Saturday, December 27, 2008

Most Stupid New Zealand Criminals Revealed 2008

Source: NZ Herald

As well as the murders and assaults police investigated in 2008 they were also faced with less serious offences - some of which bordered on being down-right stupid.

Napier chef Sarron John Malot led the way when he was nicknamed "the Piddler on the Roof" after being caught on security camera urinating into parking meter on July 5.

He said he had been out with friends and wanted to urinate. When they wouldn't let him do it against their car, he chose the parking machine instead.

Police dubbed him The Piddler on the Roof because the meter was on the second-floor. They said in a statement: "He pees up in the air in a big arc, so it goes in the coin slot and out the hole where people collect their tickets".

Malot pleaded guilty in court to a charge of intentionally damaging the meter. He was offered diversion by police but had to pay $200 to the city council.

German tourist Jan Philip Scharbert, 28, was in trouble for a more traditional form of property damage after he was caught tagging the Franz Josef Glacier on the West Coast.

English tourists caught Scharbert on camera as he spray-painted graffiti on the rocks and ice face of the glacier in February.

Scharbert, from Munich, was arrested and ordered to clean up the graffiti. It took him one and a half days, but he escaped a wilful damage charge when DOC was satisfied with his repair job.

Motorists also provided periods of mental lapses - especially the drunk ones.

A Christchurch man denied being drunk in charge of his car after it became stuck in the sea. He said he had a few beers to "celebrate", after the car went in the sea.

Hayden Tibbotts, 29, and a friend became stuck in the surf at Canterbury's Waikuku Beach after taking his 1988 Ford Laser for a drive along the sand.

As the waves got bigger they left the car, rang police for help, and sat on the shore drinking and "watching the waves smash into the car".

"We had been there four or five hours. We thought we may as well have a drink to celebrate the sinking of the ship.

"We weren't doing anything stupid, it doesn't sound right that I'd ring the cops myself if I was drunk driving."

Getting in touch with the cops while drink-driving is exactly what one Hastings woman did.

Bridgil Bayliss, 57, was almost two-times over the legal alcohol limit on September 23 when she was arrested after driving to the police station to ask for help with a flat tyre.

Officers smelt alcohol on her breath and a breath test showed she had 700 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

She pleaded guilty to drink-driving when she appeared in Hastings District Court.

A Westport man's visit to the police station also landed him in trouble.

Eptai Taiwhanga, 19, walked into Westport police station drinking alcohol and carrying cannabis resin.

Unsurprisingly, except to him perhaps, he was hit with breaching Westport's liquor ban and possessing a Class B drug.

Judge Jane McMeeken said Taiwhanga was "incredibly stupid" and fined him $400.

"You had cannabis in your pocket and drew attention to yourself by drinking in a police station."

A Gisborne man did a better job of hiding the evidence of his crime - when faced by fisheries officers for paua poaching he ate all the paua.

Ivan Harrison, 51, was seen by fisheries officers carrying sacks of seafood to his vehicle at Kaiti Beach near Gisborne in July.

The officers visited his home, but Harrison had thrown the sack from his vehicle as he left the beach.

A search of the beach failed to locate the sack because Harrison had returned and consumed its contents while the fisheries officers were getting a warrant.

Harrison was convicted of obstructing a fishery officer, sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to forfeit his vehicle.

A Hawke's Bay man desperate to raise money to pay off a prostitute was less subtle; he thought flashing his erect penis at an unsuspecting woman would help bring in cash.

Matenga Timoti Mason, 25, a Dannevirke sickness beneficiary, knocked on a stranger's door on October 2 and when the 49-year-old woman opened it he began begging her for money.

Mason told the woman his gang was after him for not paying a prostitute and would slit his throat if he didn't come up with the money.

When she refused to let him inside he said "I want to show you something...I want to show you this," displaying his erect penis.

He pleaded guilty to indecent assault and obscene exposure when he appeared in Dannevirke District Court.

While a number of criminals made stupid decisions, often the police proved not so bright themselves.

A 25cm cannabis plant grew for two months outside Timaru's courthouse and police station before being discovered by a policeman.

It was growing at the base of a table, likely to have started life after someone lit up a joint and discarded the butt there. It was plucked and destroyed.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Dinner, Aviemore Drive, Highland Park, Auckland, New Zealand, Monavie

Time flies like an arrow, we are now celebrating Christmas again. We are celebrating with our family member at Avimore Drive, Highland Park, Auckland.

The Christmas dinner was wonderful, we have the traditional turkey. Of course there were some really great New Zealand white wine to go along with the food.

See what is left of the turkey after the who whanau had done with it!

Christmas 2008, Aviemore Park, Highland Park, Auckland, New Zealand

I started off this Christmas by sending a few text message to my family and good friends. We will be celebrating this Christmas with the family at Aviemore Drive, Highland Park, Auckland.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why Santa wears red and other must-know Christmas facts.

Why are we asking this now?

Tonight you will put up the stockings, Santa Claus will arrive on his sleigh drawn by reindeer to slide down your chimney in his trademark red suit with a sack over his shoulder, and tomorrow you will open presents under your decorated Christmas tree, eat turkey and mince pies, and promise yourself that next year you won't leave it until the last weekend to write your Christmas cards, because it is Christmas, and it is traditional. But do you know how old these "traditions" actually are? Some are ancient, some are newer than you think.

Why is Christmas Day on 25 December?

The Bible offers no date for the birth of Jesus, which probably was not in the year 1AD, but a few years earlier, and may or may not have been in December. The celebration of the birth of Christ on 25 December dates back to the fifth century, when Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

The date was chosen to coincide with the winter solstice and the Roman festivals associated with the shortest day of the year, which falls between 22 December and 25 December. This was seen as the day when the Romans celebrated Dies Natalis Solis Invicti - "the birthday of the unconquered sun". It was also Jupiter's birthday and, further back, the birthday of his Greek equivalent, Zeus. In Eastern Europe, the various Orthodox churches n the Russian, Greek, Armenian, Serbian et al, follow the old Gregorian calendar, and in which Christmas Day is 7 January There is no Santa Claus in the Gospels.

Where did he come from?

Nearly 1,700 years ago there was a bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor, who was imprisoned under the last pagan Roman Emperor, Diocletian, but reinstated under Constantine. A cult grew up around him in Greece and spread outwards, and he became the patron saint of children, among others. An old legend about him is that there was a poor man who could not afford dowries for his three daughters, until bags of gold were tossed through an open window by St Nicholas, landing in the stockings drying in front of the fire. In Holland and Germany, there was a custom that St Nicholas was the secret bringer of presents for children on 6 December, his feast day.

When did he start sliding down chimneys?

After the American revolution, New Yorkers tried to rediscover their Dutch roots, and revived the feast of St Nicholas, and his legend. The writer Washington Irving took the mickey out of this revived cult in a satire published in 1809, called Knickerbocker's History of New York. In it, St Nicholas appears as a fat, jolly figure, dressed in fur, with a clay pipe and beard, who slides down chimneys.

And the reindeer?

On 23 December 1823, the Troy Sentinel, in New York State, published an anonymous 56-line poem variously known as "A Visit from St Nicholas" or "The Night Before Christmas." which fused the feast of St Nicholas with Christmas, and had the St Nicholas that Irving created arrive on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer. The author was probably a Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature named Clement Clarke Moore, who did not want to sully his fine academic reputation by putting his name to some nonsense he wrote to amuse his children. The reindeer had names, but none was called Rudolf. He of the Red Nose was created by an advertising copy writer in 1939.

And when did Santa get that ridiculous red outfit?

In 1863, the cartoonist Thomas Nast began a series of drawings in Harper's Weekly, based on "The Night Before Christmas", in which Santa Claus, as he had now become known, could be seen with flowing beard and fur garments. Around 1869, he turned up for the first time in a bright red suit, with a white belt, but he was not invariably dressed in red until the mighty Coca Cola corporation appropriated him for an advertising campaign that began in 1931, and ran every Christmas for 35 years. That is also when the reindeer became full size. In Britain, this American import merged with an older folk hero called Old Christmas, or Old Father Christmas, a fun-loving heavy drinker who seems to have arisen in reaction to the Puritans.

So where did the idea of a Christmas tree come from?

As you are sweeping up those annoying pine needles next month, you can blame the Germans. When Victoria married Prince Albert, he brought over the German habit of decorating a tree, which the English adopted out of reverence for their Queen. What started the Germans off is lost in the mists of time, but one story is that in 722AD, St Boniface came upon pagans who were about to sacrifice a child at the base of a huge oak. To save the child, he cut down the oak, and when a fir tree grew up at its base, he declared that this was the tree of the Christ child.

Why do people eat turkey?

Long ago, it was the smell of roast goose or the head of a boar that filled the Christmas air in Britain. Then in 1526, a trader named William Strickland imported six turkeys from the US and sold them in Bristol, for tuppence each. The birds were popular because they were tasty, and practical. Cows were more useful alive, chicken was more expensive than it is now, and other meats were not as popular.

And mince pies?

Mince pies are the modern descendant of the Christmas Pye, a large dish filled with shredded pigeon, hare, pheasant, rabbit, ox, lamb, or mutton, mixed with fruits and sugar. It had an oblong shape, said to resemble Jesus's cradle. After 1660, they became more like the pies we eat now.

What about Christmas cards?

The first person ever to think of selling Christmas cards was a civil servant named Henry Cole, who had worked on the introduction of the first postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840. He was too busy that year to write to all his friends, so he commissioned a designer named John C. Horsley, of Torquay, to design a card with the words "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You". In 1843, the year that Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, Cole went a step further, by commissioning 1,000 cards. He used some, and put an advertisement in the press offering the others for sale at 6d each. One card from that batch was sold in December 2005 for £8,500.

Has the Christmas holiday always lasted this long?

As a religious festival, Christmas used to be almost as long as the festival of consumer extravagance that it now is, but it started and ended later. In the 1840, a Roman Catholic priest named Dom Geuranger published what many still regard as the definitive study of the liturgical year, which identified Christmas as beginning on 25 December, and ending with the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, on 2 February. "The custom of keeping this holy and glorious period of forty days as one continued Festival has every appearance of being a very ancient one," he wrote. So all those shopping binges, office parties and hangovers that preceded Christmas are one vast misunderstanding. Christmas begins tomorrow, and you should carry on celebrating it right through January. Get to it.

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