Posted by: Gregoryno6 | March 2, 2015

A new year, a new job.

2014, as I’ve detailed in earlier posts, was a year I won’t easily forget. But 2015 has started off with a whole new set of unexpected challenges as I enter the world of facilities management. Securing the job was a drawn out process. The position was advertised before Christmas, and I didn’t get a response until early January. The interview didn’t take place until the middle of the month; another week and a half passed before I was advised that the employer was definitely interested – interested to the point of advising me that they were about to start contacting my referees. ‘About to start contacting’ changed to actual contact four or five days later.

I was growing impatient by this point, and another application yielded another positive response. For a short period I thought I might have the luxury of choosing between two roles. But then the original firm came through with a definite offer, and I was theirs.

I don’t want to name names here. I value the freedom to talk absolute shit at any time, so I’ll just say that I’m working for a heavyweight multinational corporation in the premises of another heavyweight multinational corporation. And what exactly is facilities management? you might ask. It’s quite a lot of things. Incoming and outgoing mail, setting up rooms for meetings, noting dead lightbulbs, and sitting in on the reception desk. And frequent pushing of various items along the footpath – the client firm is spread across two buildings, you see. I’m getting used to the nervous sideways glances from other pedestrians as I wait for the lights to change with a lectern.

In short, facilities management is like being International Rescue without the funny walk. Go anywhere, do anything.

It’s certainly been a shock to the system. And I have Musica Viva to thank for softening my transition. The half-weeks I put in for them were a valuable warming-up exercise after eight months of joblessness. I’ll be keeping my hand in there, too, helping out on concert nights whenever I’m available. There’s always something to be done, even if it’s just handing people their tickets.

Or posing for a group photo.

Group photo Tafelmusik concert night

Helen at the rear, Chelsea and baby, Lindsay, and moi. Reunited at the Tafelmusik concert

I owe the local Musica Viva team a considerable debt. Back in December they managed to extract some unused funds from the kitty to pay me. It wasn’t a lot but it was a helpful addition to the government’s handouts. And they were most generous with their moral support. I applied for a full time position there, and was unsuccessful, but that was only a day after the firm that did hire me scheduled an interview. I went back to the MV team and asked them what I’d done right, and what I’d done wrong, and what I needed to work on. Lindsay and Chelsea gave me the best part of a Friday afternoon, discussing my strengths and weaknesses, and telling me to make more noise about the strengths. I went into the interview on the Monday morning full of confidence, and the results speak for themselves.

With Lindsay and Chelsea on my last day at Musica Viva’s WA office. Pre-concert night, Chelsea conceals her massive baby bump behind my shoulder.

Musica Viva went further still. On the basis of a couple of months’ work, Lindsay wrote me a reference that doesn’t actually outright declare me to be the bringer of world peace and a cure for cancer but gets damn close. In  fact I had the benefit of several such acts of generosity during the year. I’m not someone who can normally ask for help without considerable reluctance, but when I did so this time I found people more than willing to extend themselves for me. Blanche DuBois relied on the company of strangers. I had the chance to experience the kindness of friends, and it gave me something to think about.

The new job has put me on a steep learning curve but alongside the unexpected challenges there are unexpected benefits. The office is situated almost at the edge of the Swan River. I use this to full advantage and take my lunch breaks looking across the water to South Perth and Kings Park. My office had an excellent view of the Giant Little Girl as she rested on Langley Park, and we’ve already been buzzed once by Blackhawk helicopters on a flyby. There’s a military exercise being staged over the city so they might be back again soon. Best of all are the people around me. Although the pace is frantic – actually, a lot of the time it seems just one short step away from total chaos – everyone is friendly and welcoming. And I’ve got a real income again. What’s to complain about? It’s been a good move.

Every now and then I get a bit of an old song stuck inside my head and it just goes round and round and round. Usually, if I ignore the noise, it dies of boredom after a few days. But this time I decided to track the song down and put it name to it if I could.

Dramatic Facebook style headline: I Found The Song I Couldn’t Get Out Of My Head. What Happened Next Was Unbelievable.

I know, I know… WTF is that? Vincent Price and Frankie Howerd? And I had no idea that the Bee Gees were the singers.

The song is usually titled I O I O. Sounds like Hiyo, Hiyo, to me. But I thought that dress was light blue with caramel stripes so my sensory perceptions are obviously unreliable. Whatever it’s called it was released on an album called Cucumber Castle. The video is taken from a movie of the same name – another of those weird Sixties moments when everybody got in together just because they were famous. You can watch it in full on youtube, but chances are that well chosen smoking product will enhance your viewing pleasure.


Posted by: Gregoryno6 | February 23, 2015

Call me an ungrateful son of a bitch, but…

I go offline for a few days and when I get back I find that WordPress Central has dicked around with the innards of my blog again. And I absolutely fucking hate the result.

This is a free service I’m enjoying here, of course, and I appreciate the opportunity it gives me to reach out and bore strangers in remote corners of the world. But I find the ‘We decided you need this’ approach rather grating. Frankly, I’ve had my fill of it in too many places where I’ve worked. Getting the same lab-rat treatment in the place where I come to relax and unwind is not pleasant.


Twitter 17 to burn

From the Daily Mail:

In a grim echo of the terrible fate which befell Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh the captives, reportedly Peshmerga fighters, are dressed in orange jumpsuits and shackled in cages. 

Just as Lt. al-Kaseasbeh was burned alive on camera, IS are planning to do the same with their latest prisoners, according to posts on social media.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | February 11, 2015

I see this guy’s face every time I do online banking.

And he’s beginning to annoy me.

David is a smug twat

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | February 8, 2015

A truly classic example of the genre.

Just don’t ask which genre.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | January 29, 2015

A hostile response from above?

If the weather that belted Perth today is any guide, the heavenly hosts were less than amused by my Jesus posts.

I was woken at 3:30 by flashes of lightning. From the verandah I watched the sky light up over a front of about ten miles. The thunder was distant, so most of that action was probably coming down on the south side of the river. Gradually the fireworks moved my way. By seven the worst of it had passed over to the north. There hadn’t been much rain with the clouds, but I was just impressed that the weather bureau had predicted a storm and a storm had actually manifested.

Just before noon the storm came back. Louder, closer, and a whole lot wetter. Officially Perth city and suburbs got 5mm, but rainfall here can be strangely concentrated. I would say that my street… my block… my house got at least double that. It looked like someone was getting the cue to load up an ark.

Since 2pm the skies have been mostly clear and sunny. But the weather boys are saying that the wild stuff might linger into next week. Good thing I can tread water.

Perth Now has pictures and video and the inevitable tales of busted power lines here. You’ll enjoy the show.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | January 26, 2015

Something different for Australia Day.

This doco was originally screened on SBS.

Lots of commentary about the war in New Guinea, and the Australian defeat of the Japanese at Milne Bay.

Interesting observations on relations with the US forces too!

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | January 25, 2015

And may I present, as my closing argument…

The perfect postscript to the previous post: the outstandingly outrageous Timmy’s Wish.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | January 25, 2015

Waving a flag for the Vatican hit squad.

The response to the Charlie Hebdo attack galls me. The march looked wonderful on the evening news, and the mass declaration of JE SUIS CHARLIE was inspiring. As we get further away from those public displays of solidarity, however, a different message seeps through.

Everybody picks on Islam. All the other religions get a free ride but Muslims are supposed to just live with the ridicule.

Even the Pope has climbed on to this bandwagon, warning about limits to free speech and respect for the beliefs of others. It bends my head that the leader of a community that has been satirised for centuries, AND LEARNT TO LIVE WITH IT, should be telling everyone that Islam is hands-off, mind your manners, don’t poke fun. I don’t know what the Latin is for ‘Man up and grow a pair you sissies’ but it ought to be in neon letters a hundred feet high over St Peter’s. And the Pope should be bellowing it towards Mecca. Nobody is better placed to offer an example.

There were certainly no exemptions from Charlie Hebdo for the Church of Rome. If you think that Hebdo hit peak offensiveness with this

Charia Hebdo

then consider their response to French religious leaders who opposed gay marriage.

Charlie Hebdo Gay Threesome

Satire of Christianity is arguably as old as Christianity itself. There is a discernible touch of snark in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, written about 150 AD.

After that again [Jesus] went through the village, and a child ran and dashed against his shoulder. And Jesus was provoked and said unto him: Thou shalt not finish thy course. And immediately he
fell down and died. But certain when they saw what was done said: Whence was this young child born, for that every word of his is an accomplished work? And the parents of him that was dead came unto Joseph, and blamed him, saying: Thou that hast such a child canst not dwell with us in the village: or do thou teach him to bless and not to curse: for he slayeth our children.

And Joseph called the young child apart and admonished him, saying: Wherefore doest thou such things, that these suffer and hate us and persecute us? But Jesus said: I know that these thy words are not thine: nevertheless for thy sake I will hold my peace: but they shall bear their punishment. And straight away they that accused him were smitten with blindness.

Child of God? This brat sounds like he was fathered by the other guy. Jesus does reform in Thomas’s telling, but the story can be read as an effort to take the Messiah down a peg or two.

Thomas is thought by scholars to have been a Gentile. Maybe he got tired of being harangued by Christian spruikers in the market and decided to have some fun at their expense. That carpenter was too damn holy by half, Thomas grumbles, as he scribbles into his scroll… The work had an enduring popularity over many centuries and is still good for a chuckle today.

Or maybe it’s just me. Little Horror Jesus is still around today, at any rate.

What a schemer! And wait until he discovers girls!

I died for you. Wish I could use that line myself. But where’s the condemnation for these mockeries, Holy Father? Can’t you rouse yourself to at least one scathing sermon?

Perhaps you could whip something off this evening. After your piano lesson.

The internet abounds with examples of irreverence.


It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that Jesus was not a 72 inch LCD flatscreen with home theatre sound, either. The Second Coming, Across All Channels! Tonight at 7! Won’t that be great?


And Christ grew wrathful with the purple squids from the distant galaxy, and yea verily, he did fry those motherfuckers with killer green death rays from his eyes. Said no gospel ever. Not even Thomas thought of that.

Oh look! Here’s Jesus giving the other guy a plug! No, not that other guy… the other other guy.

Yesus Tertawa dan Teori Evolusi

Just to be sporting, I’ll take this opportunity to share my one and only joke about unbelief. As told by Henny Youngman.

I was an atheist for a while, but I gave it up. You don’t get any holidays.

Tom Lehrer put his satire to music. Kenneth Anger put the Saviour shoulder to shoulder with a biker and a hit song from the Sixties.

Jesus Christ Superstar once shocked respectable churchgoers. Nowadays it’s fit for high school musicals and not much else. It’s remarkably conventional alongside Greaser’s Palace, which was made about the same time. Robert Downey Snr, whose son spends a lot of time in tin suits these days, depicted the Christ figure as a Zoot suited song and dance man in the wild west.

Every religion is ridiculous. I’ll say it again: EVERY RELIGION IS RIDICULOUS. Religious belief of its nature demands the believer set aside rationality to some degree. But your irrationality is my tenet of faith and vice versa. Christianity and Catholicism in particular ask the faithful to accept a lot. Transubstantiation. Resurrection. Assorted miracles. Rome provides a good target for satire.

The poor will always be with you, said Jesus. The irreverent won’t be disappearing any time soon either. Believers and unbelievers alike, we’d all better get used to that giggling from the sidelines.

The world has grown too small for blasphemy.

Jesse on the cross

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