Take the Scenic Route

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Chill Brutha

I now have a vacuum cleaner, and the sweetest fridge. It's big and spacious and clean and has the freezer down the bottom -- the complete antithesis of a student flat.

That is the view. The plastic furniture will be gone, and I'll be out there reclining with a Riesling or a G&T. Mmmmm. AAAAAAaaaaah

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Shop 'til you ...

So as part of the fun of house ownership, I've been Appliance Comparison Shopping. Not as easy as you might think. Different shops stock different brands, and they all want to convince you to buy the expensive ones that don't work any better than the cheap ones. Then, just for a little extra variety, there are some new energy efficiency standards coming being introduced in five weeks for things such as fridges. The stores claim no knowledge of this, and until pressed, seemed quite happy to sell me the inefficient ones at full price.

I shan't slag off any stores in particular, but would like to point out that Arthur Barnett's (a full-service, up-market, department store), has some things quite a lot cheaper than certain high-profile 'discount' retailers.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Edge of Reason

A little too much female neuroticism has pushed me a little close to the Edge of Reason this week. First up, the final of Sex and the City, featured Carrie being horribly unreasonable, pretty much true to form. Then Bridget Jones. There were a few Side-splitting moments, a LOT to cringe about and some pretty petty neurotics from Miss Jones. Some of the people I went with thought the lesbian subplot was implausible, but I thought it nicely illustrated the warped perspective.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Summer Sifting

It's a stunningly warm day today here.

Now the department where I work is made up of a large number of old houses, plus some new corrugated iron structures with external staircases, sprawling across a number of different ground levels. As such, it's like a 3D maze, with gangways and staircases interlinking buildings, but not all of which connect on anyone level. Thus, to get to the tearoom, I go outside, down two flights of stairs, across a gangway, inside, and then up another flight of stairs; and that's pretty direct compared to some.

Being such a lovely, it would be tragic to be inside, especially as there are lush little gardens sandwiched between all the buildings. So while some are working outside, many others are running errands, off to check their mail etc., and stopping to chat with each other on the stairs and gangways. The groups wax and wane. People make excuses, and move on, only to coalesce again around the next corner, or after they re-emerge from their destination. It's truly lovely today, but it's not so much fun navigating between buildings in a southerly storm.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Aurora Australis, Pacifier, Martin Phillips, and a "Jumper"

About 11pm last night one of my flatmates knocked on the door and suggested we headed outside. Perhaps the most exciting aurora I've seen in a few years, with rays from the horizon flickering over the horizon, and blues and reds in addition to the more common green. Jumped in the car, and headed up Signal Hill (along with a good number of other people) to get away from the city lights and get a few pictures.

It was only after I got home that I had a look at the number of pictures left on the film and realised that I'd allegedly taken thirty shots. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I never buy 36 exposure films (they take too long), so I'm now in weird limbo. It may be that I have lost all the photos I've taken for the last few months forever. Or that I randomly acquired a 36 exposure film. I guess I'll pull the film out soon and take it in. But I'm scared. There should be heaps of amazing photographs on that film. I might kick me over the edge and make me go digital. I love film, but I hate it everytime something goes wrong and I loose any shot. It's quite odd though, as it will be most first big fail with my SLR. My point-and-shoot is more prone to film failure, because it takes the film up automatically.

Thinking of auroras, the last one I saw was just over a year ago, driving back from invercargill having been at the Pacifier gig, curtesy of the lovely (but defunct) Two Lane Black Top. It was quite a surreal night, having driven hell-for-leather to Invercargill to go to the gig, being part of the huge earthquake that night (but not noticing because it was during the encore), seeing the Aurora on the way home, getting a few hours sleep, and then driving to the Nelson Lakes the next day.

I saw Martin Phillips in the rose garden on the way to work this morning. At least I think it was The Chills founder chatting to a parks staffer in the Botanic Gardens. The morning took a turn for the weirder when I was blocked from walking to work near the Staff Club and re-routed round the back of the registry by St Margarets. There was another cordon round the back with at least half a dozen police cars, an ambulance, and a fire engine. Following the gaze of everybody I noticed a guy on top of the scaffolding around the Richardson (Hocken) building. Seems it was a jumper, although officially no-one was talking. When I ventured out about 11am to visit the science library everything was gone, and no evidence that he'd jumped. I did seem him throw an enormous plank off the top. The sound of a 4m piece of 2"x8" landing after a 10 story fall was pretty impressive, and appears to have damaged a tree below, but not too much else. It seemed to nice a day for jumping, although maybe it was exam related or something. I hope he didn't jump. I'll let you know if I find out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hot Swiss Mistress with Onanon

Sooooo looking forward to the smoking ban...

But I digress. It has been a couple of months since my last encounter with Onanon, which may or may no have been at National Anthem. Not sure if it was a combination of musical growth, or previous bad mixing (esp. at National Anthem), but I really really enjoyed their set.

I'm not sure if I'd ever heard a Hot Swiss Mistress song previously, so was a little unsure of what to expect. The mellow grooves were great, although a little more slap bass wouldn't have gone astray. I had a few more profound thoughts, but half a week's work has already erased them. L* was so impressed that she pinched the poster on the way out, and it now has a prominent place on our wall. The music was a clear highlight for her, as she found The Crown itself a bit puzzling. She was a bit taken aback when I pointed out there was no eftpos, and scurried off to get some money out from the other bar. She was further taken aback when she found there was no cider, she then requested a vodka & pineapple (the bartender did check to clarify that there was no pineapple juice), before settling on a vodka & orange. From Auckland? Really?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

In dog we Trust

A (family) trust is the new black. Mostly popular with the middle-aged and older people trying to protect their assets from legal liability or old-age care, you gift all your assets into a trust, which becomes their legal owner, not you. Unfortunately, you can only "gift" $27,000 a year before it becomes taxable, so if you own a really expensive house or whatever, it can take years to "gift" the house to the trust. On this logic, it seems that buying a first house using a trust would be a good move (thereby having the trust the owner upfront).

Apart from all the usual wranglings involved with sorting something like this out, you also have to come up with a name for your trust. A lot of people give their trust unoriginal names. How many Smith Family Trusts do you think there are? Thus, to avoid confusion between a whole lot of legal entities with similar names, I have to come up with a creative name. The question is, do I go with something unique and cool, or a little bit unique and silly.

This is rather reminiscent of the time that I considered incorporating The Centre for Subversive Studies. Incorporation used to be relatively cheap (around $35), and you needed something like 25 signed up members I think. One of the cool things about having an incorporated society is that you get your own seal (well more of a stamp). Unfortunately, probably due to a few too many people like me incorporating silly societies, they put the price up to around $200.

A bunch of librarians and hangers-on of my acquaintance once started a chocolate lovers society (or at least I think they started it). And to think anyone would *ever* accuse librarians of not knowing how to have fun.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Disappointed but not suprised

So Bush is back. Not surprised, but definitely disappointed. He does at least have a majority of voters behind him this time, so I'm not as bitter as last time (when Bush won despite having fewer votes than Gore), although I do still find the Electoral College a bit weird.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Growing up is weird

So last month I had to get a lawyer, which seemed all very big and mature. It's also seemed very weird not getting student discount (although my Rad 1 card has been a great help in that respect). Now I have a house. I think the world as I know it is ending.