Friday, June 24, 2011

It's a Frosty Friday in Johannesburg

It's time to bring in the brass monkeys 'cause...
Baby, it's Cold Outside
While it's summer fun in the sun up north, south of the equator, 
it's winter and damn chilly. 
Today is Friday, June 24th and pretty much the dead of winter. 
It's windy as all get-out and Johannesburg's 
high & low for today are 10° and 0°. 
Trust me, living in a home with no central heating is a bitch. 
At the moment, the temperature in my living room is a toasty 8°.
News Flash
Over night tonight, it will get down to -3°
It's like living in a f@#&ing crypt!!
Believe it or not, it really does get cold in Africa!
Alright, alright, it's not as bad as a northern winter...
..but winter in South Africa doesn't look like this.
It looks like this!
Not exactly steaming jungles, is it?
Dead of Winter
     Soooooooooo... In the evening, the best thing to do is snuggle up with someone agreeable 
and maybe the cat, switch on the gas fire, pull up a cozy throw and make sure the door shut tight. 
The scene is now set for watching a good flick. "Dead of Winter," released in 1987 is an excellent 
choice on a cold night. Mary Steenburgen plays three roles - Katie McGovernJulie Rose and the really nasty Evelyn. Her name should have been spelled EvilynNow, here is the set-up...
     Katie McGovern is a struggling actress living with her useless husband and her sponging student brother. She attends an audition she found advertised in the paper and is selected to shoot a short video which will be sent to the director for his approval. Katie is selected to replace the previous lead in the film, Julie Rose, because she looks remarkably like her.
     Mr. Murray, (Roddy McDowell) the auditioner, picks Katie up and takes her to a remote and sort of spooky mansion where they will shoot the video. Soon after their arrival, things begin to get a little creepy and it's apparent her situation is not what everyone is pretending it to be. Katie eventually puts the pieces together and discovers she is a prisoner in the middle of a blackmail plot. She makes an attempt to escape and that's when the plot thickens. 
     Now don't confuse this movie with two other flicks by the same title, released in 2007 and 2008, respectively. They are bowsers not worth watching - well, that's my opinion of them, anyway. Go for the golden oldie and enjoy some spine-tingling chills.

The Mephisto Waltz 
     Another chiller-diller from the dim reaches of the past is 1971's "The Mephisto Waltz" starring a young Alan Alda and an even younger Jacqueline Bisset. It's a  is a tidy little entry into the Satanic genre which was so popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Maphisto Waltz is a low budget film and yet, it is readily more thrilling and frightening than your typical special effects-laden horror film of today. It's sad movies like this are not produced anymore. Although it got poor reviews when released - mainly due to being compared to 1968's Rosemary's Baby and Alda's flat performance - it is really well worth the the watch. Co-stars are the gorgeous Barbara ParkinsBradford Dillman and Curt J├╝rgens.
Jacqueline Bisset shows off her assets
photos re-blogged from Ain't it Cool
Every Baby Needs a da da Daddy - Marilyn Monroe

Winter Warmers

snuggling is good 


When the weather is cold, nothing beats tucking into some lovely and nurturing comfort food.
Here is a selection of winter warmer recipes - just the thing to thaw you out after you've braved the chilly weather. Surf over to NetMums and see what it's all about. You'll love it!
Indoor activities for cold
winter days and nights... 
Board games and card games are fun alternatives to watching TV or DVD movies. Even great films get tiresome when that's all you're doing. Games give you something to do so you're not just "hanging out" and they actually stimulate your mind. Find a variety of games from trivia to strategy and even the childhood games from your past will make winter days and nights more enjoyable.
     Throw brunches, dinner parties and movie nights. If you want to be social together as a couple but don't want to leave the house, then make your house the setting of all the fun. Do these get-togethers weekly or monthly to get a routine going. Replace boring habits with socializing and fun.
     Of course, sometimes the only reason you don't want to be outdoors is because the weather is miserable. During these times, you can go to other indoor locations with your partner. A couples retreat can be the perfect way to spend some romantic time together. And, here are some other ideas:
  • Go gaming. If there's a casino in your local area then you can have some indoor fun together there.
  • Go to a spa or local hot tubs. Get away together into relaxation and get that chill of the icky weather out of your bones. A couples spa is a great couples' winter retreat.
  • Check out a local museum or art gallery. You can learn something together and share an experience that you don't take the time to enjoy nearly often enough. This is a great local couples retreat.
  • Visit friends or family. Sometimes hanging out with others is the best way to be together. Ask someone in the family to host a spontaneous potluck on a rainy afternoon.
  • Take a class together. An art class, an improv comedy class or a cooking class can bring the two of you closer together even as you meet others and learn something new.
  • And let's not forget about getting it on. Doing the horizontal mambo someplace other than in the bedroom adds a lot of spice to your love life. So use your imagination, get adventurous and generate some heat. 
It's Now Winter's Day - Tommy Roe - 1966
Although you're probably used to hearing just one or two Tommy Roe songs on the radio, he actually hit The National Top 40 fifteen times between 1962 and 1971 and topped those charts twice - first, with his debut hit "Sheila" in 1962 and then again in 1969 with the bubblicious hit "Dizzy." In between, Roe scored Top Ten Hits with "Everybody" (#3, 1963); "Sweet Pea" (#8, 1966); "Hooray for Hazel" (#6, 1966) and "Jam Up and Jelly Tight" (#5, 1970). The Forgotten Hit, "It's Now Winter's Day," was released at Christmastime, 1966, and ultimately peaked at #22 on The Cash Box Chart. This is yet another one of those songs that doesn't necessarily need to be in heavy rotation but it sure sounds good as a "warm up treat" during the winter months.     Re-blogged from Forgotten Hits

Just one last thing about winter...
Will you northerners cut us southerners some slack? Your homes are built with winter weather in mind, ours are not. Although winters in the deep south may seem mild compared to yours, to us they feel like the right side of the picture above. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr. Thank gawd it only lasts three months!    Photo re-blogged from

And while we are on the subject of COLD, 
here's something about cold, hard cash.
Canada Introduces New, Plastic Money

New polymer $50 and $100 bills.
EnlargeBank of Canada/via Flickr
New polymer $50 and $100 bills.
The Bank of Canada introduced brand new polymer bills, yesterday. As the Toronto Sun puts it, the move is designed to use high-tech materials to "thwart counterfeiters." The notes, which have two see-through windows, are also cheaper to make and last about 2 1/2 times longer than paper money.
Here's a short video from the Bank of Canada showing off the money:
Source: YouTube
The Globe and Mail has put together a list of facts about synthetic money. Among the highlights: Plastic money dates back to the early 1980s, when it was used in Costa Rica and Haiti. Other countries like Honduras, Ecuador and El Salvador also used them in the '80s.
But here's our favorite: Unlike paper money, plastic bills don't curl or fray at the corners, so "it causes about 40 percent fewer jams in automated teller machines and bill-counting devices."
Alas, we haven't found any word on how well the bills would survive a wash-and-dry cycle.
The Sun adds that the $100 bills will be issued in November; the $50 bills in March of 2012 and the new $20 bills will be introduced late next year.    Re-blogged from The Two-Way
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