Dressing up.

Our friend Alison organises the Nurse Maude (hospice) black tie fundraiser each year, and this year we went along.

I was wearing the same tux from college days, well, mostly the same tux. The shirt had shrunk (I’m sure it was that) so, got a new one of those. Then found out that the burglars had stolen my dress shoes, and the nice comfortable ones I used to have weren’t available any more :( Also, my trousers seemed to have shrunk too, at least around the waist. I’m sure it’s not that I eat too much and exercise too little. Can’t be that ;)

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Best day of the season (Cheeseman)

The ski season arrived late, but, it arrived late with a passion. There have been quite a lot of largish snow falls in September. Maaike, Ian and I headed up on a Monday to Cheeseman. There were probably about 30 people on the ski field.. and really immaculate conditions.

The only scary thing was the drive up…

After our last car was stolen, we got a 2005 Subaru Outback. They’re 4wd (well, AWD), decent clearance, should be able to get up a ski field road without too many issues (with chains on anyway). Unfortunately for me, I’m not used to fancy cars with traction control. What happened (or at least, what I think happened) was that as we were driving up, the fancy traction control system thought we were losing traction (back wheels probably were), and so it kills power to those wheels to attempt to regain control. There is a button you can press to turn off part of the traction control system. I only found this out when getting to the top and the guy who’d been following us up the ski field told me about it. So, a non-fun time getting up the ski field, we were driving sideways for a lot of it :(

STILL! once we were up, fresh powder everywhere and just perfect conditions.



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Good things from earthquakes

Maaike and I went off for a nice bike ride in the port hills (basically out the backdoor). It’s a nice little loop, climbs steeply up and then along the tops, giving nice views out to the alps and up the coastline.

It’s also election season at the moment. I’ve been volunteering with the greens, just compiling some of their walklist data, calling data etc. Nothing particularly tricky, but, nice to help out. I’d love to see a change in government, something with a bit more of a social conscience. Which is why I was extra annoyed when out biking and seeing the National MP Nik Kurako out campaigning. They were driving along, beeping their horns (against the road code), parking in the bike lanes… super annoying.

I did catch up to him and politely ask if they could stop beeping their horns and parking in the bike lanes. His response was “Move along John, move along”. We “chatted” a bit more, and Nuk, picking up on my accent asked “Was I enjoying living in their country”.. I explained that yes, I was, and that I was a citizen. He then said he was tangata whenua (meaning people of the land / indigenous), which seemed somewhat diversive to me. I mean yes, he is, but, he’s a politician for all of us, or should be. It did give me an excuse to rant on twitter though.

As I biked off, they all beeped.

Well, it’s the election on the 23rd, and I certainly hope National get roundly beaten. Whether they will or not, who knows… it’s a funny old world we live in.

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Midweek Skiing

I’m extremely fortunate to be able to work remotely. It’s mostly a positive thing. I definitely miss being in a team with smarter people around me to ask questions of. That I do miss. What is really nice is to have reasonable autonomy over working hours & days. Maaike has been working quite hard lately and had some overtime owing. So, we took a couple of midweek days and headed South to go skiing at Dobson and Ohau. It’s a lovely drive down past the lakes, and, the major advantage of midweek skiing is that there’s hardly anyone else around. It’s amazing really.

We had a bluebird day at Dobson, and a not-so bluebird day at Ohau. Interestingly, their chairlift kept breaking, apparently having been tempermental all week. We didn’t actually get on the field until 11am or so. What’s most curious is that the chair completely broke later on in the month. That said, in reading that article, it sounds like it really did break properly, but, initial reports made me wonder if they weren’t being entirely honest! I should be more trusting ;)

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We headed up to Cheeseman with Berit and had a beautiful blue bird day. I definitely need to get some lessons. Looking at my go-pro videos’ I still swing wildly from left to right rather than just pointing down the hill and going for it. So much to learn :)

We also had a day hosting the green party while they were canvassing in the area. It has been good to be a little bit more involved. This year things have become a bit more “interesting” of late. Metiria, the Greens co-leader came out and admitted that she’d cheated to obtain more income while on the benefit as a single mother. She didn’t need to admit it, but she chose to to highlight how little it is to live on, and how demeaning. Unfortunately, media is choosing to highlight the illegality (easy to grab onto) rather than highlight the issues she has worked tirelessly on as a politician. It’s a shame that 20 year old sins might mean less votes for the greens. We shall see.

Labour has also elected a new leader, very close to the election. Risky business, but seems to be paying off for them.

Interesting times.

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