Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dear friends and whanau and readers from the blogosphere in general,

As you know I am in China for a while and unfortunately my access to blogger, even with a vpn, is hit and miss. More miss than hit. So I will continue to post about our adventures in Wuxi, musical things and such on another blogsite that I can access. Please go to http://wnpurdy.blog.com from now until further notice for all the juicy bits that are fit to print.
Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bicycle race (Queen)

Hey hey - I'm back on blogger!! The great firewall of China has blocked access to my blog so I've had to use a different site for a week http://wnpurdy.blog.com but it was far far away from the standards I'm used to on blogger.

You can go there to find out about my first week living and working in China.

I'm off with SWMBO to suss out some bikes today.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

You got my future in your hands (Stevie Wonder)

Phew - in the end it wasn't as close as had been predicted but it was gripping drama none the less as Obama made it over the finish line ahead of Mr Flip Flop or was that Mr Flim Flam?

I read a Guardian article recently that indicated Obama was the world's choice (apart from China apparently) but that's the kind of thing that Americans hate. Oh you want Obama? Okay well we'll vote for the other guy.

I am staggered that so many would actually vote for Romney and can only put it down to that perverse desire to piss off the rest of the world. How can anyone vote for someone who engages in such abrupt about faces? His expedient changes in stance (he had no policies) were dizzying. What a scary notion - that he could actually be the leader of the American Empire. 

The CNN reporter in Boston (Romney HQ) said that Romney's motorcade had left his hotel and the concession speech would be in 4 or 5 minutes. Then she indicated that the Hotel was attached to the area where the speech would take place. He could have walked the 5 minutes, but instead took a motorcade?????? What a plonker.

The concession speech by Mitt (really?) when it came was nice and he seemed almost human for a moment but then 15 minutes later Obama emerged in Chicago and delivered an electrifying address that had me on the edge of my seat.

I loved the choice of music before he spoke too - Stevie Wonder - oo baby, here I am: signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours.

SWMBO and I fly off to China tomorrow night, arriving on Friday morning for the next bit of our great adventure. Stay tooned for further developments.

Love and peace - Wozza

Sunday, November 4, 2012

And I think to myself...what a wonderful world (Louis Armstrong)

I thought to myself recently the other day that the whanau continues to grow and expand. This is a great and fantastic thing.

My aims and objectives of this post are to introduce and welcome some new inductees and arrivals to Wozza's world (have a look see at the whanau map).

The above paragraphs, collection of sentences are dedicated and named in honour of Peter Joyce who loves tautology. I'll take a money order but, please - no cheque (why do Americans spell this 'check'?).

Anyway, enough of that (sorry)...a big hello to all the new members. 

Thanks to Fanfa and Jesse, Margo and Clay, we now expand to include the Loud, Dunn, Grossman, Peterson, Rowbotham and Kennedy families. It gets complicated but I think I've got everyone in the correct place on the map. Feel free to send in corrections on a stamped elephant

Okay...so who are these people?

My old university buddy, Chris Loud and his wife Lill Dunn live in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Margo and Clay passed on their emails and we have re-established contact.

Jesse's extended San Franciscan/ Danish families make up the inductees: his dad (Michael Rowbotham), stepmom (Karin Peterson); mom (Cathy Kennedy), stepdad (Dan Grossman); brother (Ian Rowbotham); and half sisters/ step brothers and sisters (Lina, Sara, Emily, Rebecca, Nate and Jamie).

Giday, hi, kia ora, hej, ni hao!
Hand shakes and kisses all 'round!

Love and peace - Wozza

My ally is the Force...Life creates it, makes it grow. It's energy surrounds us and binds us. (Yoda)

One of my heroes.
I've had some lively debate of late with Keegan and Adam about the recent sale of Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney company.

They seem to think that having the Star Wars empire under the Disney umbrella will result in an embracing of the dark side, i.e. the future movies will become Mickey Mouse vehicles and quality will nose dive.

Like vast numbers of people they are huge fans of the first trilogy (episodes IV to VI) but are not as impressed by the second trilogy (episodes I to III). They have heard reports that Disney will not stop at a third trilogy (episodes VII to IX) but continue to milk Star Wars into the future.

Keegan, also argues that George Lucas has a less than stellar reputation as a director (hhmmm, by selling the franchise he effectively removes himself from the director's chair as well so that's less of a concern I would have thought).

My p.o.v. is different.

As a director he is responsible for two of my top 10 movies of all time (Star Wars episode IV 'A New Hope'; and American Graffiti), Not bad considering he's only directed six major feature films in his whole career, and four of those were Star Wars movies (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and A New Hope).

That makes five movies and THX 1138 is the sixth. All six are fine movies in my eyes and yes Jar Jar Binks, The Ewoks Adventure, the animated Clone Wars, and Howard The Duck were embarrassing mistakes but that shouldn't colour things as much as they do.

The next three Star Wars movies will start being released from 2015 which is right and proper as Lucas always intended the Star Wars story to span nine movies (I remember reading a story in an American Film magazine that indicated this, even if Lucas has insisted it's a six film series in the recent past). I see no huge problem with the story working towards that conclusion, aside from the actual plot.

What will these episodes be about? Who knows! George Lucas says he doesn't know (I think he's being disingenuous). The original story is wrapped up - Luke has saved the galaxy and redeemed his father by destroying the Sith so that piece of the story is finished. It also can't be a prequel to Episode I because it's already being labelled Episode VII (can it?). So...it should be interesting.

Of course I am hoping for the best but Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were unique products of their time (actors, budgets, technology). It's ridiculous to expect episodes VII to IX to be like the middle trilogy. The CGI gloss of the first trilogy took some getting used to and, fer sure, I'll need to adjust for what Disney come up with (I know that sounds like I'm apologising already). That's fine, I can live with that, and I'm heartened by the news that Lucas (and Kathleen Kennedy as President of Lucasfilm) will still be around to keep an eye on his creation for a while yet.

It's just a shame we all can't return to 1977 for when Star Wars started, or to the late 80s/early 90s when my children were discovering Star Wars for themselves. That initial surprise and magic cannot be recaptured. We're all older, wiser, more experienced, but the inherent magic of Star Wars will be discovered by new generations into the future, and I think that's nifty!

Love and peace - Wozza

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'd catch a grenade for ya (Bruno Mars)

A rummage through my back pages for this post. So you get assorted images of the brood and their significant others (Di-ya, Ashleigh and Jesse).

Highlights: Adam sent these pictures of him teaching from the 'English Learning Room' in Japan which I love; the minister of defence in his Cap'n Pugwash pose; various family members filling their faces.


SWMBO has finished her radiotherapy treatments now and has been given the all clear so we are off to China on Thursday.

Love and peace - WNP