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  Friday, 30 December 2005

10:10:47 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 28 December 2005

"...nature does not exist to serve humans. Rather, humans are part of nature, one species among many. All species have a right to exist for their own sake, regardless of their usefulness to humans."
Judi Bari - Revolutionary Ecology

This is both an uplifting and inspiring story, and at the same time a chilling and shocking example of just how far the capitalist regime will go to protect its interests.

Judi Bari (1949-1997), was a visionary environmentalist and social justice campaigner whom I have come to admire. Her writings I find challenging, and insightful, but it is the account of her attempted murder and the struggle for justice that followed that really grabbed my attention. On May 24 1990, while on a concert and speaking tour promoting Redwood Summer, (a campaign of nonviolent mass protests against corporate liquidation logging of 2000 year old redwood forests), an attempt was made on her life. A motion triggered pipe bomb exploded under the drivers seat of her car maiming and disabling her and, to a lesser degree, injuring her passenger. The fact that her and her colleague had received several written death threats (which were found in the car by investigators) and both named the parties they suspected of the attack, the FBI and the police, bizarrely attempted to blame them for the bombing and proceeded with a smear campaign to paint them as violent radicals. Instead of giving up they fought back... and after years of legal battles, they triumphed. Sadly the guilty parties are still at large and have never been sought by the 'authorities'... Know your enemy.

Read the full story here... and while your there have a browse around the rest of the site. There's some worthy reading there.

8:00:21 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 25 December 2005

Just a few random photos taken this morning while walking the dog up the little valley I live in.

8:56:21 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 24 December 2005

Sams new buggy. Check out those Phaaaat wheels.

Sams old buggy, which is now my new buggy. Sexxxxy.

2:03:58 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 22 December 2005

My first (potential) gourd.

Its been a while since I did an update on the progress in the garden. With the summer heat and regular rain we've been having everything is growing well. There have been some success and a few failures but I have been learning from them all. Next year will be an improvement I'm sure.

Top left - My first cauliflower which got picked this evening for my stir-fry.
Top right - The blackcurrant's are ripening well; now begins the battle with the birds to see who gets to eat them.
Bottom right - The corn plants are now knee high. I noticed the corn responds particularly well to the organic liquid fertiliser from my worm farm. They have a little growth spurt for a few days every time I feed them.
Bottom left - The raspberries are coming along. Hopefully we'll see some colour in them soon.

Speaking of colour, I'm finally starting to harvest my tomatoes.

Part of this whole permaculture game is seed collection. You should grow more than you need to eat, so that some of the crop can be left to go to seed. The seed is collected for planting next season, thus completing the self sufficient circle. It looks like these Chinese cabbage seeds will be ready to collect and store very soon.

Its not just about food... the flowers are coming out all over the place now too, so heres a splash of colour for all you Northern hemisphere folk in the grip of winter right now (happy Winter Solstice).

9:19:27 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 19 December 2005

I love this idea. Take an urban area where there aren't enough green public spaces. Find an empty carpark. Feed the parking meter then set up a tempoary park on it, complete with park bench, grass and tree. Enjoy watching friends and strangers resting in your 'park' but don't forget to kept the meter fed.

10:14:37 PM    Comment []

What is the plural for duck? Should the title of this post say "Paradise Duck" or "Paradise Ducks"? I can't decide if they are like sheep or not (are far as plurals go... you know what I mean!) I suppose I could look it up, but I can't be ar5ed so I'll just ask you lot instead.

Anyway.... this is one of those photos that I like, but can't decide why I like it. Taken on the spur of the moment yesterday, while we were out kayaking, it is a pair of Paradise Duck(s) that just took of, fleeing the three brightly coloured kayaks coming down the river at them. The subjects are two far away, the compositions off, its not quite sharp, and the colours were pretty dull (I've fixed them up a bit in Photoshop to compensate for the underexposure of the original shot).... but I like it anyway. I just can't put my finger on why...

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I'm on a mission now to capture a better shot of this species. They're pretty common in NZ so it shouldn't be to difficult to find them. In fact there's a half tame one living in this little valley. Well, he's either half tame, or half insane, we're not sure which. He doesn't seem to have a partner (odd in this species) and has little or no fear of humans, or dogs, or traffic... or anything. He sits on top of cars, blocks the road, and generally acts like he owns the valley. I was walking Kaycee early one morning recently, when he came swooping out of nowhere, flew past just a few feet from my head, honking as he went by, and landed on the road in front of us. He then proceeded to try and 'herd' Kaycee and I into a small imaginary circle by waddling around us honking constantly. Maybe he's suicidal... Lucky for him Kaycee doesn't know what to do with prey that doesn't run away and just stood there looking confused.

6:09:04 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 18 December 2005

I had a great time today Kayaking on the Motueka River. This time for a change there were four of us. My friends Mark & Pamela just bought a kayak the same as mine (and Devon's). They are looking for another so they will have one each but in the meantime they are sharing just one. That meant today we could have three of us in Kayaks on the river with the fourth driving the van. Usually, with just two of us its a bit of an act, dropping one vehicle off at the take-out then driving the second vehicle to the put-in. Lots of extra driving and loading/unloading of kayaks. With the time saved we managed to go down our usual run three times.

Mark and Pamela on one of the cruisier streches of river (photo by Devon).




Me (photo by Devon).

I'm tired now... must sleep...

10:01:21 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 16 December 2005

"It's just a goddamned piece of paper"
George W Bush, on the constitution.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but don't US presidents swear to uphold and protect that "goddamned piece of paper" when they take office?

...and in other news, since international opinion on the "war for oil on terror" is not quite going the way the US Military would like, they are about to spend $300 million to brainwash us convince us unbeleivers that it really is OK to invade another country on flase pretenses and lies, destroy it's infrastructure, litter the landscape with radioactive material (depleted uranium munitions), steal its oil revenues, and occupy for as long as you need to to secure your supply of cheap energy, all the while ignoring the geneva convention and basic human rights. Money well spent I'm sure.

11:16:30 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 15 December 2005

It was a stinking hot afternoon here. We got a lot of rain overnight too. It's been doing that quite a bit over the last couple of weeks and its making everything in the garden grow like mad.

I had to stop on the way home to rest and rehydrate and while I sat there enjoying the view I thought I'd take a photo of my bike.

I have no idea what kind it is because the first thing I did when I bought it was pull all the stickers off. That's the Nelson landmark fifeshire rock in the background. I pedaled 60km today  (a little more than usual because I forgot to buy coffee on the way home and had to go back for it).

While I'm on the subject of bikes, a friend and I are in the very early stages of planning a trip. A cycling trip around New Zealands South Island following the coast as closely as possible. The idea started out as a walking trip but we soon realised that we just wouln't have the time, expecailly if we want to get off the beaten track. We intend to take 10-12 weeks to do it so we don't have to hurry and have plenty of time to explore the side roads. We are planning it for early 2007 (if not sooner) so we have time aquire gear, train, plan, and get in a few shorter trips beforehand. So, I'm in the market for some good pannier bags for a good price... like these.

8:42:34 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 14 December 2005

I was just drifting around the garden, camera in hand, this afternoon when I found these two creatures occuping the same flower. The tiny little one (just a few millimeters long) sat inside the flower head of a wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace) plant, while the larger (about 4 centimeters long) seemed to be defending the exterior. I wonder if they are the same species. It seems likely since they were sharing the same space peacefully and its not uncommon in the spider world to find a female spider that is much larger than its male counterpart. Makes you wonder what life's like for him though, doesn't it?

10:13:47 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 12 December 2005

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(Click for 1024x768 desktop wallpaper)

10:09:47 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 9 December 2005

3:35:54 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 5 December 2005

Especially for Stan who just looooves broadbeans, I bring you my broadbean and bacon stir-fry! Ta DA! Featuring home-grown broadbeans, spring-onions, and celery, white onions (grown by Dad), and locally grown tomatoes (my tomatoes aren't quite ready yet).  I can't claim to have grown the rice or the bacon, but I'm getting there...

Thanks to the vegetarian society here are a few facts about the broadbean you probably never knew (or cared to know).

  • Broad beans are the oldest of all our beans, dating back to stone age times.
  • Mystical beliefs were that broad beans, when offered in marriage ensured the birth of a baby son and were important enough to warrant the death sentence for their theft from open fields.
  • They are highly nutritious; full of phosphorous, vitamin A and C and rich in protein.
  • The beans need to be eaten within a couple of days of picking and stored in the refrigerator, otherwise the carbohydrates in the beans turn to sugar which in turn changes the flavour of the bean (which could, I think. be something to do with their bad reputation).
  • I can personally attest that they are very easy to grow and taste great fresh.

8:23:35 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 1 December 2005

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I've finally got around to publishing the pictures from my trip in October. So for all the kite freaks reading, 81 pictures of kites, buggies, and beaches from the Muriwai and Northland Tour of 2005 are now available here. I'm still working on the video. (Sorry it took so long Charlie! I hope the wait was worth it.)

BTW if you happen to spot a copy of the latest Wind & Kite magazine, flick to page 20 and you will see an article about the Moose Meet, written by Perrin (the organiser of the Moose Meet from Kiteworks in Auckland) , featuring some photos by yours truly.

7:00:43 PM    Comment []

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