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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-nine [May. 29th, 2013|08:07 pm]
Daveosaurus
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By 1984, The Clean (see Day Two) had split up, having got tired of being pop stars. Their bass player, Robert Scott, had formed his own band, The Bats, which had released their first EP. Since then he has mastered the art of being in several bands concurrently (at one point, The Clean, The Bats and The Magick Heads were all releasing full-length albums fairly much simaltaneously while Scott was in all of them). While he's away from The Bats, the rest of them borrow someone else's guitarist and call themselves Minisnap. This is still going on.

I am not aware of there being any verified sightings of Mr. Scott actually sleeping.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-eight [May. 28th, 2013|10:32 pm]
Daveosaurus
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From Patea, which is fairly much the same end of the country as Stratford but is even smaller (you probably see most of the townsfolk in the video at some point or other).

This idea shouldn't have worked at all... what they did was take a choral song one of them had written, and record it accompanied by a backing track in the style of whatever was the latest dance craze at the time (I can't even recall what the music style was called, but it's the sort of sound you get when a primitive and (comparatively) cheap synthesizer is pushed way beyond its operating limits. At times it sounds worryingly like someone had left a space invaders machine running in the studio). So, it's fairly much two things that don't go well together at all.

It ended up being a reasonably big hit. Reasonably big, as in, the top selling 45 rpm record of the year.

The band have gone down in history as a one-hit wonder on the basis of this song being the only one of theirs that anyone remembers. They had other hits (the one record of theirs I actually got around to buying is something completely different again) but they're long forgotten by almost everyone.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-seven [May. 27th, 2013|06:36 pm]
Daveosaurus
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And now for something completely different.

These days Alan Jansson is best known for being one of the team behind "How Bizarre". Before "How Bizarre" was released, he was best known for being one of the team behind this song, which is bizarre.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-six [May. 26th, 2013|08:31 pm]
Daveosaurus
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Another song about the weather, in 'honour' of the weather forecast being fairly much crap for the next week.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-five [May. 25th, 2013|02:03 pm]
Daveosaurus
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I thought of something amazing in the meantime.

No idea whatsoever when this came out. Possibly 1981 based on it originally having been released by Ripper Records which I don't think lasted long after that.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-four [May. 24th, 2013|11:19 pm]
Daveosaurus
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And for the last of the batch of 1982 and 1983 songs I'd pre-loaded this blog with so that I wouldn't have to hunt through You Tube while travelling. So, the hunt begins tomorrow... probably with 1984 unless I can think of anything amazing in the meantime.

Tonight's song is one of the more obscure ones I'm going to be playing this month, but it's worth doing so as it's quieter and an interesting change of pace from the usual `eighties rock.

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Doctor Who night [May. 23rd, 2013|11:43 pm]
Daveosaurus
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Nightmare in SilverCollapse )
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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-three [May. 23rd, 2013|11:01 pm]
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Still from 1983, here's one of the classic one-hit wonders.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-two [May. 22nd, 2013|09:58 pm]
Daveosaurus
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1970s vaguely glam-rock group with their comeback single, which may as well have been about the weather in Invercargill.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty-one [May. 22nd, 2013|10:38 am]
Daveosaurus
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I have no idea when this song was first released, but this was filmed in 1983.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twenty [May. 20th, 2013|05:21 pm]
Daveosaurus
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And the last song from 1982 is... this. The original, as heard on the Demento show.

Yes, that should probably be a warning.

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Doctor Who night, a few days late [May. 19th, 2013|11:20 pm]
Daveosaurus
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I managed to see about three quarters of this week's episode tonight (the rest was talked through by other people) so comments are rather thin on the ground this week.

The Crimson HorrorCollapse )
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New Zealand Music Month - Day Nineteen [May. 19th, 2013|10:12 pm]
Daveosaurus
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The Exponents, from way back when, before they dropped the "Dance" from their name. There is going to be a documentary on the band on TV some time this week - Wednesday night, I think, although I might be getting my days and/or weeks mixed up.

As for this song... don't worry if you can't make out what's going on; nobody else can either, except a rough guess that the kids were having fun when they wrote/recorded/filmed this.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Eighteen [May. 18th, 2013|10:44 am]
Daveosaurus
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More Dunedin from 1982. This time a cheap video that does look cheap, fairly obviously having been filmed in someone's hallway.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Seventeen [May. 17th, 2013|10:26 am]
Daveosaurus
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I am currently in Dunedin, so here is some Dunedin music.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Sixteen [May. 16th, 2013|11:16 pm]
Daveosaurus
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IF this system actually lets me post anything (it's been down earlier this evening...)

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Fifteen [May. 15th, 2013|07:33 am]
Daveosaurus
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It seems that just about every country has a band called "Danse Macabre". This is New Zealand's one, with one of their lesser known songs.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Fourteen [May. 14th, 2013|12:52 pm]
Daveosaurus
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If the singer/guitarist of this song looks familiar, it's because you've already seen him last week. Harry Lyon is best known for having been in Hello Sailor, and second-best known for being the "Doctor I Like Your Medicine" guy, but here he and fellow ex-Sailor Graham Brazier are calling themselves the Legionnaires.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Thirteen [May. 13th, 2013|06:45 pm]
Daveosaurus
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I was trying to find some other music from early 1982, but it's so obscure it isn't even on You Tube. So here's something I'm fairly sure I've played before.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Twelve [May. 13th, 2013|01:39 am]
Daveosaurus
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The Chills' first single. Wikipedia is a bit vague as to whether this came out in 1982 or in 1983.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Eleven [May. 11th, 2013|08:43 pm]
Daveosaurus
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What's amazing about this video isn't that it was made on the cheap - there was no budget for a video, so it was made by a volunteer film-maker on some second-hand unused film stock - but that it doesn't actually look cheap. I've seen hugely expensive music videos that haven't aged as well as this one has.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Ten [May. 10th, 2013|09:22 pm]
Daveosaurus
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So far this month, it's all been Big City Music. (Well, for values of "big city" which include Dunedin. Which seems big when you live in Darkest Invercargill).

There isn't really any definition of "big city" flexible enough to include Stratford.

We're also into 1982 (or thereabouts. The internet isn't exactly overflowing with information about when each particular Nocturnal Projections record was first released).

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Nine [May. 9th, 2013|10:51 pm]
Daveosaurus
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Rounding out 1981 is a very early Herbs track. The band are best known for their late 1980s material, but either this or 1982's "French Letter" (minds out of the gutter, it was a protest about nuclear testing) could have fit the bill. This one has less of a Worthy Message than "French Letter", but a better tune.

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Doctor Who night [May. 9th, 2013|10:45 pm]
Daveosaurus
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Journey to the Centre of the TARDISCollapse )
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New Zealand Music Month - Day Eight [May. 8th, 2013|08:55 pm]
Daveosaurus
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This was fun, but too silly to have got re-released (which is actually rather annoying because the quality on this video gets a bit ropey towards the end).

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Seven [May. 7th, 2013|09:53 pm]
Daveosaurus
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I may as well get the obligatory Split Enz record out of the way sooner rather than later... so here it is. This song didn't actually get released in 1981 (despite the 1981 album cover attached to the video)... it never got released at all, but when this song was abandoned at the demo stage, most of the tune and a decent proportion of the lyrics got recycled into another song on this album.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Six [May. 7th, 2013|12:24 am]
Daveosaurus
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One of the weirder videos of 1981, coupled to one of the weirder songs. At least this video has finally made it up on to You Tube. Still no sign of "Call for Help", unfortunately...

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Five [May. 5th, 2013|08:49 pm]
Daveosaurus
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Pop Mechanix were one of the hardest working bands in the country, but never quite made the big time despite having a high quality bunch of songs in their repertoire. This one was about as close as they ever came to having a hit.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Four [May. 4th, 2013|08:46 pm]
Daveosaurus
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It all seems so innocent now... but back in 1981, it was a Dangerously Subversive Rebellion Against Authority. There were protests up and down the country... because the idiots then in Parliament had happily invited the South African rugby team to tour the country. The problem was that back then, South Africa was an international pariah which most of the world were trying to apply some gentle attitude adjustment to by judicious application of the cold shoulder. So there were protests, and police were told to shut down the protests, which they did, and the protestors took offence, and so on and so forth. The worst the police did was nothing compared with what's been going on in Britain lately, and as for the protestors, the worst they did was flour-bomb a rugby field... but it was still our very own, home-grown protest movement, and people are still grilled on What Side Were You On Then? (Most notably today's Prime Minister, who some time ago announced to general ridicule that he didn't think he had an opinion one way or the other. That's actually one of the few credible things that particular waste of valuable atoms has said in public: there can't have been any money in it for him to have an opinion either way, so he didn't have one.)

This song got unofficially adopted by the protest movement, due to it having been released at about the right time. The actual incident the song was written in response to was much less interesting: a routine closing-down of a mildly out-of-control concert in a public bar, or something like that.

And yes, they do look like the Wiggles. They don't sound like them, though.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day Three [May. 3rd, 2013|09:28 pm]
Daveosaurus
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From the fondly remembered to the almost completely forgotten... in retrospect, Penknife Glides sound like the couldn't decide whether they wanted to be Duran Duran or The Cure, and ended up being neither. Still, there's some decent music behind the (rather average and weirdly produced) vocals.

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Doctor Who night [May. 2nd, 2013|11:08 pm]
Daveosaurus
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No, not Rodney.

HideCollapse )
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New Zealand Music Month - Day Two [May. 2nd, 2013|10:46 pm]
Daveosaurus
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And another video from 1981. This one didn't start off as being anything even remotely resembling mainstream (although the tune has ended up on a milk advertising campaign!) Famously recorded for $50 (and snarkily reviewed as "and it sounds like it"), nevertheless it managed to make the local Top 20 singles chart.

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New Zealand Music Month - Day One [May. 1st, 2013|08:20 pm]
Daveosaurus
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It's May again, which means that it's New Zealand Music Month again. This time I've got a proper theme worked out for the month... and it's "The Golden Age of Rock and Roll".

Before anyone reading this gets too excited and thinks I' m going to be plundering the long-lost classics described in Chris Bourke's latest book, I'd better explain myself. Considering that there are as many different "Golden Ages of Rock and Roll" as there are pop music fans on the planet, I've stolen someone else's idea and chosen to define the golden age of rock and roll as: High school.

I was at high school from late January 1981 to late April 1985. That may seem like a short stretch of time, but it was an incredibly fertile time for popular music. (I could probably find enough material for a month's worth of posts from 1981 alone).

New Zealand at the time was going through a typically understated New Zealand-style political and social upheaval, and one of the well-used outlets for individuality was pop music. Corporate music of that era was dire - anyone who thinks that Robbie Williams, or whoever is the latest teen pop star du jour. is the worst thing that's ever happened to music, is in the enviable position of having managed to permanently blank Stars on 45 from their mind - but the sort of people who turned their back on the corporate music industry and did their own thing without regard to popularity, made some of the most enduring music this country has ever produced. New Zealanders took part in the punk rock explosion of the late 1970s, with mixed results, but the same ethos fuelled an even more creative explosion of 'underground', 'alternative', 'lo-fi' or 'low-tech' music in the early 1980s in which production quality was optional, but 'the song' was the thing.

After all that, tonight's entry is from one of the more mainstream acts. The Swingers are best known for their huge hit Counting the Beat. This, the follow-up single, didn't get anywhere near that sort of success, but it too has its moments, particularly with its bass guitar track.

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Anyone but Colin Craig would realise that this is satire [Apr. 30th, 2013|07:08 pm]
Daveosaurus
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Somewhere, deep inside the bowels of the CBS building...

Almost but not quite a TV reviewCollapse )
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Doctor Who night [Apr. 26th, 2013|12:02 am]
Daveosaurus
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Cold WarCollapse )
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Doctor Who night [Apr. 18th, 2013|10:46 pm]
Daveosaurus
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The Rings of AkhatenCollapse )
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This is getting to be a worry [Apr. 16th, 2013|07:57 pm]
Daveosaurus
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I don't actually get to go to all that many concerts (mainly because most of the music that interests me doesn't make it this far south), but even so, in the last couple of years, three of the people I've seen in concert have taken up a new career in daisy-pushing. The latest is Dave McArtney (from "Hello Sailor" and "Pink Flamingos", among others).

He's done more music that's better regarded, but my first memory of hearing his songs is this one:



... I reckon it's about time that the New Zealand Music Month people changed their logo to something that looks a bit less like a bull's-eye.
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And the show is back, finally [Apr. 11th, 2013|10:49 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |busybusy]
[music |Pop Art Toasters - "Everyone's Gonna Wonder"]

And all the formatting and markup for LJ seems to have changed, so this entry could be a real mess before the first few edits get done.

The Bells of Saint JohnCollapse )
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Thatcher [Apr. 9th, 2013|08:49 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[mood |blahblah]

It's long overdue that I actually type something up here - I find it difficult to believe that it's been almost four months since I last had anything to say worth saying.

Anyway, Thatcher. I've already said anything I could possibly say about her at a more appropriate time - i.e. when she was still alive. All I can add now is that, a few years ago, a commentator said of New Zealand's then Prime Minister that she was "no Margaret Thatcher". Since then, I've been using that as a textbook example of "praising with faint damnation".
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Doctor Who night [Dec. 26th, 2012|10:25 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |busybusy]

New Zealand got this year's Doctor Who Christmas special early this year.

The SnowmenCollapse )
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It's almost December... [Nov. 21st, 2012|11:28 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill 9840]
[mood |busybusy]

... which means it's way past the time I should have done this. Although as the post office knocked its surface mail service on the head a couple of years back (now I have to send the cards airmail - there is no alternative) there's still plenty of time for anyone who wants a cheap, cheerful, colourfully New Zealand-specific card to sing out.

I've actually managed to unearth my address book well in advance this time, and I should be good to go with the cards within the next week or so, so if anyone has moved house, apartment, post office box or Usual Place of Abode in the last month, let me know here (all comments are screened, as usual, and you're welcome to leave a test message to make sure I haven't mucked up the journal entry coding).

If I haven't sent you a card before (especially if you're just seeing this on friends-of-friends or idle browsing) you're still welcome to take part. Just leave your postal address and enough of a name that the card gets to the right person, and the card will arrive in your country some time between the start of December, and Chinese New Year (the Post Office is not the world's most efficient organisation. In the last week or so, tens of thousands of 'missing' letters have been discovered dumped in a storage unit by a relief postie who obviously wasn't up to the job).

It's a card offer not a card exchange, so there's no requirement to reciprocate. If you want to post me a card, then by all means go ahead. My postal address is here (and if that link doesn't work, send me a message - or else let me know who you know that's a friend of mine so I can put you on the friends-list).

This year's cards are reasonably non-specific and shouldn't offend anyone (unless they live somewhere that pohutukawa has been declared a noxious weed. Apparently they really love certain bits of America a lot more than the residents of said bits of America love them). This year's stamps are again with the religious themes, although nothing particularly crass.
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An Idea [Nov. 10th, 2012|07:30 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |weirdweird]

I don't know if anyone has ever thought of this yet (although if they have, I'd probably have heard it somewhere by now...) The perfect piece of mass-produced Doctor Who memorabilia for the annoying person in your life.

It's a little black cube, about three or four inches in each direction.

It contains a little chip, a little speaker, and a big space for batteries.

Once it's activated, it plays the "Chicken Dance" until either (1) the unfortunate owner figures out how to turn it off, or (2) its batteries run flat.

Instructions on how to turn it off are not included in the packaging...
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Database stuff [Nov. 6th, 2012|10:31 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I have been performing grotesque experiments on cute, innocent little databases lately and it looks like I've finally figured out a workable structure for one of my projects... but while doing so I've also noticed that Microsoft Access finally does something I've been wanting it to do for... probably just about all the time I've been using it.

The other night I changed the name of a couple of tables in a little database I'm going to split up and experiment on, and expected to have to, as I have always had to in the past, go into all the queries and reports which use data from that table and change each of the query and report fields from the now non-existent tables to tables that actually exist.

Except I didn't have to. Access had actually realised that the table name had changed and had done all the moving of links automatically.

This may sound like something that it should have done in any case, but all older versions of Access I've used wouldn't do that; they'd lose the links and need to have them all manually reinstated.

It is quite a red-letter event for something involving a Microsoft program to actually work. Maybe one of these days Access can actually pass itself off as being relational and I'll be able to start ignoring the database snobs who keep on telling me that I Shouldn't Be Using Access But Instead I Should Be Using One Of Those Big Expensive Database Programs That Will Take Me Ten Years Just To Learn The Language For.
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Oops [Oct. 29th, 2012|06:50 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |melancholymacabre]

The Dunedin crematorium's on-line records are developing a reputation for unconscious humour. The latest one I've found is this:

Photobucket


(Lawyers Head is actually the name of a promontory a short distance from the Dunedin crematorium, but the turn of phrase in the records is unforgettable).
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It's on its way again [Oct. 20th, 2012|01:30 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |coldcold]
[music |Goodnight Midnight - "Confide"]

So it's almost November, which fairly much means speed-writing month of a lot of people.

I've done Nanowrimo three times now and found it very worth while. (The only reason I haven't done it since 2009 is simply having no time at all, at the "spending most evenings logged in to work on Remote Desktop dealing with work backlogs" end of the scale).

The whole thing may seem very structured, but in reality the rules are quite flexible - and even then, if you aren't willing to stick to even the very basic ones such as "write a novel", all that means is that you sign up as a "Nanowrimo rebel" and do whatever the hell you want to. (I actually had an idea of something to do this year if I did have time... it would have been a non-fiction manuscript that answers a few of the odd questions I get at work. Maybe next year...)

There's plenty of reasons to have a go, particularly if you fit any of these groups:

* people who have always wanted to have a go at writing, but have never got around to it;

* people who try to write, but always get distracted by other things;

* people who try to write, but get bogged down in spelling and grammar and consistency and all the sort of stuff that a good proof-reading and editing would fix (That is fairly much my main problem).

It's also free to take part, so if it turns out you don't enjoy it, all you've wasted is some time.
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Doctor Who night [Oct. 11th, 2012|10:54 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |coldcold]

The Angels Take ManhattanCollapse )
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Doctor Who night [Oct. 4th, 2012|10:29 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |coldcold]
[music |The Terminals - "Basket Case"]

I think it's official. Stephen Moffat has completely flipped his lid.

The Power of ThreeCollapse )
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Doctor Who night [Sep. 27th, 2012|10:39 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |busybusy]

Tonight just goes to show that a simple story done well is more fun to watch than a complicated story done averagely.

A Town called MercyCollapse )
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Doctor Who night [Sep. 20th, 2012|10:52 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |busybusy]

Tonight's episode wasn't quite a clunker, but it shares with a couple of other episodes I can think of the problem that its actual plot isn't quite long enough to pad out the episode's allocated time, and the writer has thrown in a lot of vaguely cool sounding stuff to fill in the gaps.

Dinosaurs on a SpaceshipCollapse )
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"Doctor Who" night [Sep. 13th, 2012|10:18 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |sickcough, cough, splutter]

Well, that would have to be the most original Dalek story there's been for a while.

Asylum of the DaleksCollapse )
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