Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

I know everyone's talking about it but I just had to because in December 2006 I was messing about writing a science fiction story and it has the following line:
"They came in after the last flu epidemic, the one from pigs. It made sense at the time of the flu epidemic, the quicker people were diagnosed, the faster they could be treated."

In 2007 I was still messing around on and off with this story and rewrote it a different way. But it still has the line:
"They were set up to catch anyone who might be suffering from the last pig to human influenza epidemic ..."

Freaky eh!
So here I am trying to break away from my factual writing - which earns me money - and try writing fiction and it seems my fiction is becoming factual. *Sigh*

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Kiwi way

Kiwis seem to take great pride in their 'number 8 wire', 'do it yourself' mentality, even though these days I don't know how many of us know what number 8 wire is.
I was driving into town the other day and past one of those ride on scooter thingys, waiting to cross the road. This model had been a bit customised.
Since it is nearing winter, they had installed a roof. I am sure this is an accessory you can buy, but this guy had found a cheaper alternative. He had a small paddling pool strapped on the top. It was the perfect size (though not a matching colour) to cover his vehicle.
There he was happily sitting under his paddling pool - designed to be completely waterproof, though probably not designed to be a roof.
I admit it looked slightly odd and didn't exactly blend in, but I still for some reason admired his efforts.
Perhaps it was the ingenuity or the not buying the expensive accessories from the supplier or maybe the complete disregard for image over performance.
It also reminded me of my Grandma. My late Grandma had one of these ride one scooters and seeing the paddling pool, I think she would have been disappointed not to have thought of it herself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Clothing and its lack of improvement

How come with all the leaps in technology, clothing still is designed to embarrass us?
We can make television turn on from a distance with the gentle press of just one button but one button can be our undoing in the clothing department when it decides to fall off.
I have had the sewing on the side of a fly zip come undone while out on a day trip so the fly was done up but there was a hole right beside it.
I have been giving training to a customer on an instrument when I have felt my bra undo it self.
I have walked to work only to arrive and realise there is a sock stuck up the bottom of my trousers from the bedroom floor.
Stockings are the most ridiculous piece of women’s clothing that have let me down so many times by getting holes and ladders, I now refuse to wear them and have so far found no time when they are compulsory.
I have sat in a meeting and suddenly realised my top is on the wrong way round and quietly turned it around under my jacket, while appearing engrossed in the current talk.
I worked with a girl - where we wore white smocks with snaps down the front - who in an enthusiastic greeting to a male colleague, found her dress unpopped itself down the front.
In a work place where white tops were required I have had to buy a new top at lunch time due to lunch jumping onto mine and refusing to let go. I had to ask the shop assistant to cut off the tags so I could wear the top immediately and she could scan the barcode without me having to lie on the counter.
I still have blocked out from my memory my first year in high school when the most disgusting of all shorts were THE thing to have. They were Adidas and made of towelling material and were basically just towelling knickers. The worst kind of shorts for anyone without pencil thin thighs.
I had a bra that was fitted to be the right size but the style of its cut meant if I got a bit too active a breast would pop out.
I have sticky taped and stapled a hem that suddenly unravelled itself while at work. Sticky tape through the washing machine is not a good idea.
There is so much media generated on technology and the increasing pace of changing technology. Yet there is an enormous hole in the technology research market. The boundaries of clothing needs to pushed, not just in the area of beautiful design, which the fashion designers are doing wonderfully, but in the area of lowering the embarrassment risk to wearers.
We are well on the way to clothing being more than just keeping us warm or protection from naked flames. In the building industry there are masters who are designing intelligient buildings with lights that automatically come on, heating that turns on when you enter a room and off when you leave. This same attention to detail and intelligience needs to be woven into our clothing. Jeans with flies that can never be left undone. Tops that automatically tighten impercepably when you bend over a table.Hipsters that stretch and shrink depending on if you are standing or sitting.
I think we would all be happy to pay extra for these sorts of conveniences in our clothing.

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.