Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mystical Anti-Streetlight Powers

I think I actually may have them.

You see there's this streetlight that I've been walking past every night on the way home from the gym that winks out exactly as I pass it.

Every night without fail this week - spooky.

Unfortunately my new found special power appears to be restricted to the one streetlight. All others appear immune.

Now where's my character on Heroes?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

There's Always One

This just goes to show you can build up your cause all you like, but at the end of the day there's one person who will always prick your balloon.

Or shit on your bubble.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Among all of God's manifest powers let us not forget he apparently has a finely tuned sense of humour.

Seriously. I mean a Japanese whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, catches fire in the Antarctic. The fire is made worse as it is fuelled by blubber from whale carcases and results in the ship being totally immobilised.

I actually have visions of a pod of whales gleefully swimming around the stricken vessel getting down to the Bloodhound Gang.

"The ship, the ship,
The ship is on fire,
We don't need no water,
Let the motherfucker burn,
Burn motherfucker burn."

And as priceless as this is it actually gets better. The only vessel capable of safely towing the Nisshin Maru to safety is former Russian icebreaking tug, the Esperanza. She just happens to be owned by Greenpeace whom the Japanese have previously described as eco-terrorists.

I'll have the whaleburger thanks ... oh and a slice of humble pie to follow.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Flying or Dying

Today I had my first experience of what is universally recognised as a classic NZ mountainbike ride - The Karapoti.

Made famous by the crazy Kennett Brothers it's 50 km of single trail and four wheel drive tracks through regenerating native bush. It's scenic as hell, but a right brutal bastard on the legs. There's a shit load of up (several sections of which cannot be ridden by mortal men), and heap of down (some of it vitually vertical). Hence the line flying or dying. You're either stuggling up a greasy slope a mere heartbeat from cardiac failure, or plummeting down a trail that seems like it was designed by Satan.

Here's exhibit number one; the rock garden.

Biking down here requires full suspension, nerves of steel, supreme skill, and not quite a full grasp on reality. It's not so much a track as it is a dry waterfall (though I hear in winter it actually is a watercourse).

So once you've bumped, bounced, and flagellated down that little gem you come across exhibit number two; the Devil's Staircase.


This picture doesn't do it justice. I couldn't get a decent shot on the really gnarly section as I was balancing my bike on my back while trying to climb what, to all intents and purposes, appeared to be a greasy clay cliff face.

However it's not all masochism in the wilderness. A lot of the track is really superb to ride. However you do need to watch out for the rocks.

Punctures and the Karapoti go together like crime and punishment. It's a fact of life that at some stage you're going to feel a little flat. I managed to get through with just the one today. But I did happen to snap my chain halfway up the third (and last) climb of the day. While I managed to jury rig a repair (thank God for chain breakers and spare links) having a shorter chain complete shagged the settings on my gears. Granny gear was not an option for what had to be the longest and steepest climb I've ever sweated through in my life. I think Hell wil be something like the experience I suffered.

Still this view and the corresponding downhill blast made it all worthwhile.

All in all this little adventure saw me go through 3 protein bars, 3 bottles of Powerade, 1 bike chain, 1 innertube in the space of just under five and a half hours.

Oh and I sweated off about 4kgs in fluid as well.

It was a blast.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Not Bad for a Godless Heathen

You know the Bible 77%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

You have to admit that's a pretty impressive result for an atheist who has had no connection with religion, other than a brief dabble, of no more than a few weeks, with Bible Class when I was about 7 years old.

(BTW I went for the cake and cordial)

Political Nuts

One of the things that continually bugs me about political partisanship is that blind loyalty walks hand in hand with blind stupidity.

The easiest example to give is from the situation I see here on many NZ blogs. The Labour Party is constantly derided by the conservatives for its trade union backing while the National Party is hounded by it's liberal opponents for its ties to big business. Somehow these geniuses fail to see that these groups are the respective constituents (to a certain extent) of both political parties.

Deriding Labour for its union connections, or National for its relationship with the Business Round Table, makes about as much sense as making dubious allegations about the Maori Party's connection to Maoridom.

"Y'know you can't trust those Maori Party MP's. Those fellahs are in the pocket of a bunch of brown people"

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Thin Wobbly Tires

While mountainbiking is my first love (apologies to any girlfriends past and present who may be reading this) I also have a lot of time for flirting with road riding.

Call it the other woman if you will.

Anyway while you take you life into your own hands riding through urban Wellington (note to motorists - kindly learn to indicate, give way, and NOT cut corners) it's nice to find a safe, and relatively scenic little ride within minutes of the city centre.

There's a lovely little road that runs from the Ohariu Valley up to Makara and the top end of Karori. I especially like this little gorge area.

Flying through here is a lot of fun. Though it can get a little tense if you run into 4WDs coming the other way (that whole corner cutting driving on the wrong side of the road thing - again!)

Unfortunately it seems some friend(s) of society also consider it a good place to trash stolen cars. If you live in Wellington and have had your 1980's Toyota Corolla sedan pinched then I've got some bad news for you.

Don't you just love the way they ripped everything out of it. Even so far as taking out all the seats (bar the drivers, and taking the wheels just before torching it.

All that energy misdirected on stealing a worthless piece of shit car. Obviously they're not what you'd call criminal geniuses.


The thing is when a politician makes a move like this there is always the chance it may come back in the distant future and bite him on the arse. Still he's managed to get away with it and I can say with all honesty had Helen Clark, Winston Peters, or Peter Dunne tried such a move they would have been hammered mercilessly by the fourth estate. Key, by reason of his political inexperience, and possibly his much promoted working class roots, has been cut some slack.

To be fair I think it's entirely likely that John Key made the offer of the Waitangi trip without any consideration of manipulative politics. From what I have observed of him he is the type to make such an offer spontaneously. He is that sort of guy - perhaps a side effect of having a life before politics rather than having been involved in it continuously as a career choice.

The problem is that the media remembers these sort of happenings and now this young girl may become a benchmark for John Key's future political career. Any policy announcement on dealing with the economic underclass will no doubt see a hack or three descending on McGehan Close to vist Aroha and her family to find out "what they think of it".

Also the media will very likely keep tabs on young Aroha's progress through life and measure her success, or failure, against John Key and the vision he is espousing.

One wonders what might happen if Aroha one day ends up at, say, Arohata.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Only in Ireland

I got this little gem of a press release direct from Ireland. While it's not quite as good as this one it's still a bit of a hoot.

(I've cut all the political waffle out of it and left the important stuff)

Ten years of Govt neglect of GardaĆ­ coming home to roost.

Fine Gael Laois/Offaly candidate Charles Flanagan has said he was dismayed to hear of an incident in which a suspect was brought to a Garda Station in a hired farm trailer because he was too tall for a normal Garda car, and there is no Public Order Vehicle (Paddy Wagon) in the whole of Co. Laois.

“The suspect, a heavy-set man, was too tall for a conventional Garda car. And because there is no Public Order Vehicle in the whole of Co. Laois, the suspect was finally tied in to a farm trailer and removed from the scene."


Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened

The last time I experienced the whole drama of body changes was during puberty about 20 years ago. That's something I don't want to go into right now and it had been an event, once over, that I thought meant life would be all plain sailing from then on.

Oh how wrong I was.

You see the powers that be are more than happy to warn us about puberty and sexual maturation. Hell there are even books published about it for God's sake! However there seems to be a distinct reticence to be quite as informative about all the weird shit that happens to you after you turn 30. I want to know where the book is about the way a man's hair leaves his head and heads for his back after he turns 29. Is it next to the one that tells of the advent of grey pubic hair? (who knew that happened?!)

I only raise this because the other day I thought I'd come across one of these terrible aging symptoms afflicting me. Just after jumping out of the shower I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it went something like this.

"What the fuck! ... man breasts. Uuurgh. Where the hell did they come from?"

But fear not dear readers, it turns out I was grossly mistaken.

Over the past two months I've been exercising more often than I ever have before and this includes daily visits to the gym. Now I've managed to avoid gyms for all of my life thanks to a solid aversion to lycra, muscle bunnies, personal trainers, and exercise Nazis. So is it any wonder I have no idea of what some of the consequences of regular exercise are?

It turns out I have pectoral muscles.

Who would have thunk it?