Smart Plugs

Why add smart plugs to a home? Why complicate the act of switching things on and off at the wall? Glad you asked: I want to schedule devices that don’t have timers, or have timers that are so absurd to work with they might as well not have timers. a. I want to have the timers link up to all the other timed activities in my house, like the lighting.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 9

Moving into the second week of the festival; I had been more anxious about cramming my program in, because it hadn’t been clear to many that many films would be rolling over into another week. Imagine my relief when I found I could space things out more than I’d originally planned.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 8

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band A compelling, but extraordinarily disingenuous documentary covering The Band, from Robbie Robertson’s roots in Canada (Levon Helm’s life in Arkansas doesn’t rate a mention, and the other Canadian members are merely glanced at until they enter the Robbie Show). While many aspects of the documentary are compelling and fascinating - and very interesting if you have even the slightest interest in the history of North American folk, rock, or related music - it’s incredibly biased, and you’d not know from any of the material; there’s a lot of sinning of omission going on here, all in favour of making sure you walk away with the impression that Saint Robbie and his wife (actually ex-wife, but that’s not mentioned in the doco, presumbaly in the interests of keeping the narrative around Robertson’s life as a perfect family man intact).

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 7

Back to three in a day, and all good ones, too.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 6

A light day; I spent most of it hanging out with a friend who is having to leave the country in a few months, which seemed more urgent. Nevertheless I managed to slip a cheeky movie in for the evening, and it was a good ‘un.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 5

Sometimes in spite of the best efforts, terrible films slip onto your roster, and today was that day. Ah, well.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 4

Something I’m enjoying about the at-home experience is the somewhat relaxed cadence of viewing, compared to my more normal festival experience of rushing from one side of Wellington (and the Hutt) to another, trying to catch them all.

Day 4 whipsawed between a pleasant but realistic fiction (and highlight of the festival) and a real but difficult film I couldn’t make it all the way through.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 3

A shorter slate today. While watching the festival at home has drawbacks, notably the plethora of distractions, it does save a fortune on snack food.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 2

Happily the streaming for the festival continues to be solid, even as the booking remains opaque. Today was the chance to watch some kid-focused films, the existence of which is one of the things I greatly appreciate about the festival. Sadly, and surprsingly, this year the usually reliable short films let me down badly.

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NZ IFF 2020 Day 1

Film festivals have been hard-hit by COVID-19. My favourite NZ French Film Festival had only just gotten underway when the country went into level 4; there wasn’t much the NZ FFF could do about that (although I will note that while one of the theatres that I had booked tickets at refunded them unprompted, Penthouse didn’t), but the NZ IFF folks spend L4 working out what to do. Their response was to focus on pulling together their “at-home” response; that is to say, a streaming setup.

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The Silver Lining of an Insider Threat

So after slightly more thought about the medical privacy breach committed by Boag and Walker, and while their actions are vile, this news about the breach is probably the best we could hope for in another sense.

It’s appalling that Boag - a long shit-stain on the underwear of New Zealand politics since her days in Jim Bolger’s office - decided to make the personal information of sick Kiwis a weapon in the National Party’s increasingly desperate bids to unseat the government at any cost.

However, there is a silver lining.

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Woody Allen and the Cringe

So: Woody Allen. The addiction of the US critical world to him. It’s a weird mix of cultural cringe and cultural chauvinism.

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Kawaiicon Day 1

This year we have a not-Kiwicon; many of the backroom Crüe are Kiwicon-ers, but with a fresh injection of folks give us all a change of pace. Same awesome content, same friendly feel, but cuter! (And still a fine dose of metal grinding out the Michael Fowler sound system as we get seated).

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Kawaiicon Day 2

While Ada and Rosa wait to get into Kuracon, the spin-off day-long con for small people, I sit in the main hall looking down on a fenced-off Tesla coil which promises to play music at some point. It’s been a morning of two breakfasts, one at home and one with friends at the wonderful Leeds Street Bakery, so here’s hoping this doesn’t end up with me nodding off in my seat; something which is unfortunately more likely given that insomnia kicked me out of bed in the wee small hours.

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purplecon 2019

Purplecon started last year to with a relatively small audience that I was too slow at ticket-buying to be a part of, so I’m delighted to have snagged a ticket this year; oriented as it is toward protection more than breaking, it’s very relevant to my interests. This year purplecon has trialled splitting tickets into a general tranche and an under-represented tranche, and it certainly seems to have done a bang-up job of broadening the audience demographic, which is dead cool.

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