Sunday, 30 November 2008

How not to steal a car

Join me as I recant a bumbling tale of ineptitude. Some people are not destined for crime. My wife’s sister is one of them. I have sat on this story for a few weeks now and I have been through a variety of emotions, grief, denial, pity and anger. It is only now that I can write with a cool head and purge myself of the considerable heart break that has racked my soul.

Once upon a time before a rather large adventure Prince Charming and his beautiful princess left their horse and cart at the Kings castle before they flew on the wings of birds to Thailand.

Whilst they were away the Princesses evil sister miss appropriated the horse and cart with out permission. She removed its delightful upfm decals. She emptied the horses food baskets. But she made one critical mistake.........

She left a receipt with her name on it inside the cart!

Now for those of you who are not following my artistic license.

We left our car in storage with my wife’s dad. When we returned home.

Our car was missing its UPFM stickers
It had no fuel
It had no water in the radiator
It had a receipt inside it with my wife’s sisters name on it.

She had had the blatant arrogance to fool family into thinking she had asked us to use our car and she was stupid enough to leave incriminating evidence behind. When confronted with this she did the internet equivalent of batting her eyelids.

Probably not a super criminal. I am probably not being nice. I also did not have any younger siblings to pick on so am making up for lost time. Claire you just got owned.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Free Advice

Whilst I do not condone violence or military coups I have this to say to the people who are unable to leave Thailand because of current protest action and uncertainty.

You are onto a good thing. Tell your work/family/friends that you are going to head home when things quieten down. With a bit of luck you will be stuck in Thailand until after Christmas. Woe is you.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Monday

I wrote this on Monday. To correctly timestamp yourself please imagine yourself as me this Monday past entering work for the first time in a few months.

Today marks an auspicious occasion. It is my triumphant return to regular employment. I celebrated long and hard this morning on the express bus into the city. An incredible journey marked by a wet and windswept horizon and punctuated by the shrill dinging of bells and transferal of passengers.

I have not worked in the central city of Auckland before. I hope there will be plenty to write about. At first glance it appears people commuting are not a very talkative bunch. They are not a particularly expressive lot either. I did get a half strained grimace infused with the beginnings of a smile from one lady passenger after I helpfully indicated there were seats free up the back where the cool people sit.

I am working in an interesting building. It has a lounge area downstairs with a few chocolate brown leather lounge suites. It is here that I will do my morning writing. The security man seems to be a writer as well. I can only see the beginnings of a head behind his desk and he only gives the slightest of nods to suggest he has preformed a biochemical and metal scans with his eyes. His head being tilted down shows he is clearly writing furiously. Actually I have seen his face now, he is hiding a horrendous beard. He has got carried away with movember and is clearly embarrassed by it.

A cleaner is vacuuming the tiled floor. He is a large man and would make a better security man than the bearded fellow. His vacuum cleaner is impressive and it is not hard to imagine it making an efficient tool to repel bun runners, hawkers and lounging loiterers like myself. I have made contact with the cleaner. Like all good boys I helpfully lifted my bags and feet so he could work his magic.

Up the elevator I am humbled by the nice little things my new work does. We have free fruit to eat every day. My team plays morning word games on a white board. We also have our starsigns read out to us by a nominated member. These may seem a trifle superfluous but they are things I respect. It does not take much to make places of work a lot better.

Would you beleive one of my first tasks was to call the concierge downstairs? Be careful of who you write about. You might have to talk to them. Which reminds me I must write something about Beyoncé.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Today

Yesterday I wrote a fantastic piece describing my incredible first day of public transport, the amazing building I work in and the fresh commencement of a regular job.

Today was less eventful. I had the solitary joy of zig zagging the streets during my lunch break and dodging various nefarious coupon pushers.

It was on my return home that there was a rather large altercation with a spurned passenger. Underneath the bass of my head phones I could hear the chap describing being almost run over by the previous express bus and a wide selection of choice cuss words. The passenger continued his tirade for a period of 4-5 minutes before he stormed onto the bus and announced loudly that he would be speaking with its owners. It was thoroughly humorous and annoying at the same time. The truly strange thing was that I found myself wondering what it would be like to run over someone like that in a bus.

Probably pretty choice.

Friday, 21 November 2008

A useful tool

In case you had not noticed I am a devout geek and technology enthusiast. Periodically I come across things that make my life easier and I feel obligated to tell as many people as possible. Unfortunately there are not many people within yelling range at the moment so I am left with the slightly impersonal INTERNET to share my excitement.

Please note this information is for people chained to the Microsoft way of life.

Windows has a curious way of managing installed programs. It gets really strange when programs are not uninstalled correctly or are damaged. Windows can think software still remains even when you have deleted files, attacked the registry, sworn and made aggravated gesticulations at your screen. I know this because it is exactly what I was doing about two hours ago.

Fear yea not, I have found a fantastic tool which takes care of things so you do not need to. Using this tool should free you from ever having to read and follow a lengthy uninstall guide.

The tool is called Revo uninstaller and it is a breeze to use. Strangely enough it does not come with an installer. Poetic justice, the best kind.


If that all sounds a bit hardcore for your computing tastes. I would like to add you will look and sound incredibly smart when you suggest it to your designated family computer expert the next time they visit. Just try it.

A Morning in Pictures

An extended period of traveling has transformed me into a keen walker. This morning was a particularly incredible morning for wandering the suburbs of Auckland. I suspect the luxury of not working makes walking more enjoyable otherwise there would be more people traipsing the streets. Still I hope we can keep up our morning walks. If anything else it is nice to feel like a pseudo tourist carrying a camera and pausing every five minutes to take a photo.







Timaru is a nice spot for a morning walk to be honest. Whilst it loses points for a lack of volcanoes it does have a charm of its own.









It also has a statue of Robbie Burns. Robbie Burns shares my birthday and has an impressive proliferation of statues throughout the western world. An admirable and talented rogue.



Tourism New Zealand and the new minister of tourism John Key please take notice of the surge of incoming tourism numbers following this blog entry. Whilst I do not feel like I should have to do the prime minister's job. I have experience at being the top dog and will always pitch in when there is some bullshit to be said.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Job Found

As of Monday my work less existence comes to an end. The all consuming finding employment turnstile has spun its last turn. To be bluntly honest finding a job after a three month hiatus has been hard work. Compounding the difficulty has been an earnest attempt to re acquaint myself with good friends and family, expand my ever increasing repertoire of formidable party tricks and become more beautiful each day.

At one of my interviews yesterday I was told that the New Zealand job market is as tough as it was in 1987 and 1991. Therefore I do have some tips that might help earnest job hunters in a trying market.

-Follow up every application with a phone call
-Trust your gut
-Do not get bullied into interviews by pushy consultants
-Clean your shoes, teeth and vocabulary
-When being interviewed by two people make a joke about getting both barrels at the start of the interview
-Hypnotize do not antagonize

So hooray for me. Please leave congratulatory comments. Click the Google ads as well for good measure.

PS

The second part of the Litany of Scams trilogy has hit travelfish. You can find it here....

http://www.travelfish.org/feature/131

The Month of Scorpio

Every year my wife and I lumber through the month of Sun in Scorpio. We start off bright eyed and with shiny tails but by the end of it we are sad broken beasts lumbering to put our shoes on, bemoaning sunlight and finding it hard to chew food.

Of course our ailments are largely self inflicted but this preemptive partying leaves us out of sorts well before the silly season. We barely got through this year and neither of us was working full time. So whilst the pain is still fresh in our minds I would like to pen some reminders for both my wife and I and any one else who finds this time of the year hard.

-Drink and pretend to drink spirits. It is very hard to simulate beer and wine drinking
-Take cat naps(tell the party you are finding them boring if need be)
-Find jobs for yourself to do which involve both of your hands and not drinking
-Do not listen to Katie Cullum at all costs
-Decide the next weekends social engagements on a Monday or Tuesday night
-Be very wary of befriending Scorpios they can be hazardous for your health


Now can someone remind me to read this next October?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Broke and Beautiful

Hello readers. I am still in the slings and arrows of vocational warfare. Updates are therefore still infrequent, however I have happened upon an interesting theory.....


It appears the longer I have been unemployed the more beautiful I have become. Who would have thought? I did.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Congratulations Karyn and Jarra

It is not every day that people get married. Actually people get married every day. It just is not every day that truly awesome, incredible, close friends and studious readers of this blog get married. I had wanted to write something suitably awesome, incredible and friendly for every body to read.

Buckle up, we are now in first gear. I have known Jarra and Karyn for many moons. An interesting fusion, I swear they can elevate the blood pressure and heart rates of people with little effort. This is done by simply walking into a room, or walking out of one as the case may be.

I say fusion because, bereft of a geiger counter or similar device I suspect that in combination the two of them emit low levels of radiation. Completely safe levels of course and the legal union of the couple should lower insurance premiums for the rest of us.

I jest in earnest because that is what I find myself doing in their company. My wit has sharpened considerably for knowing them and although it may pain acquaintances you will not find a better whetstone to rub your brain across. I would wager that it would also not be healthy to find a better whetstone because you would not want your freshly sharpened brain to fall out of your skull.

Again today they shall be married. I have been given the honor of being part of Jarra's support team. I have been given the task of 'moral support'. So today I shall do my best to offer sagely moral support and forget all of the immoral support I have been privy to.

A better couple you will not find getting married who are also readers of this blog. Of this I am certain. So raise your glasses if you are having problems reading...

Congratulations guys you are a splendid couple and I am very proud to know you!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

On Green Tea

Two minutes ago I was sitting sipping on a cup of green tea. A curious brew, but one of the healthiest addictions I managed to acquire whilst traveling; green tea provides a few useful side effects including.

-Get caffeine without the coffee
-Weight loss
-Increased fat oxidization whilst exercising
-An increased need to tell the world about how wonderful green tea is(obviously)

Green tea unfortunately does take a bit of getting used to. I needed three months of careful tasting to gain an affinity towards it. My advice for potential green tea drinkers is to buy it by the bag in its loose form. It is easy enough to throw some in a cup and make up hot tinctures which could knock the pants of a well bearded druid.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Joy

I know I scared away both my readership and myself yesterday by proclaiming a blog breather whilst I search for the job of jobs. However I thought I would take a quick break to toot my horn enthusiastically. My Litany of Scams article has been reworked and split into three parts to be syndicated on the ever wise and omnipotent Travelfish over the next three weeks.

A small but still significant victory, I can not remember the last time some of my writing was published without my sometimes over exuberant clicking finger. A cause for celebration to be sure. Today has gone down in history and it is not even lunchtime.

You can re read a litany of scams here on Travelfish.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

AFB

The pressing nature of finding employment is weighing heavily on my mind at the moment. I am actually finding writing here a wee bit hard. My horoscope gleefully informed me yesterday that this is my week of the year career wise.

As you move into one of your most important professional weeks of the year, you’re greeted by a sense of confidence that may seem to come from nowhere, especially if you've doubted yourself. With Mars, planet of passion, drive and ambition, due to leave your career sector in the weekend, this is your last week for giving your professional situation everything you've got. If there ever was a time you needed to believe in yourself, this is it.

So please excuse me whilst I focus......

This sh0uld be interesting.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Spring Break Followup

Having had a bit of time free over the last couple of days I have completed my movie editing of the spring break archives. A triumph of technology and content. I think I have done an admirable job with the footage and main stars limited acting experience.

This movie has all the more impact if you were actually at the event. For obvious reasons I actually had to delay the release so it did not coincide with the U.S presidential election. Needless to say if you were there and I did not drool, stand on or otherwise annoy you consider yourself lucky. I would also like to apologize retroactively for any slights inflicted as they were unintended. Thankfully in what has become a reoccurring theme most of the physical damage was done to my feet.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Timaru

Nestled gently between the two luminous breasts of Dunedin and Christchurch, Timaru serves up a saucy and sexy slice of provincial New Zealand. Requiring a sabbatical from the twelve tasks of job hunting in Auckland town. I headed South in search of ambrosia, lodgings and fresh spells for my book.

Timaru turns out to be a pretty good place to stay. The locals are laid back to the point of falling over. At least I imagine they are falling over because that is the only logical explanation for the curious lack of human beings. The local doozers have done an incredibly industrious job of creating the town and surrounding landscapes.

Earlier feeling suitably otherworldly. I scarfed up and dulled my glowing visage sufficiently to blend in with the pristine panorama and seek sustenance with our genial hosts. The air was both bracing and gently ex foliating. It appears to have cryogenic properties keeping the blood at safer temperatures and viscosities.

Dinner was a delight and at the end the master of our house informed the waiter that I would be taking away my coffee along with restaurant cup and saucer. This is par for the course in Timaru it appears. A truly magnanimous decision and one beguilingly befitting for an out of town wizard like me.

SOGPS

Gather close for two sides of a story. A mild affliction that seems all the more valid after a few thousand kilometers. Perhaps you can empathize with me, perhaps you are a SOGPS.

Significant Other Global Positioning System or SOGPS is a curious transcendental state that afflicts me whenever I get in a car to drive anywhere with my significant other. A sometimes gentle, sometimes firm voice coerces me towards my destination. Soliciting advice on traffic conditions and alternate routes, it evens helps me to park.

Strangely enough when you are in a foreign country, driving on a scooter the SOGPS seems to go silent. In fact I thought my SOGPS was broken. Imagine my surprise upon entering a car after returning home my SOGPS awoke from its slumber. I cursed in several languages and even wondered out loud how things would be if our situations were reversed. My significant other took the bait. I smiled, content in my ability to remain silent even under torture. Sadly it was only a few minutes into our trip when I found myself giving the same infuriating advice. I am not sure what witchcraft exists in modern motor vehicles but it is surely illegal.

I can not see a way out, short of gagging the significant other whilst driving. I have given this some more thought and I am sure a straight jacket would also be needed to shut down dangerous hand signals. I then thought it is probably not wise to drive someone gagged and bound on the open road. But that is just me, it seemed to work OK for the Egyptian hearse drivers.

Site News

Tomorrow we head South towards a large cold snap. It is my hope that this shock therapy will provide me with the impetus I am after. At the very least our SOGPS should be disabled in Timaru.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Dear Universe

It has been a while since I wrote you last, in fact I do not think I have written to you at all. But to be fair, you have not written to me either. I thought it was high time we opened an honest channel for communication.

I have not asked for much during my time within you. I have been a grateful steward of my body and instance of this dimension. However I am becoming a bit bored with the intermission between chapters of the rather large adventure. Obviously I am in the commercial break and need to fund my next chapter but the very mechanics of finding suitable employment is a strange beast.

I actually gave this letter a bit of thought last Friday and returned home to a job email that sounded exciting and thought we had connected without recorded correspondence. Alas it appears you were teasing me. I can think of far worthier people for you to play with. May I suggest George Bush will be looking for a job soon and is far more deserving of pranks.

So universe. The planet is in your court. It is your turn to play a card. I await a sign, preferably not one like this.

Found...

I learned during my first epoch what strange times I live in. What else could explain a bowling ball appearing in my underground thinking den ten years ago?

It was yesterday morning that I felt a large dose of deja vue. Please examine the following picture and join my confusion.



At first I thought aliens had left me with a super hero suit and fuel for saving the universe. Perhaps they have?