Knight Joust

A Joust of Knights
(The Sorcerer’s Ring #16)
by Morgan Rice (2014)

Thorgrin and his brothers follow Guwayne s trail at sea, pursuing him to the Isle of Light. But as they reach the ravaged isle and the dying Ragon, all may be just too late.

At this point things are beginning to get a bit repetitive. Characters are surviving by nothing but luck and the many plot threats seem to be spiraling out of control. Here’s hoping that the next and final novel will bring everything together.


Hammer Pink

The Pink Hammer
(Court Theatre)

Written by Michele Amas
Directed by Anthea Williams

The inaugural Pink Hammer Workshop is an absolute disaster.

Annabel, Helen, Louise and Siobhan turn up, looking forward to learning carpentry skills from a pioneering, female furniture maker… but instead they find Woody, an out-of-work, disgruntled builder who’s less than impressed to find four sheilas among his claw hammers.

The Positive:

Theatreview Review

Stuff Review

The play premiered at Centrepoint Theatre in November 2014, then two years later Tadpole Productions staged it at Auckland’s Pumphouse Theatre.

I find this surprising, given the problems with the play. But first, there is nothing wrong with the top notch actors in the play. They each bring the character to life is a realistic and sympathetic way.

The set is great too, this could be any garage or shed anywhere in NZ.

The problems are entirely with the story and script. The first problem become apparent about half way through the second act. When a significant number of the audience start applauding at the end scenes before the ending, you know the story is not conveying it’s narrative arc. This happened three or four times, each time had me wondering what was happening.

The second problem is a mayor one. It’s about delivering what you advertise. If an author writes a book in the horror genre, you expect scares and frights. In a comedy you expect laughs and a tone to match.

During the first half of the play, the story successfully sets the characters, story and main conflicts. The second half should then resolve these with increased laughs and tension.

Instead the story wavers, unsure of itself. Then it ends with a tragedy, a down and rather morbid ending. It was not what we expected and left me feeling frustrated that the writer couldn’t have come up with a better ending.

Prog Day

Today is International Day of the Programmer.

In 1956 The IBM 305 RAMAC was introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage.


Then, in 1985 Super Mario Bros. is released in Japan for the NES, which starts the Super Mario series of platforming games.



On this day In  1959 – Bonanza premieres in the USA, the first regularly scheduled TV program presented in color.

On 1 June 1960 TV started in NZ.

Broadcast from Shortland St in central Auckland, New Zealand’s first official television transmission began at 7.30 p.m. The first night’s broadcast lasted just three hours and was only available to viewers in Auckland. It included an episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood, a live interview with a visiting British ballerina and a performance by the Howard Morrison Quartet.

In February 1966 the average price of a 23-inch black and white television ‘consolette’ was £131, equivalent to nearly $5000 today.

On Wednesday 31 October 1973, colour television using the Phase Alternating Line (PAL) system was introduced, in readiness for the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, which were to be held in Christchurch in January and February 1974. The final switchover for colour television was in December 1975.

Leap Day

Ethiopian calendar

Between the years AD 1900 and 2099, September 11 of the Gregorian calendar is the leap day of the Coptic and Ethiopian calendars.

These leap days occur in the years immediately before leap years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. In all common years of the Coptic and Ethiopian calendars, September 11 is New Year’s Day.

Coptic Calendar

Comp Bug

On this day in 1947 a moth lodges in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at Harvard University, causing the first case of a computer bug.

The Harvard Mark II, also known as Aiken Relay Calculator, was a computer built under the direction of Howard Aiken and was finished in 1947. It was financed by the United States Navy. Howard Aiken and Grace Hopper worked together to program and build the Mark II.



Good Housekeeping Tips

Time To Clean House?

I clean my house according to some simple principles
that are easy to remember:

1. If you have just stepped on something and danced around in pain until you slip, it’s probably time to pick up the broom.

2. If you find your scissors by feeling around your dining room table until you feel something hard of the correct shape, it’s time to clear off a few things.

3. If you need a gas mask to open your fridge, you might think about throwing away some of those leftovers.

4. If you drop your comb in the bathroom and you pick it up with more hair than is currently attached to your head, it’s time to sweep.

5. If the neighbors are circulating a petition about the state of your yard, you might consider cutting the grass -but only if you’ve failed to buy them off pie.

6. If your feet stick walking across the kitchen floor, it’s time to mop.

7. If you haven’t seen the floor of your car for a week because of the litter on the floor and ‘wash me’ is written in the dust on the outside of the car, it’s time to take the hint.

Old Car

Not the car – Just an example

In Jan 2004, for approximately two weeks a car was parked at the end of my driveway.

It had a lapsed registration and warrant of fitness.

It is was also unlocked and I found a diary/personal manager in the
back seat giving me a name and address for the owner. I have tried the phone number without success.

Also, two letters with the same name have arrived in my letterbox,
one with red paper marked “Private and Confidential” dated 26 January 2004. And another from the Ministry of Justice and dated 23 January 2004.

I talked to my neighbour, and it turned out he met the owner several
weeks ago. He put him up for the night and was told he was going to the North Island for a few days and would return.

About a week later I visited Police. They advised me to go to the Council parking unit and get it towed. They can’t can’t tow the car as it was on private property.

I eventually found the registered owner, called him and asked for it to be removed.

The next day the Car disappeared sometime in the morning.

Then three policemen arrived at my door asking after original person who’s name I found. They are also looking for my neighbour.

I passed on the information I had they left. Then, about an hour later two plain clothes police arrive (man & woman), same question – where is this guy !

Finally, on Sat 13 March the 7:00AM the National Radio news includes an item about the person I originally discovered saying
“Police are concerned about his safety”

In the 9:00 AM News it was reported that he had contacted contacted the Police.

And that is my true story


Saturn Bro

Drew Miller is Brother Saturn

He is a native of Colorado who started experimenting with guitars and the sounds of pianos making them sound unusual.

As Drew writes:
In 2013, on a warm sunny day I decided to record music , as a soundtrack to my living room, and whatever chores I decided to do that day. I would sit down, and record guitar or piano loops, ( or both even ) , and eventually use those loops to meditate, and to relax. It was refreshing because, living downtown , in a busy city like Denver for 8 years, there is not much reprieve from loud noises.

So I decided to make loud quiet noises, that way i could get around the apartment’s noise ordinance. It worked. and thus Brother Saturn was born.

Since then I’ve done music for short films, student films, and even music for a Solomon Ski Company documentary about climate change, and how it affects skiers worldwide.

Sounds a lot like Brian Eno’s experience when he started his ambient experiments. An it sounds a lot like Eno. Mainly ambient, but with wanderings into the avant-garde and noise genres. But overall relaxing music.

There are a lot of albums on bandcamp and the Internet Archives music section.