Archive for March, 2010

It’s for charity

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

In a little over 10 days I, along with 3 guys I hardly know (one of which I haven’t even met yet) will start the Oxfam Trailwalker. We’ll have 36 hours to complete the 100km course on foot but we’re hoping to do it in less than 30. The track itself is not particularly grueling, consisting mostly of rolling farmland and a few forest roads, its the time on the feet that causes the most problems. The last time I was in 2008 after training 12 hours per day every day for nearly three months whilst walking across Japan. I’ve not done much on that scale since getting back to New Zealand but I did try to do the Round The Mountain in one day, and only managed 60 of the 74km. Still, not bad for what is pitched as a “4-6 day hike”.

Hiker tan

Simon, Kirk, mystery man and I are the last of what has been a constantly shifting team landscape. Just last week our last remaining female member had to withdraw after serious warnings from her doctor about the need for toe surgery if she continued. Hence the last minute ring-in. Still, everyone’s heart is in the right place. The whole reason for the hike is to raise money for the good people at Oxfam. We’ve already stumped up the entrance fee so every cent we raise via sponsorship goes straight towards Oxfam’s fight against poverty around the world. If you’re not away of what Oxfam do then check out their website and if you are aware, or are just prepared to take my word for it, head over to our sponsorship page and make a donation. During the event I’ll be keep you up to date via dedicated site which will feature photos and tweets as well as a little figure tracking our progress along the course profile. I’ll try to get some form of comment system attached to the website, because you can be sure by 4am on day 2 we’re really going to need some encouragement, but if you’re a Twitter user the easiest way to get through to us is by following us @teamhappyfeet.

Emails are not charged per letter

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

In the land of Twitter and text-messages I can understand the need to shorten words, use TLAs or even resort to txt spk. But emails can be as long and verbose as you like. So why do people feel the need to bring the limits of Twitter to other forms of communication? Case in point: I’m trying to sell a car at the moment so I put it up on TradeMe.co.nz, NZ’s equivalent of eBay. I got a response from someone.

Hey, Dis is —-. I jst had a look at ur Curren. Nice car. I am interested in this. So may I plz knw dat does it have any major or minor problems, and what’s the last price you are looking for? Plz mail me on ——- or txt me on ——–. Thanx

So I responded, and told them we’d listed the car for $3600 and they could call if they wanted to see it. No response. Then a week later they emailed again. Same email, but this time using their surname.

Hi there, Dis iz —. jst had a luk at ur vehicle, looks nice. If its stil there, I am interested in it. So, may I knw dat does it have any problems(major or minor). And may I knw d last price to offer. Frankly saying, I’ve got only $2400 at d moment as I hv jst sold my car. So if u r ready, can I hv a luk? Thnx

Really? I mean “Rly?”. Do people really expect be to drop the price of the car by 1/3 just because they don’t have the cash? A car is worth what ever it is worth and if you can’t afford it don’t send me your illiterate msgs trying to get some special deal, because I don’t know you and I don’t care and I am not willing to effectively give you $1200.

Hi —/—-,

Stl no mjr probs, stl sme mnr paint dmg on bmpr. We r stl xpcting ovr $3k 4 it though, lke I sed lst tme, we lsted it @ $3600 so cme bak 2 us whn u’ve got d cash.

My first garage

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Today marks 10 months since Tania and I bought this house but we haven’t had our house warming party yet. This is mostly because of the work we’ve had to put into securing the foundations, and partly because we’ve not as well organised as we appear. The work in the garage started in June ’09 I think and has invovled sloshing around in a foot of water, hauling almost 20 tonnes of dirt out from under the house and painting the new retaining wall with bitchumen. At least that was our part. We’ve also had a builder, who was too part-time for my liking, doing the skilled labour like placing steel-reinforcing and building the wall that now supports the house and an engineer to inspect it along the way. We knew the situation when we bought the place, and factored that into the cost, but neither of us expected it to take this long to resolve. People can grow human beings in less time, my mum even grew two!

Now that the digging is behind us, we’ve swept the floor for the last time and I’ve put a peg board above the workbench to hang my meagre tool-supply on, we it’s time to reveal it to our friends and family. Hardly any of them have been allowed down there until now. Noteable exceptions would be Dave, both Peters, Sam and Tania’s dad, all of whom have helped us with this.

Garage beforeGarage after

These are the before and after shots but after is a relative term. Now that it’s all stable we’re going to live with it for a while, make sure it really is dry down there and then think about changing it again. We really want internal access and to make it a proper room of the house rather than a garage. Quite what ‘ll do with my work bench at that point I don’t know, but I’ll be glad for the extra Lego space :-)