… and the saga continues…

It all kicked off.. as per previous posting.. with the rather innocuous subject of a few mozzies and methods of eradication in the local area and quickly blew out into a standoff between the island Green contingent and a few pissed off residents who live peacefully enough until provocation is turned into a proctology experiment and shoved up their nether regions.

Round two began when the local Progress Association decided that their opinion actually mattered, despite their lack of progress in any direction for the last few years – and chimed in with a few comments of their own that were swinging towards the draconian in regard to walking around in the dark, using lanterns and not driving cars anywhere so as not to pollute the environment.  This of course, was quickly contended, as I, and a few others around here felt that having a few rights as ratepayers – and a few lights around the place was not too much to ask for.  The Progress Associations’ commonsense was also questioned, as having more lights would actually help in being able to ‘see’ the wildlife –  before running them down in our modern, non-polluting vehicles.  There was also the added bonus of not stepping on any deadly snakes and falling down drains in the dark if one was not lucky enough to have a modern non-polluting vehicle.

Of course the poo hit the blender again and splattered in all directions as everything from council pot holes to the island ferry service came under fire.  Everybody had an opinion and a rebuttal, which all eventually descended into denigration post-haste after the pot was stirred continually with innuendo and gossip about personal habits.  The greens’  ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ ideology came under fire as comparisons to ‘Coronation Street’ were made on the lifestyles of the insane and definitely-not-so-famous island dwellers.

The final straw for yours truly and the catalyst for pressing that ‘delete group’ button came when the so-called educated lot began to show a distinct lack of  education by beginning a class-comparison exercise and posting an unrelated topic on how many university-educated-and-above lived on the island.  This was of course followed en masse by evidence of university degrees, how many, when done and how embarrassing it was to have to say so for the greater good of island statistics.

I for one know how many degrees I have – two.  Along with two diplomas and a few certifications.  I don’t need to clarify this to anybody else for the greater good.  I was there to do the study and the hard yards, not anybody else.  I have nothing to prove.  It would seem that for others, however, it is a power play and a social-separation exercise that is designed to make others look small and possibly feel small.  This was not the act of intelligence.  It was the final act of insecurity by an insecure lot of numb-skulls prepared to stoop low enough to win something that will be forgotten by me, and the majority of the population, next week.

Much ado about what?

It all started innocently enough.

A  comment or two on our Facebook community page about the problem of excessive mozzies on the island and some semi-helpful advice about what to do to eradicate the tiny terrorists – and the poo hits the blender.

‘Mozziegate’, as I like to call it now, began with the aforementioned general discussion and by the time it had finished I was throwing down the gauntlet to one particularly insulting individual who felt that along with telling us that we were all a pack of whingers and we should just suck it up without the aid of harmful repellents and pesticides –  it was also okay to post away hourly after that with innuendos about other chat participants’ mental processing capabilities.

Unfortunately, the above individual is affiliated with the  ‘Green’ contingent dotted about the island.  As they are living alternatively in this alternate-living environment, they feel that it is necessary to point out conservation, green issues, living clean and saving-the-whale stuff to the rest of us who should know better.  I, for the most part, ignore them, as I am reasonably aware of what I need to do in life without having it shoved up my nose every five minutes – but like most species, the Green-agitator is at his most annoying with a bit of bravado in a pack, so it has been game-on around here for a while now and my patience is wearing pretty thin.

To be honest, I was doing well to ignore the nutter and had planned on turning the other cheek until the wife joined the fray and asked us all to be fair and nice to each other which, incidentally, we were all doing quite well with until her husband put his oar in.

I told her as much and I also told her that as they knew where I lived, they were quite welcome to come around and discuss it with me personally – my husband would love to meet a man who used the anonymity of  a social networking medium to bully others.

In the scheme of things, however, Shakespeare was right.  It all really is ‘much ado about nothing’ and unless you can grasp that concept, your life will be like the above-mentioned scenario in varying formats.  Get a grip, I say, and write a blog about it all to get it into perspective and get it off your chest.  It’s much more cathartic than a few pills and a square box.  The added bonus is that even though the names have been changed or not even mentioned to protect the innocent and/or insane, it’s nice to get it out there.  You know who you are…. you green-back fruitcake.

Ads of nauseum part 4

advertHands up who likes ads?  No takers?  Welcome to my world.

Once upon a time, many light years ago in my dim, dark past – I actually liked ads.  They were informative, colourful and were generally based on –  from a kid’s point of view – something that I either wanted or would like to eat.

As I grew up, so did the technology to impart information and the ways and means a clever marketing campaign could deliver it  into the general consciousness – the consumer.   After a while things just stuck.  Who doesn’t know what the golden arches are or the colour of a coke can is?

Things accelerated with the advent of the Internet and are now moving at warp speed in an effort to keep up with the trends before it’s old news.   Something that was in vogue this week will be superseded within one week to six months, depending on the genre and the popularity.

The advertising world is moving with the times and is everywhere – and in my personal opinion has become increasingly annoying – if that is at all possible.

A couple of weeks ago I turned on my computer and there it was, a separate banner of advertising across my screen as soon as I started up my browser.  My computer is only a couple of months old but somehow those pesky bits of spyware found me again and had attached themselves to my home page.  It took me a while to figure out how to get rid of them – they were like the barnacles on the bottom of a boat – but after a little tweaking and a lot of swearing – I am ad-free on my home page and not attracting any pop-ups for the moment.

Sadly I can’t say the same about Facebook.  I logged into my account yesterday and was bombarded with tits and ass.  When did this happen?  I’d noticed a few double Ds in the background a few weeks ago and thought nothing of it – now they’re everywhere – and jiggling around in little embedded programs.  If I wanted a smorgasbord of big breasts and g-strings shoved in my face – dammit – I’d be typing ‘pornography’ into Google and going from there.

And what about television.  Don’t start me.  I was watching a prime-time show a few nights ago and they managed to squeeze in as many ad minutes as there was television show.  I’ve taken to recording the shows I want to watch and zapping those pesky promotional pratts in two seconds to get back to the aforementioned viewing.  Cop that you denizens of advertising iniquity, I can fast forward your ass in to oblivion any time I want.

Not even the sanctity of the public toilet is safe anymore.  I was recently the victim of two large and gaudy advertisements about the dangers of drinking alcohol at nightclubs and solutions for erectile dysfunction on the back of my cubicle door.  My question to the first advertiser would be why does an occupant of a women’s toilet in a nursing home need to know –  and for the second advertiser – why does an occupant of a women’s toilet need to know?

Sadly, as long as there’s a dollar to be earned, there will always be somebody trying to find a way to sell something to earn it.  I’m starting to think about ways to make some money myself but it won’t need much advertising.  Just as soon as I can invent the personal ‘off’ microchip that you can insert under your skin that banishes conscious advertising within a one mile radius from your personal space with one click – they’ll walk out the door.

Home alone

I recently had to go away to Melbourne to attend a conference being held by the company that I contract my medical transcription services to.  To not attend wouldn’t have been a bad thing but getting some face-to-face networking action wasn’t going to be a bad thing either –  therefore overriding my hesitation to leave my home in the hands of my son while my husband was away.

I was reasonably committed to the impending trip but I was hedging my bets on house sitting with the lady down the road who adored my dogs or the local house and dog sitter who I’d had before.  I wanted to give my son a chance but I’ve got a reasonably long memory and I could still smell the gas after he’d been home alone for one night and gone to bed, forgetting turn the oven dial to off.  I had been lucky in this instance to arrive home early or it could have been a more tragic scenario.  My dogs had had the good sense to go out onto the back veranda but one lit match and it all could have been featured on the 6 o’clock news the next day.  There was also the time he left the house unlocked just after a break-in next door and the case of the missing house keys last seen in his wallet in a Brisbane night club.

To be fair, he has lifted his game a bit and is more reliable now, albeit a little absent-minded at times.  I was starting to come around to leaving him for short stints when I went shopping or overnight if I had to be on the mainland and couldn’t get home.  Since he has moved out and is now looking after his own turf, he has become a little more concerned for the welfare of the things he has bought and paid for.

Two days before I flew out he walked in with all his gear and assured me that everything would be fine, my precious dogs would still be alive and the house would be in good condition upon my return.  I wasn’t entirely convinced of the credibility of that statement after I walked into his bedroom a half hour later and found the cold meats, milk and sausages he had bought from the shop strewn all over the bed and leaking through to the mattress.  He had apparently gotten sidetracked with something on cable and forgotten about them.  Two hours after that he managed to spill cooked rice all over my computer tower which promptly fell through the cracks and landed on my graphics card and my motherboard – after I told him to keep himself and whatever he was eating out of my office.

The final nail in the coffin of doubt was when I managed to get a good look at the laptop he’d been trying to hide from me for a couple of weeks because it was now sporting a round, black hole of nothing about the size of a large heel in the middle of the screen.  Apparently, after I’d told him about one hundred times to get it off the floor or somebody would step on it – he’d stepped on it with his size 12 foot in the dark when he’d jumped out of bed.

It was at this point I decided that yes, he could stay and look after the house for me and babysit my dogs, but I was getting some backup just in case.  The lady around the corner was rostered on to call in and see him the morning after I left and the lady up the road was commandeered to phone him the day after that and drop around unexpectedly in the afternoon on a seek-and-find mission and report potential problems back to me immediately.

I also put my own laptop in the office with the other computers, locked the office up and took the key with me to Melbourne.  As far as I was concerned it was more important to remove the temptation than to have to kill him later on.  I ensured that he had enough to keep him happy with as much cable as he could handle and a cupboard full of as much food he could scoff in three days, to negate the hard-done-by notion that he was inclined to run by me every now and again when it suited him.

In the end it all turned out okay.  The house was reasonably clean, the dogs were still alive and fed and I had only been cleaned out of assorted packets of chocolate biscuits and chips.  He’d had no wild parties, no stupid friends over to trash the place and no breakages.

My husband wants to go overseas for two weeks next year but I’m digging my heels in.  I’m not sure either of us are ready for that yet.