fodder for the masses

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Twas the week before Christmas

It's the week before Christmas and the explanation has been sent in to the Weapons Bureau for them to consider when they decide my fate after serving me a 'show cause' for failing to maintain membership of an 'approved' club. My club became unapproved by going broke in spectacular fashion, leaving me 'clubless'.

Meanwhile all my skin appears to be coming off - again - from repeated exposure to some rather good sunlight, courtesy of my buggy, a serious 6mtr JoJo kite, mentioned here before, and several new speed records (for me) thanks to the weather. Downside, sunburn.

I put sunblock on, I really do. I even 'reapply' the stuff like they tell me I should. I'm greasy with the stuff. OK, maybe I miss a few places. Maybe I miss out my legs because they're too far down to do. Maybe I miss my neck because the stuff sweats off. Makes the collars of my T shirts yellow. I look like a derelict with grimy shirts, red ears, peeling skin.

None of it makes any difference - I still end up with a bad case of skin 'dandruff'.

It's the week before Christmas and the New York Transit people have gone on strike. Doesn't affect me here on the other side of the World, but it's indicative of what will probably happen here too.

That's what Christmas is about. It's actually only one day. One day out of 365 of the buggers and at least a week either side of it is corrupted as well by the "christmas spirit", from the usual scenario of the boss copping a quick feel at the inevitably bad taste Christmas party, to the inability of anyone, anywhere, to manage to do anything remotely useful in the way of work, the entire thing is a sham that appears to exist only for retailers.

Stunning.

I attend, today, the regions most underused swimming pool, there to do two things: wash off some of my peeling skin into the filtering system, and, hopefully to find in one of the lanes the vision of loveliness who frequents the place and makes it worthwhile swimming.

Today however, being in the week before Christmas, I am stunned to find the place full - children everywhere - all the things you would expect if you didn't already know that no one uses the place. Seems they must leave all their swimming until the week before Christmas and then attack the pool with a years supply of energy.

Or is it because parents everywhere, already tired of the incessant whining of their children, have decided to take them to the pool in the hope that they may drown, the recipe for a very jolly Christmas indeed. It's hard to tell.

Whatever the reason it still indicates the effect of the season. The pool visit I must admit not entirely a failure due to the appearance of the edible young thing mentioned. Suddenly the crowded pool, suspect water, and my flaking skin seem to slip away, and a new round of water based activities begins.

There had to be an upside to Christmas after all.



Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bureau blues and worthwhile distractions

meanwhile, with no gun license
There are some weeks that just do not need to be lived. Experienced. Felt.

Only part of this week fall into that category. Thankfully the other part of the week was brightened by an extremely attractive human being, but that is another story. At least it puts a better taste in the mouth. A much better taste if I had been allowed my way.

The downside of the present time is the ongoing deal with the weapons licensing people who have decided that a 'show cause' should be issued because I seem to have failed to maintain a membership of a 'valid' club - a requirement here in Australia, and a requirement that has netted a considerable income for those individuals willing to face the onerous task of building an indoor, or indeed any, range.

The particular club that I have had the misfortune to be associated with appears to have not read how easy it is to make a fortune by owning a club which people actually have to belong to. Not an optional thing this. You have to belong to it. You have to belong to it ONLY if you want to shoot indoors with a 'prescribed' handgun.

I am indeed unlucky enough to want to shoot indoors with a 'prescribed' handgun. Must be something in my upbringing. The need for a whopping great fistful of serious power. (Although, again here in Australia we are a bit limited in what we can have in the way of fistfulls of killing power. We don't get to play above .38, which is handy because it leaves in the mix the mighty .357, everyone's favorite ballistic mix.)

The club in question has not managed to survive the traumas of having people who actually have to belong to it - not at all helped by the fact that a couple of serious headcases have managed to swallow a weapon and spread their brains all over the back wall. This does nothing for the look of the place. Does nothing for the staff moral either I would imagine.

So, the establishment went broke. "Lease problems," said the owner, "owner didn't want to renew the lease, forced us out."

Bloody odd when we thought you owned the building, but, there you go.

Meantime, blissfully unaware of any of this I find that with it shut down there is no need for membership dues, and without paying membership dues you are breached.

Bugger.

I have waffled on this extensively before, and even I have become bored with the subject, so it is enough to declare that we are at a halfway point in our relationship with the authorities. It appears, fingers crossed, that I may be able to survive almost intact, to shoot another day. But that remains firmly in the hands of the authorities.

But the week gets better - very better.
School holidays, the house is not only full of day care kids, but Yvonnes' own high maintenance pair are flopping about the place like jelly fish as well. Count something like 8 children, who cares, anything over zero when it comes to kids is offensive.

School holidays in summer is particular heinous, the crowd of sour smelling bodies, the noise and the heat combine to create an unpleasant experience.

The natural place to go, the pool, the covered pool, shade and breeze at the same time, is in danger of being over run by children. But luckily, so incredibly luckily, I choose to go down there the same day as the woman voted 'most edible swimmer of the year' (by me - I'm the judge), just happens to slide in to not only the pool, but the lane beside me.

We have had sentence length exchanges before - way back - during the winter when she used to confine herself to the small pool which was warmer, but was sometimes forced into the normal one by the sheer influx of kids. I, an avowed child hater, used to pray for those days.

Thunderstruck. How lucky does a guy get? Six months or more since I have seen this olive skinned vision and she drops in beside me.

She drops in beside me on the only day that Yvonne and associated kids - all of them - are at the pool too. An oversight on my part. We arrived by different means, unaware of each ones intentions.

There is not a show in hell of being able to maintain any sort of decorum while denying that there is anyone else at the pool that you know, given that they are running all over the place, closely followed by the ever vigilant Yvonne.

As it turned out the best course of action, indeed the only course of action was to 'fess up' and point out the tribe and the commander.

She was good enough to point out her wedding ring - sort of a mutual confession thing going on.

Still managed plenty of laps = floating eye candy, and even complete sentences during the breaks. She turns out to be as good as she looks, aware of the interest all those months ago, and thankful for it (wish she had said so before yesterday).

So, it appears that out of dire adversity comes, in this case, a spectacular female, which certainly took the edge off the week.

I almost forgot my license drama.



Monday, December 05, 2005

How hard does this have to be?

If it's not bad enough that George W has got himself into drama in Iraq, New Orleans, in fact, in just about any place he has been in the last four years, if it's not bad enough that hotels are blowing up all over the World, people are turning in to human bombs more often than the cheeseburgers get eaten at Maccas, if it's not bad enough that you can't go out for a cruise round downtown Baghdad without someone turning into a big pile of dust and shrapnel in front of you... if all of that isn't bad enough now I've got a show cause on my pistol license because I didn't manage to stay a member of an 'approved club' for the year.

The fact that it went broke and didn't bother telling anyone didn't help. I would put that right up there with being unhelpful. Perhaps even really unhelpful.

There it is - sitting there looking at me - standard police Weapons Bureau letterhead, pretty average paper, innocuous in every way - except for the content. The content says I have been really bad, and may well get my arse kicked.

This is not helpful. Most people do not really want a firearms conviction on their record. It never helps you get a job. No one ever believes it's because of an oversight - you can see the quick sideways look at each other - 'paperwork error - of course', while they're feeling for their car keys, making a quick get away seems to be more the thing to do when you're in the company of a man with a firearms conviction.

The fact that I could put one clean through the back of their rapidly retreating head from a block away with a decent .357 doesn't seem to enter their head.

I'm not a morning person. I don't talk to people in the mornings (In fact I don't talk to people at all if I can get away with it, but we're on mornings here). I drink coffee and slowly absorb the news from the all around the World in the mornings. Sometime, usually after about 5 cups of the stuff, I manage to get in control of my thinking process, perform some ablutions and generally agree that the day is good to go.

It's different when the mail contains a letter with a police stamp on it - it gets very different. The same amount of coffee is required. Action and comprehension are elevated to human level much quicker however. I even manage to understand the printed word. Very quickly. I have also found that I can make phone calls - something I thought I couldn't deal with until well after midday, and having made the call I can interact with the person on the other end.

Amazing.

The crime - as I mentioned - failing to maintain membership of an approved range. Ignorance is no excuse. I should have driven over there every day to check on the continued existence of the place. Perhaps rattled the door to confirm signs of life.

Instead I happened to be in the area and called in for a bit of light repartee and a few high powered rounds and noticed that the weeds appeared to be growing in the middle of the car park, the graffiti boys had tagged the place all over, and the owners Harley was no where to be seen. Unusual. Very unusual. Rang owner, who confirmed the weeds had grown because no one was using the car park. Seemed surprised that I was using it. Not half as surprised as I was.

Explanation given and accepted - new building owner, problems with the lease - (read too much outgoing not enough incoming equals 'broke'), but any story will do.

Now all I have to do is explain all this to the Bureau, they've heard just about every story there is, this one will be mild in compared with what they normally get.

And, if they believe me, accept that I fit in to the category of 'casual' (very casual) firearm user, I might get off with little more than a grenade down my underwear.

Otherwise I may be taken out and shot several times.

It's not just you that's having a hard time George W - look what happened to me.

Only thing is - I didn't manage to get almost 3000 people who work for me killed - you did.

Ya wanna bring 'em home soon?

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