Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Bit of a glitch

Heather was feeling a bit dizzy with heart fibrillations this morning, and went to the doctor, who promptly sent her to hospital. She's spending tonight in hospital, having medication changed and awaiting a visit from The Specialist. She should be home around mid-day tomorrow (Wednesday).

Moving plans suddenly aren't moving so fast, though Heather seems fine - but a bit less activity would be a good idea.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Getting closer

We are finally within sight of the Big Shift, two weeks away. Actually it won't be too huge, as we came here with just essentials. Three or four trailer loads of essentials, in fact - still, it won't be a major exercise. Then we'll settle in to Alpine View Lane by making it up as we go along.

Today I had my first full 25 km bike ride to university and back. The GPS track of my homeward journey is below. (The diversion in the middle is to go via the pub.)
(Click to embiggen.)
When you see a 12km track laid out like this, it's quite impressive, most of the way across town. I'm rather chuffed. I'll rest tomorrow, then bike again on Wednesday.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Insurance gridlock

From this week's earthquake update by the local Labour MPs;

A local hotel owner in Kaiapoi is just one of countless local businesses unable to get on with the rebuild due to the insurance gridlock. In this instance, the owner is unable to continue building work, which was due to be completed before Christmas because he is unable to get insurance cover on a $200,000 to $300,000 bank loan. This is despite the fact that he has put $900,000 of his own funds into rebuilding the hotel and that the hotel is being built to the highest building code standards.
 When such projects have to be put on hold indefinitely it really has got to crisis point. But, it’s not just the hotel owner who is being affected by the insurance gridlock. The local builder also had work up until Christmas. That’s now been put on hold and staff at the hotel won’t get work until it re-opens. As the hotel owner said “these insurance companies are holding everyone to ransom.”
 The Government can no longer do nothing; it can’t allow this sort of thing to continue. The gridlock is costing jobs; it’s slowing down growth and it is hurting local businesses that simply want to get on with the rebuild. It really is time for the Government to take some serious action.
Time to re-invent State Insurance? Sorry, we sold it.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Are we there yet?

News from the World's Slowest House Move:

We are finding stuff at times, and still not finding other stuff. We thought we'd lost our pots, but they showed up today in a box labelled "Misc". But we still don't have the big-huge-enormous stainless steel bowl, or the Le Creuset cast iron casserole. I wonder if they're in the box labelled "Bathroom - heavy" but we don't want to open that till the bathroom cabinets and fittings arrive. Maybe the packers thought the casserole was a commode.

However, we have progress in other areas. The curtain rails are now all where they should be, and the small surround sound speakers are wall-mounted in the corners of the living room. I may sneak back one night this week and hook up the rest of the home theatre, but I don't want to make the place a burglar magnet, especially as we have to start a new contents policy with State on the 1st of December.

I guess it can wait another three weeks; we will do The Real Move on the weekend of 10-11 December, as we had to give the telco time to switch us. We're leaving TelstraClear for Snap, a locally based firm with a really good deal - and a helpdesk staffed by English speaking Kiwis. Phone numbers and email addresses will continue unchanged. I know that's a brave statement, but I'm starting this process in a mood of optimism.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

One day in the Gobi Desert

Just what are the Chinese doing out in the Gobi Desert? Weird rectangular blocks of land criss-crossed with tracks, a circular area with old planes and trucks, and large bunkers a mile away, a massive grid of rectangular structures - very odd!

Monday, 14 November 2011


Take a look at this GPS track of my drive to work today. I stopped in for an appointment with Lindsay the magic physio, and this track shows that I pulled off North Avon Rd into his car park, and out again.
But that's not Lindsay's surgery - his is two houses east, the one with the light grey roof. Hmmm. That's a 40 metre error. It became more obvious as I moved west, completely missing Macleod St and Hills Road.
The error continued all the way across town.
I think some calibration is called for! Anyway, take care to sanity check your GPS's location information.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

World's slowest house shift continues

The furniture (well, 2/3 of it) arrived on Thursday afternoon, and immediately the house appeared more real. On Friday we got serious about unpacking the mountain of stuff in the garage. A lot of it appears depressingly old and tired, I must say - we're making some pretty ruthless decisions about what we will keep.
Our new sofa in our glass-surround living room corner.

Some odd things have cropped up, or rather they haven't cropped up. We are missing a box that contains a le Creuset 20cm red casserole, our set of cooking pots, and another small casserole - about the most essential kitchen equipment you could need. The weird thing is that the casserole lids were in another box, which we have got. Anyway, it's only stuff - if we really need it again, we'll buy it; the EQC payment hasn't all been spent yet. Oh, and a soup ladle.

The other down side of having stuff in storage is that it comes with thousands of sheets of newsprint paper used for wrapping. Finally today I was forced to do a trip to the dump with a trailer, full of just cardboard and paper. Then I did another trip with old furniture; 3 or 4 chairs, 2 lazyboys in tasteful 70s brown tweed, and a single mattress, all destined for the Eco Shed, or whatever they call it nowadays. I'm hoping to be named Recycler of the Day, but I haven't had a phone call. (Though Heather's been talking to Elaine for 40 minutes, maybe that's why.)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A tour of the Christchurch CBD

Bus tours of the CBD red zone began this weekend. Here's a video of the bus tour route with a commentary from Warwick Isaacs, the Demolitions Manager for CERA.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Still waiting

We're still waiting for State Insurance's response to our request for a review of their rebuild costings. The assessors visited the River Road house several weeks ago, and apparently the review is now with their quantity surveyors. When their reply eventually arrives, we'll be able to proceed with the sale of our land to the Government and the payout by State. Then we can pay off the bridging loan from the bank, and free up several hundred dollars each week in interest.

Next week our furniture should be ready to collect and move into the Alpine View Lane house, and the wiring changes should be finished. There are fittings to attach in the bathrooms (probably by a tradesman, I don't want to carry the blame for any mistakes there), carpet in our bedroom, and we're in business.