Monday, December 31, 2007

Old Friends, sat on their park bench like bookends...Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly? How terribly strange to be seventy. Old Friends.
-Dedicated to Steven Monaghan, my friend who invaded our place with Tng Ling this Christmas

I wish all my readers a very very happy and prosperous year ahead. I would like to thank all my linkers my linkers and especially Google engineers for their support and encouragement. Without which I do not think this blog would have been what it is today. ranking as #5 on Google and everywhere else …

This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor Boy Scouts visiting his military installation.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL REINWALD: We’re going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible, isn’t it?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL REINWALD: Well, ma’am, you’re equipped to be a prostitute, but you’re not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended. You gotta love the Marines!

PS: It has been the worst and the best of holliday seasons. Christmas Eve with Bawa and Dial Holly Day with Richard and June. Catching up with Gabbie and friends from Holland UK. Dinner with Michael Parkinson at Swell Bronte etc … even swimming in swelly seas with Mal at Bronte. But it also involved going to funerals and spending time at hospitals is something we had to do, but life must go on …

I have been sitting on this joke for quite some time. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks did it too. He became rich really rich like us ;-)
… I drove by big houses and would wonder who lived there. What did they do for a living? How did they make their money? Someday, I would tell myself, I would live in a house like that. Every weekend I would do it. I worked jobs I didn't like. I worked jobs I loved, but had no chance of being a career. I worked jobs that barely paid the rent. I had so many jobs my parents wondered if I would be stable. Success and Motivation

Media Dragon denies they knew spinach was a performance enhancing drug Bohemian Bloggers Are Richer and Happier ;-)
I'm rich, I'm sport and computer lover.I pick up on the web everything in which I recognize me. This is the world that sorrounds me ;-) Herewithin we detail the many schemes and scams by which our rich have become _incredibly_ rich, our poor poorer and the rest of us left struggling to get by

The internet retailer you choose just might, without disclosure, install software on your computer to snoop on your web browsing. Would you believe it could be one of the country’s oldest retailers Brian Krebs at the Security Fix blog has this story
“It’s a cold case 3500 years old”, are the opening words to this fascinating documentary. Ancient Egypt was the very center of world power, and managed through hieroglyphs to convey that rich history to us in the modern world. The Pharaohs and the dynasties are for the most part better documented than modern leaders. Our Presidents and their legacy lives on in the form of artifacts left in their usually very ornate tombs and pyramids.
• Cold River’s destiny. The book will read you … It’s a cold case 3500 years old ; It would be so nice if something made sense for a change 7 Surreal Urban Street Art Installation Projects: Brad Downey Brings Wonderland to Life
• · Warren Buffett has been all over the business press recently suggesting that the very rich, those on the Forbes 400 list, are taxed advantageously to the rest of the workforce. That it makes no sense that his tax bill as a percentage of income is lower than that of his secretary or housekeeper. Warren Buffett , Taxes and the Presidency ; In Internet nothing is created, everything is copied
• · · We're doing a series of astrological predictions for the 2008 Presidential candidates. War! Terror! Weirdness! Covering the War on Terror, War on Drugs and General Weirdness Death by 1000 Papercuts ; You spend too much time sat in your bedroom, on your PC Are you sure you couldn’t have found the time, Swallowed your pride and admitted your jealousy one of my city’s many front men
• · · · Now to some rubbish on the net … The Derrty Truth is updated daily with celebrity news and fodder for social commentary; Pages and pages filled with sleepless celebrity gossips, daily star tracks and latest photo shoots. Life should be too short for this … Thousand Gossips Blogs ; Our Bollywood covers all the latest happenings in Bollywood and does not indulge in tabloid journalism Our Bollywood

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Today is the end of another start of different era for Stefan Albinski golfer, tax guru and Austrac expert Ski of Champions ;-) Aha, the Marriott Hotel puts on a great Ritzy Christmas spread ...

If you thought Christmas get-togethers couldn't get any worse, you never went to one with Norman Mailer. As the season kicks off, Frances Wilson discovers why literature is full of tales of disastrous parties Parties: a literary survival guide

The World's Longest Literary Honeymoon A little Tax Help

Throughout history, taxes and all things associated with them have been universally loathed. In the Bible, Jesus was thought to be quite peculiar because he hung about with tax collectors. During the Middle Ages, the Hundred Years War was fought because of, amongst other things, excessive taxation. Taxes too helped bring about the American War of Independence: Great Britain was levying duties upon its colonies, and not allowing them a say in how those monies were spent, “no taxation without representation.” More recently, Margaret Thatcher lost her popularity because of a brouhaha over taxes, and in Australia John Howard once very nearly lost his job over the introduction of GST. We don’t like it, this legalised theft. We work hard for what little income we get, and resent any amount of it being taken away by the faceless boffins at the tax department. This attitude means we enjoy immensely any story in which Inland Revenue gets its comeuppance, and take great relish when the little person triumphs over horrid bureaucracy. Stories where taxmen are brought to their knees are usually inspiration for amazing deeds (how many revolutionaries have aped the Boston Tea Party?), and one might think such a tale, such a true story, that happened in our own New Zealand, could make a particularly juicy film. One might think that; one would be wrong.

We’re Here To Help has, at first glance, all the makings of a rollicking yarn. It’s Joe Public fighting Faceless Government Behemoth! It’s Chivalrous Man defending the honour of Beautiful Damsel! It’s quite literally David and Goliath, and, just like always, David emerges triumphant and justified, but there’s something lacking: “interest.” The synopses of the film describe it as a “saga of Kafkaesque and yet comedic proportions.” It’s not. Dave Henderson is treated execrably and is constantly frustrated by the IRD, but to describe his experience as Kafkaesque is not merely hyperbole but does a disservice to Franz Kafka himself. Others have compared We’re Here To Help to that classic of Australian film The Castle (1997). It’s not even close. The Castle was cleverly scripted, brilliantly cast, and delightfully acted. We’re Here To Help: not so much. The acting is rather stilted and the dialogue a little verbose. Erik Thompson (The Black Balloon, Beautiful, Somersault) has been well-cast, but only because he bears a passing resemblance to the real Dave Henderson. Michael Hurst (I’ll Make You Happy, Desperate Remedies, The Tattooist) doesn’t do quite as good an impression of Rodney Hide as he’d like to think, and succeeds only in looking like Michael Hurst in a fat suit and a bald wig. Worse still, the plot isn’t actually that appealing. WE’RE HERE TO HELP (NZ 2007)
DIRECTOR Jonathan Cullinane
WRITER Jonathan Cullinane
CAST Erik Thomson, Miriama Smith, Geoff Clendon, Jason Hoyte, John Leigh, Stephen Papps, Michael Hurst, Peter Elliott, Greg Johnson
NZ RATING PG Contains coarse language
NOTES Based on the book Be Very Afraid, by Dave Henderson

Be Very Afraid; [People love to complain about literary cliques, but communities of like minds have nurtured much great writing The social side of literature; Umberto Eco's mind is as sharp and witty as ever, writes Ben Naparstek of the man who says he invented Dan Brown The Armani of literature ]
• · In Austria I am part of new literature; in the Czech Republic I'm not Bah, humbug, it's party season again; There's a question that sometimes comes up in conversations about interactive fiction: Is it literature, or a game? Art, film or game? 'Inanimate Alice' redefines 'publish'; Literature has a great unifying force and it can act as a catalyst amidst the diversity prevailing in our region. American dreamer

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ach, a morning of Svety Mikulas ...

Some symbols are just so powerful you can't get past them. Take Cold War inside the insider’s story Cold River. Life in my teenage years under communism was memorably described as nasty, brutish and short. I know that soccer is a very simple game made unnecessarily complicated by too much analysis and over thinking (a bit like communism really). The simple and deadly experiences of my sister Aga are captured inside it and so is the sale of anthrax et al. This month comes a story along these lines from the old Czech or Slovakia. The Imrich Prophecy

Our Future on a Hotter Planet
Imrich: & Enriched uranium that could have been made into a "dirty bomb" by terrorists has been seized by Slovakian police after it was allegedly offered for sale for $1m.

Two Hungarians and a Ukrainian suspected of peddling the radioactive material were arrested in eastern Slovakia and Hungary on Wednesday. Michal Kopcik, a senior Slovakian police official, said the men had 481.4 grams of uranium in powdered form. It is believed to have come from a former Soviet republic, but the identity of the intended buyer was not disclosed. Tests showed it contained 98.6 per cent uranium-235. Uranium is considered weapons-grade if it contains at least 85 per cent uranium-235.

Uranium for 'dirty bomb' seized by Slovak police ; [Non-Weapons Grade HEU Bust in Slovakia ]
• · A MAP of the earth's sunniest locations reveal that Australia is a sunburnt country, with plenty of solar energy to spare Australia, how sunburnt are we? ; Spotlights on the climate crusaders
• · A politician has as much legal right as any other citizen to resign from his job at the drop of a hat or at the beckon of a lovelier position Improving politicians' behaviour
• · · Until the early 1990s, most Azerbaijanis in Iran referred to themselves as Turks. In Search Of Multiple Identities; Lessons in Cultural Suicide