Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plan B Worked!

Royal Cafe Copenhagen

I am in the process of completing Project Katzenschutznet (Plan B). This stunning plan  is based on the Xihoumen Bridge - which is the World’s longest suspension Bridge with Steel Box Beams.

The cunning use of lightweight materials such as 35 kilo breaking strain fishing line will ensure that the Katzenschutznet is rock solid but will be almost invisible to the naked eye – meaning that Stephansdom will be almost in full view.

I had occasion to visit Bauhaus to buy some bolts to secure the Box Beams. The last time I bought bolts (in Sydney) I selected the ones I needed and took them to the Kassa where the Kassa Person (KP) looked at a book which had pictures of all the bolts - and then scanned in the price.

Today I was sent packing with a German word which I did not recognise. The KP told me that I needed to ‘wiegen’ the Bolts and I stared at her incomprehensibly as she repeated this a few times - until she added ‘like Bananas’.

Then I went back to the Bolt section - and there indeed was a little weighing machine. It proved to be a challenge to find how to find the code but I watched someone else and finally worked it out.

I returned triumphantly to the Kassa with my little bag of Bolts and was rewarded with a smile.

I regained consciousness in the Bauhaus Sick Bay and after a while was helped unsteadily out to my car. The Manager said that the KP was new – and not Austrian - and will be reprimanded for smiling at customers. ‘You may rest assured’ he said ‘this will not happen again.’

The New and Improved Katzenschutznet is finished! I shall provide pictures soon.

For the first year or so here we did not get any mail for the previous occupants and I assumed that they had (as I would do) advised all potential mailers of their new address – which is on one of those Palm Island thingies in Dubai. (Which is where Cate is today – no not on the Palm Island thingies - but in Dubai).

Then a few months ago we started to get masses of mail for them. Not just junk mail but mail from doctors, banks, financial institutions, insurances companies, magazines, stock brokers. It was apparent that this was only not junk mail but bank statements and share trading certificate and all that sort of stuff.

I guess they had given a redirection notice to the Post and this had finally expired. During the redirection period they had use their time polishing their Palm leaves – not advising anyone of their new address.

So for a few months I dutiful sent it all back to the senders marked in German ‘no longer at this address’.

But in February – 15 months after we had moved in – I started throwing it all away. I reckon 15 months is long enough for someone to advise their new address to most senders. These people have apparently not advised anyone at all.

Don’t they look in their letterbox and wonder why they no longer get mail?

What I want to know is – what sort of person moves house and has no interest in ever receiving ever again any of the mail they used to get (I mean apart from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld).

Speaking of whom.

There was story in the New York Times about the ongoing investigation into the astonishing amount of corruption in Iraq and about the immense amounts of money that have been stolen and wasted during the war that President Bush decided to put on the credit card.

The article reminded me of the astounding story about how the US Government at one stage air-freighted 363 Tonnes of US Banknotes (Yes 363 TONNES) to Iraq. This promptly vanished without trace and made many, many Americans and Iraqis very, very rich indeed.

363 Tonnes?

As Henry Waxman (my favorite Congressman) said "Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what our government did,"


If you ever want to read the story of the most astonishingly ill-conceived, ill-planned, bungling, blundering, clumsy, ham-fisted, costly – and just plain dumb - war and occupation in the history of the universe you should read ‘Fiasco’ by Thomas E Ricks. It will make you weep.

(This $3 Trillion Dollar war was brought to you by the same people who now think it is too expensive to provide health care to their own citizens).

Dumb as a bag of dust – but less useful.

1 comment:

  1. If you are bothered by the accounts of the US government's handling of the Iraq war we can just have the Texas State Board of Education rewrite the history and make it more palatable (we'll probably "win" in their version too).

    Well done on weighing the bolts. I would have been left trying to peel them.