Stews Blog
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Friday, December 05, 2003

This ain't no way to run a blog

Life commitments have robbed me of the opportunity to maintain this blog in the way I would like, so I'm shutting it down. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read it and link to it. I hope you enjoyed it. If not, tough :)

It was fun for a bit, then a chore, then fun again, then a chore again, then fun again, and now I just don't have the time anymore. In fact I've been so busy in the last couple of weeks I haven't read any blogs hardly. Do you know just how tough that is on a news and opinion junkie?

Anyway blogging has been an interesting, and largely enjoyable experience. So thanks to everyone and hopefully I'll bump into you all in someone's comment box.


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Something I've always wondered about...

Are injuries from people firing guns up into the air common? I mean you often see on the news crowds of people in some far off country celebrating something or other and someone is in the middle of the crowd firing celebratory shots above the crowd. Those little chunks have mass. And they must go pretty high. Which means on the way down they must pick up a fair bit of speed. Surely some of them hit people? Surely people get hurt? But then I can't ever remember hearing about someone being injured in that way.

Until now.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Music Elitists

James Russell has been defamed!

"According to some people, I'm an "elitist music lover". What, just because I've got lying on my desk here a CD of Kick Out The Jams signed in 1991 by the then four surviving members of the MC5, a disc of late 70s NZ punk, a collection of Arab-American music from the 1910s to the 1950s, a Smile bootleg, two live Miles Davis double CDs from the mid-1970s, two box sets of orchestral and vocal works by Hector Berlioz, a Death In June compilation, my Enrico Caruso CDs on Naxos, two Einst├╝rzende Neubauten compilations of rarities and live stuff, two Tom Waits albums..."

But really, what you have in your record collection has little to do with whether or not you are a music elitist. It's what you don't have that counts. Specifically, not having any ABBA albums. To this day the general opinion of the musical elite is that ABBA are the pits. No, I don't understand it either. But this seems to be the position of every musical elitist/snob/wanker I've ever known.

So James, 'fess up. Any of these in your collection?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Government provided health services

They are cheaper, and more effective.

Stewsblog has brainwave

Everyone agrees that the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer have too much media influence. Everyone. And everyone likes the ABC and thinks it does a fine job, right? Right. So, one possible approach to breaking down the influence of the Murpack power crazies is to take the ever and all popular ABC and give it a print media operation to complement its TV, radio and online interests.

I'm thinking something like a daily paper, government funded and advertising free, naturally. And of course distributed to the public free of charge. Suggested name: The Daily Truth! Or something along those lines. Naturally it would have a daily David Marr column.

I have never seen this idea promoted before, so I assume I'm the first to think of it. Aren't I good?

It is, from this day forth, official Stewsblog policy to push this idea at every opportunity. Stewsblog encourages all other bloggers to do the same, surely this is an idea we can all get behind?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

New blog

Every lefties favourite Armadillo now has his own blog. Go visit Chris Shiels Back Pages.

A question

A few days back I was having a gander at James Morrows blog (the one he remembers the password too and has a very nice yet understated colour scheme) and came across this post. There's nothing particularly special about it, it simply quotes one of James Lileks anti-European rants and approvingly suggests you read the rest. It got me thinking though (yes, it happens sometimes) and I left a question on James comments:

"Someone set me straight here: the euro-bashing commonly indulged in by Lileks, Morrow, Blair etc is it meant to be taking the piss out of Europeans, or is it taking the piss out of the way the right perceives the left as viewing Europeans as somehow superior to Americans. Or is it both?

Which Europeans is Lileks going on about anyway? I assume the French and Germans, natch. Any others? Are there any decent European nations out there by the standards you guys set? Or do they all stink equally?


No one answered it though. So I'm still wondering. Any takers?

Hey there's a bandwagon, let's jump on it

There's this poll thingy floating around that a few bloggers have been filling out, I'm going to give it a go:

Name: Stew
Owner of: Guitar, Daihatsu Charade, worlds biggest spare change collection, and a stereo sytem I paid waaay too much for.
Love and relationships: Heard of 'em.
Religion: C of E technically. In reality I view religion as a form of mass delusion indulged in by those who can't handle the uncertainties of existence.
Politics: Centre-left.
M.O.: Sleep, read, sleep. Even at work.
Computer: Yes, I have one. It's on most of the time I'm at home, which is most of the time I'm not at work.
Camera: None.
Music: Lots of old stuff. Into Dixie Chicks lately, make of that what you will.
Star sign: Cancer. Was convinced as a kid that this meant I would get it.
Chinese astrological year: Dragon or rat, forget which.
Undergraduate: Not yet graduated but studying metallurgy. Considering move to economics.
Master's: None. I'm a free man.
Doctorate: Nope.
Flower: None, they make me sneezy and force me to donate large amounts of money to evil BigPharma companies every spring.
Instrument: One guitar. Soon to be two.
Fruit: Depends. This week I'm into bananas. If I had to pick an absolute fave it would be mandarins. But a good mandarin is hard to find.
Dance: Can't, but it doesn't stop me.
Knit: Not much.
Sew: Semi-regularly. Mostly to repair holes that keep forming in the pockets of my shorts. No smutty jokes please.
Swear: Lots, but trying to cut down.
Bake: Sometimes.
Cook: Love it, but being essentially lazy I don't do it as much as I should. Fave dishes are anything quick to make, yummy to eat.
Family: One standard set of parents. One highly abnormal sister.
Friends: All I can handle.
Childhood pet names: Scamp, Shep and Shelley.
Books: Tend to buy at twice the rate I actually read. But, yes, read lots.
Ambition: Have Stewsblog knock Instapundit off top of the blogging charts.
Sell-out price: Cost of a sandwhich and a milkshake.
Flavor: Anything marzipan.
Tattoo: Name and address on palm. Helps when drunk.
Piercings: Right small finger with broken edge of glass beaker. Result: seven stitches.
Hair: Dark brown and lots of it.
Eyes: Murky brown, with a hazel tinge. Mud, basically.
Allergies: Standard hayfever stuff. Grass, pollen, animal hair and sunlight. Yes, sunlight.
Sense of humor: Broad. Though find shock humour is getting very tired. Same goes for political correctness jokes.
Spice: Sporty.
Other languages: Fluent in Esperanto.
Sleep: Go to bed as late as possible, get up as late as possible.
Drug: Only the Clarinase I take in copious quantities every spring.
Cleanliness level: Totally schizophrenic. Neat freak one week, mega-slob the next.
Bury me: Face first in cleavage.
Lifetime achievements: The shaving of the Schmid-beast (don't ask).
Game: Many.
Magazine: At the moment nothing.
Motto: Why do today what you can leave till tomorrow? And if you can't do it then, then why do it at all?
How I feel: Relaxed.
What I hear: Flares making a comeback next winter.

So, that's me in a nutshell.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Tax code to reach 830 billion pages by year 2100

Vote Labor to prevent!

US congress raises corporate minimum wage to $565.15/hr


This kind of thing doesn't help

Coalition troops open fire on market shoppers:

"BAGHDAD (AP) A U.S. patrol opened fire Monday on a group of people in Baghdad's gun market, killing three, after the soldiers apparently mistook the gunfire of customers testing weapons for an attack, a witness and an Iraqi police officer said.

Four people also were wounded, hospital and police officials said. The dead included an 11-year-old boy.

In Iraq, it is legal for a family to own one gun for self-defense. That weapon is usually an AK-47 assault rifle. The gun market, however, is illegal and has been raided repeatedly by U.S. soldiers, who have tried to close it down.

The incident began when a group of Iraqis were testing a gun in the market by firing it in the air, said Maj. Ali Rykan of the Iraqi police.

As they fired, four armored cars passed by, Rykan said.

At least two U.S. soldiers then opened fire on the market, killing three Iraqis, said Rykan and a witness, Hashem Naim Mohammed. Mohammed's 11-year-old nephew, Akil Hussein Naim, was among the dead.

The shooting took place at the Mreydi market, a 2-mile-long market known as a place where one can buy guns and thieves hawk stolen goods."

It doesn't take a genius to figure the incredible stress troops must be under, and how it contributes to something like this happening. Bu it also doesn't take a genius to figure out how these kinds of incidents can gradually turn the Iraqi people against you.

Bloody spammers

If you've sent me an important email within the last few days, and not received a reply, you might want to resend. I'm getting insane amounts of spam the last couple of weeks, and just accidentally deleted the contents of my hotmail account while trying to sort about four days worth of build up.

Mebbe time for a new email address and some anti-spam software. Any recommendations?

The General is having impure thoughts again...

...god help the man.

Pot, Kettle, Black

You know, for a group blog with seven bloggers, it can be awfully quiet round Troppo Armadillo some weeks.

Not that I'm one to talk.

Supreme Court case - NZ

A seven year old boy was at the centre of a courtroom drama last week
when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of the

The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge
awarded custody to his aunt.

The boy confirmed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and
refused to live there. When the judge suggested that he live with his
grandparents the boy cried out that they beat him more than anyone. The
judge dramatically allowed the boy to choose who should have custody of

Custody was granted to the All Black rugby team this morning as the boy
firmly believes that they are not capable of beating anyone.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Another blogger threatened with a lawsuit

Following on from the Atrios/Luskin kerfuffle, comes this:

"I have a letter from an attorney threatening to sue me and "my agents" for invasion of privacy, misrepresentation and interference with economic relations all because of the comments to this post. I had edited some of them this morning after posting the update last night. I also tried emailing some of the commenters to warn them I didn't want this behavior. Oddly enough, the email addresses wren't valid. I find it hard to believe that I or any other blogger can be held liable for comments."

The blogger in question, Justene Adamec, quotes some relevant passages of law that appears to give her protection from being sued over the comments of others that appear on her blog. But obviously there is considerable nuisance (and worry) value in this kind of harassment. I hope things work out for her.

Anyway, this has given me all kinds of sneaky ideas for causing certain bloggers all kinds of trouble. I'm going to head into the city, find an internet cafe, open a bunch of hotmail accounts and start posting comments on a few blogs I don't always see eye to eye with, abusing almighty hell out of that lefty sod who runs Stewsblog. Then I'll phone my lawyer and start the legal ball rolling. Expect to see the Gravett empire shut down within days!

Actually, all joking aside, it's not a bad idea is it?

Kill Bill

I saw it last night, and it is one hell of a good film. Especially compared to the boring pile o' crap that Jackie Brown was. As has been mentioned in most reviews of the film there is little of the snappy patter that marks a lot of Tarantinos films. In fact the dialogue is often understated. Not that there is no swearing or crudity, it's still there, it just doesn't seem to dominate this movie as much as past Tarantino efforts.

What really makes the film are the superb fight scenes, especially the hugely entertaining fight that takes place at the House of the Blue Leaves. The musical score is also quite good. To me this is Tarantino at his best, and by that I mean he has made a film that is not your ordinary Hollywood drivel, but is still able to be enjoyed by a very wide audience. I wish there were more like him.

I'm looking forward to the sequel.