Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: When the Weather is the News

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  • Che Tibby, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    we looked into a boiler system for the current place (we had to replace the gas-fired central heating. waaaaay too expensive).

    installed boiler units run to about $20k...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to JLM,

    No such drama in Auckland -- it's just damp and cold -- but it does look like we'll break yesterday's record low peak temperature. It's 5.3º at the moment and I can't see it getting any warmer from here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Is there some sort of cozy tax applied if you try and import anything that decadent?
    (UK price of under $3k).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    We bought a house in which previous owners had replaced an open fireplace with a logburner. I remember thinking at the time (and on many cold mornings, evenings and kindling chopping sessions since) that if I was starting from scratch a heat pump would have been about as expensive but less work and therefore better. Then last night, at about the second or third power hiccup, I changed my mind. Always good to be independent of the grid for some things. I just wished it was one of those lovely old things you could put a kettle on top of.

    Investigation in the basement has revealed the remnants of an old heating oil system, which fits with the house being built just before the oil shock. Was obviously cheaper in those days to burn stuff rather than insulate the house.

    Various persistent HRV salesmen have tried to convince us to add one of them - I doubt it would do anything that our existing dehumidifier and ceiling fan don't already handle.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I always found the logburner comforting because it would work in a power cut and was therefore better in case of emergency. Imagine my surprise in September when the chimneys came tumbling but the power was out for just a few hours!

    ETA: The moral of the story is that you should probably have both kinds of heating appliance.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    I like what I’ve seen of pellet fires so far, including the hypnotic sparking as the pellets tumble and flame. They’re also supposed to be very economical, and of course it’s a great use for waste wood. BUT, what’s the point of having a solid energy heating source that needs electricity to run? Do you think the fan would run off a battery?

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Me too, Hilary. We just called off going to Karori for a music lesson - up on Makara Hill where the music teacher lives, the snow will probably be settling more than it is here in Brooklyn.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 662 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    ETA: The moral of the story is that you should probably have both kinds of heating appliance.

    We would love to. My mother was without power for a week after the big snow of... um... about ten years ago? Really heavy in South Canterbury. Fortunately she had a log burner, and ever since then I've been really antsy about relying on electricity for heat. I really miss the log burner we had in the last house.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to st ephen,

    Burning natives - sustainable? Necessary? A non-issue up north? Google turns up plenty of firewood ads but only this
    appeal for a higher use for manuka/kanuka.

    Hey - I know the writer of that article! Wrote it for landowners in the Gisborne district in the late 1990s, picked up by Forest and Bird, good to see it doing its work still chugging along in slightly modified form, rather like me really.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 836 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    We live quite high up in the eastern hills of the Hutt Valley and right now, like Sunday evening, it is absolutely dumping snow. Big, fat flakes the likes I haven't seen since living in Colorado a few years back. It's really quite glorious and has kept me off the roads but working from home all week.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Just checking in to say that having arrived to check in at Melbourne 7AM yesterday, I am finally home in Wellington now. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark what a mission. I'm afraid hearing about the frolics made me more and more cross as I queued and waited and diverted.

    Then it started snowing again just as I came up my street to get to the house and I went "awww, snow."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    And weather news from Gisborne - sunshine, gentle breezes, ideal wash-day conditions really, been cloudless all day. Saw a bit of snow above 500m on the hills off to the SW this morning but nothing around here yet, 12 degrees outside, the natural solar and wood-burner just ticking over has it 19 in here and 17 down the far shady end of the house.

    Cancelling that smugness now in anticipation of the next front making it up this side of the island by morning, and offfering best wishes to the southerners especially east Christchurch ...

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 836 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Is there such a thing as snow envy? ...But then I remember those long, cold winters when I was studying in Ohio. One memorable week when icicles formed inside our little house, the person-who-is-now-my-wife came to visit and stepped outside with post-shower wet hair (which then froze solid), slipping on ice and cracking my elbow, and biking to the local supermarket through snow drifts.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2318 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's 5.3º at the moment and I can't see it getting any warmer from here.

    Is that the warmest it's got today?! I've been lucky enough to be in one of dem fancy new 5-Green-Star buildings all day and with the sunshine streaming in you kinda forget it's bloody freezing outside...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Is that the warmest it’s got today?!

    I think so.

    But there's this odd sense of weather not quite happening today. Vast black clouds from the south are about to end a couple of hours of sunshine here, but it's still not raining, hailing or snowing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    The moral of the story is that you should probably
    have both kinds of heating appliance.

    or don't put all your ergs in the one basket*

    *or Faraday cage

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5062 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    don’t put all your ergs in the one basket

    Even by your standards, Ian, that is a corker.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Bung to wrights...

    ...that is a corker

    sheesh, ta, but I've moved
    to screwtops, and there'll be...
    ...no stoppering me now!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5062 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Your next challenge: a pun on "Stelvin enclosure".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to George Darroch,

    Nevertheless, I do find it amusing that the slightest flurry sends great parts of the country into apoplexy

    I don't know if anyone outside the media was getting apolexic. There was more "wow, kewl" shit going down, and I don't know about anyone else but I really need a bit more child-like wonder in my days.

    (ETA: Yeah, I know it's easy to say in a well-insulated water-tight house when you don't have a small cardiac event every time the power bill comes around.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I don’t know if anyone outside the media was getting apolexic.

    Shall we talk about some of the school closures in Wellington today?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I don’t know if anyone outside the media was getting apolexic. There was more “wow, kewl” shit going down, and I don’t know about anyone else but I really need a bit more child-like wonder in my days.

    Yeah, quite. I was actually quite glad I was able to share the snow glee with a few other people. It was short, but it was fun.

    I did think Campbell Live struck a nice tone with it last night.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Shall we talk about some of the school closures in Wellington today?

    I think Craig was talking about Auckland. Wellington is plainly messed up. But even there, people are are live-tweeting their ascents to the hill suburbs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wellington is plainly messed up.

    Some of the schools I’m referring to that have been closed were affected by… some rain. And possibly the odd teacher from out of town having concerns about the commute. It does beggar belief somewhat.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Not having seen snow in an urban context since leaving Canada I was, I admit, a little filled with wonder at the soft snow flakes that I saw drifting past my office window here in positively tropical Auckland.

    However, I do feel for people in Chch, and reading about trying to patch up cracks in houses to keep the cold out - well, I just don't know what to say. It would be all so so wearying. All I can hope for is a brilliant summer and a benevolent dictator who would grant Chch people all a week's holiday at the hottest time of the year.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

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