Saturday, July 31, 2010
So I said I would take photos for them. There weren't as many good ones as I would like, but there were a few.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
There are 2 interviews, with the International Rose, Charmaine Kenny, and with the 2010 NZ Rose, Elizabeth Sara.
As well, there are the 7 on-stage interviews with each of the contestants at the Selection ball on the Saturday evening.
If you haven't read it, the trip is described in an earlier entry.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Last November they held a concert for family and friends. I set up the video camera and left it running for most of their performance.
The list below is of links to the songs I have uploaded to YouTube.
Each link will open a separate page in a new window/tab, so you aren't left waiting for a long page with a lot of video players to open.
Back Home in Derry
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSlQO9BohTk
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmRU9Xen420
Dirty Old Town
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G222KY4BM0
If I Should Fall From Grace
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agJuRzmOLQo
I'll Tell Me Ma
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQLN1dFFU40
Star of the County Down
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UjLAiEsJ5Y
Streams of Whiskey
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcSYBpZ-P8A
Little Old Wine-drinker You
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhP7nK_Uskw
Freeborn Man of the USA
or tell a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukfbnmw-3NE
Sarah Rose came across these pages by The Mulligans. How embarrassing! How amateurish, how very much a product of their time.
They were written in 1997, and represent my very earliest attempts to construct web-pages, and to teach myself how to code HTML.
They also reflect an embarrassing focus on animated graphics, usually for no real purpose at all.
Thank heavens we have all moved on!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Of course, there are the obvious ones of injury to police officers in the line of duty, of a police dog being sacrificed, again in the line of duty.
Many will produce the knee-jerk reaction of calling for police officers to be armed. Stuff reports Greg O'Connor thus: "President Greg O'Connor said every officer on patrol should also wear a holster to allow them to be speedily armed if needed, with pistols stored in their cars." An understandable reaction from someone who admirably performs the role of advocate for the police officers.
But it also raises chilling questions about how the risks can be minimised, to police, and the wider community. Consider: Police district commanders can authorise firearms to be routinely carried in cars, but this is generally done only for non-commissioned officers, dog, single-officer and CIB patrols and first-response units. Mr Broad's proposal expands that to include every front-line car, including those on general patrols or going to routine inquiries."
Every front-line car? So we are going to increase the risk of police cars being stolen to obtain firearms? And that will make me feel safer?
One of the more insightful and perceptive observations by one of the investigating officers was that such incidents tend to be 'ambushes'. If this is true, and suspect it is, how will having a firearm in the car an officer has left to knock on a door, protect them from an ambush?
"Oh, you're threatening me with a shotgun! Can you hang on a moment while I pop back to the car and collect my sidearm?" Yeah, right!
What O'Connor, and his like, are proposing is actually an escalation of the risk.
One of the grounds used by the gun lobby in the US is that guns don't kill people, people do. My response has always been that that claim is true with one proviso: they can't if they don't have access to firearms.
O'Connor and others are proposing to increase the pool of firearms present in NZ.
Air rifles are now also under scrutiny, as they are now more powerful than when the current rules were implemented. It is likely that ownership will be restricted to licenced users.
So why stop there? I would like to see much tougher restrictions on ownership, purchase and sale of firearms, and greater use of import restrictions to reduce the supply of firearms into the NZ marketplace. I know all the arguments about creating a black market and that those determined to do so will always be able to get hold of them.
But:restrict the supply, and there will be fewer available for those who might otherwise be tempted to play the heroic.
So, my question becomes: should we concede victory to the criminals? And make guns more readily available?
Thanks, but no thanks.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
We get them visiting the backyard occasionally, and they appear quite tame and untroubled by humans. Actually, they are hunting, as they eat bugs and insects which are often disturbed by humans as they scuff undergrowth or leaf litter.
Recently a visiting piwakawaka was searching for food around our bamboo grove and the flowering cherry beside the deck. Peaches saw what was happened, and, in a burst of feline enthusiasm decided that catching and playing with said piwakawaka would be good fun.
So she launched herself at the erstwhile visitor when it landed on the deck fence and was looking into the flaxbush.
Stopping in time to alight on the (relatively) narrow fence is usually not a problem for Peaches, who is quite agile and sure-footed (in a feline sort of way). But not this time!
In fact she was so focussed on the fantail, she almost flew right over the fence into the midst of the flax! She managed, at the last minute, to hook her hind legs over the top and prevent what would have been an embarrassing mishap.
And what happened to piwakawaka? It escaped Peaches' eager clutches, and then flew about squawking in indignation at the culprit.
Indeed, it had the audacity to perch in the flowering cherry and on the light-string and give Peaches a right-old dressing down!
Peaches was suitably abashed at being humiliated by a mere slip of a bird, especially as Jayne and I had observed the entire escapade.
But it appears, you can teach an old cat new tricks!
She joined Desiree at the table recently, to see how to use these new-fangled laptops.
And the garden, in theory, has shut down. Leaves have fallen. So how come the grass keeps growing? So that it needs mowing?