Category: Uncategorized

More insanity from Christchurch

The Press, and TV3 ran a story tonight about a defendant who escaped from the dock, ran over the road and into an office block (which happened to be a lawyers office) where he was found hiding in a toilet cubicle.

The TV3 reporter at the end of the article recounted a similar incident last week where a fire alarm was set off to assist a prisoner to escape. The prisoner was on crutches and was quickly caught by swiftly walking policemen.

As stated elsewhere in this blog, Christchurch has a surfeit of crazy people – this is further evidence. Two men without a clue on how to escape custody.

Helen Clark’s “American family”

What a day. Helen Clark called it a ‘storm in a teacup‘.

How could I have ever imagined a small thing like the acquisition of an American stock photo by a Labour Party designer could get the whole country so riled? My humble blog post today alone had 1909 hits (as of 11.20pm) – that’s up from the normal 50-60 per day by quite a large margin. The news media, rightly or wrongly, went wild.

I make no apologies for having brought notice to ‘that photo’. Like I said, I’m an ex-photographer. I know that there are cheap ways of getting good quality images that don’t include sourcing images from offshore. Anyone with a digital camera and a half decent eye for composition, could have taken a pic of a willing and happy Labour Party supporting family. And I’m sure with a minimum of effort they could have found a family willing to do it – really.

The point for me is that the brochure is selling New Zealand policy from the Labour Party, and to that end it needed to be completely authentic. I shouldn’t need to excuse the fact that I respond to visual cues more than the Prime Minister or Michael Cullen does – I can rightly be offended that an American family is used to ‘sell’ their policy – from my visually skewed perspective it simply isn’t right.

My revelation of this design cock-up should in no way support the notion that I am a staunch supporter of the National Party. You will see from recent posts that I am more of a critic of National than I am of Labour. Both parties have made embarrassing mistakes – take John Key’s Cold Play copy for instance. It seems that whoever is advising either party on design is not doing a particularly fine job on crossing t’s and dotting i’s.

In two days time this will all be forgotten. My blog traffic will slip back into a more regular pattern. The government will not topple because of ‘Skinnygate’ – they will topple of their own volition, and without my help.

The price of milk

MilkYou all know how it is – you go to the supermarket and you buy stuff and you throw it in the trolley and you get to the checkout and pay your money and leave. Gone are the days where I knew how much things cost. Since supermarkets stopped pricing goods individually I never look to read the numbers near the bar graphs – half the time I can’t find them anyway.

So, it came as a bit of a shock when I borrowed some coins out of Sugar’s wallet to go and buy a bottle of milk from the dairy. Luckily I had taken all her gold coins – two two’s and a one. I grabbed a bottle of milk out of the chiller, passed it over to my friendly dairy owner who promptly but politely demanded $4.70 from me. This left me with 30 cents change.

Bloody hell! I could have bought two big bottles of Coke for that (if I’d wanted a sugar fix and, in the long run, bad teeth).

Why is it that dairy farmers are making stacks of money with the big Fonterra payout, and we are paying more for milk domestically? Surely it should be like buying petrol in Saudi Arabia – it’s refined in their backyard and they sell it to the locals for a pittance. What’s going on?

Dairy products are in great demand all around the world . There was a huge drought in Australia, so their milk production is down; there is more emphasis on cheese in the European Union as a result of changes to the Common Agriculture Policy back in 2003; and rainstorms in Argentina held up production there.

So demand is centred here. In little old New Zealand where dairy farmers are – excuse the pun – creaming it.

To those people who do follow the price of their grocery items with more care than me it’s little wonder that they are buying soft drinks and powdered juices for their children instead of milk. It’s a crime actually. This behaviour adds to obesity, diabetes, bad teeth…and a lack of milk reduces iron intake, and calcium necessary for bone health.

This from the National Children’s Nutrition Survey in 2002 :

Children consumed carbonated drinks weekly in the following proportions: Soft drinks 45 percent, Coca Cola or other cola drinks 43 percent, and Mountain Dew 9 percent.

Powdered fruit drink and Fruit drink from concentrate or cordial were drunk weekly by 54 percent and 32 percent of children respectively.

A higher proportion of New Zealand children drank Tea weekly (21 percent) than Coffee (6 percent).

Sports drinks were consumed weekly by 8 percent of New Zealand children and ‘New Age’ drinks by 6 percent. Forty-three percent of New Zealand children reported that they consumed Juice weekly.

There were no differences between males and females in the proportions consuming these types of drinks weekly.

However, the proportions of children 11–14 years who drank Coca Cola or other cola drinks, Tea, Sports drinks, ‘New Age’ drinks and Coffee weekly were higher compared with those 5–6 years.

In comparison milk consumption was lower: the study found…

…thirty-eight percent of New Zealand children reported drinking milk (not flavoured)
every day, 34 percent weekly, 10 percent monthly and 17 percent less than monthly or
never. Frequency of milk consumption was unrelated to sex or age. The proportion
consuming milk daily was higher for NZEO (males 41 percent; females 39 percent) and
Mäori (39 percent; 33 percent) children than for Pacific children (32 percent;
23 percent)

Obviously the low consumption of milk products is not all related to cost – but it has to be one of the contributing factors.

We either need to put up the price of soft drinks (tax it like cigarettes) or lower the cost of milk (subsidise it and make it available in schools again).

Rugby World Cup kicks off

I tried to be oh so nonchalant over the RWC but I couldn’t help myself and watched the Argentinians beat France (who picked that eh?) and then the All Blacks trounce Italy.

OK, so I might be hooked. Bugger, that’s going to take up quite a bit of my time.

TV3Thanks to TV3 for live coverage, and smart having Mike McRoberts host the event. Everyone is going to be watching TV3 and if they like him then some will logically follow to the TV3 news. (Thanks to Sugar for that theory…I think she’s right).

Poor old TVNZ – playing like the Italians :-(

Security found wanting – seriously

A fake motorcade breached the $170 million security in place at the Sydney APEC meeting. The team from the ABC Chasers War on Everything set up a fake three car motorcade and were waved through cordons to get within several metres of President George Bush’s motel.

One of the pranksters was even dressed as Osama bin Laden .

Australian security forces are putting on a brave face and insisting that the security measures worked. I don’t think so!

Luciano Pavarotti – RIP

Today the great Pavarotti passed away in Moderna, Italy.

The song which I will always remember him for (mainly because I dressed as him in a lip syncing contest – another story) is of course Nessun Dorma .

Here he is…watch and weep!

YouTube Luciano Pavarotti sings Nessun Dorma

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