Confession time – I’m an activist. That’s right – an activist.

The whole activist thing has crept up slowly on me – but after this last week I have to conclude that I’m now there – full blown activist!

Let me explain. Here in NZ we have a primary teachers union called NZEI and I’m an active member. Briefly the structure works like this. Each school has a worksite rep who reports to the local branch. Each branch has a District Council that it reports to – there are 12 of these throughout NZ. I’m DC Chair for my DC. Each DC meets around 4 times a year to discuss issues and policies etc. We also plan and run professional development seminars for teachers (and principals, support staff and early childhood educators).

Then, once a year, we have our Annual Meeting where representatives from branches and district councils (and the Maori equivalent) meet in Wellington to debate, endorse and plan. We represent around 49,000 people in our union.

This year we celebrated 125 years of our union (complete with birthday cake) as well as debating an organisational review, rule changes, policy amendments and resolutions. Every representative there can participate in the debate and for the first time I got up to speak – twice! Very scary – first time spontaneously, the second time I had written and re-written what I wanted to say. (I stand to oppose this resolution … )

The thing about being an activist is that you actually look at the issues/policies/resolutions etc – you research them and you make informed commentary on them.

New Zealand is in the build up to a general election (we do it very differently to the USA buildup) and, unlike previous elections, I will be scrutinising what the various parties are actually saying – I know I’ll vote Labour/Green – (ironically our Labour colours are RED and National colours are BLUE) – but I will be informed and will debate with candidates when and where possible.

this is stirring and heart rendering all at once

one of the pieces the choir i sing in is performing for our final concert this year is “Do you hear the people sing” from Les Mis

i found this youtube video with 17 Valjeans performing the song – the “Australian” Valjean is a kiwi singer (you’ll see him at 1:39) who died suddenly last weekend between performances of Wicked – so sad – he was a pop singer i grew up listening to

iTouch and Jailbreaking

so yesterday i decided to jailbreak my iTouch – nothing illegal about it – just not supported by apple!

back in the days when i was a windoze user i was forever tweaking my computer themes … now i can do that with my iTouch

here is my original homescreen


bog standard as you can see

now – take a look at my current (new) homescreen


isn’t it just prettyful … note the brown cydia icon and the winterboard icon – they’re part of the pwnage

and now … drum roll … how do you like my starting screen (which normally has a battery indicator)


it’s actually animated and is actually the hardest screenshot to get (as it only shows when locked)

note too the name in top left hand corner – it no longer says iPod …

so – waddaya think – cool or no?

George Orwell

of some interest to some – George Orwell’s private and political diaries are being published here exactly 70 years to the day that the original entry was penned