Humour · Ruminations

Old Man Hair

I think one of the biggest traumas in growing old is old man hair.

First the hair on your head starts go grey, then it starts to disappear, and then the worst thing happens. It starts to reappear in strange places!

Your ears start to sprout great tufts of thin hair, then it migrates down your back (which has the advantage I guess of warmth retention. Then in other strange places. Towards the end it sprouts like a vine from your nose and your eyebrows become great furry caterpillars.

eyebrowsI am telling you this as I contemplate taking scissors to my eyebrows before they take over my glasses and I can’t take them off anymore. I’m sure they have become sentient so if you never hear from me again it is due to my eyebrows resisting the Great Trim of 2017!

Humour · Ruminations

The Daily Blog Conundrum

The Daily Blog Conundrum

conundrum 1When writing a blog every day, or even with any regularity, one starts to consider ones topics. If one is travelling, or doing a project, or whatever activity that lends itself to regular reports it is fairly easy. If, however, one is simply blogging daily life it can get more complicated.

Does one fill ones blog with regular reviews? Photos of cats? Photos of food? It tends to be a mixture of content. Also is this a diary, should it be written at the end of the day? Once upon a time I think people thought of blogging like public sharing of diaries but I think the open nature of the blog means that is very much less so.kitten

For me there comes an inevitable point where I start considering blogging thoughts on politics, philosophy and spirituality. So far I have resisted the urge mainly by thinking no-one wants another cis, middle aged white guy pontificating on the web.

Of course that would mean one thought folks actually read this. 😆

I have been contemplating a series of longish posts which are more me trying to work out thoughts and questions than to say anything that could be meaningful. It may still happen but so far the resistance is strong.badger

As you can tell I opened up my Surface (Hmmm maybe I should review technology at some point – might need a spreadsheet of potential topics) once on the train and starred at the blanks screen trying to think of what to write. So you get a stream of conscious (with a little post editing) as today’s entry. Ah well.

babybadgerSo for today have this post with random pictures of animals. 🙂

Humour · Ruminations

Great Intentions – Writing,Exercise, Sleeping and Trains

Dawn on The Commute is not always this pretty

When we shifted back to the Wairarapa and I started The Commute on the train I had intentions of writing each trip. Theoretically there is three hours each day of enforced immobility where I can tap, tap, tap on the keyboard relatively uninterrupted. Things so far haven’t worked like that. 😆

A combination of factors has meant very little writing has happened. Firstly I haven’t quite conquered the Demon of Self Doubt. Also I keep falling asleep.

I don’t sleep very well. I get a probably six hours of restless sleep each night. And then I hop on the train and the motion rocks me into a doze. I’m sure this isn’t good for me.

The lack of sleep is and then sleeping on the train is probably linked in a cycle. If I didn’t nap on the train I probably would sleep better. It’s probably also linked to fitness levels which are generally poor.

Lucky for me at the moment I am starting to get incidental exercise. I walk at least down from the University to the train station. I work on the 7th floor of the library and since we have no lifts currently and for the foreseeable future it means I usually do 7 flights of stairs twice a day. Also M wanted to do Karate and I have been hoodwinked into joining her.

The net effect it I am starting to see improved fitness. Which will lead to better sleep. Which hopefully will lead to less sleeping on the train. And finally increased productivity writing wise if only I can kill the Demon of Self Doubt.

Verily right now as I write this for posting later I’m actually on the train and awake. I can’t tell you about the passing landscape due to it being dark. All one sees as we flow tough the very early morning is the occasional light from the farms before stopping in the glow of commuter stations. Currently one tells if we have entered or left the tunnels under the Rimutakas by the sound of the train.

Maybe I can turn intentions into reality. Maybe. We’ll see.

UPDATE: Post commute – no writing but also no sleeping. Yawn 😆

Building · Family · Ruminations

Strange Obsessions – Ovens

One of the many things you don’t get told as a kid is the strange obsessions you develop as an adult. I can remember (vaguely as my memory isn’t that great) as a kid obsessing over games, books, music etc. And then as an adult my obsessions go more varied.

I have found myself obsessing over insulation, double glazing, lawn mowers and paint colours. One constant obsession recently has been solar energy for the house.

For many years now I have had obsessions over different ovens. The makes and models can change but there are a number of constants. I always obsess over two ovens, one a wood fired oven with wetback, the over is a duel fuel oven with a gas hob and electric oven.

matriarch01Currently my wood range fetish is focused on the Homewood range crafted in the far north. They have three beautifully manufactured wood stoves and I doubt I will ever have the room in the kitchen for the largest one but I do so want it.

classic_deluxe_110_df-cran-exportI have fairly consistently wanted the Falcon oven as a duel fuel one as well. It is also a lovely looking piece of cookware and would sit rather nicely along side the Homewood.

Maybe one day we will have the dollars to remodel the kitchen/dining room and I could fit them both in.

Family · Ruminations

Board Games: Tokaido

Over the last couple of years the family has been getting into board games. I am going to review a few of our favourites.


Tokaido is, if not the best, then probably close to the best we have acquired in recent years. We bought the deluxe version which included the first expansion Crossroads, and I would recommend do that rather than buying the basic version. It is well worth the investment. We also purchased the second expansion Matsuri and recommend getting this as well.

It’s All About the Journey

In Tokaido, each player is a traveler crossing the “East sea road”, one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. While traveling, you will meet people, taste fine meals, collect beautiful items, discover great panoramas, and visit temples and wild places but at the end of the day, when everyone has arrived at the end of the road you’ll have to be the most initiated traveler – which means that you’ll have to be the one who discovered the most interesting and varied things.

For our family we love this as while it is competitive it isn’t aggressively competitive. You don’t have to attempt to crush everybody else. Also as a family we tend to enjoy building things and collecting. There is great satisfaction in collecting paintings, or sets of items from the shops.

I give this game five meapole out of five.


The games was featured on Will Wheatons YouTube show Tabletop.


UPDATE: And just this morning I discover they now have a version of Tokaido for Apple and Android

Ruminations · Writing

Starting A Fresh?

Recently I have been thinking about writing again. I have even written a few words. Which is good, however still don’t ask me about how it’s going. Maybe later if this new push works I’ll talk about it.

Anyho, I’ve been thinking about my most successful period of writing, as in when I wrote The Spiral Tattoo, and trying to figure out what was happening then that I managed to get that flow of characters onto the page.

One thing I think I was doing was blogging regularly. This has not happened in many years. So step one of getting the flow back is to start blogging again. Not just here but on my writing site and the library site.

Writing here will be probably the easiest, as I can just go with the flow on anything, the writing site can have some cross pollination, however the library site will be the most difficult.

So starting off without sleeping on the train this post is brought to you by the Transzmetro Wairarapa train service. I’m slowly getting used to the 5am alarm to get the 6.02am train. I am looking forward to day light savings ending and having a bit more light in the morning.


Verily, then, look forward to more random thoughts from early in the morning on the train.

Family · Ruminations

Operation Just Do It.

So it’s been well over a year since I posted anything. That’s shocking.

Looking back I was starting to do objectives and stuff and a little writing and then it all went somewhere. Ah well.

Anyway, 42 has come which is good, but that with some other stuff has hit home home that really life’s to short to fart around.

So I have started Operation Just Do It, or Operation Stop Farting Around, or Operation Take charge. I am lucky with a lovely family and we are doing well, but my fitness is not what it should be, and I keep putting off doing things like writing. Either I want to be a writer and write, or I don’t; I need to get too it or stop pretending.

So the new plan; stop putting things off and just do them. No objectives per say – just a commitment to every day do something I would normally put off.

Today that was running this morning, baking tonight and writing this.

Tomorrow will be something else.

Anyway – Happy New Year 😉

Family · Humour

In Da Nile and Other Such Nonsense – Or Should I be Brave?

At the start of the year I listed some objectives for the coming year. All right they were New year resolutions but since I don’t think they work I had to call them something else all right? And I started them last year so technically they weren’t to do with New Year? And they were going well. I was running and writing.

Then I got a little bit sick. I might have been in denial about how sick. They don’t send you to hospital for a mild case of a chest infection. The doctors have told me several different things about what I had, but what ever, it was a serious chest thing. This has put a great stomping hole in my objectives, and I have been hiding in CivV for the last few weeks. But I am better now, so I need to dust off the objectives and get back into it. Yeah. Just a few more turns….

Actually one of the things from all this is an epiphany/realization.  I am a bit of hermit and being that sick has made me come to the conclusion that I should probably be a tad more social. This is not a natural thing for me. I know a number of folks around Wellington but my main interaction with them is virtually. Actually a lot of them it is solely virtually. I think this should change so I am adding a new objective of being more social. How I am going to achieve this is a little problematic. Being a hermit and all. *Hide, hide people may talk to me*.

I was randomly thinking of randomly inviting twitter folks to something but… Yeah… One more turn I have a city to conquer…. 😆



Ruminations · Writing

Objective Report

So far I am making good progress on keeping to my objectives.

The weather hasn’t been helpful on the running front, but I did week one of the Couch-to-5k program as planned. It’s not looking good for next week weather wise but I am going to keep at it. 🙂

The writing has been okay. I have reached my goal of 500 words a day. Opening a spreadsheet that I am tracking my progress helps as I haven’t missed a day and don’t want to let the side down.  Next week we are back to work so that may bring obstacles but I need to establish this routine.

While I have reached the goal each day, the words have not been great. But I am okay with that, as at this point I want to just write and get back into the habit of writing.  I do need to pause soon though and start planing what I am writing. Currently it is just random scenes with no connection in a new work. I am going to run out of steam soon so next week there shall be some planning going down I think and a more deliberate choice of what I write.

But on the whole things are going well. 🙂


They’re Objectives Not Resolutions Allright…

As the New Year fast approaches it is time to think about what one wants to achieve in the next year. This often takes the form of New Year resolutions that you are supposed to kick into from January 1st. I have never been one to think that New Year resolutions hold, often because folks are often too busy recovering from New Year’s celebrations to take actions. So this year I have decided to set some general objectives. Objectives that are achievable. I am also starting them before the New Years.

My 2014 objectives are going to come under five broad categories: health, writing, reading, work and study.


Heading towards the ripe old age of 41 I need to watch the health. Last year we did the Couch-to-5K running program, which I finished but didn’t carry on.  I am blaming the shift of cities.

Objective 1: Complete the C-2-5K program again.

Objective 2: Maintain running at least 3 times a week once the C-2-5K is complete.


Yeah the writing hasn’t been going well. I do have a short story in a collection with an actual paper print run, but otherwise don’t talk to me about writing. This needs to change.

Objective 3: write at least 500 words of new fiction per day.

Objective 4: Blog at least once per week – I have noticed that when I was blogging regularly I was writing more fiction wise.


I have also noticed that since I am not writing am not reading. There maybe a correlation in there. Although at various points I have binged on listening to stories so it isn’t all bad.

Objective 5: Have something I am reading at all times – spend at least half an hour a day just reading and the Internet doesn’t count.


Work has been going well but this year I want it to be stellar. It is a bit hard to put general objectives around work but…

Objective 5: Set three achievable extension tasks each week and meet them.


I have this thing I want to do which I will write about over at The Room of Infinite Diligence which hopefully will lead to a Master of Arts with thesis.

Objective 6: Have study and research at such a place that I have been accepted into a MA program.

Yeah, so there we go. The good news for me is I am already achieving a couple of the objectives having already run my C-2-5K this morning and written this 🙂