Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Thank Canada.

Lovely eyesBlatant Blog -whoring. Natalie Glebova, no. 5 most searched topic on Technorati .

Previously Miss Canada, now Miss Universe.

Here's more.

Helloooooo Technorati users!

Hat tip to David Slack.... who brought this ploy to my attention. :)

Meet the Wannabees!

I have to rush - Don Brash & his Wgtn Region candidates are walking Lambton Quay at the moment. Glad handing presumably. Pressing flesh. Kissing babies. Etc.

I wouldn't miss this... and if it's boring, I'll swing by the Guava Tree & see what's on the screen.

Will report back whether that Brewsky guy is walking in a straight line.

Or whether I introduce myself to David Farrar (as Che Tibby).

UPDATE: Darned if I could see them.

The Unfathomable Weirdness of texting.

Hello, hello...Ever see that movie The Village of the Damned? It's based on an old John Wyndham book called The Midwich Cuckoos.

I can't remember the details, but all the children in a sleepy little English village have been replaced with blank eyed aliens who communicate through some collective consciousness... it's spooky.

And so you will have seen how kids have taken to texting? I have observed this strange phenomenon at first hand & I am forming some equally spooky conclusions.

First, just the plain odd - you might laugh to yourself for suggesting that the two kids sitting 6 feet away from each other at a social gathering, furiously texting away are contacting each other. But they probably are. And not just to each other, but who knows how many others who are not in the room & may in fact be at the other end of the country.

Then there are the two kids standing next to each other outdoors. Both texting away, but also speaking to each other. I'm not sure, but I think there are two modes of texting happening here. One is where each of them are texting separate kids, and then sharing what they have said & received. Many, many conversations happening at once, not including vocal interaction with other people (say adults) present.

The other possibility is the one that spooks me though - I think that sometimes they are texting to a list of people, including each other, and the recipients are texting their replies back to all as well.

There's this group collective conversation going on, and it's completely separated from what's happening in ther physical world around them. And who knows how powerful this collective consciousness might be, or get. Could it be harnessed for good? Or evil? Could we get enough kids together concentrating & levitate a dog on Magpie Lawn?

Should I stop paying the $10 per month & put an end to it all

Monday, August 29, 2005

Netball Update!

Heh! Rained out! Dreadful southerly & torrential rain... surfaced briefly at 7am to check cancellations, rang eager grandparents to give them the glad sad tidings.

And went back to bed & slept in till 9.30.

We were up to play our big rivals from our local region. They're the only team from the first term to beat us (by 2 points), and sad for them, that was in the grading games at the start of the season & didn't count. They're the other local team to go through to the "best of" tournament in town. They'd dearly love to thrash us. And we them.

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Because we have an Equal Opportunity Policy...

Does my head look big in this?Here's Aamir Khan, star of Bollywood movies.

Film buffs take note... Aamir also starred in a magnificent film called Earth which takes place in 1947 on the eve of India & Pakistan being separated. Earth is part of a trilogy by director Deepa Mehta, which started with Fire exploring the improper relationship between two sisters in law who enjoy an "improper" relationship... and ended with Water(Fire also starred Nandita Das, who costarred with Aamir in Earth. All 3 films were controversial in India & Pakistan & mobs attacked cinemas showing them there & elsewhere.


TV star Marc Ellis convicted on drug charge

I can't believe it was HIM!

STUFF - STORY - HOME : TV star Marc Ellis convicted on drug charge

Tee hee....

Guava for lunch....

All singing, all dancing, hotties.Isn't the very word "hotties" fantastic. Although there is the irony factor to consider, Ms File has penned a haiku in honour of a sadly less than hottie...

Anyway... I'm going to have to forgo the Guava Tree for a while... today they offered to pull up a chair for me to watch the big screen. Seems my scratching around the copper kitchenware was fooling no-one.

But bonus! There were TWO knowledgable young women in there today. And possibly their father.

And due to a timely comment in my post on the same subject to the Wellingtonista from Andrea at SacredShimmy...

I'll be initiating my Bollywood viewing experience with the movie Devdas. If I can find it.

Official site of the Hindi film Devdas

The Wages of Starjacking

The StarJacking profession doesn't pay as well as I thought. Still... not bad for an evening's work. Plus he got to hang out (briefly) with a movie star.
STUFF : ENTERTAINMENT - STORY : Russell Crowe settles hotel assault case

Hat tip to David Slack.


The (as yet not a Reality TV show) competition to be the hottest Australian in an Indonesian prison continues.

STUFF : WORLD NEWS - STORY : Bali model admits: I'm hooked on ecstasy

Dutch TV to air sperm donor reality show

Not even any token pretense the participants aren't wankers....

STUFF : ENTERTAINMENT : TV - STORY : Dutch TV to air sperm donor reality show

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Guava Tree

You bolly well would, wouldn't you...If I were single, I'd post about where the hot women are in the CBD. It'd be a public service. But I'm happily married, and in order to stay that way.... I won't be writing that post (email me by any means for some worthwhile "sites".)

This came to mind this lunchtime when I spent a pleasant 20 minutes or so in a new store called The Guava Tree. Not normally a place I would frequent, but my interest was piqued by the vast plasma screen observable through the shop window playing what appeared to Bollywood movies.

I've always wanted to see a Bollywood movie. They look like fun, and it doesn't hurt that the locations, production designs, and casts are inevitably spectacular.

But I'm put off by the 3 hour plus running time of them.

So I spent that pleasant 20 minutes discussing Bollywood movies with the helpful & knowledgable young woman in the shop.

Not all Bollywood movies are more then 3 hours long apparently (only the better ones it seems). She recited a list of the good ones, and told me which actors to watch out for. Unfortunately, the words were all Hindu to me & so I'm going to have to make my choices based on who looks best in a wet sari....

And also... what were were watching wasn't an actual movie, it was a DVD selection of musical clips. MTV Bollywood if you like. Still... I want that DVD!

Places we like to shop - The Guava Tree

Where? Upstairs at the North end of Capital on the Quay.

What? Purveyors of fine Indian "stuff": Kitchenware, fabrics, clothes, displayers of fine Bollywood musical numbers.

Gossip! This is more like it!

Forget the drug celebrities - we assumed they're all wasted all along!

STUFF : ENTERTAINMENT : GOSSIP - STORY : All Black Shagging "Porn Star"

Although... has anyone heard of her? (Oh yeah, we haven't heard of ANY porn stars actually).

And "Jamaican R18 Hedonism resort"... are these new? I think I'd have known about them if they existed when I was single. Or are they invitation only? Soap Opera stars & International sportsmen & women?

Still... makes a break from trying to calculate my tax cuts...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

For Barbecue Tools

One of the great pleasures of this time of year is that the outdoor & lifestyle shops start to display the new season's barbecues & accessories.

I likes my barbecues. I have lots of them. Entire sheds built to store them over Winter even.

But one thing you won't find me sporting is this vile designer monstrosity I came across today: The Grillslinger for Barbecue Tools.

Barbecue tools & their GrillslingersMuch like gas barbecues are for Barbecue Pussies, the Grillslinger is for Barbecue Tools.

Barbecue Tools are the kind of guys (for they are always guys) who like to break the barbecue ice by wearing aprons with breasts printed on them. Or a nice pithy "Shag the Chef".

Real Barbecue Connoisseurs do not wear aprons. And they do not wear poncy barbecue tool belts. And they barbecue on hot coals (bonus points if you've flamed up the charred carcass of your last meal) which have been burning for several hours while the chef drinks & socialises (and smokes, if so inclined, there's nothing like adding to the general smokiness of a barbecue, with more smoke). Accessories allowed are: A spatula, tongs, wire brush for cleaning afterwards.

It pains me a little, that I actually know one of these guys vaguely. I don't know if I'll be able to shake the image in my mind of the Logan Brown chef out the back wearing his Grillslinger.

Still - local product. Might be a worthwhile buy if you know a Barbecue Tool. Add let's face it, who doesn't?


Been watching a Spanish/Argentinian film called Cleopatra over the last few nights. It's a Thelma & Louise type road trip through Argentina by Cleopatra (Norma Aleandro), an elderly woman getting away from her depressing & depressed husband & a life dedicated to making ends meet, and Sandra (Natalia Oreiro), a soap opera star reluctantly on the verge of a big Hollywood movie deal.

It's worth a look. Nowhere near as great as say Almadovar's All About My Mother. But pleasant & thought provoking nonetheless.

Also... Oreiro* is just about as hot an actress as you're likely to see in a movie... "the next Sandra Bullock"? No way, loads hotter than that.

* WARNING!: Not pornographic, but not entirely workplace friendly to click on.

The Universal Declaration of Rubber Chicken Rights

One of the very funniest things I ever heard was this guy on a business phone call suddenly yelping:

"Well f*ck me with a rubber chicken!"

And it got me thinking that while there is nothing inherently amusing about the words "rubber" and "chicken", put them both together & it's a different story.

And so a few days after that phone call... a guy I worked with at the time sent the whole office an electronic copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Just for our interest & edification.

Your Rubber Chicken, Sir.For no particular reason other than it was a slow day, I loaded the document into Wordpad & replaced every instance of "man", "woman", "human", "person", "people" etc with the phrase "Rubber Chicken". And sent it back.

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF RUBBER CHICKEN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all Rubber Chickens and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the Rubber Chickens of Member States themselves and among the Rubber Chickens of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.
All Rubber Chickens are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of Rubber Chickenhood.

Article 2.
Every Rubber Chicken is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a Rubber Chicken belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.
Every Rubber Chicken has the right to life, liberty and security of Rubber Chicken.

Article 4.
No Rubber Chicken shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
No Rubber Chicken shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, in-rubber chicken or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.
Every Rubber Chicken has the right to recognition everywhere as a Rubber Chicken before the law.

Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.
Every Rubber Chicken has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.
No Rubber Chicken shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.
Every Rubber Chicken is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No Rubber Chicken shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.
No Rubber Chicken shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, brood, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation Every Rubber Chicken has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to a nationality.
(2) No Rubber Chicken shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.
(1) Rubber Chickens of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a brood. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The brood is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No Rubber Chicken shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.
Every Rubber Chicken has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.
EveryRubber Chicken has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No Rubber Chicken may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.
(1) EveryRubber Chicken has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the Rubber Chicken shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.
Every Rubber Chicken, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his Rubber Chickenality.

Article 23.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Every Rubber Chicken, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Every Rubber Chicken who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his brood an existence worthy of Rubber Chicken dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Every Rubber Chicken has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his brood, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Rubber Chicken hood and rubber chick-hood are entitled to special care and assistance. All rubber chicks, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the Rubber Chicken personality and to the strengthening of respect for Rubber Chicken rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Rubber Chickens have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their chicks.

Article 27.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Every Rubber Chicken has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.
Every Rubber Chicken is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.
(1) Every Rubber Chicken has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his Rubber Chickenality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or Rubber Chicken any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Don Vino regarded Tom Hagen with poorly veiled displeasure...

"An offer they can't refuse? Who do these fucks think they are? Have you informed our friends in Las Vegas & Texas?"

Oily O?Tom squirmed, "Texas are pissed, they've spent a lot of years & money with local companies prospecting potential new oil fields in this Tarnacky place, only to find the biggest new oil reserves in the Southern Hemisphere are a few hundred miles south in this god forsaken Nowheresville."

"What's it called again?" Asked the Don.
"SunnyO, or something. A no horse town halfway between nowhere & nowhere. What's worse, there's only one patch of land big enough to host the operation & these fucks are refusing to sell."

"What are our options?"
"Las Vegas say they know of a local contact who might be usefully engaged. He's done work for Halliburton's in the Middle East in the past. Ex-special forces guy turned lay preacher. He's been a bit flakey since he copped a load of shrapnel & had a steel plate fitted in his head some years back, and has a fondness for chemical stimulation. But Vegas say when he's good he's very good. When he's bad, he's comatose."

"Is Goldstein not available?"
"He's already over committed with our banking friends."

The Don harrumphed "Well go and see this Preacherman. Have him make contact with these SunnyO people & gain their trust. If he succeeds, tell him the Datura plant growing in the front garden is his. We can't afford to let Texas & Las Vegas down on this one. And let Washington know we may need to borrow some Navy Seals if this plan doesn't work. We will get this land, and at our price, not theirs. And lastly, get on the phone to Don Brashi & explain the situation, maybe when he's running the place he can have these fucks gone by lunchtime."

He held up his ring festooned hand for Hagen to kiss, as a sign their meeting was over.

Netball Update: Crushed 51-20 (or something like that).

Played possibly the best team in the region, they've been together for years, and pretty much all of them are in the Northern Suburbs rep team.

M's girls played really well actually (with one exception who mournfully waved at the ball now & then from a distance). The other team were in another league though.

M's team played so well in the first term, that I had the notion that they could probably beat her rep team in a game.

I have changed my mind, because on Sunday, M's rep team beat the Northern Suburbs team that pretty much crushed her school team on Sunday. Only by one point, but still...

Not only did they win that game, but they won the entire tournament & all came away with little trophies & certificates..

Excellent final tournament, they had considered flagging it away at one stage...

Friday, August 19, 2005

It Ain't Over Till It's Over. How it went down...

I'll make them an offer they can't refuse...About two years ago, the curmudgeonly old fuck who lives next door put his Janis Joplin Memorabilia Collection on the market. Or more precisely, a little less than half his collection.

He got no offers.

About a year ago, Mrs Llew & I had our Jimi Hendrix Collection valued. It was conservatively estimated as being worth $500k as a set, but if broken down to individual items worth approximately $1.5m. Cool! We'll keep that for our retirement, I thought.

About 2 weeks ago, I got a call from a Mr Tom Hagen, who told me he had a "substantial buyer" interested in my collection. And asking "Is it for sale?"

I told Mr Hagen that no, it's not for sale... but that everything has its price.

I spoke to my accountant & discussed the possibilities.

The next day the accountant rang me "It's a small world, but one of my other clients, Don Vino Minestrone, has called to discuss the possible purchase of a Jimi Hendrix Memorabilia Collection... I told him I have to bow out due to a conflict of interest."

Don Vino Ministrone... I knew that name. Later that day I ran into Mr Samfield, a financial advisor on the dog walk circuit. "Say Sam" I asked, "Do you know a Don Vino Minestrone?"

"Indeed I do, he's one of my clients. A straight up guy..." and he told me all about him.

The next day, Mr Hagen called back to say he had an exciting offer from his substantial associate, and asked could he come & see me this weekend. He also let slip that his buyer was putting an offer on the neighbour's Janis Joplin Collection also.

I explained that we wouldn't be at SunnyO this weekend, but we would be the following. He said he not only had the offer, but also some options that were very beneficial to us, so could he meet me sooner? I would also need to sign a contract with Mr Hagen BEFORE the offer could be tabled. I agreed to an appointment at the Wellingtonista Towers the next day at noon.

Having determined in our own minds, that no way were we parting with the collection for less than $1.2m, or possibly $1m if able to keep the guitar... both these amounts somewhat unlikely, but hey, we're not actually on the market! Mrs Llew & I waited for Mr Hagen to turn up.

On his arrival, I made it clear that I was not happy about having to sign a contract before an offer was made, and also that any commission owing to Mr Hagen would be paid by the purchasor. Mr Hagen was a little over anxious & presented his offer regardless.

$400k, with a lot of conditions attached, including the right for his restoration team to have access to the collection before settlement. And also an option for us to purchase the guitar back from him after restoration. In addition, it seems that the offer for the Janis Joplin Collection is conditional on him being also able to obtain the Jimi Hendrix (which I'd kind of figured out already - due to some things the curmudgeonly old fuck next door told me 2 years ago...).

I said "Is your buyer Don Vino Minestrone?" Mr Hagen made a zipping motion across his mouth. "it's just that", I continued "my accountant called me yesterday to tell me Don Minestrone was interested, and so, if it's not him, we have two substantial buyers interested."

There was a long pause, before Mr Hagen said "It's him".

So I told him, "Anyway, this offer is not what I'd call exciting, and nor are the options what I'd call beneficial. He's not even halfway there. This is not about a fair market price, since we're not on the market, this is about a price that would make us part with our beloved collection."

"Would you like to counter-sign the offer?"

"Um... no, we won't countersign, if Don Minestrone really wants this, tell him he'll have to make us an offer we can't refuse. But this isn't that offer."

As a sweetener however, since we're very considerate people, I did tell Mr Hagen that in the unlikely event that we should sell, we'll be looking for a replacement collection. Perhaps something more modest though, like Howard Morrison Memorabilia.

And Mr Hagen left, surprised I think, at how well informed & connected we appeared to be, leaving me with a very nice Minestrone Enterprises ball point pen.

And that we figured, was that. Maybe they'll come back to us, but we've put our visions of sudden wealth back on the shelf, along with a bunch of planned purchases, investments & overseas trips... & sat back & listened to "all along the watchtower" with pleasure.

But then today, Mrs Llew ran into her old hairdresser (I am not making any of this up), who squealed with excitement & said "It's a small world! I was having dinner last night with our next door neighbours, Mr & Mrs Don Minestrone... there are some things I need to tell you.... listen carefully, I shall say this only wence..."

David Lange - Wikiquote

Hat-tip to Russell Brown

David Lange - Wikiquote

I read another in a comment on DPF's site the other day:

"My favourite Lange quip is unpublished, I think. At a meeting in the 1980s involving senior politicians and a number of public servants, one of the MPs present was well known for his taste for the decorous highlife but also the subject of base gossip. He told the meeting that he wished to adjust the itinerary for his forthcoming British visit so he would have the chance to hear a concert by the conductor Sir Neville Marriner. Lange, chairing the meeting, asked his officials if it was possible and they said yes. About to briskly move on to the next agenda item, Lange paused and turned to the senior politician. "Tell me again, --------, the name of the sailor you're hoping to call on in London?" Whole room collapsed in failed attempts to stifle laughter."

A nice piece on tax cuts, by a clever fellow...

STUFF : ELECTION 2005 - STORY : National's tax policy could get the geese hissing

The Big One still eludes me...

Sheesh... it pains me that my eternal search for The Blog Post, the ultimate, short piece that gains international attention, kudos, awards, lucrative job offers & groupies... still eludes me. But stay tuned.

And so once again on a Friday it falls to me to forecast my weekend's activities.

But first, a quick word about the week that has preceded...

Jimi's AxeI mentioned something big might be on the cards for SunnyO, but I have to report that the rich, influential person who expressed interest in my much loved Jimi Hendrix Memorabilia Collection, has been sent packing.

His offer was waaaayyy off beam. So nothing to report there, although we are proud of the way we handled the non-negotiations. "Counter offer? No way, we're not actually for sale here. But by all means come back later with an offer we can't refuse."

And so regrettably (and paradoxically, joyously), we have advised the rapacious furniture salesman we met the other day that he does not need to set aside the 2.8 metre dining table & 8 leather dining chairs we looked at. I think he must be on commission, we half expected everything to be delivered outside our front door when we got home, he was so keen. And my DVD hard drive recorder has receded back into the distance...

The weekend looks like it might pretty much be spent as part of the usual netball support team, I can't help but notice that all the pockets of all my jackets seem to hold doggy-doo bags, doggy treats, and extra large fabric sticking plasters for skinned knees.

Tomorrow the team are facing what looks like their toughest opponent yet this year. A team from the Northern Suburbs, who have played together for years, something like 6 of the 7 of them are rep players... we could be in for a pasting. If so, we'll blame the umpires in traditional fashion :)

Later in the day, we have friends visiting in the afternoon, to survey the carnage that is our mid-renovation home. And other friends coming for dinner (on our old dining room table & rickety chairs).

Then on Sunday, it's gonna be more netball, possibly for most of the day. But that's the last Sunday tournament for the year! Yeehah! Next Sunday I can confidently report that we'll be sleeping in.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Computer worms turn on each other in 'botwar'

Y'know... I keep wondering why all the flashjing lights on our router even when no-one is doing anything... sometimes when the PC is turned off even...

STUFF : TECHNOLOGY - STORY : Computer worms turn on each other in 'botwar'


Hey, we could call it the Ministry of Works!

STUFF : ELECTION 2005 - STORY : Brash unveils National plans for new infrastructure minister

Just an idea.

David Farrar: Harry Potter Book Seven

David Farrar is as prolific a blogger as you're likely to see - his posts tick over so fast that if you stay away a few days, you've missed a few dozen.

But he's got one entry posted on August 4 that just refuses to die. 175 comments & climbing, including one young chap's homage to JK Rowling in the form of Book 7, as he thinks it might/should be.

David Farrar: Harry Potter Book Seven

Bit quiet on the SunnyO front - momentous things are/maybe afoot, but it's too early to blog them. But the possibilities are driving everything else from our minds...

Quick teaser though... imagine you have something that someone rich & influential seems to want...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Fantastic Careers - Sir Howard Morrison

Saw this piece by Steve Braunias & thought how could I resist. Especially since Steve has done all the spadework. Saves me having to research the guy.

STUFF : ENTERTAINMENT - STORY : Golden anniversary for Howard Morrison

Now I have to confess rather uncharitably, that I think Sir Howard is a bit of an arse. But I'm aware he's much loved and all that, and it would be churlish to deny the guy his success, which came at a lot of effort, dedication, and dare I say... talent.

Sir Howie!And if you doubt that last sentence, then I really do urge you to seek out this little gem from the past. Don't Let It Get You, directed by a lovely man, the late John O'Shea (fellow ex-film society president), starring some Ocker who has every scene stolen from him by the young Howard Morrison.

The film is great, the soundtrack is fantastic, just the opening song, played over the credits makes you wonder just what happened to Morrison after this film was made.

It's also hugely enjoyable for some risible performances by certain actors, and cameo appearances by Lew Prime (with a fly stuck to his head), Kiri te Kanawa, the Chicks, and many more.

So well done Sir Howard. But you should have made more films like this.

Bot Gardens Playground closed

Lonesome pineA notice was dropped in our letterbox the other day informing us that the playground in the gardens would be closed for the next 3 weeks or so, while 6 ancient pines were removed.

The council stated that it regretted the need to remove these trees as they were much loved, especially the magnificent specimen that grew right beside the public toilet block. In fact, I know of one local resident who on hearing the news, made a special trip to the tree the day before work began, to give it a hug, having spent many summer afternoons in its shade in her younger days..

And it is gone, just a pile of regal & immense logs lying beside its old spot. It's impossible not to get a little misty, but the council is right, these trees were getting dangerous, more than one of them has endured quite spectacular storm damage over the last year or two.

The gardeners have however, taken cuttings of these historic trees to ensure the genetic line continues, and intends to plant Norfolk pines, monkey puzzle trees & others to replace them.

Latest city shot...

Pretty in pink

Continuing the sand theme..

Windswept beach

Windswept beach & dog


Monday, August 15, 2005

Shaolin Soccer

Good family-friendly fun. With the accent on "fun".

This one's so cheesy, you could toast it between two slices of bread. But we laughed.

Steven Chow stars, directs, wrote... etc... this little pleaser about a Shaolin monk who teams up with a crippled ex football star, recruits his old "brothers" from the monastery & applies Kung Fu to soccer.

They then use their skills & powers to challenge the aptly named "Team Evil".

Extensive wire work, cheesy & cartoony CGI effects... sit back & enjoy every minute.

Las Vegas, 2004: 34th Annual Wargamers Convention, and 72nd Annual Clinical Psychologists Convention & Pharmaceutical Field Trials.

Dr Pico surveyed the casino floor with a critical eye. He was here as part of the panel for the keynote debate, Anti-depressants: Too Much of a good thing or the More the Merrier? Pico hated Vegas, but was pleased that the Pharmaceutical Field trials were to be held after the debate this year, rather then repeat the debacle that marked last year's convention.

A lovely little warLooking around the gaming room, he was having trouble placing the crowd. Sure, they were bound to be conventioners of some sort, but this lot were particularly geeky... but they did not look like computer geeks. Then, catching sight of one fellow, who looked to his eye, uncannily like the English comedian Hugh Laurie, the penny dropped... emblazoned on the man's t-shirt were the words "Wargamers do it with models".

Mystery solved, Pico turned to leave the geeks to it, and found himself eye to eye with just about the last person he wanted to see on Earth.

"Preacherman..." he said resignedly.

"Dr Pico! What a pleasant surprise!" said the gaunt man, who was looking relaxed, wearing a powder blue jacket & sporting a trilby hat, cocked at a jaunty angle. "What brings you to Vegas?"

"The eternal dedication to solving the ills, both imagined & physiological, of my patients."

"And the post-convention drug trials?" noted the preacher archly, "I don't suppose you can get me in this year?" he added, hopefully.

"It's invitation only sorry", said Pico

"Oh well then, back to Plan A, which is to make enough money at roulette & spend the next 3 days at the Chcken Ranch."

The two men regarded each other for a few seconds. They were interrupted by an unexpectedly familiar accent,

"Hey, mate! You're that guy from Lambton Quay, aren't you?"

They turned to look at the approaching Kiwi, who Pico noted, was the tall, skinny man with the T shirt that he'd noticed earlier.

"God be with you, my son", the Preacher said, slipping back into his tried & true persona as he greeted the new comer, "You're from Wellington?"

"Yup, Fidel's the name, here with the Wargaming Convention, we've got a 3 day re-enactment of the Gallipoli Invasion, it's very exciting! There's a strong ANZAC contingent here this year. But what brings you here?"

"The Lord's work takes me many places, my son, especially those places where sin & depravity require my attention" the Preacher's eyes gleamed, and his voice rose in pitch. He gripped Fidel's shoulder. "Warfare eh?" He continued, "I know a little about that... let me know if you're evr doing the tet Offensive, I was there... in a kind of unofficial capacity of course..."

"" said Fidel, nervously.

Pico interjected, "Just fascinating... I've, uh... got to go... I uh... promised... my wife... that I'd check which way the bathwater drains down the plughole & give her a call to tell her ...uh... nice seeing you Preacher, nice to meet you Fidel".

"He's my psychologist" said the Preacher.

"" replied an uncertain Fidel... "...I've ah... got to go too... we're recreating the Battle of Roarke's Drift over dinner... uh.. with the salt & pepper shakers... and I uh... have to go practise... my uh... short range spear throwing... with ah... the toothpicks... bye!"

Stupid is as stupid does...

A few things caught my attention this weekend - and before I get onto the stupid bits, I've just reminded myself of a couple of other bits, maybe not stupid, but... oh, I dunno... judge for yourself.

Listened to a conversation in the weekend about scoring a netball game. But first a quick primer: the centre pass is taken by each team alternately. The umpires keep track (and sometimes they don't...) by whether the scores of the two teams add up to an even or odd number - one team takes its passes on odd, the other on even. Simple?

So, following a game where the umpires lost track of whose pass, and had to consult with the scorekeeper, I heard one woman say "I make sure I add the numbers up so I know if it's odd or even". Fair enough - the other woman offered helpful advice - "I just look to see if both numbers are odd, or even, or if they're not." Woooeeeeee, that's a handy time saving tip!

The first one was adamant though "I add them up just to make sure."

I kept my mouth shut & smiled politely.

2nd odd event. For reasons too long to explain, I found myself on someguy's lifestyle block in the weekend, while he threw chopped up dog meat (for his dog, not from his dog) into a stream to demonstrate how noisily & from how far, his property's eels would come for the tucker. Another gentleman present watched this with interest, then asked "Are they vegetarian?". I smiled politely, but was not expecting the expert reply, "yes."

Now onto the stupid stuff.

Another netball story: During the weekend, the coach of a local team of 10 year olds, removed her team from the court because she disagreed with an umpire's decision.

I don't know the details, but I can think of few things less sporting to do. Umpires DO make mistakes, even at test match level, but isn't it important to abide by the umpire whether right or wrong? What is that coach teaching her charges about sport? To add to the stupidity, the committee that makes the tournament rules, is now considering making every team supply a qualified umpire for every game.

This is stupid, because this is primary school sport, and very few teams at this level will have access to qualified umpires in the first place. And um... it's just not that serious!

Personally, I think they should tell the coach in question to grow up & get on with it. Build a bridge! Build a bridge! And get OVER yourself! As we chant in SunnyO.

Next stupid thing. Actually, the mother-lode.

I can't find the story online, but I'm referring to the moron who late last week, was approaching the Mt Victoria tunnel, and who objected to the way fellow motorists were not "merging like a zip", who sped ahead, then stopped his car in the tunnel, blocking one lane, hopped out & walked back to give motorists following a piece of his mind (well, they CAN split the atom after all). Several cars were forced to stop suddenly, and a truck way back in the rear, most suddenly of all, when he connected with a car in front & caused a concertina like effect of crashed & crashing cars, including the moron's who stopped in the first place. Blocking the whole tunnel for more than an hour.

Way to go. Really, I think they should name & shame both the coach of the netball team & also the merge-like-a-zip fanatic.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Oh... THOSE Asset Sales....

Titter. I didn't see it, so I'm not sure what the actual words were, but what I've read suggests it was something like that. Hopefully I'll catch that bit on a replay sometime.

Meanwhile - the retardometer:

Three Point Turn - Tale of the Tapeworm

Heh heh... the "Blandwagon..."

But anyway... Solid Energy? Who cares? Coal is a thing of the past. Coal fuelled the Industrial Revolution! Coal nowadays, will fuel lots of negative Kyoto carbon credits... I remember, many years ago, reading a report by two guys who predicted, and sold to the government of the day, that there would be a fourfold expansion in demand for coal, and the industry geared up to meet that demand. And um... demand for coal actually halved, and lots of people lost their jobs. Except for the two guys who reckoned demand would increase by a factor of four - they were made CEO & Vice CEO... Who needs coal when we have wind farms? If wind farm neighbours complain, lets start a coal mine next door to them instead...

And Landcorp farms? I don't even know what these are - bet they'd make great lifestyle blocks if they were carved up & sold to BMW driving wannabe city-farmers though...

Anyway... shortly before I left work last night, I got a call from Mrs Llew, who had just arrived home with a truckload of ingredients needed to prepare sundry repasts for 20 or so adults & children, asking if I knew of any reason why there might be a sign taped to our front door proclaiming "Contact Energy regrets that you were not at home to allow us access to reconnect your gas supply." I didn't.

So 20 or so guests, no hot water, no heating, no cooking. Shortly after I arrived home, a sheepish gas company representative who had been spoken to by Mrs Llew, visited to explian they'd done this to the whole street & a neighbouring suburb & that he'd be busy for some hours yet...

And then Wilma & I departed for our walk, without, thankfully, a von Trapp family entourage.

At the lawn, events took a pleasant turn when George, a fellow dog walker, turned up with a back pack full of shiraz & plastic glasses & announced that it was Nero, the labradoodle's birthday. And so a group of us spent the next hour or so, chinwagging & drinking. I'd left my phone at home & was unaware that my delayed absence from the scene of frantic catering was causing ructions...

Arrived home to find the worm's reaction to my extended walk was decidedly negative... but managed to keep my head down, pitch in belatedly, shoo the kids away from the Simpsons & set the video for Dr Who.

Dinner was delicious - kids ate butter chicken, adults ate blue cheese quiche (yummy). Ambience briefly disrupted by 2 of the children, a brother & sister, engaging in some quite serious fisticuffs beside the dinner table (rapid exit of the first 3 guests...). Rest of us got down to serious drinking, and veiled barbs at how some people use pets to shirk their domestic responsibilities...

Slight headache this morning....

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Let it snow!It's clearing up. Bugger. It's Tennis Club at our place tonight. God knows how many children of varying ages will be there... I'm already being lobbied to take as many as can be persuaded on the dog walk tonight. Horrors.

It started to rain earlier & the near future, paradoxically, suddenly looked a little sunnier. But now it's cleared up.

The problem is, all the older kids think it's too uncool to do the dog walk, so the girls congregate in M's room, listen to music, and presumably talk about the older boys, who are gathered downstairs either playing James Bond, or Crash Bandicoot on the Playstation, or watching The Matrix, or whatever else they can find - especially the ones who don't have a TV, and only watch worthy "classic" fare on DVD on their parents Imac (these kids have a most excellent knowledge of all Alfred Hitchcock's movies, even the minor ones - I'm impressed).

So that leaves me with the toddlers & the social misfits. And it really sucks taking them for a walk. They're slow & demanding. And it gets dark so early there's always a chance I won't manage to bring all of them home again (it's a bad look).

So... let's get the weather on my side here, I want either a major rainstorm at around 5.30pm, or to really seal it, let it snow...

Dr Who Casting Call

Dr WhoAny of these guys could be the next Dr Who. One of them possibly is already, and one of them, I reckon, could be the next James Bond (outside chance). Holmsie's looking for a new gig now & would probably like being called "Doctor". Also, he already has an assistant also looking for a new gig who would pull me as a viewer, if cast as his... assistant.

Dr Who?This one's got a PhD already, chances could be hampered by an unfortunate resemblance to another character.

Dr WhoThis one's on the button, favoured choice because he can actually act & would appear to have some personality (seems to differ wildly between appearances though). Given his demonstrated versatility, I'd also consider a small wager on the off chance he scores the James Bond gig too.

Party Leader Debate vs Dr Who - It's gonna be a tough call.

Apparently the party leader debate is on tonight on TV3 at the same time as Dr Who is on Prime.

It's going to be a very tough decision - especially as we have Tennis Club at our place tonight & the squiddy-winks present will have to be amused by plugging them into a DVD possibly unsuitable for the their age group (they've all seen SHrek & the Incredibles already). depending on their parents. Or resurrecting the ancient Playstation for the duration.

So chances are I'm only going to have the opportunity, not to mention technology, to tape one of these shows.

So what's it going to be? Garrulous, rubber faced threats to humanity & civilisation? Or Dr Who?

Three Point Turn - the Worm Returns

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Young Persons' Books...

It came to my attention long before even, the Harvey Porter books (which I haven't read) were published, that there is a frequent device employed by the writers of Young Persons' books. Young Persons' books being those designed to be read by say 12-15 year olds.

That device is the (usually) boy, who at the age of 11 discovers that s/he is special in some way, be it special powers, or the subject of an important prophecy, or otherwise "chosen" in one way or another.

As evidence, I give you:

1. Harry Potter - at the age of 11, discovers he's a wizard & is sent off to wizard school.
2. The Wizard of Earthsea Trilogy - Sparrowhawk, at the age of 11, discovers he's a wizard & is sent off to wizard school (hey, what the...?)
3. The Dark Materials Trilogy - Lyra & Will at the age of (OK, one year out) 12 or so, discover they are the subjects of a major prophecy to um... either save or destroy the world, but definitely do something to organised religion. Or something.
4. The Dark is Rising sequence - Young Will, at the age of 11 (phew, back on familiar ground) discovers he's a wizard.... or close enough anyway. But just the school of hard knocks for him, and a mentor who may or may not be (but is really) Merlin.

I haven't read the Harry Potter books, I've only seen the first movie. I'll tune back in to the movies when Hermione is 18 I think. Actually, I won't. I'll just catch them by accident maybe, when they appear on the MGM channel in 20 years time.

But I've read the rest. But not when I was between the ages of 12 & 15. I read the Wizard of Earthsea books when I was in my 30s, having for a while been a fan of Ursula le Guin's poetic writing style. Thes books rock. Sparrowhawk is only a boy in the first one, and despite the similar sounding plotlines, they have nothing else in common with Mr Potter's little boy Harry. They're much darker. Sparrowhawk becomes the ArchMage in time (Dumbledore, but a lot more serious), confronts dragons & old gods, and even enters the world of the dead (and emerges again at great cost). In the last few years Le Guin has published the fourth book in the trilogy, Tehanu... and in many ways it is the best.

I highly recommend these books. I bought them for M several years ago, but she was too young to appreciate them. Now, at age 12, they've been recommended to her by her English teacher. And so she's got them on her list now...

For when she finishes the other series he recommended, which I also bought her several years ago when she was too young, the Dark is Rising sequence. I also read these in my 30s...

The Dark is Rising books by Susan Cooper are like a cross between the Narnia books (group of children encounter adventure when visiting an old man, their "Uncle Merry"), and the Pullman Dark Materials books (children are joined by young Will, who has recently discovered he is an immortal "old one" & a wizard like Uncle Merry... and is the subject of an old prophecy about the battle between the forces of Dark & Light. etc.).

M's devoured the first one Over Sea & Under Stone, and endeavoured to stay up as late as possible last night in order to read the second one The Dark is Rising, all in one sitting.

These books are cool in that they're in a slightly old fashioned jolly hockeysticks & tea on the camomile lawn fashion. I find I have to do a lot of explaining of some of the language "Plimsoles are sandshoes", "Sepulchriarly means... um... like a sepulchre..."

They also take place in real places throughout Britain. Ancient magical places, which you can visit. They feature "Old Ways", roads that have existed forever, and in some places now are proper roads travelled by cars, like the one that takes you to the stone circles at Avebury. You can travel an "Old Way", even if, unlike the real "Old Ones", you couldn't do it blindfolded. Although you do wonder about some of the tour bus drivers. There's also one in the Brecon Mountains in Wales near where we used to live.

You can visit & explore Windsor Park & search for the oak tree where Will encounters, and rouses to action, the ancient Herne the Hunter.

This is magical stuff. Here's a nice site discussing the mythology.

So... I have taken just a little time out of another really busy day to recommend any of these books to you & your 12-15 year olds. Or yourselves even. Except for Harry Potter, but I imagine you don't need my recommendation for those.

And hmm... sorry for no piccies, seem to be all copyrighted & I'm chicken...

Flickr: Photos from _rebekka

Came across this hottie while checking out Flickr's most interesting photos in the last 24 hours...

...then I went & looked at all 494 of them in one sitting... fantastic stuff. Once again, I am confronted by a photographer who makes me want to throw my own camera away, such is the futility...

Flickr: Photos from _rebekka

And did I mention she's hot?

Culture: Channel-hopping: Who’s got the remote?

Nice piece from Chris Bell at NZBC reviewing every Sky Digital channel available & rating it's viewability.

Culture: Channel-hopping: Who’s got the remote?

He also provides the reason that AMI's "Sarah" won't be appearing in our Fantastic Careers series...

"The agency message appears to be that AMI won’t actually pay out, just fix your broken stuff in a naff way and turn up uninvited at your wedding. "

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fantastic careers - Ira Goldstein

GoldsteinApparently he's been on our screens for 5 years & rumour has it that he came here on the run from Tony Soprano, whose sister he used to date.

And it irks me to report that I can find no information on the guy on the web. Although I seem to recall reading someplace that he did once have a small part on the Sopranos. Lots of info about the people who created the ad campaign though. But who cares about them. Overpaid advertising execs I imagine.

Regardless, Goldstein is one of the most recognisable faces on NZ TV, and presumably he gets flown in once a year or so to film a bunch of new ads.

Good work Goldstein.

ASB - Ira Goldstein - as seen on TV

Preview of coming attractions (maybe):

- Vince Martin
- The Speights Southern Men
- The ORIGINAL Fruju girl
, who was hot, and had a spiky slightly punk harcut & pranced around in a wet swimsuit waving a big hose... not the later incarnations who looked too girl next doorey & who did not look like they could suck an orange through that hose... you get my drift...

Also... I'll take requests.

I would miss wearing a tie about as much as I will miss the Holmes Show.

Bring it on.


Monday, August 08, 2005

This is weird - Not in the spirit of blogging - an abuse of our Privacy !!!

Looks like someone (calling themselves "Yellow" - no other information in the profile), has recently created a blog called, ironically "Happy Days", purely to complain about Mike's Blog Policy in his new guise as "chch-changes"

Happy Days: Not in the spirit of blogging - an abuse of our Privacy !!!

So... I dunno, click on through & then complain to Yellow that he's recording all that private information about you without even a warning.

I don't know David Tennant.

Nor even if I have his name right... but it just occured to me, and I felt the need to share, that when Mr tennant's upcoming tenure as the even newer Dr Who (than Eccleston) is over, the next Dr should be portrayed by Hugh Laurie.

He's the guy who used to work with Stephen Fry. And was the mad as a hatter Prince in one of the Blackadder series. And he was Bertie Wooster.

And he's on our screens right now playing Dr House, a curmudgeonly American(!) painkiller addicted cripples house surgeon. And he's terrific. He gets all the Edmund Blackadder-like lines in this one.

Green Eggs and SPAM!: Film Review - The Station Agent

Took Bron's advice & we watched The Station Agent in the weekend.

And it's great. A very pleasant Saturday night's viewing.

Green Eggs and SPAM!: Film Review - The Station Agent

Sunday, August 07, 2005

And latest netball update - 18-37

2nd pasting in a row... however, the girls DID play better than last week. But still nowhere near what they're capable of.

The team they played were pretty good, but on a good day we could've beat them. Although possibly not by much. And who knows, they may have had a bad day too!

Anyway... hoping for a win next week, but our opponents are VERY highly regarded.

This morning's walkies...

My very own picture of the departing cable car

The tree with the secret platform

Fog or smog over the Hutt?

This morning's view of the city

Mysteries of the gardens...

Why do you think that once a week or so, someone ties sprigs of rosemary to the side of this park bench?

Mysterious Rosemary

Simply sand.


More Sand

Friday, August 05, 2005

Hah! That reminds me...

I've commented in the last post that I hope Wilma & I never tripped over Che Tibby & his old girlfriend when they were viewing the glow worms on that particular track.

And it reminded me of one of our perambulations through the gardens a few years ago... another pitch black night, with the stars out in force.

Wilma & I were very near where now sits the James Hector Memorial... just below the Mariri Road entrance to the gardens. We stopped & admired the amazing night sky that night.. and abruptly, the urge came across me. So I made Wilma sit & stay, unzipped my fly & rather noisily voided my bladder. Hopefully, I didn't let rip with a loud satisfied sigh afterwards. I can't remember.

No sooner had I zipped myself back up, than I heard a soft "cough" from about 5 feet behind me. Turning, and switching on my torch, I was faced by a man & a woman, sitting against the large pine tree there, frowning at me, presumably for desecrating their evening's sky watching.

Flicking the torch off, I gave them a cheery hello, and Wilma & I fled.

Um... that wasn't you was it Che?

the wellingtonista: Botanic Gardens for August

Actually Waitomo...Last night, on my way out with Wilma, I ran into a woman I used to date at University. She & I then walked down the path from the Cable car to the Glen. On the way down she noted "Wow... this path is a lot murkier than I expected.", "You should see it later" I replied.

She laughed & agreed it must be pretty dark, "Not even the faint light of glow worms to show the way".

But I had to disagree, that particular path, on a dark night, is like walking through the heavens. It is astonishing. Of course, glowworms don't throw out enough light to see where you're going, and a torch is absolutely required to avoid falling down a steep bank into the surprisingly large stream (where DOES all the water in the gardens come from anyway?)

But you can stop, and turn your light off & the view is lovely. Have you seen that bit of Immortal Beloved, where Gary Oldman as Beethoven, floats in a pond in the middle of the night, gazing up at the sky, and the stars are all reflected in the water, and one of his famous tunes is playing over the soundtrack? It's magic. And so are the glowworms on a good night.

Tonight, at 7.30pm, there is a "Glowworm tour" of the Botanic Gardens. Apparently you have to book, but it is not immediately apparent how you do that. I guess follow all the links if you're keen.

Otherwise... any dark night you care to, enter the gardens from the Glen in Kelburn, take either path to your right or left (although if you go right, then take the next right up the hill), and be amazed.

the wellingtonista: Botanic Gardens for August

Man... I don't feel like doing anything today.

Despite appearances perhaps, I do not always feel like this. We had a really busy week, and a particularly busy day yesterday. We did another unit's work for them yesterday. We've been pushing back, empowering them with training so they can do it themselves, some of my troops have been bitter, resentful & argumentative (displaying great customer focus), we've pointed out the flaws in what they're doing, lobbied their managers and General Managers, wailed about how this is pointless & will cause us more work down the track...

Then the day before yesterday I had an epiphany, and gathered the team together & sympathised with their blood pressure levels and said "Even though this is stupid, and not our job, and we're going to have to redo it next month... we've spent 3 weeks arguing about it & haven't convinced them... it'd have been a lot less work & will be if we just do it & let them come to the same conclusion themselves."

And everyone agreed & we did it. And we had a bit of fun doing it. And then the unit in question started emailing me back & telling me they'd tried it themselves (which I had suggested, but really considered was a "Tui" likelihood) & pretty much got the same results as us (some errors turned up on both sides - mostly because we & they had a very short window of time & quality checking was scant, so it was a learning experience for all of us).

And so today I feel I've had it for the week now...

BTW: We watched Solaris the other night. Um... what the fuck? I mean, I remember trying to watch the original Russian version (I've always found Tarkovsky a bit dense - with the possible exception of the Mirror), and the Soderbergh/Clooney version is about an hour shorter, but all the same... what the fuck? Quick poll also... is Natascha McElhone hot or haggard?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Fantastic careers # 2 - Miss Lucy!!

She'll always be Miss Lucy to me.Hah! And we all thought we were clever finding out that Miss Lucy's real name is Marvey King only to discover her website (no pictures sorry, with or without bikini - but rejoice! I found some here!) and that Marvey King's real name is Tanya Horo...

Anyway. Have at it. Miss Lucy/Marvey/Tanya. Would write more, but personally find the original ad she appeared in lame... the rest are OK, although they could probably get her a new choreographer... and I think the "Where in the World is Miss Lucy" gig at the rugby games could feature a lot more shots of Miss Lucy actually someplace, rather than the stock footage of places they trot out.

Still, good gig, free travel (presumably) large swimsuit budget.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Live Blogging Over & Out...

We're being evacuated. Colleagues with rucksacks & of possibly ethnic appearance are busy advising each other not to run away from police if approached.

Possibly good advice..

Live Blogging Speculation

What happens if someone leaves a suspicious briefcase in a bag shop?

OK. We're getting organised now to assemble on the roof & sing "Nearer my God to Thee".

I don't think it helps at all, but increases the chances of being portrayed in a movie of your life by Leonardo de Caprio or Kate Winslett.

Son of Live Blogging!

Nothing much happening. Sirens in the distance... buses diverted. MacDonalds evacuated.

Lots of people peering out of high rise windows.

More Live Blogging!

Rumour has it that someone has left a suspicious briefcase in the Telecom shop downstairs...

More than likely, someone's lunch is about to get toasted, but I suppose you can't be too careful.

Man, the silence is quite freaky...

Live Blogging Update!

Have to consider the worst case... so maybe my last blog for a while as I should probably now go on the run. International fugitive etc, from the authorities.

Should I or any of my IMF team be caught or killed... the secretary will disavow any knowledge of our actions.

Unless, I can make the one-armed man story stick. I mean... it worked for the other guy.

Fingers crossed! I have to head for the roof top now. I'm not sure why that should afford safe egress... but that's what they do on TV. Etc. So who am I to argue.

Live Blogging - continued...

Still here!

Live Blogging! The police have cordoned the building off.

Yes! We look out the window at the moment & the entire block which we are smack bang in the middle of is cordoned off. The empty street & footpath looks very spooky...

I don't know why we haven't been evacuated... maybe we're expendable.

Wish I'd decided to work from the Wellingtonista Towers today....

Fantastic Careers # 1

You'll never buy better, apparentlyI had this brilliant idea for a post! Then I did a google search on the person/career in question & discovered that David Farrar had the same idea last August. Bummer. However, I could only read it using the google cache, so it was deleted for some reason...

But the Briscoe's Lady... how long has she been on our screens? Decades! And all power to her. I won't reveal her name, although it's freely available on a couple of sites. Apparently she lives in Christchurch somewhere & is involved in community works.

I've long thought this must be a cool gig. Not only has it lasted a hell of a long time, but it probably comes with all the appliances you could wish for. In addition, she probably maintains some degree of anonymity despite having a World Famous (within NZ) face.

And when it all started, did she (and Briscoe's) ever dream the association was going to last so long? Did she attend a casting call? Was she on some talent agency's books? Did she appear first in Close to Home or Gloss?

Am I just being silly even wondering about these things?

Just to digress, I did know that Miss Lucy's real name is Marvy King (just in case you find that google cache & read the comments). And if I'm not mistaken, she fronts a band with the charming name of "the Growlers". Anyway, if Miss Lucy is still around in 30 years or so, I'll blog about her fantastic career. Although, correct me if I';m wrong, but it hasn't passed my attention that the Briscoe's Lady never had to prance around in a bikini, so maybe dignity pays off in these matters.

Monday, August 01, 2005


I don't want to appear too nationalistic or anything... I only posted that one because Mike linked to it & I remembered the words from long ago...

And it wasn't a veiled plea for anyone to send me Welsh merchandise a la Mike's unknown benefactor. Believe me, I have all the welsh dragon emblazoned crap you could possibly imagine, furnished by relatives...

No, I'm interested in free electronics, not free t-shirts. But thanks anyway Martha.

Although I do need a new coffee cup for work...

but if anyone has any other national anthems in their native language that look equally as unpronouncible... please email them in & I'll paste 'em up.

Netball update: 13-21

Hah! The girls played (as one of them described it) like headless giraffes...

SO the first game at Hataitai, against the Best of the Best... the team they played won the competition last year (at least, the version from that region that played last year). But they weren't very good it turns out.

But that was OK, because our team were even worse. It didn't help that one of the shooters before the game, on being asked if she'd been practising over the last few netball-free weeks replied "Well I shot 3 goals this morning, and I got them all in."

She then failed to score two in a row for the duration of the game & at half time was audibly chastising herself... the coach will take over that duty at practise methinks.

Still, as the coach noted, it'll do them good to lose. Just not too often.

On the rep tournament front, it was in Wanganui yesterday. Get this, the team didn't lose a game (drew one) but only came 5th... sheesh... still, they were happy.