the doctor of my dreams

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
 A:  Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster.
Want to live longer? Take a nap!

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
 A:  You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn.
And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. 
Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). 
And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
 A:  No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so  you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio? 

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. 
If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A:  Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you? 
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil.
In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you? 

: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle? 
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me? 

A: Are you crazy? HELLO
, Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around! 

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. 


A bit of NZ fun

This is an ad that I find hysterical. It is not only creatively done, it shows the NZ attitude, too.




I would have thought that after three years, I would have quit noticing differences, but new ones spring up now and then. And then there are the ones that just stick in the back of my head for the sole purpose of interrupting the other thoughts in the front of my head. And most of these come from American TV programs.

Like CV. I never heard of a CV until I got to NZ. I have always used the term 'resume'. All my life. And everybody I know has, too. And then, a few days ago on an American show, I heard someone use the term CV, like it's always been correct. When did that happen?

Then again, BBC documentaries often describe lengths in feet instead of meters. I can understand it better in feet and inches, but my poor brain expects to hear meters (actually, metres).

TVs are advertised in inches. Don't centimeters work?

I had a hard time remembering that a 'napkin' is a 'serviette'. Those stuffy British roots always make things hard. It even has more syllables to remember.

So why is the 'mobile' in mobile phone is pronounced 'MO-bile (long I)' here? *Sigh* And I thought I was anal.

I can understand that Colonists wanted to be 'different' from the English and changed the spelling of many words. But 'curb' spelled 'kerb' is just weird.

And then there are the past tense words--with the 'ed' in the US. Sometimes they used 'ed' here and sometimes it's just a 't'. Like 'equipt'.

My whole concept of correct English was shattered when I heard several imported Brits us the word 'et'. I was taught that only uneducated redneck hillbillies use that word. Hmmm.

And speaking of British English (and I am somewhat of an expert since I live with a Brit) I find it giggly that they cannot pronounce words ending with a vowel without adding an 'r' sound to it. Like 'plasma' would sound like 'plasmer'. But, on the other side of that same coin, they don't pronounce the final 'r' on words. Weird.

And who decided that you could 'shout' somebody lunch? No, it's not producing a meal by speaking loudly. It's paying. (From the times that pubs closed at 5 o'clock and you had to shout to get your order end before closing time.)

And now you have a glimpse into my strange world. Which explains the description in my header.


Stabber picking his own sentence...

I don't usually care much for the news here. It's usually boring or anti-US and it's usually badly written. But this case is amazingly ignorant. The guy stabbed his ex 216 times, but claims he didn't intend for her to die...

The jury in the Sophie Elliott murder trial decided to retire overnight and continue its deliberations today, and members were allowed to go home for the night.

Under new rules, juries do not need to be sequestered together at a hotel when the deliberations continue overnight, and Justice Judith Potter allowed them to return home after the trial's 19th day in the High Court at Christchurch.

They will be back in the jury room to consider the verdict at 9.30am today.

Clayton Robert Weatherston, a 33-year-old University of Otago economics lecturer,

denies the charge of murder but has indicated he would plead guilty to a charge of manslaughter.

The defence argued that Weatherston was provoked to attack Ms Elliott, 22, and stab her 216 times at her Dunedin home on January 9 last year, while the Crown has said it was a pre-meditated killing.

In her summing up the judge told the jury its verdict in the case "will be simply guilty or not guilty on the charge of murder".

She said no reasons or explanations were required but the verdict had to be unanimous.

The jury retired at 1.40pm after Justice Potter completed her summing up of the trial, and then came back into the court after 5pm so the judge could discuss options with them.

The decision to retire overnight was made at 5.10pm.

Hopefully the verdice will be today or tomorrow and it will be the right one.


A jury has found former Otago University tutor Clayton Weatherston guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend Sophie Elliott.
The jury returned its verdict at the High Court in Christchurch about 11.20am.
Weatherston, 33, was charged with the murder of Ms Elliott, 22, in Dunedin on January 9 last year. Weatherston accepted he was guilty of manslaughter, but denied the charge of murder.
Members of Sophie Elliott's family and supporters erupted in a cheer as the guilty verdict was delivered today.
One person shouted out "yes" and another said "you beauty" and one "well done" - directed towards the jury.
Miss Elliott's immediate family sobbed and hugged in the public gallery and outside the courtroom.
Weatherston showed little emotion as the verdict was delivered.
Outside court, Sophie Elliot's mother Lesley said her family was really, really pleased with the verdict.
"It was the right decision, it's been a long 18 months for us and we needed to see justice for Sophie, for her loss of life, and also for a lot of other girls that may be in that position.



Brass Monkeys

It made sense to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on old war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was a major problem.

 The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. 
 Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.
There was only one problem -- how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others.
The solution was a metal plate with 16 round dimples called, for reasons unknown, a Monkey. But if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls quickly rusted to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make the plates of brass - hence, Brass Monkeys.

Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts more, and more rapidly than iron when chilled.
Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey.

Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. And all this time, you thought that it was just a vulgar expression, didn't you? 


....bloody ad

There is an ad on tv that says, "I bloody love live pause." Whenever I try to say it, I have to really concentrate or it comes out, "I love bloody live pause." I suppose you need to be English to understand how to use the word 'bloody' because it never has become an easy word for me to use.

However, I have become accustomed to the 'live pause' part of it all. Yes, we have MySkyHDI, which is the NZ equivalent of TiVo. It wasn't something that I even thought about having, since I didn't even have basic cable in the States. But, it has become a sort of extra-curricular game to use it at our house. When you hear "I bloody..." you know the rest of the sentence and you also know that whoever has 'the stick' is going to rewind the program for some reason.

But, it's ok because the bloody thing keeps me from having to remember to tape shows for the kids when they aren't here. And, I'm not forced to watch 'Snickers' (as Otterboy calls 'the Seeker') just because I am recording it.

I guess I have changed my attitude about a lot of things as I get older. When I first heard of TiVo a few years ago, I just rolled my eyes and thought it was for people who couldn't be bothered with tapes and being respectful so that everyone watching tv could hear the plot. But, now I am only concerned with teaching the kids to have respect for other people in the room and I don't have to miss the plot to do it! And, to be honest, I'm glad I don't have to be bothered with tapes. Life is good!


They don't know everything, but some things are obvious

I have to face the facts. I have had a lot of adjusting to do over the last three years.

My life used to be simply living alone, working my 5 days a week and rationalizing the purchase of flannel sheets with cowboys on them.

Now, my schedule is 4 days with the kids and then 4 days with just the Hubby (according to Hubby's work schedule) over and over and over. I am very content with the arrangement, but the kids still amaze me at how different they are from my younger days. They are much more mature in their thinking than I was. And they say what's on their mind more than I did but sometimes that's not quite so mature.

I mean, when I was growing up, the only thing that was spoken through the bathroom door was a pleading, "Hurry up!" Our children sing, "We know what you're do-ing!" Quite a lot. Any time I am not alone in the house, as a matter of fact. And it makes me giggle, whether it's directed at me or one of the other family members.

I try my best to imagine saying that to my father through the bathroom door, and all I can conclude is...well, suffice it to say that I would 'learn my lesson the hard way' but only after I had run away from home and come back because I was hungry.

In my old life, I would probably have considered them disrespectful or rude words, but now I just believe it shows that the kids are comfortable with their evil step-mom and I can live with that.


Back beach, the prelude

For those of you that have seen my photos of back beach in my other blog I guess I should explain why it was a special place for our anniversary.

When Hubby and I were corresponding via internet across the Pacific Ocean, he surprised me with the following photo.

(Yes, for those of you that are romantics at heart, like me, you can say it all together now....'awwwwwwwwwwwww!')

He called himself Naki on the forum we met on...hence, the name.

Yes, it was quite a surprise to get such a sweet gesture! And, it's so neat and tidy, too, so he got extra points for that. Those footprints are size 14's so you can imagine the size of his message.

It was at Back Beach where he carried out this bit of romantic stuff, so it was one of the first places I wanted to see when we got to Taranaki.

It will always be special because it helped him win my heart across the waters.

I guess I'm just a hopeless romantic. So, sue me.


Three years!

When I contemplated my move from KS to NZ, I looked at every turn expecting to find a serious reason not to go. My wonderful, close friends all supported me, never giving me any indication that they thought it was not a good idea--except for one friend's hubby who was convinced I was stepping into a white-slavery/cult/polygamy bad situation. But, I dodged that bullet to find a new, wonderful world.

My life here is great. I don't work outside the home, which gives me lots of time to bake cookies and cakes and breads (oh, my) and take photos. Since we have shared custody of the kids, we have them 4 nights (on Hubby's days off) then they are at their mom's 4 nights while he's at work. That gives me alone time that I really enjoy, even though I love being with them.
Although everything I say is important, I don't expect Hubby to pay attention to every little thing I say (cuz men are like that ). And, more to the point, I didn't think he was even looking when I pointed to a black onyx ring in a sorta-goth store when we went in for computer stuff and said, 'Ooh, that's pretty' as we passed it, without even slowing down.

But, he surprised me big time!

Ladies,you may now oooh and aaaah aloud in jealousy at my 'anniversary' gift. Ta da...

Like any relationship, it's not always easy. We have our disagreements, but they seem to be less and less as we learn how each other ticks. So, I guess I'll stay and see how this chapter of my life unfolds.


My July 4th disappeared!

In 2006, I boarded a plane at the Kansas City airport about 3pm on July 3rd.When we touched down at Auckland airport, it was about 5am on July 5th. By my calculations, it was about 21 hours later, but that pesky international date line stole one of my days. I may need it back at some later point, but I don't know where the proverbial 'they' are holding it.

So, even though I have left the US, Hubby and I still celebrate the 4th of July. This will be the beginning of my third year here and I'm still comparing things...

Like debit cards. NZ is finally getting around to giving debit cards with checking accounts. Yes, there have been EFTPOS cards [that's 'electronic funds transfer, point of sale, I think] all along, but then maybe the English were always slow to be flexible.

I think the reporting has not improved since the early days, either. Lack of important details in an interesting story is still infuriating. (Although, I must admit that the first paragraph of a report of a gay bashing that ended with a banjo handl being shoved halfway down the dead guy's throat was amazingly full of facts )

The US is the place to be for movies because the 'recent releases' in the video store here are movies I rented before I got here.

They do have a few things, that I had not tried before, like schnitzel. And lamb was never anything available to try in the States. Score two points for the English.

In the US, the customer always gets a receipt for every bank transaction. Maybe I am not very trusting of corporations, but I feel like I am going to regret not asking for one some day.

Needing dehumidifiers -- which work marvelously, btw -- probably meant that everything English was waterlogged, which is a winter equivalent of summer humidity, which is a bad thing, no matter what the season.

Hmmm...maybe I have discovered some of the things lead to the colonies winning their independence.



WOW! It's my 100th post!
When I first started blogging, I never thought about the number of posts that I would make. It was just an occasional update for my friend back in the US and, here I am a year and a half later with one hundred of those puppies! Thanks for all the love and encouragement.
And, coincidentally, it's less than a week until we celebrate me being in New Zealand for 3 years! That's 15,000 photos in digital years!