Saturday, November 26, 2016

It's Fine...But Only If

Competitive sport is great...but only if my team is winning.

I want a free society...but only if it is for those I agree with.

Indulgence in food is great...but only if I don't pay for it later.

I desire a strong man in my life...but only if he yields to me.

Democracy is great...but only if the majority agree with me.

I'm OK with gossip...but only if is not about me.

Rubbish dumps are essential...
but only if they are nowhere near where I live.

Any style of clothing is fine by me...
as long as its not naff*.

*British slang meaning lacking taste or style.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The XXL Restaurant Waldgeist

This is about a restaurant in Germany where the portions can be large, very large. For some reason, this is considered to be a challenge that needs conquering. The truth is, we are designed to eat little and often. Over-sized portions are not good for us. Repeatedly overeating is very bad for our health.

It is an XXL restaurant in the Frankfurt area. Steaks can be over a kilo, as can chip portions. Apple wine up to 1.7 litres, beer up to 2 litres and Bacardi Cola up to 8 litres according to the website. If I drank that much, I wouldn't have room for anything to eat. Of course, normal portions are available and that is what I would be choosing.
So where's the salad?

Only big mouths need order

An interesting presentation

Monday, November 21, 2016

Christopher Robin

My mother used to recite this poem and she did so often. When done softly and with feeling, it is fascinating. Mum used to say it to me when I was in bed and about to go to sleep.

Little boy kneels at the foot of the bed, 
Droops on his little hands, little gold head. 
Hush, hush, whisper. Who dares? 
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

"God bless Mummy, I know that's right, 
And wasn't it fun in the bath tonight, 
the cold's so cold and the hot's so hot. 
God bless Daddy, I quite forgot. 

If I open my eyes just a little bit more 
I can see Nanny's dressing-gown on the door, 
It's a beautiful blue but it hasn't got a hood, 
God bless Nanny and make her good. 

Mine has a hood and when I lie in bed 
I can pull the hood right over my head, 
I shut my eyes and I curl up small 
And nobody knows that I'm there at all. 

Thank you God, for a lovely day, 
And what was the other I wanted to say? 
I said, 'Bless Daddy', so what could it be? 
Now I remember: God bless me". 

Little boy kneels at the foot of the bed, 
Droops on his little hands, little gold head. 
Hush, hush, whisper. Who dares? 
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Card Game - No Nines

A typical hand
When I was young, one of the regular card games we played was No Nines. Whenever I teach new people, they pick it up quickly and really enjoy playing. Few people know it.

Objective: To run out of cards first.

Set up: Take a standard 52 card pack. Remove the four nines and keep one joker, which becomes a wild card that can be any number you want. Suits are irrelevant. Deal out the cards individually, the last person will get one extra card than the others. That person will also lead off.

Playing: The first person plays say an Ace (which are low, not high as in most card games), then two, three...for as long as they can. A player must play a card as part of a sequence if they are able.

An example. "Ace, Two Three no Four". The person to their left says "Five, Six no Seven". The person to their left may say "No Seven". The fourth player may say "Seven, Eight no Nine".

Of course there is no Nine, so the eight is what you would call a stopping card. They are useful as that player can now start off again anywhere they wish. They perhaps play "Ten, Jack, Queen, King". Another stopping card. Then "Ten, Jack, no Queen". So it would continue until someone runs out of cards.

Tallying up scores: Ace is worth 11 points, Ten and all picture cards ten, with the rest face value (a six worth six for example). Four rounds are played and the person with the lowest points declared the winner.

The Joker: It can be used at anytime, as any card, when it is the holder's turn to play. If a person is able to run out by playing the Joker as their last card, that means all other players double their score for that round. So there is incentive to hold it back to the end if possible. However, get caught with the Joker in your hand and you then have to double your score.

The Joker can also be played as a Nine, so if someone says "Eight, no Nine" and is about to run out, the player with the Joker can quickly use it as a Nine so as not to be caught with it. The Ten would then follow the Nine played, whoever next is able to do so.

The person who initially leads off for the first time can - if they choose to do so - play a multiple of the first card only. For example, a person has three Aces, not good as they are starter cards (also the Ten). They are easy to get stuck with. So they play "Ace, two, Three, no Four" and in doing so they could play three Aces at that time. Thereafter it is always only one of each number played. It is a bonus offer to the lead player for the first card down only. If it doesn't suit, then the player is not obliged to do so.

Best played by four people. Enjoy, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A New Zealand Food Favourite

I recall when I was young down at the Devonport (Auckland) wharf, watching people with big nets hauling in copious amounts of tiny fish. You could peer down into the water and see masses of them swimming around the poles that supported the wharf. So many were caught that the value was minimal and you can only eat so many of them.

Some people would take them home, dig trenches and use them as fertiliser, a practice that disgusted my parents. They were not knowledgeable conservationists but they understood excessive harvesting of any animal is not sustainable, but especially morally wrong.

The creature in question is the whitebait, which are immature fish fry. They often travel together in schools, presumably for protection. They are a vital source of mature fish stock, which should be allowed to grow into full sized creatures if not for eating.

The despicable practice of using them for manure or on selling has led to a shortage in New Zealand, forcing up prices to ridiculous levels. There is a season for catching them and limits on how you can catch them. These are often flouted by greedy private opportunists, who on-sell them for much personal gain. I would have thought banning private selling would reduce the catch and lessen the rule breaking harvesting.  

I have no problem with catching whitebait if it for personal consumption. While they are quite tasty, I could live without them and have for many years. I recently had some given to me by a person who refuses to make money from them, sharing with friends on occasions. I wish there were more Kiwis of that disposition. Fried with egg and in this case with a croissant (unusual I admit but it worked), a pleasant lunch time treat.

That said, I would happily see a ban on their catching altogether if fish stocks were being harmed. Those who abuse the privilege of responsible fishing of these tiny creatures may cause that to happen one day. Greed simply isn't sustainable.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Queen Charlotte Drive / Picton

At the top east of the South Island, there are the Marlborough Sounds. The gateway to them is Picton. The road running west from that town is the Queen Charlotte Drive. The photos below start from part way along the Queen Charlotte drive at Ngakuta Bay, ending up at Picton.

Ngakutu Bay

Some of the houses along the foreshore

A jetty for boaties

Shakespear Bay

Pine logs for export. No value added processing

Picton ferry teminus

Overlooking Picton town with threatening clouds behind

Monday, October 31, 2016

Misplaced Values

I keep seeing this picture around the Internet with a supposedly fascinating headline. I simply see it as a man who's values are misplaced. Why would someone without a home buy a supercar? A poor decision!

Any rational thinking would place many things above this sort of choice. It was probably this kind of confused thinking that got him homeless in the first place. I haven't visited the site because its just too ridiculous to interest me. He looks unhappy as well.  Does he now realise his folly?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Exaggerated Job Descriptions

What do you think of these job descriptions?

1) Aqua-thermal treatment of ceramics, aluminium & steel

2) Director of first impressions.

3) Assembler and demonstrator of modular systems.

4) Media distribution officer.

5) Colour distribution technician.

6) Road environmental hygienist

7) Transparency enhancement facilitator.

8) Sanitation engineer.

9) Mobile sustenance facilitator.

10) Communication executive.


Now for the real job description:

1) Washing dishes.

2) Receptionist.

3) Vacuum cleaner salesman.

4) Paperboy.

5) Painter

6) Street sweeper.

7) Window washer.

8) Refuse collector.

9) Food truck worker.

10) Call center worker.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Upbringing Affected Me

Parents can have a profound effect on their children. It's a serious subject but in this instance, it will take a light hearted turn. If some of the things were were told as children were taken literally, it would be confusing, frustrating or even lead us in the wrong direction.

For example, my mother always seem to know what I was doing, even if she didn't seem to be looking. She said it was because "I have eyes in the back of my head". I used to look but the long hair meant I couldn't see them. I'm glad I didn't take after her in that way because I wouldn't want eyes there.

If I was being scolded but found it amusing, I was told to "Wipe that smile off your face". Now I have my features pushed to one side with all the wiping.

Mum used to wonder why my school grades were so poor. If only she realised it was her own fault. She kept telling me "Don't you be smart".

I was also told at times to "You had better pull your socks up!" I found that so frustrating because I wouldn't even be wearing long socks!

Another annoyance was when mum would say "Two can play at that game". The thing is I wasn't playing a game at the time and we didn't end up playing one either.

If I was crying in a whinging way one of my parents would say "Stop your crying or I will give you something to cry about". I already had something to cry about. I didn't need another reason!

I went out with a lovely young lady but I found out she had an unusual nickname 'Trouble'. For that reason I didn't go out with her again. How did mum know that I was going to meet a girl with that name? She would often say "Now don't you go courting trouble".

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Exaggerated Sayings

My mum loved sayings and I've forgotten more than I can remember. They were often exaggerations which fascinated me as a child. Here are some of them:

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Meaning: Something was seen or heard that was so shocking or surprising that it leaves a person weak enough for a light feather to knock them off their feet.

Likelihood: A feather is rarely at hand to try out the validity of this saying. We can indeed go weak in the knees if shocked in some way. A person can even collapse in extreme cases.

Summary: A person wouldn't fall over with a waft of a feather but it is an effective word picture.

Rating: 8/10.

I look (or feel) like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards.

Meaning: One's appearance looking rough and untidy, especially hair and clothing. Experiencing this would certainly shake one up.

Likelihood: I've never known of anyone going though that ordeal. I can't explain why it would happen either.

Summary: It is an expressive way of describing a person's appearance.

Rating: 8/10.

I feel like I've been hit (or run over) by a bus.

Meaning: Obviously not feeling well at all.

Likelihood: There obviously have been people hit by a large vehicle such as a bus, some even surviving. However, the person using the saying isn't a survivor of this horrendous collision but exaggerating their situation.

Summary: I think it goes a bit too far but does have a strong message.

Rating: 6/10.

I could eat a horse and chase the rider.

Meaning: Used to emphasise extreme hunger.

Likelihood: Horse meat is consumed in some countries but there is far too much of it for one person to eat. Suggesting that the hunger is so bad that even a horse wouldn't suffice, is the addition that the famished individual would be after the rider too. Rather silly.

Rating: 4/10.

Shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

Meaning: Someone only acting to correct or save a situation after the damage has already been done.

Likelihood: I'm sure people wouldn't bother to close the gate if they knew their horse was already at large.

Summary: It does show how some people are slow to act when they need to. They then vainly try to fix the issue when it is too late. I like the image it creates and lesson taught.

Rating: 10/10.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

LocaL Butcher's Promotion Evening

I recently went to an evening at the local butchery. They had nibbles and drinks available.

It was called 'Meat & Greet'.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Songs With Meaning - Part 3

If a song summed up a person, group of people or the like, what would be an ideal choice? Here are a few suggestions from me.

A doubtful person:
How Will I Know? - Whitney Houston.

Morning after drinker:
Tequila Sunrise - The Eagles.

Leave Me Alone - Helen Reddy.

Beans or broccoli eater:
One Way Wind - The Cats.

Unfit runner:
Breathless - The Corrs.

A person feeling unpopular:
Am I That Easy To Forget? - E Humperdinck.

Person driving in circles:
Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale.

Politicians before an election:
I'd Love You To Want Me - Lobo.

Regretful voter:
If I Knew Then What I Know Now - Various artists.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Songs With Meaning - Part 2

If a song summed up a person, group of people or the like, what would be an ideal choice? Here are a few suggestions from me in the second in the series.

Regular loser:
You Win Again - Bee Gees.

House owner with a tin roof:
I Love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbit.

Maybe Tomorrow - Golden Horse. (NZ group).

Japanese train passenger:
Crush - Jennifer Paige.

Lottery winner:
I Should Be So Lucky - Kylie Minogue.

Visitor to Lourdes:
All I Need Is A Miracle - Mike & the Mechanics.

Husband impatiently waiting for his wife:
I'm Ready - Tracy Chapman.

Husband with a talkative wife:
(You say it best) When You Say Nothing At All - Ronan Keating.

What dictators think:
Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Songs With Meaning - Part 1

If a song summed up a person, group of people or the like, what would be an ideal choice? Here are a few suggestions from me.

Every Breath You Take (I'll be watching you) - Police.

Manchester, England:
It's Raining Again - Super Tramp.

Chilled out person:
Why Worry? - Dire Straits.

Don't Know Why - Nora Jones.

Night owl:
Late In The Evening - Paul Simon.

Obsessive compulsive disorder:
Do It Again - Steely Dan.

Lost driver:
Where Am I Going To? - Evita.

Hiking club:
Climb Every Mountain - Sound of Music.

Someone too keen to marry:
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do - ABBA.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Road Sign Overkill

You would think that those responsible for road signage would have a responsibility for safety too. It seems that often a new sign is commissioned and it goes up without concern for the overall effect a signage overload has on the driver.

Unnecessary Things

When I get emails from people, sometimes it has a message saying that it came from an iPad. Why would I care? The email arrived and that's all that matters. From what sort of aperatus it was sent is of no interest to me. I've decided to add a message with each of my emails I send: 'Sent from my PC.'

Saying to someone "How are you" when you clearly don't want to know.
Or saying "To be honest..." Err, other times you aren't?
Then there's 'Needless to say..." but you then say it anyway.
What about "This person needs no introduction", then they are introduced.

Corporate greed. Top corporate people are overpaid. Yet greed deludes them into thinking they are worth it and more. Companies foolishly buy into it by paying them far too much. If they do a lousy job, they then get a massive severance pay. Common sense isn't that common, even in 'successful' big business.

Glad the sign was there

Nature programmes putting numerous references into the narration about evolution, as if it is a fact. If a nature programme made regular references to creation, it would be considered religiously biased indoctrination. What hypocrisy. Just talk about nature and cut the brain washing.

The 'make or break' comment in media articles. I have read about a new car is being a 'make or break' model for the company, when in fact its failure will do nothing of the sort. The car maker will still continue even if the car is a flop. Sports journalists often use the same expression about a game but when you do the maths, it isn't. They can still succeed even if they lose that game. It's just media hype and dishonesty rolled into one.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Unnecessary Signs

This must be a joke! 

Just take down the sign ahead

I certainly don't get this one

I wonder if it's made with freshly squeezed oranges?

It is in use, with a pointless message 

I get the point
...and be prepared to do a U-turn if you are an offender 

Monday, September 26, 2016

It's About Giving More than You Take

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working, another person must work without receiving.
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people getting the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and then the other half realising that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, then things go down hill very quickly.

... in other words everyone should be trying to be a giver and not a taker. Some people need to take, and others always prepared to give, but those who could give and yet chose not to, well ....

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lost, Bored, & Unpleasant

Who am I referring to? The troll. "One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument". In extreme cases they direct harsh and nasty criticism to others who leave comments. Moderators remove the worst offenders. Some sites have stopped allowing comments because of the cost of constantly monitoring them. Some things of note:
Trolls want you like this...

Lost: They find website of no interest to them or that contains things that annoy them. To do that they must get easily lost.

Bored: Often their comments claim to have a dislike of the subject under discussion. Then why are they still there? I only go to a website to read things that interest me.

Unpleasant: Having stumbled onto a site by accident, finding they don't want to be there, they then proceed to leave a comment, then another, come back later with another. Each one attacking others and the subject. Nothing nice about that attitude.
...but give them some of this
by ignoring them altogether

Summary: Obviously the first one (Lost) is a touch sarcastic because this isn't an accidental visit. They probably have a boring life because it (life) is too short to waste time behaving like this. Unpleasant is a kindly word to explain these people. I think they have an inner frustration and want others to feel what they feel.

The solution: It amazes me the people that get dragged into their petty existence. The last thing they want is to be ignored, because they want to bug you. If you aren't bugged or refuse to show it, then they fail in their sad, unpleasant mission.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Find The Car Brands

The story below has the names of cars placed throughout. The spelling and pronunciation may not always be perfect, but always close to it, if not exact. There are thirty in total and the answers are at the bottom of the page under the picture. By the way, the picture isn't necessarily representative of what to look for. There are a few tough ones and a few of the brands are no longer in existence

A mixed bunch of us decided to go on a walk up a local hill which was steep in places. Sue, a curator at the local zoo organised it. She was a West Indian and quite a character. Unfortunately she brought her young son with her too, named Lex.

Off we set from the car park early in the morning. Almost straight away Lex wanted to relieve himself of a toy he had brought. I wasn't his caddy! Lacking tact I told him sternly he shouldn't have brought it. His laughs suddenly turned to cries. Learning from my mistake, I held my hand out for the toy. "Oh, ta" I said, feigning appreciation and rather than hold on to it, I stuffed it in my pack.

We crossed a ford where from behind we heard an "Ow". Diane had nearly fallen into the water. The only damage was that she broke a link on a bracelet chain. She kept upright by grabbing onto a raised jag. "You are lucky" we exclaimed. "You could have twisted your ankle, so you certainly dodged a bullet there. It might pay for a moment to sit". Ron was impatient and reminded us of the steep walk ahead up the hill. Managing that in a day would be a challenge.

As we ascended Sue complained "Dat sun is certainly hot. I can't go on much more. Is it far to go?" Ron replied it was only a miniature hill and stop complaining.

Suddenly we couldn't see Lex. Usually always close to his mum, he had wandered off to see a dog on some nearby flat farmland. "Rover" the farmer called and the sheep dog was gone, up over a great wall that separated the paddocks. Lex rejoined and was scolded by his mum.

Diane then made a big fuss about a small insect that flew into her mouth. I said to her "It's just a bug!" At times she could be such a drama queen.

We reached the top and admired the view we could see, on into infinity, it seemed. Sue wisely noted rain was coming and it was going to pour. She suggested not to delay our descent. Besides. it was getting late. Lex said he wanted some supper. Joe, who had been quiet so far said it was not the time for that. His mum said that supper was something for which they didn't cater. Ham sandwiches were all she had so that had to suffice.

We headed down the hill with a cold wind arriving, dropping the mercury quickly. Off went Di's hat. Sue soon retrieved it and we continued with haste. Ron noticed something shiny on the ground and it was Sue's zoo key. That was a lucky break! We eventually made it back dry. Joe asked about the entrance fee at the zoo, saying she wanted to bring her family there soon. Everyone said ta-ta and made our way home, tired but cheery.

a curator - Acura
caddy! (Lac)king - Cadillac
cries. Lear(ning) - Chrysler
toy. "Oh, ta" - Toyota
hold on - Holden
ford - Ford
"Ow". Diane - Audi
link on - Lincoln
jag. "You are - Jaguar
dodged - Dodge
sit". Ron - Citroen
hill. Managing - Hillman
Dat sun - Datsun
more. Is - Morris
miniature - Mini
Lex. Usually - Lexus
land. "Rover" - Land Rover
great wall - Great Wall
bug!" At time - Bugatti
see, on - Scion
infinity - Infiniti
pour. She - Porsche
sup(per). Joe - Peugeot
cater. Ham - caterham
mercury - Mercury
Di's hat. Sue - Daihatsu
Sue's zoo key - Suzuki
fee at - Fiat
ta-ta - Tata
cheery - Chery

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Unfortunate Names #2

Imagine fans chanting his name!

Roller coasters are always jolly

Food for thought

Who votes for a loser? 

This man has a winning name

Congratulations on graduating

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Unfortunate Names #1

Spelling it with a 'y' instead of an 'ie' or dropping
the 'ie' altogether could be a major problem
Presumably in his language, it
 doesn't have the same connotation

A double entendre for both of these names

What was here crime I wonder?

Hopefully she marries soon

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Confusing Sign

I was in Christchurch at New Brighton and saw this sign which had me confused.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Find The Fruit

The story below has the names of fruit placed throughout. The spelling and pronunciation may not always be perfect, but always close to it, if not exact. There are fifteen in total and the answers are at the bottom of the page under the picture. By the way, the picture isn't necessarily representative of what to look for. There are a few tough ones!

My sister Mel and I, along with our friends Les and Anna, made a date to hire canoes and meander along a nearby river. The day arrived but before pushing the boats into water we decided to have a hot drink of cocoa. Nuts were passed around for energy. Unfortunately the weather was anything but sublime. In New Zealand, it is winter in June. I personally was having doubts about the excursion.

We figured on going upstream at first, so we paired off into each boat. I had the plum position at the rear, with Mel on the front seat. Before even starting, Anna was busy with her smart phone down loading an app. Les told her off and her device was under ban. Anna reluctantly complied and off we went.

Anna was soon finding the upstream route tiring and was struggling to endure. I and the others slowed, being aware of her problem. Eventually we all needed a pee. Each of us took turns behind a bush on the bank. Both ladies concurred that such an inconvenience was easier for a man. Going on then became doubtful as the sky turned black. Current with us, we made speedy work getting back to the car.

On returning the gear to Angie's Boat Hire we realised something was missing, an oar. Angie insisted we pay for the loss, but apart from that it was a good day out.

date - Date
cocoa. Nuts - Coconut
sublime - Lime
June. I personally - Juniper (Berry)
figured - Fig
paired - Pear
plum - Plum
Mel on - Melon
app. Les - Apple
ban. Anna - Banana
endure. I and - Durian
pee. Each - Peach
man. Going - Mango
black. Current - Black Currant
oar. Angie - Orange