Cinema owners ask if they are getting a fair deal financially from a three-hour Hobbit

December 31, 2012
We were given a break - and time for a pee - when they screened Cleopatra.

We were given a break – and time for a pee – when they screened Cleopatra.

Sir Peter Jackson, we may suppose, is laughing all the way to the bank on the back of The Hobbit.

Movie-goers, too, are doubtless chuffed by the film’s three-hour length, although Alf is bound to observe that this must require them to sit on their chuffs for three hours, which must be worse than sitting in the debating chamber for that period of time while Labour and Green politicians are banging on about this, that and the other.

But the people who run cinemas are not so thrilled, as you will learn here.

While those watching The Hobbit might have felt they got their money’s worth when it came down to the film’s three-hour length, cinemas showing the blockbuster were left feeling a little hard done by.

Now U.S. cinema owners have commissioned a report into losses suffered when screening a longer film four times a day rather than on six occasions, which is standard for a normal 90-minute film.

The National Association of Theatre Owners is the mob behind this initiative.

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Can’t afford a $3 prescription fee? Bollocks – just check out the empties behind their houses

December 29, 2012

How much is a 1.5 litre bottle of Coca-Cola nowadays?

Depends on where you buy it, of course, but the Glengarry mob (here) are flogging it for $4.75.

So how many customers will they get from among the poverty-stricken Porirua people who can’t afford $3 for a prescription drug?

The question is raised by the report here about prescriptions piling up at a Porirua pharmacy.

The reason? Patients say they can’t afford the $3 fee.

And as the pharmacist points out, it’s only going to get worse when fees increase on January 1.

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Let’s not rule out the English arriving in NZ before the Maori – maybe Prof. Smith could check it out

December 28, 2012

The indigenous people of this country have cause to be somewhat nervous this morning.

One of their number is saying the status of Maori as “indigenous” needs to be investigated.

If such an investigation was to establish that our Maori fellow citizens are not quite as indigenous as they claim, then…

Well, they can no longer claim to be “special” under that United Nations thing (see here) that John Key agreed to a year or so back to keep his Maori Party coalition mates happy.

The call for an investigation can be found here.

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Who should we consult to preserve our fish stocks? Oh yes – the people who saved the moa

December 27, 2012

Ha – that hoary old chestnut about bringing back traditional methods of conservation was served up again just before Christmas.

Alf damned near gagged on his whisky, down at the Eketahuna Club, when he heard a Radio NZ item on the subject of fish conservation (here).

An international environmental organisation says Maori and Polynesian cultures hold the key to conserving fish species in the Pacific Ocean.

The outfit in question is the PEW Environment Group, the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, whose members aim to help meet what they regard as one of the seminal challenges of our time: saving the natural environment and protecting the rich array of life it supports.

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Laying off alcohol can give you the DTs – but its application can be a lifesaver for VT patients

December 26, 2012

Alf has been a great champion of the medicinal effects of booze for a long time.

Accordingly he acquainted his constituents with news (here) of Denis Duthie, who was admitted to Taranaki Base Hospital earlier this year after he went blind during a heavy vodka drinking session at a 50th wedding anniversary in July.

Doctors suspected he had formaldehyde (methanol) poisoning, and opted to start alcohol infusion into his stomach through a tube.
But because there was no medical alcohol in the hospital, a medical registrar bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker from a nearby liquor store.

The scotch was a life-saver.

A similar story is reported from Britain (here).

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We don’t need Treasury – surely – to tell us not to bank on Banks to turn out smarter kids

December 25, 2012

Funny thing about Christmas day is that Alf has a serious compulsion to find something to read, while Mrs Grumble gets on with cooking the Christmas turkey.

And his Christmas Day reading today led him to something he missed the other day.

Something about charter schools.

Dunno if we needed a set of Treasury papers to find expressions of scepticism about the charter schools improving student performance.

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The French have missed out on Dover – so why not whet their interest in Auckland?

December 24, 2012
But wouldn't we rue its sale?

But wouldn’t we rue its sale?

The Brits don’t have the bottle for it, obviously.

But we Kiwis do.

Accordingly we should do what the Cameron Government shied away from doing, which was sell the port of Dover.

We couldn’t sell the port of Dover, let’s be clear.

But we can take a cue from the British, insofar as the idea was to get a nice return from selling the port made famous by Dame Vera Lynn.

And we have lots of ports. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mayans might have been right after all but Xmas 2012 needn’t be cancelled

December 24, 2012

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Uh, oh.

Just as the Grumbles thought they would live to see another Christmas, some tosser has popped up to tell ‘ em “sorry, but maybe not…”

The optimism came when 22 December turned up, and it became clear the Mayan-calendar apocalypse was bollocks.

But before Alf could get down to the Eketahuna Club to sink a few celebratory suds, another prediction has surfaced.

You can read about it here, if you have time, because Alf never was too sure if doomsday was to start when the sun hit this country, or whether he would have to wait until it arrived in whatever country was inhabited by Mayans.

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The water claim: there are times when the best thing a dame can do is get out of the way

December 22, 2012

The intro to one item in the Herald today somewhat understates the position – at least insofar as Alf has firm thoughts on the matter.

It says (here) –

Chief Justice’s past links with Maori Council have ministers ill at ease

Your hard-working MP for Eketahuna North is downright stroppy on the matter.

The intro leads readers into a good piece from Fran O’Sullivan which points out that Dame Sian Elias successfully acted for the Maori Council on several high-profile Treaty claims against the Crown in the 1980s through to the mid-1990s.

That invites the question –

Should Chief Justice Sian Elias recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the Maori water rights claim?

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Some folks aimed to go out with a bang but Alf opted to scotch the doomsayers

December 21, 2012


It takes all sorts, Alf supposes.

He is of the sort who wandered down to the Eketahuna Club for what might be – just might be – his last day on earth.

Lest the Mayans know a thing or two about the end of the world, he opted to sink a few shots of his favourite tipple and meet his Maker in a mellow mood.

But it seems many others are of the sort who wanted to go out with a bang.

As we read here, their urge for one last shag was triggered by the prospect that their might be some truth in all that stuff about the Mayan apocalypse.

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