Thursday, May 17, 2012

Woodturning class III

This rather phallic-looking object is actually a handle. It was turned from a piece of grapefruit tree our neighbour chopped down. It was so wet there were a few tense moments when we thought the whole thing might just split. But a bit of skill (not mine) and some luck meant we were able to complete the job.
The handle is for a tool called a braddle which is just a handle with a pointy thing (usually a nail) stuck in the end to make holes in other things. The handle we made is a bit OTT but the good news is we were clever enough to drill the hole in while the wood was in the lathe so it's square with the handle. 
A home-made tool made from local materials. How green is that, eh? We'll post a picture of the finished braddle when the handle has dried out (and hopefully not split) and been polished.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

But English works in Wellington!

An amusing item on TV3 news [start at 10.30] on Sunday night looked at the efforts of the Wellington-based Ministry of Primary Industries'attempts to provide information about the Queensland fruit fly to people attending the Avondale market. A couple of things stand out. For a start, there's Minister for Primary Industries David Carter trying desperately to sound like he actually has faith in the biosecurity system the government has run down over the last few years. Then there's the fact that his eyebrows nearly fly off his face in surprise when he notes that "in the area we found the fruitfly, we've found there are quite a lot of nationalities..." No shit. Mt Roskill/Avondale doesn't have the same ethnic and socioeconomic make up as central Wellington, then. Maybe some of those government types should leave the beltway more often.  
Noting that perhaps pamphlets should have been in languages other than English, market manager Robb Kemp says they should have been in Mandarin or Cantonese, or some previously unknown language called Polynesian. We think he meant Samoan and Tongan (there's others, but they're the main ones). 
And finally, there's the fact that if you look closely at the clip, it doesn't just show a multi-cultural Auckland; it shows almost no white people apart from the man from the Ministry, the Minister himself, the reporter and the guy who runs the market. 
This gives us a glimpse as to why policies dreamed up in rich, white, skinny Wellington fail so dismally in the parts of Auckland that are predominantly poor and brown. Just for next time (because there will be a next time), this photo shows how many languages in which the Ministry might need to consider printing information.


Or maybe this would be easier:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spider's best girlfriend

Spider's a bit of a hit with the girls, but his favourite girlfriend is Zoe the part whippet SPCA rescue dog. She is one of the few dogs fast enough to keep up with him, and while she doesn't quite have his stamina she doesn't back off either. Especially not when she's fully caffeinated from licking coffee off the floor. Go Zoe!
Here they are pretending to be obedience class stars, closely watched by Zoe's Dad.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Two Dog Night

Auckland's Indian Summer stretches on and on. Fab days but cold nights. And if you're a dog, sometimes you just have to cuddle up with your best buddy on the couch. (Sometimes if you're a human, too.)