Saturday, February 13, 2010

Year 3 we're on camp camp camp, and we're feeling alright right right...

What a couple of days.  The kids were so amped for camp. The hardest part was getting 130 kids to sleep. It took around 1hr+ before they got to sleep. I slept on the hall stage looking down on the children. It was such a serene sight. So beautiful to watch 130 kids asleep.

I started to think that this is perhaps how it was like for a general looking down on his army before a battle. However, instead of the kids going to war, they slaughtered me the next day. Man was I tired.  I went home, ate, slept for 2 hours (at 6pm). Got up....then went back to bed for another 9hrs.

Wish I had a picture of the whole hall asleep.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Mea Culpa

The 'Internet Age' has given us many possibilities that we had never fathom before. From simple communication to buying groceries and having them delivered to your doorstep are just two of many possibilities. Nothing seems impossible now (especially with Google Inc. around).

Apple Inc. is one company who has really benefited from the 'Internet Age'. The iPod was the first big thing for them and later the iPhone. These devices allow music to be played on them, both requiring a piece of software called iTunes. iTunes is a music application which syncs music to your Apple listening device. iTunes also allows you to purchase music, digital music that is, and that is what I really want to talk about.

Buying digital music seems like a great way of purchasing music.
The benefits are immense:

  • Don't need to leave the house
  • You can listen to it straight away
  • It is cheaper
  • It reduces carbon footprint because there is no packaging or shipping involved.
Now, how could you pass that up?

My problem with this is, that the iTunes store, is a store in America. When you spend any money at the store, money goes from NZ to the USA. It does not get pumped into the local market. When your country is a small island nation of 4 million, little things like that could cause business to lose huge market share and eventually close down. Less tax is paid to the government, people lose jobs etc. etc.

This is just one example of money being handed to foreign shores. I have found a UK book site which sells books cheaper (after shipping) than books purchased in NZ retail stores. A clothing website based in the USA sells t-shirts for less than $20nzd (after shipping). Amazon (and now Apple) are the two main places to purchase e-books.

Eventually when everyone has the internet, more people will realise that there are many more options when it comes to shopping. NZ products can't compare to the prices of overseas items because of the inflated prices due to 3rd or even 4th party (middle men). Will our economy crumble in 20 years time because we don't support local businesses?

*Edit* After writing this post, I found out that iTunes redirects you to a NZ version of iTunes store, which converts some albums to NZD (while others aren't available in NZ). However, a $5 album in the states costs you $14 is up with that? Anyway, I don't believe the money goes to the NZ economy. *Edit*

Monday, February 01, 2010

Homemade Scratching Post

Finally got around to making a scratching post for Ruby (my kitten, like duh obviously...).

Materials Used:
  • Old Jeans
  • Carpet Off Cuts
  • Basketball and Vs. Cards
  • Unused CD Rack
  • Cellotape
  • Gladwrap
  • Nails
  • Coat Hanger
  • Bungy Cord
  • Staples
Tools Used:
  • Hammer
  • Staple Gun
  • Scissors
  • Blood and Sweat

This is an old CD Case that has been sitting there for years. Took it apart to use the large board as the base of the scratching post.

Pile these things together into "bricks" and cellotape them. Once you have your bricks, pile them into two even piles (make sure your bricks are the same helps). Cellotape them all together and then gladwrap it a few times.

This is what it looks like afterwards.

The bottom of the "stack" is the CD board with carpet over the top and stapled in using the staple gun.

I then had to make sure that the stack was in the middle of the board. Turned it upside down and then nailed it. The stack of cards is a lot harder to nail in than normal wood, which was really surprising. I think it is because there is a bit of a cushion and my hammer hits were just being absorbed.

After it was nailed in, I cut off the legs from the jeans and just fit it onto the stack of cards. It was amazing how well it fit...lucky I guess. Both of the jeans legs are on the stack.

Once on, I stapled the top of it onto the stack.

The last thing I did was put a coat hanger inbetween the two stack of cards and then tied the bungy cord on the end of the hanger.

Day 1 Ruby only used the "toys" but I taught her to use it for scratching and she did so all by herself on Day 2!