Sunday, 31 July 2016


I don't know whether you like John Oliver (I do) but this 20 minute clip is definitely worth watching.

It's unbelievable how people can donate money to these charlatans, but they do. Go figure.


Thursday, 28 July 2016


Cardinal Pell from Australia is the latest senior catholic church bozo to be accused of fiddling with little boys.

Poor Francis now faces alienating all of those Australian crazies catholics if he chooses to censure this guy.


Cardinal Pell of course is disputing the allegations but they are coming from a few different sources and over different periods,



I watched an episode of Seinfeld last night - the one about second hand clothes.

Seinfeld's rant about mens underpants made me laugh. See below.


In my case it's true.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

2046 - A PREVIEW

I listened to a National Radio interview yesterday where Kennedy Warne was talking of rising sea levels and discussing the likely impacts on New Zealand over the next half a century.

I thought that it would be fun to skip forward 30 years to check out how some of the blogging community will fare. WARNING - this is make believe only. I do not have the power of future sight nor do I have a crazy alter-ego time travelling guy like Richard has to fuel my imagination. Nevertheless, based on an understanding of the chosen candidates psyches my predictions will probably be quite accurate.

CASE No 1 - Richard of RBB.

In 2016 Richard was nearing the end of his usefulness teaching career and was planning to retire in August of 2017. Richard's modest plan was to while away his days playing with him.. his double bass and his violin while enjoying the generous government superannuation that was guaranteed to cater to his every need. Fortunately Richard's every needs were modest as supermarket special wine was OK by him and he was a reasonably accomplished cook being able to knock up cheap and flavoursome Mediterranean-inspired dishes. The only potential budget blow-out was his predilection for canned tomato fillets.
Richard's economically savvy older brother who many years before had purchased property high on a hill suggested that Richard should invest his Kiwi Saver savings in property in the area he lived in - Nuova Lazio. "Nuova Lazio" said older brother " is very affordable right now because there are no sea views and quite frankly is a bit out of the way. In years to come though, with rising sea levels making some of the desirable and expensive coastal settlements unliveable, Nuova Lazio, being several thousand metres above sea level will become sought after".

Richard pretended to listen to this advice, opened another bottle of Banrock Station chardonnay and began dreaming of the Kiwi Saver nest egg he had and how he could best use it. "Yellow double bass strings" he thought "there could be a great demand for yellow double bass strings, those ones with the cute little brass band at the top. Yes, that's what I'll do". And he did. On his retirement Richard used his Kiwi Saver savings to buy up all the yellow bass strings he could find and quietly (apart from the endless violin and double bass practising) retired to his cosy Nuova Lazio home.


CASE No 2 - Geramy Watkins III.

Geramy Watkins aka Robert (the Geramy Watkins pseudonym was used as an attempt to evade traffic fines and IRD requests for payment) liked to live by the sea. With progressive house shifts he gradually came closer and closer. He had heard about the warning of rising sea levels but in his mind this was going to be an advantage, not a problem. He was used to measuring the value of his houses by proximity to the sea and was frustrated at how long it took to pay off some mortgage to enable him to use equity to purchase a more expensive property closer to the water. "Now if the water came to me it would be problem solved" he reasoned to himself.
Geramy/Robert worked all hours his god gave him and then some more to save to pay off mortgages and also to purchase other property in the area he lived which he called 'Petone Heights'. Over the years he was pleased to see that the prices of the properties he desired were getting cheaper as the owners for some reason sold up and moved away. "Fools, fools" he said to himself as he signed yet another purchase agreement.

Over the next 30 years the global warming predictions were proved correct and rising sea levels were much greater than previously forecast. Coastal areas around Wellington and Lower Hutt were soon under water. The affluent area of Eastbourne virtually disappeared  except for those houses high on the hills, Petone was the new Atlantis and all of the Hutt Valley was known as Nuova Venice.

Before and during this period residents with foresight (and good lines of credit) sold up and bought properties in the higher and nicer areas of the wellington region. Soon even a modest house in Koro Koro was beyond the means of most professional working people and Nuova Lazio became desirable. The average price of a house was now in the millions and the Nuova Lazio river that ran down to the ocean was now tidal and the flooded valley afforded a very attractive lake-like view. "Just like Loch Lomond" said Richard who had never been anywhere further than Palmerston North.

Richard was happy. While he had not become a property tycoon he still had his house that was now worth a couple of million dollars according to the real estate agents flyers that cluttered up his letterbox. The only 'fly in his ointment' was also the clutter that several thousand rusting bass strings made of his spare room, rumpus room, bathroom and garage.

His prediction of a run on these failed to happen as Apple/Samsung had produced a hand-held digital bass machine that revolutionised the music industry. Portability was a big advantage. A bigger advantage was the mute button.

Geramy in comparison was a property tycoon. He had manically bought up every property that came to market in the recent years and most of these he was able to buy very very cheap. His dreams of living 'on the waterfront' had come true. The problem was that he couldn't actually live in his houses as they were 10 metres underwater.

 He lived on a barge that was anchored above Jackson Street. Robert had become a real estate agent and offered several properties for sale. He had purchased a second hand diving suit circa 1890 that he kept on hand just in case a client wished to inspect a property. The slow leak in the suit and perished air tubes weren't really a problem as none did.

At first Robert was bothered by the banks that he had taken out mortgages with but with time, and higher water levels these bankers and in fact the banks disappeared.
It was also an advantage that he'd taken out the mortgages in the name of Geramy Watkins III.

All was well in Robert's world although the promised second coming of his god hadn't eventuated.

Monday, 18 July 2016


I've followed the success of Richard's Bass Bag's Saturday Morning at Richard's Bass Bag occasional series.
Well, when I say 'success' I guess I mean that it gets a few extra clicks - it's not like The Wine Guy's blog or Kim Kardashian's Twitter account. Anyway, as I've been a bit slack in blogging recently I thought that I'd give my blog a boost by stealing borrowing improving on Richard's idea.

Taking advantage of Air New Zealand's 10th anniversary of Grab a Seat and the special $1 flight deals, I arranged for some inaugural guests to fly up here to form the panel. Unfortunately Richard himself is afraid of flying and I assume that his alter-egos are too so the panel was made up of:

The Wine Guy from The Wine Guy
The Wine Guy from The Wine Guy (New)
The Wine Guy from The Wine Guy Express
but we'll just refer to all three of him as The Wine Guy

Geramy Watkins from G Watkins III

Geramy aka Robert was too shy to provide an image so I've used an appropriate one instead.

Bas from Bas's Bag

The strange guy from Zweite Geige

and of course me, The Curmudgeon
(The Curmudgeon Express guy will fill in when I have to get drinks, make coffee etc).

The Curmudgeon:  Welcome all, glad you could make it up here this morning.

ALL: (hubbub, coughing, shuffling and farting)

Bas:  Ooops - better out than in.

The Curmudgeon: That's OK Bas. Scatological! Ha, ha, ha, ha.... OK never-mind, it was just a reference to that other blog with a Saturday morning panel. I'm not surprised that you've never seen it. Let's get settled. I've lit the fire in the lounge and started up the coffee espresso machine. None of that vile instant coffee here ha, ha.

The Wine Guy: I'd prefer a wine. Have you got any wine? Maybe a couple. Can I have a selection? I usually have two or three glasses on the go at any one time. I bought some good chardonnay from Blackmarket and a few cases of pinot noir from Fine Wines On Line. They were pretty good. Have you got a sweet wine maybe? A Sauternes will do ....

The Curmudgeon: (under his breath) Fuck!

Bas: I'll have a red ta.

The Strange Guy: Nein.

The Curmudgeon: Nine?

The Strange Guy: No, nein.

The Curmudgeon: (under his breath) Fuck!

Geramy: I'll have a beer - home brew thanks.

The Curmudgeon: (under his breath) Fuck!

Bas: What the fuck's this I asked for a red.

The Curmudgeon: It is a red - Pinot Noir.

Bas: Nah mate. Red - Lion Red. Jeez.

The Curmudgeon: (under his breath) Fuck!

The Wine Guy: This isn't a Sauterne. It smells like a Barsac. Did I ever tell you the story about when I was in France and..

The Curmudgeon: (loudly) Gentlemen, gentlemen please. Let's settle down and get started. We don't have much time as your flights back are leaving in a couple of hours. Geramy, why don't you start off. What have you been up to over the last week?

Geramy: Good, im glad you asked that. You know I've been buzy so bussy in ffcat that I get up before ive even gone to bed I pray tomy God Jesus before fixing his holy church which I then cleen for him before cleening hosueses for all thos ungreatfull bistards who i work four and then my wife has sum lounge sweets and 4 door wardrobes for me to pik up from trade me every afternoon and tehn i have to rebuild them turning the 4 door wuns into 3 doors and then i brew some more beer drink it and get up again before i go to bed again..

The Curmudgeon: (under his breath) Fuck!

The Strange Guy:  Vass iss god hein?

The Curmudgeon: Now Strange Guy, don't start him off again for fuck's sake - Who wants coffee?

ALL: (mumbles Cappucino, farts, Espresso, hubub, Flat white, farts, Lion Red)

The Curmudgeon: (under his breath) Fuck! Well, time's up guys I'd better get you back to the airport.

* This inaugural meeting will be the only one.

Sunday, 10 July 2016


It's a cold Sunday up here but I fortified myself with a warm fire and a drop of Scotch - well a couple of drops as it turned out but not a deluge.
As The Old Girl has returned to Auckland I turned up the music from the lounge loud so that in the study it has that nice 'remote' but very listenable quality (try it, it's often better than listening to it up close).

One of the albums I put on was the Alabama 3's Exile on Coldharbour Lane.
This is the one that has the best version of their 'Woke up One Morning' song the extended version on it. Bloody excellent.

Listen here:


I've liked this band for a long time and we went to see them last year when we were in the UK.
See here:


That concert was like the ones I went to in Wellington in my student days - rough without all the slick stage presentation and big venue sophistication. It was raw, visceral and energetic. Loved it.

Good old British R&B and Blues stuff that harks back to the '60s but still not as good as this kind of stuff:



I fired up the computer this early afternoon to write a blog post - on something or other when the phone rang. It was Richard (of RBB) who is back in the blogging business under his own name after having taken a dive for a couple of weeks. While talking to him about Lotto dreams, Robert's wife's glossolalia, the problems with elderly aunts and the dumbing down of the Media we got on to the Gervais and Merchant's series Extras.

I remembered that I was going to write a post on an experience at the beginning of last week but couldn't find the appropriate video clip to underscore my experience.

The situation was my attending an Industry seminar in Auckland at a fancy hotel on Monday.
There were a few of my old associates there, along with a lot of new faces I didn't recognise. I've been on the fringe of my previous lifelong Industry employment for about 8 years now, working in a part-time consultation capacity. The yearly event was attended by a disappointingly low number of people but the content was excellent as too was the catering.

After the presentation and the usual gossip sessions the chief organiser, the GM Marketing of the Industry body, pointed to the buffet table with a selection of top quality muffins and said "It's a shame to waste them, please take some away with you". My old mate Tom who I've worked with for several decades (and who is still in a full-time, well paid sinecure) enthusiastically chimed in "great, good idea, we'll be in to that".

I turned around and, as I've been entertaining the Old Girl's 85 year old aunt for the last few weeks and knowing her love of food and treats thought that I'd take back a couple for her. I went to the table and chose a couple of muffins, wrapped them in paper napkins and put them in my jacket pockets.

As I left the table I noticed the GM Marketing, a group of new people I didn't recognise and my old mate Tom all looking at me with looks on their faces ranging from blank to bemused. Bastards!
I immediately thought of that Extras programme where Shaun Williamson ('Barry' from Eastenders), while Ricky Gervais's character was holding him up to the producers as the epitome of integrity and dignity after having left a previous esteemed position, was filling his pockets with cakes, savouries and sweets from the buffet. As they turned to look at him all of the goodies fell out of holes in his pockets. Pathos at its best.

Pity I couldn't find the video link but it was on the Series Two Christmas special I think.

This Post was brought to you by Cragganmore 12 Y.O. Highland Malt Whisky.


I like John Oliver. His retakes of the news are insightful and very funny. Have a look via the link below at his latest review of Facebook...