Thursday, December 30
Calling all RWDBs- get a grip!
An undoubtedly unpopular but real opportunity awaits us. Instead of giving away our money, we should lend it out, or even better buy them out.
Housing, tourism and anything else they do over there could all be ours. No longer would Australian money be leaking in to those other economies offering some semblance of an independent future.
The money would see the coastlines redeveloped to their full potential, just like another Gold Coast. We'd do it properly and even put in a tsunami warning system.
It would be no different to when rich Asian tourists visit this big brown land and stay in Internationally owned hotels. Australian tourists could holiday in Southeast Asia and Aussie owned infrastructure knowing their money is returning to Aussie investors.
So what do ya reckon?
How do they get the air-time?
"Although not directly related, it can't be ruled out that climate change may have been a factor that caused the catastrophe" proffered some expert on radio 5DN this morning. I couldn't believe my ears.
Even by his own admission, Australia - one of the most effected countries, has experienced a .... Wait for it.... "0.7 degree increase over the last 100 years". I thought it felt warmer over the last few years. Didn't you?
The climate change expert then went on to say "Climate change is responsible for something in the order of 100,000 deaths a year".
19th of December!
Sitting down in front of the keyboard and assembling a few thoughts has been tough lately. It seems kids and wives can't possibly go about their own affairs without finding some reason to involve your truly. My family filter has been inadvertently switched off.
The efforts to keep Christmas simple and let the kids enjoy themselves paid good dividends. The day basically entailed catching up with friends and relatives, exchanging gifts and enjoying fine food. No fuss, well organised and not too ambitious.
With four non-shopping days in a row it has been relaxed in these parts. People have either taken holidays or have settled indoors with the aircon and are playing with their new toys. Even the roads are quieter.
Having three weeks away from the grindstone should be enough to reset and put aside issues of crap management, perilous deadlines and substandard office accommodation. Things are slowly getting done around the house (blogging less might have something to do with it too). Normally the Grinders are up at six and out by eight in the morning. The other morning the kids slept in until after ten!
Sunday, December 19
By about 7.00pm my work troubles had melted away and I realised that Carlton Colds are not light strength beers. (It had never occurred to me). Then decided to keep my butt planted in lounge chair anyway watching taped episodes of Scrubs while Mrs G baked xmas goodies.
Woke Saturday morning and started reading the Weekend Australian with ABC music porn on the tv. By about 9.00am gave up the fight with the broadsheet and made coffee.
Later I hitched up the trailer and piled the family in for a trip to get some straw for Jack (the rabbit). About 4k from home pungent smoke began to poor from the dashboard and it was time form an unscheduled roadside stop. I stood on the footpath in the 36-degree heat with an extinguisher in my hand and family by my side - waiting for a fire.
Fortunately nothing came of the smoke. Unfortunately, the smoke was from the engine management system. It was time for a tow. The decision to fly interstate for new year's may have saved a long walk along the Hay Plain (Note: Everyone has a breakdown on the Hay Plain - it's the Australian land version of the Bermuda Triangle)
After calling in a few favours, I was soon riding along with no power steering, no power brakes and even worse NO AIR-CONDITIONING!
Back home, a quick word to the mechanic next door and it turns out I'm in for about $250. The good news is its something I can do myself with a Phillips head screwdriver and a double-jointed shoulder. Simply by reaching back in under the passenger-side kick panel and around behind the heating compartment.
Today the car still sits in the yard as punishment for screwing with me. It can stay out in the weather until it's fixed. (Psychology 101 with inanimate objects is my way of coping. All right!?!)
We had friends over for lunch. The Grindlings scored a stocking of chocolates each for... being kids near xmas time. The Grinder scored a bottle of 100% proof 8 year-old bourbon for ... being friends with ever-reliable Mike near xmas time.
As something a little different we had barbecued prawns with the four other kinds of meat I'd already skewered, marinated or minced. They were a hit. Enough so that I'll be back at Coles to get me some more o' dem liddle beaudies. And if you didn't already think chicken portions shouldn't be bbq'd, then just beware of imitations.
Earlier today the 14 year-old hot water system had a dummy spit too. The age old rule applies here: If it aint broke. Well I had to fiddle with the pressure relief valve didn't I. Sure enough it wouldn't stop and hot water was running straight down the drain at about a litre a minute. I turned off the supply and left the job for [later] r'on. He's good at that sort of work and always has a better attitude.
Being a Sunday barbie there was little expectation anyone was going to stay after and sink a few through to the sunset (which is nearly 9.00 at this time of year). So by 4.30 our guests had gone and I was amongst all the other desperados heading to Bunning's for last minute repairs with only minutes to closing time.
$82 later I'm home with a version of a valve I think matches the one from the system. The instructions are printed on the inside of the box so I read them over dinner and find that I need plumber's tape to install the replacement. Dohh!
Not letting mere instructions tell me what to do, I pulled out the old valve, salvaged some of the old tape and screwed in the newbie. It leaked around the seal at first, but another turn and she was jake. I' hoping the rest of the unit lasts another 12 months, otherwise I've overcapitalised on something that's due to blow up any day now.
Mrs G has left me with the Grindlings while taking up an offer to go see carols be candle light. The kids are in bed and here I am. Thus the story of my weekend, a mixed bag of fortune. Still, it beats work
A Christmas Story
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. More stress.
Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.
So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum.
When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden the liquor, and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider pot, and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor.
He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw end of
Just then the doorbell rang, and irritable Santa trudged to the door.
He opened the door, and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"
And, so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.
Saturday, December 11
Friday, December 10
Breaking the rules
Emoticons remind me too much of the quirky paper and plastic gee-gaws with smiley faces that served very little real purpose.
I am however prepared to make an exception.
Ho Ho Ho
What kind of loser am I?
And what did I choose to do? Well given that I’d have to stow the company car at home 30 km out of town and catch a lift in. Then there’s getting home. Ahh fuggedit! Getting drunk with work colleagues can only lead to bad things. Sufficiently replenished and hydrated I went back to the office.
So after 5 this arvo where was I? – Yep, still answering the phone and drafting a legal argument to an insubordinate client who dared question my god-given authority as a public servant to make his life difficult(The cheek!).
Sunday, December 5
Sunday (late) night movie
Alert! Alert! A new post at Grindercom
The Grinder household, like many others, is aflutter with the excitement and activities that precede the big day on the 25th. The children are over excited and parents anxious and exhausted.
I’m not sure where the need to catch up with everyone before Christmas originates – just more self-imposed impractical expectations I suppose.
This afternoon it’s another children’s xmas barbecue. I’m not sure what message the kids are getting by scoring yet another pre-christmas gift from the fat fella in red. This time it’s a work do hosted by Mrs G’s social club. It’s free, and there will be plenty to do.
The start time is midday and the fat guy doesn’t arrive until 3. If we’re lucky we’ll be home by 5. A long day in the sun for the Grinder and an even longer time for the grindlings.