Daily Archives: May 25, 2012

Is it spring?

The black swans on our local lake are parents to 6 fluffy, new cygnets. Despite winter beginning officially on June 1st, it looked like spring this morning as I walked on the lake path and spotted the new brood.


Kiwi ingenuity

I have become accustomed to extra noise in the neighbourhood with the fibre optic installers still being around with their various diggers, vehicles, equipment, cables and gangs of people.

However yesterday a new cacophony came closer and closer to my home.

Here on the intersection was this machine and two men.

One was operating the machine and the other was putting out signs, directing pedestrians, keeping notes on a clipboard and sweeping up debris.

Apparently our city council has contracted a company to go about the city footpaths and grind down any uneven joins in the path and also to reduce the angle on corner kerbs.

The machine they are using here is one of only two in New Zealand currently. The machine is technically a small excavator but has been modified significantly to now sport a grinding device on the front. The device can move back and forth across concrete and grind it down. This, of course, creates an extremely loud noise.

It would seem that negotiating sharply angled kerbs can cause prams, strollers and wheelchairs to lurch violently enough to tip out the person on to the road. The work I witnessed yesterday is being done in order to prevent this happening.

I hope it is successful and I hope someone has patented the design of the machine. We Kiwis are known for our ingenuity but we are not always as good at protecting our intellectual property and seeking out broader markets for useful inventions.