The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, April 29, 2005


when an old addiction crashes headlong into a new one...

I'm going to see the new h2g2 flick tonight but it's the final of Green Wing - ARGH!

and we don't have a video. So even if i asked someone to tape it for me i Couldn't Watch It!! Double ARGH!!!

I'm just going to have to push Green Wing out of my mind. After all the DVD might be out in *gulp* August. It's not even showing up on DVD Pacific yet.



tales from the counter front

Josh has shared his retail slave experiences at Brain Stab and I had two stories I just had to add to the pile.

Conspiracy Stamp Lady
I was working at Whitters and had the massive responsibility of ordering the stamps. At the counter one day an older woman asked for a 40c (as it was then) and I obliged. She was sticking the stamp to her envelope when she began to tsk tsk.

The source of her complaint?

The stamp had "Aotearoa" and "New Zealand" across it. By virtue of the fact that both renderings of our nation's name had to fit the same space the Aotearoa was in a slightly larger lettering.

Apparently this was evidence of the PC conspiracy that has taken over. But then, Conspiracy Stamp Lady went on to assure me, at least it wasn't as bad as those Jews and the banks...

The Slapper
This didn't actually happen to me, but it's still worth sharing. A book shop on the North Shore is not exactly a front of urban warfare, but none the less a workmate, one of the nicest, least offensive young women I have ever worked with, was told she was a "silly girl" by a customer and actually physically slapped across the face. I think her crime was to help the customer in question locate the book she was looking for. Thankfully the manager banned The Slapper from the store.

Yes, some retail and service staff are rude or unhelpful or incompetent. But really, they are getting paid peanuts to shovel the retail equivalent of shit - they put up with really horrible customers, often senseless dictates from management who frequently indicate their real indifference (and in some cases open hostility) to the lives of their "lesser" workers, and they get paid two fifths of Not Much Really.

So please be nice. There but for the grace of Insert-Deity-Of-Your-Choice...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

an end to junk?

Over at Philosophically Made, Stephen has posted about the North Shore Council's intention to smack letterbox leafleters, and expresses concern about what this will mean for political material.

I have to say that the NSC approach worries me too. I hate all that stupid junk mail that we get through the letterbox - sometimes we get several copies of the same thing as we are at the end of the street. The vast majority goes straight into the recycling, which makes me feel slightly virtuous, but the reality is that there is far more waste paper that is being recycled than recycled paper products demanded. We seriously need to stop producing so much crap, and not just in paper form, even if the materials are recyclable. The focus should be on buying things made from recycled stuff.

But I digress.

The point of this post is that I feel I can't put up a "No Junk Mail please, we're greenish" sign because then I would miss out on the political propaganda. And I really really want even those bizarre Wake Up New Zealand pamphlets and The Jesuits are Coming scare-monger sheets.

When I was leafleting for Laila in Waitakere in 2002 there was a heated argument amongst campaigners about whether we should respect or ignore the No Junk signs. There was a school of thought that political material is not junk (essential to the democracy of our nation, etc) while the other side argued that we didn't want to piss people off by putting stuff in their letterboxes - we simply couldn't afford to lose a single vote.

Are those with No Junk signs saying no to everything? And what makes the political deliverer any different from your average commercial leafleter (usually a school kid) if we think Our Junk is better than Their Junk?

Perhaps the political parties should all front up some dosh to do a leaflet drop to every household warning that generic No Junk signs will not be respected unless they specifically exclude an interest in democracy? ;-)

more National Front nuttiness

Not only do the National Front see the Alliance as a major threat to the future of "unique NZ European culture" it appears their Youth Wing is standing up against the New World Order, which includes Zionists, MTV and C4 (they will be so proud), and of course "the junk food chains."

Look Darp is doing this all so much better than I ever could - I'm still rolling around on the floor laughing about C4. I wonder how the NF feel about NZ Music Month?

guess what - yes it's another stupid internet quiz

via the ever-interesting Krimson Lake:

You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
--Jean-Paul Sartre

“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”
--Blaise Pascal

More info at Arocoun's" Wikipedia User Page...







Justice (Fairness)








Strong Egoism


Divine Command


What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

Where did that apathy score come from? Must be this damn cold.

not exactly simon cowell

I'm ambivalent about NZ Political Idol.

Jono is, understandably, quite up on it, while Xavier is most certainly not.

I don't mind the concept, what bothers me is the execution. It is certainly not politically neutral, but a tool of the Right. Which is fine except I don't know that everyone realises that.

The breakdown of candidates is somewhat revealing:

By politics
- candidates I consider vaguely centre-leftish - 3 (Clark, Robson, Nandor) Of these only Nandor is reasonably consistently left.
- candidates I consider centre-right - 4 (Winston, Dunne, Perry, Tamihere, English)
- candidates I consider right, no centre about it - 2 (Hide, Wong, Rich)
- candidate I have no idea about yet, she's all over the place lately - 1 (Turia)

By gender
- women - 3
- men - 7

Interesting that the NZ Pol Id team were happy to put up the leader of the Labour party, but not the leader of their own side of the House...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

United's future

STC has posted about United Future's prospects come the end of the year, and in particular has referred to Dunne's contention that he is looking for a proper coalition with Labour and seat(s) at the Cabinet table.

This expectation of Dunne's seems at odds with the likely outcome for UF in the election. If they do have only one or two MPs, which certainly looks the go at this stage, then Labour may not feel the need to deal with them except on Confidence and Supply basis, and as an alternative to the Greens - in other words, the same arrangement that they have since 2002.

I doubt that Dunne is going to be in a power broking position where he can say he wants a Crown car - Anderton only has one because of his personal relationships and the fact that he was in Cabinet before the 2002 election imho.

The worm is not going to feature this year - Dunne is going to struggle to keep UF's profile up enough without it, and I know several people who voted for his party in 2002 who will definitely not be voting that way again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

why do we hate the ones we love the most?

Reading the comments on PC's thread asking if he should stand for the Libz in Epsom, I was reminded of my post last month about my bitterness about the Labour Party. It seems that the right share the same dislike of their closest political friends as the left do.

But why?

My theory is that a lot of it is about potential and jealousy. For example, the Labour Party had to potential to make a strong socialist difference in NZ but it has squandered this. The jealousy arises because they are still seen by so many as the left party of note, even though they are bloody not left. (Somedays I don't even feel they are centre-left). And yet left people vote for them in droves. We on the left console ourselves with mutterings about false consciousness.

It's not just about being pure. Although some in the Libz may see Act as the less pure form and shun it for that reason, my experience in the Alliance is that members are quite realistic about our chances and know that to ever have a chance of being (back) in Government we would probably have to coalesce with Labour. The realities of being a minor party in NZ, at least in the medium term, are that you are going to have to get the best deal you can from the major party that is closest to your side of the spectrum.

So when it comes to choosing whether to stand in marginal seats it becomes a fascinating discussion.

Should you stay true to your kaupapa and stand regardless of whether it might knock out your most preferred (other) candidate, because it's more important that people who support your party and its principles have someone to vote for and that the flag is waved?

Or should you stand aside in the interests of a party or candidate that you don't really support, just see as the least worst option, and someone who, unlike yourself, has a chance to win?

So often it seems to come down to an emotional rather than strategic reason that breaks the deadlock.

(BTW - PC you do have a third option - stand in Epsom but consider endorsing Hide in the last week if it looks like a close-run thing)

if Brash could turn back time?

Rules for teachers c1915

From the Tauranga Historic Village

You will NOT marry during the term of your contract.

You are NOT to keep company with men

You MUST be home between the hours of 8pm and 6am unless attending a school function.

You MAY NOT loiter downtown in icecream stores.

You MAY NOT travel beyond the city limits without the permission of the chairman of the board.

You MAY NOT ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or your brother.

You MAY NOT smoke cigarettes.

You MAY NOT dress in bright colours.

You may UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES dye your hair.

You must wear AT LEAST two petticoats

Your dresses must NOT be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.

To keep the school room clean you must:-
- sweep the floor at least once daily
- scrub the floor with hot soapy water, at least once a week
- clean the blackboard at least once a day
- start the fire at 7am so that the room will be warm by 8am

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

and now for a sporting interlude

Regular readers will know that I don't generally delve into the arena of sport on this blog. But there was a time in my past when I was rugger-mad.

I remember my pride in 1987 (I was going to marry David Kirk don't you know) and my heart break when Goldie dropped the ball right on the try line (I still can't stand the sight of that Gregan fellow). But sometime in the late 1990s I ran out of time to keep up with all this oval ball palaver and I've stopped even being much of a spectator these days - except for the occasional yell of "HAAAARRRRRBBBBBOUUUUURRR" at odd moments - you can take the girl out of the Shore, etc.

But I feel compelled to post about the expansion of the Super 12 into a More Super 14 without the inclusion of a Pacific team.

If the RFUs are serious about building the game throughout the broader Pacific then they need to pay attention to the little fellas, as well as the bigger unions (bet you never thought you'd see "union" in that context on this blog).

Let us not forget the same arguments against a Pacific team were wheeled out when NZ wanted a league team in the NRL and in fact the Warriors have served to build league greatly, both in NZ and Australia, without detriment to the Aussie teams. There are enough rugger players to go around, and a Pacific team would help to cook a bigger pie rather than make the slices smaller.

And can you imagine the electric atmosphere of watching a Super 14 (or whatever) game in Suva? Everyone on the island would come, it would be like Carrisbrook except not cold!

Monday, April 18, 2005

that "brand"

I've been waiting, waiting, waiting for the Maori Party to put out their policies, or even give an indication of their general policy principles. No dice. They were due in time for Waitangi Day and it is now nearly May. The latest I read is that they are "fine-tuning" them.

This means they can effectively be all things to all people - they haven't put a stake in the ground over anything except the Foreshore and Seabed legislation.

Tonight I heard two interviews with Maori Party candidates on Mana Report that really worry me. They didn't talk about policy at all but both of them, and the introduction, waxed lyrical about the Maori Party "brand" - how strong it is, how well recognised, etc.

I can think of several other strong brands off the top of my head, and what their advertising portrays - Nike (read: shoes that some people think are cool), McDonalds (read: happy times and yummy food), Farmers (read: good quality but not expensive all-sorts of things).

But what does the Maori Party brand stand for? What ideals and principles are behind it? What is the kaupapa of the Maori Party? If the candidates know would they like to share it with the general populace please??

I guess I just find a political party with no policies a bit dishonest.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

don't look now it's the National Front

Yesterday we held the Northern Regional List Conference for the Alliance. I spent most of the time doing food stuff, until I was interrupted by the Grey Lynn Community Centre Coordinator who asked me if we had put posters up on the arch outside the doorway. I wasn't sure where the arch was so he proceeded to show me and it transpired that whilst our name was on the propaganda it wasn't ours.

Far from it - it was from the National Front:

There was a big poster stuck on the front door with little National Front stickers (featuring the snazzy slogan "Family - Folk - Nation," which invokes visions of young blonde children in lederhausen dancing in the Alps.)

There were little leaflets carefully pinned to the wooden arch just outside the centre itself, which clearly explained the links between the Alliance and Communism, including that some past members spoke at the same conference as some SWO people.

Other investigations by the NF show that the Alliance has produced a Manifesto along similar lines to the Scottish Socialist Party, who have a link on their website to the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party.

Damning stuff I'm sure you'll agree.

Clearly pinning up leaflets after the people you have come to confront are all oblivious to your presence, and at the other end of the building, is in keeping with one of the keystones of the NF:

"...the National Front differs from those that do nothing. The National Front is an active organisation that takes action in ways which will benefit our society. "

Is it just me or are the National Front just the teensiest bit Pythonesque? Next time they bug me I'm going to threaten them with The Comfy Chair.

being nice

Now excuse me while I get all navel-gazing for a few minutes - feel free to go read some other blog until normal transmission resumes.

I have had a few comments since I started doing this blog thing, mainly from people who either don't know me in real life or didn't know that they knew me, that I seem "nice". Maybe I am "nice", maybe I'm not (I'd say it's a pretty subjective analysis really), but the point I have been thinking about is whether I should be nice.

It was working in retail that did it to me - we were trained to "greet" which is to say we had to smile and be nice to everyone in the shop. I actually quite enjoyed it - people weren't expecting you to smile at them, and frankly I didn't care whether the profits soared through the roof or plummeted so deep they found oil, so it was a smile and a hello with no expectations, no strings attached. Hopefully I broke down a few of those stereotypical kiwi responses - arms folded, "imjustlooking" hostilely spat at the hapless shop assistant.

All this means that I got to a point where my initial reaction when I saw someone was to smile and say hello, and not just in the shop either. Anyone that I vaguely knew would get the same treatment, even when it was someone I despised to the very core of my being. It would be too late to stride by, nose held high and glowing with indignant dislike, I had already said hello.

I've largely purged this character flaw, but I seem to have developed the blog-equivalent of it - I am too "nice" in comments. And it's got me thinking - should I be nice to people I can't stand? Is it dishonest to be nice to them, to humour them, or to give them the benefit of the doubt even when they are total arse? Am I somehow devaluing my arguments by being nice about them? Or is viciousness an obfuscater when it comes to getting your point across?

Maybe I should apply for a column at About Town as The Nice One.

pseudonym echo

Interesting comments to a post Peter Cresswell has made over at his blog about whether bloggers with pseudonyms weakening their arguments by not revealing their "real" names.

For the record I agree with Ruth's comments:

"If one wants to blog or post under their real name, fine, but why take the moral high ground about it. At the end of the day no one gives a rat's ass what you think..."

Like Malach, many people know me online as span and wouldn't have a clue what my real name is - it would mean nothing to them.

To be honest I do tend to wonder a little about the people who proudly festoon their posts with their real names, first and last. It's kind of a bit like a big flag saying "you should have heard of me". When I first started blogging I would often react more negatively to those who used their own full names, but now that I've been around long enough to interact with many of the regular commenters here and on other blogs I can judge them on their merits rather than their pseudonym (or lack thereof).

Could pseudonyms not allow us to consider each other's arguments without pre-judging based on what we have heard about that person? This is one of the reasons I value anonymous comments - it strips away the pre-conceptions I might have and lets me assess their point more truly.

And frankly anyone who wants to know my "true" name that's a simple Google search away I'm sure. But beware any would-be stalkers - Marathecat does a strong line in maiming.

new alliance poll up

Well I know it's been a long time between polls, but here are the results of the poll on the Alliance homepage asking what people would be watching at 7pm this year - John Campbell's Campbell Live just beat out the Simpsons on C4 (which I don't think has actually eventuated - but they are on Sky1?) and Nothing came in third.

There's a new poll up on who you would pick to go into coalition with Labour after the 2005 election. I'm not saying it's a done deal yet, far from it, but at this point it does look as if Labour will be the leading party in any government formed.

So if you were in Clark's shoes, who would you go with?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

student politicans don't die they just get blogs

Something I've been meaning to blog for a while is a break-down of the nz political blogsphere by student association affiliation (past and present). I don't know them all, and I'd welcome additions or corrections in comments, but this is my rough analysis:

About Town - three of them have held Exec positions (Tristan, Kate and Xavier)
Betrand Bargolias - ran for Exec a few years ago
Brain Stab - Apathy Jack was around in my day and I suspect other current Brain Stabbers were too
Constar - current AVP (which may explain his lack of recent posting)
Dog Biting Men - Ben was involved for several years, including a stint as (elected) Craccum editor
Just Left - Jordan was an activist at AUSA and a staff member although never on Exec
Spanblather - I was activist, staff member and Exec member in my time
Ranting On The ROK - Stef was EVP, amongst many other things
Running Blog Capitalist - although currently mothballed, Glenn is still commenting and was on Exec for several years
Sock Thief - outted (sp?) self in comments - briefly an Execcie, also involved in student media
Stalag Office - currently the blog-home of the Clubs and Socs Rep (Caleb, who also blogs at Some Other Guy) and the Environmental Affairs Officer (James), possibly with more current AUSA execcies to join soon
The Whig - also mothballed but still commenting, Blair and I were AUSA Exec contemporaries
Yellow Peril - Tze Ming was news ed at Craccum back in the day and very involved in the EAG

Dog Biting Men - David was Nexus editor in a prior incarnation (how did I forget the Flaming Craccums?!)
Locke Foundation - the Flannagans were folicle deep in the move to voluntary there in the late 1990s

Wilson's World
- Tony was EVP and then also active at AUSA when he moved up to Auckland

Mike Beggs
- was Salient Ed, so not a true student politician (it's unelected, unlike Auckland)
Commander in Chief - pretty obvious really
Generation Y Not? - never met him but I hear he's involved
Left Field and Beyond - immediate past president
NZ Political Comments - ditto from GYN for Greg and of course Xavier is involved in AUSA (as mentioned above for About Town)
Doing it Right - Kerry is the current WRO
The RIGHT Kind of Girl - Hannah is Clubs and Socs Rep, in the AUSA parlance
David's Den - current Campaigns Officer
Incomplete Politics - Brendan is the 2005 Activities Officer
Hutt South Campaign Blog - put together by Gareth Robinson, who is not a current VUWSA execcie but is involved (see comments for further)
Fighting Talk - Matt was a Salient ed in a former life
Poll Dancer - Keith Ng has had a long association with Salient and is now the only student media representative in the Parliamentary Press Gallery

DPF's Kiwiblog
- no idea what position(s) he held though

The South Island (UCSA, LUSA, OUSA) is almost entirely unrepresented, but I may be missing some others. I note that the only Southern ex-SA blogger now lives in Welly. Has blogging not reached the Mainland? :-P

And as for polytechnic student associations, I'm not so up on the play in regard to them. Update: I just found Rachel Dibble's blog via Commander in Chief - she's the current OPSA President, although she seems a bit on the ol' blog lite currently.

More the lefties than the right-wingers - that could be because the right wingers tend to be older (I think) and so may have affiliations Before My Time. If so please spill!

Update: Have added 6 more VUWSA blogs, thanks to those who pointed them out in comments. Have been able to out the dingy student political pasts of David Young and Matt at Fighting Talk thanks to informants, and recalled the involvement of the Flannagans.

Update the second: Added in the two new columnators at Public Address, Keith and Tze Ming.

Update the third: Added in the Stalag Office and also links to the SAs in question - big ups to AUSA for their fab web refit!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

left wing technorati thing

technorati's blogs.

here's hoping I'm not the only one who found this...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

a barren argument

Why are right wingers so obsessed with Clark and her breeding habits?

Look maybe Clark doesn't have children because she and Davis can't. Or maybe they chose not to. Does it really matter that much?

I don't have any inside information but really who cares if they have kids or not, I don't really think it impacts on Clark's abilities as PM. If she were not a she it wouldn't even be an issue. Wasn't Savage childless?

And hang on a minute, there should not only be no Pope Juniors around, the man wasn't even allowed to have sex for decades and decades. No questioning his status as a world leader of great wisdom and import (not an opinion I share) by those on the right.

Interestingly the Old PMs site (kudos to DPF for his involvement) didn't seem to mention the parental status of any of the PMs I looked up on it.

I'm no fan of Clark myself (although I vastly prefer her to Brash it's merely a lesser of two evils preference) but I get really peeved about this line of argument, that she is somehow less of a human being because she has no offspring.

Surely we have evolved to be more than just gene carriers?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

dna's h2g2 flick nearly here!

I heard about this through the strangest of ways - a competition ad on Kiwi FM. h2g2 is finally to be a film, and they have a blog.

See it's when something like this happens that I feel maybe I should reconsider, which finally pissed me off past the point of return due to the massive influx of Americans (particularly ones who hadn't heard of the books) and the switch to SSI which made it impossible to just dip in every few months. I would never have missed this astounding news if I'd still been hanging around. DNA tried for years and years to get the books on the big screen and not long before his death it looked like he was finally getting somewhere - this production has directly evolved from his project, which allays some of my fears about adapting the books when he isn't around to keep it faithful (or at least in tune), as does the involvement of Robbie Stamp as Executive Producer.

In other exciting news about the film, Martin Freeman (Tim from the Office) is to play Arthur Dent, and the fantastic Sam Rockwell will be Zaphod. Marvin looks perfect and will hopefully add some strength to my ongoing campaign to spread the "Marvin work" meme even further. The casting I am really doing cartwheels over though is Alan Rickman as Marvin's voice. I can hear him already - "brain the size of a planet and I'm..."

Release date for the UK has apparently been brought forward (when does that ever happen?) to 28 April, which will be the world premiere. We plebs over here in Kiwiland can expect to get the film 28 April (NZ Time) according to the Village site but clearly that must be wrong. Otherwise Kiwi FM's competition to make a couple of lucky listeners the first in the world to see it seems a bit bizarre. However the h2g2 unofficial site below backs this date up. Hmmmm.

Either way I am much more excited about this than the new Star Wars film. Guess I'm just a hoopy frood who knows where my towel is.

More news:
-'s page on the film - bound to have good goss, as has had a longstanding association with Robbie Stamp and others involved in the flick
- IMDB listing - bit bare on info really, but good for cast list
- official h2g2 movie site - a bit of a bloody pain to those of us still in DialUp Hell (which is not an encouragement to order pizza, apparently)
- unofficial h2g2 movie site - much friendlier on the bandwidth, plus lots of links to other DNA related sites setup by fellow ZZ9ers

PS Mr The Red - did you know about this??? explanations are in order post haste!

the name game

Kakariki has posted on Opportunity and Spirit, the two Mars Rovers, and I agree with her that 'Nity and Spiro need new names.

Go over and make suggestions folks!

strange things lurk in the blogosphere II

Found this "handy" list of the frequency of blog names.

Well, it would be handy if it were in alphabetical order. Shame really.

pet hates - an ongoing saga

Over at Sir Humphrey's Adolf has revealed his pet hates (well his top four anyway).

I've been meaning to post on this myself for a while. Getting these things off your chest, sharing them with others who can commiserate or take you to task for your pettiness, seems to somehow soothe me.

1. bad covers of good songs - including bad originals that radio stations continue to play despite their obvious inferiority eg Funky Town (Pseudo Echo's being of course the pre-eminent version)

2. phone-in "polls" - I could (and frequently do) rave about the evils of phone-in polls for hours. In fact I already have. They quite simply have no statistical value and should never be used for questions of serious import. Click-in polls are just as bad and I was disturbed to see the Sunday Star Times does actually report the results of its Stuff polls in print. Reserve them for the "Paul Holmes is most like a..." variety of queries (inspired question About Towners!).

3. drivers who are incapable of indicating - to indicate or not to indicate; folks, it is not about taking a moral position - failing to indicate will not bring down the State, it will not bring about World Peace, it will not mean NZ goes back into ANZUS. It could well mean that you have a car accident that will be Entirely Your Fault. Similar disdain attaches to those who refuse to wear seatbelts, but at least they will probably only kill themselves, not others.

4. writers who are killing the apostrophe - sometimes i am lazy with my apostrophes, but i am not a signwriter. i am not the director of an English school. i am not the NZ Herald. Proper apostrophe use is one of the few things I learnt from School C Latin and I'm damned if I'll give it up without a fight! It is Mothers' Day people - the day of the mothers.

5. writing off someone's opposition to racism, sexism, homophobia etc as being "politically correct" - this is a whole post in itself.

6. spam - hate really is not a strong enough word. Suggestions for better words, that still retain the same ability to be spat from the mouth, would be much appreciated. But again i've ranted about this one before.

ok that'll do for now - enough glass half empty for one night!

a new addiction

I hate the Pope.

He knocked Green Wing, my new addiction, off the TV1 lineup last night. The bastard.

I stayed in specially, got all ready to rug up with some corn chips and my fav dip in front of the telly at the anointed time, and then what did I see? Old guys talking latin.

Very very disappointing.

Friday, April 08, 2005

help wanted

Well I'm intending to jet into the 21st century, finally, and get broadband at some point in the near future. But I'm in a quandary over which ISP to use, which package etc. I suspect something at the lower (ie cheaper) end of the spectrum will do the trick - main use is email and internet surfing, not a lot of downloading and no online gaming.

I've been stalling on actually following through, apart from looking at a few ISPs online (of course) because I am just not really that good at the tech stuff. And then I thought of you, my gentle reader(s) and realised many of you are full to the brim with knowledge about this kind of thing, just looking for an opportunity for you to share it with the world.

Which package is best? Which ISP do you favour and why?

And will it really matter if I get the 5x faster or the 24x faster? The main reason I want it is to free up the phone line (I know, I'm a philistine).

Does anyone know if you could hook up two puters to the same line and surf the net at the same time using any of the broadband packages?

Advice in the comments much appreciated - most of the ISPs I've looked at so far seem to just pass on Xtra Jetstream in some form or another...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

JT loses it

But why?

What is his political motive in all this?

I'm wondering if he's looking at the list, thinking, "shit I am not going to get into Cabinet with this possible post-election Caucus, well then damn it, I don't want any of those bastards to get into Cabinet either!"

Monday, April 04, 2005

strange bedfellows

People find this site through the weirdest of ways.

Case in point:
spanblather is currently the number four hit on google (the web not just NZ) for NZ Police Force Jobs

Now I have to say that while some people might think that in Days Gone By I was quite interested in creating more work for the NZ police I must say I was somewhat surprised at this result.

And yet when I did a search for left wing blog I scanned futilely through over 50 pages of results and didn't see a single URL that is on my left blog roll.

So my question is - how the hell does Google work out its rankings?

And do you other bloggers get such damn strange search results??

Sunday, April 03, 2005

what is worse?

DPF's comments on my post about Capill have got me thinking...

What is actually worse - someone who is a hypocrit and abuses a little girl whilst being a morals campaigner, or someone who is upfront about their sexual depravity and not only talks about it but carries it out?

Just curious about your thoughts folks.

see, algebra is useful

Stephen has posted on Philosophically Made about a young woman who kindly picked up a 5c piece he had dropped. He asks if it is worth picking them up at all.

Well if it takes 10 seconds to pick up a 5c coin, then if you are paid more than $18 an hour it is simply not worth your time.

(10 seconds = 1/360 of an hour
360 x 0.05 = $18.00)

But given that the average wage is approx $20.25 then for many workers (and many more beneficiaries) you should pick them up while you still can.


I've been reading the blog froth about Graham Capill, in particular the comments in response to DPF's post, and I'm feeling uneasy.

Yes he's scum. (Although frankly I thought he was pretty heinous before this.) And I feel incredibly sad and upset about the little girl who is the victim in this case.

But I also feel quite distressed for Mr Capill. I think there is something wrong with me.

On Friday night TV3 late news played the footage of that guy belting him at least three times. Each time we heard Capill squealing with pain and no doubt shame, and watched him writhing on the ground while people filmed or stood around and NO ONE helped.

Are we Kiwis now that kind of people that when someone is attacked on the street we don't even help them up? At that time Capill had not plead guilty.

I must be getting soft in my old age. I don't for a minute agree with what Capill did. I think it is a despicable crime and my heart really does go out to the little girl - without significant help (and possibly even despite that) her experiences at the hands of Mr Capill could well ruin her life. She definitely deserved to be raised in safety. No eight year old is in any way sexually attractive to anyone who is a healthy human being.

Capill should go to prison for what he did (and he should also be treated and rehabilitated so that he doesn't do it again and understands the full ramifications of his actions for his victim). That will be getting what he deserves, not the beating he received outside the court before he had even plead guilty.

I have heard that the guy who hit him was in fact mistaken and had meant to hit another paedophile. In a lot of ways I can understand his actions. But I cannot understand the actions of people who would watch and/or stand by and film and not help a man up from the ground, when he was still innocent until proven guilty.

Am I going mad?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

why me? (the meme is catching)

For some strange reason Richard from Philosophy, etc has stuck me with a meme. What more can I do, as a robot to my selfish genes (anthro in-joke folks), but obey...

1) You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451 (explanation) which book do you want to be?
The Edmonds Food for Flatters Cookbook. After a generation or two we'd need to spice up the food memes a bit no doubt.

2) Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Yes and it's very embarassing. Rupert from Polo etc (Jilly Cooper is the queen of readable trash). But my excuse is that I was a teenager and all the guys around me were just so ridiculously juvenile. And I was at that age where the idea of converting a sexy Tory was quite appealing. Just to balance things up I also had a crush on his nemesis, but the fact that I can't remember his name tends to suggest that it was Rupert who really held my affections. Just as well he's not real, I'm sure we would have loathed each other and been incredibly dysfunctional.

3) The last book you bought is:
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - a gift for a sick friend and one of my favourite books.

4) The last book you finished is?
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials Book II) by Phillip Pullman - currently trying to read the third book, The Amber Spyglass, every chance I get. Damn that man is good. Why did it take me so long to listen to everyone and start reading him?

5) What are you currently reading?
Oops, see 4. I'm just so excited about this series though that I'm happy to rave about it a little more in this question too.

6) Five Books you would take to a deserted island:
Lord of the Rings by Tolkien - the only chance that I might actually read those stupid poem bits.

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein - but only if I could also take a pad of paper, pens and a highlighter.

An Instance of the Fingerpost by Ian Pears - fantastic book. Good length. Lots of tricky bits. Would benefit from reading several times in succession.

the bone people by Keri Hulme - been meaning to read it since forever and again it's nice and long. Plus I really ought to have something kiwi in my backpack.

The Bible by various authors - always thought that if I could actually get past the genealogical hurdle near the start it might explain a lot about Christians. Plus I need a back-up in case I run out of toilet rolls and you can get copies that are printed on lovely soft paper.

7) Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Make Tea Not War - because (ex) librarians need to stick together

Xavier at About Town - because he will have suitably worthy picks to rival Richard's (unlike me)

Jarrod at First Against The Wall - because his answers will probably be vaguely amusing. And it will distract him from my cat for a little while.

new left blog

I don't usually promote new blogs because they are frequently quite flash in the pan, but I know this one will be a keeper (and Victor's a mate):

dunedin election blog

This is the blog of Victor Billot, the Alliance candidate for Dunedin North. Good luck Victor!

that time of year part V - Mar progress report

The latest on those pesky New Year's Resolutions.

1. Get a new job in the area I want to work in - tick to the new job, no tick to the roller skates.

2. Exercise more - tennis mates have deserted me but I am going to kick their arses into action for this Wednesday. Also no more valid excuses to put off swimming. But have definitely been totally lard this last month, urgh.

3. Think positive - definitely going well. New job helping a great deal.

4. Resist over-committing - have set myself specific tasks to commit to in a set time period and hoping to manage to stick to them. Recent events have made me rethink my (lack of) commitment to family and I am definitely going to spend more time on this now.

5. Get at least one stamp in my shiny unused passport - tick (see Vietnam posts, more on that still to post)

6. Finish the kitchen - well right now it is pretty tidy. But I don't think that cleaning counts as decorating.

7. Get up to date with my Alliance projects - didn't knock the one off that I had intended to have well finished by now, but hopefully will do so soon. (Although this could be a tui ad in the making). Am being more realistic about what I can achieve, so that is All Good.

Past progress reports:
- January
- February