Who was scared?


The headline said: Second melamine scare for Fonterra so I read the story to find out who was scared.

It wasn’t Fonterra.

It wasn’t the company which supplied Fonterra.

It wasn’t food safety authorities.

And it wasn’t consumers.

So was there anything to be scared about?

No. Fonterra did the sensible thing when told there was possible contamination in the iron it used in 12 products:

Fonterra immediately stopped all production using the supplement and undertook extensive testing of the affected batches.

Nothing was found to cause concern, production resumed with iron which has been tested and found to be free of melamine.

The Minister of Food Safety, Kate Wilkinson,  has issued a media release, complete with time line and Q&A on melamine but there is nothing in any of that to indicated she was scared.

So who was scared?

Nobody and there was nothing to be scared of which has prompted Macdoctor to define a new media genre – spam journalism.

Sensible co-operation from mobile competitors


Getting a new mobile phone is a bit like getting a new car – you can drive it but the controls aren’t all where you expect them to be so you wipe your windows instead of indicating a turn.

I’ve had particular problems when texting because the key for a space on my old phone is the one for capitals on the new one.

It would make life so much easier if manufacturers could standardise their key placement and maybe they will because they’ve seen the light and are planning to standardise chargers.

How very sensible – no more waste of money and creation of rubbish because every new phone needs a new charger – or two if you use one in the car as well.

And when they do, I hope they choose ones with a connection like that on the left and not the one on the right which is harder to use and easy to break.


Front of house





Saturday smiles


This may explain why you don’t get many agony uncles:


Dear Walter,

  I hope you can help me. The other day, I set off for work leaving
  my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn’t driven more
  than a mile down the road when the engine conked out and the car
  shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband’s help. When I
  got home I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the
  neighbours daughter. I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbours
  daughter is 22. We have been married for ten years.

  When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been
  having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would
  leave him. He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has
  been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much,
  but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly
  distant. He won’t go to counselling and I’m afraid I can’t get through
  to him anymore.

  Can you please help?

  Sincerely, Sheila


  Dear Sheila:

  A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a
  variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no
  debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and
  hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none
  of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump
  itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.

  I hope this helps,



Beck stage at the Opera House used to be cold and bordering on derelect.

The architects have retained the old outside wall complete with graffiti. Messages scored into the stone include a message that rugby sucks and others which suggest that lack of  moral rectitude wasn’t unknown among the youth of previous generations.


Yesterday morning not everything had found a home:


But the dressing rooms which were cold, dingy and dirty are ready for tonight’s gala showcase.



Council chamber


More pics of the Oamaru Opera House.

This was the Oamaru Borough’s council chamber and the ODT reporter reminded me the press used to have to sit in front of the mayor’s chair where everyone could see if they were taking notes or not.



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