It’s Not My Fault

Posted in Humor on July 22nd, 2010 by MadDog
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Are there any more dreaded words which must, sooner or later, escape our lips than, “Honey, I wrecked the car.” That’s a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer it. I admit that I have done worse things, but car wrecks are so mundane. They really shouldn’t even be counted, eh? At least when yesterday’s wreck occurred, Eunie was with me to witness that It’s Not My Fault.

It started like this:  Eunie hasn’t been feeling too good for a while (more about that another time – no serious problem), so I drove her to see “Tinpis”  (Tok Pisin  for tinned fish, a staple of PNG diet), A. K. A. Dr. John Mackerell, probably one of the few people in town who is trusted by everyone, because he knows all  of our secrets. He’d make a perfect CÏA Station Chief if somebody else didn’t already have that job.* Anyway, Eunie was with me, so she can testify that It’s Not My Fault.

First I’ll show you the horrid results of the wreck – a brand-new Nissan Navara with a serious pucker in its bum:

But, It’s Not My Fault.

This is the culprit. In front of the doctor’s office, having no marking of any kind, stands in the middle of the parking lot this ugly steel power pole. Dr. Makerell assures me that it has been hit by from fifty to one hundred people. This does not count drunks who are, oddly enough, the ones most likely to miss it, as I shall explain. I’m sure that by simply examining this image you will agree that It’s Not My Fault:

Note that the pedestrian is giving the pole a wide berth. Drunks don’t hit it because drunks only run into what they are looking at. Since this pole is effectively invisible, it is of no concern to the inebriated.

I understand your scepticism. “So, why is It Not Your Fault?” you may be asking. Well, this morning I went back to the scene of the incident to get images which will prove beyond any smidgen of doubt that It’s Not My Fault. I put my Navara back in precisely the same position as it was yesterday morning, leaned over my shoulder and snapped this shot of what I saw out of the back window:

What do you see? I’ll tell you what you see. You see the middle support of the “hang on for your life” frame above the bed of the truck. It’s meant to tie cargo to or for fearless types who like to stand in the back of the truck with their hair flying in the breeze. As you can clearly see, this is a Nissan design flaw and makes the case ironclad that It’s Not My Fault. What you don’t see  is the offensive power pole hiding behind it. Also, the rear window is dirty. The combination of rain and dusty roads has obscured vision. Am I in charge of the weather now? No. This is a consequence of natural events. It’s Not My Fault.

I hear you saying, “Nudnick! You didn’t check your rear-view mirror, already.” Oh, but that is very, very wrong. I examined it most carefully. I even have this image as evidence. Do you see anything that looks like a power pole?

I thought not. More evidence that It’s Not My Fault.

The vinegar in the wound comes from the further irony that this is probably the only PNG Power pole in town that has not been painted bright red with a Digicel logo on it. Is it my bad that the crumb-bums at Digicel chose not to bother with this one? Certainly not. It’s Not My Fault.

And, how about PNG Power? It is my understanding that they have been petitioned upon many occasions to do something about this menace. Have they responded to the pleas of the public? Please, give me a break.

No, there is blame aplenty to go around here without me shouldering any of it. Tinpis  should have warned me about the murderous pole. Eunie was sitting right there beside me. What? Is she blind? PNG Power put the stinking thing right there where people are most likely to hit it. Then the Digicel dopes didn’t paint it red. Nature messed up my back window which had already been obscured by a serious, possibly fatal design flaw by The Nissan Motor Company.

This is all so very unfair. Now who’s going to have to pay for this mess? The true culprits? No, me! And It’s Not My Fault!

* For as long as I can remember it has been an item of intense speculation and amusement in Madang concerning who or what organization might be spying on us. The very concept is profoundly silly and comical. All one has to do is Google PNG in the CÏA Factbook to see how little interest this infamous organisation has in our pitiful little corner of Paradise. Still, it is a hot topic of conversation. We are critically short of entertainment here. Who might be the current “CÏA Madang Station Chief” is always good for a few laughs.

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We Got the Power!

Posted in Madang Happenings on March 11th, 2009 by MadDog
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It’s been a long, long time coming, but it appears that Madang may enjoy some relief from the severe power shortages, at least for a while.

I won’t go into the long history of complaints, excuses, arguments, whining, whingeing, general apathy, and outright incompetence that have preceded this happy day.

The old generators in the power station are nearly unrepairable. Parts are scarce or non-existent. Here is one of the giant old beasts:

One of the old generators

Here Matthew Mesmin leads a mob of dignitaries and hangers-on to the switch panel for the new generators:

A mob of dignitaries

In this shot we have (left to right) Francis Irara, Director of Natural Resources; Bustin Joseph, Manager, PNG Power, Madang; Eunice Messersmith, Secretary/Treasurer, Madang Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Matthew Mesmin, Project Manager:

Lined up for the switch-on

After the obligatory ribbon cutting ceremony, in the absence of Stotick Kayma, the President of the Madang Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eunice was chosen to switch on one of the generators for the ‘first time’:

Eunice praying that the genset will start when twists the knob

Honestly, it looks as if she’s praying, “O plis Papa God, mekim dispela genset i pairup sitrong tru.” (Oh, God, please let this thing start.) It did, to the relief of everyone present.

Phillip Lucas Peter Metzdorf, (Sorry, Peter. I got your name wrong in the first posting. See comments.) Project Engineer from Energy Power Systems in Australia is at the left in the yellow shirt. For a guy who has dealt with power problems and solutions for more than 28 years, he’s pretty well-balanced and humorous. He had some very amusing stories:

Signing off for the new gensets

And here are the stars of the show – three spanking-new CAT 16-cylinder gensets:

Our new triplets

Peter Metzdorf said that it was a lucky break that we got these babies. With the two forever-wars going on, gensets like these are nearly impossible to obtain. Somebody in Moresby who was awake at the moment noticed the triplet coming up for grabs and grabbed them. Good on ya, mate!

We’re not all the way out of the woods yet. It’s my understanding that PNG Power can now supply all of the power that Madang needs at the present time as long as they don’t need to send it to other centres and as long as big users (we all know who they are) are willing to pull their fuses and run on their own generators.

Anybody willing to face facts can understand that this is not the preferred solution. Though it is a big step in the right direction (and a minor miracle), it does not address the lack of capacity in other centres and it still leaves several major users being forced to pay more for their electricity because they have to go on gensets as soon as Yonki drops the load.

Hey, for now I’m willing to just be happy and stop complaining for a while.

Until the next blackout at my house in the middle of a shower.

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