Monday, March 31, 2008

For readers of this personal blog, I would like to apologise for the delay in entries since last Thursday. 27th March. I have been side-tracked by a gruelling schedule at work over the weekend and I am only just recovering. Umpteen eppies and very nearly a work-induced thrombie have managed to exact their toll upon what once passsed for the semblance of an orderly brain. It takes a day or two to revive that freshness and to rid oneself of mental inertia brought on by the cerebral intransigence of assorted half-wits who I have the misfortune to have to deal with. A colleague of mine put it more succinctly - psychic vampires! Mr Thicko Taxi Driver, who I warned about in the previous blog, will suck the-life force out of any controller whose guard is down. They really are that stupid.
However, a re-vitalised Thorolf will be back tomorrow. Watch this space!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A step-son's tales

It's late October 1972. The sun has just started to set and a fourteen year-old boy sits on his mobile-home doorstep with his friend from down the road. They are both learning japanese and testing each other on what they've learned. The page is folded over on to the beginning of Chapter IV when one of them points with an outstretched fore-finger toward the lounge, uttering loudly: "Asoko ni hon ga arimasu ka?".
Before his friend has time to think about the question, a short, fat, man with a ripped T-shirt and toussled hair appears before them. "Cut that out!"
"Cut what out?" comes the exasperated reply.
The short, fat man begins to lose his temper. "You're talking about me! And you you can take that book back to the library! This is my house and you'll do what you're told!". Mum was there but said nothing.
Yes. It was me; young, blond, Thorolf on the receiving end of this childish invective. No amount of pleading could have convinced the fat man that he'd been sorely mistaken but I did try. I mean - how much japanese can one learn after three chapters? We'd only just got past the imitated pronunciation.
Just what was this foul, slanderous, remark which the fat man had so abruptly objected to? If he'd studied japanese - or just politely asked - then he'd have discovered that the offending words were simply: "Is there a book over there?"
From this point onward, here endeth lesson in paranoia. And japanese.

I've always considered myself to be humane, courteous to others and polite at all times. There are exceptions and they most definitely arise when I have cause to throw an 'eppy'. That's a cornish expression for those who haven't heard it and means 'to lose one's temper'. Having to work with half-witted taxi-drivers like I do; the ones who can't tell 'left' from 'right' and can't even read a map, send me into a frenzy. I tend to throw at least six or seven eppies over a busy weekend and I can assure the reader that it's not much fun having your blood-pressure suddenly shoot skyward. Promptness is vital in my occupation and if a customer has a meal booked at a restaurant, or a flight scheduled at a certain time, then in my book they should bloody well be there! Ultimately, the responsibility of time-keeping boils down to me and any good base-operator worth their salt will have this down to a fine art. It can be very stressful and it's the base-operator who has to take the flak if anything goes awry.
Ok, so lets now cue Mr. Thicko Taxi Driver.
Mr. Thicko Taxi Driver is the know-it-all. He's seen it, done it and even spilt coffee over the T-shirt. He reckons he's a wow with the birds and pulls a different one every week. In essence, a real man - notwithstanding the massive, unsightly, gut he's accumulated through years of constant neglect and the twice-nightly scoffing of mad-cow-diseased-ridden burgers. He's the king of the road. The fastest, the meanest and the toughest. It is only the bald head which stops him from preening himself in the cab's mirror. This is all self-agrandisement and delusional grandeur at it's height. Nothing can surpass it in tone.
Au contraire, Mr. Thicko Taxi Driver always seems to forget that he has to be guided almost around every bend and is absolutely clueless when it comes to door numbers. After years of driving - he still hasn't got it through his thick, neanderthal, skull that odd numbers begin on the left and even numbers are on the right - in sequence. This is explained to him, exasperatingly I might add, on numerous occasions but the pea-sized brain refuses to acknowledge any information. The next time a TV interviewer asks a taxi driver their opinion on current events, bear the above in mind. It never fails to crack me up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Intuition or sixth sense?

I had my first paranormal experience at the age of five. My last was three weeks ago. I became accustomed to this phenomenon by the age of eighteen although I have to confess that these events were - and are - never enjoyable. I've never understood why these things happen to me and to say that they stem from a psychological problem is complete poppycock. Perhaps these deniers who affirm it's all in the mind would care to interview the poor cat who had the misfortune to witness the same event in the bathroom as I did.
Right from an early age, I have been gifted with a strong intuition. I just seem to know things without the need to be told. The signals are quite strong and more often than not, they start with butterflies in the stomach. Are these feelings pre-cognitive or are they purely the result of a rapid fluidity of thought? The snag in definition arises when fore-knowledge of an unreported event is happening hundreds of miles away.
Dreams have always been an excellent source of guidance for me.
"For God does speak - now one way, now another - though man may not percieve it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds." - Job 14:15
Writing from my own perspective, I find that the important thing to remember lies in not what the dream is about but the articles or objects contained within it. Woe betide the poor bloke who dreams of cats! Be it through jealousy or sheer spite, he can expect the acid tongue of some foul-mouthed bitch slandering him behind the scenes. For those ignoramuses who like to scoff, let me point to a famous quote by Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet Act 1, scene 5.
Besides, I have nothing against skeptics. I smile; knowing it's their loss and not mine. Get yourself a Dream Dictionary and check it out.

I was talking to an elderley, Cockney, chap digging his garden one sunny day in Cornwall. The subject of flying saucers cropped up. He leaned on his spade, shook his head and blurted, "I seen a saucer!". I gave him the innocent open-mouthed look in order to elicit some more.
"Who's that guy on 'The Sky At Night'?" he asked, wiping his brow.
"You mean Patrick Moore?" I ventured.
"Yeah, 'im!", he replied. "D'ya know what I'd do if he told me that I was imaginin' things?"
"Go on - what?"
"I'd smack the guy right in the mouth!" - by this time he was becoming more agitated - "and if he shouted 'What did you smack me for?', d'ya know what I'd say?"
I was still feigning my innocence. "No - what?"
"I'd say 'I didn't hitcha'. You must be imaginin' fings!'"

An issue with words.

Am I the only one to notice the latest "buzz" word doing the rounds? I'm heartily sick of hearing it. No-one has a "problem" any more: it's an "issue". It's as if the word "problem" doesn't exist. It's been quietly expunged from the dictionary. Every problem is now an "issue". A corruption of the english language if ever I've heard one. Look up the definition for yourself and you will understand my frustration. As usual, this particular annoyance has made it's way from America and now everybody repeats it parrot-fashion. Why? Is this the new politically-correct speech that has to be in vogue? Listen to your autocue-readers on the "news". Who writes this stuff?

A strange thing happened last week on my mobile 'phone. I have two SIM cards. Both O2 registered and different telephone numbers. I have free-texting credit only on the first SIM and calling credit on the second. I sent a text to a female friend I know from SIM number 1 and hurriedly swapped SIM cards to call a mate on SIM number 2. Whilst SIM number 2 was still in my phone, I received a reply from my female friend addressed to SIM number 1. The said female doesn't know the telephone number contained in SIM 2, so how come I received a text on SIM 2 which was destined for SIM 1? I've not heard of this happening before. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

I was thinking the other day about the atrocities committed on 9/11. That fire must surely have been white-hot to melt solid steel. If kerosene burns at 1800º and steel melts at 2500º, how did the towers collapse? In addition, the firemen stated that they got to within one floor of the inferno. Hmm. I wonder why they didn't melt too? Perhaps we've all been conned and the steel was really re-inforced plastic.

It always amazes me how unaware the majority of people seem to be. They're probably too busy immersed in Coronation Street and the other rubbish that passes for quality TV these days to notice.
Consider your local Council for instance. How many people know that it is now legal for some official to listen in to your mobile and home telephone communications from somewhere deep inside the Town-Hall? This is all possible under the guise of 'anti-crime' legislation. 'Ah, yes', I can hear people say, 'but if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear!'. Well, I'll tell you what: let's put a cam in your bedroom or toilet and take things from there, shall we? After all, you have nothing to hide, have you? The hide and fear brigade are talking absolute twaddle. I can only hope that the moon-faced moron who decides to check my text messages be a Jehova's Witness or similar. It sure will give them a new slant on life.

Have school kids lost their childhood now? After all, they already said goodbye to their innocence long ago. The criminals who foisted sex-education on five year-olds now have the audacity to heap homework on them too. Childhood is a magical time and is meant to be enjoyed. We never had homework until we left primary. We didn't need it. The reason is that we were taught properly. These airy-fairy, modern, methods of teaching deserve the derision which they receive. I remember at the age of ten solving algebraic and simultaneous equations. Ask a normal fourteen year-old today and he'll probably give you a blank stare. 'You wha? Wha' are dem?'. The faceless crooks responsible know the curriculum is all wrong, so why do they promote it? We've all heard the phrase "dumbing down" but no-one asks why. And who sanctions it in the first place?