Tuesday, May 20, 2008

[interim report] die is cast

There are two issues - what the heck I was going to do if I was to be turfed out of the country by the new law and how to stay alive with at least one meal a day for the next few months.

The first has been resolved in principle through a very kind offer from one of our bloggers and that will be publicized as soon as it can be brought to fruition. This blogger and I will make a joint report to our regular readers as and when it happens next week.

There is still a battle going on this week at this end to try to get immigration to reverse it's stand.

The second, the financial side - I have a stay of execution for now but it looks uneasy. Having had June/July taken away [my main earners] plus not being eligible for my holiday pay now, with this neat little new regulation in place, I have to be working and earning.

Three bloggers have suggested I put up Paypal on this site but I've resisted that, reasoning that if I go into hiatus, no one is going to donate to a dead cause. It's more appropriate to assure close people here that any largesse on their part is a loan I'll repay as soon as I'm earning in a new place.

So there's enough to leave here but not enough to go on after that and it might be necessary to do something through this page for a short period until the first pay comes in. Also, the longer I survive, the greater the chance of unlocking the frozen funds back home and that would solve all problems.

So I'm loathe to ask for now as any incoming money is a debt I'll have to repay later. Those kind bloggers who offered - be careful as I might ask for your help next week in a new place. I'd like to openly say here [and will e-mail you personally later] that your kindness has been touching and somehow I think this thing will be traversed though hardly resolved.

May I keep those offers as a rain check please?

I tell you one thing - if I do get set up again, you're going to be invited as an honoured guest as soon as I'm able.

Monday, May 19, 2008

[thought for the day] monday evening

It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."

"And freezing."

"Is it?"

"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.

[defence of the realm] two stories

First one from Australia:

One of Australia's national heroes is Simpson with his donkey.

Ninety-three years ago today, Private Simpson was killed ferrying wounded soldiers to safety from the front line at Gallipoli, under enemy fire. [He was] fatally wounded in the chest by Turkish gunfire on the morning of May 19, 1915, and was buried at 6.30 that evening at Hell Spit, on the southern end of Anzac Cove.

His commanding officer at the time, Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Sutton, recommended him for the country's highest military award. The day after Simpson's death, Colonel John Monash, then the commander of the Australian Imperial Force's 4th Infantry Brigade at Gallipoli, sent a submission to Australian and New Zealand Divisional Headquarters.

So what's the problem? Give him the VC. Not so fast says the Labor government's tribunal. Hero or no hero, he lacks the correct documentation. He:

"must be supported by signed statements of at least three eyewitnesses of the act for which the award is recommended. These statements should be on oath."

Oh that's easy. Let's dig up the remains of three ANZACs from 1915, get them along to the tribunal and they can swear an affidavit to the effect that Australia's national hero is actually Australia's national hero.

Second one from the U.K.

Last year the head of the Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, warned that a lack of public appreciation for Britain's military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan was in danger of "sapping" the willingness of troops to serve on dangerous operations.


Gordon Brown is said to have accepted "virtually all" of the suggestions in the National Recognition of the Armed Forces review, led by Quentin Davies, the former Tory MP who defected to Labour last summer and was asked by the Prime Minister to look into ways of restoring the public image of the military.

He proposes a bank holiday to recognize the military. Good stuff, you say. Sorry to be mealy-mouthed about it but can you see the photo opportunities for Brown as he puts his hand on his heart and makes a speech about how much he has supported the military in Iraq and how he is all for them?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

[most influential] post war era

It's a simple enough question but almost impossible to answer - which individual has had the most influence on humanity worldwide since WW2, such that if they had not been around, human history would have had a significantly different outcome?

[interim report] end of sunday

It's time for another interim report but I don't really know what to tell you this time.

I'm right in the middle of it all at this very moment, there is most certainly light ahead but as my friend said today - I'm walking through a minefield which could blow up at any second.

One way or the other the saga ends on May 31st.

Today my two closest people here spent time with me and we looked at the ramifications of each course of action, how far we could rely on each possibility and looking at the short, medium and long term.

We analysed the situation generally in this country and what looked likely to happen.

Out of it all, apart from coffee overload, came a pretty clear idea of the course to take. Fortunate indeed if you have friends like these and like those who have been communicating by e-mail.

I'd like to thank you also for your well wishes in comments. In terms of this blog, there will necessarily be a hiatus around May 29th but if all goes well, it will be back again, maybe within a few weeks. Either way I'll get a message to you about what I'm up to.

With details still up in the air it's best not to say any more at this point.

[which firearm] is it a no-brainer?

You're on the run from baddies, you stumble upon a munitions room and these four below are your only choices - which do you choose and why?

The magazines for the Beretta 92FS chambered in 9mm are able to be utilized by the Cx4 (also chambered in 9mm). This aids in a smaller loadout.

The Five-seveN® comes standard with 20-round magazine, fires the 5.7x28mm SS190 Ball round which reliably penetrates Kevlar helmets and vests as well as CRISAT protection and has extremely low recoil impulse results in virtually no muzzle climb, thereby facilitating fast and controllable follow-up shots.

The 1911 remains popular because it’s an efficient tool. In more than 30 years of experience, I’ve met more competent, serious gunmen who carry 1911’s than those who pack any other handgun. They are professionals – policemen, government agents and others who carry handguns daily because the know their live may depend on it…

It is one of the few submachine guns that can consistently provide stopping power against armored targets, and has a significantly longer range than submachine guns using the 9 mm Luger Parabellum cartridge. Additionally, the UMP9 is almost 0.45 kg lighter than the 9 mm MP5.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

[thought for the day] saturday evening

Methinks 'twould be wise to heed the writing on the wall.

[light blogging] and the case of the disappearing breakfast

Mine is meatier

Light blogging this morning, not for any "problematic" reasons but because I have five clients today - work goes on, even if other things don't. :)

Plan to blog later.

Of greater concern is that I lost my breakfast. True. I made it all right - just a sort of soupy thing with mince, buckwheat, cabbage and peppers in a tomato-ey sauce but it's tasty and I didn't want to lose it.

Went to the living room - nope, not there. Not in the kitchen, not in the hallway. Ah, I was absent minded, I thought - it'll be in the loo. Nope, not there.

Hmmm. I'll tell you if I ever find it. Plus the toast just burnt writing this and it's sitting there on the board now, black and fuming. I apologized to it.

Now where is that soupy thing?

Friday, May 16, 2008

[thought for the day] friday evening

Tomorrow is a new day.

[systemic failure] trumps all

There are analogies everywhere.

Captain Blackadder is unprincipled, intelligent, scathing and lives on his ability to get out of scrapes. Just how he ends up in a WW1 trench at the Somme, ready to go over the top on the order from above is largely due to systemic failure and the dislocation of people who might have helped him, being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being maddeningly unaware of the real situation and how little time is left.

No one is specifically down on Blackadder but as he discovers - every avenue he tries, every string he pulls, every favour he calls in - they all come to nothing. For example, having already dismissively discussed the old chestnut of sticking two pencils up his nose, putting underpants on his head and saying 'Wibble', as a means of escaping the front line on the grounds of insanity - he has a much better plan.

The general owes him a favour. This is his very last chance and he manages to get a call put through from the front line where he is. Naturally the general is not impressed and says they're now all square - here's some advice on how to escape - stick two pencils up your nose, put underpants on your head and say 'Wibble'.

With his last chance gone, he resigns himself to his fate.

Similarly with Hillary, whom this blog has mercilessly berated - now today I feel some sympathy for her. Even with a few victories under her belt, including the last triumph, nevertheless the die has been cast and she is being dragged inexorably to the due date of the convention where she just does not have the capacity to reverse the result, barring a miracle, despite substantial support from certain well placed sections of the community.

That was me today. My main support could not move without a report from the man who had promised him that he'd help - this was two weeks ago in a total time frame of four weeks. Still today the report had not come through so MMS phoned him, puzzled. Oh the man hadn't understood he was meant to help - he only thought he was finding things out in general.

Mad scramble, phone calls left, right and centre at the highest echelons - all willing to help but alas, system wise, now too late. Direct line to the one man in the country who really does have the power to help. Away on holidays and had extended them to the end of next week. So powerful people willing to do what they could but the other end of it just not in town.

And even if it does, by some miracle, produce an eleventh hour extension of time past the end of May, which technically it now can't, requiring representations to Moscow which take up to a month - even if that did happen, it would buy another week or two.

Cut to the Higham story. He came over here years ago and unwisely risked all on one throw for one particular lady. Someone in Germany thought it the most romantic story she'd heard [more exciting than the book actually puts it]. Heady days with huge risks, all depending on remaining here and looking as if it would be successful. Life on the edge and intoxicating.

It wasn't successful though but Higham still found himself in a position where he could survive, he increased his business round town and as long as he remained local, there was more than sufficient coming in to have a quite reasonable life, depending entirely on word of mouth connections. Everyone gave him to understand that this was their desire too - that he remain - so foolishly he sold up overseas, no family now alive and consolidated here.

In short, there was absolutely nowhere out there to go but multiple choices within this town. This year, as a result of various setbacks and with his partners all doing stints overseas for a number of reasons, the margins were very fine, coming into the summer. But that hardly mattered as he was in a secure position in an inexpensive country and June/July are the traditional months where the finance rolls in.

This flat for example - his as long as he remains but the moment he goes, all equity gone - nothing leaves the country with him except his pack.

That's why suddenly today he saw the end. Booted out ten days from now, cut off from his local supply lines, no access for legal reasons to his western money, nowhere to go out there, having consolidated everything here, end of this blog, end of these friendships, end of local friendships - a new life on the run. Exciting for a 30 year old except that he's not 30 anymore.

And there it is. One can only laugh and with one overriding nightly theme - that Higham has a date with an airport twelve days from now [eleven days tomorrow] and nowhere beyond that in any sustainable way.

Not entirely true of course. Certain blogfriends [three of them] have made kind offers and they would be lovely but the operative word is "sustainable" and to return to first person, singular, I can't drop myself on someone else for more than a few days simply because I was foolish enough not to provide myself with an escape route.

Sleep now.