[d3v0 lifeblog]

A blog of the newly hedonistic d3vo.

Zero-sum World Economy

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These articles are an interesting talk about our possible near future. They are written by an Economist for the Financial Times magazine.

The dangers of living in a zero-sum world economy.

Welcome to a world of runaway energy demand.

d4vo

--

Pump Class Etiquette

--
I was doing pump class the end of last week, quite hard after work on a Friday.

I found myself grunting during the press ups just at the end of the class. We were doing those cross over ones to a fast tempo. Is grunting in a gym class bad etiquette?

Things broke

--
Yesterday was a tough day at the office, things broke in multiple.

The first breakage was a memory leak. I had told the support guy the day before that I believed that our app was going to run out of memory and that we should restart it precautionarily overnight. He thought it would run to Sunday when it gets restarted as a matter of course.

Turns our I was right, our app broke Friday morning. The opps guys restarted the app and within about two minutes hundreds of probably very grumpy and annoyed people had logged on to it again; more than one per second.

The second breakage was some bad date logic that made money move around before it was meant to. This is very very bad. Much refunding of fees and fixups required by customer support people. Very sorry customer report people.

Unfortunately our lead time to fix this problem is measured in days not hours, you need to be very sure that your new patched app is actually better than what you had before.

It is pretty easy to introduce new or more serious bugs when fixing things. Various department heads where still grinding it out to see when we should put a fix in. To compound this issue our testing database was running shonky. We got a DBA off his holiday to try to fix that. Soz DBA guy.

I'll probably get called off holiday to fix things or babysit in the next 10 days myself.

These kinds of breakages are probably inevitable but it makes me cringe big time on the inside. The emotional crumpling generates a lot of stress and pressure.

Yummy Dinner

--
I had a yummy dinner last week. Mussels $1, steak $10, salad $1, diet soda $1, good company $free.

Observe the devastation:



burrp!

Coffies I Like

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I like these tasty coffee's

  • Supreme
  • Ripe
  • Gravity
  • Havana
  • Fuel
  • Mojo

Point And Click Gaming

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Here is a tasty selection of point and click gaming goodness.

http://gamesuy.blogspot.com/2007/12/top-10-point-and-click-games.html

D.

Moron :)

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Oh joyus animated gifs!

Click, wait a bit, then watch the moron :)

Breakupsies

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I am breakupsies with ms_who. This makes me a bit vunderable and lonely but nothing spectacular.

However this causes the guy part of my brain to construct this list for various purposes:
- hot chick from mr_planes 30th who was engaged/ married
- friend-not-in-the-country number 1
- friend-not-in-the-country number 2
- never-single-at-same-time-girl
- old friend
- girl-in-other-nz-city number 1
- girl-in-other-nz-city number 2
- wellingtonian okcupid stalker girl

PS, be wary of rebounding d3vo.

Welcome, Mr Flash

--
Welcome, mr_flash. His blog is here.

He is staying with me a bit too while he looks for a flat nearby. We shall menace the street like wasps on our hotted up kick scooters :)

Word Geekery

--
The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its
yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings
for common words.

coffee, n. the person upon whom one coughs.

flabbergasted, adj. appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

abdicate, v. to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

esplanade, v. to attempt an explanation while drunk.

willy-nilly, adj. impotent.

negligent, adj. absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a
nightgown.

lymph, v. to walk with a lisp.

gargoyle, n. olive-flavored mouthwash.

flatulence, n. emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been
run over by a steamroller.

balderdash, n. a rapidly receding hairline.

testicle, n. a humorous question on an exam.

rectitude, n. the formal, dignified bearing adopted by
proctologists.

pokemon, n. a Rastafarian proctologist.

oyster, n. a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
Frisbeetarianism, n. the belief that, after death, the soul flies up
onto the roof and gets stuck there.

circumvent, n. an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by
Jewish men.

Browser Stuff

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I'm slowly watching the browser scene for usage on this site. I want Mozilla to get more than %50, but it still has a way to go. It is however getting there slowly :)

Cheese in a can

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Although there is a lot of good eating in Seattle, you can still find cheese in a can.



mr_alligator showing his cheese eating technique!

Blade Runner, take 3

--



Wired interviewed Ridley Scott about the third release of Blade Runner. I hope they do a blueray version too.

The interview is here, and quite fascinating for you/ us sci-fi nuts.

Work Party

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We had a cool dressup party for work on a Thursday. It was a no-speech nibbles, dinner, drinks and dancing evening. The project manager from the business side turned out to be a dj! Between us I think we have a full set of dj gear.



ms switzerland, obscured by a cowboy.



A gaisha



Austin powers and an English punter.



Cleopatra.



The short end of the very long table.

Unlikely

--
Went to billies party last weekend. Heard some bands play including billies. I don't really like the genre of his band however, it is my least favourite music genre.

Ran into un unlikely trio. It is difficult to get these three people together. So difficult in fact that nobody tries.



Space time must have had a cold to allow this to happen.

Stag vs Groom

--



A stag, caught he the headlight and momentarily stunned. Notice the unchecked name on his t-shirt, he hadn't even drunk his name yet! (cafe Istanbul)



Groom, wearing a half-windsor knotted tie tied by myself. I did the all the groomsmen too so that we would match. The button hole was a little tricky to get on. The trick is to put the pin in horizontally so that it opposes the force of the flower.

He looks more comfortable in the tie than in the cowboy hat. I quite like the cowboy hat, I thought it made him look cool.

Cracking Weather on Sunday

--


Nice day for a barbie it was!

Come to my Sunday Barbeque

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Today (Sunday 2nd December 2007) I am barbering, the first barbeque of the summer. Bring your meat and I will sear it :)

Some salads, breads, cold drinks and beats provided. Hope to see you soon.

Flossing

--

Cafe

--

ms_little_sister is not sure about her designer dress! She got a dress tailored for her out of a couch covering fabric as a way to advertise it. I convinced her not to rid herself of it, it is retro cool!!



We both liked the food though. Mmm, sweet mamas cafe!

Fedora Core 8 Config

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There is a pretty complete Fedora Core 8 setup guide to be found here. It is actually quite a bit cooler than the cheesy logo shown above.

The only extra bit I've needed so far is to do a

sudo yum -y install eclipse-platform

:-)

Fedora Core 8 is smokin'

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I'm downloading Fedora Core 8 with Bittorrent, it is the newest version of my favourite operating system.. It is downloading very fast!! Note that it has 12 percent to go in 22 minutes.

The impressive thing is that the Fedora Core 8 Dvd is 3.3 gigs!!



Tssss...

Temporary Flatties

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I have some temporary flatties. They are a bit blurry however:

Movember Cupcakes

--


The cupcakes have chocolate moustaches, very neat. Work takes its fund raising quite seriously. As a contractor I end up buying one of everything out of a sense of obligation.

Hairdress

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My hairdresser with her new shiny reddy-brown colour and cut. Suits her nice soft roundy face. Mmm.

not-kates 30th

--
Twas not-kates 30th last night. We dined pseudo-middle-eastern then went to a pub for some drinks.

I bought not-kate a Vodka and coke, then as we moved downstairs I got us both a Chartreuse. I think Chartreuse is really nice; zesty, spicy, sharp, sweet but most of all balanced. It tastes like the smell of sweet freshly cut green grass.

not-kates reaction to the Chartreuse was to clamp her hand on mouth like it was burning. It is possible her delicate feminine palette was not prepared in the prior moment, and that her mouth may have in fact been burning.



not-kate made sure every body go layed, including herself.



not-kate about to blow out the cake that her mother made for her.



not-kate double fisting later in the evening, the drink in her left hand is a vodka and coke.

iPod => Computer

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There are several deliberate holes in the iTunes software. The big one is that it is one way. It doesn't want to put music from your iPod back onto your computer if it can help it.

To fix this there are a class of programs that fill the gap. I'm using this one right now shuffe things off my iPod to a second computer.

yamipod


--

In other news my 17inch Philips LCD died again. That is three deaths in 4 years, not a great record. This one isn't covered by warranty, bums!

Time to upgrade to a 23 wide, yah!

Sore Arms!

--
It is Saturday and my arms are still very sore from Pump class on Wednesday. I am having a lot of trouble getting my arms up to put my manbag over my head, oucheee!

I booked a room at Te Mata Lodge for mr_houserenovator1's wedding in Feb, which is also art deco weekend. I'll be djing the wedding, will be a monster weekend.

I took a bunch of the neat prints I bought in Seattle to the framer this morning. I will have some very cool art my on walls but that framing is expensive!

To The Gym

--
I figured out several things while I was away, I'm going to talk about my body in this post.

Firstly I kind of miss some aspects of the body I had when I was ten years younger. I haven't seem my abs for a while and could do with some general upper body toning.

Some aspects of my body are a lot more advanced than they were ten years ago. My general endurance is a lot more developed than it was ten years ago, as I figured out when tramping late last year.

The ability for my legs to take untold repetitions at light and medium loads with almost no next day effects is kind of cool. I really have to do something pretty horrible to them before they complain.

So I'm back to the gym as of today to get some more upper body toning and strength. I'm going to do classes this time. This works better than when I was at the gym last, there is now a Les Mills in the hutt and two within walking distance from work, I've got many classes to choose from.

Tonight was body pump, a high repetition light weight aerobics class featuring barbells. It would be nice if it made me look like this but that won't happen with this class alone.



My arms are so tired right now that typing is uncomfortable. Someone called on the phone earlier and I had to keep holding the phone in different arms to stop them burning. I may have trouble dressing myself tomorrow morning. mr_westend will be pleased I'm sure.

My Wedding Speech

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All three groomsmen gave a short speech, including me. Well, I really read a short story rather than a traditional speech. Here it is with speaking emphasis.
--

Take a look at the composed couple before you, now I'll take you back in time :)

I walked into a bar, late afternoon, slacking off from some algorithm design.

I sat in a booth, got handed some cider, it was somebody else's round.

I drank, it was late summer.

There were six of us, lively conversation ensued.

I got up to buy a round, waited at the counter,


t u m b l e w e e d s . . .


I glanced to my left down the l o n g bar, waiting for the order.

I saw mr_noob down the bar, dressed smart casual. He'd done something with his hair, for perhaps, the first time ever. I smelled cologne.

I scooped up my drinks and sidled over to say hello.

He returned the expression and introduced a women next to him.

They both looked uncomfortable, she had just walked in.

I invited them to join my table if it took their fancy.

Mr_noobs mouth said maybe later, his body said no way!

At this point the woman next to him, who was clearly his date, politely said “thanks”, I wondered off.

I'd just met ms_organisatrix for the first time, about a minute later than mr_noob.

The magic of Wellington is that you can meet anyone anywhere, but Wellington is a hard mistress, she likes to clump, good thing stogether.

Wedding: mr_noob & ms_organisatrix

--
Went to the wedding of mr_noob and ms_organisatrix yesterday. It was a cool wedding. We did photos first, wedding second. Was fun but exhausting. Here are some nice photos.





The groomsmen before setting out at about 11:15 in the morning.



The view from The Pines.



Cake cutting. Mmmm, cake.




Sparklers

Congrats mr_noob and ms_organisatrix!! :-)

Fav Holiday Japan Photos

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Now that I'm back at home and have a proper workstation to work with, here are some of my favorite photos from Japan.



Bamboo forest surrounding a temple.



A cool pad down mr_foodies street.



Tokyo fish market.



Kyoto castle, the one with the nightingale floors.




A Japanese garden, part of the castle shown above.

Mr_noobs stag

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When you are one degree of separation from the stag, this acts as a kind of restraint against what you get the stag to do. This might be some kind of natural behave-in-kind type thinking that stems from worry about vengeance.

When there are two degrees of separation between the stag and a member of the stag party, well lets just say that loosens things up a little.

At first mr_noob was most uncomfortable with his light blue shiny plastic cowboy hat. He seemed to get used to it eventually.

His thoughts on the stag challenge t-shirt seems to alter as the night went on. He eventually figured out how to use it as a tool, a good sign for any human. Those permanent marker pens sure got a lot of use on it.

My hazed recollections have several high points that I will recount:

Several members chanting "dance monkey boy dance" as mr_noob wandered toward the tables of dancing 21 year old women in dresses to join them. They played with his hat, of course.

Laughing very hard at mr_noob and mr_scottish singing kareoke at K club. Very very funny and unexpected to hear the scottish accent in that setting.

Various spankings at the electric avenue. He may have some red marks there. Sorry about that ms_organisatrix!

Bit Tired today

--
I'm feeling the effects of staying awake lots yesterday. At least I slept and eat in the right timezone yesterday, but am bit slow on it this morning.

Back

--
Hi all,

I'm back in Wellington. Mum thought I was back a few days ago and left a voice mail message to that effect, bless her. But really I was meant to be back today!

I got up around 9am in Seattle on Wednesday. It's now 9:30am on Friday morning and I've been travelling since then to get here. Even counting for the day lost over the date line it still a long time not to sleep properly.

I'll be staying awake by running errands and drinking lots of good coffee. Some good coffee in Seattle and some in London, but you had to seek that stuff out with a lot of enthusiasm.

Back in Petone, a luscious mochaccino is only a 15 mintue walk away :-)

Oh, and must organise the stag do t-shirt. But first of all a shower!

The Little Red Hen

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Went with the aligator to an nearby island, taking his tidy '66 Dodge Dart across on a ferry. We drove about and walked on some smooth stoned beaches.

We got lunch at an authentic looking bar/ resteraunt place. The hard looking, curt but pleaseant waitress took our order.
"Would you like a drink?"
"Do you have a house red?", I asked.
"No", she replied with a small shake of her head. I got the feeling that she had pegged me as a non-beer drinker before she approached and that she was expressing disappointment but not a lack of surprise at my request.
"I'll have a coke please."

We started with small bowls (the size was called a cup) of clam chowder. Tasty stuff, a little delicate in flavour. The soup came with little crackers to put in the soup and a larger crackers to eat with the soup.

I only got about half my chilli-cheese burger, there was a lot of it. I made a crass comment about serving sizes and how I was able to get my days worth of eating done all at once.

A woman behind the alligator made her order, "A big bowl of chowder, calamari with onion rings and a diet pepsi.". The womans clamari rings had most of the volume of a loaf of bred, and her aoili was bigger than my soup serving.

--
We went to a fort, sort of pre-world-war-two ear. It was big with tons of concrete. There were concrete pillars that looked modern but hinges and railings that looked kind of victorian.

At the beach below various previous visitors had stacked a 'tee-pee' of washed up logs, and its structure was still extant. We hefted another log onto the a.

--
The litte red hen is a country and western bar not far from the aligators place.

It was a quiet monday night, but they had this awesome band playing, country and western with a slide guitar. The band was very very sharp, playing for tips and free drinks. There were some quite skilled country and western partner dancers there, dancing there unusual looking 8 beat variant, a cousin of my cherrished lindy-hop.

A great day of off the beaten track tourism, my favourite kind.

Seattle day1

--
I had a massage today. Not a great massage, I think my body probably needs some days on the table to get unknotted. She said my left foot and right foot and left calf and right calf are different sizes.

Have discovered a vintage prints shop and I bought a bunch of prints. Some postcard sized, some bigger ones too in immediately usable plastic sleeve frames thingies.

Also got some line art pictures by a local artist.

Going to go and hang in a bar called 'The Alibi' in a few minutes and read some of the biography of Malcolm X.

D.

Seattle

--
It is Friday morning, I'm in the aligators large bedroom. To get here took many forms of transport,
- walking with
- the London underground 'tube'
- the Heathrow Express overland trane
- a Leufthansa flight in the wrong direction from London to Frankfurt
- a Leufthansa flight in the right direction to Vancouver
- got in double length airport bus to get to the terminal
- travellator across the airport
- turboprop connector plane
- driverless interterminal train
- commuter bus from the airport
- the aligators girlfriends 4x4

I didn't do any sea transport, sorry about that!

D.

Extra day, Oops!

--
I'll tell you now to avoid the embarrisment of recounting this face to face later.

I have an extra day in London. I remembered I was leaving on Wednesday morning, but it turns out I'm actually leaving on Thursday morning. So I have an extra day to mooch around in london.

I feel a visit to the post office is comming on to mail home various books I'm reading, then perhaps a train trip to oxford to do a spot of shopping.

Is good. Also drink tea. Much tea. And send mr_engineer text messages about meat. Mmm, meat.

--
I went to Key gardens today with my aunt. Nice gardens with large abstract sculptures in them. Very pretty.


Morse Code is Sexy?

--
I've been thinking about learning morse code, as kind of an extension of my texting skills. Let me explain: skin to skin private silent conversations in public spaces.

The casually drapped arm, with a finger tucked under a garment of clothing, tapping away some side channel thought.

Just thinking, you could slag off a movie to your girlfriend in theatre without disturbing anyone. Or perhaps you could send backchannel messages across a dinner table :)

--

Other codes and input forms a geek ends up learning too:
- no look non-predicitve texting on your mobile
- touch typing, on english and us keyboard layouts and their 3 or 4 commercial varients
- grafitti for your palm pilot, probably both the old and new versions
- writting, learnt both long tailed old fashion and the new stuff
- printing
- binary
- hex
- simple text cyphers
- calculator writting
- bulletin board derived contractions, smilies and actions

What is one more, really?

Edinburgh and the Scottish

--
I like Edinburgh, it is a very nice city. Not the best weather, but the city is very livable and much more Wellington like than the other UK cities I have been to.

I stayed there with mr_accelerando and ms_sigma_rider, long time friends from a grad program I was on in 2000 at my first serious web programming job.

I ate haggis, went to a 30th, drank cider, caught up with ms_terious_pixie too, drank a couple of half decent cups of coffee and walked up arthurs seat. Smaller than it looks, arthurs seat.

The Scottish I like a lot. Kiwis seem much more similar to the Scottish than they do the English. The scottish say tramping for tramping and know about outdoor sports and what to do with proper hills, which is to bag them.

Edinburgh is a very very photogenic place, endlessly castlelike things round each corner. I liked the modern architecture of the parliament buildings, they look quite kiwi and beachy to my eyes.

The food in Edinburgh seemed better than the food in London. I wonder if all the pollution kind of gets into the raw ingredients in London and makes the food tast bland.

Off to bed, a backpackers, I'm staying at my first paid accomodation since Kyoto, about a month ago!

Killing Time

--
I'm in another internet cafe back in dirty London killing time before my train to Edinburgh. Looks like it is going to be dark by the time I get there.

I got past by many squeaky cyclists on the way to the train station in Cambridge. I'm not sure that its residents understand the need to libricate gears with oil. Wasn't England first to the industrial revolution?

My last memory of Cambridge is a large bicycle park next to the train station. It must have had about a thousand bikes in it, way cool.

Cambridge

--
Cambridge, a city of students, old bulidings, pubs and bicycles. Very picturesque. I went punting this morning on the river Cam. I'd show you some images but blogger is not able to upload for me right now. This internet cafes' sub-dialup internet connection may be messing with my multi-megabyte images.

The building are very old, many from aroung 1600. There are lots of bridges but only a single public one. The buildings are very pretty and classical, made of red bricks and light coloured stone blocks. The windows and doors on them are amazing.

Cambridge is about an hour from London by fast train, which is about £30 return. Coffee here took a turn for the worse, cream from a can has appeared :P

Last night had dinner with mr_engineer and mr_flash at The Eagle. Really really good pub food from a really good pub food menu. Got some vegetable with my dinner even. I drink a punch of half pints of ciders but got pretty drunk anyway.

mr_flash had issues today with his ale that he drunk last night, some might say an allergy? He was back to London, but we'll meet tomorrow to go to Edinburgh. Need to sort out where we are staying.

Tonight is beer wednesday with mr_engineer. I'm looking forward to it and another pub meal. Not sure quite what the mood is at a beer wednesday when I'll be drinking cider again, but I'm sure they can put me down as a foreinger.

Dancing at the 100 Club

--
I went dancing at the 100 club tonight and also Monday last week. There is a short 45 minute lesson followed by social dancing to a swing dj and also a live band.

The 100 club is at 100 Oxford street and undergroud. It was a half dancing away floor that isn't entirely flat, a big stage for a band, a bar, some columns to dance around a lots of dark red paint.

The evening starts with an optional warmup where they teach a solo routine that the whole dancefloor dances at once along with called options from the dj. Takes about ten minutes to learn followed by a runthrough with a song. It took me about ten minutes to forget the routine too!

The lessons are good but very condensed. They don't include any counting. Also nobody asks any questions. I found the intermediate class a little challenging.

Little five bar routinelette from last week starting open

  • Do a lindy circle to close (8)
  • Do half a charleston then kick step back step back (8, traverse back)
  • Repeat (8, traverse back)
  • Do half a charleston then three additional kick steps forward (10, traverse forward)
  • Do a tuck turn or similar to open (6)

Routinelette from this week, complex, about 7 bars, from open handshake hold
  • Do a rockstep tripplestep turning the follow anticlockwise, leading her forward a little and circling around her clockwise, then 5 6 turn some more but leading your right hand onto the follows hip with her hand still holding yours, then 7 and 8 complete the turn offering your left hand to her left hand. (8)
  • Do kick the dog in the this special closed position as normal but with 3 complete kicks (8 traverse forward)
  • dirctly into Do slow step slow step quick quick quick quick mirrored stepping as per kick the dog (8 traverse forward)
  • direcly into kick the dog variant, do two forward kicks, in the 5 & 6 turn her out anticlockwise still holding both hands, then 7 & 8 into two hand crossed up open position (8 turn out to open special)
  • do a rockstep with the leads right hand 1 & 2 then pull her through the crossing 3 & 4 then do a rock step with the left hand pull her though again. The mens footwork here is weird. Rock step tripple step then kick hitch step hold all with the right foot. The balance here is tricky (8)
  • repeat (8)
  • Do a reverse turn out back into the alternate closed position (6)
New move for me is a reverse lindy circle, anticlockwise. Lead with anticlockwise body rotation lead at 2.5 beats then circle anticlockwise.

Nelsons Phallic Column & Real Coffee in London!!

--
Cracker day today in London today, let me note.

The military like to mix phallic symbols and insignia, but Nelsons column takes this to a new level. Take a look at this shot.



Here we can see the column with Nelson standing on top. Notice that the long ribbed column has a little platform bulging near the top. There are dark bronze lions at the base of the column.

Guess how many lions? Two. Dodgy.

I caught up with mr_engineer and mrs_jodie_foster. I snuck up behind them and took photo while they were distracted by strange dancing jewish people :P



mrs_jodie_foster has an elephant like ability in her Wellingtonian genetic makeup. Just as an elephant is born knowing acient migrationary patterns to find water across the desert, mrs_jodie_foster can find her way through seedy backstreet allyways of London to good coffee in the otherwise desolate landscape.

Here are some find tasting coffees in the very kiwi-style cafe called Flat White. They didn't look at me in a confused way when I ordered a Mochacinno, a common occurrence in London!!



Nice ferns here in this one :)

The Night Bus

--
It's 3:22 am, just got back from mr_flashes combined birthday thingy. To get home I took a nightbus with some friends then another by myself.

On the nightbus is a great example of what happens when you combine a cheap supply of powerful illegal narcotics to some mentally underdeveloped youths. I think these people are called chavs in their local dialect.

There were loud and annoying, bordering on a kind of gutteral call and response form of communication within their pack. There were discussing whether to buy somthing illegal from a dealing who had texted them, and where hoping the dealer would 'buff' them.

They were the story of young people more interested in the dark side of a big city than the light side of their youth.

My friends from NZ that I caught the first bus home with warned me that I should take the top level of the bus to avoid these people, but I took the bottom deck on the N7 to see the chavs in their late night debauched state for myself.

--
The nightbuses in London seem to start with the letter N, a nice and simple notation.

Vista

--
I'm using the computer at twotreesandahorse place which is a vista pc. He's got a nice shiny black HP slimline thing, with a big 19 inch widescreen screen in shiny black. It's the first time I've used vista for two days in a row.

It occurs to me that the shiny blackness of his computer case is to match the black shinyness of Vista, a nice piece of design sympathy.

However to me Vista itself looks like highly polished dark evil, an excellent design reflection of Microsoft.

Winchester with the trees

--
Am hanging in Winchester with the trees. Been looking at the large cathedral here. It is very very big and very very old. Camera ran out of batteries, bought lots of postcards.

There are lots of engraving from the 16th century inside the church, in honour of dead people. Some is in Latin that I cannot read, but the rest is 16th centry english. The fonts look pretty familiar and the wording is a bit dated, but very readable 400 years later.

body => bodi and bodie
majesty => majefty

This is really a remarkable feat, 400 years is something like 12 generations.

--
Clotted cream is like cream that is most of the way to butter, but not very buttery tasting. Good with jam, bad with arteries.

--
Saw an accountant about tax things, tax seems a little better here, need to check with friends to see what they are on about.

--
Went jogging with twotreesandahorse tonight, will do a circuit class at a gym with him tomorrow which I might not survive!

--
English keyboards, the at symbols '@' and the quote mark '"'are reversed, what is up with that??

Guys and Dating

--
Here is my response to not-kates breaking news.

You should start your reconsideration of this man by asking yourself the central relationship questions a guy would ask*.

  1. Are you engaged when the other person talks?
  2. Do you want to get in the other persons pants?
  3. Are you unirritated by their behaviours?
If you are a guy and the answer to all of these is yes then you are going to think of them as somebody you could date given opportunity. If you are a guy and you only say yes to the second question then your libedo is trying to lead you astray.

The rest of your concerns are valid, but secondary, and address issues such as the way people try to frame themselves on the social pecking order.

The five day rule is about power stripping, ie I can wait five days before I call you because I am less interested, thus I am in a more powerful bargaining position.

This is good negotiation tactics but is very dangerous for a relationship. If a false expectation of busyness or success is conveyed then you just irritate the other person meaninglessly.

So I think not-kate should make contact and attempt to discern what the guy has been up to. Not-kate seems pretty irritated by his non-contact behaviour so I think she should ask him something fairly harsh like:

"I was hoping you would ask me out on a third date a couple of weeks ago, but you didn't and I'm disappointed about that. Why not?"

--

* A difficulty for me is that I currently have a fourth question:
  • Is the other person roughly your `equal` in life?
This question is tricky, some people explicitly don't want to date their rough equals, stereotypes like gold diggers and sugar daddies. It is also highly subjective and effected by age. A 20 year old hasn't had any time to really do anything apart from go through the same systems as everybody else.

If there are differences in life experience, income or free time then you get into a sort of default power stripping mode. This makes it difficult to be collaborators as equals which is central to the activities that I think are fun!

Pies and Improv Comedy

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Met ms_painted_nails (hello!) and friends at midday today. We wandered around the markets at which I bought some cool mock-sepia postcards and a vintage tie.

Then we ate pies and mash for lunch and drank a bunch of cider at a pub called The Commercial. Good stuff!!

--

I then met twotreesandahorse and mrs trees at Liecester Square. Twotreesandahorse had gotten tickets to the Sunday evening session of improvised comedy at The Comedy Club. Similar in format but longer than Whose Line Is It Anyway.

The session was an hour, but we got there early for drinks, dinner and to grab good seats which are not allocated.

I ate a chicken burger thingy with lots of half decent fries washed down with a g&t and a bottle of cider, at least my third for the day!

The improv started and was very good. They played the interview game, various singing games, the positions game and others.

In one game where a guy had to guess his rediculous profession which was checking that the Pope had balls using a magnifying glass while wearing a deep sea diving suit with a whimpy when it was his birthday. The other actors gave him similar word hints.

Most exciting of all was one of the improv actors, the absolutely fabulous improv actor Josie Lawrence, from TV!

A great day, but I am tired now.

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Post 234!! W00t!! Roll on post 345.

Near Tottenham Court

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Here are a couple of snaps of a friends office build and the park it overlooks. Pretty sweet!




Swing Dancing

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Went to swing dancing tonight.

I learnt a new lindy hop basic (apparently) in the begginers course, it was

  1. left kick
  2. right kick
  3. rock step
We did this in the routine
  • two open
  • two closed (bal-style)
  • one closed move of six kicks ending open
That was new and fun. First big difference is in the close position. As taught the lead puts there hand all the way around the follows back so that it rests on the follows right hip. I got told not to do this by Mattias and Hanna, so go figure.

The class itself was monster, must be at least 150 dancers squished into four rows. The women rotated seven (7) past at a time so that we could get a lap of rotation in!!

The teacher taught the class mostly from the stage, where he also djed from. He had a microphone. He had a follow with him, but really just as a prop, she didn't have a microphone. He played with the lights a little, there were pinky-red spots around the place.

His style was interesting, not much emphasis on counting, more emphasis on describe the movements and demonstrating them. Lots of dancing and music in the class though.

The intermediate class stated with the Madison as warmup. Tonight they finished teaching the madison sequence which means I must be about half way through the block of classes.

They taught a lindy circle and two charleston move variations. Frame got little mention but mostly ingnored. The footwork got a little mention but also not emphasised.

The lindy circle to close was taught with what I think of as a fudging of hands and a non-existant lead. There is no special signal to show that the move is a lindy-circle instead of a swingout. This means the lead needed to fudge hand position from left shoulder blade to hip.

After was social dancing which was relaxed and fun. Only a single period dress though, and one guy with a cheese cutter. Not very dressed up.

As a whole the dancers seemed to know lots of moves, but the timing and framing looked pretty pants. Lots of lazy feet, lazy leading, fugding and dancing off the eights. People dancing a bit upright for my liking and didn't seem to use their abs very much.

I got asked to dance by lots of women and had a good time. Not a euphoric time, but a good one :)

Lindy Hop and Ruggers

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Swing to be danced, from the London Swing Dance Society:

TUESDAYS

Wild Times
Lindy Hop & Balboa Classes & Dancing

Every Tuesday
with dance champSimon Selmon

Successfully teaching 1,000’s of students
Lindy Hop since 1986

No need to book - Just Turn Up!

Wild Court, 4 Wild Court London, WC2B 4AU
Wild Times

(From Holborn tube head towards the Strand,
Wild Ct is next to Belgo's. Easy parking on Kingsway after 7pm)

Two rooms, bar & dancing after the classes

Savoy :
7.15pm Beginners Lindy Hop
8.15pm Begs-Intermediate Lindy Hop
9.15-11pm DANCING! £4

Apollo :
7.15pm Authentic Jazz
8.15pm Intermediate II Lindy

Admission for classes & dancing £11/£10 membs
Beginners Lindy Hop only £6/£5
Dancing & bar 9.15-11.30pm, £4

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Ruggers to watch, times as UK times.

Sat 6 Oct Australia v
England

Marseille 1400
Sat 6 Oct New Zealand
v France
Cardiff 2000
Sun 7 Oct South Africa v Fiji
Marseille 1400
Sun 7 Oct Argentina v Scotland
Saint Denis
2000

Rugby Translation

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For wanisan and many others, a Byron Kelleher rugby to english translation:

"They are big boys
Our tight five or forward pack is large, even by international standards. They are all 110 kilos at least. They include specialised farm work derivative training in order to avoid breaking their spines when they scrummage.

and they hoe in up front
Our tight five are very fit and active at the breakdown, around the fringe and in the rucks and malls.

and we put the acid on at half time for our tight five to really step up a bit more
We set a challenge for our tight five to be more active at the half time because we didn't think they were satisfactorially physically dominating their less massive opponents.

and create a bit of a platform for us especially at the breakdown."
We wanted more stability and predicatbility when extracting the ball from the random pile of bent bodies that is called a ruck, which accumulates in the ensuing contest for the ball after a tackle has been made.

Kensington and Chelsea, and Rowhedge, Essex

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Been in England for 4 nights now. I've been staying at or with my Aunt, at one or other of her places.

My aunts London flat is in Kensington and Chelsea a little north of Ladbroke Grove tube station. It is cute and comfy. I stayed there Wednesday night and Thursday night.

On Friday morning I went to some markets that I can't remember the name of. I got a cool digital watch with a wide chunky brown leather strap.

In the afternoon we drove out of the city to a semi rural village called Hedgerow near an edge of Essex, about a 2 hour drive. It is near Colchester and directly across the river from Wivenhoe.

Down the river is the hilariously named FingringHoe. When you say this out loud what I hear is "fingering ho" ;)

It was warm and sunny in this part of the country for most of the weekend. I did some cooking with my Aunt and we went on some walks. I also did some jogging and some yoga.

The local pub, which is semi-attached to my aunts place, had Brightstone cider on tap. Both much less acidic and much less fizzy than the stuff you get in NZ.

My aunt place in Hedgerow is a smugglers cottage. It is very small but super cute. It is some hundreds of years old but has new plumbing, damp course, floors etc. The walls and ceilings have a kind of adobe look to them that is very relaxing.

On Saturday night we went to see Atonement, which was a great movie to see vaguely near the country. We saw it in Colchester, think Masterton for an NZ equivalent.

No photos yet, I need to buy an SD card reader gizmo.

Rundon (London)

--
"You are travelling to Rundon today?" enquired the Japanese native woman at the checking counter for Leufthanser. "Yes" I replied with a quirky smile.

The day had started early in Nogizaka at mr_foodies place. I got up early, bid him an early farewell. Workers in Japan don't sleep much as far as I can tell. It was very early morning and 24 degrees celcius.

I bustled to the local station, then across a bit of central tokyo from Otemachi station on the Chiyoda line to the Nariata express line which is in Tokyo station. Got on the train with a minute to spare in a mild stress and exersion induced sweat.

At Narita airport I got into the short slow-moving queue for the checkin counter. The helpful assistant tried to help me do the self checking thing but the machine couldn't make any sense of my "cledit-cardo".

I slept most of the way between Narita and Frankfurt, then zombied my way onto my flight to Heathrow. Somewhere over the english channel I changed out of my shorts and into some jeans to deal with Londons daytime temperature of 13 degrees celcius.

The immigration and customs path through Heathrow took almost no time at all, a very short physicial path, perhaps a fifth the distance at Wellington??

I met ms_english_aunt at the gate. She is looking extra blonde at the moment, the kind of hair cut and colour that would delight a Japanese woman. She drove me back to her cute little flat in Kensington and Chelsea. We talked lots about our family last night, great stuff.

It will be a few days before I'm over my zombie inducing jet lag state, but I woke up around 6:30, pretty good for a first day.

Tokyo Blur

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It's midday on the my last day in my week long blur in Japan. Feeling a bit confuddled at this point.

Thursday afternoon I went to see sumo wrestling. It is good entertainment, and as it was a weekday a few days before the end of the two week tournament the crowds were light.

I ordered my first thing using entirely japanese from the snack bar "sumemasen, ume shu ga arimaska" which means "excuse me, do you have plum liquor?". I've been drinking a lot of fortified plum wine, it's good stuff.

Thursday evening I went with some drink with mr_foodie and we wandered through some of Tokyo before heading in early.

At about about 5:30 or so we got up and headed to the Tokyo fish market. It was a scary and busling place, I had the constant feeling I was about to be run over. Lots of fish mungers running around in their "mighty cars", kind of motorised trolley things.

We order a bunch of delicious fish for breakfast, bite sized bits of cooked eel, tuna as soft as butter. I struggled with the raw spear squid, it was very chewy. Washed down with Nihhon cha.

We navigated some trains to get to our shinkansen. We took a trip equivalent from Wellington to Auckland via train. Took about 2 hours. At peak time a shinkansen left the platform we were at every six minutes.

The shinkansen was about a dozen carriages, each holding about 70 people or so. I lot like an passenger jet interior.

I dozed a bit on my way to Kyoto. We got there late morning and found our hotel. Very polite hotel staff.

We got a bus and went to see a Buddhist temple nestled amongst a bamboo forest. Very calm except for the mosquitoes.

I grabbed a competent filter coffee while we waited for a bus back to town. It wove through little streets that are normal in Japan. We headed out to another large temple in the middle of town.

Higashi Honganji temple was huge, consisting of two large temple buildings. I meditated in the temple for a while, the place had a nice warm happy spiritual feeling to it, much more approachable than a catholic church.

Later we headed to the 'downtown' district of Kyoto. We went to some bars and chatted to a few people. The bars are tiny, really tiny, about the size of my bedroom. We went to a jazz bar, a barred called swing top, a ramones themed bar and a french styled cafe. We taxied home.

We got up just before checkout, checked out, checked some baggage and headed for a castle. This one had been build to a shogun as a giant bling castle.

The shogun had wanted to out bling the emporer at the time. This meant using lots of gold. Gold covered ceilings and walls. Also, the paranoid shogun had made all his floors squeaky so that you couldn't sneak up on him. Nightingale floors.

We went back to the french cafe for a late lunch. It was a good walk through bits of inner kyoto. Lots of little streets and mini-businesses. We ate tapenade, bread, ham, pomme frets washed down with a house red for me and a fancy euro beer for mr_foodie.

I dozed a bit on the shinkansen back to Tokyo. We watched some rugby and got to bed at a reasonable time in anticipation of a monster next day.

Up earlyish I helped mr_foodie to tidy his house. For a tokyo house mr_foodie has a huge place. A complete spare room with double bed and a small deck, separate water closed and bathroom, it is a good sized apartment in any city.

We got the placed squared away and went and got 10,000 of ice, which we would latinise as ¥10,000. All that ice went into mr_foodies bath, which he then filled with local and imported boutique beer.

About 3pm guests started arriving, and the place filled steadily until 5pm when we started to barbeque things.

mr_foodie had about 4 cubic feet of lamb, tai style chicken, blacked fish, lamb chops, tender loins and local sausages. All demolished by the crowd.

Oddly to me someone turned up with a dozen bananas and I took it upon myself to bbq those too. This meant a trip to the hanamasa store "sumemasen, aru foiru ga arimaska".

Into foil squares I put peeled split bananas, brown sugar, maple and brandy. Twenty minutes over dying embers and we dished them out with french vanilla icecream.

Then it was midnight Tokyo time and we watch the All Blacks game in glorious HD television. Pitty about the game, the all blacks looked bored and the Scottish has given up before they had started.

Then it was 2pm and a small group of us went out to Roppongi, a short taxi ride. We went to a Kareoke building. Apparently the word means empty orchestra. mr_foodie is alergic to kareoke, although it did look like someone might have left their shoes behind.

The building was eight stories high and full of private kareoke rooms. We got a room for five and started ordering drinks. We were in the 11pm to 5am slot. Fixed price per person, all you can drink. Our first order was something like 5 long island ice-teas, a campare and orange and some ume shu.

Our little room had a tv and a kareoke machine and a pair of 700 series bose speakers. There was booth type seating and a couple of little matching roller chairs. It was easily the U2 songs I knew best.

I headed out for a last couple of drinks at 5am, to what appeared to be a Russian mafia bar that claimed it was an aussie bar, go figure.

I walked home at about 6:30am back to mr_foodies, it felt good to try and walk off some of the alcohol.

That made Monday hangover day, cleaning up and grabbing a nice dinner at a place where all the staff know mr_foodie by name.

I've been reading and lazy this morning but I'm going to go for a big walk this afternoon, I'll head over down the boulevard that has the Prada store on it, then find some interior design stores to drool over.

Nogizaka

--
I have made it to Nogizaka, my travels have begun!

Driven to airport then WLG-AKL then AKL to Tokyo airport. Got the NEX train to tokyo station, met mr_foodie and then onto another line to Nogizaka, a short walk down the road from mr_foodies place.

Last night we went to a resteraunt a short walk from his place. We walked down his street to get to the main road to our destination. Along the way we passed a vending machine about every 150 metres. The place is a kind of Japanese tapas bar, we ate lots of yummy things which I washed down with a class of sweet plum wine, not unlike sweet vermouth.

mr_foodie is a good friend from my days back at Unisys. He has got a sweet pad with a spare room, part of his deal with his employer. He has high speed interneto and even get a western style double bed!

This morning I'm going to wander around and take some photos, then try to catch some sumo restling early in the afternoon.

Tokyo is pretty hot this time of year, in the late twenties. I slept under just a sheet. When I woke up it felt like I had forgot to turn off the electric blanket.

My plan to rehydrate myself is to drink a lot of something called POCARI SWEAT. It is a lemonade coloured cloudy liquid. I'm going to try some right now. Tastes like flat lemonade with added electrolites, yum!

Free Beer and Pop

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Rumpusing makes me sleepy! Nice party though guys.

I've got beer and pop left over that I want to give away. I'm about to go on holiday so it will be months before I can use it at another party.

Come to my place and grab some beer and pop from my garden shed. Careful, some of the boxes got wet and aren't very strong. In exchange you will buy me a cherry beer sometime.

D.

Rumpus 07: Today!!

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The Rumpus is today. I can confirm the following DJs:
- DJ Ristofunk
- DJ Sammyh, smooth progressive trance
- DJ Big R, 80s
- DJ Woteva (ms_who), R&B all mixed up
- DJ Apologise
- DJ Andrew Fantastic, 80s
- DJ d4vo (me), house/ trance

See you tonight, it will be huge, my biggest, loudest, craziest party ever!

Rumpus Ho

--
Rumpus preparations are well under way. DJ practices are scheduled for this week. Room number one is prepared, with good progress made towards the others.

See you in 6 days for the Rumpus.

Microsoft vs Apple

--
Read a couple of intesting articles today. One from metafilter which I read each day and another from slashdot which I have read each day for over a decade.

Today I read an article about Apple. They are releasing lots of cool new products today. There are new ipods available today for order which are replacements for their old products. These new ipods are clearly better in many ways than the old ones.



Click here to read if you want to go and watch the hour long keynote about them. I recommend the first 10 minutes to those of you that are curious about how the media world is shifting.

--

The other story I read today is about Microsoft attempting to buy the vote of an international standards organisation called ISO using bribes.

ISO is a standards body. Its standards get used all over the place. One of their standards is used to define the country letters on the end of domain names. This needs to be a well maintained, carefully guarded intellectual jewel so that things like the internet keep working. ISO have done a great job of this for ages. There are more than 400 countries with two digit codes in that standard.

This article goes a long long way to showing that Microsoft has bribed the governments of corrupt countries to support it in its bid to make office file formats an international standard. They call it OOXML.

The problem with OOXML is that it is not implementable. The standard as currently defined by Microsoft is a junk standard. Microsoft wants to do this to maintain it position as a convicted monopolist in productivity software. It made the standard junk so that it can have no meaningful competitors for the file format.



--

One of these companies wants to have a positive impact on the world and the other doesn't. What I don't understand is why choose the evil path and follow it with such verve?

Plan B

--
I've talked to you about my plan B. Yes you on my sidebar, you at the pub.

I'm going to be in a position in the next year to start serious work on my plan B to get out of society as I know it. I have some money RIGHT NOW but I need to do some research, I need to pick my grandmothers brain while she is still around.

Our society with its Mochaccinos and XBOX 360s isn't going to work out. Bio-diesel isn't the answer exactly because it puts up the global price of food contributing to global starving. Net return on energy from oil is starting to get silly.

If your remember me ranting about this stuff my plan B is this:
- find some people
- buy some land together
- drill a well on it, if necessary
- buy some insulated shipping containers
- read a bunch of books on farming
- assemble a mighty pile of hand tools
- plant fruit and nut trees

At the same time personally I need to refocus things on developing my personal revenue streams in a way that let me be in the country some of the time. This is difficult, but solvable in my profession.

Come forth the brave.

Funky Shoes

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At last, after much frustration I have found a shoe store in Wellington that sells funky shoes for men that are not marketed at black people. The shoe store has some of those but it also has delicious mens shoes like these :)