Friday, 19 October 2018


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. He exposes the danger this poorly controlled behemoth does with a particular focus on Myanmar. In Facebook's headlong charge to capture the Myanmar market they didn't do enough due diligence and effectively became the default news medium for millions of people giving legitimacy to dangerous extremism and racist and ethnic profiling.

The fake Facebook advertisement at the end of the programme is spot on:


I subscribe to  OPEN CULTURE which has very interesting articles on many subjects including art, history, literature, religion and music.

Here's a couple of good ones that turned up overnight:



Friday, 12 October 2018


My lovely cat Willow died this morning. She was 19 years old and has been a big part of our lives interacting with friends and family who will all miss her.

She has had some health problems recently and over the last few days these became severe with heart failure being the main contributor. We watched her slip away at the vets.

Watching your laboured breathing
I'm scared to see your last breath
but I'm even more scared to look away and miss it
Goodbye Willow

Monday, 8 October 2018


I watched an old episode of Father Ted last night and thought of Robert when I saw this bit:



I had minor knee surgery today - an arthroscopic debridement which I know sounds like a divorce for an old geezer but was investigative surgery for the meniscal tears I have in the ligaments of my knee.

I say that it was minor surgery but for me who has never had surgery before it was major. The nearest thing I've had before was a couple of colonoscopies which, although invasive (Richard wil attest to this) didn't require full anaesthesia. This was pretty interesting and they rightly take this seriously as the surgeon told me before the op that the cutting was a doddle - it's the anaesthesia you have to worry about. Charming. Maybe it's just a bit of professional sparring. The whole process took a couple of hours - half an hour of which was the surgery. I remember nothing of this which is just as well as I'm a bit of a wuss in this regard and hold my hand over my eyes in any gruesome bits on TV or in films and have never watched any hospital dramas - Dr Finlay's casebook being the closest to that.

"Och, ye're a big Jessie"

The Old Girl is staying up North all this week to care for me - bless her. I'll be OK but it'll be nice having someone to cook my dinner and wait on me hand and foot (not that I'll milk the situation - never!).

Saturday, 6 October 2018


I've just been listening to these guys on National Radio.
Part of the WOMAD festival I think.

Bloody excellent.
No doubt Richard will like this especially the tibetan throat singing.


Just the thing for an early evening on the deck with a glass of wine.

Music in all its forms is wonderful.


Robert in a recent post asked .."Where in the world is Richard?"

Well I was also wondering where in the world are Richard's alter egos who haven't been heard from for some time even from before Richard (of RBB) went to Italy for a holiday.

The Curmudgeons Inc.ⓒ is known for our investigative capabilities and we set to find out the whereabouts of that rag-tag band.

In alphabetic order here are our findings:

Akish The Philistine

As his name suggests this is Richard's most basic alter ego - a rude, uneducated yob who wouldn't know art if it bit him on the arse. We discovered that Akish is now working for Auckland City Council as arts and culture manager  and goes by the name of  Richard McWha, see: HERE

Angry Jesus

Angry Jesus was called back to base for retraining. "I decided to remove AJ from the blogging community until further notice " said God. "Transparency is important, even more so for members of the holy trinity."

"I have let myself and Dad down and my resignation is the consequence of my errors."I am committed to making the holy trinity more open and ensuring that creatives and innovators in blogging services have a voice at the table without being criticised and abused. I'm proud of the work I have undertaken but accept that some retraining is necessary." said Angry Jesus.

We are sad to report that Bin is very unwell and cannot blog at present.
He became confused and forgot which hand to use when he was picking his teeth and used the wrong one. He is now making a slow recovery from simultaneous bouts of diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, polio and hepatitis.


Bill is missing and no one knows where or when he is. Following a flirtation with The Curmudgeons Inc.ⓒ, Bill was kidnapped by Richard (of RBB) and his cohorts and was the subject of an intervention. He hasn't been seen or heard from since. Foul play hasn't been ruled out.

Arrested for indecent exposure - 6 months detention in a secure establishment.

Underfunding is suspected with this unit. Results to date were spotty at best and the future doesn't look good.

Not unlike Richard's Bass Bag, Richard's Bass Bag 2 is yesterday's news and hasn't contributed for some time.

If  Richard's Bass Bag 2 is yesterday's news then Richard's Bass Bag 3 is yesterday's news with fish and chips wrapped up in it. A useless appendage like an old man's todger this blog is long past its use-by date.

We'll be generous here and say that as Shaw Thing is a South Island blog, the winter weather has curtailed blogging activity. A quick check though showed that there have been no new posts since December last year. A poor show really.

Fat and lazy was our investigator's conclusion. This blogger slo hasn't posted since Christmas last year and that was pathetic.  We've decided that if Richard himself wasn't such a lazy and erratic blogger he would have culled this blog some time ago.

We at The Curmudgeons Inc.ⓒ don't like to make fun of anyone's disabilities or limitations (except of course religious nutters) but we do wonder why this incomprehensible stutterer ever made it to the blogging community. Our conclusion? Richard (of RBB) needed all the help he could get.

We discovered that The The Guy is working for TV Three news. No-one watches or listens to that anyway.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018


I was in Auckland on the weekend after having been further south in Wellington moving my sister from one house to another.

We went to the Auckland Museum to see the suffrage exhibition - Are We There Yet? or, as I said to The Old Girl - the Uppity Women exhibition. This rewarded me with a severe thump which kind of underscores my comment.

This is put together really well and is well worth seeing if you get the chance. If not there is a similar exhibition I believe at Vogel House in the Hutt.


On the way to the museum as we walked through The Domain we came across these nutters having a bit of a ding dong:

Click on these and enlarge to see what's going on.

Robert will love this as he's the type of person who would get involved in these medieval reenactments.

They were really going at it, bashing each other with the swords emitting grunts and groans that were real. The clanging of sword on helmet I'm sure would have given them headaches. It would have been a hell of a time to live.


Not this one though:

More like this one:

At school dances where the catholic boys would fraternise with the catholic girls from other colleges, nuns with rulers would be on patrol to interfere should any close contact and potential procreation occur.


I'm currently having an ongoing battle with a bird who keeps trying to build a nest above the back door of our house.

The randy little bugger keeps putting the straws back as soon as I get rid of them. This morning the nest was half built and within minutes of me getting rid of it he'd already put back some of the material.

I feel a bit sorry for him as he won't get a mate until he's built a nest for her but there are plenty of trees around he could use.

I feel like one of those nuns with rulers.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018


Not me this time thank Robert's god.

We have successfully moved my sister from the 3 bedroom house that she has lived in since the 1980s to a 1 bedroom cottage in a kind of gated community.

From this:

To this:

My sister is a bit of a hoarder and every room in the house (3 bedrooms, dining room, lounge, workroom, sunroom and garage) were filled with furniture, dolls, teddy bears and junk.

The lounge was like something out of a Stephen King horror novel

The house was in bad repair and was sold 'as is'. The new owners will do a lot of renovation before moving in. The 'new' cottage although substantially smaller was the same price and, to help cover costs and body corporate charges my other sister put in about $50k to help in the exchange. This cottage, in a really nice community setting should hold value and provide equity for my sister - something that was slipping with the old place.

Over several days we took: 4 large van loads of junk to the tip; 3 van loads to the new place; and 2 van loads to the sallie army. I got rid of many dolls and teddy bears and their accessories along with excess furniture and aforementioned junk. I was feeling a bit mean giving away the dolls and teddy bears and huge amounts of new, unopened goods like gifts, christmas decorations, toiletries etc (my sister has a compulsion to shop even though she has no money) but when we viewed all that was taken to the cottage I wish that I'd got rid of more. We'll have to do another cull sometime soon.

I managed to further injure my knee (I have an investigative operation on this next Monday) and hurt my back so it was a relief to get back home.

I'm sick and tired of house moving and hope that we don't have to do it with our house up north or Auckland apartment anytime soon.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018


Well Richard (of RBB) and Shelley his lovely and long suffering wife left today on a jet plane bound for Singapore en route for Italy.

"Bye Richard and Shelley. Wish there was room for us too".

Mike and I went to the airport this morning to meet them at the domestic terminal and to ferry them to the international terminal. This was just as well as being relatively inexperienced travellers they might have followed the 'wings' sign to Butterfly Creek which is a kind of fun park near the airport.

It was great meeting up with these two Wainuiomartians having not seen them for a couple of years.
They were looking dapper as prescribed by their status as Premium Economy travellers which puts them in a far superior class to the hoi-polloi who will be loaded in the back of the plane.

" I say Mr Prowse, your bath is ready sir. Do you want me to scrub your back?"

It was disappointing  though that neither of them had taken my advice and dressed in pyjamas for the flight. Oh well, you just can't help some people.

They had relatively successfully managed the first leg of their journey - from Wellington to Auckland with, at this stage only one reported resignation from the airline. The harassed employee was overheard saying as she was led away in tears "I can't handle two things at once"


The intrepid travellers were safely (for all of us) out of Auckland just after midday on a plane especially commissioned to hold Richard's musical instruments which were apparently too long.

I suggested to Richard that foldable violins might be the way of the future and then of course remembered how baggage handlers treat delicate items. "Don't worry, they'll fold it in half for you no trouble" I said. Richard was becoming noticeably edgy. "I think I need a chardonnay" he croaked hoarsely.

The advantage of having superior seating in airlines means of course that the bar service will be of greater quality and frequency so no doubt they would have settled themselves in immediately on boarding.


Next stop Singapore where they will stay for a night before taking off for Milan.

Those poor Singaporean airport personnel. What did they ever do to us?

Thursday, 20 September 2018


I had the busiest day today from the standpoint of busy days.

Donald Trump has reinvented the concept of hyperbole so I feel that I can employ it as well as per his interpretation:

No doubt Robert could benefit from this usage to describe his 'busy' days at work which seems to involve:

  • Spying on people he thinks are spying on him (I hope that he wears his aluminium foil hat when he's indulging in this paranoiac exercise).
  • Listening to podcasts through his smartphone.
  • Liberating pop up toasters and cooking up sugary toast.
  • Discussing (gossiping) with fellow christians about what god got up to on the weekend.
  • Hiding in his cupboard.
  • Composing music.
  • Writing poetry.
  • Planning blog posts.
  • Dreaming up witty comments for other blog posts.
  • Sitting in non-catholic churches and looking for god ("Where's god? there's no tabernacle here - strange!)


Oh yes .... my day.
Well, from the standpoint of a lazy old bastard I had quite a busy day today.

I woke at 6.30 (note: this wasn't planned as the alarm was set for 7.30 but the cat, even though she's about 20 which is 140 in human years and she should know better, hasn't worked out that as it gets closer to Summer the dawn occurs earlier, came in to the bedroom to announce that she was awaiting her breakfast).

After a cup of tea, ablutions that I won't go into here (this isn't a Richard of RBB post after all) and catching up with all of the overnight news I was ready to go off to play tennis.

Too early by an hour. Bugger!

Another cup of tea and a slice of toast while reading a book, listening to Morning Report and doing the Listener crossword filled in the time.

Tennis. It was a nice day and I experimented with my new tennis serve that I learned off the internet which went well.

Off to the gym. I like going to the local gym on 'off hours' because I'm usually the only one there and don't have to suffer the grunts and gyrations of the 'bunnies' and certainly not the godawful music some of them crank up on the stereo system. I just do what I want to do while listening to an audio-book through my phone and earplugs.

Lunch and a bit of a laze around until I remembered that The Old Girl is arriving tomorrow morning so I had to scurry around all afternoon doing housework (she sees through the superficial stuff now so it had to be the real deal on dusting, vacuuming and bathroom cleaning).

I pre-prepared a vegetarian pizza which I'll cook soon (sooner the better as I've imbibed a few chardonnays) and then that's my day -  the busiest day today from the standpoint of busy days.


Tuesday, 18 September 2018


Richard and Shelley are off to Italy next week - lucky buggers.Here are some 'tips' that may prove useful.

Electrolyte drinks like 1Above or Flyhydrate seriously reduce the effects of jetlag and are well worth taking with you.
Buy these in advance (check a pharmacy or supermarket) as it is really expensive to buy them at the airport.

Avoid eating on the plane if you can. Check out the 'galley' when you board and you'll see that nothing good will ever come from there. Eat the stuff they give you that's sealed in cellophane or plastic but don't get tempted by the fancy schmancy sounding rubbish.

Drink water that you can see comes from a plastic 'mineral' water bottle - lots of it. Don't drink the water that seems to come from a jug or something. This will be water that's been sitting in the airplanes tanks since the plane was first commissioned.

Don't drink too much wine - a couple will do unless they are offering real Champagne then drink as much as you can.

Use the toilet (number ones only) early in the flight as later on it gets a bit messy in there.

On long flights I change into my pyjamas for comfort. Take some with you or some sort of light and comfy 'pyjama-type' clothes that don't look like pyjamas if you are embarrassed. A T-shirt and loose shorts or pants will do.

In case they don't give you some 'oversocks' have a pair of throwaway socks or disposable sandals that you can wear and then discard. Refer to the advice above about the toilets as explanation.

Buy some of those compression socks to wear (under the throwaway ones). Again, buy in advance as they are expensive at the airport. These reduce the risk of blood clots and swollen feet.

Don't take too much stuff with you on-board. Others will clutter up the overhead lockers with kitchen sinks etc. but you don't need to. It will be easier finding your 1Above, passports, books, crosswords etc. if you have a reasonably empty backpack or carry on bag.

Take a pen or two for filling out arrival forms.

An iPad is ideal if loaded up with books to read on 'Overdrive' in case the movies are crap. On long flights an ideal way of passing the time is to watch entire series of TV series like Sopranos, The Wire, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad etc.

Secure your blanket and pillow as soon as you board - these things have a habit of becoming scarce later on. Only fart when you have covered yourself with a blanket - in your case grab two.

Only speak Italian if someone next to you is annoying.

Bon voyage!

or, Buon viaggio!

Monday, 17 September 2018


Listening to the radio this morning I did a double take when I heard the reporter say "Sir Paul Collins of Martinborough...". What the fuck!

I did a google search and yes, it's true. It happened in 2015 when I was overseas so I missed this.

Richard and I went to college with Paul Collins. He was in the P classes with me and was a mate of Danny Cotterall.
Paul wasn't an outstanding student but had the good commercial sense to study Accountancy at university. We played in the same rugby team - Athletic- when we were at uni and I remember asking him why he was wasting his time doing accountancy when there were so many other interesting degree courses to take and I seemed to take most of them. He went on to become a multi-millionaire and I never completed a degree. Such is life.

I don't have anything personal against Paul except for - getting on to my high horse Richard - he joined Brierley's and became one of the unscrupulous corporate raiders in the 1980s who made huge amounts of money and left behind human wreckage. Being of a socialist leaning I found this to be reprehensible.

I'm not the only one to feel this way. Have a read of this:


Mike's writing a novel. He did a post graduate writing course at university last year so I guess that he knows what he's doing. It was pretty disciplined and, like with a Phd his pass grade is dependent on his output being the selected body of work which he is editing. I'm keen to read this when it's finished. Mike is clever and a bit of a perfectionist so there's no doubt that it will be a good book.


I've been writing a novel in my head for a few years. It's a young adult book pitched to the 12 to 14 y.o. set. Well, when I say pitched that's my understanding of the demographic. In reality for the 12 to 14 y.o. set nowadays I'd probably have to add a lot of sex, drugs and violence. Anyway, the setting 
is 1940s New Zealand which were simpler times.

This weekend I decided to get the book down on paper. I opened a Word file and started typing.

I've completed four pages!

I've been a bit slack I must admit and am easily distracted.

Today I changed the desktop background on the computer screen to one of The Old Girl looking at me sternly. Hopefully this will keep me on track .....

........... oops, the sun has just come out. I'd better be off to play a few holes of golf.

Sunday, 16 September 2018


Thanks to Richard (of RBB) I got to have a sleep-in this morning as I didn't have to get up really early to watch a replay of the rugby. We don't have TV so I watch replays on You Tube which is OK as long as you do it early enough before you happen to see or hear the result on the news somewhere.

I made the mistake of reading Richard (of RBB)'s blog last night and he had posted the result.

I imagine that this Wainuiomartian is moving a bit slow this morning as going by the photograph he posted of himself he was looking like he was giving the chardonnay kiosk a bit of a bashing at the cake tin.

Saturday, 15 September 2018


I helped out at The Village Green today.

This is a piece of council land that has lain unused for decades. The local residents association has appropriated it for communal use and a group of volunteers have been building a reserve. Landscaping is underway and plantings of hundreds of donated native trees, flaxes and grasses. The council provided money for an excellent fence and an outdoor table and chairs have just been donated.

Today's working bee was digging out weeds, laying weed mat in a koru shape and planting out native grasses. We also planted a Pohutukawa which has been positioned to provide shade and shelter to a sitting area. We excavated an area ready for concreting in a base for the table and chairs.

It's a sad indictment on modern life that this beautiful, donated set has to be secured in concrete to stop unprincipled scrotes from stealing it.

Things are shaping up and in a couple of years when the trees and plantings have matured it will be beautiful. There's a fresh water stream running  through it, fed from Mount Manaia which looms above the Green.


All we need now is a Village Idiot.

Ooo aaarrr!

Any takers?

Friday, 14 September 2018


I've been watching the latest fiascoes from Trump's presidency this evening and, as I'm sure you've seen, this idiot, as reported in the latest expose - the Op-Ed in the New York Daily News, when talking with architects about plans for the Trump Tower in NYC Trump tried to reject regulatory plans for having buttons in the lifts to cater to blind people for having mandatory Braille buttons.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with a flatmate when living in a flat (a shared accommodation) in Wellington in the 1970s.

ME: Yes, I really do have poor eyesight. If I don't have my glasses on I can't see clearly.

HER: OK, but how do you make love?

ME: I use Braille.

HER: (no intelligible answer - she just cracked up laughing).

Wednesday, 12 September 2018


I noticed a water leak on our property last Friday and notified the council. There was seepage through the retaining wall between ours and the neighbours property. The council said that they would log the alert and that someone would be out to check within the next few days. As it was Friday I didn't expect anyone to come but a couple of hours later a contractor turned up to check things out.

Like when you go to the doctor about a pain, when the contractor turned up the flow of water had stopped. Fortunately though there was evidence of where it had been flowing and the guy confirmed that it was on the street side of our water meter so it was the council's problem, not ours.  While he was there though we both noticed a huge flow of water going through a drain by the road at the front of our property. On lifting the heavy grate  the flow could be seen coming not from our property or from uphill i.e. not from a stream or from rainfall but from along the road where there is a fire hydrant. He climbed down the drain hole (there were footholds built in) and took a water sample for checking for chlorination which would confirm that it was council water.

He said to call the council again if the other flow, along our property line started up again

Of course a couple of hours after he'd gone it started up again, this time pouring out rather than pulsing. I called the council again.

On Monday a different contractor came to check. He confirmed that it was a council problem and wouldn't cost us anything and painted some marks on the road. We discussed what they were going to do with me pretending to know what he was talking about.


On Tuesday the flow stopped again and today two different contractors (how many of these people do they have?) turned up with a digger. As the flow on our property had stopped there was nothing that they could do there - no doubt it will start up again after they've gone - they proceeded to dig up the road.

They've dug down quite a long way and seem to be doing a lot of standing with hands on hips and shaking their heads but haven't cut off my water yet. I've filled up a couple of water jugs though just in case.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018


I more often than not travel down to Auckland and back by bus nowadays, only taking the car if I need to carry something heavy. This is great for relaxation, cost saving and to avoid what is becoming a dangerous stretch of road particularly as being an old geezer my reactions aren't as fast as they used to be.

The problem is that I live a half hour from town and the bus depot and there isn't a public bus service out to where I live.

I listened to an interesting article on Nine To Noon on National Radio this morning.

For the past century, the car has dominated our cities, shaping the streets, roads and urban spaces that surround them. Enter the AV or automated vehicle. But according to design guru, Allison Arieff AVs won't be enough to fix these problems - and could even make them worse. She says that's because we need to be designing for people not cars. She talks to Kathryn Ryan about how good design can change all our lives. Allison Arieff is currently the editorial director of the urban planning and policy think tank, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association and edits its publication, The Urbanist. She is also a columnist for The New York Times, and teaches at UC Berkeley. She is being brought to New Zealand by the NZ Institute of Architects, to present the Sir Ian Athfield Memorial Lecture in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown for the Festival of Architecture which runs from 14th -23rd September. She teaches in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.

You can listen to it here: TRAFFIC WOES

With some other people I've been pushing for council and government funding for safe walkways and cycleways in our semi-rural area and it looks like things are moving in this direction but a bus or shuttle service from the Heads to Whangarei would be most welcome and might take some of the problem drivers off the road.

When I'm in Auckland I walk or, if it's raining use the bus or train service. I'd walk around Whangarei as well if there was a suitable way of getting there. We have a wharf-strength jetty at the end of our street so some kind of ferry would be ideal. Apparently one operated from there a couple of decades ago taking college kids across the harbour into school. As usually happens this was replaced by a bus service and parents driving their kids to school that has added to pollution, road wear and traffic problems. 

Other places around Auckland could benefit from more use of ferries (like in Sydney*)  and in Wellington an increased Days Bay/Eastbourne service would I'm sure get well used and help decrease the pressure on the Hutt Road (even though Robert thinks that building wharves and jetties there is solely for the benefit of the wealthy and privileged classes).

If this country doesn't sort out its traffic problems we could see a return to drastic measures like the Carless Days scheme of the 1970s.

* Manley Ferry joke.

Visitor to Circular Quay in Sydney: "Excuse me I'm looking for the Manley Ferry"

Person that he asked: " Here I am" (said in a very deep voice)

Monday, 10 September 2018


I'm sure that most people have done this at at least one time in their lives. With empirical knowledge of things like this sensible people only do it once.

When it comes to blogging though, as most bloggers know, we create posts knowing that no one is going to ever read them. In this way we're 'pissing in the wind'.

Of course blogging like most if not all social media is all about ego and self-gratification so what does it matter that you put a lot of effort into writing long, interesting and or funny posts that no one reads or comments on.

Richard (of RBB) is in a bit of a snit with me because not only did I not comment on his long and funny posts recently but I chose to criticise them in a post of my own.
"So, you can write shit about me and call me nasty things in comments and that's okay. But when I write stuff about Dad's Army offence is taken. Mr Thin Skin."
He wrote in the comments section. I guess he won't be reading or commenting on my posts for a while now.

Oh well, there's always Robert.

Relying on Robert for reading and commenting on your blog posts though is like sitting at a bar and having some weido wanting to sit next to you and engage you in conversation.

Sunday, 9 September 2018


We had a really nice Spring-like day yesterday. Blue sky, no wind and it was warm and sunny. Magic.

After a long walk and an early lunch, The Old Girl settled into the study to do some work. Damn!
This meant that I couldn't slack around as there were some obvious things that needed doing. Like weeding.

I meant to just pull out a few here and there but as often happens when you start a job like this it's never ending.
Four hours later I'd just about filled up the trailer again and had pulled out massive amounts of weeds that had begun to run riot. The hardest ones were those that had started growing among the brickwork at the rear of the house. The little bastards take root in the spaces and have to be dug out.

Still, a job well done and deserving of some refreshment which was a bottle of Deutz Blanc de Blanc while we played Pool.

* Number 1856 in the tedious posts series.

Saturday, 8 September 2018


I live in a rural community that is part of a larger regional council. As such we get services from the regional council via our exorbitant rates but often, with small but nevertheless important things we have to organise as a community to get them done or paid for.

Some people in the community enjoy all of the benefits but don't lift a finger to help. It's like the Little Red Hen story but with no downside for them. One of these is a neighbour and friend. He never volunteers for committees, working bees or fundraisers but enjoys the sports and activities that are funded and worked for by the volunteers.

It's a shame.

I get involved where I can with the community association, civil defence and charity and fundraising groups. Recently I posted that I was interested in joining the Community Patrols of New Zealand which is a group that supports the police by patrolling neighbourhoods at night observing any criminal or suspicious behaviour which is recorded, documented and passed on to the police.

A blogger chose to make fun of this interest and the CPNZ suggesting that they were a bunch of silly old buggers wanting to dress up and play at being policemen.

It's a shame.

Maybe one day this blogger will have his house or vehicle broken into and vandalised and some silly old buggers watching it happen will choose not to become involved and look the other way.

Friday, 7 September 2018


I was listening to a live concert by Little Feat last night. Being a live concert there were a few instances of  musician solos - drums, bass, guitar, piano etc and the great Bill Payne did a stint on piano. Nice.

Double bass players of course are familiar with solos as they are used to playing with themselves but with some other musicians the results are often excruciating.


Now I don't dance - I hate it and The Old Girl has to drag me by the ear to dance to one of our 'favourite songs' when we are at an event - but, when we were young, very young at about 17 - going to school and community dances was the only way to meet girls. You had to dance which was usually a kind of box-step shuffle.

This was tolerable if the music wasn't too loud and you actually got to ask the name of the girl who you just asked to dance and you got something other than a vacant look in return.
If however, just after you asked a stranger to dance, the band went into extended solos - especially fucking drum solos - you just had to kind of stand there saying nothing. It wasn't worth dancing to the noisy and inharmonious crap coming from the stage and, not having got to even know the name of your victim squeeze new friend you could hardly go in for a clinch and a cuddle the way that the 'girlfriends and boyfriends' did. Bastards.

Still, at least it wasn't as bad as doing the asking, going out onto the dance floor and the band then announces that they are going to have a break.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018


THE CURMUDGEON is about to release a book about the bizarre organisation known as Richard's Bass Bag which as you all know has gone through several transformations over the last year.
The working title of the book is FARK! which denotes the surprise, bewilderment and consternation that ensues from Richard's blogging posts and comments.

In the pursuit of fairness and responsibility in researching and writing this book THE CURMUDGEON repeatedly sought an interview with Richard in order to get his opinions and input but over several months of requests for interviews that were fielded by Richard's various cronies THE CURMUDGEONS INC.ⓒ decided to go ahead with the book anyway. The release is imminent and Richard has heard about it and has finally decided to take The Curmudgeon's call.



Call transcript*


TC: Richard, how are you?

RICHARD: How are you? How are you doing? Okay?

TC: Real well. I’m turning on my tape recorder, with your permission.

RICHARD: Oh, that’s okay. That’s okay. I don’t mind that at all.

TC: I’m sorry we missed the opportunity to talk for the book.

RICHARD: Well, I just spoke with Bin (Bin Hire of Bin's Bass Bag) and he asked me if I got a call. I never got a call. I never got a message. Who did you ask about speaking to me?

TC: Well, about six people.

RICHARD: They don’t tell me.

TC: Bin, the other Richard's (2), Angry Jesus, some guy called Akish and some other strange dude. I talked several times to Bin about it.


TC: He met me for a drink to talk about it.

RICHARD: Well, it’s too bad. Of course, you and I had a conversation a couple of years ago, and so that I think got you there a little bit. And we had a conversation many years ago, if you remember, at Tony and Alison's place in Point Chevalier.

TC: Yeah, I do.

RICHARD: That has to be more than 10 years ago. And you were thinking about doing a book about me then, which is interesting. Who knew it would’ve been on this subject? Right? That was not in the cards at that time.

BW: That’s right. Well, I’m sorry, I . ..

RICHARD: I still remember that.

TC: I spent a lot of time on this, talked to lots of people.

RICHARD: All right. Good.

TC: And as you know it's important that we get your true story out there.


TC: And I would’ve liked to have interviewed you and I tried but somehow my requests didn’t get to you, or . ..

RICHARD: It’s really too bad, because nobody told me about it, and I would’ve loved to have spoken to you. You know I’m very open to you. I think you’ve always been fair. We’ll see what happens. But all I can say is the Bass Bag is doing very well. We’re doing better than ever before. We’re doing better on violin and bass practice practise practice maybe than ever. You know, I mean, if you look at the practice practise practice hours numbers, you’ve heard me say it. And we’re doing better on gig performances than just about ever. We’re having a lot of — a lot of you know - gigs and Robert has moved back into the blogging community - OK, OK, I know that's not great but at least he's trying (very trying) but .......

TC: Well, I understand that point of view. And as you know, it’s also a difficult time where the blogging community has been a bit slow with some members buggering off to other countries and ...

RICHARD: Yeah. Yeah.

TC: I take it very seriously. I’ve written a lot on the members of the blogging community and about you and your many alter egos.


TC: I’ve got to go talk to people and see them outside of RICHARD'S BASS BAG and gained a lot of insight and documentation. And it’s — you know, it’s a tough look at your blog and you.

RICHARD: Right. Well, I assume that means it’s going to be a negative book. But you know, I’m some — I’m sort of 50 percent used to that.  That’s all right. Some are good and some are bad. Sounds like this is going to be a bad one.

TC: It was a chance missed, and I don’t know how things work over there in terms of . ..

RICHARD: Very well. We . ..

TC: . . . getting to you.

RICHARD: Well, if you would call Bill (Different Time Zone Bill) . . . Did you speak to Bill?

TC: No, I didn’t. But I . ..

RICHARD: Bill's the key. He’s the secret. Because He’s the person . ..

TC: Well, I tried to talk to Bill but he was never there - he was gallivanting away over several time zones I guess. I tried to talk to Dave (Dave Shaw) about it. I called Terry McDougal......

RICHARD: Well, a lot of them are afraid to come and talk, or — you know, they are busy. I’m busy. But I don’t mind talking to you. I would’ve spoken to you. I spoke to you 10 years ago and I spoke to you a year and a half or two years ago, and I spoke to you 2 weeks ago and and and ..... umm...

TC: A couple of years ago, I understand.

RICHARD: And I certainly don’t mind talking to you, and I wish I could’ve spoken to you. But nobody called my office. I mean, you went through, I guess, different people. ...

TC: Well ...

RICHARD: So I have another bad book coming out. Big deal.

TC: Well ... it'll be an honest book.

RICHARD: But are you naming names? Or do you just say sources?

TC: Yeah, well, it names real incidents, so . ..

RICHARD: No, but do you name sources? I mean, are you naming the people, or just say, people have said?

TC: I say what actually happened and luckily you haven't , like Robert, deleted all of your rantings ravings posts .... or at least not for the last couple of years.

RICHARD: Bugger.

TC: Certainly, I understand and I would’ve loved to go through a discussion with you about all of the rantings ravings posts, because this goes to the heart of your sanity and control of Richard's Bass say Bin's there, ask him.

[Bin Hire takes the phone.]

TC: Bin?

BIN HIRE: TC, how are you? Hi.

TC: Hi. Remember two and a half months ago you came over and I said I wanted to talk to Richard? And you said you would get back to me?

BIN: I do. And I put in the request. But you know, they — it was rejected. I can only take it so far. 

TC: Yeah.

BIN HIRE: But I try to follow all the protocols, or else I’m accused of being somebody who doesn’t follow protocol.

TC: Richard, I just want you to know I made every effort.

BIN HIRE: Ummmm .....

(hands phone back to Richard)

RICHARD: We’re doing a good job.

TC: Well the book will show it all as it is.

RICHARD: All right. It’s too bad.

[Call ends]

* With apologies to Bob Woodward and The Washington Post

Monday, 3 September 2018


I'm joining the armed militia*

Tonight I attended a meeting with Neighbourhood Support, Community Patrols of New Zealand, The Police and the Fire Service. It was a local gathering where the various bodies representatives spoke and explained the different ways that they make our community safe. I was inspired and am putting my name forward to join both Neighbourhood Support and Community Patrols of NZ. (CPNZ).
This of course is if they'll have me but as I'm a member of the Civil Defence group I've already been police vetted so I guess I'm halfway there. It will require being interviewed and accepted by CPNZ and then interviewed and approved by Police.

I don't think that they'll give me a gun and you have to buy your own uniform but ...... I'll get a snazzy badge.



After radio and other training I'll get to ride around in the patrol car at night keeping an eye out for miscreants.

* Well to be honest it's Community Patrols and they aren't armed.

Saturday, 1 September 2018


The Proprietor
Ali's Shishkebab Restaurant
Mount Zion

Dear Sir
Please accept my sincere apology for the behaviour of my friends last night and for the damage that was caused to your esteemed establishment.
Things got a bit boisterous as we were celebrating my planned departure today.
The acts of 'The Boys' was I admit unseemly at times and I certainly hope that it will not predispose you to condemn them in the future. The Apostles will, I'm sure have a great future in teaching and in missionary endeavours so I trust that the events of last night can be put behind them.
Yours faithfully,

Jesus of Nazareth.

Friday, 31 August 2018


Dear Catholic Churches

I'm not entirely sure which one of you that I need to address so please accept my apology for contacting you all.

As you may know I frequent your establishments on a regular basis, usually on a Sunday.
I dress my best for these little outings and always wear a hat and carry a handbag. Occasionally, not always, I wear gloves. This is the reason that I am contacting you. I was just looking for my favourite gloves - the white ones in soft calfskin - and cannot find them. I have only ever taken them out when visiting Church so I can only think that I left them in one of the Churches on an earlier visit. The only problem is that I cannot remember which one. If you have found a pair of white calfskin gloves can you please let me know and I will call in to collect them. I always try and sit on the left hand side at the rear so this is where they may have been found.

Thanking you in anticipation,



Saint Anthony* had a problem. Actually he had a few problems that all added up to one big problem. Saint Anthony was of an addictive personality. He liked to gamble, drink and to fornicate.

He was forever tempted.

So what? You might ask. Isn't that what keeps casinos going and is the raison d'etre for John Key's (yet to be proved disastrous) collaboration with Skycity in Auckland. How else are they going to recoup their investment unless the punters gamble drink and fornicate there?

Well, yes but this is supposed to be a saint we're talking about here.

Anthony was born in Portugal but spent a lot of time in Italy where he found society less restrictive. He was able to satisfy his peccadillos in the various Italian city states, moving from one to the other until he settled in Padua.

To be fair to Tony he tried to lead a straight life but was forever tempted by city nightlife and the temptations of the flesh.

Various bishops and popes would send him letters admonishing him on his behaviour and slipping little reminder notices into the letters which he would conveniently lose (he later was awarded the title 'Patron Saint of Lost Things').

After Tony's death in 1231as the Church was a bit short of role models he was canonised and his 'temptations' were rewritten as actual temptations from the Devil and his cohorts (it was the Middle Ages after all)

* The title 'Saint' was bestowed after Antony's death as a way of the Catholic Church perpetuating the myth that its ambassadors were special and free of the sins that the rest of us have.


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...