What’s in a name?


Why is it that so many people insist on wearing their name badges from the seminar they are attending out onto the street for one and all to see? The only valid reason that springs to mind is that these people are in desperate need of a date and would like to be asked out for a coffee or lunch. Better still, perhaps a night out on the town and then a raunchy weekend for two.

But that is more than likely my imagination running rampant once again. It is more likely that they are too lazy to remove their badges and pin them back on once they return to the seminar.

One such badge caught my attention one day as I wandered the city streets in search of nothing in particular. It was when I stopped at a set of traffic lights and I caught sight of the very large badge pinned to his multi-striped shirt. Actually, it wasn’t the badge that really caught my attention, but it was his name that made me smirk.

The badge read ‘Timmy Smelles’. Not that there is anything wrong with his name, but you would think that he wouldn’t try and live up to his surname.

Even though it was a warm day, I wouldn’t say it was what one would call sweating weather. But Timmy had different ideas. Not only was he sweating, he smelt as he had been sweating for more than a few minutes. Nothing that a stick of anti-perspirent wouldn’t fix, or at least go half way to making him smell a bit better.

Well, that’s my spin on the situation anyway.

On another note in regards to name tags, I only just found out that name tags should be pinned onto the right hand side of the body and not the left, where most people tend to pin them.

The logic behind this is clear and simple (once it has been explained). When someone introduces themselves, they shake with their right hand. The line of vision will automatically follow the arm and stop at their name tag, making it easier for identification.

I should thank the little lady of the house for that bit of information. I can’t take credit for everything. Now can I?

Are you listening?

During one of my train trips home, i settled back into a seat opposite an elderly couple, took out my iPhone and headphones and plugged in so I could listen to the sounds of the 80s once again and chill out after another long and frustrating day at the office.

Even though I had my music playing, it was on low enough to overhear the following  conversation between the elderly couple.

Wife: Hand me your phone.
Husband looks at her for a moment and hands phone over to his wife.

Wife plays on the phone for a few moments and then asks. Have you changed the password to the website?

Husband: Looking a little annoyed. No. I tried getting in and the password didn’t work so I tried to change it.

Wife: Shakes her head and sighs out loudly. So you changed it?

Husband: No. I tried and still couldn’t get in.

Wife: What did you change the password to?

Husband: Summer25

Wife: Now very agitated. So you changed it to Summer25?

Husband: No. I tried to change it but it failed.

Wife tries new password and it works.

Wife: You changed the password.

Husband: No. I tried to change the password.

Wife: The password is now Summer25

Husband: Looking a little confused. When did the password change?

Wife shakes her head and hands phone back.

The Missing Fit Ball

The weather in Melbourne over the last summer could only be considered as hot as hell. So as another hot and steamy afternoon closed in for the day, I rocked up home and got ready for what was going to be a hot and sweaty workout. The thought of heading out for a long run really didn’t appeal to me, and considering the road bike hadn’t had all that much attention in the past few months, it was a safe bet that it would be covered in cobwebs and would require some TLC before it hit the bitumen.

The other option was to exercise indoors. A better option, but still a very hot option. So as I changed into my sports gear, I decided to use the garage for my workout, all I had to do was hook up the punching bag, drag a few weights outside for a circuit workout and roll out the gym fit ball. It would be cooler and I could relieve some pent up frustrations on the ol’ bag.


So with everything setup, I started my routine. All went well for the first twenty or so minutes, it was then that I went to use the fit ball. It was gone. I knew I had left it next to the garage door when I started, but it was nowhere to be seen.

It quickly dawned on me that the bloody thing had rolled down the driveway and out onto the street. I yelled out to the boys and told them to go looking of the big blue ball. How hard was it going to be to spot something as big as that? Really!

Well, it seems that it was going to be harder to find that what I thought. The boys looked down the street, up the next one and down a few more blocks. Even though the streets are very hilly, the thing had to stop somewhere. And I guess it did stop somewhere. That would be the very same place that it was picked up and taken to another home.

I am now minus one fit ball and kinda annoyed that I let that one slip away from me, but then, I needed an excuse to buy a better one, but never did I think I could actually lose something that big.

Anyway, the workout was good, not as hot and sweaty as it would have been if I had been indoors. If there is a lesson to learn from this, I will work it out soon enough, and when I do, I will let you all know.

Looks Can be Deceiving

The acrid smell of burning rubber filled the air as the sound of screeching tyres reverberated in my ears. Clouds of black and grey pungent smoke filled the surrounding area and gently floated skywards, blocking out the wonderful sunshine and the blue clear cloudless sky. Many bystanders and I watched in bewilderment and absolute amusement as the hotted up black Mustang left thick strips of rubber on the hot and soft asphalt as it moved swiftly into its un-allocated spot, a car spot which another vehicle was ready to move into from the other direction.

Not wanting to lose his car spot to another young lout, the young man stepped out of his small and compact car and casually sauntered over to the now idling mean machine. Not being able to see the occupant of the car because of its ultra dark tinted windows, the young man squared his shoulders, puffed his chest out and raised his chin. He gave his long jet-black and slightly oily hair a flick and subtly adjusted his sunglasses that were perched atop of his rather crooked nose. His muscular shoulders and huge biceps were clearly visible and fully pumped. He was now ready to approach the unknown menace in the car that had quite rudely taken his car spot, a car spot that he had patiently waited for while its previous owner had very slowly and rather precariously backed out of.

The loud rumbling noise ceased as the occupant of the Mustang switched the ignition off, the bonnet stopped shaking and the fumes from its twin exhaust system eventually stopped. The young man rapped on the driver’s side window and peered inside with a menacing look on his face, his fists clenched so tightly that they shook with rage. The door opened slightly and the young man took a few quick steps backwards and awaited his rival. Beads of sweat that had formed across his forehead were now dripping down his cheeks and over his nose.

With the car door fully open, the driver cautiously stepped out and stood up, the small elderly woman straightened up and gave the young man a charming smile. The now perplexed young man stared straight into the little woman’s eyes and held the stare for what seemed an eternity. He muttered a few words and no other choice, he quietly slunk back to his still idling car and took off in search of another car spot.


Never Judge a Book by its Cover

After being cooped up in the house for over seven weeks, it was time I ventured out into the wilds. Well, at least the wilds of Eastland. 
So with a start time set and bus timetable sorted, I headed off into the cold for my first road trip. 
Apart from the bus arriving 10 minutes late, and the light drizzle, the day was off to a good start. My MYKI card still worked and the bus was much warmer than the cold bus stop. 
The bus trip was exactly as I remembered; boring. But it did get me to the station where I only had to wait 11 minutes for the next train. I looked over at the small coffee shop inside the station and decided it would be best if I waited for my coffee.  
Once the train arrived, close enough to its scheduled time, I boarded and headed to the disabled seats. They are a little wider and have a straighter back. 

With only two stops to my destination, I waited as passengers boarded at the next stop. And that is where I received a dirty look from a middle aged woman as she looked at me sitting in the disabled seats. I had no crutches or walking stick and I seemed fit and healthy. So why should I be taking up these particular seats.  
Sometimes a person may not seem like they are hurt, injured or broken in any shape or form, but they may be hurting in a way not seen by others. She couldn’t see my back brace and thought I was being inconsiderate. 
A few words would have cleared the air and I wouldn’t have had to put up with her filthy look for the next few minutes. 
Just because a person may not look hurt in any way, it never hurts to ask. Are you OK? The response may actually surprise you and a difficult situation can be resolved quickly.

The One Handed Chef 

After a few weeks in the back brace, and been stuck at home becoming bored out my mind, I decided it was time I put my culinary skills back to use and make a simple, and nutritious dinner for the girls who had been staying over and making sure I didn’t hurt myself any further. 

I contacted Riley and told her I would make a vegetarian pasta for dinner for all of us. Got the thumbs up over text. It sounded like a good plan at the time, but not much thought had been put into the entire end-to-end process it seems. 

So after struggling for 15 minutes while trying to get ingredients from the bottom shelf of the fridge with my extension grip contraption, I started to see a number of flaws in my master plan.

Major flaw 1. Not everything I needed, and wanted to add to the pasta was at my reach. Minor issue I thought and ploughed on. 

Getting the pot onto the stovetop was one thing, filling it with water was another issue entirely. And I discovered, where there is a will, there is a way. And once the pot was eventually filled with water, a glass at a time, I began my search for the pasta. 

Major flaw number 2. I remembered the pasta was in the very bottom shelf of the pantry, and behind numerous packets of rice, noodles and other various items I had no idea we even had. But then, I did manage to find a packet of pasta for the nightly meal after emptying the entire contents of the shelf onto the floor. Not the type of pasta I really wanted, but the search had gone on long enough. 

Apart from the fact that packets of rice, noodles, shredded coconut, polenta and other grains were strewn across the kitchen floor, I had the last ingredient I needed for the meal. 

On the upside, the extensive search uncovered four packets of rare Ores of varying flavours, which were quickly devoured over the next few days. The peanut butter ones were the best in my opinion. 

By this stage, the water was boiling and ready for the pasta. So after adding salt to the water, the pasta was dropped in, and of course, I got splashed with boiling water. 

Boiling water 1. 

Me 0. 

Major flaw 3 Pasta cooked to perfection. No idea or ability to get the heavy pot with water and pasta off stovetop. 
Bright idea. Scoop pasta out first with tongs and then water, using a small bowl. 

Boiling water 5. 

Me 0. 

I did eventually complete the meal, and then looked down at the floor and everything I had taken out of cupboards and not been able to put away. 

Riley problem I thought. As was the cleaning up. Which looked like a major task in itself. 

I’m not sure Riley saw the funny side to the situation, but she did put everything away, had dinner and then washed up the ‘few’ remaining items. 

I was told the meal was very nice. It was also suggested that I should not cook again until I could do ALL my own cleaning up.  

Back to tinned tuna it is…

The Tong Master

There are many things of which the male of the human species is rather protective of, there is his loving wife, his children and his home. But how could one possibly forget his famed BBQ tongs.

This item is not only treasured, but it is guarded with the greatest of care. A man’s tongs are always easily accessible so that they can be quickly drawn out once the BBQ has been fired up and is ready to accept food onto its sizzling grills.

The tongs are whipped out from the kitchen drawer, the very same way as a lightning quick gunslinger whips out his trusty Colt from his side holster.

And of course, once the flames have finally died down, the tongs are always carefully washed and dried so that not a spec of rust develops on this precious utensil and very versatile tool. This single item is one that every man will hand wash, not allowing anyone else the honour of handling.

Where would the modern day man be without his beloved tongs? How could he possibly turn the mystery bags over without pricking their tight skins? Or how could he turn the steak so that it cooks slowly and evenly and thoroughly?

Just the thought of having to use a fork while cooking a BBQ is enough to send the average Aussie bloke running for the hills. What would an Aussie BBQ be without the faithful instrument close to the outdoor barbie? The answer would be that it would be some hack cooking dead animal on a hot plate without a caring for what they are really doing.

In the hands of a true tong master, the snags, steaks and even the chicken wings and chicken fillets are turned over with precision and care; the snags are gently rolled over onto their uncooked sides and rested against one another. They are laid down side by side, as lovers sometimes sleep, spooned and wrapped in loving arms.

The tong master only requires a single hand to ensure that all the food on the BBQ is cooked to perfection, while with his free hand he gently cradles a beer. Sometimes the beer is in a can, and then there are other times it’s in a bottle. There are times when the tong master uses a stubbie holder and then there are occasions where he needs to feel the coldness and perspiration of can or bottle itself.

Even while he continues to quietly sip his beer, his eyes never waver far from the BBQ; he turns and manipulates the food on the hotplate so that it cooks slowly and thoroughly. He watches as the slab of dad  cow goes from blood red throughout, to a slight gray colour on the outside, leaving a thin strip of pink in the middle.

The tong master keeps a watchful eye on every morsel of food on the plate; the very same way a sheepdog mindfully watches his herd. He ensures that no one encroaches onto his territory and takes over his task and possibly ruin his masterpiece. And what a masterpiece it always turns out to be, not a single burnt snag, not an overdone piece of steak, not a single burnt offering to be placed onto the table for the hungry horde that waits.

But as the world has changed over the years, so has the humble BBQ, the tong master not only has to deal with snags, steaks, chops and chicken filets, but the yuppies of this new generation have thrown a spanner in the works, they now insist that the tong master needs to cook kebabs, fish and other new wave food on the beloved BBQ, where will all this madness end.

But as a true master of the tongs and the BBQ, the tong master rises to every challenge thrown before him, and he will continue to do so until his tongs are retired or handed down to the next generation.

tong master