Friday, 28 September 2012

Floors today

The compressed bamboo flooring went down today - a smooth and professional job by Mark from Natural Flooring. The cost worked out so close to replacement tiles that the EQR contractors said it was an agreeable alternative, so we have lovely warm toned timber flooring in the entry and the kitchen, where we had rather clunky tiles before.

The flooring has a neat tongue and groove fitting system. It sits on a foam underlay, and it has a strong lacquer top coating. It's ready to walk on as it is laid; and there's no sanding, and no polyurethane fumes. If I sound like a convert, you're very perceptive.

On a totally unrelated note, Alice left today for a 3 week holiday in Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. When she comes back she'll have a new job as a business analyst for a data warehouse project at the CDHB, quite a step up.

Monday, 24 September 2012

The mess begins

Today the floor tiles in the kitchen and hall are removed. We expect it to be a messy process, though I've also heard that contractors use really good vacuum dust extractors. We've moved a lot of stuff out, and Heather will cover furniture with old bedsheets before she leaves for work.

Another kind of mess has begun in the neighbourhood. The Prestons subdivision road works began a few weeks ago, and a real estate sales office is nearly completed. I took a heap of photos yesterday, and I'll revisit the area fairly frequently to take updates as the development grows.

UPDATE: The tile removal was hardly messy at all. The cracks have been filled with resin and ground flush with the floor. The bamboo flooring will go down tomorrow. The painter will finish in the garage next week.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


A guy has done gib-stopping and painting in the garage; nearly completed. The floor tile replacement starts next week. So far, so good - the garage will have a lot more light reflecting around. It's been a bit inadequate in the lighting department until now.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The next thing

We're sitting here at 8am waiting for the Fletchers-EQR contractors, Dixon & Dixon. They were supposed to be here at 7.30, but it's Monday, so they probably have the same trouble getting started as the rest of us do.

We've cleared most stuff out of the kitchen, where they will rip up the cracked floor tiles and lay bamboo flooring. The other area for major attention is the garage, where they'll inject resin into a floor crack, then gib-stop and paint the walls.

For the next two weeks, we'll be working with the fridge in the dining room, freezer in a bedroom, and the pantry contents on shelves in the lounge. (And wine in another bedroom.) The garage contents are stacked in the newly built garden shed until we can move them back; hopefully this time we'll achieve a more logical layout when we re-stack the garage shelves.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Back again - sort of

A bit of Googling has provided some advice about restoring a backup of my template. At least I had saved a backup, that was a good thing; but the interface for the new whizzy Blogger templates then hid the admin interface so thoroughly that I had a struggle to find a restore option. Eventually that appeared, I pointed it to the saved backup, and this blog is now back more or less as it was a week ago. Whew.

Still, I'm not updating this site very frequently. You're more likely to get current news from Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Bah humbug

This is not a happy blog. Links have gone missing and generally I'm fed up. I think I'll quit Blogger and their You Will Obey Or Else approach. If you don't see any more posts here, try @gregorronald on Twitter or Gregor Ronald on Facebook. (And gregor_ronald on Flickr, but a name search finds me too.)

I may be back, but I doubt it. Bye.

Friday, 14 September 2012

My, you've changed

New template, not sure about it but it may grow on me. If not, I've saved the xml file and I think the old template can be re-applied.

UPDATE: I've reverted to the Classic template, as any of the ones I looked at hid things within a JavaScript menu tree which confused the bejeezus out of my nearest and dearest. No thanks, web sites have to be usable by real people, who are busy.

And the transfer to-from the new templates has munted the right hand links. Bah, humbug.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Busy again

We thought life was smoothing out, but no - this weekend we have to empty the kitchen (at UC we say "decant", to sound posh) into the rooms near by, and move the garage contents to the new shed. Fletchers arrive on Monday, and we're camping for two weeks.

In the middle of this, we're moving the Moodle file storage to the new SAN, to fix our problem of slow disk reads. We think it will help. What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Week so far

Howdy, checking in with unrelated news from several directions:

Work: Moodle 2 project is under way, tomorrow I meet with a learning advisor to choose his courses for the trial next Semester 1. Training plans are started, publicity will start soon so academics know what's coming. I've arranged training rooms in the Library. The first production servers are set up, but they still need some tweakery when Paul returns next month. Ongoing, as we say.

Work 2: our current Moodle 1.9 is getting some really embarrassing go-slow episodes. Web pages are taking 30 seconds to load, files don't save; an all round Bad Thing. I'm in all day contact with the IT server team about this, but so far we don't have an answer. We've changed the load balancing, put 2 servers back in the pool (we now have 5 web servers, 1 database, 1 files), but no joy. Next step is more RAM for all 5 front ends, from 4 to 8GB. It's witchcraft, though, we honestly don't know why servers are waiting so long for files, we're just trying everything we can think of - one thing at a time.

Work 3: We'll be moving to Level 5 of the James Hight (Library) building in Ocober, so the "decanted" Commerce people who have to leave Law have somewhere to go. In the meantime, students today held a good humoured demo about the merger of Law and Commerce. Jeez, I thought those departments were already joined at the hip.

House: This weekend we move everything out of the kitchen and the garage. Plans will evolve as we do it, I'm sure. Fletchers/EQR move in on Monday 17th for two weeks. We'll eat from the microwave and the barbecue.

Boat trailer: Minor rust dealt with by angle grinder and Zinc-It spray. Big rusty bits will be cut out and replaced next week. We'll be sailing in about 3 weeks.

Plans: We are going to a retirement seminar in December. I suspect they'll say "Too late!" but we'll see. Both of us are starting to see retirement as an option, I must say.

Biking: tomorrow and Friday.

That's all.