Sunday, October 30, 2005

City of Angels

Well I am back in LA. I got most of everything done that needed to be completed on my quick trip to Colorado and Tahoe. On the way to Eagle Vail Airport, I ended up flying on a small propellor plane, but all was well and there was no turbulence. It was beautiful in Beaver Creek. The house is in good order, and thank goodness the heating system works well. The hot tub was at 100 degrees F and the outside temp was about 42F.

I then flew to Reno Nevada, and rented an el cheapo and drove the 50 miles to Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe California. I was surprised to find that the weather in Tahoe was a lot colder than Colorado, even though Tahoe is about 2000 feet lower than Beaver Creek. The house is in the process of getting furnished, and slowly but surely we are getting there. The new hot tub is in place and looks great, although I had no time to hop in.

Went out with the real estate agent Ken, his twin brother and his girlfriend the night before I left and I will tell you it was a rather large evening. We ended up at a house party and a small head ach.

On the was back I flew on what looked like a Lear Jet, but it was a Canadair CRJ 50. It was a very nice new plane and made for a great flight.

I got collected at the airport upon arrival, and proceeded to get dressed up for a brilliant Halloween party in a house on the beach in Venice. I went as a person who had been run over by a car, complete with fake blood. Most of LA's best looking ladies were there, and the music rocked. I have decided that the drink of the month is a Dirty martini......

Monday, October 24, 2005

Off to the Beaver.

I am off again to Beaver Creek in Colorado tomorrow. Time to check up on the house for the winter season and make sure that all the necessary work has been completed before serious snowfall hits. After Colorado, I go to Reno Nevada and drive to Tahoe California to check up on the house there too..... It is going to be a hectic week, as when I get back to LA I will only have 3 or 4 days before I go to NZ..... Busy Busy.

Bunny and Blairs farewell.

Last night we all went to Ma'kai and Renee's to see Anita and Blair Wolfgram off. They have been successful up here in the USA for about 3 years and have decided to go back to NZ and settle down. It was great to have them both here in Santa Monica and I wish them well. Hope they have fun in South America on the way to the land of the long white cloud.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Visitor of the week.

This is my friend Todd Bidois from New Zealand. He popped up to Florida this week to support David Tua in his victorious boxing fight and comeback. Todd is currently sleeping on the Air New Zealand 747-400 enroute to Auckland. Good to see you Todd.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Syria may have to feel the heat.

Hariri (deceased) and President G.W Bush above.

According to CNN and Fox news, President George W. Bush on Friday called on the United Nations to convene a session as soon as possible to deal with a U.N. investigative report implicating Syrian officials in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. I heard Dubya mention this live, and I am thinking that there may be an opprotunity for the USA to pop into Syria sometime soon.

"The report strongly suggests that the politically motivated assassination could not have taken place without Syrian involvement," Bush said after helping dedicate a new pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Southern California.

The President is at the Reagan Museum in Simi Valley CA for the grand opening of the Air Force One 707 showcase. It was President Reagan's dream for the public to be able to see inside Air Force One, and now it is a reality. I will be visiting soon.

The U.N. investigative report, which Bush called "deeply disturbing," established a link between high-ranking Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies in Hariri's murder February 14 in Beirut.

Earlier Friday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was deeply troubled by the U.N. report. She said the international community must find a way to hold Syrian authorities accountable. I am waiting to see if the strong anti terrorism push comes out of the UN meeting. If so as I said above, we may see US forces in Syria soon.

The Tuaman back in action in USA.

It has been brought to my attention by Todd A. J. Bidois who is in USA to support the fighter, that this evening, David Tua will make his United States return when he meets Cisse Salif on a pay-per-view card promoted by Cedric Kushner. The fight is at the new Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. It marks just the second fight over the last two years for the Samoan (Kiwi) strongman. Best he wins and then flys out of there before Hurricane Wilma hits and uproots everything.

Tua, who is 32 years old, has been involved in a long and bitter lawsuit with his management team back home in New Zealand. That was the primary reason for his inactivity. He was asked earlier this week what he had done during the time off.

"I was washing dishes," the heavyweight said. "I thought I did a good job. My wife didn’t think so. She told me, ‘Now go out there and fulfill your dream and become heavyweight champion or I’m going to hit you with a frying pan.’" Funny how the ladies always seem to wear the pants.....

Now when it comes to weight between the fighters for tonights match up, that is an issue. Tua who is 5 ft 9 and 1/2 inches tall, expects to weigh about 240 pounds for the return bout ("The time away has seemed to put more beef on my thighs," he said), but at times he’s weighed more than 250. Salif, who has a 17-4-2 record, is 6ft 4 and will likely scale 265.

So it is not going to be a push over for Tua to win, but I guess if he pretends that Salif is his previous manager then it will be a fight that goes down in history.

Go the Tuaman.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sharks are everywhere

This guy caught a huge Great White in Raglan last week, Australia wants to start a cull of the sharks, and now this......according to CNN. Wont catch me on the surfboard...

In BODEGA BAY, California, a surfer received a bad gash Wednesday when a 14-foot shark bit her leg in the waters off northern California, and pulled her underwater, authorities said.

Megan Halavais, 20, was paddling into the water off Salmon Creek Beach in Sonoma County around 11 a.m. when the shark attacked her from behind. Surprise Surprise, hadn't she seen Jaws?

Halavais, an experienced surfer, said she got away after she hit the shark on its tail, according to sheriff's Lt. Roger Rude.

Halavais, of Santa Rosa, was helped from the water by other surfers.

She was taken to a hospital with a bite that stretched from her thigh to her calf, Rude said. She was listed in good condition.

The beach has been the site of several shark attacks in recent years, Rude said.

Police believe the shark likely was a great white. They have closed the beach and warned surfers in nearby locations.

Monday, October 17, 2005

It's raining.

It has been raining in Los Angeles all day today. It is nice to have some rain as it clears away the smog and cleans the streets.... It has not rained like this for at least 6 or 8 months.

Rocky is coming back.....

Well it seems that retro is all popular at the moment, and according to Fox News, Sylvester Stallone is getting back into the ring. He is reprising his role as boxer Rocky Balboa in a new movie of the same name.

The film will be co-produced and co-financed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures, and distributed by Columbia Pictures.

"Rocky," which won the 1976 Academy Award for best picture, was the story of a down-and-out club fighter from Philadelphia who got a shot at the heavyweight title.

In the sixth installment, Stallone's character, known for his familiar greeting of "Yo, Adrienne," is drawn back to the boxing ring after retiring to face a new champion. He also faces a personal tragedy.

"'Rocky Balboa' is about everybody who feels they want to participate in the race of life, rather than be a bystander," Stallone said in a statement Monday. "You're never too old to climb a mountain, if that's your desire."

The film is the first to be approved by MGM since it was acquired by Sony Corp last year, MGM said in a statement.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in early 2006. Hopefully Stallone doesn't expire before the filming is finished.

Air New Zealand

I was searching for a flight on I thought that I would express my pleasure in knowing that the 747-400's that travel between LAX and AKL will be upgraded soon, and I will be able to watch videos on my own screen even in economy. It is about time as QF has been running the private screens for some time, but when given the choice I always fly Air New Zealand.

The puzzle is placed together.

It has been done. Labour is forming a government for the 3rd time, and Winston is Minister of Foreign Affairs. Seems that he will be out of the country most of the time and Helen likes the thought of that I am sure. It will be very intresting to see how this pans out. I hope for the sake of NZ it doesnt blow up into a million pieces.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Bond, James Bond

Daniel Craig unveiled as new James Bond

This guy is blond, just like me. Daniel Craig, who is a 37-year-old, sandy-haired Englishman was introduced Friday as the new James Bond, ending months of speculation.

His selection was revealed as he was whisked down the Thames River aboard a military Rigid Raider boat to a news conference.

Craig replaces Pierce Brosnan in the role of the suave spy in "Casino Royale," due in theaters next year.

"It is a huge iconic figure in movie history, and those things don't come along very often," the star said, after posing for photos with producer Barbara Broccoli and director Martin Campbell.

Craig revealed he only discovered on Monday that he had definitely been given the role and had to consider the offer. How could you turn down the role of James Bond, even if the script is cheese ridden? Way to go Craig.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Clinton vs Rice in 2008?

I am watching Fox news on the television and according to them, the only candidates currently out polling democratic Senator Hillary Clinton in polls for the Presidential election in 2008, is Mayor Rudi Giuliani and Senator John McCain...... both republicans.

Having said that, it is said that in a recent poll Hillary is only 2% higher at 44% than Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice at 42%. Dr Rice has not said if she will run for President, and probably will not, but it is America, and anything is possible.

Bill O'Reilly was mentioning that Senator McCain may not be as popular in the republican party as one might think, and that Rudi may not be up to it..... Bill is thinking that the best way to run against Hillary is with another lady, and she being Condoleezza.

Now USA has never had a female President, and neither has a President been black, so it seems like a large step to me that either lady will get the nomination of their party, although I think it is a great idea.

I would suggest that if the ladies don't get their parties nominations, that who ever does chooses them as the VP. This would open the door for a 2012 or 2016 election of all elections, once the public has seen that a great job can be done by them in the highest office of the land. Therefore either way, it could still be Clinton vs Rice in 2008. It will be a very politically interesting year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Monday, October 10, 2005

Got a new cell phone today.

Go here to see it

I got this new phone today as my trustee Nokia stopped working after being dropped a lot over the last 2 years. I never seem to have much luck with Motorola's, as they always seem to break after 3 months, so there was a hint of reluctance to go ahead and get this one. Thing is that this little beauty has a lot of good features and if it breaks I have insurance. Just hope it doesn't break first time I drop it.

Greedy tart, nasty dictator.

This couple of freaks need to be brought into line and punished for their ignorance towards their own people. This is an example on money and greed, and it needs to be stopped.

Grace Mugabe, wife of brutal Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, likes to be called the “First Lady”, and she has nothing but contempt for the starving millions living in the nation that her husband trys to lead. She is dubbed First Shopper and Grabbing Grace by her people.

She is far more likely to be found stripping top European boutiques or lounging in five-star hotels than listening to the desperate needs of Zimbabwe’s hungry and homeless. What makes her frivolity so disturbing is that while she shops, ordinary Zimbabweans starve.

Last year Grace, 39, blew an estimated £75,000 in just TWO HOURS in Paris fashion houses. Her spending has reached such ridiculous levels many have accused her of being addicted to Gucci.

On her French jaunt, the former secretary had bought so much her aides needed an extra car to transport her goods to the airport.

Meanwhile, back in her home country inflation is now rife. It is cheaper to use a 1,000 Zimbabwean dollar note as toilet paper, than use it to purchase loo roll.Today, 4,000 Zimbabwean dollars are worth less than 50p.Two out of three of the country’s workers earn just £1 a day.

Her idiotic husband Robert Mugabe, 40 years older than she is, does not shy away from indulging his well-built wife. He even bought her a lavishly equipped DC-9, formerly owned by Playboy baron Hugh Hefner. The gift was to help with Grace’s shopping. With her own plane she was able to go on regular shopping jollies to New York, London and Rome. Maybe it will get a massive loss of cabin pressure at 35,000ft and she will die instantly.

Now that she has her own plane, other Air Zimbabwe passengers are spared the humiliation of being turfed off flights to accommodate their first lady and her numerous purchases. When she used to use the country’s commercial airline she would also order pilots to land at military air bases instead of the normal airport so she could avoid paying duty on her purchases. She would also supposidly take rather extensive detours, some costing the Government MILLIONS of $$$$$$$$$.

She and Mugabe now own at least SIX luxury properties. Grace laughed off outraged criticism after it was revealed that she used public funds to build an incredibly vulgar home called Gracelands in a plush Harare suburb.The finance came from a US aid programme intended to help the poor. Gracelands was then sold to the Mugabes’ pal Colonel Gaddafi for three times its original price. What the hell would Gaddafi want to do in Zimbabwe?

But the Mugabes have acquired another house nearby and are investing £10million in it. The mansion is stuffed full of imported Italian tiles, pillars, sunken baths and chandeliers.The master bedroom alone has as much floor space as an entire typical semi-detached home.She is overseeing the installation of a gym, sauna, library, bar and billiard room.

Among their other homes, the Mugabes also own a three-storey mansion overlooking a golf course.

Apart from her relentless greed, little else is known about Grace’s background. What is clear is that she started an affair with the President while she was a secretary at the State House in Harare. Mugabe married Grace bigamously as his first wife, Sally, was dying. Perhaps Grace is now given such freedom because she gave Mugabe what he most desired, a son, Robert junior. She has since borne him a daughter and a second son. Someone needs to castrate him, and sterilise her.

Grace, who was a student at her Catholic school, married Flight Lt Patrick Guririza in her teens. But once her affair with Mugabe began, her husband was conveniently posted to Beijing, and surprisingly has yet to return. At least while he was with Sally, Mugabe managed to publicly maintain his socialist credentials. But we now know he squandered many millions of pounds donated by Britain and the world to help in the redistribution of land to homeless blacks.

They need to be stopped.......... Zimbabwe was once a reasonable place. For the sake of the inhabitants of the country....... Mugabe (both of them) should be forced to live with some of the desolate and forgotten people of their land. Maybe just maybe they'd get what they really deserve.

“One day the Mugabes will pay heavily.”

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Tax differences between ACT, National and Labour

I am interested in tax policy from some of the right and left wing parties in New Zealand. Below is my calculations as to how much tax you'd pay if ACT or National got their way, and how much you DO pay in New Zealand under the current tax rates.

ACT Policy

A lower rate of 15% for incomes up to $38,000. This is affordable and would boost economic growth rates by 1%.

ACT proposes a flatter, simpler tax system of just two rates:
a top tax rate (and company tax rate) of 25%

Therefore if you earn $65,000 you will pay:

$38,000 x 15% = $5,700
$27,000 x 25% = $6,750

total tax = $12,450

National Policy

The new tax rates and thresholds would be:

A company tax rate of 30%.

Income up to $12,500 will be taxed at 15%.
Income between $12,500 and $50,000 will be taxed at 19%.
Income between $50,000 and $100,000 will be taxed at 33%.
Income above $100,000 will continue to be taxed at 39%.

Therefore if you earn $65,000 you will pay:

$12,500 x 15% = $1,875
$37,500 x 19% = $7,125
$15,000 x 33% = $4,950

total tax = $13,950

Labour Government ( current tax )

Income up to $38,000 IS taxed at 19.5%
Income between $38,001 and $60,000 IS taxed at 33%
Income $60,001 and over IS taxed at 39%

Therefore if you earn $65,000 you pay:

$38,000 x 19.5% = $7,410
$22,000 x 33% = $7,260
$ 5,000 x 39% = $1,950

total tax = $16,620

So if you earn $65,000 NZ per year, under Labour you now pay $16,620.

Under National policy you'd pay $13,950, saving $2,670

Under ACT policy you'd pay $12,450, saving $4,170

and keeping a further $1,400 in your pocket over National policy.

Now it seems that tax cuts didnt really matter too much to the voters in the election this time. But an extra $2,670 - $4,170 in your pocket would allow you to spend more, therefore boosting the economy. With a lower corporate tax companies would invest or re invest into NZ and everything should boost from there. Higher taxes are not the answer....... Now social welfare has to be taken into account, and defence needs to be worked in as well, but with the current surplus available I'd predict that before that gets consumed the economy would be roaring ad the tax intake would be higher than it is now.........

So next time make sure you make a tactical decision to vote right allowing ACT the party vote and electorate vote in decided electorates, and Voting National for the candidate in the rest of the electorates.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Under cover Dolphins

I read this interesting one in the NZ Herald today. It appears that one of the strangest stories to emerge from the ruins of Hurricane Katrina is a tale of military trained dolphins on the loose in the Gulf of Mexico.

The animals were reportedly being used by the US Navy to detect stray torpedoes and mines, and were controlled using signals transmitted to a neck harness. It is possible some were armed with toxic darts tied to their backs to immobilise terrorists or enemy agents. So not only do surfers have to watch out for Jaws and Man'o'war, but now flipper might mistake them for the swimming Osama and terminate them.

"If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber, they could fire," warned an accident investigator close to the US Government's marine fisheries service. All fun in the waters of the Gulf Coast.

I would never underestimate the power of the US Military.... Nothing would surprise me..... Nothing

John Banks considering running for Mayor in 2007

According to the NZ Herald, John Banks is considering a political comeback for the Auckland City mayoralty he lost by a whopping 19,016 votes to businessman Dick Hubbard a year ago.

It seems that most people are disappointed with the way Dick Hubbard is panning out as Mayor. Auckland seems to even be sliding backwards. At least John Banks was a strong leader who knew what he was doing.

Just like Arnold ( who knows what he is doing ), Hubbard was possibly voted in because of his celebrity status. Hubbard has failed and he needs to go.

Mr Banks a former National Cabinet minister, said he would decide in the next six to 12 months whether to run and if so would mount a 12-month campaign.

He said Mr Hubbard's first 12 months had been a disaster, with colossal rates increases.

Mr Banks said he was beaten fair and square by someone "who, frankly, offered a political fraud and has been uncovered".

.... As Pablo would say... " Bring back Banksie ".

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Labour party looking into Rodney Hide's spending in Epsom.

According to the NZ Herald today, the Labour Party is investigating ACT leader Rodney Hide's spending in Epsom with a view to lodging a petition in the High Court. What this tells me is that they are concerned that there might be a revolt from the red, and they are knit picking in case Winston, the Maori Party, and Peter Dunn decide to go with National. They don't want ACT there to clinch the deal.

Mr Hide won the seat from National's Richard Worth by over 3000 votes, and brings to Parliament one other MP Heather Roy.

Should a petition be successful a by-election would be held in which Mr Hide would not be able to stand.

Labour Party president Mike Williams told NZPA local members in Epsom were looking into the spending. The party would make a decision by October 25 whether to proceed with the petition or not.

Rodney is not a silly person, and i'd be VERY surprised if there was any overspending in the election campaign by him or ACT. The signs went up later than Richard Worth's according to Aaron, and there was a lot of door knocking and energy focused on Epsom. Not something that really required spending. I think that Labour are barking up the wrong tree, and if they proceed with this, they will spend a lot of tax payers money on a whole lot of left wing spin.

Is there something bubbling with National?

Is the right going to form a government after all? According to the NZ herald today: National has renewed its overtures towards the Maori Party as it tries to frustrate Helen Clark's attempts to form a government.

Maori Party MPs yesterday confirmed talks with National had swung into gear again.

Co-leader Pita Sharples said there had been several meetings initiated by National "who seem to be having a discussion across the board in an effort to build up their numbers". He believed National was also talking with NZ First and United Future.

I am not really sure how the Maori Party and National would work together conidering that National was wanting to abolish the Maori seats, but where there is a will there is a way. It seems that the political parties know that if they back track slightly and join the right then NZ can have a government formed under the leadership of Dr Donald Brash, and NZ can steer away from the left.

United Future leader Peter Dunne said he had met National leader Don Brash after the election and again last week.

The numbers below show where we are. Do your calculations and figure out what is possible.

The Left

Labour 50
Greens 6
Progressives 1
Total: 57

The Right

National 48
Act 2
Total: 50

The Rest

New Zealand First 7
Maori Party 4
United Future 3

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tom got Katie pregnant....

According to the people magazine, Tom Cruise's fiancée, Katie Holmes, is pregnant with the couple's child, Cruise's spokesperson, Lee Anne DeVette said. Well well, what can I say..... Maybe he is not a man who does with other man then....

"Tom and Katie are very excited, and the entire family is very excited," says DeVette.

Cruise, who has two children, Connor, 10, and Isabella, 12, with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, began dating Holmes in mid-April. He proposed to her atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris in June. DeVette says there is no wedding date set.

DeVette would not comment on the baby's gender or say how far along the pregnancy is. The rep did say that Holmes, 26, "has never felt better."

Cruise, 43, is currently shooting Mission: Impossible 3 in Los Angeles.

Hmmm, that will cause some eyebrow raising in Hollywood.

A particularly good post by Cathy.

Cathy Odgers has done it again...... I think she should write a book, or even dare I say for office one day..... Now I am sure she will deny wanting to do either, but a good suggestion none the less.

check it out

Moose in them there woods.....

According to the Otago Daily Times, A hunter says DNA tests have confirmed the existence of a Canadian moose in a remote part of Fiordland.

The results are the second since June 2001 to suggest at least one of the animals - introduced from North America in 1910 and last seen more than 30 years ago - is still very much alive. Evading the cameras much like Loch Ness.

Mr Tustin and his wife, Margie, collected the sample during a regular visit to the thickly wooded and steep area opposite Oke Island in October 2002.

Hamilton-based researchers Deer Improvement sent the Tustins' sample, the already tested Harper hair, and about 40 other samples to a forensic laboratory at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, this year.

The laboratory returned the results late last month and both samples were confirmed as having come from a moose, said Deer Improvement director Peter Gatley.

Ten Canadian moose were introduced to Fiordland's Supper Cove in 1910, but their population declined steadily under pressure from red deer. The last rumoured sighting was in 1971. Maybe some more should be added to boost the #'s

Moose had eluded cameras in the area but bedding spots and browsing and antler marks suggested up to 20 animals might live there, Mr Tustin said.

A Natural History NZ camera took a blurred image of a suspected moose in 1995.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

NZ is UK's favourite place to visit.

According to the NZ Herald, Readers of London's Daily Telegraph newspaper have voted New Zealand as their favourite place on earth, for the second year in a row. Woo Hoo

More than 25,000 readers were polled in Britain's biggest survey of travel habits and the results were announced at the eighth Telegraph Travel Awards reception at the Royal Opera House in London. Nothing like good publicity for the land of the long white cloud.

"Affection for New Zealand owes much to the spectacular box office success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was filmed there, but also to greater accessibility," the newspaper said. Well thank you Peter.

NZ is getting a lot of good publicity at the moment, and I say bring it on. Tourism is a great money earner for the country, and more of it is needed. Now if the corporate tax was only 30% or less, that would help get more investment into NZ.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


According to CNN today, Paris Hilton has ended her five-month engagement to a Greek shipping heir, a celebrity magazine reported. I would have thought that after 5 months the male Paris would have been begging to get away and probably have broken it off anyways.

The celebutante broke off wedding plans with Paris Latsis, according to a report posted Friday on Us Weekly's Web site.

"I'm sad to announce that I've called off my engagement," Hilton told the magazine.

"Over the last couple months I've realized that this is the right decision for me," Hilton said.

"We remain best of friends, and I'll always love him," Hilton's statement added. "I hope people will respect my privacy during this emotional time".

I am wondering if this is even worth posting, but it really is amazing what the attraction people have to the woman that really is nothing but wealthy?

I bet there is more to this than we know.....