Monday, December 31, 2007

Rising Up To Paradise; I Know I'm Gonna Shine

This has been a very special week due to the visit of the Millers. They are the first of the actual family members to make it over. Lauren and Jeff have been great guests, although Jeff has quite a few odd habits; like a serious Diet Coke jones. Truth be told, he enjoys coke like Robin Williams in the 80's. Plus, he's gotta have ice, and plenty of it.
Also, both these guys are addicted to their iPods, iPhones, and whatever other small electronic devices that can fit into a purse. Jeff was actually googling the U of A basketball game when he should have been watching a waterfall. Then he called a friend in the states to discuss the halftime score. The guy was actually taping the game and Miller spoiled the entire experience from 7000 miles away.
Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, they are quite the consumers . Jeff loves hats and had purchased at least 3 by my count so far. But I promised not to mock. Well, actually, I said Jeff could write the post to save him from embarrassment. So here is the guest commentator, Jeff Miller.

From the moment we touched down in Nelson, I knew after 57 years of life, I had finally found Paradise. As we flew over the small, but functional airport, the surroundings were breath taking and wonderful. Michael and Kimberly were waiting for us and drove us on a scenic tour of Nelson before taking us to their retro and distinctive Terra Cotta abode.

To digress for a moment the long flight over from Los Angeles was GREAT. We expected the worst and it was really a breeze.
I have been fortune to see many spectacular wonders in the states, but nothing compares to NZ.

I was somewhat surprised to find out that we would be embarking on an 8 day road trip. I was thrilled because I really didn't want to spend my entire 2 week vacation in the adorable bungalow that everyone in Nelson knows from its distinctive appearance.

One thing I did notice that there is a total lack of ice cubes in this small island of courteous and lovely people. I will never take ice for granted again when I return to AZ, whether crushed or cubed. When you ask for ice here they look at you funny and place one lonely cube in the bottom of your glass.

There are too many adventures or sites to blog about starting at Abel Tasman Bay, Punakaki, and many more spectacular wonders. The two highlights to date have been hiking on the Fox Glacier, where I was able to satisfy my passion for ice, and milking a cow, Tinker Bell.

For those of you that have had the opportunity of visiting this wonderful country you know there are no words to describe its beauty. For those of you who have not had the chance to visit Michael and Kimberly, you must make it a priority. The country is loaded with 1,000,000 Kodak moments around every bend along the narrow two lane highway, which I did master after one 3 hour session.

New Zealand.......just aim and shoot, no need to focus.

Happy New Z!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mama's Got A Freeze Box

Shalom, shalom

In a continuing effort to spend money like hillbilly lottery winners, we have just purchased a new side by side refrigerator and freezer.

There are just the two of us, but we opted for the huge stainless steel version. Enough room to store 2 deer carcasses, one barrel of potato salad, and a dozen medium size cats.

The New Zealand appliance manufacturer is called Fisher & Paykel. They make washers, dryers, and so on. We try to support them because they are a NZ company.

As is my habit, I scanned through the instruction book. I was surprised to find that our new refrigerator has something called a Sabbath Mode. This is a special setting that will allow a Jew to open the door without having the light go on.

According to Hebrew law, we cannot work on Saturday. "Work" is defined as anything that does not involve praying in temple. We cannot even turn on a light or start up the stove. I think breathing could be argued as being work, but fortunately, God had the wisdom to give it a pass.

In the old days, Jews would hire a Sabbath Goy to come over and flip the light switch and put a match to the pilot on the oven. (I'm sure one of these guys did some work on the missus if hubby was not up for it.) Hebes who had no non believing friends would have to sit in the cold and dark on Saturdays.
When they got fed up of that, they were the ones who wound up in the synagogue, praying for Sabbath Goys.

As a young lad, eagerly attending Hebrew school and reading the Torah on a daily basis, I was keen to follow the laws of the Lord. At an early age, I dreamed of entering rabbinical school and devoting myself to Judaism as a career. Certainly, working on a Saturday would go against all the teachings of Moses.

Since I did not want to turn on any lights or stoves, I religiously remained ensconced in my warm bed in my dark room, happily dreaming of God in Heaven.

However, my dad seemed to be sending mixed messages. He claimed a belief in a higher father... maybe it was George Washington, or Abe Lincoln.... any of the pantheon whose graven images graced the center of folding money.
His favorite gods said we had to work on Saturday in order to put food on our family and it was my duty as the eldest son to break all the ancient laws and leave my sanctuary to enter the cold winter world of parking lots in downtown Rochester, New York.

I tried to explain I was in Sabbath Mode, but he kept hitting me in the head with a pillow until I couldn't take it any more and was forced to get up and enter a day of sin.

I am certain it is because of the Old Man that I am not presently holding a holy book and encouraging some snot nosed 11 year old to stumble through a mysterious backwards scrawl that we call Hebrew writing.

So today, instead of skullcaps, We buy refrigerators and many appliances are now fitted with the Sabbath Mode setting. This keeps those potentially dangerous goyem out of the house.

It's hard to believe there are that many Orthodox Jews out there. Are they all buying fancy refrigerators? .... to the extent that this feature is as standard as ice cube trays? I know the Jews control the media and banking, but how did they put pressure on appliance makers??

I did some research on Maurice Fisher and Woolf Paykel. Turns out they are descendants of Jewish families who came from Russia in the early 1900's. I think they started in Auckland selling blocks of ice from a pushcart. The company has grown to be the biggest in NZ. They are innovative and eco-friendly...and they're JEWS!

They are probably spinning to the tune of the hora in their graves to know that a shiska is storing Xmas cookies in their Sabbathy Mode icebox. Plus, I'm sure she plans to chill some non-kosher ham in there for the holiday that celebrates the birth of the baby Jesus.

On Saturday, she intends to spend a full 30 minutes just opening and closing the door so the light goes on.

Happy Chrisnukah

Friday, December 14, 2007

He Took My Twenty Dollar Bill And Vanished In The Air

Much has been written about the filthy lucre, money, moolah, greenbacks. This post will be the definitive article to which future scholars will refer when they want to understand exchange rates and dollar values in the early 21st century.

In New Zealand, we have pretty cool looking cash. There are no pennies or nickels. Our coins are the 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, and 2$. The bills are $5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. They are different sizes and very colorful.

The thing is that all over the world, currencies are rated against the US dollar, so every hour, the value changes. When we got here the Kiwi dollar could be purchased for about 60 cents.

Back then, Our dollar was the strongest in the world. If you flashed a wad of Benjamins, the citizens of any other country would fall over themselves like the 3 Stooges to just have a peek.

That was then, this is now.

Our niece Debby has a high position in the Federal Reserve in New York. She makes very important decisions.

Recently, retired head, Alan Greenspan, wanted to change the the image on the 5 dollar bill from Abe Lincoln to Pamela Anderson. Deb explained that Pam was from Canada and convinced him to take a nap instead.

When he woke up, he raised interest rates.

Debby once tried to explain exchange rate theory to me, but after about 10 minutes, my eyes glazed over and my mind started to wander to thoughts of, believe it or not, Pam Anderson.

So I will explain the current problem with the weak US dollar in terms everyone can understand.

The US Dollar is Rocky Balboa. Adrian is America. Mr. T. is the Sudan Pound, Ivan Drago is the Euro. George Washington Duke is Cheney/Bush. Mason Dixon is Osama Bin Laden and Mickey, (Burgess Meredith) is Greenspan. Pam is the Canadian dollar.
Paulie is Fredo.

The fight takes place in Vegas where the Kiwi Dollar, portrayed by a young Rachel Hunter, is is the casino playing the nickel slots.

Rocky is in the arena taking care of business against all opponents. But he gets tired and tries to take on too many challengers at a time; he goes against the warnings of trainer Mickey.

His ego is pushed by the swagger of promoter, Duke.

He decides to fight an imaginary foe, Dixon. Nobody can defeat a non person. He goes down. Rocky is still being counted out. The referee is up to 81.. The fans boo and leave the arena, completely disenchanted with the former champ. They stream into the casino, laden with coins to gamble, bump into Rachel Hunter, causing her to pull the handle on her machine in such a way that it pays off the jackpot. Rachel's lap winds up full of money.

Pamela Anderson waltzes in and she and Rachel go up to the penthouse suite for some hot lesbian action.
Rocky finally staggers from the canvas only to be stuck with Talia Shire. They go to a cheap buffet where Rocky eats lightning and craps thunder. That night Adrian makes him sleep on the couch.
As of this morning, it costs nearly 80 cents to buy a Kiwi dollar.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Built To Last

In our house, being fit and in shape is the most important factor in life. In fact, I currently hold the #1 position in the Mr. 112 Cleveland Terrace competition. Overall, I am the second place winner in the open division, with Kimberly slightly ahead in points.

It's not easy keeping this trophy. I must work out 3 times a week, running on the treadmill, while watching the TV. I reckon I cover 12km per week. Then I put about 90 pounds of weight on a Nautilus machine and do some upper body stuff. Last I avoid my situps, take a nice shower and steam, topped off with a hard earned mocachino and sweet pastry.
If I wear a loose shirt, in the correct light I actually can appear half way trim.
But I ain't no Mr. Universe.
That title this year goes to Mark Anderson. He is the most fit man in the cosmos, which includes all pumped up aliens on all the planets in all the galaxies in Heaven. Except, he doesn't live on Mars, he lives right here in Nelson, NZ and is a personal trainer. See the news for more info:
I actually could hire out Mr. Universe to put me in competitive shape!
Who knows, someday, I could be Prime Minister.