Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finding Joy : Scenario #1

Many years ago wife and I had been on a coach trip in Europe. We were to arrive back in London late afternoon and decided to treat ourselves to a nice hotel for the night before heading up north to relatives later the next day. As is often the case with travel, we got back late and arrived at the hotel about 11pm.

We went to check in and were standing behind an Australian couple who had just flown in and were also late. We heard that their room had been given to someone else. The man was beside himself with anger, insisting on having his room. The acting manager came out to explain they would be located to another hotel but he wasn't having any of that.

As he was taken to one side to continue his remonstration, I came to the desk and said "It seems like our room has gone". It had and we were told to take a seat and a taxi would take us to another hotel. We accepted that and sat to wait on its arrival. Finally the other man accepted his inevitable fate and took another seat with his wife, still fully frustrated.

We were whisked off to the new hotel. It was a top quality establishment and much nicer. We crashed into bed and got up next morning to get our continental breakfast (which is what the other hotel was to provide) just before 10am. We found a wonderful buffet waiting, which was to close in just 10 minutes time. We quickly took all we needed and thoroughly enjoyed the food.

Your breakfast awaits you 

By not getting annoyed at losing our room, we finished up in superior accommodation. We both left feeling happy. Had we got upset, it would have got us nowhere. By accepting the situation we found some joy in the way things worked out. I never did see the other couple again, and did they get such a nice a hotel too? They certainly lost their joy that evening.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Finding The Origin Of Life

When I look into the sky at night I feel small. When I watch a bird in action, the instinctive wisdom that enables it to survive leaves me in awe. Then I reflect on the incredible human journey from conception to birth and it is beyond comprehension. I Think of how the cells divide into different functioning tissue and I gasp. No one on earth can really explain how it happens.

I then wonder where all the water came from. Those who deny creation have theories, but as to why all other planets missed out on such random distribution doesn't add up. That plus the sheer volume of water can lead to only one rational conclusion.

If you are looking for you car keys and decide they have to be in the garage, that is where you look. If they on the coffee table in the lounge, you will never find them. If someone suggests look in the house but you insist they aren't there, you will never find the truth of where they are. You will be going nowhere until you decide to open your mind to the possibility they are in the house.

When one decides to find the answer to our existence by refusing to accept creation, that is like a detective ruling out lines of enquiry based on prejudice. As the American Standard Version says "they have rejected the word of Jehovah; and what manner of wisdom is in them?" When I hear some of the explanations of evolution, I shake my head. I watched someone on TV discussing the origin of the whale. I was embarrassed for him, it was such nonsense.

Finding the truth starts with examining all possibilities. When young I read books on evolution and went to religious meetings. I prayed that if creation is true, that God would help me appreciate that. I wanted an answer but but not by closing off any option. Then one day, I read an article about creation and I got it. I have since discussed the subject with many, which has strengthen my faith as nothing else has that ring of truth. I know the earth and life on it was introduced by an awesome intelligence. It's amazing when you find Him.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The 'How Did We Do?' Survey

When I buy anything now, the receipt has an invitation to let the company know how they did with the sales transaction. Often there is an incentive to go into the draw to win something simply by spending a few minutes letting them know. I usually go in and give reasonably positive ratings but occasionally negative.

I recall getting a TV satellite installation a few years back in which the installer (who I knew me quite well as a high up in the place where I fellowship) decided that entitled him to do virtually nothing he was supposed to. At one point he was quite rude to me when I made a simple request for what he should have been doing anyway. I regret letting him get away with how he behaved.

Then came the 'let us know how it went'. When I did go and fill in the the report, it highlighted even more things that were supposed to be done and weren't. I was very unimpressed when I realised that. The thing is though is how the company reacted. I heard nothing about it. There was presumably no flag system to alert them to a major failure of service.

I assume such surveys are supposed to reinforce how much they care about service. If they don't respond to serious under performance however, it does quite the opposite. I then understood this company didn't care. It had a monopoly situation for satellite TV and had cornered the sporting market by outbidding all other TV stations.

Now that NZ has gone totally satellite, there is free competition and the monopoly isn't so strong. Customer numbers have started to drop and they recently stated prices have been increased to compensate. That could lead to more defections. People are using the Internet now as well to get television programmes. I wonder how important customer service is in this more competitive environment?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

UK (Northern) Sayings I Grew Up With

Delicious Scouse (lamb, potatoes & veges). The left overs the next day 
were put in my school sandwiches, it was so thick once it had cooled. 

Growing up in family from North England, there were so many sayings and words that people in New Zealand didn't know or use. Many dropped out of family usage in as the years passed and I have forgotten them, but whenever I hear them again it brings back memories. Their origins could be from anywhere in the UK and maybe some of the meanings different to what others think. A few I remember - and how I took them in the context they were used - are as follows:

Jammy: Undeserved good luck.

Give over: Stop it, don't be silly.

Lady muck: Someone who feels important but isn't.

Muggins: When taken advantage of.

Get your clogs on: Put your shoes on.

You do that and I'll carry the bricks: Sarcastically saying I got the hard job to do.

Once every Preston guild: An extremely rare occurrence.

It's all me eye and Peggy Martin: Not believable.

You must have been born in a field with the gate left open: Close the door.

There's none so queer as folk: People can be strange at times.

Ayup: Watch out, be careful, or what are you up to?

Nesh: Someone who felt the cold too easily.

Get away with you: I don't believe you, or don't be silly.

You're whippet quick: Grabbing something before someone else got it.

Cheeky Monkey: A child who is naughty in a fun way.

Mac: Raincoat.

Wellies: Boots.

Standing there like one of Lewis's: Someone idly standing around.

Act daft and I'll buy you a coal yard: Someone pretending to be ignorant to gain something, but it hasn't worked.

It's like Blackpool illuminations: When someone leaves lights on after vacating a room.  

He wouldn't give you last year's Echo: Someone so mean they wouldn't give you a newspaper from last year.

Here's your hat, what's your hurry?: When someone was made to feel it was time to leave.

Fish 'n Chips with mushy peas. Luv'leh

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Faintails In My Backyard

These birds native to New Zealand are very friendly. They come into the garden and fly around very close to me. I lift off the compost bin and they eat the fruit flies that then come out. Their darting motion makes them hard to film. I tried today and the result was OK. So I posted it on You tube, as seen below. Best at HD 720.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Old Photos Of Man's Endevours

A book collection

A game of golf. Fore!

A tower

An aircraft

And the one not man made, but the photo is. An erruption

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Safety First For This Council

I wrote about a bend in a cycle track that I use that took the rider toward a tree. The article can be seen by clicking here. I went to the local council that maintain the route and a very helpful man assured me that it would be realigned to improve safety. How often do you hear that and nothing happens?

Well, I little while later the picture below shows what has been done...

As you will see by comparing it with the first blog I wrote on the subject how the soil bridge over the culvert has been widened considerably. The track marks on the gravel shows how people are no longer on a collision course with the tree in question. So a big well done to the council and the man in charge of it in acting promptly and effectively.

Bureaucracy can be a pain and stop sensible actions being taken, but here no such problem. Credit where credit is due.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Funny Observations

Tell me again how much a Zimbabwe dollar is worth?