Thursday, 23 October 2014


The Lewis Road/Whittakers chocolate milk excitement is all the news at the moment.

This brand is based upon two New Zealand icons - milk and Whittakers chocolate.
Yes, but there's some clever beat-up going on behind the scenes here.

The source of the milk is a large independent and organic dairy operation.
The source of the chocolate is obviously Whittakers a large and very successful provider.
The packaging is superb and has been heavily invested in. The 'creamery' wording is extremely evocative and sensuous. It flies in the face of the 'low fat', 'non fat' and 'fat reduced' messages that we are being bombarded with.

The viral advertising campaign that we are being seduced with - only available at small and specialised retailers (Farro Fresh eg), limited production, shortages, one delivery being made by an 81 year old man, queues, security firms needing to be present to prevent riots etc. - all smack of a clever campaign.

 This takes me back to 1977 when Baileys Irish Cream was introduced to New Zealand.

At this time there was great excitement at the brand because it was groundbreaking. The product was of no known category being a liqueur that was self-mixed being spirit, additives and a mixer (milk and cream) all in the bottle. We were drawn in. I remember when we tried it at the wholesalers - in the afternoon - we opened the first bottle and each had a sip and then we openedtwo more bottles and all had a drink. I bought two bottles that day which was about a third of my weeks wages.
The whole country went mad. The product was sold out so it never had to be discounted.
People then thought about why it was so expensive. Milk, cream, Irish whiskey, coconut and chocolate - how hard would it be. All over the  country (including my Mum) people started brewing up this concoction.

Home-made Baileys

Before there were any serious 'P-lab' type explosions though the commercial business took over and many 'Baileys-type' altenatives came out.

On TV3 tonight there was a story on this with a reporter concocting a Lewis Creamery and Whittakers type product.

The 'original' he said cost abour $9 a litre. His copy cost about $2 a litre.

 The taste test was in favour of the original by about 5 to 1.

We in New Zealand quite often get sucked in to these types of promotions. It's a throw-back I think to the old days of shortages, quotas and of course being at the arse-end of the world.
Why else would people queue up for Play Stations, iPhone, iPads etc.


Are you aware that manufacturers of cleaning products are not required to list the ingredients that they use in their potentially dangerous products that are on supermarket shelves?

It's a voluntary standard according to NZ Food Safety because they aren't foodstuffs.

Well, whoopdy-do. Why do these toothless watchdogs think that you have to ingest something for it to be dangerous. Haven't they heard about topical application of poisons?

Doesn't 2-4-5T, 1080 and Agent Orange ring a bell? 

These nasty things are all related and do poison and harm through skin contact. 

A real nasty that over the last few years has crept into almost every cosmetic, shampoo, soap or cleaning product is METHYLISOTHIASOLINONE.

This bastard chemical is being used because it prolongs shelf life and of course is cheaper (or more profitable to the manufacturers) than safer chemicals. It began its life as an anti-algae treatment on the bottom of cargo ships and oil tankers. Apparently it kills plant life trying to attach to hulls. It also kills marine life and contaminates harbours.

I'm allergic to this stuff along with millions of people around the world. I carefully read the back labels of everything I buy from washing machine powder to wet-wipes and choose brands that don't have it listed in the ingredients.

Tonight I shopped at the small corner store and couldn't find the ECO brand of dish washing liquid I usually buy. This brand voluntarily lists the ingredients and methylisothiasolinone is not one they use.
The shop didn't stock this. All of the other dish washing liquids (there were about 8 variants across 2 or 3 brands) had a panel on the back label stating  - LIST OF INGREDIENTS TO BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE.


I refuse to use all the big brands and indeed any brands that don't have the guts to list ingredients.

They're hiding something if they don't.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


.....with luck.

One downside of living in a high rise apartment is this little bugger.

He and his friends want to sit on my balcony.

This would be OK except for the mess that they leave.

Mountain of guano

The neighbour on the floor above feeds the scavengers as does someone a couple of floors below.

I've complained to the building manager who says that there's not a lot he can do but he will advise them of the hygiene problems.

Meanwhile I throw balled up socks at the window to scare them away when they settle on my balcony.

This works but I  have to be careful with my aim when the balcony door is open.

Monday, 20 October 2014


Second Fiddle aka Rob The Boring is banging on about religion again.

This time he's convinced that there is something called the 'soul' that will last forever.
When people die their 'soul' will endure and somewhere in the universe all these 'souls' will be sitting around appreciating the creator.


Maybe it's a spelling thing and by 'soul' he really means 'sole' and that christians will be sitting somewhere on their own.


I saw today that Ebola hazard suit costumes will feature in Halloween dress-ups this year.

I was thinking can there be any worse ideas then of course I realised there are and have been.

Here's just a few of them:

Good old Charles proving that the royal family really do need an injection of fresh genes as the old in-breeding plan they've used for the last few centuries is really not working.

Our answer to in-breeding. Sure he's intelligent but man he can be bloody stupid

The guy who designed the New Zealand Airforce roundel.
The kiwi is a flightless bird .......hold on. This was prescient. He foresaw what no-one else did, that by the turn of the century New Zealand wouldn't have an airforce.

And lastly......

I won't disappoint Richard of RBB by not slinging off about his favourite instrument.
The guy who invented the double bass. What the fuck was he thinking? As if a single bass wasn't bad enough he had to double it!