marsden_online: (camera2)

There was another mass event in Christchurch today, a far more positive one which is in danger of being buried by the bad news. The Secondary School Strike attracted as many people into the square as I have seen in my time of attending such things and there was an underlying energy which is often missing. As if a storm might be building ....
marsden_online: (Default)
On Friday the 15th of March NZ had it's own mass-shooting(s). I was at an event nearby which was ended early (although we didn't known why at the time) and then returned to my workplace also only a couple of blocks from the worst event.

To start with there was only shock and sadness. Not shocked or surprised that something like this happened, like many others I considered a mass shooting in NZ only a matter of time, or at the direction in the violence was aimed. Just what you would expect from the immediacy of the event.

Once I had time to process things I also began to feel how lucky I am - not to have not been involved but almost the opposite

- the shooter was a blond, white male. I am also a blond white male, but I am at no risk of suffering any sort of "reprisal" because I happen to share one of these physical characteristics with him
- I did not need to spend the next days and nights worrying that there might have been another gunman still loose out there for whom I was a target. I do not need to worry that another radicalised individual might be out there planning a repeat or variation in which I will be a target, or even that just by walking down the street I might become a target of opportunity for someone equally full of hate and just a little less stable.
- my personal risk of being a victim of gun violence or indeed any sort of violence feels no more immediate than it did last week.

There was no anger at that time. There is still no anger towards the event. I believe that exhaustion from other areas of my life simply left me no energy to be angry. But then articles like this one:
At least five years of solid government engagement across a National-led and then a Labour-led government. We begged and pleaded, we demanded. We knocked on every door we could, we spoke at every forum we were invited to.

At a major security conference in February 2018, Aliya challenged the sector: if you can spend so much on surveilling our community, why can you not spend on preventative programmes?

and this one:
Planned and executed with complete impunity and without any hesitation, the massacre took place because the perpetrator, like so many others before him, felt a confidence that in our societies is afforded only to white men.

He felt this confidence, and was vindicated for it. As media, politicians, and everyday discourse focused on the threat of radicalisation supposedly harbored by Muslim communities – a suggestion that would now surely be farcical if its consequences weren’t so tragic – as the SIS and the GCSB were busy scouring the facebook accounts of Māori activists and Muslim youth, this man blithely and unashamedly made his violent intentions plain and clear, and visible for all to see.

I’ll never forget the many meetings and roundtables I attended, alongside other Muslim advocates and leaders, where we argued and pleaded, pointlessly it seems, with different government agencies to turn their attention from our communities and mosques to the real threats in this country. I’ll never forget the empty reassurances, let alone the smirking faces as someone dismissively joked, in reference to the far right and white supremacists in New Zealand: ‘it’s hard to take these guys seriously.’

... stirred the coals of a different anger. About our unquestionably white-centered "security" services, who would rather browbeat environmentalists and create phantoms of Māori or Islamic violence to chase than look into genuine threats to our citizens.

I wrote then (on Facebork)

"Up until now I haven't had it in me to feel angry about this situation. Now I am angry. At the so-called security services of this country and other agencies whose job it was to recognise and act on the concerns of these communities and who absolutely failed in that duty. In doing so they have failed not only the Moslem citizens of New Zealand but *all* of us and they should be held to account commensurately.

They won't be of course. They never are :( "

There have also been a lot of (white) people crying "this isn't us, this is not our New Zealand." I'm glad to say that there has come a great pushback against that in opinion pieces from white writers I respect as well as from less-white ones sharing their experiences.

Toby Morris summed it up in cartoon format here.

But if you have any doubt about the depth of racism and other isms in New Zealand society you only need to pause and imagine what the ... I'm going to use outcry as a moderate term for it ... would be if one of the "major" political parties were to elect or appoint as leader someone who was something other than a practicing or passes-for-lapsed Christian, or anyone clearly of other than Pākehā or Māori descent. The dogwhistles and allusions of loyalty to "somewhere else" which would permeate an election under those conditions.

Or to quote from the first article linked above:
I would ask you to picture this: what if the shooting had been a Muslim perpetrator, and it was 50 non-Muslim New Zealanders who had been shot? Would our community be receiving the same level of support that we have today?

Imagine what the media commentary would have been like. We would not have been able to leave our homes, the level of retaliatory attacks on our community would have been swift and immediate, and the police would have struggled to provide any meaningful protection.

Yet I can walk without fear.

On a final note there are of course people saying that the shooter should receive a death penalty, whether delivered formally or informally. I say that is too good for him, a martyrs end. He deserves to grow old in a place from which he can influence or harm no-one, watching New Zealand come together into a more integrated and caring nation despite of or even because of what he has done.

I believe that we do currently have the political leadership to act on the current mood and momentum for change but whether we actually mange to accomplish that better nation is left as an exercise for the reader.


Feb. 12th, 2019 10:19 am
marsden_online: (skull)
Some mornings I wake up and everything kinda hurts and I just can't.

I am aware that for many of my friends this is a daily occurrence with "really" in place of "kinda", and I don't envy you one bit :(
marsden_online: (camera2)
New Years at the Pink Palace
marsden_online: (camera2)
The lady is not a myth
marsden_online: (Kea)

Produced 343 units
Exported 131 units (@ 9.2c/unit)
Used 212 units (saving 22.2065c/unit)

Total reduction in power bill = $59.12


The solar installation was removed Nov 19 and will be re-emplaced once the new garage is built, at this stage I expect them to be back up by March.

Produced 278 units
Exported 185 units (@ 9.2c/unit)
Used 93 units (saving 22.2065c/unit)

Total reduction in power bill = $37.67
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
My last general update was wayyy back in April. Since then I have had difficultly finding the combination of time and energy to write. I'm not convinced it is what I would best be doing right now, but I'm in a bit of a down patch and need to get some stuff out.
Dear diary )
marsden_online: (camera2)
Second Halloween party of the weekend
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Produced 278 units
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Used 196 units (saving 22.2065c/unit)

Total reduction in power bill = $51.11
marsden_online: (camera2)
Annual 48 hour party
marsden_online: (Kea)
Produced 183 units
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Used 166 units (saving 22.2065c/unit)

Total reduction in power bill = $40.17
marsden_online: RPG log icon for this character (Kiera)
... my dreams last night were epic on a scale I haven't experienced in some time. This may or may not be related to my complete exhaustion on multiple levels. Some notes for future gaming reference.

- A hero bearing a spear tipped with light appearing at various times throughout history,
- actually different members of a secret society founded and led by members of a race of immortals (do not age, susceptible to violence variety), dedicated to ensuring than an ancient fortress literally thrown/torn down after a murder of passion followed by a bloody schism never rises again to trigger the fulfillment of a prophecy.
- The world has changed so much in the centuries since though that some of the senior members are starting to wonder if it actually matters any more, or if they were being too literal and there is more to be gained by letting the younger races continue their growth on the site.
- There are a number of such weapons but only one more will be made, the person it is made for must then kill the one who can make them before and demon possessing them and invoked in the process can escape (per prophecy)
- The "king" of the immortals and father of the murderer prevented from taking his revenge on the (legitimate) killer of his son by law and the other nobles, secretly plotting his revenge on basically the entire planet from the immortals' home city in the sky/spaceship, which has been basically isolated since the body was returned.
- immortals included Batman, Wonder Woman and possibly Dr Strange analogs as well as other characters I do not recognise a source for.
- There was a self propelled stone battle wagon occupied/controlled by the soul of an immortal woman who had stolen the secrets to power it from the city, kind of in a
- "Of those who travelled north only those who had previously travelled south survived" or "the key to surviving the north lies in the south."
marsden_online: (Kea)
Produced 146 units
Exported 16 units (@ 9.2c/unit)
Used 130 units (saving 22.2065c/unit)

Total reduction in power bill = $28.96
marsden_online: (camera2)
Annual 48 Hour funds raising event
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
D "+ Guest" was invited to a very special wedding in Auckland, so last weekend I paid my first visit to this city which was not purely contained to passing though the airport.

My lasting impression was of the number of rainbows we saw, and much closer than I am used to encountering in Christchurch (at one point it seemed we were about to drive through the base of one). D was unimpressed, I guess they just become part of the background colour if you have lived in the city.

I am grateful that we did not encounter heavy traffic at any time during our visit. Even with the assistance of google maps unfamiliarity with the motorway system, and exits meant I was changing lanes at short notice more than I would have liked, sometimes in less-than optimal driving conditions.

The visit was a bit of a whirlwind, what with delayed flights it was almost exactly 36 hours between boarding at Christchurch airport and getting home. In that time we

- flew up
- found our rental car
- stopped for a slow-to-arrive lunch at a Sylvia Park eating establishment
- found our motel
- changed
- found the wedding venue (a short drive north of Auckland)
- enjoyed the wedding (with bonus cheese), at which I encountered an old acquaintance and met a few new people without embarrassing myself or D.
- it was rather a change to be the unknown partner rather than the well-known member on one of the social groups. Not an unpleasant one.
- returned to the motel via one of D's old flats to pick up some things which had been accidentally left there when she departed. Fortunately these took up almost the same space coming back as the wedding present had travelling up.
- dragged ourselves away from the motel by the 10am checkout time
- dropped D's chef knives off at her sharpener of preference (who couriered them back later in the week)
- spent some time sitting in the hothouse winter gardens.
- Met up with a friend of D's for lunch
- I was thanked for making D seem happier than she had been in a long time :)
- visited the butterflies, geckos and crocs at Butterfly Creek (the kiwis were being shy)
- returned the car unscathed
- resisted the entreaties of the saleswoman in the airport jewellery store and hung out in the departure lounge while our flight was delayed & delayed (but several others (to smaller centres) were announced as cancelled while we waited, so could have been worse).
marsden_online: (Kea)
Produced 91 units
Exported 5 units (@ 9.2c/unit)
Used 86 units (saving 22.2065c/unit)

Total reduction in power bill = $19.59

June was a bit of a gloomy month, with fewer sunshine hours than usual for the time of year.

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