Monday, February 28, 2011

Changing Seasons

I live in the middle of this photo somewhere.
Turning the camera towards my direction of travel and heading up towards the top of Mornington.
These are natives but am not sure of the names. Every time I see these I promise myself that I will go and look up their names but always forget.

The first glimpse of the changing leaves.If the smell of this area could be bottled and sent to the Glade company someone would make millions.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The CTV building before and after

Here are some shots of a modern building leveled by the earthquake. It contains a language school that I know well (and did battle with in Dunedin). There are about 100 trapped people as far as I know in this building. The total death toll for the earthquake may well reach 400. This will make it by far the greatest loss of  life in New Zealand history. I have contacted NZQA and Education Dunedin offering free tuition for students effected by the earthquake and am waiting for word from schools in the Christchurch CBD. As far as I know government agencies may well take up my school's (and possibly others) offer because so much of the infrastructure all around the city.  I am not sure how many of these business have business insurance which will cover "acts of God' but I don't think it will be many. The government has declared  a national state of emergency today which will be the first time since 1939.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christchurch Quake

Bad news from Christchurch I am afraid. Looks like lots of deaths and billions in property damage.  Dunedin felt a tiny roll at lunchtime but I didn't really think it would be as serious as this. Hard to believe the city that I went to on Friday could be devastated just 3 days later.

The weather is changing.... again.

The season is changing and now it is time for every right thinking individual to turn his thoughts inward to contemplate the deeper things in life like.... FRENCH CAVALRY.

 I opened my boxes of French cav for the first time in over a year and have decided to rebase them. I have enough for an1812 army but just for the hell of it might add some more mounted Chassuers. When the winter sets in I might even be introspective enough as to take out my artillery train.

On another note...walking home from work a saw a fantastic  toadstool. Here is the photo.

The weather is changing....

Testing... please don't eat my post for a second time blogger

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Back from Christchuch

On Thursday after school I loaded up the car and headed up to Christchurch for an NZQA Quality Assurance conference. I had been looking forward to getting a few nagging questions sorted out and happily they were.  I had long suspected that NZQA was aiming to "retire" local area course approval and replace courses with a nationally registered central qualification. Unfortunately this is going to happen in the next couple of years.  It may not be as bad as I thought because they say they are going to give providers a certain autonomy over how courses get delivered.  I think it is all about guaranteeing internal jobs for the "boys" as there will be a whole new division opened up for moderators I imagine. Anyway I drove over 800 kms over a two day period to attend the conference and get back in time for the girls to get to Saturday morning music. I should have taken some snaps of the late summer landscape on the Canterbury plains. The whole trip was like driving through a picture postcard.

Here is my 1st attempt of loading a movie shot in HD from the Apple Iphone. The results are pretty basic really.  I think it is designed for outside long shots, Never mind though - the next movie will come from my proper recorder.

I have finished the 1st batch and based them. I have another 200 light infantry on the way and that should have the French finished,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Two Weeks Since My Last Post

Well I have had nothing of significance to blog about apart from the finishing of my latest batch of French light infantry a week ago.  Here are the snaps...
Actually they aren't quite finished yet...
and they won't look like this when they are finally put together because...
they are a mixture of chasseur and carabanier troops together with voltiguers of pre and post Bardin reforms!
I had my first meeting on the executive of Education Dunedin on Wednesday. It seems that my first year will be the last since the High Court has recently handed down a decision as to the status of  registered charities who have "for profit" organisations as members. It seems that since Education Dunedin which is registered as a charitable trust for tax purposes (like all of the other regional bodies supported by local bodies) can't have private providers. This may mean that we will be excluded from the organisation and have to have a sort of associate membership. This will cut us out of significant local government funding unless the city council organises a separate funding route.
It seems a little ironic that all of this is happening in the same week as I was quoted in the local press as saying how well everyone is working together to promote the city and the South Island for international students.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Life Returns to Normal

Victoria is off to school today for her first day in Year 4. Josie starts tomorrow and in spite of their protestations they are all genuinely looking forward to meeting their friends again. The main problem is that now school has started they will not be able to play Sims 2. They racked up huge hours during the holidays and showed no sign of getting sick of it so.... time for daddy to hide the discs.