Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Footy Coach quote of the week

As the great man Mark Williams, coach of Port Adelaide Power said:

"Everyone likes to win round 1, but only 8 teams will"

And now you know why he isn't a brain surgeon, and you wonder how they won the flag last year.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bitter Melon (Fuu Gwah) and hated vegetables

Now this is another hated vegetable

Fuu Gwah or bitter melon is looks liek a cross between a shar-pei dog and a bright green cucumber.


.

As its name it is bitter... Bloody bitter. like yuky bitter. Dad use to cook it in a dish for us when we were kids, usually with beef and black bean. My younger brothers and myself hated it! We could tolerate the beef but the melon, avoided it like the plague.


Why am I bringing this up? Food Blogs.

I was surfing the net and came across pinoycook's food blog a filipino mother recording traditional recipes, She has a recepie for Bitter Melons, and her comments conjured up my childhood memories of this vegetable.

My most desparing moment with this vegetable occured when we went to an auntie and uncle restuarant owner for dinner. I remember they always had the best chinese soups. And I always wanted 2 bowls of the stuff, it was always sweet and hot, and very flavoursome. mmmm! soup!

But this time it was different...

The bowl of soup was clear, a few bits of flesh floated in the soup but it was totally edible.


My mouth watered and eagerly I took a sip from the edge... YUK!!!! it was bitter melon soup!! how gross! The biggest disappointment of my life at that point of time.

I complained and was simply told that it was "cooling" and good for a growing kid. (like pinoy - and how would that excuse convince a kid to eat it). But the threat of dad yelling did, so i had to screw up my face and i swallow.

I think Fuu Gwah is the asian version of Brussel sprouts.

I have since found out that this vegetable is indeed very healthy for you. Studies have shown that it can reduce blood sugar levels thus diabetic prevenataive, HIV and cancer.

Hint from Pinoy: Choose the bitter melons with the least amount of wrinkles, these will tend to be less bitter.

Cucumber Retail

Hiho!

Steph and i had to run to Coles for some last minute carrots for Good Friday Dinner we are having with Pep and Nix.

While in the extremely expensive vegetable aisle I saw cucumber! Coles was selling it at $1.68 per cucumber!

Now $1.68 isnt an awful lot. But when we got a box of them for $1.00 it seemed very expensive!


I have thankfully given my share away, three girls at work are now armed with cucumbers. I know one girl is going to make cucumber sandwiches for her Good Friday outing.

Normally i would be very please with a bargin, but however in this case I felt rather disturbed. I bought my most hated vegetable, yet I had the best buy at Flemington. It was a dilemma! Should i gloat over my purchase or should i be ashamed of ignoring my food morales?

Oh well. It amused Steph. I guess thats all that counts...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Lunch

Whilst out hunting my lunch today in Pitt street, and on my return, yet again, I was hastled by Sales people wanting to give me credit cards, this time it was AMEX.

Wandered past their mobile sales desk

Girl: Hi there! Are you 24?
Steph: Not today, sorry
Girl, now sounding desperate: Come on... Your lying!
Chuckling to myself...
Steph: Not to day

I have enough trouble with my current credit card, another? I don't think so!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Sydney Train System + Rain = Incompetence

Tonight after work, with the pouring rain. I called Steph, agreed to get a roast chook for dinner. Discussed the option of being picked up, (he said No) and then to the train station to catch transport home.

For those that don't know... Sydney Train system sucks, in fact most of their public transport system is shocking. For instance today. Just add rain and wind and the train system comes to a complete grinding halt!!!

30min wait for the next train from Bondi Junction to Edgecliff. and then add insult to injury another 12 min wait at Central for the Airport Train. In total it took me 1 hour and 20 mins to get home.

However a highlight of the trip was annoying Steph who was at home with uninteresting sms.

1st sms: Finally arrived at central! another 12 mins to the next train
2nd sms: Squatting like a Chinese man
3rd sms: I'm bored
4th sms: I've read all of my magazine
5th sms: am I annoying you?
(he responded to that one) YES!
6th sms: can I drive to work now?
7th SMS: train is here!

just as well i hadn't linked my palm to my phone... or i would be flicking out sms's twice as fast and steph would probably be neurotic by the time i got home :D

Better late than never

On the weekend, we did another run to the Sydney Markets in Flemington, this time we took our long time friend Kathleen, and a new "ring in", Kevin, "Team Burton's" downstairs adopted neighbour.

After a brief stop off at a pillow factory outlet, spending up big on pillows, we made our way to Flemington. Kathleen of course is a Flemington veteran, but young Kev, he was all new to this, and was quite blown away by the whole experience, and it's still taking Kathleen a little bit of time to adjust to buying by the box load, rather than by the kilo, but after a while the pair of them got into it, and we walked away with a boot load of fresh fruit and vegies!

One thing that didn't surprise me was Eva's ability to find a bargain, but what was more surprising, it involved cucumbers this time! As most of Eva's friends know, she loathes cucumbers, and will pick them out of what she is eating if they're there, or just run a mile should some be offered some. But keeping up with Eva’s desire for a bargain, she managed to find a box of cucumbers for $1! Yes... $1. We didn't eat any, but all the same, it was a bargain!

Besides the cucumbers, we managed to get; Grapes, Rock melons, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Aubergine (Egg Plant), apples, oranges, garlic and lots more. The boot was chokers!




And for some, it was just all just a little too much...





On Sunday night we also did a "pot luck" dinner over at Kev's place, the theme for the night was food from Saturday's haul. I forget what everyone else made, but I made a Puttanesca Sauce, with gnocchi, which was absolutely fantastic! As I promised Sunday night, I'll put my recipe up for all. It's a reasonably simple sauce and should take about 20 minutes to cook, preparation, maybe a little longer.

Steph's Puttanesca Sauce

Tomatoes, fresh x18 chopped
Garlic, fresh 1 bulb chopped finely
Onion x3
chopped finely
Olive oil
Capers, 75g, or a couple of large tea spoons,
roughly chopped
Anchovies x12, sliced
Chilli x2 chopped
finely

Heat oil in pot, sweat onions and garlic, add chopped tomatoes and heat till rapid boil, add capers and anchovies and reduce to a fast simmer. Add chilli to taste.

You can add parsley (Italian), but I forgot to add this time, but tastes great without!

Steph’s Gnocchi

8 potatoes
Flour
1 egg beaten
1 Tablespoon of Butter
Salt &
Pepper to taste

Boil potatoes till cooked, and refresh (cool under running water), when cool enough, peel otatoes and mash.

Melt butter and combine with Mashed potato, and then add beaten egg. Slowly combine flour with potato until it becomes a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat pot of water over stove and bring to boil, whilst waiting for water to boil roll a ball of the gnocchi dough into a snake and cut off bite size pieces then roll again to get the desired shape and place on a well floured plate so that they don't stick.

Once you have enough, drop gnocchi into boiling water and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes after they have floated. You can do this in batches, or all together.

Mix and serve with sauce.

Friday, March 18, 2005

What does that word mean?

My good friend David explains what "Nige" means
David: Nige
Steph: Nige?
David: Nigel
David: Nice
David: Sorry
David: SA talk
Steph: or David talk?
David: I know other people who say it!
Steph: yeah?
Steph: Name them
David: Genni
David: Rik
David: Adam
David: Mark
David: Peter
David: Michelle
Steph: Moe
Steph: and bob?
David: turn it up duck man!
Steph: Can't find the knob... Know where I could find it? :p
David: Cheeky chops hey

Wednesday, March 16, 2005



Eva finally got her hair cut today, doesn't it look great? Eva thinks that she looks like a good little girl ;O)

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This is Big Ted and I am watching you!!!

The aim of Microsoft is soft cuddly and deadly.

http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/03/14/1110649124718.html

Microsoft have released Big Brother Ted!

Yes this Teddy is soft, cuddly and fluffy on the outside but on the inside it is armed with wires and microphones and a camera.

Its inventor Steven Bathiche claimed that the bear would help parents monitor their children while they were busy. With face recognition software, Teddy will link to your child, watching it from its position, moving its head to keep your child in focus.

With motors to move head and limbs, four microphones for audio surveillance, a speaker to communicate with your child, this added value teddy also includes a wireless connection to hook into your home network for internet access!

Its amazing how Technology has integrated itself into our lives... And Microsoft - the big momma of technology firms have gone one step further...

However as cool as the gadget is, in reality children need their parents, A teddy bear cant show love. and let me tell you if you were sitting there staring at me I wont call it love - its stalking.

Rayners comments in the SMH clipping is bring it all back down
"What children want is human contact. To condition children [to think] that a teddy bear is a talking, caring parent does not go very far towards raising someone that will later relate well with adults." "Instinctively children bond with whatever is cuddly and nice to them and talks to them. If this toy actually talks to them in familiar voices, I would be very disturbed by that"
The aim of the toy is to monitor your child when you are absent. But it has further purposes!!! We could use it for to spy on terrorist! Drop a crate of these in Iraq or Afghanistan, and watch all the teddies swing their heads toward Bin Laden!

Or closer to home!

You love your girlfriend? You want to see her day and night? Solution I love you always Teddy Bear. You can watch her sleeping at night, or even getting changed! Just warn her of the evil IR glint, and you might want to disable the swivelling head...

Big brother could get hold of the remote and terrorize little sister. Brother (Through Teddy): “I don’t like your barbies! When you go to sleep tonight I will rip their heads off and feed them to Rover”
Sister: Scream Mommy! Teddy wants to massacre my dollies!

Or even worse. Land on the remote during a passionate bout of conception and give your 4 year old an early lesson on how to make babies!

The possiblities are endless.

Monday, March 14, 2005

When life imitates art...

Where I work, We're going through a small transition period, and when reading my Daily Dilbert commic, I found these two that imitate exactly how much information is being supplied about the transition...


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Confusion?

Sometimes it's easy to confuse the smartest of computer users.

Situation I normally have, is when I ask them what kind of operating system they're using, NT4, 2000 or XP. Usually the response is "I dunno", but then sometimes I get the smart ones that think and go we've just had an upgrade, so it must be windows 2000. But upon remoting into the machine I can see how easy these people get confused between NT4 & 2000... especially when they've just had an upgrade to office 2000.

mentioned it to a mate, and the response was:
Dave: I'm using Windows 97
Steph: yeah... and I'm using Windows 2003
Steph: but don't tell Microsoft

Computers it seems were not designed for thinkers, just doers.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Shooting from the hip

Something that us guys are taught from an early age is how to aim, and to the uneducated out there, it's a pretty important thing, you'd think. And you'd think after 20 or so years that my fellow man could actually get it right and hit the bullseye with no problems. It seems to be a problem where I work, because every day there's a puddle at the 3 urinals. Maybe they're afraid of getting too close?

Another pet hate is people that don't wash their hands... but that's a tale for another time

Trifle

Remember those jam rollettes you would have for recess? The joys of uncurling them and licking off the jam then eating the spongy goodness, or cutting it up in little things pretending you had millions of little snails for lunch?

Then to grow up and learn that these childhood goodies have morphed into something better! The basis for trifle!

Trifle is old. Ancient, think of bread and butter pudding, fruit cake, rice pudding, Yorkshire pudding and Trifle falls into the same category. The earliest recipe of the trifle as we know it today dates back to 1656 (but jelly added much later)

The layers of goodness, first the swirls of jam rolls, then the jelly, and the fruit, the custard and the cream more fruit. It is a gourmet overload for the kid in all of us, Our desire to reach for our childhood, to scoop through the layers and watch the carefully constructed dessert turn into a mixed mess of goodness

Fattening? Yes. All that custard cream and jelly but it’s a treat that I might had should only be served once a year.

Here is the recipe that I am using

The jam rollettes were on special at Coles, and all I have to do is pop by and get some tinned pears and I’m set for a weekend of Trifle Making.

Old Fashion Trifle

It's a wonderfully light and refreshing desert - great for the family gathering buffet.

ingredients

2 x packets jam sponge logs
1 x packet of wildberry jelly or Portwine Jelly
1 x 825 tin of pears
500ml custard
300ml fresh cream
Grand Marnier & dry sherry to taste.

method

  1. Using Bowl - 21cm x 9cm (deep) with a base of 13cm diameter.
  2. Make the jelly according to the instructions on the packet
  3. Cut the Jam Sponge Roll into slices of equal thickness. Place them around the bowl, starting from the centre of the bowl then building them around the sides. Fill in all the gaps by halving the slices where required.
  4. Drizzle the sherry over the cake so that it becomes moist but not soggy.
  5. Pour the jelly over the cakes pour until it half the height of the rolls, cover and refrigerate until set
  6. Drain the pears, and place the fruit so that it touches the edges of the glass bowl cutting to fill up the gaps.
  7. Pour the custard over the rolls/jelly and fruit and spoon it over the sides to fill in the gaps
  8. Whip 300ml of fresh cream and spread over the jelly, garnish with pears cut into slices in a circular pattern around the bowl and any other seasonal fruit -
    berries if available - or just the pears will suffice.
You can and another layer between the custard and the cream if you like. But I doubt youll be able to wait that long!

I will fill in with pictures as I make it :D

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Australian Income Tax is Suffocating

Because this is our blog I reckon this is the right place to rant.

I work my ass off, generally doing 10hrs on average per day. And finally I get a pay rise!

Hooray! You would have heard me say! All those long hours, putting my hand up to do more, my own initiative have paid off.

Happily I run off to tell the family the news, thinking finally I can look forward to a better future in which I can save for the home/car/holiday.

But then the big society bully of a government walks in.

The government takes 50% of my pay rise as income tax!

Wait one bloody minute...

I want to be able to move forward in this world. I want to save and invest some money for my golden years.

The government takes 1/3 of my pay packet in tax!

Okay I have a HECs Debt; I am willing to pay back. The government takes that out automatically, but even if I didn’t have THEY would still be taking 1/4 of my paypacket

It’s no wonder why young Australians are leaving home to find work overseas. How else can you get that sum of money to put a deposit on that home to start that family? Oh i forgot, be born with a silver spoon, or grandparents die and you are the only interitor (but dont keep your hopes up there... they tax that stuff too.)

I tell you the government robs the hardworking and gives it to the lazy.

On that note I do have to admit that I voted Liberal in for the GST. I reckon that the lazy should pay the same level of tax as those that were hard working! Fair Go Right! Wrong!

Consumption tax has risen by 10% but income tax has only reduced by 4-5%! And this is 8 years after GST was introduced! Costello! Get your ass moving! Its simple You add tax here... you take tax OUT of there! Its not some for them and heaps for Government and a little bit for the people.

Today we have news articles that tell us the federal government is swimming in money! Well give some of it back to those who have work for it! Big fat bosun!

I feel like Cinderella working at the coal face, copping abuse with the parasite of a fat ugly sister latching its sucking tentacles on my back, and wallowing in the yield of my hard work. Sodomizing me as i put my back into it, then laughing at my pain, and dismissing my complaints as insignificant.

I want to find work overseas too. There is no fair go in Australia. None at all.



Footnote: I may have my facts wrong. If I do please drop a note and i'll amend.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Eva's love for Agents

Eva has an undeniable love for some of the people she works with, especially the agents she deals with on a daily basis, some descriptions that spring to mind are:

Ungrateful wretch, imbecile, indecisive, incompetent, Degenerate, Vulgar

Probably her way of dealing with the stress, but usually makes for a colourful conversation all the same.

An interesting exchange I had with Eva this morning...

Eva =^+^=: sigh
Eva =^+^=: I think I’ve found a new agent to hate
Eva =^+^=: really hate
Eva =^+^=: fat country bumpkin who can’t find his dick so he wanks everything he gets a hold of.
Eva =^+^= has closed the conversation window.
Steph: oh my
Steph: the honeymoon period is over
Steph: Evil Eva back on deck!
Eva =^+^=: ha

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

SOLD!

woohoo!

Its sold! That helmet I found and put on ebay 10 days ago sold to a lucky QLDr. Funnily enough all the queries were from the sunshine state... Is it because all that they ride are vespas? 4 wheels too much? Steph tells me that QLDr prefer the middle lane, even if there is only 2 lanes to choose from. Scary! Edmund tells me a similar story where a car nearly drove into him because they chose the middle lane not the left OR right lane.

Anyway the helmet goes to a happy ebayer and Eva and Steph get a night out on the town for Free!