Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade's end

New Year's Eve and I sit down feeling obliged to pen some words of wisdom and/or wit to mark the passing of the noughties. Have to be in the fields today for any emergency hay cutting that is required ( routine paddock topping or RoundUp application canned until after the silly season) and as there is none in the offing I have the morning stretching in front of me in a sea of potential boredom waiting for something to happen at the same time hoping it doesn't.

A paragraph on the woes of the world? Can't be bothered. The only thing of recent note that struck a chord is that the wallies in the US Transport Safety Authority have made my mind up for me as to whether I go to New Orleans in May for my annual trip to Septic Land. Forget it. Their knee jerk closing the dunnie door after the explosive hasn't bolted reaction to Underpants Bomber has made my mind up for me. If you think I am going to go to the airport even earlier for the privilege of being body searched just to go to the States you have another think coming. Not allowed to leave your seat during the last hour of all flights to the States? Seas of urine in the aisles. No blankets on your knee? We won't go there. No access to your hand luggage? What they really want is for the whole world to travel to the USA (if they have to do this at all) naked with no carry on bags at all. No, I think I'll go to Belgium in June instead. There's a logical non sequitor if ever there was.

Helen Clark getting a New year's honour? No, I'm in a good mood and I don't want to dwell on that. Hearing the dreaded voice on the electric wireless just now almost had me choking on my toothpaste.

The Aussies thrashing the Pakis? As predictable as the sun rising in the East which is in stark contrast to England giving SA a six of the best, trousers down in Durban. And we have no international cricket here at all. A diet of domestic one day drivel to get us into the right frame of mind for .............Bangladesh. Spare me.

Marlin being caught in small numbers at the end of December? And not just in Mercury Bay. Also a few (a very few) decent sized yellowfin tuna appearing. Nothing to get excited about just yet as my first piscatorial trip is still probably five weeks away. Still it tells you summer really is here. But I knew that anyway as my big lawn inexorably turns itself from pristine manicured greenness to scruffy looking unwatered brownness, my water tanks equally inexorably empty and the arrival of the water truck gets ever closer.

Enough of this. I think we will end with some very amusing silliness. These are a bunch of adverts that didn't make it to press for a beer in the UK called Spitfire, the 'Bottle of Britain'. Not used because of likelihood to cause offence or some other such tosh. Perhaps it is relevant to the past decade after all - this is the sort of very clever amusing stuff we should be having more of and the touchy feely tossers that rule our lives these days can sod off.




















And my favourite

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A post post Carbonhagen

The result of the eye wateringly expensive farce in Denmark is being universally slammed as a total non result. A triumph of spin over substance is being despaired of by warmists the world over. The haven't got what they wanted - all of us in the 'west' living in caves and giving all our expensive overpowered British sports cars to subsistence farmers in Mali - and they are blaming the 'West' for their own private disaster.

Apparently this is not so and we have China to thank for nothing economically crippling for the solution of a non-problem coming out of the aptly frozen North. Do not play poker with men whose staple diet is rice and not potatoes, they are much better at it than you or I will ever be. China saying no to everything loony (and that after all was pretty much all of it) at Carbonhagen and making it look as though the Obama Messiah was the problem was just the latest trick in a line of centuries of Chinese diplomacy that leaves us round eyes flailing around impotently. I like the Chinese.

Meanwhile I have been directed to masterful piece of anal attention to detail setting out the thirty year saga that culminated in the 'Climategate' leak of emails a month ago. This is no smoking gun but a ticking time bomb with a fuse decades long.

Down load this, get a very large monitor, zoom it up to comfy size, grab a mince pie and a glass of egg nog and read your fill. It is pure gold.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Link Fortnight continues

Now, I am a simple man. I don't regard myself as terminally stupid but I really struggle to understand the sort of minds that can come up with this serpentine nonsense as reported in the UK's Daily Telegraph.


It is quite beyond my comprehension how anyone could come up with such a mind boggling scheme involving such huge amounts of cash, people's lives and general mendacity all to turn a dollar. Check out the bit that it all can't be stopped by the UK because it is against the EU's rules against state interference - in their own bloody country for God's sake.

Think I'll mow the big lawn tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another link

If this is going to be link day/week/fortnight we had better have a bit of Monckton. There is a shedload of him on the web but this is the latest I can find. It is his talk in Berlin and looks to have been last week. He is certainly no graphic artist as his slides are dreadful on the aesthetic front (they look like Indian ransom notes) but their content is the thing. And he uses a Mac.

It might as well be link day/week/fortnight

A small hiatus in the fields and the harder you look the easier it is to find links on the interweb to good stuff that flies in the face of the Warmist Crap.

Here is good letter from some blokes who appear to know what they are talking about to someone who patently doesn't.

http://www.copenhagenclimatechallenge.org/

Have a look at the '10 Questions' (and, more imporatantly, the answers) when you've finished the letter.

I think I'll add more interesting links as and when I run across them. Think of it as a public service.

A graph or two at lunchtime

Instead of just bleating on that I think all the anthropogenic global warming bollocks is bollocks (which it is) I thought you ought to be able to make up your own mind. As we have seen you ain't going to get anything like proper data from the main stream media as they are too busy in church worshipping at the Altar of Doom.

Over the last couple of weeks there has at last been a plethora of places where you can go (and I don't mean Penrose) to find proper stuff to read. Monckton has a set of slides you can down load and there is the Darwin Airport stuff. Very bad is the Darwin Airport stuff I can assure you.

Anyway here is a link that will give you something to think about over lunch - it even includes a trip to Darwin.

http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2009/12/8_What_the_UK_Met_Office_is_Not_Telling_Us.html

You can't read this and or anything else of its ilk and still think you should give more money to Mugabe. Surely you can't.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Did I expect anything different?

Well Copenhagen is up and running. They've run out of limos (had to get extras shipped in from Sweden) and there are more private jets than you could wave a tofu burger at. Not that they'll be dining on tofu these tossers who would save us from ourselves. Whilst we are being told to buy bikes and stout boots they are living the life of Riley sucking on the international junket teat. Whilst these wallies are in Denmark they are apparently going to generate more CO2 than Morocco will for the whole year. Now I don't give a toss who generates how much CO2 but it is a nice comment on the hypocrisy of the whole thing. And whilst we are on hypocrisy, how come New Zealand's few cows are a threat to mankind with all their farting and the like when India's squillion cows are a 'cultural icon' (did I really type that?) with all their farting and the like?

And if tonight's coverage by the 6 O'clock News is anything to go by we are in for a fortnight (a fortnight, for God's sake) of the most biased and nauseating commentary on anything since Leni Reifenstahl stopped doing the German News sixty odd years ago.

The fact that this anthropogenic global warming bollocks has got any traction at all is thanks to a sycophantic mainstream media doing the bidding of its political masters. Shonky science and a fawning press - perfect. But by even their standards the coverage of the first day in Denmark was spectacular. We had that dramatic video of a child hanging on to tree as a storm blew around her and flood waters rose to pluck her from her precarious grip on life. I wish the tide would hurry up and put us all out of our misery. This is irresponsible Hollywood bullshit of the first degree. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything and is just aired for all the wrong reasons - a striking dramatic effect and that is all. We then had some Scandihooligan Woman who is Chairman, oops sorry - Chairperson, of the whole thing telling us it was our last chance to save the planet. If we don't act now it will be too late. No waiting until next Thursday it all has to be sorted now. Crap.

There were appeals to the delegates of the world from children from the Maldives. I mean they could not get this crap any more corny if they tried. But I bet you they will try. Over the next couple of weeks we will have videos of polar bears falling off ice floes (they can swim, you know) endless pictures of factory chimneys (main effluent that nasty dangerous steam stuff) and so on.

We are in for endless weird beards telling us 'the science is settled' whilst the scientists what settled it all are being investigated for telling porkies. But that doesn't matter; because the science is settled. And even people who would like to perhaps make up their own mind over what to think won't be allowed to as the main stream media will keep spewing out the party line - we are doomed unless we all go and live in caves.

And already we have had the first inkling of the rather sinister underlying real reason for all this crap. Already an African country (Ghana I think) has demanded (well you wouldn't ask nicely, would you?) that the evil developed 'West' gives loadsa dosh to the third world as we are exploiting them. Redistribution of wealth, anyone? That's the real reason for all this. I give eit till the end of the week before we get any mention of a bit of global government - oops, sorry, governance. No, I think I probably meant government.

Is Copenhagen the last chance to save the planet? You bet it is. If we don't throw all this bollocks out we most certainly are doomed. You thought you could now buy whatever bloody light bulb you wanted because you very sensibly gave Helen Clark the bums rush last year. You ain't seen nothing yet. She'll be back with an even bigger stick to insist you buy the light bulb she wants you to buy. Because New Zealand law won't matter a toss when it is outranked by Helen from New York.

Britain is gone. If you live in the UK the rules under which you live are made, not in Westminster but, Brussels. Don't believe me? Remember last week the NZ Rugby Union thought it might be a good idea for shagged out All Blacks to go back and play for their country of origin in the twilights of their careers to help their Alumnus out. Jerry Collins going back to play for wherever he comes from - that sort of thing. England vetoed the idea as it was against European Union regulations. I've no idea how it was against EU regulations, but it was.

They play a lot of top class rugby in Belgium. They buy a lot of light bulbs in New York.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Retarded

A relatively new aspect of my weekly schedule is that I do no to go to work on Tuesdays. I have to spend all day in the fields on Wednesday in return but so far the trade off is working well. The weekend finishes, I do a morning's work and it is day off time again. I think I like it. If I still had the newspaper delivered at Marmite soldier time Tuesdays would be the day when I could partake and then retire to the iMac to point the borax at someone on the back of what I had just read. Well the paper ain't going to be here until the Rural Delivery postie does his rounds. I have no idea when that is but about lunchtime seems about right - I think.

However I have had the radio on for the last hour. I am lazy in my radio listening habits. Radio Hauraki when in the fields, Radio Sport when driving to the fields and sometimes on the way back. Deaker on Sunday afternoons if it is raining and that is about it. Mrs O likes to have the News on at the aforementioned Marmite soldier time. This means having that smart arsed plonker Hoskins in my ear for twenty minutes before retiring to the charabanc for a bit of sport. Hoskins irritates me intensely. His inability to be wrong about anything is surpassed only by the totally most irritating man on radio Danny 'I am the expert of absolutely everything in the entire Universe' Watson. I cannot listen to this bloke when in the car as I am likely to drive into bridge abutments.

Despite all of the above if you filter out the smart arse arrogance of the breakfast presenter you can just glean an idea of what is making the morning's news.

There is another bloke in the main stream media, this time of the televisual variety, called Paul Henry. An idiot, but a largely harmless idiot. He makes people watch his program, and hence make his bosses and advertisers very happy, by being offensive. This is very clever offensive. He is never really very offensive but just does enough to get old ladies tut tuttung behind their net curtains - and boost viewership numbers. He also has a fourth form 'tits, bums and toilet' humour propensity. So in recent times he got into hot water for pointing out that a woman he was interviewing had a moustache - which she did. I forget the other hanging offences he has been in the gun for but it is all in the 'who cares?' mould. His latest transgression is calling that retarded, ugly Scottish woman who came second (I think) in a UK talent (sic) show ugly and retarded. I'm sure she is really worried by this as she trots off to the Royal Bank of Scotland to pay her first royalty check into her account. £2,000,000 is going to make sure her cat is not short of Whiskas for the foreseeable future.

All this is trivial and stupid enough you would think. But no. There is some concerned person about to get into full hand wringing mode. He is doing a survey, that presumably costs someone some money (and I wouldn't bet against that someone being me) to see if 'retarded' should be put on the Broadcasting Authority's banned list of offensive words. According to this retarded idiot 'retarded' needs to be in the banned lexicon next to 'nigger' and ...well I can't think of any others. Apparently this problem is so acute that there has been one complaint over the use of the word 'retarded' in the last ten years. Well, deary me.

The best known non word of the early twenty first century probably is nigger. Look at the trouble this has caused. Agatha Christie had to have the title of one of her novels changed from 'Ten Little Niggers' to 'Ten Little Indians'. Good book and to save you the bother of reading the whole thing, the judge did it. I'm sure even the new title is on shaky grounds and it will soon have to be changed to 'Ten Little Native Americans' or 'Ten Little Indigenous People'. That, however, will be offensive to Native Americans or Indigenous People. It will probably end up as 'Ten Little Middle Aged Anglo Saxon Males some of whom are gender confused and are really Women'. That will only offend (well, no it won't really) the likes of me and we don't matter.

Then we have Guy Gibson's dog in the remake of the Dam Busters. This canine companion was called 'Nigger'. Fact; that was the bloody dog's name. The aviator didn't call out across Nether Wapping 'Here Fido, I have a nice juicy steak for you' because the dog was called Nigger. He stood at the edge of the airdrome and shouted out 'Nigger'. And if any of the loony language police came his way he would likely bomb them - 'cos that was what he did for a living. In the remake of the film the dog has to be renamed. What will they choose? 'Black Dog' won't do even though that is what it was; just think of the offense caused to all those people with depression.
This lunacy has to stop. Offensive is vastly overplayed and is good fun if used judiciously. It is even better fun if sprayed around willy nilly.

Retard is a good word. How can you adjust your magneto without using it?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Well, they been gone and done it

Just a couple of hours ago and the muppets in Wellington passed the damned Emissions Trading Scheme bizzo. Only Rodney Perky Hide had the balls to stand up and say they we didn't need any such thing but Pinko Smith just had the numbers and we are now on the fast track to the poor house. And we are on our way there for no reason. We have bought into the biggest scam in human history. And we bought into it during the very week that the whole thing is starting to unravel. But bloody Nick Smith couldn't wait could he? The arrogant little prick is right and the rest of the sensible world is wrong and we have this crap pushed through under sodding 'urgency' on the back of bullshit science that Smith believes so we have to. Well I dont and you have just made me the poorer, you git. We can now walk proudly into the talk fest in Denmark next month to hear the world sniggering at our stupidity. Our embarrassment will only be compounded when the iwi members we are taking with us as part of Pinky Nick's muskets and blankets deal start on the obligatory haka. God, we're a joke.

It is a great shame that I am to become a pauper at my stage of life as I really, really want a DB9. Now thanks to a bunch of idiots, some of whom who got my vote, I have to chose between a loaf of bread and an Aston Martin. I wasn't hungry anyway.

A plague of frogs on the lot of them - especially Nick Pinko Pseudo-Nat Smith. I'm off to rob a bank.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Normal service has been resumed

A year and a couple of weeks. Well it had to come to an end I suppose but NZ politics has drifted back into its bad old habits over the last couple of days; and it looks like it is going to get worse. We've had a year of the gummint doing stuff I pretty much approved of and then bloody Nick Smith (Doctor of what, pray) comes along and stuffs it up. All the ingredients of a right royal cock up New Zealand style are on display.

Damned Nick Smith is in the wrong party for openers. His behaviour over the last couple of days has been the sort of stuff Labour or the watermelons would be proud of. He is a disgrace to National and has to go. He has brought back the spectre of passing stuff under urgency that is in no way urgent. This stupid Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is a garbage piece of legislation based on a garbage premise, based on garbage science (more of this later) that will deliver a garbage result - a f. expensive garbage result to boot. Bad enough yet? Wait there is more. To get this piece of unnecessary crap legislation through parliament under ersatz urgency he has sold muskets and blankets to the Maoris. Now I couldn't give a rats arse how much DOC land Smith gives to anybody (they run about 70% of the country so there's heaps to spare) to plant trees on. Who cares? They could do something more useful with it, like put an aluminium smelter on it, but if they want to fill it up with radiata that's fine by me. They can all prance around and pretend they are still in the 1830's amongst the pine trees to their hearts content. I don't care. They can take their snake oil carbon credits and sell them to Burkino Faso and I couldn't give a continental. But what really gets up my nose is that both sides of the deal (the Nats and Maori) are buying and selling policy. The Maori a month or so back wouldn't have a bar of an ETS. A few crates of fire water and a couple of mirrors and they are over it like a rash. The highly principled Nats were above the low life Labourites flogging off policy to anyone who would buy. Or they were until psuedo-Nat Smith gets the keys to the policy box.

And who is letting Nick Smith carry on like this? John Key, that's who. I had hoped that John Key was going to be the one who would at last run around shouting that the emperor has no clothes in the climate change department. I'm sure that at one point in the not too distant past he was agnostic at worst and seem to recall some encouraging signs of scepticism. However he had a private audience with the Gore Monster and came out a changed man. Well he has timed his conversion to the dark side of lunacy very poorly. He is the one who can stop Smith plunging this country into financial ruin for no reason and it doesn't look as though he will do it.

What is the bloody hurry to get this stupid bill passed? The Copenhagen conference next month ain't going to come to a consensus on anything because, as we shall see in a minute, potential fatal cracks are starting to appear in the IPCC. Many former warmists are saying 'Hang on a minute, maybe things aren't as we were led to believe'. Conned to believe, more like. So we don't need to front up in Denmark being the leaders of anything. Key has said that if we don't have a new ETS in place we are obliged to follow Labour's legacy ETS the details of which I have mercifully forgotten. I remember enough to know that it was a fiscal disaster though. Crap. All we have to do is replace Labour's ETS with absolutely nothing. That'll do very nicely - oh and build a couple of fossil fuel fired power stations while you are at it.

Timing is everything. All this climate change politicking is in the very week when all the leaked emails from the climate doom merchants have come to light. The litany of deception, lying, massaging of data, main stream media manipulation, crippling of the scientific peer review process - the list is endless - make any remaining science the IPPC and the sable hued minions of satan cling to like a shit soiled security blanket totally worthless. Even if any of the science was any good it is now so tainted as to make it totally worthless.

I trust we are all up to speed on the stuff from the Norfolk Broads. What appears to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals

But do we hear of this? Do we buggery. The bloody media are shielding even this from us. A few lines that there might have been a few naughty emails around but move along nothing to see here and please look at this footage of the Antarctic ice shelf getting smaller. There was actually a bit of this on the news tonight as a background to comments from a weird beard wearing an ethnic motive shirt. This makes me feel ill and it is cruel and unnatural punishment to show me this bollocks when I am trying to eat my dinner. The aforementioned current most evil man in the country, Nick Smith, was confronted by the collapse of the science his political chicanery is based on and he just laughed it off. His reply was typical of the left wing bigot that he obviously is. 'It doesn't coincide with my opinion or what I want to think and it is therefore wrong'.

I'm not happy. I had a year of not having to worry about what happened in Wellington but it has all come back again. But look on the bright side. That bloody woman is still in New York. I'm afraid even that doesn't cheer me up that much.

I know. I wonder if I can arrange for John Key to have a private audience with Lord Monckton before Friday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One trick ponies

Why is Dire Straits not regarded as one of the best rock bands ever? I reckon it is because Mark Knopfler is a one trick pony. Once you've heard 'Sultans of Swing' you've heard 'Tunnel of Love' and also 'Brothers in Arms' which has the same guitar solos as 'Romeo and Juliet'. Eric Clapton or David Gilmour could do many fings with a guitar and thus Pink Floyd, Cream, Derek and the Dominoes, Blind Faith still have 5 star ratings in the iTunes Playlists whereas poor old Mark never climbs out of the 4 star morass. It is very easy to be good at one thing but to have lasting impact in more than, say, being able to fit four golf balls in your mouth you have to be good at lots of things. The world long driving champion ain't never going to make it on the PGA tour. Nor for that matter is the World Putting Champion (there is such a beast). In fact in the latter tourney there is a bloke who consistently finishes in the top ten who putts in bare feet - with his feet. Woods T. however is the all round package. He is O for awesome at everything wot a round of golf throws at you including, and indeed especially, thinking.

I have recognised before that when this blog was spitting out five posts a week that it was a one trick pony. Poor scorn and vitriol on anything left wing, touchy feely (politically correct if you must) and the bollocks that is anthropogenic global warming and there you go, another five hundred words. I bored of it and I reached that point bout a year ago. This coincided with the change in government so all was good. The wastrels that were wrecking our country didn't need daily outpourings of my opprobrium any more. I was happy to retreat into occasional comments on large fish, lawn mowers and the decline of country that coloured the global map pink.

It therefore gave me great pleasure to read in yesterday's Sunday paper that I am not alone in thinking that one of the global success stories of TV is a one trick pony. I watch Top Gear every week but I am tiring of it. I have bought two of Jeremy Clarkson's books. Both at airports (I mean where else would you do this - hardly the stuff to read anywhere else but on a long plane journey) and I didn't finish the second. Read Clarkson on anything and you've read him on everything. Don't get me wrong he is amusing and some of his lines are very funny. The idea of a Roller having a wood burning stove and a chimney as a heater is droll in the extreme. But that is about it. Thus it is with his TV show. The challenges are getting more contrived and are boring. I am fed up with watching Clarkson putting three years tyre wear on Italian sports cars in ten minutes. The Hamster is a (small) meaningless distraction. James May can still amuse but even he is getting a bit ho hum.

It was therefore with a sense of duty that I sat down to watch Top Gear last night. A sense of relief, perhaps that this was to be the last of the series. I can do something more productive with my Sunday evenings for the rest of the summer (if it ever arrives). Same old, same old. Jay Leno was a bit different from a lead singer in a boy band I suppose and I knew he owned loadsa cars, but 150?
Oh well another series of Top Gear over. And then the last five minutes. Disregard all the above. I can forgive Clarkson's bullying of everyone around him. I can forgive his belittling James May at every turn. All his oafishness is nothing if he can give me the last five minutes of last night's show. Him driving the V12 Vantage around Scotland with virtually no commentary was just sensational. 'You put 510hp in Aston Martin's smallest body shell. Well what do you expect'. The softly delivered (for a change) lament on the predicted demise of automotive excess was right on the money. Absolutely fabulous.




However even if similarly engined and equipped with ceramic brakes as standard it is still not as pretty as a proper Aston






Monday, November 16, 2009

The other side of Albany Hill cont.

Those of you who were waiting with bated breath for news of the profligate waste of my money that was happening in deepest darkest Rodney need wait no longer. There has been movement.

You may recall (or more likely will not) that about a kilometre of bloody expensive road had been neutered with ten buck's worth of paint. A perfectly good passing lane around an uphill bend had been roused in one night by a road gang with a pot of road marking. This was presumably on the grounds of 'safety' but in fact forced all traffic much closer to the oncoming traffic stream as it closed the left side of the road. This insanity was compounded several weeks ago when the road graffiti was enhanced by a line of those fluorescent red and white stick jobs planted to stop people (me for instance) ignoring the white lines and cutting the corner anyway. The sticks lasted about three days before some public spirited bloke knocked most of them over.

Then it all gets a bit odd. The sticks were not replaced. Good. Then three nights ago all the sticks were removed and the road was repainted. The previous one kilometre of road circumcision has been reduce to about one hundred and fifty metres. This is the bit before the road returns to two lanes of tarmac anyway and is probably justified.

A superficial look at this would say that some sanity has prevailed. However it would have been much better and cheaper to the tune of gallons of paint and dozens of red and white posts if it hadn't started in the first place. And who will lose their job over this insane waste of my money?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lets get serious with the power tools, shall we?

I'm not talking cordless drills here. Nor yet are we going to be looking at bench grinders or lathes. Regular visitors to these ramblings will be well aware that we relocated to the country eighteen months ago and this opened many new areas where I could use the internal combustion engine to look after the property and wreck the planet all in one go.

I have written before about the joys of lawn mowing and the various beasts I had assembled around me for this very pleasurable pastime. Cutting the lawn is a pain in the bum with one of these:
I really cannot imagine why anyone would part with money to buy such a stupid bit of kit to even mow a lawn the size of a snooker table. But if you get some serious power assist things are really quite fun. My lawn mowing has changed a bit recently. Until a couple of weeks back my high end machine was this:


Shibaura SE4000 orchadised tractor running a three rotor 500 series Fieldmaster park mower. All very nice in a 42 horsepower sort of a way. But not really ideal for my property. On reflection I only cut grass like this because I had a tractor. It was beautifully noisy, very slow and had a turning circle of about a hundred yards. For reasons we needn't go into but involve inappropriate metal fatigue I decided to get rid of this and get something much more fun.

I now mow with one of these:


A Walker Super Bee with a 27 HP Kohler motor running a 60" deck. Faster than the tractor and parkmower, gives a better finish than the park mower and really is a 'zero turn ' machine. You can mow around a matchstick. It's not very noisy though.

However mowing is not the point of this post. If you glance back at the picture of the tractor you will see a very ragged and somewhat thinning shelterbelt in the background. Our property was once an orchard (kiwifruit) and although the vines were ripped out about four years ago we are left with the shleterbelts. And very nice they are as well. They really do shelter and give us a lot of privacy. However these things grow (trees do that, I read it in a book) and they need trimming as is evident from the picture above - and that was taken three months ago. I reckon I have about a kilometre of shelter belt that needs trimming (both sides and top) and I was not about to do that with a standard hedge trimmer was I? In fact I wasn't going to do it at all. After a lot of searching I found the shelterbelt trimmer man. He came and gave a quote and said he would arrive on Wednesday and he did.

Now I knew these blokes had cool bits of kit, but not this cool. He fronts up with one of these:


Four sodding great circular saws on a stick. In fact my bloke had five. 200HP tractor, clutch in the PTO and its all on for young and old. Noisy as all hell and and he's driving around with about thirty feet of mobile whirring death and destruction at his beck and call. I was scared fifty metres away from it. Once it gets up to its target it is just controlled arboreal mayhem. Fan-bloody-tastic. Branches the size of your thigh scythed off like bum fluff on a fifteen year old's chin. Branches and leaves flying through the air but mainly just lying compliantly on the ground at the foot of the hedge. Bits of conifer lying all over the shop - I've found trimmings thirty metres from the hedge. This wondrous Israeli bit of genius had all my trimming done in four hours. I have never seen anything like it. Trimming man then takes the cutting head off the tractor and puts a huge mulching mower on and reduces that which was hedge but half an hour ago into so much compost. At day's end he gives you an invoice and then drives off taking all his tree murdering kit with him with a cheery wave of the hand and 'I'll see you in two years'. Most fun couple of grand I've spent in ages.

Now he's gone it looks as though a marauding horde of Visigoths have been here for the afternoon - the place is a mess. But no matter, I reckon half a day wandering round with my weedy 6HP chipper and an air broom will have the place looking all ship shape again.

The Lotto people have an advert running along the lines of 'What would you do if you won this weekend?' Trips to Disney Land, buy a house for mum, leave work - all the usual suspects. Forget it, I know what I would do. I would have my shelterbets trimmed every week.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cake and eat it

As the more observant may have noticed this blog has moved away from its origins of late. Those origins were a daily commentary on Auckland's newspaper, The (Royal) New Zealand Herald on a fishing website, http://www.fishing.net.nz, and this inevitably led to shedloads of comment on then current New Zealand politics.I will openly admit that this was very easy as the then incumbent government were not of my liking (very much not of my liking) and negative, derisive commentary is an easy game to play.

Mercifully a year ago this coming weekend the nightmare finished and bloody Clark was given the bums rush and Cullen had the country's cheque book wrested from his hands before the Nigerian scammers got his email address. I wrote at the time that I thought commenting on NZ politics would maybe become a lot harder and would definitely become less fun. And so it has proved to be. I generally approve of the way things are being done by the current mob.

I reckon they are missing a few opportunities though. Their current popularity is around the 60% approval level. They ain't going to stay there for long and when it starts to decline they won't get it back. Now is the time to be bold and push through a few things that are a bit out there. You know the sort of stuff; cut the benefits for people who are a waste of space and are rorting the system, issuing overpowered, exceedingly expensive, British sports cars (a DB9 will do, thanks) to deserving semi retired doctors living just north of Auckland - that sort of thing.

Speaking of which they have a golden opportunity to really get revved up with the ACC stuff. The stupid and ineffective Goof typified the complete antithesis of what they should be doing at the weekend. There was a rally by 'victims' of the proposed massive and entirely justified increase in ACC contributions for motor bicyclists. I really can't see what their beef is. They use up a disproportionate amount of the ACC hand outs 'cos they get in accidents and break themselves and want me to subsidise their premiums. Well they can get some sexual gratification as they leave the building. This is how insurance works. If you are an old lady of 75 and drive your Morrie Minor to church on a Sunday your car insurance premium will be 4/6. If you are a sixteen year old yoof who drives a twin turbo Imprezza (if there is such a beast) and have had five accidents this week your premium is going to be $1,000,000. You don't, as the yoof, go up to AMI and say 'My premium of $1,000,000 is unfair, Granny is only paying 4/6 and she should pay her share of my premium.'

The Goof couldn't resist all this. It fits in with his 'two plus two equals about threeish' grasp of economics. He howls that the Government is dastardly in wanting to cut ACC entitlements - I am so over entitlements - but is double dastardly in wanting to put up premiums. Doh. To make the picture even more hideous he tells the nation he has been a biker forever and turns up on his newly acquired Triumph (never saw him ride it, just shots of him standing next to it with the motor not running) wearing a pair of jeans and a leather jacket. Pathetic.

But not nearly as pathetic as the images of Annette King at the same rally. If The Goof claiming to be a biker is stretching the imagination then King on a Harley only happens in Roswell. But as she is from the past gummint she aped her heroine who pumps gas wearing a safety jacket and was standing on the side of the road clad in fluoro yellow.

60% of the polls give you the mandate, Nick Smith, to tell the bikers to get nicked and then add another 10% to what you had proposed as their increase for insolence. Then start on scything the ACC counselling budget.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm really not sure.......

.....how I feel about this. The dim mists of time receeding ever rapidly into the even dimmer mists of time? Thankful she is still alive?

Grace Slick is 70 today

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Slack blogger - enforced (sort of)

I spoke to friend of mine yesterday on the electric telephone concerning matters of rural machinery. This subject may yet merit a post by itself. He mentioned that he had just checked this blog to look for updates over the last couple of weeks to find there were none. I don't associate with dullards.

Do I make excuses for this? Of course not. I will write as and when I see fit and as well as being very busy on returning from the Northern Hemisphere both at work and at home I have for the first time in my life suffered from an acute back strain.

Have there been things that have stirred the interest? Well sort of. The ACC business. I know what I would do and it is basically make ACC live up to its name and no more. This is the problem. It would appear to have morphed from being an insurance scheme into an arm of the welfare system - as if that hydra needed any more tentacles. A nonagenarian who apparently was the principal author of the scheme in the dim mists of time stuck his head above the parapet and said that when he was doing a spot of chin stroking an arm of the welfare state was what he intended. If this is so (and he didn't appear to have the memory loss people of his age are sometimes afflicted with) he needs a good old fashioned six of the best, trousers down. The changes being proposed are bad in only one regard in that they don't seem to go far enough. An excess to stop trivial claims should be instigated tomorrow. And sod the whining from the victims of society - their time expired a year ago. Screening rights for the Rugby World Cup.? Who gives a rat's arse. It is all going to be on Sky anyway. I can't wait to see an increase in the car crushers traffic - Nissan Skylines are a blot on the landscape. Not much else amuses.

Backache. My attitude to people with acute back ache had been for years that there was nothing going on that couldn't be treated with a couple of harden up pills and a cup of tea. Well, I have to say that this stance has softened a little - but I fully expect it to return when I am completely symptom free which I have pencilled in for tomorrow afternoon. My acute discomfort was bought about not by a sudden catastrophic episode but by an afternoon of tree felling and lifting of resulting lumber into a trailer. After this not world shattering exertion the evening found me a little uncomfortable. I came to leap out of bed full of the joys of spring (sic) the following morning and I couldn't. Never known anything like it. I could not sit up in bed. Really very unpleasant pain In the corset region precluded bending at the waist at all. I rolled onto the floor and struggled to an upright posture with the aid of the nightstand and things got a bit better.

I soon found that any activity that could be accomplished lying flat or standing upright was easy. But anything that involved even five degrees of flexion at the waist was impossible. The pain from para vertebral spasm is bloody awful. I struggle through work taking harden up pills (they don't work) and COX2 inhibitors (about as much use as a chocolate teapot). I get Mrs O to apply Votaren Emugel as advertised in those dreadful infomercials that screen between Andrew Saville and Jim Hickey. This muck is also as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. I struggle through a day off just lying in bed feeling useless - which I was - but had to return for a day's toil in the fields the next day. Here things started getting a whole better when one of my minders suggested I get serious with the analgesia. I knew she was right. My views on painkillers are that if the proffered pill didn't start its life as a poppy I'm not interested. So a few days on a chemically unrelated but equally efficacious mate to morphine saw me turn the corner.

You know things are getting a whole lot better when you don't wish for velcro on your shoes and are reaching for the tramadol for its buzz as opposed to its analgesia. We are over all this now and golf looms for the weekend - as long as it doesn't rain.

So as I am feeling better and the agony of this time last week fades into the mists of time I have only one thing to say to anyone who comes up to me and says 'I can't do that 'cos me back hurts'.

Harden the f*** up.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where's my share?

I am in Dairy Flat half an hour north of Auckland. It is nearly the end of the first week of October. And it's bloody freezing. Snow in October. Cars stranded on the Napier-Taupo Highway. Lambs dying wholesale. The ground so bloody wet that I couldn't run the tractor if I wanted to venture out into the cold so to do.

I run two four litre cars, a farm bike and a 42HP diesel tractor. I have barn full of fossil fuel wasting power tools; chainsaws, chippers, hedge trimmers - the works. I run a lathe, a pedestal drill and a bandsaw. I go fishing on a boat with two 600HP Ivecos. I have just flown to Europe and back. I use electricity like there is no tomorrow. I just don't care - I leave all my computers and TVs (deliberate and truthful use of plurals) running on standby. I have the spa pool always at 40°C just in case I need a dip after a long afternoon of agricultural toil. I have three phase power to my barn - just in case (I'm not sure in case of what - I might need to do a bit of smelting some day, I suppose). I'm typing this with a couple of lights on when I really only need the one. And I have a bloody fan heater running. I also need to have the electric blanket warming the bed so I can run there as soon as possible and jump in without an irrevocable shock to my body temperature homeostasis.

As you can see I'm doing my bit to wreck the planet - and proud of it.

So where is my share of global warming? I want it and I want it now.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Butterworth

On the last leg home now and I’m very glad to be so doing. Been away for three and a half weeks and that is quite enough holiday. I’ve heaps to do at home. There’s all that grass to be cut enabling me to help wreck the planet burning gallons of diesel. And four stroke. And two stroke. Bliss. I’ve got to learn how to mill using a lathe. There’s Snow Leopard to get trained and I even am not facing the prospect of work on Monday with dread. Looking forward to it is not really quite on the money, but it is close.


Am I looking forward to returning to the Land of the Long White We Don’t Quite Get It Right? Hell, yes. I hear that Sue Bradford has been burnt at the stake in my absence as befits one of her ilk, so what possible reason could there be for not going home. I also see that the now not so new gummint had a rush of commonsense and got rid of the sub-clause in the new cell phone regulations that precluded using your iPhone in the car as an iPod or turn-by-turn navigation aid, so it is getting better all the time.


My conclusions after a couple of weeks in the UK was that it qualified for about five out of ten, so what of Malaysia? Scores much higher I think. They have blisteringly fast broadband for openers.


If SIngapore is Asia for beginners then Butterworth, Malaysia, is the real deal. This is not the land of the Lexus or gold chromed Mercedes. This is the working man’s Asia. He gets around in a pair of 50c jandals, a Honda 50cc motorbike bought from Boon Siew if he’s sold enough noodles that week or a Proton Wira if he is relay on the up. This is the Asia that never stops because everyone is working so bloody hard as they have to. To stop is to starve because there is no bloody benefit to fall back on. You stop working if you are seriously old and who looks after you then? The State? Of course not. Your children do just as you looked after them when they couldn't do it for themselves.


This is the Asia of superb food. Food that is as cheap as chips but never is chips. Sure there are McDonald's, BurgerKing and KFC and other rubbish but why would you eat such crap when you can buy a plate of char koay teow for NZ$1.20? Why gorge yourself on a Party Bucket of fried oestrogen riddled chook when you can splash out on more Black Pepper Crab than you can eat for NZ$5? I would be perfectly happy eating asian food from standard Malaysian restaurants, coffee shops or food centres for the rest of my days.


And these roadside vendors wouldn’t pass a single OSH type regulation you put one in front of them. I reckon half of them wouldn’t be able to read any OSH type regulation you put in front of them. Does this matter? Do droves of their their customers get sick because they haven’t been to a food safety class? Do they buggery. Are there mass outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting in the kampongs because they wash their ten year old plastic plates in a bowl of cold water containing no detergent at the side of the road? I don’t think so. Does their custom drop away because their service is in general atrocious by the standards of western restaurants? Do people stay away in droves because the stalls have no Maitre D and the waiters are barefoot and wear threadbare T shirts? I’ll let you work it out for yourselves.


Just dining in a Malaysian foodstall gives you more than a hint as to why all the safety bollocks and regulations in general that surround so much of our life in the ‘civilised’ West is just so wrong. Make up a whole load of useless regulations and then employ armies of brainless state Jobsworths to police them and you are asking to have the whole lot ignored. Sensible pragmatic people, like Mr Ordinary Denizen of Butterworth, does just that. Sheeple the likes of who inhabit Britain, New Zealand and other developed countries seem to regard it as a mark of their progress that they follow all this stuff to the letter.



If Mr Butterworth wants to build an extension on his house, he does. He doesn’t bother with resource consent or permission from any council, he just employs some builder type bloke and gets on with it. Builder type bloke will not be certified in anything (let alone building stuff). The extension will likely look disgusting and appear as if it was designed by a nine year old with a Lego set (because it probably was) but it mainly won’t fall down. The extra electricity it needs that has been nicked from his neighbour with a pair of jumper leads will flow as well as the official stuff - mostly. During the construction of said building works no worker will wear either a safety helmet or a bloody fluoro jacket (I haven’t seen one of these horrors for nearly a week). All chippies will likely be shod in a pair of jandals and there will be no safety notices on the wire fences around the construction site; fences that won’t be there anyway because they are a useless bureaucratic nonsense. And no one will die. If the house owner is dissatisfied with the work carried out he doesn’t go to a ‘Board’ to lodge a complaint. He just doesn’t pay the builder bloke. Or thumps him. Or both. A much better way of sorting things out.


There are other bits of the West that Mr Butterworth is just ignoring. In their attempt to ape the big countries (spare me) there are gummint run campaigns extolling the virtues of being green and reducing your ‘carbon footprint’. Now just think about this. This a place where they are trying to stop supermarkets giving out plastic bags to save the environment and over the road the local motosikal repairman is pouring his waste oil into the storm drains. This is the country that has probably razed more natural forest in order to plant palm oil than any other country on the planet.


And they are trying to do the safety thing. Recently a law was passed insisting that back seat passengers in a car must wear seat belts. Same country where half the old Bedford trucks on the road have no doors - or seat belts. I think you are supposed to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Some do, some don’t. No one seems to care. And I don’t think it is quite written into the motorcycling bit of the Statute Book that you are allowed to have three or four people on said form of motorized transport.


If you have laws you must police them. Pretty basic stuff. All Police cars have stickers on the back saying in four languages ‘Don’t Bribe Me’. But Mr Pragmatic of Butterworth has a way around this as well; as usual he ignorers it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not coming out in favour of wholesale bribery and corruption (and I’m aware of some pretty staggering stuff that occurred in this part of the world not that long ago - the protagonist came to a very sticky and permanent end)) but a pragmatic $10 at the side of the road does it for me when the alternative is $170 and thirty demerit points. I’d even go for a stern talking to.


The West never used to be like like the crap society I saw in Britain ten days ago. It wasn’t like that even when I left thirty years ago. Please don’t let real Asia go down the same path. Their way works. It may not be ‘right’ according to our sanitized view of what is right but millions think it is OK. I find it gratifying that there are still people in the world who don’t run off to a complaints tribunal if their builder stuffs up; they just kick the snot out of him.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

United Kingdom? No thanks


Well we are now well out of Britain and sitting in the steaming heat of Penang. To be precise I’m sitting in air conditioning with the added boost of a ceiling fan until I can get the relative humidity down below 80%. The heat I can stand but the humidity is really the killer. I can’t imagine how I lived in this part of the world for so many years. But more of South East Asia later. I’ve had time to have a think about the longest continual time I’ve spent in London since finally leaving there in 1982.


I could no more go back to live in the United Kingdom than live on Venus. There are now sixty one million people in Britain and I reckon about half of them are on the M6 on a Friday afternoon. There eight lanes of motorway around Manchester and they still have gridlock for no apparent reason other than there are too many bloody cars on the road. And we won’t even start on the world’s largest car park the M25. We were planning avoiding this transport armageddon whilst still two hundred miles from it on our trip back to London. The fact that there are too many cars on Britain’s roads is, of course, a reflection that there are too many bloody people there full stop. And there seems no way of stopping it. Any citizen of the latest unheard of country to join the European Union apparently has the right of residence and every other right he can think of in the UK and the country is just flooded with people. There are just too many of them.


We’ve had a preliminary go at the damned surveillance cameras but after a couple of weeks they really started to get up my nose. I really don’t need this



Or his mate not twenty feet away:



every where I go.


Theses two were taken as I waited on Winchester station for the 10.07 to Waterloo. WInchester, as we are all aware is vying with Afghanistan as the world centre of terrorist training and general bearded and turbanned badness. Once the 10.07 arrives we settle into our seat and start reading the Metro, the free newspaper that is left on newspaper stands on every railway station in the environs of London until the five minutes it takes to read it has passed and it is dumped on a train seat. The paper is rubbish but the price is right. Glance up from the Metro and what do we see in the middle of the carriage roof?



Our old friend the camera placed for ‘my safety’.


Get off at Clapham Junction to change trains and we have this:



More information about cameras and a not so subtle reminder as to why they are there. We never turn ‘em off and if we find anything on the footage we can beat you with we bloody well will. Above the camera notice you will see, conveniently placed in the same location so as I don’t have to waste a picture snapping it, another thing that the UK has caught big time. I thought New Zealand had a bad attack of Safety Natzism. But we haven’t finished with cameras yet. I get to my destination, all presumably recorded on a hard drive some where, and I get into New Malden High Street and although I intended intended walking the mile or so home, I couldn’t help but glance at the bus stop on my way past.



They have gone past filming the citizenry doing nothing in a covert manner, they are now proud of it and are shouting about their exploits from the roof tops. I’ll be bound there’s a nerdy sort of a bloke sitting in an underground bunker fuming behind his Coke bottle glasses that the coverage of London buses with his cameras has only reached 80%. A pox on the lot of them, I really don’t want to live with all that sort of crap all around me.


The nice government looking after you at every turn. New Zealand had nine years of Helengrad to foist the state upon us. The UK has had twelve years of Blair and his successor Gordon Brown (who is about as popular as a cup of cold sick - and that is with his own supporters) to bend the British people to its similar ways. They appear to have escaped the lesbian and gay undertones we made a specialty du maison, but the result of the overall process is there for all to see.


All the pictures in this post were taken over the course of just a couple of hours whilst traveling from Winchester to New Malden, a couple of harmless and unremarkable towns in Southern England. If I had been more conscientious (?anal) and spent a couple of weeks taking pictures of intrusions of the State into the great unwashed’s lives I could have filled my hard disk and bored the pants off all. I hope I’ve given a flavour of the surveillance and we shall now move onto the central obsession with damned safety.


We’ve already seen the notice on Clapham Junction station advising us that if we don’t want to get bowled by 160 tonnes of suburban train (and remember there is the occasional unfortunate soul who does want to do this) you should stand away from the edge of the platform. No shit, Sherlock. They have even painted a yellow line on the platform to indicate to the slow learners where the edge might be.



I was unable to see a sign that asked people to be careful when walking in a straight line on the flat but the sign above was on a perfectly ordinary set of stairs leading away from the very dangerous platform we have just left. For God’s sake who needs a bloody sign advising caution on every set of stairs; these stairs of course have a yellow line painted on the edge of each tread to aid the dullards who can’t find the edge of anything. Stop it. I know how to use a set of stairs and they are not dangerous. Stairs have been around for centuries and they are not up there with the black death as a cause of whole civilizations coming to a sticky end. They are stairs and that is about it.


Safety has Britain in its grip. In just the sixteen days that I was in the UK Boy Scouts were banned from carrying pocket knives. Whittling is now a lost art and joins adventure playgrounds as a harmless pursuit that is closed off to the youth of Britain. There was also a bit of legislation passed that requires everyone who takes kids that aren’t their own anywhere in their car on a regular basis to have a police check. I am entirely serious. If you are on the roster to take the under-11s to soccer on a Saturday you are now assumed to be a kiddy fiddler until Plod has run through what ever he runs through and gives you an official sustificate to say that you are not. They estimate that this will affect upwards of 1.6 million people and the machinery to enforce it is already in place. Get that, already in place - before the law was introduced. Good communist stuff that. Speaking of which there are schemes where you can get financial reward for dobbing in your neighbours/relatives for something. I forget what the something was but it might have been carrying knives. They seem obsessed with the notion that everyone under the age of thirty wanders the streets with a switchblade secreted about their person.


The whole surveillance/safety/information thing appears to me to be a continuum. Each bit merges seamlessly into the next and it all appears to be leading to a state control of everything. They certainly are big on grabbing your money, if you have any, to finance all this. There are lots of people paying a top rate of tax of 50 pence in the pound (and a lot who should be who aren’t, if they have any sense) and a party at its Annual Conference (the Liberal Democrats I think) proposed, in all seriousness, a ‘Mansion Tax’ on those who have the temerity to live in houses worth over a million quid. I can assure you that a mill doesn’t buy you much, certainly not in London, and a ‘Mansion’ would hardly describe a lot of the dross that would set you back a million big ones.


I don’t know whether Britain’s seemingly total acceptance of anthropogenic global warming crap is a left wing media trick as you could hardly call The Sun a left wing rag and half the country have that as their only source of printed news input. However in the whole time I was there I heard nothing or nobody telling the real story. Nowhere was there anyone walking around pointing out that the emperor was stark naked. I suppose I didn’t listen to any talkback radio (I was on me hols for enjoument not to torture myself) or read any relevant UK blogs but it just seems a done deal that Bugatti Veyrons are the source of all men’s woes. Everything in the supermarkets is touted as ‘reducing your carbon footprint’ or if you buy this pound of sprouts you are ‘doing your bit to save the planet’. It is nauseating in the extreme. But the Great British Unwashed seems as happy with this bullshit as he is with having his every movement recorded on a hard disk somewhere.


Hand in glove with saving the world whilst doing the weekly grocery shopping you are assured on every aisle that what you are about to purchase comes from ‘sustainable’ sources and is ‘ethically produced’. Sustainable presumably means that if you plant the field with the same seeds again next year you will get more spuds. Ethically produced has me beat. The workers making your sneakers at US$1 a fortnight aren’t spoken to in a stern voice or looked at in a disrespectful manner? Bollocks the whole lot of it.


Of course there are bits of the UK that are still delightful. One of my mates lives in a chocolate box lid village in Hampshire that hasn't changed in centuries. Ticks all the boxes. Next door neighbour has a thatched roof (you wouldn’t want one of those though as the insurance premiums are astronomical being as they are so dangerous - high fire risk, you see), there is a village pub (very nice indeed), a church with a graveyard just crying for someone to sit in and compose an eulogy and a village store where you can buy smoked trout caught in the local river. I wonder if living in such an idyll would completely compensate for having to drive out into the overcrowded, overtaxed, surveillance ridden, safety nuts and ethically produced real world. I suspect it wouldn’t.


No, the Britain of today is a vastly different place to the Britain I left nearly thirty years ago. This is, of course, not unexpected. But I reckon the change is 99% bad and they can keep it. I’ll use the UK as place to go on golf tours with the best mates a bloke could have.


A final image from the trip from Winchester to New Malden just a week ago.



It is Autumn in the UK and leaves fall from the trees. Not too complicated, I trust? The fruits also fall from the horse chestnuts. Conkers. This is taken not ten feet from a bus stop that is outside a boys school. What is remarkable about this? The remarkable thing is that they are still there, lying on the ground. When I was a boy they wouldn’t even get to the ground. You threw sticks up into the tree to knock them down. And here in the age of the video game conkers are lying around outside a boys school unloved and unwanted. I saw many fine specimens that would make sixers easy, even without resorting to the oven or vinegar.


Britain is a sorry place when conkers go ungathered.