Shadow Footprints

Wanderings in Virtu and Verity.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Changing Site

I'm now ready to relaunch my blog, Shadow Footprints, removing my dependancy on blogger.com and their changes outside my control. Please update your links.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Gay Bombs

Al Qaeda plans to drop gay bombs : Men within 30 miles of the blast will instantly turn queer!
Children will sob: "Why is Daddy moving the furniture and who is Judy Garland?"

Via PlasticBag.org.

The Paper Napkin service

The Paper Napkin email rejection service is a very useful service. Please feel free to email me at shadowfoot@papernapkin.net.

Via Darren Barefoot, where I get many interesting links.

Free-to-air TV listings

I was at the site of TVNZ and found a link to full listings, showing the schedule of all the free-to-air channels.

If only the feed was available as raw data for creating a local, free-to-use, Tivo-like machine.

Panic defense

Hans, of It's good to be a guy writes about the verdict on Aging Queen murdered manslaughtered by Rentboy.

DPF wrote about this a few days ago, saying I don't think being hit by another man on meets legal standards for loss of control. I also have to say that if one is not gay, then choosing to be a male prostitute is a highly unusual occupation to choose.

Update: More about this from Alison Laurie in The New Zealand Herald today. (Via Just Left.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

An Enjoyable Night Home Alone

Tonight has been an enjoyable night of television, a rare occurance. Dinner wasn't anything special but desert was divine, Mövenpick Gingerbread ice cream in a 200ml pack, so eating the whole thing isn't something to feel guilty about.

First was a rerun of The Simpsons, a not-so-great episode I'd seen before, but hey, it's The Simpsons.

Then the catch-up of The Amazing Race. Mirna and Charla are each an amazing piece of work, as highlighted in the interviews.
An offended Mirna commented, "I feel like I'm in junior high having bullies try to put me down. They disgust me." Colin later noted, "Our backpacks were in the trunk, and we hadn't paid the taxi driver yet. They had very little chance of driving away with this taxi."

Next there was the second episode of Living the Dream, a local production spoofing reality TV where only one of the nine contestants is not an actor.

What would you do if your entire world turned out to be fake? If a group of writers, producers and actors spent six months creating TV's most elaborate experiment - all around you? If they plotted your every move, recorded it 24 hours a day and put it on national television & well that's exactly what happened to Sam Chambers in Living the Dream.

Personally I don't think Billy the gay guy was that convincing, but Sam's background was not one to pick up on that.

Sex in the City is always good, not that I watched it in the earlier sessions.

"It's like she's had two caesarians and a lobotomy." -Carrie

It concluded with a rerun of Will and Grace.

Honey, I already told you. I'm gonna get some Botox, and then I'm-- [GASPS] Why, Wilma! Does my little 'mo wanna get a little bo?

All in all a pleasant evening, but if I had a boyfriend the Race and SitC would have be recorded and the rest missed. (If I couldn't convince him to watch Race.)

Quote - Love and marriage

Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Monday, August 16, 2004

Amazing Race catchup episode

Any Kiwi fans of The Amazing Race? You need to know this from TVNZ
On the next episode, screening at the special time of 7.30pm on Tuesday August 17:
This bonus episode of The Amazing Race will bring New Zealand viewers up-to-date with screenings in the US. The teams are in Luxor Egypt, dating couple Colin & Christie have a seven-hour lead, and everyone is racing towards an archaeological dig...

This means we'll be able to check websites after Saturday's episode without getting spoilers if we do so before it shows in the US on Tuesdays. (5pm Wednesday afternoon is I calculated corrected.)

I didn't hear any voice over at the end of Saturday's episode warning of this.

As a side note, a link to the promo of Six Feet Under is available on the website but no indication as to when it will be shown. (I've promised to record episodes for someone who's off on holiday soon.)

Quote - History

History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.
-- Kurt Vonnegut

Warning ahead

Mike at seriocomic found a very funny billboard on his trip to Auckland on Saturday.

There are some great billboards for Tui. You can even make your own. I wish I could find a site with all/most of the slogans used for all these adverts.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Current Events - Olympics

To add to the current interest in the Athens Olympics, check out Hot Olympians with something new to look at each day of the games.

Via Towelroad.

Tripping about

The weather is lousy today and I am too. I'm sick of taking pain-killers and antiinflammatories.

I'm using one crutch to get around on, my left knee is aching; I must have been standing too much in the last couple of days, without using a crutch, and now it's payback time.

I skipped playing Dungeons and Dragons today, something I do most Sundays. I just wouldn't be able to concentrate the way I feel. It's a shame as I really like the current environment.

I needed to get something for lunch, and knowing the nearby mall would be packed I decided to go further afield. The branch of Baker's Delight in Mt Albert is no more. Traffic was terrible, on a Sunday and my knee didn't appreciate me having a manual car. I decided the Eden Quarter branch of Pandoro Panetteria would serve, and if there was a problem then a Baker's Delight was nearby. One of the other customers, after making sure her husband was seated, kept moving right in front of me, pressing herself against the counter, impeding my view of what to buy. If I wasn't needing the crutch for standing I'd have let it move forward a bit and have her trip.

Quote - Alone in the Kitchen

Remember, you are alone in the kitchen and nobody can see you.
-- Julia Child

Saturday, August 14, 2004


I started reading the fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix on Thursday. Last night I turned my light out at 3:30am. Today I finished it. Good thing I haven't been able to do much else. I hope there won't be too long a wait for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

I waited long enough to get this book in paperback. (Thanks David.) With the others in my collection all being paperbacks I didn't want to have a hardcover version taking up too much room; the paperback is thick enough.

The edition I have, printed in Australia, is the British edition. I prefer this as there can be more subtles with an untranslated version. I know the first book had differences with words substituted, including the title. A British/American text conversion is available for the first book but doesn't mention the pun lost by translating spellotape into scotch tape.

I heard that Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere suffered from this.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Quote - What God wants

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
-- Susan B. Anthony

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Quote - Being Alive

I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.
-- Rita Mae Brown

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cracked and Bent

That's the state of my bike. It's a total write-off. I spoke with the guy at the bike shop today. Hearing about the state of the bike it is surprising how lightly I got off.

I'm getting by with just one crutch for most of the day, but taking the pair with me, "just in case". This evening I'm trying to get by without using them. A hot bath has helped.

The police are charging the driver with failing to give way. (That's 'yield' for those outside NZ.) I know I said I was going to suggest to the police (they rang on Sunday) that they charge her with the lesser, and they have, but part of me wants her charged with driving causing injury. After discussing it in a cycling forum I decided to not try and influence the police as to the charge, as her history would be taken into account by the police. Nevertheless part of me wants her charged with causing injury.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hobbling about

I spent most of the day at work today. My foot and knees are getting stronger but I still need the crutches. Hopefully tomorrow I can get by with just one crutch.

I stayed in at lunch today, one of the guys at work grabbed a pie for me from the local shop. Thanks Andrew.

As I'll be using the bus for a while Stagecoach's promotion is good. It's a pity that you can't get it from onboard a bus, and that there is no agent near me. I'll have to hobble along to the other end of K'Road to Star Mart to pay $49 instead of $80 on the bus.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Coming home tonight after a pleasant dinner out I got a very nice surprise, a basket of goodies on my doorstep. Solender of The Modern Mythology had a challenge for the person with the ten thousandth page view of his site to send in a screen shot for a prize. I was number 10,001. In light of my week, and practically knowing me, he gave me this basket containing the following:
The Personal Security Handbook - The ultimate guide for protecting your home and family. Hopefully it has some of those home booby-traps like the ones Nancy used in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, that'll show those Robbers what for!

Thereby Hangs a Tale - stories of curious word origins. As a fellow lover or words and wordsmithery I thought you might enjoy this little book.

A Mitsubishi Cushion /Emergency Blanket. A bit late now but I bet this would have been a godsend on the day of your accident.

Cat Play Glove. For your traumatized cat.

Milano Smoke Flavoured Salami. To replace your stolen lunch.

Castello Sundried Tomato Cream Cheese. To go with the Salami.

Banrock Station "The Reserve" Merlot. To go with the Salami and Cream Cheese and hey, you can never have too much Vino.

Thanks Mike, this is much appreciated, and here is my screen capture of page view 10,001.


I'm able to put some weight on my foot now, and can get by with one crutch at times. This makes it easier for me to carry things a short distance.

I've got a straight friend, M, staying for a few days, so I'm making the most of having a driver. We went to the mall yesterday morning. First stop was Camera House to confirm the details of the replacement camera, and possible upgrade. A stop for coffee was needed after that. A trip to the supermarket in the mall followed. So helpful to have someone to carry things. I needed to sit down so I left M to pay. I kept things quiet for the rest of the day.

Left-overs for dinner last night (thanks Lin and Simon). Then it was off to Open Late Cafe for a coffee, a drink at Surrender Dorothy, met Alex and Bobby, a friend of theirs whose name I can't recall, and an American tourist from Miami here for about three days. The tourist took advantage of cheap flight to Sydney and included Auckland as an afterthought.

Alex and Bobby gave me a ride to Hydrant while the others walked. Using crutches to get up stairs wasn't too hard, even after a few drinks. Coming down again was more of a challenge. I'd already figured out I wasn't the tourist's type, he is into the Muscle Mary type, a term he'd never heard of but will use now as it identified his type so easily. I also caught up with Ron, someone I'd lost contact with and he'd lost my contact details when he lost his phone in Fiji. He said he came out to his family four months ago, and while there's been some problems he seems to be enjoying life.

After that was a trip to Urge , which was having a slow night, and after one drink it was time for me to call it a night. M picked up his car and collected me. It was too far for me to walk back there.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Same old, same old

Yesterday started as normal. I didn't expect to go flying.

It was a wet ride for my bike ride home. Going west down New North Road I moved over and took the right-hand lane after Virginia Ave, in preparation for the lanes to split for Kingsland and Dominion Road. I waited until then as a car was turning right into Virginia Ave. I continue to follow New North Road and take the underpass and go through Kingsland on my way home. A van, with bull-bars, failed to yield and made a right-turn out of Porters Ave in front of me.

The combination of a bicycle and a wet day means poor breaking ability, which I tested out. I yelled out and swerved to no avail. I hit the front of the van and separated from my bike, flying through the air but not with the greatest of ease.

I don't remember hitting the ground. I landed out of the traffic, a lane-width away from where I hit, and a good car length in distance. My bike went the other way. I recall seeing the front wheel of my bike all broken when someone moved it off the road.

Many passers-by came to my assistance, including a doctor on a motorbike. One of the passers-by held an umbrella over us, a very bright rainbow coloured one. Another wrote down the vehicle and contact details. The driver's niece was there, giving all the details. Someone else took my bike to Corporate Collision Repairs in Porters Ave, just as a place to store it. From what I saw they couldn't do much for it.

I got my first ambulance ride as a patient. At Auckland Hospital I spent nearly seven hours of being probed, giving statement to police, x-rays (left knee and foot), blood tests, more tetanus shot, x-rays (chest), and an expert being called in with regard to the blood test results, I was finally discharged with a pair of crutches and instructions to return if things deteriorated, or if anything was a funny colour. It only hurts if I cough, or walk. David was a darling and made sure I got home, with prescriptions filled.

My insurance company is going to love me, claiming twice in one week. First a burglary and then a smashed bike. At least I won't have the excess to pay, the police will be charging the driver of the van. Pity the can't also charge the person who added the bull-bars to it. While our 20 sheep per person may be a hazard on our urban motorways, (I keep mine at a farm,*) they hardly warrant bull-bars. The police are due to contact me on Saturday to determine the extent of my injuries and to decide what to charge her with. I'm going to encourage them to charge her with the lesser of the two options. The driver didn't see me and didn't flee. With the rain visibility may not have been the best, but it's funny how cyclists seem to see all these things.

The accident spot is the place I considered to be my biggest risk on my commute.

*Just perpetuating the myth.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Local cinemas

The attitude of the cinemas here annoy me. (Yes, another annoyance in my life.) As of lunchtime today the local cinema had listed movie times up to Wednesday, tomorrow. I rang up to verify times for Thursday and was told that they couldn't post them because they couldn't confirm if enough tapes were arriving. This is, of course, nonsense as they had no times for the movies they have been showing for past few weeks.


You are Ted! You're a wizard with a whisk, a master with a meat cleaver and a king in the kitchen. And you rule it well. Also an expert on utensils and cookware, you know exactly the right dish for every occasion. You're so useful, everyone wants you around the house!

Take the quiz: Which Queer Eye Guy Are You?

Via Water Colour Boy.

They stole my @#$%&* lunch!

Now I'm really pissed! I went to the fridge to make a salami sandwich. The nearly new unsliced salami was gone.

I spoke with the insurance people before that. With excess and loss of no claims I'm out of pocket $450 for contents, and the damage to the window is not worth claiming on the house insurance, so I'm out of pocket for the cost of fixing that too. I've already had to take one trip; the insurance company needed to know if it was repairable, and the cost of that as opposed to the cost of replacing it.


Six years ago yesterday I moved to Auckland. Overall it's been a good six years, despite incidents like yesterday.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Meme Propagation In Blogspace

This posting is a community experiment started by Minding the Planet to see how a meme represented by a blog posting spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs are most influential in the propagation of memes. The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet; results and commentary will appear there in the future.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate — the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawstw98qwrt189849813907azq4 (this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google for all results of this experiment). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post at Minding the Planet; Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.

To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and fill out the info below, substituting your own information in your posting, where appropriate.

Required Fields
(Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)
  1. I found this experiment at URL: http://kalsey.com/blog/2004/08/testing_meme_propagation_in_blogspace_add_your_blog/index.html
  2. I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing or Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message”: Newsreader (Bloglines RSS subscription)
  3. I posted this experiment at URL: http://www.shadowfoot.com/blog/footprints.html
  4. I posted this on date (day, month, year): 02 August 2004
  5. I posted this at time (24 hour time): 21:06:00
  6. My posting location is (city, state, country): Auckland,, New Zealand

Optional Survey Fields
(Replace the answers below with your own answers):
  1. My blog is hosted by: Myself
  2. My age is: 42
  3. My gender is: Male
  4. My occupation is: Business Analyst
  5. I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: Bloglines
  6. I use the following software to post to my blog: Blogger.com
  7. I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 15 April 2002
  8. My web browser is: Firefox


I came home tonight to discover I have been burgled.

So far I can see that my camera has been stolen. Damages seem to be limited to my window, briefcase, and USB hard drive (apparently dropped when unplugging stuff for the camera), and one traumatised kitty.

The police will attempt to get here in the next 48 hours for fingerprinting. Fortunately I can secure the house.

It looks like the alarm deterred the burglar from continuing.

Update: A police officer was here this morning. She's taken the one thing, the camera charging cradle, that might have prints on it and will return it this afternoon. I hope to find the seriel number of it today. I can't identify anything else missing, just the few damaged items. I kept waking last night at the slightest sound. I've taken the day off work to sort things out.


There's a gorgeous photo taken in Aanjar, Lebanon in the photoblog of Carte Blanche.