[d3v0 lifeblog]

A blog of the newly hedonistic d3vo.

Kayaking: Must pack now

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Due to the complexity of the friend's highly rostered holiday arrangements, I should really be packing right now for 3 potentially glorious days of kayaking in the Able Tasman national park.

Meal Plan
Meals that work for my vegetarian dancing friend and myself, that are one pot meals, preferable.

Saturday - travel day
Buy all day, buy dinner in Marahau or close by as available.

Sunday - kayak day
breakfast - Maria toast & Marmite?, Damon east chocolate porridge
lunch - crackers, Maria with hummus, Damon with plastic cheese and
dinner - chilli noodles with egg and green beans
snacks - high fat assorted muesli bars, dried apricots, cashew nuts, raisins packets, chippies, assortment of chocolates, beer sticks,

Monday - kayak day
breakfast - as for Sunday
lunch - boiled egg sandwhiches, pears, bananas
dinner - rice with coconut green curried vegetables

Tuesday - kayak day
breakfast - as for Sunday
lunch - as for monday
dinner (not needed but counts as emergency rations) - mashed potato from flakes, kidney beans, hollandaise sauce, dried peas and carrots

Wednesday - travel day
Buy as needed.

To buy
- toast vogels grainy
- vegemite
- eggs, 6
- pears, bananas
- broccolli, potato, carrot, kumara
- UHT milk, light soy
- coconut cream
- profilactics?
- dried apricots, cashew nuts, raisins packets, dried kidney beans
- chippies, assortment of chocolates, beer sticks,
- plastic cheese
- salami
- do I have green curry?

Chemist
- triangle bandage
- squidgy earplugs

Camping
- merino underwear
- water bags
- sun hat with string
- frypan thingy, non stick??

Cafe
- coffee beans



Contract Axed but Win

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I'm out of work from the end of December, officially. I have a letter even, on letterhead. My time at the bank helping to build an awesome Institutional Banking product or two is over, the bean counters have had their day.

I'm ok with this, things have changed at the top of the bank at it doesn't look like fun there for a little while.

There are downsides, I loose working with my awesome colleagues. At 12 years of IT experience I am still kind of the junior by weight of years, which is kind of fun. Also my colleagues are very smart, and don't have egos.

They are very very good at solving problems under utterly intense pressure. The pinches where we have had to problem solve with this job are very tight, and bad things happen not just to the workplace but potentially to the entire country if our software didn't work really really well.

At times it didn't and we fixed it really fast.

I also loose what I'd call my coffee buddy, but what the Americans might call a 'workplace spouse'. It is a good friend who is a confidant and also a colleague, where you have crossed over boundaries normal in workplace relationships.

I'm 32 hours in with this knowledge and I've got 7 leads for new work to chase. I've had to write them down because at 7 leads I need to work the opportunities like a salesman with a big client base.

My plan is to take Jan off and then work again in Feb. I would have mostly done this anyway if my current contract hadn't been trimmed.

I'm not sure to do more of the same but in a bigger, even more awesome team, to do some really really short term consulting, or to do something quite different.

I can filter opportunities by start date and project type, and favour them by language, this should make the process pretty easy. Hope my obscure skill set can be matching to a position, life is good for me when this happens.

Stealing Moves From Children

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This guys has a pile of unusual super cute lindy moves that I must steal sometime.

Stephen Fry is Awesome

Stephen Fry talks about language with great sense, language, delivery and animation :)

Frankie Manning

--
A huge figure in Lindy Hop, this is a heart warming video.


War Games

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I've happily and wasted a bunch of time very very engaged in this WarLight, a flash based Axis and Allies type game. Different rules make it a bit trickier. I'm not through all the missions yet, it does a nice job of ramping up.

WarLight

Can We Date

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This is very funny and not a bad rule of thumb either :)

Click to follow and view the big one.

Auckland vs Melbourne

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As a Wellingtonian, Auckland kind of feels like a mess.

It does have better sports events for me to participate in, and more Lindy Hop for me to participate in, but it is missing some essential things to make me love it:
- it needs to be denser
- it needs enough public transport that you can do your activities without a car
- it needs to feel easier
- it needs some more streets that cars aren't allowed down in the central city

Oddly, it seems like I'm in agreement with John Key, see this stuff article.

Fixing Auckland is a key cultural and economic concern for NZ in my opinion. We need to make Auckland like a smaller Sydney.

With Wellington, Melbourne people say that the feel like Wellington is a mini-Melbourne, and Auckland needs working on until Sydney people say the same thing about Auckland.

Except for the biggotry, racism and lack of egalatarianism that NZers feel about Australians when they go to Australia. Also would prefer better coffee.

I guess we have started by electing one big council. This seems inevitable in order to sort things out. I also hear promising things about new trains which is also essential.

The next thing is that we need to borrow a stupendious amout of money on an 80 year lone to build some long term rail infrastructure. This is what London has been doing for 150 years, it does work mightily but you have to stick at it.

Borrowing billions for city infrastructure doesn't feel very kiwi, but kiwi's prefer big Australian cities to their own, so I guess we are a little scared of being great?

A Map of the Internet

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A cultural and popularity map of the internet by xkcd is here. Great viewing.

Startup Stuff

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A good link of both positive and negative startup stories, really frank and great reading for me.

25 Best Startup Post Mortems

Primer, must see

--
I keep running into cultural references for the move Primer, like this one from XKCD about movie narrative charts. Must buy, must view, I'm missing some essential geek here.

Yoga to Try

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I've received Yoga recommendations from facebook friends for a slow non-hot class.

Ange: Yoga in Daily Life, on Jessie St. Ace classes. Minimal chanting.

Jase: City fitness in thorndon, they are perfect for what you describe.

L: Yoga Unlimited (on Tory St, opposite Moore Wilson's/Harvey Norman)

I should be able to find some time next week to try one of these :)

--
French dinner :)












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Android Development

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What do I want out of my Android development scratchings?

Public Work
I've got an itch to scratch about my professional work not being in the public eye. It kind of bugs me that so little of my work is flat out hidden, encrypted, password secured and for specialised use.

It would be personallly and professionally gratifying to have a piece of work that is unencumbered by non-disclosure agreements, professional confidentially and restraint of trade clauses.

Internet You Can Touch
Internet you can touch might be the next big thing. With iPhones, Google phones, the iPad etc you have a touch interface.

I'm not sure what it means to have an information tool where you literally touch the information with your fingers to manipulate this. It appears be have very wide appeal.

Internet in Your Pocket
Another aspect is the internet in your pocket aspect. Having a small but usefull internet anywhere windows in your pocket is new and interesting.

Still Mostly Under Control

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This week is a juggling act. A tricky aspect is that my dance partner is working nights this week while I'm working days. She is organised and talented however and found us a fab inner city practice hall next to the Wesley hall, right around the corner from my work.

We practiced today during my lunch time so that we could overcome our clashing work schedules. We ran through our routine including the lifts and throws, with my partner in heels!

Work is mildly under control, we did some web server testing today and proved that our web servers won't melt under projected load. This is a good start.

I've half tidied my house before guests start pouring in on Friday. I now have milk, pillow and flower suggestions for the house. Off now to tidy some more :)

idle time; mobile

So im sitting in a cafe, idle time before dance class, i dont have much time energy to help out at the class before mine.

So my google phone has a big enough screen to type idly on, which is nice. not like tyling on a proper keyboard, but two thumbs typing is a mile away from texting on a keypad.

texting will be one of those input methods i can forget. it joins Graffitti which was with a stylus on a palmpilot. it was fast and i could take notes in dark conference halls.

still figuring out the internet in your pocket thing, an update of android will help with that, youll be attracted to cheap android phones at christmss.

we have available the devices from billies first book, just. not yet the critical mass to have what comes next.

i can see people trying to use the internet how i want to use it, but tweets or facebook updates pleading for a coffee now now dont yet work, text message is the king of that request.

Scifi films to catch up on

--
Reading talula's post about 25 great scifi films, here are the ones I need to catch up on. I'm 19 of 25, although I'm pretty sketchy on a few of them!
- Planet Of The Apes: I've seen lots of bits of this, but not the whole thing!
- Primer: This has come up a lot lately in my circles, I love love loved the trailer.
- Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind: I thought it was a soppy tear jerker and avoided it in the cinema.
- Children Of Men: as above
- Moon: Lots of great reviews
- Inception: Mixed reviews, but I like momento so why not

You're Awesome!

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I'm seriously thinking about the Awesomereminders service, which calls you up every day to tell you you are awesome. What not choose to couch yourself in positive framing? Would the cynic in my make it break?

The Great Gatsby

--


Saw the Great Gatsby at Circa late this afternoon. A great story, well performed. Solid all round performances, highly recommended. Extra points of Art Deco era setting, costumes and music.

Art Deco Linky

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Alphonse Mucha was a magnificent artist who made pictures before and during the art deco period. He may have done more but I just like the guys work.

Available for purchase here, totally worth a look. His work evokes strongly in me; Lord of the Rings, fantasy or art deco, work by work!

--
For jazz lovers, here are portraits;
Ella Fitzgerald
Cab Calloway

Duke Ellington
Lou Armstrong


From the collection Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz.

Business Ideas Jottery

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Notes for me for later about business ideas for apps

  • unified grocery shopping list that mr_flash would like
  • time keeping idea
  • banking apps
  • pizza/video ordering
  • auction lister with integrated photo
  • mr_flashes gaydar idea
  • online photo app, whitelabel an existing service??

Apple iPhone vs Google Android

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Google used to be friends with Apple, a Google guy was on Apples board of directors. Then they found that they both wanted to do phone stuff and that they were actually frenemies. At this point the Google guy on the Apple board of directors got asked to step down. Now they are just competitors with overlapping search and mapping interests.

This is due to Google efforts of the increasingly impressive Android platform for making 'smartphones'. Basically it is like a more open version of Apples iPhone, but with different hardware that I like better.

I got my hands on a hot Android phone this week, thanks to an early tip-off from my friend at Telecom.

Although it is a fine thing, it lacks the fine polish of much of the iPhone eco system. All the core stuff is there though, GPS maps, fast proper internet browser with zoom, music playing, movie playing, flight mode etc.

It is open enough to support Open Source software that gave us Firefox and Open Office, which tickles my political geek the right way.

I can make new software for the thing in the Java programming language, using the Eclipse editor, a combination I've used professionally for 9 years, I'm scratching away at something today even.

The cute device is Linux based, has enough weetbix to power my large and wonderful DJ headphones, is meant to have better battery life than an iPhone 4G, is lighter and has a bigger screen.

Five Experiences Keeping Me

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There are five experiences keeping my in Welly, in NZ. I'm not sure what happens when I've done these five experiences but I expect it will give me a strong urge to leave for the less charted waters of Melbourne.

There are three women I want to date, one of whom may not be either in the country or single. Two blondes and a brunette, by last known hair colour.

A new opportunity to make a piece of software has turned up that I wish to pursue.

I'd like to complete another piece of software so that I can turn third piece of software off.

Thats it. Everything else in my life has turned into window dressing. Sorry.

d.

Mostly Under Control

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In in the position of enjoying the illusion that all the things in my life are under control. It is a pleasant illusion, and possibly it is the illuision of an illusion and is actually real.

Have memorised bits and pieces of my routine for September, although we haven't finished the choreography of it. Attempting to finish the choreography tomorrow night with my partner in dance crime Clarissa. We are totalitarian deconstructonists and appear to play well together.

Work is OK, on track as far as I'm concerned although not necessarily so for everybody else. My bits are reasonably fine and dandy and I'm helping others as I can. I haven't had to yell at anybody for a while which is nice.

I've got some ideas for my next DJ set due on the 13th. I've got an opening and a middle, and an enourmous pile eighty (80) songs at BeatPort that will enable me to finish the set to my satisfaction. Much experimentation to get things to 'sit' nicely together.

My electric desk has turned up and is partly constructed. I'll be using a door as a benchtop for a bit, long story.

I've got some dancing in Christchurch this month, I'm looking forward to hanging with my Christchurch homegirls a lot.

old blogs, new blogs

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For the moment I'm retiring the fishbowl from my right hand links. I'm sure Fishy will want to do creative and expressing writing there in the future; I like reading things from people with Mathematical brains :)

New blog is the baby bump, a friends wife's baby blog. Haven't read it much, but I expect I'll find it funny :)

Changed blog is the dreamstress, who started blogging about her part time seamstress historical recreation, but is now doing that full time. Worth a read of you like dresses, history, art or fabric.

Why Online Dating Sucks

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I've said that online dating tries to force wonderful and complex whole people into little boxes and that it felt like I didn't fit well into little boxes. This guys says a lot more and has done the research to prove it.


Dan Ariely on online dating.

It isn't easy being green

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It isn't easy being green; 3 weeks with no hot water and counting.

When I replaced my hot water cylinder at the end of its usable life I went for a partly solar powered one. The cylinder in the house was installed in 1976 and was due to expire irreparably at any time.

I replace this with a Chromagen hot water cylinder which is from Israel and is fancy and expensive. It has solar panels on the roof that heat up liquid which gets pumped to the cylinder to a heat exchanger that heats up the water. This avoids impurities in tap water clogging up the solar panels.

The cylinder has a thermostat in it that controls heating, and there is some computer control of these systems.

The installer of this system was Negawatt who do 'green' type work on water heating, home heating and insulation. The guy a dealt with was competent but I didn't love him because I didn't get good engineering vibes from the guy.

Their product recommendation has been sound and the installation was good, you can find them here.

For my regular plumbing work I have been using a guy called Karen (pronounced Kareen) who is an engineer and gives me good engineering vibes. He has a team of people who do plumbing, roofing, kitchens and bathrooms.

Karen did great work on renovations in my water closet, laundry and kitchen so when my hot water stopped working I called him to get him to fix it. He has also installed Chromagen hot water systems in the past.

If your hot water stops working you shouldn't get upset because the element and thermostat components only work for so many years and then need replacing. If your shoes wear out then you can buy new ones yourself, but you need a plumber to fix your hot water system.

He looked at it and found the thermostat needed replacing. Simple diagnosis.

The solar part is also broken through a simpler problem, a pipe connecting the Solar panel to the water cylinder has become disconnected.

With hot water systems what you hope you are buying is both the original parts and the supply chain to provide replacement parts for the life of the system. This might be 30 years of replacement parts, possibly.

A complexity of solar hot water systems is that this is a relatively new market and the technology is rapidly evolving. A further problem is that a relatively small number of each manufacturers cylinder type is installed in New Zealand as we are not a populous country.

I knew this would be a factor when I bought my hot water cylinder because this is equivalent to a set of problems you run into with software.

Where it gets tricky for me is in finding a replacement part. The New Zealand supplier cannot supply an exact replacement part.

I speculate that it might be possible that they can get one from Israel where they are manufactured via sea freight and that they don't wish to engage in this as a supply strategy and haven't told me about it.

So the parts supplier has supplied a part that they believe a repair can be made with that is more locally available than the parts from Israel.

Now it gets tricky. The original part was an arm length thing that sat in the hot water system. The new part is a fist sized thing that sits on top of the tank.

The old part was manufactured by Chromagen who made the cylinder, but the new part is not.

This new part looks through the outside of the cylinder, through the insulation and into the tank to find out he temperature of the water.

The old part was in the water and took a more direct reading.

A pertinent questions is whether Chromagen in Israel consider this a good part substitution. I haven't got an answer to that yet.

My plumber Karen isn't comfortable with replacing the old part with the new part, because he doesn't know that it is compatible with the computer of the hot water cylinder. This is reasonable given that the two parts use different measurement mechanisms.

The imported and distributor are Infinergy who you can find here. I've had some contact about what to do next but I'm hoping their guy in Wellington to make this repair instead of my plumber.

I will also contact the original installer to see if they do repairs. A second option. They are located in Petone also, I'll drop by today and have a chat to them.

A third option is for Chromagen in Israel to say that they approve this part substitution because this would convince Karen that the work is sensible to do.

A forth option is to flog my dead system on Trademe, and install another.

Stephen Fry on Life

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Stephen Fry talking about what he wished he'd know when he was 18. Works for all ages :)

STEPHEN FRY: WHAT I WISH I'D KNOWN WHEN I WAS 18 from Peter Samuelson on Vimeo.

Difficult Times in My Subconscious

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I've been having this persistent and modestly discomforting idea stream percolating into my conscious from my subconscious; a feeling that I'm forgetting to date somebody that I really like.

A bit like the feeling you have when you can picture someone but can't remember their name, I get the feeling of this person that I should be trying to date without remember them at all.

My reaction is equal parts romantic mystery, assurance and dismay, this has been going on daily for a few months.

I'm pretty open to ideas from my subconscious but this is kind of odd and new. I haven't been at open war with my subconscious for a long time, this might be trouble brewing on an unexpected front?

Perhaps my subconscious can fulfil its memory part of the bargain by coffing up some memories of people to which it is referring.

Camp NZX 2010

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I'm just back this evening from Camp NZX 2010, a swing dancing camp that featured Lindy Hop, Balboa and Blues dancing workshops and social dancing.

Again it was held in the Chosen Valley Christian Camp out of Manukau. This year James and I wanted to get better bunks which meant getting there a bit earlier than last year.

I went up on Thursday to see my aunt and cousins on Waiheke Island. It was cool hanging out over dinner. I got to massage my aunt's Epicondreitous (Tennis Elbow) which was fun, lots of related tissue density to play with.

I met James and Sarin on Friday and we took a hire car to the camp.

Camp was super fun again this year. I did more dancing than ever and had even less sleep.

With two class streams of bal and two of lindy there were lots of classes to choose from. The optional classes from previous years were ditched and the idea of being assigned to a stream was also ditched, it was free for all, do whatever you thought was appropriate.

I did Josh's intermediate bal class where he explained what makes bal bal instead of making it look like blues, also talking about infinity symbols, motions and lilts, which was awesome.

Claudia and Dave where over, which was a surprise after seeing them only last week at the Melbourne Swing Festival. We are very lucky to have them come to NZ, they are such fabulous teachers in general, especially of bal.

They taught a cool class with tricksy pure bal variatons for ultra slow 80-100bpm songs, which previously I had considered blues territory. The 'corners' variation with tripple and lots of closing action is a keeper.

Shob and Andy's class about follows leading in lindy also stood out. The idea that lindy is a converstation isn't much fleshed out on the social floor, so it is good to see somebody teaching and encouraging both dancers to participate in the shape of the music.

There was a move where the follow takes the lead in the second part of a swingout and changes the axis of it. This is pretty fun. If the lead responds back then you get an extra half turn. I had good fun in class practicing this with both Rachel and Melita, although to be honest Melita has a pretty rubbish poker face ;)

For the first time I got invited to invitation only advanced class. There is attrition in any sport and party due to other earlier events keeping other more senior dancers away I got a chance.

Josh was teaching a short and wonderfully little routine. What made it wonderful was not the moves, but the musicality of the variations. In order to produce these variations you needed to follow the jazz timing of the melody instruments, not the percussion instruments.

In jazz this varies from bar to bar and phrase to phrase as musicians pull and push, stretch and shrink their timing away from the regular rhythms of the precussion. This produces all sorts of syncopation effects that I like in jazz because they are stupendously complex.

Dancing to the meandering rhythms of the melody is well hard however.

Scheduling of these weekends always puts the advanced class as the last class, on a Sunday. So after 10 hours sleep in two days and about 25 hours dancing, you get to the advanced class.

This class was also very small, which was awesome, only four of us, two follows and two leads. Barry was the other follow, a tremendously solid fellow for his Auckland scene, the two follows where Melinda and Lotus from Christchurch, also stalwarts of their scene.

Oddly, Melinda, Lotus and myself had been the bunnies at this event three years ago in our first year at the camp, and it was a point of reflection that we had made it into the invite only class.

Up a bit, I said that having four people in an advanced class was awesome. Josh was paid to come from Melbourne for three days to only teach 7 or 8 classes, and this was one of them. Sharing one of these classes with only three other people was pretty fantastic, this is a teacher you need to book about a year in advance and he is not cheap.

I'm using the word awesome, but I'm not being colloquial. The word isn't coloured with only positive connotations, the word isn't about good or bad, it is about the feeling of awe.

Josh danced 7 bars of this awesome routine with Michelle and then schooled us in how to lead and follow this routine. Like any good teacher for senior students, he didn't give any praise when it wasn't deserved. This is good, but Barry and I didn't get a lot of praise.

Josh was attempting to school us from being good dancers into a new level of musicality into being awesome dancers. This process isn't comfortable or easy, it just is.

He was trying to pull us up from one level to a higher one. In some ways I think about this as Josh working the process to try and create some piers one day, but I'm many many years from that.

We got schooled and drilled, went on small learning side bars, scatted rhythms and practiced. There was a tricky jazz step part that went kick-ball-change step scootch step stomp stomp that I had a lot of trouble with.

The leading was very difficult. The song was quiet and you needed to pull and slow, redirect and release this quiet energy from melody-beat to melody-beat whilst dancing your figures.

We had been working away for 45 minutes in the class and I got to a point where I was extremely wound up. At this point we where kind of doing the routine but we were doing it all wrong. We had progressed and where doing the routine less wrong than at the start of the class, but when you don't have it and you are working away at it is a difficult time.

I felt very inside myself in an unhappy and frustrated way.

Gravity based whole body syncopated leading and following takes an immense amount of concentration. There isn't any way to fake it, either you are landing it or you are not.

Slowly you get pulled more and more out of the room and into yourself as your focus pulls to the music and getting your body to do elaborate things. It is slow but it turns out that there is a lot of into that can happen.

My kindly follow Melinda spotted this, took a few seconds and consoled me with a few shushing sounds and a pat on the back. In retrospect I think this was an essential element for me in getting through the class without bursting into tears or some other uncontrolled emotional release.

It was an awesome class, and you have to take awesome classes if you want to be an awesome dancer.

I stayed up super late with the people catching the early shuttle. I inherited the late dj slot and we danced blues till 5am then chatted till 6am.

We were having so much fun we didn't want to stop. It is difficult to get such good dancers together in one place and the experienced dancers recognise this; we wring every last bit out the experience :)

Melbourne Thoughts

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Melbourne is clearly a bigger city than I'm used to. Comprised of a gem of a city centre, called the city, that glistens rather than sparkles. It is surrounded by seemingly endless suburbs, many of which have cutesy appeal of their own, with clusters of cute shops catering to the sensibilities of well heeled workers.

The language used is what struck me first this time. The use of superlatives, or rather the subset of superlatives employed; aggressive, unsurpassable claims are bandied about to describe stage shows for example.

The look people give you, the big city blank face. That is quicker here than Wellington. What does that do to you day in and day out? Do you start to feel how your face looks? Do you build over your feelings like last years road surface, with hot ash and a steamroller?

The coffee though is good, and the customer service a clear notch up on Wellington. Got me some fancy red sneakers, good for walking and driving but not much else.

Good customer service in the street shoe store, she spotted me as a kiwi right away, but brought it up slowly. Apparently I have a flat accent, or perhaps I morph on demand, a deep subconscious effort to be accepted?

The card systems are changing, Melbourne is going to a 'snapper' style system to replace Metcard. It has a very stupid name that glistens and drips of committee design and politics. Myki is the name. Retarded.

Different verbs in play, 'touch on', 'touch off'. The Metcard system uses 'validate', so I guess this committee learned something over the last guys.

I'm in a restaurant/ cafe, tapping away, some young guys at an outside table on my left with a few brews, perhaps there are some school holidays? I've got a mocha, trying to compensate for my red-eye flight before dinner with Sean.

There is a glistening political film that I can see coating the city. The billboards that talk about rebuilding projects, stimulus package stuff. It is thin politicing, unsophisticated and at odds with a city trying to have a culture. It is the politics of old men that don't know what it means to try and synergise.

Hard to find internet for sale in a cafe in Elwood, but there are plenty of Organic options, so that is a fair trade in my book.

iPhones are everywhere, but I can't see anybody else tapping away, trying to scratch up some work and bleed over the lines between recreation and a career you want. Wrong suburb, probably too artsy. I'm not yet sold on productivity on these post PC devices.

Had a brief play with an iPad whilst on an errand to purchase forgotten cabling, that binding cartilage between our electrical devices. It was fine, but I'm a touch typist, so I feel like it is half meant for somebody else. A bit heavier than I was expected, but that fancy class screen must weigh a bunch.

The iPad is meant for somebody else, the ungeeked masses, electronic mooks. About time somebody paid them some attention.

I'll have a lazy start to the day tomorrow, a simple start in a month where I have had so much to take in, very stimulating it has been.

Melbourne Things

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Sunday, fly in really late.
Monday night, meet Sean
Tuesday night, meet Oli
Wednesday night, classes with Emmylou
Thursday night, ??
Friday night, lindy
Saturday, Melbourne Swing Festival
Sunday night, Melbourne Swing Festival
Monday get to airport by 7am.

Gangbusters

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Had great fun djing at Gangbusters at Watusi. Danced like crazy with Francis to Kansas City Riffs, had a great dance with Amy late in the night, had fun stealing to Minor Swing and danced manically with Emmylou to E Flat Boogie.

I have tired abs today.

Djing at Gangbusters on Friday

--


I'm DJing at Gangbusters, the next of our bi-monthly lindy hop takeover of The Watisu in Edward St. I'll be on the late shift djing from about 10:30 until probably 1pm, lindy, then slow lindy then blues :-)

Looks like there will be a big turnout at this one, so if you have been curious about my vintage dancing activities then come and take a look, gawkers welcome.

DJing at Speed of Sound

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I'm opening the djing at Speed of Sound III with a jazzy, goovy, housy downbeat set*, sqwee! Come hear me play in a club.



* Note there will not be a Rumpus this year, I'm playing here instead.

Sing Sing Sing Routine

A Sing Sing Sing routine to the song as arrange by the Air Force Band.

Tentatively left to right from audience of Andrew and Lauren, Peter and Beccy, Phil and Rachel, Jason and Sally-ann, Damon and Grace.

Moves spanning bars are marked ending with an X. Think I've got the tricky counting with the 4 count move sorted out.

bar | move

-- | wierd 7 count off tempo 'intro'
01 | hold
02 | Swing out forward from close
03 | Hollywood style swingout forward
04 | Hollywood style swingout forward
05 | 007 move, a lindy turn with the lead landing on count 7 with stomp hold
06 | kick the dog travelling forward
07 | 6 count turnout to the 10:30 position, kicks instead of tripples
0X | 6 count change of place to the 4:30 position, kicks instead of tripples
0X | 6 count lindy circle to close, kicks instead of tripples
09 | 6count swing shot with outward right hand and inward knee wiggles on the 5 and 6
10 | 4 count (2 * 2 count slides) big slides into close, guys start with left foot
1X | 6 count frog variation, early lift on 3 instead of 5
11 | 6 count turnout to the 9:00 position, kicks instead of tripples
12 | 8 count behind the back shoulder roll, guys rock step straight back then step to the right, presenting their back to the path that the follows will travel. Leads keep your arm tucked in a bit to aid the turning. (rock step run run jump land hold hold.)
13 | swing out with crouch on 4 and jump on 5.
14 | slip slops, do three start by going to the leads right, hold 7 and stomp off on 8
15 | lead Charlestons with a left 90 degree turn, follow does unled rock step kick kick kick in front, both now facing the audience again
16 | Tandem Charleston
17 | Russian kick follow
18 | Tandem Charleston
19 | Lead tandem in front
20 | Lead Russian kick
21 | Tandem Charleston
22 | Lead pimp walk
23 | Lead half johnnies drop, half Charletston slide
24 | Lead taps left foot for 8
25 | Lead taps left foot for 8
26 | Lead stomps start right foot
27 | Lead stomps
28 | Pimp walks lead start right foot
29 | Pimp walks with collect to close
30 | Charleston
31 | Charleston
32 | Charleston
33 | Kick the dog
34 | Turning charleston
35 | Turning charleston
36-39 | couple spotlight, Lauren & Andrew, cute tandem & hand to hand variations
40-43 | couple spotlight, Grace & Damon, a flowery tango lift
44-47 | couple spotlight, Sally-ann & Jason, flashy pancake!
48-51 | couple spotlight, Rachel & Phil, the lindy flip!
52-55 | couple spotlight, Beccy & Peter, super couplesy jazz steps
56 | half charleston then kick run run run (one and a half turns)
57 | kick and kick step half charleston slide
58 | Swing out forward from close
59 | Hollywood style swingout forward
60 | Hollywood style swingout forward
61 | 007 move, a lindy turn with the lead landing on count 7 with stomp hold
62 | kick the dog travelling forward
63 | 6 count turnout to the 10:30 position, kicks instead of tripples
6X | 6 count change of place to the 4:30 position, kicks instead of tripples
6X | 6 count lindy circle to close, kicks instead of tripples
65 | 6 count sling shot with outward right hand and inward knee wiggles on the 5 and 6
66 | 4 count (2 * 2 count slides) big slides into close, guys start with left foot
6X | 6 count frog variation, early lift on 3 instead of 5
67 | 6 count turnout to the 9:00 position, kicks instead of tripples
68 | 8 count behind the back shoulder roll, guys rock step straight back then step to the right, presenting their back to the path that the follows will travel. Leads keep your arm tucked in a bit to aid the turning. (rock step run run jump land hold hold.)
69 | swing out with crouch on 4 and jump on 5.
70 | slip slops, do three start by going to the leads right, hold 7 and stomp off on 8
71| lead Charlestons with a left 90 degree turn, follow does unled rock step kick kick kick in front, both now facing the audience again
72 | Tandem Charleston
73 | Aeroplane into drop catch on 8
74 | Hair drier into finishing poses

Party This Saturday

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Party this Saturday at my place, a bit like a Rumpus for partner dancers, cheese and rum lovers.

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Lets make a fire in the fireplace, toast marshmallows, cheese and each other, then dance late blues.

Drinks and nibbles from 7 to 11, then blues dancing till late.
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There will be rum tasting including Pyrat and Matusalem. If you are a rum fan you are welcome to bring one to taste as well!

For wine drinkers I've got a case to share of the delicious The Doctors Riesling 2009, my new favorite. Also an aged mixed case of red, from my wardrobe 5 years ago.

I'll have lots of marshmallows on hand and Halloumi cheese for toasting by the fireplace.

There will likely be a vintage hand wound gramophone to be used for some vintage blues shallac recordings later in the evening, amplified with a microphone.

This setup produces a warm, rich, scratchy sound that might be of interest to modern djs.

For lindy, balboa and blues dancers I'll wax up my lounge dance floor. My kitchen has newly laid lacquered cork tiles that will be waxed as well.

Cleanternet.org

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You guys will get this easily, I'm sure. Very very funny, and immaculately done. Also a good reminder of the potential for tyranny using internet.



The site is here.

Five Years of Mt Lowry

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This year I ran Mt Lowry again, my 5th in 6 years. Last year I was out due to a date clash. Still my favourite running event, a kiwi-as in the bush experience, rugged, outrageous, beautiful, dangerous to race on and impossible to traverse any way except on foot.

No posing or grandstanding from the winners with their fabulously fast times; this is a tough course and I have only ever felt encouragement and generosity from the other competitors.

A fast finisher from the long course offer me a hot chip claiming they were sauce covered vitamins. People chatting with the strangers next to them a little, nobody fussing much over personal space.

I was presented with a five year medal, which not very many people have. Note that two of us got dressed out of our running gear and into something warm. No idea who these people are, we just assembled for this photo.



Unexpectedly I ran my best time 1:34:18. This wasn't as good as Colin's smashing time, a good 6 minutes faster, very impressive. I lay low for about 10 days to recover.

To a large extent the five year medal is a sign of durability. My friend Kats couldn't make her 3rd year because of injury, a pulled Achilles heel.

Moutain Biking

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Got back on the mountain bike today, felt really good. Thanks James for finding good routes again through the maze of tracks available.

We went slowly, but for a long time. It was Andrews first time out, and he is already better down the hills than I am!

Computing Fashions

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Developer geeks the globe over seem to be thinking like this:

wired: iphone apps, ipad apps, android apps, mac desktop apps
tired: web apps
expired: windows apps

Quirky, new, interesting and innovative apps are probably going to land on somewhere other than Windows for the next, ah, decade. Windows isn't trendy, and hasn't been for a long time.

Worse than that, what I need to sharpen my CV at this point is a nice little iPhone app. If I made a nice little Windows app, my peers would be like, that is odd, haven't you been keeping up?

Ommwriter for example, one of a small segment of apps to help writers write.

Ommwriter from herraizsoto&co on Vimeo.

Do Little April

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After a very busy 5 months I'm starting my month of do nothing. Don't get me wrong, my months of being busy are mostly self inflicted, I wouldn't trade them for the missed sleep.

With daylight savings and the long weekend, it feels nice to follow my plan of being pretty idle and letting my body and my brain have a bit of rest.

My motto for the month isn't about doing nothing exactly, it is about being relaxed and staying unbusy without weekends away or running events.

I've got a small number of tidying and changing tasks:
- get my domain UDAIs and shift them to another DNS host
- switch email to google mail
- switch my dead biggeek blog to one of the paid hosts and resuscitate it
- tax bits
- new internet router with printer support
- new electric table
- new little couch

Fliters and Experiences

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Certain activities are great filters. On Monday I was mountain biking with a coupe of friends from dancing, and we stopped for a few moments.

We were at the intersection of tracks and a bunch of people whizzed this way while cooled off. That spot defined by that activity was a filter that meant all the woman had hot bodies and probably all the men too, if I knew how to figure that out.

This weekend I am heading to my first KiwiBurn with only a rough idea what to expect. The people I have asked about it have not been able to describe the experience. I don't mean that they have not described the experience well, but that they have demurred to describe the experience at all.

In lue of explanation I have received jubilant endorsement of the event. So my guesses about what it might be go like this:

a camping experience; lots of people camping by a lake
for organised people; you have to bring your own everything, including drinking water, only toilets are provided
who like theme camps; there are various theme camps. Ours is called the Illuminati and will feature a large enclosed structure of scaffolding, large PA gear, lots of djs and visuals.
and are hedonists; the dj slots that apparently are 'best' are the ones between 12pm and 6am. These are times for hedonistic people, in my opinion :-)

I expect there will be some nakedness in the lake, plenty of legal and illegal stimulant use and lots of unregulated behaviour that I might find a bit challenging, which is kind of the point.

That said, what kind of people am I likely to meet there, people like me?

2010 Self Improvement

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This year I will work on the real.

I will expressing my feelings in real time in real life; this will cause conflict that I will take on the chin.

I am naturally an introvert, a-scoial, not great at empathy off the cuff. These are defensive mechanisms that are getting in the way of what I want.

My emotions are polarising and blunt. I will use them a lot more in order to work out the rough edges.

Attending Events for 2010

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I've got a bunch of fun things for this year. I'm writing them down here so that you can attend and enjoy these things with me, and as calendaring work.

KiwiBurn |
Jan 29th to Feb 1st
I'll attend this well recommended event with my three friends who are going. I'm lending some DJ gear and doing a little DJing as well.

My expectations are that this will be an electronica event crossed with a hippy festival. Who knows?

Round the Bays | Feb 21st of Feb
Can't do this, it clashes with Art Deco weekend. Sorry running buddies!


Art Deco Napier Weekend | Feb 19th to 21st
I can't describe easily how much I enjoy this weekend. It is full little moments of wonder and magic, as we dance and frollic, eat, show, dress up a lot, drink a little, catch up and make new friends.

I'm wondering which spirit should be imbibed straight in order to encourage frank discussion about 'dancing crushes', a difficult and fraught topic.

Helen and Josh get married | Feb 27th
I'm alumni with Hels and met Josh on the Unisys Grad program a long time ago, where Hels met Josh also.

Most of the grads from that time, and a few from later, will be at this large wedding. Will be fab.

Andrew and Jazz get married | March 6th
I get to be groomsman and wedding dance tutor. We got the suits made in Thailand recently.

Mount Lowry Challenge | March 28th
My favourite running event that luckily this year does not clash with either a wedding or dancing things. Overheating is a serious consideration in this event. The move from Feb to March will help.

This will be my 5th time doing this event. That qualifies me for a special medal.

ANZAC Weekend Dancing | speculated as 25th April
Will there be more ANZAC weekend dancing in Christchurch this year? I hope so but I don't know if the date has been gazumped by a bigger event.

The Food Show Wellington 2010 | May 14th to 16
I keep missing this, but I would really like to go. If you go on the Friday, that is the least busy day, so I will go then.

Camp NZX10 | 18th June
There will be a fabulous lindy camp in Auckland again, probably just a bit bigger than last year. There will be great costumes, dancing crushes, dashing to and from airports and no observable consumption of alcohol.

I'll be a deleriuosly happy sleep deprived monkey by monday morning, again :)

Harbour City Half Marathon | June 27th
I didn't do a half marathon last year. This means I didn't do many long endurance runs that make your heart bigger and teach your body to directly metabolise fat and live longer. I'll do this event this year mostly for those reasons.

Windy Lindy | speculated late August
I want to defend my title as Showcase champion. Whether this is with or against my the partner that I won it with is yet to be decided!

Big Band Festival in Christchurch | speculated as Labour Weekend, 25th October
I really this event, lots of classy people, classy accomodation and a good group of people who don't want to go to bed early when they are on holiday.

No Announced Date
Barista Afernoon
There are lots of barista courses that you can do with friends. I'm considering doing the Mojo course, although I haven't explored options for others. Perhaps if Ripe do one, that would be good, but I think what I really want to do is a Fuel course because they seem to have the most consistently trained baristas.

No Announced Date
Cocktail Afternoon
There are cocktails afternoons that you can do. The Southern Cross run them, but other places might do so. I think if Motel or Hawthorn do one then I'd be keen for that too.

No Announced Date
Andrews S. Away Weekend
Andrew S is having an away weekend, with a Lindy focus, at I think Riversdale or Castle point. Heavily amplified good times!