Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Topically Wet

I got uncomfortably wet this morning. The rain started immediately as I left my abode and increased with alarming frequency. I sought solace beneath trees. Hiding amongst a suspiciously opened condom and some beer bottles is not immediately inspiring. However I did have time to pull out my phone and do a one thumbed distracted iPhone user dance whilst listening to some suitably squelchy psychedelic trance.

Water managed to bead frustratingly on my face and after shaking my head for the umpteenth time I saw a smug looking gent stride to the bus stop with an umbrella. A wise man, all I could do was start typing with two thumbs and curse this inconvenient weather.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Lanit Alumini

An offshoot from this blog is going to be a largely silly follow up series on some of my gaming friends from about nine years ago. Some of them I have kept in touch with some of them I have had to embellish, make up, and otherwise fill in blanks where I do not have appropriate facts.

I think there are a few lurkers here that will find this funny. Beware if you are lurking you might be next.

Winter is coming

After a typically warm night of turning and tumbling through the small hours, I lurched outside this morning to walk the streets and continue the social improvement of our immediate environment. It was therefore surprising to be nibbled by the beginnings of winter. February is usually the hottest month in this part of the world so to feel a bit cold was an unwelcome reminder of the march of seasons.

Unprepared for the cold I adapted my clothing in a time honoured method by placing my arms inside my t-shirt. Charming to a fault this does make you feel warmer. But it also has the unwelcome side affect of looking like you have no arms or are hiding a straight jacket underneath the t-shirt.

Cantering in front of my wife armless to increase my circulation only served to further the theory that I was in fact under the care of a kind lady. It was pleasing to note that we had a 100% good morning response rate. I can only surmise it is harder to ignore someone with no arms than someone with two.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Learning French

I have been learning French with a modicum of stealth in the past few weeks. Everybody and everything says France is the one country in the world where rudimentary greetings will not cut the baguette. My strategy includes an iPhone app which has a passable phrasebook including samples and a Collins learn French cd and book.

Collins recommend you listen to and practice the cd at least four times before starting on the phrasebook. So I have been eagerly listening when I have time. My first lesson was during an exuberant lawn mowing session. Below the drone of the mower, startled crickets and birds would have been able to hear me muttering all manner of things in French. The French accent does not seem to be as hard to me as my ill fated Spanish lesson indicated Spanish was.

I can only put this down to hours spent watching Warner brothers cartoons and in particular Pepé Le Pew

Sadly if you were to ask me now to say some French I would be stumped. I had a good session this morning on the bus and was left wondering if I should wear a shirt saying "Learning French" to explain my quiet indecipherable babbling.

I am hoping that in a few months I can write a blog post in French. Just because.

In the mean time.

Pardon mon français

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Walking and Talking

Time to expand on a twit..... or a gaggle of twits.

For the past 12 years I have lived predominantly on the north shore of Auckland, New Zealand. The north shore is blessed with an abundance of beaches, parks and Chinese takeaways. This is a lot like the rest of Auckland. For the past 3 or so years I have engaged with the early morning population through bipedal circular temporary migrations (walks) This typically means encountering felines and saying hello to other walkers.

Our new locale is blessed with a fantastic park which is certainly easy on the eye. Sadly the people are not very friendly/dumb or just plain rude. Current statistics would indicate a 50% response to our greetings and salutations. Being an optimist I thought some of them were wearing portable listening devices. Then I thought perhaps we had forgotten to put clothes on. Sadly neither of these were true.

Over the next seven weeks we will try to increase the amount of people in our area greeting each other. We will make it fashionable. It will be our legacy......


A trio of pictures for today. In between moving house and my typical gentlenmanly pursuits I have been doing some research on France. Paris and Antibes in particular. My Paris research included reading the Vampire Lestat which is full of romantic descriptions describing Paris a few hundred years ago. Needless to say I am well equiped for any Vampire that decides to cross my path.

Antibes looks like a fun place. To further my research I decided to take a peek with google maps and gain some rudimentary orientation.

This is a zoomed out look at Antibes.

The port caught my eye so I zoomed in a bit. Impressive but what is that I see to the right hand side...

Wholesome expletives batman. Those are big trucking boats.

Seven weeks to go by the way. Exciting!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Moving House

Nothing strikes fear in me more than a house move. Past house moves have induced the full wrath of Zeus and the elements. Torrential typhoons have battered my vehicle as I have crossed suburbs. I almost needed to fit a periscope during the house move of 2004. Famously I said "The next time I move will be overseas"

This proved to be largely true. Last year we threw/sold/donated/gifted and disassembled all manner of goods to get down to one car load of creature comforts. Upon returning to New Zealand our car load has somehow multiplied into two car loads. This was a shock and thankfully this happened now and not in approximately seven weeks when we leave.

I don't believe in hoarding or hoarders. I believe in a more esoteric explanation. Quantum physics and the law of attraction dictates like attracts like. This is the only explaination which would account for....

-Numerous sauces, condiments and spices which could cover and flavour a whole football field
-A miss matched array of clothing some of it incredibly puzzling. (a top fit for a one year old?)
-Cables, power supplies, multi boards, adapters all delightfully entangled in a bird nest arrangement
-Hats, hats and more hats that you could shake a stick at which reminds me...
-I am the proud owner of a 2 metre long wizards staff
-A stringless kite
-Books and magazines seem to sprout out of bookcases and coffee tables
-Cleaning products are not happy by themselves
-Ditto for plastic bags

A puzzling weekend and one which reminds me why I do not like moving house. The best solution is not to have a house and be like a snail....

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Alternate Television

I watch a lot of television. Not traditional terrestrial television but digitally acquired television. I got thinking a few days ago about how I would break into television if I had the chance to be a writer on a television show. Obviously a lot of genres are heavily represented. Medical dramas, crime dramas and the ubiquitous situational comedy all have an abundance of shows. This got me thinking how would I differentiate my television show?

The newspaper seller

Follow the life of a newspaper salesperson as they brave the elements and roadside rubbish. Learn the techniques from a master. Probably not that compelling.....

The mechanic

Join in the laughs at a garage. Customers bring cars to get serviced. Oily and greasy dialog. You might glimpse a risqué calendar in the background.


High rolling dentists on the prowl. Plenty of blood and dodgy dealings. Learn what happens when you get exposed to a lot of radiation and breathe nitrous daily.

Green keepers

Golfing with a twist. Tending the grounds and trimming the fairways. Hunting trespassers and finding the odd drunk person passed out in a bunker.

The morgue

I know crime shows sometimes have a scene or two in a morgue. But a whole show dedicated to a morgue would be both macabre and strangely awesome. What do people at a morgue talk about on lunch break? What is the lingo? The ultimate make over show.

An attentive and erstwhile reader has informed me that there is indeed a show that does this called Six Feet Under.

That is enough for now. I will give this some more thought and add some more later....

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Supermarket Trolley Etiquette

One of our more luxurious weekly chores is traversing our local supermarket for food and household items. A somewhat shy shopper at the best of occasions, my time is generally spent in transportation and redistribution of said groceries(I push and unload the trolley). Depending on my mood I usually try and make a game of being the most courteous trolley driver at the supermarket. What I am constantly amazed with is how quickly society can fall to pieces without constant rules, reminders and enforcement.

Supermarkets are a deliciously bewildering chaos of consumerism. Let me share a typical visit and some of my techniques.
  • Dodge the trolley chaps bringing in kilometre long trains of trolleys and hijack an appropriate trolley after first kicking it's wheels.
  • Navigate the one way entrance funnels without losing sight of my beacon (wife)
  • Once inside the fruit and vegetable section, do not become enamoured with smelling said fruit and vegetables.
  • Keep the trolley away from plastic bag dispensers(high traffic areas).
  • Catch all fruit thrown at me.
  • Stay away from the bulk bin area as it is a trouble spot.
  • Stay away from the bulk slab beer as it is trouble.
  • Hurry through the frozen food section. Collect yogurts on side of trolley. They add much needed flair.
  • Never leave the trolley unattended.
  • Never leave the trolley in such a way that it impedes the flow of trolleys.
  • When drastic manoeuvring is required. Lift the trolley by the handle and pivot turn using the front wheels.
  • Amuse small children by annoying my wife.
  • When it finally comes time to queue up I try and capture my wife between the front of my trolley and the next customer. This stops her from invariably running off at the last moment to get something we have forgotten. I have abandonment issues.
So there you have it. My supermarket trolley skills. What are yours?

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Considering Prerequisites

Tomorrow I have to complete a medical examination before I start my super yacht course in March. Now whilst I am not overly concerned with the medical exam, reading the medical form certainly made me pause and think. Let me share some of the more pertinent sentences.

  • Experience transitions from hot to cold and humid to dry atmospheres.
  • Being exposed to the elements (cold, heat, wind and water) and jump into the sea.
  • Enter dark enclosed spaces, fight small oil and carbonaceous fires.
  • Operate as a member of a team and independently at incidents of uncertain duration.
What a wild place luxury yachts are. A veritable disaster movie waiting to happen. Nice to be prepared for anything. I can only imagine what will be required(blatant pun warning) when space travel starts to take off .

Mischief Boxes

Do you remember that project I have been working on? Well it is launch week so I can finally let the cat out of the box....

Here is a blurb I wrote about Mischief Boxes.

When is a box not a box? When it is a Mischief Box!

Mischief Boxes are made for action. You decide what goes into them. Mix, match and send. Open them up and watch history unfold. Choose from an ever expanding library of assorted mischief ingredients. Each box is designed to make an impact from the moment it enters a room. A good time guaranteed.

How to order a Mischief Box

  • Choose your items

  • Choose your delivery method

  • Wait for your Mischief Box to arrive

Mischief Boxes are a uniquely fresh way to celebrate any number of things....

  • Romance

  • Birthdays

  • Hens Nights

  • Anniversaries

  • Weddings

  • Raves (doof doof)

  • General Monkey Business

  • Heartache

  • and more

Our website exists to help you plan, promote and facilitate all manner of mischief. We will help you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.......

If you look at the website and investigate the range of products I have written a fair swag of the descriptions. On Christmas eve I had a box of goodies arrive. I also completed another one over the weekend. This has been a fantastic project to be a part of and I am very grateful to Claire for the opportunity.

So take the time to visit the website and have a look. Share it with your friends. There is a mischief box for any situation.

Also enter the launch competition for the chance to win $1000 dollars of store credit.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Katie Holmes has had enough?

Despite print media being a dieing medium, a healthy confusion and profusion of magazines sprout up at my work every week. They lie directly beside the fridge so on my visits to it I am confronted with startling headlines at regular intervals.

Unfortunately the *content* is largely gossip, scaremongering and lewd photographs. What is even more unfortunate I sometimes find myself reading these tragedies and not in a good Shakespearean way. There is a simple formula for writing articles for these magazines. I think a team of infinite monkeys or a carefully crafted computer program could churn them out at a good rate. For example.

Randomly select celebrity
Write story which has no truth
Source *facts* as a close source to celebrity

The photo stories are even more amazing.

Paparazzi take photos of celebrity hopefully after reading one of the stupid headlines about themselves
Magazine assigns a team of monkeys to write a fictitious story about the photo

Does anyone else find this unsettling? Or am I being precious?

Even more unsettling is that this very blurb will gather more interest than a well crafted treatise on the origins of modern day weather forecasting.

An Interview with Me

Having interviewed a few people over the years for different things it was nice to be asked to do an interview late on Sunday night. I have been a member of a blogging community called bloggerunited for about six months now and have watched it grow into a very healthy and active community.

Recognition is always nice and if you read the interview it is actually what spurred me on to write my previous entry. I use the phrase personal goals a fair bit. I read yesterday that the Moon is in Aries so it is a good time to start thinking about what you want to achieve.

So without further adieu you can read the interview here.

To help support bloggerunited I will be adding a widget to this blog. So if you see something new in pastel tones. Do not be afraid.

Monday, 2 February 2009

My Goals for the Year

With the second month of the year starting in record time I thought it would be a good time to write down some personal goals for the year. I am not really a fan of resolutions, resolutions are for smokers and the overweight.

Firstly a tale of poor maths and accounting.

I have had a few ideas kicking around in my head for a book/novel of sorts. I would like to get cracking on this. This morning after filling my muscles with blood(exercising) and therefore draining my brain of reasonable thought I earnestly thought if I wrote a couple of pages each week for the rest of the year I would have a book worth reading at the end of it.

Sadly weeks =/ days.

A 700 page book is far more preferable to a 100 page book.

So I have readjusted this. 5-6 pages a week.

Secondly in a more vain vein.

I am getting tantalizingly close to attaining a six pack. Six packs are incredibly hard to achieve unless you are genetically predisposed to them. I have been doing some research and the only thing stopping me is about three extra cardio sessions a week. This is a short term goal. I do not know how the Mediterranean diet is going to affect me. I also do not know the physiological benefits of hoisting anchors and scrubbing decks.


I think I would like to do some more Scuba diving if leisure time permits and maybe coerce my wife into underwater adventuring. Scuba was a highlight of last year and given I am going to be on the sea for the foreseeable future it would be incredibly rude not to enjoy the ocean's full spectrum.

Finally if my posts seem to have even more self indulgence than is usual. I can not apologise; nevertheless I have an excellent quote that I would like to share.

" They’re fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talk about writing or themselves"
— Lillian Hellman