The elections have just finished this evening, and in short, the mayor Harry Duynhoven has been voted out in a way that could only be considered humiliating.
He received only 7677 votes, and is the first mayor to be booted out after only one term since 1956!
This means we now have a new mayor, none other than Mr Andrew Judd, who some might remember is a “Saver”, not a spender. Thank God for that!
The voice of New Plymouth has obviously spoken, and spoken loudly. But what about the other councillors? Well, I have more good news if you’re a ratepayer in New Plymouth: We have a whole bunch of “Savers” as councillors now, while kicking out a bunch of “Spenders”.
It was the smart thing to do as, let’s face it, it’s not 2007 anymore and the boom-time is well and truly over. The city’s voters have clearly wised up to this, and are feeling the global financial crisis hit them in their pockets.
The new “Saver” councillors are Murray Chong, Len Houwers, Keith Allumand the “Spenders” that have been kicked out are Sherril George, Phil Quinney, and of course Harry Duynhoven.
Some others have made it into the mix, but most importantly, New Plymouth District Council now has a much stronger number of “Savers” at the helm.
This means in the future we can look forward to much more sensible spending, less wastage, and fewer massive multi-million dollar art centres.
It means we can find intelligent ways to bring the city centre back to life (city-wide free parking on Saturdays, anyone?).
Also it means we can start asking local firms to take care of local works instead of contracting Auckland and Wellington firms to come here and do the work for no financial gain. I’m guessing the fancy new multi-million dollar German playground which was authorised this year is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
Not only that, a local firm could have made the famous decorative road sign for much less than $80,000. And what about that $70,000 coloured pole outside the library? And why were the council’s flowers changed again, again this season!? Why not just buy some permanent plants and leave them there?
Yeah, you can see whey they got voted out…
So, congratulations to the new mayor and councillors. Yours is not an easy job, but this time it will be made easier by the fact you have a major advantage compared to the previous bunch of councillors: You know what the majority wants.
I’m happy to have played my part, and I’m delighted to see that this site helped many make the right choice.
That laptop is so boring even the cat can’t stay awake.
I went crazy recently and made my laptop look like it was made of wood. I didn’t think it was going to work out, but it looks seriously awesome now it’s done. Let me run you through how I did it, and feel free to click on any pictures to view them bigger.
Let’s start with my laptop. It’s a boring Acer… Inspire, or Insight, or Infection or something. It works fine and does what it is designed to do, so I can’t really ask for more than that. The problem is that it just looks so dull.
Start with a roll of fake wood laminate.
Go to your local hardware store. The massive chains should stock some fake wood. It’s actually a plastic film but some of the designs look really real. I chose a similar colour and texture to our existing furniture. I bought two metres of the stuff.
Roll out enough to cover the lid, plus a bit extra.
When you roll out your laminate, don’t forget to leave enough to wrap around to the screen side as well. I didn’t measure it exactly, I just made sure I had more than enough. Before you peel off the laminate’s sticky cover, make sure your computer is really clean. Get out some window cleaner and rub it all over with a clean cloth.
Start with the top first, it’s the most satisfying part.
The fake wood film is quite sticky, but don’t worry if you make a mistake or get an air bubble – you can just peel it back off and reapply it again. I did this a couple of times until I got it right. Pay attention to your webcam – you’ll probably have to cut a hole for it.
Looking good so far!
The corners in the laptop are the most difficult part. The laminate is slightly flexible, but corners have to be done carefully and slowly. Mine aren’t absolutely perfect when you run your finger over them, but you don’t notice when sitting down because the wood-grain effect has so many natural shapes and lines in it.
This part is easy to do badly, so take your time.
You’ll need to take your time at the keyboard part, as there are lots of lines and holes to cut around. The fake wood is really thin and easy to cut with a sharp knife, which makes it easy to see the shape & lines if you press down on it.
Easy! Just take your time, and have some fun!
The finished product was well worth the €3 for the roll of fake wood, and it took me about an hour to slowly cut the shapes out. I chose not to cover the base as well, as the base has heaps of air vents and I couldn’t be bothered cutting them all out!
Still, combined with a nice wood-grain background, I’ve created a pretty good looking piece of useful art. In fact I reckon it looks so good I don’t know why computer makers don’t offer this design as an optional extra.
I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not feeling very good. It turns out I’ve been partaking in too many sweets, alcoholic beverages, and carbohydrates lately and I have an imbalance of yeast (candida) in my guts. I’ll spare you the details but in essence I feel like crap on toast, thanks to an army of bad bacteria going to town in my intestines.
I’ve seen a lot of info on the internet, most of it quite useful, to treat Candida. The first step being to remove all sugars and carbohydrates from your diet, and by that they mean ALL sugars and carbohydrates. I found Lisa Richards’ blog very helpful for information regarding this.
That means no sweets, alcohol, cakes, ice cream (eek!), fruit, milk, grains, potatoes etc – the list goes on and on. In theory it sounds easy; I’ll just stop eating sugars and carbs. In reality however I’ve been experiencing a whirlwind of tiredness, dizzy spells, and headaches. I’ve also had some cravings for ice cream, though not too badly. This is the reality of sugar addiction – in all its forms. I guess I didn’t know I was addicted until my addiction was taken from me.
I’ve decided to take a bunch of advice from the Internet (I mean, what could possibly go wrong?) and stop all sugars & carbs for three days, and I’ve decided to call these the three days of death. Partly because during these three days most of the bad yeast will die off when starved of fuel, but also because it means for three days I feel like I want to die. So, let’s get started!
Kill me. Kill me now.
I stopped eating sugars almost 15 hours ago and today I’ve barely been able to move. I’m exhausted & cranky, resorting to painkillers to stop the headaches. Day one has consisted of me waking up at 2am – despite being exhausted, having mild discomfort in my guts for the entire day, itchy legs, and a crippling lack of motivation. It’s a Friday, and I’ve had to work from home today because I don’t feel up to the drive into the office.
I’d love an ice cream right now but I know that’s just what the yeast need to take over. My body is in withdrawal mode. I wonder if this is what smokers feel like once they quit? At this stage the yeast are beginning to die off and it’s I’ve read that this releases a lot of toxins into my system, so I’m drinking lots of tea and water to help flush it all out.
I never lie in bed during the day, it’s just unheard of for me as I always think of stuff to do. However today I lay down in bed and just rested, doing nothing. I’ve been exhausted, but strangely not exhausted enough to sleep. I wish I could, but I just end up lying there staring at the ceiling. I have moments lying in bed when I suddenly feel completely normal, and then, 5 minutes later I notice the severe lethargy. I have micro-moments of feeling normal, so I get the urge to get up and wham! I get tired and dizzy again.
For lunch I had two boiled eggs, and a bowl of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. It was the least appetising thing I’ve eaten all year but at least it has near-zero sugars & carbs. I’m also about to have another tub of yoghurt to replenish the bad bacteria with good bacteria.
If you have found this page while searching for a candida cure, I’ve got good news and bad news for you: You have to go through this if you want to put your system in order and the first day is hell, but you’ll feel normal again before you know it. Day one should be considered a complete write-off. Clear your schedule, don’t attempt to go out with friends, and don’t give in to your cravings.
Tomorrow will be better, I swear.
I don’t know what was worse: waking up at 4am with a headache that refused to die, or the drowsiness that followed soon after. Why do people feel the need to ask me all manner of questions in the morning, before I’ve consumed any coffee? I wouldn’t want to talk to me before coffee, so God only knows why anyone else would.
I feel better today though. I’m still not out of the woods but I am starting to imagine a future with normal food and less pain. Yes, you read that correctly in the previous paragraph; I did drink coffee. Some websites suggest completely eliminating coffee from the diet but there was no chance of that. I heard that coffee can raise your blood sugar level after eating (that’s bad) so what I made sure I had no food before or after the coffee for an hour.
Lunch today was an improvement on yesterday. I had the usual broccoli and cauliflower but also had some turkey breast with it. Still can’t eat and carbs/starch such as rice or potatoes, but we’ll get there in time. I think my body is starting to understand life without sugar, now that the majority of the cravings have subsided.
Maybe it’s the Garfield in me, but ever since last night I’ve been really hankering for lasagna. Oh man, that would be so awesome right now. My mouth is watering thinking about it. I know I can’t yet however as it has red meat, pasta, and cheese – all three being serious “no no’s”.
I still have an odd tingling feeling in my gut and I’m still tired, but I’m not as cranky as I was and can actually move about the house and hold a conversation without biting people’s heads off. I’ve even got that feeling that makes me think, “You know, I feel good enough to have just one apple. I’m sure one would be ok”. But I have to stop my brain from trying to lead me astray and reversing my progress.
Energy permitting, I think I’ll even attempt going for a walk this evening to help me sleep through the night.
Tomorrow will be good. I’m confident of this.
Today started at 6am as I couldn’t sleep properly and had a mild headache. Despite those inconveniences I woke up feeling quite normal, and hey, 6am is better and 4am or 2am! After a cup of coffee I was actually feeling pretty good to be honest.
I decided to try a little toasted muesli with my (now) usual pot of unsweetened yoghurt, but just as I was about to tuck into it I noticed the ingredients in the so-called “healthy” muesli. It was LOADED with sugar. I mean, why would you do that? People buy muesli for one reason – it’s healthy and moderately tasty. Adding pictures of bathroom scales and female figures with measuring tapes around them is purely misleading and it really annoys me. In fact, the amount of added sugar in every damned thing in a supermarket riles me.
Anyway, I ate a very small bowl of this sugared muesli with unsweetened yoghurt and one of those healthy bacteria capsules (filled with acidophilus, bifidophilus, keepitoffilus, knockitofffilus, etc) and waited to see what would happen…
Nothing. Nothing at all. No discomfort in my guts, and no gurgling noises from digestion.
Awesome. Not only had I gone 45 hours or so without ANY sugar, I was feeling quite good. For lunch I had more vegetables, and even ate a few small pieces of carrot (one of the sweet vegetables I’m not supposed to go near) without problem. It’s now Sunday night and I can honestly say I’m feeling just as good as I did before all this began – but I’m running on zero sugar!
What’s interesting is how sweet something like a piece of carrot tastes after 3 days of no sugar. I even tried a sip of stevia-sweetened cola (a natural non-sugar related sweetener) and YUCK it was awful! Not the taste, but the sheer sweetness of it was enough to make my mouth fall out. I can’t believe I accepted that taste as normal beforehand. It was far too sweet.
So to summarise, I survived the three days of death, but man, the first two days were horrible. I think I needed it however, and I’m going to promise myself that from here on I enjoy more natural things. Some of the sugar free tastes such as a simple, crisp capsicum, or the curry & yoghurt grilled chicken that I created were so good that I’m ashamed I hadn’t eaten them more beforehand!
Of course I’m going to still enjoy a glass of wine with a meal, and I’m not going to turn into a vegan, but this really has opened my eyes to how much added refined sugar we consume in our daily lives. It’s added to absolutely everything – and it really shouldn’t be.
I hope this story helps you understand what you might go through if you want to knock out some bad bacteria, or maybe you just want to try dumping sugar from your diet to live better. I know one thing is certain: when I feel inclined to pick up a block of chocolate, I’m going to think of the three days of death and put it back down.
Now I’m off to whip up a fresh salad with pumpkin seed oil, croutons, and Parmesan shavings. Yum!
Today at work I had the pleasure to work with a Revox PR99 reel to reel tape recorder. Well, to be honest I can play with it any time I want, but following quite a few listener requests, I decided to make a video for our listeners about this old technology.
As you can imagine in the modern digital age, we simply have no need for these pieces of equipment anymore – even though they are admittedly fun to work with!
They may be old technology, but as the video above demonstrates, they still have what it takes when it comes to sound quality.
Yes, this is real. Both men appeared as “Man of the Year”.
I’ve decided to take a stand against Coca Cola sponsoring the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The reasons are obvious to anyone that appreciates equality and freedom of speech, regardless of religion, race, political view, or sexual orientation. Therefore I have decided to no longer buy products from the Coca Cola company.
As well as writing here, and boycotting their products, I have also sent them a message via Facebook:
I don’t feel that I’m being overly dramatic. On the contrary, I’ve read enough books on recent history to know what happened at the last Olympic games where people were segregated (Berlin, 1936).
Coca Cola, Germany 1936: Haven’t we been here before?
Coca Cola was a sponsor then too, however this time we’re wiser.
As you’ve probably discovered, I like cars.
Actually, I love cars. I love how they’ve improved my life since my first one in 1995. I love how many fun times I’ve had in, outside of, and because of cars. I love what they symbolise – freedom.
I’m also hopelessly addicted to them in all their shapes and sizes – and it’s worrying. The funny thing is, I can hang on to the same phone for years, and the computer I’m typing on now has a missing key and overheats – yet I want to squeeze another two or three years out of it before upgrading.
Cars on the other hand? I’m already thinking of my next one (and it will be electric, that’s for certain). The only thing stopping me from having a garage like that of Jay Leno is my income: I’m a humble wage slave. However, I’m quite happy that way. Well, most of the time.
Anyway, let me cut to the chase and list all the cars I’ve ever owned – along with a photo – to give you a real insight into my psyche and my love for the four wheeled members of my family. Starting with #1:
My first car: 1976 Honda Civic EB1
Related video: Yes, I actually have video footage of my first car from 1995. I was 15 years old, and I was obviously insane. I still have no idea what I was doing when I recorded this video. It’s surreal.
Related video: I had a hankering for another 1980′s sofa-mobile, and this one caught my eye. I ended up paying to have it repainted because I loved the shape so much. Oh, and I had loads of spare money – unlike now!
Related video: This was a Japanese V8 and it was smoother than any German or American V8 I’ve ever driven. You could put a glass of water on the engine when it was running and it wouldn’t ripple. Warning: I did a adolescent burnout at the end of the video because I was 22, I had loads of money at the time, and I simply didn’t care!
Related video: This 1998 Daihatsu Sirion was the newest car I had ever owned at this point (filmed in 2006). I bought it when I moved to Australia and it was a great little car for the city. I like the engine note too – it was different.
Related video: This was my second Honda Predule. I’d always had good experiences with them, and they have by far the most gadgets for the lowest price. ABS, cruise control, four wheel steering, air conditioning – all years before the competition.
Related video: My wife and I had just moved back to New Zealand and I wanted a car that was comfortable for the long drive between Auckland and New Plymouth (where we lived). This sofa on wheels was perfect.
My eighteenth car: 1987 Mitsubishi Tredia Battery Electric Conversion
Related video: Of course this is the car that started my love affair with electric vehicles. If you haven’t driven one, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Here’s me mockingly driving to the gas station back in 2009.
My twenty-second (current) car: 2006 Suzuki Swift 1.3
And now you’re up to date. You’re probably wondering what my next car will be, but I don’t know yet. One thing I do know however, and I knew this when I picked up the keys for my Suzuki Swift (straight above) that I will never buy another gas-powered car ever again.
Yep, I’ve tasted electric motoring and I want more. Sadly band new electric cars are still too expensive for me, and the laws in Slovakia prohibit electric car conversions, so I’m trapped in a gas-powered world. It just means delaying the inevitable.
Stay tuned for my next car. I’m not sure what it’ll be, but I get the feeling it’s going to be a somewhat LEAFy ride…