Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
Time for another rant unrelated to writing.
A while back I talked about Garth McVicar and the damage his 'Sensible Sentencing Trust' is doing to New Zealand. Last year's 'White Rose Day', an attempt to get the government to legislate tougher jail sentences for drink-drivers, is a case in point: each jailed driver costs us $100,000 a year, when they could simply be disqualified from driving and still remain productive.
He's at it again, this time in an even more dangerous manner. In a recent murder trial the Crown's case revolved around a 'confession' the accused made to a woman. Turns out she was offered $50,000 by the Sensible Sentencing Trust if the accused was convicted as a result of her 'evidence' (http://www.stuff.co.nz/4565264a10.html). She was discredited by the defence lawyer and the accused man was acquitted.
What? McVicar's mob interfere directly in the course of justice, leading to the acquittal of the only suspect (who may well have been innocent, but we'll never know now, Garth). I had no idea this sort of thing went on (I know the police pay informants, but not other organisations), and can't work out why it's not illegal and punishable by imprisonment. Crime bosses used to threaten or pay off witnesses to avoid convictions. What next. Mr McVicar? Send the heavies round to rough up a witness for the defence?
It's time people woke up to the danger this man is causing.
So the moment I step off the plane in Christchurch I get a call to say mother-in-law has renal failure and is not expected to last the weekend. Her rest home GP took her off her meds and told Dorinda there was nothing more to be done.
I was ready to return immediately, and asked the two Australian friends I was to guide around the South Island if they'd mind making their own way. Dorinda told me to wait - her two brothers were en route (one from the Gold Coast). So I waited.
To find that one of the rest home nurses overruled the GP and sent MIL to hospital, where they put her on a drip and began treating the severe thrush that had been preventing her eating or drinking. Renal failure? Turns out she had become severely dehydrated and the GP simply didn't realise that this is a major cause of supposed 'renal failure' amongst elderly patients.
She has steadily if slowly improved in hospital and will remain there for some time, but no one now is talking about imminent death. I remained on my holiday, did meet briefly with my Aussie friends (and drove them to Queenstown) and spent a great few days with my cousin Amanda, Aunt Karen and Uncle Keith, as well as my brother James and his family. I arrived home yesterday.
Played in the pennant final today - we won!
Half past five in the morning, I'm on my way to the airport.
Going south to visit my family, including an uncle I haven't seen in twenty years. I'll do some research for the novel I'm writing and perhaps play a game of golf or two. I'll meet up with Trudi Canavan and Paul Ewins in Christchurch and put on my irritating tour guide persona for a few days, then back home to await their arrival in the North Island.
That's the plan. Everything's a little up in the air right now, though. Dorinda's mum has had a stroke and isn't recovering well: they're thinking of transferring her to hospital. So ... I've got to be ready to come home at a moment's notice. Some tour guide.
In the final of Division 4 of Waikato's inter-club golf competition, that is. We had no right to get there: a series of fortunate occurrences and some good play from us (finally) saw us nudge out an unlucky Lochiel on a countback of games. (We lost to them earlier in the year, but the rules were changed a few years ago and the countback now determines who gets into the final).
We lost the final last year 5-4, so we're desperate to win this year. Desperate, I tell you. A win means promotion to the next division and eventually, perhaps, a spot in the top division.
I'm going to trial for the Waikato Masters golf team (over 40s). Hopefully I won't be humiliated ...
Internet restored! Yay! With a bonus ...
Don't know whether to be happy or angry about this. For three years we have complained to our various ISPs about the slow broadband - 300-650kbps maximum. We were given all kinds of excuses and nothing changed. 'You're downstream from the city centre which affects your performance'. 'You must have an old exchange'. 'There must be a fault at your end'. Three years of paying for ultra-fast broadband and getting that sort of performance (other parts of the city get 3000-4000kbps).
So as part of the fix for our two-day disconnection a tech had to visit the exchange and reset something. Guess what? I just did a speed test and download speed is now 6320kbps.
Yay! But ... why couldn't they have done what they did today a full three years ago?
(And yes, I know in global terms this speed is only mid-range, but it's ten times as fast as before, and that is really noticeable.)
I think I may go fully cranky on them.