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  Friday, 30 June 2006

I came across this site last week. What a fantasic idea for a weblog - Kite Patents. A great archive of scientific study into flight, and a place to charge the imagination of even the most seasoned kite maker. There is something quite beautiful about the form of the patents too...  their hand drawn quality seems extra special in this digital age.

10:39:39 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 29 June 2006


...and evening

7:54:48 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 27 June 2006

"There's only one thing sure thing in life.. and that's doubt... I think."
Bruno Lawrence (as Mulvaney in Goodbye Pork Pie)

11:04:42 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 26 June 2006

I really enjoy art that is done for rewards other than the financial. It says something about the intent and the integrity of the artist. Artists that perform or display their work for the public at no charge, and particularly those that work in a temporary, or unpredictable medium have my respect. Chalk on  sidewalks, sand sculptures, graffiti artists... they do it for the sake of their art.

The Wooster Collective web-log celebrates street art. Take a look... I particularly enjoyed the 'embed' projects, and the 'trash can in Tehran'.

8:41:40 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 24 June 2006

If there's a recipe to gain a true appreciation of what incredible source of energy fossil fuels are this could be it....

Spend a frosty winter day chopping up a couple of dead willow trees (blown over by the wind) using only hand tools (two different sized pruning saws, an axe and a hatchet) while listening to a chorus of chainsaws as neighbours clean up their own dead wood. I spent most of the day doing what I could have achieved in an hour or so with the help of a cup or two of petrol and the appropriate technology to put it in. And for all my effort I only managed to get the trees stripped of their smaller branches (anything smaller than my wrist) and lined up ready for tomorrow when a friend is coming to visit with a chainsaw. It will take all of 20 minutes to chop and stack the trunks of the trees. I shudder at the thought of how long that would take me with hand tools.

There is something about this kind of physical labour that makes a beer taste better...

3:05:01 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 23 June 2006

"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain"

10:03:03 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 18 June 2006

2:22:04 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 17 June 2006

Just finsihed this week, Peter Lynn Kites have a brand new webite, designed and constructed by me. A large protion of the photography is also by me. Check out their huge range of large show kites.

11:35:28 AM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Have you ever had that feeling, (usually while sitting in front of your favourite p2p filesharing application, with a new search box open), that you need to hear some music that your ears haven't encounterd before. Something they don't play on middle-of-the-road radio stations. Your sitting there with a 'virtual' world of music at your fingertips, yet you can't think of anything to search for.

I know that feeling, and in the spirit of sharing, here are a few searches I have tried in the past that have led me to satisfying things (and a few CD purchases). Try these...

  • "The Flying Pickets"
  • "Xavier Rudd"
  • "The Waifs"
  • "The Gipsy Kings"
  • "Nitin Sawhney"
I hope there's something refreshing in there for you all, (even you Stan).

9:30:47 PM    Comment []

5:53:39 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 11 June 2006

For the first time since the NKC trip to Westport back at the end of summer, I got out to fly some kites today. A total of four kites altogether and the kite buggy wheels got a good spin too.

The forecast today was for Northerlies building to 100kph over the next 48 hours. Couldn't wait for them to get here. As the tide went out at Rabbit Island beach this afternoon, the wind dropped off to nothing. When there was finally enough beach to go for a buggy there was zero wind. A quick cell-phone call or two revealed that there was wind, across the bay in Nelson, so an hour or so later four keen buggiers were setting up on Neale Park.... just in time for the wind to die there too.

We didn't give up however and just an hour or so before sunset, it arrived with gusto. Wind in the form of a crisp Northerly which afforded us some great kite buggying around the soccer goals on the park. I tried out a new Peter Lynn foil called the Pepper. This 5.5 square meter foil I have nicked named 'the tractor' is great. Plenty of smooth power and gentle manners make it the sort of kite you can buggy all afternoon without it wearing you out. If it hadn't got dark I'd still be out there ;)

8:26:42 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 9 June 2006

"A maxim for the twenty-first century might well be to start by not fighting evil in the name of good, but by attacking the certainties of people who claim always to know where good and evil are to be found."
Tzvetan Todorov

7:47:40 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Imagine the worst possible start to my working day. Today the worst happened. I arrived at work and the Coffee maker refused to make coffee. As panic set in I determined that the lights all went on when they should, the clock/timer was still working, only when it said 'brewing' nothing happened. No coffee was forthcoming.... how should I start my day? My routine was upset and I didn't know what to do next. The only thing I could think of was to put the coffee machine under my arm and seek out an electrical repairer ASAP. So I did....

The closest place, just down the road took one look at it and suggested I take it elsewhere or buy a new one. They were too busy. Fine. The next fix-it shop I tried was closed. Out of business. I think I know why....

The third place told me right away, "oh, we don't do those."
The reason being they fix electronic appliances, like microwave ovens, not electrical appliances like my coffee maker. Well, didn't I feel dumb. It did occur to me to point out that because it has a clock and timer built in that it was technically electronic but it didn't seem like a point worth making just then. Off to the forth fix-it shop. The one they assured me could and would fix my coffee maker so I could start my day.

Even the guy who could and would fix it suggested it might be easier (and even slightly cheaper) to just buy a new one.
"Actually, I'd like you to fix it thanks." I said wondering how long before this fix-it shop goes under too. I think he'd heard "I could have bought a NEW one for that!" one to many times, and was not prepared for a hippy like me. I should be able to get the thing back, probably with a replacement element, in about a week. Obviously they don't get to fix these things very often anymore.

This all got me thinking about how this in this culture we want everything to be disposable. Just get a new one, it'll be cheaper. But will it? If I had just got a new coffee maker it would probably have come all the way from China, wrapped in 6 layers of plastic and foam. All that packaging, and the old coffeemaker with its perfectly good glass pot, plastic, filters, electrical cord, and electronic components would have to be taken away to a landfill, where they will not decompose for a very very very long time.... but hey, it would be cheaper, for me.

No, I insisted on getting it repaired even if it costs me a little more. Recycling is more than just keeping your used plastic milk bottles for collection. Its about getting the maximum use out of all the materials we take from the earth and not just 'getting a new one' because we can.

The story has a happy ending. After all that I was still faced with the prospect of no coffee maker for a week. After work I stopped in at the re-cycling shop by the dump refuse station. They had four coffeemakers there, one of which was in unused condition, still in its box. Unwanted wedding present I guess. $5. Thank you very much. Now I have a spare, so this will never happen again.

5:44:23 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 6 June 2006

My Geocaching Profile (NatureB0Y)

For three weekends I've been actively geocaching and I have found 21, and hidden 3. I think I enjoy hiding them even more than seeking them. This weekend (actually it was Monday, Queen's birthday holiday) I hid a really cunning one. It's easy to get to (you can park within feet of it), its easy to reach (even a small child could get it), but its almost impossible to see. I listed it yesterday evening and at the time of writing it has been found once, early this morning, in the frost and fog. I enjoyed the fact that the finder had to "resort" to the encrypted clue, and even then he had to sit and think about it for a while. I know from experience, it makes a cache even sweeter to find if the hider has made you think a bit.

p.s. I was going to install my geocaching stats bar (above) somewhere on the sidebar of this site, but it doesn't really fit. So instead I think I'll just post it like I have here, every time I write a post about geocaching. 'NatureB0Y' is my  secret geocaching code name BTW... shhh.

8:07:57 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 5 June 2006

6:51:45 PM    Comment []

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