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Bhavatu sabba mangalam.
"May all beings be happy."
Vipassana meditation.
• Who: Eric Case FOAF
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« June 2002 | Main | August 2002 »

July 29, 2002


Ok, posting around here might stay infrequent for the next few days. I'm back at the Slaughterhouse for a last visit. And yes, it still looks like that outside, only without any clouds. :)

Posted at 09:19 | TrackBacks (0)

July 27, 2002

Bush recount

Sheesh. [via]

Posted at 23:55 | TrackBacks (0)

NZ elections

Ok, it's been an interesting night of NZ election coverage on One. Could any of you Kiwis explain to me what "the worm" is, and how it enabled United Future to come out of nowhere and take 9 seats in Parliament? And, why did the Greens do so poorly? Is the Labour coalition gonna leave the Greens hanging out to dry over the GE issue? If so, that's tragic.

But dig this- the Govt here runs its own results site. Screw the big media, get the info straight from the source! Does this happen back home? I've no idea, but I doubt it...

This entire process has fascinated me, as NZ uses an MMP electoral system, quite different than our own twisted setup. See, with MMP, smaller parties actually get a chance to participate in the legislative process, where in the US they're shut out completely by the good old boys. Why is voter turnout so low in the US? Because its alternative-thinking citizens know that their votes hardly mean a thing in the end (thus the Bush presidency and me hearing The Doors in my head...)

Uggh, this post probably goes over my monthly quota for blog political content. Any more and y'all would probably run away screaming. No more anytime soon, I promise.

Posted at 23:29 | TrackBacks (0)

steve ballmer quote

Steve Ballmer: "We [at Microsoft] have prided ourselves on always being the cheapest guy on the block--we were going to be higher volume and lower priced than anybody else out there, whether it was Novell, Lotus or anybody else. . . One issue we have now, a unique competitor, is Linux. We haven't figured out how to be lower priced than Linux. For us as a company, we're going through a whole new world of thinking."

Ballmer: Linux Changed Our Game, by Rich Cirillo in
VARBusiness, July 15, 2002

Posted at 09:25 | TrackBacks (0)

joho guide to magnitude

Kevin Marks' Guide to Magnitude:

Bluetooth is 10 times faster than a 56k modem
USB is 10 times faster than Bluetooth
802.11b is as fast as USB
10baseT is as fast as USB
100baseT is 10 times faster than 10baseT
FireWire is 4 times faster than 100baseT and 40 times faster than USB
Gigabit Ethernet is 10 times faster than 100baseT

Posted at 09:21 | TrackBacks (0)

July 24, 2002

Little Wanganui

I'm in Little Wanganui for the next few days, staying with Robert and Yosita Van den Berg, a couple I met at the May Vipassana course. There's no mobile phone coverage here, in case anybody's trying to call (grin).

And happy birthday to Grandpa, who turns 81 today. :)

Posted at 16:03 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (5)

July 23, 2002

cape foulwind sunset

Cape Foulwind sunsetI caught a magical sunset yesterday at Cape Foulwind. West Coast weather is extremely variable- one hour rain might be pouring down from a dark, cloudy sky, and the next hour could have crystal blue skies and bright sunlight. Luckily it was clear enough to see the sun setting beyond the Tasman Sea yesterday. Australia is just a bit north (to the right) of the sun.

Posted at 12:08 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (1)

July 22, 2002

Pilger: the great charade

A new one from John Pilger- The great charade: "Contrary to propaganda orchestrated from Washington and London, the coming attack has nothing to do with Saddam Hussein's 'weapons of mass destruction', if these exist at all. The reason is that America wants a more compliant thug to run the world's second greatest source of oil."

Posted at 22:52 | TrackBacks (0)

July 21, 2002


Earlier this evening I was walking through the aisles of the Westport New World, picking up supplies for dinner tonight (macaroni & homemade cheese sauce, steamed broccoli & cauliflower and garlic bread... mmm...), when my mobile rang. The caller id said "anonymous," so I figured it probably wasn't an NZ caller. Sure enough, it was Ryan, calling from some bar in Cleveland, with about 2 minutes left on his phone card. After a minute or so of me rambling on about how wonderful NZ is, he started complaining about how geeky and liberal this site has gotten, how crappy the US economy is right now, yadda yadda. Go abroad, young man! There's plenty of work elsewhere in the world!

Anyway, it was great hearing from you, McCarihan. It means a lot. I've also gotta give some props to Raz, who rang me out of the blue a few weeks back when I was cruising to Mount Cook. I mean, I was literally cruising down the NZ motorway in Delilah when it rang, and pulled off the road to chat. You guys rock. Keep it up. :)

Posted at 01:11 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (2)


I'm writing from TripInn, a backpackers' hostel in Westport, waiting for Danielle to get down here from Takaka so we can get caught up before she leaves for Oz (Australia) on the 24th. Phew, long sentence, sorry. There's a great gang of people here tonight, a Dutch dude, a French couple and 4 English chickies (2 from the north and 2 from the west).

TripInn has a great movie collection, and we watched Shawshank tonight. One of the gals hadn't seen it yet. A hot topic, prison rehabilitation. It's a shame the guys in the flick didn't know about Vipassana. They're teaching it in prisons, ya know, and it's proving to be the most successful rehab method ever tried. What's the secret? It's definitely nothing fear-inspired, which is the traditional method. The secret is, it makes everyone who learns it aware that they create their own realities, both positive and negative, and that they are completely responsible for the state of those realities. For a fascinating glimpse at the Vipassana/prison rehab combo, check out this award-winning documentary, "Doing Time, Doing Vipassana," made by two Israeli ladies. I've got a DVD of it traveling with me.

Posted at 00:55 | TrackBacks (0)

July 19, 2002

driving to the west coast

In an hour or so I'm departing Christchurch for (likely) the last time. I'm taking the Lewis Pass over the Southern Alps to the West Coast, then on to visit friends for a bit up in Little Wanganui. The sky is currently blue and cloudless, though that'll probably change as I head up into the mountains.

Keeping me company on the trip is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' brilliant new album. Thanks Gramps!

Posted at 11:55 | TrackBacks (0)

July 18, 2002

blog meetup

I was two hours late to the Christchurch Webloggers Meetup tonight, alas, and must have missed it (had a group Vipassana sit to attend). Didn't see any of the gang at the Big Irish Bar. D'oh!

Posted at 23:46 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (2)

excellent keynote

macworld expo keynote crew'Twas a most excellent keynote! Can't quite get through to download the new iTunes though.

Wow, just looked at the clock- it's 3:20am Thursday here! Waaay past my bed time.

Posted at 03:20 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (5)

July 17, 2002


NetNewsWire is where it's at. Thanks Brent!

Posted at 19:22 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (1)

Macworld keynote satellite

A few of us are going to watch the MacWorld Expo keynote at Digital Fusion here in Christchurch. At 1am Thursday. (giggle)

We've got access to a studio where we can tune into the satellite broadcast, but the coordinates listed are for the northern hemisphere. Ugh. Anybody know if there's a satellite broadcast for those of us down under? I've already checked Apple Australia's site, but no go.

Posted at 13:33 | TrackBacks (0)

July 16, 2002

csm headlines

'Been getting caught up on the latest batch of CSM news...

Posted at 20:45 | TrackBacks (0)


Paths to patriotism: "While 8 in 10 Americans support the war on terrorism, only 57 percent of college students approve. Following Sept. 11, military records show, the enlistment rate hardly budged."

"Ms. Tengo, for one, has never voted and vows that she never will. 'It's one of those 'What's the point?' kind of things," she quips. "I feel like my life would be the same no matter who's in office, so I don't really care.'"

"'There is a gap developing where young people really do not sense a duty to participate in the process,' says Leon Panetta, head of the institute and former White House chief of staff under President Clinton. 'They clearly care about issues, but the disconnect is that they don't see Washington as relevant to what they believe in.'"

Posted at 20:44 | TrackBacks (0)

Christian malls

Christian-style capitalism grows in the South: "On the suburban cusp of this quiet Piedmont city, the First Assembly of Concord Baptist Church has made a bold move: It's bought a whole shopping mall."

Posted at 20:40 | TrackBacks (0)

Lagos, Nigeria

A Letter From Lagos, Nigeria: "Their parents had saved money for two years to enable the boys to make the trip to Lagos. Now the brothers are on their own. Between them they have nothing but $20, 'the plan,' and a great deal of hope."

Posted at 20:39 | TrackBacks (0)

US saying sorry

The value of saying 'sorry': "President Bush said he told Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the telephone, "Any time innocent life is lost, we're sad." Missing from the superpower lexicon of abstract regret is apology or acknowledgment of responsibility. Is the superpower too big to be accountable to peoples from less powerful nations?"

Posted at 20:38 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (1)

Britain marijuana

Tough-on-drugs Britain softens its line on marijuana: "The cannabis of today ... has 10 times the strength of the cannabis on the market in the '80s.... The use of cannabis, holding it in the mouth, inhaling it deeply, greatly increases the risk of mouth, throat, and lung cancer."

Posted at 20:37 | TrackBacks (0)

Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt vs. WorldCom: "President Theodore Roosevelt loathed the idea of placing the words 'In God We Trust' on coins. He was irate at the cheapening of religious sentiment and the cynical attempt to elevate money to the level of the transcendent. But his arguments failed to convince Congress, which voted in 1907 to put the slogan on American coins."

Posted at 20:35 | TrackBacks (0)

Chuck's blog

Sweetness, Chuck is finally blogging. Check him out. He and Grisha are in Boone, North Carolina, teaching a summer course. And to top it off, they just saw Doc Watson play. Bastids!

Posted at 15:29 | TrackBacks (0)

July 14, 2002

christchurch movies

All the rain we've been getting in Christchurch these past few days has prompted me to check out a few movies. Monsoon Wedding at the Cloisters Cinema and Kandahar at the Academy Cinema. And rented Memento and Timecode last night. Brilliant stuff, all of it.

Posted at 12:07 | TrackBacks (0)

July 13, 2002

digital fusion

As you may have noticed, the picture list to the right is finally current. Meaning there's no backlog of pictures, that I can actually link to visuals of what I've been up to rather than just rambling about it. In Homer Simpson's immortal words, "woo-hoo!"

Thanks go to Craig Saunders of Digital Fusion here in Christchurch, who let me jack into their network/2 meg frame relay connection earlier today. Bandwidth, how do I love thee!

Posted at 01:47 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (2)

July 12, 2002

back from the bush

St. James WalkI'm back in civilization from the NZ bush, Christchurch to be exact. This is a shot of the Ada Valley in the Lewis Pass region, here on NZ's South Island, taken on Day 2 of the St. James Walkway. Jessica (a fellow Vipassana meditator from the course back in May) and I got a late start on Day 1, and ended up night-hiking the last hour to the Cannibal Gorge Hut. When we left the car park, a quick check of the D.O.C. Intentions Book revealed a pack of Boy Scouts supposedly tramping as well... Uh-oh, we thought. Sure enough, a gang of 12 of them (hi guys) plus 4 chaperones were doing the 5-day walk as well. Joy! It was great hanging with them though, they grilled me constantly about my funny accent, what the USA is like, why our president is a war-monger (yes, 14 year-olds telling me this), their own travels in the US and Australia, etc.

The weather was supposed to turn foul (snow down to 500m elevation, the majority of the tramp being ~800-1200m), so the original plan was to tramp a day or two in, then come back to where we started before being dumped on. But we couldn't be shown up by the scouts, who were set on doing the whole walk regardless of snow... So we changed plans and did the whole track, all 66ks, in 3 nights/4 days. Due to poor food-planning, however, we crammed it into 4 days so as not to go hungry. I'm sure we could have stretched it, but...

St. James Walk 2In the end, the weather held out and we had stunning views the entire time. This one is of some mountain range or another (there's tons of them in the Lewis Pass) we saw on Day 3.

St. James Walk 3A highlight of the walk was definitely the pack of wild horses we passed on Day 3. And yes, the Rolling Stones were playing in my head from that point on. :)

And a PS- many thanks again to Jonas (nice redesign, J) for the guest blogging while I was away. Too bad about the net news from Denmark, though.

Posted at 16:28 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (3)

July 9, 2002

Jonas #3

I don't expect anybody around here reads Danish newspapers, so it's your luck that I do. This last week has been quite interesting in Denmark if cyberlaw tickles your fancies. First off, Danish news website Newsbooster got sued a while ago for deep linking to news stories on sites owned by the Danish Newspaper Association (basically the internet versions of the established Danish newspapers). The subject of linking and permissions has been treated previously here on mandarb. Newsbooster lost the lawsuit, so, the score is Lawyers and Big business 1 - The internet and netizens 0.
Then, a second sigthing of a coming monopoly was spotted in the area of radio broadcasted on the web. KODA, the Danish administrators of copyright issues for Danish and international artists, six-doubled the fee for web-broadcasted radio stations to play music administered by them. Within a short while, the Danish National Broadcast Radio (who holds a special contract with KODA) (DR) will be the only ones controlling the music on the Danish etherwaves. Lawyers and Big business 2 - The internet and netizens 0.

Posted at 08:53 | TrackBacks (0)

July 7, 2002

St James Walkway

Last night at a going-away party for Doug, I got a spur-of-the-moment offer to tramp the St. James Walkway in the South Island's Lewis Pass area. So we're taking off for the trek in about 12 hours... Hopefully I can rope Jonas in for a bit more guest-blogging, and keep this place a bit more active than the last few times I've gone offline... ;)

Posted at 23:02 | TrackBacks (1) | Comments (1)

July 6, 2002

weather satellites

Thanks to John Hirtzel of the Canterbury Mac User Group, here's where to view daily high-res weather satellite images of NZ. Cooool.

Posted at 12:22 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (5)

July 4, 2002

done snowboarding

I can now snowboard. And it is good. Awesome. Better than awesome. "Sweet as," as the Kiwi youth say. Like skiing, all it took was adhitthana. And plenty of pain- first learning at Porter Heights (physical pain) and then practicing at Roundhill (financial pain).

But I can confidently say that after 3 half-days working at it, I can carve sweet powder down a mountain. Further, I've got the bruises to show for it- a big, blue 3" x 5" one on my left hip from landing right on the bone about 3 times in a row (stupid icy Porter snow, grrr), a stoved and swollen right thumb (dunno when it happened, but it sure as #^*& did), an intensely sore left bum (I always seem to land on it, thud), and it hurts when sneezing and taking deep breaths (from crashing on my left rib cage, again at Porter, grrr). But it was sooooo worth it. It should all heal soon enough, right?

I also snuck in a quick trip to Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. I'll try and get the pictures online soon. ;)

Posted at 23:12 | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (1)