Monthly Archives: November 2007

doot, doot, doot, lookin’ out my back door…

One of my many new joys in life is exploring WordPress. Again. I know. But this time it’s different. Thanks to the good people at Tamba2, I’ve been able to install a mini apache server, sql database, and wordpress on my pc laptop in a very easy and straight forward manner. Yay+++. So far every thing has just worked. Simple. Easy. How cool is that? If you’re not a complete newby, and you want to install your own AMP+WP setup, simply follow the instructions and everything seems to work effortlessly. I’m already working on new templates and looking at plugins – it’s fantastic having a test bench without having all my mistakes splattered across the net. Thank you, Tamba2, for the other WP guides – very good work.

WordCamp Melbourne

The pain, the pain… it doesn’t have to be an exceptionally tempting offer to encourage me to jump the ditch over to Melbourne, Australia. Sadly, I’m heading in the other direction on the weekend of 17 November, or I’d be front and centre for WordCamp Melbourne – an initiative by arch blog supremo, James Farmer, ably assisted by big name blog gurus – and I don’t mean they just write stuff, I mean they know how to make blogs sit up and their readers beg for more. Congrats James and collabs, hopefully I’ll make the next one.

thanks, guy

November 2. It’s 21:30 or thereabouts; and from outside I can here the occasional bang of fireworks. Double happys and tom thumbs we called ’em. New Zealand is attempting to manage the annual carnage of life, limb, property, pets, wildlife, real and forestry estate by only allowing fireworks to be sold four days before the official November 5 – Guy Fawkes day. I genuinely have no idea why we celebrate some pommie terrorist – perhaps it’s been because of the shocking absence (until recently) of our own home grown exemplars.

We never had fireworks as a kid. Instead (remember this is back in a time before and shortly after the introduction of tv – AND it was in glorious black and white) Mum would buy us a pineapple and a coconut. Her theory – her policy, damn it, the LAW was that Dad worked too hard to earn the money to put a roof over our heads and food on the table and there as NO WAY she was about to take money and set fire to it. At least with the treat of exotic fruit we would get four layers of pleasure from it. First – delicious and nutritious. Second – sensible use of money; and gratitude and respect for Dad’s sweat. How rare that is. Third – exotic. Exotic. Exotic. There we were, stuck in the boondocks and here was a taste of something from far away. I think we thought the fruit came from “The Islands” – I have no precise location, but it was then, and still is, an idea I am in love with every single day. “The Islands” – I so want to be there, even if they only exist in myth. Fourth – well, instead of having fireworks we got to go to school with a wedge of pineapple and a chunk of coconut, and watch our school chums writhe with envy. Oh, simple pleasures are the best ones.

Beau Brummell, where are you?

Not too many people would rate me in the fashion stakes. In fact, the fashion police field more calls about my clothing choices than any other unfortunate. What I have found myself wondering lately is: who or what is responsible for the horrid men’s wear seen in downtown Wellington. I am continually amazed at the ill fitting clothing – clearly, suits cost a few hundred dollars through to more than a few hundred – but they fit badly. I am not a tailor, but I can see collars not fitting, rear vents gaping, fabric twisting, and of course, the obligatory trousers exposing an excessive amount of ankle. Horrors. Absolute horrors. How hard can it be?

I think there’s a real gap in the market for a menswear shop where the owners have figured out that most guys don’t mind buying, but they don’t like shopping. There is no need for 10,000 colours of anything fundamental. At all. That clothing can be elegant and simple and functional. That the range can be colour coordinated so that a guy can only buy colour combinations that work. There are no pink ties as there is never an occasion for wearing them. No. Not even Halloween. Men need clothing that is sculpted, women need clothing that is draped. Arms start at the shoulders. Jackets and shirts should reflect this reality. The general theme could be classic quality never goes out of fashion. And the shop assistants genuinely assist. A guy cannot tell if the jacket collar does not fit to the shirt collar does not fit to their neck while they’re walking. That the vent gaps. And as for pin stripes that done line up properly – where is the pride of workmanship? If it was all working nicely, what the guy was wearing would be unnoticeable. You’d just think, ‘He looks good’. Sharp. Smart. Impeccable. Instead you think, ‘Oh lord, who on earth suckered every buyer in town into buying pink ties?’

As I said, what’s my qualification for this critique? I’m a fashion nightmare. I’m not a tailor. But I look at the suits on the street and I think – argh! I want to grab shears and chalk and pins and just fix them up. Why Wellington, why? Has WOW made wearing off the shoulder bin liners acceptable?