Friday, July 18, 2014

Hide-and-earth bound but there's no tether, on a zephyr (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

I'm reading an amazing book at the moment: Velocity by a couple of young whipper snappers - Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander.

It's subtitled The seven new laws for a world gone digital. Don't let that put you off; the seven, the new and digital are tags to get you hooked.

I'm not sure where the idea that seven was the desired standard for these things. I'm pretty sure the seven deadly sins came before the dwarves but I'm a little hazy on these things.

Whatever, everybody's at it these days. I mentioned in my last posting on my Baggy Trousers blog that I'd finished reading Deepak Chopra's The 7 Spiritual Laws of Superheroes and of course there are Seven:11's; seven days in a week; seven notes on a musical scale; seven wonders of the world; the Buddha first walked seven steps; the magnificent seven; highly effective people have seven habits according to Stephen Covey; and, of course, there is that enigma wrapped in a riddle that is Seven Sharp

But I digress.

Velocity is written by two whizz kids. Ajaz Ahmed founded AKQA ( Have a look if you get a chance - their business is future innovation so it's interesting to see what their website looks like - big on graphics, high on mystery.

Stefan Olander has one of those what-the-hell-does-that-actually-mean job titles at Nike - Vice president of digital sport.

Together they talk about stuff in Velocity and it's terrific.

Lesson one/Law One (in a chapter called a Smith and Weston beats four aces) - trying to protect what you've already got is a mistake.

They obviously mean in a business context but I think this applies to other things like schools. School's have a brand association whether they like it or not.

I was filling up the car's petrol t'other day and the shop lady knows I teach at Woodford House. She was chatting about schools in general. When I asked her where she went to school she said 'Colenso College', followed by it was good then but it's not now.

And right there the brand suffered. Who knows the truth. Anyone coming in contact with this lady is going to get one version only.

Schools go through ups and downs. Public perception is fickle. Schools want to protect their brand if it's a good one but Ahmed/Olander say that's a mistake. Innovation/ continual improvement is a must.

I'm lucky to be at Woodford House. We are currently involved in some potentially major change to the brand but we appear to be quite fearless about it right now. Fantastic!! Long may that continue.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We're space truckin' 'round the stars (Deep Purple)

Nurse Jade 
Time for a round up of whanau news - I'm sure the whole whanau will want to congratulate Jade on her successful interview for her first professional job as a nurse.

Jade's shown true grit by persevering after not getting a job last year when she interviewed at Tauranga Hospital. Grandad would have been so proud!

New nursing graduates can apply for four locations. They then wait to see if they've gained an interview. If they miss out as Jade did last year they get a second chance six months later to apply again. If that doesn't do the trick they are in deep manure.

NZ nursing is in a crazy over supply situation where there are too many graduates for too few jobs. Ironically there is a great demand in the hospitals but government budget restrictions result in a bottleneck situation where many new nurses are being forced to travel overseas to gain jobs and experience.

Adam with young fans on his last day with them.
Jade had her interview for Palmerston North Hospital a few months ago and then we have waited and waited for July 16 to roll around (all nursing applicants for the new grad programme are advised on the same day).

We travelled down to Palmerston North yesterday to hopefully celebrate or sadly console Jade. As we got out of Dannevirke Jade phoned us with the great news that she was one of the lucky ones!!

Fanfa (second left) with sensible co workers
It was a giant phew/yahoo moment in our lives. Great to know that it pays off when you go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Other whanau news: Adam and Ashleigh come home next month after a couple of years teaching in Japan. They'll set up camp in Auckland for a bit before figuring out what to do next in their great adventure together.

Fanfa has been hard at work on film production in San Francisco while also doing her video editing for common sense media

Common Sense Media is a San Francisco based non-profit organization that advocates on child and family issues, and studies the effects that media and technology have on young users. It has great reviews (which Samantha edits), I use it a lot in my classroom when advising my students on suitable movies for close viewing and wide reading.

Keegan is also involved in editing at Mediaworks in Auckland and is patiently awaiting Diya's return from China. Sadly Diya's father died recently. Diya flew back to be with her dad and now is helping her mum adjust to things. Diya returns at the end of August. Kia Kaha.

Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blüh' im Glanze dieses Glückes (Bloom in the glow of happiness)

Germany 1 Argentina 0
Brazil 0 Holland 3

Superheroic Schweinsteiger
Oh no! What am I going to do now??

The FIFA World Cup is...sob...choke...sniffle...OVER!!! NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Say it ain't so.

It's been a wonderful memorable delicious month and a bit of world class football.

Delicious? I hate the commentator (are they still called that?) who did this morning's final. Too verbose by half and how many times did he use 'delicious'? Is this the new buzz word?

Anyway - back to me - I've watched every game, got up early to catch the first game each day, put up with football dreams (I've saved a few goals on the goal line but kicked SWMBO a few times in the process - doh!), and loved pretty much every minute of the latest World Cup.

I was hoping Arsenal/ Germany would win the final (three key members of the team are gunners) and yet, I still felt sorry for Messi. He is amazing but unfortunately he peaked early in the tournament and the rest of his team of individuals couldn't match the group focus of Germany in the final.

won't forget the Brazil drubbing in a hurry either. That's going to hurt for a while.

My top 5 moments from this morning and yesterday's games

  • Those shots of Christ The Redeemer
  • Podolski's selfie celebrations
  • Neymar's appearance and sheepish smile
  • The singing of the national anthems
  • Mats Hummels' and Bastian Schweinsteiger's exhausted leave-it-all-on-the-pitch approach.

Love and peace - Wozzasacker

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My eyes are dead and my throat's like a black hole (Oasis)

Came close to a full on panic attack meltdown yesterday.

I don't have them often (a Southend shoe shop, McDonald's at Karaka, before take off a couple of times although a combination of red wine, Diazepam and Buddhist self help has stopped them) but I remember them well.

SWMBO and I went to Napier for lunch and a spot of shopping. 

The panic happened during the lunch bit. 

We decided to try a new place and we liked the look of Mister D Dining but we stupidly didn't look at the menu board outside.

The place was open and full with a lunch crowd - the well healed middle aged set. Should have maybe heeded that warning sign.

The waiters (warning) were trendy young guys - the hail fellow well met type with trendy stubble beards, trendy tattoos and trendy hair styles (bells ringing loudly by now). Gulp! Too late to back out.

We were shown to our table, sandwiched in between a number of other tables. Now I'm starting to become super conscious of the noise.

Unfortunately SWMBO takes the red seat by a wall (centre right in picture) with me with my back to people and feeling surrounded. The creeping feeling that I couldn't escape starts.

The menu is a fold out thing on brown paper (!) full of items like larks tongue in aspic and bone marrow pasta (!!).

There's nothing there that we want to order and so it's becoming hot in the restaurant. My thinking slows down, my words dry up, by brain kicks into overdrive, my ears start hearing all the conversations around me.

I need to get out but I'm trapped. SWMBO doesn't read the signs and my panic gets worse. Some blue lights in my vision warn me that a migraine may be coming. My anxiety levels grow. A major meltdown is coming and I can't stop it.

I hear Jacky tell the waiter (who has been back twice to take our order) that there is nothing on the menu for her and that we haven't ordered anything yet and we're leaving and I feel empowered to push back my chair, grab my jacket and somehow my feet get me back outside. 

I don't feel as if I've breathed in the last five minutes until we're outside.

It's my worst nightmare - feeling entirely trapped by a situation with no way out of it. Hated it. Hated it. Hated it.

We walked around for a bit while my head clears, eventually bumped into some old friends from the Middle East (Gavin and Nola and their son Paul) and then headed to a quiet cafe that we've enjoyed before.

Lessons learned, I hope.

Love and peace - Wozzinho 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right (Henry Ford)

Germany 7 Brazil 1

So many thoughts, so much mixed up confusion. That score is absurd. Crazy. Unbelievable. Can't happen.

It was like watching a train wreck in s l o o o w w w w motion.

The inquest will feature Juan Zuniga and that knee in Neymar Junior's back. 

It will feature Thiago Silva's stupid block on the Colombian keeper and his second yellow card which ruled him out of the semi final. 

It will certainly focus on the poor form of Fred.

However, it should centre most of all on the lack of belief throughout the fragile Brazilian team that could not cope with the idea of playing Germany without Silva or Neymar.

It was dire. I was embarrassed for Brazil. When has that ever happened?

If it was a boxing match the referee would have stopped the fight at 3 nil down. 

I need solace (solace - noun - comfort or consolation in a time of great distress or sadness).

But I don't know where to look. This isn't an underdog defeats champ story (a la Buster Douglas v Mike Tyson).

Even amongst lopsided wins it's hard to find a precedent where two equal superpowers in a sport result in such a blowout.

Let's not forget Brazil have won the FIFA World Cup FIVE times, Germany THREE.

The closest I can find is an NFL football game in 1940 when the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the league's championship game and maybe the 2008 French Open tennis final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Nadal, amazingly, won the match 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, but that match didn't happen in Switzerland and it was on clay, a surface upon which Nadal was virtually indestructible.

And that's it! Not even an NHL hockey game in 1944 when the Detroit Red Wings beat the New York Rangers 15-0 rates as it doesn't contain the gravitas of a FIFA World Cup semi final IN BRAZIL!!!

Seven. One.

And there is no upside...yet (Russia 2018 now becomes HUGE for Brazil).

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Saturday, July 5, 2014

We are traveling in the footsteps of those who've gone before (Louis Armstrong)

FIFA World Cup 2014 semi finals:
Brazil v Germany
Argentina v Holland

What is Sepp Blatter on? 

He reckons there are no more dominating nations marching on in the World Cup ( Is he insane? Does he know who are playing?

Of the four bands of brothers who have marched into the semi finals, three of them are multiple winners of the World Cup and Holland are perennial bridesmaids (three times the runners up).

Poor old Sepp is trying hard to encourage the view that the playing field is equal but he doesn't have a clue how hard it is for teams like Iran, Japan, Australia, Costa Rica and England to make it. Oops - sorry 'bout that England.

I've loved the tournament so far but the big match teams are all predictably there. I wrote off Holland before the games kicked off but I got the other three semi finalists spot on.

I predicted a Brazil v Argentina final and I'm still sticking to that. Even without Neymar Junior I think the boys will rise to the occasion.

Speaking of Neymar - what a disgusting assault by Colombia's Juan Zuniga.  No way can you call it a tackle, Neymar had his back to Zuniga, and was unprotected during the mugging. Horrible.

My top 3 evildoers now comprise at #1 Zuniga; #2 Suarez the Brazilian nutter; and #3 cheating, diving, Robben. Boo hiss x3.

So - all in all GO BRAZIL!!!

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Friday, July 4, 2014

If you can dream it, you can do it (Walt Disney)

It's a July morning and the quote this month is a much used one from Walt Disney.

Only problem is Walt didn't say it.

One of his original imagineers (yes - that appears to be a real job), Tom Fitzgerald, wrote it but it's been attributed to Walt ever since.

It has made me wonder though what Walt's dream was. Was it to create the happiest place on Earth? Was it to influence billions of humans? Or was it simply to make a mouse, originally named Mortimer, an icon for generations?

Who knows.

A search of the interweb hasn't helped beyond telling me that he kind of fell into animation following a love of art. Seems he was more interested in trains and joining the army.

It appears on the surface that Walt was not particularly driven by dreams of anything grandiose.

I do like the quote - even though it's nonsensical really. There are plenty of things that you can dream but they are impossible. Unless you're Superman you can forget having x ray vision folks. 

Nonetheless, without dreams we're all in a lot of trouble. Sometimes it's a case of beware what you wish for, but generally the human condition is an evolving, searching one; never satisfied, we're always aiming to move forward, like a shark.

I think the older we get the more risk averse we get, so this quote is a good one to keep reminding ourselves that we can do some great things in our lives. We just need to keep dreaming of possibilities.

I like it.

Love and peace - Wozzinho