Wednesday, July 20, 2011

'Thank you's..

I've settled back in at CPIT and getting back in the run of things at the Trades Innovation Institute. I'm getting used to being back now, and finally accepting my ASL is over and had time to reflect on it..

Into it on the 8th March
I'm looking back now and realizing just how amazingly lucky I was, having started this on the 31st January this year (wondering if I was going to see quake damage from September!), and what we've been through here in Christchurch. Not only have I gained a massive amount of experience in Cable Jointing and Line Mechanic work, I've also gained 20Gb of photos and video of the aforementioned work as teaching resources, earthquake damage, and really, captured a part of our history from a 'trades academic' point of view. I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have worked with some of the most heroic individuals I have ever met, who have showed grit and determination in their various tasks to fix the quake-damaged Christchurch distribution network.

The quakes are tapering off (at this stage), and geologists' statistical forecast is looking promising for less quakes and (hopefully) maybe no more M6+ quakes. It's great news, trust me!

I want to make this post about thanking the awesome individuals who helped me at Connetics and other companies too. This has been the greatest work experience of my life, and I hugely appreciate the way that the following people went out of their way for me, instructed, instructed, tolerated and taunted me!

Firstly; Phil Duns, the Connetics Underground Manager. Phil was instrumental in helping me at every turn, and even 'went in to bat for me' when things didn't go to plan. Phil, you're an inspiration, and I hope to repay your kindness eventually.

I'd like to thank the following also from Connetics' Management;
Jono Brent, the CEO who showed awesome leadership during what was clearly a difficult time. John Goodenough, for the general assistance and the 'open office'! Sandy, Wendy, Louisa, Diane, and the Pete Johnson. Thank you all for your help.

Jono and John 'rallying the troops', March 7.
The Cable Jointers:
Steven Bright, thank you so much for the help, instruction, and fun! Robbie Hill, the same! I had a blast with you guys, and I'm forever corrupted!

Steve and Robbie after Steve dinged a big digger.. kidding!

John Hyland; Thanks for telling me about the unusual work! The 'John Hyland system' of using a bike jack is being patented as we speak!

John 'texting' the joint closed.. He has a new brand of arcproof overalls on in this pic..!

Reece, thank you for the instruction and taking photos of me working!

Barry; thank you for letting me know the best jobs to go to, and for sending me off early on the 22nd February. You quite possibly indirectly saved my wife's life.

Karl, Wayne, Ivor, CJ, Scannel, Rex, Ted, Dennis, Terry (the Joint Guru!), Andy, Jeff, Jamie (the famous guy!), and Skid, thanks for all the help and fun guys!

CJ and Scannel flying the flag

Jamie's 'spiking face' and Steve's 'Cheesy grin'.

Ted and Rex ignore the nice view and got down to work..

And our Northland and Auckland mates; Jamie (ma hun!), Clinton, Whari, and Garfield; You and your brothers from the North were our saviours. Thank you, you're awesome. Chur, Bros!

Whari and Alby from Northpower.. That's how we roll!
T and Peachy from Transfield; thank for the laughs!

Thanks also Barry and Conrad from Top Energy, too.

Line Mechanics:
Firstly I want to thank my mate (and brother!) Awesome Peter Boyce.. Thanks for the instruction and help (pre-loaded tool use), fella!
Also Carl (the Chopper King!), Nik, Anton, Danny, Simon (the genius), Hard-case Tim(!), Roger, Ken, Murph, Bevan, James, Jason, Steve and Blair. Thanks all you guys!

Carl surveys the battlefield from his HV tank turret.

Ken is awesome! (Sorry, Pete, but he is too!)

Simon uses his tongue to measure a cable

Test Room:
Jacko, Nigel, Chris, Clive, Steve, Steve Duggan, Nick. Thank you.

I also want to thank Big Jase (Super-tough man-shorts) and Mark the STMS guys, Dave, Dean (BIG is good!), and Rodney (fellow chemical loo fan!) from underground too.

Jase the STMS (Super tough man-shorts) and Tim wearing his helmet!

'Big is good' Dean and Terry 'the jointing guru' spot a UFO.

I would like to thank CPIT for the opportunity to do this ASL also. I will do my utmost to help run courses in Cable Jointing and Line Mechanic work in the future, to train new blood and help fix our broken city.

Finally I want to thank YOU, the reader! I'm over 2000 hits now, and I'm honestly surprised how popular this blog is..! I'll continue to run this, I'm 'in the zone' now, and want to keep contributing to record the recovery of Christchurch.. keep watching!


Andrew ;D

...... the story DOES NOT end here.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weeks 21 and 22 - final weeks of my ASL.

Well, I'm back at CPIT now, and it's been a week of many emotions.. Even though I know I'm a Tutor who is now teaching the future electrical workers who will help rebuild Christchurch, I feel I've abandoned my city.  Packing a shovel and digging, helping with joints, even talking to locals with broken homes, I felt like I was  helping defy these earthquakes that have progressively worsened or ruined life for many of us.

What I don't miss; seeing damage. The central city and towards the east just has so much damage. Seeing all of this gets me down, really. I get this feeling of 'where do you start'? The job of fixing Christchurch seems massive. It will be a long process.

I want to thank so many people for helping me with my Academic Study Leave, what I will do is a new post (next time) and do it then. This post will cover my last two weeks with Connetics.


Work log:

Monday 20th June: 11kV PILCA-XLPE-PILCA transition joints outside AMI stadium with Steve, Ivor, Dennis and CJ.

The cable joint hole.. took a long time to pump out!

Starting the joint
Tuesday 21st June: Reconnect pole, Lincoln.

The pole in Lincoln to be reconnected
Wednesday 22nd June: Disconnect overhead lines for insulation test, Moncks Spur, and straighten pole, Kingsford St, Dallington.

Danny attaching earths to 11kV cables on Monck's Spur
Poles on Kingsford St, Dallington. 

Thursday 23rd June: Pages Road reattach barge board, Sumner 11kV overhead repair using helicopter.

Love this photo.. the boys about to earth the 11kV circuit.

The helicopter about to lift Carl

Carl working hanging from the helicopter

Friday 24th June: Straighten pole Locksley Ave, light pole New Brighton Road, and pole on Avonside Drive.

Leaning pole at Locksley Ave

Monday 27th June: Install disconnect in 11kV overhead conductors, Birch's Rd, Lincoln.

Ken and Bevan installing a line break

Finished line break

Tuesday 28th June: Grays Road, Chch Airport, install 33kV copper conductors.

Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June: 66kV underground-overhead pole connection, Islington substation.

Sealed against the weather; a 66kV pole having  underground-overhead terminations done.

Barry and Terry preparing the 66kV cable for terminating

Friday 1 July: Red Zone: cut and sleeve 11kV PILCA, Gloucester and Colombo Sts.

Robbie and I sleeving off the 11kV PILCA
Steve isolating the cable

Me in front of the destroyed Christ Church Cathedral

Further analysis to come. Now my Academic Study Leave is over, I'm in a 'holding pattern' waiting for the green light to start developing courses for Cable Jointers and Line Mechanics. In the meantime, I'm back in my old role of teaching electricians, students that struggle at high school, and pre-trade electrical theory to current high school students. Next week, thank-yous.