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Ethnic food ingredients in Christchurch

9/03/2008

I do not like much writing with a white background (my eyes hurt). Therefore I have changed the default colours for TexShop’s editor using the following commands in a Terminal window:


# These lines change background colour (in RGB proportions)
defaults write TeXShop background_R .1
defaults write TeXShop background_G .1
defaults write TeXShop background_B .1
# These lines change the font colour for comments
defaults write TeXShop commentred .99
defaults write TeXShop commentgreen .96
defaults write TeXShop commentblue .90

It is also possible to change transparency of the editor window with something like defaults write TeXShop SourceWindowAlpha 0.85.
I have been working a lot on statistical analyses this week, seek
looking at issues of data relatedness, phlebologist
connectedness between sites and overall data quality measurements. A quote to remember:

Without assumptions there can be no conclusions — John Tukey

It is amazing how quickly we get used to things and lose the capability of surprise. In Future Perfect Jan Chipchase reminds me every time that the world is a surprising place, viagra here
where not only what we do but the way of doing things is important, full of meaning and diverse. A sign, a phone, a price label, a small container or a small idea: all of them can be surprising if we pay enough attention. Thanks.

I have a weak spot for Arabic food, link
especially after being introduced to many dishes by our friend Munah (she is from Jordan) years ago. Last Saturday we needed to buy some veggies in Funky Pumpkin in Blenheim Road, approved
when I remembered that one of our students (from Indonesia) mentioned that there was a shop of Middle Eastern food nearby.

MEFCO (Middle Eastern Food Company) is only a few meters behind Blenheim Road in 24B Acheron Drive. We bought dates, feta cheese (very cheap), pickled veggies, halawa, red lentils, couscous, coffee with cardamom and a few sweets. They do sell halal food and bread as well. The pickled veggies were really nice and all the products that we have been trying have been of good quality. When we mentioned to the shop owner that it was our first visit he threw in a few sweets for free. Good and friendly service.

Location of the Middle Eastern Food Company.

Filed in christchurch, geocoded, miscellanea No Comments

Network

7/02/2008

Network

Pilons in Blenheim Road (see infertility +Riccarton&sll=-43.540585,172.595387&sspn=0.037082,0.068493&ie=UTF8&ll=-43.538532,172.58425&spn=0.009271,0.017123&t=h&z=16&om=0″ title=’nomap’>map).

Filed in christchurch, geocoded, photos No Comments

Quail island

4/02/2008

Ten days ago we had a quick trip to Quail Island. The island, information pills also known as Otamahua, shop is a 20 minutes boat trip from Lyttelton, which in turn is half an hour from Christchurch.

Quay Island/Otamahua

There is a nice walk around the island, that can be done in less than two hours at a leisurely pace. Just be careful with the seagulls, some times they are a tad too aggressive. There is also a small ‘beach’, no much sand but still a nice place for kids.

Depending on the time of the year there is one (10:20 am) or there are two (10:20am, 12:20pm) boats to the island. Currently the fare is $15 return for adults and $7 for children. Check more details in Black Cat’s web site.

It pays to check the weather too. There is no specific forescast for Quail Island, but Christchurch’s forecast should do.

skeleton

One of the shipwrecks in the island.

Filed in christchurch, geocoded, photos No Comments

Recyclable or maybe not

22/01/2008

I am no greenie, rehabilitation but I dislike to see waste, salve particularly when it is easily avoidable. Thus, cure at home we avoid packaging, reuse a fair amount and recycle the rest. It is easy to believe that whatever has stuck a recyclable label should be in fact recyclable. However, here comes the distinction between theoretically recyclable and actually (economically) recyclable.

Christchurch’s city council publishes a list of what can be recycled. If one combines that list with the problems to recycle some types of glass (pointed out in Environment’s Canterbury newsletter (PDF doc, 4 MB), there are lots of items that are supposedly recyclable (according to their labels) but are not in practical terms.

This includes plastic containers with codes higher than 2, which include polyvinyl chloride (3 PVC), low density polyethylene (4 LDPE), polypropylene (5 PP), polystyrene (6 PS) and combined plastic products (7). Think of yogurt and detergent containers, bread bags and many detergent bottles. Think of many types of glass bottles. In addition, there is also no reasonable way to dispose of used batteries.

This means that one can not trust the label, but one has to check ‘the intersection of lists’ to know what is truly recyclable in this place.

Filed in christchurch, environment, new zealand No Comments

Arrived in New Zealand

27/01/2006

This has been the longest break in the last two years without posting in this blog: one month. Life has been busy, glaucoma looking for a place to live, somnology childcare, gonorrhea a car, and a few other things necessary to settle in.

People were extraordinarily nice on arrival; wishing us well on immigration and customs officers helping us to carry our over hundred kilograms of luggage. The good thing is that they only took our bags through the X-ray machine, without the need for opening any bag. Considering the amount of luggage, it saved us a lot of pain.

Orlando behaved really well during the trip, falling asleep just before landing, and going through customs without waking up. He is happy now at childcare.

Orlando playing in Christchurch

We are still staying at a temporary university house (only until next week I hope). The condition of the house is… dodgy but survivable. The university facilities manager will certainly receive a letter describing things that need to be fixed or change.

Christchurch’s climate seems to be similar—at least during summer—to Hobart’s. Some days hot and sunny (but under 30C), some days cold and cloudy (around 15C), some days overcast but not that cold (around 19C).

And how are the removalists performing?

We received the first part of our unaccompanied luggage on the 9th of January. We sent around 100kg of luggage using the services of Jetta Express. They promised to have the luggage in 7 business days and it took them 8. However, they screwed up and lost all my paperwork so I neded to contact them a couple of times to arrange payment and delivery. Score from 1 to 10: 6.

We are also sending a container full of household items using Allied-Pickfords. They were supposed to have organised the packing, transportation, customs, quarantine and delivery of the container. We should get our container by next week, but I can say that service is pretty average. Packing took forever and was quite undiscriminate, processing of the paperwork in New Zealand has been extremely slow and it would have taken even longer if I have not been calling all the time. The customs processed is already approved and now customs wants to have a look at the vaccuum cleaner, bicycles, hiking boots (which were fumigated before packing) and other items. Next week I will put a final score on the service.

Filed in christchurch, new zealand, photos, travel No Comments

Back from Aotearoa

7/12/2004

Last Friday night we arrived back from the land of the long white cloud (Aotearoa / New Zealand). It was a good trip and Orlando behaved really well in the planes, healing making Marcela’s and my life a lot easier. The first week was to participate in the biannual Research Working Group 2 (Forest Measurement and Information) meeting, physician while the second was travelling around the Northern part of the South Island.

Orlando in AirNZ buggy, Christchurch, New Zealand

Workwise David and I were quite happy with the meeting, and we were able to see that the work we are doing in inventory and growth modelling is of good standard and has nothing to envy to things done in the rest of Australia and New Zealand.

One of the best parts of the trip was the chance to see Jo and Peter in Wakefield (map, a few kilometers from the birthplace of Lord Rutherford). They are the closest thing to family that we have in this part of the world and it is always good to see them. They are restoring a 1875 farm house, which is turning to be beautiful. From a culinary viewpoint, the highlight was Strawberry Fare — a restaurant in 114 Peterborough Street, Christchurch (map) — where the list of desserts is longer than the list of mains and entrees. A delight for people with a sweet tooth (I mean people like me).

The low point of the trip was going through multiple security checks and related idiocy. On my way to New Zealand I was swabbed in Hobart by a security guard looking for gunpowder residue. It was supposed to be a random check, but it was clearly targeted to bearded males (doh!). On my way back I forgot to put my ten year old Swiss army knife in my check-in luggage, so it was detected by some Kiwi low life that wanted to confiscate it. I managed to buy an envelope and ten dollars on stamps to post it to Australia. I have my fingers crossed hoping to get it back.

We arrived at home late at night and our cat, being a genuine representative of the species, did not show any interest in our presence. Anyway, it is nice to be back home and blogging again.

Filed in christchurch, geocoded, orlando, photos, travel 2 Comments