Monday, March 31, 2008



I know its a cliche and all, and you'll probably get sick of hearing about it but wow

(Pic courtesy of the wonderful XKCD)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Absent friends

Did I say tomorrow?

I meant today.

I don't feel like a long soliloquy tonight, so I'll just throw a couple of links at you instead.

The Hokio Beach New years video, seen here being made in a behind the scenes exclusive photograph (which, weirdly, is visible being taken):

This video makes me smile and laugh and be warm and fuzzy, great work D3vo! There are lots of cool people in it, including almost all of my oldest and favourite friends (excepting the of course the ones who were absent). Oh and that is our newish car (the blue wagon) in the background if you are interested Lauren!

And for no other reason than I think the sequence of photographs at the bottom of the page is really impressive, a meteorological analysis of a summer storm a few years back (Rich, if you remember we took Irish Nic on a driving tour of the south coast the next day and saw the aftermath of the waves breaking on roads and other shenanigans. The waves themselves were still pretty big at the time too).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I was going to blog more fully tonight but I only just got home from the Split Enz gig and its late and I'm tired.

More tomorrow

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Action, danger and excitement

Listening to: C4's top 100 bogan anthems. Home on a Saturday night and enjoying it. Being home on a Saturday night was unthinkable once upon a time, now it is just refreshing to not be out for the sake of being out.


I have a couple of thankyous to make

Firstly, to the considerate folk who throw glass bottles from their cars to the side of the road when they are empty (as opposed to the rest of us who use wierd things like bins). Thank you. The three kilometre walk into town from halfway along the motorway cycle lane today was super. Really enjoyed it. After all, exercise is exercise right, and wheeling a bike with a flat tire instead of riding it probably burns just as many calories.

Seriously, since I have returned to riding I have noticed a lot more broken glass to avoid. WTF is up with that? Is this some kind of anti-green rebellion, or just stupid wankery?

Thanks to Dave who came and retrieved us after Fi got sick of riding reaalllly slooowwwly alongside me.

Thanks to the magazine shop in Petone who placed a plexiglass rack at shin height in front of the counter, where it won't be terribly visible, and easily detected by touch when moving along the counter to the eftpos terminal at the other end. Thank you. I could still stand to lose a kilo or two, and the inch and a half long chunk of flesh removed from my shin by the rack can only help.

Some of my shots from last weekend's airshow at Ohakea. I think I am finally starting to get the hang of this photography thing. Always more to learn though. Bummed that I couldn't get to Wanaka this weekend (or Summerset for that matter, but I am going to Homegrown), but this was a really good show anyway, that is already being regarded as a classic in certain circles. Righteous that the powers that be decided that anyone who showed up with a ticket to the Hamilton debacle would get in for free.

Plus I got a ride in an Air Force fire engine. Cool.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Going public

I've been keeping this under my hat for a while, mainly for the reason that self promotion is not something I am given to, and I wanted to surprise certain people personally.

In previous posts here and here I made oblique references to a modelling project/opportunity that randomly presented itself.

Story is thus:
Being a plastic modeller, I often peruse various magazines that cater to the hobby. With a few exceptions, they are generally published in the UK, and as such their subjects generally cater for that audience.

Anyhoop, several months ago, one of them published an article on a New Zealand subject, so naturally I was interested. Unfortunately, the model in question suffered from poor references, and was fairly inaccurate (accuracy is quite important to modellers), not at all due to the skills of the builder who did his best with what he had.

Having done the same subject myself, and done it better, I wrote a letter to the editor pointing out in the politest and nicest possible way that the article published was flawed, and included a picture of my own work for the hell of it.

The editor thanked me, published the letter and asked me if I had written any articles. As a matter of fact I had done an article for a website here, so forwarded the link.

Shortly thereafter the editor asked if he could have the article for the magazine, about 48 hours after I emailed the initial letter....

After revision and addition, and reshooting the photos, here we are.

The March 2008 issue of Model Aircraft Monthly (linky), volume 7 issue 3, contains an article and photographs by moi, to be distributed by the thousands worldwide (click on the magazine cover, then on the 'Kiwi Scooter' part). Should be in the shops here by May or so.

Scary, but kinda cool at the same time. I am now a contributor.

See where letter writing can get you?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gravity and other myths

To second the endorsements here and here, I would like to add my own.

I highly recommend you go along and see this while you can.

After rueing not taking my camera along on Sunday night, I went back with it on Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

End of an Era

Listening to: Wild One-The Best of Thin Lizzy.
Drinking: A slightly open too long chardonnay. "Chardon?" "Eh?". Old joke.

First some housekeeping. No computero over the weekendo. Henco, no bloggo. Like I'm the worlds most prolific blogger or something. I will try to make it less than a week before my next post.

The Hoyts Cinema at the South end of High street has finally called it a day. The Judge has more than adequately and very eloquently covered the subject here (linky), but I feel I can't let the passing of a Hutt institution pass without comment, so here we are.

I hate to see a cinema close. It seems strange to refer to it as an institution. It is certainly nothing to look at, inside or out. Generic urban mall architecture, bland and dated to the late 80's when it was designed, and an interior that could pass for any multiplex in the country.
With a place like this, it is the associated memories that make character, not the place itself.
The Hoyts 5 complex with five screens opened in 1992, replacing the single screen Odeon cinema that previously occupied the site. The old Odeon was pretty cool, but getting way past its prime (ironically if it was still extant I expect it would doing great business in the Lighthouse/Empire mould). The entrance to the cinema was in the middle, meaning that the best seats were right above the door, so you had no-one in front of you, could put your feet up, and drop jaffas down the staircase into the foyer. I don't remember the first movie I saw at the Odeon, but I remember the last was The Commitments in 1991.

The first movie I can definitely recall seeing in the new complex was Unforgiven in 1992. In the ensuing 15 or so years, I have probably sat down in one of its cinema seats at least 150 times (or more). Its heyday in the mid to late nineties coincided with my late teens and my own movie renaissance (is that the right word?). In those days I would see at least one movie a week, often two. Good or bad, I was prolific.

Any night of the week would do. Thursdays for the new releases, Fridays and Saturdays for the night out, Sunday nights after church with the youth group cohorts.

No visit would be complete without hitting the attached video arcade beforehand. I got very, very good at Daytona and Sega Rally. Slushy coke and popcorn were also mandatory accessories.

Occasionally Mcdonalds would be smuggled in (avoiding the 'No Hot Food' dictum by being neither hot nor food we reasoned). I remember a hip flask of Khalua being passed up and down the row during a screening of The Three Musketeers, and booking out a couple of rows for the opening night of Independence Day. Going to countless free movies with D3vo, due to his obtaining some super duper pass from somewhere. Saw lots of good stuff for free, saw a lot of rubbish too. Example: Walking out of Timecop, agreeing with each other that it sucked, we checked the board and walked right back in to a late session of Dragon:The Bruce Lee story, which didn't. Going to see The Crow twice in the space of a week, the first time on the night my first girlfriend and I broke up, and the second to exorcise the first so I could get on with enjoying the film. Having a ticket to The Nutty Professor bought for me after I flatly refused to pay to see such tripe. Many good memories.

I remember well the session of Starship Troopers Judge mentions. We were the only ones laughing, and got lots of strange looks from the audience. I also remember going to Last Action Hero with D3vo and also being the only ones laughing.

I miss the late sessions. You could avoid the crowd, and it gave you a really good late night option if whatever else you had planned didn't work out. Plus it was cool having the security guard open the front door for you on the way out.

By the turn of the century though (wow does it feel weird writing that), the good times were slowing, and by halfway through the new decade, they were gone. The shops in the surrounding arcade, never bustling, got even quieter. I always got the feeling the complex was under invested. The decor was alright for 1993, but wasn't updated. Everything got run down, and dare I say it, a little shabby.

When the Skycity complex opened in the refurbished Queensgate Mall in 2006, the axe was being sharpened, if not actually swinging. At the risk of pretension, I'll admit that as soon as I heard about the new mall complex, I said something like "That'll kill Hoyts stone dead".

And so it has come to pass. Rundown and neglected, in feel if not in fact, Hoyts 5 never stood a chance once the shiny newcomer opened up.

And so, while you were ugly and utilitarian, and never cool like hipsters The Paramount, Rialto and Embassy, and unmemorable and uninspiring in your decor and ambience, you were reliable, predictable, and always there if necessary, and because of this I salute you.

The last movies on the marquee: Jumper, Walk Hard, I am Legend, Cloverfield, P.S. I love you, 27 Dresses, Rogue Assassin.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Never Wave

Listening to: The Lost Boys soundtrack. Yeeeahh that's right. Go the 80's.

Sorry for the lack of action in the past few days, been busy and all that. Fear not my loyal army of readers (you are numbering at least in double figures by now I hope), I haven't abandoned you.

So this is post 250. Quarter of a millennium not out. Seems like an opportune time to note that note only did I not post on Friday the 13th last year, I also did not post on the 29th of February. I should have put something up, if only to have those dates enshrined on the post title.

I was going to mention something else at this point, but I have forgotten what it is.

Anyway, the Never Wave.

I've been having some interesting and vivid dreams lately (not that sort of vivid you weirdos).

So last night I was somehow involved in some ghostbusting in a hostel complex. As you do.
A haunted pack of cards (or a notebook possibly, it was that size object, and although I can picture it in my mind, I cannot identify it at all) was causing a poltergeist to manifest in its presence and do all sorts of weird and freaky things (this dream actually was scary in places. I woke up at one point with a yelp. Then resumed the dream).
An ex girlfriend of mine was staying in the hostel (probably why I was involved come to think of it) and together we organised to set things straight and banish the phenomenon from whence it came, or something to that effect.

Now for some reason initially the manifestation only occurred when the cards/notebook thing was inside the hostel. However, having successfully cleansed the place, I discovered its ability was evolving to include al fresco manifestation in the cafes and bars outside.

Fortunately I had a trump card. I knew, without any doubt, that it could not induce poltergeist activity underwater. Since the hostel was located on a waterfront, this proved kind of handy. Thrown into the briny deep, its power was apparently nullified.

Unfortunately though, like all good haunted/possessed objects it had a habit of reappearing on dry land, thus requiring further removal. The waterfront area was adjacent to a low cliff face with rocks at the base, presumably placed there for waves to dramatically splash on. Since the waterfront's erm, water, was fairly shallow, I reasoned that offing the thing into the deep water at the base of the cliff would do the trick and end the offending haunting.

The swell was big and looking dangerous, so being careful of the edge, I hurled the notorious notebook to the depths. I was catching some spray at this point, so I hurriedly turned to leave (I had a pressing engagement at the aforementioned nearby waterfront bar).

As I turned I saw it, and I was stilled, unable to move. It was a wave, an enormous, no, gigantic wave (if you have seen the wave at the end of The Abyss it looked like that). This was no mere tsunami, this was a hundred metre high wall of water. I knew in that instant I was doomed. I'm not sure if this was related to the haunting. I think it was just spectacular (in every sense) bad luck

And I thought "Oh no, its a Never Wave", implying that something like this is the stuff of legend, that you'll never see it in real life. And then presumably it broke and squashed me or something, because the dream ended at that point.

I swear I'm not making this up.

My subconscious does that for me.