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Showing posts from October, 2005

Define Political Correctness

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My view: it's all arse. And those that have a job in anyway related to such arse are merely talking about arse.

For further in depth discussion check out my ancient posting, Political Correctness

If you want to leave your views then may I humbly suggest you add them to those at llew's most excellent posting, Define Political Correctness please?

For those not of a New Zealand bent or just not taking notice the reason "Political Correctnes" has raised its silly head in the passed few days is that the Parliamentary opposition (National Party) has appointed Wayne Mapp as "spokesperson for Political Correctness Eradication" ... exactly, huh?!? - maybe this NZ Herald article will help. Or maybe this very funny (or is it) Handicapped Parking Must Go article from Public Address.

As far as I can see it's a job to spend money ensuring we think whatever we like but only say it in sanctioned ways, i.e., none of that namby-pamby, liberal leaning, hippie-speak that the c…

Christchurch has (some) Christmas street decorations up

Those tinsel-y things that are shaped like stars, reindeer and the like, you know, the sort that hang off lampposts like banners. Them. I saw a few up on the north end of Columbo Street just before Cathedral Square - for those in Wellington that's the equivalent to top of Willis Street so you can see it's town but not quite.

I trust it's not too confusing for anyone out dressed up as a witch or hobgoblin tonight ...

And I told you sometime weeks ago how Farmers already has its Christmas decorations out
*bah* *humbug*

Oooh, Oooh. Trick-or-treater's at the door ... very cool, good makeup, well deserving of a handful of Warehouse lollies/sweets - and yar-boo-sucks to those that don't like it :-)

A fortnight to go ... holy fuck

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Sorry, but it's all a bit serious now!

The work calendar is being kept as clear as possible from next week on with 'tentative' replies to all meetings.

Liz, of course, is totally over the whole deal and when we had that spate of hothot days she nearly died. It's early to bed and late to rise (when she can) as many times as possible. And to be fair, I'm doing the same. I had the final blow-out on Friday and from now on I'm gonna be going to be when Liz does (9pm latest) as I need to be all ready.

No more DVDs from Alice's for quite some time.

I don't really have much else to say except, "Meg, HURRY UP!"

Number photo from Flickr: Interesting photos tagged with two
Read the previous Meg postings >>

I love it when a plan comes to fruition

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Well done to both the Silver Ferns for blowing the Aussies off the court last night (61-36).


And, excellent news to hear that the Kiwi's beat both the on-field British team (42-26) and the off-field garbage last night!

I trust the All Blacks will take heart and do the same ... although I'd not be totally unhappy if they lost their first game!

Walking school bus - what a cracking idea

Heard an article about Walking School Buses on National Radio this morning and I thought, "Well done someone for thinking outside the square".

It came from a report about kids, exercise and the lack thereof. One of the issues was that kids used to walk to school (what, everyone?) and now-a-days kids get driven to school (what, everyone?).

It was trialed in New Zealand by the Christchurch Council (congrats that place of work) and seems to be spreading around the country. The idea is comes from America and there's an excellent website for starting a Walking Bus in your area:
http://www.walkingschoolbus.org

King Kong, the pre-release malarkey builds up

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Second trailer for the Kong movie is out next Thursday but in the meantime get in fast with the latest PPD (7 weeks to go) as it could be all gone in 24 hours :-)
With 7 weeks to go we are shown 'The Mix' Part 1 featuring Chris Boyes, Ethan Van der Ryn, Michael Hedges & Michael Semanick. These 4 men are in charge of mixing Kong's sound together, the special effects, dialog and music all have to weave in and out to form a cohesive mix of sound that is both pleasing to the audience, and effective enough to work alongside with the visuals in the film. We get to see some great footage in all stages here, from finished work to blue-screen shots...and some great T-rex footage too! Take a look!
Oh, and this film better be successful - like he's not sort of a pretty penny or two, but still:
The film director Peter Jackson has been forced to pay a fine running into millions of dollars for going massively over budget on his latest project, King Kong. Jackson, the man who set Ho…

You print this, "they" will know when and with what

In case you didn't know. Every printout you make is coded on the page without you knowing. Until now.

... printouts from many color laser printers contained yellow dots scattered across the page, viewable only with a special kind of flashlight ...

... The U.S. Secret Service acknowledged yesterday that the markings, which are not visible to the human eye, are there, but it played down the use for invading privacy ...

... contains the serial number of the printer as well as the date and time a document was printed ...

Oooh yes. Print this posting and "they" can trace it back to when and with what printer - Sleuths Crack Tracking Code Discovered in Color Printers

Two weeks after the NPC final ...

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... which is, supposedly, the end of the NZ rugby season and we have this: Return of familiar faces in Hurricanes squad, backed by 2006 Rebel Sport Super 14 squads announced.

Come on ... we'll be having Christmas stuff on display in department stores ... YES!! YES!!! We have fucking Christmas displays in department stores ... what the fuck!!! Sorry ... sorry, bad for swearing. But for F-sake ... Father Christmas (aka Santa Claus) in October is just wrong. Like a hooker walking into a library. Like a policeman in a pub. Like your teacher outside of school. Like you reading this.

Wrong.

Your celebs looking like you

IE ... ha ha ha

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OK, it's been a while since I've tried to use IE (Internet Explorer - Microsofts browser) and then I did:



Of course I now expect a far higher standard of application than I suspect Microsoft can currently deliver, namely:
meebo.comGmailFlickrPhotobucket All Web 2.0 which is, in my view, something that Microsoft hasn't got a game plan for.
Much like the national breweries here in NZ hadn't planned for micro-breweries to be quite so successful. And buying Macs or Monteiths didn't, somehow, make any difference to the value customers - they moved on from those beers (which, "we discovered before everyone else") to even more "real" beers.

Get me?

Goooo Grease Lightning, Grease Lightning, Go Grease Lightning

It's another stunning day here in the capital of the south island and after a morning of working at home ... no, truly, I did do some work, in fact I can get about twice as much done at home than at work - twice as much writing that is, meetings are harder for me.

Anywho - it's a lovely day, been with a gang of work colleagues to see the fishes and Kiwi's in the Square (check out Southern Encounter) at lunchtime - it was sweet as. And I'm now about to bugger off to the pub for another meeting before a night out on the town.

And I'm getting myself in the mood (and any others that care to join me there) by playing the Grease movie soundtrack. And up comes Grease Lightning.

Now, for those that know me from the school days this will, I am 100% sure, bring back one particular memory. The school review. Snow White and the 11 Dwarves. Andy Sparkes (hey mate) in a leather jacket. The choreographed moves. Rob Potter (hey hey) dressed in a nappy on a bike ... "I want my mu…

At the start of something cool

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I followed a stack of links about the Ajax programming and ended up at meebo.com

It's a start-up company (run by 3 people) that lets you use your favourite IM (instant messenger) via the Web!

All part of the Web 2.0 malarkey I keep an eye on.
[Updated 25-Oct]
Just have to say how utterly and totally cool this is. No software to install, totally browser based and all my IM contacts in one happy list from anywhere! It rocks!
[Updated 28-Oct]
Aha, and here are the clever meebo.com people on Flickr


Sumner Beach on Labour Day

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Hot, sunny and loads of fun - apart from the dog owners traipsing their damn dogs around despite the very large red sign; don't worry I told them!






Phew, what a scorcher

To quote (I think) a classic Sun newspaper headline.

It was stunning today, very hot and I had a lovely come home sitting in the garden with Jack and a glass of wine (I had the wine). Loved it.

Same yesterday actually - hot, hot, hot with friends around for dinner as we noshed and nattered with the kids (they have 2 boys) played with Zoe and Char.

Loving life.

Ha ha ha ha - awesome work someone

JonnyB's blog is still the best quality blog going BUT ... what a response from someone.



Read in order!

First, There is a knock on the door!!!

then, I knock on the door!!!

ending with a sulk

Thursday ramblings

Stuff from me in true blogging "stream of consciousness"

Wellington painting - in progress
Check out this Wellington painting from Viscount of Jive on Flickr - I love it.

What do you bring to NZ?
Loads of talk about the Kiwi-way and I pondered what I bring to the mix. This came from hearing about the awesome growth of the Diwali Festival up in Wellington.

So, what do you bring?


CB radio
Saw some ute drive passed with a stack (3, I think) CB-type aerials and it took me back to the days of CB radio in my bedroom. They deregulated the UK CB radio scene back in the late 70's early 80's and it was the thing to get one - so I did. Me and my mate would chatter away using all the lingo, natter to the truckies and generally have a cracking time - was definitely a community thing.

Did it happen like that here AND does it still have that feel about in the UK or has the Internet and mobile phones taken over?


Our youth
Since the nastiness in Auckland (and reported in Wellington) has raised…

Dilbert and blogging

I know, I know - it's been blogged a million times and Scott What-not is laughing his ailments off as we speak - but here it is one more time:

MY OWN DILBERT BLOG
===================
When I see news stories about people all over the world who are experiencing hardships, I worry about them, and I rack my brain wondering how I can make a difference. So I decided to start my own blog. That way I won’t have time to think about other people.

People who are trying to decide whether to create a blog or not go through a thought process much like this:1. The world sure needs more of ME.
2. Maybe I’ll shout more often so that people nearby can experience the joy of knowing my thoughts.
3. No, wait, shouting looks too crazy.
4. I know – I’ll write down my daily thoughts and badger people to read them.
5. If only there was a description for this process that doesn’t involve the words egomaniac or unnecessary.
6. What? It’s called a blog? I’m there!

The blogger’s philosophy goes something like this:

Ever…

Willowbank with Karen

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The season pass is getting a right old hammering, almost every weekend so far. This time it was with a great mate from Wellington, Karen, that was down for the first part of the Labour Weekend. We walked with the animals, fed the eels (euww), threw

But the most amazing part to us newly-become New Zealanders was the Kiwi house. There they were, walking around and not a care in the world.


The wee man a month before Meg

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Meg is a mere 3 or 4 weeks away

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Due date: 13th November (20 days from now)
Final possible birth date: 23rd November (30 days)
Allowable (according to me) birth date: anytime from 1st November (8 days!)

Crickey malickey!

We're ready though:
Liz's "overnight" bag packedDuties dished out
most important Carol looking after Jack; Sarah getting Liz to the hospitalBack up for me sortedMeg's clothes ready to rock 'n' roll (50%+ pink ...)Bassinet readyRoom readyParents-to-be ready(ish)Liz is most definitely ready - any time now is good enough
I'm ready to be there and do my bit ... whatever it might be
And everything else we need to do - done
BRING IT ON!
Ah - car seat for the wee girl not yet done but that's basically us ready to go.

All jolly exciting ... in fact it's so real now I can't wait. Work is probably about to slip to second place in the "what's happening in your life Mike?" stakes pretty darn soon (maybe the end of this week) and then it'll be all on.

Ooooh ...…

8 weeks - get your Kong diary now

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From the site today (25-Oct, 1:33pm)
UPDATE: Please Note: We have removed this PPD Entry for the time being, it will be back up soon...watch this space for more info!


Before it all goes and you have to pay for it on DVD - 8 weeks to go

KongIsKing.net:
Kong is King! Or at least the '33 model is treated like one at the Wellywood studios in New Zealand. Bob Burns and his wife visit the production with a very special guest, the original King Kong model. The Burns' get to shoot a special cameo for the 2005 film (also Peter's final live action shot) and the model makes its way around the studio...easily distracting everyone in sight. Then something very VERY special happens...I am not going to spoil it for you...you'll have to see for yourself! Take a look!
First trailer is still the only one doing the rounds both on the official King Kong movie website and in huge and glorious resolution at the Apple site.

All Black squad for the 'Grand Slam Tour' of the UK

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In a mere 2 weeks time the boys will meet the boyo's in Cardiff as the start of the UK 'Grand Slam' tour (i.e., playing all the Home Countries - Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland) which is the final throw of the Kiwi rugby ball this year

The squad is:
John Afoa, AucklandDan Carter, CanterburyJerry Collins, WellingtonJimmy Cowan, SouthlandJason Eaton, TaranakiRico Gear, Nelson BaysCarl Hayman, OtagoAndrew Hore, TaranakiDoug Howlett, AucklandChris Jack, CanterburyByron Kelleher, WaikatoSione Lauaki, WaikatoLuke McAlister, North HarbourRichie McCaw, CanterburyAngus Macdonald, AucklandLeon MacDonald, CanterburyChris Masoe,TaranakiAaron Mauger, CanterburyKeven Mealamu, AucklandMils Muliaina, AucklandMa’a Nonu, WellingtonAnton Oliver, OtagoJoe Rokocoko, AucklandJames Ryan, OtagoSitiveni Sivivatu, WaikatoConrad Smith, WellingtonGreg Somerville, CanterburyRodney So’oialo, WellingtonNeemia Tialata, WellingtonIsaia Toeava, AucklandMose Tuiali’I, CanterburyTana Umaga, Wellington (Ca…

Thai Smile - both the food and place

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A couple of us with the Archers at Thai Smile last Sunday for tea - very nice food, well recommend it.


Guess what just turned 34?

Nice article about how Gmail was 'conceived':Official Google Blog: Guess what just turned 34?

Lines to laugh by

Just like a movie

Well, almost like the movie.

As spotted in Friday Press in Christchurch:
God sued
A Romanian prisoner serving 20 years for murder has sued God for failing to save him from the Devil. The inmate claims his Baptism was a contract with God to keep him out of trouble. "God even claimed and received from me various goods and prayers in exchange for forgiveness and the promise that I would be rid of problems and have a better life," he wrote in the suit.
- AgenciesNiiice, wonder who will be defending and where the case will be heard :-)

And I liked this article, Why I feel a tiny bit sorry for Bill Gates, by Richard Morrison in The Times, London.

I've got a new mobile number

Of course you'd like to know what it is - email me: christchurch.capers@gmail.com

Standards, so many to choose from

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As the phrase will have it ... how's this, 2 versions of a standard RSS feed!

Anyone explain the why for that? Source: bottom of the Konfabulator page (owned by Yahoo!) which I was taken to by Jessie.

RadioNZ website is finally a site of this century

Haven't trawled completely but am happy to see that it's got some real content:
Streaming live (MP3 or Windows Audio)RSS feedsLoads of content... enjoy
Hat tip James at Noizyblog for the news

Maxim Institute - what's your view on them?

I find them very dodgy, full of pre-conceived (!) Christian ideas and extremely dishonest and leading.

But, my biggest issue with them is that they have the answer ... yep, they've got it all for you if you want to be spoon fed, they can set you right and take away your capacity to think.

And it's all just "right-wing" Christian whitey's at it again!

Oh, and they and their ilk have both reviled the word "liberal" and changed the meaning of "conservative" whilst at the same time baddying around "political correct" willy-nilly.

My view, what's yours?

No, I don't want to link to them, makes me feel a little icky ... oh, go on then, but they wouldn't return the compliment:
Maxim InstituteTheir missionTheir key principlesWho they are (people)Atlas - a supporting organisation from the good ole US of A
For comments and investigations into them check out:
Russell Brown at Public AddressCraig Young at GayNZ.comWikipedia entryThe Fundy Po…

Bloggers, had this emailed to you a million times yet?

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(click to see full size) [Update 20-Oct] Thought it would be noble and right of me to link to the official Zits website

Does your blog suffer from the 'top 10 mistakes'?

As part of my on-going quest for the perfect website (and a blog is merely a website) the latest Usability report from Jacob Nielsen is of high interest: Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Mistakes

Jacob has been running with the 'usability' for many years and has built a reputation of questioning the norms, challenging us all to get better and reviewing whether we actually are.

Anywho, here's the top ten mistakes - check out the site for the details:
No author biographiesNo author photoNodescript posting titlesLinks don't say where they goClassic hits are buriedThe calendar is only navigationIrregular publishing frequencyMixing topicsForgetting that you write for your future bossHaving a domain name owned by a weblog service

Wellington was brilliant

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Thanks for asking.

I had a cracking time and it was all down to my mates there. It was brilliant hanging out with them all, seeing everyone and ... well, I loved it.

The place itself is still the best city in NZ and my second favourite place in the world (London still does it for me). BUT, I did notice that there was something missing when I power walked my way down Lambton Quay on Saturday afternoon towards my brunch at Mezzaluna, Tinakori Road - and the missing things were:

Liz, Jack and MegMy own place ... my nestApart from that it rocked and I got to do most of things I wanted to do (didn't do movie or Te Papa - no time).Highlights:Beers with Big Pete at The Twisted Hop, Christchurch - got me in the Wellington moodThe flight in (I nearly blubbed it was so homecoming-y)Catching up with PP, Chicks and TP at The Thistle Inn
Everyone at MalthouseOtago beating CanterburyDancing and fantabulous-ish drinks at Kitty'sBed all made up at KK and Pete's!Power walk from Newtown to Tina…

4 weeks (28 days) to go until I kiss Meg

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I know, it could be counted in days. Don't forget this is to the non-fixed date of Sunday, 13th November.

So, what's it like being this close ... quite exciting actually. And very scary/nervous-making. Even though we "done it before" with Jack we most certainly haven't "done it before" with Meg and much the same as we tried to prepare ourselves for the wee fella by reading loads of books (best Up The Duff by Kaz Cooke) there was no Rough Guide To Jack Riversdale. And there's most definitely not been a delivery of Lonely Planet Guide to Megan Hannah Riversdale (1st edition).

But even more 'dangerous' is thinking that because we do have Jack and have survived thus far it will be all the same. In fact, it's very easy to think that we'll just go through the same actions as before, that she'll be as easy as Jack was when he was a very small bub and that life will be much the same just in a different place.

It might.

But I suspect the chan…

Kong - music, diaries and merchandise

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Well, it's kicking in to the vast marketing machine we know and 'love' as Hollywood.

You've probably seen the 'parting of the creative ways' with Howard Shore who was writing the score. That must have been a hell of a meeting between Mr Jackson and Mr Shore ... sure they worked it out. Shame the NZSO recording won't be used though, would've been big mana for the Kiwi's and now some Hollywood orchestra gets the gig.
Good luck to the new guy (James Newtown Howard) with a massive 9 weeks to go - 6 to actually write and record the score is what I heard on the radio this morning.


The merchandise is kicking in with some extremely high value articles (feel the sarcasm dripping off that). Check out the stamps, the Ubisoft game, the mobile phone game, the film tie-in books, the figures, the Hollywood lottery, more books ... more to come!


And finally, the post production diaries. They have removed the first 54 of the previous weeks from the KongisKing site becaus…

Bird Flu and Tamiflu

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[Update 13-Oct] Oops, it's called "Tamiflu"

What's your view on the impending (if you take on board the message that's coming out) pandemic that will sweep the world?

From what I've gleaned so far I've learnt:
There'll be three waves of the fluThe first wave will be the most devastatingWe (NZ) are protected by being a natural islandIt will start in the Northern Hemisphere winter (ie, the next few months)Tamivirus is rushing out of chemist shops like it's made of goldThe NZ Government has been "planning" for such an event for about a yearIt may not just affect the young/old/sick as it may be like the 1918 flu that took anyone and everyoneNo one knows what, when or where ...No one has a clue what the virus will actually look like and therefore there can be no effective cure and/or immunisationAnd that last one makes me think that someone somewhere is making a lot of money out Tamiflu.[Updated 13-Oct]
More stuff I've picked up:
This virus ha…

Ooh, we won an Ig-Nobel

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Of course, you've all followed the links in the previous posting and knew that. If not, here's our (Kiwi) winner from the awards last week:

AGRICULTURAL HISTORY: James Watson of Massey University, New Zealand, for his scholarly study, "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley’s Exploding Trousers."
REFERENCE: "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley’s Exploding Trousers: Reflections on an Aspect of Technological Change in New Zealand Dairy-Farming between the World Wars," James Watson, Agricultural History, vol. 78, no. 3, Summer 2004, pp. 346-60.
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: James Watson

Sum of years

Cliff over at This is this is running an interesting little project to sum up his life in a limited number of words. I know it's been done before but he's doing each year with the words equally that year - first year one word, second two ...

Just started and up to year 3 - year one was a gimme, year two was good and year three confused the willies out of me.

Web 2.0, an excellent source of information

It's our Alan Mcdougall vs theirs

And in this case our Alan Mcdougall of half-pie is by far and away the housewives choice with cleaner postings and whiter pictures.

Reasons for this

This is not big, clever or grown up

But it is puerile, childish and did make me snort Fanta out my nose when I read it.
The street and email addresses can only be read with a smirk.

Thanks Justine Barber via Dave Barry (who else?)

Seven Habits Of Highly Annoying New Zealanders

Having thought I'd get the most annoying things about being a Kiwi (well, being amongst more established Kiwi's) I am delighted to say that Ms Vile File has done all the work for me.

Her posting Seven Habits Of Highly Annoying New Zealanders is almost word for word what I would have likeds to right liked to write

Go visit!

Virtual Friday musings

I know it's not Friday (hell, it's not even Thursday for some parts of the world) but as I'm off to Wellington tomorrow and it's been a bloody busy (BLOODY BUSY) week I've decide to celebrate Friday today and not wear the suit.

Tomorrow I might wear a suit just to prove to people back home that I do :-)

Anywho. I was, as I do nearly every work day, listening to the Morning Report on the National Radio this morning and I noticed that I had something to say about a large proportion of the articles and/or news items. And that's usual ... this time I made little notes to myself (on the phone, once again Adam, thanks).

So, here's my random "Friday" musings:

Sports associations giving money to assist with the earthquake recovery
How come there's been a limited ie, none until I heard that the International Cricket Board are donating some money (and all gate receipts from the Aussie game on Saturday), response from sporting associations (soccer, cricket, r…

Winnie the Pooh has replaced The Wiggles

We've dabbled with Thomas The Tank Engine, we've enjoyed Play School (Aussie version) and we've even had a brief affair with Pingu ... but it's Winnie the Pooh that's captured our hearts again.

And Jack likes it as well.

Bonus!

Things are good as well as bad

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It's been pointed out to me by close family (the Cantabrian side of the family I hasten to point out) that I can be a little negative about Christchurch in this blog. I also do something, Liz highlighted a few days ago, that I really don't like other people doing ... I'm generalising.

Yes ... the man that will slap you down in a blink of an eye when anyone comes out with sweeping statements has, in the recent past, said:

No-one seems to go anywhere on the weekend. I mean, what do they all do? In Wellington most people go away, say over the hill, and get a different perspective on life

Not good eh?
And wrong on so many levels.

So, to even it up a little here's the very cool stuff I've discovered in Christchurch:

The original facades of the older buildings are very cool - I love wandering the old parts of the townThe gardens ("parks") are excellent and will only get better with the coming of summerGenerally people are up for banter and not stuck up at allIt's…

What's been going down with you

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Sorry, I seem to be stuck in some white-guy version of talking in hip-hop. I will cease and desist this instance.

To start again - how are you doing? Long time no speak! You having a cracking good time then? What's new and friendly in your life?

As for me I think the week's gonna be not too shabby. I've managed to arrange my work time so that I don't have too much on ... except for Wednesday when I meet a whole bunch of people to start talking around some of the grander ideas I have. It will be an interesting meeting as I'll be talking with a bunch of very technology and process focussed people about "knowledge" and some fairly intagible and potentiall hard to grasp stuff. Luckily it's only the start of many meetings so all I'm aiming to do is get people thinking about it.

And then I fly back to Wellington for a weekend back home (ooooh yes, it's still home and always will be). Back in Wellington around 4pm, out for a beverage with the lads after…

I'd like to thank Jesus Christ

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Why not, every bugger on that Idol show seems to want to so I thought I'd join in.

I take it it's quite hip and the thang to be in with the Lord at the moment - is that what's going down in your parish? As for me, well, I don't really care - go for it, your God is your God and whatever gets you through the day without hurting other people is sweet from my point of view.

I don't need to agree and I hope people who are in wiv God don't feel the need to ram it down my throat. Some have in the recent past and it wasn't a pleasant experience. In fact, it was a very nasty time - position plus posturing isn't pretty.

I actually think it's pretty neat that people think about the "spiritual" side of things. It's quite easy to concentrate on the 3 other aspects of life - physical, emotional and cognitive - and not stop and wonder in awe at the universe and our place in it.

The bigger questions of why am I here (to do the best I can), who put me here…

Visit to Granddads

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Granddad Eggleston (Neil to the rest of us) lives up north of Christchurch on a place with some fields ('paddocks') with animals. So, seeing as it was school holidays, the gang tootled off up there for a day a week or so ago and had a grand old time.

Here's just a hint of the fun they had whilst I was working :-(

Visit to Willowbank

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We went off to Willowbank, a sort of zoo ... well, not really, maybe a cross between a petting zoo and a "real" zoo - perfect for little people and not boring for older kids as well.

Anywho, here's a few from the first visit whilst we were getting our year's pass.