Sunday, 23 October 2005
So really there's not much else to do but sit on one's arse and wait for Wilma, which has finally departed Mexico and is on a path toward us. The met dudes think it will hit sometime late this evening, or early tomorrow morning.
Let's check the supplies: water; torches; candles; food; thermos; sandwiches; corn plasters; telephone money; dandruff brush; animal footprint chart; and one triple thick condom -- you never know!
Saturday, 22 October 2005
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the Opposition benches in the House usually reserved for the, er, Opposition? In other words, the party that is NOT in government: the losers, if you want to be harsh [and if you want to be cynical, that word just about sums it up when one considers NZ First ...].
If New Zealand First and United Future want to spin themselves into a dizzy flap over their insistance that they are not in government, then we might as well halt this farce and return to the polls. Seriously, this shit will not last its term.
Friday, 21 October 2005
Today marks the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. History buffs will no doubt know the significance of this naval engagement, but if you're interested in learning more I have some links that might tickle your fancy.
Link to BBC History page of Trafalgar.
Link to Wikipedia entry.
Link to HMS Victory, Lord Nelson's flagship.
Yesterday we collected many bottles of water and canned goods, just in case. I mean, I don't think you can take any chances with a storm of this size even if its eventual landfall is hard to predict. It could skirt the Keys, or head north or any number of places that is not our address. Or it could sit right on our doorstep.
Sure, if it passes us by with hardly any fuss, then that's fine by me -- at least we'll have extra food in the house. But if it lays the smackdown on Broward County, we'll be happy to have those extra supplies.
We also grabbed extra cat litter and cat food for the furballs.
What is interesting is that this hurricane begins with a W. This means that the next storm to come along [and there's still some time left in the season] will be named from the Greek alphabet. So there would be Hurricane Alpha; Hurricane Beta; Hurricane ... you get the idea. And in the unlikely situation of all of those being used up, we'll be using fraternity names. So there'll be Hurricane Omega Mu; Hurricane Lambda Lambda Lambda; ....
Anywho, this thing is still a while off from our neck of the woods, so it will be a couple of days yet before the met dudes can give us some definitive info.
Oh, and I need to do some laundry tomorrow, as I don't want to face the Apocalypse without any clean undies.
Link to NBC 6 Wilma stuff.
Seriously, that freakin' hurt -- especially when you recall those first-gen PlayStation controllers, which weren't exactly thumb-friendly.
So I have much sympathy for sufferers of sore thumbs, especially in light of the new repetitive strain injuries: Blackberry thumb, and its kissing cousin, iPod Finger.
Thursday, 20 October 2005
Answer: One billion dollars.
Question: What is Yahoo!'s price for selling out Freedom of Speech?
Some of you might remember my sarcastic post when I told Yahoo! to give itself a pat on the back for selling out a dissident Chinese journalist to the Communist Government.
The journalist, Shi Tao, was arrested by Chinese authorities in Hong Kong after Yahoo! provided police with his identity. Shi Tao was then thrown in prison for ten years for 'leaking state secrets'.
Well, the Financial Times has reported on a wonderful bitch-slap against Yahoo! from a Chinese advocate of internet freedoms. The bitch-slap, written by Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, was delivered by way of an open letter to Yahoo! co-founder, Jerry Wang.
Link to Financial Times story.
BB Link about the open letter.
Link to original Reporters Without Borders story [dated 09/2005].
Link to Xeni Jardin's LA Times story on blogging, which also includes commentary on Shi Tao.
To be fair, it was the Associated Press that molded the story from a substance they thought was clay but was, in fact, shit. The AP have even tried to get in on a little slogan-inventing, asking the poor bastards reading their story if Vinnifer has the same ring as Brangelina. I wish I was making this up.
However, just because some monkey at the AP had fun putting it together, that is no excuse for CNN to run with it. Whichever editor perused that story should have taken one look at it and said, 'Hey, you know what? This shit isn't news. Hell, it doesn't even qualify as news.'
But they didn't.
And I'm not even going to link to the story -- if you're desperate enough to read it you're inventive enough to find it.
Wednesday, 19 October 2005
scienTOMogy.info is a New Zealand website dedicated to 'exposing Tom Cruise's moronic behavior in his relentless crusade to promote the cult, Church of Scientology.'
The website in question has responded by saying their intention is satire, and that they are a non-profit website.
Link to Orlando Sentinel story.
The Index is measured by perception, with a score of zero indicating highly corrupt; and a score of 10 indicating highly clean. According to the TI website, the index is a composite survey and reflects 'the perceptions of business people and country analysts'.
The Top 10 countries [and their scores] for 2005:
1 Iceland [9.7]
2 New Zealand [9.6]
2 Finland [9.6]
4 Denmark [9.5]
5 Singapore [9.4]
6 Sweden [9.2]
7 Switzerland [9.1]
8 Norway [8.9]
9 Australia [8.8]
10 Austria [8.7]
Tuesday, 18 October 2005
It looks like we might get to test out the newly-minted hurricane shutters for a second time this year. We're off to the store tomorrow to get some supplies, just to be on the safe side. If they've sold out of Cheesy Poofs I'm gonna be super pissed.
Time magazine has included Watchmen on its 100 Greatest Novels Since 1923 List.
What is Watchmen? Only one of the greatest works in comics. Ever.
The List is an interesting collection of the obvious and not-so-obvious, and I would assume people probably won't argue with most of the selections.
Naturally, there will be some contention over notable omissions. Indeed, this writer wonders why The Old Man and The Sea did not make the list.
Still, it's bloody cool to see a comic listed. 'Course, most people who have read Watchmen know it's brilliant ...
However, despite bidding adieu to the pearl necklace, she's still holding onto the butterscotch he gave her ...
And, this is the amazing part, he's still working.
It seems odd that he should still be working as a surgeon, despite the fact he left one patient dead and three others permanently damaged.
Auckland hospital have said the man in question is a 'valuable doctor', and they continue to allow him to operate [under supervision] even though he has been found guilty of professional misconduct.
Well, if that surgeon is 'valuable', I would hate to be operated on by someone the Auckland hospital calls inept.
D for Deny, Deny for Denied. Serenity now, Hoochie mama.
To be fair and balanced, Social Security’s position was understandable. After all, it was no fault of theirs that my A-number said I was a woman. Yes, that’s right – the immigration folk entered an A-number on my work permit that is not my own, and now I have to call them up and inform them of their error. Fuckin’ cool.
Geez, if only I had paid a closer inspection of the card I could have spotted the error last week. I guess one gets complacent when everything else to do with one’s immigration has been going swimmingly without any major fuck-ups.
Mind you, the error was made several months prior when I went to my biometrics appointment at the immigration center. All the information is taken and entered at the regional centers, and sent to Head Office for processing and printing. So I’m not gonna beat myself up for something that I had no control over at the error’s conception.
It was the ineptness of the biometrics people that has fucked everything up. And, looking back, the dude who processed me was an abrasive wanker. Remember the Soup Nazi episode from Seinfeld? Well, just picture him and you have an idea of what the Biometrics Nazi was like. Adios, muchacho!
So I have no idea how long it’s going to take to sort out. Weeks, most like – which is just frickin’ dandy. Once it is sorted I can go back to Social Security and get my number, and then continue on with trying to get a job.
Gee, blogging about it is so cathartic.
The process is carried out firstly with an incision into the skin, and is then followed with the insertion of a milking tube directly into the gall bladder. This process is, according to the BBC report, an excruciating experience that the bears go through. No shit.
Naturally, the Chinese use the bile for all sorts of products in their traditional medicines [one cannot help but assume they find some way to make it into an aphrodisiac as well ...] and it fetches a handy price on the market.
It is a morally repugnant custom.
You get a nifty card with your name and SocSec number on it, and they also send you regular statements throughout your life showing your balance and total life's earnings to date. And then once a person hits retirement age, said person is entitled to start receiving payments, much like a pension. I think. I could be wrong, though. I'll ask my wife.
Anywho, it all sounds cool and is just one more thing I have left to tick off before I am absorbed into American society. Soon young Skywalker will be one of us ...
The He Said/She Said has already started with the PM saying Winston asked to be Foreign Minister; and Winston countering by saying he never asked to be Foreign Minister [but he'll take the job, all things considered].
Riiight. It all sounds rather promising, especially when you throw a Christian Right party [United Future] into the mix. Hmm, Labour in a coalition with two Right wing parties: what could possibly go wrong?
The Australian newspaper doesn't hold back in its take on the coalition. Link.
While Don Brash has said the obvious, calling the new government a 'dog's breakfast'. Link.
It's all so groovy.
Monday, 17 October 2005
My wife and I decided to watch the original version of Star Wars this evening. You know, the version before the special edition before the special special edition.
And yes, I know it has entered into popular culture, and has been referenced so many times now that it is probably cliché, but in this version Greedo does not shoot first.
Nope, it was refreshing to watch Han Solo smoke that Rodian like it ain't no thang!
There was no revisionist tinkering on hand, complete with its awkward editing and slipping soundtrack. All we got was just one bad mutha popping a cap in Greedo's ass. Class.
Thursday, 13 October 2005
Pinter joins an impressive list of past recipients that includes such literary heavyweights as Hemingway; Steinbeck; Faulkner; and many others.
It seems a battle royale between two emaciated narcissists over a Greek heir is newsworthy.
Sure, we could talk about the stuff that really matters; stuff that might have a point or be considered important ... but why would we when gossiping about the lifestyles of the rich and infamous is far more exciting!!!
The second video features a hilarious performace from Andy Dick as Bush's speech writer, Harlan McCraney, the genius behind such gems as, 'There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.'
Video 1. [file called, Bush Pre-Senile Dementia Video]
Mike Moore, the former Prime Minister of
Is it any good? Not so much.
The general slant of the story is to illustrate how
The last time I checked, the people of the
And if their politics diverge on certain issues, then that is hardly cause to begin penning an obituary. You see, unlike politicians, the average Joe on the street doesn’t really give a flying fuck about politics. A Kiwi and an Aussie can still give each other shit, but it would never be over something as stupid as politics. It would be about rugby; or cricket; or netball. Occasionally it might be about sheep; but never politics.
Naturally, a former head of the WTO cannot help but bring his op-eddy back to talk about a Free Trade Agreement: specifically an FTA between
Yes, that hoary old chestnut: nuclear free.
Ah, so any potential FTA negotiations are scuppered before conception because we ban nuclear armed ships from our harbours? It would not have anything to do with, oh, the
No country in their right mind would ever enter into any FTA unless there were some economic advantages for it to do so. I am no economist, but it seems this argument falls into common sense land.
But let me put my devil’s advocate cap on for a moment. It’s a cool cap, and it has a dinky propeller on the top. Anywho, let us say that
Hell no! A nuclear-free stance is not an obstacle. The last time I checked, a ship carrying a nuclear armament is carrying weapons of mass destruction. You know, dem things called WMDs that got everyone all hot and bothered a couple of years back.
Banning naval vessels that carry WMDs -- whether they fly the flag of the
This writer does not believe that
I guess politicians, and ex-politicians, say the silliest things. Though full marks for including the words bastards, prick, and mongrel in the op-eddy.
Wednesday, 12 October 2005
A whole potpourri of experts armed with equipment have found the job of rescuing a cat from a palm tree too taxing. Yep, a crisis team consisting of two animal control officers; a cherry picker; three fire engines; eight firefighters; extension ladders; a midget in a gimp costume; the Napier Sacred Heart Choir; a year's supply of Whiskers; and a nine-year old kid with a catnip mouse cannot coax the kitty down.
To be fair, the offending palm tree that the kitty is stuck up is two-stories high, and the firefighters have gone on record as saying nobody told them they'd have to go up ladders when they joined the service.
Also, it isn't just any palm tree. Oh, no -- it's a phoenix palm tree. It has these little pointy bits on the end of the palms that hurt really hard if they dig into you.
So after a week of this theatre, what is the final solution the illustrious group of people have arrived at? Shoot it. Yeah, shoot it. It's just a fuckin' cat, dudes. Hell, if the fuckin' thing could talk it'd probably thank us.
Riiight. Actually, what it would probably say is, 'Meow meow, misters. Thanks for shooting my furry arse after your half-arsed attempts to get me down failed. If I were human I'd hate to be stuck in a fire on any story higher than the ground floor, because I'd probably burn to fucking death, you fucking morons. Meow.'
In all seriousness, if this collection of brainiacs do decide to shoot the cat, it'll probably take them several shots as my intuition tells me their aim is shit. And once they've gone through a whole box of Winchesters to no avail, they'll hop on the horn and call in an airstrike to napalm the palm.
Saturday, 8 October 2005
Still, these things happen so one has to be philosophical about it all.
Friday, 7 October 2005
As you can see from the chart above, today (up until 5pm) has been one of those really, really, really low energy days.
I can't seem to put my finger on it; after all, here was me thinking that I had a good sleep last night. Bizarre.
Maybe my planets are all out of alignment or something ... or I haven't eaten enough vegetables. It'll be something that is easily explainable.
Coffee's helping, though.
Thursday, 6 October 2005
And no this isn't a link to the late, not so great Enterprise, either.
It's actually a link to a full-length Star Trek parody created by Finnish students, and now distributed free over the internet.
The creators even developed their own elaborate special effects to include in their film, which took seven years to complete. Go the internet!
Story link via Stuff.
It seems odd that a party with just four MPs could hold the balance of power in the House, but that appears to be the case with reports National is wooing the Maori Party's four Representatives. And here I thought National formally conceded the election to Labour just last week.
This writer does not believe for a minute that National thinks they can mold the disparate groups in Parliament and form a working government. What this writer does believe is that they're taking the opportunity to disrupt the coalition process by making conciliatory noises to a minor party that wants some major concessions.
National should not try to appear as too mischievious in all of this: there is the not so small matter of their Tauranga MP, Bob Clarkson, facing allegations that he exceeded his campaign budget when standing for Tauranga. If you think that is a minor issue, think again: MPs have had their seats stripped in the past for similar misdemeanors.
There's still some time left to run on this merry-go-round.
I came across an interesting story in the NZ Herald this evening.
A new book, The Truth Will Out, has uncovered evidence supporting the proposition that The Merchant of Venice, Love's Labour's Lost, and other classics were not written by Shakespeare.
The book does not suggest that they were written by the usual suspects, either. You know, contemporaries such as Ben Jonson; Francis Bacon; Christopher Marlowe; or even Queen Elizabeth I.
Instead, there is a candidate from the leftest of left fields. Left.
The real Bard, according to the book's authors, Shakespeare scholar Brenda James and history Professor William Rubinstein, was none other than ... Sir Henry Neville. Yep, no shit. Check out the link at the bottom of the page.
The question of the authorship of Shakespeare's works has often popped up from time to time over the years.
The main stickling point for people is that they find it incomprehensible that one man could have produced all of those works.
It's the same thinking that creeps in when people cannot comprehend that a lone gunman could assassinate a moving-target of a President with an old rifle across a large distance; it's the same thinking that propels proponents of fake moon landings; and it's the same thinking people use when they scoff at Han Solo's claim that the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
Considering for a moment that the book's claims are true (and we have no real way of establishing one way or the other unless someone has a spare TARDIS lying around), what does the book achieve?
If Shakespeare is 'outed' as a little more than a secretary taking a memo from some genius lurking behind the curtain, where do we go from that? Do we take classes at college with titles like Neville Appreciation 101?
I guess everyone loves solving a good mystery, even if some might say there is no mystery to be solved.
But if it is true, then it's probably one of the most abhorrent acts of animal cruelty I've ever heard of: using stray cats and dogs as live shark bait.
If there's any doubt that humanity is fucked, this is just one more nail in our collective coffin.
'Reed, a former child-developmental psychologist ... says he took the alien home and lived with it for nine days in which it communicated via telepathy and was able to pull thoughts from his mind.'
Riiiight. I'm sure as a former child-developmental psychologist he was able to ask the alien to show on a doll where the bad FBI man touched it.
Also, and I'm just throwing this out there, did Mr. Reed ask the alien why it killed his bloody dog? I don't know about you, but I'd be slightly pissed if an alien killed my pet. I sure as hell wouldn't be inviting it back to my pad to Grok: I'd be introducing it to Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.
Up in smoke link.
Wednesday, 5 October 2005
This python's eyes were obviously much bigger than it's stomach. The photo on the left was taken by a ranger from the Everglades National Park. The unfortunate alligator was six feet in length, which is only two inches shorter than I am in height. The python that popped was 13 feet in length. Crumbs.
Of course, pythons don't usually make their home in the Everglades. We can thank irresponsible pet owners deciding to dump their snakes in the Everglades for that. I like to think of said pet owners as cocknockers of the highest order.
I don't mean to be a scaremonger, but having pythons that can grow to lengths of 10-20 feet is so not cool for an ecosystem like the Everglades. And what if a python decides to take a swim through one of the myriad canals and creeks that permeate South Florida? It would really put a dampner on my day if a hungry python sized me up while I was out kayaking.
Let's hope the native 'gators can pop a couple of caps in dem snakes ass with some help from the rangers. Perhaps J. Lo can make a line of boots and jackets from them as well. If anyone's good at doing her bit to help eradicate a species, it's the buxom-bottomed one.
Link to AP story. Link to BB's, er, link.
Seriously, who gives a flying fark?! So some silly, rich narcissist has gone from one rich boy to a richer boy. Is that really important?
And yes, I can see the irony of my blogging about it because it must be important, otherwise I wouldn't blog about it. Ugh. It is a pickle of a paradox, I can tell you; one of those hellish, black hole models that not even light can escape from.
If we do not name It, we give no power to It.
Naturally there is a segment of the population that gets its undies all in a twist whenever the Great House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha ... I mean Windsor, is teased. Wellington resident Robert Martin [formally of Gore] complained that Campbell was not sufficiently subservient in his story about Phil the Greek.
Mr. Martin also added that Campbell should have recognised Phil's '60 years of service to his country.' Ah huh. Let's see, sixty years of being a job-shy freeloader who attends a dawn service every Remembrance Day (and the odd ANZAC Day, just to throw those Dominions a bone). Yeah, I'm sure the British people would be lost without Prince Philip.
Personally, I think the whole notion of a Royal Family is an anachronism. Sure, it might seem de rigueur to dump on Royalty these days, but in all honesty I have to ask: what purpose do they serve?
So go, World, go!
Tuesday, 4 October 2005
I know, I've always done this and it's something I have to deal with one day at a time ... but I really am a fussy bastard when it comes to films. I guess I have a low shit-tolerance.
So, in response to my wife's observation, I have devised a cunning stratagem. Instead of saying what I really think when I see a movie trailer, I say the opposite. For example:
Elizabethtown - I think this will be the greatest film ever made.
In Her Shoes - I need a good cry so this will rock my world.
Into the Blue - Jessica Alba is the most talented actress of her generation.
The Fog - Remaking a horror classic is something they should do more often [hell, remaking anything is fine by me and shows the over-abundance of creative talent in the film industry], and I think this will be the best film ever after Elizabethtown. Plus having Maggie Grace walk about in her panties makes her character more believable.
The Legend of Zorro - Catherine Zeta Jones is the most talented actress of her generation, and even though this kinda looks like the plot for The Mummy Returns, I think that is a really good thing because after Elizabethtown and The Fog, The Mummy Returns was the greatest film ever made.
Just Like Heaven - This is the female version of Ghost I have been waiting for all my life.
Since I have a BA degree I'm not really qualified to do anything. Sure, I can write you a fantastic essay on the American Loyalists of the Revolutionary War, or mayhaps you might like me to discuss the themes in Dickens's Great Expectations?
No? Well, I think you're right: I do hear the night shift at 7-11 calling.
Monday, 3 October 2005
Of course, the reason why the Guardian is rolling up its sleeves to seek out the source of the solitary yay-sayer is because the majority of British film critics had to take a number before they could have a turn at administering a rather violent titty twister to the film. Some critics also added a couple of chocolate swirlies, just for good measure.
Sunday, 2 October 2005
Alas, the findings of the Latest Best Song Poll have revealed that Michael Jackson songs make up 70% of the top ten UK results.
It really is a tragic fall from grace for the UK. After all, they did bring us fantastic bands (and their songs) like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, The Smiths, The Cure, The Stone Roses, and, er, Buck's Fizz.
Their music journalists and trades were without peer, from Melody Maker to Mojo to Q. Let us not forget those hip, young gunslingers of the New Musical Express, either.
However, not all is lost. I possess a particulary powerful conspiracy radar (CONSPIDAR) and its little needle is jumping off the page over this. From my CONSPIDAR data, I can deduce a conspiracy involving the following key words: Michael; Jackson; Fans; Voting; As; A; Block; Because; They; Suck; Arse; And; Need; To; Have; Their; Shit; Music; Taste; Legitimised; By; Some; Shit; Survey; I; Wonder; How; They; Sleep; At; Night.
Where is Jarvis Cocker when you need him.
Okay, today I tried to win an XBOX 360. Long story cut short = drank Mountain Dew-entered code @ website-watched to see if I won.
I didn't win, and I had two of the blighters.
The lesson I learnt?
Buy more Mountain Dew tomorrow.
Why do I want to win an XBOX 360? Because I want one. You see, it would be terribly beneficial for me to win the gaming machine rather than buy it when it's released because, well, I have no currency with which to exchange for expensive goods and services. And an XBOX is good goods.
If my bank account was an aircraft it would be running on vapour right about ... now.
However ... I got my work permit!!!!!!!
Sugar, do-do-do-do, do do
Oh honey honey, do-do-do-do, do do
You are my candy girl
Er, quite. Now that I am armed with my funky work permit I can get a job and inject vitality back into my bank account. I also think it would be a good idea to halt the auction on one of my kidneys that I had up on eBay.
Saturday, 1 October 2005
The Invasion of the Rock Snot continues unabated.
Rock Snot, a colloquial term, is an algae known by its scientific name, didymo. Didymo resembles snotty-looking boogers that bob about in the water. It also sticks to rocks like flies on shit. It's so not cool.