Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This just makes me angry

Prison Camps where prisoners have no legal rights under the country that hold them.
CIA torture flights to Romania and Afghanistan.
An Administration that lies to its people.

And other western countries that buy into the myth's instead of the facts.

I'm not as green as I am cabbage looking. Yes - I believe there are people who strive to undermine our way of life, and yes - we should fight to preserve the life we have; but not at the expense of the truth.

I'm waiting for more information for confirmation , but I think Australia owes this man an apology. Anything else strikes me as arrogance, an arrogance that doesn't represent the Australian people I know personally, at all.

Monday, July 30, 2007


So - There were 3 sons
I used to be number one son.
Then number 3 son got married.
And I got bumped to 2.
Then the married son had a child.
Not just any child - but a grandchild!

Still I held my position at 2.
Until number 2 brother brought home a girl last week.
And I got bumped to 3.

It's tough at the top - but this little fella's a flash in the pan. I will return!

Just you wait and see :)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Aqua Karma

Ive been surprised at the small things in life that can bring a smile to me.
A month ago, one of the light bulbs in my bedroom blew, and every time I now turn on my bedroom light I'm bathed in an orange glow from the one remaining bulb, which in my humble opinion is very conducive to sleep. I know I should replace both bulbs with lower wattage variants, but I'm wary that the resulting change will ruin the outcome of the effect. This is commonplace with me.

[The chorus of "Get over it" from cyberspace is deafening - Yes I know]

It's just that I'm reluctant to change things I like; to trade them in for something different or new. That among other reasons is why I drive the same car as I did over 7 years ago, why I hardly sell anything, and why I look after everything I own as well as I can: I don't let go easily.

So with that in mind - I more or less let life happen to me, rather than rush out and wrestle what I can out of it. In saying that - I'm no pushover. I do take the opportunities life avails me, but I prefer not to push it - preferring instead to let life wash over me - and seeing what sticks. A type of aqua-karma if you will :)

It may not be the assertive way to get what you want, but I have a pretty good life, and I'm
happy with who I am. I guess that I believe things happen to me for a reason.
All this being said, I can think of two specific instances when I should have pushed through myself and been a little more someone else. When we (much) later recognise times like this it's important to remember, regardless of our time here on earth, we are "works in progress".

Maybe a second chance isn't the opportunity to make the same mistake twice.

I wouldn't put money on it tho :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nope - I've got nothing

Writers block - grrrr

Anything is better
Than the monotony
Of a life not lived.

(and you can quote me on that).

Love the bit -

I'll give up everything I own for you
I'd have a piece of nothing pie.

Classic Kiwi Rock.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Haiku musings

I used to write poetry.
Very bad poetry.
One day I will talk to Fonmeister or NFG, find the best - and post it.

In the meantime I have been hunting the web playing with Haiku. I love it's purity of structure. Simply stated anything goes - just 5 then 7 then 5 syllables.

Included are some I've written , and some I've stolen from the web, to protect the innocent.

Here we go.

Sitting gathering
Counting every syllable
Keeps my mind busy

Don't take on so much
Your cross never burdens me
Need you to hear me

We need to argue
That will get us nowhere fast
Stops it getting real

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

Suffer for your soul
Too many ways to trade it
For nothing at all

Fight Club on my mind
His name was Robert Paulson
Shame he had to die

You didn't know me
As well as you thought you did
Blind without reason

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Lohan-Spears Show

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you.
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a siamese cat
Aint it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where its at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

-Bob Dylan

Yes - that is Patricia Arquette from Medium :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Superficial Censorship

Although this video may typify Hollywood, I can't help but think that this a lot more common than we'd care to admit.

Today I was going to post about Green Days version of John Lennon's Working Class Hero - but I couldn't find a version on Youtube with the word "fuck" in it. And the "fuck" was kinda important - if you know what I mean. Watch the neutered version by all means - but try and find the other version if you can. Somethings are worth swearing about - not least the conflict in Darfur.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The dark art of staying single

I'm risking it all and buying a lounge suite from Brew King.

How, could that in any way scare of any potential dates - you may ask?
Answer: I'm thinking about buying a 3 seater couch and (gasp) two lay-z-boy's.

I chatted to Brew King today, in order to get the low-down, after Asquared announced to all and sundry that Lay-z-boys were for old bastards, and she wouldn't have them in her home.
Matt did confirm, that said chairs were popular with the 'younger set' in the more conservative south, but as one traveled up the island they became more a typical senior persons' purchase. I was stunned to say the least - having sat in the chair itself, reveling in the thought that it reminded me of James T Kirks command chair, I wondered to myself How could this not be cool?

So - a life time of solitude, or Kirk's chair. What would it be?

I guess I have only one thing to say to anyone mad enough to want to get close to me ; "Love me - love my chairs". :)

C'mon now, It's my turn in the chair Jim

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thinking is bad.

I've been thinking this weekend, specifically about the challenges in becoming a real grown up; how you life suddenly takes on a different dimension, and you have to start thinking of others before yourself.

I guess that an obvious example would begin with your own family. Your life becomes so much more complicated when you have to consider that the outcomes of your decisions affect not only you, but those most dear to you. Just the thought of that would send me into a sort of mini paralysis - unwilling to make major changes without weighing up the alternatives to the nth degree. Maybe not... what do i know... I've never been there.

Married with children?
I still stand in awe of you guys.
My life is simple by comparison; although it could do with being a little more complicated every now and again.
I need to be kept on my toes.

Friday, July 20, 2007

My Nelson family

This morning I rose at 5am to catch a flight to Nelson.

Asquared is 40 on the 2nd of August, but over a month ago her Mum and I conspired to have a 40th that I could attend. So here I am in (not so) sunny Nelson.
Tonight (after early birthday celebrations) I lie in bed, posting. Full of white and black Sambuca, my hands glide over my keyboard like they are possessed. I will pay for this tomorrow - rest assured.

I sat around a table of people I see once a year, but some who I have known for over 10 years: Asquared for well over 20 years.
It's funny - these people I know and love - yet no one in my normal circle knows them - like a separate family I have here. I am lucky indeed.

So I chat with Dennis - A father who so scared me half to death as a 17 year old when I sat in my car - outside his house talking to his daughter in the 80's. No longer.
I sing with Denise , his wife, and set up their Karaoke machine: I regret it not.
I talk with sisters and friends all night long - never measuring words: Accepted for who I am: I belong here in some small way.

Asquared - I don't know if you come here, but if you do, I have to say I love being a part of your life, and I cherish the brief times we spend together. The hangovers, however, I could do without! :)

Happy 40th birthday luv.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fairy Tales

I remember the scene below from French Kiss;

Kate: Do you believe in love? The kind that lasts forever?
: I loved my mother.
Kate: No, everyone loves their mother. Even people who say they hate their mothers love their mothers. My question is, one man for one woman?
: It is not a very interesting question. It is the question of a little girl who still believes in fairy tales.

So - do you believe in fairy tales?

Fish doesn't believe in soulmates, and although I don't hang on her every word, I have to admit the idea of that kind of love for another has become distinctly less popular outside of romantic literature. It's easier to be cynical I guess. Proving a cynical person wrong simply elicits another cynical response - so you really don't win, do you?

I'd like to believe in it all, and although that part of me still remains, contrary winds have done their best to eroded my faith somewhat over the years. Still - I think you really have to be open to the possibility of a love being greater than the sum of its parts - right?

Damn straight!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The five stages of internet dating

Everything you need to know about Internet dating in five stages;

I don't need this crap. How dare you think I do?
If you leave me alone I'll try it, but realistically there's no chance it will work. Imagine if I met someone special, wouldn't that be lovely? Then again, it's not really me - is it?

If I knew all this six months ago I wouldn't have bothered. And although it may be unrealistic, I prefer to believe in people more, not less.

Fish has a post on Internet dating, and although I can see her side of the argument .....

"My friends would describe me as laid back..." Yawn! Or, "I'm just an average guy..." Click! If you don't think you're special, why should I? If you truly are nondescript (and honestly, I have a hard time believing that anyone is entirely quirk-free), you totally deserve the kind of girl who would be intrigued by such a statement. May the lord bless you with a houseful of talentless children.

...I hate the fact that you have to super-sell yourself to an audience, when in reality someone should just like you for being you - not some 150% version of you. But who really gets to know you via Internet dating? I suggest no one does. You are what you write.

Then again Internet dating is very superficial - good manners are simply non existent. I would say that if the behaviour on dating websites was mirrored in real life we wouldn't even get past a first date, let alone a second.

When you feel yourself leaning the same way, and following a group mentality of behaviour, it's time to cut free, and if necessary, come to grips with the opportunities of love won and lost, by simply dealing with it; regardless of what future outcomes life may have in store for you.

Angry? Bitter? Resigned?

Most possibly.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Out of control posting today.

My last post for today - I promise. I guess i just needed some balance, to what has been a mixed couple of days.

I downloaded this audio on iTunes the other day, and it's been on constant rotation on my ipod since. I'm currently learning the bass line( from this link), which totally rocks. With the volume wound up on my home stereo, I can but stand in awe of the guy who came up with this piece of magic. You just don't hear this every day. Michael McDonald - you are a bloody genius, and to those of you who say he ruined the Doobie Brothers, I say bollocks - he raised them to a new level, and another audience.

Forgive the Bollywood video - just listen to the music - no pun intended :)

Inside my head

I found this - and today it fits me to a "T".
Click this link for a live version of the song I cant embed - it's worth a look.

I listen to my words but
they fall far below
I let my music take me where
my heart wants to go

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My fix

Tonight I had a nice dinner with NFG, and it seems to me now, that around two months of conversation has been exorcised in one evening. Don't get me wrong - it's a good thing; It just left me a little flat tis all.
After too much time in my own mind, an evening of stimulating discussion with a dear friend is just the ticket, when your normal daily interaction doesn't push you in the direction you desire.
But - like all things great things, they come to an end. You find yourself coming down from some kind of a fix - I guess when you spend time doing something you love, with someone you love, It's hard to fill the parts in your own life when you suddenly notice them missing.
This is a realisation that used to take me a while to come to. No longer.
I'll miss my friend in the two months it will take to juggle our respective dance cards, and meet again; it's that simple.


Such emotion, and power, without a "Michael Bolton" in sight.
And for that, we can be but thankful.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Kevin Smith

I was discussing Clerks II with IG the other day. I've followed Kevin Smith's films since Clerks - I've seen him craft his art, get smarter in his story telling and directing; his writing in Chasing Amy was sublime, and his movies "look" better and better each time.

But this isn't a Kevin love fest - I'm a little disturbed where he takes us, and although that's to be expected with all his films, it's just lately, the dark places seem a little forced, pushed a little too far. It's like he has to make a point, but I'm not sure he knows what point he really wants to make. Perhaps he's worried about becoming some sort of sellout - destined to spend the rest of his life signing copies of his movies outside video rental stores in the malls he loves so much.

I'm sure if he ever read this he'd say something like "Fuck Mark - it's just a motherfucking movie bitch. Deal with it." Kevin - I am, it's just hard sometimes.

Take Clerks II. This film has a great heart, the interaction between Dante and Randal is brilliant and touching at times. The go kart scene, with the best nod to Butch Cassidy I've ever seen, was just lovely to watch; it really touched me. But Kevin, what the hell was the donkey show for. Fart jokes just get harder to pull off I guess.

To be fair I've yet to watch Catch and Release or Jersey Girl - I want to, I really do, but the biggest part of me just wants to see what he does without the darkness. Maybe it's just me - but I can't believe it's not in there somewhere - waiting to catch me unawares. And Liv Tyler seems such a lovely girl.....

In the meantime I'll keep watching - if just to hear what you really want to say; and yes - even if it's really about donkeys.

Dashboard Confessional - Stolen

I kinda like this clip .
I like the idea that some friendships are destined to be, even if that goes against my inner, more logical voice. :)


Tonight my company is having a black tie awards dinner.

Although five lucky winners will be honoured for various categories, fifteen will be also-ran's.
Of course for the rest of us, there is no reward - perhaps because the work we do just isn't sexy enough, or more likely because of the politics of the business. Sometimes you have to accept that life is a popularity contest, and most days only the cool kids get noticed.

It's not that I believe in some sort of communism, where we all should get a reward - you shouldn't get anything special for turning up to work, or living a life for that matter.

It's just that I see so many people giving so much of their energy and time going the extra mile, never being rewarded. The funny thing about all this, is that every once and a while someone who really makes a difference does get noticed and we can all celebrate that - his reward is shared by all the other average joe's in some way. I like that.

So to all of you out there, where ever you are, who tirelessly go the extra mile when others don't - to those who quietly achieve and never seem to get noticed, there is a small group of those around you who realise the good work you do. And even if all that never leads to a shiny award, know you have the respect of those that really matter - your peers.

Do I sound bitter ? I hope not.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

50 year storm my arse!

Cows debate the size of their new swimming pool.

Over the last few days, hurricane winds have lashed at the Northern region of New Zealand, leaving many people without power and communications. I, on the other hand have begun life as some sort of quasi-vampire, sleeping during the day, only to rise when the sun goes down.

Right now, for example; I'm sitting in our National Maintenance Centre, keeping an eye on all our sites, trying to keep as much of our network running as possible. Yesterday Gary and I worked a 22 hour day, but tonight things have calmed down a lot, and we will probably get home after 6am.

I feel for those people who have lost power, sitting in the dark for nearly two days now. And these are just the folks around the suburbs of Auckland. I'd imagine some further north will be without power for a week, perhaps longer.

I count myself lucky. When I eventually get home today, at least I'll still manage to have a hot shower. Sleeping through the day is a small part to pay for that creature comfort.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Cyndi sings

I'm a little bummed that this was the best version of this song I could find on video.
It just goes to show that Cyndi Lauper was more than a multi-coloured hairstyle.

Youtube banned my video , but I have a link here;

There's something that I never told
When I find myself slipping off of my pedestal
I'm a fierce believer afraid to fall.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wilf Pettigrew

Sometimes we believe our own press, and never push our luck to succeed. Although we can make a difference to those who surround us, those of us with the skills to do more should make an effort to do so. To do less would be a crime against our potential.

This was especially true of my Grandfather, who died many years ago. My mum and I talked about him just the other day. She happened to mention he was a great singer - although in the whole time I knew him I never recall him once sing.

I remember him as always being old - white hair and a small comb-over; a route thankfully I never followed when heredity came knocking on my door. I also remember his limp, an injury he carried all his life from a fall from a tree in his childhood: they fused his hip and knee straight, so they couldn't bend - that way he could learn to walk - in a fashion. Back then i guess there was a price to pay for your actions.

Years later, when I was 10 years old, I remember standing behind him while he worked at his desk fixing things - he had a funny way of breathing that's hard to explain now: but I still remember it. It was like he never breathed out - just in.

He was a very intelligent man, a pioneer in SSB radio, back when radio itself was a black art, yet he didn't make millions from his knowledge; a Justice of the Peace, he often worked as a volunteer for the blind, amongst many others, in what remained of his spare time.
I think his earlier brush with death must have tempered the need to push his luck, because he worked for the same department store all his life, learning about technology as it arrived...washing machines and dryers, then TV's; first black and white, then Colour. He actually brought TV to the remote region he lived in, by hobbling all over Mount Rochford looking for a signal to "send on" to Westport.
When he retired the owner replaced him with someone much less, whom he paid much more - such is loyalty measured.

He was a staunch grandfather - I don't think he really understood his role completely, but he still fostered a love of technology in myself and my two brothers; one who is a electrical designer, the other who owns an automotive electrical business, and me - a cellular engineer, perhaps the closest to his own love of radio. My biggest regret is that he never saw what I became, because now, years later, we would have had a bridge over which to communicate.
I'm sure he would marvel at what we can do today - the technology - things he would have never imagined; back as a child, holed up in bed with a broken hip - dreaming of the magic of radio.

Welcome to the Internet Wilf - you would have loved it here :)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Just the Rules

There's a lot guys aren't really supposed to do.
They're not allowed to think to much, be too open... the list goes on.

Obviously there are places where we can think, talk, and express ourselves without being shot down - music seems to be a genre that allows such behaviour in public.

I've blogged about this before here, but someone has posted a clip of 41 Shots on Youtube, and this is exactly why I have to see Bruce Springsteen live, before I die.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Harden up - not

The New Zealand culture of "hardening up" when it comes to certain issues in our lives, carries through to some statistics we shouldn't be proud of - we are a world leader in male suicides.

In the past I've been guilty of giving John Kirwan some stick; mostly because he dared to play for Auckland. Years later, with the benefit of wisdom, I see he's a man to admire and support. We need more of his type - not less. Yes - even if he did play for Auckland.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Don Henley Day

The more I know the less I understand.

Given a chance of happiness, why do we look at what makes us happy, and suspect that life has some ulterior motive for its good will, and therefore is very possibly about to pull the carpet from beneath our feet.

Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown kicking the football. Given the opportunity to really kick it, will I do so, or stop at the last minute because I can't believe Lucy won't pull it away?

Perhaps, I get most of my joy from seeing others in happy situations, ultimately feeling uncomfortable being in that place myself ? I know we all deserve to be happy, but I wonder if part of our drive toward ultimate happiness comes from the fact that we are still trying to attain it?

Yeah - I know - pretty deep for a Wednesday.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A non-cheese dream

So, I say to myself, "This is my life" - as a house.

The walls aren't square and the wall linings are different thickness's. There are nails everywhere - and they're not evenly spaced. In fact they are dotted all over the wall linings. Oh yes - and the nails - they're all 6 feet long. I know this because I decide to pull one of them out to start 'fixing things'.

This was my crazy dream from last night. I got to see my life thus far rendered as a structure - This has to be the most vivid (non cheese) dream I've ever had.

So - I look and critique the 'house' I've built over 40 years, and I'm not happy - especially about the all the nails - there are literally thousands; like someone has decided to create a pattern or image with all of them. The problem is I can't stand back far enough to see - I just transfix on the nails themselves.

And don't ever get me started about the different thickness of wall linings - how do I fix that?

My faceless female 'helper' in this dream tries to say that my 'house' just needs a few minor adjustments. In my dream I'm more convinced that a better idea would be to bowl the house down and start again, but the dream ends with my 'helper' putting her arm over my shoulder and walking with me toward the kitchen with some suggestions over a few ideas for a new pantry she's be working on.

I know; I should come with some kind of warning label :)