Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lego craziness

Apologies if anyone has seen this before.
There is a fine line between enthusiasm and insanity. While this isn't quite building Devil's tower out of mashed potato, I'm not quite sure which side of the line it is on. Use the little men for scale.....

By the looks of it it is only 2/3 complete length ways, with the bow section to be added. And before you ask, the aircraft are as accurate as the medium allows.
Very impressed, and somewhat unnerved at the same time.

And if you don't get the mashed potato reference, you need to see more movies, specifically 70's ones about alien contact.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Kiwi FM

Driving home from work tonight I noted that the radio frequencies previously occupied by Kiwi Fm have been taken over by More FM. Thus ends the first chapter in the Kiwi FM experiment. I'm not sure what it proved, other than that an all NZ playlist radio station was unnecessary, unviable commercially, and generally a dumb idea. I'll admit I believed in it at first, but soon realised it wasn't going to work. Without mythologising Channel Z too much, it's a shame nonetheless that it was sacrificed to this end.

Watching a doco on NatGeo about the origins of 9/11 while I write. The hatred and fundamentalism is depressing. Fundies annoy me, regardless of religion. They are not what religion is about, and pervert it to their own ends.

Our lines are open

Comments have now been reset so folk can comment without having to register. Apologies to any stymied would be commenters. Thanks to Morgue for the tip.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Its late on a Sunday night, I'm sitting down with a cold coke (with ice cubes in it), listening to a Gramsci CD. My rat is fussing around noisily in his cage in the laundry, my wife sleeps in our room. I've had a busy day of work and sport (see the previous post).
I'm waiting for the Monaco Grand Prix to start. Of all the Grand Prix, Monaco is the one I try and watch every year. I used to be quasi serious F1 fan when I was a student, but the late sunday night telecasts soon proved incompatible with a full time job. That and Michael Shumacher winning everything in sight and making driving cars at 200mph boring. Now that that dominance is finally ended, its worth watching again.
Monaco is my favourite because its such a legendary circuit. The location is as glam as there is. That and its tight blind corners make incidents and excitements inevitable. I have raced the track on a playstation and that was terrifying enough, let alone doing it for real. One year only half the cars that started finished. It is the most unpredictable motor race there is.
And its about to start. Shumacher has been sent to the back of the grid for holding other people up during qualifying to preserve his pole position. Sucka.

This sporting life

I played a lot of sport today.......
After spending the morning and early afternoon at work, I rushed to Petone for my first planned game of indoor netball at 3:00pm. My head was in the wrong place, I couldn't warm up, ran into one of my own players halfway through and had an unfortunate knee/gonad interface, which took the glow of my already mediocre game. My team was having an off day also and we lost a match best forgotten.
While I was sitting on the sideline watching my wife play, one of the centre management asked if
I'd like to fill in for a team that was short (we do this a lot and are known to the staff as happy ring-ins). Turned out the team was the one we had just played. Since they were a better team than mine, and I had no emotional investment, I was able to relax more and had a better game. I often look for a freebee game after a tough game, as it is the best way to unwind. We lost that one too as the team was still short even with me.
This left me with a little time to kill before my scheduled indoor soccer match at 5:15, so my wife and I went to the centre bar for a cold beer.
The soccer was good. I'm not very good at it. We lost, but it was a close clean game, so it was good.
As the soccer was drawing to a close, the management man appeared again, and invited me to another game. Having nothing better to do, I filed on for game number three. This was the best team of the day. Almost totally meshed with my personal playing style, I fit right in and had another good game. This one we won.
After that I fled before I was offered another fix.
I went home, had a shower and did the dishes. Oddly, while my knees are complaining a bit, the shin splints I have lately developed are silent. I am tired and sore but it is a happy tired and sore.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Small beginnings

Person 1: "Well, here we are then."

Person 2: "Indeed."

P1: "Glad you could make it."

P2: "No sweat. So this is your blog then?"

P1: "Yup, sure is. What do you think?"

P2: "Kinda roomy. I like the ambience. It's like 'Spinal Tap' you know, "none more black". Actually it reminds me of 'Cafe UP' that used to be on Courtney Place near Kitty's. Now that was black decor..."

P1: "Yeah I remember. Great cappucinos. I used to walk into the wall at the end of the stairwell when I was going in because it was so dark and black. I wonder if they knew that people did that...."

P2: "They probably saw the scuff marks in the daylight"

P1: "True."

P2: "So this has been a long time coming hasn't it?"

P1: "Yeah. Been thinking about setting this up for a while."

P2: "So what prompted the less thinking, more doing?"

P1: "I dunno really. Got sick of thinking about it. A friends blog showed me how easy it was and here we are."

P2: "Got big plans for it then?"

P1: "Not really. Just an outlet for stuff I want to mention. I enjoy writing stuff and relating stories, thoughts and ideas. I'm not big into the heavy socio/political stuff so I don't expect to do much of that. Nothing too personal either. I'm crap at verbal discourse, and can express myself much better with the written word. People say nice things about my email ravings and thus I have been encouraged."

P2: "So it will be more of a random stream of conciousness thing then......"

P1: "Sometimes. Most of it will just be stuff that occurs to me. Like how annoying it is to go to your favourite food place and find that they have changed the menu and the one thing you craved has been deleted. Like how my neighbours cats sit in the driveway like sentries. Or how one day I would like to order a vegan butter chicken at Tulsi just to see what would happen. Plus stuff that isn't really relevant to the emails I send to the current and returned overseas crew."
P2: "So no specific ambitions then."

P1: "Not really. I plan to do the "100 things about myself thing" as it seems to be some kind of blogger tradition, as well as to see if I actually can write 100 things about myself. Being linked to and name checked in other blogs would be nice, as would having a regular readership, but neither of those things are the reason I'm doing this. They'd be good for the ego though".

P2: "Speaking of ego, isn't kind of, well, self indulgent to exposit reasons for being in a conversation with umm, yourself?"

P1: "Nice segue. You could be a One News presenter with a segue like that. I don't think so. Those that know me will get it. It's slightly more creative than your usual "This is me here I am etc" anyway. Doubtless it has been done already in a thousand other blogs. Although I haven't mentioned anything about myself yet really, so I'm not sure it is serving it's purpose as an introduction.
How about this:
"Blog meet readers."
"Readers meet Blog"

P2: "You nicked that from "The Complete and Utter Rat" Brunswick collection introduction. So much for original thought."

P1: "I could have thought of that......I do have other stuff that is original."

P2: "So what's with the name then? "Off-black" sounds like, well I don't know what it sounds like."

P1: "There was an ad for teeth whitener or something in a kindergarten where the teacher asks the kids "what colour are my teeth" or some other silly question, and the kids answer "stucco, mother of pearl, off-white etc". Which got me wondering, what colour is off-white? Can you have 'off' other colours? Like say black. What would off-black look like? One thing led to another and the "Off-black" handle was created. It really has no significance, I just like the concept.

P2: "Cool. I like the way you think"

P1: "Of course you do. Why else do you think I created you for the purpose of an expository dialogue?"

P2: "Yeah, true."

P1: "So here it is. The blog of a twenty something/thirty something New Zealand European male, sourced from deep in the wilds of the Lower Hutt Valley, Wellington, Lower North Island, New Zealand, Southern Hemisphere, World, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Universe."

P2: "Sounds a bit more grandiose when you put it like that. Think anyone has read down this far?"

P1: "Probably not after that last bit."

P2: "Funny that you mentioned 'World' and 'Earth' as two separate entities."

P1: "Well the end of the World won't be the end of the Earth will it?"

P2: "Yeah but if the Earth ends so will the World pretty much"

P1: "Define 'World'. The International Space Station would become the world if the Earth suddenly vanishes. Not for very long admittedly, but it would be a defacto world"

P2: "True. We've got a bit off topic here I think."

P1: "Yup but it is the sort of material that might be found here as time goes by. You say 'True' a lot."

P2: "True."

P1: "So anyway readers, here is my blog. Enjoy.

P2: "Umm yeah, what he said."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

First post

This is a first post. Not a last post which is a bugle lament, or a first-past-the post, which is an electoral system.