Shadow Footprints

Wanderings in Virtu and Verity.

Friday, April 30, 2004

My day off

When I went to the car this morning I found one of the springs from the garage door lying on the ground, broken.

I saw the doctor about a lump on my jaw this morning. I go back next Friday for him to cut it out. Patrick thinks it'll be a cool scar. I'll be able to hide it by having sideburns if I need to.

I also got a flu injection for this coming winter. Last year I kept catching cold after cold, sometimes I caught one before I got over the previous. With all the stress I've been having about work I figure my immune system will be lowered and I should take all the help I can get.

Called the garage door company and gut redircted to another one. Seems the guys who installed my door no longer exist. I got directions to the new place in Takanini and drove there this afternoon. Got stuck on the Southern motorwaycarpark both ways but made it home before rush hour. The spring was easy to install.

Made up some bread dough this morning to make a calzone for dinner tonight. I've knocked it down a couple of times and it should be really light by the time I roll it out. Mince (ground beef to americans), tomato, mushroom, capsicum, garlic. Yummy.

With a day like today I should be competing with The Dullest Blog in the World.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


A list of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Hunks. Alas, without many images.

Via The Bear's Lair.


I'm in two minds about One one hand I dislike having to register to read an article in an online newspaper. On the other hand I can see advantages for the newspaper to gain an understanding of the demographics of its readers. A complicated registration process deserves being ignored and BugMeNot passwords being used. A simple registration process (local area code, do you ever read the print edition, and possibly age) should be filled in.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

There Once Was A Hermit Named Dave

A page dedicated to the limeric There Once Was A Hermit Named Dave.

There once was a hermit named Dave
Who kept a dead whore in his cave.
"I know it's a sin,"
He said with a grin,
"But think of the money I save!"

Your memories

Latest meme: Invent a memory of me and post it in the comments. It can be anything you want, so long as it's something that's never happened. The universe failed to cooperate in making it happen so you have to make it up instead.

Via Great Justice

Why Blog? Zat Is Ze Qwestion

Ensight responds to the question of why we blog. For some it's to build relationship and get to know people. This is both for business networking and being a social butterfly. Some people think blogging is about talking to yourself. His answer is as follows:

I write for myself. The parts I love about blogging are the social aspect, the concept of opening up my ideas for review (by others or myself) as well as the ability to search my thoughts: knowledge management.

Blogging's something for anyone and everyone. I can't think of anyone who can't benefit from knowing more people, never forgetting a thought again and improving on their thoughts with little or no effort.

For some blogging will be like a diary: a historical record of their thoughts at a moment in time.

For others it'll be like speed-networking. You get to know people in a shallow way and then develop a relationship.

For still others it'll be something else entirely.

Most people who don't "get" blogging have never really tried to look past the teenage girls who "oooh, he's so cute" their way through every day.

Even for those girls, though, there's value. Psychologically speaking it's an incredibly valuable outlet.

Sorry, but many people are too busy being closed minded about blogging to see the potential. If you don't do it, cool. But don't say it's useless "unless you have a big fan group or like to hear your own voice" (to paraphrase).

He follows with:
But, really, blogging is about the blogger. I've introduced dozens of people to blogging. Only one quit, and I'm trying to convince him to take it up again because I honestly believe he'd really enjoy it.

All of the people who have taken it up generally aren't sure why they keep at it. I love blogging, I'm sure I'll always blog in some form or another (even if it dies, it's entirely likely I'll just do it for me as a journal).

I'm not sure why I blog. I like to keep a record of interesting sites. I like having somewhere where I can rant about cycling or gay issues. It's some sort of journal for me, where I also have an audience.

I've tried keeping a diary at different times in my life, but don't manage to keep up with it, and a dated diary becomes so wasteful. I tried keeping a journal when I did my OE but again that lasted only a few weeks; when I settled in a place I stopped writing.

I sometimes use MyDiary on my pda for the things that private; things that affected me strongly emotionally, that I need to write down but do not want to publish. Maybe one day I'll publish some of them, but as they refer to others it is not fair for me to identify them without permission.

Quote of the day - Praise

He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have.
-- Don Juan Manuel

Monday, April 26, 2004

Quote of the day - Reasoning with people

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
-- Jonathan Swift

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Anzac Day

For The Fallen
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

The Last Post is played.

Last Post
Come home! Come home! The last post is sounding
for you to hear. All good soldiers know very well there
is nothing to fear while they do what is right, and forget
all the worries they have met in their duties through the
year. A soldier cannot always be great, but he can be a
gentleman and he can be a right good pal to his comrades in
his squad. So all you soldiers listen to this – Deal fair by all
and you’ll never be amiss.

Be Brave! Be Just! Be Honest and True Men!

A minute's silence. It is a time for reflection – to think about all the New Zealanders who have fought and died in all wars, and to remember their courage and sacrifice.

Reveille is played.


Rev-eil-lee! Rev-eil-lee is sounding
The bugle calls you from your sleep; it is the break of day.
You've got to do your duty or you will get no pay.
Come, wake yourself, rouse yourself out of your sleep
And throw off the blankets and take a good peek at all
The bright signs of the break of day, so get up and do not delay.

Get Up!

Or-der-ly officer is on his round!
And if you're still a-bed he will send you to the guard
And then you'll get a drill and that will be a bitter pill:
So be up when he comes, be up when he comes,
Like a soldier at his post, a soldier at his post, all ser-ene.

Long known as the corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) because it flourishes as a weed in grain fields, the Flanders poppy as it is now usually called, grew profusely in the trenches and craters of the war zone. Artillery shells and shrapnel stirred up the earth and exposed the seeds to the light they needed to germinate.

This same poppy also flowers in Turkey in early spring - as it did in April 1915 when the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli.

In Flanders’ fields

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ fields.

-- Colonel John McCrae

We Shall Keep the Faith

Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew,
We caught the torch you threw,
And holding high we kept
The faith with those who died.
We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led.

It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders’ fields.

And now the torch and poppy red
Wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders’ fields.

-- Moira Michael


The Main Body, as it was known, of 8,417 men sailed from Wellington on October 16 1914. The largest single body of men ever to leave the country, it reached Alexandria in Egypt on November 3. Here they settled into a routine of training and preparation. They saw their first action on 3 February 1915 when they repulsed a Turkish incursion across the Suez Canal. Private William Ham from the Canterbury Infantry Regiment died of his wounds the next day - New Zealand's first casualty in action. On 25 April 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula of Turkey. They were to remain there for 8 months until the successful evacuation operation completed by 20 December 1915.

The major battles of the Gallipoli campaign are as follows:
May 6-8 Second battle of Krithia
Aug 6-21 Battle of Suvla
(The struggle for Chunk Bair occurred on 7-8 August during the Battle of Suvla and was mainly carried out by the Wellington Battalion.)

The ANZACs were evacuated from Gallipoli by December 20. 8,556 New Zealand troops served on Gallipoli. 2,721 died and 4,752 were wounded.

A tribute to the memory of the ANZACS by M. Kemal Atatürk in 1934 (Founder of the Turkish Republic in 1923)

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives; You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

Therefore rest in peace.

There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehemets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.

You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are at peace.

After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Quote of the day - Safest course

...the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
-- Voltaire

Put New Zealand on the Map

Question: What country famous for its contributions to the movie business is being snubbed by what famous film studio?

See Put New Zealand on the Map for the answer.

Understandably, New Zealand was a pretty quiet place, but babysitting 50 million sheep gets too quiet, even for New Zealanders. Over the years many New Zealanders became motivated and did notable things: Like being the first to climb Mount Everest, (Sir Edmund Hillary), first to split the atom, (Lord Rutherford). And more currently, things like owning the America’s Cup, a prestigious sailing trophy that didn’t leave America for over 100 years. Other New Zealanders have worked hard developing a film business, at home and internationally, and earned numerous Academy Awards in the process.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

First Birthday

I just read a delightful story about a child's first birthday.


I've received an invitation to set up a Gmail (Googles's email) account. Let's test the spam capabilities. The address is shadowfoot at gmail dot com.

Update: I've changed the direct link to a text one. Initial spam results had most cuaght but recently some has been appearing in the in-box.

Quote of the day - Perceived risk

Most of us, for instance, don't think twice about taking a walk, even though there is a 1-in-40,000 chance we will be killed as a pedestrian this year. Riding a bicycle is less risky, where we run about a 1-in-130,000 chance of being killed...
-- Larry Laudan, The Book of Risks

What about Lobster?

Only Connect entered a Xian chat room and discovered double standards.

Via The Rob Log.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Magneto was right

There is a campaign to free Magneto.

Monday, April 19, 2004

On wheels

I went skating tonight. The air was clear and mild. Not too many people out, though I did use my bicycle bell for the few groups blocking the path. I went from Kelly Tarltons to St Helliers and back, then to Mechanics Bay and back. Basically nonstop for 70 minutes for 15km which is a low average speed. I'd hate to have to walk it, and it was a lot more fun than the gym would have been.

What a weekend

I happily left work on Thursday afternoon. Cycled home with only one idiot changing lanes too fast as the drive they wanted was sooner than expected. Got home to find a buddy had arrived for the weekend to go to Armageddon. He was with girlfriend and her kid. My house is not childproof. I am not used to needing earplugs to sleep.

Friday evening I went to the movies with David. We saw Girl with a Pearl Earring. I enjoyed it, and loved the scene where the patron's home is shown with glimses of magnificant paintings. I also enjoyed spending time with David over a coffee afterwards.

Saturday lunchtime I meet Helen and Shelley for lunch at Zarbo in Newmarket. Helen was up from Havelock North for the weekend. It's a nightmare trying to find parking in Newmarket but I wasn't too late. I had to go shopping with the girls after that, before we made our way to Helen's car. She had brought the stuff I forgot last time I visited my brother. I figure that I always forget something when I travel.

Saturday afternoon I called David to see if he wanted to go rollerblading with me. He was happy to immediately stop gardening to do so. We followed it by a nice coffee. I hadn't done any skating since last June when I fell and screwed up my shoulder. No muscle twinges the next day.

Sunday was booked for gaming. High level characters of an all good party. Nice change. Fun too, even though another's character had a temporary setback from failing to avoid the effects of destruction.

I considered going skating again on Sunday evening but decided I had to be a bit more sociable. Maybe I'll go Monday night.

Has Calvin grown up?

Calvin & Hobbes is a great comic. The artist, Bill Watterson withdrew from comics and public life in 1995.

Eric wonders if he's back. This time as a school janitor.

Looking at the comic I would say the artist, Jef Mallett, was inspired by Calvin & Hobbes and for that reason would make the following reference

Frazz is talking with one of the girls at the school. She mentions that she plans to be famous one day, and when Frazz points out that she doesn't even like to be called on in class, she says she wants to be famous, not well-known; that she wants to be well-known for her work but not be a public figure. "Like J.D. Salinger or Bill Watterson," says Frazz. "Never heard of them," she responds, for the punchline.

The strip mentioned seem to be unavailable now.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Attention All Heterosexual Men


Attention All Heterosexual Men!

Are you disillusioned by your lifestyle? Do you want more from life besides monster truck shows? Do Budweiser commercials confuse you? Are you tired of being a year behind in fashion? Do you wish you had a nice apartment like the ones you see on "Will & Grace"?

You are not alone! Act now, and you'll be on your way to living a fabulous, glamorous life as a homosexual! We are now recruiting heterosexual men ages 18-65 to become homosexuals. Let us assist you in your transformation from bland to beautiful! We'll give you all the steps you'll need to be a happy fairy, such as:
  • Drag Queen make-up tips!
  • How to have sex with a man without the six pack of beer!
  • How to decorate with frills and throw pillows to brighten up any room!
  • Essential Madonna and Cher records to own.
  • That tongue trick invented circa 1978 in some alley in NYC.
  • Ricky Martin's fan club address.
  • Style and grooming tips no self respecting gay would be without (hope you're not too attached to that uni-brow).
  • How to wear a G-string with poise and dignity (we'll insert a few bucks to get you started).
  • Finger-snapping lessons, and a dialect coach to assist in "gaylingo".
  • Learn important historical dates, like: the year Donna Summer won her first Grammy, Barbra's wedding anniversary, and the day Judy died!
Act now and you'll receive a gold-plated closet door hinge to symbolize your freedom!

Don't delay any longer! Do you want to have more women hanging off you than when you were straight? Aren't you tired of the snickers whenever you walk into a room?

Call 1-800-976-HOMO to begin your life as a fabulous fag!

Call today. Operators are standing by...
Author unknown.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The argument against legalizing gay marriage

The argument against legalizing gay marriage must be the same as the argument against legalizing drugs: If you legalize gay marriage, everyone will want to do it. Clearly, we all have these massive, pent-up, homosexual urges waiting to erupt, once we get the giddyap go-ahead from the government. George Bush and Dick Cheney might take up residence together in a simply darling Crystal City duplex. If gays are allowed to get married, guys like me will start looking at our wives and thinking, wait a minute, I have to settle for this weak little, squeaky-voiced, thong-wearing thing when Sylvester Stallone is available?

--Gene Weingarten

Via Rex Wockner

Quote of the day - Teaching children

The tooth fairy teaches children that they can sell body parts for money.
-- David Richerby

Fuck it, I've taken a bullet

The Prince of Wales uttered these words in 1900 after being shot by an anarchist. This and more are found on The history of swearing in the UK.

Via languagehat.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

To deceive the eye

There are pictures of Trompe L'Oeil in what, to me, is an unusual situation at Clearly, More Than Meets The Eye. I suspect the fish tank is the best as it is photographed from the side, but without being there in person it.

Years ago I saw photos of a bathroom done with Trompe L'Oeil, with some tiles broken to add to the illusion of it being outside within a roman villa, something that would suit my bathroom, and something that I will seriously consider when I get around to renovating my bathroom. Unfortunately I can't find something similar to it on the web.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

It's better than staying home and doing crime

This title comes via The Modern Mythology, a blog I've encountered recently. I met the author at my cocktail party.

Badger Linux

Installing Linux on a Dead Badger: User's Notes, by Lucy A. Snyder

Let's face it: any script kiddie with a pair of pliers can put Red Hat on a Compaq, his mom's toaster, or even the family dog. But nothing earns you geek points like installing Linux on a dead badger. So if you really want to earn your wizard hat, just read the following instructions, and soon your friends will think you're slick as caffeinated soap.

It's worth reading the full article.
Via Backup Brain.

Interpreting the Seven Deadly Sins

Trey Givens, as an Objectivist, defines the Seven Deadly Sins.

Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

Translation: Pride from this is reality evasion toward optimism. The correct term here should be "hubris."

Envy is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.

Translation: Doesn't directly translate. Recognizing virtue and desiring to achieve that virtue isn't a bad thing at all. This would only be bad if you went and attacked a person to get those things.

Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Translation: This doesn't translate either, because the definition seems to be saying that everyone should live at mere subsistence; and almost everything is more than one requires. A car? More than you require because you can walk. I support the acquisition and consumption of VAST amounts above the requisit.

Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

Translation: What is an inordinate craving? I'm going to be generous and translate this to “hedonism” which represents an epistemologically short-sighted view of reality; one essentially ignores the longer term impact of action.

Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.

Translation: Recognizing vice for vice and hating it as such is right and proper. Evil people are people who do evil. One cannot separate the person from the action without evading reality. So, I just plain reject this one as a none-too-subtle part of altruism. (*gasp!* Not in Christianity! Say it ain't so!)

Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.

Translation: I reject this one, too. It goes back to that subsistence level living thing.

Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

Translation: Sloth. Now, here's one with which an Objectivist can get on board. One of the primary virtues in Objectivism is being productive. Sloth is a way bad thing.

I disagree with some of his interpretations. Gluttony is more than consuming for mere subsistence, it includes consuming for the sake of consumtion. A glutton is not satisfied with a small amount providing all needs, they was seconds and thirds because they are there. Taste is important to gluttons, not good tastes, just the act of tasting, on and on. Gluttons tend to be overweight.

Anger is not restricted to recognizing vice for vice. Road Rage anyone? Evil people may do evil things, and stupid people may do stupid things. Anger is misplaced when it is against a stupid thing. Maybe an objectivist sees stupid people as evil people, but I have a different worldview than that.

Greed is more than wanting things. It is wanting money for the sake of having money, and acting that way. Sometimes I don't understand money, to me it is just a way of being able to do things. Having it is not an end in itself.

Quote of the day - Luck

People always call it luck when you?ve acted more sensibly than they have.
-- Anne Tyler

Sunday, April 11, 2004

You are your references

Fast Company has an interesting article for those in the jpob market, on how You Are Your References. for many of us the statement Wherever we go, we leave electronic footprints applies, especially bloggers.

I've asked a couple a of people who know me how my blog reflects the person they know. I'd like to get comments about how people perceive me online, both from people who don't know me and people who do. There's enough hints in this blog for googling me (careful, that tickles).

So what should we do? Should we fret and live in fear of our past actions and words coming back to haunt us? I don't think so. There's a bright new opportunity just sitting here, waiting for organizations and individuals to take advantage of it: Spend your future creating your past, starting right now. Live your life out loud, well aware that everything you say can (and will) be used against you (or for you). Treat every customer as though he could turn into a testimonial. Treat every vendor as if she could give you a recommendation. And then, when the time comes, the seeds you've sown will pay off.

Blogs, newsgroups, professional organizations, and all the rest are perfect for someone who wants to leave a vivid, positive trail. You can choose to use the new tools or to become a victim of them.

16 Ways to Be a Smarter Teacher

Teaching is different from giving a speech. Good teaching is universal. 16 Ways to Be a Smarter Teacher

1. It's not about you; it's about them. The best instructors see themselves as guides.

2. Study your students. You have to know where the person is starting from before you can help him reach the destination.

3. Students take risks when teachers create a safe environment. Students have to acknowledge what they don't know, take risks, and rethink what they thought they knew.

4. Great teachers exude passion as well as purpose. The desire is infectious.

5. Students learn when teachers show them how much they need to learn. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

6. Keep it clear even if you can't keep it simple. The ability to break down complex ideas and make them understandable.

7. Practice vulnerability without sacrificing credibility. Acknowledging what you don't know shows that you're still learning, that the teacher is, in fact, still a student.

8. Teach from the heart. We teach who we are.

9. Repeat the important points. The first time you say something, it's heard, the second time, it's recognized, and the third time, it's learned.

9. Repeat the important points.

10. Good teachers ask good questions. If you want to get to the heart of something, ask "Why?" five times.

11. You're not passing out information. You're teaching people how to think. You want a forceful group of people who know what you want but at the same time feel free enough to make the day-to-day judgments themselves.

12. Stop talking -- and start listening. Effective learning is a two-way street: It's a dialogue, not a monologue.

13. Learn what to listen for. Listen for how the student assembles all of this information, how well she organizes her thoughts.

14. Let your students teach each other. Everybody has a piece of relevant information, making everyone a teacher and a learner.

15. Avoid using the same approach for everyone. Students learn differently. Some are visual. Some grasp the abstract. Some learn best by reading.

16. Never stop teaching. Effective teaching is about the quality of the relationship between the teacher and the student.

Quote of the day - Professional

A professional is a person who can do his best at a time when he doesn't particularly feel like it.
-- Alistair Cooke

Friday, April 09, 2004

I must not...

Cruise at the gym. I am there for a hard workout. I must not cruise at the gym. I am there for a hard workout. I must not cruise at the gym. I am there for a hard workout.

It's Good Friday and I went to the gym this morning. This workout should hopefully ease the aches and pains of Wednesday's workout.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

How high can you go?

The formula is h = Q.(12 3s/8) to keep wearers of high heels upright.

Physicists at the Institute of Physics have devised a formula that, based on your shoe size, tells you the maximum height of heel you can wear without toppling over or suffering agonies. And it is:

h = Q.(12+3s/8)

h is the maximum height of the heel (in cm)

S is the shoe size (UK ladies sizes). This factor makes sure that the base of support is just good enough for an experienced, and sober, high-heel wearer not to fall over

Q is a sociological factor. It equals p.(y+9).L, divided by (t+1).(A+1).(y+10).(L+£20)M

p the probability that wearing the shoes will help you "pull" (in a range from zero to one, where one is a certainty and zero is stick to carpet slippers). If the shoes are a turn-off, there's no point wearing them

y is the number of years experience you have in wearing high heels. As you become more adept, you can wear a higher heel. Beginners should take it easy

L is the cost of the shoes, in pounds. Clearly, if the shoe is particularly expensive, you can put up with a higher heel

t the time since the shoe was the height of fashion, in months (0 = it's the "in thing" right now). One has to suffer for one's art, and if the shoes are terribly fashionable, you should be prepared to put up with a little pain

A is units of alcohol consumed. If you're planning on drinking, be careful to give yourself a little leeway for reduced co-ordination.

(M is not defined so I used a value of 1.)

This formula means I should wear 3cm (just over an inch) until I have a few drinks then I should be barefoot. Sounds good to me.

Via Perverse Access Memory.

Quote of the day - Differences that divide us

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.
-- Audre Lorde

Ow! It hurts!

Pain in my elbows, especially the right one which I broke the radius five years ago skating. Also some pain in my right shoulder aggravating the damage caused by a fall I had on my skates last June. I wasn't expecting these aches until Friday, when I expect to get to the gym in the morning and work them out.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Easter bunny or gym bunny?

I made it to the gym tonight, the first time in many months. Even though I took some things easy I expect to feel the burn on Friday.

I've been meaning to reactivate my membership and tonight I had no more excuses not to do so. For $65/month I have a pretty good membership. I priced the local gym a couple of years ago, and it was going to cost me more and have hours that are less convenient.

With my cycling I haven't felt too guilty about not going to the gym, but now that I am only working four days/week I'm only commuting four days/week. Something had to change. I need to do more weights work, I have dumb-bells and a swiss ball at home, but do not often do a workout with them. Things will change.

Quote of the day - Making a mistake

When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
-- Hugh White

Qantas pressures agents to drop paper tickets

Qantas is really pushing for the use of e-tickets. There are several disadvantages to the use of e-tickets, pointed out by The Practical Nomad.

While airlines are trying to promote e-tickets and ticketless travel as a convenience to passengers, e-tickets were developed and are being promoted solely to serve the interests of the airlines, not those of passengers. For your own protection, insist on paper tickets whenever possible. They may cost you extra (a few airlines and agencies already surcharge paper tickets, and others are expected to follow suit), but they are worth it. Most users of e-tickets don't realize their drawbacks, and wouldn't use them if they did.
  • Flight reservation computers may be down
  • Hard to use your credit card to buy someone else a ticket
  • no proof of outbound transportation as may be required by immigration
  • Can't be honoured by other airlines if your airline or flight has delays
He goes into details of these points.

I've had to use electronic tickets a few times in NZ, with out any problem, apart from the first when the person in my old work had booked me to fly to Christchurch but omitted to tell me which airline. In the US I recently flew from Las Vegas to San Diego on Southwest. There was a large check-in queue which we bypassed because we had carry-on baggage only and e-tickets.

Winter on its way

It was nippy yesterday, and when I left work to cycle home I could see my breath. On the news it reported that down south snow was down to 200m and snow expected on the Desert Road. Even a week ago the Desert Road was briefly closed. I can't see me escaping winter this year; there's no way I can take a month off and stay in the northern hemisphere. I'll just have to dress warmly, and wear more than a t-shirt and cycle short to work.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The Amazing Race 5 scheduled in the US

Woohoo! The Amazing Race 5 broadcast dates scheduled in the US. I hope TVNZ does what it did for series 4, and schedule them to show within the week they show in the US. It's the only "reality" show I'm interested in watching.

Sending large files

Thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald I've discovered YouSendIt, a facility to send someone large files quickly, securely, and easily! Instead of the file clogging an in-box, it is uploaded to their servers for up to seven days and a link is emailed to the recipient. I've tested it and the recipient's emails looks like this:

Hello from YouSendIt,

You've got a file called "Dsc00398.jpg" (49 KB) waiting for download. Please click on the following link to retrieve it. The link will expire in 7 days.

Regular link (for all web browsers):

This email was automatically generated, please do not reply to it. For any inquiries, feel free to email

The YouSendIt Team

File too big for email? Try YouSendIt at

The photo is one a friend took at my cocktail party. The link will only be there for four days while they upgrade their storage space. I did have some people wondering if I had sorted the colours of several packets of M&Ms, until they realised those colours don't come in regular packets. In Las Vegas there is an M&M shop, with three floors and fifteen shades of M&Ms. I bought six colours and mixed them in the bowl.

Quote of the day - A good man

It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
-- Aristotle

Women want proper gay sex on screen

According to Liz Hoggard in the Guardian Women want proper gay sex on screen.

The paper also has a reasonible section labelled Gay Rights.


These are nine amazing animated background gifs from the Art of James Koehnline.

Via Ron's Log

Quiz - How grammatically sound are you?

Grammar God!You are a Grammar God!
If your mission in life is not already to preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
Brought to you by Quizilla

How grammatically sound are you? - Quizilla

Monday, April 05, 2004

Commuter traffic

As part of the aftermath of my cocktail party I drove to work this morning as I had to return the glasses I'd hired. The traffic was terrible, and I only have to go 5km. It is so much easier when I cycle, I don't notice how crowded the roads are, except when I'm passing the cars stopped in the gridlock. The journey home wasn't too bad, it took about the same amount of time as it would for me to cycle.

Quiz - What's your DuckType?

Captain Quack Rubber Duck QuizYou Are a Rebel Duck

Make others green with envy.

Quiz - What Kind of Shoe Are You?

bare feetBarefoot- free, rebellious, and wild, you hate boundries and rules. You tend to be on the crazy side and often sweep people up along with you. You are most likely the leader of your group of friends.

What Kind of Shoe Are You?
Brought to you by Quizilla

Quiz - What number are you?

I am an imaginary number


I don't really exist

What number are you?
This quiz by orsa

Via Classical Values


I like and its A.Word.A.Day. I'm on the mailing list and I have a javascript on this page with it.

Today it's petrichor (PET-ri-kuhr) noun

The pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

[From petro- (rock), from Greek petros (stone) ichor (the fluid that is supposed to flow in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology). Coined by researchers I.J. Bear and R.G. Thomas.]

"Petrichor, the name for the smell of rain on dry ground, is from oils given off by vegetation, absorbed onto neighboring surfaces, and released into the air after a first rain." Matthew Bettelheim; Nature's Laboratory; Shasta Parent (Mt Shasta, California); Jan 2002.

"But, even in the other pieces, her prose breaks into passages of lyrical beauty that come as a sorely needed revivifying petrichor amid the pitiless glare of callousness and cruelty." Pradip Bhattacharya; Forest Interludes;; Jul 29, 2001.

This week's theme: unusual words.

The New York Times describes the book as "A delightful, quirky collection.

New Zealanders look like nice, quiet British folk

There's a nice write-up in the Washington Post, of NZ as a travel destination, The Best Place on Any Earth , by Steve Hendrix.

The drive across the South Island -- endless vistas, empty highways -- cements my growing impression that only isolation protects New Zealand from its own perfection. Drive an hour and you'll cross half a dozen fly-fishing streams, a few wineries, the odd town with smart cafes, witty theater and cable TV. They even speak a sort of English. If New Zealand could be towed a thousand miles closer to the Northern Hemisphere, 100 million people would live here.

What Flavour Am I?

What Flavour Are You? I tashte like Alcohol.I tashte like Alcohol.

Heh. Heh. I taste like beer. I like beer. Buy me a beer. I'm not drunk, I can drink plenty without... What was I saying? Beer. What Flavour Are You?

Cocktails - followup

I was not too well on Sunday. It was sometime after noon that I crawled out of bed.

The weather was good on Saturday, it was quite pleasant outside with the brazier going. The fire wasn't going that well, but I've learnt a lesson with it.

It was a pleasant crowd, caught up with Andy whom I hadn't seen for some time. I got to compliment him on the Microsoft featuring Artrage on their New Zealand homepage.

The barman, an ex of mine, arrived late, which should be no surprise to everyone who knows him. Ashley stepped to the fore, making classic champagne cocktails as people arrived. Later the kitchen was rather crowded with people wanting different drinks, so much for the idea of limiting the selection to six different cocktails.

The cleanup on Sunday wasn't too difficult, thanks to my flatmate putting a load through the dishwasher the night before. I had to take a raincheck on the murder mystery dinner party I'd been invited to. I felt bad as it was for Bernadine's birthday, but she said she had a great time at the cocktail party. I was in bed at 9:15pm, extremely early for me, and out like a light.

Quote of the day - Willing people

The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.
-- Robert Frost

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Quote of the day - Make your own life

You must make your own life, live your own life and die your own
death... or else you will die another's.
-- Alfred Bester

Saturday, April 03, 2004


Why do I do these things?

Cocktail Party and Barbecue

It's time to have one

You, and a friend/partner, or just yourself
I'm expecting about 20 people

Bring something for the barbie, and dress for cocktails


My Place

Anything else?
The barman wants people dressed up for this (You'll get better service)

Taking a break from getting the house ready. I still have to pick up the ice, glasses, and a few other things. I limited the numbers to 20 or so, as the barman told me that one barman for up to 20 people is a manageable number.

Good thing I have nothing planned for tomorrow until the evening, where I'm supposed to dress up as a Roman commander.

Quote of the day - Temptation

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
-- Mae West

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Second Level of Hell

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished me to the Second Level of Hell!

Here is how I matched up against all the levels:

LevelWho are sent there?Score
PurgatoryRepenting BelieversVery Low
Level 1 - LimboVirtuous Non-BelieversLow
Level 2LustfulExtreme
Level 3GluttonousHigh
Level 4Prodigal and AvariciousHigh
Level 5Wrathful and GloomyLow
Level 6 - The City of DisHereticsExtreme
Level 7ViolentVery High
Level 8- the MalebolgeFraudulent, Malicious, PanderersHigh
Level 9 - CocytusTreacherousModerate

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
Via The Rob Log

How to Write a Journal: The Short Form

John Scalzi tells How to Write a Journal. While it's specifically an AOL journal, it applies to journal type blogs.

  1. It's about you.
  2. No topic too large, no topic too small.
  3. Write what you know.
  4. Write for yourself.
  5. Short is sweet.
  6. Enjoy (and pace) yourself.
Some of these apply to any sort of writing.