Thursday, December 31, 2015

Russia---help me to go on the Trans-Siberian Rail trip--all you have to do----

I have always dreamed of travelling on the ultimate rail trip-----non other than the endless Trans-Siberian rail trip---the one that crosses countless time zones. I have watched many TV programmes on this fabulous quest and something about it attracts me like no other venture. Now that I have either one very avid reader in Russia, or a rather large number (you now have more hits on my blog for the past month than any other country, Russia---even more than your nemesis---the USA!) you are in a position to help me make it happen. All you have to do is get thousands of your friends to download my book Roskill, which you can do on my website ( I reckon about 10,000 downloads should do it! Hey---it's my new years resolution and this time---i believe in it. Share my post and make the links. Russia 342 United States 244 New Zealand 75 Germany 44 Brazil 17 France 11 Netherlands 9 Ukraine 6 Poland 5 Canada 4 Figures for hits on my blog last month.

Russia is the most 'numeric' reader of my blogs today----here's ten other activities, my Russian friends!

I love it that so many readers (or is it just one who can't get enough of my blogs?!) in Russia are hitting my blogs. If you become a little 'underwhelmed' by the said blogs, here are some alternate activities for you! 1) Make a calendar of yourself to compete with Mr Putin's. 2) Walk through Red Square dressed as a transgender Isla----oops! 3)Listen to some wonderful Russian Music and dance in the above square. 4)Find out where the New Zealand Embassy is situated and preform a Haka outside with a friend holding a sign asking for instructions on how to actually do it right! 5) Set off some fireworks and run like feck, because you may get arrested! 6) Read one of my blogs----oops that defeats the purpose of this blog! 8) Learn how to count, because you didn't realize I had missed out 7. 7) Got around the right way now, so have a drink, whilst wishing me a Happy New Year! 9) Make plans to have a holiday in New Zealand. Bring me some caviar or has that ocean, the Aral Sea, all but GONE?! 10) Go check out my website and download Roskill, my book that some of you have read! 11) Paint a picture of Obama and cut it out, make a mask, then demand a limousine to drive you around for the day! 12) Have another vodka, like a friend of mine regularly does---oops---- again! 13) Send a post-card to a friend in Ukraine. 14) I just realized that I cannot count to ten!!!!! WTF!!!! 15)ABOVE ALL---Happy New Year Russia and do not take me too seriously because life should be for smiling--even when we don't feel like it! 18) Please ask Mr Putin to invite me to come to Russia so that I can better 'understand' him, He does not always get fair press in the media. It's OK---I will not wear my tiara! 23) Donald Trump sends his love---or something.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Russia---what's up?! You are reading my blogs again---great.

I am not sure why---but Russia is reading my blogs at an ever increasing rate. They have replaced Ukraine in this respect. Maybe that is where the answer can be found, if one is of a more cynical nature. But I chose to believe that Russians like to know about the rest of the world; about New Zealand in particular. The press in NZ is not always friendly to your dear leader, Mr Putin; indeed I have slanted him on occasion. I still find the Russian desire to have 'strong' leaders a bit of a conundrum, but knowing a little about history, I guess I have a level of understanding about that aspect of the Russian psyche. OK, if I have so many readers in Russia, I make the plea, that you spread my website, so that I can achieve more sales for my book, ROSKILL---a book you can either download or buy hard copy. You will soon be able to do the same for an upcoming release (maybe April 2016) of my latest book, Talk To Me.' Go to my website to find out more. Thanks again, my Russian readers. I appreciate your support.

Super Gold Card users---are they (me) acting a little bit 'precious?!'

As I was doing a little bit of 'research' re the 'truth' behind the story, in my soon to be released book, Talk To me, I became increasingly frustrated about reports that the Government is looking again at curtailing the use of the Super Gold Card on public transport. Yes, I was listening to talk-back radio, which can sometimes be a rather dangerous pass time when one is driving, due to the chaotic heightening in blood pressure, directly caused by the stupid comments of some of the callers. Some claimed that 'oldies' did not need the free trips, that the Government (Hey is that not all of us--well it may have been in the distant past!) cannot afford the measly $28 million dollars they put onto this scheme, one that they have frozen for 5 years. Why is it that Governments (I include all in the recent past) go for the quick 'fix' re spending? Why can they not see the longer term gain from having policies that 'take people off the roads,' lessening the need for yet more expensive motorways and more use of fossil fuels as oldies (and other groups) combat the increasingly crowded roads? They happily spend $28 million on an unnecessary 'flag referendum,' but they shortsightedly impose restrictions on a scheme that has proven benefits; one that leads to healthier people and healthier cities. Capping this funding is nothing short of stupidity. Getting older people out of their homes, including them in our wider community is a winner in every sense. On a more cynical note, may I also say that the Government is missing the feeling that older voters undoubtedly have about this---they are going to be pushing older voters, who will make up an even larger proportion of the electorate at the next election. I suggest that the scheme could be 'extended to other groups in society. What better way is there to get people on public transport? It is a great deal cheaper to subsidize public transport than to keep building more motorways, that seem to reach capacity in a few years, necessitating ever more money being dumped down the hole of these behemoths of political cronyism--yes---one does wonder who gains most from this excessive spending! Finally, and I do not say this in a frivolous manner---do you really want people like me, who may well reach a stage soon, that you may want to 'avoid us on the roads?' Stick us on the buses and trains!!!!! Keep the Gold Cards in maximum use.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

USA---you can get the hard copy of ROSKILL much cheaper than we can IN New Zealand.

I know that my loyal readers who click on my webpage in NZ get 'stung' when they order hard copy from the Amazon site. I think it was NZ$54 for the last person who contacted me. That is pretty steep! Such readers would be better suited by contacting me direct for their copy of Roskill, which I can send for $N22---how? Just contact me at and I will send you a copy for that lower price.The download for your Kindle or other reader is of course much cheaper. Check out that option from my website. Follow the links. Could someone in the USA let me know what you would pay for Roskill, including postage? Much appreciated. Have a happy New Year, everyone.

Talk To Me, the book, is getting the 'treatment!'

I have been informed that it is best to have more than one book, available for people. Perhaps it adds to some sort of illusion that there is 'more than one book' in an author! being 'informed' of course does not amount to being 'knowledgeable. I can say without out a doubt or being 'misinformed' that Talk To Me,' is going through a thorough process, whereby, it is re-checked, proofread and vamped up a bit, then it will be 'launched' with suitable publicity online at first and then if warranted--be issued in hard-copy format for those of you who prefer that 'style.' So what is TTM all about? Without giving away too much----'Talk To Me,' is a gentle swipe at the talk back radio industry. How many of you have become exasperated, whilst on a drive, when a enraged caller, rings in to the show and lets rip about a range of issues, sometimes all at once. There is not always a great deal of ;reasoning' behind their diatribes. It's almost like 'Face Book wrapped up in a show,' bringing out the best and worst of us, skillfully (not always) controlled by the host. How many times have YOU been tempted to contribute to the 'show?' OK---keep an eye on my posts or my Roskill Page on FB and you will know when that action kicks off. I have plans for other books if TTM gains traction. We see April as being the laucn date at this stage. Happy new year people!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Tis the season to be jolly--- but that doesn't mean treating those who work in retail, hospitality and other sectors like crap!!!!

OK People---let's all get into the spirit of Xmas. Oops---Merry Xmas first. None of that Happy holidays from me, because Xmas is Xmas. Thank goodness, we are still a bit old fashioned in New Zealand and so far the PC brigade have not won--as I see they are increasingly showing in the 'Old Country!' Now---to the real point of this blog: Take a moment and think about how you are 'interacting with those who get to 'serve you this Xmas; be it in retail, hospitality or other sectors. Often they are the poorly paid, sometimes working under contracts that I will loosely call---'Zero Hour contracts,' where they are treated in a way that we had thought was consigned to history. It feels like all of the gains made via union struggles are under attack. Have a thought for the over-worked retail assistant or the person who cleans our room at the hotel you are staying. Don't treat them like servants; don't abuse them! It is not their fault that the firm they are working for is too mean to employ enough staff, or puts unreasonable demands on their staff.Try being a little more patient when you get that feeling that your 'needs' are not being met. The workers at the 'coal face' are NOT the ones making the decisions about staffing levels, or working conditions: that is left to those higher up, with management. Spread a bit of joy, instead of ripping into the person 'attending you.' Smile and hey---you might even receive one back. Merry Xmas everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A free lunch is hard to come by, unless---------

I will do almost anything for a free lunch. Well---today took the cake---not that I received cake! i took the bus to the hospital, as today was the day for my Angio-thingy. I met the 'Professor' who took me through the process, that is when he could get a word in. He was a nice Englishman' with an excellent manner re communicating what was about to happen. He warned me about getting a feeling that I had pissed myself, although he did use much more correct terminology. Wow there is certainly a great deal of money tied up in those fancy machines and I rejoiced in the fact that taxes help pay for this expensive procedure. The ordeal was over in a out 15 minutes and I was sent to the chairs where I joined others had shared my experience, The lovely nurses took my pulse BP and gave me some water to re-hydrate my system and to help flush out the toxins in the dye that they use. I waved goodbye and yes, said----Merry Xmas, and headed towards reception. Well--not quite---I suddenly felt the urge to hit the floor---the world was going black and ISIS flags figured on my side vision. WTF!!!! I sat----looked around, wondering what the hell to do. I noticed the receptionist looking at me---not with desire, I must say! A chair appeared out of nowhere and two of the aforementioned nurses retrieved me and wheeled me back to radiology. I was placed in a bed and all the monitors came out. My blood pressure was very low and they summonsed the Professor who had done the work previously, took over and told me that the drug he gave me to stabilize my heat beat at a necessarily low rate had most certainly done its job.. I was plonked gently in a bed and for the next hour it was check, measure and observe. Now the good part. He ordered that I drink a nice orange juice and have some food. Not flash---but hey---it went down well and it was freeeeee! I was also on the mend and after an hour they let me go , to get a taxi home and not do too much for the day. By this time, I was feeling great, so I ditched the idea of the taxi and in line with my wish to not spend a cent (I had my Gold Card), I wandered slowly in the cooling breeze and caught a bus home. We can pick Perdy up form dogie care after 4. I shall be able to drive by then. What a day and I am so thankful for the incredible health system that supports us (for the most part) in times of need. Thank you dear nurses. Your attitude made me feel like I was being looked after by 'family.' What happened today? The nurses felt that the drug caused a reaction and I went it to mild shock. Glad that it all occurred in the best possible place!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Donald Trump---what the hell is he?!

Donald Trump continues his march towards winning the GOP nomination for President. How is it that he can be considered a serious candidate, given some of his appalling utterances? Without a doubt he is a threat to the other wannabes, attracting a wide range of support form sometimes, quite different elements of the political spectrum. Perhaps that is his 'appeal'---he is not perceived as a politician; well not in the traditional sense. Some call him a populist, others a 'voice that is not heard amongst mainstream candidates, seen as a 'chaos candidate' by others, the 'truth-sayer' by yet another group. It is almost like he has collected together all of the concerns and fears of different sectors of US society, rolled them up into a ball and served it via the media, which in itself has a 'love-hate' relationship with him. Hell, even Fox News has issues at times with him. It would be very dangerous for his opponents, both within his own party and his Democratic Party competition to write him off. He seems to find the soft spots of a huge section of 'ordinary,' yes sometimes, ill-informed' American opinion, and play to it, in the way that only Trump can do. He is sensationalist, downright ignorant re some of his 'issues,' but always with en eye on the reaction of his audience. He is prepared to face down his audience, give the finger, get down and dirty, tell lies and half lies. He takes arrogance to a whole new height, while breaking all the rules re debates and 'normal' pathways to the p[residency. Perhaps his appeal says much about the electorate. That he is possibly prepared to 'go it alone,' says much about how he sees himself. Perhaps he is still locked up in the 'game' he became even more famous for---his anger, his passion, his rudeness and shear -showmanship. Those qualities when kept in 'balance' actually work for many politicians, so he has just stepped up the game to make it fit into modern, media driven, populist American politics. Once again---what does this say about the USA today? Will 'thinking Americans actually come to the fore, register to vote and turn out on the day, to stop this man's race to the White House?! Only time will tell. In the meantime, Trump will continue to 'blame, shame and try to sell his 'policies' to the masses!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Super Gold Card users a bit miffed about a small increase in the cost!

Firstly I should state my 'interest' in the above announcement from the NZ Government. Yes---I have one and although I do not use it very much, that is something that will change as I get slowly more uncomfortable re driving in NZ's biggest city----Auckland. It seems that the users of the GC are going to be asked to buy a 'smart card. for about $10. That gives them (me!) the right to use the buses, ferries and trains; the times varying according to where one lives in NZ. Of course for the small towns, such services are not so apparent. There is an outcry, none more stringent than from the venerable leader of the NZ First Party, Winston Peters. OK---many would say that he is playing to his 'electorate,' but that does not concern me---I am more than happy for him to 'stick up for us oldies,' and the cynical side of me says that he has 'carved out' this segment of the electorate to keep him in Parliament, but today---I shall not decry him in any particular way. I say---'go for it Winnie!' So, I can see both side of the coin: the one that allows GC holders to travel free, most of the time around the bigger cities, and having to pay a few dollars for the privilege of possessing such a card, is a small price. For those of my younger readers who throw up their hands (and maybe the contents of their stomachs!) about 'the oldies bitching again, I say----Think a bit about this conundrum--- think about the cars that the oldies drive being off the road, about you not having to scream insults at the drivers of the said cars not slowing you down as you go about your day, think about the growing numbers of 'greylings' who will share the roads with you, about not having to avoid us, about the tax savings and not having to fork out for more motorways---that cost a hell of a lot more than the $28 million that the government has earmarked per year for the next five years and come to the same conclusion as me----- spend a bit more and get more of us off the road----hey---extend it to other groups---maybe $100 million a year---that is so much cheaper than the grandiose schemes proposed by some who want to spend so much on the tunnels, motorways and God knows what is on the plans. See---we are not complaining without pointing out the benefits of supporting the GC holders. We must be vigilant and not let the government and their cronies gradually strip away the amount spent on GC usage, all with the short term aim of short-term savings. NOW---think ahead and one last plea: Please let me take my Jack Russell with me on the trains and buses. Other countries seem to let that happen! Then---I won't need my car---well not quite so often!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Donald Trump is really Democrat in DRAG!

One really has to wonder what Donald's real plan is. Surely he does not believe that he can attract enough 'red neck' followers; the ones who believe his utterances about Muslims, gays, women and any group that experiences marginalization in USA society. It seems that not a day goes by without (Add mass shootings to the list)another 'TRUMP announcement.' What is so 'telling' though is that he is still riding high in the polls. Are Americans really that narrow, that racist or to be really blunt---ignorant?! I do not believe that they are. What Trump is doing, is to play to the fears that many of us have and then adds his own vitriol, misguided opinion and draws in those who know no better. There is always a tiny bit of 'fact' in his announcements and when the media takes hold of his shenanigans, it is open slather re his 'coverage.' o-----Donald secretly desires a Democrat win in the Presidential elections. He is trying to split the GOP ---to the point that his candidacy is no longer viable and then---viola---he announces that he will run as an 'INDEPENDANT!' What will that do---he will steal enough votes---mainly from the GOP, but some from the Democrats, but the result will be, a Democrat win. Well---that's my fantastical take. Go figure. Can't wait to see my wonderful, thinking American friends respond!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Donald Trump---or Donald Duck---oops---that's unfair to the latter!

Donald Trump---what a chump! OMG What has the USA spawned? Who the hell is advising this guy? Would it even matter? Has he ever thought through anything he has said? NO Olympics, no embassies, unless the Islamic nations appoint 'non-Muslim representatives. USA---the whole world is trying not to laugh or cry---they're not succeeding! What is so sad, is that he is leading in the polls for the GOP nomination. Surely sense will prevail in the end---won't it?!!!!!