Sunday, 28 July 2013

SOUL FOOD

I've had a stressful few days - leaving the house up North and my cat to spend the last week in Auckland before taking off overseas. The car selling arrangements fell through (almost) as they are demanding that the cam belt is replaced before they will buy it. In a flurryon Saturday  I organised for an emergency cam belt job to be done on Monday so hopefully it will all still go through. I'm running out of days to get things done. Off to Wellington on Tuesday, a plumber coming in Wednesday, locksmith Thursday and flying out Friday.

Last night I had a wonderful dinner with Mike and family and Tony and Alison. Pleasant company and a nice catch-up.

This morning I was awoken early (7.15) with telecom ringing to say that they have reinstated my e-mail account (they stopped it by mistake on Saturday and it has all my travel, passport, immigration, work permit information in the folders). Good now - all sorted but why they can't follow instructions properly in the first place I don't know. I made arrangements a month ago and on Thursday when cancelling the phone line and fixed broadband I made arrangements to keep the xtra account going but some technician obviously didn't read the worksheet properly. A sign of the times I suppose.

As I was awake early on a Sunday I went for a walk in the city and had breakfast at the new bagel place co-owned by Al Brown (this guy is a wizard - kind of like a Rick Stein of New Zealand) named Best Ugly.
The salmon, caper and cream cheese bagel I had was superb.


On the way back along Wellesley Street I heard the bells ringing from St Matthews in the city. This is the wonderful Anglican cathedral, the one that has the controversial billboards outside.



I went in and there was a 4 person and conductor choral group rehearsing for the morning service accompanied by the organ. I stayed for a few songs that were beautifully performed with the voices soaring to the high vaulted ceiling.



Feeling suitably refreshed in spirit I thanked the attendants and made my way home.

I think that god-beliefs and religion is a load of claptrap but I've always liked the trappings that go along with the High Anglican and Catholic services. To me it is a celebration of man's accomplishments in architecture, art and music. Sitting in a cathedral and listening to beautiful music - what could be better?

Friday, 26 July 2013

LISTENING POST

Dame Jane Salmond.
I knew of your reputation and accolades but seeing you on TV3 putting a sensible, considered and accurate opinion on the danger of the GCSB bill brought it home to me of what an impressive person you are.

Regardless of whether the proposed bill has merit or not it is the way that government is shamefully bulldozing it through that is a worry. Civil liberties and personal freedoms have been hard fought for over centuries and we should celebrate the relative openness that we have in New Zealand society. Once given away they will be very hard to win back.

Salmond's arguments were in some ways simplistic when talking of our parents and grandparents fighting against fascism and Nazism to 'make the world a better place' but that is the nature of rhetoric and the necessity to get a message across.

It is a shame that so many people have willingly (or is that blindly) given away their privacy in their adoption of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and of course blogging, that they don't recognise what the long term effects of the GCSB bill passing in its current format will be. The data mining capability against all private citizens along with the 'suspects' is a blatant and unreasonable invasion of privacy.
As I said before there may be some merits in it but, if so, the whole issue needs to be carefully and fully evaluated and discussed not rammed through at the whim of Shonkey who is being manipulated by international forces.

Fortunately I'm in Auckland this weekend so will be at the anti-bill rally. Got that GCSB? Of course you have.



Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Friday, 19 July 2013

HEADS I WIN

So who thinks that the American movie industry has run out of (good) ideas?
Anyone who says no obviously hasn't heard about Sharkano.


This a terror/disaster film about sharks somehow being sucked up and spewed over city areas and ....

Fuck!

Some idiot wrote this.

Another idiot accepted and bankrolled it.

Other idiots produced, directed and acted in it.

Armageddon must be imminent.

This got me thinking though. As this concept is so stupid yet millions get spent on making it and I assume that more millions will be spent on sad and stupid people watching it, why can't I write a ridiculous film script and concept?

While driving around today my mind wandered (as it does) and I thought of this Hollywood  movie idea.

TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE.....
But not if you've only got one knob

A two headed person(s) (it happens OK?) who has(ve) grown up to early adulthood, having gone through formative years of family upbringing, education, employment and various social successes and disasters but .....

.... one of the heads is heterosexual and the other is homosexual.



Without going into a lot of Rousseau-like discourse on nature vs. nurture (this is a Hollywood movie remember) the main dynamic is one sibling being straight and the other gay. No problem right in these enlightened times but, hello, we're talking about two heads and the same body here. Richard and Ricardo have different orientations and good on them. Everyone has a choice right?
Yes but they both have the same body. The same tackle. When Richard wants to get it on with a totty, irrespective of whether Ricardo is awake or not he has to use little Richard to do the business.
Alternatively when Ricardo has a hot date he uses little Richard (well he calls him little Ricardo) to consummate the relationship. Problem? could be but imagine the comedic opportunities.



What do you reckon?

Couldn't be worse than Sharkano.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

RAMBLING ON

I haven't posted for a while, having been busy packing and stacking and divesting myself of a life-time of existing in godzone. Really, it makes you want to spit. because we want to live overseas for anything from two to four years it seems we have to virtually renounce our citizenship. This is not from the government who surely love us as upstanding and contributing members of society - no it's all those other bastards agencies like telecommunications companies, health insurance agencies, insurance organisations etc. who have limited 'holiday' allowances but see a great opportunity for new sign-up fees when someone leaves for more than 12 months.



I must admit that I was a bit luke-warm about the OE plan. The hassle and expense of it all was daunting but so too was leaving this bit of paradise that is my home not to mention leaving my best friend Willow the pussycat. The Old Girl said that I passed the test when I agreed to go with her overseas as she was never sure if I loved her or the cat more.

Maybe a compromise is in order


Now though, with the house empty, the Old Girl in Canada and living on spartan meals (the cupboards have been stripped) I'm ready to go.
The new tenants are moving things in and I leave for Auckland next week. After emptying and tidying the Auckland apartment I'll be off at the end of the month to meet up with the Old Girl which I'm really looking forward to.

Like that other old guy Richard, I've had a bad cold - a man cold - which has slowed up my activities over the last week. I won't post any of those disgusting snot images like Richard did but I'm sure you can imagine it. I bought some strong cold remedy from the chemist and it turns out to be a form of speed so I've been awake from 2 or 3 in the morning each day. Great for catching up on reading but it certainly makes me tired during the day.




Wednesday, 10 July 2013

TRANSPORT WOES

THE HUB, or Richard's Bass Bag was once a thriving centre that catered to a community of dedicated bloggers who enjoyed the advantages of being found and finding others in a thriving and stimulating atmosphere.

RBB set for the future


Outsiders or non-bloggers (who?) could also access interesting blogs via 'The Hub' without having to resort to laborious search engine enquiries. Everyone was happy.

Richard's Bass Bag was a shining example of what was contemporary and reliable and attracted other bloggers to enter blogging land.

RBB could be relied on even it it was slightly pink

Over the last 18 months there's been a gradual decline. 'The Hub' has looked tacky and there's been a marked decline in travellers. The services have been shortened with some service providers going out of business or choosing other transport centres.

Richard's own blog seems to be declining as well. The once smart and shining example is now looking a bit clapped out.

RBB is looking a bit lonely and uncared for



If we don't see a turnaround in commuter numbers then RBB will soon look like this:



And 'The Hub' we have so relied on will become this:


Monday, 8 July 2013

TRADING PLACES

When I go to Canada, if I can't get a job I think I'll train in some sort of trade.

I've mentioned before of the problems getting tradespeople to do a job of work up here. See:


It is extremely frustrating when trying to get a job done that you have to contact at least three tradespeople before you get a call back. This week, because we are leaving for a few years I've had to arrange chimney sweeping, house cleaning, furniture removal, roof inspection and garden maintenance.
On each requirement the first and often the second tradesperson/company I have contacted via their listed telephone and e-mail contacts have failed to respond. It is usually, after losing a couple of days precious time, that the third contact comes through (and gets the contract). What the hell is wrong with these people? I understand that often they are individual traders and are out doing the job during the day but why advertise if you don't follow up? Their problems are in:


  • Administration
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Advertising
These are all things I have (had to do) done in my jobs over the last 30 years. Onerous I know but it brings results.


I've suggested to the Old Girl before that I could be a tradesman. After she's picked herself up off the floor laughing she's said no, that's not a good idea. See:


But I reckon with a bit of training I'll be 'home and hosed".
All I've got to do is advertise, market, respond to requests for information and then do.

If I can't do I'll 'get a man in' to do it.




Wednesday, 3 July 2013

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE



The Old Girl left for Canada tonight. Bugger!

I know that we'll meet up in a month but it's the longest we will have been apart for a quarter of a century.

Who'll cook my tea?

A standing joke between T.O.G. and me is the " Who'll cook my tea" question. Years ago there was an ad on TV with (I think) a deep fried chip and a bottle of tomato sauce. Sauce (female) says to chip (male) that she's leaving him. Chip thinks for a moment and then say's "who'll cook my tea"
Hahahahahahahahahhahhahahahahah......whoooohoooooo.....hahahahahahahahahahahahahah......oh dear - you had to be there.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

GOODBYE AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH

Well, that's what they might have said as we don't go out depleting their food supply.


Yesterday, as we were loading the car with The Old Girl's bags (she's off to Canada today) we noticed three orca close to the shore. They were chasing stingray I guess and weaved in and out of the moored boats.

What a magnificent sight and perfect for T.O.G.who won't see such a sight for at least the next two years.

"WE'RE A TOILET"

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...