Wednesday, 30 August 2017

LOOK INTO HER EYES

I'm in Auckland this week looking to sell the apartment.
Once this is done we might upgrade the car as I need something a bit more robust than the Toyota Ist for travelling from Northland to Auckland and I need a car with a tow bar so I can cart garden rubbish to the tip.

I'd been looking at ads for second hand cars and then saw the latest Honda promotion of 1.7 percent finance on some of their new cars. 1.7 percent is a hell of a good rate and it would make sense to buy a car on this deal rather than using mortgage or overdraft funds at a much higher rate.
I visited Honda today and got all the details I need on a new Honda HRV.

On the walk back home I passed Kia and checked them out for similar cars and deals.
They didn't have a 1.7 percent deal but have deals at 3 percent and a no interest deal based on paying one third up front and the other two thirds over two years which is also very attractive.

Now this isn't what I wanted to tell you though, it was about discussing the options with the young woman in her office.
We were sitting at her desk and I was doing my best to follow what she was telling me and to explain to her what I wanted but I was being distracted by her low cut top and her magnificent breasts.
I was consciously looking into her eyes as I was talking to her but boy, it was an effort. That old male curiosity kept wanting to take my gaze lower.

I think I did manage to get through it while not appearing to be a dirty old man - maybe.

It was lucky Robert wasn't there. God knows what he would have been doing 'while thinking of his wife'. Luckily we'll never know.

Friday, 25 August 2017

AWAY FOR A WEEK

I must apologise in advance to my readers that I will not be posting for at least a week.

Yes, yes, I know that this is a big disappointment to you especially as I know that you were looking forward to a continuation of the Windows series and an update on the kitchen appliance post but.... well, shit happens.

I'm going to be in Auckland and won't have my trusty Apple mac to post on. I will have the iPad but have given up on trying to create posts on that, it's just too bloody difficult.



I will be able to read other people's posts on the iPad though, and to publish comments. These can be seen like helpful comments that a schoolteacher or an editor makes or, for Robert, what the priest in confessional provides.


ROLL UP, ROLL UP ....

....to get the bargain of the century.




A two bedroom penthouse apartment right in the middle of the city.


See here:


ALL YOUR DREAMS - PIED A TERRE IN THE BIG SMOKE

________________________________________________________________________________


I listed the Auckland apartment on Trade Me this morning.

Really, this is a bargain.

I set the price low as we want a quick sale now that I'm not working and we have a mortgage to service. The idea is to then purchase a 1 bedroom apartment for The Old Girl to use for as long as she works in Auckland.

Well that's the plan anyway.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

CLASSY

I'd lost hope recently that the UK could produce television dramas of the quality of those that we had in the 1970s and 1980s.
I remember being gobsmacked when watching Brideshead Revisited in the early 1980s. The sumptuousness, attention to detail and dedication to time and place was breathtaking. A couple of years ago I visited Castle Howard which was central to the story and recalled some of the great scenes.

CASTLE HOWARD

Tonight I watched the first programme in the new series on Lightbox  - Decline and Fall (coincidentally also from a novel of Evelyn Waugh). It reminded me of Brideshead and from the very first scene I knew that I was going to be hooked.



I've been a reader and lover of Waugh's novels for many years and am pleased when film-makers get it just right. Series like this are a delight to watch and it's great looking forward to watching the next episode.

I know that I won't be disappointed with the remaining episodes.

If you have access to Lightbox this is well worth seeking out.
Richard will appreciate this quote from the school headmaster when interviewing new teacher Pennyfeather:

"I've been in the scholastic profession long enough to know that nobody enters it unless he has some very good reasons that he is anxious to conceal"

I really hope that the producers go on to film more of Waugh's books.



Wednesday, 23 August 2017

GIZ A JOB



Job 6:15-18
"My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi, Like the torrents of wadis which vanish, Which are turbid because of ice And into which the snow melts. "When they become waterless, they are silent, When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
_________________________________________________________________________
Robert has disappeared again.
Not the entire blog just all the posts.


"WHAT A FUCKING IDIOT"

said David Seymour of Richard Prosser in Parliament today

David Seymour (L) and Richard Prosser (R).


Well he'd know, A case of the pot calling the kettle black I think.

Monday, 21 August 2017

WHOAH, SLOW DOWN!

Many people, some readers, a reader complimented me recently on my posts, saying that they are 'edge of the seat' gripping and a thoroughly good read. He/she said though that they are a bit too fast paced and it would be good to get back to the style of those series I did some time ago - the Window Series for example.*

This was in my mind when preparing dinner this evening. The Old Girl made a chicken curry and I cooked brown rice. I used the trusty Sunbeam Steamer & Rice Cooker that we have.

Not exactly the same model as the one we have but close


The Old Girl and I have been together for 29 years and she had this rice cooker when we met. It's still going strong even though the lid has a crack in it. It's so good when cooking rice to trust a machine that will cook it perfectly and to know exactly how long it will take to cook.

I looked about the kitchen at our various machines and contraptions and thought about how useless and with built-in obsolescence a lot of modern electrical gadgets are. The sort that are forever on sale at Briscoes. We do have however some contraptions that have stood the test of time and look like they'll keep going for a while yet. Invariably they are appliances that cost a little bit more at the time but have proven that quality pays off in the end.

Here are a few that I saw in our kitchen:


Ralta Crockpot slow cooker.

This one is great. It's another of The Old Girl's 1970s appliances from when she was 'married alive' as she likes to say.



It's heavy ceramic unlike the crappy lightweight cookers of today and it cooks with a long, slow and gentle heat. This thing is ideal for stews, casseroles, corned beef, chickens, soups - whatever. It has a chip out of the lid but this hasn't harmed its effectiveness. We are careful with this as we know it will be difficult to replace.


Next is the Sunbeam cake mixer.



This is another of The Old Girl's appliances and must be 40 years old now. It still works very well and makes perfect souffle mixtures, meringues and fluffy cakes.


My own oldest appliance is the Braun blender and juicer.



This is a very robust, scary and powerful item as you'd expect the krauts to make - sort of like the Tiger tank of the kitchen. I bought this in the mid 1980s before I hooked up with The Old Girl. It's had lots of use yet still goes like brand new.


A more recent item is the Espresso Vita coffee machine. We've had this for about 10 years and have never had a problem with it.


If the Braun is a Tiger tank this is like a Maserati. All Italian style and class. I can make exquisite espressos and flat whites with this and, for guests, cappuccinos and other coffee variants. I'm looking forward to making Richard a coffee on this machine if and when he and Shelley visit.



I discovered the joy and the practicality of bread-making when we bought our first Breville bread-maker about 9 years ago. I don't buy ready-made bread anymore unless a craving for Vogels or pumpernickel gets the better of me.




This machine is great. A few weeks back the bread pan that goes into the machine broke and needed to be replaced. Instead of ordering and buying the expensive part I found an identical machine in the local Op Shop. It cost me $21. While my original machine (sans bread pan) is still in great working order, the second hand one I bought is in even better nick and is making excellent wholemeal bread.


Another relatively recent purchase and one that is still going strong is the  Sunbeam toaster.



We've only had this for about 10 years but it looks like it might go for a few more. Having experience of cheap toasters only lasting for a couple of years before they short out and, with modern appliances usually being sealed units that are difficult and costly to repair we've made sure that when it comes to toasters, kettles, microwaves etc. it's better to pay top dollar at first (although after looking around for sale bargains or 'Black Friday' deals).


_______________________________________________________________________________

Well that's just a few of the appliances that we have in the kitchen. We've got other items in cupboards, the shed and the other kitchen at the end of the house but I can report on those later if you like.

I've written this post on my trusty Apple iMac 24". We bought this in 2008. I upgraded this recently using a cheap downloadable programme ($24 I think) and the free on-line upgrades. It works like a new one. We have never had problems with this machine as opposed to the various  non-Apple computers and lap-tops we've owned. The iMac was fairly expensive at the time but has more than proved itself over the years. Long may it last.





* Actually I just made this up.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

A FIND



Reuben and Johnny got on the bus all set for a good night out on the town. They were in high spirits and shoved and jostled each other in an unconscious way of releasing their pent up energy. This was going to be good.
The only trouble was that they had very little money and, being seventeen didn't have much hope of buying any alcohol even if they had money.
Bummer!

The boys sat at the back of the bus as usual and giggled and poked one another in the ribs as an elderly couple got on and sat up front in the 'geriatric' seats.
"Jeez" said Johnny "I hope I never get that old"
"Yeah" said Reuben "Waste of good oxygen eh!"



The ride was uneventful and the old geezers got off after a while. Reuben and Johnny stayed on for another stop and then boisterously ran up the aisle to see who could exit first- Reuben by the back door and Johnny by the front door. As Johnny was about to scan his bus pass he noticed a paper bag on the seat that the old geezers had been sitting on. "Eeew!" he thought "What's that? A colostomy bag? Old people's undies? What?" He then noticed the shape of the bag. It was a bottle. He quickly scooped it up and exited, running over to Reuben.
"Mate, mate" he said excitedly. "Look what I found. It's gotta be booze. Maybe rum or some Woody. Yay".

The boys skulked along to the nearest alleyway to check on the find, excited at the prospect of some rum or bourbon that they could mix with coke and get trashed on.

"Aww fuck" said Reuben when Johnny unwrapped the package and discovered a bottle of white wine.
"Old people's piss" he said disgustedly and threw the bottle into a rubbish bin.

The boys sauntered off dejectedly, the high spirits of a few minutes ago being replaced by the low spirits of disappointment.

"Let's go home mate" said Johnny to which Reuben agreed. It was to be an early night for the boys.

______________________________________________________________________________

In the rubbish bin, already being covered in chewing gum, burger wrappers, an old tennis shoe and some other unidentifiable grunge, Richard's special bottle of Chardonnay that Shelley had bought for his birthday lay unopened and unloved. Richard and Shelley, on reaching the BYO restaurant and discovering the loss had to settle for the best they could find in Mr Patel's grocery shop a couple of shops down. Chardon.

"Oh well" said Richard "At least it takes me back. I've had many a good time on Chardon" He gave Shelley what he thought was a lascivious wink.

"Have you got something in your eye my darling " said Shelley as she licked the end of a handkerchief to wipe it.

Friday, 18 August 2017

CYCLES




Not these as they upset that old codger down in Eastern Hutt Valley. I don't want to set him off.

I was thinking of the cyclic nature of history and society today. Maybe it was triggered by my previous post but its seems to me that there's nothing new under the sun and everything comes around again in the end.

To save my diminishing brain power and having to write a couple of paragraphs on this here are a couple of diagrams to keep you amused focussed reading.





Now that I'm retired my daily routine is starting to look like the daily routines I had when at school during the holidays. This is waking up to a new day of possibilities with no set activities or onerous responsibilities other than what I've pre-planned. The day's activity is dictated more by the weather than by any external agencies. If it's fine then walks, tennis, golf, kayaking, gardening etc. is on the menu. If the weather is poor then reading, writing, listening to the radio, sleeping or daydreaming is the thing.

Daydreaming



On weekends when Lynn is up here my mate Rod rings her and asks if I can come out to play (tennis, golf, snooker etc).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Over the last few generations, extended family living disappeared due to greater social mobility, more flexible and cheaper travel, higher earnings and home ownership and a myriad of other factors triggered by financial and technological advancements. People no longer stayed in the homes, communities, villages, towns and cities that they were born into. Grandparents were no longer part of the household and instead were left alone in their own houses or packed away to care institutions.

Well hold onto your hats folks because that situation is likely to change. For a variety of reasons we may soon see, once again, extended families sharing accomodation. Some of the reasons are:


  • Both partners in a relationship working longer hours.
  • High cost of childcare and babysitting.
  • Concerns at the quality of child care and babysitting
  • Decentralisation from major city living (cost and transport woes)
  • High cost of housing and difficulty securing mortgage deposits.
  • etc.
The last of those is creating a situation where adult children who cannot afford their own houses or the high cost of rent in cities and towns close to their employment, are choosing to stay with their parents longer or, return to living with their parents. In the case of adult children with money or income it makes more sense for them to take equity interest in their elderly parents property. By default the living situation might be quite similar to the way things were a hundred years ago with two, three or four generations living under the same roof or roofs.  This in fact could well prove to be a good thing beyond the economic expediency.  Let's hope so.




Tuesday, 15 August 2017

FIFTY YEARS LATER - STILL THE SAME





A song caught my attention today. It was Get Together by The Youngbloods.
I remember listening to this when at school - 6th form in 1969. This was a time of great change and ferment - for me as a 16 year old going on 17 and in society at large. There was a changing of the guard then with the 'establishment' giving way to new thoughts and directions.

Woodstock took place that year and lots of other youth oriented major events.

The current 2010s have a lot of resonance with the late 1960s. The world in the 1960s had a serious nuclear war threat that put everyone on edge. The Vietnam War was splitting up families and creating social and political schisms as never seen before. Mass media was driving opinion and thought way outside the familial and provincial beliefs that had knitted together generations.

The current decade has brought massive changes in thought, politics, international connectivity and beliefs that have shaken the 'establishment' that has been built up since the 1950s and even post the 1970s. Brexit, the Scottish 45% vote, the collapse of dictatorships in Libya, Iraq, Egypt and the war in Syria is changing international treaties, boundaries and ethnic settlement. To cap this off USA after the Trump presidency is looking to go the way of previous empires like The Roman, The British, The Ottoman and others.

We are in a time of change all right.

Here are just a few of the songs that defined the late 1960s for me and that were connected to social revolution and the protest movement against the Vietnam War.

I hope that there will be 'anthems' from the 2010s that will have the same effect and long life but I doubt it.



FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH


GET TOGETHER


EVE OF DESTRUCTION


WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR


PAINT IT BLACK


MAGIC CARPET RIDE


and of course, Bob Dylan's Changing of the Guards even if it is from 1978 (this is Patti Smith's excellent version as I couldn't find a good Dylan one).

CHANGING OF THE GUARDS





Saturday, 12 August 2017

CLOSE TO HOME

First screened in 1975


Close To Home was a pioneering New Zealand soap opera that screened in the 1970s.
I'm happy to say that I never watched much of it and never became addicted as some people do to  this kind of rubbish - Shortland Street, Neighbours, Coronation Street, Eastenders etc.

What made me think of it was reading NZ Herald on-line this morning about that nutter who murdered the two women in Whangarei a couple of weeks ago. Apparently he used to live in our street 10 years ago. The Herald report quoted the guy's landlord who is the woman we purchased our home from. She owned a couple of houses in the street at the time so I'm not certain which one he was living in but it could have been ours.

I think I'll look behind some walls and under the house to see if he secreted a guns cache.


Thursday, 10 August 2017

HOW TO REALLY PLAY TENNIS



O Dear. That old retired guy in Nuova Lazio has been at it again.
This time he's written a Post on how to play tennis. See here:


It's just so wrong on many levels.

He didn't even bother to inform that the rectangle aka the tennis court has to have lines painted on it. This is to indicate whether the ball is 'in' or 'out'. Without this then scoring will just depend on whether the ball gets over the net or not. The painted lines have to be painted for single play and for double play but I won't go into this too much as I'm still flabbergasted that he didn't mention the lines at all.



This was really, really sloppy reporting.

Tennis can be played with two people (singles) or 4 people (doubles). Singles means two females or two males playing. Doubles is four females or four males playing. with me so far? There is also 'mixed doubles' where, on each side there is one female and one male playing as a team. In case you are wondering there is no 'mixed singles'.

At the tennis club I play at each week we have a mish-mash of males and females all over the place. You can have two men on one side vs two women on the other; one of each sex at each end; two women vs one man and one woman etc.etc. We are fairly casual.

Tennis can be strenuous and there can be casualties - twisted ankles, bursitis, scrapes and scratches etc but, to my knowledge not a lot of STDs even with the naughty 'mixing of the sexes'.

This morning I had to bow out. After a couple of games I went all dizzy and almost fell over. Everyone was concerned. I suffer from arrhythmia - irregular heartbeat - so it could have been that. More likely is the fact that last night I had a migraine and took some strong medication for it. As I haven't been sleeping well recently I also took a sleeping tablet last night. The cocktail of drugs in my system might have been the reason for the dizziness.

I didn't tell the others this. Doping in sport is frowned upon don't you know.



To give Richard (of RBB) credit he did make a passing reference to the fact that a playing partner can be a woman.
Here is what a woman tennis player looks like:



HOW TO REALLY BECOME A CYCLIST




Richard (of RBB) wrote a Post on cyclists and cycling. See Here:





Unfortunately it is a bit romanticised which demonstrates the problem with a non cyclist writing a Post like this.
Richard, accomplished as he is in most many some things, never mastered bike riding. The Mr Wobbly nickname he had was unfairly surmised by some to refer to his endomorphic proportions but was in fact due to his unsteadiness on two wheelers.

 I'm a cyclist, or was at school and university and more recently when living in York but I've never ridden machines like he proposes nor worn the sort of clothing that he fantasises about.

Here is a pic of my bike that I just got out of the shed.

Note the pedals on top of the seat. The shippers who sent the bike from the UK to NZ took the pedals off and I haven't been able to put them back on.





Here is a pic of my cycling gear.


In York helmets weren't compulsory like here in NZ but I'll be able to make use of my WW2 NZ army helmet.

I'm considerate of other motorists and have only had one two road rage incidents. One when I was a kid and an old guy ran me over on a pedestrian crossing (I was walking and he was on a bike) and the other was in York when an arsehole driving a Range Rover cut me off.

I hope that this clears up any confusion that Richard's Post has caused.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF.....




.... Deutz.



OK, it's a New Zealand Methode Champenoise and the 'entry point' Deutz being the simplest in the range but it is still bloody well made, better than most other non-Champagne sparklings from other countries and is actually as good or better than cheap Champagnes.

So there!

The Old Girl and I sort of have an unwritten rule that we don't open the really good stuff unless the other is there to share it. Also, normally, I don't open a bottle of bubbly when I'm on my own. I don't know why as an opened bottle of bubbles, with the right closure, will keep well in the fridge for a few days just as a still wine will.

The right closure to keep bubbles in once the bottle has been opened


Tonight though ---- it's my birthday. I'm going to drink the whole bottle myself. Well, Winston Churchill drank a bottle of Pol Roger Champagne every day, starting at breakfast. Admittedly it was a half bottle (375ml) that was specially bottled for him by the House of Pol Roger - but then he went on, during the day to skull chardonnay, claret and Cognac.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've had a good day today, starting with 3 hours of playing tennis at the local tennis club. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday mornings and I try to get there at least one of the days each week. We managed to play before the rain started which has continued off and on during the day. It's kept me indoors to catch up on reading and listening to National Radio (housework can wait until Thursday as The Old Girl isn't coming up from Auckland until Friday).

I've had emails, texts and phone calls from friends and family throughout the day wishing me a happy birthday and checking up on whether I'm still alive or not. Richard (of RBB) called which was nice. He did that at about 5PM when he got back from work - he retired and now works part-time on demand which is a great situation as hopefully he can do good work, get paid for it and not have to put up with all the responsibility bullshit and unpaid work hours that seemed to go with his job. He was heading off to the chardonnay cupboard so no doubt by now we won't get much sense out of him.

I checked the bank account today and the government put in a day's worth of National Superannuation into our account. Strange. But good. The next 'pay' will be in two weeks. I'll be pleased to see this coming in as I haven't had any income for over a month. It'll be good to take pressure off The Old Girl.

Off for another glass of bubbles now.

Cheers!


CARL SAGAN

I like the way this guy puts his ideas forward. He's not pushy and has quiet authority.


CARL SAGAN ON GOD AND SCIENCE

Monday, 7 August 2017

ISAAC ASIMOV

I like the way this guy thinks.
What a great rational thinker he was.


ISAAC ASIMOV OBSERVATIONS

ARE WE HUMAN OR ARE WE DANCER ?.....

..... thanks to Hunter S. Thompson and Brandon Flowers.





I was just listening to a guy on National Radio being interviewed about the possibility of life on Mars. He wasn't a nutter but is a serious and reasoned thinker. He doesn't have any crackpot ideas about martians but is interested in research of the planet to see if, in times past, there was any form of life and doesn't rule out the possibility, as Stephen Hawkins doesn't of humans colonising other planets in the future.

For some time I've wondered if in fact humans colonised Earth. It would explain a lot in terms of discovery, inventions, religion and fantasy. Repressed memory as a genetic makeup could have led to those explosive technological advancements over the years.

Anyway, I Googled the question today and discovered that Dr Ellis Silver an American ecologist believes that human beings may not be indigenous to Earth. He reckons that humans aren't properly adapted to living on Earth as our species adapted and evolved in a place with weaker gravity pull. Humans are chronically ill with back pains, inability to face exposure to the sun and birth-giving is difficult and unnatural compared to animal species.

If human beings did in the dim dark past settle on Earth it was probably because they'd already fucked up some other planet and had to leave it.



Obviously on landing and settling on Earth something went wrong. Crashes, diseases, disputes (they discovered that some geezer had smuggled a double bass on board) etc.

Now after fucking this planet up we are going to need another one.




Just a thought.


HUMAN



IT'S PETER HERE, PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE




I bought a new phone system using a Fly Buys discount.
The new system is a Uniden DECT 1735 + 1.
The + 1 means that there are two handsets with it. I don't know what 'DECT' means.



The old system that crapped out last week was also a Uniden. A Uniden + 2. The smart and alert reader will guess that + 2 means there were two extra handsets with that system. For Richard and Robert - there were two extra handsets with that system.

As the two systems are from the same manufacturer I may be able to combine them and have a system with 5 handsets. Wow! But then I'm rubbish at installing and managing technology. I told you before that I'm a Luddite.

LUDDITES

I installed the new system or at least plugged it in and got it going but we had some problem with the phone line. We're with Sparks and I've had problems with them before. They used to be known as Telecom. I think Noel* and Colin work or used to work for them so I should have been warned.
Richard had problems with his telecommunications provider which told him that it could cost him $150 to fix a fault on their bloody line. The guy I called acknowledged that there was a fault but hinted at the same possibility of it costing me. He wanted me to disconnect the Broadband. As the Broadband is actually working properly at long last I was not in a hurry to do this. The phone line came right on its own a day later albeit being a bit scratchy but then, so am I.

I recently reduced the Broadband contract from unlimited down to 25GB and at the same time cancelled the Call Minder rort that they have going. This saves me about $20 a month ($240 a year!) so instead of the outrageous $117 a month we pay the new cost will only be a usurious $97 a month for Broadband and landline.

You'd kind of expect a nice clear line for that wouldn't you?






* Not Noel the pencil.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

WILL YOU STILL NEED ME .....






Well The Od Girl passed the test over the last year. She still needs me and still feeds me.

I'm turning 65 on Tuesday next week. I wonder if there is a song for that?

As The Old Girl is in Auckland next week we're having my birthday tea tonight. My favourite - beef schnitzel, roast potatoes and a green vegetable. Yummy.



We don't do schnitzel like the Nazis Austrians and Swiss who kill baby calves that are ripped from their mothers teats (milk-fed). I buy a good piece of fillet beef (Eye or Scotch) and slice it thinly for schnitzel which is then coated in milk, flour, beaten egg and a breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture. A trick for slicing thin and evenly is to partly freeze the meat before slicing.

I normally cook on Saturday nights but as it's my birthday treat The Old Girl is doing it. This is good as she's a much better cook than me. I tend to be a bit slap-dash.



We've just opened a bottle of sparkling wine - Deutz Blanc de Blanc (it's after 5pm after all). This is great wine. Usual retail price is over $40. I wait until it's on deep-cut special somewhere and buy a half dozen bottles. This one cost me $23. Delicious.



We'll eat around 7pm and might have a decent bottle of Pinot Noir with the meal. Either that or some of the chardonnay we have open in the fridge for me and pinot gris for her.

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The Old Girl was given a bottle of Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir last week from one of her bosses at work for some extra work she did. This is a stunning wine that's usually above my price bracket.



She forgot to bring it up here this weekend. I told her to keep it in the apartment in Auckland and sip away at it during the week but she insists on us sharing it. I didn't argue too strongly.
She's going to bring it up with her next weekend and she says that since my birthday is in the middle of the week we can have another birthday tea next Saturday.

Now, what will I have?
Maybe beef schnitzel, roast potatoes and a green vegetable.



Thursday, 3 August 2017

IT ALL ADDS UP

We've decided to downsize our Auckland 'pied-a-terre' by selling the 2 bedroom apartment and buying a one bedroom one again.



We've only had the 2 bedroom apartment for two years. We traded up from a 1 bedroom one as I had a job that kept me in Auckland for a few days a week and I needed some office space to work from. Now that I've retired that's no longer necessary. The Old Girl wants to keep working in Auckland for a few years so we are going to still need a place for her to live in during the week (she comes north every weekend).

Downsizing will clear the mortgage we have over the apartment which my salary was covering. Now that I'm not earning (although later this month the government 'super' will kick in) the mortgage payments are a bit onerous.

I began checking out sales prospects this week by getting some price indications from real estate agents. As expected they were a bit low as these people are always looking for a quick sale and price things in a lower band to achieve this. Taking off the big chunk of commission they want would leave us with less than we want.



I've decided to do the selling myself and to just use a conveyancing company to handle the legal stuff. This will save at least 20k and I will be able to do things in a more leisurely manner. I like leisurely.



Things add up though. To sell through Trade Me will cost at least $500 for basic listing. Pre Contract Disclosure Statements - PCDS- (mandatory for selling leasehold apartments) will cost another $500. The conveyancing will cost $1300. And, I just learned from the bank that settling up the mortgage could cost at least $2000.

Bastards!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

FROGS ANYONE?

Richard of RBB suggested that I write a Post on double bass bows for some reason. See here:




I don't know why. Maybe retirement is beginning to erode his mental faculties.

Well I looked up double bass bows on Google. I warn you now that this isn't recommended unless you have a few years to spare. The listing on Google, sorted by interest and popularity has double bass bows at about 10.5 million down the list just behind the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and hobby boat building.

Having persevered and finding some shortcuts I established that there are two types of double bass bows - a French bow and a German bow.
Both are made from frogs for some bizarre reason. The French froggy bow has to be gripped overhand kind of like a tennis racket. The German froggy bow which is taller (do frogs actually have height?) requires an underhand grip. Well that's the krauts for you.

About the most interesting thing I found about double bass bows was this joke:




There was a certain bartender who was quite famous for being able to accurately guess people's IQs. One night a man walked in and talked to him briefly and the bartender said, "Wow! You must have an IQ of about 140! You should meet this guy over here." So they talked for a while about nuclear physics and existential philosophy and had a great time.
A second man walked in and soon the bartender has guessed about a 90 IQ for him. So he sat him down in front of the big-screen TV and he watched football with the other guys and had a hell of a time.

Then a third man stumbled in and talked to the bartender for a while. The bartender said to himself, "Jeez! I think this guy's IQ must be about 29!" He took him over to a man sitting at a little table back in the corner and said, "You might enjoy talking with this guy for a while."After the bartender left, the man at the table said, "So do you play French bow or German bow?"



NEW POST - THE NEW DIFFERENT TIME ZONE BILL

Bill just got back from travelling and published a new post      HERE   It's good that he's busy but I'm starting to ...