Shadow Footprints

Wanderings in Virtu and Verity.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Don't click on hyperlinks

It's official. Microsoft is recomending that you do not click on hyperlinks. At least ones that you do not trust.

Namesakes, and online identity

I have a professional artist for a namesake. I found out because I've been using Google Alert for quite some time. Very useful for checking what people are saying about you (see previous entry).

It's also revealed to me how common Shadowfoot is as a character name or online nickname by roleplayers.

Virtual Identity and Online Reputation

Loic Le Meur talks about avoiding trouble by building your virtual identity and checking your online reputation.

His Eyes, by Vinay

His eyes

he looks for me
but his path is littered
with the shadows of my footprints

by Vinay

An American in Middle Earth

Bob's travel journal is an American's vacation in New Zealand

Friday, January 30, 2004

Quote of the day - Actions of men

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
-- John Locke

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Business Analyst available aka Looking for work

There is a restructure where I work and it's time for me to find another job. I'm looking for a role as a Business Analyst. Preferably in the Auckland area, but willing to tele-commute overseas. My CV is available on request.

You cycle fast!

That's the compliment I received today, while waiting at an intesection on my way home. Unfortunately it wasn't from a guy, cute or otherwise.

Quote of the day - Exactly like me

Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.
-- Tallulah Bankhead

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Stats Alive!

NationMaster is an interesting site where you can compare various statistics from countries of your choice.

Confessions of a Car Salesman

The story of a journalist who went undercover for three months.

via Wil Wheaton

List of Oscar Nominees

Here's the list of Oscar Nominees. I confess that I've only seen two-and-a-half of the movies.

Quote of the day - A facility for quotation

A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.
-- Lord Peter Wimsey

Just wondering

I'm wondering if the real reason for 'Sir Bill' is that the Queen will say to him "Oh, and can you have a look at my computer, it's not working properly."

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Banning hair gel?

Palmerston North Boys' High School has obviously decided having no hair gel is more important that an education.

The gel was a fashion accessory, Mr O'Connor said. "(That's) why we've continued to hold the rule. It allows us to set standards of appearance . . . it's all about pride of appearance. We're saying when you come to school you are here for one key reason, and that's to get educated."

Asked why hair products were such a big deal, he said: "If we worry about the little things, we don't have to worry about the big things and that's really what it's about.

I hope they would worry about the little things of education instead, spelling, arithmetic, how to question, how to find answers.

"You can't have anything under a number two (haircut). Length-wise, hair has to be above the collar."

I hope they don't have any female teachers or admin staff setting a bad example. If I was a kid I there I wouldn't brush my hair, having it dry in an untidy form is conforming to their standards.

NZ Statutory Entitlements Conferred by Marriage

In regard to my earlier post on the NZ Civil Union bill Glenn asks why should the government be in the business of recognizing ANY kind of interpersonal commitment?

When a couple gets married they automatically receive over one hundred different statutory entitlements. (Copied from the above link.)

Parental Rights

  • Only a biological parent (and their spouse if they are married) are assumed to be legal parents.
  • A woman's husband is presumed to be the father of a born child.
  • Only married couples may adopt.
  • Court provisions to deal with guardianship/custody of children upon separation do not recognise same-sex couples, or non-biological parents.
Next-of-Kin and Relatives' Rights
  • Property rights for 'heirs' or 'next of kin' presume a heterosexual model of family.
  • Only 'immediate family' may be consulted about a post-mortem, make decisions about a person's body, and have the body returned to them.
  • Only a recognised 'relative', 'parent' or 'near relative' may be involved in a Family Group Conference, apply for a court order to treat an alcoholic relative, or give permission to donate body parts of a deceased relative for medical research.
  • Statutory definitions of 'spouse', 'dependent', 'relative, 'member of the family' etc. all confer rights to biological or married relatives only.
Immunity and Marital Privileges
  • A person cannot be compelled to give evidence against their spouse in a criminal case, be compelled to disclose communications made in a marital relationship, or be charged as an accessory for helping a spouse to escape.
  • Family members of diplomats are exempted from paying local taxes or rates.
  • A landlord need give only 42 days' notice (instead of 90 days) if a member of their family is moving into the residence.
Leave Entitlements and Rights
  • Paternity leave is available for a man whose wife is pregnant. A married couple may get extended work leave for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • A person may be released from jury duty if their spouse or a family member is ill or has died.
Financial Support and Social Welfare
  • Social welfare benefits assume an economic dependency model between couples: the joint income of a married or de facto couple is assessed for eligibility / minimum income rates; and a special "married" rate of allowance is paid.
  • A woman whose husband dies is entitled to a widow's benefit.
  • A former Governor-General or Prime Minister and/or their widower is entitled to an annuity, or 3 months' salary.
  • The spouse of a govt-super contributor is entitled to monetary benefits, including a special lump sum for judges, MP's or Defence staff.
  • A legal services allowance may be claimed by a married person for their spouse.
  • The NZ Railways Staff Welfare Society and trade unions may provide welfare relief or payments to the spouse of a deceased member.
Age of Majority and Married Minors
  • A person gains the legal "age of majority" when they turn 20 (or 18 under some laws). However, the limitations on the actions of a minor (in over 20 laws) do not apply if the person gets married.
  • Laws for minors address issues such as wills, legal standing in court matters, contracts, rates rebates, selling or drinking liquor, and allowances for dependents.
Conflicts of Interest and Trivial Matters
  • A married person must disclose certain financial interests or conflicts of interest in their professional decision-making role (including interests of their spouse).
  • There are many trivial matters in laws that recognise married couples only, e.g. a person may apply behalf of their spouse for an adjustment of mortgage liabilities; public works compensation made be payable to a property owner or their spouse; and a court summons may be served on a member of the defendant's family instead.
Most of these benefits should stay.

Something in common with the US president

Dubya and I have something in common. We both like the look of Scott "Pretty Face" Reid, a senior aide to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The dark hair, the goatee, looks good in a suit...

Mars Lander

SwimFinsSF shows the real reason for the loss of communication with the Mars lander.

Separate but Equal? The NZ Civil Union Bill

I oppose the proposed Civil Union Bill as it wants to keep gays as second class citizens.

The Civil Union Bill proposes to:
  1. create a system of registration and dissolution of civil unions between adult partners of relationships "in the nature of marriage", for same-sex and different-sex couples;
  2. establish two tiers of state recognition of adult partnerships: marriage, and civil union. (De facto couples will remain a third tier, with the existing (lesser) range of legal rights and responsibilities, in recognition of de facto couples' decision not to marry or enter a civil union);
  3. standardise the statutory provision of rights and responsibilities for couples who are married or in a civil union;
  4. standardise the limited range of rights and responsibilities for all de facto couples, whether same-sex or different-sex;
  5. provide legal recognition of next-of-kin status for civil union partners;
  6. establish criteria for eligibility (including restrictions) to enter a civil union, comparable to the eligibility criteria for marriage; and
  7. provide for administrative formalities for civil unions and next-of-kin as part of the statutory role of the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages
On the surface this looks good as the rights of marriages and civil unions will be the same in New Zealand, but it doesn't stop future laws applying to marriages and excluding civil unions.

It is not the intention of the Civil Union Bill to include domestic partners (such as legislation in New South Wales, which includes relationships between siblings, flatmates etc). To clarify the Bill's intention, civil unions will be defined by the common legal definition of being "in the nature of marriage".

I do not like the wording of this. As has been seen abroad, for some people the nature of marriage means one man and one woman. We need to get that perception changed, and this bill does not do that.

The Civil Union Bill preserves the status and perceived sanctity of marriage under the Marriage Act 1955. The registration of civil unions will operate in parallel with the registration of marriages. The Civil Union Bill will have no effect on the Marriage Act 1955.

This is saying "separate but equal". To the back of the bus guys, no drinking out of the white man's water fountain, you have your own fountain (that the white man is allowed to drink out of too, as this bill allows heterosexual civil unions also).

International Application and Recognition of Civil Unions / Same-Sex Marriage
The Family Proceedings Act 1980 regulates New Zealand's legal recognition of relationships from other jurisdictions, e.g. although bigamy and polygamous marriages are prohibited in New Zealand, existing polygamous marriages from other cultures are accepted for some purposes under New Zealand law. The legal effect of same-sex marriages or civil unions outside New Zealand will be legally recognised in New Zealand on a case-by-case basis, and noted in a schedule to the proposed Bill.
It is recognised that the registration of same-sex relationships or same-sex marriages from other countries will require a New Zealand response, regardless of whether the Civil Union Bill is passed. For example, a Dutch same-sex couple may marry in the Netherlands and emigrate to New Zealand; or a New Zealand citizen may meet a same-sex partner in Hungary, register their partnership and then return to New Zealand as a registered couple.

The legal effect of New Zealand civil unions will only be recognised internationally to the extent that other countries choose to legally recognise New Zealand civil unions (including same-sex unions). It is possible that New Zealand may develop reciprocal recognition agreements with other countries in terms of their registered partnership or same-sex marriage models. For example, Denmark, Norway, Greenland, Sweden and Iceland have a regional agreement to legally recognise registered partnerships from each others' countries.

Foreign same-sex marriages will be recognised on a case by case basis? So a Canadian couple needs to go to the courts to have their marriages recognised before immigration lets them visit? Not that I expect NZ immigration to be so zealous it will still be a possibility. It may be that the marriage of a couple of Canadians is recognised, but what will happen if a couple of Kiwis go to Canada and get married? Will their marriage be recognised? If heterosexual they will be, but this bill allows for a same-sex marriage to not be accepted. The bill describes how a foreign civil union will be recognised, but leaves marriage on a case by case basis. What does that serve? Especially as existing polygamous marriages from other cultures are accepted for some purposes under New Zealand law.

Why does the Civil Union Bill allow for the registration of different-sex couples?
There are two key reasons for including different-sex couples:
  1. It is imperative from a rights perspective that this recognition model does not discriminate by reason of sexual orientation; and it avoids possible social stigma of being perceived as a "gay" marriage model.
  2. It provides a choice that could meet the needs of 230,000 de facto couples, who may wish to be legally recognised, but not as a "married" couple.
It would be inconsistent with human rights protections to deny different-sex couples access to civil unions as a choice of relationship recognition, by reason of their sex or sexual orientation. The gender of each partner to a relationship is, legally speaking, irrelevant to a vehicle of public recognition and the conferment of statutory entitlements.

You're telling me it is inconsistent with human rights protections to deny different-sex couples access to civil unions as a choice of relationship recognition, by reason of their sex or sexual orientation but it is consistent to deny same-sex couples access to marriage as a choice of relationship recognition?

In New Zealand there are over 230,000 de facto (different-sex) relationships - relationships in the nature of marriage. There are likely to be a wide range of reasons why this significant number of couples choose not to marry, including philosophical or religious reasons. Some couples may feel uncomfortable with the idea because of past experiences with marriage, or ambivalence about the more traditional elements of marriage, such as church weddings, economic dependence assumptions, and gendered roles.

Although these couples get all the benefits of a de-facto marriage we need to create civil unions for them? Marriage in New Zealand is not restricted to church weddings, many couples marriage without a church involved, and church marriages need the state's recognition of a marriage before conferring any benefits.

As for economic dependence assumptions, marriages in church usually use the phrase "husband and wife" instead of "man and wife. A church wedding does not make people assume the wife will give up her job and be economically dependent on her husband.

Does the phrase "gendered roles" mean that people assume the wife will be doing all the cooking and cleaning. I know couples where both work and the husband does most of the cooking, usually because he is the better cook. Some couples like the traditional gender roles, but it doesn't mean that people assume every married couple follow them.

None of these is a good reason to create civil unions as a separate thing from marriage, for couples of either orientation.

Civil unions can provide a modern, secular model of relationship registration that deals with the conferment of statutory entitlements without social, religious, and emotional accompaniments. This option is likely to appeal to de facto couples who would otherwise not choose to marry. Overseas experience of relationship registration models has shown that those models that have included different-sex couples have proven most popular.

Without social accompaniments? Without emotional accompaniments? If that is the intent then why not do what New south Wales did with domestic partners? As for the religious accompaniments, not everyone assumes a marriage is in church. If this is the issue, then the marriage act needs to be altered to require church weddings.

One of the effects of this bill will be to decrease the number of couples getting married. Science Fiction authors have written about limited-term renewable marriages. These civil unions will, with some adjustments, fit that, but is that what we want? Dissolution of a contract/marriage is already in our laws, do we need to add civil unions for this purpose?

Same-sex marriage will happen. We can either create legislation now to cater for it, we can create legislation now to avoid it, and create more legislation in the future to cater for it, and deal with the status of civil union couples at that time. Trying to ignore it will not succeed. We need to oppose this bill, limited rights means it will take longer to get full rights, and providing civil unions is a waste of the legislative process and money.

Joel's resume rant

Today my inbox contained an email from Joel Spolsky's mailing list, a rant[sic] called "Getting Your Resume Read" with many good tips.

Quote of the day - Success

Success is not a matter of position or possession. It is a frame of mind. It is the satisfying feeling of a life spent in a worthwhile way, and a feeling of service rendered.
-- Stephen M. Paulson

Bad start to the day

After a delightful evening last night I grabbed my bike for my commute to work only to discover a flat tire. A very flat tire. I got to rediscover the dubious pleasure of the Auckland bus service. I didn't have to wait long, the second bus stopped, and because I was running late the bus was not overcrowded, allowing me to have a seat to myself.

Yesterday was a holiday for Auckland Anniversary. I did a dinner party for an ex of mine, his boyfriend, my ex-flatmate and her girlfriend. The occasion was the birthday of my ex two weeks ago, delayed on his request. As I hadn't seen my ex-flatmate since my tree-trimming party we also exchanged Christmas presents. Among other things I got the calendar of the Auckland Cow Parade.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Quote of the day - Opposite of talking

The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.
-- Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Kiwi or Kiwifruit?

The differences between a kiwi and a kiwifuit are clearly explained.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Quote of the day - Chess

Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.
-- Raymond Chandler

Friday, January 23, 2004

Homosexual Agenda

The latest version of the Homosexual Agenda

The Homosexual Agenda

8:00 a.m. Wake up. Wonder where you are.

8:01 a.m. Realize you are lying on 100 percent cotton sheets of at least a 300 count, so don't panic; you're not slumming.

8:02 a.m. Realize you are actually in your own bed for a change. Wake stranger next to you and tell them you are late for work so won't be able to cook breakfast for them. Mutter "sorry" as you help him look for his far-flung underwear. You find out that you tore his boxers while ripping them off him last night, so you "loan" him a pair of boxer-briefs, but not the new ones because you never intend to see him again.

8:05 a.m. Tell the stranger, whose name eludes you, "It was fun. I'll give you a call," as you usher him out the door, avoiding his egregious morning-breath.

8:06 a.m. Crumple and dispose of the piece of paper with his telephone number on it when you get to the kitchen.

8:07 a.m. Make a high protein breakfast while watching the Today show. Wonder if the stories you've heard about Matt Lauer are true. Decide they must be.

8:30 a.m. Italian or domestic? Decide to go with three-button Italian and the only shirt that is clean.

8:45 a.m. Climb into red Z4 and try not to look too much like Barbie driving one of her accessories as you pull out of your underground parking. Revos or Armanis? Go with Revos.

9:35 a.m. Stroll into office.

9:36 a.m. Close door to office and call best friend and laugh about the guy who spent the night at your condo. Point out something annoying about best friend's boyfriend but quickly add "It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks, just as long as you love him."

10:15 a.m. Leave office, telling your secretary you are "meeting with a client." Pretend not to notice her insubordinate roll of her eyes (or the cloying "poem" she has tacked to her cubicle wall).

10:30 a.m. Hair appointment for lowlights and cut. Purchase of Aveda anti-humectant pomade.

11:30 a.m. Run into personal trainer at gym. Pester him about getting you Human Growth Hormone. Spend 30 minutes talking to friends on your cell phone while using Hammer Strength machines, preparing a mental-matrix of which circuit parties everyone is going to and which are now passe.

12:00pm Tan. Schedule back-waxing in time for Saturday party where you know you will end up shirtless.

12:30 p.m. Pay trainer for anabolic steroids and schedule a workout. Shower, taking ten minutes to knot your tie while you check-out your best friend's boyfriend undress with the calculation of someone used to wearing a t-back and having dollars stuffed in their crotch.

1:00 p.m. Meet someone for whom you only know his waist, chest and penis size from AOL M4M chat for lunch at a hot, new restaurant. Because the maître d' recognizes you from a gay bar, you are whisked past the Christian heterosexual couples who have been waiting patiently for a table since 12:30.

2:30 p.m. "Dessert at your place." Find out, once again, people lie on AOL.

3:33 p.m. Assume complete control of the U.S., state, and local governments (in addition to other nations' governments); destroy all healthy Christian marriages; recruit all children grades Kindergarten through 12 into your amoral, filthy lifestyle; secure complete control of the media, starting with sitcoms; molest innocent children; give AIDS to as many people as you can; host a pornographic "art" exhibit at your local art museum; and turn people away from Jesus, causing them to burn forever in Hell.

4:10 p.m. Time permitting, bring about the general decline of Western Civilization and look like you are having way too much fun doing it.

4:30 p.m. Take a disco-nap to prevent facial wrinkles from the stress of world conquest and being so terribly witty.

6:00 p.m. Open a fabulous new bottle of Malbec.

6:47 P.M. Bake Ketamine for weekend. Test recipe.

7:00 P.M. Go to Abercrombie & Fitch and announce in a loud voice, "Over!"

7:40 P.M. Stop looking at the photographic displays at Abercrombie & Fitch and go to a cool store to begin shopping.

8:30 p.m. Light dinner with catty homosexual friends at a restaurant you will be "over" by the time it gets its first review in the local paper.

10:30 p.m. Cocktails at a debauched gay bar, trying to avoid alcoholic queens who can't navigate a crowd with a lit cigarette in one hand and a Stoli in a cheap plastic cup in the other. Make audible remark about how "trashy" people who still think smoking is acceptable are.

12:00 a.m. "Nightcap at your place." Find out that people lie in bars, too.

From Betty Bowers

Amazing 360 panoramas

There are some amazing panoramas taken by John Brownlow on his pinkheadedbug street photography site. They are digital composites of between ten and forty images taken with a conventional digital or film camera. The people in the photos were not all there at the ame time, with the photos taking up to 20 minutes of real time to get all the composites, and up to three days of stitching the images together.

Music visual search engine

Wow! I like musicplasma. Being told that one artist is similar to another is not the same as seeing a visual relationship of the styles of artists. The site also links some into music samples so you can hear how an unknown artist sounds. A great way of finding other music.

via Darren Barefoot

Okay, I can't resist

I need to pick out a few things in Bush's State of the Union speech, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country," he said.

Does this include the job security of steelworkers, farmers, and others who are failing to compete with cheaper imported products. I mean the ones who are subsidised by tariffs?

Many Democrats feel the [Patriot] act encroaches on civil rights.

Is encroaches a euphemism for tramples? Is being arrested and locked up indefinitely without being able to see a lawyer just encroaching on rights?

Stepping into a controversial issue, Bush said he considered marriage to be the union of a man and a woman but stop short of endorsing a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

"If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage," he said.

If the USA changes its constitution to defend marriage will they see foreign gay married couples as a reason to wage war on Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, and others?

Quote of the day - History teaches us

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
-- Abba Eban

A second look at the democrats

I was looking at blogdex to see the popular memes of the day and I saw a lot of people had linked to Andrew Sullivan and his comment about Bush's State of the Union speech:

If you're a fiscal conservative or a social liberal, this was a speech that succeeded in making you take a second look at the Democrats. I sure am.

My emphasis. I've been skipping over his comments about the speech so I missed this originally, just paying attention to gay subjects.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A dilemma

Here's a dilemma for you.... With all your honour and dignity what would you do? This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. Please don't answer it without giving it some serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test where you stand morally. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, where you will have to make a decision one way or the other. Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous. Please scroll down slowly and consider each line - this is important for the test to work accurately.

You're in Florida...In Miami, to be exact. There is great chaos going on around you, caused by a hurricane and severe floods. There are huge masses of water all over you. You are a CNN photographer and you are in the middle of this great disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless. You're trying to shoot very impressive photos. There are houses and people floating around you, disappearing into the water. Nature is showing all its destructive power and is ripping everything away with it. Suddenly you see a man in the water, he is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken away by the masses of water and mud. You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar. Suddenly you know who it is - it's George W. Bush! At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him away, forever. You have two options. You can save him or you can take the best photo of your life.

So you can save the life of George W. Bush, or you can shoot a Pulitzer prize winning photo, a unique photo displaying the death of one of the world's most powerful men. And here's the question (please give an honest answer): Would you select color film, or rather go with the simplicity of classic black and white?

Found on Crash and Byrne

I didn't see him!

What is it with motorists who claim they did not see a cyclist before hitting them? And what is it with law enforcement officials who think this form of blindness makes one still safe enough to drive. If a driver is not able to see then they should have their licence removed. Last year I was hit in a gentle collusion by a driver with a fogged up windscreen. I could see he was going to hit me and I managed to move enough to be able to land safely after being knocked off. I was lucky, unlike those who are killed by such drivers.

The above link excludes any reference to night, as an unlit cyclist at night is a hazard to themself and others. A driver need feel no guilt over hitting such a cyclist, not should he feel any guilt for hitting cyclists going the wrong way, (passed one a couple of days ago); cyclists on footpaths (every driveway is an intersection, and intersections have greater risk); cyclists weaving in and out of parked cars, (they conceal themselves doing this, and act unpredictably); cyclists going through red lights (obviously). Wearing a magic helmet doesn't save one doing any of these, not when helmets are only effective against simple falls at low speeds.

The media over play helmet effectiveness, implying a lack of helmet explains why someone dies after being hit by a car doing 60km/h, or says such things as died, despite wearing a helmet. This brings me onto another thing that gets me ranting, the media playing its audience as fools, slanting the news one way or the other. (Do we get any tragedies nowadays that are not horrific?) I will save that rant for another time.

Quote of the day - Problem of power

The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.
-- Robert F. Kennedy

Buttons galore

I'm playing with the button maker user interface to the php script at minimal verbosity.

I've taken a lot of buttons from button page on Taylor McKnight's site.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Gilligan's Island Metaphor

Gilligan's Island as a metaphor for the seven deadly sins? Oh how innocent I was in my youth.


I loved this statement from's weekly roundup:

Then again, you'd hardly expect the chief executive of a multi-billion dollar software company not to upgrade his operating system on a regular basis...

Talking about Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, marrying Melanie Craft.

Footprints, by Kerry Bowden


As I look around today
To see where you have been
No gifts, letters or photographs
Loving thoughts or memories
Just the footprint, left upon my heart
From the heavy boots you wore.
--Kerry Bowden 1997

Footprints, by Shanelle


Footprints in the sand
Wash away with the tide
I smile to myself
As a tear falls from my eye
They're gone
But the memory still remains
The more I walk
The more prints I'll leave
Just to be washed away
But in my memory they'll stay
And maybe in someone else's too
So I'll continue to walk
Till the sand runs out
But maybe even then
My footprints will go on
-- Shanelle

Quote of the day - Talking much about oneself

Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Oh no! The shame of it!

Two exclamation marks in the title. Is that too many?

I use Stephen's Referrer System, among others, to learn who's linking to me. A new one is Honeytom, who think's I'm Aussie. Oh the shame ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Metrosexual Quiz

Are you a Metrosexual?

Your Score: 14 / 50

28.0% 14.0 points out of 50

30.8% 15.4 points out of 50

83318 have taken this test so far.
37181 people have scored higher than you.
43009 people have scored lower than you.
3128 people made the same grade as you.

What does this mean?
14 points is in the 10 through 20 points range
Possible future metrosexual? You're still masculine, but I will question it if you start wearing shirts with diagonal stripes.
I don't own any shirts with diagonal stripes, but I have pointed out to straight guys with them that their shirts are very gay.

Wireless internet

It seems that Woosh Wireless isn't quite ready for my needs. Damn.

Ad for Renault Clio

Why can't I meet a cop like this?

Feelin' lousy

I woke up late this morning, feeling lousy. After a shower and a shave I decided that I still felt lousy and went back to bed, with a brief interruption to call work and let them know. Slept for a few more hours and finally got up. I haven't done anything to merit a sore throat. I wasn't screaming at a rock concert or anything like that. I didn't even go to the Big Day Out last week.

Cyborg Name Generator

My cyborg name is Biomechanical Robotic Individual Assembled for Nullification.

Spelling Quiz

I got 8/10 in this spelling bee quiz. It uses winning words from years past of the US National Spelling Bee. They provide the definition and multiple choice. If I'd had to type in the answers I'm sure I'd have got less.

Quote of the day - Writing without effort

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
-- Samuel Johnson

Monday, January 19, 2004

Scrabble© Scores

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My domain's Scrabble© Score is: 20.

My blog's Scrabble© Score is: 28.

Score: 15

Score: 2

Score 8

Score: 4

Score: 12

What is your score? Get it here.

Via HottTxboi

Transformers® RX-8

A nice cgi of a Mazda changing.

Gym clothing

Canadian Yankee writes An Open Letter to a Certain Two Guys Who Were at the Gym Last Night, You Know Who You Are.

Via Crash

Quote of the day - People with no weaknesses

People who have no weaknesses are terrible; there is no way of taking advantage of them.
-- Anatole France

87% of Americans commit to bicycle commuting

Bike path to be built

Ruby Slippers, KS Results are in for America's most comprehensive survey of bicycle transportation. Almost nine of ten adult Americans say they definitely might occasionally be likely to bicycle to work once in a while given a government-provided bicycle and a commute less than 3 miles with no hills on sunny days between 64 and 71 degrees when they had no other errands to run if their employer provided monetary incentives with mileage reimbursement, shower facilities, indoor secured bicycle parking and free taxi rides home for emergencies if gasoline prices skyrocket except for Mondays and Fridays if a bicycle path was available. A spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration called the survey results exciting verification for FHWA's bicycle transportation program which helps local transportation agencies find a scenic creekbank where the bike path can be installed.

Find the dog - a visual perception challenge

Find the Dog
Here is a visual-perception challenge for you. See how quickly you can find the dogs in the picture below. Read the text below before looking at the picture.

Typical comments by people taking the test:

  • "I couldn't see a dog and I stared at the picture for a good 10 minutes."
  • "I think it is one of those pictures where you have to stare at it in a certain spot and then everything comes into focus, but it never happened to me. I'll give it another try later."
  • "I almost didn't find the dogs at all!"
  • "There is a dog in this picture? Where?"
  • "This must be a joke; there are no dogs in this picture."
Men seem to do better at this than women. For some reason, the following are average time frames the picture had to be viewed for men and women: Women - 28.46 minutes, Men - 1.23 seconds

Click for larger picture

Hint: The dogs appear to be white with black spots.
Good luck and happy hunting.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Queer eye for the straight girl

I was perpetuating a stereotype when I was asked to go shopping with a friend to help her decide which light fitting was going to look best. She couldn't make up her mind between two, and there was a third possibility also. Of course the two had to be in different shops. She first took me to the one she wasn't favouring as much, thinking that when I saw the second I could confirm that it was better. With colour swatches in hand we looked at both, and eventually selected the first.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Quote of the day - Golf

Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it's open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
-- Dave Barry

Blog comments are now restored

Thanks to the people at HaloScan.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Wordview quiz

What sort of quiz stated The Bible states that money is the root of all evil. and asks if you strongly agree, tend to agree, no opinion, tend to disagree, strongly disagree? What meaning can be inferred from these options as to whether the bible states this?

Another question is The Bible is a consistent revelation from beginning to end. To an atheist the bible consistently reveals different things than it does to a believer.

The question Physically and mentally healthy adults that do not work should not be protected from suffering the consequences of their actions makes me left-wing when I say that I agree with this only if there is work available.

When you study the Bible as a whole, it becomes clear that God is very supportive of an economic system that is based on private property, the work ethic, and personal responsibility astounds me.

At last, a right-wing question I agree with, Making the incomes of its citizens as equal as possible should be one of the top priorities of any legitimate government putting me back to my centrist viewpoint. Or is it an authoritarian viewpoint I disagree with?

It's an USA-centric quiz. My result describes me as Your classification is: Communist / Marxist / Socialist / Secular Humanist Worldview Thinker. My score is: -39 points of 170 possible, -22%. I needed 75% or more to be a Strong Biblical Worldview Thinker, 50% to be a Moderate Biblical Worldview Thinker, 25% to be a Secular Humanist Worldview Thinker, and over 0% to be a Socialist Worldview Thinker.

4.5% of my age groups falls into my category, 6.3% of everyone.

My answers about Civil Government merited a -31% (yes, a negative score). Economics was -16% (another negative). Education was an improvement, only -8%. Family was -12%, better than expected because I concurred with them that George W. Bush is the President of the United States of America.Law and Religion are equally bad at -34% each. Science was another -12%. Social issues managed to get a positive rating, 12%. Ideas have consequences, Truth is discovered by man, not created, and Truth is either nonexistent or unknowable are three issues I managed to agree with.

FavIcon Generator

I've just used FavIcon Generator to create a footprint. I need to tweak my source picture to make the background transparent, but my first image there now.

Evil is as evil does

The Scotsman reports Anti Gay Preacher Convicted of Soliciting Boy.

Quote of the day - Impressed about America

The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.
-- King Edward VIII

Update on comments

Update from Blogspeak

BlogSpeak is in the process of being acquired by HaloScan. Everyone's account will be transferred there, with all comments in tact. Further information will be posted here in the coming days to advise you how to take advantage of this. Also, an email will be sent to all users informing them of the switch.

It was fun serving all of you, and sorry it had to come to an end. You can blame that one on

I have a special for everyone who has recently donated. Look for an email from me in the coming days to explain.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Catching up on mailing lists in my in-box

I defer reading some of my email because mailing lists do not expect an answer, and sometimes they take a bit of time to sift through for the good bits.

From Neat Net Tricks December 15:

Automatic Date. The keyboard combo Shift+Alt+D inserts the current date in MS Word. If you don't like the date's format, select a different one with Insert|Date and Time and, if you'd like to make that permanent, click on the Default button while changing it.

You can also do the same with the time and Shift+Alt+T.

These shortcuts insert dynamic fields which update automatically.

From The Office Letter December 29:

You have two easy options to stop the field updating. The Unlink fields command (Ctrl+Shift+F9) turns the field result into formatted text which will never be updated. Alternatively, use the Lock field command (Ctrl+F11). The difference between Unlink and Lock is that the latter may be Unlocked (Ctrl+Shift+F11) at a later date if the user wants to change it.

From LangaList December 11:

Do your part to help drive the spammers out of business. Take the pledge: Never, ever, buy *anything* you see spamvertised!

From Neat Net Tricks January 15:

Word Counter at ranks the words you most frequently use, to determine whether you overuse them.

My So-Called Blog

My So-Called Blog, By Emily Nussbaum.

Developing Discipline

Dan Perez writes about developing discipline in writing. He breaks it down into three steps:

  1. Analysis
  2. Deciding how much to write
  3. Keeping track of progress.
He also advises the following
  • Keep a journal
  • Avoid distractions
  • Reward yourself for a job well done
  • Don't beat yourself up for missing a day
Elizabeth Bear includes her journal of progress in her blog. I'm not disciplined enough to do that yet, just as I'm not disciplined enough to put a fitness log online.

Quote of the day - Support group

Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called everybody, and they meet at the bar.
-- Drew Carey

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Quote of the day - Key to failure

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
-- Bill Cosby

Comments are temporarily unavailable

I've been using blogspeak for my comments, unfortunately the hosting of it has been suspended.

BlogSpeak is currently down because the bastards that host it decided to suspend my account. I do not know as of yet when this situation will be resolved. If you don't want any JavaScript errors on your pages, take the code off for the time being. If you're pissed off because your comments don't work, I would be too. Believe me, I'm not too happy about my account being suspended either. I do have a backup of the DB from an hour before the suspension occurred. So if the server comes back up, or I have to get a new server, of even pass the duties of maintaining BlogSpeak off to someone else, everything will be in tact.

If you'd like to donate to the cause of most likely having to move hosting to a new locale, click here. If you have tons of extra bandwidth and storage available, and would be willing to host BlogSpeak, or take over all BlogSpeak duties entirely, email me and I'll tell you what it would entail.

BlogSpeak will also soon become open source, with both personal and server editions available. Those of you with your own servers running PHP & MySQL will be able to run comments on your own server instead of relying on one controlled by a building full of douchebags. Also, those of you with the brains and braun that want to start your own commenting service will have a good start with the server edition.

Thanks for your patience during this time, and I apologize for this bullshit.

I do intend to change to moveable type sometime, but my current hosting plan does not support scripts. When I do change, I'll move my blog to the top instead of having it in the subfolder I put it. I'll also set up the archives for each post to be separate.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Straight Acting

How Do You Rate?It was time for me to take the straight acting test again. A few years ago I achieved a three, so it's nice to see than I am consistent.

Level 3 -- Mostly Straight Acting
You lead a normal everyday life and it's 'no questions asked' as people just assume you are straight. Every once and awhile a very aware person might notice something that causes them to think 'fem' but it's a fleeting thought because you turn around and surprise them with more masculine traits before they even have time to fully analyze the last one.

The About Us page clarifies what this all means.
Society has stereotyped homosexual men as being feminine. Some are. Some aren't. So then, what do all these words mean? Straight Acting? Masculine? Feminine? Unfortunately, they mean a lot of different things to different people, so it's hard to "judge" just how "straight acting" or "masculine" someone is. Does Masculinity have to do with "muscles"? No! Does being more "Straight Acting" than feminine make you a better person? No! Does displaying your gay pride mean you are feminine or proud to be feminine? No!

Chances are that if you're gay, a minority, or both, you've dealt with some form of discrimination in the past. Unlike what other people might say, calling someone "straight acting" or someone looking for someone else that is "straight acting" is not a way to "diminish gays as human beings or marginalize the gay community." It's called preference...nothing more, nothing less. Don't discriminate against people that express their preference!

Just as people have preferences for the type of guys they like, for example, "tall men", many of us have a preference for "straight acting" men-- Men that have very few effeminate traits but still like to get down with other men.

This site was created to help people find each other! We see all people as equal. Regardless of sexual orientation, age, race, religion, or what level you achieve on our quiz--we are all equal. This website is for fun! Don't make it anything more than it is, and anything less either and you'll be fine.

Personally I don't like the term straight acting. I'm not acting! If a straight person acts like me is that queer acting?

I will admit that I like it that people don't assume I'm gay, and that I can really screw up people who assume that when I go shopping with my friend Ashley they think we are a straight couple. It happened at the Auckland Homeshow last year, and on Sunday we will be looking at light fittings. When the salesman gets annoying with his preconceptions I drop a few hints and watch him backpedal. I Hope it expands his awareness to the way the world really is, but I'm an optimist.

Via Daren Barefoot, straight guy, also a three. (How much is his wife's influence, such as the number of candles?)

Quote of the day - You've got to be original

You've got to be original, because if you're like someone else, what do they need you for?
-- Bernadette Peters

Monday, January 12, 2004

Domain hosting frustrations

My domain hosting is having problems. the is not working, but is.

Update: It's been nearly 18 hours.
Update: It's resolved now. There were some major changes made to the apache configuration file that resulted in a typo where one of the lines affected

Quote of the day - Never put off until tomorrow

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today." Under the influence of this pestilent morality, I am forever letting tomorrow's work slop backwards into today's, and doing painfully and nervously today what I could do quickly and easily tomorrow.
-- J. A. Spender

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Quote of the day - Stupid questions

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
-- Scott Adams

Scenes From A Sad Airport

Airport security and immigration in the land of the free.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Ten common problems that dismiss you as an amateur

Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See

  1. Repeats sad, sad sad.
  2. Flat writing Something is conveyed in the sentence, but who cares?
  3. Empty adverbs Actually the actual word actual is actually overused and actually it actually doesn't actually add anything to the actual sentence.
  4. Phony dialogue "Tell me again, Bruce: What are we doing next?"
  5. No-good suffixes meticulously and harrowingly add to the obtuseness of a sentence.
  6. The "to be" words flatten prose and need to be used sparingly.
  7. Lists of words, places, items, names, colours, flowers, drinks, fruit, vegetables... cause the eyes to glaze over.
  8. Show, don't tell They may be handsome, attractive, momentous, embarrassing, fabulous, powerful, hilarious, stupid, or fascinating, but the reader doesn't know why. If another character is fascinated then this tells the reader about the drives of the second character.
  9. Awkward phrasing makes the reader stop in the midst of reading and ponder the meaning of a word or phrase.
  10. Commas have their place in writing. You may find it necessary to break the rules from time to time, but many phrases and sentences require commas.
via Darren Barefoot


NewsNation, an automated New Zealand news aggregator that anyone can comment on clusters of similar stories, has been set up. The clustering of articles is still a bit dodgy, but hopefully they will get there.

Jennifer Government

I've just finished an enjoyable read, Jennifer Government, by Max Barry.

I learnt about the book through Nation States.

I'd like to know what libertarians think of telemarketers and their place in the ideal libertarian workd.

Quote of the day - Advertising

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
-- Sinclair Lewis

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Quote of the day - Approval

When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of putting it into practice.
-- Otto von Bismarck

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Hello Blogger, my old friend

With apologies to Paul Simon:

Hello Blogger, my old friend
I’ve come to post on you again
I hope this time you are working
Don’t tell me that you’ll be crashing
And the essay that was formed in my brain
Still remains
But there’s a click of silence...

And the people bowed and prayed
To the online god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “Blogger is temporarily down.
Please don’t frown.”
And despaired in the clicks of silence...

From Daniel W. Drezner

Quote of the day - Power

It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
-- David Brin

Which tarot card are you?

I am The Fool

The Fool can signal a new beginning or change of direction - one that will guide you onto a path of adventure, wonder and personal growth. He also reminds you to keep your faith and trust your natural responses. If you are facing a decision or moment of doubt, the Fool tells you to believe in yourself and follow your heart no matter how crazy or foolish your impulses may seem.

Full description of your card and other goodies

What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.

Day: Month: Year:
via Mad World

Gay-for-a-day cops

In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Cops Walk A Mile In Our Shoes in a non-gay area "pretending to be gay".

The first exercise involved two new cops. They wore civvies and walked hand in hand down Whyte Avenue, a typical commercial street.

One guy said the avenue seemed to close in on him. He felt a heightened awareness of security -- very aware of the people around him. He felt intimidated. A group of construction workers was working on a wall, and they shut down their work to see this, when these guys walked by. I think that's when the intimidation hit.

[The other guy] said he felt angry because one man gave him a dirty look and then said something to his wife.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

2003 Zeitgeist

The Google Zeitgeist 2003 is now out. They don't show the results for New Zealand.

No warning of upcoming events

Feedroll is down. My Guns of Avalon list of upcoming events in Auckland is blank. Hopefully it will be restored soon so that I can see at a glance events added by other people. If it isn't restored soon I'll start looking for another way of showing the xml on my page

Quote of the day - Everyone

When everyone is against you, it means that you are absolutely wrong-- or absolutely right.
-- Albert Guinon

Monday, January 05, 2004

My blogger code

My blogger code: B6 d t k+ s u f i o x e+ l+ c- (decode it!)

I ain't going to do it

'Ain't' isn't a Four-Letter Word explains the etymology of this contraction, and why it should be restored into acceptable use.

The adventure continues

Something I do is what these losers, making each making over $US50,000 per year do.

When explaining it to some people it takes on the feeling 'my name is Brian and I am a roleplayer.' Saying it's like Improvisational Theatre, but around a table has a better ring to it.

Quote of the day - Absence

I dote on his very absence.
-- William Shakespeare

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Quote of the day - Good guys

You always hear that all the good guys are taken, but I'm one of the good guys. How come I'm not taken?
-- Mighty Maloney

US Terror Alerts

Terror Alert LevelSesame Street characters help explain the US Terror Alert status.

Hypoallergenic Alpaca Wool Pillows

My allergies are mild, but some people benefit from sleeping on hypoallergenic pillows. Alpaca wool seems very effective.

Alpacas are members of the llama family whose ancestral home is traced to South America. Their fleece has been cherished for its natural warmth and softness as far back to the Incan civilization. Alpaca wool is ideal for bed duvets & comforters because it is lightweight, absorbs moisture, and breathes naturally to keep you dry and comfortable. Alpaca organically grown wool is naturally hypoallergenic and does not harbor dust mites and their allergens that can cause asthma and allergies. Alpaca is softer than cashmere.
From Allergy Consumer Review

Hypoallergenic pillows are not cheap, but they are now available in NZ at well under half the US prices. I'm sure they could be shipped internationally without any problems.

This has been a public service announcement.

Happy New Year

I've managed to survive the night, and am now raring to start 2004.

2003 was a good year fior me, I managed to get two vacations abroad, and made some good friends. Here's hoping that this will continue.