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Jack winning the rat race.

Jack winning the rat race



How to win the rat race.

When I was young I was a show off, some say I am still young and a show off. I loved to ride the crane-hook and get an adrenalin buzz walking along steel beams high up where a tight-rope walker would not go without a safety net.

Young Jack working on the Snowy Mountains Project.

Young Jack working on the Snowy Mountains Project.

Another incentive for being a Rigger was we were paid well. Only one thing I loved more than earning money, was spending it. Not always wisely, but it was easy come easy go back in my youth.

Their boy back home for a night out.

Their boy back home for a night out.

The first past the post is not always the winner. I was paid to do what I liked, that is how I won the rat race. As they say find an occupation you like and you never have to toil again.

Tongariro Development NZ.

Tongariro Development NZ.

With the right attitude work is a pleasure, your time and effort is worthwhile. Hard work is all in our mind. My work was interesting, full of variety, out in the fresh air, keeping fit; constructing useful projects, to benefit people, was a good game to play at.

What is a winner? Mike Tyson was Heavy Weight Champion of the World and won millions in prize money, but his life was a mess. That is not my idea of a winner punching someone senseless.

A winner has life skills and is aware of the effect of his actions on others and the world he lives in. There are many rich and famous people that are not enjoying life. Money is good if use in the right way.

I was not first past the post I stopped too often to admire the flowers and followed a few wrong paths. I learned from the detours and always found my way back on track. The people that raced past me in haste missed a lot of free gifts. The people that pause and appreciated this wondrous world are the winners.

Trophies on the shelf for worthwhile achievements are good, but there is much more to life than collecting things. No one owns a sunset, but all can enjoy it.

Sun set not a cloud in the sky.

Sun set not a cloud in the sky.

One does not need to own a swimming pool to have a swim, there are rivers and oceans. Without envy we can appreciate many things on display without owning them. Possessions are often a hindrance to our freedom and happiness, possessions can a burden to care for, maintain  and protect.

Winners do not participate in the rat race or if they do they withdraw early. I learned the hard way, like a donkey, hungrily chasing a twenty two caret prize, I almost became a looser. Everyone makes mistakes learn from them fretting over them is a mistake. In time these mistakes can turns out to our advantage. Never cry over spilt milk, is good advice. The loss is bad enough, without letting it spoil your day.

Caravan office by lake.

Caravan office by lake.

 

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A nice way to great the day.

A nice way to greet the day.

Wish You Were Here in Tauranga.

Through the rose garden seats views the sunrise over the harbour..

Through the rose garden to the seats with views of the sunrise over the harbour..

 Up early to catch the sun rise and instead of a dog I will take my camera. Today we are driving back to Laurence’s farm at Waiuku from Jackie’s place at Tauranga. It will be a laid back, lazy car day so a morning walk will do me good.

They are planning an unsuccessful escape.

They are planning an unsuccessful escape.

 The photography this morning was not spectacular but there are always surprises when in unfamiliar territory. There were people doing their boot camp fitness. They needed two coaches to motivate them. It reminded me of a scene from the movie “Cool Hand Luke”, where Paul Newman is working in a chain gang with a guard standing over them.  I could not take any more photos because of the flat camera battery.  I was getting hungry, so returned to find the others were still in bed asleep. I was locked out they could not hear the doorbell. They say problems come in threes. So at the risk of some good neighbour ringing the police I climb over the wall and knock on Pauline’s window. No police, so it looks like I may have a slight delay before the next inevitable mishap.

Pauline, Jackie and Greg with Ringo.

Pauline, Jackie and Greg with Ringo.

 Greg made scrambled eggs and tomatoes, a pleasant change from our usual fruit muesli and yogurt. It was delicious Kai, that’s the Maori word for food, the Aussie word is tucker. If you want interesting history, geography and educational information hit on Pauline’s blog. You will not find much in mine.

These tourists asked the right bloke to take their photo.

These tourists asked the right bloke to take their photo.

 Pauline decided to take an alternative route back. That took us via Matamata where the movie “Lord of the Rings” was made. We had previously visited the film site see it here. This time the town was our main focus. It was really pleasant, both people and the unique way they presented and displayed what they had to offer.

The box like table is made from an old wood press.

The box like table is made from an old wool press.

Shops in N.Z. are a work of art and the quality of N.Z. products, both factory and hand crafted, are quality. We had morning tea, actually cappuccino, with a date scone and a muffin. As usual we ate Chinese style that is we shared our cakes. That is our way of not over eating but sampling more of the tasty treats.

I liked this display, done by the shop owners daughter.

I liked this display, done by the shop owners daughter.

 We called in to see Linda, the naturopath that gave me good advice and fixed some of my injuries. Linda was not in, well that is good if you believe things happen in threes. So we stop along the driveway to take photos of the old farm workers cottage.

Our trysting place back in March 1982.

Our trysting place back in March 1982.

 The neighbouring farmer came over to check us out and told us Linda was in America on a business trip.

The neighbourhood watch is active out here.

The neighbourhood watch is active out here.

 Pauline chatted with the farmer about the changes on the farm since she was there, in the late 1970’s. That was when Gran and Pa ran the farm with Pauline helping out in exchange for accommodation in the farm cottage.  Pauline was working in shopping centres all around Auckland photographing babies for Milestone. A car and trailer went with the job and with no rent to pay she was saving up to do an overseas trip. Now her children had left home Laurence working and Jackie at university.

Can you guess why it was not a fast trip?

Can you guess why it was not a fast trip?

 Then I got into the act, that was 33 years ago. I had a house in Hamilton and was working on Muldoon’s think big scheme. Rightly or wrongly Muldoon as Prime Minister developed N.Z. Industry, but put the country in debt doing it.

Flowers on the farm driveway. will Pauline post this photo.

Flowers on the farm driveway. will Pauline post the photo she is taking.

 Those were the days. I got to know that road between Hamilton and the farm pretty well. Pauline showed me some beautiful things about farm life. It was amazing seeing cows breathing out steam in the crisp early morning light. It is no wonder she said she could never live in the city.

Sharing up our lunch.

Sharing up our lunch.

 It is still beautiful out on the farm, especially this time of year with all the dandelions, buttercups and farm feral flowers flourishing.

The charming waitress hat a lovely Ukrainian accent.

The charming waitress had a lovely Ukrainian accent.

 The road to Hamilton is still the same, all farm land. We turn off to go to Waiuku, stopping for another tasty treat at the Tree Garden Cafe and of course our camera, clicking like crazy to share our good times with you.

the pond adjacent to Laurance's farm.

The pond adjacent to Laurance’s farm.

 Pauline shares better than me so to see more, give her a hit, oops give this link a hit.

Milk thistle or Puhar to the Maori.

Milk thistle or Puhar to the Maori.

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Morning sunlight.

Morning sunlight.

Aotearoa.

Morning milking time.

Morning milking time.

 The spellcheck hasn’t heard of the Maori name for New Zealand. Actually it is the pakia name, Land of the Long White Cloud said in Maori. The spellcheck has put a red line under pakia too, it knows white man, Caucasian, honkie and gringo but it needs to learn Maori.

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

 Anyway Pauline and I are back in NZ that is why I have not been keeping in touch with the blogging family. We are catching up with our Kiwi family. I am having a jam packed, joyous time in the most wonderful little country in the world, Australia is the most wonderful big country.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

 Pauline’s son needed us to mind the cat while he went on his honeymoon and I wanted to be on the right side of the Tasman Sea for the final of the world rugby cup, the Wallabies and The All Blacks. The Kiwis love their sport and are mad about the All Blacks.

A photographers paradise.

A photographers paradise.

 An advertising ploy was to put out a black milk bottle and a black Weetabix box featuring photos of The All Blacks team. No wonder they won with that kind of home support.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Piroa on our way to Tauranga.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Paeroa on our way to Tauranga.

We always get VIP treatment from our Kiwi family, so we are winners also. Laurence’s farm is better than a luxury holiday retreat. This weekend we are at Jackie and Greg’s place at Tauranga and the adjacent Mt Maunganui.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

 Walking the Mount has become a traditional challenge for me. I love that walk it is a most spectacular scenic experience.

We have taken heaps of photos, done some drawing and it is one long sightseeing adventure. I have found a gym in Waiuku. I need their cross trainer to get my endorphin flowing, as my knees can’t hack the impact of running.

Another wonderful day.

Another wonderful day.

 The sun is shining and I have lots of good things to do before my holiday is over. See you later.

Check Pauline’s blog for the wedding and more on our Kiwi travels.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

 

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I held a height position on The Snowy Mountain Project.

I held a high position on The Snowy Mountain Project.

Do What Ever You Like.

How I won the rat race, doing what I liked and being paid to enjoy myself.
I never needed a fast car when I was young or to take up some extreme sport to get my adrenalin buzz. I was paid to ride a crane hook and show-off high up on the steel purlins, what a buzz and no danger of snake bite.

There were other thrills.

There were other thrills.

I love the smell of bread baking and getting my work done early. So my first job was in a bakery the work gets done by midday and I could go swimming. I also like money and labourers on building sights were being paid more than I was earning in the bakery.

Young Jack

Young Jack in the Snowy Mountains.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_Mountains_Scheme

I gave up the bakery job and chased the gravy train for a fatter pay packet in the construction game.
There was a down turn in the building boom, I was retrenched, that was the word used instead of put off. As often happens what looks like a problem turns out to our advantage. One should never get upset when things do not go as we plan, it often turns out better in the long run.

Their boy back home for a night out.

Their boy back home for a night out.

I left my home Sydney and went to Port Kembla steel works for work.

Tongariro Development NZ.

Tongariro Development NZ.

I got a job with the Riggers they were working long hours and getting paid over-tine rates.

Image result for open hearth furnace pictures

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=open+hearth+furnace+pictures&biw=983&bih=483&tbm=isch&imgil=qvJ_V01abVD0rM%253A%253BExIFJma74LyRMM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.britannica.com%25252Ftechnology%25252Fopen-hearth-process&source=iu&pf=m&fir=qvJ_V01abVD0rM%253A%252CExIFJma74LyRMM%252C_&usg=__n5VcehG3YOOAiRnPhKZdqCa1W0o%3D&ved=0ahUKEwirp9K2np_LAhWBwZQKHRS3DRIQyjcIMA&ei=WmnVVquSLIGD0wSU7raQAQ#imgrc=_

I was taken to the open hearth furnace where a 250 ton gantry crane was being built. I followed the boss up a series of wooden ladders lashed to the end column. It was scary up there walking along the crane track. I thought if I trip on the hog-ties I am going to get electrocuted on the wires and  fall in the soaking-pits where the steel ingots softened for rolling, if I escape that the sudden stop after falling about 80 feet would be really bad news.
We had to reach out to a ladder then step on to it, that was a real challenge. I made it and I had never felt so hyped-up.

New Plymouth Power Project, things get serious.

New Plymouth Power Project, things get serious.

I was introduced to the head rigger. Then Sam Treseter, the man that led the way up, said. “There is an easier way up here I took you short cut.” I think he said that so my new work mates would know I had passed the test.
Rigging has more ups than downs, no pun intended, from then on I was paid for exercising and getting a buzz, showing off.

On top of the world, N. P.P.P.

On top of the world, N. P.P.P.

As a 20 year old, I was driven by the pursuit of money and the pleasure of spending it, having what I considered a good time.
It was not all wasted on frivolous things. I went around the world in the 60s, not as a tourist, I got off the beaten track hitch hiking and mixing with the locals. I only speak English so it was a real adventure at times.
I learned a smile is the same in all languages, A smile will get you a ride where a worried look makes you look desperate and perhaps dangerous.
That smile became a habit with me if I am finding the going tough I smile.Then I believe my own smile and feel good.

A columb being erected

A column being erected using two cranes.

by two cranes then

then the Manitowoc takes over and

Stood up by Manitowoc.

the column is stood up by Manitowoc.

When you can earn a living doing what you like, you have it made. You have  escaped the rodent treadmill and life is a work of joy. When you love what you do you do it so well you get promoted. This change was all for the best, I was no longer capable of being the admired show off. The young blokes won  the show-off title from me. I became the brains of the outfit or mother hen.

Wet steal and rubber sneakers are deadly, so on rainy days I would run a class on rigging safety. Based on a “Guide to Riggers.” by the Australian Labor Department, New Zealand had no equivalent in the seventies. A lot of the fun went out of rigging. I applied for a job on quality inspection on the Maui Pipe Line Project http://mauipipeline.co.nz/ and to my surprise was successful.

That is a story I should tell you as it shows how lucky I am.

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Pauline hiking to Volcanic Valley.

Pauline hiking to Volcanic Valley.

Action Packed. 

Pauline up-wardly mobile.

Pauline upwardly mobile.

We are all moving on even if we are stationary, nothing stays the same.  I believe it is better to move, go with the flow rather than stagnate. To wear out is healthier than rusting out. Change is inevitable do not resist it. Pauline and I are always on the move there is never a dull moment and no time on our hands to dwell on life’s knocks and difficulties.

All down hill now.

All down hill now.

I also find there is not much time to blog as I said in my last post. Since then I have been enjoying getting back fit. Biking down to the beach for my morning dip in the ocean I passed a new gym so I called in and they were offering a five-day introductory deal that suited me fine. As in seven days we would be flying from the Gold Coast Queensland to Auckland N. Z.

Hot stuff.

Hot stuff.

Since we arrived in Aotearoa (The Maori name for New Zealand, meaning the land of the long white cloud.) we have been on the move. This is a beautiful country that keeps one wanting to discover what is over the next hill or around the next corner.  This has given me the motivation to push myself just that little bit further hiking in the bush to see more.  The exercise is good for Pauline too.

Thermal hot pool revival.

Thermal hot pool revival.

These photos will give you a sample of our adventure in Kiwi Country. No photos of the Kiwi bird as they are nocturnal and we are early to bed. I have not even had time to finish the books I downloaded onto the iPad. I will let you know if they were worth spending time reading, in my next post. Pauline will no doubt give you more details in her next post.

Mt Mangunui.

Mt Maunganui.

It is getting to be a habit to celebrate my birthday by doing the most scenic short walk I know.  Mt Maunganui  N.Z. My photos do not do it justice but they may prompt you to go see for yourself.  This has been one wonderful day it started out cloudy and I did the uphill slog then it turned out fine. Like a boy scout I was prepared for the worst and took a big umbrella. It came in handy as a walking stick over the rough bits. Talk about lucky if I fell in the water I would come up with a pocket full of fish.

 

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