Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Better news

Reports from Dunedin say that Elaine is much improved, now eating and all functions seem to be working. She will probably stay in for several days yet, though.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Weekend check

Heather went to Dunedin to look after her sister Elaine, who had a bowel cancer operation three weeks or so ago. Other family have been helping out as well, of course - anyway when Heather got there Elaine was in need of attention, and she's now in hospital, but all is not well. They are now waiting to talk to the specialists tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Grand day out

Geoff Wain, Grant Bush, and I went to Mt Hutt today. The car did really well and carried us up the hill in comfort. The day stayed cold, and the visibility came and went as the clouds went and came, but the skiing was pretty good for this end of the season. It was well groomed hardpack, but that was fine for our first day. Geoff is pretty much a beginner, and he graduated from the learners slope to using the intermediate chairlift and skiing the cat track, which he really enjoyed.

Geoff and Grant at lunch. We should have gone inside, it was freezing.

Geoff's first run from the chairlift, Grant supervising.

Grant and I skied together, mostly on the 5 or 6 groomed runs, and had a great time. The big bowl near the bottom, between the intermediate chair and Broadway, was in prime condition, and I had some great sweeps up the sides of the bowl, switching edges as I came down to the bottom and sweeping up the other side wall.

Playing hooky

Off skiing - a rare no-meetings day coincided with good weather, so it's time to test the 4wd diesel's hill climbing ability. I'm going with two friends from the IT Dept, should be a good day. More later.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Gadgets

I want a Palm Pre. Really. Smartphone technology is getting better by the week, and this seems the gadget du jour for a large number of tech reviewers. Apparently sales in the US are not great, though, so this may not be the salvation Palm was hoping for.

But then Android devices are going to appear soon. Maybe I'd better wait.

Friday, 19 June 2009

The boat that nearly was

Three of us were about to buy a boat, but we missed out. It's a shame, it was a lovely little cruising yacht, well set up for coastal cruising, though in need of some care and attention. We'll have to keep looking...

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Quiet weekend

Saturday was supermarket shopping and setting up a TV in the kitchen to replace the old one, which was only 24 years old. The replacement is half that age, on "loan" from Rod McKay, and works OK, though the remote seems weird so we don't use it. The picture is great and all the main channels were already tuned in - bonus! I can again watch the news while cooking dinner.

Today started clear and sunny, and at 9am I was on my way biking to New Brighton on the riverside path. After a look at the beach and a big surf breaking way out, I rode up to Waimairi and turned west - into a 5-10kph headwind. It was just enough to stop me using my usual gears, and I couldn't get into a comfortable rhythm. I had been thinking of going to the railway cycle track at Northcote, but at Cranford St I was fed up and decided to head for home. Still, I did 25km in an hour and a bit, averaged 22kph, and definitely pushed myself more than just riding to work and back. I must do more rides like that.

The new $100 ski rack is on the car, so skiing must be getting closer.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Change of life

It's official, I am now the Team Coordinator of UCTL's Flexible Learning Group. What does this mean? A little more pay, lots of meetings, and my own office (eventually). More later.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Ready for winter

I tried fitting an old set of conventional ladder-style tyre chains (last used on my HQ Holden pre 1995 but still almost brand new) on the Camry yesterday. The chains are a perfect width, but they're a bit too long, so today's task is to borrow a pair of bolt cutters and reduce their length. That will require jacking up the car and removing a wheel, which will be an instructional exercise in itself. I haven't used the jack or other tools yet, so it's time I familiarised myself with the gear before I'm stuck somewhere in the snow and dark.

Our roof rack didn't fit either, as the Camry doesn't have the gutters in the roof that the Corona had. I've ordered a replacement for $100 on Trademe; it should take our ski holders from the old rack, and then I'll quit the old one for whatever it gets. A new pair of plastic ski holders is $36 - that makes 4 sets even more expensive than the rack they fit on! No wonder enterprising people have started importing racks and selling them on Trademe.

UPDATE: The car exercise went well, all I need to do now is to borrow some cutters and remove the last cross-row plus the tails. The jack etc all work just fine; in fact I suspect that I'm the first person to ever remove the jack handle from its stowage place.
UPDATED UPDATE: All done.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Wazzup?

Seems to be a lot going on this week:
  • Heather's sister Elaine has had a successful operation in Dunedin; more to follow.
  • I am applying for the Team Coordinator job. So far I've updated my CV - I didn't think I'd need to do that again. I have planned an application letter, now all I have to do is to write it. It's all due by next Wednesday.
  • I gave the IT Dept warm fuzzies by emailing and saying how we appreciated their service in last weekend's big whoopsie. (Major IT outage, nearly all fixed by Monday.) That started a bit of a storm among the university IT crowd.
  • I had my third bike puncture in two weeks, and decided to get a new tyre and tube. But the first tyre I bought didn't fit! It was a 27 inch, not a 700c; I thought they were the same, but not so - now I have a kevlar belted 700c 28mm wide tyre fitted, and all is well.
I'll start biking again tomorrow, just in time for the next southerly front. Winter's here folks!