The New Year Honours list was disappointing, but Northland policing plans bring some cheer

December 31, 2011

It’s been a waste of time, going to the NZ Herald site today – or any other NZ media site – for the latest news.

Having had no approach from officials about his willingness to accept a knighthood – or even a lesser gong, dammit – Alf knew bloody well there was nothing in the New Year Honours for him.

So the list was not worth reading, even to find out who had won the honours that persistently are being denied him.

To be honest, as Mrs Grumble would attest, Alf especially did not want to find out who had won those honours.

He shows a nasty vindictive streak on these occasions.

Not even Graham Henry can be considered more deserving.

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New Year booze warning: the first steps you take in 2012 could be your last

December 30, 2011

It's an easy walk home from here - but what are the risks?

Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

And Alf has been blissfully ignorant for decades about the dangers he has faced each time he walked home from the Eketahuna Club.

Now he knows all about these dangers, he is keen to apprise his constituents of them.

They are much greater – he is sure – than they ever imagined.

And the warning is timely, because January 1 – Alf has learned – is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians.

An American economist, Steve Levitt, has compared the risk of drunk walking with drunk driving and found that the former can potentially pose a greater risk.

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If it’s good enough for Chris Carter, it should be good enough for state housing tenants

December 29, 2011

Does Chris live here?

What sort of housing do you think Chris Carter has found for himself – or been allocated – in Kabul?

Appropriate housing. He’s living in a container.

Alf assumes you remember Chris Carter, of course.

He’s the leftie sad-sack who was put on stress leave after throwing a tantrum while fleeing from journalists questioning him over his credit card spending.

Leader Phil Goff called the episode a circus and sent Carter on leave to ponder his political future.

By then he had been demoted from seven to 13 in the party rankings and had lost his job as foreign affairs spokesman, but was given conservation and retained ethnic affairs.

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Shark-cage operators put the bite on Govt about safety – but is competition their real worry?

December 28, 2011

Code or no code, Alf prefers to get his kicks elsewhere.

Dunno why southern shark tourism operators are making such a fuss about cowboy operators.

They are expressing concerns that the unregulated industry could lead to cowboy operators coming to the Foveaux area.

And these cowboys – they reckon – will put peoples’ lives in danger because they do not know what they are doing.

The reality, Alf suspects, could be that the incumbent operators are pissed off at the prospect of competition and want the industry regulated to make it easier for themselves to make a buck.

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Santa’s workload has been calculated – he has just two minutes to deliver presents to Kiwi kids

December 27, 2011

Alf has stumbled upon the answer to a question that has puzzled him for as long as he can remember.

The question is: what exactly is Santa’s Christmas Eve workload?

The job obviously is formidable.

There are 728,000 or so kids in this country alone.

Not only must Santa get around the world in 24 hours on a sleigh driven by reindeer, but he must scramble up and down millions of chimneys with a sackful of presents.

And he does his delivering in the dark.

But in the many pictures of him, have you ever seen soot on his suit?

And have you studied the size of his sleigh, then asked how many presents it could actually carry?

Philip Bump, at The Atlantic, obviously has been puzzled by these things, too.

He answers the question about the workload here.

He has considered the number of Christian children in the world and the geographic distribution of those children.

And he has come up with these findings:

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What a relief! If you have scoffed too much turkey, you should tuck into dessert

December 26, 2011

Alf’s constituents – the good people of Eketahuna North – will not need the advice being tendered in this post.

They are eminently sensible people who are not inclined to excessive eating or drinking, even at Christmas time.

But other readers of this blog might benefit from learning how to deal with the painful gut-busting feeling brought on by over-indulging during the holidays.

Here’s what we learn from the New York Post –

TAKE two cookies, and call me in the morning.

That’s the advice from Norwegian researchers who say a sugary snack can actually ease the pain of a gut-busting holiday feast.

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Christmas and family: the royals are among those who won’t all be together today

December 25, 2011

The Grumbles prefer fir.

Christmas is a big family occasion for the Grumbles, as it is for many people.

But a quick glimpse at the on-line news this Christmas morning shows experiences around the country – and the world – differ markedly.

For starters, some families might not be able to get together because of sickness.

Most notably, this includes the Royal Family: Prince Philip has been laid low and is in hospital.

On the other hand, some families won’t get together because some of them are behind bars.

So how generously will the taxpayer be treating these law-breakers?

Stuff gives the answer –

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A Christmas gift for iwi: Auckland Council comes up with another co-governance deal

December 24, 2011

But who owns it and how should it be managed?

Bit by bit, as Alf has observed before, the country is being subjected to so-called co-governance arrangements.

Under these 50:50 deals, Maori representatives (batting for around 15 per cent of the population) sit down at the co-governance table with representatives of public bodies which bat for all of us, including Maori.

As anyone who can do their sums can see, this makes it a thoroughly lop-sided arrangement from the point of view of ardent democrats.

But New Zealanders seem throroughly indifferent to the erosion of their democracy and dilution of their rights. Or maybe they are much too craven to resist, whenever the pressure for a new co-governance deal comes along, which is more and more often.

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Time-sheet fiddling: GPS gadgetry helps bosses winkle out wayward workers

December 23, 2011

Whistle blower in the sky...

If you want to be a fiddler, do your fiddling in an Irish or bluegrass band.

That’s Alf’s advice to any of his constituents who might be tempted to cheat on their time sheets, although he is confident none of the voters of Eketahuna North come into this category.

He tenders the advice nevertheless in the aftermath of a case of a bloke who became somewhat wayward with his time keeping.

This bloke’s work records were not in tune with data recorded by the GPS computer in his company truck.

So he lost his job.

In the circumstances, it would have been smart for him to have left things at that.

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Muttonbirds and malignancy … an encounter with radioactivity raises food safety issues

December 22, 2011

But was it nuked before flying south?

Spare a thought today for the Busted Blonde, whose observations on this, that and the other can be found at Roarprawn.

Her Christmas joy will be bruised by news of what’s happening – maybe – to muttonbirds.

Their exposure to nuclear radiation has raised concerns about their effects on people who eat them.

And it so happens these creatures rate high in BB’s culinary considerations.

Chances are she will be serving some of ’em for Christmas dinner.

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