Monday, April 26, 2010

New Blog Address 

Thanks to the hubris of Google, I'm no longer able to use the combination of convenience and simplicity of Blogger, and henceforth all future blog posts will be via WordPress at this address:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Perfect Marriage / Relationship 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald (via The Week), a study has determined that for a relationship to have the greatest chance of lasting long term if:

- the wife is 27% brighter than the husband, with her having a degree and he not
- wife should be 5 years younger
- they are from the same cultural background
- neither party is a divorcée

3 out of 4 ain't bad ;) - time to start planning the diamond anniversary...


Saturday, April 03, 2010

My Dad's New Kiwifruit Site 

My Dad invents new breeds of kiwifruit, so to help him show off the pics of his latest and best varieties, I put together a snazzy site for him. It's just about Skelton kiwifruit.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Platinum Card and the C Word 

Our bank has just offered us a nice credit card upgrade from Gold to Platinum. More points, same fees, and we get to flash our platinum cards, which is slightly cool now that everyone and their dog has gold cards.

Nice move Westpac, but what will you do next time around? What comes after platinum??

It's like the "C word". It was on Sex and the City, but I'm still not comfortable with it. But a generation from now, it'll be commonplace is my guess, just like my parents were not as comfortable with fuck as I am.

And then the same thing happens - we run out of swear words with bite.

So I predict the future will have combos to replace them. After platinum will be Ultra Platinum, and after c*nt will be spastic retard c*nt.

Not the same is it!

Or maybe we'll go retro and we'll have the Jolly Good card and call someone a Dastardly Bugger.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Universal Rules: An Update 

After 10+ years of testing rule #1, I have faith that it is true:

#1 Everyone wants to be loved, and some will do whatever it takes, misguided or not

Now, a new epiphany, which as they are want to be, arrived in a toilet cubicle.

#2 Everyone needs to control some aspect of their life

It needs 10 years of contemplation and testing, but feels good. It is my standard response to complaints about roadside litter, and grafitti. In a world where increasingly our destiny is not of our own choosing, small victories of self-determintion can keep folk sane - from buying a lotto ticket to eating an unhealthy snack, if it is our choice, we can feel we have some control over this crazy life.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Super 14 Picks 

The bookies rank them thusly:

Crusaders 3
Bulls 3
Hurricanes 6
Brumbies 6
Chiefs 8
Stormers 13
Blues 16
Waratahs 17
Highlanders 67
Reds 81
Sharks 101
Cheetahs 151
Lions 331
Western Force 501

I've ranked them in groups, with the Hurricanes and Chiefs being my top picks this year. I figure any team will beat a team in a lower ranked group, and teams in the same group, it could go either way:



Western Force



Teams that can upset are Blues & Lions. A team that can start well but wilt in the 2nd half are the Cheetahs.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ghost of Tom Fool 

I've always been entertained by the idea that I could be a descendant of the court jester who gave us the word tomfoolery. Tom Skelton was known as Tom Fool in 16th century northern England.

Now I have read in New Scientist that he supposedly has a ghost, haunting the Tapestry Room of Muncaster Castle in Cumbria. One scientist believes the ghostly sightings have arisen from complex weak magnetic fields in the room, involving the iron mesh supporting a mattress.

I've never been anywhere haunted (to my knowledge) but I'll make a point of checking out this room, and the oil painting of Tom, next time I am in England...

...actually, after seeing the painting, and hearing of his mean-spiritedness, I'm not sure I want to be connected with him:

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bali Tips #2: TimeShare Deals 

Each of us were accosted on the street to enter a free prize draw. Reality is that everyone wins a free lunch at a fancy resort. And it's true, we were picked up in a bus and delivered to a nice resort near Kuta. Although not far, it was your typical chaotic ride and took 45 mins each way. The resort and beach were beautiful, although none of the guests seemed particularly cheerful. Maybe they were using their timeshare deal!

Lunch was crap. The restaurant seemed to have nice meals, but our meals came from a special menu that they produced for the freebie crowd. Sandwiches and fries and soft drinks... Then a tour of the place, and then we get sat down in an office and given the hard sell. The sales pitch took more than 30 minutes. But you had to sit it out, because they gave you lunch, and they are in charge of your ride home.

After the pitch, the sales lady called over her manager who basically expected us to sign up for their bargain timeshare deal. I shared my thoughts on the deal, and the fat wanker didn't even respond! He just stood up and walked off, knowing he couldn't convert me. Here's the gist of what I said:

The $4000 they want me to invest will earn me $200/year in interest (and I still keep my money!). The $200 they want in annual fees + that $200 equals $400. With $400 I can find all sorts of 1 week accommodations around the world - and I still keep my $4000!

That's the way to look at it. Same with holiday homes. What is the up front cost. What is the ongoing cost. What if I put that money in the bank and received interest. How much could I achieve from the interest + ongoings?

Example: holiday home that costs $200K. Your mortgage / loss of earnings from interest is going to be at least $10K per year. How much holiday can you get for $1OK?? $10K could almost be a month in a 5 star hotel... Plus you have complete freedom to stay wherever you want.

Do the math!

Note: I do accept that having a holiday home means you get to stay at the same place every year, and become a "local". And a timeshare is essentially prepaid, so it forces you to take a vacation when otherwise you may have decided you couldn't afford it.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Place to Stay Between Auckland & Hamilton 

My immediate family all live in the zone that is between Auckland airport and Hamilton. I don't really like staying in downtown Auckland, nor does Hamilton interest me.

For a nice, real Kiwi break, I stay in Pokeno. There's nothing there except for farms, a shop to buy basic groceries, and two shops that both sell exactly the same things - fast food and ice-cream that comes in dozens of flavours and is dirt cheap. Good for one day of budget non-dieting.

Anywhere in South Auckland / North Waikato is close. We choose to stay at the Pokeno Motel. It is new, clean, and they do food and beer. The staff are relaxed as (I say "see you next year", she says "yeah, if we're still open"). Stay there and chill out.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Channel Nine: Annus Horribilis 2010? 

I can't help but think, just as the rush to make reality shows a few years ago now seems a little foolish, Channel Nine in Australia is going to fail spectacularly next year, based on the new local shows they have planned:

Hey Hey it's Saturday - watch ratings slowly dwindle as we recall why it stopped running years ago

Between The Lines "sports-based and feature audience participation". Nope. Might be great for the audience, but folk at home don't like watching audiences.

Top Gear - never took off, channel change won't help

Underbelly 3 - scraping the barrel with a story already told several times previously

Another Gordon Ramsay show - haven't they heard we are all over him?

"Australian Families of Crime, hidden camera show You're Nicked and the police dog show Send In the Dogs round out the true crime component." - No comment necessary.

I think their Go! channel might get higher ratings, a prediction you heard here first, and nowhere else.


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