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Older. Wiser? Wise up.

God it’s been ages since I wrote anything here. Well I’m still alive and now I have progeny! We have a son who is16 months old and a baby girl due in May. Life is good although sometimes I feel like if you don’t pay attention, you’ll suddenly find yourself in your 40’s.

Or is that just me?

To show my age, here are my top decade defining 90’s songs

Wonderwall by OasisChampagne Supernova by OasisSong 2 by BlurParklife by BlurBitter Sweet Symphony by The VerveJeremy by Pearl JamThere She Goes by The Boo RadleysEnter Sandman by MetallicaSymphony of Destruction by MegadethCommon People by Pulp
Agree? Disagree? See if I care...
Recent posts

Tlaloc strikes down apon us... or maybe is was Zeus.

So, it was a fairly normal Friday afternoon.  Seemed a little windy outside, but all in all, a fairly normal work day. Wind in Wellington is as normal as sand in the Sahara.

We finished up at a normalish time, sometime after 4 and went home.

As we approached the house,  I clicked the button so that the handy electric garage door would open and we could drive in and park, as normal.

Nothing happened.

Very strange, but we've had power cuts before so I thought it was probably just something like that.  I parked outside, and we went in to investigate. 

Sure enough, there was no power.  I went to the switch board : two of the trips had been.... er... tripped? Anyway, I clicked them back, and the lights came back on.  Nice one!

But our joy was short lived.

As we made our way into the house we noticed a few things.
The security system's little control panel was blank.  It's got a battery backup, so this was surprising.  In previous power cuts, it usually flashed "problem&quo…


One of my fave blogs is (of course) PZ Myers' pharyngula.

It was with great sadness and alarm that I learned a few days ago that he was to undergo a fairly extreme procedure to assist his ailing heart. Very sad indeed.

Well, I learned a few days after that the operation went swimmingly and that he's recovering.

PZ is one of those writers who always inspires me.  I wish I could write with just 10% of his wit and intelligence.  It's so good that he's back doing what he does best - in fact I was expecting there to be a few weeks' silence from him, but divil-the-bit.  He was producing excellent quality blog posts withing days of the operation.  That's dedication.

Within the last month or so, there's also been the news that Chris Hitchens has been diagnosed with some unpleasant form of cancer.  It looks to my untrained eye that his prognosis is much less encouraging that PZ's.  PZ's problem seems to be mechanical. His heart is weak, needed reinforcements…

Slow Cooked Pork with Potatoes & Gravy

Well Jacqui's away back to Mexico for a bit.  The teenagers were here and it all went very well. They're nice kids, and we had a GREAT TIME :)

I also have some opinions about the state of modern Mexico that I'm dying to write about, but it's a bit to heavy for a sunday afternoon, so instead I'm gonna tell how to make something delicious.

So, lets say you've got one of those slow cookers, and you've tried a few things but it always ends up kinda-tasting-the-same.

Well, I know exactly how you feel.  I've tried several things, and usually they're OK, tasty enough, but lacking in whatever it would take to make the 6-8 hours worth it.

Until I discovered a secret.  I didn't find this anywhere on the web, but I have inferred it.

The secret with slow cooking is simplicity.  Each ingredient just adds to the mess of flavours and makes it's easier to get wrong.  It's like mixing paint.  The more colours you add, the more likely you are to come up w…

All work and no play makes Dan a dull boy

Well, it's all been very busy at work these days.  I'm helping the very nice folks at NZQA to build their new website, and this weekend, after months of coding & hacking, it finally went live.

You can check it out (if you like) at  There may still be bugs, missing pages and perhaps catastrophic crashes, but it certainly looks better and is apparently easier to use.

I did the "dynamic" pages - this is a fancy way of saying that I re-skinned the legacy pages to make them look like the rest of the site :)

There are several nice &/or interesting technologies in use back there : Silverstripe is used for CMS, and it's been interesting to see how to integrate something complex like a professional CMS with a set of legacy pages.

Anyway, mostly done now.

Musical Taste

Since I've been home alone since Sunday, I've been taking the opportunity to listen to old music that I haven't heard in ages.

Like many people, I maintain a huge Mp3 collection on an external hard drive.  Practically every CD I've ever owned (and a few I've never owned, but that's another story) plus hundreds of tunes bought or downloaded from various online sources.

My favourite songs this week are:
Lovely Head - GoldfrappSunchyme - Dario GThe Golden Path - The Chemical Brothers & The Flaming LipsThe Weekend - Michael GrayGangster Trippin - Fatboy SlimPraise You - Fatboy SlimReverence - FaithlessLa Femme D'Argent - AirNumb - PortisheadWandering Star - PortisheadProtection - Massive AttackBorn Slippy - UnderworldBeachball - Nalin & KaneHarvester of Sorrow - MetallicaMy tastes have certainly changed over the years, and some of this stuff would never have been pat of my collection before.  Jeeze. I only added Metallica at the end there to give the lis…