Category Archives: Place

THE EATBEAT: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald

I stumbled upon this via her son’s Google+ post. Of course having gone viral it would apparently be hard to miss but I’m 100% with the people who don’t think it’s quaint or ironic or twee. I think one kick ass no nonsense hard working woman is doing a straight up job and I appreciated her writing, her common sense and compassion. I’m glad 99% of the blogosphere/twitterverse what have you is happier to have honesty than hip.

Christchurch – one year on

One year on since the devastating Christchurch earthquake, 2011 Feb 22. Although family still live there, I left Christchurch as a child. Still, I want to join, even in this abstracted way, the memorial service for a shattered but unbroken city.

Take a moment to send good wishes to the citizens of Christchurch who are still suffering the effects of the earthquake and the continuing aftershocks. Rebuilding is a difficult and daily challenge to the spirit. Touching stories from the memorial service of people who felt too raw to relive the events but were nonetheless drawn to spend time with the people they had been with on the day of the earthquake.

There are studies that show communities really do grow stronger and happier in the years after a great trauma, perhaps we do value the important things in life just that much more and feel the need to connect and share with others. But as an expatriate, with nostalgic memories, NZ seems like Narnia under the Ice Queen, where Christchurch is now always afternoon but never tea-time.

Best wishes, Christchurch.

Nasa finds new planet

I always wanted to go to another planet. I wonder what the travel time is and when Virgin will offer flights to Kepler-22b?

excerpt from “Nasa finds planet that’s just about right for life” by Seth Borenstein on

Nasa has found a new planet outside our solar system that’s eerily similar to Earth in key aspects.

Scientists say the temperature on the surface of the planet is about a comfy 72 degrees. Its star could almost be a twin of our sun. It likely has water and land.

It was found in the middle of the habitable zone, making it the best potential target for life yet.

The discovery announced Monday was made by Nasa’s Kepler planet-hunting telescope. This is the first time Kepler confirmed a planet outside our solar system in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold habitable zone.

Twice before astronomers have announced a planet found in that zone, but neither was as promising. One was later disputed; the other is on the hot edge of the zone.

Only Spiders!


Only saw spiders on my walk today. Atleast I finally got to walk this week. I also saw the mist lifting off the tops of the hills like rising steam. Wait a minute. I only saw spiders? (borrowed picture again not mine)

There were spiderwebs everywhere, little ones on every blade of grass, large ones strung between trees, funnels on the ground, streamers in the air. I am always amazed by how my default interest is searching for bobcat and deer and other roughly pet or person sized things.

I wonder if this is a social reflex or visceral? Ironically, the deadliest creature on the planet is the mosquito, so I shouldn’t be searching too hard for snakes and sharks!

Bobcats Up Close!


A surprise bobcat sighting on my walk today. A pair of bobcats sauntered past me while I was stretching at the top of the little hill trail near home. They weren’t fussed by my presence at all. From the squalling and caterwauling after they went into the bushes, they must have been a mating pair.

Every time I go for a walk I see something new and interesting but it can be just small things like butterflies, scat, clouds etc. and I nearly didn’t go out today because it was already the middle of the day so I didn’t expect largish animals to be about.

One of them was going to walk straight by me on the trail, while the other was more cautious and went around the tree, but by the time I’d fussed around finding my phone to take a photo, they’d both gone into the underbrush. I’ve borrowed a lovely photo from Tory Kallman Photography that looks just like my sighting.

New Zealand ‘Hasn’t Forgotten… |

'SOBERING': Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae makes an aerial tour of Redcliffs.

David Hallett/ Fairfax NZ
‘SOBERING’: Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae makes an aerial tour of Redcliffs.

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae wants Christchurch to know that the rest of the country still cares, even if the focus appears to have shifted to the Rugby World Cup.

Mateparae yesterday spent a “sobering” morning walking the earthquake-hit streets of Redcliffs, stopping to talk to residents.

“It is over a year since the September quake, and then the February quake … and you can still see the physical devastation,” he said.

“That doesn’t convey the emotional and people tragedies, which had been very sobering. But people do still think about them, even with the passage of time, and even with the Rugby World Cup, people do still care.”

Redcliffs resident Fletcher Stanton, who helped establish the Redcliffs on Sea community information centre after the February 22 quake, gave Mateparae a tour of the area.

“It’s unfortunate that no-one takes any notice [of Redcliffs] because we’re supposed to be filthy rich, but everyone is in the same boat here,” he said.

Redcliffs on Sea started as a small stall on February 23, giving out bottled water and food.

It grew into a big operation, supplying pet food, fresh water, hot meals and finding tradespeople to fix damaged properties.

– The Press

just one of the comments below… 328   #4   05:39 pm Oct 08 2011

No, NZ hasn’t forgotten about Christchurch; its just that alot of them are sick to death of hearing about us and our shattered city, houses, businesses, and lives. They have no concept of what happened or of the damage. I have had people in Europe, Australia, and even parts of NZ, who innocently asked me ‘so, has life returned to normal now’.

One year of earthquakes for Christchurch, NZ. I’m living in the Bay Area now but hearing stories from my old home town makes me realise just how unprepared I am for a serious earthquake event. The few relatives I have still in Christchurch are incredibly stoic. So much was destroyed that everyone is grateful for whatever they still have, but the cost of rebuilding and the length of time it takes is hard to grasp when you are safe. The TV cameras aren’t on anymore.

While the same applies to Japan in the aftermath of the tsunami, and also Joplin, USA after the tornado or New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, there is one huge difference. NZ is not a very large country. Japan’s horrific tsunami is economically the worst natural disaster in total cost, but the cost of the Christchurch earthquake to every person in NZ is approx $200,000 per person and blowing out all the time.

There have been three major quakes (Sept 2010, Feb2011 and June 2011) and many small aftershocks are felt every day. More stories from the front line include this collection at:

Tick Tick Tick – my master’s application is late!

Enzo Mari - Timor desk calendar, 1966; Enzo Mari exhibit, Spazio Italia gallery, IIC Los Angeles April 10-June 27 2008

Enzo Mari – Timor desk calendar, 1966; Enzo Mari exhibit, Spazio Italia gallery, IIC Los Angeles April 10-June 27 2008

Enzo Mari is one of the people we have to thank for Italian design’s world prominence since World War II. His designs have always combined playfulness, practicality, and the unparalleled elegance of simplicity, all driven by an eagerness to work with new and old materials alike. Even as you admire their sculptural line and their machine-like logic you have to lift and fondle them like toys. Some of them are toys; Mari’s designs for kids’ books and objects themselves constitute a minor revolution in design for children. Similarly, the Pop brightness and futuristic stylizations of his designs for adults – for the workplace, for the home, for the kitchen, for the body – underscore rather than obscure their almost addictive usefulness. Like his countrymen, Milan-basaed Mari loves to play with and re-think ordinary objects; unlike so many of them, he is taken less with his own cleverness than with the magic of objecthood itself. A selection of about 60 Mari designs fills the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.

Too much time is being spent setting up the whole AmIArt lifestream and not enough time putting 300 little words together. 20 tweets.