Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Calling Off The Dogs

It's hard to grill hot dogs in the Czech Republic. They all seem to explode after a minute or two on the barbecue. (See above.)

Hot dogs in the United States don't do that. We wouldn't stand for it! ;-)

Anyone know why they do that here, and if there is a brand that doesn't?

It's also interesting that there is no such thing as a hot dog bun in Prague, either. We're forced to use these long rolls they call rohliky, which are usually kinda tough and stale unless you get them right out of the oven.

Life is hard.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eggs Post Facto

Does that mean it's farm-fresh, or the factory just doesn't give a s**t to actually wash their eggs before they sell them?

I must admit to being slightly disgusted early on a Saturday morning.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Knock Knock!

I think we've all been through this door.

Spotted on a recent outing in a Prague suburb.

Made me smile.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Good And The Bad About Box Wine

"You look like my mommy after her box of wine." -- Ralph Wiggum on "The Simpsons"

I was in my local wine shop last week, The Wine Depot in Horoměřice, and noticed part of a wall devoted to boxes of wine.

I was intrigued.

I'd been hearing that boxed wine is actually pretty good nowadays -- (I'm not talking about those small boxes of cheap-o wine you see in the local grocery shops) -- that respected vintners are getting in on the act and that's it's not all Franzia and Boone's Farm swill.

I asked the wine clerk on duty, and she confirmed the rumors. The stuff they were selling is very good, she said. I decided to give it a try.

The wine is inside a five-liter plastic bladder inside the box itself. Pull out the spigot and start drinking!

The wine stays fresher longer -- for weeks (if it could possibly remain undrunk for that long) -- because no oxygen ever gets to it.

I've now tried two Italian varities, both from Farnese -- a lovely, smooth Sangiovese Daunia and a brutish Primitivo that really seemed to knock me on my butt(but in a good way).

The two wines averaged out to about $6 per liter -- a fantastic deal.

There's only one problem. Or maybe it's not a problem.

I've found that I'm drinking a lot more wine -- a lot more -- than I did before. And I drank my fair share before.

When you have a seemingly endless stream of good wine flowing out of a convenient spigot in your kitchen, it's hard to resist going back for another glass. And another.

Imagine if wine instead of water came out of your kitchen faucet when you turned it on and you'll get the idea.

A bottle of wine naturally imposes some limits to your drinking.

I'll keep working at this problem and get back to you.

A Crappy Sign

I am all for dog owners in Prague cleaning up after their pets. It's a big problem.

But this sign seems to be suggesting that dog owners get a little closer to the issue than I'd personally be willing to go.

The guy seems to be worshipping at some poo altar.

Plus, that's already a sizable pile, and more is on the way!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

R.I.P. Nibble Richards

We've buried two cats in our backyard over the past couple of years -- Oscar Junior, a stray cat we'd grown mightily fond of, and our beloved Zhenya. (Read more about them here and here.)

Over the weekend, I discovered that there's at least one more family pet at eternal rest in our garden.

While doing some yard work, I noticed a small wooden sign stuck in the middle of a cinder block. I'd seen the sign before but had never noticed its faded writing. I think I must have assumed it was some sort of garden marker and hadn't paid it much attention.

On closer inspection, I discovered that the sign reads:

Nibble Richards

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the dearly departed was likely a hamster or a gerbil and that Richards was the family name of our house's previous occupant.

What a fantastic name for a hamster.

Rest in peace, little guy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Venus de Why-lo?

We came across this provocative -- and crudely rendered -- lawn sculpture in our local home-and-garden shop the other day.

The view from the rear was just as revealing, if you know what I mean.

No price that I could see, but I'm sure it was in the hundreds of dollars.

Who would buy such a monstrosity? And perhaps more importantly, where would they put it?

Classy stuff.

Rest In Peace

Over the weekend, we planted a beautiful little azalea bush on Zhenya's grave in our backyard.

We really do miss her.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Little Piece Of 'Mad Men'

I've always loved these drinking glasses.

If I remember correctly, I bought them in an antique store in Cumberland, Maryland, sometime in the 1990s.

There used to be another city glass in the original collection -- Paris. It shattered one day in the sink a few years back. It was a sad day.

I've always wondered about the choices of cities depicted on these glasses, which by my reckoning must date to sometime in the 1950s, considering that Havana is one of the designs.

They look like something out of "Mad Men" to me.

I can understand Rome and Madrid and Paris, and maybe even Bombay, but The Hague??!! I've always been curious as to the thinking behind that choice. It's an obscure city even today.

Who knows? There may have been a bunch more in the collection. New York and London spring to mind as obvious candidates. I probably didn't buy a complete set.

These glasses are great for gin and tonics, which is why they're on my mind. We pulled them out last night for the first G&Ts of the season.

These glasses make any drink taste better somehow.

If anyone knows anything about these designs, I'd certainly appreciate it if you'd leave a comment.