Category Archives: Conundrum

Why is it so? V.2

Why is it I do not consider myself to be superstitious, yet when I change the volume on the TV I cannot leave the volume level on 13?

Overheard conversation #1

Guy to gal in cafe:
So you like hanging out with me but you don’t like me

Being neighbourly

The neighbours are moving. What bliss.

They are lovely neighbours, friendly, don’t have late parties with loud music and gatecrashers. Yeah, their dogs bark but then my dogs bark at their dogs and we acknowledge this and we are working on it. So are the dogs. Frequently.

So if they are such great neighbours, why the joy?

I was able to open the bedroom blinds and windows.

You can’t see directly into my bedroom from the front of the house, nor from the neighbour’s house. From their driveway and garage, you can look sideways (I’m turning my head as I type so scratch that), you can see, from an angle, my built in wardrobe which covers one whole wall. No worries, you are thinking. Except for the floor to ceiling full width mirror coverage of said wardrobe doors. Which reflects back everything in the room. 

Normally I make do with a lack of natural light and having the aircon on all night. Which is quite considerate of me really. It would give me a dreadful fright first thing of a morning, except I’m short sighted.


Another neighbourly matter is that someone in the close vicinity has an unsecured wireless network with excellent signal strength.

 I did think of … I did think of leaving a friendly neighbourly note in their letterbox to warn them of the dangers of such, but then came across a much better idea.

As have some others …

Thank you Passive Aggressive Notes for these gems and a few wasted hours I should have been doing the housework.

Is that passive aggressive enough for you? Or should I tone it down a tad?


Your neighbour on the internet.

How to deal with telemarketers

There a number of schools of thought of how to deal with telemarketers.

One friend, who will return items that are not perfect to the McDonald’s teens at the counter, delights in telling telemarketers in no uncertain terms that their services are not required. Thank you. Only in her telling there is no thank you added. She may also add comments about the telemarketer’s nationality.

I can’t do this. I listen politely to the initial spiel, then ask how they got my phone number. I am usually told that it is a computer program that gathers information from the white pages directory. I tell them it is a silent number. And that I pay money to ensure my phone number does not end up in the white pages directory and could they please remove my number from their call list. All said very politely. Result – a polite response and no more calls.

One guy did try pushing his luck – he detailed the K Rudd incentive to install house insulation (this was before Peter Garrett-gate), and that his company could install the insulation for little $$ given such incentives, but I had to be quick. He wasn’t swayed by the silent number speech – he said that I mustn’t have taken up the government offer, hence my phone number being on the list. Cheeky sod. But he said it with a smile in his voice. Given him credit for trying.

I figure it is no use yelling at, cursing, hanging up on, or other such behaviours when the telemarketer calls. They are doing a job. It is unlikely they get paid a huge amount and I appreciate that they would get lots of abusive responses. Usually their response to my politely stated spiel is one of relief. And they are polite back. I don’t care what nationality they are – we live in a multi-cultural society. I do care that I don’t add to the world’s misery. Or at least try not to.

Here are a couple of responses to telemarketers:

The Tom Jones way

The Seinfeld way

Urgent EVOKE – must play game online …

EVOKE – a crash course in changing the world.

This is not a simulation.

You are about to tackle real problems.

Welcome to the EVOKE Network.

There’s an old saying here: “If you have a problem, and you can’t solve it alone, evoke it.”

An evoke is an urgent call to innovation.

When we evoke, we look for creative solutions.
We use whatever resources we have.
We get as many people involved as possible.
We take risks.
We come up with ideas that have never been tried before.

Every Wednesday at midnight, the network will send out a new evoke.
Here’s how to respond.

Read the story.
Investigate the story.
Accept your mission.


EVOKE was developed by the World Bank Institute, the learning and knowledge arm of the World Bank Group, and directed by alternate reality game master Jane McGonigal

Join in the game with Rivoli Palace at

Thanks to eGov AU for putting me onto this one.

Gardening, stalking, and all that jazz

I was going to write about what I did yesterday but I received a text message this morning that changed all that.

The text appeared quite innocuous at first. A friendly “how are you, thinking of you, missing you” message. Until I realised it is from the gardener from 2006.

The  text message at Christmas from said gardener was a surprise. Today’s follow-up message is odd. And a tad unnerving.

The story of the stalking gardener will go up there with the three marriage proposals story – Two of the marriage proposals were from serious, though unsuccessful, contenders. The third occurred on a first date. May I say also last date.

Back to the gardener … I wonder if it is a strange business practice of trying to woo back previous custom? Hmmm….

A stone age solution to a modern day problem

A presentable and rather nice fellow asked me today if I was married.

One may wonder what have I been getting up to. Who have I met? Is it serious? Is it the gardener from two years ago who out of the blue text messaged before Christmas to say he had been thinking of me, asked how was I and was I married yet?

One may wonder. He is a mechanic. No. And no.

The clue here is the guy is a mechanic. His question was to see if I had a husband who would be able to charge my car’s flat battery overnight.

I wasn’t going to play with the (actually quite lovely though way too young) fellow by asking how the other half (should I be married) could, by himself, charge the battery. Lucky for the young fellow he did ask if I owned a battery charger. (I don’t.) But still the questions were quite amusing. Sad, but amusing.

Do you watch GO, the digital tv station? I have been loving it. Reruns of the all time favourite shows from my childhood – The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and a few others. Have you watched – actually taken notice of – the family dynamics in The Flintsones and The Jetsons? These cartoons show the nuclear family in all its 1960’s glory with full gender role differentiation – the husband goes to work, sleeps, eats, yells (“Wilma!”) while the wife does the shopping, the housework, the child rearing, has a lovely meal on the table for their husband when they get home, and forgives the husband for their mis-derring dos. Sort of… remember the twin single beds in the Flintstones’ bedroom?

One would think 50 years later perceptions and gender role differentiation would have changed.

Luckily the Jetson family had robots to help fix things when they broke down while the Flintstones and the Rubbles didn’t have to worry about flat batteries given it was their feet doing all the work. As it seems so will my legs be doing all the work if I don’t get a car battery charger … or a man who has one.