Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Practical Corporate Gift? Wow!

I don't get a lot of corporate Christmas gifts at my day job, but I've seen enough of them to know that the best ones are usually edible/drinkable gifts, and the rest tend to be crappy knicknacks that you either throw away or leave on a shelf for a few years and then...throw away.

However, one of the two gifts I got this year was so practical I just had to share (even though it's slightly off topic for this blog, but not entirely.) Our printing company gave me this wind-up radio and flashlight!

Now as you may know, Wellington is situated on a few fault lines (as is most of New Zealand) and we really do need to be prepared for an earthquake at any time. So a flashligh and radio that will work when the power is out is a great idea. Not only that, but it comes with an adaptor cord so that you can use it to power other electronic devices too!

It's going straight into our emergency kit, along with a larger flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable food (at least 3 days' worth) and our first aid kit. We also have two large (20 litre I think) jugs full of drinking water. Many people keep candles and matches in their emergency kit, which is fine unless the emergency is an earthquake. Aftershocks mean that candles can easily get knocked over and start a fire, so avoid open flames after an earthquake.

What we're missing, and just out of laziness of getting this together, is a "grab bag" in case we have to leave the house quickly. This should have warm and waterproof clothing, comfy shoes for walking, a few changes of underwear, hand sanitiser, flashlights, sleeping bags, and probably our tent.

With the major earthquake Christchurch experienced a few months ago, disaster supplies have made a bit of a comeback in New Zealand. But anyone, anywhere can lose electricity and water for a few days - so really all households should have supplies on hand.

US College blog Zen College life recently did their own version of what should be in an emergency kit - so you can read their list here.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Mal Does it Again!

I'm pleased to report that totally insane trail runner Malcolm Law has just completed his second "7 in 7" series of runs, raising money for the Blood & Leukaemia Foundation.

Last year Mal ran 7 of New Zealand's "Great Walks" in 7 consecutive days. This year he did 7 more marathon runs on amazing South Island tracks - this time a little closer together so he could focus more on running and fundraising and less on getting from one track to the next.

This year's tracks in the run series were:
1. Twin Lakes Marathon
2. Young-Wilkin Circuit
3. Motatapu Gold
4. Wakatipu Wonderland
5. Rees-Dart Circuit
6. Greenstone-Mavora Walkway
7. Kepler Challenge

If you're not familiar with these routes (and therefore tired just looking at that list) bear in mind that most of these were longer than a marathon, with the Rees-Dart clocking in at a whopping 67km! Only the Kepler Challenge finale was a repeat from last year.

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I haven't walked ANY of these tracks. Actually, I have done the Greenstone in combination with the Routeburn Track, so that counts for half or something.

While the runs have been a great success, Mal is still $6,000 shy of his ambitious $150,000 fundraising goal. If you want to help out, you can donate on his website.

Just before the runs began this year, Mal held an auction in Wanaka hosted by Kiwi sports celebrity Marc Ellis. The auction raised over $10,000, and I'm happy to say that I played some small (very small I imagine) part in that by donating a copy of Sex in a Tent. Here's a pic of Mal and Marc auctioning it off!

I guess Mal is having a good rest right about now. Congrats and well done!