Sunday, 30 September 2018

We Popped Over,

to see Mr. Tony today,

 as his sister and daughter had flown over for a holiday,

 we wandered inside,

 past the pool to say hello to Booie, 

 who had collected a selection of bananas from their garden,

 and here they were, Mr.Tony's sister Jane and daughter Michelle,

 along with Mr. Tony, we had a wonderful afternoon bar-b-q,

 the time just flew past and before we knew it we were in our taxi and on our way home,

 out on the balcony was next for us, listening to music,

 later in the evening a real treat,

pop-corn! and as the midnight hour approached we were off to bed.

As My Grandmother Would Often Say,

'you look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves',

well this unnamed man certainly looked after his pennies, or in this case yuan, apparently he used to work as a bus driver and collected the coins during his many years on the job, only instead of regularly exchanging them for larger denomination banknotes, he just kept them in his home, hoping to someday spend them on the car of his dreams, after seeing a new BMW that he really liked, the man decided that the time had come to exchange his sizable fortune for it, but only then realized that he had never even counted the coins, so he called some friends over and they spent four days counting them before loading them up in crates and driving to the car dealership in Tongren City, China,

after turning up with a truck full of coins to buy a 480,000 yuan ($70,000) BMW, seeing the mountains of coins lined up in crates on the back of a truck, the dealership decided that there was no way they could count them all in a day, so they called their bank for help, even with the help of 11 bank employees and a coin-counting machine dispatched by the bank, the grueling counting process took over 10 hours, according to a viral video doing the rounds online, the 150,000 coins weighed over 900 kilograms, while 10 hours is definitely a lot, it doesn’t compare to the 6 months that one German bank clerk spent counting 1.2 million coins, last year.

Two Questions,

what is it?

 and would you eat it?

or I should say would you eat them? they being likened to the truffles of the sea, they are Lucifer’s Fingers, or percebes, and at a cost of some 100 euros a plate they do not come cheap! and here is why, percebes cannot be farmed and only thrive on the on rocks in the ocean intertidal zone, where crashing waves provide them with plankton, this makes them notoriously dangerous to harvest, with hunters risking getting crushed against the rocks by crashing waves, or being rendered unconscious by the impact and drowning, the lucky ones escape with broken limbs or severe abrasions,

 “Never turn your back on God when you dive for Lucifer’s fingers,” commercial diver João Rosário told BBC last year. “When you dive for percebes and you turn your back on the unpredictability of the ocean, you will most likely be injured or killed. There are many cases of divers being knocked unconscious and drowning. The ‘lucky ones’ get away with breaking an arm or leg or suffering abrasions where the rocks cut through their wetsuits.”

percebes hunters basically have to options; either swing down from 100-meter-high-cliffs with a rope and chiseling off at Lucifer’s Fingers during low tide, but risk getting crushed by breaking waves, or approach the rocks by boat, anchor at a safe distance and swim towards the cliff face, timing their chiseling to match the rhythm of the sea, each option has its risks and hunters have yet to agree on which one is the safest,

so how to cook these delicacies of the sea? there’s an overwhelming consensus among the Portuguese that there’s only one way to cook percebes properly: in boiling salted water for no longer than it takes to say the Lord’s Prayer. “Even if you pray slowly, it should never take more than a minute,” said Adriano Lemes, Marisqueira Azul’s chef, “Then spoon it onto ice to terminate the cooking process. Don’t add any spices and especially not any sauce,” he stressed, and do not dare mention the fact that British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay once served percebes in a creamy sauce, the locals within earshot will throw their arms in the air and shout out sayings such as ‘falando como um verdadeiro idiota’, which is loosely translated as, “what an idiot!”

as an aside commercially viable gooseneck barnacles are also being harvested on the coast of Vancouver Island, in Canada, but it’s a small scale operation compared to Spain and Portugal.

Ax Throwing Is A Sport,

and where better to stage a contest than a pub?

 that sells lots of beer, I mean what could possibly go wrong? so off to the Hub Stadium, in Auburn Hills,Michigan, for a contest, but then the  Michigan Liquor Control Commission investigators visited the warehouse-style bar, and guess what they found,

and logged as infringements of the alcohol licence? drinking alcohol while throwing axes, ax-throwers wearing open-toed shoes, a lack of monitoring by bar management and axes ricocheting off targets in the direction of participants, and there was more, the following are additional concerns noted by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission after reviewing videos on Stadium Hub's social media platforms:

Patrons throwing axes at bottles of spirits, consuming shots from the bottle that was not struck, and a message displayed on the video stating: "Who said don't mix alcohol with axe throwing?"
A person bouncing an axe off the floor to hit the target.
A person flipping the axe in mid-air and catching it with the other hand before throwing the axe at the target.
A person throwing two axes at once.
Three people identified in the video as coaches throwing axes at one target at the same time.
A person dropping and catching axes behind his back before throwing two axes at the same time at a target.
A person attempting to balance feet on a strap, walking barefoot (tightrope style), carrying and tossing an axe at the target.

sounds like they had better crank up old sparky and strap someone in, but it all sort of ended well, the bar was slapped with a 1 day no alcohol ban, bar management told the Michigan Liquor Control Commission they "had implemented some changes and would continue to implement others," according to LARA, but here is the thing, exactly what changes were implemented to alleviate the concerns? well they were not revealed by LARA or the Liquor Control Commission in Tuesday's statement. 

Grab A Cup Or Two Of Coffee,

because this is, for me anyway, a great story,

 it starts roughly in the middle of the story, when two boys way back in February 1978 were playing in the mud and unearthed what the thought to be the roof of a car outside a house in the West Athens section of Los Angeles, they flagged down a sheriff's car,

subsequent digging revealed the car to be a Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, so what was it doing there? for the fascinating story have a look here, and even better the truth of what really happen has been found out now, and a total reverse of the story it is too, so if you want to read this years follow up have a look here, and remember to grab the coffee! photography by Michael Haering.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

A Quick Trip Into Town,

was made a bit longer,

 as we were stopped by the police, all was in order for us, but looking at the 40 or more driverless motorcycles parked up at the intersection of Soi 17 and Third Road, a lot of people were having problems, as usual we parked up opposite The Grande Day/Night Hotel,

 and walked towards TukCom,

 passing the side entrance,

 we made our way into Pattaya Tai,

 past the new building,

  next to Friendship,

 Diana went shopping, and for me a 200 baht visit to the dentist to have a crown reglued,

 next back to TukCom to meet up with Diana and then home,

 in the evening we were out again,

 Diana stopping to take a photograph of a flower,

 we made our way to the 10 baht bus stop,

 and we soon arrived at the weekend night market on Thepprasit Road, 

 I alighted at the start of the market, Diana stayed on the baht bus as she was going to Tesco Lotus,

 I made my way past the drinks stalls,

 and one of the mobile fruit sellers,

 when I saw this T shirt, my thoughts exactly!

 slight hazy cloud,

 looking towards Jomtien,

slightly clearer looking inland,

 the toy stall not yet set up,

 I thought this looked cute, mermaid costumes,

 so colourful, 

 opposite the bar this evening, a stall selling shorts, and although not yet set up, one selling shoes,

 the upstairs car park escalator still under wraps,

 the fruit stall ready to go,

 and in the wicker shop,

 a black Japaneses style dress,

 with a nice pattern on the lower front of it,

 I really like walking past this shop, the aroma is just so nice,

 the pet section,

 one of the shops has just had a delivery,

 and the aquatic shop owner at the far end of the row is doing some maintenance,

 sunset over the market,

 a fellow shopper casts a long shadow as the sun goes down,

 past the shorts stall,

 and I sat at the bar watching the shoe stall stocking up, 

 it was another night that the sky put on a nice display,

 Diana joined me at the bar, 

 and as night crept in,

 we made a move onto a baht bus and then a short walk,

 past the Chinese restaurant,

 and the Jomtien Complex,

 for our evening meal,

 at the Pig and Whistle,

 outside a nice water feature,

 inside we choose a window seat,

 we started with a shared plate,

 of spring rolls,

Diana chose a Thai dish,


 whilst for myself, liver and bacon,   
meal over we made a move for home, where after a nightcap, a couple from The Antiques Road Show and we were off to bed.