Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cute little pussy cat(s)

Animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson has such an intimate bond with big cats that he can spend the night curled up with them without the slightest fear of attack.

Richardson, 32, who is based in a wildlife conservation area near Johannesburg in South Africa, works his unusual magic on other species too. Cheetahs, leopards and even unpredictable hyenas hold no threats for him. I petted a Cheetah once and I wanted one immediately. Unfortunately NZ DSIR or whatever it was called at the time wasn't going to allow me to set up a Cheetah conservation in Coatesville :-(

So instinctively in tune is he with these beasts, whose teeth are sharp enough to bite through thick steel, that mother hyenas even allow him to hold their newborn cubs without pouncing to the rescue.

But lions are his favourite. He lavishes them with unconditional love, he says, treating each individual differently, speaking to them, caressing them and, above all, treating them with respect.

What an exciting job.

Hasta la vista Tony

The Governator of California Arnold Schwarzenegger is the last government official to meet with UK P.M Tony Blair before he vacates #10 Downing Street tomorrow. It seems that Mr Blair will be heading up a Middle East peace envoy and will be a busy man after leaving the top job in London so he can't say "I'll be back" to live in Downing Street.

Arnold is fresh from a European tour that took in trips to his native Austria, and to Paris to see French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Schwarzenegger was in Downing Street to praise Mr Blair's work to combat global warming and to talk California / UK trade.

Looks like they got on well.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ah Honolulu

Ah Honolulu, one of my favorite places in the world. I am here to look at property for www.d-h-h.com and attend a wedding today. What a great time. I hope to be back soon. :-)

Monday, June 11, 2007

A great couple of weeks

About 2 weeks ago I got back from a quick 5 day trip to NZ. It was great to see everyone that I managed to catch up with and like usual there were people that I'd like to have seen but didn't. I had a great time though and certainly enjoyed Dad's home cooked lamb shanks and vogels every morning.
Yesterday I hopped in the Car with Gregory and Ted to go to San Diego for a gig they were having at this brilliant club Anthology. We got there early for the sound check, so I caught up with my Kiwi buddies Mat and Sharon and we caught the bus to Tijuana Mexico..... What a fun experience. I have been here for just over 5 years but never managed to make it to Mexico. We got off the bus and walked around, I felt like I was on a movie set. We resided at a small bar and managed to fulfill our dream of a shot of Tequila in Mexico and a Corona.... It was all very fun with Lucas the bartender insisting that we had just one more shot... :-) Anyway we made it to the bus and crossed the border in enough time to catch Gregory and Ted's show back in good old USA.
I am off to Hawaii this week for the wedding of the year....... Fun Fun.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Team New Zealand do it.

Emirates Team New Zealand has won the Louis Vuitton Cup 5-0 against Luna Rossa and is now the challenger for the America's Cup against Swiss team Alinghi..... Way to go Mr Barker and team... Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Republican US Presidential debate.

Tonight I watched the Republican Presidential hopeful debate and what an interesting program it was. It seems that most of the candidates would like to take off from where President Ronald Reagan finished and his name was mentioned at least 7 times throughout the night.

There were 10 candidates and they consisted of:

Gov. Mike Huckabee
Rep. Ron Paul
Gov. Tommy Thompson
Sen. Sam Brownback
Rep. Tom Tancredo
Rep. Duncan Hunter
Gov. Mitt Romney
Gov. Jim Gilmore
Sen. John McCain
Mayor Rudy Giuliani

I was particularly impressed with Gov. Mike Huckabee. He had a particularly good answer to a question Wolf Blitzer asked him about if he believes that God created life as we know it or if he believed in the big bang theory. Having been a previous Baptist Minister he obviously believes that God created man..... But if you or I would like to think that we were descendants of primates then we are welcome to believe it. His delivery of this curve ball question was magnificent. He seemed to have a firm control of his message throughout the evening and he was clear and precise. He seems to know what he is talking about. Would he make a good President? I think so. He'd make a great negotiator and certainly a good nomination for Secretary of State.

Sen. Tom Tancredo from Colorado seemed a little extreme. He has a point of difference on many ideas but I think that he would possibly be a bit much for the White House. He should get behind one of the front runners and offer his support. Maybe he'd be good in a Republican cabinet as he sticks to the book. He is not a fan of G.W Bush.

Rep Ron Paul from also seemed to me like he would not be a suitable candidate for the White House, but he did have a few good points and was not concerned about differing his opinion from his fellow on stage. Another potential for a cabinet, but as with Tom above, he should get behind one of the serious contenders and get out of the race.

Gov. Thompson had a few good one liners, but as with Hillary 2 days ago, we don't really need a comedian as President. While he had some good points, the main concern during the telecast amongst the people watching was weather he was wearing a hair piece. I can't answer that question for you, but I'd certainly accept him as President if his opponent was Dennis Kucinich.

Sen Brownback had a nasally voice somewhat like H. Clinton and had a resemblance of Beavis. I am not sure if the world community would be able to take him seriously.

Rep. Duncan Hunter is one of only a few people who work in Washington D.C that have a offspring in the military deployed overseas. So you have to give it to him that he'd have the troops best interest at heart which is important to me, but there is only going to be one President elected next year and I am not expecting it to be him. He'd be great in Veteran affairs and I hope he gets the opportunity to make sure that our troops are looked after both abroad and when they return.

Gov Jim Gilmore in the first quarter of 2007 raised a mediocre $174,790, the lowest of any of the major-party candidates besides Democrat Mike Gravel. Gilmore hosted only one fundraiser. He is obviously not making a serious run for the White House and although he has a few ideas that seemed reasonable I'd be inclined to think that he is enjoying the limelight and crossing his fingers that someone would like him to be V.P or in the next Republican cabinet. Power to him for trying, but unless he is going to have Mitt Romney open up his check book and spend some of his $500,000,000 on him, which is not going to happen, then he should back out.

Gov Mitt Romney has the look of a President. He has been hugely successful in business and seems to have high morals and trust ability. I am not concerned with the fact he is a Mormon. I have Mormon friends and they are great people. What I am concerned about is that he didn't have a clear message and of all his talking other than his pro-choice leaning at this stage, nothing was clear. He did come across a little bit like a well groomed car salesperson. He may make a reasonable V.P (maybe) but he needs to work rapidly on his message delivery if he wants to get close to the main contenders.

Sen John McCain seemed to me to have the most knowledge, respect and planning to make an excellent President of the USA. He is diplomatic, can work across the party lines and is by no means a freshman. A few of the questions asked were directly against his immigration bill and he got some flack for it from his friends on stage with him, but he managed to brush the water of his back and come back with flying colors. He was clear and precise. Good job.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani certainly has the ability to get the crowd going. He didn't seem as sincere as John McCain though. He got some laughs when lightening hit the roof when he was talking about abortion which was classic but I think that he doesn't have the experience of John McCain and could easily get overpowered by Washington. Not to say he wouldn't make a great President.

This leads to my choise for the President and V.P if I was to vote for the group above. There is always the chance the Frank Thompson may enter the race, and I will assess his potential when I see him in front of a crowd, but for now......

President John McCain
V.P Mike Huckabee

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Democratic US Presidential debate.

Today I watched the live debate for the potential Democratic candidates for President of the United States in 2008

The Democrats debating were:

former Sen. John Edwards

NY Sen. Hillary Clinton

IL Sen. Barack Obama

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel and

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd.

Firstly it was an interesting debate. It looked to me like John Edwards and Sen. Obama were overly favorable of each other. I am wondering if they already have an agreement that if one gets the nomination the other will be chosen as the running mate... That will be something to watch but I feel that if that was the case then once again Mr Edwards will be the Democratic candidate for V.P in 08.

I was particularly impressed with Gov. Bill Richardson I think you will find that the public opinion and approval ratings of him will go significantly up over the next few weeks. He seems to be onto it and has a proven track record in diplomacy having been the US Ambassador to the UN and energy having been #41's Sec of Energy. His is also Hispanic and may well attract the all important Hispanic vote. Only thing he said that I though was un apt was was to put pressure on China re the situation in Darfur Sudan and threaten to withdraw the US athletes from the Olympics in China if they don't do so...

John Edwards failed to impress me. I think a little too much of John Kerry rubbed off on him. He seems a little slimy a dung flinger for want of a better word and at this stage I'd like to see him drop out of the race.

Hillary Clinton seems to know what she is talking about and I must say her voice didn't seem to grate me as much as it usually does, but personally I am wary of her. Maybe she'd make a reasonable V.P, although she'd probably be better to stay in the senate and maybe accept a cabinet position if asked. I think it will be close when it comes to the nomination, but I am thinking that at this stage she won't be the next President of the USA. She did crack a few good one liners that got the crowd going, but we don't need a comedian in the White House.

Barack Obama is rather impressive. He does seem to know his stuff and seems to have the respect of the other candidates. I think that he may have a shot at the nomination and I would like to think that with the right advisor's he could actually make a change. Having said that there is a lot of time to go before the nominations and the election and I would think that if his opponent was John McCain, he'd loose.

Joe Biden Is a character. He is very experienced and has his definite opinions. He'd like to see troops in Darfur NOW and got rather loud when trying to get his point across. He reminds me of Howard Dean ( who I liked ) and I think he'd make a great Secretary of State but I am not expecting to see him as the duly elected President.

Dennis Kucinich is a interesting fellow. He is a Vegan, is pushing for peace, has a nice wife 31 years his junior, but he reminds me of Eddie the Eagle from the winter Olympics. He has the right idea and the respect of the people, but clearly no chance of becoming the President. He makes these debates interesting to watch, although he should stick to being a US Representative.

Mike Gavel from Alaska seemed to be a grumpy old man that disagrees with everyone else. I hope that he is not allowed to have anything more with anything to do with the Government of the USA. He should retire to a fishing lodge and enjoy his twilight years.

Chris Dodd seemed personable, but he didn't really say anything that made me think he was any better than the others. He will probably drop out of the race when the funds dry up, but will have fun running around as a Presidential candidate in the meantime.

A question was asked to all of the candidates as to what they'd do in their first 100 days in the White House.... This is what they said.

Edwards: "travel the world" and "re-establish America's moral authority."

Clinton: bring home U.S. troops from Iraq.

Obama: bring home U.S. troops and push for national health care.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: upgrade U.S. schools and push a $40,000-a-year minimum wage for teachers.

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden: end the war in Iraq and defuse tensions with Iran and North Korea.

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich: help "reshape the world for peace" and end all nuclear weapons.

Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel: remind Congressional leaders they can end the war in Iraq now.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd: "Restore constitutional rights in this country."

All in all, although I don't want the next President of the USA to necessarily be a Democrat, if I had to vote for one of these candidates right now and pick their running mate i would vote this way.

President Bill Richardson

Vice President Barack Obama

That could work... I now await the Republican debate on Tuesday.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Odin the Tiger

Surprise !!! Wouldn't really want to be in the pool to turn around and see Odin coming in for a dip with you....