Tactical Ninja - In which I try to electrocute myself and go hippy hunting
Oct. 25th, 2011
09:22 am - In which I try to electrocute myself and go hippy hunting
The shearing season did not start auspiciously. After getting up at 6am on Saturday and cleaning the bathroom(!) while waiting for the call from Tawa, it was raining and no go. Later on it came out sunny, so my clients got their sheep in, and on Sunday I got all the way out there and had set up my gear before the sky opened and dumped on us and I went home again. Yesterday I arose at 5:30am for an 8am start, the weather was dodgy but looking to improve, so I made a start.
I got 8 sheep into it (with 45 total lined up for the day) before getting zapped off the power cable. Inspection showed a small slice that had gone into the central wires. ;-/ I guess I'm lucky I grabbed a little way away from the slice. Anyway, that was a mandatory down tools, and now I have to replace the cable. I'm going to get a much stronger and thicker one - I think it's a pretty serious design flaw that the thing has a cable that will fit between the teeth of the comb on a cutting implement, you know? So, bigger and not as flexible so that might help with the tangling that causes the cable to get near the business end in the first place.
But yeah, I'm not dead and this is a good thing.
A challenge for all you hippy-spotters.
Y'see after dropping my car off yesterday, I headed home and just as I got there, the Occupiers turned up in Cuba Mall as part of their Labour Day parade (apparently suggested by a four year old). Please to be pointing out how many dreadlocked hippies you can see in this picture. Also, you might want to try detecting which of these people need to Get A Job. I had trouble, how about you?
The group was using the People's Mic to perform oratory. I had in my pocket a message from the mother of a friend, who was unable to attend from her home far away in the Wairarapa but who supports what the Occupiers are doing. I'd been asked to take it to a message board - however, instead I asked the guy speaking to read it out over the People's Mic. Consequently, everyone in Cuba Mall heard this message of support from a 71-year-old lady who agrees with them, amplified by over 100 voices. <3 everyone involved.
Later, I ran into a group of masked Anonymous (you can see some of them in the above picture). I told them I'd been expecting them and we got talking. Turns out some of them are from Masterton and they'd heard this message and were all "REPRESENT!" They've been working to get the message out over there but didn't know if there was any support other than in their own group, so it was particularly heartening for them.
Then I went and hung out on the waterfront for a while, where I saw this:
Which I thought was pretty cool. One of the workshops I sat in on was about the University system and the way in which the requirement to make a profit is altering the fundamental purpose of higher education, in that (arguably) Universities are becoming the mouthpiece of the ruling classes rather than the conscience/check-balance system of society, or increasing knowledge.
Interestingly, I'd had a conversation earlier in the day which had outlined the research-racket - funding for research is at a premium, and funding goes where research that makes the funders happy is being done. Universities that want to make money get as much of this funding as possible by producing said happy-making research. And the unspoken bit is about what happens to those researchers who don't produce happy-making research, who produce challenging research. Never mind the education purpose of universities, that seems.. a secondary concern? I know that my $3000-odd dollars a year of Fees 'n' Stuff can't compete with gigantic government research grants, eh?
So anyway, that's depressing. Let's play Spot The Bludging Hippy again shall we? Here's a pic of the front of the parade arriving back at the City To Sea Bridge.
Dunno, that lady on the right hand end looks particularly bludgey, I think. She should totally Get A Job.
There is a rumour going around that the Occupiers are going to be evicted nationwide today. It may just be a rumour - so far in Wellington at least, the council and the police have both been remarkably cooperative. But the cynic in me says the rugby is over, the tourists are going home, and nobody has to be seen to be being good value any more. The idealist in me hopes my inner cynic is wrong. But it's possible there may be problems for the Occupiers today and I might end up writing to various official bodies to ask them to continue to support rather than be seen by the public to be squashing dissent.
Finally on Occupy today, here is a list by Bernard Hickey of some potential ways to address financial inequality in New Zealand. Interesting reading.
Meanwhile, this is what the view from my loo looked like yesterday morning:
Not very inspiring is it? Here's what it looks like now:
No Happy, I have no idea how it came out acid green, it just happened OK? Anyway, this is the first time I've tried this dyeing technique and while I'm reasonably satisfied with it, I think it needs more. I have a dark blue and some other colours in the green/blue range, and I think what I'd like to do now is hand paint some seaweed and fish shapes on it - or something like that anyway. I like the green-light-through-glass type look of it, it just.. needs something else. Please to be giving me your aesthetic opinions on what that something should be.
So that's Wot Tats Did On Her Holiday. Got up early every day, tried to electrocute myself, failed to find dole-bludging hippies at the Occupy Labour Day festivities, dyed my fingers green and made a toilet-curtain thing.
How about you? How was your weekend? What did you do?
Oh I also made gravlax. I have no idea if it came out how it was supposed to but I've frozen most of it and ate some and it was Tasty. *nom*