Posts by James Butler

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  • Hard News: Stories: Home, in reply to Danielle,

    the riroriro (grey warbler)

    Finding examples of Riroriro song online, I now realise that one lived in our street when I was a child and I never knew what it was. Thanks Danielle (:

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stories: Home,

    Home when I was growing up was a house high up the Hataitai side of Mt Victoria in Wellington. The house itself wasn't big but it sat on an vastly tall double garage, filled with Dad's various crumbling cars and motorbikes. Dad, being only intermittently employed through much of the 90s, kept house and cooked (he was an excellent cook, having taught himself while at Uni on the basis that a thing worth doing is worth doing properly) while Mum was the earner - a source of much astonishment amongst my schoolfriends. I left that home at 18 having precipitously gotten married. Dad died a few years later, having just started building the extension which he'd been planning for as long as I can remember, and Mum sold up and moved to Oz. Whenever I go back to Wellington it seems a little less homeish (people there ride bicycles now! There are kereru!) but the streets in the hills still seem the right size and shape for streets to be.

    E and I, having started as broke teen parents, have lived in six rented houses in the 14 years since our son was born; in Auckland, then Wellington, then Auckland again when our daughter was born. I think Home for our kids might be the general environs immediately east of Dominion Road, Balmoral shops, Mt Roskill library, Big King reserve, the locale we've been variously around for the last ten years. Or it's the furnishings we've carted from place to place, the ever-expanding collections of books and ceramics and lamps that we seem to accumulate. But now that marriage is ending, and I'll soon be moving into a shoebox in the middle of town, and with truly dreadful timing the house we currently live in is being sold, so they'll acquire at least one if not two new homes in rapid succession. Children are adaptable; they'll be alright I suspect. But I do wonder what they'll think of as Home when they look back on their childhoods.

    [A little note on this place: I don't comment here as much as I once did, but I think that's more about what I've learnt in this space than any comment on the state of the discourse. What I've learnt: that I don't know as much as I though, that I gain more by listening than by talking. I'm still listening.]

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…,

    Even if men were somehow better leaders (being confident and decisive where women are shrill and pushy)

    I see what you did there...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are there opportunities within…, in reply to Sacha,

    Excess potassium can build up between sessions iirc. When I was growing up, those vegetables Dad could eat needed to be soaked and boiled separately to leach out the potassium (and vitamins, flavour etc.), except on actual dialysis nights when he could have more-or-less anything. Potatoes! Tomatoes! Bananas! A cornucopia of delights!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are there opportunities within…, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    ask anyone hooked up to a dialysis machine three times a week

    Well on dialysis you pretty much can't eat fresh fruit or veg at all... wait, how did we get on to this?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are there opportunities within…, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Let’s. Do. Nothing.

    As opposed to This. Is. Something.?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A cog in the Mediaworks machine, in reply to Deborah,

    Forging! sources. [...] Did Simon Day really mean to say that she just makes things up?

    Or rather, puts people under relentless heat and pressure until they bend like putty in her hands.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Any time we had to do a school project on a country, we’d draw its flag. So it’s not just for the children of NZ that choosing a simple flag is a kindness.

    What this says to me is that the flag should be either a) very simple OR b) a dragon.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    “Wow, look at all these votes with “THIS SUCKS” written on them. I had no idea people felt this way. This is a serious wake-up call. Let’s just scrap the referendum.”

    - No one, 2015

    What are you talking about? This is exactly how Banksy and Russell Brand brought down Capitalism.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not yet standing upright, in reply to lprent,

    Having a high informal count will probably send a pretty good signal about this silly process, and more importantly it’d stop more people just not voting.

    But it also means that the votes which are actually considered will contain a higher proportion of votes by people who actually like one of the alternatives, therefore raising the chances of having an alternative in the final runoff which those people will vote for.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 855 posts Report Reply

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