30 August 2005

Humankind. Be both.

It's been a day of hearing from old friends - one from accross town, one from Florence Italy, and one from Phoenix Arizona. All are doing remarkably well, and it's been great to hear from them.

The title to this post comes from a post cdoerr made in her blog - which has inspired me to start populating my own with a lot more pictures. I deal in visual content in both work and play, so it's about time I extended that to the information superhighway.

Please hold the line, caller(s).

14 August 2005

Evolution of the bike

I've been into mountain biking for years now - getting my first real one about 14 years ago now. I've had some amazing rides, with amazing people, to amazing places. And I've had soem pretty amazing bikes too.

Since the Bauer (extreme system 2! - now Martha's) of the early 90s, I've upgraded bikes every 3 or 4 years - first building up a Marin Pine Mountain hardtail, then splurging on a very orange Kona King Kikapu, then deciding I wanted to race some more, so selling the Kikapu and going back to the Marin, then getting a full sus Marin Mt Vision, selling that last year as the pivots wore and the hardware became obsolete, to fund a Giant NRS1, and then supplementing that with a wonderfully basic Specialized Hardrock Singlespeed. I'll post photos some time soon, as it makes a nice history note.

The current NRS is a great bike - it's stupidly fast, as you'd expect from a short travel race bike. It goes up, down, jumps, lands, and is a really nice, good bike, that didn't cost a stupid amount. The singlespeed was a bit of an impulse to provide something I could throw into stair jumps, be fast on shuttle downhills, and generally piss about on. It's proven so much fun, and no doubt really good for the legs, that it's gettign all the ride time at the moment.

The master plan was always to have one really good versatile mtb, and one good road bike. That plan kind of goes out the window every other week, but I usually get back to it in the end, after a bit of indecisiveness, dreaming, and investigation. I'm thinging I might redo that though - and move into the Jono/Owen style 1x play bike, and 1x race bike.

So now I find a 4th bike in brogress, living in a corner of the lounge as I ship in parts from across town and around the world to piece it all together - a DMR steel hardtail. I'm quite excited about this bike. It was originally intended to fit between the Giant and the Specialized - offering simplicity, raceablility, and really good components, in order that I could sell the other two and not lose much in the way of functionality. But now I'm not sure I can sell the other 2.

It's looking increasingly likely that I'm going to end up with a garage full of bikes, each with a narrow function. Fun for the moment, and we do have a garage with some space left, but an expensive way to do things.

Maybe next year I'll sell them all and put together a single do everything bike - a cross between Marin 1, Marin 2, and Kona. Maybe...

This mass indecisiveness does provide a nice antidote to work though.

08 August 2005

It's a sunny day but rain is forecast

I caught an interesting photographic exhibition yesterday at Pataka yesterday, amidst a thoroughly pleasant visit to the Kapiti Coast. Titled Protest and Celebration it showcased 50 or so works by some of our top documentary and media genre photographers. The themes covered were, unsurprisingly, protest - hikoi, land occupations, and marches - and celebration - sporting achievement, royal visits and returning unknown soldiers.

What I found most interesting was the ratio of protest and celebration images. It was roughly 10 protest to 1 celebration (contrast this to the website which features 1 protest to 2 celebration...)

I'm wondering to what extent this is a curatorial identification and response on a national tendency towards the negative - a commentary on that disturbing aspect of our culture that likes to prune tall poppies, tack a but onto every positive statement, and (contrary to Saatchi's old ad campaign) eliminate the positive.

Or was it merely a reflection on the quantity of images available to the curators. Anyone armed with a camera can encounter a yelling waving street protest, whereas only a handful of New Zealand photographers were able to capture Sarah Ulmer's stunning achievements in Manchester and Athens.