Monday, December 30, 2013

Mr McTavish Bequeaths His Estate

Edinburgh man Willie McTavish is on his deathbed. He knows the end is near and is with the nurse, his wife, his daughter and two sons.

"So", he says to them: "Bernie, I want you to take the Braid Hills houses."

"Sybil, take the flats over in Morningside and Bruntsfield."

"Tam, I want you to take the offices in Charlotte Square."

"Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings in the New Town."

The nurse is just blown away by all this, and she says, "Mrs. McTavish, your husband must have been such a hard working man to have accumulated all this property".

Sarah replies, "Property? ... he's talking about a paper round!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cactus Blooming At Home: Dec 2013

Each year our cactus plant puts on a show for a few days, then the blooms are gone. The way they bust out for such a short time with such boldness fascinates me. I don't even know the reason why it is so brief, but enjoy them I do.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Aging Comes Up On Us Very Quickly

It's hard to imagine if you are young, but youth is fleeting. It passes like a dew on the grass. Photographer Tom Hussey captures this so beautifully in these pictures. To see the full set in a larger size, visit his website by clicking here. The series is called 'Reflections'.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Barista's Art

There are many places selling coffee drinks so standing out by doing something artistic with the froth could attract customers. It also would give pleasure to the artist.

Kazuki Yamamoto is just such a barista. He creates images for the customer. Personally I would be happy with a swirl but 3D images would be more than I would want. Still, one can admire the effort and skill involved.

A Montage of his work

For customers who are dog tired 

Over the top I think

Kids would love these

Well done but unsure who it may be

This is a cuty

Monday, December 16, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Rules Of Living: Honesty

Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you.

So sang Billy Joel. He was referring to truth within a relationship. Honesty has various facets and they are all important in our dealings with both our self and others.

1) Not taking what doesn't belong to us. That can mean stealing items, ideas or intellectual property, time from an employer or credit due to someone else.

2) Telling the truth. No one likes being lied to. Sometimes the consequences of owning up to something can be painful, but better in the long run to be honest. Creating a wrong impression by omission of detail or using misleading language is not being truthful, but rather cunning.

3) Be honest with one's self. People can 'self deceive' into thinking what they are comfortable with. Being totally frank with ourselves can be a difficult thing to do. Some of this can be about past issues we have never resolved (professional help may be required to get past this one). For others, pride gets in the way. What I have found is that self deception can hold us back from personal improvement.

4) We can be too honest. If we lack tact or cannot be trusted with confidential information, then a strength has become a weakness. Being brutally honest should be a last resort, not a first port of call. Also, telling what is not necessary - or kind to reveal - shows lack of common sense, a desire to hurt others or wrongly thinking it makes us look good.

As we can see honesty has many aspects. These are some that came to my mind, and you may be able to think of others. When used properly, honesty gains us the respect of others as well as self respect. The latter one is especially important.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013


After being married for thirty years, the wife asked her husband to describe her.

He looked at her for a while, then said, "You're an alphabet wife ... A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K."

She asked, "What does that mean?

He said "Adorable, beautiful, cute, delightful, elegant, foxy, gorgeous, and hot."

She smiled happily and said, "Oh, that's so lovely ... but what about I, J, K?"

"I'm just kidding!"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Rules Of Living: Morality

This is a delicate one to comment on as not all things are right or wrong, and there are so many individual opinions on the subject. So while some things such as murder are wrong to everyone, for everything else it comes down to your own take on it. In some cases if you can get away with it, then why not - even if you know you shouldn't.

Where do we get values? We have an inbuilt law called a conscience that is the basis of morality. That in turn is shaped by our personality, family, community, religious beliefs and our own inherent flaws. Our conscience can be molded or even desensitised, but it always remains in some form. So how do I see morality?

1) Morality must be based on a something reliable and trustworthy. If you need an accurate measurement, you use something accurately marked. The result could be a failure if we just guessed a measurement. Many today - especially the young - lack a standard they can trust to put them on the right course.

2) It takes determination to stick to what you know is right. Being with others who have differing standards to yours is a challenge. It is so easy to go with the majority, even if it makes you uncomfortable doing so. Never ignore your standards and back off if others insist on continuing. Better still, associate only with those who either have similar standards or will respect your decision.

3) The majority can be wrong. We cannot adopt the herd mentality. Society's morality is in virtual freefall at the moment. Accepting it's falling values will hurt us.

4) Be honest in assessing morality. Our heart's desire can let us down badly. What seems right now can feel anything but later on. Once we know something is the correct, move quickly to reinforce that. Don't give our heart - or others - time to change our mind.

5) The best standard I have found is in an ancient book. The most circulated book in the world by far has the answers. Unfortunately its message is twisted to suit - or not consulted at all - by too many. An honest appraisal of its standards gives us help now and a happy future. Find publications or genuine readers of that book to help us get the most out of it.

We need morality. It shields us and gives us dignity. Society is glued together with it, and the planet is protected by it. We turn our backs on it at our peril.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Rules Of Living: Tidiness

I used to make and install customised wardrobes (US: closet). When I would arrive at the house, I was shown the rooms I would be installing them in. When coming to the rooms youths slept in, sometimes the existing wardrobe was empty and the floor was piled high with clothes. I wondered if my handiwork would ever be used.

I cannot understand why parents would allow such slovenliness in their home. Permissive parenting isn't something I respect. If you love your children, give them boundaries and insist on standards. They will squeal and protest now, but will thank you one day.

My parents insisted on standards for me to live by, and I still hold to them many years later. So what are some of them? Tidiness is one:

1) I always make my bed before leaving home. I get up, let it air as I do necessary things, then make it before going out. When I come home, the bedroom is tidy and I feel good.

2) All clothing is put in it's proper place. Clean clothes are put hung up or put on shelves. Dirty laundry goes to the basket. I can take pride in my bedroom environment.

3) Dishes are either put in the dishwasher or cleaned immediately. I don't get up in the morning to a pile of dishes. They are also easier to clean if not left. All kitchen items are in cupboards in their rightful place, not scattered across the bench tops.

4) The lounge is always tidy. If guests pop in anytime, I can show them into the lounge without apologising for catching me out. No, I don't believe people either when they say "We're not normally like this".

5) Keep the car clean, inside and out. Having a rubbish bag hooked over a headrest stops junk hitting the car floor. I have got into some cars where I didn't know where to put my feet, there was so much rubbish in the foot well.
It doesn't take long with a hose and soapy water to clean the outside. A wipe down with a chamois afterwards if you want a better finish. An occasional polish and wax if you want a wow factor.

I don't enjoy cleaning, and it would be easy to let things slip. However, I was taught the satisfaction of keeping things nice. Living in a pleasant environment builds self respect too. So thank you mum and dad for insisting on standards. I grumbled at times, but you persisted. It shows to me that you cared and that I need to care about my surroundings.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Art Of Rock Balancing

Probably all of us have balanced rocks on top of each other. For some it is an art form. They certainly fascinate me. The pictures below are not random rock formations. Interestingly rocks don't stack themselves, it needs intelligent input. That simple logic says to me there must be a Creator.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Transmission Tower Maintenance Video

These men do not use safety equipment while climbing. This video could be hard to watch for those with a fear of heights. Be patient with the cartoon introduction. It soon passes. You can enlarge the video by clicking on the expand button bottom right.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Young Women Need To Be Sensible

In NZ, there are young men who brag about having sex with drunk, underage girls. They call themselves "Roast Busters". Some radio broadcasters have recently said things that had them accused of blaming the female victims. They have since apologised.

It does raise a question about how some men view women who dress immodestly and drink excessively. Do they think such a woman is 'fair game?' Do they think she is in effect 'asking for it?' Unfortunately some men seem to think that way. They need educating to respect a woman.

It comes down to something else too. I live in a smallish town, which you would feel was safe. However, if I walked around town in the early hours of the morning, I would be risking being attacked by groups of young thugs. I know of two men who were out - one not even that late - that received such severe bashings, that one will be on social assistance for the rest of his life and the other will not be able to fully work again.

Now I could say I have a right to go out late if I wish and should be safe, but that would not be sensible. Some young ladies think they can dress immodestly and get drunk, being able to do so without anyone taking advantage of them. That is not a sensible opinion. Sure, if I got beaten up or a girl is taken advantage of in some way, we would be victims. Naive victims.

Some Role Models For Young Women Are Anything But
It is sobering to see a generation of youths behaving in the way they are. Young ladies with little sense, and young men with neither respect for women nor for men who decide to take a late night walk. While this society slides into such low standards, it is imperative that parents teach their children right from wrong. Don't be so permissive that you fail to stand up for what you know to be right. It is also important to be good role models for your children. The sensible thing is to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Enjoy Your Job? (Part 2)

A recruitment agency in Germany ( says you should. It used a series of life sized photos on machines showing people not enjoying their job:

Coffee Vending
Juke Box Musician

Petrol Pump Dispenser

Cigarette Dispenser
Laundromat Washer

Friday, November 8, 2013

Enjoy Your Job? (Part 1)

A recruitment agency in Germany ( says you should. It used a series of life sized photos on machines showing people not enjoying their job:

Ice Cream Vending

ATM Dispenser

Kiddies Ride Attendant

Airport Security Attendant

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Spoon

At a new restaurant, the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When another waiter brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. 

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I enquired, 'Why the spoon?'

'Well, 'he explained, 'the restaurant's owner hired a consulting firm to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.'

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare. 'I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.'   

I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, 'Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?'

‘Oh, certainly!' Then he lowered his voice. 'Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can save time in the restroom by tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.’

I asked quietly, 'After you get it out, how do you put it back?'

'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.'

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Would You Marry Again Dear?

A husband and wife are sitting quietly in bed reading, when the wife looks over at him and says...

"What would you do if I died? Would you get married again?"

HUSBAND: "Definitely not!"

WIFE: "Why not? Don't you like being married?"

HUSBAND: "Of course I do..."

WIFE: "Then why wouldn't you remarry?"

HUSBAND: "Okay, okay, I'd get married again."

WIFE: "You would?"(with a hurt look)

HUSBAND: (makes audible groan)

WIFE: "Would you live in our house?"

HUSBAND: "Sure, it's a great house.."

WIFE: "Would you sleep with her in our bed?"

HUSBAND: "Where else would we sleep?"

WIFE: "Would you let her drive my car?"

HUSBAND: "Probably, it is almost new."

WIFE: "Would you replace my pictures with hers?"

HUSBAND: "That would seem like the proper thing to do.."

WIFE: "Would you take her golfing with you?

HUSBAND: "Yes, those are always good times."

WIFE: "Would she use my clubs?

HUSBAND: "No, she's left-handed."

WIFE: (silence)

HUSBAND: (groan)

Friday, October 25, 2013

PC Reminders

Due to the climate of political correctness, the following expressions must be modified, lest we seem insensitive:

'Hillbillies' - You must now refer to them as 'Appalachian Americans'.

Those marrying out of their age group are not 'cradle snatchers' - they simply prefer 'generationally differential relationships'.

A person is not 'stupid'...they suffer from 'minimal cranial development'.

A person isn't 'dumb' - they are a 'detour off the information highway'.

How about being PC with regards to women?

She does not 'nag' you - she becomes 'verbally repetitive'.

She is not an 'airhead' - she is 'reality impaired'.

How about being PC with regards to men?

He is not 'quiet'...he is a 'conversational minimalist'.

He does not 'get lost all the time' - he 'investigates alternative destinations'.

He is not 'balding' - he has 'follicle regression'.

It's not his 'crack' you see hanging out of his pants - It's 'trouser cleavage'.

(On the last one, I can't stand seeing it - disgusting).

The pic below is typical of the chauvinistic attitude still too common today. When will some people get PC?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Human Technology? Bah!

Technology has given mankind a better quality of life, no question. But how good is it? Let's look at a few examples:

TV Signals: New Zealand has been switching to digital signals, meaning we have to buy decoder boxes to get programmes. The old analogue system worked fine but digital is a better signal. Just don't have any problems. Recently a channel just pulled itself from our area, and I lost all channels trying to fix it. Despite some knowledge of such things, I had to get help to get my TV back.

Cellphones, etc: I was reading about some of the metals that go into the likes of cellphones and most other appliances. It seems they contain products dangerous to the workers extracting them, and hard on the environment when disposed of. The cost to the planet means human technology has a finite future. Clever indeed.

Technical services: Google is a monster of a company, which is making record profits. Scary if they are the best, as you wonder about the competence of the rest. My Google Search engine, gmail and Blogger all worked OK...until recently. The services were enhanced so I am to get an 'improved' experience with Google.

Some Google searches such as to their product forum are impossible to execute now. Some of Google's YouTube videos wouldn't load (seems better now), some gmail actions are so slow I give up. Blogger only accepts text only - although that is starting to go bad too. This article is currently not saving, pictures above 10kb are near impossible to upload (no, really, kb isn't a typo). Pictures have now stopped completely. Operating in Blogger behind the scenes leads to having to exit and re-enter my browser get things happening. I don't know what to do. The upgrades it seems are to increase revenue, not user service. Is Google now too big to care?

Summary: So what does this say about human technology? As it gets more complicated, it gets more confusing for the layman. It is more likely to fail as it is often released in too much of a hurry to sort all the bugs. It is ruining the earth, but hey, another generation will have to deal with that... hopefully.

If technology's pace of change was slowed, that would be a good start. Keep it as simple as possible to improve reliability and customer understanding of it. Minimise the greed factor that causes this rush to 'improve' the customer experience (or in reality make more money). Compare our technical advances by what we see in nature, and humans look very clumsy. And greed always comes back to bite you eventually.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Women Are Connected To Men In Many Ways

Woman has Man in it
Mrs. has Mr. in it;
Female has Male in it;
She has He in it;
Madam has Adam in it;

 Ever notice how all of women's problems start with MEN?

MENstrual cramps

Keep Healthy And Live Longer....Well Maybe Not

Tony and Yvonne were 85 years old and they were both in very good health, largely due to Yvonne's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven. They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet. They gasped in astonishment when he said, 'Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.'

Tony asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.

'Why, nothing,' Peter replied, 'remember, this is your reward in Heaven.'

Tony looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth. 'What are the greens fees?,' grumbled Tony.

'This is heaven,' St. Peter replied. 'You can play for free, every day.'

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch. 'Don't even ask,' said St. Peter to Tony. 'This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy'.

Tony looked around and nervously asked Yvonne 'Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods and the decaffeinated tea?'

'That's the best part,' St. Peter replied. 'You can eat and drink as much as you like and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!'

'No gym to work out at?' said Tony

'Not unless you want to,' was the answer.

'No testing my sugar or blood pressure or...'

'Never again'

Tony glared at Yvonne and said, 'You and your Bran Flakes. We could have been here ten years ago!'

Saturday, October 19, 2013