Posts by Paul Campbell

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  • Busytown: Trick or treat (Electoween 08),

    We were discussing this at a party last night (you have to give the Green Party one thing they do know how to do the 'party' bit right, and have the coolest music) ....

    Xmas in summer is something we've made our own, there's no reason to move it to winter

    Halloween should be April 30th here - it's a harvest festival (well originally it was a religious fesitval - all hallow's eve - the night before all saints day - moving it to the night before may day is a wonderfull secularisation ....) and it means we get real pumpkins, and spooky darkness

    I like the idea of dumping QB weekend in favour of Matariki - it's not like it's even her real birthday - maybe when she croaks people will balk at the thought of changing it to King's Birthday weekend in honour of Charlie and we'll have a chance to remake it in our own image

    Here in Dunedin we celebrate both Hogmanay and Matariki - it seems to me like a waste and divisive in the community to do the two celebrations within days of each other - I'd love to see them merge into a single celebration that everyone is welcome and part of

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: Trick or treat (Electoween 08),

    sigh - Halloween may be the one thing I really really miss about living in the US - with little kids it was just the most wonderfull occasion - we got to go out and meet our neighbours - all the houses are lit up with real pumpkins, the kids got to to do something a bit scary (the parents hang back and they walk up a scary decorated path in the dark not knowing what's there - but with the possibility of lollies as a payoff). I think it's one of the few real american holidays that hasn't succumbed totally to commercialisation (though I think it looks like it has from a NZ perspective).

    When my son was 4 we talked up going trick-or-treating for the first time - we made a big deal about dressing up and pumpkins - 2 days before he comes him from pre-school and confides in us the big secret he's found out "there's gonna be candy" - and boy there was - more than he could carry .... his parents were quite ill that night.

    When we were travelling in India with the kids we carved water melons - they work great - but with a redder glow

    This year Lisa found 2 honest-to-god orange pumpkins - but sadly this is the first years the kids were too old to want to help carve (sob! they're growing up) preferring to hang out with their friends - we got maybe 8 sets of trick or treaters twice what we got last year - lots of ooohs and aaahs at genuinely carved pumpkins - with candles even though the sun was still out - they looked great later at night when no one was there

    I think we need a movement to move Halloween in NZ to the end of April - not only will it be dark and scary but pumpkins will be in season

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: Pregnant Calamity,

    Today's Cat and Girl seems terribly appropriate for this thread ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mood and meaning in a time of…,

    don't forget to vote:

    "it's the only legal way to cancel out your neighbours ...."

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Punk'd?,

    reading I/S's blog today I realised that in order to get the Maori seats entrenched they need a 75% vote in parliament - that means both the Nats and Labour need to vote 'yes' - if they do a deal with Labour the Nats will almost certainly vote 'no', but if they do a deal with the Nats Labour might still support such a vote

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    I'm sure "arbitrary confiscation of assets from the rich" would breed all sorts of tax shelters.

    Obviously one would need to file if you wanted to file jointly - and the simplest solution ends up with a cheque at the end of the year (rather than your employer doing something subtle - and difficult - to make it come out right at the end of the year).

    I've filed jointly in the US in the past - you just drop 2 SSNs at the top of the form - no one ever asked to see my marriage cert - though if my spouse was also male I'm sure questions would have been asked.

    What's really hard for us at the moment is filing jointly in the US (for stuff we've left there) and individually in NZ and then trying to figure out how to handle the tax treaty stuff

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    see - that's usefull information about undecided voters (both that they tend to be in the McCain demographic - and that they are undecided about McCain) - of course to be meaningfull you need enough undecideds to be sampled for stats about them to be usefull (easy if they are 20%, hard if they are 1%)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    Ms Todd appears to also have had her tires slashed, presumeably by republicans

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    umm how do you hold someone down from above their head?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Standing Orders 101,

    Actually only 44% of CA voters voted for prop 13 - that was 65% of the (quite high) 69% turnout at that election - one of the differences between a vote in parliament (or similar) is that turnout tends to be 100% (unless someone's playing silly games)

    As a one time CA property tax payer who lived there after prop 13 was passed I always saw the but end of the law - owning a $220K house in Berkeley I paid 3 times the property tax (rates) the president of the company I worked for did (for his million dollar house). The idea that those who vote in a law can vote themselves a permanent tax discount at the expense of the next generation who have to pay extra instead is insane

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2206 posts Report Reply

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