Getting away with it

Donald Rumsfeld died. Condolences to his family and may God have mercy on his soul.

His passing made me realize I had not thought of the man for many years. Why would I have? He was not in the news being dragged in front of the Hague or anything like that.

Looking him up on Wikipedia, the reasonably non-pozzed page states that after his resignation in disgrace he signed a sweet book deal but supposedly all proceeds were going to veterans.

In 2007, Rumsfeld established The Rumsfeld Foundation, which focuses on encouraging public service in the United States and supporting the growth of free political and free economic systems abroad.

A wiser man might have reflected he’d done too much of that already.

Rumsfeld was awarded the “Defender of the Constitution Award” at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2011.

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What my beloved countrymen think . . .

. . . about fellow Aussies being stranded overseas by extremely strict government caps on arrivals:

they can get back any time they like. They had opportunities when this whole thing went south, but stayed and are now crying foul. If they really want to get back they just have to stump up for a 1st or Business Class ticket. How much do they want to get back? Not that much obviously. 

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Peaceful sites of slaughter

I have always liked cemeteries.  Aside from the historical interest, I find them peaceful and calming places.  They are of course quiet.  The trees are tall and one can hear them in the breeze.  In outback, you’ll occasionally see dinosaur-like goannas disappearing into broken tombstones at the approach of a stranger.  I like that.

I’ve encountered the same phenomenon in Read More

Two sad stories

There was once a forum on the main site for foreigners in Japan, Gaijinpot, and one thread was about ‘relationships’.  Here there moped a sad fellow known as Kansai Ben.  To tell his whole story would be too much for now, and would simply mirror the experience of thousands of other Gaijin like him, but in short he was divorced from a J-girl, was struggling to meet child support payments as he was unable to do anything in Japan but teach English, and he never saw his kids.

So far, so sad.

His ex always talked shit about him to the kids, about how he was a Read More

We’re firing CJ on Friday!

My company rents out a small apartment building.  I’m the only bloke here at the moment.  As we’re super rich in this country my colleagues and I hire cooks, cleaners and a night guard.

One day a girl announced she didn’t want to hire the night guard anymore because it was too expensive.  She asked what we thought.  I said I reckoned we should keep him just for the sake of giving someone a job.  Sure, he’s not essential, but it costs us so little and it’s all his got.  He looks after his mum.  The pay only just covers the cost of some basic food.  And this is not a city full of free-market opportunities for the enterprising local.  Why bother penny-pinching in such circumstances?  Anyway, he’s also handy for running errands, carrying things and whatever, always pleased as punch to make himself useful.

Charity is one thing, but giving someone a job is quite another.

The other residents didn’t want him there anymore.  One said she’d noticed he was starting to come late and leave early (while still acknowledging that he was as reliable as a Bumfuckistani gets), while the other said she didn’t care.

Thus outvoted, that one that wanted him gone said to me excitedly, “We’re firing CJ on Saturday!”  It was a few days before Christmas.  She had a gleam in her eye.

I had a sick, uncomfortable feeling that I did not Read More

Finding a home

I’ve been wandering for about twelve years now.  I’ve dragged my Tinker’s caravan across three continents.  Why?  What was I looking for?  I don’t know.

I’ve always had the feeling that I would end up living permanently overseas.  From my university days I had the sense that I was unsuited to Australia.  I can’t explain it any better than that.  Perhaps it is my personality.  Certainly if I had been born Japanese I would have moved to Australia by now and I’d be loving it.

There’s nothing in particular I dislike about Read More

This is the rough beast that slouched towards Bethlehem to be born

A prominent blogger’s wife left him.

I’d had misgivings after reading some of his earlier posts, but I’m not close enough to him to have made any comment.  What do I know?  I’ve never been married.  I’ve not even had a long term relationship since my twenties.  But when the news came I was not altogether surprised.

What gave me concerns?  Very small things.  He never mentioned any children.  He talked about how he didn’t need game.  Perhaps there were other things I’ve now forgotten.

Just from these scant tea leaves, I could read the future?  No.  This and the fact that, everyone’s wife is leaving them.  No one’s wife is happy.  They all want out.  Even if they stay, they show their man contempt.  So slight tremors like those listed are enough for those who’ve been paying attention.

When I lived in Japan there was a forum for foreigners and one thread was about ‘relationships’.  Mostly Western guys would Read More

What I did last night – #MeTooOOOoooo

It’s time I had good hard look at myself and tried to figure out how I get into these situations.  Does this happen to anyone else there in the peanut gallery, or is it just me?

There’s a lady I once hooked up with.  She happened to be staying in a nearby city for an event.   I had to fly there anyway for my connection so I came here a few days earlier than planned to hang out.  She booked hotel rooms in both our names, so I thought, looks like she’s good to go then.  But I also thought, Read More

A Grim Thought Experiment

This one is more unpleasant than usual.  It reads like a guest post by Tom Arrows, but it’s me, Nikolai.  Your normally cheerful and exuberant narrator.

Wandering in the mountains I often have good ideas.  One such idea struck me upon a picturesque bend in the road, decorated with a giant, shady stand of bamboo and a gnarled, leafless, near-dead tree.  I thought, what if I was walking to my execution?  That next crossroads, twenty minutes away – that’s where my firing squat is waiting.  I am Read More

Breaking up is easy to do


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Messages verbatim:

9:06pm  Me:  Can you come over tomorrow

9:26pm  Her:  I wanna take a break

9:26pm  Her:  A long break

10:07pm  Me:  Ok

And we’re done.

What was the stoush that led up to this?  Nothing.  Our last communication was about the passionfruit she gave me.  I had failed to invite her over all weekend, though.  Before that she asked if I wanted to travel with her to Thailand and I said I was too busy.  The last time I saw her we got along fine and she came once or twice, not that it’s important.  Then this.

Yet it was not entirely a bolt from the blue.  I suspect it was a Read More

The sudden and unexpected death of dating


Note the plesiosaur in the background.  Image from Wikipedia.

If you’re an old fart like me, you would have once called up a young lady on the home phone.  Her dad would answer and he would stir you a bit before he put her on.  If ethnic, he would just hang up.  You would talk to the girl for about five minutes and then get to the point of nervously asking her to a movie or party.  She would accept or decline.  Then you’d go ask if you could borrow the car.  You’d pick her up after making polite conversation with her parents.  Her mum would ask what you’re studying and her dad would want to know Read More

Heart of Darkness


I’m dating a girl.  She’s twenty-five.

I asked her as a joke how many times she’s been married.  She said, ‘Married?  That’s something I’ll think about when I’m, like, thirty.’

I said nothing.

I could have said a lot.

Being well into my thirties myself, I’ve dated many women who have passed the dreaded three-oh.  Pretty much all of them had the same plan.  In their twenties they would travel the world, find themselves, spend all their money and have amazing experiences like Read More

My First Tinder Date


I’d met many, many girls online but this was my first, daring trial of Tinder debauchery.  Swiping an image without considering any other qualities, meeting at short notice and, if all goes well, freely exchanging bodily fluids – why hadn’t I tried it years ago?

I got many matches but they usually failed to message back, probably because they were just after attention and weren’t serious to start with.  Isabella was different.  She replied immediately and in a few minutes we’d Read More