Thursday, February 14, 2013

A New Home! And Data Suppositories ...

Arrived in Christchurch yesterday. There was a name on the door of my office, and a named mailbox - and forms to fill out so I can have Library access (electronic journals etc.). I did pay more than usual care as I filled out the emergency information, given the earthquake situation. I learned from the tech. guy in the Geology  Dept. that New Zealand has two (yes, that is TWO) cables linking it to the rest of the world. One (the main one) goes on the seafloor via Hawaii, and the other (which is just a backup) goes via Australia. No wonder there are bandwidth 'issues' and the cost of online access is expensive.

Vegetable garden. Note ripe tomatoes.
My new home is a small 'cottage' about 20-30 mins walk to the University. There are grocery shops on the way. I have a vegetable garden full of ripe or ripening vegetables.

View towards gate from same spot as before
The house is surrounded by a high picket fence.
There is no 'view' at all. There are no hills (other than the Port Hills), which makes a change from Dunedin.

View 90 degrees to left from previous pic.
 I need to re-wash the towel 
There is also a small patio. Only downside is the birdsnest right above it. There is also a stray somewhat mangy calico cat that has been getting fed by the owner.

Inside - the kitchen/dining end.

Inside there is a living/dining/kitchen area, bedroom, and bathroom.

Definitely a big step up from my Dickensian Garret in Dunedin.

In the Department I have got a large screen on my desk that I can plug my computer into, so I have no excuse for getting the next round of drafting done .. and the writing. I also have a big map table in my office, so I have spread my maps out, which is just wonderful, I can use them as I write.

Highlight of the day? They have (like Otago) morning and afternoon tea; everyone sits down with a mug of tea or coffee and chats. One of the profs (volcanologist/volcanic hazards, Jim Cole) was reading a PhD thesis, and he found a typo. Instead of a Data Repository [for those that are not familiar - a place online where extra or raw data are stored and can be accessed by interested scientists], the writer had written 'Data Suppository'. The tea-time conversation went rapidly downhill after that, but everyone had a very good laugh, and lots of speculation as to what it would look like....or how it would be used.

I'll spend the weekend exploring (getting lost in) Christchurch, and getting up-to-speed on fan deltas.

Sign at Maori Cave paintings near Duntroon
en route (sort of) to Christchurch

The second part of the sign. Unfortunately I can't predict
 earthquakes other than in a vague and general way.

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