I donned my gear, turning myself into 'Geeky looking Beeboy' - according to my GF (some loving support that is - even if she smiles sweetly and hugs me as she says it - CHICKS!), fired up my smoker, put a spare hive box under one arm, hive tool in the other, and wandered in.

I had shown up to this guy's house, who had called me yesterday (October 17, 2002), he had said there was a hive in his 'bins' out back.. boyo! was there ever!

'So I started into the backyard. I won't lie to you boys, I was terrified. But I pressed on, and as I made my way towards those compost bins a strange calm came over me. I don't know if it was divine intervention or the kinship of all living things, but I tell you Jerry, at that moment I was a true BeeKeeper.'
- Or maybe I'm just channelling George, in "The Marine Biologist" Sienfeld episode..

I smoked around the small opening the bees were going in and out of, gave them a sec, then carefully lifted the lid, just a crack and gave a decent amount of smoke under there. I let the lid close again and prepared my hivebox.

I had taken along an 8 frame box, with only 2 of the frames having comb in them, so I opened this up, and took out a couple of the empty frames, ready. I figured that by this stage the bees would have had enough smoke.

Lifting the lid fully I was struck by the amazing structures these guys (girls actually) had built. Running three quarters around the base of the lid were 4 amazing combs. They hung about 30cm (that'd be a foot to all you non-standard un-metricized people ;) and were full of brood (eggs and larvae) and honey.

I had a quick check for disease found none, and the proceeded to cut these combs into segments, and fitting them into empty frames. It was about now that the 1st bee stung me. I walked away slowly cussing. Not very professional.

Dropping my gear and taking off the arm long gloves I had had on, I got the sting out of my calf, flicked all the other bees off me, and then tucked my pants into my socks. Hopefully this would prevent them from crawling up my leg again...

Heading back to the compost bin, I thoroughly smoked again, keeping the bees' little heads down. This worked for a bit, and I got 8 frames of comb into the hivebox, and a fair few bees. Darkness had set in at this point, and the ground was covered in crawly bees (they don't do a lot of flying round at night). I hadn't worried about this, as I knew my pants were happily tucked in... WRONGO! here, I got stung on both the left and the right ankle, as a bee got stuck between my shoe and me. Owwwwwie!

I left the lid off the compost bin, hefted the hivebox up onto the (now open) bin (which still had a LARGE amount of bees swarming around in it) and walked away. I hope that enough bees will filter up into the hivebox, and that they change home into this box. That's the plan anyway. Then in a week or so I can come along, grab the box and walk off with it.. simple! some how I doubt that it will work out this way - "the best laid plans of men and bees...' yeah..

So this morning I have ; left hand - swollen, sore (don't actually remember this sting :) ; left ankle - slightly swollen, sore; right ankle - slightly swollen, sore; right calf - swollen and SORE; right elbow - sore.

I guess I should be thankful that my body and head didn't cop it. This time ;)

If I were more of a revisionist, I would probably go back and delete the daylog from 2 days ago. Why? Because I was writing in anger - something that I know I should not do. I obviously don't want her to have a bad time, no matter how upset I am with her. I'm not that kind of person.

She came to my place last night, in tears. Seeing her raw emotions was liberating. It melted everything away, and made me feel empathy for her. She fell asleep on my floor until morning, and while I was still awake I couldn't help but stare at her for a while. I can't help but wonder why people insert themselves into situations that create so much suffering. She is a smart girl. She looked so beautiful, lying there in the fetal position on my floor, in the middle of the cold and enduring night.

I decided to put away my work for the night, and join her in dreams. I hope she has a marvelous and fulfilling life. I hope the same for everyone. I love you all.

Twas a normal day, till about 4:30. The phone rings. An attractive female voice is on the other line.

Woman: Hello, is /me there? replace /me with my name
Me: Speaking.
Woman: This is Rachael from Peaches and Cream. Do you know why I'm calling?
Note: Peaches and Cream is the local porn store.
Me: Ahmm, no.
Rachael: You have a number of video's over due. Horny in Huston, Wild on Campus, and The Art of the Titty Fuck.
Me: Is this a radio station or something?
Rachael: No.

This is a lovely start to the mid-afternoon, and is rather discomforting, as I have not rented Horny in Huston, Wild on Campus or The Art of the Titty Fuck.

Me: Ummm, no I haven't, I've never rented these videos, in fact, I've never been in your store. Actually I don't think it'd be legal for me to go in, I'm not 18.
Rachael: You don't have to be 18, how old are you?
Me: 17
Rachael: Well you only need to be 16
Me: Really?

This is where it get's intriguing. Later after some research as to porn laws in New Zealand and what a titty fuck was (thanks e2), I verified this information. I feel so much older now, I can rent porn. It make's sense I guess, the age of consent is 16, and if you're allowed to have sex, then you should be allowed to watch others do the dirty deed as well.

Me: Well, I've never been there, I don't have an account with you.
Rachael: You don't need one.
Me: Do you get any more information, middle names?
Rachael: No, we don't actually
Me: Any video footage?
Rachael: No.

Now this is amazing. I don't know anyone with my name who'd has my phone number, so assuming I don't have a name-buddy in Christchurch, they don't ask for proof of name.

Me: Well I don't have your videos, is there any way I can verify it wasn't me? I'd rather not come by the store.

And I don't. Peaches and Cream is on the main shopping road in town. Everyone going past looks intently interested at the other side of the road when they walk past it. I once got run into by a guy comming out of there, his purchases went all over the road, poor guy.

Rachael: Yea, well if I remember rightly, the guy who rented these looked older than 17.
Me: Well, I'll be happy to clear my name, just not at the store.
Rachael: Yea, well you sound like a reasonable guy.
Me: Thanks
Rachael: Well, I'll see if they turn up, and call you later if they don't
Me: Well just don't leave any messages on my answer phone, I live with my parents, and that'd be kind of embarrassing.

Call ends.

I can see three possibilities here, and they're all rather unlikely.

Prank Call If so, I'm honored. The authenticity was amazing. Only a pro could say the porn titles without even flinching, and she said them totally relaxed and normally, as if she was naming her cats.

Fraud If so, someone has to have my name and number, and if Rachael was correct, be older. I don't know who'd have my number who was significantly older than me. Also, the store policy regarding ID must be non-existent. Just go in, give a name and number and you've got your expensive porn flicks. (and they are expensive, I checked the website, like US$50 each).

Something bigger I've just played a tiny part is some huge chain of events that'd form the basis of a postmodern novel, culminating in an earth-shattering event.

If anyone has any suggestions, /msg me, especially regarding the third possibility.

late night head cold
sounds bouncing around against my skull

we are here

typing just to hear the keys - dull, muted

every now and then, i stop and listen. silence.

i've always favoured the hum of a computer over relaxation tapes.

i find the sounds of the tropical rain forest to be - at the very least - quite distracting.

i found where the light drowns, if you lay down you can disappear..

i know it is just the pressure, but sometimes i do feel oddly connected to
all of this.

This is what I did yesterday.

Mint Hot Chocolate

by Donna Hay

Put some choccy melts and a few boiled peppermint lollies in a saucepan, fill it with milk and heat it nice and slow. Drink it by the bucket load.

Tandoori Chicken Pizza

by Nemosyn

Mix mango chutney into some natural yoghurt. Use that as a pizza base and top with tandoori chicken, spanish onion and I also like to add thinly sliced potato, microwaved for a few minutes.


by Taliesin's Muse

Put some strawberries and other berries in a bowl. Cover them thickly with sugar and pour good red wine over. Leave it until you can't bear to see it sitting in the fridge anymore. Take it out and serve it in martini glasses or over home made ice cream.

I had a good day.

Rancid_Pickle's write-up on How to determine if an egg is hard-boiled or uncooked, reminded me of a story that is not related to any thing, but worth sharing.

My father-in-law has been working in the the grocery business for years. He and his family moved about a bit in years past as he went from grocery chain to grocery chain, but finally settled in the town of Orangebug, SC. He has had a number of positions with his current employer including grocery manager. The position entails ordering and stocking the shelves of the market including the dairy case.

When Charles would stock the eggs, he would occasionally find a carton with an egg or eggs that had been the victim of a rough transport. Rather than trash the entire carton, Charles would replace the egg with one from the deli department in his store. This was ususally done early in the morning or late in the evening, since that was the most convenient time and had the least customer impact.

So one day, Charles doesn't get to restock the case at his usual time and is doing it in the middle of the day. He finds a carton with a damaged egg and proceeds back the deli to replace it. He is the middle of this action when one of the ladies who works back in the area gives him a strange look and asks what he is doing. He tells her and she begins to laugh. It seems that the deli staff takes their eggs and hard-boils them and then replaces them in the carton for use later, so Charles has been replacing damaged eggs with hard-boiled eggs for years.

I can't help but wonder at the reaction of the person who got an egg carton containing a boiled egg instead of a fresh one, when they tried to use it.

I have finally signed up again for martial arts classes, this time Kempo Karate. The dojo is also certified to teach Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which means I will probably be able to convince my boyfriend to join up.

This comes one week after my official quit smoking day. What better way to reward my healthy decision than to make another one. I'm not fat, certainly, but I'm not as slender as I used to be, nor as flexible.

I owe a great many thanks to those on #everything who have been very supportive of me quitting smoking and have offered advice. Super-double thanks for people who have understood my crappy mood and have helped me to recognize it for what it is -- a withdrawal symptom. Thanks for not holding it against me, and thanks for continuing to encourage me.
UK Firefighters Strike

Today, firefighters in Britain voted for a round of one day strikes. The reason? They want more money of course, 40% more money to be precise, no that's not a typing error, they want a 40% pay increase. You see for the past 20 odd years firefighters pay has been linked to the national pay of manual workers, and not just the average pay of manual workers, but something like the top 20%. However, since that agreement was signed with the British Government back in the 1970's manual workers pay has not increased as much as the pay of everyone else in the country as industry has declined to be replaced by the service sector. So, the firefighters main argument is that this agreement should have been shelved years ago to be replaced by an agreement which basically gave them more money. As it wasn't, they believe they have been underpaid for the past 20 years, and therefore a 40% pay increase now is more then fair.

Now for the part I enjoy most, my 2 cents. I'm not a political person at all, but do pride myself on common sense:

  • Give us more money we've been underpaid for 20 years! What I don't understand is what has their Trade Union been doing for the past 20 years? If as they believe, firefighters pay is so very very low, surely they would have spoken up before now. What I think to be the case is this. Currently, many public workers including Nurses, Tube Train drivers and teachers are kicking up a fuss about pay. Many have been successful in acheiving modest pay increases, especially as Tony Blair and New Labour launch drives to recruit more public sector workers with the offer of increased pay. Hence, I believe the firefighters union is simply jumping on the band wagon, working themselves up into a frenzy and almost convincing themselves that they have a valid argument. The Trade Union itself also has to justify it's existence and worth to it's members every now and again.
  • We don't need to go to arbitration it's an open and shut case! To me this simply shows that if it was taken to arbitration, they know they wouldn't have a snowballs chance in hell of getting anything like what they're demanding, because it's a stupid STUPID demand.
  • Strikes are the Governments fault. Well of course they are, I mean the Government should have come to you years ago and offered you more money, simply for being nice guys. You know something, I stopped shifting the blame for my decisions when I was about 10 years old. It's not the Governments fault you're striking, it yours and you know it, you voted for it, 87% in favour. If people die as a consequence of your greed then you are responsible, no one else.
  • But firefighters put their lives at risk! Oh how I love this old chestnut. For a start, you are not forced to be a Firefighter, don't join up if you think the risks outweigh the benefits. I can't even remember the last time a firefighter died in the line of duty, but lets face it, it is quite risky putting out those flaming cars that joyriders leave behind, and for example a soldier's life is 100 times more at risk then a firefighters and their pay is half of what they get, and when's the last time you heard the army threatening to go on strike? Exactly.
  • But we can't afford to buy a house. Join the gang, neither can anyone else, and you know something, simply paying people more money will not solve the UK housing crisis. You pay people more money to buy houses and you know what happens, yes you guessed it, house prices go up, then what? Whoever heard of house prices stabalising or going down by increasing demand, oh no no no my friend, you need to increase supply, build more houses, that is the solution. Hey, you must feel pretty stupid having a 22 year old who only did A-Level Economics pointing that out to you ah?
  • £20,000+ starting wage (that's around $30,000) is not a good enough wage. Ahem, yes it is, trust me, that is a very good wage, even for London. Especially as you only work 2 days a week. Oh it's a 48 hour shift is it, but don't you usually sleep for half of that? Hello? Anyone there?

Don't know whether this came across in my WU, but I'm against the strike.

I feel like I'm sinking into my chair, which seems to be sinking into the floor. My arms are level with the desk, and yet I feel like I have to reach very far for the keyboard and look high up at the monitor.

Maybe it's the fact that I've been awake for a long time, had three intellectual classes plus a tiring marching band rehearsal before going shopping for 3 hours and then spending 3 more hours drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes at King's.

Maybe it's because I haven't had coffee in over a month and drank over 6 cups in 3 hours.

Maybe it's because I actually had a fully good day, with no fights, no emotional breakdowns, no disappointments of any kind.

Or maybe it's because the realization has finally hit me, after 5 hours of knowing: my brother finally admitted to my best friend and me that he is bisexual.

He was so surprised that we had already guessed it. I thought guys in general (especially gay/bi guys) knew that girls (especially the weird geeky ones) have gaydar? Apparently they don't, because he was almost offended that we knew. I felt offended that he told my parents before he told me. You're always supposed to tell siblings things first, to test the reaction your parents might have. I guess he doesn't trust me that much, as I was one of the last of his close friends/relations (short of my grandparents) to know.

The chair has stopped sinking, I think it's time to end this strange, happy, long day.

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