Kiwiburn Post


  • The Pylons worked well for The Avenue, also worked to make a barrier to keep the crowd back at the Burn. If your woodwork is half-arsed, then real builders will justifiably call you on it. So, “Mission – Be Half-Arsed” accommplished successfully.
  • When you’re changing the 9V batteries on the EL wire and you forget which is the new battery and which is the old, you can lick them to find out. The person who told you this trick may be amused when you do.
  • Shade is handy. A van parked in the shade, with mattress, tunes and cold drinks is more handy.
  • Screw-in augers are the business for anchoring vertical loads into earth. They held down five-metre high bamboo tripods, with three attached shade sails, despite reasonable winds.
  • Bicycle inner tubes only work to lash bamboo if the bamboo tubes are at right angles to each other. For tripods, you need straps that can be pulled tight and solid, otherwise the bamboo just slides through, even with a spanish windlass to tighten the inner tubes. Also, it turns out I have lots of straps.
  • I need to know better knots for tying ropes under tension. My only excuse is that climbers rarely do this.
  • Little multitools are handy, but not butch enough for festivals. Big multitools with carbide wirecutters are better.
  • You can never have too many carabiners. Medium-sized gear ones are cheap and most useful, shagged out retired climbing ones are free but I don’t climb enough any more to have lots of retirees.
  • Importing your own solar shower is necessary, the ones for sale in NZ shops fail.
  • If you find yourself in possession of a lost phone, messaging people in the inbox saying “this phone is lost, please tell the owner” may lead to the phone receiving messages that say “hey bro, you’ve lost your phone”. This is only informs you that the owner of the phone is friends with dumb people.
  • I am not always in the mood for dubstep. Just most of the time.
  • Licking ferrouswheel‘s glowing pink rod can solve existential crises.
  • Ableton is shiny.
  • Hitting yourself on the head with rapidly spinning hot pieces of metal is part and parcel of fire spinning. Even so, I should do it less.
  • Every so often, you want a big engine and a huge floodlight.
  • My metaphors are too obscure.

And the Mitochondrion:

  • 2.5 mm jack plugs are too weak and likely to snap off. This is a problem if that is the on/off switch.
  • Loose wires are always a pain in the arse, especially if it is the battery ground and the batteries are buried in the depths.
  • Despite this, it worked for two nights, so the reliability is improving every time.
  • People seemed to like it.


  • For the Mitochondrion, version 3.5 – get the regulated power supply to the Picaxe built, soft reset the I2C bus regularly so it doesn’t need the external pokey switch, get the mode switching code debugged so it doesn’t need the physical on/off switch, and replace the broken wooden parts with old circuit board parts for added strength.
  • For the Mitochondrion, version 4.0 – go hmm… and start hacking down the potential design space.
  • Coz I can – Two pairs of things to make for tieke and one pair of things for tatjna. These should be simple and not take very long at all. Ha!
  • For Sky Tigers/Sky Jaguars, version 1.0 – start making plans, and not telling people what those plans are.
  • Oh yeah, and build a house.

Your weekly pic of me:

Pic by Shelley.

Oh, and there was some emotional and social stuff as well, but what happens on the Paddock, stays on the Paddock! (Who am I kidding, go read everyone else’s blogs.)

25 thoughts on “Kiwiburn Post

        1. Re: Two words

          Ah, when you said “trailer hitch”, I thought you meant a hitch for a trailer:

          Which would help with the moving of stuff. Kris has shown me how to do a trucker’s hitch before, but I need to practise it once a week for the next year, or I will forget. Please remind me.

          (Also, buntline hitches are a personal favourite that I alway need to look up when I need one.)

        2. Re: Two words

          That knot is way too complimicated.

          I learnt a simpler (and far more effective) one while working in a soft drink factory during uni holidays.

          Demonstrations available whenever you can get you, me, & some rope in one place…

          1. Re: Two words

            My version can easily be turned into 4:1, or even 8:1, if required and you have enough rope. can testify the efficacy of the 4:1, coupled with a little physics, when pulling down a tree so I could retrieve the chainsaw that got stuck in it…

  1. Man Harness knots are designed to be tied under stress/tension, however they produce a loop rather than a means to tighten the bight.

    I recall tying them whilst hanging on the rope (for practice whilst a boy scout)…

    1. I can tie knots whilst hanging, coz I use my feet. Okay, I’ve only tried it with tissu and bare feet, but I’m going to have to try this in a variety of circumstances…

  2. Glad to hear your structure worked well! Got any photos of it up? So, where the pylons basically supports for cordoning off areas?

    Solar showers are good. Pressurized sprayers for showering are *awesome*–much more efficient than gravity feed systems. (Like a garden sprayer, pump-up the tank with air by hand, pressurizes the water, etc.)


    1. Don’t know if you’ll be able to see this:

      Pylons were for marking out the Avenue, the approach to the Man, then for crowd barriers. They were holding up EL wire for both uses.

        1. Yup, the Man was also a big swing.

          No pics of the shade structure, was awkward to get a good angle for a pic, but it stood up good and proper. I also discovered more recently that screw-in augers are great into soil, crap into soil with rocks in. It’s horses for courses, as always.

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