Sunday, July 30, 2006
Stepping off the plane in Dunedin yesterday, I was filled with a slight dis-ease. A long stopover at Wellington, and second two hour flight on a smaller aircraft to Dunedin made me a little bit queasy, but my primary concern was how I would aclimatise to my latest visit.
Earlier in the day I had an early wake up at 5am, and with the all blacks playing the Wallabies in Australia at 10pm - it was always going to be a long day. Today I'm still tired, and still feeling a little out of sorts - but it's good to be home.
Tomorrow I plan to drive for approximately 4 hours to Queenstown, where I'll stay for the next two weeks. Skiing is an obvious starter, but I plan to visit a few old haunts; especially the Cow Restaurant, and the Luge track at the Skyline. This week my family is joining me which will be good. IG and Fat Trevor are coming next weekend, so will hopefully have a balanced two weeks; first resting then next week drinking too much red wine and vodka.
It's odd you know. Today I was sitting in a nice bar with IG, drinking a nice red, listening to an 80's soul mix from the bar's music system and I think we were the only ones there. That's not a bad thing - in fact the distinct lack of people around me was a pleasant alternative the busy bustle that is my Auckland life. And that's a good thing when you're on holiday.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
The RIAA really piss me off. I happen to be one of the millions of people that use Youtube to watch video clips of music I'm thinking of buying.
So today I go to youtube, and try to watch the music video by Keane called Everybody changes. It's got a real neat piano riff, and I was interested in seeing the video.
But no - the stupid f$%^&*g RIAA have asked Youtube to remove said video, and now there is a red banner stating "This video has been removed at the request of the copyright owner RIAA because it's content was used without permission".
There is much criticism of the RIAA's policy and method of suing people for copyright infringement, notably with Internet-based pressure groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Boycott RIAA and FreeCulture . To date, the RIAA has sued approximately 16,000  people in the United States suspected of distributing copyrighted works, and have settled approximately 2,500 of the cases. There are some suggestions that the RIAA begins legal proceedings without any knowledge of whether they have engaged in copyright abuses or not .
The RIAA has been criticised in the media after they subpoenaed Gertrude Walton, an 83-year-old grandmother who had died in December of 2004 . Mrs. Walton stood accused of swapping rock, pop and rap songs. The RIAA in 2003 attempted to sue Sarah Seabury Ward, a 66 year-old sculptor residing in Boston, Massachusetts. They alleged that she shared more than 2,000 songs illegally. The RIAA dropped the suit when it was discovered that she was a computer novice. The case was dismissed, but without prejudice.
The RIAA has also been criticised for bringing lawsuits against children, such as 12 year old Brianna LaHara in 2003 . The RIAA also attempted to sue Candy Chan of Michigan, for the alleged actions of her daughter, 13 year old Brittany Chan. The court dismissed Priority Records v. Chan  because it was ruled that the mother could not be sued for the alleged infringements of her daughter.  When the court ruled in favor of the mother, dismissing the case, the RIAA proceeded to sue her child. However, prosecuting a minor is more difficult, and many previous adult defendants have said that the P2P software installation and copyright infringement was done without their knowledge by one of their children.
The RIAA's recent targeting of students has generated controversy as well. An April 4th story in the MIT campus newspaper The Tech indicates that an RIAA representative stated to Cassi Hunt, an alleged file-sharer, that previously, "the RIAA has been known to suggest that students drop out of college or go to community college in order to be able to afford settlements."The RIAA has recently sent cease-and-desist letters to YouTube users for publishing their own works without licensing.
So f%$k you RIAA - I'm not going to buy the album now. And Keane - you've just lost a sale.
And you wonder why the music industry is in trouble.
But help is at hand...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Life has paid back my perfect day post in spades.
Everything is still ok - but I have the shitiest network fault in the world to deal with at the moment. This only goes to prove that there is most possibly "a god" and that he enjoys tormenting me on occasion. Oh wait - upon reflection - my entire life :)
I dropped into see Tumorboy and Scrabble Queen for a lovely dinner. Tumorboy will probably have to retire his meatball recipe now - it cant get any better. It's no longer fair on the other dishes he creates.
This coupled with a nice bottle of Merlot equals a perfect evening - just what i needed to relax after a really long day yesterday - thanks guys.
I still dont know when I'm heading to Dunnoz - I must get my shit together!
Two days to skiing - and all I want to do is sleep. This is truely pathetic.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Hmmmmm.....Nothing in my "in box" from Coffee girl. Should have got that release :)
I was raednig an eaiml the otehr day, sent, aagin, by my mum, that baisaclly says that as we only look at the frist and last lteer of each word to make snece of it, so any inetntal lettres cuold be jbumeld and you colud still read it. Fact or Fcitoin?
Atlohguh udner eaxinmtaoin the wohle prcoses semes to work bteter with lnoegr words tahn shoretr ones.
My brian hruts!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Anyway - I don't think Raymond spoke to me for a couple of weeks afterward, because the blind date was for his brother's 21st (which I also attended), and I believe I spent the whole night talking to her.
Twenty three years later I'm still taking to her - and to me - it sometimes seems that little time has past since that first night together.
As we make our lives here, there and everywhere, we cross many people's paths. Some who we think will be lifelong friends quickly become distant memories, while other's drift away years later without a thought. With Coffee Girl, time or distance makes no difference. Last year I caught up with her in Sydney, Australia while I was there on a course. With us there's never an awkward moment to break the ice - it's like we never stopped talking. Seriously- years can (and have) gone by, even between phone calls - yet neither of us take this as a slight. I think the truth is that we think of each other often: I know I do.
Looking back to that 21st, I would have never realized she would come to be such a close friend. It's funny; I know we'll always be there for each other, but for the life of me I don't even want to know why I know these things - for me it's just a given.
I know what you're thinking but you're wrong. In truth, although I probably fell for her on more than one occasion, it was obvious (eventually) that she had her own trail to blaze, and that was that. I believe that much of this infatuation was due to the fact that she was an older woman (by six months) but hey that's a lot of difference at seventeen! She's always been more daring, and takes way more chances than me - and that I admire. I wonder if she thinks people see her this way? I doubt it. This girl rocks!
She's attractive, intelligent, fun, and a lovely girl. Never a woman tho - because in some way I see her as if we're both seventeen still. Well she's seventeen and a half - but who's counting.
Love ya girl! - See you soon. :)
Thursday, July 20, 2006
You know when you have a really good day? When things really flow together ? Like life was some kind of jigsaw puzzle, and someone gave you a preview of what the puzzle looked like after it was finished.
So today, more than any other, I was on my game. All questions from contractors answered without pause. A nasty fault found, and rectified with the help of Dufus. A satisfying sense that finally I was accomplishing something, and that what I do means something.
But (and there has to be a but) I've been waking up at 4am in the morning - my mind racing about the stupidest things. Like this morning; I wake wondering what the hell I'm going to do with the V6 Capri I'm planning to drop a V8 Lexus motor in over Christmas this year. Questions like - How am I going to fit that into my two week break over Christmas? How many years will this car take me to restore? How much restoration can I do myself ? And finally how often will I get to drive the damn thing when it's in Dunedin and I'm in Auckland?
Ahh - now you can see how my mind works. This isn't really a dream about car restoration - this is a subconscious reminder that I have to stop living in two cities, and a time is approaching where I have to commit to one lifestyle over another.
The decision isn't as easy as it first sounds, and commitment isn't my strongest suit.
Sorry about the run of serious posts... I'm going to blog on the original "Coffee Girl" soon, I just have to get her to sign a release first :)
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Welcome to New Zealand - can we kill you now or would you prefer it later?
In what seems to be a slide into the insanity that is the real world; New Zealand is slowly going nuts.
I read in David Farrar's Kiwiblog that someone was killed over a scrabble game. In the last few months we've had;
A body floating in an Auckland harbour stuffed inside a suitcase
A body found with no hands and a partially decapitated head (don't get me started on how a head can be partially decapitated !!!!)
A sixty plus teacher killed in her classroom whilst preparing a lesson plan.
Untold stabbings and attacks in South Auckland. South Aucklander's that don't know there is an Auckland Harbour bridge!
Two baby twins killed by unknown members of their own families.
The list goes on....
So come to New Zealand!
You can leave any idea of personal responsibility "on the hook" when you arrive - just make sure you pick it up on your way out of the country.
Your defense for any bad behaviour, including the odd killing or aggravated assault? - simply say it wasn't your fault.
You will be rewarded by a cuddle from the people in power, especially if you can blame anyone else.
Don't forget to lawyer up- if you're accused you can get this for free!
Also claim some cultural insensitivity, to allow you some time to get your story straight before talking to the Police.
You can also take some satisfaction in the fact that any of your victims relatives will get no satisfaction, assuming you get caught in the first place.
I wonder if you can make a noose out of Number 8 fencing wire?
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Here's a post from a few days back...
Constitutional Amendment Would Protect Institution of Traditional Divorce, President Says
Carving out his position on what could prove to be an effective wedge issue in the upcoming midterm elections, President George W. Bush said today that he would support a constitutional amendment banning gay divorce.
At a campaign rally in Idaho, the President said that gay divorce poses a threat to the institution of traditional divorce, adding, "Traditional divorce must always be defined as a divorce between a man and a woman."
The president added that if gay divorce were legal in the United States, it would only exacerbate the nation's illegal immigration problem, as gay married couples swarm over the borders from Mexico and Canada seeking so-called gay "quickie" divorces.
While the president's call for a ban on gay divorce seemed to gain traction among the Republican faithful, it drew a strong negative response from the nation's bickering gay couples, thousands of whom marched on Washington today to protest the proposed gay divorce ban.
One such bickering gay couple, David Logsdon and Jeremy Leshone, had their first big fight at an Il Divo concert in 2004 and said that gay married couples should have the same right to a messy divorce as everyone else.
"If President Bush doesn't hear our voices, I'm prepared to take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court," Mr. Logsdon said.
"You would," said Mr. Leshone. "You never know when to give up a fight."
"Oh, shut up," said Mr. Logsdon.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
To those who say "violence doesnt solve anything" I say bullshit - sometimes it does. When I was thirteen I was picked on by a kid the same age as me. After "turning the other cheek" this kid continued to bully on a greater scale.
Eventually after putting up with this for a couple of weeks, I turned around, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against the classroom wall. With as much strength i could muster, I lifted him off the floor, and threatened to smash his face in. The kid turned as white as a sheet and never - ever - hassled me again. Needless to say I didn't need to hit him. My only regret is I didnt stand up to him sooner.
I hate sledging in sports - I believe it's uncalled for. Ironically in Cricket it is quite common. I remember a story where an Australian bowler called the batsmen he was bowling to a number of insults during the his "over". At the end of the over he smirked and said.. Geeze youre a fat c$%t. Having had enough of this, the batter said "It's only because your wife gives me a cookie every time I shag her". Well - the bowler lost it - and ranted at the batsman that he had overstepped the "ethical" mark by mentioning his wife. Funny as that may seem to some, I dont believe this sort of behaviour should be tolerated by any sport.
I guess my point is that some things are worth fighting for. Zidane has endured many "slights" during his career, and the fact he responded to the taunt, points to the severity of what was said.
To his headbutt I say well done - the fact that Materazzi deny's saying anything that would upset Zidane points to his own character; a character that I find lacking.
I just wish the media would look at the antagonist with as much zeal as the respondant.
If someone called my mother a whore (the latest rumour doing the rounds) - I'd do more than headbutt his chest - and I promise you that.
Monday, July 10, 2006
|Date:||Mon, 10 Jul 2006 09:06:53 +1200|
------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent: Sun, 09 Jul 2006 18:07:54 +1200
> Generally, I hate the warnings that get sent around, but I have to
> admit that this one is important. Please protect everyone you know by
> sending this to your entire email list.
> If a man comes to your front door and says he is conducting a survey
> and asks you to show him your bum, DO NOT show him your bum. This is a
> He only wants to see your bum.
> I wish I'd got this yesterday. I feel so stupid and cheap.
------- End of forwarded message -------
Sunday, July 09, 2006
What is success? What makes a successful life?
An obvious answer to this age old question would perhaps be "To be happy"
But not to some.
If all around you is chaos and madness perhaps "being happy" is not within your immediate grasp. In cases like this perhaps other less "ideal based" answers would apply. In a life where failure is no longer an option (even failing an NCEA paper is deemed not attained), some of us cling more strongly to a "Darwinian concept" of success.
So, in short, to be successful in this life you must breed, and if possible marry beforehand.
Conversely - if your are single and childless, perhaps not all is lost - perhaps you're trying - but just haven't been successful yet.
This is the sort of crap some members of my family have to put up with - simply because two of us are not married, and all of us are childless.
Kids are great, and so is marriage, but they are not the be-all and end-all of our existence.
If I never marry and have children of my own I wont view my life as any less worthy.
And to hell with anyone who would disagree.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Just because we get around
The things they say are awfully cold
I hope I die before I get old.
Pete Townshend, who wrote those immortal words for the Who in 1965, could now probably see the irony now he's 61, however I'm sure now he simply changes his definition of the word "old" with every passing year.
Today I visited my grandmother, who is 90 years old. Because I live in Auckland and my family lives at the other end of New Zealand in Dunedin, I don't often spend my time in the middle of the South Island. In fact I think it's been over four years since my last visit to Christchurch, and it has been at least that long since I've seen my grandmother.
I called her on the 'phone before I arrived, because i knew she probably wouldn't know me when she saw me. I didn't expect not to recognise her myself.
My grandmother is extremely stubborn and point blankly refuses to go into a group home. Unfortunately this life choice has removed the promise of any company in her remaining years - it amazes me the lengths people will go to to live in their own homes until "they carry me out in a pine box" (her words - not mine). If only her decision didn't impact on the lives of so many others in her family.
She was always a great talker, and in that capacity she still reins supreme. The problem is, her conversation is short but extremely repetitive. She kept saying I looked like one of Roger's sons - I pointed out that I was one of Roger's sons, and was very probably the very one I reminded her of. She called me Brent, who is another of her grandsons, then went on to tell me how well Brent was doing (which really must do Brent's head in when he visits). She asked me how my wife (yeah right) was, and that she had a real problem with my mother (who in fact is my Aunt). She is very house proud and tells me she still does her own housework (again - yeah right) - and that the home helpers don't do much except steal her knives and forks. We then skipped back to how much I looked like on of Rogers sons again and repeated the above conversation again - and again - and again.
Although what I've written may seem to be somewhat light in nature - I assure you that it wasn't a laughing manner. I looked, I listened, I engaged in polite conversation, and hugged her when I left, all the while thinking to myself: I hope I die before I get old.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
06:00 Get up to catch 09:45 flight - you have to factor in Auckland traffic you know...
Arrive and check in to Qantas for flight to Christchurch.
Flight is delayed by fog
11:00 Flight cancelled
Rebooked on 15:40 flight. Deciding whether to battle traffic to go back to work and return to airport - decide to stay.
Walk to international terminal to use lunch voucher supplied by Qantas
14:30....Flight delayed until 18:00
16:00....Flight delayed until 18:30
19:00 on our way to Christchurch
20:00 arrive Christchurch
20:30 Check into hotel.
21:00 Start pretesting for a software upload
23:59 Finish testing - start upload
0230 Finish software upload. Start Post Testing
0330 Find problem - rollback software
0430 Start rollback testing
0530 All good - back to where we were at 6am the previous morning