Friday, June 30, 2006

Herne Bay Blues

Just goes to show you - even the rich have bad days!

Even the block's are of higher quality!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thirty Days to Go!

IG. The thinking Man's Man.

Me: Hi Ian - only 30 days to go now.
IG: Yeah its getting close
Me: Starting to get excited ?
IG: Yeah!!
Me: Really?
IG: Mostly!
Me: Yeah?
IG: Not really.
Me: Still hating it then eh.
IG: Pretty much (laughs)

Skiing is like surfing without getting wet, and if you have the right gear, without getting cold. I dont know if you can classify it as a sport, because in reality, gravity does most of the work.
Initially skiing is hard on the body, but as your technique improves, you simply end up shifting your weight to let nature take its course. Ideally this should make you look awe inspiring, and styley; and although it can often look that way to an observer, the inner me is often screaming siliently "Oh shite!!"

But how could you not love the image of Coronet Peak Building, as you ski down the M1 at the end of your run - Magic!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lost, my internet connection is.

Forget power outages, floods, snow and other natural disasters. The real tragedy is me sitting at home tonight with no internet!
And unlike those lovely people from South Canterbury, who can go days without power, and refuse to complain - I start to bitch angrily after 10 minutes without my beloved web. I have truely started on the path to the dark side, that is an Aucklander..

Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

On the positive side, I'm really looking forward to my South Island trip. The snow conditions look excellent!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Today I have no opinion

For Icecream Girl

Nada - zip as they say.
Apathy rules when the outside temp drops below 5 degrees.
Still waiting for IG's essay on why he hates skiing.
At least Boston Legal was good tonight..... sigh

If I dont win Lotto soon I wont know what to do with myself!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

American Skin

A re-occuring theme of my posts recently seems to be free speech. Tonight I was listening to a CD called The Essential Bruce Sprinsteen, and heard a song called 41 shots (AmericanSkin). The song was pretty haunting, and when I got home I looked it up on the web. Here's an abridged look at the lyrics and the song can be downloaded here .

41 shots....
and we'll take that ride
'cross this bloody river
to the other side
41 shots... cut through the night
You're kneeling over his body in the vestibule
Praying for his life

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain't no secret
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in
Your American skin

41 shots and
Lena gets her son ready for school
She says "on these streets, Charles
You've got to understand the rules
If an officer stops you
Promise me you'll always be polite,
that you'll never ever run away
Promise Mama you'll keep your hands in sight"

41 shots
And we'll take that ride
Cross this bloody river
To the other side
41 shots
And my boots caked in this mud
We're baptized in these waters
And in each other's blood

The song was in reference to four New York City Police officers who fired 41 shots at and killed an unarmed man,Amadou Diallo in February of 1999.

The song, doesnt seem to point any blame - just to say that it's a tragedy when an unarmed man is killed. Of course not everyone saw it that way.

"American Skin" is, however, an attempt by Springsteen to tell his audience that the music is about more than just the people listening to it. Since he began his current tour in March of last year, Springsteen, now reunited with the E-Street Band, has consistently played to packed houses in Canada, Europe, and the U.S. There was no new studio album to promote with this tour. The implicit understanding has been that Springsteen was going to sing all the old songs that his fans wanted to hear. If anything, this was an act of preaching to the converted. But with "American Skin," Springsteen is saying that this isn't enough. He is telling the audience that yes, your lives are valuable but so was Amadou Diallo's. And that his music is about that life as well. Springsteen is trying to create a community where people like Diallo have a place.


A single performance of "American Skin" was enough to launch a new chapter in the culture wars. Before even hearing the song, the nation s battalion of armed art critics sprang into action. The head of the NYC Police Benevolent Association called on the city s 27,000 cops to boycott the concerts by refusing to moonlight as security guards. NYC Police Commissioner Howard Safir supported the boycott and added his own insightful critique, "I personally don't particularly care for Bruce Springsteen s music or his song."
All were outdone by the president of the state chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Bob Lucente, who was forced to resign after his ugly outburst: "[Springsteen's] turned into some type of fucking dirtbag. He goes on the boycott list. He has all these good songs and everything, American-flag songs and all that stuff, and now he's a floating fag, and you can quote me on that."

For a balanced view on this perhaps it's easier to see it googled here, and make your own mind up.

There's also some cam footage from a live concert here if you're interested;

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Blast from the Past

Courtesy of the Kodak snap I take you now to Peter Fish's 21st. Again the late 80's or early 90's

Sheik Delmorphious and Terry with his Coro Street hat (and the blue shirt again, no less).
I remember many a night in the company of these two gents. Whether it was a late night meal at the Dragon Cafe, or a party at Dick Street, the place to be, was where these guys were.
I'm sure it still is - but it seems my love of partying ebbs around the time theirs seems to heat up -and I fear this will always be the case.

Del-boy - you're a legend. I look forward to catching up in August. The Mornington Tavern on a Thursday night? See you there :)

Friday Lyrics

How come, we don't even talk no more,
And you don't even call no more,
We don't barely keep in touch at all,
And I don't even feel the same love when we hug no more,
And I heard it through the grape vine we even beefin' now,
After all the years we've been down,
Ain't no way, no how,
This bullshit can't be true,
We family, aint a damn thing change - unless it's you

We were so young,
So full of life and vibrance,
Side by side wherever you was ridin', I went,
So close or most us some Bonnie and Clyde shit,
When Ronnie died you was right by my side,
With a shoulder to cry on and a tissue to wipe my eyes,
And a bucket to catch every tear I cried inside it,
You even had the same type of childhood I did,
Sometimes I just wanna know why,
Is it that you sur-came to yours,
And mine I survived it,
You ran the streets I nine to fived it,
We grew up, grew apart this time went by us,
Then I blew up to both yours and mine surprises,
Now I feel the vibe I just cant describe it,
Much as your pride tries to hide it,
You're cold your touch is just like ice,
And your eyes is the look of resentment,
I can sense it and I don't like it

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dunedin Radio Depot Circa 1990

Click on this photo - dare you :)

I'm not sure when this photo was taken, but I can tell you it was after U2's "Love Came to Town" tour. Maybe early 90's.

Who would have thought that of this group;

No one works for Telecom, 'though two work for Vodafone.
One is dead, and the rest of as are like leaves scattered to the wind.
Steve Tree's in Sydney
Simon's in Canada, Jim Bob's in Wellington.
Terry looks the same - I think he still wears that shirt!
David works at Otago Uni, and Dangermouse is still a pain in the arse.
Some retired in their 30's [ correction 24yrs - Ed ] only to fly helicopters in their spare time, while others are still counting the years.[Why didnt I buy my first house at 17?]
Some are the big kids they always were, and others have grown up (and out).
Some own their own business, and others still work for "the man".

The sad thing is that when this photo was taken we had no idea how the transition from the Post Office to Telecom would impact on us. It wasnt pretty for anyone.

Still I'm happy where I am right now, and I'd imagine most would feel the same way. Except the dead guy - obviously!

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's been a while

I sometime wonder if i haven't made enough mistakes.
Getting to forty is a pretty harrowing experience i grant you, but compared to some I've managed to make it relatively intact, and with few physical scars to show for the journey. Don't worry: this isn't the start of a mid life crisis, I just wonder if the path less travelled is simply an easier path to walk after all.
I mean; I never got someone pregnant, never ended up in trouble with the law. I never skinny dipped (I can't swim), did drugs, or slept with someone I shouldnt have. The list goes on.
I believe now that it is entirely possible, that by mostly doing the right thing I've become incredibly boring, and missed out on some amazing life experiences. Some say you learn from your mistakes - And I have as well. It's just that I wonder if I could have learnt a little bit more by taking a few risks every now and again.

Perhaps I could have even written an amazing song like this...

And it's been awhile
Since I could hold my head up high
And it's been awhile since I first saw you
And it's been awhile since I could stand on my own two feet again
And it's been awhile since I could call you

And everything I can't remember
As fucked up as it all may seem
The consequences that I've rendered
I've stretched myself beyond my means

It's been awhile
Since I can say that I wasn't addicted
And it's been awhile since I can say I love myself as well and
And it's been awhile since I've gone and fucked things up just like I always do
And it's been awhile but all that shit seems to disappear when I'm with you

And everything I can't remember
As fucked up as it all may seem to be
I know it's me
I cannot blame this on my father
He did the best he could for me

And it's been awhile
Since I could hold my head up high
And it's been awhile since I said I'm sorry

A good thing - or bad?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Superman sux

While surfing Hate Sexy the other day I read Jon's post about how excited he was about the new release of Superman.
I never really liked Superman as a character. I never understood why until I watched Kill Bill 2. Here's Quentin Tarentino's take on the issue, and I'm inclined to agree.

An essential characteristic of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero, and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When he wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic that Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses, the business suit, that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race.

Cold? Nah....

For Green Street Girl.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Lyrics

In much happier times

Time is never time at all
You can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth
And our lives are forever changed
We will never be the same
The more you change the less you feel
Believe, believe in me, believe
That life can change, that you're not stuck in vain
We're not the same, we're different tonight
Tonight, so bright
And you know you're never sure
But your sure you could be right
If you held yourself up to the light
And the embers never fade in your city by the lake
The place where you were born
Believe, believe in me, believe
In the resolute urgency of now
And if you believe there's not a chance tonight
Tonight, so bright
We'll crucify the insincere tonight
We'll make things right, we'll feel it all tonight
We'll find a way to offer up the night tonight
The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight
Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight

B. Corgan

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Carnies - small hands......


The dead do walk the earth. This i discovered to my horror only yesterday.
They "walk", in case you were interested, in our supermarkets.
They hold on to their trolleys with a vise like grip, shuffling in a halting manner, perhaps in time to some horriffic elevator music, not - i note, the actual horriffic elevator music playing in this specific supermarket.

I have discovered that my proximity to said zombie shoppers, has a distinct, yet annoying effect.
To simplify: the closer i get to them, the slower they push their trolley.
In what some could call shopping hell - they stop suddenly as I draw near, only to rush off, and in a sudden burst of speed when I give up following them, and try another route to the deli counter. It's maddening I tell you!
And dont even get me started on how I feel when two of them stop side by side blocking the isle.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'll have an O for Awesome

Some reasons why sports stars shouldnt be role models;

M. Mexted - Genius

"Nobody in Rugby should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." - Jono Gibbs - Chiefs
"I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes." - Rodney So'ialo - Hurricanes - on University
"You guys line up alphabetically by height." and "You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle." - Colin Cooper - Hurricanes head coach
Chris Masoe (Hurricanes) on whether he had visited the Pyramids during his visit to Egypt: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."
"He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is." - Colin Cooper on Paul Tito
Kevin Senio (Auckland), on Night Rugby vs Day Games "It's basically the same, just darker."
David Nosafora (Auckland) talking about Troy Flavell "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'David, I don't know and I don't care.'
David Holwell (Hurricanes) when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to reach for 150 or 200 points this season, whichever comes first."
"Andy Ellis - the 21 year old, who turned 22 a few weeks ago"(Murray Mexted)
"Colin has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator." (Ma Nonu)
"He scored that try after only 22 seconds - totally against the run of play." (Murray Mexted)
"We actually got the winning try three minutes from the end but then they scored." (Phil Waugh Warratah)
"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." (Jerry Collins)
"That kick was absolutely unique, except for the one before it which was identical." (Tony Brown)
"I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father." (Tana Umaga)
"Sure there have been injuries and deaths in rugby - but none of them serious." (Doc Mayhew)
"If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."(Anton Oliver)
"I would not say he (Rico Gear) is the best left winger in the Super 14, but there are none better." (Murray Mexted)
"I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat." (Ewan McKenzie)
Murray Deaker: "Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography?"
Tana Umaga: "On what ?"
"Well, either side could win it, or it could be a draw."(Murray Mexted)
"Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer."(Murray Mexted)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Yeah I know

Chill - right?

We ought to live each day as though
It were our last day here below.
But, if I did, alas, I know
It would have killed me long ago

-- Piet Hein - "More Grooks"

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. -- Stella Adler

Sunday, June 11, 2006



The suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amount to acts of war, the US military says. "They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," he said. "They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."

Others say; If it's perfectly legal and there's nothing going wrong there - well, why don't they have it in America? Harriet Harman UK Constitutional Affairs Minister

Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, told the BBC the men had probably been driven by despair. "These people are despairing because they are being held lawlessly," he said. "There's no end in sight. They're not being brought before any independent judges. They're not being charged and convicted for any crime."

Imagine how you would feel if your countrymen were afforded the same rights as those held for nearly four years without charge. I have no doubt that some of those held at Guantanamo are guilty of terrorism - but if you cant prove the guilty from the innocent - how long can this go on?

The fact that the US chooses to detain these men without conviction, far from the protection US Law offers, is a sad inditement on the Bush administration. History will not serve him well.

And so now suicide is an act of war?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Govt:1 Free Speech:0

Glad he's off to jail- the little creep!!
An Auckland District Court jury took just three hours to find Tim Selwyn, 31, guilty on one charge of publishing a statement with seditious intent.
He was acquitted of a charge of being party to a seditious conspiracy.
He faces up to two years in prison. He was released on bail to return for sentencing on July 18.

Just a quick look at previous convictions show that most, if not all of the below charges would have been dismissed by the courts if tried today. Full story here.

* 1913: Maoriland Worker editor Henry Holland and unionist Tom Barker were charged with sedition during the 1913 waterfront dispute. Holland was sentenced to prison for a year, of which he served 3 1/2 months. Barker received a three-month sentence. Seamans union leader William Young was jailed for two months for sedition and inciting violence.
* 1916: Peter Fraser, later Labour Prime Minister, was sentenced to 12 months, which he served, for calling for an end to conscription through repeal of the Military Service Act. Fraser's defence was that in arguing for the repeal of the law rather than disobedience or resistance to it, he was acting within his constitutional rights.
* 1916: Hubert Armstrong was sentenced to a year's imprisonment after he told a street-corner meeting that conscription was more about controlling and intimidating a disaffected proletariat than about beating Germany, and would be unnecessary if soldiers were adequately paid.
* 1918: Hiram Hunter campaigned against compulsory service as secretary-treasurer of the United Federation of Labour. In 1918 he received a three-month prison sentence for sedition, but was released after 19 days.
* 1942: The Rev Ormond Burton, editor of the Christian Pacifist Society newsletter, was convicted in the Supreme Court in 1942 for "editing, publishing and attempting to publish a subversive document". Burton argued for his democratic right to think and speak as conscience dictated. Justice Archibald Blair disagreed, telling the jury it was a time when the mouths of cranks would have to shut. Burton was sentenced to 2 years' prison.
Sources: Caslon Analytics (, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Otago Rocks!

Jeff Wilson (Otago)
Full article here.

Officially the Highlanders have turned their backs on the Super 14 draft, but in practice it may take more than southern ideals to end the days of northern imports at Carisbrook. The Highlanders boldly announced yesterday plans to pick only players from Otago, Southland and North Otago for next year's Super 14 squad. The Highlanders have drafted 48 players in 11 seasons, and just six of those went on to transfer south. They used four in 2004, six in 2005 and eight this year, but chief executive Russell Gray believes using local players will build loyalty among players and fans. At their peak in 1998-99 under coach Tony Gilbert the Highlanders drafted only one player each year.

Finally something to celebrate! By using people who choose to live and breathe Otago Rugby, we can develop (over time) a culture befitting this proud region. I hope it works!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

First Ammendment rights

I am the law - fear me

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights. Textually, it prevents the U.S. Congress from infringing on six rights. It forbids laws that:
* Establish a state religion or prefer certain religion (the "Establishment Clause"); * Prohibit the free exercise of religion (the "Free Exercise Clause"); * Infringe the freedom of speech; * Infringe the freedom of the press; * Limit the right to assemble peaceably; * Limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Heady stuff indeed. I have never lived in the US, but I get to see a lot of their TV law drama's on TV, and First Amendment rights interest me greatly.

This is perhaps because in some way we seem less aware of our legal rights in New Zealand. And that can not be a good thing. Not to know how the law can protect you, and that those laws can be eroded, are a concern indeed.

The people who change the law, are representitives of you and I - they are our employees. I do not put them above us, and neither should you. I would suggest you treat with them respect, as you would any member of our community, or until they demonstrate they no longer warrant it - but at least, at first, give them the benefit of doubt.

Where is this leading I hear you ask? Here [abridged for clarity].

On 18 November 2005 an axe was lodged in the window of Prime Minister Helen Clark’s Sandringham Road electorate office. After an anonymous tip-off to a radio station, flyers were found on the corner of Ponsonby Road which purported to explain the attack. The flyers said the axe was a protest against “the Government's attempts to steal, by confiscation, Maori land in the form of the Seabed and Foreshore Bill”. A group of “concerned Pakeha” claimed responsibility, and called on “like-minded New Zealanders to take similar action of their own”. In December, Auckland man Tim Selwyn was arrested and later charged with making a seditious statement, seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to commit criminal damage. Whatever one thinks of Selwyn, the axe through Clark’s window, or any possible connection between the two, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned that Police have resurrected the long-dormant offence of sedition.


A seditious intention is defined in section 81 of the Crimes Act as intending: - To “bring into hatred or contempt, or to excite disaffection against, Her Majesty, or the Government of New Zealand, or the administration of justice”; - To “incite the public or any persons or class of persons to attempt” to change the laws of the country by unlawful means; - To “incite, procure or encourage violence, lawlessness or disorder.” - To “excite such hostility” between “different classes of persons as may endanger the public safety”. - To “incite, procure or encourage the commission of any offence that is prejudicial to the public safety or to the maintenance of public order.”

For the government to raise such a charge against Tim Selwyn is interesting: he has already pleeded guilty to the criminal damage charge. When you consider a different charge was laid against Mike Smith when he chopped down the tree on top of One Tree Hill in Cornwall Park, with similar motivating factors, you have to wonder the governments intent in this case.

I just wonder if our rights to civil disobedience are being eroded just as much here, as in other parts of the world.
Remember: The extremes of socialism and fascism have the same result on the populations they control.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The other side of the fence

My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to. - Aaron Sorkin again (A Few Good Men)

Because you should never forget the first casualty of war, or the good work the men and woman in our armed forces do. Nevermind the reasons why they're there, the decision was made for them, and regardless of their own opinions, they do their job.

America in the spotlight.

America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've got to want it bad, because it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil who is standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the 'land of the free'? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the 'land of the free.'"- Aaron Sorkin (The American President).

Friday, June 02, 2006


Shaun of the Dead

Here I am, a product of the modern age. Sitting in my workmate Gary's fold-out beach chair typing on my Panasonic toughbook, connected via bluetooth to my Nokia 6630 running on a proper 3G network.

From my deckchair I can connect to work through a secure client VPN circuit and check my emails and network updates- surprisingly few new emails at 00:23 - why are they all at home sleeping while I work!

For the last three weeks, I have lived the life of a vampire, sans the obvious bloodletting. We are upgrading software on cellular switches called BSC's (a fancy name for a cellphone "telephone exchange"). We have to re-boot the systems after the upgrade which drop all customers on calls at the time, hence the 1am start. Then with fingers crossed, we await the switch restart, then embark on numerous tests to ensure all is well before we go home at around 4am to sleep.

The problem with this plan of attack is that we become like the walking dead during the day. We have to check out of the hotels we stay in at 10am, but more often the sun streaming in though the blinds wake us long before then. We have actually taken to "nanna naps" during the day, something I havent done since I was three.

Tonight is the last night - the trouble is now I cant get to sleep until 2am, so the cycle of sleep will take a while to change. Unfortunately I end up sleeping through most of my weekend.

Gary at work