Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Random look at another blog

Does anyone ever go take a look at the Wig? It used to have some of the very best dating tips you'll ever find on the web.

And it was a ferocious combatant in the legendary Blog Wars.

It's not the first place I ever saw the term "ad hominem" but I think it holds the record for labelling its contributors with it (quite deservedly sometimes, The Wig himself polarised his audience quite remarkably). Although, they did a good line in it themselves too sometimes.

But it had its moments.

Hah. Cheap shots I know. I confess I used to go there to ask which one of them wore The Wig. Then the Wig came off & I think the place lost its edge.

Blair's gone. And site has regained an edge, but not one I particularly like. Tim Selwyn's comment at the end of this post is telling. And as for this one....

So... something I never thought I'd say... Bring Back Blair!

And before anyone accuses me of "ad hominem" attacks... I say "So?"

Fact... Or Bullshit?

As the late, great (is he dead or is that my imagination?) Jack Palance once said.

Received this today, sounds like bullshit to me, anyone know for sure?

This from my street wise sister in law

Subject: Phoney Phone call - confirmed by Telstra and Telecom

I got a call last night from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service technician who was conducting a test on our telephone lines.

He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9),zero (0), hash (#) and then hang up.

Luckily, I was suspicious and refused. Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which allows them to place long distance telephone calls billed to your home phone number.

I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many of the local jails/prisons.

DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE.

PLEASE pass this on to your friends. If you have mailing listsand/or newsletters from organisations you are connected with, I encourage you to pass this on.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Kirks' Pig

I've always had my eye on that life size ceramic pig that adorned the 2nd floor of Kirkcaldies. I always thought "If I ever have $1200 surplus, and all my entertainment technology needs sorted... that pig is mine! It'll look really great... somewhere..."

Sadly, I didn't see the advertisement for the Kirks' sale which said that amongst the items on sale was:

"Clarry the pig - $650 - Qty 1."

Apparently it was one of the first items to go - a man, who'd had his eye on it for years (weirdo) was at the head of the queue, went running up the stairs ahead of the throng, and secured Clarry the pig.

I'll miss her.

Hasselhoff to star in musical based on his life

WTF!? News of the Week. Hasselhoff to star in musical based on his life

I've heard Herbie the Love Bug is an outside chance for the role of "Kitt".

Monday, July 24, 2006

Someone should write a book about it.

In fact, now I think about it, they may have...

This isn't my story to tell, so I'll mention no names... and some details may be changed, but as William Golding said at the beginning of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, much of what follows is true.

Many, many, years ago, the son of an English baronet (who was a long serving British MP) came to New Zealand to run the family business. On the voyage here, his mother, who allegedly had "the sight", pointed to a young woman on board & claimed "That's your future wife."

And it came to be. They settled in New Zealand, had 3 lovely children, two sons & a daughter, and sent them all to boarding schools.

The daughter moved to Europe & was well known in horsey circles. I don't know the details, and for the purpose of this story, they're none of our business, but she became pregnant to someone her parents thought was inappropriate, or maybe he was just unwilling to marry her. Like I said, it doesn't matter.

The child, a son, was adopted out. Life went on.

Some 30-40 years later, the daughter was home in New Zealand, and she was tracked down by her son.

And here is the amazing thing - her son was raised by a quite famous English person & his wife, and when grown up, entered British politics, becoming an MP. When he found his birth mother, not only was he astonished that he was the great grandson of an English baronet who was a long standing MP, but he discovered that he was occupying his great grandfather's chambers...

Spooky huh?

So anyway, the son of the baronet that this story started with, turned 100 last week. Happy birthday Sir X. May you have many more.

Bye, Bye, Black Sheep

And then there were 3!

What’s with it with sheep then eh? Last week, we came back from lunch & paused while the gate was opened for the car to drive in… The same thought went through all of our minds it turns out:

“Why is there no fence between us & that sheep?”

Seems I inadvertently left a gate open (first time ever). One of the sheep was brave enough to come on out for a reccie. Just a few cabbage tree leaves nibbled. When we got home she knew she was where she shouldn’t be & scarpered back through the gate. Even before we released the hound.

Then this week… it was a day trip only, and the same thought did not go through everyone’s heads… only mine:

“Fuck… dead sheep.”

JazzAnd sadly, the little black sheep known as Jazz (far right) was lying on her side, very near where, less than a year ago we found Plain. And it looked like whatever killed Plain, also killed Jazz. Which I don’t know, could be pretty much anything, except anything that’s mentioned in my Small Farming Bible in the chapter on things that kill sheep.. But last weekend she was fine & sprightly. The neighbours had seen nothing amiss, and they look out for them. Seems she was fine on Friday even.

I guess they are no spring lambs these days. I also suppose that like humans, sheep can just keel over dead sometimes…. No marks on her, a bit of foam around her mouth.

Anyway, I have no intention of agonising over what killed her or Plain. I dug a really big hole & buried her – and once again, the surviving sheep gathered round the spot she’s buried, whether it is the smell of her, or whether they’re just nosey about the new patch of freshly dug earth, I dunno.

We’ll keep a close eye on the others, but I’m pretty sure they haven’t caught anything, can’t imagine she was poisoned by anything, and they have plenty of shelter from the weather (not to mention thick woolly coats).

And we’ll see if we can get one or two more sheep to help with the Summer growth…

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another odd google search...

"why does robert shaw wear long pants in the movie the deep"

why does robert shaw wear long pants in the movie the deep - Google Search

Why indeed? A devoted reader from Tinley Park, Illinois wants to know.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Henry Moore - Christo-ed?

Now you see it!Remember a few months back that the city council was worried that someone might steal the 2.5 tonne Henry Moore statue that sits at the edge of the Botanic Gardens near Salamanca Road?

I mean, since they planted the idea I thought I might as well steal it, but then I changed my mind (got it home, regretted it & snuck it back the next morning.Now you don’t!

Anyway, I’m not sure what is happening here… either the council has decided to disguise the statue from prospective thieves…. Or it represents a new work of art in itself. Perhaps by Christo?

Mickey Spillane/Mike Hammer RIP

You talking to me?Mickey Spillane is dead! To be honest, I thought he'd probably died years ago. Can't remember which of his books I've read - a handful of the Mike Hammer yarns though. Probably I the Jury (which also made a very sleazy movie with Armand Assante, Barbara Carrera, some spectacular looking chick who played Mike's secretary Velda, lots of violence, nudity & sex. Recommended, obviously.

I have never though, got around to seeing (nor possibly reading) Kiss Me deadly, which was apparently turned into one of the sleaziest movies ever made. Not in an explicit sense, more in a "you'll want a shower after viewing it" sense. SO also recommended!

What I do recall of the books though, is that Spillane, and his alter ego, Hammer, equated toughness with good detective work. Some guy I teased recently in a thread somewhere else, was talking about "crime scene protocols", Hammer's idea of a crime scene protocol would be to pistol whip the witnesses until they talked. And possibly shoot them for good measure.

Purely from memory, one of the books had Hammer saying something along the lines of:

"How good a detective am I? Listen honey, I once gave it to a guy in the stomach with a steak knife. That's how good a detective I am".

And can't we all be reassured by that? Give that man a taser!

Mike Hammer was a low rent Phillip Marlowe, a hard boiled private detective. Violent, misogynistic, angry...

Spillane himself, never really got the accolades afforded his detective author rivals like Dashiell Hammett & Raymond Chandler (and in my opinion, those two latter authors were somewhat more sophisticated writers), yet the few dozen books he wrote were phenomenally popular - something that Spillane never tired of rubbing his critics' noses in.

The Unofficial Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer Site - Home

And heh... ever seen the Japanese movies featuring private detective Mike Hama? There were 3 of them, and then a TV series apparently. The guy who played Hama (Masatoshi Nagase) was also in Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, and a very cool (literally) film set in Iceland, called Cold Fever.

All these are also recommended.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Roll up, roll up...

Nice & discreet

Get your pot here

Hat tip to Foundphotos

Just in by email...

The truth, and nothing but the truth

SALES: "You want answers?"

ACCOUNTING: "I think I'm entitled."

SALES: "You want answers??"

ACCOUNTING: "I want the truth!!"

SALES: "You can't handle the truth!!" Son, we live in a world that requires revenue.... who's going to find it? accounting? We have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You scoff at Sales & Marketing and you curse at our incentives. You have that luxury... You have the luxury of not knowing what we know, that while tragic, current expenses are driving new sales. And that our efforts and tactics, while grotesque and incomprehensible by you, drives REVENUE!

You don't want to know the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at staff want us on that sale; you NEED us on that sale! We use words like comps, upgrades, discounts; we use these words as the backbone of the time spent sucking up to a customer and negotiating use them as a punch line! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to people who rise and sleep under the very blanket of income I provide and then question the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up the phone, solicit some customers and book a sale.

Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

"Did you expense the lap dances?"

SALES: "I did my job..."

ACCOUNTING: (shouts) "Did you expense the lap dances?????"

SALES: (shouting) "You're goddamn right I expensed the lap dances!!"

No idea where it came from, other than my mate Geoff from Sales in Melbourne.

3 Things I Wish I'd Never Said

1. (To 3 attractive women in a bar) "So... which escort agency do you work for?"

Caused a riot.

2. (To a large lady blocking the footpath, who said "You can get round me, can't you?") "Probably, given half an hour & a motorbike?"

Public display of profanity.

3. (To a traffic officer who introduced himself as "Bill Orange") "Like the fruit?

Dissolved instantly, all sympathy to my plight.

By all means tell me your moments in the sun.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fast And Safe. Ie: Faster = Safer

Check this out!

Remember, no-one is saying that they want the right to speed. But one of the following site's stated aims is:

"Because time is money, our need for greater speed and efficiency always drives progress."

Fast And Safe

And if someone cleverer than me can explain the point of the Facts & Myths about kinetic energy... please do, it argues that the following statement (from the LTSA) is rubbish:

"Exceeding the speed limit generates dangerous levels of kinetic energy" because:

"The kinetic energy of cars is insignificant compared with heavy vehicles"

So... cars are safe when they're speeding, because there are other vehicles which are less safe.


Anyway. I think it's tosh, put up by people who have way too much time perhaps. Who like speeding, but judge for yourselves.

But just to finish, because it's in the page labelled:

"Statistics taken out of context are completely meaningless." here's a quote taken out of context

"We all know places, times and conditions where driving at 140 kph (or 100 kph) is stark, raving lunacy. Equally there are other places, times and conditions where it may not be at all dangerous"

Strangely disturbing viewing

I can't mention where this came from... (some) people may come & tell me that 1. I should never mention it and 2. I may catch something...

But have a look at this, it's the All Black haka, from, I'm told, 1979. Hard men if memory serves, great team. Fantastic hair... crap, effeminate haka...

Hat tip ... er... the Hard News guy...

One of the odder Google searches to end here

extraction fans for chinese takeaways - Google Search

A long way to go to upset "Nicky Watson Topless" Which has eclipsed all other Google searches!

Way to go Nicky! Nice conage.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Came across this Otaki site today.

Some cool places to stay, should you visit. It's a hell of a lot of pages into a google search on "Otaki". I think everyone whould visit, link to them & bring them up the ranks.

I realise I have met the owners. In fact, the Forest o'Llew is visible behind one of the houses on this page.

Otaki beach holiday accommodation - the ultimate venue

Click through the links, some nice photos. I'm interested in The Ultimate Venue - Say what? "A fully transportable lounge bar"? That sounds like a winner.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fun with photos

I don't know how Alan did this, but doesn't he look like Alick Shaw?

Now, compare him with the real thing... go to google image, & type in "Alick Shaw", oh OK, I've prepared one in advance, just click here.

Here's the interesting bit, and I only came across this, because I went to the Wellington City Council site first, and looked Cr Shaw up there.

And I thought hang on, that doesn't look like Alan! So then I went back & did the google image search. And there he is, in the middle, right?

That's the Alick Shaw I know. Now click on that image.

Magic! Are they the same person? If so, which image is the more recent?

If I get another spare mo', I may try the same thing with Prendergast. Eh... no, I won't. See too many lame pictures of her anyway.

half-pie: black macbook

The Magical Mr Maintenance

Actually, the pretty incompetent Mr Maintenance. It's fittings & appliances 2, Mr Maintenance Nil.

It started a few weeks ago, when Aspidestra asked me if I could possibly change the lightbulb over the office shower unit.

Sure, I said, how hard is it to change a lightbulb?

Well first thing is, it's a really high stud. And the lightbulb is situated right over the slippery shower stall. So anyway, I clambered up onto the windowsill to take a closer look. And dang me if I couldn't figure out how to get at the recessed lightbulb, let alone exchange it for another.

Weeks passed. Then, inspired, I got out the office stepladder & examined an identical light fitting that wasn't situated over a shower stall. Easy.

So back to the shower... except I could not reach the light from the stepladder, nor from the windowsill.

But hey, I'm resourceful. I dragged a large coffee table, and manoeuvred it into the shower stall. Then I got the stepladder & set it on the coffee table. Then I got up there & removed the lightbulb. After that, I had a little trouble getting the new bulb in. And suddenly, the stepladder & the coffee table parted company. But I grabbed the shower stall & saved myself from injury.

But I snapped a crucial piece of the shower door, and now need to identify what make & model it is, and who is the local supplier of little custom made shower door connectors...

And then, this morning, on arrival at work I couldn't help but notice that the coffee machine wasn't working (EMERGENCY!!). Neither was the fridge, nor the dishwasher. But the lights were.

So I located the fuse box, and figured out which switch needed switching... and the fridge, and (THANK GOD!!) the coffee were restored. But not the dishwasher. ALthough Mr Maintenance was able to figure that the problem lies with the dishwasher, not the power socket. And it's got some sort of safety lock (to avoid any nasty dishwashing accidents presumably, yeah, there are a lot of those.) so that I am unable to open it, and most of our dishes & cutlery are in there.

And the emergency dishwasher repair team (slight tangent here, did you know that there is a V L Martin in the phone book? I dunno, maybe it's Vince! OK, not as amusing as a Mr Itchiass I suppose) cannot come until monday. Shock. Horror! Someone (possibly the junior member of the team) will be washing dishes by hand.

Pessimists say that these things come in threes. Let's hope not.

By the way, does anyone have any useful suggestions for disposing of old, broken microwave ovens? Suggestions that do not involve driving them to a landfill? At the moment, they're cluttering up our basement, I'd quite like someone to come & take them away.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More on Losser

Because I don't want you to think that he was a loser, in any way shape or form, he was just self deprecating. And liked a whinge about his lot, before rebounding with a dodgy plan to put the world, or at least his place in it, to rights.

I wasn't suggesting that the Tour Guide gig was a come down for a lawyer. By no means. I'm quite certain that when he found that job, he realised he'd found his dream vocation: travel, the chance to show off & have a laugh and get paid for it, single female tourists.

Losser came from Hastings. I met him several years before we flatted together, he was actually at my 21st!

He funded his studies, largely by trading in 2nd hand cars. He'd bus home to Hastings for the holidays, buy a used car of some description, drive it back to Wellington & use it for much of the term, before selling it & busing back to Hastings for the next holiday.

The idea was, and it largely worked, that 2nd hand cars were cheaper in Hastings, so he could buy there & sell here for enough to pretty much fund the next term. He had to be a bit careful though, there was & possibly still is a limit on how many 2nd hand cars you can buy & sell in a year before you have to register as a Licensed Motor Vehicle Dealer.

It didn't always work though, I recall the flat had the use of a very old, and very distinguished looking Citroen. We ended up pushing that car further than it ever carried us. It didn't help that we lived on a hill.

Losser loved it though, it looked cool. But neither he, nor anyone else in our flat was particularly mechanical & the thing was a bit of a plum coloured elephant.

He ended up selling it to a Citroen enthusiast for a bit less than he wanted. And to his chagrin, he saw that car out & about on the road, in a very short space of time, with its new owner, clearly fully repaired & restored.

The next car was a little yellow mini cooper. Which was fitting, because that was his surname - Mini.

That mini served him (not to mention the whole flat) very well. Additionally, the knob on the gear stick was clear resin of some sort, with a daisy set in it. The vendor had assured Losser that this gear stick was a huge assistance in "Pulling the chicks". Losser forced his momentary speculation as to exactly how this could be so, aside and bought the car. Daisy gear stick & all.

And lo! At this stage in his life Losser embarked on his 2nd major relationship!. All hail the plastic daisy gear stick!

I shifted out of that flat & pretty much lost track of him a few years later, mutual friends kept me up to date to some extent, but I see few of those mutual friends anymore either.

But wherever he is, I'm confident he's having a great time, dreaming up dodgy, money making plans, and chasing women!

Unless of course, he came back, settled in Hastings & has a wife & kids...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Speaking of flatmates & losers....

I had another flatmate who used to lose things. In fact, she married a schoolmate of mine, and they could both have lost for New Zealand. If losing things was a sport.

But, what shall we call her... Trudi... used to bike down to her work from home, chain the bike up outside, work all day (or evening, it was a hotel), get a taxi home, have dinner, sleep, get up to bike to work...

You get the drift. This happened more than once. The bike was always gone from where it had been chained up.

She'd lose purses, coats, umbrellas, anything that wasn't physically attached to her.

Trudi once asked if she could borrow my umbrella to get to work. I said "no, you'll lose it". She argued. She wheedled. I gave in. She came home & I asked "Where is my umbrella?" She'd lost it.

In fact, she'd lost it just down the road on her way to work, popped into a dairy, let go of the umbrella for a moment... and walked on to work without it.

Later, she & my schoolmate moved to a small town. He was a keen diver. He'd go diving, come home, unload the car, put his tanks & gear in the driveway out front of the car, go inside... next time he was going diving, he'd wonder where his tanks & gear had got to.

This happened more than once. His insurance company stopped insuring his gear.

But the crowning moment... Trudi took their very young son with her to a netball game. She left the boy with friends & went off to play a blinding game. They won! Afterwards, she got home, announced her triumph to her husband, who asked "Where's the baby?"

At least they got him back fairly quickly.

What are we to make of this loss?

LossI used to have a flatmate, always moaning that “Life dealt him deuces”. Always asking “Why am I such a loser?”

He was a lawyer. Or at least, he was a law student at the time. He did graduate, but chose to travel the world & eventually found his place in the cosmos… as a Trafalgar Tour Bus Guide. He’s been doing that for decades (unless my news is a little out of date).

Anyway, he was so secure in his self chosen status, that he planned to get a sweatshirt screenprinted with “Loser”. But then, in a moment of inspiration – he was quite witty actually, I may blog one day about the NZ Continuance Society that he created, his answer to the Temperance Society. That was back in the days when each election, we would vote as to whether our electorates would be “dry”. As in, no beer.

I’m digressing, but the NZ Continuance Society used to meet each Wednesday night at the Brunswick Arms. Old barmen there may remember us. Or not.

But anyway, in a moment of inspiration… and that reminds me, the NZ Continuance Club’s patron was that MP who fell over on his way home, possibly in a drunken stupour… Keith Someone… And I nearly lost my job distributing Continuance Club flyers around work, when it turned out the GM was an avid tea totaller. I got off with a warning.

So, inspired…. He had his sweatshirt emblazoned with “Losser”. Get it? He was such a loser, he couldn’t even spell it.

I came across this particularly heartrending example of “tagging” earlier today. I walk past this spot twice a day & this is the first time I’ve noticed it. SO maybe it appeared sometime during the wild & wet night. Who knows? I may just never have seen it.

And it gave me pause for thought. Has tagging entered some existential phase? Was it some grieving English soccer fan?

I expect the stupid & incomprehensible names. I expect the odd bit of political comment. I expect bravado, arrogance & panache. Am I expecting too much from graffiti?

I do not expect pain, grief, despair and loss.

On the other hand, maybe the vandalising fuck deserved it. Losser.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Army. Is this usual?

I'll ask the guy myself sometime, but without going into details (because it's a secret mission for my eyes only, OK?), I have been reading a missive this morning, or perhaps more properly, a "despatch", from the NZ Defense Force.

And what I find really interesting, is that the document does not refer to "the Army" throughout, it refers to "Army". Like it's a single entity. Or something. Like this:

"The first requirement for Army, therefore..."

"Again, it is fair to say that Army does not..." and

"This short document proposes that Army develop..."

At least one person with military experience comes here - is this the norm? Are Navy & Airforce referred to the same way?

Well, Airforce probably IS a single entity these days...