Thursday, August 20, 2009

Way Down in the Hold

I'm proud to report that both Tens and I have found some work, although at the moment I am still only getting scraps with a temp agency while Tenny does the full-time haul working for an Italian cafe called DiPierris, making 'flat whites', 'long blacks' and all the other imaginary coffees they love down under (Tenny revealed to me in expose fasion that all NZ coffee names are pretty much just variations on how much foam to put on top.. not very inspiring if you ask me).

But I had the pleasure of working 8 hours for the Stevedores on Tuesday unloading the good ship Rehua, pictured below, which docked in Nelson with its recent catch of Gurnard and Hoki.

Unloading a fishing boat is definitely grunt work, and it's probably the first job I ever had with a rule designed to keep you from dying (don't ever stand below a pallet of boxes as it is being raised out of the hold), but at the end of the day it really wasn't so bad, and the work format of 30 minutes 'smoko' break for ever hour down in the hold is pretty humane. The highlight of the day was definitely the airing of the safety video, which was given a shakespearean introduction by the boss. It went a little something like this:

(clears throat).. "fuck, alright, fuck, here is a fucking video. well it's a fucking safety video, and I know you're gonna be like fuck, this is fucking, but just fucking watch it, because it's the rules and if you want to work on the fucking site, well fuck. So fucking watch, and I'll fucking quiz you after".

Now that's a man who knows his audience..

Sunday, August 9, 2009

WWWWMH .. What Went Wrong With My Hashbrowns?!??!

Okay everyone, it's time for the second reader participation game on this illustrious (did I mention award winning) blog. You remember the first game we played: WCOBWIT or Who Kind Of Beached Whale Is That?.. well it was a smash hit, with my brother Andrew taking the prize by identifying the whale as coming from the 'beaked' variety.


Coming in a close second in WCOBWIT was a man named Wojtek, whose email we just recently found because it was sent to us through Tenny's Flikr account. Wojtek gives even more detail on the bloated carcass, pointing out that is is in fact a Shepherd's beaked whale, or 'tasmacetus shepherdi', and while Andrew wins in timing, I must say that Wojtek is a tad bit more knowledgeable.

Moving on to today's main event, our second game is entitled WWWMH or What Went Wrong With My Hashbrowns?!??

On Sunday morning I started the day, much like any other, with coffee and a scrumptious breakfast. Feeling a tad bit adventurous I decided to whip up some hashbrowns, and thinking I knew my way around hashbrown prep, I made a huge batch using classic white baking potatoes. The end result was somewhat gluey and wet..

So what went wrong?? Here is what I did:

Took 3 medium sized potatoes, and shredded them with a cheese grater.
Soaked potato shreds (hash) in cold water for approx. 15 minutes to remove starch.
Washed off hash and drained water.
Took a small towel and dabbed the hash to soak up excess water.
Placed copious amounts of butter into frying pan.
Fried on medium heat, but noticed they were damp and gluey, so moved to high heat to teach them a lesson.
Moved back down to medium heat because eggs were taking longer than expected. Hash was browning but still not enough that I would consider them 'hashbrowns'.
Kicked it back up to high heat in desperation, producing the end result, which sadly resembled brown potato turds.

So what did I do wrong?? The person who can correctly email or comment what needs to be changed in my recipe to produce lovely hashbrowns will receive a prize of unnamed size and unassured quality.

Good luck contestants!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The TET offensive

Well it's official, I have become one of the many victims of these 'tough economic times'. Two weeks ago we arrived in Nelson (the NZ version) and I haven't been able to find work. Maybe I'm being too selective, or have become soft in my old age and can no longer hit the streets and sell myself. At this point I think the far more likely explanation is that people around here find it creepy when a lawyer applies to work pruning apple trees. I'm getting so frustrated that I am going to print out a CV which leaves out the fact that I am a lawyer entirely and just pretends that the last 5 years of my life didn't happen.. this might of course lead to an awkward question about what I've been doing over that time, but I've pretty good at making stuff up. Right now the leading candidates are: Trapped down a well, or doing an internship for The Crocodile Hunter. As for the last year since he died of course I've just been in mourning so I thought it inappropriate to search for work. That should do just fine.

Luckily however we travel as a duo and the other half, most certainly the better half at job hunting, has already landed three jobs. Tenny is currently employed as a gingerbread maker, Italian cafe worker, and was shortly on the list for a home care business before she called them to quit because she already had two other jobs. I tried to convince her to give me the gingerbread job, but apparently things don't work that way. weird.

To drown my sorrows today I went to the courthouse to check out the differences, and have now spiraled myself into a full scale crisis about my profession. Why do any of us practice law in the big city?? It is insanity.. Today I went to the courthouse where I found two courtrooms, one of which was closed, the other held what appeared to be a fraud trial. That's it.. in a city of 60,000, that's all there was going on. No lists containing hundreds of drug charges or courtrooms where three trials have been booked for the same day assuming that 2 of the 3 will collapse for one reason or another. And no civil trials at all, which I guess isn't too much of a surprise when you find out that there is no personal injury law in New Zealand. Just this weird thing called the ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) which covers everyone who gets injured, no matter what the circumstance. Now I'm not saying this is a good thing, in fact I'd wager that the system is probably a disaster to work through, but it all just makes me wonder why I work in such an overworked, underfunded, the only way out of this is to sue type of system. Just taking away the ability for people to 'believe' they can win something by suing someone else is a huge plus if you ask me. From my experience for every 1 person that does sue someone back home there are probably 5 who believe they should sue that person and that the probable result will be the destruction of the government and the beginning of a new world order where you can park your campervan anywhere.

But this is why I need to find work.. so I'll stop complaining about everything.