Tuesday, 29 March 2011

More for Oolite

The prerelease oolite destroyer is now available from re2dux.SBN Destroyer
This ship is based on the anaconda (look at the "wing" shape ... but bears the same relation as the griff boa does to the boa: not much. It started out as a navy anaconda but it is so different I've upgraded it. This means the destroyer model I'm also working on will turn into a frigate. 

Now to work out how to smooth the dome, pipes, and tubes, without resorting to shaders.

The Oolite link (left) won't work today... apparently Giles (site maintainer) forgot to pay for hosting. Nice to see I'm not the only one :)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

MS Innovates on the "foot-gun"...

From the WTF files:
Microsoft seems to be trying to get its own personal unfair competition laws passed state by state, so it can sue US companies who get parts from overseas companies who used pirated Microsoft software anywhere in their business. The laws allow Microsoft to block the US company from selling the finished product in the state and compel them to pay damages for what the overseas supplier did.
If this law is passed:

The upshot of is that if you are a US company wanting to import anything, you'd better make sure your supplier is not using any MS product anywhere in their business process, since that exposes you to litigation.

Corollary: If you want to export to the US, you better make sure you make a point of not using MS products.

On balance, this is a good law for the FOSS community. Why? Well: if your supplier uses Apple products (say) you cannot be sure they are not using MS software. In fact, they probably are. OTOH: if they have a published commitment to software freedom, they are very unlikely to have any proprietary software of stack they are not telling you about. They are also likely to be open about their software practices. That's how it works -- once you adopt an ethical stance, it permeates your whole business structure.

SCO did not invent the foot-gun, but they did popularise it's deployment. MS seems to have come up with a subtle innovation on the concept. Maybe they'll patent it?

Ring wimps out ...

... no surprises there then.

You'll recall that I wondered out loud what excuses Ring will offer for his "prediction" failing yet again. It seems he is using the "it was only a suggestion" excuse.

So, according to Ring, his statements were supposed to be taken with a grain of salt anyway. In fairness, he did stop short of making any definite claims but he did take pains to make them appear to have more weight than they did. Even the excuses rank his predictions with weather forecasts -- yet they have less validity even than those.

People speaking for him point out that he is altruistic in his forecasts. He has not been paid for them or anything. But this is not true -- he has been making these pseudo-predictions as a way to get publicity for his book. Don't let him fool you, this is pure opportunistic self promotion.

It is very common for people with psudoscientific, paranormal or just plain junk claims to have self-promotion as a motive... look at Deb Webber.

Name supression in the courts: again!

A lawyer facing a drink-driving charge has been able to keep her identity secret --- and is fighting to keep her record clear. So reports Edward Grey for the New Zealand Herald (Fri, March 22, 2011): front page news.

The story concerns name suppression. I've written about this before.

In this case the defendant has interim name suppression, presumably citing possible damage to her career given media interest. This is largely fair enough, since she has not been convicted of a crime and may not be as she is seeking discharge without conviction.  If she is not convicted then she should not be penalised, that seems reasonable. It would be silly to release the name and then suppress it after a not-guilty verdict. The whole idea is to prevent the kind of trial by public opinion that Ed's article attempts.

Was the name suppression granted too easily? In this case the defendant wants to be discharged without conviction. Presumably she will be arguing that the result of a conviction would go far beyond the statutory sentence. She will need to convince the Judge that this is a one-time offence. She is very sorry and it will not happen again. Maybe, maybe not. This is the decision before the court and the case is still being argued -- to have a chance at all, the concerns of police and any victims (we don't know if there are any) will need to be addressed.

Anyone may attempt to argue for a discharge without conviction. Not just lawyers. It is actually easier to get for people close to the poverty line than rich or highly qualified people since a conviction could be argued to have a larger relative effect on their ability to find work, and so avoid a life of crime. Our defendant may not be able to continue to practise as a lawyer if convicted but she will hardly be unable to support herself... the prosecution can argue, "she's smart: she'll bounce back. There are other jobs: it's not the end of the World." This is an argument not available to the defence for a minimum-wage, high-school dropout, checkout operator.

Ed makes a big deal of how nobody connected with the case will comment on it. Well doh! It's a matter before the court: commenting would be prejudicial. Judges tend to object to council airing their differences through the media, especially when there is name suppression. It sort-of defeats the whole purpose.

There is also a non-publication order. The idea here is usually to avoid publication of details which may defeat the name suppression, or could result in injury to third parties. You don't want people not on trial to get punished. The very nature of non-publication and name suppression means that the details leading to the ruling will also need to be suppressed, since that may also identify you. It is due to concerns such as these that the Privacy Act so often trumps the Freedom of the Press.

But it is hardly onerous - Ed was able to report the details of public interest (that there is a trial involving a lawyer accused of a drink-driving offense and that details are suppressed to protect third parties etc etc) - do we really need to know the defendants name as well? What for? Everybody who knows the defendant knows who it is anyway which only leaves future employment where you want to know the applicant is not a drunk. This is where the argument (above) that this is a one time thing comes in.

However, secrecy leads to distrust. There has been a growing feeling that some people have been abusing the protections name suppression offers. Perhaps people accused and/or convicted of trust related offences should have more public exposure? Maybe they deserve it?  There are moves to make name suppression and such things tougher to get.

"Being famous is not a good enough reason to be granted name suppression." Say's Simon Power, describing a proposed law change.                      

Denied name suppression, how long would it take a clever defense lawyer to use the consequences to argue down the sentence? The above defendant would be more likely to get a discharge without conviction because she could argue that the result of her name being released in connection with the charge, even without conviction, outweighs the punishment demanded by statute if convicted. Surely we would prefer the courts to be able to throw the book at her should she deserve it?

Fact is: nobody is granted name suppression just for being famous. The whole point is to avoid the situation where the consequences of appearing before the court (never mind subsequent conviction) could lead to an injustice. The effect of appearing before a court is different for different people, the law needs to take this into account. For instance, were I to appear on a drink-driving charge, I would have much lighter consequences than a major public figure would. The conviction would barely affect my own public or work life beyond the statuary punishment, but it could destroy someone else. Yet the both of us are supposed to be treated equally under the law. Simon Powers wants "one set of rules ... for everyone" but he has missed the point. The point concerns justice: pedantic, hard-assed rules just won't give us that. The rule needs to be flexible enough that the same law applies equally to everyone.

In general, there is a balance to be struck if there is to be public confidence in the justice system. Justice must be seen to be done. Too much secrecy is as bad for the system as too little. The Criminal Justice Procedure Bill threatens to swing the balance too far the other way.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Still no quake:

Seems there was a 5.2 quake (aftershock) on the 20th - just as Ken Ring predicted!
Well, not really. There have been lots of aftershocks that strong and more since the big quake ... predicting one is a bit like predicting that water is wet.

This is what I was talking about before: even if there was a big quake exactly at the time Ken predicts, he still needs to be right a lot more often than he has been to be taken seriously.

Hah: "my" cat ...

Sunday, 20 March 2011

More earthquake looniness

Seems no sooner do I blog on the moon and earthquakes I see some "moonman" is using the tragedy is CHCH for self promotion. The scammers name is Ken Ring. Oddly TV3 has reported that his claims have been "rubbished by scientists and sceptics". This just shows how much rubbish TV3 journalism is. In fact, these claims have been disproved. Notice the difference? "Rubbishing" implies the ideas may have merit and makes Ken look like an oppressed genius rather than a shameless crook.

How do I know? The original "prediction" was for
Potential earthquake time for the planet between 15th-25th, especially 18th for Christchurch, +/- about 3 days," Ring tweeted on February 14.
So he allows any time from the 12th (two days before the statement) to the 28th, for some place in the whole World - nice to hedge your bets. The CHCH example is disengenious because he already had reports of continuing aftershocks when he made the statement - it's a no brainer to "predict" more earthquakes within months of one that has just happened. Note, he allows a whole week for the prediction to come true.

Add to this that he predicts an earthquake someplace for a bit over a third of the dates in the calendar, and we are not surprised that he gets them "right" sometimes. We'd expect him to get it right about a third of the time by chance alone.

I've written about this in relation to coin tosses and it is the same here - the few positive results are not nearly enough to discount chance as the reason, even if we don't take into account all the misses, even if these were the only predictions made.

Now, Ken is a mathematitian. He knows all this. Yet he still peddles this tripe. Draw your own conclusions.

Anyway - Ken has predicted a big one for today. So anything in the next three days will count as a hit. Even if there was one, Ken's performance is still no better than chance so it means nothing. Still, it's brave of him, opportunists like him dont normally stick their kneck out so I wonder what excuse he has planned.

PMM Scam detected...

Facebook ads have thrown up a perpetual motion machine for my perusal. It is a direct scam and the proposed machine is not even original: it was designed  by J. Naudin. It involves a bunch of magnets rotating to present their poles to solenoids, but it is not clear why Naudin thinks this will actually turn. As it stands, it will work as an inefficient generator.

Such machines are easy to test - give it a twirl and it slows down: but the inventor claims that it slows down more slowly because, if he could only reduce the friction enough, it would keep turning forever while generating useful energy.

To test, therefore, spin it up, put it under load, time how long it takes to come to rest. Replace the magnets with inert iron bars (keeping the weight, load and geometry but removing the magnetism) and repeat. I expect that the non-magnetic (2nd) version will stay spinning for longer. Why? Because the magnetic poles moving past the solenoids puts an additional drag on the motion ... that is what is generating the electricity, and it is why you have to drive electric generators somehow to keep them going.

For more on the mystery of the perpetuum mobile and why it ain't so, please see this faq.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

A rainy day in the life...

Went out without the roof on, on a cloudy day. That's asking for trouble. Naturally it rained, but I can still stay dry-ish if my speed is above 40kmph. There is a bit of spatter from the drops hitting the roll-bar, but mostly the rain ends up missing the open top. Anyway, it's fun. Honest.

So naturally again I get stuck behind a tourist in a hummer doing all of 35! Baseball cap keeps the rain off my glasses though. I'll have to do something about figuring how to manually stow my roof or rig a rag-top or something. I know a guy with the same problem and he just holds an umbrella... amusing the police no end.

The problem: I drive a 92 Honda del Sol SiR (JDM) - the version with the electrically retracting roof. Only the retraction system is broken. So, on fine days I just leave the roof at home. That's what all these posts about trunks and tilt motors are all about.

Once I got home, Smeagol was uncharacteristically affectionate - wet cat smooching me, remind me why I have a cat again? Basically he just wants me to dry him instead of licking himself all over like normal - oh, and switch the heater on please.

Since I'm stuck inside with the cat and rented DVDs, I decided to bake some cookies - mega chocolate chip with some shredded coconut for a change. This worked - Smeagol enjoyed half a cookie and some warm milk.

Repeat after me: "Humans are the dominant species. Humans are the dominant species."...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Supermoons and silliness

I didn't actually hear about this one. The idea is that the full moon which is also at it's closest point can destabilize the crust, making earthquakes more likely. There was one March 11. There was a bunch of people trying to link the Sim-City:Japan disasters to it. There is a good overview here.

The comments to the link are the most depressing... consider:

I'm not a scientist, but it is obvious that this writer has NOT done her homework with the few statistics that I do know, and as a lay person on the matter that creates a huge red flag to the general quality of this article. -- Zack
... apart from the disputed statistic actually not being claimed, the bit that was wrong about the statistic (that the Indonesian earthquake+tsunami was the most devastating recorded) was not important to its use in the article. This is by no means a "huge" red flag.

do we know enough about how the universe affects our planet. as our planet comes into alignment with the center of the milky way is this what is affecting us here -- barb

... some leading questions. "Do we know enough"... for what? Barb does not say. We do know enough to know that the full moon did not cause the Japan quake. The second question about alignment with the center of the milky way? We are always "in alignment" - but no, Barb is thinking about the 2012 doomsday prophesy. It seems that the Earth's axial tilt will hit its maximum sometime in 2012... some people are incorrectly calling this an "alignment" sounds mad? It is.  Basically she is asking if this event is a precursor to the 2012 End of the World. So the answer is: "no".

An astronomer I know told me that the difference between the astronomers and the astrologers can be summed up by saying that the "scientific" astronomers don't think patterns in the sky are significant. He used the term "coincidental." Well, just because we don't understand it, it doesn't mean the pattern's not significant. -- philomedia
... that summary is like saying that Hamlet is about this guy who never gets around to killing his uncle and ends up killed himself. Anyway, the conclusion is based on a false premise: that "we" do not understand the patterns in the sky. We do: the constellations are made-up pictures ... we understand this sort of thing very well and it has a special name: fiction.

The new moon and full moon are having control on earth quakes and tsunamis . Definitely the increase of tides during the full moon and new moon making thrusts on the tectonic plates and shaking them resulting tremors, earth quakes and tsunamis .

Due to global warming , there is an increase in sea level as well the sea water quantum also been increased , thereby earth dynamics might have deviated due to quantum increase of water body to an extend, causing all these troubles. May be the nature is executing some correction steps to balance it self . We may expect some after effects during super moon too.  
-- jayaveeriah
This is a good example of pseudoscience ... it tries very hard to sound scientific without actually coming within a megaparsec of anything sciencey. Notice the frequent use of "quantum"? Makes it sound a bit like quantum mechanics doesn't it? The description of the moons effects is almost pornographic! Lets see:

The tides do affect the Earth - well done - but they do not "shake" the tectonic plates. Shaking the plates does not result in tremors, shaking plates is what tremors are. It is hard to know what he means by "sea water quantum" - just google the term for a range of uses. It sounds like he means "quantity". The dynamics (type of motion) may have changed due to an increase in the amount of liquid water around, however, this would make the Earth a bit more stable (mass redistributed from the poles to the equator - wide objects have a smoother spin) not less like would give you earthquakes. It may seem like it but "Global Warming" is not a magic phrase that lends credence to anything it is attached to. "Wingardiam levioso."

However, jayaveeriah does not want to give up the "supermoon = disaster" thing: this quake may not have been the supermoon but the moon could still bring  something else. (At time of writing: nope.) The article actually debunks this as well by charting historical supermoons with reference to the lack of natural disaster clusters in those times.

Chris tries his hand at science, takes a long waffley time to say that there is no way to predict earthquakes, and ends:
Sure, a full moon could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. There has to be that proverbial straw. But this moon is only that, a straw. It's not a sack of sand. -- chris
...well, no it can't be. The really small stress from tides in the crust can be a contributing factor to an earthquake but it is not the last thing on the load as implied by the proverb. We may say " what with everything else, if the moon were not a supermoon at that time then the quake would not have happened" and we may even be right (though how would you tell?) but we could equally say that without that last millimeter's subduction it would not have happened either: which is "the last straw"? Neither: they both contribute. "The last straw" is actually a "single cause" fallacy.

"Not a sack of sand." is right though: the tide's effect is so small that the phase of the moon has no predictive value for earthquakes. Now somebody is going to ask me about the full moon and psychology...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sim City Japan

... accidentally, the Real World seems to be taking instructions from some kids Sim City game.... what: Earthquake, Tsunami and a Nuclear Meltdown? What's next: Godzilla? Good thing they just got their Urban Rescue team back from Christchurch aye?

This keeps up we'll be on-track for our November date with the End of the World. The neat thing about being wrong about doomsday prediction denial is that you don't have to feel foolish: you are dead. It's being wrong about atheism as well that spoils your afterlife... ho hum.

Del Sol lead

I need manuals and wiring diagrams for my del Sol ... I have a lead: the UK delSol Owners Club has a collection of manuals for the taking. The server is a bit slow so don't dispair.

Meantime, there is a bloke in the US who has offered me 400 USD (540 NZD) for my transtop system and he'll throw in the USDM trunk-rack and hinges. I'd like to take it, but just found out that NZ Post freight to the USA will cost about 700 NZD so I'll lose. I'm looking for cheaper surface freight - its a small package (half a cubic meter, 90kg) so I'm tentatively hopeful... weight-sensitive usually means air-freight.

Of course I'll have to cost out dismounting and packaging.

Friday, 11 March 2011

I am being recognised... erm

I have been in a TV commercial for Just Juice  ... I didn't embed it here because its a commercial dammit and they are not paying me to. (Note - features me almost naked so only watch if you do not value your eyesight).

I am getting recognized on the street ... it's weird.

They had me splashing in that pool for two hours - we emptied it many many times. The set was shared with the woman on the pogo stick who is a much better actor than me and had a hotter job. Which is fair enough - she's also hotter than me. The goofy ecstatic look in the closeup was one of the first shots and they hated it on the day. Just goes to show ;)

There were quite a lot of people on the set - I tried to chat up the ad-agents (I mean - aaaargh! Dude!) but didn't get anywhere. Crashed and burned. OTOH: I got them to hand out samples of their product to people who stopped to watch so I must have made some sort of impression. Yeah - I'll just keep telling myself that.

Artemis says "Hurray for doom!"

For the record I do actually change that music thing every now and again... it's just been left on Auralei for a while now. I should really change it but I do really like Artemis. The track Only Begun is actually responsible for me giving my marriage one more chance when things were at their blackest way back. And this is the only artist I've played/shared who has actually popped in to say thanks.

I know, I'll  keep an Artemis player and vary the other one?

Hmmm... maybe I can talk Artemis into coming to NZ? Play Waiheke on the vineyard circuit? Oooh: my whole body tingles just thinking about it. We can play a doomsday concert on top of Mt Rangitoto.

Monday, 7 March 2011

More doom to come!

Considering the political and geological activity around now, it should come as no surprise that some people have been predicting the end of the world quite soon.

May 21, 2011 - a new popular day for the return of Christ, putting the end of the World in October 21. September and November are also popular. However, being very close to 2012, 2011 has not attracted many doomsday prophesies.

Regular readers know I am a fan of these and celebrate each doomsday as it slinks sheepishly by.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Early job results

Job ads seem to have some effect - the linux one has got no hits at all bit I didn't really expect any. DSE are offering a software bundle at NZ$220 at a saving of a hundred or so but I can offer the same functionality for NZ$0 ($50 if I install) for a couple-hundred dollar saving so I really need to get the message out there somehow.

I have got a nibble on the tutoring thing though - I'll see them on Tuesday. The home-help folks have got back to me so I have a form to fill out and return. That would be 30hrs a week chasing a 4yo autistic boy around ...

OTOH: Waiheke High School have yet to respond to my offer of volunteer labor. Time to try other schools.

China too?!

I did not expect the North Africa uprisings to spread to China too! OK there is always a lot of unrest in China, but they have been pretty good at keeping a lid on it and the country has been doing quite well.

Dictatorships generally follow the sacrificial-king model, though not normally deliberately. The king is tolerated as long as peoples lives are generally undisturbed and times are good (-ish). However, when things get very bad people the king gets the chop. Sure enough, soon after the king gets it, things get better. In general economies go up and down all by themselves, though some dramatic positive action like a change in management can stimulate things early. Because of this, the king in the fireing line tends to try to hang on just a bit longer because fortunes will change ... any ... time ... now ...

Of course, he also needs time to transfer a chunk of the kingdom's treasury into a secret Swiss Bank account for... um... safekeeping. Dictators should just write a golden-handshake clause into their laws and agree to go quietly into exile should people decide that republicanism is really the way to go after all. Strangely they never do this. Even more strangely they tend to feel that all those people who chase them out of office with pitch-forks and torches actually love them really and want them to come back at the first sign of trouble.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Food time again

I have requests for more food posts ... here goes:


Yeah I know but suspend judgement for a bit. I do this a bit differently.

Normally you'd mix your ground meat, seasoning, a bit of flour, then roll into balls ... this makes small hard round meatballs you can add to stuff OK. Only they are boring.

Here's what I do. I use the supermarket highest quality beef or lamb mince (I live alone so the extra cost is nothing over the quantity I buy). This comes fairy packed on a tray.

Chop two onions (I chop one and slice the other for rings) and fry till brown and floppy. Remove from pan. I fry them without oil in a non-stick pan, then add 1tbsp of canola oil though I prefer olive.

Up-end the tray of mince into the pan in one flat lump: don't break it or anything. While it is frying, chop it down the middle lengthways, then across the width four-five times to make cube-oid shapes. Move the pieces as little as possible, just let them sit and fry.

What you are thinking of here is frying a steak. When you can see that the bottom is brown, gently as possible (you don't want them to break apart) turn them over. Keep turning, gently, until the top and bottom are steak-brown (almost burned) but the middle is a little bit pink. At this point you will find you can pick them up with tongs or a fork without them falling apart - cool aye? Made this way, they are soft in the middle and slightly caramelized on the outside - nice to bite into but you still want a decent sauce.

As chef, you should sacrifice one to taste - just before you think its ready. This is to see if you really need to cook it some more. When you've done a few of these, you'll be able to judge when the sauce should be added (you want to add the sauce before the surface is too sealed up to soak up the flavour.)

The sauce I tend to improvise on the spot. I use crushed and chopped tomatoes, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes, as a base. Season with rosemary and a tbsp of honey. If I'm feeling lazy I just use tinned tomatoes. I add directly to the pan with the meat still in it and simmer without bothering too much about mixing (just scoop and turn). Make up the liquid volume with red wine. The uncooked sauce should be fairly sloppy and fill the pan three-quarter-way up the meatballs. But you are going to reduce it until it is sticky.

Add the onions back before you are done and gently press them through the sauce. Make sure everything is heated through. Serve on a bed of spaghetti.

Tobacco Tree Pain

We hateses 'baccy trees we does precious, nassty trees !

I mean really!

I just spent two days cutting out three trees and they are nasty things. I had originally tried to use an axe and a saw but the saw would get wedged tight and the axe boucned off the heartwood if I didn't hit it exactly right. So I used a chainsaw - it was amazing: the saw would get stuck if I tried to go all the way through in one go and then I needed a hatchet to cut it free without breaking the chain. It would sink in easily enough, until it hit the heart, and then it would just sit there smoking and I had to use slicing motions - just stroking the saw through the cuts, to make headway. If I tried to press down, the saw would stall and the sap would glue the blade in position. And would the trees fall nicely? Not a hope! They would all, every one, twist as the fell - if I didn't watch it this would flick the saw out of my grip or belt me a huge bruise someplace. Nasty.

Not only that but cutting the things down is only the start of my problems. They are hydras: each stump sprouts a half-dozen new blanches below the cut. If you cut at ground level (harder than it sounds because these trees don't grow in convenient places) then each severed root grows a whole new tree! So I have to cut a big X in each stump and pour kerosene over it.

Every part of the tree is nasty and the drawback to chainsawing is the sawdust it throws everywhere. I had a face protector and a mask and I still got sick ... nausia, dizziness, shaking, I probably swallowed a bit. I had small hives all over my exposed arms. I must have pulled something too, because my whole right arm was paralyzed this morning.

I used to think of them as annoying before, now I hate the buggers.

Curiously, some US gardeners deliberately cultivate it ... well, it is easy to grow, but it is not in the slightest bit decorative, it destroys other plants, and is very poisonous.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Superstition and Disaster

It has taken a commendably long time for extraneous influences to make themselves felt in Canterbury. But they have shown up - and I am not talking about burial rights.

The first person to mention God in connection with the quake, at least on TV, was Barak Obama. Some Americans mentioned they felt "blessed" to be alive. This just shows you how superstitious that country is. Nobody seems to be wondering about God's attitude to those who were killed though ... what: were they not Christian enough? Perhaps they were very good people indeed: good enough to be promoted to Heavenly existence right away?

The CHCH Cathedral professional superstitious person (you know the one: dressed in black, white dog-collar) actually did not mention God at all when he spoke to the press, appealing instead to basic human values. Thats very secular of him, and provides a marked contrast to the US. Interestingly, this Anglican cathedral is being blessed in a pagan ceremony (to "lift the tapu"). I don't see how Maori superstitions are any more valid than anyone elses. Presumably some Church bigwig will also be spreading incense around. But, on that note, they are no less valid that each other either. If you are going to have a religious ceremony you could do worse than one almost nobody actually believes in.

Psychics have already been claiming to have predicted the quake or, at least, the last one. The noise from the lunatic fringe is quite small at the moment but I expect things will pick up.

Job Hunting

Well ... all the comments on the CHCH thing and none for the pedophile. I supposed that just goes to show ... not show anything just general showness.

I am job hunting for the next few months - the govt has spoken and hath said "thou shalt find work for even if thou doest not thou shall have thine benefit cut off anyway." Well, it's not like I havn't been trying. To that end, I have taken another look at my resources: the goal is not so much to find work but to remove myself from state subsidy. We all know the money is needed someplace else! Since I own my house outright ... pending final settlement ... I have no rent. This means that I don't actually need a high income to maintain my standard of living.

So I have a three bedroom house to myself: so I can let one of the rooms ... accommodation will be at a premium soon. Anyone want to live on Waiheke? I was thinking something like $120 + expenses ... utilities seem to be stabilizing under $150 a month for just me.

I have a whole bunch of skills that I can teach to others, so I shall be advertising locally as a tutor for secondary and tertiary students, and start my gnu/linux course up again. The Gulf News  ran an ad for a support person for an autistic 4yo boy ... that sounds familiar, so I got them to send me their application pack.

My main qualifications are for secondary teaching - I am MSc/PGDipEd. I've been applying to schools, but not getting anywhere. Trying to address this I have written to the Principal of Waiheke High volunteering to help out as well as offering professional relieving. That should give me a foot in the door.

What else can I think of: well Albany Sen College is a gnu/linux shop ... I'll have to see about offering to volunteer there too.