Saturday, 30 January 2010


I saw a very bright satellite this morning.  It was easily the brightest I have seen.  It was about 4:30am and I was outside staring up at the sky (as is my wont) and I first saw it from the corner of my eye due to the light.  It passed over heading vaguely north and I watched it for its entire crossing of the arc.

I looked it up on REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING  and it was the ISS (ZARYA) - or from memory it was.  I neglected to write it down.  I'm no anorak wearing satellite spotter!

I was in my dressing gown. 

The other morning I had my telescope out for the first time in ages.  I had it pointed at Mars and stared at its disc for sometime thinking, "Wow! I wish I had a better telescope!". 

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I'm annoyed

  1. By the cat that has crapped in my office even though doors and windows outside were wide open and its supposed to be housetraind - at a decade+ in age  it bloody well should be.
  2. By my property flooding whenever it rains.  The cause is likely to be a blocked stormwater drain - at least that's what I'm hoping.  The water backs up and floods the street, flows into my property and floods it out. 
  3. Other things but everything is pretty unimportant really, including the above.

edit: April 2010:  I did a bit of bitching to the local council about  my property flooding and they inspected the stormwater drains around our property.  Apparently they were almost completely blocked so they had them cleaned out.  Down stream from our property they were completely choked with invasive roots.  Through our property and a bit upstream from it, they were full of gravel.  In fact, they removed 11 tons of gravel from that stretch.  I don't think our property is going to get flooded out anymore.  A good thing too as we have at least 6 trees that couldn't cope with the excess water and which have died as a result of it.

    Wednesday, 20 January 2010

    A Plague of Beetles

    About eight years ago on a warm, still night after a hot day we were visited with a plague of beetles.  We heard a strange tapping noise coming from the kitchen and on entering it found thousands of small, black flying beetles crawling under the door and then flying like lunatics up to the light and then falling back to the floor. Watching them come under the door was like watching something out of a horror film.  Un-ending waves of them came crawling in.   We turned the outside lights on and all the inside light off and then had to literally sweep them out of the house.

    It's 11pm on another warm, still night after a hot day and we  have another visitation.  We have all the windows open in an effort to get some breeze through the bedroom.  I'm lying here in the dark now and I can hear them tapping as they fall onto the roof outside the windows. 

    I'm just having a gtalk with a friend who is about 20km away.  He says they are Australian and they have been carried over with the latest weather high from Australia.  We're just going to have to ride out this Oz invasion.

    Tuesday, 12 January 2010



    Hotel Hotel III

    I requested Dominion Post to be delivered each morning I have stayed in this hotel. So far I have received a New Zealand Herald, a Weekend Herald and a Sunday Star Times.

    Friday, 1 January 2010

    New Year

    It's a beautiful new year's day.  Very fine and clear although a little cool.  I've been awake since around 4:30am, had a rare beef sandwich and a cup of Iron Goddess of Mercy tea for breakfast, and have vowed to not clean up any of the mess left around the place by the drunken revellers of last night.

    And it is a mess.  Bottles and glasses everywhere, instruments and PA system littered throughout the garage, the remains of a fire in our driveway still burning, chairs and sun umbrellas strewn around the place and the occasional early riser wandering  around blankly.  I didn't make the mess as I got bored and went to bed and read for a couple of hours before nodding off only to be woken by Camille coming in to tell me that it was 2010.

    I tend to get bored by parties. Music turned up loud enough that people have to shout at each other to be heard, lots of people shouting at each other, people gradually getting drunk - these things just don't have the attraction for me that they did in my youth. These days I prefer a few people around, interesting and amusing conversation, music low enough so that I don't have to shout to be heard or strain to hear etc.