Sunday, April 27, 2014

'Legal Highs'---the next phase will be most difficult.

The government has signalled that it is going to make the 'legal high' industry go away. This coincidentally happened after the Labour Party and others said that they wold rid us of these leeches who sell misery in the corner shops of so many towns and cities in NZ. It seems that the planning did not take into account the 40 plus varieties on sale that somehow managed to sneak through the processes put in place by Peter Dunne, the Minister who's son is acting on behalf of the 'industry.' OK, I don't care who does it as long as something happens to take these nasty substances out of our communities.
That also means that there will be an element t of 'underground activity, controlled no doubt by the gangs and other criminals. This must be measured against the fact that at least it will not be so visible and as visible or available as it is now. Not everyone is prepared to take that next step and deal with gangs and other unlawful 'citizens.'
There is another ramification to any successful law change; one that makes it harder for the ordinary person to buy these substances and that is the large number of people who are dependant on their daily fix(es). There will need to be a massive input re resources to help these people, because sudden cold turkey is not going to work for many of them. We need to step up and take the next step and make sure that help is available, but having said that, there is a shortage of resources for other users of substances, both the illegal ones and the legal like alcohol.
The Government has taken a huge step (and that means all of us) re the next phase of the battle against 'legal, soon to be illegal highs' but please do not leave these very vulnerable people in the lurch. They must be supported or we will be creating a whole new group, ostracised by society and withdrawn and attracted to the underworld. That will mean a substantial input from us the taxpayers because if we don't, the cost will be very much higher in every sense. Let's work together on this difficult problem, because what we have seen so far is only the tip of an iceberg that has been in our waters for quite some time.

Potato Bake--using 'whatever.'

If you have a few potatoes in your pantry and some other miscellaneous items then you have the makings of a cheap and tasty meal.
Slice three (or more) potatoes, with the skin on. A good sharp knife is better than those stupid 'As Seen On TV) ones that take ages to clean and you end up cutting yourself!). Now---if you are an anti-cholesterol butthead and believe all the hype about fats, then stop reading because your blood pressure will just go through the roof! My issues with weight in the 'past' only came about because of trying to adhere to diets and low fat, low carbs and God knows what else 'they' say is bad for you.
OK, they've gone so we can proceed.
USE BUTTER or Olive oil for this or even combine the two.
Put a layer of those big fat mushrooms on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with herbs (dried or fresh) and some Parmesan cheese with a dash of pepper. (OK---use any damned cheese you like!)
Now, layer some of the thin potatoes, dot with as much butter as you wish and throw in some sliced Spring Onion (YOU may call them green onions or scallions---who knows what the vagaries of international cuisine come up with!)
Us up the potatoes and liberally add the butter, some more pepper, herbs and cheese.
Bake in oven at about 170 for as long as it takes for that lovely golden  brown crispy look.
Enjoy and if you are still worried about the calories and other evils, just don't eat the whole damn thing on your own. Get some friends around, make a green salad and serve with a small steak. Go beyond that, and well----been there done that! After a nice coffee, or even delay that, go for a walk with your dog and  your guests. Invite their dogs too. Such fun and good cheap and tasty food that does not have to be unhealthy.
Crunchy with real butter!

Len Brown, the good Brown---thanks for pushing the rail for Auckland!

Yesterday Auckland had a red letter day as the first of the 57 new electric trains were rolled out fore the public to 'assess' and it was happiness all round, especially as the occasion was free. Even the food was there for those feeling a little peckish. Mayor, Len Brown was in an ebullient as he saw a chance to push for yet more for the ever suffering public of Auckland and the crowded streets. her was an opportunity to push for an earlier start to the 'loop,' a grandeur pie-in -the -sky' from the Government's perspective, especially The 'other Brown;' the one in Cabinet who doesn't really give a toss for Auckland their silly train dreams. That attitude may come at a cost as Aucklanders take to the trains in their thousands. They will ask the obvious question: 'Why stop there?' Yes, it is time to finish the overall plan supported by Mayor Brown and most Aucklanders; not just the loop but the rail to the airport and around the eastern suburbs. You ignore Aucklanders at your plight Mr other Brown. Listen to your namesake--you know the one.
Mayor Len Brown on the train this morning.  Auckland's new electric trains were launched this morning at Britomart.  Short trips are running between Britomart and Newmarket for balloted members of the Good on you Len! Love the new trains.