Thursday, 31 May 2012


 A young Japanese guy from where I work decided to be a Good Samaritan recently.
One evening when he was at a money machine he was behind some people who seemed to be having trouble. The card they were using had been swallowed by the machine . Yes, I know what you're thinking. You immediately assume that they were using a stolen card and as they didn't have the correct PIN number it was gobbled up. Right? Well yes you are probably right. Our hero who only thinks the best of people, when he heard their sob story about not having money to put petrol in their car to get home, took money out of the machine himself and lent it to them. They gave him a name and phone number and took his name and number and promised to pay him back as soon as possible.
Guess what? Their name and number was false and they haven't been in contact.
In hind sight our guy was lucky they didn't rob him (any more than they did). Bastards!
I guess that, in the 'Pay it Forward' way our Japanese guy deserves something good to come his way. As for the cheating, thieving, lying bastard scrotes? Well hopefully the opposite happens.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


Genetic memory is a non-scientific concept which, amongst its many facets includes the concept that inherent in each of us is a distant connection to the past.
Scientists readily accept it in animals for example the migratory behaviour of birds, wild beasts and fish (watch Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) but are less open to it in humans.

Writing the previous post I was thinking about what draws me to the place where I live. I like it on a visceral level not just because it is beautiful.
I have always liked the sea, or, the seaside particularly the more rugged beaches and bays. I am not into surf culture so the white sand beaches don't do it for me.
In Wellington where I was born I used to like the Southern coast bays like Island Bay, Houghton Bay and Princess Bay.



My forebears from my father's side came from Torridon on the Western coast of Scotland.
They and a group of others from Torridon, Annat and nearby left Scotland in the mid 1800's and sailed to Nova Scotia (on the boats that my distant family built). From Nova Scotia, after a few years they set sail for Australia where some stayed (the family farms are now underneath Tullamarine airport in Melbourne) and the rest came to New Zealand. They settled in Whangarei Heads where I now live.
I am struck by the similarities of this area - the sea, bays and topography - to the area they left in Scotland.












The Settlers stayed here, some moving away only short distances to the other side of the harbour (Waipu). They lived and died here.



 I guess they felt at ease here with many things reminding them of home and without those bastard English supported landowners driving them off their lands.


There are some differences though:




It is a cool but clear late Autumn day here and as there is no wind and the harbour unruffled I went kayaking.
As I've been a bit lazy of recent times I went for a good work-out going across the bay and around the island. On the way back I stopped at the island (named after one of my forebears) and sat at its summit (it is a small low island) and looked around the area. From this central point I was ringed by the bays and hills that make up Whangarei Heads (or at least this part of it). The mountains with the strange rock formations (Manaia, Albury and others) stood out against the clear sky.

McLeod Bay. Photo from Breakaway Retreat's website

I didn't see the dolphins today. The above photo is where I was kayaking. Our house is at the extreme right.

The water was clean and clear and I was looking for the black stingray as when they are prevalent there is a good chance that dolphin and orca will come into the bay to chase them. I only saw a few fish.

I feel energised after the paddle
 and feel that I deserve a nice wine or two this evening to go with the pies the Old Girl is making for us.

Friday, 25 May 2012


It was disturbing to hear today that TSB was under the weather. This hardy and delightfully acerbic import from the Hebrides regularly berates his weaker associates for succumbing to illnesses so I am surprised that he has taken to his bed. I hope he gets better soon and that the medication doesn't dull his razor sharp wit.

I decided to select some images to cheer him up and give guidance on how to get better:

Think about an address that's worth visiting

Take lots of water and deep breaths

Think about pleasant memories

Take your medication regularly


Might as well keep fantasising

Well, while you're there you might as well go the whole hog

Just don't go too far (although it solves the projectile vomiting problem)

Get Better Soon

Thursday, 24 May 2012


There are some bloggers in the community who are obsessed with the number of visits they get on their blogs.
They have most likely read the following:

21 Tactics to increase blog traffic

 and have taken particular notice of the tips of linking to other people's blogs, commenting on all and sundry blogs and sometimes hi-jacking other people's blogs.Its a contest that's hard to win.

There is one though, Richard's Bass Bag, that has created tip # 22.
This is where he has created multi-personalities and devised blogs for each of them. He comments in their names on his own blog and also, annoyingly,  on other people's blogs.

Is this clever or just downright mental?

Sunday, 20 May 2012


I've made a career out of selling and marketing. This is strange though because I think that most marketing and advertising is dishonest and misleading when it is not actually stupid, puerile and not very cleverly thought out.
As regards selling I dislike directly dealing with people, don't like salespeople and prefer to get on with my job away from everyone else.

Marketing and selling may be necessary evils but if it wasn't for having to make a living I could do without them.

I've always hated being driven by sales targets and forecasts. I'd rather create something that's worthwhile regardless of value.

This leads me to wondering why on earth I thought I could be a real estate agent.
Last year, when I was bored and without employment I did an Open Polytech course in real estate. I enjoyed the study and actually did quite well at it. The legal case studies were easy for me as I drew on my university studies in law. Its amazing what we can dredge up from our memory.
After I passed the course and was certificated I was guaranteed a position with a leading real estate company. They are nice people and very professional but wanted me to do cold calling (telephoning potential sellers) each week. This I didn't want to do and so ended up taking a sales and marketing job in Auckland totally unrelated to real estate.
I know that I would be good at selling real estate and matching up the right buyers and sellers but I'd prefer to do this on my own terms, ideally by e-mail and Internet, not as a face to face salesperson.
Unfortunately real estate is still in the days of white shoes, handshakes and big insincere smiles.

So, what has triggered this you may ask (or maybe not if you don't give a toss)?

Currently we have a fixed term lease on a town-house in Auckland. This runs for another 12 months.
As I've decided to cut my working week down to 3 days and only need to spend 2 nights in the city we have decided to go back to our city apartment which can easily accommodate the two of us if I'm only cluttering up the place for a couple of days. We have listed the town-house on Trade Me as it is our responsibility to sub-lease it for the duration of the tenancy agreement.

We are getting a lot of interest and are carefully looking for the right tenant.
Well bugger me if I didn't see a duplication of our advertisement when I checked Trade Me. At first I thought that I must have mistakenly doubled up somehow but on looking closely I saw that the clone ad had contact details of a real estate leasing agency. Fuck! These unscrupulous bastards copied our ad and put their contact details in order to get interested tenants to contact them. What's in it for them? I guess firstly a letting fee payable by the tenant and secondly a data base of people looking for accommodation. Ethical? No. Unscrupulous? Yes. Illegal? I'm not sure. I have contated them and demanded to know on whose authority they have done this and for an explanation of why. If I don't get a satisfactory answer I'm going to report then to Trade Me and check out what other legal recourse there is.

This makes me glad that I shelved the real estate career.

Friday, 18 May 2012


A while ago I wrote a post about Port and joked that I might be old and fat but I didn't have gout


Well the last couple of days I've been almost crippled by pains in my right foot, suspiciously at the base of my big toe.

Gout (also known as podagra when it involves the big toe)[1] is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acuteinflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected (approximately 50% of cases). However, it may also present as tophikidney stones, or urate nephropathy. It is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood which crystallizes and the crystals are deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.
A clinical diagnosis is confirmed by the visualization of the characteristic crystals in joint fluid. Treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids, or colchicine improves symptoms. Once the acute attack has subsided, levels of uric acid are usually lowered via lifestyle changes, and in those with frequent attacks allopurinol or probenecid provide long-term prevention.
Gout has increased in frequency in recent decades affecting approximately one to two percent of the Western population at some point in their lives. The increase is believed to be due to increasing risk factors in the population, such as metabolic syndrome, longer life expectancy and changes in diet. Gout was historically known as "the disease of kings" or "rich man's disease".

This is bloody painful and makes normal walking difficult. It is one of those conditions that don't bring sympathy when mentioned. It in fact generally elicits howls of laughter and derision. Why is that? When one mentions the possibility of gout the listener conjures up images of a fat and debauched Henry VIII. Hey! I hardly ever drink Port, eat very little red meat, never eat shell-sfish and run a mile at the thought of eating offal so why me?

Monday, 14 May 2012


.....said the Old Girl when she arrived home and saw that I had been drinking whisky.
What she saw was the Macallan Select Oak bottle that she bought for me was one third empty.
OK, I admit it. I have drunk one third of a bottle of whisky..... over 5 months!
What she actually said was "Jings!" (the odd Scottish vernacular comes out at times of stress or extreme pain or pleasure making The Broons or the Scunner from Supergran positively understandable by comparison) "you've nearly finished that, are you an alcoholic?

Admittedly I was a bit shamefaced to see how the level has gone down as up North, where we have a comprehensice range of Malt Whiskies, I only ever have a tipple with her.

I then thought about it. One third of a one litre bottle is 333 mls. . The alcohol strength of this whisky is 40%. The average strength of the Chardonnay or Pinot Noir I drink is 13%. This means the alcohol equivalence, if I had been drinking wine would be one bottle .....  over 5 months! I rest my case M'lud.

Sunday, 13 May 2012


Mother's day is today.
What a crock of shit that is. It is another of those retailers' excuses for unnecesary spending with the added advantage of drawing on feelings of guilt from errant and forgetful children.

It is Mother's Day not Mothers' Day in case you were wondering.

Wikipedia say's

In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and created the Mother's Day International Association.
She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the law making official the holiday in the United States, by the U.S. Congress on bills, and by other U.S. presidents on their declarations.
Common usage in English language also dictates that the ostensibly singular possessive "Mother's Day" is the preferred spelling, although "Mothers' Day" (plural possessive) or "Mothers Day" (plural non-possessive) are sometimes used.

 My mother used to berate my father for not buying her a gift on Mother's Day. He used to say "You're not my mother so why should I?" I agree with him, but I go one step further and say why should the stupid day exist at all just because some rich American bint with too much time on her hands wanted to do something for society. Society? More like her "Society' and lady friends. Perhaps hubby or daddy owned a department store so it was some way of drumming up business.


Saturday, 12 May 2012


I'm reading Alan Bennett's book Untold Stories which is a collection of prose including diary-like autobiographical sections. I'm enjoying it and may repeat a few choice sections in this blog to annoy amuse you.

This bit made me laugh.
Page 304:
15 December 2001

"A card from Victor Lewis-Smith with a sanctimonious picture of Jesus and printed underneath:

Jesus loves everyone except you, you cunt."

Intrigued, I looked for this on the internet and sure enough it exists.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

SOME PET HATES ...... no means all but these are a few recent ones.

Professional activists who jump on any bandwagon

We just knew that Sue Bradford would pop up when the government proposed  free contraception for women on the benefit. Out she comes and out she comes with irrational rubbish like eugenics and population control (pity that that couldn't be back-dated in her case).

Tuhoe wanting an apology from the police and government

On the face of it I don't have a problem if it is shown that either cocked up but a withdrawal based on the waste of money involved in on-going court proceedings is not necessarily an admission of wrong doing. Further, it pisses me off that the Tuhoe leaders won't admit that the mongrels that were on their land were involved in wrong doing. Shame on them.

ANZ Bank having unannounced  firework display on the Auckland waterfront.

Which marketing dick thought this one up? They must have an awful lot of (our) money to do this.

Cars running red lights

It is just getting worse and now it is patently unsafe to move off on a green because some idiost want to save a couple of minutes by barrelling through a red.

Supermarket check-out operators asking if you want a receipt

Of course I want a bloody receipt. Firstly to make sure that everything is correct and secondly because often something needs replacing like the out of condition fruit and veg. Has some wannabe marketer decided that there is a big saving on paper by not giving a receipt or, as I suspect, they know that you cannot successfully complain about something without a receipt as proof of purchase

Radio and TV interviewers cutting off someone early

Just when debates are getting interesting invariably the interviewer says sorry but ....

(that's all we have time for. - Ed)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


....... well actually, unfortunately there are bloody scrotes everywhere. I am mad. Actually I'm bloody livid and wished that I had a shotgun.

Why am I mad today? Our financial accountant told me today that a friend's house burned down in the early hours this morning. She told me that her friend, an elderly lady needed a hand to clear out what was left of her possessions and asked me if she could leave early. I chased her out saying 'Go, go, go now and help". Before she went I asked why the urgency. What she said floored me. She said that the friend's insurance advisors told her that if she didn't remove all of her valuable and personal possessions then the looters tonight would get them. WTF! The looters?

Now I know that we are under siege by the two Johns, Bill English and a whole bunch of other tossers but reallly, we are not properly at war yet.

Aparently the insurance jerk followed up by telling the old lady that what the looters don't take the vandals will come in and destroy. This guy needs some sort of customer service award.

Here's one that comes to mind:

What is happenning to our society?

I grew up, in Wellington when if someone suffered a misfortune the community, starting with immediate neighbours, to the neighbourhood, then the suburb and ultimately the city, would help out. Now, if an old woman's house burns down some bastards will come and steal whatever is left! Insensed? I am but what is worse is that the institutions - insurance companies and other agencies know and expect this to happen, FUCK! I guess that the Police know too. What the hell are they going to do about it? Apparently nothing.

Man I can really see a time coming soon when even without Mad Max apocalyptic scenarios we need to take action as appropriate.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


I  f***ed up. I forecast that we would make over a million dollars profit but instead we lost 1.8 million. Sorry.

Actually I just made that up. I could never get anything that wrong. Can anyone?

Well, yes as a matter fact. Bill English and John Key to name a couple of financial 'geniuses'.

They forecast that giving the rich a massive tax cut (and the poor a little one for good measure) and at the same time increasing GST would boost the nation's coffers.

Unfortunately for them and us this didn't happen. At the end of the fiscal year the shortfall in tax revenue was 1.8 billion dollars. That was 1.8 billion!

So where is it?

It certainly isn't in the pockets, bank accounts and investments of anyone who earns less than 50k a year.
Maybe it is in the real estate, car upgrades, holiday snapshots and i-pads of the top earners.

Monday, 7 May 2012


Kim Dotcom posted a song about the two Johns.
Here is the Sharks' response

Singing Sharks Video


Some friends alerted us that our previous house is for sale again.


While we have good memories and enjoyed living there we much prefer living where we are now.

Saturday, 5 May 2012


They have dead eyes and insincere smiles. They are greedy and circle continuously looking for prey.
They are dangerous.

They usually hunt alone but occasionally band together to feed

When circumstances alter they may well consume one another.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Last night the Old Girl and I met up with an old friend at a relatively new Auckland eatery - a kind of tapas wine bar that has been very successful and well patronised. Going there on a Monday gives you a chance to get a table. We aren't restaurant groupies, it just so happens that the Old Girl works in a building just next to this excellent eatery. We were enjoying our glasses of wine and the various plates when our friend drew our attention to the guy sitting at the end of the bar. It was he of the hundreds of millions that used to rest in the public coffers and Joe Citizen's pockets. He was also no doubt enjoying the ambience, the great food and the excellent wine list apropos of which he had the most expensive Chardonnay open next to him -$145 a bottle. Look I know that he's got plenty and that a weeks interest on his money is more than I earn in a year but why be so bloody ostentatious? Looking around the room I thought that the money that this joker 'earned' divided by the entire NZ population, would have enabled us all to dine free that evening.

Dave A (61) Says:

... robbed the New Zealand taxpayer blind with his winebox frauds, his use of the Bank of New Zealand as his own piggy bank, New Zealand Rail and many other scandalous activities.
He and .... fled overseas just before the Winebox report came out, thinking they were to be prosecuted for fraud. Yet the only penalty they suffered was having to pay for insider trading with the railways, and that was a decade later.
How anyone could grovellingly call him “Sir” .... is beyond me.


I like John Oliver. His retakes of the news are insightful and very funny. Have a look via the link below at his latest review of Facebook...