Friday, February 24, 2006

Missing in action

While having lunch today, I mused over the "plastic" cheese slice i was putting in my sandwich. I'm lactose intolerant but for some stange reason these slices of "magic" cheese have no nasty side effects.

Work mate Muzza came into the smoko room and on seeing my cheese slices proceeded to tell a story about how his children demolished a packet on 60 cheese slices in one day. One of the other guys in the lunch room entered into the conversation saying how he missed the Chesdale cheese segments. All of a sudden you could have heard a pin drop. I stopped in horror. I hadn't seen the chesdale cheese segments in the supermarket for years, and suddenly a feeling of loss swept over me. How remiss was I in not noticing a kiwi icon disappearing.

In the immortal words of Rob from High Fidelity.....
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

So had I forgotten the cheese segments first - or had their omission been the cause of my memory loss. Either way there was obviously some skullduggery on the part of Chesdale to secretly remove the segments - obviously if they were to make their removal common knowledge there would be an uproar. Bastards!

I think "they" secretly rid kiwi icons from our supermarket to slowly wean us onto generic world wide brands. Maybe even the most iconic kiwi brands will one day be a distant memory - and one day we will all be looking at our cup of teas in confusion, one empty hand will waver near the brim of the cup, the memory of the gingernut biscuit, long forgotten, but, in some instinctive sense remaining, as a part of race memory.

What other things have gone missing, taken from us? It's time to make a list before ... I....forget.....

Monday, February 20, 2006

Chicken of the Sea Unite!

Isn't it funny, that those who take the extreme moral high ground, almost invariably fall from grace in the most horrific way.
An example of this phenomenon is Jessica Simpson, (who once pledged her virginity to her father until she married - yes, you read that right) may have been having an affair for a number of years with Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine. It "appears" that her recent marriage collapse may have been the direct result of that infidelity.
It just goes to show you that, supposedly "having it all", doesnt necessarily mean you have it "all" together.
I find it ironic, now this information has come to light, her husband Nick Lachley has decided to petition for spousal support, stating that his own income has dropped, as he has invested more and more of his time investing in his relationship with his wife. As a full partner in the relationship, with no prenuptial agreement (Jessica's idea I understand), Nick stands to gain half of his wife's 50 million dollars empire, as well as ongoing alimony.
Karma's a bitch eh.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Something wicked this way comes.

Look at the coming revolution. And be afraid - be very afraid. Hot among the news that Music Copywriters will soon be looking to sue people who put lyrics of their favourite songs on the internet, here is news that Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has done an about face, and now "has reversed its position on CD ripping and now wants the practice outlawed."

Readers comments include the following gem outlining how ridiculous the situation could get.

For example, I own a LP of Led Zeppelin II, I want to play it in my car, I would have to purchase the cassette of it (this is in the 80's). Now, I want to play it in my truck (now) I have to buy it on CD (again buying it) Yesterday my girlfriend gave me a MP3 player. To play Led Zeppelin II the way THEY claim is legal, i have to buy the media AGAIN... That is FOUR copies of The Lemon Song....

and a possible outcome....

The RIAA can eat me
I used to buy a couple of CDs or more every pay day. Now, those greedy maggots are turning on their own customers. I have almost completely quit buying music at all. I've got hundreds of CDs, had to buy extra storage for them...and now they claim I don't have the right to copy them to a digital player for my own use. I hope their entire industry goes bankrupt!

Also from Kiwiblog, David Links to a fellow NZ blogger who sees a day when the internet will no longer be a free and frank medium of exchange, because corporations want to limit speeds and services for their subscribers, depending on what other services they can on-sell. An example of this sort of thing is not being able to use a P2P shareware program on one ISP, but being able to do so on another.

I heard some time ago that Telecom were looking into ways of slowing down Skype "packets" to stop this technology being used on Xtra, in competition to Telecoms own fixed wire network. Now in fairness, this was second hand information, but it did ring true at the time.

My point is that sometimes this World Wide Web poses "issues" to telecomunications companies - and they will try to limit these effects as people develop new and emerging technologies if they impact on their bottom line.

The battles for future freedoms may not be fought in the trenches, or a battlefield, but against telecommunication companies all over the world, by people who refuse to let them strip away their rights without a fight.

Never take for granted the freedoms we have now, or we may lose them forever.

Judging Books by Covers

In a belated Valentine's Day tribute - perhaps one of the nicest love songs, from a potentially unlikely source. Kudo's Mr Smith.

Show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream she said
The one that makes me laugh she said
And threw her arms around my neck
Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I’ll run away with you
I’ll run away with you
Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make her glow
Why are you so far away? she said
Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you
That I’m in love with you

Friday, February 17, 2006

X marks the spot

This is my first time… please be gentle…

Whilst walking to work this morning I came across a tourist information board. Yes! Believe it! Dunedin has tourists! On it there was a graphic depicting the town centre with an “X” and the words “YOU ARE HERE”. Upon reading this my initial reaction was one of relief (conformation that I am in fact really here…very reassuring!) then after suppressing the urge to write “Yes. But why?” in big red indelible letters I started thinking how useful it might be to have these markers in other aspects of our lives. Imagine you’re at a party, having a good time, completely oblivious to any dangers that might be lurking ahead when you come across a marker that reads “X - YOU ARE HERE: Three drinks away from bumping structures with the Russian mail order bride” (We’ve all been there…) Or maybe one seemingly innocent afternoon you’re browsing Trademe and a marker pops up “X - YOU ARE HERE: 2 clicks away from buying 2nd hand urban camouflage pants” Think of the embarrassment and suffering that one might avoid with a little forewarning. We can all pinpoint a moment in our lives when we wish there had been such a marker. I wish there had been a marker at the top of the Skyline Luge in Queenstown that read “X – YOU ARE HERE: 5 minutes away from witnessing Mark hitting his head on the mind your head sign at the bottom”. Had there been I would have found a Japanese tourist and mugged him for his video camera… *sigh*

Friday Guest Blogging

Every other Friday I will invite a non-blogger to have a say on this blog. Today is the first such occurance. Please welcome "Tyler Knows Best" and his contribution to my blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Stupid Headlines from 2005

Crack Found on Governor's Daughter
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Great Auckland Swap meet.

One of the weirdest things about Auckland, is the non organic rubbish pickup every two years. Every two years you simply put out all the rubbish you can't put in a recycling bin, or kleensak, next to the curb to be picked up by the council.
If it wasn't odd enough that for a couple of weeks your subdivision looks like a South African shanty town, you still have to deal with the people taking stuff off your pile to take home.
I'd like to point out that this is not a casual "theft" by someone walking past who picks up an item and continues: some arrive in trucks to take your stuff away. One of my workmates put out an old broken shower door, and the next day the aluminium surrounds were stripped off and only the rubber and glass remained. I guess it's just a redistribution of wealth - well at least as far as rubbish is concerned.
As these collections cycle through different parts of Auckland throughout every second year, it must be a full time job for some of these guys.
I cant help but wonder if I should join this madness and throw some stuff out - but I'd always worry that my stuff wouldn't be worth collecting. What would I say to the neighbours then?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Real World

I was thinking about how people see themselves in a relationship, and how unreal that view might really be. Having seen how a relationship works from the outside I now realise that if you actually set out to look for it - you may never achieve it. I have come to recognise certain aspects of relationships from an outsiders perspective. This may prove useful in the search for a girl at findsomeone.
The first universal theme involves the male in the relationship passing wind, followed closely by the partner complaining about it. This seems to only serve to encourage the male to once again to pass wind, in what quickly becomes a never ending cycle of gas and complaints. I am unsure if there could be a role reversal here, as I've yet to find a woman who admits they "pass wind".
The second common theme, is an ongoing struggle over who does a meaningless task. The task isn't important - What is important is that neither person wants to do the task. Obviously there is much to and fro'ing over the task. Any third person present would gladly do said task to shut the whole to and fro'ing thing down. But you soon realise that the couple would then pick another task to try and get the other to do. In short you cant win - and neither can they.

This is not unique to any couple - so if I know you - and you're a couple - chances are I've seen you do this. I must point out I'm not thinking of any one couple - Youre all the same!!!

So If I have any chance of finding a suitable girl I must change my online dating profile accordingly. I should add - Can pass wind, even under duress. Can do most tasks but not if you specifically want me to.

Any other skills required for a real relationship I should be developing? Do Tell!

Tyler says no

(An artists impression of Tyler knows best)

Finally something to really get upset about. Seems Bollywood are remaking Fight Club.

This is a great insult to Fight Club fans the world over and I for one will not be eating Indian food for a week - in protest!

On a lighter note Russian girl Elena has had her structure removed, and can no longer be contacted.

Friday, February 10, 2006

It's all about context

After a week of toncilitis, swallowing is still something akin to eating very sharp glass. This coupled with a lot of night work, and corresponding lack of sleep, has curtailed my normal happy happy joy joy existance, and I have truely become surly boy!

Of course the following message on findsomeone didn't improve my mood either:
Hi friend! My name is Elena! My 25 years, my photo you can see on my structure. I to become interested in your structure and I wish to have in the future with you the correspondence!!! I wish to find out better, write to me on e-mail 2$5^& I wait for your letter!!!

So when a couple of days ago IG sent me an email contailing this link, I didnt expect too much, but instead found a real jewel. Even if you've got a dialup link I'd download this one. Kudo's IG. May your structure always be sturdy and strong like bull.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The story thus far

(with help from the Cohen's and Bill Shakespeare)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date

Translation: You're hot, but I may have left my run a bit late.

I fear this whole interweb dating is starting to wear a bit thin.
Time marches on, Adour cools. Perhaps it wasnt the best idea.
Attila the Hun. Ivan the Terrible. Henry the Eighth. What do they have in common?
Obviously the same middle name - but my point, as I meander through this post is...
That perhaps those of us that are single, are because we are meant to be - and that it is just that simple.

Perhaps....The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

I will however keep you up to date with the latest happenings, as they come to hand.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Religious Intolerance

I've been trying to get my head around the riots over the cartoons appearing in different papers around the world.
I can understand the depth of some peoples convictions when it comes to their faith - but when people promote bombings in retaliation for newspapers publishing these cartoons, I lose my patience. If you are insecure in you faith enough to destroy innocent people over this issue, perhaps you shouldn't be a part of the society you live in.
There's a lot of things I don't like about the society I live in, but I know the alternatives are much worse, so I'm prepared to make the most of where I am, and try to make it better. In this respect I have absolutely no problem with the local Muslim community protesting over the cartoons, as when the Catholics protested over the "Virgin Mary in a condom" incident. The right to protest, and free speech is an important method to sway public opinion - for the better or worse. Violent protest never accomplished anything. A great example of the power of peaceful protest was the Civil Rights movement in the United States. With peaceful protest they have accomplished more than any attempt by any other group who insist on violence.
Perhaps Islam, in it's current form, has no place in the western world - when the rules that apply to all other religions in the western world cant apply to it. A society has to benefit the people that live in it, or else what is the point of having a society? I cant help but think this entire problem has its root in oil supply - and I hope when we move from fossil fuels to an alternative, the reasons for many of these conflicts will change - hopefully not to be replaced by new ones.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

New Zealand Day - 3rd time lucky

Have posted this three times now. The Blog must really hate it as it keeps disappearing :)

New Zealand Day.

There's a great sound in those words. New Zealand Day - a day to give thanks that we live in such a great country. But this year I just won't call it Waitangi Day. I won't call it Waitangi Day because to me Waitangi Day means protests and mud slinging, and a day where a very small minority make the television news for the same, pain in the arse reasons.

This is a day when anyone looking in from the outside would think we are the least united. This legacy of past wrong-doings and the corresponding settlement process must have an end. And please make it soon.

New Zealand is full of people from different ethnic origins. In the most part these people want to take part in our society in a positive and beneficial way - they want to take the best things from their culture and make it a part of ours. In short "They want to move forward".

I'm really glad that most Maori people feel the same way - and I've heard that Waitangi is a great place to go over the long weekend - a carnival of sorts, with lots of fun to be had. But it all doesnt just happen there. New Zealanders' all over the country take to the beaches, and the parks to enjoy a day, tailor-made for us. I just want this day to reflect on us all - as New Zealanders, not just focusing on 10% of our population.

Be proud of what we achieve, and be proud to be a New Zealander. Remember - We are one nation - and it's time to celebrate that fact.

Friday, February 03, 2006

You complete me.

Having not seen the Evil Weevil so far this year - we arranged to catch up last Monday. As is a normal occurrence for our meetings we usually have dinner followed by a movie. Now I'm a bit of a movie snob, so on occasion I ask that the other person choose the movie. That way I often get to see films I would normally avoid - and perhaps become a little more balanced in the process. Sometimes I get to see some amazing gems, and sometimes not.
This time Evil Weevil chose "Just Like Heaven".

The film was mildly entertaining in a chewing gum for the mind kind of way, but I found myself wondering if the plot was any more (or less) far fetched than a Michael Bay extravaganza - like Pearl Harbour. Well I said to myself - at least Pearl Harbour happened, and although there were no ghosts per say it was no worse for their omission. It might have been better though.

But Reese did a good job - the movie was warm and tender, with ... ok it was bollox, but what do you expect.... If you want to see Reese in a drama go see "Walk the Line". Resse is simply the next Meg Ryan - and that's all I'm going to say about that.

This lead me to think about romantic dialog in movies, and how if people said what the actors said in real life, how unlikely the romance would continue. Take for example this dross;

I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Ahhhh... The word STALKER comes to mind...

Here are some other examples of swoon inducing moments in cinema....that just cant work in real life. And if they did work you'd probably be more than slightly worried......

"You complete me"
"You make me want to be a better man"
"Happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat."

"I like to start my notes to you as if we're already in the middle of a conversation. I pretend that we're the oldest and dearest friends- as opposed to what we actually are- people who don't know each other's names and met in a chat room where we both claimed we'd never been before. What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer, I wait impatiently as it boots up. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beat of my own heart. I have mail. From you."

So a challenge for you, constant reader, is to find a romantic movie quote that wont work in real life, and post it as a comment. And don't forget to have fun!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I hate telecom - Part 2

Don't make me angry - you wouldnt like me when I'm angry......

"I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How've you been?"

Truely, it pissed me off when I see telecom's share price rising on the back of crap emphasis in the media.
telecom shares rose 10c, or 1.8 per cent, to $5.76 in early trading today despite the telco reporting a $466 million half-year loss.

Read that carefully..... Shares rise - after telecom report a half billion loss.
So why.....

"Not so much the financials, but the mobile and broadband numbers. Both have surprised on the upside very nicely."
telecom chief executive Theresa Gattung said mobile connection growth was strong in the quarter, with 135,000 new connections.
telecom picked up 38,000 new broadband customers in the quarter, about 35,000 of which were residential.
telecom said it expected double digit growth in mobile voice and data revenue to continue.

OK lets deal with some of these issues separately.

38,000 Broadband customers. Does that include the onselling of Broadband to Telstra in the 11th hour deal that stopped impending government intervention?
Also I am connected to IHUG but my ADSL connection has to be through telecom (I have no choice). So I guess I'm included in those numbers - if I was a new connection. The current arrangement is bad for any non telecom customers.
Example: Last week my ADSL fell over - I used to be a telecom tech so I was able to determine the fault lay with telecom's DSLAM. Yet when I reported the fault to telecom thay told me to report the fault to my ISP (even though I knew the problem was with telecom). In short you cant report an internet fault with telecom unless you are an Xtra user. In the end I had to report a line fault to get this problem fixed - even though I knew my line was OK.
My second bug bear is their mobile connection numbers. This is bollox - and regardless of what any cell company tells you, the number of cellular connections is unrelated to the company's revenue bottom line.
Example: I honestly believe the high number of recent connections to telecom mobile is due to their $10 TXT promo. Ok so lets see, assuming these kids are canny, and god knows NZ kids are smart when I comes to money, telecom are most probably making little more than $10 a month on most of those connections. The major indicator of a companies sucess is ARPU. That is ARPU is an acronym for Average Revenue Per Unit or Average Revenue Per User. It is the revenue generated by a customer phone, pager, etc., per month.

Basically stated the higher the ARPU, the more successful your company is. By telecom putting a cap on their ARPU from TXT, they will have to increase their mobile ARPU by stimulating growth in their voice and data areas. I can just see kids/adults that sign on to $10 TXT doing that.

The only shining light for telecom's wire network is their dominance in the local loop (wires in the ground), but in time the revenues from this medium will drop as cellular use increases due to higher data speeds and lower costs. Personally I believe it's time the local loop was deregulated, but telecom has survived thus far with minimal compliance, and I expect this to continue for some time yet.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I'm on my way

Look at Jim-Bob.

Jim is modeling the latest in chic Wellington businesswear. This little ensemble complete with roman sandals, walk socks, and shorts, is sure to raise the eye of every single girl at the office.

See the short sleeve shirt and corresponding short brown tie - never overstated or dated - always styley. Very sexy.

Note the impressive body language, stating in simple terms that he is relaxed and confident: lord of his domain.

A virus made me fat

Fast on the heals of a scientific discovery that a virus may be responcible for making people fat , scientist have also discovered there is no limit to the human beings capacity to blame anyone else for their own misfortunes.

The Darwin Awards are full of people, whose sole redeeming feature is that they can no longer blame anothers; because they are now dead.

This 2005/2006 awards go to a guy who killed himself by Lava-lamp, another who welded a chain to a grenade (to use it as a paper weight), and a young vietnamese man who thought that putting a detonator in his mouth and connecting it to the house mains supply would prove that the detonator, was in fact, defective.

...Nguyen, 21, had been drinking with friends in Hanoi, when he pulled out an old detonator he had found. It was about six centimeters long and eight centimeters in diameter, with two wires hanging out. Because it was old and rusty, Nguyen said, it couldn't explode. His friends disagreed. To prove his point, Nguyen put the detonator in his mouth and asked his friend to plug the dangling wires into a 220-volt electrical receptacle.

For more stories of people who have left their mark by shuffling off their moral coils in a unique manner go here. It is indeed a refreshing notion, that given time, there may be a glimmer of hope: that all the idiots that surround us, may some day, find a way to transcend to greatness.