Upper Hutt night stroll with Xiaomi Mi5

On May 19, 2017, in Digital, Photography, by aronimus

So I went for a wee stroll around Upper Hutt last night with my new Xiaomi Mi5 – which is a most pleasing phone I might add – and felt compelled to take a few photos.

They came out looking pretty good but then I started goofing around with Paintlab and the results were way more interesting.  I don’t know how they do it but they seem to achieve the sort of results one could achieve from #DeepStyle but it would render in a few seconds on a phone instead of taking minutes or hours cranking a neural net on a high end PC.


Upper Hutt Window #paintlab

Window on Fergie Drive

Upper Hutt Window2

Same window on Fergie Drive

Upper Hutt Yard

Someones front yard

Upper Hutt Taniwha 2


Upper Hutt Tree Night

Tree on Main Street

Anyways.  I totally rate this phone and Paintlab is choice.

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DIY Fender Mustang Footswitch

On April 7, 2016, in Projects, by aronimus

How to build a single button foot switch for a Fender Mustang guitar amplifier.

So I bought this Fender Mustang II amp cheap like at Cashies and it sounds awesome!  I noticed it has a port for a foot switch.  Thinking this would be rather useful, but being constrained by the limited availability of products here in NZ.  I decided to use a bit of kiwi ingenuity and make my own!


Fender Mustang Footswitch 2

Just like a bought one!

How it works.

The foot switch functionality for a Fender Mustang is rather limited.  It basically lets you choose between your two most favourite presets.  When the switch is on it selects one, when it’s off it selects the other.  To achieve this you need a DPDT switch, rather than the other types…


Parts you will need.

You will need these measly few items, all available from Jaycar for less than 20 bucks.

6.5mm Mono Chassis Socket
DPDT Switch
Some form of robust container

You can use any sort of random tin that fits the switch, some people on the interwebs use Altoid tins.  I just bought a plastic enclosure, they have aluminium ones too, just in case you fear stomping right through a plastic one in the anticipated excitement of cranking on that overdrive for the next lead break.


Fender Mustang Footswitch 1

Parts you will need



Mounting the components.

1. Mount the socket in the end of the enclosure.  I’d suggest measuring it and putting it in the middle, unless you’re a hoary bastard or come from Eketahuna.  An 8.5mm drill bit makes the perfect orifice.  Might pay to use a smaller bit first.

2. Mount the switch about a 3rd of the way in from the opposite end from the socket.  Unless you’re an engineer you probably wont have a drill bit big enough to drill the hole for the switch.  Just drill it with the largest one you have and file it out with a round file.  Go easy, it doesn’t take too many passes to get a big enough hole.


Wiring it up.

Excuse my crappy soldering and wiring layout.  Call it creative license…   Doesn’t matter which way around you get the wires as long as they’re on the correct terminals on the switch.  You can poke them through the hole and try them out before soldering.


Mustang Footswitch wiring

Wire it up


And that’s all there is to it.   Plug it in with an instrument cable and you’re done.

Conclusions on the DIY Fender Mustang Footswitch

It works sweet as and looks just like a bought one.  Dare I say, better than the one Fender makes 😀


Post a comment if you have any questions and I shall endeavour to reply.

Playing with lego leads aronimus to muse on this long known fact that nothing is created in a vacuum.

The Cubic Structural Evolution Project

The City Gallery in Wellington have an exhibition on at the moment called Demented Architecture

The centrepiece, Olafur Eliasson’s The Cubic Structural Evolution Project has drawn me back numerous times for a lunch time session.  It is basically a collaborative art project.  A table full of white Lego that one can sit down at and do their part in the creation of a cityscape.   Well, I’m not sure that a cityscape is even the aim of the exercise as I didn’t read the blurb, but that’s what was being created when I was there.

Olafur Eliasson: The cubic structural evolution project

Olafur Eliasson: The cubic structural evolution project

On the first visit I tried to start from scratch.   In the meager time available, surrounded by these great behemoth structures, I frantically worked at creating my own worthy addition.  The finished result was of course, mediocre by comparison and gone when I went back the next day.  I was not surprised at all.

Having taken on some wisdom from the experience, this second time I created a beast headed robot figure standing with his hands forming a namaste.  This beast, though relatively ordinary on its own, found it rightful place high up on the front of another creator or creators great temple.  With grand staircase below and mighty DNA representative tower behind him.   Two days later I went back and my mighty beast had survived, albeit with some minor modifications.

Olafur Eliasson: The cubic structural evolution project

Lego Towers

On the next visit I found the remains of a fallen behemoth that had donated some of it’s very being to the rise of some other great creation.  It was a worthy tower in its own right so I crafted unto it a sturdy new base, crowned it with the top taken off another  tower and built a rather solid bridge across to the even mightier high rise next to it.  The creation shalt thus survive until there is either no pissant little creation nearby to dismantle.  Or it gets in the way of another persons grand vision.  Much like real life really.


“Our whole civilisation is a collaborative effort”


Which set the old brain in motion in the direction of the old adage that no art is created in a vacuum.  Even more so, nothing at all is.  Everything we do is inspired by something else.  A lot of what we create relies on the efforts of others.  Our whole civilisation is a collaborative effort.  The western world has this fixation with protecting intellectual property as if the person that came up with this particular slant on an idea should hold all rights to it and woe unto anyone that dare create anything remotely similar.   Then we end up with bollocks like Apple trying to  patent round corners on a device or  the Mavin Gaye’s greedy family vs Pharrell and Robin Thicke case.  If we stifle the ability of others to build upon our creations then we stifle innovation.  We limit that which can be created.

Anyway…   here’s a dreamified deepdream version just because.

Deepdream lego city

Deepdream lego city

Anyway, go down there and play with some Lego.  Though best be quick about it cos the gallery is closing on the 10th for quite some time.


More deep dream inceptionism.

Exploring the deep dream octave setting.


So here we have one of the early works of aronimus. Landscape at Dusk.  I fiddled around with the octave value, but otherwise left all the other parameters alone.

The original image is an acrylic on canvas piece involving extensive dry brush techniques.  Which isn’t all that obvious from the mediocre photo I took…  😛


Landscape at Dusk Original Painting

At an octave value of 2 we have not much of a change.  Just an overlay of interesting shapes and eyeballs.

aronimus-landscapeduskoctave 2 #deepdream deep dream octave setting

Landscape at Dusk – Octave 2

At an octave value of 7, things get rather interesting.  3d writhing worm like creatures,  a figure with a deformed head and where did that duck come from?

aronimus-landscapeduskoctave 7 deep dream octave setting

Landscape at Dusk – Octave 7

Quite a different result with an octave level of 10.

aronimus-landscapeduskoctave 10 deep dream octave setting

Landscape at Dusk – Octave 10

I had a big play around with photos of oil refineries the other night and was going to post them but they were simply not all that interesting.  A machine working repetitively on the imagery of a rather linear and repetitive machine created all very repetitive and linear results. Yawn…  Though may have been more interesting if I had done what I did tonight with some octave tweaking.  I shall revisit a couple and see if they become worthy of the internets…  Or maybe warp them a bit in photoshop. Yes.. that could work.



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deep dream infection

On July 8, 2015, in Digital, Painting, by aronimus

aronimus discovers deep dream and manages to actually make it work!

So after traipsing through the creative desert for some time now aronimus stumbled across this juicy visual goodness that is Googles deep dream.  Not being content with looking at the creations of others, or queuing in line on the overloaded servers making this tech available to the masses, yours truly did set his mind into ubergeek mode.  The task:  with no knowledge of Python and scant knowledge of programming or linux for that matter, make Googles code work on his trusty, if aging, i7.

The code is actually quite easy to use.  Getting the linux VM up to run it… not so easy.  But after 2 evening’s of brain hurting exertions….  here are some of the early results.

temple ruin aronimus #deepdream

temple ruin viewed through the lens of deep dream

Not sure I’m down with all the dogs that keep coming up.  Apparently this is because of the copious amount of cute doggy pics in the the Google dataset.   Must look into finding a way to load other datasets.  Managed to get what one could only call a hipposlug in the picture above though.   Interestingly the Hermit managed to come through looking much the same.  Could this be that the image is in the dataset so the neural net actually knows what it is so no need to invent fanciful interpretations?  Not sure what that is bottom right.  A morbidly obese Jack Russel?

#deepdream landscape by aronimus

Deep dream landscape

Rather pleased with this rainbow hued kaleidoscope of weirdness.


Cliff Walk #deepdream infection

Cliff Walk deep dream infection

Defintely pleased with Eketahuna’s Cliff Walk land of mutated forest dwellers.

Because Google were feeling generous I’m feeling generous too.

Here’s how I got it going….


Though with some minor changes.

1. No need to use Powershell.  Use the command prompt
2. No need to set the path variable, it does it itself.
3. For those unfamiliar with navigating a filesystem in Linux…  If you can’t find the ‘vagrant’ folder once you get the VM running…  type “cd /” then “ls”

The last attempt for tonight…

#deepdream aronimus

Cosmic! Those dogs again though…


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The full moon is upon us and lunatics such as myself be feeling it’s pull.  Lets just say I’m operating in verbose mode.

So I had the most intense dream last night…

I was showing some people, my kids I think, how to do some gardening. The garden was a small rectangle on a large plain with small seedlings in it. I started dancing around and chanting American Indian styles in jest when it started to sound really realistic and powerful, then changed into the weird harmonic chanting that some spiritual types do. Then I started levitating.. then soared into the sky, then all went black and I plummeted… and woke up, except I wasn’t awake as I was peering through half lidded eyes at slow scrolling old dot matrix printouts of financial data and mug shots of corporate suits and a full page ascii text rose.

This symbolically powerful dream has been rather inspiring.  The experience was so enjoyable I felt compelled to post it on Facebook no less!

The best interpretation I was given was this…

This is about the potential conflict between the possibility of spiritual fulfillment and the fulfillment of the true self versus the necessity of dealing with the real world. Plummeting in a flying dream points to a difficulty in controlling the situation. The part where the chanting started to sound loud and powerful reveals a latent inner spiritual strength that is possibly being misused.   Thank you Andrew Ginther!

So I did some research into this” harmonic chanting” or overtone singing, which I recall seeing on An Idiot Abroad once.  Great show by the way!

And I discovered the very talented (not to mention, attractive… when shes got hair.  I haven’t totally transcended earthly desire… : ) Anna-Maria Hefele…

I sent a link to a friend, and the reaction was highly amusing.  He instantly turned it off, in a response akin to putting one’s hand into boiling water.  Funny the affect such influences can have on those that prefer to keep that side of their being repressed.  He was totally rattled by it, to the point he wouldn’t discuss it and scornfully accused your humble narrator of thinking he was some great psychologist when trying to query the response.

This classical piece is great, they’re right into it!

The 2 tone thing also got me thinking about an awesome book I read once (ok, 3 times) by Tim Powers.   A dystopian post apocalyptic future incorporating cults, drugs and a selfish mans path to humanity.  Highly recommended.

Tim Powers

The power of the music also stirred memories of back when I was living in Edinburgh, I used to head down to Giles Cathedral every week and listen to them crank up the huge pipe organ they’ve got there.  Sitting there in the middle of the pews with space all around I could feel the music, right to the core.  An intense experience it was.  You could see how the church could have so much power back in the past.  That huge stone building and the powerful effect of the music on ones soul.  Now it’s nothing out of the ordinary, in that we can have music wherever we go.  Corporate towers now soar above the great cathedrals of old.  I recall doing some drawings depicting that, quite some time ago.   Random work doodlings…   Though that said, there was still something intensely moving about that organ in this time of endless distractions.


St Giles Cathedral – Edinburgh


Anyways, the Anna-Maria Hefele path steered me in the direction of the work of photographer  Christian Martin Weiss.

Christian Martin Weiss

Awesome stuff, a little unnerving too.

It’s now 12:34am…  time for me to transcend this earthly sphere and head for the stars… well, for another couple of days until the effects of the full moon wears off.
Shit, the moons not even really full yet but it’s rocking it’s way though it’s home in Cancer…



Anyone remember this guy…





As per the zen proverb…
“Before Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”

A musing on works created whilst one should be doing something else.

Works created whilst one should be doing something else

I suspect this was a self portrait drawn as I pondered the greater workings of the universe whilst stuck in a corporate meeting room.

I, aronimus, artist and sage have a confession to make. Alas, unlike notable sages such as Gandhi and the Buddha, my working class background has beset upon me the need for gainful employment.

Currently working by day as a Service Desk Analyst for a bank be your humble narrator.  This involves the riveting tasks of resetting passwords and explaining why their flaky systems have crashed.  Such a role has instilled within me the trait of “radical honesty”.  “Yes, that application is poorly written and crashes all the time, it is the bane of my existence”.   This is probably distressing to my employer but I simply cannot bring myself to lie in defense of the poorly constructed infrastructure that I must support.

Works created whilst one should be doing something else

Landscape surrounded by customer numbers and telco product pricings

I have the ability to be an artist of significance yet would feel like a fraud if I did,  for my art is a derivative of the “real” work I do.  My best work is conceived while I am supposed to be doing something else.  Memories of complex doodlings during maths class come to mind…  The trippy miniature worlds during dull corporate meetings…  Weird creatures comprised of foliage whilst waiting on hold on the phones…

To breeze into corporate work yet feel like a fraud just being there.   It is this compulsion to tread the middle path that is my undoing.
How does once reconcile a stellar CV comprised of conservative blue chip corporates with a compelling urge to be different and a repressed need to create?

Works created whilst one should be doing something else

Who are these strange beings that came unto me whist stuck at my desk contemplating ADSL plans and fixed IP addresses?


Anyway, this post is dedicated to works that were done whilst I was supposed to be doing something else…

Works created whilst one should be doing something else

Weird chicks and cute boney pets in URL land

Works created whilst one should be doing something else

Organic humanoid randomness

p.s.  I would like to thank my corporate sponsors that were paying me during the creation of these pieces….  you know who you are…

p.p.s. Click on my damn ads if they remotely interest you!  Over 1000 unique visitors this months and counting yet not one click on an ad… even I see ads from time to time that get my interest yet I’m not allowed to click on them due to the TOC.   Maybe it’s karma for running an ad blocker on my own browser…  😛

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Balance and the Middle Path

On October 30, 2014, in Musing, by aronimus

Behold. aronimus, artist and sage has returned! Having shed the winter cocoon of my alter ego Harun Bin Perci Al-Zelandi, I return to you now in the first person.

Having spent a restless night dreaming about password resets, I figured I really needed to put my brain to better use. 

So I had this thought that I felt the need to share….

Life is the meeting point between conflicting influences. One can swing wildly from influence to influence. One can latch on to a particular influence or group of influences and ride that to eternity. Or one can seek a middle path.

Some would call it a compromise. Others would look upon it as a vantage between two realms. A place where one can see both sides of things. Absorb what is useful from both viewpoints, whilst subscribing to neither in particular. From such a vantage one can be a conduit between two worlds. A source of integration between two or more viewpoints.  With purity and dedication , one could be a source of harmony like unto the Buddha or Jesus.

The middle path.  Kudos to whoever took this photo.  Thanks wiki!

Picture a ridge between two valleys. Both valleys are lush and habitable, comforting and desirable, though very different.  A pilgrim traversing the ridge can gaze down upon both valleys.  See the benefits of both with clarity.  It is relatively easy to stay on the ridge but one could say, ultimately unfulfilling* for one is experiencing life as a mere observer.  A tourist.

One can descend from the lofty heights of the ridge down into one valley or another.  In doing so, however, one loses clarity for the other valley is now obscured by the ridge.  Once engaged in the descent, the gravity that kept one stable on the ridge, now sets to the task of pulling one into the valley.  Down amongst the symbolic trees and hedgerows of its associated world view.

Descend far enough and gravity becomes a mighty force that works against the pilgrim.  The effort required to trudge back up can be demoralising.  The former vantage on the ridgeline, seemingly  insurmountable.

Balance, or a lack there of, be where you position yourself on that ridge.


*p.s. Maybe that ridgeline isn’t so unfulfilling after all, for there just might be another tourist up there too.  Preferably one with big hooters and a penchant for outdoor sex  🙂


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The meaning of life…

On September 20, 2014, in Digital, Musing, Photography, by aronimus

Here we have another chapter on  the life journey of Harun bin Perci al-Zelandi and a wee treatise on that great enigma “The meaning of life”

And lo, Harun Bin Perci al-Zelandi did venture forth unto the countryside and it was all very pleasant up there in his caravan in his paddock, surrounded by lambs and grass and rednecks. By day, hawks flew vigil overhead while bellbirds and tuis called out in the trees. By night, the sound of rampant cattle beasts in the surrounding farm land and sneaksie stock rustlers killing sheep.

Alas, the place was all together uninspiring for the cultured sensitivities of a great prophet and sage.  Hence the total lack of updates. He could write about shit that would be highly amusing but got people in trouble or ramble on about the banalities of eating and sleeping. Much like so many fools Facebook feeds.  Then again, posting images of his fathers cooking disasters could have provided much mirth.

Ultimately though, the meaning of life could not be found in a caravan in a paddock in Eketahuna.  Now, back in the great urbanised locality of the Hutt Valley, Harun shall share his musings with renewed vigour!    Allahu akhbar!

Country retreat

Country retreat

Speaking of the meaning of life…

Early on in the piece, your humble narrator did muse about a place in Thailand and Laos called Sala Kae Ku.   Wandering into his hotel one night in Nong Khai he chanced upon a piece of black and white printed A4 which stated “The meaning of life is in Nong Khai” and happened to be the key to all those confounding mythological statues located at Sala Kae Ku.   He thought he’d share this with his avid readers and random Google searchers…

aronimus took a photo of it, but fortunately another traveller  managed to scan a copy of a similar document, though without purporting to know the meaning of life, merely claiming to be a diagram of The Wheel of Life.  Which looks much better than aronimus’ grainy image, so here it is.

Wheel of life

Wheel of life

Bask in its awesomeness!  If you click on it, it’s actually big enough to read the text, no less.  Anyways, it all about being born and marrying and rooting and breeding and cheating and ultimately dying.   While all this is going on, one is dodging or embracing the influences of te poaka (police), suits, love, crims and beggars among other things.  So armed with this legendary piece of A4 born wisdom, may thou safely navigate the influences on your horizons.  Make of it what thou will.

Go forth and be born and live full lives and die a good death!  Amen.


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Harun takes the dog for a morning walk in Eketahuna and does some Qigong next to an electrified compound.

The sun did stream in this morning and Harun did venture forth from the freezing cold confines of his caravan.  By night there is a tendency for the skies to clear and many a star can be seen.  The milky way shows itself in magnificent brilliance.  So quiet too….  very peaceful!  Except it is bitterly cold and after a brief observance of the workings of the universe, Harun is forced inside to the relative comfort of his cheap Warehouse oil column heater.  There are benefits to this, for Harun needeth no refrigerator.  Here merely places his milk and beers outside the door.

Cliff Walk - Eketahuna

Vertically growing tree on Cliff Walk.

Having consumed breakfast he took the family dog Mate aka Pukanani aka Manatle for a walk around this small town.   This included Eketahuna’s one and only walking track,  Cliff Walk.   Harun mused unto himself that a rather nice walk it is too.  The sun was streaming down and Harun took in the vista of tree and river and State Highway 2.   This was pleasing unto Harun and he declared this to henceforth be, his super secret gong spot!  It also happened to be right next to some random survivalist’s electrified compound.  There was a 2 metre high electric fence and video cameras and warning signs though the place was clearly uninhabited at present.  He proceed to engage in the Chinese monastic Qigong system Jen Jhi Dao (Pearl Way of Heaven) in front of the local bovine community.  They were not very interested, in fact they were blissfully unaware as they milled about on the river flats below, munching grass and chewing cud.  Mate performed his own gongs the whole time, by gleefully excavating dirt around an old pine tree.  Harun shall go further into Jen Jhi Dao at a later date for it would seem the internet knows not of its very existence.

Ancient Ruins of The Eketahuna Tennis Club

The ancient tennis club ruins situated at Eketahuna

Feeling both relaxed and invigorated from his exertions, Harun and Mate carried on their way.  They came upon a pine forest…  an  overgrown and broken forest it was.   They ventured forth and the forest did yield a large clearing which contained the magnificent ruins of the old Eketahuna Tennis Club.  Some miscreant had sprayed “FTP” upon the wall in blatant disregard for a place of such historic significance!

Now satisfied with their morning adventures, the pair did stroll on back to the abode.


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