Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The long way home

Listening to: A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

Selection of images from the Shihad gig at the Town Hall on Friday 25 July. When I first started going to gigs, cameras were generally forbidden. The ubiquity of mobiile phones has changed all that, and having booked my usual spot in the town hall, I thought I'd take my kit along and see what I could do. Things have come a long way...
Roadie making sure the setlists match
Just in case anyone forgot who was on stage.
Crowd. Goes. Wild.
300mm telephoto lens. Handy piece of kit
I get just as much entertainment from watching the mosh as being in it these days. I remember doing this...
Rock and roll!

Two drummers on stage, in unison, something I never get tired of seeing. Cool cool cool.
My favouritest venue

Shihad got my attention back in 1995 with a single by the name of 'Debs night out'. I sort of vaguely knew who they were, but not being into the heavier sounds yet hadn't become a follower. On the basis of that single I checked out their set at Mountain Rock in January 1996. I don't really remember the setlist as I didn't know much of the material, but it was raining, I had a badly sprained ankle, they didn't play 'Debs night out', but they did play 'Bitter'.
Later that year the fish album was released, I heard it playing at the house of M, and I was hooked.
The next time I saw them on stage was at the James Cabaret in late 1998, for the interconnector tour. Since then I have been to almost every Wellington gig, and a few more elsewhere, including twice in consecutive nights in different cities in 2000.
So lets do some sums here.....once in '96, once in '98, once in '99, three times in '00, once in '02, once in'03, once in '04, twice in '06.....
I actually don't know how many Shihad gigs I have been to, but its possibly in double figures.
Haven't been to a bad one yet, and now I am into the older and heavier stuff as well as the new stuff, they just get better. I heard 'The Metal Song' live for the first time on Friday, which is one of my favourite album tracks of 'The General Electric', which came out a long time ago now.
Its times like this that its nice to be getting older. I reckon I get way more out of a gig that way.
Baby's first gig as well. Start 'em young I reckon.
Good times

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dark and Stormy Night

Yup, definitely winter
The sun came out for about half an hour at the end of the day today, although given the weather forecast for tomorrow, it kinda feels like the bit in 'The perfect storm' when the sun came out.

Right before the boat sinks.

Meanwhile in other news, this is somewhat compelling....

Off to Shihad now. Chur!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Playing with fire

Listening to: An Ep by Autozamm-Shade of Brown

The fireworks last night were a blast.

Geddit? As Basil Brush would say, BOOM BOOM!

Pun coincidental, but not unintended.

I think fireworks are a great way to celebrate midwinter, even if the actual solstice was a month ago.

Happy snaps of the Petone fireworks last night, having a good play with aperture and shutter settings, and cropping.

Still don't know what I am doing, but learning more all the time....

In other news, I started my new job today and enjoy it so far. I have my own desk and workstation, in an office with a window. I haven't had one of those before. I also have the opportunity (I think) to use my experience wisely, and create something professionally worthwhile and rewarding, even if I have gone to the dark side in terms of my trade.
I hope so. Watch this space.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Night shooting

Been out and about trying some more night-time techniques. The still weather we have been having lately certainly helps.

Evans Bay, two 737's on approach to land, wake turbulence from one that has just landed leaving the tramlines on the water.
Ferry terminal, Thursday night
Hutt motorway from the rowing club, wet and misty Thursday night
Petone foreshore from the same spot
Petone Wharf Not quite at night, but I like it anyway. Cloud shadows from my front lawn, Tuesday

Looking forward to the fireworks tonight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Purification by fire

Listening to: Exit the Dragon-Urge OverKill. Should have bought this years ago, found it yesterday in sales bin for $2, which is kinda cheap. I have rediscovered a few songs I had forgotten. Also in the same bin for the same price was a copy of Powderburns by the Twilight Singers, which is almost indecent, as it is a really good album worth far more than that.

This is my notebook from the job I left on Friday, filled with handy tips and hints about how to do various things.
Since it was a job I wound up having a healthy dislike for, and the contents of the notebook came to symbolise only angst and frustration, I thought there was only one reasonable way to dispose of it while gaining a reasonable degree of cathartic satisfaction:


I was aided in this ritual by an enthusiastic Molly on her last day in NZ. Kids, don't try this at home
Initial combustion was somewhat slow, and verging on disappointing.......
until we (carefully) added a small amount of accelarant.....
which resulted in a much more satisfying effect.
Been looking forward to that for some time.......

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shameless XKCD plug

Listening to: Our rats doing the same thing they do every night; try to take over the world by randomly rearranging bits of cage furniture. A showering noise of grains falling into the laundry sink tells me they have just upended the feeder.

In my recent blog rejigging, I failed to notice that my webcomics links completely disappeared. No-one else did either apparently, as no-one told me.

XKCD has been readded, as have a few other things.

XKCD makes me smile, repeatedly and often.

I'm with this right up until the disassembly bit.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Listening to: Roachford-A permanent shade of blue.
Kind of a one hit wonder this guy released a couple of moderately successful singles in the mid nineties, then went the way of the obscure. Without fail the first track reminds me of a dawn drive to Palmy in late summer a few years ago, the sun rising over the Horwhenua plain, the roof down, and an empty road.

Right for those who are interested (and this can only possibly be the four of you who know what this is referring to), here is a Grumman Widgeon:
The wheels make the aircraft amphibious, meaning it can alight competently on land or water.

The wheels fold up into the adjacent recesses during flight if you're wondering.
And Tales of the Gold Monkey fans, if you're thinking this plane looks familiar, you are right. Jake Cutter flew a close cousin of this design, the Grumman Goose. The designs date from the 40's.
Other famous Grumman products include the F-14 from Top Gun, the Lunar Lander, and the chariot of the very rich and important, the Gulfstream (often referred to simply as the 'G') business jet.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Stormy weather

Listening to: Fiona Mcdonald-A different hunger

Yesterdays southerly storm closing in on the city.....
Its all sunny and warm looking in the foreground still, but that soon changed
Although we did get a very brief nice sunset
Also noted....

Today is 06-07-08

Just thought I'd mention that.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What no pictures?

Listening to: Maroon five-Songs about Jane.......

Hah, you wish! actually listening to The Mockers-Woke up today, the definitive collection.

In a break from form, I am not posting any pictures tonight.

Although I am linking to something on youtube.

not much to say, just a random collection of things

-How come as soon as the door locks you out you know your keys are inside, and why doesn't this mechanism stop you from locking yourself out in the first place? Similarly, how come you remember you have left something important behind about 30 seconds after you have driven off?

-Back riding to work again, after pimping my ride with cool flashy flashy gizmos, and pimping me with some neoprene gloves. I have come up with a new term for the initial descent; 'Fierce Cold'. Giving yourself a 50 kph headwind a minute after walking out the door sure wakes you up in a hurry. Fastest recorded speed on the downhill so far is 64kph, at which point I start running out of straight. I've only done that once mind you, since a: it is technically speeding, and b: any off at that velocity would be spectacular and painful. Staying at 50 is enough, it means I can ride in the middle of the lane and not slow down the cars. I am trying to ride a minimum of three times a week, but post work activities often necessitate the powered transport.

Since the recent high profile cycling deaths in the valley I have redoubled my vigilance and defensiveness. On my route I am more at risk from path gazing pedestrians unfortunately. I am still waiting for my first accident since resuming the way of the cycle.......

-Been reading a potted history of the British SAS lately (because I am interested in that sort of thing), with particular interest in their activities during the quaintly named 'troubles' in Northern Ireland. The more I learn about that conflict, the less I understand it.

-The baby is kicking now, palpably and visibly. Cool. The small amount of paragraph space on this topic is not indicative of its relative importance.

-I start a new job in three weeks, in an area I tried to get into at my old old job. Someone else made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and my deadline of getting a new job was fulfilled quite nicely.
I have 7 working days left at the soon to be old job, and am looking forward to leaving. All the things I really don't like about it are prominent, although for my final days I seem to have been given a donkey-work task and put in the corner. Which I am fine with, although a bit more communication would have been nice. Its tedious sure, but at least I am being left alone to get on with it without supervisors second guessing every move I make, which is even more tedious.

-I'm not so bothered by the winter thing as others are, although I do resent the wierd ethic that saw fit to install an architectural culture of poorly insulated houses in this country. We may be in the south pacific, but we are in the temperate part, not the subtropical part, and nearly in the subantarctic part. I hate that our houses are cold. Its embarrassing when you are hosting guests from overseas for one.

-I will make it to Malty Media at least once.

-I am looking forwards to Rumpus

-and now the promised video link, or links

Link 1: In the early 1990's, legendary underground/alternative/post metal/whatever New Zealand band Headless Chickens were invited to contribute a track to an ABBA tribute album.

This is the result: Headless Chickens covering 'Super trouper'.

I have no idea why they filmed the video at Whenuapai, but it lends a certain odd aesthetic.

Link 2: Flying through a mountain. Because you can of course.

And Link 3: The sort of shock wave thing you often see in cartoons or movies. But much cooler because it is real.