Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Holy Cow

"What did you learn on your second day of school?", I asked.
"Urrmm, The Father", she touches her forehead.
"The Son", she touches her chest.
"The Holy Spirit", she touches her shoulders.
"How Many". She smiles triumphantly.

"Errr, what did you say?", I ask.
"How Many", she replied.
"How many what?", I asked.
"It's what you say after The Holy Spirit. You know, How Many", she said.
"Oh", I say. Amen is not a word used in our house, obviously; never been one for religion me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lost Again

Just watched the first episode of Season 3 of Lost. Think I'll change my name to Henry and just stare at people. Bless the Gods of Torrent....oh, and we are just about to get into Season 2 of Prison Break - we've had episodes 21 and 22 for a few months but have been sooo busy (which explains the big gaps in time between entries on this blog), just haven't watched it. Watched 21 tonight (before Lost, kids in bed early!) and it was great. 22 tomorrow and then a marathon session next weekend I think.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Let them eat cake....

We are just recovering from Miss R's 5th Birthday Party. A resounding success if noise is any measure to go by. We had the very talented Fairy Trina to entertain the kids and I, erhmm, enjoyed her performance too; nice bone structure for a fairy. This years cake was a bit easier than previous years with a severed Barbie serving as the topping. Mrs R hired a cake tin from Golding Handcrafts for a few bucks which made the whole thing pretty straightforward.

Barbie Cake

It was certainly easier than the effort for Little Miss R a few months ago when this creation was nearly an all-nighter. An interesting choice for a 3 year old girl but she was adamant and who are we to impose our views on her!

Dinosaur Cake

5 is an interesting age. Miss R seems to know so much and I am now feeling mortal. There was a time when 21 seemed a long way away for me and now I'm worrying about her 21st when I'll be the wrong side of 50. Shit and double shit. At least I still have my own hair.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good Samaritan or Dirty Fuckwit

If you remember back to the start of this Blog and its sole highlight the dangers of dealing with building developers and in particular the developer Paul Hewitt and his one time partner Andrew (David) Monro...I have an interesting update for you.

First a recap.
Met Hewitt & Monro courtesy of LJ Hooker. Got fucked by all.
Met Lombard Finance. Got screwed again.
Met Tommy Heptinstall of Tommys Real Estate. White Knight and bloody good bloke and all round hero. Personally helped us out and enabled us to rebuild our future in the lovely house that we now live in. Best Real Estate company in Wellington in our view.

We lost a packet because of LJ Hooker, Hewitt, Monro and Lombard either through stupidity but in absolutely no way related to fraud, greed, lying cheating bastards, bent real estate deal, tax dodge, dubious practises, outright theft, stuff the New Zealand public, let me bend you over and take you for a ride, who's your Daddy?

And here we are today.

We just got a letter from Mr Monro. He has another company. This one is called Nicholson Road Developments Limited. He's had it a while and whilst he is still a director of the company that is in liquidation after our disastrous deal (Beyond the Obvious), he is also a director of this one. He wants to give us some money. Great you think. He wants to repay us back 2 1/2 cents for every dollar that we lost. That works out at $1,950 in exchange for the $78,000 sunk into the house pictured below. Not looking so hot these days, ay? Nice view still though and great indoor outdoor flow.....landscaping is nice, good use of natural grasses I think.

Sepp 06 016

Not a bad deal considering that the original company has absolutely no assets and the liquidators report (kindly reproduced for us by Monro) states that "there are no monies available for unsecured creditors from the company". Whilst not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but why oh why would he do this? He doesn't have to pay anything and it sure as hell ain't because he's a nice guy. So tell me, what does he have to gain by effectively buying the debt of a company in liquidation? Is it:

a) He can't sleep at night owing to guilt and is worried about burning in hell;
b) He's an all round fine fellow and just wants to do the right thing;
c) He's looking for a tax fiddle and this is the only way to get it;
d) He has been having fantasies about me and is looking for my undying love;

What do you think? It makes no sense....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Real Value of Money

I don't really know a lot about my family history. I believe my Grandad went some way back into the family tree on my fathers side but I have never seen it and he died before I was old enough to be interested. On my mothers side I have a copy of the tree going back to 1781 but by far the most interesting aspect is that one of my great great (great...) grandparents was a Miss Venus. There are some great names and it is weird to think that I have a Patience Bumstead in my line (born in 1800 and who lived to the incredible age of 84 years at a time before central heating and modern drugs).

I have been given a whole pile of old coins from my mother who has had them in a box for years. They span back through the family and include a Queen Victoria One Penny dated 1897, through Edward V, George V and VI, some African coins from my heritage, and some coins so aged as to almost illegible but certainly early 1800's. One particularly odd one is an American Indian Head Nickel which is so worn I cannot read the date but it is between 1913 and 1938, according to Wikipedia.

USA Buffalo Coin

I have no idea where it came from and my guess would be either during the First World War but sadly I cannot ask. I see these things trade at reasonable prices with collectors looking for mint examples in vacuum sealed cases but I think the value is in the story attached to such a coin. I'll imagine that a young relative travelled on a great journey and brought this back as a memento. Certainly something to hand down to my grandchildren one day.....who'll probably pawn it and dance on my grave!

Either way, hopefully they'll wonder at the 1968 Kenya Ten cents and the Tanzania Five Shillings from 1972 and be curious about my life; they might also wonder at the New Zealand 1962 One Florin (that I got in my change the other day) which feels like real money (unlike the new coins). After all, those loose coins in the back of your drawer are like a piece of personal history recounting the places you've been and things you've seen. I guess plastic will take over the world eventually but until then the real value of money is in the journey made to get it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You gotta be kidding me

OK Alan.
A joke is a joke but this time you have gone too far. Just what the fuck is this and why was it in my laundry room? It is big, and red and very hairy.
Can you give me a good reason not to shoe it?

The "Hey we are all Gods creatures and it'd be murder" doesn't cut it as I've just enjoyed a beef curry and poor old daisy was an innocent too but tasted damn fine thank you very much.

Don't try the "It's OK to kill to eat; you have to live Man" as I'll BBQ spidey and feed him to the birds.

Th clock is ticking.....and the shoe is ready.

Spider in da house

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Ghost Ship

The for in the harbour

Wellington has damn interesting weather. If is ain't blowin' a gale, it can be as still as a grave; there doesn't appear to be anything in between. Yesterday was 1st July and Wellington was shrouded in a mysterious fog. Steven King himself couldn't have painted a more spooky day on the harbour. Driving around the 'burbs went from spectacular sunshine with people enjoying the day on their decks to dense cloud cover and the distant moan of fog horns on the harbour.


During the afternoon, a large container ship came into port and very slowly made its way to the dockside. The sun was shining brilliantly by then and you can see the beach over at Oriental Parade and the Fishermans Table Restaurant; what you can't see are the two tugboats that were helping the ship to berth. Must have been real spooky out there.

Can you see me yet?

What an interesting place to live; I could happily have sit and watched this all day but time was running out. Little Miss R's 3rd Birthday Party was due to kick of at 10:30am on Sunday and there was sooo much still to do.........

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Lilongwe Area 12

Area 12
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

No matter how amazing you think Google Earth is, it still blows my mind how they have done it. The whole freakin' planet, damn. In the last couple of weeks they've upped the resolution on Wellington and they have also done the same for Lilongwe.

I was looking for my old house in Area 12 of that fine country a few weeks back and I reckon Sergey and Larry must have read my blog to see my quest and suddenly Lilongwe is in glorious high res. Now all I need is a ground shot. From above it looks like the grounds have gone a bit wild and the drive is a bit of a mess but I can see the bare land where I played football and the church where we would walk to at the end of the road and the houses of our friends who will have also long departed. Here's hoping that Mangaliso can help me out with the picture.

I now need to hunt down the two house in Nairobi which is a harder task owing to its size and fainter memories.....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Welly in all its glorious detail

The Westpac Stadium
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Google Earth finally covers Wellington in High Res! The fabulous Westpac Stadium can now be shown off to the world.....

We live right here:

The Reasonable House

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Did she really say that?

My girls got a giggle today from being in The Dominion Post. Something for Miss R to talk about in "News Day" so I am now called a "very special Daddy" which will last until I fall out of favour the next time I ask her to clean up/go to bed/clean her teeth/do anything that involves physical movement.

It has been a week for interesting comments from the two little Reasonables.

In at number 3:
After a conversation with our very friendly neighbour as Mrs R walked away, in loud voice - "Why did we talk to the silly man, Mummy?".

Followed by:
In the supermarket buying milk, again in a loud voice - "I know where milk comes from." Me, pleased with her intellect, "Do you?". " Yes, the farmer puts on a glove and gives the cow a squeeze and milk comes out of its bottom."

An my favourite:
To Grandma - "Look at my nipples, they're as big as door knockers".

Earth, swallow me up.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The long road


The blogosphere covers the world. Following my own little mobile blogging experience the other day I found myself wondering how real travelling bloggers coped. I then started to think about the isolated places in the world and the places that I grew up in, such as Lilongwe in Central/East Africa (as beautifully shown above from Google Earth). I grew up in Nairobi in Kenya and then Lilongwe in Malawi before moving back to the UK as a teenager for the 80’s and then finally to my new home of New Zealand a few years ago.

I have fond (but distant) memories of Lilongwe and I often wonder about the friends that I left behind whose names I cannot recall but whose company I remember. I wonder about the gardener whose name I do remember as Friday (I kid you not) and his son, whose name was appropriately Son. I remember that Son had a limp due to Polio and that he was a genius at making fully working and steerable cars out of wire coat hangers. I remember that they were very kind people and lived a peaceful existence in a country, on a continent with so much violence in its past. [edit: Thank you to Mangaliso and Austin for highlighting the peaceful existance of Malawi as The Warm heart of Africa. I have nothing but good memories of the country and its fantastic and friendly people].

Lilongwe House

My mother recently moved to New Zealand to be near me and her grandchildren (and to escape the harsh life that is the UK) and she has boxes of photos. I found the above pictures which were of our house in Lilongwe, area 12 and a road with no name. I think the house was simply called "Lot 1" and was on the corner of a long road that led towards town. I have very happy memories of that house and of birthday parties in the garden. We would go to the Capital Hotel for lunch on Sundays (now the Le Meridien Capital) and the photo of the swimming pool here is exactly as it was despite the over 20 years that have passed. I even remember where we used to sit and the menu of scotch eggs and salad! Our dog, a Great Dane, was called Sloopy and she was crazy.

I wondered if the house was still there and I did a search on Lilongwe and Area 12 and damn if I didn’t stumble into my original question of bloggers around the world and this group. I have posted a link to this entry on one of their sites with some questions.

  1. Is this house still there, sitting proudly on the corner? I expect the hedge has grown and the road is probably more developed but I guess it would be the same;
  2. Who is the woman in the photo below and is she still there? Her name was Tricia Morris and she was married to Alan and they lived down the road about 50 yards and I remember that she had kids about the same age as me and my brother (Sophie and Daniel and one other) and a rabbit that once bit my nipple (a story for another time).


I would dearly love to see a photo of our house today. It would be amazing to know if Friday, Son and his family were still living next to the house and still looking after the lovely garden. One day I’ll go back and explore for myself but that day is a long way off and another 20 years might ruin my chances of ever knowing the answers to these questions.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

It's been a while since I bought a gadget, well at least a month anyway, but this latest toy is bloody amazing and is simply magic. No, honest it is actually magic - I'm talking David Copperfield flying around the room stuff here.

Picture this:

You are walking down the road, you're wearing headphones and listening to a bit of some funky old track such as the 1991 remix of Tainted Love (that came in a very camp little leather pouch). You reach behind your left ear and turn it up a bit. Then you decide to skip to the next track. You reach behind the right ear, press the little button and in kicks an old favourite, Sugerbox from Then Jerico. Nice but nothing clever there, hey? But wait, there's more. Closer inspection reveals no wires here mate. "What's that?", you say. How is the music getting from that little Dell Axim X51v (that appears to have been surgically implanted into your hand) and across thin air and into the rather neat looking little chrome and black wrap-around headphones.

Ah, the power of Bluetooth and a Stereo Wireless Bluetooth stack (whatever that is). Turn on your PDA, activate the headphones, and within seconds they are "talking" and through the power of magic, beautiful music is in your head. Simple. No fuss, no mess, no wires. You can shake your head, or wiggle your butt (as taught here by Martha), either way, the music keeps pumpin' and the quality is brilliant. Nothing short of magic.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Simply OK

After 20 years, Simple Minds were back in Wellington. It was time to recapture my youth and we went, along with a whole lot of other 30-somethings, a few 40-somethings and a scattering of 50-pluses. Attire was firmly jeans, casual top and comfortable shoes for guys - the middle age uber-cool. For the women, it was mostly stylish with the occasional victim of the 80's who hadn't quite got over the era. Women are genetically better at dressing than men and know how to look good as they age. Us guys seem to let it go, as if we ever had it....

The first surprise was that this was not a sell-out. There were plenty of spare seats but at $120 a pop, this was not a cheap concert. A lot of people turned up after the support group but there was plenty of room for more. The support band (whose name I have no recollection of) were interesting and unknown and are likely to remain so. They had a couple of catchy tunes which could make it and the lead singer enjoyed himself with a few mild mannered hecklers. Their last song was their best and at least got the crowd a bit excited.

When the main event started, there was a buzz, and Kerr captured the mood like a pro with the it's been 20 years and it's great to be back and we'll do our best opening. A couple of avid female fans ran to the front of the stage and just managed not to throw knickers - this was pretty fortunate as I suspect that there were girdles involved. This inspired a whole sea of wannabees to head to the front - huge similarities to my last concert at Michael Fowler which was Hi-5 when all the "cool" kids get up to dance. Sadly, I suspect that some of those groupies had to get to the front as they couldn't see so well from the back as their eyes weren't quite what they used to be. I think some of them had forgotten why they were there and wanted to simply find the toilet.

Kerr banged out some good tracks and the dancing group (about 150 by now) waved their arms and bounced around. By the 4th track, the arm waving noticeably slowed as age took hold. They were a resilient lot though and kept going all night up there. This could have been down to the fact that a) they had lost feeling in their legs b) they couldn't quite remember where they were sitting or c) is this the queue for the toilet?

Kerr had enormous energy and hit the notes. Burchill strolled around the stage chewing gum and occasionally mimed a few words but he appeared to be a song behind. He played great all night though and is a happy fellow having played the big number two for so long. The light show was classic 80's flashes and strobes glaring out into the crowd. Nicely done and good for the paramedics to find their way around. The occasional reflection off of a bald head would cast nice mirror ball effects around the hall which was nice. You could feel the energy off the boppers, and the static charge building up from so many acrylic sweaters rubbing together could have lit up all of the waterfront.

There were two encores and we got treated to some more good tracks. Kerr kept the crowd eating out of his hand with some good banter and by swinging his mike around for a chorus. It was a good night but I came away a bit disappointed for some reason. Don't get me wrong, it was a good concert, and musically it was everything that you would expect, but it just didn't hit the mark for me. There were a lot of people dancing about but way more sitting and shoe tapping. It took you back a few years but it didn't blast you there and shake you into a frenzy. I guess 20 years is a long time and the memories are sometimes better than the reality.

I know I shouldn't but I couldn't help comparing the experience to David Gray from a few weeks back - this is a bit like comparing a modern rugby player like Jerry Collins with a star of 20 years ago. In their day they were the best, but somehow, they breed them bigger and stronger and more talented today and side by side, there is a world of difference. This doesn't take anything away from the stars of yesteryear, it is just that the world has moved on and we've got older and more picky. Still, a bloody good night out without the kids and my comfortable shoes tapped for most of the night.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Broadband Busted

We are webless, without net, that net is dead. Sometime on Monday our connection vanished and we are no longer connected. We have spent hours now on the phone to ihug and it appears that good old Telecom have disabled our line to iHug. This means that we have no e-mail (oh the humanity) and since I cannot log into my web mail at work (I think it interrupts our productivity) I find myself in a cafe picking up my mail via wireles CafeNet and enjoying a coffee. Now that is how to screw productivity! Oh, I have an e-mail from iHug asking how their customer service is. Pretty good actually, once you get through. Sadly, we have to rely on Telecom to get off their arse and check the line which they appear to have blocked in their latest "urgent upgrade at the exchange". So much for unbundling the local loop then........

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Simple Minds - New Zealand Tour of 1986

Simple Minds - The Evening Post

20 years is a long time. Things change. People change. Music changes. Good music lives forever.....

It was November 1986 and Jim Kerr and the rest of the band "Simple Minds" were in Wellington, New Zealand. The newspaper clipping pictured above (courtesy of a work colleague with an allergy to geeks - tar RD) has a great quote from Jim: "It would be naive of us to think we'll always be around. Simple Minds might be nothing next year." Whilst the band has featured many new faces over the years, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill remain and the old tracks are such a part of my growing up in the 80's that I can still remember the release of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and then watching The Breakfast Club of which I am so not proud.

A lot changes in 20 years - for a start Kerr was 28 years old in 1986 so that makes him closer to 50 now (and me closer to 40!). Still if the Stones can still do it, I'm sure Kerr can. I have also got a copy of a full page spread from The Evening Post dated Saturday 8th November 1986 which gives a good insight into Christchurch back then. There is mention of a "new" nightclub, The Palladium, and I wonder if it is still around? Perhaps Mike could check it out for us? Kerr also has long hair and I guessing that these days it might be somewhat shorter...

Either way, I am sure the music will be a great time machine for me and I'm looking forward to the night on 15th May 2006 in Wellington when Kerr and Burchill get back on stage and I can dance like I did when I was 16. I am worried that Mrs R will think I'm having a senior moment and before I know it, two paramedics will be trying to hold me down whilst they zap me with a defibrillator.....

Saturday, May 06, 2006

What have I learnt this week....

I learnt a lot this week during my mobile coffee experiment.

I learnt that it is very easy to surf and blog on the move in Wellington. Connecting to a wireless network with a wireless enabled PDA is a breeze. There is nothing to it at all; just press a button, sign-in and you are done. As to whether this is useful is another matter. Maybe for maps, and local information, but an essential service? Nah, I don't think so but damn useful at times I'm sure.

I learnt that CafeNet offer really fast connectivity and Telecom don't. Telecom also bill for time connected, by the second, rather than data traffic which is ludicrous. It takes time to write a posting yet not a lot of traffic moves around whilst you are writing. They charge $9.95 per hour to dial-up users or pre-paid cards (nothing to broadband users until 31st August but I couldn't get this to work when I was with Telecom Broadband). CafeNet will give you a whole 24 hours access for $10. CafeNet also offer a more sensible option of a data allowance and $20 gets you 70Mb but $80 gets a whopping 350Mb.

I learnt that all the coffee in Wellington is good and some is excellent. Prices vary slightly but are almost exactly the same with overtones of a price cartel! Price is not a measure of quality and $3.60/80 is a good range to keep in your head.

I learnt that I am the only person to have ever logged into CafeNet or a Telecom Hotpsot in Wellington EVER. It just isn't done. I had many stares and it makes me wonder if people even know about wireless access; it certainly isn't promoted too well. I guess that once mobile devices start becoming cheaper and more functional, people will begin to use them more and more. In the meantime, it is a brave investor who spends cash supporting a start-up wireless company but it could become a goldmine.

So who was the ultimate winner in this experiment? It has to be Mojo I think. Consistently good coffee and a great location. They also offer a pre-pay Mojo VIP Club card which gives users a 10% discount on not only coffee but coffee beans too. Nice touch. Mine is now loaded up in advance so I am actually saving money when I buy coffee........

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

4th May 2006
Here I am at Fresco....

Fresco is on Lambton Quay, above The Body Shop. There are a lot of tables and despite the time, it is easy to find a place to sit. Some of the tables are these small round metal numbers which are wobbly, but if you're early there are plenty of decent wooden tables over by the window. I am perched above the escalator and it offers an interesting perspective.

The place is very busy but not too noisy - the big open area in this atrium absorbs a lot of sound and I could have a deep and meaningful conversation with someone if i wasn't all alone! Billy no mates me...

My coffee arrives in 7 minutes 34 seconds - not bad given the time. It is a beaut. Well made and with a bit of art or at least an attempt at a pattern. First taste confirms that it is fresh and well made. I also ordered a panini and it is well presented and tasty. Total cost was $11.00 and it is good value with a bit of dressing with the food.

The connection to CafeNet is quite fast and makes for easy surfing. The artwork is good but a bit boring. I guess you just have to get lucky when you visit. Today has a fruit theme which does not interest me in the least. I'd much rather see boobies or at least something a bit more interesting.

Overall, the coffee rates as a 8 1\2. I notice that the toys that used to live in the corner are gone and I understand that they are not coming back. Pity as they used to keep the kids amused whilst Mrs R and I ate lunch.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Following our excellent lunch at Pod, we decided to go for a second cuppa to help with digestion. This time we headed over to Mojo. This is our usual cafe and there is never any question about that. If you are after consistent quality, Mojo is your best best. They supply beans to a few of the cafes around town and are known for their quality.

We are usually take-out customers but in the interests of good research, we were "innies" today. Mojo is located at one end of The Old Bank Arcade. For those of you not in Wellington, this building is a piece of history. The tiled floor is simply amazing and it retains the atmosphere of an esteemed financial institution. Conversations occur in hushed tones and footsteps echo down the banking chamber as shoppers wander down past the boutiques.

Our coffee arrives very quickly and it looks good. Great head and lovely body (gee, that'll get the Google hits) and in a tall glass. Some of the cafes in town superheat the glass in a small blast furnace prior to delivery to you - this results in burnt fingers and it takes nearly 4 hours to drink. This one was perfectly hot to drink and easy to gulp with no skin scorched to the glass. As usual, a great flavour, with a smoothe creamy consistency. We are in 9 territory and Alan took this close-up on his wizzy camera phone.

There was one disappointment in that I couldn't connect to either CafeNet or a Telcom Hotspot. This is despite being smack in the middle of town. However, there is a Starbucks at the other end of the arcade and I would suggest that you buy your Mojo and then wander down there to connect, if you must. Take a look at the great clock whilst you are down there.

Despite the lack of connectivity, a great cafe and a neat place to sit and drink and watch the world go by. A firm 9 and the leader of the pack so far.


Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

First up Pod.

We were there for lunch so it would have been impolite to type away at a small screen and ignore the group, particularly as the lunch was in honour of the esteemed Alan. I did however test the wireless functionality of my Dell Axim X51v and was disappointed that I couldn't connect to CafeNet. This might have been due to the fact that we were behind a large concrete wall but nonetheless you still expect a connection. I did manage to connect via a Telecom hotspot but as in all things Telecom, efficiency is not a priority as pages loaded with a less than satisfactory speed.

It was unfair to time the coffee delivery after lunch as it was a large order but all of the drinks arrived promptly and by that time we had drunk a small amount of wine and time was no longer an issue; in fact slow would have been just fine thank you. The waiter took 6 (maybe 7) hot drink orders and without the need to write anything down got everything to us perfectly.

The coffee was good. Nice and strong, clearly fresh beans and very smoothe. I have been a bit disappointed so far not to have encountered any coffee art and again none here. I have noticed that the best art is strangely over at the airport where they always come up with great patterns but that is a bit far to go in a lunchtime. There was no bitterness at all and all-in an excellent drop of black gold.

I have no idea about price but the meal was bloody good, the service excellent and the environment clean, functional and discrete. There are lots of tables that can give privacy and it is easy to have a conversation without shouting, unlike some of the more cosy cafes about town. I have been to Pod many times and have never had a bad cup yet.
This has to be an 8.


Todays cafe will be Pod but due to unforseen circumstances cannot be live........

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rise Cafe

Rise Cafe
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Alan: While Mr Reasonable wolfs his beef roll, I shall pontificate on Rise, the cafe of today.

Initial impressions were not that good: a coldly cavernous space; concrete floor; a bit dark and cold and lacking in ambience.

Coffee's not too bad though, and it arrived reasonably promptly, as did our rolls. I won't do a detailed description: that's up to Mr Reasonable. However, I thought my latte was a little bland to my taste, although well-constructed.

Over to Mr Reasonable.

MrR: Agree with Alan, it is cold and a bit unwelcoming. Coffee arrived in 5 minutes and 32 seconds and looked good. Initial taste was reasonable, and certainly better than yesterday. Not fantastic though and a little short of some establishments about town. Beef roll was good and the bill, at $10.50, for roll and Latte was OK.

Second taste of coffee as expected - a perfectly good cup, nice mix of top and body, no aftertaste and very smoothe if not a bit weak. I could've ordered an extra shot and will know to do that next time.

The cafe is sparse, nice artwork but it is cold which means that we are going to eat, post and leave......
7 1/2 overall.

We had a few technical difficulties today for some reason. The connection to CafeNet is FAST, much faster than I expected and faster than other portals I've used. Response times are as quick as my home connection through iHug at 2.5mbs and it is a pleasure to surf here. Couldn't get Blogger to accept any updates though although the text of the post was saved. Maybe I need to get myself an offline writer. Flickr upload was a breeze and even sending the large photo file took way less than 1 minute. Impressive stuff. Cold though, damn cold.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Espresso Republic

Espresso Republic
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Review in Progress

1st May 2006

Well a good start as I am connected to CafeNet and have uploaded the above photo!
Espresso Republic is located on Featherston Street, just opposite the Hotel Ibis.

I walked into the cafe at 11:40am accompanied by Alan and as there was no queue, went straight to the counter and ordered a Latte and a Panini. This was at 11:41am.

The coffee arrived 3 minutes and 26 seconds later.....

Hmm, colour was a bit on the thin side although the top looked creamy enough. First taste was a bit disappointing (damn I miss that Google task bar for spell checking). It is all in the milk and this was clearly not up to the usual standard here.

The nice throthy top covered a reasonable brew though and whilst a tad bitter very drinkable. Since I would actually drink coffee from the used bowl of a bulldog, not in itself a recommendation but not a bad cup nonetheless.

Quick look around. Alan has left me to go do some "work" and I am a lone geek....

There is a great piece of art in front of me. It is by Bill Burke - Using Opera lets me open a new tab and check out his web site. This piece is of a woman on a beach and strangely makes me think about Caroline. Everything else about the cafe is classic simple decor, lots of suits meeting with suits and an absence of kids. Not one. Good, I think having spent two days with mine!

Coffee finished. A small aftertaste, again a bit bitter. This is my benchmark coffee and is sadly a rather weak 6 1/2 out of 10. I have had clear 10`s here in the past so I am shocked. The panini was delicious though and the price for one latte, one Earl Gray Tea and the Panini was $16.00 which ain't bad. The delivery of the coffee was excellent and the food not long after. Alans tea arrived in about 2 minutes which is a great achievement. They clearly gear up for lunch with the aim of getting you in and out quickly. Just what you want really.

I'm ready to leave. My table has been cleared and I am guilty of taking up space with no food! I am amazed that everything on the technology side worked so well. I only had one issue when the wireless network from the Hotel Ibis rudely tried to take over my connection but in terms of speed and connectivity, this is almost as good as being at home.

We live in an extraordinary age - fully connected wherever you go (in and around the CBD) and with research portals and search engines like Google at your disposal there is nothing that you cannot know/do/find out. All we need now is a screen 3 times the size that can fold away and we are there.....

Tomorrow, Rise on The Terrace

A few edits now completed for broken links etc. Also, I have copied some of the review here.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Hot Spot

First up in the taste challenge to find the best mobile coffee in Wellington is Expresso Republic in Featherston Street. I'll be there from 11:45ish on Monday 1st May '06 and will place an order for a Latte and test the result. I'll be posting a photo of the brew as I taste it and writing a review in-situ. If it's good (and I quietly expect it will be having been there many times) I may order lunch and become a mobile lunch critic too.

Feel free to join me; two cups are better than one!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

A mobile milestone was reached today. I have successfully taken a picture with a very sexy Casio Ex-Z55, popped the SD card into my Dell Axim X51v, uploaded it to Flickr via my iHug e-mail account, which I logged into via Opera, (GMail wouldn't let me attach files for some reason), then went into Flickr and wrote a blog entry and successfully posted it. Quite a lot of work actually in signing in to the different accounts but a pretty good experience.

So how to test this "in the wild" as it were. Well here is what I propose. I am going to visit a different Wellington Cafe every day next week, order a decent Latte, take a photo of said lovely drinky, upload the photo of the cafe and the coffee, and write a live tasting session of the liquid heaven and the surroundings. I am fully charged with a
CafeNet account and some Telecom Hotspot credits and I'm ready to go. The question is where?

This is a list of all of the CafeNet covered sites.
This is a list of all the Telecom Hotspot covered sites.

I'll start at
Espresso Republic as the benchmark as I know the coffee quality is consistently high. I am going to measure on price, presentation, speed from order to delivery, of course taste, ambiance of the cafe and whether or not I am abused for being a geek typing on a dinky keyboard whilst gargling and gurgling coffee in my mouth. I shall resist the temptation to check the bouquet and spit it out onto the floor....

I'd prefer to stick around Lambton Quay/Willis Street but will travel further if the coffee recommendation is good. So how about it? I have Monday sorted, where to on Tuesday onwards? I will aim to be in each cafe at 11:45am before the lunchtime rush and can hopefully get some comparative serving times! I'll put the name of each venue cafe the evening before I go and feel free to join me! I'll be easy to spot as I'll be swearing at a wee screen and trying to connect to invisible wireless forces, all in the interest of science!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Road to Hell...

The Road to Hell...
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

I’ve just spent a few days up in Taupo with my brother who was over for a flying visit from the UK. We set off at 6:30am on Wednesday, had lunch on the way, stopped at the Army Museum in Waiouru (to remind us how stupid war and humans are) and then headed over the Desert Road.

I am a pretty courteous driver and as a father of small kids absolutely never break the speed limit through towns. Seriously I don’t. Life can be cruel and one rare unfortunate event can lead to an accident that nobody could foresee.

However, the open road is a strange drug and it is very tough on the fabulous straights to keep it down. The regular little white crosses on the side of the roads are a good reminder though and some of the sign-posts are simple and direct.

Having driven for many years in the UK I became very used to bright orange speed cameras and the many signs advising of upcoming cameras or speed check zones. No such courtesies appear to exist in NZ where there is an art to hiding cameras and unmarked Police Cars. The strategy in the UK is to warn drivers so that they do actually moderate speed in the areas where it is vital and/or dangerous such as schools or accident black spots. The motorway speed limit is 70mph but most drivers (and I do mean most) will hit the fast lane of the motorway and travel an entire journey between 80-90mph. This is tolerated as everyone is driving fast and there is an understanding about where it is safe.

The big difference in NZ is that the cameras appear to be simply there to derive revenue and boy are they well hidden. They are unmarked and cleverly concealed and rather than regulate speed in dangerous areas they simple seem to make drivers take risks in areas that they know a camera simply couldn’t be, like a very short but straight bit if road leading to a sharp corner. I witnessed many acts of madness.

But I remain confused. If I am travelling behind a vehicle at 85kph in a 100kph zone, am I permitted to exceed the speed limit to safely pass? Can I accelerate past the limit, zip past the caravan/car and then just drift back under once I am a safe distance past? Or am I supposed to get to 100kph, slowly pass the car on the wrong side of the road and then immediately get back into the left lane?

I actually opted for the latter. The car we were in generates 225bhp or 165kw, is turbo charged, has an intercooler and a 0-100kph slightly more than 6 seconds. It also has a top speed of over 240kph and so can really move. Needless to say, I have never approached these speeds on NZ roads; really, I haven’t.

We were on a long straight and up ahead there was a caravan which was travelling at a pace. It would have been around 30kph on the bends and then up to 95-100kph in the straights and looked very unsteady. I opted to blitz past. The road was clear for miles ahead; I could see several dips but nothing had been on the horizon for some time. 3rd gear (of 6) was selected and I moved out, pressed down and was gone. I pulled back into the left in a flash, the caravan a long way back, and came over a rise my foot easing off the go juice pedal but not braking, preferring to drift back down to a more reasonable speed. And there he was. Just down the rise, and invisible until the last second. A white van, dark windows. Smug.

So, am I guilty or innocent? The entire journey was made within the legal limits, yet when you overtake in a safe manner to limit the time on the right hand side of the road, do you opt for a slow lumbering overtake manoeuvre or a rapid in and out? What would you do?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Is it me or is there something odd about my kids?

Is it me or is there somehing odd about my kids?
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

I have noticed some subtle changes in my kids behaviour. I suggested to Mrs R that we cut back on the chocolate as they get a bit hyper at night but she thinks that it is just a phase. We've had to hide the phone as the little buggers keep wanting to call home which is odd. We haven't seen the cats for a while either; every since Miss R said she thought the cat looked a bit "fat and juicy".

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Forever Young...

Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

I rarely listen to the incessant ramblings of DJs on the radio at weekends although I do strangely enjoy "The Morning Crew" on ZM during the week as it lightens my drive to work but everything else just interrupts the music. Today I was driving along when a track I recognised as a classic from my early 80's collection began to play. The very second I heard "Let's dance in style, Let's dance for a while..." I was transported back over 10 years. The DJ raved what a great new track it was by a new group and what great song writers they were; I nearly went off the road.

Sadly, it has been covered by a band called Youth Group - the song, Forever Young, was a masterpiece by a little known German group, Alphaville, and was hot on the heals of their iconic ballad, Big in Japan. This was all back in 1984 when the world was a different place; damn do I feel old! Big in Japan and Forever Young (from their first album of the same name) were the major hits and although they continued to push out some great stuff, they never really made it in the UK after that.

A few years later, they released their second album, "Afternoons in Utopia" quickly followed in 1987 by "The Breathtaking Blue". I managed to stumble across the second album in the back streets of Amsterdam in the late 80's and grabbed the third from a store in London in 1990 and it too has some great tracks. It also was "the first compact disc to be encoded with CD+Graphics" (so says the label) but I have never been able to get this to work and have tried on every computer I have owned since 1990! Any ideas how to view these greatly received.

My music tastes changed shortly thereafter and I lost touch with the group but continued to listen to the various tracks over the years on Walkmans, Discmans and MiniDiscs. This cover version has got me to dust off the discs and wizz them over to WMA so that I can enjoy them once again. I have also just ordered my latest toy, a set of Motorola Bluetooth headphones so that I can wander around the house/office and enjoy my music with no wires. Strange to think that these tracks were released shortly after the very first Walkman and in the year that Sony launched the Discman.

I remember having coils of wires inside my old car from the cigarette lighter and into the Discman and then back across and into the tape deck. Running over a small pebble resulted in a skipped track and the batteries lasted nearly a whole album. And here I am, an entire CD collection on one music player with no moving parts and that broadcasts the music to a pair of headphones with a rechargeable battery that could put a man on the moon or power a small village in Darkest Peru.

The original of Forever Young is substantially better than the new cover. The best part of the new release is that it helped me step back in time and has given me back some long forgotten memories. It also stirred me to track down the band and I'll be damned if they ain't still going. Looks like I'll be going onto Amazon soon......

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dell Axim X51v - Mobile Blogging

Dell Axim X51v - Mobile Blogging
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Having joined the excellent CafeNet I can now read my favourite blogs (like the above) as I wait for that perfect cup of coffee. Most of Lambton Quay (can you believe that is on Wikipedia?) is now covered and there are no shortage of good cafes. It is as easy as turning on your PDA, turning on the wireless feature and away you go. The experience is crap unless you are using Opera as your browser - IE Mobile just doesn't cut it. With a bluetooth wireless keyboard, you can even write your latest blog entry in relative comfort.

I expected this all to be a bit complicated and I admit I had some issues with installing the keyboard (which I expected to just turn on) but all in all, it was a positive experience and I am fully connected when out and about. I don't know why that is important as if I want to know something, I'll use my phone and call Mrs R but hey, maybe one day, I'll just have to get that important e-mail and simply cannot wait the 10 minutes it would take me to get home.......

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mine, all mine

Mine, all mine
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Is this the one?

Is she what I am looking for?

Does she offer me everlasting comfort?

Picture her in chocolate leather.

Should I?

Would you?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

The only good spider is a dead one. This big beastie lived in my house 'til I skewered him. He wasn't very big so I enhanced him a wee bit in PhotoShop......

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hand in Mouth

"How are you today?", said the man in the mask.

"Awwwll Rwghhtrtsh", said I.

"Good. Does that hurt?", he asked.

"Flwgking Jyesesus Awlgbbrty", I said.

"How about that?", he interrogated.

"Yawlll Mumwas aee Whreoree", I cried.

"I'm going to scan you with a laser to check for any small holes.", he explained.

"Yuip gredi ownen wid itsh nwum ntsus", I said.

At this point I am laying with my legs about a foot higher than my head whilst a young fella has his hands in my mouth with a long pencil like thing that makes a melodic chime every few seconds. I was just expecting an examination and a clean-up of my teeth but I trust the man who is holding my tongue. I have no choice really.

When he's finished after about 15 minutes he sits me up and explains that he has scanned my teeth with a laser to look for microscopic holes that might contain bacteria that will cause holes. "Oh, really?", I said thinking what about just a clean up but assuming that this bit is coming next.

He explains that two of my teeth are a bit worn down from over zealous brushing and will need some repair work to protect the dentine. "Fine.", I say thinking at least it ain't a filling. He goes on with an explanation that there are 6 teeth where the bacteria have invaded the enamel that could form holes that will need to be filled. "Oh" say I thinking Bollocks.

But he goes on. There is (apparently) a new procedure that will kill the bacteria and so prevent the holes from ever forming; it is called HealOzone and is very effective. As it is new, it is a bit costly but is better than having fillings as it is pain free.

I leave after 25 minutes and $45 worse off and having made an appointment for a weeks time for a whole hour to treat 6 teeth with HealOzone and have 2 protective covers for the sensitive teeth, oh, and a clean-up. The estimate is way over $1,000.

As the day passes I start to wonder about this new super treatment. Knowing a bit about teeth (having achieved 'O levels and 'A levels in Biology many many years ago) I understood that once enamel was damaged, it had to be filled as it didn't just grow back. I also started to wonder what killing the bacteria would do because the thing about bacteria is they multiply and unless you have your entire mouth sterilised and never open your chops again, won't it just jump off another tooth and back to where it was?

And so the power of the interweb comes to use. I check out HealOzone. I try many searches for "HealOzone Scam, Fraud, issues, problems" but find nothing much except a few very interesting articles from dentists which are basically PR for the company concerned. I do find one very interesting article titled "
British Experts Question Value of HealOzone Treatment".

It also appears that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK have not recommended the use of HealOzone
unless it is part of a clinical trial. When you read the report it sounds like the treatment is useful for serious cases but ordinary brushing and mouth washes are as effective. It also highlights that bacteria would repopulate the area treated and be "well-established" about 2 weeks after treatment. It is well worth the read if you are thinking or have been convinced that this is the treatment for you. They are pretty damning on the evidence in favour of the product, which was supplied of course by the manufacturer and the key statement that "On the basis of the current evidence, the place of HealOzone in the treatment or management of dental caries is not proven. "

I don't know about you but at over $100 a tooth, I want something that absolutely guarantees that my teeth will be around long after I'm dead and buried. For $100 a tooth, I want future generations to dig up my grave and find a perfectly happy smile. I noticed that the UK prices were about £20-£25 which ain't no where near $100 boys and girls.

Since the only way to make a stand these days is to vote with your feet, I have cancelled my appointment and will change dentists. My next visit to a dentist will be a nice clean-up with no flashing lights and beepy toys; can anyone recommend a good dentist in the CBD who are not the "gentle" kind........?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Diffusion of Innovation

It is always odd to be labelled. You think you are an individual and you might have some quirks that you think are yours and your alone but the internet soon puts you straight. The power of Google is a good example. The fact that you are able to find what you are after is because so many other "individuals" have searched for exactly the same thing using exactly the same search string that you used. Ignoring the searches for the obvious (i.e. Britney and Hooters smelly feet) even the most obscure search usually turns up a hit because someone else wanted to know about "internal workings of the lower intestine related to acupuncture". We are all sheep really.

Todays label for me is "Early Adopter" but bordering on "Early Majority". I would label Alan "Innovator" as he is always on the edge of new stuff and has access to more data that Orac. I am referring to the Everett M. Rogers "Diffusion of Innovations" model with these labels. He said that you could divided consumers into 5 groups and it is never nice to be a "laggard" in anyone's book!

Being an early adopter does tend to cost you dollars. Being an innovator is somewhat better as you are usually able to obtain what you need pretty cheaply as you just "know" where/how to get it before the poor early adopters get a sniff. In fact, the innovators can usually buy up the stuff and sell it on for a profit on TradeMe I would guess!

I bought a Plasma TV about 3 1/2 years back. This was in the days that they were a new item and the price tag was equivalent to a car. We were newly arrived from the UK and hadn't yet suffered at the hands of a certain guy and a dodgy real estate deal. At the time, a plasma display was just that, a display. It had no TV tuner, no Picture in Picture, no Teletext, no speakers, no stand - everything was an extra. Nonetheless, we bought it and it has been marvellous but only because of all the accessories that we have.

To avoid the spaghetti of cables in the back, and there would be at least 8 big cables, we have everything routed via an A/V system and have a wireless remote controller extender and 2 wireless a/v senders and receivers. This means that we can broadcast the signal from Sky TV to the other TVs in the house and, more usefully, from the PC to the plasma display. This is great for watching all those US TV shows sucked from BitTorrent in glorious detail and via a great sound system rather than the dinky PC speakers.

The advice to anyone looking to buy a plasma tv today is go for it. The technology is proven now and much more efficient than 3 years ago. These days you will get built in speakers, at least one TV tuner and increasingly 2 and clever little PiP functions and Teletext, none of which I have. Also, the unit life is longer which is not something that I had considered when we bought ours.

The alternative is LCD. There is very little to choose between a high end LCD and a decent plasma but there are many many different qualities in between. Our plasma is a Panasonic with a contrast ration of 3000:1 - this is important to ensure that you get good blacks. There is nothing worse than watching a movie with hazy greys when what you want is black. Also, you need a good resolution and fast refresh rate to avoid the jaggedy edges during an action scene. Both of these are better than 3 years ago but I do notice a bit of pixel lag particularly with explosions with lots of orange and red. It is not too obvious but it is there. Fortunately we have a composite video input for DVD which is rock steady.

The great thing about plasma is the very wide viewing angle and brightness. The picture is fine even in full sunlight and to the side of the screen. The newer LCDs do have a wide viewing angle but some of the cheaper models are very limiting. Nonetheless, LCDs are supposed to last a heck of a long time and are much lighter than the massive glass panels used in plasmas. If you're going to hang it on a wall, you need freakin' big screws for a plasma.

To sum it all up, there isn't anything to choose between them and it really depends on where you are going to put it. Plasmas do come in bigger sizes and our 37" is about right although I think LCDs overlap at their top size now. The plasma is also bloody hot to touch at the back whereas the LCDs don't generate as much heat. If it is going in a front room and is the main TV, I'd opt for a plasma any day as it can sit undisturbed. If you plan to hang it on a wall or move it around or use it in a kitchen/family room, then go for a decent brand LCD with a good viewing angle with lots of bells and whistles; they even come with radios these days.

Me? I'm waiting for the next "big thing" in picture viewing. Maybe an ultra slim photon-foldable image system with built in coffee grinder....either way, I just know I'll be behind Alan who will have one installed and working a good 6 months before me that he would have got from a mate in China who works for Sony for $4.68 and a pair of old socks....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

You can't make me

I've been outside this morning with the girls and now I'm home. I'm not going out again and you can't make me. I'm having sausages and baked beans for lunch and I have a glass of Rongopai Reserve Merlot '03 in my hand and it is only 11:50am. Did I mention I ain't going outside again today? It is lovely and warm in here and the little R's are quietly watching Rolly Polly Olie (buggered if I know how to spell that). When it finishes I shall find another such thing for them to watch whilst I keep drinking my wine, eating some cashew nuts and happily downloading all sorts of stuff using the neat little bitTorrent software that Brena put me onto some time ago.

We watched episode 15 of the second series of Lost last night which was broadcast this week in the US - I downloaded it along with a few thousand others in record time when I got home from work. It was a corker and some pieces are really falling into place with some cool new characters. We are also up to episode 6 of Prison Break and happen to have episodes 7 to 13 primed and ready to go. It is by far the best US export we have seen. Ever. It has really gripped us and it is real hard not to watch more than one at a time as the art of the "cliff-hanger" end has been captured beautifully. We were on the edge of the sofa on Thursday night and it was a real struggle to choose to watch Lost or Prison Break last night. We no longer watch TV, except for the news, and I feel kind of bad missing all those adverts for stuff I don't need. Never mind.

By the way, I am not going outside anymore today, in case you didn't know. The wine is making me a bit sleepy and it must be time for a DVD movie to be stuck on.......

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


In another life inflation was a major measurement to me. Every decision revolved around world economics and trends and we would spend the day watching GDPs, current account deficits, commodity prices, interest rates, bond movements and other such meaningless stuff.

During that time, I had the pleasure of working with one of the finest economists who had more letters after his name than I have ever seen and had the distinction of not being a fuckwit like many other people with letters after their names! He was that rare breed of smart people that can actually apply their smarts to solve shit. He had a PhD in econometrics and during the years that we sat next to each other I absorbed a lot about the dark art of having two hands and not being afraid to use them both at the same time (this is an economist joke, and about as funny as they get sadly; I would explain but it would be even less funny.)

Having spent all those years pouring over data and making decisions that you could justify were the rights ones at the time you made them (and why they were wrong the next day) I now cannot help but read a newspaper and apply economics to stories. Whether it is the price of petrol (supply and demand of the raw commodity, oil, mixed with distribution and taxes) or a sale at Pumpkin Patch (goods manufactured in China and brought to NZ with some level of currency hedge to protect the retailer) right down to cheap LCD TVs (over manufacture leading to glut of stock that need to be shifted fast before it becomes obsolete) I simply cannot help it.

Inflation is a really easy concept. It is simply a measurement between the price of a basket of goods that you bought a wee while ago and the price of the same basket now. Goods tend to go up and so the value of your dollar appears to buy less hence the old, "When I was a lad, I could buy a bag of chips, a small house and three horses and still have change from a dollar..." kind of talk.

Some things go up more than inflation and some less. Today, a particular commodity that is a huge part of Wellington life went through the roof. I'm taking about coffee of course. The establishment that supplies the daily dose for me and a whole bunch of the guys and girls around me, shifted the price of the black nectar from $3.50 to $4.50 for a takeaway - that is a massive 28.5% and has broken through my personal tipping point. As a result, we have had to source a new cafe and the jury is still out. Either way, at nearly $5 a cup, it just seems like a luxury item and not a daily need.

The economics here are pretty simple but the decision to hike the price so much is a bit flawed. Put up the price by 28% and you can still lose customers and make more money is the argument. The price hike is probably linked to wage pressures, rental increases, raw goods costs and a bit of greed thrown in for good measure. The flaw is in how many customers can you afford to lose before your staff are standing around idle for long periods or you have a large stock of beans that are approaching their best before date. It is a very fine line between profit and loss and if you lose a solid customer base, it will cost you more to acquire new ones. This is particularly true in Welly where some of the smaller cafes, just off the beaten track, are making primo coffee at reasonable prices. We are a fickle bunch us coffee snobs and whilst we are addicts, we can choose who our dealer is.

Perhaps they are using
Kopi Luwak beans? These particular beans sell for up to US$175 a pound and get the unique taste and aroma from the simple fact that they pass through the arse of the Palm Civet, a native of Indonesia. The little beasties eat the ripe coffee cherries and the beans are collected from the droppings. Don't believe me? Check out this site for some pretty graphic images of the process - it explains why some coffee actually tastes like shit.....

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Whilst I have been posting sporadically over the last two months, I have still been reading all the blogs in my "links" list and although I haven't commented, I have been lurking and enjoying your blogs.

It had also been some time since I had been into my StatCounter so I decided to have a peruse this morning. It is a good insight into the search work and I am pleased to announce that the searches for "Hooters Feet" is slipping down the charts but "Hooters Pantyhose" is still firmly in place at #1 by a massive margin. It strikes me that you could dress up a chicken in pantyhose and people (exclusively from the US according to the analysis) would get-off on it.

Disturbing recent searches are:

Very young in pantyhose
- It is the word "very" that lends a creepyness to this search.

Mr Pantyhose
- An unfortunate surname; might I suggest a hyphen?

Pantyhose butt action
- I'm not sure what sort of action a butt would get up to or why it would be more fun in pantyhose.

Pantyhose sex
- Surely they are the ultimate protection.

How to make your sack bigger
- Why? Maybe you have large potatoes I guess....

Pantyhose sex ideas
- Yeah, here's one: Put them over your head for that bank robber fantasy session....

Smells of nylon feet
- How the hell did you ever get to this site when the #1 Google entry is ""?

Remove nipple hair safely
- At least is wasn't remove nipple hair unsafely; for that I would suggest a flymo

Why men love hooters
- If you have to ask, you are clearly a butt man

The Yummy Mummy Handbook
- A best seller I imagine. Hopefully a cookbook....

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

8 legged freaks

I like to think that I'm a bit blokey; I am a bloke after all. Admittedly, I have done some things in my life that some (who shall remain nameless but sit very close to me at work, but would never read a blog so I could name him...) feel is a bit on the less blokey side shall we say. I played Badminton at a high level until a few years back, I drive what is considered to be a gay icon car, I use wax in my hair and, God forbid, have been heard talking about bodices. Not very manly at all; I guess I'll never be a true Kiwi bloke....

However, there is one thing that turns me into a gibbering wuss and I don't care. Call me a baby, kick sand in my face, give me a Chinese burn, I don't care. If it makes me less a bloke then kiss my little girls arse (damn that'll get some Google hits!). Sadly, it appears that the subject of my fear is a specialist subject of

When we first moved to NZ, I was assured that there was only one poisonous spider that lived on beaches and was very rare. I have no idea if this is true so facts would be nice, anyone? Little did I know that there is a freakin' house dwelling version that appears as common as net curtains in
Essex (very common to those of you who have not been there). Not only is it common, it does have a nasty bite. How nasty appears to be up for discussion but I would quite like to know. All I am told is "it's not fatal" but that doesn't reassure me much as there are plenty of things in life that are not fatal and that still bloody hurt i.e. it's OK the bullet went right through you and damn that shark, at least you have another arm.

My fear appears to have grown over the last years. It all stems back to some bad experiences as a child in Africa but they had been largely forgotten until several years back when something must have triggered them. I have never been fond of the critters but now I get a bit on the cold and sweaty side when confronted. Ms R regularly shouts out "Look Daddy, a baby Charlotte" but no sooner do I hear those words, I start looking for the nearest shoe/newspaper/book/brick. This usually ends in tears as she is a fan of the species and their complete destruction is out of keeping with her thrill at finding one.

To say I give them a wee tap would be a bit of an understatement in much the same way as saying that "That Jerry Collins, he's a bit hard he is". The house shudders when I nail one of the fckrz. I don't whack it so much as obliterate it. If
Garfield could see me, he'd be so proud. And this was before I realised that the little bugger could actually fight back.

I am assured by Alan that the little jumping things with the bloody long front legs (that they would use to prise open my ear canal and enter my brain) are completely harmless. I say, you can't be too careful and if you have to get that close to look, you are opening yourself up to some trouble. I say whack now and ask later....I don't want to wound it and piss it off.

Oh, hey a spider.
Did it jump?
Which bit?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Stegosaurus - Little Ms R (Aged 4 and a bit)

Stegosaurus - Little Ms R (Aged 4 and a bit)
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Not one to brag, but that girl is an artistic genius! If she says that the mighty Stegosaurus had 6 legs, then 6 legs is what it had. I have added a picture of what "scientist" think it looked like. I think you'll agree, 6 legs is better - what do they know? Ever seen one? Nah, didn't think so but apparently the one that lives in the garden looks just like this one so there.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The A to Z of my last two weeks

Ms R, ready to go!
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

A is for Axim
It was my birthday and I got a cool
Dell Axim X51v - I downloaded Episode 8 of the second series of LOST onto it and it is damn fine (we have just watched Episode 11 and it was a real corker! Bless the Gods of Torrent and those lovely people at iHug for the 2mbps line)

B is for Blog
I have ignored this blog for 2 weeks and feel oddly guilty. This entry should help and I have loaded a pile of photos onto Flickr to those interested enough to click through.

C is for Canoe
Spent lots of time in one on the beautiful Appleby River outside Richmond with the whole family. Massively impressed with the natural affinity with water that Ms R and Little Ms R have - I have no skills at all and swim like a wounded Iguana, however that is.

D is for Driving
The 2 hour stint behind the wheel from Picton to Nelson was made easier by the use of a portable DVD player with two screens which kept the noisy backseat monsters amused.

E is for Eel
If you catch one, don't try and take it off your line as they are revoltingly slimy and will wrap around your arm and make you feel like a Ghostbuster.....

F is for Four by Four
This was needed to access the river for the canoeing. Great fun - we noticed on our second visit that someone else had decided to use the facilities but had got stuck. The rising water was over the bonnet when we got there and over the roof when we left....F is also for f*cked it appears.

G is for Garden
Installed a wizzy irrigation system into our garden so that my poor plants might actually stand a chance this year.

H is for Hell
Definition of Hell: Deck 2, Kaitaki Children’s Play Area. Visit at your peril as every disease known lives down there and a few yet to be named.

I is for Island
Snorkeling around the many bays and islands in the Marlborough Sounds surrounded by seals in water as warm as a bath was a fabulous experience. Picking up Kina to use as bait for Herring was a blast. Do people really eat that snot?

J is for Joy
Catching a big fish and letting it go back along is way is a good feeling. Not as good as sticking a sharp knife into it’s head, pulling out it’s guts and then throwing it onto a BBQ with a bit of lemon mind you.

K is for Kaitaki
A big boat with food at prices to rival Harrods. Don't by the Hot Chocolate unless you enjoy eating with a spoon - if you do, go for it but if you can eat it all, you will have a suger rush akin to four Cokes skulled with a Mars Bar or two to line your stomach.

L is for Lambretta
Still the funkiest café in Nelson. Great coffee and good for kids.

M is for My TradeMe
Wherever you go, you can bid and when you get home it is like Christmas with every parcel like a mini surprise.

N is for Nelson
Damn fine living, if you can afford it.

O is Oasis
A new café by the river in Nelson. Nice food and reasonable coffee that would be tastier I’m sure if the staff smiled a bit.

P is for playground
The Lions Playground at Tahunanui is right on the beach and tires even the most boisterous of kids. Mr Whippy on hand adds to the experience.

Q is for Quiet
There is nothing like the sound of running water and wind without and cars or industrial din. I have mastered the art of filtering out the screaming of small children, an accomplishment that is not recognised as useful by Mrs R.

S is for Sunburn
How easily I forget how harsh the sun in NZ can be. I never ever let the kids out without sun screen on yet continue for forget myself. Not bright or clever.

T is for Treat
Try the
Chateaubriand at Appelmans Restaurant in Richmond for a treat for two. Mrs R and I first had this dish back in 1994 when the restaurant was in Nelson - we had it the night we got engaged and have been back nearly every year. You will never get bored of this dish.

U is for Umbrella
Needed twice. Not a device that can be used in Wellington, so a novelty for us.

V is for Victory
England beat Wales (sorry
Mike) but actually I don't really care as I am now a true AB fan. I will be going for my citizenship this year and will learn to pronounce yoghurt in a strange way and no longer worry when people ask if I have new pants.

W is for Wanker
Paul Hewitt, Failed Developer and arsehole, has had his house sold at a mortgage sale to repay his debts I guess. I feel very sorry for his family but the guy ripped off many people along the way so fuck 'im. I only know this from an anonymous comment posting on an earlier entry so thank you whoever you are and I hope that you were able to recover from whatever losses you suffered at the hands of this jerk.

X is for X-Rated
Beware of sickly white pommy legs on a rare outing into shorts....not for those of a weak disposition.

Z is for Zoo
Not a lot beats Eva Dicksons at the zoo for a pre or post visit snack.

And there you have it. A great 10-days and now I need a holiday.....

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Phew, what a hectic couple of weeks. It all stops soon though. One more manic week at work and then off to Nelson for a well earned break.

The important news is I've popped my TradeMe cherry and have a massive 4 stars now. We have bought and sold and, by eck, it is bloody addictive. Mrs R and I have been sitting counting down the end of auctions, pressing refresh and high fiving wins and cursing the losses.

Other news is we are more hooked on Season 2 of Lost than we were on Season 1. I downloaded Episode 1 a few weeks ago and we watched it at 11:30pm one night once we had sat down after a particularly long day. The conversation went something like this:

"Cuppa Tea?"
"Yeah, tar."
"Shall we watch 5 minutes of Lost and then head off to bed?"
"Yup."....45 minutes later.
"Shall I download Episode 2?"....

At the time we were on Telecoms "wanker" plan with only 1Gb of up/downloads. This was used up by 3rd January as sadly when using Bit Torrent, you upload, it seems, about half of what you download. We are now on the 10Gb plan but only for two weeks until we flip Telecom the middle digit and jump over to iHug and a whole 20Gb with no upload counter. Nice. We have just watched Episode 5 and number 6 is torrenting as I type...77.6% complete, yippee, but mighty close to the 10Gb limit.

Other news: It is my birthday in 10 days time and Mrs R and the girls have bought me a rather sexy Dell Axim X51v. It is in a box by the bed and whilst I have held it in my sticky little mits, I haven't plugged it in. Mrs R tells me that as the children have to wait for their presents, so do I. In a moment of weakness she did say that as I wasn't a child any more, I could open it if I wanted but deep down I know that I am a child, so I will wait. It'll be fun watching Lost on it in beautiful 640x480 via an Intel 2700G multimedia accelerator chip - it is nearly as good as the amazing PSP in picture quality. It has a bluetooth (for the cool folding keyboard which is a work of art) and built in wireless for browsing (using Cafe Net) whilst I wait for a coffee at the excellent Espresso Republic.

My plans for Nelson include fishing for Snapper, snorkeling and having breakfast at the bloody marvellous Lambretta Cafe. The kids will be entertained by my lovely in-laws who are bolting down everything as we speak.....down time time with Mrs R will be great. We can snuggle up under the duvet and watch Lost together...I heard that Episode 8 is the best one yet.....

Friday, January 06, 2006

Oh, my head.

In honour of the end of the Christmas drinking season, some things that are difficult to say when drunk:
  1. Innovative
  2. Preliminary
  3. Proliferation
  4. Cinnamon

But sometimes you drink more than you should so a list of things that are very difficult to say when drunk:

  1. Specificity
  2. British Constitution
  3. Passive-aggressive disorder
  4. Transubstantiate

And then there are the times when you are simply shitfaced, so a list of things that are downright impossible to say when drunk:

  1. Thanks, but I don't want to sleep with you.
  2. Nope, no more booze for me.
  3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.
  4. No kebab for me, thank you.
  5. Good evening officer, isn't it lovely out tonight?
  6. I'm not interested in fighting you.
  7. Oh, I just couldn't - no one wants to hear me sing.
  8. Thank you, but I won't make any attempt to dance, I have zero co-ordination.
  9. Where is the nearest toilet? I refuse to vomit in the street.
  10. I must be going home now as I have work in the morning.
  11. Look, it would be great to have a shag but I hardly know you and we will only feel really embarrassed and awkward in the morning.
  12. That guy is looking at my girlfriend but I am sure its just because he knows her or something.
  13. That chair looks wobbly and dangerous and I certainly wouldn't try balancing on it with this short skirt on in case I fell off.
  14. I must get to my bed as I could never have a really good sleep in that hedge.
  15. I honestly don't think the rest of the city center wants to see my bare arse.
  16. are not my bestest mate in the whole world. I've only known you for a few hours.
  17. I'm sure those young women are extremely intelligent and have wonderful personalities.
  18. Im sure my feet would be damaged for life if I take my shoes off and walk all the way home.
  19. A creamy cocktail followed by 4 shots of tequila....surely that would be no good for my insides.
  20. Me? go for a pee in the mens room because the ladies queue is too long? I don't think so.
  21. I'll just have a big glass of water before I go to bed so I don't have a hangover in the morning.

Thanks you my pals, fang and eezie.