Personal News

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A video that one of my mates posted on Facebook yesterday inspired me to have a nosey for Space Knights. How retro!

Eventually I came across the official entry on the SPP website.

Produced in 1989 - Yes, 21 years ago - and used to show on a Saturday afternoon as I recall.
Interestingly it doesn't appear at all on despite having some notable names. Wider websearching shows some interesting facts, though, like the Managing Director of South Pacific Pictures was director of several of the episodes of what was SPP's first ever television production. They are of course better known these days for some of New Zealand Television's finest, including Shortland Street and Outrageous Fortune.

So that was my history trip for yesterday. Now I find myself pondering finding a copy of 'Space Junk' by Dave Dobbyn...

Oh and the publisher of the above also seperately put Just the Intro Sequence up - and the comments are gold, some nice historical anecdotes, esp about the way it was produced!

Yes indeed. Started with a bang at about 0430 with Benjamin demanding a feed, which was duly administered. Unfortunately as has been par for the course lately, doing so (and the burping, etc), ran to over an hour and even more unfortunately, I began to suspect his ability to deal with the nasal drip he's been coping with as a byproduct of his allergy. This caused me concern enough to wake up Liz at about 0600 and for us to together, agree shortly thereafter that a visit to the Afterhours (Accident and Emergency at Hutt Hospital) was on the cards.

For those unaware, our son Ben (born in December) has been exhibiting the same symptoms as our daughter did 4 years ago, with regards to an allergy to Dairy. Rash, irritability, and other symptoms abound, and in essence its been getting harder and harder to feed him and settle him afterward. Over the last few days, sleep was getting harder to come by (we estimate his hours of sleep in the time to Midday Saturday was in the order of 2 hours for the previous 36.)

We've been working the system as we're meant to, to get Ben's situation addressed. A visit to a (private) paediatrician recently didn't help much, as it appears he doesn't subscribe to the kinds of problems our Son is facing. With serious concerns for his wellbeing, the only way to accellerate our getting help through the public system was to visit A&E. So we did this; we were there by shortly before 0730 this morning.

Fortunately, given that it was early on a Sunday, the ER was quiet. We were seen relatively quickly and after briefing the registrar, then a junior Paed doc, we waited for the Paediatrician. Ben moved between quiet, and loudlyuncomfortable, while we waited. And waited. I must recognise, though, that the staff at the ER were excellent, friendly and helpful - they checked on us regularly and made sure we were well looked after. Biggie ups to them! The chief delays are around waiting for doctors/specialists.

My Canon A580 has served pretty well since I got it though i've had to get it replaced under insurance prior to now, due to a cracked display. My current edition I've had since September 2008 - so yesterdays rather catastrophic lense failure (zomg 'Lense Error; Restart Camera' and very little movement of said lens) was horrendously disappointing.

Front and Back images found at

I mentioned it to Liz who did a bit of poking around whilst I was catching up on some sleep this afternoon... turns out that after we confirmed it was out of warranty, a websearch showed lots of examples of similar errors (I give Canon some credit for keeping the error wording consistent, at least.)

In particular the following URL's were very useful:

The latter is particularly interesting as it describes the nature of a common issue with the Powershot's (Dust getting into the gearage for the lens movement) and in some degree of detail, how to take the unit apart sufficiently to clean it out.

I expect that my woes were generated from doing some heavy lifting, etc, with the camera in my pocket yesterday. Thanks LCA2010 :D. My fault, though.

Anycase once established the Warranty was long gone, a good solid whack on a knee brought the thing back to life. And i'm quite happy about that! :-)

So... bring on LCA. And be warned, yet another camera may be pointing your way...

PS: Reiterating my grateful thanks to Liz :-)
PPS: Blogged this so that I can find it again later! And because judging by Googles results, it may well be helpful to place this somewhere it can be indexed and found by those experiencing similar problems... !
PPPS: Thanks to for decent quality images of the camera and a good, basic description of it which is worth a looksie if you're so inclined! Found with Google Image Search of course.
PPPPS: Wow, an entire site dedicated to the error! Here's the repair guide and the saga moves from there; class-action law suits?

It's all over Facebook, Twitter et al, but time I blogged it:

Benjamin Thomas was born at about 4.45pm on December 22nd after (yet another) loooooong drawn out (early) labour followed by a relatively short final stage (compared to last time). No dramas - we were home from Hutt Hospital by 8pm!

Ben weighed in at 7 pounds flat and wasn't measured for length at the time, however we did that yesterday.. 44cm! (This places him in the 'tiny' bracket for length (the bottom of the bottom 3%!) and weight-wise, he's in the 15th percentile. That all said, all well and no dramas.

After Laura's experiences we've gone directly to a formula suitable for kids with allergenic siblings and this seems to be working for the time being. Now to work out a routine that'll let both Mum and Dad get some sleep... ! Seriously though, he's pretty much perfect and we're all very stoked. including Laura.

An old colleague from the Auckland Fire Police, Ross Bay, has been in the news a bit lately; he's just been appointed the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. That is something of a big deal...

The Auckland Fire Police Website covered it early on. But it also made it into the Press - and TV...

Television New Zealand - 6 December (Video)

New Zealand Herald - 7 December (Print Article)

East & Bays Courier - 9 December (via

New Zealand Herald - 19 December (Interview)

In a fairly short period of time Ross has made a pretty good name for himself; shortly after being appointed the Dean of Auckland (August 2007 - he was one of the clergy involved in officiating the services for Sir Edmund Hillary (Found a photo from that day, with Ross next to the PM) and also at the service for a police officer who was killed in the line of duty in September 2008.

The fact that Ross is also an officer in the Auckland Volunteer Fire Police has been an item of interest for the media too - I imagine it's not a common thing for members of the clergy to have such a completely different occupation on the side?

But who can blame them?

Death threats against kids. Bikes stolen. Track and facilities trashed.

Papakura living up to its South-Auckland reputation.

Very sad to hear, as I actually raced at Papakura at least once, I think...

I feel bad for the kids, parents, and the people behind PBMX. The little mongrels guilty of this sort of crap are probably just a drop in the bucket, however.

So after being paged shortly before 2am this morning and spending the following 5 or so hours tied up at a rather substantial blaze down in Lower Hutt I got home to a household that was pretty much awake. Thus I am now on my 18th continuous hour of awakeness after all of 3 hours sleep prior...

Suprisingly alert, actually, but will sleep well tonight!

In other news, ... when I was in Auckers back in July, Dad had a package for me:

This game, among a few of the other old board games from my childhood were finally shipped to me in the last few weeks. And after some minor repairs that I waded my way through, bleary eyed, the game is up and running, just as I remember. And Laura is already hoping to get some practise when i'm not round, so I hear!

Good times.

Fireworks at Petone Beach tonight. A large crowd gathers at Petone to watch the Wellington display from across the harbour. (Too distant for decent photos, unfortunately.)

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