Friday, December 21, 2007

Stray to stay?

A poor sweet little stray has taken a shining to our home. She turned up on the back deck, skinny with only angles for hips and probably a stash of kittens waiting for her return nearby.


The cat is incredibly friendly, so she hasn't been stray for long. I wonder what has happened to her. Did her owners find out she was pregnant and dump her somewhere? Did they move and abandon her? Or are they just not feeding this mum well enough so she has to come scavenging for food? Put a notice on the Pets on the Net webpage just in case someone is missing her. Its the lost and found for pets, even the SPCA uses it.



Mean times she follows me round the house and the garden, getting under foot and jumping on my lap at every chance. She'll even sit at the end of my bed for a while and then she's out the cat door till morning. Shes a sweet little cat, if a little neurotic.


Either way I think I have to follow her and see if she will show me her kittens. If they aren't raised around humans it will be very hard for them to ever have a home. They will all need worming and flea treatments. Then the mother will need to be fixed too.

Sigh, well I have been saying a need a cat for a while now.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here's to mini dates

After scrambling into to town to drop the boys off at the bus by 5:30 it suddenly struck me.
Oh crap. Its less than a week til christmas (chaos!) and we are stuck in the city on a rainy afternoon (bad driving!) at 5:30pm (argh rush hour). Well there was no way I was going to be stuck in a car for an hour trying to get home in that traffic, so I coerced my dear husband into going to happy hour at the Mexican Cafe.


And what a happy wee hour it was. I drank cheap beer and ate cheap mexican foods and we chatted the time away in relaxation while those other suckers tried to get home. As an extra Bonus one of Zeds mates was at the Mex too, and as a Christmas gesture secretly paid our tab. Woot.

So heres to mini dates with my darling husband. Just an hour, away from the distractions and only each others company. It might be coffee, it might be a beer at the local, or a walk along the beach, it doesn't really matter its the time spent together.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I know I am a nerd when...

I know I am a nerd when............

giving my address I end with Glenfield dot co dot n z.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Printing my photos - What a nightmare

I thought I might get some nice glossy prints. My printer is out of ink and I needed a couple of hard copies of some old photos.

So I load them on to my trusty 4GB usb stick. Ah USB stick, how handy you are, have I ever told you that I love you? Oh I have? Shhhhhhhhh!

Er um where was I? oh Yeah I was at Camera House. I have previously had success there printing photos from USB.

So I go to use the kiosk, But hang on I cant. I actually have to become a "member" now before I can use the kiosk to print photos. le SIGH!!!!!! So I stand in line, chat with the lady at the counter get my nice laminated membership card (oh goodies yet another card for my wallet) and back to the kiosk I go.

So I go through all the steps of entering my 9 digit membership number (oh usability where for art though!) and plug in my USB. Lovely little think starts blinking its green light at me and the kiosk has detected it, but alas!!!!!! The kiosk cannot find the photos. After trying another kiosk I stand in line again to ask if there is an issue with using USB.

Apparently I can only use my USB stick if (and this is only the word of the dubious looking counter lady)

a) there are ONLY photo files on it
and
b) they are not within a folder.

Useless. Kiosks made so easy to use that any idiot with their memory card from the camera can print, but any organised person with essential files and photos within a folder cannot use their USB stick. What a waste of my time.

For some reason this whole encounter left me feeling very angry, I had to leave the mall and go get a wheel alignment for my car.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taxi Driver Nearly Kills Zed!

Okay its not so bad as that. but it feels like it to me.

Zed was riding his bike on saturday when a taxi driver coming in the opposite direction decided to pull a U-turn. A u-turn INTO MY HUSBAND!

Luckily Zed is an amazing motorcyclist, even though he had no warning he was able to break enough so the impact wasn't too bad. He still hit the taxi though and went down hard. Heaps of bystanders came to Zeds aid and he was able to walk away with only a sprained ankle and a badly bruised body. People who had seen the accident began giving the Taxi driver a hard time, I can understand why, a motorcycle accident is an awful thing to see happen but Zed stepped in and defused the situation. (What a legend, begin dreamy sighs and batting of eyelashes for my honorable husband)


Zed is of course being his usual pragmatic self about the whole thing. The law of averages says a car is bound to hit you eventually if you are a motorcyclist (75% of all motorbike accidents are caused by cars. Yet motorcyclists pay almost double ACC levies in their registration). I guess he is just happy he wasn't hurt more badly.

I am however quite shaken by the whole incident. Its like I have been given a taste of what it might be like to lose Zed to a motorbike accident and don't like it. CURSE YOU CARELESS TAXI DRIVER!

Friday, December 07, 2007

In other fun news.. Neuralgia!


Jeebus, its supposed to happen to people over 30. But with the way I drink my body is at least that!

Anyway mines being caused by some bunged up shoulder and neck muscles. (Probably, a doctor told me)

Its an interesting sensation, its like pins and needles....ah um.. but different (mmmmmm pain my favourite!). All over my scalp. Thrills a minute! Neuralgia my new friend!

Its been going on for three days now and all my nerves are inflamed (apparently, a doctor told me so!) So Voltaren for a week and I must work on my posture and see an osteopath. bah.

Once again $42 (Thank god, its used to be $60! thanks Labour government!) for something I already knew. But I guess I will actually go and see someone about my posture rather than just thinking about it. Hey my doctors opinion cost $42!! I'm not going to ignore it! ;-)

everyday - a little bit angry.

Every morning on the way to work I pass the bus stop on Glenfield road. The weird bus stop.

To me its looks like it has been installed backwards. The seat faces in towards the hill. So if you are a weary traveler and are looking to rest your tired feet you can do so, but you must face the bank of the hill. Which I'm sure is peaceful and relaxing for some.

BUT HIGHLY STRESSFUL FOR OTHERS.... because you cant see the traffic! So how can you tell if your bus is coming along the road. The only possible part of the bus shelter that would be useful as a clear window to the outside world of traffic and buses is covered completely with advertising.

So on cold wet mornings, weary commuters are often seen standing in the rain, the ridiculous shelter unused. It is a daily glaring indictment on the lack of foresight of the north shore city council (water bill $83.00) .

It makes me just a little bit outraged, just a little bit mad. So every morning I arrive at work, a little bit angry.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Top Five Smells - Fresh clean Sheets

One of the chores I never mind doing is changing the sheets. They smell good and feel good, and theres nothing like going to bed on the first night of fresh sheets.

1. Fresh clean sheets.

2. A real nice aftershave on a handsome man.

3. Eucalyptus

4. Baking - Biscuits, Banana loaf, anything!

5. The way the air smells when you sit next to clear rocky rivers surrounded by trees.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

House Affordability


I was moaning about my mortgage at work today. (oh whats new?) Housing is getting damn near unaffordable for a lot of people. This latest housing boom is out of whack and houses cost double what they did a short while ago. So anyway I was moaning about my mortgage and an elder colleague of mine said "But its always been like that, there are always housing booms"
True, but this latest one is completely out of scale. See above graph.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Slash Fiction - The NSFW story

When I was a girl (not that I ever was girly) when you had a crush on someone famous, you put their poster on your wall. Sometimes cut their pictures out of magazines and put them on your school books with clear Duraseal. Many afternoons walking home from school filled with fantasies about a chance meeting and of course eventual marriage with said crush.

You may have noticed that todays youth don't keep anything to themselves. They live their lives online, holding almost nothing back. Even those afternoon daydreams about celebrities and rock stars now have a place online. These day dreams are filled out to short stories, well written and carefully crafted. Those stories would fall under fan-fiction, where you take your favourite celebs and write a wonderful adventure for them. It sounds cute and charming.

Slash fiction is another fish all together. Here the fantasies are imbibed with turbulent sexuality and adolescent curiosity. These are the "Kirk loves Spock" stories, the "Harry and Dracos magical experiment" stories and weirdly, "Every member from 'Panic at the disco' doing every other member of Panic at the disco" stories.

Yes, you can no longer just idolise you favourite band. Instead the youth feel compelled to write homo erotic fiction about them on live journal instead. My little social bookmarking site is rife with links to such stories. Interestingly most are written by females....
“Overwhelmingly, fan fiction is mostly written by women,” said Jenkins, author of “Normal Female Interest in Men Bonking,” an essay on slash fiction.
“If it’s okay for two guys to fantasize about two women, it’s an equal opportunity for women.”
(quoted from the naughty american)

Its a kind of "damn, there goes my childhood" feeling when I see the characters of my favourite books exploring their sexuality. And don't think your childhood characters are safe, there are over 72587 slash fiction authors on the adult fanfiction site. Chances are one of them wrote it.(Harry potter slash fiction is the most popular on the net right now as teen girls write about their childhood heroes) But that happens today, content is taken, thrown on its ear, with a bit of this and that added and presto its becomes something different, something inspired and original created out of the old. (ah Mashups) Sometimes, like a monkey with a hammer, nothing good can come of it. And other times, you accidentally get sucked into to reading an epic amount of pages before you realise its slash fiction and its about your TV show. And when you do, you keep reading because the writing is good and you have to see how it ends.

SGA fans recommended for cuteness of.

Star trek fans...........

Too Much Packaging

I am a bad person. I bought dental floss. As far as I can see dental floss already comes in a box. But now its comes in a box in a plastic box. I am so swayed by packaging, it was probably the biggest "box" of dental floss and it had some new gimmick. Pasty floss. I bet it will be terrible.
On first impressions, its big floss. I feel like I am about to floss with rope, but its very soft. It slides between my teeth okay, Im not feeling this paste effect though. Hmmmm not much fraying, thats good. Feels good between the teeth, but is doesn't seem to get all the way down to the gum line.

Well its okay. Slightly better than average floss (because lets face it, average floss is crap). Its not as good as my Reach Easyslide pro floss. Now that gets right down into all the creepy gaps.

Spontaneous floss review this was not supposed to be.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Your past, My past. Where I am.

I cant help but trust dogs. Its a flaw, because not all dogs can be trusted. But I used to have a great dog. Loyal to the very end. And I grew up and moved away and left him behind, but he never forgot me. He always greeted me with a wagging tail. Best dog ever.

My past experiences are a mixed bag. But hey, we all have baggage and so far we can't change the past (a life time of reading science fiction novels tells me it wont be long before we can). My life to date, my experiences have shaped me and made me who I am today.

I like who I am. Mostly. (I mean I wish I was less judgemental and more social and more caring in general) But I am who I am. I think I'm okay. I am happy. (actually I'm really happy!) I have stress, but its just small stuff. The big picture stuff is going sweet.

I am internal. That means I believe that I am responsible for my own fate and happiness. That my own thoughts and not external factors determine my happiness. I have low points like everyone, but I bounce back very quickly. The only depression I ever suffered was due to the pill and obviously I don't take that one anymore.

I have discounted my teenage angst. I went through it, so does everyone. Its over (thank god) I've let it go. Of course it molded me, but it doesn't hurt me anymore.

And now today, in the present. I do things that make me happy. I've only got one chance at it.

I am the sum of all influence, experience past. I am nothing more than memories and teachings of twenty years ago. I am five, I am thirteen, I am seventeen and twenty seven.

I am all that you made me.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sounds closing due to "pirates" arrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Whatever.

To blame illegal downloads for your company's demise is weak. CD sales are actually up this year and sales in the new digital format are sky rocketing.

The reason your stores experienced falling sales is due to pricing and no longer being cool. Your CD's were often $10 more than anywhere else and your stores sucked. You didn't move with the times and now you pay the price.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

emotions, who needs em.

What to do when things are out of your control?
What to do when things don't affect you, but hurt the ones you love?
How can you fix something when it is none of your business?

I'm sitting here with that heavy empty chest feeling tinged with the astringent bile taste of stress induced acid reflux. Its a bad situation. But I can't do anything about it. I wish I could step in and fix things, but I feel like there is too much emotion for anything to ever be solved rationally and its not really my place, not really my business, not anything to do with me anyway.

I just have to sit back and watch this train wreck of a situation unfold.

My chest hurts.

Bah, but however bad it is for me, its got to be a thousand times worse for those involved.

I need a cup of tea.

Scientician out.

Wont somebody think of the patients!?

Well hospital security was out in force yesterday. I got my ID inspected on the way into the hospital by two security guards. For the first time in two years I've had to prove who I am to even get on the grounds.
I talked to one of the security folk later in the day and he explained that they were cracking down on expired ID cards and fake IDs. Then as an aside he mention that with all that terrorism bru ha ha you can't be too careful these days.
Well the day that North Shore hospital is the target of a terrorism attack will be a sad one indeed, I like to think that New Zealand extremists are unlikely to attack the hospital. But who knows what goes on inside a radical mind. I only hope this isn't the beginning of a slide into a culture of paranoia.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mintshot HA HA!

Poor ol mintshot, hacked within days of going live.

The site offers mintshot dollars for watching adds, you can then use the mint shot dollars to bid on auctions (hey I won a CD!) or use them to try your luck at the mint tick game. Actually its a bit of stretch to call it a game. Its pure luck, no skill involved, you click dots on a grid to reveal either a green tick or a red cross. The idea is to reveal as many ticks before you get a red cross, which ends the game. Scores of 14 - 21 were not uncommon, but last night scores of over 60 started appearing, thats more ticks than are on the grid!

If you were smart, surely you would have just used your leet haxor skills to just win yourself one big prize by the slimmest of margins. I believe there was more than one haxor though which doesn't say much for the programming of the site.

Here's the email I got today from the mintshot team

---------------------------------------------------------------
mintshot
it pays to watch
---------------------------------------------------------------

Hi there,

There has been a security breach in the Mint Tick game which has
allowed a handful of users to tamper with the Mint Tick auction
system. Naturally repeat offenders have been removed from the
system. Thanks to those members who have contacted us regarding
the security hole. Due to the breach we have decided to remove
the Mint Tick auctions from the site for the next few days. It
is essential that we keep mintshot.co.nz a fair, fun and
productive place and we are working hard to resolve the Mint
Tick issue. Once we have rectified the issue with the Mint Tick
product we will re-instate the auctions that were running.
Thanks to everyone for your continued feedback which will allow
us to further improve the site.

All the best,

Marc and the Mintshot team.
It Pays to Watch

I wonder how long this website will survive, at the moment its giving away megabucks worth of stuff and all you have to do is watch ads. It reminds of AllAdvantge, a pay to surf scheme from a few years ago (add bar at the bottom of your browser) I managed to get $60 before the company went bust though. Get in while the going is good I suppose.

Monday, November 19, 2007

ethics and where you stand

Cows are the devil
I don't agree with striking in my line of work. I agree with the right to strike but I don't like the consequences in a hospital setting.

So when I started at North Shore Hospital I refused to join the union.

For the first time in my life, I have to negotiate my own contract.
Its a little daunting.

However, today while doing the ordering for our departments consumables I spent more than my humble salary in less than an hour so there should be enough wiggle room in the budget to give me a raise. Lab supplies in New Zealand are very overpriced. Most are American made, and then pass through two middle men (one of which is usually in Australia) before we can get our hands on them.

Its pretty hard to order direct. We tried, and had a visit from a MAF official keen to confiscate our 1ml of cyclinD1 antibody because it contained bovine serum. Since we had used 80% of the antibody anyway it was decided that 200 microlitres of purified cow posed little threat, but we were never ever to do it again. NEVER EVER! Apparently the middle men (businessmen) are certified to import these things, but as a hospital we couldn't possibly know the first thing about handling antibodies.

save us jeebus.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

its all over!

Theres something about spending an hour washing and detailing the car and then spending 2 hours weeding and digging the garden on a hot summer day that completely weakens your resolve for buying beer.
So I caved and purchased a six pack of Montieths Radler.

So my little experiment is over but its been interesting.

I think I have conquered a few spending habits. I doubt I will buy my lunch at work ever again. The lunches I made were pretty good and it saved me quite a lot of money.

I will keep up the habit of catching the bus to work 3-4 days a week.

And the once a week grocery shop and NO visits in between. I enjoyed that the most. I hate supermarkets and I hate malls and it was quite a relief to only visit once a week. When I went down to get my beers I was agitated and annoyed within 20 seconds of walking in the door. People are a nightmare.

Religions often have times of reflection and deprivation like Lent or Ramadan. As an aetheist I think its important to incorporate similar times into my life to reflect on my own choices and how I live my life. I was making a lot of purchases without thinking, I was like a drone, a consuming machine. Its nice to be actively thinking again. (Although also horrifying, supermarkets are the devil.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More free money? I am so freaking generous

Well not money, but vouchers.
I always used to think that the get paid to do surveys thing was a scam. But AC Nielsen is legit and I've got $40 worth of vouchers already. Surveys are done online, at your convenience and are about 10 minutes to complete usually.

You get points for surveys. You trade in points for vouchers. You pick the store Mitre 10, Living and Giving, Dick Smith, Hoyts, and Farmers just to name a few.

Every now and then they need to add more members to the survey panel. So they get existing members to refer people. Thats me.
So if you want in on the gravy train click here and sign up!

Day 11- Its Sunday again?

Grocery shopping day.

I hate grocery shopping. It is one of the few tasks that fills me with dread. I leave it till Sunday evening, which is a nice quiet time at the supermarket and it means my food is freshest for my home made lunches.

Why I hate it.

1. It takes too long. I don't know how I can do it faster, I take a list, I arrange the list to store layout, I never back track. It still takes me freakin ages.

2. People are inconsiderate. Trolleys in the middle of aisles and parking trolleys two abreast in the aisles. As if that is a good idea? People at the checkout remembering they're forgot the cheese running back to get it leaving you to wait. The cheese is gone, you are walking out of here without the cheese, if its not in your trolley at the checkout you aint buying it.

3. Stocking. I don't know how they always manage to be out of the same stuff. If you are always running out of a particular item, then perhaps, just perhaps.. you need to stock more of it?

4. Packs of three. Three steaks, three chicken fillets, three avocados. I knows theres families of three out there. But how about packs of two. Because less people are breeding these days.

5. Checkout operators throwing my apples into the trolley, packing tinned food on top of my mushrooms and squishing my bread. I know your job sucks, I wish you had a better job too. Please don't beat the crap out of my food! See I have even loaded it onto the conveyor beat with all items arranged from square and firm to soft and delicate, so all that stuff goes in last! I can work with you on this.

6. Its always costing more. Inflation is a fact of life. My grocery bill is inflating like a bastard.


The other option is buying online. Foodtown offers this service and I have been tempted but Foodtown is significantly more expensive than my usual supermarket Pac n Sav. Either I fork out more money and save myself the pain of grocery shopping, or I save that money by enduring the horrors of Pac n Sav. I shoose to save the money.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

what I want for christmas


Oh my favourite web comics. let me show you them. xkcd has a store. I want the t-shirts!
XL please, cause I like wine and cheese and chocolate and burgers and I also have large boobs.
Its the truth people.

And you thought my book shelves were cool!

View of the Blue City from the Jodhpur Fort
Jodhpur, India, March 2001

I'm for more colour in our lives. Imagine what the view from my balcony would look like if there were more vibrantly coloured rooftops. I can only dream of a more artistic future, were beige or pale white apartment buildings are banned and colour rules the streets.

Day 10 - Making your own luck

I am a lucky person. I have good fortune and happiness that fills my days.

Part of being lucky and happy is simply just wanting to be happy and lucky and therefore doing things that make you happy or lucky.

For example, every night that I want, my favourite shows are on TV, its like they have programmed it just for me! I am just channel surfing away and then BAM! One of my favourite TV shows is on! This happens every night, not just Fridays or Tuesdays but every night that I sit down to watch TV. Sure its mostly reruns, but they are still my favourite TV shows of all time.

Of course I make it happen, sure it may be weird but even artificially induced feelings of luck and happiness will make your more lucky and happy over time. So on nights when I feel like watching a bit of TV to wind down I throw one of my favourite DVDs into the player and without looking I press all the buttons to get an episode started. (Hey if its your favourite its no trouble to get it going before you put the tv on). So then I turn on the TV and channel surf to see if anything goods on. If there is something awesome to watch, great! but if its all looking like crap then I just flick the remote to av input and "OMG my favourite TV show is on, whew it looks like I only just missed the first few minutes"

I am weird. But happy weird!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Day 9 - No beer for you!

Day nine of my experiment and also another Friday. The dreaded pub day. It was hot, the mornings work had been gruelling yet my efficiency outstanding. By 12 we were ready to walk out the door and off to lunch at Mad Dogs and Englishmen, a pub in a ridiculous spot at the back of the Milford shops. I grabbed a free water and it was gone in minutes and the sun beat down mercilessly on the back of my neck, I can't believe none of my workmates even offered to buy me a beer!

bastards.

Not that I am bitter, after all I am now home, sipping on a surprising little chardonnay and wasting the afternoon away with good ol' you tube favourites.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day 8 - Did you miss out on my email?

The RaboPlus promotion has begun! (see previous post)

If you want some free money click here!

Only the first 15 of my friends to sign up get the free money.

And one spot has already been taken! They got a free cash gift of $31! Sweet deal!
I'm going to start a list of how much money you guys have won!

1. $31
2. $32
3. $32
4. $31
5. $30
6. $30
7. $29
8. $31
9. $30
10. $26
11. $34
12. $26
13. $29
14. $34
15. $35

Total amount my friends have won $460

Well thats it, thats the 15 referrals all gone. No big prizes but it looks like everyone at least got beer money! Don't forget if you open your account you go into another draw for 4 x $1000 deposits into your account.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Would you like free money?


I have a Raboplus savings account.

Its an online savings account with no fees ever, and a high interest rate even if your balance is only $5. No fees for withdrawals, no fees ever. I feel I must repeat this point. No fees!

Its pretty cool.

Anyway they are having a Christmas promotion where I can invite my friends to get a savings account too. If you sign up they give you some cash.

Yes. They give you some free money.

You will get anything between $25 and $500 as a special Christmas gift.

Plus everyone who signs up also goes in the draw for 4 chances to win $1000!

So I'll email everyone when the promotion starts. You can thanks me later.



(disclaimer: er...uh... I may just happen to get $10 myself for every person that joins up.... but hey YOU get $25 and you could get up to $500! Its a sweet deal that helps your friend the scientician. And if you aint into it, feel free to delete that email as soon as it hits your inbox.)

Day 7




A whole week has gone by and I am actually already thinking about what I can buy in December. Mostly I really need a freakin' haircut. Its too long and a pain in the arse. Aside from that, no urges to spend.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day 6 - its MY own challenge people

This "Buy nothing for a month challenge" is mine, I've set the rules. I decided to do it just to see if I could change my way of thinking and maybe some of my habits. There is no judge watching over me, no panel or peers deciding what I can still pay for and what I can't.

I had to explain this to a workmate today,

Him "So you're not buy petrol then"

Me "nope, I'm catching the bus"

Him "Ah! so you're buying bus tickets! and what about electricity huh??"

Me "Don't be a wanker"

Everyone else "ooooooooooooo"

Its not an all or nothing challenge, those are always (like diets) doomed to fail. I am challenging myself to purchase nothing. Electricity although not absolutely necessary for my survival does make for my comfort and I don't think I can be called a blatant consumerist for paying my electricity bill.

This challenge is more about what I do with my discretionary income. Each pay day I pay all my bills (I don't want no collection agency hounding my ass! That would be mental) and then don't spend whats leftover. I think a month is a good amount of time to try something out. I could have said to myself "Oh god, I am fed up with buying so much crap, I'm never ever buying anything again!" Its so unrealistic I would go out and buy something within three days because I know its impossible for me to never buy anything. So I think its way cooler and groovier to say "OH GOD, I am so fed up with buying so much crap, I'm going a month without buying anything" and presto, a goal! Which is achievable and just lengthy enough to feel worthwhile

So far I haven't bought anything. Just my groceries, once a week, so I don't starve.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day 5 - Birth of the Mini manti!

All your mantis are belong to us

Well another day of catching the bus and spending no money.

Lucky for me I have a fairy grandmother who reads my blog and takes pity on my soul and decides to drop a few essentials. (essential = wine) So I wont be thoroughly deprived over the next few weeks. And now I know at least someone out there is reading my blog. Despite it lapsing into a day by day account of me doing nothing.

Tonight I am eating my first home grown lettuce, and its not as bitter as the last time I ripped a leaf off on my way past the planter. So there maybe hope for good eating yet. Speaking of good eating, heres what I'm having for dinner tonight. Its beans, of the cannelini kind, mixed with diced red onions, red peppers, celery, cracked pepper and lemon juice. Slapped on top is a tasty piece of unsustainable hoki. I best eat as much as I can before its on the endangered list. Anyway this is wrapped in tin foil and baked in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until tasty. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and serve with a salad you just picked yourself from the garden.


And why not end this evenings post with an extreme close up of the little blighters. Just think in a few weeks they'll be big enough to fall in love, get married and bit each others heads off.








The one on the right looks like shes thinking about it already! run little man mantis RUN!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Day 4 - Is it just me or is time going slowly?

Hey I still haven't bought anything. Thrills huh.

Anyway I made pumpkin soup for lunch, pumpkin, kumura, cauliflower, onion, garlic and one potato. Very tasty. And I used some celery, carrot, garlic and noodles to make a chicken noodle soup for he boys as they are not big fans of pumpkin.

So its the end of the week and all the grocery shopping is used up. When you decide you are only going to visit the supermarket once a week you tend to plan pretty well. But its quite tedious all the planning ahead, every dinner lunch and breakfast.

The Golden Compass



I just watched the trailer this morning. Actually it looks quite good, and very well cast. Besides any movie that some religos get all uppity about is bound to be good.

You can also get your own Daemon. You just have to take a short personality test (20 questions) and they match you up with your most likely daemon. A neat feature is that you can put it on your blog and your friends can answer some questions about you to make sure you didn't cheat on the personality test. You daemon will change if their answer are not similar to your own.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Buses or Bikes People.

Day 3 - Still Not Spending Anything

This could become a very boring blog. Yep, day three and I've already forgotten what my wallet looks like.

I was feeling good about spending nothing and then Natalie points out that I must somehow get her a birthday present. Never fear! I am the luckiest person I know. I will sort something out. I must admit these are challenges I didn't even consider when I began this month of frugality.
In other news I have successfully grown lettuce. Some fancy kind. Tastes terrible mmmmm bitter. But it grew didn't it?!!!!!!!! Yeah bask in my awesome gardening skills.


"My lettuce, let me show you it."



Other fun things to do on the weekends include organising your book collection by colour! Although its kinda flip I think it looks much better than the general mishmash that it was before.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day 2 - Friday is PUB DAY


Most Fridays we start early at work so we can finish by lunch time and head down to the pub for lunch and a couple of beers. And today is no exception. I imagine theres not much fun to be had spending no money at the pub, except of course for the delightful company of my co-workers.

I also had to drive to work today, the buses don't really start running early enough, and I'm not about to walk to work at 5am in the morning. So Fridays have to be my concession. At least its a day off from busing it with the kids. Oh The pain of finishing work at 3:30.

And a big thank you to my dear Nina, who continues to surprise me. Today I came home to a mystery package and to my delight it contained a lost book of my childhood. I must have told that trauma story one too many times. So with my weekend reading sorted, family fed, the very last smidgen of Sav blanc drunk I think I will sit down for a gaming session. I'm only one level away from getting giant ram for my dwarf to ride around on y'know.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Whedon Geeks ahoy! Good news!

Joss Whedon has a new TV series in the works, its called Dollhouse and stars Eliza Dushku.
Read more here, including interviews with Eliza and Joss.

Day One - It all seems so easy

Just by chance, the first day of this little experiment happens to be my pay day. Its usually a day when I treat my self to a bought lunch and a bottle of wine on the way home, but no such luxury today.

So I hopped online and paid all my bills this morning. Mortgage, rates, power, phone, insurance, life insurance etc. I have $100 left. So I cant say I was really living the extravagant life before. Thats $100 disposable income which would get spent on alcohol, going out, petrol and other rubbish. So I wacked it all in my savings account (except for enough to buy a bus ticket for the fortnight) and sighed as my current account balance now reads zero.

I caught the bus to work, which was quite pleasant (Took my mp3 player for a bit of soundtrack to life music). I had to get up a little earlier, but thats no trouble. I even got off two stops early to save on bus fare (1 stage fare is only $1.60 two stages is probably twice as much, I wouldn't know). And the walk to work was relaxing and it put me in a good mood for work.

So far so good.

My work has blocked acess to flickr. Everyday more and more websites are added to the block list. I fear it wont be long before blogger is banned.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Month of Living Free

Recent discussions with friends have left me wondering about my own consumerist ways. Am I one of those "addicted to spending" types? Lately I feel like I have been whipping out my eftpos card everyday, mindlessly spending money on crap.
And then the flip side hit me too. How much energy does is take to produce, package and transport all the crap I buy that I don't need.
I am an environmental nightmare. Sure I recycle, but doesn't everyone? I see all the blue bins out on Thursdays so I can assume my neighbours are doing it too. But wouldn't it be better to not consume as much in the first place?

And so starts my experiment.

One month. No buying anything, with the exception of the weekly groceries.

So November is my anti-consumerism pro-enviroment month. I will not buy any lunches, soft drinks or coffees. No DVDs, books or DVD rentals. No takeaways or restaurant meals. NO PETROL. I will be buying a bus ticket.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bats for lashes - Video Review

I first saw this video at the end of nightline of all places a few months ago (remember when Marcus Lush was on nightline and you actually made a point of watching it, because even though it was three news, it was awesome!)
I love the song, stripped back drums and percussion and judicious use of hand clap! Speaking of handclaps the BMX riders in their animal heads (very donny darko I suppose though that seems to obvious comparison) are eerie and ambiguous. I think video is very clever and almost hypnotic when combined with such a haunting song.
A very Easy 9/10

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I want to pay for this song!

Hi folks,

Right now I am sitting at my computer waiting for the digirama software to install before I can purchase any music from them.

Yep the minutes are ticking by......

I could have already downloaded a whole album illegally by now and be listening to it on winamp.
They make it so hard to buy music off the internet its no wonder everyone just does the illegal download. Its a lot easier.

But I love to support kiwi music, I buy it, I insist my friends buy it too. So I'm trying to download your single Exiles, and I'm even going to pay $1.75 for it. If the software ever finishes installing.

Which by the way is quite a violation. I don't want digirama software on my computer! I just want your awesome single on a CD and in my car!

I even tried itunes, but the site was down.

oh look its finished installing!

but guess what

i still cant download the music from the store, the software is crap

what?

I need to install additional plugins?

okay what are they ?

WTF windows media player 11??????? I don't want that!!!!!! it breaks everything I HATE IT.

Just give me my mp3!!!!

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

FTS !! Iwant that 20 minutes of my life back! OMG!

someone start a torrent, I'll be there with bells on.

Biology Lessons - Digestion

Mouth:
The first stage of digestion occurs in the mouth. Mastication (chewing) breaks up the food into smaller pieces giving it a larger surface area for enzymes to work on, warms the food and moistens it with saliva. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase which begins the process of carbohydrate digestion. The food is then worked into a bollus (a small amount of food that can be comfortably swallowed) and the propelled down the oesophagus by peristalsis (rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract) and into the stomach.


Stomach:
The stomach acts as a churn mixing the food with gastric acids into a milky substance called chyme. The gastric acid lowers the pH of the stomach which activates the enzyme pepsin. Pepsin digests proteins breaking the links between amino acids.

Duodenum:
Most digestion occurs in the duodenum but only small amounts can digested at anyone time. Small amounts of chyme are released from the stomach to the duodenum enzymes from the pancreas and gall bladder are added to the mix and the pH of the chyme increases to about pH 8. (i.e. the stomach acids are neutralised)

Gall bladder:
The gallbladder is a holding pouch for bile(produced by the liver). Bile works to aid digestion of fats (but note that bile contains no enzymes). Bile binds to fats to allow them to dissolve in the watery contents of the small intestine. This is called emulsification. Bile also helps neutralise the the stomach acids and raise the pH.

Pancreas:
The pancreas actually has many functions, it produces digestive enzymes (for carbohydrates proteins and fats) but also produces insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. It also produces chemicals to neutralise stomach acids.

Jejunum:
This is the second part of the small intestine (after the duodenum) digestion is still occurring and nutrient absorption begins. The small intestine has lots of small folds and villi (sometimes referred to as the brush border) which increase its surface area allowing a lot of absorption.

Ileum:
The third and last part of the small intestine is responsible for some very selective nutrient absorption such as vitamin C and B12. By the end of the small intestine most nutrients have been absorbed and mostly waste products and water enter the large intestine.

Large intestine (Colon) :
Here bacteria in the colon help with any remaining digestion of food (unfortunately bacteria digestion can produce some gaseous by products) . The mucosa of the colon has amazing absorption powers and water is recovered from the stool. Waste and gases are eliminated through the anus.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Top ten movies with female leads then..

Some of you have you may have read Natalie's post on Warner brothers deciding to no longer produce movies with female leads. It has inspired me to try create a top ten list of movies with female leads. I expect you all to help! Heres a few to get us going.

1. Monster - Charlize Theron
Yes chicks can be serial killers too.


2. The Aliens Movies - Sigourney Weaver
Women can save themselves and kill the big bad!
The first Alien movie was made in 1979 and was kinda groundbreaking. The writers had used unisex names for all the characters so casting could be completely flexible, but they never imagined a female in the lead role.

3. Boys Dont Cry - Hilary Swank
Girls can play boys.


4. Legally Blonde - Reese Witherspoon
Women can be funny and sincere in comedy without falling into stereotypes.


5. Silence of the Lambs - Jodie Foster
Women can be terrified and still get the job done. Jodie Foster plays a wonderfully complex character and I am reminded of the saying "Without fear there can be no courage."

6. Kill Bill - Uma Thurman
Love the scenes where she wakes up from her coma! Arsed are kicked and karma is dealt instantly. She should be every womans favourite action hero!



7. Million Dollar Baby - Hilary Swank
Once again showing us all how its done.


8. Amelie - Audrey Tautou
French and wonderfully whimsical.


9. Bridget Jones's Diary
I love honest characters.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Canberra


A city solely created to become the nations capital is a strange city indeed.

And a city that is completely empty when parliament is out of session. It closed on Thursday, I got there Friday.

Firstly we were ripped off by the dodgy taxi driver and despite getting into a yelling match in the hotel driveway we still ended up losing about $20. But the staff at the Rydges hotel more than made up for it. The lovely reception staff were quite lovely and rang the taxi company and complained on our behalf, the also gave me free internet and extra bonus points on my Rydges card.

The next morning we walked into the city centre. The place is like a ghost town, we hardly saw a soul. But the enviroment was pleasant, spacious, a lake, plenty of footpaths, the city seemed to be designed with cycling and walking in mind. Its the perfect little city for an introvert like me.

For lunch we found King O'Mallys. Lovely Irish pub with cascade on tap (one of my favourite aussie beers)

In between times there was a Histology conference, I enjoyed it.It hath renewed my interest and made me remember its not all mundane routine tests. Plus I came away with a few ideas to improve the decalcification processes at the lab.

So while I wouldn't recommend Canberra as the ultimate holiday destination, its not so bad if you just happen to be going there.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Im pissing off for a few days

Well Im off to Canberra till tuesday. I'm going to the NSW Histology Conference. One of the perks of my job is of course all the international travel. Tauranga, Taupo and now Canberra! Very exciting stuff, there is going to be a few interesting talks (mmmm immunohistochemistry on decalcified bone marrows) and a few not so interesting talks (i.e trade presentations thinly disguised as scientific talks)

Anyway try not to miss me too much while I'm gone.

In other news the corner store makes a nice mojito. And Zed sings a nice song. Dont forget to check out his myspace page dear readers, all the latest songs are there ("Shine this time" is my favourite) . The link is to the right and down a bit. Look for Bemuzed. Anyway Nothing better than sitting in bar with a couple of friends and your husband secretly dedicating songs to you in the corner (and some not so secretly) while drinking a mojito.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Something Random: Why the rooster crows

According to Greek Mythology the rooster is actually Alectryon, so transformed to punish him for falling asleep on the job.

You see Ares, asked Alectryon to guard the door while he engaged in some naughty private time with his sister in law Aphrodite. Alectryon being but a youth (so irresponsible the young people) he fell asleep and Helios (the Sun, yes really the Sun personified) was able to walk in on the couple and catch them in the act!

So now Alectryon is a rooster, forever heralding the arrival of the sun.

Nina, this posts for you!

Some people have jobs with lots of downtime. Like real downtime where there is honestly nothing to do, lucky for Nina she is allowed to use the internet at work for such times.

Here is a list of boredom busting websites, most of which have new content everyday!

Delicious/popular
Here is a social bookmarking website, the popular links change everyday and are always on a diverse range of topics, humour, politics, nerd stuff, self help and design! Luckily delicious is not often blocked by your work either.

Reddicius
Reddit often gets blocked but this little reddit/delicious hybrid is often available. Similar to delcious. Just be careful of NSFW links (Not Safe For Work, i.e could be pornographic!)

Of course there is reddit and digg if you are lucky enough to be able to access them.

Boing Boing
Internet blog about things on the internet, quite an eclectic taste here too. where else could you fins links to the manolo shoe blog and old people playing Wii.

Violent Acres
A very well written blog. Probably one of the best blogs on the internet in my opinion. Its just a journal type blog but quite fascinating.

NZ Herald
okay not actually the funnest thing on the internet, but if you want to keep current with local affairs its the place to be. Aw heck Stuff is probably better.

Threadless

Still bored? Go to threadless and rate the designs in the competition. Good for about 5 minutes worth of fun.

uthink
While mostly full of white trash spouting ignorant opinions, this site can be entertaining.Also if you have an opinion of your own, you could win $50!

I can has Cheezburger?
Cats our favourite cats!

Cute overload
Cute blog of cute things

Post Secret
Secrets on postcards, strangely compelling.

Wikipedia
Oh the internet encyclopedia, very boring you might say. Well this link takes you to a random page each time. Neat huh. Learn something new everyday.

Contests Galore
A forum with links to competitions you can enter in New Zealand online

Hopefully this will keep you occupied during some quiet moments.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh Saturday!

Saturdays are the prime day of the week. I got up early and went to Kings Plant Barn and bought 5 bags of compost/mulch and have been weeding and planting tomatoes (acid free!) and capsicums in the sunniest spots I could find. Its only 11:30 and its already too hot to be out there anymore. Later I'll get back out and plant some greens and what not.

Actually spring is definitely here. Last night I had to take a blanket off the bed and sleep with a window open. Its not longer burning my toes cold when i get up in the morning either. The perspiration gained this morning while digging certainly is an indicator of warmer times.

Now I all I need is a six pack of Montieths Raddler to enjoy this fine sunny afternoon. Especially after all my labors this morning. I wonder if I can convince husband to run to the store for me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

5am I Love it

On Fridays I start at 6:30 am so I try get up at 5am. I used to dread Fridays but since it started to get warmer If dont mind so much anymore. Actually I quite like being up this early. The hardest thing about being an early riser is coping with the cold winter morning. When its temperate I can leap out of bed in the happiest of moods. However when its the middle of Winter I cant drag myself out of bed for love or chocolate.


My tips on being an early riser.

1. When its freezing put a heater on a timer in the room you eat breakfast, at least then you'll have a warm refuge to look forward to once you're out of bed.

2. Invest in a morning luxury. Buy yourself some great coffee or an amazingly luxurious shower product. The more things you have to look forward to the easier it will be to get out of bed.

3. Go to bed at a decent time.Its pretty obvious that getting up at 5am regularly is going to be pretty hard if you go to bed at Midnight.

4. Have something more than just work to do in the morning. If you are getting up so early, make it a time for yourself. Read the paper, catch up on emails, take a walk. If its you who is reaping the rewards of getting up early and not just your boss its a whole lot easier.

5. Get organised and lay out your clothes the night before. If you wake up half dead and stumble round in a daze for the first 15 minutes or so then it sure helps to have everything ready to go.


But why would I even want to get up early? Lack of noise pollution is particulary enjoyable. The roads are quiet, the house is quiet, no one is calling on the phone. No one is asking me questions, there are no chores yet hanging over my head. It is a time of uninterrupted thought and clarity.

Also Coffee and tea taste much better first thing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Im Schizoid? Really?

Schizoid Personality Disorder - individual generally detached from social relationships, and shows a narrow range of emotional expression in various social settings.

According to the personality disorder test anyway, I am 70% schizoid. Hurrah! Find out what personality disorder you have by taking the test! (More tests here).

Oh by the way, its one of those tests where you will end up with a percentage rating for each disorder. You wont get "congrats you are normal!" on this one.

Actually I think thats the last thing anyone wants to find out. That they are indeed averagely normal. How depressing. Don't we all want to be different, special, even in a bad way?

"even in a bad way" thats a weird thing to say, maybe I do have a personality disorder!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Really Enjoy Reading Science Fiction.

I've recently been meeting people who only read non-fiction. Books about war, books about history, biographies (Ha mostly fiction anyway usually!) and some of them have the attitude that fiction is a waste of time because its not real. They don't understand why anyone would want to read about about space aliens and space ships and people of the future.

Well its pure escapism for me. I love getting so wrapped up in a character that I no longer notice myself. I get so enthralled by the story and the room disappears. I'm in the story, and if its really good, I fall asleep reading it and dream it all night. Maybe its the same for the history buffs, perhaps for them its like being there. I read the odd non-fiction. I have recently read "Stalingrad: The fateful Seige" and "The fall of Berlin" and indeed it was like being there. But it was awful being there. It was too horrible and it stayed with me for days, because it was real. It really happened to people and it was more than atrocious, more than awful. Fiction, I can leave behind. If someone dies, its just a story. If theres a war, well it never really happened. I can get wrapped up in the story without worrying about my emotions.

Either I have too much empathy and find reading such things too hard. Or I don't have enough and I should read these books because it really happened to our fellow man.

Anyway, where was I.

The first ever Science Fiction book I read was called "Dolphin Island" by Arthur C. Clark. I borrowed it from the Riverview Primary School library, a strange room, the carpet curved where the wall meets the floor and went up for about a foot. Plagues of black baby crickets would get caught in the synthetic carpet. But only in that curved bit by the wall. The classrooms were carpeted the same way and every morning, once a year for about a week, we would walk into our classrooms edged with a black ring of dying baby crickets. I could never figure out how they got inside.

The book was set in the future and had a runaway boy, scientists, life threatening situations, communication with dolphins and all sorts of other intrigues. I have a hard time recalling the exact details now. A few years ago I hunted down a copy on trademe yet couldn't bring myself to read it again. I didn't want the memory of that first magical dive into science fiction to be tainted by my adult perspective. My inner cynic would surely poke holes in the plot and rip through the one dimensional characters (though I doubt since Arthur C. Clarke is a pretty good writer....). I want to keep the memory of how it felt to read that book. Even if I cant remember how it ended.

I think we all have a childhood memories we keep safe like that.

Puppetry of the Hand

Pretty sweet you tube video

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Man I hate the wind.

That gentle loving breeze of summer has turned vile. Turning my hair into a Medusa probing my eyes nostrils and mouth. I choke on my own hair. The wind is pushing against my skin, rushing through the ever so small holes in my clothes and being inescapable, unavoidable, completely against me. Without refuge and full of hopelessness, the wind brings a depression.
I will never be warm again.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Autozamm Highlight of the Night

The Kings Arms, one of the last bastions of live music was the venue for the Opshop gig supported by Autozamm. But it may as well have been Autozamm headlining. Sure Opshop is tight professional with well written songs, but they ain't my cup of tea. They bore me. Autozamm on the other hand was full of energy, edgy guitars and charisma which you just can't fake. Consider me a fan.
Despite Tim Curry still being alive Nick seems to be capable of channeling him at will with an astounding performance of "sweet transvestite" from the rocky horror picture show. Heres a video of an older live performance for Juice TV, its not as good as what I saw last night but you get the idea.



Frankly Opshop is more of a support band, they just don't have the hooky songs to be the lead act, which I guess is why they are supporting Snow Patrol. I mustn't have the same taste as the rest of New Zealand seeing as "Maybe" has been in the charts for weeks. Oh well. one can only hope with the release of Autozamms next album the same success will come their way.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Death to Facebook

My friends, I love you. I really do. (I'll get into that in another post)
But I really don't need more things for my aquarium, more pokerchips a thousand more buffy trivia questions, a hatching egg, a growing plant, a ninja, a pirate, a vampire, a zombie, a drink of any kind, to list my movies, compare you to all my friends or show you what books I'm reading. I don't want the gluepot back or to join the anti child abuse group on facebook (what is it so far but a list of names anyway) or a free gift which is actually just a crazy picture of an unicorn.

Big Deep breath.

Okay actually I do want all these things. They make me feel popular. Which is why I have deleted them all! I want I really truly deeply want is to know how you people are! How are YOU? What have you really been up to? (Not how many ninja's you have converted or drinks you've got) What did you think about that movie you saw. Do you even really like the Killers? Are you happy? Are you depressed? What inspires you? What disappoints you? What did you see on the way to work? Do you have a hobo problem? Facebook doesn't tell me anything about you. Except whether you prefer ninjas or pirates.


I can't believe that facebook has ended your blogs.

I miss you all.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Blackbirds

Glossy and almost iridescent like an exotic stone, the black birds feathers reflect the light. I know they are delicate but folded tight together they seem like an armor, seamless and flawless. Its the flutter as the bird takes flight that gives away their fragile paper like nature. Hollow marvels of engineering I pick up and inspect every feather I find. Amazed at their production and how stupidly basic our hair seems.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Escaping Childhood Habits

A momentary lapse in judgment caused me to get up and go to the gym at 5:30 am this morning. It seems there are a lot more crazy people living in my suburb than I ever imagined. I can barely manage a brisk stroll at 5:30 so I was astounded to see the cardio machines awash with sweaty morning type people. I'll just stick to the weight room thanks.

I never used to be a morning person, but I have been since I was about 20. Most of my family seem to remember me as a night owl, which was true when I was a teenager. But that is the natural teenage state. Sleep in long, stay up late. A few progressive schools have switched on to this fact and senior classes start later in the day and finish late too.

I was always given a hard time for sleeping in. It didn't really matter that I had been up till 4am reading or doing something on the computer. Even now if my family catch me on a rare sleep in day (been out to a club till 3am the night before or something similar) I might get a comment.

These days I'm likely to get up at 5am and do some writing or reading. Most weekends I'm up at 7am doing a bit of housework, emailing or what not. I usually get back into bed round 9am with a cup of coffee for my husband and a book to read for 1/2 an hour while he wakes up. He is definitely a night owl staying up till 3am most nights. I'm off to bed at 10:30 so he reciprocates and comes to bed and makes me a cup of tea and will watch a TV show while I drift off. Even though our sleeping habits are incompatible we make little compromises to ensure we're not just ships passing in the night. Thats love people.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mudslinging?

Lately politics has plummeted to the depths of mudslinging. Or so some political commentators would like us to believe. But is it really mudslinging when the mud is actually Truths with the tiniest bit of dirt round the edges.

John Key used to support the war in Iraq, quite vocally too. This is something voters need to know. John Key can speak all sorts of double talk now, but if elected perhaps he would send troops to support foreign military actions.

John Key has been commercially linked to many people who have committed fraud. This is quite careless of John Key. But again, something I need to know. I don't want to elect a prime minister with dubious morals.

Now Mike Moore comparing Helen Clark to Rob Muldoon because of "Personal attacks" on John Key is closer to mudslinging. Perhaps he's still bitter about being replaced by Helen in 1993. Surely not after all these years and as Mr Anderton pointed out, Mr. Moore was involved in a smear campaign against Jim McLay back in the day.

Sometimes you have to dig, to get facts, and they are going to have a little dirt on them. Its necessary and I expect it to get worse before the election.

But hey If you're up for a laugh in the meantime check out John Key's website. He has an absolutely hilariously boring video blog. The high point is when he is in the elavator and compares its movement to that of the polls. How astute of him.

( I couldn't bare to watch the whole thing, but if you can make it to the elevator comment you can see why I'll never vote for him.And I thought Jenny Shipley was patronising!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ask a Ninja

If you haven't seen "ask a ninja" yet, you have been living under a rock with no broadband access. But lucky for you scientician is here to save the day. The jist is this...People email "ask a ninja" with question and the answers are turned into video and can be found all over the internet but mainly on the "ask a ninja" website and youtube.

This one of my favourite episodes.




If you like it I recommend paying me back by purchasing one of the t-shirts and posting it to me for christmas.

I like this a lot and I'm not sure why. I actually find the earnest ninja quite endearing. The theme song, genius. Commitment to character is probably the big appeal here for me. In the same way that Napoleon dynamite is funny so is ask a ninja. I like character driven comedy, abhor slapstick, dumber and dumber butt comedy and any movie with "movie" in the title i.e. date movie, scary movie 3, epic movie etc.

Comedy is like food though. Your tastes change with age. As I become more cynical and bitter with age......

Oh hang on! my wandering blog has been interrupted by an URGENT email alert from Thunderbird. Apparently the late Caldwell Warwick (who ran a mining company in Togo) has DIED leaving no heir. The money is just going to go to the government if I don't do something! sorry I've got to email my back account details to claim the "twenty seven millions" I must hurry as they are urgently waiting for my "repsond".

Scientician out.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Pain of Kiwisaver

I already had a retirement savings scheme going on, $50 a fortnight tucked away into a unit trust with the National Bank. So why on earth would a sane rational person sign up for kiwisaver too?

Quite frankly I'm not sure why anyone on a medium type income hasn't already. My unit trust was returning a fairy crap 3% or less return most years, my martini drinking aspirations of my retirement were looking grim and I was having to develope a taste for meths in anticipation. However with kiwisaver I can get an almost %100 return in the first year. My %4 deductions come close to $2000. I also get the $1000 kick start and the $1040 government subsidy in the first year. In later years I will have the employer subsidy to make up the government carrot being taken away. (The subsidy will eventually be %4, essentially matching dollar for dollar my own contributions, so still a %100 percent return on investment)

Of course who knows what National will do to the scheme. It could end up with the same pathetic return as my old unit trust. But thats precisely why I signed up before the next election. I'm trying to get as much free money as I can before John Key ruins everything.


There has been some debate around the office. Some of the older set, having been burned by governments before on super believe that National plans to take all the subsidies back. This sounds ridiculous to me but who knows what kind of power the government really has in such matters. I cannot find anything in the paperwork about it. I still think the outrage levels would be to high if the ever attempted such a thing. National wouldn't be in power very long and would lose my vote (not that they ever had it).

My only problem is that I miss that $74. Our mortgage repayments are pretty high (we switched from a 30 year mortgage to a 20 year repayment framework) and I had little disposable income left after paying all the bills. Plus theres still the pain of my student loan repayments. My only hope for salvation is the pay rise I'm supposed to get this week. I don't think it'll be much after everyone takes their cut (and by everyone I mean the IRD) but it should be enough to dull the pain of saving for retirement.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Casino Royale

Ok so I only just got around to seeing it. I am a bit behind the times.
It was good, one of the more enjoyable Bond flicks I've seen in a while. Its strikes me as a little more mature. The characters, especially Bond, slightly more complex. I did enjoy the hints at James Bonds upbringing. You could almost say they added a few chick flick elements while still keeping Bond boyishly arrogant enough to still satisfy the men folk.
Of course the eye candy element is hard to ignore, Bond gets nicely scarred up and reveals a bit of leg. The shoe was definitly on the other foot in this movie, with the bond girl rarely naked.
I give it 4/5.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Actually excited about a CD

Its been years since I was excited about a CD release. In fact I may be of a generation that barely raises an eyebrow to the latest Green day or Best of U2 offering. After all, I have the internet.

"Radio 1. Established 1967" is a compilation of radio 1 hits spanning 1967 till now. What makes is special is that each song is covered by a modern day artist.

The Streets are covering Elton John, Franz Ferdinand is doing David Bowie (not literally) and Amy Wine house is covering Johnny Cash. Very Brilliant. Trust the BBC to come up with a great spin on the typical hits of the ages album. The choice of artists is interesting at least.
(oh yeah and Foo Fighters playing Band on the Run ZOMG no way!!!!!!11!!1!!!!!!one!one)

As per usual though, my excitement about a product is inversely proportional to its availability in New Zealand. But thanks to the British postal service I am sure amazon.co.uk will fling one my way in October.

The Style Files


Or as I like to call it "tour of pretty things I cannot have".

The style files is a daily weblog about stylish beautiful things. Its a feast for the eyes with the desire centre of your brain being sent into overload every few entries.

Mostly I want the pretty fish tea cups, but then there's the lamps, the chairs and the Scandinavian summer house! (oh yes and of course the means to transport all of these things to New Zealand).

I'm sure there are importers bringing fantastic things into New Zealand, but I'm not about to find them at my local mall. So if anyone knows of a shop with beautiful things at moderate price, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm a Sucker For T-shirts.

I love T-shirts, I really do. And I have found yet another website to excise my cravings on.
Jinx make all kinds of nerd shirts and they have a great range of gaming shirts (and warcraft t-shirts!.)
I really must have this one. I imagine I will have to endure the taunts of my co-workers, but what do they know, they don't even understanding taking a day off work to go raiding in World of Warcraft. Its hard enough to level a priest and fit in an eight hour working day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More on the saga of home ownership.

Home ownership causes Zed a lot of joy. It causes me mostly worry. I worry about ever getting that dodgy deck corner replaced, the bog that is the back yard, that weird hole in the wall, I worry I need to buy a ladder and why the dishwasher leaked just that one time and now I have to check on it everytime. I worry when it rains and about the non standard light fittings. Its a raging paranoia.

But slowly I am discovering small joys. Like I can actually do weird stuff to my walls if I want too. I have recently rediscovered the thrilling website of Blik. Its decals for you walls. Standard designs and now, oh the excitement, thrill apon thrill, THREADLESS designs.

Oh they are American and the cost is moderate with shipping probably expensive, but I want want want!

Another cool feature is the prose decals. Pick a poem and the font and they will custom print it for you. It doesn't even have to be a crappy poem, you could use the opening lines from star trek even! "space....the final frontier...etc" stuck to your living room wall in a classy italic font of course.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I love sort of owning my own home.

The truth is the bank still owns my house. But for the net 22 years I'm just going to pretend its all mine already.

Naturally as a modern young woman I hate doing any house work of any kind. I work a 40 hour week and the last thing I want to do is spend my free time cleaning things. But alas, it must be done.

The garden has been bugging me for weeks..... not the back garden, that can go to hell till spring. But the front garden was a nightmare. The roses looked like they had never been pruned and the weeds were overflowing on to the driveway. So I dug out all the weeds and cut my hand up to shreds pruning the roses, finally caved and went to Mitre Ten to buy gardening gloves. Bought some more bark too. Planted some bulbs and laid down the bark.

Now it just looks like someone will get round to doing the gardening soon, rather than OMG they haven't touched that garden in years. For someone with no gardening talents at all though, I am kind of proud. I just hope I haven't killed the roses.

So it was a nice way to round off an otherwise decadent weekend, Nina's birthday party was a trainload of fun and I did spend almost a whole day playing world of warcraft.

"Nina enjoying a birthday cocktail"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Our Esteemed Leader

Remember that phallic sculpture we had installed at the hospital, well here is the prime minister giving her official opening speech. She's also minister for the arts y'know. Actually, she is an interesting speaker and more charismatic in real life than in any photo or tv news sound bite. As you can see in the following photo. So for now I am definitely a labour supporter. I haven't heard a single policy leave John Key's mouth yet, only a bunch of ranting in parliament.



And now a stirring image of the flag and the new sculpture to rouse that latent patriotism I know we all have hiding deep down inside us. (Very very deep down)