Saturday, 4 April 2009

No Use Crying Over Spilt Milk

I was doing the housework yesterday, and had decided to take a break, when I noticed a cop car sitting in the street outside my house with its lights flashing.  I had better investigate I thought.  So I climbed up the stairs to the street and noticed a fire truck further up.  Is one of my neighbours on fire? I wondered.

Then I saw the milk truck, over the side of the bank, and resting against a neighbours tree, just above his garage.  No ambulances, or any sign that anyone was hurt, just the milk truck and the tree.

It took 3 tow trucks (one with a Hiab crane), 1 fire engine and 2 cop cars all afternoon to sort the mess out.  What had happened was the milkman had got out of his truck to deliver some milk, when the truck took off down the hill without him.  He was really fortunate that it had hit the tree, and not a person, a house, or another car.  I was lucky it did not come down my driveway and wreck my car.

It did manage to take out the letter boxes of about 4 of my neighbours.

I do pity the milkman though.  It must be hard enough to make a living as it is with that job.  Now he has to contend with the fact that the days delivery schedule is out the window, a lot of spilt or wasted milk, the truck being out of action, the damage to the truck, the damage to the neighbour’s property, the tow fees and whatever prosecutions the police decide to make.  He did not have a good day and was looking rather glum.  I hope he is well insured.

I did manage to get him some water to drink, and some phone numbers he wanted over the course of the afternoon, and he kindly gave me a few bottles of flavoured milk.

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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Malcolm Ravenscroft

Last night I went to a “This is your life” presentation to mark the 70th birthday for Malcolm Ravrnscroft.  He was my Judo Instructor when I was a kid.  I was invited to give a short speech as part of the presentation and this is what I said…

“Malcolm was my Judo instructor, (which invokes images akin to an army drill sergeant) so it may be somewhat surprising that I have fond memories of him.

Malcolm took an uncoordinated kid, and with time, encouragement, and patience, taught him a little Judo. Although I never excelled at the sport, it gave me a level of fitness, balance, coordination and confidence that I had not enjoyed until then. Although over the last 20 years I have lost a lot of the fitness, I am still thankful for the coordination, balance and skills I learnt due to Malcolm.

Judo means “gentle way”, and Malcolm embodied that spirit. Although other dojos emphasised aggression, Malcolm’s classes were always about fun, cooperation, and about learning the skills. Instead of trying to beat your opponent, you were trying to teach them. It was this friendly environment that encouraged me to stay in Malcolm’s class from childhood, right through my teenage years.

I cannot imagine how many hundreds of other kids he must have helped in a similar way. The overall effect Malcolm has had on the Christchurch community must have been huge, but for the most part hidden and subtle.

Arigatou, Malcolm”.

I had not seen Malcolm for about 20 years, and he seemed to be surprised but delighted to see me.  As you can see I owe a lot to Malcolm, and it seems so do a lot of other people.  There were people from as far as Finland and France there for the presentation.

The presentation was also to mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of his company, Ravenscroft’s.  It turns out that since he has stopped being a Judo Instructor he has become involved in the Conservation Trust, working at Willowbank Wildlife Park to help conserve Kiwis.

I hope to be able to catch up with again in a less formal setting in the near future.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Red Lakes

The tramp today went very well. The place we went to is called Red Lakes, which is on the way (or a slight detour from) the route to Coleridge Pass. We stumbled across it a couple of years ago and decided to go back again for a repeat.

We crossed some farmland to the first lake, and a couple of us jumped in for a quick swim. Refreshing that early in the morning. We then walked along the side of the first lake, and the side of the second lake (by wading and sometimes swimming) until we had got passed these two lakes. The alternative to wading would have been bush bashing along the side, which would have been more time consuming and painful.

The we crossed al low rocky saddle, and down into a narrow gully. The gully was full of native shrubs, so the going was slow, with plenty of scratches form the Matagouri and Bush Lawyer. I lost a small amount of blood, but others lost more. We then climbed up along the side of the gully, which was very rocky and bolder, the group split up a bit at this stage, with one group (including myself) taking a high road, and another group taking a lower road. We met up again at the end of the boulders, then continued to the end of the gully (with some more bush bashing).

There we had lunch below Coleridge Pass, with Mountains all around us. The afternoon was spent walking out again along farm tracks, and then off to the Hororata cafe for carrot cake and coffee. An excellent way to spend the day.

Resolution Stats 1.21

For some reason I could not view my Blog yesterday, so I could not do an update. Never mind, the last couple of days have been quite good.

My Wii Fit stats are BMI 24.84, weight 70.1 kg, and age 36 years. My weight has almost got down the were it was before I went to Timaru. Maybe tomorrow I will start making progress again.

23 Active Tasks. The 37 active tasks in an earlier post was a mistake caused by my handheld PC not syncing properly with my desktop. 23 is pretty good. On Tuesday I cleaned the windows on the outside, put up the extra cladding, and cleared out the ditch, did some gardening and swept the paths. I ran out of time to clean the car, so will do that tomorrow.

I have started looking for someone special on the web site Findsomeone again. I have managed to establish contact with a couple of interesting women, so I’ll see how that goes.

Also I have got a job interview for a job as a hydrologist with the Regional Council. Excellent, this should be an interesting job and a good lifestyle. Seems I have been selected for an interview from over 100 applicants, but there is a big difference between getting an interview and getting a job. The interview is on the 2nd Feb. I have also been contacted by someone regarding a contract for software testing. It doesn’t rain but it pours. I will have to make a decision (or find a way to have my cake and eat it).

Yes We Can

Congratulations Obama on your inauguration. It is impressive that America has voted a Black man to be president. But other than this fact, little seems to be said about him. But I will say this about him; he is not Bush, and his platform of change makes me hopeful.

Good luck Obama. I hope you can do some good.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Resolution Stats 1.19

I really am not keeping up with my blogging every day am I. I’ll set a small goal to try and blog every day this week. So how am I going with my other resolutions?

My Wii Fit stats are BMI 25.3, weight 71.4, and Wii age 25 years. These are awful, especially since yesterday morning I had a BMI of 24.8. But I was visiting a friend all yesterday, and she cooked me some very nice meals, so I guess it is worth it. We’ll see how long it takes to get my weight back down again.

37 active tasks. Again, not so good. This is going to be a busy week. I still have to clean the downstairs room, and tomorrow hope to also get a few more chores done like clean the windows, but some extra cladding on the downstairs room to cover some rotting boards, and clean out the ditch dug last week of mud. There was a big downpour yesterday, but the ditch did its job and kept the water out of the downstairs room. Other chores are gardening, sweeping the paths, and cleaning the car.

Then another tramp on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Resolution Stats 1.13

I am not doing so well with my resolutions am I. Missed a weeks worth of blogging. Never mind, here we go again.

My Wii Fit stats are as follows: BMI 25.01. Weight 70.6 kg. Wii Age 27 years. Missed being normal by 0.1! Maybe tomorrow.

22 Active Tasks. I have been knocking a few off. Yesterday Dad came around and helped dig a drain under the house. That knocked one off. Now I have to clean the downstairs room.

Tramping tomorrow again. Paul is taking us up Andrew’s stream. I will try to fill in on both tramps tomorrow evening after the tramp.