Sunday, February 14, 2010

On the joys of having bunnies in the family.

  • When we let the rabbits out of the hutch they binky about the garden, this move is a pure and infectious expression of joy.
  • Herbivores chomping away in the borders makes the cat and me feel at peace
    1. If they are at peace then there are no threats to big tough us.
    2. Our hunting-ground is happily full.
  • The cat also likes that they always cede him the higher ground, they seem to appreciate that he always cedes them the choice spots under things.
  • They show evidence of becoming happier to be held.
  • Rabbit poo is like goat poo; "almost appealing".*

* Holzwarth, Werner, The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was None of his Business, (Chrysalis Children's Books) 1994.

Pet rabbit links:

Kids and Rabbits
my favourite introductory text

I needed to know rabbits can show joy before I would consider living with them and this vid did it for me
There's a whole lot more communication stuff out there, my favourite is

Sean found this article quite winning

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Illiterate bookworms

Hazel and Iris have had fevers this week. Iris has watched movies (of books mostly; Winnie the Pooh, Narnia and Beatrix Potter come to mind). Hazel has been listening to books online, perhaps because she enjoyed some parts of The Stars are Comforting on the Concert Programme on the way home from Ultimate last week.

Hazel has listened to all the stories on the Radio New Zealand site that we could find (a bit difficult since the actual link to the Storytime Treasure Chest is broken at the moment). She watched and listened to all the Screen Actors' Guild people reading books at Storyline Online, it was felt that Sean Astin did as good a job as I do of A Bad Case Of Stripes, and that I could learn from his use of props. She has been listening to Storynory stories since, and creating her own illustrations (perhaps she's feeling a bit better, though she's certainly feeling a bit hotter).

I've also found and and a whole lot more promising things appear with Googling for things like "free audiobooks children online".

Me, I like listening to The Wind in the Willows when I'm ill, and I still have my records of it, but I haven't yet got the USB turntable so that I can take it with me on my phone to listen to when waiting for things. However, it occurs to me that I could turn the recorder on my phone on when I'm reading to the kids and I'd get audiobooks of all their favourites: audience participation and all!

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Book: Getting Started with Schemas

If you're curious about schemas you may be glad to hear that Nikolien van Wijk's book Getting Started with Schemas: revealing the wonderful world of children's play is, at long last, available! It's not yet listed on the Playcentre Publications website, though it should be available from them by email: 

I bought it from the Wellington Playcentre Shop: 

Wellington Playcentre Shop
Address:73 Kenepuru Drive
Phone:(04) 237 7827
Fax:(04) 237 7821
Shop Hours:Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm 
Sat 9.30am - 12.00 noon.

and I've also seen it available online from The Arts Centre Bookshop

One line review: it's good as far as it goes, and that is far enough to get started with schemas. 

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Monday, November 17, 2008

I find tech comparisons soothing.

Telecom has offered me a new phone again. I've liked Nokias by and large; looking at this picture of all Nokias ever I think I had the S110 (which everybody seemed to have at the time) from July 2000 until I got the 3200 with its glorious transparency and excellent torch (I still miss those features, they should be options for every phone). I've had my 6235 since about this time in 2006.

If I were to get a new phone it would have a better camera than the 0.3 megapixel one I have. I'd like it to have a torch and a transparent case, but I've not much hope of that. I think I'd like it to have a removable storage card or come with a USB cable, not sure which would be better for me.

Phonedog: I was comparing Nokias 3200, 6235i, 6275i and red E65 (though it doesn't know that the first two had cameras, which makes one wonder what else is inaccurate).
Nokia: I was comparing the 6275i, E65, E90 communicator and N95 8GB


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Food miles: too simple.

I haven't yet digested Food Miles – Comparative Energy/Emissions
Performance of New Zealand’s Agriculture
(2006 by Caroline Saunders, Andrew Barber and Greg Taylor), but it's very interesting. What I really want is a nice little thingy on the shelf next to the food item: $4.29 and 17 utils (prior to adjustment for personal taste) per kilo.

It's a 119 page pdf here's the Executive Summary from p vii.

Executive Summary
• Food miles is a very simplistic concept relating to the distance food travels as a measure of its impact on the environment. As a concept food miles has gained some traction with the popular press and certain groups overseas. However, this debate – which only includes the distance food travels – is misleading as it does not consider total energy use, especially in the production of the product.
• The food mile concept has potential to threaten New Zealand exports given New Zealand’s geographical location. The solution proposed by food miles campaigners is to source food from as close to where it will be finally consumed as possible. Thus as 50 per cent of NZ exports are in food and beverages, of which approximately a third go to EU markets, the potential risk is significant.
• This study looks at the environmental impact of some key New Zealand export products. The environmental impact calculations are based upon a life cycle ssessment (LCA) type approach and include the energy use and CO2 emissions associated with production and transport to the UK. This is a much more valid comparison than just distance travelled as it reflects the differences in countries’ production systems. These were then compared to the next best alternative source for the UK market. The products examined were dairy, apples, onions, and lamb.
• The analysis therefore first identified the farm production system in New Zealand and the relevant EU country which could be used as an alternative source of supply to the UK market. In general, data on production systems and energy use was much more comprehensive for New Zealand than for the alternative EU country. This has led to the New Zealand estimates of energy use and emission associated with production being more inclusive than those for the alternative EU country.
• Comparison of energy used and CO2 emissions between NZ and UK Dairy. The UK uses twice as much energy per tonne of milk solids produced than NZ, even including the energy associated with transport from NZ to the UK This reflects the less intensive production system in NZ than the UK, with lower inputs including energy.
• Comparison of energy used and CO2 emissions between NZ and UK Lamb. The energy used in producing lamb in the UK is four times higher than the energy used by NZ lamb producers, even after including the energy used in transporting NZ lamb to the UK. Thus, NZ CO2 emissions are also considerably lower than those in the UK.
• Comparison of energy used and CO2 emissions between NZ and UK Apples. NZ is also more energy efficient in producing and delivering apples to the UK market than the UK is. NZ energy costs for production are a third of those in the UK. Even when transport is added NZ energy costs are approximately 60 per cent of those in the UK. Consequentially the CO2 emissions per tonne of apples produced are also higher in the UK than in NZ, reflecting the higher energy use but also the lower emissions from NZ electricity generation.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007


We're a little further from the darkest day.
The kids have not been 100% well much of the last few months. We went on holiday and all got sick.
The silvereyes love the dripping in the bird feeder in our back garden.
I'm knitting a zip cardie and I dyed my sports-bras very purple (I'm finding these Berlei High Performance Underwire Sports Bras simply excellent but, as with all bras, I think it depends greatly on the competence of the person who fits it).
I run through Otari most Fridays. It's lovely there.
I've become an ENFJ. I don't think I've been that before, not that I can remember what I was I'm afraid.
I found a pseudo-scorpion, it is very dextrous with its long front claws.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Last Great Snail Chase.

Edward Lynden-Bell made a movie called The Last Great Snail Chase, and I saw it on Tuesday and I think it's good. It's got interesting people, they have their lives of beauty, pain, and laughter, and they happen to be living at the end of the world. They live in Wellington, New Zealand; turns out that's a place of vast and beautiful skies, wooden houses clutching mountainsides and some magic.

Morgue liked it too; he also likes my Geeks on Dates, so his taste may be impeccable. I don't know when you'll get to see it, but if you're going to Cannes this year it's going to be on there. Edward is my cousin and I'm proud of him.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Too much info? What else are blogs for?

I didn't notice I'd attained perfection at the time, but in the twenty years since, I have shopped for bras looking for the high round breasts I had at seventeen.

The children helped me today. They were each breast-fed for quite some time and they show a kindly interest in my breasts much like I have in past-favourite cafes. In fact Hazel is the person who's managed to say the nicest thing ever:
"I love the way your breasts flow up when you run." (Very trajectory, for the schema spotters among us. Also note how specifically observed it is; that's what "nice" lacks, breasts just are "nice", it's not a description that tries to capture a body's unique beauty, however sincerely meant it may be).

Hazel liked the traditional black lace bra. Iris, of the obscure sense of humour, likes the non-minimizing yet stabilising sports bra (a miracle of modern engineering, I hope it washes well). We all liked the purple bra with the off-white paisley embroidery but when I wore it back to Playcentre it bit into my armpit as I drove, so I had to take it back. Hazel and Iris disagree fairly vehemently about whether the replacement is pink or red but they like that it shows quite a lot of skin, and I recognise the shape.

That Karen at Kirks, she knows her stuff.

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