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Showing posts from 2015

Stuffed bird

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Last year I blogged (boasted) about my top rated stuffing for the Christmas poultry.
Have a read

It gets better every year; with slight improvements and a variation of flavour.
This year I was determined to use dried figs and fennel seeds; instead of the usual dried Aussie apricots.

Ingredients and how to make it:
One large bowl. Work out how much stuffing you need.
(Trust me - there is not much you can do with excess stuffing.)
Buy white sour dough bread a few days in advance; it can't be fresh.
(Don't use cheap and nasty supermarket bread.)
Slice each end off the bread loaf and put aside; about 2-3cm thick.
Cut thick slices, 3-4cm thick and trim crusts from bread. Discard the crusts.
Crumble the bread by hand; not too small and not too big.
Half a cup of Tandaco seasoned breadcrumbs; or just plain breadcrumbs, to hold the larger pieces of bread together. (Although, this year I just used bread.)
Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic if you wish.
Finely slice and dice 1 onion.
Use a handf…

Goodwood fig

That magnificent Morton Bay Fig tree at Goodwood Oval has suffered limb loss.
Unley Council's arborist has assessed that the tree is in good health and will survive.
Further technical examination will occur in a week, just to be sure.
This is a magnificent tree.
Most of us have enjoyed a picnic under the tree; sheltered from the sun; perhaps whilst watching the cricket.

For a more detailed assessment read Cr Don Palmer's blog

Climbing Spinach

My best ever Christmas present this year was a plant.
A simple $4 plant.
It's a Climbing Spinach (Basella Rubra) that climbs 2 metres.
Description:
Edible climber with succulent red stems and green foliage. High vitamin and iron content. Suited for salads, stew and stir fries. Maturity 10-12 weeks. Pick as needed.

I've planted it next to a 2m stake and already it is heading up the pole.
Also a bonus - it will have nice pink flowers.

A simple gift that will give me much pleasure.

Thyme Walnuts

A speciality of mine at Christmas is Thyme Walnuts.
Absolutely superb.
Here's the recipe.

Ingredients

2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon chopped thyme½ teaspoon salt
Preparation

Preheat oven to 200C. Toss walnuts, oil, thyme and salt on a rimmed baking sheet until salt and thyme are evenly distributed. Bake until walnuts are golden brown and fragrant, 10–15 minutes.
Toss (turn) walnuts after 7 minutes.Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
 Eat whilst they are fresh and crisp.
Yum

Best Mince Pies

South Australia's elite judging panel has rated the Christmas (fruit) Mince Pies at the Black Forest Village Baker as the best in the State.
The judges' comments included:
Good lookPastry bottom rawNice chunkyBoozy fillingPastry meltsPlenty of fillingFine short shellNot too sweetLove the apple and zestLooks handmadePastry is crumbly The price is $1.80 each for a six pack.

I visited the bakery and did the taste test.
Fantastic. Best ever.
Almost as good as my Nana made.
The crust is deep and nice and crumbly - as it should be.

Orders have gone through the roof.

Do yourself a favour and pop in and buy a dozen.

Solar battery

Good news about Origin Energy partnering with solar power company Natural Solar and reselling Tesla Energy’s Powerwall to the Australian market.
This is a state-of-the-art Li-Ion battery system that will provide electricity off the grid and be available in case of a mains power outage.

It's time I started thinking about a solar system.

Read the story

Mars for sale

For a gift that is out of this world why not consider a parcel of land on Mars.
The online advertisement says ...
Just $19 for 1 acre of land on Mars.

Over 1,000 sold already, or so they say.

The fine print says a novel gift for entertainment purposes only.
In other words you get nothing other than a useless deed and some freely available information about space travel from NASA.

If you're silly enough to spend $19 to buy Mars, then click here

Christmas Gingerbread

Gingerbread is a Christmas tradition
Here's a recipe that works
... and why not give away small packets as gifts

INGREDENTS
3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger - add a bit more for some real gingery zing ;)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
200g butter, melted
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 180C
Step 1 – Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 2 – Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients.
Step 3 – Wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes
Step 4 – Roll dough out between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of about 3mm.
Step 5 – Cut out with Christmas – shaped cookie cutters and lift with a palette knife onto lined baking trays.
Step 6 – Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Biscuits must be completely cool before icing.

Decorate if you wish, but I enjoy them just plain.


Christmas scam

It's Christmas present buying season and people are buying more online these days.
But, be warned - the online scammers at hard at it.
Be vigilant in your online purchases.
Here's a cution from Scamwatch ...

Scamwatch is warning Christmas shoppers to be cautious when looking online for gifts. During and after Christmas Scamwatch experiences an increase in reports of fake online sellers looking to cash in on the festive season shopping spree.

This year, scammers are using labels like Pandora and Michael Kors to trick consumers who are looking online to find designer items at a cheaper price.

Scammers set up fake websites that look just like genuine online stores. They copy websites of legitimate companies and designer labels and may even pretend to be Australian-based by using a ‘.com.au’ domain.

The biggest tip-off that a website is a scam is the way they ask for payment. Scammers often ask you to pay by wire transfer, pre-loaded debit cards or even bitcoins. These payment methods…

Beer sting

There's nothing more irritating that spraying the legs and arms with mozzie repellent and after a few hours getting bitten. It takes the fun out of the outdoors activity. Mozzie expert, entomologist Dr Cameron Webb has released his Australian research. He points out that some repellents are more effective than others.
The most effective contain the chemicals diethyltoluamide or picaridin. These provide the longest protection.
The least effective contain plant extracts like citronella or tea tee oil. These need to be applied more frequently.
Also, his research shows that mosquitoes are attracted to people drinking beer or wearing sweet floral perfume. This probably accounts for why beer drinking women seem to get bitten more.

Footpath cyclists

There is much confusion about the new law allowing cyclists to ride on footpaths.
Here is a link to some questions and answers that help to clarify the matter.
Now, it's up to the cyclists to do the right thing.
It needs to be remembered that pedestrians have absolute right of way.

Questions & Answers

Don't drink dude

Investing a small (extra) amount each week in Super yields a high reward later in life.
An example is by a abstaining from one glass of wine (or 2-3 coffees) each week will over 35 years add $50,000 to your Super account.
A sobering thought.
Imagine if you gave up a little bit of all our extras in life.
Then again it relies on the discipline of making a regular extra contribution to Super.

According to an article ...
It’s a sobering thought that skipping just one glass of wine per week could add almost $50,000 to your retirement fund balance over the long term.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has calculated that if the cost of a glass of wine (an average of $10) was channelled back into a superannuation savings account as a regular, after-tax monthly contribution over a 35-year period, this would add an extra $48,033 to your retirement cash pile.

Read the article

Beans & peas

If you don't subscribe to Milkwood, and you have an interest in gardening, then you should.
Here's the link https://www.milkwood.net
There's always lots of useful information.
For example:
Climbing beans and climbing peas need a different type of trellis.
Beans just need a vertical pole or wire whereas peas have side tendrils and need a different support, both vertical and sideways.

Read this for more information

Li-Fi

Li-Fi is an emerging technology, a new form of wireless technology that transmits data up to 100 times faster than conventional Wi-Fi. It may revolutionise the way in which we transmit data on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
It is wireless technology that uses flickering LED lights to transmit up to 1 gigabit per second; much faster than current Wi-Fi data speeds which average around 11 megabits per second.

Read more about Li-Fi

Olive oil crackers

One of my favourite snacks is rustic olive oil crackers.
Goes well with dips and festive cheer.
Just 4 ingredients; flour, olive oil, water and salt.
Easy to make and 11 minutes baking time.
Add seeds and extras if you wish eg. sesame seeds, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, grated parmesan, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, and extra salt.

Link to a simple recipe

Tip: why not make an extra batch and give some away as a gift.

Hot chicks

I have a new friend; actually two new friends.
A couple of young Murray Magpies (aka. a Pee Wee or more formally as a Piping Shrike) have come to the garden and do regular patrols; hunting for spiders, moths or grubs and insects on the lawn.
I started feeding them small bits of meat; pieces of chop or left-over sausage.
That was a big hit and they have adopted me.
This morning one flew at me in excitement to get some food.
The dogs are not happy with this new friendship; so I will have to build a feeding platform head-high above the ground.

As a matter of interest, there is confusion about which bird is displayed on the South Australia flag. Is it an Australian Magpie or the smaller Murray Magpie?
More information from Wikipedia ... "The piping shrike is the emblematic bird that appears on South Australia's flag, State Badge and Coat of a Arms. The bird appears "displayed proper" with its wings outstretched and curved upwards. Although the image of the piping shrike…

Smart sounds

Smart sounds

An article in today's Advertiser lists 15 words suggested by experts that we should drop from our vocabulary and then supposedly sound smarter.
The words are:

ThatWentHonestlyReallyVeryAmazingAbsolutelyAlwaysNeverLiterallyJustMaybeStuffThingsIrregardless
I could easily drop half of these words; but I do like the words Stuff, Things, Maybe and Absolutely.
Maybe people would sound a bit smarter, not by dropping some words, but by learning to string words together a bit better. Stuff would sound a lot better; absolutely.

Here's a link to the article

Hacker revenge

The notorious hacker group called Anonymous is planning revenge against ISIS and its supporters for the murderous assault on the innocent citizens of Paris.

They have started with hacking 5,500 Twitter accounts and changing #tags and publishing personal details of the account. Twitter accounts are being shut down.

They have declared a cyber war on ISIS. As Anonymous says, they doesn’t have to act within the constraints of the law.
Normally I would frown on hackers, but in this case I applaud their effort in a just cause; to avenge the death of innocents in Paris.
Click here for more information
Tip: be careful with the #tags or Anonymous may target you.

Dyeing naturally

With fruit, berries and tomatoes coming into season why not consider natural dyeing of clothes. Get that unique home grown colour into your clothes. Commercial dyes are not ethically produced and should be avoided. Buy a white T-shirt and experiment. Mulberries and raspberries are excellent for producing vibrant colour. A fresh juicy tomato will give a lovely orange/red splash. Alternatively, you may wish to add a splash of colour to your hair; perhaps a few raspberry streaks.
Here's a link for more information

Bold Press

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It's happened before and it will happen again and again ... The Advertiser and Sunday Mail have scooped awards for what are called the prestigious SA Press Club Media Awards, winning more than a dozen top honours. Well done chaps. Let's face it, this is a one paper town and The Advertiser and Sunday Mail are from the same stable. Which other print media could win the awards in SA? If the Messenger was in the running, then again it's from the same Murdoch stable; and if it's a big story The Advertiser snatches it from the local Messenger. Well done guys; especially the story bragging about the awards. I look forward to the awards next year ;)

Internet of Things

hhmmm the Internet of Things aka. IoT
People ask me, what is it? The term was first coined back in 1999. Interesting that it has taken so long to emerge and begin to become mainstream. It is certainly going through a hyper phase at the moment; of what is and what might be achievable. Within 24 months we will have embraced it or become entwined in the technology and taken it for granted, perhaps with some trepidation in the early stages.
But, what is it? A few definitions will help to explain ... A definition: The Internet of Things(IoT) is an environment in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction Another definition: Simply put this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearab…

Wildlife hospital

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Wildlife Hospital

The other night I found a young rainbow lorikeet by the road side. It was not looking too good and had ants on it. I took it home and placed it in a small cage that I keep in the shed; for such emergencies. I was sure the bird would die that night. The next morning there was renewed life, but it still looked crook. So I took it to the Adelaide Koala & Wildlife Hospital @ 282 Anzac Highway, Plympton. They provide a free service to native birds and animals. It is next door to a Vet who provides assistance. Check out their website www.akawhospital.org.au Whilst there I asked for and was given a tour of the hospital. Patients in care were: A galahA magpieMany tawny frog mouth owlsA kookaburraMany koalas, including the mother and baby shown on their website The hospital is a fantastic success and provides great service through the dedication of a team of volunteers. All of the medical equipment (eg. X-ray) is donated by hospitals and medical companies. I urge you to: Become a vol…

Use the bike lane

There is a crack-down on cyclists who don't ride in the bike lane.
Police insist that if there is a bike lane then cyclists must use it. Fines range from $10-$130.
Enjoy this video ...
youtube video

Going off-road

Mountain biking is the recreation side of cycling, not the grudge ride to work in traffic and car fumes.
Here's a link to the ultimate in mountain bike riding ...
YouTube video

Male vs. Female brain

In The Advertiser today there was an article on how to tell if you have a male brain or a female brain. It said ...

You have a male brain if you: Like to make to do listsAnswer honestly when asked 'does my bum look big in this?'Prefer to read non-fictionNotice grammatical errorsFind maps easy to read
You have a female brain if you:K Find it easy to chat to someone you have just metCan sense when you are intrudingLack interest in the technical details of a new computer, camera or other gadgetFocus on the beauty of a painting rather than the artist's techniqueHave little interest in the dates of historical events
Interesting, but not surprising. By the above criteria I definitely have a male brain with bit of a female brain as a bonus. BTW I did notice and fixed a grammatical error in the newspaper's article.

Use sub-titles

What annoys me, really annoys me is the discriminate use of sub-titles on TV when people are being interviewed.
There should be a clear rule, a mandatory rule of when someone can not be clearly understood, then use sub-titles. If they are Aboriginal, Pacific Islander, PNG, Middle East then sub-titles seem to always be used even if there is reasonable clarity. However they don't seem to get used when people are from Britain (inc. Wales, Scotland), SE Asia, China, India ... when often there is no clarity. There should be no offence to the person being interviewed. If the interview is in English then the communication (to us) should be in English. If sub-titles will help, then use them.

3 free software

Getting software for free is a bonus. Here are a few that I recommend. XMind. Is a free, open source, mind mapping and brainstorming tool. This comprehensive mind mapping tool helps you to express, structure and organise your ideas, then present them in attractive, professional diagrams. http://www.xmind.net/ Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist is here to help you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos. https://www.wunderlist.com/ GanttProject:  This software allows you to easily organise tasks and time frames. GanttProject is an industrial-strength cross-platform (Windows, OS X, Linux) project manager that provides everything you need to stay in control. Create and organise tasks, add milestones, set priorities and costs, allocate resources, monitor your colleague's workload: it's all here.  http://www.ganttproject.biz/

Only buy Aussie

I’ve just read an article by Jason Murphy @ the newdaily.com.au about the probable growth of cars imported from China. Past attempts have been dismal and there have been serious concern and reservations about the lower quality of these imports. I think it will take many years for China to seriously penetrate the Aussie market. It needs to address the high rate of product recalls. Jason Murphy explained that China is famous for product quality scandals. In 2008 there was the milk quality scandal that sickened thousands of Chinese children and killed at least six is only the most famous. The history of poor product quality can be seen in The Diplomat. It says:  “There are insecticides in dumplings, eggs repeatedly tainted with melamine, urea in bean sprouts, 40-year-old meats, hepatitis A in frozen berries, plastic rice, formaldehyde in beer, sewage used as cooking oil and tofu marinated in human feces. This brief list hardly runs the gamut, because for every scandal that breaks there are …

Mutton Biryani

Biryani is an easy to make rice dish. It is light and spicy. Usually the meat used is mutton; but you can use whatever eg. beef, chicken, fish and prawns; whatever.
Typically the spices are star anise, cinnamon, cardamon and cloves. The rice is initially cooked separately.
Here is my mutton (or chicken) biryani recipe for 4 people.
Ingredients: 300g basmati rice (1.5 cups)25g butter, prefer ghee (2tbsp)a large onion, slice finelya bay leaf3 cardamom podsa teaspoon of turmericsome cinnamon and star anise if you wish½ cup of raisins (prefer sultanas)750ml of chicken stock4 generous tbsp curry paste0.5kg mutton, lamb or chicken thighs; dice coarselyChopped coriander and toasted almond slices when serving
Soak the rice in warm (not hot) water for 5 minutes. Rinse, drain and repeat ie. rinse and drain twice. Heat butter in large saucepan, gently cook onions and the spices for 7 minutes Add the turmeric, meat and curry paste. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the rice and raisins, stir in, add stock and bring…

Bad dog

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Dogs are so good about conning their human companions (aka. owners).
They make maximum use of sad and guilty faces when the human gets upset by some dastardly doggy behaviour. The human is convinced that the dog is genuinely remorseful.
However, Dr Ljerka Ostojic, a psychologist (for dogs or humans?) at the University of Cambridge, has studied the matter and he suggests that ‘the downcast face is just a human-pleasing facade’. He did a study as follows: He asked volunteer humans to train their dogs to not eat a biscuitA biscuit was placed within reach of the dogAfter the human left the room the biscuit was either fed to the dog or removedWhen the owner returned, he/she could not discern from the dog’s face if the dog had eaten it
The psychologist believes that the guilty look on dogs stems from distress and not conscience. In the case of multiple dogs in a household, often it was the most timid dog that looked guilty; it simply got more frightened. Interesting.

SMS only 160 characters

Why is the limit of an SMS 160 characters?
It’s not a decimal number ie. not a multiple of 10 and has nothing to do with dozens (12), not even a butcher's dozen. So why is there a limit of 160? BTW if you often push the limit of 160 characters, then you really need to get a life. But, back to basics … why the limit of 160?
There are 2 stories and reasons suggested.
A man called Friedhelm Hillebrand, Chairman of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), had the task of setting the limit on the amount of characters a text message could contain. This would become the international standard. He did this by analysing typical sentences viz. questions and answers. He also reviewed messages written on postcards and received by Telex transmissions. (Telex was not so long ago the state of the art message transmission technology.)
Friedhelm Hillebrand arrived at the answer of 160 characters. His recommendation became the standard.
The second story and a more technical consideration relate…

Scratch me

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All I want for Christmas … is a croc claw back-scratcher. Its just $45 !! a Bargain, and made (and produced) in Australia.
I spotted an advertisement for a back-scratcher made from the claw of a deceased crocodile. It sounds like the perfect scratcher. I just love a good back-scratcher and the dog ate the last one. These are made in Darwin by CrocStockandBarra company who do most of their trading at the local markets in Darwin.
According to the advertisement 'it’s made from a real crocodile claw and taxidermied to keep the scales on and preserve the natural colour of the crocodile, This back-scratcher is not just a novelty but really gets at those hard to reach itches.'
for more information ... http://crocstockandbarra.com/


Slow SA growth

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A snapshot of South Australia's population: According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of South Australia at 31 March 2015 was 1,696,200 people. This is an increase of 13,900 people since 31 March 2014 and an annual growth rate of 0.8%. Australia’s growth rate over the same period was 1.4%. Population growth is driven by natural increase (births minus deaths) and net migration (overseas and interstate).  Net migration contributed 52% of South Australia’s population growth in the 12 months to March 2015.  Positive net overseas migration helped to counter South Australia’s net interstate population losses. This is more easily understood pictorially. Here’s a diagram showing the components of South Australia's growth, 2014-15
For more information from the ABS ... click here.

I'm not in a hurry to see higher figures of growth. SA is somewhat unique due to its smallness compared with the other States.

Slowing down

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Thinking about retirement or just slowing down by shedding some work commitments? What does it mean? How will you be impacted? Do you need hobbies or need to get involved in the community? It must be slightly daunting for those approaching retirement. I’ve heard people say to those about to retire … ‘well what are you going to do?’
Unley Council has heard of these concerns and the Council Library is hosting a retirement discussion panel. Here are the details:
Prime Time: Retirement Discussion Panel
Unley Councillor Michael Rabbitt, Former MP John Hill, Probus President Pauline Rattley and Probus member John Schwerdt will share their experience and knowledge of the transition to retirement and the challenges of post-career life. Join the conversation and pick up some tips as you enter the prime of your life.
It’s a free session! Get along to the Unley Town Hall in Oxford Terrace, Unley on Saturday 07 November, 3-4pm. To register, click here or phone 8372 5100
ps an interesting topic ... I suspect that …

Cairns & Port Douglas

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A work colleague told me that she and her partner were taking a cruise (on a ship) along the east coast and will be visiting Cairns and Port Douglas. I told her I would send an email with suggestions of places to visit. The reality is that ship to shore visits are a waste of time. You don’t get to see and experience the real thing in the town. Not like when you live there for a decent period. On a ship visit, you just get to do a few mainies (ie. a walk down the main street), have a coffee, maybe a meal and buy a souvenir. Anyway, in case you are passing by or decide to take the Love Boat, then the following email may be of interest. Here’s my email to her.
Hi Jessica
Here are some tips on what to see and do in Cairns and Port Douglas.
In Cairns: Visit St. Monica’s Catholic Cathedral, 181 Abbott Street (15 minutes walk from CBD); rather ordinary from the outside, but inside - you must see the 24 huge lead-light windows that depict creation (or evolution) with an Australian tropical theme…

Longer ring

I was recently on holiday in Port Douglas and Cairns.
Mid afternoon I was in the pool having a swim and cool off before it was gin and tonic time.
A few of the other swimmers, mostly women from down south (we all were from down there or now, from down here) were having a conversation about their mobile phones - how it never rings long enough.
Actually I had the same problem and had never bothered to fix it.
After the swim, shower and a lovingly made gin and tonic, I googled the problem.
They were impressed when I left a note on one of the sun beds with the code to enter into their phone.

To make your mobile phone ring longer before it diverts to voicemail,
Enter **61*101**30# (and from memory then press call).
Note: the 30 above is the number of seconds for the phone to ring.

Within minutes there were no women in the pool.
They were programming their phones and expressing delight that it works.
It will be damn frustrating for the caller when the phone now rings and rings and rings ...

Killer robot

Whilst on holiday in FNQ ... The beauty and magic of the Great Barrier Reef is shattered in places by devastation of the coral by cyclones and that nasty Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS). Out on a boat, a biologist was telling me that for years divers had been killing the COTS by hand injecting them with a salt compound. A tedious process given the extent of the reef. Now, a Queensland Uni has developed a mini robot with smarts to detect and kill the COTS. A fantastic development of technology with IT smarts that works under water for 8 hours.
Here's an extract from a Government publication ...
The Crown of Thorns Starfish, also known as COTS, which has been devastating the Great Barrier Reef for the past 40 years may have just met its match. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have developed a robot specifically designed to detect and eliminate COTS on the Great Barrier Reef. The COTSbot, as it’s known, is a small submarine type robot equipped with a uniqu…

Prawns & pawpaw

I've been on holiday up in Far North Queensland for the past couple of weeks.
It was hard, very hard, to return home. From 30 degrees C up there to 17 degrees in Adelaide. Now the transition from tropical fruits and prawns and all sorts of seafood and white wine and gin and tonic to less enticing southern fruits, red meat and red wine and less friendly people and a more formal lifestyle. Take me back to thongs, shorts, singlet and prawns and pawpaw.
Give me a couple of weeks and I'll truly be back home and enjoying life in SA.
If I'm looking a bit down and out, then slip me a prawn.

Wind the clock back

Today's media has described South Australians as reeling in embarrassment over the SA Government abandoning its push to move the SA clock forward 30 minutes to eastern standard time ie. the same as Sydney and Melbourne.
Months ago (on 19 March 2015) I blogged on the matter; see a link below. Months ago the Premier Jay Weatherill (and architect of the ill-feted proposal MP Martin Hamilton-Smith) should have listened to my opinion and that of the majority of SA. Well that's the end of it. No it isn't. Now Family First MP Robert Brokenshire will move a private members bill to wind the clocks back half an hour to SA's true meridian central standard time. It's a time zone that SA has never used, but it is the natural time zone (based on the sun) for the State. This proposal will get the support of the influential remote west cost farmers. I'm not opposed to it (as it would mean that it wouldn't get as hot so early in the morning) but I doubt that the SA Parliamen…

Reality food

Did you read the article by food critic Necia Wilden in the Weekend Australian (Life section), 5-6 September? The article is titled Reality Bites. I'd give you the link, but you need to be a subscriber; which I'm not.
She pours scorn on (in her words) fabulous foodies who serve up suggestions for simple fare and invariably forget that vital ingredient: real life. Restaurants are getting carried away with complex menus spurred on by critics. That's fine for the restaurants; they can and should manage the complexities of food preparation. But at home it's a different story and people (especially women, and yes and before you hit me, they do more of the cooking for the family) do not have the time to prepare meals from complex recipes published by snobby food critics. Necia Wilden talks about crazy suggestions of making your own tacos, julienne the vegetables and popping down to the farmers' markets to source dehydrated cumquats. If we had the time (and some do, but m…

At it under the arches

We all know the word and what it means; and probably sniggered over it at school.
The word is Fornication; the verb is to fornicate. I was surprised to learn that the root of this word was derived from an architectural term, Fornix. The word first appeared in English in the early 1300s. Now, on to the origin of the word ... Back in Roman days there were official brothels. However, there was also the unofficial side of the business which was conducted out of sight in the streets and lanes beneath the City. The business (of sex) was preferred under an arch, which in Roman architectural terms was known as a Fornix. The prostitute was known as a Fornatrix and the client was known as the Fornicator.
In strictly architectural terms, the fornicator had sex with the fornatrix beneath the fornix.
It is interesting to learn the meaning of some words. Try using the word Fornix in your next game of scrabble.