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December 31, 2005

Enron guilty plea

NZH: Former Enron chief accountant pleads guilty.

Before the plea deal, Causey would have faced 36 charges including conspiracy, fraud, insider trading, money laundering and making false statements on financial reports and could have gone to jail for life if convicted. Skilling and Lay will face 35 and 11 criminal counts, respectively.

Causey's sudden switch from a key member of the defence to a potential star witness for the prosecution could throw off the legal strategy for Skilling and Lay and force a delay in the trial now scheduled to start January 17 before Judge Lake.

[Listening to: History Repeated/All Night Programme -- National Radio (Radio New Zealand)]

(Mmmm, live public radio streams...)

December 25, 2005

Christmas travel notes

Happy Christmas and happy holidays, and here's some this-and-that observations about travelling in Hong Kong:

  • If you travel on a taxi, it's likely to be a Toyota Crown Comfort, LPG-powered.
  • The taxi you travel on is almost certainly painted (mostly) red, though green on the odd occasion.
  • At least in Kowloon, if you come across postcards and have half an interest in posting some postcards at some point, buy them. They're hard to come across.
  • They don't sell postcards in book shops or stationery shops.
  • Remember those movies such as The Matrix where two people start a fight in a subway station and end up on the railway tracks? It's a bit hard to do that in HK -- that's because there's a glass barrier (with doors that line up to the train doors), so one has to break that first before getting started.

Correction: Well, the above applies if you're in certain parts of HK, and others were my general not-looking-far-enough-ness. The green taxis are from other areas that I hadn't been until the day before I wrote this paragraph (29 December), book shops do sell postcards (if you look really hard and usually upstairs in some obscure place, and often only one shelf of them), and it appears that just the MTR has the glass barriers on their undergrounds. (One can still film their on-track movie fights on KCRC stations without those pesky barriers, but it's just not the same as a subway... and kids, don't try this at home. Or at a train station.) Anyway, happy new year!

December 22, 2005

Milk

Another odd (though very cool) thing about Hong Kong -- there's a bunch of Catholic monks that bottle milk. Welcome to Trappist Dairy!

(Though I get the feeling they're not the only owner, and probably not the biggest one. A couple sites via Google Cache suggests they got a bit too old to do the milking themselves so own 30% of a company that appears to import it from elsewhere.)

December 20, 2005

Kiwifruit

Two things about the Wellcome supermarket downstairs from where I'm staying here on leave in Hong Kong:

  1. 'European kiwifruit' apparently includes New Zealand Zespri brand kiwifruit, mixed together in the same fruit and vegetable section tray.
  2. Cans of Pringles are cheaper than one's usual garden variety bags of potato chips.

By the looks of them, I don't think they're related to GlaxoSmithKline's predecessor either.

December 19, 2005

National Radio

Hmmm. Listening to National Radio using an Internet stream when I have no other means of easily doing so just feels weird.

[Listening to: National Radio -- Radio New Zealand]

Enron

I watched Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room on the plane into HK. Those new-fangled on-demand screens have pretty odd picture quality, but one is only really stuck in there for at worst 12 or so hours at a time, so they are a rather nice diversion if one is either (or if unluckily lucky, both) on a night flight or sitting in a non-window seat.

No particular opinions about the film, other than it was a good documentary for diversionary purposes while trying to figure out how to open the amenity kit us cattle classers were given. The interesting thing, however, is the conspiracy that is claimed to have occurred from within about Enron skimming profits off the Californian electricity market and how Ken Lay and other (corporate) relations championed deregulation for (from what the documentary made things out) their own ends.

Anyway, I'm still on leave. See y'all in a few weeks, with photographs of the place inbetween.

December 16, 2005

Some photos already!

And, less than half an hour later, there are some photographs on Flickr. Enjoy!

Here's a selection. More commentary later; I'm in the Launceston reference room of the Tasmanian State Library right now.

Tiny Albert eats Hungry Jack's/Burger King.

Hobart, Tasmania from Mount Wellington.

A cruise ship in Hobart harbour.

And, finally, a toilet sign that I think could be rather badly misinterpreted. Sadly. :(

Toilet sign, Highway 1, Hobart to Launceston.

See you all in a few days! :)

On leave

I'm currently on leave, taking Tiny Albert Kenby-Bear around some interesting places. I'll be posting some interesting photographs of his travels on Nikster's photo album on my return!

December 7, 2005

Pity I'm busy tomorrow...

I'm going on leave soon, so I'm too busy to work on the new women's studies resource site, or to go to this gig at Indigo Bar tomorrow with an old friend (Jerome Chandrahasen) on the line-up. Sigh.

Here's the Wellington Comedy Club poster I spotted on Lambton Quay today.

So go if you can!

December 3, 2005

I want coffee!

Sigh. I want coffee. Now!

Even if it's that crazy stuff they pour out free on air planes.

Coffee, Flight QF4004 (2 of 3).