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Is thing on?

Anyone listening? Because with the latest earthquake(s) in New Zealand today and the forecast for a Christmas cyclone in Australia, I thought we might test the waters.

So to speak...Chirp up if you think we should keep an eye on things, and this thing open.

And happy holidays -- whichever ones you celebrate.
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Mea culpa!

I have been a very slack mod, and I apologize. In my defense when I wasn't exhausted and could get on the computer (darn teenagers), I couldn't get on to LJ. That elderly Georgian lady who cut up the Internet for scrap metal did a great job, eh*?

So, to give you the good news: one of our moderators is now world-famous. Go here and find out why. That's the "ad" that started it all.
ETA Now with bonus "video"!!

Bidding is over and works are coming in. If you'd like to share your work, we'll have a post up soon for that.

Recovery, despite yesterday's earthquakes in both QLD and NZ, is going along well. For example, the University of Canterbury is doing really well, with students studying on campus in makeshift buildings, in Adelaide, and online (that's my job but not for them). As a matter of fact, their emergency procedures are being held up as a model for all businesses, not just universities (I got trained as a fire warden this week -- go me).

We're sick of rain, with both Melbourne and Sydney suffering from massive record-breaking rainfalls this past week. After 10 years of drought, this is playing havoc on our health, my doctor told me so.

And now, I must leave you again my pretties, for I must meet eldest who is housesitting for a colleague and hates it. Also, we're seeing Terry Pratchett tonight -- woohoo!

*There really was an elderly woman who cut into some fibre-optic cables to sell for scrap metal and cut off the Internet in Chechnya and Georgia.
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    I can't stand the rain
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Donations & Confirmations: When Bidding Ends

Bidding will officially close in just over two hours. Shortly thereafter, we'll sort out the winners and notify you with a comment to your bid. You can get excited if you see this icon of Queensland rugby legend Wally Lewis in his flood preparedness gear:

What happens next? Glad you asked.

Here’s the info on donations and confirmations.

  • The winning bidder can donate to any of the organisations by following the links to the right or on the “up-dated donations page”.
  • If you’re like the mods (ahem) and bid on more than one offer, you can combine your donation into one large one. Use the same receipt (ideas on that below) and CC each of those whose works you won.

  • Make sure you get a receipt — if from the Internet, either via the web page or in your email.
  • Make a screencap or copy of that receipt
  • Send the receipt to the offerer (or one of the mods) for confirmation
  • If you’re uncomfortable with others having access to your details, either:
    • Open the screencap or scan in a picture editing program (like Photoshop, GraphicConverter), then using the eraser tool, click and drag across what you need to erase: your name and all but last digits of your account. Save as a .jpg.


    • Upload your scan/screenshot on to Photobucket and edit the details out through that. Complete instructions are at help_haiti

  • Make sure enough of your details are still visible that we know you’re you and not me (email/username and a few digits on the account).

Once you've confirmed your donation (to either the offerer or one of the mods) the author/artist can begin work on your winnings!

If you do not receive confirmation that the donation has been made, could you please contact one of the mods. Ta!
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I told you so!

Remember I said here that because Prince William wasn't visiting my state, it was bucketing? Yeah well, we had torrential rain all weekend. Yesterday we had more torrential rain (155ml in 4 hours), flash floods, and sinkholes.

(ETA: Photos from a backyard in NSW (Alan Baxter is a local(ish) horror novelist.)

ENOUGH rain. Doesn't Canberra need some rain? Or WA?

In other news: bidding ends tonight, at 11pm AEDT (that means in 16.5 hours). When it closes we will pt for you the next steps. Watch the space above.

Get bidding! Last chance to outbid people on the three or four bidding wars going on...

Fly by up-date

In case you've been anywhere but New Zealand or Australia: Prince WIlliam is here for a visit to the disaster stricken areas. He's been to Christchurch already and is presently in QLD for meet-n-greets, tours and a BBq with "reef and croc" on the menu (doesn't that sound yum?). Apparently the sun came out just for him, which is why it's bucketing in NSW.

However, it is still pouring in QLD: flash flood warnings, hail once, but demolition on the Yasi-devastated buildings goes ahead this week.

Christchurch is still assessing buildings but things are slowly going to a state they might call operative. The city centre is still an unsafe mess.

I predict it will not rain in VIC for the two days Wills will be there....

And I'm being forced out the door... in the rain... SIGH.
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Let the bidding wars begin!

Offers are now closed. Bidding has begun!

Those of you who've offered, go forth and drum up some business for your offer. Banners are here.

If you haven't posted your offer, sorry. Much as you'd like to offer something, you've missed the deadline.

Now it's time to bid on the offers (and we've great ones from original jewelry to editing services by a published author).

Here's how the bidding works. Pay attention! It would be a shame to disqualify a bid because you put it in the wrong place.
  • Bid by commenting to the Offering post. (Put "Bid" in the subject line then post your bid in the comment). If there is any confusion, put the offerer's name in as well (example: BID: Yasminke)

  • Bids start at AUD$5 and must be raised by at least AUD$1 per bid

  • Bidding will end on March 22 at 11pm AEDT. This means that even though you've bid something on an offer, someone else might come and outbid you while I'm having dinner and vegging out in front of the telly. When the clock strikes 11pm, we'll close all bids.

  • Then we'll notify you that you've won. You and the person whose offer you've won will start discussing the details.

  • Please do not delete a comment containing a bid. If you have an problem, please comment to your bid explaining what happened, or contact a mod (listed on the "About us" page).

    Get it? You beauty!
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News, reminders and updates

News: We ask that you all take a moment to put the people of northern Japan in your thoughts and prayers. If you can help out, please donate or find an LJ comm to join and offer your time and talents. Their suffering is horrific and they need to know the world stands ready to help.

To those who've sent us messages about the (insert expletive here) spammers: thank you for spotting them. Unfortunately, we get them often and sometimes miss a post, so your vigilance is appreciated.

Reminders: Offers close tomorrow at 11pm AEST, i.e., after Good News Week. (What? I don't watch educational TV.)

Bidding starts at that time: 11:01pm AEST. Bids start at $5AUD and are increased by at least $1.

Go forth and pimp your offer! (See sticky post for links to banners.)

And now up-dates:

New Zealand
The New South Wales Urban Search and Rescue team just left Christchurch when they were deployed to Japan. They left this morning, as soon as they were given the go-ahead.

The NZ government has extended the national state of emergency as a large number of buildings are still unsafe. Only half of the heritage buildings for which Christchurch is known have been inspected.

University of Canterbury starts a rolling re-start on Monday. Hilariously (thank heavens they've kept their humour), there's a camping 101 guide available as well as a map of safe areas.

Almost all the residences have water again, but sewage remains a problem. There are numerous portable hot showers available in the region. Residents are reminded to bring towels, shampoo and thongs (see, I think that's awesome).

Please read charis_kalos's post below. She's been in an area directly affected by the floods and so has first hand knowledge.

There are some towns in the north of the state that still have water standing.

Sadly, the area affected most severely by Cyclone Yasi -- Tully Heads, Mission Beach, Cardwell -- is being flooded again. There is a persistent low pressure system dumping record amounts of rain on that area and another one on the horizon. Roads, according to the Queensland Police Service's up-dates, are impassable and supplies are running low. There are food and medical supplies being dropped into the towns, but it's looking really bad for remote and farming communities.

This means that Prince William may not be able to visit. "...frowny face"
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Update on the Victorian floods

For the past month and a half I've been spending one or two days a week in a small town called Charlton, about three hours north of Melbourne. Most of the buildings in Charlton were flooded in January; only a few houses on an area known as 'the hill' escaped.

Now, weeks later, from the outside Charlton looks normal. Hours and hours of volunteer labour have cleaned the streets, removed the rubbish, replanted gardens. Driving through you could be fooled into thinking the crisis is over.

But go inside any of the houses and you'll see that the damage done by the flood is still very much present. Inner walls have had to be removed and floors and carpets lifted. Ovens, fridges and kitchen cupboards have all been pulled out. People aren't living in the houses. They've set up camp in their garages or are living in caravans in their back yards, waiting to find out whether their insurer will pay for the damage, and whether or not the structural damage (and mould) means that their houses will have to be demolished.

And Charlton's not the worst of it. Some of the farms further north are still under water, and the water is filthy, full of sewerage and chemicals from any factories it went through. It's not going to be doing any good to the land underneath it.

The flood crisis is a long way from over. People will be needing help with the recovery and the rebuilding for years.