Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's a dogs' life---thank goodness because I am a dog! The names, Perdy!

I know quite a few dogs and I can honestly say that not all of them have a life like mine. I get to go out a lot and sometimes when I am walking in a very polite and 'controlled' manner along the road with one of my masters (Well that's what they think they are, so lets not upset them eh) I see some dogs that never get to explore even the closest parts of their neighbourhood. I am lucky, but don't go telling those who think they are the boss that; I don't want them assuming that 'enough is enough' for me. Enough is NEVER enough!
I listen to my 'masters' discussing their plans for the day and if I am not included, then it's war. Firstly I set up this penetrating bark that I know wears them down. I actually practice on the neighbours when the masters are away at work. I let them go to work because, hey, someone has to bring home the bacon and yes, I do eat bacon.
I know the signs. Work means them getting dressed up a but; not those scrappy grey pants they wear. God, I wouldn't be seen dead in those! BUT, sometimes I get confused because one of them seems to get dressed up a lot more now that he is a skinny bugger.
Take Saturday for example: They both got dressed up and they were mucking around in the kitchen getting all this food prepared. You name it, they cooked it and it was damned spicy. I've seem them do this before--that usually means we are going for a trip. I always make sure they know I want to go to by barking even louder. I relax, just a bit once they stick me in the car and when they put in my special rug, I know it's going to be a long trip. Of course they then have to take me for a quick run so I can do what  girl's got to do---you the toilet! They know that if they don't---I FART IN THE CAR.
Saturday was one of those days I love---going away for the whole day. That means special treats. lots of runs and walks and if I act 'restless,' I even manage to get extra outings. To achieve that, I just jump on the furniture at the places we visit. I know that's a 'no no,' so one of them has to take me out so that I 'let off steam.' Man--are they dumb. I really do have their number.
Well, on Saturday, we took a trip to Hamilton and on the way, we picked up my mate, Angel. Her name is so true, because she is never naughty. I have to make up for the both of us! She's real sweet and she seems to have won over one of my masters, but, I'm not jealous. We both love going to that cool place in Hamilton. In the summer, there is even a swimming pool. Mind you, I don't like to stay too long and on the way home to Auckland, I make sure they let me out. So, I get driven around and if I get bored, I just go to sleep, but not for long---I hate to miss anything.
As long as life continues life this, I will be happy. I reckon I have my masters just where ZI want them---doing everything that is focussed on me, me and me! Is that selfish? Course not----I'm a loveable Jack Russell. Check out the pictures of those who must 'obey me.'
Ain't life great!  My pool.
'Master' and 'Cousin,' Barbara.
Fat master, before he got skinny! (Striped busting out t-shirt!)
Hey, go click on the website and download his book
Me, playing 'mysterious girl.'
My mate, Angel
Aunty Janice---she's skinnier too now!

There ain't no ho-hum about New Zealand's Got Talent tonight.

I have seen 'good' singers and 'quite good' dancers tonight on TV during NZ's Got Talent but it is the extraordinary that has brought so much pleasure on this occasion.  A young 12 year old singing opera was quite 'different' but then along came a guy playing an instrument that I have never seen. He sat down and I truly wondered what he was going to do. I thought, maybe it would be something 'Celtic.' But no, what transpired lifted me to another place. I didn't know whether he took me to Bali or some fantasy planet in a far off galaxy, but 'take me,' he did. The instrument is going to take off. The 'shield-like' shape lied to me. I did not expect that sound; exotically amazing and I can't wait to see where he takes us next time he appears. The came a guy with a harmonica; not just any guy but a man with a passion that transformed any ideas of what I thought could possibly come from this tiny instrument. He massaged it, he kissed it and brought forth notes that do not belong to this instrument. He is a star and like some of the other performers, he was humble---a trait NZers love. If you want to be part of this incredible uncovering of NZ talent, just Google---New Zealand's Got Talent, 2013 and rejoice in what you see and hear. Of course , you may have to cover your ears and eyes for a few of the 'less good' ones too. It's all a question of balance.

Friday, September 27, 2013

My version of an Indonesian/South African recipe.

I was watching Choice TV today and they featured a dish that a contestant in a cooking programme  claimed was a recipe from the 17th century,  from Malay/Indonesian slaves. As with all recipes, I read them and then to my family and some friends horror, I usually stick on my own take, because I refuse to go and buy every ingredient the recipe states. After all, I am about trying to keep things cheap and hey---what's wrong with a bit of substitution? I won't even name my 'dish,' because my South African friends will stick me on a  Braai.
Take: about 400gramms of minced beef (or lamb, chicken or pork)---Then stir-fry a couple of onions, chuck in  a teaspoon each of turmeric, curry powder, allspice, mixed spice, garam masala, a pinch of chilli powder and a few cardamoms and cloves. Add some salt and pepper. Brown the mixture and then add a half cup of sultanas and the same of mixed nuts and seeds (Pumpkin and sunflower). Spread the mixture into a baking dish and pour on top a mixture of three eggs, whisked with some milk, salt, pepper and turmeric. Bake at about 160C for 40 minutes but don't let it burn. Note that my measurements are not precise, so just experiment. This dish most definitely is for those of you who like the combination of fruity, spicy and meaty food. It feels a bit like a fusion of Asia and the Middle East or North Africa to me. Yummy, believe me. And quite cheap. You can serve it with rice and your favourite greens.

Never assume anything about a Jack Russell.

Perdy, our Jack Russell is now just over three years old. Gone are the days of constant bedlam; the days of coming home to chewed up cables, table-legs, cushions turned into snow, strewn throughout the lounge, followed by a manic welcome that threatens further mayhem if she is not immediately taken for a walk.
Now, apart from a bit of jumping and whimpering on my return from work, she generally waits while I change into something more comfortable before heading off to a nearby park. Once there, she enjoys the freedom of being 'leashless,' mixing it with other dogs, usually those  far bigger than herself and finding smelly things to roll in, thereby necessitating a bath or at least a quick squirt from the garden hose. Of course my car is gradually turning onto a 'farm vehicle,' with the strange somewhat unknown smell of her park activities bringing a whole new meaning to the term, l'odeur de voiture.'
Once back home, Perdy sort of settles down in  the hope that dinner is not far away. She does remind us in her usual vociferous, sometimes in a head challenging manner that cannot be ignored. We are the masters--right? You can make a call on that one! Once fed, Perdy pops outside and either spreads herself in front of the sliding door, in order to maintain a vigilance; one in which she takes it upon herself to warn the neighbourhood about any human comings and goings, to say nothing of the cats that seem to tease her from just beyond the gate. I have to admire the patience of my neighbours. They rarely say much about her noisy barking, but I suspect she gets under their skins at times and we have observed them telling her to 'shut the f---up' when they think we are away. (That means we left the car up on the road.)
On the whole, I like to think that Perdy is a better behaved dog now. Spring is here now and I have started my little 'salad planting' challenge. I am looking forward to reaping the pleasures of freshly harvested greens. Imagine my reaction when I received the picture displayed below. So that is what the little 'innocent and well-behaved Jack Russell gets up to when my eyes are averted! The picture speaks for itself. My poor 'destroyed garden.'
OMG---you little bitch!

Free Kindle App to read ROSKILL

If you want to download ROSKILL. just go to my website and click on 'Book Shop---click on Roskill, Kindle version and look at right hand at the bottom and there is a free Kindle app for your tablet. Download it and get my book.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kim Dotcom comes to the rescue. Hell---let the dust settle first and then?

The dust not even settled and we hear the Kim Dotcom says that he is prepared to help fund the next Team New Zealand America’s Cup campaign. I nearly did a back-flip when I read that. Actually the page wouldn’t load on my computer when I clicked to get the full story. Maybe it is all too much for the Government to even consider if it too is coming to the party and they put the much maligned secret service on to the Herald for daring to print such ideas.
KDC is not doubt a controversial figure and he has as many detractors as supporters. His reported aim of standing for Parliament would probably benefit from such publicity and at the very least the Government could be spurred to action rather than be left at the gate by KDC’s actions.
I guess we have to ask ourselves---what price do we pay for the continuation of Team New Zealand?  WE are going to be beholding to someone, so it may as well be from a NZ source. Perhaps the debate has to happen and at least check out the ‘home grown’ support for our team. Better that, maybe, than always seeing large overseas companies taking the glory. Is there a downside to KDC’s involvement? I shall watch this space with intense interest.

Kiwi 'spirit' already shining through! Pick yourselves up and 'at 'em' again.

Fact! ----you will never keep a good Kiwi down. Yes, we will take the odd knock or two, but we always pick ourselves up and we shine again. Yes, for a while yesterday, it was all gloom, but within a few hours people were talking about the next challenge. Sure, there are lots of people who do not want to see tax payers’ money being put into another challenge. They talk about the ‘hip replacements’ etc. -----and they may have a point.
What we need is for a study to be made into the real economic benefits for New Zealand. That will tell us once and for all, whether tax payers’ money is well spent, apart from the ‘feel good moments’ that are immeasurable.
I like what I am hearing about Oracle’s backers wanting to roll out a new competition that moves around the world; possibly one based on boats that are a bit more ‘accessible’ in terms of expenditure. That NZ has already played a strong part in the design, building and overall technology of all three main contenders is evidence that NZ needs to be in this competition. Yes, our boatbuilding industry will be a little quiet until the next phase of the AM competition is known, is something that would have happened whether we won or lost at the last regatta in SF, but the tide will turn as surely as it did day after day in the SF Bay.
So put aside the gloom and doom, NZ and embrace what lies ahead of us. We must be part of it.

The holidays are nigh--a message to all teachers.

Take this time to rest because you deserve it. Don't get sick because I know that so many of you give so much to your students and that you hold little back for yourself. Try to stay away from your school; even though  a large number of you will be 'called back' for training and planning purposes. Do something for you and you alone because your 'head' will still be around your classroom and your pupils. You will be the better for your students if you take some real time out; for you, your family and friends. Teachers in every country have a common goal; to make the lives of their students better in all manner of ways. So teacher/counsellor/parent/social worker---inclusive---put your feet up or if you must, take that special walk and be proud of the influence you have on that student in your class who no one else believed in. Yes teachers----this is your time!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The day after all the 'yesterdays when we could have' is somehting akin to 'post traumatic stress disorder.'

I have been listening to and observing some pretty dramatic reactions to the results of the last 7 defeats for Team New Zealand over the last few weeks. At work, on the busses, in lines waiting to be served and on the walks with my dog; the scenarios have been quite amazing. I remember the events around NZ’s winning the Rugby World Cup in 2011 but this year, with the America’s Cup, something deep within the New Zealand psyche has emerged. I suspect it has always been there, but the last month has brought this collective underlying feeling very much to the fore.
Before I label New Zealanders as a nation of drama queens or something more serious, I need to point out that similar emotions are evoked amongst the citizens of much larger nations when the Football World Cup is up for grabs. For example, we have not seen the riots when any of our national teams lose, or the murders of those blamed for failures. In many ways one could almost say that our reaction to the crazy ups and downs of the San Francisco regatta are those of a ‘small nation,’ where events prominent in the news channels, newspapers and all forms of social media, take over, to the extent that ‘everybody is talking’ and one would be hard pressed to find people who knew nothing of the stimulus behind the mass enthusiasm.
Of course now that things have gone a bit belly-up, we can expect to see a sense of denial settling in as people claim that they were ‘never interested’ and ‘that it is all a rich man’s sport; a little too much like a disciple denying knowledge or links to Jesus at a particularly difficult time.
Like all ‘events’ in the life of a nation, things do settle down after the inevitability of a loss or victory become less of a focus. People in New Zealand have already begun that process by which they make sense of the San Francisco regatta. Once the dust settles, New Zealanders will do what the rest of the world does; they will get on with the everyday task of making a living, loving their friends, family and waiting for the next ‘big event;’ the one that will once again capture our sense of being a New Zealander. Just let’s hurry that process!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Zealand grieves as the 'Cup,' moves out of sight! Lets get over it.

OK, it's get back to reality time, NZ. We almost had it but in the end, the better boat, or the more richly endowed campaign is going to win. That many NZers were associated with that 'win,' makes it just that much harder, but that is also the new reality of the world we live in. Would we rather have these skilled NZers staying in NZ, not having work or do we encourage Kiwis to travel and take up whatever challenges they can? Some of the benefits of Oracle's win (assuming they cross the line tomorrow ahead of our boat) will flow back to NZ so not all is lost. That the final victory is going to be on the water (unless NZ wins in the next race) is a good result. We must as a nation admire the true grit shown by Oracle. When nearly everyone had written them off, they have bounced back and learnt their lessons well. What better example could NZ emulate in the future? So, come-on NZ; get over this loss and move on. There are many more challenges out there so let us line up and take them on, hopefully with better results. We do not give up when the clouds gather, so do what you can tomorrow and who knows---we have enjoyed miraculous wins in the past. Just let the final countdown happen on the water, not in the courts! Whatever the result----life goes on and won't it be nice, getting our mornings back.

Translating some of my blogs

Over the next few weeks you will notice some of my blogs are appearing in different languages. We will not be using the 'translation' button because quite frankly, they are crap! So I shall be getting friends and colleagues to do the 'hard yaker.' That could be really interesting and at least a bit of fun, because God knows what some of my friends will actually write. Hope they don't tell tales about me!

Do ya get the feeling that the 'Cup' is staying in the USA---they will use the courts if the water fails them!

I do not wish to sound negative but I am getting a distinct feeling that if Team Oracle doesn’t win today they will embark on e ‘do or die’ effort in the courts to reverse in victory form Team NZ today. This is a pity and in a sense I hope that they win on the water than use the latter method of retaining the Cup. It is a sad indictment on the history of this famous regatta that disputes are not limited to the water and the court has been a pathway that is too easily travelled. Fir Kiwis, this is not the way we operate, but no doubt we would rise to the occasion if push comes to shove.
Today, Dean and his boys have their last chance to win the Cup, but even if they do so in the first race of the day (That will have taken place by the time most of you have read this!) the ‘litigation brigade’ will be strutting their stuff.
Maybe those countries who were contemplating coming to NZ for a defence of the Cup, should we win it, could band together and design a regatta that represents the true meaning of ‘sportsmanship.’ I am sure the whole structure could be such that only the sporting body that controlled such an event could maintain a distance from legal action beyond that body.
Oh well, let’s see what the result is today!

Maybe I should take my solar oven and move to Australia. What ya reckon mate?

It's becoming overtly obvious that my attempts to get my solar oven to reach a temperature approaching something like a 'cookable' level are going to met with failure on an epic scale. OK, you say---it's not exactly summer! Well no, it isn't but when, how and for God's sake will it ever be an opportune time in which I can 'play the Survival Kid?' I am impatient and I want results, now damn it. What if my life depended on it in some sort of post apocalypse heave of history? I'd be stuffed and destined to eyeing up my mates with the view of consuming them in a battle of 'do or die.'
Jeeze, step back I say to my reflection in the mirror. Surely I will not stoop to such low levels.
Maybe I should move to Australia. Would I not be following the example of many of my compatriots? Would not the sunny and often extremely hot climes of the 'lucky country' suit the 'specs' of my solar oven? I would even find multiple friends, all speaking about their decks in that Kiwi accent that Aussies love to mock? I could invite Aussies to a Barbie, featuring my oven and with their 'hot air' adding to the efficacy of the said little miracle, even we could cook up a storm. As I sit typing this blog, listening to the raging storm, playing havoc on my deck (yes you heard right) and wondering when I will ever test my little oven, the idea of actually receiving enough hot sun  is indeed a compelling thought. Watch out coussies bros---I'm on my way. I just hope that customs let me through and don't confiscate my 'precious.'

Monday, September 23, 2013

Getting ROSKILL out there. I need your help.

ROSKILL---How do I get it out there? I know my book is selling on Kindle, but slowly. I am about to pay good money for a publicist. That's  something I would never have considered this time last year, but do it I must, because basically all I do is push keys on my computer and 'hope' that I am achieving coverage. Clearly this is not working as I would, like so I shall take the plunge and take the high road.
To those of you who have downloaded ROSKILL AND written reviews, I send a huge thanks and an imaginary bunch of flowers. Please send on the link  and follow the link from Book Shop and click on the Kindle version of ROSKILL.
We are exploring  the possibility of Amazon offering a hard cover option soon and will add TALK TO ME in the very near future.
To my many readers overseas (and of course in NZ) I ask respectfully for you to pass on the link to your circles.
Finally, I have many old copies of what I now call 'substandard' versions of some of my books and I am happy to give them away (as long as you pay the postage). If you are in Auckland, you can pick them up. Just contact me through my website. I give them away on the proviso that you know that they contain errors and in the hope that you can enjoy the stories and write a review on Amazon. The Kindle version is of course the better option.

PS.  I think you will see far fewer blogs about the America's Cup from now on as I reclaim my 'mornings.'

A mes lecteurs en France

À mes lecteurs en France

Je tiens à vous remercier pour les lire mes blogs. Je sais que j'ai des lecteurs en France et je voudrais faire de plus.

J'ai récemment publié un livre, Roskill.

Roskill est une histoire sur un famille de la Nouvelle-Zélande en crise. Le père se met à la consommation de méthamphétamine et il n'est pas long avant que sa famille est presque déchiré. C'est une histoire pour tous les parents des adolescents et pour les adolescents qui doivent savoir qu'il faut faire quand leurs parents font ce qu'ils disent à leurs enfants de ne pas le faire!

Roskill est disponible sur Kindle aujourd'hui. Vous pouvez l'acheter à partir de mon site ou pour seulement 3,09 EUR
Mes autres livres seront prochainement disponibles sur le Kindle ou l'autre app de lecture.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

If you are going to win the 'Cup,' guys, do it first race tomorrow or 'lawyers' will be the winners!

Sad, but haven't we seen this before? The battle will be 'off the water,' not in a sporting way, but one driven purely by money and power. We  need to bring the race back to the water in order for the regatta to flourish. Those 'teams in waiting,' will make themselves known if Team NZ brings home the bacon. We will run a regatta that the world will want to come to. NZ will embrace the teams and despite the very best efforts of the lawyers behind most American teams, the 'spirit' of the original founders of this prestige event will survive and revive. That simply cannot happen if Oracle wins in the 'courtroom; actually the highest court in the USA---The Supreme Court.
Not only New Zealand will be watching yet another match point race tomorrow; many around the world will take interest and throw up a collective moan if NZ doesn't rise to the occasion. The only redemption for Oracle and its backers will be if their team wins---on the water. At that point New Zealanders will need to accept defeat graciously and GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES!

Skiwi the NZ whale has surfaced prematurely!

I am rather disappointed re my efforts with Skiwi, the Kiwi whale who I had been training for months to make a ‘secret’ appearance in SF Bay just when Team NZ needed him most. His presence was merely to deflect some of the effort Oracle had been putting in recently.
I first met him on a lonely walks with Perdy on a West Auckland beach. He was just beyond the surf line and he was able to communicate with me in a manner that scientists have yet to discover. I shall leave that tale for another time.
I named him Skiwi, as that seemed appropriate. He told me that he often frequented the SF Bay area and he saw it as an annual event. It did not take it long for me to convince him that he too could play a part in bringing the Cup back home to NZ, but it had to be a clandestine affair or the Yanks would find another reason to delay, call off or even claim his presence as a reason for them to win.
All went well and sure enough, Skiwi arrived off the coast of SF, delaying his entry into the Bay until I sent a signal to the GP device he had swallowed before leaving NZ shores. Unfortunately he did the old ‘throw-up’ trick a day or two before arriving and decided to enter the Bay yesterday. I have no way of communicating now.
I suspect that he will cause a bit of havoc today, just at a time when his earlier ‘showing’ may cause the officials to use his possible ‘flaunting’ to call off the race----again! Oh well, I hope that he decides to head back out to sea and follow ‘plan B.’
Now that he has been discovered, he is going to tell a group of Dolphins who he met last year in the Bay to do the work for him. Their presence is a ‘constant’ and should not be reason to call off or delay the races. BUT--- they know what to do, as any clever dolphin does!  Wait and see!

P (Methamphetamine) is an ugly word for misery and destruction of everything you love!

Methamphetamine featured on 'Sunday' (A TV programme on NZ TV) tonight. I know from Facebook comments that it 'reached many people. The absolute destruction of people's lives and the affect that this insidious scourge has was only too apparent from the programme. No sector of society, rich or poor, educated or not; 'P' takes hold of lives and weaves a deadly spell. Somehow it connects in a manner that leaves the victim almost powerless. Those who push the 'substance' are equally victims; numbed morally and uncaring for their 'customers.' To see a family torn apart' a mother losing her children and ultimately killed by the ramifications of her usage, must have resonated with many of the Kiwis who watched the programme tonight.
In my own way, I have tried to portray the affects of 'P' on a family, in my book, ROSKILL.
Go check it out on my website,  and follow the link to 'Bookstore' and click on the Kindle version of ROSKILL.

Did I need a reason to start my bariatric transformation?

6 weeks ago
12 months ago

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Boycott KFC--- We don't need them in New Zealand.

If a conservative newspaper like the New Zealand Herald publishes a report about KFC 'dumping' disabled workers under the guise that all workers be able to preform at the same level, then I say---'get out of New Zealand, KFC!' We do not need your 19th Century work relations policies and the fact that you tried to cover up your actions makes your actions even worse.
I hope that as many of you reading this as possible, go to the New Zealand Herald site, read the article and spread the word, not just in New Zealand, but around the world. Let this 'throwback in time' business feel the wrath of thinking people.
This action by KFC is totally against what the people of NZ think. It is against everything we have fought for over the years and if KFC get way with their unscrupulous act, then it will be emulated by similar companies. Make a stand now. For every job lost as a result, others will be created as perhaps a local (in this case, a NZ business) business will fill the gap left by KFC. We have it in our power to make a difference. Vote with your feet and support those workers, who need dignity, not a further reminder that their lives are difficult. Let us hear more voices raised in anger at this cynical, 'nothing but money matters,' move on the part of KFC. Kentucky Fried Chicken-- you have stooped low!
One good result of your action could be the removal of one 'unhealthy company.' Perhaps those that replace you will take a more responsible pathway, not just re peoples'  employment rights, but also  strive to care about the health of New Zealanders.
Pass the message on, everybody! DON'T SUPPORT KFC!  Now, go and read the article in the New Zealand Herald--the Sunday, 22/09/2013 online version. Don't just take my word!

Now for something completely different!

NO, I am not going to talk about the America's Cup, or my solar or even about  ROSILL Ain't that a change!
Last night I was woken many times by the sound huge thunder claps and bright flashes of lightning. Perdy shook with fear and tried to sneak into the bedroom. This morning when I took her to the park near our home, the winding road (the same park that features in my first book, COSTAL YARNS) was littered with broken branches and other flotsam. Streams had obviously broken their banks judging by some of the larger branches strewn across the road. Even a manhole cover had been lifted and lay at a dangerous angle.
None of the this concerned Perdy; she continued to whimper as she excitedly contemplated her manic run, chasing her ball. A few minutes later, she discovered a new fun game; one in which she drops her ball in the stream and then jumps in and follows it. Sound familiar?
Knowing that I was going to go home and watch something on TV that I am not going to talk about, I fooled  Perdy into entering a deck that overlooks the Manukau Harbour, thereby allowing me to capture her before she ran off into the bush. Her freedom curtailed, she settled down into the back seat of the car and we headed home.
My plan now is to go to a Campervan show. Yes, that is my plan for the future. I want to buy one when I reach 'pension/Gold Card age. I shall continue to work as many Kiwis are now forced to do in order to make ends meet! I now look forward to a longer retirement, given the huge improvement in my health, post bariatric surgery. Previously I couldn't even drag myself up to the seat of some of the vans that I was looking at. Now, it is easy!
It is not my intention to buy a campervan today; I merely wish to inform myself about the range of possibilities. Of course, I shall seek lots of advice before I finally spend copious amounts of money (that I have yet to find!) on the object of my desire.
The sun has now come out and Perdy is 'playing dead' on the deck, pretending that she too will be coming to the Campervan show. Sorry girl---I will take you travelling once my plan comes to fruition, sometime in the future. In the meantime, you play 'guard!'

It's time to put us out of our miserry, Dean!

New Zealanders are wondering when the pain will end. Every morning we get up and follow whatever routine we have settled into for the watching of the Cup races. For the last week, traffic on the road of our towns and cities has almost stopped and workplaces resemble anything but busy establishments where the 'customer comes first.' There would be little point because the customers are 'otherwise engaged.' Some can be found ensconced with those who should be serving them, around a screen, watching and hoping that 'this is the day,' when we bring the Cup home.
The rest of the world may have wry smiles on their faces as they hear about our obsession, but some of them should look to the times when 'World Cup fever' strikes them. Take for example how it has been and always will be when two mighty Nations in  the Football world clash  in a final. Are not the streets empty of people as the game begins and then a mixture of celebration and riot ensue as the result is known. I doubt that such scenes will erupt on our streets but new heights of emotion will emerge for NZers who traditionally are a littler more reserved than their crazy football friends in other nations.
My hope is that the races finish today but I may be disappointed yet again, if reports that the wind is once again playing 'silly buggers' and making it extra difficult for both teams to configure their boats. I can only hope that if we are ahead that the wind does not dwindle to a breeze, thereby leading to the officials calling off the race due to 'time rules intervening.'
One final point: It has been revealed that Oracle will take action, right up to the Supreme Court if NZ wins by only a two race margin. Once again, the final result may come down to 'litigation! Are we surprized?  Nah!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Teenagers prone to severe depression when deprived of their phones and access to social media!----Ya Reckon?!

I have often had to work with sad teenagers, either when they have 'lost' their cell phones, had them taken from them as a disciplinary response, lost them, or the phones have broken down. It seems that their world is suddenly 'less than real,' their lifeline to friends gone, their very existence threatened. I have sometimes wondered at the power of electronic devices and how they have impacted on the lives of our young people. How many adults have shaken their heads in dismay at how their children are so dependant on their cell phones, tablets and other 'connections to the cyber world? I have observed 'clients' who are bordering on and sometimes crossed over to the world of clinical depression when such events enter their lives.
I have been remiss in my understanding about just how much the cyber world means to young people and the events of the last 24 hours have brought that home to me. I was mucking around (as we do) on my lap top yesterday after work and somehow to manage to push the wrong button (As I am prone to do!) and my connection to MY cyber world vanished. I have been so wrong to underestimate the effect of such a momentous failure of my 'techie world.' I too suddenly felt 'cut-off,' isolated and yes, a little pissed off. Surely my reaction was over-the-top. I was totally surprised at my feelings. Hey, I am a gown up man, not some teenager! Wow---this is new territory for me; one that I had not seen coming! What to do?
Nothing I could do would let me connect to the web. my partner tired, to no avail. We rang Telecom who informed us that we needed a technician.
I rang one down the road who was most unhelpful so it into the 'Local Pages' book and I found a number for AKLWIDE COMPUTERSERVICES LTD. the response was immediate and by the time Team NZ lost the second race, further adding to the whole of NZ's suffering, never lone mine!, I had arranged for a techie to come around. He fixed the problem in a short time for a very fair price, advised me of a good protection, one that cost a little but one hell of a lot better than the free ones (Hey, you don't get much for nothing in this world!) and my world was restored.
Now looking back at my reaction to 'exclusion from my 'connectedness' I can laugh, but laugh with anew understanding of how it is for my clients and young people generally. I suspect that many of my adult friends will have similar feelings but unlike me, will not admit to it. Or---perhaps the 'world of my clients has rubbed off on me, a little more than I realized! Scary thought, eh?
OK---all is well now---except---Please, Dean and Team NZ----put us out of our misery---finish the damn thing!

The Pain continues.

How much more can Kiwis take. We were winning the race that would have lifted the America's Cup and then we were hit with a 'time rule.' Yes, you guessed right. The wind was not too much this time, but not enough! We needed another few minutes to get over the line, probably about one kilometre ahead of our nemesis, Oracle. No such luck. The race was pulled, meaning that NZ had to sail yet another race and this time we stuffed up, letting the Americans off the hook. They won because we made a crucial mistake and it was all over Rover. Oh well, we will just have to relive the pain tomorrow and hope that our 5 race cushion will hold up. You can do it, Dean the boys! Who ever said this was going to be easy or boring!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why New Zealand must win the America's Cup tomorrow (Saturday, NZ time)

It is all getting too much. Each day lately, NZ has woken up to the possibility of either almost being there or actually taking it away. I am of course talking about the final races for the America’s Cup. Our collective nerves are shattered. Just because most of the world and indeed the USA don’t even know it is on, for NZers it is an obsession. This prolonged finish with the possibility of it all going wrong is taking a toll. When I went to a clinical appointment today, the roads were empty. Why? ---well you know why. Most people were glued to their TV sets, hoping for the ‘coup de grace’ and the final victory for Team NZ. It didn’t happen because Oracle sailed a superb race. Now we have to wait until tomorrow morning, because once again the wind had the last say and reached levels that officials consider ‘dangerous.’ I am certainly not questioning that!
There are other reasons why NZ must win. The Cup has become a bit of a sick joke in the way in which the incumbent team will do almost anything to keep the Cup. That action mostly takes place off the water. We need an end to litigation re the Cup and a return to good old fashioned sportsmanship of the past. That will not happen if Oracle retains the Cup.
 We also want to see more nations involved; not just the four that turned up this time. When we had the Cup in NZ there were many teams who came and it was a real ‘regatta.’ The expense re these huge catamarans is way too much. It would be great to see a dozen or more teams here, as would happen and if the boats were a less expensive to design, build and maintain. No one is asking for a return to the traditional boats of old, but let’s have a little bit of common sense here.
To make all this happen, we need NZ to win and open up the Regatta to many more countries. So, come-on over, Australia, UK, South Africa, teams from the USA, Italy, China, India, Europe and Fiji (maybe?) Let’s have fun. You are so welcome, --------=-if we get that last dammed race under our belt.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How clever of our boss! He arranged for the America's Cup races to coincide with our school day

The whole of New Zealand was glued to the screens, big and small, alone or in groups as Team NZ displayed yet another gritty performance in the penultimate race of the America’s Cup Regatta. I had the pleasure of being part of the large number of staff gathered around our TV in the staffroom at work today. Would you believe it? ---we were quiet. Hey---that’s a group of teachers---quiet?!  Unbelievable you say. Well you could have heard a pin drop. That was until NZ crossed the line ahead of Oracle and the realization hit us that we are now one race away from bringing the Cup back home to NZ
What was so good was that our boss was able to organize the race to suit our start to the day. The bell rings for staff beefing at 8.20ish for our gathering and that coincided with the race start.  By the time the bell went for going off to start our day, the race was finishing. Good on you, boss! You must be very well connected.
Now, where will I access the next race? Oh yes, on the big screen connected to a computer in the room where I take my tutor group. What could be better!  Go Team NZ!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tofu---hate it or love it, but don't ignore it!---- A recipe that is very healthy and tasty.

But Tofu is tasteless you say and it is so hard to make it look good! Well, yes, I have to agree with you, but since I had my BS (that’s not what you think it is! –it’s Bariatric Surgery) I need to make sure that I eat a lot of protein, but within the amounts I can manage. So fish, lean meats, chicken and some dairy are right up there for me. Luckily, I can manage all of those food groups.
There are other ‘super-foods’ out there that meet my needs too, including Quinoa and tofu. Today I shall give you a really tasty and healthy tofu recipe. It is an omelette.
Prepare the eggs. We used three eggs, whipped up with salt, pepper and some chilli flakes and a little milk. (If you wish, you could use Soy) Chop up about two spring onions (Green onions with the green stalks, for those who call them by another name) and about 200gms of either soft or firm tofu. If you don’t want the tofu to break up, use the harder variety.
Heat up a pan with a little oil and when hot, fry the tofu and then add the eggs and spring onions. Cook it as you would an omelette. Slide it onto a place and share with your best friend. Feel free to add other variations, like red and green peppers, garlic---the worlds your oyster with this dish. Healthy and tasty and an end to—‘I don’t like tofu!’

Trust me, it's really tatsy!

Being an 'older coffee drinker,' is just dandy!

According to a recent study, there is a link between an increased likelihood of dying if you are under 55 and drink more than 28 cups of coffee a week. The links are tenuous and the reasons are a bit ‘hidden’ but as with all ‘research,’ one can read into the figures anything they wish.
I therefore choose to carry on drinking my favourite beverage and may also increase the rate given that I am immune from any possibility of dying from the beautiful liquid. I wonder if I can get coffee free when I receive my Gold Card in a couple of years. Oh well, maybe I can travel to Waiheke island free and purchase the ‘under 55 year threat to life.’ Damn, I feel good! Anyone taking my blog too seriously should consider upping their coffee intake. (But not if you are under 55)

Bloody useless courier delivery firms! Why can't they THINK?

As an increasing number of people consider shopping online and some coming to the conclusion that it is not for them, others, like me are turning to letting the 'fingers do the shopping.' OK, perhaps that is kicking local businesses in the guts; I concede that point. Not all the jobs are lost of course, because where some jobs disappear, others (but not always in NZ) are created. I shall leave that debate alone for the moment.
Lets assume  that you (and me) have decided to purchase items on the Net. Whether it is for our weekly shop at the supermarket or overseas sites for clothing, the goods are going to be delivered. This is where the trouble can start. Over the last month I have brought clothing, books and yes, a solar oven online. I have no complaints about anything I have brought, quality wise. My compliant is about the 'delivery' and the wider issue of when these deliveries occur.
On several occasion in the past month, I have not received the goods within what I consider a 'reasonable time.' By that I mean, if a delivery from the UK (the ASOS site) can arrive in just on a week, yet a NZ site takes ten days, 'something is rotten in the state of NZ!'
Not only can NZ sites be tardy re their deliveries (Hey--the ASOS delivery was even free--over a certain amount) but they delivered the goods to the wrong address.
Come on NZ 'sites.' Get your act together. OK, my address is 1/XXX but they delivered 'it' to A/XXXX. There is a difference and given that courier companies are the 'experts' re delivery, one should be able to assume that they know the difference or at least use their bloody eyes. It is only because my neighbours are honest that I received the said goods, late as they were.
My last point is in the nature of a helpful; suggestion; one that if followed through by an enterprising person as a new career or business opportunity, would be gratefully received by long suffering supporters of online purchases. WHY DONT THESE COMPANIES operate at night---yes----WHEN WE ARE HOME! Wouldn't  that suit some people, to work after hours, either as an extra job or as their primary employment, because that suits them too.
Am I missing something here?
I shall still continue to use the Net for my shopping but, please delivery people---get it right!

Monday, September 16, 2013

'On a clear day,' I could actually use my solar oven---but this is Akcland in spring!

When I purchased my new solar oven it didn’t come with directions, probably because it is so simple, even someone with my lack of techno-ability should be able to manage it. As it turned out, that is what happened. I set it up and tested it, the only thing lacking being the damned sun!
I looked at a few online reports and chuckled quietly at the You-tube postings that had the odd snake or two shimmering along like some sort of serpent drag queen. Those shots were from the desert where temperatures climb to over 40C and the sun shines forever. Maybe that should have served as a warning!
Another clue came my way too. Some of the sites pushing the use of solar ovens were from ‘survivalists groups or ‘preppies.’ Alongside those ‘postings’ were other claiming that ‘in 5 years’ time, 95% of Americans will be dead.’ Jeeze, I thought. What the hell have I interfered into on this new journey with my little solar oven? Am I going to be joining some sort of fringe group that uses the word Armageddon as a focal word? I am unsure if I should laugh or head for the hills!
OK, I am still trying to make my oven work, but I am coming to the conclusion that springtime in Auckland is never going to deliver the consistent sun and temperatures needed to cook a meaty wholesome meal. Then, in the summer, maybe I won’t feel like a stew or roasted chicken. Of course I will! Watch this space. Too bad for the ‘preppies’ in the winter though. They will have to go chop down a tree and cook on an open fire.

Australia's future---why, back to the past of course! (This one really is for Aussies and Kiwis!) And to a male dominated Cabinet!

It comes as no surprise that The New PM of Australia, Dear Leader, Tony has appointed only one woman to his cabinet. Let it also not be a shock when he reverses the gains that Australian workers have fought so hard for over the years. It will not even take him another term in which to achieve his goals; that of a compliant lower wage pool of workers, available at the whim of unscrupulous employers who must be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of increased profits on the back of the changes.
Perhaps Tony has underestimated the ‘grit’ of Aussie workers. One only needs to glance back to the past to see that they will not submit to this new regime. The voters will of course rue the day where they either voted for the new leader or failed to vote at all. Maybe they gave their votes to that rather strange ‘new boy on the block, the one who did especially well in Queensland, who we will all quickly forget once he serves his single term, hence my purposeful un-naming of him.
The Greens may have to help Labor along, although they too took a king hit in the latest election. So it will be up to the Labor Party to win back support after their pathetic showing; one driven by their never-ending leadership wrangles and sector divisions. One ‘reaps what one sows’ and that pearl of wisdom will be apparent rather quickly in Australia over the next few years.
‘The Lucky Country’ is on for some torrid times as people start to drop off from the formerly strong labour market. As wages are either held or lowered, a sense of anger will grow. As school receive less funding (Except the private sector schools) and Aussie kids get a raw deal and the refugee problem does not suddenly disappear, Australians will wake up one day and wonder what the hell they have done!  Add the diminishing Federal and State funded health programs to the pot of discontent and people will start to look beyond Tony and his team for a solution, but will they see a reinvigorated Labor Party, ready to take office; one that is not torn by selfish personality issues and splits in ideology?
Who knows? Perhaps Australians are well used to such machinations in their political paradigm and can readily adapt to new challenges. They are after all, our cousins over the ‘ditch’ and together we have often faced external threats. It is the internal ones that wreak havoc and New Zealand should take heed of what happened in Australia. Our own Labour Party may have learnt from ‘observation’ and today in Parliament we shall see the battle to change our future begin. Learn well from our cousins, New Zealand!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

David comes out of his corner with fighting words---this time directed at the National Party Leader.

We are in for a real treat as David Cunliffe takes on John Key, this time backed up by a united Labour Caucus. David needed to signal that past battles are just that---consigned to a time that no longer counts. It is under his leadership that rifts will be healed and a unification will take place to bring about a new era for the Labour Party,
This is so overdue. We are all sick on the selfish struggle for a viable leader and finally the Party; caucus and members have seen the light.
My words sound like they emanate from a party political broadcast. I make no apologies for that. It is just a complete relief to have this part of Labour Party history left in the cupboard from whence it came.
If the caucus can not see the bigger picture then they need to look at changing their career pathways, before the electorate does it for them!. Somehow, this time, I think they have finally 'got it.' The proof will be in the 'pudding! Now, just watch Key get nasty as he parades tired old 'parable' of nonsense, scare tactics and dirty tricks. It is up to the newly united party to 'turn' these attacks and focus on fighting for a better New Zealand, a fairer country; one that values all sectors of society. And yes, it is OK for the Greens to line up with the Labour Party to share in that 'construction.'

Emerates, Team New Zealand---you are making this very hard for my heart, damn it!

We began the day as per the usual lately, at the school I work in. The big TV was on I the staffroom, turned up loud, before our morning briefing. By the time senior management got up to do their thing, with the TV muted, Team NZ was in the crap as it were. They had lost the start and Oracle had swept ahead. NZ was left in their wake and by the time our management signalled they had finished (we had just heard how our incredible choir had yet again done themselves and our school proud at the 'Pops' concert in the Auckland Town Hall---I will stick up the site where you can buy the CD on at a later date) the first race was all but over.
Was this the start of an incredible comeback by Oracle? That's what it felt like and that feeling was one that gives you a horrible sinking feeling. That most of the world couldn't care less about the America's Cup regatta is a moot point. For New Zealand as a nation it is vitally important; for our morale and yes, for our economy. NZ has gained a great deal in the 'boat building world,' from design right through to building, support services and sailing the huge boats. (Many syndicates have NZers involved in their campaigns) So you can imagine the gremlin thoughts that were starting to impinge on our thinking.
Oh well, there is always race two we all thought and we were still ahead 6-1. Remember, Oracle had started from minus 2 because they had been caught out 'cheating' in a previous but related regatta. Maybe that is just a continuation of the manner in which they won the Cup in the first place; not on the water but in the court rooms. Sound familiar?
Race two and once again we lost the 'start. It looked like a repeat of race one, with Oracle clawing ahead and then NZ gaining a brief lead, to see it dissipate again. By now I had a colleague streaming the race onto a large screen from his computer (Don't be surprised. Even in our state schools we have good technical services in NZ!). Leg four and NZ made its move. I had huge trouble hiding my feelings from my tutor group; normally my language would have been quite 'creative' if I had been at home, but no, I held my tongue; literally it should be said, if my later in the day sore tongue is anything to go by!
Team NZ crept ahead, a few metres at a time and then rounded the last mark just a few seconds ahead. I wanted to scream. Jeeze, I hope I didn't! My students were watching my reactions as much as they were watching the big screen. Our   beautiful big catamaran slowly but surely moved away from Oracle and suddenly the finish line loomed with the city of San Francisco framing what turned out to be another win for Team NZ. 7-1 now and just two victories to go. Will I be able to watch without something terribly medically unpredictable happening? Time will tell, in two days time. Go Dean and  the boys! Right--- I will wear my red socks on Wednesday, NZ time.

The lesson NZ learned the other day! Don't go pissing on us!

Jimmy Spithill's tweet is nothiing more than a refelction of his name and what could happen today!

How about we don’t take Jimmy’s silly Tweet too seriously! Come-on, he can’t’ help his wonderful name. I mean, his slightly provocative tweet was said in the heat of the moment, when he started to believe that his team could finally win against Team NZ. His ‘spitting’ in the wind is just the opposite of pushing water uphill without the proverbial whatever or chucking the toys out of the crib; maybe even ‘spitting uphill.’
However I would never stoop to posting such silly utterances and I most certainly do not have enough followers to pass on anything I say that would then cause me embarrassment. Who needs followers anyway, to achieve that supreme status of being embarrassed by one’s tweets, postings or any other form of public statement?
I doubt the Kiwis will spend much time ‘spitting tacks.’ Their job is to swallow their ‘spittle’ and get on with winning so we have one big party back here in the land of the LONG WHITE CLOUD; the one that hides all of our silly indiscretions.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Labour has a new leader---now make it work and get on with the job!

OK, there was no white smoke from a chimney but by the way in which a good deal of the NZ public has watched this intriguing contest, one would have thought so.' Exaggeration!' you say: Well that's because if you felt like that then you would hardly consider voting Labour anyway. From what I am hearing (and my ears are BIG) many National Party supporters are secretly envious of the process Labour has used. If only we----Ooops---who am I to speak for that lot!
Now the real battle begins. We will see how the new David deals with those who did not support him. He must unify the party and put aside any imagined slights form those who would have wished for a different outcome. As so many of my friends on FB are saying---'put aside your personal ambition and unite behind David.' All three candidates are worthy of a high position in the new line-up. I can't wait to see how they take it to Key and his minions in the next year. I can feel the shuddering from here and it ain't no earthquake!---just a changing of the guard.

Dean: Be careful young man! Our cellective Kiwi hearts were in our mouths.

Today was the day when Team New Zealand nearly came a cropper---big time. When that beautiful catamaran raised itself and nearly toppled I heard the mass gaps of 4 million Kiwis as they thought for a moment that our dream was over. After all, we do not have another boat and all the silly conspiracy talk about the USA taking us out looked like a reality. No fault to Oracle, just a Kiwi mistake and a big wind.
We lost the race but survived. That the Kiwis didn't use their 'card' to go home and fix things was admirable. Tomorrow is another day and even though it is pure torture watching at times, we are alive and well and going by how they were proceeding  in the second race, it looked like they had learnt their lesson. You are true fighters, Deans' boys and we are so proud of you. Bring the Cup back home but we don't need anyone dying to achieve that, Kiwi or American. Keep it clean and fight hard! Your spirit was very much evident down at Wynyard Quarter and the Viaduct today!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Solar Oven test on a spring, winter and spring Bob's your uncle, Auckland day!

That is how we describe a spring day in Auckland. On any day we can have 'changeable weather in this wonderful city. It is predicted that we will get to about 16C today and on my sheltered deck it may get to 19C. It's a good day to test the efficacy of my new Solar Flair solar oven. Let's be fair here; the manufacturers make no claim that I am going to be able to cook anything useful on such a day, but test it I will!
I set it up on the deck, with the thermometer inside and a cup of water on the rack. Within ten minutes of the set up the thermo mentor read 70c and then the sun started dancing in and out of the clouds. Still, I was quite impressed. That temperature would be enough to dry fruit or tomatoes. To stop it rising I assume I would only need to reposition the oven, slightly away from the direct sun. As a precaution I need to lock up my crazy Jack Russell, because she is showing far more interest than I would want!

1) 10 minutes into test----70C   Sun intermittent and some wind. (dog locked up!)
2) 20 minutes into test----75C   Cloudy---damn!
3) 30 minutes into test ---75C  Struggling to get above this but the sun is being a bitch!
OK I will update and add to my blog---off shopping now!

4)  OK, When I cam back an hour later the clouds had slapped the sun away and the temperature had dipped to 50C. IN my view that is pushing it for cooking anything other than a long slow session with drying fruit.
5) The sun came out but was still patchy, raising the temperature into the 60C plus range.

I will not attempt cooking chicken unless I can consistently have temperatures above 100C. I suspect that may not be possible at this time of the year, but I shall keep testing. Maybe the chicken Moroccan curry will have to go in the slow cooker tomorrow! I will keep experimenting.

So while you are all waiting to see if this is going to work, go download ROSKILL on your Kindle or Tablet. Just go to my website to click on the Kindle version of ROSKILL.
So far on crappy days I have managed to get it to 85C--enough to dry fruit but not enough for meat!

Spring day in Auckland with the beautiful flowering Kowai.

USA and Australia---What have they got in common?

Yes, I know, lots of you will say---well everything, but Aussie is America's bitch,' doing what the big slapper says.'  Why?---Because Australia sees itself as some sort of Great Power' in the Southern Ocean, emulating what 'big brother' does elsewhere in the world. It also takes this attitude to extremes when it comes to performance on the sporting field. When Aussie is doing well, it is wall-to-wall TV coverage. The same can be said for the USA.
Take for example, the media coverage of the America's Cup finals in SF. When Oracle was preforming to plan, the coverage was right up there, with constant news chatter and glorification of the 'boat and sailors.' Then came the losses and New Zealand edged towards the magic number of victories needed to bring the Cup back to Auckland. What happened? Many new channels went dead, as the big eye turned towards other more important news issues, like Syria, the nation that most Americans would have a problem finding on the map! I did see a few brief mentions of the Cup when Oracle actually won a race against Team NZ, but after yesterdays drubbing by the Kiwis---that was it!
Aussie does something similar when any NZ team takes it to them. Am I accurate in my summation? Mostly; just do a little survey for yourself. Does anyone care? Of course not! It goes with the territory. Do we love the afore mentioned countries any less? Of course not! We are used to such posturing  and have learnt to deal with it for many years. After all; 'friends' always have 'tidal- like' relationships; the ebbing and flowing is a natural event, indeed one that is necessary in order to keep the 'natural flow.'
We only need to look at our collective histories where the behaviours of other countries has thrown the three of us together. Is that from a sense of 'caring' or is it more to do with the interests of the two big daddies that have so much influence on our lives in tiny NZ?
In the next few days, if everything goes to plan, Team NZ is going to lift the Cup from SF and bring it home. Maybe the  big eye of the USA media will focus on this insignificant country in the South West Pacific for long enough to inform the American public where we are. Then they will line up to buy our farms----Ooops, that sector of the USA is already doing that! Damn!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

China---keep reading my blogs and download my book!

China is now featuring as an increasingly important reader of my blogs. Now, all I need is for you to pass on the link and start downloading my book for my site. It only costs about $US4 and all you need is a Kindle or Tablet.  Go for it! Follow the link and click on the Kindle version of ROSKILL on my website   Happy reading, China!

I am like a kid with a new toy---please let it be sunny tomorrow!

I want sun. I want lots of sun. How else am I going to try out my new solar oven. Hell, it ain't gonna work on a cloudy day. I don't know what the 'preppies' do on a cloudy day. Maybe they just make more 'preppies!'
I shall get some pictures up soon. I do wonder at its construction. You know those things people put in the front of their cars to keep the sun out?-----that is what the material looks like for the solar oven. I reckon my mate, Richard at school could make one for about $50. OK, loo out for the trial run, without food tomorrow. I am interested in seeing how hot it gets on a 'marginal use day. That's 'Auckland talk' for a  Spring day in my fair city. Sunday though is looking promising. I want sun. I want sun!!!!!

The Pope ligitimizes 'non believers.' like they need that?---or care!

The Pope has announced that ‘non-believers’ can live good loves and follow their consciences and therefore be ‘legitimate.’ Nice move, Pope but hardly necessary. No doubt his move will lead to much discussion within the ‘Christian’ community, but generally it will pass by most of us as a big ‘non-event.’
His announcement is of course welcome in the sense that it represents the vast change that has occurred since the days of ‘Holy Inquisitions and Crusades to punish other religious groups.
Now, all we need is for a similar move from the other big religion on the block (and I don’t mean Protestants) and perhaps we could see an end to the strife in the Middle East, along with the Jihadist wars. You reckon they are listening? Yeah, nah---whatever! Maybe that’s just too much to hope for---‘a world at peace with its faiths.’

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mr Obama, Take a page out of Oracle's book and think for a moment!

The racing in SF re the America’s Cup has shown us that sometimes one needs to play a trump card and take a break. It was looking pretty ominous for Oracle after NZ walloped them in the first race of the day. Most sensibly, Oracle used their one chance to take a break and stake stock of their situation.
Obama should also follow this example and think seriously before launching into an attack on Syria. I am not saying that he should not act, but he must do so with the blessing of the UIN and be part of the resolution to the problem that is Syria, not blast head on in without any real knowledge of what the result will be.
Oracle has a few days to reflect, rebuild and try something new. Maybe there is a message there, Mr Obama!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Solar Oven has arrived---now what to test?

Now that my Solar Flair oven has arrived and all unpacked I shall launch into my testing ' programme.  (Cost, so far---NZ$209)The first thing I noticed was that the only instructions were for the pasteurization kit; OK water is an essential survival need. I reflected for a moment and contacted NZ Survivor (The place that told me to get the oven. I thought---OMG --am I dealing with a pack of 'preppies,' like on TV---you know those ones that have hippie-like glazed over eyes and predicting the end of the world? No, don't worry, I haven't gone nuts!
The package contained the oven which folds down into an easy carry pack and two racks and cooking pots.
Right, so I don't have an instruction manual, but I doubt that matters. I just Googgled the oven and sure enough there are heaps of Yanks out there in the desert who love to show how to use the oven, complete with bloody Rattle Snakes. Thank God I live in Auckland , NZ. However one yet to be answered question must be--Will Auckland's less extreme climes be suitable for cooking at the necessary temperature? The dudes on YouTube were talking about the oven preheating to about 200F. I remember the old scale and if I am correct, boiling point on that scale is 212F. I suppose I sort of halve that for Celsius. Now I shall test the oven on Saturday, so long as I can get 3 hours plus of full sun. I am going to jump in the deep end (yes, I shall stick up pictures of my adventure!) and cook a Moroccan chicken casserole. Why walk when I can run--- Right? If I poison myself you will have an end to my crazy ADVENTURE!

"Flying Dutchmen, ' well now we have the 'rocket propelled Kiwis.'

What a sight to behold on SF Bay today. The Kiwis started badly and it looked like it was ‘over Rover,’ but then the Kiwis took off. I was in our staffroom where our DP told us that we could watch the race (America’s/New Zealand’s Cup) before going to our department meetings. What unifying uplifting experience to be with colleagues and seeing Team NZ take it to the Oracle team. The unbelievable became possible as our big ‘cat’ skimmed across the waves, giving the Americans a ‘brown eye,’ as we say in NZ. After that, the Kiwis were impossible to catch. Glorious sight my clever compatriots. Bring back that cup---to Auckland.  OK, I shall calm down as I await the next race. Just keep winning one a day and by the weekend---it will be ours---again! This weekend could be one hell of a dream-time, down at the Viaduct.

The new Iphone---a cheaper version---great?.

I wonder how many people, espeically the young and---you know the rest, will buy one of the new cheap version of this iconic phone. Sometimes I wonder if the phone itself is a mere accessory for some people. Mean of me you say. Really? Just watch how mnay people will display their cheap new phones when they are out in public. Watch out for the flash new cover over covers, disguising the real thing beneath the 'plastic.' Oh, I have gone too far, you say.  Time will tell. In the menatime, I shall continue to use my cheap version of the Samsung Galexy and I won't give a hoot as to who sees, watches or passes judgment on my little 'cheapie.' It's good to be older and less encumbered by fasion, sometimes!

Labour 'leadership candidates' determined to keep it clean!

There is no doubt that David Cunliffe’s quick action signalled that all three are sticking with the plan in the Labour Party leadership contest; that is to keep clear of personal attacks. Perhaps the more cynical would say that Davis merely used this move to portray himself as decisive and that he can lead from the front.
A more generous view would be that he indeed wants to keep it clean. Whilst the person in the middle of the latest rather tame pronouncements from David’s team (Grant Robertson) was slightly bemused, one could still adhere to the position that the actions taken were necessary. I very much doubt that the person ‘fired’ for her opinion will stay unemployed for long. One does not throw away good people, certainly not for something so far down the chain in terms of indiscretion.
Labour has almost completed the process where they chose their new leader and it has to be said that so far, it has been a successful exercise in promoting how the party can be; one united and quite different from their Australian counterparts. Something is missing in that party, apart from the ‘u’ in their name!
However, we should not get too carried away as the New Zealand Labour Party also has it’s natural divisions between ‘left and right,’ union and technocrats, just to mention a few. The personalities too, will always provide fodder for future struggles. In the meantime, they need to stick to the current path and present themselves as a true alternative to the present government. The prize is there for the taking, if only they can hold it together.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Roskill--- First review is out for the Kindle version.

It took a while, but the first review for the Kindle version of Roskill is out. If you wish to read it just go to the website, click on the Kindle version and read on. Better still, download your own copy and do your thing.
Thanks for your support.