle so that it fitted around the tree.

I laid this out and surrounded it with plastic edging. I then filled the whole thing with about a ton of pond rocks and surrounded it with plastic edging. She has so far looked at this with some interest but has not attempted to dismantle it.

She may now move on to greener pastures and I will soon have to do the same thing to each and every tree and shrub in the garden.

Yesterday I went to my second session with my personal trainer – Erica. She lives in the same block which is just as well because I am not capable of walking very far after we have finished the session – and am completely useless the day after.

This is part of my plan to get fit and lose weight. I have a medicine ball and 10lb dumbbells which I play with every day.

She has a very small dog who licks my face when I am doing exercises on the floor. This is no problem because at home I have a very large dog who licks me and it is like being rubbed with a very wet sneaker.

It is outrageously hot here and I really hope this is the last of it. I am completely over summer and want fall and winter to envelope us so that I can sit in front of the fire with my menagerie.

Something weird is happening here as road crews have been out putting new asphalt on some of the worst parts of the cratered goat tracks that we call streets. This type of stuff rarely happens here and requires much more investigation.

I suspect a trap.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Le mode du jour

The X15
I lost Georgia’s Kong. The Kong is a rubber thingy that we stuff with peanut butter each night to keep her occupied while we eat. It keeps her busy for about half an hour. I simply cannot imagine what happened to it but I have ordered another one immediately as it is her favorite thing.

I suspect she took it outside and buried it but I cant find it.

He second favorite thing appears to be digging holes next to trees. These are  very large holes and expose the tree roots – which she eats. So I bought some round coconut fiber mats to put around the trees. I put one down and covered it with mulch.

As soon as she found it she tore it to pieces and scattered the tattered remains around the garden. My next trick was to buy bags of pond rocks and pile these around the main tree. This has slowed her down because she cannot easily dig through the rocks – but I think larger rocks may be necessary.

Cate keeps wringing her hands and saying that the dog will kill the trees. My jaundiced response is:

Who wanted a dog?

Did you know that dogs dig?

However as it turns out I am responsible for the digging and the stopping thereof so I have thrown myself into the task with my usual enthusiasm.

Anyway – about the webworms.

I could not interest the pest control people in webworms. We don’t do webworms he said. No I don’t know what you do with webworms he said.

So I bought some pruners on the end of a 14 foot stick and have managed to cut down all the webs except some which are very high indeed. I may have to buy a flamethrower – which fortunately I can buy on line.

I am thinking of the X15 because they say on their website:

“I’ve shot and fought around the world and I have to say, there’s nothing quite like launching napalm. It’s a must for your bucket list!”

I think this may become the mode du jour for dealing with problems which could only previously be solved with guns.