World’s First Pavlova Western

Family, Films, JamieSelkirk, John Psathas, Kiwi, LoTR, Movie, NewZealand, Western, Weta 3 Comments

Many months ago, I was lucky to be involved in the shooting of a western film – more appropriately, the world’s first Pavlova Western. Most people will be familiar with the concept of a Spaghetti Western, but now Mike Wallis (my brother in law) and his fiancée Inge Rademeyer from Mi Films have extended that concept to New Zealand.

They are currently in post-production mode bringing all the pieces together, including an incredible music score from John Psathas (recently awarded Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his Athens Olympics work). Jamie Selkirk (who received an Academy Award for his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy) has also come on board to give them financial support to put the film through the final stages at Weta’s Park Road Post Production studios.

And to top it all off, last week they appeared on TV One’s Close Up. Check out the following video –


You can check their progress on the Facebook Pavlova Western group and the Pavlova Western blog.

7 Things You May (or May Not) Know About Me

Brewing, Climbing, Family, FOSS, Friends, General, GNOME, Indiana, Ireland, NewZealand, OpenSolaris, Sun 2 Comments

Wow, it’s grown from 5 to 7, but since I’ve been tagged many moons ago by Sara and now by Patrick. Where should I start?

  1. I am indeed Tim’s little brother. You wouldn’t believe how many years I got through Sun without people figuring that one out. When I joined, I had another brother in Sun, Duncan. That made 3 of us. The 3 amigos (though fortunately we never had a dance routine). I shared a bedroom for many years with Tim, and played my fair share of Top Trumps, Action Man, StarWars and Squares (and almost getting run over on my way back from the supermarket carpark across the road).
  2. I studied at Trinity College Dublin and loved my college years. I found out relatively quickly that while maths in secondary school was quite enjoyable, taking it to the next level felt like a massive step. I got through my course with a first, but I don’t think I developed a strong aptitude for what I was studying (memory monkey = results). However, I did find a love of Unix somewhere along the way. Duncan let me use his maths account to dial up to the internet, and I soon learned a love of MH, taught as many freshman classes as I could with their computing labs and generally found the computing side of my maths course a whole lot easier and enjoyable.
  3. At secondary school I learned to climb through Mr.Blackmore and Mr.Cryan. We used to head out to Dalkey on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. It was awesome fun, and I’ve kept that going right through college and was captain of the Climbing Club for a year, along with designing their website (though it’s a bit of a mess now). You can read a bunch of the old trip reports here for much hilarity.
  4. My current passion is brewing. Tim had a strong part to play in this one having started it first in the family. I’m loving it. I have a monthly subscription to BYO, a growing collection of brewing books (including John Palmer’s “How to Brew“, and Charlie Papazian’s “Joy of Homebrewing“) and starting to put some all grain beer together. I’ve taken recently to ordering from the awesome guys at, which conveniently means I can collect my grain just around the corner. I’m still learning the ropes, but this is definitely a career I’d change to.
  5. I’m getting married in 2 months time to Jayne. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve lived in NZ since 2003, have residency and a screwed up accent (though apparently I now have a US twang on the phone).
  6. I was rather fortunate to fall into free software, having picked up a job in the desktop group at Sun, Ireland (yay, nepotism!). Turns out they were looking at free desktop alternatives and chose GNOME. Always shared my code at college, so working on open source was a pretty easy step, and enjoyed spending my time on the IRC channels getting to know people, and them getting to know me (that’s Jeff’s influence, of which I am entirely indebted). I’m not so active in GNOME anymore, but I still lurk in the shadows observing and proud of where the project has come and my participation in it.
  7. Sara tried to hire me over to be a product manager of a new (at that time heavily secret) distribution, OpenSolaris. It took a weekend of her convincing me that I should do it and her persistence is something I’m entirely grateful for as I’ve enjoyed every minute (and worked with some really great people), despite the occasional rough times.

That’s it. And here are the rules of engagement:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

So, I hereby nominate: @comay, @epicbeer, @maupuia, @charliebird, @bogan, @basicbrewing and @marekkuziel as a rather eclectic bunch.

Post 2008.05 Vacation

Family, General 6 Comments

It seems a blur since we were all at the Moscone center releasing OpenSolaris 2008.05, and everything leading up to the big event. Jim has a great set of pictures from the event. Now the long slog to produce a similarly rocking release for November has started in earnest.

Fortunately I managed to get some vacation to charge up the batteries with a 3 week vacation in Europe that started with a couple of days around San Francisco with Jayne (and buying an iPhone so we had a camera with us), then over to Barcelona to see my beautiful sister getting married (and the lively Spanish reception and welcome) and a tour around the wonderful sites of Barcelona. From there, across to an insanely wet Rome for a couple of days, and up to the beautiful Florence, where I took the opportunity of proposing to Jayne (she said yes) after the most incredible meal I’ve had in a long time. Around Tuscany (Sienna, San Gimignano, Luca, San Gimignano and Pisa) exploring some vineyards on the way, and out to the Cinque Terre for a night. Finally, up on the train to Venice where we spent our remaining couple of days. All in all a pretty perfect month, though the jet-lag with a quick return trip to the US the week I got home was a little less fun. Roll on 2008.11.

The infamous ringGondolas of VeniceOne of the towns of Cinque TerraLeaning tower of PisaPlenty of bottoms in FlorencePonte Vecchio in FlorencePantheon in RomeWhere's Wally..I mean the pope?Winding stairs at the Vatican MuseumColloseumLydia and Edu getting marriedPre-wedding family lunchJamon at Mum & Dad's AptJayne at Parc GuellJayne at the Lolly marketSagrada FamiliaAlcatrazTrams in San Francisco

Food and data wrangling at the OK Corral

Family, NewZealand 3 Comments

Jayne and I are down in central New Zealand, taking a little time out of our busy Wellington lives to help her brother Mike, and partner Inge, shoot a western, of the Pavlova variety. When we first got asked to help, I imagined both of us, sitting on the porch of some gold mining town, rocking in the chairs watching some stranger walk into town. Unfortunately our first movie roles would have to take a back seat for another while and we were propositioned to be part of the catering staff for the movie.

Jayne’s done a pretty phenomenal job pulling together the plans 3 weeks worth of food for our time here, with us putting out breakfast, lunch and dinner for a core crew of 18 people, and the occasional posse. It’s been pretty tough trying to find the variety to keep the hardest working crew with satisfied bellies, but we’re getting there, on our second week in. We’ve both lost our appetites, but the crew are liking what we’ve done so far.

I’ve also been data wrangling for them, copying the data off the camera cards onto multiple USB drives. It’s mostly been without a hitch, though did lose one filesystem (HFS+) due to some sort of weird super block error, and didn’t manage to fix it – I bet Apple are looking forward to using ZFS soon.

The shooting has gone really well, and I’ve had the fortune of being able to review most of the shots each evening. Matt put together a quick first cut for a few scenes during the weekend, and the result looked sensational.

We’re now down in Cromwell, housed beside Lake Dunstan, and have full wireless access – it’s been a good chance to catch up on work from the previous week, as Tekapo turned out to be a bit of a melon in terms of network access (though thanks to the lovely Jenny for sharing her house for a few days). It’s nearly 1am here, so time to hit the sack. MI Films coming to a cinema near you – Jayney’s already working on the marketing campaign!