Sunday, September 26

Is anyone out there feeling creative?

My dad is remarrying next weekend and I am to give a best man's speech. (I'm not to call myself best man because that might send the aforementioned 'close relative' on another one of his benders.)

In efforts so far I've googled the web and my own soul for inspiration. There's the standard list of complimenting bride & groom, thanking for the role of best man, thank them for hosting and read a few cards/emails/telegrams etc. But for one reason or another I'm not inspired.

There is also the small matter of the 'close relative' who put on another turn after our exchange last weekend. I have been told I am responsible for this and have been asked to keep the peace, but not by avoiding him. Aaaarrrggghh.

Any way, feel free to leave a wedding telegram in the comments section.

Saturday, September 25

Meat pies and holden cars

Two young Port Power girls walk into a David Jones store, walk up to the perfume counter and pick up a sample bottle. Shazza sprays it on her wrist and smells it:

"That's quite nice, innit, don't ya fink, Cherylyn?"

"Yeah, what's it called?"

"Viens a moi."

"VIENS A MOI, what the f*ck does that mean?"

At this stage the assistant offers some help.

"Viens a moi, ladies, is French for 'come to me'".

Shazza takes another sniff and offers her arm to Cherylyn, saying,

"That doesn't smell like come to me, does that smell like come to you, Cherylyn?"

Football coverage by numbers

1. News anchor intros footage of token female reporter outside oval.

2. Reporter states bleeding obvious about crowd numbers and ticket sales.

3. Include supporters in background with face paint and scarves.

4. Play footage of supporters travelling;
a) by car with scarves hanging out windows
b) by plane wearing scarves and
c) by train wearing scarves

5. Return to news anchor to cover the local angle;
a) people with scarves and face painting that watched the match from home
b) home grounds with big screens and more punters dressed in colours and face paint posing for the camera.

7. Show crowds at the oval and star-of-the-day singing the opening ceremony.

8. Play game highlights; marking, kicking, falling etc

9. Cross live to ex-player at empty stadium where match was held, who then gives post match description of the game by quarters and who was leading by how much and when while playing footage of;
a) some game play,
b) upset coaches
c) injuries, and
d) goals kicked
e) lots of hugging, jubilation, etc contrasted by forlorn faces of the defeated.

10. Back to news anchor who crosses to another live feed of a journalist in a change-room somewhere, who then talks over a few sound bytes from both coaches at the post match press conference.

Prepare yourselves for tomorrow's news:
1) Supporters and players partying into the night.
2) Players arriving at airport of their hometown and reference to a long night of celebrations
3) Concerns over injury and possible disciplinary actions pending.
4) Announcement of a ticker tape parade mid-week.

More government goodness

Here is another sample of what the SA Government rams down the throats of its employees.

… is promoting Aboriginal Reconciliation through a special edition of the SA Government Diary. Inspired by NAIDOC Week 2005 and its national focus on South Australia, Service SA and Policy and Planning have designed the 2005 Government Diary as a celebration of Indigenous cultures. The diary's cover features artwork from Aboriginal artist John Hammond and there are a number of pages included that highlight Reconciliation Week in May, NAIDOC Week in July and other significant dates in Australian history.

Although the diary has some special additions, it still contains all of the features customers have come to expect. You can purchase your 2005 SA Government Diary now through Service SA and Supply SA for $11.50. Clear plastic heavy-duty diary covers are also available for $1.60.

Image of 2005 diary with lots of dots and squiggles on it. In a choice of brown, brown, or brown.

Toe Crusher

Some of the original patrons of GrinderCom will recall my early posts on an ex work colleague I frequently referred to as Toe Crusher. She is one of the major reasons I was driven to blogging. I'm almost over it now.

Here’s a recent email she sent around my previous workplace the other day. Is it just me, or it this just puke?

"Hi Everyone, Well it's that time of year again where we will soon be dusting of the Christmas decorations and planning gift-giving shopping and putting up Christmas trees and Stockings. But for some, it's a time of loneliness, poverty and depression, parents who cant afford a Christmas turkey let alone gifts, children who have been neglected and abused having to spend Christmas with strangers and of course suicide.

I am part of a group of people collecting for those who's Christmases will be anything other than sparkly trees, big brown turkeys and stockings full of lollies.. And I am asking everyone I know for a little help. As you may remember, last year I (as part of a group) asked for donations of blankets and towels for the Animal Welfare League.

This year we are
collecting for three groups of people. One is for the homeless - food collected will be given to groups who will cook up big Christmas luncheons throughout Adelaide for those who have no home of their own to have one.

One is for those who are less fortunate - food collected will be made into hampers and given to families so they too can sit-down to a Christmas lunch with their loved ones.

And one is for foster children - lollies of any kind to be used to provide stockings and treats, things they'd rarely get, but something everyone should enjoy at Christmas time.

I am asking you to help if you can by donating small items of non-perishable foods. Food like cans of carrots, peas, tinned ham, cans of fruit, canned Christmas puddings etc, anything that can be used for a Christmas Luncheon or alternatively, lollies that can be used for children.

The lollies will need to be in sealed bags or individually wrapped, nothing exposed or open in any way. Please, please, please, if you can give anything at all, even if its one small can of vegetables, it will be greatly appreciated. Items can be left with me (or left anonymously) on the 3rd floor in the room that I currently occupy or give me a call and I will come and collect them.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this."

Gotta get me some of those ‘lollies that can be used for children’

Recent mutterings

From a colleague desperately hoping for an internal transfer
"Another Thursday morning, another Notice of Vacancies, and more ethereal illusions of hope as God pushes the lure of self-fulfilment a bit further around the greyhound racetrack of life...


Ghost town

There must be something important on. The streets are empty and there’s spare parking at the local shopping mall.

Wednesday, September 22

Counting the days

Not long now until I post those envied words "No posts for a few days, I'm off on holidays".

In planning since February (the most mispronounced month next to January), the pilgrimage to the Gold Coast has become a valuable beacon in the dark tunnel of my social life as a parent.

The act of temporarily abandoning one's spouse with the kids to fly interstate doesn't gain approval in all circles. Especially when it is for an entirely hedonistic pursuit.

What some people fail to understand is the adverse effect of non-stop drinking, poor personal hygiene, ogling women, and appalling diet will make the Grinder a much better person when he returns.

We will, no doubt, plant our fat blogger butts in some cane and foam rubber lounges with gaudy tropical fabric print and ply vast quantities of liquor in an effort to solve the world's problems.

Our dedication will be so strong, that we will only suspend drinking for visits to the Indy race, pizza & yiros shops, a female revue club or two and the nearest bottleshop.

If we should be caught near the beach, be assured the purpose of which will not be to swim, sunbath or exercise. Sunglasses with mirror lenses will be employed to ensure our leering bloodshot eyes do not scare people as we scan the beach and admire the scenery.

Monday, September 20

Power Grids

Repeat the title of this post a few times and you'll agree that it starts to sound like a Stalinist ideal. All controlling and communal. (Yes, I know politics isn't my best quality.)

Around 3 years ago I had this fanciful idea of air-conditioning the Grinder workshop. Adelaide, being a generally dry place, is well suited to evaporative cooling. So the choice was easy. Especially when 'evap' units cost SFA to run and the purchase price is half that of refrigerative units.

The only thing I didn't consider in my pursuit of climatic control was availability of electricity. The Good-minded folk in this great country have a feel-good logic which poo-poos the introduction of operators like Monte Burns and his nuclear power plant in these parts.

Burning coal is considered much more friendly to the environment, and the preference for shivering in winter or sweltering in summer is fast overtaking other masochistic pastimes.

Not in this sheltered workshop! Even friggin' termites have managed to air-condition their empires against the summer heat.

Hence the purchase of the aforementioned 2-stroke generator. My neighbours can waft in the oily fumes of my little genny while they join in the martyrdom known as power shedding. I choose to be free of the 'Grid'.

I have now managed to power the whole house with the one unit and this includes the air conditioner. With only about 800 watts it is a balancing act to avoid overloading the generator circuit, but it works! I will admit the method of connection is not exactly to Australian wiring standards, but I turned theory into practice yesterday and didn't blow anything up.

There's just one small problem. By isolating the house from the mains, I'll have no easy way of knowing when supply returns. Bummer.

But what a concept; a power web! I wonder what my pissy 800 watts would fetch on the free market during one of South Australia's power shedding episodes?

Imagine if international suppliers could access our market. I reckon our coal-fired dinosaurs would be replaced with decent power generators before Bob Brown could put down his Dr Suess policy book, scramble out of his tree house and find a phone to call a press conference.

Sunday, September 19


After an exchange with a family member yesterday, a few thoughts have been doing laps and they're wearing me out. So what better way to expel the demons than by setting them loose on the internet.

It had been a pretty good day; Grindling #1 was invited to concurrent birthday parties and they both went well and toilet training went exceptionally well, and Grindling #2 made three trips to the toilet and all three were successful. (At time of posting we have 5 out of 5!).

While out and about shuttling children to and fro, I ran an errand and bumped into the 'close relative' who has been having a tough time of things. The person in question is dealing with his fair share of personal problems and is back on his medication and counselling after a recent intervention by family and friends.

The relative has been on a number of 'benders' and has come close to getting himself put in the slammer for a variety of episodes.

He has dragged those close to him through the wringer also. Only a dedicated few remain. Left behind is a trail of lost jobs, wrecked cars, unloved animals and shattered girlfriends.

Initially very charming, he is quick to turn to emotional blackmail when things don't go his way. Conversation is a medium for one-upmanship, his tattered and bruised ego made all the more sensitive by his history of embarrassing stuff ups.

Having 'poor mental health' is one thing, but carrying a king-size chip one's shoulder at the same time makes him hard to tolerate. He was raised in an era when schools thought it important to drill students with the spirit of entitlement. He has mastered the degree of emotional blackmail to a form of recklessness that draws on people's sense of duty to pull him to safety time and time again.

The latest episode involved illegal use of a girlfriend's car while disqualified, after sculling a bottle of vodka, and the theft $400 to boot.

He has hurt people close to him in the most horrible of ways with viscous cutting remarks. He has stolen property of great sentimental value. And relies upon the goodwill of the same people he hurts to provide him with help when he gets in serious trouble.

He has been bailed out of dire circumstances so many times it's a given. Often in the wee hours of night, often requiring finances, and always calling up those who he know he comes to rely upon.

Yesterday's conversation was disturbing. He complained about people's treatment of him. He cited examples of what he believed to be conspiracies against him and exclusion by family. None were rational; at best some were minor issues of the past taken out of proportion.

Efforts to fill in the blanks were useless. I suspect the medication and other emotional baggage might explain the denial and bizarre counter arguments that ensued.

He complained about not being given free access to the house that was once his home where he has recently smashed fixtures and stolen heirlooms. He believes those locking him out are being unreasonable. Then he asked if I could say it was me who'd triggered the alarm and unplugged its power supply. (By the way, one of the stolen heirlooms worth several thousands dollars was to become property of yours truly.) I refused and dared suggest that people are treating him this way because of what he'd done.

Now I'm worried. He is likely to react in the only way he knows how.

The ingrained belief of entitlement causes him to overlook the idea that shitting in his own nest would have any bearing on him today or in the future. In his view people are being unfair when they distrust him or deny him favours. This then cycles to more reckless behaviour and drags the enduring few back into to rescue him again.

Those who have been sucked into this vortex eventually try to pull the plug on this Munchausen type relationship soon find themselves becoming the trigger for another one of his benders. Those of us who now stand on the sidelines are left wanting to help while being described to the uninitiated as uncaring and heartless.

He could benefit from a few life lessons like; 'you make your own luck' and 'the world is not a fair place, so what'. Sadly the culmination of bruised ego and emotional blackmail appears to prevent any of these lessons being learnt.

Blood might be thicker than water, but there are limits. I find myself thinking of how it might end. At one stage about 5 years ago he was doing really well controlling his temper. His life was coming together; he'd built a house, had a good job and was engaged to be married. The closeness of his fiancé's parents drove him to a violent outburst which left her with a broken eardrum. Since then the frequency of outbursts has escalated.

The self-destruction is proving a liability for a family that isn't currently on its strongest foundation. Entrusted knowledge is being used to play off relatives against each other in a pursuit he finds genuine thanks to his deluded state. Never mind the financial costs.

It upsets me equally watching the distress of those engulfed in the situation. I wish the problem would go away, while I know it wont.

I must walk away.

Friday, September 17

Thinking ahead

A little uncertain how it would be received, Grindling #1’s reception teacher reported a peculiar exchange she had with him on the way back from class as the school cat crossed their path.

G#1: “I can’t have a cat at home because my dad is allergic to cats.”
Teacher: “Oh, I’m allergic to cats too.”
G#1: “I wonder if I could have a cat when my dad dies.”

Tuesday, September 14

In the spirit of ranting...

After a weekend like the one just gone, anticipating the return to work was actually enjoyable. Work has become a sanctuary where the child-like dependence of dealing with the public is nicely metered through a process of incoming complaint forms and telephone calls. At least you clock on, get a break after five hours, and can clock off at the end of the workday.

Toilet training is simply an awful time. Today’s super high tech nappies have a lot to answer for. They are so dry and comfortable that even with three meals worth of human waste on board, toddlers don’t end up making any connection between the particular sensation and discomfort. Hence there’s no incentive to do anything about it. Three years of letting go whenever and wherever is a hard habit to break.

I’m not sure how other families go, but on a good weekend we get a kind of cabin fever by about midday Sunday. We have to go out and find some distraction or otherwise someone ends up in tears. Toilet training drops this ‘tolerance’ down to about Friday evening.

Of course, the whole idea of toilet training is to encourage use of a toilet over the alternative – filling jocks. The only way to do this, is to let it happen and hope the trauma is incentive enough. This in itself means the family is imprisoned. You can’t go shopping, visit friends or dine out when there’s every chance the lad is going to slip out a pasty stinker.

They get real sneaky too. Desperate to let one go, we had two episodes at the dinner table during meal time, one in the cubby house and one hiding in the shed.

The situation was so dire, that by Sunday afternoon, Mrs G was prepared to offer a month of unconditional favours, if I could get Grindling #2 to start using the potty.

Then there’s the standard child psychology that is running at full tilt by the age of three. If parents want child to use the toilet then it must be avoided at all cost. Reward systems require a memory or concentration span of more than ten seconds. Even psychological torment had limited effect on this child!

Anyway, it’s a percentage game. After three intense days we’re getting about a 40% success rate. Three days a week childcare hasn’t made it easy either. Fortunately Mrs G is on good terms with the staff, so they’ve been happy to keep up the campaign. As a result of their efforts the clothes dryer has only just finished the last of today’s soiled outfits.

I’m not sure if I mentioned the father’s day present I bought myself and frankly it doesn’t matter. The $99 two-stroke generator from Bunnings proved it’s worth this morning.

Visions of the generator purring away in the backyard during times of short supply in summer became a reality sooner than expected today.

This morning at 5.45 the beep of the answering machine dying and the clunk of the printer shutting down alerted me to a power failure. The streetlights were out and within a couple of minutes Grindling #1 was calling for help because his night light was out. No chance of asking Mrs G for any ‘favours’ with the kids already up.

Next was the search for torches. The trick with kids is to keep them (torches) somewhere handy that doesn’t encourage requests to softhearted mothers to use them as toys. Then there was the search for batteries. All while thinking happy thoughts such as: What will the traffic into town be like? Is the expressway open? What about my fix of fresh brewed coffee?

Fortunately, our other utilities of gas and water were still working today (this is not a third world blog, this is from Adelaide, Australia), so showers and breakfast where uninterrupted.

Most importantly, thanks to my low expectations of SA’s power supply, Mrs G’s hairdryer and my cappuccino machine ran like a dream. Sure the poor generator laboured and whined in protest to our demands, but it had to compete with the family breakfast routine – it never had a chance of getting noticed. Meanwhile everyone else in the neighbourhood had to make do. Maybe this was why the coffee tasted better than usual.

As luck would have it power was back at 7.15 and it was only a local problem. And that, my friends, is why the cruise into work today seemed so painless.

Monday, September 13

In case you were wondering

My family weekend: Royal Show, head lice, and toilet training.

Thursday, September 9

Been Lynndied?

This from the newest Alliance member. I like it!

(Is it just me, or does Chris Parkes look like he'd disolve in water?)


It’s show time in Adelaide and the local supermarket is getting in the spirit by selling ‘charity’ showbags as a fundraiser. For $3.50 Mrs G scored an environmentally friendly shopping bag, packets of chips, sweets, health bars and a sample pack labelled ‘Vaginal cleansing wet tissue’.

Manufactured by Cool & Cool, ‘Lady care’ is ‘also used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and as a flavouring agent’. The packaging also claimed to be anti-bacterial and alcohol free. ‘A Cool product you can trust’

Err, yeah.

Physics made simple...

Simple Harmonic Motion
Simple harmonic motion is typified by the motion of a mass on a spring when it is subject to the linear elastic restoring force given by Hooke's Law. The motion is sinusoidal in time and demonstrates a single resonant frequency.
Simple Harmonic Motion Equations The motion equation for simple harmonic motion contains a complete description of the motion, and other parameters of the motion can be calculated from it. The velocity and acceleration are given by [formula1]
The total energy for an undamped oscillator is the sum of its kinetic energy and potential energy which is constant at [formula2]
Or, the way I remember...

Load the image you penny pinching fraud


A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to start a conversation. Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket towards the man.

He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

"Oh my, I am so sorry," the woman says as she pops her eye back in place.

"Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you," she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theater followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.

After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap ......... and stay for breakfast.

They have a wonderful, wonderful time.

The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings.

The guy is amazed!! Everything has been SO incredible!!!!

"You know," he said, "you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?"

"No," she replies........."

Wait for it... (scroll down)

It's coming...

The suspense is killing you, isn't it?

She says:

"You just happened to catch my eye."

Tertiary Fees

The wife of a much respected work colleague is studying for her masters degree. My colleague’s wife has elected to defer payment of HECS.

So what? You ask. Once she earns enough money, it’ll be repaid anyway.

And that’s the problem. She’s 60 going 70 years old and has no intention of contributing to the costs. Granted she’s not taking away any great opportunity, Aboriginal studies graduates are not in the highest demand. And good on granny for keeping mentally active, but really!

Wednesday, September 1

Blogging, what is it good for?

Getting things off my chest would be one:

"Membership guidelines
Link to everyone in the Alliance, regardless of whether or not you agree with them."

And if there is a 'member' who fails to blogroll ABA members AND their blog is an absolute waste of space?

I see no point in supporting selfish blogs who leach visits and contribute bugger all. Okay, some might be slack in updating lists, but I see evidence of selective behaviour and complete disregard.

In protest, they will be deleted from GrinderCom shortly.

[Filed under: I'll probably regret this later...]

Lost & found

When you are as distractible as the Grinder, a linking sesion on the net can take you anywhere. As to how I found my way to this next site, well it all started from an obscure comment on the radio this afternoon. A reference was made to a particular urban legend featuring Richard Gere. The comment that drew my attention was something like "you're supposed to take their teeth out first".

Any way the good news is that some lost property has been recovered. Has anyone misplaced any of the following:

From the fridge maybe....

Apple, Banana, Carrot, Cucumber, Onion, Parsnip, Potato, Salami, or Turnip

or some other household items.....

Axe handle, Stick or broom handle, Dull knife, Ice pick, Knife, Mortar ,Spatula (plastic) Tin cup, Candle, Curling Iron, Flashlight, Iron rod Pen, Rubber tube, Screwdriver, Toothbrush, Wire spring, Baseball, Tennis ball, Pool cue ball, Baby powder can, Candle box, Shampoo Bottle, Snuff box, Bottle cap Cattle horn, Chain (gold), Frozen pig's tail, "Kangaroo tumor", Hair Mousse Cap, Plastic rod, Stone & Whip handle

They’re all waiting for collection here.