Happy Cat

Home again

Safely home again from Canterbury Faire, which was a lot of fun, tiring, more fun, and still one of my favourite things to do each year. Thanks to everyone involved in making all the good bits happen.
Happy Cat

Bye bye Rover 95

For those who remember my old (1964) Rover 95, it's gone. I gave it away to someone who's interested in restoring it. It was that or restore it myself (lack of time/motivation) or sell it for scrap, which would be a very sad thing to have done.

So it's off to what is hopefully a good home, and one day I hope to see it being driven around again.

Bye bye Rover.
Happy Cat

See, I just don't get it...

There's been a lot of stuff in the media recently which is annoying me, and I keep meaning to vent about it. So here goes :) Today's fun topic is the idea of reserved seats on the Auckland supercity council for Maori representatives.

To quote from NRT - "...the hikoi has made it clear that an Auckland which excludes Maori will have electoral consequences."

This concept of excluding Maori intrigues me. It's cropping up in various news media, in statements from people who emailed in to Morning Report this morning, in interviews I've watched. But whereabouts in any of the proposals is it written that Maori will be excluded? There's been a lot of vitriol poured out accompanied by claims that Maori will have no voice if guaranteed seats are left out. Excuse me, but you do still get to vote, right?

In the same submission read out on the radio this morning, the submitter called for equality and quoted the Treaty of Waitangi as granting all Maori full rights as British subjects. Which to me says that they[*] have the same right to a vote as I do, and through this the same right of representation. But where does it say that there is a greater right of representation? Because I believe that's what guaranteed seats provides for.

[*] I actually feel somewhat odd using the concept of they/them and me, because as far as I'm concerned, I'm a New Zealander. And so is anyone who has Maori ancestry. Can we get over this them and us thing already? Apparently not, because a vocal section of the population seem to think that they want to be treated differently, and to have different rules applied to them.

For the record, when the elections come around, the race of the candidates isn't actually a consideration in my mind. Are they going to be good at their job, and serve the people well? (I'd love to say that I've found candidates who meet these criteria, but as yet I'm still looking. Still, one has to pick the best of the options presented). And those candidates should be there to represent everyone in the area they represent (however that area is determined) - Maori, Pakeha, Pacific Islanders, Asians...and New Zealanders. Not just one group. But whatever ancestry of the candidate, if they are one who has spoken in favour of this apartheid regime that some citizens seem to want, then I'm not voting for them.
Happy Cat

Qantas - *stab*

So you know how the airlines have recently developed an annoying habit of changing flight times after you book them? We just got hit by that. Except that unlike most times, they failed to get in touch with me about it and even acknowledge so.

I happened to look at their website to see if the flight we thought was happening at 5pm was still on time. What I found instead was a nice little note in my Frequent Flyer page saying "Your flight time has changed. Click to confirm". Note the "Click to confirm". That goes away when you confirm it, so Qantas _know_ I hadn't confirmed it.

Changed. To 3:30pm. I found this at 3:10pm. Not a chance.

The fairly helpful person at the Qantas callcenter said that they would normally try calling people who hadn't acknowledged through the website, and she didn't know why they hadn't.

But we're now rebooked for 9am. Tomorrow. *sigh* Which means we'll get up to Hanmer where my family are this Xmas sometime after lunch.

Dear Qantas. You are no longer on my xmas card list, and while I've previously been a fan of your service in the past, I am now Not Impressed. In fact, I'm mightily pissed off.

Unfortunately, Air NZ has recently introduced retarded baggage charges (you now only get one bag as part of your free allowance, which is really not useful for sports/medieval types), so I don't like them much either.


Merry Xmas.
Happy Cat

Wedding gift registries suck

I could stop there but...

Well ok, some more detail - why is it that all of the places I've looked at so far have a pathetic selection of brands, or only sort by brand (and not by product, thus making it hard to search). Or even better, have categories which you then click on and they say "sorry, no products in this category".

Also, decent kitchen stuff is expensive. But I knew that already. Unfortunately (or not?), V and I already have a bunch of kitchen stuff, so anything we "need" at this point is nicer (generally aka more expensive) stuff.

Anyone have suggestions of really good, functional, gift registry places? Particularly for kitchen stuff.

Oh, and we probably need to sort this today, since invites _really_ need to be sent out. (about 2 months ago)
Happy Cat

The meanderings of me... part 5

So, yesterday was a little more interesting than I was expecting. Nothing too dramatic, but after 6 and a half hours of flying (Ottawa->Chicago, Chicago->San Francisco), and having previously corresponded with the contact at the vendor I'm visiting who said they'd have someone there to meet me... yeah. About that.

I'm told that said company waited about an hour and a half, and paged me etc. Which is interesting, because I sat around at the United Airlines meeting point for 2 hours, and never heard nor saw on the paging monitors anything for me. *sigh* In the end, I gave up and decided to see if I could find a train (actually I had to change trains 3 times, so 4 trains[1] in total) that would take me down to San Jose. Which was an entirely successful exercise in the end, although being a Sunday I ended up waiting around for a while for one of the trains. But hey, public transportation is a good thing, and I'm all for using it. And it was a hell of a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

So today's been spent wandering around giant malls in San Jose, which while interesting - lots of big name brands, a seriously large selection of different outlets which all sell pretty much anything you want - it was just like home, except bigger. And I'm not sure much of it was significantly cheaper.

Almost bought a camera at Best Buy, but I think I'll just go with taking lower quality pictures on my cellphone and getting pics from other people who're here who have decent cameras, as if I buy one here, the warranty's basically useless next Monday as soon as I leave the country.

Oh, and I think I'm getting a cold. *grumble*

[1] Alright, one was a monorail, but I consider it a trainlike object for this conversation. At least, I think it was. The SFO airport "AirTrain".
Happy Cat

Part 4

Last full day in Ottawa today, then it's off back to San Jose and San Francisco for the next 10 days. Today has been a day of playing tourist, which I think I could easily spend another week doing. Ah well, I might just have to come back some time (preferably with a vendor paying for the trip again, and V along as well).

So today started with attempting to go to the Canadian Aviation Museum. Except that it's closed for expansion work. Damn. So we wombled off to the Sci/Tech museum instead, which was quite interesting. How many NZ science museums have a tokamak? And on the way there and back we got to enjoy the scenery along the riverside, which is really quite beautiful at this time of the year.

Am pondering buying myself a decent camera, although I probably should've done so on the way over rather than now, so I'll have to make do with the ones from my phone, plus pictures from the cameras of my workmates who've been travelling with me. One flew back today, her part of the trip over with, which is a bit sad, since it means that once I head off tomorrow and leave my ex-workmate who's also along on this trip as the vendor rep here, I'll be by myself. It's more fun travelling with people you know. Ah well.

After lunch I explored central Ottawa on foot, dropping through the Byward Market (many interesting shops), then up around the Parliament buildings (which I think must be some of the nicest in the world, making me want to enter Canadian politics just so I could work there) and finally through the National Gallery of Canada. Which was... wow. I wish I'd had more time there to look around further. Seeing various pictures on the walls which are the originals from some of the Renaissance art books I have... yeah. Wow.

All of the Canadians I've talked to so far are polite and lovely. I think a lot of NZers could learn from this, or maybe it's just that they're being nice to me because I'm obviously Not From Around Here (people keep thinking I have an English accent at first, then becoming increasingly undecided the more they talk to me, until they give in and ask).

Oh, and it's daylight savings here tonight, so I get an extra hour's sleep before I have to head to the airport in the morning, which is excellent. Assuming of course that my travel arrangements did allow for this, and that I'm not going to end up missing a plane and being stuck in Chicago. Still, if that happens I'm sure I can survive.