Thursday, 31 July 2008

A note to myself

Meditate more! I am becoming somewhat of an authority and an expert on receiving massages. Apart from the numerous health benefits there is one peculiar and welcome side affect. An enforced prolonged meditative state. This tends to cause my brain to throb, and all the thoughts bundled up inside it make numerous noises, until I am sitting in front of a keyboard. This is particularly annoying when trying to sleep the night before formal learning.

Thai massage has an interesting style. What I like about it most is that it is non repetitive and it uses interesting body weight contortions that make me think of the dawn of the WWF in the playgrounds of the 80’s.

I started my PADI course yesterday. It is a small class and a largely humorous informal affair. Today we will be getting in the pool and completing our theory before entering the open water tommorrow. Some of the insights are fantastic and could be applied to out of water experiences.

-When faced with vertigo hug your buddy
-Always breath, never hold your breath
-Animals always act defensive
-If you can sneak up on it, it is probably a plant

Captain Nemo still taunts me. I saw this yesterday in town.

More is not always better. After giving scooters a paragraph or two I thought it would be wise to hire the services of a quad bike for koh tao. Good farming stock are often riding quad bikes before they can walk. But I have found that the quad bikes that live on islands are close relations to the garden variety horse. Loud and stroppy due to a diet of two stroke fuel. The island quad bikes need constant throttle and a well timed kick to maintain the engine running. It was this kicking motion that soon got the better of me. Even though I had prepared as best I could the horse/quad bike was soon kicking me back. I now wear a proud memento(in the form of a huge bruise on my foot) from my battles on four wheels and will be staying well away in future.

I wrote a small thing yesterday whilst I was waiting for our dive course to start. I can only call it a thing because that is what it is. It is not my best work or my worst but some of you may enjoy it all the same. Think of it the next time you are waiting.....

Waiting is worst when you have spent money, but is it wise to wonder you have wasted your wage? Perhaps it is prudent to be proud of your patience and instead just forget to pay.

I have recently learned the power that a writer wields whilst traveling. If you want to scare anyone in the service industry mention that you are a travel writer. If you want to scare anyone who is being rude to you mention that you are fiction writer researching your next work. If you need an excuse for tapping on a keyboard whilst people are getting drunk around you say you are a writer with a deadline.Easy huh?

I completed a four hour session in a pool and an exam today for my PADI training. I was not particularly inspired whilst being under water. All I could think about was how the pool was far worse than my local pond.

I know it is rude to brag but if there was ever a pond worth bragging about it this is surely it.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Worlds Smallest Porter

The trip to Koh Tao was a treacherous affair. Neptune had decided to burp up a storm which took a bit of weathering on the ferry ride. It was with some relief we sighted the turtle island. We navigated the throng of helpful people and came across a delightful mother and son offering portage. The son encapsulated the excellence that is Thai hospitality. Not only did he help to push our suitcases up a large hill which was brilliant. He pointed out his mothers ute with no difficulty. He then pointed out the ute tray handles and gave us the most incredible smiles!

I am going underwater for inspiration. This Tuesday I will start a 4 day PADI open water scuba diving course. Ever the thorough researcher I have been using the local pond to acclimatise myself.

Yes that is a multi terraced pond. Yes it has loungers. Yes it has a pond attendant. Who would have thought?

Saturday, 26 July 2008

A Jingle in the Jungle

During my last missive I wrote about the importance of having a soft toy or two. Please picture the following in your minds eye and if that fails use the carefully captured digital renditions. We had decided to venture in to the Jungle for a musical party. After lubricating ourselves thoroughly and communicating our intentions to every soul withins a miles radius we set off.

The journey was thoroughly enjoyable. We had preformed rudimentary reconnaissance by scooter the day prior. The trip was six minutes by two wheels. I have no idea how long it took by four. The taxi seemed to be using a motion blurring haze to disguise the length of trip.

We arrived. I took a photo of the entrance knowing it could be my last photo of the night. We spent a while getting covered in local jungle bug repellent. I chose a mosquito eating dragon.

We sat down and swilled some more refreshments. It was then a wild monkey befriended us. Looking strangely familiar it proceeded to make itself known to all and sundry. It even helped us to réhydrate ourselves by bucket.

The monkeys valiant efforts were not enough. We were still parched and longed for the quiet of our cabin. A true gentleman the monkey tried to hail a cab and when none appeared he drove us home. I can now safely say the only reason I am writing today is that a monkey drove me home. Another tick in my to do list.

Friday, 25 July 2008

The increasing importance of soft toys

If I had any readers that I really needed to stop reading my blog, I hope that headline is enough. But of course all of my readership are enlightened souls with open minds that will enjoy this topical tangent.

My love affair with soft toys was rekindled at a BBQ of all things. Like most love affairs that form at BBQ’s it has been long running and made of the stuff worth writing about. It was the summer of 2001-2002 and one of the guests turned up with a well loved but slightly worse for wear cow. He proceeded to walk around with the cow all night, tell stories of how it had lost various appendages and its name which escapes me.This struck me as a charming way to make conversation and the sort of thing I should have been doing years ago. Luckily the person who did this is the smartest person I know so I am not too affronted.

Every person on this planet should have at least one soft toy companion. Preferably two. This would benefit the human race in a multitude of ways:

  1. The ever decreasing nuclear family.Did you know that in 1950 the average person had 8 people they could confide in and talk to for support? This number has shrunk drastically to 2 or 3 and it is criminal.(My statistics are a bit wonky with out the internet but all statistics are inherently wonky.) If you have a soft toy you can at least talk to it. That the soft toy does not talk back is not a problem. It looks less crazy than muttering to yourself. Trust me on this one.
  2. Soft toys are incredibly resilient. They require no food or water, just shelter. They will not complain if it is cold, and if they are not listening to your standards you can throw them around the room. After throwing them around the room and collecting excess dust and grime you can pop them in your washing machine. Try doing that with your best mate that you only talk to you when you have relationship problems!
  3. Soft toys are useful psychological profiling tools. You can garner a lot from some ones reaction by taking a soft toy to a sporting event or a dinner party.
  4. Soft toys are a dynamic, organically synthetic way to add colour and texture to any space. They will start conversations when there are none. They can be thrown at conversations when they need to stop.

I could go on for days but I think you can see my point. Perhaps it is best if you go and get a soft toy now. You can discuss its importance at length with it. I must go now as my cow is hungry and needs to have some breakfast.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Scoot or Die

After the excitement of mechanized transport in Bangkok it was with some trepidation that we joined the carnival on wheels. I am happy to report we are yet to have had an accident and will be hiring another scooter now we are on Koh Phanang.

Koh Phanang is a lot less busy than Koh Samui which suits us. We are staying in a spot which is very close to the Psy Jungle Half Moon party, which we will be attending tomorrow night. Back to scooters though.

Scooters here are wild beasts. They are all at least 125cc models that is 2.5 times more powerful than the ones at home. They come in all shapes and sizes and we have seen some classic modifications which are truly inspired.

Fitting another person on a scooter is very easy. I have seen up to four boys riding one with ease. This morning we saw one with a whole car stereo configured in the front carry basket.

Weather looking a bit iffy? Take an umbrella or two. Need to take a kitchen sink? You can put one in the side trolley attachment. Most scooter drivers drive at a sedate 40-50 kms an hour. There are a few white knuckle types that push them at least 100kms an hour. This funnily enough is the leading cause of death for farengs(foriengers)

Road etiquette is maintained by liberal but gentle use of horn toot tones. If you are passing someone a gentle toot is administered to say hello, If someone needs to get out of the way several small tones are used. It is very rare that a long loud toot would be used. There is something to be learned there, rest of the world. We are yet to see an accident for all of this and yet to see a traffic enforcement. There may be another lesson in there.

The free internet dream is over. So is a power point for that matter. Still can not complain.

One more thing to add. If you ever need shoes with great stopping power. Asics Gel Kayano 14 will stop a runaway scooter in its tracks.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Dog vs Teabag

Just a quick tale from Koh Samui today. We are packing up and heading to our next destination and for some reason my packing capability is limited when I am on a keyboard.

Dogs seem to rule life here in Thailand. I would wager that there are more dogs per square kilometer here than most places, K9heaven aside of course .

Where we are staying there are three dogs. A large Alsatian who is resort security. A smaller scruffy little fellow who tends to cause trouble and then hide beside occupied beach loungers. And a slippery rodent like dog I have named Ratty.

Ratty is undoubtedly the boss of the place. She is the first to bark and the last to back down. She bullies the scruffy fellow and generally ponce's around looking mischievous. Yesterday whilst we were having lunch the little scamp sneaked into the kitchen and scurried out quite proud of her self with a small packet.

At first I thought she had found a packet of dried meat or some other tasty treat. Hence I watched with some interest as she diligently pried the prized parcel open. It was not until I saw the hint of a tea bag that I chuckled. Most dogs at this point would have probably turned up a nose and walked away. But not ratty, she worked away on that tea bag until it opened spilling its contents onto the concrete floor. At this point she snuffled and the first dried tea leaves hit her nostrils, not discouraged then continued to drag the tea bag across the floor. She then proceeded to lick up a couple of lines of her brew. By now I thought she was truly mad and it was with some relief that she finally walked away probably to prey on scruffy. Truly a dog's life.

I have had my first donation! This was cause for some celebration this morning. In case you have not noticed I have added a paypal donation button to this page. If you are feeling particularly altruistic, happy and wish to continue reading about dogs eating teabags, please make a donation. It is reasonably painless and you will feel incredible.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Quiet, I am from the future

I have discovered the deliciousness that is not knowing what the time is. I relish in this, and my only real time gauge is when I am hungry and when the sun goes down.

As a mark of respect for my origin I have kept my computer on New Zealand time. This serves a couple of useful tasks. One; it makes communicating with people back home easier, two; it lets me say I am from the future.

Far from cultivating a casually disinterested look we are still garnering a lot of attention. This attention sometimes has a hidden agenda. There are three basic questions.

Where are you from?

How long have you been here for?

Where are you going?

After these questions are answered a canny salesman knows the following.

-Your native tongue
-How much local knowledge you have blogged about
-How much ’advice’ they can ram into you

Being a gullible Gulliver it has been far to easy to be truthful which leads to frustration. In my minds eye I have played out various techniques for dissuading the most agreeable adherent..

Start speaking gibberish from the outset. A hodge podge of dialect which not even a well programmed C3PO could translate.

Start asking questions. Pull out a survey board and ask for a few moments of the persons time.

Pretend I am a local. Very hard given that I am still mutilating my limbs on an hourly basis.

But I do believe I have the answer. I am from the future. Let me explain my reasoning.

-It is truthful.
-It is mildly mind boggling
-What on earth could you sell to someone from the future?( I hope I do not look like an intergalactic antique collector)

I shall try this today!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Gulliver had it easy

If I was going to openly complain about anything of our trip so far it would be having to reassess my spatial awareness. Europeans are larger than the people of Thailand and I am constantly reminded of this.

In Bangkok I was attacked by annoying light switch in our hotel room. Have you ever been maimed by a light switch? If our wardrobe door was open the light switch would take swipes at me as I walked past.

During our train ride the bed tried to shrink me in my sleep. It was as if I was on a medieval anti-rack. On the ferry ride I felt positively Humpty Dumpty as I walked downstairs to the toilet, it was like the walls were closing in on me. Now on Koh Samui it is as if the door arches are out to get me. I miss my small cushion of hair.

The bright side of all this is that I feel fantastic when sitting down doing nothing at all.

Tough life. Do not be alarmed. Trust me, I know what I am doing.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

On the rails

It is a terrible paradox that you can not write about something until you leave it behind. Now we are on the train to our next longitudinal adjustment I can write freely about Bangkok.

Our two day whistle stop tour was a full symphony of mixed impressions..I have some advice to impart to both travellers and the fine people of Bangkok.

I am not sure what the insurance premiums are like for motor vehicles in Thailand. I suspect the Buddha on every taxi dashboard and the chorus of horns that substitue signaling and indicators serve to lower them somewhat. I can safely say that our first journey by tuktuk was both harrowing and humorous at exactly the same time. Imagine being on a rollercoaster with no safety restraint approaching a hole in the track and feeling as invincible as superman. That is the joy of driving Bangkok style.

Moving as a pedestrian needs deft slight of foot and a full range of street theater acting ability. If you know where you are going move quickly and look positively disinterested. Pausing is as good as screaming I want help. That is not to say that the Thai people are not fantastically helpful. In fact I would say that holding any piece of paper in front of your face and pointing at it is as good as having a mobile GPS unit that talks to you in the same manner as BMW with the right option kit will. They are that helpful.

I have been amazed at the breadth of cultures that call Bangkok home. Perhaps I am overly stimulated but one of the first things I noticed when opening the hotel desk drawers was not one lonely Gideon bible but four different paths to enlightenment. I am not sure where mine lies but it is nice to know there is something to fall back on.

Cow has been a good companion. Let us look at some cow snaps.

Here she is waiting patiently at the Bangkok train station.

Here she is again waiting not so patiently.

Here we are on board the train. Cow in full muse mode.

A couple more photos whilst I am feeling picturesque. A funny sight spotted getting on board the ferry to Koh Samui this morning.

A not so salubrious submarine.

And finally. Paradise found.

It even has free internet!

Friday, 18 July 2008

DaFlash alive and unplugged

I knew this was going to be odd but not this odd. I have used the internet for a range of uses over the past ten plus years. Now I am unplugged, alive and it is decidedly strange. Perhaps it is wise to reintroduce you the reader to some of my most common catch cries.

"Sigh" when I read of someone posting about being bored on the internet. Impossible when you have at least one brain cell and one finger.

"Just google it" when I do not know the answer to a question and would have just googled it myself.

"Someone will have asked that question before" usually used in conjunction with just google it.

Then there are my haunts, my morning coffee. My daily routine of cyclical joy. An endless treadmill of opinion, statistics and emotion. E3 is happening right now. Peoples relationship statuses are changing right now on facebook. People are waiting to be badgered and harangued on instant messaging programs right now and I am not there.

What a strange state of affairs. I feel as though the internet is not working properly without me spice things up. I actually miss reading my spam email messages.

Perhaps it is for the best. I notice with some interest that global oil prices have dropped $15 US dollars in the last two days. All of the worlds major stock markets are up with the DOW showing triple digit growth. What a marvelous sacrifice I have made to cure economic woes. Now if only someone could teach me how to ask for banana pancakes in Thai.


Thursday, 17 July 2008

Boosted Bovine into Bangkok

Rest assured the headline is somewhat less sinister than what I had planned. Tragedy, Fear & Pain had all crossed my very boozed and mischievous mind. We had been liberally applying alcohol on the plane as a great way to practice and expand our rudimentary Thai vocabulary with the friendly staff of Thai Airways.

It was not until about three hours into our trip we noticed we had a stow away.


The boosted bovine from the headline is the very aptly named Cow. Cow has been in the family for over five years and is now travelling South East Asia with us. She has left us before to travel Europe by this stowaway method.

A soft toy with a personality that goes travelling with you is one of the best things you can have in your luggage. I will write a more thorough article on the importance of soft toys in the 21st century soon.

Trip wise we had a very enjoyable flight to Bangkok. No Xray scanning at Bangkok. We even carried cow openly through the airport. Our transfer was in the most incredible van we have ever been in. Think a full leather lounge suite on wheels with air conditioning.

Bangkok is a busy place and there seems to be a lot on for no apparent reason. Our flash packing hotel is very nice. I will take some photos of things later when it gets lighter. Still 5am here.

Not much more to report. We are safe and sound and will be heading out to explore soon, Anna has informed me this morning that she is going to reincarnate her soapbox t to blog from. Look out Woman & Men.

Eleven am now. Spent a couple of hours visiting places with tuk tuk driver. Top chap. A few photos already I will put them in picasa.


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Off with his...

Hair. I now have less hair than I can ever remember.

Admirers and detractors. Rest assured that the hair dresser of dubious origin thought I looked like prison break or a prisoner depending on your persuasion.


Forgive me whilst I mourn. I do believe I understand the plight of Samson.

We leave tommorow. Yay.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Horses not for my courses

I gave my father a business card last night. This was a big step for me as I have historically hidden my writing away from my family. The estrogen addled side of my family are somewhat critical. Dad, when you read this post; this one is for you.

I am not sure when I developed a fear of horses. It was early because I have always maintained a healthy distance from them. My earliest memories of horses was our neighbours having a horse named Eileen. Eileen was a powerful beast and her owner had made a proud Luddite stand in using one as a farm tool instead of a motorcycle.

Horses are best left in their natural state. By using them in any form we are asking for trouble. Eileen was a tall horse and fantastically muscled. I remember thinking she could cleave me in two with a miss placed hoof. Humans are not happy with this, we have to shoe them with iron boots; which are heated and applied with nails. Can you imagine buying a pair of shoes, only to have them heated up and nailed to your feet? I would be itching to stomp on a mushy surface at the first opportunity. Who cares if it was a pint sized homo-sapien !

Not content with this we proceed to attach all manner of leather bondage gear. We then place on a heavy saddle. Put a metal bit(gag) in the horses mouth and strike it with a crop when it does not go the desired speed. The bit is obviously used to stop the poor horse from screaming.

Now lets get down to aesthetics. Horses look positively beautiful with no adornments leather or otherwise. Humans look pathetic on top of then and then you have the biggest injustice of all. Professional jockeys.


Take a close look at that photo. Look at the starved monkey parody on the horses back. Look at the horse. Shameful.

Jockeys are only a symptom of a wider problem. The horse racing industry is a shamefully exploitive travesty which leeches at the very soul of humanity. Hiding behind theatric marquee events, it passes itself of as something respectable but really it is just a obscene form of gambling. In New Zealand we have a politician devoted to the horse racing industry.


Take a close look at that monkey (parody) standing beside the horse. Look at the horse. Shameful.

I think by now you can see the plight that afflicts me every day. Horses should be free. Jockeys should be fed. Leather should remain in the bedroom. This would not be a raving rant with out a solution however. You and I can do our bit.

-If you have to bet on something running around a track; bet on the greyhounds. Not a monkey it sight.

-The next time you want to do a horse trek, just go for a walk. Or better yet pay for the horse trek and give the horse a ride on your back.

-Stay away from horses at all costs. They do not like us. One day they will rebel and they will remember who annoyed them.

Horse riding apologists please take me to task with a comment. I will not be ridden easily!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

The games you will play

During our trip to south east Asia we got talking to a squadron of Japanese salary men in a karaoke bar. I’m not one for singing when there is perfectly good drink to be quaffed. Our broken English conversation meandered on to one of my life long loves. Nintendo and gaming


It was during this slightly inebriated interchange that I let loose with one of my more fanciful theories. Curing the worlds ills with gaming and how Nintendo is perfectly positioned to do this and make a nice sum of money at the same time.

Cue a faintly familiar kidnapping but with less drama; we were traipsed away onto a jet to Kyoto, Japan. My increasingly zany ideas that had I had rarely dare to utter in public had attracted the attention of Satoru Iwata and I was going to work in R&D at Nintendo’s headquarters.

On the eve of my first release I am finally able to share my vision for making the world a better place through a new series of training games and a hint of the big picture.

War is Stupid Training

Nintendo DS - conveniently packaged and equipped with a parachute and landing crate for war zone deployment. War is Stupid Training is the latest in the highly popular training games. With just a few minutes a day the hardest trained soldier or zealot will be a peace loving pacifist in less than a week.

Through clever use of subliminal messaging and patented "reality check" environmental data modeling. Gamers are urged to ask hard questions of command. Data sharing is possible via WiFi and the only way to unlock various parts of the game is by playing wirelessly with combatants from the other side.


Take some Time out to Think Training.

Do you know how little people actually think or day dream during an average day? Far to little. Thinking is very important, but by and large my observations are that most people think very little and when they do it is often to late. TTTT encourages daily cognitive and chimerical dalliances.

Positive Affirmation Training

Following on from
common sense training for every person that has felt discouraged or has given up on a dream. PAT invigorates long dormant yearnings with its handily placed deep regressive hynoptic eye camera attachment. Supportive and studious this title promises to be the massaging wheelchair that everybody needs sometimes.

My last title is incredibly secret. It is actually such a huge title I have not been able to get my brain and all of the resources around to even begin a specification. It requires a huge investment and Nintendo is famously conservative in its approach to the market. Thankfully, as is with most places I spend time in, it is becoming less conservative. I can only give you a hint as what my next game entails.


A quick apology

Believe it or not I actually have about three massive posts about 99% done. They just need the final once over by my live in editor. Spurred on by some helpful advice I have been scouring the wild web looking for similar blogs which is not easy sounding or easy to do.

I have a few criteria.

-They must be self supporting and self perpetuating.
-Be bursting of good ideas and action.
-I must not get side tracked before finishing the first paragraph.

I do not ask for much but alas, if you had seen and read what I had....

Anyway I did find one blog suitably link worthy.

Mysterious and Misplaced Logic of a Maniac gone Awry

I have participated in the enticing sounding stranger project.

So yes, it is heartening to find solace in a similar enough blog. They do exist.

Three more sleeps till we fly like birds!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Walking the Future

Consider this the briefest respite from my increasingly tall tales. I pause now to sing a merry song lauding my fantastic good luck and current abode. Recent weather patterns have not been beneficial to the single greatest perk of staying here.

Had I wanted to walk, I need not have. We have the technology!


The Segway Human Transporter has been changing the world in its own fashion. Hence it is no surprise that I end up living in a house rammed full of Segway paraphernalia. There is even a certified Segway engineer here who can attend to both Segway and my own needs.

I jest of course, I am not due for a service for a couple of hundred years yet and it would be a great disservice to Philip Bendall to confuse him with my increasingly odd biology.

Philip is New Zealand’s very own Segway distributor. He was the proud owner of New Zealands very first Segway. Since then he has sold Segways and has run a promotions company. Philip and his partner Katie opened their home to us before we move away and for that we are very grateful.

Where were we? The weather had been appalling and not very Segway friendly. Even after three sunny days I had dared not venture out from the Segway lair. It was warm and we both enjoy being plugged in when the climate is not very clement.

Today however, I ventured out on a Segway. I had forgotten what a positively invigorating experience it is. The wind streaming through my hair, The gentle vibrations coursing through my legs. On returning home I remarked. "it feels like I have been doing something healthy"

Which got me thinking, what if it was healthy? There are bound to be a few cynics out there saying "why don’t you just walk?" But reason and common sense will always be the poor cousins to rampant technology. It is the human way.

Segway vibration training is the answer. Those very same gentle vibrations I remarked upon could be strengthened sending powerful jolts through your body and causing muscle twitch and fibre damage in one sharp movement. After a couple of minutes of Segway vibration training you will be begging to walk.

Segway Joust takes Segway polo and throws you on your head, literally. I actually did a trial run of this earlier in the year. Unfortunately my man of arms was unruly and we were a Segway short but the concept is proven.


Segways are charged by a wall socket but there is no reason for them not to be chargeable by kinetic energy. A stationary exer-cycle inside a gymnasium could provide the charge for a segway. It makes sense that people expending energy not going anywhere could help someone on a Segway move.

I do believe I am getting a bit silly now. My imagination is spent. My heartfelt thanks to Phil & Katie for our time here. I will miss the segways, but Thailand has something just as grand.


Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Finding Captain Nemo

Since flying into San Francisco and giving up our identities to Uncle Sam, we have traveled every which way across America down into Mexico. Our grand plan was to traverse islands across the Caribbean and find work on a super yacht. It was in Cuba that things took a turn for the extraordinary.

After wandering the wide boulevards of Havana we proceeded to bar hop as the sun came down. It was in one of these bars we were kidnapped! Having not been kidnapped before I can assure you it is somewhat terrifying. The level of terror is directly proportional to the amount of time you are left alone before you meet your captors.

Thankfully for us a plethora of sub aquatic flora and fauna was passing us by. We were inside a Submarine! Submarines are fabulous devices akin only to airships in grandeur and very few submarines were as delightful as our new home.

It turns out we have been kidnapped to work on this super sub. Its owners are both fabulously wealthy and fastidiously paranoid. As such we could not have knowingly taken berths on this voyage and it was necessarily for us to be whisked away without a trace. The Submarine is a Russian borei class model. All of its typical armaments have been replaced with more important necessities like a full library, underwater simulated driving range and various other creature comforts. With a cruising speed of 25 knots we have been circumnavigating the globe with a few stops to refuel. We are not nuclear powered anymore.

The crew is a mish mash of ethnicities and cultures which makes for some interesting working parties. Given our need for secrecy these are often undertaken with our on board launch which can be detached at sea away from prying eyes. I do not know what my official role is on the submarine. I usually wander the narrow corridors looking for a place to tell stories. If anyone has any good nautical jokes please send them through as I could do with some fresh material.

I suppose some of you are wondering about my choice to out this story. At face value it is unethical. However given its content and questionable veracity I do not think anyone would believe it, even if I told you the captains name was Nemo.

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Dr Wholittle

After completing an English teaching course in Thailand we meandered our way across Asia and the middle east. We dipped our toes in the Mediterranean and then headed down the Sahara through to the west side of Africa.

It was in the Congo that we were befriended by a tribe of pygmies and have been busy helping in the war effort to defeat the multi national companies that are busy deforesting the pygmies homes.
In our most recent raid we used a special blend created by our resident witch doctor to adulterate the camps water supply. This had a couple of good affects. It rendered the camp dwellers completely paralytic and incredibly susceptible to hypnotism. After commandeering the camp foreman announcement system I was able to connect my EEE-PC and play back a pre-recorded message from the chief of the pygmies chief boonwatu-bigchoc asking the loggers to return home

Logging has ceased for the interim. However we know a long term solution will lie in the successful lobbying and manipulation of the political system. Anna and I have been busy gearing the pygmies up for a political march. Each morning they are drilled in uniform walking and chanting slogans. In the afternoons Anna teaches them decorum and power fashion. In the evenings we practice public speaking. I have taken on the role of official speech writer and have been busy writing several oratories which I hope will have some affect.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to our temporary home under the thick lush canopy and move towards the capital of Congo,
Brazzaville. Pygmies thankfully are a nomadic people and I am certain that we will succeed with a little help from our little friends.
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For my next trick

After an altogether extraordinary evening on Saturday night I have a new series of of articles to write. Think of them as future fiction fusion. Some of you may remember reading choose your own adventure books from your childhood. If you don't remember them please read my link. I do not include them because I am fond of blue and underlines. It is now time to write my own adventure. All of the next posts will be set exactly one year in the future. Who knows they might come true?

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Thursday, 3 July 2008

Platitudes in Absentia

Continuing with my inexhaustible series of leaving New Zealand tales, I thought it would be prudent to think through what I will miss about New Zealand well in advance; this way I will be prepared for home sickness. The geeks among you will smirk at this next phrase, I call it preemptive grief caching.

Friends & Family.

All though I do not see my friends and family as much as I would like, It's nice to know they are only a short drive, instant message or phone call away. Distance will make this harder. But perhaps it will make it INTENTS!

INSERT: Actual digital rendition of how I might look instant messaging from inside a tent.(the inside of the tent resembles a house)


Yes, I miss work. Actually I don't really miss work but I do miss parts of it. There you go people who might be reading my writing from my old work. I miss you. I do not miss the people not reading my writing, but I am sure they miss me.


For the past two and a half years I have faithfully eaten the same breakfast with out fail.

  • 3/4 Cups of whole grain oats
  • 2 Cups of water
  • Artificial Sweetener
  • 2/3rds of a cup of fruit
  • 2 table spoons of sultanas
heat till porridge then serve with

  • 3 scoops of protein powder and water.

This has served me well. It is interesting to note that the humble Roman Legionaire marched on porridge for breakfast.

I expect we will find something equally as satisfying depending on what country we are in but it will be weird all the same.


I listen to a fair swag of radio. Listening to the radio is comforting. If you learn a radio station well enough, you can hear a familiar voice any time of the day. I recommend

national radio for stimulating your mind
upfm for stimulating everything else

Moro Gold

The Moro gold proves that it is possible to transcend the trappings of mortality. Never has evolution provided such a delightful morsel and they can be found everywhere in New Zealand.


I am actually quite a fan of the English language but we will not be able to take English for granted. I have never been very good at charades or drawing either so it could be an interesting time.

The Internet

I have always had a healthy internet addition miss managed by my frazzled dopamine receptors. Chin up however, no net means more time to do stuff!

What I hope to not miss


After one of the best summers on record. It is certain that we are suffering one of the wettest winters. It has not rained like this since the last time I moved house. It may be prudent to make my next formal home in a rain strapped continent. I am thinking Mars.

Talk back Radio

Sometimes when I feel blue I delve into talk back radio just to remind myself things could be worse. I could be calling talk back radio to share my ill informed opinion on things I have no experience of. I could even be a zombie host, tethered to a microphone and traipsed out every morning with a list of niggles to canvas.

Let it be duly noted that I love being the host of this page on the internet sharing my ill informed opinion on all manner of things.

Did you hear that?

I think the weekend just landed. Good bye!

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Gazooks! Laid low with a brain freeze I have been able to write much today. I have written an incredibly long and detailed post cataloging everything I am taking away with us adventuring. Unfortunately the detail contained within it has meant I ran out of steam before I got a third of the way through it. So my post lies fallow waiting for me to fertilise it and reap its content.

Anyway I have been tinkering with a few things. If you look at the bottom of each post you will see stars that you can click on to rate each post. If you can not see the stars look for the annoyingly purple rectangles.

If there are any web wizards or art people out there who want to have a lash at improving the look of things here let me know. I will happily write spin, press releases and rosy sounding references in return.

If anyone has a topic which needs ranting on feel free to leave a comment. I will gladly wage war on any injustice, just give me an angle.

Sweet Zombie Jesus. I do believe I have given myself an angle! more later.

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Wednesday, 2 July 2008

2 Weeks till Blast off

We have officially entered the home stretch in the run up to lift off. It is actually quite crazy how quickly your calender can fill up when you have an empty one. Well in my case the wifes diary looked quite busy. My calender was quite empty, then I took pity upon myself and transplanted her diary into mine. This served a useful purpose, it made me feel busy so I made better use of my spare time. Hence my blog post.

It's amazing how perceived task shuffling can lead to productivity gains. I could have been a bureaucrat of world renown. Instead I am a writer using the internet to reach an audience. I cannot fathom what it would be like to be writing without the internet and a computer.

I have handwriting with an incredibly high encryption algorithm which renders it unreadable literally as soon as it hits the paper. Couple this with my astounding organisational skills and I could have lost several novels already or have driven myself mad multiple times trying to compile my first chapter.

However, given that Tibetan monasteries and archaic ruins are not the first place that spring to mind when you think of internet access, I have been practicing making notes. I have also been typing posts disconnected from the internet. This is high altitude training for when we become less than well connected.

Which reminds me, take a look at this eee-pc user who pulled out his eee to copy some photos at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Such a neat picture.

The kind words keep trickling in. It is amazing how far a little encouragement can push one. Special shout out to one of my favourite columists; Mr SD. Back before the internet, SD was no doubt etching his mark across caves and learning establishments in the heartland of New Zealand. His current writing habitat is here.

Since this post has been a missed mash of not much, I suppose I could let you in on some of the projects that are on the way or are bouncing around in my cranium.

I am currently writing about my favourite female mind. Consider it a written admiration piece. I hope to send it to her this weekend. I hope that it gives her a laugh and I do not get a court order.

Books I would like to write
How to write your own self book

The problem with most self help books is that they are largely the sum of the authors own experiences. They prey on peoples weaknesses; in my experience the actual writing of such a book would be where the largest benefits came from.

Therefore - single handedly, actually perhaps two handedly - I will write a book which will help you to write your own self help book. In one swift movement I will destroy an industry and help a lot of people at the same time.

Further books in this series will include

How to be your own lawyer
How to be your own Real Estate Agent
How to be your own New Age Guru.

Please excuse me whilst I remove my tongue from my cheek.

Dans book of realised but not actually tested and possibly structurally unsound inventions.

I pride myself on thinking up a lot of excellent solutions to problems that both exist and do not exist. The problem is by the time I actually get around to investigating the practicalities of my invention I have thought of a new invention. However in true Dan fashion I have thought of a way to get some mileage out of my thoughts.

With my book of inventions I will help all of those inventors out there that suffer from inventors block. My inventions will be free to use and will not require any licensing or similar agreements. It must be duly noted that I will not be held responsible for any deaths, damage or rips in the space time continuum as result of anything contained in my book.

Being an environmentally conscious traveler.

We watched an inconvenient truth about a week ago. It was a nice but somewhat scary movie. Since getting my EEE-PC I have felt like I am doing my part using a low powered computer. There is also quite a few things we can do whilst traveling and I hope to share these with everyone.

That is it for now. I am off to do some people watching. After some watching I will write, people will watch my words. The circle of life will be complete.

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