March 14, 2011

Well its three minutes until entries for the Taupo Ironman open and I am sitting here in anticipation. I am also sitting here with my lower limbs strapped after years of abuse. Shin splint scar tissue has reared its head, so I am wondering what the hell I am doing even thinking about this…. but back to it, there are 353 days to go and I can currently swim 2.5km, cycle 50-60 easily and run 10km; none of it at great speed and I am still a little overweight. Some would say it’s a headstart, some say its madness, but at 45 years I want to do it…here I go.

Update: after some nervous moments with an overloaded website I completed the registration, my shins aching in anticipation.  I was anxious before but I can now feel the post Ironman registration euphoria fading and being replaced by the knowing of the pain that is to come; or at least I think I know, and maybe that’s the point.


Floods in Australia

January 5, 2011

The numbers are mind boggling. Water levels 9 metres above normal, and area 3x the size of New Zealand under water.  I have been in floods, in fact Cyclone Bola swept through my residence (and then we had another less than 6 months later), but the water rose and was gone.  It didn’t hang around for weeks, it was a short sharp slap, we endured the pain of watching water come and go overnight, and then got on with the recovery.

My heart goes out to those affected, farmers have lost their year’s income (in actual fact it is worse than that because they have invested the money into that crop that was just about to be harvested), families will have lost homes and their lives will never be the same. Australians, like New Zealanders, are a stoic lot and they will get through this. It will take years for some towns to recover but just like I can now roll Cyclone Bola off my tongue, like a badge of farming honour, they will get through and the desperation and despair will turn.

Christchurch Earthquake

September 5, 2010

With most catastrophic event there is generally one photo that really stands out. For me it is this one

The sense of loss portrayed here is immense.  It’s not only because it is a historic homestead, it’s because it’s a home and has been for generations.  You can see their treasures that they cannot get to and will not be able to save. You can see their stuff stored ‘safely’ in the attic, and you can see them just wandering around, looking. A solid, established, much loved, triple layer brick building, shattered, irreparable, gone.

Of course the tale of survival that goes with this photo adds to the drama, the young boy who was catapaulted from his bed on the second story to land on the ground and have his home landing on top on him; we all try to imagine what that would be like but quite frankly we can’t.

I live in an earthquake zone, but have never experienced anything like this and nor do I want to. The terror on peoples faces, and the tears that well up in their eyes as they recount their stories, is enough to tell me that those little rumblings that have scared me in the past are nothing compared to what happened in Christchurch.

Good luck to the people in Christchurch, you have a tough road ahead, it may take a year or more to have everyone back in permanent homes but I think it will take a lot longer to get over the terror of that night.

Such a lovely family

August 31, 2010

Cruel to cats, shot a police dog dead and last, but by no means least, shot two of  our police officers. I’m speechless but I do have visions of a nice windswept and freezing cold offshore island on which to put such people…

In fact it’s the perfect place for this bastard too Frederick Peter Bailey

Since when are we fines collectors

August 31, 2010

I have just done a 12 hour day…it’s not the first this week and it’s only Tuesday (I think :-))

I run a micro-business (less than 5 employees; in fact there’s just me)

My husband runs a micro-business, yep it’s just him too, except for when he hires seasonal staff. So you can imagine our pleasure when we continually get letters from the Ministry of Justice addressed to “The Payroll Manager” to collect their fines for them off our ex-employees.

Yes, even if they have worked three short days and never turned up again (a common theme but that’s another story) we get the letters and we have to find time out of our day to ring and let them know.

We are not debt collectors and are getting very sick of being lumbered with any form of tax collection be it Kiwisaver, student load, fines WHATEVER. There just seems to be an open slather on employers to do the job.  WE ARE SICK OF IT.

Here are some statistics. There are 327,836 businesses with zero employees…yep one man bands like us who don’t have “payroll managers”

There are a further 100,000 businesses with less that 5 employees. I can assure you these guys will be struggling to hold it together in the compliance department too.

So come on, give us a break.  We didn’t incur the fine, loan, or savings plan. It’s not our liability yet we are made to do the paperwork for it.  It takes up our valuable time, decreases our productivity and interferes with what little time we have to relax with our family.

Here endth the rant.

South Canterbury Finance asks to be put into receivership

August 30, 2010

I wonder how far the tentacles of this wee disaster will spread. I have heard the cry that people are worried about the South Island economy. You don’t get to be New Zealand’s second largest finance company and only have interests in the South Island.

Mr Hubbard and his cohorts have invested heavily in the agri/horticultural industry right throughout NZ.  A wholesale firesale of land will hurt the whole sector if only through the ol’ supply and demand equation. More land on the market = lowers the price per hectare = less equity for those who own farming land.

I wonder if Scales Corporation is will be caught in the web and is the rumour that the Aussies are looking to buy Mr Apple (just as NZ Apples growers get into Australia) true.

I am probably drilling down too soon but….

Update: Well it didn’t take long for someone much wiser than I to answer one of the questions.

Now, unfortunately, the pain will begin for the South Island rural economy.

South Canterbury owns a third of Dairy Holdings, which is New Zealand’s largest dairy farm company with 72 farms that produce more than 1% of Fonterra’s supply. It also owns fruit packaging and warehousing company Scales Corp and HNZ, which is New Zealand’s largest helicopters company.

It also has close to NZ$2 billion of loans out there in the rural economy, backing farms, contractors and small businesses in provincial centres.

Though as I have stated it’s not just the South Island that going to be hit.  It’s interesting that it’s two years since the Global Financial Crisis hit……

The Power of Social Media

August 24, 2010

Have you ever wondered just how powerful social media is?  Well this current furore appears to have only just begun and it’s going to be very interesting to watch.

Here are some links so you get the full story but in short NBR and and a bubbles who will remain nameless (ok it’s Veuve Cliquot) have cocked up.  While they recognised the power of the good side of social media they COMPLETELY under estimated it’s power to destroy you.

Start here Roarprawn and here then watch what I predict is only the beginning of the fall-out here Whaleoil, Cactus Kate, Keepingstock and here (and you can follow more links from these pages.

Busted Blonde won outright, her social media campaign was impressive…and so will the consequences of the deception be. All those that supported her to win, are backing her to win again; and they are bringing their friends along for the ride.

Oh let the fun begin and NO i will not be drinking Veuve Cliquot again, not until they do a massive amount of really costly PR which will involve turning up to BustedBlondes charity fundraiser (whatever it’s going to be) with substantially more than just her weight in Veuve Cliquot and a sizeable donation to her chosen charity (oh and an apology)

P.S. I haven’t linked to specific posts as not only are the blogs way to good to just gloss over (but don’t get distracted from the cause) but there are many relevant posts within the blogs.


They chucked it through The Complicator

July 28, 2010

OK so we used to have to carry cash, then arrived eftpos. Brilliant, instant access, anytime day or night, to your money. (That of course is a good or bad thing depending on your spending habits)

Today I got two new ‘chip’ cards, better security apparently, but it takes a hellova lot longer. Swipe, insert, press account, wait, wait, wait, press pin, wait wait wait, remove card, accepted.

Shop girls are frustrated, salesmen sigh at the sight of these ‘better’ chip cards.

What once was good has been chucked through the complicator and destroyed.

P.S. I never had any problems with security

Support for Whaleoil

May 30, 2010

I may not blog very much anymore but I do read half a dozen of my favourites every  morning. Cactus  is one of them and Whaleoil is another and while I might not always agree, I do respect their points of view.

Cactus has posted comment on Whaleoil’s plight and this, along with comments from friends who do indeed know WO personally and of his illness, leads me to support Cactus’s post.

From what I understand WO made the wise and responsible decision to take out insurance to protect him and his family should something bad happen. Well something bad did happen and now the insurance company are making his and his families life hell.

For those few of you who stumble on this post, please support WO, I believe in his illness and in his inability to work.  I wish him well and hope he gets well someday soon.

For those of us who have lived with mental illness (either our own or of those who are close to us) we all know the road to recovery can be a long and stoney one.

Thinking of you Cameron and big hugs to Spanish Bride and your children.

Red Checkers lose a pilot

January 13, 2010

A small photo tribute.  I have enjoyed the Red Checkers’ performances many times over the years. These photos were taken at Maadi Cup March 09.

My condolences go out to the pilot’s family, that includes the Red Checker family.  The Air Force are a close knit bunch and this will be felt across New Zealand

An air force pilot believed to be a member of the Red Checkers team has been killed this morning after their aircraft crashed.

The crashed plane, thought to be a CT4 Airtrainer, flew out of Ohakea Air Base.

Chief of Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Graham Lintott, confirmed the death.

“It is with deep regret that I must confirm that the Royal New Zealand Air Force has lost a pilot following a fatal crash in the Manawatu this morning.”

He said the aircraft was conducting a practice routine. They had lost contact with it around 8am.

It crashed near the Raumai weapons range at Santoft, west of Bulls.

Only one aircraft was involved, Air Vice Marshal Lintott said.

Ambulance services confirmed a person, believed to be the pilot and only person on board, was killed.

The Fire Service was alerted at 8.15am and sent eight fire engines.

Ambulance services were alerted at 8.18am and found one person dead on arrival.

The cockpit was well alight when they arrived and the blaze was hard to contain, Newstalk ZB reported.

An air force Iroquois helicopter flew to the crash site.

The air force said next of kin were being informed.

The death is the second for the Defence Force in less than three months.

Flight Sergeant Andrew Forster was killed in November when an old artillery shell exploded, as he and another soldier from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron marked it for later disposal.