Good Bye, Helen. It was great to live in your country.

So today New Zealand’s Labour government was voted off. Replaced  by a clone of David Cameron and a gaggle of unpleasant right wingers that make me pine for Michael Howard, the nine years of enlightenment that this small country has enjoyed under the outgoing administration will probably replaced by an orgy of privatisation, relaxation of the already far too liberal environmental policies and the return of stone age racial policies. In a time where America and Australia are electing progressives, New Zealand takes a step back and hands the keys to the country back to John Keys and his moronic neocons.

Janet Fitzsimons, the co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa, probably found the most appropriate words to summarise this election:

“I wonder in 20 years time whether there’ll be people who will look back to 2008 and say “I am really glad I voted for tax cuts rather for the future of our children”

I lived in a New Zealand that started to evolve into a proper western democracy (that saw the role of the state as more important than just to keep the streets repaired and the sewage working) thanks to Helen and her flock of ‘front-bums’ (quote John Tamihere) but is now quite likely to be run again by a bunch of farmers, lawyers and middle class businessmen who have tax relief and profit maximisation as the only important goal on their mind.

It’s going to be a very different country. With more cows. And streets to transport them on.

Certainly not a nicer one.

P.S. ..and the prize for biggest electoral bloodymindedness goes to the Waitaki electorate. They actually re-elected  Jacqui Dean.

The curse of the electrical household goods strikes

This weekend was obviously not meant for my two favourite gadgets to survive. On Friday my Macbook got an accidental dousing with a recreational fluid and since then has refused to work (and will probably never work again), and the next day the LCD screen on my lovely Powershot TX1 stopped working.  Sniff.

The next step will be to pray to the gods of backup that I can save my 10 gigabyte of precious photographs from the Mabook’s hard disk. So, a set of small screwdrivers and a USB to IDE connector will have to be acquired and hoped that I can mount the HD under Linux (apparently it works, but you never know).

The next step is to decide what to do with the dead MacBook. Sacrifice it? It is rather reassuring to see that I am not the only one who gave his MacBook a good dousing. The intarwebs are full of people asking for help after recreational fluids leaked all over the keyboard.

The biggest question of all is of course what to replace it with. The best girlfriend ever has been a happy eeepc user for more than 9 months now, and after having a look at the new EEEPC 1000 myself, I decided to finally rid myself of proprietary software once and for all (apart from my ancient windowsbox that I only use to play Settlers III).  After one year with the MacBook I still had to find an application that needs a dual core processor and 2 gigabyte of ram, as I didn’t use any other applications than Mail, Firefox, DVD-Player, VLC, Neo-Office and my twitter client. I find it unlikely that I will suddenly need new applications. I will of course miss the incredible ease of use of the MacBook, but once Ubuntu is installed (and let’s face it, installing is the best bit) it runs just as smoothly.

So, wish me luck in my endeavour. And cross your fingers that the MacBook’s HD is still mountable.