Saturday, 23 February 2008

Relgious Humour

It's raining, raining, raining, ... so I'm spending the afternoon surfing my 'Favourites' on the web and landed up spending an hour reading religious humour:
Jesus and Mo,
Russell's Teapot, &
Lindsay Perigo (advice to Lindsay - don't watch Fox, it'll rot your brain.

Well it seemed more fun than finishing my blog on the Drug War.

The Evil Witch vs. Snow White

Now in general I'm not the biggest fan of female singers - their high shrieking tones just hit my inner ear and send me running from the room. One that particularly makes my skin crawl is Kiri Te Kanawa.

So I laughed when I spotted the front page of the Herald this morning with Kiri lashing out at Hayley Westenra. Talk about the Wicked Witch of the West having a go at Snow White. And why the bitterness? Could it be the green eyed monster raising it's ugly head Kiri?

Hayley has a highly successful career and has added some spice to what really is a very stuffy boring art form - and she does this without making my ear drums shatter. Apparently men don't hear the high grating sounds that Soprano singers reach - nor those wailing electric guitar riffs - nor their nagging whining wives - not their screaming children. Might it be because they have lost some of their hearing? But for the rest of us with perfect hearing, soprano's, electric guitars, whining, screaming and whistling are just simply torture.

Listen here to the clear and young tones of Hayley.

Listen here to bitter tones of Kiri, is that a microphone I see?

And what did Hayley have to say about Kiri's nasty little act of unprofessionalism? "No comment" - very classy indeed my young friend.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Rules for life #2: sleep is heaven

Well it's official - I've gone mad!

It has now been 4 months since I've had a full night’s sleep - #*&#^&!@ - and I've hit the wall hard. Can't walk straight, can't think straight, have fuzzy brain, burst into tears under stress and worst of all, I cry at sad TV moments! That's what my girly, girlfriends do, not me! Well not very often anyway.

God sleep is so important - life as we know it ceases to be the same and in fact ceases full stop if deprivation goes on for too long. Every part of you suffers - mind, body and soul.

I can see why interrogators use sleep deprivation to get confessions out of prisoners - hell if Helen or John could guarantee me 12 hours sleep, I'd vote for either of them in the blink of an eye. Mind you that's not even that fast these days - takes about two seconds to take my eye lids down then up again and then another two seconds to focus. I am prepared to sell my soul for sleep, maybe even my first born.

And don't put me on a jury for the man who shoots his neighbour after said neighbour kept him awake just one night too many - I'll acquit him in a second. Probably give him a Victoria Cross for courage under fire to boot.

As it turns out there appears to be a medical reason for all this. After feeling like Wonder Woman a few months after chemo I started to go downhill again. Initial panic - thought that the cancer was back - not so, just the treatment stuffed up my hormones. Hormones those wonderful things that we know little about, but can turn one’s life into misery. To add insult to injury I've stacked on the weight - looking forward to the 6-month struggle to get that all back off. But it should be easier to get to the gym once I can achieve the sound-asleep status again.

So I've got a two week wait to see the specialist Endocrinologist - feels like a life time. In the meantime don't expect anything of interest out of me and I may burst into tears for no apparent reason, and yes I realise that this doesn't fit my character, but it should be amusing for you all anyway.

So Rule for Life #2: Sleep is heaven - get heaps of it - interrupt sleepers at your own risk and with no sympathy from me should you incur injuries. In fact this should really be Rule for Life #1.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Keeping up with The Joneses

The Joneses has gone under. Well no surprise here, I predicted that one months ago when I saw how they marketed properties. No agents names on the adverts or signs and buyers phone a central call centre. No individual person appeared to be held responsible for the sale of the property. This is hardly the formula that allows good agents to build their profile and presence in a market, let alone have any great incentive to sell anything. I could only see below average agents joining this agency.

Disclaimer: I once was a real estate salesman and now sit on the other side of the fence, dealing with agents on a regular basis.

I have never understood why the public believe that agents are paid too much? I certainly wouldn't have done the job for less than what I received - and I wasn't even that good at it. The talented agents definitely wouldn't do it for less. In fact we offer our agents extra incentives over and above their fees to focus on the leasing or selling of our properties.

The problem we have with real estate is that the agents remuneration is public knowledge. I can't think of any other sales job that so publicly displays its pay. Anyone who works in a business that has salesmen will have noted that they get special treatment and incentives and overall salesmen get paid huge amounts of money - and in my mind deservedly. Without the income that these hardworking and talent salesmen bring these companies would die.

Not to say there is no problems with the real estate industry - the REINZ being mine. The
case they took against The Jones last year being a case in point. It also bugged me, when I was an agent, that I was forced to belong to a below par, totally ineffective industry body that generally ignored major fraudulent behaviour - the case they took against agents in South Auckland last year was incredibly unusual, considering that this kind of thing (and worse) has gone on for years.

Clayton Cosgrove thinks that he can fix the problems with the industry by pushing more laws onto the agents. My advise to him - take the government controls and stuff them where the sun don't shine, along with your MBA*. Let the public decide weather they want to work with an agent from REINZ or another organisation or simply a freelance agent. The rules have produced a less than perfect industry - why can't you see that more rules will only make it worse? Open up the industry for competition from other organisations (or individuals) other than REINZ, this will allow much needed criticism and discussion within the industry to flourish. For those of you who are not aware, a sales agent can not publicly criticise other agents or their practices - talk about a recipe for disaster!

* And another thing .... what is it with MBA graduates and their love of rules and systems - I have never met one that has any real business talent. Some would say that once a business has been set up there is a need for some boring arse to keep it ticking away, as opposed to the entrepreneur that set up the business. But with the fast moving nature of modern businesses I think you need an entrepreneur of some degree at the helm throughout the entire life of a business.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Babies, babies everywhere

I was commenting to a friend the other day that lately, just about every women out on the streets seems to be either pregnant (no not just fat) or pushing a pram - and it appears that I was close to the truth.

The birth rate is now 2.2 births per woman, up from 2.0. Since I haven't contributed in anyway to this figure, nor most woman I know, someone has been very busy - bravo!

Australians must also be happy, even more educated, taxpayers heading their way, without the expense of educating them - brilliant!

Friday, 15 February 2008


I just signed up to Kiva to make loans to third world entrepreneurs. This is like the Grameen Bank who make small loans to the world's poor. The Grameen Group was founded by Nobel Prize winner Dr Muhammad Yunus, the father of Microcredit.

I love that I'm not just handing out money - I don't believe that this helps the self esteem of either party and I also love that my money comes back and I can make the loans over and over again. Yes am totally aware that the borrower might default on the loan, but only 1% of the loans default.

So now that I've done my good deed for the day - I'm off up north, for a weekend of arguing, drinking, more arguing and general mayhem with 16 of my closest friends - love it.

Update: No arguing actually - how dull.