It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Monday, September 24, 2007


I have been haunted by a man called Moe Norman for a while. He was a nobody to those who don't know much about the game called golf. He had a talent for hitting golf balls with unerring acuracy, especially off the tops of Coke bottles. Described by one person as a "high functioning autistic", Moe would show up at Canadian golf tournaments and win. This pissed everyone off. The bourgeousie of golf laughed at his costume and his hitting style, but Moe pressed on, sleeping in his car, and winning. Jack Nicklaus sought him out among many others whom had heard of him. He talked funny; a kind of staccato stutter of half-finished sentences. But anyone touched by Moe knew they had witnessed something special.
He played a round of golf with Sam Snead once and both of them had long approach shots to the green. Sam laid up. Then Moe took out what Sam thought was too much club and advised his friend not to try for it. Moe said, "I'm not trying to clear the water... I want to bounce the ball off that walkover bridge." He hauled back, struck the ball, and it bounced off the bridge and came to rest in the fairway, just in front of the green. Wayne Gretzky played a round with him once and marvelled that the man used just one tee through all eighteen holes. Without ego, Moe commented he once went a whole season with one tee.
Moe joined the PGA Tour for a while and never once won a tournament. The laughter at his dress ... and address, was a constant source of open amusement from the other players and the gallery. But Moe had feelings and packed it in when it got to be too much.
Moe went on to win seven Canadian championships and when he finished pro golf he retired to a driving range somewhere in the United States and gave folks tips and a bit of a show. He lived in a small trailer at the range. Year after year Moe was nominated for the Canadian Pro Golf Hall of Fame, but never made the grade.
I was watching the golf channel one day and Titleist, the Company was announcing some new products. As almost an adjunct, the corporate fellow also mentioned that the Board of Directors of the company had passed a unanimous decision to give Moe Norman $5,ooo (US) a month until his demise, in recognition for his contribution to golf. Moe Norman died at 75. He was eventually admitted to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, but I will be always grateful to the people at Titleist, for their class and for representing the best of what America stands for.
Out of solidarity I should have used their balls. But frankly, my game is so bad, and their balls are so precious that I would have had to give up everything... live in a trailer... and work gathering struck balls in one of those tractor contraptions people aim at.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Nothing is an Accident

A recurring theme throughout the writings of Paulo Coelho is similar to those found in 'The Celestine Prophesy' - the idea that nothing in life is coincidence, that even a smile from a stranger should not be something dismissed as insignificant.
When I asked my wife why she bought 'Flowing Like a River' she said she had passed by it for about a month, constantly being drawn to it, but not purchasing the book. One day she succumbed and made the purchase. At about the same time, a friend of her's was going through a terrible drama. This woman and her partner lived just down the road. One night he lost it, presented a sawed-off shotgun and threatened himself. The friend called the police and my wife and I woke up to a loudhailer repeating over and over, "___ come out. Put the gun down and come out." At about 5am he did - and shot himself on the front lawn.
She gave the book to her grief-stricken friend. Sometime later, the friend mentioned the book, saying it was her bedside companion throughout those difficult times, especially when she was alone. My wife had not even opened it.
She bought a second copy and although she started it, she did not finish it. I picked it up and from page one I was captured. She bought 'The Alchemist', written by the same author and I am almost finished it. This book is an allegory; the story of a boy on a journey - very representative of the journey we all face in life, full of twists and turns. I could identify with the protagonist. Unlike me, however, he listened to his heart, often through chance meetings. I don't know how the book ends, but in this case it doesn't really matter. The message is enough and I know I will read it again. I don't keep many books because I tend to give them to friends and never get them back, which means I will probably have to purchase another one when I get the urge.
Nothing is happenstance in this journey called 'Life'. The pain and suffering we all go through is part of the forging process that tempers the steel of our soul. In the end, if I had the opportunity to choose to be anybody else, I would say, "NO!" I'm not sure I would wish my life on anyone else and besides, this is the path both myself and God agreed to before I was born, and when I understand it better I hope to share that path with many other fellow travellers out there. My pal Roger wrote a song called, "Why". It always reminds me to stay humble and celebrate the achievements of my brothers and sisters. I'm not sure how 'The Alchemist' ends... just as I'm not sure how my life will end. The secret is the journey and you can sleep through it and ignore the beauty that each new day brings... it's all about choice really.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The World of Depression

Many people oscillate between two base lines; the first being what society declares as 'normal', the other marked by Maslow's idea of needs, want's and necessities. Many lives journey on a more or less regular path between these two extremes. Unfortunately, when things happen in our lives that go far beyond testing and into the realm of distress the normal bar lowers a few millimetres. The journey is the same distance between those extremes which means something has to give, somewhere. In many of us it means we travel well beyond the borderline of one extreme or the other. In the case of trauma; especially at a young age, the distance travelled does not allow one to find their way back. Pharmaceutical companies tell us that if we consume their products then we will have what we need to come back... but the reality is we become anaethesised into believing we have reached home... when really we are just experiencing false comfort in this new world.
The destination rests within each of us to discover, much like the butterfly or bird, or salmon that leaves the nesting place to make a long journey and does not fret the return, but instinctively knows how to get back. God tells us, "does the bird worry about where the next meal comes from?" (this is of course a paraphrase). I will help you find the way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Going digital

The great thing about computers is not the improvement after typing. The really awesome thing is that my words are being converted to a series of I's and O's, unintelligeble in their sequence but somewhere.. out there.. something converts it back into words... this leaves me with the possibility that they will not die... that somewhere, out there someone will discover it, perhaps an ancestor, perhaps an alien, who will know that at one time, somebody was....


Dear Friends:
I had no longer finished a bitter message to Paulo Coelho, when, if I had checked my E-mails I would have seen that I had jumped ahead of the response. Forgive me Paulo for lacking faith.


Shoeless Joe Jackson was one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. As fate would have it, he was a member of the 1919 Chicago Whitesox team that were later to become known as the 'Black Sox'. To those who don't know the story, this team was accused of fixing the World Series. Although they were acqitted in a Grand Jury investigation, the first ever commissioner of baseball was someone called, "Judge Kennisaw Landis", and he super-subjected the law of the land to censure and ban the starting nine of the Chicago team from ever playing again.
Joe Jackson hit over 300 and caught everything that came his way during the series.
Later, until his death, Joe and his wife ran a liquor store in Georgia. One day, Ty Cobb came into Joe's store and made a purchase. "Don't you know me Joe?" he asked.
"Sure I know you Ty... I just wasn't sure you wanted to know me."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Drug Trafficer

Well, now that I am out of work I have decided to become a drug trafficer (trafficker?...note to do spellcheque). Since I am not a national here I figure the cheapest thing that will happen is deportment, cause I really figure that I will be as successful at that as anything else, so culpability will be minimal. Anyhow, given the amount of SPAM that is out there pharmaceuticals is a lock. I have gotten my doctor to test for everything I may need and have been particular about 'penile defficiency and erectile difficulties', because they seem to be hot commodities. Anyhow, my poor wife will be able to specify... under oath, that these are not falsehoods. At best I can expect some pocketmoney, or a free trip home (note to Department of Tobbaco and Firearms, IAM a Canadian... so piss off. The only Rico Act I follow these days is Rico Gear) also while I am at this business I am also curious as to whether the NSA really does filter my E-mails!

PS: If found guilty, I am going to blame everything on my father-in-law, JJ for shooting Miti after he bit my cousin ED (Miti is pronounced "mitty" over here, but now that I think of it he says "mighty" quite a lot).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ground Control to Major Tangi

I'm not sure if the spelling is write (sic) but yesterday was not one of my shining moments. I received a phone call from Wellington confirming my attendance at a soiree (paid for by the people... through their government mandarins ). Unfortunately the flight was to leave at ten past six and it was already four. News to me. Fortunately, I called my wife for her advice on the wisdom of me travelling so quickly following my latest unfortunate walk with the Black Dog, and as luck would have it she advised against the trip and I thanked her.
Now for a bit of background. I had imaginings I was to be received and honoured for past good works (long past I'm afraid). These illusions continued to haunt me as I stewed. Sensing a mood shift my wife went off to shop for our dinner and kindly enquired if I would like a sampling of one of New Zealand's fine lagers. No thank you, says I, I'm fine. Again, perhaps sensing a storm on the horizon, my darling bought me two lovely cold lagers anyway. I was sampling the second when I heard the drone of the plane winging its way to the party.
My wife prepared a lovely dinner and I ate it with all the fake good humour I could summon while inside I festered, red-faced. Imagine then later in the evening when I chose to send her out for refills, minutes before the shops were to close. She returned empty handed and crying while I stood there dripping wet with self pity. Then, came my shining moment when I accused her of somehow conspiring to ruin my day. I hope I am able to somehow make it up to my friend. I mean, sure I'm going through a bit of turbulence but somehow I missed the beautiful sunset right through my first class seat window. Hei tangi, indeed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Getting My MOJO back

A good day today. Worked at a mate's place and we built a cabinet with power and ventilation for a server and UPS system. Forgot my meds which left me kind of restless when I went to bed... thought I would just bluff it out. However I kept jerking awake when I thought I heard something... a bang or thump... had a couple of nastie 'post-acid-like' flashbacks. So I awoke and had a chamomile tea. It is just after 5am. Am resolving to cut back on the drinks and smokes because I am wondering if I am headed for a heart attack. Rapid heart beat, with the slightest little twinge of pain every once in a while. Other than that am feeling pretty good all things considered. I think I am supposed to be in Wellington today... to receive some recognition, but unless they make the travel arrangements I don't think I will be there. I enjoyed tussling with my grandson and dog last night and after we had finished reading his book and felt his little body quiver with sleep thought about writing a children's book.
The premise is: a boy who, through some quirk of nature actually breathes through his ass -the sphincter inhaling and exhaling the air that keeps him alive. Of course that would mean he shits out of his mouth, sneezes are a bit messy and smelly, and burps... well, you just imagine what it would be like for this fellow to go on a date. You'd have to kiss his ass.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Good Day

Today was a good day. I learned a new kiwi phrase..."cutting 15" which refers to how much beer one drinks at a dip. So I drank 15 beers, and this may seem alot but when morning comes cutting 15 means being cut off..because you drank it all the night before. Anyhow I spent a lovely morning of not doing much. Canada was beating Wales at half time and that alone was a reason to cut another 15, and if we had won maybe 30. We got our moko home today and I enjoyed a great evening with him seeing who farted the most. I cut 15 there too. Loved having our daughter over for dinner. Ana was a close second in the farting contest.
Today was a good day.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Fresh Outlook

I am going to try to concentrate on enjoying the little things over the next little while. I will start writing for pleasure again and concentrate on my CISCO training. I am going to beg off on my trip to Wellington, scheduled for next week, and stay close to home. There is lots of tidying up to do and I need to get to it. I am looking forward to getting things straightened out. But most important to me is having my family settled down and unworried.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Goodnight Sweetheart

Well, I've decided to take the next step in existence by crossing the veil to the next. I tried but pharmaceuticals are so slow as to make it "cry for help" instead of the outcome. I have rigged a noose in the garage and think that may work so long as the dog keeps quiet. I think about what is left. But the truth is there is not a whole lot to look forward to ...bad teeth.... subsistence on some kind of old home care. Some sadness for others but really no real value in the end. So stay tuned and we will all see how it turns out.