Posts by Sam F

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  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    Given Ian has admitted to a grip on the Village Idiot role, it’s not insulting to say I simply don’t understand Village Idiot-speak. Otherwise, I’d reply.

    What a pity. Most of it is in a few short comments under your own original quotes. Most of us bears of little brain seem to have managed – are you’re sure you’re not putting it in the too hard basket, because it suits you better to be perpetually offended (and even more offensive in return), rather than engaging on substance and potentially getting shot down?

    I note no real attempts to classify Cunliffe’s strengths as a potential Prime Minister as yet. Surely, that’s not a big ask.

    There are responses upthread to the effect that this is not solely a matter of Key versus Cunliffe on personal likeability or credibility. But anyway, as shown above you don’t seem either able or interested to properly defend the claims you make about Key on those points, so why should everyone acquiesce to your desired diversion and rush to talk about Cunliffe instead?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery, in reply to John Farrell,

    Are you going to answer the points he made?

    +1. Jake, aside from Ian’s inimitable way of posting (which others appreciate though you may not) he’s taken a good shot at fisking your “statement of position” post from the other thread. Will you respond to the substance, or simply cry foul at the style, again?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election,

    Very happily cast my special vote on a beautiful Monday afternoon in Beijing. A pleasure, a privilege (certainly in context), and hopefully a teeny tiny push on the tiller in the correct direction...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Farrar puts a brave face on it:

    While the last six months has been a torrid time for Judith, I do think people will recall she achieved a huge amount as a Minister for five and a half years as Police, Corrections, ACC and Justice Minister.

    To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, less five years good behaviour than five years Not Found Out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we…,

    For some time now, Auckland Libraries' selfcheck machines give you the option of English, Maori, Mandarin and Korean (possibly others as I write this). May seem like a meaningless little footnote but just another sign of diversity just built into the everyday. You have to really stop and look to realise how much things have changed in the space of a few decades.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Lowering the Stakes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I go that way all the time as well – when leaving the NWC my preferred approach is either to cross the offramp and sneak down the footpath on the western side and cross Great North Road at the lights (as a pedestrian generally), or more conveniently to cross St Lukes Road on the green cycle light as a hook turn and wait for a regular green light to take me over the bridge.

    The pedestrian islands on both sides of St Lukes Road are becoming seriously crowded with bikes these days – they’ll need to sort it out soon (yeah, I know) but in the meantime not complaining, I like the imagined camaraderie of moving with a big group.

    Have been much more conscious in the last few days of increased attention on my road movements on bike, especially in the central city – that said while I will never blow a red in the accepted motorist style, the prohibition against crossing on Barnes Dances (however slowly and carefully) is ridiculous and I will gladly sacrifice some PR points to do so if it adds to my safety. I remember when a round of cycle law changes last came through allowing hook turns etc (2009?) I found it hard to believe that Barnes Dance crossings weren’t included, and am still working on the assumption that they should have been,

    After eight years safe cycle commuting in Auckland I go through phases now when I think the odds are no longer in my favour (touch wood), but generally those pass. The only major prang I have had was self-inflicted, a couple of years ago in bad weather. I know pretty reliably when I’m safe to proceed as usual and when I need to make a considered decision to avoid unsafe areas at certain times.

    That said it should simply not be the case that we have to consider any area in Auckland (apart from motorways) a no go for safety reasons on bikes. All power to CAA (must renew my sub) in their efforts gingering up AT/NZTA et al to make some genuine progress.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Yes. I heard Busy Signal's Royals rework in the car on Tuesday night (thanks Stinky Jim!) and just grinned as I drove for three solid minutes. Glad someone else loves it to bits too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We need to talk about Len, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Sorry: CRL? NOR?

    CRL = City Rail Link (usually misdescribed as the "rail loop"). The NOR is the Notice of Requirement from Auckland Transport, which requires Auckland Council to identify and set aside land in the District Plan that will be needed for the building of the CRL.

    Declining the notice would mean in effect the Council refusing to allow its own transport agency to make preparations for its own highest profile transport project. Super!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We need to talk about Len,

    I see the Herald once again went full redtop this morning. Never go full redtop, etc.

    Underneath all the hiss and roar might just be the shadow of a point, but why this ridiculous OTT crusading stance and why now?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dressing for the Road,

    I've used pretty much the same kind of cycling attire for the last seven years in Auckland: lightweight breathable tees (I have a couple of cheap but effective Diadora tops and another no-name version in white, my preferred commuting colour), sneakers with either ankle socks or longer ones folded down in a pinch, and a pair of Matix shorts which work as comfy, quick drying bike clothing despite actually being designed for the beach.

    If it's raining I'll pack an extra pair of socks and shorts in case the other ones don't dry over the day at work (most of the time they do). If the rain's likely to drench rather than just dampen I have a nylon shell jacket but anything more just soaks from the inside out thanks to Auckland humidity + perspiration.

    Yes, I do have an orange vest for city riding, but a close-fitting one in a decent colour which I flatter myself almost looks smart. I also have a helmet mounted Cateye lamp set to flash - great for catching peds and drivers' eyes.

    I was interested to read the comments upthread regarding cycle chic. I admire those who can pull it off and feel that people dressed fashionably on bikes can do a great deal of good for perceptions of the mode - but I'm suspicious of the way it can sometime slip from a call for freedom and sartorial fun to promulgating (however politely and cheerily) a minimum dress code along middle-upper class lines, below which you're a "road warrior" cycle prole and not really a valued supporter of the cause.

    I agonised over what to wear to a recent CAA conference for exactly these reasons, but finally decided I might as well go in my usual tee and shorts mode - if we're talking about cycling in your everyday clothes, that's how I most authentically exist for at least half of the year anyway. If anyone ever insists that I ought to raise my standards, I will happily invite them to either pick up my tab at the nearest mens' outfitters or get over themselves. Hasn't happened so far...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

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