How to beat the world

I have a real beef with the modern Caesar salad, and upon that hangs a tale about economic success.

The Caesar salad commonly served these days typically uses iceberg lettuce, has a mayonnaise or ranch style dressing, and often comes with chicken (or sometimes shrimp).

The original Caesar salad was made from romaine not iceberg lettuce. The dressing was made from an egg yolk, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, Worcester sauce, perhaps a crushed anchovy, croutons and parmesan cheese. (It was invented by Caesar Cardini, an Italian-Mexican in Tijuana in 1924)

Godot well worth the wait

Waiting for Godot is one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century and the production playing in Wellington surpasses all my expectations.

Why is it a great play? Because it is about that most elusive of subjects: the meaning of life. But this is not a long, miserable inaccessible philosophical work. (If you want that read Hegel or Fichte)

Consider the opening lines.

      Nothing to be done says Estragon (coming onto stage)

Vladimir responds

I'm beginning to come around to that opinion. All my life I have tried to put it

from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven't tried everything.

Winning is everything in politics

Politics is a blood sport in Australia, and there is nothing Australians like better than bagging and humiliating their politicians. The only possible exception to that is bagging and humiliating sportspeople.

Discrimination damages our image

There's a club in Auckland whose rules ban turban wearing Sikhs from the club. The reasoning is that it's part of setting standards for club members. Allow turbans and you'll have people wearing hoddies and balaclavas next. Perish the thought.

There's quite a bit of fuss about this and the overseas media are making quite a play of it. The effect of banning the wearing of turbans is that Sikhs can't become members or enter the club. Adult Sikhs wear turbans as part of their religion. Covering their heads is a fundamental part of their religious beliefs.

So the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club is telling Sikhs that they are barred. That's discrimination, and that's against the law (See

Closing New Zealand: an economy measure

New Zealand is to close two days a week as an economy measure, the Prime Minister has announced.

"Most people don't do anything useful at work on at least two days a week now so the government has decided that we might as well make it official. Cabinet this morning has agreed that shutting down altogether for two days out of seven just makes a lot of sense."

The Prime Minister admitted that he had got the idea from former Prime Minister Jim Bolger's bold plan to reduce household postal deliveries to every second day and also to cut out Saturday deliveries.

This was in response to falling letter volumes. Many houses don't get more than one letter a week, some none at all for weeks at a time, Mr Bolger has said.

Andy Haden opens a sewer

Andy Haden's comments about 'darkies' and racial quotas in the Canterbury rugby team brought out the predictable storm of denials, calls for his dumping at a sporting ambassador, and demands for evidence.

Bernie Fraser, the well known Wellington winger and former All Black, claimed that he also had been told that Canterbury operated a policy of no more than three Polynesians in the team, although like Haden, he didn't offer any sources or evidence for this.

Debates about quotas and "darkies' aside, the issue has quickly morphed into an examination of the state of rugby, and why the All Blacks haven't done that well lately.

A carless Golden Mile?

Getting all the cars out of the Golden Mile within twenty years is a great election ploy. It sounds like a worthy aim. It sound green. It's lofty in its aspiration, and it's far enough out that no politician backing it now will be around when and if it becomes a reality. The practicalities of it don't matter that much, because the advocates of far out goals time wise can always acknowledge that there will be issues to be resolved along the way.

Drinking: what's age got to do with it?

There are strong elements of class and age rage entering the debate over our liquor laws, with the comments of that exemplar of fine taste and manners Sir Geoffrey Palmer leading the way.

He wandered through Courtney Place one night and witnessed scenes that "no civilized society can relish."

All that proves is that he has led a very sheltered life. Did he never go to a Labour Party booze up when he was an MP back in the 1980s? Those were scenes that no person could relish. (Not that the Nats were much better in those days).

What makes Courtney Place objectionable in the eyes of patricians like Palmer is that people are doing their boozing in public, enjoying themselves, and part of that enjoyment is behaving in an unrestrained and even outrageous manner.

It's different in the provinces

There is something about going out of town that makes one appreciate the quality of service and food in our city.

I spent part of Easter in Blenheim, home of many vineyards, and far too many to visit in one holiday period. However I was impressed by lunch at Wairau River, by the pate and "Wallop" chardonnay at Alan Scott's and by the quality of the wine and service at Nautilus. No doubt others are good too, but I didn't get to everyone.

Hoverer that is more than can be said for the town itself. Two stories to illustrate my point. Dinner in the hotel looked like a good option on Good Friday night. The menu had bouillabaisse as a starter. This wonderful French seafood soup calls for about eight times as much seafood as tomatoes, plus onion, celery, saffron and wine.

Hurricanes blow off fans

It's easy to bag the Hurricanes. But it gives no satisfaction to vent about their continued inadequacies, about how they can't win games, about how they haven't got enough application, grit, determination or team work. And their supporters have regularly despaired over their making silly mistakes, taking the wrong options, playing as individuals, lack of ability to recover the ball from kickoffs, weakness under the high ball, and generally being outsmarted by teams that they ought to be able to put away. None of it is new.

Watching the dream back line of Cullen, Loma and Umaga regularly fluff their lines was a form, of vicious therapy for fans back in the day. It's not any better now, seven years on. So bagging the Hurricanes is not new and it doesn't do any good to anyone.