Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Grandma has come to visit........


In my past, one evening, getting back home after a long day, I was greeted at the back door by my oldest daughter with a big smile on her face
" Daddy, Daddy, Grandma has come to visit us..."
"Yes", says I, " I saw her broom parked in the garage"
" Grandma, Grandma, ....Daddy says you left your broom in the garage"
Oh Shit.......

Monday, 30 July 2007

Little Johnny and a browny.........

There is a story running around about a small boy and his mother having lunch at a family restaurant. Mommy asks little Johnny if he wants to go to the loo and he says no. The question is repeated after a short while and he says no again. The third or fourth time she asks him, he climbs off the chair, drops his shorts and says,
"See....only Farts"

Mythology : What was Pandoras Box, Jar?


In Greek mythology Pandora was the first woman. Zeus was enraged when his two brothers stole fire from mount Olympus to give to mankind. The flickering lights upset him at night. So he created Pandora, the first woman, as punishment to mortals.
She was by all accounts a very beautiful woman.
When she married she was given a jar as dowry. This jar contained “gifts” contributed by the vindictive Gods that were bad for mankind .She was told not to open the box under any circumstance.
Pandora was, unfortunately, also a very curious person. When she was created Hera gave her the quality of curiosity. Now we have a curious person with a jar that must not be opened. This tortured her until one day, she opened the jar to have a quick peek. By breaking the promise, she released all the ills of the world on mankind. Sickness, evil, hate, wars, and any kind of bad stuff you can imagine. When she saw what was happening she closed the jar as fast as she could, but only Hope remained in the jar.
This is where things get confused. Some say Hope was never let out of the jar, as this was one of the most evil things that could be bestowed on man. Others say Hope was released later. (There is a great philosophical debate as to whether Hope is good or bad in the Pandora context)
The version most often referred to, is that Hope was later released, to help mankind in times of trouble.
Today we talk about Pandora’s Box. The Jar turned into a Box during translation from ancient Greek about five or six hundred years ago.
(Update 5 October 2008. "Erasmus is also generally credited with originating the English phrase "Pandora's box", arising through an error in his translation of Pandora by Hesiod in which he confused "pithos", storage jar, with "pyxis", box." from Wikipedia)

Opening Pandora’s Box has become a metaphor for the unwanted or unanticipated

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Thinking too much....


This is what happens when one thinks too much.
Stole this image from jos
On a serious note. According to jos, this work of art was damaged by thieves. I went hunting to find out more. It would appear as though it was is a replica of the Rodin masterpiece that was damaged. I really hope that is true. The stupidity of breaking something like this defies explanation.

Picture of Submarine Race......


I could not resist this

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Little Johnny SO loves dogs.....

One must be kind to animals and small children or you will not be considered by society at large as being good person. This is a fact. How many times does one hear the statement “ …is a proper twit but he loves children and animals….”.
This is a sweeping statement that covers a multitude of sins, and appears to be a free pass to an acceptable public image. It is as if this statement negates any criticism you may be holding in reserve to nail the unsavoury character. How can you be mean to someone who is a known lover of animals and small children?
A common scenario is that of a mother and son on a visit to an animal lovers home. In order to compensate for her sibling’s dysfunctional social skills, it is necessary for her to boost the Brats perceived animal talents,
The part worth observing is when the delinquent animal lover makes first contact with the family pet. The Brat has been conditioned from experiences past to utter sounds similar to that heard at the beginning of an Oprah episode. This signifies joy and happiness, and warms the cockles of his mother’s heart. Having uttered his war cry the Brat is now obliged to target the dog, and homes in on it like a stinger missile.
The owner cringes. Experience denies the possibility of avoiding the impending onslaught. Absolutely fruitless to try and remove the animal or warn against the impending danger. How can he deny this young animal lover the opportunity of publicly bonding with his pet?
Rendered defenceless by proper visitor etiquette, the intrusion is permitted and Johnny grabs the dog by the ears, administers the required Sumo squeeze, turns the dog over onto his back and zaps his face as close as he can to the dog, for an eye to eye challenge, only rivaled by two world heavy weight boxers standing off for a title fight.
Now the acid test.
What you will observe is what appears to be a sudden attack of rigor mortis. The helpless dog’s legs suddenly stick out at right angles to its body and he will play possum in a futile attempt to feign death. (Young Boxers are especially good at this). This action will be misinterpreted by the mother as a sign of cataclysmic orgasm, as a direct result of receiving the Brats undivided affection.
The second line of defence is the flattening of the ears. Oftentimes one will hear that when dogs pull back their ears, they are cowering, and this is a bad sign. Dogs that do this are not to be trusted. Ever wondered how your ears would react if they were given a hefty twist or had a half eaten ice cream plunged down into the depths of your inner hearing parts? This is out and out a defensive mechanism developed by dogs over eons of evolution. (The Daschund and Jack Russel breeds are masters of this form of defence.)
The third defence mechanism is the retraction of the tail, which usually occurs simultaneously with the flattening of the ears, and for similar reasons. Tails are handy things to pull. The shorter the tail the better the grip and therefore the deeper the tail will be drawn in between the hind legs. (Areas in which Dalmatians and Greyhounds excel)
All defence options are exhausted and the dog instinctively knows which way the whole scenario is going. The eyes open wide, and take on the thousand-yard stare, as displayed by veterans that have had one combat tour too many. The animal is reaching the point of sheer panic. At this point the owner of the animal becomes anxious; he knows that the ground rules are about to change. Enough is enough. However, common sense never prevails, and the little brat will continue with his unwanted and uncalled for affection, vocally supported by his socially challenged mother.
The next stage is the curling of the lips, exposing canines. This is when the defence and panic stages progress to the self-preservation stage. The supportive Matriarch, who’s intellect is challenged only by that of a multi-coloured garden gnome, falsely interprets this action as a sign of pleasure, as in a grin or a laugh. She continues to give Johnny vocal support, while looking around at all the guests to make sure that the significance of this moment is not lost. (Like someone nonchalantly looking around the pub after hitting 30 bonus games on a Limited Gambling Machine.)
At this point the dog has reached its limit of endurance, the point of no return is imminent. The poor owner has a dilemma, trying to find a balance between his social responsibility and his pets right to be protected against intruder domestic violence. A sudden urge arises to give the brat a backhand hard enough to swirl the snot around his head like a turbo charged hula-hoop.
At worst the owner brings the situation under control, at best, the little bastard gets a punctured, bloody nose. Nevertheless the loser in the fable is the terrible dog and the owner who has no control over his pet. The Brat progresses to other encounters with the same results.
Truth be told, it is not how man accepts animals, but how animals accept man that separates the quasi from the true animal lovers. This is a gift earned and not claimed.
" If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."
Mark Twain

Monday, 23 July 2007

Morbid Sunday

Its early Sunday morning. The weather forecast said sunrise at 07h23. Its closer to 08h00 and its dark, cold, misty and miserable. Normal for winter. But just different. There is absolutely no wind. A surrealistic picture of gloom and doom. No movement all. It feels as though Mother Nature has pressed a “pause” button. For some or other reason I am intensely aware of my surroundings, and I “see” mundane things that I pass everyday without notice.
It’s as though the filter between the part of my brain that generates thoughts and that part of the brain that processes them logically and rationally has been removed. The negative thoughts flood through my mind like water like escaping from a broken dam wall.
This trip is a daily routine. I have done it a thousand times. Most often I can’t even remember anything along the way. It’s a short trip, maybe 10 minutes the long way around.
I pass around the traffic circle on the main through road I see the black skid marks into the culvert stones and the broken glass with plastic trivia that one finds after a wreck. Someone came seriously short during the early hours this morning. The lime scattered around on the tar means someone was seriously injured and the blood on the tarmac has been covered with carelessly scattered lime. Some spots were missed in the dark and the uncovered signs of blood are testimony to someone’s trauma. I wonder if he is still alive, how serious it is if he is, does his family know, is he local and WHY?
I decide to fill up with gas that I don’t really need, and pass my turnoff and head into town. It’s so eerie I think I just want to experience more. I pass the Auto shop, and the wreck is there, abandoned just inside the front gate, for all and sundry to see. The car rolled in the process and it is obvious that it is a youngster’s car. Small, cheap and fast. Immediately my mind goes to alcohol.
The first signs of life. A young man standing under a hitch-hiking prohibited sign. That’s normal. These signs are usually placed in those areas where thumbing a lift is best. What’s not normal is he is heavily bandaged around the head. I break the Golden Rule and stop. A farm worker trying to get back home. I offer to take him to the gas station, he gets into the car and smells like a backed up toilet. Wine, smoke, antiseptic and shit. All these senses nauseate me. He was in a fight the previous evening and had been stabbed in the leg and zapped on the head with, you guessed right, a wine bottle. This guy and been treated and discharged. If it had been me I would most probably still be in intensive care. He is still drunk, and feels no pain. After giving him 14 bucks for a taxi, which is bullshit, taxis don’t run out here at this time, he’s off, threatening revenge on his attackers and girlfriend, in language one only hears on the streets.
The attendant at the gas station has just started his shift, I know him well. He is happy and upbeat, chirping me as usual but I don’t rise to the occasion. He leaves me alone.
Now I am in a bad mood, but misery creates misery, and I continue.
If the World had to be given an enema, it would be stuck into this part of the Earth.
A Police vehicle approaches from the front, crawling along. I know him, and give him the finger. “ Fuck you too” hangs in the mist behind me as I pass him. I owe him a beer sometime.
The Security guy at the factory gate gives a curt “good morning” and we go through the formalities. I wonder why he is so defensive, and then I see my grumpy face in the rear view mirror. Shit, I wouldn’t even greet myself.
The season is at its end. The last container to be loaded for Rotterdam leaves next
morning, and I check what has to be checked and re-check. Everything is perfect, the way it should be, but I find myself looking for mistakes.
Then the factory cat arrives. A stray cat that “adopted” me a couple of years ago. She’s dragging a back leg. I have a quick look, and Madam has been in a fight again. Clean puncture wound in a back leg that she has licked clean. I zap the area with an aerosol antiseptic, and she disappears as fast as she can on three legs, but only after giving me a look that could strip paint off a wall.
On the way home the sun breaks through, everything changes. At home I’m met by happy faces and I hear its my turn to make Sunday lunch. My mood lifts and I grin.
I’m back again.

Things you can do with a useless man



I dont believe there is anything like a useless man, but, this one is for those with a sense of humour.

Aurora: The Goddess of Dawn


Aurora had an insatiable craving for attractive young men. It would appear as though she upset the goddess Aphrodite, who laid a curse on her.
Aurora’s main function was to herald the Dawn. Each morning, just before the day break, she flew across the sky, from an Easterly direction, in her pink chariot drawn by two magnificent horses. She was fond of good looking young men and she abducted a number of them, amongst others, Orion. This upset some of the other Gods, who had him killed with a “gentle arrow”. She had a bunch of lovers and lots of sons. Four of her sons were the four winds, North, South, East and West.
Mythology has it that when one of her sons was killed, she cried as she flew across the sky, and this is why we have morning dew.
Her favourite man and official Hubby was Tithonos, a mortal. She begged Zeus to grant him immortality which he did. But she never asked for everlasting youth. So Tithonos could not die but grew older and older. He started to wither and shrivel up, and could not speak properly.
This was too much for Auroa to witness, so she turned him into a grasshopper.
(That’s enough mythology for a while)

Saturday, 21 July 2007

PAN : The God of Panic and Sexual Prowess.



Stories around Greek mythology fascinate me, especially the lesser-known characters.
Pan was an ugly bugger. Always pictured naked, he had the torso of a man and the hindquarters, horns and legs of a goat.
He had, as all the other Greek Gods, an abundant portfolio of magic things he was able to do. His primary function was watching over shepherds and their flocks. This extended to any groups of living things, like fish etc.
He was definitely a Casanova. He was in love with Echo, a nymph, but she rejected his advances, as she had no time for men. She was an excellent dancer and singer. Now, this pissed Pan off and he had her killed. She was then torn into tiny, tiny pieces and spread out all over the earth. She still repeats the last words of others, all over the world.
He also tried to charm another Nymph, Syrinx, but she had the sense to run away from him. But he caught up to her on the banks of a river, and she begged the water nymphs to save her. They did, and as Pan touched her, they turned her into river reeds. When the wind blew through the reeds it made a plaintive sound. Pan took some of these reeds, and made a flute. And that’s where one gets the term Pan Pipes.
He was known for his sexual abilities, and all drawings and statutes depict this quite graphically.
A haunter of caves and forests was also one of his specialties, especially at night. He would scare the shit out of humans. If you feel scared in the dark when you are alone outside, mythology has it that Pan is around.
The word Panic, is derived from his name.

Friday, 20 July 2007

7 Things about me......

I have to cut and paste the rules.
Here they are
Here are the rules:
List 8 facts/habits about yourself
Post the rules at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed
Tag 8 people and post their names, go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and ask them to read your blog.

This was initiated by http://incoherent-ish.blogspot.com

7 Thingies about me.
OK. This is difficult. Now I am not going to be intimidated by a list of numbers 1 to 7, or by tradition. See this rambling as a picture with 7 hidden objects that you have to find. Like those pretty books we had in Primary School.
My Father was English. Came out to the “Union of South Africa” many moons ago, when the Brits were still running the show out here. My Mother was of Dutch stock. 5TH generation to be precise. This union gave birth to a Liberal Conservative, (not an oxymoron where I come from), with a wicked sense of humor.
Virtually all South Africans are at least bi-lingual and many, many are multi-lingual. I can read, write and speak English and Afrikaans fluently, and can help myself in Spanish. Flemish I can read and listen to with no problems, but cannot write. Dutch I can read OK, but have to listen very carefully to understand, Dutch is often spoken very quickly, and I get lost. If I was alone on an Island with a German we would get by. (Per definition all Germanic languages)
Postgraduate qualifications in Economics, never finished my Masters due to a very dark period that lasted a couple of years and changed my life forever. (We are not talking drugs, alcohol, incarceration etc here, but that’s another story). I have never smoked pot or done the substance abuse thing. Some of my friends did for a while but it never appealed to me. That obviously excludes the consumption of fruits of the vine and malt products. Also qualified as an Accountant, Forester, Cobol programmer, Systems Analyst et al. (Can anybody remember Cobol?) plus a couple of other stuff I’m too lazy to remember.
Turned 17 during my last month at High School and passed all my exams, which amazed all my teachers and parents. Was too young to go to University and I wandered off and became a Forester. I really wanted to “go to sea”, but I was told to grow up and come back later. Thank heavens for that, I would have been a bad sailor.
Have traveled a bit, both local and international, more than most I am friends with, but much less than others I know. I believe I have been to 80% of all villages, towns and cities in this country. I am obsessed with South America; A magic place. The Apartheid years denied us the chance to travel.
Live in a Village in the country, about 100 miles from Cape Town. Population 17,000. Only one traffic light, and that got damaged during the last floods. Never been repaired, and most don’t even know its busted.
Have I done 7?
I have been told I am a lateral thinker, and one of the organizations I worked for spent lots and lots of money developing this “skill”, and I am still not sure what the big deal is.
Geez…., and as the saying goes “ That’s all folks!!”
Now to tag 7 others, will do that tomorrow

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Doing Justice to a Tag Thingy.

I really have to do justice to Trish’s Tag thingy. I want to, and I will.
Truth be told I have tried twice, and deleted both efforts as unfit for human consumption. I hate the word “Blog” and I really don’t know why. Maybe it reminds me of Bog. So how about Bogstipation for those times when nothing happens, even with all the will in the world. Osphere seems to be added onto the end of any word, so lets complete it as Bogstipationosphere or BSO. Now that is really crap. Is there a laxative for Mind block? Now that we are talking crap, why are farts an endless source of entertainment.? What makes a fart funny? There is a significant website devoted to the origin and protocol of farting. Is it true that if you withhold a fart that it goes up your spinal cord and into your brain, and this causes a crappy idea? Is it true that gum chewers fart more than non-gum chewers? I enjoy a good fart at an appropriate time, but why the obsession. Is this mankind’s final show of defiance towards the System?
The little gears in my head are not engaging or my mind clutch needs repairing.
Reminds me of Moses, every time I start writing Bull Rushes. Can one write on a computer? With a Koki on the screen? Surely one types on a computer. So I’m not writing an article, I’m typing an article. Which makes me think of the difference between an image and a photo. An ordinary camera can take a photo and an image; can a digital camera take a photo? I was taken to task by one of the “generation younger” who said nowadays one only speaks of “images”. Photo’s are stuff only old people can remember. Having said that, what is old? My definition is 10 years; if you are 10 years older than any time frame reference, you are old.
And, now that I am in Rambling mode, why don’t children, in general, read books anymore. Geez, the only books they seem to read come with crayons. They cannot spell. Oftentimes, nor can I, but an old fart is entitled to lapses, and, do not trust the Spelling option. The other day it changed “shepherd” to “Shepard” and I never checked the check.
I can assure you, if you have any doubts to my sanity after reading this, you can ask any of my Psychiatrists, they will all tell you I am OK.
Now....... I still have to do justice to Trish’s Tag thingy.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Zeus, The Unfaithful, and Argus, the All-Seeing


In my terms of reference, the word Argus triggers thoughts of a daily newspaper and something to do with the sea. While clicking my way through a search for something far removed, I tripped over an image of Argus, and true to form I clicked off at a tangent, and this is what I found.
Argus was a character in Greek mythology. His specialty talent was that he had a great multitude of eyes, 100 is the number most often quoted. He was known as “Argus All-Seeing”, for obvious reasons. Nothing could escape his vision.
Now the interesting part. Zeus, the main peanut in Greek Mythology, had an affair with lo. (Greek Gods are infamous for their affairs). The unfortunate part was that Zeus was husband to Goddess Hera. She surprised the couple one fine day while they were “consorting” and Zeus quickly changed Io into a cow. Hera was no fool and she thanked Zeus for the generous gift and took the cow home. All accounts are that Io was a very beautiful cow.
Hera then hired Argus to “keep an eye” on Io, and to let her know if Zeus happened to be around without her knowing. This was an easy task for Argus, as he could sleep with a some eyes open and some eyes closed. Zeus, however, wanted Io back. So what he did was to commission Hermes, the God of Thieves, to steal her back. (When in need, use a professional.)

Argus was bored with his task, and Hermes, disguised as a Shepard, charmed him to sleep with music from a flute of reeds, made by Pan. Argus was then killed by Hermes, either by beheading or stoning or both, there are different versions. Anyhow, Io was returned to Zeus by Hermes.
Hera, in honor of Argus, transplanted his eyes onto the feathers of a peacock, her favorite bird.
The peacock feather had an evil eye at the end, and that is why it is considered bad luck to have a peacock feather indoors.
Now….back to clicking ,must finish what I started doing.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Merlin...The Fatherless Magician

I was doing an article on the origin and protocol of toasting, and rambled away with this bit on Merlin the magician, which I found interesting.(Absolutely nothing to do with "toasting", but running off at a tangent is what I specialise in)

The Romans carried this ritual (drinking wine) over to Britain, and was introduced to “the people wearing skins, painted all over in blue and with hair covering the upper lip” (Julius Caesar). The first recorded toast in Britain was round about 450AD. The British King Vortigen had a party the day before he was to be married to the daughter of a Saxon leader. During the party she raised her drinking vessel and proclaimed, “ Lord King, be of health” to which he replied “ Drink to health”. The two were duly married and lived unhappily for a short period thereafter.
To ramble, during King Vortigen’s reign a tower was built but kept on collapsing each night. Vortigen’s 12 Wise Men decided that there were evil spirits in the building and a young man with no father had to be sacrificed to drive out the evil Spirits. None other than young Merlin, the Wizard, was chosen to be sacrificed. Mythology states that Merlin’s father was the Devil, so he was the perfect choice. Merlin was not all that happy, and after having a look at the building he pronounced the Kings wise men idiots, as there was a pool under the foundation of the building that was causing the continual subsidence. This proved to be true, and on opening, two Dragons emerged, one white and one red. The dragons had a long drawn out battle, the white signifying the Anglos and the Saxons, the red the Welsh. The red dragon won, and that is why a red dragon is the Welsh national emblem.
True? I do not know……

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Friday, 13 July 2007

Things Ladies like to see..........


All men do this, all the time

Men in the kitchen.....


This one is for
http://incoherent-ish.blogspot.com
http://carolsplaceforpeace.blogspot.com
http://totally-pissed-off.blogspot.com
These ladies, for some unknown reason, do not believe that this is reality. Even made references to me being from another planet, as if I thought something like this could be not be true.
This is the proof, and he is good looking as well.
No naked chef here.
( Eish....I'm enjoying this )

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Valley of Wine and Roses....Breede River Valley

The Village I live in, summer

The Valley, Winter

Images from http://www.tourismcapewinelands.co.za

The Vuvuzelu and 2010 Soccer World Cup



After listening to a programme on Flemish radio about South Africa hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup, my thoughts went to the Vuvuzelu. This is a horn made from plastic and is a “soccer sports horn”.
Pronounced “ VooVoooZeLooo ( Hard Z as in Zap, not a “soft” zeee)
Debatably the most offensive sound made by an instrument. Sounds like a fog horn. And you need serious lung and lip power to get this thing to work. From what I can find out the name originates from the Zulu word for making a noise. Historically a Kudu horn was used to call villagers to a meeting.
(By the way, the Kudu gets its name from its massive thing-a-lings. When it lands after jumping a fence they go… Kuu-DU…Kuu-DU.)
The horn is painted in the colours of team you support.
Anyhow, another interesting bit is that it was believed that a baboon was killed by lots of noise. During a soccer game, especially the last quarter, horns are sounded furiously to “kill” the opposition.
I have this surrealistic vision of 30,000 Vuvuzelus doing their thing at once. That scares me. What I heard was that the Flemish estimate 400,000 overseas soccer fans coming to South Africa. That is the first time I have seen or heard a number about how many visitors can be expected. But that’s another story.
On Wikipedia, where I got this “information” , (excluding the thing-a-ling, thing, which is a figment of my imagination) reference is also made to the possible banning of the “instrument” due to its disruptive nature. That I want to see.

Monday, 09 July 2007

7 New Wonders of the World

The 7 New Wonders of the World have been chosen. They are:-

The Great Wall of China
Petra, Jordan
Christ Redeemer, Brazil
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá, Mexico
The Roman Colosseum Rome, Italy
The Taj Mahal, India

1,000 hits.....What now.........?

Today is Monday. One of those Monday’s. Sometime over the weekend the counter hit 1,000. Now what? 1,000 hits in 7 weeks. Is that good or bad? More important, is it relevant? As soon as one begins to compare one gets losers and winners.
I’ve been doing this ( I don’t like the word “blogging”, leave out the “l” and we have a bad typo) for 2 months now. Truth be told, I am still not sure how everything works. Specifically on layouts and settings. But that will come with time. I have a low patience threshold with this kind of stuff.
What does concern me a bit is the change in focus. The original idea was to have a place where one could put short story stuff out, and get some form of unbiased feedback that appealed to me. Original stuff. However this did not materialize. It has become a Licorice Allsorts site.
I was denied registration at a Humor Site as it was not considered appropriate for classification as Humor. That was a laugh on its own.
I have lost my desire to increase traffic, don’t have ad’s or anything like that to worry about. Anyhow “chasing” hits has never really appealed to me.
There are mediocre sites (my biased opinion) getting 1,000 hits per day, and brilliant sites getting 10. It's all in the mind. Are sites and going too far to the "commercial" side?
I believe this site has reached “ critical mass”, this is it.
Now I will do what I want to do…..

Friday, 06 July 2007

A country where toilet paper is worth more than money..

An e-mail I received this morning:




Inflation is something like 4,000%

Things ladies like to hear #2



This I have never done. Going to try it tomorrow morning and see what reaction I get........
I tried it, all I got was a blank stare and "Have you taken you pills this morning?"

Monday, 02 July 2007

Have you ever wondered why South America was influenced by the Spanish and Africa by the Portuguese?


Have you ever wondered why South America was influenced by the Spanish and Africa by the Portuguese?
The whole exploration thing was driven by a desire to move spices from the East to modern day Western Europe. The Italians, who had a land route, monopolized the trade during the 1400’s. They were not interested in finding a sea route. Things were working well for them. The Brits were in the middle of an extended war with France and both countries had all their resources committed to this senseless activity. Germany was a collection of small feudal states, rattling shields and shaking spears at each other. The Dutch were also busy elsewhere else. The Scandinavians had no desire to get involved, anyhow, they had been in North America for a couple of hundred years already, and knew there were no spices there.
So, that left the Spanish and the Portuguese.
The Portuguese were happy concentrating their efforts sailing their way down the East coast of Africa. Then Columbus decided there was a way West to the East. And off he went, financed by the Spanish. No problem. Then the Portuguese found Brazil, rumour has it, by mistake, after a fleet was blown off-course by a fierce storm. A conflict of interests arose, as the Spanish were also in the neighbourhood.
So the two countries went off to the Pope for a ruling. This resulted in the Treaty of Tordesillas, which set a “Papal Line” at approx 40 degrees West of the Cape Verde islands, (1,550 kilometres). This was a line of longitude which stated that any lands to the West would be Spanish, and to the East Portuguese.
Now you know.