Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One for today... actually more than one

Dead C: Helen Said This/Bury 1990 (Stiltbreeze Records)


Helen Said at around 14 minutes long - I adore long songs, especially if they do not a aweful lot, be they electronic or guitar focused.

Its the Dead C's 20th anniversary this year, thus there are a few articles cropping up about this New Zealand band, notably one by Phillip matthews in the Listener and a interview ans review of their 2CD compilation in the October Real Groove magazine by my good friend Alan Holt.

I've been a fan since I got The Live Dead See cassette which came out on Xpressway in 1988, Xpressway being my perhaps favourite ever NZ label, more Nun than Flying Nun and less prone to duff releases, and well out there musically as only a label not seeking nor needing the trappings of the business end of this industry can be.

I must have almost everything the Dead C and Xpressway released, on cassette, vinyl and in the latter phases CD, I also managed to grab a huge chunk of the various US label releases that the Dead C and Xpressway(incomplete catalogue here) related artists released, notably on Stiltbreeze, Forced Exposure and Drag City. I was lucky I somehow found myself on Bruce Russels mailing list, so every now and then a postcard and catalogue would arrive in the physical mail (no email marketing back then) and I'd immediately write a cheque and send it off for what delights he had on offer, this included the Xpressway Catalogue, a number of US imports - usually all 7"s. I have some delightful records as a result, his was the best and most effective marketing I've ever been exposed to.

A girlfriend of mine way back in the early 90's, hand painted me a Sun Stabbed EP (a awesome record) T shirt, it was my favourite item of clothing for many years and I wish things like this never wore out or more ot the point, one didn't expand past being able to fit into them.







Helen Said this isn't to a lot of people's taste, probably most peoples, but for me its perfection in noise.

to use a young persons language... I heart the Dead C






weirdly I just got a email, whist typing this post, about a new LP by The Terminals.... no not them Terminals, a Lincoln (USA) band called the Terminals - I still found it a bit spooky....

well it is halloween

[pictures to come for this post, can't get em uploaded right now & yes I am using firefox LOL - update, pictures inserted with the aid of Firefox 2.0, damn you mr gates... yet still no reply from the firefox people to my email...]

Monday, October 30, 2006

Being a man... well... it is Bob we're talking about

So yesterday I decided after much deliberation to try and 'fix' the clothes dryer, because its been making one hell of a racket recently.

Now fixing stuff isn't a trait I consider myself adapt or even remotely interested in, but I figured to get a 'man' in would cost about what a brand new clothes dryer would cost, and as the thing isn't mine (left here by a old flatmate, who will one day hopefully want it back) I have no interest in spending money on fixing it.

I figured that something must be caught somewhere in the mechanism (or whatever makes the damn thing work) and thus it makes a kinda screeching noise, which I assume isn't good for it and it definitely isn't something I enjoy, well maybe some years ago when I was a big industrial music fan but I'm older now and my ears are delicate or at least my mind is - it was Sunday after all.

So I took to the thing with a screwdriver thingy and a sense of dread. I managed to get the back metal covering off only to realise there's more to it than that, much more and here I lost any sense of adventure I might have started with. I had figured it might be a bit beyond my lack of any skills in this sort of thing, but I hadn't counted on the damn thing having more, um, hell I don't know what it is I encountered, but if something was impeding the things movement, as I assumed, it wasn't open to view or feel, there were more covers and other things I wouldn't even know where to start on labeling what they were or might be in my way.

So I opted for cleaning the inside, got all the accumulated fluff and dust out of the beast - a kicking of tires if you will.

I also found a g string tucked done the back of the machine - not mine, too small, not my colour either.

Probably Angela's, whose moved out now - how the hell does one return a G string.... I feel embarrassed to even mention it?

"Hey Angela, Here's ya G String, I've finished with it now..." - no?
"Hey Angela, I've been wearing this, got one in blue?
"Hey Angela, I found this behind the clothes dryer" - that should work I guess.


Well, back to the dryer, I managed to get the back on the thing again, which is a result in itself. I even found a use for the one screw I had left over (hope it wasn't important), it fitted rather neatly into my ear. On a prayer I figured maybe I'd done enough, in the fixing department - the optimist... so on completion of my macho part of the day/week/year/decade/millennium I tried it out, by attempting to dry some washing.

Of course I'd done nothing or any use or merit, well there was the g, and thus the screeching was back.

I retired to the lounge, somehow smaller in stature.

I watched a episode of Star Trek - the original series of course. Please note I am not a trekkie nor remotely a fan of this show, even though I do adore sci fi, it was on thus I watched it, I had tears in my eyes.

The shrieking seemed to intensify.. to the point where I could stand it no more, closing doors didn't help.

I put the g on my head, too small to make a difference.

So I did the only thing a real man (?) could do at this point, I kicked and shook the bejesus out of that damn machine....

and bugger me if it didn't sort the problem out

for now




*** Please note I do not advocate nor advise using this technique on living beings, save it for inanimate whiteware for violence is not a solution to anything.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer

10/28/06 "The Independent" -- -- Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer in the 34-day assault that cost more than 1,300 Lebanese lives, most of them civilians?

We know that the Israelis used American "bunker-buster" bombs on Hizbollah's Beirut headquarters. We know that they drenched southern Lebanon with cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the war, leaving tens of thousands of bomblets which are still killing Lebanese civilians every week. And we now know - after it first categorically denied using such munitions - that the Israeli army also used phosphorous bombs, weapons which are supposed to be restricted under the third protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which neither Israel nor the United States have signed.

But scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.

Dr Busby's initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. "The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium." A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium.

Enriched uranium is produced from natural uranium ore and is used as fuel for nuclear reactors. A waste productof the enrichment process is depleted uranium, it is an extremely hard metal used in anti-tank missiles for penetrating armour. Depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium, which is less radioactive than enriched uranium.

Israel has a poor reputation for telling the truth about its use of weapons in Lebanon. In 1982, it denied using phosphorous munitions on civilian areas - until journalists discovered dying and dead civilians whose wounds caught fire when exposed to air.

-snip-

"When a uranium penetrator hits a hard target, the particles of the explosion are very long-lived in the environment," Dr Busby said yesterday. "They spread over long distances. They can be inhaled into the lungs. The military really seem to believe that this stuff is not as dangerous as it is." Yet why would Israel use such a weapon when its targets - in the case of Khiam, for example - were only two miles from the Israeli border? The dust ignited by DU munitions can be blown across international borders, just as the chlorine gas used in attacks by both sides in the First World War often blew back on its perpetrators.

Chris Bellamy, the professor of military science and doctrine at Cranfield University, who has reviewed the Busby report, said: "At worst it's some sort of experimental weapon with an enriched uranium component the purpose of which we don't yet know. At best - if you can say that - it shows a remarkably cavalier attitude to the use of nuclear waste products."

The soil sample from Khiam - site of a notorious torture prison when Israel occupied southern Lebanon between 1978 and 2000, and a frontline Hizbollah stronghold in the summer war - was a piece of impacted red earth from an explosion; the isotope ratio was 108, indicative of the presence of enriched uranium. "The health effects on local civilian populations following the use of large uranium penetrators and the large amounts of respirable uranium oxide particles in the atmosphere," the Busby report says, "are likely to be significant ... we recommend that the area is examined for further traces of these weapons with a view to clean up."

This summer's Lebanon war began after Hizbollah guerrillas crossed the Lebanese frontier into Israel, captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three others, prompting Israel to unleash a massive bombardment of Lebanon's villages, cities, bridges and civilian infrastructure. Human rights groups have said that Israel committed war crimes when it attacked civilians, but that Hizbollah was also guilty of such crimes because it fired missiles into Israel which were also filled with ball-bearings, turning their rockets into primitive one-time-only cluster bombs.

Many Lebanese, however, long ago concluded that the latest Lebanon war was a weapons testing ground for the Americans and Iranians, who respectively supply Israel and Hizbollah with munitions. Just as Israel used hitherto-unproven US missiles in its attacks, so the Iranians were able to test-fire a rocket which hit an Israeli corvette off the Lebanese coast, killing four Israeli sailors and almost sinking the vessel after it suffered a 15-hour on-board fire.

What the weapons manufacturers make of the latest scientific findings of potential uranium weapons use in southern Lebanon is not yet known. Nor is their effect on civilians.

Robert Fisk, article here

fact or fiction... well I know some will discredit this right off due to the source, but for those of us without such misguided (yet debatable) bias... who knows...

It would make sense for Israel and her ally (and their enemies) to test weapons when given such a wonderful opportunity.

Next opportunity for use/testing - Iran?

Soon?

Now it doesn't take much thought to realise that if we were to take all the knowledge, brain power and resources spent on creating new and exisiting weapons we could solve pretty much all the problems we and the other inhabitants of this planet face.

With enough left over to make a series of hollywood blockbuster movies about a young boy who inherits a baseball team (perhaps) , or some such thing....

just sowing seeds

Consignment to hell & a tribute to a brave soul

The following is taken from a article posted on Tom Dispatch, it concerns Iraq, (yeah I can't get over this war... sorry to them that can ignore it), and concerns the Blogger River, whom I follow. The article isn't here in full, I've left out most of that which doesn't concern River - check the link below for the full article which will also allow you to read part one of Tom's posts.

This is part 2 of a dispatch on the Bush administration and Iraq. Part 1 was Losing the Home Front. One of the sections below is devoted to Riverbend, the pseudonymous "girl blogger" of Baghdad. For it, I read the collection of her blog entries that the Feminist Press at CUNY published in 2005, Baghdad Burning, Girl Blog from Iraq, and then the newest volume, Baghdad Burning II, More Girl Blog from Iraq, just now being published. These represent an unparalleled record of the American war on, and occupation of, Iraq (and Riverbend writes like an angel). The two volumes are simply the best contemporary account we are likely to have any time soon of the hell into which we've plunged that country. I can't recommend them too highly. Tom


"How Long Has Baghdad Been Burning?

In that press conference, Ambassador Khalilzad said: "My message today is straightforward: Despite the difficult challenges we face, success in Iraq is possible and can be achieved on a realistic timetable." By "we," he meant "the American people," but at this late date what exactly can "success" mean for an Iraqi? Or, to put it another way, with the likelihood of somewhere between 400,000 and 900,000+ "excess deaths" since the invasion of 2003 (and with morgues, urban killing fields, and rivers still filling with bodies), what is the value of one Iraqi life?
This question has been on my mind these last weeks because one Iraqi life had come to mean something to me. And I wasn't alone.

She arrived online on Sunday, August 17, 2003, just over four months after Baghdad was occupied by American troops. "So this is the beginning for me, I guess," was her first sentence. "I never thought I'd start my own weblog… I'm female, Iraqi, and 24. I survived the war. That's all you need to know. It's all that matters these days anyway." Reading that passage over now still gives me a little chill.

She took the pseudonym Riverbend, called her blog Baghdad Burning, and we did learn a bit more about her over the years: that, like many Iraqi women, she had worked -- as a computer programmer, a self-styled "geek"; that she had lost her job soon after the war ended as hostility toward women in the workplace grew; that she was a Sunni (though for a long time she clung to the hope that Iraqis would not make religious affiliations their identity) and believed in God; that she did not wear a hijab or headscarf; that she lived in a middle-class neighborhood in Baghdad with her beloved younger brother "E" (who would soon be sporting a pistol for protection) and her parents in a world that was slowly, slowly slipping away. We learned that she had spent some years of her youth abroad, though not where.

We know, from a rare e-interview she did with Lakshmi Chaudhry at Alternet, that she started her "girlblog from Iraq" at the suggestion of Salam Pax, a well known male Iraqi blogger and wrote it in English -- stunning, American-style English -- because she didn't want to "preach to the choir" in Arabic. We learned a little about her life as a young reader (Jane Austen to John LeCarré) and about the limitations her parents put on her TV watching as a child. Bits and pieces slipped out. But, in the end, she was generally as good as her word. Signing off on each post as "river," she offered remarkably little more in the way of biographical information -- but so unimaginably much more about everything else.

About what it felt like over several years, for instance, to have the lights of civilization literally blink off; about how it felt to lose the things city dwellers normally take for granted: the water in your house (and hence the ability to bathe or wash your clothes), your electricity (and so the ability to turn on the air conditioning in 120 degree heat or even post the blog entry you just wrote); the telephone, and so the ability to speak to friends and relatives, especially as your house became something close to your prison. She taught us what it was like to retreat to the roof in the heat of the evening and watch the explosions going off in your own city; what it was like to become an expert in telling one kind of weapons fire from another.

It took Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks until this year to produce his bestseller Fiasco. Riverbend has produced her version of fiasco then (as well as fiasco now) on the fly and if you read her online, you generally learned about the disasters of the moment first there, not in our papers: the first deaths of those she knew; the first brutal, humiliating U.S. house searches and arrests of neighbors; the first kidnappings; the first mentions of the rise of fundamentalism; the first signs of an incipient civil war and ethnic cleansing campaign; the first mention of horrors at Abu Ghraib prison; the first suicide bombs and car bombs; on and on. On the fiasco of L. Paul Bremer, then our viceroy in Baghdad, disbanding the Iraqi Army, she wrote on August 24th, 2003: "The first major decision [Bremer] made was to dissolve the Iraqi army. That may make sense in Washington, but here, we were left speechless."

Hers were often the quietest of descriptions -- of the comings and goings inside a single house, but they were also war reports. By the nature of things, as the explosions and chaos crept ever closer, as they morphed into the familiar wallpaper of her life, she became, even inside her own home, a war correspondent on the frontlines of some unnamed conflict. ("When Bush ‘brought the war to the terrorists,' he failed to mention he wouldn't be fighting it in some distant mountains or barren deserts: the frontline is our homes… the ‘collateral damage' are our friends and families.") Her prize-winning blog entries, gathered into two books, Baghdad Burning, Girl Blog from Iraq, and more recently Baghdad Burning II, More Girl Blog from Iraq, add up to the best account we have of what it's been like to live through the American "liberation" of Iraq -- and, though it's a terrible thing to say, her work was beautiful to read because she wrote her English like an angel.

I'm a 62 year-old book editor, so it's not unknown for me to fall in love with someone through their words and I now realize that, when it came to Riverbend, I did so. Then, on August 5th of this year, she posted a blog eerily entitled, "Summer of Goodbyes" which began: "Residents of Baghdad are systematically being pushed out of the city. Some families are waking up to find a Klashnikov bullet and a letter in an envelope with the words ‘Leave your area or else.'" Telling us that she no longer dared go out without wearing a hijab, she signed off this way: "I sometimes wonder if we'll ever know just how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis left the country this bleak summer. I wonder how many of them will actually return. Where will they go? What will they do with themselves? Is it time to follow? Is it time to wash our hands of the country and try to find a stable life somewhere else?"

And then she blogged no more. Those of us who regularly read her waited. She had been gone before, the first time in early September 2003 ("I haven't been writing these last few days because I simply haven't felt inspired"); once for a month and a half. Sometimes family crises, simple lack of electricity, and the heat kept her away; sometimes, clearly, it was depression and perhaps a sense of her own insignificance -- this fierce, yet gentle young woman whose blog had links to both Iraq Body Count and Dilbert, Iraq Occupation Watch and the Onion -- given the magnitude of the catastrophe happening around her. ("The war was brought to us here, and now we have to watch the country disintegrate before our very eyes.")

As time passed and nothing appeared, readers began writing in to Tomdispatch, asking if I knew anything about her fate. No, I knew nothing. I had written her a couple of times and once even gotten an e-line back, so I went to her site, found her email address, and wrote again. No answer, no entries. More days, then weeks passed. Months passed, two of them, and I found myself at odd moments wondering, whether she had been among the estimated one and a half million Iraqis who had fled the country for almost anywhere else. Or had she, like the neighbors down the street been taken in a U.S. raid and imprisoned, or like one of her relatives kidnapped, or had she even… and here I would hesitate… become victim 655,001? And would we ever find out?

How can you care for someone you don't know? What does that caring even mean? I'm honestly not sure. But I found I did care in a way that was impossible when it came to Iraqis en masse, no matter the fact that my own country, the place where I grew up and to which I'm deeply and undeniably attached, has been so central to those hundreds of thousands of wasted lives and all the other ones to come.

I called Riverbend's publisher, the Feminist Press at CUNY, and talked to a couple of worried souls there. They, too, had heard nothing. Finally, I decided to do something about her absence -- the one small thing I could actually do -- write a dispatch. So I got my hands on those two books of hers and was just beginning to relive her Baghdad experiences when, on October 18, readers started emailing me that she had just blogged, that she was back. She had written a new entry on the Lancet casualty study. In it, she admitted that she had stopped writing, in part, due to "a certain hopelessness that can't be put into words and that I suspect other Iraqis feel also."

On the Lancet figures themselves, she found nothing strange. ("There are Iraqi women who have not shed their black mourning robes since 2003 because each time the end of the proper mourning period comes around, some other relative dies and the countdown begins once again.") Nor was she surprised that American war supporters were not about to embrace the study's figures: "Admitting a number like that would be the equivalent of admitting they had endorsed, say, a tsunami, or an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale, or the occupation of a developing country by a ruthless superpower… oh wait -– that one actually happened."

So amid the carnage, Riverbend has returned to us, though only once thus far. Given the world she inhabits, once already seems like a small miracle.

-snip-

Withdrawal from Iraq is no longer a good path. Long ago, in fact, any good path may have been drowned in a sea of blood and suffering. It is, however, the only path that has any hope of relieving the situation. Don't believe otherwise. Exactly how we get out, on what timetable, and under what conditions are important but secondary matters. First, we have to decide that leaving is what we're about; second, we have to declare that we have no future interest in retaining permanent bases in Iraq or permanent control over Iraqi energy resources; third, we should offer genuine reconstruction help to a future Iraq -- help not bound to the hiring of corporate looters like Halliburton's KBR. (Let me not even mention offering apologies for what we've done. That's not in the American grain.)

Unfortunately, we continue to build the largest, most permanent embassy in the universe inside Baghdad's Green Zone; we continue to upgrade our vast bases in Iraq (and are reputedly building a "massive" new one in Kurdistan, undoubtedly a fallback position for keeping our hand in a future Iraq). On Wednesday, at his surprise news conference, the President managed once again not to repudiate the permanent basing of American forces in Iraq. As of now, whatever tactics are changing, whatever supposedly strategic decisions may be made after the elections, the top officials of the Bush administration have by no means made up their minds to leave Iraq.

To write all this, I'm aware, is to consign Riverbend, the girl blogger of Baghdad, to hell on Earth. But I don't have to tell her that. She's already there and knows it all too well.

This is the impasse we are presently in. But our impasse is just a formula for more deaths in Iraq, a formula guaranteed to keep Baghdad burning."

Full Article

I haven't read the books, I assume ots all online, which I have read, not from the beginning but for long enough, long enough to wonder about River, her life and how she finds the courage to continue in the manner she does, with such dignity and strength.

I think I may need the books though as a reminder, one day, of this time we are living through.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Kinda & baby goats (kids)

The following is culled from an interview with Norm Chomsky (NC):


Ex: And what keeps you motivated?

Ch: I'll just tell you a brief story. I was in Beirut a couple of months ago giving talks at the American university in the city. After a talk, people come up and they want to talk privately or have books signed.

Here I was giving a talk in a downtown theatre, a large group of people were around and a young woman came up to me, in her mid-'20s, and just said this sentence: "I am Kinda" and practically collapsed. You wouldn't know who Kinda is but that's because we live in societies where the truth is kept hidden. I knew who she was. She had a book of mine open to a page on which I had quoted a letter of hers that she wrote when she was seven years old.

It was right after the U.S. bombing of Libya, her family was then living in Libya, and she wrote a letter which was found by a journalist friend of mine who tried to get it published in the United States but couldn't because no one would publish it. He then gave it to me, I published it. The letter said something like this:

"Dear Mr Reagan, I am seven years old. I want to know why you killed my little sister and my friend and my rag doll. Is it because we are Palestinians? Kinda". That's one of the most moving letters I have ever seen and when she walked up to me and said I am Kinda, and, like I say, actually fell over, not only because of the event but because of what it means.

Here's the United States with no pretext at all, bombing another country, killing and destroying, and nobody wants to know what a little seven-year-old girl wrote about the atrocities. That's the kind of thing that keeps me motivated and ought to keep everybody motivated. And you can multiply that by 10,000.

One can't even begin to imagine....

Now every seven year old should be brought up in an environment that leads to memories that are like the following (culled from Public Address)


GROWING UP IN NEW ZEALAND

I'm talking about hide and seek and spotlight in the park. The corner dairy, hopscotch, four square, go carts, cricket in front of the garbage bin and inviting everyone on your street to join in, skipping (double dutch), gutterball, handstands, elastics, bullrush, catch and kiss, footy on the best lawn in the street, slip'n'slides, the trampoline with water on it (or a sprinkler under it), hula hoops, jumping in puddles with gumboots on, mud pies and building dams in the gutter. The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass.

'Big bubbles no troubles' with Hubba Bubba bubble gum. A Topsy. Mr Whippy cones on a warm summer night after you've chased him round the block. 20 cents worth of mixed lollies lasted a week and pretending to smoke "fags" (the lollies) was really cool!.. A dollars' worth of chips from the corner take-away fed two people (AND the sauce was free!!).

Being upset when you botched putting on the temporary tattoo from the bubblegum packet, but still wearing it proudly. Watching Saturday morning cartoons: 'The Smurfs', 'AstroBoy', 'He-man', 'Captain Caveman', 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', 'Jem' (truly outrageous!!), 'Super D', and 'Heeeey heeeeey heeeeeeey it's faaaaaaat Albert'. Or staying up late and sneaking a look at the "AO" on the second telly, being amazed when you watched TV right up until the 'Goodnight Kiwi!'

When After School with Jason Gunn & Thingie had a cult following and What Now was on Saturday mornings! When around the corner seemed a long way, and going into town seemed like going somewhere. Where running away meant you did laps of the block because you weren't allowed to cross the road?? A million mozzie bites, wasp and bee stings (stee bings!).

Sticky fingers, goodies & baddies, cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, riding bikes til the streetlights came on and catching tadpoles in horse troughs.

Going down to the school swimming pool when you didn't have a key and your friends letting you in, drawing all over the road and driveway with chalk. Climbing trees and building huts out of every sheet your mum had in the cupboard (and never putting them back folded). Walking to school in bare feet, no matter what the weather.

When writing 'I love....? on your pencil case, really did mean it was true love. "He loves me? he loves me not?" and daisy chains on the front lawn. Stealing other people's flowers from their gardens and then selling them back to them...

Running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Pitching the tent in the back/front yard (and never being able to find all the pegs). Jumping on the bed. Singing into your hair brush in front of the mirror, making mix tapes...

Sleepovers and ghost stories with the next door neighbours. Pillowfights, spinning round, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for the giggles. The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon. Weetbix cards pegged on the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle. Collecting WWF and Garbage Pail Kids cards.

Eating raw jelly and Raro, making homemade lemonade and sucking on a Rad, a traffic light popsicle, or a Paddle Pop... blurple, yollange and prink!

You knew everyone in your street - and so did your parents! It wasn't odd to have two or three "best friends" and you would ask them by sending a note asking them to be your best friend.

You didn't sleep a wink on Christmas Eve and tried (and failed) to wait up for the tooth fairy. When nobody owned a pure-bred dog. When 50c was decent pocket money. When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for 10c.

When nearly everyone's mum was there when the kids got home from school.

It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb.

When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at the local Chinese restaurant (or Cobb'n'Co) with your family.

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed her or use him to carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! Some of us are still afraid of them!!!

Remember when decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" or dib dib's - scissors, paper, rock. "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly.

Terrorism was when the older kids were at the end of your street with pea-shooters waiting to ambush you, or the neighbourhood Rottie chased you up a tree!

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was boy/girl germs, and the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to one. Where blue light discos were the equivalent to a Rave, and asking a

boy out meant writing a 'polite' note getting them to tick 'yes' or 'no'. When there was always that one 'HOT' guy/girl.

Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot. Your biggest danger at school was accidentally walking through the middle of a heated game of "brandies".

Birthday beats meant you didn't want to go to school on your birthday!

Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. Taking drugs meant scoffing orange-flavoured chewable vitamin C's, or swallowing half a Panadol. Ice cream was considered a basic food group. Going to the beach and catching a wave was a dream come true. Boogie-boarding in the white wash made you the next Kelly Slater. Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dare".

Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

Now, didn't that bring back some fond memories?

If you can remember most of these, you're a Kiwi legend! Pass this on to another Kiwi legend who may need a break from their "grown up" life...
I DOUBLE-DARE YA!!!!!
link




















Whomever wrote that is obviously a girl, one younger than me, change a few details and man they got a time in New Zealand down pat. I'm not sure if things are quite the same now, but children don't change, much.

Theres one thing I want more than anything else in this world, thats to have a child (or more) of my own, I fear I may not be so lucky - I can deal with that I'm a big boy and can cope with the implications of my decisions and choices as an adult... yet I'd still love the opportunity to watch and influence a little one grow and develop into whomever they do.

I've still plenty of time and whilst I would so dearly love the opportuity to be a dad or simply a father figure or whatever the correct terminology is its not something I go looking for, rather I feel if its to be it will happen, some things are best left to fate and destiny.

I could say I envy my friends with children - but thats not true, I cherish their good fortune and adore the time I get to share with their little ones.

Christ I feel like a sentimental old fool right now and its a bloody good feeling. So shut up, alright :)

I wish Kinda and the millions like her could have the same opportunities as the woman who wrote about growing up in New Zealand and so many of us here did and have...

Surely not much to ask is it?

Is it?


Really?



No of course is it isn't.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Reverse Psychology... well it is Friday

So I purposefully made a chripy cheerful post to give me what I thought would be a happy cheerful day this week.

Well that bastard backfired... the weather turned to mush and I had one of them days when I kept making silly little mistakes all day that whilst esily picked up and corrected really did me head in.

In fact my week has been plagued by dumb cockups, a week of thumbs, which considering I do a lot of typing is just so frustrating.

So today I am purposefully angry, life sucks, the world is stuffed and the weather shitehouse.

Just typing that makes me feel great already...

I might just have to drag out Arab Strap's 'The First Big Weekend' to get me in the mood. A stunner of a track IMO, possibly the greatest ever song about going and having a big weekend, ever!

I've the song on a few different albums, a couple of compilations and of course the album it came off, yet I'd still prefer the 7".... yep some can never be satisfied.

OK, its on now... played this morning off the Chemikal Underground Records compilation "Out Of Our Heads On Skelp", which is a brilliant title in its own right, also a CD that seems to lurk near the stereo all the time... might not if I actually put things away from time to time.





















here's the lyrics - translate into a thick Scottish accent, like trainspotting...


So that was the first big weekend of the summer...
Starts thursday as usual with the canteen quiz and again no-one wins the big cash prize.
Later i do my sound bloke routine by approaching gina's new boyfriend to say that he shouldn't feel that there's any animosity between us and then i even go and make peace with her shouldn't hav
Hered.

Then on friday night we went through to the arches...

There was only one car going so some of us had to get the train. we got through quite late. then we went to a pub to take the gear.
There was no problems getting in - we saw some others waiting down the front of the queue so we skipped in.
It was a good night - everyone was nutted and i ended up dancing with some blonde girl.
I thought she had been quite pretty until last night when matthew informed me that she had, in fact, been a pig.

When the club finished we wandered the streets for a while until we got to this 24-hour cafe.
I didn't like the look of it so we left and got a taxi back to morag's flat.
I couldn't sleep so i sat about drinking someone else's strawberry tonic wine and tried to keep everyone else up.

Then at ten o'clock in the morning we went downstairs to buy some drink. we had intended to watch the football in the afternoon but we'd passed out by then and slept right through it, awaking to
That england had won two-nil.
Then we went to get the train home and had a few in the station bar.
We had some stuff left from the previous night's supplies so when we got home we decided to go down to john's indie disco.
Same story as friday - lots of hugging, lots of dancing etc. etc.
I couldn't sleep again so went to the park to look at the toon, taking a detour through the playpark.
To get in we had to climb over a ten foot steel fence, which resulted in severe bruising of our hands, legs and groins, but we had a good laugh on the stuff, especially the tube-slide, which pro
Doubles up as a urinal for drunk teens.
Then we walked through the woods to have a look at the toon. big disappointment, but the mist on the lake was cool.

Sunday afternoon we go up to john's with a lot of beer in time to watch the simpsons - it was a really good episode about love always ending in tragedy except, of course, for marge and homer. it
Quite moving at the end and to tell you the truth my eyes were a bit damp.

Then we watched these young girls in swimsuits have a water fight in the street.
We went up to the pub about ten.
It was busy for a sunday night, lots of people we know, including my first ever girlfriend who i still find very attractive, quite frankly, but i didn't really speak to her
She's probably still a bitch, anyway.
Her friend gillian was there, i had a chat with her, she was still quite pleasant.
At the same time i watched malcolm make some terrible attempt to try and chat up a girl we know called jo. he made some remark about her skirt that was barely there the previous night or something


I couldn't sleep again that night, thanks to some seriously disturbing nightmares...matthew says i should cut down on the cheese.

"went out for the weekend, it lasted for ever, high with our friends it's officially summer."
(repeat a few times - this is the only bit sung)

I got some sleep eventually on monday afternoon.
It was a beautiful day, and later that evening malcolm introduced me to the power of merrydown - 1.79 a litre, 8.2% - mmmm.....
Judith and laura came round later and we sat in my back garden and drank.
Then matthew came round and we went up the town.
It's officially summer.


[This post was made using Firefox - it served me a bran muffin this morning... a fecking bran muffin - angry... fucking livid mate]

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A red letter day

Dear Mr/Ms Firefox

After being recommended your product by someone I trust, I dumped IE7 and made the switch to Firefox.

Now I was lead to believe that Firefox would bake me a chocolate whiskey cake overnight and I was very much looking forward to such a delight this morning.

You can perhaps understand my dismay when on getting up I was confronted with a carrot cake not a chocolate whiskey cake.

Now I have nothing against the humble carrot cake, they have there place in the cake hierarchy but I think you'd agree that a carrot cake is vastly inferior to a chocolate whiskey cake.

Could you please enlighten me on where I have gone wrong? For I do wish to continue to use your product but I cannot with all good faith continue to do so if carrot cakes are to be my reward.

I'm sure I have all the correct extensions installed, (four 1.04, baking powder 7.32, easter eggs hidden under dashboard 2, butter 5, sugar 3.9, chocolate yum 9), and configured in the correct manner, or did I miss something out?

I read the FAQ, posted on seven geek forums and stood on one leg whist brushing teeth, as instructed by a child.

Did I perhaps overstep the line when I installed singlemalt ver 7.2 instead of cheapgenericbrand 6.1?

Please advise


Yours with carrot on his breath

Bob Daktari



PS know where I can get a Bob the Builder skin for the browser?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Reasons to be cheerful

  • It looks like its going to be a beautiful day
  • My ISP has doubled my monthly data cap at no extra charge (wahooo 10g!!!).. now if they would just make it faster
  • I think my body clock has finally adjusted to daylight saving
  • Sources suggest that by switching to Firefox I can awake to a freshly baked chocolate whiskey cake... hell for that I'd convert to believing in god... so a internet browser is a no brainer
  • Its a short week thus a week for shorts (is there ever a week that isn't for shorts?)
  • Um, if I was to buy a lotto ticket today I recon I'd win $7 million... so I won't buy a ticket, what do I need money for

    smile its going to be one of them days

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How safe is your vote

















Its feels odd watching and studying US elections, mainly for the mere fact I am not American.

I wouldn't care much for anyone who took exception to much of what my country does and can empathise with all Americans who don't appreciate people like myself who do comment on that nations actions.

However, my nation doesn't have the power, be it military or economic, to do what the US has been doing for generations - that is having so much power over the fate of how our world is run. There is so much that the US has given that has made our world both safer and a nicer place to live and unfortunately there is much that isn't so pleasant.

I buy into the almost disneyfied notion that the US can be a source of so much good for us all. The US has the power to enact real change that countless millions of us would benefit from. Unfortunatly this is not enacted upon much by the US in its dealings with the world, contary to what we are taught and how we are preached to that would have us believe otherwise.

The rhetoric spouted by all too many of the leaders of the USA plays on these notions and unless everyone is vigilent the unlimited power these people control can be used to impose a very ugly will on countires and their peoples.

One thing that as I learn more and more is that so many of the processes of goverence in the US are quite simply put, quite amazing. However whilst the processes are designed to reflect totally the democratic ideals that nation is built on, the modern day world of power elites and professional lobbying to name but a couple of the multitude of means that these processes can be circumvented and manipulated to gain a less than democratic result.

With the Novemeber 7 US Congressional Elections coming up the material on offer to take a look into some aspects of elections is fascinating. Not just when considering the massive implications for much of the world of the results of the US elections but also from a perspective of what has and is happening to the US election process could and most likely will to some effect have a direct implication on how elections in New Zealand are undertaken.

Already in NZ our politics are emulating some of that which we often read about in the US (and other nations too I must add), some of it is good but alas much of it is not the sort of politics and electionaring I want to see here.

Anyway to cut a rambling intro off, I read this article this morning and found it fascinating - I don't know how accurate it is, even if not very it raises a lot of questions about vote counting and continued speculation about voting machines and the like.

Whilst this concerns the US election process it could and may one day reflect that of here, I hope not but unlike the US, in New Zealand we tend to trust our government and the systems we live under a hell of a lot more than perhaps we should - this is both a positive and negative of our little land.

A nasty little secret of American democracy is that, in every national election, ballots cast are simply thrown in the garbage. Most are called "spoiled,"
supposedly unreadable, damaged, invalid. They just don’t get counted. This “spoilage” has occurred for decades, but it reached unprecedented heights in the
last two presidential elections. In the 2004 election, for example, more than three million ballots were never counted.


Recipe for a Cooked Election

I can't help but wonder, how many votes here are also discarded? Bugger all I hope.

I also wonder if we have such activists and people who care here who check to make sure our democracy is as free and representitive of the will of the people as we believe.

Strangely enough it is easier for me to find out such things about other places than in my own. Cause for concern perhaps...

Bugger it, I'll have to post this and open firefox to add a picture, damn, damn and LOL (tips hat to Simon)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fighting for the 8-hour working day

The first Labour Day in New Zealand was celebrated on 28 October 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend. It celebrated the struggle for an eight-hour working day, a right that New Zealand workers had been among the first in the world to claim, when in 1840 the carpenter Samuel Parnell had won an eight-hour day in Wellington.

The date, 28 October, marked the establishment of the Maritime Council, an organisation of transport and mining unions, in 1889. The fledgling union movement was decimated by defeat in the Maritime Strike the following year. Despite this, the first Labour Day in 1890 was a huge success. In Wellington, the highlight was an appearance by the elderly Parnell, who died just a few weeks later. The union movement began to recover slowly under the Liberal government from the mid 1890s. The Liberals' industrial conciliation and arbitration system, introduced in 1894, earned New Zealand a reputation as a 'working man's paradise' and a 'country without strikes'.

Early Labour Day parades drew huge crowds in towns like Palmerston North and Napier as well as in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Unionists and supporters marched behind colourful banners and ornate floats, and the parades were followed by popular picnics and sports events. The Labour Day Act of 1899 created a statutory public holiday. This was first celebrated in 1900 and 'Mondayised' in 1910.

In the first decade of the 20th century industrial unrest re-emerged. The Liberals were in decline, prices were rising, and the Arbitration Court was seen as reluctant to raise wages. Many workers, including miners, wharfies, seamen, farm workers, labourers, and hotel, restaurant and shop employees worked far more than eight hours a day, and endured unpleasant and often dangerous working conditions.

The increasing commercialisation of Labour Day parades, with many floats advertising businesses as well as temperance organisations, theatres, circuses, and patriotic causes was condemned by the militant labour movement in the early 20th century.

By the end of the First World War Labour Day had begun to decline as a public spectacle. For most New Zealanders, it was just another holiday.

NZ History



















Today is labour Day - I am off to me local to see some bands... man I hope the sun is bright and hot as, then I can enjoy the garden bar.






















I'm really digging Vorn's album right now, big time.

whoop whoop

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Music Awards, IE7 and a lazy Sunday

So I went along to the awards the other evening and had a great night - I cleverly managed to miss most of the presentations - snuck out and sat in a pub across the road sipping on a few pints of Tetleys and then rejoined the throng for the booze up after party.

The awards were as awards are, that is something that don't really interest me, nor do I care for much.

Saying that I think the awards what I saw and actual end tally weren't too shabby, a credit to the state of our local music scene, I guess.

They are actually something I would normally get worked up about as they tend to celebrate the more mundane or medicore of this art form I love.... but I've better things to be jaded about, (refer to much of whats is going on in the real world), right now than some trinkets given to a bunch of musicans - some of whom rightly deserved their industry and in one case public acolades. Christ I hope I'm not mellowing.... nah fuck that.

Was great to catch up with a bunch of people I haven't seen for a while and them I don't drink with nearly enough. I didn't even mind putting on long trousers, too much.

I do like this cartoon that I've pilfered off Public Address, by Keith Ng as it sums up one of the awards perfectly.








Whilst at Public Address I advise checking out all the different writers, its a great site and one of my daily stop off, I am particularly enjoying new PA contributor David Haywood's Southerly blog, this chap is bloody brillaint I reckon, loving his contributions... and envy his writing style, it rocks.

So its Sunday, I usually take a picture of the tree today (don't worry Paul I will), but can't be arsed.

Instead of indulging in tree porn I am mucking about with this new Internet Explorer 7 thingy, like it thus far but a couple of things aren't as I would wish... like why can't I open a new tab by right mouse clicking... I could in a beta version I ttied months ago... huh Bill? (tips here) I'm not overly happy with the tools on the tool bar that come as defaults, but am not miffed enough to customise them, today at least.

I really dig Microsoft. Sad I know :)

Its a long weekend and I am very m uch enjoying it, had the first BBQ (cheers Kate & Paul) for the session - not perfect BBQ weather but close enough. I went out west to Huia and enjoyed a very pleasant sunny day drinking lion red and eating fish n chips yesterday - thanks Nat, Wayde and Scott. Good times with good people - now thats what life is really all about.

Today has been super lazy, doing a few things about the house and morphing into the couch playing around with the laptop.

I had intended making a 'mix' CD today (I use the word mix very loosely) but as per usual I just haven't felt inspired enough. Its a task that needs both inspiration and concentration and I just didn't feel energetic enough for that action today... there is always tomorrow.

Well thats me, I think I'm over wrting and the internetweb for the day... shite movies await and I love really bad movies.

Rock on!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Proof this man is evil

Stop the slaughter












viva the PPFP!!!
(Peoples Popular Front for Pumpkins)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Wahooooo River is back

am over the moon this morning as River has added to her blog.



This has been the longest time I have been away from blogging. There were several reasons for my disappearance the major one being the fact that every time I felt the urge to write about Iraq, about the situation, I'd be filled with a certain hopelessness that can't be put into words and that I suspect other Iraqis feel also.


It's very difficult at this point to connect to the internet and try to read the articles written by so-called specialists and analysts and politicians. They write about and discuss Iraq as I might write about the Ivory Coast or Cambodia- with a detachment and lack of sentiment that- I suppose- is meant to be impartial. Hearing American politicians is even worse. They fall between idiots like Bush- constantly and totally in denial, and opportunists who want to use the war and ensuing chaos to promote themselves.


The latest horror is the study published in the Lancet Journal concluding that over 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the war. Reading about it left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it sounded like a reasonable figure. It wasn't at all surprising. On the other hand, I so wanted it to be wrong. But... who to believe? Who to believe....? American politicians... or highly reputable scientists using a reliable scientific survey technique?


Baghdad Burning


If I had a faith I would be exciting thanking it this morning.

Stay safe River

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Putting your money where your mouth is

Bono, Preacher on Poverty, Tarnishes Halo With Irish Tax Move

By Fergal O'Brien

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Bono, the rock star and campaigner against Third World debt, is asking the Irish government to contribute more to Africa. At the same time, he's reducing tax payments that could help fund that aid.

After Ireland said it would scrap a break that lets musicians and artists avoid paying taxes on royalties, Bono and his U2 bandmates earlier this year moved their music publishing company to the Netherlands. The Dublin group, which Forbes estimates earned $110 million in 2005, will pay about 5 percent tax on their royalties, less than half the Irish rate.

``Among the wealthiest people I suppose it's the norm,'' Jill Cassidy, 23, said on South King Street near a plaque marking the site of Dublin's Dandelion market, where U2 played some of its earliest concerts. ``In U2's position, it does come across as quite hypocritical.''

The tax move has tainted the image of Bono, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and U2 at home. Now promoting a new DVD, book and album, the band is fighting back. Lead guitarist David Evans, known as The Edge, earlier this month defended the publishing company's move as a sensible decision for a group that makes 90 percent of its money outside Ireland.

``Our business is a very complex business,'' Evans said Oct. 2 on Dublin radio station Newstalk, breaking the band's silence after weeks of public criticism. ``Of course we're trying to be tax-efficient. Who doesn't want to be tax-efficient?''

As residents of Ireland, members of U2 remain liable for personal income taxes. Any Irish-based companies they control will pay taxes on their profits.

`Poor Example'

Principle Management, U2's management company, declined to comment when Bloomberg asked for a statement from Bono.

Dublin-born Bono has been mentioned as a candidate for Nobel Peace Prize since 2003. The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Oct. 13 awarded the 2006 prize to Bangladeshi banker Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for advancing social and economic development by giving loans to the poor.

Bono, 46, has toured Africa, established the pressure group Debt AIDS Trade Africa and become one of the most vocal supporters of the Make Poverty History campaign. In July 2005, he helped persuade world leaders to double aid for Africa to $50 billion a year by 2010 and erase the debt of the 18 poorest countries on the continent.

``I can see no connection between what he is doing and Make Poverty History,'' said Richard Murphy, a director at U.K.-based Tax Research Ltd. and author of a book called ``Money Matters: Artist's Financial Guide.'' ``He is setting a poor example by his tax affairs.''

`Creative' Income

At a concert last year in Croke Park, Dublin's biggest stadium, Bono appealed to Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to raise overseas aid to 0.7 percent of gross national product by 2007 from 0.5 percent now. The crowd responded by booing Ahern.

The political catcalls have now turned on Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson.

``It seems odd, in a situation where they enjoy an already favorable tax regime, they would move operations to the Netherlands to get an even more favorable rate,'' said Joan Burton, finance spokeswoman for the opposition Labour Party.

For years, Bono and U2 got a better deal than most Irish taxpayers because songwriters paid no tax on earnings from music publishing. That will change next year, when Ireland limits the tax exemption, which also applies to writers and artists. From Jan. 1, artists that make more than 500,000 euros ($625,450) will pay tax on half their ``creative'' income, according to Ireland's Revenue Authority.

Remaining in Ireland would have forced Bono to pay a 42 percent tax on such earnings. Alternatively, the band could have channeled profits through a company to pay the 12.5 percent corporation tax.

Millennium Goals

Wealthy individuals have put about $11.5 trillion in tax havens around the world, according to a 2005 paper by the London- based Tax Justice Network. Unpaid taxes on those assets could amount to $255 billion, the paper said.

``That's five times the amount needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which Bono says he's really interested in,'' Murphy said, referring to a United Nations plan to eradicate poverty and combat the spread of AIDS. ``My answer is, put your money where your mouth is.''

Some fans accept the band's explanation of its tax planning because U2 has been generous in the past.

``They've paid plenty of money up to now,'' said Peter Cooper, 58, who lives in Bray, near Bono's home in Dalkey. ``I think they are quite right'' to move the company abroad.

Paul McGuinness, the band's manager, said in the Oct. 4 issue of the music magazine Hot Press that Ireland itself had benefited from low taxes. The country's 12.5 percent profit tax - - half the European Union average -- has helped Ireland lure investment from companies such as Intel Corp. and Dell Inc.

That reasoning has done little to help Bono ease criticism of the tax move.

``I don't think it's justified,'' said Sean Lynch, a 28- year-old artist. ``Social conscience is the thing I would like to address to them.''

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bob gets up early

So he can iron a shirt

It must be close to 10 years since I last ironed a shirt and for a first go I'd give myself a 8/10.

I feel ill.

*runs off to put shorts and a t shirt on*


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

NZ Music Awards

I don't like music awards - well some I don't mind cause its a fine opportunity to drink far too much with good friends, ignoring the actual awards themselves. Oddly enough they're bloody expensive nights out, more so than most nights I actually enjoy... not that I can complain, I haven't had to buy a ticket, so its only a few drinks at after party or whatever... not that I intend doing after parties... but probably will...

I'd rather spend money on a night clubbing or a days drinking in a grotty garden bar with chums or some vinyl or well just about anything.

However this year I have no choice, I gotta go, I gotta wear long pants.... I intend wearing a suit

I feel like throwing a little boy tantrum as well, which is not a good look at my time of life

oh well chin up pip pip

Monday, October 16, 2006

When is enough, enough?

I spend too much time reading about the state of the world, too much time watching various current affairs and news programmes and too much time thinking and wondering waht it all means.

I spend too much time thinking about my opinions, second guessing the motives of the news sources I turst and don't trust.

Perhaps I have too much time....

I got up this morning to find a ucky rainy day, not my preferred way to start the week, in fact it was almost enough to make me want to crawl back into bed... but alas one must get up.

I've mentioned it before and may as well again, I am a creature of habit, always changing and mutating but habits or routines are the backbone fo my world, thus its get up, coffee, cigarettes and a flick through my daily news and opinion sources on the web, on with breakfast TV (all the news one needs on our screens minus the pretense at being earnest) and the daily attempt to put off getting up (showering and dressing) for as long as possible.

I don't read too much in the moring I find the artilces that intersest me, take a mental note and leave them for the evening, when I;ll have time to dig and saviour the contents rather than flick through them and run.

Alongside my news sites, I do a daily (sometimes two or three times) trawl through music sites, music forums and a select numbr of blogs - its funny, I always thought blogs were the domain of idiots and losers - until I started my own... oh self interest is such a wonderful way to obscure ones thoughts and rationale.

I had jsut decided not to read the latest opinion post on the Lancet report on the estimated number of deaths in Iraq, too much morbid reading is not good for the soul, plus I'm a tad grumpy so figured best not mess with my metal state more than needed. Thus I fell back on blogs to start me way into the day this morning.

So I ventured off to the Opinionated Diner (OD), hoping he'd been active, on the off chance he'd been writing aout music, for we share similar tastes and on other matters similar opinions.

This morning I was confronted with a piece that will have me thinking a great deal, Anti Americanism - I like OD I have had to defend my opinions on this particular state and its actions, for those that don't agree with my opinions are often quick to label me as Anti American, something I don't consider myself to be - even if my views on that countries actions are crticial this doesn't mean I do like like all that is American or the people of the USA.

I'm not going to comment on what OD has written, well not yet. Its sometimes too easy to simply agree or not with opinion, this is something to ponder and scratch ones head about. I agree with his comments 100%, yet am still loathe to consider myself as anything but someone who dislikes the regime in power in the US, with extreme prejudice I must add.

Interesting to note that the report on the Iraqi death rate that Bush refutes came from the same place that estimated the Darfor deaths and was the foundations of the International Communities desire to put peace keepers ont he ground there - yep double standards, or as Chomsky says one single standard.

Is it time to shift my opinion

I hope not, for to do one runs the real risk of becoming as delusional as those in the white house...

...but one must ask the question - when is enough, enough?

Time to get up, time to ponder this question.... I am lucky - I have this luxury



Now I'm running late and got a busy day ahead, so best sign off

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Day Six in the forest

Bit wonky on the camera angle but we're getting there, the tree not the photography skills - they are beyond help.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The price people pay for a 'safer world'

"A single death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic." - Joseph Stalin

Seems we're not far off the point where those whom have died as a consequence of the US, opps I mean Coalition of the Willing's pre-emptive invasion of Iraq will just be a statistic.

A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people
have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have
died if the invasion had not occurred.

The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq's government.

It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq's mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war.

Of the total 655,000 estimated "excess deaths," 601,000 resulted from violence and the rest from disease and other causes, according to the study. This is about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.

The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.


Washington Post

Lancet

Still no update to River's blog, a palce I used to visit monthly, now I fo=ind myself checking twice a day... I can't help myself. I am a worrier and I miss her insights on a situation I hope I never have the misfortune to experience myself, or anyone else for that matter.

Some, like myself, still contend this invasion was never warranted, never needed and has done nothing but enlarge certain key peoples and companies wealth.

Its all just so bloody wrong and as time goes by the chances for any solution to Iraqs toubles seems more and more remote.

RIP, all those who have needlessly lost their lives in this folly and for what?

Friday, October 13, 2006

A night at the races

I'm not a gambling man, yet tonight I'm off to the nags with a bunch of friends to celebrate a birthday.

Its been years since I last went to the races, I bet in our modern smokefree world that the public bars have lost much of their atmosphere.

That might not be a bad thing.

Now the real bet, is will Bob be sober and upstanding enough to go out afterwards....

giddy up

Legend - a word over used in the dance scene...

....and sometimes under used when talking about certain key figures.

I've missed enough legends over the past little while cause I was broke and not feeling like socialising

Now to make up for lost time :)

Kevin Saunderson - Detroit
(Inner City/E-Dancer/KMS)

As part of the Elevator World Tour, Kevin Saunderson is celebrating 20 years of the seminal club track 'Good Life' with a brand new audio and visual show which is sure to rock even the most seasoned clubber.

Kevin Saunderson elevated the deep sound of Detroit Techno and took it from the underground into the hearts and souls of music lovers the world over with his Inner City and E Dancer recordings. Hailing from Detroit, Kevin was one of the ‘Belleville Three’. Alongside Juan Atkins and Derrick May, they helped shape the post-disco Motor City funk that became known as Detroit Techno. A blend of futuristic rhythms, lush chords, twisted melodies, and hipshaking basslines, setting the pace for dance music over the last 20 years, releasing under dozens of alias’ and providing countless anthems and remixes to which the dancefloors of the world would sweat, groove and jack to.

Not only a master producer but a master DJ, Saunderson heralds from the era where there were no boundaries, no genres, just one unifying groove.

Black Friday, wahooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



Thursday, October 12, 2006

Five mixes, one album and a 12" for the day

Mixes:

  • Cajmere vs Green Velvet - MOS Sessions 2CD
  • Kerri Chandler @Dancefloor 23/9/06 mix - downloaded from the internetweb
  • No Assembly Firm mix - downloaded from the internetweb
  • Derrick Carter live at Smart Bar July 28th, 2006 - downloaded from the internetweb
  • Bob Daktari's wanna be DJ set made in a computer program - made on me puter

toe tappingly fun

Album:


I love the Puddle, George Henderson is a god, often overlooked when compared to his peers such as Peter Gutteridge, the Kilgour borthers, Martin Phillipps et al.


12"

  • Recloose - Landed remixes (Music For Freaks)

the remixes are cool but its the megamix that I dig, I can't help but giggle a little everytime I listen to it


throw in some serious radio time and my day is musically complete

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Today was a day where

I got rained on and the wind was cold...

I cope with wearing shorts all year, yet spring can be the hardest month to get though.

Yes sometimes the worlds problems seem small compared to mine

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Day Five in the Forest

A bit of an overcast grey day which doesn't do this weeks picture any favours. Last weeks looks much better, tis all about the sun.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

I've been thinking

I should go and see more live music, I love gigs, its what i grew up doing, jugs of beer, live bands and falling down on the way home.

I think I am going through my second childhood again

Now I had the perfect opportunity to go and see some bands tonight and I stupidly turned down tickets and now realise it was right next door to another event I intend to pop in to.

Might have to do both

Could be a fun night out, hic....

Friday, October 06, 2006

US Detainee Bill

Has the USA just become a fascist state in law not just action?




nope, not a word of it in the news




I must be wrong then


phew, I wonder whats on the telly

Thursday, October 05, 2006

One of them weeks

Daylight savings kicked in this week, which is always a reason for celebration, summer it seems is on its way... yippeeee (Auckland winters are not cold enough nor anything enough for anything but waiting for them to end)

Like the cows (or is that the farmers) this time change is really playing havoc with my internal clock. Leaving me tired and just a little grumpy.

I am also in one of those 'the world is fucked' phases, where the sheer volume of horrific things happening on this planet suggests that things are not looking bright for us inhabitants of this little globe.

I was watching the PBS (I think) news on Triangle last night and their summary of events just made one want to cry.

We can do better as a species, surely.

I might have to go and listen to some gay disco (read Bob's term for house music - not meant to be offensive) this weekend to cheer me up or at least dull my senses.

Normally I really hate clubbing - the music might be what I adore but the culture of clubs here isn't me, I feel like I belong nor do I care to, as its a shallow world. Strangely enough though this year I have enjoyed my occasional forays into clubland more than I have for a long, longtime. This is a good thing and whilst in this frame of mind I should make the most of it.

Yep, one of them weeks.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I really miss....

...doing radio.

Its not an ego thing, hell I am a crap radio personality, I prefer not to talk to be completely honest.

I have a lot to say, generally, and aren't too shabby at saying it, sometimes. But radio is just not my medium for anything other than music.

I like it that way, it suits my style. Why talk when a song/track can say it for ya, in a manner that is both fun or at least rocking.

So its days like this, the suns out, I'm home enjoying a wine or two, my dear friend Mark is spinning records and them ones I would so love to share via radio waves get dropped into his mix and, I, just miss the chance to inflict them on people via a medium that can't be equaled for certain tracks.

Take today's example, a Recloose mega mix by the Freaks, two artist whom I dig, The Freaks I adore. Now a megamix in this day and age is best confined to a live awards show, where its all about the artist royalties... not a 12" release.

Still, The Freaks are not one to confine themselves to normal conventions.

The mega mix wasn't that uncommon back in the 80's - none were timeless and all were just a little bit wrong, though at the same time they sometimes had that special thing, that silliness often underscored with just the right elements from either the megamixer of original track that made it hang together, in a way that made one smile and perhaps giggle under ones breathe. Hell its a almost tradition, perhaps one that doesn't often need to be dredged up... who knows?

Well the Freaks have done this to Recloose and their Music For Freaks release is well timely, as I had wondered if they were still going, worrying if ya will as that's what I do...

Well anyways there's this Recloose megamix, it works, it doesn't work. Its a bit silly. Its not silly enough. Its Recloose, its The Freaks. Its really, really wrong.

My god I miss radio...

Who else will/would play the this shit but me?

Yeah, its good, not that good, but good enough.

There's the new Greenskeepers album too... an album that screams Bob Daktari and not many others I wager...

...that cries out for some radio action too

So its Tuesday, I am a little tipsy, I miss doing radio but by god I love listening to music

Monday, October 02, 2006

Seems I'm not alone... River I hope you are ok

I've been following the life of a woman via her blog in Baghdad for what seems like a lifetime now... it hasn't been updated for almost two months.

I have no idea who she is or anything but what she has written, but for me (and others) she is the human face on the Iraq Occupation/War, a war and occupation I cannot even begin to imagine. Sometimes it would be nice to have some sort of faith, for if I did I would be praying for her.

I've been quietly worrying about her.... seems I'm not alone:

Does anyone have information regarding Riverbend - Iraqi girl blog: Baghdad Burning: Her blog has not been updated since Aug 5th and many of us who admire her are worried about her safety. If you have information regarding her well being please email me at shoutout@informationclearinghouse.info



I hope you are alright River, post soon.

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Day Four In The Forest

After what was a stunner of a week, today its raining.

I see the council are going to chop down a bunch of trees in the inner city... better not take mine :(