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Today I dropped an entire container of blueberries all over the kitchen floor. As I stood becalmed in a sea of blueberries, I heard meowing. When I glanced outside, I saw one of the cats heading determinedly towards the cat door with a dead rat.

At approximately the same time as this was occurring, my mother informs me, she was running topless from the shower to her glass back door to chase away the cat she heard banging through the cat door. But it wasn't a cat. It was a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Normally due to my paranoid attitude to online privacy I don't do memes, but since [livejournal.com profile] katernater tagged me for this one I'm going to give it a shot.

A. List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.
B. Tag seven people to do the same.
C. Do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag "whoever wants to do it."


Cut for tedious detail )
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Curling: the only sport that involves housework.
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OK, so the thing I don't get, see, about all the tee hee iPad comments is the number of times people have said "Don't they have any women on the marketing team at Apple?". What? So women immediately recognise a word associated with menstruation whereas men float along in blissful ignorance of anything period-related and wouldn't recognise a tampon if they tripped over one? In what universe?

Shoes news

Jan. 9th, 2010 02:37 pm
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This year I got an unexpected Christmas present. (I know when people say that they usually mean they were blindsided by a redundancy or something, but in this case it really was a present.) Thanks to truly splendid shoe bills last year, my shoe shop sent me for Christmas some secateurs (with pink handles) and some gardening gloves (pink).

I don’t get the gardening link with shoes, but even more I don’t get the pink thing. Do they think that girlies need to be tempted by the pink, in the manner of someone dangling a fluffy toy in front of a kitten, into the macho world of gardening? Well, they’re seriously barking up the wrong tree (ha!) with me. I don’t garden not because it’s not frilly enough but because I’m lazy. And I loathe the whole girly pink thing anyway. I’d fling them from me in a passion of righteous indignation, but they’re actually really nice secateurs.

Clearly my shoe shop, who not only sent me the present but who keeps ringing me to invite me to “previews”, thinks I’m a Carrie Bradshaw for the new decade, but they’re going to be disappointed. All my shoes and boots just happened to wear out last year at once. And it’s not like they need replacing every five minutes. Since I work from home, my summer shoe dress code, in my cool airy villa with wooden floors, is nothing. And my winter shoe dress code, in my frozen villa floored in solid ice, is Ugg boots with possum-wool socks. I probably won’t be shoe shopping again for years. Unless, of course, I continue to succumb to suede boots which I am then too lazy (hmm, a theme) to waterproof. Curse you, rainy Auckland winter climate!
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It occurs to me that I've been on the Internet for fifteen years and I've never once posted a picture of a cat. Surely some mistake. Here, therefore, are the baby photos of one furry sweetie and two hellions.

Kittenspam! You know you want to! )
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For all the cretins currently screaming at referees, wrenching microphones out of the hands of country singers and, especially, yelling at the President of the United States, I have just three words.

The Code Duello.

End Times

Aug. 4th, 2009 01:04 am
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The NZ Herald has a story about the outbreak of pneumonic plague, one of the nastiest and most enthusiastically infectious diseases known to humankind, in Ziketan (Qinghai Province). Helpfully, they have appended a Google Map showing Ziketan which also proffers you directions there. Er, no. Think I'll pass.
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I need a whole new mathemetical concept to encapsulate the amount of work that does not get done with three kittens in the house. And another one to describe the even larger negative volume of work both left undone and actually undone that occurs when three kittens are sitting on my keyboard and batting at my screen.

Ew.

Apr. 13th, 2009 01:00 am
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Today I happened across a music vid from somebody called Alexandra Burke, crucifying Hallelujah. She's apparently one of those gladiatorial singing contest winners, and she has an astonishing voice, but it was less a case of missing the song's point and more of the point dwindling to a speck as it flapped away over the horizon. My favourite part was the sexaysexay little shoulder twitch as she sings the last bit. Oh, God.

New rule. Before you get a license to cover Hallelujah, you first have to prove that at some point love has crushed you. Utterly. To a soul-crunching, job-losing, twelve-step-requiring powder. Otherwise, back away. Now.
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Tonight my new best mate Ethan Hawke and I got together again. Sort of. Well, he was onstage in the second of Sam Mendes's Bridge Project productions, The Winter's Tale (and I wasn't).

The Cherry Orchard was good, but this was absolutely stonking. Everyone was faultless, but the honours have to go to Ethan - who knew he could do funny? This was the only genuinely hilarious Shakespeare I've ever seen.

This production goes on to Madrid, the Ruhr and London. If any of these are near you, pawn your granny and go.
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Our major client is a government department, and at regular intervals they get us to run the process which dishes out wodges of funds to [name redacted]. We'd never got round to adding up exactly how much, but out of idle curiosity, we did today.

Wow. Just the two of us, in charge of $190 million. That's quite a lot, really.

If only the New Zealand taxpayers could see their way clear to tossing us a million or three of that. You know, as a gratuity. For services rendered. But alas, as others have found out to their cost when they've attempted to redress this oversight, the department tends to have rather definite views about that. Curse you, checks and balances!
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On Saturday, I saw Ethan Hawke, Sinead Cusack and Simon Russell Beale onstage in Sam Mendes's production of The Cherry Orchard. Then on Sunday, on a perfect sunny day, I steered an 11 metre yacht up the Waitemata harbour....**



... and under this.



What's more, I managed to turn the boat around and sail it back underneath the Harbour Bridge without either capsizing the boat or skewering a bunjy jumper on the mast.

Yes, such is my glamorous life.

*All right, this might not actually be my typical weekend, which is less yachts and movie stars and more workworkwork and America's Next Top Model. But it's nice to ring the changes occasionally.

**Which is a lot more difficult than it looks, ackshully.

A Thought

Jan. 16th, 2009 09:32 pm
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I think America's Next Top Model would be vastly improved if at the end the losing girl plunged through a trapdoor.
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The sadness of Patrick McGoohan's death is mitigated just slightly by the LJ poster I came across who was rhapsodising about how great he was playing opposite Mrs Peal (sic) in The Avengers.
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Right, I'm off to China and stuff for a few weeks. While I'm away it would be appreciated if you could try not to elect any Republicans, or more locally anyone actively invested in grinding the faces of the poor.
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Also, while I'm enthusing about tech stuff I would be remiss if I didn't pay homage to my new Asus EEE.




Not only is it so teensy I can put it in my handbag and so adorable it makes everyone who sees it go aah, it cost $300. For a whole computer. Yum. How do they do it?
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I've never quite got the point of MP3 players. Very possibly this is because I work from home, so I have no need to take my music anywhere because it's already here. Whatever. The point is that I finally understand what they're for.

You know how you have to have a book with you at all times, and the prospect of being, say, stuck in a lift or waiting for the dentist without one makes you turn an odd parchment shade? (At least, I hope you know this.) And it's even worse when you travel. On one finger, heavy papery things and draconian weight allowance. On another finger, the knowledge that you actually don't get a chance to read all that much overseas because you're constantly completely caned by having too much fun. (I know some people have holidays where you lie by the pool with a paperback in one hand and a drink covered with umbrellas in the other. I've yet to master those.) Yet, on the other hand, there's that primal fear of running out of books.

And that's why I now understand the purpose of MP3 players. They're for taking talking books on holiday. You'd think this might have occurred to me earlier, but last year I was in Botswana, and good luck plugging in a charger in a tent in the middle of the Kalahari. There aren't even any passing electric eels. However, this year I intend to visit countries which contain walls and electrical sockets therein. And that's why I just bought an MP3 player.

I could have just done the Apple thing. But lots of people I know moan about theirs having broken. So I settled on the Cowon iAudio 7:



This little chubster isn't exactly as svelte as its fruity cousins. But there's a point to the porkiness: when Cowon upgraded the model, instead of making it slimmer they improved the battery. And it now has a sixty hour battery life. Sixty hours. Sixty. Why, you can traverse whole countries in sixty hours! Add to that a fun interface you swoop your finger up and down, a 16GB hard drive and the ability to see it as a drive on the computer without struggling with proprietary software, and I urged them to wrap it up post-haste.

It's not the ideal choice if you're looking for something that could get lost between the cracks in the floorboards. Nor is it much use for viewing video. But when you want to take a couple of dozen books with you - and who wouldn't? - it is, veritably, the shit.

Gadget Love

Oct. 2nd, 2008 01:53 am
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Wow! My new camera contains ten megapixies!

At least, I think that's what they said.
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Today I had to squish lots of little MP3s into big fat ones. The utility was taking an aeon even with keyboard shortcuts, with all the highlighting and sorting and whatnot, so I fired up the ol' DOS window, rattled off a bit of code and it was over in a trice.

Sometimes there's nothing for it but to kick it old style. If that's the expression.
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