Weekend planning

K, we’ll be working away on the house all three days this weekend (excepting gales, thunderstorms, and plagues of frogs). We finished routing the last batch of weatherboards this evening, so main job this weekend is oiling them.

Any help will be gratefully received, especially Saturday, as Andrea is off at a gig in the Bay of Islands.

The oil we’re using is natural and non-toxic, although it does stain clothes. I recommend wearing old rags.

I’ll be there from 10 am each day, until I go home and fall over. We’ll feed you lunch (unless you insist otherwise) and let us know if you need transport.


Oh ffs, WCC

I’m (still) sorting out permits and licenses for the house build. According to the permits person at the Council, she can’t tell me what permits I need and I should talk to this other permits person at the Council, coz “he has a university education”.


Lots of pics of house and projects

Big news is that one roof beam has been raised. That’s it hiding away behind all the scaff. There’ll be four, holding that part of the roof in a curved vault.

There is lots of scaff. This is the base of the trapeze space:

The house now has insides! Sort of. The upper storey floor is being laid, so the office has a ceiling. This is us nailing more joist hangers in the rain. And yet, thanks to the magic of ceilings, the rain was not falling on us. Hurrah for ceilings!

Cutting the Eye progresses. After spending this long with a jigsaw, I can only say that I want a plasma cutter.

The Fannies stack. The three boards are, from top, a four Watt step-up power supply, a three axis accelerometer, and a Picaxe and output stage. It fits into the space of one AA battery, leaving room in the box for two batteries to power the thing. Now I just need to solder, with occasional drilling of other bits.

And new batteries in the Mitochondrion seem to have solved the “only works for ten minutes” problem. However, they haven’t solved the “resets randomly if not connected to the programming cable” problem, nor has removing the serial out command. Am baffled, but it’ll do for now.

Topics I wish I had the time to dig into, number 723 – The social gradient in health

The higher you are up the social gradient, the healthier you will be and the longer you will live. This effect goes beyond just financial wealth. Yes, the wealthier you are, the healthier food you eat, the less likely you are to smoke or over-drink, the more leisure time you have, the less obese you are, and the taller you are. All of these factors matter, but explain less than half the huge gap in health between those at the top and those at the bottom.

This link was first uncovered by the Whitehall Studies, and has been confirmed by pretty much everyone that has looked.

“…the social gradient was observed for a range of different diseases: heart disease, some cancers, chronic lung disease, gastrointestinal disease, depression, suicide, sickness absence, back pain and general feelings of ill-health.”

The general explanation is stress, from lack of control at work, from lack of income, from insecurity, from lowered self-esteem. However, this is a pretty vague explanation. No-one is really sure why this is so.

Given that NZ has seen rapidly increasing social inequality over the last thirty years, I think we’d make a great test case for trying to solve this.

Engineering geekery

Rob & Misha dropped by this weekend from Eugene. They’ve been touring around the South Island on a tandem designed to fit into a suitcase.

Hopefully, they’ll be moving to NZ in a couple of years or so.

In other news, the office has a ceiling:

And the deck continues to grow:

Tired us are tired now.

House progress through 2009

We were feeling like building the house will never end, but looking back over the year, we’ve gone from bare ground to most of the structure. So to cheer ourselves up, I made this:

Thanks to all who’ve helped and supported us this year. May 2010 prove at least as full of progress.

(I recommend the HQ version, though I also recommend the full 1200×800 version, which won’t be on the interweb, coz it is phuge.)