Friday, January 30, 2009

We've Abandoned The Upstairs

This was a decision not taken lightly, either. See, there's a/c in one wing of the upstairs (WP's and mine) but the unit cannot handle this heat. Sleeping in an upstairs room over 100 F is not my idea of fun.

Ole Denethor tried to tell us that he'd not so lightly abandon the upper ramparts; we told him to go fuck himself!

Sooooooo, we are camping out in the back, downstairs. There's a brand spanking new split system installed in the back (many many many thanks to the owner) so last night we moved a futon pad down into the sunken lounge in the back room. Ahhhhhhhh, bliss. Even BIL crashed down there on his inflatable camping mattress.

I had dinner in the pool last night. And lunch. And today's lunch. And I'll be having tonight's dinner in the pool too.

The official high was 43.1 C or 109.58 F in the shade. Here I saw 112.5 in the shade, and it's currently 104.9 F in the shade. I moved the temp sensor into the sun for a while... 147.2 F Ahhhhh, now I'm starting the thaw some frozen bone marrow that was amassed thru 5 decades in Alaska.

Do y'all like my new weather girl? Just look to your left... I'm sure everyone up north is hoping for the heat to continue so they can get a daily bikini fix.

I had to thaw some bacon earlier. I put it on a plate and placed it in the sun. Well, not only did the bacon thaw, but I don't even have to cook it! Yup, one plate of crispy cooked bacon. Yummy!

The cockatoos have an interesting looking way of handling the heat. They have all their feathers plastered against them (they look really skinny when the do that), they open their beak and pant, and they have their wings about a quarter of the way open. They do their best to look very pathetic. They are also very quiet --WAHOO! Quiet cockatoos!!!

Here's some pics:
cooked cockatoo 2

cooked cockatoo 3

cooked cockatoo 4

cooked cockatoo 5

I think the cat fried his little brains...
roasted cat

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Record Adelaide Heat Wave 2009

Well, we are only 4 days into this season's first heat wave and we've already borken a record. The record was for Highest Overnight Low Temp. It only got down to 33.9 C (that's 93.02 for you who think in fartinhights) last night. I think that was around 1 am. By 5 am it was already 99 F (or 37.2 if you think in celtzers).

The forecast is for 44 C (111 F) in the shade. There's also no end to the heat. Here's the official word from the Ozzie BOM (remember, this is in C and it's in the shade):

Adelaide Forecast
Issued at 11:40 am CDT on Thursday 29 January 2009

Warning Summary

Forecast for Thursday
Dry. A mostly sunny and very hot day. Moderate to fresh northwest winds, turning
moderate southerly during the late afternoon or evening.

Precis Dry. Mostly sunny.
City: Max 44
Elizabeth: Max 45
Mount Barker: Max 44
Noarlunga: Max 43

UV Alert: 9:20 am to 5:30 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 12 [Extreme]
Fire Danger: Extreme (Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District)

Forecast for Friday
Dry. A mostly sunny and very hot day. Moderate to fresh northerly winds,
becoming light and variable during the afternoon, tending moderate southeast
late evening.

Precis Dry. Mostly sunny.
City: Min 30 Max 41

Saturday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 25 Max 40
Sunday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 23 Max 40
Monday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 22 Max 39
Tuesday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 22 Max 38
Wednesday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 22 Max 38

The next routine forecast will be issued at 4:00 pm CDT Thursday

Another thing to keep in mind is that for the last 3 days they had been forecasting 41. Then at the morning, they bump it up to 44 for that one day. Right now at the ole homestead it is 111 F in the shade (we are spot on with the official temp) and it's 137.7 F (58.7 C) in the sun.

Ummmm, that's cooler than yesterday, BTW.


Yup, that's true. A couple of sections of the commuter rail track buckled and bent in the heat, forcing Adelaide Metro to use massive amounts of buses during peak commuter times. Here's a picture:

And there's also been a report or two of the rails themselves spontaneously combusting --that means the railroad track catches fire. I know, you are asking how the heck does that happen. Well, oil and grease from the engines and rail cars gets deposited onto the tracks. The sun heats the iron (that's what rail tracks are made of) up to a pretty darned hot temp and then it goes... Ka-Whumph!

Gee, and you thought Ripley's was unbelievable. BTW, CFS (Country Fire Service) crews are on alert all along rail areas --and pretty much all areas for that matter. Heck, all the national parks are closed; all it would take is for some moron to have a spark from a stink-stick (cigarette) drop onto the ground ANYWHERE and there'd be a big ole bushfire.

Oh, I just got a news report where they've said that the hottest 11 years in Australia have occured in the last 12 years. Of course, the deniers were all over the comment section... Did I mention yesterday was the hottest day since 1939?

Last year in March we had a heat wave. It wasn't this hot, but it set an Australian record for a capital city for consecutive days over 35 C (95 F). Doesn't sound too hot, but after a month of it...

Of course there's a bay up in the north end of WA (Western Australia) that holds the world record for consecutive days over 100 F. 160 days in a row. Ouch.

I've got some good pics of the morning cockatoo flock sitting in the trees here. They've been very quiet, like deathly quiet (if you know cockatoos then you know what I mean). The way they beat the heat is to lay all their feathers against their body, spread the wings out slighty, and pant. They also look very pathetic when they do this. No pictures are going to be uploaded today, cus I'm going in the pool.









Ahhhhhh, 94 F water never felt so cool...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If Ya Can't Stand The Heat, Git Outta The Oven!

Before I talk (write) about how nice and warm and roasty and toasty it is down in South Oz, here's a few parrot pictures to placate those who drop by for their daily bird. Oh, BTW, flickr is being disgustingly slow today, so I uploaded these with blogger. That means (as you all know) click on the image to get a larger size.

Now then. It's rather warm down here this week. Yesterday the forecast was for 41 C in the shade (106 F) but it peaked at the "official" temp station at 43.2 C (109.76) shade temp. The temp here at the ole homestead yesterday was 112 F in the shade (44.5 C) and the temp in the sun was 139 F (59 C).

Well... today is warmer. The forecast is for 44 C in the shade (it's already 45.5 C in the shade down at the official weather station at 1:48 pm, Wednesday). That's 114 F in the shade. Here at the homestead it's 117.2 F in the shade and a whopping 145 F in the sun.

The water temp in the pool is holding steady at 92 F (33.3 C). For those of you who've ever been to Chena Hot Springs just outside of Fairbanks, you'll notice that this is the temp of the pools there. Mmmmmmm, feels warm when you jump in, eh?

Well, right now I have to steel myself for the onslaught of the frigid water penetrating my every pore and finding its way into places cold water just shouldn't be!


And stay off my lawn!!!

On a bright note, I saved some money today. I baked 3 loaves of bread. Didn't bother to turn the oven on, just put the bread pans on the hot bricks outside...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Summa Heat Down Unda

Yep, summer (summa to an Aussie) is finally here. And it sure did take it's darned time gettin' here, I might add. Crikey, mate! The bloody pool 'as been bleedin' freezin' in the morns and it don't get warm till late arvo!

Of course, not everyone is happy. This sheila looks like she spat the dummy:
galah in gum tree

The "official" shade temp today was 42.3 C --that's 108.14 F for you mathematically disinclined folk. At the ole homestead it hung out at 111 F for most of the arvo (shade temp of course). I moved the sensor into the sun for a bit... decided to move it back to the shade when the reading got to 139 F.

For some DUMB reason I was barefoot while watering the plants. You know, the ones in pots sitting on the hot bricks. Ummmm, yeah... Even through my massive callouses I felt the skin burning --smelled it too. Had to jump in the pool to cool my feet.

Speaking of the pool, I had to scrub the walls 3 days in a row. Darn. Jumping in the freezing water is juuuuust such a bother.

There is, of course, a very easy way to BEAT THE HEAT. Would you like to know what it is? Of course you would!

hot pool stud 1

This actually is harder than it looks. I had to attach some floatation devices to the bottom of the picnic table to keep it from sinking. The floatation was a couple of empty 2 litre plastic bottles with the caps screwed on tight. The attaching was done with The Handyman's Secret Weapon: Duct Tape! Yes, I duct taped a couple of plastic jugs to the bottom of a picnic table to float it in the pool. Does this qualify me for membership in The Possum Lodge?

And now for a closeup of yours truly (that'd be me):
hot pool stud 2

hot pool stud 3

Are you wondering what dave had for lunch? Well, the beer is a Cascade Light. On hot days I prefer the light beers to more full bodied ones. The roll is one of dave's homemade rolls, the feta cheese is from a local cheesewright, and the red topping is Dingo Dave's own special homemade Chilli Cherry Chutney with onions and garlic (soon to appearing at a recipe blog near you). It's very very tasty. I'm not kidding!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's About To Get Warm

Hmmmm, might even have to turn the a/c on this week. Either that or jump in the pool. I'll let you decide!

Before I give you the weather forecast, how's about some pics of my new girlfriend? She's giving me the eye... a studly bloke like me can tell :)

coy cockatoo 01

coy cockatoo 02

Right now the temp is pretty darned nice. A cool 33 C in the shade, a light 48 C in the sun, and the water temp is an icy 29 C.

That will all change this coming week...

Adelaide Forecast
Issued at 11:30 am CDT on Sunday 25 January 2009

Warning Summary

Forecast for Sunday
Fine, warm and sunny. Light winds becoming light to moderate southeast this
evening and freshening about the hills and southern suburbs. Moderate to fresh
afternoon sea breezes.

Precis Fine. Sunny.
City: Max 30
Elizabeth: Max 30
Mount Barker: Max 30
Noarlunga: Max 28

UV Alert: 9:30 am to 5:20 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 11 [Extreme]
Fire Danger: High to Very High (Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District)

Forecast for Monday
Dry, hot and sunny. Light to moderate southeasterly winds, fresh about the hills
and southern suburbs before sunrise. Moderate afternoon sea breezes.

Precis Dry. Sunny.
City: Min 17 Max 35

Tuesday Dry. Very hot. Min 23 Max 41
Wednesday Dry. Very hot. Min 25 Max 41
Thursday Dry. Very hot. Min 27 Max 41
Friday Dry. Very hot. Min 23 Max 39
Saturday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 23 Max 35

The next routine forecast will be issued at 4:00 pm CDT Sunday

Keep in mind, that these are shade temps measured in Celsius and that our place is usually 3 or 4 degrees C higher in the shade than the airport. I figure that the temp in the sun should pretty easily get into the high 50's.


What's a bloke to do?

I'm putting a poll up for some much needed feedback to let me know what all my Alaskan "friends" (and folks from Outside) think I should do during the small heat wave this week.

Oh, and for the person from the frigid north who sent massive pyschic waves down here and caused this sheila to jump into the pool to terrorise me:
spider in pool

Better luck next time!!

Oi! G'day mate!

Guess where I've been.

cycling kangaroo

Go'an, guess! Ya silly galahs!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Morning View Between My Naked Hairy Legs

Well, actually, ummmmmm, gosh... this was the view between my naked hairy legs at 7 am while I was in the pool lounger. Just thought I'd be a bit more specific than what a blog title can be.

HOWEVER! Here's a pic of a sulfur-crested cockatoo for all you bird junkies:
cockatoo with crest up

I moved around to the other side of the tree to try and get a better pic, however the bastard (Aussie term of endearment, BTW) had this to say:
cockatoos rear end

Y'all can make up your own captions as you see fit. In fact, how's abouts a contest?! Put your best caption in the comment section and you just might win a new car! One that is electric! runs on AAA batteries, 10 inches long, and has no steering. Or a screensaver or wallpapers!

Switching gears --I'm sure you heard the grinding...

This is a picture of the pool temp gauge that measured the water temp in the shady, deep end... it was actually warm in the shallow end... from the other day when it was *rather* warm outside.
pool temp

Now, today the pool is NOTICABLE COLDER as it's only 101.8 F in the shade and 132 F in the sun. But don't worry, I'll be fine as I'm sure it'll warm back up soon. This means the water is around 88 F or so. Better get the 5mm wetsuit out.

This brings me to the title of this post: Just what the heck DOES the view betwixt dave's naked, hairy legs look like at 7 am?






between hairy legs

Well, apparantly I got some sheila's attention:
sheila cockatoo
Goin' my way, stud?

Notice the burgundy colouring around the iris. That tells you she's a she, and not a bloke pretending to be a she.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Hot and Sweaty Tour Down Unda

But first, I have a picture for all the birders and parrot lovers who check out my wee corner of Oz:
galah and cockatoo

Now, on with the Tour!

As I'm sure you are all aware, Lance is in town for the 2009 Tour Down Under. Last years' tour was a HUGE success with over 75,000 folks at the kickoff in Glenelg (I was one of them) and over 350,000 spectators throughout the week. This year it's going to be rather larger... The State Premier, Mike Rann, has stated that this will be the largest sporting event ever in South Australia. Very Very cool.

I'll be out taking pics on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday of next week --although I'm hoping to get up to Rymill Park for the presentations and opening criterium on Sunday.

On Wednesday I'll be near the top of Fox Creek Road, with camera and video camera. Why not at the top? Well, just before the top it finishing a nasty section of about 22% for a few hundred metres. I really wanna see just how fast these guys go up it! I then hope to be able to take the back roads through to Stirling for the finishing laps.

On Thursday I'll be at the final switchback on Wickham's Hill, a climb I know quite well.

Saturday will be spent at the top of Old Willunga Hill. They are doing the climb twice this year in this stage so there should be some serious action on the second go before the go along The Range Road.

Anyone wanna join me?

The heat is supposed to start cranking back up next week after a couple of cool days. But the teams got here just as the recent heat wave was hitting.

Lance (from Texas) referred to it as "insanely hot".

Christian Knees (Team Milram, from Deutschland) saw 49 C (120 F) out on a training ride and said, "So this is what it's like riding through a sauna."

Andre Greipel (last years winner), however, loves the heat and refers to the weather down here as "great".

I find Lance's comment about "insanely hot" to be interesting. It was only 105 F or 41 C in the shade when he said that... It got hotter the next two days. This makes me wonder about how they measure temps in Texas... do they measure the temp in the sun?

I was in Austin, Texas in 1998 for the Fencing National Championships and I walked around downtown pretty much every day. I saw temps on the sign boards of 103, 104, 105, and 106. I had no worries. No problem with the heat.

Down here an official temp of 106 F feels to me (and Lance!) a helluva lot hotter than 106 F in downtown Austin.

So what gives?????

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Summa Down Unda

Yes, summer has officially arrived down in South Oz. How do I know? Well, the forecast for today is 41 C in the shade. The morning started out at 32 C at 7 am in the shade here at the ole homestead. We've already passed the 41 C shade temp and it's only noon. Right now in the direct sun next to the pool it's 51 C and holding.

Now, I've noticed there just might be one or two of my USA readers who have no idea what the temps in Celsius means. So I have therefore come up with an easy way to convert from C to F which you should be able to do in your head. Although I'm sure someone in Kodiak may have difficulties at first, I'm sure his two brain cells will eventually find each other and make baby brain cells.

Let's start with the 51 C temp it is currently at right next to the pool. The pool currently has a water temp of 90 F, but that's not important right now.

Step one: Grind teeth together and wish dave lotsa bad luck.

Step two: Double the C temp. Hence 51 doubled is 102.

Step three: Call dave some really nasty names.

Step four: Take the 102, drop the last digit, and subtract it from 102. What this means is you drop the "2" from the "102" which now becomes "10", and then subtract that 10 from 102. Which is, of course, 92.

Step five: Take out a contract on dave's miserable, pathetic life via Mario in Sicily.

Step six: Take the 92 and add 32 to it. *Note: 32 is a constant and is always added at the end*. Then your final answer will be 124 F.

See? Wasn't that simple?

cute koala awake
Oi, mate! Where'd that tinny go?

This message brought to you by...
waving hi

And I'm sure that some of you would like to do this to me right about now:
pool dunking 01

pool dunking 02

pool dunking 03

Update: I totally forgot about the Great Tomato Count. The total of tomatoes harvested stands (or sits) at 279 so far for the season. Woo-Hoo!!!!

Another Update: It's now 133 in the direct sun, but still hanging out in the middle to upper one-ohs in the shade. That means it's about 108 F in the shade. The official temp for Adelaide at this particular moment (1:05 pm, Tuesday, January 13th, 2009) is 103.1 F. Hmmmmm, didn't I used to listen to that radio station in Los Anchorage?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Wild Hot Young Tender Cherries

bowl of cherries

Oh my... I've just noticed that some of you *perverts* may have misconstrued the title of this post. Well, sorry... Time to get your mind out of the gutter *and back in the sewer where it belongs*

Now, there's a really nice, new trail out at Belair National Park. It makes an easy way to get to a memorial which used to be a real pain to get to. But if you go past the memorial and through a meadow between a bunch of redwoods, you'll come to a border of the park. Directly on the other side of the border is someones old cherry plantation.

As in cherry trees.

We didn't hop the fence (barbed wire, ya know), but there are 3 or 4 cherry trees on the park side that self-seeded themselves a few years ago.

Those trees produce cherries.

Really, really good cherries.

See, look for yourselves:
cherries on tree

The trick is to get there just before they've fully ripened so the birds haven't eaten them all. And now that there's the new trail I guess next season we'll be battling hikers for them too, sigh...

On our way back we spied this bloke doing the standard Aussie thing in the middle of the afternoon:
really tired koala

I do have a picture that may amuse the *perverts* who swung by here because of my misleading blog post title. Hmmmmm, the picture may also just amuse me mates back in Alaska since there's some kind of cold snap going on...

jumping nekkid into pool

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Public Service Announcement to All Alaskans

Yes, it's true. I'm feeling rather contrite right now as Alaska (and specifically the Interior) is going through one helluva cold snap. Hey, I feel for you, REALLY! Yes, I've had my eyelashes freeze together, my eyeballs steam, I know what it's like to drive on square tires, I've augered through 3 feet of ice on the Tanana with a hand auger, and I know the temperature at which diesel fuel gels so that your truck stalls.

Remember, I'm pullin' for you, we're all in this together! Courtesy of Red Green, of course.

I'm gonna try and send a lot of sun and warmth your way, we've got plenty to spare this time of year. Currently it's 93 F in the shade and 129 F in the sun. Aussie meteorologists report the shade temp, BTW.

Fingers, toes and eyes crossed and I hope you get the sun!

I'd like to give everyone up in the Interior a bit of advice. This would be my Public Service Announcement of which the subject of this post is...

Here's my advice:




My advice to you all up north during this cold snap follows.


jumping in pool 01

jumping in pool 02

jumping in pool 03

And don't DO IT TWICE!!!!!

jumping in pool 04

jumping in pool 05

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Proof That I Don't Wear Underwear

Yes, you read that right. Besides, it's just way too confining and sticky. Imagine having some fabric riding up your you know what when it's 95 F in the shade and 126 F in the sun. Yeah, that's what I think too.

But before I give photographic evidence to all you perverts, lemme at least put up a birdie pic. Of course, since perverts are reading this today I figure at least one of the rainbow lorikeets should be mooning the camera!

four lories

Yeah, shake it baby!!!!!

While I was cleaning the pool, me best mate decided to start without me! The bastard! The nerve of that bloke:
starting without me

And now...

What all you perverts have been waiting for...

With baited breath... *pee-uuu your breath stinks*

Here's proof that I (dave) don'ts got no humility nor sense of tact...

no underwear

Nah, jus' jokin' with ya!

Here's what really made that bulge:
blue tongue

Hey, big boy. Is that a lizard in your shorts or are you just happy to see me?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

*BURP* *BELCH* excuse me...

ooooohhhhhh... my aching tummy... *burp*

If I never see another piece of chocolate or another scrap of food in my life I'll die a happy person. oooooohhhhhh... gack...

One of the many desserts I made was a chocolate log cabin. This was no ordinary chocolate log cabin, no siree. I had to make this sucker over a foot long. Used over 3 pounds of various chocolates, 2 litres of cream, at least 2 cups of cocoa powder, and made a big mess in the kitchen.

It tasted good.




I won't bore you with the details here, except to say that next year it'll be even bigger and better. Gretchen gave me some great ideas and tips which I was unfortunately not able to incorporate in this years design (my first, BTW), but you just wait till next year!

I'll be writing up the full procedure with photos in my other blog, but here's a teaser. This was taken before the snow was piled over the roof and around the cabin.


I'll try to keep this short as I've got some shredded chicken soaking in my special souvlaki seasoning and I still need to make the tabouli and the tzatziki. *burp*

I also promise not to talk about or write the pool or our beautiful, glorious, warm summer weather down here as I know that my hometown (Fairbanks, Alaska) is going through a bit of a cold patch right now.

Oh, wait a sec. I just heard there was a warm day or two (got up to -26 F in the valley) in the middle of the cold bit, so surely no one would mind if I put up a pool picture.


But it's not all fun and games, nope. Yesterday I had to scrub the pool walls cus we are going to have 5 or 6 days of bright sun and reasonably warm temps. It was only 90 in the shade and 115 in the sun. There was also a breeze blowing so that every time I stood up in the shallow end I froze (due to ablation, of course) and had to submerge back in the pool quickly before icycles formed on my goosebumps. We won't talk about how shriveled certain parts of my anatomy were in the cold water...

Afterwards, Wifey-Poo came out and asked if I wanted a beer. The answer was yes, duh. Here's a pic of me submerging in the water in an attempt to warm up:

Please, no blue ball jokes.

I got the most coolest present ever. A cleaver. Yes, I now have a fairly close to complete kitchen knife collection. This cleaver is very very very very sharp and perfectly balanced. In the last week it has become my ka-nifee of choice. Even WP has used it WITHOUT cutting off any of her fingers --and that's saying something!

How many blokes do you know that get excited about a cleaver as a present? How many sheilas do you know who trust their bloke enough to give them a cleaver?

Speaking of cleavers, here's some bird pics!

hungry lorikeets
If you get that cleaver wet in the pool, then it'll rust! So bugga off, mate!

This lady has a very nice yellow hat. Perhaps she'll wear it at Oakbank this year?
pretty hat

How do I know she's female? Well, firstly us real men can tell. Secondly, just look at those eyes!
wink, wink

In case you didn't know, female sulfur-crested cockatoos have a dark burgundy rim around their irises (irix? iri? iroses?), whereas the eye of a bloke is black.

You'll have to excuse me now. I've got to not only make a great greek dinner, but I've got to continue playing with my other new toy. This other new toy is the one with the quad core processor.

I'll send some sun your way, no worries mates!