Monday, 31 August 2009

Goodbye to August

Broken arm, cracked pelvis, cancelled house sale due to foundations, and now Heather's put her knee out and can't walk! Not our best month...

More after I get back from Oz on Thursday night.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Up and away

I'm in the departure lounge at 5.30am waiting for a flight to the Gold Coast; I'm attending a training workshop for e-learning team leaders Mon-Thu, then home on Thursday night. The airport was packed, at 4.30am! I was going to buy a coffee and something to eat, but the quick cuppa and piece of toast I had at home will have to do, as there's a long queue for the coffee counter. I'm on Air New Zealand, so they'll be feeding us once we get airborne.

Saturday, 29 August 2009


We have trouble with our piles, and it's a pain in the arse. Right, toilet humour off - the sale fell through because the buyers found that we have several problems with our foundations. So now we have to fix them, before we can put the house back on the market. Looks like we're here for another year or two...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Saga continues

There may be problems with the foundations, so we're on tenterhooks waiting for the signed offer (or lack of) tomorrow. More later.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

House angst

Have we sold? Friday is the expiry date for our buyer's conditional offer. He's still doing inspections, so maybe he's discovered that 95 year old houses on boggy land by the river aren't level. If the sale falls through, I don't mind; it gives us time for a re-think.

Heather is still strapped up, but getting better by the day. She's been going back to work for a few hours each day, and is able to do a lot of self-help stuff she couldn't do a week ago. Alice is coming on Saturday to stay with Heather, because I leave at 4am Sunday for 5 days on the Gold Coast, at a training workshop for e-learning team leaders. Busy busy busy...

Saturday, 22 August 2009

The dogs of hell

The latest billboard for Hell Pizza. Tongans probably won't be amused.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Hunting season

Hunting for houses is serious work. Here's our equipment.
Clockwise from the left; Asus Eee laptop, for Google Maps, real estate web sites, and looking up valuations. Harcourts Blue Book, The Realtor, city maps, Property Press, and lots of lists. We're making up a programme of open homes for both days in the weekend.

At present, we have two favourites. This one is perfect, in our neighbourhood just behind Avonside Girls' High near the river, with lots of features that we like. It may be too expensive though, we'll find out on auction day, September 4th.

This next house is also a strong contender; it's in St Martins, though, which would mean daily commutes for both of us.
We will have a signed contract and a deposit in the next few days, and then we can start seriously investigating these and other possibilities. In the meantime, it's lots of open homes and lists.

Monday, 17 August 2009

On our way

As if Heather's broken arm hasn't been a big enough disruption, now we've sold our house! For the asking price, too - we ended up with competitive bids so that worked really well. However, we have to be out by Friday 25th of September, and with only one able bodied person that could be a challenge. Of course, we need to find a house in that time - or a flat to rent temporarily. Watch this space!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Back to (nearly) normal

We've got our routines sorted out now, and getting Heather started on her day was a lot simpler than it was yesterday. And that's my last word on that subject.

We're off to the hospital again today, for Heather's noon injection - I hope they get her blood sorted quickly, this is getting to be a pain. While we're out doing that and having some lunch at the Mediterranean Food store (Later - darn, they're shut on Sundays), the agent has three viewers coming to look at the house, so we've been tidying quite diligently. (Update - one of the three wants to make an offer! We're awaiting a call back from the agent.)

Grump of the day; the IOC has allowed the ISAF's blatantly political decision to drop the Tornado from the next Olympics. I suppose the IOC were obliged to back up the controlling body, but still, what crap - the most exciting event in Olympic sailing has been canned!

If you wanted to shoot your sport in the foot, this is the way to do it.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

There and back

Heather was sent home from hospital yesterday, and is settling in to some routines around the house. I've been pretty much constantly on my feet; breakfast, shower and dressing (not me, Heather) , supermarket, take Heather back to hospital for an injection, lunch, vacuum the house, visitors, prepare dinner. That's so far, I'm sure there will be more.

I was going to say I'll go back to work for a rest, but in fact I'll have to leave work and come to collect her to go for her Monday injection (they're trying to get her INR blood-clotting factor back to its usual levels), drop her home, then go back to work. Hopefully Monday will be the last day that injection is needed.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Daily darg

Heather will come home after lunch tomorrow. Apparently her palpitations last night are just side effects of the anaesthetic - probably. The delay is mostly to get her INR levels back up to acceptable values, so she can continue with a sensible Warfarin dose once she's home.

On a new topic: for years I've been saying, "When I become Emperor I'll ban cell phones in cars" and now I don't even have to stand for the local council. The Nats have shown solid Nanny State credentials, and banned hand held phones while driving. About time.

I've been driving instead of biking the last few days, and I reckon that 75% of drivers under 30 are texting. About 40-50% of older drivers are talking on mobile phones - I guess they have more money. If this stops them all tail-ending other drivers and driving over traffic islands, I'll be a less nervous cyclist; though maybe confiscating their phones would be a better deterrent than an $80 fine and 20 demerits.

A linguistic note - Transport Minister Stephen Joyce says he's banning mobile phones in order to "send drivers a strong signal". I enjoyed that.

Still there

They didn't send Heather home yesterday, and she had a bad night so hopefully she'll see a doctor today, and some decisions will be made. She's going to need some help around home once she's out, too - mainly showering and dressing. That will need to be sorted out before she leaves.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Under the knife

Having lulled us into complacency with her "3 to 4 days" message, Heather has been taken in to the operating theatre today. She should be back out by about 4 or 5 o'clock this afternoon, so I'll be waiting for news.

Heather is out from surgery, with screws (we hope, screws are better than sutures, apparently) in place. Her arm looks like it lost a fight, but she's cheerful. She might come home tomorrow.

Monday, 10 August 2009


Heather had a CAT scan (or was it an MRI?) today , to help the surgeons decide whether to go in through the front of the shoulder (which involves plates) or the side (screws). Anyway, it may be a long wait; looks like the doctors weren't kidding when they said "queue".

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Heather's adventure continues

Heather had a call from the hospital this morning - the surgeon wants to take another look, and she should bring an overnight bag. After two hours of sitting around (though that included 15 mins for a new x-ray) we were informed that they think they should operate, to re-attach the piece of bone that has broken off. It's called a fracture of the neck of the humerus, for the technically minded.

So she's in Ward 19, and I'm here with the cats and the washing. I don't think she'll have the operation tomorrow, though, they said the word "queue" several times. To be continued...

On another topic entirely; Schroeder and I walked the Bridle Path again today, and cut the time down to 31 minutes, from the 35 or more we took next week. We think we'll do it once more then branch out a bit, to tracks like Rapaki. The sore muscles from the downhill faded fast today, compared to last week when they took three days to loosen up.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Heather's big adventure

To begin at the beginning:
Mount Hutt was nice enough yesterday, but there were a lot of wind damaged areas with mixed icy and crusty snow. Heather managed to encounter one of these and had a big slide, during which she hit her left shoulder and ended up down at a beginner trail, leaving a "yard sale" of skis and poles back up the hill.

We skied down to her and she was not keen to move - a patroller showed up quickly, then a couple more arrived with a sled and a back board. They rolled her onto the board, strapped her in to the sled, and she had her first toboggan ride to the medical room.
Heather takes a sled ride. The red is blood from a minor scrape to her forehead and nose.
A smile for the camera, before the toboggan ride.
At the med room they checked her out thoroughly, then when the painkillers started working we got her into the car and returned to town, and on to the hospital emergency room for an x-ray. That was at 5pm; at 6pm I went home and unloaded the car, started a meal, and awaited the call to come and collect her. At 7pm I went back to the hospital, where she was still lying on a bed waiting for the x-ray, then I came home after another half hour. She was finally x-rayed at 8.30, and told she had cracked some bones in her upper arm, and they wanted a "bone man" to take a look. At 9.30pm she phoned to say they were keeping her in for the night.

This morning she is waiting for the bone people, and I'll collect her when they've decided what to do. I suspect that she'll have the arm in a sling for several weeks, which means she won't be able to go to work and I'll be the chief cook and bottlewasher. This has probably ended the 2009 ski season for both of us...

Heather is home, with a broken arm and a cracked pelvis. The pelvis is not as painful as the arm, and she can walk slowly with a stick - but that means that she can't carry anything. More later.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Not the All Blacks

Hands up those who have heard of Adam Minoprio. A few more will know of Alexandra Maloney and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher, as they were on the TV news tonight, but in general our world-beating yachtspersons sailors go unacknowledged back home. Yet if an All Black switches hair gel suppliers, it's all over the news. Go figure.

But wait, there's more: Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk are leading the Star Class world champs!

We're off to Mt Hutt tomorrow, armed with bacon & egg pie. More later.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Moving time

My new office
We did a big office shuffle on Monday; one staff member's retirement has caused a cascading series of moves, ending with me leaving the nice corner office which I've shared with Jess since May 2007.
I hide behind my twin monitors; better than sitting with my back to the door, which was the first arrangement.
I haven't gone far, just a couple of metres, to a smaller solo office opening off the shared tea-room which serves the other offices; the Moodle developer(s) and the system administrator(s). (The conditional plurals mean that we're in a state of flux with the second positions in both offices.)

It is good to have a private space to talk with staff; there have been occasions in recent months when I've had conversations that should have taken place behind closed doors.
I have a pretty good view out to the southwest.