Take the Scenic Route

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Apparently two Australian tourists attempted to use the Sat-Nav in their car to get from Christchurch top Nelson and ended up going through the Rainbow Road. Now I *love* the Rainbow Road. It's a classic bit of New Zealand back-country goodness, originally built for the construction of a High Voltage Transmission line. It's also New Zealand's highest public road, prone to snow, landslips, and for the most part four-wheel-drive track come grave-road. Exactly the kind of place you'd expect me to take a Scenic Detour through. So naturally, I've been through twice, once on mountain bike, and once in a four wheel drive. I would probably take my car through there (although the last time I was there heavy rain had washed out the fords sufficiently that I don't think I'd have the ground clearance), but the other major problem is that there is a locked gate at the far end (and it's a fairly industrial gate on a piece of the road with a bank on one side and a drop to the river on the other, so the chances of getting around it are close to nil).

I still can't quite get over how funny this is. Or how stupid they were not to turn back by St James Station. Or to consider looking at the ubiquitous glovebox map. D'oh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

... So I've been busy

... And it's spring. And I've been outside. Like you're supposed to when it's sunny.
Although it is true that when I've been inside I have sometimes not been working as hard as I should, sometimes playing space invaders, and as of today, cricket. Goddam flash games. Although the space invaders one also made me download a C-64 emulator the other night, so that I could play Eagle Empire, one of my first games I ever played.

You'll also notice the lack of agency in these statements: that is, they made me. However, as a weird byproduct of that recent event, and arguing in stupid places that I refuse to link to, I've moved a little bit further down the behaviourist/determinist end of the spectrum. Especially with stupid things suggesting that ex-students would determinedly plug their tax cuts savings into their loans.

In fact, the cynic in me is starting to believe that classical liberals are following a fairly well-known psychological phenomenon, that people attribute their own success to internal factors (and their failures to external factors). Thus, because their `will-power' has made them so successful, they think that everyone, no matter what their background, has the power to use their free-will to better themselves. Anyway, you can probably see where this argument is going. And I'm sick of it. So resigned as I am to a lack of free-will, I'm going to return to work, or cricket, whichever my learning history dictates.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A hole where the Snow should have been

I'm not sure when I last went for a whole season without skiing at all. It may be that it might have happened once during my time as a poor undergraduate, or it may go back pre-high school, when I hadn't really got into it yet. Occasionally, over the last few winters I have contemplated not going, because it seemed like such an effort, but having finally got round to it, I've been so glad that I did. It really is an experience like nothing else.

This year has been a bit different. Been knocked around a bit healthwise (in fact my jaw is still allegedly "fragile"), and it must just about have been the crappest season ever. I can remember some skinny years, but they'd usually be a monster dump in late august or something. But it seems not so this year.

I intend for this year to be little more than a brief aberration, and I'd like to see anyone try to stop me next year.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Watching the Watchers...

It seems the watchers don't mind being watched. There are a few pockets of high-resolution imagery on Google's Satellite Imagery, including over a certain valley near Blenheim.

It looks much more amusing, and somewhat more suspicious by night, however.

What? Why are you even asking what I was doing there after dark? Sheesh. Especially when there are much more important issues to hand. I'll get back to you when I've worked out what these are.