Horseboy revisited

Regular readers may remember my post about when, in 1995, I emailed TV2’s late-night news programme Newsnight with a poem about Horseboy, the show’s mascot hobby horse. Marcus Lush read it out on air, making it one of the first viewer emails to be shown on New Zealand television. Or something like that.

Well, recently I had a chance to view that episode. It was pretty much how I remembered it (I’m sure I had video-recorded it and watched it a few times back in the day), and now I’ve taken a few screen shots and added it to the post.

Actually, let’s just pause for some lolz. Here’s a screen shot from that same episode of the Absolut CHOGM map – when Newsnight realised that route of the motorcade security loop in Auckland for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting looked like a wonky Absolut vodka bottle:

absolutechogm

But anyway, watching that old episode of Newsnight – and a few others from late 1995 – it was really interesting to see how they treated that crazy new “internet” thing.

In another episode, Newsnight looked at Auckland art dealers Fox Gallery who had built a website to showcase their art. The interview was filmed at the physical gallery and much of the footage was of actual art on the walls, not online. (Though there were a few crappy shots of the gallery’s website, shown on crusty old Netscape.)

At the end of the story, the URL was shown on screen for interested parties to jot down. It was – steady yourself – http://www.ecentral.co.nz/fox.gallery/fox.welcome.html

Srsly. Remember when URLs used to be like that?

I just googled Fox Gallery to see if it still existed. It doesn’t seem to, but the search results brought up heaps of other Auckland galleries. These days it’s completely unremarkable for a gallery to have a website.

Now, when Fox’s 54-character URL was up on screen, Marcus Lush realised the graphic would actually need to stay up there for a while to give people a decent chance to write it down. So he ad-libbed, saying, “They say the trouble with the internet is that no one’s ever found a use for it. There’s nothing to do.”

And, yeah, that’s almost what it was like back then. There was no Trade Me, no Facebook, no Google. I’d only been online for a few months and while I was thrilled by the obvious potential of the internet, my first website will still about 8 months away and I was still trying to figure out what to do with the internet.

So now maybe the general internet has got to the stage where it’s a bit ordinary and boring; and now if you buy a handbag on Trade Me or watch an old Flaming Lips video on YouTube, people don’t think you’re a “computer whizz” and expect you to be able to fix their PC.

Though there are still corners of the internet that haven’t wiggled into the mainstream yet. For example, as ubiquitous as Twitter may seem, it’s still really hard to explain it to people who haven’t used it; who don’t get why you’d use it, just as 15 years ago they wouldn’t have understood why an art gallery would have a webpage.

But eventually they figure it out.

Not so live any more, is it just?

It’s been over 18 months since I stopped writing stuff on my LiveJournal account, and switched back to my personal website, upgraded to the superdeluxxxe 2.0 version running WordPress.

I had imported all my LiveJournal entries into WordPress, but I kept the originals up on LJ because I hadn’t been able to import the comments. I had always planned on coming back and grabbing the comments somehow, even if that meant a manual copy and paste.

Well, I finally got around to doing it and I discovered that LJ would only let me see the 10 most recent comments made on my posts. If I paid to upgrade, I could see the 100 most recent comments. But there were far more than 100 comments in there.

This left me a bit annoyed, because I remember some really cool discussions happening. My favourite was the fiery discussion between Joe and Thomas about engagement rings, that originally followed this post.

Comments on posts are partly what makes writing online worthwhile. It’s the difference between talking in an empty room to talking to a room full of people.

I decided to sever another connection with LJ – I delete all the posts there, but I’m going to keep using LJ to stay in touch with my friends who are still using LJ to post, particularly those tantalising friends-only posts.

LiveJournal seems to be slowly dying out in some regards – Facebook provides a lot of social and community features now and WordPress is a much more flexible blogging platform. LJ is still really popular with fan fiction communities, and also for people who want a quieter corner of the interweb to do their thing.

I kind of miss the old days of LJ. The NZ Idol community in 2004 and 2005 was so much fun. But what’s happening is what seems to happen with the internet – new websites pop up and people move on to other things that suit their needs better.

Black, gold

I have a new cellphone. It is one of those newfangled cellphones that has an extra piece of string or a special carrier pigeon that connects it to the interwebs (I do not understand modern technology). Vodafone now has some decent pricing plans for cellphone interwebs, so I have no excuse not to use it. But this has been both a bonus and a burden.

For example, if I’m walking down Courtenay Place and I think, “Wot was that line from Clue that Mrs White says about the flames?”, I can just whip out my phone and google it and quickly find the answer.

However, it also means that having the net at my fingertips sucks me out of the now and focuses my attention on the little black rectangle in my hand. It’s like the monolith from “2001”, but instead of evolving me to a new plane of enlightenment, it tells me trivia facts about Romania (Romania’s parliament building is the largest building in Europe!)

I was thinking about how cellphones are used these days. I rarely use mine for voice calls any more. In fact, my cellphone rang for a first time a few days ago and I didn’t know which button to press to answer it so I missed the call. Oh, such a modern dilemma!

But I would like to note that when my cellphone rings,it rings.

BONUS FEATURE: The Rugby

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Isn’t it awesome that the Wellington Lions won the Ranfurly Shield after a 26-year dry spell, mate!” Well, um, prior to a couple of days ago, I didn’t even know that there was a sports team called the Wellington Lions.

So with this in mind, I have wisely left the commentary on this topic to my mum, who filed this report from Wellington airport, the day after the win:

We got to the airport quite early and had just settled down to wait for the plane when there was an announcement, “I am proud to announce that the Air New Zealand flight from Auckland will be arriving shortly.” (Proud, I thought, that’s a bit odd)

Then there was a lot of yahoo-ing and yelling from a group of middle-aged Koru Club ladies up the other end of the room who were watching the plane come in. Of course the plane had the victorious Lions on board.

On the tarmac there were two fire trucks in position and when the plane taxied to the terminal it was generously sprayed with water, most of which was blown the other way anyway. Also there were a lot of workers in yellow vests on the tarmac waving flags and yellow and black scarves. Oh, how I wished I’d kept my old school scarf!

We didn’t go down to join in the rabble. We heard some kids doing a haka and there was a lot of cheering and clapping. The Koro Club ladies (and their cellphone cameras) had disappeared to join in the fun. It was all on the TV news last night, anyway.

Oh, No

For over a month, the top search term that’s showing up in my website stats has been “No Magazine”, which was the name of a theoretical magazine I made way back in 1994.

But it’s also the name of a new New Zealand magazine edited by Delaney Tabron and Fraser McGregor. I’ve had a flick through it and it looks good, and I was interested by Mikey Havoc’s interview with Tabron and McGregor on bFM last week.

It’s obviously generated a lot of excitement and people are googling it, looking for more information. But here’s the terrible thing: No Magazine doesn’t appear to have a website!

I’m not expecting a full-on webstravaganza like Metro magazine’s [old] website; just a basic website with information about what the magazine is, who’s behind it, what’s in the latest issue, how much it costs and where you can buy it – information that will let me blog about it. And that doesn’t take much effort or expense to set up or maintain.

But yet they haven’t done it and so all these interested, potential readers are instead finding their way to my 14-year-old ezine and probably feeling a bit annoyed.

If a magazine doesn’t have a web presence, does it even exist online?

Referer Madness: 2007 special

Ok, let’s have some more referer madness. These are my favourite terms from 2007 that people have searched for that have somehow lead them to my website.

i stopped using contraception and didn’t tell him
Oh, you are in so much trouble now! But don’t worry. I won’t tell him either. It’s just our little secret.

dirty little whare porno
Jazmyn is at home in her little whare – house. There’s a knock at the door. It’s a plumber – a hot one. “Oh, you’ll have to excuse the mess,” she sighs. “I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to clean.” “Yes, your whare is paru – your house is dirty,” moaned the hot plumber. “Quite the dirty little whare. This is not ka pai – good at all, you naughty wahine. I’m going to have to take care of you… right after I unblock your whare paku – toilet.”

manpenis hair
Apparently a google for “penis hair” was bringing up too many results to do with hairy ladypenises.

saw arse after drinking
This is #3 on the checklist of signs that you may have a drinking problem, next to “Work suffered due to drinking” and “Friend or family member expressed concern at your drinking”.

what goes down the sink?
Wastewater, and your plans to have retired by age 40 thanks to your portfolio of West Auckland rental properties.

find phone number of women who likes secret sex
So what do you do once you’ve got the phone number? Well, this is an actual transcript of such an occasion:

[RING RING]
Woman: Hello?
Man: Uh, yeah. I hear you likes secret sex!!!
Woman: WTF? How’d you find out?! It was supposed to be a secret 🙁 🙁
Man: sowwy 🙁 🙁
Woman: Oh, come over anyway. I’m quite naked at the moment.
Man: 😀 😀 😀

lady suck cork out of bottle
Generally speaking, it’s more efficient to use a corkscrew than a lady.

2 girls involved in fight on courtney place december 2007
I’m intrigued – was this search done by a witness to the fight who perhaps was wanting to see if anything happened to the girls, or did one of the girls do a vanity google to see if people were writing about her fierce street styles?

who is robyn’s parents
I can exclusively reveal that Robyn’s parents go by the names of “Mum” and “Dad”.

sexual equality rhymes
It’s easy. All you need to do is take an established rhyme and change a few of the words!

1. There was an old man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared! –
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”

2. There was an old lady with a ladybeard,
Who said, “It is also just as I feared! –
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have also all built their nests in my ladybeard!”

What You’re Lookin’ For II: Referer Madness

Another quiet weekend, so it’s time to take another look in my referer logs to see what people have been searching for that’s lead them here.

free tame iti t-shirt
This search showed up the day after the police raids and his arrest. If you’re looking for a T-shirt that urgently, you’re better off fashioning one yourself – retro old-school punk style! Just get your Supre “It’s All About House” T-shirt, turn it inside out, get a black Vivid and write “FREE TAME ITI” on it. You can also customise it by sewing on rick-rack, feathers and funky buttons!

a lady that got took to hell and showed her the passage and how it is going to be
I like to think that the person searching for this was actually expecting to find someone’s blog giving a first-hand account of this. ‘And I was like, “Oh my gosh! Where am I?!” And Satan was all “Say hello to Hell, bitch!” And I was all, “Man, this sucks!”‘

anton oliver and robyn
OMG! Our secret love is secret no longer!

inhaling exit mould
See, life is a gift that God has given us, and you should consider that life as precious and you should not abuse yourself in that life by inhaling Exit Mould. And besides, it’s just bleach. You can’t get high off it. I know – I tried!

rhymes on trouble
Here’s a question – yo, what rhymes with trouble?
Like when you’re lying in a bath filled with bubbles
and you consider space, like Edwin Hubble.
Here’s two more so our tally will double.
I dig the Flintstones and Barney Rubble.
Come here, boy, and let me feel your stubble.
Peace.

booze hag quiz
As the internet apparently cannot provide this, I have scientifically formulated a quiz to determine booze-hagosity:

Q1. do u like 2 drink lot’s???
Q2. when u get drunk do u get all dishevelled and does ur hair get in ur face and u spill drink on ur dress and stuff like that???
A. if u answered “YES” to Q1 and Q2, then ur a booze hag!!!!! me too!!!kewl – u shld come over!!!

cops asian mullet angry
I can understand why someone would search for two or three of these words together, but all four takes us on a journey right into the heartland of WTFness.

secrets of charming man
Ok, this is what you need to do. Get on a bicycle and go for a ride in the countryside. At the top of a hill, ride over something sharp so you get a puncture. Then after a while a charming man will come and give you a ride, and while you’re there in the passenger seat, you can quiz him on his secrets. But I’ll warn you now – he’ll probably think it’s gruesome that someone so handsome should care.

stop her boobs
Someone, do something! Quickly! Well, I mean, at the moment they’re just sitting there in her bra under her shirt, but, I swear, if someone doesn’t do something soon, they’ll start demanding the right to bear weapons and then they’ll start their own people’s revo-boob-tionary army! It’s got to stop.

Addendum:

if i do something obvious will i still get on your referrer list?
Nah, I probably wouldn’t even notice it, let alone blog about it.

The plural of text, and other modern dilemmas

Simon le BonesThis is my cellphone. It’s a Nokia 1100, which, Wikipedia notes, “has been specifically designed for developing countries: its keypad and front face have been designed to be as dustproof as possible, and its sides are non-slip for humid weather.” (This is obviously not a world class cellphone.)

I don’t live in the developing world (though it does get a little humid around here at times), but this phone suits my needs – phone calls and textsisesses.

The slim gentleman to the left is Mr Simon Le Bones. He is the official mascot of my cellphone, and even if my phone kinda sucks, he brings a little deathmotif style to the business.

But despite the presence of Mr Le Bones, my cellphone is currently having some troubles. It does this thing where, when someone phones me, it’ll manage to ring about twice, then it sort of freaks out and turns itself off. But the most frustrating thing about this is it doesn’t keep a record of the call, so I have no idea who was trying to phone me.

I don’t know what the experience is like for the caller, but I have this horrible feeling that it might seem like I’ve been flicking the call through to voicemail because I don’t want to talk. Oh noez!

The phantom switch-off has happened a couple of times in recent days, so I’m thinking maybe it’s time to get a new phone. Something a bit fancier with a colour screen and maybe even an mp3 player and/or a camera.

But it all seems very complicated, this modern cellphone world. So if anyone has any hints or tips, please share. My minimum requirement is that the phone have a loop for Simon Le Bones to hook on to.

What kind of webbery is this?

A couple of my internet amigos have a mysterious art project webpage, the enticingly titled I Wrote This For You, with the even more enticing URL pleasefindthis.blogspot.com.

It consists of daily posts of a lovely photo matched with words of wisdom, such as this one:

The Far

Cute cat up a tree.

You got yourself up there. You can get yourself back down.

At a glance, it seems like cut ‘n’ paste fodder for emo LiveJournallers and miserable housewives, but when you look deeper, are the edges a little frayed? Is the author a font of wisdom or is he secretly looking for answers just as much as we are? And when the author says, “I wrote this for you,” is the correct response, “I read this for you”? Or is that reading too much into things?

Nonetheless, this is what the interweb was made for.

And I’m feeling so rad.

It’s been happening for about as long as I’ve had a website. People search for something and their search engine leads them to a page on my website. They don’t stop and read it and realise that just because someone writes about, say, Berocca on their website, doesn’t mean that they are affiliated with Roche and can hook you up with free Berocca. Similarly someone who writes about the Incredible Film Fest can’t hook you up with free Jackass movie tickets. And a review of a fashion parade doesn’t make the author the organiser of a fashion parade.

And it still continues. Today I received an email from Brad from Canada. He wrote:

Hi,
My gal and I are looking for a very sexual, neat experience in Thailand including a villa, massage and good food???
Any ideas?
brad

Oh, Brad. Poor Brad. Perhaps he searched for “experience with a masseuse in Thailand” and didn’t notice that the full sentence on the page he came to was, “Dennis: “I had a bad experience with a masseuse in Thailand” and was just that one line with no context at all (and the Dennis in question hasn’t been to Thailand, but I can’t be sure about bad masseuse experiences).

But I decided to be as helpful as I could, so this was my reply to Brad from Canada.

Hi

I’ve spent a total of 12 hours in Thailand. It was a stop-over between London and Auckland. Most of the time I spent sleeping, but I did have a cup of coffee at the Bangkok airport café, and it was pretty good.

I hope this helps.

Robyn

Ho ho hizoz

A friend of mine described me as a nympho once. “Oh, my dear boy,” I responded. “Do you know how many years it’s been since I last had a root?”

I was delighted to read in the Straight Dope that nymphomania doesn’t really exist anymore as a legitimate psychological condition. There’s just a non-specific condition about people who are distressed when they have sex a lot. In other words, having frequent, compulsive sex is only a problem if it bothers you to do so.

I went for a walk down to the Waitakere Dam. On the way down I past various groups of people walking up. All the old couples said hello to me, all the younger couples were too absorbed in conversation about relationships or gossip to even look up.

When I got back I was searching for information about the dam and found this. I didn’t even know it was there. I don’t remember writing it. WTF?

My web site is stagnating. I hate that. Ever since I started this Live Journal I’ve all but abandoned my web site simply because the LJ is a) easier to update and b) more fun. I want to merge the two sites, but it’s just taking so long. The good news is that I’ve asked my web site admin guy to install Movable Type, and he’s promised to look into it, so that’s a start.

I feel burdened by technology.