Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Starting Over

There are times lately when I tire from looking at a glittering screen. That is when I pick up my pencil, prepare my dip pen and unscrew the cap on the India Ink bottle. After a scratchy patch of drawing and inking, I can now open up my new acquisition - a Plano Tackle Box. It holds most of my watercolour gear and I bought it recently to ease the clutter on my drawing desk.

This purchase look some time while I wrestled with what brand to buy. My selfish instincts yelled out "Hey, go get a Chinese one from the Warehouse for $15!" (The Warehouse is the NZ equivalent of Walmart). Then my altruistic side said "Come on, buy an American made one ($40) from a small hunting and fishing shop in Whangarei - they need the money and NZ needs American manufacturers to prosper so that they, and their workers in the USA, can buy our products and bankroll their Government who helps keep us out of the clutches of foreign invaders. Remember also, they keep the Internet open etc as well."

For a change, my better side won and I bought a tackle box made by Plano that was manufactured in the USA. I wonder how long they will keep doing so as the USA continues de-industrialize and send almost all their manufacturing industries overseas? Don't Americans know that without a manufacturing base a country eventually becomes an indebted and a militarily toothless shadow of its former self?

If any of you reading this are living in the USA - please vote for a President, Congress and Senate that is determined to rebuild your country to the primacy it once possessed. Overlook your selfish side and spend your money buying manufactured goods made in your homeland. Tell your politicians to shape up and stop being ripped off by greedy businesses who freeload by paying hardly any tax in the USA and exploit mistreated workers abroad who are enslaved by ruthless elites and manipulating governments that pile up huge reserves of your money by unfair trading - and spend it on building up their own military power and American assets.

That is enough proselytizing for now, time to go fishing in my Plano tackle box for ink, paint and pencils - and get away from this screen!

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Followers Of Fashion

The political policies of 2016 look likely to be much of the same as usual from our politicians in NZ. I expect the mousey Andrew Little to do little to raise his poll ratings and Key, despite his appetite for gross personal indiscretions, will probably muddle on and appear at all the right places and persuade most people that he is the best bet to guide us thru' the year. ............................................Sighhh!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Dickensian Conversion

Those who know me well are very aware why I find Christmas a  difficult time each year.  I usually feel the need to be alone and this year I decided to do it again. However, something very odd happened when I was in the Hospice Op Shop just before it closed for the festive season. While I was passing the classic book section I noticed a title on top of the pile that I knew - "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. I bought it!

For those few who do not know this book, it tells a tale about an old penny pinching miser named Scrooge who lived in Victorian England and on Christmas Eve is visited by the ghost of his long dead  business partner and the Spirit of Christmas. He becomes a changed man when he wakes up to just how unnecessarily sad he was making himself and those around him. He begs for a second chance and this is granted. Much to the surprise of his relatives, Scrooge becomes a nicer and more generous man. Happiness returns to his sad life and after I read the book down I decided to do the same. 

Life is too short folks to be miserable and no matter what stupid things we do sometimes, no one deserves to sentence themselves and others to unhappiness because of the past. This will be the last Christmas and New Year etc that I will spend alone. Roll on  Christmas 2016!

Gospel On The Mount

On Christmas Eve I went for a walk up The Ross Track to the summit of Mount Parahaki in Whangarei. The track follows a valley covered in native bush and alongside a chortling creek. I had intended to make it a quiet time of contemplation in a natural setting but when I reached the summit I met a chap I knew and he ranted away about gospel truths and various conspiracies that he was campaigning against. Oddly enough, friends of his turned up of a similar ilk and being vastly out numbered, I resisted the urge to have rave about their naivety - instead I praised Christianity for its gift of compassion and joy of ethical renewal and made a retreat. It was Christmas after all.
As I began to walk away I was asked for my cell phone number. I politely refused and the last I heard from him was something like "No problem, I will track you down and return you to the fold!"

Fortunately there is not much chance of that. I prefer to live in a wonderfully changing World where truth unfolds like a never ending book - constantly tested by scientific analysis and altered in the light of  intuitive discovery and objective investigation.