Before we get started on today’s tasty mash-up of KAF trivia, here’s a gratuitous cool jet shot.
Detroit It Ain’t
The TV we get in our rooms here is the British Forces Broadcasting System (BFBS). It’s broadcast over the air on a digital signal and you can watch it on your laptop with a dongle, some coax cable and a strategically placed antenna outside your window. It’s a pretty good service. There are 9 channels. Channels 1, 2 and 9 offer a mix of soccer, British TV, soccer, a little American TV, soccer, cricket and soccer. Channel 3 is a chidren’s channel (go figger?). Channel 4 plays 2 new movies each day/all day. Channel 5 is soccer, cricket, soccer, soccer, cricket, tennis, soccer and soccer while Channel 6 is cricket, soccer, cricket, cricket, soccer, tennis, cricket and cricket. Channel 7 is music videos and Channel 8 is Sky News which invariably has between 3 and 37 soccer-related stories in its news headlines every bloody day. And yes, I did keep calling it soccer just to piss off the Europeans.
Anyway, this was just a long-winded lead in for a short discussion of the British police reality show I saw recently. These types of shows are big business on American TV. “Cops” is probably the most famous. For those who haven’t seen “Cops”, it’s an American TV show that can be summed up as drunk guys, often with guns but never shirts, who are beating someone up. Another U.S. police reality show called “The First 48” follows homicide detectives as they investigate gruesome murders. There are several more. Not to be outdone, the Brits have their own police reality show complete with hard-bitten detectives and dangerous criminals. It’s called “Filthy Rotten Scoundrels”. In the episode I saw, the gumshoe was tracking a psychopath who, while he was conscientiously picking up after his dog, was wantonly tossing poo filled bags into the trees along the hiking path. The detective counted 28 poo-bags in one tree and he was apoplectic upon finding one near a finch nest in the bush! He said that, if he caught the guy, he would be subject to far more than the usual 28 pound fine…the criminal would have to “explain himself to the magistrate”. I had to go to dinner just as he had a break in the case. A nearby business may have caught the criminal on CCTV. Anyone know how it ended? I’m not going back to the UK til this guy is caught!
All Sorts of All-Sorts
My dear wife reads this blog and is, I think, concerned that my constant disappointment with the food is driving me somewhat batty. So, knowing I love licorice all-sorts she sent me a bag of them direct from a distributor. I think this distributor is used to providing confections on an industrial scale. Did you know you could buy licorice all-sorts in, what I’m quessing, is about a 10 lb bag? That’s a lot of licorice! Thanks, Joanie…but I have a tummy ache now.
I’ve unsuccessfully tried cross fit and the NATO gym in my reluctant but necessary quest to get into better shape. Yesterday I went to the little gym that is run by our “landlord” right beside our accommodations. Sure, it didn’t have all of the mysterious machines of the NATO gym, none of the treadmills were working, and the elliptical squeaked rather loudly but I like the place. Hey, and who cares if the treadmills don’t work. Have you ever heard that analogy from people who hate their job: “I’m working like a dog and not getting ahead. It’s like I’m on a treadmill”? Know why they compare something they hate to being on a treadmill? Because being on a treadmill sucks. It’s fucking worse than my worst job (de-tassling corn for $2.15/hour).
What’s so great about this little gym? First, it was virtually empty. There was one guy there when I first arrived and he left after about 10 minutes. Another guy showed up about 1/2 hour later. So, for about 30 minutes, I was the most buff guy there. Also, I could use any piece of equipment I wanted when I wanted. Awesome! “The fewer people the better” is an axiom that I think applies to almost everything. Second, I understood all the equipment. Third, they had a TV turned up loud enough that you could hear it (as opposed to watching soundless crap at the NATO gym). And, even if it got busy, they had the closed captioning on. How smart is that? That upgrades a cardio workout from hideous, painful tedium to awful, painful tedium.
I was bragging to J about my workout and mentioned that I hadn’t done my mandated 30 minutes of cardio at the end because I was already too winded and was somewhat disturbed by the water dripping off my face. “That’s called sweat, dude”, he advised. I’m not so sure…I may have been crying.
Words to Live By
Walking into the Cambridge for dinner last night, feeling a little sore from my workout and some work issues weighing on my mind, I was immediately uplifted by the deep, philosophical message on the t-shirt of the guy ahead of me. Yeah, the photo sucks but I swear the back of that yellow t-shirt says “Life is a Beauty. You Safe It”. Now if I can only figure out what the fuck it means.
Speaking of the Cambridge. They had the standard tough Sunday roast beef. Now, I can usually tolerate the beef because it comes with Yorkshire pudding and the Cambridge used to make great Yorkshire pudding and passable gravy. Tonight, however, the pudding was a doughy mess. It hadn’t risen properly at all and had the consistency of tofu. Fuck, I hate tofu. And, to add insult to injury, the gravy was really thin and bland. Salt helped that though. I also had the salsify . It tasted like nothing. Seriously, it had zero taste. What the hell is the point of that? “Ahh, rhubarb crumble for dessert” I muttered hopefully. Alas, somehow they sucked all the flavour out of the rhubarb and the rhubarb/crumble ratio was wayyyyy off….far to heavily weighted in favour of crumble. So, instead of the tangy zip of a proper rhubarb crumble, it was a sickeningly sweet concoction that tasted of disappointment and bad mathematics. J had the Eve’s Pudding for dessert. I asked him what the filling was made of. He took a bite, shook his head sadly, “I don’t know”. We eat far too many things we can’t identify here.
I asked D and J where they wanted to eat dinner tonight. “Far East is good enough” offered J. “What about you, D?”, I asked. “Let’s face it. They all suck”, D answered resignedly. D is a master of the surly proclamation and it’s hard to do it justice in print. During dinner, I almost laughed water out my nose as we were discussing the various drinks available. We agreed that the orange juice was pretty good. “Certainly better than mango tang and that ‘sports drink'” I elaborated. “That ‘sport drink’ is just STUPID”, proclaimed D. Maybe you had to be there but those who know him will be familiar with the delivery. It was delightfully strident.
It is NOT poo pond water!
“Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.” – Mark Twain