It’s a cat’s life

Normally we keep the guest room closed in winter because all the heat goes up there. But when the door does get opened up, Misty is ready to pounce… because all the heat goes up there.

When life gives you lemons 🍋

Our friend Marlena gave us these beauties yesterday. And the bowl in the background has mandarins from another friend’s son.

It’s the time of the year in Auckland when — if you know the right people— you can end up with more citrus than you know what to do with.

Sturgeon moon

I think this moon is actually a day past full, but still shining brightly.

And the Sky Tower was so brilliantly lit up. We’re not often downtown late to see it from this angle, because we’re old people who live in the burbs, but wow!

Your moment of Zen

I got to the beach a little early today, and so I had a few minutes of quiet before the other swimmers showed up.

The bird you hear in this clip is a tui. They’re black and green mostly, about the size of a blue jay, with a silly white chin feather that flutters around when they talk. He was sitting in a tree just behind me, and wanted everyone to get up and see the sunrise.

And boy do they talk! I still remember the first time we heard one, walking through a park to the market. While NZ is similar to the US in most ways, listening to a tui is a potent reminder that you’re not in Vermont any more.

Patriot Brains taping

Now that we’re on the TVNZ studio audience mailing list, we get these random invites for tapings of shows that might or might not be any good. Last night we watched them make an episode of Patriot Brains, a comedy quiz show pitting some well known NZ comics against less well known AU comics so that the home team could take up most of the airtime and … spoiler alert… win the quiz.

The show was ok. But maybe our best memory will be sitting in the lobby pre-show with a bird’s eye view of the bullpen where all the actual work gets done. That’s the famously chipper and highly animated weatherman about half an hour before going on stage for his big five minutes of nightly performance.

And below, a workspace that we think perfectly illustrates the actual glamour of working in ‘the biz’. We imagine her (or him, why not??) as leading a superhero double life: an ordinary office worker geeky enough to invest in a custom keyboard most of the time… but ready for red carpet fabulous as fast as you can say ‘heels, lipstick, attitude!

William C Daldy

Last weekend we went over to Devonport for some shopping and saw a sign that the William C Daldy was open for tours. So all aboard!

The Daldy is a coal-fired steam-powered tugboat that operated here from 1936 to 1977. She’s still running and available for charters thanks to the efforts of a volunteer group.

There was a lot of very cool and very massive stuff in the boiler room and engine areas. As described in the Wikipedia article linked above, she could burn a ton of coal per hour when working hard.

There were no luxuries aboard, although so much varnished wood makes it look rather grand.

We enjoyed our quick walk through, and applaud the gang who keep her afloat… a good hobby for them and some good history for the rest of us.

Mellons Bay Beach

We drove out west yesterday to pick up a new stationary bike trainer I found secondhand.

Which put us near Mellons Bay beach , a place we’d never seen before. It was low tide, and the narrow sandy beach gave way to a giant expanse of soft rock with all sorts of interesting formations. In the photo above it’s like the rock had been tunneled by worms or roots… no idea what the real story is.

Not a useful beach for swimming and frolicking, you’d have to walk hundreds of metres across the shelf to get to water deeper than your waist. But very pretty to walk along and feel the breeze and hear the surf.

Construction at the mall

… which must be sort of like Panic at the Disco.

Now that the owners have decided to invest, they are investing in our local shopping center/mall. They tore down one whole wing and are advertising for tenants.

Let the shopping begin! Again…

The 11th Commandment

And then through the bus window did appear unto John a new message, a warning to those who wouldst usurp the rights of their neighbors, a beacon to those who follow the straight path, a glimmer of God’s divine wit for all the rest and for the unbelievers and for those who labor in the parking service and the tow truck operators.

When Wordle is like building software

Wordle 396 6/6*


Week 1: the team gets off to a solid start.

Week 2: made a lot of progress, now 80% done.

Week 3: Had to replace one library due to licensing issues. Still at 80% and on track to finish next week as scheduled.

Week 4: working through some QA issues and two team members out sick. Holding at 80% complete. Management notified of slipped delivery date.

Week 5: Oh for fuck’s sake.

Week 6: put a new color scheme on the old system and sent to production.

The Pain Patio

A couple of years ago I shared a picture of a sweaty garage floor around Tour de France time. Life has improved considerably since then.

Now, I pull the trainer out onto the covered deck area just outside my home office. It’s where the previous owner worked on his bonsai trees, and where we store garden tools, hang wetsuits to dry, etc. Even though it’s an un-glamorous part of the property, being outdoors in the cool morning as it gets light is pretty nice.

I shelled out $40 for a month of Sky Sport, which is running TdF coverage every morning from 6:30 to 8:30. (Except today due to an overlong Wimbledon match.) That’s a perfect time to get in a ride before work. Their commentary is pretty good, but nobody will ever rival Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll.

Blog at

Up ↑