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Showing posts from March, 2006

Life online: Desktop, where I will be bringing it all together

So, my desktop, my starting page, the place I will be bringing everything together will be Netvibes . Why? Well, to be honest it's just so damned easy to use and integrates with almost every type of content I can think of as I live on-line . I can have appropriate feeds from the other stuff I'm using, namely: ToDo: Backpack Email/Chat: Google Gmail Words: Google Writely Photo album: Yahoo! Flickr Bookmarks: Yahoo! del.icio.us 'news': Netvibes (with Google Reader as a 'backup') The only one I can integrate is meebo ... However this is, essentially, making Netvibes my desktop and it will be the one place I go from now on - it will be the starting place for everything else. This leaves me now with only three things to think about: Numbers - either Num Sum or (probably) iRows Calendar - nearly plumped for 30Boxes but I do want to see what Google's CL2 will offer File storage - everything else ... no idea at the mo' I have, however, come across an issue

Away we push on our Sunday constitutional

It was quite a nippy day but we had to get out of the house and away from the TV and 'puter and so we headed towards the Supa Center (think 'outside mall') just because we could.

The funiest Australian movie ever

Forget The Castle or ... or ... anything else. Pop along to your local video store and pick up a copy of Hercules Returns (1993) , it's awesome. The closest that I can come up with for "feel" is Goodbye Pork Pie ( Wikipedia here )... which is only really useful for those from NZ. It's a film that most Aussies of a certain age have seen at least once in their life and now has a special place in the movie lexicon of that country. I rented Hercules Returns when I was living in Sydney on constant recommendations from a few Aussie mates and loved it then. It's full of Carry On type jokes, clever timing and made me giggle from start to finish. It's even funnier with a puff and/or bottle of wine. Here's a good synposis of the film : The movie Hercules Returns is an adaptation of a stage show performed by a duo called Double Take consisting of Des Mangan and Sally Patience. Double Take use old movies and re-dub the voices themselves. The movie centres around

Is Tony Blair a "fundy"?

Just read his speech to the Australian parliament and the following phrase was used: At Uni, I was reintroduced to religion by an Australian, Peter Thomson; I have no idea, hence the question. Is this why he and Bush "get on" so well ... if they do? And how does Howard fit into it - is he also a part of the Christian right as Bush is?

AHead in Hair

Warning the following rant-ette is by no means original and many "everyday" comedians have probably covered it with far greater grace than I (Seinfeld comes to mind). However I must get it out of my system. " AHead in Hair " is the name of a hairdressers in Christchurch - couldn't tell you exactly where but I pass it on the way home. Everytime I do pass it feel a pain and sigh out loud (but quietly), "Whyyyyyy?" Is it part of the hairdressing course that to be fully qualified you must not only be able to express 'absolute delight' in seeing returning customers or lie as you announce, "You'll grow into it, trust me" but also to come up with the worse shop names using the most convoluted puns ever. I mean. "AHead in Hair" is quite clever. And as a solitary exponent of a pun it would probably rate quite high on my "that's quite cool" ... but it's not the only one! It's bloody all of them ... OK, not a

Meg in her bouncy chair with her bro'

When did curved go out of fashion

Umbrella's all seem to have straight handles in these oh so modern times of ours. When did the classic London office worker/Sean Connery-era James Bond brolly fade away? Of course during my search for the umbrella picture I've subsequently discovered that the curved handle lived quite happily alongside the straight handle for over a century - curse that rose-tinted image being dashed through the use of modern technology. And I found The Emily Chesley Reading Circle which is a hoot - check out the inventions pages

A wonderful post about how the clueless can be extremely creative

If you ever think that you just can't help because you don't know anything about then read Creating Passionate Users: The Clueless Manifesto . Favourite quotes are: The clueless accomplish amazing things--not necessarily because we're bold, brilliant innovators, but perhaps because we just don't know any better. We see the simplicity of the forest while Those Who Know are overanalyzing the complex subtleties of the trees (and miss the point). ... Perception is a powerful tool. Believing there's a limitation can sometimes create that limitation. And for the clueless who don't know about the limitation, well, it's as if it doesn't exist. Belief matters. Not everywhere, not in everything, but more than we give credence to. And it doesn't take any new-age/self-help foofiness to explain it. This is not about "the power of positive thinking." You probably all know the story of Roger Bannister--prior to 1954, experts believed that running a mile

Talk to the teddy bear

A friend of mine is currently working her way through University learning how to program these darned computers. She's come at it at a later stage in life than is probably usual ( no piercings ... well, actually, she used to has piercings and the tats are fairly proud so maybe she's in with the gnarly programming crowd). Anywho - she had a day of tracking down a ' { ' in her code yesterday and I asked her if she used her teddy bear. She replied, "Huh?" to which I said: I'm sitting in my first programming lecture all those years ago back in GlosCAT and the lecturer finished the hour by saying: "Now, when you write your first program it will fail. And you will stare at the code for hours and hours thinking it's something that you should see. Eventually you'll convince yourself it must be some strange programming technique that you'll need my advice with. So, bundled with reams of printed code you'll arrange a meeting and we'll sit t

Go the Silver Ferns

Awesome on the girls - read all about it For me that's a 2 out of 3 win - Rugby Sevens , Silver Ferns winning and Sarah Ulmer having a nightmare of a games. The rest sort of went passed me ... On other international sporting news ... he may be back (or not ), ha ha ha ha ha ... can you smell the desparation? And Wales won't be going on a journey either.

Who says there's nothing on in Christchurch?

When you have the New Zealand Poker Championship you have the best. And here's the humurous "events" highlights that Christchurch-ites can enjoy this coming week or so - source: http://www.bethere.org.nz via email - an excellent guide to most of what's on - it doesn't really cover the smaller 'local', cool stuff which is the same issue I always had with Wellington's Feeling Great site. Rock Exhibition, Artwork by Annette Ashton Begonia Display Trees Walk-ezy Classes for Health & Wellbeing Sustainable Households DivorceCare Seminar Cardiofunk - Aerobics Parents Inc. Toolbox Parenting course Line Dance Social Leadlighting Weekend Workshop The Soul Voice Training Natural Spiritual Healing Diploma Course Wind Turbine Visit - Gebbies Pass Canterbury Rams all this had as details was: Various (See Below) Understand & Managing Polymyalgia Rheumatica The Blessed and The Blighted Free Osteoarthritis Seminar Catalyst Poetry Open Mic Mo

Morningwood

Anyone know anything about this band ? Just seen a video of theirs on C4 (all about timing) and loved it - called, um, it was called, ... let me Google this ... Nth Degree As I say, I loved it. And this is why I believe an iPod is soooo limiting. If you only ever listen to your own music then how can you expand, get oxygen into the space, hear new stuff ... that's what good radio (and, in this case, good TV) can achieve.

The Commonwealth Games ... anyone care?

I heard on the radio this morning some guys talking about how NZ weren't doing as well as some had hoped (sorry, can't give exact details of the interview as I was in the shower at the time and it was a bit muffled) and it crossed my mind that there hasn't been a lot of talk about the Commonwealth Games . And as I was drying myself up and down there was the Scottish Chef de Mission (why the French title for the "Commonwealth" Games?) crowing about how well they were doing. It was annoying but he was so right - they were a happy team with a view to winning gold as opposed to the Kiwi's that were a bunch of sports people that viewed getting there as the point. And I'm not referrign to talk on TV, of which there has been quite a vast amount of time spent on it. Well, if one spends (as TV One probably have) a vast amount of money then you'd want to get something back in the manner of words-per-item. They obviously didn't spend any money on their pre

Tomorrow is a particularly eventful day

I won't be near a computer for the whole day as I, and 5 of my Information Services (part of the confusingly named IM&CT Unit) collegues, thrash out a powerful win at the ... wait for it, wait for it ... Local Government Managers Australia, " Management Challenge 2006 " (Southern NZ region). I know. I KNOW! I can hear you muttering, with overly jealous undertones, "That's not fair! How come Mike gets all the best jobs?" Well guys, if you work hard, do your homework and set your goals at an appropriate level then one day, if you're lucky, one day you too could be off to Christchurch Convention Centre at 8am to be a part of the Local Government Austr....blah blah blah. Now this isn't some sort of management "away day" which tries to build teams in 9 hours, oh no. This challenge is and I quote : The LGMA Management Challenge is a sophisticated developmental program that produces outcomes that are relevant, tangible and enduring benefits f

There's no real excuse for this ..

... except it make me giggle ... which, of course, it shouldn't. Also check out Beer - helping ugly people since 1862

Life online, why would I use of Google Page Creator

I'm not actually sure how I could use this 'beta' release from Google. In a nutshell it allows me to easily create web pages and publish them - doesn't do a whole web site (yet). Have to think about this and how I would use it. With the ability to publish my Writely 'documents' and this blog I'm not actually sure I need another tool to stick content on-line. Maybe it's an attempt to generate a community a la MySpace and/or to pick up some of the smaller businesses that want a web presence without all the rigmarole of a multi-million CMS project. So why mention it? Well, I signed up and they've just sent me the "you're in the gang, aren't you special!" email :-) In the meantime here's what Google say about it: Want to create an online photo tour of your vacation to Bali? An overview of the South American precipitation cycle for your science class? A shrine to your pet ferret? Now's your chance. We're testing a new prod

A strange facet to the computer people here at the Council

It's sloooowly dawned on me that within the IM&CT (Computer Department to you buddy) we have an inordinate number of people with two first names? Huh? I hear you cry, and fair enough - what I mean is that there are people that have names like (but not this one), "Robert David" - both "Robert" and "David" are first names. Of course it doesn't really matter, it works for them and so it works for me. But it's worth a blog article at the very least. And the following list will determine if anyone comes in via CCC to this blog :-) Donna Gregory Fraser Graham Wendy Luke Matthew Kelly (I know ...) Anita Clark Nigel Howard Rosalind Stewart Ciaran Barry Bryan Clarke (shoe-horning that one in, I know) I also work with: James Taylor Dave Allen

My secret girlfriend

Well, not so secret really . Just wanted to post some pictures of Anika so I can, between KM meetings (!), gaze longingly at her now and again: BTW: She's playing with Bic Runga in Christchurch tomorrow - pop along and if you see Jessie say hi from me :-)

Looking like the UK visit might be on

Definitely not definitely but after a check of the prices the option of going to Rob & Lindas' wedding and then back out before Jack pops himself into school (in Wellington) is not an option - around $4,500 for the lot to UK. Crickey, what does that mean ... well, it means we're definitely not definite but it's moved a millimeter closer. I think next is to see what the old job situation up in the UK is like. We'd be looking for a well paid Knowledge Management job (doesn't have to be that exact title) in or around Monmouth. Have to say that would be a big call but you never know - anyone out there got any contacts, or even better a job? If not Monmouth (where the whanau live) then working out from there to the bigger cities - Newport, Gloucester, Hereford, Cheltenham ... maybe even out to Bristol. Of course, there's a highly paid job based in Cardiff working for some sports outfit that I could apply for. We're still in investigation/research mode but,

Tracking those comments ... pt 2

Further to CoComment's excellent attempt to track your comments that you scatter around the web on blogs (and every other 'modern' site - Flickr for instance) comes the Co.mments (review at TechCrunch) . Once I give it ( http://co.mments.com/ if you want to get straight to it) a whirl I'll let you know if this is the panacea to my dreams that can be best summed up by - I said what, where, to who?

Bat Out Of the past

I don't know if you watch C4 which, and there's many reason not to: it's full of that hippity-hop I don't live in NZ so have no idea what you're talking about music, pah! ... but if you do then you might be experiencing a wave of nostalgia every now and again as you stumble across their (ie, bought in from someone else) "Classic Album" doco's. So far I've seen the Dark Side Of the Moon (Pink Floyd if you've been living on the dar...) which was fascinating. I'm not exactly a fan of 'the' Floyd being a lad that discovered in the UK around the same time a certain Mr Rotten was asking the country's youth to stick pins in themselves and flick the finger to such "prog-rock" ... so I got into Deep Purple/Rainbow instead, *ahem*. Even so, the doco was quite cool - maybe I just needed to settle down, get a family and live in Christchurch before I could truly understand its message. There was a U2 thing, some tree album I thi

Clouds over Sumner Beach

On the NZ rugby lads

A fine gold medal win by the NZ Sevens team at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne . After a tough (some might say dissapointing) run during the I RB Sevens Season they managed to pull out something quite special and beat England (always nice) 29-21. And the Welsh boys had a storming win for the Plate against South Africa putting the 15-side to shame a little! And the Hurricanes pick up 4 valuable Super 14 points over in South Africa whilst, from all accounts, the Crusaders left it late before running away with the game here in Christchurch.

Life online: No more Microsoft Word

I've made the jump from PC wordprocessing using Microsoft Word to online using Writely (newly acquired by Google ). Much like that moment we dropped Outlook as our email/calendar answer by moving to Gmail and (sort of) Yahoo! Calendar it is a feeling of freedom. I am no longer tethered to this or any other PC when working with words (documents as I used to see them). So, I'm now using the extremely quick and easy "Upload document" to move all the files containing words (.doc, .txt, .html) up onto my online collaborative Writely 'space'. From here I can still write, edit, enhance and be creative as I could before but I can now also, publish to , collaborate (open for others to edit as well) and most importantly for my CV, save in different formats for those that just insist on reading my words in a certain format (.doc normally) So, that's it ... [breath in ... and smiiiiile ... ] And, expect an updated, on-line and instantly updatable (by me) CV very

Are you Herbert?

Jack, a part of the iPod generation

Jack listens to the Teletubbies theme music on Char's iPod (well, an iPod-type thing)

Jeeyaasus!

Nope, not another rant about the fundy-religious lot that seem to thrive in the southern parts of Aotearoa .. . why is that, is it the weather, the wide open spaces, the mountains, the fact that there is actually a fundy-religious gene and it came across on one of the first waka/ships? Ach, who knows and who really cares - I treat them like a live piece of street art, to be discussed, viewed from all angles and even admired for their dogedness but I most certainly don't want one at home. Jeeyaasus! That has been the phrase that shoots out of the lips of a certain wee fella that gives me hugs at night and tells me he loves me. Whenever he trips over something but doesn't hurt himself to cry and there aren't strangers around to feel embarrassed: Jeeyaasus! A clash of crockery on the floor, an unexpected slam of a door, a stack of cushions/pillows falling on him: Jeeyaasus! And man, I have to tell you that even after about 4-5 months of having this around I still giggle insid

Jack playing in his house

One of Jack's favourite playing at the mo' seems to be making a house and then playing the going-in-going-out game before ending with the, "Collapsed!" game as he jumps all over it. Here he is poking his head out of a typical house made from duvets, the sofa and other sundry items

Stare at this for around 20 seconds and you should see a giraffe

It's very clever, give it a go - stare for around 20 seconds and you should see a giraffe! And all thanks to should be directed to Ciaran at work ;-)

Meg on Jacks lap

All together now ... aaaaahhh, ain't that cuuuute

Life on-line: Calendar

With Google's impending entrance into the online calendar space I am very interested to see where the bar is currently set and the two I use at the moment are: Yahoo! Calendar (the incumbent) 30 Boxes (the new kid on the block) What I need from an online calendar: Total ease entering info Sharing of calendars - with private if needed Overlaying of calendars (others, public holidays and maybe even things like events) Import/export - or even better synchronisation And to be fair, they both do these quite well. 30 Boxes is definitely the one with the newer, " Web 2.0 " feel about it and therefore has a quicker more intuitive response but hey, old dogs can learn new tricks. I couldn't find how to share the Yahoo! Calendar and the 30 Boxes one ... in fact, I didn't find the 'import/export' option on 30 Boxes so maybe that's a minus - who's gonna type in all their birthday reminders again! Oh, hang on, their Announcement Forum has pointed me to thei

Carol and a fast asleep Meg

A lovely picture of a fast asleep Meg on Carol's (Granny) knee ... and quite a rare picture actually as generally Meg only sleeps on Mum.

Gotta love broken planes

The universe gave me a free night outside of time and space on Friday. That meant I could drink and smoke cigars with no effect. That was the logic, that was the reasoning but that wasn't the reality :-( On Thursday I was asked if I wanted to attend a few meetings in Wellington and, well, it is home and I knew I'd be able to squeeze in a lunchtime coffee with my mates at the very least. The early flight out from Christchurch with Tony and Steve was stunning with the sun giving everything, from the plane to the ocean, an orange colouring - I truly wished I had my camera with me. And the day turned out pretty much as I thought. Meetings morning and afternoon with an hour or so catching up with Adam, Neil, Johnny and Just for lunch at The Occidental . 5pm flight and the three of us from CCC turned up at the airport and the plane was broken ... or whatever the technical Air NZ term is that they used, "Engineering problems". I instantly made the call that I could st

So that's what they would look like

[Updated with video: 12-March] The Simpsons come to life . And I applaud that they've 'translated' the characters into our world and not tried to imitate/mimic them - look forward to seeing it. And what series ("season") is this, 10, 11, 16? BTW: The link is the UK tabloid, The Sun, and so you might find your work firewall/porn-stopper complains as your IT staff log that you've tried to access boobs on page 3.

Life online, but no where to actually store stuff

The hunt for somewhere to place my files (Word, PDF, Excel mostly) online is probably the major stumbling block for me completing my first attempt of living online . My pictures can (if I had the time) go up to Flickr . The videos could go up to Google Video (again, if I had the time) but where to put the rest? If I was starting from scratch I would probably use the Writely type services to write the words but what about all that stuff I've already got. Also, there is a large barrier to moving away from Microsoft Word, recruitment agencies expect/demand that ones' CV is in that format. I have always found that to be a pain and usually start off by sending them a PDF version before receiving the, "Can you send a Word version" request. Can you imagine the confusion and not-job-hunting-for-you response if I sent them a Writely link. But I'm not the only one wanting this - Google are looking at supplying such a service but are very cagey about it at the mo' -

Google Calendar, it's coming

Apart from doing what a calendar should will Google Calendar (screenshots) feed out to wherever using RSS ... it's the glue I'm looking for! Oh - it does, mighty: CL2 is closely, very closely, integrated with Gmail. It includes now-standard web 2.0 features - Ajax, subscription feeds for integration with iCal and other desktop calendars , event creation, search, sharing, notifications (including SMS) and more.

Green milk

Green or even Yellow Milk and Blue Milk ... ever heard of such a thing? If you're a Kiwi (native of the land we know as Aotearoa / New Zealand ) then you'll be nodding and thinking, "Duh! Of course". If you're from anywhere else in the world you might be thinking one of these: Green milk, special NZ 'clean and green' Yellow milk, from goats perhaps? Blue milk cannot be healthy, surely It's the colours of the tops/labels. And they mean: Blue: full fat Green: trim Yellow: trim with extra calcium There might even be other colours denoting even weirder milk - I think that the lighter the shade the less "fat" in it. So, when you get asked, "Blue or green" now you know. And for you information, I don't care, just stick whatever colour milk you've got to hand in that coffee and give it to me. PS: In my search for the Wikipedia link to New Zealand I found this: New Zealand is a hamlet in Buckinghamshire , England , to the n