How do you pick a good plugin for WordPress? Another one of my day-job posts on the Mogul blog.
Its lonely here in TGM.
Its like walking in to an old haunted looking house. There is a lot of dust, spider webs and stale air. I swear i can hear whispers of geeks long gone.
If only there was something of worth to steal, like a TV or a PC, no one would notice!. And I do need a new PC.
To stir thing up I’m gonna say the following and see if I get any bites.
I only have 8 weeks left….
Your turn TGM!
Turns out there’s this weird thing that happens when you go on courses with the NZCF.
When you do a course you get to spend time with new people in a really intense kind of environment – you’re thrust together and made to spend almost every waking hour together for 7 or 8 days. Â This is an incredibly rewarding experience – especially for staff. Â We get to watch young cadets walk into the course with a lot of the knowledge and skills required to take them to the next level. Â We then get to help them build upon those skills and walk out again at the end of the week as confident young leaders in our organisation. Â The Junior NCO course I’ve just staffed was my first experience staffing a Cadet course. Â I’ve always gotten a real kick out of watching Cadets grow and progress over the course of their 3-5 years in our unit, but nothing had really prepared me for the sheer concentration of that experience at a course level.
I had two particular wee gems in my syndicate during last week. One who just seemed like she was going to have to be spoon fed the whole way, and another who just faded completely into the background. Â The Cadet staff that I had assigned to me turned to me during leadership exercises and said “who is that guy? No really… I know he’s been there all week, but I have no idea who he actually is” (okay, so paraphrased slightly, but you get the drift). Â By the end of the week we’d changed number 1 into a complete drill pig (that’s a good thing), and number 2 ended up blitzing all his assessments and lead the falling out parade at the end of the course. Â Now THAT is a reward for me!
Being a first timer on course I really counted on the backup of my fellow officer and cadet staff. Â I certainly couldn’t have gotten through without their help. Â So cheers muchly to Jo, Dave, John, Tim and especially to Sophie who was unfortunate enough to be stuck as my assigned cadet staff for the week. Â Whenever I needed advice or assistance you were always there. Â For that I’ll always be grateful.
The only real problem I had was adjusting back to reality.Â Â I’ve heard it’s pretty common amongst NZCF personnel, but I’veÂ totallyÂ been suffering from post-course blues. Â Â I love my job… I really do. I’ve worked pretty hard to get to where I’m at, but in comparison to the kind of non-financial rewards I got out of doing the course, a 9-5 just doesn’t compare – not even slightly. Â Sadly, this has meant a completely unfocussed, super tired Bren who has been performing completely substandardly for the last four days. Â So this… this wee blog entry is my unwind. Â Getting it all out there, out of my head so that next week I can really get back to the business of being awesome. Â Thank god i’ve got a four day weekend in which to do that!!
On a completely unrelated note… Prometheus is dead. Â My laptop died last week while on course – just as I was typing up course reports. NUTS! Â Good news? Adrastea has arrived. Â Toshiba Core i7, 4GB RAM, 1GB GFX and 650GB HDD. Niiiiiiiice. Â Installed FSX tonight and cranked the gfx up as high as they go. Â And Adrastea? Does. Not. Slow. Down. At. All.
I think I’m in love.
Every year that I’ve known my lovely wife I’ve resolved to spend the whole day on Bathurst Sunday watching the race. And not just the start and the end, but the WHOLE race. Thus far that little personal goal had completely eluded me.
Every year it seems something comes up. Picking up/dropping off my boys, Lions Book Sale, and now… NZCF Junior Leaders Course.Â On Sunday I won’t be parked in front of telly with a few Epics to keep me company. No. instead I’ll be in a classroom instructing on the basics of foot drill instruction. *Le Sigh*
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m really looking forward to the course. I’ve been waiting years to get enough leave accumulated to do it. But the timing SUCKS! I mean… It’s also quarter finals time in the Rugby World Cup. Note to the All Blacks: if you get knocked out by Argentina this weekend while I’m away I’m gonna be soooo pissed. Just saying.
So now I’m on a bus to Ohakea for 8 days (and blogging… How cool is that?). The last time I took a bus to Ohakea I was a student on the same course. And it was 1992. How old do I feel? Rather ironically I would have all the time in the world to watch Bathurst back then. But I didn’t.
Next year EVERYTHING that doesn’t involve a television, a couch and some beers isÂ canceled for Bathurst Sunday
A short list of stuff what I done this weekend.
- Filled a hole I dug months ago
- Enjoyed an outdoor lunch and a ciderÂ with my wife & boys
- Planted some vegetable seedlings
- Attended Beer Appreciation Day
- Watched the All Blacks deal to France
- Consumed a few Epic Pale Ales
- Poached the perfect egg (subject to personal opinion) while making Eggs Benedict for the first time ever
- Bottled the Honey Pilsner Redux… Finally.
- Planned the fixing of our letterbox & front gate
- Tried one of the elusive Tuatara APAs
How bout you lot then?
As you may already know, I am a rugby geek.
And with it being rugby world cup time I should be very excited right? well truth is I’m not, in fact I’m pretty pissed off!.
Yes, in the days leading up to the opening game I was counting down the days and I even got 2 dozen Tui and a dozen Grolsch to stock the fridge up with and I was absolutely fizzing come that friday night.
But after the opening match I saw my hopes of enjoying the cup evaporate.
In the advertising campaigns before the cup there were multiple channels going on about “live coverage” and “all 48 games” and lets not forget the term “free to air” but it turns out these statements are evidently unrelated.
Imagine my pissadointment (cool word huh?) when I went to check out the games the next day on the supposed free coverage only to find out if you want to watch the games LIVE, you have to have sky!.
Yes all the games are free to air on either TV1, Maori channel and Te Reo but only the All Blacks games and the “finals” are live. All other games are delayed or replayed and sometimes they are not on until late at night (I’m not staying up until 1.45am on a work night to watch Scotland play Romania!) or in some cases not until the following afternoon!.
And once the game has been shown “free to air” there are no more replays, you get one shot at seeing it and if you miss out tough shit!.
And even though there are multiple channels showing the replays, they all seem to be on around the same time, showing the same game and not always shown in the order they were played. Its weird watching a night game followed by a day game from earlier that day!.
And to piss me off further, the TV listings for the matches just say “Rugby World Cup 2011″ and nothing about which teams are playing!, how stupid is that? I mean for F’s sake how hard can it be just to putÂ ”Rugby World Cup 2011″ and who is playing in the description? or maybe even “RWC2011 France Vs Japan” or something like that?.
Now here was the biggest kick in the guts to me so far, and it came during the opening match.
After the teams sang the anthems and the Tongans did “Sipi Tau” and the All Blacks did “Ka mate Ka mate” they cut to a commercial break,Â for Heineken beer, the official beer on the rugby world cup.
They actually delayed the start of the game for a ad break. WHAT THE F…? I will never buy Heineken or drink it ever again!. The blatant commercialism of a once great tournament has ruined it totally for me. That and it cost me $97+ for a decent covered seat at “Stadium Taranaki” (its Yarrows Stadium for F’s sake!) to watch Ireland Vs USA, which was lucky it was covered because it rained for about 90% of the time I was there.
So there you have it, my Rugby World Cup experience has been ruined by blatant commercialism, misleading advertising and total over pricing.
A couple of years back I attended a “beer tasting” session as part of the now defunct Underground Cellar (or should I say in hiatus, Rob?) Â It was a really cool night and I got to try a whole bunch of old fashioned UK brewed beers. Â It certainly opened my eyes to a whole new world of flavour anyways!
The guy that was presenting that night (and apologies, I’ve completely forgotten his name) explained to us that beer was very similar to wine in it’s changing market. Â He reminded us all that fifteen or twenty years ago we (and by we I mean my parents) were buying cask wine at $10 or less per box. Â Somewhere in the 80s wine became a bit of a chic beast and now we find ourselves quite happily buying a Te Mata Bullnose for $50 a bottle. Â He went on to say that beer was going to enjoy a similar development and pretty soon we’d be buying a 500ml bottle for $10-$15.
Hands up who thought he was mad? Yup… pretty much everyone in the room.
So fast forward to present day, and my interest in brewing (which probably stems a lot from that night) has seen me broaden my tastes in commercial beer. I’m actually have to say – as much as this website’s splash page (which is very old fashioned anyways) says so – that I really, really dislike Tui. Â I used to loveÂ the stuff – gobbling it down all the time and generally as a whanau we’d put away about 5 or 6 boxes of the stuff over Christmas no trouble at all. Â But my tastes have changed. Â And I blame it completely on the budding New Zealand craft beer industry.
I realised a long time ago that there was something special going on over at the Hawke’s Bay Independent Brewery. Â Their beers are nothing short of spectacular. Particular faves of mine are the Black Duck porter and their Pilsner. Â But the domestic brewing industry is just exploding at the moment. Â Tuatara, 8 Wired,Â Mike’s Organic Beer (Larry?), our local Naturale, and my new personal favourite, EpicÂ - to name but a few. Â And these aren’t your $15 a box beers – these are your quality, $20 a six pack/$15 for a 1.5l kind of beers – in fact I recently paid $10 for a 500ml bottle of Epic’s Hop Zombie. Â And you know what? I’d do it again. Â In a heartbeat.
So was that guy so wrong? Definitely not. Â Sure – I might be cutting costs on my beer by brewing my own (and it really doesn’t taste thatÂ bad), but I’m sure I’m spending more on beer overall with my new found passion for small batch, locally brewed, golden (or blackened!) super-hopped liquid gold.
Here’s my list of great tasters so far:
- Epic Hop Zombie – 8.5% of pure grunt. A (passion)fruity modern IPA that’ll knock your socks off.
- 8 Wired’s Hopwired IPAÂ - a nice modern style IPA with that trademark passionfruit hit.
- Mac’s Hop Rocker – full flavour with a little less kick-ass that the Hop Zombie, but a bit on the more affordable side.
- Naturale Skor Lager – crisp, clear , refreshing and tasty.
- HBIB Pilsner – again a slightly fruity sort of a hint to it and the perfect cure to a summer scorcher.
So, TGMers… have you tried any really good craft beers lately? Â What can you recommend?
I may not confess to being a Geek, but I must confess to being a Rugby Geek.
And I’m a most happy Rugby Geek right now, because Taranaki have won the Ranfurly Shield.
It’s been 15 years to the day since Taranaki beat Auckland to win it,Â and tonight we celebrate the victory over a gutsy and hard playing Southland.
Next up isÂ a defense against the Hawkes Bay Magpies on sunday, Ive got my ticket booked!.
And that’s not all, Roll on the Rugby World cup and Ireland vs USA.
Nice… I’m currently bunged up with a nice dose out the dreaded man flu. Thankfully I’ve got my favourite man flu remedies on hand… Lemsip to clear the head and Otrivin to clear the nose.Â According to my boss I sound terrible, but I reckon a nice early night might fix that.
So lads… What’s your favourite man flu remedy?