Monday, January 16, 2017

Whangarei's Ball Clock

A group of men in Whangarei has been working on a ball clock for several years.  The prototype is now running and was open to the public at the weekend.  Naturally, we went along. It was quite difficult to photograph but was fascinating.





The following is an excerpt from the local paper about a year ago.

The model includes a clock portion as well as a "fun" section designed to teach passersby the basics of physics. It even includes a small lifting version of Te Matau A Pohe Bridge.
"It would be getting up towards 1000 hours that we've spent on it," said About Time project team member Graham Brice.
The ball clock has four main rails, one labelled with seconds, two with minutes and one with hours.
The bottom rail represents the hours; the next rail represents 10-minute increments; the third, one minute increments; and the top rail, seconds, in 15-second increments.
The top rail receives a ball from a racheted electronic motor every 15 seconds dumping it onto the rail below every minute, while the other balls disperse.
Every 10 minutes, one of the "minute" balls drops onto the 10-minute rail below, while every hour, one of the "10 minute" balls becomes an hour marker. Confused?
Imagine trying to build it, complete with a washing machine motor and series of cogs that have to deliver balls.
"Something has gone wrong pretty much every step of the way," said committee member Pete Romer.
Mr Brice said he was "very proud of the creative imagination and endeavour the team have put into it."

Friday, January 13, 2017

ANOTHER EVENTFUL WEEK

Last Friday I got an offer on my house, subject to a builders report, LIM (council) report and finance.  Apparently they have already seen the bank and finance is a formality.  It takes 3 weeks to get the LIM report.  If it goes ahead the sale will be 3 weeks after that so we will be working to a tight time frame.

Saturday was spent as usual with going to the Growers' Market, walking Sophie and Supermarket shopping but then I came back home early as two more groups were looking at the house and I wanted to open it up as it was so hot.  I then went back to Doug's to do some work.    Apparently, one group was quite keen but were looking for their parents.

Sunday, was the usual "Sophie Walk" followed by morning tea at Doug's then the gym.  After that a couple from the Gym came back to my place for tea and pikelets.  Then Doug would have gone back home to work on the cat run and I did jobs here.

Monday, Doug picked me up and, after walking Sophie, he worked on the run and I did some weeding.  I had lunch at home and walked to the dentist for an extraction at 3.30.  Doug picked me up from there and we collected my antibiotics and I took it easy.

Tuesday, Doug's daughter came up from Orewa so he picked me up at about 9 a.m. and, after a chat, they went and walked Sophie and her dogs while I rested.  We then had lunch and they dropped me back at home.  His grand-daughter, her husband and great grand-daughter also visited later on the way home from their holiday.  While watering the garden I got a bee sting which didn't help things on top of the extraction.  (it would also have been Max' 87th birthday).

Not sure what happened on Wednesday but it would have been working on the properties.

Yesterday, the Building inspection was carried out.  The real estate agent came and the purchasers who measured up while the inspection took place.  It was very thorough and he reported to the purchasers then told me that there were only minor problems.  As Doug was leaving he noticed his rear side window had shattered.  He phoned the glass company then put his car in my garage and we swapped cars.


Taken from the outside

and from the inside.





Today we went in both cars to the glass company and then walked Sophie and had an iced coffee while the window was removed, the glass vacuumed up and a temporary window stuck on,.  We were told about an hour.  After the allotted time we returned to find that the temporary window had been put in on top of the shattered one.  This would have been too dangerous for Sophie so I took her home to Doug's while he waited for the job to be redone.  It will take a week or more to get new glass from Japan or Timbuktu or wherever.  We could have done without this as time is precious at present.  Well, let's face it, time is always precious.

It has been hot all week .  The 29 to 32 degrees.  Today was forecast to be rain clearing about now but nothing yet.  At least it is a bit cooler but very muggy.  Rain is desperately needed.

The only green in my lawn is the kikuyu grass.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 - A NEW START

2016 was not the best of years.  I found it very hard visiting Max with no sign of recognition (even when he was awake) and general deterioration.  It still came as a shock when he died at the beginning of October.

Since then things have moved on.  While I was still married Doug and I kept to our respective houses (a bit old fashioned I know) and two gardens and two houses to maintain was quite hard.  When it was no longer necessary we decided there was no point waiting and I have put my (newly decorated) house on the market.  It was decorated and new carpets and curtains for me to live in not to sell but looks good for sale.

I put it on the market 3 weeks before Christmas but that was obviously not a good time.  Since Christmas there has been more interest so we shall see.  I do not need to sell urgently but it will be good to know a time frame to make things more settled.

When the house has sold Doug and I will be married and I will move into his house.  It is smaller than mine and easier to maintain and has the added advantage of a double garage woodworking workshop that Doug had installed.

Currently he is building a cat run adjacent to the main bedroom so that Kim can have somewhere to be outside safely.  She is still not too sure about Sophie.  After that he will be enlarging his lounge onto part of the deck and then the inside will be painted in the same colour scheme as my house.  The arrangement is his house and my furniture and decorating choices.  Sounds fair to me!!

We also hope to do some travelling both around New Zealand and to Australia and possibly U.K. but time will tell - I hope there is no rush but at our ages one can never be sure.

I  wish every one of you a happy, healthy and safe  2017

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A MILESTONE

Doug's youngest Grandson got his pilot's licence last month and today Doug was his very proud first passenger.  We drove up to Kerikeri.

Doug  and his grandson walk out to the plane



Grandson does his pre-flight checks



Doug gets into the plane




and gets belted in



Ready for take off








and they are up and away




and here they come - I see from the clock on the camera that the flight lasted 25 minutes.  They had a wonderful view of the Bay of Islands.




Saturday, December 24, 2016

SUPERMARKET SHOPPING ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

Every Saturday morning Doug picks me up at about 7.30 a.m. to go to the market, walk Sophie, then go to the supermarket.

I suggested we go a bit earlier this morning and leave Sophie's walk until after we got back to Doug's.  He picked me up just after 7 a.m., several stalls at the market had already sold out when we got there at about 7.15.  Anyway, I completed my list and we got to the Supermarket just after 7.30 and had to drive around to find a park.  

We went in and the place was packed.  We use one trolley but each get our own groceries and had almost finished when Doug left the trolley while we got our cream, milk etc.  When we went back to the trolley it had vanished.  We both searched through the supermarket in vain and finally had to start all over again/.  Needless to say the second time around I wasn't quite so careful in my selection.  As I had crossed out my list as I went it was also a bit harder the second time.  I wonder if the person who "stole" our trolley really wanted cat food, cherries, grapes, strawberries, bananas etc.  

Anyone would think the supermarkets were closing for a month not a day.  

Monday, December 19, 2016

MERRY KIWI CHRISTMAS


Almost all Christmas songs are about snow and winter but I have just heard this lovely New Zealand (Aotearoa) Christmas song.  Enjoy!!!.






                             Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy 2017 to everyone.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pataua South - Final Parkinson Walk for the year.

On Monday we met at Onerahi and car-pooled to Pataua South.  There were only 7 of us.  The forecast had been for rain but it was fine although there was a strong wind.  

We walked across the footbridge to Pataua North and had a pleasant walk before returning to our cars and having a picnic lunch.  










Our next walk is not until the last Monday in January.