Keeping in Touch

While we are in shutdown due to the COVID-19 we thought it would be a good idea to have a place on our website where we could, on a regular basis,  keep you informed, provide fun things to do, excite your mind, provide links to interesting places, inject some humour,  share some ideas and generally brighten up your day. So, on a regular basis while we are all sitting at home, our webmaster, Ian Handricks, will update this page for you and he would welcome your input, ideas and anything else you might like to share on the page and he will do his best to include your ideas in the next post. Ian can be contacted on ianhandricks@gmail.com Click on buttons below to go to a specific day or scroll down for a journey through the days

Day 10
 

n.b. When viewing the videos use these controls ... click on           in bottom left of video to start video and

 

                                                                                              click on           in bottom right of video to expand to full screen

Not your best day!
My Blackberry Is Not Working! 
Pam Ayres - Dad's swimming costume
Tips and Tricks to help you get through self-isolation
Growing Old ...disgracefully
A Cut Above the Rest!
Shuffle the Cards and Throw the Dice
Games we play
On-line games - click on image to get access (you may have to sign in - but all are FREE)
15092438_web1_M-Bardsley-edh-190113.jpg
Monopoly
619992094.webp
Cribbage
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Jig Saw
Scrabble        CLICK HERE FOR DICTIONARY
Bridge
Checkers (Draughts)
Backgammon
Mahjong
Can You Recognize Everyday Objects Close Up?
Click on image to discover what it is
Musings on the Virus
  • Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem.

  • I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I'm cracking a safe.

  • I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

  • Still haven't decided where to go for Easter ----- The Living Room or The Bedroom

  • Homeschooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting and 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.

  • This morning I saw a neighbour talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog..... we laughed a lot.

  • So, after this quarantine.....will the producers of My 600 Pound Life just find me or do I find them?

  • Quarantine Day 5: Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.

  • My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee it cleans the toilet.

  • Day 5 of Homeschooling: One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.

  • I'm so excited --- it's time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

  • Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

  • Day 6 of Homeschooling: My child just said "I hope I don't have the same teacher next year".... I'm offended.

  • Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under

Having Fun with Alexa

Amazon Alexa, known simply as Alexa,is a virtual assistant AI technology developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo smart speakers developed by Amazon Lab126. It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news. Alexa can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system.

In January 2019, Amazon's devices team announced that they had sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices.

In September, 2019 Amazon launched many new devices achieving many records while competing with the world's smart home industry. The new Echo Studio became the first smart speaker with 360 sound and Dolby sound. Other new devices included an Echo dot with a clock behind the fabric, a new third-generation Amazon Echo, Echo Show 8, a plug-in Echo device, Echo Flex, Alexa built-in wireless earphones, Echo buds, Alexa built-in spectacles, Echo frames, an Alexa built-in Ring, and Echo Loop.

You can also have Alexa (without the clever speaker) by going to this website or having the Alexa app (FREE) installed on your device.

Here's a list of questions you can ask Alexa to beat boredom, and maybe even crack a smile.

Alexa, can you tell me a "yo mama" joke?
Alexa, what happens if you step on a Lego?
Alexa, do aliens exist?
Alexa, I've got 99 problems.
Alexa, how was your day?
Alexa, how high can you count?
Alexa, what is the value of pi?
Alexa, is your refrigerator running?  
Alexa, why is six afraid of seven?
Alexa, do you have any pets?
Alexa, do you believe in ghosts?
Alexa, are you blue? 
Alexa, I like big butts.
Alexa, why did the chicken cross the road?
Alexa, how much do you weigh?
Alexa, can you give me some money?
Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya.
Alexa, do you know Siri?
Alexa, I am your father.
Alexa, do you know the muffin man? 
Alexa, how old are you?
Alexa, testing 1, 2, 3.
Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Alexa, are we in the Matrix?
Alexa, surely you can't be serious?
Alexa, where is Chuck Norris?
Alexa, do you like pizza?
Alexa, can you sing in autotune? 
Alexa, do you love me? 
Alexa, give me a kiss.
Alexa, make me a sandwich.
Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up? 
Alexa, what's your favorite color?
Alexa, will you marry me?
Alexa, can you tell me a Star Wars joke?
Alexa, can you talk like Yoda?
Alexa, can you rap? 
Alexa, who is on first?
Alexa, winter is coming.
Alexa, beam me up.

Alexa, can you give me a random fact?
Alexa, can you tell me a movie fact?
Alexa, what are some interesting history facts?
Alexa, what are some interesting sports facts?
Alexa, what are some facts about the US government?

Alexa, can you entertain me?
Alexa, can you meow?
Alexa, can you bark?
 

Beyond Netflix: Where to watch TV and movies without spending a cent

If you’re a movie-lover but don’t feel like funnelling more money to a giant global corporation right now, good news: there are plenty of  free – and legal – streaming options out there. You just have to know where to look.

The number of people with access to linear television is growing smaller and smaller by the year now that the internet controls our lives. Now that most people either have a subscription to one of the many streaming services or are still using their ex’s login, the choices seem endless. But if you’re not so keen to give more money to giant corporations at the moment (fair), there are still heaps of options for your watch party, for your kids, for your family… for yourself.

TVNZ OnDemand

We all know about it, so why does TVNZ OnDemand still feel overlooked by Kiwis in favour of overseas services? For some reason whenever type the OnDemand URL into my browser it takes me straight to the page for a show called Spiky Gold Hunters. Now that we’re in lockdown I’m going to start watching Spiky Gold Hunters and figure out what the heck it is.

You don’t have to do that though. There are so many titles on TVNZ OnDemand that you may not realise are there: Kiwi films such as Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, overseas TV series like Community, Friends and Dawson’s Creek and children’s content out the wazoo.

ThreeNow

You didn’t think I’d praise one without the other, did you? You want some motorsport? ThreeNow’s got it. You want some comedy? ThreeNow’s got that too. You want indistinguishable American crime dramas? ThreeNow’s got heaps. There’s not much kids content on here, but that’s okay, the small people get everything – Love Island is a treat just for us.

Beamafilm

Beamafilm is the streaming service of our dreams and it’s entirely free and totally above board. It’s an Australasian service that works alongside libraries to offer free independent films to library members. More than 35% of the content is Australian or New Zealand-made, and there are hundreds of films across dozens of genres to choose. 

All you need is a login from one of the participating libraries. These include Auckland City Libraries, Dunedin Public Libraries, Wellington City Libraries and heaps more in New Zealand. 

OverDrive

Pretty much the same deal as above, OverDrive is an online database with videos, ebooks and audiobooks that’s free if you have a library login. Download the Libby app and login using your library details. There’s documentaries, TV shows, a kids’ movie called Slime Time, basically everything.

NZ On Screen

Want a lil homegrown number? This is the service for you. Boasting over 700 hours of pure Kiwi content, NZ On Screen is an archive of New Zealand history through film, with interviews, documentaries and short films. 

Brighten Your Day
Prayer & Dedication to Retirement Village
That's why they call it a "shot" glass, perhaps?
Quiz for Clever People (counts me out!)

1. A frog is at the bottom of a 30 metre well. It can climb up 3 metres during the day but slips back 2 metres each night. How many days does it take him to get out of the well?  Hint: The answer is NOT 30 days!

2. A steam train leaves London heading towards Oxford at 80 Km/hour at exactly the same time a diesel train leaves Oxford heading for London at 120 km/hour. When they meet, which train will be closest to London?

3. Three men in a cafe order a meal the total cost of which is $15. They each contribute $5. The waiter takes the money to the chef who recognizes the three as friends and the chef asks the waiter to return $5 to the men. The waiter is not only poor at mathematics but dishonest and instead of going to the trouble of splitting the $5 between the three he simply gives them $1 each and pockets the remaining $2 for himself. Now, each of the men effectively paid $4, the total paid is therefore $12. Add the $2 in the waiters pocket and this comes to $14.....where has the other $1 gone from the original $15?

4. A hunter walks 10 km due south, then 10 km due west and then 10 km due north - he is back where he started from - he fires a gun and kills a bear. What colour is the bear?

5. Mary's mum has four children. The first child is called April. The second is called May. The third is called June. What is the name of the fourth child?

6. A son and his real birth father were driving around and they got in an accident and the father died so the son gets brought to the hospital and the old doctor looks at him and says I cant perform surgery on this kid he is my son! WHO IS THE DOCTOR ?

7. If a plane crashes exactly on the border between America and Canada - where do you bury the survivors?

8. You're the pilot of an airplane that travels from New York to Chicago - a distance of 800 miles. The airplane travels at 200 m.p.h. and makes one stop for 30 minutes. What is the pilot's name?

9. A rope-ladder is hanging over the side of a ship. The ladder is 12 feet long, and the rungs are one foot apart. The lowest rung is resting on the top of the ocean. The tide rises at the rate of four inches per hour. How long will it take before the first four rungs of the ladder are under water?

10. If there are 6 apples and you take away 4, how many do you have?

11. How many grooves are there on each side of a LP record?

12. Who's bigger: Mr. Bigger, Mrs. Bigger or their baby?

13. How much dirt is there in a hole 3 ft deep, 6 ft long and 4 ft wide?

14. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

15. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

16. This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out! Try to do so without any coaching!

17. There is a common English word that is seven letters long. Each time you remove a letter from it, it still remains a common English word - from seven letters right on down to a single letter. What is the original word, and what are the words that it becomes after removing a letter at a time?

18. What common word (in english) is NINE letters long but only has ONE vowel (and it does not contain the letter “Y”)?

19. What word is only SEVEN letters long but has all FIVE vowels (and it does not contain the letter “Y”)?


20. A shop assistant at a butcher shop stands 1.89 metres tall and wears size 13 shoes. What does he weigh?

21. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

22. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

23. In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

24. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

25. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”

26. A farmer has five haystacks in one field and four haystacks in another. How many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in one field?

27. A man lives on the 28th floor of a high-rise building. Every day he gets the lift down to the ground floor to leave the building to go to work. Upon returning from work he always gets off at the 26th floor and has to climb the other two floors - unless it's raining! Why?

28. A woman had two natural born sons (neither were adopted) who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so?

29. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second of assassins with loaded guns, and the third of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is the safest for him to go to?

30. A bottle of wine cost £10. The wine was worth £9 more than the bottle. How much was the bottle worth? Hint: the answer is NOT £1.
 

1000 Hand dance
Kseniya Simonova sand artist

Here's 13 facts you didn't know about the number 13

 

1. According to the Gregorian calendar, the 13th day of the month is more likely to be a Friday than any other day. There are three occurrences of Friday the 13th in 2015: February, March and November. The next time this will happen is 2026.

2. Bad things have happened on this day - on Friday, 13th October 1307, the French King Philip IV ordered the arrest, torture and subsequent burning at the stake, of hundreds of the Knights Templar military order. Several modern authors, such as Dan Brown in his novel The Da Vinci Code, have succumbed to falsely associating the superstition with this grisly tale.

3. Allowing for ties, there are exactly 13 possible ways in which the three fastest horses in a horse race can finish.

4. The number 13 is considered in several cultures as a somewhat sinister number, a bearer of ill portent, when compared to its much lauded neighbour 12 (of months of the year, signs of the Zodiac, sons of Jacob, apostles of Jesus and days of Christmas fame, to name a few). 12 be all like...

5. 13 is a prime number, that is, a number greater than one that can only be divided by itself and one. For example, six is not a prime number, because it can be divided by two and three, as well as six and one. In fact, 13 belongs to the much more distinguished club of so-called Wilson primes, of which only three are known. If there is a fourth, it must be larger than 20 million million.

6. Prime numbers have fascinated mathematicians for millennia because they are the building blocks of all numbers, and nowadays they are used globally every second of every day - whenever a credit card transaction is made online, prime numbers are used by computers to keep those details safe from prying eyes.

7. Around 2300 years ago, Euclid proved that there are infinitely many prime numbers. But mathematics thrives on finding patterns, and to this day nobody knows if there is a pattern that will unlock the secrets of the primes. Solving the Riemann Hypothesis would help - there is a million dollar Millennium Prize, offered by the Clay Mathematics Institute, to anyone who can.

8. Many species of the cicada insect in the US have a life cycle of 13 or 17 years (another prime). Some believe that these prime number life cycles help them avoid predators which appear in their habitat at regular intervals.

9. 13 is also a member of the famous sequence of Fibonacci, introduced in the 13th century. This sequence begins with zero and one, and the next number in the sequence is always the sum of the two preceding it, so we have 0+1=1,1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8 and so on. If you want to know why rabbits breed so quickly, look no further than the Fibonacci sequence. Fibonacci is also responsible for introducing the decimal number system to Europe. Developed by Indian mathematicians centuries earlier, and adopted by the Arabs, it revolutionised European banking and business because arithmetic is much easier with decimals than with clunky Roman numerals.

10. In certain countries, such as Belgium, some employees get a "13th month" pay cheque, so in fact the number 13 can be quite a lucky number.

11. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13, while Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.

12. Alas, the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition seems far more mundane - it appears to be not much more than a hundred years old, and might just be a combination of two things traditionally associated with ill fortune, namely Friday and the number 13.

13. There have been 12 films in the Friday the 13th horror franchise. Perhaps it's bad luck that a 13th is due for release in 2017?

Aluminium is element number 13

Here some interesting facts about it

 

Aluminium (aluminium) is the element that is atomic number 13 on the periodic table. Its element symbol is Al and its atomic mass is 26.98. Each atom of aluminium contains 18 protons. Aluminum atoms with fewer than 18 electrons are cations, while those with more than 18 electrons are anions. The isotope of aluminium is determined by its number of neutrons. Here is a collection of interesting facts about atomic number 13.

  • Pure aluminium is a soft, nonmagnetic silvery-white metal. Most people are familiar with the pure element's appearance from aluminum foil or cans. Unlike many other metals, aluminum is not very ductile, which means it isn't readily drawn into wires. Aluminium is strong, yet light compared with most other metals.

  • Aluminium is the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust (about 8%) and the most abundant metal.

  • Aluminium ore (bauxite) is mined, chemically refined into alumina (aluminium oxide) using the Bayer process, and finally refined into aluminium metal using the electrolytic Hall-Heroult process. The modern process requires considerable energy, yet it's much easier than past refining methods. It was so difficult to obtain element 13 that is was considered a precious metal. Napoleon III served dinners to his most important guests on aluminium platters, leaving lesser guests to dine using gold!

  • In 1884, the cap of the Washington Monument was made using aluminium because the metal was so highly valued at that time.

  • Only 5% of the energy needed to purify aluminium from alumina is required to recycle aluminium from scrap. In fact, you can even recycle the element at home, if you like.

  • The name for element 13 has been either aluminium or aluminiium. We can blame the English chemist, Sir Humphy Davy, for the confusion. Davy initially called the element alumium in 1807, from the mineral alumina. Davy changed the name to aluminum and then finally to aluminium in 1812. The -um spelling persisted in Britain for a while, eventually changing to aluminium. Chemists in the United States actually used the -ium ending, shifting toward the -um ending in the 1900s. In the 1990's, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry formally determined element 13 should be aluminium, yet the -um spelling persists in the U.S. It's worth noting that despite the naming controversy he caused, Davy neither discovered the element nor isolated it!

  • Although aluminum is present in over 270 minerals and is widely abundant, the element does not appear to serve a biological role in either animals or plants. The presence of aluminum salts is generally tolerated by animals and plants. However, in high doses aluminum exposure alters the function of the blood-brain barrier. Some people are allergic to aluminum. Ingesting acidic foods increases aluminum absorption, while the flavor enhancer maltol increases its accumulation in bones and nerves. Aluminum increases estrogen-related gene expression in breast cells of humans. The US Department of Health and Human Services classifies aluminum as a non-carcinogen. Whether or not aluminum is a factor in Alzheimer's disease is a matter of debate. It is unknown whether aluminum contributes to the degenerative disease or whether developing the disease results in accumulation of the element.

  • Element atomic number 13 conducts electricity, although not as well as silver, copper, or gold. If you have metal dental fillings or braces, you can experience this firsthand. When you bite on a piece of aluminum foil, the salts in saliva conduct electricity between the foil and the filling, creating a type of galvanic battery and delivering an electrical shock to your mouth.

  • Uses of aluminum are second only to those of iron and its alloys. While nearly pure aluminum may be used, the element is also alloys with copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and silicon. The pure element is used when corrosion resistance is paramount. Alloys are used where strength or hardness are important. Aluminum is used in beverage containers because of its corrosion resistance. The metal is used in construction, transportation, and to make everyday household items. High-purity aluminum is used in wires, electronics, and CDs. The metal is used to make reflective surfaces and paint. Some string instruments, especially guitars, have aluminum bodies. Aircraft bodies are made of aluminum alloyed with magnesium.

... and in case you run out

Here some more ...

 

  • According to Smithsonian Magazine "fear of the #13 costs American a billion dollars per year in absenteeism, train and plane cancellations, and reduced commerce on the 13th of the month."

  • Fear of Friday the 13th dates back to Nordic Mythology. Many of their thirteenth Gods met with violent deaths, such as Loki, the trickster.

  • Ancient Romans regarded the number 13 as a symbol of death, destruction and misfortune.

  • Taylor Swift was born on Dec 13th, her lucky number's 13, she turned 13 on a friday the 13th, and she turns 24 on Friday December 13. 2013

  • There were 13 original colonies.

  • Every month starting on a Sunday, will have a Friday the 13th in it.

  • A witches coven consists of 13 members.

  • Friday the 13th happens 3 times in 2012. They are each 13 weeks apart from each other. This hasn't happened since 1984.

  • Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper (although it is read as transition or change and not literal death).

  • Hotels rarely have a room number 13. Usually it is called 12a or 14. Same with floors of buildings and the elevators without a #13 button.

  • Highways sometimes will skip exit 13 altogether also.

  • There are 13 steps leading to the gallows.

  • There are 13 knots in a hangman's noose.

  • Lizzy Borden uttered a total of 13 words at her trial.

  • It’s 13 feet through which the guillotine blade falls.

  • The driver of Princess Diana hit pillar #13 at Place de l'Alma when she was killed in Paris, France.

  • 13 people, Christ and his 12 disciples, were in attendance at the last supper. This is where the Christian belief ties in, making Friday a believed unlucky day, as the crucifixtion occurred on a Friday.

  • Beware naming your children with 13 letters in their name, they may be cursed for example, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson. 

  • Certain ocean liners will be held in dock until after midnight to appease passenger's fears on Friday the 13th.

  • British study concluded that even though there were less cars on the road on Friday the 13th (as compared with other Fridays) more accidents were reported.

  • In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th (martes trece) is considered a day of bad luck.

  • Because of increased disappearance reports, the Empire State Building closes 4 hours early on Friday the 13ths.

  • E Pluribus Unum has 13 letters.

  • The US Seal has 13 stars, bars, feathers in the eagle's tail, 13 bars in one claw, 13 olive branches in the other.

  • On the USA Dollar Bill, there are 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 bars on the shield, and 13 leaves on the olive branch

  • A baker's dozen consists of 13 for a reason! So the story goes a witch near Albany, NY demanded 13 items every time she came in to a particular bakery, and one day the old baker could not afford her extra biscuit. She sneered some strange words at the man, and he suffered terrible luck from then on, until he brought her another 13 rolls. After that life was once again easy for the baker and word spread around town. The custom is still sometimes practiced today.

  • Apollo 13, 1970, the 13th mission launched from pad #39 (13 x 3), mission was aborted, after an explosion occurred in the fuel cell of their service module. The rocket had left launching pad at 13:13 CST and the date was April 13th.

It's Raining Cats & Dogs
Furry Adventures
Let's get animated, Beethoven!
(Oh, Yes, Beethoven was also a dog)
Crane Crazy! - The construction site was "dogged" with problems - I had to get the pet reference in somehow)

"Breaking News!"

COVID-19 is having a huge impact on business

 

It is with great sadness that I have to mention the loss of a few local businesses.

A local bra manufacturer has gone bust, a submarine company has gone under, a manufacturer of food blenders has gone into liquidation, a dog kennel has had to call in the retrievers and a company supplying paper for origami enthusiasts has folded. The local brothel is f****d.


An Insinkerator company has gone down the gurgler, a plumber has gone down the drain, a crematorium has gone up in smoke, shampoo is short supply due to suppliers being in their bubble.


The numbers up for the lotto shop, the butchers gone belly up, Chemist says going bust was a bitter pill to swallow, Laundromat all washed up and the Fruit & Veg shop has gone bananas.


The local medium didn’t see it coming…

The world's going to cats and dogs!
So, this is what they mean by "Dog Paddling"!
Every Dog should have a Child

"They don't keep YOU on a leash because they WANT you to run away"

Knitted Swimming Trunks
... and other giggles!
Pam Ayres - My husband
Day 11
 
Day 12
 
Chewing Gum for the Eyes
Free viewing, humorous musing and mindless perusing!
 
Day 13
 
Hands, Sands & Some Things Grand
Triskaidekaphobia
Day 14
 

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Takapuna

AUCKLAND

P.O. Box 65-357

Mairangi Bay 0754

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