April 27, 2004

rubber band joy

my cat is a puppy.

well, obviously not.

but she has a number of a puppy's more endearing features (such as following me around the house, coming when whistled for and being incurably clumsy).

Also (apparantly) a puppy's taste for odd things.

like rubber bands.

I don't know how on earth she ingested it, but I've become steadily more worried about her as she's obviously been unwell.

but not since she threw the rubber band up (on the deuvet cover). Nope now she is well enough to make me late for work by gambolling around the garden.

This is a day where nothing can make me feel bad. my cat is well again.

Posted by carla at 11:04 PM

April 25, 2004

drunken upright

There is this weird artifact that the occasional drunk person leaves behind them on city (and suburban) streets. The neatly placed empty beer bottle/can. Always completely inexplicable and somehow expressive of the type of consideration drunk people often show for tiny details.

Posted by carla at 10:02 PM

April 24, 2004

plug: katipo

Is on Willis St (between where Unity Books is, and where it used to be).

And it is an excellent Friday night venue. Very cheap drinks, lovely atmosphere, food and good music (not too loud).

The perfect pre- location.

Pre, either:

* pubs, clubs and raucus parties, or
* beddy-byes (whence I go now).

Posted by carla at 01:04 AM

April 22, 2004


So anyway, there I am innocently driving to work (well, I suppose you could say it wasn't that innocent - what with all the fossil fuels and so forth) - and there was this guy cycling into town with a small dog on his carrier tray (at the back, where luggage might be).

Dog was in a plastic tray (kind of like a litter tray) and covered with what looked like the sort of plastic matting which I used to sleep on when I went tramping.

The dog looked okay (well, I could only see the dog's head) other than looking a little stressed (I think the dog thought it was keeping the cycle up the same way C keeps the airplane together when we fly somewhere).

Part of me wanted to give him a stern talking to for putting his dog in a difficult situation - and part of me wondered if they didn't have some special kind of bond which made it all alright...

Posted by carla at 07:20 PM

April 21, 2004

and a steak for the vapid blonde on my left...

I'm not vague, I'm just anaemic. Stark article in the New Scientist about the effects of low iron levels on cognitive performance. Apparently, if you drop below 120 grams/litre haemoglobin in your blood, your ability to remember things is slowed. And in this study it indicated slowed in half.

Which makes me wonder why menstruating is such an evolutionary plus.

I mean there has obviously been a massive evolutionary benefit for being smart, based on how smart we've got in such a short period of time. And yet, menstruating makes you stupid. So it must convey some critical benefit - which I'm quite, quite sure I can't see.

Posted by carla at 09:20 AM

April 20, 2004

horse sense

Every now and then people are very clever. My grandmother (mum's mum and now 89) was trying to get her head around what software is. Given that her understanding of what a computer is is pretty hazy, I though the attempt valiant. So I explains that computer hardware is like the filing cabnet, and software is like the filing system.

She wonders about this for a while, and then says "So it's like breaking in a horse?"

And I'm forced to agree with her. Yes, the analogy has limitations (almost immdiately) but for someone who is not yet using EFTPOS, I thought it showed admirable understanding of the basic concept, namely, that the object is set up to function a particular way by humans.

Posted by carla at 03:33 AM

April 19, 2004

hawkes bay

Has a really cool farmer's market every weekend. Either in Napier (on Saturdays) or Hastings (on Sundays). Effectively a sort of primary and secondary produce craft fair, it has a good range of interesting things sold by some very chirpy people.

Someone from South America is selling organic espresso, there are some (Dutch?) people selling cheese from Norsewood (including an aboslutely stunning chilli Gouda). One lovely 'normal' New Zealander selling the best smoked paprika flakes (we've tried them before and have discovered it goes in nearly anything). A German selling fresh brezels (and Lekerlei - wow) and some excellent corned beef, lime and date chutney, and ostrich salami.

I've remembered this sort of market as being full of people who had no idea what they were doing, the New Zealanders because they didn't have the experience, and the immigrants because they hadn't adapted their traditional craft to the new climate and pallate.

This market had shifted into a whole new gear. There was a genuine style to most of the food which appeared to be based on: very good original recipies, high quality ingrediants, and an aim to produce new, interesting, well balanced, boistrous flavours. Also, each item had been taken to the point where you could use it without much further fuss, so an attempt to make the use of their product immediately obvious.

Oh, and in a further plug, the Norsewear factory shop in Norsewood is well worth pulling off the main road. They had a good range of wool-based clothes and some very convincing specials.

Posted by carla at 10:02 AM

April 07, 2004

stonewash ...

So, first there were stonewash jeans. They were desgined to look worn-in and slightly impoverished.

So what about stonewash cars? Roughed up a bit in a huge washing machine with rocks and then left near the sea for a little so the rust started to come through.

That way you could have rusty kudos, without the structural rust that usually comes with age.

Posted by carla at 10:03 AM

April 01, 2004

of course nick smith should resign

I know it would cost a fair amount of money and be largely pointless (what with the major parties not standing a candidate) but he should do it nonetheless.

Fundamentally, MPs (collectively at least) have a huge amount of power in the New Zealand system. If enough of them get together, they can do literally anything they can put in a statute (or even write themselves a statute which allows them to make it up as they go).

As a way of balancing this power, courts can judge MPs in certain regards. While MPs can say pretty much whatever they like in Parliament, they can still get in trouble outside Parliament. There are some restrictions about who is allowed to be an MP.

Because the balance of power in the relationship is so clearly with the MPs, the occassions when a judge decides an MP has breached the rules should be taken seriously.

It seems to me, that contempt of court is a pretty good reason for having your status as an MP be questioned. Ensuring MPs only influence judges by passing legislation is a very important boundary which encourages our governing structure to be transperant (you can at least read a statute - it is much more difficult to listen in to private chats). Transperancy is vital in a democracy as it helps to avoid the old market failure of incomplete information (which can distort our otherwise entirely rational, utility maximising decisions ;).

Okay, so Nick Smith may have been correct in his criticism. I don't know - and I don't think it matters. MPs have the power to tidy up the courts in a formal manner - they don't have to resort to flouting court rules to do so.

So, it seems to me that it should be up to the voters of Nick Smith's electorate to decide whether or not he was justified in breaking the law - and not at the distance of the next election.

As a footnote, I don't actually think that the position of the other parties and their intentions to stand opposing candidates should be a relevant consideration. If the issue was important enough, it would be conceivable that an independant candidate or a candidate from a very, very small party might win, and they should be given the opportunity to try.

Posted by carla at 10:34 PM