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l'enfer du North Island

  and now, i'm off to the pub Friday, 17 April 2009 link

Had the rellies down for Easter. Jim, Jo, and Evelyn came down and stayed for a few days. The weather intermittantly cooperated withour plans to run the kids around outside. Probably a larger spanner in the works was Maggie coming down with gastroenteritis on Friday night. Hilarious. Let's just say we spent a lot of time over the break cleaning toddler vomit out of bedsheets. Often at 1am. She came right after a couple of days dedicated care, and everyone else had a good time, so it all worked out OK.

As it's now the school holidays, I've taken a few days off to look after Rebecca. So far, it's been good. Tuesday we did a fair bit of art, went for a bike ride (Petone esplanade + stiff southerly = short ride), went to a ceramics painting place, had lunch out, then came home and prepped dinner, did some baking, and I read her the first five chapters of Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang. All around, a good day. During all this, Maggie was off at nursery, happily playing with her friends and painting things, because I am the sort of appalling parent who lets other people look after my children even when I could actually do so myself. Tcha! And then today, I took her out catching fish with the bait trap (we practice catch and release); she loved it.

Mind you, Tuesday night was Maggie's first night in a real bed. I was pretty concerned about the danger of a lot of running around and yelling, but she snuggled in and went to sleep like a real trouper. Excellent. Another couple of days to double-check, and then we can go and pass the cot (and the porta-cot) to my sister, who we now know is expecting a girl later this year. Nice.

  rush the stage Wednesday, 8 April 2009 link

Went to the Wiggles gig on Saturday. Excellent stuff. We stayed in our seats for about ten minutes, then it was off down to the front to dance. I hung back slightly (sitting cross-legged in the aisle), but R was straight up in the mosh pit. M mainly stayed around us, but enjoyed the music as well. Full credit to the performers; it was notable that Sam was significantly younger than the others, and Jeff got a bit of stick for his age, but they all kept the pace on. I was amused that they put in a gymnastics sequence featuring Anthony and Captain Feathersword in skin-tight gymnastics kit, hanging upside down from things and showing off their impressive physiques: definitely one for the mums in the audience. And on the way out I was impressed to note that the merchandise stall included tour t-shirts for the preschoolers. On the whole, well worth the money, and if you get a chance I'd recommend them as a gig. Best atmosphere I've seen at a gig since the first time we saw Lemon Jelly. Mind you, I think most gigs could be drastically improved by throngs of preschoolers who know all the words.

Interesting/depressing credit crunch note. I just received a flyer from a debt collection agency. No, not one of those flyers where they threaten to send the boys around unless you cough up last months' payment; one of those flyers where they point out politely that with the credit crunch, people may not be paying their bills promptly and offering their services to send the boys around to anyone who hasn't paid your bill for last month. This makes me uncomfortable.

Having fun with Twitter so far. One point to note: watch out for any interesting keywords in your tweets. I dropped a one-liner about creationism, and promptly picked up a couple of fundies on my follower list. So be careful out there, kids.

Job satisfaction: I just managed to get a quote from The Orb into a technical manual. See that? That's quality, that is.

Ah, easter. We've got rellies coming to stay, so there will be much time spent doing familial stuff around the place. I'm just hoping that the weather holds for a trip to Staglands. After easter, I'm taking a few days off to look after Rebecca for the first week of the school holidays, then Heather's doing similar for the second. I have a few basic activities planned - bit of cycling, bit of fishing, trip to the movies, that sort of thing. Should be a good laugh.

  i blame the dog Wednesday, 1 April 2009 link

We don't watch much broadcast TV. We kind of run on the principle that there's almost always something better you could be doing than watching telly, and anything worth watching you can catch up with on DVD. So we'd kind of meant to get around to watching Battlestar Galactica one of these days. Still, no hurry eh? Then a couple of months ago, one of Heather's coworkers loaned her a copy of the miniseries. After a night or two we got around to watching it.

Now, I'm a reasonably focussed person. I can concentrate on stuff. I can particularly concentrate on good drama. Heather is of course renowned for her non-diffuse attitude to paying attention to things. Which is why, about 2 1/2 months after watching the miniseries, we're now two episodes from the end of the 4th (final) season. With luck, and a following wind, we'll be there by about 11pm tonight. Excellent. I've managed to avoid hearing how it ends, though that was harder than it sounds. Heather and I have a couple of side bets about the resolution; this is what happens when two people with postgraduate arts degrees watch something with symbolism in. "I reckon [Character X] will turn out to be [Y]"/ "No, that won't work, because there's the obvious symbolic link between [Thing A that happened at the end of Season 2] and [Thing B that happened to Character X at the end of Season 4]". Seriously, we're putting a surprising amount of mental power into this thing. And if you haven't seen BSG yet, seriously, it's really, really good. It's the West Wing in space with death, weird mystic stuff, and hotties.

As I am a Young Trendy Person, damn you, I have acquired an account on Twitter. So if you're the sort of person who wants to be relentlessly updated with what I'm thinking and feeling at any time (Sample entry: "Scratching myself. Ahh, that's better"), I'm user jackelder. It must be a boon to stalkers. Now, one of the things that's supposedly great about Twitter is that you hear about stuff within 10 mins of it happening. Personally, I'd rather not be that connected with the world. I like the fact that, for example, I completely missed all the discussion around the end of BSG, so the ending can now come as a complete surprise to me. I'm mainly in it for two things: the ability to post throwaway lines that I wouldn't bother actually blogging (I prefer writing longer, rambling blog posts - you may have noticed), and the ability to txt in posts like "Pod of dolphins back in Evans Bay now".

Of course, now I've said that, the bloody dolphins will disappear for months.

Maggie is really into books at the moment. She likes looking at the pictures and saying the words she knows. One of her favourite books has both pictures of bunnies and ducks, two animals which she likes and two words she can say. Those of you who've ever read anything about the philosophy of perception will probably be able to guess what I showed her next.

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unspoilt by progress

calm, peaceful, sweary

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