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The view from my window
Fishing, infertility, diabetes - not necessarily in that order
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2nd-May-2007 12:23 am - Hello, goodbye
Well folks, I've decided to make the move right now. I won't be posting here any more, at least, not at the blog, but I will still keep up with friends and communities.

I haven't copied over all the old posts yet, but I will. My poorly laptop hasn't helped as I faithfully exported all the missing posts but the hard disk went clonk before I was able to import and categorise them. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

The new address is

http://satsumasalad.wordpress.com

Anyone who's been gracious enough to set up a link to me from their own blog might want to redo that link. I shall be leaving all posts and comments here so if you've linked to particular posts, they will still persist.

Hope you like the new place, see you there.
30th-Apr-2007 08:31 pm - Poorly laptop
My laptop, the one I got back in January after its 3-month holiday at Datacom, has gone back.

Firstly, I should have taken it back straight away because the new hinge (that it had gone in for) had been fitted incorrectly so that the laptop didn't latch shut properly and, it being a tablet, where you can close it with the screen out, I couldn't turn the screen around without it pressing down on all the keys. Hopeless.

What has prompted me to actually send it back, though, is rather more serious. The hard disk started making a horrible "clonk" noise at irregular but frequent intervals, and now it doesn't boot up. It keeps spontaneously rebooting and occasionally reports that the hard disk is missing. Ho hum

I wonder how long it will be before I see it again. Now I'm back on our spare :(
30th-Apr-2007 05:07 pm - Oh YAY
I don't know why this has made me happy, but it has

Let there be light
30th-Apr-2007 12:09 pm - As if there were any doubt
How smart are you?

Just for the record I got 24/25, and as is common for these things, it's not at all about common sense, it's about general knowledge.
24th-Apr-2007 10:55 am - Avoid Willeston Carparks
It's not too hard to do, they only have one carpark building and it's full. It's the one on the corner of Victoria and Willeston. We've been renting there for several years and they've sent us a letter today to say we must vacate our space. No reason given.

So I ring and speak to the sender of the letter (their Finance Manager) who was rude and couldn't care less. We rent on a monthly basis so too bad, get out. He grudgingly gave a reason, to do with their commitments to provide leased spaces to certain building users, but didn't see how telling us that made any difference.

Obviously hasn't heard of customer service.
23rd-Apr-2007 08:26 pm - Gosh I'm famous
Well nearly

Tonight I met Helen Clark, who shook my hand and said "Thank you for all your work"

yay

We had met before actually, but I didn't remind her. She and I were jointly looking, with disdain, at Air NZ departure monitors at Auckland Domestic. But that was a while ago and I forgive her for not remembering.
20th-Apr-2007 04:07 pm - More on Virginia Tech shooting
I was surprised to see the pro-gun lobby making mileage out of the tragedy earlier this week.

In case you didn't catch it, the argument goes something like this:
  • Everyone has the right to defend themselves by using a gun to kill someone (we have to say this bit, it's a requirement for everything else in the pro-gun lobby)

  • Virginia Tech was a gun-free zone, even legally licenced firearms were not permitted within its purview

  • If Virginia Tech had not been a gun-free zone, it would have been a safer place because the victims could have taken that guy out
Hmmmm. Where to start.

I think good 'ol RB sums it up for me.
20th-Apr-2007 02:03 pm - Air NZ Ads
The new Air New Zealand ad campaign has been receiving some press attention. Rather belatedly, because when I first saw one of the ads a couple of months ago I was disturbed by it then, and I wasn't the only one, we talked about it at work.

Basically each ad tells the story of a person who is thinking about another person and wants to be with them. They then take a running jump (this one off a jetty, the first one out of an upper-storey window), they fly across NZ's wondrous landscape and land a few feet away from the loved one they have been thinking about. That person is then surprised and pleased to see them.

I find the ads creepy because they're filmed as though your spirit has left your body to soar unfettered above the earth. The atmospheric music adds to this perception. Apparently you also gain a sixth sense because you know exactly where your loved one is, despite them not being at home when you drop in on them. Call me oversensitive, but these ads somehow make me think of death and dying (not great concepts to associate with air travel, but that's by-the-by). Indeed I almost feel like the flying person has died in the ad, and has visited their loved one to say goodbye before continuing on their way to join the Spirit in the Sky. Maybe you have to believe that can happen to be creeped out by these ads, but there you go, I do.

Samoa has blocked the ads saying that they encourage suicide. I'm not sure about that but obviously I'm not the only one to see a dark side to these ads.

If you want to see the jumping-out-of-a-building one, which I think is darker still than the jetty one, all I can offer is this, which has been modified by some wag putting a flight-simulator voice over the top, so you'll have to mentally tune that out. It may not be there long, I gather from Russell Brown at Hard News that Air New Zealand are gradually getting these removed.
18th-Apr-2007 10:07 am - What's this all about?
Is this just bad reporting, or is Gillian Anderson being a bit precious?

She had to do it for a couple more years because it was the only way to make more money? What?

Lost my sympathy vote
17th-Apr-2007 09:04 pm - Shooting at Virginia Tech
The shooting at Virginia Tech has had me thinking all day.

On the one hand, I've been thinking on the theoretical, academic, detached level. I notice my reaction is "oh, another one" and the desensitisation of reading about 33 young people dead within a few minutes gives me pause. These horrendous events seem to become commonplace when of course they're not, and it's difficult to keep a sense of proportion. It's hard to remember that they are not only infrequent but extreme, and we should all be wailing and crying out to the universe. Moreover it's easy for us here in NZ to feel complacent and I can already hear people in the UK saying these things only seem to happen in the US, and must be an outcome of that culture, and it's easy to jump to the next step to assume that it couldn't happen here.

Relating to more direct experience, not of shooting but of campus life and being in authority in that environment, I see the criticisms reported and made by the media on how long it took Virginia Tech to go into emergency mode, and have to say I'm with the university on this. From what I can see, I would have made the same call as them. There is no way you would predict that a tragic fatal argument between two young people known to each other would develop into indiscriminate carnage, and you wouldn't go into lockdown on the strength of that one incident. However I would like to know where the Security staff were and what was on their CCTV that made them think this guy had gone.

But on a still more personal level I have been reading about the young residential assistant trying to deal with this man on his own, as of course he was expected to do, and I think of myself, I suppose, and more definitely about the resident staff I trained and managed over eight years in university residence and how easily it could have been one of them. Whilst UK teenagers aren't as known for their gun-toting habits, particularly relatively affluent kids at university, nevertheless unpredictable dangers could and did arise, sometimes an insane sequence of events can unravel before you have a chance to save it. In my time I was involved, sometimes directly and sometimes peripherally, in four "sections" where students were forcibly committed to a secure hospital ward against their will, because we believed they would hurt themselves (usually) or others (in one very disturbing case). Despite it being over ten years since, I remember like it was yesterday, like it was today, seeing the naked fear on the faces of three of my students who were living at close quarters with a dangerous man and realising I was the only one who could get them out of it. Being up against the complete absence of logic is very very scary, even if the person doesn't have a weapon, let alone when they do.

Bad things happen, resident staff can be in danger, and of all those people full of promise and potential who died today, I can't help but think about the residential assistant and his friends and family.
16th-Apr-2007 01:31 pm - Stuff stuffs up

Stuff stuffs up
Originally uploaded by cmaryon.
I don't know if it happens only to us eclectic Opera users, or whether the problem affects Internet Explorer and/or Firefox as well, but Stuff's photo headline thingamabob often gets out of sync.

Today I captured this beauty, John Howard not quite giving the finger to a headline of

"Mudaliar muscles in to take bodybuilding title"

Is "Mudaliar" his stage name perhaps?
12th-Apr-2007 08:34 pm - Wow!
We upgraded to Saturn Digital today and this means we get the joy of, not only Food TV but MTV including, wait for it wait for it, Pimp my ride

is there no greater glory
11th-Apr-2007 05:23 pm - Advance warning
Not blogging much at the moment. To be honest I'm still too busy at work and don't feel like using the computer much when I get home. But the other reason is that this blog will be moving to Wordpress (yes, Make Tea's suggestion)

I've had a look at the features and I like it very much. It just feels more grownup than LiveJournal :) It's geared up to you having more than one which suits another project I may be working on with some friends, and the support is first class. I realise it might be offputting to some people that in my casual canter around its options I found I actually needed support but I was trying to do something that I hadn't thought through concerning multiple blogs and their ownership, and the answers were swift, accurate and friendly.

So now I have to find and configure a theme (I think I've done that) and then the woeful task of copying over the messages to date. That's a long job, especially as LiveJournal doesn't make it easy. I won't get the comments and I won't get the categories, so I'll have to recategorize the whole lot. Needless to say this daunting prospect makes me reluctant to add to it by blogging excessively in the meantime.

I could of course just leave this here and move over to the new place. Indeed I will be leaving this here, it'll be the easiest (only?) way of preserving the comments, but I want to keep the archive all together. I'll keep my LJ account so I can keep up with my "friends" and communities, and I'll place a link to the new place when it's ready.
9th-Apr-2007 06:08 pm - Snapper fishing
We had a lovely evening out yesterday, the sea by Porirua Harbour and Pukerua Bay was like a millpond, there was no wind and the sky was completely clear of cloud. There was a sensational sunset, orange and pink and purple at the horizon with blue sky above, even a bit like the sunsets you get in Australia with those tropical colours. The fishing was fun, wasn't as busy as the charter owners would like, the snapper hardly bit at all, one guy got one, it was huge, about 2.5ft long. I got some terakihi and some mackerel, I also hooked up with a conger eel but he bit his way off before I landed him, which was fine by me because once I knew he was a conger I didn't want him any more. Podna caught some terakihi, a huge kahawai and a tope shark.

Inshore fishing is definitely my preferred style of boat fishing, much more action, much more interaction. Next time we will take some of our own rigs as I would have liked to be able to decorate mine. For me that's a large part of the enjoyment anyway.

I impressed a few people with my disentangling skills. When you have 12 people all fishing off a small area like a boat or wharf, inevitably you get snarled up with one another. I haven't been knitting, crocheting and now even tatting for 35 years without learning how to untangle bits of line of different sorts.

At the end of the day you still can't beat shorefishing for challenge - you work for every single bite you get when shorefishing. We should get out more, we haven't been going shorefishing lately.
9th-Apr-2007 10:49 am - Unseasonal quiz - Christians only
See if you can guess the tune to this (the clue is in the last bit)

A B C D E F G
H I J K M N O P
Q R S T U V
W X Y and Z (pronounced Zee to rhyme)

No "L", no "L", no "L", no "L"
No "L", no "L"

Amazing the things you discover in Wikipedia.
7th-Apr-2007 10:24 pm - Lace wot I made

Lacy beads
Originally uploaded by cmaryon.
I just made this :)

I made it up as I went along, it was heading towards being a bracelet but I turned it (deliberately) before it was long enough for that. Now I don't know what to do with it.

As usual I could have been neater but I'm very pleased with it. For tatting it is surprisingly soft and flexible.

The reason it's sort-of wavy is I photographed it on my leg :) not exactly a level surface at the best of times.

Click on the photo to go to my Flickr page which has the instructions, if you're so inclined.

If any Catholics are reading this and interested, it would double as a modern rosary (there are lots of different bead arrangements in use these days) as it has 10 beads down each edge. Just saying.
5th-Apr-2007 09:58 pm - Maharey's choice of words
I have been keeping out of the Steve Maharey thing recently (we all know what I think of him) but Whale Oil's video did make me laugh so I thought that deserved a mention.

You can see the YouTube video here.

For our non-NZ readers, basically our esteemed Minister for Education who is also Minister of Broadcasting, during a row about our school exam system, said that an alternative some schools were considering was developed for places "like Botswana" - the implication clearly being that while it might be good enough for Botswana it isn't good enough for us whities. Called to account for this by a senior radio journalist, he complained of being called a racist and threatened to take the matter to the journalist's employer's Board if he didn't get an apology. Being Minister of Broadcasting he appointed that Board, so this was hardly politic and probably breaks the Broadcasting Act.

Called to account for this in turn in Parliamentary Question Time, he lost his temper and used a rude phrase to another Member of Parliament. He obviously forgot this would be broadcast live so the nation's army of daytime TV and radio audience members heard it. Ha.

Proves everything I ever thought about him.

The video is funny :) I don't know how long it will stay up for though. There is a factual one here
4th-Apr-2007 03:01 pm - I lost my temper today
Fairfax's standard of editing is so shockingly low that I frequently get riled when I read their articles.

Today I snapped and fired off this message via their feedback form.

For the attention of the manager of Dylan Thomsen, News editor

The standard of editing of news articles on this website is poor.

Today in one sample article (http://www.stuff.co.nz/4016314a11.html) we have the following bloomers:

'Mrs Nicholas said she was 'very happy' with Dame Margaret's recommendations and the report had been some vindication for bringing her own rape allocations forward.'

Allocations? is this a Freudian slip? Is the the media trying to side with Louise Nicolas having pilloried her at the time of her court case, now that she's essentially been vindicated by a government commission? I think not. This is a snafu by your writers and their editors.

and

'She found colleagues and officers often turned a blind to inappropriate sexual activity by officers. '

You obviously don't even read the articles before you put them out if you can't see there's a word missing.

I would appreciate a reply from a human being (not a machine) to advise whether you think this important or not. You don't need to change your ways, I just want to know what your policy is.

Of course, if I don't get a reply, I'll know what your policy is.


Let's see what they say (ie, nothing)
1st-Apr-2007 03:23 pm - Spoke too soon :(
The weather's all wrong for the snapper trip today, so we're provisionally on one for Friday, except we don't know whether that's all day or not. We only want a half-day trip so we'll see.
31st-Mar-2007 02:01 pm - More boat fishing
Snapper fishing last week turned out to be groper fishing, and we got some groper for the freezer, but we really wanted snapper fishing. So we're doing that tomorrow evening, if the weather's right.

Yay for snapper fishing
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