Posted by SJPONeill on 15 May 2013
Posted by SJPONeill on 7 May 2013
These stairs were a Trademe score…I noticed them on the ‘closing soon’ page with 20 minutes to run and after a quick phone confab, we tossed in a bid for $2k fully expecting to be outbid by all the watchers ( the stairs are, after all, genuine rimu – and the spiral hand rail is a single piece) and were blown away to pick them up for the mere $600…
We were further amazed when we met the seller in Wellington that he had intended to only list them once – after being nagged into it by a friend – before converting them into firewood. He also threw in, at no extra costs. a complete set of rimu kitchen cupboard doors which had been destined for the firewood heap as well. Even so, he had meticulously itemised and numbered every piece so that the joiners were able to re-assemble it with no difficulty. They did have to take all the parts to their workshop some 55km away as that was the only place with a high enough ceiling to assemble and work on it.
Above you see us as the assembled stairs are delivered back to Raurimu, as we head-scratched and considered how to get them in through the front door (fortunately a double door) and into position (assembled, this thing wasn’t light!!). We managed though:
Posted by SJPONeill on 6 May 2013
Two cultures at the same time, adjusting to learning all about electronics and stuff in a trade environment…
….while also learning a new green culture Wednesday nights
…not too many photos from those days, well before the advent of anything remotely digital (and affordable), relying on a little 110 camera…
…view from a Telecom tower ‘somewhere in Southland‘…
…’home sweet home’ somewhere in the Tekapo Training Area January 1984
Posted by SJPONeill on 6 May 2013
1. What is your next home improvement goal?
In priority order….
BATHROOM!!!!!! BATHROOM!!!!!! BATHROOM!!!!!! BATHROOM!!!!!!
Knocking out the wall between the current shower and the rest of the bathroom; shifting the shower into the opposite corner of the bathroom and putting the bath in the area where the shower is now…
This wall goes and the bath goes in the new area;
…the windows are replaced by a full-length bi-fold or sliding door that provides full access to the bush outside…
…seal up the sleep-out cottage by fitting clear roofing over the deck(ette) and mounting windows (currently in storage in the Chalet’s garage where the plywood panels are at the moment; flip the door so that it opens the other way towards the direction people approach from the Lodge; the cool bendy tree in the foreground will go as it has passed away and the deck will be extended another metre or two….
…at the moment the dining room bifolds open out to nowhere: the plan is to put a floor level deck out here extending out as far as the gate post in the foreground and, in Deck Phase 1, to just past the kitchen window (to about where the bush under the pantry window is now; Phase 2 will see the deck extended to meet the spa deck steps and around the corner to the back door…if the ugly internet satellite dish can not pick up any decent TV channels it will go to as we know have fixed line broadband
2. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? No religious texts (ie Bible, Quran, Torah, etc, etc)…
This is a toughy…I once spent six week in Vietnam with only one English book and no access to any bookshop selling books in English til my last night in Saigon…had to settle for many many re-reads of Vulcan’s Glory (I’ll add the text as there’s not mcuh as most people lack the fitness to click on the link anyways)
The novel focuses on a young Spock, a conflicted ensign, serving on the Starship Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike. Spock is having a difficult time dealing with his Vulcan heritage and how it conflicts with his duties as an officer and what he wants personally.
Spock soon becomes involved in a mission to retrieve the ‘Vulcan’s Glory’, a priceless gem long thought lost in a spaceship crash. It is soon discovered there is far more to this mission then readily apparent.
The novel focuses on the crew of the Enterprise from the period featured in the pilot episode The Cage. A younger Montgomery Scott also appears.
That was challenging, character-building even, but I survived with no (visible) scars…looking around the library now at all the books that I have read so many times, I am conflicted…I’m leaning towards a classic like George Lucas’ original Star Wars, or possibly Dean Koontz’ Watchers or Lightning…?
3. What is on top of your refrigerator?
Dog treats, soap crystals in case one of the dogs picks up any of the poison that the Department of Conservation persist in dropping everywhere , tea pot because it is handy and unlikely to get knocked off, bug zapper, token pot plant, random stuff up high and out of sight out of mind when the girls are here….
4. What are your favorite or most used phone apps?
My phone is not really app-compliant or -capable but it does has Lego Star Wars on it from the time when the twins were born and we were spending a lot of time hanging around in hospital waiting rooms…
5. What’s the one thing you hate most about your spouses job?
That they don’t recognise her for what she does, more so considering that THEY headhunted HER for the job…be nice if some of that recognition involved extra income but ‘thank you‘ also goes a long way…
Posted by SJPONeill on 2 May 2013
I woke around 4-ish this morning, couldn’t get back to sleep and so reached for my trusty Nook e-reader to pass the time…only to find that the charge had dropped below the critical point of usefulness. After tiptoeing through a darkened house, trying to avoiding stepping on sleeping Labweillers, I located the Nook power cable, and plugged it in – and found that it does not automatically switch on when connected to the mains and had to wait another 10-15 minutes before it decided it was powered up enough to be useful again…this I was a little dark on e-readers this morning…
We always watch Breakfast on TV1 as part of our weekday morning routine…cereal (muesli, porridge or Weetbix), toast and a hot cuppa being the other key components…one of the stories discussed co
mments made by a member of the Marlborough District Council proposing that public libraries should consider dropping hard copy books in favour of issuing e-readers to library card holders and providing library services digitally.
Looking at their stats, you can see their point…while I don’t agree that councils should issue e-readers – this would be the same as Fatso issuing all its members DVD players – simply if you wish to use a service, then you need to invest in the personal/domestic infrastructure to employ that service. But the idea has merit: some public libraries are already e-lending e-books and one could see advantages for rural libraries that service a large geographic area with a relatively small population base who have to travel some distance to a physical library.
The biggest risk to such a proposal would be the need to ensure the security of the digital intellectual property of each book so that the digital protection couldn’t simply be stripped off. In theory, the same risk applies to traditional books but it’s not the same: copying or scanning a full book requires A LOT MORE effort than stripping the digital protection off an e-book. From this perspective, maybe it would be worthwhile for libraries to issue a proprietary reader that does not allow files to be transferred to other media. This might possibly be similar to the protected printing systems employed by Gremir and Word Of Tanks for their commercial downloadable paper models?
Assuming that all lending from public libraries goes digital (assuming a transitional phase for oldies and others that still prefer traditional printed books), does this mean the death of public libraries? I don’t think so – if anything, with some smart leadership (which might eliminate a number of councils) it could lead to more effective use of scarce resources (people and dollars) to enhance the reading and information assistance roles of a library; the public library of old may be the public I-hub of the future, providing a multi-lane on-ramp to the informational superhighway…
Posted by SJPONeill on 25 April 2013
Posted by SJPONeill on 24 April 2013
Martin Dransfield also presented at Massey on his return from commanding the New Zealand PRT in Bamiyan Province in Afghanistan in 2010. That was an insightful perspective into aspects of that operation well beyond what has been reported int he media and I am sure that this one will be equally enlightening…
Centre for Defence and Security Studies Public Lecture
Colonel Martin Dransfield’s career has spanned five decades and has included tours to Northern Ireland and to the divided city of Berlin during the 1980′s, the Sinai as part of the Multinational Force and Observers mission, Timor as the second New Zealand Battalion’s Commanding Officer in 2000, and Afghanistan as the Commander of New Zealand’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan during 2009 and 2010. He has just returned from a two year tour as the United Nations Chief Military Liaison Officer in Timor Leste, which culminated with the United Nations successfully closing down the mission in December 2012.
Based on these experiences he is well qualified to comment on today’s operational environment. Moreover, as New Zealand ends its missions to Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan, Colonel Dransfield’s personal observations provide a useful insight into Joint, Multinational and United Nations approaches to operations. He will share these thoughts during a forum in Massey on 15 May 2013.