Friday, December 30

Word of the day

Not being a big fan of the American Pie movies, it was only the other day that I learnt a new word/acronym – MILF.

Of course there may be some confusion amongst those who don’t know this site real well. Let me assure you I’m not referring to this group.

But if you’ve depleted your vocab of appropriate terms to use in Google image search give MILF a go. (BTW Safe Search will somewhat limit the effectiveness of this seach)

Strangely you wont see any sterilisers, strollers, or stretchmarks. Though they do start to get real scrubby by about result page 10, so I’ve been told. (Just how did I manage to blow 10 gig of my ISP account in just one sitting using a 28k modem?)

Their kids will be so proud. Heh heh heh.

Tuesday, December 27

No research added

Its 11 o’clock in the morning, hot, the kids are splashing about in the wading pool and the radio is playing Harvey Norman end of year sale adverts.

Today marks the birthday of Mrs G. She’s inside coating the pav in cream and tinned fruit for our guests this afternoon. One of the advantages of a post Christmas birthday is the opportunity to offload the dishes that were overlooked a couple of days ago.

The pergola is proving a treat also – those new fangled polycarb sheets are doing a top job of cutting out the nuclear badness from the skies.

Thinking of today’s advances in UV protection, drug detection, road safety, health research, I’m suspicious of the direction we’re all heading. No alcohol, no sun, no fat, no salt – just where are we supposed to get our thrills when we reach that puritan goal of no fun at all? Sitting at a keyboard typing random thoughts to strangers perhaps?

Actually things are good. It might not be apparent by how its articulated here but there’s really not a lot to complain about. After a few days away from the desk the recirculating anxieties of one’s profession begin to subside.

Gradually the concept returns that there are other things in life – the things that get brushed aside in the daily rush of a workday or ‘work weekend’. There’s that slight facial twitch that occasionally pulls the sides of my mouth upwards, the satisfied feeling of a good sleep without guilt of lost work hours, and extended moments with the grindlings beyond the confines of the dining room table at mealtime and in the car travelling to shops and school.

There’s also other emotional baggage of visiting relatives that has been checked in and sent afar for another few months. Unlike other relationships that can fade to zero over time, family association in the Grinder household has a mandate that stipulates a minimum number of timed interactions each year, regardless of how little you have in common or how much you dislike them.

Since Christmas has passed I haven’t looked at my watch once, read the newspaper or worked on the next home renovation project. Instead, books, gardening, cooking, bouts of family time and a few good movies in the evening have been the order or the day.

Soon the decorations will be taken down and people will gradually return to the old routine. It will be time to return to work, traffic will increase, the tele-sales will resume, and eventually teachers and students will follow suit.

Looking forward, I see a year of personal reckoning. My work from the last twelve months is likely to make its way in to the fan also known as the justice system. The rest is out of my hands from this point on, other than getting on the stand and attesting to it all. If it goes well, I’ll be able to ride the wave of success for years to come, if not, its back to the grindstone and try again.

It will also be time to decide whether my future lies in my current line of work or not. The all-consuming nature of it has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me achieve things that I’d never dreamt of. Actually I don’t dream of much – never have. I am hoping however that there’s more of a balance between work and play. The recent acquisition of some golf clubs might just be a step in the right direction.

As for blogging – who knows? Even for lightweights like GrinderCom its time consuming. Unlike many of the good writers out there, I perform best with a good eight hours of shuteye.

The other nasty stumbling block for blogging is the liability. It’s more apparent than ever that without the constitutional right to freedom of speech, Australian bloggers are open to repercussions for being too outward in their thoughts. Likewise the naïve attitudes of employers towards blogging, albeit anonymously, see blogging as a major threat in need of annihilation.

Editorial intervention has seen quite a few good posts head for the virtual recycle bin of this Windows 98 operating system. While entertaining and possibly informative, they only served to draw unwanted attention to the Grinder’s sheltered workshop.

I suppose that leaves a lot to be said about writing fiction. Maybe there will be a new direction for GrinderCom in 2006. Maybe there’ll be a newer operating system on a new PC too.

Monday, December 26

Some observations from Christmas 2005

Enthusiastic seating arrangements
An undersized dining room with too many chairs around a table already fully occupied by all those unique Christmas ornaments and trinkets.

All the blokes standing around the barbecue at lunchtime, not one is drinking beer.

Watching the eldest child disregard all his own presents and spend a large part of the day playing with a gift for a junior sibling.

The packs of zombie-like suburbanites attempting to burn off the extra 15000 calories they’ve each ingested by waddling around the block at sunset.
If I started exercising now, I’d have exercised away yesterday’s breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon by about Easter.

Sorting the wrapping paper and cardboard from plastic for recycling.
I see now how Richard Pratt could become the third richest man in this country.

The debrief in the car on the way home from the family Christmas dinner.
If you have to spend Christmas with them you might as well get the good gossip. The day’s events are distilled into a beverage you’d hardly label Christmas Spirit:
Who’s put on weight
Who’s aged
Whose career has stalled
Whose parenting isn’t up to scratch
Who gave the most inappropriate gifts
Whose kids misbehaved most
Who ate more than their share
Who raised what taboo subjects
Who was late
Who drank too much etc etc.

Having over catered to such an extent that even the keenest of hosts will fall ill from dining on ham and coleslaw for the next five days.

The shop trading crisis– you’d think it was a holocaust or something.
We’ve become so lazy and disorganised that we’ve become incapable of planning our shopping needs for more that a day at a time. The local quickie mart is overflowing with desperate shoppers needing those few essential items like bread, softdrinks and milk.

The quiet streets – no trucks, no mums shuttling kids, no shoppers and no peak hour.

The same old formulated news presentations covering Christmas Trading, charity concerts, what people will be doing and anecdotal stories on leaving things too late and spending too much.

Some stuff that I Got
You can make your own assumptions about my character/taste by the DVDs I scored:
BBCs Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery
Be Cool

The messages are just as mixed with the literature I scored too:
The Coroner, Derrick Hand
The Taking, Deen Koontz
The Golfer’s Guide to Happiness, Joe Kohl

Some stuff the Grindlings got
Magnetic sticks & balls (keep away from credit cards)
A fire truck that unfolds into an entire suburb
Numerous books
About half of the current top 10 CDs
Several DVDs
A learning station laptop
Spiderman paraphernalia
A slinky that lasted 30 minutes before being kinked

Well that’s how I saw it anyway.

Monday, December 19

Take 2

There are couple of rules I apply around this time of year. Don’t rely on New Year’s resolutions and don’t set Christmas deadlines.

The first piece of wisdom would most likely qualify as an oxymoron because it was the result of a New Year’s resolution. It has however been my most successful one yet.

As for not setting Christmas deadlines, this pearl makes the Grinder a much more pleasant person to be with during the Christmas frenzy.

For example, last week I finally came to my senses and cancelled the carport contract with the local steel retailer.

Had I marked the calendar back in October and mapped out the time frames, it would have been reasonable to expect at least a partial construction by now. Thankfully, striving for adequate has curbed expectation and its nasty side effect – disappointment.

So it’s take 2, I am now signing up directly with the manufacturer and have to start the whole process over again. The ETA for delivery will now be late January. Construction COULD start February.

Monday, December 12


Last week I took the car in for tyres and a wheel-alignment. I’d rung the week before and booked a slot in during my afternoon off at 2.30. The car wasn’t on the hoist until after four!

I’m also pissy because today I learnt just how long my colleagues have been paid more than me. For over six months they lapped up my help and goodwill and left me looking the goose. I feel stupid and used.

I really want to ask the manager why he had to play a little game of secrets over the whole higher duties thing. Unfortunately I may have to use that bridge again in the near future. Otherwise I’d let loose at tomorrow’s lunch. Who in their right mind invited him anyway?

I’ve been helping someone else get up to speed with some of the finer details of the job. 'They' won a recent promotrion but even known how to do some of the fundamentals of the job.

The fulfilment of helping colleagues has soured. If they convinced the interview panels and managers that they can do a friggin’ better job than me - then they can do the job without my help. Some days I really want to tell my employer what they can do with their job.

I’m pissy because there are two weeks left until Christmas and I haven’t a clue what to get Mrs G for Xmas or her birthday. She deserves better than to have her birthday at a time when I least feel like giving or showing an inkling of appreciation.

I’m pissy because again I ended up having to schedule important work meetings immediately before and after tomorrows team lunch.

I’m pissy because I’m tired.

I’m pissy because since ordering a carport kit from the local steel supplier in October I’ve had nothing but absolute run-around. I am especially spiteful about this. I have been so tolerant of their incompetence that it sickens me. Everybody I talk to says I should pull out and get my money back.

I’m also pissy because I’d really like to say a lot more about the local steel supplier but it serves no purpose for me other than to jeopardise my quality of life should I impeach some principle of defamation law.

I’m pissy because I ploughed day after day into finishing my Diploma five weeks ahead of time - only for to sit on someone’s desk and be the last one assessed before the closing date. I was given 18 hours to resubmit with additional supporting material and references.

Beware the naïve soul who tells this old grouch to have a happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 8


Maybe I shouldn't have ordered the new carport through [deleted] Steel Supplies.