Sunday, 28 August 2016


I listen to The TED Radio Hour - RNZ National 7pm Sunday evenings. One of the joys of not having television.

Tonight the several segments were connected by the theme 'success'.

This programme, like many of them was really interesting.
The first segment was about 'True Grit' and the reason that intelligence and initial academic success isn't necessarily a pointer to later academic success and business accomplishment.
Listening to this I realised that I lack 'True Grit'.

I sailed through school at primary, intermediate and secondary level based on I guess my IQ. I never studied, worked hard or had any ambition other than the rather casual one of my family 'preferring' if I became a lawyer.
It was a bit of a mystery to me that fellow students I knew who were not so 'smart' as me and who were one or two classes below the so called elite class I was in, went on to gain university degrees, honours and masters.
The 'True Grit' segment on TED tonight explained that True Grit ' is not about intelligence but about having the ability to start a job or project with the drive and determination to finish it.
I recognised this failing in myself and everything kind of fell into place. I've had bosses who were basically pretty thick but the 'drive' got them to where (I think) they wanted to get.

The next segment on tonights TED, still under the 'success' them was about 'Dirty Jobs'.
These were the essential things that need to be done to keep society running and who is doing them.
It was interesting hearing about the plumbers, pig farmers and sewer workers who eschewed other careers to do what they liked doing but I objected to the overuse of the expression 'passion in their job' and that narrators obsession with wealth creation from doing 'dirty jobs'.
A good outtake though was in the measurement of success - in challenging sacred cows - is it important to be seen as being successful or  is it better to be happy in what you do. I liked that.

The last segment was about work/life balance and the statement that it is impossible to be both a successful business person and a successful family person, That was challenging but I think that a lot of people need to analyse this closely.

Sorry TED followers who might read this as it isn't a review of the programme but merely some outtakes that I'm using to explain my lack of 'success' in conventional terms but that I'm basically happy in what I'm doing.

Yes I coasted at school. Because of this I failed at university (although I still maintain that the sopping up of culture and information in the many, many courses I did have made me rather rounded in my education). Nevertheless I managed to do reasonably well in my career. Not as well as if I had been 'driven' but well enough to have given us a comfortable lifestyle.

If I had 'True Grit' I could have risen to higher business positions, made a lot more money and have had greater stature in the industry that I have chosen to work in.
Instead I basically coasted in this industry as I did at school. This doesn't mean that I don't like the industry - in fact the opposite - I love it and have a kind of romantic connection with it.

The wealth I have in my life isn't acquisitions, big bank balance and status, it is in love and companionship with my partner and good friendships with people I've known and trusted for a long time.

This is success to me and reminds me of that great Alan Toussant song as sung by lovely Bonnie Raitt:



It's a great day up here this Sunday. No wind, sunshine and warm (for August).

I went for my walk and decided to go up Mount Aubrey which I haven't done for a couple of months.

As I had to stop 4 or 5 times on the way up I've decided to do this walk once a week with the goal of going to the top without a stop.

At the top I scrambled up to the crown which is the highest point and affords magnificent views around the harbour. Usually when I'm up there there's a bit of a breeze but today there was no wind at all. As a consequence there were millions of tiny midge-like insects flying around in clouds but luckily weren't the biting kind.

On the way down I met an old chap coming up (not Richard of RBB). This guy is 84 and he still has a go climbing up this mountain. His doctor told him to take it easy so he said he was only going up to the second viewing seat - about 2/3 up. I'm impressed.
He used to be a solo round the world yachtsman and can often be seen kayaking in the bay.
His wife was a long distance swimming champion and in Summer swims back and forth along the bay. She's in her 80s.

I need to follow their example and keep fit so the Old Girl and I can enjoy our dotage.

Friday, 26 August 2016


Some of this is a bit corny but if you persevere it's worth viewing.

The comments on the fallout from too much social media use is good.

Thursday, 25 August 2016


Hello all, how's it going?

I've been OK, thanks for asking.

You might have noticed that I've stolen my opening cue from that well known blog raconteur Second Fiddle.

Actually, based on averages a copy of Second Fiddle (or Jeremiah Oddkins and the other personas he goes by) would be a big blank page with 'DELETED' printed on it.

It's been a sad old week with the Italian earthquake, the usual spate of bombings and killings under the guise of 'religious advancement', lost and found trampers, drownings and all the other things that the news media wet themselves in telling us.

My news is far less 'newsworthy'.
I've done my requisite number of hours in my part-time employment and helped the company to develop.
I've made a renewed effort in walking and getting out and about in the area where I live.
I've kayaked on mill-pond water in the bay under a stunning blue sky (in winter).
I've driven into town to watch a film 'The Shallows' which was a poor shark/person duel film that lacks the Spielberg touch.
I ate out at the local tavern (Falafel burger and chips - yummy) which didn't quite match up to The Old Girl's night out the same evening in Auckland at a swanky Japanese/Fusion restaurant. At least mine was a lot cheaper.

And, I've decided to get a bit more involved in the local community.

Some time ago I joined the local golf club and the local community club.
For golf I head off now and then when it's fine and play a few holes on my own although earlier in the year good friends Mike and Tony came up to stay and we played a proper round. Mike won of course and Tony, because Richard wasn't there came last.
For the community club (kind of like a small Cosmopolitan club like the Taumaranui one) I've joined the Pool Club (table not swimming) which meets on Wednesdays.

I'm going to attend the AGMs of both of these clubs over the next couple of weeks. It may not happen but if they are (desperately) short I might put my name forward for committee membership.

In the past I've usually taken a Groucho stance and kept away from this stuff. Committees are notoriously disastrous, being dominated by wannabe CEOs and all sorts of narcissistic types but, in a small community like I live in they need all the contribution they can get.

Even me!