Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not much

I like this time of year. I was told when I first set foot in the Land of the Long White Cloud not to squander official leave during the last couple of weeks of December and first of January. Take it later in February when the weather is more settled and you have the Far North a bit more to yourself. So I am officially in the fields but don't have to do much. Turned the odd sod for a couple of hours on Monday, didn't bother fronting up yesterday. Repeat the above method for today and tomorrow and flag Friday. Who needs leave? As a bonus you get the roads to yourself - all good.

Not much going on in the world if you don't count the Middle East imploding yet again. I can raise very little enthusiasm for this. It has being going on for centuries and the only difference to my simple mind is the sophistication of the ordnance and the attire of the protaganists. Swap broadswords for smart missiles, chain mail for hoodies and that's your lot.

Anthropogenic global warming is getting a royal thrashing at the moment. This is when the northern hemisphere is having its severest winter for a very long time. Could this be the year when they start roasting oxen on the Thames at London Bridge again for the first time in centuries? The warmists would have us believe that the the current prolonged cold 'snap' is merely masking the effects of the underlying global warming. The would argue that black is white if it served their political/religous objective. However, one really gets the impression that even they realise that they are pushing it uphill. Twats. I almost, but not quite, got roused enough by Steve Mahary's (and there's a yesterday's man if ever I saw one) horror that a Parliamentary Committee will examine the scientific evidence surrounding climate change. This in the face of his (ex) government having told us that the scientific arguments are settled. Twat. But we have been there so many times that it doesn't merit further comment for reasons of tedium and repetition.

No, now is the time of year not to be diverted from the important things in life by such trivia. There is diesel to burn, ponds to be weeded (managed to fall in twice yesterday - definitely a thing to do in December as opposed to July), pool skimmer guards to be repaired, shelves to be constructed in the barn and, most importantly, lures to be made. The first two marlin of the season have been caught off the Mercuries. People have been ferreting around the back of the Poor Knights (with as yet no result) and it is getting close to time to hang the 'Gone Fishing' sign on the door.

See you next year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I thought we were over this

I suppose the source of the worst smells often resides just around the bend and to to weed it out you have to resort to the extra strong Harpic and the super long bendy brush but I thought all the carbon neutral crap was gone. This was released at 0400 this morning from the bowels of the earth in Wellygogs that is the centre for such rot.

The Government is moving to establish university courses in measuring the carbon footprint of primary products.
Agriculture Minister David Carter said the Government was seeking proposals from universities to establish a professorship and courses in “life-cycle science”. It would provide $1.5 million over five years.
Mr Carter said overseas consumers were increasingly demanding to know the environmental impact of their food.
“Our ‘clean green’ image is our most valuable marketing tool, and the work carried out under this initiative will underpin that image with science.”
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is seeking proposals by February 13, with an announcement on the successful university in March. The professorship will be 95 per cent Government-funded in the first year, reducing to 25 per cent by the fifth year.
From year six, the initiative would need to be self-sufficient.

At first I thought it must have been a left over press release from the last mob. Someone was clearing out the vaults for Xmas and found it under the pile of tofu wrappers and hemp shirts. But no, David Carter is the Agriculture Minister for the good guys. This is just not bloody good enough. I didn't wreck the planet by driving the supercharged V8 to Dairy Flat school a few Saturdays back to place my tick in the correct boxes to get this sort of bollocks. I voted to stop this crap and not to continue it. I shall write to John Key this instant and get him to give Carter a right good slapping and a pull through with a mince pie.

Whilst searching for the latest background stuff on Carbon Neutrality (vomit, barff, chunder) I came across the disturbing, but not altogether surprising, fact that there is a website. It is truly awful. Featured in their home page is all sorts of carbon neutral garbage including a carbon neutral wedding. The bride's name was Melissa (I know a couple of them - they're OK) but the groom soldiers on through life with Olmec as his label. Sounds like a oil field supplies company - but him being a carbon neutral loony he almost certainly is no such thing. The nuptials were held at the family farm near the 'carbon plantation' which in my book would be a coal mine. So this bloke is marrying Melissa on a slag heap. Guests came from all over the show including the USA and El Salvador - bet they didn't come on the same plane. To 'offset' this travel guests were encouraged to plant a tree from a selection of saplings on offer. It makes me squirm just to think of such rubbish. Vol au vents filled with alfalfa , hairy armpits, recycled car tyre sandals, wind powered barby - enough all ready.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A glimmer of hope

Slowly but surely the fog surrounding the anthropogenic global warming tosh appears to be lifting. The surest sign yet was Nick Smith (I think) declaring this morning that the days of 'carbon neutrality rhetoric' are over. No longer will New Zealand be striving to be 'world leader' in this garbage. Well thank god for that. No longer will we be a laughing stock as we struggle to attain an impossible goal. No more chasing moonbeams. It was a bit like aiming to be a chocolate teapot or a plate glass bicycle pump.

In recent days we have had the scrapping of the compulsory biofuels rubbish and the restoration of the choice on what light bulbs we buy. This last bit was reaffirmed in Parliament this afternoon by Blimp Brownlee using words like 'energy consumption' instead of the 'saving the planet' and 'leaving the earth for our children to inherit' garbage we have become used to from those sitting at the Speaker's right hand.

In the same statement as the abandonment of 'carbon neutrality' was the affirmation that we would be following the more pragmatic sort of energy saving line that that well known right winger (not) Kevin the Roach Look Alike espoused over the ditch yesterday. The Aussies are going for 5% decrease of something by a nebulous date at some point suitably way off in the distance. This in place of reducing all greenhouse gases by 99.7% come next Thursday which is what they were signed up to previously. We are 'committed' to similar such crap and are failing spectacularly at every turn - every milestone a losing post for us in the Carbon Stakes. On top of this the Orstralians have said they will only shift from this 5% bizzo to something more fruity if the rest of the world agree to something sensible to replace the Kyoto bollocks. Sensible would be stuff like not bankrupting your country just to reduce the concentration of a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere for no reason at all; that sort of sensible. Assuming that the 'rest of the world' includes, China, India, Russia the States and other such trifling nations we are probably safe from the warmists for a while as they won't have bar of such ruinous crap.

Add to this we have Rodney Yellow Jacket saying that the science around climate change will be re-examined by the Parliamentary select Committee. Now, whether they do or not is another matter because the greener of the Committee's members won't like what they find. The world has been getting cooler for the last eight years, there is more Arctic ice than there has been for decades etc. etc. Usual stuff - facts getting in the way of a good story. But somehow I get the impression that there is an altogether more receptive audience around these days for such great dollops of pragmatism.

Speaking of Arctic Ice some warmists have been predicting that the North Pole will be ice free by 2012. Last year the amount of sea ice surrounding the pole increased as alluded to above and as of September this year there was only 2.5 million square kilometers left. Thats quite a bit of melting to get done in four years. Tell you what, it ain't going to happen.

Couldn't happen? Well no. Remember the good old days? The ninety fifties. You know; we all walked around in black and white, blokes wore trilbys to work, big cars were 25hp and did 14'6" to the gallon and no one cared because there was pots of money around and there was no such thing as man made global warming.

This picture was taken then. In March 1959 to be precise. And at the North Pole.

That big grey thing is a submarine and those six things standing on same are matelots, jolly jack tars. The stuff surrounding the submarine is the sea - all melted and floaty like. I think the white bits off the port bow are little bits of ice but look to be no more than you would float in a gin and tonic.

Anthropogenic global warming my arse.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I have never been on a bus in New Zealand and am never likely to. Judging by my recent observations I am not alone.

Since my move to the country my journey to the fields has increased in distance and consequently, depending upon the time of day, there has been a variable increase in duration. I can get home against the flow of traffic using the motorway in under twenty minutes. If I chose to come to work at peak rush hour and eschew the 'shortcuts' of the byways through several new housing estates I can fester on the motorway for about three quarters of an hour. Sometimes it amuses me to do this. I mean what's the hurry? With modern fuel injection systems your plugs don't oil up. Sitting in a very comfortable air conditioned car with Hauraki on the Harman Kardon for a while isn't all bad. So over the last couple of days I have voluntarily sat in Auckland's traffic jam from the North Shore into town.

You crawl along at somewhere between five and twenty kilometres an hour and repeatedly wonder who would build a 'motorway' that has only two lanes. No, hang on it's three. Oops it's back to two again. You don't build motorways like this. They have four lanes - minimum. Six are good. Then you look left and there are the two more lanes you need. Empty. Very, very empty.

It's the sodding busway. Why did we let the pratts build this white elephant. In the six kilometres that I was stuck on the ersatz motorway this morning I saw three buses; two going south into town and one travelling in the opposite direction. First bus South had two passengers on it and the second nine. The bus leaving town contained the driver and no one else. So we have two lanes of tarmac stretching, what, ten kilometres that have carried eleven people in half an hour. And those eleven paying punters needed three paid drivers and spent the trip looking at a traffic jam that could be alleviated by allowing the cars to spill over onto their private piece of real eastate. East Ham.

What the nutters who put this nonsense together really wanted of course was a train. We love trains here - we'll even pay twice what they are worth to buy a trainset. The places where people get on and off the buses (or not as it would appear) are called 'Stations'. Sunnynook Station even has signs to 'Platform 1'. Choo bleeding choo. Pathetic. I bet you can buy a platform ticket and they have a speak your weight machine. A copy of the Evening Standard available at W H Smith.

This is bollocks. If you are going to do public transport do it properly. Throw the General Motors bailout cash at it and if you want a train network build a proper one. Don't build a road and then put a bus an hour on it carrying three people.

In the meantime get the bloody buses off the Northern Busway and transform the tarmac into the Northern Motorway Extension. One lane to be reserved for cars over four litres.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

And just as I was ready for bed....

......I come across this.

I had a quick glance at Whaleoil to make sure all was well in the land of right wing vitriol before retiring to my litter and I come across this lot. I am grateful to the toothed cetacean for the quotes.

Here are some extracts from the maiden speech of Dr Kennedy Graham, a new Green MP. Are you sitting down?

He starts off thus:

Mr Speaker, I greet you and my colleagues in the name of our common spirituality, humbled as we are in the sight of the divine, whatever we each perceive this to be.

Not a clue.

Then we get:

As our materialistic lifestyle expands, our ecological footprint grows ever larger. Humankind today, casting precaution to the wind, is recording an ecological overshoot beyond the planet’s carrying capacity, anthropogenically inducing climate change of unprecedented magnitude and alarming danger. We are drawing down on Earth’s natural resources, borrowing forward on the human heritage, irretrievably encroaching on our children’s right to inherit the Earth in a natural and sustainable state. It is the uniquely dubious fate of our generation to have broken the eternal promise of inter-generational justice.

Bloody hell. We know from his opening that he is as a mad as a box of frogs but there are some pearlers in here. 'The planet's carrying capacity' We live in a wheel-barrow? He's bought the anthropogenic climate change bollocks hook line and sinker - but he wouldn't get his nut cutlet at smokoe if he hadn't would he? 'Our children's right to inherit the Earth, blah, blah, blah'. Please spare me this meaningless crap. I put in the blah, blah, blah to save me having to type sustainableedingbility - oops I just have. And then he finishes this stanza with the tosh about the 'eternal promise of inter-generational justice'. I doubt even he knows what that is - I certainly don't.

Up to flying speed now. Want some more?

Sustainability is the supreme political value of the 21st century. It is not a concept of passing political expediency - a clip-on word for post-economic environmental damage. It is now the categorical imperative of personal behaviour. Individual freedoms are no longer unlicensed, but henceforth subordinate to the twin principles of survival and sustainable living. The political rights we enjoy today are to be calibrated by the responsibility we carry for tomorrow.

A whole chunk about sustainableedingbility. For starters it is not 'the supreme political value of the 21st century'; it is a load of meaningless crap as I have been at pains to point out to anyone who will listen for ages. 'Post-economic environmental damage' That is about the fifth totally unintelligible thing he has said in the last thirty seconds. 'Individual freedoms are no longer unlicensed'. So here we go. A few minutes of bat shit mad ecobabble to get the punters softened up for the real agenda of the watermelons - you will do as you are told. 'The political rights we enjoy today are to be calibrated by the responsibility we carry for tomorrow.' I don't understand that either but judging by its juxtaposition to the previous bit I assume it means you will do as you are told.

That's one of the myriad of troubles with these jokers. The words coming out of their mouths are English but they speak Martian.

There is more but I can't be bothered - you get the idea. It all confirms that this Kennedy Graham is a) absolutely, five star, barking, bat shit mad and b)he is but one of many similar organisms that gather under the Green Party banner and c) if they are not liberally and repeatedly sprayed with Raid they have the potential to be bloody dangerous.

You and I are paying this monkey good money to live in Wellington and bother people in Parliament. We shouldn't even be wasting food on him.

It has all changed

Well, it has hasn't it. Parliament got going yesterday and it's all different.

Well it is for some of them but the losers are trying to carry on as if nothing as happened. Goof even referred to the blokes on the other side of the debating chamber as 'the Opposition'. That's you, you dumb arse. You lost remember. That poisonous witch was given the flick by the great unwashed and that is why you are now 'Leader of the Opposition'. Now as you are so slow I will tell you what that means. You sit on the otherside of the room and bleat your usual pointless bleatings about how everything is so unfair whenever someone has a good idea. The person who has had that good idea a) ignores you or b) scores a point off you with a smartarse remark and then ignores you. You see the smartarse remark is an optional extra as the end result is the same - you are ignored. In days of yore (six weeks ago) the smartarse remarks were the whole point.

The acknowledged (not by me, I hasten to add) master of the smartarse remark was History Boy. He had the 'sharpest wit in the house'; bollocks. He was and is the nastiest, meanest, petty, mealy mouthed ratbag ever to be a history teaching reject. Horrible little smarmy wretch. He used his 'rapier wit and procedural nimble footedness' to trip up the new speaker yesterday. Cullen knows the procedural jiggery pokery backwards and he used his superior knowledge of such irrelevant twaddle to make Lockwood Smith look like a plonker. The Speaker granted someone a point of order but then let him sit down before he spoke which lost him his right to speak - or something. He of the mind of a steel trap was onto this in a flash. Cullen forced the Speaker to rule in his favour as he was right and then asked that original bloke be allowed to speak to make Lockwood Smith look like a complete dork. I didn't see it but you can just picture Cullen's ghastly, arrogant 'I'm better than you' look on his smug face as he gazes around his fawning colleagues looking for approbation. God it makes me sick just to think of it. It's like that annoying pratt at a party who laughs at his own weak joke and then looks around the room to make sure people are laughing with him. At him is more often than not the case.

This is how parliament used to be sunshine. All mouth and trousers. When you were not showing us all your rapier like wit, Cullen, what were you actually doing to earn your salary as a 'prudent' custodian of the Nation's finances? Let me see, now. Buying a nineteenth century technology trainset at over twice it's book value. Yes, you were doing that. Turning a Government surplus measured in billions into deficits measured in similar units in the space of months. Yes, you were doing that. Telling Treasury Officials to keep quiet about ACC being on the wrong side of heaven to the tune of two and half billy so you wouldn't have to put it in the PREFU. Yes, you were doing that. Coming out of the end of a sweet spot in the world's economic history with the country a financial basket case. Yes, you were doing that. What else did you do? Nothing. All you could do was come across as an arrogant, useless little prick. That is what it used to be like in your day. Which isn't today.

The new way is that the Government does things. A new Bill (as advertised very prominently during the election campaign) is passed giving small employers (no I don't mean garden gnomes) the ability to sack useless deadweights (like Cullen) in the first three months of any job. Seems fair to me. The old mob squeal like pigs. 'Oppression of the workers' is cried from the factory gates and the Labour benches (you see they are still bringing those stupid red despatch boxes with 'Labour' written on them to Parliament- so last year). 'This Bill removes all workers rights' wails Laila Harré. We don't care what you think, Commie. By the by if Laila Harré hasn't got the most irritating voice in New Zealand I don't want to meet the woman who has; fancy being married to that? 'Have you put the dustbin out?' 'Not without first putting you in it'.

STFU you losers. Men at Work. Things getting done.

We don't agree say the Maori Party. But this wasn't a nasty destructive we don't agree. They had talks with the government and agreed to disagree. Doesn't matter because ACT make up the numbers. The converse will apply at sometime in the future - tomorrow at the rate things are moving. This is how multi-party coalitions are supposed to work, surely.

The Westy Minister of Social Bizzos tells the Families Commission to can their $200,000 talkfest as being a useless waste of my money (which it is). The head honcho says this is not fair (sorry - last week's talk) as the 'Summit' (no such bloody thing - jumped up idea of their own importance) had been planned for a long time. That makes it right? The Goof says she should have consulted with Rajan Prasad before canning it. What the hell for? RP was yesterday's useless man and does not need to be consulted about anything.

The Nats said during the campaign that Herceptin would be funded for a year and now it is. I don't think this is an idea based on any medical evidence and is probably not a good idea but they said they would do it and they have. Presumably some people voted for them on the strength of their saying they were going to do it and so they have. Good old fashioned value showing through here - a man is as good as his word. Not much of that around in the last nine years.

We were promised more tax cuts and a new top rate of tax. They will be law within the week.

Also different is the Prime Minister. For starters he has a Y chromosome. We have swapped a sneering vicious duplicitous witch for an assured bloke who looks as if he knows what he is doing. He seems more sure footed by the minute. Now it may turn out that he hasn't got a bloody clue - but the current illusion, if that is what it is, is already a whole lot better than the ghastly reality of the past nine years.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Now I've been to Thailand, on many occasions in fact, and it is a place that I and most other people go to for a holiday. A particular sort of holiday. I went sailing there a few times, took the family to Phuket to lie on the beach, spent the evenings eating very good and very cheap food (crayfish for $2 a cubic metre, that sort of thing) and, I have to admit, bought truck loads of knock off Lacoste polo shirts which I still wear in the garden nearly twenty years later. Some people go to Thailand on business and some go for reasons they prefer not to discuss in polite company. All of the above is attendant with no danger whatsoever as long as you discount the cheap shirts running in the wash. The Thais are a very pleasant people as long as you don't try and pat them on the head or badmouth the king - the latter is a very bad thing to do as an Aussie journalist is finding out to his cost - and will do anything to help you out.

However bits of Thailand are not downtown New York. The infrastructure despite the flash looking airport (which is where this going, obviously) is most part third world. If you want more power for your house you just stick a pair of jumper leads onto your neighbour's power pole. They have a mostly peaceful protest that shuts the airport for a week and what is the consequence? Well a lot of tourists are stuck. Are they in danger? No. They are inconvenienced - quite a bit in some instances. But the bottom line is that they would have to find somewhere to stay (cheap) and exist on crayfish at $2 a cubic metre for a few days whilst waiting for things to settle down.

Or if they really have to be back at work as a captain of industry in Palmerston North they could arrange to take a bus to Phuket or Haadyai or somewhere and get a plane home from there. Or they could take a train to or Kuala Lumpur or Singapore and fly from there. They could pay for this with money (theirs) and try and claim from travel insurance later. You take a holiday in a largely third world country and you take a few risks in the infrastructure department - them's the breaks.

What you don't do is bleat and expect the bloody government to fly you home. You are not in any danger and don't need protection from our rump of military might. It has nothing to do with the gummint. Tough bananas - you went overseas, you look after yourself. The fact that the best we could do was to send a Hercules is besides the point. The air force has two 757s which are apparently being serviced (at the same time - eh?) in Mobile, Alabama. Why? I thought Air New Zealand were 'world leaders' in servicing aircraft.

Suppose I am stuck in Dairy Flat and all my cars are broken down. Do I demand as a right an Iroquois be sent from Ohakea to take me to work?

Harden up you soft sods. You are stuck in Bangkok for a week and if you can't work out for yourself an alternative way of getting home other than that prescribed by the letter by House of Travel then you stay in Bangkok. Just buy a few more shirts as your current ones get smelly - they are very cheap.

I hear that this morning that the Bangkok airport has reopened and would you like a glass of orange juice or champagne before we take off?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

End of the world - update

0930 Phone call on the iPhone from the Vodafone wallah - 'Wire had come adrift in the box at the end of your road, squire. All fixed.'

1300 Return home to an answer phone message from the same bloke to the same effect.

1301 Discover that he is not telling porkies and all phone lines and Internet are working.

1335 TXT from Vodafone saying if I have any problems, do not hesitate to contact them

I am not alone in being swift to lambast appalling service so a bit of credit where credit is due. Vodafone tend to get more than their share of bad press but not from me today. Good stuff. I phoned them up to thank them for prompt and efficient service. I think it quite wrong footed the girl at the help desk.

The end of the world as I know it

Writing this from the computer in the fields as the status quo at home has gone all awry.

Got home yesterday arvo to find I had no Internet. This is not possible. It is like trying to live without oxygen - and after eighteen hours I am already fed up with holding my breath. A little amateur electronic sleuthing on my part has identified the problem. One of the two phone lines onto the property has gone tits up. By some clever legerdemain all 'out' calls are diverted by default to the fax line if the latter is not being used. This enables us still to receive calls on the primary number using 'call waiting' if some one is phoning out. The data for the ADSL uses the same line. Or something. Anyway it ain't working The secondary line (or is it the primary?) is still working. I went to the powder room (which contains no powder at all) to quickly switch the data to the working line but thought better of it when confronted with all the switching gear. There are more Ethernet cables and phone jacks disappearing into black boxes replete with flashing LEDs than you can wave a stick at. 'Don't touch' something inside me said and it was right.

Onto Vodafone who will fix it 'within 24 hours. We will inform you by TXT (of course) as to the details of the fix'. Well, Mr V, you've got five and a half hours and counting.

My wife tells me not get all grumpy because we used to have no Internet at all and we survived. Well I used to wear flared trousers and have a dreadful haircut; that doesn't mean I want to do it again.