crazyscot: An empty beach scene, looking off-shore to infinity. (blank)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 07:32pm on 22/02/2013
We remember a short few minutes
of sheer terror
of death, of destruction
Lives, like buildings-
rent asunder.

We remember the aftermath
tears, fires, and liquefaction.
Cordons, confusion,
the narrow escapes,
the fallen.

We remember everyone affected
the old, the young,
the foreign, the local,
the tall, the short,

We remember the heroes
the students, the farmies,
our friends from across
the world; the neighbours,
the strangers.

We remember broken homes -
long drops and portaloos,
tangled webs, and a long time
to closure.

We remember a city as it was
and will never be again.
Demolition, deconstruction,
our past turned
Into dust.

We are Christchurch.
We will rebuild.
We will be back
Better than ever!
crazyscot: Roadsign warning of kiwis (kiwi)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 10:07pm on 16/02/2013 under ,
An eventful Saturday.

This morning I went to visit the electrical wholesalers, for the last couple of bits I need for tidying up the shed electrics, then to the PO box (nothing of import) and the supermarket.

This afternoon was scheduled for some of the last bits of the shed painting, until disaster struck: the kettle broke! OMG, oh noes, etc. The lid fixings had sheared, the upshot of which was that the lid wouldn't close, so the steam cut-off wouldn't operate. The priority of doing the painting was rapidly dwarfed by the need to have the ability to reliably summon hot drinks - especially as [personal profile] rustica's term starts on Monday - so we set off to the kettle mine (which looked suspiciously like Noel Leeming). The chap agreed it was a warranty failure and started working through the options... but as it was obsolete (bought 19 months ago), he couldn't authorise a replacement without talking to the service centre on Monday to see precisely which kettle he could replace it with.

48 hours without a kettle?!? In the words of a famous-in-NZ ad campaign, "Yeah, right." But he thought his manager (who was busy helping another customer) could authorise it. Thankfully he could and did, so we returned triumphant with a shiny metallic red kettle. (Somewhat alarmingly, it seems that Russell Hobbs are doing a whole line of brushed metal appliances in vivid colours.)

I observe that having bought a kettle in July 2011 with a tag price of $90, on which we got 50% discount because we were buying nearly $2k of other appliances at the time, we now have a brand new kettle (tag price $150) and a fresh two years warranty. I don't think I'll ever understand retail mark-up...

Melodrama averted, we set about the painting.

Afterwards I was noodling around on FB and one of those sponsored suggested pages (also known as ads) came up in my news feed. Crabbies Ginger Beer NZ. That got my attention. We used to love that stuff; got through a lot of it before emigrating but it wasn't available here.

Inside my head, Picard's voice declared a Red Alert and called for some scans to identify the source of the signature. Some searching revealed that Crabbies have been importing since November last year, and it's available nationwide in Liquorland (a chain of bottle shops).

Picard ordered an away team (of one) to go out in a shuttlecraft (which looked suspiciously like our car) to the asteroid (bottle shop) suspected to contain the precious dilithium ore. I tore out of the house, muttering cryptic mutterings to C, who was still working in the garden at the time.

The chaps in the bottle store were slightly surprised to see a punter walk in, look around, make a bee line for the Crabbies, then pick up an entire case of the stuff. (Seems it normally sells in single bottles.) They scratched their heads for a second over promotional pricing, then asked me for ID. That made my week :-D

When I got back I called [personal profile] rustica over and opened the boot. Her jaw dropped :)

But having responded to an ad (and how!), having demonstrated I am sliding into a certain target demographic - I feel a bit dirty now.
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 09:26pm on 15/02/2013 under ,
Radio silence for a bit, but I have been busy...

DSCF7586We have a shed. Long story short, we had a builder in to reclad it recently (it used to be asbestos), but reinstating the door was left to us. So I made a new door (actually, a double stable door, so four doorlets) to replace it. Rather than say more here, I wrote it up as a guest post for the Country Skills Blog which will hopefully be appearing soon, along with a sweet lemon pickle recipe (awesomely tasty - will be making more of that!). More photos to follow as we (well, mostly [personal profile] rustica) have been painting this week.

In case you don't read the blog and are curious, I made a few more guest posts the other month (lemonade, lemon liqueur, lemon sorbet and a rather hot lemon pickle recipe - which is itself an adaptation of a lime pickle recipe that [ profile] miss_next posted a few years ago). Spotting a pattern? Well, we do have a lemon tree, and it provides us with rather a lot of lemons...
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 11:21am on 20/01/2013 under
Up-goer Five on xkcd, the inspiration for this.
The Up-goer Five text editor.

We make talking-boxes. You speak into them, and your voice comes out of another talking-box somewhere else.

Our talking-boxes are really little computers.

My job is to whisper to computers - our talking-boxes - and to write directions that tell them how to work. I work with tens of other people-who-whisper-to-computers. It can be fun but is sometimes quite hard. This is because our talking-boxes can be hard to understand and I have to spend time learning why they work in they way they do.

I help make new talking-boxes that work better than the old ones. Sometimes the people we make talking-boxes for want them to work in a different way, so I write new computer-directions. I like to make things that help me, and the other computer-whisper-people, whisper better and write better computer-directions. I sometimes also have to fix wrong directions that I, or the other computer-whisper-people, wrote.

When I have finished writing some computer-directions I have to have my work checked. The direction-checking-people check that it does what it should, and the other computer-whisper-people check that they understand my directions and that what I wrote makes sense. Then I give my directions to the people-who-build-our-talking-boxes.

Sometimes I work with the head computer-whisper-guy to decide what kind of directions we need to write next, and explain this to the other whisper-people. Sometimes I have to help the other whisper-people understand the different kinds of computer-directions that we use.

It makes me happy when I have written a lot of directions for our talking-boxes and they work in the way they should. This is because our talking-boxes help people work and live better. Many people, around the world, use our talking-boxes to help keep other people safe, and to help keep power and water working.
crazyscot: Me in front of Tongariro (nz)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 10:26pm on 02/01/2013 under ,
I had hoped to have posted about our holiday over Christmas by now, but I have had a number of things clamouring for attention.

It was very much the holiday of lost opportunities. Read more... )
crazyscot: Black and white close-up of a DSLR with long lens (photography)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 09:08pm on 21/11/2012 under
Footage of clouds passing in front of the partially eclipsed sun. (YouTube. Watch for the bird at 0:09.)

A montage I made of our eclipse pics.
Total Eclipse Montage
crazyscot: Roadsign warning of kiwis (kiwi)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 04:25pm on 21/11/2012 under , ,
After the eclipse we were a bit short on things to fill our last day in Queensland, so we drove to the little town of Mareeba (pop. 6800). The last few pics within. )

Finally, getting back to Chch, came a bonus that we hadn't previously experienced. At passport control, the "locals" queue covers NZ and Australia passports, and NZ residents. We got to use the short line, and were welcomed home!
crazyscot: A large red sphere with many small coloured spheres orbiting it (planet weird)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 10:35pm on 20/11/2012 under , , ,
It's funny that I should spend a whole post discussing just 117 seconds of my life, when I've been writing a post per day up 'til this point on this trip, but I think it deserves it. This is the biggie. Photo-tastic, if you scroll past the discussion of strategies. )
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 09:11pm on 20/11/2012 under ,
Up not-quite-so-early today, for a pick-up just after 8am to ride on the Kuranda scenic railway, visit the village of Kuranda in the rainforest, and ride the Skyrail gondola back just above the canopy. Read more... )
crazyscot: Close-up of some rumpled black leather (shiny)
posted by [personal profile] crazyscot at 06:46pm on 20/11/2012 under ,
Monday. We were up at what passed for a sensible time (6am local, 9am NZ) for our 0710 pick-up for the day's activity, the Reef Experience tour. This is a close-up Great Barrier Reef experience, with snorkelling and - for those who wish it (we didn't) - an introductory scuba dive. Photos within )


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