Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Tour Down Under may be canceled

Adelaide, South Oz (via dave's fake news service): The race director of Adelaide's Tour Down Under has just made a startling announcement. There is a very real possibility that the 2010 Tour Down Under in January could be canceled due to weather.

"As many of you are aware, Adelaide has not had our usual, summery, oven-style heat this November and December," stated Mike Tartarsauce, race director for the TDU. "Seriously, visitors and riders from around the world come down here to challenge themselves in the heat in January. If we can't provide the proper furnance-like temperatures then why would any of them show up?"

"We need at least 3 weeks of 40 C and above to pump some heat into the region and hope for 45's during the race, otherwise we may just have to cancel," continued Tartarsauce. "I even tried talking to a local tribal elder about the possibility of human sacrifice to appease their weather gods. Unfortunately he walked away muttering something about 'crazy white fella'."

The reaction from teams and riders has been swift upon hearing the news.

Lance Armstrong "I live to suffer. I suffer better than anyone. It's how I won 7 TDF's, by suffering better than all the other riders. This will be my 3rd TDU and if I can't suffer in blast furnace heat for a week then I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe just stay in the hotel and flog myself."

Anna Hanson "Tee-Hee, and I was so looking forward to seeing Vienna with Lancey-poo."

Andre Greipel "Ya, da heet. I love eet! Da pansy-boys wilt in da heet as I stomp all ohvar dem. Vat? No heet? How vill I beet da pansy Manxman?"

Stewy O'Grady's "It's been rough mate. I had to wear leggings, jacket, and booties this morning. And that was just to light the fire! No way am I going out riding in that cold weather."

Robbie McEwen "Bloody hell, this is worse than a Belgium spring."

Tom Boonan "Good! I fucking wasn't planning on being down there fucking anyways. Besides, the fuckers down there would actually arrest me if I wrapped my fucking ferrari around a fucking street sign."

Mark Cavendish "Where is that place again? Doesn't matter to me as long as I get to kick some big German's ass."

Alby "As you know mate, I've been in every TDU. I'm proud of it but seriously thinking of not giving it a go this time around. Too bloody cold mate!"

Vincent Lavenu "Sacre Bleu! J'ai pris mon équipe ici chaque année pour durcir mes coureurs français. Que vais-je faire maintenant, les emmener à Sri Lanka?"

ASO "Nous avons essayé de dire McQuaid vieux que cela pourrait se produire par lui tente de mondialiser le vélo, mais at-il de nous écouter? Non!"

Jose Luis Arrieta "Si a mí ya mi equipo no puede pasar el rato en la playa y recoger todos los rubios, bronceados, chicas bikini australiano, entonces no vamos!"

UPDATE

It appears that the local weather gods MAY have taken pity after hearing the crying and whinging from Mr. Tartarsauce as Dec 31th is forecast to reach 43 C in the shade. The South Oz cycling community has breathed a huge sigh of relief!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Day After Christmas: Chainsaw Day!

Yes folks, it is that time of year again! It's the Day after Christmas! And y'all should know by now what that means...

No, the the big Boxing Day Test Match betwixt the Poms and the Crims.

No, not the start of the Sydney To Hobart yacht race.

It's...

Chainsaw Day!

Yes, that time of the year when the Grinch finally WINS! Don't you just hate it that the ole Grinchie always, without fail, wusses out at the end? I expected better of the Grinch in the Jim Carrey version, buuuuut noooooo. He wussed out in that version too.

But he did get the buxom, rich, long-legged babe in the end (of the movie, not the other end you perverts!), Martha May. So perhaps there's hope for all us hairy, middle-aged, beer-gutted, crusty old farts everywhere --don't swoon ladies, I'm human.

Fortunately, I'm not one of them as I already lucked out with Wifey-Poo!

Butt what the movies nor story don't tell is just what happened the day AFTER Christmas. Being down in Oz means that I'm a day ahead of all my "friends" in North America. So therefore I KNOW what happens the day after Christmas while it's still Christmas.

Not being a very talented writer (butt you already knew that), I have, of course, as usual, quite naturally decided, instinctualtively, to let Wifey-Poo tell (type) you all about what happened the day after Christmas so you won't be shocked tomorrow (yours, not mine as it's already tomorrow hear) upon hereing the news from Mount Crumpit.

Remember gentle readers, do not blame me for this as Wifey-Poo wrote it. Blame her. Bring your own pitchforks and torches as I'm fresh out from the last riot I started.

As always, I paste in the previous preamble from previous years gone by.

*start here*

2009 preambulation

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.

------------------------------------------------


2008 Preambulatory

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:


2006 Prebulation

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):
GRINCH II: WHOVILLE CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Masses Have Spoken!

And it was much more of a whisper from two very nice ladies than the voter turnout I was hoping for. But hey, no worries mates. I tolds ya I'd make up me own Holiday Feast Menu if I needs ta.

And food is one thing I's guud at. Along with the shoppin', plannin', cookin', and such like.

Beefour you get to read the menu, I thawt I'd tells ya a few things dat I's tankful fer.

A walk-in pantry.

2 refrigerators.

3 freezers.

Gas stove top.

Gas oven.

6 burner outdoor barby with a 7th side burner.

Ok, I think that sorta just about covers it. Well, foodwise it does.

Onto The Holiday Feast Menu of 2010/2011!

We'll be starting on the summer solstice of December 21th. That'd be the winter solstice for my non-Southern hemisphere readers and it'd be December 20th since we're a day ahead of you. So there.

It will last till January 5th, that'd be Twelfth Night, BTW.

Why? Why not?

And as a bonus for you I've sorta kinda like halfway grouped the dishes into various categories. Sorta. Kinda. Like.

You may also notice there aren't enough main courses to get us thru 17 days. Nor are there enuff side dishes. Plenty of dessert though! The lack of enugh mains is because of the magic of "Leftovers". If I was on Iron Chef and the theme ingredient was "Leftovers" I would seriously kick some serious butt. Seriously.

And side dishes seem to take care of themselves so I didn't feel the need to right down every single one, just some of the special ones.

So pull up a chair and bring your appetite cus here, we, go!

Mains (not an exhaustive list of course)
Polynesian Pork Ribs
Roast Chook
Various Sushi Platters
Grilled Basa Fillets
Banana Leaf-Wrapped Marinated Pork Shoulder
Homemade Pizzas (great way to take care of leftovers)
Mexican Feast (leftover pork shreds great!)
Maple Syrup & Pineapple Glazed Ham
Numerous cold platters
Beer n Brats

A few of the planned side dishes
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Char-grilled Eggplant
Green Beans n Red Bell Peppers in Peanut Sauce
Potato Salad --both hot and cold varieties
Herbed, Baked Potato Pieces
Lots of green salads
Marinated Onion n Cucumber Salad
Homemade Teriyaki Beef Jerky
Toasted Chilli n Garlic Almonds n Peanuts
Nacho Platters (DUH!)
Various Cheeses, Feta, Camenbert, Bleu, etc
Dolmades

Dips
Hummus
Miti
Guacamole
Lots of different gravies
Tzatziki
Hot Fudge Sauce

Desserts!
Satan's Trifle --h/t to Michelle for the name of the dish
Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Hot Fudge Sauce
Champagne and Strawberries with choc sauce for dipping
Devonshire Cream Tea
2 or 3 loaves of Cinnamon Bread
Pineapple Pie
Waldorf Salad (me mum's secret recipe)
Pineapple Sherbet
Banana Tarts
Pineapple Dip/Topping
Highland Oatcakes
Shortbread
Irish Whiskey Fruitcake
Christmas Pudding
Pineapple-Coconut Pie with Meringue Topping

Booze
Homebrews (Got a few cases of different varieties ready!)
Father O'Learys Velvet Cream (like Baileys but better)
Red Wines
White Wines
Champagne
Cream Port

I think it'll be a very nice feast this holiday season. What are your thoughts?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Your Vote Counts!

And just why does your vote count here at this ole blog? Cus you dear reader get to vote on what this year's Holiday Feast! Why is there a Holiday Feast at the ole hamstead down unda? Read on... read. on.

This here whole tradition goes back to when I first arrived in Adelaide. Firstly, you knead to know there is no Tryptophan Overdose Day down here. That means no Thanksgiving. So I decided that I'd whip up a nice Holiday Feast. And I'd do it with fairly non-traditional foods that my Aussie (formerly border-country english) in-laws wouldn't know how to cook or eat.

It has since grown. I now include some very traditional Holiday foods.

Why do I call it The Holiday Feast instead of Christmas dinner? Because this lasts two weeks. Why two weeks? Cus it starts on the summer solstice of December twenty-oneth and goes for two weeks till January threeth or fourth. Or whenever we are too full to eat.

Down here betwixt Christmas and New Years there's really only one day of work, and not that much gets done then anyways. Why is that? Getcher calender out and I'll 'splain it to ya.

25th is a Saturday this year, 24th friday. Now no one really wants to work Christmas Eve so last real day of work is the 23rd. But since that's full of office parties and the like let's count that as holiday too. That leaves Dec 22nd. But since solstice in the 21st, how's about we just start the festivities then? After all. South Oz is known internationally as The Festival State.

Boxing day (26th) is a Sunday. The Official Christmas day holiday is Monday the 27th, so the Official Boxing Day holiday is Tues the 28th. Dec 28th is also Proclamation Day for South Oz. Boxing Day is also the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, so not much to be done till at least the 29th. Boxing day also starts the Boxing Day Test Match (cricket) which goes on for 5 days. New Year's Day is Saturday, with New Year's Eve being Friday. Since no one works New Year's Eve, then Dec 29th and 30th would be the only two days of work. Screw that, there's a yacht race and a Test match on, why should Adelaide work? Then Monday the 3rd is the Official New Year's Day holiday and if you're lucky enough you'll be in a place that also celebrates The Day After New Year as a holiday.

All in all, you gots nothing to do betwixt Dec 21th and January 4th. So why not cook, eat, watch cricket, watch a boat race, lay on the beach, drink lotsa beer, and gain 15 pounds?

What I'm going to do here is paste the Holiday Feast from years gone by. That'd be 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. You'll notice there are some dishes that appear throughout and these dishes will be cooked. And also my extra special Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Hot Fudge Sauce will be made. Otherwise I'll be sleeping on the couch all of 2011.

So vote in the comments for the dishes you'd like. Vote for as many dishes as you'd like, or as few as you'd like, no worries. If there aren't too many folks voting then I'll call the vote an abstention and make whatever the heck I want from the lists. But if LOTS of you vote then I'll go with what y'all vote for. Including the "always to be made" stuff.

Ok, here we go!

WAIT! How's about a picture of a sleeping koala first?
asleep koala


And followed up with a sushi platter:
more sushi




Alrighty then! Let's have a squizz at the previous menus!

2006 Holiday Feast blog post:

Saturday, November 25, 2006
Guy Fawkes Down Unda!
Ha! Didn't that title fool y'all? I'll bet right now everyone in the US is busy googling the name Guy Fawkes. What? You're not? Damn, oh well... I guess I'll fill ya in.

In 1605 AD (Before Dave--The "A" is just a typo) a bloke named Guy Fawkes was arrested for trying to blow up the English Parliament on Nov 5th, 1605, BD. He didn't succeed, but there is a sort of unofficial holiday for either "Guy Fawkes Night" or "Bonfire Night".

So, now you know... But why/how do I know this? Cus the Most Wonderful Woman In The World (my wifey-poo) was born the day before on the 4th of Nov --yes, she is now 401 years old but doesn't look a day over 250. It just MIGHT have something to do with me being able to see in the dark and those two little scars on my neck that don't heal... Feral yellow eyes at night, geesh, doesn't everyone have those?

"Dave, just tell us the 'supposed' relevance of Guy Fawkes and today's post, thank you." Ah! I heard you think that.

Burning down Parliament requires fire. A by-product of fire is ashes. The Ashes Test Series is going on right now down unda (that's aussie pronunciation of 'under'). The Poms are going down in FLAMES!

Now do you get it???

I can take solace in the fact that in the previous Ashes up in the Old Country the Poms got the sh*t kicked outta them in the first test, then battled back and won the Ashes for the first time in yonks. Go POMS!

Since 99.99% of my readers are in the USA, I figure this has been a great lesson in what's happening in the rest of the world, eh?

No story today but I will share with you my Yuletide and New Year Holiday menu with you. In fact, each post from now till the 22nd of Dec, BD (I'll be busy cooking after that) will have a recipe from the menu.

So, without further intellectual wanking from yours truly (that means I'll shut me trap), here's the menu for my Holiday Feast:

Remember: a recipe from something of the menu follows, so read on:



This is in no particular order, I've still got to organise it on a day to day basis. Oh, everything is homemade from scratch.


Holiday food:

Panforte (type of a christmas cake)

Polynesian Lamb Spare Ribs

Cinnamon bread (2 or 3 loaves)

4,5 or 6 loaves homemade white bread

Polynesian Ham

Pineapple Pie

Pineapple Sherbet

Pineapple Topping --for the ice cream

Banana Jam --for the ice cream

Homemade Ice Cream --for the above toppings to cover

Charlotte Rouse

Pineapple-Coconut Pie

Miti

Roast Chook

Roast Pork Leg --persian style seasonings

Lots of Stuffing

Candied Sweet Potatoes

5 types of Gravy

Guacamole dip

Chunky Mild Salsa

Hot Smooth Salsa

Apricot Cobbler (at least 2)

Herbed Potatoes --oven roasted

Sushi Platter --6 or 7 varieties

Dolmades

Herbed, Buttered, Pumpkins Chunks

Waldorf Salad

Potato(e) Salad

Beef Roast --seasoned with either egyptian or morrocan herbs

Advokaat Cheesecake --Advokaat is a liquer made from brandy and egg yolks

Baked Cheesecake --either strawberry or blueberry, freshly picked

Tzatziki dip

Homemade Corn Chips

Homemade Potato(e) Chips

Green Beans and Red Capsicums (bell pepper) with bacon and nuts

Champagne with strawberries

Garden Greens Salad

Marinated Onion and Cucumber Salad

Champagne (case)

Sherry -one bottle for cooking

Beer (2 cases variety of types)

Red Wine (one cask)

White Wine (one cask)

Tequila, White Curacuao (triple sec), lime juice --for margaritas

Sake (1 or 2 bottles)

Advokaat (one bottle)

Brandy (1 or 2 bottles)


Aaaaannnnnnnnnddddddddd........ Today's recipe is....

MITI

Miti is a coconut dip from Fiji. The miti that I make is a variation from a traditional recipe tailored (or seamstressed) for ease of use of westerners. Oh, I have made it the traditional way, but it takes a while and (as you can tell from the menu) I'll need to shortcut where (wear) I can.

What you need:

1 cup (237 mls) dried coconut
1 tbsp (15 mls) fresh lemon juice (if you don't have a lemon tree out front then snag a lemon from the neighbors lemon tree)
1 fresh red chilli (chili) finely minced
1 small (small) onion, finely minced
1 1/4 cups (296.25 mls) boiling H2O (water)

What you do:

Chuck everything into a bowl. Let it sit for 2 to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a bowl. Then take the leftover solids in your hand and SQUEEZE the heck out of them to extract the rest of the juice (do this over the strained liquid --you'll figure it out).

You can toss the SQUEEZED solids, or use them in a stir fry, or freeze em, or add em to rice while cooking the rice, hey: whatever.

The resulting liquid makes an awesome dip for dave's special homemade corn chips (stay tuned for that recipe).

Oh, you can use lime juice instead of lemon, they both work grate (great).


*****************************************************************************

Next up, the 2007 Holiday Feast blog post:

Saturday, December 22, 2007
THE Holiday Feast Down Unda

I'm a little late getting this years holiday feast typed in. In fact, we've already started on it --3 days ago! Some of you may notice it's a wee bit similar to last years feast; that's cus we've got many favorite recipes. Also, I've some new ones, and some that are just too darned expensive.

This is in NO particular order, but it'll feed four adults for two weeks. Oh, we're having a pool party and barbeque on the 28th, so the 4 or 5 kilos of snags are for the sausage sizzle.

Unless otherwise noted, everything is homemade by yours truly, or adapted (by yours truly) from recipe book --of which I have LOTS.

If'n any of you'd like a recipe for any of the following, just let me know via a comment, no worries.



Highland oat cakes

Shortbread

Peanut butter cheesecake with hot fudge sauce

Polynesian pork spare ribs

Pineapple pie

Cinnamon raisin bread

Polynesian ham

Pineapple sherbet

Chocolate mint ice cream with choc chips

Banana jam

Pineapple-Coconut pie

Miti (it's a dip)

Charlotte rouse

Banana leaf wrapped pork roast

Roast chook (at least 2 of em)

Candied yams

3 apricot cobblers (had one of em last night)

3 kinds of stuffing

4 types of gravy

3 types of salsa

Guacamole

5 kilos of sausages (for the bbq pool party)

2 kilos onions (for the above sausages)

Herbed spuds on the grill

My special homemade Dolmades

Waldorf salad

Tzatziki dip

One of my special sushi platters

Maple syrup candied pork roast

Corn chips and potato chips fresh made

Green beans and red capsicums with bacon and peanut sauce

Champagne with strawberries

Buttered roasted pumpkin pieces

2 cases beer

2 casks red wine

1 cask white wine

spicy marinated onions

Tequila, triple sec, and lime juice (mum-in-law has requested my special margaritas)

1 bottle brandy

1 bottle Father O'Learys Irish Cream

1.5 liters bourbon and coke

1 bottle dry cider

1 bottle sweet cider

Hot fudge sauce

Fudge brownies

Mince pies (lots)

Banana tarts

1 homemade bottle of chilli pepper and honey mead (I'll be the only one having that)


I think that should pretty much cover it. Remember, if you want a specific recipe then just ask.


****************************************************************************

We follow that with the 2008 Holiday Feast Post:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Yes, it's that time of year again. Christmas and New Year! Gotta start planning for it early, doncha know.

It appears that summer may actually have arrived early this year, it's 95 F in the shade and 134 F in the sun. The pool in at 80 F. Tomorrow is actually supposed to be warm, so fingers crossed that I can take off the flannel shirt and bunny boots soon.

This years' menu will be forthcoming, but first...

You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Yeah, that means I'll shut up...
swinging rainbow lorikeets




Before I begin typing in this years menu, let me tell you that this is to feed the brood from dec 23rd to Jan 3rd. Yes, life pretty much comes to a halt for 2 weeks down unda.

Now, I still haven't decided what's gonna be served on which day, and there'll be a couple of days of leftovers spaced throughout. I also reserve the right to add any menu item I want to. Hmmmph!

Please note, with the exception of the Christmas fruitcakes and the puddings that have been in the pantry for 6 years, pretty much everything is made from scratch. No, I don't go out and milk the cow's for the cream... you know what I mean!

At this point there is no particular order, or rhyme or reason to anything; I'm just jotting down the stuff that I plan to prepare.


Holiday Feast 2008/2009 Menu


Peanut Butter Cheesecake with hot fudge sauce (does this surprise you?)

2 Christmas fruitcakes

2 Roast chooks with all the fixin's --that includes stuffing, gravy, spuds, etc

Dave's Polynesian Pork Roast --yes, it's wrapped in banana leaves and slow roasted

Souvlaki chicken with tabouli and tzatziki

BBQ Roo burgers

Teriyaki Roo burgers

Dave's extra special chips

Homemade pizza

Grilled Basa fillets

Homemade crumpets and cream

Charlotte Rouse (you'll love it, I'll put up pics of the process)

Potato Salad

Coleslaw

Candied Sweet Potato with marshmallow and cherry topping

Waldorf salad --with mom's special dressing

Herbed, baked spuds

Pineapple glazed ham

Herbed, baked pumpkin

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Mexican buffet with all the fixin's (let your imagination run wild on this)

At least 2 sushi platters

Various chocolates

Hummus

Many salsas

Banana jam

Pineapple sherbet

Pineapple topping

Pineapple tarts

Pineapple Coconut pie

Pineapple meringue pie

Chocolate mint Chocolate chip ice cream made with fresh choc mint from the garden

2 Xmas puddings

Fresh plate of homemade dolmades

Pitcher (or 4) of margaritas

case of Cascade's

case of Boag's

Strawberries and cream

Champagne and strawberries

A few cases of vino

Apples and bleu cheese

some champagne

Devonshire Cream Tea --made from homemade scones, fresh whipped cream, and fresh picked strawberries.

I'm sure I've left something out, but you kinda get the idea... If I don't gain 15 pounds this year then I'll consider this holiday wasted!


glaring rainbow lorikeets
Oi mate! What about the sunflower seeds?


*******************************************************************

And finally here is the 2009 Holiday Feast:



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!





Bullshit.




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.


And.

Here.

We.

GO!

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
seasonings.

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

brandy

cask of red wine

cask of white wine

shortbread

hot fudge sauce

waldorf salad

herbed, baked spuds

hummus

whipped cream stuffed crepes w/ dark chocolate sauce

*UPDATE!*

How could I forget my Polynesian Hibiscus Water?

*END UPDATE*


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

And now for a bit of foreshadowing...

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?


*****************************************************************************************

So, that's it! Loosen up your typing fingers and start typing! Use the comments vote for loads of goodies! Please, PLEASE vote for LOTS of stuff!!! I'll give y'all till Friday, December Tenth, and then I'm gonna start cookin'!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

G'day All! And Happy Thanksgiving from Down Unda

Turkey day is a holiday specific to US and Canada, but I really don't think the canucks go all out bonkers over it the way US'ns do. I've been asked by a few Aussies what Thanksgiving is all about and at first I did my best to explain how it all started. Ended up with puzzled looks from many an Aussie.

Nowadays I just say it's just another excuse for Americans to pig out and watch football!

Now that they can relate to! It's much like the way a cricket test match is just another excuse for Aussies to sit in the sun 5 days straight whilst drinking beer.

Anyways, in honor of Turkey Day you may have noticed that Alice's Restaurant Massacree playing in the sidebar. If you don't like it then tough shit. No, actually, feel free to pause it, no worries.

Have I used enough commas yet?

Quick aside before we gets back to me ramblings... How's abouts a picture?
pretty moth


Moth or butterfly? What's your guess?

Getting back (or front) to me --cuz it's all about ME! Is anyone the least bit curious why I hadn't posted since like maybe sorta since very early October? Anyone? Actually I think many of you are as many of you have sent me mean nasty emails and tweets telling me to get up off my lazy ass (your words, not mine) and post something. A few of you have even wondering aloud on your own blogs whether I'm dead or not. You know who you are and just make sure you're very careful next time you're out in the woods, jus' sayin'.

So... Why the break?

Last post I put up what I had thought was such an awesomely great picture of a momma and baby koala that I quite -rightly I obviously mistakenly- believed that I'd get many ooo's and ahhh's in the comments. A few days went by and no comments. Oh heck, I'll give the buggas till over the weekend, I thought.

A week went by, still nothing. But then a funny thing happened... my visitor numbers started going up. Like well over doubling! I then decided that once the numbers go back to normal (waving hi to all 3 of you! I joke of course. I'm not waving, I'm typing) I'll put up more stuff.

But the numbers haven't dropped. So by not posting anything for 52 days (but who's counting) I have effectively tripled my traffic! Woo-Hoo! Who knew laziness could do such wonders?

Then something went wrong. Apparently y'all have now had enough time to squizz through my archives that you now hunger for fresh babbling from Yours Truly --that'd be me, don't swoon ladies I'm human!

So you have now all shamed me into psoting. Truthfully though, all the "please post something dave" emails and tweets have been very flattering. So, just like any normal bloke, you just found out that flattery will get you anything you want with me. Unless Wifey-Poo is watching.

Did you know there's some folks out in the ether that think I'm funny? Whereas some of you know that I'm just funny looking.

Wait! Don't go yet. I've got some pictures and puzzles for you.

Can you find the koala?
spot the koala



And if you couldn't then you won't like knowing that my 80 yr MIL could find it from her wheelchair:
koala close to trail



Once the little fella realized we weren't a threat, s/he went right back to doing what koalas do better than any critter on earth.
sleeping koala



Seeing all them wild critters made me hungry later that day...
lunch01



Try to guess what type of snags those are. Go on, GUESS!

When they was all cooked up they looked like this.
lunch02



No, I won't show you a picture of what they looked like the next day...

Oh, just remembered something. A few of you have mentioned how much you like The Lord and Master of All He Surveys, Protector of The Weak, Defender of The Innocent, His Royal Highness, Prince Bagheera. BTW if I don't give him his full title each time then he shreds my legs.

Anyways, see if you can find The Cat:
find bagheera



Here's a closeup of him. Obviously he's all tuckered out today after chewing on my leg all night.
bagheera sleeping



I suppose I could have also used the excuse of my ancient 6 yr old P4 finally dying, buying a new supersystem, rescuing data from old hard drive, installing programs on new system, and playing with more 3d stuff as to why I didn't post in a while, but you probably wouldn't believe me. Right?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Baby Koala Picture!!!!!

Yep, the baby koalas are now big enough at this time of the year to see them out and about with their mommy. This mommy/baby pair was only around 15 to 20 feet up a gum tree so, needless to say, I got some awesomely great pics of them.

Would you like to see one of them? Of course you would. I'll put the flickr one up first at 640 by 480. You can click on it to be able to see the 1600 by 1200 picture. The other one will be the blogger picture embed and you can click on it too to bring up the full size 1600 by 1200 picture.

mommy and baby koala



And here's the same pic via blogger's picture engine:





I stepped outside the other day and found some aussie wasps busy starting a nest.

Australian wasps building nest

Needless to say, my next stop was to Bunnings to get some wasps nest killer. Sorry guys, but building your nest right next to my grill is THE WRONG THING TO DO!

Hey, look! A thistle flower!
flowering thistle

You can also view this at 1200 by 1600 if you so desire, no worries.

Have you ever been out camping in the middle of nowhere? Perhaps on a small, rocky ridge overlooking a foggy valley as the moon rises over the mountains in the distance? Well if you have then I'm sure you know to keep a VERY close eye on that fog cus you just never know what is gonna come sneaking up the slope to your campsite to feast on your brains!

Here's what I mean:
misty valley



At full size it's 1514 by 855 so just click on the flickr pic to bring it up.

Or you could just embiggen this one:


Have fun camping, campers!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Solar Powered...

...CAT!


solar cat



And after his batteries are all charged up he then has plenty of energy!
don't bother the cat

Obviously he's conserving battery power till dinner time.

Speaking of dinner, some *cough, cough, TwoYaks cough, cough* may knot believe that koalas actually do move. They do, but only when they are eating.



And even then they don't muchly move.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Australian Flora and Fauna Pictures

Plus a few other pictures. Why? Why not! It's my blog and I can put any pictures of anything on it. So there.

Firstly, how's abouts some closeup pics of roses? Everyone loves roses, right? These were taken right after a rain shower and I tells ya that you just gotta click on them to embiggen. It. Will. Be. Worth. It.

Download, use as wallpaper, tell your friends, no worries. Full size they are 1600 by 1200.

Firstly is a peach colored rose with dew drops.





Seriously, Puh-Leeze click to make it bigger. Pretty please?

Here's a red rose with dew drops. You can magickly make it a full size of 1600 by 1200 picksuls too! Feel free to purr-loin this photo too, no worries.





And just how about this bloke?
gday cockatoo
G'day mates! Didja know I gots bi-knock-you-lar vision?



Now, at this point I do feel the need to add a slight editorial comment/advice for me blog blokes and blokettes way up north. In Alaska, of course.

Didja all know that very soon you will be looking at this and feeling the minus 60 degree Fartenheight temperatures that inspired this photo?


Please click to make it slightly larger. And it's another freebie from Yours Truly --don't swoon ladies, I'm human!

It was made in Bryce with 6 different terrains. The terrains were all made in Terragen Basic and exported as 8-bit .sgi pngs, imported and played with in Bryce to make the mountains. Lots of atmospheric effects too. I'm pleased. It looks DAMNED COLD!

See, she agrees with me.
glaring lorikeet
Don't even THINK of moving me to that climate!



I shall now go take a nap as that seems to be one of the myriad things I'm good at. Plus I like taking naps... Hello little nap, where shall I take you?
koala naptime 1



Perhaps I'll take one over here instead.
koala naptime 2



Nope, changed me mind. This is the bestest nap-taking spot!
koala naptime 3

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Hatchening of Sarah Palin

Didja ever wonder where Sarah Palin came from? Was she hatched from an egg or born live? Or did she spring out of pixels, processors, and programs in a 'puter way back when?

Hmmmmmm. Well, no matter as I happen to have a picture of Sarah Palin hatching from an egg. So now you know: She hatched from an egg. Proof:



Please click to embiggen the picture, you'll be happy!

But how did this start? It first started with me playing around in Bryce 7 Pro. I was learning the terrain sculpting tools and came up with the main "egg" and also the "top" of the "egg" overturned to the side. The material used is actually a sea ice material with some coloration changes to make it look cracky.

After that I went over to DAZ and made a cool looking Ice Dragon whilst applying various add-ons, textures, bump maps, etc to get what I wanted. I also went WAAAAY overboard on the bump mapping of the skin, horns, teeth, etc as I knew the dragon would be used in a long shot in Bryce and that Bryce has a tendency to "soften" the DAZ textures. I had to forgo the glasses as she didn't start wearing them till she was all grown up. Some would argue that she still hasn't grown up.

Here is a close up of the dragon in DAZ. Compare it to the dragon in the finished picture and you'll see why I had the bump mapping in DAZ turned up to "bloody-well high, mate!" as I knew it would soften with distance in Bryce. As always, please click to embiggen.





How's abouts them blueish sparkley things around her body, wings, egg interior and egg top? They were easy. Each one is actually a squashed sphere with a texture applied. No lights were needed and it makes for a very cool effect.

I'm going to show you a screen capture of the Bryce workspace showing the meshes for everything. You'll note that there is a squashed sphere on each wing, one large squashed sphere in the middle of the egg, and a smaller one of the egg top that's been tossed aside. Click to embiggen, of course.



The blobs on the far left and the far right are the other two eggs in the picture. I did those as object instead of terrains. Since they aren't hatched there was no reason to sculpt them, right? You may have also noticed the two yellow lights in the middle. The lower one lights up the egg interior along with the dragon body, and the other lights up the head from below. The light falloff is logarithmic so it's not "fakey" bright and the top one has a very low intensity as I only wanted it on her head. The size of the light mesh has NOTHING to do with the light itself, it just makes it easier to find in the jumble of meshes.

We'll now move to a left side view. You'll see just how far back the unhatched eggs are and you may also make note of the 2 light positions to illuminate the egg interior and the dragon properly. Make the picture larger with a click.



Notice the top red line that is just below the dragon? That's a layer of thin clouds. Go look at the very first picture and you'll notice some thin clouds just above the fog. Now you know what the red line is. It's a flat plane with a thin cloudscape applied to it. Oh, the low fog is an atmospheric effect so there's no mesh to see for it.

The top view is interesting as you'll see two things. The unhatched eggs aren't in the shot cus they are soooooooo far back. I made them huge and placed them waaaay back for two reasons. One is that the haze atmospherics will be more visible and the other is so the "eggy" textures look right. Small sized ones placed just behind the main egg DO NOT give the illusion of depth. Trust me, I tried.

The other thing to notice is that the terrain texture appears flat from above since you are viewing the terrain as a mesh. Valuable little tidbit to keep in mind, that is. Don't forget to click the pic.





I'm going to give you a cool shot of the back of the Ice Dragon rendered in DAZ. Why? Because I think the tiger strips look sooooooo cool! I think it looks neat at full size. Do I need to tell you how to bring the pitcher up to full size? No, didn't think so.





The last bit of nuts n blots for you: I made the scene on my old, decrepit P4 with 2 gigs of ram and a crappy video card. It was rendered on a modern quad core with 4 gigs built in ram, 4 gigs external ram, and a 1 gig video card. It still took 7 hours to render! Why? The sea ice texture used for the eggs is very complex (so's the blue sparkley stuff) and we cranked the rendering options sky high. However, if I had it set for total, top-of-the-line rendering it would have taken DAYS on the quad core. Just another example of software ALWAYS being light-years ahead of hardware. Well, at least affordable hardware.

Bye for now, time to go make some planets.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Don-nah worry! Bee Happy.

Springtime in South Oz. The pacifica blue in the backyard is blooming and you know what that means! Besides lots of sneezing, of course.

be happy

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fire Dragon Fight

So, like, you know, here's the thingy I've been working on.

3d thingy. Get your minds out of the gutter you perverts! 'Sides, you're blocking my view from the sewer.

The 3 critters were all done in DAZ and everything else done in Bryce 7 Pro.

Whatcha think?
Fire Dragon Fight



Oh wait, here's a larger version, 1680 by 1050.

Fire Dragon Fight



Getting Bristol to wrap around momma's tail took a while. There are over 65 individual segments to bend, twist, and wrap.

I think this captures the spirit of Lake Lucille quite well. Momma Sarah showing young Bristol just how to properly bully someone. What do you think?

Oh, here's another one you can click on to embiggen too.





Not including the time it took to learn Bryce and to figure out how lights work in Daz, the whole thing took a total of about 30 hours spread over a few days. 12 of that was rendering time!

**************************

Looks like spring may have actually arrived in South Oz! My peas now have 3 pods, many many more on the way, and I need to put more wiring up for the snow peas to climb. Just planted seeds for tomatillas and red capsicums (red bell peppers). Just about time to hit the garden centre at Bunnings and get tomato seedlings. My chillis are doing fine as they are perennial if you have the right variety, climate, and gardening skillz.

Strawberries, cucumbers, and basil are all on the list for planting this year. No need for rosemary as there is a monster rosemary bush in the yard. Also wild onions, chives, oregano, and plenty of sow thistle and dandelion leaves.

And a pool. Did I mention the pool? Maybe this will remind you:
pool37

No, The Cat did not kick the bucket!

Rumors of the death of His Royal Highness, Protector of the Faithful, Guardian of The Rift, Defender of The Innocent, Wielder of The Sacred Claw of Anor, Lord and Master of All He Surveys, Prince Bagheera are just that. Rumors.

I didn't even realize the wording of the previous post might cause some of you to think that The Fanged Terror had met an untimely demise. I was referencing a rock song from waaaaaaay back. Back when rock n roll meant the guitarist knew 3 chords instead of only one like nowadays.

Here's proof!

basement cat is tired



He's a little more animated in this picture
basement cat burning in the sun

Yes I know. It just looks like I took a cat carcass and tossed it around. But really, he DOES move. Just knot when I have a camera handy.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Video of wild koala climbing tree

Shall we just cut to the chase and show you the vid? Of course. This bloke was around 70 to 80 feet up, handheld camera on full zoom.





Hey look! Mean ole Sarah Palin is poking her beady little head around Todd's butt to glare at the neighbors!
sarah palin glaring



Just so you don't think I'm neglecting my new toys (ooooh baby!), I figure I'd better give you a picture of a work in progress in Bryce 7 Pro. I'm sure that all of smart readers will instantly be able to figure out what it is.
in progress021



Now if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out what I'm going to make for dinner tonight...
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Toys!

For me birfday!

Thought I'd put up a work in progress. I'll be making a new terrain backdrop, put in a lava lake, etc. Also I've got a few hours of work still on the main bloke. Loads of detailing still to do on him, lighting, etc.

But I figured I'd better put something up so y'all didn't think I was blowing smoke about all the cool software goodies I got.

Please keep in mind this is in NO WAY complete. Just click on the image to embiggin it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Step Right Up and ALL Your Questions Will Be Answered!

Yes indeedy all you little ladies! Just step right up to the Imaginarium of Doctor Dave and all your answers will be questioned!

or something like that

Can anyone guess what film we watched last night? Anyone? Just leave a comment. HINT: It really plumm-s the depp-ths...


Butt I do have two answers for you --don't swoon ladies, I'm human-- instead of only the one you may or may not have been expectorating.

Firstly: why my but was sore and bruised. It has to do with my back. And pressure points. Yes, I had a visit to my chiro a week before my birthday. Wee-Hoo!!!! Happy Birthday to me; here dave, go ahead and treat yourself to a sore ass!

Butt no, it really did help. She had to do some serious work on the pressure points of my right glute with her elbow in order to get the swelling and pain to go away. It worked! She really is amazing, dontcha know. Heck, I can even go in for stuffed sinuses and a few deftly applied thumbs to the top of my neck and all the sinus pressure is GONE.

Alice is cool. Ummmmm, that's Dr Lay actually.

Much better than modern drugs. Butt that's just me.

*********************************************************************

Next answer: My age.

It's sorta kinda like gettin' up there. *wink*

In fact, I am now 2.659009203 *10 ^ 53 planck time units old, and my back with its 4 compressed vertebrae, off-kilter pelvis, off-kilter shoulders, and twisted neck vertebrae feel EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of those planck time units.

I suspect that 3 (three) of my readers can figure out my age. The rest of you can go bugga off mates!

Ha-rumph.


**************************************************************************

It's been a while since I've put up some pictures of Australian wildlife. I shall fix that problem.

I think this lorikeet had it's neck lock. I can relate.
sore necked lorikeet
Dude, just give Alice a ring! She'll fix it!

It's quite common for Aussie ladies going au natural to ask me if I think their butt is too big. Here's proof.
does my butt look fat
Ooooh dave, does my butt look too big?

Wouldn't you just hate to wake up with this bloke staring at you?
huntsman spider



The other day I noticed this critter. Not sure whether it's an ant pretending to be a spider or a spider pretending to be an ant. Either way, I wasn't gonna get any closer!
weird spider
Judging by the eyes, I'm guessing spider.

There's a koala asleep here somewhere...
find the koala



Oh, why look! Here it is:
sleeping koala



This flying bloke picked just the COOLEST LOOKING plant to hang out on!
one cool butterfly



Just now many cats can YOU find in this picture?
artsy fartsy



As always just leave your guesses in the comments to anything I may or may not have mentioned, no worries mates.

One last thing... As I'm sure you have all already sent birthday presents/offerings to me (don't swoon ladies, I'm human) I have, most regrettably, yet to receive any of them. Therefore I've decided that all the birthday pressies I receive from you, my loyal readers, shall be put under the tree for Christmas.

Just remembered!

A conversation with Wifey-Poo!

Just a reminder, WP is Wifey-Poo, otherwise known as The Most Wonderful Woman In The Entire World, and YT is Yours Truly --don't swoon ladies, I'm human.

*YT walks into mission control (the 'puter room) carrying his best steel wok*

YT: Honey?

WP: Yes dear? *crap, what does that idiot want now?*

YT: I need to check my tags. Do you know where they are?

WP: ??????????? *????????????????*

YT: You know, my hunting tags.

WP: I'm totally clueless with this one. *can't he EVER let me work without some dumbass conversation?*

YT: I just need to make sure it's the right time of year for this.

WP: For what?

YT: Well, I need to season the wok!

WP: *SOB*


********************************************************************

And on a final note... If none of you ask where I got or why I use the fraze "don't swoon ladies, I'm human" then I'm just gonna... ummmm, errrrrr, KEEP USING IT!

So there.