Tuesday, December 27, 2005

MMP for Canada???

There is a possibility that after the federal electons in Canada on January 23rd 2006, that if a certain polition gets his way MMP may be on the way in in Canada. Is this a good thing???????...... View Here

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Having fun in Canada

I am here at my sisters place on Vancouver Island. Had a great Christmas meal and lots of presents. FUN FUN.

I am interested to see that the right wing Canadian Conservative Party and it's leader Stephen Harper is catching up nicely with the long in the tooth Liberal Party. The elections are on January 23rd.

Go the right.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Squaw Valley USA

I am ready to make my way to Tahoe again in a hour or two. I have to do a final check of the house before New Years, and have a beer of two at the Irish Pub there in Squaw Valley tonight. I am only going for 1 night, so I expect to be back in LA late tomorrow. SNOW is expected, so I best take some pictures......

Let it snow let it snow let it snow.

Friday, December 16, 2005

US-Mexico border fences to be built.

It is about time. According to drudgereport.com, the House of Representatives voted to build a wall along the US border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration. I don't know why this was not done long ago. It is a very simple way for all sorts of riff raff to get into the USA easily, along with drugs and who know what else.

The 260-159 voice vote on an amendment to a bill on illegal immigration "mandates the construction of specific security fencing, including lights and cameras, along the Southwest border for the purposes of gaining operational control of the border.

"Fencing has been designated in sectors that have the highest number of immigrant deaths, instances of drug smuggling and illegal border crossings," because of the large number of would-be immigrants who die in the desert attempting to cross the US border.

The US border with Canada was not forgotten. The bill "includes a requirement for the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study on the use of physical barriers along the Northern border."

The US-Mexico border is 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) long, the US-Canadian is bigger.

I used to live right on the border of USA and Canada. At the time the only thing to worry about was the young lads smuggling a keg or two from USA to Canada. Now it is a bit different as it is rather easy to immigrate to Canada. With all the politically correctness there, the USA is concerned about dodgy Canadian citizens born in other countries coming into USA to cause havok.

Howard Stern off to satellite radio

The free ride for Howard Stern fans ends today. Stern, a New York radio fixture for 20 years and host of a syndicated show for 12 million daily listeners, bid farewell to his fans with a final show on terrestrial radio. On Jan. 9, Stern makes his move to sirrus satellite radio where his once-free speech will cost listeners $12.95 a month. If you buy a new BMW with Satellite radio it is free for the first year.

"Good morning, and welcome to the last show on terrestrial radio," Stern said to launch his grand finale. The sound of "Taps" played in the background.

The show opened with a Stern-centric remake of the classic "What A Wonderful World," and John Lennon's "Imagine."

Stern later planned a two hour midtown Manhattan party to say goodbye to any loyal listeners who turned up and scores already had, despite a driving rainstorm. Stern planned to deliver an address to his radio fans, finishing up a quarter-century on terrestrial radio as arguably its most influential figure.

Stern leaves behind a plethora of imitators spawned in the wake of his success, when his show enjoyed an unprecedented ratings run to hit No. 1 in New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles. No point imitating him, you'd need to be different to take his place. Rumor is that David Lee Roth is going to try and fill his boots?

His move to Sirius Satellite Radio, while somewhat risky, comes with a huge financial reward: Stern signed a five-year, $500 million contract to create two new channels for Sirius. The salaries, overhead and other programming costs come out of his windfall. Still, Howard although already wealthy, has hit the windfall with this offer.

During his career, Stern evolved into the center of attention in First Amendment issues and censorship. Infinity Broadcasting paid $1.7 million in 1995 to settle complaints by the
Federal Communications Commission against Stern. In April 2004, Clear Channel dumped Stern from six stations because of his show's content. Satellite radio has NO censorship at this stage.

Sirius is depending on Stern to reverse its money-losing ways. Since the 51-year-old shock jock announced his move last year, the number of Sirius subscribers jumped from 600,000 to more than 2.2 million. That figure is expected to hit 3 million by the end of the year. WAY to go Howard........

Below is the cover of his 1997 movie "Private Parts". If you have not seen it, get it out at your video store.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

No drivers license if you drop out?

Ontario, the capital province of Canada is taking steps to become the first province to deny the privilege to drive to high school students that drop out before the age of 18.
It seems a little like the ordinary rights of a citizen are being taken away, but a drivers license is a privilidge not a right. If that was to happen in NZ, then there would be a backlash, and a lot of youngsters without a drivers license.

The provincial Liberal government introduced legislation Tuesday that would force young people under 18 to prove they are an active student in order to get their driver's licence. If a student drops out before graduating or turning 18 they could be punished by being refused a licence to drive or having a licence already in their possession suspended. Too bad if you have a job a long way from your house.

Ontario's education minister said the government wants to take the unusual step to impress upon students that staying in school will lead to a better future.
I fully agree that staying in school and getting qualifications is the best thing to do, but if you are legally entitled to leave school at 16 or 17 then to prevent the teen the right to drive unless you stay in school seems a bit like bribary to me.

Part of me thinks it is a good idea, and another part thinks it is going to simply create a quagmire of 16 and 17 year old Ontarian drop outs with anti govt views.

Renees Bar Christmas party.

Went to the Renee's Bar Christmas Party at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood last night. Ted Brown, Gregory Johnson, Minibar and all of the regular crooners from the famous Sunday nights were there, and it was a particularly good show. Everyone was on form and I even managed to try a new drink...... A Washington Apple.

Greg, Simon (Minibar) and Ted.

Photo ripped from Gregs site.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Went to taping of the Tonight Show.

Today Gregory and I went to see a live taping of the Tonight Show with a couple of friends from this side of the world. We even got showen around back stage which was cool. Sir Anthony (Tony) Hopkins was on the show along with some other fellow and Coldplay. Jay Leno gave a fantastic recommendation for The worlds fastest Indian, which Sir Tony is in as well as it being filmed in NZ about a NZ character. Coldplay was good, and the other fellow seemed to be hyped up over some new show that looks interesting. If and when you make it to LA, I fully recommend getting to Burbank and watching a taping of the show.... It was very very fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

At last... Villeneuve on top

Jacques Villeneuve got to grips with his new BMW V8 engine on Saturday as he set the clear pace on the fourth day of testing at Jerez in southern Spain. The Canadian's best lap of 1m18.782 was enough to keep him comfortably ahead of McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa (with a limited V10 engine) and the two 2006 Toyotas of Ricardo Zonta and Jarno Trulli.

This is great news..... That tells me that BMW is improving the set up, and Jacques can actually do it. After a rather embarassing time in 2005 with Sauber, I am predicting that with BMW power, some motivation, and the right set up, Jacques might actually be competitive in 2006

Way to go Jacques.

You are not The Prime Minister

And you will never be.

1 Year today.


May you have many many many more happy anniversary's.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Shaq becomes an officer again.

According to the NZ Herald today. In Miami Beach, the extremely long arm of the law is attached to a 7-foot-1-inch (216cm), 147kg basketball superstar.

Shaquille O'Neal, the Miami Heat centre regarded as one of the world's best players, was sworn in on Thursday as a reserve police officer with the Miami Beach Police Department. You wouldn't want to get bashed by Shaq, watch out if you are in Miami.

O'Neal, who has long been interested in a crime-fighting career and wants to become a police chief someday, has a uniform, badge, gun and the power to make arrests.

He worked as a reserve officer in Los Angeles during his years with the Lakers and has been training in Miami Beach since his trade to the Heat in July 2004.

O'Neal won't be put on street patrol - an enormous world-famous athlete in a police uniform might be a distraction - so he is working in the detective bureau on child exploitation crimes.

"He made it quite clear he didn't want to be used for photo ops and recruitment work when he came here," Miami Beach Police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said.

"He wanted to get down and dirty."

In September, O'Neal witnessed an assault on a gay couple and followed the suspects in his vehicle while calling for backup and flagging down a passing police car, Hernandez said. His actions resulted in an arrest.

O'Neal, who earns about US$20 million ($28.86 million) a year as a National Basketball Association star, must do a minimum of 20 hours work a month, when he's not busy with his other job, Hernandez said.

As a reserve officer, he has all the law enforcement powers of a full-time officer.

"The only difference between a regular police officer and reserve is I get paid and he doesn't," Hernandez said.

When I met Shaq at Beverly Hills BMW in 2003, everyone was surprised to see him pulling up in a Ford Crown Victoria undercover police car. The reason for it as it said above was that he was also an Officer in LA. Quite smart really, you don't see hooligans racing up to what is suspected as being a police car and looking in do you? Plus it had very dark tinted windows, so he would not be detected by adoring fans.

WAY to go Shaquille..... It does send a good message that although he makes plenty of folding, he is concerned with helping the community. Plus if there is a fight on the ball court, he can arrest the opposition.

NZ's biggest home in my old town?

According to the NZ Herald, a Coatesville house estimated to cost $30 million is being developed by interests associated with the founder of the flourishing Chrisco Christmas Hamper Club. I was brought up in Coatesville, a lovely area which had dairy farms, gravel roads, and lots of horsie girls...... Now it looks like things have changed.

Richard Bradley, in his mid-50s and a British migrant who lives on the North Shore, is in a group building what is thought to be New Zealand's largest house, on Mahoenui Valley Rd north of Albany. I wonder if it is the same Richard Bradley that immigrated from UK and sent his kids to Coatesville primary in the LATE 80's. They also lived on Mahoenui Valley Road, but sold up due to business problems I think. Looks like things turned around for the better.

Despite his apparent wealth and global business, Mr Bradley has never appeared on the National Business Review Rich List, which has a $25 million minimum. He started the Chrisco business in Britain in 1978, has been here since 1992 and runs Chrisco in Canada and Australia. If they have been here since 1992 it is not the same folks unless there is a mistake by the journalists.

New Zealand's most expensive house sold is at Boatshed Bay on Waiheke Island. Mark Hotchin, who heads finance company Hanover Group and is a part-owner of the NZ Warriors, reportedly paid $13.8 million for the house this year.

Dozens of tradesmen have been working on the Coatesville house. The site, shielded by high stone walls, has an arbour of mature palm trees, tennis courts, a maze garden, ponds and a large pool.

My parents owned a real estate company in Coatesville called "Good Realty" for many years. My mother once sold a 10 acre block for a record price on Mahoenui Valley Road. It was approx 1990, and she sold the prime block for $312,000. So things change. Have to add another zero or two to move to Coatesville now.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A building a kilometre high?

According to the NBZ herald today, a new building is being proposed within a multi-billion dollar Arabian city, the 250-storey tower would form the centrepiece of a development that the Kuwati government hopes will establish it as a serious global player. Maybe Osama will leave this one alone?

London-based architect Eric Kuhne & Associates is in talks with Kuwaiti government officials over the project, according to a report published in the Architects' Journal.

The 1,001m tower will form the centrepiece of the Madinat al Hareer, or "City of Silk", that would house 700,000 people. I have not been up the skytower, so if I am ever in Kuwait when this is finished, you wont catch me up it.

Kuhne claims constructing the city and its infrastructure - including four ports - would cost $150bn (NZ$214bn) and take 25 years.

The next highest building in the world is the Burj Dubai, the landmark tower in the Middle Eastern tourist hotspot designed by US architect Skidmore Owings and Merrill.

Still under construction, its height is likely to be between 700 and 800m when it is completed in 2008.

The tallest completed building is Taipei 101, in Taiwan, which measures 509m, so the proposed new building will nearly be twice the height..... CRAZY.

More well known man made giants include the Empire State Building, which was the tallest structure in the world for 41 years, and almost 75 years after it was built it remains the world's ninth highest skyscraper at 443m. I nearly went up the Empire State Building when I was in NY in July, but changed my mind...

The Eiffel Tower in Paris measures 320m. The line up was too large when I was in Paris to go up this one....

At 328 metres Sky Tower in Auckland is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering breath-taking views for more than 80 kilometres in every direction. Never wanted to go up that after my issue with the Space Needle below.

I have been up the CN tower in Toronto, which is 553 meters tall.... I had a problem when I went up the Space Needle in Seattle with my buddy Riaz Khan. The building which is only 162 meters high started wobbling, and I had to crawl on my hands and knees to the bar where I promptly ordered a Jack and Coke before getting back to terra firma.

What is the point of building a building 1 kilometre high?

CN Tower 553 metres high

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

No automatic right to NZ citizenship

According to stuff.co.nz: Not all babies born in this country will automatically become citizens of New Zealand under a law change coming into effect on January 1.

The change will affect some of the babies born to up to 500 couples who travel to New Zealand each year to give birth so their children can obtain a New Zealand passport. This is similar to my previous post here about USA thinking of stopping the same thing with illegal immigrants coming to have children to obtain passports.

The children born here to couples who have no claim to New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency will not be entitled to citizenship under the new rules. Fair enough I say. There is enough bludging going on in NZ as it is.

Registrar-general of Births, Deaths and Marriages Brian Clarke, said the change would only affect a small number of babies of about 500 so it seems.

"The new rules will not affect the vast majority of children born in New Zealand.

"If at least one parent is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident their new baby will be a citizen of this country. This generally includes Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Mr Clarke said that it also applied where at least one parent was a permanent resident of the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue.

Children born to New Zealand citizens outside of New Zealand will generally acquire New Zealand citizenship by descent as they should.

There is no reason to grant citizenship to children of non residents unless they apply and get approved as with any other person wanting to immigrate to NZ. There is a security issue there too, and I am glad that the loophole will be closed as of January 1st 2006. I only wish that USA would do the same thing soon.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Go right Canada

Canada is due to have an election on January 23rd, it's second in just as many years. The country has been run by the left wing Liberals since 1993 under the control of Jean Cretien, and now Paul Martin the previous finance minister. Quite frankly, I believe that Canada has been drained of it's ability to be a world leading country since the Liberals took control.

The country is very PC, the unions cause a strike practically every month. The US/Canadian relations are poor, Quebec is a thorn in the side, and the taxes are way too high. Canada has the ability to really be a world player, but it is currently perceived as the snow covered Switzerland of the north.

There is hope, and that is the Conservative Party of Canada. The Leader of the party Stephen Harper has announced the party's intention to have a reduction of GST from 7% to 5% if they win the election. He has said that the Military will be considerably boosted, and they are planning on getting tougher on crime. It has been stated that drug trafficers caught in Canada currently spend an average of 87 days in the slammer... That will change.

Canada is a brilliant and beautiful country, but there is a few major problems... One of them can be changed by electing in the Conservative Party and getting Canada back on track.

Problem is that the Conservative is perceived as a Western Canadian Party. The liberals have a large stronghold in Ontario (East), which also has the largest of the electorate votes.... It is going to be an uphill battle, but there is a chance.

I am afraid that Canada may well be doomed for another short term Liberal party controlled election win......

Lets hope that the Canadians see the light.....

Monday, December 05, 2005

Beautiful California weather again

I left the snowy grounds of JFK in NY and arrived back in warm LA. Plane was over an hour late leaving but it was a good flight. Kate Moss was on the flight... Wonder what she is doing, ( or shouldn't be doing ) in Los Angeles.

It is late here, and I have a meeting bright and early tomorrow, so I will sign off. Best I get on to Paritai Drive part 2 soon..........

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Leaving Manhattan

Had a brilliant time here in NY. Went out yesterday with the developer of a building that we are interested in. Had a great Italian meal complete with truffles, sweet bread, oxxo busco? and some rasperry crepe's flambed in something nice. The developer seems to be rather hooked up and know most everyone. The stories were great, and it was good to talk about his love of cars too.

Off for brunch with the Real Estate agent now.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

In the Big Apple

Finally made it to the Big Apple via Denver. The weather here is clear and cool, but notas cool as Tahoe. Went to Wall Street today to look at some spectacular apartments. Off to a dinner and a boogie at a private club tonight...... Manhattan ROCKS.

Tahoe was spectacular

Tahoe was spectacular. The day we landed in Reno, it was snowing. By the time we got to the house in Tahoe by taxi we were in a virtual blizzard. It must have snowed a foot. It was really beautiful, and I must say that the X5 with snow tires preformed magnificently. Visit Squaw Valley in Tahoe.