Sep 29, 2007

My Great Prank: The Demon Clock

Two posts in two days. Try not to faint out there. This morning saw the end of one of my little pet "projects". Though I hadn't invested a lot of man hours into this little ongoing event it has taken three weeks to come to fruition.

Andy the German living down the hall from me is notorious for leaving his door unlocked when he is not in the room. Those of us who hang out with him have been trying to train him to change this habit for obvious reasons. The foremost of which is his flatting next year with a dozen strangers.

Now efforts up until I really stepped in had been rearranging his furniture, hiding some of his things, and even planting other peoples things in his room (mostly Dinosaurs from my room).

I only partook in these efforts once (apart from letting people borrow my dinos for plantation). Duct taping his ping pong paddles behind the flags on his walls we were rewarded with a good amusing 30 minute search on his part. Now that might seem mean, but I gave the give away clue of search "wall to wall", and I thought giving me away 5 minutes into the search one of the paddles fell out from behind the flag. He didn't bother looking behind the right one at all! I had to tell him where it was...

Well the ladies (these days dubbed Craig's Angels) had been pushing these lessons for about 2 weeks with no real change in Andy's behaviour. One day walking by his room after dinner I checked his door to discover it was, you guessed it, unlocked. Opening the door I would have just been content to report to Rhonwyn or Clare that the German wasn't locking his door still, but something caught my eye.

It must have been the red shininess of the numbers, but I fixated on the alarm clock. A brilliant scheme entered my mind within seconds. I ran in and set his alarm for 10pm. The idea being the alarm clock would startle him. Also in the back of my mind was the plan of repeating this several times, and hoping he'd conclude something rather than someone was behind setting the alarm.

Unfortunately Andy didn't come home till after the alarm sounded (fortunately though I was able to reenter the room due to lack of door locking and turn it off). I did keep up with the campaign of setting his alarm. Now you might feel sorry for him, but in my defense this couldn't have been done if he just locked his door like he should have...

Andy didn't mention a thing about the clock. Leading me to worry he wasn't noticing it or had figured out what was happening.

Where things got cooking was when we were all hanging out in his room a couple days ago. I made an excuse to hit the alarm clock in a joke deliberately trying to bait him into talking about the clock. I was rewarded with him "speaking of the alarm somethings wrong with that clock".

I barely contain my laughter. Andy though thinks that the clock is simply broken, and is going to throw it out... Time to salvage this. I casually in a very me type way "what if it was a ghost?". It's the kind of thing I'd think of and ask anyway, but in this case for true purpose not just imaginations sake.

"I'd never thought of that," Andy replies clearly a little wigged out. He than makes the most critical mistake of the conversation (if you're thinking I'm evil... which everyone now thinks I am MAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA). He informs me this is not his normal alarm clock, and that he'd been given it by a friend who just moved away. Normally Andy uses a dinky little clock I'd never noticed before... Till now!

Yesterday I launch the ultimate arm of this prank. Finding his door unlocked AGAIN (see I'm not pure evil. Only casual. This won't have happened if he'd JUST LOCK HIS DOOR!) I set both clocks. My main one for 10pm, and the other for midnight. My plan unfolds perfectly as you'll see, but try to predict why I set them for different times. Before I'd thought about it I was just going to set them to go off at the same time, but I came up with something way more scary!

10:05 comes and I get a disturbed knock at my door. Opening it Andy stands there "it happened again!". Knowing it would be him I keep my game face, and come to inspect the clock with him. I do nothing but objectively talk about it being a ghost, and for the most part deny ideas the German hasn't even thought of. The best way to plant ideas in peoples minds: That's a tip kids.

Then I setup the real life twist for Andy, and the reason I set the clocks differently. I suggested I take the clock to my room to see if it'll repeat its behaviour in my room. Andy eagerly agrees. I joke that the "demon clock" won't get me tonight as I leave... Well aware that'll be a key line of logic Andy's going to be left on with the clocks.

Midnight and some minutes while dozing off to sleep I'm awoken by... the demon clock?!?!?!? no my cellphone! with a message from Andy "it happened again!". As the "evil" son of a bitch I am I laugh myself to sleep.

This morning I'm rewarded by the German seriously freaked out. I'm faced with a morale conundrum. Do I keep the prank going, and possible drive him mad. Or do I take this as a victory, and salvage the argument I'm not actually evil.

So telling the German I'm rewarded with an embarrassed laugh from him and punch.

All things considered though it was worth the 20 seconds a day and a bit of planning for three weeks to get to this point. Sadly that climaxes the pranks I can pull this year at Salmond (but with only 5 weeks left to normal uni I guess that's alright).

Sep 28, 2007

The Last Break

Having passed my posting, and the primary school term ending there was only one thing to do this last week. Take a break!

Now in all honesty I probably shouldn't have taken it as off as I have been. I have a TON of stuff I need to get done for a month from now, but I have at least started to look for resources and such.

The big highlight of my one week holiday (the last holiday before the end of the year) was a fishing expedition south to the Catlins with Scott, Shannon, and Courtney.

Our destination was Cannibals Bay an estuary me and Scott have fished at before.
Fun was had by all. Whether partaking in the fishing or simply wandering and enjoying the beauty of the area...

There was just a major problem fishing. There were no fish! The reason; at least we believe, is this. The area has been completely smothered in slit and fine grain washout. So much so that at one point Scott just about sunk into it. In a spot that last time we were here was a nice rocky beach.

The floods of a couple months ago probably are to blame. Washing all this stuff in here. The change on the ecosystem is clear. The only species of crab still alive are of a kelp cameo variety. There is no kelp at moment, and they stick out like a sore thumb. I figure the fish have left for the moment due to a lack of proper food.

We even shifted to the other end of the bay in an attempt to catch something. Even a nibble (of which we had 2 all day). No go...

So instead we went on a sight seeing tour of the Catlins. With views of stuff like this!

It's also lambing season in NZ so everywhere we went there were heaps of "cute" new born lambs. Their mom's can be really protective. This mom head butted our car when we stopped to look... Well okay not really, but Scott assured us it does happen.

The big highlight of the day for me was the stop at Curio Bay home of New Zealand's Petrified Forest. It is among the only such fossil sites from the Jurassic (I'd never heard of a pet forest from the Jurassic before in fact!)

It was cool just in that the fossils were located along a rocky beach. I've never looked for fossils by or in the ocean before!

Not that they were hard to find mind you. There were two types of fossil trees. Still standing stumps like this one.

Or fallen over dead logs like this. The logs of course were the more impressive to look at. This one for example was among the longest at about 4m. The stumps more cool because you got an idea of the layout of the forest when it was alive.

Did I mention that they were in the water to? There's 3 different fossil trees in here. Can you see all of them?

As the sign above said these were all buried in a volcanic eruption. Which explained the lack of animal fossil remains... Not that I didn't look for any!

Wrapping up our out of Dunedin excursion was a stop at "one of the best fish and chip shops in New Zealand". Their specialty blue cod. Which I can say theirs was very very VERY tasty!

Enjoying this lovely weathered day (almost forgot to mention the weather yesterday was exceptional) with a finale late lunch by a tidal lake it's back to the world of school and kids next week.

In the meantime I need to get back on the ball, and get some work done here today and the rest of the weekend.

Sep 17, 2007

New Favourite Show

My second go at second posting has been much more successful. As of the end of last week's control I've passed. That said I have my last evaluation tomorrow during what has been at the best of times my gong show unit. I HATE yeast and bread... More on that this weekend with my big summary post of the last month.

Needing to post something, but not take too much time (it's 11pm and I have to get up in 8 hrs) I figured I'd throw something up here on my favourite show of the year. Granted I don't watch any TV anymore, but this is still the coolest thing since sliced bread. Except I hate sliced bread. Okay I'll just get to it (I think even by now you're seeing the wear and tear of the last while on my brain).

So as you can tell from the pic the show is called Primeval. Peter Bond alerted me to its existence early this year. However due to it's being a British show, and New Zealand not getting anything till at least 6 months after everywhere else I had to wait. Fortunately unlike North of America we DO get British shows here at all. I had to wait for the DVD release as I missed this when it popped on TV here due to my funny enough not watching TV.

It was worth the wait!

The shows basic formula is:

Ghostbusters + Dinosaurs x Weekly TV Show = *BEEP*ing Amazing
The show goes like this. Holes have opened in space and time back to various points in Earth's past and future (haven't made it to this ep, but I know it's coming) allowing various critters from those eras to wander into ours. They being prehistoric instinctively know they must eat and kill anything remotely human with as much property damage as possible. Now it is up to a team of government scientists to not only deal with the critters, but stop the mysterious time holes.

If they didn't make this show I was going to... With the effects people of the Walking with Dinosaurs series on this though it is the best it is ever going to be!

Even more amazing despite the premise formula I gave you technically not a SINGLE Dinosaur appeared in the first season! Many animals from the same time frame, but none were true Dinosaurs. Creatively I find this very brave of the producers, and very telling of the shows quality that it can make it without Dinos in its opening.

All I can say is it makes my top 3 TV shows of all time, and making this even better. The show has been renewed for a second season! This time around with confirmed Dinosaur appearances in at least one episode (Velociraptors!).

Sep 3, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

My posts seem to get more and more past tense.

So not this past weekend, but the one before that Dunedin experienced the fun natural phenomenon of a Lunar eclipse.

The funny tale about it was making a great effort the whole gang managed through separate means get up to signal hill (the highest point in Dunedin) to watch this wonder as it unfolded. Of course in a stroke of "irony" any sitcom writer could have devised (thus proving my life IS a sitcom, whose writers rotate every week or so) the sky suddenly were shrouded in unending cloud. This change in weather also, incidentally made the evening very cold and unpleasant for all concerned.

Having returned home defeated and unimpressed about an hour later of course we were "rewarded" with a crystal clear sky. Walking into the parking lot of Salmond we were rewarded with a lunar eclipse in progress. You'll note the roof of Salmond there for, I don't know, scale.

Kind of awesome that my grunt camera could actually pick that up. Who says you need a gazillion dollar camera with time exposure capabilities anyways?