Thursday, 31 March 2011


Things are heating up at school. A competitive spirit is entering into the classroom dynamic. I had to remind myself that the other people in the room are not just fellow students, they are THE ENEMY.
Their goal in life is to take the bread out of the mouth of my babies, to see The Old Girl and me cast out of our home and sleep in the gutter, to ransack and pillage our hard-earned possessions, to...... OK, that's enough - I'll pour myself a Cognac and settle down (a Remy Martin XO just in case The Wine Guy is reading). Tonight I looked about and saw them all in a different light. Devious. Plotting. Grasping. Cheating. Conniving. Well, I was armed. One of my course studies at University - I forget exactly which one as I had started and stopped so many different disciplines - was The Prince by Machiavelli.

The art of being devious while convincing yourself that you are doing everything for the greater good was the major take-out I got from this. What better learning to apply to my current consideration.

During the 'read and write an opinion' stage I surreptitiously glanced across at the Mad American Woman (MAW). I knew from previous conversations that she was concerned about the Japanese Nuclear meltdown situation and wanted her grown-up children to come to New Zealand. This of course would be a long process and, if she was successful in convincing them, that it is best to start sooner than later so, at the tea break I casually said to her " Melanie*" (you know what the * means) " Did you see that plutonium fall-out has reached UK and most major cities in the USA?" I of course knew that she did know this but a bit of reinforcement in this situation O my readers is allowable is it not? (But I could be wrong - if Second forgives us and comes back into the community). Good old Melanie* spun out again and didn't conribute much after the class. I knew that she would spend most of the next day on the phone and internet to travel agents and government agencies trying to arrange things. Good. The first open book examination is on Saturday.

I had observed the Old English Bloke (OEB) also during the 'read and write an opinion' stage and when I could I ascertained his interests and what was driving him to be doing the course. He confided that he didn't really want to be there but his wife was pushing him to get out and do something to help with the household expenses. He would rather play bowls, play golf and go fishing. I let this sit for a bit and later at the end of the tea break I casually said that the bay outside my place looked stunning this morning and that my neighbours were all out enjoying the day and pulling in fish. I said " what would you rather be doing - it's all out there for us in paradise". I watched him  sitting there letting his tea go cold and the lettuce dropping out of his tomato, egg and lettuce sandwich that he was holding limply in his hand.

The Annoying Kiwi Woman (AKW) was going to be the hardest to crack. She was wired, not by any unnatural chemicals but by those in her brain that  a drug bust (I considered it) would uncover. I decided to listen and learn. At my age life has taught me that people will tell you all sorts of secrets if you just  show a willingness to listen. I listened. AKW, in addition to what she had already told me about the 'sickies' that she threw to do her assignments and that she was going to dump her job as soon as she got her certification, that she did most of her assignments at work, on the work computer. I filed this away for future reference and then - gold - probably inspired by the chocolate macaroons provided with tea.
She told me who she worked for. There was  nothing that I could do by manipulation with her so I have decided that I will inform on her to her employers. Anonymously of course.

Precocious Intelligent Woman (PIW) wasn't there this evening so I couldn't check out what she was up to (what is she up to? Is she plotting against me? where the hell is she? What is going on? what is that buzzing noise? .... ). No matter. I will plan accordingly. Next time we meet I will casually mention that my sister and her husband, both medical professionals earn about  a million dollars per year between them and enjoy about 3 months holiday  a year (not unlike teachers - the holidays I mean).

During the evening ( a 3 hour class 6PM to 9PM - this seriously cuts into my social time) I sidled up to the Failed Property Developer (FPD) or Del Boy* and said "Jeez, what a bunch of woofters. This lot would probably put money into the collection plate at church - (wink wink, nudge nudge)" He got the message. He said "Bro, glad to see that we're not at Sunday school. I was thinking I was the only one. This ethics shit is for the nuns mate (his obvious Catholicism I filed away for future reference). I casually mentioned that my brother was head of the Serious Fraud squad and it was funny to see his sunbed tan disappear. He slipped away.

I didn't get a chance to chat with the others in the class but hey, its early days . I think that I did well with the limited time I had and, even though I am the head of the class I still have to study.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


TSB is worried that I cannot select the right pair of shoes to wear.
Here is a film clip that, if you watch it will waste several precious minutes of the rapidly declining time left to you in your existence.
At least you will be able to go out 'in fashion'.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


When I looked up images for teacher's pet I came across sorry, discovered lots of images that would set TSB slavering. Not that he is incapable of finding his own but why encourage the lad. Also, I fear Nicola's wrath. At my time of life I don't need radical females painting slogans on my house and tying me to lampposts ( hey, it has happened in Auckland years ago (not to me) look it up) - she has already threatened to paint penises on my roof after all.

I chose a relatively innocent image

Why teacher's pet? Well, I have gone back to school to study Real Estate. I have attended lots of management courses over the years, the longest which was a live-in month long one at Waikato University but apart from those it is years since I have been put into a classroom situation. I don't mind it, really I don't ( ignore the pun if you find it) but I'm unused to structured activity. Even in my work environment I was able to do and say what I liked (it was marketing after all and for a booze company) so following the course schedule can be a bit of a grind. The polytechnic course materials are very good. If I'd had study notes like these when I was studying law, history, education, languages, architecture, art etc. at university I would have sailed through. I'm finding that my marketing and management experience and my university studies, particularly law, is making it quite easy for me to follow the notes, undertake the set exercises and to contribute in class. It is almost to the point where I feel I need to dumb-down my input so as not to get the title 'teacher's pet' which I haven't had since primary school ( I was prettier then).
It is a small class with, as expected in an adult learning situation, people with diverse life experience, social and educational skills and abilities.
We have, apart from me in which modesty and fear of being identified prevents me from elaborating, the old British bloke, the mad American woman, the ambitious and annoying Kiwi woman, the precocious and intelligent young woman (formally American and now a Kiwi) and the failed property developer/night-club owner/actor and a couple of others.

The old English bloke hails from the North and has had a career in law enforcement, public service (WINZ equivalent) and real estate. He is a nice guy. He probably is the same age as me or very close to it but somewhere along the way someone (society) has told him that he is an old geezer. He acts it. I have been livening up his sense of humour - OK, someone might say that I have been 'ribbing' him but he is coming alive. He's not the brightest candle in the church (reference there for Second if he ever resurfaces) but is capable. He was the first to put in his assessment forms and passed. I congratulated him and said "Congratulations Amos* (name changed to protect the innocent), you are an inspiration to the rest of us" When he looked at me sceptically I followed up with " If you can pass we all can". We both laughed. Really.

The mad American woman is nice but mad. She came to New Zealand 15 years ago because she was afraid of nuclear fall-out either by war or accident. The 3 Mile Island nuclear power disaster in USA, Chernobyl and Soviet nuclear submarine accidents are all grist to her mill. She has adult children in USA who she has been haranguing for years to get out of there and come to New Zealand. The Japanese Tsunami and nuclear accident has really spun her out. She is hysterical and wants to go back to the States and drag her children over here. I didn't help the situation on the weekend at an art exhibition when we were discussing wearable arts that a good exhibit would be something radioactive and glowing in the dark. She said that it wasn't funny and didn't return to class after the lunch break.

The precocious, intelligent woman hasn't found something to do yet. Her parents are obviously wealthy having uprooted from USA some years ago, bought vast tracts of land and built mighty fortresses against the world. PIYM has been educated in New Zealand ( don't know in what but her intellect would enable her to sail through most courses from law and commerce through medicine and music). She has done some of this course at a different time so I have only seen her the once. She could challenge me as head of class. (I had better bring a bigger apple to next class).

The failed property developer Del Boy* is a hard case. Recently divorced/separated with matrimonial property disappearing from his grasp he is looking for a new career. It is a laugh when we get to ethical issues in the course because the 'hypothetical' scenarios he brings up are all as dodgy as hell and we know that they are real. He is one of those heart of gold characters but one that you should count the rings on your fingers if not your fingers after shaking hands with him.

The annoying Kiwi woman works for a governmental agency but wants to get out. She takes 'sickies' to do her assignments and is always in a hurry. She hurries along the class by providing answers early (that she has looked up in the answers section at the back of the course notes) to everyone's annoyance. Often, when it is a scenario where there are no answers at the back she speed reads the notes and puts her hand up to answer - usually wrongly.

I am actually enjoying doing this course. whether or not it brings me income is not really of importance. The chance to use my brain again after nearly 3 years of inactivity is fun and challenging.

Sunday, 27 March 2011


When I was seeking out old photographs of Richard - sorry, I'll rewrite that - when I was seeking out photographs of old Richard I found this one

It reminded me of the one I posted a while back of my brother and me.

 Given that Richard and I are the same age the photo's must have been taken at roughly the same time. Note the clothes. These must have been the fashion of the day - late 1950's. My brother had a puppy image on his shirt. I had a pussycat. I can't see what Richard had.

Saturday, 26 March 2011


Nicola said of Richard ....... "You have a resemblance to Colin Firth".

I think she meant the other Firth.

Friday, 25 March 2011


 A visit to Richard (of RBB)'s wardrobe.

Richard has promised to help me with my 'look' for my new profession. I thought that I would trawl through the images of him that have been published over the last couple of years (Trawl? Wade would be a better way of putting it - ed). 


 I rang my fashion advisor Richard (of RBB) tonight for advice on what to wear in my upcoming role as real estate salesman. Richard is kind of like one of those guys in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy or maybe a combination of all of them.

We discussed my current wardrobe and its shortcomings and Richard's wardrobe and the history attached to the purchase of each item, its success factor with members of the opposite sex (women) and employers and which items he was going to lend to me. He kept trying to talk about double bass playing, his creaky old basses and  his recordings but the storm we have up here was making the phone crackly and conversation was difficult (made worse by the cellophane paper I scrunched up next to the receiver).

The result is the following outfit that Richard said never failed at "getting the sex" whatever that meant and he is posting it to me.


I got the Rover's driver's window repaired today. There have been a few small repairs necessary recently and I was wondering if I might have to face upgrading the car as it is 13 years old. Then I came to the right hand McLeod Bay turn-off with the arsehole who had been tailgating me right behind me. The Rover, like all turbos has 'turbo-lag'. This meant that as I started up the hill in first gear the car was going at normal first gear speed. Mr Pushy behind was right on my bumper. When I engaged second gear the turbo power kicked in and easily pulled away. Third gear at 80kph took the car effortlessly to 100. Pushy was a long, long way back. The road is tricky and windy and I could see in the mirror that he was driving frantically (cutting corners etc) to try and catch up. He couldn't. At McLeod Bay's 50 kph zone which due to road works is down to 30 kph I kept to the new speed zone which meant that at the end of the bay he had caught up, racing through the roadworks. No doubt he thought that he was clever. It didn't worry me as my turn-off is at the end of the bay so I just quietly turned into my street, remembering why I like my car.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


New thing # 1.

The deck at the front of the house is up. This extends the walk-out space from the kitchen out over the garden. It is a bit ugly at present as it needs to be stained which will then bring it back into balance with the existing fixtures.

The big advantage is that it gives us a view out west (to the left of the photograph) which previously we couldn't see. This is a great view looking down the harbour.

The photo doesn't do the view justice as it is raining and there is low cloud. Normally the hills/mountains towards Dargaville can be seen. Next project will be seeing if we can get the power lines buried underground.

New thing # 2

The Old Girl rang this afternoon to say that she bought an apartment in Auckland. We take possession next week - quick settlement!
It is in the central city with easy walking distance to everything including her place of work. I'm going down to the city next week to see it and stay the first night.

The building in Mount Street

The lounge with a view of the city (East I think).


The Music Curmudgeon stepped in with a new post that is really on behalf of all the curmudgeons of THE CURMUDGEONS INC.ⓒ as the post could e...