Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Year

If you had the opportunity to change everything, absolutely everything, even (maybe) your identity, would you? And what would you do?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Medal winning dancer.

He was clad all in black: black shirt, black belt, black pants, black socks, black shades, black soul...

He swooped up the steps to the church hall as if in slow motion. He swept through the double doors of an adjoining room, they flapped closed elegantly behind him, in his mind's eye, a pigeon launched itself from the rafters, over his shoulder and out through the doors before they closed. "Whatever happens next", he thought, "This part's choreographed by John Woo."

Shit was about to go down.

Without pause he crossed the room in slow motion, surveying the occupants, a circle of seated men, all looking at the apparition that had just burst in. "Hey", he thought to himself, "there's that guy Pete from ....." He nodded. Then he wondered, not for the first time in his life "Where are all the women?"

A young man stood up from the circle, gave an unsure smile and said "Welcome to our erectile dysfunction workshop."

The man in black didn't flinch. Inwardly, he wondered if anyone could make out his eyes behind the shades. Looking only at the young man, he squeaked "Um... the social dancing medals?"

The young man looked deflated and only said "Next door."

"Sorry." The man in black spun around, and in glorious slow motion, swept back out of the room, knowing that he would never, ever visit ..... again.

And so last weekend, I danced foxtrot & cha cha for my first 2 Dance, Social Medal. My allocated time was 9.30am. I turned up at 9.00am so that I could sort out my partner for the dance (one of the very advanced women), and run through so that I didn't fluff up my steps.

When I got there I found they were already 50 minutes behind time. And so that gave me the chance to check out the others. These ranged from beginners like me, dressed in (black) "smart casual", to the highly advanced, and highly glitzed up mega-dancers.

First up was a young guy doing his 2 Dance Social too. I thought I could do better quite frankly. Then came a young woman in a gown, dancing her 4 Dance Social. I definitely could not do better than that.

There were the elegant, the stompers, the simply beautiful, the cool, the nervous, and the enthusiastic.

The judge spent most of the time chatting to the lady next to her, rather than watching the dancers, so I figured there was scope for improvisation.

There is a ritual to these things it turns out, when my turn came, Shona, my designated dancer & I held hands, walked to the lady doing the music, introduced ourselves & made very small talk. Then we approached the judge, introduced ourselves again & she made small talk about how to pronounce my name (like it's spelt: Llewjoihowicz), told her what we were doing - 2 Dance Social, foxtrot & cha cha.

And then we were up. Approximately one minute of each dance. I cannot remember what music was played.

My foxtrot was pretty good in my opinion, I didn't fall over, nor did I step on anyone's toes. My cha cha was OK. The audience clapped & cheered, but then, they did that for everyone.

Oh, and at the end, Shona & I curtsied & bowed to the judge.

I presume I got the medal, I find out whether with distinction or whatever, next week.

And yes, all sorts of diverse meetings do take place in other rooms of the community building in question.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Was Sobran based on me?

I think a while ago I read or heard someplace that the Kapiti Coast author Linda Niccol was heartily sick of people approaching her & saying "You know so-and-so, from your short story Thingamibob? Was she by any chance based on my great aunt Mildred who lives down the road from you?"

At the time, I thought this was a bit precious, if it were me I'd be grateful anyone had read the story at all.

So anyway, I was at an old mate's 50th recently, and who should be there? I bounded over:

"Hey Linda"

"Hey Llew"

"Hey Linda, you know the fireman character in your story the Waterbores?"

"Yes", she said suspiciously.

"Of course you do, heh. Anyway, I was wondering if he was based on my brother-in-law Richard who lives down the road from you."

"No." (Very curtly.)

I'd have followed up with small talk, or possibly even confessed I did it on purpose (although I had always wondered), but across the room, who should I spot but Elizabeth Knox, and I was suddenly curious to find out if the angel Xas was based on Bill Manhire.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Ballad of Rodney (and Yoko)

Standing in the airport in Auckland,
Trying to get to London first class
The man from the press said, you'll make such a mess
We'll let you off if you will give us a dance.

Christ you know it aint easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Finally made the plane into London,
Shacked up in a 5 star hotel
The PM called to say
You can make it o.k.,
If you both move to a fleapit motel

Christ you know it aint easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Flew from London to the Toronto Hilton,
Just been in our bed for a week.
The newspapers said, say what you doing in there?
I said, We're only trying to make our ends meet.

Christ you know it aint easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Spending up your money on a holiday,
Business class hilarity.
Last night the squeeze said,
Oh boy, when all's said
You'll put those seven hundred
On the dole - SHIT!

Made a lightning trip to Los Angeles,
Drinking protein shake from a boot
The newspapers said, she's gone to his head,
He looks like a baked bean in a suit.

Christ you know it aint easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Caught a recent plane into to Christchurch.
Told some folk the PM's a sloth
The men from the press said, we got to report this,
And now I get to face JK's wrath!

Christ you know it aint easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mt Vic Lookout

Been years since I visited there. But recently, after attending the wake for a guy called Laurie Langston, I drove up & took a look at the city. Pretty cool eh?

Looking out from Mt Vic #1

Looking out from Mt Vic #2

Looking out from Mt Vic #3

Two things I Did This Weekend.

Can we do it? Well, turns out, yes we can. These are the first two of several planned "raised beds". We're going to build several more in this area & grow all sorts of stuff. Starting with corn and capsicum in one bed, and a mixture of lettuces & rocket in the other.

Raised bed #1

Raised bed #2

Raised bed #3

These were dead easy to make, I bought the timber some time ago & due to lengthy debate about where the beds would be positioned, it was a while before construction began. But all in all, construction, shifting the (home made) compost, planting and watering took only two days.

These are 3m x 1.5m x 0.3m. I'm going to do a bunch that are only 1.2m wide too, which is easier for shorter people to reach across.

I can make you one or some of these too, pretty cheap. Flick me an email if you're interested.

Spring at SunnyO






Thursday, September 03, 2009

I musht be in heaven

I browse the job sites now & then, just in case that dream job turns up. That includes the Government job site, not that I think the dream job will turn up there, but something interesting might well & that can be fun too.

Well today a real interesting one turned up. Field Collection Officers, NZSIS.

YES! "Field" Something "Officers"! Spooks!

Intrigued I dug further.

The vacancy says this:

Working in conjunction with investigative sections in one of our core business areas, you will be part of a team that builds and maintains relationships with people of interest and relevant to our national security. To accomplish this, you will be required to establish contact and interact with a wide range of people and form an effective working relationship with each. You will need to be capable of modifying your behaviour to integrate with the range of people you will meet and the different environments in which you will find yourself. You will also be able to empathise with people whose view you may not share.

Can't you see it?! You'd be a "liaison" with narks from sundry groups (the Greens?) and ne'erdowells that might threaten your life with a switchblade knife (what a guy, makes me cry undt I did).

I've read le Carre & Deighton, Fleming too, I know this means "Tradecraft"! And sure enough, the job description is online for all to see.

And past the usual blurb we see:

Tradecraft: Use appropriate tradecraft to support meetings with agents, potential agents and intelligence interviews. To identify and apply appropriate mitigates on security issues related to agent handling; to operate in accordance with accepted best practice and standard operating procedures

"Appropriate tradecraft", I like that. Lots of scope there.

No mention of tux allowance and Aston Martins, but I'm game to speculate there'll be "dead letter drops", and cool surveillance equipment. Wires. Maybe the odd "wet job" too.

There might even be times for disguise & funny accents.

Don't you love this country? There's no covert recruitment from universities, there's just an advertisement on the bog normal government jobs website.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours...

This had us chuckling in the weekend, essentially, after an 18 month dispute over a sewer pipe running through his property, a man cut the pipe at the boundary and capped it, leaving the neighbour with nowhere to go.

Neighbour cuts sewer pipe |

What was particularly amusing to us is that we know both parties, one used to shear our sheep, the other sweeps our chimneys.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A portrait of the artist wearing Toxic Shorts

Everyone's got their costumes for special occasions, I've got a dinner suit upstairs that has seen a few formal outings, I have suits & jackets for work, I have certain clothes for walking the dog, pretty much the same set for gardening & an old business shirt & the Toxic Shorts for painting.

Actually, I retired the Toxic Shorts today, and replaced them with the shapeless track pants I bought for $5 in Rebel Sports about 5 years ago wore only once because people would stare at me in public.

The Toxic Shorts were bought some years ago on Castaway Island in Fiji, they were white & blue, with the Castaway Island logo down one side. I bought them for swimming togs, but only wore them once in the sea as they went completely transparent.

Their appearance, transparency aside, was not so great that I'd consider wearing them to a social occasion such as a barbecue, so they became painting attire.

No-one's painting attire looks stylish, but every appearance af the Toxic Shorts brought such remark, that the shorts achieved some level of family notoriety. Garlic cloves & crucifixes would be dusted off & worn prominently.

I was painting tongue-and-groove in the laundry today, it's a long story, but the clothes dryer got moved, the vent hole was plugged, the tongue-and-groove sanded & filled & then glooped over with something like a cross between putty and undercoat (it hides a lot of sins - there're a few borer so this is just a stop gap until the wall cladding gets replaced at some unspecified future time.) Today I applied the first top coat.

At some stage Mrs Llew popped in & noted the absence of the Toxic Shorts. But she said "What the hell is with that hideous old T shirt?"

"Doesn't it make me look like Marlon Brando?" I enquired.

"Yes, but not the young one." Was the final judgement.

Still, the laundry wall looks better than it has in years.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hot dogs! Get your hot dogs here!

Am I the only person who is wondering if the dog that that Tongan guy barbecued in Auckland the other day was registered? I mean, he can get a refund on his registration fee if the dog dies. Yeah right.

Am I the only person who thought "One less neglected pit bull terrier cross off the streets"?

Am I the only one getting more curmudgeonly in my old age?

We slaughter thousands of animals in all sorts of disgusting ways every day for food, leather & soap (check those ingredients sometime). We euthanise hundreds, if not thousands of dogs for sundry reasons each year... you see where I'm going with this right?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Scenes from another planet

Were "theme parties" a 1980s thing? Or does every decade subject itself to the phenomenon?

Here's the picture that will shortly embarrass a friend of mine on the anniversary of his half century on Earth.

I avoid theme parties these days, but it appears there were times I pulled out the stops. Must have been drunk. I recall I was wearing a cute vampire for a lot of this evening. Must have liked bananas.

Scenes from another century

The brother of an old friend emailed me the other day, he asked if I could search out any old & embarrassing photos of his youngest brother, in time for his 50th birthday. And so I found myself in the attic, dredging out scenes from my life from so long ago, they were printed on paper. Many have degraded to the point of unscannability (is that a word?).

I remember having multiple copies of this photo made around 1978 or 1979 for everone involved. It was taken at Staglands in Upper Hutt. The camera was sitting on the top of someone's car.

Included are myself, 4 guys I went to college with, two guys who were in my 1st stage English tutorial, two friends of one of those guys, and two friends of one of those friends. Among others, they're who I hung out with much of my time at university.

These people can be variously described, without doing them any justice whatsoever, and only accurate at all at that point in time - many of these people have changed in ensuing years. But they included the sporto, the "good bloke", bookish guy, the "complex" one with a hint of narcissism that irritated everyone & bludged cigarettes, the party girl, the accountant to be, the muso, the serious drug consumer, the chick everyone wanted to shag, and the chick everyone did shag. The lines between them were a little more blurred than that suggests though.

Apologies if you're in this photo, you choose which one you were OK?

I flatted with one of them for years, and I know where all are at the moment, save for 3. I still catch up with 3 of them regularly. Some are overseas. Not all of them still have hair.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Will work for good cause and money.

OK, I'm on the lookout for work. No wait. Now I think about it, I'm on the lookout for money, and if I have to work for it, well so be it. I'm not proud.

Fact is, I'm superfluous to the business I've been working in for the last 3-4 years, part of my job was to automate things & reduce overheads.

I did that part really well - I have saved the business a whacking $8k a month. Not counting my salary!

But actually, what it is, is I have time on my hands right now, and what better way to use that time than by making money!

But here's the rub: the thought of returning to an 8-5 corporate IT job just kills my soul. I've applied for a few, had a few interviews, and have completely failed to find any enthusiasm for the process at all. Mrs Llew recognises this & is very, very supportive.

I've pottered around the orchard, marketed a few nuts (not enough to sustain the lifestyle to which I am accustomed though - we don't have enough nuts, I mean, to give up the day job, so to speak).

This is not to say I've been idle, around sundry parts of the lower North Island I have variously: trimmed, cut & chopped; scraped, sanded back, filled and painted (although Mrs Llew has heroically painted also); dug and planted many varieties of tree; concreted and mortared; lifted lino and hardboard; arranged sanders and polishers, and telecom and electricians; moved beds, chairs, chests of drawers, TV cabinets and a HUGE old TV back and forth around the country; listened to weeks of Radio NZ, and hours of Timeless Hits; and sprayed dangerous chemicals over fruit trees.

And I must say I found that last one a little disagreeable, and I will shortly do a Handling Hazardous Chemicals certificate and get much better headwear than the mask and goggles I own (thesxe are chemical strength & good quality, but I feel I need sturdier headwear than that, something like a sou'wester with eyeholes perhaps).

I've done some writing, but have neglected all the blogs to which I supposedly contribute, have hardly commented anywhere at all... but I do draw the line at waking at noon & wandering aimlessly around the house in my pyjamas. In fact, I don't own any pyjamas anyway. I also never turn on the TV before the evening news, if then.

Mrs Llew playfully suggested I may be going through my mid life crisis. "Hello" I said, "Do you see a '68 Mustang ragtop outside, and/or a hot 25 year old? That's clearly not the case."

Women have no idea atr all how to conduct an enthusiastic mid life crisis.

So what to do....? I saw a cute seeing eye puppy today, it was in a MacDonalds, heroically trying not to react to the smell of food, not an easy task for a labrador pup - I thought that might be a really cool career - bringing one up I mean, not being one. I suspect that's a voluntary thing though.

Or a professional poker player. That would also be cool. I wonder if I'm any good at it.

I'll take suggestions if anyone can be bothered, I'm thinking laterally, something worthwhile & enjoyable, possibly something part time, not necessarily something that pays megabucks, you can take it as given that I won't be retraining to be a lawyer or anything. And don't email me any job descriptions for IT manager for an insurance firm OK?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

You don’t need a fiscal stimulus if you’ve got Jesus

Heh. Words of Wisdom from Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry.

One of the things about living between two houses is that you often find yourself moving furniture between one or the other, then, when something changes (like the impending arrival of someone to stay for a year or so) you move it all back.

So yesterday, I was in a borrowed Toyota van, moving a double bed back into town, and a single bed, and sundry other items, back up the coast.

Someone else's car can tell you lots about the owner: it may be messy, or pristine, full of ciggie butts, or other odds & ends, but the most joy by far, is to listen to someone else's choice of radio channel.

I'd change the station, but last time I did that with this van, I'd failed to notice which frequency I'd started off with, and it was mentioned to me that leaving the dial on Radio NZ was not appreciated.

So yesterday I decided to leave the station as was & I tootled into town to the strains of variously:

Bend It - Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, and Titch
12 Steps to Love - The Tremeloes
I Write the Songs - The Guy Who Wrote the Songs
Something by Dean Martin that I didn't recognise

I misted over slightly at that Pony She Named Wildfire, I marveled that it had been a long time since I'd heard Jonothan Livingston Seagull (and I have now renamed one of the characters in my nascent novel, Jonathon Livingston Segal).

At Pukerua Bay, Michael Jackson's Ben* segued perfectly into something by Roberta Flack & the rest of the trip was spent with Mana FM, who seem to specialise in Motown funk & R&B.

On arriving home, I told Mrs Llew that I wasn't sure what was scarier, the steering or the radio station. Mrs Llew revealed she'd made a passing comment to the van's owner a few days ago, about the singer Pink. The van owner asked "Who?"

On the return trip, the Supremes on Mana FM sputtered once, and morphed into a Jackson song so heinous, that my mind had blocked it out until now & channels I tuned into pretty much deny its existence, no mean feat for a Jackson song at this time - The Girl is Mine (The Girl is Nine?), a feeble duet with Paul McCartney. He was a lover, not a fighter, apparently.

I endured ABBA's Dancing Queen, Queen's Another One Bites the Dust, Buddy Holly's Oh Boy, The Streak by Ray Stevens, and surprisingly, Hello Sailor's Blue Lady followed by Midnight Oil's Power and the Passion..

I warbled along to It Never Rains in California, Roy Orbison Crying, and gritted my teeth to Sir Cliff's Devil Woman.

I didn't catch the station's name, but much mention was made of "Timeless Hits", for which the cutoff date seems to be around 1975.

* A quick word at David Gest, who hosted an MTV show of MJ's 40 "Greatest" videos the other night on TV, Ben was not a song Jackson wrote about his pet rat, it was the theme to the 1971 movie Willard, a mediocre schlocker about a guy with a rat called Ben, whose friendship goes horribly wrong.

Monday, June 29, 2009

They've found the Rock!

Or the Church... I can't remember which one Paul was. Oh wait, he was the bass guitarist.

But anyway, it seems someone's opened an old tomb, and OK, it's been rumoured for eons to be the tomb of the Apostle Paul, but they appeared to be satisfied that this is indeed he, because carbon dating says the bones date from the 1st or 2nd century.

That settles it, it has been long known that the only person to die in Rome in the 1st and 2nd centuries was the Apostle Paul.

Tests confirm St Paul's bones - Pope |

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hell yes.

I just watched the Jim Carrey film, Yes Man. it's the one with Rhys darby in it.

I'm not a huge Carrey fan, but this does have quite a few laugh out loud moments. It also has a few, y'know, Jim Carrey moments, but they're the exception rather than the rule - he's pleasantly toned down for a change & the film is funnier for it.

Carrey is Carl, a guy who hasn't got over his marriage breakup 3 years ago & makes excuses not to have a life. His friends are giving up on him, particularly when he forgets his best friend's engagement party.

Anyway, he attends a self motivation convention featuring an Uber-creepy Terrence Stamp "Say yes a million times and then say it a million times more, what you have just said 2 million times is...?"

"YES" his followers roar.

In a very embarrassing exchange, Carl enters into a covenant with Stamp to say "Yes" to every opportunity that presents itself.

On his first day, Carl takes up flying, Korean, and guitar lessons (all of which come in handy down the track - the singing-the-suicidal-jumper-off-the-ledge scene is particularly inspired), drives a homeless man up into the hills & gives him the use of his mobile phone. Just like in the Secret, the universe starts giving things back to Carl big time. His life does a 180 degree spin, his friends start to like him again, he hooks up with Zooey Deschanel, and gets a promotion.

He starts to treat people better, he attends a Harry Potter theme party at the home of his boss (Rhys Darby doing Murray), which I thought was one of the funniest sights I'd laid eyes on until the 300 theme party later on in the movie. Imagine please, a near naked Darby clad in leather undies, fake beard, sword, shield and horn rimmed glasses roaring "We are SPARTAAAAA!" It's chilling.

There are downsides... there's a scene with a randy old lady that had me covering my eyes.

But on the whole, I'm quite taken with the film and the concept, I have resolved that from tomorrow morning, I shall be alive to opportunities.

Of course, I have the advantage that I have seen the end, where Carl learns that it is OK to say "No" now & then.

SO I won't be: learning to fly, bungy jumping, getting a blowjob from an octogenarian (nor anyone that is not called Mrs Llew). Chances are slim that I will drive a hobo anywhere.

But aside from that, and with all the fine print terms and conditions applying, hell YES!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

After the referendum

Everyone be vigilant, if Larry Baldock, or anyone else behind the wording of this odd question (should it be legal to control parents' behavour by smacking them, apparently - look, I heard Baldock telling Sean Plunket* what HE thinks it means, & my take is grammatically more valid than his) ever rails about falling literacy standards, we should have grounds to demand our $9m back.

* I think that Plunket, as a journalist was more upset by the assault on the English language than the issue of child assault, every definition proffered by Baldock was met with a frustrated (and correct) "But that's not what it says."

And uh... you're going to have to look for that plunket interview link yourself, it's been months since I posted & I'm exhausted after this. It'll be on the Radio NZ site somewhere

Monday, May 04, 2009

Alexander the Director's Cut

I finally caught Oliver Stone's Alexander. Reviews of the original version suggested that all the film's highlights were in Colin Farrell's hair...

Well same for the director's cut as it turned out.

Pretty so so... but if you're in the mood for a film about a rowdy Wham tribute band brawling their way aroung Greece & Asia Minor, it's probably worth a look.

Alexander (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fresh figs

In the last few weeks I've tried fresh figs for the first time ever. Not just fresh figs, but homegrown fresh figs!

Actually, we lived in a place with a fig tree once before - it was too tall to reach the fruit & the birds got every last one, every year. SunnyO has a fig tree too, and it's much smaller so the fruit is within reach. However, for the last several years, the birds have consumed every last fig well before they ripened enough for humans.

But this year, I purchased a number of diverse lengths of bird netting. I netted off grapes (partially successfully) tomatoes (very successfully), and the small fig tree (EPIC result!).

Figs are very nice, they're better when they're slightly squishy than when they're firm. I recommend you try some if you have the chance.

(Sorry for lack of photos of homegrown figs).

Figs/Ficus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, March 13, 2009

Remember the SRA booklets at school?

I can't remember what it stood for, I'll punt that the "R" is for "reading" though. ANyway, someof the more interesting stories involved Niagara falls - there was the tale of Blondin (was it?) who repeatedly tightrope walked over the falls, and there was another, at least as bizarre3, about the loonies daredevils who rode over the falls in various barrels & vessels. For many, it was their last act of recklessness.

Anyway, from this story - some guy survived the other day, he was barrel-less - and it ends with this salutory piece... a good place to earn a Darwin Award, if that's your thing.

But stunts at the massive waterfall are much less common, with the last known attempt in 1995 when an American man attempted to ride a jet-ski over the falls and trigger a parachute. His body was never recovered.

I wonder if the jet ski was though.

Man survives Niagara Falls plunge |

More stories

Fun with (big) numbers

How much is a trillion dollars? | Whale Oil Beef Hooked

Hat/tip Whaleoil (what the hey, he's nearly housetrained these days), via DPF

Great Moments in Sub-Editing. # 1

Hayden Panettiere is reportedly trying to get her ex-boyfriend kicked off of hit television show Heroes.

Break-up causes trouble for Heroes |

Thursday, March 12, 2009

As You Do

So I was looking up Roger Kerr in Wikipedia... have a look & see if you can fathom this bit of his bio:

Kerr was a senior figure in both the New Zealand Treasury and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He met an untimely end at the hands of switchblade killingsworth in 1979.Pussy.

Roger Kerr - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Aww... another sad animal story

Penguin flatmate run over |

Senior Sergeant Richard Hocken, head of Wellington's strategic traffic unit, said speeding and racing were known to happen in the area, but speed bumps were not always a practical solution.

"To be honest, I'm dubious when people call for speed bumps, it's often a knee-jerk reaction to issues they see themselves. There has to be some good reason for them."

Um... to slow cars down? Anyway, it's sad (and funny in a way) but Juan Carlos' demise was probably unavoidable.

Watchmen - is it any good?

Depends, it seems. Although the experience is supposedly better if you've read the comic.

Reelviews Movie Reviews - Watchmen

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Henry's Swansong

I'm a sucker for sad animal stories, although this one's quite a tale (and I typed "tail" there can you believe it?). Henry the swan, Thomas the goose, and more recently, Henrietta, the other swan, living in a happy menage a trois until now.

So long Henry, we never knew you.

Henry's death ends a feathered threesome |

Monday, March 02, 2009

Property is theft?

OK, time to expose my ignorance again. Who can tell me WTF "property is theft" means & why?

I've heard it for years, but having just come across the phrase again, it strikes me that while I know what it means, I can't quite get my head around why they say it means that.

The mere fact of owning something is theft because it denies someone else? But theft from whom? Wouldn't it have to be someone else's property in order to be theft & that would make them thieves too?

Head hurts.

Here's where I saw it:

And here's what Wikipedia says (Marx - Karl, not Groucho - agrees with me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Join the Internet Blackout - Protest Against Guilt Upon Accusation Laws in NZ — Creative Freedom Foundation (

Pretend this website os blacked out. I mean, it would be if I wasn't busy & had time to figure out how to do it. But as someone else mentioned - this blog blackout thing is REALLY going to stick it to the government (slight sarcasm) - it's symbolic right? Know what I mean guv?

Join the Internet Blackout - Protest Against Guilt Upon Accusation Laws in NZ — Creative Freedom Foundation (

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Trebuchets at Taupo

Courtesy of Murry at Hittingmetalwithahammer

YouTube - ImaginosFilms's Channel

Cool TradeMe Auction

Two remote control underwater vehicles for sale! Suitable for checking on your mussel farm, affixing limpet mines etc.

Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle Project for sale - - New Zealand

Pity I was actually looking for a post hole borer - these are way cooler than that.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hero on the Hudson - think you're as good as Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger

Prove it. Land your stricken airbus on the Hudson River.

Hero on the Hudson - Free Arcade & Classic Game from AddictingGames

Don't call me sexy, Potter star says -

The Harry Potter star, Emma Watson, apparently:

does not want to be known for her looks, and has no interest in starring in raunchy photo-shoots.

I know everyone wants a picture of me in a mini-skirt. But that's not me. I feel uncomfortable. I'd never go out in a mini-skirt. It's nothing to do with protecting the Hermione image. I wouldn't do that.

Don't call me sexy, Potter star says -

That's a relief then

Somewhat brilliant advertisement

Making of vid here

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amusing new Air NZ advertisement

I urge you to click through...

From the folk at (if you click through, that "sex" tape is NSFW-ish)

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Ventures

First day back in the office today. Why do we have to come back just as the really hot weather begins? I'm struggling with shoes & long trousers... but hey,. I always do.

We harvested 125.1 kg of macadamia nuts, add that to the 98.3 kg we harvested in July & we have a few to dispose of now. Bear in mind that they'll lose one quarter to one third their weight when dried.

But anyway, we're prepared now, we even have retailers interested. Look for them in discerning outlets. And hey, do I have to remind you to buy local? Unless you're reading this from far flung parts, in which case I'll remind you to be broad of mind & buy something exotic.

You'll know them by the cool logo designed for us by the lovely Nicole from Chattanooga. Is that cool or what? I mean the fact she's from Chattanooga. Anyway, the logo:

Kapiti Macadamias

And here's the other one Nicole whipped up, this one's for any other produce we er... produce in future, and possibly for sending irate letters to the local council. As much as I hate twee names for houses, ours has had its for more than twice my lifespan, so we'll keep it for now. May even get a new sign made up along the lines of this!

Rahui Lodge

In other news, Wilma caught the rat she was stalking for a week or so from the time she first laid eyes on it. It would cross a 2 metre gap between a huge phoenix palm & our pump house, always between 5 & 6pm in the evenings.

The first two nights Wilma was too slow & we saw her jumping vainly in the air under the tree, and the next night trying to dig a hole under the pump house. She'd been sitting there for ages, pointedly not looking in the direction the rat came from each evening, but her ears were tilted behind her.

On the thirs evening, all hell broke loose, she's a smart dog & third time the rat found it's escape was blocked by a tricky labrador & it found itself stranded in our vegie patch. Half a dozen corn stalks later, the rat made a heroic dash for a small hole under the house.

So next day I blocked that. And the hunt continued for a week or so, until one night, me & Mrs Llew (we got a thing going on) were at the supermarket & we got a txt from our daughter Marzipan saying "Wilma killed the rat. What do I do?"

Well we turfed it of course.

In other local fauna news, last Friday, while walking down the beach, I curtailed a long boring description someone was giving me about 9/11 conspiracy theory DVD with a hearty "HOLY SHIT!"

"What?" the crowd pleaded.

"There's a seal!" And 50 metres ahead, sure enough, there was a seal emerging from the surf.

I managed to catch Wilma just befopre she launched herself at it, I suspect it would not be so keen on canine company as another dog would.

The seal basked in the sun, hollered at passers by who came too close, groomed itself & appeared to be showing off.

Later, my friend Hamish turned up with a camera, so I may have photos.

It was a good Christmas, a smallish one for us, only 15 people or so, we had rellies from the UK come & visit in the new year, we were picking about a kilo of fresh raspberries a day from the canes the whole time, we got to try the plums this year before the birds ate them all & I have netted off figs, grapes, and tomatoes from the same birds, so we may get to try those too.

And hey, it wasn't all bucolic loafing, I have completed a solid 500 words or so of the novel so far. And it's hilarious, if I say so myself.

There's probably more, when & if I remember I'll blog it in the usual disjointed manner.