Cousin Thomas in Town (and getting involved in the Greens)

My cousin Thomas was down for a green party event, and it was lovely as always to catch up with him. He is running as a candidate in Palmerston North and was down helping out on some Green committee that he’s on. It’s really nice being able to host him for a change, as we have stayed lots at his place, most recently on our bike across Europe good times.

I’ve also decided to get a bit more involved in the Greens this year, helping out a little with their database queries etc.. There really is an insane amount of data, and it’s not easily catagorised.. I dunno, when you see articles like this one it makes me wonder somewhat what the point is? I mean, do humans really have the capacity to look beyond a short timescale and do something truly altruistic for the people who are coming after us? I’m not at all sure we do. In fact, here’s my question ->

Climate change is all about how much C02 we put into the atmosphere. If we use less energy we’ll pollute less. The less energy we use, the less comfortable our lives are going to be. So, how do you, in a democracy, get people to vote to take a cut in their standard of living?

I’m all ears.

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Back in the swing of things

It always takes me a while after being back from abroad to get back into the swing of things, and this time probably more than most. I’ve definitely not been as sociable as normal, but, finally, feeling back up to 100%.

It is good being back in ChCh. I love where we live – close to the hills. From our house we can turn right and immediately be straight up into the hills. There’s a nice little 8ish k loop which takes us up to this view (lyttelton crater) Big old volcano in its time, thankfully quite extinct. That said, maybe the mountain is getting taller, it can’t be that I’m getting less fit ;)

My old friend Warrick is back in town and lives nice and close. Great to be able to go up to his place for a nice lunch in the sun :)

testing adding content.

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Wellington and Palmy

I decided to take advantage of my current work situation (contracting remotely) and so I headed up to Wellington for the week and stayed at Glynn & Jaynes. It was lovely, as ever, to see them. It really is a shame that they live up in Wellington! hey ho. Still, good excuse to visit. Glynn and I went for a wee bimble around the Karori wildlife sanctuary, quite a long fence line (I’m totally out of shape). I also played one of the more fun co-operative games that I’ve ever played pandemic.

On the Thursday my cousin Thomas picked me up (hurrah that he’s back in New Zealand, running for election this year with the greens). Very cool to get to catch up with him, and to meet the latest arrival to the family with the arrival of William & Buzz’s Phoenix. Also, my Aunt dug out some old pictures ;) I’ve hardly changed you’d have to say.

So yes, really great to be able to take advantage of remote working & catch up with family and friends. While I definitely definitely miss some things (quite a lot of things) about not being in a team, I do really enjoy the flexibility. It’s weird being a contractor though! Sending invoices, having a company, accountants, service contracts, co-working spaces, managing communication with the client, trying to implement better practices. Who knows how long it’ll last, but, it’s good for the moment.

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West Coast Wilderness Trail

Off to the West Coast for the weekend with Ian & Alison to do the West Coast Wilderness Trail, a nice mostly flat track from Greymouth to Ross.

We drove over after work on the Friday and stayed in a nice little bach in Kumara junction. Then the next morning friends (Dave & Philippa) who live on the West Coast, came over and collected us and brought us to the start of the track in Greymouth. After about, oh, 100m we stopped for a nice coffee ;)

Then a nice ride down the coast back to Kumara junction.

The next day was a bit longer at 70km odd, unfortunately my phone decided to crash half way through so I can’t prove it ;) Anyway, a really nice ride through the bush and alongside old mining & sluicing works.

All in all a very pleasant cycle.

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Barista training

One of the many advantages to being Maaike’s partner is that there’s a decent discount on courses which are run at her institute (if there aren’t enough spaces to fill the course). I have taken advantage of this before with a mixology (cocktail making) course, and I just did a 6 evening course in barista training.

It was actually quite a full on course. I have no idea how many $$$’s of coffee we made, but, at a guess, 30 or so coffee’s an evening – so, around about $900 of coffee.

I’d had a pretty decent leg up already after having worked at Resolve (and now BizDojo Christchurch) where there have been decent coffee machines to use. Anyway, I definitely improved, and while I’m not consistent, I can make a reasonably OK flat white most of the time.

Maaike has been on about buying a coffee machine, but, I dunno, to get a decent machine is very expensive, and then you’d want a decent grinder, and then you’d actually have to have quite a lot of coffee as the beans would deteriorate fairly rapidly. So, for the moment at least I’m going to stick to using the coffee machine in work ;) If you’re in the area and fancy a coffee, come call in :)

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