The Kuwait Times crime editor has come across a new term, and now he is using it every chance he gets. It is driving me crazy.
See if you can pick it out:
A policeman was injured after his patrol vehicle jackknifed when he lost control of the steering with the car coming to a rest upside down in the road. The officer managed to use the car’s radio to call for assistance and emergency services were quickly rushed to the scene, rushing the injured policeman to hospital.
Unless the police officer was driving a sectioned vehical; a car towing a trailer, a truck carrying a connected load – something that can be BENT, FOLDED, like a jackknife -
– then it is NOT a jackknifed vehicle. Most police vehicles are sedans. A sedan cannot jackknife.
This is the explanation from Wikipedia:
Jackknifing means the accidental folding of an articulated vehicle (i.e. one towing a trailer) such that it resembles the acute angle of a folding pocket knife. If a vehicle towing a trailer skids, the trailer can push it from behind until it spins round and faces backwards. This may be caused by equipment failure, improper braking, or adverse road conditions such as an icy road surface.
Jackknifing is not very common and usually only happens to an empty vehicle. Most truck drivers are skillful enough to correct a skid before it becomes a jackknife. It would be an exaggeration to claim that jackknifing accounts for a large number of tractor-semitrailer accidents since in many cases it is the collision that would have caused the vehicle to jackknife and not vice versa. Radio stations often report jackknifed trucks because people phone to tell them, but more often than not, the truck has not technically jackknifed; it may be stuck in the snow or damaged in a crash.
As told to me by the Qatteri Cat:
1. The sound of Dad’s key in the door when he comes home.
2. Tuna water
3. Sleeping on my back in the last remaining spot of sunshine
4. Cat mint! Cat grass! Catnip!
It’s a slow summer day, not a lot going on, so let’s play.
I was making the Pasta Melanzane and added some sun-dried tomatoes when the smell suddenly reached my nose and I was caught by the sweet intensity of the smell. I thought to myself “so much flavor! and at so little cost!” and it started a whole train of thought.
What gives your life pleasure and doesn’t cost much? Here are the rules – the cost of your pleasure must be under 5KD (under $20 for my USA players). See if you can think of five. If you find more than five, you can list those too, if you want – the rules here are pretty vague. so – give me five!
Here are mine:
1. The sound of my husband whistling – it means he is feeling peaceful, even happy.
2. Moments with my family when I suddenly realize how special they are, and truly treasure our time together.
3. The intense flavor of sun-dried tomatoes.
4. The sound of waves crashing onto the shore.
5. The smell of the sea, cloves, lavender, baked apples, roasting meat, a fresh pine Christmas tree,
the first rain in a dry, dusty country.
Bonus: The smell of Comfort fabric softener on laundered underwear.
The sound of my friend’s voice when I don’t expect a call from her.
I found this on my doorstep, as a neighbor is moving out:
I totally love it. Brilliant marketing.
First, it purports to be an apology for any inconvenience. How thoughtful, right? What great customer service, innoculating against negative perceptions by apologizing humbly in advance.
And, what a brilliant way to get attention and drum up customers. Wouldn’t you want a company who is so polite? So caring? After all, they start by apologizing for any inconvenience, before you turn the page over to read about the services they offer.
Last – no misspellings, uses good English, uses economical language and lots of white space. Well done, no annoyances, and leaves a positive impression.
I love it. Well done, Crown Relocation Services.
I am still scurrying around, catching up, trying to get life back to normal, but this morning I took a moment to catch up with I Can Has Cheeseburgers, and I found this. I hope it makes you LOL, as it did me:
more cat pictures
Followed by this one, which makes my heart sing:
more cat pictures
I first had Pasta Melanzane at a wonderful restaurant near my home in Wiesbaden, Germany. We were always looking for the best Italian restaurant we could find, and when we found Marcello’s, we stopped looking. No matter what we ate there, the food was delicious. Melanzane, by the way, means eggplant, or aubergine. I always use that word because a lot of people think they don’t like eggplant.
I tried hard to duplicate Marcello’s Pasta Melanzane, but the more I added, the weirder it would get. In the end, my very best results came from keeping things simple and fresh:
1 fairly large eggplant, cut into fingers about 1/2 inch, like french fries
6 – 10 cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped
2 packets / small cans tomato paste
1 Tablespoon (1 large glop) finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
(red pepper flakes – optional)
water to thin
Put the eggplant fingers in a colander (bowl shaped strainer) and sprinkle with salt. Leave half an hour, rinse with water and dry with paper towels. You do this because sometimes eggplant can be bitter, and this takes away the bitterness.
Put some olive oil – maybe 2 Tablespoons – in a deep frying pan and heat, add chopped garlic and heat until garlic is softened. If you are using red pepper flakes, add those in now, too, and let them soften with the garlic.
Add the eggplant fingers, turn the heat way down, add a little more olive oil and cook slowly until the eggplant is also softened all the way through.
Meanwhile, mix the tomato paste, chopped sun dried tomato pieces, and some water into sauce.
(If you are in a place where you can legally use red wine, you can use a cup or so in place of some of the water. I have also used pomegranate juice, but it is not quite the same.)
Add the sauce to the eggplant, put on a spatter guard (You can find them at the Sultan Center and sometimes in the souks – they are a round screen with a handle that keeps sauce from splashing all over your stove) and turn the gas down to the very lowest it will go.
Set the timer for 30 minutes, and go about your business. Keep checking every 30 minutes, give it a stir, add a little more liquid if it needs it, give it a taste.
When it is ready, turn the burner off. This sauce just gets better and better as it mellows.
When it is time to serve dinner, boil a pot of pasta and re-heat the melanzane sauce at the same time. Because it is a strong sauce, you can use strong pastas, like penne, to serve it over.
I used to be such an organized person. I had a responsible job where I juggled many important things. I had meetings and messages, and events and proposal deadlines, and somehow, I did it all, and I did it well.
Now that I have somewhat less to handle, I don’t handle it as well. I am too relaxed. I don’t obsess about details, I don’t wake up in the middle of the night gasping about something I may have forgotten, I don’t even keep a notepad by the side of my bed to write things down that wake me in the night.
When I was making arrangements for this trip, AdventureMan said to add on a few days at the Chongwe River Lodge, so I told the travel guy at Robin Pope Safaris to book us at the Chongwe River Lodge. Then, I just paid what the invoice said and never thought about it again. If you go to the RPS page, it will show you Chongwe River HOUSE, and that is where we thought we were staying. When we arrived, we were a little disconcerted to discover we were at the Chongwe River Camp, not the house, but our tent/cabin faced a pod of hippos, and we were immediately enchanted, and sometimes things happen for a reason, you know? We knew we were there for a reason, and just relaxed and enjoyed what the camp had to offer.
And oh, WOW, what the camp had to offer. First, every tent is situated to have a fabulous view, and the front of the tent is all clear net, you CAN close it if you want to, but you don’t have to, you have absolute privacy with on one looking in. They have a wide range of activities, lots of water sports, fishing, kayaking, hiking, fly camping . . . so much to do! Or . . . you can do nothing at all, too.
Our view overlooked a pod of hippos. All day and all night long, we could hear hippos. In the middle of the night, a hippo mom and a baby hippo were grazing two feet from the entrance to our tent – when I got up to watch, they quickly slipped back into the water.
That might disturb some people, but it totally enchants me! I was told some people get grumpy because they can’t sleep, that they request earplugs . . . I cannot imagine. I love the sounds, and somehow, it makes me feel safer inside knowing wild things are roaming around at night. I’ve always felt human beings were the far more dangerous threat than the animals.
So I will bore you with a bunch of photos, and you will see the things I love – details of the tents and lounge and dining areas, and photos that I wish had sound attached so you could be lulled to sleep by the laughter of the hippos.
Zambia was experiencing a huge airplane fuel crisis while we were there, so flights were being consolidated. One night, there was NO fuel at any of the major airfields. Here us the fuel storage at Chongwe:
Dining in the bush – and the food was great. Because it is the middle of winter in Zambia, nights can be chilly, and we had charcoal braziers between diners at night to keep us from shivering. It was toasty warm! When we would get back to our tents, there would be hot water bottles warming our beds, so we could just jump in.
This is how the camp would look at night when we would come back from a game drive or a boating trip – purely magic, with all the twinkling candles. The camp offers fishing, hiking, game drives, kayaking, all kinds of activities, or . . . just chilling:
These are “my” hippos – oh, this just made my time at Chongwe River Camp, hearing their laughter, hearing their arguements. Just up the river all the animals would come down to drink at dusk. I could sit and take photos and never intrude on them – warthogs, impala, elephant, waterbuck, geese, heron, egret, ibis . . . and lots of baboon.
This was a great thrill for me – an elephant swimming to one of the Zambezi islands. Don’t worry, I was using my great telephoto, I was not that close. We did not bother the elephant, we kept our distance.
AdventureMan and I were watching Kite Runner, which we thought did a really great job on an amazing book, when we could hear our VOIP phone ring. I ran, because I broke the message-taking phone, and if I don’t get to this one by the fifth ring it goes to a message place online that I have trouble accessing.
It was our son, from the Atlanta airport, en route to Lusaka with his beautiful bride, just calling to let us know he is on the way.
We went back and watched the movie, but I had one of those nagging thoughts that just wouldn’t leave me alone.
As soon as the movie ended, I turned on the computer and checked our trip folder. . . hmmmm. I thought we were all meeting up in Johannisburg, but it seems like they are leaving awfully early. I check, and sure enough . . . I have totally screwed up. They are arriving in Johannisburg a day before we are! I have only made reservations for one night!
I quickly call our son back, and as he answers, I can hear someone in the background saying “I need your passport” and I quickly tell him the situation, and to my great surprise, he just laughs. “I need for you to be flexible,” I say, “I am going to try to contact the hotel and the Robin Pope Safari people to make sure you have a room when you arrive, but we won’t be there! Find a shuttle to the Taj Pamodzi and I will do everything I can to make sure you have a room waiting there!”
Again, he laughs and says they will be fine.
I can’t believe it. I’ve just told him he is going to a totally strange city and he doesn’t know the city and may or may not have a hotel room waiting and he just laughs. He is boarding the plane when we hang up, en route on a grueling Delta Airlines flight that leaves Atlanta for Dakar, Senegal en route to Johannesburg, South Africa.
When we all finally meet up in Lusaka, they tell us the whole story.
The night before they are to leave, our son gets a call from CheapTickets telling them they no longer have tickets. The flight they were on from Pensacola to Atlanta was rescheduled, and somehow, it caused all the reservations to be cancelled.
Smart guy that he is, he grabs his bride and they hustle to the airport to deal with Delta directly. A very kind and patient woman re-writes and re-issues the entire ticket, and the next day, they are on their way, but not without some very bad moments between being told their tickets are no good and finding the good Delta woman who can fix everything.
Meanwhile, I write to both the hotel and Robin Pope Safaris grovelling in mortification – it is totally MY fault that I didn’t get the dates right, not their problem, but I sure could use their help. By the next day – the day we are departing – I hear from both, telling me that a room will be waiting for them. Al hamd’allah, we breathe a sigh of relief, and hope that all the plane connections go smoothly.
RPS has a great guy, Dave, to meet us on arrival at Lusaka and to help us get our visas and to get as quickly as possible to the hotel, so we can meet up with our son and his bride.
It is such a relief. When you plan a trip like this, there are no guarantees everything will go smoothly – and it doesn’t. That’s a big part of the adventure. When son and bride got to Johannesburg, they were told they did NOT have seats on the flight to Lusaka, but at the very last minute, they were sent Business Class. We are sitting in the bar, whooping with laughter as we hear all the near misses, all the . . .hmmm. . . “adventures” that went into us all experiencing this miracle, the four of us in Lusaka together.
You know me and photos:
And you know how I like signs to capture the flavor of a place:
One little postscript – I often use Trip Advisor when planning a trip, especially chosing hotels or places to shop or sites to be sure to visit. If I had listened to Trip Advisor, I probably wouldn’t have stayed at the Taj Pamodzi; several reviewers were very negative. Our experience was just the opposite. People could not have been more friendly, more helpful. They were equally friendly and helpful to our son and his bride the 24 hours they were there without us. The front desk people were efficient and professional, the restaurant and bar service was supurb and we were very satisfied.