Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Schumacher signs with Mercedes GP for 2010 and beyond

F1 legend and 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher has signed with Mercedes GP (Formally Brawn and Honda) for a 3 year period. This means that Michael will once again be partnered with Ross Brawn who has been with him during his previous world championship years. Michael will be 41 years old when the season starts making him the oldest driver on the grid. 2010 is going to be a brilliant year in F1. Wonder if Ralph will get the same idea?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Kimi Raikkonen moves from F1 to WRC for 2010

Kimi Raikkonen previously a brilliant F1 driver at Ferrari (World Champion 2007), McLaren and Sauber will be moving away from Formula 1 and competing in the 2010 season of the WRC. Ferrari paid out his contract 1 year early to allow double World F1 Champion Fernando Alonso to take the seat opposite Massa for 10. Raikkonen will be racing under the Citroen Junior banner for the WRC championship team. Kimi will campaign in all but one of the 13 rounds next year, sitting out the New Zealand event which is a bit of a shame as I would have liked to see if Kimi can keep up with my old neighbor and NZ rally expert Patrick Malley.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Greg Johnson New Years Eve Party at the Windsor Castle in Parnell Auckland NZ

Get your tickets and celebrate with Greg Johnson and band including a couple of songs by upcoming Singer / Songwriter Taylor Cornell from Venice California... Get your tickets before it is sold out.... I look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dallas Texas

I just got back from Dallas Texas where my girlfriend and I visited for Thanksgiving. We traveled to Fort Worth and viewed the running of the longhorn cattle, has a nice BBQ lunch, went to the 6th floor museum to see where Kennedy was assassinated and had a very nice Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Dallas was very impressive. The dining is great, the city itself seems to be smaller than Auckland, but the houses are bigger. The Christmas lights were out and it was beautiful.
Drove past W's house ( or at least to the gate ) looked at some open homes and all in all had a fantastic time.

Dallas Texas is well worth a visit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big trip

Just got back from a long drive. Flew to EGE Eagle Vail Colorado, collected a vehicle from there and drove it to Olympic Valley ( Squaw Lake Tahoe ) which was 978 miles. Popped in to Orem Utah to see an old school pal Paul Glover and his family on the way and had fun. Had a night in Tahoe and then collected a different vehicle and drove the 495 miles back to LA.... Fun Fun.

Veterans Day

Thank you to all the Veterans out there that have and still keep us safe.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cuba-US hold high level unannounced talks.

A top US Diplomat has spent 6 days in Havana holding high level talks with the Cuban government. Originally this was just for discussing a direct mail system between USA and Cuba but talks escalated.

Looks like there is beginning to be a thaw in relations between Havana and Washington...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Greg Johnson and Boh Runga to tour New Zealand October 2009

Famous Kiwi singer songwriters Greg Johnson and Boh Runga are flying down from Los Angeles to do a acoustic tour of New Zealand this October. The pulpit will be replacing the moshpit for this particular tour, as they will be playing in churches, known for their great acoustics around the country and will be belting out all of your favorite tunes. Supported by Classic Hits, Nathan King and Lydia Cole. No preaching guaranteed :-)
Get your tickets at or it will be worth it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Canada - New Zealand Air Transport Agreement signed.

A new Air Transport Agreement has been signed between New Zealand and Canada, Transport Minister Steven Joyce and Trade Minister Tim Groser announced today.
"New Zealand and Canada have a long-standing partnership. The Agreement, signed overnight in Singapore, creates new opportunities for the further development of business, tourism and people-to-people links between New Zealand and Canada," Mr Groser said.

"The Agreement removes previous limitations on the frequency of flights that can be provided. Additionally, New Zealand and Canadian carriers can now operate to and beyond each others' country over any routing." This is brilliant, It means that Air NZ can fly to Vancouver and then direct to Europe / Asia / North and South America. Air Canada can fly direct to NZ and then over to Australia / Asia etc. Maybe the fares will get even better for the traveling citizens of Canada and New Zealand?

Full story courtesy of The PM of NZ here......

New Zealand moving closer to Australia?

Goodness me, I am not sure what citizens of either country will be thinking about this???

Having said that Sir Roger Douglas and the ACT Party have said that with some hard work and changes New Zealand can be on par with Australia soon...May New Zealand advance and prosper.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ted Brown Moments More Precious video

This is Los Angeles based New Zealand born singer Ted Brown's latest video for the song "Moments more Precious" from the album 'Shaky's Blessing'. It was directed by Matt Palmer and shot in the beautiful North Island of New Zealand...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why crush the boy / girl racers cars?

I was reading today on this article about a new law which will enable councils to crush car of excessively naughty boy and girl racers.


Firstly, if these naughty racers are driving cars which are blatantly not legal for the road and they are in an area which is known for illegal racing, then confiscate the car, take the racers license and get them in front of the judge FAST within the month.

Most of these racers are harmless and are simply just trying to drive around town, showing off their new rear wing, wheels and lowering kit that ruins the cars handling and makes them look ridiculously foolish.
It is the buffoonish behavior from one or two (normally intoxicated or insane) that cause harm to others. Those folks need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The naughty racers normally have spent most of their money on souping up their horrendous looking vehicle and can't afford to pay any fines. No problem, take the car and put it up for auction ( not to be purchased by the perpetrator) and put the sale amount ( if any ) towards driver education programs and any previous outstanding fines. If the car does not sell then dismantle is and part it out or donate it to the local schools / Poly tech automotive departments for training up and coming apprentices.

Why crush with no one getting the benefit of the buffoonery?

A fine means nothing to most of these folks if they really do not get in trouble when they break the law. Give the Police the power to catch the naughty racers, give the courts the ability to move fast on the prosecution and don't give a car back to ANY driver until all fines are paid.

Fines for broken indicators, expired warrant / rego ( within a week ) and small and possible innocent problems should be low and they can be annulled with the owner of the car showing up to see the oversight has been fixed.

A person that has been caught 3- 5 times for having no rego / warrant, drivers license, spinning wheels, spreading diesel etc should be treated differently with a harsher penalty. A bit of time in a cell and a bit of hard labour as well as a bit of ridicule. How about every idiot looking vehicle that is impounded is inspected by a professional on tv who takes the mickey out of the modifications Top Gear style. The owner would be required to explain why they think the modifications are important and why they think recklessly spinning the wheels in a populated area makes them a bigger person. The naughty racer who proves to be the biggest idiot via online vote will get an extra 6 months of license suspension and will provide some comedy to the viewing public?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Greg Johnson video Kiss Me featuring Robert Good and Nicks BMW Z8

This is a cool video for the song Kiss me that has resurfaced from Greg Johnson's archives. It was filmed in 2004 and I even have a part in it...... Along with Nicks BMW Z8 Alpina that we "borrowed" for the day. SHHHH.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

50,000 Hits

Onwards and upwards.... Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Star Trek the movie (2009)

I had the opportunity to preview the new Star Trek movie last night at the Paramount Studios.

James T. Kirk, the USS Enterprise and Spock were in full effect. This is a brilliant movie and I would expect that when it is released tomorrow it will gather quite a following.
There is an all star line up including Karl Urban a fellow Kiwi, Winona Ryder ( who I didn't even recognize ), Chris Pine who did a brilliant job as J T Kirk, Zachary Quinto who made a stellar appearance as Spock and .................... best of all Leonard Nimoy who put the ears back on and came back as his original but aged character from the original TV series.
I was not much of a Sci- Fi fan, but this is a movie that makes me want to become one. There is humor, originality and it is not unfathomable. I recommend you go to the cinema and watch this movie twice.Live Long and Prosper

Friday, March 27, 2009

7 years in USA today.

Time has flown, it seemed like just yesterday I packed up and said goodbye to family and friends in Auckland and hopped aboard NZ1 to LAX to make a new life in America. Well that was 3-27-2002.
When I first arrived after getting through the secondary inspection by immigration officers and got my passport stamped for permanent residency and employment I was greeted by my cousin Jo who allowed me to board at her house for a good few months. I got a job at Santa Monica BMW, mostly because a friend of mine in NZ knew the owner and due to that a job was offered. Moved on to Beverly Hills BMW and then back to SM BMW after a year. I then got into real estate with Keller Williams Realty which I am doing now and working with Nick at DHH.
When I first arrived it was shortly after 9-11. There were US flags everywhere and there was and still is a lot of patriotism. Now the US flags have been replaced with Obama / Biden stickers, but I will remain open as to how long that will last.
I have experienced most all of my friends getting married back in NZ and have 1 two or even 3 kids, so I have made it back a couple of times to witness the transfer for wedding rings, baby photos and swearing in's which is nice.
Rodney Hide is now a Minister, won Epsom twice and is making headway. Act has 5 MP's. Pablo is a councilor, on many important boards and is doing very well for the people of Auckland. John Banks got voted in for the second time, knocking off the cereal king, Simon Bridges has defeated Winston Peters to take the Tauranga seat, and at long last NZ has a center right government under the leadership of John Key MP.
USA has had 8 years of GWB. He didn't leave as the most popular President, but I respect him for doing what he did for USA. BHO #44 is a charasmatic President. He is starting to feel what it is like to step into the shoes of #43 and so far he is doing a pretty good job. I will give him some time to settle in bofore I become super critical.
So BBQ tonight, hot dogs and burbon.... Bit like NZ really except that apple pie tastes better here.

I celebrated the day by buying some shares.... Wonder how much they will be worth in 7 more years?

Question of the day. If Milo is such a NZ icon and staple, why is it made in Australia???

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Greg Johnson's new animated video "I got opinions"

Just released, be the first to see Greg Johnson's I got opinions video. The animation took many months by a hard working crew in New Zealand and is very interesting. Enjoy.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Visiting New Zealand this week.

I am off to visit New Zealand for a week. Have an important wedding to attend and family and friends to visit. Looking forward to fishing, having some Bluff oysters, Kilkenny beer ( even though it is from Ireland ), couple of pies, some fish and chips, Dad's famous lamb shanks and of course a banana milkshake.
I will be attending a Greg Johnson gig at the Spiegeltent at the Aotea Center on Thursday 12th. It will be good to see Greg and Ted play their old favorites, and new hits. Tickets are on sale here. Come along and have a beer or two...
I am not the biggest fan of Air New Zealands 777's. I prefur the 4 engined 747-400. If 4 engines are required for the POTUS then they are good enough for me. I have my fingers crossed that the Air NZ management will join Lufthansa and order the new 747-800 which is yet to be produced. I am also looking to fly at the front of the plane, so if that is confirmed I will give a review. I hope my experience is better than Cactus Kate's, and I have no intention on sleeping in the nick on the plane. Every time I have flown Air NZ Business Premier I have had a great experience, except they are ALWAYS out of the reisling that I would have liked to try.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

President Obama's speech to Congress

I watched President Obama's speech today to Congress. I felt it was effective and impressive. Gov Jindals response was ok, but could have been better.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama visits Canada

#44 took his first International trip today since taking office and visited Canada. It is a tradition for the US President to make his first International trip to Canada although #43 GWB broke that record by visiting Mexico first instead.
It is time for stronger US-Canadian relations and between PM Harper and President Obama I think it can be done. Canadians tend to have a slight negativity towards the USA somewhat like NZ and Australia, but when push comes to shove it is time to get over that as both countries are interdependent in many areas.
It looks like an agreement has been made between Canada and USA about clean energy. Afghanistan was talked about, as that is a touchy point for the Canadian people, and further energy sharing was discussed.
Last time that there was true leader friendship between Ottawa and D.C was with the 4oth President of USA Ronald Reagan and 18th PM of Canada Mulroney, they were great friends. I wonder if a bi-partisan friendship will be created with the current leadership?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fancy a cup of cow urine?

Does your Pepsi lack pep? Is your Coke not the real thing? According to the Times online, India's Hindu nationalist movement apparently has the answer: a new soft drink made from cow urine. MMM yummy, just what the doctor ordered.

The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India's biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called "gau jal", or "cow water" – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched "very soon, maybe by the end of this year".

"Don't worry, it won't smell like urine and will be tasty too," he told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. "Its USP will be that it's going to be very healthy. It won't be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins."

The drink is the latest attempt by the RSS – which was founded in 1925 and now claims eight million members – to cleanse India of foreign influence and promote its ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness.

Hindus revere cows and slaughtering them is illegal in most of India. Cow dung is traditionally used as a fuel and disinfectant in villages, while cow urine and dung are often consumed in rituals to "purify" those on the bottom rungs of the Hindu caste system.

In 2001, the RSS and its offshoots – which include the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party – began promoting cow urine as a cure for ailments ranging from liver disease to obesity and even cancer.

The movement has often been accused of using more violent methods, such as killing 67 Christians in the eastern state of Orissa last year, and assaulting women in a pub in Mangalore last month. It also has a history of targeting foreign business in India, as in 1994, when it organised a nationwide boycott of multinational consumer goods, including Pepsi and Coca Cola.

The cola brands are popular in India, now one of their biggest markets, but have struggled in recent years to shake off allegations, which they deny, that they contain dangerous levels of pesticide.

Mr Prakash said his drink, by contrast, was made mainly of cow urine, mixed with a few medicinal and ayurvedic herbs. He said it would be "cheap", but declined to give further details about its price or ingredients until it was officially launched.

He insisted, however, that it would be able to compete with the American cola brands, even with their enormous advertising budgets. "We're going to give them good competition as our drink is good for mankind," he said. "We may also think of exporting it."

Good luck with that. Wonder if it will take off???

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bill in Congress to allow US Citizens the right to travel to Cuba.

While most of the nation focused on the stimulus bill winding through Congress, nine representatives introduced a bill calling for an end to the 46-year-old ban on travel to Cuba according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act introduced in the US House of Representatives on Feb. 4 would allow American citizens unrestricted travel to Cuba for the first time since 1963. The bill by Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., and eight co-sponsors would also lift limits on travel by Cuban exiles living in the United States. The president would not be able to regulate travel to the island unless an armed conflict or armed danger arises. I believe that this is something that President Clinton wanted to do towards the end of his term, but it didn't happen.

The bill has gone too far, said Francisco "Pepe" Hernandez, president of the Cuban American National Foundation. Cuban exiles should visit their families whenever they want, but tourists shouldn't spend money in resorts that Cubans are barred from. "It's improper and should not be allowed until the Cuban government makes some reforms," he said.

That's not the case for Jose Lopez, president of the Broward County Latin Chamber of Commerce and a staunch supporter of the trade embargo.

"It's a betrayal and it's not going to resolve anything," said Lopez, who left Cuba in 1961.

Tourism dollars spent in Cuba will inject more oxygen into the dying Castro regime, he said. Lopez also thinks Cuban exiles who want to return to the island whenever they please are abusing their refugee privilege.

Many expect US President Obama to back a change in the policy. As a candidate for the presidency, Obama spoke in favor of reducing restrictions on remittances and travel to the island.

It is time for fair and Democratic elections in Cuba. Their citizens are repressed and certainly need change. It appears that Raul is making come changes but clearly not enough. Will an influx of US travelers fuel their regime with an influx of US dollars, or will the government fall and open the door for a free Cuba?

Co-sponsors to the bill include representatives Rosa Delauro, D-Conn. Sam Farr D-Calif., and US Presidential candidate Ron Paul, R- Texas.

Monday, February 09, 2009

President Obama and Marine One

Looks like President George W Bush is not the only one to have trouble making his way onto Marine One.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Previous Governor Rod R. Blagojevich

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich has been impeached by the Illinois senate and is moving out of the Governors mansion as I write this. He is now the Previous Governor of Illinois.
Previous Governor Blagojevich addressed the Illinois senate this morning with a rather good speech, but it did not convince the senate. Lt Governor Pat Quinn is about to be sworn in.

Politicians certainly need to step it up a gear.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Former French President Chirac attacked.

Former French President Jacques Chirac has been taken to hospital because he was violently attacked by his clinically depressed Maltese dog... Te he he.

I am sure Saturday Night Live may have something to say about this.

We wish him a swift recovery.... Maybe he should get better security...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


He is now the 44th President of the Unites States of America, President Barack Obama. Change has come. Congratulations.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

President George W Bush's final address to the nation.

This is a briefing of President Bush's final address to the nation this January 15th 2009. He still has 5.5 days to serve as President before President Elect Barack Obama takes the reigns.

The happy looking President said...

It has been an honor.

Best wishes to the President Elect and Obama family, thanks to Dick Cheney, Presidents family and the American people.

September 11th was talked about. He said that every day he had a security briefing to make sure it didn't happen over his watch. He mentioned the increase of Federal agencies also created and strengthened to make USA strong. USA has gone 7 years without another terrorist attack.

He thanked the Military and their families. His highest honor has been serving as their commander and chief.

Every taxpayer is paying lower tax.

Funding for Veterans has almost doubled.

Thanked his supreme court appointees.

Setbacks.... He would have done some things differently. He followed his conscience.

He made tough decisions. We may not have agreed with them.

Gravest threat is another terrorist attack.

We must resist complaitancy, must keep resolve and not let down our guard.

Must rejest isolationism.

If America does not lead the freedom the course will not live.

Good and evil present in the world. There must be no comprimise between the two.

Must speak out for justice and truth and piece.

In the toughest time we lift our eyes to the broud horizon ahead.

He brought some honored guests who he mentioned and spoke of.

We have faces danger and trial and there is more ahead.

USA will never tire falter or fail.

There has been good days and tough days.

Blessed to represent USA and honored to be a citizen of the USA. "

Finishes with a standing applause.

A very nice final speech. Wish the President the best in his retirement.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Kiwi's need to apply online before traveling to USA

It appears that as of today if you are using a NZ passport you will need to apply online for a "free" visitors visa to come to USA. This could cause some confusion for a while. Three things come to mind.

1. What happens if you have a similar name to someone on the watchlist? A la Cat Stevens.
2. What is the deal if you have a computer but no internet connection?
3. What happens if you get to the airport in NZ and you have not completed this form online, will you be bumped off your flight?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

5 Presidents for lunch

Photo courtesy of

Putting his hand out in friendship and in a bi-partisan manner, current President #43 George W Bush invited #42 Bill Clinton, #41 George H W Bush, #39 James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr and soon to be #44 Barack Obama to the Whitehouse for a private lunch today.

This is the first time all living Presidents have been together in the Whitehouse since 1981 when a US delegation was preparing to attend the funeral of Egypt's Anwar Sadat.

The last White House event to draw the former presidents was a November 2000 celebration in honor of the White House's 200th anniversary. But one of the former presidents, # 40 Ronald Reagan, was unable to attend as he was unwell with Alzheimer's.

President Bush said; "I want to thank the president-elect for joining the ex-presidents for lunch, even though he's not quite a member of that club yet.

One message that I have and I think we all share is that we want you to succeed. Whether we're Democrat or Republican we care deeply about this country, All of us who have served in this office understand that the office itself transcends the individual."

He added: "We wish you all the very best, and so does the country."

A very nice message to President Elect Obama indeed. I think President Bush speaks for all of us.

Would have liked to be invited to that lunch... Pity I can never be President unless they change the law...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

First post 2009

This is the first post for 2009. All the best to you crazy blogger's and blog readers out there.

Puntiki in snowy Tahoe California.