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l'enfer du North Island

  the end of a project Wednesday 18 November 2009 link

In the last 6 weeks, as we finish various projects, I have acquired five work-related garments. I am also currently involved in designing/acquiring a t-shirt for my team.

Rather unusually, most of these are garments that I am quite proud to wear in public. It's a step above my "CMMI Level 2 Implementation Team" polo neck, or my ActiveSmart t-shirt.

I'd say I'm going corporate except that my workplace doesn't give two shits if I work barefoot (or, probably, topless, though I've not tried that one yet). So "corporate" probably isn't the word. "Native", possibly.

  waffle and a bad pun Monday 9 November 2009 link

As we all know, it's now a bit illegal to chat away on your mobile phone will driving. But that's just part of the recent revisions to the road rules. There's another few changes that slipped under most people's radar. From a cyclists' perspective, there are a few sensible ones: hook turns are now OK (useful at multi-lane intersections, or for less confident cyclists), cyclists don't have to signal at roundabouts if it's not safe to ride one-handed, and bike lights just have to be visible for 100m, rather than illuminating the road 100m ahead - which indicates that someone's actually worked out that the main use of cycle lights is so that other road users can see you, rather than so you can see where you're going.

But the interesting one is this:

It is proposed that there will be an infringement fee of $100 for a person who rides a cycle, mobility device or wheeled recreational device on a shared path at a hazardous speed.

Amendment concerning use of shared paths.

Basically, it's codifying the "don't be a dick" aspect of using shared paths. Hooning it around is now punishable by a $100 fine. Which is good - the problem with shared paths is that they mix multiple users with different requirements and abilities, so getting it down in black and white that the faster ones need to pay a bit more attention to the slower ones is a good thing. It's simple recognition of the nature of riding in a mixed-use environment.

So this is basically a recognition that cyclepaths are only for people who want to ride at a relaxed, mellow pace. For the rest of us - and I'm speaking as someone who just wants to get to bloody work and doesn't mind sweating a bit - the road's usually faster and often safer.

Anyway. Went for a walk at lunchtime today, ended up going through Strathmore. The name means "Large Valley" in Scots Gaelic, and you can see why: it's a big valley tucked in between the airport and Seatoun. This is the site of the first state housing in the country, presumably because it was cheap land and the valley meant that you could tuck all the poor people neatly out of sight. It's still densely packed with council accomodation, though most of the original state houses now seem to be in private ownership. It's one of the few places in New Zealand where you can see UK-style terrace blocks of state flats. Walking around I felt like I'd landed back in the Hedges (that is, King's Hedges council estate in Cambridge, where we lived for five years). Rather a lot of tinny houses, I'm informed, ditto P. Interesting neighbourhood.

Mocking someone because their name sounds like a rude word: argumentum ad homonym.

Thank you, I'm here all week.

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unspoilt by progress

calm, peaceful, sweary

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