Saturday, 27 December 2008

THEY SHOULD SHOOT JETSKIERS SHOULDN'T THEY?




Richard fairly ranted against cyclists in his Blog. They can be a nuisance but a bicycle is a legitimate form of transport. Jetskis however are a complete waste of space driven by sales manager types who are wannabe bikies but lack the gumption to buy a Harley. These arseholes transport their expensive hunk of junk to peaceful and pristine water environments and then race up and down spewing out fumes and noise being totally oblivious to everyything and everyone around them.


I live in Point Chevalier in Auckland, close to the water where there is a marine reserve. The water is safe for swimming and there are marker buoys controlling boating and the speed that boats are able to travel at. The boaties comply with the rules. It seems however, certainly in the minds of these cretins, that the rules don't apply to jetskiers. I have seen them race into shore at maximum speed thinking it funny to make a big splash. I have seen them race past swimmers, narrowly missing them. I have seen them travelling too close and too fast to kids in kayaks and trailer- sailers. I have, on more than one occasion gone out and remonstrated with them, ending up in abusive slanging matches. Its a funny thing when morons are confronted and know that they are in the wrong - they don't apologise, they just get very defensive.


The thing about jetskis is, is that they serve no proper purpose. Sure, the bimbos in Baywatch used them, but probably to show off their assets better. Real surf lifesavers use rubber dinghies and surf skis (non motorised). Jetskis are used in our lakes, rivers and close in-shore at our swimming beaches and marine reserves - usually in idyllic settings. They are not unfortunately used in Cook Strait or the open seas because they are unstable and practically useless as marine transport. There seems to be an inverse correlation between the environment and the noise the machines make with the morons driving them delighting best in revving up in the most peaceful of settings.


A couple of years ago , not far from where I live, across the harbour a jetski ran over and killed someone in the water. It was another jetskiier who had fallen off his machine. Divine justice?

Monday, 15 December 2008

BUSH GIVEN THE BOOT


George Bush was shoed out of a press conference in Iraq. Bush joked about it (as we all would) but there is cultural significance in the act of throwing shoes at someone which Bush does know (In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. When U.S. Marines toppled Saddam Hussein's statue on Firdos Square in 2003, the assembled crowd whacked it with their shoes.)
What if the journalist threw a bomb, a knife, a double bass? OK, I assume that all the journalists were searched or screened before they came into the press conference but, given the significance, why didn't the authorities confiscate their shoes then?
Obviously it was a slipper-up.

P.S. Well done Muntadar al-Zeidi — I hope you are OK. I salute your bravery.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

PARALLEL MEMORIES


I've just been listening to Van Morrison's Astral Weeks album (The Old Girl is out so I can listen to my '70's music' in peace). How evocative music can be, bringing up old memories set in place and time kind of like Proust's madeleine experience. Astral Weeks was recorded in 1968 when 'Tantum Gloria' was the latest hit in my world, so I missed it first time around. I 'discovered' Van's Astral Weeks and other music of his in my first year of university. Tony used to refer to him as the 'Irish Slug' (unfairly) and I'm sure that Richard was too fixated on Penderewski to have even been aware of Irish music let alone Van! Anyway, whilst listening I was putting people and situations in place around the times that I listened to Astral Weeks and Van Morrison's other '70's' music. The things I remember are obviously important to me as they have in some way shaped me. The things that friends remember may well be quite different as their influences vary.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Monday, 24 November 2008

GETTING READY


"Still, I'd like to know why he made women so complicated." said Richard in a coment in a previous post.

I'm sure all men ask themselves this frequently.

Women are mysterious and do things in ways that men find confusing and complicated.

One of the many differences between men and women is in the 'getting ready' to go out.

After the showers and dressing men are usually the first to be ready and, anxiously looking at watches and out windows for taxis, when they ask the question "are you ready yet", the "just a minute" answer is always forthcoming.

Finally the woman will emerge from the bathroom and state that she is ready. It is only then that she will look for the jewellery to match the outfit. This last minute addition can take at least 5 minutes often more. It is not a simple case of grabbing an earring or two and a bracelet as a man would do but involves trying on numerous combinations, often involving reconsideration of clothing choices. Why can't women have the earrings already matched up with the necklaces and other junk so that its just a matter of grabbing the set and going. When I suggested this to the Old Girl I received that "poor man he just doesn't understand" look.

RENEWAL







The picture I posted earlier of Richard holding a baby makes me think of the magic of life in the constant refreshing that happens. New life replaces the old and, whilst doing so can rejuvenate the ageing.



Writing that I think about Lynn's Godson who visits us a lot. He is a two year old with a lovely nature and the ability to light up a room. He is not the sort of kid that creates tension amongst oldies as he is well behaved and never seems likely to smash something - he invariably asks if he can touch something or pick it up.



We have had losses recently and the presence of the Godson is like a catharsis.



I wish everyone could feel like that in the presence of little children but recent news events have shown that not to be true. Poverty of spirit is infinitely worse than material poverty.

Friday, 21 November 2008

DARWINS THEORY


Here's a close to home picture for Robert.

Maybe he should reconsider his belief in Creationism and have another look at Evolution.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

I DON'T BELIEVE IT!


After watching 'One Foot In The Grave' tonight on UKTV I channel surfed and found on TV2 a programme named SCU (Serious Crash Unit).

Having missed the beginning I was confronted immediately with police officers investigating a death by accident where a pedestrian was run over. This is at 7.30PM on mainstream TV. The investigators were looking at marks on the road and concluding that the stains etc. were where the woman basically melted into the tarmac after being dragged 12 metres under the car that ran her over. Almost gleefully the investigators pointed out highlights saying at one stage "Oh, her head must have hit here".

I am not familiar with this programme and initially thought it was a spoof programme like Little Britain etc. After watching 'One Foot In The Grave' I was conditioned to the bizarre take on life that that comedy has - I was unprepared for this as real life in a kind of documentary. The problem is this 'documentary' is just tasteless, sensationalist crap at the lowest level. Have we really sunk this low in Reality TV?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

BACK IN BUSINESS


The Old Girl suggested that I do something to earn money again.

I gave up my full-time job (again) on Friday 31 October. Her suggestion came on Saturday 1st November having given me almost a day of holiday. She went shopping and came home with the idea of a local business to buy. We looked it up on Trade Me and rang about it to discover that it was the wrong one, this one in another suburb. Over the last two weeks I have researched the businesses and decided to buy both of them and combine them (after all Robert has two sheds). I bought both today. Now I have to learn the Trade. I could do with Robert's handyman skills (and his sheds). I'd ask Richard for advice but that shelf he made looks a bit dodgy.

Oh - The businesses are Picture Framing.

Friday, 14 November 2008

DANCING WITH THE DEVIL


More than 80% of Maori live in urban areas. Most are in the main metropolitan centres with a quarter living in Auckland alone. This was not always the case obviously. In the late 1930's over 80% of Maori were living in rural areas. During the Second World War, however, young Maori were ‘manpowered’ into industries to support the war effort beginning the urban drift.

Initially, the change brought greater education, prosperity and acceptance for most with the governments of the day encouraging the move and assisting with jobs and accommodation. Over time however when the industries closed down and the state accommodation fell into disrepair the advancements have not seemed so attractive. Maori it seems, have wanted a change.

Settlement of large land claims has brought new wealth to some Maori Iwi and the urbanisation has become corporatisation. This I believe is one of the driving forces behind the new Maori political leaders. It explains the movement away from the traditional Labour support that attracted Maori voters and why they now seem so intent on getting into bed with National. Sure they will chase down promises of Maori Seat retention, seabed and foreshore legislation review amongst others that Shonkey will be more than happy at this stage to pay lip-service to. But it is most important to remember the roots that are more akin to Labour than National. In fact, apart from what the Maori leadership says, only 2.2% of votes went to the Maori Party and surveys have suggested that more Maori voted Labour than National in the general seats. OK, dance with National if you want but watch your toes!



Monday, 10 November 2008

POP, POP MUSIC


The fabricated pop music of the late 80's and 90's that gave us boy bands and girl bands with the nadirs of Milli Vanilli and Spice Girls, is, in the world of politics alive and well having given us John Keys.

Who is the Frank Farian or Simon Fuller who invented this latest National leader clone? Whoever it is is obviously brilliant or very very lucky. Whoever would have thought that a prissy financial trader who can't even properly pronounce the name of the country that he has been elected to represent has now became New Zealand's (yes John with a 'Z') latest Prime Minister.

John Key appeared on the scene in 2001 at the time of another fabrication - the creation of the new Hellensville electorate. In 2004, Key was promoted to the Opposition front benches by Don Brash (remember him?) and made the party spokesman for finance. Two years later after Brash's ignominious departure Key took over as leader of the opposition - master plan or luck - you choose.

Are we at the mercy of a clever svengali? Whatever. I certainly don't like the music that's being made.

Monday, 3 November 2008

I DON'T BELIEVE IT!


"I've been replaced by a box...It's standard procedure apparently for a man my age. The next stage is to stick you inside one." - Victor Meldrew in the first episode of One Foot in the Grave.


I sort of know how Victor felt as I have just given up my job and am going once more into semi-retirement. Although I have chosen to do this I will be, like Victor, looking for things to do to keep me busy. No doubt once again I will find day-to-day things that are stupid, irksome and frustrating on which I will tell you about given that I will have time to publish posts.

Grumpy Old Man Returns.

Monday, 27 October 2008

OK, I'VE GOT IT!


Modern documentaries, especially American ones tend to repeat everything in case the viewer doesn't have anything more than a 2 minute attention span and to dumb everything down in case the viewer is of low intellect. I just watched an FBI bank robbery reconstruction documentary (well half of it - I was so pissed off at having everything repeated that I switched it off).
Why do they do this? Is it catering to the lowest common denominator ? A catch-all for the greatest number of viewers? If so then it doesn't work. I'm sure that the most likely viewer of documentaries is not the Rambo or Bruce Willis movie watcher.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

SANCTUARY


I tend to give Robert, a friend of mine with strong religious beliefs, a bit of stick and (in fun I assure you) mock his sermonising. I am a lapsed Catholic which is a strange expression and suggests negativity as in 'my driving license lapsed because I forgot to renew it'. I did not choose to become a Catholic. My mother made that arrangement for me and so I went to Catholic primary schools and was taught by nuns; Catholic intermediate school and was taught by Marist brothers; and Catholic secondary school and was taught by Marist priests. A lot of the rote learning has remained with me (note the use of capitals when I write 'Catholic' and 'Marist'. I also do this if I write 'God' as in Robert's god).


One of the enduring things that I have from my Catholic education is a sense of Ethics (that deserves a capital) that helps steer me through life. This is bound up with the notion of conscience that was instilled from early days and refined under tutelage by the priests who often were intelligent and professional people who had Divinity degrees. This sense of knowing right from wrong, of being aware of others needs alongside my own I think makes me a better person. It is certainly of much greater importance than believing in The Holy Spirit, the ascension of Jesus, the 'miracle' of the mass and the assumption of Mary into heaven (what's that about? Sorry Robert!).


Another thing that I always liked and still do is the peace and serenity found in churches. Although increasingly the better churches and cathedrals are becoming tourist meccas and prostituting themselves to raise money for restoration and maintenance (Christchurch Cathedral is a case in point and recently when I was in Dunedin I was annoyed at the antics of a group of Korean tourists who were clambering all over the place taking photographs in a grand old Anglican church - I had to call out "Oi! Do you mind?" to one of them who was climbing on to the altar-table!), there are many still that provide a quiet place to sit and gather one's thoughts.

In Melbourne the other day I had some time to kill before going to the airport and wandered about the inner city for a bit. After a while, foot-sore and weary I just needed some time out. I found it in a charming old Catholic church right in the centre of the city. The hustle and bustle of midday traffic was left behind on entering. The peace and serenity was palpable and it was if I could feel the stress leaving my body by just sitting quietly for a few minutes. Fortunately it was not infested with (other) tourists and certainly no gymnastic Koreans. There were some devout Catholics about though and as the 1PM mass was about to start I quietly slipped out.


Here is on of the Wikipedia entries on 'Sanctuary' -


"In Europe, Christian churches were sometimes built on land considered as a particularly 'holy spot', perhaps where a miracle or martyrdom had taken place or where a holy person was buried. The place, and therefore the church built there, was considered to have been sanctified (made holy) by what happened there. In modern times, the Roman Catholic Church has continued this practice by placing in the altar of each church, when it is consecrated for use, a box (the sepulcrum) containing relics of a saint. The relics box is removed when the church is taken out of use as a church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the antimension on the altar serves a similar function. It is a cloth icon of Christ's body taken down from the cross, and typically has the relics of a saint sewn into it. In addition, it is signed by the parish's bishop, and represents his authorization and blessing for the Eucharist to be celebrated on that altar.

The area around the altar was also considered holy because of the physical presence of God in the Eucharist both during the Mass and in the tabernacle on the altar the rest of the time. So that people could tell when Jesus was there (in the tabernacle), the "sanctuary lamp" would be lit, indicating that anyone approaching the altar should genuflect (bow by bending the knee and inclining the head), to show respect for Him. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine rite and Coptic Orthodox churches, the sanctuary is separated from the nave (where the people pray) by an iconostasis, literally a wall oficons, with three doors in it. In other Oriental Orthodox traditions, a sanctuary curtain is used. In most Protestant Churches, the term sanctuary denotes the entire worship area while the term chancel is used to refer to the area around the altar table In many traditions, such as the Anglican Church, Roman Catholic Church and United Methodist Church, altar rails sometimes mark the edge of the sanctuary or chancel.
The area around the altar came to be called the "sanctuary," and that terminology does not apply to Christian churches alone: King Solomon's temple, built in about 950 BC, had a sanctuary ("Holy of Holies") where the tabernacle (" Ark of the Covenant
") was, and the term applies to the corresponding part of any house of worship. In most modern synagogues
, the main room for prayer is known as the sanctuary, to contrast it with smaller rooms dedicated to various other services and functions."

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO?


OK, we hear of global financial meltdowns and how it affects us all. What I want to know is where does all the money go?

Assuming on basic economic principals that the stuff moves around; that some people hoard it; that others lend it; and that others borrow it, but if too many borrow it and the lenders stop lending it as a result who the hell gets it? I know I don't have it so come on you bastards who have it - cough it up, pass the ball, piss or get off the pot!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

TURN THE OTHER CHEEK...


Another Auckland shopkeeper was stabbed yesterday and has bad injuries.

The Police should be pleased because he did what they have suggested - stand there, don't be aggressive and watch closely so you can remember the attacker - not too closely or they might stab you in the eyes as well.
The stabbing happened on the day police told retailers to use common sense when defending themselves after a 40-year-old man stabbed in a fight outside his liquor store was himself arrested. Varinder Singh appeared in Manukau District Court facing two charges of injuring with intent to injure following the altercation outside his Gilbert Rd liquor store in Otara on Tuesday night. He was attacked with knives and other weapons and sensibly defended himself.

The Police said "The arrest serves as a reminder to all who take the law into their own hands in some circumstances (it) cannot be justified. The law states that reasonable force and reasonable steps for shop owners in defending themselves, any other persons or their property is acceptable. Those that clearly exceed that force can expect to be arrested and held accountable before the criminal courts ... people need to use their common sense." Yeah well those people who should use common sense are the Police themselves. What a crock. The Police spokesman went on to say "Shop owners who feared for their safety need to get on the phone, dial 111 and the police will respond and deal with it". OK. Tell that to the recent victims who have waited hours for a response.

I guess the best way of dealing with things then is to be like the Knight in Monty Pythons The Holy Grail. Stand there while the bastards chop your arms and legs off saying "I'm only the victim I can't fight you back"

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

OH BROTHER PAULINUS, WHERE ART THOU?


Jesus! (yes? - but that's another story), what the hell is going on in our schools?
I just watched a news report on TVONE where school teachers talked about being terrorized by kids as young as six! These kids are so unsocialised they behave like wild animals. The older ones (year 9? What's that? In my day we said 14 year old or Form IV.) not only threaten the teachers but taunt them with exposure and sacking if they raise a hand (or in the news report, a piece of paper) to the student. It looks like the stupid 'bleeding-heart liberals' have won (and ultimately lost).
So how do we have a situation where school teachers fear for their safety from being attacked by children for Christsakes (Yes?)? In my day I can't imagine taking on the scary nuns, brothers and priests without getting my arse severely kicked. At Marist Newtown the Headmaster Brother Paulinus used to throw wooden backed blackboard dusters at our heads if we were talking or not paying attention. It didn't cause me any ill-effects it didn't cause me any ill effects it effects didn't me cause ill any it... beep... sorry! The point is if we had kicked Paulinus he would have thrown us through the window. If we had complained to our parents or someone else they would have said it serves you right for kicking the teacher.
Maybe the old days weren't always right but there was respect (no matter how it was earned). Now we have no respect - in schools, in homes and in the workplace. No wonder we have situations in South Auckland where teenagers attack female shopkeepers. Bastards!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

OFF YER BIKE!


Richard (of Richard's Bass Bag), another grumpy old man sometimes rants and raves about cyclists. Recently I have had experiences that make me understand where he is coming from.
What's worse than one of those multi-coloured imitation Italian nancies on a fragile and wobbly machine? Answer- two of them riding side-by-side taking up a whole lane. Twice recently I have rounded a corner and nearly collected the idiots while they meander along chatting to each other.
Get a tandem or, better still, go to the gym!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

ARE ALL CEO'S SHITS, OR JUST MOST OF THEM?


Admittedly it is the really bad ones that get the exposure - Fay, Richwhite, Petrocivic, all the various leaders of recently collapsed finance companies, the old 'corporation' bandits of 1987 - but there are many out there that I know who are self-serving and uncaring. Their mantra (which disguises their own golden parachute production) is 'we must get the best return for our shareholders'. They pay lip-service to staff by incorporating crap phrases into their mission statements like 'our people are our most important asset". Yeah right - this 'most important asset' is the first to get dumped when shareholders investments are a bit down - look at Cadbury, Feltex and a host of other producers recently.

I don't buy into 'CEO's are really nice people'.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

BLASPHEMY


The Wine Guy is being a bit blasphemous taking the piss out of Popes in Robert's latest blog.

I did think it funny though so looked up blasphemy and was led to a blog named "the Stubborn Curmudgeon' - a man after my own heart (he can't have it - it's gone!).

In his blog he has this funny picture of blasphemeous behaviour.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

THE REWARDS OF COMPLAINING


Last week when The Old Girl was returning from overseas I bought flowers to brighten up the house for her arrival. As I was running late the night before I bought the flowers at Foodtown supermarket being attracted by the 'Fresh' signs all over the cellophane wrappers. I bought many bunches of them outlaying (in men's terms) a small fortune.

I was bitterly disappointed when putting them in vases to find that they were nowhere near fresh and were looking a bit sad - not at all like the ones I get from our local florist. As it was 8PM and T.O.G. was arriving at 5AM next morning there was nothing I could do to remedy the situation. I wasn't going to let it go though so I sent a letter of complaint via the web to Foodtown, quoting the purchase docket details and my dissatisfaction. After several days of to and fro e-mails, Kristin from Foodtown customer services came through brilliantly, personally delivering a very nice bunch of flowers and a beautiful cymbidium plant . This was much appreciated and I have told her so.

Now, whilst I still am disappointed in general with supermarkets offerings (carefully check out the fruit and veg and don't buy anything in cellophane) I am impressed with the handling of my complaint.

Sometimes it pays to be a curmudgeon and complain

Saturday, 13 September 2008

MISERABLE BASTARDS


There are some really miserable bastards out there you know. Now I have been known to complain a bit but I see myself as a grumpy bastard with all rights to be so having served a long apprenticeship in living. I don't see myself as a miserable bastard. I do try and help out where I can and when the recipient is deserving.

The other day there was a Sideswipe report (Sideswipe is a column in the NZ Herald that has interesting stories from everyday life in New Zealand) that some miserable bastard sent a text message along the lines of "... can't you read. What part of 'no unsolicited mail' can't you understand etc..." to a woman who put little slips of paper in letter boxes in Point Chevalier advertising that her cat was missing and put her cell-phone number as a contact.

Life is hard enough without fuckwits like this grinding us all down further.

I hope that cat gets its own back on the MB!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

E.T. YOU'RE FUCKED - YOU CAN"T PHONE HOME!


Remember when there were phone boxes on every corner in the city and reliably in each little suburb usually by the bus stop next to the grocery store or dairy? Sure sometimes some drunks in the city or kids in the suburbs would piss in them occasionally but normally they were functional.
Then our telecommunications provider, previously the good old Post Office got rid of the phone boxes and gave us little cubicles - I guess so people would feel less inclined to piss in them.
Next our telecommunications provider(s) decided that too many public phones in cubicles (with or without the piss) made it too easy for the public to choose not to buy those cute little (and hellishly expensive to run) cellphones, so, they have conspired to get rid of the public pay-phone system.
When they do feel obliged to provide them (in areas easy for them to service) and cosmetically very rarely placed on public streets, they don't accept coins they are cards only. Another barrier?
Today I was out and about and really needed to find a telephone box or cubicle or kiosk - anything. I drove for miles up and down streets to no avail. Eventually after about a half hour I found a kiosk (card only). The thing is though I wasn't looking for a telephone box to use a phone, I've got two of those horrible mobile devices of my own - I was looking for a telephone book (white pages) to find an address I needed.
Hey! Guess what I found?
Some useless, waste of space bastard had taken the white pages and shredded the yellow ones.
Now why would anyone do that? What is the point?
On the one hand we have evil corporates steering us in directions they want us to go whilst telling us it is all for our benefit and giving us greater choices (yeah right), and on the other hand we have a great portion of the public who piss on, trash, burn, break and ruin the public assets, the very things that they can truly 'own' and that are useful to them like bus shelters, telephone boxes, railway stations, buses etc. and being too fucking stupid to realise that by doing this they are playing into the hands of the Corporates......whew! Got that off my chest.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

TAXI DRIVERS


I haven't complained much recently and I don't want people to think I'm going soft - I've just been busy. It doesn't mean that there haven't been hundreds of annoying things happening to me over the last few weeks. Take Taxi drivers (away please!). I remember when it was a treat to travel in a taxi. It was an expensive way to travel and the driver was aware of this and treated his customer with respect. Sometimes he would converse with you or at other times (unless he was Australian) would respect your wish for privacy and keep quiet, only making discreet enquiries as to the destination. A simple street address was sufficient with only on rare occasions an accompanying suburb (when it was a new street) needing to be added.
That all seems to have disappeared now unless you use Corporate Cabs which still have the old values but are more expensive and generally have to be booked well in advance.
The other night I called for a taxi which to be fair did turn up relatively quickly. I was going for a 25 minute journey to an established North Shore address in a very well known suburb. I may as well have been asking for an address at the other end of the universe. After map consultation we were on the way. Forget polite conversation. Forget silence as well. What I got was half an hour of the driver having a loud phone conversation in Ukranian or some other Eastern European nonsense with his wife or girlfriend (I couldn't even eavesdrop as there was no English spoken).
I ask you. Am I paying good money to sit and listen to gobbly-de-goop in one of the word's ugliest languages (Afrikaans, Dutch and American is worse though).
Taxi drivers seem to have a different road code to drive by. Stop signs are treated as Give Way signs. Give Way signs don't exist and red lights seem to say 'hurry up and get through'.
Well we got there eventually (more map consultation - hey shouldn't this be deducted from the fare?)
Now I'm thinking. How the hell do you get your own back from a bad experience in a cab. There's really no way as you can't tell everyone else about this particular driver. I have come up with an idea though. You should carry a piece of fish with you when travelling by taxi. If you have a good experience then take the fish home with you and cook it or give it to the cat. If you have a bad experience then slip it under a seat or in the map pouch at the back of the seat in front of you. In a couple of days the fish will get really ripe and the bastard driver probably won't be able to find it (or notice it if he is one of those bad-breath, B.O. infested farters). His potential customers will notice it though and won't step inside.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

TANGENTS


7.15PM the phone rings. Is it the Old Girl ringing to say she will be late? Is it an emergency?
No, as usual when the phone rings between 6PM and 8.30PM on a weeknight it is probably some unsolicited advertising or promotional call offering home finance, holidays, special furnishing deals or a market research company wanting to know how often you go to the toilet.
Generally the calls are from somewhere in India or the Philippines. The Old Girl always asks them where they are calling from and won't accept anything but the truth on this - she's tough.
Although my name is The Curmudgeon I still find it hard to be too rude to these annoying callers as I know they are just trying to make a living.
Recently we have adopted a new way of dealing with the calls -obfuscation and obtuseness.
When we realise what the call is (Indian accents asking May I please speak to Mr...etc) we may do any of the following:

Caller: May I please speak to Mr...
Us: (delay...) Hello
Caller: May I please speak to Mr..
Us: Hello...Hello.. Is anyone there?
Caller: Yes Hello, may I please speak to Mr...
Us: Hello...Hello...Damn it. I'm sure there's someone there.. Hello.. Hello...

This can go on for a while with the caller getting more and more frustrated until they hang up.

or,

When we realise what the call is we say, "Just one moment" and put the phone down and finish dinner or watching a TV programme. Generally the caller has gone once you get back to the phone 15 minutes later.

or,
and this is the one I like best

Caller: May I please speak to Mr,..
Us: Right! I've been waiting days for you to call you Bastard. We ordered that (garage door, curtains, carpets, elephant ..whatever) weeks ago and still the bloody thing hasn't turned up. What are you going to do about it., We don't have time to wait around (etc etc for about 2 minutes) Generally the caller rings off.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

BUSKING AT THE OLYMPICS


AS I said busking as a sport at the olympics would be OK as long as it was combined with Archery.
Rumour has it that St Sebastian was a Bass Player and we know what happened to him.
I wonder if the marksman won a Gold Medal?

Sunday, 17 August 2008

TIDDLYWINKS GOLD MEDAL


I love the Olympics and ever since I was a kid have looked forward to the 2 week spectacle. I take as much time as I can to watch all sorts of events (but of course especially the ones New Zealand is involved in - I am so proud to see us at number 15 on the medal tally ahead of so many other countries).
Its a great feeling being a mixture of nostalgia and excitement and unnusual in that we are exposed to so much sport on TV nowadays its a wonder at all that the Olympics can command so much respect and attention.
I find it a shame though that the great ideals are being diluted by the inclusion of sports and so-called sports that in my my don't meet the criteria. It used to be tennis and soccor that I thought don't need to be included. Now it is white water kayaking, handball, beach volleyball, trampoline and other weird and unnusual events.
What's next? Tiddlywinks, darts, snooker or that old University games event to 'chunder mile' running, drinking and pie eating event.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

SUPERMARKET BUSKERS AND BEGGARS


I work.
I don't want to work but I have to.
I tried not working which was great but no money came in and I felt unfulfilled.
I work, earn money and try to live on that.
To live, I have to buy food, generally from bloody supermarkets which I hate but they have a monopoly on availability and parking.
Nowadays, when I enter and leave supermarkets I have to run the gauntlet of buskers, charity donation gatherers, beggars and do-gooders- with -causes.
Hey! We support three registered charities with automatic payments going to them not to mention the bloody IRD (Bastards! they sent me a letter charging me $250 fine for a 1 day overdue payment for $140 GST return. A printed envelope came with it for return and in the box at the top where it usually says 'Postage paid' it said 'place postage stamp here'.)
How much money do we have to give? And why feel guilty when we don't.
And why give money to some useless bloody bass player playing out of tune (how would you know with a bass player anyway?).

Friday, 18 July 2008

QUEUING


Generally I don't mind queuing - it's often necessary and should be done in a fair and orderly manner kind of like I remember the tuck-shop queue at school where everyone (except that fat kid) would behave themselves and line up to be served.
Today though when I discovered that my drivers license was due to expire I went to the Land Transport (AA) office to renew and discovered that they still adopted the same methods as in the days when I queued at the tuck shop. They haven't moved on. In the days now of on-line business in all forms, why should it take so bloody long to simply renew a license and pay your fees.
I parked on a downtowm 'meter' for an hour (cost me four bucks!) and went in to the office where there was a long queue. Halfway through the queue a helpful advisor came along to check what everone was queuing for (one queue and at least five different functions needed - new license, renewed license, driving test application etc.) and established I needed a special form and had to leave the queue (as others did), go to a console and fill it out and then rejoin the queue.
Watching the processing of people in front I observed that it took at least ten minutes each for people to hand over the form, probably recount their life story, get photographed etc before paying their forty bucks. Fuck! I have had a drivers license for forty years and still have to go through this shit. Halfway down the line I realised that my parking meter time had run out so I had to leave. An hour and a quarter of wasted time without a result. Archaic.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

WANKING COMES BEFORE A FALL


I never liked that wanker Tony Veitch. He was always too smart-assed with his blokesy attitude and scathing racist and anti-women jokes so I'm not surprised to hear of his latest misfortunes (not to mention the misfortune of his ex-partner). Good riddance to him if he gets dumped off all media.
Other wankers of note that have fallen from grace are Brent Todd, Matthew Ridge and Marc Ellis (although Ellis has a bit of boyish charm about him that allows him to get away with a lot, and he did have the guts to front up early in regard to the drug charge).
All of these tossers though seem to share the same behaviour traits, social circles and media grandstand (those laddish TV sports programmes that are so offensive and low-brow). They all expect us to think they are wonderful and above all laws. Well, reality hurts and I hope their little acolytes out there watching the TV screens can see them for what they really are. Wankers.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

I'M DOING MY BIT


"WELL I BEEN WORKIN' IN A COAL MINE GOIN' DOWN DOWN WORKIN' IN A COAL MINE WHEW ABOUT TO SLIP DOWN FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNIN' I'M UP BEFORE THE SUN WHEN MY WORK DAY IS OVER I'M TOO TIRED FOR HAVIN' FUN LORD I AM SO TIRED HOW LONG CAN THIS GO ON I BEEN WORKIN' GOIN' WORKIN' WHEW ABOUT TO SLIP DOWN"

OK, yes copied via a google search - Mea Culpa but it fits my theme.
I'm working longer hours than normal as is most of those I know.
We are all tired and don't get much time to socialize and even Blog traffic has slowed.

If, in a dynamic universe where equilibrium is achieved through the balance of equal and opposite forces I'd like to know who is slacking around and if they are , are we all going to spin out of control?

NORMAL SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

**************** Sorry for the peremptory sign but The Darker Curmudgeon took things a bit too literally when I asked him to ...