Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Global warming = Alarming Blog

Sorry ! I just cannot help myself.
This carbon credits thing has really got me going. Are we going to see cattle trucks adorned with native trees in planting boxes? Will dairy cows be saddled with bonsai trees?
Have we gone completely and absolutely bonkers. Okay, so our government, along with a few other guilt ridden, politically correct, absolutely bamboozled countries, decided to sign up on the Kyoto protocol and make their presence felt in Carbonhagen. Yes, we should be planning for an environmentally safe future. I am ready to concede that the world is going through a warming cycle (The emphasis on ‘cycle’) an observable fact that is also affecting other planets in our universe. However as always we Kiwis, without venturing to challenge the reasons why, will sit back and take what is dished up. I am not a meteorologist but I, along with a growing number of skeptics, have a feeling in my gut that we are being frightened into accepting huge changes and as always, if we conform, someone somewhere is going to make an obscene amount of money. Remember the carless days fiasco (oil barons made a fortune out of that) and who can forget the Y2K Millennium bug that convinced us the crash of computers would send us back into the stone age. Thankfully, one New Zealander had the knowledge and professional qualifications to stand up and be counted regarding the current fear mongering. I refer to Mr. Augie Auer, a well respected professor of atmospheric science who has sadly passed away. He co-founded the ‘NZ Climate Science Coalition along with a Mr. Owen McShane who made this statement at Augie Auer’s funeral:
“It’s very sad that Augie will not live to see the fulfillment of his conviction that good science will triumph over the false hype and over exaggerated propaganda about carbon dioxide being a pollutant and a cause of catastrophic global warming. When the day comes when science prevails, and there are many who predict that it will happen within the next five years, we will not forget the leadership shown by Augie Auer in the fight against the corruption of true science”.
Augie’s views aside, let us say that this country must do their bit to freshen up the atmosphere, sorry, I just do not get it. Maybe you do. The simplest of researches will show that a whopping thirty percent of this green and pleasant land, New Zealand, consists of carbon (co2) gobbling, forest. We are blessed with ten national parks covering over five million acres, a massive amount of trees in any ones language. Couple the Native forest with approximately a further five million acres of planted forest, not to mention every tree in every garden, every council park, every farm woodlot and the sea (yes, that also takes in carbon) that’s a veritable carbon munching machine. A couple of facts that are worth noting….. A fully grown pine tree is made up of approximately fifty percent water and fifty percent carbon. Apparently two and a half acres of radiata pine sequests twenty five tonnes of co2 per year. This strange word ‘sequests’ in this context basically means gobbles up. Okay so this is getting boring, my point is this, our little country is more than doing its bit, digesting millions of tonnes of carbon and belching out oodles of oxygen. Our carbon footprint is the size of a premature infant compared with ‘Big foot’ international industry. Are we being sucked in, taken for a ride? Would it not have been more sensible to challenge the main industrial polluters, notably China and the United States, to demonstrate a responsibly environmental attitude, prior to NZ capitulating to green pressure. To put it rather crudely, surely a tangible case for New Zealand to say, ‘you show me yours and I’ll show you mine’. I cannot help thinking that the hidden agenda is almost totally political. You scratch my back and I’ll massage your political ego.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A reason to celebrate

This fellow died and went to Heaven. St. Peter welcomed him and began to show him around his new home. The fellow was suitably impressed with paradise all except for one confusing item. A huge high wall seemed to stretch for miles across Heaven. He asked St. Peter, what was the meaning of the seemingly impenetrable wall. ‘Shhh ! warned St Peter, ‘The Catholics live behind there, they think they are the only ones here’.
Someone once said, ‘We will be surprised who we see in Heaven’. In England it is not uncommon to receive an envelope with the bold letters O.H.M.S printed. This type of correspondence is usually from a Government department, the letters stand for On Her Majesties Service. Some wag suggested that this is what you are likely to receive when you reach the Pearly gates and you may not get in because up there those letters stand for Only Hindus Muslims and Sikhs.
Of course we do not have all the answers to things spiritual and although a popular saying goes, ‘this life is not a dress rehearsal’, it probably is. We may spend a lifetime trying to keep physically and mentally fit but I am convinced that it is not going to do us any harm to ask a few spiritual questions. I once picked up a hitch hiker and discovered he was a Muslim, we got so engrossed in religious tit for tat that he ended up staying the night at our home. We talked well into the night debating Christianity verses Islam, we eventually agreed to disagree, realizing that it was unlikely either one of us would convert to an opposite’s faith. Actually, the Bible says that true religion is caring for orphans and widows.
So we move on and focus on the second most important date on the Christian calendar,
A close Christian friend of mine, announced that from this year forward, he was giving up on Christmas. I could see his point of view. Lots of pagan rituals make up the trappings of Christmas. Plus as we all know it is a money making commercialized bonanza. One of his arguments was that the shepherds could not have been in the fields watching their flocks at that time of year because it was winter. This and numerous other facts apparently prove that the birth of Christ was not on December the 25th. He may be right although I was told that it was the Temple shepherds who looked after the sacrificial lambs. If this is true they could have been outside in all weathers, all seasons. Putting speculation and theology aside, I see it this way, we are now moving into the year 2010. Not big news until you ask why is it 2010. Definitely amazing when you consider that our date system begins at the birth of Jesus Christ. Not from Alexander the Great, not from Genghis Khan, Margaret Thatcher, Galileo, Aristotle or Winston Churchill. This means that whatever the exact date of Christ’s birth, it really is of little consequence when you consider, His birth changed mankind, gave us all hope and has impacted the globe to such an extent that there are, today, over two billion Christian believers. Now that’s worth celebrating.
So Maureen and I will continue to celebrate Christmas on December 25th. As with other years it’s going to be extra special with all four of our children’s families including eleven grandchildren gathering together. We will probably eat too much, there will be a Christmas tree, presents for the children, definitely a glass of wine or two and there will be a moment when all the laughter and chatter stops, all the plastic glitter of human tradition is put aside, a moment to give thanks for God’s provision, love and most of all for Jesus, the reason for the season.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I refuse to use the 'R' word, never intended to retire and never will, so let's just call it 'extended leave'.

Welcome to our blog site where You will find John's scriblings, Maureen's art and a few bits and pieces that are of no significance to anybody.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

To tell you the truth, we are re-thinking the whole jolly business!!
Christmas has crept up on us and as I put pen to paper, not a single card has been written, not a tree felled and not a cake baked. We have received some cards, I had no idea that the local bank liked us enough to wish us Seasons Greetings and a prosperous New Year. I am surprised they missed our anniversary and birthdays. You begin to realise that the whole world has gone completely balmy when you receive a, ‘Have a happy Christmas’, greeting, from someone who will actually be sharing Christmas day with you. The whole business has become stressful to the max. Do we send Great Uncle Boris one out of the budget pack or an expensive one with lovely words? Who actually reads the words? It crosses our minds that maybe we should follow our English friends’ example and support a worthwhile cause. Will anyone notice that we have spent a small fortune on a card supporting the ‘Outer Mongolia, dumb animals trust, for the preservation of three legged Yaks’, I doubt it.
Then there is the dreaded Christmas card entrapment. Although we have not actually seen this lovely couple since the eighties, for two decades Christmas cards have been religiously dispatched between New Zealand and the USA. Hallmark have made a fortune out of us.
I am now beginning to doubt that the couple in question are still with us. I am thinking that their annual festive card is now in the hands of a ghost writer. Over recent years their Christmas greetings have given a strong hint that we are not first on their ‘people to keep in touch with’ list. They actually missed us out in 2003, although we sent them a very expensive card which had a lot of glittery stuff and played jingle bells when opened. We wiped them out in 2004 but were surprised to receive one from them, a very small card in a used envelope, we think it was the same envelope that had contained the jingle bells card. They did write a Christmas message, something about their Afghan hound dieing after attacking and eating our musical card. Apparently the poor animal was allergic to the glittery stuff and succumbed to a fatal attack of tinsel-itus. They signed their names as Mr. and Mrs. which seemed quite formal. Of course we sent them one in 2005 because they remembered us the year before. We removed them from the list in 2006 but were horrified when we got one from them. It arrived too late for us to reciprocate prior to Christmas. I remember we opened the card together and you know those times when a husband and wife say the same word at the same time… well, ‘bastards’!! was probably a bit strong. Anyway, just to pee them off we sent them an Easter card. That seems to have done the trick, a shame to loose touch with such good friends….
I am a bit concerned about the Santa Claus business. Having told our Grandchildren not to talk to strangers, I have a twinge of concern when forcing them to sit on the lap of a strange, big fat , bearded, red person. Something is telling me Oh Oh Oh . I did hear about a small child who went into Farmers and was asked by Santa what he wanted for Christmas …he told him. The very same day the child met Santa in The Warehouse, same question, same answer. That evening the child and his mum happened to be at a Christmas party. Once again Santa asked the child what he wanted for Christmas. The child was growing weary of all this and spoke to Santa in a loud voice,
‘I’ve told you what I want three times, why don’t you write it down’.
It’s true, there are so many Santa’s about there is a real danger of kids becoming Claus-trophobic.

So another Christmas and into a New Year. Have a good one and try not to over indulge.
God bless you and your family as you celebrate the birth of Jesus, the greatest gift of all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soon to be famous last words

I was amazed by a news report about a young sky diver who cheated death after both his parachutes failed. The fortunate fellow landed in a blackberry bush and miraculously escaped serious injury. Every terrifying minute of the fall was recorded on his ‘head cam’. Being a keen wordsmith I was intrigued by the five words the poor lad uttered just before he hit the ground. They reminded me of those immortal words that appeared in the Times obituary column on the death of John Le Mesurier (Dad’s Army). I quote ‘Today I conked out’. What a marvelous exit.
Many will recall the famous last words of Admiral Lord Nelson just before he ‘conked out’ on H.M.S Victory’s deck at the battle of Trafalgar. A cannon ball had smashed onto the deck a mere two feet from the Admiral,
‘Missed me Hardy’ exclaimed Nelson to his second in command. Deafened by the roar of battle, Hardy mistook ‘Missed me’ for ‘Kiss me’ and responded to the request with considerable fervor. The shock was too much for the Admiral’s, British stiff upper lip and the rest is history.
Dr James Dobson related the story of his dear mother’s demise. Apparently she wrote her own epitaph, the words can be seen on her grave stone in Louisiana. ‘I told you I was sick’.
Young parents should keep a record of the things their children say. Kids logic and comments can be hilarious. One of ours, at a very young age, picked up an empty envelope, peered inside and boldly stated that,
‘There is something not in it’. This statement has become our family catch phrase which, most will agree, is appropriate for my column.
Speaking of ‘out of the mouths of babes’ and continuing the theme of death and distraction, I must tell you a true story about a very unique burial service. Living adjacent to a cemetery sounds grave but to a certain young mother it was dead funny. This lady witnessed many internments, as did all the children in the district. The Minister’s words wafted over the neighbourhood so often that many of the local kids knew the burial service off by heart. Pottering in her garden, one day, the young lady was amused to see a drama unfold just a few yards from her back fence. Half a dozen children were gathered around a small mound of earth. The dear departed was a, ‘loved to death’, Barbie doll. (incidentally I have never heard of ‘dead Barbie’, conjures up a bonanza of ‘Barbie accessories’) The poor doll was lying in a shoe box, mourners had obviously studied the real thing and were playing their parts with much sobbing and reverence. The appointed, six year old Minister, could be heard reciting the committal word for word. The Mother was impressed with the performance from one so young and listened intently to catch the final prayer… ‘In the name of the Father and the Son, in the hole ’e goes’.
Meanwhile you are probably wondering about those immortal words uttered by our parachuting friend. What, I ask, would you or I say as we plummeted to earth at alarming speed. A prayer maybe, a meaningful statement that would guarantee your place in history. Recorded for the whole world, by our sky diving hero just before imminent death
‘Oh shit, I’m dead, bye!!’

Monday, October 26, 2009

Toad Code

Said the Toad to the Hare
‘Do you think that you dare
Cross over this road?’
“Of course I can ,Toad’
said the Hare, and with that
He sped off the pavement and got knocked flat.

The Hedgehog was having a talk with the Toad
‘Do you think’ said the Frog ‘you can walk on the road
And not get harmed in any way?’
‘Of course’ said the Hedgehog ‘ I’ll do it today.’
He stepped off the sidewalk, ignoring the rule
Got hit by a car, whilst rolled in a ball.

The Possum, at night, said ‘Hi’ to the Toad
‘I’ll show you just how to cross over this road.’
So off went the Possum, without any care
Saw a car’s lights and just stopped to stare.
He should have kept going, but dallied instead
His hesitation has left him quite dead.

Along came the Cat, who said to the Toad
‘I know the best way to cross over this road.’
She looked left and right and right again
Nothing was coming along either lane.
So off went the Cat with her head in the air
Got safely passed Hedgehog, Possum and Hare.
‘There!’ said the Cat, with a voice full of pride
‘I’ve done it, I’ve made it, the opposite side.’

No sooner had words left the Cat’s mouth
She was hit by a skateboarder, heading due south.
‘That’s it!’ said the Toad as it started to rain
‘I’ll go under the road.’ Then he hopped in the drain.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kiwis fully blogged and ready for inaugural flight

Greetings from New Zealand.
This is us, a couple of fossils, John and Maureen Glasse,
Once we were Poms now we are Kiwis, and we are about to share a few thoughts, facts and a lot of stuff verging on the ridiculous.
I thoroughly enjoy people watching.
When my better half is invading ladies clothing stores, I like nothing better than to sit at a café table and absorb the diverse assortment of passing pedestrians.
I am allowed to do this because as with most hunter gatherers a walk around ladies shoe shops and clothing stores sends me into a zombie like trance. As I shuffle from shop to shop the only sound I make is a sort of grunt of sympathy to the other walking dead. Not a pretty sight, hence the ever fascinating people watching.
This rewarding pastime is further enhanced by the gathering of conversation snippets, a kind of pedestrian eves dropping.
I especially like the various forms of greeting. The traditional, ‘Gooday, howya going’, followed by the stock Kiwi reply, ‘Good thanks’. I have noticed that this word ‘good,’ seems to cover every contingency.
‘How are you?’…‘Good’... ‘How’s your wife?’…‘Good’. ‘How’s business?’ …‘Good’.
The dictionary describes the meaning of the word as, commendable; proper; suitable; honest; just and adequate. ‘How’s your wife?’ ‘Adequate, thank you’. Doesn’t quite fit the bill, does it.
I did a bit of research, suddenly this much used ‘good’ word made a lot of sense. The Greek word for ‘good’ is kalos which translates to mean, ‘in a good place’.
People watching in a Doctor’s waiting room can be a lot of fun. I went in for a warrant of fitness the other day and was quite intrigued by the human drama of it all.
For a start, have you noticed that, on arrival, most folk try to avoid eye contact. One usually has to report to the receptionist, she invariably asks in very hushed tones, ‘Who are you seeing?’, you whisper the name of your physician. No one is listening, all have eyes glued to a 1964 Time magazine or the very fine 1955 National Geographic full colour feature of the half naked Yubabuba tribal women washing their loin cloths by the banks of the Lesser Dunnapiddle.
Just as a refreshing sense of invisibility envelopes you, the said receptionist bellows at six decibels, ‘WHAT ’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?’
‘Well it’s me… you know…er..’
You are now the centre of attraction, you could not have been more conspicuous had you leaped onto the counter and sung a chorus of ‘Knees Up Mother Brown‘.
On my recent visit I found a seat next to a gentleman who was wearing one of those neck brace things. A very pregnant (triplets at least) lady was on my right. Unable to unearth a magazine that was priced post decimal currency, I glanced up and to my horror, sitting just past the large one with child, was someone who’s name I should have known. Our eyes met across that crowded womb and the traditional, doctors waiting room, conversation began.
‘Oh… fancy seeing you here, how are you?’
‘Good thanks !!’ Mercifully the acquaintance had also misplaced my name. There it was, that ‘good’ word. He was definitely not ‘in a good place'.
What would happen, I wondered, if they put up another one of those information posters that adorn the walls of Doctors’ surgeries. You know the sort, ’Do not smack your children’ and ‘You may now smack your children’ and soon to be changed to, ‘Permission required from your children before smacking’.
This new poster would read, ‘Patients must tell the truth.’
Imagine how exciting and entertaining the waiting room experience would become. The question, ‘How are you?’ would be followed by a wonderful organ recital. ’Oh it’s me kidney’.. ’My Liver’s playing up’.. ‘Bad lungs’.. ‘The old ticker won’t tock’.
My organs are just fine, I muttered to myself as I entered my doctor’s rooms. His greeting was short and to the point. ‘I need to check yer prostate’.
‘I’d rather stand, if you don’t mind’.
‘Not prostrate…oh ..never mind’, he seemed annoyed.
‘How’s your Flo?’. Silly old fool, he has forgotten my wife’s name is Mo not Flo.
‘Good thanks’.