Tuesday, October 30, 2007


We don't really do Halloween here at Chez Kelson, but make a party of it as Pearce did on Saturday and we're there.

For the record I think we make a pretty damn cool pair of ghosts. I'm the one on the left.
In costume, I thought Fi bore more than a passing resemblance to this woman, the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. Even if the photo might be less than accurate.

The full moon made things nice and atmospheric as well.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Introducing Bella

As part of an ongoing project to make our family moggy internationally famous, I present Bella, here being devotedly groomed by nibling Eleanor.
Yes I know. Posting cat pictures on my blog. At least she isn't wearing a hat or jersey, or a grammatically disorganised caption.
Bella's age is unknown, but she is probably at least eight, as she came to the family 7 years ago as a young adult feline. I think she is part dog anyway, which shafts the dog years/cat years thing. When you leave the house she follows you to the gate, and to the end of the street at times, although I'm not sure if this is to ensure your well being, or to see if you are going to get more food.
One of the oddest (as can be seen she has a particular fondness for daffodils, flowering or not) and least graceful cats I have known, but I like her a lot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not condoning vandalism but....

Listening to: Like Stray Voltage-Gramsci

I like this
'nuff said really

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Listening to: Hot Rocks, 1964-71-The Rolling Stones

Labour weekend involved a crew visit to Waitomo, Wanganui, and The Bridge to Nowhere.
See also here for another perspective.

After visiting the caves at Waitomo on Saturday, early on Sunday morning it was primary reason for the trip time, most of us having oohed and aahed at Waitomo at least once before. Although Fi and Lauren singing in the Cathedral room was pretty cool.

To meet our jetboat we had to get to Pipiriki. Not quite the middle of nowhere, but you sure can see it from there. The country and journey inland left me slightly uneasy. I felt a long way from anywhere, and a long way from home. I felt like the hills were watching.

That feeling might have been in part supplied by the road we travelled to get there, the end of which is shown below. Note: the sign says 64 Km, not 6.4. Half of it is one lane gravel, great if you're in a four wheel drive, not so cool if you're in a heavily laden Corolla. Had we known better we would have gone in the other less direct way which is much easier, as we discovered when we used it to leave. Right, so the pics are totally out of order then. Bear with me. We seemed to be forever passing through Raetihi. Approaching fom the south this is the sight that welcomes you.
Behind the sign is a graveyard. I'm not sure if the placement is intended to be ironic, or we have a slightly black sense of humour, because we all found it funny.
Anyway, back to the bridge. 40 minutes jetboat ride from Pipiriki, is a landing, and 40 minutes walk after that you get to the bridge. This is not an easy place to get to. It arrives suddenly. You walk around a corner and it is there. Its a lonely place. The names of the families who tried and failed to make this place work are recorded along the track. The bridge is their monument.
We were served a fine meal while our guide related the story. My tea was good, and I had cameo cremes for the first time in aaages.
After something other than a generic shot, I carefully scrambled down the bank to get underneath the thing.
On the way back from Waitomo on Saturday we stopped at the crest of the Wanganui-Ohakune road for photos. From the side of the road I saw something amiss. The object in the rectangle is a crumpled and wrecked car.
With no other visible means of arrival, it looks like it came from the road above. Somebody had a very bad day here.
Even for NZ, the countryside north of Wanganui is rugged.

The Whanganui river itself feels timeless, like it has never changed. Signs of people are few and far between.
At Waitomo there is an interesting sort of motel. You can sleep in a boat, hobbit house, or a plane:
What is it with me and sunsets? Somewhere between Bulls and Wanganui, Friday night.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dreams are free

Listening to: Foo Fighters-Echoes, silence, patience & grace. Finally.

As a joke this would be pretty funny, but as it is an actual product it is brilliant. Now all I need is a few spare mil to drop on one and pay for someone to house, maintain and fly it and I'll be sussed.

* If you don't get it, Haynes manuals are very useful how to's for home vehicle maintenance and repair. If your dad, brother or anyone you know likes to work on their car at home, there is probably a dog-eared, oil and grease stained Haynes manual nearby.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

of netball quizzes and vegas

Still not listening to Foo Fighters, but at least I know where it is now. Listening to Hysteria-Def Leppard instead.

Made up for no netball on Monday night by playing three games on Tuesday, two scheduled and one fill in. Victories from all three which was nice, especially as one involved out-thinking opposition with tactics overcoming physical prowess. Bit sore yesterday though.

Friday night attended a Fundraising quiz at Chilton St James. It was odd, but looking around at the assembled punters I felt like a shark amongst minnows. Still we didn't win, although I suspect had answers not been available wholesale for $5 each we might have.

Memo to quiz organisers: selling answers is fine, but only if you have set a limit on the number able to be purchased. Otherwise it makes the quiz meaningless as a competition......still as organisers I suppose the funds get boosted, which is kinda the point I guess.

Off to Wanganui for the weekend, thus allowing me to answer 'yes' when anyone asks if I am going away for the long weekend, which I seldom get to do.

I'm not sure what to make of this whole anti terrorism raid business, other than to suggest it has been a boon for both left and right wing conspiracists. I do agree however (based on my limited knowledge of stuff like this) with the commentator (I forget who), who said that if there had been a genuine and imminent threat to public safety and well being, it would not have been the police carrying out the raids; it would have been the SAS, with much less publicity.

Hope you enjoyed the rare commentary on current events.

I really don't have much else to blog about. Its been a quiet couple of weeks. I had a great catchup with old friends last night, and ran into another old aquaintance tonight at netball. Seems to be the season for homecomings.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Just don't know what to do with myself

Listening to: Make yourself-Incubus. Wondering why I picked it up only last weekend instead of in 1999 when it was released. And Recollection-The best of Concrete Blonde after Incubus finishes. "Ghost of a Texas ladies man" is the favourite song I never think about. Would like to be listening to Foo Fighters-Silence Echoes Patience & Grace but it is MIA at the moment.

No netball on a Monday night after having our semi final yesterday.

What to do, what to do?


Wash the car:

Enjoy a calm evening after a stormy day from the sanctuary of my bay window:
Look for my missing Foo's CD:
Have a beer (tempered over burning witches apparently):
Idly check facebook to see who this weeks MVP is:
Do the dishes. Note beer. Makes the dishes go faster:
Work on various projects:

And blog:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Control! You must learn control!

This stuff just finds me I swear

Youtube video of the launch of a 21 foot long rocket propelled X-Wing model

Its only 20 seconds long. Apparently the guys who built it thought what happened to be a fairly likely outcome, but they did it anyway.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Inevitable II

I held out for as long as I could, but I have finally succumbed and let Fish set me up.

I now have a facebook account, bringing my list of web identities to four if you include fora....

Monday, October 08, 2007


The more you hype yourselves up the bigger the fall.

I think we are reaping the whirlwind as far as hype vs reality goes after the All Black exit from the world cup. It's funny, at the time I didn't think it would become a 'where were you when' moment, but it seems to be heading that way. As I said a few weeks ago, I thought the team, the game, and the event were getting well over exposed, with waaay too much baggage being attached (kinda like the America's Cup) It's okay if you win, but all that junk is going to fall around you if you lose.

Its kinda interesting to see how quickly the media has turned on the team and coach, when really what we need to admit is that the other guys were better on the day. That's the problem with expectation in professional sport. We should have won yesterday, but from the hype and buildup it was almost we just had to turn up and the French would lie down and say "the semi's are yours, off you go!"

Full credit to the French. They deserve it. Never mind that their winning try came from an obviously forward pass. If we were good enough that wouldn't have mattered.

Kinda cool that the Wallabies got taken out early as well. Reality checks all round me thinks.

The Bathurst 1000 on the other hand, was much more fun. 161 laps long, and it comes down to two or three contenders duking it out on the last one. Brilliant!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nights on my own 12, takeaways 0

Listening to: Another old tape, this time of Channel Z on the last day of 1999.....Just like listening to the radio live but all the ads are 8 years out of date. Like new Playstations (1, they were just called playstations then as the PS2 didn't exist yet) for $179.95. Some of the ads are good and funny in their own right. Especially the 'tips for wearing sunglasses' ads for the Sunglass Store. I had also forgotten how much I liked 'Venus as a Boy' by Bjork, which I probably haven't heard much since 1999.

When the girls went down south I made a pact, a challenge to myself if you will, not to get any takeaways for tea, as I am wont to to when home alone.

Winning so far.

Okay so it is strictly meat and two veg, but it is way better for you than BK. Broccoli, oven baked fries and spicy chicken breast. Beer optional. Picture just to prove to folk I am cooking for myself. I haven't even had steak yet.

I have also bought a lawnmower (of the pushy kind rather than the motor kind. The latter is too heavy and too much hassle for our varying levelled section), and fixed the ceiling in the bathroom (I think. Time will tell....)


Bit stormy around here today. The southerly was brief but violent. However, it has yielded a very clear starry night. If you remember Lauren, it is the sort of night I have told you about.

I don't know what you did to Milford Sound either, but it looked fine when I was there six months ago!
Still cold though.
And after Fi took my jacket (here modelled by some random dude) with her, it has now seen more of the South Island than I have. I take it it is sharing the jacket love and looking after Fishy quite nicely.

Thanks for passing on the comment about the firefighting. Very interesting! Sounds like a ride I would enjoy, but like Pattie I'd be a bit greeny.