Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bad not-pod news

Well, it took all of four months – maybe four and a half – and the hard drive on my Nomad Zen Xtra 40GB Jukebox or whatever the fuck it’s called has crapped out. Well, to be honest I probably fucked it by jogging with it.

Anyway, I spent a little time looking on user forums last night and sure enough it seems to be a common problem, to which there is one solution – replace the HDD… But that’s a DIY, wave-goodbye-to-the-warranty kind of solution. My warranty is history anyway, since I bought in the USA (via Amazon, shipped to a friend in NYC, who shipped it to me). The good news is, it seems that sometimes the HDD will still work in a laptop, even if the Nomad thinks it’s fucked. So maybe I’ll be able to salvage the drive and have an extra 40GB drive in my laptop. I’ll need a geek to help me with that, methinks. And i don’t wanna void the warranty on my laptop…

Nomads are cheap, and the battery and HDD are replacable, which is great (c.f. i-pod), but it’s a basically heap of shit – heavy, big, ugly, and, as it turns out, less than robust.

Thing is, I can’t live without portable music – I listened to that thing for several hours every day. Ouch. Think I might get an i-pod mini – only 4GB but at least they’re not five hundred bucks. If only I could be sure that won’t crap out on me too. Makes my VISA hurt just thinking about it…


Just had to note this very cute record cover/song title – “Take Ecstasy With Me” by dance punk outfit !!! (usually pronounced chick-chick-chick) on Touch and Go:

Some readers will remember their great post-911 twelve on Warp, “Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard (A True Story)”.

Barefoot Doctor: What’s the Best Way To Handle an Existential Crisis?

A bit of useful advice from the Barefoot Doctor:

The only way to handle the existential crisis is to ride it like you would a wild animal – roll with it as it tosses you around by breathing steadily and relaxing.

The key is not to try and draw any firm conclusions – attempting to come up with definitive answers to the deeper existential questions of life is a game for fools – if there is any reason we’re here in the first place, it’s to enjoy the experience and that means appreciating the existential crisis too. To which end you should simply observe yourself going through the grips of the crisis and graciously allow it to pass, as it surely will, just like a heavy storm passing in the sky of mind.

Wisdom comes in time but by trying to force it before it’s ready to drop, you only push it further away. The best way when undergoing the worst of the crisis is to focus on the simple blessings you have: a body, a mind, breath, presumably enough fluid and food for now and hopefully a bit of love – and be thankful for that – the rest is all bonus anyway.

As soon as you surrender like this to the crisis it stops of itself anyway – it just wanted to be acknowledged was all (it being the primal level of self, generally buried beneath layers of cultured-in programmes screaming to be heard).

Go4 still got it

I didn’t even know they’d ‘renuinted’, but here’s a Village Voice review of a recent Gang of Four show, with the original line up – proof positive of the postpunk revival. Will they come to NZ like Wire? Sounds pretty cool:

Gang of Four pioneered a critique of pop capitalism that reverberated in the mainstream like Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing.” Mark Knopfler sang about installing microwave ovens; Jon King sings about riots and looting while demolishing a miked microwave oven with a baseball bat, crashing metallically on the beat.

Also – thanks to everyone for coming to may party on Saturday – it was way cool.

Das Keyboard

Is this for real? A blank keyboard. An expensive blank keyboard.

“Das Keybard places me at the pinnacle of the geekness. The nice perk is that it improved my typing speed and accuracy!”

– Daniel, Guermeur
Das Keyboard inventor and Uber Geek

Nice to see the word ‘geek’ has well and truly been ‘taken back’.

Free sounds

Googling for info/images on David Byrne’s PowerPoint art project, I stumbled across this useful summary, which linked this cool freesoundproject page, and David Byrne’s streaming internet radio.

Before blogs, were group emails

I’ve just put up a few old group emails I sent out five or six years ago when I was chronically bored and moved to Christchurch. Self indulgent? Yes. But they were fun at the time:

The Pool: the joy of swimming

Combination Bowl: second installment of pizza factory steez

The Factory: first installment of pizza factory steez

breathing deeply: fulfilment of longtime scuba dream

trails and rituals: atop the Tongariro crossing with good friends great band from nippon

I’ve left some of the orginal email formatting for old time’s sake.

‘I didn’t like Skywalker much, I thought it sounded like Flyswatter’

I’m not by any means a Star Wars geek – in fact the new movies are clearly sh*t – but this readers’ Q&A with Mark Hamill is worth a quick look. He may not be much of an actor, but he comes across pretty well – responding with grace to questions such as:

Luke Skywalker is a farm boy, a pilot, agrees with the right to bear arms and isn’t shy of getting involved in large-scale wars. Does he share any other traits with George W Bush?

What do you say when people ask why you’ve never done anything else of note?

What’s your reaction when people walk up behind you and boom: “I am your father”?

What does Han really think of Chewie? Sometimes he treats him like a human, and other times like a dog, patting him on the head.

Plus, he’s a Simpsons fan. By rights that must be the equivalent of being a commie in the McCarthy era?

Right now, I wanna live in Malibu too…


Many thousands of commuters walking to work were treated to Wellington Central National Party candidate Mark Blumsky’s smug face grinning from the front page of Fairfax’s local rag The Wellingtonian this morning. He’s kindly been gifted a 20 square cm colour photo on the front page of the tabloid size freebie newspaper – the kind of campaign exposure that money can’t buy and politicians don’t have to declare. But that wasn’t the story, of course. The story was that someone has vandalised Blumsky’s car (‘A pair of eyes was drawn on it’ – the horror…) and trailer billboard. Cue humongous photo of Blumsky cuddling a National Party balloon at his newly opened National Party campaign headquarters on Manners Street. Big stacks of The Wellingtonian sit in footpath news-stands throughout the CBD, and I presume it’s distributed to suburban letterboxes too.

Remember people, when you buy the Dom Post, you’re only encouraging this kind of electioneering bullsh*t. Why not cut out the middlemagnate and donate $1.20 to the direct to the National Party instead?

25 Signs You Have Grown Up

Internet pop quiz on the occasion of my thir…
Of my birthday.

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.
Yes and yes – though that’s only cos I chuck out the ones that die.
SCORE: 1/25

2. Having sex in a single bed is out of the question.
SCORE: 1/25

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
Yes, mostly. During the week, certainly. Worse, I own my fridge. Almost. Bought it from Farmers on HP.
SCORE: 2/25

4. 6:00 am is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
Nope, but never did. More likely to get in at 4 or 5 from a decent night on the tiles with the trouble’n’strife, and I never get up before 7 if I can possibly help it.
SCORE: 2/25

5. You hear your favourite song in an elevator.
Hmm, on reflection, no. Not my favourite song(s). But with the caveat that I have long had a soft spot for piped softrock anyway.
SCORE: 2/25

6. You watch the Weather Channel.
Never heard of it. Is that American?
SCORE: 2/25

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “break up”.
Yes, well… I can see this on the horizon, so I’ll concede half a point here.
SCORE: 2.5/25

8. You go from 130 days of holidays to 20.
No. Jesus, I don’t remembers ever having 130 days holiday. I get 20 now, but I had to fight to even get that…
SCORE: 2.5/25

9. Jeans and a jersey no longer qualify as “dressed up”.
No. In fact, my most dressed up outfit is precisely that: jeans and a jersey. Except my Hallensteins suit. But that’s strictly a work thing. And very infrequent at that.
SCORE: 2.5/25

10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.
Okay, yes. Last time I was involved with noise control it was me calling them, not having them called on me… But that was cos we had a rat-infested junkie den downstairs, the inhabitants of which insisted on playing Jethro Tull and Manic Street Preachers so loud it shook our bedroom floor at 2am on a Tuesday. Plus, I’ve pretty much canned my plans for a birthday party this year cos I can’t think of a venue that won’t create noise problems for the neighbours. Considerate, me.
SCORE: 3.5/25

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
No, thankfully. Who wrote this thing?
SCORE: 3.5/25

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
Heh heh, no way. A car is not a status symbol, it’s a form of transport, to be used as sparingly as possible. Only w*nkers would get into debt to buy a fancy car. But I do have insurance.
SCORE: 3.5/25

14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald’s leftovers.
No. No dog. No McDonalds. Science Diet? No, no. But dogs are cute.
SCORE: 3.5/25

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
Yes. But no fair – it always did… It also makes your head hurt, cos generally you only do it when you’re well mashed and in a foreign city.
SCORE: 4.5/25

16. You take afternoon naps from noon to 6 pm.
No, but that does sound real nice.
SCORE: 4.5/25

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
Sometimes. Half a point.
SCORE: 5/25

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 am would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
Yes. That sounds gross.
SCORE: 6/25

19. If you’re a woman, you go to the chemist for ibuprofen and antacid, not
condoms and pregnancy tests.

Nope, not a woman… Anyway, I tend to buy my panadol and condoms from the supermarket.
SCORE: 6/25

20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good stuff.”
Okay – let’s assume this is an American quiz, written at some point before Dubya f*cked the greenback, so the $4 wine would equate to up to NZ$10 today. Hmm, I’d have to concede a point here. A $10 is drinkable, but not ‘good’. Definitely spending more on quality alcohol these days.
SCORE: 7/25

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
Yep, always did.
SCORE: 8/25

22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.”
No, on a technicality. I’ll happily admit to using the first phrase, but I was never reckless or delusional enough to use the second anyway.
SCORE: 8/25

23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
Um, no.
SCORE: 8/25

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
Yes. Of course.
SCORE: 9/25

25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn’t apply to you and can’t find one to save your sorry old butt. SO TRUE! *&$#^$
No, you stupid lame-ass email quiz ending!
SCORE: 9/25

Actually, I just noticed there are only 24 questions here – there’s no number 12. So, 9 out of 24, 37.5%, that’s not so bad…