Monday, August 31, 2009

The one about planes and metal detectors

I was talking aviation security with an international pilot recently, we were discussing the varying levels of security at different airports.

How come at one international airport I can swan through without setting off the metal detector, but yet at another one - wearing the same clothes -I get told very brusquely, 'Take off your belt and boots.' (I did refrain from, 'If you were going to request my jeans, I'm going to have to put my foot down') and, even without these items, promptly proceed to set off the metal detector?

He said that he noticed a huge difference from airport to airport. And that at one particular airport, despite the fact that they're familiar with the security staff, they remain incredibly strict with their searches of them.

Which, when you think about it, is kind of a waste of time - as he so rightly pointed out, 'If I wanted to take the plane down, I wouldn't need to smuggle anything on board - I'd be flying my weapon.'

I have to say, while I think our domestic security in New Zealand can be over the top, security on international flights does make me feel a little better about life in general. And when I read that there are calls in Bangkok to relax airport security I start to get a little twitchy.

Especially when you read that the reason Democrat MP Pichet Panwichartkul, is calling for the security review not because he's thinks the risk of terrorism on planes has diminished, but due to what appear to be fashion issues.

The former finance minister asked why passengers have to take off their belts at the checkpoint and then clumsily put them back on in public.

"How is it possible that a female foreign passenger must remove her jacket to reveal her light clothing underneath to go through the screening?" he asked.

Hmmm, call me butt-stupid Mr Panwichartkul, but don't you reckon if that jacket was carrying a gun or a knife, don't you think it's worth her having to reveal her light clothing?

Just a thought.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

And another one from the Gin Wigmore stable.

I'm digging it.

But I do find mannequins creepy, though.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My father can be such a bastard. But if he changes, I will kill him.

So the Fruitcake, my mother, has been learning mahjong.

Now this is more complicated than the sentence may initially read.

Some of you will be familar with how numerically challenged she is.

As I have said before, we are talking about the woman who, when playing Monopoly would roll, say, a six and a three, and before she could say 'Pass me the calculator' you'd exclaim 'Eight ! Go straight to jail!'

She was reasonably delighted when she told me that the mahjong sensei thought her and her friends were good enough to play on their own, and that she was going to be hosting them all for a gruelling afternoon while they slogged it out over the mahjong table.

And that is why she wasn't answering the telephone when my father-the-arms-dealer was trying to tell her that he had arrived safely back in the country.

So he rang me instead, 'I'm back ! Can't get hold of your mother, she's not answering the phone - I think she's having a snakes and ladders party.'

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two men, two very different burials.

So Ted Kennedy dies on August the 25th and will be buried four days later.

Michael Jackson dies on June 25th and will be, yeah.

I suppose there's something to be said for being two parts natural, one part artificial - your 'best before' date can be pushed out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That would be as a flapper - not as a slapper.

If I could go and live in any era, I think it would be in the roaring twenties.
I just love the fashion (okay, there is always the possibility that it can make you look like a dump truck - but I would just ensure I was got leg extensions during my time travel back there) and it just seems to have been such a bloody fun time.

Then there was also the endless rounds of cocktail parties (not only would I turn up to this decade with drainpipes for legs, but also armed with a very fat bank account).
And then, when you're just getting sick of the heady lifestyle there was always the Wall Street Crash just round the corner to make sure you didn't have too much fun.


And that got me thinking - what era would I travel back to if I was poor? I have thought about this for a while, and I reckon I would have to been a stowaway on a boat in the late 1800s heading for Australia. At least it would have been hot when you got there.

But then, if I wanted to be a freeloader, I could just make it a whole lot easier for myself and be the unborn baby of a stowaway on a boat headed for Australia.

That's my time travel of choice, where would you go ?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dear Scotland, a simple observation from someone who knows very little about foreign politics.

So you lock him up an Islamic extremist nut job because he was integral in bringing down a plane over your patch, killing 270 people in what is the most horrific aviation disaster your country has ever known.

That is, until such time that Mr Murderer and Wrecker of (effectively)Hundreds of People's Lives contracts terminal cancer and you go, 'Poor wee lamb, you got a sore tummy? That's no good, is it? Why don't we send you home so you can die nestled into plumped goose down pillows, surrounded by those you love.'

I mean, hello ?

I smell something large, dead and rodent-like that involves words like, 'ulterior' and 'motives.'

It does beg the question - has Gadaffi's nephew Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahid as Sanussi got one of Kenny Mackaskill's (insert:close male relation) kidnapped as some sort sex slave?

I only say this because it just seems that someone is being shagged up the derriere over this fiasco, and it's most certainly not Libya.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Now that's a couple of pissed off looking cats.

And a truly disturbing post from Awkward Family Photo.
Why? Why ? Why ?
I mean where do you start?
Are you going to frame it and put it up in your house ?
Or was it for the annual Christmas card?
And who took the photo?
And...... question brain, would you please go into a coma.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Memo to whoever created the world.

Brussels sprouts.... I don't think so.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Age appropriate footwear.

I went to visit the Family-of-four-boys-six-and-under last night.

I have to say there is something quite glorious when a minature drunk (20 month old) comes running up to you wearing a delighted grin, pyjamas...................and ski boots.

'Oh they're great', says mother-of, 'they slow him down.'

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Great parking.

This happened on Monday, but it's just too good to stop giving it oxygen, so sorry if this is old news.

Some people, when they have issues with stuff like workplace bullying and incompetent management, would make a complaint to human resources.

And then, if issues aren't resolved they would then go further up the food chain.

And then, if that doesn't work, and you're 47 year old David Theobald - you crash your car into the building where you work.

That would be the brand new building where you work.
That is owned by the outfit that you have worked for, for the last twenty-five years.

Which is the Tax Department.

And before you do it, you check with the cleaners to make sure you're not going to hurt anyone.

And you make sure you've got a friend handy to take a snap of your hard work.
And just when you thought this story couldn't get any better - there is the response Sir Theobald (I've just given him a knighthood as this is my blog and I can do what I want) got from his employers.
The head of Human Resources sent him a letter, 'Information has come to my attention which indicates that you may have intentionally driven a car through Inland Revenue's Christchurch building...I am am concerned that your conduct may be inconsistent with the code of conduct.'
Mental note to self: don't piss off the tax department. They're nasty.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Well knackered now, though.

Yesterday I left the house for work at 4.30 a.m.

Got back in the door at 1.00 a.m this morning.

And travelled over five thousand kilometres, in between.

I think that's a record, for me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Truly Glorious

I've talked about Seinfeldian moments before , I have just heard another one that is simply too good not to share.

A friend had a dress up party to go to. Lets call him Tired T. His partner wasn't exactly over excited about attending this party. She became even less enamoured with the idea after they had got home at 5.30 a.m on the actual day of said party.

The dress up place they needed to go to to get their outfits was due to close at 1.00 p.m so Tired T had his work cut out for him getting his partner there in time. He said he practically dragged her out the door, strapped their hangovers to the roof and they proceeded to scrap like angry cats all the way there.

A Don Johnson outfit and a spunky pirate suit later they were, at least, equipped with clothes for party (if not mindsets).

The fighting continued during the afternoon, and by the end of the day, she still didn't want to go. However he coaxed her into it and they got Don Johnsonned and pirated up.

Just before leaving Tired T thought he would go and check the address on the invitation............... and in doing so also discovered *whispering* that the party had been the night before.


I think at that point the atmosphere technically froze in their house.

On the Monday he went to take back the outfits, 'Did you have a good party?' Asked the shop assistant brightly. He was too gutted to admit the truth so just mumbled, 'Yes it was great, thank you.' She took the outfits out the back to check they were okay before they gave him his bond back.

The woman came back again. (You know what I'm about to say, don't you?)

'Oh sorry, there's a red wine stain on the inside of the jacket, we won't be able to reimburse your bond.'

Right when he didn't think his weekend couldn't have got any worse.

On the upside, I pointed out, that by sharing his story he's brought much joy to people's lives. (Especially mine, as I've mercilessly has taken the piss out of him ever since I heard it).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

And if I was also scared of spiders, I think I would throw myself under a bus.

'Kate, have you ever skydived before?'

'Ummmmmm, nope. Not in recent memory.' (Never have, never will).

'Would you like to do one?'

'Ummmmmm, no I don't really think so.'( Are you out of your mind? Contemplating imminent death for twenty minutes isn't my idea of fun.)

'But you can have one - for free.'

'Ummmmmm, well, umm, thank you, and that's very kind of you buuttttttt, nope, I'm okay.' (The only way I am getting out a plane at five thousand feet is if I am you push me out with a gun at my head).

'I really think you should, it would help you understand the experience.'

'That's okay, I have a pretty good imagination.' (I don't think you have quite grasped the fact that I'm just a big pussy girl's blouse. You are talking to possibly one of the few people on the planet who has turned down the offer of at least five bungee jumps.)


Sometimes my job is really wasted on me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Commission of Inquiry *cough* cover up

So Tonga's Minister of Transport, Paul Karalus, has fallen on his sword as a result of last week's ferry disaster in which two people are confirmed dead and ninety-three are missing.
By all accounts, the Princess Ashkia was a leaky old shitbox and shouldn't have been allowed to sail in a bath, let alone an open sea that was prone to stinky big swells. It had been certified to sail by the Tongan Government, which owned it but, but apparently was only allowed to sail in Tongan, Samoan and Fijian waters as it did not meet international standards (because it was a leaky old shitbox).

Prince Tupoutoa Lavaka, the Crown Prince of Tonga, was obviously pretty cut up by the disaster as he offered his condolences to the victims - and promptly hopped on a plane and headed off for a wee frolic to Europe.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry has launched to get to the bottom of the matter.

But call me a cynical, annoying kid with absolutely no generosity of spirit but here's the thing.

Some years ago I went to Tonga and Samoa on a filming trip. In Samoa, they couldn't do enough for us: we were totally looked after by the Visitors' Bureau, had great accommodation, got a vehicle, tour guide and driver and didn't have to pay a cent for any of it.

In Tonga, before we shot a frame we had to stump up with a one thousand dollar bond - that would only be reimbursed if they approved of the finished product. Even then, I still had to throw a wee tanty in the bond-issuing office when we'd just arrived in Nuku'alofa when they tried to tell me, that actually, they really didn't want to issue me my permit after all. ( We're not in Myanmar now, Mr Inowannaissueyouapermitiolofa.)

So you understand my cynicism. Ten bucks says that their Commission of Inquiry will reveal one thing - and that's going to be the story they would like us to hear about why the ferry sunk and ended ninety-five peoples' lives.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's not my viewing of choice, but that won't stop me talking about it.

So it's just been announced that Dancing with the Stars winner, Tamati Coffee, managed to raise over $250,000 for his chosen charity Rainbow Youth.

It's a pretty sensational amount, considering $99,000 was raised for Upsidedown Trust which was second place getter Barbara Kendall's chosen charity.

But I have to say, a friend of mine remarked, 'What do Rainbow Youth need a charity for ? A better wardrobe for when they come out of the closet?'

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bargains, I have them.

I have just discovered something.

For around NZ$845 I could fly Pacific Blue to Fiji (about a 5700 k round trip), get transferred to the 4.5-star Sonaisali Island Resort, where I could stay in a beachfront hotel room,bask in a balmy 28 degrees, go on a jungle cruise, have a scuba pool splash and fill my boots on breakfast every day.

OR I could save myself a whole $16 dollars, and make the 612 kilometre return trip from Christchurch to Wanaka (where it is currently about eleven degrees) on Air New Zealand.

Is it just me, or is someone royally taking the piss?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

But at least there was dynamite.

The last two days have involved me wearing: steel capped boots, safety glasses, hard hat, a high vis vest and lots and lots of mud.


My job can be so glamorous.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

You know the world is truly conspiring against you when.... get hit in the nut by a falling tortoise.

But seriously, wouldn't that rip your undies ? You're minding your own business, walking down the road having a merry old time marinating in your own dream world while your aunt bangs on about the price of fish when WHHHHHHHHHHHARRRRRRRRRRRRUUMMMMMPPPPPPPPPP! You get taken out by a falling Testudinidae that somebody has just hurled out the window.

12-year-old Cheng Cheng from Chongqing in China was doing just that when she got planted on the footpath. ( I would post a shot of her but, have to say, she's not looking her best).

Police reckon the tortoise was hurled from a reasonable height - Cheng Cheng got concussion and the tortoise got a visit from the Grim Reaper. However no one from any of the sixteen apartments in the nearby apartment building reckon they saw anything.

But what I want to know is, what would make you throw your tortoise out the window? I mean, you're hardly going to come home and discover that your tortoise has just chewed up your favourite pair of designer shoes, shagged the cat and shat in the fridge?

Granted, the tortoise was pregnant and maybe this was news to the owner who was just a little overwhelmed and possibly unhappy, ('Pregnant?! SLUT!' Hurl.)

Anyway, I'd be a little worried if I was the tortoise shot putter as Cheng Cheng's father has said, 'I am furious at this irresponsible behaviour. If I do not have a confession from the guilty tortoise thrower I will sue everybody in the building.'

I am wondering what the punishment is for throwing tortoises out windows in China.

Somehow I suspect it will be more than paying for Cheng Cheng's hospital bills.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

*Whatever you do, don't oversell it*

The Annual International Film Festival is on here at the moment, and that's always going to make a girl a little bit excited.

Yesterday there was a film I wanted to see. But 'twas in the afternoon, so I had to talk to the boss.

The conversation went something like this:

Kate:'Can I go and see a film fest film this afternoon?'

Kate:'What time?'


Sensible Kate: 'Of course you can't go, you've got work to do.'

Everyday Kate: '3.45? You were still planning on being at work at 3.45? Nerd.'

After wrestling with the voices in my head for about,oh, 0.76 of a second, I found myself nestled into my seat about to watch 'In the Loop.'

Because I am too lazy to paraphrase, this is how IMDB describes it, 'a foul-mouthed comedy that draws on non-specific events to create a world that is terrifyingly familiar: The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war, but not everyone else does...'

This is what Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian had to say about it “Horribly brilliant... The acting is superb, and the writing is relentlessly funny – vicious and delicious. And refreshingly, there isn't a sympathetic character in sight.”

Here's a wee sample.

Anyway I laughed like a drain. If you enjoyed the Australian series 'Frontline', then get yourself to this - pronto.
Crap, I've just oversold it, haven't I ?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Well paint me green and called me Delia, or don't.*OOPS*updating with correct amount of fish!

Recently I travelled to the other side of the island in a little plane. I initially only had one eensy problem with this statement,but then it transpired there would be two.

This first one was that this plane was approximately three sizes smaller than the ones I prefer to fly in.However that eensy problem was swiftly dwarfed when the second eensy problem reared its pimply head - it appeared that the plane was about to be piloted by a child. (Is somebody taking the piss here? Or are we about to be Punk'd?)

It's never a great way to start a day. Anyway, I had bought a magazine to take my mind off the fact that I was about to be hurtled through the air at hundreds of kilometres an hour in something the size of a cigarette, but had I known that Captain Nappy was to be our pilot - I may have opted for hard liquor.

But that's all beside the point.

In this magazine I stumbled upon a recipe which, I have since discovered, is great (if you like fish curry, if you don't - I'd stop reading now). It's got curry leaves, which I have never used before (and look like something koalas would like to eat) and they give it a fantastic biting, citrus taste. As I am never good at following recipes I also added fresh coriander, increased the spices somewhat, and threw in beans and red pepper.

But here it is:

2 tbsp ghee ( or oil, which I used)
2 tsp black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
2 small green chillies
1 chopped red onion
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp chilli powder
400 mls coconut milk (I just used the standard tin)
750 g firm white fish, cut into chunks (Initially had 50 grms, heh, otherwise it's fish soup).

And then there's the ingredients for a cucumber-yoghurt thingy, but I've never got the cucumber-yoghurt combo, as far as I am concerned yoghurt should be served with muesli.

Heat the oil, add mustard seeds over moderate heat till they pop. Add curry leaves, chilli and onion and cook for 10 minutes or 'til golden. Add tamarind, turmeric (for some reason turmeric has always slightly terrified me), salt, pepper, chilli powder and coconut milk. Add fish and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring gently a couple of times. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until ghee/oil separates from curry.

Serve with basmati rice and I challenge you to not to lick the bowl.

This recipe was bought to you courtesy of Air New Zealand, Captain Nappy and a slighty terrified passenger.

You're welcome.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Granted, I was wearing black...but I have standards.

Text conversation yesterday evening at approximately 17.01. betweent the Student (21) and myself (somewhat older).

Student: 'Did you say you were coming back to the office? I have just left but X is still there.'

Me: 'Ya lazy sheit! So early ? On a Friday? Am about to walk back in.'

Student: 'I have Fridayitis.'

Me: 'Pussy yoof.'

Student: 'At least I am not a midget goth.'

I mean, where's the respect?

Someone obviously didn't get enough beatings, growing up.