Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Save Central - NZBC

If someone would be so kind as to click through this link, save the picture within & photoshop some wind turbines onto those ranges...

Save Central - NZBC

...I will post a companion piece.,

Tax cuts blamed for mortgage rate rise

Banks Blame Tax Cuts for Mortgage Rates Rise - Stuff.co.nz

I don't get it - tax cuts have been announced, but not yet implemented, how can they be responsible for increased interest rates?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Civil Defence Bunker down, we're all DOOMED!!

It's probably 15 years since I was last in the famed Civil Defence Centre that's underneath the Beehive. You know the one - it's where the government retire to in the event of the Big One, so that they can govern the country in safety. Or something like that.

Nats call for inquiry into Civil Defence power lapse - Stuff.co.nz

But anyway...

I was disappointed that the place was like a tramping hut, bunks, rudimentary cooking facilities (& PCs bolted to the desks so that they survive earthquakes.) No high tech communications, the PCs weren't even networked, no big screen from which to monitor the catastrophe through satellite images. Of course, it may well have changed since then.

One thing I remember the Civil Defence fellow telling us, which doesn't seem to have been imparted to Helen & John, is that this bunker exists in order to manage the aftermath of a disaster that occurs outside of Wellington.

Think about it, if (or when) the Big One comes, do you really think Civil Defence staff will be able to dig their way through the rubble of the collapsed Beehive? The CD guy showing us around was scornful of the chances of that.

No, apparently (and I am prepared to be corrected if this is wrong or has changed) there exists another Civil Defence bunker somewhere in Auckland, possibly it's above ground, that's the one to be used in the event of a disaster befalling the Capital.

Nat MP Hone Carter (remember him?) said, through a hole in his head:

"It's not acceptable that there's a gap. This is our civil defence emergency headquarters that we are talking about here. These guys should be able to respond immediately."

The place isn't even staffed around the clock as far as I know. Hone's as full of wind as he always has been.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lurching into the new millennium

I finally have a DVD recorder. I note that in September 2005, my technological priorities were over-ridden:

SunnyO: Technological priorities

But now, thanks to an unchaperoned visit to LV Martin (to buy vaccuum cleaner bags), and a quick survey of the Consumer Org website, I have a brand new Panasonic something or other.

I will note, that the reason for this reckless purchase is the death of our previous DVD player the other night, and the temporary absence of the backup player, the PS2 mentioned in the link.

It remains to be seen if I can wire it up so that I can record from MySky. Could be a frustrating evening.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Newspaper Editor Blames "System".

Rob Olsen, the editor of the Wellingtonian has responded to my request that my "Addressed Mail Only" sign be respected:

What is your house address?
Rob Olsen, editor, The Wellingtonian474
0147editor@thewellingtonian.co.nz

To which I replied:
Does that matter?
It's the one with an "Addressed mail only" sign.
Please respect my wishes.
Which got me this:
Is it 1 Woodward Street? It matters if you want the paper stopped.

It's not, and I think it unfair to all the other "Addressed Mail Only" sign owners that we have to personally plead with anyone, to stop putting unwanted stuff on our property.

But Rob says it's out of his hands. It's the "System".

Without an address I can't act. We have to instruct the company that delivers the paper not to deliver to specific addresses. "Addressed Mail Only" is obviously not enough info. I am sorry to have to labour this point but that's the system. Otherwise I suggest you take it up with my manager Diane Clayton on 474 0362.
Rob Olsen, editor, The Wellingtonian474
0147editor@thewellingtonian.co.nz

The first unstamped Foolscap envelope bearing the two copies of the Wellingtonian that were delivered last week should be arriving on Rob's desk today or tomorrow.

Friday, May 16, 2008

To the editors of Capital Times & The Wellingtonian

That sign on my letterbox which says "Addressed Mail Only" means that until you start addressing your junkmail to me personally, it does not get put in my letterbox.

I'll be addressing every copy that arrives from now on, back to you, without postage.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Teen steals dad's credit card to buy hookers - Stuff.co.nz

When I read the headline I thought: "This kid should go into politics." Then I read the article & it turns out: "Hardy said that when he's older, he wants to be a politician.""

Mouaha. And get this:

"The teens reportedly told the prostitutes they were 'people of restricted growth' working in a travelling circus, and couldn't refuse them because it would be discriminating against the disabled, which is against Texas law.

The two girls sensed something was wrong when the boys preferred to play Halo rather than engage in their services.

US teen steals dad's credit card to buy hookers - Stuff.co.nz:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My final word on the Hobbit films

They will go like this:

The Hobbit should be fairly short... unless Jackson & del Toro decide to splice some backstory from the appendices of the Lord of the Rings & the Silmarilien. But it's my guess they'll leave that for the second movie.

The Hobbit will cover exactly what's in the book - In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit... through to Bilbo returning home with the ring & some treasure.

The 2nd "Hobbit" film (which probably won't have many if any hobbits in it) could go on for weeks. He's got plot to fill it, but otherwise a blank slate. There're about 80 years to cover between the end of the Hobbit & the start of the Fellowship of the Ring. And here's my guess how it'll go.

The 2nd film will start with a 25 minute run through of the creation of the world according to Tolkein & events up until approximately 90 years before what happens in the Hobbit.

We'll see the Valar & the Maiar, including a chap called Morgoth, who turns to the bad side & becomes a Sith Lord (or something) and his sidekick Sauron. These guys are Maia gone bad. Morgoth is defeated, but Sauron lives on - he's a shapeshifter who can make himself exceedingly beautiful & charming.

Sauron makes gifts of rings of power for the kings of Men, Dwarves & Elves. Secretly, he also forges The One Ring, which binds the others to his service.

The Istari will enter Middle Earth, they're Maia in the form of wise old men, wizards in fact, chief among them are Saruman & Gandalf. The Valar send them to help the denizens of Middle Earth oppose Sauron.

The dwarf Durin will create the underground city of Moria, but he & the city will wake a Balrog which will destroy them all.

We'll see excerpts from the LotR where Isildur & Elrond defeat Sauron. (By now, Sauron's lost the ability to look beautiful & charming & swans around in black armour, covering burnt black skin.)

Then skip thousands of years & we'll see Gandalf enter the dungeons of "the Necromancer" and discover that he's Sauron returned. And Gandalf will find a captive dwarf called Thrain (father of Thorin Oakenshield), a map & key.

All this happens before the stuff in the Hobbit.We'll skip the rest because it will be in the first film, except for a bit where the White Council drive Sauron out of Mirkwood.

Saruman will begin to turn to the dark side.

And then we'll return to Middle Earth to see a very young Aragorn being brought up by Elrond & meeting Arwen, they call him "Estel". We'll probably also see Aragorn serving in the armies of Rohan & Gondor, but under the name Thorongil.

Aragoen will meet Gandalf & they become firm friends. Gandalf asks Aragorn to keep a watch on the Shire.

Gollum will leave his mountain lair & begin to hunt for the thief Baggins. He will meet Shelob, but be caught & tortured by Sauron, who sends his forces to look for Bilbo. Gollum is freed.

Somewhere in here we'll also see Balin & company recolonise the abandoned city of Moria but be defeated after some years by Orcs.

Aragorn will capture Gollum & the goodies will become aware that the Shire & Bilbo are in danger. Gollum wil however, escape from the dwarves in Mirkwood where he was held captive.

Gandalf will go to persude Bilbo to give the ring to Frodo & the story is complete.

There. Easy.

If I'm correct, that must deserve comps to the World Premieres right?

Darth Hughes vs Jedi Jones

It doesn't say where in Britain this happened, but judging by the surnames... it's somewhere in Wales.

Mr Hughes drank 10 litres of wine (!!??). dressed as Darth Vader & then attacked members of Britain's first Jedi Church as they prepared to duel each other with lightsabres. As you do.

Apparently there is video footage somewhere.

Man dressed as Darth Vader attacked Jedis - on Stuff.co.nz

Monday, May 12, 2008

Classic prison escape - Yeah Right! You can't fool me.

I've seen the Shawshank Redemption!

My guess is that the ridiculously neatly knotted rope hanging from the tower is a smokescreen, the guy is really hiding in a cupboard or somewhere, still inside.

Police warn public after classic prison escape - Stuff.co.nz

The witness who saw the escape is a plant.

You heard it here first (although you may never hear it again)

My Pick - The Quest For Erebor will be filmed for the Hobbit movies

Tolkien Geek: The Quest For Erebor

I'll take a punt & guess that these events will be filmed for the 2nd movie, even though they deal with events that occured before the Hobbit.

I got the chronology wrong in my earlier post - so um... don't take anything I say as gospel (or check with the learned TolkeinGeek.)

Friday, May 09, 2008

So what's likely to be in the 2nd Hobbit film?

Well for starters... not many hobbits, if any. I suppose there might be some sightings of Bilbo in the Shire doing not very much in the 80 years (I think the LotR movie made it 60 years) between the events of the Hobbit & the Lord of the Rings. I guess we might see him adopting Frodo at the end.

I must admit I'm doing this from memory & what I've gleaned from different sites in the last few days, but there's enough plot in the appendices of the Lord of the Rings to make a decent movie, just no dialogue nor characterisation.

So what've we got?

From events that took place during the Hobbit, but only mentioned in passing by Gandalf, we will almost certainly see the White Council meet to discuss the "Necromancer" at Dol Guldur. The Necromancer is Sauron returned. Gandalf leaves the dwarves & Bilbo at Mirkwood, and enters the Necromancer's lair. Later, the White Council drive him out & he regroups in Mordor. (this will be in flashback as it occurs either during or before the events of the Hobbit).

We should see Galadriel & Saruman in the White Council scenes.

From the appendices of the Lord of the Rings:

Aragorn meets Arwen. Serves with the Riders of Rohan & also in Minas Tirith. Spends years hunting for Gollum in the wilderness.

Gollum searches Middle Earth for the thief Baggins. He is tracked and caught at various times by both Aragorn & the Rangers, and Sauron's forces. Gollum is tortured by Sauron for news of the ring & Sauron begins hunting Bilbo.

Gollum meets Shelob (the big spider).

Balin, one of the dwarves accompanying Bilbo on his quest, leads a group & recolonises the lost undergound city of Moria. Remember, there's a big fight at his tomb in LotR? So we should see Moria in all its glory, then being destroyed by the Balrog that fought Gandalf.

Saruman begins to turn to the Dark Side & becomes a Sith Lord (Oh wait....).

Gandalf begins to suspect what Bilbo's magic ring really is.

I'll add more as it occurs to me, or I spot it elsewhere.

Mr Spock & The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

Really, there ought to be a law against actors singing.

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most impressively, Nimoy performs, Spock haircut & all! They should've let him wear his ears though.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hobbit casting

This is amusing - fan speculation about who will or should be in the upcoming Hobbit films. Please note, the only characters from the Lord of the Rings that explicitly appear in the Hobbit are Gandalf, Bilbo, Gollum & Elrond. Although part of the action involves Thranduil, Legolas' father, so it is feasible that Legolas could make a cameo. And should a scene with the White Council be filmed (it gets mentioned in passing), we might also see Galadriel & Saruman. (The appendices to LotR do state that Aragorn & Arwen are not at Rivendell when Bilbo & the dwarves visit (in fact, by the book's chronology, Aragon would be 10, and Arwen a mere couple of thousand years old.)

However, the planned second movie could see lots more return.

MTV Movies Blog » Will Martin Freeman Hitch A Ride To ‘The Hobbit’?

But really, what's most amusing is that these people don't realise most of these parts will be filled by actors we in NZ know from Shortland Street & Outrageous Fortune.

And what's the chance James McAvoy plays Bilbo? At 76 or so Sir Ian Holm probably won't want to be doing the stunts involved.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cash in chips, we're off to Oz

The link takes you to an opinion piece on chippies, healthy eating & getting mugged for an Super 14 card.

BTW - I never eat chippies, if I started I'd never stop, so I don't start.

Cash in chips, we're off to Oz - Opinion: Stuff.co.nz

So here's my (modestly) brilliant idea for saving the world - fat kids anyway.

Give Super 14 cards away with purchases of fresh fruit & vegetables.

Feck, I amaze myself sometimes.

Next post - saving the world by giving Super 14 cards away with carbon credits.