[d3v0 lifeblog]

A blog of the newly hedonistic d3vo.

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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


Morse Code is Sexy?

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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 :)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!!

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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

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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.

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

Vista

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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

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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.

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

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

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

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

Guys and Dating

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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?"

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* 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!!

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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.