Lift Etiquette

On the many occasions I take the lift up to the eighth floor where my office is [yes that is lazy, but I try and take the steps at least twice a day], I have had many occasions to observe that strange thing called lift etiquette.

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but it is interesting to see how people stand in the lifts, and how they react to other people in the lift. Complicating things is that we have doors on two side of the lift.

Do you move to the back? Stand by the buttons? Face thee door? Face the middle? Catch fellow lift traveller’s eyes? Engage in conversation? I have seen it all.

Me? I am a shy fellow who tends to face the doors and only chat with people I know… 😆

That is all.

Family · Humour

Taking The Hint

Someday’s you just aren’t supposed to do what you plan. Take today for instance, we were planning on mowing the lawns around the house, and paddock out front on the ride-on. We also were going to trim the edges with the weed-whacker.

I should have taken the hint when the blade belt slipped after only one row. I wrestled it back on, with only a small cut to the thumb, and went 2o seconds before it slipped again. I managed to wrestle it on again and finish most of the lawn before it slipped again.

This time I had it on with a cut on the other thumb, went 5 seconds and then belt split. Meanwhile the E.I.C. had started the trimmer, and having started along the side of the house put a small hole in the down-pipe from the roof.

At that point we decided that today was not a good day to do outside jobs, and have come inside to do baking, cleaning, writing and other jobs. Don’t say we can’t take a hint. 😆

Family · Humour

What Was The Date Again?

So today was our 15th wedding anniversary. As per usual we only remembered because the parents reminded us. 😆

Yesterday we were at the E.I.C.’s mothers place. She hands the E.I.C. a card, and she is like “what’s that for?”

“Just open it” the mother-in-law says.

The E.I.C. opens it and it is a happy anniversary card. “Is it our anniversary?” she asks me. “Umm, tomorrow?” I say not completely convinced.

“That’s right so it is,” she says before asking, “how many years again?”

“Too many,” is my quick reply, while desperately working it out in my head. “Fifteen” I say at last.

So there we go. Fifteen years. You are probably wondering what we had for tea in celebration. The answer is mini hot dogs, chips and fish-fingers. Who says romance is dead huh 🙂


Happy Wet Ents

The rain came down, and we are happy campers. So far we have had 42mm of rain in the last 16 hours, which is more than four times the rain for the previous 28 days! Our fruit tress are happy and our water tank is filling. We are also grateful that we haven’t had the really heavy stuff that’s further up north.  It can stay raining like this for the rest of the day, yes sir it can 🙂



It’s All About The Introversion Baby

At the start of the week I had a team building day which involved completing a Myers-Briggs survey to establish the team’s personality types.  

I ended up being an INTJ, which meant for the extraversion/introversion pairing I am Introverted, for the sensing/intuition pairing I am iNtuitive, for the thinking/feeling pairing I am Thinking, and lastly for the judging/perceiving pairing I am Judging.

In each of those pairings the profile breaks down into five more facet pairings, so for the extraversion/introversion preference you get these facet pairings; initiating/receiving, expressive/contained, gregarious/intimate, active/reflective and enthusiastic/quiet. From the answers on your survey they mark you on a sliding scale on each facet pairing, heading from 5 down to 0 and then back up to 5. The closer you are to 0 on either side, the more moderate you are in that facet. How many points you score on either side of the pairings tells you what you are for that preference.

It wasn’t any surprise to me that I fell on the Introversion side, what did surprise me was how strongly I fell. The only facet pairing where I didn’t max out one the Introversion side was enthusiastic/quiet, and even then I score a 4 on quiet!

In an oversharing moment here are my scores. Where I scored dead centre I have a 0 in both scores. 

Facet Score Score facet
Extraversion     Introversion
Initiating   5 Receiving
Expressive   5 Contained
Gregarious   5 Intimate
Active   5 Reflective
Enthusiastic   4 Quiet
Sensing     Intuition
Concrete   1 Abstract
Realistic   2 Imaginative
Practical   3 Conceptual
Experiential   2 Theoretical
Traditional   2 Original
Thinking     Feeling
Logical 5   Empathetic
Reasonable 2   Compassionate
Questioning 4   Accommodating
Critical 3   Acccepting
Tough 0 0 Tender
Judging     Perceiving
Systematic 3   Casual
Planful 2   Open-ended
Early starting   1 Pressure prompted
Sceduled 0 0 Spontaneous
Methodical   2 Emergent
Family · Humour

The Glories Of A Deep Spa Bath

In one of those mad cap moments we decided to zip off to Palmerston North with the kids and spend the night with the kids in a hotel. The main motivating factor was a desire by certain members of the family, everyone but myself, for a nice deep bath. We booked a hotel with a double spa bath and headed off. Checking in just before lunch, there was soon a procession of children, and the E.I.C. through the spa bath. With absolute decadence it was filled to near maximum. I watched the cricket of sky sport.

We then took the boys to the movies, which was the youngest’s first time. We took them to Tangled in 3D, so we also introduced the youngest to the 3D glasses at the same time. Now both of us have been reluctant to go to 3D movies, thinking them gimmicky, and remembering the really bad old time 3D effects. Much to our surprise we actually liked it. Not the lame coming out of the screen effects, but more the depth added to the normal scenes.

Later we watched movies after a second deep bath for those inclined. In pure hedonistic joy all three had a third this morning. O the wanton waste of water.

Animals · Family · Humour

Gemini No Longer


Apparently astronomers, or is that astrologers, have shifted the dates on the Zodiac.

[Update: A fuller explanation]

Astrological sign of the times [From badastronomy]

Great, so what’s with this new story? Basically, the Star Tribune talked to an astronomer and an astronomy teacher in the area, who (correctly) poo-pooed astrology. The astronomer mentioned that the signs of the zodiac have shifted since they were first invented thousands of years ago. This is true, because the Earth’s axis wobbles over time, which has the effect of shifting the positions of the zodiacal constellations in the sky, or, more accurately, the time of the year the Sun passes through them. So it used to be that if you were born on March 22, you were an Aries… if you went by the original timing of when the Sun was in Aries. But now, millennia later, the Sun is actually in Pisces on that date. And it won’t be much longer before it’s in Aquarius in late March (hence “the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”, in case you’re my age and a hippy or a 5th Dimension fan).

Your Zodiac Sign May Have Changed {From Gawker}

Astronomers have restored the original Babylonian zodiac by recalculating the dates that correspond with each sign to accommodate millennia of subtle shifts in the Earth’s axis. Prepare to have your minds blown, all you people with easily blowable minds.

Here is the zodiac as the ancient Babylonians intended it—with the dates corresponding to the times of the year that the sun is actually in each constellation’s “house”—according to the Minnesota Planetarium Society’s Parke Kunkle:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces: March 11-April 18.
Aries: April 18-May 13.
Taurus: May 13-June 21.
Gemini: June 21-July 20.
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus:* Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

* Discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.


Ruminations · Writing

Reflections On Writing The Emotional Connection

There is this rule in writing, that you should show not tell. I think I get that, and I hope I write to that, as it is quite hard to work to. I imagine they use a similar guideline in movie making, though with a slight variation in meaning. I think it is a very important concept when attempting to make an emotional connection.

I was up late last night (that late night pacing), not writing but channel surfing, which was not good when I stumbled upon Schindler’s List, which is movie that gets that. Schindler’s List is not a movie I would go out of my way to watch. In fact I saw when it first came out and swore never to watch it again, mainly because I don’t want to put myself through the raw emotional anxious it arouses. Nevertheless I found myself drawn back into the movie, despite knowing what was coming. That is the power of a incredibly well crafted movie.

Afterwards, having put myself through the emotional wringer, I found myself reflecting on storytelling, showing and not telling and emotional connection. Now in The Spiral Tattoo and The Oaks Grove I am not setting out to create any great emotional response. Sure I want to create an emotional connection, but it is more of a happy, what a great romp, connection. I off course think there is a place for that, otherwise I wouldn’t write it.

But I was left wondering if I could write that. If I could write a story that elicits a powerful emotion connection. I think so, but it would be that much more difficult to achieve. Maybe my next story should be in that mode?

Of course I would need to finish the story I am supposed to be writing at the moment first. The Oaks Grove has not progressed as well as I would have liked. I need to knuckle down, work through the small writer’s block I have in place, and stop procrastinating.

As a wise man once said, do or do not, there is no try.

Also posted over on 

Animals · Family

Toys, Birthdays And Growing Chicks…

The eldest T.B.T. has hit the ripe old age of eleven.

The mountain cake as decorated by himself...


Meanwhile we have bravely gone into more debt and bought new toys, I mean really useful tools, a scrub-cutter and a ride on lawnmower! Now that grass will no longer give us nightmares, nor will we need to have other people cut the grass in the orchard.

My new toy!

And just for a little chick update, here is mum with Yoda, Yoda and Chuck Norris 🙂

The chicks.