Clinical trial

It’s been a day of hurry up and wait for me today. When trying to get to the clinical trial this morning I took a shortcut West across town, only to find that large parts are blocked off and had to wriggle my way down South before making much progress. Kilmore Street is blocked off before you get to Madras, so a loop-around at Oxford Terrace back to Barbadoes Street needs to be done. Then due to rush-hour traffic on Barbadoes I try to make my way via Gloucester Street to Manchester, but am hampered before I get there, so it’s around Latimer Square to find that Worcester and Hereford are still blocked off towards Manchester Street too. What if I wend my way down Woolsack Lane to try and get there – no? And so it’s heading back East again across Madras (can’t go South down there) over to Barbadoes Street once again, resigned to having to live with the situation until I can eventually get to St Asaph Street and at last make some Eastward progress. It seems that the only effective Westward passage across the city is still at Bealey Ave or St Asaph – no points between.

When I at last got to the clinical studies place, I was given a bed near the wall which awarded me with a good view of the concrete wall of the building. It has a good couple of inches gap from the quakes that hasn’t yet had much of anything done to it. I’m just hoping that it’s not more than just cosmetic damage. I’m told that it doesn’t let the rain in so doesn’t seem to be that much of a problem, but I have a friend who regularly visited the CTV building and was given similar info about their stairwell there, so comfort is not to be had from such statements now.

The good news though is that the TBA status on my being there for the whole of the next day, Wednesday, is that people in my group are not going to be involved with that. It’s groups 2 and others that will be instead – so it’s as if my group 1 is part of a control. We’re not told what to have for breakfast, or what to drink when taking meds, or checked up on all that often – only every two weeks now – so despite that I’m never-the-less going to stay fairly close to what we were doing last year, with plenty of water with the meds and such like.

Aspect ratio

Around to my parents to share morning tea and lunch with them, it’s good news on their TV. The damage spotted with it last time was easily fixed by having it replaced, and now there is only a small matter of aspect ratio to resolve. The TV broadcast from their TelstraClear decoder has lovely thick black bars along the top and bottom, which would be good to get sorted out.

While it was possible to temporarily change it from a 4:3 broadcast to 16:9 for the current channel that you’re on, that reset back to 4:3 whenever the channels are changed, so after some digging in to the settings I see that the decoder has been told that it’s to output by default to a 4:3 broadcast, which makes sense because that’s the type of telly that they used to have. After setting that to 16:9 from now on, their tv viewing issues are now resolved and they can now enjoy watching without everyone looking like they come from munchkin land.

A few days ago a similar issue happened with an old DVD that was being watched elsewhere, which was a recording of an older tv show called Cracker. It broadcasts in 4:3 which was getting badly stretched to 16:9, so by digging in to the player settings we were able to tell it that the HDMI should be broadcast as 4:3 instead, which then allowed us to more enjoyably view things as intended.

After a good early afternoon at my parents helping out with things, I was wanted to stay longer to help them measure up the internal rooms of the house for planning the rebuild, but have to postpone that due to an appointment at the Hep C Resource Centre. Fortunately though my Wednesday is now clear so I’ll be able to return to help out with things tomorrow.


At the Hepatitis C Resource Centre I am to sign off on some community grant applications as Treasurer, but find that the papers have to still be delayed until next week. While there I share with Natana (Nat), their Maori liaison officer, of my plans for the evening which involve the gallery opening, and how there’s quite a bit on my calendar to be done within an hour before I get there. I have to head home to pick up a backpack for later on, get a haircut, stop in at the scooter shop to make arrangements for a service on the scooter, get some dinner, and all before the grand opening of the gallery, which pretty much all involve aspects of hurrying up to get there and while internally impatient, externally waiting patiently when I get there.

When waiting for Bill at the resource centre I was asked how many days there are in this month of July, which was a good opportunity to share with them a helpful way of using your knuckles to work out how many days there are in each month, which was gratefully received by Nat and shared by him around others that are there too.

Grand opening

After getting everything ready it was time to attend the 5:30 big event at Eastside Gallery . The gallery has had its ceremonial opening with the whanau of Te Whare Roimata and its official opening with Bob Parker, so today’s grand opening is one for the general public to become involved with. Rudolf Boelee has on show there an exhibition that connects the earthquake with a large number of artists in the local area. He has created two-tone head-shot portraits of each artist, and includes some photos showing their art and the conditions that they are currently working in. It’s an interesting display, and provides a good backdrop as people and artists in the local area get to chat about things this evening.


I couldn’t stay for long at the gallery though due to a 7pm DVD evening of Paul at Clives place. The company was great and the movie was entertaining, but much of the humour was sadly more juvenile in nature, mixed with the best-friends who are not gay but are frequently mistaken as being so, ended up grating after a while.

It was enjoyable though to pick up on the many sci-fi references throughout the movie, and odd to hear my name being called out on a regular basis. I get the feeling that if the script had received a bit more spit & polish and gone through a few more drafts, that even without Edger Wright it could have ended up being even better than it is now. Things like the creationism/evolution conflict in there seems to be too much of a punch to the face, and even though I don’t have a belief about god due to insufficient evidence, showing the amount of disrespect towards religion that comes through from the movie seems to be taking things perhaps a step too far.

Having said that though I ended the movie feeling quite positive about it. I’d put this move below Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and slightly above The Worlds End due to issues of tone.

Go club

The evening ended at a weekly board games evening of Go, where I passed over some Doctor Who tapes from Nicky to one of the members there, along with some special old episodes in a DVD box set which were gratefully received. There was even some ribbing though when I told them about why I hadn’t come along to last weeks evening, due to throwing my back out at a meditation event. It has the potential also to be a Monty Python sketch, on the dangers of meditation.

I even managed to win a game with praise from a much stronger player for how I rescued a large group of my stones by preventing life to some of his own, but I failed to record the game! Normally I record the game step by step on an app, but tonight chose not to do so – to my own peril. Now I won’t be able to go back over that game and learn more from it. Not that I do that anyway with my existing recorded games, but it would have been nice to have had that option. it looks like I have a good incentive now to carry on recording such games on further occasions.