Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Buggering Off

OK Gentle Readers the time has come, I've registered my own domain and I'm moving the bulk of content and future posts to my new website. The new site incorporates my curmudgeon's muttering, mumbling and griping, my writing, my hobbies (ALL OF THEM!!!) and my other pursuits all in one place. This blog will still be maintained but as a mostly archival site so if you want to find out what I did/said/promised months or years ago you might find the answer here.

If you want to check out my new site then this is the address


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The definition of relief!!

Yep I know I just said the site is moving but for once I have something important to say. 

Recently I had cause to go to my GP because of a couple of little lumps on my back. Now I live on my own so it's not possible for me to get some one to check my back regularly. It's not until I get a persistent itch or something that I even take any notice of my back at all.  I can't see it, therefore I don't think about it unless something goes wrong.

In this case an itch had been annoying the shit out of me for a couple of weeks before I noticed I also had a couple of tender spots. Time to annoy the Quack. Quack was not impressed and also seemed to actually be a bit concerned. He insisted that I return next day so he could cut a "couple of small lesions" - what ever they are - out and send them to Pathology for analysis. A couple of small lesions turned out to be seven in all and I ended up with a total of 37 stitches in my back. He also mentioned the M word and admitted he was  little concerned as I am already being treated for other cancer problems.

Shit said I - that's all I need  - bloody Melanoma

Now before you send me messages of condolence and all your dribbling sympathies I don't need them - the suspected Melanomas turned out to be the much less scary Basil Cell Carcinomas. 

So what am I whinging about?

As I said, I live on my own and therefore can't inspect parts of my body that I can't see very efficiently - hell it even occurred to me that a partner might have some use after all!

I am 70 years old and from those generations who thought suntans were not only mandatory but actually healthy. Sun Block? - what's that?? I'm an ex service man so I spent a LOT of time out in the sun - often with my shirt off. So if any of my readers live under similar circumstances to myself take this as a warning :- 


Cancer is not pleasant and I have known two of my mates who have suffered death by bloody Melanoma - it's not pleasant and once it has you in it's grip you're stuffed. The only defence you have is to identify it early - it's insidious and the smallest little lump can hide something really hideous under the skin.

Don't give the Grim Reaper an easy ride - he'll get us all in the end but why make it easy for him - make the bastard work for his reward - we all had to!


Yep - the Curmudgeons Note Book is moving to a "proper" website with expanded content. I'll still maintain this blog but the cutting edge of my rants and mindless complaining about anything and everything will now appear first on the new site.

Call back in a couple of weeks and I'll post the new Website address for you to have a look at. It might even be worth you checking it out.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Smoking and other annoyances

OK - so I haven't posted on here for over 12 months - what do you want me to do?? Apologise - Yeah? Well you shouldn't be reading this blog if you are dumb enough to expect one!! So - down to the subject of my latest irritation. SMOKING! - Yep I'm one of those nasty, smelly, anti social people who expect to have the right to practice what ever form of legal self destruction I choose.

I'm 70 years of age - yes stupid - even I get older each year - and I took up the evil habit when I was at the tender age of 15. No one told me back then that it was going to poison my body, give me Cancer, Emphysema, Peripheral Vascular Disease and that I'd even have trouble getting out of my own way.

Back then, in 1957 or there abouts, the Advertising Agencies made extra effort in their commercials to tell me how cool and manly smoking was and all the hero's in the movies puffed away to their hearts content. Socially, if you DIDN'T smoke, you were considered a bit of a wimp. Of course the Government quietly and contentedly took their cut of revenue.

So - what's changed in 55 years? In this supposedly enlightened age? As far as the Government is concerned BUGGER ALL - they still quietly and contentedly take their tax revenue from tobacco and cigarette sales and still charge an arm and a leg for a licence to sell this Legal poison to the unexpecting and innocent victims. Oh - some things have changed - the Do-Gooders have got off their collective backsides - so that now, if you are still dumb enough to smoke,  you have to go out the back or down the side or into the ally of where ever you are with the other malcontents before you can light up without getting arrested. So now we have the situation where smokers have to gather along side those other social outcasts who smoke or inhale or stick  ILLEGAL products in their arm and up their nose and down their throats. I remind you that according to our government tobacco is still LEGAL and that same government collects a tax every time you put another nail in your bloody coffin - talk about a bloody DEATH TAX!!!

Ah - I hear you bleat - but the Anti Smoking Campaigners have done SO MUCH to reduce smoking - to which I say BULLSHIT!!! They have banned us from smoking in the pubs, bars, hotels, cafes, shopping malls and just about everywhere else. They have caused cigarettes and tobacco to be sold in plain packaging with each package carrying gruesome photos of the consequences of using the product. Yeah - right - big bloody deal!  I've examined my own reaction to these measured and spoken to other long addicted users of tobacco - the most common reaction?? BELLIGERENT REJECTION - If you back some one up against a wall - OF COURSE THEY WILL COME OUT FIGHTING you mob of bloody DICKHEADS!!!

The bottom line is tobacco is STILL a legal substance, it is still being sold to the general public - and the governments are STILL collecting their taxes. If governments and the bloody Do-Gooders are really dinkum about saving us from a painful, choking, lingering death then make it ILLEGAL TO SELL the product - yeah - fat chance.

One of the ironies of being addicted to tobacco and the long list of toxic substances it contains is that if you finally get that sick - or you finally get some sense in your thick head - and you want to give it up - THERE IS MORE SUPPORT FOR THOSE ADDICTED TO ILLEGAL DRUGS than for those addicted to a legally available and promoted cigarettes and tobacco!! Now I'm not knocking the support given to those who are trying to escape the clutches of illegal drugs - they need and should get as much support as possible - BUT - I fail to understand why  that same level of support is not available to those addicted to cigarettes and tobacco.

Of course the bloody Do-Gooders are already drawing a deep breath to scream out their war cry - BIG TOBACCO! - Get a life you mob of bloody fools - Big Tobacco companies are only producing a product which the law tolerates and - incidentally -  receives a lot of money from. Until governments - and the bloody do-gooders get some spine - and MAKE TOBACCO ILLEGAL - people - young and old - will be drawn into the habit and suffer the consequences of addiction.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The Terrible Affliction of Grandchilditis

Grandchildren - those 'little dears' that turn mature adult males into beaming, boasting, uncharacteristically soft old teddy bears while at the same time causing mature adult women to metamorphosis into mushy, gushing and doting old chooks.

 I have a mate - 6' 4" and with a face that would make the Grim Reaper run in terror. I have always believed that he eats anvils for breakfast and considers cleaning all the patrons out of a waterside bar as a light warm up. Then, his first Grandchild arrived on the scene - just your typical ugly sod of a thing that had two functions in life - to constantly shit it's nappies and wail from dawn to dusk and, mostly through the night as well. My mate turned to water! Every where he went he wanted to take the little monster - the babies Mother had to wage war to get her child back for a feed. 

He went to the pub - the kid cleaned the pub out even faster than my mate could - grown men ran in horror as this huge Bear of a man walked through the doors and invited all and sundry to look at, and pay compliment to,  his new grandchild - God help the man who expressed indifference. He went to his local RSL (Returned Serviceman's League) - the kid went; he went fishing - the kid went; he went walking - the kid went; he went to the Supermarket - the kid went.  Pretty soon those of us who knew my mate had no social life - we were scared to go anywhere because there would be my mate - and the bloody kid. We stayed at home - with the blinds drawn, because we'd run out of nice things to say - and we didn't want to suffer the consequences of not having a compliment to pay. His wife was worse! The local Pub damn near went bankrupt because she stopped playing the one arm bandits. Every cent she had was spent on some new trinket or gadget for the kid. The kid's Mother was near going round the bend - if she asked the Grand Parents to mind the kid for an hour it took her a week to get the little shit back. 

You'd think that the novelty would wear off after a while but I have reason to believe it never does. Just down the street and around the corner from me are an elderly couple who are bringing their grandchild up. The Mother is ill and cannot cope herself. Said grandchild - a boy  - is now fourteen years old. Like a lot of fourteen year old's these days the kid is twice the size of his grandparents and has a double sized chip on his shoulder to match. Any request by the grandparents for him to do anything constructive is met with a round of abuse, accompanied by something being smashed, broken up or otherwise destroyed. A simple request by  the grand father for him to mow the lawns was met by an attack on the only family vehicle with a sledge hammer! Needless to say the Police are frequent visitors to the premises and the betting up and down the street is that the boy will be in jail before his sixteenth birthday.

The opposite approach, usually practiced by the female of the species is driving another near neighbor to distraction. The female, a sixteen year old child with an acid tongue and a bad attitude suddenly becomes all sweetness and light when her grandparents are in her sights. This is usually when she wants anything that her parents cannot or will not provide. On such occasions this mini "Lolita" descends on her grandparents, suitably attired in a demure flowery dress, and manages to produce a copious flow of crocodile tears while sobbing out her despair because her parents will not provide the this or that that she "just has to have or she will surely die". Needless to say the poor bloody grandparents dip into their meagre pension funds to satisfy the child's demands.

I don't know if there is a cure for this particular affliction, and it's almost in plague proportions, nearly every grandparent suffers from it to some degree. A mild infection may have relatively simple after effects -some loss of self image and a realisation or suspicion of being taken advantage of. However a serious infection may result in life crippling consequences. Among the confirmed after effects are terminal financial damage, personal conflict - in rare cases even extending to actual physical injury, and of course the high possibility of domestic turmoil resulting from differences of opinion on how best to treat "Grandchilditis".

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!