Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I have many friends participating in Movember and I thought in honour of them and my own facial hair I'd share the gist of a great Cathy Wilcox cartoon:

Two guys drinking beer.
Guy 1 : So, is your new girlfriend attractive?
Guy 2 : Well, she has a moustache
Guy 1 : So, is it a nice moustache?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Independence begins at home

Yesterday I filled in the forms for H & K to go to school next year. There were enrolment forms, contact forms, dental clinic forms, public health forms, new entrant forms and even ICT user agreements for them to sign themselves. Today my babies are so grown up they went to the postbox without me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

2622 bees' knees

Last Sunday it began with a buzzing. It built up to talking to a local beekeeper for advice and it ended with 261 dead bees in our laundry. Since then 94 more bees joined them on Monday, 52 on Tuesday, 6 on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, 3 on Friday and, just when I thought they were tapering off, 18 today.

Of the 437 bees 8 were substantially larger. From reading about swarming bees in Wikipedia I think this was an afterswarm and the 8 larger bees were virgin queens. I am sad to have killed them, particularly as feral honey bees are having a hard time here with varroa mites. Last summer we coexisted very happily with a hive of bumble bees in the eaves but I am not prepared to share the laundry.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

10 lies about terrorism in NZ

I have been stuck on this entry for a long time. I'm still not completely happy with it but I'm posting it so I can move on.

  1. I have done a lot of research to make sure that this list reflects a well informed opinion.
  2. I am confident the arrest of 17 people on terrorism charges will discourage activists from carrying out violent acts.
  3. I am disappointed that the Solicitor General ruled against charging them under the terrorism act.
  4. The recorded conversations which mention assassination and acts of violence should be taken at face value. Activists don't say that kind of thing unless they mean to act on it. I never joke with my friends about anything I wouldn't actually do.
  5. The competence of the police in this case is unquestionable and I find it reassuring. The way the situation was handled has been positive for race relations.
  6. I believe that Maori activists pose a real threat to the safety of all New Zealanders.
  7. I can see how a sensible person would decide it was worthwhile to assassinate a New Zealand politician.
  8. I think that extremist groups are made up entirely of sensible people. I always support Tama Iti and understand his point of view.
  9. I think that the police are all sensible people. They certainly had a good reason to remove two avocados and return them later.
  10. I have no lingering sense of disquiet about what happened.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Flying ferrets

xkcd is my favourite webcomic. It describes itself as "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language". It is usually funny, always geeky, sometimes poignant and very rarely irritating. The panels/strips usually stand alone which makes it easy to pick up.

Yesterday I read the early strips for the first time. This was my favourite.

I hang out with people who quote the latest xkcd in conversation before I've read it. But, the other day I found out that JK, multiply manifest internet goddess, hadn't heard of xkcd and so I thought I'd better make sure that you, my gentle reader, had.

The naked logophile

The best thing about facebook is Scrabulous which lets me play scrabble with friends on the other side of the world. We each play a move every day or so and the game slowly unfolds.

But I'm sick and I'm waiting for the other player(s) to move in all my games so I checked out "Join Table". I forgot the internet is for porn. I forgot Rule 34 of the internet: if you can imagine it there is porn of it.

So when I found:
Hara is requesting a Regular game using the English TWL dictionary.
Note: **LADIES ONLY** HAVE A WEBCAM? LET ME SEE YOUR BODY while we play scrabble, I have pictures of my thick hard [...] to share. Send a message when you accept so I know you read this.
I ended up in a giggling, coughing, wheezing, gasping, snorting fit.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Glue ear

One particularly chatty little trick or treater said to me:
I've seen you in my street. My mother said you must have gone to a party and forgotten that your hair was green.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Cultural contamination and begging

H & K love Halloween so for the last few years I have been perfecting the art of attracting trick or treaters to our house. This year we got about 70 which is astounding in a country that doesn't go in for it much. It helps we have easy access and live in a street with lots of families. My technique is:
  1. Decorate so people can tell you know it is Halloween. We stuck pictures of ghosts and jack o'lanterns which H & K coloured in in the front windows and tied some balloons outside.
  2. Be generous so kids will tell each other it is worth visiting. Three wrapped lollies each is considered generous around here.
  3. Look harmless. Two pre-schoolers jumping up and down on the garage roof in their pyjamas does the trick.
Wednesday evening from 6 'til 7:30 H & K alternated between jumping up and down on the garage roof in their pyjamas and woolly hats, and rushing downstairs to answer the door.