MonthAugust 2008

Where’s the corn go?

So, I took delivery of an Apple TV today.

I guess, prior to ordering the Apple TV, I should have made sure that it actually had a video output port of sufficiently ancient tech to actually plug into my aging Sony TV.

But, it doesn’t. I guess it’ll make an awesome paperweight. 🙂

So, now I’m shopping for something that can convert component video or DVI output feeds into Svideo or composite video feeds. Or, possibly, a new television set.

We’ll choose the former option, thanks.

Another political post. Sorry. But it is funny.

Morning of Thursday the 28th of August, 2008: The Rt Honourable Winston Peters MP, on the subject of allegedly fraudulent activies with regards to donations to the New Zealand First party, says that the Serious Fraud Office should either lay charges against him or “shut up and go away”.

Afternoon of Thursday the 28th of August, 2008: Grant Liddel, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, announces that they will hold an inquiry into donations to New Zealand first.

Seriously. Golden.

On a related note, Peters said this today: “I am prepared to wait on the court steps for them and if they don’t turn up they can go away for ever.”

What does that even mean? It’s not like Peters can book a time to meet with the SFO, and if they don’t show up … that’s it! Game over! He’s off the hook! You had your chance, SFO, and you blew it!

I don’t think it works like that, Winston.

[Picture of a sign reading “No” goes here]

I don’t generally post entries here about politics in general, and especially not about NZ politics because (a) apart from some tinkering around the edges, the two main NZ political parties are very similar, and (b) politics and the parliamentary process is generally as pointless, and as childish, as any random schoolyard at lunchtime.

I know people who blog about nothing but politics. I don’t know how they stand it.

Given all that, it’s very amusing to watch Winston Peters in absolutely Full Effect at the moment, lashing out at the media and reporters for .. well, for reporting the various accusations of corruption currently flying at him regarding alledged lies on his part about donations from Owen Glenn.

It’s even more amusing, though, to watch Helen Clark fail to stand him down from his seriously-not-a-bauble-of-office non-cabinet they’re-not-junkets, they’re-fact-finding-missions position as Minister of Foreign Affairs, especially when she has previously stood down ministers for the political equivalent of not sending her a Christmas card.

As for the accusations themselves, I make no call on it – only the privileges committee will have all the evidence, and any information source I have access to will surely not. But I do tend to think that Glenn has little motive to lie about who solicited his donation, whereas Winston surely does.

Takin’ our jerbs.

Outspoken media personality Sir Robert Jones said he believed a “lesbian takeover” was behind a new law requiring a court jury foreman to instead be called a foreperson.

That’s interesting.

And by “interesting” I mean, “At best misogynistic, and at worst batshit insane.”

It’s very obvious that the female gender gets the short end of the stick with regards to language use in contemporary NZ culture. Men say things like “That’s a bit of a girly drink”. People are told to “Quit your bitching.”. Sports figures “Throw like a girl”. And so on, and so on.

“Foreman” isn’t as bad as the explicitly negative comparisons I’ve just listed, but it does still clearly contain an inherent bias. Of COURSE the person fronting for the jury is a MAN! One could hardly trust a woman to do the job!

I’m not excluding myself from this gripe, by the way. I’m as bad as anyone at using language in this manner, but at least I’m aware of it, and I try my best not to be a complete pillock with regards to matters of gender bias.

I’m certainly rather shocked that anyone in the 21st century could seriously see an attempt to neutralize this kind of male skew, especially in the language of law, as a “lesbian takeover”.

In Miami, the traffic can be …….. Murder.

I just found out from Annette that David Caruso, who plays Horiatio Caine in CSI Miami, also played Kit-Kat in the movie “Hudson Hawk”, a movie which is mostly hated by everyone but is a cult hit and a personal favourite of mine.

Totally. Gobsmacked.

This makes both CSI Miami and Hudson Hawk SO MUCH BETTER.

All aboard the fail train!

So I just got out of a meeting which was an autopsy of the issues and run-on effects of a network fault. Sadly, although I am pretty sure I wasn’t the root cause of the initial fault, stuff that I did during to try to resolve it, stuff that made sense to me at the time, actually caused other problems later on. Nothing customer-facing, thank goodness, but internal issues are still issues.

Dammit. I hate it when I do that shit. Cut Cut Cut

Still, all you can do is learn from the experience and not make the same mistakes twice.

If you wanna go and take a ride wid me …

I noticed that Annette was wearing a small band-aid style medical strip on one cheek today, and so I asked her what it was for. She told me that she had scratched herself. Then, after a pause, she said that also “City Spud” was in lock down.

Unexpected Nelly references make my day.

Series of Tubes

So, today I migrated my personal network stuff (and colocation for various geek friends) from ICONZ to my current employer, who’re kindly allowing me to snag a half-rack or so of totally unmanaged, no SLA at all, you’re-on-your-own colocation space for a mates-rates price.

So, shut down the old peering links, shut down the router and switch, power down and de-cable power, networking, cross-connects, management and KVM, de-rack heavy-ass servers, put in car, drive across town (slowly), throw old router and switch under my desk with DISGUST, re-rack everything, recable everything to shiny new hotness router and switch, power up servers, tinker with networking to ensure that correct networks are being advertised to correct places, reticulate all the cables, re-assemble rack.

I had forgotten how much actual standing up and down and carrying and lifting shit there was in this kind of move. And I basically only had to do the re-assemble end, since Rob2 was kind enough to show up with Burly Men in tow to help with shutdown.

Quite tired now. But everything seems to be working, and my stuff is now once again connected to a network that I have control over. Which is re-assuring. The guys at ICONZ know what they’re doing, but … you know. Some things need to stay close to home.

Peanut Butter is dead to me now.

I just had a taste of a thing called “Cashew Butter” which appears to be, as the name might suggest, a spread much like Peanut Butter except made with cashews instead of peanuts.

It it 100% pure awesome, in a jar.

I am now planning to have sandwiches later, based solely on the fact that I can then include this delightful product in their construction.

Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot.

I haven’t been posting much in the last week or so, basically because I’ve been busy (but very very productive) at work, and I don’t want to post boring minutiae about IP network architecture and whatnot. So I haven’t had much to say of any interest, even to my friends.

Now I do.

While walking from my parked car to meet friends for coffee on friday night, a young gentleman stepped away from his two friends and moved, grinning, to stand directly in front of me. I moved sideways … and he moved sideways. Deliberately. I moved the other way .. and he moved the other way. He didn’t say anything at all but he was definitely, if I may use the vernacular, All Up In My Grill.

Indeed, those were my exact thoughts, as I shouldered my way around him, which is probably why I didn’t say “Excuse me”, but instead said “Out the way, fool.” – possibly a mistake on my part.

A couple of steps later, I felt a significant impact in the middle of my back, just below the shoulderblades. Enough of an impact to knock me over, anyway. And I’m not small. I presume he’d just kicked me in the back.

I got up as quickly as I could, moved right up in close to him, and punched him as hard as I could, in the face. I don’t think he was expecting to be hit, I suspect the usual custom with the kind of people who do this sort of shit is a bit of back and forth about how they’re going to beat on the other one, and comments about their respective mothers, etc. But I’m not a super-villain, I’m not interested in a monologue. Anyway, he didn’t really try to defend himself – he started to raise an arm to block, but I was very very close, and he didn’t manage it in time.

I’m not at all fit, nor am I any kind of fighter, but I am big guy, and I have had a some training at a couple of different martial arts places over the years – I know how to throw a punch, and this one had my hips and shoulders into it, and it had a LOT of weight behind it. Landed square on the side of his jaw, and he dropped like a puppet with cut strings.

I step back, look at his friends still leaning against the building, they look at me, and then they both pick the guy up, and walk off supporting him, like they do it every damn day.

So, I wander off to coffee and spend the next two or three hours shivering in my seat, looking out for the rozzers, and burning adrenaline as rapidly as I can. Also, my hand hurts, though it doesn’t seem to be damaged, and I can still type[1] fine with it.

That’s the first time anything like that has happened to me in Auckland, in the last ten years or so. I don’t know what that dude was trying to do, he didn’t ask for money, he didn’t want my car keys, in fact neither he nor his friends said a word! I think he just wanted to fuck with someone in order to get some excitement. I trust he’s received enough of it.