Monday, December 8, 2008

and it's raining

i hate it when it's so hot that even the coolest part of the night is hot - last night was one of those nights - i slept with my balcony door open and still spent the night tossing and turning because of the heat ...

today hasn't been much better but it's just started pouring with rain so hopefully that will mean a cool down not a steam bath

we're experiencing the humid temperatures we normally get at the end of january/beginning of february (when we start back at school) at the moment and everyone is cranky

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

After spending most of today working on end-of-year-files etc i decided that perhaps i should eat - first i walked down to the local fish'n'chips shop

View Larger Map

then wandered to the beach to eat my chips

View Larger Map

(if you can't see anything above then the embedded street view thingy isn't working!)

Here are my shots:


there were families out enjoying the sun


and a couple of hopefuls hoping for some food

and i even streamed a video via qik

Thursday, December 4, 2008

new battery

so i have now calibrated my new iBook battery - the iBook is my personal machine and the one i'm taking with me on holiday

although i'm usually a documentation reader type person the mac proved to be so easy to use that i didn't read all the documentation and so didn't see the info about batteries - as in - calibration and normal running of the lappie - and so, since it was originally a work machine, i ran it most days plugged into power - which degraded the battery life significantly

this time i'm doing things the right way (i hope!)

1. Calibrate - this means fully charge then fully run down till it turns itself off - done

2. Restart - ok - i don't know if this is actually exactly what you do but i found i needed to do this to get an accurate-ish battery reading

3. Turn off stuff not needed - i sync my phone via bluetooth at the end of the day but don't need it on apart from that so have turned it off; internet is via wireless so have that turned ON but will turn off before leaving home when i go away

4. Keep an interested eye on the system profiler information about the battery

battery info

as you can see there's been ONE full charge cycle ...

5. Set the battery for better battery life as the norm


and this is what my menu bar looks like now - actually as i'm typing it's adjusted and now shows longer time left - my old battery on full charge gave me 30 seconds of life before turning off!!

I'm now officially a happy camper

and what this means for me travelling is another device to help pass the time - between my iTouch, my iPod Mini & my iBook i could theoretically stay awake for the entire 14 hour flight (MEL-LAX) playing on or listening to stuff!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's Tweeter Time

today is brought to you by the following tweets ...

06:59 morning all ... it's still frikkin raining ... arghhhhhhhhhh #

12:33 friday free choosing time is awesome - RR done; reading, maths & homework all planned #

16:44 home - TGIF & a 3-day weekend #

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Tweeter Time

today is brought to you by the following tweets ...

08:50 morning all - school's about to start - why is it wet AGAIN? #

13:38 just blogged this - #

19:58 interesting article about web branding and animal names #

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

out of the mouths of babes

heard today in the staffroom @ lunch time

Five year old Jimmy went home and was looking at a map with his father.

"Did you know that everyone comes from China?" he asked his father.

"That's not right," said his father. "You were born in England, Jonny was born in Australia and Mary was born here in New Zealand."

"You're wrong Daddy," said Jimmy. "Peter told me that everyone comes from their mother's China!"

(Names and countries changed to protect the innocent - but this is a true story!)

It's Tweeter Time

today is brought to you by the following tweets ...

06:53 morning all - it's another day! 66 till my big holiday #

13:44 ah arthropods - what fun things to learn about!! #

16:41 does anyone know if LAX UA terminal has showers before immigration or in the UA domestic terminal #

18:59 going offline to read a *paper* book #

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Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Tweeter Time

today is brought to you by the following tweets ...

16:07 peaceful here - our troubled boarder has left - he was told either stop smoking weed or leave - he left #

16:57 just blogged #

17:20 bundle has the loudest of purrs #

18:38 some random left an red office chair (wheeled type) on our verge #

20:06 excellent coverage of US Presidential race #

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Tweeter Time

today is brought to you by the following tweets ...

11:16 listening to mccain on letterman - he can't say anything new about palin - same old stuff #

11:34 twitbin, twitterfox, twitterific what do you use? #

11:48 getting my photo taken today - need a current one for my diversity visa application #

13:34 heading offline to write reports and plan for next week #

16:27 RIP Mog - #

20:18 hank green & numa numa #

20:54 online yale courses #

20:55 primary level OER Commons courses #

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this can't be true ...

Mog the Forgetful Cat is dead ...


Mog was tired. She was dead tired... Mog thought, 'I want to sleep for ever.' And so she did. But a little bit of her stayed awake to see what would happen next. Mog keeps watch over the upset Thomas family, who miss her terribly, and she wonders how they will ever manage without her. Nothing happens for some time... then suddenly, one day, Mog sees a little kitten in the house. The kitten is frightened of everything - noise, newspapers, bags and being picked up. Mog thinks the kitten is very stupid. But then Mog realises that the nervous kitten doesn't know how to play and just needs 'a little bit of help'. And so, Mog pushes the surprised kitten into Debbie's lap, where it finds it actually likes being tickled and stroked. The new family pet is settled in at last. But Debbie says she will always remember Mog. 'So I should hope,' thinks Mog. And she flies up and up and up right into the sun.


first got gothified then degothified ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Confession time - I'm an activist. That's right - an activist.

The whole activist thing has crept up slowly on me - but after this last week I have to conclude that I'm now there - full blown activist!

Let me explain. Here in NZ we have a primary teachers union called NZEI and I'm an active member. Briefly the structure works like this. Each school has a worksite rep who reports to the local branch. Each branch has a District Council that it reports to - there are 12 of these throughout NZ. I'm DC Chair for my DC. Each DC meets around 4 times a year to discuss issues and policies etc. We also plan and run professional development seminars for teachers (and principals, support staff and early childhood educators).

Then, once a year, we have our Annual Meeting where representatives from branches and district councils (and the Maori equivalent) meet in Wellington to debate, endorse and plan. We represent around 49,000 people in our union.

This year we celebrated 125 years of our union (complete with birthday cake) as well as debating an organisational review, rule changes, policy amendments and resolutions. Every representative there can participate in the debate and for the first time I got up to speak - twice! Very scary - first time spontaneously, the second time I had written and re-written what I wanted to say. (I stand to oppose this resolution ... )

The thing about being an activist is that you actually look at the issues/policies/resolutions etc - you research them and you make informed commentary on them.

New Zealand is in the build up to a general election (we do it very differently to the USA buildup) and, unlike previous elections, I will be scrutinising what the various parties are actually saying - I know I'll vote Labour/Green - (ironically our Labour colours are RED and National colours are BLUE) - but I will be informed and will debate with candidates when and where possible.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

iTouch and Jailbreaking

so yesterday i decided to jailbreak my iTouch - nothing illegal about it - just not supported by apple!

back in the days when i was a windoze user i was forever tweaking my computer themes ... now i can do that with my iTouch

here is my original homescreen


bog standard as you can see

now - take a look at my current (new) homescreen


isn't it just prettyful ... note the brown cydia icon and the winterboard icon - they're part of the pwnage

and now ... drum roll ... how do you like my starting screen (which normally has a battery indicator)


it's actually animated and is actually the hardest screenshot to get (as it only shows when locked)

note too the name in top left hand corner - it no longer says iPod ...

so - waddaya think - cool or no?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

wry amusement or is it disgust?

i note something that happens EVERY olympics - there's a lot of hoopla that goes on - you all know what i mean - it's in your face and you can't get away from it ...

and then ... a few days after the olympics, when the para-olympics starts ... silence!
here's what one of our national newspapers says today:

Wellington cyclist Paula Tesoriero has won the gold medal at the 500m time trial at the Beijing Paralympics, breaking the world record in the process.

Tesoriero recorded a time of 43.281s to finish ahead of a rider from Germany and Australia.

Tesoriero was elated with the victory, but doesn't plan to stop at just one gold medal.

"I feel fantastic. Absolutely fantastic," she said straight after her win.

"The race went exactly to plan. It was a bit tight toward the end, but I finished around half a second between gold and silver. My next race is on Wednesday and I want to do it again," she said.

that's it ... no in depth anything ...

the online version of both our papers had an 'olympics' masthead during the other olympics - but it's not to be seen now ...

shame on them



Tuesday, August 26, 2008


about 20 months ago - around the time i broke up with my ex - i made a decision to do away with our cable tv - no one was watching (at that time there was only gravelboy and i at home) and it was a waste of money - we had the internet after all and spent way more time online than on tv watching

the day before the olympics began i tuned a little (and i mean little - 14" maybe) tv into our main news channel and started watching the olympics - and a bit of the news

with the olys well and truly over i decided to watch a tv program last night (new aussie one called city homidcide) - never again - my tv is off and here's why

- i get a headache from the constant noise - commercials louder than programs (no remote) and there's a constant buzz that continues on after i've turned it off
- actually - on the buzz thing - i've noticed that my tinitus has been worse over the last few weeks than in the last year
- headaches! yikes! - maybe the strain of trying to see something on the small tv - but i don't get them watching stuff on my iTouch so go figure
- i can watch what i want on my computer or iTouch - no commercials
- crappy tv
- do i really need to view all those commercials
- did i mention crappy tv?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


goth boy is unique ... no question

Saturday, July 26, 2008

life as a mother of teenager boys

went to be last night at a reasonable hour

220am woken by banging clashing and talking downstairs

went down to investigate

2 boys (mine unfortunately - gravelboy and gothboy) and 1 girl (not mine) along with heaters blazing

girl go home says me

can't says boy

then girl sleeps on couch and boys go to bed says me

i go back to bed

toss and turn

couldn't sleep

ended up reading till after 4

then slept

woke at 10

went down to make coffee

spacie up then too

spacie goes down to get jon up cos no milk for coffee

girl in bed with gravelboy

both fully dressed


Thursday, July 24, 2008

stormy weather

we've had some stormy weather lately - i went down the beach after school to see what damage the storm surge had done and took a few photos - no damage where i was but i also snagged some photos off

Sunday, July 13, 2008

i luff my touch ...

now the only thing (well - ok - not the only thing but rather the only thing RIGHT now) is how to read books that are NOT on!

here are my current three home screens



extras here are:

* link to google
* twitterrific app (free)
* eReader app (free)



extras here are:

* link to
* link to my geocaching site
* idetect (for detecting wifi)
* link to plurk
* link to google reader
* link to flickr
* todo app (free)
* french speaking app (free)
* evernote app (free)



they're all games here and all apps (mostly free)

i love eReader - easy to read text but i want to be able to read books NOT from (and without hacking/jailbreaking);

i also want a blogging client (already had a short conversation with marsedit about this) especially for blogger/LJ/wordpress

let's see - hmm - ok - that's all so far

oh - except screenshots from eReader


standard shot



note that all these screenshots are 160 x 240 whereas the actual iTouch screen is 189 x 284

Saturday, July 12, 2008

a time of frustration

i hate having to say something negative about apple but here goes:

i have an iPod touch (yeah i know - you all know that) and an iBook and a MacBook - i'm a fan of apple

BUT - in spite of NZ getting the iPhone first we didn't get the firmware 2.0 upgrade first - today has been a time of frustration trying to upgrade - first it said no upgrade needed 1.1.4 was latest; then a few hours later it said new upgrade available - but clicking the upgrade button got me (and others no where); now it's saying 1.1.4 is latest again - even though on the NZ app store page there's a link to buy the new upgrade ...

screenshots as proof:


clearly saying upgrade is available


the pop up that came next - clicking on 'learn more' resulted in one of two things - a return to the page as per first screenshot or ...


sigh ...

then i tried going another way and went to the NZ ipodtouch appstore page


which clearly shows that it's available ...

but clicking on that link took me back to the page shown in first screenshot but now it says:


and when i click on the update button i get:


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

iPhone or not to iPhone

i made a decision a week or so ago that given the rumours of horrendously priced plans for the iPhone via the NZ Vodafone network that i wouldn't get an iPhone - rather i'd go for a 16GB iPod Touch that i managed to score for $510.00 - which was that price because there was a label stuck on the back of the iTouch with that price on it - it's an older version and doesn't have the new software ... but ... then i discovered that there were some funny white light areas (pixel problems) and took the iTouch back the shop technician who phoned RED (apple wholesalers) who said they would replace it (standard for pixel problems apparently)

so here i am - i paid $510 for last years model of iTouch and will end up with this years latest model (normally $599)

and then today the pricing plans for iPhone came out ... so let's look at them

8 GB phone on iPhone 250 (120 mins/600 txt/250 MB) = $80/month & $549 for phone
16 GB phone on iPhone 250 (same as above) = $80/month & $699 for phone

8 GB phone on iPHone 500 (250 mins/600 txt/500 MB) = $130/month & $449 for phone
16 GB phone on iPhone 500 (as above) = $130/month & $599/phone

8 GB phone on iPhone 1GB (600 mins/600 txt/1 GB) = $250/month & $199 for phone
16 GB phone on iPhone 1GB (same as above) = $250/month & $349 for phone

now let's work out the total prices given that all the above is on 24 month contract!

total costs over 24 months will be:

iPhone 250
8 GB = $2469
16 GB = $2619

iPhone 500
8 GB = $3569
16 GB = $3719

iPhone 1GB
8 GB = $6199
16 GB = $6349

iPod Touch
16 GB = $599 (ok $510 for me) (8GB is $449 and the 32 GB is $749)
Current prepay phone (motorola Razr V3X) ~$35/month (i usually top up when i get down to ~$5 probably every 5/6 weeks)
total cost over 24 months including the cost of the iTouch = ~$1250-1350

hmm ... let me see ... which one should i get????

should i mention that my motorola takes videos (unlike iPhone)?

the only thing i don't get out of my motorola and my iTouch is the GPS (and i own a GPSr anyway)

photo journey

two men ... i know who i'd vote for ...

Monday, July 7, 2008

what i'm watching

The Dance of Life

thanks to Tony

what i get out of this video is that you gotta enjoy life ... do something that makes you dance or laugh or both because life is an intricate dance

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

this is bizarre

i never knew i had a lisp until i shot a video with my new classroom camera

i've never noticed with anything recorded using the built-in iSight camera or with my cell phone ...

those who know me (in RL) what do you think - is this what i really sound like?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

wellington outing

spacegirlnz and i went into wellington this afternoon - just cos we could

we wandered about

we wandered past this little hole in the wall


and bought deux crepe with maple syrup - i practised my almost non-existant french ... "bonjour, deux crepes avec maple syrup s'il vous plait" (or however you spell it)


we saw this ...


and this ...


before returning to the car and discovering the reason why you should never let me drive your car ...







also known as oh shit #1-3

this week in NZ history

Originally uploaded by dragonsinger

snow leopard

Switzerland Zoo
Originally uploaded by dragonsinger
spacegirlnz did a squee on seeing this and a predictable 'can i have one?'

Baby Red Pandas

Baby Red Pandas
Originally uploaded by dragonsinger
I love Red Pandas - we have a couple in Wellington Zoo that have been known to go for a wander out of their cage and into the city ...

these are too gorgeous

"Tai and Pip, twin red pandas, sleep in the hands of Sandy Helliker, a animal health technologist at the Edmonton Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Thursday, June 19, 2008. The pandas were born May 26 and are receiving round the clock care from Helliker who hand feeds them with baby bottles. They were taken from their mother after she showed aggression towards one of the babies. Only four babies were born in North America last year, two at the Edmonton Zoo, one in Calgary and one in Winnipeg. There are between 2,000 and 5,000 red pandas in the wild. They are native to the Himalayas in India and Nepal and southern China."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

quantum time mechanics ... aka ... TGIT ... AKA ... slow time day ...

is it just me or does it happen to others too

some days whizz past fast - before you know it you've reached the end of the day and you're not sure where it went to

other days you spend the same amount of time doing things but it seems to take less time

or is it just me?

anyway - TGIT cos tuesday is my slow time day and i'm suffering from lower back pain - i THINK i tweaked a muscle yesterday when i was taking kids for a PE lesson (netball) - i first noticed it after lunch (PE was before lunch) yesterday and it steadily got worse until i retired to be at about 7pm last night

am pumping me full of anti-inflamitories and pain-killers - let's see how i go today

Sunday, June 15, 2008

this week in nz history

something new - i'll try to do this once a week ...


how many years later and there's still problems ...

with unexploded bombs in countries like Laos

Check out this photo essay from the BBC

Laos is the most bombed country on earth. The US dropped 2.4 million tonnes of bombs on it during the Vietnam War - more than the allies dropped on Germany and Japan combined in World War II.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

the 100 best products ...

The 100 Best Products, in Alphabetical Order

i'll italicise those i have or use ...

* Adobe Photoshop CS3 
* AdventNet Zoho
* Alienware Area-51 m15x
* Amazon MP3
* Apple Final Cut Studio 2
* Apple HD Cinema Display
* Apple iChat
* Apple iMac
* Apple iPhone
* Apple iPod Touch
* Apple Logic Studio
* Apple MacBook Air
* Apple MacBook Pro i have an iBook and a MacBook and an iPod - just none of these
* Apple Mac OS 10.5 Leopard
* Apple Safari

* Apple TV Take 2
* Asus U2E
* AT&T Tilt
* Audacity
* Canon EOS 40D
* Canon Pixma MX700
* Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS
* Canon Vixia HF10
* Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 Video
* Cerulean Studios Trillian
* Chestnut Hill Sound George
* Consumerist
* Craigslist
* Creative Aurvana X-Fi
* Creative Zen
* Dash Express
* Data Robotics Drobo DRO4DU10 4 Bay Hard Drive Array
* Dell XPS 420
* Digg
* Electronic Arts Rock Band controllers Video
* Eye-Fi
* Facebook
* Flickr (Yahoo)
* Flock

* Gateway XHD3000
* Google Docs & Spreadsheets
* Google Gmail
* Google Maps -- Street View

* Harmonix Rock Band Video
* HP Blackbird 002 LCi
* HP Photosmart C5280
* Hulu
* Intel Penryn News and reviews
* Intel SkullTrail
* Jing Project
* Lenovo ThinkPad X300
* LG Electronics L196WTY-BF
* Lifehacker
* Linksys WRT600N
* Meebo
* Microsoft Office 2007
* Microsoft TellMe
* Microsoft Windows XP
* Microsoft Xbox Live
* Mint
* Motorola MotoRokr T505 Car Speakerphone
* Mozilla Firefox 3
* Mozilla Thunderbird
* Netflix
* Netgear ReadyNAS NV+
* Nikon D60
* Nintendo Wii
* nVidia GeForce 8800GT
* Olympus SP-570 UZ
* OpenDNS PhishTank
* Orange Box (Valve Corp.)
* Palm Centro
* Panasonic TH-42PZ700U
* Pandora
* Partition Logic
* Pioneer Kuro PDP-5010FD
* RIM Blackberry Curve 8300 Series 8300
* Samsung 2263DX
* Samsung LN-T4061
* Samsung SyncMaster 305T
* SanDisk Cruzer Titanium Plus
* Scrabulous
* Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR4
* Symantec Norton IS 2008
* TiVo HD
* Twitter
* Ubuntu Linux
* USB Safely Remove 3.3
* Verizon FiOS
* Vimeo
* Vizio Gallevia GV42LF
* VMWare Fusion
* Washington Post
* Western Digital VelociRaptor
* Wikipedia
* YouTube (Google)

Friday, June 13, 2008

spiderwick and exploding toasters

just finished watching The Spiderwick Chronicles - ; - and was racking my brain trying to figure out exactly what is was about the boy that was tapping on the inside of my brain ... i ended up doing an IMDB search to figure it out - it was his soft speaking voice that was nagging ... and IMDB produced the fact that he was Charlie in the Tim Burton movie of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which i saw with my kids a few months ago ... ding ding ding

and as for exploding toasters ... i'm up in bed (early i know but i've got a nasty pinched nerve that's throwing my leg out at teh moment) and i just heard a loud bang ... and then dead silence ... and more dead silence ... i yelled downstairs to find out what the heck had just happened and gravelboy yelled back up that gothboy (new son) had just blown the toasted sandwich maker up - thereby toasting the toaster ... seems he'd caught the power cord inbetween the toasting bit when he closed it and the BANG was when the plastic coating melted through to the wiring ... gravelboy was going to turn it all back on again to see if it worked!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

OMG -- I just can't believe it -- I never win anything

from Dell Electronics Award
date Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 9:39 PM
subject Dell Award Notification

hide details 9:39 PM (30 minutes ago)


Dell Award Notification

We are delighted to inform you that you are one of the THREE LUCKY WINNERS whose e-mail address won the sum payout of 500,000 pounds.(Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterlings Only) in the DELL ELECTRONICS SEASONAL AWARD 2008.

Please be informed that all participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 30,000 company and 50,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world. To file in for your claims,contact our claim's agent with your information as provided below:

Brown .J. Williams
Tell: +447031908584

Full Names:......Country:.......Tel:......MaritalStatus.........Sex.......Age:.... Occupation:....Nationality:....... Residential Address: .........

Dr.Carl A.Moore
(Information Officer)

and in case you didn't pick it - that was a sarcastic header ....

good day shopping ...

if i do say so myself ... having just organised the purchase of 24 cameras and chargers for school i needed to get some plastic boxes for storing them in the classrooms ... 2nd shop had just what i needed so i purchased the boxes, brought them back to school and finished all the labelling ... monday morning will see each classroom with their own digital camera ... yay

Thursday, June 5, 2008

broadband pricing

This is a snippet from an email i read today

This is so not good. Every other broadband ISP will be watching
closely to see what happens from this trial balloon. "Time Warner
Cable will launch a trial program on Thursday which will impose
monthly Internet consumption caps on new subscribers in Beaumont,
Texas. Following a two-month grace period, cable users will pay $1
for each additional gigabyte consumed beyond the cap."


By Ryan Paul, Ars Technica, June 03, 2008

Welcome to the rest of the world - ok - actually i don't know what happens elsewhere in the world but this is certainly welcome to NZ & broadband

here's some comparisons

i have a paradise/telstra 80GB plan (that's an 80GB cap)

i pay $139.95/month + $2.95/2GB over the cap for up to 10 Mbps/2Mpbs (when there are four people on the wireless network here it's not that fast!)

we always go over the limit ... as of today my usage meter tells me " You have used 129.31 GB which is 100% of your monthly traffic allocation, plus an additional 25 block(s) of usage costing $73.75 " - the meter resets at midnight tonight so for this last month i'll pay around $220 - $230 for our internet

telstra has a 'warpspeed' plan (but not in my city) of 120Gb for $230 but i get a better deal on the 80GB plan

Telecom's biggest plan (broadband) is 50GB for $149.95 + 2c/mb over the cap - i'm not even going to do the math for that one

one company offers unlimited broadband but that's at $495/month which is way more than i spend currently

with 3 teenage boys (one just arrived last week) - one of whom skypes regularly to talk to his family in china and also watches TV (chinese) online; one university student/massive downloader person - - and me all on wireless and all on the internet for large periods of time (it's called research!!) we need the broadband and the fast internet ...


blog #1 - actually blog post #1 - this would be blog # 4 or 5 or 6 or ...