30 September 2007

Cafe Review: Janus Bakkerij

I have said in the past that I don't like this place, there's no atmosphere and the food is mediocre. Sadly there's little competition without using a car and killing the planet, so we headed down there (again) on Sunday.
We left after 50+ minutes and no food arriving. That pissed me off enough that I've written a letter. And I never get that excited. Ever. I say I will, but never do.
I’m grumpy. I’ve been to your café three times in the last month or two and haven’t had a good experience yet. Things reached a nadir on Sunday when we wandered along for brunch.
Sure your staff were polite at the counter and told us to go sit down and they’d come take our order. Sadly, that’s the good point.
From there we waited 10 minutes, eventually giving up and heading back to the counter to suggest that they ‘may want to take our order’. Magically someone appeared. Our order was taken, albeit with repeating back the wrong stuff to us – and neither of us have poor diction or enunciation. After getting this sorted and establishing that we’d like our coffees with the food, we settled in to read the paper and await food. After 40 minutes (a total of 50 since we arrived) we decided to give the staff another 5 and then we’d leave. And so we left telling a smiling waitress who’d arrived to clear our place to ‘cancel our order’.

Sadly this wasn’t the first time we’ve had long delays, the other two times I’ve been I’ve also found the service very slow. But Sunday did take things to a new level.

At the very least you could have informed us there would be a 30-40 minute wait before food arrived.

I won’t be going back, and I will be passing this onto friends who ask for recommendations.

Regards, Bruce

29 September 2007

My life worries me

It's Sat night and I'm at Uni. Admittedly I was submitting a paper and sending begging emails (please give me a job, please) but still! Somehow, and I'm as confused as anyone, some beer ended up in my bag. So the emailing was accompanied by some cider and a Trappist Witte beer. The cider was good, the Witte was reasonable. Sadly I ended up comparing the Witte to the peach tinnermans last night (mmmm yummmy) and a kriek (yummy). While I fill in a bit of time before meeting Rich and the lads, here's some pix from tshirthell.com

There ya go, I'm off for dinner!

28 September 2007

The Croc ate my Carrier Pigeon

But don't panic, recent work shows that croc's have a homing instinct and can travel up to 50 km a day. Indeed one took 20 days to swim 400km. Go the Croc!

There's a potential industry there...

And for the geeks, article is PLOSOne here.

Love, B.

26 September 2007

Ahh Scrubs and Wrestling

Tonight episode, of best-of bits, had The Intern.

So for Blair, if he's managed to drag himself away from Morgue's blog:

Love, B

25 September 2007

AppleTV - my new baby

Well not that new to be honest as I've had her for a month or so. I think it's worth reviewing it from a users perspective.
First up: Looks. Apple are big on how things look, compare a PC with an iMac and the Mac always looks better. Compare the Macbook (or MB Pro) with a standard laptop, again the Mac looks nicer. So it comes as no surprise that the AppleTV looks great, it's small, it's subtle, and the only indication that stuff is happening is a small white light on the front.

So the small unit is sitting discretely on top of my subwoofer.
Set-up was a breeze (I think I mentioned this in another blog), with connection to my wireless network almost a non-event.

Connection to the TV. there are a number of connections available HDMI, component, optical audio etc. Sadly my old TV (yes Mr Salmond, that TV!) didn't have anything I could plug in. Since the World Cup was coming up I decided to upgrade to something with HDMI which made connections and hi-res (the AppleTV can handle widescreen and 1080i) easy.

What can you do with it? Well the big advance in v1.1 of the software was adding YouTube searching. Which I guess is a nice feature. We've used it a bit, but generally I can't be arsed with that - although I might use it a bit more if keyboard support was incorporated in the OS. Typing out addresses using the onscreen keyboard is too laborious for me.
Adding songs is quite simple. Sort-of. The default option is sync everything, which if you've got a big library and using wireless will take bloody ages. Actually I'm not sure Apple have the options right there, as the default for the iPod and the AppleTV is to sync everything. It would make more sense to prompt people before switching that on. I guess it's to make things simple, the just plug it in mentality. I've recently taken the plunge and have been buying things from the iTunes Store, so I set my default sync directory as the 'Downloads' folder. So anything I buy sits on my harddrive, my iPod and my AppleTV. There's a few tricks to sync-ing when you aren't using the default 'everything' option, create a new Playlist and dump stuff in there, choosing to sync that to the AppleTV.
PodCasts: I've sync'd most of mine to the AppleTV as well, again default option is all.
Movies: yeah this is where the issues (for me) started. By default the AppleTV handles H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store), this isn't the format most videos use. And some of the QT vids I had in my Movies folder of itunes it didn't like either. And that caused sync errors. Now I'm not saying Apple should have included Divx or XVid support, as they aren't Apple formats, nor are they supported by iTunes. But I do find the Movies section of the AppleTv a little limiting as the iTunes store (NZ) doesn't have any TV episodes or Movies available. I can encode my DVDs to H264 format using the nifty utility Handbrake. It's not as fast as divx encoding and still takes time, even on my lovely MBP. But it's certainly an option.

So as it comes out of the box - I like it. It's simple, functional and works very well. If all you want it for is playing music and movies you've bought from iTunes or encoded yourself, yup it's great.
I'm still trying to work out how to stream across to the AppleTV from my library which is the library added to the AppleTV. I might try removing the library and then streaming.

However if you have DivX movies that you want to watch on your TV, then you'll need to do a bit of hacking.

There are two approaches here. You can open up the AppleTV, grab the harddrive, mount it in your computer and do the hacking. Or you can set up a bootable USB drive and get it done that way. I decided the latter was simpler (thanks to the advice of the wonderfully knowledgable Mr P). Details can be found here. I chose the automatic file option btw. But I did need need to edit the file to remove things (see the wiki for that). Patrick did it all by hand, but he's level of geekness beyond me. I'm all for GUI or at least automation. You'll need a 512mb (minimum) stick, USB2. Booting the AppleTV to get it to recognise the stick was tricky, you may need to do the reboot key combo (Menu and - from memory) a few times. Once you've got it booting off the stick the installer goes through it's thing and installs AwkwardTV, perian and other stuff. From there you can install lots of goodies using the menu, and enable SSH (AFP doesn't seem to work).
Once you've installed and enabled SSH you need to generate a key.
That's pretty simple and some instructions can be found here. Note that you've already installed SSH so it's simply a case of SSH into the frontrow@appletv.local

From there, the various websites are kinda useful, but not really for people who aren't unix geeks (like me) so here's what I did.
- Install and enable SSH (using USB stick and enabling in AwkwardTV)
- ensure that you've installed the Sapphire browser add-in on your AppleTV using AwkwardTV Applications (this is the useful bit no-one bothers to write about) Note Added: Or you ATVFiles (thanks again MrP)
- ssh -1 frontrow@appletv.local (or use the IP address for the AppleTV) password is frontrow
- need to remount the drive as read/write so use: sudo mount -o remount,rw /dev/disk0s3 /
(password is frontrow) Note Added: this doesn't need to be done for the /frontrow/* directories as they are all RW (thanks mrP)
- create a directory for your movies, lets call it movies! in the appleTV ssh windows: mkdir /Users/frontrow/Movies

Once that's done you can either command line copy across to your appletv (scp -1 frontrow@appletv.local:~/Movies/), or in the spirit of GUI, use Fugu (or GUI FTP of choice) and connect to the AppleTV. Connection name is AppleTV.local and username: frontrow

Then you can transfer and watch those lovely DivX movies of Dr Diablo wrestling his significant white ass off :)

Overall: I like the product. It's powerful enough to do stuff I want, but also simple enough to just work when I plugged it in. And it's nice to be able to watch movies on my TV without having to write a DVD (my DVD player does DivX which is useful). I'd recommend one with the proviso it's going to depend on what you want to do with it, and how confident you are in hacking it if you want divx. If your country allows purchasing of TV shows/movies via iTunes then it gets a bigger tick.

B x

Scotch Tasting

Wandered along to another one of Regional Wines and Spirits wonderful Scotch tastings last night. This time we were sipping Clynelish and Brora, and they were all good. Stunning in two cases. So my favourites from this were the Brora Chieftain's 24yo Cream Sherry Butt#1522 and the Brora DunBheagan 24yo Fino Sherry butt#1524 (that info is mainly for me if I happen to be passing through the Heathrow Scotch shop...).

I was quite chatty by the time I got home :) Apparently I was annoying. Who'da thunk it eh?!

Love, B.

Oh dear.

In the continuing series of 'Look How Much Fun Metal Can Be', assisted by The Salmond of Doubt and the PsychoChicken, we have a contribution from Nicko McBray.
So blame him.

A more geeky post coming later.


23 September 2007

Rugby and Movies

Yeah I'm now at work having decided going back to bed for an hour wasn't really worth it. The game: a lot of forward work and generally our pack looked good. Too much dropped ball, particuarly close to the line, meant the scoreline didn't blow out as much as the possession stakes suggested it should have. Good defensive performance to keep the Scots scoreless, but overall 'could do better'.
Best bits: Tony Woodcocks attempt at a delicate sidestep; Sione Leuaki's runs up the middle.

Movies in the weekend:
Exiled, a Hong Kong gangster flick that was also at the filmfest this year. The cinematography in this is great. Sadly the movie drags, badly. Very stylish fight scenes, and the storyline seemed reasonable, but the overly wanky use of slow pans around the place got tiresome. I got the same vibe from this as Hero, looks stunning, but ultimately style over substance. I won't go so far as to say it was as boring as a Robert Besson donkey movie or a Eastern European/Chinese movie about 'technology coming to remote village', but it was certainly challenging them... Plot revolves around a bunch of gangsters getting back together and doing a hit on a boss. As I said, it looks great. Not sure how it ended as we got seriously bored, and gave up an hour into it.
Drink: Chimay red.

Fistful of Dollars. I decided I wanted to rewatch the trilogy, so started with Fistfull. Obviously. Great movie for it's nice twisted ambiguous characters, but also the worst of the three. Sure Clint is fantastic and the grittiness is wonderful, but at this stage Leone makes the rest of the characters make up for Clint's reticience. So everyone elses gabbers too much - later movies he seemed to have figured out the camera can tell a fair amount of story - and that helps things. Characteristic eye shots aplenty, and really I can't recommend this one too highly. Also worth watching are the doco's on the bonus disk (presuming you have that version).

The Abandoned. Marky Mark suggested this, and since it was sitting around we decided to watch it. Looking at the storyline you'd guess 'cliched ghost story' and largely, yup, you'd be right. But its brilliantly done. Who-ever was dressing the sets deserves a medal, they are superb. Atmosphere, frights, twists - all there. Wonderful touches with the torch (when shes in the parents bedroom). The director and screenwriter, Nacho Cerda, is someone you should keep an eye out for - as this was something special. It's been awhile since I watched a thriller/horror and didn't laugh. Sure there are plot holes, but the vibe carries it. Plot is basically: adopted woman goes back to house she's inherited from her murdered mother. Scary ghostly badness ensues. Definitely worth watching.

Then the SA v Tonga came on, so I watched that too. But I would like to say I only had one (750ml) bottle of beer all night.

Right, since I'm here at work and I've procrastinated for awhile I should do something. But never fear, I think some more bloggage (probably geeky) will turn up later.

Love, B

3am in the morning

Carried away by a moonlight shadow, errr whoops.

Actually it is 3am in the morning, I'm onto my second cup of coffee in the morning. I have the TV on watching the NZ v Scotland game while nibbling muffins (yay S she rocks). Well the Scots have turned up, but it's looking like a matter of time before the rout sets in.
Their forwards look unstable and the backs look confused. This could be sad.

Oh and I'm listening to the Alt Commentary, which is great. Jedi is in fine form, Weirdly it's about 20sec behind the live TV but eh, it beats the normal commentary.

Love and more blogs later, B

Blogs that have amused me today

I'm spending the morning watching rugger, stayed up for the SA v Tonga game (damm that was good) while chatting to F in the UK. Thanks to my RSS and Patrick here's some fun stuff to read.

Stephen Fry - is a technie gadget boy (yeah *that* Stephen Fry) and comments (at length) about PDAs and iPhones. It starts with:
YOU might, somewhere along the way, have picked up the impression that I am a passionate Mac advocate: I bought my first 128K machine in 1984, the second Macintosh to be sold in the UK - at least so I’ve always maintained and believed (the first went to the still desperately missed Douglas Adams) and I have never had fewer than ten working Macs on the go since the late 80s. However it is also a good reasonably unbiased critique of many of these things - which to this point I haven't been impressed with enough to look seriously at.

And from StephenF a description of the frustration of buying a Windows laptop from one of the major retailers. And I do so empathise with him having had to try and recover crap from people laptops. Windows does run beautifully on my Macs here, fast, all the drivers work. I don't use it much, but some of my DNA software requires it. Although I've switched from the chronically unstable Mega 3.1 to CLC FreeBench which is MacOS based and very lovely.

Annoyed by the Samoans inabilty to deliver on their promise, and the Namibians don't look good. The Argies on the other hand seem to be a lot better than the rating they came into the tournament with.

B xx

22 September 2007

The book of heavy metal

To remind you how much fun metal can be:

Why yes, I am watching the Steel Mill at the moment, it's been a wonderfully cheesy episode so far, currently DragonForce are on. And they are sooooo cheesy.
A nice collection of European goth-rock now !

me x


S (one of the brunettes) and I wandered along to the NZSO last night, with guest soloist Haken Hardenberger on trumpet.

A few words on him. The advertising guff paints him as the worlds greatest trumpet player. For a change, it's probably true. Indirectly he's the reason I'm in science. At one point I had delusions of competency as a brass player, then I heard him and James Morrison (no not the current piece of crap on the radio...) and the dream was shattered. So a possible career as a musician was scuttled and I fell into Science via English and Law :)

The gig kicked off with the Mozart symphony #35. the Moz I like kicked around with the Smiths, but this was alright. Well played, tight and it finished. Meh it's all I ask from a Mozart... Then Haken came on and played the Hayden trumpet concerto. This was the first piece I ever heard him play, so it was kinda weird hearing it again some years later. He is blindingly good, the sound so sweet, clean and gorgeous. He's also charismatic and hot (S's description, but I can't argue with her). I've heard the Haydn played by a few people, but no-where near as good as this. If Maurice Andre resuscitated baroque trumpet playing, then Hardenberger turned it into an art form. He came back and played some interesting almost jazz pieces by Gruber. Haken used three different trumpets for these three pieces, from our view (sadly behind him in the choir stalls) it looked like: standard, piccolo and possibly a baroque (D)?
The second half was the Schumann symphony, again not rocking my world. He's always struck me as a bit of halfway house composer, lacking the full coolness of Schubert, Beethoven etc. He's been described as whimsical, which I can see - but there were parts of lovely lyricism in the third movement, and bits of passion in the 1st and 4th. I enjoyed it, but won't be rushing to buy any.
All in all, nice balanced programme, but it was Haken I went for, and he truely is perfect.

Things that don't work

Ginger goths.

(as seen in Manners Mall yesterday).
b x

20 September 2007

Computerised Tea

Useful applications for the Mac, how many times have you put your tea on, then forgotten it whilst Adium-ing it baby.

This App times your brew! Rock on.

Love, B

16 September 2007

Snow Report

The blonde and I headed up to Auckland on Friday. Big ups to her for discovering 9am in the morning, and after a brief detour to the 'nui we were on our way. Much music was played, given she's the one that dubbed me the 'music slut' there was never many issues of not liking each others choices.

After a largely uneventful trip up, we checked in, had our free drink (ahhh drink) and meandered down to find food. Very nice pizza from Fresca Pizza (recommended!), then on to the gig. Neither of us wanted to see the support bands. I might have been keen-ish to see Iain Archer, but timing and dinner combined to prohibit that. Definitely wanted to miss Opshop, who, the blonde and I agree on this, are the most over-rated piece of crap thats been inflicted on NZ ears for sometime. Beer prices were feckin horrendous, $7 for a Crown lager poured into plastic container. So yeah it tasted like crap. I mean Crown aint that great to start with, but dumped unceremoniously into plastic? forgeddaboutit.
So to make a point we had two each. No I don't understand that either, but we wanted piss. And options were limited.

We ambled into the venue since the noise had subsided (Opshop had finished), and positioned ourselves kinda centre-left. Blonde had serious evils thrown her way by some chick, I managed to work out why - random chick had fallen for my stunning good looks and was piss-ey that blonde was with me.

So how good were Snow Patrol? Well firstly I like the band, which explains why I was there. And they delivered. Gary (lead singer) had a great rapport with the audience. Funny, amusing and polished frontman. Go the Gaz! The band were very very tight, unsurprising since they've been on tour for a year now - promoting Eyes Open. Their gig consisted of tracks from Eyes Open and Final Straw, with one other track that might have been from the earlier albums (I've only heard a few demos from them). Style-wise it was similar to the recent stuff, so could have been a b-side. Big cheers for Eyes Open, Chasing Cars etc as the hits. But stand-out for me was Run. Admittedly it's one of my all-time favourite songs, but it was very emotionally draining. Run was one of Frances' favourite songs too, and Final Straw was the album we'd played the night we wandered into hospital. Yeah I shed water. But it was nice too.
The gig itself was fun, but I was struck by how weak the drummer is. There isn't a lot of interesting drum parts on the albums, and it showed in the live shows. One nice aspect of the show was that the band did change arrangements a little, and it didn't seem a 'tired' show, which at the end of a tour could have been a problem. So yay Snow Patrol.
Definitely recommend them as a live act, kinda big scale pub band who did manage to connect with the audience.

We headed out in search of drink afterwards and had a fun time drinking and singing while watching a bit of sport in an Irish bar.
Being adorable I had coffee ready when blonde awoke, ok so it was entirely self-interest as I wanted coffee and she happened to be awake, but lets spin this positively shall we? Sushi for brunch (recommended - Sushi Train down by the basin), then meandering around until we left around 3pm. I was excited by her CD player recognising Porc Tree's new album - coming up with titles and band. Yes it's the small things.

All in all, fun roadtrip and gig. And big ups to the blonde for a) a car, b) good music selection and c) fun person to spend many hours with, both sober and not-so-sober :)

me xx

13 September 2007

Eagle v Shark

It's a lovely movie, best word I can think of to describe it - whimsical.

Geek love is usually pretty painful to watch, and this movie is no exception. But the leads are convincing, particularly Lauren (Shark) - her's is a wonderful performance. Jermaine (of Flight of the Conchords fame) is Eagle, a geekboy set on revenge against a high school nemesis. Love doesn't so much blossum, as well, stagger.

Now NZ movies do tend to have a large level of insecurity (we ain't good enough to compete) - although thats kinda disappeared since LotR, and generally are disturbing (good example: In My Fathers Den). Cultural cringe pops up too. This movie has none of those. These definitely geek cringe, but I didn't notice any cultural cringe.

Most reviews I've seen have compared it to Napolean dynamite. That's doing Eagle v Shark a disservice. EvS is a love story, ND wasn't. EvS is character driven and focussed, ND is largely situation based. I also got the vibe that there was far more caring of each other by the characters in EvS. All of which makes it an entirely different movie. there's also some nice quirks, the revenge scene itself is a good example.

The Blonde didn't like ND but liked EvS, and Suz (with whom I went) thoroughly enjoyed EvS as well. It has to be said she's a movie slut too...
Nice quirky soundtrack by The Phoenix Foundation and many of their various offshoots. Worth a spin, but would have been better if they'd used a few *other* bits from the album!

Summary: go see it. Good date movie that won't make you want to scream...

Love, B

Headlines that should have been

Elderly porn causes the sack.

Not that I support viewing porn in any form.

12 September 2007

It's a ProgDay Today

I've decided it's a nuffink but Prog day today. Obviously I opened with 'Grendel' and the rest of B-Sides Themselves, and have moved onto Luke Buda 'Special Surprise' - Luke is the prog boy of Phoenix.

Sadly I have to go and upgrade a computer so it's a bit of a prog break now. More updates later.

In forthcoming blogs:
* Anapsid v Diapsid III - one of the loyal fanbase reminded me that this was missing. I'll aim to fix that over the next few days.
* review of Eagle v Shark which I saw last night (that's a nice segue from the start of the post).

B x

11 September 2007

Ahhhh good times

I'm sitting here having been playing my organ (well it is National Organ week as many people have pointed out), sipping very nice Scotch and listening to the new Joe Henry album. It is all good.

Love, B

10 September 2007

Napalm Death

Right, the review of Napalm Death.

As some of you have probably gathered, I like my metal. And I like my black metal. ND are variously described as grindcore/death metal. Definitely grindcore - and they are generally credited with inventing the genre. Grindcore is loud, fast and very full-on, think a metal version of punk - or punk-extreme - or something like that. It's not a genre I'm that keen on, preferring the death/black metal stylings of the Norwegians and Swedes - Borknagar, Dimmu Borgir, Opeth etc.
Originally formed in 1981 (?!) (thanks Wikipedia) by the time the first album was recorded, Sd2 had none of the original band members on it.

So the gig. Nick had been grumbling about not going to Cannibal Corpse - mainly cos it was expensive and although we kinda liked the band, we didn't like them *that* much. Much the same arguments had been advanced for ND, until I won tickets which was a much better price. So in true rock'n'roll style, we met at Midnight Cafe and had a long black and discussed country music. We skipped the first band, Backyard Burial as we'd seen them a few times and caught most of the 2nd act 'Graymalkin' who were quite good.
ND were good, they ain't the most talented bunch of musicians, but they were having fun. Stage presence was good, and the lead singer did interact with the audience a bit. They played for about 75 minutes, which felt about right.

So why did I go? Given I don't like the genre that much, it's a good question. For a start, we get so few hard metal concerts I thought I should go, and it turned out to be free. I enjoyed it, and came away with a bit more appreciation for ND than I went in with. The crowd was fun, and i was surprised by the amount of chicks there - and they didn't seem to be hanging off anyone so were apparently there *for the music*.
I'm not going to be rushing out to buy an album, and am happy sticking with the metal bands I already like. But as I said it was a good intro to grindcore, a genre I wasn't that familiar with. And I'd hate to be accused of not being keen on exploring new music :)
Thanks to Steel Mill for the tickets :)

Oh and I found this t-shirt on amazon, and no, I haven't bought it.

Me xx

9 September 2007

Rasputin and Abigails Ghost

Must be time for more music reviews. Today 'Abigails Ghost', a band I came across on a Porcupine Tree mailing list. I figured it was worth grabbing a copy since it was a) cheap and b) the US dollar very weak. So what's it like, well the stuff on the list described it as Porcupine Tree like - and thats definitely true. It is quite similar to the more recent PT sound (In absentia, Deadwing and Fear of a Blank Planet), and in places there are echoes of Blackfield.
These similarities come from, initially, the vocalist who does sound a lot like Steve Wilson. The music does have similarities with PT as well.

Criticisms? yeah I've got a couple. Firstly the major difference with PT is the quality of the recording. Everything is very very flat, and the drums sound really bad. According to the website there is a drummer, but honestly they sound more like a machine. There's no depth to most of the album, so the musicianship - and it is good - is lost.

As a debut it is reasonable, as an album it looses something due to the recording.

Given the similarities to PT (honestly, I'd call Abigail's Ghost, PT-lite), I'd skip this and get some PT.

And now, a video. With thanks to Andrew for this one - a metal-ish version of Rasputin. Great Stuff.

Turisas - Rasputin

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Love, B.

Wagner - NZSO

In the continuing OTT bloggage for today, here's the review of the NZSO on Friday night.

Wow. This concert was a stunner. One of the blondes and I wandered along, I would have been going anyway cos I really like Wagner. My biggest problem is that I don't like 'greatest hits' packages and would rather listen to the full opera. But eh, beggar's cannae be choosey. The line-up was:
Die Meistersinger Prelude
Lohengrin Prelude (Act 1)
Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod
The Flying Dutchman Overture
Tannhaüser Overture
Gotterdammerung: Immolation Scene

So very much a 'greatest hits'. But hells bells. This rocked the phat one. The NZSO generally sounds very good, but this time I'm out of superlatives. Everyone was clear, in tune, and generally stunning.
Margaret Medlyn was wonderful in her two pieces, and the guest conductor was very in to it.

The passion that Wagner should have was there, tempered nicely by the raw power of the size of the orchestra's his work demands. The brass sections were in great form - and if they aren't any good, you certainly know it after a Wagner.
Tannhauser, possibly my favourite opera, was wonderful - very clear, very precise and just rockin' with passion. Ahhhh.

The night was topped off by Long Island Iced Teas, the league and a brief appearance at a 21st (!).

Tomorrow: a review of Napalm Death.


William Gay - Twilight

For a change, a book review.

I saw this one reviewed in the DomPost recently and figured it sounded 'like me, don't ya know'. So rather than pissing around let's just list the bits that attracted me to it:
* Southern gothic
* necrophilic undertaker
* bootleg whisky
* inbred nutjobs
* gun toting rednecks
* murderers
* gorgeous use of language

The story is very dark, involving photographs, a perverse undertaker, bootleg whisky all the great subject matters - and for those of you who like the genre (including the music), it is wonderful Southern Gothic. There's blackmail when the undertakers misdeeds are discovered, a murderer employed to deal to the blackmailers, a number of great screwball anti-social characters who pop up, and a great ending. Wot more could you want! Oh and as I've mentioned in other posts, I don't like morally pure characters. This book I liked :) Even the ending is ambiguous and there is little redemption for anyone. Ahhhh, happy.

The writer uses language beautifully, and it's worth reading for that alone. Except his subject material could be construed as disturbing for the more pure members of my readership (do I have any of those?). The book has had rave reviews from a lot of good reviewers, and is worth a spin.

The author is worth a peek too, I've managed to track down a picture...

I suspect some serious bloggage today btw...

B xx

8 September 2007

Fashion update

And what does todays style conscious, wrestling watching, B-grade movie fan drink?

Today's line-up has been carefully selected to provide maximum enjoyment over a long period of time. As the last post alluded to, I have a long long day. For that reason I've gone for beers that cannot be quaffed, indeed these three require delicate sipping and savouring.
They were all bought from New World Metro at the Railway Station, which seems to have a reasonable selection of beer. Although I was very very impressed with New World Metro on Thurs - lots of Timmerman among others.

Belle-Vue Kriek - a tried and trusted friend. To be savoured slowly.
Timmermans Fromboise Lambic - ahhhh raspberries to the cherries
Wychwood Hobgoblin - hey I like their advertising :)

That should take some time, but I do have a bottle of Mission Rose if I need anything else.

Food: crackers, blue cheese and grapes.

Movies: Summerslam 07; Blood Sisters (Joe Bob Briggs commentary) and not sure wot else.

I'll provide more movie reviews later...

B x

7 September 2007

And so it begins...

The World Cup. The WC that matters. Rugby.

For those of you overseas who think all NZer's are obsessed I was talking to a workmate who, in all honesty, asked 'Did New Zealand qualify?'

I enjoyed the first game, didn't think the French played well at all, and they definitely didn't deserve to win. So to trot out cliches, all credit to the Argentinians. Good game. Not so much for the French crowd, but it does mean NZ will meet them in the quarters.
Unless that's broken the French and they don't finish 2nd in the pool...

The other problem with the WC is sleep. Was out til 1ish and getting up at 6am for the opening ceremony and the game isn't good. Nor is the fact that the NZ game is at 1145pm tonight. In between I have to watch Summerslam 07; some bgrades and drink beer. Oh woe is me.

I'll post a review of the Wagner last night later.
Oh and my baby returned all fixed and good yesterday so I'll finish setting her up tomorrow while I'm writing a paper. Yup thats my plan whilst sleep deprived and *maybe* hungover, write a paper. I did submit one yesterday tho'. Go me. It does mean I've done cleaning, a load of washing and some ironing. Sigh.

me xxxx

Birthday suit cooking is bad...

The adorable wee Gordon Ramsey has a burnt testicle after cooking in the buff.

There's a lesson in there kiddiwinks.

Love, clothed B.

5 September 2007

Napalm Death

I just won tickets.
I had been thinking of going. I guess this clinches it.

Oh dear. I have nothing bogun-ny to wear. Oh hang on, the Porcupine Tree t-shirt should be ok. Phew!

B is for bogun.

4 September 2007

A Day of Sadness

My new baby arrived yesterday, a pretty shiney silvery MacBook Pro. Purrrdddeeee.

I was setting her up today, and sadly the DVD didn't work.

but the lovely people at Apple who I chatted to are organising a new one, and I'll just start again.

Now their customer service group could teach Telecom a thing or two.

Oh well, another few days won't kill me.

3 September 2007


I like ballet. I guess that balances out my liking of black/death metal :)

The blonde and I wandered along to Cinderella at the St James on Saturday night. In keeping with our usual organisation we'd only grabbed tickets a couple of days before.
It was very good. The stage in particular was wonderful, the orchestra was good, and the dancing was wonderful. Top marks to the lighting dude and the set designer - really lifted the show.
So yep, we both enjoyed it. Possibly not as much as the last couple I've seen, but that might be due to the storyline.

Definitely recommended.

B. x

cicadas and the internet

Internet services are being disrupted in Japan as cicadas have been laying their eggs in the fibreoptic cables.
(source: nature news)
Heh internet worms!!


1 September 2007


I was going to blog about things that were pissing me off.

But I'm sitting here drinking nice English Ale and watching the Travelling Wilburys. The current boxset is a very very good thing. I'd forgotten how much I liked it when it was released. Woohoo. And it led to the renaissance of Bob Dylan which was a very very good thing.

I'm in a very very good place beer and music wise :) I also picked up the latest Ryan Adams since it was cheap-ish.

B xx


We've been supporting the good Dr for some time now, he's got a PhD in pain don't ya know!! His win/loss record has not been good, in fact we've never seen the former but plenty of the latter.
But last night, at the KPW aussie invasion, the big guy came through. And Team Diablo in all its 6-fold glory was there. Never before in the illustrious luchadore history has so much been achieved in the face of such huge odds! The ref, the opposition, the physique - all overcome by DrD. And we were there! Oh we cried, we hugged, we were overcome.

I've included a picture of DrD from his early days - we have pics of his first match somewhere that may make their way on here...for more on KPW click here.

Great times. And the ballet tonight.

Me xx