Live Life…

What a difference twelve months can make.

Twelve months. One year. Actually it has been a little over a year since my life changed and could have been extremely different now. Or non existent.

Boxing day 2016. Nothing out of the ordinary, just another normal day, well, a normal boxing day. Recovering from too much festive cheer over the days before. Sitting down relaxing watching some Netflix, Netflix and chill, when I suddenly started to feel a little off colour. Off to the bathroom and BAM! It hit me, vomiting uncontrollably, it wouldn’t stop and there was blood, fresh blood. Quite a shock I can tell you. After a while the vomiting stopped and I went back to the lounge, 5 minutes later it continues, back to hugging the toilet bowl, only by this time my stomach was pretty much empty but no, out comes a horrible colour black and the taste of charcoal which, as I found out later would have been dried blood.

The next day I began to feel a little better but still quite weak and queasy, understandably. Over the next couple of weeks of my holiday I never really came right, still feeling a bit off. When I returned to work I started to go down hill again and struggled to work a full week, constantly nauseous, extremely tired, severe abdominal pain, so off to the doctor I go. Was sent off for blood tests. Nothing. More blood tests. Nothing. A gastroscopy, everything checked out fine. Next up was an ultrasound where the person performing the ultrasound seemed concerned about something but I didn’t read anything into that as I thought there may have been an issue with the equipment that he was struggling with. Until he excused himself and returned with a more senior radiographer. They had spotted a ‘mass’ near my pancreas and couldn’t be certain of what it was or what it was connected to if anything. Needless to say, I was quite shaken up by this. On my way back to work after the appointment I wasn’t thinking straight and whilst picking some work up from an out-worker I even managed to scrape my car against a power pole damaging it. The dent is still there on the passenger’s side rear door. Not like me at all to treat a car like that, I just couldn’t concentrate on normal day to day activities because of what was going through my head.

I was then sent off for a CT scan where they determined the ‘mass’ was an enlarged Lymph Node and straight away was diagnosed with cancer.

Shocked? Yes. Devastated? Yes. Determined to beat it? Most definitely!

Too much to live for. I’m too young. I have two amazing young children I need to see grow up and an incredible wife whom I don’t want to burden with being a solo mother.

Can’t remember exactly, it’s all pretty much a blur now, but I think it was only a week and a half after talking to the specialist I was in North Shore Hospital having major surgery to have this Lymph Node removed. By this time I was off my food, constantly ill, always nauseous and the abdominal pain was constant and at times unbearable. 33 millimetres doesn’t seem that big when you think about it but when Lymph Nodes are usually around 10 to 11 millimetres, yeah, it was big enough thank you very much.

After the surgery the surgeons (2 of the best in the country thankfully) spoke to me, fortunately the Lymph Node wasn’t attached to the Pancreas as that was the biggest fear. Pancreatic cancer is one of the worse cancers anyone could get, unsurvivable. Was a big relief, not a huge relief but a big one as they were certain due to a quick test they performed on the lump whilst I was in surgery that it was Lymphatic cancer. While hearing you have any type of cancer isn’t great I was assured of all the cancers this was the most treatable and survivable.

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The day after surgery I was taken away for another CT scan to check the rest of my body and more enlarged Lymph Nodes were found in my neck, chest and groin areas. They weren’t bad enough to require removal but big enough for concern and monitoring. At this stage it’s looking highly likely a round of Chemo or Radiotherapy was going to be necessary.

 

A few weeks later I was back at work but sooner than I should have been, only lasted half a day before having to go home, returning the following week. As the weeks went by I was feeling better and better, in fact even just hours after the surgery I was feeling strangely well and apart from where I was sliced open I felt awake and fresh. I even surprised the nurses and doctors by getting on my feet and going for a walk, albeit like an old man, to the bathroom. They didn’t expect me to be up and about until the next day.

About two or three weeks after surgery they had completed the extensive tests on the offending Lymph Node and an appointment was made with a specialist. To say I was nervous about the appointment was an understatement, I had tried to put all the ‘worse case scenarios’ that were floating around in my imagination to the back of my brain and tried to focus on good news, but they were still there, the thoughts of not being able to see my children grow up, learn to drive, get married, have children themselves. Those thoughts were horrid and at times brought me to tears. The day of the appointment rolled around fairly quick but the two weeks until then seemed like years. That day I was strangely calm, had kind of come to terms with whatever the result was and would just have to go with the flow.

When the doc said what the results were the words really didn’t seem real. I wasn’t expecting to hear what he said. “At this stage it would appear you don’t have cancer”, I think were his exact words. He had no explanation as to what caused the node to get to that size. No explanation as to why it made me so horribly ill. No explanation as to why it was causing so much pain. He was baffled. I was over the moon.

A few months later another CT scan to check on those other nodes and the results were brilliant. They hadn’t changed and one had actually reduced in size. Another appointment with the specialist and I was given the all clear with him saying he was 98% certain there is no sign of cancer. 98% simply because they had no explanation for the enlarge Lymph Nodes, otherwise he would have been 100% certain. Discharged from their care. Incredible feeling.

Towards the end of 2017, around November I think, I was feeling kind of down, grumpy, out of sorts. After a few days I was thinking why am I feeling so down, I should be happy as hell, earlier in the year it was looking like I would have been very lucky to live until Christmas but now I am healthier than I have been in many years. That’s when it dawned on me, I felt different, I felt how I haven’t felt for as long as I can remember. What was wrong? Nothing was wrong! There was nothing wrong with me. That’s what was wrong. I wasn’t tired, I didn’t have headaches, my joints weren’t aching (apart from the buggered knees and hip), my head was clear. And I wasn’t used to it!

Where to from here? To be honest I am still recovering, my stomach muscles are taking a while to get strengthened up again. When I had recovered from the surgery enough we decided to get stuck into renovating our house so the remainder of 2017 was quite full on to say the least. That’s all done now and have got the garage mostly sorted so I can begin working on the project car that has been waiting well over a year now, soon, hopefully.

This whole experience, along with many people, including close friends, that have been through hell recently has made me realize life is too damn short. Don’t wait until later to do those things you want to do because later may never come. My father died at age 40, when I was 7. I always thought that was far too young but I didn’t really know how young it was until I hit that age myself. There is a lot of life to live after age 40.

There are many things on my bucket list, some I am fairly sure won’t happen but they will stay on the list all the same. Some are more realistic and achievable so I will be aiming for some of those to start with. One that I didn’t officially have on my list, but was always in the back of my mind, was meeting some of my motor racing heroes that I spent most of my life watching. Amazingly thanks to the Legends of Bathurst event recently at Hampton Downs I was able to meet a few, albeit briefly, like Allan Moffatt, John Goss, Fred Gibson, Charlie O’Brien, Paul Raddisich and John Bowe whom I was lucky enough to have a fairly candid chat with about the race he had just completed.

There are still things I would like to do regarding NZ On Cars and hoping this year will see some movement there. http://www.nzoncars.co.nz

Onwards and upwards.

Live life! You never know what tomorrow might bring.

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Pork

Last night I was lucky enough to go the the world premiere of the remake of a legendary kiwi film. Pork Pie.

It would seem quite a few people have been a tad disappointed by the film, have read a review that had all but said don’t bother seeing it.

I’m baffled.

I enjoyed the whole night. Getting to walk down the yellow carpet not too far behind the stars. Having our photo taken in front of the Pork Pie backdrop photo wall thingy (I wonder where I could find that photo?). Feeling the electricity in the air, the atmosphere was full of the magic of cinema. The beautiful and historic Civic Theatre. The lengthy but heart-warming and proud speeches. Oh, and not to mention ticking an item off my Bucket List, going to a world premier.

Then there was the movie.

I personally am a huge fan of the original film, Goodbye Pork Pie, as many other kiwis are. It was a ground breaking film for New Zealand, the first of its kind, and was a massive hit. After watching the film for the 100,000th time a few years back I was just imagining producing a remake. Not something I would have had the knowledge or dollars to ever do it justice. But I just knew that someday someone would do just that, only a matter of time.

That time is now.

It would appear many who saw the film last night have been far too critical of it. They didn’t enter into the wonderful Civic theatre with an open mind. Most have been comparing Pork Pie to the original Goodbye Pork Pie. Wrong thing to do.

There is no comparison. This is a remake. It was never going to be the same as the original. There is no way it ever could be. This is a different age, a different time, a different audience. Going into the cinema to see Pork Pie with the thought in your head of comparing it to the 1981 classic you are always going to disappointed.

Sure, Pork Pie did disappoint me a little in a couple of places where it seemed to move a little slow, but very soon the pace picked up and the witty kiwi humour lifted the mood and we were off again on a great kiwi adventure.

All in all Pork Pie was brilliant film. An amazingly well put together cinematic feast. Not to be compared to its predecessor, but to be viewed for what is it, a stand alone film for another time, now, not 1980. Pork Pie is a tribute to Goodbye Pork Pie. Matt Murphy’s tribute to his trail blazing father, Geoff.

I highly recommend seeing this. You MUST see this film. I for one cannot wait for the DVD release so it can sit in the DVD rack right next to the original.

“I’m taking this bloody car to Invercargill!”

Maybe there is room for a sequel? ‘I’m taking this bloody car to Kaitaia!’?

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Jessie

10/15/2015 2 comments

Every once in a while someone will come into your life and they will change everything.

Back in February 2014 we came across an ad on Trademe for a dog free to a good home. I had been looking for a dog to adopt for many years as I hadn’t had a dog in my life since my teen years. Had been wanting to get a Labrador but this one was a Staffy cross. Something struck me about this one in particular. I don’t exactly know what it was. So on the phone to the owner to see what the story was, he had separated from his wife and he needed to move closer to be with his children. He had been trying for some time to find a rental property that would take his dog but was rapidly running out of time, in fact was moving that weekend. We arranged to visit to meet the dog on Saturday morning. We turn up to find he had moved the day before and this poor girl had spent the night in the house on her own. We met the owner there as he was cleaning the house.

Something had struck me about Jessie the moment I saw her. She was so calm. I knelt down across the room from her on her bed and she came straight up to me for a pat, she came so close it was almost a hug. That’s it, I’m sold. To seal the deal she had to be good with the kids. My son picks up her tennis ball and promptly throws it to her, well, not to her, at her. It hits her square on the nose, she doesn’t even flinch. Lucas later goes over to her and basically sits right on her. Not a problem. Arrangements were made and we adopted her on the spot.

It took a bit of adjusting having a dog added to our family. Especially for our cat who hates dogs, and this dog who just wanted to eat cats. After a month or so the dog and cat were best of friends, and Jessie had fit into our family as though she had always been there.

Through many dramas including selling our home and moving, losing loved ones and so on Jessie took it all in her stride.

Twenty months later, we discover a lump on Jessie’s tummy. With my heart beating in my throat I take her along to the vet, tests were done and the results in a couple of days later. Sad news unfortunately and she has a very aggressive form of cancer. After a very difficult amount of thinking and talking the decision was made to let her go. Considering the speed this cancer came up and how unusually sad she had been recently (most probably due to being in pain, not that she let on that she was in pain, but she would have been) it was unlikely surgery and chemotherapy would have cured her, would have just put her through more unnecessary pain and discomfort only for the cancer to get her later on.

Today, just 6 days later, the heartbreaking appointment came at the local vet. Many tears were shed.

She was given a sedative to relax her and have her sleep. We are on the floor with her, I have her head on my lap. Holding her, rubbing her, talking to her. Then the final injection was administered. It doesn’t take long and she is now relaxed. No more pain. No more discomfort. It was extremely peaceful.

The twenty short months Jessie was in our lives she brought us so much joy and happiness. She changed us like I thought no dog ever could. She was quiet, caring and happy. She wasn’t just a dog, she was a part of the family, just like one of the kids, only better behaved. Most of the time.

Rest in peace Jess. You will be missed more than you know. April 2006 – October 2015.

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The last ever photo taken of her

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80kph

There are signs beside our roads here in New Zealand, some permanent, some temporary. And I am just wondering, are they a suggestion or are they instructions that are to be followed by law?

The signs I am referring to in particular are the round ones with a lovely Ferrari red circle around the outside and a reflective white centre and big black numbers in the middle. Some have 50, 80, 100 numbers in them. Others that are temporary have 30, 60 or 80 numbers in them.

Currently there are many of these signs along the North Western motorway stretching from near the city all the way out to beyond Lincoln Road. They have been there for some time and will be for some time to come. This is because of the extensive road construction through that area. These signs have a big 80 on them. Normally a 100 kilometre per hour area the speed restriction through here is totally understandable considering that the lanes are narrower and at times change altogether, the broken and uneven road surface, the merging of construction vehicles and the distraction to drivers.

What has me baffled though is the simple fact that these 80kph signs do appear to be just a suggested speed through this area. I don’t drive through there every day but I do often and at all different times of the day and different days of the week. Every time I do travel through this construction zone I am astounded by the amount on vehicles that pass me. Now I’m not driving through like a granny, I am usually sitting just above the 80kph mark on my speedo, sometimes closer to the 90 mark. Oooh, shouldn’t admit that but knowing that my speedo is approximately 5 k’s out and there is a 10k tolerance 90 on my speedo would be about 85 so all good. And in saying that I often slow to under 70 in some places where the lanes are extra narrow and the surface is extra bumpy.

Where am I going with all this? As I am trundling along in the right hand lane at a safe 80 to 85kph passing others who are going around or under 80kph it astounds me at how many drivers are trying to crawl up my tailpipe to force their way past me. And when I do find a space in the lane to the left and move over drivers zip past in the right lane at what would be easily the normal open road speed limit or more! This leads me to believe that these large round numerical signages must surely just be a suggestion. If not, is this being policed at all or are all these drivers going to be continually flaunting the law and getting away with it. I feel for the workers along there, mustn’t be a nice feeling being mere metres away from vehicles, some of them large trucks too, travelling 100kph or more. Should anything go wrong at those speeds it would be unlikely that the concrete barriers could protect them.

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Rod Johns. Legend.

I met Rod about 6 years ago when he answered an ad I had on a website for people to help make my farfetched idea for a motoring show a reality. When he rocked up to my house I thought ‘who is this odd little man?’ After talking to him for a couple of minutes I realised he not only knew what he was talking about when it comes to filming, lighting, audio etc. I also realised he had passion and enthusiasm.

His enthusiasm was contagious and I caught some of that.
The NZ On Cars pilot was filmed over a half day on a Saturday and a very long and tiring 12+ hour day the next day. I asked Rod to be on set at 7am that Sunday, a big ask of everyone I thought as we only finished around 6pm the night before, but no. I rolled up to the location (Ardmore airfield) at around 6:40 to see his white van parked next to the gate, Rod nowhere in sight. Seconds later he emerged from the cold foggy dark and leaps over the gate like a 16 year old boy chasing a girl. He had already been there for half an hour and had walked around the piece of air strip we were to be filming on. It was pretty much full on from then, setting up, filming, organising contestants and other crew.
At one point there was a test I did with ABS brakes. I wanted a great shot from in front of the car but wanted Rod as far back as possible, he wouldn’t have that and wanted to get closer. I didn’t know how much space I needed to pull the car up with the ABS turned off which made me more than a little nervous knowing Rod was less than 20 meters in front of the braking mark! Afterwards I asked Rod if he was worried, his response, with a laugh and a cheeky grin: “I was ready to run, but I trusted you”. I’m glad he trusted me, because I didn’t!

Even when the day was done, the building we used was all cleaned, which he got stuck in to help with, long after the light had faded I practically had to push him out the gate to lock up and go home. Earlier with a few more things to film he was coming up with ideas, all good ones too, and given more time we would have done that but I had to tell him we only had about an hour’s daylight left and we had to wrap up what I needed to complete the show. If there was another 12 hours daylight I’m certain he would have still been going.

This wasn’t my only attempt at running him over. I had a couple of bright ideas with filming some of the cars I test including testing a Hyundai Veloster on a go-kart track and taking a Peugeot 4008 off road. I ran the Peugeot downhill towards him and his camera and pulled right when I got close. I apologised if I’d worried him and he just said “I was a little worried about the camera, would have made great footage if you hit it though”.

Every time I saw Rod after the first episode was shot, even well before the editing was completed, he would constantly ask if I was any closer to episode two. If I could have done ep2 Rod mate, you would definitely have been first on the crew list. If I ever do get around to ep2, a big if, it will be dedicated to you mate.

I have a funny feeling where ever you are now you won’t be resting, not you, you’ll still be somewhere doing something and whatever that is you will be giving it at least 110% as always.

I am a better man for having known you. You will be missed but remembered forever. I have come across many people in my life but not one has left such a lasting impression after knowing them for such a short time.

Rod Johns R.I.P 1942 – 2014.

 

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Time, Social Networking, Busses, Bikes and Vans…

 

Time…

As we get older time just seems to fly by faster and faster. This year is certainly no exception. Last year I had test driven a fair few cars to review for my website and unfortunately some of them remain unwritten about. Why? Well the year has zoomed by already and my day job has been exceptionally busy and also involved many changes including a new roll which has sapped most of my energy and any energy I had left has been sapped by my two lovely children and the chores that go with a busy family life. By the time I get to sit down at night I’m totally buggered and have very little energy, mentally or physically, to sit here at the laptop and think about the technical requirements writing an article needs. Will be trying a bit harder in the near future to get on top of this and, at this stage, have only tested one car this year but there are more lining up so better pull finger!

 

Social Networking…

Social networking had changed the world. No exaggeration there. The internet changed the world initially, then along came sites like Myspace (does anyone still use that?), Facebook, twitter, Bebo (for, well, kids basically), Reddit, the list goes on. It has got to a point that most people can’t get by without staying connected and seeing what their friends are having for dinner, that someone’s dog pooped on the carpet or that someone has checked into some place that no one cares about or you’re doing some other menial thing that no one cares about. And yes, I am guilty of all of the above, and more.

It is a great way to stay in touch with family that live out of town and also great for getting back in touch with old school mates you haven’t seen in twenty plus years and now that is pretty much all I use it for, other than networking for NZ On Cars and trying (in vain mostly) to direct traffic to my website.

In all honesty, I have had enough of Facebook, my main choice of networking, although I do occasionally tweet, mostly just links. Why have I had enough? Well, it would appear that someone has it in for me. I have had to quit my main Facebook page of 5+ years, that has many things I would like to look back on but now can’t, as it was constantly hacked and I had to disable the account to prevent it happening again. Thing is I wanted to stay in touch with various friends and family so I set up a new account and added all those who I felt were important in my life, those that I could remember that I had on my original account. Funny how you are able to filter out who the real friends are as some who wouldn’t accept the request on my new account.

And now I am having to go through the same old shit with my new account being constantly attacked and hacked. The latest attack has seen all my details on my ‘About’ page deleted! Sometimes it’s someone trying to log into it and not getting the password where I receive an email to notify of the attempted log in. And then there is the odd time when, somehow, they manage to figure out my stupidly complicated password (which is complicated enough for me to struggle to remember when I want to login somewhere other than on my laptop), and I get an email that my account has been logged into from an unrecognised device where as I, yet again, have to change my password. Most of the time these logins are from Auckland and either from a mobile device or a computer and other times from out of town.

This is now becoming beyond a joke and whoever is doing this I seriously would like to know why and I will ask nicely for you to please stop.

Buses…

I have never been a big fan of public transport, especially when it’s a transport system as embarrassingly unreliable as we have here in New Zealand. But it does have its uses and can get large numbers of humanoids from A to B in one go, well, more like from D to X, provided it doesn’t grind to a halt. And then there are to operators of those extra-long people movers, it would appear that most of them think that because they are providing a service and have a schedule to keep to that they can somehow ignore most road rules that us mere mortals have to adhere. I only have a short trip to work in the mornings but in that brief journey of 5 to 7 minutes I come across a few busses that constantly do what is completely against the road code. If I am starting a tad early I tend to meet up with a bus at the round-a-bout just up from my house, I’m going straight ahead and this bus is coming from my right, turning right, so, of course, I need to give way to him. But no, this driver sits there waiting for me to go, bear in mind that it is dark and any hand gestures he or she might be using to wave me on are not visible due to the glare of his or her headlights. Frustrating, as this goes against normal road rules.

When leaving home to start at my normal time of 7am there are two buses I often get stuck behind. The intersection is the Triangle road, Lincoln road lights. At that time of the morning the left lane tends to back up along Triangle road with the straight ahead and right turn lanes fairly open. Of course the buses are going left towards the city bound motorway but these drivers feel they are above road rules and it appears to be ok for them to bypass the line of traffic, head on up the middle lane and attempt to push their way into the left lane further up, with traffic moving as slow as it does at this time of the morning it can take a while for these large vehicles to be able to merge into that left lane causing motorists like myself who should be through the lights in one or two phase changes but no, because of them I often get stuck for 5 to 10 minutes longer than I should and made to be late to work.

Bikes…

The government has over time spent thousands upon thousands of dollars building cycle lanes to enable those whom are fit (or stupid) enough to opt for a mode of transport that doesnt require presious hard earned coins to be wasted on fuel, in order to keep them safe from morons like me from using them as a speed bump. In all honesty I have a huge amount of respect for people on bikes and will give way to them, give them all the space they need to be safe and I will often shake my head when I see people not allowing at least the one and a half meters between them and their vehicle or pulling out in front of them at intersections.

But then there are those pushbikeilists that think everyone should be giving way to them, riding two, three and four abreast on a road barely wide enough for two cars. The biggest thing that annoys me is, as I mentioned before, that the government has spent untold thousands of dollars building a safe riding area for them and they won’t bloody use it! Along my above mentioned route to the day job, Triangle road, much money has been spent designing and building a bridge alongside the narrow bridge over the Huruhuru creek and yet there are still cyclists that insist on using the road bridge, often darting unexpectedly and moving in front of a car whose driver would be expecting them to move left onto the cycle bridge. The bridge is there for your safety guys, use it! This road-hog cycling attitude continues on Central Park Drive where the cycle lane on the road moves left to an extra wide paved dual footpath/cycle way. There are signs directing the two wheeled riders onto the much safer paved cycleway yet some cyclists insist on sticking to the road where more often than not are risking being knocked off by inattentive motorists as they move into their path around the parked cars further up.

Again, these cycle ways are there for your safety. Whether you are cycling for exercise, commuting, or just can’t simply afford a car, please, please, please be safe and avoid getting into the path of a one, two or more ton vehicle that would simply destroy your life, or take it completely, in a split second.

Vans…

Well, it’s not quite a van, but close enough. Yes, I know I always said I would ‘NEVER buy one of those stupid people movers’ but times change and needs must. I caved and bought one. You kind of get to a point in your life when the usual family station wagon just isn’t enough, yeah, I know, I only have two kids but even then sometimes you just need a bit more luggage space especially when traveling any distance out of town. And then there is the time when you will be travelling out of town or to a family function with extra family members in tow. Instead to taking along two cars it is so much easier, and more comfortable, to load them all into an eight seater. Then there is the time where you score a few bookcases that were destined for the rubbish tip. Oh dear, how will I get them home, it’s raining and they will get wet on the trailer even with a tarp on as the wind is blowing at about 700 kilometres an hour. Oh, right, fold down the rear seats in the van, I mean people mover, and bingo, get them home nice and dry! Too easy.

So, how do I describe a van like car that I have always said I would never own? Stupidly practical!

End of rant.

Idiot Audi!

Often on New Zealand roads one can feel like a pinball in a pin ball machine. For us today was no exception thanks to an ignorant and arrogant Audi A4 Avant driver.

Ticking along nicely through Auckland’s spaghetti junction heading home after a nice family outing with our two young children, daughter 5 and son 1, sitting just under the posted 80kph speed limit through this part of the motorway network due to the not too busy but not too light traffic flow when all of a sudden this silver euro wagon flies past our right hand side and cuts in front of us leaving a very small gap, probably only a couple of inches, between my right front and his left rear. Had I not braked there would have been an almost guaranteed sharing of silver and red paint.

Ok, after flashing of headlights and sounding of our horn, and yes, an angry hand gesture or two from me and my wife the driver of the Audi saw fit to brake heavily, on the motorway, in front of us, with traffic behind us. His vehicle came to an almost complete stop which saw me having to brake even heavier than before and swerve slightly to the left to avoid what could have been a very serious accident. We came to within an inch of hitting the back of this 2006 Audi before he accelerated, can’t help but think if he hadn’t driven off when he did we might not be here now, not to mention our two young children. There were cars behind us, as I mentioned before, and when I looked up after being able to continue I checked the rear-view mirror to see this black VW Passat very close behind, I hate to think how close they came to connecting to our Renault.

 

 

If it was just the cutting off with the lane change we would have carried on our way but with this extremely dangerous manoeuvre we were not going to ignore it. I immediately had my phone out of my pocket into my wife’s hand to call *555 while we followed the driver off the motorway through Freemans Bay to Drake Street and the Atlas Travel building where the Audi driver pulled up to security gate. We then parked behind his car while still on the phone to police communications. After a minute or so (felt like 10) the security gate opened and the Avant disappeared into a vehicle life and down it went. Unfortunately the police were apparently busy and had no units available in the area so we returned home.

While sitting there waiting, before this poor excuse for a driver got swallowed up by the building I was tempted, so very tempted, to confront him. I am glad I didn’t due to my rage who knows what I would have done, can only imagine it would have made matters worse. If it wasn’t for my children in the car I may not have been so worked up but to have a motorist risk the life of my family in such a manor I sure as hell was not going to let this go.

I am now filing a report on the incident online and from past experience the police do follow these reports up. I will be requesting feedback from them as to what action is taken too.

 

Oh, just though I’d put this out there too, if you see a silver 2006 Audi A4 2.0TQ Avant, registration DSL530, on the road and there is a middle aged caucasian male behind the wheel, please, stay well clear.

Technology, Slow drivers, Roads and an NZOC Update…

08/22/2011 1 comment

Splashed out on a wireless keyboard and mouse today for the laptop so I could sit back on the couch comfortably and get some work done. I was a little reluctant as I had heard bad things about them but so far I am more than happy with it. Even the mouse, although one of the most basic mouse’s I have used, it’s more comfortable and easier to use than my $80 Microcrap mouse whose scroll wheel gave up employment some time ago. The most amazing thing about this whole wireless keyboard and mouse setup is the price! Had to pop into Harvey Norman today to get some photo’s printed and while grabbing a couple of cordless phones that were on special for $22  to replace our dying ones I spotted the Logitech wireless mouse and keyboard for only $29. Now just to replace the dying laptop with a Macbook, but then again, being a Mac it’ll probably cost as much as a new Bugatti Veyron to get a wireless keyboard for it!

 

Lately, no matter where I go, whether I am in a hurry or not, I seem to be stuck behind someone who drives like a 99-year-old woman whose alzheimer’s has just kicked in and she can’t remember where the accelerator pedal is kept. No wonder we have the lowest road toll in years. Some people will put this down to the high cost of fuel making people slow down in order to try and save some dollars at the pump. Unfortunately this actually is a false economy as most cars, over 2 litres anyway, achieve the best economy at between 60 kph and 80 kph. So, driving at 30 to 40 kph in a 50 kph zone in their banged up people movers will probably see them using more fuel, not less. Especially when coming to a hill as the vehicle will not have much momentum to carry it up said hill resulting in more pressure on the accelerator and more fuel. Also most of these drivers will undoubtably not know all the tricks to driving the best way to save fuel and will also most certainly have many items in their vehicle adding to the weight, extra weight = extra fuel use.

 

We are not a third world country. Unless you have watched the news lately with kids going to school with empty tummies and no shoes on their feet as they walk to school on a mid winders morning showing 2 degrees on the weather station.

Well you would almost think we are a third world country driving on most of the cities suburban streets. It would seem that the initial surfacing on many roads, especially where I live, must have been substandard as the coarse chip has come away in many areas causing rough, noisy and uncomfortable broken roads. Then in the odd spot they come along and patch up a section of road that doesn’t actually need it just meters away from a badly broken and pot holed section that remains untouched. Then there’s the couple of roundabouts near my house that have been re-surfaced. Yes, they did need re-surfacing, so when I saw the ‘Stop On Request’ signs and the heavy machinery I thought ‘Fantastic, about time!’. My jubilation was to be short-lived however as once they had finished and moved on to the next not needed patch-up job the road was left bumpier than a teenage boys face. Now I grimace every time I drive down that road, and I have taken to avoiding it when I can. Local councils should begin watching kids movies. In the movie Cars, if you haven’t seen it, when the road in a small forgotten town was re-surfaced in a smooth, flat, black top the residents of the town take more pride in their town and begin tidying up their stores, homes and signs. Perhaps if the roads in my neighbourhood were sealed in beautifully smooth black top then some of the no-hopers around here might tidy up their homes, yards, letter boxes etc and their rubbish would stop blowing onto my yard. I wish.

 

And for those of you who are wondering what is happening with the Pilot episode of NZ On Cars, it is currently with the editor who has worked majic on it and it is now just undergoing final touch-ups. Won’t be long now and when it is complete I will organise a screening after which  it will be published online. Where to after that? Who knows. I will be aproaching production companies and networks with it. If no luck there and depending on the popularity of the pilot I may concider a second episode. In the meantime I will be conentrating on paying the bills with the day job and spending time with my newly expanded family and squeezing in the odd article for the website (www.nzoncars.co.nz). Two new car reviews coming up on the site in the next little while. Stay tuned.

 

Categories: All

Destroyed tyres and an angry resident.

Last Thursday night a prime example of the type of people that give ‘car enthusiasts’, aka boy racers, a bad name.

At around 11pm I heard people out the front of my house. There was a car parked out front with some drunken idiots staggering about, sometimes onto my driveway. When they walked down the road a bit and started hanging around another car I thought something was up so rang 111 thinking they were looking to steal it.

Well it turned out one of them owned it, or had the keys at least, got in and drove up next to the car in front of our humble abode.

With one of the drunken morons standing between the two cars they started to do burnouts and proceeded to drag race up the street. Apparently the local constabulary were very busy according to the 111 operator but they were trying their best to get a car here. She had heard the noise from the burnouts and gave the coppers a hurry up. At this point she informed me that my neighbours were wake as another couple of calls had just come in.

The cars returned a couple of doors up with one of them continuing to destroy it’s rear tires laying down some ugly black circles whilst thumping it’s shinny chrome rims against the curbs. This went on for a while until the now sick sounding Commodore was parked up and the drunken idiots went into a house up the road… and then the police arrive, unfortunately just a couple of minutes too late guys! They were keen to get these guys judging by how quickly the uniformed and plain clothed standard issue Commodores came down the road so I have no problem with them, I know the local law enforcers are just as sick of these morons as we are. They drove up and down the road for a bit and got the details of the Commie parked up. It just sucks that thanks to our crap laws the police are unable to do anything about it unless they were caught in the act.

In hindsight I wish I was with it enough last night to get the video camera out so I could have captured some evidence for the boys in blue.

I was so worked up after all this goings on it was around 2am by the time I managed to get to sleep. Fantastic as I was getting up for work at 5am. So yeah, just a wee bit knackered. If the car was still there when I got up this morning I would have been very tempted to remodel it with the help of a sledge hammer.

Categories: Alcohol, All, Cars, Driving, People
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