290. Something Old
Letters. How often have you sat down and wrote to a friend ? Pre-Black Friday 13th May, 2005 I was quite a dab hand at writing letters to family, friends as well as penfriends not around NZ but around the world. Sometimes not just 1 page but 2 or 3 or more. The most pages that I have wrote at one time (in my own hand writing mind you) is 40 pages. It took a little while before I got a reply back from the friend I sent it to, thanking me for my "book" !!! (hehe) I still write the odd letter or two, but letter writing has taken a back seat ever since that Black Friday and my first ever taste of blogs & blogging.
What brought up the subject of letters is a pile of old letters that were written by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in April / May 1920 when he was on tour in NZ. The letters (85 pages in total) were to his loved one back in the UK, Freda Ward with whom he had an affair for 16 years. In his letters to her, there were no kind words. In fact he didn't think very much of us "kiwi's" even though we adored him. The letters were purchased at auction last year by the Alexander Turnbull Library in NZ, but the copyright for the letters is still held L'Institut Pasteur in Paris. The library hopes to get permission to put the letters on to the internet. In 1936, the Prince of Wales abdicate as King Edward VIII to marry his lover, Wallis Simpson.
291. Something New
Because of the number of visitors to my blogs, I have been asked by a couple of companies if I will provide a link on my blogs to their websites in the hope that readers will click on to the websites and buy things. What sort of things ? Gifts & other things etc, to do with NZ. In return for the links, I would get ten per cent commission of any amount you spent on the websites. Would it work ? Who knows ? The same goes for advertising. I have been asked several times to think about putting ads on my blogs, but how much money does someone really make out of adsense or any of those other ad sites that they display on their blogs. Is it worth all the hassle ? You tell me. It would be something new for me, if I did put ads on my blogs and provide links to websites where I would get paid for any purchases you make. I could give up working 9 till 5 earlier than I intend to and just travel & blog & travel & blog. What a life, but someone has to do it and it may as well be meeeeee.
292. Something Borrowed
It makes me laugh - when I was younger and I borrowed things from friends, it was a month of Sundays before I ever gave anything back. Most of the time when I did give it back, there were more pieces than I first started out with, especially toys. Borrowing via the internet is a totally different kettle of fish, so to speak because I can't wreck anything. Well so far, I haven't wreck anything but who knows. There's always a first time. What I intend to do for a while, is to borrow a photo or something from one of the 10 blogs I list on 21 21 21 Great Blogs To Read and put it here and provide a link back to that blog, thereby giving the blogger another plug.
293. Something Blue
People always feel "blue" when someone or something that they like, dies. Mandhla, who was 28 years old and weighed 2000 kilos was no exception. He was well liked by everyone that visited him over the years. I can't remember the last time I went to see him, but now it is too late. Mandhla was born in San Diego, USA but has lived in Auckland since he was 1 year old. He suffered a neurological condition which made him go blind in November, so staff used sounds & smell prompts to help him cope with been blind. They also laid scent trails so he could find his way around his enclosure. This week, he suffered another serious set back in his health and staff had no choice but to euthanise him. Now Mandhla has gone to where all rhinos go when they die - that big Zoo in the sky.
294. Currently Reading
When I go into the bookshops in the city, I have but one purpose in mind - buy what I need and then get out. I never stop to look at the magazines, etc only because you can't get anywhere near the magazine racks anyway.There is usually a crowd of people "camped out" looking thru the magazines, whose only movement seems to be when they turn the pages or pick up another magazine. They won't shift for anyone, until they have finished reading "their" magazines. So it makes a pleasant change to wander into the one & only bookshop in the small town where I live on the weekends and be able to get anywhere near the magazine racks and actually pick up a magazine. The last time I went in, I purchased several magazines - an organic's mag; a trucking mag; a maori mag; a hertiage mag and a mag about NZ. Rather than leave them on the bookshelf to collect dust now that I have read them, I intend to post them out to randomly selected blogger friends. If by chance you get an email from me asking for your snail mail address, it's not because I want to pay you a flying visit, but mearly because I want to send you a magazine. The place where I live on the weekends is also a backpackers and there were 3 people from Germany staying for a couple of days. One of the ladies mentioned using Tea Tree Oil, so I gave them the organic's mag as it had an interesting article about the oil. The other mags will soon be winging their way to other bloggers. I'll do the same again each time I purchase any magazines. Once I have read them of course. Watch this space.
295. Rural Living
Now that I live in a small town on
the weekends where it is so quiet & peaceful, I thought that I might give painting a go. Apart from the few times I have picked up a normal household paint brush, I have never picked up a artists paintbrush in my life. We all have to start somewhere, so I thought I would start off by doing small paintings. About A5 size, which I can easily mail out to friends for whom I have a postal address. If I give them the painting for zilch, they can't complain that it's kaka, can they ? Who knows, one day, my painings might be worth something. Oopp's a pink pig has just arrived at the door - one of the hazzards of country living......??? (hehe)
I don't know how much longer I will continued to live & work in the city (population of Auckland is about 1 million) during the weekand comute out to live in the small town (population about 2 - 3 thousand) on weekends and holidays. I wouldn't mind living in the small town all the time for a year. Just find a couple of days work in or around the town somewhere so I can spend more time writing. Then I'd pack a bag, put out my thumb and just follow the wind. Log on and blog once a week from where-ever I happen to be. I have no one to worry about and no one to worry about me - just me, myself & I, so it would be a simple matter of finding a bed to lay my head, where-ever I happen to be, when the sun goes down. It wouldn't worry me if it was the Haystack Motel or the Starlight Hotel as I have been there, done that before. If you have never heard of the Starlight Hotel, wait until it is dark, then go outside and look up.....stars !!! You could follow me around while I tell you all about NZ and then once we have done that, I would cross the ditch and do the same in Australia. From there, who knows ?
296. Scams & More Scams
Get-rich-quick schemes; phony lotteries; pyramid schemes; investment scams; work-at-home schemes are all that and more. SCAMS !!! Who in their right mind or their left mind or whatever mind, would send money to someone that they don't know, who lives in another country in response to what is clearly a scam. It seems thousands of people do, including no doubt NZ'ers and Australian's as well as people from other countries. In Queensland, $400,000 in one month was tracked leaving the state in what were clearly scams. When police interviewed the victims, it wasn't the first time they had sent money overseas in the hope of getting a lucrative pay-back. Queensland's leading anti-fraud police officer says that the Australian victims of these scams are not "stupid" people !!! Get off the grass - anyone who falls for one of these stupid scams are as thick as two short planks; a sandwich short of a picnic; not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Need I go on........ !!! He says that it's the Australian culture to give everyone a fair go and the benefit of the doubt. Plain & simple - Don't send money to anyone that you don't know, even if they tell you that you have won a million dollar lottery but they need a few thousand dollars to process your claim. Especially if you never entered or brought a ticket in the so called lottery in the first place.
Remember the old saying - a fool & his money are soon parted. Instead of waking up to the smell of roses, all you will smell will be "kaka" and plenty of it. P.S: If you really really want to throw your money away - throw it my way !!! I'll make good use of it. (hehe)
297. We Live In A Nanny State
You would think the NZ government would have better things to do than try and regulate what school children eat. Under new government guidelines, schools must ensure that all food & drinks sold on their premises via school canteens / tuck shops, are healthly varieties as from June next year. So called unhealthly foods such as pies, chips etc can still be sold, but only once per term. Pupils are generally not permitted to leave the school grounds during lunchtime but there is nothing stopping children buying pies on their way to school or on their way home from the local dairy. If they buy the pie in the morning on the way to school, it could create more problems than it's worth - eating a cold pie for lunch isn't very appealing plus children could eat up with upset tums. Buying a pie after school and eating it on the way home from school could have the added effect of children not wanting to eat all their dinner that night. What they are trying to do is to stem worsening obesity that is affecting the children of NZ, but it's like trying to crack a nut with a sledge hammer. It seems that 1 in 3 NZ children are fatter thatn they should be for their age.
Why should schools have to take the responsibilty when they have the children for only a few hours, 5 days a week. It should be up to the parents to provide a cut lunch for their children, rather than give them money to purchase food from the school tuckshop. If they did that there wouldn't be any need for school tuckshops. I remember Mum preparing our school lunches, the night before so in the morning when a certain body was running late, it was just grab & run.
298. China Is Also A Nanny State
Gamers under the age of 18 in China face harsh rules - they can stay online playing games for only 3 hours, which their government has deemed the limit for the healthy amount of time to be glued to the internet. If they play games for between 3 - 5 hours, they will get only half the normal points and no points at all after 5 hours. Internet gaming comanies, operators & cafes have to fit anti-addiction software to all their games before July 16th. Any games not fitted with the software after that date will be closed down. It seems that a growing number of chinese teenagers spend hours and sometimes days playing games in internet cafes. Under the new rules, all gamers will have to register with identity cards to prove their age. If they are over 18, they can play for as long as they like.
What's the point ? When the 3 hours is up, all they need do is log off for 5 minutes and then log back on again or go to another internet cafe and lg on there. A clear case of using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.
299. A Blast From The Past
I dug into the archives and pull out this post from Dec.05
# 745. A Dine-In ExperienceThis "new restaurant" leaves nothing to chance !!! Even before you get to your table & your maitre d', you have to run the gauntlet of security checks, sniffer dogs and barred gates under the watchful eye of prision guards. The restaurant called "Clink" at Highdown Prison in Surrey (what else could you call it ? I suggest "Highgate" !!!) will be United Kingdom's first "behind bars" restaurant, where you can really "chow down" on gourmet meals cooked & served by inmates. Prices on the inside will be around 15 pound (NZ$45), compared to around 70 pound (NZ$210) on the "outside". No doubt they would also have a "bar" -serving drinks of course.It would be the only restaurant, where I think they reccommend that you don't "tip" the waiter under the table,because no doubt if you did,you could find yourself "dining in" for quite a while and it would not be "restaurant food" that you would be chowing down on, it would be normal prison food. I wonder if they check your name, while you are dining in ??? If someone steps up to your table while you are dining and quietly says - " We have a phone call for you sir. Would you mind stepping this way". It will either one of two things - you really do have a phone call or your time's up. Dine in by all means, but don't let those bars hit you on the way out. That is, if they let you out or course !!! (hehe)