Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Feast, Parrots, Cockatoos, Tomatoes

Hey, how's that for a title? Hmmmmm, should I do them in order? Nah.

Let's start with the tomato(e) count, shall we? There's been a lot of action on the 3 plants, so the numbers will be way different from the last count.

Total number of tomatoes harvested (and eaten): 30
Total weight of tomatoes harvested: 2.72 kilos (6 pounds)
Number of tomatoes currently ripening on vines: 6
Total number of tomatoes on vines: 67

I can tell you from experience, that NOTHING tastes better than a fresh, organic tomato(e) right off the vine that is roastingly hot from the direct sun! The sweetist tomato(e) you'll ever taste!!! I was shocked at the sweetness of them when they are sun hot and right off the vine. Ahhhhhh, bliss.

Next topic:

The annual Holiday Feast down under! I started this tradition 7 years ago when I made various polynesion dishes for the family for christmas. Over the years it has expanded --to say the least.

For the complete list of items this year (and how to get any of my recipes) check out Dingo Dave's Delightfully Daring Delicacies.

Next topic:

You know how there's a thing going around where you take a photo every ten hours and post it? Well, there's no way in heck I could do that! Mainly, I'm rarely awake for that long at a time (I like naps). I'd also forget to do it.

However, I'll post nine great pics I took this morning from the back yard in a 10 minute span!

Heeeeeeere we go:

Notice the size of the full grown cat in the lower left of this next one, compare him to the big ole cockatoo.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Weirdness from the Possum house

Let's get right down to it: I have four (4) more weird things about me to post.  So here's one (1) or two (too) (2) more:

Weird thing #4
I used to commute via mountain bike in Fairbanks Alaska. Year round. No car. No bus service. For 12 years. I always told folks I'd rather ride at -35 F on a nice trail than at +35 F in the pouring rain. And I meant it! And I still do. Without a doubt!

Hmmmm, I had a weird thing #5, but I can't seem to remember it right now... so let's just go on with the tomato(e) count, shall we?

Total weight of tomatoes harvested and eaten: 2.105 kilos (4.6407 pounds)
Total number of tomatoes harvested: 22
Total number of tomatoes on vines: 67
Total number of tomatoes ripening on vines: 8

Oh, I posted a foodie post over at my Dingo Dave blog, so go check it out, eh?

Almost forgot, I need to post the holiday feast. This'll be a list of all the cool dishes we'll have during the time when no one works down here in South Oz. That'd be the 21st through till at least the 3rd.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dazed and Confused

Gee, I wonder just how many times that's been used as a blog post title? Probably waaaaaay too many to count! Note: I'm too lazy to go to google and search on the phrase; if'n any of you would like to then please be my guest. Maybe this'll be up at the top? HA! Doubt it.

Why am I "dazed and confused"? Ummmmmm, it's just a little thing called painkillers so pay it no mind.

Tried using the stationary bike the other day (didn't want to hit the road with my back being like it is) and only lasted 12 mins before calling it a day. HR didn't even hit 120 and I was never breathing hard but my back was sure letting me know. The next day it was calling me several unrepeatable names --well, since my blog is rated R I suppose I could repeat them, but I'm not going to.


On a personal note, I finally got an email through (I hope) to the old fart (my dad). So perhaps you might see some snide, sarcastic comments popping up irregularly from a grizzled old geezer up in the frozen north. Hmmmmmm, perhaps I should've waited until AFTER the xmas check from him arrives before typing that...


Number 2 and number 3 on the 7 weird things about yours truly.

#2  I am doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to commerate my 100th post! How many bloggers can say that, eh?

#3 Have you ever been driving down a single lane country road and come up on a car going around or under the speed limit? Of course you have. Now, let's say it's a twisty, turny road that's hard to pass on and the two people in the slower car are obviously sight-seeing and just toodling along without a care in the world. Wouldn't that get you upset? Now, imagine your surprise when the slower car pulls over and lets you pass and gives you a friendly wave!!! Yup, that driver of the slower car would be me! Weird, huh?


My tomato(e) plants are doing quite well (slurp!!!). Here's the latest numbers:

Total weight of tomatoes harvested (and eaten): 1.430 kg (3.15 pounds)
Total number of tomatoes harvested: 13
Number of tomatoes currently on vines: 72
Number of tomatoes currently ripening on vines: 7



Couldn't let you go without giving you a birdie pic. Ummmm, this is what I get for using the auto-focus... Notice how nice and crispy clear the tree in the background is?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tag! I'm it!

Hey everyone! I've been tagged!!!! Does this mean I've officially arrived in the ole blogosphere? If you're curious, A Girl and Her Dogs tagged me with one that I've seen going around for a while, so it'll be kinda hard for me to find folks I visit who haven't done this one, but I'll try.

It's the Seven Weird Things About Me that's been going around like a bad cold for a couple of months. I've read some really weird things some bloggers have written about themselves, and I'm sure some of it is made up (like eating your own toenail clippings, for example).

Now, mine may not be as weird as some folks, but to me they sorta seem to separate me from most blokes. Oh, I asked my BIL for seven weird thing about me... a couple of mins later after picking himself up off the floor from laughing so hard he said, "What, ONLY seven?" And then he walked away chortling to himself.

I'm going to run my seven weird (or odd) things about myself over seven different posts, and on the seventh post not only will I rest, but by then I'll have scoped out enough bloggers who haven't been tagged with this one so that I can pass it along.

First weird thing about me:

I really like counting my tomatoes. Every morning I'm out there watering them, fertilizing them, and ahhhhh, counting them... I count each one I can see on all the plants. This means that for about five mins I'm hunkered down on the brick pavers peering up the bottoms of the flowers to see which ones have set (oh, I could go to jail for that!). Even if there's only a little tiny microscopic tomato(e) hiding under the skirts of the flower;
it gets counted. Needless to say, I haven't been able to count my tomatoes since I tweaked my back 82 hours ago (but who's counting????) so for today you'll have to see wednesdays count:

Total weight of tomatoes harvested: 930 grams (2.05 pounds)
Total # of tomatoes harvested: 8
# of tomatoes ripening on the vines: 4
Number of tomatoes currently on vines: 65 (probably more like 70, but I ain't bending down to look up the tomatoes' skirts)

Now, what would a post from me be like without a pic of the parrots that hang out in the backyard? I call them the breakfast club. Of course, there's a funny caption to go along with it.

It's WEDGIE time!!!!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Oops, I did it again

No, I'm not a fan of modern music, nor of pop music. I did go through the ole top 40 phase when I was in my early early teens. Thankfully I grew out of it. However, it sure is a good title for this post.

If you're looking for something funny today from Yours Truly (that'd be me), then I can type to you right now to tell you this is not going to be one of my more funny ones cus I's isn't in no mood ta be a laughin'! Besides, it hurts too much to laugh...

How's abouts that for a bit of foreshadowing? Hey, if I do that 3 more times it'll be fourshadowing! Ha Ha! I crack me up. Ok, I take it back, this one might be a little bit funny as(s) the latest round of painkillers kick in... ahhhhh...

Before I tell you all what's going on, let me give you a tomato(e) update. For you newbies, we've got 3 wonderful tomato(e) plants growing in pots this season and we're hoping to get 80 to 100 pounds of fresh, organic tomatoes throughout this season.

Here's the current numbers:

Total weight of tomatoes harvested: 795 grams (1 and 3/4 pounds)
Total number of tomatoes harvested: 6
Number of tomatoes currently on vines: 67
Number of tomatoes currently ripening on vines:4

Growing right next to the tomatoes is a big hanging basket of basil. Tomatoes and basil make good companion plants: they each keep the other very healthy. When you grow basil, you can keep it bushing and producing leaves all season long: whenever one of them looks like it's going to try to flower, just snip that one off an inch or so below the flowering part (that way you'll have fresh leaves that evening, and the stem that's left has plenty of leaves). The snipped stem will then split off in two new stems and you'll soon end up with a huge bushy hanging basket of basil for 6 months. How's that for a gardening tip?

Next Topic:

Did you know that I used to be (am still kinda am) very phsically active and an athlete in 6 different sports? I did a lot of other sports, but only competed in 6 throughout the years. Oh, I count xc running and marathon running as one sport, btw.

A quick condensed recount of various athletic endeavours I have done over the last 40 years:

Got 2nd in a xc ski race a week after the leg cast came off

I've run a marathon (all on trails)

I've done an ultramarathon through mountains

Ridden over 200 miles on a road bike in 13 hours solo and unsupported

Done the same on a mountain bike but in 20 hours

Was a State Epee Fencing Champion and runner up in Foil and Sabre

Taught at a University PE Dept for 8 years

Did 20 snowboard runs at Skiland in one day; before it opened for the season so I hiked up the whole thing each run

Bowled 22 strikes in a row when I was 16

All of those things took an uncounted number of hours, days, weeks, months, and years practicing. You kinda get the idea: I was in damned good shape. And that's not to mention the freight tossing around either.

Now for the other side of the coin...

I've broken a leg

I've torn knee cartilege

Broken an arm

Broken a hand

Broken many fingers

Evulsion fractures on both ankles

Cracked ribs


Too many bruises to count

Broken foot (twice)

Too many twisted ankles to count

Broken toes

Left face on pavement when I was five

A hunk of rebar decided to try and jam itself into my knee when I was 10

Hit by a car (twice)

Hit by a motorcycle

Pulled too many muscles to count

Now, all of those resulted in fairly superficial injuries which have all healed up nicely, no worries.

HOWEVER... I do have a wee bit of a problem with my back, and, quite frankly, I'm SHOCKED at what I was able to do athletically with a back like mine.

Here's the lowdown on my back:

My left pelvis is 12 mm lower than my right

My spine curves off to the left after it leaves my pelvis

Shortly after my spine leaves the pelvis it consists of 4 compressed vertebrae in a row

My spine then starts to curve to the right, resulting in my right shoulder being lower than the left (but I'm getting better with that)

When my spine becomes my neck, it encounters 2 neck vertebrae in a row that are TWISTED wrongly by about 10 degrees

So what happens when I do something stupid with my back? Say, like lift something heavy the wrong way... Well it's been so long since I've done that I can't say! See, lifting properly is such a second nature to me that I don't even have to think about it. The last time I had to move the Clan Household I did like 13 runs in a freight truck over 10 days or so and didn't have a single problem with my back! In fact, a lot of my strength returned then.

So what did I do yesterday morning that has me whinging and whining about my back? Here's what I did:

I had just fed the local parrots (up to 18 in the morning and 10 in the evening!!!) and I was filling a watering container for starting the mornings' watering of juicy tomato(e) plants, grape vines, and other goodies. I leaned slightly over to turn on the outside water spigot. While I was leaned over I coughed to clear some mucus from my lungs... INSTANT shooting pain down both sides of my lumbar regions where the comressed vertebrae are! OUCH!

Oh the embarrasment! I had to tell my wife (she'd have seen me hobbling around anyways) what happened. Personally I'm kinda glad it didn't happen by lifting wrong. But leaned over and coughing?????????? Go back and read through all that athletic stuff I did! I'm supposed to be tougher than that, gah!

Fortunately, I have everything I need to treat it and I know exactly what to do for it when it's like this. Also, my chiro has my back nice and loose so things click back into place easily... Lots of ice, liquid muscle relaxants, lots of anti-inflammatories, lots of muscle relaxants, laying in the proper positions, more liquid muscle relaxants, move around so things don't tighten up, lots more ice, even more liquid muscle relaxants etc etc etc

I'm sure you all realiz(s)e there are some things you CAN'T do when your back is like this, there are some things you CAN do but hurt like hell, and one or two things you HAVE to do no matter how excrutiatingly painful they are...

Can you think of something you HAVE to do but is so painful you'd rather die??? Can you? Let me give you a hint: as soon as my back is better I'm installing a bidet so next time I hurt my back I won't be afraid to go number 2.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Overheard at the Possum House

For those of you (k)newbies, check out why I changed the name from the Clan House to the Possum House right here.

YT stands for yours truly (that's me, BTW), and BIL stands for brother-in-law:

YT coming in the side patio door, "Ahhh, no better way to waste a morning *edit* than *edit* with drills, screwdrivers, sledgehammer, and duct tape."

BIL "Oh, are you doing watch repair?"

BIL "Or perhaps practicing for brain surgery?"


BIL "So what are you working on this time?"

YT "Oh, just fixing the door jam and lock on the side gate."

BIL "Sounds like you've got the right tools, carry on."

*edit* my high school english teacher used to live right across the street... I'm hanging my grammatically challenged head in shame...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I CAN add... sorta...

Lessee... 1+1=2, 2+2=5, 5+5=21... Oops, musta been Hobbes doing my math homework for me...

I know, I can hear you saying from all throughout the blogosphere, "Dave, is this going somewhere?" My answer is, "Yes, it is going somewhere; just be patient and keep reading."

Waaaaaay back when I was in elementary school I didn't due well in math, nor did I doo well in paper writing, and even though I was very active, me and organis(z)ed sports didn't seem to get along too well. I seemed to be destined to be a totally useless middle management type dude with a beer gut who watches the world go by while other people do cool things.

That all changed in junior high school when math classes introduced variables --algebra and all that stuff. It was like flipping a light switch in the empty morass of little dave's empty brain: Suddenly it all made sense.

Needless to say, I was in physics, advanced chem, and calculus while still in high school --wee-hooie! Engineering vistas unfolded before my wondering eyes. I also started doing better in my chosen sports (at the time: xc running, xc skiing, bowling).

I was a few years in petro eng in college, but decided the oil patch was NOT where this hippy kid wanted to be so I switched to a double in Math and Geology (had to do something with all the math and geo credits I had, eh?)

I could solve second order partial differential equations; fluid dynamic equations and thermo were a breeze. Now, I still couldn't write a damn paper to save my life so the liberal arts really weren't for me.

I enjoyed lab work in chem and physics, especially the blowing stuff up part! Hey, I know what part of the miniscus to read when measuring volumes. And I can even tell you why they form!

However... I am still blond! I have long blond hair that I haven't cut in yonks (that's aussie for a long bleedin' time) and it's starting to get a lot lighter as I spend more time in the pool --even my eyebrows are now bleached blond!!!!).

You know all those blond jokes? Well, they apply to us guys too!

You remember all that math and science crap you just skimmed over? Do you think that anyone who's been through all that can read a kitchen scale properly when weighing his beautiful, fresh organic tomatoes as they come off the vine? Well? Do Ya? Especially when said person has been told he should open a restaurant and is *supposed* to know his way around a kitchen!

Well, if your answer was something along the lines of... "of course dave won't be able to read the damned scale properly," then you win!

Did I look at the increments on the gram side of the scale? NO! Did I wonder why the ounces didn't match the grams I thought I was weighing? NO!

Sigh... Yes, I can count and I can add: I just can't read a damned kitchen scale!

Here's the updated and FIXED tomato(e) numbers:

Total weight of tomatoes: 495 grams (1.1 pounds)
Total number of tomatoes this season: 3
Number of tomatoes currently on plants: 56

NOW we're looking at more like 75-80 pounds of tomatoes for the season: very very cool!

Over and out!