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Archive for July, 2013

There were nationwide protests yesterday against an amendment to the Government Communications Security Bureau (essentially a spying agency) bill which allows spying on all New Zealanders without needing a warrant or suspicion of wrong-doing.  The bill is being rushed through parliament ‘urgently’.  The only reason for it (apart from kowtowing to US bullying) is so that the Prime Minister can make legal what he’s already done illegally.

Initially the protests were only going to be in the main cities but it expanded to 11 cities due to strong feeling against the bill.  I went along to the Palmerston North one.  Ten minutes away from the start there looked like there’d only be a handful of us but by the time it started there was a reasonable crowd of say 150-200 people of all ages.  After a few speeches, we started the ‘protest march’.  We were told we were going to walk around the Square and return for an open mic session.  I’ve been on a few protest marches and this has to be one of the most pathetic.  No road closures (I think they didn’t expect many people at all), so we walked along the footpath for a few metres before cutting across grass to meet a path angling to the other side then back to the gathering point.  Essentially we walked around the clock tower.  Pathetic.  Anyone who happened to be in the Square itself were the only onlookers, so it wasn’t much of a protest.  Many of those onlookers just smiled as if thinking what a pack of nutters.  Sadly, the age of protests disappeared last century in this country.

But here’s the shocker.  TV3 news lied.

TV1 started the evening news with the protests around the country, while TV3 started with a commemoration in Korea, where the Prime Minister happened to be.  Then they mentioned the nationwide protests saying that there had been ‘clashes with police’ and, get this

“In Palmerston North rocks and bottles were thrown”

That statement was just thrown out there.  The following footage was from Wellington and Auckland and showed peaceful protests.  There was no video footage to substantiate any claim of violence or clashes with police.

I don’t have much faith in mainstream media to begin with but I never thought I’d hear such a bold-faced lie from a national news programme.  I imagine that the person in charge of TV3 news is a National Party supporter with his own agenda.  Start with the PM and his inanity in Korea then head over to ‘violent’ protests against something that’s a fait accompli.

Any respect I may have had for TV3 news has just plummeted a thousand-fold.  I have complained to TV3 and to an investigative reporting programme on that channel.  I imagine they’ll ignore it.  I’ve also suggested that one of the online newspapers investigate the claim.   It’s outrageous.  Hell, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pebble in the Square, let alone a rock, and thrown by whom?  Half a dozen teenagers skating on the ice rink nearby?  Ridiculous!

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Yesterday it was my father’s birthday. He would have been 90. I ‘celebrated’ by going along to a full moon drumming session, which was good. ( I did feel tired though and didn’t get home until about 10.20pm.) I had thought about putting a status online somewhere about his birthday, but I didn’t get around to it. It seemed to need acknowledgement somehow.

I sent copies of photos taken at the wedding to various family members on Sunday. All but one responded thanking me. I was a bit disgruntled that, although another, S, had been online, she had not thanked me for the many photos I sent. This morning I finally received a reply. I had sent a message “Lovely photos of you all” with the photos. Her response “Really, any of me?” She was in a couple of groups photos, but no ‘thank you’. A couple of the photos were nice ones of her kids but no acknowledgement or thanks. I felt pissed off.

Then driving along to work and a van pulls out in front of me and proceeds to crawl along at 60kph in an 80kph zone, the windscreen wipers going when it wasn’t even raining. Retard.

I was in the grumps again.

However, I walked along past the pond and reminded myself that the above was the small stuff, and the ducks and trees, etc, around me were the more important stuff. I saw a little brown bird that I figured must’ve been a hedge sparrow. It looked sparrow-like but the colouring was wrong. A first for me.

Another grey day and I’m fed up with the working day already. Time to get back to it though.

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I’m an introvert and spending a significant amount of time with other people, especially ex-inlaws, just exhausts me.  I’m glad to be back home.

H and I headed down to Wellington for her cousin’s wedding.  She was the official photographer.  On the way to Wellington we stopped at Paraparaumu for me to have one last look for shoes to wear.  I was getting pretty desperate, as you can imagine.  My backup was a pair of boots. However, I looked in Hannah’s and found two pairs which actually fitted and weren’t uncomfortable.  Not being able to decide, I bought both. Who’d have thought (after months of searching)?  One of the shoes had only just arrived in the store.  There were some awesome-looking boots on sale as well but they were small so I showed them to H who looked fantastic in them and bought them.  Lunch in the car, well satisfied, and onwards.  We stayed in the same building as C’s apartment on The Terrace (for the first night, which was complementary after I complained about a previous stay there), and ate the previous night’s leftovers for dinner.  We headed over to H’s aunt’s place in the evening for a brief visit and arrangements for the next day.

H left early the next morning to photograph the bride and groom getting ready.  After she left, as I was packing up, there was quite a jolt and an earthquake shook the building for some time.  I was thankful it wasn’t the big one.   I checked out then went to C’s place.  C had just arrived from Melbourne.  We hung out for a bit then I headed over the road to check in at the James Cook hotel (I got a cheap deal).  I got apparel sorted and H’s cousin, A, picked me up to take me over to their place where we were to get ready for the wedding at the Dowse Art Gallery in Lower Hutt.

There was no art work to be seen.  The wedding was in a separate area of two plain rooms.  There was no decoration at all.  (There were fake petals on the tables and artificial candles.)  I feel like one of those women in the ‘Four weddings’ TV programme (where they judge each others’ weddings) as I make comments about the wedding.

The bride and groom had been living together for some time, so they had a three-year old and a three-week old.  The three-year old had obviously not been told about what happens at weddings.  She clung to her parents and refused to be pried off her father so half the ceremony was conducted with a child clinging to the groom.  As someone said later, she ruined the ceremony.  Why some relative didn’t take her in hand and be firm, I don’t know.  It happened again when they were trying to cut the cake.  I was not impressed.

After the ceremony, H took the couple out for photos while the rest of us stood around and talked with drinks.  All the cousins and their kids were there, as well as aunts, uncles, and grandparents, and, unfortunately, the ex and his third wife.  I was glad to see that he hasn’t aged well.  His wife ignored me when she greeted someone standing next to me, but then grudgingly acknowledged my existence.  She was all over the ex at one stage, as if I gave a shit.  She must’ve been feeling insecure.  She’s welcome to the arsehole.  I can’t stand the sight of him.

The bride’s large family were also there, of course, but there was no mingling between the two families at all.

We finally had something to eat after the speeches but there was a very long wait between the main meal and dessert.  The dessert was disappointing.  Some very sweet cheesecake crammed into a small jar and a bread and berry ‘pudding’.   There was no fruit.  One of C’s cousins, B, is a chef and thought the dessert very poor.  I never saw what the wedding cake had in it.  It was a small cake on top of a tier of cupcakes.  The guests were given the cupcakes.  After dessert, we sat around for ages, bored, and people started leaving.  Finally some music was put on but only the kids danced, as adults stood around in a circle watching them.  It was bizarre.  One of the strangest weddings I’ve ever been to.  By the time some adults got up and danced, C and I were tired and ready to head to bed.

I was glad to get back to the  hotel room, which was more spacious and comfortable than the previous night’s stay.

H and I wandered around town the next morning, knowing that C would be up late.  We met C and W later and had lunch together at a Malaysian restaurant.  We had a look at a Gregory Crewdson exhibition on the way back to the car.  We had been invited to a cousin’s place, as well as the two aunts, and didn’t think we could manage to visit all three.  I had left a cardigan at the cousin’s place so headed there first.  One of the aunts and family were there, so we killed two birds with one stone.  Unfortunately, the ex and his wife were there having lunch.  They had just been to India and gave C and H a silver bangle each.  The wife was telling them how much silver the bangles contained, that they were very expensive and not to go throwing them around.  Does she think they’re 5 years old?  Stupid cow.  She has such an annoying higher-pitched whiney voice.  I know it sounds bitchy, and she’s way nicer than wife number 2, but she’s still up herself and selfish.  H has given me various examples, so I’m not judging purely on my experiences with her alone.  She told H that she’s going to do a diploma in photography and that she and H could go round taking photos together.  This from a woman I’ve never seen with a camera in hand.

We decided we had time to visit aunt number 2 but ex and wife were also going there, so we had to put up with their presence at the next place too.  I was bored shitless by now and just wanted to leave.  They finally buggered off before us so H and I managed to get away before their return for dinner.  I said goodbye to C who was flying back to Melbourne on Monday.

Arrived home exhausted and I’m glad it’s not a working day (although it is for H).  The highlight of the weekend had been the time with C and H and the photography exhibition.  Sad but true.  I have absolutely nothing in common with any of the ex’s family (and their giant TVs), and there are too many painful memories to be completely relaxed around them, nice though they are to me (at least superficially).

jul19 010

Dawn through a grimy window, Wellington

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The only shopping I seem to enjoy is when it’s for electronic stuff.

H is now working for Harvey Norman and could get staff discounts on things.  I had thought of getting a new flatscreen TV as I would’ve had to have bought one or a box for when TV transmission turns digital in September.  As it turns out, HN had a massive sale a couple of weeks ago.  I had already had a look and decided on a Sony or Panasonic 32″ LED TV so when the sale came up I went in and pointed to the one I wanted (which was a Panasonic worth over $800 reduced to $500) and paid.  Easy and quick – the sort of shopping I like.

I now had a few extra channels including an unwanted Christian one.  The picture was great and reception perfect.  Unfortunately, the sound on flatscreen TVs is crap, since the speaker is a tiny thing pointing to the wall.  This meant I now had to search around for some sort of sound system to improve it.  I wasn’t putting up with tinny sound.  I had initially thought of getting a mini  hi-fi but the salesmen I spoke to weren’t helpful at all.  One then showed me a Panasonic entertainment system (several speakers plus DVD/Blu-ray player).  But it was another $500. Then I saw the same thing in Noel Leeming for $119 on sale.  That was a quick purchase as well.  In I went, pointed to it and bought.

Now we can watch movies and DVD sets with excellent sound.  Lately I’ve been watching Treme and Rome.

While in Noel Leeming I saw a Canon flatbed scanner.  I already had one but it doesn’t work with 64-bit (the “new” computer) and it’s been sitting around, obsolete and unused.  I asked the guy if it worked with 64-bit and he assured me it did.  I kept it in mind.  Nowhere else seems to sell flatbeds.  It’s all printer/scanner monstrosities, which I definitely didn’t want.

Another item which I had thought about getting was an ereader.  I hadn’t been interested at all for some time until someone mentioned she’d downloaded novels by PG Wodehouse.  I love the Jeeves stories and this was the selling point for me.  Instead of going back and forth to the library to get them out, I could download them all.  Or so I thought…

Those two items were on my mind.  I tried searching for a cheaper ereader but missed out on a TradeMe purchase.  I’m rather impatient.  When I want something I want it now instead of waiting for it to possibly get cheaper in a few months.  (Hence, I end up paying more than others.)  Unfortunately for me, Harvey Norman didn’t have either a Canon flatbed scanner or a Sony ereader (I didn’t want Kindle or Kobo) so I couldn’t get them cheaper than retail.  To cut a long story short I went online and ordered both the scanner and ereader and picked them up after work yesterday.

The ereader came with two books loaded (Around the World in 80 days and Jungle book) and an excerpt of a book I’d never heard of by an author I’d never heard of.  I deleted that one and proceeded to download a few free books from Gutenberg.  I then found out that Gutenberg only had two Jeeves books by Wodehouse.  Damn!  All others, for some bizarre reason, were still in copyright.  However, I was even considering paying for some (at what I considered an outrageous price anyway) but amazon seems to have the monopoly and I couldn’t find all of them.  Is it any wonder that people look for pirated content?  If you can’t get it legally….  so I found a few PDFs and was content.   It’s  not like anyone’s losing money – I’d rather go to the library or do without.

Electronic purchases done with – phew!  I like new toys.  Clothing on the other hand… I have not been able to find some low-heeled dress shoes, that fit, for a wedding next week.  I’ve looked everywhere.  If you don’t want high heels or the latest ugly fashion in  horrible colours or in suede, then bad luck.  I might have to wear boots.  I have no other option if I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes that are made in China anyway.

Apart from shopping, nothing much has been happening in the past month.  The weather’s cold and wet so I haven’t been able to get out much (either in the garden or on photography trips).  The weekends go so quickly.  This weekend’s nearly half gone already and all I’ve done is play around with the ereader, wash clothes and tidy my bedroom a bit.

Time for a cuppa…

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