July 24, 2009

Dinky DIYs Guide to Quaffing in Style

Experimental Research: Like observational studies, experiments can be carried out either in the field or in the laboratoryOR Grogblog (if you`re disgusted, you didn`t read that properly.)

Don`t act all superior, I know you`ve played Goon of Fortune.

You`re not fooling me as you swill that drop into a tumble dry and poke your clueless nose into the glass. I know that after the first bottle you don`t know your Cabernet from a cabaret or your Pinot from a penile dysfunction.

But that`s what we`re all about here at DIY, hacks for life, friends. Hacks for life.

Bubblybabble: Can`t go wrong, I was told by a wine grower last week, if you announce you can smell/taste „Green apples“ triumphantly after a gulp of German rielsing. I was immediately in familiar territory, „Oh, the old woody tric.“ Known in previous generations as the „Smooth getaway“ (where you, similarly announce a wine is smooth when tasting, instantly letting yourself off the hook of ignorance….for now.) Chances are though, the guy next to you knows no better so just get creative and bust out a „buttery palette with hints of melon“ or a „spicy tannins and clove aromas“ and watch them turn green with envy. Get the down-low here .

Wet Spots: While I am blessed with the ability to slurp Creme de Menthe out of shag carpets leaving no trace of cocktail indescretions, I later learnt for moments when planting one`s face into the rug may be inappropriate there is salt. Now I just carry a shaker of the stuff around and throw it about like a shaman to ward off the evil spirits that conspire to have red wine spilt on shirts, skirts and carpets. Just douse all spots with salt. Convetional wisdom also says White Wine will lift the stains of Red Wine, like a textile and grog battle for cosmic balance. But whatever you do, DAB don`t rub. Muahahahhahahaha. Oh come on, I know I`m not the only one amused.

Spoiled Rotten: Nothing so embarrassing as cork rot for all involved. The host, the one who must speak up, the ones who didn`t notice… Then there`s the problem with the old screw. Don`t be a dag about it, we all know screw caps have broken down the barrier between tipplers and their buzz. Rejoice! For you no longer have to resort to stabbing desperately at a crumbling cork with the cheese knife as you try to push it back into the bottle so you can get to your nectar. Go for the screw everytime.

I`m Not Sshlurring: Wine tastings are by far the cheats way to learn about wine and drink loads for nothing. Next time you plan to go out, let your friends know you are hosting pre-drinks and find where the local free tasting is on. Just ask the people behind the bar lots of questions and look interested in the answers if you think the charity is starting to dwindle once your friends stop using their inside voices and start thaying shings like thish.

Whinewein: Despite the outcry, sales of Adolf Hitler Wine reached a record high after Brussels and Berlin try to ban it. "Getting sued was the best thing that could have happened," says winemaker Alessandro Lunardelli, who developed the wine after the success of his Mussolini label back home in Italy. Also available in a Goering edition, Adolf Hitler`s image is splashed across the label, arm raised in Nazi salute and the regime's motto "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer" underneath. It`s illegal to sell anything depicting Nazi symbols in Germany, cos they don`t want to tempt the crazy Aryans too much. But in Italy, well now, the sale of faschist souveniers is just fine! Lunardelli claims to move up to 30,000 bottles a year at highway petrol stations in Italy and probably spends most of the profits buying indulgences from the Catholic Church because he can feel the heat of Hell as it singes his toe-hairs.

Stay classy, team.

July 16, 2009

I See A Bad Moon Risin` OR Dinky DIYs Lighter Side of Climate Change

Here We Go My Global Citizens and Dinky Dinksters lets ride this unseasonal wave…

Statistics say that while everyone likes to make noises about it the regular person actually doesn`t give a crap when it comes to the point where saving the planet means compromising our cushy little lifestyle choices. Boo hoo.

Sure we`ll have our Earth Hour dinner parties and recycle Christmas cards but walk instead of drive… hm. I guess it`s a world like that where comments like this can fly,

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"

Lee Iacocca, CEO/Chairman, Chrysler Corporation, 1979-1992


So to help you giggle at the decidedly uncomfortable subject, here`s a glipse at the Lighter Side of Climate Change…

Consider Yourself Lucky: As one comedian put it, "In 50 years, my generation will be in its 70s and we'll be able to boast that we were the only generation to have contraception, iPods, cheap flights and an ozone layer." Well, when you say it like that, cool. Sucks to be your sperm, though, things are going to be really unpredictable when they grow up.

Become A Smug Hybrid Owner: Are these guys worse than smug-marrieds? I mean, are they prouder of themselves than organic only vegans or what? Wouldn`t you love to join the club? Give it a go, the DIY way. Some cars can actually run off vegetable oil . So next time you need to fill up, pull into Maccas instead of Shell and throw a bucket down the grease trap. And if your engine seizes then you will have to walk everywhere and become part of that super smug group.

When Sheryl Went Feral : “I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required.” Sheryl Crowe on her simple solution to the environmental crisis we face.

Stay Together For The Earth: The Dallas News reported that divorce contributes to global warming because more than two households are needed. Way to guilt someone out of dumping you, „This isn`t just about your life, its about the planet, Megan.“

Hot Sweats: I started talking about global warming, rising temperatures, rising waters and climate change with an old Oma the other day and the poor duck stared really hard at me, finally saying, „Oh dear, and you`re so young to be going through the Change.“ She also couldnt figure out why I was so worried about the poles „We bombed the bejesus out of them back in the 40`s, sweetheart, there`s nothing to worry about, now.“ Make like old people and pretend like you never heard anything about it, „Tsunami, did you say? No I just want Super Supreme thanks.“

Here`s A great Big Cup of Shut The Eff Up: Dish that one up next time you hear someone blowing a lot of hot air…. Afterall, they are contributing to the growing hole in the ozone.

Support Plane Hijackers: You gotta admit, all these terrorist attacks and plane crashes are stopping people from flying which is becomign one of the worst contributors to pollution these days. Be sure to tell everyone how terrifying your last plane trip was, exaggerate turbulance and the quality of the food. Scare people away from these budget flights and get them back to more environmentally sound options like hitchhiking and rowboating.

Lonely Planet: And while we`re talking travel, look at all the new possibilities the melting ice caps are opening up for us. Iceland might be broke but it can bail itself up by becoming the next must be seen in Riviera. The bloated carcasses of dead polar bears floating by won`t be all that off-putting once you get used to the smell.

Did you hear they cancelled Autumn? Here`s some real hilarity from the good folks at The Onion.

I feel the hurricane blowin'
I know the end is coming soon.
I see the river's overflowin'
I hear the voice to raise the ruin.

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
I think we're in for nasty weather.
Hold on we'll take you for a ride

-John Fogerty

July 14, 2009

Nice Weather We`re Having....

I know, I know, stop staring. You don`t need to mention it, my headlights are on but let me tell you it has zilch to do with arousal. I`m bloody freezing.

I have been consistantly complaining about the weather since I got here and it never gets better. I don`t believe in acclimatisation. It`s a lie, these people are just as cold as me… they just don`t know better…. Or perhaps they think they are unworthy of a better, warmer, sun-tingly life.

Not my problem.

My problem is wearing socks in high summer during the day and sheepskin lined jackets. That`s my problem.

Way to bring me down,

Now, I could give you helpful tutorials on wheatpacks for snuggling up to at night (you know, those microwaved things that explode in bed and scald your toesies off) or a How To on crocheted bedsocks. But who am I kidding, these guys do stuff like that way better. Instead I will do what I do best.


The piddling offering of five days of sunshine and sporatic bursts of sunrays has been most distressing. A schitzophrenic excuse for a summer which, if you believe the TV ads, is already over because Fall Collection is about to hit the shops.

I almost fell off the couch when I saw that.

“Um WTF?? Autumn, already??“
“Well yes,“ comes the calm, measured reply, “we`ve already had the longest day.“

As though that explains it.

In response to my concerns, a lovely middle aged older woman informed me that she doesn`t need to buy winter pyjamas since she has her Viktor, much to the delight of all the other Europeans present. They practically wee themselves when domestic chatter turns even vaguely kinky. Viktor sat there smirking as the innuendo flew and I had to compose my mouth so that no-one knew I was gagging.
I`m polite like that.

So, I`m like Queen of the SAD club right now. Chomping down carbs and sulkily refusing to be glam because the effing rain doth maketh my hair frizzy (and smell like wet dog onion beer) and I can`t be bothered pulling out my nice warm clothes that I gleefully banished to vacuum packing months ago when Winter supposedly ended.

And I have to take, like, 3 showers a day just to stop myself from hibernating. But don`t worry, they clearly don`t have a water problem here because it darn well rains all the bloody time.

In fact, the Russian told me that Europe has a problem with people not utilising the water system enough, causing issues with pipes needing extra maintenance and dams overfilling.

Cos, y`know, they don`t bathe much here on the continent and are obsessed with drinking mineral water out of glass bottles. O.b.s.e.s.s.e.d.

So funny. Guidebooks actually advise you don`t ask for tap-water in restaurants so as not to offend. I have seen waitstaff get narky about it. Bahahahahha.

But the most hilarious thing is that they have delightful, sparkling, alpine-fresh tap water in most parts of Europe I have seen lately*. Yet they are morbidly afraid of the stuff. You should see the panic I induce when I start filling a glass from the kitchen tap. They stare aghast or hurl Evian at me like I`m on fire and need to be doused.

Anyway, I know you know where this is all heading. Shortly I will be dispatching a guide to you all on coping with global warming and other environmental hazards... just as soon as my fingers defrost.

*DO NOT EVER drink the tap water in Russia. That stuff shares the chemical recipe of paint stripper.

July 4, 2009

Not Like Old Times

Things have changed around this place,

The whole world`s turned a little poker faced

And the Dow Jones, well it leaves bad taste… these days.

Good times gone in a St Elmos fire,

Subprime for sale, but nobody`s a buyer,

I used to like banking but I think I need a new car-aeyer…in some ways.

But, uPon-zie my word! I`ll take my hat off,

To the pyramid dreams of Bernie Madoff.

Okay, he was a bit of a gazumper

But credit, please, what style, what chutzpah!

Well I suppose all good things must come to an end.

But, oh, it was just starting to feel like the 80s again.

No more tweets from my peeps on this Blackberry mine,

If you have a job you`re working overtime,

All work no play, bah! It`s a crime… but it pays.

No first class, no catering, no none of that,

And just when the coke lines were getting fat,

The prices shot up, now we`re chewing khat… these days.

Folks are looking shaky, the word is depression,

How can you self medicate in such a recession?

Losing minds, losing jobs and all losing houses,

It`s then when those louses go back to their spouses.

Marilyn told Madonna and she said it, my friend,

It was just strating to feel like the good times again.

I voted Democrats but now, oh mama,

He`s sure in the snake pit, Mr Obama.

Nigga puhleese, China bought Hummer!? ...so they says.

Didn`t they give us all a scare,

Those weapons of mass destruction that seem not be there?

It`s a lot of pressure for North Korea to bare… in some ways.

They say Osama`s dead, but show us the stiff,

Ice caps are melting but warming`s a myth.

Guantanamo`s closing and Iraq`s over, phew

And we`re all stocked up on Tamiflu!

It`s hard to know if things are up or down,

With all the spam thats going around.

Think twice next time before you hit send,

Ah, if only it was like in the 90s again.

Yep, we`re saving our pennies but how we want to spend,

Guess history repeats itself again and again.