Monday, October 31, 2005

Depardieu ends film career, paper says

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

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

Looks more like...

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

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

Come on Mel, give us Mad Max 4.

Update to the school-drama-thon

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

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

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

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

And then there were four.

Plain old SnowflakeSo. Farewell

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

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

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

I shed a tear
Because you were
in my care

I think you had
a pretty good life though

for a sheep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 28, 2005


Proving that there is pretty much a market for everything.

Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour: The Alternative to the Bikini

Hat tip to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour

The 90 minute rule

Let's hear it for the 90 minute rule.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Define Political Correctness please?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


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

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

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

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

Phew... still with me?

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 21, 2005

peterquixote - making the world fit in to my reality

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


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


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

Probably coincidence.

but following my homage to Tom Mix...

SunnyO: Happy Birthday Dad!

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

So I tarried for a spell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just. Astonishing.

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

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

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Latest photos of the harbour.

Harbour 1

Harbour 2

Harbour 3

Harbour 4

Incy Wincy

Harbour 5

Harbour 6

Harbour 7

Harbour 8

Harbour 9

Harbour 10

Curious Cows

Seen on Rest Area 300m

Rest Area 300m - watcha doing mister?

But hey, i've got one of those too...


SunnyO - Some Before & After Fun









New adventures in buying stuff.

Shoes? New phone & laptop? 70 inch Plasma or LCD TV?

No, I spent 45 minutes on the phone yesterday (sequel to the 15 minute personal visit last weekend to an actual quarry) buying a truck load of gravel.

It was a mission.

First off the context - I need 2 cubic metres of base course, 1 cubic metre of bedding sand (river sand is recommended), and 1 metre of 20mm round pebbles, to create my new paved & pathed area around the house.

The local quarry can supply all of that. Very cheaply.

however, when I popped around last week to order it, they told me that each load would have to be delivered separately, and each delivery would cost me $60 (we're talking maybe 3 km distance here).

"So." I said, considering carefully, "The various gravels will cost me something like $75 total, but it will cost $180 to deliver? I'm going to have to rethink this."

The lady tried to be helpful - "Have you got a trailer? I know it'll take a while, but maybe your best bet is to come & get it yourself?"

I got told off later for abruptly curtailing the discussion, but really, while she was trying to be helpful, I have neither a trailer, nor the intention of spending a whole weekend just getting 3 piles of sand & gravel just to the near vicinity of where I need it. The capper was that they're not open Labour weekend anyway & so I'd have to take time off work to go get it. No go.

So I spent a few days weighing my options, then gave them a call back.

"How many metres does a truckload hold?" You see, it's all gonna get used eventually, so may as well maximise the payload.

The answer is 7 cubic metres. And so I explained that I wasn't that anal about the loads being mixed up a bit (I mean most of it is going to end up being pathway somewhere). And so "could I please have 3 metres course & 2 metres each of sand & pebbles? And can it all go in one truckload?"

The answers were "yes, yes, and no". Apparently 3 different types are too many & the best I could hope for was to get 2 types on one load without it all turning to gravel salad (the truckdriver actually said "gravel salad").

So I had another think about it, then thought "Wait a minute, I haven't ordered the pavers yet, so I don't need the sand until I do, and anyway, they say not to lay the sand until you have the pavers ready to go." And I need a lot less sand than the rest, and maybe the paver people can supply it.

So it was back on the phone, "Hi there again Janet, can I this time order 3 metres of course & 3 metres of gravel?"

And mercifully, it turned out I could. And not a moment before time as mine would be the very last delivery they made this week.

Went through the usual patter about access to the property "Is the access OK? Will he be able to back his truck out? Etc"

And I seem to find it difficult to convey the concept that there is enough room to get the truck in, turn it around even without recoursing to so much as a 3 point turn, while (hypothetically) the concorde lands beside it.

Remains to be seen whether THIS truckdriver can grapple with the usual delivery instructions "Down the drive, there's a tin shed on your left, anywhere near there." any better than the last guy could.

"Acme mulch here, I've got a load for you & the instructions say to take it down the drive & dump it near the shed on the left."
"That's right" I said.
"Well I'm down the drive... and there's a little shed on my left... you want it there?"
"Good as gold!"

Mrs Llew reckons of course he can, how could anyone be so stupid?

I reckon I'll be telling a story about a stupid truck driver before next week is out though.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bring back the Ministry of Works!

I was consulting with my panel of advisors yesterday - OK, the usual academics, lawyers, engineers & god knows what else who assemble on Magpie Lawn to watch the dogs... do their thing (we carry bags for that), and conversation naturally turned to the ramifications of our new Gummint.

But since none of us had heard any other details than "New government announced, film at 5pm", the topic quickly changed to other things, although related things, like, Peter Dunne's insistance that Transmission Gully be started & completed ASAP.

Actually, I have no beef with that, although some say we can't afford it. I also have no beef with making the coastal road 4 lanes instead... although some say that civilisation will end when Paremata & Pukerua Bay houses & shops (and just why did they build that shopping centre in the path of a proposed highway? Wasn't that just asking for it?) are demolished to make way for it.

But the consensus amongst this august group was that we should definitely do something... anything (except that road from Korokoro & Porirua, which starts and ends before any bottleneck anyway & just sounds really stupid & a waste of money - hello! That's what the road over Haywards Hill is for!).

And someone... and OK, it was this pinko lefty academic law lecturer, but we shouldn't hold that, or anything else come to that, against him, said that in the old days, the Ministry of Works would just have announced its plans, there'd have been a few rabid protests & some biting criticism from blowhards & dogooders on TV for a while... and the bulldozers would have gone in & we'd be speeding North by lunchtime...

And I think he was probably right.

And actually, now I think about it, wasn't that guy Donald Brash talking about creating a Dept of Infrastructure for just this sort of thing? Good idea I reckon, which goes to show that he & Mr Dunne had one good idea each at least.

Why is making roads so difficult these days? Is it the Resource Management Act? Is it that we spend too much money on silly yacht races? (a whole lot more than we do on Hip Hop Tours anyway)

I dunno, I dunno... anyway, I'm all for resurrecting the Ministry of Works. That's all.

Yooooouuurrrr gonna shout!

When the Fruju Hits ya!
Ooh aah ooh.

NZ Film ArchiveThis lunchtime, I popped downstairs & around the corner from the Wellingtonista Towers, to the NZ Film Archive& spent a fascinating wee while browsing their catalogue of VCRs & DVDs.

I tried picking the brain of the technician on duty in the Media Library, but he was just relieving & had sketchy information at best to impart.

But the catalogue is user friendly, and there were lots of terminals available.

So after spending 10 minutes browsing through all manner of old listings, commercials, TV programmes, feature & short films, corporate promotions and home movies...

I settled on a small collection of old TV commercials, including the original Fruju ad (hottie), the Moro Man, Give Fluffy to Me (I was at school with that guy & I tell you, if a flight attendant that looked like that, had said "meeow" to me like that... well... ahem... probably very little would have happened), and some startlingly homoerotic ads for something or other featuring a lot of well known (in their day) rugby players & well known (in his day) Wellington publican Trevor Snowden...

I really need to take a month or so off & go through the lot & get back to you with the highlights...

Anyway, well worth a look if you're wandering past that way.

In the exhibition rooms, they had some old computers & some archival footage of the Rainbow Warrior affair. Fascinating!

The New Zealand Film Archive

A short tour...


The house pretty much as seen from the gate.

panorama leftpanorama right

Panorama looking North. The Forest o'Llew at the rear.

Mighty Karaka

Also from the gate, showing the best tree on the property - I so wish it were out in the bare paddocks & not so close to the house (although that's next door in the photo). A great tree for climbing.

Barbecue Tree

We used to have our barbecues under this tree...

Once was jungle

When we bought it, this piece of garden beside the house was impassable. It was wholly overgrown with old houseplants, big palmy fruit salad plant looking things with huge suckers that ran everywhere & even down into the drains. It took a long time to clear.

The famous clothesline & tractor tyre garden

Speaks for itself - about a week's work here for the constructionally impaired.

You can tell a lot about a man from the hat he wears

Looking past the shed toward the feijoa paddock. There are small citrus trees in the mid ground, which have twice this year been unceremoniously pruned by wayward sheep.

Last year's project

The famous tin shed!

This year's project

This will soon be a nicely paved BBQ area.

Will be paving & pathway

And this bit will be gravel & paving stone pathway. At the time of writing, this has all been excavated to a depth of 200mm. I'm ordering base coarse & bedding sand this week.


Actually, this looks a lot more like a firepit now, I should have taken another photo later the next day. Oh well... It sits in a natural basin in the land & I've built a circular ridge around it & eventualy, I'll line the inside with stones (which are onsite already, just spread all around the property), and cement them in with mortar & ash. Possibly.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Coming soon - pictorial tour of SunnyO.

When I down or up load the photos - sometime this week.

I was wandering aimlessly around in the weekend, gathering kindling, checking on the sheep, checking the part of the fenceline which Wilma has suddenly discovered she can easily slip through & search the neighbour's property for the cat she saw last week... while ignoring all "cease & desist & fucking well come here & heel ya mangy mutt" commands...

And I'd had the forethought to slip the camera in my pocket.

So when I have the time I'll post up a bit of a tour of the property. Including the hole I dug this weekend which will one day be a nice paved barbecue area... and the ring of debris that once filled the hole, and is now my "proto-fire pit". I mean, it's just a circular ring of sand & sod at the moment, but one day (post paving) it'll be lined with rocks & cemented together with mortar mixed with ash (unless that looks a lot crappier than I envisage), and it'll be our firepit - complete with a little garden seat nearby which will be chainsawed out of a mammoth willow stump.

Anyway. That's the plan. And plans change regularly at SunnyO.

But Clods! Rejoice! I took some photos of the kitset shed that was last spring's project.

And the clothesline that I built in the school holidays. And the nifty little garden Mrs Llew made out of a tractor tyre that way back in 2002, I suggested would make a nice little raised garden. but the missus scoffed mightily at - plans change!

I am Snoopy...

You are Snoopy!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hat tip to Michelle:

The Jamjar: October 2005 Archives

Holmes interviews Hosking

I'm not sure whether they should both be sealed up in a tin can & rocketed in the general direction of Mars... or whether all interviews should be like this...

New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on Television's new odd couple

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fuckin' tagged....

Wanda Harland: Tagged - again!

20 random things about me:

1. I'm the least likely person to do one of these things.

2. I have 3 testicles

3. My college nickname was "Cement head"

4. Madonna & I were just "good friends" in the 80s.

5. I once owned a Fiat Bambina

6. Despite the similar appearance, I am NOT related to Viggo Mortenson

7. I was kicked by a horse once and my dad's worried response was "I wonder if it was Cardigan Bay?"

8. I own more barbecues that Imelda Marcos has shoes.

9. I didn't fly until I was 25.

10. I have been known to take a car for a test drive just to get the groceries home from the supermarket.

11. I stood in an elevator twice in my life with David Lange, and both times was too shy to say anything.

12. I have never tried "shrooms"

13. I don't believe in reincarnation

14. Although I was Napoleon in a previous life. And maybe Gandhi.

15. I have no idea why Jimmy cracks corn....

16. Nor who Jimmy is!

17. I scored the winning (and only) goal for West Ham in the 1980 FA Cup final against Arsenal

18. I changed my name from "Trevor Brooking" in 1982.

19. I wrote the Hanson's "MMMMM Bop" song.

20. I make a lot of shit up.

I like Doonesbury too...

Doonesbury - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In fact, I first heard of Donald Trump through the strip - onlookers were chanting "Jump!" to him as he stood looking down from the top of Trump Towers. I used to wonder why he never sued trudeau. I guess it was all true.

In less enlightened days too, I fancied myself as a "Tanmaster", like Zonker, although not personally mentored by Tanmaster Hamilton

Actually, pretty much anything i know of American politics, I learned through Doonesbury.

The sequence covering the "return" of an old & bald Elvis was notable, so too, the agonising of advertising exec Mike, over a big contract to promote cigarettes, leading to the appearance of Mr Butts, and his less reputable relative, Mr "J".

You can get your daily Doonesbury fix here.

I can't believe how comprehensive this is

Wikipedia entry for one of my favourite cartoons, Calvin & Hobbes. Right down to a philosophical analysis of all the main & secondary characters.

I also can't believe how many of the episodes mentioned are familiar...

Liek Rosalyn beating Calvin at Calvinball...

Calvin and Hobbes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Halloween films... any recommendations?

Um... it's not going to be very often that I solicit advice on movies from anyone - so have at it, this is your chance.

I need 3 scary movies suitable for a bunch of 13 year olds. I haven't scoured the local DVD store yet to check the ratings, but I'm initially leaning towards:

Poltergeist (I went to this at the time expecting a laugh & ended up chewing through my jacket...)


Friday the 13th...

Any ideas?

Oh... and Champignon will be busy for a few months too...

New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on Black Sheep first film of NZ-Korean partnership: "Black Sheep first film of NZ-Korean partnership "

New Bond to be named today

Light blogging for a year or so while I'm "filming" in Europe & the Carribbean with Sienna Miller & Kate Moss.

Will post photos later.

New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on New Bond to be named today

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sage advice...

"If you're being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel, then on to a little seesaw, then jump through a hoop of fire. They're trained for that." - Milton Jones

Happy Birthday Dad!

You'd have been what... 72 today? Although I suspect had you survived 1979, you wouldn't have made it this far anyway.

In honour of the day, here's a link to one of your favourite movie stars - although he was a bit before your time too, I can only presume the cinemas in the valleys were still playing ancient silent & early talkie films when you were a kid.

Probably still are actually.

Profile on Tom Mix

Tom Mix!Tom Mix died on October 12, 1940, just a day (if my calculations are correct) before your 7th birthday. (Tom's horse Tony died to the day 2 years later).

For the uninitiated, Tom Mix was the most famous movie star (and possibly human) on Earth in his day. Think of him perhaps, as his era's Jackie Chan.

And that comparison is not idly made, Mix was an accomplished horseman & rope wrangler who did all his own stunts & had the numerous injuries to prove it.

He was also a notorious shagger.

Oddly enough, he is also almost completely forgotten these days. Very few, if any of his movies still exist except in fragments & so modern audiences can have almost no idea of his talent & presence, because let's face it, in the existing photos the guy looks like an utter goober. And while "golden age" hollywood autobiographies salaciously reference the exploits of numerous film stars who were his contemporaries - Chaplin, Barrymore, Fairbanks, Pickford et al... no one seems to recount Tom Mix stories.

Although weirdly... science fiction fans may recognise the name & character from Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series of books. Mix (along with Mark Twain, Alice Liddell Hargreaves - Alice in Wonderland actually and other famous dead people) are resurrected in a strange world notable for a large river running through it & try to find out why they're there. Mix shags Alice in the first chapter of the first book.

So there you have it! Tom Mix, the most famous dead guy you've never heard of.

Happy birthday Dad! (By god, you'd have loved Wikipedia)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

OK... let's have some feedback from some of you...

Particularly... the frequent visitors to this site from far flung areas of the world... eg:

1. The multinational consulting firm who appears to hail from somewhere in France.

2. Someone who looks in now & then from Sunnyvale, California

3. The huge company which has an administrative office in Troy, Michigan - I've had considerable dealings with your firm over the years, do I know you?

4. And anyone else who wants to have a say actually. Bloggers thrive on feedback.

You're all welcome of course, but I'd love to hear from you - what do you like? Dislike? Any requests? Are you hot? Send photos in which case etc.

The email address is underneath the picture of Snowflake the sheep up in the corner, if you dion't want to post a comment.

Possibly I don't need to hear from the (presumably) gentlemen, who surfed in over the last day or so looking for pictures of "naked old men" - funny how these things come in waves, suddenly, all around the world (well, North America anyway) diverse people sat down & entered those 3 words into a google search.

Diverse people from: Florida, Mississippi, New York, Georgia, Texas & Vancouver.

Sorry I couldn't oblige... :)

Darth Sidious & Associates (Architects to the Desperate) company offices, September 2005

The phone on Sidious' desk rang, "The surveyor is here to see you Mr Sidious".

"Send the idiot in" came the gruff response.

A rather stooped, gaunt man, wearing a grey macintosh coat & a tatty trilby hat entered the room.

"Preacherman" said Sidious, not bothering to even look up, "Why is it we use you again?"

"I'm cheap" said the man, blanching slightly "And my credentials from the army surveying corps are unverifiable."

"Oh yes..." Sidious looked up finally, and noting the scrapes & bruises on the man's face asked "What happened to you?"

"A job I was doing for Don Vino Minestrone last month... um... encouraging some good folk to relinquish some land Don Minestrone requires..."

"Not so easily encouraged eh?"

"Well it was going quite well until we were interrupted by a rabid, flashing eyed ovine, who roughed me up & turned me off the property..."


"Yes, Champignon the Wonder Sheep!"

"Well I'll be... I thought he was a myth."

"A very obstinate myth."

"Well..." said Sidious, considering the situation, "to the matter at hand... have you checked your measurements for that job in Kelburn? The troublesome car deck?"

"Yes, I've run the plans past the council here & also took the liberty of showing them to some of my old defense force contacts."


"NASA are complaining, as drawn the car deck will be visible from space & may pose a navigational hazard for future Space Shuttle missions."

"I thought that might be the case... so I've taken the liberty to shrink the plans to something more befitting a suburban front garden, rather than something capable of landing the concorde on."

"Very wise... the client will be well pleased I'm sure."

"Yes, well... no thanks to you. Tell me, is there a single job you've done for me that has gone well?"

"Um.. well... I AM very cheap!"

"I know..." Sidious sighed... "Well while you're here, I have a contract for some work required by a very special client... your passport is up to date? Do you know anything abour levies? Have you ever been to New Orleans?"

"Halliburton! I do like working with them.... I surveyed the existing levies actually!"

"That figures...."