Monday, December 5, 2011

Fear & Danger - What scares you ?

PLEASE NOTE. I am NOT a qualified Counsellor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist and I have no formal training to advise on these matters. The following is merely my personal opinion based on the experience of a life in the Armed Forces  and a healthy regard for protecting my own skin.

A friend of mine recently admitted to a fear of heights. That is a reasonable and legitimate fear, however at the same time such fears must be confronted and quantified. The key to confronting all forms of fear, provided such fears have a rational basis, is knowledge. Fears that have no rational basis are classified as Phobias and require the help of a professional to address. The Oxford dictionary defines 'PHOBIA' as  - an abnormal or morbid fear or aversion.

My friend nominated Ladders and Lookouts as specific fears along with a general fear of dealing with heights. Rightly so - but in order to address those fears knowledge of their nature needs to be applied. For example a ladder can quite rightly be a fearful object but if one applies knowledge then that fear can be confronted, understood and reduced to a reasonable state of caution. There is no question that ladders are a potential source of fear - try climbing a rickety old ladder at night in the middle of a thunderstorm! But if one applies knowledge - is the ladder soundly made by a reputable manufacturer to a recognised standard and is that ladder correctly placed and anchored in a manner to suit the conditions under which it is being used?  Then that knowledge provides a measure to assess the risk of using the ladder under those conditions. The fear has been confronted - the risk has been assessed and the user can decide to proceed, exercising the necessary amount of caution or  - if the risk is to great based on  the knowledge of the ladder and the conditions under which it is to be used then elect not to proceed at all.

I believe that all rational fears can be assessed and quantified by knowledge. The fear associated with stepping onto a lookout over a high precipice can be assessed before stepping onto that lookout. Is the ground around the lookout firm, are the paths leading up to the lookout in good condition, is there adequate safety railing and are other people using or have used the lookout immediately before you? Is the lookout overcrowded or are some of the observers behaving in a stupid or dangerous manner? - could their behavior affect your own safety? Assess these observations and make a rational decision of whether it is safe to use the lookout yourself.

Fear is a basic instinct that helps us preserve our own safety and even our life. The person with no fear is foolhardy and a danger to others and to themselves. Conversely fear can drive an unprepared person to irrationality if there is no knowledge of the risk associated with that fear. Some risks cannot be prepared for and that in itself induces fear. The big danger in these circumstances is the onset of panic. A sudden and unexpected event such as fire, earthquake or being attacked while walking home down a dark street can produce a sudden and dramatic rush of fear that often leads to panic in the unprepared. But once again the gaining of knowledge of the risk can bring a measured and calmer response if the situation is prepared for BEFORE it happens. If you live in an earthquake prone area or in a rural setting where bushfires are a reality then it is logical to seek advice and devise a plan of containment. It may never happen but if you don't prepare - and it does - then panic will undoubtedly be a real  possibility.

A person who is required to walk home down a dark street on a regular basis is obviously more likely to be fearful of attack than one who does not - BUT - anyone - even the most cautious of souls can find themselves suddenly in that position. If you are a lumbering 6 foot 4 monster with a face that only a mother could love - and you are built like King Cong then the risk of being attacked is probably slim but if you are a normal person - particularly with no knowledge of self defence then it could conceivably happen at any time. We have all heard of people being attacked in car parks and even shopping centres in broad daylight. Once again the defence is Knowledge.

As a serviceman I was trained to observe the environment around me and to be aware of approaching potential threats. I constantly observe people putting themselves at risk by being totally unaware of the temptations they present to loitering opportunists. Motor vehicles left unlocked - with the windows down and even keys left in the ignition, doors and windows of the home left unlocked when the occupants retire for the night, women leaving their purses unattended in shopping trolleys, men displaying large sums of money in their pockets or wallets. All these examples have a common denominator.  Lack of knowledge and lack of preparedness. Dangerous situations - and the fear associated with those situations can present at any time.

I am not advocating that we all surrender to paranoia and rush out to learn Martial Arts, or surround the family home with a fortified mote but I do believe a lot of dangerous situations, and the fear associated with their occurrence, can be mitigated by a common sense approach and a working knowledge of preventative measures.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Missing - BIAD (Believed in a Daze! )

August the 25th?? Bloody hell it is that long since I whinged and bitched about something on this blog? Well - yeah - it is! I plead the return of a not very pleasant illness and  the pressure of getting off my backside to write something. That's the trouble with advancing years - when we are young we get over an illness but - as the grey hairs increase and the belly heads south the bloody illnesses just go and hide around the corner until they can jump back out and bite you on the arse.

There is an old song that goes something like - the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone and the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone and the leg bone is .... and so on. It's those bloody connections that get you in old age (Old Age??? - am I allowed to say that?? - or is it politically correct these days to refer to Senior Years?? I don't know - AND I DON"T GIVE A SHIT!!) I'm old - another anniversary of my approach to the day I die is coming up this month - so what - be old - admit it - bloody well live with it!! Now - like most senile old farts I've started to ramble on - SO - back to my point - what point??? Well if you paid attention you'd bloody well know and be able to advice this poor old scribe where he is at - THANKS FOR BLOODY NOTHING!!

The foot bone - yeah - that's it! When I was a young bloke if you got a sore toe - it stayed as that - a sore toe - and it got better after a while - now if I get a sore toe it makes the ankle sore - which makes the leg sore which makes the knee sore - you get the picture? - It's the bloody connections that are at fault!!! Having dispensed this gem of wisdom I will now go away and try to bash some sense into my head - who knows - I might even find out where the muse has been hiding lately and get rid of this bloody writer's block!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Back

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
 ~ Isaac Asimov

A meaningful quote from a very intelligent man. Yeah well, I have been away for a while! Illness is an adversary that very seldom reveals it's true depth or intent until it is well established. What started as a supposed common cold finally revealed itself to be of much more purposeful intent. Purposeful to the extent that I found myself examining my own mortality and contemplating meeting my maker - whether said maker was ready to meet me I do not know. The reality for me is that, as a previously fit and healthy man, I am  now having to accept, and deal with, serious limitations to my chosen activities.

The mantle of mature years, and serious illness, brings with it definite new limitations - there is a certain gremlin that has a hydraulic jack hidden under the hill leading to my front door - I'm now sure that every day he makes that damn hill a couple of degrees steeper. It may well be  that same gremlin that by some device extracts the oxygen from my general vicinity and makes me heave and puff when ever I try to accomplish some heavy physical task. If I believed that gremlins could attack my personal being I would have to suspect that the loss of hair on my head and the southwards migration of my chest to the vicinity of my waist is also some evil plot to make me feel inadequate.

Luckily I have not yet begun to loose my mental faculties and  I have positive proof that the gremlins are also conducting other underhand campaigns that are obviously targeted against the mature of age,  if I could only remember what they were.  I know I made some notes but I can't for the life of me remember where I put them or,  if I did actually put them away somewhere. What's that you say? Put what? Where?

There are other things that are beginning to bother me too, but I'm not sure why! I seem to have developed a taste for warm Coco and I also notice that when I chew my dry biscuits I seem to dribble a lot. The rather attractive receptionist at my local doctors has become quite friendly lately and she calls me "dear". Do you think she fancies me or could there be another reason?

I wonder if my increasing intolerance of the  young and their rowdy goings on might also be a symptom of my maturity,  perhaps it would be better if I could actually see what they are up to but my eyes aren't what they used to be and my new glasses - the ones with the thicker lenses -hang like an anchor on my nose. My other complaint is that just lately everyone seems to mumble - damned if I can understand what they are saying most of the time - I just wish people would speak clearly - it must be a sign of the times. I won't even get into the way food has changed and what it does to a man's insides - and the uncomfortable results. That's in my notes though and if I can just find them I'll tell you about it next time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Thought or Two on Mortality.

At the tender age of twenty one, if I had been asked, and stopped for even a minute to think about it I would have undoubtedly dismissed the question as irrelevant. What question? THE QUESTION - what happens when you die? At that age no one dwells on the concept of dieing and although anyone can die at any age - through accident or other misfortune  the attitude of most of the young is that they are invincible and thoughts of end of life - unless suicide is contemplated -  are mostly far from their thoughts.

As we progress through the steps to maturity - and undertake the responsibility of home and a family the concept might be addressed in a practical but distant manner - provision by way of a Will and Insurances of various types to provide for the family we might leave behind - BUT - the concept of our own death is still not seriously considered. Perhaps the unexpected onset of a serious illness or accident might make us stop and take stock of the possibility but still death is not a subject we seriously consider as an immediate possibility. Most of us expect to live into our old age - and - that will be soon enough to face the unpleasant possibility.

Then we wake up one morning and find we HAVE grown old. The onset of old age always  seems to arrive unexpectedly - and for some - sooner than expected. When we are young and strong and supposedly "bullet proof" the broken bone, the sports injury,  the illness is something we rightly expect to get over and come out the other side. We fail to consider that those injuries and illnesses might have a cumulative effect, but I believe they do. When I was a child I was one of the many thousands who became a victim of the polio epidemic - that took three years from my life - but - I got over it - I was judged fit and strong enough and passed the medical examinations when I applied for service in the armed forces. I was injured in the course of that service - and - I got over it. Like many others I suffered a broken bone or two in the course of my life - and - once again - I got over it.

Then I came to that age where retirement is thrust upon us - I had no option - the Armed forces have strict rules in that regard and so the first signal of approaching mortality was waved in my face - I ignored it - I was fit, still strong and had had the good fortune to suffer no other serious illnesses. I had a pilot's licence - I drove a motor car - and participated in motor sport -  I still practiced Martial Arts and could run a mile in under ten minutes - Death? Old Age? What's that? Who cares? - I'd made the necessary arrangements years ago - A Will - Funeral Arrangements - all the stuff that a responsible person considers necessary - but I was going to live to be a hundred - and get the Queen's - or the King's Telegram - yeah - right.

I faced mandatory retirement at age fifty five and in my fifty ninth year my legs started to give me problems - a combination the doctors said - Post Polio Syndrome and cumulative damage resulting from injuries - the second signal of approaching mortality - I ignored that too. There continued to be a number of signs of deterioration due to approaching old age -  so I slowed down - a bit. Then in my sixty eight year I caught a cold. Big deal - I rugged up, took some cough medicine and blew my nose when required. The cold developed into Bronchitis - so I went to see my Doctor and listened carefully to what he suggested - I followed his advice - to the letter -  the bronchitis developed into pneumonia - I ended up in hospital. I've been a smoker since I was aged fifteen and I ignored all the advice to give that up to - now I have been diagnosed with something called COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. I've finally given up smoking - not because I want to but because I have no bloody option - if I smoke - I can't breath! The third signal of approaching mortality and finally I decided I better think about it.

I'd like to make my eightieth year - with a bit of luck - perhaps my mid eighties - when I was in my mid forties I would have said - "that's a good innings" but I'm nearly sixty nine now - so my eightieth year is only eleven years away!!! Bloody hell - that's not long - I have  things to do - but I'm older now - and slower -  things take time - and some of them hurt these days - The legs play up and I can't run at all much anymore - they've taken my pilot's licence off me - and I can't pass the medical to race cars - Martial arts?? Forget it!  

Damn -  I should have taken notice of those signals!! I think I might be mortal after all

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where Have I Been??

I have to apologise to those few  followers of this blog who have remained interested and have (perhaps) checked back from time to time to see if I've made any new posts. As they will know - I have not. The reason for this neglect has been an unfortunate encounter with ill health. However I am now on the way to recover and although that recovery will be slow I will be updating this blog in the near future. Please call back in a few days to see what progress I've made. - 

Thank you

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teenagers - Part two - Advanced Studies.

Serious researchers have conducted a number of advanced studies into what is commonly called "The Teenage Problem". As previously mentioned it should be remembered that all such studies are subject to the "No Connectivity Rule" that is, the apparent selective amnesia suffered by most adults when attempting to remember their own teenage years.

One of the more interesting results came from a study conducted amongst a sample of adults from the "Responsible Adult" and "Nurturing Parent" sub species. Although a number of these subjects had been positively identified as metamorphosing from the "Wild and Irresponsible", "Lout" and "Negatively Responding" sub species of  Teenagers  they all exhibited profound discomfort when questioned and insisted that their own pre Adult years had been as  "Diligent", "Co operative" or even "Polite" Teenagers. Significantly, but also confusingly, none of the tested Adults were diagnosed as lying. In fact all tests concluded that the subjects really believed what they were saying!

These results add more confusion to the massive amounts of conflicting data already accrued and throw considerable doubt on many previously held assumptions, for example it is now beginning to become clear that the pre metamorphosis stage (of the teenager) has no bearing what so ever on the form of the fully matured Adult. Some avant-garde researchers have even gone so far as to theorise that the influence of the Adult species on the pre pubescent pupa has more influence over the adult form that the teenager will adopt.

At this stage of research, in spite of all the conflicting evidence, a small number of facts have emerged, unfortunately these facts have been self evident since research began so we are no further along the long and difficult task of understanding the species "Teenager". For the uninitiated here is a brief synopsis of what we do know: -

1. All Teenagers,  in all the subspecies,  think they know everything
2. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, are capable of loud and irritating behavior.
3. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, are capable of , and delight in, rebellious behavior.
4. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, have some inner compulsion to experiment with their lives.
5. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, are subject to behavioral anomalies influenced by hormonal conflicts.
6.All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, are seriously effected by peer group pressures
7. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, can, and will do, the deliberately and completely unexpected
8. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, willfully and deliberately defy adult directives
9. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, vigorously investigate any endeavour they are told not to pursue
10. All Teenagers, in all the subspecies, are a complete mystery to adult observers.

Finally I must give a word of warning to all Adults contemplating a study of the Teenage Problem. This study is fraught with danger and can result in sleepless nights, frustrating days,  fear, confusion, trips to sporting fixtures, unexpected transportation demands, senseless rage, worry and,  if the would be researcher is considering breeding their own test subjects, a considerable financial burden.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Yes teenagers - those disgusting, fresh looking, adult defying, monsters that remind us of the frivolous excesses of our own youth and whom we so dearly love to hate. Their resemblance to other well known species of pests is  well reported. Teenagers come in all shapes and sizes but display several common traits that allow for an easy and positive identification.The most common trait is that Teenagers universally think they know everything, this is a common trait across all subspecies and is one of the most reliable identifiers of the species as a whole. Another pointer to the general species is  a tendency to congregate in packs of various sizes. These packs can be found at various venues including beaches, clubs and shopping malls. Teenagers may also be recognised by a common compulsion to play their music over loudly and to experiment with alcoholic beverages, quite often with unfortunate results. The male of the species is  universally identifiable by out of control testosterone and an unshakable belief in it's own invincibility. 

Teenagers are very conscious of their own sub species and one will very rarely find a mixture of the sub species voluntarily gathered together. For example the sub species "Bogan" will not voluntarily gather with other well known sub species such as "Geeks". The observer - on sighting such an unusual gathering should approach with extreme caution as the gathering could be a prelude to sub species combat - or more dangerously for the observer - a highly specialised sub group who are experts at camouflage and practice the very uncomfortable ritual known as "Baiting".

Other well known sub species - usually, but not always, found among the younger members of the type are known as "Louts", "Loud Mouths" , "Thugs" and "Drug & Alcohol Effected". These sub species very rarely reach full maturity but in any case the observer is cautioned to avoid them where ever possible. The problem of course is that all sub species are continuing to evolve and what may be firmly documented as fact today may not be valid tomorrow.

One of the most confusing aspects to the adult observer is the rumoured,  rare, and in some cases unproven, existence of  such sub species as "Diligent", "Hard Working" and "Obedient". The highly controversial subject - of whether or not the extremely rare sub species "Polite" still exists, or is in fact extinct, still rages in academic circles. Some observers believe that recent reported sightings are in fact those of the more common sub species known as "Chameleon". In some circumstances the "Chameleon" subspecies can almost exactly imitate the "Polite" sub species colouring and attitudes.

The single most remarkable aspect of studying the Teenager species is their metamorphosis stage! As they emerge from their chrysalis as fully formed adults they may have evolved into any of the known adult species. One of the most spectacular of these transformations is when a "Bogan" or "Lout" emerges as a fully transformed "Responsible Adult". Conversely "Geeks" have been known to emerge as "Drop Outs", " Low Achievers" and " Welfare Dependents".

The controversy over this species will continue indefinitely, not the least because one of the most frustrating effects of the metamorphosis  stage is that emerging adults almost universally suffer a selective amnesia over their own Teenage stage. This seriously precludes any connective observations and continues to confuse researchers trying to find the answer to the "Teenage Problem".

Friday, March 18, 2011


The very next person who confronts me with the accusation - "You're an ex military pilot - you MUST have seen UFOs."  is going to be attacked with a baseball bat - preferably one with big nails in the end of it! Unfortunately for me there is one of these "UFO Investigators" living a mere few properties away from mine. Even more unfortunately he recently discovered I'm an ex Air Force pilot. Therefore, according to his tiny fixated little mind I must have seen LOTS of little green , or grey, or even pink with purple polka dot aliens. In his world colour is probably optional but in any case "You MUST have seen things that you were told not to talk about ." (His emphasis - not mine.)

I was stupid enough to attempt to talk rationally with the man and explain that the term U.F.O. stands for Unidentified Flying Object and does not signify the existence, or presence, of a manned extra terrestrial vehicle. An unidentified flying object is just that - an object, apparently airborne, which has not, at the time of observation, been identified. In effect the local seagulls are UFOs - until you have a good look and say to yourself - Ah! bloody seagulls - I hope they don't crap on my washing.

This "Investigator" is a pest of the worse kind, I concede that there are a small number of airborne objects that do not comply with normal investigative procedures and their form and purpose is never clearly defined, however this clown takes the view that any light/ shadow/ unusual phenomena in the sky - or on the ground  - is some sort of alien contrivance. If he hears about it and it's less than a couple of hundred kilometers away he immediately sets forth with all manner of measuring equipment to "prove" that the men from Mars have landed. Equally unfortunately this idiot also has the mistaken belief that I have some secret knowledge that is denied to him and constantly tries to drag me along with him on his wild goose chases. I am seriously considering the purchase of a large vicious dog to discourage him.

It seems to me that this fool, and his faithful disciples, might also be referred to as UFOs - Unconditionally Fixated Obsessives!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grumpy Old Women

I'm a firm believer in equal rights so it's only fair that, having sounded off about Grumpy Old Men, I now give equal attention to the female of the species; Grumpy Old Women. Women very rarely accept that they are ageing well and often become banshees of the black shawl set,  acid tongued old crones who harangue us with their constant complaining about everything from the useless, broken down, ineffectual man in their life to the price of spuds at the Green Grocer.

Grumpy Old Women may once have been the Belle of the Ball, the  vision of loveliness who took young men's breath away, or even the love of some poor delusioned man's life. But many women do grow sour with age. As their beauty fades and their sight dims it appears their one remaining joy in life is to make everyone feel as miserable as they do.  Their spouse, or partner, if he lingers, never brings home enough money, or is to busy playing golf, or any of the other activities a man pursues to avoid going home. Their children grow distant and disinterested and the grandchildren are just another imposition on their mostly empty life.

So the bitterness , and the resentment grows. They grow bent, and can no longer control the advance of body weight. The once svelte curves, that turned men's heads have finally surrendered to the advance of cellulite, and arthritis, and a multitude of "women's" complaints. They sit on bus stops, and seats in city malls or parks and glare disapprovingly at the antics of the young. It seems that, to them, youth is the ultimate crime. One wonders if their fading memories retain any history of their own past  and the fact that they too were once young. Perhaps, if those memories are still retained, they are ruthlessly suppressed, after all who wants to be reminded of what used to be. Then there is the opposite approach of these Grumpy Old Women - nothing is a good as it used to be and, it follows, no one else is as good as they were themselves. One hears the bitter complaints that - "When I was young  etc, etc." - fill in the blanks for yourself. 

Of course there is the final irony - the Merry Widows - of which there are many sub types. There is the calculating younger woman who carefully chose, and married, a man 10 or 20 years her senior and patiently waited for her time to come. They can be recognised by the brand new outfits purchased with the proceeds of their late husband's estate and their some what desperate attempts to catch a younger man, hopefully to reward them for their years of devoted and slow wearing down of their husbands to ensure the poor man meets his maker before his rightful time. A realisation that by the time they collected they were past their prime brings the whole gambit of bitterness to the fore. This sub type is easily confused with the divorcees who got impatient and bailed out before collection time. Their bitterness is usually accompanied by a string of invectives describing the ex husband, especially if he was smart enough to have an effective pre nuptial agreement in hand. 

The final sub type we will examine is the most fearsome of the lot. The Self Sufficient Woman. This subtype is not always a Grumpy Old Woman but can display a very effective facsimile if it suits her game plan. Self sufficient women are inevitably well groomed, generally look younger than their true chronological age and quite often are well educated. A sure sign is if they have gone back and studied for a Degree or Diploma subsequent to their partner's demise. The self sufficient woman is likely to own her own property, or properties, and is most likely to be financially secure. She knows what she wants, and more importantly what she does not! Gentlemen be warned, the capture of  the self sufficient woman is a task beyond the skills and capabilities of most mere males and has a high probability of backfiring. Be aware of Grumpy's 97th Law of Survival. The female of the species is more lethally dangerous than the male!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Grumpy Old Men!

Curmudgeons, Grumps, Old Farts, call us what you will but we are a fact of life. A young man has an unshakable faith in his invincibility that only the ravishes of time, or perhaps self abuse, can erase. At twenty a young man is in the prime of his condition and is fast approaching the threshold of total maturity, and ultimately manhood. Some acquire that pinnacle in a rush, others with a slower and more considered approach.

Either way each of us, baring fatal accident or disease, will finally reach that point in time called middle age and from there the slide into old age is a fate non of us can escape. One would expect that, with the accumulated wisdom and experience of our years, we would mellow into a knowledgeable old guru who would sit and dispense his wisdom to any who are wise enough to listen. Not bloody likely. The onset of old age brings us reminders of the follies of our own youth in the form of  arthritis, clogged arteries, unclassified pains, stiffness and a growing intolerance for the stupidities of mankind.

For some of us the bitter lessons of relationships gone wrong add further dissatisfaction to the journey of our life. Then there is the "I can still do it" syndrome which often manifests itself in middle age. For some it is black shirts worn unbuttoned over a protruding stomach and often coupled with a profusion of heavy golden jewelery worn like a yoke around the neck. Those of us unaffected by this  syndrome sneer that "so and so is going through a second childhood" and laugh heartily at his childish antics. But we all suffer in one way or another from the mistaken belief that we still have what "it" takes. Significantly none of us are quite sure just what "it" is. I'm a retired pilot and for me the syndrome manifests itself in a passion for flying radio controlled model aircraft. I may not still be up there but my spirit is! - Yeah, right.

What ever the affliction it is inevitably accompanied by an increase in pain and stiffness that makes it difficult to get the body moving when we  get out of bed. So by the time we creak our way to the breakfast table we have already started to build a head of steam. The toast burns or the coffee, which you forgot was there, is to damn cold. Then the morning paper is full of bad news and photos of lithe young bodies doing things with apparent effortless ease. We open the door and the cold blast of freezing morning air nearly blows us off our tottery old feet. Is it any wonder that the first person unfortunate enough to attempt a conversation gets blasted with a stream of vitriol and bad temper? Such is the life of an old curmudgeon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bloody Do Gooders

Yeah, that's right bloody mindless interfering Do Gooders. Do Gooders come in all shapes, sizes and genders, they may vary from the grubby little Boy Scout who insists on helping you cross the road to the well meaning but sadly confused Senior Citizen who drives you nuts pressing religious tomes on you at every opportunity.

Many of these ardent activists with the Good Samaritan complex have so buggered up their own lives that they are driven by some internal compulsion to seek atonement through trying to help others. They are, of course, completely blind to the fact that you do not want, and do not need their brand of "help". Among the Do Gooder sub types are churchies and other assorted God botherers, control freaks and those who insist on helping others as a form of domination - you can't do it - you're not capable - here - give it to me.

Then there are the apologists and those driven by a compulsion that continues to inflict self injury on themselves, both physical and psychological. They are usually recognisable by their introduction to the help they offer - they offer help and before it's even accepted start to apologise for their actions. They can also be recognised by the TYPE of help they offer - It is invariably some form of material goods (money, tools, food, what ever). In effect their help is a form of self imposed tithing. The material offered is never returned or replaced and the result of this is often that they continue to complain about how the are always being taken advantage of. For some strange reason it completely escapes their attention that if they simply stopped giving then they would have no grounds to complain.

I am firmly convinced that most Do Gooders are practicing some kind of self punishment, although they get burnt over and over it seems they can't stop helping or trying to help. I have some advice for them. STOP. Get a life and understand that the person who really needs the most help is yourself. Go see a Counsellor or an Analyst or something - find out why you have the compulsion to help. It's OK to offer assistance now and then to someone in real need but not every one wants, or will accept, help so BLOODY WELL STOP TRYING.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Anti Smoking Advertisements

The Anti Smoking Lobby.

I'm a tobacco smoker and have been for more than 50 years. I know it's stupid and I know it doesn't do my health any favours and yes, I know I should give it up. I've tried on several occasions and I've even succeeded a couple of times - for a while. I know it caused my Peripheral Vascular Disease and my Doctor tells me constantly that I'm a prime candidate for  something called COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. I wheeze, and I cough, and I'm used of my mouth feeling like the bottom of a cocky's cage when I wake up in the morning. You'd think that, being a reasonably lucid and intelligent human being, I'd take the hint and chuck the smokes. I'm trying, and from time to time I even manage to cut down for a while.

I've tried the gum, and the patches, and my Doctor even prescribed some god awful tablets that gave me all sorts of nightmares and flashbacks to places I'd rather not revisit. I've contacted the Anti Smoking Campaigns and they've sent me out their mostly useless literature that makes some appeals to my better nature and my "will power" and provides all sorts of forms and leaflets for me to read and/or fill out. In the long run it makes me wonder if they are really fair dinkum!

I am absolutely fed up with the anti smoking campaign advertisements. They are all highly emotional appeals to give up the habit. We have a small, unbelievably sweet, child telling her father how she played a game and her father SHOULD have been there! The poor bloody bloke is flat on his back and breathing oxygen through a tube. Just the sort of thing to make you feel better! All the rest of the adds are along the same theme. Smoking is a burden on your loved ones and you should be a good boy, or girl and give it up.

This is undoubtedly true BUT the anti smoking campaigns appear to forget one very important fact. SMOKING IS ADDICTIVE AND MOST SMOKERS WOULD LIKE TO GIVE IT UP. They spend millions of tax payers money on these adds and go around patting themselves self righteously on the back. BIG BLOODY DEAL. I wonder if perhaps the money would be better spent on a bit of honest research into EFFECTIVE ways to give up nicotine addiction. I can't help wondering if the amount of tax the government collects off tobacco doesn't in some way influence just how effective these anti smoking campaigns can be!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Yeah, bloody Politicians. I don't know about you but on my personal "Trust Me" scale politicians rate somewhere down there with used  car salesmen, lawyers and other con men, and the local card sharp. I don't care what you call them, they 're all tared with the same brush, chuck one lot out and put the other lot in and what do you get? The bloody same old same old. They can call themselves what ever they like - Liberal, Labour, Democrat, Conservative, Communist, Green, Tory, Republican, what ever.

There is much debate over the ethics of cloning. Come on, the bloody politicians have been doing it for years. They all quack the same party line of their particular alignment and there is not one original thought among the lot of them. One side stands up and quotes the party line as prescribed by their faceless backers and power brokers. Then the other side gets up and does the same damn thing for their lot. One side gets up and goes quack, quack, quack, then the other side gets up and does the opposite quack, quack, quack, then they go and form a committee to examine the problem or bill or what ever. While this is going on they all retire to the members bar and draw straws to see who will quack on next. 

No matter what the proposal one side will get up, and ignoring all the negative aspects, will praise it to the heavens and sing it's praises loudly. Then the other side will get up and, no matter what it's strengths and good points might be, condemn it to hell and pronounce it the devils work. Until of course it comes time to vote on new perks and benefits for those hard working, dedicated, selfless politicians they all reckon they are. Yeah - right. The proposal get voted through with no, or very few dissenters. I'm even cynical enough to suspect they take it in turns to be the good guy or girl.

I'm a pensioner and on occasion I've written to my local member on behalf of other pensioners who have a problem, that problem is usually a minor one and could be sorted out by someone easily if they would only get off their arse. Usual result? Not a murmur, not a bloody sausage, the only thing you can be sure of is that you will be deafened by the silence. Until of course it comes round to election time. Suddenly you have to fight the buggers of like a plague of locusts. Last election I was finally moved to place a rude notice on my door directing politicians and/or their lackeys to "F...K OFF" I'm not normally that crude but they seem to wait round the bloody corner till it's time for you to cook tea, have a shower or a sh*t and then come knocking. I wish I had a big bad tempered dog. How would a dog know a politician? Dare I say by the scent of self interest, political perks and indifference to their constituents.

Having said all that I must admit that occasionally, just occasionally, an honest man or women stands for election. If elected there are a number of things that can happen. They can stand as an independent, or join a party and soon become so disillusioned they either leave the party or never stand for election again, or tragically, the system grasps them in it's vice like grip and turns them into another one of those grey faced quacking clones.

Ten Quotes for Politicians:-

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field. 
 ~Albert Einstein

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.  
~H.L. Mencken, 1956

Politicians are the same all over.  They promise to build a bridge even where they is no river.  
~Nikita Khrushchev

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.  
~Ernest Benn

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. 
 ~John Quinton

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.  
~Oscar Ameringer

Mankind will never see an end of trouble until... lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power... become lovers of wisdom.  
~Plato, The Republic

Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party. 
 ~Winston Churchill

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  
~Ronald Reagan

Politics, n:  [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"]  
~Larry Hardiman

Friday, January 21, 2011

Everything is to bloody expensive!

Everything is to bloody expensive. Petrol is to bloody expensive, so is beer, and meat, and service for a motor vehicle and, just about any thing you can imagine is also to bloody expensive. Our retailers, while bleating about their profit margins and how hard it is to bring customers into their shops, persist in marking everything up by between fifty and two hundred percent. I've got news for you Mr bloody Retailer, don't try to suck the poor bloody shopper dry all the time and we might come back into your shops.

Perhaps if Mr Retailer didn't spend so much on advertising, or even made the adverts a bit more honest his overheads may not be so high. I am so bloody sick of having some loud mouthed son of a bitch yelling at me from the television set about "bargains" that aren't bargains, "discounts" that aren't discounts and "sales" that aren't sales I'm about ready to put a boot through the TV.

Then there is all the Hire Purchase offers - Buy now, pay later - No payments till next bloody millennium - Cheap interest - No interest - BULLSHIT!! I find it strange that all these offers are accompanied by exhortations to  GET IT NOW - DON'T MISS OUT - THIS WEEKEND ONLY - SPECIAL 24 HOUR SALE.  - ONCE ONLY SALE! Yeah right, funny that it seems to be the same every bloody weekend and if you are dumb enough to take on one of these offers you end up paying twice the value of the item and you get hooked into paying for it one drip at a time for the rest of your life!

Then there is the matter of quality, or more exactly lack of it. These days it seems every  thing is made in bloody China. The instruction manuals are written in "Chinglish" and I defy any one to understand what the manual is talking about. To make matters worse, if the thing breaks down and you want it repaired or replaced under the Guarantee - yeah - right - GOOD LUCK. Then there is that mythical thing called AFTER SALES (LIP?) SERVICE.

 I recently had to buy a new washing machine, the type that seems to be universal now, all bells and whistles and programs. I plugged it in, pressed all the buttons according to the manual (I think - you guessed it - Chinglish) and absolutely nothing bloody happened. I stared at it, it stared back but refused to go. SO - ring up the shop, ask for some advice, I even had the salesman's name, the sales docket and date of purchase all ready to give them. Not bloody likely - if you have blah, blah, blah press 1. If you have yackety yack press 2 and so on. After about ten minutes dangling on the phone I finally got transferred to some bloody call centre where who ever took my call couldn't even speak understandable bloody English.

Retailers - get honest - get real, stop the bullshit, and you might get some customers back.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Weather:

An Appeal.

I live a long way from Queensland but I've got a few mates who live up there. There was bugger all I could do for them at the time but I put my hand in my pocket and gave a few dollars to the Flood Appeal,  There are a lot of places you can donate, Banks, the Red Cross and I think probably the Salvos too so if you're reading this, and you can afford it, please do the same. It will take years and bucket loads of money to repair what was once a beautiful and vibrant City.

The Queensland Floods

The weather has been a big feature on television in the last week. The poor buggers in Queensland have copped just about everything except an atom bomb. Mother Nature can be a cruel bitch when she wants to be, taking the lives of the young, the old, the infirm and the not to smart. It's not to smart to go swimming in flood waters and some fools still do it in spite of warnings from Police, Rescue and other Emergency Services Personnel. In some ways it wouldn't be to bad if we could say, well it's sad but he/she was asking for it, they shouldn't have been doing -- what ever. Unfortunately flood waters are not so selective and when you get something like the flash floods in Toowoomba it is the young, and the innocence, that are taken. Like I said Mother Nature is a cruel, cold hearted bitch some times. If she doesn't send flood waters it seems she flips the coin and dries the land out until it's so parched we pee dust. The sadness and the pain was reported by ernest faced TV Reporters hour after hour and they did their best to bring us images of exhausted Emergency Workers, damaged property and shattered victims.

Perhaps I'm just a cynical old bastard but I can't help wondering if, in their enthusiasm to bring the action into our comfortable lounge rooms, the TV people don't sometimes get in the way? It seems to me that if you are standing there and filming some poor bugger getting drowned you could drop the camera and pitch in to help save a life.

The West Australian Bush Fire, and the floods, and the next bloody Cyclone.

One side of our country is getting drowned and across the other side some bloody brainless arsehole is deliberately lighting fires. I don't know whether it was kids with matches or some crazy arsonist but  people lost their homes, and their property, and in some cases their lively hood. So far, as far as I know no one has lost their life, YET. further up, in the north of Western Australia they have floods and the last I heard a cyclone hovering off the coast. 

Other Places.

The whole of the East Coast is copping huge amounts of rain. The North Coast of New South Wales is sinking under water and Both Victoria and The North of Tasmania have had flash floods, thankfully not on the scale suffered by the Queenslanders. I haven't heard much about South Australia or the Northern Territory, perhaps they just got washed away with out any one noticing. Whats next? Buggered if I know but the weather seems to be on a rampage.All we need now is for it to start raining arseholes in Tasmania. If it does I'm bound to get hit by a dirty one.

Weather Reports.

Yep, weather and the reporting there of, that stuff that can be wet, cold, hot, dry and all stages in between. Weather can be the blond Barbie doll or the terribly ernest "mature" male on straight after the news at night. They quack on about fronts, and charts and systems and averages until you are so mesmerised by the bullshit that you don't remember what the hell they did say about tomorrow,  they probably had it wrong anyway. It annoys me because on the rare days I fight my way out of my garret, and wistfully look for the sun, I invariably get bloody rained on. Because Blond Bloody Barbie or Ernest Bloody Ernest doesn't bloody know what they are talking about!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baby Photos and Family Blogs

Baby Photos

I have no objection to baby photos as something that all families treasure, I have heaps of photos of my own grandchildren and my one God Child. However I do object to the absolute avalanche of baby and child photos displayed on blogs for several reasons. Every Mother & Father is thoroughly convinced that their own child is the most beautiful ever born, I know I think that way about my own children and grand children, but let's face it folks, the truth is some kids are just butt ugly whether we want to admit it or not.

My second reason is more serious, there are predators out there, the sick minded who prey on our kids and derive some sort of pleasure from examining their photos in detail. If the photo depicts the child in a state of nudity or semi nudity, which some parents seem to think is "so damn cute" , then those sickos get all the more excited about it. In my opinion pedophiles and other things that live under rocks should have their licence to join the human race revoked and be dealt with accordingly. If you must post photos of your little angel for god's sake at least restrict the blog to family and friends and don't feed the appetites of the sickos of this world.

Family blogs

I wrote  this criticism a few years ago when blogs were in their infancy and for some reason I kept it. It's still relevant today:-


Bodice rippers and other forms of literary suicide - I don't know  why this particular bit of throat  baring has become so bloody popular. I really don't give a shit what you had for breakfast, or how your ankle biter is doing at school,  or why your therapist thinks you might really be the  third reincarnation of god knows who.

 If you really want to write the god awful story of your miserable life do so but why clog up good band width with your useless chatter? There's enough crap on the Internet without you adding to it.  To my mind you either have an ego the size of Texas, or you're  so  bloody silly you really think anyone cares, or both.  Get a life, get laid or go home. Just don't bother trying to tell the  whole  bloody world on the Internet."

There are some very good blogs out there, informative, topical and interesting but there are also some bloody awful ones. For a start there is a very good spell checker on  Google Blogs and you don't need to have a PhD in literature to use it. But some people's blogs are so littered with errors it makes me cringe.

Then we come to my pet hate - family bloody blogs - I have no objection to a family recording the history of their life as their family grows and children come into their world. BUT - do you really think the whole world cares? Are you that bloody silly, or is your ego that bloody large, are you so bloody arrogant that you think a complete stranger wants to know every detail of every ache, pain, scratch and graze your little snot nosed ankle bitter suffers.

I'm glad you've found Jesus, or who ever, but do you really think the world is all sweet smiles and ideal family groups and pretty sunsets and pure white snow? At least grow up enough to realise that the only people who might care about you and your tribe are family and close friends who give a shit. 

Please give those of us who like to use the "Next Blog" facility to browse for blogs that have some meaningful content a break. If you restrict your blog to Family and Friends we won't have to wade through endless reams of crap and those gooey family group photos that do not interest us. We will be eternally grateful.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011



I have my views on religion and I stand by what I say. However if you disagree with my opinion please don't try to harang me with your own version. Just agree to disagree. Flames and hate mail will be met with an appropriate response. On the other hand an intelligent comment will be treated with the courtesy and respect it deserves.

1. God Botherers and Jesus Freaks.

I would vigorously defend any ones right to worship their God as they perceive Him (or Her), whether they be Christian, Jew, Muslim or any other persuasion. However I will also vigorously defend my right to keep my own faith, or lack of it, as my own personal business. I really get angry when some over zealous God Botherer comes knocking on my door and tries to ram THEIR version of worship down my neck. I recently had reason to eject two of these pests from my next door neighbour's home. Two young men with accents actually had their foot in her front door and were haranguing her with demands that she take their literature. The Lady in question is a devout Christian and while I might have  reservations about her choice of denomination I will defend her right to worship as she sees fit.

2. Sects and Cults.

I had a mate of some thirty years standing, an ex serviceman like myself, and a competent and devoted Father to his two children. As happens all to often in this world his marriage ended when his children were in their early teenage years. Because of his commitment to his career, which took him away repeatedly from home, he did not contest custody of his children, he merely had infrequent visiting rights. The wife met and remarried a man who was involved with one of the more outrageous types of  allegedly "christian" cults. By the time my mates older child reached the age of eighteen she was so involved with the cult that she denounced and disowned her Father. My mate was so distraught that he eventually took his own life. How can these cults, who call themselves Christian Churches destroy and break up families in the name of their perverted image of  God.

3. Believers, Agnostics and Atheists.

I have a very good friend who is a practicing Christian Clergyman. I do not subscribe to his particular denomination but that does not debar us from being good friends, we have common interests, we play chess, we fly radio controlled model aircraft, he some times helps me by proof reading some of my manuscripts. The other day he turned up at my door and while we were having a cup of coffee he noticed a book I am reading, the book is written by Richard Dawkins and is titled THE GOD DELUSION. I must admit I expected some sort of negative reaction but all he said to me was he didn't know I was an Atheist.

I had to admit to him that I really don't know what the hell I am. My early years were spent in an orphanage and the local clergyman was typical of his time, all fire and brimstone and God is Great. My life's experience has led me to have many doubts but that damn indoctrination as a child still haunts me. The image of a white, blue eyed God in a long white gown, dispensing love, mercy, benevolence and forgiveness is a bit hard to take when you have seen the torn and bloody bodies of innocent women and children ripped apart by the waging of war. Is there a God? Damned if I know but I fear if there is some sort of Supreme Entity up there He, or She, or It must have a pretty strange sense of humour.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Old Age

Age is an issue of mind over matter. 
If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
                                               - Mark Twain.

Old Age is inescapable, sooner or later we are all going to get there, unless of course you are unfortunate  enough to die young. That's not an alternative that most of us wish to contemplate and given that we escape an untimely end we are all going to reach that time in our life when we retire, either through age itself or infirmity. That's when, to put it bluntly, the shit hits the fan. I retired at fifty five. According to the Armed Forces you are to old to be any bloody use after that. Others, in this country, work until they are sixty five and then, if they qualify, they receive the Old Age Pension, or Seniors Pension as the Bureaucrats prefer to call it.

Some are fortunate and take on the role, quite often full time, as Grand Parents, OK, OK I can hear the howls of disagreement, some are FORCED to take on the role of Grand Parents, or pseudo Parents, because Mum and Dad are out earning a living. But for those of us not blessed with a tribe of snot nosed little ankle biters to terrorise Grandma's cat time suddenly starts to weigh very heavily on our hands. When you have worked nine to five, or other odd hours, for all your adult life not getting up to go to work in the morning is a bloody huge shock. It's great for about the first week or so, you can lie in bed and twiddle your toes till some disgustingly late hour. Then the rot sets in, and it accelerates!

The first thing you realise you have to do is give yourself a kick up the butt, get out of bed, even though you think there is no longer a reason to, and find something to do. All those hours you used to spend at work are hard to fill in, especially if you now feel as useless as tits on a bull. Some people take up gardening, some play bowls, some decide to try for a second childhood. Some of us are lucky enough to have a hobby and it's very easy to substitute the hobby for the job. I know one bloke who made wooden toys and he built a whole new career for himself, and he'd never worked so bloody hard in all his life! His wife wanted to become a Grey Nomad, sell up the house, buy a Winnebago and just take off. He was to busy so she met up with a fella from the Bowls Club and took off with him. The bloke burnt his work shed to the ground, sold the house and started chasing younger women, until he figured out he was to bloody old to catch them. It takes all types.

On the other hand I've seen a lot of people who surrender to the concept of old age, when they retire they go sit in a corner somewhere and wait to die. That can be a long slow process especially if you allow the brain to deactivate, Yeah, I said deactivate. Why is it some people  are so bloody dim they don't understand that even if the body is failing they still have to keep the brain active. My advice, get a hobby, or get some sort of interest that challenges the brain to actually tick over. You can survive loneliness, you can tolerate infirmity, but if you let the brain go to sleep you might be better off dead anyway.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sunday bloody Sunday

Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. Today I've been involved in an accident, crashed an expensive radio controlled model aircraft, rescued an elderly Lady who didn't want to be rescued, got abused by the woman over the back fence, burnt my Sunday lunch and oh yeah, I ran out of milk and just as I went down to the shop it started to rain. Other than that it's been a good day, sort of.  So I decided to take my ire out by starting a new blog. Unlike the other two which deal with model aircraft and writing this one  will pass comment on all the things that get me angry. So if the occasional swear word will offend your tender sensibilities I offer you this word of advice.


Just to start the ball rolling I have made a list of all the things about this world that sometimes get on my goat so I've no doubt you will find something to offend you.


Here under is the list of all things that I will do my best to comment negatively on so by all means drop back and be offended about you particular pet subject


  1. Old Age - Because I looked in the mirror this morning.
  2. Religion - Because it causes so much trouble.
  3. Baby photos - Because I am bloody sick of baby photos on blogs.
  4. Family blogs - Ditto.
  5. The Weather - Because it never works out like the six o'clock news says it will.
  6. The Price of Everything - Because everything is too bloody expensive.
  7. Politicians - Because they wont go out and get a proper job.
  8. Retailers - Because they mark up at least 100%.
  9. Rich People - Because they are rich.
  10. Poor People - because they are poor.
  11. Cults - Because a good mate lost a daughter to one.
  12. Kids - Because their parents wont control them.
  13. Teenagers - Because a lot of them are out of control.
  14. Bloody do Gooders - Because they're bloody do Gooders.
  15. Grumpy Old Men - Because I'm one.
  16. Grumpy old Women - Because my next door neighbor is one.
  17. Metro Sexuals - Because they've forgotten how to be men.
  18. Supermarkets - Just because.
  19. "Service" Stations - Because there is no "SERVICE".
Give me time, I'll think of some more.