Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One more... Tree chopper ordered to write essay

200 words? Call that an essay? The short article linked below is (excluding title & byline) 227 words. And this guy gets how many months to write it?

Sheesh.

New Zealand's source for oddstuff - strange, weird & bizarre news on Stuff.co.nz: Tree chopper ordered to write essay

And finally, perhaps for this year - US judge bans school from teaching intelligent design

New Zealand's source for World News on Stuff.co.nz: US judge bans school from teaching intelligent design:

I only include this so I can say: "Thank God."

SPCA's claws out after cat dumping

There are few things more heartbreaking I suspect, than working at the SPCA over holiday time.

New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz: SPCA's claws out after cat dumping:

"In a letter attached to the boxes, the dumper said: 'Dear SPCA officer: Please take care of them temporarily and help us find them new homes. If unfortunately you have to make them sleep eventually, please tell them that they have been wonderful members of the family and that the dad and mum will always love them and miss them. Thank you very much.' "

Do I look like the kind of guy...

So I'm striding purposefully along Lambton Quay, minding my own business, head down...

Suddenly I am forced to pause for a moment by the unexpected obstruction of what can best be described as somewhat generous cleavage.

I look up into the eyes of an absurdly young woman & she thrusts a little piece of paper into my hand. Then she & a few others veer off past me.

I peer (without my specs) at the paper & it says:

Midweek Fantasy
Wednesday Costume Nights
Slick Music
Half Price Entry
$5 Drink Specials
Bar tab for the best dressed.

The words "Fantasy" and "Music" jump out at me, and I think: "Do I look like the type of guy who goes to a Midweek Fantasy Party? I don't think so."

Then I get back to the office & look again, this time with specs, this time the words "Santa Fe Strip Club" jump out. And I resignedly think to myself "OK, I probably do look like the type of guy..."

And if you're that type too, it's tonight. I can't make it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Get THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!!

And the winner is SUNNYO!Last minute Christmas shopping hordes really do bring the festive spirit out in me. I have one more item to buy, I have found it. I know exactly where it is & what it costs. But there is no way in hell I am standing in a 20 deep queue in sweltering Whitcoulls to buy it.

I may pop out later when, theoretically, all the shoppers have gone back to work.

Had our team Xmas lunch today. A pretty quiet affair. The Ye Jun on Willis Street, across the road from the Malthouse, and up some stairs. They do an all you can eat smorgasbord (whatever the Mandarin for smorgasbord is) for next to nothing. You're only supposed, I think, to have one bowl of soup, one plate of assorted chinese dishes & dessert. You can tell the regulars, they can pile food artfully onto the little plate so that it looks like the leaning tower of Pisa. We just cheated & went back for more plates.

Now I am stuffed. But it was yummy.

Oh, and several people stopped me on the street to tell me they voted for SunnyO. How cool. And yes, we came 3rd. Only slightly pipped by Murray at Silent Running, who came 2nd, and Tim Blair, who slightly pipped Murray to take out the gong.

So thank you all who voted. You probably noticed, but I enjoyed the campaign thoroughly.

So thoroughly in fact, that now I have decided on the next (first) award I want.

An Academy Award.

And why not, at least one guy I went to school with has got one. It's not unheard of.

And I'm going to need some help to have my feature film finished in time to qualify for the awards in March. Specifically, I'm going to need a few thousand dollars off all of you.

Hah. Just kidding.

I'm going to need a lot more than that! Like a script perhaps. Or a vague idea for a story. I'm a bit pissed off that no-one told me about this Black Sheep project actually. I could have like, supplied black sheep or something.

Anyway, I'm in post lunchtime smorbasgorging ramble mode now.

In case I don't bother updating again... Y'all have a nice Christmas!

We've got 39 or so people representing 4 generations of extended family descending on us Xmas day. About half of them will descend Xmas Eve actually, we've booked a few other places nearby for a night or two. But only a night or two. After that they have no choice but to bugger off home, or somewhere else.

Family hordes bring out the festive spirit in me too.

Win tickets to the BDO

Head on over to Noizyland, where James is very generously running a competition in which the prizes are two tickets to the Big Day Out.

All you have to do is... well just click the link below & go find out!

NoiZyland: New Zealand Music. Win BDO Tickets!!.

Friday, December 16, 2005

O!: True Wellywood Story - Hairy Maclary

Rufus' SPCA MugshotIn 1983 Tauranga based children's author Lynley Dodd published Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy unleashing what became a multimedia canine entertainment industry upon an unsuspecting world.

The Hairy Maclary books describe an idyllic world where cute dogs & cats (and a duck) are free to roam the neighbourhood getting into good natured scrapes. The reality however, was quite different. Here is the O!: True Wellywood Story of the real Hairy Maclary and friends.

Hairy Maclary
Hairy was based on a real life mix breed terrier called Rufus. He lived at the Dew Dropp In Dairy at Mt Maunganui, until in 1990, when the Dairy went bankrupt & was replaced by the Patel Superette, part of a larger chain extending through the whole North Island. Rufus moved with his owners to a seedier part of Tauranga, and became tabloid fodder after a string of run-ins with the Dog Control branch of the Tauranga Council & several high profile incarcerations. The NZ Truth even ran a series of articles in support of Tauranga's notorious "War on Terrierism". Rufus' incessant roaming was eventually attributed to his never being "fixed" and he was finally forced by court order to undergo chemical castration. In his later years, he kept out of the public eye except for one notorious incident arising from his latter years addiction to fast food. The burger bar in question, adjacent to the Patel Superette, did not press charges in return for endorsement from the "real" Hairy Maclary. Long afflicted by arthritic hip joints, Rufus was finally peacefully put to sleep after suffering chronic kidney failure as a result of his years long high fat diet.

Slinki Malinki
Slinki Malinki, the cute cat who became a mischievous thief at night, was based on an infamous stray who terrorised Tauranga residences for several years stealing women's underwear from unattended clotheslines. He, or she was never apprehended, but spotted once or twice leaving the scenes of the crimes.

Schnitzel von Krumm
The real Schnitzel von Krumm was a dachshund called Werner (dubbed "Werner Schnitzel" by the tabloids) who lived two doors down from the Dew Dropp Inn dairy, and along with Rufus, was notorious for roaming through the neighbourhood night, fighting, ripping up rubbish sacks, and pestering the homes of neighbours whose bitches were in heat. Proving that size isn't everything, it is thought that Werner may have sired up to 500 little Schnitzels over the course of his lifetime. Indeed, in the wake of the books' popularity, the designer dog industry in Tauranga has experienced something of a boom with the marketing of such Werner descended breeds as: Schnitza-doodles, German Schnitzels, St Berschnitzels and Cocker Schnitzels. So ubiquitous have these new breeds become that it was recently reported that movie star Russell Crowe bought a breeding pair of Schnit-Bull Terriers to keep on his Australian ranch. Werner died in 1995 at the ripe old age of 15, alleged to have been fed poisoned polish sausage by an irate local chihuahua breeder who failed to appreciate the impending lucrative opportunities. The case was never proven.

Scarface Claw
Actually the good boy of the bunch, Scarface was in reality, Tiddles, a domestic shorthair belonging to one little old lady all his life. Tiddles kept out of the public eye & lives to this day, with his owner in a retirement village on the outskirts of Tauranga.

Zachary Quack
Two words: "Duck Season".

The Weblog Awards: One More Day! (or thereabouts)

1500 more votes would seal it!

The Weblog Awards: Best Australia or New Zealand Blog

Normal transmission will resume shortly.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

King Kong Live

Courtenay Place is filling up fast.

Where is Kong?!

Note the biplanes...

The live webcam is here

And the Wellingtonista has details of more webcams & streaming video here.

What Vern thought of Kong

Spoilers...

Ain't It Cool News: Vern Reviews King Kong

The Outlawvern

Brain Stab: Reasons the Narnia books are better than Lord of the Elfmovies # 4

This is brilliant in its simplicity... maybe ol' CS Lewis WAS onto something (or ON something).

Brain Stab: Reasons the Narnia books are better than Lord of the Elfmovies # 4

We could be IN!

I just did the math.

If 2000 people stumble across this site in the next 48 hours & decide "I'll vote for that", we can win.

I can see it'll be close.

The Weblog Awards: Best Australia or New Zealand Blog Archive

So how good is King Kong?

Go see what James Berardinelli, a Kong-a-phile to rival Peter Jackson, thought.

ReelViews: James Berardinelli's Movie Reviews - King Kong

The Weblog Awards: Last 2 Days Voting

Coming down to the wire... Please do make this blogger proud & vote (as often as you can, from as many PCs as you can for SunnyO!!

The Weblog Awards: Best Australia or New Zealand Blog

Monday, December 12, 2005

Where does the term "hard yakka" come from anyway?

The fruits of my labour.

Hard yakka

Hard yakka 2

Hard yakka 3

half done, there's another area about the same size to go. It will be hopscotch thingies.

I can't believe there's only one weekend left between now & Xmas...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Music for the occasion

Shoop shoopOver at NZBC, who are, just let me stop & say so, a top bunch of guys (because they have promised to pimp my blog), Stephen Stratford has asked for submissions for the most appropriate music for Christmas. Suggestions so far include:

Reverend Johnny Blakey's 1928 gospel classic, "Jesus Was Here On Business",
Procol Harum's early hit "Bah Homburg"
9 Inch Nails' "Help me I am in Hell"

Please do drop by NZBC & offer any more suggestions.

Their post had me thinking yesterday, as I briskly passed a small Sally Army Brass band outside New World on Willis Street, playing Snoopy's Christmas... (the first exposure of the season), about music for other occasions.

I remember when I got married, we really wanted the musicians (two very talented people called Susan Colien-Reid, and Andrew London) to play "Miss Sarajevo" as the bride entered.

Here she comes
Heads turn around
Here she comes
To take her crown

Sadly they didn't know it & I can't remember what they did play instead, but Miss Sarajevo is a bit of a favourite for Mrs llew (not as much of a favourite as "Secret Love" but we thought that might not be quite so appropriate).

But there are many more appropriate & popular songs for weddings, sadly, most of them really suck."The Wind Beneath My Sails", indeed.

But how about funerals? I've heard Bette Midler's "The Rose" played to good effect (even though it sucks too), The Beatles "In My Life"... which for a long time I thought would be cool to have played at my funeral, should the occasion ever arrive.

But quite some time ago, I realised that the only song I want played at that august occasion, the only really appropriate song, that sums it all up, and is guaranteed to reduce the mourners to quivering, grieving jelly... is obviously...

Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang

Well the Shoop Shoop stands for the mood you're in
And the Diddy Wop mean let the fun begin
It's a feeling gonna set your senses reeling and you can't sit still
Cumma Cumma mean what you thought, that's right
And the Wang Dang gonna get you through the night time
Baby there's a right time if you wanna lose control

Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang

Shoop Shoop - li'll party, nothing formal
Diddy Wop - she's in the corner, looked quite normal
The Cumma Cumma, empty glass, bold as brass, pinch me, hang about
Wang Dang

Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
She said Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang

Well the Shoop Shoop stood for her mood alright
And her Diddy Wop gave me a nasty fright
Sought of feeling that-a sent me senses reeling and you can't sit still
Cumma Cumma meant what I thought, touche
And the Wang Dang, err, anyway, nearly died, mortified, nearly lost control

Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang
Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang

How about you? What would you like played at your funeral?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Introducing... Samantha Burns!

Finalist in the Weblog Awards Best Canadian Blog.

She's been in the blogroll for a while now, please do go check out her Crazy Rants & please do vote for her!!

The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns: 2005 Weblog Awards

Awards. And the winner is....

Well here I am getting all worked up at the prospect of blitzing the 2005 Weblog Awards for best Ocker or New Zild weblog. In case you've been on Mars or something, or not actually coming here for updates... SunnyO is a finalist.

This sounds fantastic! But not many more than the finalists got nominated anyway, so it's not like SunnyO is necessarily one of the 15 or so actual best blogs in the region. And some of the nominated who didn't get in are pretty damned good.

And in fact, if I hadn't made a pretty broad hint, it's unlikely SunnyO would have been nominated anyway (thanks Martha, Noizy, Sue & Miss Seph). But that doesn't matter, we're in! I say "we" because like King Kong, SunnyO is a team effort, you might think that this is a one man band, but that's because we go to great pains to present a consistent image by utilising what looks like one front person, making all this up.

But actually, we're a team of 350 or so, producers, writers, editors, photographers, web designers and marketing people. Not to mention lawyers, accountants. under-employed payroll clerks, parents (to thank in the acceptance speech), wives, husbands, children, and livestock, oh, and livestock wranglers, stuntmen & women, and fluffers. All of whom work around the clock to bring you this blog. Oh, did I mention the groupies, sponsors, caterers & dealers?

Anyway, that's of no consequence.

I was thinking about the way the Weblog folk decided to arrange the voting. And I really can't figure their rationale. Everyone can vote multiple times so long as there's a 24 hour gap between votes. In a way, I don't think this is as fair a method as say the Netguide awards where everyone gets one vote only. Although the multiple vote method probably does give us a better chance. If we could persuade a couple of hundred people to vote each day. But that's unlikely.

Actually, if there really were 350 people involved in this blog we'd be a shoo in obviously. As it is SunnyO is (at this moment) coming 3rd, with a paltry 40 or so votes. Coming first is Tony Blair, with over 400 votes. I'm told he's the Ocker version of David Farrar (is that a fairly discomforting thought or what?), this guy has legions of followers. A miracle is required.

But this IS Christmas.... and I am an optimist.

Coming second is Silent Running, with around 80 votes. I haven't looked, but I'm presuming this is a blog about space stations & cute robots. I am baffled as to why this should be so popular. Maybe they have lots of family & friends...

This may* be the last time I mention all this. But at least I have the slightly ego boosting opportunity to put a finalist banner on my sidebar.

So let's all vote eh? Do it for Oscar**, and Snowflake.

* Or may not.

** Who left this world last night peacefully, and with dignity.

And thanks too to everyone who has given me an online plug, including those mentioned above, Dodderyoldfart and my old mate Mike, and anyone else I may have missed, including all who have voted. I'll make sure I mention you all in the acceptance speech. And who knows, maybe there will be chocolate, and Jessica Simpson naked.

The Weblog Awards: VOTE!! Best Australia or New Zealand Blog Archive

And hey, at least we're beating Sir Humphrey's :) Although should that last comment come back to bite us in the arse, I shall show good grace.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The End of a Long Road for the Big O

The problem with pets is that you get them all cute & fluffy & young, and before you know it, they're gone. Or worse, you're sitting with them in the vet's making like it's all going to be OK. When you know you're going home without them.

I remember my first dog... I can't remember how old she was, maybe 13 or so, but I'd already left home & left her in the care of my mum. One day mum called & told me the poor thing had lost the use of one of her hind legs. The vet said there was a massively expensive operation, which had a very slim chance of success. Mum quite reasonably judged that she wasn't going to live with a 3 legged dog, and the decision was made to have her put down.

I accompanied them both & we were distraught.

Since then I've been through a few cats, and most recently a sheep. We weren't so distraught. But we were a little sad.

Now it looks like it is the turn of the stately old gent who has shared several homes with us, a big black long haired cat called Oscar. As best we can make out he's 20.

A couple of years ago, he went missing. Last seen heading arthritically out into the back garden on the eve of quite a big storm. 2 days later, I enquired at the local vet to see if anyone had reported finding an old cat. They were able to tell me that yes, indeed, someone had reported finding a skanky old stray (!?) and handing him into another vet's across town (as the local one was closed at the time).

I raced around to the other vet's & was told that the old boy had just been handed to the SPCA. They were closed, but the next day I called them & arranged to go see if it was Oscar.

Turns out it was, looking none the worse for his adventure. The SPCA vet also told me to get his thyroid checked out, because his heart was racing, and this would also explain why he was a bag of old bones.

My vet, confirmed the diagnosis and told me, inevitably, that there was a massively expensive operation available, which had no guarantees of success. I responded that as the old boy must have been 18 by that stage, we would pass on the op. But since then, Oscar has been kept alive by feeding him pills twice a day, to keep his heart rate down. He even started to gain weight! And we get his thyroid, and kidneys (because the side effect to the medication can be damaged kidneys) checked every 6 months.

His 6 monthly check is now slightly overdue. However, we have a new psoblem now, Houston, the poor old man can no longer control his bowels and bladder. We'd cleaned a couple of messes up in the last few months, and even discovered we'd locked him in one day & forgave him. But the frequency of mishaps is increasing, and last night we watched in frozen horror as he sat in front of the fireplace & calmly voided his bladder. The other day, he pooed on the kitchen floor in front of Mrs Llew (Wilma ate it :) and then I wormed her)

i've been putting off what may be his last appointment for a few days, and fair to say, there have been several times the last year or two when we thought he was making a one way trip, only to be told he was remarkably healthy, and to joke on the way home that the Black Cat Rides Again.

but I fear this is it this time.

I thought I had a photo of the old guy, but it seems not.

The Weblog Awards: Best Australia or New Zealand Blog Archive

Vote for MEEEEEEEE!!

Holy shit, I made the finals.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to ensure I win!

As usual, should you be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your action.

Apparently you can go back every 24 hours & vote again.

There are some others nominated also. Ignore them.

The Weblog Awards: Best Australia or New Zealand Blog Archive

"What say you to a gorilla steak?"

"I'm told the niggers eat him. Don't they, Mak?"

"Yis, massa, dey doos. More dan dat, de niggers in dis part ob country eat mans."

Hah! This fantastically politically incorrect exchange comes from The Gorilla Hunters, by RM Ballantyne, and published in 1861.

For all this & more, I recommend you take in Iain Sharp's guide to Gorilla Lit (in the run up to a big ape movie, apparently) on Stuff: How to Keep a Gorilla., and Other Stories.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Narnia Kits sent to churches.

I read the interesting article in the Listener about Narnia & Christianity, in the weekend. Interesting to note that Harry Ricketts said the books were spoiled for him when he was told about the allegory.

I wouldn't go that far. But I was very surprised at how blatant (and less engaging) the series became in the later books.

New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on Stuff.co.nz: Narnia kits sent out to churches

Anyway, I don't care if Narnia is Christian allegory or even propaganda. I just hope that this sort of marketing doesn't spoil it for some people. But then again, how many kids are going to be exposed to the Narnia kits at church anyway?

And... I wonder if Kong Kits have been dispatched to zoos?....

Update: Since I'm in here editing out some spelling mistakes... what's actually wrong with it being Christian allegory anyway?

Further Update: I just came across this from Richard Taylor, of Weta Workshops, and it says it all.

"To some, Narnia is religious allegory, to others it's a part of their childhood and their soul, and to be part of that kind of cultural significance has been the most important part of my life."

Friday, December 02, 2005

I hope the day's entertainment ended with a massive fireworks display.

New Zealand's source for oddstuff - strange, weird & bizarre news on Stuff.co.nz: Giant condom overlooks Buenos Aires

Access to Lambton Quay! Access to Shopping!

A sign bearing these slogans greeted me this morning as I entered a building on the Terrace to gain - yes! - Access to Lambton Quay.

I briefly wondered what does this say about the signwriter's opinion of our priorities.

I also briefly wished I'd been carrying the appropriate equipment on me to alter the sign to say "Access to Lambton Quay! Access to your soul-sucking office job!"

But that would be naughty, much like the unknown wag who changed the "Janus Bakery" sign in the same building to "anus Baker".

Parking fine.

We've been parking on our new car deck for a couple of weeks now. It is very nice not having to scour the neighbourhood for a vaguely legal space. It still looks like a construction site, but all systems are go.

We're in a cul de sac, which unfortunately (only in this regard, mostly it rocks) leads to a major tourist attraction & commuter passage to the CBD. Which means our cul de sac fills up each weekday morning with cars owned by tourists, which is understandable, but more irritatingly, by commuters who swoop in each morning to park their cars for the day & gain lazy access to town.

Often, they have residents' stickers, but they reside at the other end of our suburb. These guys piss me off. But no longer!

Except that a lot of these folk don't seem to have noticed that now there is a bona fide driveway where there used to be a residents' park. So the bastards park there anyway, regardless of whether they're locking our car in. Or out. It defies belief. We're getting really good at writing nasty, yet economical notes outlining our course of action should they do this again.

What's particularly galling, is that we went out of our way to be considerate. Outside our house was parking expansive enough for 3.5 cars. We went to some pain & trouble to ensure that our driveway eliminated only 1 park leaving plenty of space for 2 on one side, and a small gap that half a car might be able to park in if you had say, half a car to park.. We also had to negotiate access between 2 very large & magnificent trees, otherwise I'd have been tempted to only take away the half a car park.

But still morons think they can park their huge vans, SUVs, saloons... you name it, in the half space seemingly oblivious to the fact they've just parked right across our legal access too. Some just park neatly across our driveway entrance, obligingly leaving the half space in front of a tree empty.

I found the Wellington City Council to be very helpful in providing a solution. I rang them & logged a call asking could they come and remove the white "L" parking line, and paint another in the appropriate place? I also mentioned that broken yellow lines might be nice. I figured this way too, I'd find out for sure if Darth Sidious Architects really did lodge & receive the appropriate permissions for drive-on access that I know I have paid for... and it seems so.

I was told that the "L" lines were easy to arrange, but all sorts of consents & permissions were required from another agency to get yellow lines approved. I said if she had a look, I'd accept her judgement.

She rang back a couple of hours later & said she'd logged the request for both "L" lines & yellow lines. Yahoo! And they'd hopefully be implemented by Christmas. Our neighbours will also be pleased, because the yellow lines will extend across their driveway too.

In a way I feel like a mean & rotten local resident looking out for himself at the inconvenience of others. But only in a very small way. Now & then. Mostly I think "Suck on that. Park outside your own home dickhead."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Airlines discriminate against men.

Yes. All the time. Pass me another Tui.

Everyone's blogged their indignation at this one. The Whig even compared Worsley to Rosa Parks... I've expended enough energy tapping comments into their comments fields I figured I ought to put the story in perspective.

The nasty old airline asked this man to change seats. Boo fucking hoo.

Anyone who has sent an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) off to scattered parts knows the airlines have had this policy for years. They usally put the UMs up the back of the aircraft near the flight attendants. I believe they prefer it if the children don't sit next to adult passengers at all, male or female.

I'm pretty happy with that policy.

This flight must have been pretty full if he wasn't offered an upgrade to business class. Or maybe the whiner was so obnoxious they didn't feel inclined.

If it'd been me I'd have thanked them profusely for seating me somewhere other than next to a shitty kid. It's possible I'd ask to be moved if they didn't offer first.

While the odds of a random male passenger being a molestor must be pretty low, as a parent, I think the assured safety of a child vastly outweighs a trifling inconvenience to an adult. The airline will be covering itself too, the UMs are in their care & I daresay a lawsuit from an aggrieved parent is something to be avoided. So too, the chance that a child will accuse an innocent adult of molestation.

And as for getting The Eradicator involved... what's more "politically correct", ensuring the safety of a minor? Or ensuring the dignity of a random male passenger?

Or let me put it this way instead:

This is political correctness gone mad.

Are we unable to take steps to safeguard children without fear of offending someone who is barely inconvenienced?

Ban on men sitting next to children

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This week's movie (so far) Bride & Prejudice

I have this theory that every film director of Indian descent secretly wants to make a Bollywood musical. A couple of years ago I was charmed by the spectacular Monsoon Wedding, which while not strictly speaking in the style of a Bollywood film - ie, it's not strictly speaking a musical - does feature a lot of music and dancing in the Bollywood style. And it is gorgeous to look at, both in terms of the cast, and the colourful costumes.

Such a lovely coupleThis week, Chez Llew hosted a screening of the Jane Austen inspired Bride & Prejudice, directed by Bend it Like Beckham's Gurinda Chadha, and featuring both former Miss World Aishwarya Rai, and Stuey from Shortland Street. And we enjoyed it immensely. And I had to laugh, as halfway through, Mrs Llew declared it ws "OK, but it seems to be riffing Pride & Prejudice a bit." And when I mentioned that was the point, she brightened up with "Oh, that explains the title, and why Stuey is called Mr Darcy!" So that's OK then.

Although I should mention here, that neither of us has ever been familiar with Shortland Street & so we really should refer to the ex-pat Kiwi who plays wealthy American William Darcy, by his real name, Martin Henderson.

Stuey does OK actually, he's a bit stiff at first, but loosens up along the way, and maybe that's the point. Meanwhile, the rather plain Miss Rai (just joking! She could stop traffic) positively glows. And sings and dances.

I mean, I won't go into the plot in any depth, you're all familiar with the source material right? And Stuey does not emerge from the water in skintight pants. Sadly, neither does Rai. And in fact, that reminds me, there is one scene where all the young attractive cast travel to an Indian resort that Stuey is thinking of buying, and the mother says "It's a good opportunity for him to see her in a swimsuit!" And maybe he did. But we didn't. What a swizz.

Ok, that might be a bit confusing, as the mum wasn't talking about Aishwarya & Stuey anyway, so maybe I'd better explain the plot.

India looks appealingBalraj Bingley (the English patient's Naveen Andrews) travels to Amritsah in India, to be best man at a wedding, he takes along his mate William Darcy. There, they meet the Bakshi family, and in particular the stunning Bakshi daughters, whose mother, the awesome Nadira Babbar, would like nothing more than to have each of her brood marry a wealthy, loving, Indian man. In particular, she is very keen that Balraj hook up with her eldest Jaya (Namrata Shirodkar, running Aishwarya a close second in the looks department)

Meanwhile, Darcy & second eldest daughter Lalita (Rai) meet & hate each other. She's proud, and he's prejudiced, geddit?

Oh, and there is an oily villain. And an even oilier, yet funny, comic relief looking for a hottie Indian bride (whose resemblance to so called comedian Mike King provides almost as much amusement as his nerdy, needy Indian Schtick).

That's all you need to know, unless you know the rest anyway, the course of true love never goes smoothly & requires quite a few energetic & colourful singing & dancing moments. Mercifully, Stuey isn't required to partake. However, in the opening number Naveen Andrews is impressive. In all subsequent numbers, the Bakshi girls are even more impressive. I defy you not to tap your feet along with most of the music.

The locations (god, even London!) give the cast a run for their money too, the film was shot in and around the Golden Temple of Amritsar, Goa beaches, the London Eye , the Colorado Canyon and Santa Monica Beach in California.

Well worth a look, light, energetic, foot tappingly exuberant, and spectacular. Way to go Stuey!

Bride and Prejudice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, November 28, 2005

For the man (or woman) who has everything....

New Zealand's source for oddstuff - strange, weird & bizarre news on Stuff.co.nz: Website offers Saddam uniform for sale

Christmas Spoilers Ahead.

Should you be family, for instance, & wanting to keep as a surprise for the day, the gifts waiting under the tree at SunnyO for your children....

Although I have canvassed widely for ideas & nothing will really be a surprise.

So the mission: You have half a dozen or so nephews & nieces all under the age of 10, but all (someone correct me if I'm wrong) over the age of 4. (this is not counting Mrs Llew's nephews & nieces, who range in ages between 4 & 34, and number in the dozens.

Xmas this year will be hosted at the one & only, world famous SunnyO. The weather should be scorching, it last rained there in 1984. However just in case, there should be some accommodation for indoor activities.

There will be approximately 35 people present, representing 4 generations of family.

My first urge each year, is to be a real bastard & get all the kids noisy presents. Drums, bugles, tambourines, you name it. Then I come to my senses & remember that that would only open me up to revenge giftings in the future. So I put that thought aside quickly, though reluctantly.

My 2nd thought this year, was that what we really need is something the kids can share, and play with outside without us having to supervise them overly, because in time honoured tradition, we'll be on the deck getting seriously pissed. In the end, though, a small quad bike, and power tools failed the test... mostly because of the cost.

So, after much research, questioning of sales people, soul searching, and cruising discreetly past the decorative Jessica in the Jane Daniels section of floor 2 (see the last post) the truly fabulous Kirkcaldies have a small selection of outdoor games & toys. the most impressive of which is the Garden Chess Set. One of the most wonderous things about this set is how they pack the whole lot into something the size of a winebox.

However, none of the kids, and few of the parents play chess. So I have started my Christmas shopping with the purchase of the Garden Noughts and Crosses, and Garden Pick Up Sticks. Sure to be winners.

That was last week. Today, I retraced my steps again, disappointed that Jessica wasn't there, and chose the 38 inch, Monarch Butterfly kite, made from rip stop nylon & fibreglass. You can't go wrong with a kite. They also had a kites shaped like a racing car & a biplane, but in the end I decided best to keep it simple. Kites tend to last about 30 minutes in my experience. Fortunately, should the worst happen, we have several kites already at SunnyO.

And that's as far as I've got. I have gifts to find for one more little girl, and some also for a trio of boys belonging to my cousin.

Although I am seriously considering getting a big paddling pool. Not only will the kids love it, but so will Wilma. It would seem unfair to gift that to any one kid, as I expect everyone of them will be piling in on it, and it'd be rotten if someone, or some dog, killed it.

I'm taking suggestions for the other gifts though, should you have some brilliant ideas.

Oh, and in case it rains... I will supplement the primary gifts with books, and activity packs.

Lord, I have not sinned enough!

SunnyO: Lord, I have sinned!

So, someone called Su from nnyo.blogspot.com accuses me of being scared eh? So after I clicked through to see that nnyo.blogspot.com doesn't exist... I went shopping (more on that later).

Then a thought occured to me (I am not so fast at times...) Su nnyo.blogspot.com. Holy shit! My own blog is calling me a pussy! Or did I post that comment myself & then blank it from my mind?

Now, so full of self doubt.

Scared? It cannot be.

But thinking about it... in a way I am scared, or wary anyway. Hence the thin veil of anonymity. I'm not wary of giving people the wrong impression, I'm wary of giving people the right impression.

There are things I have experienced in my life that I do not regret, but they are private. They might also have been illegal :) Or at least, frowned upon. And so rather than expose myself to shallow judgement, I'll keep them to myself. Or at least myself & the small number of people who may have experienced those events with me. To share them would be either boastful, or, well actually, pretty much just boastful. And uninteresting to anyone else.

They're my business, in other words.

Anyway...

Lust: Yes, I've done lots & lots of lusting. Some of it successful, some of it unrequited. I still lust, although I am happily married now & content not to convert those random lustful thoughts to action. Also, I am middle aged, and have no intention of making myself look ridiculous. But if anyone wants to know some good places around Wellington to inspire some good, solid lustful thoughts, email me for directions.

Gluttony: I thinkl I covered that one sufficiently in the last post.

Sloth: Ditto. Although I rarely seem to have the time for serious, competition level slothing these days. But it is a native talent.

Pride: Here's where we get sketchy. In fact, I think this is a pretty average mortal sin really. I'm proud of lots of things, but that's not the same thing.

Envy: Probably the only really serious envy I have mustered would involve some of the lustees & those who got, er.. favoured that weren't me. Otherwise, I'm pretty well sorted for material goods. Although I do envy my friend who bought the first DVD hard drive that I ever saw.

Cripes, don't make me have to go look up the other two sins!

Oh yeah...

Wrath: I'm a pretty level headed guy & have been described as unflappable. That said, as previously mentioned I have lost my rag on a couple of occasions, often with tradespeople or corporations telling me they can't do something I think would be very reasonable for them to do. I can only think of 3 occasions I have lost my temper like that.

Greed: The only real greed I can think of would more appropriately be covered under gluttony. Oh wait, I can kill two with one stone here - I am proud that I am not greedy.

There.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Let's face it.

If I'm going to achieve the dream of being the best, most famous (yet teasingly anonymous), and highly paid (even slightly paid?) blogger in the world...

I'm obviously going to have to post something pretty good up here at some stage.

But hey, that's for next week right? Or next year, voting doesn't finish for a while after all.

Meanwhile, I'm going to have to do something serious about Christmas shopping for the troops. I've already made one expedition, but in time honoured tradition, blew most of my Xmas shopping budget on shirts for myself... (if anyone needs to know, Mr Llew is dressed by Messrs Rodd & Gunn).

I need some discipline obviously. And no, I'm not venturing into Vile File territory (she did it so much better), I mean some determination & commitment.

To that end I'm off to Kirk's in a moment, ostensibly to buy some toys for the young folk, but most likely to ogle some of the shop assistants & buy myself some new shorts to go with those shirts.

And no doubt, on the 23rd or so of December, I'll be out buying everyone else a bunch of obscure DVDs that I always wanted to see. That's the spirit of giving right?

NetGuide People's Choice Web Awards 2006

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tee hee....


Image hosted by Photobucket.com



No idea where this originally came from, but hat tip to Younger Brother, who turns 40!! tomorrow, for passing it on.

Lord, I have sinned!

Cheers Noizy.

Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. Which (if any) have you broken? Give examples.

Lust: Oh yes. I won't go into details, as some of those details (from long ago) involve people I have exhorted recently to vote for me :)

Gluttony: Tick

Greed: Probably.

Sloth: My god, I could sloth for my country! Gimme a couch & appropriate relaxants (not always necessaary), and an obscure DVD...

Wrath: Now & then. Not often though. Although once, when I was supposed to be looking after the helpdesk function for a friend of mine who owned a dating agency (long story) this moron called & got both barrels. I should blog that actually.

Envy: No doubt, although I can think of few occasions.

Pride: I'm black. And I'm proud.

I hate memes, so won't be tagging anyone, but feel free to have a go.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Man, is this a cool world or what?

Look! A second chance for you to Vote For Me (TM), but in a different competition no less!

Your chance for redemption! Alternatively, a chance for you to vote for yourself again.

The Weblog Awards: Nominations - Best Australia or New Zealand Blog

"Bribes paid for Leslie's release"

One young woman's struggle to become the hottest Australian in an Indonesian prison fails...

New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz: Bribes paid for Leslie's release

Forgive me, is that heartless?

How about this then? Can we surmise that the bribes were paid by the "privileged offspring of Indonesia's elite" to ensure their names were not publicised?

Can we also uncharitably surmise what it was that a gaggle of Australian "lingerie models" were doing with these "privileged offspring of Indonesia's elite"?

Should we care?

Ooh... here are some pictures of Ms Leslie at work.

Oh, and update: Maybe I am being uncharitable in questioning her ah... profession... this wikipedia entry on her suggests she worked (as a model) quite a lot in South East Asia.

And... further update: Saw her in the middle of the media scrum on the news last night. Have to say, 3 months in an Indonesian prison would probably entitle anyone to a dignified return & a little peace & quiet, and the opportunity to do a few lines before having to endure that sort of scene. Even Kate Moss was allowed that right?

Brain drain 'to get worse'

New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz: Brain drain 'to get worse'

I'm sorry, but this is a problem? Look, get rid of all those smart young bastards & pretty soon, I'm gonna be looking pretty damn clever.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A good plan has to be flexible. - Weekend & Campaign Roundup

And so it came to pass that the sandpit out back of the house was bordered by railway sleepers (let's not freak any artisans out by describing how I cut them to size, you'd never know, OK?), levelled, and declared ready for pavers.

A quick calculation of how may pavers were required, at $15 a pop was made based on My Plan (TM), and the amount of $900 was bandied about for consideration...

A minute or two elapsed before I & my in-house Home Improvement Consultant & Budgetting Planner agreed: Too Fucking Much.

So chances are, we will scrounge around for cheaper (or free) pavers, and liberally dot them around the area in question & surround them with some of the several tonnes of river stones that I have been quietly moving from where they were dumped a month or so ago.

But it'll be grand. And this way, it won't matter if my measurements & railway sleepers are out by a millimetre or two.

Meanwhile, on the campaign front... thank you all for your positive feedback, and votes so far. There's a long road to travel yet, and I am conscious, that much like the beneficiary of Amanda's attentions, I do not want to peak too early. Although let's all hope the experience is just as satisfying.

(I can't believe I stooped to that - although... I suppose it's Amanda who's doing the stooping - keep checking here though, in the last week of the campaign, should things be looking desperate, we might raffle Amanda off).

No such ministrations are required of you, my beloved readers, I'll be happy with your votes. And that of your family & friends. And pets - in fact, invite your pets to gmail so that they have their own email addresses & are eligible to vote.

I am proud to be your candidate in an election in which my chances of winning might be enhanced by my falling drunkenly down a flight of stairs. That's MY kind of gig.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Moments that suck, and moments to savour.

You've been sitting round a table with half a dozen friends for about 36 hours straight (not counting convenience trips) playing an elaborate boardgame based on the War of the Roses called Kingmaker. Fuelled by copious quantities of licit & illicit substances, the tides of war have waxed & waned in your favour, you have survived sieges, ambushes, plagues, storms off the coasts of Ireland & France, shipwreck, treachury, and the constant liability of a noble called the Earl of Scrope, but finally, finally, you have amassed a huge army of knights, serfs, mercenaries, mad Gauls & Celts... in and around the beautiful cathedral city of York, just one roll of the dice away from London & unseating the pathetic pretender who calls himself King of England.

You gather the dice with a triumphant flourish, the so-called King turns the next Event Card....

Plague in York.

There is a moment of disbelief - "Well fuck me with a wooden toilet brush!" , then denial, then several moments of downright acrimony.

Those moments suck.

So spare me such a moment, and the ensuing acrimonious posts, when the winner of the next Netguide Best Personal Weblog of the year is announced & vote here for Sunnyo.blogspot.com

On the flipside... there are moments when, for instance, you enter a fine drinking establishment in a little street off Courtenay Place, you have a beautiful, and scantily clad young woman of African American extraction wrapped closely around your person. The first punter who sees you inside the establishment is your recently ex-wife's brother. You manage to pry the young woman's thigh away from your face long enough to say "We're just good friends".

And bonus! Just a few months afterwards, you're at another fine establishment in the same area, this time with a beautiful blonde*, you find yourself standing next to your ex-brother-in-law once again.

Those are times for genial, and sincere, shit eating grins.

You can ensure that I will once again wear such a grin, by clicking here and... etc.

BTW: I really don't want to descend to muckraking in my campaign, but did you know those jokers over at NZBC voted for Peter Dunne in the last election?**

* who you subsequently marry.

** Possibly, there's no way we can be sure they didn't.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Vote for the wellingtonista too!

I mean, if you're looking for something worthy to vote for in the Lifestyle category.

Log in, and remember these two URLs:

Wellingonista.blogspot.com
Sunnyo.blogspot.com

the wellingtonista

That's what I want to see... optimism.

New Zealand, world, sport, business & entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz: Flu would fill morgues:

"Bodies are likely to be kept in cool stores if the soaring death toll from a flu pandemic outstrips the capacity of morgues."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Been meaning to link to this for a while..

Rest Area 300m - So There

Now our car deck is nearly working... I fancy me one of those signs for out the front.

And just 'cos I linked to this very fine weblog, does not mean it is OK to vote for DodderyOldFart, OK?

VOTE FOR ME!

Um... the "dweeb" I mentioned the other day...

Bloody hell, a non-existent blogger gets as many hits as me. Sniff.

About Town: Confessions of some dangerous minds...

And... Update!:

He may or may not live still...

I'd ask if anyone actually knows the guy, but really, I don't give a shit.

Further Update!:

The guy really does exist, About Town made his non-existence up for a wheeze.

It was a stunt. And folks, let's face it, stunts don't win awards (disclaimer: unless they are sustained stunts involving hot female librarians).

So Vote For Me!

Go on... you know you want to...

Look, go rent & watch Napoleon Dynamite, Election, Rocky, Field of Dreams, and hey, why not, A Fist Full of Dollars too.

Then come back here, refreshed, and alive to the possibilities afforded the noble underdog in this day & age, click on the link here, and vote for SunnyO.

Vote for me!

Unconvinced? Here are some recent celebrity endorsements of this site.

"the ever-entertaining Llew at SunnyO" - David Slack

"one of the few I can rely on for daily entertainment." - Wanda Harland

"You are very nice for someone who is entirely nuts." - Ms Vile File

"How the hell did they actually get him off the toilet seat?" - Kowhaikiwi

"Is that really you? I was expecting a naked old man, or Jude Law. Google let me down again." - Ms Vile File

"I'm gonna admit it ... I always thought that sheep photo was a picture of a cow." - Mainlander Mike

"So looking forward to working with you darling." - Pussy Galore (link work unfriendly so omitted)

"Take it off! The people demand it!" - Joanna

"I'm a PMS day away from calling the council and SPCA" - Miss Seph

"Nicely written." - Mainlander Mike

"Brilliant" - Puntiki

"Those are some ugly dogs.... Phew.." - Puntiki

"I am still considering filling the hole with petrol, waiting a few minutes & then tossing in a match" - Llew

"Wow" - Heck

"I would not like that anywhere near my bits and pieces." - Hers

"yes she very good, rednecks like girls mn pretty colour things, she donts look very old," - Peter Quixote

"Thanks on behalf of the ladies, we appreciate the eye candy." - Wanda Harland

"Not safe for Jewish porn fans tho. Shouldn't porn at least try to be inclusive?" - David

"3 words. Too. Much. Time." - DC

"AMEN! TESTIFY!!!" - Che Tibby

"Are you sure you're not making this up?" - Alan

"Wow. I am constantly amazed at the new heights of idiocy that one can discover on the internet." - Miss Seph

"Bloomin' heck. It's all go in the capital city." - Caroline Morphess

"Gosh, it is like being there..." - Wanda Harland

"Something about Miss Lucy in that bikini does raise a smile in Miramar." - Miramar Mike

"is it just me or do those particular tradesmen look kinda gay? - NYC Girl

"I frightened the dog laughing so much at that one." - Caroline Morphess

"I wouldn't know really, I just fast forwarded through to the pole dancing...." - Llew

"There is probably a fetish web site for this sort of thing!' - David

"That is so weird." - Jessie

"...and chocolate salty balls." - Mr Reasonable

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

And just like that, she is gone!

I'd never noticed the countdown taking place at the top of the page, but it was counting down exactly one year from the day she was born. And now Ms File is off to parts unknown.

And how odd. A week ago I was considering doing something similar... now I've been pipped at the post.

The Vile File

Hurry back, we miss you already.

Monday, November 14, 2005

WTF movie of the week - Napoleon Dynamite

Were you the geekiest of the geeks at college? A misfit among misfits? Did you identify with Harvey Pekar's geeky friends in American Splendor? Did you think Revenge of the Nerds was slick Hollywood crap? Well, do I have the movie for you! Napoleon Dynamite!

In fact, I'm not even sure why I'm writing this as I don't think I can come close to describing it. But here goes.

Napoleon is a tall gawky maladroit in an American high school. He's the lowest of the low in the school social hierarchy. He's got a monotone drawl, and an arsenal of not very witty non-sequiturs. And a weird imagination... Meanwhile, his older brother makes him look normal. And let's not talk about the creepy uncle Rico who lives with them & sells something not quite identifiable door to door.

Then Napoleon meets & befriends new kid in school, Pedro, who while just as nerdy as him, has a moustache... Pedro also has the balls to ask Summer Wheatley, the most popular girl in school (think Hilary Duff, because Summer is played by Hilary's sister Hayly), to the prom. Summer refuses of course, so Pedro turns his sights on Debs, the girl Napoleon has been plucking up courage to ask, Debs accepts, to Napoleon's dismay...

Not only that, but Pedro decides to run for class president against Summer, and Napoleon agrees to be his campaign manager. They haven't a hope right?

This is as far away as you could possibly get from anything you can imagine really, it's cheap & cheery in the same sort of style as old John Waters films. The acting seems stiff, but after a while you start to think, actually, the acting is amazing! These guys are convincingly unlikable, uber-geeks. John Heder, who plays the title character, was apparently paid $1000 for his services. The movie grossed $40 million... I hope his agent holds out for more next time.

Well worth a look. You will either love it or hate it.

It's a rat-trap baby...

Rattus Norvegicus...and you've been caught.

Ok, mixing my Boomtown Rats & Stranglers references there. Had a lovely weekend, moving gravel from one side of the property to the other. As the truck driver warned, my two types were indeed gravel salad, but by being careful I'm managing to separate most of the round river stones off into their own pile. And the truck driver, did indeed manage to dump the stuff pretty much where we wanted it.

Unlike the mulch delivery guy, who this time was confident with the instructions we gave him. However, rather than choosing to put the truckload on the spot where the last lot clearly had been until now... he dumped it about 30 feet to the South, right on top of a poor little lemon tree that in its short life has endured indignities ranging from a close encounter with a ride-on mower, to two close encounters with sheep. We dug it back out & while a little worse for wear, it will survive. And it is supremely mulched (like, to about a depth of 5 feet).

The most exciting part of the weekend however, commenced when Wilma & I were taking our morning constitutional around the forest. There's a bit of a hole on one side which over the last few years I've been filling up with debris & stuff. I stepped across it that morning & noticed that the earth was somewhat springy. So I jumped up and down a bit to test it. Then I heard a sound behind me, which was so noticeable that it had to be Wilma coming to see what I was doing.

Except that when I looked around, it wasn't Wilma, it was a rat the size of a badger coming to take a look at whatever was using its home for a trampoline.

And I jumped about 10 feet back, doing my very best to channel Fred Flintstone... "Wiiillllmmmmaaaa!!!". While WIlma was no use at all, this noise & movement did startle the rat & it hared off into a toi toi.

So I left it there & went off to reflect & move gravel. I figure where there's one rat that size, there are probably lots more. War was declared.

An hour or two later I was back.... jumping up & down on the springy bit. And sure enough, out it popped to have a look. This time I had Wilma right beside me. And dependable hunting hound that she is... she didn't spot it, being more interested in some smelly stuff a few metres away. But the rat saw her & disappeared back undergound. Otherwise I think I might have been in trouble.

And so a visit to the Otaki metropolis was in order, and there I bought enough rat poison to kill a herd of buffalo, should one wander by. Big soap sized cakes of weatherproof rat bait. And a big punnet of rat pellets, in case this becomes a long drawn out campaign.

I've had major success in the past with killing pests by poking poison down their lair, so why should this be different? And that's exactly what I did, poked 2 cakes of soapy rat poison as far down the hole as it would go, then retired to let the occupants come to terms with their impending departure from this realm.

Now we wait...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Something sensible next, I promise

Sunnyo (the blog) is coming up to 1 year old in the next couple of weeks, and we're about to hit 20,000 visitors (that's about 50 a day, which is pretty dire I think, even dweebs get figures like that, or so they say in other people's comments fields).

So, like, tell your friends!. Especially if they're rich & influential & can get me a really high paying fun job. (Or if they're hot, that'd do).

But mustn't complain, quality is preferred to quantity & I am confident that you dear readers, are quality. And hot.

But is that any excuse to be giving away my best material? Which was emailed to me by my younger brother, whose real name is Mungo, in case you needed to know.

But one good turn deserves another & David sent me this, which is amusing.

The New Rules:

New Rule:
Stop giving me that pop-up ad for Classmates.com. There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.

New Rule:
Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout? Luckily, it was only a finger! If it was a whole hand, Congress would have voted to keep it alive.

New Rule:
Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.

New Rule:
If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're gay. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.

New Rule:
Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.

New Rule:
There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some Jack Daniels over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

New Rule:
Stop f***ing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, he'll will be in the morgue.

New Rule:
The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule:
Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule:
Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."

New Rule:
I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

New Rule:
If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

New Rule:
No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.

New Rule and this one is long overdue:
No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your web cam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.

New Rule:
When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. "27 Months." "He's two," will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't care in the first place.

UPDATE: These rules apparently come from 'Real Time with Bill Maher'. Thanks to Nick Eynon for (three) pointing that out.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

WTF Movie of the Week

Imagine a big budget movie, replete with rather good (with one exception) CGI underwater effects, an amazing cast including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Anjelica Huston, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon. And hardly a laugh out loud moment to be had.

Oh, and did I mention that the soundtrack consists of David Bowie songs performed in Portugese? That's the weirdest bit really.

In fact, this movie follows the same pattern set by Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums, which also featured a terrific cast, but the only really funny performance was by Gwyneth Paltrow of all people.

In The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Anderson's latest effort, the comedic moments are all stolen by Willem Dafoe, who plays a bizarre German sailor called Klaus, who wears a weird hat, and harbours a father fixation toward Bill Murray's titular Zissou. He's really funny.

The Life Aquatic is about sad sack Murray, playing Steve Zissou, a character very loosely inspired by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau (Cousteau may have invented the radio linked diving helmet, but Zissou first thought of piping dance music through them to keep the divers focussed).

Steve's down on his luck, and scraping together the funds to hunt down the (possibly) mythical Jaguar shark, which he thinks killed his long time partner on their last voyage. Dafoe is his first mate Klaus, aboard his Calypso like vessel, the Belafonte.

Owen plays Ned Plimpton, who may or may not be Steve's long lost son, Huston is his estranged wife (and also the ex wife of his arch oceanographic rival played by Goldblum, who for the record, is "part gay"), Blanchett is a pregnant reporter who everyone forms an attachment to.

The damned movie should have been hilarious, but somehow it isn't.

It looks great though, and has some fantastic shots, like the Belafonte crew emerging from the water with their matching wetsuits & glock handguns (preceded by the 3 legged dog, Cody, that they have inherited) on their way to rescue the "bond company stooge" from Filipino (shades of Sir Peter Blake) pirates.

So I dunno, take a look if it comes your way, but don't bother hunting it down.

Tempting fate

I haven't heard Snoopy's Christmas yet on the radio, nor in a shopping complex or shop.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

High Definition TV & the end of Cinemas?

The cinema industry has been whinging at the downturn in cinema ticket sales for the last few years, and the advent of High Definition TV & DVD isn't going to help them.

Except, much like the VHS vs Beta wars of the 80s, a battle was looming between the two big HD formats, Toshiba's HD-DVD, and Sony's Blu-Ray.

According to James Berardinelli, who has the most impressive movie review site on the web (his latest book of reviews is out in the bookstores in time for Christmas too), that battle is over, pretty much before it even started. All thanks to Playstation 3.

James Berardinelli's ReelViews - Last Gasps, or the Format War that Wasn't

Random photos from not so long ago...

The South Island is out there somewhere

smiling at me

stump

proto fire pit

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Colorado man glued to toilet seat

Beware of toilets in Colorado.

New Zealand's source for oddstuff - strange, weird & bizarre news on Stuff.co.nz: Colorado man glued to toilet seat

Quick show of hands

Apropos (how I hate that word, I can't believe I used it, but I was feeling lazy, oh, about 5 seconds ago) of nothing :)

I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse that blogging can be completely anonymous. I don't know if it's ethical to use your real name. Personally, I don't think it matters*

In fact, I think it's part of the charm that you can post anything up & it's pretty much unverifiable, so long as you're not trying to deceive people, or using the anonymity to attack someone. But then again, blogger allows anonymous commenting so it's always going to happen.

Anyway, quick show of hands:

Do really cool people slag off those less fortunate than themselves for being patently uncool?

Do real super-shaggers boast about it?

* But if you really care, my real name is Sven Magnusson. I am Svedish.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Planting for the future.

Young RodneyBy golly, it was a busy & fruitful weekend. First off I mowed the back lawn, which has not been mowed for weeks & weeks & was lush, and long.

Then I spied the two small tomato plants that I'd bought a few weeks ago & had subsequently neglected. They looked dead.

But ever the optimist, I dug two black polythene planting bags out of the shed, filled them with compost (taking care not to immerse my head in the bag & inhale legionella bacteria, this is a useful tip for inexperienced gardeners - DO NOT PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE COMPOST BAG!), planted the young things & watered them liberally. By the next day they looked fully recovered.

Then I went down the back of the garden with a rubbish sack & started to pick up all the old beef bones that are now waaaay too gross to let Wilma gnaw on. While there, I found an old terracotta pot sitting there doing nothing. So I emptied it. And in doing so, discovered something wondrous, there was an old avocado pit in it which had sprouted!

Hah! I DO remember planting this a while back, the girls heaped scorn on me, sure that it would never sprout. And in fact that was about 2 years ago, so it's taken a while....

So I replanted it carefully into a new pot, with new compost, and once it is big enough, I'll be planting it out at SunnyO. As a mark of respect, I'll call it "Rod", and plant it out near the other plants that I have deferentially named "Nandor".

I'll be sprouting a few more pits in the near future, to much less scorn, I'm sure.

In other gardening news, I potted up 7 young karakas that had sprouted underneath our mature specimen, the next door neighbour will appreciate them to plant on her whanau's "Karaka Mountain".

And I inspected the latest water feature to suddenly & unexpectedly grace our property - deja vu - we're not sure once again if we're dealing with a spring (which are not unknown in our neck of the woods) or an old forgotten water main. I know it's not our actual watermain, because I can see that 6 feet up the side of the garden fence where it has been strung since the builders severed the pipe.

All very perplexing.

About Avocados - Grow Your Own Avocado Tree

Update on the spring. It is coming from the road side of the toby. So no doubt some nice men from the council will come & fix it soon. probably been leaking for decades.

Word of the week - A thick post on a ship or a wharf.

Bollard

Dictionary.com/bollard: "A thick post on a ship or wharf"

Although I'm plugging for a new meaning, and I need your help on this, use the word as often as possible and eventually it will enter the common vernacular.

When to use it:

1. A car cuts you off & nearly drives you & your family off the road. You stop, wind down the window & yell at the offending miscreant, "You fucking BOLLARD!"

2. Well you get the idea. Have at it.

NB: Leave no comments telling me the good doctor is only doing what he can for the benefit of the nation. I don't care. He's a bollard.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Rejoice! She is safe!

STUFF - STORY - Pania found - police interviewing person

It's selfish, I know, but I was kind of hoping they'd have to recast a new Pania & that there might be some sort of documentary perhaps, or even a reality TV show featuring a search for a suitable new model (I have some suggestions) and then some appropriately er... candid "making of" footage.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Aw cripes, while I'm posting then...

You know you need a 7 foot Robbie the Robot for Christmas.

Public Address | Island Life | Only While Stocks Last

Honestly, some of these things are priceless (except for the er... price).

Well spotted by the redoubtable David Slack

Hugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew...

...Tuffbert, Dibble & Grub.

I sincerely hope I'm not the only person whose mind is uselessly cluttered with songs & themes from old children's TV shows.

What was it? Camberwick Green? The stop-motion animated firemen who slid down the fireman's pole in time to the above recitation each week? I'm not even going to google it.

OK. How about:

Putty Puss, Musclemutt, Ding-Dong, Rhubarb, Sparkplug & Stutz,
Anybody doing the wrong thing,
Better watch out,
These cats are tough

Yeah, anytime there's a rumble out west,
Who do you call, you call the best,
And everyone knows it's simple as that,
'Cos the best in the west is...

HOUNDCATS!

Meanwhile, I used to get the Rupert Annual every year when I was a kid.

New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on Stuff.co.nz: Rupert gets new home and shoes

And I once got an Airfix model of Fireball XL5 to construct.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Interest rates - I did my bit

The O'Finnegan boys (younger bro Roman, me & cousin Inglewood) were over at parliament just before, when we ran into our old mate the Hon. Dr Michael Cullen.

"How is life treating you, gentlemen?" he asked.

Just fine & dandy Mikey" I replied, "But bring interest rates down & it'll be treating me a whole lot better."

At this stage, the halls of the old parliamentary building resounded with decidedly uneconomic peals of laughter.

"Then stop spending" was his parting shot. Leaving me no time to reply that all my spending is on increased interest payments.

Faramir spanking?

Recent Keyword searches on this site...

Num Perc. Search Term
1 14.29% old naked men
1 14.29% faramir spanking
1 14.29% jude law
1 14.29% old pictures of naked men
1 14.29% naked pictures of men
1 14.29% instructions for origami cricket
1 14.29% jude law and sienna miller

I'm getting worried...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Depardieu ends film career, paper says

Somehow I can't imagine that playing Obelix, will be his swan song. Really.

New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on Stuff.co.nz: Depardieu ends film career, paper says:

Looks more like...

...he's gearing up to play Saddam Hussein!

New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on Stuff.co.nz: Gibson to shoot Mayan epic

Come on Mel, give us Mad Max 4.

Update to the school-drama-thon

There was a repeat performance on friday night. Toypurnia & I arranged for Marmosette to txt us when it finished & we'd come & pick her up.

"When it finishes... not after you've clowned around with the others & changed out of costume etc."

"Ok" she said, "But we might be a bit later tonight, we left a lot out of last night's performace & Mr B wants us to put it back in tonight".

So at around about 11pm on Friday night. Wilma & I found ourselves strolling down the road to pick up our star performer...

And then there were four.

Plain old SnowflakeSo. Farewell
then


Plain sheep
We'll miss the way
you'd stamp your hoof

First when we got a dog,
then many more times
When we were slow with treats
Or otherwise irritated you

But you were the first
In for hand feeding
And penning
Plain the brave.
Who became Snowflake

I shed a tear
Because you were
in my care

I think you had
a pretty good life though

for a sheep.

The message was waiting for us when we got home on Friday. It was Master Tim, said T, one of the sheep is dead "Here, listen".

Tim had seen her on Thursday sitting by the water trough for hours, I think he must have thought something was up because he called out to her & she looked up & so he figured she was OK. But Friday afternoon, she was lying in the same spot, clearly dead. And just in case it was something in the water, or catching, he opened the gate & let the others out. Then he called us to offer to bury her. I said we'd be there the next morning & no worries, I'd bury her then. I also asked him which one? And it was one of the white sheep - either Pearl, or Plain, or Snowflake (there were only two white sheep, but there is some confusion about what we named them & which was which anyway*).

When we arrived, Wilma sprinted straight out to her - she was pretty smelly even after just one day. I dug a very deep hole beside her, dragged her in, then arranged her so she was lying in a dignified manner & covered her up. She's deep enough so that no-one will fined her by accident anyway. Wilma however, knows precisely the spot where she died, and also the spot where she is buried.

Could see no obvious cause of death. She wasn't flystruck, there was a bit of bloody foam at her mouth & nose, but I don't know if that is significant. We kept & will continue to keep a close eye on the others to make sure that whatever it was isn't catching.

She was probably around 6 years old, so not too young. I daresay before too many more years are gone, there'll be 4 more mounds out in the paddock somewhere.

So now a small dilemma. Do I replace her? They're not keeping up with the grass this year, but one bad winter & that could change. In addition, we're slowly landscaping & the paddock available to them is diminshing. Then again, the Forest O'Llew's days are numbered & that'll be paddock soon enough.

I'm thinking that I might get two more young sheep. That way they can eat off the existing grass, and chances are in 2 or 3 years we'll only have the two younger ones left. By then that might be the right number. If not, I can always get a couple more.

* Now, a short note on the names used in this blog. Some names are real, some are abbreviated, some are just plain made up. Given the gravity of the occasion, I can't really be arsed with remembering who is supposed to be who, so for one post only, here's the real, bone fida skinny on the cast of SunnyO:

Phineas O'FinneganIt probably wouldn't be too hard to identify me, sifting through the clues & red herrings... but for the record, my real name is Phineas O'Finnegan. I was nicknamed Llew in my younger years, for much the same reasons Winston Peters was nicknamed "Luigi".

My wife, the lovely T, is Toypurnia, a raven haired, green eyed beauty of Native South American & Gypsy descent. Hot blooded, green fingered, and dances a mean tango. Plays AC/DC on the violin to relax.

Marmosette, our 13 year old daughter, is named after her great, great grandmother, who was French & reputedly a witch. She is academic, musical & sporty & will be a star.

Wilma is Wilma of Woburn. We believe she is the reincarnation of the legendary Bitch Queen of the Scavenger Clan. Honestly, if anything happened to the rest of us, I am confident she would survive & flourish. You just don't want her breathing on you.

Master Tim, really is Master Tim, he is our next door neighbour, a retired farmer, and was my Fencing Master. He is married to a kiwi born & bred farm girl named, like many in the part of rural New Zealand that she hails from, Mauritius. They have an amazing garden, and the largest compost bin in the Southern Hemisphere if not the world.

The sheep are/were Pearl, Plain (renamed Snowflake), George, Otto & Jazz. Pearl & Plain were named for knitting styles, then later, Toypurnia & Marmosette thought that was a bit mean & renamed Plain to Snowflake.

Pearl is buried near where I set the statue of Pania of the Reef last week.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wholesomewear...

Proving that there is pretty much a market for everything.

Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour: The Alternative to the Bikini

Hat tip to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour

The 90 minute rule

Let's hear it for the 90 minute rule.

I see no reason at all why school drama productions should ever, in any circumstances, ever, (let me be clear here - EVER!!!) exceed a 90 minute running time. In fact, I would say even, that 80% of well made movies should never exceed 90 minutes either, but it particularly applies to school drama productions.

If this weren't M's last year at this particular school, I would be gathering a group of like minded parents (that would be all of them who were present for the 150 minute school drama production-a-thon last night) and getting a bunch of T-shirts printed which would say in very large letters "We're OUT OF HERE in 90 MINUTES & turning the power off when we go! Fuckers!"

Particularly liked the people at the back who clapped & cheered after the 3rd act & all got up to go... then sheepishly sat back down as they realised the start of act 4 was imminent.

I felt particularly sorry for the parents carrying sleeping toddlers as they sloped out at 10.30pm after a marathon that the school propaganda assured us would be over by 9.30pm.

And I fell extra particularly sorry for the people who have commited to go see tonight's performance too.

Truth is, it was slick & well acted. Very well acted actually, who knows, some of these kids may be household names one day. But it could easily have had an hour shaved off it. And some of them could have read their lines quicker. A lot quicker.

I remember the first one I went to some 3-4 years ago... it started 7pm, and at 8.30pm it ended. And just as I was girding myself to make a dash, the principal announced that they would take the opportunity to showcase some of the school talent, and we were subjected to another hour of very small kids playing pianos, guitars, singing inappropriate songs about sex & relationships... and I thought then, I really should mention one day, the concept of finishing one of these not just by the kids' bedtimes, but my bedtime also.

I should have. Too late now. But any of you guys (younger brother?) who have this sort of thing ahead of them - take my advice, attend one bloated performance & then put your foot down, the other parents will thank you in the long run.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Define Political Correctness please?

Like that old bogus exam sheet that went around in the days before the internet:

1. You'll find a box under your desk containing caustic soda, pencil lead, water, and electric batteries. Create life, you have 45 minutes starting now.

So what is a workable definition of Political Correctness? I have come across two this week - one from Shadow Minister in Charge of Political Correctness Eradication Dr Wayne Mapp, which suggests possibly that an awful lot of my attitudes to life, and my lifestyle itself might be deemed Politically Correct, although I don't think that's what he means.

"Political correctness: a set of attitudes and beliefs that are divorced from mainstream values." (gleaned from today's Hard News)

And this from Camille Guy's rather timely radio review in the Listener this week, titled "PC Plod"

"In the course of the discussion, emeritus professor Elizabeth Gordon said that PC had become a lazy term of abuse for anything you did not like on the Left."

On the flipside, this photo implies that sitting with friends in a London "Gentleman's" Club (although the woman is the er... "member"), might qualify as Politically Incorrect.

So then, friends & visitors to SunnyO, whaddya reckon?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cellular

This one's quite a goodie! Kim Basinger sends her son off to school one morning, and then is immediately kidnapped by The Transporter, and her kid's nanny is killed.

Not only that, but she's locked up in some sort of garret & the transporter comes back in threateningly & smashes up the phone.

Except, and pay attention, this bit is really important, Kimmy is a science teacher! And before you know it, she's got broken handsets & wires all over the place & she's making random phone calls to strangers' cellphones to tell them she's been kidnapped & would they mind staying on the line & taking their cellphones into the police to help her out. Please. Also... like any good science teacher, she knows where the main arteries are in the human body. This knowledge comes in handy too.

And so what you've got, is this Phonebooth type deal whereby this young guy wholly concerned with getting back with the very getting-backable Jessica Biel, who's just dumped him, cannot hang up on Kim, or she, her kid & her husband are toast.

Phew... still with me?

This isn't quite a park your brain outside & enjoy yourself type of flick. For one thing, most of what they do with the cellphones is within the realms of possibility - and pretty much everything that could happen does, the battery runs low, they experience cross lines & at one stage there is a car chase purely to get hold of someone else's (an arsehole lawyer in a porsche) phone to whom the signal has switched... and the fact that the phone can record video becomes important.... You name it really.

In addition to Kimmy & the Transporter, there's Chris Evans (who is he anyway? He was quite good in a goofy frat boy sort of way), and William H Macy (the initially sceptical cop whose been on the force for 27 years & has never drawn his gun from its holster, but you better bet that's gonna change pretty swiftly) on board for the ride.

Well worth a look. And do, please do, turn off your cellphone for the duration.

And Basinger's in her 50s? No way dude!

Friday, October 21, 2005

peterquixote - making the world fit in to my reality

I know, I know... I once said I wouldn't link to this guy in case he came & visited... but after I said that (on someone else's site) he came & visited anyway.

peterquixote

You might disagree with his politics (if you can discern them clearly), but I have to admit this guy leaves the very best comments on people's blogs I have ever read (if not actually understood).

Riverworld

What's the word for the situation whereby something you come across one day, you subsequently encounter all over the place & frequently?

Probably coincidence.

but following my homage to Tom Mix...

SunnyO: Happy Birthday Dad!

... I was lying on the couch the other day watching all sorts of rubbish on Sky while recovering from a tummy bug (you may not have noticed the absence, since I struggled up now & then to post yet more drivel). And along came an adaptation of Riverworld. You may recall from my post that it is a series of books by Philip Jose Farmer, recounting the adventures of resurrected Tom Mix, Alice in Wonderland, Sam Clemens etc etc.

So I tarried for a spell.

And the first thing to note is that - and what does this say about the producers? Do they not think we've heard of Tom Mix? - Tom Mix isn't in the film, his part has been changed to Astronaut Jeff Hale, who is a fictional character.

The second thing to note is that the production is just stuffed with Kiwi actors, leading me to speculate that this was some sort of pilot movie hoping to recreate the er... "magic" of Xena & Hercules. It even had Kevin Smith in it - although not for long, causing me to further speculate that this may be the production that he was working on to the end...

The third thing to note is that it is utter garbage.

But still... I thought it was an interesting coincidence.

Also seen that day Winged Migration, which is a nature doco featuring the most amazing, astonishing, fantastical... etc... footage of migrating birds. Honestly, I cannot begin to describe how jawdropping some of this stuff is. At the beginning, they tell us that no special effects were used, and that is scarcely believable.

Something like 16 cinematographers filmed for 4 years to get the footage. They used motorless flying cameras to fly with the birds, and they fly high over continents, low over lakes, through cities, over & under bridges, planes land beside them. And all sorts of stuff I hardly remeber because I was delirious on the couch.

Just. Astonishing.

And some creepy footage too, like the poor broken winged bird on a beach, trying to escape those creepy crabs you've seen in other footage (I dunno what they are, but they are creepy), ending up under a big crabby, clicking, ripping scrum. RIP. I think if I'd been the cameraman I'd have found it difficult not to save the beast.

Anyhow. That's nature I suppose. Although lets hope they didn't toss the poor thing onto the beach to get the sequence (ewww...). And did I mention this bit was creepy?