Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Early Birthday To Me!!!

Ahhhh, I'm sooooo lucky! Not only do I get to pick out the exact pressie that I want, but it arrives 4 weeks early AND Wifey-Poo insists that I open it and use it with her immediately.


And I didn't even have to pay for it!

Yes, the wonderful maple cutting board from Boos Block arrived today. It wasn't delivered by our normal courier, Rob, for some reason. I was gonna give him a homebrew but it was some new kid. Oh well, more for us.

You can find out more about the cutting boards and blocks by checking out:

No, I ain't gettin' paid for this plug, I jus' laike thair stuff.

I have been recalcitrant (did I use this in the right context, lemme know, eh?) in my aussie birdie picture duties. So I'll fix that now with one I haven't put up before.

They are very acrobatic and can eat when they are sideways and upsidedown:
one hungry lorie

The claws of the big cockies are very large...
cockatoo claws

I get the feeling that some of you may question whether or not I'm an Alaskan as I now bitch about the cold weather when the temp drops under 80 F.

I can now prove that I'm Alaskan! Blue tarps in the yard!
blue tarp cat
and a cat that likes to explore them and sleep in them.

I have several things in the back yard covered by blue tarps. I even made a pool cover out of blue tarps and duct tape 2 summers ago.

I'm still Alaskan! Hah!

One last pic before I go and do something productive (like take a nap)... This is what happens to the cat --Lord And Master Of All He Surveys, His Royal Highness, Prince Bagheera-- after he's had just one too many Thai chilli peppers:
toxic cat

Now, if'n y'all will 'scuse me, I've got a smoker to crank up! Yup, still 'Laskan!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lunch with the Critters

The critters were kind enough to let us (Yours Truly and Wifey-Poo) wander through their home and partake of some sustenance while there. No, we didn't partake of the critters... Just wouldn't seem right to invade their home and then eat them. They were scrawny anyways.

Have I mentioned that there are a LOT of birds down here? Pretty much wherever you go you'll find (and hear) birdses. Naturally, when you break out your picnic lunch there tends to be an exponential increase in the number of them.

This bloke here is a Black-faced miner bird, or a noisy miner. They are a type of honey-eater but they also eat bugs and anything the hairless apes happen to drop on the ground after their picnic.
noisy miner

I have a much, much, muchly betterer picture of one of them. Give me a sec and I'll find it...





Found it! Here ya go:
australian miner bird

Next up is an Aussie Magpie. I don't have too many shots of these blokes. It'd be easy to get pics of them as they are EVERYWHERE!
aussie magpie

It turns out we had set up camp right next a blue gum that a koala was sleeping in. He was sooooo cute!
cute koala

Later on s/he had turned around and I got a pic from right below.
another cute koala

As we were leaving, there were 5 kangaroos crossing the road and hanging out in the grass and trees. 3 momma roos and two young joeys. In fact, one of the joeys was so young he wasn't even peeking out of momma's pouch. But the other one was hopping around like mad --fast lil bugga.
wild roo 01

wild roo 02

wild roo 03

This last pic was the best I could get of the little bouncy bundle of joy. This guy just would NOT stay still. Nor would he move slowly. He had two speeds: hyperactive and full stop.
wild roo 04

We had fish for dinner that night, BTW.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just because I can

Jus' cuz someone asked. That's all I'm sayin'...




I now return you to your regularly scheduled bloggy program --for whatever that's worth!

Today's To-Do List

And make sure you keep an eye on my tweets as I'll be tweeting each time a task is finished.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's the List:

Clean and sterilise all cheese-making stuff
Clean and sterilise all beer-making stuff
Make beer
Start cheese-making (this is an all day thing whereupon I do other stuff-multitask!)
Take nap
Get bread dough started
Check the cheese curds
Build a planet
Plan dinner
Take nap
Finish the bread
Continue with the cheese-making (should be in hoops by now)
Check wort temperature
Clean pool
Take nap
Post to recipe blog
Start dinner (tonight will be tempura fish, squid, crab. With homemade chips (fries))
Eat dinner
Check cheese, make sure weights are balanced for pressing
Fall asleep (with cat on lap)in front of whatever movie everyone wants to watch.
Go to bed --try not to kill the cat when he tries to wake me up at 2 am.

BTW I'm already done with the first two items.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Most Wonderful Woman In The World...

... just happens to be my wife! Why? Well, if she wasn't The Most Wonderful Woman In The World then I wouldn't have married her. Therefore, she must be The Most Wonderful Woman In The World.

Please don't hate, and please don't feel bad ladies. I value each and every one of you. I suppose that goes for the blokes too.

Why again is she The Most Wonderful Woman In The World? I happen to have a birthday arriving sometime in next month's calender. No, don't panic! This date has been a yearly occurrence for at least the last 5 billion years or so. Now, why can I get away with stating that? Any takers?

Anyways, WP (Wifey-Poo, otherwise known as The Most Wonderful Woman In The World) asked me if I wanted a new bike for my birthday.

I have four bikes.

One of which is a snow bike from Fairbanks, Alaska. It's still in it's box. Not exactly useful down here, buuuuuuut you never know!

My mountain bike (do they have mountains down here in Oz?) is an indestructable Kona, no worries there.

My road bike (Rocket Butt) was bought for me by The Most Wonderful Woman In The World 6 years ago. It was four figures even at half off. There's carbon fibre tubing on it. It's great. It's wonderful.

When I needed new cycling shoes WP (The Most Wonderful Woman In The World) MADE me go out and buy a sweet pair of Specialized. I was forced, I tell ya!

After landing head-first on a tree stump (explains a lot, doesn't it?) I was told in no uncertain terms that a new helmet is in order. The colour of the new one even matches Rocket-Butt.

So when WP asked me the other day if I want a new bike for my birthday, I just KNEW she was wanting to buy me one of them new-fangled alloy things made of Unobtainium and costs around $20,000.

I told her I'd have to think about it...





I then told WP I've decided what I want for my birthday.

A cutting board.

Now I'm pretty darned frugal in the kitchen and the cutting board I have is an old off-cut of pine that I got for 2 dollars at a hardware shop 8 years ago. It's held up nicely, but lately the cleaver has been putting some serious divits in it and I have to flip it daily to keep it from warping too much.

I want a real cutting board.

Well, you can guess what WP did. She went onto the ole series of tubes and found the most beautiful cutting board that was handmade in Germany from smoked oak. It's normally $1000 and she found one for $600.

Ummmmmmm... wow!

Of course I told WP that it was the wrong size, and that perhaps could she find one *slightly* cheaper. I think she got the hint and found a very nice one that was well under 3 digits.

Isn't she wonderful?

Why she's shacked up with me I truly have no idea. Well, it might have something to do with the fact that I can lick my eyebrows...

Since you've put up with my drivel to this point, I'll reward you with some birdie pics. These are some more reruns as I haven't had time to go through the last few thousands pics.


bird fight

cockatoo 12

awesome galah wingspread

nice wing

charging cockatoo

upset cockatoo

Friday, July 24, 2009

Remember, We're All In This Together...

... as we get older. And greyer. And creakier. And slower.

Speaking of which, y'all need to head of to Ishmael's little corner of the blogosphere and wish him a happy b-day! Make sure you crack jokes about his age, as he appreciates things like that.

I'm sure right now he's finding out some "guy" things about aging. Like unsightly, long, grey, nasal hair. And not being able to keep a coherent thought in your mind for more than 2 seconds (one second for Ish). And the tufts of hair growing on and out of your ears. Or is that just me? And why the hell don't my jeans fit no more?



WP and I are heading out to the park for a few hours this arvo. Gonna go hide in the woods, dontcha know.

I haven't taken many birdy pics lately, but here's some recycled ones for all my new readers:

swinging rainbow lorikeets

lorikeet landing

lorikeets fighting 03

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Play Misty For Me

Does anyone remember that movie? I do. Very 70's, that's for sure. But this post has nothing to do with that movie, I just thought it would make a good post title. Why? Read on and you'll find out.

Remember when I posted about The Devil? Well, this has nothing to do with that post.

Remember when I asked you about a horse? Well, this post DOES have something to do with that.

Specifically, the NAME of her.

Yes, she's a shire horse. Yes, she is HUGE.

Now you get to find out her name:


Yes, I'm mean and sneaky and can be a jerk --but y'all already knew that, right?. Now please stop throwing rotten tomatoes at me! Ta.

Notice the nasal hair that Misty has? I have more, so there!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Who Sponsors The Devil?

Are my eyes deceiving me or am I seeing The Devil with sponsorship? Does anyone who's seen pics of The Devil recently have any opinion?

I'll be looking very closely at the new pics and live videos of The Devil tonight to see if I can tell if he is now sponsored. I'm sure I'll be seeing him tonight as everything is in perfect alignment for The Devil to make an awesome appearance!

Personally, with all the trouble he goes to to liven things up, I hope The Devil is now sponsored. He's a good bloke!

Ok, everyone can now try to guess what I'm talking about; the lines are open!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Name This Horse!

This'll probably be the easiest critter guessing game I've ever put up. Once you see the size of this beastie I'm *sure* everyone will know it!

One of these horses easily pulls the tram loaded with people. Impressive!

big horse 01

And just so there's no mistaking the size...
big horse 02

Please don't think these horses are mistreated in any way. There's a total of ten of them and they only "work" 2 or 3 days a week for about 3 hours each day. The rest of the time they hang out on a 100 acre spread nearby and start and finish their "working" day by hanging out on the beach and prancing in the surf.

"Work" involves leaning forward ever so slightly and trotting slowly along the causeway. No strain, no sweat, no hard breathing. I doubt they even notice the weight!

Ok, that should be enough clues.

OT, my african violet has been blooming for 5 months now. Very pretty.
blooming african violet

Friday, July 17, 2009

My B.I.L. Has a B.L.O.G.

And it's about time too. Not only is he almost finished with his PhD in Archeology (with a great "in" to a fulltime staff job at the Uni) but he's also a darned good modeler.

No, he doesn't pose --THANKFULLY!!!!!

He builds models. Not just any ole things like we all did when we wuz young (I used to put lit firecrackers up the tailpipes of jet fighters and toss them off the balcony), but real, scratch built goodies. He even does his own casting of parts.

Anyways, if'n any of y'all's int'rested in this stuff, then check out:

World in Miniature

As a side note, I'm on a first name basis with our delivery bloke as he brings boxes of kits and plastic fiddly-bits to the house regularly. Rob (delivery bloke) also likes my homebrew.

Next topic:

Have I mentioned it's winter down here in Oz? For those of you who may be hemispherically challenged, seasons here are opposite from what many of you expect. Hmmmm, sure is nice having Christmas when it's 120 F in the shade... *santa loves our pool*

But it is winter. Yes, Oz does get cold. In fact both WP (the most wonderful woman in the entire world, wifey-poo) and YT (Your Truly, that'd be me) have had to put on pants today. Heck, I even put on shoes!!

Oh the horror of this freezing weather. Sigh, HOW will I ever survive this cold climate? Hmmmmm, I guess I can start by pruning the grpae vines, double checking the Lemon Verbena cuttings, pruning back the palm trees out front so the postie can get to the letterbox, and chasing the darned ducks out of the pool so I can have a swim.

See what I go through in the winter here??!!!??!?!

As you can probably tell, I'm being just slightly sarcastic. Just a wee bit. It really is cold down here right now. I'm not joking!

Why, just look at the goosebumps on these blokes as they practice their start manuevers with their 420's:





Yeah, winter kinda sucks down here...

WP and I will be heading up to Wittunga for lunch in a bit, kinda breezy with a windchill down to somewhere in the mid 60's... I'd better wear my bunny boots!

BTW, how come NO ONE has even mentioned the really cool movie stunt in Project A, Part One? It is the best movie stunt evah!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Name This Duck!

Neither myself nor WP had ever seen a quacker like this bugga before. Naturally I just had to take some pics of it to share with all of my five faithful readers --along with my 1000 unfaithful readers.

But let us just backtrack to the previous post where I put up a pic of a heron and a gull. It seems that y'all may have given up when Cathy put up her two choices --she was bored all day in the hospital so it's no surprise she had time to do the research, but don't worry, everything is fine now... so's Cathy.

I do need to give y'all a bit more time from last post. Cathy had pegged the White-Faced Heron, but not the other one. Gotta give her credit though cus her guess is soooooo close to what it is that many birdie folk consider them the same bird. That's a HINT, btw.

The pic of the second bird showed (or tried to show) the colouring of the tail feathers quite clearly (or so I thought). Here it is for those of you too lazy to scroll down...


There is also a difference in the bill which has to do with the colouration. Here's a good shot of the colouration of the bill --beak, mandible, chomper, whatever


Notice how she put lipstick on! Hmmmmmm, do pigs fly? SP certainly thinks so --well at least she thinks bullshit walks.

So... what kinda birdie is it?

Getting to the subject of todays post: something's just duckie! This should be an easy one for you to get so how's about's not only figuring out the gender of the quacker (that means whether it is a male or female critter) but you also get to find out if it is wild or an escaped domestic!

This should be easy! No worries mates!

Here's the pic of the purdy quacker:

Oops! Sorry about that... I pulled a Two Yaks! I think this next one will make it very easy for you:


Ok, ok. I can hear the torches being lit and the tar n feathers being prepared from way down under. I guess since I *did* ask for the sex --huh huh I said sex-- and the overall feralness of the critter that I should probably give you a couple of closeups.

So here ya go:
just duckie 01

just duckie 02

Alrighty then: NAME THAT DUCK!

and don't forget the gull from last time too...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beware The Ides of July

Why? Cus that's halfway through Le Tour and my brain is spacey. Gee dave, why is your brain spacey? Cus staying up all night and then trying to fake like I'm doing something the next day kinda makes me loopy.

And the fact that SBS broadcasts the whole darned thing IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT LIVE means that I just have to stay up for it.

Ok, I'm sure y'all don't wanna here about the Tour so how's abouts we play some games instead? Doesn't everyone love to play games? Or did everyone leave never-land and grow up? Sheesh, idjits.

Ok, first game: Spot the koala!
hiding koala 02

Ha! I win!
hiding koala 01

Didcha'll know I've got telescopic eyesight? Well, now you do.

20/15, thank you very much. Course, I do have to put on glasses for various activities... like driving, cycling, watching the telly, spotting koalas, peering into alternate realities, cooking, reading, masturbating (need a wide-angle lens), walking, eating, chewing gum, staring off into space, pruning, counting the craters on the moon's Sea of Tranquility... You know, normal, everyday stuff that y'all do.

Next game: Who or what am I?

This is easy, I'll put up a photo of a critter and you (yes, YOU) try to figure out what it is. And I'll even be nice and put up high-quality pics. Unlike some dastardly bloke somewhere up north who puts up blurry, tiny pics and videos where the critter hides behind an old dock and expects us to figure out what it is.


No, I'll be nicer than that.

We'll start with two easy ones:


So, get out your googling fingers, start your engines, stoke the furnace, fire up the boiler, and give it a go mates!

Friday, July 10, 2009

And When I was Your Age...

it was uphill. BOTH ways! In waist deep snow! And we didn't have no fancy lektronic doo-dads neither!


Harumph... grumble...

And what the hell ever happened to Ye Olde Buggy Whip Company anyways! I've still got some shares of it around here somewhere...

These kids today just have it way too easy. Heck, they even have these new fangled 'puter games. I think the most popular is something called Super Pong --but I could be wrong.

And just LOOK at the shoes the little buggers get!
cool shoes 01

cool shoes 02

cool shoes 03

Not only do I want them thar shoes that the little tyke has, but I also want the embroidered flannel shirt the young fella is wearing.

*timeout while dave does some research on this ole system of tubes*

HOLY HELL!!!! Them dang things cost over $100!! The little idjit must be the Queen's son or something. And why's that other young fella's walking stick as short as a cane?


Monday, July 06, 2009

Homemade Kangaroo, Venison, Caribou, or Moose Sausages

This sausage was made with roo meat, but any game meat from the title should be very tasty with this. I decided to make it cus we got some venison sausage the other day and the flavour reminded me of reindeer sausage from back in Alaska.

Naturally, I just had to come up with my own seasonings!

Note: This will be appearing on my food blog soon complete with pictures of the process.

I do have to brag a bit though, not only am I two for two for picking stage winners so far in this years' TDF, but I am also an expert koala spotter.

I even have proof! Not only did I spot 10 of them out bushwalking last week, but some were quite distant.

This fella is actually quite a ways away:
another koala asleep

Here's how far away:
wide forest shot

Does this help you find the bugga?
faraway koala

Then a very pretty lady roo came bounding through the scrub and stopped right next to us.
lady roo

She didn't stay for long, and I actually got a picture of her bounding away:
lady roo hopping

Annnnnnnnd that brings us to our recipe today: Dave's Caseless Roo Sausage!

One of the nice things about roo (and most game meat) is that it's very lean. This means that it won't shrink on the barby nor will it drip fat down and flame up and burn itself. Very kind of it, dontcha think?

Here's what you need:

2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 tsp mustard powder
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 cup port wine
1 tbsp dried onion flakes
2 tsp powdered sage
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1 kilo (2.2 pounds) roo mince (ground roo or any other ground game meat)
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1 food smoker
1 grill

What you do:

Chuck it all into a large bowl --except the smoker and the grill-- and mix it all together. Just squeeze it through your fingers with your hands for a couple of minutes and it'll all be combined nicely.

Form the mix into sausages. Patties or links, your choice.

Put them in the smoker for 30 to 40 mins. Try to keep the heat low and the smoke heavy.

Let them sit on a plate and cool and "age" for a few hours after smoking.

Crank on the grill and cook em!

Very tasty!

My TDF stage winner for tonight's stage 3 is... The Manx Missle.