October 28, 2003

the new moon has the old moon in its arms

... which is more than can be said for the National Party.

Well, at least they'll be spouting a coherant policy platform. Unfortunately, I don't think the electorate will be interested in it. I've said before that NZ tends to elect against the general idealogical flow, and I'll say it again.

Interestingly, National Radio reported it before either stuff.co.nz or nzherald.co.nz. Go the public service.


Meanwhile, I had the interesting experience of driving through Newtown tonight (on my nightly collect-the-girlfriend run) and nearly ran into a house that was attempting to pull in from a side street. It was still there about 10 minutes later - possibly due to large numbers of fire engines and police cars creating a road block down another side street a block away.

I've discovered that it is useful to put "HOUSE FOLLOWS" on your sign if you want other motorists to give you the respect you deserve.

Posted by carla at 09:54 PM

October 23, 2003

are you surprised?

There is a certain disingenuousness about Richard Prebble hassling government departments for poor contract management. He currently makes his living telling stories about how dreadful the old Post Office was. One of the major understandings of new right theory is that anything that isn't exposed to competition (and preferably a profit motive and/or a market) will a) get larger, b) be inefficient, and c) be unresponsive to the people who set it up in the first place.

So why is he surprised that the Ministry of Education is managing its contracts poorly? It's not like they are exposed to competition or any sense of getting to enjoy any savings they make. So, surely, they would be crap.

Which raises another problem. What solution is he going to suggest? Given that he has spent the last 20 years explaining the problem? And if it works for the police force, why not other publicly-funded options?

As an aside, the stories about the Post Office are very funny, and it does appear to have been inefficient. But the corporate sector provides the info for Dilbert, so I doubt inefficiency is the sole perview of state-run organisations.


In other news, I have bought a large blue swiss ball, and am attempting to watch the rugby while balancing on it. This is okay until the game gets exciting and I start bouncing up and down. Oh well...

Posted by carla at 10:45 PM

October 20, 2003

big ups

Very, very big ups to Ems for organising the HelRaiser gig last night. It rocked. As does the cd. As Helen said: Woo fucking hoo.

Posted by carla at 04:36 PM

October 18, 2003

GE, um

I don't know what to think about genetic modification or engineering.

I don't think we can stop ourselves learning about ourselves and our world. So I think we are likely to end up producing very helpful and very harmful ways of working in the world.

I worry that it is like giving a gun to child. I doubt we have the self-control or the self-awareness to be able to use the extra power to be helpful to ourselves.

I am also aware that New Zealand has made its living by doing farming in a very functional and technologically targeted way. It would be a natural extension of our success pattern to continue. If we are going to change, we will need to make a huge investment in a new approach.

Which isn't to say that this wouldn't be the best long term solution - just that the investment required would be much larger than I usually assume.

We do have a very unusual ability to keep ourselves pristine - which is not an option to countries who share land borders with others.

Posted by carla at 09:17 AM

October 15, 2003

goodbye privy council, and good riddance?

Well, the girls have been at work again. Sometimes I wonder what the conversations between Helen Clark and Margaret Wilson must be like. "You know, I never did like those old poms in the UK having a final say in our justice system - lets kick them out." "Alright, I'll whip up a bill and we should have it through by October."

Which is grossly unfair. Labour has actually been signalling this change through at least 2 elections, so they have a damn sight more mandate than most of the major changes in NZ law over the last 20 years.

In this case, I think they may be right. The Privy Council is past its use-by date. New Zealand has a bad habit of hanging onto British apron strings well past the point they want us to, and it often seems wrong to let go. So let go boldly I say.

It does seem absurd to have your highest court of appeal be in a country you have to aquire a visa to go and see. And having watched a young man applying for a visa to the UK, getting a visa is non-trivial. Admittedly the visa appeared to enable him to work, not just view judicial procedings, but still, it is an absurd barrier to put in the way of those who want justice.

If we must have an off-shore court, borrowing the Australian one would provide some of the international standards the privy council is supposed to provide, and at least allow most New Zealand passport holders access.

I am much less convinced that the method for appointing judges is a good one, though I'm not sure that matters much at the moment. I would guess that one of the reasons our judiciary is somewhat unpolitical, is that it is so powerless. What is the point in having a stack of conservatives on the Supreme Court bench, if the Government of the Day can overrule them very shortly thereafter.

Posted by carla at 01:51 PM

October 11, 2003

can you kiss without connecting with someone?

I've been kinda interested for about 12 years now, that kisses seem to have special significance. I wonder if it is the qualities of sharing breath. It is often used as a point of infedelity - but not always. I'd definitely assume that I'd be in huge trouble with C. if I kissed anyone in a remotely sexual way. But some people don't see kissing someone else as going over a line anywhere.

I suppose I just can't imagine kissing someone without making a decision to. For me, it requires a passing over into something else.



The first sip of the right beer at the right time as my standard for a good kiss. If it is better than that, it ranks as a good kiss.

Posted by carla at 10:24 AM

October 10, 2003

from the untilled wilderness of my mind

the very, very far reaches. right up the back, where the sheep and goats interbreed, and the kea talk to you. or something.

One of the things that bugs me about filing systems, is that you can't use english word in file names if you want the files to order properly. You get:


grr. (very small grr, but it managed to struggle through to the front of my head so I thought I'd indulge it)

Foolish me!

This is the alternative counting system it gave me:


Note: The 'g' for six and seven is the french pronounciation, as the second 'g' in garage.

In other words, if only many, many millions of people had spoken funny, I would havce a more coherant filing structure.

Posted by carla at 02:38 PM

October 08, 2003


I do not like colds. Or scratchy sore throats. Yes, I am glad they do not lay me lower than a snake in a wagon rut. But I do not appreciate their presence at all.

Except when I get to stay home and watch the 6 meter swell out the window in the sun. That was pretty cool. Odd that people didn't notice the change in wind, what with all the wind socks around the area.

All the rocks on my beach have been moved around. Whole shingle (pebble, rock) banks have shifted around, and I had only a fleeting grasp of my bearings out there this afternoon. brrr. odd, when the sea throws up on you like that.


Yay! The Wellington Railway Station is in, well, hands. Of some sort. Kinda good hands. I think. Well, anyway, no one is currently threatening to pull it down, and the general public stands a good chance of having a poke around sometime in the future. I commuted to Lower Hutt for 6 years, and got to know the station quite well. Though it was a somewhat distant relationship. I hope to reaquaint myself with it. :-)

Posted by carla at 09:59 PM