Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of

Have you ever woke up suddenly in the middle of the night because some weird fanged beastie is gnawing upon your arms?

Or perhaps you've been startled awake by the same furry beastie tapping on your nose with a single, long claw? Worse yet, on your lips or even *shudder* an eyelid!

Welcome to my world!

And I have really weird dreams. Sometimes cool, sometimes scary.

I blame this:

fangs n claws 01

and these
fangs n claws 02

and these ones especially:
fangs n claws 03

and even this expression!
fangs n claws 04

these fangs look deadly
big fangs

and these ones look like they could take your arm off
vampire cat again

Of course, there's the off chance that my nightmares could be caused by either of these:
Sarah Palin in my pool

Australian Bunyip

Sweet dreams everybody! Don't let the bedbugs bite!

but if they do then use dynamite

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guess What I Got For Christmas!

And oh boy did I get some super-duper, ultra-cool, totally-awesomely-groovy loot!

Or lute...

No, definitely loot! Cuz I can't play a lute, only a violin, fiddle, banjo, pipes, and balls (go ahead, guees). But I think I could learn a lute.

However, this post is not about lute's. Nor is it about lutefisk --which I'm sure is a type of Norwegian musical instrument and not some sort of extreme gastronomic experience.

Before --oh wait, that should be "B4" in modernspeak-- I get to tell you about some really nifty things that some really nifty people got me for xmas, I need to mention something about food.

I got up at 5:30 am xmas morning. No, it wasn't to shove the cat's head up his you-know-what as that occured at 3:00 am because of his constant yowling. It was cus I had to make brekkie.

Brekkie is Aussie for "The Breaking Of The Fast". In some parts of the world this is referred to as "breakfast". In Oz it is brekkie.

I made tzatziki, pineapple dip, my extra-special dark chocolate dipping sauce, pulled out the last of my homemade wensleydale cheese, and also made a sushi plate of nigiri sushi with smoked salmon 'n' avocado 'n' basil for garnish.

Don't believe me? Ha! Feast your little peepers on this:
christmas sushi platter

This is what the coffee table looked like for brekkie Christmas morn:
christmas breakfast
Yes, those are kippers. And my own pickled cucs. The dark choc dipping sauce is in the upper left, above the fresh strawberries and the champagne flutes are nearby.

We. Had. A. Good. Brekkie.

Did you know that I get excited (DOWN dave!) over gifts for me? How many guys do you know who get excited over a set of saucepans as a pressie? Specifically if said guy has been drooling over the set but never bought them at the $179 price but then found them for $35, bought them himself, wrapped them himself, and then pretended to be surprised when he unwrapped them?

Yeah, not many guys. 'Cept Yours Truly.

And how many guys do you know who are so happy to receive 4 kilos of (no, not dope) fresh, organic soy beans?

Well, now you know one:

I've already made a pound of tofu and 11 soy burgers since receiving this wonderful gift that I ordered myself and paid for myself, WOO-HOO!

Another wonderful gift was received by Yours Truly (don't swoon ladies, I'm human). I don't look to happy to get this as it shows may age (and my really bad back --long story), but I gots to tell ya, THIS IS BLOODY-WELL GREAT!!!!!
kinky massage present

One of the most coolest present I got was from a sailboat. SV Meerkat, to be specific! I truly have no idea how a sailboat can know just what I'd like for Chrissie, but this one sure did! Somehow she knew that my most favorite t-shirt had disintegrated and that I needed a replacement.

Here's a pic of the old shirt from yonks ago:

And here is my new, ultra-awesomely cool, newest, most favoritist shirt:
new goofy shirt

But I gots to tell ya, THIS pressie just really takes the cake!
santa slays

It's a pump-action, machine-gun, uzi type, water gun that shoots water well over 30 feet!!!

I've had a fun Christmas!!!!!

The cat? He hasn't enjoyed his holidays since I can now drench him from halfway across the backyard!! Bwuu-hahahahhahahahahah!!!

Ahhhhh, Summer!

Adelaide Forecast
Issued at 5:15 am CDT on Wednesday 30 December 2009

Warning Summary
Fire Weather Warning.

Forecast for Wednesday
Dry and sunny. A hot to very hot day with light to moderate east to northeast
winds and a light to moderate afternoon and early evening coastal sea breeze.

Precis Dry. Sunny.
City: Max 39
Elizabeth: Max 40
Mount Barker: Max 38
Noarlunga: Max 38

UV Alert: 9:20 am to 5:20 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 10 [Very High]
Fire Danger: Severe [50-74] (Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District)

Additional note from dave: Them temps are in C and they are in the shade.

Flat Stanley decided he likes the heat:
flat stan loves Oz

He had plenty of these, ice cold:
cascade ginger beer

I did try to tell him that my ginger beer is better, but he didn't want to wait for the next batch so I very kindly went to the supermarket and bought him a few.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Three Cheers for The Grinch!!

Yes, it's that time of year again. The time of year when I post my first post after Christmas! Longtime readers and lurkers and stalkers know just what this means. *insert evil grin here*

For not only does the Grinch FINALLY get to win, but you also get a brief glimpse into the mind of Wifey-Poo. You'll all know why I married her after you read the whole post. BTW, it took her all of about 20 minutes to write the verse from scratch --she is a professional writer, dontcha know *wink*.

Sooooooo, here the post I put up a year ago. And the year before that. And the year before that, too, also.


This poem was written by WP two years ago, I take zero credit for it.

This is told with the absolute greatest respect for Dr. Suess, BTW.

But... just what would've happened HAD the Grinch won?

Here's the original post I put up two years ago today:

Some of you may (or may not) have surmised that I am a BIG fan of the Grinch --ok, if you weren't hanging out with me in Squarebanks during the holidays yonks ago then you wouldn't know this, so TOUGH!

Anyways, every time I've watched the original Grinch cartoon (circa 1963) I've always hoped that maybe, just once, the Grinch would WIN. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the holidays and I love getting folks presents that are quite unexpected... But really now! Can't the Grinch win just ONCE????

DISCLAIMER: when Dr Suess passed away, we held a wake for him in our favorite pub in Squarebanks; so there! I'm not a Grinch (shhh, don't tell my dad, he'll be so embarrassed!)

So, like... what would it be like if the Grinch were to actually win?

The following is best read using Boris Karloff's voice in your head:

Oh, wait a sec: if you want to link or re-post this, then you've really, really, really, got to make sure you tell folks where it came from:

This Is An Alaskan Dave Down Under Original Poem! Please accept no substitutes! Ok, I lie... my wife wrote it... (really!)

Now you can turn on your Boris Karloff voice in your head:

The Night after Christmas

Twas the night after Christmas and Whoville was rocking
With the kind of wild party that brings people flocking.
The noise and the booze, all the singing and dancing ...
The racket and rumpus, the shmoozing and prancing ...
Would drive to the point of starting a riot
Any poor fellow who just fancied quiet.
And you already know who was sane by an inch:
Poised on the brink was the poor old green Grinch.

By nine in the morning even Max was vibrating
With the jackhammer jollity; it’s not overstating
That not even Max could endure so much ‘cheer,’
No matter how snockered one became on Who beer.
And by two in the P.M., oh, Maxie was worried,
For the Grinch looked so manic; the beast who’d been buried
Beneath fudge and tinsel, and the charm of a child
Had clawed back to the surface ... and my, he was wild!

All the popping and bopping, the preening and prancing,
The swinging and zinging, and -- oh, the break-dancing!
Were more than the Grinch could guess how to endure ...
And then, all at once, he envisioned a cure,
For there by the Christmas tree, flat on the floor,
Was one lonely present. A forgotten chainsaw.
And the Grinch had no sooner set eyes on that tool
Then he said to himself, “Grinchie, you’ll been such a fool,
To think you could bear all this ruckus and humbug,
This rumpus and dumpus, this scampus and scumbug,
This noise, noise, noise, noise, that these Whofolk call ‘fun,’
While the stores are all closed and you can’t buy a gun --
There isn’t a fowling piece (nor even a pheasant),
But one of these idiots forgot his best present!”
For under the Christmas tree, left on the floor,
Wrapped up in red ribbons lay a brand new chainsaw:

All shiny and sharpy, all toothy and jagged --
Just begging for gasoline! So, out the Grinch swaggered
With a light, empty gascan and a bag full of quarters,
To the gas station downtown, with a brain full of slaughters ...
There wouldn’t be any Who left to make noise!
They’d be peacefully absent, the Who girls and boys.
The Who-guys and ladies would be quiet as the snow --
And Cindy-Lou Who’d be the first one to go.

For the Grinch could envisage the headlines tomorrow,
When no Who in Whoville survived to feel sorrow --
Here was a task to which the Grinch felt quite equal
(And MGM’s already contracted the sequel):

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa Recovers! Christmas Saved! Vows Never Again To Visit Australia!

It all started innocently enough --at least enough for me. I decided to try my hand at making Chilli Beer.

The beer turned out pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, I found out just a little too late that it has hallucinagenic properties.

Why was it too late, you ask? Well, I had already invited a mate of mine from up north to join me in unwinding before his yearly big night on December 24th. He had lot's of fun, that's for sure!

However with a little help from Yours Truly (that'd be me. Don't swoon ladies, I'm human) I was able to help Santa Claus overcome the morning after effects of my very potent Chilli Beer.

Doesn't he look happy?
Santa recovers

He has since told me that he is never, EVER going to visit Australia again. And he made quite sure to mention that includes the night of December 24th! He also made mention of giving lumpy coal to any Alaskan who visits me, but I think that was in jest.

But what Santa didn't realise is there is a tertiary effect of drinking 4 cases of Dingo Dave's Extra Special Chilli Beer all in one afternoon...

Around 36 hours after imbibing large quantities of the above brew, said imbiber has a tendency (ok, 100% chance of) to develop the runs. Specifically, burning, aching, gut-wrenching, squirting-every-5-minutes, stinky type of runs.

Now since I knew Santa's delivery route ahead of time (being as old Alaskan trucker has it's advantages, dontcha know *wink*) I must admit that I started the Jolly Old Elf on the chilli beers at juuuuust the right time.

The right time so that the "burning runs from HELL" would hit when he was directly above a specific compound overlooking the shores of the vibrant Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska on his yearly Christmas Eve rounds.

Guess what pressie he left for the ex-guv:
Santa at Lake Lucille

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Parties Hard in Oz! Can Christmas be Saved?

Guess what everybody? C'mon, GUESS!






Time's up.

Someone has finally accepted my standing invitation to visit! That young bloke from North Pole. Lives in a place called Santa Claus House. Nice digs too. Mrs Claus makes a mean cuppa, lemme tell ya.

Anyways, back when I was in Alaska I told Santa that he's more than welcome to come visit anytime. Perchance just before Christmas to give him a chance to unwind before the big night.

Well, he took me up on the offer this year.

I tell ya, it's a good thing I've been making extra homebrew for these holidays cus that guy sure can put them away.

See what I mean:
drunk santa in oz 01

We were having a jolly ole time. Trading stories about the north and what not. When that guy gets a few into him ALL the dirt comes out about Rudolph, the other reindeer and all the elves.

I started to get a little bit concerned after a few hours as he showed no sign of letting up on the imbibing.
drunk santa in oz 02

I was getting worried since it was only 2 pm and he'd gone through a case in only 2 hours.
drunk santa in oz 03

drunk santa in oz 04
Let the damn elves deliver the pressies to the brats this year!

drunk santa in oz 05
How many chillis did you put in this beer?

By now I was getting very concerned for Santa's wellbeing. Perhaps the strain of his job finally got to him?
drunk santa in oz 06

Remember to tell your kids that if Santa doesn't visit this year that it's NOT because they've been bad. It's because Santa has been bad!

Very bad...
drunk santa in oz 07

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chilli Pepper Hallucinations

Yes, that good ole chemical capsaicin can have some rather odd effects upon critters of the mammalian persuasion who consume them. And of course you know that avian types don't have a problem with capsaicin so if you think you are a birdbrain then you should be able to eat all the chillis you want without feeling the heat!


And I'm sure you all are aware that chilli plants are self-pollinators. Can you imagine if people were self-pollinators?

Just think, all those hours a teenage guy spends in the bathroom could have more consequences than a musky odor and a red face! Not that I'm speaking from experience, mind you. It's, uh, just something I heard.

Quick dave, change the topic!

Oh, right. Hallucinations from consuming too much capsaicin laced homebrew.

One can see koalas wearing funny things whilst out bushwhacking --I mean bush walking.

Hmmmm, Santa sure don't look jolly in all the fur with a hat on in a 'stralian summer.

Too much capsaicin laced homebrew can also cause the imbibber to strike even stupider poses than usual. Bonus points will be awarded if you can figure out what's in the bottle floating near dave's crotch. And extra bonus points awarded if you can guess how much his cool, spiffy, new, white crocs cost.














this is me

Thursday, December 17, 2009

That'sa Spicyea Beera!

Remember the post from a few days ago? The one where I was bottling beer and put a huge cayenne pepper in two of the bottles? Oh, you do remember! G'donya mates!

The brew was actually bottled a week ago, and this morning the bottles were clear! That means the secondary fermentation is done --warm weather speeds it along, dontcha know.

Naturally I just had to open one of them --I'll give the other one a few more days to "age" properly.

I sat down a few feet from Wifey-Poo. With an empty mug in one hand, and a 750 ml bottle of lager with a six inch cayenne pepper (poked full of holes) in the bottle.

I cracked the bottle.

Before I could even begin to pour the "beer" into the mug, WP stated she could smell the chilli already. Being the gentleman that I am, I offered her a quaff. She, being the lady she is, politely declined. I believe her exact words were, "Not a bloody chance in Hell!"

The first sip was pretty spicy. Couldn't smell the beer at all. Couldn't taste the beer at all. The spiciness seemed to creep all around my mouth and throat.

YT: Mmmmmm, this is good. I think I'll have another sip. Anyone want to join me?

WP: I know you and spicy food and if the sweat on your brow after one small sip is any indication of the potency of that firewater, then I shall pass.

YT: How about you Mike?


YT: Cool, more for me.

So I finished the first mug, no worries. As you read this I'm currently halfway through my second mug. Good stuff! I think all homebrewers should try this! Much much much spicier than that wussy stuff with a tiny chilli in it, that's for sure.

I'll make dinner simple tonight (snags and bacon rolls w/ onions, shrooms, and chillis) so my taste buds don't have to worry about getting back to life for a day or two.

Audience Participation Time!

Why is dave shoving this down his shorts?

what is dave doing

The comment line is now open!

Oh, do you think it may have something to do with this?

124 F

Hey lookie! Even the locals think I'm loco!
loco locals
Bonus question: Which one is the female?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Variety is the Spice of Life

Yes, it is. Why would you want to do the same boring, mundane thing every single day and then on the weekends do the same boring, mundane thing that you've done every weekend for the last 20 years?

Do something different! Change something! Spice up your life!

Heck, if I'd been content to drive the same truck every day, punch the same clock, receive a really good paycheck with awesome benefits, ride the bike on the same roads/trails as the previous 1231 weekends, teach the same stuff four times a week in the evenings; well, gosh.

I certainly wouldn't be in Australia if I wanted to do the same thing day in and day out.

And I certainly wouldn't have an outdoor pool. I hear they aren't too common up in Fairbanks for some reason.

And I certainly would still be working!

You owe it to yourself to TRY SOMETHING NEW!

Variety is the SPICE of life. And if you don't like spices in your life then you are probably only popular at a Star Trek Trivial Pursuit convention. Jus' sayin'.

Speaking of spices... I happened upon a couple of really nice chilli peppers the other day.

I have tentatively identified them as a sub-species of Capsicum annuum. I do believe they are the cayenne variety.

These puppies are 20 times hotter than a jalapeno and 10 times hotter than tabasco sauce. However, they are only 1/5th the hotness of the thai peppers I grow (got 9 really awesome thai chilli plants this year). But hey, they are still good.

Lookie here if'ns ya don't beeleave me:
cayenne chilli pepper 01

To do what I planned to do with them (GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER!), I first needed to snip the stems.
cayenne chilli pepper 02
BTW, Mundial kitchen shears are da bomb! Hand crafted in Madrid, doncha know.

And I also needed to pierce them full of holes:
cayenne chilli pepper 03

cayenne chilli pepper 04

You'll notice I don't wear rubber gloves when handling chillis. It's cus I'm not a wuss. Besides, I've got so many callouses from, ah, um, er, other activities that I don't have to worry about and juice stinging.

But what am I planning on doing with these chillis? Weeeeeeelllllllllll, since you asked...
cayenne chilli pepper in beer 05
This is a 750 ml bottle ready for BEER! 750 mls is twice the size of wussie US beers, BTW. These are BIG chillis!

They barely even fit!
cayenne chilli pepper in beer 06

One with, one without.
cayenne chilli pepper in beer 07
Soon to be both "with".

And after a nice lager has been added to do it's secondary fermentation in the bottle
cayenne chilli pepper in beer 08

I'll let you know how they taste in about a week from now.

Hey, take a chance! Ya never know!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Something Wetted This Way Comes


Dang and darn!

Oh fudgesickle!

Don't you just hate, and I mean HATE, giving away the punchline to a great post in the title of the post? This means that none of you's'll be readin' past right HERE.

But there is more. However, of course and unfortunately for you, I can't remember the really funny stuff I was thinking of for this post while I was making wort (wort is a beer brewing term, BTW) and also planting plants --outside. No, the wort wasn't being made outside, the plants were.

I blame wifey-poo. She, ah, distracted me. Yeah, that's it; distracted me.

So it's all her fault. Ahem. *ed. dave sleeps on couch tonight*

But that's ok for you. All you need to do is read this far, think of something funny, and then spew coffee/beer/tea/soda/wine/everclear all over your computer monitor.

See? Wasn't that funny?


YT: I'm gonna go make some bread crumbs for tonight's fishcakes.

WP: Great!

YT: Yup, I'm sure I'll make a crummy job of it! HAHHHAHAHAHAHHA!

WP: *is there something solid and heavy around?*

**********Break over*******************

This post has to do with sails. Specifically, the rigging of said sails. Does this mean that dave's going to go aloft in a gale to gybe the chute? Does it mean he's going to shimmy up the mast to the boom (in a typhoon ) to triple-reef the main?


He's going to do it all the easy way: Sit down below in the cabin and push a button for the roller-furling to do it's job. Just like someone I am acquainted with.

Actually, this is rigging shade sails. For the pool dontcha know.

It all started with this pic.
Please notice that I have already rigged one of the shade sails. The one that did not require me to put the ladder in the pool.

And you may also notice just how careful I'm being:
drilling a hole

Here I very deftly set the drill down and quickly struck a pose for the camera!
safety first

And now it's just a simple job of screwing in the hook.
screwing it in

Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for you, I had to stand on THIS step
loss of balance

This is what it looked like:

Ah, but wait my young grasshopping padowans! This next pic sums things up nicely!

Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnd, of course: the pictures








Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Holiday Feast 2009 --Keeping It Simple *UPDATED*

Yes, this year I've been told to keep Dave's Annual Super-Awesome Holiday Feast down to a more, shall we say, reasonable level than in years' gone by.

So to help with that, I've started making tofu.

Yes, tofu.

Turns out it's very quick and easy to make! Very cheap too AND you get a big batch of okara leftover to make things like fake burgers, fake roasts, fake pork, fake roast chook... well, you get the idea.

And then there's all the neat things you can do with tofu! Marinate it, smoke it, grill it, stuff it, feed it to someone you don't like... See? There's so much you can do with just some plain soy beans and magnesium chloride!

In fact, I have decided that this years' feast will be meat free and all the meat dishes will be made with my own homemade tofu!


But I have started making tofu. It will, however, of course, have practically NOTHING to do with any of the food this holiday season.

Many of you may be familiar with my previous menus, many of you may not. Just keep in mind that all but a few dishes on the menu are homemade. By me.

And the pots and pans are home cleaned. By me.

Yes, it's amazing what I go through, sigh...

Oh, if you want to learn how to make any of these, then just lemme know and hopefully one of these recipes will appear (like magic!) on my food blog.

And don't worry, there'll be a funny pic of dave at the end of all this, so please read. And keep in mind that this is meant to be spaced out over 3 weeks. And it's in no particular order. And no food is wasted.





holiday feast 2009

stout beer n brats w onions

homemade pizzas

peanut butter cheesecake w/ hot fudge sauce --I've been told if I don't make this each year then I'd better sleep with one eye open.

3 sushi platters

homemade chocolates

homemade tofu, marinated, smoked, grilled, etc.

roast chook w/ all the fixins

baked pumpkin

roasted pumpkin seeds --from the above pumpkin

toasted chilli n garlic almonds & peanuts

pork roast wrapped in banana leaves and slow roasted with polynesian

highland oat cakes

apples n bleu cheese

various homemade cheeses

1 xmas fruitcake

1 xmas pudding

pineapple & maple syrup glazed ham

candied sweet potatoes

fried worms

cinnamon raisin bread

many loaves of white and wholemeal bread

grilled basa fillets

many servings of my extra special chips (thick fries)

advokaat cheesecake

1 bottle of advokaat for above cheesecake

lots of homebrews; stout, lager, dark ale, regular ale, chilli beer, etc.

garden greens salads

marinated fish & onion & cucumber salad

4 kilos of sausage --if we have a pool party

onions for above sausage

1 apricot cobbler

mexican buffet with all the fixin's

champagne n strawberries

green beans n red capsicums w/ bacon & peanut sauce

panforte --awesomely great xmas cake

souvlaki chicken w/ tabouli & tzatziki

devonshire cream tea

pineapple sherbet

pineapple topping

pineapple tarts

pineapple coconut pie

banana jam

charlotte rouse

O'Leary's Irish Cream


cask of red wine

cask of white wine


hot fudge sauce

waldorf salad

herbed, baked spuds


whipped cream stuffed crepes w/ dark chocolate sauce


How could I forget my Polynesian Hibiscus Water?


See? I've kept it simple this year! Harumph.

And now for a bit of foreshadowing...


I'm quite sure many questions leap to mind.

"Why is the ladder in the pool?"

"Does dave know about elektrikery and water?"

"Is there a happy ending? Cus I hate sad endings, but in dave's case I'll make an exception."

Why don't YOU come up with your own questions for the pictures and put it in the comments?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Me Masta Plan! MwuuHAHAHAAAAA!

Yes, that's right. You *did* read the title correctly. Yes, I know it may come a surprising shock to my regulars, I DO sometimes make plans.

And the neato part of my plans is that they always work! So there.

My usual plan is made at bedtime each night. I always plan to wake up sometime within the next 20 hours. Works like a charm and hasn't failed me yet.

Unless you count that time I slept for 666 years straight, but otherwise; no worries! I won't regale you with the details as my psychiatrist says I shouldn't discuss it with normal folk.

Here's my plan for today, Friday, 4th of December, 6009:

Wake up. Check, already done.

Disentangle panther, and his fangs and claws, from leg and chuck his furry butt outside. Check.

Take a nap. Check.

Plan dinner. Check --grilled blue grenadier.

Now for the unchecked ones...

Make two loaves of bread. One regular, one whey.

Make beer. Load the primary fermenter with a batch of stout.

Check the feta for the brining. Adjust brine if needed.

Check the aging of the wensleydale. Brush salt flakes off if needed.

Vacuum pool bottom. This is best done from WITHIN the pool, trust me.

Practice violin. Try not to make too many screechy sounds.

Photoshop a bunch of pics to post on my blog and claim they are real.

Take a nap.

Make more beer. Load the SECOND (yay me!!!) primary fermenter with lager.

Cook dinner.

Eat dinner.

Wrestle the panther till he's exhausted and ready to come in for the night.

Watch one of them newfangled 4-dimension movies. *think about it, you'll figure it out*

*up until now, everything has been done while wearing my new, really cool pair of white crocs*

Read a book about particle physics.

Take an 8 hour nap, plan to wake up sometime tomorrow.

I think I can pretty much keep up with that plan today. What do you think?

And totally offtopic, I made some sausage sushi the other day. It was delicious.
sausage sushi