Wednesday, September 26, 2007

She's so hot - Boom!

A bit like after the Fellowship of the Ring was released and we were all so proud of Peter Jackson - like we knew him personally - The Flight of the Conchords evoke much the same sense of pride.

The second show of the series was, IMO, better than the pilot. And I thought this sequence was a tour de force.

YouTube - Flight of the Conchords Ep2 She's So Hot - Boom: ""

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Now I'm on the Subject

Anyone else get irrationally angry at the Telecom auto answer that insists you "speak" your question & it'll put you through to the person you want?

Anyone actually manage to be put through to anyone of any use whatsoever? Or anyone whatsoever even?

It's a new low in telecommunications. And it seems to be being pioneered by Telecom itself.

A Tale of Swann Insurance

Heh! Don't get mad! Get your own back with your own website!

Last weekend, our Planet Muncher died. Well, it's not dead, but it had a bit of a sleep last week.

Mrs Llew was on her way back to SunnyO from somewhere, when the little warning light went on (Yellow Alert, not as serious as Red Alert), telling her to drive to an authorised workshop ASAP. She drove home of course.

The car would not start again after that.

Help was at hand though, we have an extended warranty through Swann Insurance.

I rang their 0800 number.

I chose the "Emergency Breakdown Service".

The voice told me that I'd called after hours & to ring back on Monday.

I rang the dealer we bought the beast from. He told me "Yes, you need to arrange this through Swann" but said to call him back if we have any problems getting them.

We arranged through relatives to borrow a van to get home.

Om Monday morning I rang Swann back. The Emergency Breakdown Service put me through to a clerk who sells extended warranties...

I emailed Swann instead, telling them that their emergency service wasn't all it was named to be.

I then rang the dealer, who arranged to get the car back into town.

Then Swann called me to apologise.

Then the dealer told me we'd be invoiced for $350 for the callout because it doesn't fit with Swann's criteria, which only covers certain mechanical problems, not, whatever problems we had.

So I'm actually wondering what use Swann Insurance are at all? You can't even get who you want by phoning them. Kudos to them that they're checking their email though I guess.

We persevered with them rather than NZI assist or the AA because this car is specifically insured through Swann, and that's what we were told to do.

Feel free to spread my referral.

Latest pics

Wellington Morning

Kapiti Afternoon

Otaki Beach


Waitohe Whitebaiters




Whitebaiter's net

More whitebaiters

And more


Yet more!

Last one

More Kapiti

Last one!

Plum tree in blossom

New avacado tree

Macadamia tree about to be in blossom


Yet more

Nut in silhouette

Hanging nuts

More hanging nuts

Single hanging nut in silhouette with flowers


More plum blossom

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

the days of my 30 sec jug skull through a straw are over

And I thought I'd seen it all!

This is about the word "skull" used to denote quaffing back a drink. Skull is wrong. I used to think that people probably meant "scull" because drinking games are sometimes referred to as "boat races".

Now I think the word is "skoal", which is a Scandinavian word for drinking a toast.

Anyone got any other ideas? Why isn't Brewer's Dictionary of Fact & Fable online anyway?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sensing Murder Returns!

Ohmigod, I saw the end of sensing murder last night & I was stunned by the powers shown by the psychics.

All they were told was that two guys were strangled & thrown off a ship, their bodies were later found & the coroner deemed they'd been strangled & thrown off a ship.

Armed with only that information, two psychics divined that these two guys had been strangled & thrown off a ship.

Further, they were probably murdered by someone else on the ship.

I'm convinced.


We have lots of lawn at SunnyO. Lots & lots of lawn. We have formal lawn - there's a picture below with a home made croquet hammer - we have informal lawn, we have orchard, we have lawn that has very little grass & a lot of weeds.

It takes, apparently, 5 hours to mow the lot.

We have 20 litres of lawn weedkiller in the shed too. In the past, I've spot sprayed with Roundup. I've also been threatened with castration if I ever do that again, it leaves hubcap size circles in the lawn. Crop circles!

So I fired up a big sprayer with the lawn weeder stuff, and I set to in the orchard - on the grounds that this is the very, very informal lawn & munging it will not result in minor surgery. I did this about a month ago.

And it worked well, weeds just shrivelled away & grass took over.

SO last week it was the turn of the informal lawn outside the house, which is the picture below showing a deck & polyanthus & roses, and the citrus/magnolia area (below).

The next day, I decided to spray the very few weeds in the formal lawn. I did so, liberally, covering maybe half until I needed to refill.

I refilled the sprayer, then I noticed.... shock! Horror! I'd filled the tank with Roundup. Luckily I spotted it. I changed it to lawn stuff.

But... did I fill the first run, with which I sprayed half the formal lawn, with Roundup or Lawn spray?

Only time will tell. Only time will tell.

Monday, September 10, 2007

This weekend's photos


Visiting friends - one horse was looking at us over the gate. Another 3 in the distance saw us & thundered down the drive. Then we had to inch forward to make them back away from the gate. Much the same but in reverse when we left. Except they were all by the gate waiting for us.



Another sunset

Berry House

I made this

What I made on my team building day.... entirely by hand, with stone age implements & a home made lathe.

Anyone for croquet?

Some bush

Mrs Llew's new garden

Garden statue


Some say this looks like me

Bugger, I missed Blokie & Roundie

That's the problem with watching sod all TV, I never know what's on until someone says "Did you see Logan & Brown cooking kingfish with macadmia nuts?"

Episode 1 - Kingfish & Macadamias | TV ONE PROGRAMMES | TV ONE |

No, I didn't. I wonder, can these things be downloaded from somewhere?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Maggie Gyllenhaal in lingerie

Um. I thought about a snappy headline, but that kinda says it all.

Maggie Gyllenhaal's steamy Agent Provocateur campaign revealed | the Daily Mail

Related story here

Team Building

So. A Team Building (TM) day is on tomorrow. This means a (slight) sleep in, then I'm packing the dog, the cat & other stuff including beer & wine into the Beast (our major contribution to Global Warming) & heading into the barbarian suburbs to pick up colleagues.

Then, any number of us will congregate someplace about an hour & 15 minutes north (after dropping off the cat at SunnyO on the way - the dog will participate in the frivolities), spend half the day doing team building theory type things, and the 2nd half of the day solving fun problems & participating in as yet unknown activities.

I know that there are lakes. And stuff. Including various items of everyday machinery which have been amended slightly, so that they do unusual things...

I've attended Team Building days before, and pretty nuch the only thing I protest at these days is that stupid exercise where you get up on an oil drum, close your eyes & fall off. A circle of colleagues theoretically will catch you.

WTF does that teach you anyway? I refuse to do it anymore on the grounds that a drama teacher at college used to make us do it & anything with that much vintage has got to have been superceded by something sensible (much like electro shock therapy has given way to drugs - well probably not much like that, but we can hope).

Anyway, even though I don't know what's in store, I am prepared. I'm assuming that when presented with any task or problem, we are free to use whatever tools are at hand...

In my case what will be onhand, indeed, upon & around my person, will be a Swiss Army Knife, a small but very powerful torch, a cordless drill, 20 metres of river rope, a camera a flare gun, GPS phone, sun hat & pepper spray. As I've said, I've done these things before & if I have to blag my way out at the end of the day, I will. I will survive.

There is no "I" in "Team".

Too bad.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sleight of Hand

We watched both the Prestige & the Illusionist in the weekend. The former injvolves a years long feud between two magicians (Batman & Wolverine) at the top of their games, the latter only has one, but he's got a years long feud with a Prince.

Not THE Prince, you understand, not the little short singer guy. A prince.

Anyway, I was disappointed with both, The Prestige resorts to science fiction, and a plot twist that was so cunning I didn't notice it until I read a few reviews days later. Maybe I was drunk or something. I was especially disappointed because Christopher Nolan also directed Memento, which was fantastic. Anyway, The Prestige is OK, but no more. Good performances though. And it's based on a novel, so presumably Nolan's not to blame for the plot.

The Illusionist is much more straightforward, it has Edward Norton trying to score back his childhood love (Jessica Beihl) from an evil prince (Rufus Sewell). What really disappointed me about this is that they resorted to CGI to perform some of thr tricks. Oh well.

Slight of hand.

It's all about misdirection. And Red herrings.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Raspberries are a maybe.

I was going to prune 60 or so trees this weekend. In the end I pruned none. But I did at least mow the orchard. And it was tough going.

But Mrs Llew finished pruning all the roses but one. And that one escapes for now because it's STILL flowering.

In other pruning news, Mrs llew pruned all the berry plants in the berry house. Yes, we have a bird proof berry house, in which reside strawberries (fruiting up until a month ago), blackberries, black & red currants, & raspberries.

Exhaustive notes were left for the pruning of these, and a book - the Berry Book - for all ancillary information. One problem was struck, in the notes, under the heading "Raspberries" the instructions were "Consult the Berry Book".

In the Berry Book, it says that there are two types of raspberries, those that should never be pruned, and those that should be shorn to ground level. There is nothing to indicate which type we have.

After some deliberation, Mrs Llew cut them just above ground level.

We've alerted the whanau that bulk raspberries may not be on the menu for Christmas. We'll see.

And we had a moment of alarm when we briefly thought a wind had stripped the nut trees of their just appearing flowers - they're brown now, but will change over the next month or so to a mix of white & pink, and I'm told the sight is quite something to behold.

Anyway, yesterday we were showing my mum around & she asked what were all the little flowers littered all over the ground. They hadn' been there the day before & we momentarily thought that it might be all over for next year's crop. They did look like macadamia flowers... But I discoverd some scrappy old trees in the neighbour's place, not nuts, goodness knows what they are, but they've shed their flowers all over my orchard. Good mulch.