Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bad Habits

I've noticed recently my complete intolerance of certain things. It's not like I do anything in retaliation for these unforeseen affronts to my sensibilities: I just file them against the offender, and all that's left is a slight irritation the next time I see that person.
It may seem weird, but every time the offender "re offends" the irritation gets slightly worse, perhaps like a insect bite that needs a little vinegar to stop the sting: just without the vinegar i guess.

The things that set me off are strange. This isn't a trait entirely my own. My grandmother used to get profoundly irritated when her toast was not buttered to the corners. Another of her dislikes was people who ate toast without cutting it in half: she explained it to me as "bad breeding".
The toast thing aside my Grandmother was not stark raving mad - nor am I.

Today one of my co-workers filled up his coffee cup with the spoon in it. That is just simply wrong. the fact he went on to drink the coffee with the spoon in it made it doubly wrong, but the icing on the cake of "bad manners" was I saw him do the same thing with soup the other day. WITH SOUP!!!!

I mean - really - a spoon in your cup whilst drinking?

I suppose on the scale of human achievements in bad breeding "the spoon incident" is minor, but why does it upset me so?

To be aware of other peoples dislikes is a curse - Ever since the "toast incident", I always buttered my Grandmothers toast to the corners on the odd occasions, we, the Grandchildren, made our Grandparents breakfast in bed. We never cut the toast on any angle other than 90 degrees lest we offended them.

It's funny now, years after they have both passed on, I cut my toast on a diagonal, and when not amongst polite society: uncut.
I have no strict butter spreading rule, but I hate my toast burnt and despise the scraping of burn toast: I'd rather throw out the burnt offering and start again.

I'd like to think these indiscretions are minor in nature, and to be fair this post had a point: It's just I've forgotten it.

Friday, January 26, 2007


If you like this clip, check out the original Joni version from her album "blue" recorded in 1971.
I love the line "I wish I had a river I could skate away on - lovely.

Solving the Mystery of the dead cat

If you bring me a dead cat, all I can tell you is that it's dead - and it was a cat.
But if you hand me a dead cat, and you tell me you found it in the middle of the road - Ha!!! - What killed it?

A car?
A truck?
Heat exhaustion?

Now you're getting it -
OK.... you find the dead cat in the kitchen of your favourite restaurant....
What killed it?

The Chef?

What are we talking about here?


Context: the difference between road kill - and a meal.

Today I had the unfortunate experience on being a part of a disagreement between my firm and a member of the public. Given the facts, a course of action was undertaken without the benefit of context.
In fairness we did all we could to get the problem sorted, but now all the facts are out of the bag I'm not so sure our method was the best after all. Hindsight is 20:20
Suffice to say the two parties are working together to sort the problem, but I feel somewhat responsible - another good reason for not dealing with people, technology isn't as tricky.

Sometimes even when you get what you want - you lose.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Dead Girl walking

On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

My love affair with Dead Like Me continues. Like a man adrift at sea with little water I have begun to ration; periodically I feel like "drinking" the lot and facing the inevitable: a cancellation that took place over two years ago.

First Firefly, then Dead Like Me. What next? My beloved Science Fiction?

And yet the Gilmore Girls may yet make season eight! They mock my pain!

Madness I tell you - I have stared into the abyss, and seen endless scripts for reality TV and game shows, and the death of any television that makes us think. The horror......

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The real McCoy - so to speak

The last post featured an image of John Cleese in a comedy skit about funny walks.
However, this is where i got my inspiration for the title to my post.

Of course this is the real "Angry from Mayfair". Kenny Everett was a comedian before his time I suspect - at least to the teenage MarkJ.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Angry of Mayfair

I've been angry this week - Really I have.
My holiday in now well and truly over and I have to face 2007.
This pisses me off because at the start of my ascent through 2007 I will have to first traverse the hazardous journey toward my birthday. My birthday "base camp" is a constant reminder of how I am frittering my life away. Frittering sums it up well, frittering is a flibberty gibberty type of word that I like to pull out of the hat every now and again, mostly when I'm in a fliberty type of mood : which is this week.

Weird thoughts assault me like South Auckland street gangs as I walk down the street. Today I got pissed off when I saw someone walking down the street "kinda funny". He was taking up the whole damn pavement in a kind of funky chicken walk ( could..I..get.. past...no...). The guy probably had a real medical condition - I'm sorry for being so insensitive, but I couldn't help but immediately think of IG and My Mate John's idea : Fix the walk - Fix the man. Basically their philosophy is that if you take the time to teach someone how to walk in a normal manner than the "rest" will fall into place - I cant help but think this is inspired in some way - but at the same time I wonder if their walk couldn't use a little work as well.

It seems that daily I have been saving someones bacon - today guys who get paid a lot more than me made a HUGE freaking mistake, which I happened to point out to them. Seriously these rocket scientists have been working on this for a month, and one word from me - and its over. So do I get any credit - ah no - they're jumping for foxholes. Little do they know the foxholes are full of very hungry Pirhana with a taste for Anus-Engineeris. Should I tell them?

Nah. They all walk kinda funny too. And I cant be fucked fixing it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nostalgia Corner

The Beatles - The Long and Winding Road
Original Version

From Wikipedia:

In an interview in 1994, McCartney described the lyric more obliquely: "It's rather a sad song. I like writing sad songs, it's a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it. It's a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist ... It's a sad song because it's all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach. This is the road that you never get to the end of."

In spring 1970 the other Beatles, barely speaking to one another and disgruntled with the quality of their work, effectively abandoned the Get Back project. Subsequently John Lennon and Beatles' accountant Allen Klein turned over the recordings to Phil Spector in the hope of salvaging an album, now titled Let It Be, out of the project.

Spector wrought various changes on the songs that would be included on Let It Be, but his most dramatic embellishment would occur on April 1, 1970, when he turned his attention to "The Long and Winding Road." At Abbey Road studios, he recorded the orchestral and choir accompaniment for the song. The only member of The Beatles present was Ringo Starr. Already known for his eccentric behaviour in the studio, Spector was in a particular mood that day, as balance engineer Pete Brown recalled: "He wanted tape echo on everything, he had to take a different pill every half hour and had his bodyguard with him constantly. … He was on the point of throwing a wobbly, saying 'I want to hear this, I want to hear that. I must have this, I must have that.'" Brown and the orchestra eventually became so annoyed by Spector's behaviour that the orchestra refused to play any further, and at one point, Brown left for home, forcing Spector to telephone him and persuade him into coming back, after Starr told Spector to calm down.

Finally, Spector succeeded in remixing "The Long and Winding Road," using 18 violins, four violas, four cellos, three trumpets, three trombones, two guitars, and a choir of 14 women.The orchestra was scored and conducted by Richard Hewson, who would later work with McCartney on his album, Thrillington. This lush orchestral treatment was in direct contrast to The Beatles' stated intentions for a "real" recording when they began work on Get Back.

When McCartney first heard the Spector version of the song, he was outraged. Nine days after Spector overdubbed "The Long and Winding Road", McCartney announced that The Beatles were breaking up.

Life as a PC.

Sometimes I fix PC's for friends. I just never realised the parallels between fixing a PC and fixing a life. After taking to someone the other day It dawned on me that the parallels were perhaps closer than I cared to imagine.

When you fix a software fault on a PC, you can take one of two routes.

Assuming that a piece of software on your PC is faulty or infected, you can attack the PC with various tools; such as virus scanners or spy software detection tools. All these tools are designed to find the "infections" within the buggy OS and fix it.
The trouble is, your PC will never run as well as it did on the first day you turned it on. Every application, even when removed leaves more junk on your PC slowing it down, and eventually, no matter how much you try, your PC will fail.
The parallels to life are there to be seen. We are born with (mostly) a clean slate, and since that day we accumulate knowledge, attitudes, and take on things from the environment surrounding us. Like our dear PC, no matter what life lessons we adopt and maybe drop as we go, we can never stop being a sum of all those small parts - or can we?
Are psychologists our virus and spyware equivalents? Is Prozac our great antivirus?

The second more drastic option, at least with the PC, is a complete reload. By wiping the hard disk and reinstalling a complete OS again we give our beloved PC a new chance at life - what was once old becomes new again - and all the garbage from before is gone. Our PC has a new chance with different software options. Sure - it will eventually run slower again but for today it is as good as new.

The parallel to this in human terms was explained to me as a "break". Only when deprived of most or all of the supports in your existing life, can you "break" then rebuild yourself again. Evidently this could mean that old thoughts and conceptions holding you back can be thrown away, and a new less restrictive options can be there for the taking. I wonder if the person "breaking" does this on purpose or if the result is merely the only positive outcome from an incredibly shitty situation.

I'm not sure I agreed with the person I was talking with but to those of you who may have come through this "break" process intact, I salute you, and pray you never have to endure it again.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When Poets become Musicians

Sometimes I hate being led by a song.
In an episode of, say CSI, we are led via a set of clues to a conclusion, and that's it. No thinking required - you're just along for the ride.
Those who know me, know my love of all things Tori Amos, simply because her music is almost aways set to some type of poetry. The fun is often working out what she's saying while getting lost in the beautiful music along the way.

Maybe I didn't like to hear
But I still cant believe speed racer is dead
So then I thought Id make some plans
But fire thought shed really rather be water instead

And peggy got a message for me
From Jesus
And Ive heard every word that you have said
And I know I have been driven like the snow

This is cooling
Faster than I can
This is cooling
Faster than I can

But do I hate what she is
But do I want to be her
And don't we love something fresh
Anything new, virgin

Woman you got too many brambles
Hiding under these bushes
Woman you got too many brambles
But I always liked a good storm
I'm always good for a storm

So then love walked up to like
And said I know that you don't like me much
Lets go for a ride
This ocean is wrapped around that pineapple tree

And is your place in heaven
Worth giving up these kisses
These, these kisses

And peggy got a message for me
From Jesus
And Ive heard every word that you have said
And I know I have been driven like the snow, but

This is cooling
Faster than I can
Hey yes, faster than I can
Hey, this is cooling
This is cooling

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The perfect wave

Did you ever catch the perfect wave? My cuz Brad the Surfer may have well caught a few perfect waves in his day, but what I'm on about is a moment when all the cosmic tumblers seem to click into place for an instant.
I'm not talking about a drug induced wave, because that's cheating. The clarity I'm talking about must be the drug free variety, and it doesnt have to only happen once.
Perhaps when you look up from the rim of your favourite coffee mug, to see the sunrise rise from the sea over the sand dunes, and think - wow this is fucking amazing. Perhaps it's just for an instant, because all too soon the cosmic tumblers spin again leaving you, the mere mortal behind, the wave now mocking you from a distance.

For 15 seconds today, while listening to Alison Krause singing New Favourite, with my sub, just so... I could swear the walls moved forward and back with the swell as it moved on. But for a moment i was there - and it was awesome.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

You know youre getting old when

You call your friends at 8:38pm and they're in bed!

Dead like me.

We all create in our heads who we are, and who we want others to be. And how we view ourselves; hero, victim, loved, unloved, changes over time. Those little neurons spark along, working overtime, creating what we believe. So, in that way the mind kinda works like magic, making what we desire happen. And in the end maybe the trick to sorting it all out is trusting your voice, and being true to yourself. Chasing your bliss, you know - all the cliches on parade crap like "Marching to the beat of your own - whatever..

I stumbled across this little gem of a show about a month back, but my Christmas holiday timetable didn't take time out for much TV, so I've been spending the last few days catching up on the show.
The story of an 18 year old who dies when a toilet seat from the disintegrating Mir Space Station, hits her square in the face, would, on the outset seem to have little to do with me - per say, but trust me, it does.
Saved from the clutches of this mortal coil, she does not move on, but instead must become a grim reaper of sorts, someone who actually doesn't get paid for this job, yet must still live in the real world: Some reapers take to stealing from the recently deceased, others have "real jobs" to get by.
Balancing the real world with her new "death job", is the source of great insight to the viewer, and as time goes on you realise, along with George, that she wasn't really living when she was alive either.

Through the episodes she starts to learn more about herself, and starts to finally start living a life , and helping her unknowing sister from making the same mistakes she did.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I was watching a documentary on the making of the new Beatles album "Love" this evening.

Listening to the songs that I grew up on I'm reminded of the sublime abilities of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starkey, pausing to wonder if a similar potential lies within all of us, if we only had the courage to believe it true.

I believe that when I was younger I was good at photography, and music - but those talents have atrophied as I became more focused on less important things. I hope it's not too late to reverse the trend, and in some way, rediscover some part of me that I've lost somewhere along the way. I've been feeling less than complete for some time, and I'm unsure why.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Finally back in Auckland, shopping for lunch at Mt Eden Foodtown.

See: Laura Hill (Toni Warner) from Shortland Street.
Did: Typical Kiwi thing

Which was: To totally avoid eye contact, thus leaving her to quietly read the latest gossip in her NZ Womans Weekly, without asking her for her autograph.

I wasnt the only one avoiding her either! Cute as a button, she was.

Celeb? Come to NZ, we will IGNORE YOU: We are that polite :)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A better day

One of the amazing things about Dunedin are the characters that remain in town. Just the other day I was sitting in the Ra Bar, in Dunedin's Octagon, when "Speedy" raced past.
Back in the 80's the Government of the day decided that the "ever so slightly" mentally ill in our community would be better suited living in the community rather than to be locked away safe and sound away from the rest of us. Don't worry - The very mentally ill are still locked up - well most of them anyway; but i digress....

Speedy has long been known around Dunedin. He can often be seen walking at a brisk pace through the middle of town, weaving through the pedestrian traffic with a small ghetto blaster at his ear. No one really knows where he is going - but he's always on a mission to get there in time. At one stage in the 80's he dressed up in a purple or pink Lycra jumpsuit and was known as the purple (or pink) peeper (for obvious reasons I wont go into here).

The second guy I always look forward to seeing is the "Singing Guy". This guy may not be addled in any way - perhaps it's just the way he sings - but a trip to Dunedin is not complete without hearing him at work. Busking in George Street or outside a local supermarket "Singing Guy" offers me the opportunity to play a quick game of "guess that song". Normally this would be an easy challenge - but "Singing Guy" has a unique style of singing involving much clapping of hands (never in time with the song he is singing - I hasten to add). I especially love his version of "He's got the ----whole --------world -inhis-------hands"; I love a good musical challenge.

I will be sad to leave this fine city, come Tuesday....

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Peter Chin does his best Fonzie impression

Ok - so this will probably get me shot down in flames, BUT I agree with quite a bit of the email that was sent to me the other day.

I'd be interested in Di's response to this tirade - and I hope she bothers to tag on a comment.

Basically, as outlined in the comments previously, I believe in one law for all New Zealander's. The sooner the "perceived" differences in the law are dealt with, the better (or worse off) we ALL will be.

It's unfortunate that stereotypes abound, but in my mind, when you decide to move to another country, you should look to integrate your culture into that country. I should perhaps put a caveat in to exclude foreign spouses of locals, but on the most part I believe you should at least try to be a part of the community around you.

Dunedin is a good example of the merging of cultures, at least as far as the Chinese community are concerned. Anyone who has been to the Chinese New Year celebrations in Dunedin can attest to the amazing atmosphere in this otherwise stoic "Scottish" town.

Our Mayor is Peter Chin, and his bio reads something like this;
Peter (Wing Ho) Chin is a lawyer and former Dunedin city councillor who in 2004 was elected mayor of Dunedin. A descendant of one of New Zealand’s earliest Chinese families, he is a member of the national Chinese Poll Tax Trust which was set up with government funding in 2004. The trust aims to raise awareness of the early Chinese community in New Zealand and its history, language and culture.

The Chinese in Otago have endured. Their language and culture are still alive and well, even though their introduction into New Zealands' culture was nothing to be proud of. Many methods were employed to halt their immigration, including the Chinese Poll Tax in 1881.

Maybe it's not PC, but I cant help but smile when someone of a different ethnic origin walks up to me, and says "Gidday Mate" or something like that in a Kiwi accent. And No - It's not just because they sound like "us", or are finally one of "us" colonials. It's just that I no longer see him or her as Chinese, or Maori, or anything else anymore - I just see another Kiwi.

I'm not a Christian, but I hate seeing Christmas being downgraded because of the possibility of offending cultures that don't believe in Christ. I don't like seeing crosses removed from clock towers, so as not to upset others; The traditional "Lords Prayer" in private schools being removed.... the list goes on.

New Zealand was a country founded on Christianity, and it is, for better or worse, our heritage. If we refuse to acknowledge our past, and not cherish what has come before, pandering to a multitude of minorities will leave us nothing to celebrate; and what a bland lot we will become.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sgt Pepper Blues

So...who am I today?

Am I Paul McCartney singing..
I've got to admit it's getting better, its getting better all the time.

Or am I John Lennon quipping - It couldnt get much worse..

Time will tell...

I've been thinking about this email that arrived in my inbox today;

After Wellington not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Xmas lights.
After hearing that we are going to let a Muslim woman have her picture on her drivers license with her face covered.

This prompted this editorial written by a New Zealand Citizen.



I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individuals or their culture. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to New Zealand.

However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of New Zealand being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As New Zealanders, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.

Our culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom, even died for it.

We Speak ENGLISH or MAORI , not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian or any other language. Therefore if you wish to become part of New Zealand society, -- Learn the language!

"In God we trust" is our national Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented.
It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then it is recommended that you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A FAIR GO", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from, This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, AND OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and or griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way Of Life, then you are Highly encourage to take advantage of one other great New Zealand freedom "THE RIGHT TO LEAVE"

LEAVE if you aren't happy here then ##@* off! We didn't force you to come here.
YOU asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. It's pretty easy really, when you think about it

I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later, get back to the complainers. Lets all try.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ani DiFranco

Thanks to Ian's broken IPOD

"32 Flavors"

squint your eyes and look closer
I'm not between you and your ambition
I am a poster girl with no poster
I am thirty-two flavors and then some
and I'm beyond your peripheral vision
so you might want to turn your head
cause someday you're going to get hungry
and eat most of the words you just said

both my parents taught me about good will
and I have done well by their names
just the kindness I've lavished on strangers
is more than I can explain
still there's many who've turned out their porch lights
just so I would think they were not home
and hid in the dark of their windows
til I'd passed and left them alone

and god help you if you are an ugly girl
course too pretty is also your doom
cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room
and god help you if you are a pheonix
and you dare to rise up from the ash
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
while you are just flying back

I'm not trying to give my life meaning
by demeaning you
and I would like to state for the record
I did everything that I could do
I'm not saying that I'm a saint
I just don't want to live that way
no, I will never be a saint
but I will always say

squint your eyes and look closer
I'm not between you and your ambition
I am a poster girl with no poster
I am thirty-two flavors and then some
And I'm beyond your peripheral vision
So you might want to turn your head
Cause someday you might find you're starving
and eating all of the words you said

Monday, January 01, 2007

One of life's Mysteries

IG and Tyler wax lyrical

Why, after numerous glasses of red wine, do otherwise sane men venture to the nearest deck with cigars in hand?

I can't accurately put into words the disgusting taste in my mouth this morning, and I'm so dehydrated I asked Sandra to run in a saline line for me. I am yet to hear her reply, although I suspect she would rather watch me suffer!

But then again, our entry into the world was a traumatic affair - why not the new year as well?

My head hurts!