Same S*** Different Day: Supporting Someone with Depression

Mental health media constantly tells those with illness to talk with someone.

This is an excerpt from https://depression.org.nz/get-better/

Firstly, that is easier said than done.

But secondly, if you are going to support someone with depression, and be there to listen, be prepared for the following.

1. Self Centred Tendencies

Most of what gets us into dark holes are centred around self. It will sound selfish and completely self absorbed. Deal with it.

2. Self Doubt

We doubt ourselves. We will put ourselves down and be the first to tell you how pathetic and useless we are.

3. Problems with No Solutions

The problems we face are often complex and have many levels of deep issues and very rarely have answers. Don’t try and fix the problem. Just listen. Support. Encourage. Show an interest by trying to understand. That’s all you need to do.

4. Repetitive

Get ready for a case of deja vu. Often what goes around our heads in the dark times will be a case of the Same S***, Different Day. And often what gets us into the dark times are reminders and triggers of those things. So that’s what we need to process and talk about. It will get boring for you. But don’t ever say anything about it. Please. We know we’ve told you before. We know we sound lame and obsessive and believe me, we don’t want to. But you asked how it was going, and if we trusted you tell you the first time, then we’re going to have to tell you again. Don’t say “I still don’t know what to do”. See Number 3. Just listen. Say the same responses you said last time. We don’t need anything new. We just need you to listen, and to give the same support that got us telling you the problem in the first place.

5. Repetitive

Did I mention this?
The issue that was real for us yesterday will very much be real for us again today. Don’t dismiss it just because you know it already and have heard it all before. Doing so just sends us the message that you don’t actually care any more and that we’ve become a burden.

I found this come through on my Twitter feed around the same time I began feeling the need to write this blog post. Obviously this is something many people are noticing.

So please – listen. It helps, even if you don’t think it does.

And please – don’t stop listening. If you stop listening then it adds to the sense of rejection, failure and loneliness that we’re already too familiar with. It also makes it harder to talk with the next person who might want to offer their support.

Lastly, thank you. Thank you for all you’ve done so far to help someone else. And thank you for all you’ll do to support us, even if it is just listening one more time.


I’m always here for you: Supporting Someone with Depression

If you’re going to say someone with depression

“I’m always here for you”

then you’d better mean it. And you’d better mean all of it.

You’d better mean the words “always here“. Not that you’ll be there every passing minute of every single day – we understand that you have a life to live as well… But always in the sense of you’ll be there for us tomorrow, and the next day, into next week, next year, and the year after. Always. Because while it’s easy for you to say, it becomes something that we will hold onto like it’s the last hope we have on this earth. And it often is.

You’d better mean the words “for you“, because we need someone in our corner. We need someone in our corner, because often, by the time we need you, we’re not even in our corner fighting for ourselves anymore. We’ve already rejected our self worth, and we don’t need you taking offence at things we might say in the moment when despair has set in. We’re already offended enough at ourselves. We don’t need you to betray us; we’ve already betrayed ourselves. Often we can lash out at anyone who is prepared to listen, and that’s not an attack at our support people; it’s just that it becomes an outlet for the frustration and that can be taken out on those closest to us.

This doesn’t mean we get free reign and take you for granted, or a free pass to be offensive. It just means that in those moments when we hate ourselves so much that we give up and lash out with words to anyone who listens, that’s when we need the most support. It’s because we’re hurting, we don’t care anymore, and we take it out on those who we want to care. Most of us, if we’re lucky to make it through the darkest of times, will be incredibly thankful and equally apologetic in due course if you’ll give us the chance. But giving up on us when we’ve already given up; Getting offended when we’ve offended ourselves well before you came along, is not “being there for us“.

You need to put yourself to one side just for the moment and help us to stand on our own feet again no matter how hard it gets. If it’s hard for you, imagine how hard it is for us. And now imagine how hard it is for us trying to do that on our own.

That’s when people give up.

So please, before you say “I’m always here for you” please consider if you mean it, and mean all of it. Can you stand by those words through thick and thin? Can you stand by those words for as long as we need you to, not just for as long as you can? Because there is nothing worse to someone with depression than having those words said to you and then not being lived up to. In those darkest of times, in the depths of a depressive episode, those words will go around and around our heads and we will come to resent you, hate you, and be hurt by you when you’re no longer there. We will wonder “Well, where are you now?” We end up in a deeper and darker hole of rejection as we reflect on the friendship we once had with someone who said they’d always be there. The trust we once had is now gone, along with you, and has ruined our hope in others being able to help us either.

So say “I’m here for you.” Mean it.

Say “I’m always here for you.” But mean it.

VTec Subframe

The fabrication of the front subframe that will house the VTec in MAHVIN is just about finished. Today the under support arms went on which firmed up the wings and engine mounts no end.

Up until now, the Engine has been supporting the subframe as we built the subframe around it to fit. Now, for the first time, the subframe will now be supporting the engine.

This will be the first step into fitting the VTec into the Mini.

Here you can see the final weldup of the under support arms. 

There is still a little bit of work to do, and the fishplates still have to go on to sure up the joins, but for now, its strong enough to do its job. 

The front subframe is about 90% complete. There is still a front bar to put across the front of the subframe to support across the gap.  There are also a few small adjustments still to make. 

Eventually I also put the measurements on to a photo similar to this incase anyone else wants to replicate a subframe for putting a VTec in a classic Mini.

The front subframe combining the original towers and the new supports and engine mounts.
A view from the front showing the under support arms in place. Note the level on the top bar. This is also level with the bulkhead when the subframe is in the car. Coincidence? Fluke? Or just good design?
A top view of the subframe. Eventually I will use this view to list the mesurements as well.
The gearbox side engine mount. This also shows the amalgamation of the new with the old, as well as some of the modifications and cut outs from the original subframe.
The cam side engine mount. Note the pivot bolt holding it together at the moment. This is also a feature of the opposite engine mount. Eventually both engine mounts will be welded solid, but for now it allows us to make some adjustment to how the engine fits in the Mini.

Good Friday Cross, 2019

This year, we headed away with family and friends up to Ohakune. This made for a bit of a panic as I didn’t have my usual Good Friday day to create this year’s cross.

I was going to use a GPS tracker and an intersection to create a cross by walking, but ran out of time. That’s when I spotted some flax at the holiday home we were staying at. A quick Google search later and I had made my Good Friday Cross for 2019.


Howie Mandel Pushes for Mental Health Reform

We saw this video on Ellen today, in reaction to the recent Las Vegas shooting tragedy.

Howie makes several great points in this short interview, and provides a fresh perspective on events like this, but also for mental health and how it is treated. He expressed strongly his favoring in a change to nevada marijuana laws in the treatment of mental illness.
The most poignant part of the whole segment though is when the audience begins to chuckle, thinking he had made an off-the-cuff joke, and he stops them and puts them in their place. This highlights the issue; that so often mental health is a source for humour that the stigma will almost always be there, where its difficult to get people to take it seriously.


Nelson Holiday Trip 2017


Awake. 0645am. Drive. Ferry. 0900. Snooze. Sneeze. Block ear.

Picton. 1230 Lunch. Sea Breeze Cafe. Chicken Panini. Inclusion of capsicum gets thumbs up. Good chips. Walk around Picton. Overcast.

Drive. Nelson. Nodded off (not drastically) Whoops. 15min pitstop for kip. Arrive Nelson. 1600. Check in to apartment. Nice. Supermarket for Snacks etc.

Dinner. BK. Up to standard. Frozen Coke brain freeze. Sleep.




1030 Leave for Takaka Hill. Hawke Lookout. Wow. Reasonable drive up. Tried to find Lord of the Rings site. Unmarked so unknown; but we think we got it.

Drive down Takaka Hill. By far one of the top driving roads I have driven.

Farewell Spit 1320. Lunch. Pizza. Didn’t finish.

Drive back. Rabbit Island. Good beach. Few snaps. Back to apartment 1600.

Sunset shots. Good enough. You make your own luck.

Dinner. Settled for Lone Star. Late. Great Chicken though. Moist and succulent. Movie 2035. Wonder Woman. Average to Good. Sleep.



1100 start. Shopping. Lunch. Yello Cafe. Chicken panini. No capsicum. Not as good. Continue walk through town. Buy Lord of the Rings rings. Matching set. Outer engraving of elvish poem on wifey’s with lines 1 and 2. Inner engraving on mine with lines 3 and 4. Hopefully they fit together. Hear news of weather. Possible ferry cancellations until Friday (when we plan to return). Might be a full ferry I suspect.

Walk up Hill from Botanical Garden. 1500. “Centre” ofNew Zealand. Great view. Back to apartment. Rest. Snooze. Nap. 1830 Dinner. Speights Ale House. Great wait staff. Chicken Burger. Lovely. Dessert. Good. Back to apartment 2043. TV. Sleep.


1040 Supermarket lunch. Drive to St Arnaud. First time back since NLDC 2001 Stage 2 (Solo). Surprised at how much the drive to the lake hit me. Memories. Faces. Happenings. Failures. Even at the lake, it was powerful, and the nostalgia that set in. Quite glad I didn’t have to go out on the lake today. Very windy. Had lunch and reminisced on the very impactful part that this place had on me and my life 16 years ago. Found some spots from memory. Took photos. Went on a walk. Took more photos.

Checked into motel 1400.Enforced nap due to intermittent TV connection and high winds. Booked dinner at Alpine Lodge 1600. Visited general store and book borrowing box. No luck. Dinner 1830. Pizza. Filled a hole. Nice atmosphere. Motel. Sleep.

130717: THURSDAY


Checkout 1000. Visited visitor centre. one last trip to the lake for photos. Ice still covering the jetty. Left St Arnaud 1035. Went to see Bow. Not keen. Arrived Nelson 1145. Lunch at Styx across from apartment. Fish burger. Full. Put me off dinner. 1400 met with Vicky’s friend Lynaire. Good catch-up. 1600 received text that rings were ready. Collected rings shortly after. Back to apartment. TV. Dinner. TV. Sleep.

140417: FRIDAY


Pack up apartment. Left 1015. McDonalds Brunch because we would be on the road at traditional lunch time. Said goodbye to Nelson. Happy to have v3n, but not somewhere I’d recommend to anyone else to go visit. on road 1050. Arrive Picton 1215 with only one close call when overtaking. Boarded Ferry 1335. Departed 1438. 4m swells but largely unaffected. Delay at Wellington dock. Disembarked at 1935. Drove home, with a quick stop at Nando s for dinner. Home sweet home with awaiting furbabies 2008.


Google Map of our Travels


Keep Left Alright?



The amount of knobheads I’m seeing just coasting in the right hand lane of a two and even three lane motorway is staggering. The number of issues it causes goes to show the level to which society has become so self driven.

Drivers in the left lane, hereby referred to as the slow lane, come up to a meandering vehicle of various descriptions; old-lady, lorry, trailor tower, and look to overtake. However, knobhead in the right lane, hereby referred to as the fast lane, completely oblivious to the world around him has ensured little to no gap in the fast lane for said slow-laner to overtake.

Meanwhile from behind, legal driver in the slow lane, has caught up and has room to move into the fast lane behind said knobhead. He waits patiently as they pass the meandering vehicle, and sees the look of disgust on the person following it who has been denied the opportunity to move into the fast lane by said knobhead and continue on his journey.

This is but one example of this frustration causing driving. Today one person pulled into the right hand lane in front of me as I prepared to o we take a group of cars. I assumed this was to get over to the right turning lane ahead, as he certainly hadn’t gotten up to speed enough to overtake. I had to change lanes back in order to avoid his slow speed. But as I looked, he wasn’t turning right. He simply wanted to be in the right hand lane. The next right hand turn off was 4km down the road, which he took, but the traffic was hardly suggestive that he could have made that lane change at a later point.

The ones that get me are the ones who have moved into the fast lane for whatever reason, and have passed that one car, or have gone past the turn off, and continue driving in that lane. There’s no one around them. No one in front. No on in the slow lane. No one behind. But on they go, careening along in their own little one-lane-world.

Who cares Al? Who are they affecting? You said it yourself, no one is around, so what does it matter?

Well. It’s the law. It’s the rules. There’s many reasons for it so it’s not even an unreasonable rule.

The New Zealand Transport Agency states in the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004

https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/resources/rules/docs/road-user-2004.pdf in Part 2.1 that

” (1)  A driver, when driving, must at all times drive as near as practicable to the left side of the roadway unless this rule otherwise provides.

(2)  If a driver’s speed, when driving, is such as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, that driver must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, move the vehicle as far as practi- cable to the left side of the roadway when this is necessary to allow following traffic to pass.

(3)  A driver may drive in the right lane in the direction of travel when driving on a multi-lane road

  • (a) the driver is turning right, or making a U-turn from the centre of the road, and is giving the prescribed signal of that driver’s intention to turn right; or
  • (b)  the driver is passing; or
  • (c)  the left lane is unavailable to the driver; or
  • (d)  the driver is required by any provision of this rule to drive in the right lane; or
  • (e)  a variable lane control downward-facing arrow sign indicates that the driver must drive in the right lane; or
  • (f)  the driver is avoiding an obstruction; or
  • (g)  the traffic in all other lanes is congested; or
  • (h)  the traffic in every lane is congested.

In the help section it says http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rules/road-user-qas#left that “The emphasis is now on keeping left unless you have a good reason, eg you are turning right, passing another or the left lane is blocked. Previously, the regulations focused on not impeding other road users.”

This is makes driving in the fast lane when it is not necessary illegal, as is the likes of breaking the speed limit.

Yet while millions is poured into speed radars, speed cameras and vans to catch speeders, very little is done for those that clog up the fast lane.  I can tell you now though, I don’t need any high-tech camera or radar to tell me if someone is in the fast lane unnecessarily. Policing this is as easy as driving the motorways and opening your eyes. Of course, getting the infringers to actually pull over may be another challenge in itself!

I’m not for a second suggesting that driving in the fast lane is a high cause of fatalities that the likes of speed is responsible for, but I can say that it raises frustration levels, causes people to make quick decisions, perform manoeuvres they shouldn’t have to make such as undertaking, or squeezing into gaps that are far too small because of the inconsiderate choice of others, and otherwise causing the potential of accident occurrences to increase.

I know change is hard for some people. But seriously. Change lanes.

Keep left unless you are overtaking.

You don’t lose man points for driving in the slow lane.
It also doesn’t mean you’re slow, just like tt doesn’t make you macho if you drive in the fast lane.
It doesn’t make you better in anyway.
Move over.

Don’t be a knobhead.


Guitar Templates PSD – Photoshop




TEMPLATE – Stratocaster – BODY ONLY


TEMPLATE – Stratocaster – FULL










  • These Photoshop files have been made by importing 1:1 scale drawings from PDF into Photoshop full size and then copying out the parts to each layer. There are NO guarantees that these will be exact; but they should be pretty accurate for your design needs.
  • Each PSD file was made using Photoshop CS5.1. Maximise compatibility is turned on for each file. There are no guarantees that the PSD document will open in your particular version of Photoshop. There is no harm in trying.
  • No support is given for these files.


Please comment below if you notice and problems with the designs, or if you have any suggestions for improvements or features you want to see in future versions of these files.


Pixel Measure – Photoshop Script

Over the last couple of days I’ve been developing a few templates on Photoshop to help assist with the guitar designing process. One of the factors I needed to have was the ability to quickly add dimension labels to the drawings. Whilst Photoshop CS5.1 has a great measurement tool, it doesn’t display labels on the design.

Pixel Measure

So, through a variety of Google searches, I found Pixel Measure; a little script that can be added to Photoshop to create dimension labels.

Luckily, someone had already ported it to GitHub Gist, and so I made a copy to develop it a little more.

View the modified Pixel Measure


The original script outputs the dimension in pixels using the foreground colour.

What I wanted to be able to do is to define what the dimension measurement should be. By default, the script outputs the dimension in pixels.

But what if I need to show the dimensions in inches, or millimeters? Surely this could be set by using the unit set on the rulers in Photoshop.

Within the first few lines of code is the description of my addition.


// by @alingham
// Adding Measurement options into the script. Still produces the dimension line in pixels, but changes the label to be in 
// Inches or Millimeters or Pixels (default) depending on the original unit of measurement set on the ruler in Photoshop. 

The Code

The code below is what makes the magic. Essentially it runs a little bit of maths using the document resolution. We take the width or height of the selected area in pixels, and divide it by the resolution of the document (usually 72, but does vary, so preferable to use the value set by the document). The resolution is given as DPI, or Dots Per Inch. The dots (or pixels) of the length we want measured is then divided as per the DPI, giving us the number of inches. We round that value to 2 decimal places.

To work out Millimeters, we just need to multiply this value by 25.4; the number of millimeters in an inch.

Line 124 onwards shows the added code:

//Get Measurement from Ruler, and Resolution from Document
    if (document === undefined) {
            var document = app.activeDocument;

        var resolution = document.resolution;
	if (originalUnit == "Units.INCHES") {
		var dimensionwidth = width/resolution;
		var dimensionheight = height/resolution;
		var unit = "in";
	else if (originalUnit == "Units.MM") {
		var dimensionwidth = (width/resolution)*25.4;
		var dimensionheight = (height/resolution)*25.4;
		var unit = "mm";
	else if (originalUnit == "Units.CM") {
		var dimensionwidth = (width/resolution)*2.54;
		var dimensionheight = (height/resolution)*2.54;
		var unit = "cm";
	else {
		//default pixels (PX)
	    var dimensionwidth = width;
	    var dimensionheight = height;
	    var unit = "px";
		textItemRef.contents = dimensionwidth.toFixed(2) + " " + unit;
		textItemRef.justification = Justification.CENTER;
		textItemRef.position = Array(Math.floor(x1 + (width/2)),y1+21);
		textItemRef.contents = dimensionheight.toFixed(2) + " " + unit;
		textItemRef.position = Array(x1+15,Math.floor(y1 + 4 + (height/2)));

Go to Gist on GitHub now to see the script.


Good Friday Cross 2016

Each year I make a cross on Good Friday. I have done since sitting on the shores of Lake Rotowiti in 2000 while on ‘Solo’ with Boys’ Brigade National Leadership Development Course.

This year, I decided I would make the cross using only code. Ultimately this wasn’t that hard, but telling the story within the code took a little longer.

It is Finished.

Good Friday Cross 2016

<!--See from his hands, his-->
<meta name="keywords" content="his feet"/>
<title>Sorrow and Love</title>
<!-- Flow mingled dowm-->
<meta name="description" content="Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?"/>
/*His */body {
/*stretched out wide*/ width:100%; /*from fingertip to fingertip*/
<!--And on his-->
<!-- A crown of thorns
This is my-->
<body class="broken for you">
<div class="blood poured out">
<span class="for the sins of all">
<!-- on the cross -->
/*red sky turned a*/ 
border:1px solid black;
display:block;margin:0 auto;
/* forgiven */
width:70px /*times seven*/;
/*Lights*/ .out, /* covered */ .all, .the /* earth */{
/* temple curtain torn from */
/* to */ bottom:0;
/*He breathed*/ .for .the /*last time*/ {
content: "It is Finished";
width:0px;height:120px;display:block;margin:0 auto;border:1px solid #000;margin-top:-37px;