Archive for the ‘annoyance’ Category

Welcome to the world, baby girl
14 November, 2013

AKA Mojo AKA Puppy-puppy Moi-Moi

AKA Mojo AKA Puppy-puppy Moi-Moi

Dah dah!

Sorry it’s taken so long, but here she is.  Our brand-new, eight-week old Bandog pup.  Called, depending on who you ask, Sari, Mojo or Puppy-puppy Moi-moi.

The cats despise her, but do sneak up to me for cuddles when she’s not around, so they don’t seem to be holding a grudge.  Unless they also do the revenge-served-cold thing in feline society, I suppose.

Zombie Scrub Turkeys Attack!
3 October, 2012

Well, that was fun.  We enjoyed a relatively uneventful trip up to visit Uncle and Aunt and all the tiny horses at the miniature stud, earlier this week.  Well, you know, I still had to drive through Gympie but since we were enthralled by a game of ‘I Spy Something That’s Not A Gun Shop Or A Redneck” I was too busy to even wince.

The journey home was strange, though, at a bare minimum with surreal flashes.  There was debate at the gate, which I won with my “If it’s shut when you get there, leave it shut” argument.

Rarely do I taste victorious vindication at all, let alone almost immediately, but less than 30 metres down the track we encountered a heifer who was reluctant to share the road.

“Lucky I made you shut the gate.” I observed, smug as a cat with a mouthful of budgie.  I crawled the car up, to ease past her.

“See, Mumma – I told you there were feral cows!” said Elf Boy, who’d spent a chunk of the day chasing the neighbours’ cattle out of Aunt’s mini-horse paddocks.

“Arrgh! It’s got horns! It’s going to charge the car!!” screeched Magic Man, who has inherited his Great Uncle’s distrust of large livestock.

“Blow the horn!” cried Elf Boy.

“Don’t blow the horn!!” countered his brother.

“My paintwork!” said Mother.

Maybe it was the horns on my radiator grille (Toyota symbol on Mother’s wagon), or perhaps the steely glare I fired at her through the windscreen, but the heifer grudgingly shuffled to the side so I could pass.

All good through the level crossing and past the pub, until we got to a stretch between farms, about halfway to the highway.  It was wettish from the showers, and the usual narrow, patchy, soft shouldered goat track, but conditions were no worse than usual and I know the road pretty well.  Round a gentle bend, four scrub turkeys seemed to be having a union meeting, right on the verge.  Well, that or they’d heard about vultures and thought they’d give it a try – there was a lot of road kill scattered about.

Having learned not to underestimate the ability of the scrub turkey to annoy – and destroy – I slowed down from 80 odd clicks to just over 60 to pass the . . . what’s the collective noun for scrub turkeys: a scraping; a cabal?  I think I’ll go with “devastation”.  Three of the turkey’s high-tailed  it for the paddock, away from my vehicle, but the forth, either braver or much, much stupider than his mates ran out under my wheels.  He fluttered up in a flight attempt that was more like something you’d see from a septuagenarian gymnast trying to relive the glory days.  He achieved just enough of a twisting leap before I hit him full on, that he smacked into the windscreen dead ahead of me.  I hunched down, sure he’d shatter the glass, yanking my right foot back to resist the urge to slam on the brakes on the wet.

The score:  No skid, no screams, not even time for me to curse, no damage to Mother’s car, journey continued without further incident.  And our feathered friend?  According to Magic Man, who watched his dismount through the rear screen, he shook himself to settle his feathers back into place and wandered off, not only unharmed but seemingly unperturbed.

Maybe it was just a random event.  Perhaps this turkey’s turkey was just a very dull example of a species known more for persistence than intelligence.  Or his acquired taste for carrion caused a strain of Mad Bird Disease to express itself in suicidal behaviour.  I can’t escape the gnawing suspicion that we survived a deliberate – hell, orchestrated – plan by Greybeard and his evil minions to wipe out, not only me but all of my offspring and even the Mother who bore me.  Revenge for a certain Medieval Archery Incident of more than a year ago, a vengeance so cold they probably hired Ötzi The Glacier Mummy as a consultant co-conspirator.  Try again, big fella.

Strange Days
29 September, 2012

Strange day yesterday, ladies and lurkers. I had a lovely day’s Brisvegas Holiday Excursion planned with MM, EB, a BFF and her two kids. Started off instead by having to: grief counsel my father through his dog’s terminal illness (progressive spinal cord stenosis) as I ate my egg on Vegemite toast; guide him through the decision-making process, i.e. that he needed to man up and have the dog put down because it had reached the suffering stage and had no prospect of remission, let alone improvement; and then drive them both to the vet when I was so successful he decided to do it. Right then and there.

EB is a big animal lover and also his Grandpa’s favourite, so when he said he wanted to come too I thought it would be doubly good: for EB to have up-close experience of death before it was a much-loved person involved, and so that he could console his Grandpa.

As you will have guessed, I was wrong. We ended up that Grandpa did the male-of-his-generation thing and pulled a strong, silent act, while EB spent the next hour or more sobbing uncontrollably.

I was correct about one thing – it was best I was there to drive them both home.

So I returned to my parents’ house to race through the preparations for our day out.  All the while EB was insisting that he needed to do a Great Garbo (I vant to be alone), with me trying to nurture him while he grieved, but equally adamant  that we had to proceed with the outing and he had to come with us.  We had gorgeous clear, sunny but not too hot weather and the excursion went fabulously well for 6 hours – fun ride in on the ferry, lots of fun in various South Bank water features, great company, awesome Lego robots, kids even behaving beautifully.

And then, just as we were about to pack up the remains of afternoon tea and make our tired but happy way home, MM’s BF-in-the-world slammed his head into a post while running in the playground.  Straight away, a lump the size of a small avocado and the colour of hailclouds swelled on his forehead. Naturally enough, his Mum panicked.  The helpful staff at the cafe next to the playground gave me a cup of ice without hesitation – thanks Steam Cafe- and then the South Bank lifesavers gave us a plastic bag full of ice.  By the time we were on the ferry home, the lump was down to a third of original size and Mum had stopped hyperventilating.  Mostly.

The evening turned out well, with a lovely BBQ with my cousin and his husband.  If anyone wants a recipe for marshmallow and sour-cream salad . . . much nommier than it sounds. . . I now have one.

And an odd footnote:  my horoscope advised that my day would start well, but unavoidable complications and difficulties would ensue.

For Her
29 August, 2012

Seriously, Bic?  I know the biro was invented by a bloke – but it’s hard to understand what the smurf the people… well, I say people but I think we can safely assume that they’re men of a certain age… at Bic were thinking.  This is the sort of crap that leads to this:

and this:

and then this:

And, ultimately, this is why women still fail to recieve equal pay for equal work.  The same sort of mindset – admittedly at several removes – is directly linked to idiocy like Representative Todd Akin and ‘legitimate rape’ .

I’ve never been so glad my kids are both boys.  As much as I revile the facts and wish things were different, they’ve got a better chance of achieving their goals than their friends who are girls.  Not because they’re smarter or stronger or morally superior, but because their dangly toilet parts put them first in the queue.

Over the last few days I’ve admired the merciless lampooning dished out to this product by comedy sites such as Regretsy and some of the Cheezburger offshoots – but the funniest material are the “product reviews”  submitted by thousands of pro-feminist well-wishers. Make sure your Depends – and let’s hope they’re floral pink, ladies! – are in place, follow the link – if your soft, girly ladybrain can coordinate clicking your mouse (it’s the little pointy thing) – and enjoy comedy gold:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/BIC-For-Amber-Medium-Ballpoint/dp/B004FTGJUW

A Pox On Virgin
28 October, 2011

Well, what a fabulous couple of days.

My modem blew up on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently an incoming call… my “landline” is sort of VOIP… was all too much and the phone rang a couple of times and then the modem went an ominous shade of black.

Virgin – my ISP – couldn’t have been less help if they’d come around and sabotaged the thing themselves. Apparently they’re trying to get out of the wireless broadband business by a process of attrition. The help desk bloke had two solutions:

(1) Plug it into a different power point – thanks mate, I tried that before I called

(2) Get a new ISP.

*Sigh*

I was pretty sure it was the power pack, not the modem… I happen to have three Virgin modems, let’s not go into why right now… and none of them would power up. Still, I thought, if Virgin can’t be bothered helping me, I might as well change service providers. Perhaps I might find one who, oh, I dunno, might actually provide me with some service?

I have to leave town to buy socks, so signing on with someone else meant a trip down the motorway. Thursday morning and the Optus bloke couldn’t get anywhere with his computer. It seems that Terriblestra rules the phone lines in my part of town, and the only way I could get service from Optus was wirelessly. All well and good, but his computer was telling him to give me a modem and he had no modem to give me.

Short trip to Major Computer Retailer where the more dynamic bloke at their computer desk was quite confident Optus would post me out a modem… but he couldn’t find the plan listed. In their brochure or on line. It took so long I had to leave to get to a lunch date back home.

Returned to Optus Bloke #2 this morning where it turns out the only way to get a phone and broadband bundle from Optus is via some complicated scheme whereby my mobile becomes my landline and my computer connects to a new mobile phone and gets data that way.

Me to Optus Bloke:  “No, thanks. It’s entirely too Machiavellian. What you’re suggesting seems to me like plugging in a double-adaptor, attaching it to an extension cord and then wiring in a power board, just to plug in a kettle.”

Optus Bloke:  “I don’t really understand what you’re saying. But I can tell you, if you go with Terriblstra, they’ll want your first-born child as a down payment.”

However, I can’t knock Optus Bloke #2. He tried his best, and when asked if he could refer me to a shop where I might buy a new power pack for the existing Virgin modem, he was right on the money. $12.95 later I am back in business… until the modem itself fails, I suppose.


Snail Misbehavin’
6 October, 2011

Brave Florida resident, Alice, aged 11, confronts an invading Giant African Snail.

Flee, Floridans! Fire up your mobility scooters and wheely-walkers and flee at your own pace… the Giant African Snails are coming!

http://www.news.com.au/world/giant-alien-snails-spark-panic-mass-eradications-in-miami/story-e6frfkyi-1226158458802

Just kidding – they look more like this:

My favourite bit is when the snail gave Mrs Hernandez  a migraine and she had to have a lie down. Really, Mrs Hernandez – after one 13cm snail? I’d love to confront her with a paddock-full of slime mould or a nasty outbreak of feral armpit fungus and see what happens – spontaneous combustion is my working hypothesis.

But it’s not just snails invading Florida. They also have terrible problems with Gambian pouched rats, pink hibiscus mealybugs and Burmese pythons. I know it’s wrong, but that news just makes me want to crate up several thousand cane toads and ship them over to add a bit of hop to the mix.

Still, serious biosecurity issues demand a reasoned response. Stop panicking, Florida. I’ve got several solutions to your “crisis” and so far I’ve only had one cup of coffee:

  1. Slimearama  Start a snail-based takeaway franchise. Sauté in garlic and red wine,  and serve in their own shells. Tastier, healthier and better for the environment than McDeath.
  2. Snail racing  Florida is America’s retirement capital, and seniors appreciate a gentle tempo. Paint numbers on the side of their shells, raise State revenue by taking bets on the… erm, sliders, close off a few main roads and let them rip. Hell, you could start a whole snail racing carnival. Fascinator sales would skyrocket.
  3. Exploit the Food Chain  Feed the pink hibiscus mealybugs and giant African snails to the Gambian pouched rats. The plumped-up pouchies may then be offered to the Burmese pythons. Sated and bloated, the pythons should make easy targets. Skin the pythons and make orthopaedic shoes, or colostomy bag covers.

Florida, no need to thank me – just send me a pair of python slingbacks, size 8.

Valley of the Shadowy Pee
16 September, 2011

Steampunk Urinal: somebody is taking the piss

It seems that Brisbane’s favourite nightclub and random glassing by inebriated strangers precinct has a wee problem: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/you-wont-believe-where-some-people-go/story-e6freoof-122613822441

People are going out, going hard and then… well, just going wherever they feel like it. A Mr Mergard said the problem was so bad that “There is a toilet in which people urinate outside and people inside get urinated on.” Don’t worry too much about that one, Mr Mergard –  I think it’s in The Beat, and the patrons actually like it that way.

Other instances of public tinkling are non-consensual, however, and it’s a bigger problem than you might think. Up to 30 people a day are being fined under a Police public nuisance blitz. 30 a day? Makes you wonder how many caught-short scoff-laws are whizzing undetected.

Not to worry, though, I’ve come up with some workable solutions:

The Garden Bed 

Just pop bunches of these little beauties, in a circular formation, at regular intervals down the Brunswick street mall.  No need to weed!
Heritage Pissing
These are a personal favourite. Shame that ‘Monastery’ is now closed, but there are still a number of operational and converted churches in the Valley that would be enhanced by an open-air installation of gargoyle pissoirs. I’d also like to see several rows of them against the flats they built on the old Cathedral site, in memory of the Vatican pinching all the money raised for building on that block.
Go-Go Glowsticks
An idea derived by this charming invention for those caught short on the golf course. Just increase the volume and, erm, calibre of the average glowstick, include a screw-on lid, and voila! Rave on, hipsters.

Derp and the Boxing Kangaroo
27 July, 2011

I love the Courier Mail – better known, to a whimsical friend, as the Curious Snail. There’s often sniggers to be had. Sure, most of the laughs come from misuse of the beleaguered apostrophe, abuse of grammar or complete clause failure than from any attempted comedic content. Still, a chuckle’s a chuckle, in these troubled times.

However, in commenting on poor literature you might think they’d be extra careful to get things spot on. And you’d be wrong. Behold, the link to the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:

“Think you’re writing is bad?” (as derped on the pre-dawn home page of the e-edition, 27/07/2011 – one can only hope they will have fixed it up by the time the normal world wakes up.)

Luckily, the derp link leads to some absolute gems. Like the first prize winner, a woman from Oshkosh, whose opening sentence reads, “Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.” What a shame she didn’t take the opportunity to work the name of her home-town in somewhere.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/world/bulwer-lytton-fiction-contest-winner-named-take-a-butchers-at-some-bad-writing/story-e6freoox-1226102017932

Meanwhile, another link leads us to the tragic tale of Eddie, a red kangaroo who nearly killed a 94 year old woman in Charleville. She was hanging out her washing… has anyone else noticed, old ladies who are attacked and nearly killed are always hanging out their washing just prior to the assault. Bugger set-top boxes – if the Federal Government gave every woman over 80 a tumble dryer they’d slash assault rates to next to nothing and free up hospital beds, too.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/victim-pleads-for-life-of-eddie-the-boxing-roo/story-e6freon6-1226102333723

Anyway, just like most delinquents, turns out poor Eddie comes from a broken home and has been misunderstood. Hand-raised by wildlife carers, he was released into the wild only to break a hip. Unfit to fend for himself, he’s been living in captivity. The man “minding” Eddie – the evocatively named Darryl “Dobbo” Dobbin – claims he’s gentle and tame. Dobbo also reckoned he has no idea who left the gate open, allowing Eddie to escape.

Two things spring to mind. Firstly, for a disability support pensioner Eddie is fit enough to rip strips off an innocent laundry lady. Secondly, is it just me or does this story sound eerily familiar? I’m pretty sure the mother of that kid who tried to steal a bike, winding up bashed by the bike’s lawful owner for his trouble made identical comments about her son. Down to the doubt about whose fault it was that he was out at night, breaking into people’s houses to steal their bikes (allegedly).

Still, the Courier Mail could misspell their own masthead and I’d be back for more. They’re much more fun when they get it wrong than when they allegedly get it right.

My Chookyard: Colditz by the Coast?
5 June, 2011

Poultry facilities: Note adequate food and shelter. Water (not pictured) also clean and ample.

I have previously alluded;

http://madammorgana.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/garden-of-unearthly-delights/

to one of my chook’s remorseless attempts to burrow out of the yard.

Chooks aren’t noted for their sharp wit, or propensity for forward planning, or reasoning… actually, chooks are pretty much noted for egg-laying and being tasty seasoned, crumbed and fried.

But still,  I keep questioning the motivation of this chook. Known as “Briana” by her former owners, we call her “Rooster” since she moulted her tail feathers, grew in a new more impressive set practically overnight, beefed up her comb and then turned on “Tikka”, who used to rule the roost.

Inside the yard, there is food, water, shelter, congenial company and plenty of opportunity for scratching, sunning, dirt-bathing and pecking. In case you’re not up on poultry husbandry, that sums up the whole gamut of chook behaviour other than rooting – we don’t have a rooster.

In fact, my chookyard has got it all over a Malaysian immigration detention facility – the only bamboo canes used in my yard prop up the tarp.

Despite her freedom to live a life of luxury, troubled only by wondering how many bacon rinds might be in the kitchen scraps and when they’ll be tossed at her feet, Rooster insists on staging elaborate breakouts.

Chook tunnel: note the use of sticks as buttressing

Pictured is Rooster’s latest tunnel. Note the use of native sticks and garden debris as buttressing.

"Cover for me, you two. Look innocent while I go under the wall!"

Why, Rooster, why?

Is it because, now you’re a drag king, you share some men’s misapprehension that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

Do you find it funny when the cry “Chook’s out again!” goes up, we corral the dog and all rush out to round you up again? Do chooks even have a sense of humour?

All I know is, if this keeps up, Rooster will get to experience the novel delights if being inverted in a killing cone… just before I slice off her ungrateful, tunnelling head.

Telstra handbook Chapter 2: Consolidate the Inconvenience
24 May, 2011

A 'pre-inconvenienced' member of the public (PIMP) is like copper wire: malleable and well worth recycling

Turns out they have the Internet in the Seychelles.

Through a complicated comms system,  involving encoded SCUBA and many, many bribes I have cleared the following excerpt with my legal team. Oh, and Justin? You can run, but you can’t hide.

So here’s another excerpt from the telstra handbook:

When dealing with a PIMP, incremental increases in inconvenience may be applied. In no time, they’ll be making you a cup of tea – unless, of course, your workmates cut their electricity supply &/or damage the water main.

Case Study:

The illustrations for this section of the workbook come from the logbooks of a master inconveniencer, now sadly lost to the front lines owing to a secondment to the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“Simmo” was so skilful in the application of incremental inconvenience in this case, that he ended up sleeping in the master bedroom of the residence pictured during the work week, with full board and beer on a slab/shift pro rata supplied.

Self-assessment:

A Ditch Witch should be:

  1. unloaded just prior to the commencment of earthworks
  2. on site whenever – it’s tough and hard to hotwire
  3. parked on a solid footing – driveway mouths are optimal
  4. tested by ducking or Trial By Fire.
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