Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Oi, G'day mates! Hmmmmm, limbo... I'm sure y'all remember the ole limbo stick thingy that was all the rage back in the 70's and 80's. And I'm doubly sure y'all remember when the roller skating rinks had limbo contests on roller skates. Roller skates; can anyone see where this is going? Well, you're wrong.

This post has nothing to do with any of that crap.

I'm in limbo for a couple of reasons. The first is that this modern day doohickey thingy ma bob called The Internet is acting up. We are talking ssssssllllllllloooooooowwwwwww. Our broadband is slower than a dialup! Heck, we've only had broadband for 10 months and we've gotten pretty darned spoilt (spoiled). And it's not just the clan house. A friend who works at a nearby Uni says it's so slow she can't even do her job. There's even some folks overseas (that'd be most of you) who've said things have really slowed down too. What the hell is going on?

I feel I must apologise to the blogs that I visit and comment on regularly cus y'all ain't seen me for a few days. I can't even get some sites to load! Crikey! Might have to dial up, blech.

Before we get onto the next reason, I'm going to attempt to put in a pretty birdie pic here with a funny caption. Why? Cus pretty birdie pics seem to be the main reason why you come here and I like putting funny captions above or below them. Oh yeah, for those of you who have voted for Dave's Pool as the reason why you come here, I can safely say that pool season in OVER! The water temp is a freezing cold 20 C (that's 68 F for those of you who can't do [1.8*x + 32] in your head but please don't judge as I have a good head for numbers but can't write to save my life! I'm sure you've noticed that bit about the writing part though...) and there ain't no way I'm jumping in that since I've turned into a wuss these last 8 years.

Did I mention that the Idiotic Ramblings got just as many votes as the pool and the funny bird captions? Does that explain any of the above crap I've just typed?

Oh, right, a bird pic.

"I hope that idiot with the camera got this cus it'll look so cool!"
"Shut up and eat your seeds."

The other reason I feel like I'm in limbo is that the clan seems to dying off. Yes, there's been a family tragedy. I'm now down to zero great grandparents, zero great grandparents in law, one grandparent, zero grandparents in law, no mom, no pa in law, one uncle, one aunt, no uncles in law and no aunts in law.

My grandmom died last week. She was 93 and had a great life. I'm not good at articulating in writing what I feel, so I just won't try, sigh...

On to a lighter note!

One more picture!

How's about a shot of a galah (that's the pink ones with the grey wings and the white cap) crapping on a rainbow lorikeet (that's the small one with green wings and reds, blues, oranges, and yellows everywhere)? No, it's not really crapping. But I coulda added a little drop coming out of his butt onto the top of the lorrie! But(t) that'd be cheating so you'll just have to imagine it happening.

Ok, here's the pic:

BTW, the galah on the lower right of the feeder really is that grey. She (or he) is a young one and they don't get really pink till they get a bit older. Heck, you should see what the young cockies look like; they seem deformed! But that'll have to wait till next time, or at least until I have a connection that doesn't barf all the time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blank Slate

...nuthin'... I gots nuthin'... and even if I did I don't have time to write it down 'cus I gotta go git me back fixed. 

Oh wait! Don't go! I do remember that I have *something* for you. No, it won't be a gross disgusting story like last post. I'll, ahh, save the next gross story for some other time! No, you get birdie pics today.

And I PROMISE I won't put cartoon balloon speech and thought thingy-ma-bobs in the pic. Last time I did that I got zero comments. I thought for sure that Farting Cockatoos would be funny. Heck, I even had pics for a whole series of farting birds lined up. But, alas, t'was not to be... So I'll just stick with the funny captions under the pic. How's that?

First up:

"Oof! Another 20 of these chinups and I'll have HUGE pecs!"

"Crikey Larry, he almost snagged me toupee!"

"I am large and in charge."

"Good thing I remembered my underwing deodorant. Maybe I'll get lucky!"

"I shall sharpen my talons upon your roof, and there is nothing you can do about it."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Road Rash

Oh boy does that term bring back some painful memories. But before I get to those memories, did anyone see Pozzato's road rash from Paris-Roubaix when he wiped out just before Arenberg? It looks ugly. On his right hip, and the shorts are shredded. Here's a link so you can see it. I know it may look small to you, but road rash is very painful and it looks like it's right on his hip bone too. Not fun when you've got 150 kilometres still to race and a lot of it over jarring granite cobbles.

Perhaps this post coulda been titled Skid Marks In My Skivvies, hmmmmm.

Is this going somewhere? Yes, it is. Did you know I've had some road rash too? Did you also know it happened to a young dave back in Alaska? You guessed it: another thrilling episode of...

Story Time With Unkie Dave

Side note: there will be cool birdie pics, but at least read the story first so I don't feel I've typed this in for nothin', ta.

Another side note: ta is aussie slang for 'thanks, mate'. Ooo, just had to fix a typo, I'd typed "assie" instead of "aussie", coulda confused ya.

One more side note: this is NOT a rehash of the story about when I left my face on the pavement! But you should go read it anyways cus there's lots of good stuff in it. That's back when I was writing funny stuff, not like this gunk nowadays.

Meanwhile, back in Alaska in the late 70's...

I used to xc ski, doncha know. That's cross country ski for those of you abbreviationally challenged folks. In fact, I even used to race. I was even on the high school team for 3 years. So was my brother... he shredded his shoulder whereas I shredded my knee and my ass.

This story is about the shredding of my ass. Ahem... should be some damned good google searches returning this post, eh! Ha! The knee shredding will have to wait.

I raced before the skating technique was developed. Oh sure, Bill Koch used it in 1976 to get a silver, but by 1979 it really hadn't filtered down to my level. Since everything was diagonal (or classical I think it's called now????) all the cross training was aimed at the diagonal technique. Specifically, we were all expected to be on the xc running team too. No snow? Then run with poles.

And a great summer training thing was... roller skis. Nowadays a lot of skiers use roller blades and poles for summer training, but we didn't have that luxury back in the dark ages. Heck, I remember my first pair of carbon fibre ski poles, WOW were they light! Much better than fibreglass poles.

Anywho, during the summer between my freshman and sophomore (who the hell thought up these silly assed names?) years, my parents (thanks!) bought doug (me bro) and I a pair of roller skis. Well, actually, they bought us EACH a pair of roller skis, ahem.

We tuned them in the garage and on the driveway so they'd track straight. See, if you didn't do that then one ski could go one way while the other ski went some other way and then you'd go splat on the pavement. We thought it would kinda hurt if that happened so we tuned the front wheel so they'd track straight.

Can ANYONE notice just a wee tiny bit of a certain writing technique called foreshadowing? No, you can't? Well in that case you were raised by Hollywood and the telly! I'll get off my soapbox now and back to the story.

We did a bit of back and forth along the bike path on Jewel Lake Road (in Los Anchorage) till we thought we had the hang of it. Well, doug (my older brother) had the hang of it and I was just kinda following along. Little brothers are like that...

We went on down past Caravelle, no worries so far. The roller skis tracked pretty straight and I thought I had them under control. Guess that'll teach me to think, eh! The climb up to four corners was no worries at all, very easy on them suckers.

We then started to go down the bike path where it goes past Delong Lake. Any of ya'll from that area? Remember how the path gets real steep past the old chevron gas station (I'd be shocked if it's still there), and then gets really really steep as it shoots straight downwards?

Just before it drops straight down, there's a little lip that if you're on a bike you can catch some good air on if you've for some speed going. You can ALSO get a bit of air if you are on roller skis. Whether you can land or not is irrelevant, you're going be airborne for a very brief moment. In a tuck, on roller skis, on the hard asphalt, while wearing thin short shorts.

Side note regarding short shorts: anybody remember those Nair commercials about wearing short shorts? Or am I showing my age again?

Back to the story.

But I knew you could get some air if you weren't careful! Ha! I can learn! Actually having ridden down it on a bike practically every summer day for a decade makes you learn every bump, whether you want to or not. So I was careful not to carry too much speed going into the hill, and I made it! Wee-hoo! Three cheers for me! Ok, now time to get in a good tuck and catch up to Doug (my older brother).

Remember back at the start of this story when I talked about "tuning" the roller skis so they tracked straight? You do? Good. We tuned them in a garage and a very short driveway, at low speeds, not under load... So what do you think happens when you are going very fast, over a much longer distance, and your weight is on the roller skis? C'mon, guess! Yup, you're right: they don't go straight.

Hmmmmm, such a small, innocuous clause, "they don't go straight."

What happens to the kid on the skis (who just happens to be in a tuck that's the envy of all downhillers) when the rollers skis don't track straight? In fact, they diverge... Guess what part of the 14 year old little dave hits the asphalt first at around 30 mph. Did you guess His Ass?

I didn't bounce, I didn't roll, I didn't tumble... I slid. Then I continued to slide. Then I slid some more before finally coming to a stop. Oh look, some idiot left a 30 foot long bloody streak on the bike path. Now what kinda idiot would do that? Ummmmmm, that'd be me.

My elbows were bloody, my hands were bloody, my calves were bloody, and both my butt cheeks were totally shredded. It wasn't a pretty site, lemme tell ya. If I had pics of this to post my blog would be banned! At this point, Doug (my older brother) came back after hearing what happened --of course, I imagine everyone in a ten mile radius heard the scream. Somehow we managed the mile and a half back to the house. I don't remember if I walked, or if he carried me. I probably had to walk.

This was the beginning of a couple of very painful mistakes regarding road rash. See, it took a while to hobble back home and during that time the melted, shredded shorts had sorta embedded themselves into my raw, bleeding, scrapped butt.

Next mistake: thinking that taking a cool shower will loosen the fabric from the quickly forming scab. Ah, just a word of advice to any of you who get really bad road rash: DON'T TAKE A SHOWER. 'Nuff said, eh?

Then not being able to pick the gravel and dirt out, and Doug (my older brother) wasn't gonna do it.

I distinctly remembering it hurting, just a wee bit.

Mom to the rescue! Sorta... She picked the gravel and dirt out, and then put on some antiseptic. Has anyone ever had antispectic applied to road rash? No? Well I think I'd rather have all my teeth pulled with no novacaine than EVER go through that again.

I still need to find out what she used to get the blood stains out of the carpet. But since she's not with us any longer (rest her soul), I guess I'll never know.

It was weeks before I could sit down for any length of time. Had to learn how to sleep on my stomach (my back just loved that). Do you know what happens when you roll over slightly while you are sleeping (bare, of course) and the sheet comes into contact with a big ole massive, wet, weeping scab along both your ass cheeks and the back of both thighs? Shall I tell you? Of course I shall, hell you've read this far so what's a bit more grossness between friends, eh? You wake up in the morning with the sheet glued to both your butt cheeks and the back of both thighs.

Ungluing the sheet from my behind was something I never ever want to got through ever again... Shall I just say, "ouch".

So! That's my experience with road rash. I now know that Lucas's PaPaw ointment will heal it up quick with no scarring. No, they aren't paying me, darnit. But if you do have bad road rash try to find yourself some and you'll be very happy.

This is also the reason why I don't race. I just can't get myself to bomb down twisty turny mountain roads like racers do. I can go fast uphill and pull em on the flats, but dang they blow me away going downhill (unless it's straight). Gee, do you think some experience from my youth might have something to do with that???? Just a thought.

Time for some birdie pics! Hey, y'all sat still and read that story so I can at least reward you with some cool birdie pics!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Flying Galahs

Oh my. I just realis(z)ed it's been a bit since my last post. 5 days with no pics of pretty birds for y'all. I have been a bit busy, but that's no reason, it's just a lame excuse on my part. I am finishing up a story about how ten years after I left my face on the pavement I left my ass on the pavement. Really! I don't make these things up! Suffice to say, I had a fun childhood.

But till I get that sucker done, here's a pretty birdie pic for ya:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just a quickie

I'm working on a lengthy post, so bear with me. Or if you would prefer to wolf with me I can handle that too. To tide you over, I've got a birdie pic. No captions, no balloons, just a pic.

I hope y'all ain't too disappointed...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Farting Cockatoo

Oh ho ho ho ho HO! I'll be very interested to what the heck sorta searches this post turns up with a title like that!

I outta get some google ads on this site. Not to take y'alls money, but just to see what sorta ads turn up when I go off on some serious and ridiculous tangents! Like when I did the Wing Wax advert post titled Underwear! That should have gotten some cool ads, eh?

Or how about when I said that no enhancements were done to this next pic? What kinda google ads do you think would have shown THAT day?


So if'n any google ads show up here, it's not cus I've sold out (unless they pay me lots of money, I'm not cheap) but it's just cus I wanna see what the spider bots think are "appropriate" ads for my text.


I meant to put some birdie pics in with the last post from 30 minutes ago, but, alas, I forgot. So hear (here) ya go:

Jumping off the roof

Well now. I've just noticed that there's quite a few of ya out there in neverland that are perusing me wee little archives. Cool, good on ya! Hope it brightens your day and if not then tough.

I've also noticed that a few of the pics are missing... Only a couple cus I didn't put too many pics up back then, but I noticed there's on pic that is REALLY pivotal to the ensuing story.

OT Dontcha just love the fact that I know and can properly use words like perusing and ensuing? Ummmm, my high school inglisch teetchur was our next door neighboor.

Meanwhile, back at a totally useless train of thought... (mine stayed at the boarding station).

Oh yeah, I remember. There's a cool story around about a year ago, but NO picture. This particular cool story really really really REALLY needs the pic. So in order to clear up what could be construed by my new readers *waving hi to new readers* as confusion on my part (you could very well be write!), I'm giving you the pic AND the story.

Why the story too? Well, see this way I don'ts gots to post nutin today!

Ha. I joke! I'm working on a batman series with birdses which you'll like. I hope.

Anyways, here ya go. Just another story from young dave where he almost dies.

Saturday, April 07, 2007
Watch out for that first step...

Well, well; let's find out if I can post? Hmmmm, yup, old ancient dial-up from Oz shakes hand with blogger and even lets me login this time! Wee-Hoo!

It's not that I've be purposely ignoring the blog (and I've got a great story for you), but there are many times I can't connect to any secure server in the US from here with an old dial-up account. Gee dave, why don't you get broadband? Because we live in one of the very very very very few areas in the Hills that CAN'T get it! Oh, Telstra finally offered the area wireless broadband --at a disgustingly over-inflated price and with only a 50 meg download per month before it reverts to dial-up speeds... JERKS!

I can hear you folks in the US gasping that our broadband is capped each month, you want more megs --then you PAY loads for it.

Ah well, the price I have to pay for living in a year round summer paradise with free health care for all.

Getting back to the Alaskan Dave Down Under theme, I have a story for you. It is the story of the picture a few posts ago. Here is the pic again:

Why Did The Two Idiots Jump Off The Roof?

Remember, the bloke on the left in the red jacket (John) is now a brain surgeon, and the bloke in the blue snow pants is yours truly.

It all started when myself and two friends (they were also my teaching assistants at UAF) were renting a house close to the U. The three of us had the upstairs, and the downstairs was rented by John's girlfriend and one of her lady friends.

Do I even need to bother to tell you that there were some pretty fantastic parties at that house that year? Well, there was! Hey, I can light (and keep lit) the charcoal grill when it's -52 F outside and we had 20 people over for seafood shish-kabobs. But that is another story (along with the 3 gallons of Jim O'Briens Hurricane Punch).

That winter was also one of the heaviest snowfall season that Fairbanks had seen in many a decade! Quite a few rooves (roofs) in some older houses collapsed, so did many sheds. Over at the party house, the girls couldn't see out of the downstairs windows, and you could practically step off the balcony onto the snow. John enjoyed the shovelling (he's from Alabama), but Jim and I grew up doing that crap so we let him have all the snow shovelling fun --aren't we nice?

One of the nice things about Fairbanks snow is that it is very soft and dry. Heck, you could stuff your pillow with it and it'd be softer than goose down!

Anyways, back to the story... One fine spring day in March, I was actually helping John shovel off the balcony/deck out front. As we pushed the snow off the balcony, we noticed it formed a really really nice high pile of soft snowy goodness. Being the naturally inquisitive young blokes that we were at the time, we decided to climb onto the balcony railing and jump into the pile of snow. FUN! WEE-HOO!

We soon noticed that as we extricated ourselves (ourselfs) from the pile of snow and floundered through the yard, that the snow in the yard was about SIX FEET DEEP and it was also pure, soft, pristine, powder... Our thoughts then went into overdrive as we looked at the roof at the top of the second story and then at the six feet deep powder in the yard.

Can anyone guess what came next? Let me tell you:

We got the big extension ladder from around back, leaned it up to the lowest part of the roof, and then climbed up. When we got to the roof, we quickly went right back down and grabbed shovels as the snow on the roof was over 3 feet deep. It took us the better part of an hour to shovel out a trench to get to the high part of the roof. When we looked down, we noticed the snow close to the house wasn't NEARLY as deep as the stuff in the yard --that could hurt... So we spent the next 20 mins digging out a trench of the top of the roof for a "run-up".


When we were finally ready to jump, John and I stood at the edge of the roof for A LONG TIME looking down. It's odd how when you are on the ground looking up the height doesn't seem that high... But when you are up there looking down, it's seems like you are looking off a mile high cliff.

Who should drive by, but our landlord and his wife. Yup, no joke. John and I instantly went over to a section of the roof and started shovelling snow off it in the hope that they'd figure we are doing them a great favor. Guess what? It worked! Ten minutes later they drove off.

John and I go back to the precipice...

By now, some neighborhood kids had showed up to watch (as you can tell from the photo).

John and I jumped...


More freefall...


Whiteness everywhere, bright sky overhead, and still the feet hadn't touched the ground! WOW! FUN! HOLY SHIT LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!!! Then spend five mins "swimming/crawling" out of the post hole we each had made in the yard.

Oh, WAIT! Let's get Jim to take a picture! Jim had (wisely) decided not to partake in this pasttime, so we figured he could take a pic or two.

That's the story behind the pic. Second jump of the day off the roof. We did four more jumps each, and then we didn't trust ourselves to not hit one of the existing holes. The neighborhood kids were BEGGING us to let them jump off our roof. However, these were probably the same brats that knocked over one of our 6 foot high snow turrets we built along the driveway the week before so we didn't let them. Ha, serves em right!

So there you go, nothing broken, totally sober, and we even shovelled the roof too.

Hmmmm, that was a pretty lame story dave... anything else? Well, yeeeeeessssss...


One of my buddies came over and I told him what we did. He really really really wanted to jump off the roof. But there were no safe landing areas off the side where we KNEW the lawn was bare. Buuuuuuuuuutttttttt on the other side was snow that *looked* smooth, deep, and soft. Needless to say, Al and I clambored onto the roof, shovelled out a trench to the far side of the house, and jumped. Wee-fun! In fact, we jumped a couple more times!

After the spring melt, we found out that we were landing just a foot or so away from a pile of twisted wire and picket fencing. Ooooooo, that coulda hurt --a lot. I think my guardian angel had to work extra hard that weekend. When I showed the pile of twisted wire and sharp pickets to Al a few months later, all he said was, "Wow, good thing we missed that. Wanna beer?"

I'd give you a food post today, but I just want to get this story up, so hang tight till later for more food goodiness.


Saturday, April 12, 2008


For those of you who aren't aware, there is a BIG bike race going on in France starting in about 30 hours (or so) from now. This race is on bikes that have the foot rests that go up and down and round and round. And the fuel is cheap too!

OT: There WILL be bird pics in this post too :) Bonus, eh?

Yup, Paris-Roubaix is being run in northern France! It's pronounced parry-roobay in case you are interested. And well, even if you aren't!

The great news is that SBS is televising it LIVE down here in Oz! Wee-hoo! The telecast on SBS (free tv, not cable!) starts at 10:10 pm sunday night local Adelaide time and runs till well after 2 am. I know I'll have my dvd harddrive going :)

See, I noticed on my poll so far that at least one of you likes the sports stuff, so I figured I could write a little sumtin' 'bout a bike race with lots of tanned guys in spandex huffing and puffing...

Speaking of tanned guys in spandex, does anyone remember the couple of pics from this years Tour Down Under I put up? If not, go have a quick squizz; I'll wait.

Ah, you're back.

Now I'm going to put up a few pics from the Hahndorf stage of the TDU. Specifically, the post race chaos as the guys were changing (!) and the teams were loading bikes up.

Well, except for this first one here of the sprint finish about 150 metres off the line.

Now we go "behind the scenes" so to speak. Specifically, the guys getting out of their team kit before heading back to the hotel.

We'll start with Cofidis, a french team.

Next up is Ag2r, another french team.

Notice anything? Well, firstly nobody cares about changing, it's really no big deal. And there aren't any folks around them asking for autographs or anything like that.

Now, I'll show you two pics of Caisse d'Epargne. They are a spanish team sponsored by a french bank.

Firstly, they have really cool looking bikes!

And secondly, they have really cool looking fans!

The same bevy of babes was at the team presentation too. Several of the Caisse riders just HAD to stop and chat with their "fans" after their presentation in Glenelg.

Well, that's enough about cycling for now, I hope you all enjoy watching Paris-Roubaix. I certainly will.

And here's a couple of purdy burdy pics I promised:

Friday, April 11, 2008


Y'all 'member how them long movies back in the day had intermissions? Well sure, of course you do! This is something like that...

I'm busy getting dinner ready for the clan so I can't (w)ri(gh)t(e) the post I want to, but let me give you some foreshadowing: Big bike race, feeding people cheaply, lady at grocery checkout, how to make a really cool chess table, food from Fiji, birds, and anything else I care to write!

But for today, here's some birdie pics and perhaps a few funny captions.

One more thing... nobody's voting! Come one folks, tell me what you want! Ahem... The 2 votes so far are both from the clan house, and I have two more computers to use --which I will be doing. I'd like to think I'd end up with more than just the four votes though. Please tell me why you're here!

Wait a sec... for the person in Greenville, NC, USA who is looking for traditional Fijian recipes (yes, you found my miti and hope you like it. Heck I like it.) feel free to ask for anything from that region, no worries! Mango, coconut, pineapple, pork, prawns, octopus, preserves, fish,  marmalades, etc. You name it (and if it's south pacific) I can make it. I'll even tell ya how. Heck, I can even tell you which tree the narcotic/hallucinogenic kava, or yaqona, is made from AND how to make it easily. Aren't I just a helpful bloke?

To keep you entertained during this interlude, here's some birdie pics. I've not put any captions on, so you can leave a caption in the comment section. Or not.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Birds and a poll

I've got some more bird pics for you today. Aren't you so lucky?

But first! I have a poll going. See, just have a squizz over to your left and you'll see it just under the koala pic. You can mark as many as you want, no worries. I'm giving y'all 21 days (that's 3 weeks or 5.75% of a year) to vote. I figure this way it'll give all my new readers (Hi new readers! *waving*) time to go through a few archives.

Does this mean that any category on the poll that doesn't get any votes will be gone from this here blog? Hell, no! I just kinda wanna get an idea of what everyone likes to see.

I won't go into any data analysis, no standard deviation (I'm NOT a standard deviant!), no bell curves, none of that crap that I learned in a couple of stats classes back at ole UAF. Why not? Well, frankly (and johnly) I've forgotten it! So I'd need to go online and do a bit a research about statistical analysis... Ummmmm, you all have noticed the "lazy" is one of my labels? Ahem, 'nuff said, eh?

Alright, here's your bird pics.

Anyone remember Sesame Street? I used to watch it when I was little. Remember when you had to pick something out that was different from the rest? There was even a little jingle that went with it! I guess it musta had something to do with pattern matching or something like that. This pic reminded me of that.

Go on! Try to guess which one is different!







Was that one too hard for you? Sheesh, c'mon 4 year olds play this game! Here, I'll give you an easier one and perhaps you can work up to the 4 year old level later:

Careful now, don't strain your brain thinking!

I'll have you know this: No airbrushing or other enhancements were done to this shot:

The birdses actually DO hang out in trees, not just my feeder and brick wall. Here's proof:

'Ave a rippin' arvo, mate!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Traditional Fijian Miti

Hey all! I'm sure many of you are expecting pics of pretty birdses. Not in this post though (just scroll down or click on the "birds" label). Today I've got a post for someone in New Caledonia. Why New Caledonia? Well, why not! Actually someone from there landed on my particular corner of this universe cus he (or she) googled fiji miti sauce. And guess what? I just happen to know how to make it and the lolo used in it! In fact, it's even posted over on my food blog.

However, I just thought that since my food blog (does that mean y'all think I can't cook?) isn't as popular as this one (thanks everyone!!!!) that I'll just do a wee little copy/paste jobbie for your reading pleasure.

I also might put some birdie pics in afterwards... just to make you look!

For those of you looking for pics of my chess table, just scroll down to the previous post. In fact, feel free to browse around for a spell, eh?

To all: make sure you check out the link on "Holiday Feast" as mine are fairly epic.

Oh, you might like to know the heat wave is over. It got down to an arctic-like 56 F overnight, and it's currently 81 F in the shade and in the sun it's 102 F at 9:54 am, Tuesday, April 8th, 2008. Definitely time to winterize the car!


Yes, I have gazed into the maw of the monster known as "Holiday Feast" and have come out unscathed. Won't mention anything about those extra pounds that came along with me...

I've also just noticed that Rachel wants to know about Miti.

Miti is a fairly simple coconut cream sauce that originated in Fiji. Since it uses chilli, onions, and lemons I'm assuming that it is not a "traditional" recipe, but one that evolved after the Europeans "discovered" the South Pacific and brought some non-native foods with them. Either way, it's darned tasty.

Before you make Miti, you have to make Lolo. There are many different ways to make Lolo, I'll describe some of them in reverse order of ease. Oh, Lolo is the Fijian word for coconut cream. Oh, when you cook with coconut cream, don't bring it to a rolling boil: lots of protein in it so it curdles and separates easily.

Lolo method 1, very traditional.

What you need:
One coconut
1/2 cup water

What you do:
Grate the flesh of the coconut, but don't forget to de-husk it first! Add the water, then strain it through a muslin cloth or cheesecloth. Wring/squeeze it out well so you get all the cream out.

Lolo method #2, not traditional

What you need:
1 cup of dessicated coconut (most stores carry this)
1/2 cup boiling water

What you do:
Pour the boiling water into the bowl with the dessicated coconut. Let it sit for a few hours, then squeeze and wring it through muslin or cheesecloth.

Lolo method #3, cheating

What you need:

What you do:
Go to a grocery store and use the above cash to buy a can of coconut cream.

Note, method #3 should only be used if you're in a bit of a rush. Method #2 is the easiest, just make sure you start the dried coconut soaking in plenty of time.

UPDATE: I just reread this... and I realised some of you may think the lolo is the leftover coconut stuff. It's not! It's the cream you've just squeezed out. Ahem...

On to the Miti!

What you need:
1/2 cup Lolo (see above)
juice from a lemon (you can't use my lemon tree, BTW)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 small thai chilli, finely minced
1 small onion, minced

What you do:
Chuck it all into a bowl, whisk it together and call it done! Obviously, the longer it sits on the counter, the stronger the flavour will be.

Bonus stuff!!!!

Thick Miti dip

What you need:
One cup Miti
2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp minced spring onion greens (or garlic greens)

What you do:
Mix the cornflour with 1/4 cup of the Miti and the salt. Mix well. Stir in the rest of the Miti and bring it to a simmer so that it thickens, but don't let it boil or it'll separate.

Let it cool, then mix in the onion or garlic greens. Chill it for a bit, then use it as you would any kind of dip for chips, crackers, veggies, or whatnot.


See? Wasn't that easy and not too painful to read? And now you get to look at 6 pics of aussie wild critters.

Let's start with a little ole cutey-pie, shall we?

And this guy is probably gonna lay eggs in my mint or basil!

An adult roo in a field bouncing around.

A baby roo (called a joey) just learning how to bounce around. He fell a lot.

This is the natural state of a roo.

The things you see out bushwalking.

That's it for today. I've just realised I owe Rachel a polynesian spare rib recipe and I owe Suzer a pineapple pie recipe along with a banana tart. So check in soon to my other blog.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Well, well, WELL! The title of this post should bring a (w)hole bunchaya scurrying 'round ta 'ere. If knot, then perhaps those of us here can go out and throw some meat on the barbie.

Ahhhhh... Isn't aussie (ozzie) slang the rippa?

Many (probably most) of you are hear (here) this arvo cus I've got pics of my chess table on this wee little post. For those of you who aren't here for that: bugger off! No, just kidding.

My chess table... why did I make it? Well, I was kinda bored for a week. It took that long cus of all the drying time, the table itself can be made in a day but it'll look really crappy. I hadn't really played much chess over the last decade or so. In fact, the best game I'd had to this point was in the basement of a pub in Fairbanks, Alaska. The pub was called The Dog House and ran by a lady (Gerry) who used to own The Blue Marlin (before the unliscensed propane stove caught fire). Ummmm, I'm sure I've lost y'all by now but those of you old time Squarebanksans will remember the pizza, the bluegrass, and the *ambiance* of that place...

Anyways, the basement had a dart board, a chess set, checkers, and a loo. I was the one who usually pumped out and fixed the loo when it was really cold (like minus 45), so Gerry gave me lots of beer. In fact, she even left one arvo to run some errands and let me behind the register, grill, and (most importantly) the tap. Ahem... that was a fun day.

Where was I? Ah, right chess.

I've recently started playing chess online. Yes, my glasses suddenly sprouted tape on the nose bridge, my pants became short, a pocket protector appeared in pocket of my new shirt,  I grew an overbite, and I suddenly started stammering and babbling incoherently (more so than usual) whenever a sheila looked at me.

No, I joke.

No, REALLY! I'm kidding!

Aw shit, ya'll ain't buying one ounce o' this crap!

Time to be serious --a first for me!

The octagonal "squares" on the board are 5.7 cm by 5.7 cm by 5.7 cm by 5.7 cm. Why? Well if'n any of you paid attention during shop class and geometry class (the two were mutually exclusive except for myself) then you'll know about the dimensions.

Anyways, before I get to the pics, I should give you a link to the site I'm playing chess online. See, there it was; hope you didn't miss it! If anyone wants to join and have a game (you can challenge other players), then feel free to challenge me. It's free! Wee! My username is davedownunder    They didn't have enough space for the alaskan part, but oh well. Ah, Jess, wanna see whatcha got?

Anna, wanna play? It's free!

My chess table was made from scratch, every piece of wood was a junk piece of cheap pine. The only thing I had to buy was a can of satin varnish, a can of gloss clear coat, two cans of different coloured wood stain, and 2 cans of powdered wood filler. The rest was on hand. Oh, the table saw was on hand too :)

Here are the pics (I've made you wait this long so what's a bit more, eh?)

Oh, if'n anyone is interested in the tekneekal detales of making this, jus lemme know, eh? The last thing I'll say about MY chess table is that when the top is unscrewed, a couple of 200 lb blokes can stand on the bottom shelf with no worries!

Here is a shot of the Faerie back row

and to counter that, we have the dragon back row

Now, I ask you thusly: which set looks cooler and badassed?

Let's have a few shots of a match in progress, shall we?

Here's an overhead. As you can see, I also play backgammon.

This is my normal view (at least for me) cus I like playing the dragons.

Here's a side-on view. The two cases at the base of the pic contain dominoes (I'm a dork).

And just cus all my 3d programs that I use have orthagonal views...

Shall we now meet all the pieces? Well, yes. Since I'm writing this (after getting up many times to stretch my back out) we shall.

Da dragon side

And the faerie side.

One dragon castle guarding his horde.

One faerie castle guarding her magic mushroom.

One dragon knight with a sword in his hands, NOT his willy.

The upturned leaves of the lily pad lets the faerie knight glide gracefully over other pieces.

Dragon bishops like to hang out in graveyards.

Faerie bishops are from their Order of The Rose.

The dragon queen. Doesn't she look pissed!

Here's another shot of her. Yup, still pissed.

The faerie queen has nice, ummmm, seashells...

The dragon king does not look happy. Maybe it's cus he has to put up with who's next to him?

The faerie king makes a peace offering.

Notice the beatific, glazed, hypnotized looks on the faerie pawns faces.

In marked contrast to the dragon pawns who don't like to take orders.