Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Death, the price of tagging?

I surely hope not. Yes tagging is a nuisance. Yes it sure looks ugly. But sentencing a 15 year old boy [Pihema Cameron] to death because he is 15 and cannot look beyond his own egocentrism is perverse. What a silly statement by Christchurch city councillour Barry Corbet. Looks like Barry could do with firing up his other brain cell cause the one he's using is leaving him at a distinct disadvantage.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Green Acres a rippoff?

There is concern that all the Asian and Indian immigrants who paid their way into an "Ironing" franchise with Green Acres are going to miss out financially after all. Green Acres representative Andrew Chisolm must be nervous at the moment with the reputation and standing of his company hitting rock bottom in Aoteraroa/NZ. As for his lackey Keith Lapham, he needs to be driven out of business in our country. What a rort! Pleased to see MP responsible Chris Carter is going to jump on them.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Dairy owner knifed for smokes in Hastings!

What is going on here? This idiot actually knifed a dairy owner for a pack of cigarettes! Where does one get attitudes like that in a place like Aotearoa/NZ? Shame of it all, he is a young Maori (evidently). Its as though our people are still enslaved to these vices that came with colonisation. We have changed our desire to acquire from blankets and beads to smokes and alcohol. Where are our young learning these behaviours?

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

2008 begins in earnest

Back from the holidays [a trip home to Wellington to see the whanau] and back into coaching. The athletes are refreshed and hitting their straps after a quiet and steady start. The daily news is a worry. There seems to be a new murder to be investigated every day. What is going on here. It is not the road we want for ourselves yet we still dive headfirst into that particular pit. This morning is no exception with this new tragedy to wake up to. What are they drinking in Manurewa I wonder?
A referendum at election time over the smacking bill! No matter what you believe, the referendum process has to be better than having one's government force unwanted legislation on one's people. At least the people decide. The bill has not stopped child abuse. That problem needs another far more effect solution.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

A job in Afghanistan

My uncle's first week in Afghanistan -
My story………..Auckland to Melbourne 3.5 hrs – Melbourne to Dubai 14 hrs. Picked up at Dubai airport by the Banner Man – took me a while to find him. Hotel ok – meals and room good.17.5 hrs since I left NZ, looking forward to good sleep. Had a battle with the washing machine door won’t open, finally got it sorted, switch had to be in the right place. Contacted Supreme HQ (my new employer) – got Afghan entry visa organized. No sleep yet. Walked the streets – traffic CRAZY. Back to the hotel thinking early dinner to bed for a 0500hr wakeup call on the 19th; ---phone call, change of plan moving out tonight18th1100hrs. Lucky I didn’t pop a pill! Went down the desk to do checkout routine, they ripped me off two bottle water that I didn’t take from the mini bar. Welcome to the Arab world. 1100hrs picked up to be taken to the air port – still no sleep. My first intro to mad drivers, driving on the wrong side of the road – left hand drive cars. He peaked out at 130kms/hr averaged 120kms/hr – both sides of the road. Everyone drives to the max. Leaving from a different airport, RAK (Ras Al Khima), about an hour out of Dubai. It looks like it is under construction. Security guards at the airport carry AK47s assault rifles. Now 0200 hrs – waiting on the transport plane to load. Saw the air crew arrive – strange looking lot not sure of the nationality. I am the only passenger, I think the cargo is fresh fruit and veggies. I have just been given ear plugs; I think it is a 4 hr flight – information sketchy. Air port toilets have that warm humid urine smell. Doesn’t that bring back memories? Nothing here moves fast except the traffic. I am told there are no toilets on the plane – no seatbelts, just me and the carrots and bananas. Taken out to the plane – crew all speaking Russian. The plane I found out afterwards was an old Russian AN12 cargo plane – looks like a smaller version of a C130. Seated in a cabin on a wooden bench directly behind the flight deck. Only this cabin and deck is pressurized, the rear cargo hold is unpressurised. The crew smells of vodka. There are dirty squabs around this cabin area, washing and clothing hanging off the pipes and electrical cables; tools laying everywhere. There was a home made wooden stool in the middle of the floor – I thought they would stow it for takeoff – wrong. The interior reminded me of the wheelhouse of an old fishing trawler about 3x3mtrs. Flight engineer dressed in dirty white T shirt, grey grubby flannel track pants and jandals. Huge pot belly. The engineer is having trouble with a circuit breaker; this plane has seen better days. Navigators fixing up his map with clear packing tape. 0245hrs all engines are running we are off. We have levelled off – I am sitting on a wooden bench at the side of the cabin. Tired as. Need sleep. The pilots are up in their seats, the navigator in his seat and the engineer is at his station, the plane is flying. The two loads are sleeping on the squabs, one at the front right of the cabin and one at the left rear. Opposite me there is a squab nearly 2mtrs long I placed my brief case at one end put my jacket over the case, I was asleep in no time. Five minutes later I was shaken the giant Russian captain wanted his space, he grunted at me, and motioned to the wooden bench that I could only sit upright on. I was shattered. However - there was space on the floor. The floor was constructed with aluminium tread plate. Again brief case on the floor for pillow, I stretched out, this was great – I think I slept for a while only to wake up again; I desperately need a wee; the vibration through the floor through my back had got me bursting. I knew I had nurofen in my case, got up, took double dose then went and sat on the wooden bench, the navigator in broken English told me “only an hour to go”. The sun rise was beautiful – we landed at the military side of Kabul airport, well away from the main terminal about 0600hrs; frost on the ground. I was desperate for a wee, not sure of the local customs, asked a local, no problem relieved myself at the side of the concrete apron. Looking over the plane now in the light of day revealed the plane had no markings was absolutely filthy, black engine exhaust covered the complete rear fuselage and tail, and the tires were bald. The plane was eventually unloaded, we departed the air field through the security checkpoint maze, soldiers in full combat dress; helmets, flak jackets – the works, automatic road spikes, barriers and lots of machine guns. The adventure begins. “O”; Sleep --- after filling out numerous forms, photographed new ID finally got a room that afternoon.

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