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Showing posts from December, 2006

2006 as it ends and as it was - the best of everything before 2007 arrives

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To start off, the Riversdale's had a blast and it's nearly all documented in photo form so pop over to Flickr and enjoy 2006 as much as we did: flickr.com.../2006/calendar

And for the rest of the world, it wasn't too ... ooh, hang on, just gotta go change a night time poo ... *phew*, so small, yet so stinky ... um, I'm referring to a child of mine and not a poo I created myself.
Anywho ... the rest of the world seemed to have done quite well this year (especially the every shrinking role of the current USA President in world events), but has ended on a 'low note' for Mr Brown but given all us white-middle-aged-males a chance to get funky for a reason (unless you're Mr Urban that is).

For all things science-y I never go passed the New Scientist magazine (it's never too techie for me but doesn't treat me like an idiot - something I find unusual and gratifying as my kids get older). They have produced 2006 reviews for human spaceflight, biology and medici…

Boxing Day and all is well

Three days into the "sleep programme" and by golly we are living the life of Riley (who was he?) Meg now only takes 30-40 minutes to go to sleep and is cutting off 10 minutes each time.

I am loving life.

Christmas Day was very good - busy, with friends here and us visiting local friends.
Appropriately Boxing Day involved the removal of the final set of moving-in boxes. We are a normal house.

All in all, life is good ... New Year will be quiet, how's yours looking?

Have spent the wee hours:
Uploading photo's from the final days in Christchurch (and yesterday and the days before)Wondering how the new Blogger templates work

People doing stuff ... via pictures so we can watch them

Not porn. Sorry

A way of randomly searching for pictures (via Google, of 'boringly so' course) with a caress of a button to find people ("name") doing stuff ("verb")

Merry Christmas at 4am

I sit here at the computer because Meg has been crying for an hour and it's finally got to me. For all her life we've been living in our people's houses and thus we've not really let her learn how to put herself to sleep with her nodding off either on one of us or coming into our bed - not a satisfactory situation. So, since we've been in our own place (and loooooving it) Liz and I have decided to put a stop to it.

Day (night) 2!

She takes about an hour to nod off and we've still got 30 minutes to go and I couldn't stand listening any more. She's a strong willed wee thing and despite calming down instantly when we go in (every 10, 12, 14, 16 minutes ...) she's not happy to be a part of the plan.

And boy it gets to me - it annoys me, makes me angry, upsets me to the core, distracts me, scares me ... everything, instinctively, is telling me to get to my daughter and console her as fast as possible. But that's just gonna strengthen that large rod for…

Bloody immigrants, they come over here ...

... and expect to be treated the same. But how? How on earth can they be treated the same when they've obviously got different cultures ... I mean, do they really get what it is to support the Hurricanes year after year - no!

And it's getting worse. The doors are open to every Robbie, Bishop and Kryten! And once gthey let one is in there'll be no stopping those buggers bringing in the rest their so-called "family". And we all know that despite being hard workers (no-one's denying that) they work for nothing, a byte to eat and they're happy! Where's that gonna leave the rest of us hard working locals??

Bloody immigrants!

Headline of the day so far

The "days of Christmas" postings and other Christmas pressies from me

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It's late in the month (5 days to go) and I've not had the time or the .... time ... to stick up any Christmas/Yuletide/festive sort of postings. But let's just take a moment in the busy day to remember what it's all about - the people you love. I'm thinking of the people you love right now ... are you thinking of mine?

Of course, it's not just about family and friends (if that's who I was thinking of) but also presents, alcohol and oodles of sitting around in the sun (hardy har har Northern Hempishpereans!)

If Jesus is you thing, I mean, if he's your bag, what you're into man then do the religious thing as well. Just don't get all "God" over Christmas and try to remember that it was originally a pagan festival around the longest day, certainly don't want you Christians foisting your ideas on people and trying to subvert the real message!

Fun. that's the real message. Believe in Father Christmas (who shats all over Santa) and have…

Keeping an (online) track of the little things in life

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With the move from ChCh-Changes to MiramarMike and the updating of the "About" page I've had to hunt around somewhere to stick the eve growing list of movies, books and music that respectively watch, read and bop-around-the-living-room to.

And after a disheartening search for a few days I'd given up.

Until AllConsuming came into my life. I can't remember where I saw it ... ooh, no, no, I can remember, it's on ... nope, thought it was Scary Duck (bringing you Queen Mum condolences such as, "Conk: "No matter how she felt, no matter the situation, she always wore a smile. Just like a retard" ") ... anywho, someone, somewhere in the blog-malarkey had one.

And now I have one.
A what??? AllConsuming that they tell me is:
... a website where you can track and talk about the books, music, movies, food and other items that interest you.
And it let's me:
list the books, movies, music, food (!?) and 'other' things I'm "consuming"St…

Martin Snedden is the Chief Executive of NZRU Rugby World Cup 2011

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What 54% of us are searching for

Google has their 2006 end of year zeitgeist - top searches:
bebomyspaceworld cupmetacaferadioblogwikipediavideorebeldemininova wiki(definition for zeitgeist)

Wicked NASA picture of New Zealand from space

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Hat-tip Rod Dury

The adventure finally comes to an end

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Well, the adventure finally comes to an end as the Riversdale's move into a new Miramar home.

It's been a long time, all four of us have traveled so far (in all senses), we are very different people to when we left and, most amazingly of all, we've been helped by sooo many people.

When we left Miramar around end-August 2005 I had a very large lump in my throat as the ferry took us out of Wellington Harbour. And here we are back - in one sense so quickly (a mere 15 months really) yet in others so slowly (done so much) - after the adventure has taken us across NZ and then around the world and back again.

But we couldn't have done it without people standing next to us and being there for us. Every step has seen someone going above and beyond the call of friendship. I'm struggling to think of everyone, there have been so many ... I just wanted to put it out there to each and every one, thank you. Thank you from my family, thank you from me and the deepest thank you from …

About MiramarMike [Updated]

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[Updated] I no longer keep this page up to date as I now use my Google Profile

The blog is used to evangelise about websites d'jour, quirky pieces of information on the Web and to get things that intrigue/bother me out of my head. Oh, and I suggest you check out this blogs policies and copyright.

Personal interests include: Enterprise 2.0 (see work blog), rugby, laughing and generally living life to it's absolute fullest.


How to get in touch
Email: miramar.mike@gmail.com Phone: +64 (0)21-169 1359Google Profile Twitter: miramarmike LinkedIn: MikeRiversdale Facebook: Mike Riversdale
There also many other online ways to connect with me
The best and most simple is to leave a comment on this blog!


Getting and staying connected with Mike
I have a web presence that's quite large with me posting, Twittering and connecting using all the social networking sites. Check out the complete list of social network site I use ....

I use FriendFeed (RSS) to draw all these strings together into one …

Wellingtonista: Who knew the Observatory was under threat?

New look blog - whaddya think, does it work for you?

Does this new look-and-feel work for you?
yes
no

View Results
Let me know what works and what doesn't!

[Updated]
Ok - so, if you don't like it let me know why ... go on ...

Google - nice hidden things

The details at the informit: Exploring Google's Hidden Features article ... the list is:
Google Is a CalculatorGoogle Knows Mathematical ConstantsGoogle Converts Units of MeasureGoogle Is a DictionaryGoogle Is a GlossaryGoogle Lists All the FactsUSA: Google Displays Weather ReportsUSA: Google Knows Current Airport ConditionsUSA Google Tracks Flight StatusGoogle Tracks PackagesUSA: Google Is a Giant Phone DirectoryUSA: Google Knows Area CodesGoogle Has Movie InformationGoogle Loves Music...and the last one is, Google Knows the Answer to the Ultimate Question:
Let's return to Google's calculator for one final hidden feature. As you recall, the Google calculator has been hardwired to include the answers to some fairly complex—and fairly fanciful—calculations. For a bit of fun, try entering the query what is the answer to life the universe and everything. Google's answer should delight long-time fans of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (It's "…

Top New Zealand online newspapers get updated - Stuff and NZ Herald

Wow, that's some update in the UI (and 'user content') for both Stuff and NZ Herald ... who and why? Maybe the "why" is linked to the recent move of Xtra (NZ #1 visited site) to Yahoo! dumping MSN ... maybe ...

For a "what" check out my referee ... ooooh, can't find it, isn't that just the way in this info overloaded world!

Walk the Wellington Bypass ... if that's your thing

Obviously an exercise in promotion for a road that a majority of those in the Wellington centre didn't want. Why you'd want to 'walk the bypass' is beyond me ... just open the bloody thing and let me drive on it and save allll those minutes promised!

Excellent R/WW article about next generation Web searching

Have a trawl through some of the different ways of searching for Web based information as outlined in Richard's excellent Read/Write Web: Search 2.0 - What's Next? article.

It's interesting to see that searching doesn't have to be just (merely?) typing in some words, clicking a button and scrolling through a series of links (a la Google and everybody that has copied them since the early 1990's).

Craigslist Meets the Capitalists (includes explanation of what the heck 'craiglists' is/are)

I am fascinated, appalled and cheering from the sidelines when I read this account of how the founder of Craigslist (Craig Newmark) bemuses the American (but read any) monied corporates in this exchange at a media conference:
... UBS analyst Ben Schachter wanted to know how Craigslist plans to maximize revenue. It doesn’t, Mr. Buckmaster replied (perhaps wondering how Mr. Schachter could possibly not already know this). “That definitely is not part of the equation,” he said, according to MediaPost. “It’s not part of the goal.”
More fun stuff at Craig Newmark's blog


For those that don't know who/what/when/where Craigslist is then here's the low down from Wikipedia:
craigslist is a centralized network of online urban communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with employment, housing, personals, for sale/wanted, services, community, events, gigs and resumes categories) and forums sorted by various topics.
In other terms think your simple, no gloss, no fancy-schmancey…

The worlds longest fingernails - something for Jack

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Ever since I cut Jacks nails on the weekend I've been promising him I'll get a picture of the man or lady (we now have "ladies" in our family vocabulary, only with kids eh) with the longest nails in the whole wide world ... and here she is (via The Sun, so it must be true):
Verified by Guinness World Records: Longest fingernails on a pair of hands (female)



Also check out:
Longest fingernails on a pair of hands ever (male)Longest fingernails on a single hand ever

[Updated November 2019] Updated photo. Updated The Sun link. Added video. Added two extra world record links.

Riversdale Crescent, Edinburgh (Scotland)

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One from the Stag Do ...

Humour is called for on this post diarrhea day

I know, it's a nasty subject heading but read on to avert your attention:
JonnyB: vehicle danger with only a Chinese takeaway to helpScaryduck

Latest rotavirus news - it's spreading around Wellington, be aware!
I have returned to work to discover another of the team stricken and to hear of at least 5 others in the office away "ill". The "Windyridge" abode is slowly emerging from the devastation but Pete was not to be seen this morning.

Liz seems to skip through the valley of death with nary a care in the world!

Malthouse closes on 23rd December

Anyone got advice about getting broadband in Miramar, Wellington?

It's looking like TelstraClear at the moment as we've already got the cable to the house and, I think, we'll be using the phone through them. But what about the others:
WooshiHugInSPire Net
SlingshotOrconICONZ
Any advice, hints-and-tips or pointers gratefully received - just leave a comment here

Rotavirus has hit the Riversdales, stay away!

Rotavirus got Meg on Saturday night and all day Sunday, me this morning (back from work by 11am) and Jack just after kindy.

Liz is fine as I write.

Unfortunately we're not in our own home yet (next Monday, 18th) and so we're trying stay away from Pete (our awesome mate that's letting us stay in his house) - the last thing I want to do is thank him by giving him the vomit/diarrhea bug.

This blog will be back once it's all cleared away ...

[Updated 12-Dec]
Poor old Pete got hit around 5am this morning, he's off work as well - that leaves just Liz and she's starting to feel a wee bit icky.

UK Photo's: The Best of July

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[Updated] Oops, I have a few more from July than I thought (was looking at 'uploaded on' and not 'taken on'. There's a gazillion from my brothers Stag Do in various parts of Scotland.

It's been a while since we left the UK and arrived back in New Zealand but I thought I'd still show off a few of the photo's - think of this as your first evening in front of the slide show with a sherry in your hand as Liz and I take you through the July holiday snaps (blog postings)


We'll invite you back another evening for the more extensive August slides.

As you know we lost our camera on the plane from Singapore to Heathrow so we only have a handful of photo's from July :-(

Movember - the moustache disappears

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Once Movember finished I took two days to remove the hairy stuff above my lips - here's the results:

3 out of 3: Google and Sky (UK) join 'forces'

The evil empires (as I am now gonna be calling Google and Sky) are joining forces in the UK (BBC) to ... to ... oh, I dunno, make oodles of money!

Watch that space as it seeps around the world and suddenly Google is not just a "computer company" but becomes a "company that does things with tv/radio/newspapers". That's the way to move out of Microsoft's sights - two excellent articles about how Microsoft is/could be fighting back against Google at Read/Write Web blog: part 1 | part 2

2 out of 3: Buy R2D2 from Star Wars

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Whilst my mate is selling a stack of (unopened) Star Wars related malarkey which I urge you to check out for presents for your kids, nephews, nieces, uncles and aunties, this is is probably something for the hardened (!) Star Wars fan - an original R2D2 head-thingy from (probably) The Empire Strikes Back.



Hat tip OhGizmo!

1 out of 3: Idiot Proof Website

http://www.idiotproofwebsite.com/ - try it, you know you want to!

(nothing bad will happen ;-)

DVD Piracy Video on YouTube

My brothersbest man (1 of 2) is a film producer and his company has:
... just created a series of three anti-piracy video for the film industry. The first video is being launched this week. It'll appear on some sites that show film trailers, but we've stuck it on YouTube to get some more visibility. Have a sneak preview below - your clicks will start the ball rolling so will be much appreciated. Feel free to pass this link on to anyone who might be interested!

And so, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wBECAlvjjo


I'll be fascinated to hear if my brother watches the videos as he's one of those hip young 'uns that is demanding access to everything as and when he wants (i.e., downloads and not have to trudge to a shop). He is willing (and able) to argue the toss, as we did (drunk) in the back of the car on his stag do, about how it's OK to download music as it's forcing "them" to take notice. My counter argument of how it's taking mo…

Luke surfing at Tora (New Zealand)

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This is my work mate Luke doing his thang at Tora off the south Wairarapa coastline. The photos were taken for some magazine (we thing New Zealand Surfing) ... pretty cool, and therefore I am cool by association *ahem*

Wellingtonista: Star Boating Club “Row-A-Thon" AND Help Fight Gnomelessness!

Go visit THE blog about and for Wellington:
Star Boating Club “Row-A-Thon" - Fri/Sat
Help Fight Gnomelessness!

Sorry about the disruption in service this morning

Problem: page looked a bloody mess
Reason: style sheet (?) not available
Solution: store the style sheet on another online storage web service
Action: moved from openomy to Omnidrive

Lesson learned ... openomy always seemed the "flakiest" of my services online and to shift a critical component to it was a bad move. In the future I will apply a "confidence" factor to service providers and have redundancy (i.e., use more than one service provider) for those pieces of content that I can't afford to loose.

I will have to think how that is to happen with my blog content, my 'documents' and my photo's ...

NewScientist giving us the latest for those wanting cool baseball shirts and trips to the moon

Christmas dinner issues, ask Jamie Oliver to help

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He's an accommodating celebrity chef and wants you to email your Xmas dinner questions

OK, what are you doing for your work Christmas Do?

We had some cracking ideas for our team (6 people) but they've all fallen through. And now we're after ideas. Something fun, a wee bit of activity, city based and definitely the opportunity to imbibe.

Ideas, suggestions, pointers most welcome:


If you use this form your comment will come out as "Anonymous" - here's the fully functional comment box that'll let you show off your identity

How to Build a User Community, Part 1

Further to the discussion around what makes a sticky/re-visited site (answer was 'community') this article from Kathy Sierra, How to Build a User Community, Part 1, would seem to give us some tools and techniques to meeting that goal.
Encourage newer users--especially those who've been active askers--to start trying to answer questionsGive tips on how to answer questionsTell them it's OK to guess a little, as long as they ADMIT they're guessingAdopt a near-zero-tolerance "Be Nice" policy when people answer questionsTeach and encourage the more advanced users (including moderators) how to correct a wrong answer while maintaining the original answerer's dignity.Re-examine your reward/levels strategy for your community
The comments are also enlightening, interesting and of most use.

Buy cheap Star Wars toys for Christmas presents via TradeMe

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My mate, Big Pete, is selling off a few ("hundreds") of collected Star Wars collectibles via TradeMe at absolutely knock-down prices (he just wants to get rid of them) - this is a cracking opportunity to pick up some mint (unopened and kept safe all these years) Star Wars presents for the kids in your life (young and old).

The first 17 items are up now but believe me there's gonna be loads more to come, I know as I took the photos!

His bigpetev TradeMe listing is at: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=1881044

A handsome 'web' clock to show you the time here in Wellington (New Zealand)

Wellington (New Zealand, Aotearoa)

Use the following code (replacing '[' and ']' with '<' and '>'):
[embed src="http://www.worldtimeserver.com/clocks/wtsclock001.swf?color=228B22&wtsid=NZ" width="150" height="150" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" /][br /]Wellington (New Zealand, Aotearoa)

Overheating laptop? Simply use cold cans of Coke

Greg Page - no longer the Yellow Wiggle

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I had a surge (steady!) of visits last Thursday and after a wee hunt around the stats (yes, I know all about you) I've discovered that it was people looking for the latest on Greg "Yellow Wiggle" Page. Unfortunately most visitors went to my last article which was way out of date.

And so, the latest is Greg will no longer be the Yellow Wiggle as he has a (genetically predisposed) neurological disease called orthostatic intolerance. His understudy, Sam Moran, will take over the famed yellow shirt.
Greg has left a (14Mb) video message to all his fans.

Other reports:
Rod Dury: Greg Wiggle - includes his 'Wiggles seniority' list :-)Guardian (UK): Greg the yellow Wiggle hangs up his turtleneckHerald Sun (Australia): Wiggles' yellow skivvy passed on: includes readers commentsmore from Google Blog Search ...
more from Google News (NZ) ...
I have to say it's an end of an era and I know Jack is quite sad by it all. So, Greg Page, if you ever get to read this, thanks for…

The best of Wellington as voted by yourself

The Wellingtonista voting has been completed, the entries tallied up and the winners announced on Friday - for a complete (and utter) review of the winners, nearly's and never got close's check out Jo's comprehensive Wellingtonista Awards 2006: the results (pictures from Haydn)

But here's the winners so you can now plan your week of entertainment and eating/drinking:
When I am not having a martini, I like to drink a: caipirinha at HavanaI spent all my rent money on dinner here, but at least when the bailiffs beat me to death I will die blissfully: Logan BrownI found $20 in my flatmate's room, so it'll be dinner at: Malaysian anywhereWhen even Winston Peters has gone to bed, the best bar to go to is: HavanaGood things happen in the suburbs too, honest - like this place: Maranui Surf Club, Lyall BayThe Welly solution to a hangover is: Brunch at FidelsThe place that's like, so totally over is: Jet BarThe single best thing I've had in my mouth all year: Schoc…

More from the mobile notebook - things I think about

Rcrtn mkt: chav/westie paradise
That's Riccarton Sunday Market in Christchurch to you and me. Liz and I popped along just before we moved back to Wellington as she is a market fiend and loves them - where are the good ones in Wellington and the surrounds?
Anywho. As we pushed the kids around it struck me that the place was full of self made tattoos, shell suit bottoms, bad teeth and a larger than allowed number of mullets. Chav's/Westies were out in force.

Was it just that day or every Sunday ... who knows. Oh, and the actual market is not too shabby (and the largest in NZ) so don't let me put you off.


Say thank you
Why doesn't anyone say thank you anymore? OK, you probably do at every opportunity. And I know I'm sounding like an old geezer (which I am/can be). But hey, it's bloody free, takes very little time and makes people smile.


Is the Newlands bus the ugly bus?
Now this isn't complimentary to those that catch the 57 (I think) bus from Woodgridge via Newlands…

Sleep is something you don't miss until you've missed it

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And it's been missed a few times this week ... although being tired has also got a lot to do with new job, speeding the brain up from "permanent holiday mood".

I've slept in three beds in the past 7 days (slut, I know) and one of those beds is actually a sofa-bed with a large amount of 'roll together' ... and has two of us in ... for most of the night ... until Meg joins us around 5am ... and it's been cold.

Anywho.

Sleep, gotta love it - and as part of my subscription to wild and wonderful RSS feeds (using the sexy and very portable Netvibes) I noticed this in the popular del.icio.usfeed - 40 Facts About Sleep You Probably Didn't Know

Amongst my favourites are:
A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first yearIt's impossible to tell if someone is really awake without close medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of itScientists have not been able to explain a 199…

Me at the new work during Movember

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I'm not sure what more I can say ...