Monday, 28 January 2013


We went to see the Jack Reacher film the other day. The Old Girl likes to read the Lee Child's books which are hugely popular worldwide with women being the greatest consumer. Funny that as the plots involve lots of violence with a lot of detail on guns and other weapons. It's the 'Heathcliffe syndrome' I think with the hero being tall and mysterious. see:


This then makes everyone wonder why a short and transparent Tom Cruise plays the part of Jack Reacher in the film.

The answer I guess is that he is the producer and owns the film rights.  A lot of the scenes show the women and other people sitting down while he is standing. There have been many names bandied about as to who would make a good Jack Reacher - Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Craig for example and even Lawrence Dallagio but my choice would have been Hugh Jackman who seems to fit the part best and can act.

The film was OK but not great and Cruise was unconvincing. It is based on a novel named One Shot and this was going to be the name of the film but it was changed to Jack Reacher at the last moment. This is because they intend to make more films from the Jack Reacher series of novels.

The Old Girl likes another One Shot see:


This chemical pest destroyer is often in her hands when flies, mosquitos, cockroaches and other nasties are about (mot spiders unless they are white tails. I call her Chemical Ali, that Iraqian killer who used chemical weapons on the Kurds in Northern Iraq.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


...... or whatever he calls them.

These spam bastards are a nuisance and because of them I had to put back the annoying word verification check into this blog. Sorry about that.
I became aware of it when commenting an answer to Tracey on the previous post.

We went for a good long time without these robots interfering.
I wonder if it is anything to do with Twisted Scottish Bastard ceasing to post. Terrestrial Flying Bastard Robots should naturally be attracted to his blog and now are looking for a roost.

Saturday, 19 January 2013



The outstanding Boys From The Blackstuff aired on TVOne in the '90's and I don't think it has been repeated. It would be one of the top 20 drama series shown even surpassing the excellent Auf Wiedersehen Pet. I think I'll have to buy the DVD series if it's available.

The local blackstuff boys laid new sealing on our road last week. As cars go along the road the tyres push loose gravel into the gutter. Yesterday and today I have been scooping this up into a barrow and dragging it home to seal our driveway.

Gravel is bloody heavy and our driveway is steep so after about 20 barrow-fulls I'm stuffed.

The top of the drive looks better though. The smaller gravel stones cover up the hellishly sharp granite chips that the previoius owners laid and will be easier to walk on.

Friday, 18 January 2013


Have a look out for Una Stubbs (Till Death us do part) in this clip.

Well my Summer holidays are nearly over. I have to go back to the grind next Tuesday. Only 3 more days of wonderful holiday and then work. Admittedly it is only 3 days a week but still, it doesn't leave enough time to do all the things I want to do.

Christmas weather was a bit up and down. The remnants of Cyclone Evan brought high winds and rain but afterwards, particularly after New Year we have had wonderful settled weather.
Swimming, kayaking and bush and mountain walks have been the norm so we feel fit and refreshed to give battle to another year.

Monday, 14 January 2013


I did battle with the garden this morning before it got too hot. I want to load up the trailer to take rubbish to the tip, so gave the bloody convolvulus another hiding. This weed is a real bastard. See here:

It is insidious and invasive, wrapping itself around all the plants and trees in the garden.

The Old Girl attacks it at root level putting weed killer in a bottle and getting the weed's roots into it (advice also given by Kiwi Aid - thanks), but I tear down the tendrils that are strangling the plants and trees at a higher level. I'm reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy at present so feel like I'm tearing down the machinations of the evil guys.

It took a couple of hours by which time the sun had come out of cloud and it got really hot.
I went for a swim to cool down (the tide is the highest I've ever seen it here) and will be off to the tip soon once I've taken some more stuff (under the Old Girl's supervision) out of the basement. See here:


Have you noticed how cats can stare over your shoulder with a look of absolute horror making you wonder what the hell is behind you?

Well here's another thing the little bastards sweethearts do.

Have you ever looked at the Christmas ham in the fridge and wondered if it is still OK but just to be on the safe side make a toasted sanwhich out of it? Or have you cooked a poached egg with an egg you are just not sure of the use-by date of?

And have you given a piece of it to your cat and had them refuse to eat it?

Well I did that with an egg this morning. It looked OK and smelled OK but when I gave a bit to Willow she took one sniff and buggered off.

It didn't make me feel good at all.

Friday, 11 January 2013


I love Frenchman Island and the story associated with it.

Note the Tolkien-like door on it

The story goes that in the 1800's the locals out in the Heads area used to smuggle ashore cargo that had a high excise cost - usually tobacco, whisky and brandy.

They landed it on a South East facing bay named Smugglers Bay.

Ships bringing the goods could safely anchor and drop goods to the settlers safely away from the eyes of the excise men in Whangarei.

Should the excise men get wind of a shipment they would head out of the harbour to go around Busby Head before getting to Smugglers Bay. Frenchman Island is by Busby Head and has a good view across the harbour to Whangarei so is a good vantage point.
The Frenchman, associated with the smugglers, lived inside the island which has a cavernous chamber, a door and a chimney. If he saw the excise men he would light a smoky fire which the lookouts above Smugglers Bay could see and alert the contrabanders well before the excise men arrived.

Whether true or not it is a great story and would make for a good novel or film.

The Frenchman built a room inside the island, a door and a chimney (and breathing vents).
It is a bit basic though.

If he'd been a Scotsman he may well have made better use of his resource and built something a bit more stylish and comfortable.

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Richard is having trouble with posting. 'They' have changed the settings he claims (a bit of paranoia there I think).

I think that the answer is in the set-up and he might need to reconfigure things. Either that or the spammers have got him.

"What's wrong with my set-up then?"

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


..... is back home apparently.

We'll learn of his exploits soon via one of his many blogs.

I imagine you wondered as I have what it means so I looked it up in Thesaurus:

Well I don't know about you but to me this seems pretty apt. I agree with everything said (except I think that 'cant' is  misspelled).

Noun1.hokum - a message that seems to convey no meaninghokum - a message that seems to convey no meaning
subject mattercontentmessagesubstance - what a communication that is about something is about
absurdityabsurdnessridiculousness - a message whose content is at variance with reason
amphigorynonsense verse - nonsensical writing (usually verse)
balderdashfiddle-faddlepiffle - trivial nonsense
buzzword, cant - stock phrases that have become nonsense through endless repetition
cobblers - nonsense; "I think that is a load of cobblers"
crock - nonsense; foolish talk; "that's a crock"
fa lafal la - meaningless syllables in the refrain of a partsong
gibbergibberish - unintelligible talking
unintelligibilityincoherenceincoherency - nonsense that is simply incoherent and unintelligible
jabberwocky - nonsensical language (according to Lewis Carroll)
mummeryflummery - meaningless ceremonies and flattery
empty talkempty wordshot airpalaverrhetoric - loud and confused and empty talk; "mere rhetoric"
rigamarolerigmarole - a set of confused and meaningless statements
schmegeggeshmegegge - (Yiddish) baloney; hot air; nonsense
hooeypoppycockstuff and nonsensestuff - senseless talk; "don't give me that stuff"
baloneybilgewaterboloneyboshdroolhumbugtommyrottoshtwaddletaradiddletarradiddle - pretentious or silly talk or writing


They might know the answer to the universe but why didn't they come into the bay today instead of yesterday?

Yesterday we had the choppiest conditions for a couple of months. Today it has been great with no wind. The water was calm and I went swimming after the Reotahi walk. There would have been no problem kayaking and photographing at the same time.

The Canon Power Shot G5 is stuffed.
I diasassembled what I could, cleaned it and dried it with a hair dryer but it just won't take a charge.

I've had it for about 12 years so I guess that it is due to be replaced. It will cost about $400 for a good waterproof digital but these have 12.5 mega-pixels - 2/12 times that of the G5. Things have moved on. The G5 cost about $1100. It has been a good camera but has a lot of functions I have hardly used.

I'll probably go for this little number:

Olympus TG​-​820 Black Tough All Weather Camera

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


If you can get your camera to work.

Today The Old Girl and I were watching a vid on You Tube of a kayaker in the bay where we live surrounded by Orca. He videod it. See here:


The Old Girl then visited a neighbour and a few minutes later phoned me to tell me to look outside.
Two dolphin were fishing/playing in the bay, at the beach outside our house.

I grabbed my camera and took the kayak down and launched it.

The water was extremely choppy, way more 'wavy' than I like and normally I wouldn't venture out in those conditions but I wanted to check out if the dolphins were in trouble or not as we haven't seen them so close to the shoreline before. They were swimming around the swimming platform and the moored boats and coming into really shallow water. There appeared to be a mother and a younger one.

I had trouble getting the kayak out as the waves were fairly big but eventually got to where they were. They swam around me and came close and slapped their tails on the water. I took this as a sign that they were OK and wanted me to bugger off which I did.

(It felt like this)

The waves were big enough to make manoevering the kayak difficult and which also meant that trying to take photographs was almost impossible while trying to steady the craft, hold the paddle and take a photo. I gave it a go as this was the best opportunity I had ever had for a close up dolphin shot and thought I had got a couple of good ones. It was quite a thrill having the dolphin(s) come up right by the kayak and under it. The Old Girl swam out and joined us and the dolphin(s) came really close to her to check her out. They stayed there for nearly an hour before moving away.

Unfortunately the spray was severe and try as I might to keep the camera dry it still got wet and stopped. I thought it was because the battery was flat but on trying to charge it now it won't activate so I think its buggered.

RIP Canon G5



Oh well, the experience was worth it.
If I can't get the camera going again I'll buy a waterproof one next time.


I haven't heard any news from 'The Hokum Brothers (New Zealand variation) in Dunedin but here's something from their American cousins. I hope Richard's lot are not as 'corny'

Sunday, 6 January 2013



6 January 2013

Departmental Memorandum URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL

For the attention of Inspector of public utilities.

It has come to my attention that there is a significant public health hazard that requires urgent attention and remediation.
My office has received numerous reports of biohazard contamination that appears to move from site to site.
The locations and approximate dates of this contamination is as follows:

Tuesday December 26 2012
Severe blockage of the waste disposal system on one of the inter-island ferries was reported. This necessitated cancellation of a return trip to Wellington that day as the vessel had to undergo a thorough inspection and maintenance. It was discovered that one of the men’s toilets had been severely blocked with and unusual and disturbing amount of waste and massive amounts of toilet tissue. Investigations are on going.

Wednesday December 27 2012.
The public conveniences at Kaikoura were closed in a state of emergency. Once again there was extreme contamination and the unusual use of toilet tissue. Emergency services were brought in from Blenheim and from Christchurch but to no avail. The public convenience building has been closed and demolition is pending.

Thursday December 28 2012 and,
Friday December 29 2012
Two motels. One south of Christchurch and one in Dunedin have been closed. Local fire brigades in each area alerted the public health authorities and after inspection (commendations for brave inspectors to be notified) closure notices have been put up.

Due to the New Years period and with resources being stretched with clean up operations in the afore-mentioned locations, officers have been unable to follow up on alerts in and around the Dunedin area.

Anecdotal evidence has come in of at least one hotel and a guesthouse turning away visitors because of ‘plumbing problems’ and supermarkets in the area have reported some kind of a run on toilet tissue.

I am concerned that the carrier of this contamination may be on the move and may well continue back up the island. A special action group has been put on alert at Picton and special agents will be stationed in all conveniences on shore and in all of the ferries.

Further updates will be given as information comes to hand.

Giles Bottomly
Chief Sanitation Inspector

Thursday, 3 January 2013


No, not me although I have lost a few kilos this Christmas period through walking, swimming, kayaking and sensible eating.

We haven't had tv reception since before Christmas.

The Sky message on the screen says no reception is due to rain fade but as there hasn't been rain since Christmas it must be a sattelite alignment problem.

To be honest we haven't missed it, choosing to read, play snooker, listen to the radio and music or watch videos.

We eventually contacted Sky TV and a technician is coming out this afternoon (It's raining again now!)


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...