Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scribe---are you advocating violence if someone says something you don't like?!

Scribe is way off the mark and shows that he thinks violence is possibly 'justified.' he says that there may be another side to the 'story.' Reall?----and that makes it OK. Shame on you Scribe. I have always thought that your were an OK guy, but if you really think that 'someone (read Ryder) said something and that people in the area near the 'establishment' are humble and don't beat up on people without good reason, then you are justifying the actions of a group of thugs. I can not think of works that would have make it OK to beat up Jesse Ryder.
Yes, we will hear what led up to the violence but I suspect that it is going to be in a pretty 'down the scale' manner and that these thugs I (some related) took this chance to show their 'manhood' and to look good in front of their 'friends.'
If that is the world you want for us, then I hold little hope for NZ's future direction.
How about you take a good hard look at your words of 'wisdom' and reflect upon them. Then, just maybe you will start to win back some repsect!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Peter Dunne---Why do we have to wait until August?

I remember quite a few Blogs ago that I praised Mr Dunne, the Minister in charge of remedying the situation re the sale of synthetic cannabis in our Dairies (corner shops) and other establishments. It seems that I was a bit naive about this possible partial solution to the danger posed by these ‘substances’ to the youth (and others) in our country.

I hear that we have to wait until August. Why?! WE have seen this Government push through other legalisation that many New Zealanders do not support and they do it quickly. Yes, I am aware that there is a ‘procedure’ that must be followed but for this legalisation, I don’t even mind if they push it through and take the credit, because it would at least go towards stemming the flow of these damned evil drugs.

So, once again I say to anyone who reads this----TAKE YOUR OWN ACTION. YOU KNOW YOUR LOCAL SHOP. Find out if they sell the ‘stuff’ (K2 at the moment) and strongly let them know that you will not be supporting their business until they desist in this action of greed and endangerment of our communities. Pass this on to as many friends and contacts as you can! Make sure that the shops know about a poster that is available to be displayed that says quite clearly that-----‘We do not sell any harmful substances.’ OK, I know that smokes could be in that category, but that is another battle.

People-power has worked before. If the Government will not act immediately in the best interest of its citizens, then WE the people must.

Friday, March 29, 2013

North Korea threatens war---again----but-------

North Korea yet again is making ‘war type’ noises, threatening to rain missiles down on the USA and God knows who else. Russia and China must be cringing at the thought of having to support NK if the possibility comes to fruition.

Of course the USA has responded calmly by reiterating that they are ready for any eventuality. There is a certain amount of smugness in this response and perhaps the very fact that the USA is conducting what can only be assumed to be ‘threatening’ military exercises in South Korea does little to bring down the anti.

Back to the position of North Korea and its megalomaniacal leader; well that is something else again. The NKs spend huge amounts of money on military ‘needs’ while many of the population starve and lack any freedom. The country has been locked away from the real world for so long that any sense of reality of the world at large for most NKs is completely lacking. They know nothing but deprivation and whatever the current leaders have fed them for more than 60 years. Is it any wonder that they are cowered and have little inclination or the means to challenge their sorry lives?

If North Korea follows through on its threats, then the result would be cataclysmic for them. The USA would be forced to retaliate in kind if NK nuclear weaponry makes it as far as the USA. NK’s former allies would be stupid to come alongside; instead they would watch form the side line, knowing that their economic futures are tied inextricably to that of the USA. Perhaps the ‘global economy’ has a few good points, at least from a ‘world peace’ perspective, if not much else.

Then again, perhaps the ‘Dear Leader’ is once again posturing in order to garner support from his possibly put of control military complex and to persuade the rest of the world to send in humanitarian aid. He can’t have it both ways!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stop the sale of K2 in dairies---it's easy!

The claims that K2 (yet synthetic cannabis) is even worse than ‘pot’ and ‘P’ are alarming. The fact that your local dairy may be selling this nasty ‘newbie’ makes the situation that much worse. I have a simple message. Talk to your friendly dairy owner and suggest that he or she shows the sign that featured on the news that clearly states that the shop DOES NOT SELL SYNTHETIC CANNABIS. If they are unwilling to do this then blacklist them. Make it obvious that you are doing so and ask your neighbours and friends to do the same.

I know that sales will continue ‘underground but the least we can expect from our ‘local’ shop is to play a part in positive community health. No one should be adding to their income by selling these dangerous substances. Hell, we have enough of the legal ones without adding to our problems.

Give them a few weeks to abide by your collective pressure, then deliver the ultimate sanction----‘withdraw your support!

I will be able to eat this again---in small quantities

Take a look at what Rio just cooked. OK, I can't eat it at the moment, but I will in the future. The dish is Indonesian Nasi Goreng (fried rice). I know it is yummyn to the max. I am exerting total self-control. Rio says---'this is my way of supporting you---testing your resolve!' The cruel bugger! But he's right. If I can sit and watch him eat that while I munch on yet another 'Optitrot'  bar, then I can achieve anything.
Home made Nasi Goreng.

My Beautiful sub-tropical fruit---can't wait to eat them!

I only have a small garden area, that I have to share with my 'explosively behaved' Jack Russell, Perdy. One thing she can't dig up or destroy is my collection of sub-tropical fruit tress. Thank God that they are beyond even her wildest endevours. Take a look at my pictures of bananas, Cherimoya (some mistakenly call them custard apples), Cassimiroa (these are actually custard apples) and feijoas. I alos have a mandarin tree, a lemon/lime dual tree and a kaffir lime tree. I use the leaves for cooking although I also like the very bitter taste of the fruit.
If you are wondering how NZ can grow such fruit trees---take a look at the map and you will see that Auckland is just below the edge of the sub-tropical climes and with 'climate change,' well--- you know the rest--at least those of you who believe in that 'concept.'
Cassimiroa (custard apples)

But why don't you try 'calorie control?'

All I can say initially when I hear someone say---‘why don’t you control the calories you eat and then you won’t have to take that dramatic step you are taking?’ is----well WTF do you think I have tried for the last 30 bloody years!?

Yeah, crude I know, but true! I have been there done that and exhausted all reasonable regimes; the ‘fad,’ well thought one ones---you know the ones from the ‘fitness, weight-loss industry that sucks billions of dollars from ‘followers’ pockets worldwide each year. So many of them are based on dishonesty and in the very least--- ‘failed science.’ I go back to something I have said so many times.

‘How many fat people over 40 have you seen who have lost weight and kept it off---indefinitely?’ Be honest and don’t just focus on the very few who you do know. Remember the many others who have just continued their ‘yo-yo dance with fat,’ and gone on to develop all the illnesses that go with that deadly dance.

I have been called weak (maybe I am), selfish, (we all have a bit of that in us) greedy and possessing an ‘eating disorder.’ I can probably go along with the latter. Either way, I have reached a time when, enough water has flown under my bridge to make me think that time is running out. I have to cut the source of the water and stem the flood. OMG---what a lot of crap!

Today, less than a week before my operation, a source very close to where I live told me to do an ‘ethnic’ diet (one that has existed for a few thousand years) and to basically ‘calorie control’ my intake. She was very concerned at my ‘extreme solution.’ I respect her opinion and her offer of support. If only all neighbours for all of us were the same---would we not have a better world?

OK---off to break open yet another Optifast bar for lunch. I am so over them!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jesse Ryder did nothing to deserve this!

What happenned to Jesse Ryder is so wrong. Yes, we all know he has had difficulty re his drinking and it may have even re-emerged in the last few weeks. Jesse was about to go to India for the season and things should have worked well for him, but last night he got into some sort of altercation with a young man at a bar. Jesse walked away and he was King hit by a patron whose family then got stuck into Jesse.
I can think of almost nothing that could justify this action. That several of the group attacked Jesse and caused such damage sickens me. What sort of 'thinking' is behind such a cowardly attack? Even if Jesse gave them some lip, the reposnse was so over the top that I am left wondering just how safe our sportsmen and women are when they go out. Do we have to employ minders for them? Society is sick of these criminals who believe they have the right to take such actions. This group must be idendtified and dealt to---- but the law, not some group that thinks it has the right to take its own form of action. Yes, even these low lifes deserve 'justice.' As for Jesse---go well mate!

Slovenia---how did you find my blog?

When I see a country viewing my blogs for the first time, I am at least intrigued and also happy. I would love to know how you found 'me.' Please reply in the comments section. If not, oyu are most welocme anyway. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs as much as I enjoy writing them. I started them to 'push' my books---see  but that has been a bit of a waste of time. Oh well, at least there is no risk of losing money with my blogs.  Have a wonderful Easter break.

Goodbye Pork Pie journey begins.Kaitaia to the Bluff and back again!

Fantastic, the 'Spirit of James Cook High made it as far as Kaitaia and all is wel. Go Cameron!

The 'Spirit of James Cook HIgh.'

Belgium and Ecuador--chocolates and coffee

I know----way too simplistic. It's just great to see you reading my blogs. Just keep it coming and so shall I.

Just one week to go--met the target and then some!

Yes, only one week until I head on in t the Ascot Hospital for my surgery. It seems that it is going to be a tow for the price of one affair. For the last month or so I have been putting up with a lot of pain around my right rib and back area along with some interesting ‘burping at night. I put the latter aside, blaming to on my CPAC machine (the one I use for what may soon go away---sleep Apnoea) and explained the pain as a result of my continually throwing the ball for Perdy with my ‘thrower.’
I had not noticed the little note on the admission note for the hospital that had hiatus hernia suspected and that I had signed a release from for a procedure to fix that. It was only when I asked if I could be paying extra that I became interested. Of course it explained the pain. I also learned those there was to be no extra cost and that it wouldn’t complicate things at all. I now know that the pain will go away and that walking will also be more comfortable.
How have I done on ‘Optitrot?’ (Oops---Optifast) Well, despite my permanent dislike of the taste or to be fair the fact that I have had to spend the last three weeks with a relatively narrow range of gastronomic choice, the product works. One just has to stick with it and not stray from the dietary guidelines. The worst thing I have done is to have some milk in an occasional coffee and sneak in an extra piece of fruit on some days.
I have lost about 11 kgs and I have a week to go. The nurse who rang me prior to my being admitted next Thursday was pleased with my weight loss. I know I can get there now, with a bit to spare. I suspect that I shall lose at least another kilo.
Easter is coming up so I shall use that time to have some lovely ‘adventures with Perdy and family. I can feel a trip to Kakamatua Inlet coming up. We love that place, out on the Manukau Heads. I will have a few coffees, but will match that with some extra walking.
How am I feeling? I can only say that I doubt that I have felt better (apart from the obvious pain from the hernia), had more energy, clearer skin and a better outlook re my health for a long time. The expected statements came my way re---‘well you can avoid the operation now.’ NO, NO and NO! They just don’t get it. I need this ‘tool’ that the operation represent to enable me to stay on top, to make the symptoms of Diabetes, sleep apnoea, high cholesterol, blood pressure and the like to lesson, if not go away completely. My body will fight my current weight loss and it is almost inevitable that the weight will pile back on. Ask yourself if you hold the prior view----‘do you know many people over 40 who have been very overweight and have managed to keep their weight off?’ I want you to be really honest and not just ‘clutch at the ‘straw of that one or maybe two people that have done so. It is very rare. Yes there are those gym bunnies out there who have managed that, but they are as equally if not more so, than I am about what I have done.
It has been a wake-up call of a major kind for me but I have arrived at the place where I am content with my decision and I have nothing but positivity towards what will come next.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Justin Beirber---I hope you are not turning into a little 'prat!'

Firstly, Justin kept his fans waiting for what seemed like a way over the top amount of time and now we are hearing that his neighbours have taken umbrage at his behaviours. I don’t know what happened but I would hate to see this talented young man morph into an arrogant twat with a belief that the rest of us (well his fans and those who live near him) don’t really matter.
There are countless examples of total AH’s out there in entertainment world so and we don’t need more of them!
Step carefully and more sensitively Justin, if you want your ‘reign’ to last.

'P' is alive and well---the battle is far from over!

Today’s report in the New Zealand that police filmed an average of 27 visitors to a ‘P’ lab (Methamphetamine) a day just goes to show that New Zealand has a long way to go in the battle against this scourge on society. This goes against some reports that the demand for this drug has diminished.
We must continue the pressure on the supply lines, the ‘cook houses’ and groups who involved in the trade. The cost to society is far too high if allow for the proliferation of ‘P’ and this means increased surveillance on suspected dealers then so be it. To those who something sinister in such moves, then maybe they should familiarize themselves with the damage done to so many, be they family of users or at the extreme end, young children living in ‘cook houses, being exposed to incredibly dangerous fumes and toxins.
If the police relent in their battle, we will see ‘P’ getting out of control again. As bystanders and observers, we owe it to our children and New Zealand as a whole to ‘tell and expose’ the pushers of this substance. Get that off the streets and maybe we will see light at the end of the tunnel.
See my book, 'Roksill,' for a 'down to earth' kidult expose of the impact of 'P' in New Zealand,
go to or contact me dircetly at

Good Bye Pork Pie is about to launch!

Yes, after many months of hard labour the students and teachers have done it. The brightly coloured mini has been completely make-over and is about to start a very long journey. Cameron and his partner will travel to Kataia and then head towards Invercargill and back again to Auckland. They will raise money for Leukaemia and blood cancer research. I will let you know later how to give to this worthy cause.
Go back and look at some of the older blogs on this journey; about how many of the students really engaged with this project. I will be in contact with Cameron during his epic ‘voyage’ so expect some ‘stories.’
Go little mini and take the good wishes of the James Cook High School community.

Cameron and the little mini.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Youths riot in South Auckland. How close are we to a mini LA style riot?

We have a situation in South Auckland and other parts of New Zealand that is the seed that will grow into the riots we have seen on our TV screens from the USA; namely LA. Maybe it is on a much smaller scale and the impetus for such a riot is not as strong but we need to pay attention to the causes now.

It is well known that a large number of our young people are neither in work nor in training. They have no investment in a future and when that happens and numbers approach 20% plus of that segment of our population in several areas of New Zealand, then if you add a few other factors like drug and alcohol fuelled anger then the fuses are ready to be lit.

Toughening up is the usual response, just like we have seen re the ‘boy racers’ in Christchurch. That can work for a while but unless the symptoms are addressed, then we risk our streets becoming battle grounds between disaffected youths (and other already marginalized groups) and the police.

 The politicians will scream at one another in Parliament but that will not solve the problem. The fact that young people are not part of the system and have ‘time’ on their hands is a powerful impetus to violence on the streets. Let’s face it; we can’t lock them all up. We have to engage with our young people and give them hope to replace the hopelessness they now feel. We must act now, before society as a whole becomes the Victim to its own uncaring attitude. It is much cheaper to spend the money on ‘training and engagement’ programmes than building prisons and paying the compensation to the injured that will result from non-action.

It is a problem for all of us and trying to hide behind our smugness and sense of, ‘Well I’m OK, so why can’t they do what I did?’ will serve us as a nation.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I checked out the Ascot Mercy Hospital in Greenlane today.

My surgery date is April the 4th at the Ascot Mercy Hospital in Greenlane. I visited the hospital today because I had to take in my form and to make the arrangements to pay. The hospital is just off the Southern motorway, so access is really easy, as is parking.

I approached the friendly lady at reception and was directed to the admission part. One advantage of a smaller private hospital (yes, I had to go private as the free State system doesn’t do bariatric surgery for people over 50) is that it everything is smaller and less rushed in the way you are treated. Hell, I should think so, because the process is going to cost me NZ$17,100, minus a contribution from my medical insurance policy. I am most pleased that I didn’t cancel it last year when I was looking at ways to trim my budget, but now that I have to trim my body, I am pleased with my decision.

I sorted out my pre-admission and trotted on off to the bank to make sure all was well re the loan. Now all I have to do is pick up a bank cheque next week to take with me on my ‘date with destiny.’

Of course, I have to get through 12 more days of Optifast, but I know I can do it now. Tomorrow I shall take Perdy with me to Hamilton to have lunch with my brother. Yes, we will have a nice cook-up----steak, oven chips, grilled eggplant and spinach cooked with Zucchini and spices. Don’t get excited. I can only have the later dish along with yet another Optifast bar. I shall watch my brother and sister tucking into the steak and wedges, along with the wine.

No, it doesn’t get to me at all. Hell, last night I watched 2 hours of the Food Channel, so if I can do that without sticking my head in the fridge, then I can achieve anything. Cooking for others has really helped me get through this.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Telecom's woes, and 'others.'

Like all companies, Telecom faces stiff opposition and it is always looking at ways to become more competitive. Unfortunately this means that is looks at ways of cutting its cost all in the name of ‘efficiency.’
This means that it has (like others) ‘contracted out’ and the core staff numbers slowly (but soon, dramatically) fall. We all know that call centres are not based in New Zealand and we can tell stories of operators that we find hard to understand. Of course we tend to remember the more unfortunate interactions rather than the huge numbers that are just fine.
With this ‘sinking lid policy,’ it must be emotionally stressful for those employees remaining as the core group within such companies. They must be continually looking over their shoulders, wondering when and on whom the axe will next fall.
What does this do for corporate morale? I hate to think of the stress that this puts employees under. The world and in Telecom’s case, must be worse off for this slow ‘death march.’ This tendency has been apparent for many years in a large number of companies. Is it any wonder that this lack of meaningful job security is starting to take its toll on society? We shall witness much more of this steady process and the consequences for communities and nations do not give me confidence for the future.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Telecom's relentless determination to dump on it's workforce!

One of the nastiest aspects of the so-called ‘free market’ economy is its propensity to screw the workers who have contributed so much to company profits. Many of our top companies espouse policies that claim to value and support their ‘people resources.’ All of that has amounted to nothing if we are to believe that Telecoms latest moves to dump more than 1000 skilled workers is nothing more than a slap in the face to any claim that such companies care about their workers. These firms have ‘team-building days’ and they feed their workers nothing more than lies about ‘bright futures’ if only they support the culture of the said firms.

Telecoms actions are tantamount to lies and serious misleading of their employees, all in the name of massive profits and huge salaries for the directors and shareholders. Not only are the workers left high and dry, but New Zealand as a country risks losing many of these skilled people, because bills do not go away and the need to seek new employment will drive them overseas. We will be left with a sizable skills-gap and once again we will be searching for qualified replacements just as we observe our economy beginning to ramp up.

Why Telecom, just at a time when people were actually starting to believe that things were changing? Your timing and your rationale are all wrong. You don’t give a stuff about New Zealand other than a place to extort profits. Do not be surprised when New Zealanders take umbrage at your latest actions and find new ‘providers.’

Gone are the days when firms had a social conscience. A once proud company has stooped to new lows and they in the end will be the loser.

New Zealand does it again---now your milk will taste better!

Good on you, Fonterra, the New Zealand company that is fast becoming the biggest dairy producer in the world. Their latest offering is a high tech triple layer plastic bottle that will keep milk fresher and better tasting for longer. This is cutting edge technology, something that New Zealand is very good at. This time it will benefit all milk lovers and no doubt the technology will have flow-on effects to other products.
Baristas say that the milk is easier to ‘stretch’ and that it tastes better in the coffee too. I can’t wait to have my coffee with this new product. Keep a look out for the new milk containers. Mmmm--- I wonder of we can use them at home once the milk has been consumed to store other products.
Fonterra say that the cost of the bottle is more but that it won’t make milk cost more. Yeah right---it costs more than Coca-Cola as it is!

UK readers---you are closing in on Russia

It seems that my readers in the UK have almost caught up with those from Russia. That is because Russia has completely dropped off the scene. Hell, I haven’t been giving Russia too much flak lately; that is no more than other countries. Maybe I should write some blogs that are specifically about Russia----the music, art, incredibly diverse geography just to start, instead of the political machinations. Then again, I can’t help it---Russia is so bloody ‘interesting.’ Mother Russia; particularly a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway, is most definitely on my ‘bucket list.’ Just think about it---if five million Russians brought my books I would be swimming in ‘largesse.’ Hey, if every library in Russia brought my books I would be able to achieve my dream. So (not just the UK and Russia) ---go to my website and buy my books. I have reduced the prices.

Hey Canada!

I'd love to know who is reading my blogs and get a bit of feedback eh! Before I depart this world, one of my dreams is to visit some of those beautiful islands in the passge between Vancouver Island and the 'mainland.' I have a forned form Quadro and there are many others that I have seen on Google. I have even read a two great books about life there. It looks pretty damn harsh n the Winter, but I could always get on over there in the Summer and pretend that life is 'always good.'  Myabe it's a dream, but it's a goodie!

Nick Smith---back off Auckland! We don't need your meddling.

A recent report about the future ‘spread’ of Auckland painted a picture that would best be described as a compromise between allowing an endless expansion of Auckland’s urban sprawl and‘containment.’ This meant that in selected areas, Auckland would be able to crawl over onto the green belt but at the same time, ‘moving on up,’ to a varying degree; like in some ‘hubs,’ the high rises would be to about 4 levels and at others, quite a lot higher.
These medium and high density high rises are planned to be around town centres with good transport links. To Aucklanders, it represented a good balance; they know that they cannot keep spreading over our valuable agricultural land. Let’s face it--- we need that land to feed us and anyone living in outer suburbs knows how long it takes to travel to the central city or to the other side of the sprawling mass that is Auckland. The fact is that Auckland spreads our far more than cities with ten times the population overseas.
We need our public transport to work for us; not necessarily making huge profits, but the maths all point to a higher density population to make it work. Other services also benefit from higher density living.
 We in Auckland are slowly changing; both in ethnic make-up and in attitude. They are different to rest of New Zealand. It is this change that will allow for the ‘new Auckland;’ the one that will see a thriving economic base and one that we can all enjoy with the ‘closer facilities’ that result from a more efficient city. There will still be the outer suburbs where it may be cheaper to live and also the larger sections that many will still desire. As long as we have a choice with this ‘compromise as proposed by the current Mayor and his council, then I believe that we are on the right track.
BUT---along comes Cabinet Minister, Nick Smith, with his proposal to legislate against Auckland’s plans for the future. He wants to allow for much more agricultural land to be opened up, all in the name of increasing the land needed for new housing on the periphery of Auckland; this at a time when Auckland must look to changing the historical mistakes of the past.
Nick, we don’t need your interference. We don’t need your bullying tactics. Leave Auckland alone, other than giving the support you should normally give, as in any other New Zealand city. Auckland’s Mayor and city planners may just have struck the right balance this time, so we don’t need your interference and thereby put us back many years as a result. Back off!

John Banks---what a plonker!

Yesterday John Banks (minister outside of Cabinet bad only there because John Key ‘needs him to prop up this Government) waxed lyrical about the failings of David Shearer and the latter’s failing to divulge an overseas bank account to Parliament. Banks demanded that Mr Shearer step down for his position for this quite tiny act. To Mr Shearer’s credit, he quickly made amends and made what could have been an embarrassment go ‘away.’ Thus David Shearer probably did not cop too much flak.

Now tonight we hear that John Banks was a holder of shares or at least had strong links to the company that has caused so much stress to teachers and other staff in schools who have still not seen the end of this stupid debacle.

Now is the time for David Shearer to show his true mettle, and let others do the ‘damaged.’ Mr Banks---your actions speak volumes about how low you are prepared to go, but your actions reflect just who you really are----a political nobody who has reached far above your ability and moral stature. Maybe it is time for you to bow out, just like your disaster prone former leader, Rodney Hide.

My Key---you must be rueing the day you got into the same political bed as dear Banksie!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just when I was wondering what I could eat!

Half way through my Optifast journey, prior to my operation, I was getting really bored with the ‘shakes, bars and veggies.’ Nothing seemed to taste good until I worked this little gem out. As part of my veggie allowance this is what I made.

Two little ‘balls’ of frozen spinach (I made them myself).

One grated zucchini

One green chilli

A dash of oil (my whole allowance—which was minuscule)

Garlic paste

Ginger paste

Salt, pepper and a teaspoon of garum masala.

Stir-fry the lot and wow!

I most definitely did not feel deprived tonight. It was so tasty that I shall replicate it at my brother’s place on Saturday for all of us. It was Ngaio who told me to use zucchini, bless her.

God--Hates----Faggots----Shock---all in one place!

Now what’s he on about, you say? Well, of course an explanation for my provocative ‘header’ is needed. A 50 year old possibly born-again Pentecostal Christian singer has managed to offend a good deal of the gay community and many others, by her latest utterings. Michelle Shocked, the singer in question is reported (it’s on YouTube, I hear) to have announced at a recent concert that ‘God hates Faggots.’ Most of the audience walked out.

Such an event would not have drawn so much reaction a decade or two ago. This was not some placard wielding loony, jumping up and down outside an abortion clinic or at a venue for a ‘gay marriage,’ but a concert where quite a diverse audience took exception to her ravings.

Her words of hate have caused about ten of her concerts to be cancelled. What drove her to such an outburst? It is said that she has been attending a Pentecostal church and various other rumours have circulated about her ‘sexuality.’ Maybe she was pissed off (not pissed, given her new ‘understandings’) about life, but she has most certainly paid the price.

In this day of ‘growing diversity and increasing tolerance, maybe the days of ‘hate and bigotry’ are on the decline.

I wish!

Optifast---day 15----what have dairy prices got to do with Optifast!?

Great for the farmers, if only the rain would fall but not so great for those who love dairy food. Milk etc. will go up markedly along with everything ‘diary.’ For me, that will not be so bad as I shall be having very little of it after my operation. Not only will dairy go up, so will meat of all description s imply because of the prolonged drought in New Zealand. Once again, for me it will be no big deal as I shall be eating so little after April the 5th---my operation date.
This is a mixed message today. I am well over the boring shakes and bars. I doubt that I shall want to eat chocolate again. I have stabilized and don’t have nasty tummy syndrome anymore. The weight is still coming off, but slowly she goes—about 300 gms a day. That’s cool. I am so bored not being able to cook. All I do is make salads and the odd steamed or stir-fry veggie dish.
Back to the plight of the farmers and those who love ‘dairy’----NO---- I am not suggesting we all have Bariatric surgery in order to make the budget balance but I am hoping for prolonged rain to help out our ever suffering farmers.

Charity and Trust can just be other words for greed!

Sometimes the words ‘Trust’ and ‘Charity’ can be well abused. How often have you wondered when you give to various ‘trusts’ and Charities’ whether the money will get to the so-called beneficiaries of those organizations? Let’s face it, there are so many of them vying for your precious dollars. I am sure you have all heard reports of some quite well known organizations that collect large sums of money, only to hear that quite a small proportion of the money actually gets to those who need it.
‘Administration costs’ they say. Other costs are also quoted including very generous salaries to agents who work on behalf of the ‘charities. The example in the Herald today took the cake; well actually it did, literally because most of the cake went to commission and various other ‘expenditure.’ The recipients, those needy researchers, working to find for cures for cancer, received only 5% of the money raised.
This has to stop; plain and simple. We need to find a way whereby there is a central collection agency for such causes and then the money is divvied out after an application is made to this ‘body.’ Sure, people can designate that they want money given to their ‘favourites, but the rest can go into an interest bearing fund, administered by a non-political body, (if that is possible) who will have the responsibility collect and distribute the fund. This sounds a bit like the commission that distributes profits earned form Lotto and the like. Just extend this.
I know people will be questioning my logic, quoting all sorts of reason why this should not happen. Well, I am not suggesting that people cannot give unsolicited money to their favourite organizations. You would still be able to give directly to the Startship Hospital for example.
Get through these issues and let the money go to where it should, without massive ‘deductions’ for associated costs. One body, not many and the money will start to make a difference.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mr Shearer fronts up---what Mr does Mr Key want?

I do not think that there is any doubt about the genuine mistake Mr Shearer made in omitting the $50,000 account he had overseas. I believe he has not tried to deceive anyone.
I am not surprised that The Prime Minister has tried to make political capital out of the event either. I am sure that Labour would have done the same if the reverse were true re any politician on the Government side.
So let’s not get bogged down in political twaddle and ho-hum---spend time on something that matters; like Novopay or the housing crisis just to name two issues.
Politicians will always play the game; but please not at the expense of concerns that matter!

Cruise ship and rail link--use our resources wisely.

I am not that astute at making money, otherwise I would have been well retired by now, sitting somewhere writing my blogs and books. That has a nice ring to it I reckon.
I just had a thought when I saw a picture of the huge Queen Mary sliding under magnificent peaks on a southern fiord in New Zealand. I thought---‘why on earth are we not using the large number of cruise ships visiting New Zealand every year to generate flow on affects? I am sure that there are companies out there who are offering ‘day trips’ and various other adventures, but would it not be wise to use our main railway links to support that visit, by off-loading people and taking them on a leisurely trip down the Main Trunk lines. The passengers could leave the train and seek out further short term destinations too; finally meeting up with their ships at ports like Wellington and Littleton (and Dunedin too of course). Then there are the various regional ports that could jump aboard, so to say, all benefiting from the idea.’
OK, I know that modern cruise lines have a very tight time frame so I guess it would have to just be the Main Trunk line that could be used at first. The splendid scenery along the North Island and Southern lines would only serve to both enhance the experience for the passengers and give a boost to the failing New Zealand railway service. Of course to gain legs, this idea would need to see a bit of an investment into our railway system.
Is it not worth a bit of an investigation?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jeremy Clarkson likens New Zealand to the 'Holy Land.!

I know New Zealanders have a ‘small town’ mentality at times and they get quite uptight when any criticism from a visiting dignitary hits the headlines. When John Cleese reported on a recent visit that Palmerston North (a University City, just north of Wellington) was a good place to commit suicide the citizens and mayor of the ‘afflicted’ city were aghast and probably would have launched a Jihad against him if they came from another continent.

Well now they have reason to forgive the enigmatic Cleese because Jeremy Clarkson has come to their ‘holy aid.’ The popular star of Top Gear has just completed a visit to New Zealand and his praise has indeed been a ‘cup runnething over’ with words of liquid poetry.

He loves the green beauty of Auckland (OMG---was he blind--- we are in the middle of the worst drought in decades?). Perhaps he was partaking in something else of the same colour he thought he saw.

Oh well, New Zealand needs favourable comments from the ‘Old Country’ as we once so fondly called the UK, so bring it on Jeremy. ‘Middle Earth’ thanks you from the bottom of our Hobbit hearts. Perhaps the Jesus connection will ring true to a few here too and the little dwellings at Matamata would have made a great setting for that ‘special day’ more than two millennium ago!

Thanks, Jeremy.

Rodney Hide---another 'outburst,' or is he correct?!

Rodney Hide is a ‘populist politician’ of the worst kind. He takes a fact and turns it into a lie because he does not tell the whole truth. His diatribe today is an example of that. He plays on people’s prejudices and distorts reality.

Take for example his claim that the rich pay their accountants to avoid taxes while the poor are destined to pay at an effectively higher rate. If ‘any’ Government were to expand and examine the reasons behind such a claim, then bring in policies that force the rich to pay their fair share (that is proportionate to what they are earning) such claims would be more valid of course, but that does not happen.

He claims that successive government policies have created the gap between rich and poor. That ‘partial’ truth therefore needs to be looked at in the light that 'history teaches us lessons, if only we would learn them.' Look at why the poor continue to fail and cannot manage to get their feet in the economic door; represented by a living wage and the capacity to own their own homes. Political survival and the need to attract enough votes in a three year cycle make this a likely outcome.

It seems that no party has the courage to make the mix between State and private participation work. Both major parties are hamstrung by their perceived political backers, thus making it nigh on impossible le to embed economic and social policies, much like those we see in Scandinavia, both historically and in the present.

The widening of the gap between rich and poor (and that entails the failures within the educational system) is alluded to by Rodney Hide but he deliberately mistakes the reasons for this. Our decile one schools are just that—decile one, not failures. The teachers in such schools are every bit as good and passionate about their work as those in decile 9 and 10 schools (if not better), but they are hampered by many factors, the least being the lack of capacity for parents to mirror the strengths and skills needed along with the economic clout to take part in the ‘competitive race’ that schools have become. How many students can afford the lap tops or Ipads that their counterparts possess in those schools at the top of the pile? Even those in the middle are struggling now.

Rodney also plays the ‘race’ card in a cynical manner, by trying to blame ‘The Treaty’ and political correctness for the failings of students in lower decile schools. The small amount of time spent on such issues is nothing compared to the lack of resources the families and teachers face in such schools.

His comments about ‘benefits’ are repugnant. To talk about school girls dropping out of school in order to gain a ‘benefit’ is a gross misunderstanding of what is going on out there.

I wish Rodney could take the time to go to South Auckland and other areas of New Zealand and learn about life in the suburbs and not just take a few ‘figures’ and turn them into a nasty little attack in order to increase the fortunes of his almost defunct party.

However, if his outbursts stimulate debate about finding answers to New Zealand’s serious problems, then fine---bring it on!

Smoking in hospitals----another smokescreen?

What’s he on about now you may be saying. Yeah, you are right; my header is just a smokescreen to launch a quite different slant on the smoking debate. It is related to a report today that some of New Zealand’s largest hospitals are considering asking prospective employees whether they are smokers. One can only assume that they will take this into account when they make a decision about employing those people who admit to smoking.

The hackles are up amongst not just smokers, but others who use this as a reason to question the legality of the move and the issue around human rights. We have all heard the debates over the years about the right of those who don’t smoke to have access to clean smoke-free air. We have also seen hospitals slowly make their domains smoke-free. This latest proposition just goes the final step.

Should people who work in the health system be subject to be exclusion from employment if they smoke? Does it affect their job performance? Should they present as examples of good health, simply because they work in the health system? Surely that would be tantamount to saying that all teachers should not drink, smoke or engage in other health or morally ‘questionable’ activities.

In other words, where do we draw the lines? We must be consistent. I far prefer the other strategies related to lowering the number smokers in society. Taxing the products and continuing education thrusts, for the most part is achieving the overall gaol, slowly but most definitely. Yes’ there are some groups in New Zealand where such progress is slow, but some of them may eventually be forced to stop, because the costs related to smoking are becoming so high.

One final point must be made. If one was asked whether they smoked, would they not say ‘no,’ and then carry on as usual, well away from their pace of work? Would they then possibly live in fear that a workmate or employer might see them outside a local café, happily smoking away? Maybe that fear will have the flow-on effect of chasing these pesky smokers away from cafes too, leaving the rest of us to enjoy clean air and having to go inside the café on hot days in order to escape our tormentors. Oops. Sorry, I k now have just offended many people I know. Yes, I do suffer from your damn smoke as it drift across from where you are sitting, Damn it, you don’t even try to figure out which way the wind is blowing. There I have had my vent on that subject.

As for the hospital banning---get real, those in position to make this decision.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 11---Optifast---settled down now

My system seems to have settled down; that is after some pretty yucky days. I am no longer wondering if the next toilet is close enough to prevent a disaster and I have heaps of energy. The weight is steadily coming off, although little slower. That’s OK; that is what is meant to happen.

Today I took Perdy to the North Shore; Browns Bay to be exact and we had a great time. There were at least 50 dogs on the beach and Perdy seemed to want to say ‘Hi’ to every one of them; that is between chasing her ball along the kilometre long beach. What a great beach and what is even better; there are so many like this in Auckland. We are indeed blesses for choice.

Yesterday was on the complete opposite side of the city. We travelled about 30 minutes to Kakamatua Inlet on the Western side of the city and then had a coffee at Huia, right at the entrance to the Manukau Harbour.

After the beach, we headed to the online Pharmacy shop to exchange the horrible soup for bars and shakes. I must say that Pharmacy Direct have treated me really well. Still feeling good, we headed towards the old area of Birkenhead (right by the Harbour Bridge or ‘Coat Hanger’ for those who know Auckland. Once again Perdy was well behaved as she usually is in café situations. She just sits under the table, watching the world go by. The only difference now is that my hand doesn’t slip down to offer her a treat. I’m not having them---just the coffee. I’m not hungry---I feel fine.

OK, now I’m sitting watching NZ doing rather badly in the cricket test against England, before we head down to our now iconic bay.  Catch ya later!

Auckland to go 'high rise.'

Auckland is considering the possibility of going ‘high rise’ as it needs to fit another million people in the next 30 years. That figure is what the ‘planner’ think is feasible. Maybe they will be way under in their estimates as events overseas play out. Either way, Auckland has to find a way to fit these ‘extras’ in. I suspect that many of the new arrivals will come from overseas where such high rise living is the norm.

I believe that the new proposals are a good compromise between ‘spreading out and going up.’ We cannot afford to keep sucking up productive agricultural land’ as that is like selling the family silver so the proposal to build varying degrees of high and medium density apartments is the way to go.

However we must learn from the past and not build those ugly ‘pre-slum type examples that we can see in parts of the city. All new developments must have access to open spaces; ones that are safe and monitored. The last thing we want is gangs and hoodlums controlling these new complexes. It is going to take a mind shift in attitude amongst the new ‘dwellers’ to keep these places safe and stimulating.

I look forward to a bustling city that has good public transport and lots of opportunities for the inhabitants to enjoy their new city. If we don’t learn the lessons from the past and form overseas then we are doomed to have an ugly and unsafe city. We must not let that happen. As for me; well maybe I shall head for the far off suburbs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Are we ALL serious about the 'drinking and driving issue?'

One wonders if we are ALL serious about the drinking and driving issue when we read an article in the New Zealand Herald today. There, quite prominently, loud and clearly stated is the list of excuses we can give ‘forgiving’ judges about what excuse we can put before the court when we are caught with too much alcohol in our blood. Why on earth did the Herald publish such an article when as a ‘good citizen’ it should have been pushing the opposite? ----there is no excuse for drinking and driving.’ Indeed in some countries the blood level tolerance is a big fat ZERO!
Now we are going to have every wannabe, policeman, model and God knows what else, parading a list of excuses that will temp the judge into succumbing into a humanistic mode and let off yet more potential killers. Yes, but for fate, those drivers could well have killed themselves and worse---others.
So Mr/Mrs Granny Herald---take a stand and promulgate that which is so obviously in the best interest of our community. For that stand, you will achieve something far better than a ‘piece of news’ that none of us needed to read.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 9 on Optifast and pre-surgery

The first 5 days were ‘shite’ for me in every sense of the word, but things have changed massively. I have lost nearly 8 kgs in 9 days, way too much I would have thought. I know I hated the soups so I didn’t use them and after a few adjustments to my programme, I am completely on track. What is more, I am feeling great; lighter on my feet and energy to boot. My walks with Perdy down at the ‘Bay’ are more enjoyable, even in 25C.

I have taken an interest in making my vegetable allowance (2 cups a day of non-starchy veggies) as creative as possible. For example, tonight I steamed a bag of spinach, with capsicums, mushrooms and added garum masala, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper. I let it cool then enjoyed the water that was left in the pot. This way, I used my ‘obsession’ with food to work in my favour.

I have even played around with the shakes, to make them more interesting. One beauty was adding part of a nectarine to the mixture in my blender----wonderful. Another way of ‘fooling my system’ is to stick about 6 ice cubes in the blender and adding whatever flavour shake I wish and then letting the blender (you need a good one) do it ting. What comes out is something very much like ice-cream minus the calories.

I have just over three to go and I know that I am going to have some bad days, but so far I’m coping. This Saturday I am taking back the soups to the Pharmacy Direct shop in Northcote. They are very easy to deal with. I shall substitute the soups for bars and shakes.

I think the weight loss will stabilise soon. Hell, I can’t keep losing a kilo a day!


Jorge Bergoglio---will he make a difference?

The Catholic world has a new Pope, but in a great sense, that means the ‘World’ has a new Pope. What he says and the policies he peruses make a huge difference to the lives of many.
Jorge Bergoglio has been elected by the Conclave and he now heads a church in crisis. Many have left the church, particularly in Europe and the USA. Why is this so? Perhaps it is because many do not find the age-old traditions and head-in-the-sand approach applicable to their lives any more.
Will this Pope change that leakage and bring the millions back to the fold? If we look at his record in Argentina there are signs that he will achieve some change, but will he go far enough to reverse the position the Modern Catholic church finds itself in? Time will tell. In the meantime, may he have the strength to see the world as it really is; not from some antiquated and damaging manner that it is done so in the past.

Brazil---great to see you!

I am very happy to welcome the new reader(s) for Brazil. It just so happens that our Prime Minister has been visiting your great country. However, somehow I doubt that his  'Free Market/Capitalist poliicies will engender him to your President. Maybe she challenged him re his views that are starting to anger New Zealand voters, but then again, it was a meeting that had it main purpose as building the friendship and openning up new opportunities for trade and travel between  our two countries and even I wish him well in that.  There are mnay young Brazilains working in the New Zealand toursism industry and they seem to be very popular here. What we now need is some new immigrants from your country and hopefully they will bring the wonderful food that you are famous for, along with the misic and culture. Pass on my blogs to your friends and please visit my website to learn about the books I have written.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

South Korea---how do you put up with your crazy neighbour?

I totally admire the people of South Korea, living as they do under the threat of a megalomaniac in the North. It seems that at any time he is capable of launching an attack form the North. His crazy daddy and grandfather did the same, only this time there is the threat of a nuclear attack.
It will be the ordinary people, on both sides of the border who will suffer the most. The world must wake up and intervene. The North grinds its people into mediaeval slavery. The money that could be spent on alleviating their position goes instead into the military and totally unnecessary weaponry. When after all has there been a threat from the south?
Be strong my Korean friends. Hopefully the UN will not forsake you. In the meantime, build your economy and keep making wonderful cars and electronics. I shall keep supporting you by driving a Hyundai, watching my big Samsung and using my Korean Laptop====oops I forgot my phone.

Shark attack victim mocked on US TV--Jeselnik Offensive

I love to laugh; to the point that my sides ache. The saying, ‘I pissed myself laughing’ has a good deal of truth. There is a show on American TV (maybe a cable company) called Jeselnik Offensive. I guess the name itself should serve as a warning that it will not be PC and that is has shock value.
Today in the New Zealand Herald we read about this show and how it’s very funny presenter has made fun of a recent shark attack in New Zealand’s Muruwai Beach, leaving the victim, David Strange, dead for his wounds. Such attacks resulting in death are extremely rare in NZ; there have only been 13 since about 1840. This in a country that boasts many thousands of miles of coastline makes NZ a safe place. The death had a huge effect on the community and the family are still fighting to recover from the grief.
The presenter was mocking and deliberately mean and mocking in a sick way, in his reporting of the incident. My question to his fellow Americans would be----‘would you do this about one of your own, or worse still about one of the horrible multiple gun deaths in your own country?’ Maybe you would. I know I have seen examples of that regularly on a range of programmes. You are not alone of course but in a smaller country, people can be challenged far more easily.
Does such an example of insensitive ‘comedy’ represent the USA? Of course it doesn’t, but it does remind us that can stoop to a pretty low level, all in the name of ‘entertainment.’ I can assure you that we in NZ did not find it funny, but then again, we will get over it.
I for one, find that ‘much rejuvenated old lady with the mouth from the sewer,’ MS Rivers, to be particularly funny, so I am not about to point my finger too viciously.
Point made and move on time.

Novopay backs down--debt collectors called off!

I should bloody well think so. What a fiasco. It was beginning to damage an already tarnished Government. Hell, if they applied polish to their education policies they would still look like a grubby little urn; one in which they should sink their failings in and burry for eternity.

When 'Clerics' rule, hunmanity is the loser.

The president of Iran has been rebuked by many clerics in his home country, simply for hugging the grieving mother of President Chavez. When clerics hold such sway over a nation, the people at large are the losers because their leaders lack the common touch or understanding of human nature.

Yes. I am sure that there are strict rules governing the interactions between members of the opposite sex but to take such matter to the level that is being displayed in Iran borders on the ridiculous if not  a serious breach of well recognised  human rights.

That I am defending the actions of a man who himself has been behind many repressive measures in Iran is in itself a bit strange, but I at least recognise that he just may have a softer side. It is a pity that the vast majority of fellow Iranians are so controlled by religious police who use that role to bully and cajole the citizens. Many of these ‘police’ are nothing more than thugs. I wish the kinder and more real side of this great religion could show its face, just like it does in other countries.

Oh well, I guess we have our share of zealots in New Zealand too!

Novapay send debt collector to stressed teachers.

I find reports that debt collectors are visiting teachers at the request of Novopay totally repugnant. Part of me does not believe the claims. They are almost too outrageous to be true, so I feel like waiting before I launch into Novopay, but then again, if the NZ Herald can make such claims then who am I to doubt the validity of this report?

Teachers and support staff who have been as little as $22 are being notified that they will be processed by Bay Corp. I am going to be generous and accept that the Government is doing its utmost to resolve this crisis in the pay system. I suspect that they must be close to ditching the company behind the system, Talent Two (What an unlikely name for a company behind such a fiasco)

To retain any credibility on the whole matter, the Government will need to act fast over these worrying reports; after all, I am sure that if one of their members was overpaid, I am sure a more gentle action would ensue, rather than this stupid, heavy handed and quite unnecessary response.

Teachers and those who work in schools have hard enough jobs now, without the added burden of not knowing if their mortgages and other bills are going to be met. Sure, schools are backing their employees but that in itself creates more work and it taxes the already limited resources that schools have at their disposal. That they lose interest on accounts that should have been used for other needs is also a concern.

I know the Government has employed extra staff to help resolve this issue but is it not time to bring in a trouble shooting team from the country of origin for Novopay? Is that Australia? Maybe it’s an Aussie plot to ‘put cheeky Kiwis in their place.’


Shane Jones, back at last! Why does Labour need him?

Today we heard that Shane Jones has been sent back to the front benches of New Zealand’s Parliament. No doubt some will throw up their hands in horror--- or is it fear?

Quite simply, the Labour Party needs this ‘real man of the people,’ back where he belongs, at the forefront of this struggling party. New Zealand needs him, because he represents that which many of us hold to be true. He speaks for many of us; he links us as a people: Maori, Pakeha (NZ Europeans) and the many new arrival ethnic groups.

He is human with weaknesses that he is not afraid to acknowledge. He does not hide them. Shane has the common touch but he is also highly educated; not in a manner that separates him from the rest of us, but in a way that will bring real gains for New Zealand.

Now watch as his opponents try to bring him down with fresh allegations. Hey Shane---take a page out of Georgina Byers’s book and ‘stick it all out there in a book.’ Then no one can be surprised or have ammunition with which to bring you down. You will just gain more support and help Labour to a victory and be part of a Government that cares. Mind you, we shall be watching you closely. Go and support David Shearer and stay (for a time) away from the infighting. Your time will come!

Optitrot----oops, Optifast--only 3 weeks to go!

I have received wonderful support from family and friends for my ‘journey to less is more’ and if it wasn’t for that, I may not have embarked on this topsy turvy task. My choices were clear though; do it or continue towards a destination that awaits us all, but not just yet!

Thus I began to take the Optifast as a necessary step in the preparation for surgery. One’s liver tends to be overlarge when you carry as much weight as I do, so it needs to be shrunk so that the operation is less dangerous. The task of rapid weight loss must be accompanied by the support of ‘professionals’ in the form of dieticians, pharmacists or doctors. I have the support of all, through the Auckland Weight Loss Clinic. (Google it if you wish). Do not do this on your own!

I have been on Optifast for 7 days now and the weight is falling away; 6 kilos to be exact. This is far more than expected and a little worrying given the side effects. (The clue is in the title of my blog!) My poor suffering system has had a real purge and only the ultimate goal of a healthier me and the support keeps me going. I have had some embarrassing moments and only my weird sense of humour allows me to seek out the next day’s challenge.

Today, a friend and colleague at work took me to the fridge and showed me what she now eats at work. She has lost a great deal of weight as a result of the surgery and I was totally surprised at what was in her lunch box; real food, consisting of items that I am craving right now. I will need to be patient, as her operation was at least 18 months ago. Just looking at that box inspired me and I remember some of the ‘chat’ on sites applicable to my journey had something to say that also inspired me.

‘Just see this month as a ‘food holiday’ and treat all the Optifast (etc.) as medicine that I have to take!

Oh yes, I am drinking lots of water.