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Blobby blobby blobby. BLOBBY! - Tactical Ninja

Jun. 25th, 2012

09:38 am - Blobby blobby blobby. BLOBBY!

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So apparently this year it was my turn to do the solstice vigil. I finally got to sleep at 5:30am on Saturday morning, and woke up again at 8. You're welcome. And on cue, 2 days after the solstice, we have the first of the spring flowers showing. Behold, the brave hyacinth:



Also on cue, ridiculously warm spring-like weather. 15 degrees? Howling norwester? What's up with that, seasons? You are confusing my plants.


We have this thing we do in our house, where each Sunday, turnabout, one of us cooks a new thing and we all sit down like cultured grownups and eat it together. With two busy adults and one near-adult living in our house, mealtimes can be somewhat *ahem* piecemeal, but Sundays we pretend to be normal. Last night it was my turn. What I normally do for this is grab a random recipe book off the shelf and make something out of it, and this time one of the books I got from helianthas came out. In it was a recipe for roasted chicken thighs with tomato and herbs.

I don't think I've ever made a dish that stuck to the recipe faithfully, and this one was no different. So I swapped the pepper flakes (I don't even know what those are) for sliced red capsicum, and used marjoram and thyme instead of marjoram OR thyme, and used boned thighs instead of drumsticks, and mixed the leftover fresh herbs with parmesan and sprinkled it on top for the last 10 minutes of cooking, and voila!



Also note I totally cheated by using peas and beans for greenery, but I'm told they are winter fare right? Not sure why they are winter fare given that they grow in summer, but there you go. This meal went down well, although next time I think I'll cook more of the red and green stuff. Nice recipe, would cook again!

Also notable about this weekend: sleep ins. I might have been awake at 8am on Saturday, but we didn't actually get out of bed till 2:30pm. And yesterday it was 10:30 and it was awesome to spend most of the weekend in bed. *nods*

Tonight we have our bodycorp AGM. It's my first one and I suspect it'll be somewhat contentious. You see, thanks to Christchurch and Japan having major earthquakes, the insurance companies are engaging in extortion increasing premiums to offset their perceived increased risk. Ours has gone up by a factor of 4. There's no way around this, they're all doing it and by law your building must be insured. This adds up to an extra $125 a week in bodycorp fees for our apartment, effectively doubling them. NASTY. So the bodycorp is naturally looking for ways to offset that cost to residents. Unfortunately, most of the ways suggested so far make barely a dent in the increase (like, added up they will save my household a total of $117 every three months, or $9 a week. And they are ways that will reduce the quality of our lifestyle within the building substantially - things like cancelling the twice-weekly rubbish collection.

So I'm going to be arguing quite hard for keeping those amenities. I'm aware that for some people the difference is more than $9 a week (but not by much). However, the major thing here is the insurance and it's something we can do nothing about, along with the other 200-odd buildings in Wellington that the council has deemed to be 'earthquake prone'. Sorting that out to reduce the insurance should be the focus of any fiddling with money, not turning our block into a ghetto for a measly $9 a week.

*sigh* I don't want to spend the evening sitting in a cold room trying to convince people that spending money now will save us heaps later, but I can see this coming. I could have it wrong, maybe my fellow residents are smarter than I think. But someone made those motions, and it's likely someone who's thinking short term, and not someone who actually lives there.

*mutter*


I mentioned the other day that I've been stretching. I can now put my head on my knees while sitting in pike, and get my elbows on the ground while sitting in straddle. For someone who's spent their life riding horses and shearing sheep (read:gripping things with her thighs), this is quite an achievement IMO. I don't bend too well the other way though. Well, my spine does - apart from the bit that OsteoDude and Hannah are working on, the rest seems very flexible. But my legs and shoulders? Not so much.

What's a good stretch for flexible-ising your hips and stretching quads?

Also, going from plank to pike (setting up for handstand)? I can sort of do it. Not pretty, but possible. Ha.

Comments:

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From:tatjna
Date:June 24th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
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I'm fine with the cleaning being cut back (as long as it happens after the weekend) since I don't notice what they do anyway. I can vouch for the bins being emptied twice a week because I hear them do it, and when we had a public holiday and it didn't happen, it was really noticeable.

My issue with the rubbish is mainly that we use one bag maybe every 2-3 weeks but that includes food scraps, and there's no way I want food scraps hanging around the house for 2-3 weeks. So I'd put it in a bin outside, and then you can guarantee other people would use it, which would defeat the purpose. It's just not worth the hassle for the saving.
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From:richdrich
Date:June 24th, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
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I thought council rubbish bags were only for kerbside collection in the suburbs? Both CBD blocks I lived in we put the trash out in regular black bags - but I think we may have used a private collector.

If you have council collection for an apartment block, do you pay for bags and collection?
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From:tatjna
Date:June 24th, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
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The council picks up those bags daily in Wellington CBD if you leave them out at the right time, but doesn't specify where to leave them.

We use a private collector and for the cost (roughly $5/week per apartment), it's well worth it IMO.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 24th, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that one. Definitely.

I think the cold room is because it's cheap. And in a church. There's probably a thesis in why churches are designed to be cold.
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From:kehleyr
Date:June 24th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)
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Mmmmm chicken.... *drools*
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From:helianthas
Date:June 25th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
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Glad you liked it! Although I may to add the Tats Parmesan modification for the 2nd edition!
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From:blue_eye
Date:June 25th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
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Not a good idea to look at pictures of food while hungry.
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From:strude1
Date:June 25th, 2012 05:22 am (UTC)
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I guess that the council has sent your building a report saying what % of earthquake-prone or how compliant they think it is? Is the insurance amount based off this report or simply because the building is in the Wellington CBD? Also, I'm guessing the building is a relatively recent build so there should be a lot of documentation and so the council would have been able to do an accurate desktop assessment?
I ask because there may be a way to reduce your insurance premium by disputing the council assessment and getting a consultant to do an independent physical assessment.

Shot in the dark but I figured why not mention it :)

Also, have you checked out bokashi as an alternative way of dealing with kitchen scraps?
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From:tatjna
Date:June 25th, 2012 05:26 am (UTC)
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The building is a historic one, built in 1907, that's been renovated to apartments. And yeah, it's definitely earthquake-prone by the current building code. One end is pretty close to code (this is the end I live in) but the other end is only about half code. We've had an engineer's report and cost estimate and are about 1/3 into saving to pay for it.

The insurance renewal came up this year which is crappy timing but there you go - pretty much all buildings are facing hiked premiums but ones on the earthquake list even more so. The residents recently voted to borrow the money to do the strengthening work now rather than wait till we've saved the money, because the cost of building is going up and also if anything will bring the premiums down it'll be that.

So my interest tonight is wtf is being done about progressing that and never mind trying to save $9 each a week for rubbish, we have bigger fish to fry.
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From:hullabalo_o
Date:June 25th, 2012 06:58 am (UTC)
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Oh that meal looks delicious! Now I'm hungry haha!
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From:tieke
Date:June 25th, 2012 08:20 am (UTC)
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For flexibility, I recommend Greer's class of agonizing pain, where she will push your legs up into places you never thought they could go, with the reassuring advice of "just relax and breathe".

$10 per massive one-hour endorphin hit, and apparently 2012 is "the year of the splits".


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From:tatjna
Date:June 25th, 2012 08:51 am (UTC)
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"Relax? RELAX?? YOU Relax!"
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From:tieke
Date:June 25th, 2012 08:53 am (UTC)
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And then she told on me, to my husband, about my swearing!
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From:tatjna
Date:June 25th, 2012 08:56 am (UTC)
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No doubt he was deeply shocked.
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From:tieke
Date:June 25th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
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He had no idea
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From:meathiel
Date:June 25th, 2012 10:14 am (UTC)
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Hope you got the other residents to agree that $9 isn't really worth being stuck with the garbage ...

But wow - these insurance premiums sure did go up!
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From:tatjna
Date:June 25th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
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We were told that part of the increase is just the market and that in a couple of years the insurance companies will start having to compete again. But at the moment everyone wants insurance so they can charge what they like. ;-/
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From:goffburd
Date:June 25th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
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$125 a WEEK?!? Bloody hell, how on earth do you afford that.

I love chicken thighs - I'm finding it very hard being a veggie at the moment!
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From:goffburd
Date:June 25th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
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Ah sorry, that'll teach me not to read properly - that's not what you have to pay. I'll slink off now.... :)
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From:tatjna
Date:June 25th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
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The cost is split between the two of us, luckily. Also luckily, I'm on a reasonable salary and when I bought the place, I budgeted to be able to pay for it alone - thus with two of us living there I have something of a buffer to absorb this cost. Hopefully it's only for a couple of years until the insurance market corrects again and we finish paying for the work that needs doing.

But yeah, it's now enough so I couldn't pay for it alone, and I'm very aware that other people don't necessarily have that buffer. It's scary because it's not just our building, it's everywhere in NZ, especially older buildings - and we found out last night that if they'd put the price up by 10x instead of 4, we'd still have to pay it because by law we must be insured.

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From:goffburd
Date:June 26th, 2012 07:47 am (UTC)
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Everything worldwide seems to be geared towards those that already have a lot of money these days - the sooner things balance again the better!
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