Wednesday, 24 December 2008

New Year 2009 - crikey!

Yes I know I'm early, but I'm going away on Boxing Day and I'm not taking my computer with me.

Well this is a milestone I didn't think I'd get to and I'd like to thank all of you that helped me get through the last 7 months since my grand mal seizure and brain tumour discovery. I am really lucky to have such great friends and family who have helped me in so many ways - some just entertaining, some talking through the cancer/dying process, some both - all good.

And yes I know I wasn't really meant to get to this stage, but given the number of visitors I received I wasn't the only one who thought I was on the way out in 2008.

Now that I've thank you all I now must apologise for any tantrums I have thrown (and will continue to). I blame the following:

* constant doses of steroids - by the end of my CEPP treatments it will be a whole year.

* people fussing around me - I know you mean well but if you knew me you'd know I'm not going to react rationally. Fortunately for me my darling flatmate Em is not anywhere near close to fussy - much appreciated.

* annoying national and international events - remember I get to watch ALL the news and read ALL the magazines (not the woman's ones).

* just generally not caring what people think actually. I know quite a few of you hadn't realised my 'worldly' opinions on matters and found them not to your flavour - frankly don't care - life's more fun this way - try it out. Unless of course you read woman's magazines, then we don't give a rats arse what you think, cause you obviously don't.

Anyway next milestone is a visit to the majestic South Island and my 41st in April 2009.

Have a great Xmas day - don't eat too much - it's all about quality, not quantity.

Much, much love to you all.
Annie Fox!

PS: oh my god I forgot to thank the amazing working bee team who fixed the garden. You'll all be pleased to know that the plants have all survived and the grass has grown lush and thick and looking fantastic. Particular thanks to Allan (brother) for organising all of this, without a foreman we would have failed and special thanks to his team of church friends. We've finished!

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Matchmaking is a process that most singles are forced into at some time or other. Personally I think that it's great that friends partake in this process for their single friends. Sometimes it is extremely successful (a friend of mind was matched into a blind date dinner in the opposite island - now married and extremely happy), but most of the time it isn't, but that's fine as long as the matchmaker shows a little bit of sensitivity:

1/ Put some thought into it - just because your single female friend (SFF) and single male friend (SMF) are both fancy free, doesn't mean they will fall for each other. They are after all single for a reason, fussiness is probably it. However if you follow rule 2 below you can put in less thought as it won't really matter.

2/ If you are planning to match your SFF and your SMF at a party/dinner/BBQ, then please only tell one party to the match. It is just incredibly awkward if both know about the potential match. My suggestion is that you tell the man. Woman generally like to be pursued and men like to pursue*. Of course some discretion can be applied here depending on their personalities.

3/ Do not under any circumstances tell other people at the party about the matchmaking. You may have got all excited by the prospect of fixing up SFF/SMF and think it's all terribly fun, but an audience can be rather humiliating.

4/ But not telling either party to the match is probably the best plan - just organise a party and see what happens.

* Not sure the rules of engagement for the gay and lesbian matching, but I'm sure it's more fun than the heterosexual dance that goes on.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

P.J. O'Rourke's visit to Australia rescheduled

When you have terminal cancer you find yourself planning to live to see the New Year or birthdays or concerts or breakfast. One of my big plans was to survive to see P.J. O'Rourke visit New Zealand in November this year. Unfortunately he also was diagnosed with cancer and so the visit was postponed. But he seems to be back on his feet again because the following was announced recently:

The CIS is delighted to announce that US political satirist and journalist, P.J. O'Rourke, is doing well after his cancer treatment and will travel to Australia in April 2009 to deliver the postponed 25th anniversary John Bonython Lecture. At this stage, the Sydney event will take place on either 21 or 22 April, with possible interstate and New Zealand lectures under consideration. Further details will be available in the new year.

So if he doesn't come to New Zealand I'll have to take a trip up to my favourite Aussi city, SYDNEY!

Hat tip: Not PC

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Just to let you know I started Chemo #3 today - all going well, feeling stronger than a month ago. It is looking like I'm going to do six rounds instead of the planned four.

I can have a scan after the 4th round, but I think I'll wait until after the 6th.

Pain is increasing across my back, but not enough to take painkillers or to be a real problem, it just constantly reminds that I have cancer.

Sunday, 14 December 2008


I've often been heard ranting something along the lines of "god I'd hate to be Maori" or Tongan or Samoan and I can assure it's not because I'm pleased to be Pakeha, I really couldn't give a toss what ethnicity I am - after all it is just like gender - only an accident of birth.

My dislike of being born Maori/Tongan/Samoan completely relates to the patronising way they are dealt with by the government - particularly noticeable with the 'social education' campaigns. The campaigns will portray a stereotypical Maori/Tongan/Samoan - usually obese and acting semi-ridiculous (or is that just standard for TV these days?). In fact the only time I don't see an obese Maori/Tongan/Samoan in a TV advert is when it is a non-government campaign.

The only 'social eduction' campaigns I can think of that don't focus on the Maori/Tongan/Samoan is the 'Buy NZ' and 'Retirement Commission' adverts. Maybe the overpaid, braindead policymakers in Wellington think that Maori/Tongan/Samoan don't have any money to buy NZ or the brains to invest*.

Must be frustrating to be treated like you are a basket case purely based on your ethnicity. Awhile back I saw an interview with a Maori women - now living in Melbourne - she loved living away for New Zealand where she is now treated as an individual and judged on her character attributes - good or bad - not by the fact that she is Maori.

The Daily Show has a wonderful skit highlighting the changes in patronising practices now that Obama is nearly President - well worth the view.

* I can assure you when it comes to investing, ALL New Zealanders lack the brains.

Update: Well maybe not ALL, but 97% would be a fair estimate.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


RobiNZ appears to be from the "this pisses me off" brigade - welcome.

New Zealand quiz shows always have chatty irritating people - I actively hope they don't win, in fact a sudden brain aneurysm would be fantastic. So I don't watch them and it's such a shame as I love quiz shows and every single New Zealand quiz show is absolutely appalling.

Also I wonder if they are rigged - how does one get on this show if one is not a bubbly dimwit with the IQ of a 2-year-old.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

TV advertising - stop the abuse

Now speaking of advertising, I have to complain bitterly about TV adverts - yes I know this isn't new complaint - but I have some solutions.

TV & advertising executives are concern about the lack of eyeballs watching the adverts. They believe that viewers switch the volume off or watch via MySky and skip the ads altogether. Now the MySky issue I believe is relatively minor - not that many households have MySky and don't always view TV via MySky anyway - but this could become more of a problem with MyFreeview.

But the mute button is most definitely an issue and one that I practice regularly, for my own sanity. Remotes have been around for decades, but I haven't bothered with muting until more recently. Adverts and their presentation have changed for the worst, it is the advertising executives that are to blame and here are some of my suggestions to slow the eyeball drain.

* decrease the volume of adverts - yes I know you say that the volume isn't increased, but really you're either lying or deaf. The result is we reach for the remote to decrease the volume and since we have bother to pick it up, we might as well just mute the whole ad break.

* stop the impossibly stressful high rotation of ads. The Cigna funeral ad is by itself a good ad, but once you see it twice every ad break I'm ready to smash my head against a brick wall.

* stop the shouting male voice over - I'm not deaf, once again you stress me out and I'm not going to think positively about your product/service.

* stop making the adverts so aggressive with continuous violence and smashing - once again BLOODY STRESSFUL.

* stop using voice over woman that talk either like a little child or a porn star. It frankly sounds ridiculous - I land up just mocking the product and make a point of not buying it.

And here's an idea - try programming some decent shows and we might bother to switch on in the first place. 2008 produced the shortest list of quality TV I've ever seen:
* House MD
* City Homicide
* The Daily Show
* M*A*S*H (yes it's replaying on Prime)
* Ice Road Truckers
* Outrageous Fortune
* Rove
* Back Benches
* Agenda - sadly cancelled
* Media 7
* Piha Rescue
There are possibly others? But can't think of them at the moment.

So put simply, stop ANNOYING, STRESSING and BULLING the poor TV viewer - you'll find that if we are in more relaxed frame-of-mind we will just sit there and mindlessly watch your ads - possibly even happily.

Side Issue 1: To combat the eyeball problem, product placement has become more common practice. Don't mind this at all, great idea, but suggest that it needs to make sense or it will just look stupid - for example - the latest 007 movie placed Gordons Gin in a cocktail recipe on a first-class flight. You have to be kidding - Bond would never drink Gordons and first-class would never serve it. They would have Tanqueray - or maybe the lesser Bombay Sapphire!

Side Issue 2: What's with the perfume ads lately - they look like they are made in Europe and are frankly bizarre and amateurish. Maybe they should think about making them in New Zealand - because I may complain about the issues around our TV advertising, but our advertising production teams do come up with some classic ads.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Buy the world

I didn't expect to see cuts in government advertising until next year - if at all - so this 'possible' cut came as a nice suprise.

Liberty Scott has already posted on this issue, so I'll leave it with him.

Please National don't stop with just this campaign, there are plenty more that need the chop - ie. all of them.

Steven Joyce goes left

Taxi security reviewed after killing

"Transport Minister Steven Joyce will review the use of distress buttons, video cameras and safety screens to separate drivers and passengers."

Does the government have rules on the use of buttons, cameras and screens? If they do have these rules then the only thing Joyce needs to do is get rid of them.

But let's presume that they rules don't exist - why is the government wasting time and resources on this matter - surely it is the responsibility of the taxi driver what security he would like. Just like they decide if they are going to have a Navman or CD player or air freshener. Just like I decided to have an alarm system installed in my home - the neighbour didn't and was burgled on the weekend - she will now install an alarm.

Or is Joyce thinking about using our money to pay for taxi security? Please no - that would be a major slide down for this successful entrepreneur. Didn't take long.

Friday, 5 December 2008

The Daily Show

My day ends each night at 10.30 tucked up in bed watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on C4.

Here is a classic from Dec 2 - Obama/Clinton Sarcasm - brilliant, sarcasm is truly the highest form of wit! It's my experience that those that think the opposite tend to be from the "PC/offended" brigade.

Some of you may have been introduced to The Daily Show when Jon Stewart had a go at the NZ Government July 2007 on freedom of speech violations.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Modern Maths

1. Teaching Maths In 1970: A logger sells a truck load of timber for $1000. His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1980: A logger sells a truck load of timber for $1000. His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price, or $800. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1990: A logger sells a truck load of timber for $1000. His cost of production is $800. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Maths In 2000: A logger sells a truck load of timber for $1000. His cost of production is $800 and his profit is $200. Your assignment: Underline the number 200.

5. Teaching Maths In 2008: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is totally selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $200. What do you think of this way of making a living?

Topic for class participation after answering the question:
How did the birds and possums feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers. If you are upset about the plight of the animals in question, counselling will be available.)

Hat Tip: Lang Mama

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Big Girls Blouse

Kiwis travellers are complaining that they have been stuck in Bangkok for four days and NZ government hadn't managed to bus them out.

Honestly what's wrong with these people - just go to the train station and get a train down to Malaysia - New Zealanders were once known for their ability to look after themselves - the socialist system has turned too many into useless, whingers with limited problem solving abilities.