Tuesday, March 29

Because their smug advertising bugs me

A2 company fined

The Queensland based A2 Milk company was fined $15,000 for misleading advertising last week.

Queensland Health successfully argued that claims made by A2 Dairy Marketers that A2 milk was more beneficial to consumers’ health than regular milk were likely to mislead consumers.

Queensland Health director-general Dr Steve Buckland said: “Misleading the community is irresponsible especially when it concerns people’s health.”

Hot on the heels of this decision, the Federal Government decided to withdraw a proposed $1.27m grant to help the group set up a processing plant in north Queensland.

(Source: Dairy Australia)

Knee-jerk policy on the way.

Not wanting to appear complacent in light of a shocking Easter road toll, South Australian policy makers are promising to review the idea of double demerit points and reduced police leniency.

Looking at the situation surrounding some of the accidents over the weekend:

A bunch of teenagers driving home from a nightclub speeding through the side streets at a speed high enough to tear the car in half.

I don’t think the driver was likely to have considered his licence demerit points on that occasion. And I don’t think for a minute that the most easy-going police officer would have let this car of speeding teens go.

Others caught driving recklessly couldn’t give a toss either.

Maybe a few more bobbies on the beat might have helped…

Of course there'll be a backlog of tax-paying licence-holding holiday makers who will have to pay penance. Fortunately there's an easy answer to processing these fish in a barrel.

Monday, March 28

Well that was Easter

When it comes to knocking down the walls of outdated social conventions we’ve come a long way in recent times. Single parenting, sexuality, gender roles etc.

We also live in an age of choices. For example a person may choose to travel up to Woomera to threaten the security of a detention centre protest for the freedom of illegal immigrants refugees.

[If there was a protest outside a detention centre and there were no police or media would the protest make a sound?]

[According to the Democrats there’s been a deprivation of the right to protest! Hmm, ‘Protest’, better get me a new dictionary ‘cause it don’t say nuffin about the breaking down fences and aiding the escape of detainees.]

Anyway, back on topic – my decision was to spend some quality time with my family. After four days holiday with the family I believe I have found another stigma that needs demystifying – adoption! (Alternately, there’s the option pursued by Cartman’s mum in Southpark - a week 358 abortion)

Having consumed toxic amounts of chocolate (for a 3 year-old), the normally placid Grindling #2 made a series of ‘bad choices’ over the weekend. Of course, throwing the clock back an hour to end daylight saving didn’t help his cause either.

Returning home tonight I thought “I think I’ve had enough of the kids, where can I send them?”

Adoption seems the best long-term answer, but then there’s the stigma. Social convention dictates that I am doing a bad thing. I can’t imagine the in-laws taking it real well that the grand kiddies have ‘gone to another home’. Friends also might not show the same understanding towards such action as compared to a declaration of a gender reassignment and name change to Mitsy.

I’ve put in nearly seven years hard work and am proud of my accomplishments. Why can’t I just hand them on to some stranger to finish the job?

We’ve got a long way to go people.

Friday, March 25

This blog [is/was] brought to you by

I think this is supposed to be a clever lefty anti-war picture that draws attention to the global giants of industry secretly propping up the argument for war and all things rightwing.

Strangely I don't find it offensive, other than a few camouflage issues I think corporate sponsorship could work. There are enough cameras and embedded journos in modern day war zones to bring the advertising back home. And it'd be suitably upsetting in the face of most opponents.

Caption contest

This photograph has a lot of potential:

* Japanese motorcycle manufacturer earns acclaim for new rider protection system: side impact ball-bags.

* Outlaw Motorcycle Club member 'Crusher' said his new riding equipment will help the public understand that not all members are the beer-swilling drug-taking thugs they're made out to be.

* Another good reason to get off your bike when refuelling

* Two helmets are better than one

* Is that a URL or are you just pleased to see me (look closely, if you can make it out let me know)

* When moving in traffic you might find it annoying when the guy in front washes his windscreen, but ...

Leave your suggestions in the comments.

He's Bad

Internet browser games are a big waste of time, but this is so wrong its worth a go.

'cause I'm lazy

Here's one last photo from last weekend (saving the best for last).

Saturday, March 19

Race update

Another beautiful race day.

Here’s a montage of the more significant parts.

Interestingly, SA’s Premier, Mike Rann, was all too pleased to announce his support for the release of the fastest production car in Australia. He might be keen to drag industry to this state, but I find it kind of irresponsible for someone in his position if you ask me.

Friday, March 18

I need a better lense...

It was a fantastic day at the Formula 500 in Adelaide




















and more...


And there was some motor racing too.
More tomorrow, all being well.

Wednesday, March 16

Disclaimer: The following message in no way reflects .......

Top German jokes of all time

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
The police. I'm afraid there's been an accident. Your husband is in
hospital.

A man walks into a pub.
He is an alcoholic whose drink problem is destroying his family.

Did you hear about the blonde who jumped off a bridge?
She was clinically depressed and took her own life because of her terribly
low self-esteem.

What do you call a cat with no tail?
A manx cat.

Why do undertakers wear ties?
Because their profession is very serious, and it is important that their
appearance has a degree of gravitas.

How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb?
One.

Two cows are in a field. Suddenly, from behind a bush, a rabbit leaps out
and runs away. One cow looks round a bit, eats some grass and then wanders
off.

Why are there no aspirin in the jungle?
Because it would not be financially viable to attempt to sell
pharmaceuticals in the largely unpopulated rainforest

Race preparations

Its that time of year in Adelaide when residents of the eastern suburbs travelling to the city and tree hugging parklands conservationists unite. Yes that’s right, the Formula 500 has moved in to town.

In comparison to the Gold Coast Indy, Adelaide’s event is more family oriented. There are no chicks flashing their jubblies from high-rise apartment balconies. However other than that, the track is more spectator friendly; plenty of grassy areas, shade, PA speakers, vantage points and video screens.

I’m only a casual follower of the v-eights and therefore take the event as an opportunity to get accustomed with the latest complex and irrational racing rules. No doubt there’ll be more changes this year.

Last year at the Indy, because of safety concerns, the V8s were not required to perform mandatory pit stops. It was the best race I ever witnessed trackside. The leader was the car leading the race! No commentary, counters or placing lists were needed to work out who the leader was.

Let’s be honest here, how many people can keep track of the main players midway through the race when a third have taken tyre stops, others fuel stops, some have done all stops and others are yet to pull in at all. I’m no expert but I suspect the rules are there to keep the broadcast interesting from start to finish and keep the advertising potential at its peak.


Some valuable lessons to share

* Wear sunscreen.

* Wear a hat, but don’t be a dick.


* Always go to the team merchandising tents to see the latest whores wares.

* Walking up those flights of stairs to cross the track isn’t that bad after all.

* Drink plenty of fluids to stay fully hydrated.

* Be sure to check out the off-track entertainment.

* Be real nice to the stewards that attend your area of the track. Believe me, when you start getting ‘tired and emotional’ you’ll need all the help you can get attempting to return to your spot.
Note: unlike barmaids, female attendants are recruited for their ability to remain just as unappealing after a dozen bevvies as they did when you first arrived.

* Ducking off to the toilet when the safety-car comes out during the last ten laps is a good idea if you like lining up with 20,000 other blokes who think the same way.

* Wearing board-shorts in the heat (and leading the way in bogan fashions) is great, until you realise you’ve chosen to wear attire with no fly. And while the liquid refreshments may curb your inhibitions, peeling down the front of your shorts at the loo during the safety-car rush requires more dexterity than any man with a beer in the other hand can muster. (Tip: Fabrics that change colour when wet are best avoided)

* At any motorsport event, the hand basins in ATCO hut toilets are not for washing hands- they are reserve urinals for when it gets real busy (refer ‘safety-car rush’). In fact the hessian privacy screens posted around the toilets (and the first-aid tent) also serve as auxiliary urinals.

* No male should drive a vehicle within 24 hours of watching live motor-racing (even if he’s sober). Even the most reserved of the gender will succumb to elevated testosterone levels and end up trying a quarter mile in the main street or a challenging for drag from the traffic lights.

Tuesday, March 15

Organic produce, yet another myth.

My old man had a lot to do with developments in local agriculture from the sixties to the nineties. He was a research scientist whose opinions were (and are still are) valued by industry.

This article rings true with a lot of things I learnt from him about fruit and vegetables.

The philosophical reasons for supporting organic farming are part of the "back-to-nature" syndrome. Like alternative medicine, they are based on the belief that "nature knows best" and that what is natural must be good. It is nostalgia for a mythical golden age of small-scale and simple farming and pure and wholesome farm produce. Such a paradise never existed. In the days before intensive farming, when farmers did not use pesticides or artificial fertilisers, food supplies were constantly endangered through climatic and environmental fluctuations and crops were frequently lost to pests and diseases. Agriculture was associated with grinding poverty, intensive labour, and low yield.

In the last 50 years, since synthetic chemicals came to be widely used, our life expectancy has increased by seven years or more. Healthier and safer food, together with better health provision, has improved our physical well-being and increased longevity, and modern agriculture deserves much of the credit.

Since the main reason given for buying organic food is to avoid pesticide residues, the question has to be asked: Is organic food safer? The Soil Association plays on the public's concern, as do a number of other campaigning organisations that have helped to create a food-scare industry. In November 1998 the Consumers' Association magazine Which? under the heading "Pesticide Concerns", carried a story that test results from animal studies linked high doses of pesticides with cancers, hormone disturbances, and birth defects. It did not mention that high doses of anything cause harm, or that official reports on the concentrations of pesticide residues in food found that the amounts present were so low as not to be a hazard to health.



I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say pesticide does you good, but otherwise I believe this is information worth sharing.

People can then decide to keep some of their hard earned cash for themselves and the stinking hippies will then have to sell produce that meets contemporary standards of quality and hygiene.

Don't you hate it when that happens

This is the sort of thing that would happen to my brother. It’s always good to know someone like this; it provides light entertainment at very little personal cost.

Officer, where's my car?

A Portuguese student who removed the licence plates of his car to have them straightened returned to find police had blown up the vehicle because they feared it contained a bomb, a newspaper reports.

Police in the southern city of Evora, located 150 kilometres south-east of Lisbon, said they were called in Thursday after a local resident reported they saw a man quickly walk away from the car after removing both sets of licence plates, daily 24Horas said.

The busy parking lot was then cordoned off and police explosives experts were called in who decided to blow up the automobile, police officer Gloria Dias told the paper.
"We took adequate measures as everything indicated there was an explosive device in the car," she said.

The owner of the car, identified only as Anselmo, returned four hours later while police were still cleaning up after the operation.

"I left the car a few hours and this happens. I realise it is my fault because a car can't be left like this in a public place, it was a stupid thing to do," he said.
- AFP

Correctional Service indeed

A Queensland man convicted of possessing and producing cannabis has been jailed at his own request.

The man faced court in Bundaberg in the state's southeast.
Steven John Campbell had pleaded not guilty to the two charges and urged the jury to acquit him on the basis of research he believed proved the drug was not as dangerous as smoking and drinking coffee.
He admitted to the court he produced the cannabis and he knew it was illegal.
Campbell was found guilty, with the jury returning its verdict in less than 10 minutes.

The sentencing judge took into account that Campbell had already served nearly 18 months in jail and decided to release him.
However, Campbell asked if he could spend more time in jail to finish a computer training course and start up a chess club.
He was sentenced to three weeks.



Good on him for taking an interest. But something about this is still not right. This guy finds more community inside the clink than out.

Where’s the incentive not to re-offend?

Australian Story

Mrs G loves her weekly dose of Channel Two’s personality documentary. Surviving nine seasons, Australian Story works to a formula of a self-narrated biography.

As the official web page says, ‘There is an emphasis on regional and rural Australia and on the positives of contemporary Australian life and Australian people.’

For the last few years they appear to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. It’s been a long time since any of the stories have ended with a positive (other than a legacy).

Generally viewers can expect some story of a spirited person who beats adversity only to succumb to one or more of the sad and all too common conclusions; major disability/impediment, divorce, loss of family/job/home, or death (usually cancer),

It’s about time the web page was updated to ‘There is an emphasis on the suffering and pain of regional and rural Australia and on the pointlessness of modern life ‘cause we’re all going to die one day’.

I suppose that’s why Mrs G likes the show. Chicks like to get out the tissues have a bit of a sob. But why waste half an hour when all she has do is give me half a chance.

Monday, March 14

I’m not sure I understand

Again, without the help of left-wing think tanks like the Australia Institute, simple people like me don’t appreciate how wrong things really are. (And again the name Clive Hamilton floats to the surface.)

The article (yes another picking from the Weekend Australian that I have difficulty linking to) is based on ‘research’ that the wealthy are the greatest recipients of the government’s health rebate (and the greatest contributors to private health insurance).

“Health Rebate ‘just a bribe’ for the well-off”

‘… data suggests almost three quarters of the rebate was going to families earning more than $50,000’

“It’s a bribe for middle-class voters. Nothing more.” Australian Institute executive director Clive Hamilton said.


Hmm, if I weren’t so lazy I’d dig up the Bureau of Statistics data on family incomes and see what percentage of families earn more than $50,000 these days. Somewhere near 75% perhaps, given that $50k is supposed to be today’s average wage and an increasing number of families have two incomes. Perhaps ‘middle-class’ family needs some calibration here.

But that’s beside the main point. Wasn’t this what was supposed to happen! I thought the rebate was introduced to counteract the trend of many people, including the well off, shying away from private insurance and consequently burdening the public health system.

Perhaps the rebate should be withdrawn from high-income earners by means testing and they could continue pay their premiums through sheer goodwill. If they don’t, they could be taxed as a penalty. Hold on. What? It’s already being done via the Medicare levy? How can that be? You mean taxpayers contribute to healthcare in proportion to income AND are penalised with an additional levy unless they take out private cover? This can’t be right. No wonder there need to be an incentive to stay in the private system when high earners would have to pay for both any way.

If the Australia Institute had their way and pulled the plug on the $1B (of total $2.5B) they claim is spent on families earning more than $70,000, what do they expect to happen? Save a billion? The maths doesn’t work that way.

If evil Richie Rich has his 30% subsidy withdrawn, under the current punitive Medicare arrangements, he will still have to pay a significant levy based on income (and a bit more for quitting his insurance). He will withdraw from insurance and use the public system like he did before the subsidy was introduced. Although choosing to wait in line for public services, he will get to keep the two thirds of the premium that he was originally paying. (Where is this man’s social conscience? Why does he have a problem spending money on something he doesn’t get? Go figure?)

For the $1B saved, those that can afford it will withdraw $2B from the private health system and cause the inevitable collapse that has so far been curtailed.

Float that one in your think tank Mr Hamilton.

I have a treaty and I’m not afraid to use it

Picking through the last pieces of goodness from last weekends Australian reaped another gem* from the United Nations. (*No local link available)

Kofi Annan has proposed a treaty outlawing terrorism.

and

…addressing the causes of extremist violence is the best counter-terrorism strategy

Yep, cutting edge advice. And that would mean telling terrorists that attacks on civilians on grounds of political grievance is a no no? Now there’s a seagull manager I wouldn’t want to be working under.

“Excuse me Mr Terrorist, my boss Kofi has asked me to tell you to cease your quest for martyrdom because it’s UNlawful.”

It's all clear now

Still no grid power in the southern suburbs.

But now I have clarity (or is it spin?)

"South Australia has joined Australia's eastern States in a deregulated, competitive national electricity market, with strong interconnection between the States. This has benefited consumers by ensuring reliability of South Australia's energy supply and prices comparable to those in other States"

Time to power down the genny and take Grindling #1 to school.

I was going to go to the bank but there's no point until someone sends a few jizzillion electrons this way.

Ahh, Adelaide – such a peaceful place

The suburbs are quiet this morning. No radios, no hairdryers, no electricity. It would appear someone tripped over the extension cord running into South Australia.

A day off work, free to cruise the web, and … no electricity!

But fear not. Nothing can stop this blogger. I’m running on 2-stroke power. The genny is purring out the back clouding the air with bluish oily smoke.

The radio informs me that city traffic is chaos and school crossings aren’t working.

Mark my words, with such inadequate infrastructure, it’s only going to get worse.

Sunday, March 13

Oops

A trip to the newsagent yesterday left me in a quandary; there was simply too much to choose from. After much effort, I’d narrowed my choice down to a tasteful men’s magazine brimming with ‘insightful articles’ or a very plain but interesting journal of topical Australian essays.

The prologue stipulated the aim of the publication was to:

“… provide a forum for rational, informed, critical discussions of current issues which will appeal to and be of interest to what Virginian Woolf called ‘the common reader’ – the intelligent layperson who wants to understand the underlying forces which generate current events, to see beneath and beyond the mystifications of ‘spin doctors’ of all kinds, and to come to grips with the significant and influential ideas of out time.”

Sounded okay, I thought. There should be some good reading in a rag that sported such ideals. [More astute readers, more sensitive to political idiosyncrasies than I, may have already picked signs of some typical traits evident in the above text.]

More accustomed to my normal selection of glossy Gentlemen’s Magazine or Geek PC magazine with free software CDs, Mrs G gave me a queer look as I submitted the matt white journal for payment at the counter. [Another warning sign I should have noted]

Later, in the sanctity of the short space of time between the Grindling’s bedtime and my own, I removed the journal from the paper bag and started with the editorial.

Titled ‘The poverty of John Howard and the future of Australia’ the first paragraph set a tone I wasn’t sure I’d be able to sustain:

‘I suppose it had to happen sooner of later in federal politics. The grittier sphere of state politics has a habit of throwing up, every now and again, a small-minded leader whose only talent is rat cunning and whose only achievement is to get serially re-elected…No longer can this claim be made’

Somewhat distressed I thumbed through the titles of the of essays:

Growth fetish: Clive Hamilton,
Do we live in a materialistic world? Rod Quantock,
Responsibility for the environment: Ted Baillieu, MLA,
Are we concerned about our fellows? Lindsay Tanner, MP,

Human rights and the Marriage Legislation Bill 2004: H Clare Callow,
and so on.

Now I’ve never claimed to be especially well informed, so I let Google enlighten me as to the background and leanings of the contributors.

Maybe I should have checked the online version of Australian Rationalist for free, and kept my pink one in my pocket.

Friday, March 11

Making a positive

Some email fodder

Three Aussie guys were working on a high-rise building project Steve,Bill and Charlie. Steve falls off and is killed instantly. As the ambulance takes the body away, Charlie says, "Someone should go and tell his wife."

Bill says, "Okay, I'm pretty good at that sensitive stuff, I'll do it."

Two hours later, he comes back carrying a Slab of Beer.

Charlie says, "Where did you get that, Bill?"

"Steve's wife gave it to me."

"That's unbelievable, you told the lady her husband was dead and she gave you his beer?"

Bill says, "Well not exactly. When she answered the door, I said to her, You must be Steve's widow. She said, "No, I'm not a widow." And I said, Wanna bet me a slab?"




Me? I’m more of a Caring Understanding Nurturing Type. Just ask around.

Thursday, March 10

“I was there on business honest!”

CANBERRA: Pre- and post-coital cigarette smoking has earned two Canberra brothels official sanctions for failing to provide a smoke-free workplace.
WorkCover inspectors visited 16 brothels to investigate the cleanliness of workplaces, hygiene standards of spa baths and sex aids, safeguards for workers and their clients, disposal of condoms and other workplace health and safety issues.
ACT WorkCover Commissioner Erich Janssen said yesterday the sex industry had improved its performance since the 2003 inspection, with 15 of the 16 brothels showing significant improvement. Only two workplaces had not adopted smoke-free policies, one brothel failed to provide a duress alarm in each room and one site's fire alarm was not working.
All brothels had cleaning programs in place, ensured hygiene standards, properly disposed of condoms, banned alcohol and drug use and understood workers' health obligations. Most arranged for their workers to attend the sexual health clinic and casual workers were required to provide evidence of regular medical examination, according to the report.


“The sex industry had improved its performance since the 2003 inspection”
I’d like to know what sort of audit tool these guys were using.

Wednesday, March 9

Regrets

No I am not an emotional drunk! Wanna fight about it? Nah it’s okay I love you too, I really love you, you’re my best mate.

Perilously (thank you spellcheck) close to falling way off topic here, there is a tune I’d like to hear right now. In fact the whole video would be much appreciated; Spinal Tap. If you’ve seen this movie you’ll probably smile just recalling it. My new best buddy Stan found a link to some lyrics that remain etched in my memory filed under Goodtimes.

I really wish I hadn’t taped over my copy of Spinal Tap the Movie. No, I’ve just got something in my eye, I’m not emotional at all I tell you. Just mind your own business and read some of this poetry:

BIG BOTTOM

by Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner


The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin',
That's what I said.
The looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand,
Or so I have read.
My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo.
I love to sink her with my pink torpedo.

Big bottom,
Big bottom,
Talk about bum cakes,
My girl's got 'em.
Big bottom,
Drive me out of my mind.
How can I leave this behind?

I saw her on Monday, 'twas my lucky bun day,
You know what I mean.
I love her each weekday, each velvety cheek day,
You know what I mean.
My love gun's loaded and she's in my sights.
Big game's waiting there inside her tights.

Big bottom,
Big bottom,
Talk about mud flaps,
My gal's got 'em.
Big bottom,
Drive me out of my mind.
How can I leave this behind?

My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo,
I like to sink her with my pink torpedo.

Big bottom,
Big bottom,
Talk about bum cakes
My girl's got 'em.
Big bottom,
Drive me out of my mind.
How can I leave this behind?

Recorded by Spinal Tap on the LP "Spinal Tap: The Original Soundtrack Recording of the Motion Picture This is Spinal Tap" (Polydor POL- 817846, 1984)

My ABC

Sweet! A response from Aunty. Not bad other than the assumption that I own a set top box.

Dear Grinder,

Thank you for your email. I apologise for the delay in responding.

Many programmes on the digital version of ABC TV are now broadcast in the widescreen format. The on-screen graphics (supers, text and watermark) have been placed in an area which we believe does not encroach too far in the primary view of 16:9 (widescreen) viewers, while still being accessible to 4:3 conventional (square) TV viewers. You do have the ability to view the widescreen option, which will show all of the screen including text, supers and logos, however in this view you will also experience the letterbox effect, where there are black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Please refer to your set top box manual in order to change the format to widescreen.

Please be assured that the ABC has taken your complaint seriously and we are still adjusting the on-screen graphics to reach a compromise with all our audience. This compromise situation will continue to exist while we balance the needs of viewers who are watching our programmes in the different formats.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Lindsay
ABC Transmission Public Relations


It leaves one to ponder how long will it be before the assurance wears thin and ‘square screen’ viewers are deemed a second class not worthy of supers, texts and watermarks. We redundant viewers with our redundant television sets await our plight.

Beer ‘n’ blogs are good post-work therapy

Before the blog police pull me up and ask me to walk a straight line bring my finger to my nose or submit to breathalyser I ‘m going to take this post for a quick spin around the block.

Like many activities, surfing the blogsphere is far more enjoyable after a couple of bevvies. Likewise, the end result falls short of the early elation. I suspect this will read somewhat differently tomorrow.

I note alcohol may not solely be to blame for the predicament of my health tomorrow; this last beer wasn’t properly sealed and tastes funny (even for Vic Bitter). Regardless how bitter the pill, I need some medication.

I don’t really want to fill this page with whinges about work. People have enough of their own problems not to concern themselves with mine. But there are always a few smug readers who will enjoy propping up their own self-esteem by comparing their sorry pathetic lives with even more sorry and pathetic ones. This is a community service for such an audience.

Sometimes when the inbound traffic is so overwhelming I like to set some simple goals on paper. This is a good tool; it helps me regain focus during the day and often records accomplishments that would have otherwise been forgotten.

Today I wrote a simple list of the more critical things to get done. I set it down on my desk and fired up the PC. There were ten new email messages to read and three more things to put on the list. Not a good sign.

Then the phone started. One call was a complaint and somehow it managed to also involve the police, family court and child services department (I don’t work in any of these areas). I took the complaint details on a web form, hung up and clicked print. Nothing but blank paper with an URL at the bottom. I tried using the menu to print – blank again. I saved it as something else – nothing.

After four tries I pasted the thing in a word document and finally it printed. This seems petty I know, but a 15 minute interruption nearly blew out to 25 minutes because complaints cant be hand-written is damn frustrating. I reopened the form and tried printing. This time it worked. Great, an unwitnessed and intermittent fault that if taken seriously will involve a 10 minute call to helpdesk and a day standing by to stand by. Bugger that.

The disruption obliterated what tiny line of thought I had left to compose a terse letter that was trying to quote two cross referenced pieces of legislation from separate statutes and a code of practice that I’d never worked with before.

The barrage of queries continued to pour in, as did a number of responses from yesterday’s activities from my jaunt out and about the suburbs. Its all a blur now, I just feel numb. There’s no way the work that needs to be done will see the light of day (whatever that means), if incoming>outgoing.

I’ve mentioned before how laborious the red tape is. I’d really like to introduce some efficiencies, cut a few corners, that sort of thing. Sadly Nervous Ninny Management Incorporated wont let the Grinder get away with his barely adequate efforts. I’m not especially proud of the quality work I’m doing at the moment, but lets move on and clear some of this rubbish so that time is available to be thorough.

Okay I’ll stop now. There’s more but this is probably enough. Lets just say that I found this morning’s to-do list underneath today’s aftermath of files, references, phone message and half written notes and found the days accomplishments were next to zero.

Maybe it’s the beer kicking in. How’s that Stones song go…something about ‘Sweet Sister Morphine…’? Time to put on some tunes.

Did I mention that last beer was really horrible. Some spirits should fix the problem. A pending blood test next week will no doubt evidence my liver’s opinion on this matter.

Who keeps moving the keys? Even spell check is having a tough time of this. Typing speed and accuracy are quickly running to opposite ends of their respective scales.

Sunday, March 6

Urrggh, tomorrow

Admin staff will be keen to bring up the average, and without a doubt, will transfer a barrage of phone inquiries my way when I return to my post tomorrow. There’s nothing like testing one's knowledge answering every moonbat-under-the-sun's questions, whinges and unsubstantiated or irrelevant complaints. As I play catch-up between phone calls, it’ll just be a matter of how many toes I’ll tread on and heads I bight off during the process.

There’s also the small matter of a job interview, a full mailbox to clear, and a debrief/report for last week’s excursion. By Thursday I might be ready to go out and do what they pay me for.

Fortunately, being the Cold Case specialist, an increasing backlog of urgent cases isn’t anything new for this savant to the public. If it’s less than two months old it's unnlikely I'll touch it. It goes to the bottom and only surfaces when decomposition has done its job – anything else would be too easy

As a result of an urgent re-assessment of priorities, the frequency of blog posts at GrinderCom will not be affected in the slightest.

Friday, March 4

Word for the week

After nearly a week away from the city (Some would argue Adelaide doesn't qualify as a city) I truly enjoyed my escape from this:

ADMINISPHERE:

The rarefied organisational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the "adminisphere" are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded "administrivia" - needless paperwork and processes.

Speaking of administrivia, I recently worked out that in many cases, I have to record my daily activities in quadruplicate. This doesn't include vehicle mileage, daily timesheets and the occasional ministerial enquiry. Ahh, there’s nothing like the accountability, transparency and the probity required within government. It's just as well the job pays by the hour.

Recommendation

Aaron, a regular contributor to the Grinder’s mailbox, has a suggestion for this weekend:

It may be a little wet this weekend, so for those trapped indoors, perhaps a few suggestions for some light reading?

STOP PRESS

The Queen has held out the olive branch to Camilla, and has
offered to pay for her hen do.

A weekend in Paris, with a car and driver

Travels

Even to my Ordinary TM standards, it’s been a bit long between drinks. Actually there’s been enough drinking over the past few days to make up for lost time. I’ve just returned from the Eyre Peninsula after a 2500 km work trip that went From Port Lincoln up to Poochera and across to Bute and back again.

During the jaunt I witnessed first hand the damage of the bushfire that killed several people and destroyed the livelihood of many others earlier this year. The burnt remains of the area are not like any other I’ve ever seen.

My host was a local from way back and he told me about a few of the things that happened to people trying to escape the fire. There’s a lot that can be learnt from tragic events like these and its apparent from this fire that it can happen anywhere when the weather conditions suit.

As the main highway leads in to Port Lincoln the fields on the right are almost sand hills. The reddish soil drifts across the road and into the gulf. Houses have been flattened and new sheds are being erected as temporary homes. Along the road are shipping containers provided by the government for temporary storage. Thousands of new fence posts lie in piles in paddocks waiting to replace the many kilometres of destroyed fencing – a lot of it uninsured.

In some places the fire was so hot, that trees were stripped of their leaves and their bark. The trunks are an unusual smoked yellow-orange colour. Even the asphalt was damaged by the heat. Apparently the fire was so fierce that it was spotting up to 3 km ahead of the front and travelling at 60 km/h.

The flames raced along fields of stubble, defying reason and raced towards settled areas that you would never in a million years believe would be susceptible to bushfire. People in seaside homes had to run to the sea for salvation.

One woman ran back for her possessions and perished in her home. It was the only house in that immediate vicinity that caught alight. In a reverse situation, others died fleeing their homes and the houses still remain intact, now empty of life.