Archive for the ‘Online’ Category


Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

My Californian friend Chuck is the web guy and events guy behind the new web ministry/mission/resource MyBakersfieldChurch.

MyBakersfieldChurch is here to enhance local churches, not take away from them – as a group of local Christians and Friends we felt a desire put on our hearts to really work to create a resource that would benefit all of Bakersfield – not just singling out Pastors and Members – but opening up the possibilities to new comers to the faith, as well as quite simply the area.  The goal of the web site is quite simple – to bring people back to Church, we are not looking to become an Online Church, but rather a stepping stone of bringing believers and non-believers into a local congregation that fits their needs.

Chuck has been working on the site and tweeting the odd progress report for some time and tweeted the launch a few hours back.  Well done to Chuck and his buddies for taking a fresh approach!

funkypancake is on the move

Friday, August 14th, 2009

In late breaking news from the old country, dear friend and photoblogger extraordinaire Dave has announced his imminent relocation to New Zealand with his lovely family.

Following a scouting trip back last Easter, when the FP family stayed in our house while we were away, they have decided to move to Aotearoa.  Having trod the same path four years ago, we have been pleased to pass on what knowledge and experience we gleaned to David and Jane during their deliberations.

We look forward to seeing them in October!


Monday, July 20th, 2009

While I don’t always understand the strip, when I do xkcd can make me laugh out loud.

Imogen Heap : First Train Home : first listen

Saturday, July 11th, 2009


Imogen Heap is an artist who has embraced and used the internet to the fullest extent possible in the production and promotion of her music.

Earlier this week, she and some of her Twitter feed fans used the same technologies to chase down some of those responsible for the online auctioning of a pre-release CD of her forthcoming album, Ellipse.  Having bid the auction up to £10M for the watermarked CD, she had the satisfaction of seeing the auction closed down and reading the staunch denials of the journo the CD was sent to and his editor.

The fun over, she headed off to the States where she’s currently doing promotional interviews across the US.  The Heap faithful there were able to attend a number of small ‘happenings’ and hear live previews of a number of songs from Ellipse.  For those of us elsewhere in the world keen to hear the long-awaited material, Stereogum provides the chance to hear the first single First Train Home.

Spot on, Google Ads!

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Spot on, Google Ads!

Reading my friend funkypancake’s RSS feed  this morning, I was amused by how Google Ads eerily picked up on the word ‘cult’.

Squeaky Clean Mighty Mouse

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Like a fair few Mac users before me, I have had more than one or two issues with my Mighty Mouse.  I have tried the ‘clean the ball by rolling on a cloth upside down’ method on a number of occasions but the results never seem to last for long.  Sooner rather than later, I end up losing the ability to scroll up or down or both.

After swapping out my Mighty Mouse for an RS-inducing mini travel mouse yesterday and in the full certainty of voiding my warranty, this evening I got the tools out and dissected my mouse.  Following the advice and pictures on a number of websites, including, a post on theory.isthereason and another on shirster’s blog, I prodded, poked, levered and flexed my way into the mouse.  Once inside and having disconneted the ribbon cables, I disassembled the workings, cleaned the ball assembly and casing with isopropyl alcohol and then reversed my actions to rebuild my squeaky clean mouse.  After a quick check to ensure all was well and the ribbons were reseated properly, I reattached the outer ring with a few dabs of a weaker glue than Apple’s Chinese assembly folk use (my guess is that I’ll need to do this again) and taped it to set overnight.

There’s a few scratches on the case from slips of my craft knife and the warranty is toast but, given that I was looking at NZ$111 plus carriage to replace it, I’d say that I had nothing to lose and came away with a result.  So, if your Mighty Mouse isn’t working and you have more time than money, dig out your tools and dissect that mouse.

Time Out Bookstore

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Time Out Bookstore in Auckland’s Mount Eden is everything you can ask for in a neighbourhood bookshop.  It is cosy, inviting, bursting with great books and staffed by lovely, engaging and knowledgeable folk who’ll happily offer an opinion on whatever you’re flicking through – or leave you to browse quietly.  They have fun author nights in the room upstairs and send out a really enticing snail mail newsletter periodically.

The Winter 2009 newsletter arrived today.  Glancing across the front page, I found a great typo and thought I would gently pull the leg of Wendy, Jane and the Time Out team.

For the Northern hemisphere folk scratching their heads, Normanby Road is a road with a few trendy eateries not far from the store and Normanby is a small township just north of Hawera.

World Environment Day

Friday, June 5th, 2009


World Environment Day – one of the most popular days on the United Nations calendar – is slowly coming to an end in New Zealand but is still to come for much of the world.  It is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote action on national environmental issues. This year’s theme for World Environment Day (WED) is Your Planet Needs You! Unite to Combat Climate Change. We can all do our part to protect the planet by using less and acting more. But too often we are presented with environmental problems without being given the tools to act. WED is about taking action to be a part of the solution. And the Daily Do Something Tips are a great start. Make your WED commitment today. But don’t stop at today and don’t stop here. Try to incorporate all of these into your life as a matter of routine. Get others to do so the same. And get involved!


  • It would seem to go without saying, but many of us forget that we can save water in simple ways like not letting the tap run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
  • Insulating your water heater will help save valuable energy, and you can go the extra mile by installing shower heads with a low flow in your bathrooms for bathing purposes to help save water. You can also put a timer on your heaters to save power.
  • Using an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors goes a long way to cutting back on waste. And plant a tree.
  • Use towels for drying your face and hands instead of tissues that are used and thrown away.
  • Juice or yoghurt lovers can do their bit by buying juice in concentrates and yoghurt in reusable containers instead of single serving packages.
  • Many of us like to leaf through the paper as we munch on breakfast, but consider reading the dailies in communal spaces like the office or online. However, if you prefer to have your own copy, make sure you recycle!
  • When packing your lunch, opt for reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping the food with aluminium foil or plastic wrap.
  • As you leave the house, don’t forget to switch off all the lights and appliances at the wall and unplug chargers as they continue to consume even if they are not charging; saving energy helps reduce air pollution.


  • Don’t go anywhere without your cloth bag so you can just say no to plastic whenever you shop.
  • Radical as it may seem, in today’s “the easier the better” society, the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is by avoiding driving altogether. Power down and instead try biking, walking, carpooling, or public transport.
  • If you have no other choice than to drive to work, look for the most fuel- efficient car model for your next purchase and keep your tyres inflated to the correct pressure.
  • If you’re one of the lucky few blessed with clear stretches of road on your way to work, use cruise control, as it saves fuel and also helps you maintain a constant speed.
  • If you’re among the majority of drivers who spend their mornings stuck in traffic, consider turning your engine off if you will be idling for long periods of time. And plant a tree.
  • For those who suffer from road rage, remember that aggressive driving lowers your mileage, so if you want to save on fuel and save the planet while you’re at it, accelerate gradually – something to keep that in mind the next time that bad driver cuts you off! Just count to 10 and say the planet needs me!

More info:

Reunited and it feels so good

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Some sixteen hours ago, in a fizzle of over-bright LEDs, my old wireless router and DSL modem died and our house was plunged back into the dark, unconnected days of the last century.  After struggling through an evening of ‘just’ TV movies, handheld games and books, I went out this morning and snagged a new modem/router combo from a very nice guy at Noel Leeming.  After a little tweaking of our new Linksys Cisco WAG160N and the requisite configuring of XP on the family PC, Xandros on the Asus eeepc, OS X 10.5 on the iMac and Settings on the Touch, we’re digitally reunited with the rest of the world again.

I’m not in the habit of name-checking stores but I am doing so here because I received great customer service and was offered a great price.  Even though a neighbouring branch of NZ’s leading electronics retailer had the same unit in stock at $50 less, I will no longer use that particular branch of the chain following a really nasty customer service experience during a visit some months back.  When I saw the unit was $50 more in Noel Leeming, I asked the guy serving me whether they could match the price of the other store as I preferred to give him my business.  Without hesitation, he agreed and the sale was made.

While I’m aware that price-matching is common practice and stores monitor each other’s price points, it was nice that they accepted my word on the price elsewhere and matched it without hesitation to seal the deal. However, it is a little depressing that I should feel this is an exception worthy of mention and that good customer service is not so common these days.

Dolby Wired podcast & new albums

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

It has been a busy 36 hours for Thomas Dolby.  In a Wired podcast just uploaded to iTunes, Dolby has just previewed 2.5 new tracks of his first new album in 18 years.  ‘A Map of The Floating City’ will be released as three downloadable EPs followed by the CD.  This is preceded by today’s release of  ‘The Singular Thomas Dolby’, a remastered collection of his CD and DVD singles.  Both are getting rave reviews on the web with ‘Oceanea’ the stand-out for me from those previewed on the podcast.

If the posts here seem a little Imogen Heap/Thomas Dolby centric at present, I make no apologies for that; both are fine artists and I’m simply sharing what I enjoy.