Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Job

It's been a long time since I went to bed Sunday night feeling excited about work on Monday. My first week in a new job has started well, but slowly, and it was only on Friday that I started to learn what I needed for my main role. Can't wait to get on with it for real this week. So much happier.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One toe into the water

So I've finally got myself some bike shoes - and such classy ones!

Everybody says that you've gotta try them, and you'll be so much happier with your increased pedalling power. On the flip side, they're a big step into sport-cycling and cycle-specific clothing. I've been tossing it up for years, but recently BikeSkirt raised the question and then my LBS offered me second-hand pedals and shoes for a mere $55. I decided to take the punt, and put them on my sportiest ride: the fixie.

The shoes could be passable with a change of colour - I'm thinking of taking some boot black to them - but can expect to be replaced if the experiment works. The blue wash in the photo actually helps them, toning down the green suede around the laces. Maybe I'll onsell them to another tentative neophyte with suppressed fashion sense?

First impressions are mixed, but I'm having trouble finding the right positioning. Could partly be that the shoes are not my ideal fit, but we'll keep playing. Mostly I need to put some miles on, for experience and to see how the feet cope with many hours in the same position.

So far I've fallen off once (after getting half-way up the steepest point on the NW cycleway, which my legs/knees couldn't manage after months off the fixie). More impressive getting trapped in the shoes after failing to tighten the cleats enough. My shoes were happily rotating with my feet, so I had to unlace and step out while sitting in the saddle. Luckily I realised before I fell over in front of a line of traffic, so was able to pull onto the footpath and lean against a rubbish bin. Several busloads of commuters seemed to enjoy my little pantomime.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Why I voted Yes

Why did I vote yes in NZ's current referendum on child discipline, related to last year's repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act, commonly (if somewhat misleadingly) described as the anti-smacking bill?

In my opinion, NZ's good and responsible parents should abstain from any violence-based parenting tools in a communal response to the level of violence throughout our society. I base this opinion not on any inherent wrongness of smacking, but in light of NZ's attrocious patterns of violence and in the assurance from many reliable sources that effective alternate parenting tools are available. We need all sectors of society to demonstrate that violence is not the only (nor even the best) way to get the job done.

Much internet debate (such as there has been, since most have estimated that this referendum will have little practical impact) has focussed on the legitimacy of smacking, but I consider that a distraction. As my great-grandparent's generation took the pledge to refrain from alcohol in response to
it's prevailing social impact, so we need to respond to the destruction surrounding us rather than argue about the propriety of a quiet tipple of fine wine in the privacy of our own homes.