UV ID Polaroid expire October 2009 – Shot March 2022

Posted by on Mar 14 2022

I recently found the time to shoot some polaroids again. It was UV ID, expired in October 2009. They have been refrigerated, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean they will work. The medium tends to stick together, and it takes delicate and nimble fingers to resuscitate them. Out of a pack a of 10, only 5 came through. The first 5 where stuck together, and it took a pair a tweezers to make sure the paper ‘tabs’ where properly pulled through the ‘ringer’. Rescuing half a pack is a pretty fair deal, I have lost whole packs before. Not all of them turned out the way I wanted too, but that’s life.

Here’s a couple of from pack. I will say that UV-ID is my favourite Polaroid film. Its got a weird and wonderful indigo cast (I believe its the same as 669, but when held up the UV light it shows a polaroid watermark – it was used for badges, ids, and the such).

This is a roadside monument on the South Island of New Zealand. The swirls in the sky are not clouds, rather its the effect of the expired film.

We grew some pumpkins this year, the smallest ones are ornamental, the larger yellow/green striped ones are Styrian (very tasty seeds), the smaller orange ones are ‘Hokkaido’ or ‘Kuri’ pumpkins, which have a rich chestnutty flavour. So why not take a photo of the harvest?

I also found a little half frame camera in my glove box which had about 60 photos on the dial, may be time to bring out the development kit again!

Trypt.am – Psychedelic Clinical Trials Database

Posted by on Feb 28 2022

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020, while in isolation, I decided to pick up programming again. I stopped programming as my daily job about 12 years ago. During isolation, I dabbled in a few new and old languages (Swift, Perl, Rust), but in the end I found that my old stomping grounds in PHP was perfect for the job (PHP had also come a long way during my 10 year sabbatical from programming). The project was for the Entheos Foundation of New Zealand, a research and education charity for psychedelics.

Trypt.am aggregates clinical trial data from the following sources: ClinicalTrials.gov, ClinicalTrialsRegister.eu
Anzctr.org.au, Trialregister.nl, and Pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. The first 2 feeds above are updated automatically, all the others are manual ‘data dumps’ which I have to upload. The site is still in beta, but its functional.

I’ve since resigned from the Entheos, so its unlikely trypt.am will be updated. Still, I’ll keep it up and running, if not just to see see the steady increase in psychedelic clinical trials over the years.

Polaroid shot of the day

Posted by on Nov 04 2021

It was a surprise to receive this email today:

dear parahanga!!!

please have a short look at the cover of polanoid.net [ http://www.polanoid.net/cover ] (http://www.polanoid.net/jump/?to=pictures&uid=13197&pid=385985)

you have won the worldfamous ShotOfTheDay award!

not only is your picture on the cover for the next 24 hours, generating endless fame and glory, but also you have won a shining 10 euros coupon for supersensitive shopping at SUPERSENSE! [ http://the.supersense.com/ ]

here is your very own special couponcode worth 10 EUR: sotd_ha-ha-ha
(minimum orderval 50 EUR)

again big congrats and thank you so much for sharing your polaroids and making this site such an unique place.

you rock

the polanoid team

It’s actually one of my favourite polaroids, and it was taken over ten years ago (2009). Reading the message logs I see a lot people surprised that they also won Shot of the Day – it was bloody hard to win 10 years ago! The algorithm for selection seems to favour older photos. This show’s the sad state of polanoid, its essentially been put on to maintenance mode by the founders, just a step above life support. The community is not engaged, and owners have moved on to other projects. Still, notifications like this are nice: its a time capsule that showcases amazing analogue photography.

I still have some polaroid film in my fridge, one day I’ll have a fire in my belly and shoot again.


Vancouver Island Wilderness property for sale by owners

Posted by on May 24 2021

In 2016, I embarked on an adventure with my Canadian friends and we purchased 186 acre wilderness property on Vancouver Island. But as our lives changed over the past few years, we decided to sell our section of Shangri-la. This wasn’t an easy decision by any stretch of the imagination, the property was catalyst for many important changes in my life as well as reconnecting me to natural world.

We’ve had incredible wildlife experiences on the property – everything from black bears to cougars, from bald eagles to hummingbirds, from humpback wales to bioluminescence. The 186 acres provides ample opportunity to forage for oyster mushrooms, chantarelles, boletus, salmon berries, thimble berries, blackberries, huckleberries, spruce tips, sea asparagus and much, much more. Take your boat and fish for prawns, salmon, cod, and a variety of sea life.  Of the 186 acres, I can honestly say I’ve probably only explored 1/10 of the property at the most, there are plenty of serendipitous surprises for new owners to discover. I’ve written about my first time living on the property in my Outlier Cartel blog here.

Even though the property is remote, its only a short drive to the Village of Tahsis. Also there is broadband internet available, so remote workers can stay connected (if they so desire). There’s also a large shop and crane (originally for fixing logging trucks), a large generator, 3 phase power, an caravan shelter, a few small cabins, gardens, and much more. Stay as self efficient as you look, and start your own creative projects.

If you’d like to know about 625 Head Bay Road in Tahsis British Columbia, it is listed on Sothesby’s Vancouver Island here.




beach fire in moonlight


fishing near nookta island


moon across the bay


tahsis rainbows


Gossamer Days: A proposal for renaming Indian summer

Posted by on Oct 08 2020

We have choices. Every time we use a word, it’s a choice. Societal inequality litters the English language but where we know about it, we can choose not to keep reiterating it. Helen Zaltzman, Allusionist 122. Ghostwriter

gossamerdays1As a six-year-old growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I remember one particularly crisp and delightful Autumn day. I vividly recall the musky sweet scent of autumn leaves, the golden rays of sunshine, and just how perfect everything was. My mother told me that days like this were called Indian Summer, and in my heart, I wished that every day could be like that.

40 years later, I experience another Indian Summer in Canada, just weeks before I return to my adopted home in Auckland, New Zealand. But the experience of this Indian Summer is different. The weather is indeed warm, and there are mad splashes of colour amongst the deciduous trees – the tell-tale signs of the fabled second summer. However, some things seem off.

The air is no longer crisp, it has now been marred by for a second time by wildfire fumes, leaving the hazy outline around the sun, and the skylines of both the mountains and the Vancouver city-scape. But there is something besides the acrid air that is bothering me. It is the name of my favourite time the year.

So why is the phrase “Indian Summer” bothersome? The first is that the use of ‘Indian’ is both incorrect and ignorant of both Native Americans and Indians from the subcontinent. Secondly, in many cases, Indian was used as a disparaging term to denote their dishonesty, such as the term “Indian Giver”. This can imply that an Indian Summer is merely a false imitation of the real summer, instead a time of wonder that can stand on its own.

Very little is known why Indian Summer came to be popular. The phrase originates from North America, and several theories include that it was a time Native Americans did their best hunting, conducted raids, or that the phenomenon was simply more common in indigenous territories. It was first recorded in a French written letter by a Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crèvecoeur:

“Great rains at last replenish the springs, the brooks, the swamp and impregnate the earth. Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer. This is in general the invariable rule: winter is not said properly to begin until those few moderate days & the raising of the water has announced it to Man”

Though the phrase, was North American in origin, it’s use spread through Britain and the commonwealth. Susan Fenimore Cooper, a noted American naturalist, stated:

The same soft atmosphere of the Indian Summer warmed the woods Windsor, year after year, while Geoffrey Chaucer roamed among their glads, the English would have had a word phrase to express the charm of such days, before they borrowed one from another country

Luckily there are many options to replace the phrase.

What are the alternatives to Indian Summer?

In her article, Let’s Choose a New Name for ‘Indian Summer’, Sarah Lackow reveals many excellent alternatives to Indian Summer. Similarly, Here is a short list of alternative phrases, most of these terms are from Europe, but a few come from other parts of the world:

  • Saint Luke’s Summer – after Saint Luke’s Day on October 18. Great Britain.
  • Saint Martin’s Summer – Saint Martin’s Day fall on 11 November. France.
  • Pärttylin pikkukesä – Finnish for ‘little summer’ and associated with Saint Bartholomew
  • Britsommar – Swedish, Named after Saint Bridget who was canonised on the 8th of October
  • Fattigmanssommar – Swedish, poor man’s summer
  • Altweibersommer – German for old wives Summer
  • Nazomer – Dutch for late summer.
  • kranenzomer – Dutch for summer of the crane birds.
  • grävlingssommar – Swedish for badger summer
  • An hanv c’hraden – the summer of ferns, bracken – from Brittany, France
  • koharubi 小春日 – A Japanese word, Koharu 小春 means a little spring and biyori (hiyori 日和) a fine day any time of the year, literally meaning the sun is at peace.
  • babie lato (Polish) babí léto (Czech), babje ljeto (Russian). These are Slavic terms that roughly ‘Grandmother’s Summer’.
  • veranillo – Spanish for ‘little summer’, also Veranillo de San Miguel (Patron Saint of the 29th of September)
  • atvasara – Latvian for summer again, or resummer.
  • pastirma yazı – Turkish for pastrami summer – indicating the perfect time of year to make pastrami.
  • donkey summer – Greek γαϊδουροκαλόκαιρο, perhaps describing summer’s stubborn insistence to stay longer?
  • Gypsy Summer – Bulgarian, Циганско лято
  • Tigers in Autumn – Chinese 秋老虎 (qiū lǎohǔ) – Hottest days of Autumn, or Tigers in Autumn

Some of those terms are humorous, some are strange, and few are parochial and others are simply bigoted.

However, my favourite term is a term whose definition is not defined as Indian Summer, but whose etymology is a reference to those ephemeral, golden days of autumn: gossamer.

The case for Gossamer Days

Gossamer as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is:

A fine filmy substance, consisting of cobwebs, spun by small spiders, which is seen floating in the air in calm weather, esp. in autumn, or spread over a grassy surface: occasionally with a and plural, a thread or web of gossamer.

Its origin is from Middle English, gosesomer, or literally “Goose Summer”. Gosammer may also have its origin in the old Scottish go-summer, which was another word for Saint Martin’s Summer. Gossamer also has connections to German sommerfäden, Dutch zomerdraden, Swedish sommartråd, all which mean ‘summer thread’.

Let’s look at the reasons why “Gossamer Days” is an excellent replacement for “Indian Summer”:

It is the language of Chaucer & Shakespeare.

Some of the earliest references of gosammer come from Britain’s greatest writers. As early as 1386, Chaucer wrote the following in the Squire’s Tale (part of the legendary Canterbury Tales):

On ebbe, on flood, on gossomer, and on myst, And alle thyng, til that the cause is wyst.

In 1599, William Shakespeare penned his arguably most renown work Romeo and Juliet, in which gossamer makes and appearance:

A Louer may bestride the Gossamours, That Idles in the wanton sommer aire. And yet not full so light is vanitie.

Shakespeare’s use of the word includes my favourite spelling of this word, borrowing the latter half of the word from the French word for love.

It is topical.

Gossamer also means light, flimsy, and/or delicate. What better way to describe our not only current climate status but the state of flux the world is in. Our planet seems much more fragile than it once was. Hearing the word gossamer reminds us to be better stewards of the environment, and also means that we should not take this time for granted.

Adding ‘days’ to end gives it the phrase more depth.

By calling it ‘Gossamer Days’ it gives a nod to ‘Halcyon Days’, a period of calm weather occurring in winter; also a period of calm, peace, happiness, prosperity, or success. It also gives it the flexibility to when this period can occur, instead of fixing to dates signified by a saint or festivals. Finally, there is book titled “Gossamer Days” by Eleanor Morgan, which is about human and spider relationships. Its usually during these final warm days of autumn when spiders spin their gossamer webs.

It is not ignorant.

gossamerdays3As a child, I was ignorant of the meaning of Indian Summer. I wasn’t old enough to question the phrase. However, as an adult, a certain cognitive dissonance set in; how could I still use this term? Particularly when the time of year that I so enjoyed was associated with such a loaded word. For me, it became a personal choice and helped align a beautiful time of the year with an equally beautiful phrase.

Renaming such phrases needn’t be difficult if one can make a personal commitment to do so. It can be something done with joy, and free from any external social or political friction. So whether you choose to say gossamer days, koharubi, or atvasara; choose a word that that is befitting to this wonderful time of year.

I for one, I am looking forward to another set of gossamer days in when I return to New Zealand!

References and credits: