Friday, 31 May 2013


My life is compartmentalised at present. I've been sorting out everything that has made up our lives over the last few decades into categories. Keep - the things we will put in storage, maintain or put on hold. Sell - things we don't need over the next few years and that will depreciate in value or be superseded by new technology. Give away - things that are useful to others but are hard to sell for whatever reason. Dump - things that a few years ago would have been treasures to others but nowadays you can't even give them away.

It's the D category that distresses me the most. I guess I have old fashioned values but I detest the throwaway society we have today. The Old Girl's son, when he was in his early 20's was given a sum of money from his grandmother to buy a car. He bought a reasonably sensible one for about $4000 which he used to go to work (he was manager of a high profile retail liquor store). One day when we visited him at his flat we noticed that the car wasn't there and that he said he was walking to work. It turned out that the car had broken down and he left it on the side of the road. He left it on the side of the road. He made no arrangements to collect it or to have it repaired. He was of the view that the council or someone would sort it out. I was incensed but there was nothing we could do about it. The car was his (bought with his grandmother's money) and it had since been removed. When I had my first cars I had to bloody save up for them, pay cash and fix the bloody things myself when they broke down.
I hate it when (to me) reasonably new toasters, electric jugs, microwave ovens, radios, clocks and TV's 'break down' and have to be junked. They can't be fixed as, in their manufacture, fixing them was never considered an option. It is planned obsolescence. What a bloody waste of resources.

As a kid I used to fossick in the rubbish tip. See here:


I don't see myself as a hoarder (well, not the type you see on TV) but I find it hard to part with things that have memories attached to them. It may well be that the little storage shed we have planned may well be something larger.

Saturday, 18 May 2013


I like Brian Blessed and have watched him in many films and TV series from Z cars to Blackadder and have enjoyed seeing him in the latest ASB ads. His big voice and over the top manner is funny.

I remember that he acted in an outstanding film I saw in 1971. It was called The Last Valley and I have never seen it rescreened in theatres or on television.

I remember that Blessed was in this film but had forgotten that Sharif and Caine were as well.

We subscribe to Fatso, the mail order video rental which I recommend highly.
When I saw Blessed on the ASB ads I searched the Fatso archives and ordered The Last Valley which arrived yesterday.
Boy was I surprised when watching it today. Brian Blessed's character is superb. He's menacing and energetic and ..... lasts less than 10 minutes. Michael Caine's character stabs him to death using that pointy thing on the top of his helmet. Bastard.

The film is excellent just as I remember it. Its based on an imaginary episode in the 30 years War (where idiot Germans kill each other for years using religion as an excuse). The Caine character (the cynic) and the Sharif character (the idealistic socialist) see the ridiculousness of the catholics and the protestants murdering each other over supposed doctrinal differences and try to survive by taking a middle ground.
It is well written and directed (James Clavell) with a great cast of recognisable actors. The setting is a beautiful and bountiful hidden valley in South Central Germany (it was filmed in Tyrol Austria) and is quite stunning.

Watch this film if you get a chance. It is good filmaking done sensible with few shortcuts and no stupid over-produced action scenes.
It bewilders me that people flock to see the latest Hollywood shit like Iron Man 27 or yet another cop/robber/car chase flick when there's stuff like this in the vaults.

Friday, 17 May 2013


This Sam Cooke song has been part of my life for nearly 50 years. I guess I've always been looking for a change that's 'gonna' come - that's the dreamer in me or probably more like the lazy bastard who's waiting for the next best thing.

Unlike Sam Cooke I haven't experienced the wrong end of racism or been subjected to blatant and stupid unfairness because of the colour of my skin.

Cooke wrote and recorded the song in 1963 and it was released in 1964.  I remember first hearing it when I was in the third form at school in 1966. It's still powerful (although, due to the Motown era a mite over-produced).

I like some cover versions as well and there have been many. To me the best are by:

Al Green  Al Green "A Change is Gonna Come"

Three Dog Night  Three Dog Night "A Change is Gonna Come"

Patti LaBelle    Patti LaBelle "A Change is Gonna Come"

(Thank you You Tube).

It has always had resonance with me and tonight even more so.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Old Maurice Williamson has done the right thing (at last).

Remember the youtube sensation when his speech in parliament on the same sex marriage bill went viral? Go figure.
As a result of this the makers of the TV crap chat show Ellen De GeneEis (Ellen) invited Williamson to be a guest on the show.
Yesterday, on hearing that they wanted him to do a silly dance, Williamson said no (I guess he said fuck off).
This and other puerile American TV talk and light entertainment shows cater to the masses which means lowest common denominator stuff.

Its a pity Shonkey didn't realise this and didn't turn down the invitation to be on that creep David Letterman's crap chat show where he embarassed himself and the whole of New Zealand by appearing as a dimwitted schoolboy.

Saturday, 11 May 2013


There's always something new around the corner.
Last week I had a second interview for a property manager job with a real estate company and they told me that with my business experience they would like me to join them in their newly established commercial sales department. A meeting to go over this was scheduled for next Monday.

Meanwhile, The Old Girl has been 'head-hunted' for a position with a rival engineering company in Auckland.

We were both then considering these changes to our respective employment.

On Friday, virtually out of the blue The Old Girl was offered a job in Toronto, Canada with the same company she currently works for. It is a similar position to the one she is currently in and they need her expertise to help them develop the business there.
We have discussed this and decided that, at our age it is too good an opportunity to miss so on Monday she will accept the job. It will be an adventure.

FROM HERE - Auckland

TO HERE - Toronto

There are some issues to be worked out like relocation, salary, timing etc. but her employers are going to work on obtaining a partner's work permit for me so I may be able to get a job there.
It's all very exciting (and daunting) but I've resigned myself to it and will resign from my current job on Tuesday.

When we moved up North 3 and 1/2 yeas ago we said that this would be our last move. Famous last words. Now we have to go through the exercise again but with the added complication of relocating overseas.

My biggest concern has been Willow the cat. I have been worrying about this overnight but this morning my sister, who has a large (and safe) property in Auckland said that she would adopt Willow. This is a good result. Their house is cat-friendly and they have big gardens with a few acres of land around it. My sister loves Willow and is keen to have her.

We will rent out the house and the apartment in Auckland so no worries there but we'll have to sort out all of our stuff. I have drawn up lists of store, sell, giveaway and leave so will be busy over the next month or so sorting this out. It gives us a chance to junk a lot of stuff too so I'll be going to and fro to the tip for a bit.

The Old Girl is likely to go to Canada in a couple of months and I'll follow later.

This is likely to be for at least two years, maybe more. It's a great chance to travel while being paid and to spend time in New York, UK (where the 'mother-in-law' lives) and other parts of Canada and USA.

Friday, 3 May 2013


Due to the phenomenal success of our infants' rifle range we have, in 2013 extended our range of chidren's toys 'with attitude'. Check out our new range here and get those orders in before the rush. We sold over 60,000 last Christmas and that old demand is just increasing.

Remember our range was similar to this

The pretty in pink range for girls was snapped up with proud daddies stripping our stores bare before Christmas last year.

Kind of like this

We have extended the range with this cute little number that can slip inside the doll pram or in the teddy bear's pocket. Every little princess from ages 3 to 10 will want one of these.

Similar to our offering

This Christmas, for those customers who for some unpatriotic reason don't want to give a gun to their wee ones we have added some other categories, designer-made with the toddler in mind.

The 'buzzy-bee' chainsaw.  Attractively presented in blue for boys or pink for girls this is just the buzziness for the little guys who have a hankerin' to chop down a tree or two. Let'em fill it up with gas and get sawin'. Ideal for ages 2 to 8 years old.
Like this but very light and in blue or pink

The Li'l Ripper circular saw for your budding handyman. This little monster will help your little monster help dad around the house. In colour choices of blue, red and green this while being light enough for the hands of a 3 y.o. can cut through any wall, joist or floorboard of your choice.

A bit like this but smaller and in blue, red or green

The 'Nailed 'em' nail gun. For girls or boys - ages 4 to 10 this beauty would make Rambo jealous. Let them help old dad around the house or get them to put up their own posters on the walls. Keep Fluffy or Rover out of the way. Ha ha.

Kind of like this - colour of your choosing

How about the 'Chow's up' gas cooker for the little miss? Any 4 year old should know how to help mom in the kitchen. This whopper will crisp fry a chicken or anything in seconds.

Designer-made to your specifications - suggest low platform so the littlies can easily raech it

Is your wee man a budding chemist? If so forget about those lame chemistry sets. We have the 'Dr Strangelove home-starter' chemistry laboratory here. Any ages from 3 through 12 is suitable for this one. Comes fully stocked with most of the periodic table elements including the 'fun' stuff like mercury, lithium, sodium and potassium. The little guy will love this and, when he's in his teens can save money by cookin' his own (you know what we mean).

As big as you like - we can provide fertiliser, pressure cookers, ball bearings etc. - just ask

All this and more for Christmas 2013. Look out for the full catalogue in the mail.

Don't worry about the bad press we're receiving for this alleged 'incident' here:

We're here to serve you and help provide learning experiences for your children.


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...