Monday, 30 August 2010


Richard (of RBB) reminded me in one of his recent posts of the great days of television that we enjoyed when we were younger. Nowadays too much choice is no choice with the numerous channels regurgitating the same old formulaic crap. In the 60's we only had two channels (originally just the one) yet we managed to be satisfied with the offerings. We experienced classic UK comedy, drama and documentary programmes with nary a competitive cooking show in sight. On Sunday afternoons, for a very long time, classic 20's, 30's and 40's musicals were screened. These ranged from the over the top but still fascinating Busby Berkely productions, through the slick and superb Gershwin ones and interspersed with Marx Brothers type spoof ones. Over a period of time we saw them all (and not all of us turned homosexual).

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Killer Whale falls on kayaker!!


"Out here no one else is going to hurt me. There is no impatient driver who will crash into me. The responsibility is all mine to survive, me against the random elements of nature"

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Some things don't change.
Last weekend I was in Marlborough for a family reunion. My cousins, all aging like me, decided to get together for a weekend to rekindle relationships, share family history and to let the next generations of family know about the family history. Our great-great-grandparents were pioneers in the area and here area great many achievements and stories to be remembered. The weekend happily coincided with the 100th anniversary of our grand-parents wedding in 1910 (told you we were old). It was a special weekend with each of the cousins putting up story boards of their sides of the family (there were 7 children in my dad's family). One cousin came over from Washington with his family and another from Australia. My sister and I went from up North, my other sister from Wellington and the rest were from Blenheim. I saw old family photographs that brought back lots of memories and heard great stories of the family and the pioneering days. One of the stories was of my dad and the fact that he was a bit of a larrikin.

When he returned to New Zealand on leave in 1943 before going back to Italy he stayed with his parents in Blenheim. One of my cousins recounted a story that his mother (dad's younger sister) had told them. One Sunday morning my grandfather, grandmother and aunt were driving to church in the Ford model A.

Going through the centre of town my grandfather, on seeing tyre marks just past the central roundabout going straight to a high hedge which had a hole punched through it, went on a tirade raging about the 'young hoons and layabouts who had no sense of responsibility. Their cars should be taken off them and crushed' My aunt, in the back seat could hardly contain herself as could my grandmother and my grandfather wondered what was wrong with them. The night before, my father had borrowed the old man's car and hooned around town with other family members including my aunt and had crashed through the hedge.

My aunt had recounted that Dad, on going through the hedge had weaved and accelerated shouting "I've driven tanks in worse situations than this" and carried on through, across the park on the other side and eventually onto another road. At home he tidied up the car so my grandfather didn't know what had happened.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Anti-mimesis is a philosophical position that holds the direct opposite of mimesis. Its most notable proponent is Oscar Wilde, who held in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lyingthat "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life". In the essay, written as a Platonic dialogue, Wilde holds that such anti-mimesis "results not merely from Life's imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realise that energy."

The above from Wikipaedia.

I notice that someone has been imitating Richard's Bass Bag. I know its not exactly art and certainly not beautiful but someone thought that it was worth copying anyway. Imitation is a form of flattery after all. Now Richard thought that I had done this heinous deed (admittedly my past record was against me) and has imitated The CURMUDGEON.
Normally I wouldn't mind but old age is rapidly catching up with him and his grammar and syntax is slipping. Entropy!

Monday, 16 August 2010


....and I hate it when I lose one. Even though I find plenty of golf balls it upsets me when I can't find one that I've hit into bushes or a stream. I sort of build up a relationship with it and I feel that I've let it down if I lose it. Have you ever formed a relationship with an inanimate object? I always tap the dashboard and thank my car for getting me home safely after a long drive. Is this weird? I'm sure that lots of other people do this. I'm not as weird as some of the people in the attached video clip though.

These people have Objectum Sexuality and form real relationships with things that as the name suggests actually can be sexual. I haven't gone that far yet.

Friday, 13 August 2010


I love watching the Olympics and major sporting events and get a real buzz out of seeing New Zealand performing well. I always allow for the fact that we have a very small population that we don't figure as high up the medal table as the big countries. I have observed though that we perform extremely strongly against some large countries - Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Greece - to name a few. Our comparative performance is way out of scale to our comparative population. At the other end of the scale USA's performance is massively out of scale to their comparative population to other large countries so what's going on? I know that they have a more 'professional' approach to the Olympics and they have vast coaching and training resources but even so the difference in performance is amazing. The answer struck me when I was watching the news the other night and an American skiing olympian was shown practising in New Zealand as she does each year. This woman is not only part of the USA ski team with all of its training resources but she also has her own personal coach, her own personal manger, her own personal assistants plus a personal technical equipment adviser. No wonder than, if, and I guess it is the case for most of the USA team, that they outperform everyone else. It is not a level playing field (no downhill ski jokes please).

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Reggie Perrin clips

I chose this clip as I had accused TSB of encroaching on The Curmudgeon's domain of complaining and knew that there are so many things to complain about that it would take me ages writing posts. Jimmy's and Reggie's lists of causes in the first half of this clip is classic.
The second half is unrelated but equally funny to those who remember the story line to the two Leonard Rossiter series.

Tom Waits - Chocolate Jesus

The master at work.
I came across this video of my favourite Tom Waits song when I was searching for the earlier (What's he doing') one. Chocolate Jesus is inspired. Second II and Robert Returns should take note of this. Eating a chocolate Jesus on Sunday morning makes more sense than that other religious mumbo jumbo. I like the way he describes the chocolate bar as 'Immaculate Confection'
I can see Richard's jazz band playing this.

Don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way
Bit I know Jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more
I fall on my knees every Sunday
At Zerelda Lee's candy store
Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied
Well I don't want no Abba Zabba
Don't want no Almond Joy
There ain't nothing better
Suitable for this boy
Well it's the only thing
That can pick me up
Better than a cup of gold
See only a chocolate Jesus 
Can satisfy my soul
When the weather gets rough
And it's whiskey in the shade
It's best to wrap your savior 
Up in cellophane
He flows like the big muddy
But that's ok
Pour him over ice cream
For a nice parfait
Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Good enough for me
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Good enough for me
Well it's got to be a chocolate Jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate Jesus
Keep me satisfied

What's He Building?

Comments from Anselme, TSB and others about how their partners wonder what they are doing at the computer with their blogging and whether it is really healthy or not remind me of this Tom Waites 'song'. The mixture of suspicion and paranoia is superb.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


I played golf today in a mini tournament. This is a weekly event named the LOB's. Some say it stands for the Lovely Old Blokes. Others say it stands for Lazy Old Bastards. No doubt Richard (of RBB) can come up with another meaning for the acronym. I played some good golf, some ordinary golf and some very crappy golf. The overall score was way higher than the scores that I know I am capable of when I go out on my own and play 8 or 9 holes. Golf is funny that way. I played in this tournament as I wanted to officially register an 18-round card so that I can get my handicap down. Although I didn't play as well as I wanted to I should still bring the handicap down by about 8 points. On the round, on the 17th hole we were attacked by a pair of nesting birds. I don't know what they were (someone said that it is an Australian bird). It was amazing how they dived like Magpies do, zooming straight at us and veering away at the last moment. They were very brave. while trying to hit our balls and ignoring them, unfortunately one of my fellow players hit one of the birds in mid-flight with his golf ball. Thwack! The bird dropped to the ground with a thump. It was dazed and waddled off back into the swampy grass area where I assume the nest is. I hope it is OK but a hit like that can break a wing. The hit was way against the odds and I'd never seen that happen before. Poor bird.

Friday, 6 August 2010


Is my house haunted? Last night at 4AM (I know TSB, I know, you'll say that that is the time that you now have to get up) there was a knocking sound like someone rapping heavily on the door. I got up (in the dark, pulled on some pants (yes Richard, pants) and checked the doors in case it was a neighbour in distress. Nothing. I checked the windows and went out and checked around the house. Still nothing. Living in the country where it is very quiet you can hear noises from quite a way. I couldn't hear anyone (especially no P-fuelled gang members) so went back to bed. The cat was in the hallway. I'm not sure whether the noise (if there was one) or my walking around woke her up.

 Have you ever noticed how cats have a disturbing habit, when you pick them up, to look over your shoulder with wide eyes and an alarmed expression! They are definitely not recommended as pets for people of a nervous disposition. I went back to bed and had difficulty getting to sleep again. Just as I was, the outside security lights went on. I went through the same routine. Nothing. Now this wouldn't really bother me except that it happened before, a couple of months ago at the same time 4AM.

 It reminds me of a Sopranos episode when Paulie Walnuts kept waking at 3AM or something - the time of morning that he had murdered someone.

 I don't really believe in the occult but, as I have had an odd experience before in an old house I was living in, I don't entirely rule it out. I do believe in 'Feyness' and my family (on my father's side West Scotland and mother's side Ireland, have many times demonstrated this. But then again it could be a warning from Robert's good mates God and Jesus to pull my head in as I've been a bit rude about them recently.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


Why do gay guys throw like girls?
I was watching Gok on TV tonight and there was a segment where he was helping women throw their bras overboard from a boat. They threw better than him. Why is this? Most gay guys are fitness freaks and work out in gyms, having a much higher pride in their bodies than straight guys. But they still throw like girls.


Years ago when I attended the wedding of one of The Old Girl's cousins in Aberdeen I discovered the Scots dialect that TSB called Lallans. I think he's wrong though and it is Gobbldygook exacerbated by whisky. After being seated at table The Old Girl, her mother and it seems all the family made a headlong rush to be anywhere except next to me and....Uncle Billy. They left me alone with said uncle for what seemed like hours. I've mentioned this before I know but it was excruciating. I couldn't understand a word of what he was saying. He may well have been speaking Ennuit for all I know. He was like McBlane, the indecipherable Scots cook in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. His "splatchett ye cratcers bliggett mair fee bra noos' elicited yes or no responses from me, obviously in the wrong places as he would stop blathering and look at me strangely every now and then. 

I endured this soberly for some time until The Old Girl returned with a glass of watery beer (even Sweetheart stout would have been better). We hadn't been aware of that old Scottish tradition of having a wedding, getting family and friends to fly all around the world to attend without telling them that it is a cash bar only. We came along with the wedding present but no money except for the taxi so it was a bit of a dry argument. We should have cashed in the bloody present.
Anyway poor old Uncle Billy has gone on to a better place now (where? Nuova Lazio?- ed).

Patti Smith Group - Free Money (Stockholm 1976)


Every night before I go to sleep
Find a ticket, win a lottery.
Every night before I rest my head
See those dollar bills go swirling 'round my bed.

Oh, baby, it would mean so much to me,
Baby, I know our troubles will be gone.
Oh, I know our troubles will be gone, goin' gone
If we dream, dream, dream for free.
And when we dream it, when we dream it, when we dream it,
Let's dream it, we'll dream it for free, free money,
Free money, free money, free money,
Free money, free money, free money,
Free money, free money, free money,
Free money, free money, free money,
Free money, free money, free money,
Free money, free money, free money,
Free money, free money, free money,
Free money, free money, free money, free. 

Yes, wouldn't it be great. Generally there's no such thing as free money but....

... I was early for the bus from the big smoke to home this morning so filled in time wandering around the casino. This was 7.30AM and there were a few die-hards sitting at the pokie machines, pouring their money in, seemingly unperturbed by the casino staff going around with big bins on trolleys, emptying the machines of millions of coins. I didn't see any punter celebrating winning millions or even hundreds of coins so I assume that the casino won. I wandered about just watching but noticed that on a few of the machines there was still some 'credit'. Now this wasn't big money that could be cashed you know. It was the remainder after people had cashed up by hitting the 'collect' button after a small win and their $2 coins tumbled out. In many cases though there is still some residual credit - not a lot - but on a 2c machine it could be say 7 credits to a total of 14c. Obviously 14c won't come out of the machine when you hit 'collect' but it can be used to spin the machine.

 I found a few of these and hit the bet buttons. This resulted in a few small wins but not enough to collect the $2 coins. As I didn't have enough time I simply hit the bet all buttons and of couse it gurgled down the drain. If I had time though and had been a bit more patient those 6c, 14c, 2c credits could have been turned into dollars or, (if you are a crazy gambling optimist), thousands of dollars.

At casinos however, you are always watched and may be 'asked' to leave.


Well why not since Robert's been banging on about the Catholic Catechism and its virtues even while there's a backdrop of priests, b...