Saturday, March 26, 2016

I will be out the back

We will see these when we are there
Well I am still absolutely ecstatic about my new Internet connection. I spend most of my time testing it. I did it just now and it was 105 mbps. 

Also the new modem I got from Bright House really pushes out the WiFi and we don't have any dead spots any more. You can almost feel it.

(Note to self: Check Google to see if WiFi gives you cancer.)

Sunday is another opportunity for airlines to give us hell. We are debating where or not we should take carry on luggage so that it wont get lost.

But Fogo will be so cold that we really have to take lots of warm stuff.

But is it better to be there with inadequate clothes - or no clothes? 

The Washington Post did an interview with Donald Trump - and he permitted them to record and publish the entire interview. It is a good read. Scary but good. 

This man is as dumb as a vacuum cleaner bag full of dog poo - and spouts so much gibberish that it renders his speech almost incomprehensible. 

He sounds like a  drunken halfwit with Tourettes syndrome reading every third word from Thomas the Tank Engine. 

If you want me I will  be out the back building a bomb shelter.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

We shall see.

Fogo Island Inn
Every time I fly with United I get an email a day or so later asking ‘How was your flight’. I don’t wish to offend so never reply to these requests because the answer would invariably be ‘awful’ or ‘really awful’. 

Flying is not much fun anymore and there is now the added frisson of excitement because at any moment outside America you can be blown to smithereens. 

Here it is more focused and you can be shot at any time - but it is not usually likely to be done in bulk by terrorists. Someone did a study that showed that many more people are killed in America by toddlers than are killed by terrorists. 

However the good news is that I have my new Internet from Bright House. This is provided by coaxial cable - whatever that is - instead of phone lines that AT & T used. This means that instead of the maximum 9 mbps that I got from AT & T I now get 100 mbps.

In fact I have checked it a few times since yesterday and I am getting 112 mbps. Caramba! 

This does indeed make a big difference to using the Internet. And it is cheaper than I was paying before. 

I also have a new iMac. This is a zillion times faster than my old one which I got in 2009. It also has a 3 TB hard drive. My first computer had a 20 MB hard drive so this is like 1 million times bigger. 

And it needs to be because my photos reproduce faster than rabbits.

On Sunday we are going to Fogo Island which is way up in Newfoundland. This is to celebrate Cate’s birthday. 

We tried to go there once before but were battered by the Polar Vortex and could not get there - so we spent a week trapped in a hotel in St Johns where we sat in the bar - without power or light - and drank lots of Monkey Bay - which is a particularly hideous New Zealand wine.

Anyway this trip involves flights to Chicago, Toronto, Halifax and Gander followed by a drive through the wilderness and a ferry trip. 

But it is supposed to be one of the great hotels of the world - so we shall see. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Here we go

I can't understand where all the time goes. It has been a week since my last blog.

But if you really need to know what is happening my Facebook page is updated daily. I know I lead such a scintillating life and you should really know what I am doing all the time - you know like the Kardashians. But a picture of my bum is not likely to excite the Intenet.

But I arrived in Paris on Monday. It was not easy - it never is. So I was booked to travel business class with United and boarded the plane in good time in Chicago and sat in 6C and had a nice glass of Chablis. After some time we were told that the plane was not working and that we had to 'deplane'. We did this and sat sullenly in the lounge for a while and they said that a new unbroken plane would arrive at 10:00 pm.

Which it did - but it was much smaller and I found that I was now in steerage in seat 25C.

I was most unhappy about this so to show my displeasure - when they announced boarding - I tripped over my bag (or someone's bag) and crashed head first into the floor. Fortunately my nose absorbed most of he impact but I finished up quite bloody.

I apparently became unconscious and when I surfaced I was surrounded by eight people wearing uniforms.

So I sat there while paramedics examined me and decided whether or not I could fly. I voted yes. They eventually let me board where I sat and sulked for eight hours.

But it is great to be back in Paris. I have no idea how many times I have been here. Maybe 60? Remember I worked for a French bank. But I always love it and seem to be able to pick up French again as soon as I arrive. The taxi driver was concerned about my hideous appearance and wanted to stop at the pharmacy but I told hm I was a doctor and could administer my own treatment. I kept my beanie on so as to hide most of the wounds and stop the blood from dripping on his seats.

My hotel is much nicer than the one I stayed in last time. It has air conditioning that works and is very quiet. It is about 20 minutes walk from Molly's apartment and I just love walking in Paris. It s a nice area with lots of restaurants. It is not at all seedy although I was asked by a very tall and good looking black woman if I would like to see her apartment.

I was really tempted by the thought of going upstairs with her and being beaten to a pulp by her large husband who would steal my wallet and dump my comatose remains in the back alley. But I thought - nah just go home and have a quiet drink. If need to be robbed and trashed I can just go to Pigalle.

I have met my youngest grandchild and he is just gorgeous but is pretty useless at the moment. We took him to an exhibition by a Japanese photographer but he was not much impressed. Indeed nor was I. Whenever I go to a photographic exhibition I always think that my photos are much better. Perhaps I am not a good judge.

Cate arrives tomorrow. The fridge is full of wine.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

We should ask for a refund

We have decided to go home to Australia in July to see the family. We still have a few points left so do not have to pay an extraordinary fare to travel business class.

Now while Cate can go from Indy to Sydney with United - mine is a bit more tricky. I am using Lufthansa points  we accumulated in Europe so I have to go Indy-Chicago-Frankfurt-Bangkok-Sydney and with Lufthansa, Singapore and Thai airlines. All of which I might add are jolly fine airlines in business class. 

The Indy to Frankfurt leg is steerage so will be ghastly - but it is worth it to travel to Sydney business class. 

I have reached the age where travel is no longer exciting and does not particularly agree with me - especially if I am sitting bolt upright like a Meerkat for 20 hours. 

And the reason I am telling you all this is that I am whiling away the time waiting for those brief joyous moments when my Internet works. 

I have been trying to book my flight from Indy to Frankfurt for a few hours and whenever I get tantalizingly close to completion my connection clags out.  

This is by no means unusual as Internet around here is a fairly haphazard enterprise. There is absolutely no agreement between what is promised and what is delivered. 

I am about to change providers. I know this is a serious mistake and a week after I do I will wish I had back the occasional service we have now. 

I have scheduled the changeover for the day after we get back from Paris. 

This will be a traumatic day punctuated by the installer saying things like ‘gosh, I have never seen anything like this before’ and  ‘this is a most unusual situation and I will have to install a brace of woggles to overcome the interference from the cosmic rays which hover your house’. 

By the time he leaves I will have Internet with the speed of 100 mbps. This 10 times faster that that which I have now.

This brief period of euphoria will followed by wailing and gnashing of teeth and endless calls to someone who says ‘we value your call etc….’ but never answers.

The AT & T man just left. He told me not to take it personally because all my neighbors had rat shit connections as well and we should all ask for a refund.

Monday, March 7, 2016

There were no bodies to be collected

Really? That was the cat's bed you bought YESTERDAY?
Today the fence men are moving our fence. 

When we installed our fence we had to build it around a large tree at the back of the vacant lot next door.

The Real Estate Agent told us that there would never, ever be development on the lot next door because of  many reasons - to which we did not pay any attention. 

We did not of course believe her and waited only about six months for the notice of development to arrive. 

Anyway the man who is developing the lot pulled down the tree. We now have a wonderful view of the backs of the houses across the lane - and a splendid vista of the power lines. 

So the fence men are straightening the fence to take back the corner we used to go around the tree. We will then have about 60 square feet which Georgia will use for her personal needs, to dig holes and eat anything Cate plants.

On a happy note - when they do start developing this spring Georgia will have many things to bark at. 

At the end of this week we are going to Europe. Cate is going to London and then to Paris. I am going straight to Paris to see Molly and Gaston and Biggles and Bugalugs - who I have not seen before. 

I am staying at a new hotel this time and it has very good reviews. The hotel I stayed in last time was OK but very noisy and hot. I told them the air conditioner in my room was not working and they said yes it has been turned off for winter.

Can you turn it on? No!

Um… can you turn the heat down? No!

On Saturday night 15 shots were fired from automatic weapons about 50 yards from our house. We know how many shots there were because the police collected the cartridges. 

There were - however - no bodies to be collected. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Mother of dragons taught us what to do

I avowed this year that I was not going to fret about politics - and I am not. But I am flabbergasted at the ugly spectacle is which being waged in open sight at the moment. 

The debate last night was absolutely extraordinary and I really doubt that a presidential candidate has ever before assured the American public that he does not have a small dick. 

For some months I have been reassuring myself that the American public could not possibly nominate someone like Donald Trump. I mean how could they be so naive and stupid? 

Well - I have now seen many interviews with Trump supporters and am getting a better understanding.

When Mr Trump started this fiasco the Huffington Post put all the stuff about him in their ‘Entertainment’ section. 

They have now moved him to the ‘News’ section but at the bottom of each and every article about him they put this:

"Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S."

They do not mention ‘con man’ or a number of other very appropriate descriptions - but they have the essence of the man.

In Game of Thrones Khaleesi raised dragons from birth and they grew up to devour everything in sight. 

I think this is the model the Republican party used. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Perhaps I should start doing this

Alt Wien in VIenna
We have been here nearly three years and I still not have found a coffee we really like. 

Well that is not quite true - because I once did find a coffee we really liked. It was called ‘cafe noir’. I tried a few pounds and we really liked it so I started buying it regularly from Fresh Market.

They have a whole bunch of coffee there in barrels so you just get packets and fill them up.

Anyway I went there one day and the ‘cafe noir’ barrel was missing. There was a woman messing about in he coffee section so I asked her where the ‘cafe noir’ was and she said what is that?

I explained that it was the coffee I had been buying regularly - and she said they did not have it and had never had it.  She said she had been working there for some time and they had never had coffee called ‘cafe noir’. 

I thought briefly about arguing with her but then I thought - what would be the point - there was no ‘cafe noir’ so I needed to try something different. 

I have never seen her again either. 

Since then I have tried a few different types of coffee without much success. Some are adequate but we have never been able to get coffee that we like as much as we did the coffee we bought in Vienna - which we bought from Alt Wien. Our coffee was called Caruso and we adored it.

I have just bought some Colombian coffee from Fresh Market and we will see if we like it.

My son Lenny in Australia has started roasting his own coffee. He was doing it in a frying pan - which is apparently possible - but now has a small roaster. 

Perhaps I need to start doing this. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Paint it green

I have been absolutely transfixed by the awfulness which is creeping across America at the moment. 

It reminds me of being small and watching serials at the theater. The sheriff wearing a white hat would be engaged doing whatever sheriffs do and the baddie (black hat) would be creeping up behind him. 

We would all shout ‘behind you’ ‘behind you’ and eventually he would hear us - just in time - and turn around to deal with the problem in a most expeditious fashion. 

One thing you could say about baddies in serials in those days is that they were inevitably incompetent.

But now there are millions of people shouting ‘behind you’- or in this case - ‘in front of you’ and still the baddie sneaks closer and closer.

I find the whole thing incomprehensible and inexplicable.

Today is super Tuesday and what fun it will be. I have organized the popcorn and will sit up watching and munching in awe as mass stupidity creeps across the land.

On the bright side - if knucklehead does get nominated - Hillary will clean his clock. 

On a happier note - I have found dog beds on Amazon for about $25 each so am buying these. There is simply no point in spending more on a bed that the dog is going to eat on sight.  

This is not so bad but Georgia also eats Cate’s plants - the woody ones that have little branches of substance that can be gnawed. She has munched some down to the roots.

Cate is very unhappy about this. I am not helpful because I just tell that is what dogs do.

We are having soma garden people to do some design suggestions for us. The only real solution is to pave the back garden with concrete and paint it green.