Tag Archives: home exchange

20140706 – One more off the bucket list; Summer is as good as winter; Living the dream.

Sunday – hot (86F) and sunny.

 

I hope this string doesn't snap.

I hope this string doesn’t snap.

I’m on duty as a mountain host for the day. Smile stapled into place and ready for the onslaught of inane questions. Wendy’s off to the Outlet stores shopping. It’s what women do best. Too hot. Our home has no air conditioning just big patio doors to open downstairs and upstairs and ceiling fans. It’s even too hot to sit out on the deck and no way do we fancy a jacuzzi in this weather. Day on the mountain goes pretty quick. With a very relaxed team of hosts. Everyone just gets on with the job.

An overwhelming majority of the public now believes that people must speak English to be considered “truly British”, a national survey has found. 95 per cent now believe that speaking English is essential to being a member of the United Kingdom, compared with 86 per cent a decade ago. Seems like common sense to me, but our loony liberal PC storm troopers aren’t too keen on common sense. Heaven forbid immigrants should have to learn English. It always amazed me how many even 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants families never spoke English in the home and expected schools to provide extra resource to teach them. Pots for rags.

 

If I wake up in a morning and my elbows aren’t touching wood (meaning coffin)… it’s a good day!

 

George Carlin on Religion, great comedian just love his rants. Well worth watching. Hilarious:

 

Monday – hot and sunny again.

 
Up and out for 09:00 as we hike up Crescent Mountain Grade. Must have crossed nearly every ski run on the mountain. Wendy’s a whinging, weary, wilted, walker by the end of it. 86F out there even though we were up and out so early. Well done Wendy you made despite all the protestations.

Being as poor as squirrels with no nuts, we have no car – so un-American. I’m sat in the shade while Wendy does a weekly shop, then we have to haul it all back home on foot and on the bus.

Wendy tackles Crescent Mountain Grade (CMG).

Wendy tackles Crescent Mountain Grade (CMG).

Reminds us of how life used to be when we were kids with no cars, just them things on the end of our legs and a bus. Not even a bike. Crotch droppings these days, and I include my kids in this, just haven’t a clue. We remember frost on the windows in the mornings, that was even on the inside of the single glazed windows; no fire lit, so freezing cold until someone lit one; hardly any milk, so tea on me cornflakes; sugar buttes, and if you were really wealthy bread and jam to fill up with; outside toilet; tin bath on Friday night and kids were last in the cold murky waters. No skiing holidays, no cruises, no summer holidays. If you were really lucky you got a day out on the train to Skeggy as my Dad worked on the railways so we got a free ticket. No colour TV, no 3D TV. Just no TV. But worst of all no computers or Internet. We’ve never had it so good.

Need a proper beer, so that rules out any of these American pinkel waters. 2 Pilsner Urquell sat in the fridge just begging to be opened. Only 48 minutes and 12 seconds before they’ll be sliding down the side of a beer barrel, not a posy flower vase.

But hang on how can you have an Oktoberfest in with no beer? Ask the Mormons they seem to know how. Isn’t his a blatant infringement of the 1st Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion….”.

My winter office. Closed in the summer.

My winter office. Closed in the summer.


 
Religion strikes again.

Tuesday – very hot and sunny again.

 
Up at the crack o sparrows to avoid the heat. Mind you some technogeek, he shall remain nameless, set the 06:00 alarm.

Things are looking up, even managed Cammy’s trail without needing shoe leather. Then spent 30 minutes discussing US politics with Dick, a staunch Obama supporter, here in the midst of this extreme right wing Republican Utah. Mind you Park City is a little ungodly, enclave of Democrats – a real Sodom and Gomorrah.

Where's the snow?

Where’s the snow?

Worth an early start, not too hot.

Park City makes it even easier with more alcoholic beverage businesses per capita than any other place in the state. So whether you’re looking for a local brew or just a glass of wine, you won’t be left high and dry.

 
What a veritable cornucopia of birds on our deck, mind you they do eat more bird food a day than we can afford. Sadly these two geriatrics forgot their binoculars so we don’t get to identify them all.

Isn't nature awesome> Just look at the beauty and symmetry.

Isn’t nature awesome> Just look at the beauty and symmetry.

Wendy and I cycle down – the key word there being down – to Kimball junction for a spot of shopping. But first a Starbucks moment to help me gird me loins and a psychoactive stimulant to ease the pain.

Finally decide to lash out and buy some Camelbaks for our walks, mountain biking. There big on “hydration packs” over here nearly as obsessive as “Gluten free”.
 

I see that the religion of permanent offence has been at it again because of another film / cartoon. Like most of these efforts they’re certainly not Oscar material but in the interest of improving the threshold of tolerance of this pernicious religion I’ve posted details of where it can be viewed.

Aisha and Muhammad

The Dramatic Life of a Little Child Married to the Prophet of Islam

As announced in an earlier press release, the movie, “Aisha and Muhammad”, has been released on schedule.

The release has been coincided with the US Independence Day on July 4 as a mark of respect to the American victims in the battle against Radical Islam.

The full movie in English can be viewed online from the following website links:

http://www.islam-watch.org/video.html

 

  Sometimes I pretend to be

 

NORMAL

 

But it gets boring……

 

So I go back to being me.

 

Wednesday – hot and sunny then at teatime we get a downpour.

 
I’m up and out for 09:00. Well made it up Town lift side, Sweeneys switchbacks and Johns trail. Feel like a drowned water rat by the time I get to the top of Payday lift. It’s so humid you could beat the water out of the air with a boat paddle. I think I’ve lost 8 pints of sweat. Thankfully my new Camelbak helps is pretty good. Good job Wendy didn’t come, the earache would have been too painful. At several points it was just an uphill scramble – think I may have been lost.

A well deserved swig of water at the top of Crescent Mine Grade. A tad too hot for Wendy.

A well deserved swig of water at the top of Crescent Mine Grade. A tad too hot for Wendy.

Can now advise guests on Townlift hikes. “Don’t bother. If you must do it, go down.”

After lunch get myself a locals $70 point ticket for the PC MARC gym or any classes. 10 points, so just $7 per class or gym access. Go to a Yoga class. Can’t believe I survive an hours yoga and not a drop of sweat on my brow. Now that means I’m either getting fitter – mind you I am at my lowest weight today in living memory, not that impressive when you consider I can’t remember what I had for breakfast – or after this mornings hike there’s just no sweat left in me.

Then the heavens open up. Raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock and then hailstones. In typical American fashion even the raindrops are bigger and better. Wendy’s gone shopping but miraculously she misses a drenching. This is the first serious rain we’ve seen since we got here. Please tell me this doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing a perambulating, inverted, black bin liner next. Mind you the thought of one hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding or better still skiing does stretch the imagination.

I get perplexed that so many people get upset and rile against another mosque being built, or an old pub being converted into an islamic community centre. I think, in true PC multicultural loony liberal fashion, the mosque or community centre should be allowed, in an effort to promote tolerance. That is why I also propose that two nightclubs be opened next door to the mosque, thereby promoting tolerance from within the mosque. We could call one of the clubs, which would be gay, “The Turban Cowboy,” and the other a topless bar called “You Mecca Me Hot.” Next door should be a butcher shop that specializes in pork, and adjacent to that an open-pit barbecue pork restaurant, called “Iraq of Ribs.” Across the street there could be a lingerie store called ” Victoria Keeps Nothing Secret,” with sexy mannequins in the window modeling the goods. Next door to the lingerie shop there would be room for an adult sex toy shop, “Koranal Knowledge,” its name in flashing neon lights, and on the other side a liquor store called “Morehammered.” All of this would encourage Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand of us, so their mosque issue would not be a problem for others.

 

Yes, we should promote tolerance, and if you are not laughing or smiling at this point… It is either past your bedtime, or it’s midnight at the oasis and time to put your camel to bed!!!!

 

What is it with this American obsession with everything being gluten free. It’s every where and everything. I’ve written to the local water board, various wine growers and brewers  asking them to confirm their products are gluten free. Now I worry whether my petrol should also be gluten free, will it harm my engine.

A cynic – not me of course – make think it’s just a marketing ploy to exploit and rip off the gullable, thick, health freaky obsessives. Are you surprised that gluten free is always considerably more expensive.

But the facts prove it’s just another rip off fad, with a NORMAL loaf of bread costing £1, while gluten free costs £3.

Bear in mind that less than 1% of the population are coeliac. While many are convinced that – coeliac or not – avoiding gluten will make them healthier, a study published last year in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics disagrees. It concluded: “There is no evidence to suggest following a gluten-free diet has any significant benefits in the general population.” “Indeed,” it continued, “there is some evidence to suggest that a gluten-free diet may adversely affect gut health in those without coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity.” Other research has indicated that gluten-free diets are often low in fibre and can be linked to deficiencies in B vitamins, iron and folate. Inevitably, in the US, a gluten-free backlash is already under way. “Coeliac: the Trendy Disease for Rich, White People”, is a typical recent headline in the popular blog, Science 2.0.

Unfortunately, the gluten-free community has even less tolerance for jokes than for pasta. Thankfully I can continue to eat macaroni pudding with impunity and at minimal cost, thats if I can persuade her indoors to cook it.

People often wonder why I’m keen on baked beans followed by macaroni pudding. Well when I was at “bilateral” school – best not to ask. I always went to my Grandmas for lunch – well not being posh we called it dinner. Every day she’d serve me baked beans, with a nob of butter of course, cooked until dry (anything less than 15 minutes and they’re raw). Followed by a macaroni pudding, also cooked to perfection – until dry and curling at the edges. Every day for four years. Then one day I asked “Grandma, do you think we could have a change of menu”? That was it, never got me baked beans or macaroni pudding ever again. What a deprived, or was it depraved, childhood.
 

Thursday – warm and downpour late afternoon.

 

Hmm... lets see this cakes for two. So why do we have a 35% fatty rate?

Hmm… lets see this cakes for two. So why do we have a 35% fatty rate?

Lazy morning for me. Wendy’s off to be Florence Nightingale. Lunch time I go for a MTB ride and then call in at the hospital for a complimentary coffee and read of the paper in their comfortable lounge area. Good to people watch all the Florences in their lime green blouses scurrying around and spending most of their time chattering away like Mocking birds on LSD.
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Then in the afternoon I’m doing training for my Robin Hood archery (a Nottingham lad) stint at the National Ability Center. Amazing place for the disabled and when you see what they achieve it’s quite right they use the word “ability”.

Bike home and get caught in a real downpour. Fortunately it’s very warm so it doesn’t really matter. Quite a change as I can’t remember the last time I got really soaked right through.

In the evening we’re off out to dinner at Tricy and Rivers (possible home exchangers). They live up in Deer (aptly named) valley. They have an awesome 5,000 square foot home. Only the FSM can guess at what or why you need 5,000 square feet. Good meal, good company, good conversation and good beer. They have 4 other guests for dinner so it’s lively conversation all round. One of the guys brews his own beer and brings a load of samples. They’re very good, not a bit like the home brews I last tasted. Have a very interesting conversation with him and get to sample an excellent Kolsch and a Pilsner, none of your typical American pinkle water.

National Ability Center archery range.

National Ability Center archery range.

Only in America.

Close by parking spaces at the gym for fuel efficient vehicles. I’ll define fuel efficient – LPG, electric or over 30 MPG (well it is America).

 

Friday – cloudy with rain thunder and lightning in the afternoon.

Angela does archery. Just look at that perfect release.

Angela does archery. Just look at that perfect release.

I’m on mountain host duty and Wendy’s at the hospital. Another easy day with the Friday crew.

In the afternoon the heavens open up and some thunder and lightning, every things shut down while it passes. We get to leave early.

Then it’s off out to dinner yet again. This time with Rick and Lynda, potential home exchangers. They have a lovely home up on Park Meadows. Just love the way American homes tend to be so open plan with kitchen, dinning and lounge all one big contiguous open area. Great evening, awesome food, wine and best of all company. Never ceases to amaze me how friendly and how much home exchangers have in common.

Just test driving a bike for the disabled. Hard work. Managed to crash it when a car tried to reverse into me.

Just test driving a bike for the disabled. Hard work. Managed to crash it when a car tried to reverse into me.

Please tell me the World hasn’t gone mad:

Liverpool confirm Luis Suárez’s £75m move to Barcelona pending medical. Who’s Luis Suarez? He’s a footballer who bit one of his opponents in the World cup. Not only that it’s the 3rd time he’s done it. Barbaric. What did FIFA do about it? A slap on the wrist and a few months ban. Why wasn’t he prosecuted for GBH or assault? These guys are role models for kids. Hey kids if someone upsets you, bite them. Over paid morons. Why wasn’t he banned for life. Instead he’s being transferred and will no doubt receive a big chunk of money. Sounds like some sort of experiment in creative stupidity. But it’s football, what can you expect?

 

Saturday – very hot and sunny.

 

Bump into a lady at the bus stop.

Tony: “That’s a nice dog. What make is it?”IMG_0834

Lady: “Oh it’s a spaniel / poodle cross.”

Tony: “We had a spaniel but it only had half a brain. Does he have a full brain?”

Lady: “I don’t know we adopted it!”

Owner obviously is the one with a half of a brain.
 
On duty as mountain hosts yet again. So hot just try to avoid the sun all day.
 
Then we’re off to the hospital staff party. Free food and entertainment at the National ability centre for all hospital staff, volunteers and their families.
 
They’ve a climbing wall, ropes course, archery and disabled bikes – well you know what I mean – for you to try.
 
I’m totally freaked out by heights.
 
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Don’t you just love the American obsession with food. They walk up with a giant burger, just drooling fat, calories and cholesterol, and are then distraught when they can’t get 52 ounce diet coke. Oh well have to make do with a normal coke. How can anyone drink 52 ounces of sugar or even saccharin?

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That's better. Just 3 feet to go.

That’s better. Just 3 feet to go!

What a great opportunity to try all these facilities. Will I try the climbs again now it’s off my bucket list? Who knows. I will still be petrified but I suppose familiarity will help overcome this fear.

Let’s not forget however that all these facilities at the NAC are in the main for the disabled. Yes, they get people with disabilities up to these heights and even have a shaky wooden bridge over 50 feet up that you can go across in a wheelchair. Can you imagine the sense of achievement these kids, and adults, must feel.

20131105 – Captain Pugwash On The High Seas

Tuesday – hot and windy, with some spots of rain in the afternoon. It’s just like having a warm shower and almost refreshing.

DSC02940

You know you’ve arrived when the pool guy comes and then your gardener and landscaper. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn they were all Mexican, very little English but work hard.

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Thought we’d put some pictures on of the house, DSC02953boat / ship and pool.

Avast you lolloping landlubbers, Maggie Lafayette Pugwash AKA Windy Wendy) goes out for a cruise with Captain Pugwash on HMSS Black Pig. Master Bates, Seamen Staines and Roger the cabin boy were conspicuous by their absence. Instead Joey, 56895829 ladyhysteria our neighbour, pops round to show Captain Pugwash and his deck hand Maggie Lafayette how to launch, navigated and handle our boat, or is it ship? It’s rough and windy. Maggie Lafayette’s sat with her life jacket on. Whining like a stuck starter motor as we head out to open water – Gulf of Mexico. Steering at no wake speeds is not as easy as it look, especially in this wind. Once you notch the speed up to about 20MPH it’s so much easier but then Maggie Lafayette starts squawking. Red, right, return and port to port on approaching another boat, that seems to be about it.

We survive and manage to dock, not that easy, with no incident .

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After lunch we go for a bike ride to explore the island and open our US bank account. Yes we’re now proud owners of a Chase bank account, complete with debit card and all the trimmings. Good service, free drinks and cookies. All very swish. All we need now is our green cards and we’ve cracked it.

DSC02958

It’s a long ride back and we ride home in the dark. No lights, just like a couple of scrots, so we stick to the pavements.

My Fitbit gizmo clocks up over 5,000 steps. I think the boat / ship trip really confused it with all the bouncing up and down.

DSC02944

Why do women fake orgasms? So that they can quickly get back to what they were doing.

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

A few more pictures of the view from our back yard and my kayak – yet to try getting in or out without a ducking.

Highlight of the week, Farmers Market in the morning. Fruit and veg are cheap and unlike our visits to French markets we actually buy something.

After lunch Wendy gets her Publix fix and I have a relaxing afternoon around the pool.

A few new high tech medical syndromes, especially suffered by nerds:

Phantom Ringing Syndrome – When your brain punks you into thinking your phone is buzzing in your pocket.

DSC02948Nomophobia – The anxiety that arises from not having access to one’s mobile device. The term “Nomophobia” is an abbreviation of “no-mobile phobia.”

Cybersickness – The disorientation and dizziness some people feel when interacting with certain digital environments.

Facebook Depression – Depression caused by social interactions, or lack thereof, on Facebook.

Internet Addiction Disorder – A constant and unhealthy urge to access the Internet.

Internet Addiction Disorder (sometimes referred to DSC02949 s Problematic Internet Use) – excessive Internet use that interferes with daily life. 

Online Gaming Addictio – An unhealthy need to access online multiplayer games.

Cyberchondria – The tendency to believe you have diseases you read about online.

The Google Effect – The tendency of the human mind to retain less information because it knows that all answers are only a few clicks away.

Thursday – hot and sunny with afternoon clouds.

Anyone know how to get a frog out of a car and stop Wendy having hysterics? She says it’s poisonous 
because it’s got a yellow eye. If it doesn’t go soon it’ll be a dessicated frog in this heat. Don’t even ask why we have one in the car. 

Drive down to old Naples. Finally managed to find the Visitors centre, always well hidden. Although to be fair they were the most welcoming and helpful we’ve ever encountered. They were aghast when we said we were walking 2 miles though the old town to the pier. No don’t do it. It’s too hot. Go in your car. Pointed out that those things on the end of our legs were specially designed for walking.

Old Naples. Well not really that old, as with most “Old Towns”. But very pleasant. More expensive shops than Hijabs in Blackburn market.

Then it’s off to the Apple store, again, to buy 2 Apple TV’s. Ask questions about compatibility in the UK. IMG 1667 oes HDMI eliminate the worry about the PAL / NTSC split? No problem. Voltage? No problem. But then it gets really techy. Netflix doesn’t work in the UK! Finally track down a long haired yeti and his faithful buddy Tonto who seem to know they’re bits from their bytes. After much discussion confirm that it’s exactly the same model as the UK model and if Netflix works on my UK Apple TV then it will work on US one. These two nerds were orgasmic about such a technical question, happier than a nerd with a Raspberry Pi. Saved £34 on each, £65 rather than £99 – usual rip off Britain. 

Fit bit says 12,000 steps, just over 5 miles.

Coming to towns near us if we don’t kick this oppressive, evil religion into touch:

Islamic police in northern Nigeria’s Kano state will begin enforcing Sharia law.Ten thousand officers will be on the streets forcing all citizens, including Christians, to adhere to repressive Islamic legal codes. Law enforcement has orders to arrest anyone wearing indecent dress such as sleeveless T-shirts and shorts that cut off just below the knee. They’ll also be watching the city’s small, motorized rickshaw taxis for men and women traveling together.

Friday – hot and sunny.

Wendy’s not so good. Women’s problems again, UTI. Lazy day in for her. I venture out to take my Fitbit IMG 1665 or a walk. Yes I know walking’s totally un-American. The local police look at you as if you’re a terrorist without his burka coverall. Walk down to the dock, watch the boats. Then to the beach and ogle the eye candy. Looks like I’ve finally found a use for the Burka / Hijab. They could be used to cover up those scary whales in skimpy bikinis that make anyone run for cover.

Amazing isn’t it you’re not allowed to take a martini on the beach – see sign – but automatic weapons are ok. God bless the 2nd. Then it’s a coffee at the Marriot Vacation place – people watching. I’m sure no bar would be complete without a very fat walrus like loud American geezer complete with quiet blond bimbo moll.

Manage to clock up 5 miles. Loose 3 gallon of sweat. Boy is it hot. 

Get back to find a notice on pinned on the door. Apparently a friend of the owners has called around, popped in and wrote a note while Wendy was doing the ironing totally unaware. So much for an open door policy – good job she wasn’t in the shower!

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Life can be so very cruel. You go shopping for a decent beer, a rare commodity over here despite the plethora of choice – what sort of pervert wants a strawberry beer. Get all orgasmic when I see some a pack of Krombacher. A real treat. Then I do that Wendy thing and check the sell by date. Dam me no, they’re all out of date. Madder than a rubber allergic lesbian at the international dildo expo.

New rules – yes just like Bill Maher – I’m adding a new rules / new laws section – ideas for our clowns to implement in the big chatter house.

New rule – change 3rd law of retirement from “No TV during the day” to “No TV before 19:00”. Why? After 2 hours of TV we’ve had enough.

A few non PC muslim jokes. Let’s hope it desensitises them:

I’m not sure who invented the halal meat-slicer but I bet Abu Hamza had a hand in it!

I’ve just seen a Muslim woman breastfeeding her baby. I thought, ‘That can’t be Halal milk, she’s still alive.’ 

The BBC reported that Muslim parents are withdrawing children from music lessons because their beliefs forbid them from learning music. The British government has therefore issued a new list of songs that are acceptable to Muslims:

*Halal (Is It Meat You’re Looking For), by Lionel Richie
*They Tired To Mecca Me Go To Jihad (But I Said No, No, No), by Amy Winehouse
*The Ayatollah of the Tiger, by Survivor
*The Way You Mecca Me Feel, by […]

I want to be more multicultural and give halal meat a try. Does anyone know where I can buy some halal bacon for breakfast?

Just been to my first Muslim birthday party. The musical chairs was a bit slow, but dam me the pass the parcel was quick!