MonthNovember 2007

Bow-Chikka-Chikka-BOWW-BOWW

This could be any given Christchurch KAOS party, circa 1992, photographed by Phil.

Just sayin’, is all.

Mr Splashy Pants Has A Posse

Sometimes, things unroll before you with a certain hilarious inevitability. For example, Greenpeace, as part of its efforts to track endangered whales, has decided to name one. And they’ve turned to the Internet to communally, democratically, granola-eatingly select the name from a range of options. These options include the usual My Heartfelt Emotions Are On My Sleeve Let Me Show You Them choices like “Aiko” – which means ‘little love’ in Japanese, “Cian” which means ‘ancient or enduring’ in old Irish, and “Sedna” – is the name of the Innuit goddess of the oceans. Sheesh.

But there’s another choice, that they threw in just “for fun” from the original source list of 100,000 or so names.

It is “Mr Splashy Pants”

And here’s the problem with internet-based selection. I, and everyone else I know, voted for Mr Splashy Pants as a name. And so did every other grinning bastard with a browser and an somethingawful forum account.

As of my writing this, Mr Splashy Pants has 68% of the vote, and the next closest choice is “Libertad” at 3%.

Be sure to register your vote by going here and clicking on “Vote For Your Favourite Name” in the right-hand sidebar.

Because if the Japanese kill Aiko the Whale, there will be a general “Awww!” from all the usual places. But if they kill “Mr Splashy Pants”? Then they’ll hear about it.

In which sugar is dispensed, and despite this I’m bored.

I’m about to head into a specialist clinic to get looked at for possible Sleep Apnoea. Which I’m pretty much 100% sure I have, but they need to go through a process, you know.

Anyway, one of the prerequisites for this clinical trial is that I have to have a complete set of blood tests and skin allergy tests and glucose tolerance tests, which I spent most of today having done. I am, along with most people, allergic to Dust Mites. And nothing else. So that’s cool.

The glucose tolerance test involves not eating for 10 or so hours, then they take blood samples, give you a big drink of mostly sugar .. wait a bit .. take more blood .. wait a bit .. take more blood, etc. The idea being they can see over time how you process and use the sugar, and thus if you’re producing enough insulin, etc. I don’t mind taking this test, because I’m the poster child for “At Risk Of Diabetes”, but damn it’s tedious. You just have to sit there waiting for the next blood test. I’m glad I brought an ipod.

And they took SO MUCH BLOOD – My arms look like I’m the singer for an overrated britpop band.

Treatment for Sleep Apnoea ranges from a positive pressure mask to wear at night which makes sure you actually get oxygen while you sleep (which I will certainly wear, along with a cape, and fight .. or do .. crime.) through to surgery where they core your head out like an apple to clear a path from your nose backwards.

At this stage, I don’t care what they do – I just want to wake up refreshed, instead of slightly less tired than I was when I went to sleep.

Dog inna Sack

Yay! Is It Nap Time episode 3!

I am going to have to take some elocution lessons – I had no idea how much I _mumble_. I sound like a large dog growling gently. In a sack.

I mean really, Perth?

Nearly the end of another Friday. I’m quite looking forward to the weekend – I plan to finally get around to re-arranging the office at home, plus we’ll be recording Is It Nap Time episode 3.

My friend Chris will be visiting for Christmas, but not for very long. Regardless of this, I can’t wait to see the guy again. Curse people who move away to weird backwater uncivilised places! Like Perth!

Perdcurst

We recorded our second podcast over the weekend – as I had hoped, we were worried less about the technical side and more about content. And we said “Um” a lot less.

I hate to listen to my own voice – I have a deviated septum in my nose, and lots of soft tissue in my sinuses – as a result I ALWAYS sound like a have a blocked nose or a cold, and if I DARE to breathe in our out strongly through my nose the result is either a whistling gasp, or a singularly unappealing organic G’SNORK sound – as if I were trying to vacuum up a cats hwarfed up hairball using an elephants’ trunk.

On a related note, my new condenser microphone arrived today. It’s a very solid feeling large capsule cardioid mic. The reviews of it are all positive. And it was cheap as chips thanks to the miracle of auction sites!

I’m going to pick up an XLR cable for it and try it out on the mixer – can’t wait to hear how it sounds. If it works well, I’ll get another for Annette, then we won’t have to worry about all the static and mains hum and buzz that we currently have to post-process out of the podcast. Plus we can record a song if we want. And we might!

What I need now is a couple of anglepoise mic stands that we can attach to our desks, and some shock mounts for the mics, and maybe some pop filters. Woo! New Toys keep me happy, and in this case are relatively inexpensive.

Are You There, God? Nope? Fine.

Sometimes people I know say to me “Why are you so hard on religious people? Why must you hassle? What harm does it do?” and from time to time I even find myself saying things like “Who cares if the guy that pumps my gas thinks the world is only 3000 years ago? Does it really matter? He wasn’t going to be publishing any papers on geophysics anyway.”

Then I read articles like this one:

Family watches fatal exorcism

A Wainuiomata woman was killed during her family’s attempt to exorcise a Maori curse, with the mother of two drowning in a lounge as up to 40 relatives watched.

..and this one …

Jehovah’s Witness mother dies after refusing blood transfusion

A 22-year-old mother died just hours after giving birth to twins because doctors were forbidden from giving her a blood transfusion as a Jehovah’s Witness. … Peter Welsh, the couple’s best man when they married two years ago, told the Sun: “We can’t believe she died in childbirth in this day and age, with all the technology there is.”

She didn’t die because of a lack of technology. She died, pointlessly, and preventatively, because she believed in bullshit. The maori woman drowned, while her family fucking LOOKED ON, because they all were taught that nonsensical fairy tales were truth.

Where’s the harm? There, gentle readers, is the fucking harm.

Chronosleep

annettle and myself today vaguely planned, recorded, edited and posted the first (hopefully of many) episode in our regular podcast named Is it Nap Time?. You can download the individual episode itself here or you can subscribe to the podcast as a whole here. We’re not listed in the itunes shop podcast directory yet (though we will be) but you can open itunes, click on the Advanced menu, then click “Subscribe to Podcast” and paste http://feeds.feedburner.com/IsItNapTime into the dialog box.

It took around four hours to Plan .. (“What do you want to talk about?” “I dunno. What do you want to talk about?”) .. Record… (“Umm…” [Dead Air] “…Ummmmm”) … Edit … (“Make me sound taller.”) .. and Post the thing to the RSS feed.

Be warned, it’s our first effort – more of a technical trial to make sure that the process we mapped out actually works and produces a fetchable podcast at the end of it. We had loads of issues with mic levels and whatnot, but we figure we’ll learn How To Do It pretty shortly. It’s fairly content-free (especially me talking about Portal .. “Portal is a really neat game. Gosh it’s good. Back to you, Annette!”) this time but as we have to concentrate less on the process, we’ll have more say about the content.

Also, holy shit, we both say “Um” a lot. I fully intend to train myself out of that ASAP. It’s apalling, when you hear it played back.

Pluto

I am looking forward to one day saying to some kid “When I was your age, we had NINE planets.”

“Gosh!” they’ll say, “What happened to the ninth one?”

I’ll look out at the horizon, perhaps glance around, then look back at them.

“Space Goat” I’ll say, holding their gaze. “Space. Goat.”