Greg's Occasional News & Views

23 May 2010

Good morning on what looks like it could be one of the final couple of days of summer. And what a blindingly terrific couple of days it has been – sunny, warm (well, into the high 60s or low 70s at any rate) with a lovely clear and crisp bright blue sky decidedly free of volcanic ash (at least as far as we can tell). Apparently, summer is expected to last until Tuesday.

We had our first barbeque of the season on Friday evening. I won’t describe the dreadful state the barbeque was in following my obvious failure to clean it properly after its final outing last autumn – Sandy’s salmon with pesto to judge by the remnants of the fish skin. If I did describe it, Pen would be sickened and I would undoubtedly come down with food poisoning but so far, so good. Heck, I figure that the intense heat will kill off most things, won’t it? And anyway, I did scrape most of the mould and fungus off before firing up the grill.

Having thought about it, perhaps I should have taken greater care to extract the mouldy contents of the grill and submit the remains for medical examination. I might well have accidentally discovered how to create life synthetically and could have been in line for a Nobel prize.

For those interested, I made a recipe from one of the 1,260,000 pages Google returned when I asked for the “best hamburger recipes ever” (and, some of these pages had ten or twelve recipes so there has to be something in the order of about 5 million “best hamburger recipes ever.”) Since I didn’t check, I’m not sure how many might be duplicates but, if you’re looking for a tasty hamburger recipe there are certainly plenty to choose from. The one I made was for bacon double cheese stuffed burgers which were, I have to say, outstanding. A simple recipe, really – make your burgers a bit on the thin and wide size, place some chopped onions and grated cheddar cheese in the middle and place another burger on top, sealing the edges. I added a bit of Cajun spice to the mix and the finished product was rich and juicy with a bit of kick. A fine Bordeaux, a tossed green salad and a potato salad rounded it all off and we finished with a bit of coconut ice cream I’d made earlier in the day. Pretty good!

I also got out for a couple of bike rides during the fine weather and was able to shed, for the first time this season, the long sleeves and lycra leggings which are a necessity during the cooler temperatures. Rest assured, though – I still look pretty damn fine in the short sleeves and cycling shorts.

I did enjoy the following from the Time magazine web site:

On May 7, many Britons woke up to a hung Parliament for the first time ever. Not since 1974 had the U.K. faced such a scenario, which came about because no single party won 326 seats, the magic number needed to hold a majority in the House of Commons.

So, tell me – was it just “many” of us who woke up to a hung Parliament or does it apply to everyone? And, is this the first hung Parliament ever or the first one since 1974? Don’t these institutions employ proof-readers any more?

A couple of photos of some blooms in Penelope’s back garden – they staged their coming out performance on the second day of summer, i.e., yesterday.


Purple Flower Tulips

Looking forward to Pen’s sister Judi’s arrival on Tuesday for a few weeks. She is always a very welcome house guest. (Not what we say about some, I can assure you!)

Much love to you all,

Greg


Lawyer jokes – don’t you love ‘em.

A tourist wanders into a back-alley antique shop in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Picking through the objects on display he discovers a detailed, life-sized bronze sculpture of a rat. The sculpture is so interesting and unique that he picks it up and asks the shop owner what it costs.

“Twelve dollars for the rat, sir,” says the shop owner, “and a thousand dollars more for the story behind it.”

“You can keep the story, old man,” he replies, “but I’ll take the rat.”

The transaction complete, the tourist leaves the store with the bronze rat under his arm. As he crosses the street in front of the store, two live rats emerge from a sewer drain and fall into step behind him. Nervously looking over his shoulder, he begins to walk faster, but every time he passes another sewer drain, more rats come out and follow him.

By the time he’s walked two blocks, at least a hundred rats are at his heels, and people begin to point and shout. He walks even faster, and soon breaks into a trot as multitudes of rats swarm from sewers, basements, vacant lots, and abandoned cars. Rats by the thousands are at his heels, and as he sees the waterfront at the bottom of the hill, he panics and starts to run full tilt.

No matter how fast he runs, the rats keep up, squealing hideously, now not just thousands but millions, so that by the time he comes rushing up to the water’s edge a trail of rats twelve city blocks long is behind him. Making a mighty leap, he jumps up onto a light post, grasping it with one arm while he hurls the bronze rat into San Francisco Bay with the other, as far as he can heave it.

Pulling his legs up and clinging to the light post, he watches in amazement as the seething tide of rats surges over the breakwater into the sea, where they drown.

Shaken and mumbling, he makes his way back to the antique shop.

“Ah, so you’ve come back for the rest of the story,” says the owner.

“No, I have a much better idea,” says the tourist. “I was wondering if you have a bronze lawyer.”


As a trucker stops for a red light, a blonde catches up. She jumps out of her car, runs up to his truck, and knocks on the door.

The trucker lowers the window, and she says, “Hi, my name is Heather and you are losing some of your load.”

The trucker ignores her and proceeds down the street. When the truck stops for another red light, the girl catches up again. She jumps out of her car, runs up and knocks on the window.

Again, the trucker lowers the window. As if they’ve never spoken, the blonde says brightly, “Hi my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!”

Shaking his head, the trucker ignores her again and continues down the street.

At the third red light, the same thing happens again. All out of breath, the blonde gets out of her car, runs up, knocks on the truck window.

The trucker lowers the window. Again she says, “Hi, my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!”

When the light turns green the trucker revs up and races to the next light. When he stops this time, he hurriedly gets out of the truck, and runs back to the blonde. He knocks on her window, and as she lowers it, he says…

“Hi, my name is Kevin, it’s winter in Minnesota and I’m driving the SALT TRUCK!”


Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day I went downtown and went into a shop. I was only in there for about five minutes and when I came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. I went up to him and said, “Come on, man, how about giving a retired person a break?”

He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a “Nazi.”

He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a “doughnut eating Gestapo.”

He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first.

Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, I didn’t care. I came downtown on the bus!

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