Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hot on the trail

I've been having fun with my Viewpad's GPS running Google's My Tracks application. Today I started tracking my bike ride to work, as I've done several times. When I arrived I saved the track as a KML file which can be imported into Google Earth for detailed viewing.
My 12km ride from Bottle Lake to University
It is surprisingly accurate; this morning as I crossed the railway line in Glandovey Rd I noticed a bike tail-light lying at the side of the road, so I turned back and picked it up. (It was broken, I later discovered.) Here's the evidence; the GPS logs my position every 2secs or so, which is why my path seems to be a series of straight lines at this level of detail.
Cyclist turns round to pick up something from the roadside.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Up and at it

I went skiing today, with my yachting accomplice Darren Armstrong, and Grant Bush, senior server/network consultant at UC. Heather should have come too, because yesterday she bought new ski boots (the first in 20+ years) but she's feeling the pressure at work, with term reports due and SBHS's impending move back to the North Parade site.

Yet again I took no photos, but it was a pretty featureless day; high overcast, flat light at times (thankfully not too many), and firm but crunchy snow. Mount Hutt hasn't had a great season, and there are large patches of gravel and rock showing, and a surprising amount of pebbles on the snow surface, possibly a grooming boo-boo. The skifield has a real "end of season" look, with dust and dirt from the carpark making the slopes below the road brown and dismal. So it was again reduced skiing, on main groomed runs only. At least we could ski a groomed run down to the triple chair, which provided some variety.

The three of us - Darren on snowboard, Grant and me skiing - were all about the same pace, and we stayed as a trio for the day. Now I'm tired but happy, rubbing Voltaren gel into a sore left knee and administering medicinal alcohol.

NZ Ski have electronic tickets - a credit card that you keep in your pocket, to count your rides and vertical skied. My 3 days are fairly consistent, really, considering that 22 Aug stopped an hour early because of Juddy's crash.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Feeling it deeply

With the good weather, we've started exercising - skiing on Monday (Juddy is good, but full healing will take time), then I biked to work at lunchtime, as the power was being reorganised to the Kirkwood Village from 8am-1pm. I worked from home 8-11.30am, biked to university, ate a quick lunch, then went into a presentation from a helpdesk software company. A couple of hours on support jobs, then home at 6.30, via the pub for a quick pint.
My 12.5km ride to work, tracked by My Tracks on the Viewpad.
Heather went for her first swim in ages today, and felt well below peak performance, and I found my ride a bit hard. Now I'm sitting here with sore calf muscles and a tender bum. Serves us right for letting exercise drop over the last month - maybe the two snowstorms, buying a house, and dealing with ruined household effects got in the way. And Heather running the reporting system at SBHS on her own while the person in charge went tripping round Europe. And our group shifting our office twice in 4 months. And a trip to Sydney for a week. Et cetera.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Big day out for the old folks

We went to Mt Hutt yesterday, with Darren Armstrong in his Toyota Surf, with old mate Robin Judkins along for the day. We hadn't skied with RJ since - um- 1985 (ish). Anyway, we had a hoot of a time, skiing at a seriously brisk pace, picking out interesting lines, and behaving like a bunch of 40 year olds.

Sadly, about 2pm Juddy hit some ruts while doing high speed turns in Exhibition Bowl, and came unstuck, dislocating his right shoulder - for the third time. Ouch. He was taken down by the patrol, and in the medical room they gave him a big whiff of nitrous, and manipulated his shoulder back into place. He was a lot better after a cup of tea, and reckons he can use his arm, but he's going to be a while getting full mobility back. He's determined, though, and he can cope with a few Ouch moments, silly old bugger. (Make that "buggers", it could have easily been me.)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Are you sure?

A small stuff-up from Stuff; "Mountain biker Jonathan Kennett" rides a new leg of John Key's job-creation scheme.

I know Kennett wrote the definitive NZ mountain-bike trail guide, but even a casual commuter can see that this is no MTB that he's riding - it's a drop-bar touring bike, as far from a mountain bike as you can get.

Apart from reporters who don't know one kind of bike from another, the story had no map, so we don't really know where the trail goes, and the piece was noticeably quiet on the subject of economic benefits from building bike trails. It did have a link to, though, and that site is quite informative. (But don't get me started on NZ sites, especially government sponsored ones, using ".com" URLs!)

Cera has spoken

When people speak of CERA, I either hear Doris Day's "Que sera sera", or Bob Dylan's lament for lost love. It was a bit of each yesterday, as we opened the package containing our offer to purchase our River Road house at the 2007 valuation.

The money is as we were promised when the deal was announced (in spite of my suspicions), and is exactly what we offered for the house at Alpine View Lane. However it's still sad to say goodbye to the house at River Road, and a great group of neighbours. Sad though the loss is, que sera sera - you can't argue with earthquakes, and we've come through this with a good final result.

We'll be getting the documents to our lawyers as soon as possible, and hope to have the sale all organised in a month or so. The government is expecting to process around 200 offers a day, and we'd like to be early in the queue, so we don't have to pay interest on our bridging finance for too long.

But first, we've organised a day skiing on Monday with friends. Got to get the priorities right!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Check the letterbox

I hope that the CERA offer letter isn't sent to our River Road house, but given the inability of authorities to manage details like addresses, who knows? The letters are in the mail apparently, though our insurance company could take another month to get their offer to us, so we can decide whether to take the full purchase offer, or the combination land and replacement offer.

We've already made the decision, of course, with possession of our newly purchased house at Alpine View Lane only three weeks away. Still, it will be interesting to see what creative sums are produced by the insurers and their armies of lawyers and actuaries, all toiling to ensure that customers get as little as possible.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Post snow post

The snow is mostly gone. In our case, it's thanks to Heather who removed most of the snow from the sloping driveway to the garage. It was melting into the sump by the garage door, but that is clogged and can't cope. I'd cleared the flat area in front of the garage on Tuesday night, and done several rounds of bucketing out the sump, but Heather's efforts made sure we didn't have too big a flood the next day.

A ray of sunshine - we're going to ski at Mt Hutt on Monday with Darren. More later.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Snow everywhere, again. Shovel shovel, inside to warm up, slippers off and gumboots on, shovel some more. It's interfered with our plans to drive to Wanaka tomorrow night, too.

We'll postpone the trip by a week if I can organise my work around this; I'm on my own next week so I'll need to cover any emergencies on Thursday and Friday. If that can't be organised, we'll re-jig the plan, I suppose.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

It's happened!

30 Alpine View Lane, Burwood

We've gone unconditional, as they say in real estate land - in other words, we've bought a house! Just like that! Actually, it's been days of emails and phone calls, tying the three strands of insurance, bank, and lawyers together. Well, the lawyers didn't really take much tying, to be true, but it's been a case of making sure everyone knew what everyone else knew. One last missing report was found this morning, and everything suddenly clicked, and by late morning we knew the sale would happen.

We take possession on the 12th of September, but we'll take our time before we move in. We have to look after Leanne's house and feed Tom the resident cat, until December. The new house is a block away, so we can get our stuff put in the garage then move in when we are ready. Heather would like to get the minor cosmetic EQC repairs done before we move in, as decorating is much easier in an empty house, so that's another factor.

Anyway, we're really happy - and we'll take possession a year after leaving 393 River Rd, almost to the day. Cosmic.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

All go

A quick update to say that the house purchase looks to be happening, once the bank agreed to accept our inherited insurance. The engineers and builders reports are good, so insurance, bank, and lawyers, will all join in a merry dance on Friday - or possibly next week.

We went skiing today, first time this season. it was great to be on skis, and to see that Hip 2.0 worked flawlessly, but the skiing is rather limited until more snow arrives. I think we'll wait for an improvement before we go again.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Slight hassle

An interesting conflict will need to be sorted out this morning, if we are to proceed with our house purchase. First we need to have insurance, but insurers cannot get reinsurance cover for new contracts (which they call "risks") so policies are being transferred with a house purchase. That's OK, we'll take on the policy that the sellers had.

Now for the bank, to arrange bridging finance; their admirably clear plain-English requirements include "must have a full replacement insurance cover". But here's the problem - the policy is for a fixed amount, not "total replacement", and it's the only policy we can get. I'll call the bank as soon as they open this morning and hope that they'll agree to an alteration, otherwise we'll have to shop around for alternative bridging finance. I'll be pointing out that we'll shift our other accounts as well, if we have to do this.