Friday, 17 November 2017

THE NICEST PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN' - PART 3

I've decided to revive the Post Series 'THE NICEST PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN' because, well because I can and I have time on my hands since I can't go out to play as I have a sore leg.

That saying 'time on my hands is interesting'.

To have "time on your hands" is an idiom that means simply you have time in which to do anything you like. Time, of course, cannot be held in the hands, so the word hands is a metaphor which means to have, or to possess. An equivalent expression would be. "I have plenty of free time."  - from Stack Exchange.com

I think THE MUNDANE CURMUDGEON could investigate and elaborate on that for your edification.

Anyway, I wrote this post back in February and it looked promising as I've met a lot of nice people but it attracted a lot of negative comments - many of them from me- see here:



Which resulted in Part 2 being cancelled. See here:





I think the concept is worthwhile but I'll keep away from religious people this time.

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THE NICEST PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN' - PART 3

When we moved to Christchurch in 1995 (as part of my work) we didn't know anyone. I have relatives in the South Island but they were in South Canterbury and Marlborough, not Christchurch. We lived briefly in Merivale in an old brick villa we rented for a couple of months I think. I remember the first weekend there we experienced a fairly severe earthquake. The walls were moving and we thought the roof would fall in on us. This was a bit of a surprise to us as we were unaware that Christchurch was an active earthquake zone - we certainly had that notion destroyed 16 years later.

One Friday evening when I was waiting for my fish and chips at the local chippie I spied an ideal property to buy in the real estate window next door. As we were going to Blenheim the next morning I rang the real estate agent that night and said we were interested. The property was ideal, we viewed the next week, put an offer in and bought and moved in a few weeks later. It was a great property next to Riccarton race course , was a 1930's 2-storey bungalow and had nearly an acre of established gardens, lawns and trees. We enjoyed our ownership of this and kept it even after we returned to Auckland in 2000, only selling it in 2005.

Working in Christchurch was very enjoyable and I discovered that most people didn't work weekends as I'd become used to in Auckland where everyone I knew seemed to duck into work on a Saturday or Sunday to 'catch up' on things. In Christchurch weekend sports, gardening and relaxing was sacred (oops - a religious expression).
I learned the pleasure of mowing lawns, trimming trees, cutting firewood and generally enjoying the property. The Old Girl set up many different gardens at various points. We had a long meandering driveway, a fishpond, council-registered protected trees, an unusual South American plant that flowered once every two years and to which the Christchurch horticultural society members would come to visit, and, as mentioned we had garden 'islands' scattered about.





Not long after we'd moved in there was a knock on the door and an elderly chap introduced himself as our neighbour Wes. He was in his 80s but was still fit and active and was looking for things to do. He and his wife Mary kept a magnificent garden in their property next door but he was well on top of that. He pointed out a large uncultivated area next to our garages and asked if I minded if he put a vegetable garden in. As I'm not much of a gardner and had no thoughts of using that patch I told him sure, go for it. I assumed that Wes was looking to have a vegetable garden for himself.

During the week while we were at work Wes would toil away, digging, fertilising, seeding and cultivating this garden. It was a show piece with all sorts of seasonal vegetables growing nicely.
One day he brought us some cauliflower or other winter vegetable and I thanked him. He explained that he'd staggered the planting of all the varieties so that we could pick and use when they were ready. At that point the penny dropped - he'd put the vegetable garden in for us. I told him that he should use as much as he wanted but he laughed and took me to his property and showed me his own vegetable garden behind the house that I hadn't seen before even though we'd visited for afternoon or morning tea several times.

Wes and his wife Mary were great neighbours. They were quiet, friendly and helpful. Sadly Wes, for all his fitness was diagnosed with a nasty form of cancer in 1999 and died very quickly. Mary, who was only a few years younger than Wes was still living in their house when we left but has most likely passed on by now.

In this Post I make a mention of Wes and Mary and their Saturday night ritual of listening to music and dancing - the only times that we heard any noise from their property.



Wes and Mary, you are both living in our memories.

NEW POST - THE FOOD CURMUDGEON





Thursday, 16 November 2017

NEW POST - THE WINE GUY

THE WINE GUY was listening to the All Whites vs Peru game and opened a new wine to hopefully celebrate but then to commiserate.

See here:



HE P(ARSED)



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Richard rang today to say that he passed his colonoscopy with flying colours.
Well, I hate to think what colours he's talking of and the fact that they were flying about..


He had good news to report  which I'm relieved about and can now safely make some jokes about his little experience.

I note that he's using puns in his blog titles now. I should remind him that CURMUDGEONS INCⓒ have prior usage to this device but, as he's been through a traumatic experience we'll let this indiscretion go. This time.

It was worrying that his medical probers providers didn't seem to give him enough sedation for the procedure. This could be due to one of two things:


  1. If he wasn't going privately via a medical insurance company the government had told them to cut costs and just pretend to give him something like jelly beans and tell him he was sedated or,
  2. Having taken a look at him they decided that he would probably like the procedure without sedation.
In Richard's post he ended with a nice image of the medical team. Nice, but probably a bit stylised.
See here:



I suspect that his medical team looked more like this:



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Seriously though, good news and I hope that you and Shelley are enjoying a nice glass of wine.


THE CURMUDGEON EXPRESS - NEW POST







THE MUNDANE CURMUDGEON - NEW POST

THE MUNDANE CURMUDGEON has a new post for your interest edification for you to read.

See here:

GARDENING, HOUSEWORK AND FEEDING THE CAT



HIPPITY HOPPITY

I went to the emergency doctors first thing this morning.
I took a heap of reading material in case there was a long wait but I'm pleased to say that I was seen quite quickly. This was White Cross in Whangarei and the service was excellent.



As usual with getting older the doctor looked to be about 13 but she was capable and carefully looked over my multiple injury points - foot, ankle and knee. There were no obvious breaks although there is likelihood of bone chips in my ankle. Sprains were diagnosed with the proviso that if the swelling and pain continues for more than a few days then I'll have to get x-rays. I've got compression bandages from knee to toes so look like a partial mummy at the moment.



The pain isn't as bad as it was yesterday but they've given me more Naproxen to take.
Getting around is still a bit of a pain but The Old Girl is going to bring up the crutches tomorrow which will help.

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Oh, by the way. I've had to cancel my Thursday tennis today. Bummer.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

GOLF IS DANGEROUS

I played golf this afternoon - or, part of the afternoon.
All was going well. I played a few holes and fossicked in the creeks and grass and found 8 golf balls. Good ones.

On the 9th hole I hit the best tee shot I've ever hit on that hole. It was dead straight and went a long way to the green on this challenging par 4.
I crossed the bridge dragging my trundler behind me and looking at the creek I thought:
"OK, just a quick look I've got time, there's no-one behind me"
I started to climb down the bank to the creek and my right foot went through grass to - nothing. I started to overbalance and put my left foot down hard but as my right foot had stretched out below I toppled and started to go down. Pain shot up my left leg from 3 sources - toes, ankle and knee.
I lay down in the grass for a while trying to establish what injury I'd done. My toes were painful as they had bent backwards and I felt like I'd sprained at least the big toe. My ankle was very painful and I assumed that I'd sprained it and hoped that I hadn't broken it. My knee was painful and I assumed that I'd twisted it.

After a while I dragged myself up the bank and leaned on my golf cart while testing my leg for strain and pain points. I couldn't put much weight on the foot and so had to use a golf umbrella as a kind of crutch to make my way to the clubhouse and carpark. Luckily I was on the 9th fairway which is next to the clubhouse and not on the 13th which is the furthest away and which I'd been on about twenty minutes earlier. As it was the 200 metre walk, hobbling and dragging the trundler took me about half an hour. I had to abandon the excellent tee shot as I couldn't complete the hole (I retrieved the golf ball though - the little detour took another 5 minutes).

The golf course was deserted and the clubhouse was shut so there was no-one to assist me.
Fortunately the little car I have is an automatic so I was able to drive home. I've soaked in the bath for a while watching the swellings come up. Big toe yes definitely sprained. Ankle is swollen but I don't think damaged. The knee is badly swollen and is very painful. I can't put any weight on it at all.

The Old Girl is in Auckland and this weekend will bring the crutches she has for recovery after her hip operation. I wish I had them with me now. I've tried to manufacture some from brooms but they slip on the floor and I don't want to do any further damage. I've worked out that sitting on a computer chair that has wheels I can manoeuvre my way around the house which is helpful. I've taken a Naproxen tablet, one of the powerful nasties I had for Shingles last Christmas. Hopefully this will start to reduce the pain and swelling.

I've decided that if there's no improvement by the morning I'll go to the emergency doctors. I guess I won't be playing my usual Thursday tennis tomorrow.

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When I was talking to The Old Girl on the phone and told her what I'd done she immediately asked if I did it when looking for golf balls. I had to confess yes and she gave me a telling off. I have several hundred golf balls now and it annoys hell out of her when I bring more home.



NEW POST - THE FOOD CURMUDGEON

Yes, an exciting new Post from THE FOOD CURMUDGEON





Thanks to reader Richard of RBB for requesting this.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

FOR RICHARD

Hi Richard.

I'm a big wimp when it comes to medical procedures and Lynn reckons that I'm a hypochondriac.

I'm the sort of person who hates being touched (except by women obviously), hates being stuck in a dentist chair and even hates getting a haircut with a barber fiddling with your head. It's invasive.

So, when the prospect of a colonoscopy came up in 2007 I wasn't best pleased. I'd had some severe lower stomach pains and my excellent GP (preceded first by my brilliant sister who is also a great diagnostician) said I was likely to have diverticulitis (polyps in the main bowel) and needed a colonoscopy to check things out.

At this time, in 2007 I'd never had that old finger-up-the-bum-to check-prostate and certainly no-one had done anything else to my rear end so wasn't looking forward to this. So - I had the procedure, it went OK with no major scares and conformation of diverticulitis (I just have to be careful what I eat, no tomato skins for example). All good. I had prescriptions for antibiotics so that if I experienced lower left gut pains I knew that I had an inflamed polyp usually from eating tomato with skin on and could self medicate.

When in Canada I had a flare up (an Italian restaurant's tomato sauce) and went to the medical centre for some antibiotics. I explained what the problem was and knew what I needed. The docs there though weren't about to just accept my explanation. Canada has a brilliant free medical system and they sent me off for a colonoscopy just over a week later - unheard of in NZ and impossible in UK and USA. All OK just confirmation of diverticulitis.

Back in NZ a couple of years ago I did that free bowel cancer screen test (as advised by our doctor) and something abnormal came up (see link). Off I was sent for a colonoscopy (the third) and used Southern Cross insurance to get it over with quickly. The result was again confirmation of  diverticulitis with no other worrying results but, as my doctor said, it's good at our ages to have the check.

Sorry about the ramble but I discovered that, apart from a bit of initial embarrassment, it's an easy procedure and 'another day at the office' for the medical staff. The specialist doctor is earning so much money per procedure that he's not worried and the drugs they give you make it all worthwhile anyway.

Just make sure that someone drives you home afterwards (you'll still be flying). I trust it will all go OK and that there will be no problems.

re my last colonoscopy see here:

GETTING REAMED UP THE ARSE

ORDINARY NEWS






Not good news. Not bad news. Not even fake news. Just ordinary news where once proud and professional news services that made an effort to promulgate quality offerings now just quickly churn out any sort of shit.

I've always had a high regard for the famous news services like BBC, NYT, CBS, Washington Post, Guardian, The Times etc and proud of the fact that New Zealand's National Programme (Morning Report, Midday Report and Checkpoint along with the hourly news bulletins) have set and adhered to high standards. Commercial radio, television and most newspapers have long since given up this ideal and have gone for the lowest common denominator that brings in revenue.

Reliable and responsible news services have been under threat for some years now with the growth of social media platforms and the decline of many forms of traditional news services.


They have been losing some of their listeners, viewers and readers and not attracting enough new customers to compensate. As a result recruitment and maintenance of well-trained news professionals must be a problem. It's strange to think of it now but once being a newsperson was once seen as a kind of vocation.



Stories in the top media were properly researched and vetted before publication and, depending on the political leanings of the particular medium the stories would match the editorial policy. This seems to have disappeared with now the main driver being speed of issue which precludes checking and editing along with sensationalism.



Nowadays I'm pissed off at the way news has slipped in regards to quality production to the point where I don't buy newspapers anymore, never watch TV news and am very circumspect in regard to internet news. My good old standby has been National Radio so yesterday I was disappointed at a news report on the 6PM news following Checkpoint. The story was on the robbery of a Manurewa dairy where the owner has been robbed so many times that he wants to sell up and move away. The reporter, some young guy was interviewing local youth. This dairy was most recently robbed - read violently attacked with one of the cunts culprits jumping over the counter and stealing the cash register while police were just down the road. This jerk of a reporter said to the youths:

"Those guys must have been brave doing that with the cops so close"

What the fuck!

Brave?

What was this fucking idiot thinking. You do not use language like that that can create heroes out of scrotes.

Worse still, it was allowed to go to air so the vetting process is stuffed. Years ago (in my time young fella) this wouldn't have happened. One of the excellent Radio NZ producers or sub-editors would have picked it up and deleted it (and hopefully kicked the naive reporter up the arse - sorry Richard).

I was so incensed that I sent a text to RNZ complaining about it - oh the joys (sometimes) of social media.






BREAKING NEWS

CURMUDGEONS INCⓒ trialled a new type of Post using The CURMUDGEON EXPRESS this morning (thanks CURMUDGEON EXPRESS).



Feedback has been tremendous with 100% approval from readers (thank you Richard of Richard's Bass Bag). This approval has encouraged us to invite a new grumpy old guy into the fold. Welcome THE MUNDANE CURMUDGEON



This new blog is designed for the more sedentary reader who gets a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of CURMUDGEONS INCⓒ's other blogs that have political, social, musical, artistic and gastronomical themes. THE MUNDANE CURMUDGEON is guaranteed not to stimulate the senses in any way and will gently lull you back to the oblivion you desire without having to tackle the minefields that make up trying to navigate through some blogs from the Hutt Valley where you used to seek oblivion.

CURMUDGEON EXPRESS - NEW POST



Friday, 10 November 2017

PARTY PHOTOS - NEW BLOG LAUNCH

Well it's been a grea..hic...party at THE FOOD CURMUDGEON's place  after the launch of his new blog at the rista rost cafe. Bloody great. Bloody great. Lots chardonnery and bubbly bubbles and things. Bloody great.

Here's some pics of how it all went.


Started off well - everyone having fun
Heff couldn't make it but sent some of his girls.
These ones

Some of them had too much chardonnay
The Curmudgeon Express and The music Curmudgeon got into it

The Cultured Curmudgeon seemed to enjoy himself

Some guests decided to spend the night
Hopefully everyone will be talking about our launch bash as well.




WELCOME TO A NEW BLOG MEMBER




THE FOOD CURMUDGEON blog has just been launched at a media presentation (invitation only). Thanks to THE WINE GUY for arranging the excellent wines.
I just dashed out to send this announcement but will get back to the party function as soon as I can. No doubt it will go on to late in the evening.


THE FOOD CURMUDGEON will be incorporated into CURMUDGEONS INCⓒ as soon as possible, probably after the weekend as the writer has to travel to Auckland tomorrow.

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CURMUDGEONS INCⓒ bringing you, our valuable readers the best in the news that is important to you. No other incorporated blog service does it better.

STOP PRESS

A couple of minutes ago the white loaf I'm baking was ready.

Here it is.


Just out of the bread maker. Warm and smelling delicious.

OUR DAILY BREAD*



* No Robert, this isn't a religious post. My apologies to you and the holy seagull.

I've got a Breville breadmaker which I use about 3 times a week.



It's about the best kitchen appliance we own and gets lots of use.
I used to use the Edmonds bread mix packs which are very good.


I mostly made bread from the mixed grain but occasionally used the white bread mix for a change.
I've never had a problem with these but felt that I needed a change.

I discovered the Bin Inn bread mixes recently.





These are really good and with a bit of experimentation I'm making some great bread.



Bin Inn have a Pumpernickel mix which I've made a couple of loaves from. This darker, slightly sweet and heavy rye bread is perfect for having with soups and stews and just right toasted for breakfast with stewed tomatoes. Yummy. 
Apparently the name means 'Farting Devil' which is amusing.





I also buy Bin Inn's wholemeal mix which I supplement with extra nuts and grains to bulk it up and make more interesting. The result is superb and perfect for toast and poached egg.



As I said, every now and then I make a good old white bread loaf. I use Edmonds mix for this but add a couple of tablespoons of milk and make it on the 'French Bread' setting on the machine. The result is lovely. Soft white centre with crunchy crust. Sometimes I add raisins, currents and peel for a fruity loaf.




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NOTE: Depending on the acceptance and popularity of this post I might create a FOOD CURMUDGEON blog to keep all you readers informed. Watch this space.



Thursday, 9 November 2017

I NEED MY SEMI AUTOMATIC FOR HUNTING - YEAH RIGHT.





"HANDS UP BAMBI"



"In the wake of the Texas church massacre, new information shows there are more than 13,000 military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) weapons in this countryInformation released to RNZ under the Official Information Act shows the weapons make up nearly a quarter of all restricted firearms in this countryPolice said owners were vetted before they were allowed such weapons, and faced tougher security requirements than for a standard gun licence.Police said this system dealt with any potential risks.National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies director Kevin Clements said 13,000 was far too many."Most of those weapons are absolutely no use whatsoever for either hunting purposes or farming purposes."They are, as their name indicates, assault weapons and developed primarily for military use."Professor Clements said the 13,000 weapons were just the ones registered with police and the actual number could be higher still."You just need one individual, as in Aramoana, or one individual, as in Texas, who suddenly has a psychiatric break, or very malign purposes with access to such weapons, and then they can create mayhem."Then people will say, 'well how did he have access to such weapons?'."Well they had access to such weapons, because many of them are not under very strict control."Professor Clements said there should be an amnesty similar to one in Australia following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996."I think the more that can be taken out of circulation the better."Council of Licensed Firearm Owners spokesperson Nicole McKee said there were valid uses for the guns - such as hunting rabbits and culling goats."We also have legitimate sporting use for them as well."We have clubs ... such as [the] New Zealand Service Rifle Association, which use these types of firearm both nationally and internationally."Mrs McKee said the number of military-style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand was low given there were about 1,200,000 guns in the country.There were strict processes in place to ensure the guns remained in safe hands, she said."The owner is checked on by police roughly every 12 months to make sure those particular firearms are still in their possession, so all those firearms are registered."Police Association vice-president Craig Tickelpenny said MSSA guns were not the main problem."They're actually following the regulation and rules with the firearms licence system."The bigger issue really is unlicensed firearms, or the firearms being stolen out in the community," he said.Mr Tickelpenny said registering firearms was the best protection against theft."

- Charlie Dreaver Radio New Zealand Report 8 November 2017

This concerns me. 
Professor Kevin Clements rightly raises the question as to why there are so many of these weapons that are "are absolutely no use whatsoever for either hunting purposes or farming purposes." and points out that the 13,000 military-style semi-automatic weapons were just the ones registered with the police. Under the current stupid regulations the numbers could be higher.




The Council of Licensed Firearm Owners Annie Oakley Nicole McKee had the absolute gall to say that military-style semi automatic assault weapons can validly be used to hunt rabbits and goats! Silly bitch. She also went on to say that there is legitimate use for them in sporting clubs. Fuck! The last I heard, at the Olympics competitors fire single shots at  targets. They don't blast away with sub fucking machine guns.


Competitor: "Hey Umpire, did I hit the target?"
Umpire: "What fucking target? it's been obliterated"


Lastly the Police Association vice-president said that the registered semi-automatic military style murder tools aren't the problem. He said and I quote: "The bigger issue really is unlicensed firearms, or the firearms being stolen out in the community,Can you spot the flaw in this argument? The police think the problem is in unlicensed firearms. Unlicensed firearms are stolen from the community where licensed firearms are legal. Duh!

In New Zealand we have about 1.2 million supposedly legal guns and god knows how many illegal ones. That's a lot but, in world terms a pittance. We in New Zealand have an opportunity to lead the world, as we have in the past with social, educational, health and ethical legislation, to radically change our gun ownership laws and get rid of the things. 

Professor Clements in the article above said there should be an amnesty similar to one in Australia following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996."I think the more that can be taken out of circulation the better."

I totally agree with him.

THE NICEST PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN' - PART 3

I've decided to revive the Post Series 'THE NICEST PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN' because, well because I can and I have time on my hand...