Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes

Ha! Fooled ya! No way in hell would I pick my beautiful, wonderful, organic, vine-ripened tomatoes while they are green. They basically come off in your hand (slurp). As you may have guessed: we've just had our first tomatoes.

I'll keep a running weight tally and post the total every couple of weeks; it looks like we'll be getting around 60 pounds total off of 3 plants (next year we're gettin' six plants).

weight of tomatoes: 175 grams ( .40 pounds --a little over 7 ounces)
# of tomatoes picked: 2
# of tomatoes on plants: 47

They are roastingly sun-hot when they ripen and come off the vine... EXCELLANT! Very tasty.

It's amazing how things grow down here: just plant a dead looking stick in the ground and then suddenly you have a beautiful hydranga, or a huge grape vine (this year I'll be getting white seedless grapes), or pretty much anything you fancy.

Next topic: birdses.

Our neighbors have 3 almond trees, and one of them is right next to our pool (almond blossoms in pool SUCK) and the almonds have set and are starting to ripen. This means that there'll be Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos EVERYWHERE! I'll get some picks for you when the local flock descends to wreak havoc on the 
almond trees.

Got a parrot pic to tide you over till then:

"Ok gang. On the count of 3 we all look down and to our right."




Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Newbie

Did y'all know that I've got a bird feeder? Did you know that I've got parrots (14 at last count), sparrows (17), blackbirds (2), galahs (1), pigeons (too bleedin' many) that all hang out by the feeder in the back yard? Well, if you didn't, then you need to go back through some of my archives!

We also have two flocks of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos in the area. But they've never graced the backyard with there presence --YET.

White cockies (that's the Aussie term for em) are 20 inches long, a wingspan of almost 3 feet, they can live to 100 years old, are very intelligent, and they are F*CKING LOUD! We're talking some serious loud squacks. REALLY, REALLY LOUD SQUUUU-WACKS!!

Anyways, I had one of them show up in the bird feeder this morning. I grabbed the camera and shot of few through the window, then went out onto the side patio by the grill to get some close-ups.

Here's what I got:

Now you know why I'm call a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

What's your problem, bud?

Just a mouthfull, a bit off the flank!

Here I am in all my glory! Worship Me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

As The Wheel Turns, So Goes The Days Of Our Lives

Whoopsie! Soap Opera time (is that where you take your Opera browser outside and give it a bath???)

This post could turn out to be rather, ummmmm, convulated. Much like my neural pathways, which are still growing. Did you know the pathways keep growing and making new ones till you are in your mid 40's? After that, you're just bound to get dumber. Although some folks (like my folks) would say mine stopped growing sometime in my mid-teens... Hmmmph! Hey, anyone wanna look in one of my ears??? Guaranteed you can see light out the other side!

Enough of that; I gotta tell y'all that I went for a bicycle ride this morning! No, this won't turn into a "bike blog", there are more than enough of those out there, and some really damned good ones too. No way could I compete with the likes of Jill or Fatty. So I'll just sorta keep on doin' what I'm doin', and once in a while you'll have to put up with my cycling stuff --this'd be one 'o' them times.

Oh, wait: you need a bit of a backstory here (hear) otherwise you'd have no idea just how far the mighty (ummmmmm, that'd be Yours Truly) has fallen.

When I was riding all the time, my riding weight was 155 lb (contrast that to when I was in marathon running training: 135 lb; and an ideal fencing weight of 165 lb) and I could ride all day long. Yeah, I can hear you cyclists snickering, but keep in mind I'm six feet and one and one half inches tall.

I've ridden 200 miles in 12 hours unsupported in the wilds of Alaska (if you don't pack it with ya, you don't have it). 30 miles of running and 105 miles of mountain biking through the Alaska Range in 12 hours. Weeklong solo bike trips to wherever the road went.

Ok, you sorta get the picture: I used to be in GOOD shape. Note: the above crap will make for some damned good stories!

This doesn't mean that I turned into a couch potato(e) when I moved down here. Quite the opposite, in fact. My wife (The Most Wonderful Woman In The Entire World) bought me a beautiful carbon-fiber frame with all the trimmings when my old Bianchi died. It only took me 18 months to put 20,000 k on "ole rocket butt" (that's another story) before I hurt my back.

Maybe it was my back that I used as an excuse, maybe I was getting tired of staring at stupid training numbers and wattage output and intervals and all that crap (it does get old after a few decades). Who knows? Anyways, I couldn't ride for a while cus of my back and I think I was burned out (I'd been training with Cat A and Cat B riders): the back was a good excuse.

Now, some of you may know that when an endurance athlete STOPS the endurance training, they generally continue to EAT like the were training: the weight PILES on --in large quantities; usually around the waist.

Any surprise why I went from 155 lb to 190 lb??????

For some unknown reason this past weekend, I decided to stop being a slob. Well, I mean an out-of-shape slob cus I'll probably always be a slob.

This morning (Tuesday, November 20th, 2007) was my first ride on ole rocket butt in a long time. Oh sure, I'd done some grocery runs on the mountain bike and sorta toodled around a bit on rocket butt, but a real ride? I knew it would hurt, I was sure I'd hurl, and I shivered (as much as one can shiver in an Aussie summer) at the thought of my legs hurting. But what the hey, I really want to get back in shape, so, like, what's a little pain in the long run, eh?

It's not like I'm in terrible shape, heck I do water-aerobics in my pool once in a while --it usually involves me pushing off from the side of the pool with one finger while reclining in the pool furniture-- so I figured I'd be right, no worries!

Ok: get up at 5 am (don't need an alarm: I have a cat). Check the weather, check the bike, no worries.

Time passes...........

Holy Crap!!!!! I can't believe how HARD this is! I was blowing chunks after just a couple of minutes! My legs were trembling, I could barely hold onto the bar... Chest was heaving... sweat dripping from every unnamed part of my anatomy... Holy Crap: this used to be EASY... Spittle running down my chin... "My God, it's full of stars"... tunnel vision... dry-heaves... hamstrings and glutes cramping massively...

Ok, slow down... chill out, breath deep and try to catch your breath... whew... No worries! Ha! I showed em! I can still do this! Ok, I'm now ready to pump up the other tire!

Yes, I got breathless pumping up the tires to a good ole 125 psi!

Time to get the spandex shorts on... Fortunately, I'd gotten my second wind by this point so I was able to squeeze my lard-ass (and lard-thighs) into my largest pair of cycling shorts. This process took a good 5 minutes as I had to continually tuck various fat folds into the waistband of the shorts. Once I got them on, I figured the circulation would return to my feet and the tingling feeling in my calves would stop soon.

Jersey: NOT A BLOODY CHANCE!!!!!!! I wore a t-shirt and a fanny-pack (with a large waist strap in the hopes it'd conceal my ample girth). Oh the shame! A crusty old fart wearing a t-shirt out on a racing road bike worth well into the four figure brakcet... (I looked down whenever I noticed anyone staring and/or laughing at me and hung my head in shame while trying not to spew all over myself --it didn't work, the spewing I mean).

I tried to get into the drops once... Have any of you ever tried to ride a road racing bike with a "few" extra pounds around the middle? Well, you may have noticed that even on the hoods your thighs slam up against your gut on each pedal stroke. Now try to imagine what happens when you are in the drops and your ample gut is pounded by your fat thighs on each pedal stoke... Now, remember, there's only 3 (count 'em 3) things to get in the way: the two family jewels and your weenie. All 3 just happen to get MASHED into little bitty bits when you are in the drops! Needless to say, I got very adept at braking from the hoods.

But, I survived! Obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be relaying this tale (tail) to you. Gotta tell ya though:


Damn, how will I ever get the vomit off my beautiful bike?

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Day In The Life --and then some

We'll be starting with a wee brief (oooohhhhh --wee briefs!!!!) conversation betwixt yours truly and wifey-poo.

YT: Hon, when do you want to go grocery shopping today?

WP: Oh, whenever you want to dear. But you'll definitely be driving cus my eyes are so fried from staring at the computer screen all morning that I can't even see the clocks on the wall in front of me, let alone you.

YT: *dave starts waving arms frantically*

WP: Now I see a blob waving his arms around.

YT: *dave starts dancing a jig*

WP: Now I see a blurry foggy bump trying to imitate someone who can dance.

YT: *dave turns around does something disgusting*

WP: Now I see a disgusting white blob mooning me.

Ahhhh, life at the Possum Lodge Down Under! Ain't it great? BTW: I REALLY did moon my wife!

Next Topic:

I haven't been in the pool for 3 days... waah! But I will be in it this afternoon. It's not cus the pool has been cold (32 C right now --that's 90 F for those of you who can't convert the temp in your head), but I've been giving my skin a bit of a rest as it's been decades since I've spent time in a chlorinated pool --I used to LIVE in the Dimond High swimming pool as a wee tyke.

Next Topic:

The barbecued kangaroo burgers last night were fabulous. In fact, I made enough of them so that we can have them for lunch today --slurp!

Next Topic:

I can sleep anywhere, anytime, for any length of time. It's a gift. I'm very good at sleeping. NOTE: This is sorta like a kind of literary (does that mean a learned person who litters?) doo-hickey called foreshadowing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

How to be funny (or stupid!)

Apparantly I have some new readers...  Hi there New Readers! No, I'm not waving at you from the keyboard; sticking my tongue out at you, perhaps... but surely not waving :) Ok, I lied... I did just wave.

Somebody out there in never-never (blog) land thinks I'm funny (wee-hoo) and has told other folks. This means I'm under pressure to come up with something funny!

Well... you could always tell them amusing anecdotes of growing up in the wild...

Huh? Who said that?????

ME: I did.

ME TOO: Oh, you're right!

ME: How's about the time when you almost killed yourself with your hatchet?

ME TOO: THAT wasn't funny!

ME: Well, I laughed...

ME TOO: Jerk!

ME: How about the time when you slept with that guy you'd never met?

ME TOO: Shut UP! You're gonna get me in trouble.

ME: What about when post-holed your entire bare leg into a wasp nest?

ME TOO: *sounds of hitting and kicking inside dave's head as ME TOO kills ME*

All right, I guess that means I need to finish the Canoe Story (there really is a part two!!!!), so that I can tell you a whole bunch more creek stories.

However, I also need to go make some 'roo burgers for the clan so that we can all eat tonight. On the menu is bbq kangaroo burgers (with bacon and other trimmings), chips (fries for those of you "up north") and strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

Ta Ta for now!

Friday, November 16, 2007


I do have loads of stuff to tell you. However, I don't really have the time right now. So what I'll do is give y'all a few pics from down in Oz to hopefully bring a little warmth and cheer to an otherwise cold winter! Although, all you dog mushers are very happy it's winter now!

The begonias are blooming

Two little parrots sittin' in a tree; kay-eye-ess-ess-eye-en-gee!

The Princess Lily out front is blooming

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Flippin' Da Boidy!

When I say "go", we steal the camera!

Now, GO get the camera!!!

Hee, hee! I'll take that camera, and your little doggie too!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Why I yam what I yam!

No, this has nothing to do with Popeye (although the Robins Williams Popeye movie was GREAT! I have it on DVD).

This is to explain why I like to talk (write) about the pool so much. Which, BTW, started out at 28 C (82.4 F) this morning and should be at least 33 C (91.4 F) this afternoon so that when a friend who invited herself over for a dip stops by for a swim and a home-cooked Dave Dinner (I'm such a sucker) it'll be nice and toasty.

Anyways... Why do I write about the warm water and the endless summer down here? Is it cus I'm a jerk and like to torment those of you who have to deal with that thingy called "winter"? No, not really...

How's about I give a list of the various temps and activities I put myself through while living in the arctic throughout five decades (yes, I count five cus Jan and Feb of 2000 were really really really cold).

I've swam in a pond while there was still ice in the middle of the pond, while only wearing shorts --on more that few occasions!.

I've windsurfed in the Gulf of Alaska.

I've ridden a bicycle through too many snowfields to count.

I've been in the Gulf of Alaska in a sailboat during a storm when the windspeed hit 100 knots (200 kph, 125 mph).

Coldest temp I've ever felt: -62 F

Coldest temp I've ever felt while being outside for over an hour: -58 F

Coldest windchill temp I've ever felt while being outside for over an hour: -95 F

Coldest temp I've ever felt when waking up in a tent: -35 F

I've sorted freight for 3 hours in the back of an unheated freight truck at -42 F

I've been stranded in the middle of nowhere for 3 hours cus it was so cold that the diesel fuel gelled up even after the additives were added.

I've had my eyelashes freeze together numerous times.

I've taken out the trash barefoot at -35 F --and I was SOBER!

I've camped out in the winter for a couple of weeks with nothing but a few malemutes and two stinky guys for company.

I've waded through freezing waist-deep glacial rivers too many times to count.


Hell, after seven years I'm STILL thawing out some bones...

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Well, actually, none of my posts are "pointless"; just thought it'd make a good title for what's to come in this post...

Overheard at the Possum Lodge Downunda:

just a reminder: WP is wifey-poo, and ME is yours truly

ME: (while taking clothes out of washer) Hey hon! Some unknown person left some tissues in a pocket.

WP: Oh God! I'm sorry!

ME: No, no. I'm not sure who it could possibly be. Besides, only a bit of the tissue was left in the basin, the rest is embedded in the clothes.


ME: Lemme go put 'em on the line and see how bad they are...

time passes...

ME: Good News!

WP: Huh????

ME: Well, not only did most of the tissue shreds come off as I was pegging clothes on the line, but I've now got a suspect!

WP: Oh, please do tell.

ME: Since a vast majority of the laundry was female undergarments, we could conclude the suspect is female, or at least someone who likes to dress in feminine skivvies. Also, I found a lock of long red hair so we're looking for a "lady" with long red hair!

WP: Oh great! We're looking for an Irish Setter that likes to wear womens underpants.

ME: Ummmmmm... "I" didn't say that...

WP: (Laser beams of death shooting out of eyes) It's a damned good thing!

Next topic... (since WP is now ready to kill me)

Has anyone noticed that in different parts of the world weather reports can me totally, completely different things? Well, I have!

In Fairbanks, Alaska, partly cloudly (in summer) means that as soon as you get off work it'll cloud up and get thundery.

In Anchorage, Alaska, partly cloudly (in summer) means you'll see a couple of patches of blue sky once or twice during the day.

In Seward, Alaska, partly cloudly (in summer) means the clouds will lift high enough so that you can see the lower slopes of the mountains.

In Juneau, Alaska, partly cloudly (in summer) means there's a very miniscule chance that it won't rain all day long.

In Adelaide, South Australia, partly cloudly (in summer or winter) means that, by some freak weather anomaly only occuring once a century, you just might see some sort of unknown puffy white thing in the bright blue sky for a moment or two!

After 35 winters in the frozen north, can any of you guess which weather report I prefer?

Next topic:

My (our) 3 tomato(e) plants now have over 34 tomatoes between them! The get fed a steady diet of dried cow poop and lots of water. We reckon that by the end of April we will have harvested over 100 pounds of fresh, organic, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes. YUM!

Next topic:

The temp in the pool was 25.5 C (78 F) early this morning. Right now (mid-morning) it's 27 C (80.6 F), and by this afternoon it should be (fingers crossed) 30 C (86 F). Can any of you guess where I'll be between 2 and 3 pm today? My handmade thermal pool covers really do work!

I'll be putting a food post up on my other site today --how to feed 4 adults for 4 days on only one chook. So check out Dingo Dave for all your food needs!

5:30 pm update!

The pool temp in the deep end at 4 pm was 31 C (87.8 F), and in the shallow end it was 33 C (91.4 F). Wifey-poo and I enjoyed a very nice hour or so. It was so nice that when I got out to give the parrots their afternoon seeds the water felt nice and toasty when I jumped back in! Oh, air temp in the shade only hit 30 C today.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh My

Ahhhh, ummmmm, y'all wus supposed to git a story about a dead canoe and a very young dave... However, I've just noticed that the pool temp is 27 C (81 F) water temp, so you'is'ns just gonna haffa wait till tomorraa!

Excuse while I kiss this pool...


It's, now, sorta, like 29C (84.2 F) water temp in the shady end of the pool... and 30.5 C (86.9 F) water temp in the sunny part of the pool...

I hope y'all will excuse me while I'll go for a quick (long) swim... Hmmmmm, do house cats like water like tigers do?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Long-Billed Corella Parrot

This bloke ain't even supposed to be in the area. The only place in South Oz he should be is in the extreme south-east corner... He's a few hundred miles from home...

Yo! where am I???

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Up Close and Personal

I now have a flock of parrots in the backyard. I counted 11 of them this morning. There's a pair of them that let me get to about 5 feet away --they are the original pair, BTW. Yes, I can tell a difference a few of them.

Anyways, here's a pic:

ain't I purdy?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Yo! I am HANDY!

"Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, at least they'll find you handy."

Truer words were never spoken by a grey-haired, short, flannel-clad, slightly beer-bellied, and very funny Canuck.

Fortunately, I am not grey-haired, nor short, but I do wear flannel, and am non-beer-bellied, and I make my wife laugh, Alaskan-Aussie bloke.

Yes, I am handsome and handy --he says with a certain modest smugness. BTW grammar is knot won uf myy strongue pointses.

Remember when I made the pool cover out of tarps, bubble wrap and duct tape? Well, I have now fixed the roof.

No, I didn't use duct tape (but I was tempted). See, we had some rain; the first in a long time. And the roof was leaking in a couple of spots. So I actually found the stupid nails that were loose, replaced them with roofing Tek screws and sealed them with silicone goop.

The hard part was getting the nails out cus they were under the tubes for the solar heater that heats the pool. Did I mention we have a pool? As it was, it still didn't take any time at all, and was a good excuse to blow off an afternoon.

Here is another Handyman's Secret Weapon:

Notice, please, the fact it 24 V, not a wussie 12 or 14. Variable torque, variable speed, came with a boatload of drill bit, sockets, screw heads, etc. Also came with a SPARE battery and a rapid charger so you're never out of juice. Keyless chuck of course, and an LED light that shines on the drill head for when it's dark. The 8 mm socket was perfect for the roofing Tek screws, very handy. For those of you in the US, GMC stands for Global Machine Company and they make very good stuff (my leaf blower/vac is GMC too).

Oh, yeah, it also looks really really cool --sorta like you'd expect it to shoot a laser beam type cool!

I was going to put a scalloped potato recipe here, but I've uploaded it to my new(ish) cooking blog instead. So be sure to check out

Dingo Dave's Delightfully Daring Delicacies

Oh, I'll get the real story of what happened in the canoe up soon.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Parrots are back!

My parrots are back in the yard --weehoo! Oops, backstory time...

I keep a bird feeder (that I made) in the back yard. It attracts parrots, galahs, sparrows, blackbirds, finches, honey-eaters, and of course pigeons.

Lately every tree around has been blooming and producing goodies for the birds. So for the last month the only birds hanging out have been the blasted pigeons. That all changed yesterday...

My Rainbow Lorikeets are back, along with a whole bunch of sparrows. I have pics for you, however they still need to be downloaded from the camera so that'll wait till tomorrow for the new ones, but I've got something to tide you over till then:

Also, I've just started my cooking blog! It lives here:

Dingo Dave's Delightfully Daring Delicacies

Go check it out; the first recipe (it's a fish dish) is up and  there'll be more up soon.

I'll get more birdie pics for you too.