A blog of grumpiness, stilts and skin.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Gout, Gout let it all out.

I've been stricken all day by the grumpiest, uncoolest ailment of them all. And now I've got to drag my sad can off the couch and limp into work. Woe is me.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A pink carnation and a ...


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Grumpy Kenny Curry

Haze is out gallivanting. And since I can't be arsed cooking, I'm about to visit the local subcontinental takeaway.

The woman who runs the takeaway is always asking prying questions, like 'So, Grumpy, how much did you pay for your house?', 'Tell me, when donning jeans, in which direction do you dress?', and 'Do you like to party, Grumpy?'. I don't know how she knows my name, and she's freakin' me out!

But she does smoke a good vindaloo ...

Grumpy relations

Dr Bellows is not the only younger sibling having a birthday today.

No. Simhead, sister of Grump, turns 36 today.

Getting up there, Simhead.

Grumpy Curry-Kenny

When she was a teenager, Hazel spent a year in California as an exchange student.

While there, she contracted three incurable diseases, namely: a Coke (a Cola) habit, an addiction to McDonald's, and an insatiable craving for equipment.

Fishing equipment, cooking equipment, camping equipment, crafting equipment, drilling equipment, abseiling equipment, cat care equipment, Tupperware equipment ... the list goes on and on.

So, this morning, I finally hauled my carcass on down to the kayak shop to make good on the Chrismas/birthday presents we'd promised each other. As a result, our Ford Laser ute now has two shiny Thule roof racks to match the ones on K & D's WRX.

Oh yes, and two unused kayaks, just in time for the Commonwealth Games.

Just gazing out the window at the streamlined things, I already feel more buff. And tanned.

Look out Grant and Lisa!

For whom the Bellows

Dr Bellows, the 7-year-old next door, turned 8 today.

He usually likes to sleep in, but today was awake and bellowing at 6:30am.

"You probably won't like this," I heard his father, The Cattleman, say, "but we got it for you anyway."

"Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" bellowed Bellows.

I hope it's not a Peter Gabriel DVD.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Grump and Grumpier

It's gonna be 39 degrees celsius here today. It was 37 yesterday. And it's not to Pounce!y's liking.

After flying out the back door early this morning and disappearing under the house, a coupla hours later she howled the door down to get into our air conditioned lounge room. Having sampled the lounge room's cosy 24 degrees for all of 3 minutes she decided to follow me into the sauna-like hallway for a snoop.

"Don't be so stupid," I admonished, turfing her back into the air conditioning, and shutting the door in her hairy little face.

That's when the howls really began, followed by a ghastly, pained yelp as I re-entered the loungeroom and inadvertently jammed her paw beneath the hall door.

After that, she wouldn't have a bar of me. For about twenty seconds. That's when I produced her shiny new "Pounce" nametag, which I thought she'd hate. But she sat very patiently as I looped it onto her collar.

She's now 'circle sleeping', as Haze calls it, on her favourite chair beneath a cool Fujitsu zephyr.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Dissing Cousins

My opinion of West Coast's Ben Cousins was reinforced when on tonight's news he said his decision to resign as captain was, 'the best decision moving forward'.

This kind of language, along with 'player group' (team) and key position player (ruckman) must end. It's lame-brained managerialism at best and managerial lame-brainedness at worst.

Imperious Leather

Haze just emailed me this.

As a Dockers fan, I'd love to gloat. But I know it'd only be good until Jeff Farmer's next misdemeanor.


Butey Newk

On Saturday, Haze and I took our red Ford Laser ute for a spin down to Boyup Brook to check out the annual ute and truck muster there.

Sadly there were no WRX utes in the muster. But there was a solid collection of commercial vehicles all the same.

And when the utes and semis revved up for the bog lap around the little town, their combined horsepower sounded like a WRX.

BTW, that's me in the foreground.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Psych 1, Psych 2, what do you know?

Apart from these words that we speak,
this is a real non-lecture.
Whether we should come next week,
is a point of some conjecture.

It's up to you, Dick York. Dick York.

Further to the Derwood post, I did not get to have a snooze yesterday afternoon.

However, I did leave everything till the last minute.

But as a result of my little pow wows, I now know what I'll be working on for the next 3 years. The question of what I'll be doing over the next 3 decades is still a point of some conjecture. I'll keep you posted on that front, in a vapidly anonymous way of course.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Going forward, going back

Now the world's best sportsman, Adam Gilchrist, has caught the disease:

"Half way through the series we had people and certain journalists say neither he or I should be in the team going forward so to get a night like tonight should free you up a bit."

Gilly, how could you??


Yesterday I'd arranged a huge, massive, huge, meeting that may well have determined the course of my working life for the next three years. But, true to form, all my nervous energy was being expended on what the hell I would have to say at a minor presentation I'd dumbly volunteered to do immediately before the important meeting.

As it turned out, stressing over the presentation meant I was pretty chilled for the meeting, which I ended up sailing through.

I have another huge, massive, huge meeting this afternoon that could well determine the course of my working life for the next three decades. I should be preparing some props for it now. But no doubt I'll leave it till the last minute.

Between now and the meeting I may even manage a snooze. But I'm not likely to enjoy the snooze, because in all probability Larry Tate will invade my dreams, storm into my office and demand to see those layouts early. And Endora is bound to throw some kind of spanner into the works.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Get some mullet in your gullet

My mother, the busy walker, calls mullet, 'the prince of fish'.

Walk this way

By crikey, it was hot yesterday.

So I took K and D's Subaru for a spin down to South Beach and locked poor recuperating Pounce! up in the sweatbox which was our home.

Comeuppance was swift as my feet hit the shimmering sand. At times like these - you know, like when somebody treads on a patch of Double Gs - I advise them to do like Steve Tyler and 'walk this way'. By this I mean walk normally and embrace pain as your friend.

But yesterday my tootsies felt like they'd been dipped into a vat of freshly blown glass. So back on flew my shoes.

Oh what relief when my torso hit the clear water. As I duck-dived to the bottom, a tepid top layer gave way to the most refreshing cool. Drifting up for air, I noticed I'd been engulfed by a large school of mullet.

Glimmering silver in the midday sun, they drifted by, unperturbed by my gallumphing intrusion into their wet, wild world. And that's where mullet should stay.

Not because they're living, glimmering things. But because they taste terrible.

(photo courtesy Hazelblackberry Inc.)


Here comes the Grump

Hazel and I are minding K and D's Subaru WRX.

M and C were minding the beast, but looming renovations at their home mean their driveway is no longer fit to house such a flash car.

As I picked up the keys, M warned me the thunderbolt tends to attract traffic light bogans. And he wasn't lying.

On the way home from M and C's, even as I took it slow, adjusting as one must to the awesome firepower beneath the hood, the jaws of two apprentice bogans ambling along the footpath suddenly dropped.

"Hey! Nice WRX!!!" they screamed with genuine admiration.

She's okay!

Good old Pounce! seems to have recovered from her operation. Her eating, pouncing and purring faculties are back in full working order. Though she now has an unseemly bald patch on her undergut.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Get your rosaries off my ovaries

As I deposited sweet little Pounce de Lion into the vet's for the unkindest snip of all, the young receptionist there started hard selling the benefits of inserting a micro-chip into the nape of the poor beast's neck.

A tracking device. In the very spot where her mummy used to pick her up.

I listened, mute, for a full minute. For the first time it struck me how it must feel to be a white tobacco farmer in Zimbabwe. Cow-eyed, I turned to the assembled species in the waiting room. Then I pulled myself together, and placed my hands back on the counter.

"Is it not enough that you'd have me authorise her burgeoning womanhood to the dustbin?!" I railed at this modern-day Mengele. "Now you'd have me sign her very identity away!"

Not on my watch, Pounce!y.

Dog day afternoon

Poor old Pounce!y.

A few days ago she turned 5 months. Which means this morning I dropped her into the vet's to get sterilised.

Desexed. Neutered. Spayed.

Call it what you want, she's knackered.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Grumpy see, grumpy do

Pounce! now knows how to fetch.

Only problem is, because she initiated the first fetch, I don't know if I trained her or if she trained me.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Urban decay

The sun is setting on this perfectly good fish factory.

It will soon be a block of townhouses - the kind that a fly-by-nighter like the Cheetah would like to live or invest in. (If he knew where Fremantle was).

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The fastest cat

You may have noticed my blogging has been somewhat curtailed of late.

That's because I'm now blogging on my own time.

Yes, The Cheetah and I have parted professional company.

It all came about when I demanded he pay an overdue account. "Oops!" began his email reply, "I thought I'd already paid that."

"Anyway," he continued. "Sorry about the hassles. I've enjoyed working with you. Please return all keys and security devices."

That crazy old Cheetah. I'll miss his passive-aggressive ways.

Immovable feast

That poo that refuses to flush.

Immovable feast

That poo that refuses to flush.

Resistable Force

Yeah, I joined 37,036 other rugby fans at Subiaco for the Western Force's first-ever game last night.

The Force lost 25-10 to their more experienced opposition from Australia's well-fed capital.

Though the Force backs weren't very zippy (with the exception of Digby Ioane who looked dangerous all night), and the team tired badly in the last 20 minutes, their forwards played well, particularly in the scrum. And the men in ocean blue will get better.

However, after all the hype in the years leading up to the game, I left the ground feeling underwhelmed. While the crowd was vocal, and the night balmy, it was all very Dalkeith.

Until I can afford a house up there, I think I'll stick to the mighty Dockers.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Constable Day Care

A brumby's a horse
that has run its course.
You could do much worse
than bet on the Force.

Get rid of those sideburns!

Here's the Western Force's first-ever squad:

1. Gareth Hardy 2. Brendan Cannon 3. David Fitter 4. John Welborn 5. Nathan Sharpe (captain) 6. Luke Doherty 7. Matt Hodgson 8. Scott Fava 9. Matt Henjak 10. Scott Daruda 11. Digby Ioane 12. Lachlan MacKay 13. Junior Pelesasa 14. Scott Staniforth 15. James Hilgendorf


16. Tai McIsaac 17. David Te Moana 18. David Pusey 19. Richard Brown 20. Chris O’Young 21. Josh Graham 22. Cameron Shepherd

As I said, Force to win by 6 points.

Who writes this stuff?

I love the fact Western Australia now has its own elite rugby side. And I'm sure it will go very well, especially if it manages to put the siege mentality to one side.

But, if coach John Mitchell is reading (as I know you often do, John), please spare us such vapid cliches as:

“Success in Super 14 always depends on a team’s depth and while we can only choose 22 players for Friday’s match, every member of our squad will play an important role as we go forward,” he said.


“We cannot wait as a group to get started as everyone has had a taste of what to expect in this competition,” he said.

Other hackneyed terms to watch out for too, John:

. Composure - Nick Farr Jones wore this one out circa 1993;
. Accountability - too Eddie McGuire;
. Putting one's hand up - unless you're talking about what a lock does to a front-rower in a scrum, this is false poetics.

That said, I know you'll hit the ground running, go the whole nine and not drop the ball. Force to win by 6 points.

Crowd puller

Here's the pub where I more than likely will stop for a beer following the Western Force's first ever game on Friday night.

The Force will face the might of two-time champions the ACT Brumbies in the first round of the southern hemisphere Super 14 provincial rugby tournament.

Subiaco Oval, normally home to the mighty Dockers and over-rated Eagles Australian football sides, will be bulging, with the current Australian provincial rugby crowd record of 42,600 expected to fall.

The Force's CEO reckons a new record would, "show the traditional rugby powerbases on the eastern seaboard that the new home of Australian rugby is in the west."

Get your hand off it, mate.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Grumpy and his cat were having a spat. In WA you know where that's at.

My day was put on hold this morning as soon-to-be-spayed Pounce! once again bolted under the house.

I dunno what she does under there, but her face usually comes out covered in cobwebs.

After an hour trying to coax her out with her favourite toy sheep, I relented and did some gardening instead, so I could keep an eye out for her.

No sign of whiskers for two hours, which is when I went inside to make a cup of tea.

As the kettle boiled, I heard a sickly mewl out back. The vexacious beast had had it with the under-house and was busting to get inside.

Never one to look a gift cat in the mouth, I bolted to the back door and opened it. She flew in, straight for her litter tray, where she deposited a runny poo. Why she couldn't have done that under the house is anybody's guess.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Busselton roulette

Of the 1,300 swimmers who grappled with the briney blue for an average 90 minutes each yesterday, not one was stung by a jelly fish.

Then I jumped into the shallows for a paddle.

It didn't sting much at the time. But, by crikey, I'm itching now. Cool whelt too.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

If there's a Bussel in your hedgerow

Haze and I drove down south this morning to catch the Busselton jetty ocean swim.

Over 1,300 competitors swam 3.6 kilometres around the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere.

(Somehow I think the first two stats here are more impressive than the one about the jetty.)

But something that was very impressive was the Irish woman who finished last. She came in a full 15 minutes after the next slowest swimmer. But hey, she traversed 3.6 kilometres of ocean under her own steam.

It was enough to make me want to dust off my budgie smugglers.


What you talkin' 'bout, Mr Percival?


Friday, February 03, 2006

Hard Luck Cafe

Yes indeedy, the flame trees around Freo sure could blind a weary driver.

By the way, the filigree building in the background was The Mint Leaf in the most recent series of My Restaurant Rules.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

You can ring my bell

Here's Perth's bell tower.

Hazel reckons it looks like a beetle burrowing head-first into the ground. I think she's spot on.

The tower contains the Bells of St Martin in the Field, which were made famous by some old poem or other.

The tower is a symbol of Richard Court's years as Liberal premier. He was ousted on the back of criticism he was spending too much money on Perth's north shore to the detriment of the rest of Western Australia. Subsequent Labor governments have disowned the bell tower.

But I like it.

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Kate Moss does not grow fat on a rolling stone

There's this guy, an underwater guy who controls the sea.

No there isn't. I got sidetracked there.

Now where was I? There's this guy. Oh yes ...

There's this guy, a skinny, middle aged kind of guy (as opposed to the middle ages kind of guys who square off against the Motley Crue kind of guys downstairs), who sits all day outside a well patronised Perth grog garden bumming beers, and stopping passers-by for spare change.

He's a little bit scary, usually very scruffy, but generally pretty happy. A bit like I'd be if I was bumming beers all day.

Anyhow, today I managed to avoid him, and instead he collared a yuppy who was walking in front of me: "Maaaaate, can I buy a cigarette?"

Nothing strange about this. Except I reckon our skinny, middle aged, little bit scary, usually very scruffy, generally pretty happy kind of guy had had a makeover.

Instead of his usual Ken Done T-shirt, trackies and thongs, he wore a navy jacket, striped polo shirt, navy deck shoes and, if I'm not mistaken, a pair of Gap jeans. And he was strutting around like Mick Jagger. If Mick Jagger were an Emo, that is.

And he looked way healthier than Pete Doherty ever does.

Northbridge night cafe

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that 138 James Street had had a lick of beige paint, and was no longer lurid pink.

Although the colour had changed, the land use apparently hadn't. For out front, in the back seat of a yellow Torana, a lady was slipping into her night attire.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I got nothing today.