Something Old !!!
Valentines Day, 1909 - the first train service between NZ's 2 main cities - Auckland & Wellington - began !!! September 30th, 2006 - the train service ends !!!
It seems that Toll, an Australian based company who took over the train service from the government is finding it hard going, running The Overlander up & down the tracks between the two cities. So much so that uncoupling the trains for the last time on September 30th. Word has it, that the "last train" is full !!!
Toll suffered a rebuke from the NZ government when they asked for a hand-out to keep the train running. A multi-million dollar company like Toll should dig deeper into their own pockets to keep the service running - not the NZ taxpapyer. A lowering of fares will no doubt see more bums on seats. Make a special offer of a return ticket, within 7 days. It looks as if, the NZ govenment will have to step into the breech and take over the train service. If the govenment does that, I say don't pay Toll anything - tell them to pack their bags, sling their hook and bugger off back to OZ and take their trucks with them.
#511. Something New !!!
Well, on Monday in New Zealand when you pick up your milk & paper from your local dairy make sure you count your New Coins just so that you know you aren't getting ripped off. "A change for the better", they call it !!! For who, they don't say - certainly not for the general public at large as prices will no doubt rise with the loss of the 5 cent coin. If you happen to purchase a "single item" which cost you $1.25 or anything that ended in 5 cent, it will now cost you 5c more. A $4.95 magazine for instance will now cost you $5 !!! Sure as hell they aren't going to go backwards and drop their prices to round them off at "0".
Break open the kids piggy banks as well and get rid of the "old" 5c/10c/20c & 50c coins into your bank account as you have until the end of October. After November lst, as you will read if you click on to the website, they are no longer legal tender and your retailer does not have to accept them. Give it a few years and they will get rid of the 10c - I bet my bottom dollar on that.
#512. Something Borrowed.
I borrowed "this feather" from HERE !!!
I could not understand the language on the blog, but I liked the following verse that was in english that went with the feather.
I'll spread my wings and learn how to fly.
I'll do what it takes to touch the sky
And I'll make a wish, take a chance
Make a change and break away.
Out of the darkness and into the sun,
But I won't forget all the one's that I love.
I'll take a risk, take a chance
Make a change...and break away.
#513. Something Blue !!!
F100 Ford. They don't built them like this any more !!! It had class, it had style and it had plenty of room. A babe magnet if there ever was one even back in those old days, even though this one has had a touch-up !!!
#514. Currently Reading.
I haven't read so much in all my life, well not since I read comics !!! I still read comics of course but not as much as I used to. Reading the series of books about old New Zealand has been interesting to say the least. Try as I might though, I can't seem to be able to give the books away for love or money or even no money. All I need is for someone / anyone reading this to send me an email with their normal postal address and say that they would like the book I am currently reading and I'll post it off to them.
All the books from the previous "currently reading" posts have been shelved.
The book I am currently reading/looking at is approx. 93 pages of black & white photographs from the Otago / Canterbury area of the South Island. It won't mean anything to anyone who has never been to NZ, but by just looking at the photographs will give you a clear insight to our country and the way of life around the turn of the century and up to the present day. From horse & to motor vehicle; from old buildings to new buildings, plus clothing styles of old & new. It is interesting to read & to look at.
# 515. Chinese Film Star Down Under
Air NZ wined & dined chinese film star, Xia Yu on a two week trip down under to New Zealand. He is the first of 5 chinese celebrities who will travel to NZ over the next 8 months to be wined & dined by Air NZ, in a NZ$4 million marketing promotion for its direct service linking Auckland & Shanghai. He stayed in nothing but the best accommodation; dined on the best food that there is; saw the best that there is to be seen in NZ, but.............where does that leave the normal run-of-the-mill tourist who would not be able to afford to stay in the places where he stay; dine on the food that he dined on; visited the places and take part in even half of the attractions that he took part in. He will no doubt write a glowing report on his blog - after all it didn't cost him a cent, but will he say how much everything cost in terms of dollars !!! It is all very well for him to say how much he enjoyed himself at the espense of Air NZ & the NZ taxpayer, who after all own Air NZ via the NZ government of course. We can only wait & see who the other 4 celebrities are that Air NZ fly in to wine & dine. You could wine & dine a normal family of 5 for what it would of cost to wine & dine one !!!
# 516. Lakeland Queen
One of the main tourist places in NZ, would have to be Rotorua and it is there on Lake Rotorua, you will find the "Lakeland Queen" - a paddlesteamer - NZ's largest land-locked vessel. The company that operated the paddlesteamer, Mokoia Island Tours & Cruises has been placed in recivership, but a new company has taken over - lock, stock, barrel & paddlesteamer. The paddlesteamer is set to have a make-over, over the next 2 months. It is going to be cut in half and a new 10 metre section added to extend its length to 32 metres. The website for the old company is still up and is worth clicking on, to have a look at the photos etc. Don't take any notice of the prices quoted as once the Lakeland Queen is up & steaming again, the prices may change. I'll email them and see if I can get an update as to when she will be underway again.
# 517. Another Foreign Visitor
Irony was thick in the air, when the Japanese Ambassador, Masaki Saito and 6 other Asian ambassadors went Whale Watching with NZ Conservation Minister Chris Carter off the coast of Kaikoura. About a dozen protesters met the bus carrying the ministers party at the whale watch jetty, with chanting, mock harpoons and banners. Last month Japan led pro-whaling nations to a symbolic victory at the International Whaling Commission, with a declaration that a 20 year ban on commercial whaling was unnecessary. Mr Saito was unwilling to speak to either the protesters or the media who had gathered. The protesters were trying to make the Japanese government aware of the displeasure they are causing around the world by killing whales. Maybe it was his only chance to see a "live whale" up close - hopefully he will return home and go out whale watching on one their own boats and see the whales been slaughtered !!! The NZ Herald feature a cartoon of the two men standing together with a mock harpoon coming out of the ambassador's camera.
Greenpeace has always been out there in the thick of things, including saving the whales !!!
# 518. From Whales To Pigeons !!!
If we aren't trying to save one thing, we are trying to save another thing !!! Call us a nation of savers or call us what you like, but pigeons ???
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has become the patron of a new project called Kereru Discovery Project which is out to help save our native pigeon. The pigeon is a large bird and can measure up to 51cm from tail to beak. It doesn't sing, isn't very bright and likes to gorge itself on berries, which ferment in their stomach, causing them to become drunk. Just think of that size bird in your backyard,which the project is hoping to encourage. I have seen what a mess a few normal size pigeons can cause on the roof of a house and believe me, there is only a word for it......s*** !!! Just think what a mess a few bigger "drunk" pigeons would cause not only on your roof but also on your clothes hanging on the line !!!
Footnote - It reminds me of something, someone told us one day at the lunch table. They said that the birds s*** is so runny, because number 1 & number 2 come out the same hole at the same time !!! Hey, there's a human.........
# 519. Agent Orange
A study of NZ Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange has confirmed they have suffered genetic damage - and found that their children & grandchildren may experience the same fate. It has taken the government how long ??? The Massey University study of sample from just 24 veterans tested found that they have damage to their DNA, The study said that the results from the 24, warranted a larger study been carried out of all the veterans & their children. The Agent Orange website of the USA Veterans Affairs makes for interesting reading.It's Not The Memories I Have, It's the Memories I Leave Behind