Planarchy Archive - August 2003



Well, as I'm sure you'd have expected, I took a lot of piccies whilst en France. Many will surface at some point I'm sure.  But, in the meantime here is my current favourite..... it's a Hummingbird Hawkmoth AKA Macroglossum stellatarum, not native to the French Alps but a migrant from warmer climes further south.  Apparently these inch long specimens sometimes get as far as England, though I've never seen them!.  To get this far probably uses up all of the three generations that they can manage in a good summer... and all for what? Puts my humble summer trip by car into perspective anyway.

Anyway, these moths transfixed me as soon as I came across them and I spent ages trying to freeze their frenetic motion on digital film.  I think this shot is the closest I got but It wasn't easy, they don't half move quickly! 

20030830   17:05

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Well for the last ten days or so and until about 7:20am CET this morning, this was our neighbourhood....(today's Photo Friday theme guys!) miss it already.

20030829   20:27

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Pretty Fly (for a fly-guy)

Why do we not appreciate the beauty of the common or garden fly like we do it's buttery third cousin.  Is it just because of it's distasteful (to us) habit of eating shit?  An extension of the cute fluffy seal nasty shark phenomenon?  I'm not saying we should welcome them into our houses, schools and workplaces, I'm just saying even things with unpleasant habits can be beautiful.

Let's face it, this one looks really cool.... albeit in a sort of 1960's Sci-Fi sort of way. 

20030828   19:77

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Deja Vu?

OK, back to holiday related photos today, as we're still away, apparently....

I think I've mentioned before my habit of taking the same photo over and over again.  It's part finding something photo-worthy and part striving for the perfect shot.  One of the often taken, near traditional, shots from holidays with Zee as long as I can remember is the shot of our first two beers.  But trawling through old photo albums I found the picture below......from a much earlier (Pre-Zee) time.

20030826   00:666

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Not very new, it came out last year, but it has been spending time on my CD player recently.  It reminds me very much of mid-era Clash though I can't put my finger on exactly why......a bit shoutier, maybe.

Also worthy of note is it's length.... 45min 20 seconds.  In the good old days of home taping, when trying to fit albums onto C90s, the 45 minute album was something of a holy grail.  Would the tapes have had the spare 20 seconds or would I have been frantically playing with the pause button to try and lose those precious seconds from the inter-track pauses?

Whatever, the spirit of Strummer dances in these grooves I'm certain.

20030824   00:99

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Dinosaur Features?

Today's treat from my 'umble photo album is, as you can see, the Tuatara.  I encountered this lovely specimen in a room sized glass cage in Rainbow Springs, Rotorua, EnZee.  The strange mix of bush/garden and zoo was not on our original list of things to do but, on failing to find the louge we ended up here.  And for the Tuatara alone 'twas worth it.  Fascinating creatures, the last remaining dinosaurs it says here.

20030822   00:66

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Push me

As they say, never work with children or animals. Two llamas (llamae?) and the only picture you want is one that makes it look like a certain two headed beast. But would they pose for it? Oh, no.

20030820   00:88

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London Calling

Well, we at DKNZ towers have gone away to France for a few day's R&R in my leetle bro's house dans Les Alps. But fear not, that does not mean no blog.... although I expect to be away from the trippa dubya for much of the time a little black PHP magic means that pieces will still appear every couple of days or so.....  Is this cheating?  Do I care? 

So, we start with my third trip to France in the summer of 1982.  We'd just graduated and eleven of us arranged a week's camping in in Deuville.  To say that we had the occasional argument would be an understatement.  But I was still talking to the three other guys and two of the guyesses by the end of it so it wasn't a complete disaster.

In the picture above, we thought we were re-creating the cover of the Clash's "Combat Rock"

We were doing nothing of the sort of course (but there were four of us and we were on a railway line!). 

But we thought we looked cool.  Oh dear.

20030818   00:77

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This weeks Photo Friday, had it not been on holiday, would, as I'm sure you're all aware, have been Yeasts... so here's my effort.


20030815   20:34

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It's Coming....

Looks like it's really coming this time....

20030815   12:06

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And a Happy Left Handers Day to all my fellow left handees. 

Didn't get any cards.


20030813   20:07

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Weevils Wobble


But this one sadly I know only too well.  It's a Vine Weevil     and not wanted at all. A very nasty pest indeed but one that we seem to contract     every year at one point or another.  It's crescentular maggoty grubs     do the most damage, happily eating their way through a plant's root system     before you can say Jick Ribinsin. 


Container plants (and we have a lot) are particularly susceptible.       Busy days ahead hunting down the offspring.  Darn!

20030813   7:30

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No Correspondence

As in, "will be entered in to".  Lucky I don't have such rules for my quizzes.  The correspondence has been of far more interest than the actual quizzes themselves.  I feel more competitions should open themselves in such a way. 

Though that could just be the part-time-sunny-day-anarchist talking.

20030812   17:29

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Quiz (part 2)

This one I haven't forgotten I just don't know.  I'm pretty sure it's a moth rather than a butterfly but I could be wrong.  The supposition is based on it's absence from a rather old "Butterflies of the UK" book which we appear to have acquired from Harringey Libraries (due return date May 1983). 

I've never even lived in Harringey! 

Oh, and unless you're viewing this site on a PDA the picture above is at least 4 times life size... it's a little fingernail sized thing.  Seems to like mint flowers.

20030811   20:13

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Well, less of a quiz and more of a "help out poor Nic and his ever failing memory" really.  You see I've forgotten what these flowers (snapped in my parent's garden this very afternoon) are called. 

The bees love them though, as the picture here shows.

20030810   21:10

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Clickety-Clix : All the Eights

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of starting work for my current employer.  To celebrate they gave me a new uniform/overalls.  Actually they gave everyone new overalls so it might have been a coincidence.

Why am I so certain of the date?  Well, I started working there on the 8/8/88 and you remember dates like that. 

Very auspicious if you're Chinese, apparently.

I remember reading at the time that the four eights were so lucky that Chinese parents-to-be were trying to ensure their babies were born on that day.  But I can't seem to find any decent references to that now.  Pah!

20030808   19:29

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OK, a bit of a rant today. 

This isn't the original post.... whilst trying to find online resources to back up that story I came across a requirement to register some details.  It happens all the time and I have various stock names and addresses as I'm sure we all do.  The bit that really annoyed me was the "Title" field with the omnipresent * to denote a field that must be filled in (and not a desirable imaginary camera). 

Why do they need a title? 

What has that got to do with anything?  Particularly when as well as Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr they leave an "Other" box where I can write Bweep.  From now on all who find Nic too informal may thus address me as Bweep N. Planarchy.

20030807   19:10

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Well, Meerkats, everyone's favourite social animal eat scorpions apparently!

So, it's just said on the TV. So it must be true (it says it here too). Also, I've just realised (a week too late), that when I took this picture of a Meerkat they were sharing accommodation in the giraffe enclosure.

It's too hot to post anything remotely relevant or sensible isn't it?

20030806   19:59

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Dee (on a riding holiday you'll recall) has just phoned to update on her latest exploits. 

Updates are thrice daily I should mention.  I get a text message at 7am (as I arrive at work) letting me know I can phone.... another message arrives at 5pm, letting me know I can call again.  Finally there is a late evening call to speak to all of us.  Well, the latest is that Dee came second in the "Gymkhana and Handy Pony" today and also got a Rosette in the "Tidy Tack".  No, of course I don't know what that means but she was most impressed so obviously so are we.

Her horse is called "Dougal" by the way, so one assumes he's got long hair, short legs and likes sugar cubes. Interesting to ride I'd imagine.

20030805   18:10

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Planarchy RIP

Well, I think that we may soon be seeing the end of Planarchy and indeed all such blogs.  For Somewhat has shown us how the excellent folk at DrunkMenWorkHere have created a tool that does it all for you automatically.  I know I've crowed before about not using Blogger or MT or whatever but this one even also writes the entries for you and thus wins my seal of approval. 

So the automatic version of my blog is here, Somewhat's here and Blue Witch there

20030805   17:52

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Aint It Though?

Our eldest has been packed off for a week's horseyness with Cornish Riding Holidays leaving Kay, our youngest, with a lot more space to fill.  Her tales of the day are wont to include an East London "innit" of late.  When asked to repeat the sentence she obliges and happily replaces the offending article thus....

"I bet Dee's having a great time in Cornwall, isn't it?"  

I suspect she may have missed my point somewhere along the line.

20030804   20:11

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Seed Pod

I've mentioned my love of Aquilegia before, with pictures also. I also mentioned my habit of not dead-heading. And with Aquilegia seed pods looking this good, why chop them off?

20030803   15:52

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This week's Photo Friday is Curves. I had a couple of ideas that didn't pan out so, no expense spared, I flew out to EnZee and captured this shot on Lake Tekapo. A blisteringly hot day but the water was so cold it gave you toothache.

Glacier melt apparently.

20030801   17:37

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