Saturday, July 21, 2012

No Ciggies on display from tomorrow!

Tomorrow we will no longer see cigarettes on display in our shops in New Zealand. Like Australia we will face a backlash the big bully tobacco companies who are threatening to sue us when we also make the compulsory to only have the ‘cancer sticks’ packed in plain packets.
It doesn’t help that we have one of our prominent politicians maintaining that it hasn’t been proven that the cigarettes causes thousands of deaths a year in New Zealand. I am sure he since regretted that statement. One issue the Maori Party and Hone Harawira are united on is their total opposition to smoking, along with many other politicians in all parties.
I know it is incredibly hard to stop smoking and I admire those who have kicked the habit. I support any government/taxpayer efforts to help those who wish to cease smoking. We are all winners if they succeed.
What’s next? ----- Fighting the massive issue of obesity and its incumbent mate---diabetes of course. So before I ever claim anyone trying to stop smoking lacks backbone----well I just look in the mirror and take a peek at the scales.
So, stuff off big tobacco companies and their ‘fast/fatty/sugary’ food manufacturing mates. Placing a few salads on the menu doesn’t disguise the other crap on sale.

Australia--- a huge increase in readers---what's happening!

I am very happy that there has been a huge increase in readers from Australia following my musings. Hell--- on a few days latley you have outnumbered my Kiwi friends. Keep it up, but better still, m,ake some comments---good or bad--- I don't mind; lets face it--- we have been slinging the 'brown stuff' at one another for many years---- it is now a normal and harmless ritual between us.
Better still, once my new website is up an running very soon, buy my books.


Another tragedy in the USA--Aurora

How many times do we have to watch these terrible events unfold--- all because someone goes crazy with guns; this time a planned multi-murder of so many innocent victims. Each of the dead and injured had stories attached to why they were at the cinema for the late evening screening. When we hear these stories, some form the survivors and other about the dead, we think—‘there for the grace of God,’ it could have been me.
Once again the issue of ‘gun laws’ will be debated. Some will say that individuals bent on killing will always find ways to get their hands on guns. They will say that their constitutional rite to bear arms transcends the calls for tougher gun laws. They will also witness many more murders as yet more mentally disturbed, politically or faith-driven individuals or groups unleash slaughter on the public.
At what stage is the USA going to take a long hard look at itself and put aside the perceived need to arm themselves? Yes, I know that bearing arms is seen as a necessity to ‘protect property and life,' because the police are unable to perform these functions. The USA does not have that issue on its own.
Even in little New Zealand with its 4.5 million people, we have had some sad instances of mass-killings; the example in a Dunedin suburb many years ago where more than a dozen people were hunted down by a crazy gunman comes to mind. I am not sure of the proportionality of such events and whether the USA has more than its share of these events, but they certainly capture world-wide attention when they occur. Perhaps that is more a question of media control.
As the people of Colorado deal with this latest tragedy and ask themselves—‘why?’ then let us once again send our thought and prayers to those affected. The unanswered questions go way beyond the theatre in a small town--- it could be anywhere.

Rangiriri Cafe & Heritage Centre-- a must stop!

If you are travelling south of the Bombay Hills heading down State Highway One, make sure you stop at historic Rangiriri, the site of a battle where steadfast Maori made a stand against Governor Grey’s invasion of the Waikato.
The Rangiriri Café and Heritage Centre has it all; that is if you want to combine a good breakfast (or lunch and afternoon tea) with a bit of New Zealand history. The café is situated in a purpose built historic building, in the same manner of the 1860’s era. I was fooled into thinking that it was actually old, somewhat like the old hotel about a hundred metres away. Either way, it is a perfect place to house many objects and relics from the war that raged in the area as the Colonial troops advanced deeper into Tainui Territory.
There is also a small room set up to show an audio visual presentation of the Land Wars, for a small payment of course. The room with the accompanying café would be a perfect venue for a mini-conference.
The menu is typical for most cafes with the addition of ‘gluten-free’ offerings, something that many cafes leave off their menus. Most of the cakes, slices and scones are made by the friendly proprietor. We didn’t have the breakfast as we had already eaten, but the coffee and slices were fine. I observed two other happy customers sampling the ‘big breakfast’--- I was tempted to have a second breakfast; that may have meant my travelling companion informing my doctor. I had to settle for the promise of enjoying such fare next time.
There is also a gift shop, so after enjoying the fare available, I would suggest checking out the item on sale which includes NZ Souvenirs: Possum, Merino, Wild Ferns, Skincare products, Salt Lamps, Kauri Products, Glassware, Garden Art, Ceramics and much much more.
BY the time you wave goodbye and join the busy highway, you should be well satisfied with your stop.
If you wish to have dinner on your return to Auckland--- visit the historic hotel and partake of their legendary huge meals.