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Saturday, April 30, 2005


So I am walking home and the delicious smell of roasting coffee beans becomes stronger the closer I get. The new coffee shop below me must be roasting coffee because my apartment is completely permeated with the aroma. Yum! What a lovely surprise.

I am supposed to be going out visiting again, but I do not want to leave. My apartment smells fantasticly divine!

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This Blog is Not an Engineering Report

Yesterday I went to an Advanced Report Writing For Engineers training course. It was a follow up to the Report Writing For Engineers course I did last year. I am not an engineer. I do not write engineering reports, and I am unlikely to write engineering reports in the forseeable future. Nonetheless, both courses were very interesting.

The main points that I came away with were:
  • Write for the reader, not for you
  • Put the important stuff first (top-down structure)
  • Always have an executive summary
  • Have a navigable path through the document. Use headings, sub-headings, section summaries etc...
  • Use topic sentences as much as possible
  • Plan!
I have been thinking of ways to apply what I learnt to all the things I write, including this blog and my thesis.

However after a few moments thought I decided that these guidelines are not always relevant for this blog. After all, this blog is not a report that the reader/client paid thousands of dollars for. This blog is only about what I want to write about. It can be as vague and waffly and incomprehensible as I want to make it.

Of course sometimes I like to practice writing for the reader. But really there is no intended reader. I like the idea of writing to a vacuum.

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Lang leve Beatrix de koningin!

Ik zal bij vanmiddag van Orion vieren.

Ik heb geen oranje kleren. Misschien zal ik oranje oorringen maken.

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Quiz: Which Philosophy Do You Follow?

Well well. A Hedonist/Existentialist combo. Not very surprising at all.

I'm sure I can use this information somehow. Perhaps I can analyse the political party philosophies and see which is the most similar to mine. That could save lots of boring reading of news and policy statements and lies. Although I have a sneaky suspicion that there aren't any political parties with a hedonist philosophy.

My Results...
You scored as Hedonism. Your life is guided by the principles of Hedonism: You believe that pleasure is a great, or the greatest, good; and you try to enjoy life’s pleasures as much as you can.

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!”

More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...





Strong Egoism




Justice (Fairness)








Divine Command


What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com

As you can see I also scored 100% on Existentialism, which is : "You choose the meaning and purpose of your life."

I stumbled across this quiz at spanblather.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

It's Not Because I am Not Opinionated

I wonder if people think I agree with them because I listen to what they say with interest, see things from their point of view and do not argue for my opinion?
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Today I Thought These Things

Don't Go Anywhere Without Your Camera.
Recently I have been going everywhere without my camera. A dramatic change from a few months ago. Today I regretted it immensely. On the way home I saw a complete rainbow and the sky was generally amazing. The sun setting on a cloudy day creates a strange light.There were lots of I-wish-I-had-my-camera moments.

Fatigue is Frustrating. So is not having any money.
People keep inviting me to things this Saturday. Which would be a completely different which-thing-should-I-go-to dilemma if I wasn't so tired and poor. But seeing as I am tired and poor it is more like a three-really-cool-things-I would-love-to-go-to-but-will-probably-miss dilemma. Although I will definitely miss two of them. I can only be in one place at a time. I can see it now...the one place I will be on Saturday night is at home.

I really want to go to the surf competition after-party at Muriwai. Todd and Kevin and Stu's bands are playing. And there will be surfie types. I don't think I can go because it is too far away and I am too tired and I can't afford it.

Other friends might be having something to celebrate Queen's Day. But the suburbs are still too far away. I can't afford taxis. And there is still the likelihood of just wanting to sleep.

Then there is the Hot Swiss Mistress gig at the Dogs Bollix. It is a safe (ie walking) distance. But I think I might still be too poor and too tired.

How frustrating! When do I get my life back? I don't know why I am so tired. I keep napping and cancelling on people I want to see and things I want to do.

If You Eat Enough Junk Food it Eventually Catches Up.
Perhaps the brink of death is not a good enough reason to eat only junk food.

Maybe a Diet High in Burgers Does Not Satisfy Iron Requirements.
Maybe I should be taking my iron supplements regularly. Perhaps my fatigue is a result of the other peoples blood being phased out and replaced by my own iron deficient blood.

I wish the interweb had more information about anaesthetics and blood transfusions and such. People say things like "it takes 3-6 months to recover from a major op" and "every hour under anaesthetic means an extra month of recovery time". But where are the sources of their information? I need to read the studies and science myself. I also need proof to wave around and assert myeslf. I know I look better than I have for the past few years and people tend to assume because I look great and say I feel really good (which I do) that I can do things normal people can do (which I can't because I don't have the energy).
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Analyse Your Site

Juicy Studio: Readabilty Test
Submit a url to get a measure of the readability of a website. Statistics and several standard readability measures are returned. They also explain how the measures are calculated.

According to these measures, this blog is supremely readable. Haha! That's just because I have a tendency to use short words and short grammatically incorrect sentences. Like this.

I wonder if the test includes html formatting in the analysis?

Gunning Fog Index7.39
Flesch Reading Ease75.62
Flesch-Kincaid Grade4.39

URL Trends
View trend reports of your current and previous Google PageRank, Alexa Rank and incoming links for your website.
I don't know what any of these ranks mean, but I like analysing things and I love typing things in boxes, clicking "OK", and having some "results" returned. Finding the URL Trends site was interesting because some time between when I installed the "Google Page Rank Extension" for Firefox and when the said extension became unknowingly disabled, my google page rank changed from 0 to 3. I would never have noticed this if I hadn't been browsing the popular del.icio.us links.

How did it happen? Why did it happen? Or are they the same question?

I found both links via de.licio.us.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Quiz: which major arcana of the thoth tarot deck are you?

Interesting result. I am The Star. It is a) my favourite tarot card, b) what I would've guessed I was, and c) the inspiration-for/meaning-of the unpronounceable user name I sometimes use.
STAR "self-confident, self-esteem"
You have a feeling and sense of self-worth. You gain fame for demonstration of your abilities in two very different areas. You are gifted when it comes to intuition, perception, and precognition. The head of the figure on the card looks to the inner star for guidance and support -- you tend to be fairly introspective.

which major arcana of the thoth tarot deck are you? short, with pictures and detailed results
brought to you by Quizilla

via Mallim Ink

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Some delicious links I like

A few links from del.icio.us today:

What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists - An article highlighting some things to consider when publishing stuff. In light of my recent blog reading I particularly like "Ask before you attack!" There is also the flip article "What Journalists Can Learn From Bloggers". Very useful. I wonder if my writing course next week will cover these issues?

Guess-the-Google - I like this game! You are presented with 20 images from a google search and you have 20 seconds to guess the word that generated those images.

Dumb Laws - Self explanatory really. NZ doesn't have any listed yet.

Tao of Programming

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Asteroid Andy Reunites - Happy Birthday Shredder!

Photographs by Rache

Here we are. Not making total fools of ourselves. It is surprising how effective a little last minute cramming is....even when large amounts of red wine are interspersed between the cramming and the event.

Mute played first. Then Asteroid Andy. Ben indulged in several extended guitar solos :-)

My ears are still ringing...but then I didn't wear ear plugs and there were cymbals in my left ear, and Garrett's 8x10 bass stack in my right ear.

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

7 hours and counting...

The Asteroid Andy reunion gig is imminent. In keeping with the general leaving-stuff-till-the-last-minute-ness of my life I have only just now started looking for Asteroid Andy cds so I can relearn the songs. But I don't have 7 hours to find the cds, learn the songs and practice. It's more like 2 hours! Don't Panic.

Blow is currently playing...everything's alright, every lie is true, if this is what you want, if this is life to you... I have stopped to write this on my way to go looking for all the other songs that I suspect I don't have copies of. I mean, did we ever make a recording of songs like Nathan Astle? I think not.

Really this is just procrastination because I don't want to go through all my carefully stacked and unlabelled boxes.

Ooh...skaterpunks! looking like a lawyer with a carrot up his ass...I wonder how my favourite corporate whore is?

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Friday, April 22, 2005

A Few Links from Today

New link discovery at oldnewsbaby.com.

I like Adam Boettiger's idea of using gmail (or any other webmail) as a second brain: How to use Gmail as your Second Brain AKA How to increase your brain's memory by 1 Gigabyte.

Computers For Art: reuse redundant technology to create art. Great idea!

How to make a coin ring.

Five things I didn't know I could do with Perl.

Free music downloads at Amazon.

Web color combinations - tool and library.
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Suze and Politics Part 5: The Political Party Websites

Here is a list of the NZ Political Party websites. If a party does not have a website then they are not worth voting for. If a party does have a website and I couldn't find it quickly and easily, then they are not worth voting for. Some of those with websites are probably not worth voting for either.

To keep myself amused I will give each party a rating according to the website (and overall "image") that pleases me the most. I will ignore the actual content...although I expect there to be content. Hmmm... perhaps later on I can develop a formula to calculate who to vote for based on several factors.

Note: here is the official list of currently registered political parties.

Labour (www.labour.org.nz)
Not pretty. But not as ugly as the National website IMO. It's an OK design, although I don't really like their logo. All the information seems to be in relatively sensible places, which is good.
One thing I really like about the Labour website is that it has a text only version. That is a very good thing.

Rating: 6/10

National (www.national.org.nz)
F*$ck$#ng National website!!!

First of all I was put off by the relatively ugly logo and design. Not good, but then I didn't exactly expect to be blown away. The design did fit in with the conservative image I have of National. I can live with ugly designs if the content is good. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case.

What irritated me immensely was not being able to find any policy documents. Sure, they have a general philosophy statement and speeches, and media releases, but in each policy section they have an email link saying "Give us your views on [insert policy] Policy". I don't want to tell them my views!!! I want to know what their views are. And I want them to tell me in a format designed for easy reading and digesting. Ideally in concise point form. I don't want to have to read through speeches and media releases and figure it out myself. Ughhh!!!! Not impressed. Maybe the information is somewhere, but if I can't find it, then it is in the wrong place.

Rating: 2/10 (I admit this rating is biased. It is highly influenced by my extreme annoyance at not being able to find policy statements/documents. Other party's may be worse, but it's not like I am seriously considering voting for them. National is one of the two major parties. I should know, or be able to find out, what they stand for.).

ACT (www.act.org.nz)
Ugly! Ugly! Ugly! Disgusting colours and logo. It looks like one of those cheap websites that has paid advertising. All those boxes look like ads, not links to actual ACT information. Yuck! It is so ugly that I do't really want to spend any time there.

However, it does have all the information I am after, which is more important than looking pretty. Just.

Rating: 3/10

The Green Party (www.greens.org.nz)
Unfortunately someone other than the Green Party seems to have parked www.green.org.nz which is what I typed in my first attempt to find their website. That didn't put me in a good mood. Fortunately their website is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. A lovely green design. So pretty! And they have a blog (frogblog) which seems to be similarly well-designed and written.

I could find the information I was interested in (ie their philosophy and policies).

Rating: 8/10

New Zealand First (www.nzfirst.org.nz)
Too many pictures of Winston, which is quite off-putting! All the information seems to be there and easy to find.

Rating: 5/10

United Future (www.unitedfutureparty.org.nz)
Takes too long to load. I don't like boxes flying in from the side. It is too powerpoint (a bad thing). Aesthetically it is quite nice...but only if you keep your mouse still and don't click on anything. Once you start moving and clicking there are annoying mouse-overs and more animation and ENFORCED SCROLLING that seems deliberate (yuck!!!).

The information seems to be there but I am too annoyed to look carefully. Anyway it's not like I really need to bother reading anything. The day I vote United Future is the day...you can pick your cliche now...pigs, hell, blah blah...

Or am I being too judgemental? I don't actually know anything about United Future. For all I know they could be the ideal Suze Political Party.

Rating: 5/10

Destiny NZ (www.destinynz.org.nz)
Another one that takes too long to load! This time it's probably because of the pretty (unnecessary) pictures. It is an attractive design though and all the information is there and there aren't any boxes flying from the side of the screen and there aren't any buttons changing shape....so I guess it's really just the slowness that annoys me.

Rating: 7/10

Libeterianz (www.libertarianz.org.nz)
OK. Not ugly ugly. Information is very easy to find. Not too slow (but definitely not speedy. But I don't really like the logo. The Statue of Liberty??? Ummm. Yeah.

Rating: 7/10

Maori Party (www.maoriparty.com)
Hmmm. A com domain, not an org like everyone else. I wonder why.

Beautiful logo! Annoying flashing text. Otherwise an OK design.

I don't think they have any policies. I know they have aims. I know they have rules. Like National they have lots of information I am not interested in. Like National I can't find what I am interested in. They also have a very strange way of structuring the information.

Rating: 4/10 (I really like the logo)

Progressive Party (www.progressive.org.nz)
I'm bored now. Amusement waning. No more writing. Just ratings.

Rating: 5.5/10 (I wonder if whole numbers would be a better idea? Oh well)

Outdoor Recreation NZ (www.outdoorrecreation.co.nz)

Rating: 3/10 (I may not have been entirely consistent with these ratings. I think the ACT website is better, but like I said, I'm bored with this now)

Democrats (www.democrats.org.nz)

Rating: __ (Now I am really bored and can't be bothered rating anything else. I might fill these in later.)

Christian HeritageNZ (www.chp.org.nz)

Rating: __

Alliance (www.alliance.org.nz)

Rating: __

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (www.alcp.org.nz)

Rating: __

OneNZ Party (www.onenzparty.co.nz)

Rating: __

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An astrology website

I checked out Jonathon Cainer's website. He is an astrologer. I like astrology, so it is good to find a cool new astrology site. I liked his daily horoscope for me too. Appropriate and delicious!
It's no good having the right ingredients, you have to have the right recipe too. Even then, you are not guaranteed a delicious dish. You have to be willing to make an effort. You need to be concentrated and dedicated. You also need a degree of support from the people around you. If they keep walking into your kitchen and criticising your cooking, you may never make that meal. This weekend, though, as long as you take the necessary step to safeguard your opportunity, you will end up feeling very satisfied.
And my horoscope for this past week (starting 16th Apr 05) was:
Your week ahead: Intellect is fast, but instinct is faster. It's like the difference between the speed of sound and the speed of light. You will always see a lightning flash long before you hear the thunder. The time-lag in human nature, though, can take weeks or months. A moment of deep recognition produces an immediate response. We find, though, that we can make no sense of it. We even begin to doubt its relevance. Only after a while do we piece the story together and understand what our reaction was all about. Trust what you are feeling this week, even if you can't yet explain it.
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Random Events of Today

It seems it is tree checkup season. Not only did the arborists visit the trees at work this week, but today I also saw people attending to the trees in Alfred St and the Domain. I wonder if trees have to have regular checkups, and I wonder if Autumn is the best time for these checkups?

There were ducks wandering across the road by the Domain the duck pond. It was rush hour, but they were happilytaking their time...dawdling and quacking. Is there something in the Road Code that says you have to stop for ducks and other wildlife? I know that ducks on the road are a problem in Titirangi.

The Black Crowe Cafe has changed ownership. I ran into Romi et al hard at work. Apparently it will be open next week and apparently it will be Aubergine. I am looking forward to eating there!

I am still having trouble accessing my blog from my computer, but have found workarounds.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Stress Soup: Self-indulgent Whining

Well it didn't take long for life to revert to the stressful mess it was prior...

Work has been super-busy for the past 18 months, which is unusual. I think there are usually down-periods in consultancies. But I can't remember the last time I didn't have enough work to keep me busy working 60hr weeks for the forseeable future. I think I am around 95-100% utilisation at the moment, and have been for a while.

Even with our new team member, there just seems to be more and more work piling up. It is kind of stressful. I spent all of today fixing random things that went wrong. I didn't even touch what I was supposed to do (which was urgent), and I added even more to my to-do list. Most of it is urgent and all of it is for the nightmare-project. Ughh!

Then there is my thesis, which I haven't thought about since December. I am way behind on that. I have basically wasted the last 6 months (time and $) plus now I suspect I haven't been well enough to think/work properly for a couple of years at least.

I am also completely broke at the moment, which doesn't help. All the additional expenses and not being paid for a month is stretching things to the limit. So I have to work full-time even though I don't want to. I don't have any leave left and leave without pay is not an option anymore.

And I get an email asking me about auditioning for a band, which is nice, but they practice 2-3 times a week! That is completely out of the question.

Plus I burnt 6 pieces of toast in a row! Not a good sign.

So basically it seems that on top of being alone forever, which is another complete topic, the rest of my life looks like it is going to be all work and no play and not enough time or money. How depressing.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Guy Gift Ideas

Why are guys so hard to buy gifts for? Actually...other people in general are hard to buy for. Why is that? I mean I am extremely easy to buy for...why isn't everyone else like me?

Here, for future reference, are the results of my latest search for suitable guy gifts. Some ideas I found by googling, others just popped into my head. And just in case you are wondering, all of these are suitable gifts for me too.

Digital Photo Frame
Who wouldn't want this? Unfortunately I have no idea where to get one in NZ.

An Experience
I didn't realise there were quite so many companies providing gift options. Convenient. Online. No need to leave your desk/laptop. Experiences can cost tens of dollars or thousands of dollars. The experiences range from low energy pampering (eg facials, massage) to adrenaline fuelled excitement (eg parachuting, diving) to educational (eg flying lessons, salsa lessons) to alcoholic (eg wine tours, wine tasting) and so on.

For example: www.totalexperience.co.nz, www.remember.co.nz, www.redballoondays.co.nz

A Subscription
I would be completely happy for someone to pay for a years subscription to flickr or Rip It Up, or Bass Player, or Rolling Stone, or New Scientist.

Tickets to Something

Useful Gadgets
Memory - in any form: a card for my camera (4Gb please), a flash drive, a hard drive, blank cds/dvds.
Swiss army knife/tool type things.
Cool fire-making /direction-finding /boredom-avoiding /noise-making /life-organising devices.

I know that "Useful Gadgets" could probably be called "toys". But here I mean real toys: lego, board games, playstation/computer games, water pistols...

Alcohol, cigars, food etc.

vouchers, cds, strings, picks, sticks, 9V batteries, magazines, effects pedals, leads...

song, poem, recipe, artwork, clothing...

If that hasn't helped and you want even more ideas I like IWOOT, which has lots of gifts that fall under the unneccessary but desirable category. Also www.surprise.com. It lets you enter relevant details and then it suggests suitable gifts based on the variables. Quite entertaining if you are bored because they categorise their gifts amusingly. I immediately slotted various friends into their categories eg:
Some friends would even fit in more than one category!

Technorati Tags: ,

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A Few Favourite Things: flickr , del.icio.us and gmail

flickr, del.icio.us and gmail are some of my favourite things. They have completely changed the way I use the web. The whole social bookmarking, tagging thing is so much more useful than whatever the old way was.

I store and share all my photos on flickr.

Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world

I almost certainly agree :-) I love flickr. It is very addictive. I am so glad that Amanda invited me to join and Darren inspired me to buy a digital camera.

I still have one pro account (1 year) to give away. Anyone who wants it should let me know while I am still deciding on an appropriate beneficiary.

I started using del.icio.us last year, and I can't believe I left it so long! It makes bookmarks pretty much obsolete. Although I occasionally bookmark things that are untaggable.

If you spend much time at all on the web I suggest having a look at del.icio.us or something similar (eg furl).

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Monday, April 18, 2005

A Door: No Time For Karma

A link for those who are interested in such things. Skeptics and rational scientists please ignore.

No Time For Karma: Stepping off the wheel of pain and struggle
(Make choices in your life which lead to personal freedom. Understanding reincarnation and metaphysics.)

Free book by Paxton Robey and Lone Jensen. I liked it.

Available here.

Why? I was reminded by the butterfly quotes:
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.
Richard Bach

"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked pensively.
"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
Trina Paulus
Technorati Tags: , , ,

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Suze and Politics Part 4: A Semi-Blank Canvas

When it comes to politics I am a semi-blank canvas. A semi-blank canvas that I used to think was tilted to the left.

I don't like politics. I have deliberately avoided it in the past because I don't like liars and incompetent people with no integrity, no morals, no intelligence, and narrowminds etc. I don't know that political people are like this. It's just what I imagine they are like. The little pieces of news that filter through and the general state of the country certainly seems to support my imagination. Not that I spend much time imagining things about politicans...probably next to no time...perhaps if I imagined harder I might believe that they are all moral and intelligent and open-minded and doing an excellent job.

My dislike of politics has led to political ignorance. A state which, although I don't particularly like, I can live with. Time is limited. I can't be informed about everything, and politics and activism are not my thing. If anything, I am a pacifist.

In addition to being politically ignorant I am also ignorant about current affairs. I don't read newspapers. I rarely watch tv, and never the news. I don't listen to the radio. I only look at news sources on the internet every now and then. Usually there is something much more interesting to look at when I am online.

I'm not apathetic about the world. I'm just highly skeptical. I don't automatically trust what people and the media say. Like I said before I don't like lies. The most interesting stories (and therefore the ones that sell) are those that are extreme. And I think that extreme stories could probably do with a generous sprinkling of salt. People seem to watch/read/listen to news just for entertainment purposes anyway. A form of gossip I guess.

Tilted to the left
I always thought I was left wing. Why? I don't know...perhaps because I like what I thought were typically left things like peace and trees and dolphins and new age bookshops. I suspect that others would say I was left wing as well. But maybe left and right are not what I thought they were.

According to the Political Compass I am pretty much smack bang in the center when it comes to the Economic dimension. Although I tend to waver across the center line depending on my mood. The last time I took the test I was slightly (+2) right. This time slightly (-0.1) left. On the Social dimension I am most definitely Libertarian. No surprises there. I don't like being told what to do.

My Political Compass Results (scale -10 to +10)
Economic Left/Right: -0.13
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.72

Is this helping when it comes to deciding who to vote for this election? It might if I knew where the NZ political parties fall on the compass.
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Quiz: What's Your Ideal Drug?

Another quiz. Strange order. "Fucking trippy"!

You scored as Mushrooms. Shrooms! You're still goin for one of the most natural drugs. You'd like to visit a whole other world, and see things you've never seen before. Fucking trippy.















What's your ideal drug? created with QuizFarm.com

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So Cold Lyrics

I hated the way you changed me, so cold
I should never have touched you, I was never the same
Roll away that taste
Sweet and bitter, you escape

I took the last bite out of you, will you disappear
Before my eyes, how I regret that spring
Roll away that taste
So cold on my tongue

And what’s inside will make me cry
And what’s inside you will die, so cold…

So wrapped up in yourself, and so cold
Should never have tasted you; I was never the same
Roll away that taste
So cold on my tongue

And what’s inside will make me cry
And what’s inside you will die, so cold

Technorati Tags: ,
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How To: Build an Effects Pedal Board

Here are some instructions from NadaBlog (via MAKE).

I especially like the idea of sticking a rug on the board and velcro on the pedals. If I ever expand beyond my Boss Tu-2 I might make one.
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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Asteroid Andy Band Practice

On Wednesday Asteroid Andy had our second and final band practice before our "reunion gig". I think we spent most of the time not practicing, which was fun but may or may not have been a good idea.

I can't remember a lot of the songs. I wonder if I can blame the anaesthetic? I really should go through some of the songs before the party. Especially DYFIS. That has a lot of chord changes.

Note to self: when it comes to remembering things Sober = Better

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Friday, April 15, 2005

I Have Too Much Content. What Do I Do Now?

She said it was all about content. She is probably right. I think she means a quantity of quality content. Lets just talk about quantity today.

I am having problems with quantity. I remember when I started this blog, Cam said one blog would be more than enough. Why would I possibly need two blogs let alone three? I think he also said something about a focused blog. Ha ha!

I remember that someone said that finding enough content would be the hard thing.

Well I think I have the opposite problem. I currently have about six draft posts awaiting finishing touches. I have been saving them up for the time when I have the "not enough content" problem. Now they are getting stale.

I also have an almost infinite number of potential posts... hang on let me count ... one, two, eighteen ... hmmm definitely over thirty potential posts. And that's just ideas that have popped into my brain unbidden. Surely if I thought about it there would be hundreds of ideas. And given enough time and stimulation I would reach that almost infinite number.

Sure some posts would take a while to write, but others would be off the top of my head. From my brain to my fingertips to the interweb. Or. If you are of the other persuasion: from the global consciousness to my fingertips to the interweb.

It is a silly waste of time to sit and type up half a dozen totally unrelated posts in a couple of hours. Isn't it?
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From Naked Soap Containers to Coffee Pot Beer: A few amusing links.

Clothe your naked soap containers from the Crafster Blog. I love this blog. It is just so cool. The description: "Rock is dead. Long live paper and scissors"; the categories: "crafts gone bad", "kraft werking"; and the overall design: go see for yourself!

Alien Bunnies
Angry Alien Productions have thirty second movie classics such as Alien, Jaws and Titanic acted out by bunnies. They made me smile. Thanks to Zen Tiger.

Alcohol Creation
Digg is distracting. Today it directed me to some instructions on How To Brew Beer in a Coffee Pot. I have a coffee pot! If I get around to experimenting I will share the results. Literally and Blogally.
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Got a Problem? Ask Flickr!

The flickr group Ask Flickr is cool. Maybe complete flickr strangers can solve your problem.
Got a simple problem that a photo and some random strangers could solve? Take a shot and add it to the group.
Via A Whole Lotta Nothing.
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Discoveries from the Runninghouse Gig

Do you like the photo? Yes it's blurry. My camera is not all that great. Nonetheless, The Studio is a very good venue.

It was a productive evening. I completely filled up my 256Mb card and I made some useful discoveries:

  1. Musicians aren't very good at standing/sitting still during live performances.

  2. When trying to take live band photos without stabilising aids and under the influence of destabilising substances, it is best to take photos during the songs that you like the least. Do not bother taking photos during your favourite songs. You will end up tapping your foot or swaying or moving in some way. And the already blurry photo (see Discovery 1) will end up even blurrier.

  3. If you keep sachets of tomato sauce in your bag, then it is best not to use your bag as a pillow.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Puzzling Thing of the Day

There was a guy kneeling at the top of the escalator. It was about 4:30pm. It looked like he was praying. His head was bowed. Why?

He was in a pretty inconvenient and not particularly safe place (ie right where you would usually step when you get off the escalator). I had to squeeze past him. My bag may have hit him.

Do you suppose it is a religious thing, or a practical joke thing, or something else?
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005


I have been ignoring PostSecret for a while now. Stupid me.

PostSecret is a touching, inspiring, ugly, thought-provoking, sad and stunning blog/project. I think it is quite beautiful.

People send in postcards with their secrets written on. A selection of the postcards are posted to the blog. It's all anonymous.

A sample of the secrets:
I say I'll pray for you and then I don't.
I wish I was the other twin.
I stay in a job I hate because I know I won't pass a drug screen anywhere else (and I do drugs because I hate my job).
She never gave me a chance.
I'm afraid.
I still haven't told my father I have the same disease that killed my mother.

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DIY Modern Design

Design Without Reach is really cool! It shows you easy and cheap ways to copy modern design pieces like this "Satellite Bowl".

Found this via the MAKE Blog, which showed the clock made out of lollipops.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

And the cards say...

Like I said before, today I feel strange. A little sad, a little restless, a little uncomfortable, a little apathetic, a little lost, a little lonely. But having just listed some adjectives I am not sure exactly what I feel. All I know for sure is that I am tired.

A perfect opportunity for testing out my new cards.

Like all my readings recently, this one turned out to be extremely relevant, integrated and incisive. It turned out to be painfully close to the truth. Here are the results.

1. The Issue
Compromise may be a way of not going in either direction, or it may just be a repression of your confusion. It will assert itself.
It is one thing to meet another halfway, to understand a point of view different from our own... It is quite another to 'cave in' and betray our own truth.
We usually find we are trying to gain something - whether it is power or the approval of others.
OK. Yes I have been trying to understand and fit in in numerous aspects of my life. I just want to belong. I just want someone to talk to who really understands and cares. I have never belonged and there has never been such a person, so I figured I needed to change myself. Hence the somewhat erratic past couple of years.

I never thought about it as compromising before. But I guess I am and I guess it will never make me happy. Having people like you when you aren't being you isn't the best feeling in the world.

2. Internal Influence that you are unable to see
The Rebel
People are afraid, very much afraid of those who know themselves.
The enlightened man is the greatest stranger in the world; he does not seem to belong to anybody.
The Rebel's very way of being is rebellious - not because he is fighting against anybody or anything, but because he has discovered his own true nature and is determined to live in accordance with it. The rebel challenges us to be courageous enough to take responsibility for who we are and to live our truth.
Do I know myself? Perhaps a little too well. I wouldn't say I was enlightened, but I certainly feel like a stranger. This is a strange land.

I guess my inner rebel has been influencing me subtly. It certainly has been a struggle trying to force myself to compromise in order to fit in. In some ways I have hated every step. I hate the very idea of not being true to myself. But I thought I needed to do it. I didn't want to be lonely or alone anymore.

3. External Influence of which you are aware
The destination is not the goal, the journey is the goal. Each step on the path is important in itself.
When this card appears in a reading it indicates a time of movement and change. It may be a physical movement or it may be an inner movement.
This card reminds us to accept and embrace the new. The attitude of openness and acceptance invites new friends and experiences into our lives.
Yes. I have known this for a while. I understand the journey concept and am not overly fond of goals or destinations.

4. What is needed for resolution
Past Lives
A glimpse into the eternity of our existence is a gift, and understanding the function of karma in our lives is not something that can be grasped at will.
This is a wake-up call; the events in your life are trying to show you a pattern.
I recently read a very interesting and different take on karma.
This is the only unclear card in the reading.

5. Resolution: the Understanding
There is a tremendous difference between loneliness and aloneness. Loneliness is the absence of the other. Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is very positive. It is a presence, overflowing presence...you are so full of presence...and there is no need for anybody.
When there is no 'significant other' in our lives we can either be lonely, or enjoy the freedom that solitude brings. When we find no support among others for our deeply felt truths, we can either feel isolated and bitter, or celebrate the fact our vision is strong enough even to survive the powerful human need for the approval of family, friends or colleagues.
When I saw this card as the resolution I felt sick. I don't want to be alone. It is the whole reason I am having these issues in the first place! It is horrible and unfair. I know about the lonely/alone difference. I have always been alone, and am usually pretty good at it. I don't want to be alone forever and I definitely don't want an overflowing presence or to celebrate my strength!!

How depressing.

People often comment on how strong I am, especially recently. It's not like strength is a good thing and it's not like I have any choice.

I don't like this reading. It is a little too close to the truth and unfortunately it makes a lot of sense:
Basically I am having trouble because I am trying to compromise and be someone else and see everyone else's points of view and understand everyone else's feelings. I am doing this because I am tired of being alone and I want to do something about it. However, by compromising I am hiding the real me away, which, I realise now, is just making me lonelier. The inner rebelious me is probably secretly sabotaging everything I do which explains why nothing is really working.

I am trying too hard to be something I am not.

I'm not sure what the solution is. The Karma card is still not clear. Perhaps it is to realise that being myself and being alone is better than pretending and compromising and being lonely. It's not a very nice realisation at all. It seems I am going to be alone regardless.
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Today feels strange

I don't know why.

I started to write something about political correctness and John Tamihere and thought control but I can't be bothered finishing it. It doesn't matter and it's not going to make me happy.

If your life sux it's because you are letting it. Don't expect other people to do what you want them to. They never do. Don't expect other people to think like you. They never do.

I have boundaries somewhere.

My new Zen cards are beautiful. I think I will consult them now.
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Monday, April 11, 2005

Still climbing...

...two days after I posted it, turqouise bikini photo is now my third most popular flickr photo!?!
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Resonate Lyrics

If I believed in God
He would exist within that space
Left hollowed out
By the sound that echoes in your head
And if I believed enough
Then you would fill me up and take me home
I would forsake emptiness and resonance
I would follow

You are beauty unexplained
You are eternal loss and bitter sweet pain
You are a magic too rare and haunting
You are a promise that everything will be OK

I hear your voice, it hits me like a wave
A haunting magic I can't contain
I feel you soul reach me in that space
Fill me up; Carve me out; Resonate

Umm...I think there is more....something about molten sand...help!...anyone remember?

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

There Is A Brokenness

Amanda is right, it is very difficult to find grief poems that appeal. There are an awful lot of flowery, sickly grief poems that are probably appropriate for other people, but which make me gag. I have also learned that there are lots of poems and support groups devoted to handling the grief of a pet dying.

Anyway, tonight I found this poem. It is not exactly a grief poem, but I like it. It reminds me of the Asteroid Andy song Resonate, which had some of my favourite lyrics. I will post them when I remember them. Actually it might be a public service to post all the Asteroid Andy lyrics.

There Is A Brokenness
by Rashani (found here)
There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
A shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
Beyond all grief which leads to joy
And a fragility
Out of which depth emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
Too vast for words
Through which we pass with each loss,
Out of whose darkness we are sanctified into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart
As we break open
To the place inside which is unbreakable
And whole.

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Suze and Politics Part 3: How to change your enrolment details

I am ignoring the philosophy, ideologies, policies, personalities and bickering for the moment and going back to the practicalities. After all there is no point stressing about who to vote for if I am not enrolled to vote.

Check your enrolment details/enrol online

Easy peasey!
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Flickr Photo Popularity: Who is viewing my photos?

Puzzling thing of the day: my photos of my new bikinis (see previous post) seem very popular. I posted them yesterday and they have already had more views than most of my other photos. The turquoise bikini photo is already #15 in my list of most popular photos. That is just wrong!

Why??? They are not good photos, and it's not like I am wearing the bikinis. I haven't posted them to any groups.
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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Bikinis and Scars and Retail Therapy

People are funny about scars.

When my surgeon told me I'd have to have a vertical scar he sounded very apologetic. He was sorry that I wouldn't be able to wear bikinis. I was rather bemused at the time. I think I may have asked him "Why not?". Poor guy. That may have been the same appointment where I asked about tattooing over scar tissue. I don't think anyone has asked him that before.

Anyway, what difference do scars make to bikini wearing? I will wear bikinis if I want, regardless of scars and fat. My scar doesn't bother me. I pretty much always wear clothes because I like them, not because I want to impress other people. If that was the case I certainly wouldn't wear bikinis.

Why am I writing this at the onset of winter? Well, today I was frivolous. Today I was supposed to be buying underwear, but ended up with way more, including two bikinis:

I love them! I very rarely find swimwear I like. And these are both very "me". They have turqouise and silver bead details and I love brown and turqouise. In addition they are interchangeable and relatively cheap. I wish it was sunny and beach weather. Maybe I will have to pretend. Maybe I should go to the Warehouse and buy myself a paddling pool.

What is it about buying bikinis (or anything else for that matter) that makes you feel good? It's irrational. I have my purchases spread out on my bed and just looking at them makes me happy. Especially looking at the brown and turquoise and silver together. I will probably try them on and feel even better.

Note: I have just tried my new bikinis on, and instead of revealing some of the scar as I had imagined, both of them reveal all of it! I think that's funny!!!

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Underwear: Another Unexpected Cost

Usually I have enough underwear to wear something clean everyday AND not do laundry for several weeks. I hate housework, so I like this state very much.

However, I have just realised that most of my old underwear no longer fits. I guess it wasn't a problem when I was lazing around home by myself. I didn't need underwear then.
Now that I am back at work it is a problem....a small problem, but still a problem. For some reason going to work makes me even less inclined to do laundry.

So, I'm off underwear shopping today. It will be yet another unexpected cost from being sick....and knowing the price of underwear it will probably be a rather large cost. Oh well. C'est la vie!
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Friday, April 08, 2005

14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

Here are Britt's 14 Defining Characterisitcs of Fascism in Flash form with pictures of Bush/America.

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
Laurence W. Britt
Free Inquiry http://secularhumanism.org/library/fi/britt_23_2.htm
Spring 2003; 5-11-03
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections
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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Suze and Politics Part 2: Politics is Very Bad For Me

Politics makes me feel sick. I've only skimmed the surface, and it seems to be a very nasty world. It makes my soul sad and tired. I am getting all emotional and defensive on behalf of stupid politicians who I don't even know or agree with...stupid politicians from all sides. Perhaps it is transferral, perhaps not.

I need to figure out how to manage this empathy. It's that or retreat back to my universe where people don't attack each other, where people are sensitive towards each other and where people care about each other.
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The Internet Doesn't Know Everything

I can't find what I am looking for. I know I don't know what I am looking for but I have vague words. Words like grief, loss and grace. Surely that should be enough?

The internet is less than helpful. It gives me death, sympathy and religion. It is more confused than I am.

I try and help it along by being more precise. "Grief stages", "Inspirational poem", "The alchemist little prince quotes". It responds by being more precisely unhelpful.

Hours later and I have given up. This is the closest thing I could find. It reminds me of my grandfather.

desiderata - by max ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

How To: Make Dumplings

1. Mix mince and spices and water and chopped up vegetables of your choice in a bowl.

2. Take your packet of frozen dumpling pastry and assemble the dumplings like this:

3. Cook dumplings by steaming, boiling or frying.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Suze and Politics Part 1: Suze and Politics? What the F&#k?

I know!!! Yeah....well. This is the start of my attempt to understand enough about NZ politics in order to make an informed decision at the election this year. Yuck already! I hate politics.

So why bother this year when I have been content to be relatively ignorant in previous election years? I blame "Bob". Bob is a friend who is interested in politics. Bob cares about right and wrong. Bob cares about the world. Sigh. Bob has been irritating me and forcing me to think about things. I am not the sort of person who can ignore things when they are pushed in front of me....especially if they involve abstract thought, have some philosophical or moral basis and are difficult questions. I wonder if Bob knows this?

I don't know yet whether to thank Bob or to punish him. The world of politics seems to be an enormous, chaotic, complex cesspool. I'm not sure I should be dipping my pure little toes into it. I'm not sure it's safe. Therefore, everything will need to be very carefully filtered and considered before I put it into my lovely and slightly distressed brain. No small task.

No Small Task + Limited Brain Capacity = Problem
(if you have read my previous posts you will know that my brain isn't working well at the moment)

So I am using this blog as temporary brain storage. Temporary brain storage for my intended research and thought processes that will eventually reveal (fingers crossed) ... Who The Hell I Should Vote for in This Election.

Of course I'd prefer it if someone came up with an easy answer before then. Preferably a fun and interactive easy answer. For example a quiz like the one below. Except the quiz would be "Which NZ Political Party Do You Really Want to Vote For?" and the answer would be "[A Real NZ Political Party]".

Fun quiz that has nothing to do with politics but will make me feel better:

You Are a Visionary Soul
You are a curious person, always in a state of awareness. Connected to all things spiritual, you are very connected to your soul. You are wise and bright: able to reason and be reasonable. Occasionally, you get quite depressed and have dark feelings.

You have great vision and can be very insightful. In fact, you are often profound in a way that surprises yourself. Visionary souls like you can be the best type of friend. You are intuitive, understanding, sympathetic, and a good healer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul

What Kind of Soul Are You?
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Who does this remind you of?

Found lots of interesting links today. A couple of them reminded me of particular friends. See if you can guess which friend I was thinking of for each link:

Open Source Beer via digg

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Thing
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Yagoohoo!gle: My new favourite search tool

Because I'm a fence sitter: Yagoohoogle via digg.
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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Want to make something? How about a Cigar Box Guitar or a Marlboro Amp?

Two smoking and music related projects I found via MAKE.

1. A Cigar Box Guitar

2. A Marlboro Amp
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I am having a blonde day (ie Where is my brain?)

I forgot my camera again!!! So I did not chronicle the runninghouse gig. This would not have been a proble m except for the fact that the new bass player, Ivan Meadows, had a super fantasticly entertaining outfit. Not fashion, but most definitely not boring. He also has a translucent bass. This is cool because, apart from the general coolness that comes with translucence, it also means that his bass automatically goes with whatever outfit he is wearing.

I forgot to do my consistency exercise again! I forgot yesterday too, and I was annoyed. But then Amanda and Romi joined me, and we were going to start today. Amanda even texted me today to remind me. I think she reminded me just a few minutes before the scheduled exercise. But I completely forgot until just now. How could I do that? I will have to start again tomorrow. At this rate, it's going to take me all year.

I am opinionless. I was trying to discuss current events. For example that woman (Terri?) who died and some other things (yes I have forgotten them). In the middle of it all I realised that a) I didn't have enough information, and b) even when given information I didn't know what my opinion was. Surely I must know where I stand when it comes to important philosophical issues? But I don't. I could feel my mind changing even as I was talking. I don't like not having a philosophical basis for my life. Now I am going to have to do some research and find one. How irritating!
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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pluto's album release gig

Pluto's new album Originally uploaded by aoiveae.

pipelineundertheocean is pluto's new album

We went to their album release gig at the Dogs Bollix last night. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, so all I have are pictures of Amanda and Darren after the gig, which is cool but not quite the same as photos of pluto live. Oh well, this photo of the cd will have to suffice.

I thought the gig was deliciously fantastic! The only downsides being that it was a little hot and I am still too easily tired and I still don't like crowds.

I like pluto's first album (red light syndrome), but I really love their new material (hence the album purchase). I recommend the cd, but live is even better!

runninghouse @ shadows tonight. I will remember my camera this time.

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