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November 27th, 2017

07:14 pm: Merediths for the last time
Merediths is one of Auckland's best restaurants and is closing permanently at the end of the year.

So we decided to go while we could. It's a degustatiom-only restaurant and depending on the night of the week, you get a choice of a different number of courses.

You can see the photoset here or scroll down for pictures & descriptions.
Merediths: Last Meal
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November 21st, 2017

09:33 pm: Cooking Diary
Week starting November 13
Monday: Rice vermicelli with shiitake & choysum. Chilli & soy on the side. #vegan
https://flic.kr/p/21oxZVN
20171113_172647
https://flic.kr/p/21owc81
20171113_170443
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November 20th, 2017

08:17 pm: Cooking Diary
Week starting November 6
Monday: Steak, asparagus, & orange salad
https://flic.kr/p/Z8e5A3
20171106_173318
https://flic.kr/p/21aaWAE
20171106_164719
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November 19th, 2017

08:13 pm: You think the internet is forever?
Here are a Babylonian businessman's dodgy practices (from ~1750 BCE) recorded for posterity.

(The internet has some catching up to do)

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November 18th, 2017

08:46 pm: This is how Skynet begins.

https://youtu.be/fRj34o4hN4I

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November 5th, 2017

12:20 pm: Cooking Diary
Week of 30 Oct
Monday: Slowcooked pork (cooked at the weekend) with sticky soy sauce and bean salad
https://flic.kr/p/ZTTUHd
20171030_171922
https://flic.kr/p/CQuYjQ
20171030_165756
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November 3rd, 2017

08:40 pm: Cooking Diary
Week starting Oct 23:
Tuesday: Blackened salmon, couscous, salad
https://flic.kr/p/ZFSFoS
20171024_172634
https://flic.kr/p/ZFQHys
20171024_165140
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08:05 pm: The Beginner's Guide to Game of Thrones by Samuel L. Jackson
(Contains strong language)
https://youtu.be/IsAU9qBRjNY


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05:38 pm: Flying Carpet
I'd love to have one of these, but then I'd probably bust my other kneecap trying it out.
https://youtu.be/lqlrru1V69E


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October 31st, 2017

04:33 pm: Julian May (1931-2017)
Julian May's Saga of the Pliocene Exile/Galactic Millieu books were a big part of my formative reading. I was saddened to hear that she has died. I've started a re-read of the Saga of the Pliocene Exile. It's holding up well.

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October 30th, 2017

09:27 pm: Cooking Diary
Week starting Oct 16:
Monday: Mushroom risotto
https://flic.kr/p/ZqUuXC
20171016_172320
https://flic.kr/p/Z5UqMS
20171016_163842
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October 16th, 2017

05:35 pm: Cooking Diary
Week starting Oct 9:
Monday: Okonomiyaki with chicken
https://flic.kr/p/YfgB98
20171009_190445
https://flic.kr/p/YfgB8r
20171009_184155
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October 11th, 2017

05:59 pm: Cooking Diary
Didn't do much cooking last week.

Monday: Bouillabaise kiwi-style
https://flic.kr/p/Z1axyQ
20171002_172751
https://flic.kr/p/YE8WUu
20171002_170716

Wednesday: Pork & shiitake dumplings in ginger miso broth
https://flic.kr/p/Z7Au8p
20171004_175547
https://flic.kr/p/Z7xZ3K
20171004_171838

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October 9th, 2017

09:01 pm: Cooking Diary
Week: 25 Sep.
Monday: Chicken noodle soup
https://flic.kr/p/XNXRrx
20170925_171423
https://flic.kr/p/YKTRfm
20170925_161915
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October 8th, 2017

05:52 pm: Extremely Accurate Charts for Book Nerds
Shared without comment...

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02:38 pm: That's quite the thing.

https://youtu.be/L_vQW3xQEhc

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October 7th, 2017

01:27 pm: Old Asian, New Asian
Duncan Garner is an idiot again. Don't read his column. Read this instead.

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October 3rd, 2017

10:18 am: Tom Petty (1950 - 2017?)
Dammit.

ETA: There is now doubt about the initial reporting.



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October 1st, 2017

06:52 pm: Cooking Diary
This is from last week.
Monday: Sambal squid, broccoli sweetcorn stirfry, rice.
https://flic.kr/p/XydcYY
20170918_173155
https://flic.kr/p/YBzSNF
20170918_160321
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September 30th, 2017

06:16 pm: Cooking Diary
Cooking Diary catch-up post.
August 4: first dinner at home
Udon with chicken choysum shiitake in miso broth
https://flic.kr/p/XcaavR
DSC_0049
The prep.
https://flic.kr/p/WN94Ad
DSC_0048

This simple meal took me an age to make (it was on the day of my discharge). But after what felt like an age of pretty average hospital food, I was determined to cook for myself. The trickiest part was hobbling around on crutches which I'd only started using the day before.

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06:13 pm: Because one can't have too much Kate Bush.

https://youtu.be/c4sLwt8mhZs

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Current Music: "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)" Kate Bush
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11:40 am: Knee update
I can bend my left knee ninety degrees again.

It doesn't seem like much but it's a big deal for me after spending six weeks in a knee brace with no bending (the tendons had all tightened up).

Since the brace came off, I've been doing the exercises the specialist (initially) and physio (more recently) have given me. They're not exactly what I'd call fun exercises but the improvements I've seen make them worth the discomfort.

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September 28th, 2017

06:31 pm: Cooking Diary
Catch-up post for Week starting August 7:
Monday: Fresh rolls with chicken & prawn
https://flic.kr/p/Wdo3Ws
DSC_0066
https://flic.kr/p/Xh6wAp
DSC_0065
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September 27th, 2017

07:15 pm: Cooking Diary
Catch-up post.

Week starting August 14:
Tuesday: Chicken tagine from a friend, couscous, salad leaves. (This was during the initial convalescence period & was much appreciated.)
https://flic.kr/p/XydFBF
DSC_0114
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September 25th, 2017

04:36 pm: Cooking Diary
Catch-up post.
Week starting August 21:
Monday: Spaghetti with beef ragu
https://flic.kr/p/XjEQcY
DSC_0132
https://flic.kr/p/XRiowm
DSC_0131
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September 23rd, 2017

12:44 pm: Reminder: It's Election Day in New Zealand.
Please go & vote if you can.

Also...

New Zealand has laws that haven't quite caught up to 2017. By law, all electioneering materials have to be taken down by midnight before election day. Yesterday saw hordes of volunteers taking down election billboards, hoardings & other advertisements.

Today, no campaigning is allowed. So while I can exhort you to go vote, I cannot encourage you to vote for a particular party. Anything I posted up to midnight last night is ok but nothing today.

That said, there's nothing to stop a non-New Zealand voter from retweeting a tweet so it shows up on my current timeline. And I don't know what the law says about liking someone's tweet or Facebook post.

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12:31 pm: Cooking Diary
Catch-up post: Week starting August 28.
Monday: Beef in red wine, scalloped potatoes, cauliflower cheese sauce
https://flic.kr/p/XU4jKE
DSC_0149
https://flic.kr/p/WVwYjr
DSC_0148
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September 21st, 2017

05:38 pm: Support equipment returned
From top clockwise: Perching stool, walker, toilet frame with seat, shower stool.
20170920_144742
https://flic.kr/p/YC5R7C

About two weeks ago, I was allowed to put weight on my dodgy leg. That made a massive difference to my mobility. I've been walking on it (gingerly at first) as much as I can. Earlier this week, the knee brace came off which means I can bend my knee again.

The mobility assistance people didn't waste any time arranging to collect the support equipment. So now it is on to the next stage of the recovery process.

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September 19th, 2017

05:01 pm: Cooking Diary
Week starting 4 September (I've been tardy so I'm going back to fish out the ones I didn't get round to posting)
Monday: Chicken curry laksa
https://flic.kr/p/YbvynR
DSC_0015
https://flic.kr/p/XMPxpQ
DSC_0014
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04:27 pm: Got given a (very) belated surprise birthday cake.
The Pikachu cake was lemon flavoured. And it was delicious.
https://flic.kr/p/YBzRkR
20170917_165651

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September 18th, 2017

10:44 pm: Cooking DIary
Monday: Spaghetti aglio e olio with prawn meat
https://flic.kr/p/YBBFHK
DSC_0034
https://flic.kr/p/Y1tV7E
DSC_0033
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September 15th, 2017

05:51 pm: Last aspirin
This is the last of the aspirin I've been taking to prevent blood clots, which means I've been home for six weeks.

Next week I'm officially back at work, which will be another shock to the system.
DSC_0040
https://flic.kr/p/YtzS4x

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September 12th, 2017

04:42 pm: Advance Voting in the New Zealand General Elections
So I went and cast my vote yesterday which is the first day of Advance Voting. And in the process gained even more empathy for those with mobility difficulties.

I found a conveniently nearby location for me from the map of Advance Voting locations:
Auckland University,
AUSA Club Space,
The Quad,
Alfred Street

So far, so simple. And then the adventures began.
(Rant ensues)Collapse )

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September 8th, 2017

09:31 am: My knee is metal(-ish)
I got to see my post-surgery knee x-rays for the first time. I figured they'd have needed to incorporate quite a bit of scaffolding to hold the pieces in place. After all, I managed to break my patella into five pieces. And yes, there it is.

The left picture is the front-on view, the right picture is the side-on view. (The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the left view is upside down. I didn't realise until after I put the pictures together & I can't be arsed fixing it.) In the side-on view, a gap is still evident; the pieces haven't joined up properly yet.

But the good news is that I am now allowed to put weight on my left leg. That's really helped with mobility & overall self-confidence, but we're still in the early months of the recovery process. And overall it is "good news"; the healing is on-track.



X-ray pix below the fold...Collapse )

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September 6th, 2017

09:01 am: Birthday activities
Right now in hospital radiology about to have my knee xrayed before orthopaedic clinic appointment. Hoping for good news. That would be a nice birthday present.

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September 1st, 2017

08:36 pm: "The Trip" — a 48 Hour Film
The Trip — a 48 Hour Film: Winner of Best Film Washington, DC from Tracy Mathews on Vimeo.



Via nwhyte

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04:21 pm: Dragon bench carved with chainsaw.
Because everybody needs one.


Via: Boingboing.

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03:44 pm: The New Zealand healthcare system going the way of the British?
What with reduced funding in real terms, burn-out of healthcare workers & opening the door to PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) it's looking grim.


In New Zealand, this same door is already ajar, as Ian Powell of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) recently pointed out, in the organisation’s July newsletter:

Partly through ideology and partly through the shortsighted incentive of short term gain, the Government is pressuring DHBs that require major capital works development to adopt a funding arrangement similar to Private Public Partnerships in England that will worsen DHBs finances. The first example is the small new $12 million ‘integrated family health centre’ in Westport.

The Government, through its misnamed partnership group, is pressuring West Coast DHB to adopt a method of funding branded as ‘capital recycling’ that is a PPP by another name. The practical effect is that the DHB is likely to pay between $750,000 to $1,000,000 annually for about the next 34 years more than would it would have to under the normal way (Government loans repaid at a lower interest rate). In order to make the Government’s books look good, the DHB’s financial position has to worsen, thereby increasing the likelihood of deficits.

Imagine if this new system of funding continues with the next and much bigger new outpatient facility as part of the post-earthquake Christchurch Hospital rebuild. This new facility could end up costing somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million which would then involve Canterbury DHB incurring extra annual costs of up to say $100 million. In fact, one does not have to imagine anything. It has already been acknowledged that ‘capital recycling’ is on the cards…



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03:13 pm: Old war photos "improved" by addition of science-fictional elements.
Gallery here




Via: File770

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09:10 am: More mobile but...
Took a bus to the local village this morning. Wandered around a bit on crutches before catching the bus back.

It still took some hobbling on crutches to get to & from the bus stop, and also around the village (stopped for a rest quite a few times). I am getting faster on crutches & have more stamina. But it's still tiring, and my good leg & the palms of my hands are constantly feeling at least a bit sore from unaccustomed extra effort.

DSC_0004

DSC_0002

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August 26th, 2017

12:31 pm: I was walking freely without crutches or a knee brace.
And then I woke up...

(Grrrr.)

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August 19th, 2017

07:19 am: Arnold Schwarzenegger has a blunt message for Nazis.
https://twitter.com/attn/status/898328098529083394

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a blunt message for Nazis.

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August 17th, 2017

09:27 pm: So Australia, how about you just give up this notion of self rule?
"New Zealand law has made every Australian citizen incapable of being elected to, or serving in, the
Australian Parliament. It's not just Barnaby Joyce: It's everyone!"


section 44 of the [Australian] constitution, which states that anybody "under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power" would be disqualified from entering federal parliament


"Under recent and little-noticed changes to New Zealand law, Australian citizens now don't need a visa to live, study or work in the Land of the Long White Cloud. That's right: Any Australian citizen is entitled to live, study and work there," Angyal said.

"That means we're ALL entitled to the rights and privileges of a subject of New Zealand -- not a citizen, with the attached rights and privileges such as voting -- but to be a subject of that country, living there, subject to New Zealand law, working or studying. And there's no doubt that New Zealand is a foreign power."

Angyal argued that under this New Zealand offer, and other such laws in other countries around the world, all Australian citizens are inadvertently in breach of section 44.

"You don't have to have the rights and privileges of a subject of a foreign power -- you just have to be entitled to those rights and privileges," Angyal wrote.


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11:47 am: Asymmetric action
Via a friend elseweb:

"Always remember: It may take a work crew or a mob to take a statue down, but it only takes one person about ten minutes to epoxy a dildo to one."

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09:32 am: Pseudo-public accessways in the Auckland CBD: A map.
This is wonderful.

"Did you know there are more than 60 public access routes through private buildings in central Auckland?

The routes exist to allow for private development in areas where public access may otherwise be restricted. They are known as ‘through links’, and they include public viewing decks, plazas and access to privately owned artworks."

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August 16th, 2017

09:34 am: Life on crutches
This is the view from our local dairy. I normally walk there in just under five minutes. Today, on crutches, it took me 21. Knackered now.

DSC_0113

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August 13th, 2017

08:49 am: Song for the day


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August 12th, 2017

09:18 am: Congratulations to the 2017 Hugo Award winners!
Great set of finalists & winners this year.

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