Take the Scenic Route

Monday, February 28, 2005

World famous in...

From the Malaysian Star...

"Stag party planned for Prince Charles in New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A bar in the southern New Zealand city of Dunedin is organising a bachelor party for Britain's Prince Charles, who is due to visit the city later this week.

Although the heir to the British throne is unlikely to attend, the businessman organizing the bash Saturday said he wanted to acknowledge the prince's visit to Dunedin so close to his April 8 wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles.

"It's only right and proper that Dunedin puts on this do for him,'' Dave McKewen told the Otago Daily Times. "We know a lot of his mates can't make it over, so we're also rounding up a few students and some rugby fans to pad out the crowd.''

McKewen said he hopes Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin will pass along a formal invitation to the "Great Southern Stag Night'' when the prince arrives on Saturday.

Dunedin is widely known in New Zealand for its rowdy student parties, which often spill into the streets and can include the burning of furniture."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Tree Freak

So I was out with the chainsaw, and L* was mulching up the stuff as I was dropping it, and one of the neighbours came over to introduce himself. He's probably seen me having a discreet perv at his '66 Mustang convertible, plus I think he's seen me wondering back with an ice-cream while wearing a lava-lava, and then he sees me with a chainsaw, so he's probably a bit confused about my gender identity.

I remove my hearing protection (male -1) and put down the electric (-1) chainsaw (owned by my mother; -1), very sweaty (+1) but smelling of sunscreen (-1) as well as sawdust (+1). After doing the introductions and firm (+1) handshake, and me complimenting him on the fact that he actually drives his car, rather than polishing it and not driving it (c.f., Ferris Bueller's Day Off), he starts to tell me about the prior owner of my house. He regales me with how much this guy was a tree freak, waving his arms at what I'd consider to be a pretty normal looking area of shrubs. He's a bit interested in the mulcher, although perhaps mostly because he can't understand why I don't hire a skip and just bowl all the trees while I'm at it. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'm probably a closet tree freak myself. My current tree vandalism is mostly so that I can replace some ones I don't like, with some ones that I do....

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Scenes from the Front Line

The time had come for a full blown assault, on the OUSA office no less, attempting to capture Violent Femmes tickets from deep in enemy territory. Having left the relative safety of my office, protected by the maze-like layout of my department, I ventured tentatively round toward the union lawn. I'd adopted an icognito look, hiding behind my evil eyes, but couldn't help breaking into a full grin feeling so out of place. Having extracted my tickets successfully, I managed to fight my way across the union lawn towards the science library.

In the wonderful era of electronic journals, it's not actually often that I have to visit the library, and much less science, as it doesn't carry much that I want. It was like a tomb in there, much in contrast to the burgeoning scene outside. Science still feels like an old school library as well. A very serious atmosphere, brown carpet squares, linoleum on concrete stairwells, dark, dingy, and smells like a stack room. A start contrast to the ultramodern brightly lit vibrant ISB. Paper retrieved, I headed back out into the sun, dodging a few more young uns before getting back safe.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Fresher Watching

Town has been changing bit by bit, as it does every February, but it's always amazing the the tumultuous sudden change when school starts up in earnest. Watching some 2nd/3rd years having their own little Jackarsesque Squeeze The Cactus at Countdown late last thursday had the tough little boys squealing. I felt rather more sorry for the cacti than the morons who ended up spending a lot of time removing prickles from their hands.

This afternoon's little distraction was to sit down with my icecream posse mid-afternoon for some Fresher Watching. From our session, we have been able to determine what is SHRN and what is NOT

*Muffin is out
*Lanyards (stupid neckstraps for keys and smellphones)
*Hawaiian shirts
*Terry toweling hats (even post their recent cricket revival.)

So HOT right now:
*Ultra short denim skirts. Preferably with no bottom hem.
*Over long tops, tight down over the trousers, replacing the previously ubiquitous muffin.
*Frilly skirts
*Double layered skirts
*Asymmetric skirts
*Muscle Ts with non-complentary bra straps

There was also much debate about how male fashion doesn't change so much from year to year. Trousers and shorts are still baggy and long, worn low-riding etc.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Haha. If there is one thing you should worry about, it's me with a chainsaw! So as part of my uber-cool urban trendy life, I've spent a lot of time gardening lately, or should that be ungardening.

Mostly I really like my garden. Whoever planted it did, however, have a bit of a fetish for conifers, which I'm not so big on myself. And I'm especially not big on them when they are planted absurdly close to the path down to the house and pruned back into ano ugly sort of hedgish shape. And when they're prickly conifers. I started ungardening them in the first couple of weeks after moving in before bringing the pinball machine down. I was quite shocked to discover the size of the trunks within. People had been attempting to tame the wild tree within for a looooonnnnng time. Suffice it to say, I now have a good pile of firewood.

You can see two of the main offenders in this picture, helpfully marked "X"

And having cut them down, I discover that hiding behind them are some rather more attractive plants AND I don't have the feeling of being claustrobic walking down the path. Also note the plant at the very end of the path. It's a pittosporum (which may in fact be said pi-TOSS-porum, rather than PIT-o-sporum, but then I'd have to find a resident Latin/Botany geek... oh wait....), and I'm rather a fan. However, this model, a native, is good for 9m, and about 3m high. Conveniently, it's planted about 10cm from the edge of the path. I haven't had the heart to ungarden it yet, but it's one that I'd replace, unlike Mr Prickly Conifer.

We had some more heavy rain as well, and I find my grapefruit tree keeled over yesterday. My Two Dollar Shope ratchet ties are currently holding it in a more, er, erect fashion until I get some stakes later today.

Also, I think sometime in the near future I'm going to expand this tunnel (which is looking down toward same corner in earlier photo.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Wet Wet Wet

I've delayed writing about this, as I was quite keen to nab some photographs from somewhere...
The ODT website is a bit of a dog to navigate. It's a moot point as to whether it's better or worse than their previous attempt. Anyway, the herald reckons it was about 34mm of rain in 20min. Whatever, it was wet. Like really freaking wet.
Home escaped pretty much unscathed, but the downpipes at work didn't cope, and I'd, er, left the windows open because it had been so hot. Not much harm done though, although my 'waterproof' fountain pen ink seems to have run a bit...
Anyway, I've borrowed these for those who can't be bothered heading elsewhere.

Bacchus, where the Octagon meets Stuart St (or is that river?).

The Ra Bar had similar issues

And out by the 'brook there was a bit of a lake...