Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All sorts of crap

I went swimming tonight as I usually do on a Tuesday. I continue to be amazed by the number and variety of tattoos on show. I've got no problem with them but I've never come close to even thinking of getting one myself. Am I missing something?

We had the autism group last night. Ten of us turned up; we now have a "topic" to begin the meeting, just like in Auckland. This perhaps helped the evening follow a more positive course than the previous one. However there was one bloke who talked about crap rather a lot, and when I say crap I actually mean crap. A real positive to come out of the meeting from my (selfish) perspective: I'll be meeting one of the women for lunch tomorrow. There's also a woman who goes tramping regularly; that's something I wouldn't mind getting into - it has all kinds of benefits: exercise, meeting people, seeing parts of the city and country that you otherwise wouldn't, exposure to vitamin D, and much more besides.

When I got home I gave my brother a ring. He's about to go away on a two-week trip for his new marine security job. He'll be paid handsomely - £4000 - danger money I suppose.

Yesterday I acquired a new boss at work. He's originally from China - for some reason the Chinese gravitate towards these kinds of professions - and has a two-letter surname that, despite its brevity, I'm unsure of how to pronounce. Friday was a particularly weird day at work. We had our elevenses at 11:11 on 11/11/11, while my actual work was the financial equivalent of deciding which games and goals to arbitrarily exclude to make a football team's league table position look semi-respectable. I was more than happy to publish the real data but my boss and his boss clearly weren't.

The weekend was one of contrasting weather - a vile Saturday followed by a gloriously sunny (and verging on hot) Sunday. The pleasant weather continued into yesterday. The highlight of my weekend - if you can call it that - was my attempt at house-hunting. I looked at three places, but none of them were really suitable. The last place needed earthquake strengthening.

A got a text from Phil about the annual p├ętanque tournament on Waiheke. He lost in the final for the third year running! I don't know who beat their team in the final but I bet it was Patrick, the dreadlocked Frenchman whose teeth are a mixture of yellow, brown and non-existent.

Berlusconi has gone. Hooray! (even if it did take a debt crisis to get shot of that megalomaniac).

The general election is a week and a half away. It doesn't seem long since the last one. To be honest I don't think it matters much who wins, although I will vote nonetheless (for whom I really don't know). Since I've lived in New Zealand I've felt gradually less attached to the political process, even if I've moved to within a stone's throw of where it all happens. As for the referendum on our voting system, that's a much easier decision for me. I'll be voting to keep MMP. Sure it needs the odd tweak (some restriction on defeated electorate candidates remaining in parliament through their party list would be nice, and I'd no longer allow parties who win an electorate but gain less than 5% of the party vote to get their full allocation of seats). But a return to first-past-the-post (which looks like the only alternative in the running) where some votes are vastly more important than others, and a party can govern with fewer votes than its defeated rival, would surely be a step backwards.

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