It can’t hurt

It seems unlikely that the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of everything would give you special attention if you built them a shrine on the corner of your house in San Bruno.

But then again, I guess it can’t hurt to ask.

Not where you’d expect it

We’ve been taught to believe, thanks to our exposure to Hollywood movies, that in order to find platform 9 3/4 you have to bash yourself into a brick post and hope that the magic works for you.

But in the Wellington train station, things are slightly easier. There’s a big sign. You still have to pay attention, because platform 9 3/4 is not where you expect it, but rather tucked somewhere between platforms six and seven. Even so, I find it quite generous of the Wellington Wizarding community to be so helpful.

O Lord, give me a sign

It’s been a good week for signs. Lee found the top one on a walk. The middle one is good bumper sticker material.

The bottom sign isn’t funny or ironic or anything. But it’s a thing that is true all over Auckland and should be signed more often. It’s been a hard transition from the US where the pedestrian gets the right of way a lot more often. In NZ, pedestrians have priority only in marked crosswalks. Everywhere else, you’re on your own.

Get a job

I saw this tableau on my way home last night… nobody around it.

I believe it is now widely accepted that telling a homeless person to “get a job” is unhelpful and inappropriate.

Is it more or less hateful to throw down a textbook on multivariate data analysis?

Metaphysical help 5¢

I’ve done my share of consulting engagements where the deliverables were poorly defined, but this shop seems like it might be operating at a whole different level.

Communist Propaganda

  • Mostly, Vietnam seemed like other developing countries I’ve been to, which isn’t actually all that many.
    • Things seemed grubby and chaotic, and I didn’t understand how things could work, but they basically did.
      People really want our money, which makes sense because they obviously need more than they have. Still, nobody stole anything or menaced us.
  • But one thing stood out for me, since this was the first real People’s Republic I’ve been to… the propaganda billboards displayed around town. They were caricatures of themselves, as if they’d named their intelligence officers Boris and Natasha.
  • Ngockin aroung Ngunguru

    We are up north this weekend visiting ex-boss Tom at his family farm in Tutukaka. But the hotel there wanted way too much for a room, so we found an Airbnb in Ngunguru, the ngext towng over. Pronungciation has beeng a topic. There’s no hard G, so no gurus in Ngunguru.


    Ngunguru sits on an estuary. There’s a few hundred houses, a mix of second homes, retirees, and some people who make the commute into Whangarei. Pretty sleepy.

    The next morning we went for a walk around. Despite there being nothing to see, we saw a lot…

    The jandal fence.

    The time capsule.

    A whole series of funny little ant-themed pictures on the sidewalk.

    The blue car that drove off the road.

    A funny sign at the golf course and sports complex clubhouse.

    And more. Would you want to spend your remaining time here? I don’t think I would, but it’s always a nice surprise to find some of the “more than meets the eye” stuff that surely exists everywhere.


    I know a lot of what I publish in this blog is cryptic, idiosyncratic, an inside joke. Sorry not sorry for that. I like that kind of thing.

    This little whiteboard was in the window of a construction site — well after Christmas — and even I found it to be especially mysterious.

    Hu’s on first

    – Hey I saw this shop for lease down in Newmarket. It would be perfect for your shop. And the agent is my friend Ken. You should call him.

    – Cool, i will. Ken who?

    – Right! Do you know him? He’s so great.

    – I don’t know. What’s his last name?

    – Hu.

    – Ken, the agent.

    – Like I said, Ken Hu!

    – You said he’s your friend.

    – …

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