Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

The New Adventure – Update 05 #EQC #CHCH

Monday, 29 August 2011 01:35 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

It’s been a challenging year for us all in Canterbury! The anniversary of the 4th of September 2010 earthquake is only a few days away, and it’s the eve of moving back into my house ~15 weeks after repairs commenced. Over the past few weeks the house has been fully painted inside and out, carpet and pvc planks are down, kitchen, bathroom and toilet are in and driveway has been poured.

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There is still some touch up work to be done, clean up outside/gardens and my office in the garage needs to be gib stopped and painted.

There are a heap of people to thank for making this process and situation easier to deal with and work through - Many thanks to:

Falcon Construction (Project Managers and Builders – No job was too small or a hassle, Great builders on the ground and many laughs), Lumley Insurance (My Insurers – Rachel!), Mainland Claims Management (Lost Adjusters – James!),  Ireland Group,
Westpac (My Bank – Andrea!), Campbell Electric (Fully re-writing the house - Keith and Jason), Laser Plumbing (Fully re-plumbing the house - Drainage, Plumbing),  Simple Solutions – (Painting inside and out), Faulks Investments (Concrete Removal, new driveway etc), 
Placemakers (Supplying all the bits and Ben for his help with the kitchen design), Carpet Plus (Carpet and PVC Planks), Heritage House
Re-levellers (Re-piling the house, safely lifting it up an down Smile), My personal interior
design co-ordinator Smile, Murray Cameron (Cabling advice, your patience and a heap of termination Smile) and the Earthquake
Commission (Kimberley in Wellington, you rock!)

So I guess this brings my commentary to a conclusion. For me the purpose of documenting was to help others and hopefully put minds at ease – There are so many people in the Christchurch area who will venture down a similar path to restoration – It’s the friends and family around you that get you through this, offering places of refuge, a coffee and a laugh. I also must thank the many friends online who have followed the progress and of course the outstanding support from employer and work colleagues.

 

The New Adventure – Update 04 #EQC #CHCH

The New Adventure – Update 03 #EQC #CHCH

The New Adventure – Update 02 #EQC #CHCH

Video - Lowering house onto the new ring foundation and piles

The New Adventure – Update 01

Fight or flight – Christchurch #eqnz

More photos are available here.

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The New Adventure – Update 01

Wednesday, 8 June 2011 04:03 by Nick MacKechnie

So it’s been a few weeks now since work commenced on repairing my home. I’ve been extremely impressed with the speed at which progress is being made – In two weeks my possessions have been packed up, carpet, fireplace and gib removed in the lounge, hallway and three bedrooms, insulation installed in the walls (can’t wait), front deck removed, and the house lifted ~1.5 metres off the ground. WP_000557WP_000555

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Currently the team are removing the ring foundation, piles and concrete steps, replacing and then lowering the house down again. It’s quite surreal seeing your place lifted off the ground and realising the ‘home’ that once was will be quite different once it’s a home again. I’m using this opportunity to make some alterations to the house which I’m quite excited about, as well as re-cabling for cat6, fibre, satellite, UHF, home entertainment as well as for the front and soon to be new back deck.

While I find myself ‘homeless’ for a while, my mind tends to wander and consider a few things. Every time I travel out of the city and connect with peers and customers, people are always keen to check in to see how things are going. I really appreciate the questions and thoughts of the kind folk asking.

I would imagine that it’s quite difficult to get a sense of perspective as to how things are really going on the ground versus the snippets in the press. We all deal with things differently and are at different points in understanding the impact of these disasters on our friends, family, employers/employees and our own personal home situation.

The thing I’m cognisant of is focusing on moving forward – we can’t change the past, it is what it is, so let’s learn from these disasters as well as the good, bad and ugly in order to make well informed decisions for our future as well as the generations to come. I see this is an awesome opportunity to build a world class city with infrastructure that will enable us create new opportunities for not only Canterbury but New Zealand.

I was fortunate enough to attend TedxCHCH a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the presentation by Art Agnos, the former Mayor of San Francisco during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake – If you have a few moments, have a look.

People who know me, know that once I have a destination in mind, it takes a bit to deter or slow me down. My thoughts go out to those who are less persistent, don’t have the know-how, the elderly who may be simply waiting for *something* or don’t want to ask for help. If are looking for help, please checkout the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority website -  http://www.cera.govt.nz/support-and-assistance.

I’m really fortunate to be in the position that I’m in with repairs underway - there are many that have less clarity around what’s happening, or have seen little or no progress.  If I can be of help to anyone, feel free to reach out.

Nick.

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The New Adventure

Thursday, 26 May 2011 08:06 by Nick MacKechnie

So… it’s the first chapter of a new book! Liam, Lachlan and I spent our last weekend together at my place before repairs began from the September the 4th Christchurch earthquake. It’s somewhat of a surreal experience moving out of your own house, having your things packed up, possessions taken away and stored, then having your ‘home’ pulled to pieces. Smile It’s been a challenging road working through the minefield of talking to and dealing with the Earthquake Commission (EQC), Insurance Companies, Loss Adjustor, Construction companies etc., however the persistence has paid off.

On Tuesday this week I completed relocating to alternative living accommodation (thanks mum), moved the work/home office and Falcon Construction began work. The February quake rendered my work office inaccessible as it’s located in the CBD / No Access zone.

The construction work at home will take approximately 16 weeks and involves lifting the house up 1.5 metres in height, removing the old foundations and piles, replacing, before lowering the house back down and then the restoration starts. The house needs to be bought up to current building compliance/standards, which means removing all internal gib, relining, adding insulation where there isn’t etc. – Effectively gutting the place, and starting again.

The house was built in 1955, located rurally in the south west of Christchurch. I’m in the very fortunate position where I am one of the first cabs off the rank in terms of these types of repairs. I’m looking forward to adding things new front and back decking, new kitchen, new doors etc. as well as fully cabling the house for everything geeky Smile.

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POST Christchurch Earthquake–22nd of February 2011 #eqc #chch

Tuesday, 1 March 2011 00:19 by Nick MacKechnie

Firstly I wanted to pass on my sincere thanks to all of you for your kind words, emails, texts and phone calls.  It’s been a tough week and hearing some friendly voices has made things more ‘normal’, so thanks!  All family and friends are safe and accounted for so I feel very fortunate. Our Christchurch office survived surprisingly well, however most buildings around us are decimated – we were very lucky to come out relatively unscathed ->a third of the CBD is unlikely to survive.

I thought I’d share some of my experiences from the Christchurch quake that hit on the 22nd of February 2011. I was in our building catching up with friends who work at Exeed (HP Distributors) before heading to lunch when the quake occurred. Our building shook extensively, we headed for something to shelter under as we saw plumes of dust and fly debris out the office window. After making sure everyone was OK, and the aftershocks subsided, we headed for the ground floor and out into High Street. We were greeted with something I can only describe as a war zone.

Here are some photos of the devastation I saw as I walked out the door. There was carnage everywhere, people running, screaming, yelling, standing still, trapped, cars abandoned etc. I encouraged those standing under things to move along and follow the crowd, and checked on a number of people who were clearly not in a good space. Like many, my car wasn’t accessible (and won’t be for along time) so I started my journey home. Given the amount of debris and the aftershocks still happening, walking out of the city was a long process. It took me a good few hours to walk out of the city and arrive at home. Sights of people walking and stepping into liquefaction and sinking knee height weren’t uncommon. Traffic was banked up for hours with people trying to rescue those who were without transport.  80% of Christchurch was without power at this stage, cell sites overloaded/on battery, no water, sewage, queues of people filling up at gas stations etc. – It gives you appreciation of how reliant we’ve become on technology. I was unable to make phone calls, texts and tweets were flying in, however I was couldn’t respond as there clearly wasn’t the bandwidth available. I eventually made contact with mum and my kids so it was a huge relief to know they were safe – I put them on a flight to Auckland as soon as I could.

I have taken refuge at a friends place, they have been spectacular in looking after me, having an open home to the many friends that have dropped in who have needed food and power to charge gadgets.

Workwise we have kicked off our response team to assist customers, partners, small businesses and the government where we can add the most value. Microsoft New Zealand is making the following support offerings available to affected customers and business partners. We hope this will help our customers as they respond to the disaster and rebuild their IT capability in the coming weeks and months. This offer is available for customers in the Canterbury Region for an initial 90 day period – Microsoft will review the offer and the period as we learn more about the precise assistance most commonly needed. Go here for more information.

The sense of helplessness is felt by many across the country/globe, equally for those of us on the ground the sentiments are similar. It’s a time to pull together as a community/country and help each other out. I believe that out of these types of events, there’s more of an opportunity to learn, grow and achieve some great outcomes if we work together. Hope, determination, smart decisions and some kiwi-know-how will get us through this. We are down, but not out – Thanks all for your continuing thoughts, calls, texts, prayers and assistance – it means alot and is appreciated.

Here’s a view of the city after the earthquake.

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Please visit the Canterbury Response website for the latest information on the Earthquake.

Nick.

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2009!

Thursday, 1 January 2009 22:45 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

So it’s 2009 already! We had a great party around here last night with some good friends; the kids had blast in the pool, playing swingball and staying up late.... So I’m sure they will be in _fine_ form today... no really! :-)

Last year had a lot of challenges for us as a family with various things going on, and this year no doubt will have its fair share, particularly with the impact of the struggling world economies, pending job losses and rising unemployment etc.

I was showing Brett a few snaps of our holiday last week from Purau and our retro camping experience with our Sprite Pop-top Caravan. If we reflect on life, the good memories that stick in our mind aren’t typically the things we purchase – it’s the time spent with friends and family. The kids had a blast at the beach, pool, playing in the creek trying to catch whitebait/eels, biking, staying up late etc and we found it very relaxing.

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So for me, 2009 will be about focusing on the important things in life (family, friends, work – balance..) and enjoying the challenges that life offers to us all.

Have a great year, focus on what you can change/impact and enjoy your family moments! :-)

Nick.

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New Set top box for the home office

Wednesday, 8 October 2008 10:21 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I’ve been spending a bit more time out in the home office, and decided a TV wouldn’t be a bad thing, so after some research, I decided to buy a higher end model of the unit I use in the lounge for my office.

I picked up a Dreambox 7020si via a contact I had made on Ebay some months back for $US305.

DM7020

When we moved into our current house, we had a four car garage. Within the 1st week of moving in, I had hired a concrete saw, a jack hammer and was digging a trench to drag cat 6 cabling between the house and the garage. The garage has been split into half, and an office built at the back for me to retreat to when I needed to work, as well as relax.

I managed to pickup a cheap dish with 3 LNB's, so my mate Murray and I installed it up on the garage roof on the weekend. So this box is tuned into Optus D1, D2 and C1 and works superbly!

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Nick.

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Dance Festival, Liam being Invested @ Keas and Lachie gettn’ jiggy wif it

Friday, 26 September 2008 02:18 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Yesterday was a busy day for the kids! Halswell School have been learning about dance and yesterday they put on a show for the parents. Vanessa and Lachie went to watch Liam perform, Lachie wasn’t too interested and found some nice dirt to play with outside.

Liam has been going to Keas now for quite a few weeks, and last night he was invested (it isn’t as painful as it sounds) – This basically means you join, say your promise and receive your scarf , woggle and shirt. In a few weeks time we’re off to his first camp at Kaikoura, where we’ll stay for a couple of nights, do whale watching, mini golf, have mass produced food, and the adults will probably enjoy a few ales – Quite looking forward to it!<a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=606b7e0a-88bd-4411-8b50-376f3f9d9c95" target="_new" title="Dance Festival @ Halswell School">Video: Dance Festival @ Halswell School</a>

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Lachie attends Mainly music on Tuesday, so when the fun outside began, (It was the end of term party of Keas).. he decided to put on his dancing shoes…

<a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=d7be2ee2-f975-4d9b-8d08-708f8dc18769" target="_new" title="Jiggy!">Video: Jiggy!</a>

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Breaky, snow, lunch, beer and rugby!

Sunday, 17 August 2008 11:49 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Well today started off earlier than other typical weekends. We’ve had alot of snow in the Canterbury Region, and we haven’t really had a good chance to go and have a play in it – So we headed south to Lake Coleridge in search of some snow. We stopped at Darfield and enjoyed a hot breakfast with some decent carb loading :-). It’s easy to get stuck in the routine of life, so we decided to enjoy our surroundings, and headed an hour south – the boys had a blast!

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For more photos go here - http://www.thenet.gen.nz/Home/Photos.aspx?AlbumID=133

For videos of Liam and Lachie playing in the snow go here - http://www.thenet.gen.nz/Home/Movies.aspx

We had lunch out at Lincoln with Vanessa’s brother, wife and kids, then Liam and I headed off to the Canterbury vs Auckland Rugby game at AMI Stadium.

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Great result with Canterbury taking it to Auckland 34 - 3 – It was our first ‘take a kid to footy’ night. (Take a kid to footy costs $25 for an Adult and Child, and they receive a ‘loot bag’ with a drink, chips, some bangers and some face paint) – Cheap night out! It was pretty cold, however Liam was keen to stay until the end.

A few more photos here - http://www.thenet.gen.nz/Home/Photos.aspx?AlbumID=134

Nick.

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Keas!

Thursday, 24 July 2008 09:31 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Well it’s been many years since I set foot in a Scout hall, and I survived again! :-) Liam had his first night at Keas tonight, and thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the camping, adventures, exploring outdoors etc so we decided to introduce Liam to Keas to see if it was cup of tea carbonated fizzy. One of the challenges in moving away from a city, then returning, is that your social network becomes eroded over time. I wanted to get involved in something I enjoyed, meet some new people, as well as give something back to others in the community (looks like I’ll become a leader too) - Oh..yeah, and Liam of course needs to enjoy it. This was the first night of the term for Keas, so it kicked off with placing the kids in “Possies” (groups) and nominating leaders and seconds (deputy leaders). Next on the agenda was a bit of fun - “Battleships”. The kids were split into two teams, some tables are placed on their sides (so the kids couldn’t see each other) and the kids had sit on the floor behind the tables. Throw in a few tennis balls and play Battleships. If a ball hits you without a bounce, you’re out. The kids loved it and went nuts. Next was ‘crafts’ – create something that reminds you of “fun” was tonights theme. There were are a few talks and some education along the way and we finished up with the kids helping to clean up and an allocation of points for the teams for the night.  Here’s a few photos taken from my batfone.

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Vanessa will take Liam next week as I'll be in Seattle, and all going well, we'll sign up and get into it :-)

Nick.

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Batch’n with the Boys

Sunday, 20 July 2008 22:28 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

It was a shocker of a day yesterday, persisting down with rain, so the boys and I decided to head out to see some friends in Oxford. Oxford is an small farming settlement ~30 kms from Rangiora. Vanessa has been away in Wellington since Thursday, and is due back tonight, so it’s great for me to spent some solo time with Liam and Lach before heading out to Seattle this coming weekend. We visited and drove through the Waimakariri and Ashley gorges on the way to Oxford and Rangiora , it’s been years since I’ve been out that way.

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We ended up arriving back into Christchurch about 7pm, grabbed some fish ‘n chips for tea. then the kids got ready for bed etc. The boys had a ball throwing stones in the river (and almost throwing themselves in a few time).The Waimak gorge is pretty cool, I’ll have to check and see if there are any caches hidden round there for next time I’m out that way – would be a great spot for some fishing and camping too!

Nick.

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