The Rod Blog

30 May 2006

The Holy Order of the Stainless Peg

The best journeys are known to be a time of spiritual discovery, when we cover great tracts in mind and miles. And into the inner zone I went last year, with the flashing white lines taking me beyond the bland reality of daily existence. We pondered the Deep things, David and I, and I was forced to face the sad fact of my failed enlightenment in the Way of the Peg.

No matter how hard I tried: oh how I’ve tried, and now I wear the shame of a clueless novice. I woke early each morning. Barefoot, I walked across ice-crusted grass carrying heavy loads for Anne, my Zen Peg Master. I would see how effortlessly she would snap the pegs in that certain way. The great harmony of the universe would rhythmically align with the clothes. The socks nestling neatly in a niche of energy lines.

She’d beat me, and visibly despair at my ham-pegged jamming of jocks in a way that jarred. I knew it was wrong, but somehow, it seemed always just beyond my grasp. The mediation and the daily ritual brought me no closer.

Until my Journey, that is. As is often the way with these things, it happened suddenly, when I wasn’t even trying. It was a moment of desperate necessity brought on by a pair of wet jeans when no peg was handy.

And thus was founded the Holy Order of the Stainless Peg. One day, historians may look back on this as a seminal moment in the Zen of Peg.

21 May 2006

Block your ears

You know those organised dinners where you sit at the end of a table with a group of people you mostly haven't met before; you try to shout a conversation, and by the end of the evening your ears are ringing. A few nights ago we went to one of those. It was okay.
At one point, the proprietor visited our table. He told us he was born in Portugal, and raised in France.
I couldn't resist boasting. "Oh, I can swear in Portuguese!"
"Really. Tell me."
I didn’t want to blurt out something excessively offensive, but he said it was fine.

“Puta que pariu”.

Apparently that’s nothing, so I asked him for something that would really make my Portuguese tutor blush.

A little while later, he returned with this piece of paper. If Portuguese profanities upset you, you’d better avert your gaze now.

Just wondering - if you can’t read the language, is it still swearing?

PS - I'm really not sure what this means, but you'll observe an F-word in there.

16 May 2006

Emerging signs of genius

Mum just sent me some of my old school books.
I'm not sure you'd be fascinated to see reams of this stuff, so I'll just post this one.

No signs of emerging genius at this stage (as of May 2006, that is).

14 May 2006

In Training

Anne's in training for her Mt Blanc walk in September. And Autumn is beautiful in Canberra, so it's a good excuse to go for a good long walk up Black Mt, and then around the lake.
Hello Jenny...I hope you're doing lots of training too.

And of course, a mandatory part of the training is a visit to somewhere where we can compensate for lost calories and cafeine. At the botanical gardens, in this case.
There I had a long conversation with this fish, but it didn't seem very interested.

03 May 2006

The Legend of Spunky

Here's a picture I took on the way to work yesterday. Winter is on its way, which is a cue to tell you about how Spunky came into my life.

We have in our family a thing we call a Spunky Adventure. Every encounter with Spunky is an adventure. And of course you’ll all know that Spunky is my car.

Once, before my dotage, I rode my motorbike to work every day. I didn’t even own a car. Rain, snow, sleet, or hoards of Mongol riders attacking the motorway, it was just the same. On with the gear, and onto the bike.
I kid you not. Canberra winters are to be sneezed at – by which, I mean, they really do get cold.

One morning, it was minus 8C. Serious! My visor froze over, and my face was blasted with arctic air. On another morning, it hailed buckets, and icy water bearing a flood of hailstones washed over the road. Note my use of the word ‘bearing’. This is appropriate since hailstones are a pretty good imitation of ball bearings. Yeeehaaah!

I tolerated this for about ten years until one day, I said words resembling ‘f-it’, and went in search of a cheap car. The legend of Spunky was born. Spunky I was a 15 year old Corolla, and here began my daily adventures. All was good, but Spunky’s age started to show, ushering in the Spunky II epoch.

My daily Spunky adventure now sees me on the edge with a slightly newer Mazda 323, and double-digit below zero days are a mere trifle. And Mongol riders simply bounce off my bonnet, although I try to avoid that because they tend to clog the radiator.

But poor, poor old Spunky I came to an inglorious end. I sold him to Tegan, the school-aged daughter of a friend. She enjoyed a few months of adventures with him until some utterly repulsive, bog-headed scummy excuse for a dog’s dropping stole him. Spunky was found dumped, maliciously slashed and abused. Headlights, engine, and the interior were all wrecked. But, spunky to the end, I believe his last words to his attackers were something like “If you strike me down, Darth, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”. Maybe one day they'll be found with the ghostly imprints of a Corolla up and down their arses.