My first year at Uni was the first year that course costs were higher than the cost of books (1990). I managed to get through three years without developing a huge debt, partly from working many hours at McDonalds, partly from living rent-free and fed at home with mum, and partly because the student loans scheme didn't really kick off until 1992ish. I'm probably one of the last to squeak through without debt, which was a huge factor in my being able to get onto the housing train in '95, leading to my lovely suburban lifestyle today.
I have been saying for years that I would rather be paying higher taxes and have decent education and health for my kids, and, especially, for the kids of those less fortunately middle-class than I.
It breaks my heart to see ads telling me I can support less fortunate kiwi kids for only 50c a day. That's not the New Zealand I grew up in and not the one I want for my (currently hypothetical) grandchildren.
That's not the dumbest thing I've ever heard of, but its up there! So if my house with five people in it gets burgled, is that five victims? But if they don't take anything belonging to one of the kids, is that now four victims? What if they take my dog's squeaky toy, is he now another victim? I've got some of my Mum's stuff in the garage, if the burglar takes that, is she added to the victim total? And I have a couple of DVDs borrowed from a friend, and Dad gets some of his mail delivered to my place. If I get burgled, there's potentially 10 victims there, or if they don't take much, only a couple.
That has the potential to be a really crap metric.
I usually need an xmas schmaltz antidote around this time of year:
Wired magazine are in favour of the Lockwood flag from a design point of view.
Oooh yes. Put me down for Altered Carbon - Sci Fi Noir detective trilogy by Richard Morgan. I have a feeling if they manage to get the movie made, I will be disappoint.
Reading Agatha Christie's Mysterious Affair at Styles at present for a book club - good old Poirot and his little grey cells.
The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Three Investigators, The Famous Five - all those gateway drugs for young readers.
The bird I missed most when I lived overseas was, unusually, the riroriro (grey warbler). To be honest I don’t think I could point one out if I saw it in a tree, but that distinctive, long-winded song says “home” to me like no other bird. I have been back now for over 13 years and I still feel a sense of belonging when I hear it.
Even more so when you find out that the riroriro song differs across the country, so the ones I hear here in Hamilton sing a slightly different tune from the ones I used to listen to as a youngster on the shores of Lake Ohakuri.
Like Henry Higgins in London, one could in theory identify their location in NZ by listening to the warblers.
So, Red Peak will be on the ballot. But the status quo still won't be.
I wonder if this is something the Greens and Labour came up with together, or is everyone trying to out-statesman each other?
For use in spin-detangling: An Interactive Guide to Ambiguous Grammar
Words / Lyrics / Story telling. Dennis Glover perhaps, covering suicide and the collapse of farming, hence the fence.
"Come on, John
The time has come
Its time to go
Now don't be slow
Wrong bridge though.
I really miss Contact FM here in the 'Tron. The student union really screwed up when they sold off the frequency back in the late 90s.
A huge chunk of my musical education came from listening to contact in the late 80s/early 90s, everything from Paul Martin's Axe Attack (before the Rock bought him) to The Pixies, Pop Will Eat Itself, Hallelujah Picassos, Look Blue Go Purple, Dribbly Cat Attraction, Inspector Moog; all the stuff that I'd never have heard on the normal FM.