Posts by Grant McDougall

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  • Hard News: Another Network in a…,

    You don't know how much it bugs the hell out of me that John Cale isn't playing Christchurch, other-wise I'd be there like a a shot.

    His autobiography What's Welsh For Zen? is one of the best-ever rock books; he takes a real warts 'n' all look at his life and there's some fantastic insights and anecdotes about all manner of rock 'n' roll weirdos.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Stories: Memorable Meals,

    Caffeinds. Or Caffiends, can't remember. Not that great but always open and waitstaff would wander around desultorily with lost plates of nachos until you gave up and just claimed them as yours.

    Caffiends. A mate of mine whose now a teacher in Chch use to work there in the early-mid '90s. At the same time used to work at The Percolator (owner - one David Parker and wife), Dunedin's first "proper" cafe, as in it having a espresso machine, etc, etc...

    We used to swop stories about the perils / hassles / weird stuff you'd see / experience while working in a cafe.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Stories: Memorable Meals,

    I've got a goody...

    Back in late December 1993 (sorry to paraphrase Albert Hammond there) a flatmate and I got a ride with his brother from Dunedin up to Wellington. We were going back to our home-towns for Christmas, they to Wanganui, I to Gisborne.

    We were due to leave at 7am on a Sunday morning and cane it up the virtual length of the South lsland to Picton, for an 8pm ferry crossing.

    My flatmate and I went out boozing the previous evening: we would've gone to the Empire, maybe the Crown as well, before ending up at a mate's flat. We rolled in the door at 4am. Had three hours' sleep before Kev's brother arrived, fresh as a daisy. In comparision, we felt severely crapulent. We ware talking "my head feel's like it's been ran-over by a bus" type hangovers. There were photos taken of us in this state and they are not nice.

    So we headed of on a bright, bright, sun-shiny day (sorry to para-phrase, etc,etc...). Without any breakfast. We played a lot of music; we played King Loser's Super Sonic Free Hi-Fi as we burst through Timaru, while Iggy's Lust For Life__played as we headed futher towards Christchurch. Neil Young's __Live Rust was also played somewhere along the way.

    Just after midday we made the one stop of the entire journey, a 20-minute break at a tearooms in Amberly, north of Christchurch. I would've had something like a pie, a custard square and pot of tea. By no means was this place what Braunias, S, would call an "espresso slop-house".

    We carried on...and on...all this time my flatmate and I suffered bitter, nasty, heinous hangovers. It was not nice. We got up near Kaikoura. For - I am not making this up - half-an-hour we were stuck on the piddly narrow road that constitutes SH1 in that neck of the woods behind two old bags, literally out for a Sunday drive. The frustration was almost unfeasible.

    About 5.30 or so, we hit Blenheim. As we drove through we spotted, like a mirage in a desert a KFC. We quickly debated wehter to stop or not; I mean, we were hanging out for something yum, yum, yummy. But none of us had any idea of how long it might take to get to Picton, so we figured it'd be better safer than sorry to just get to Picton.

    Half-an-hour later, we get there and check the car in to the queue and realising we've got about an hour to spare, rush off to find a fish and chip shop.
    We go into Picton, go down a side-street and there, like a mirage in a desert, is a fish and chip shop. It had an orange buoy in the window and next it was a sign with the magical words "Cook Strait groper, $2" on it. The salivation was copious. We go and each order "a scoop of chips and a Cook Strait groper, please", certain that this will salve the wretched, throbbing hunger churning away in our bellies.

    We take the packages back to the car, our stochs bursting with anticipation...we bit in to the chips...__and they are f---ing horrible.__ I mean not just a bit crap, but truly mediocre. They were cold, half-cooked, pale, appalling, dire things. The Cook Strait groper was even worse, more batter than there was actual fish and also a weak, insipid, nasty, grotesque imposter of anything even resembling food.

    All three of us threw our fish and chips away in disgust. Even the seagulls wouldn't go near them; clearly they were once bitten twice shy from that shop.
    All three of us could've cried were that let down: the anticipation had been immense, only for it to be a disaster. It was not fair.

    A bit later we got on to the ferry and sprinted to the bar for salvation. There, we would find comfort and refuge. We did. The bar might've only had Speight's, DB and Lion Red on tap, but at least the former was trust-worthy, if not spectacular.
    I grabbed a pint and went outside, as the sun was coming down. There is a photo of me taken at that point, slaking my thirst and the look on my face is one of pure relief. At last, I'm having something nice.

    A few years' later I found myself back in Picton, again waiting for the ferry. Eager not to make the same mistake, I went to another fish and chip shop, well, more a takeaway bar than a chippie, but anyway...I ordered some chips and a hot-dog. Whilst waiting for my order, I told the woman serving me of my previous harrowing experience of Picton takeaways.
    "Ah yes", she said, "he's called 'Mr Cardboard' by the locals and they all think he's bad as well."

    So, the moral of the story is: never enter a fish and chip shop in Picton with an orange buoy in the window. Enter, truly, at your peril.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Qaeda and the God Squad,

    Serious question: Does anyone here actually know any of the people raided and / or arrested?

    I know long-time, prominent activist Sam Buchanan, who lives at 128 Abel Smith St. He was interviewed in The Dominion Post on Wednesday. (I'm not mates with him, but I just know him well enough to say hello and have a "what's happening?"-type yarn).

    If the police think Sam's a terrorist, they're mad. Sure, he's an ultra-lefty, but has no interest in violence, nor does he support it's use in NZ. (He did admit in the Dom Post that he supports violence in Myanmar and South Africa - apartheid-era SA I presume - but oppression is a lot more extreme there than it ever will be here).

    He also said that he and his lot are totally against weapons / guns.

    He also made the telling point that while the cops were their, he and a flatmate used large knives to chop stuff up in their kitchen, which the cops didn't bat an eye-lid about.

    This is similar to the early post on this thread about the cops that would otherwise be working on two murders; the raid was on the wrong targets and the cops found nothing of interest and were clearly aware they had wasted their time at these two addresses.

    Sam and his lot are activists and political idealists. But terrorists? Next joke.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Copyright Abuse,

    Still, you've got to love a country where when it comes to dealing with disappointment: Arty-Farties 1; Rugby-Heads nil.

    Arty-Farties 1; Rugby-Heads 1 I think you'll find. We did win the RWC once...a long, long, long time ago.

    It'll be the sort of thing you'll be able to tell your grandkids about: "I was alive when the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup for their one and only time..."

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The standing-still sweep,

    Back to the local body elections...I'll give a free chocolate fish to the first person from Christchurch to use the words "Bob Parker" and "beard" in the same sentence...

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Times Warmer,

    Could someone who knows the Dead C pass that one on? I think they'd enjoy it.

    I bump into Michael and Robbie now and again, so I will.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Times Warmer,

    At the very first BDO, my friend who I went with was wearing a Rage Against The Machine T-shirt. People kept asking her if RATM were playing, and eventually we started telling people they were, and as the day went on, we then said they'd just played (and they were AWESOME).

    So I like to think there are people who will have a false memory of having seen Rage Against The Machine at the Big Day Out in 1994.

    That's the only BDO I've ever been to and thakfully, no memories of RATM. I went mainly to see The Breeders as I was a big fan of the Pixies and thought seeing Kim Deal's side-project would be the closest I'd ever get to seeing them.
    They were really good, but the real revelation of the day was...Smashing Pumpkins. Their albums never did anything for me, but they were a formidable live act and even better when I saw 'em again in Wellington in mid-'96.

    Of the other headliners, Urge Overkill were bland and Soundgarden tedious. Straitjacket Fits went on before them, it was their final ever gig (barring the 2005 reunion tour) and they wiped the floor with them. After Soundgarden finally went off stage, their guitarist stayed on, playing a mind-numbingly dull guitar solo for six goddamn minutes.

    Then, closing the evening, the 3Ds came on and wiped the floor with them as well.

    Two weeks or so later, I saw one of the best gigs I've ever seen: Johnny Cash at the Christchurch Town Hall, easily the most truly charasmatic performer I've ever seen. His wife, June Carter-Cash came on for a few numbers as well. I'm eternally grateful to have seen both of them.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Times Warmer,

    At the moment I'm just hanging out till Kristen Hersh plays down here (Wellytron).

    You'll love it, she's really good live. I saw her (and interviewed her!!) at the Paramount Theatre in Wellington in '94, promoting her first solo album Hips And Makers and pretty impressed.

    Then in '95 she came back through fronting Throwing Muses as Orientation headliners and was just as good again.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Times Warmer,

    dangerous fruit loop # 1, John Bolton

    Isn't he just?

    I saw the end of a TV interview between Bolton and John Pilger a few years ago, just after Dubya went into Iraq.

    Pilger asked some question that Bolton didn't like. Bolton's reply was - and I quote word for word - "Are you a member of the communist party - the Labour party?". Pilger replied that he wasn't.

    So, by Bolton's logic, Tony Blair, Dubya's best mate in the whole sorry Iraq debacle is a communist. Dear oh bl--dy dear.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

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