CJ’s Musicworks alive and kicking

I don’t about you, but for me, I like to have my local music store where I can go down if I need picks, strings, fast fret or to ask as stupid question. And heck yes after by now thirty years of playing guitar I still have plenty of them. I like going to Charlie Jemmett at CJ’s Musicworks.

Additionally, I am picky on my guitar shops as I do not like it when Ibanez, my favorite brand is not adequately represented in a store. CJ’s has had a tough ride since the February earthquake but they have been back up on their feet reasonably quickly. In fact it was thanks to Charlie that I got to think about how the earthquake had its good aspects as well. As a result of the damage and mess CJ’s has changed their layout and looks more spacious.

If it had not been for the earthquake we would probably never have come around redoing the floor plan. It’s just too busy all the time.

I k now that a lot of people do not particularly want to go into town but for those that make music: this is the time to go out get over yourself and support your local music store. Situated right next to the SouthCity Mall parking lot on Colombo Street, Charlie and his colleagues at Musicworks look  forward to seeing you. 

As for our fellow guitarists: there is a mouthwatering collection of new Ibanez stock in. At least go and check that out, they are beautiful.

CJ’s Musicworks

CJ’s MusicWorks Christchurch at 569 Colombo Street is run by active musicians who, collectively have the widest knowledge of musical equipment you’ll find anywhere. With a huge range of instruments from drums to Grand Pianos this Christchurch store has something for everyone. Giving the best possible customer service is the ultimate aim and this shop has longstanding customers who come back because of the service and product knowledge, which is second to none.

And oh yes they are also on Facebook.

Photo Journal: Christchurch Earthquake, Getting to Grips With Things

This afternoon we went for the first time since the 22nd of February to the beach at Sumner and we ended up driving through town just to get a feel for what it is really like.

Even though this is a photo journal I can but say that no picture can do justice to what it is to physically experience the sight, smell and noise of piles of rubble for as far as you can see, your own city cordoned off by military, almost damaging the car because the road goes like the surf of a beach.

Sumner: Shag Rock Turned Shag Pebble,
Cave Rock Caved In

The road to Sumner was open and although not too bad the cracks and bumps are still there for sure, and it requires you to pay even more attention that usual.

Substantial parts of the road were protected by containers  so as to avoid rocks falling on the road and cars.

Shag Rock at Sumner is one of those iconic little spots here: was I should say. Last year I took this picture.


And yesterday, this is what I found:

The reserve on the other side of the road is now covered in rocks that came down from the rock face. We could not help but wondering but wondering whether there may have been some unsuspecting people covered under there: perhaps going for a little walk through the reserve, perhaps having a quiet lunch in the sun out of the wind.

Cave Rock, further down the beach is a place of good memories for me. It is the place where I had my first beer on the beach with the family and friend Jason Wilcox. I remember well how cool I thought it was to be able to be sitting in the shade of a small cave, what a change from the crowded beaches in the Netherlands.

To give you a feel of what the beach looks like on a sunny day in the Netherlands see the picture on the left side.

All that is missing is a guard blowing his or her whistle  so we can all turn at the same time to sunbath our other side. That same little cave at Cave at Cave Rock caved in.

I guess when you arrive at the place from the parking lot you get a good indication of what to expect straight away.

The City

On the way back we went past the city center and as it is cordoned off, you can’t come to close and get yourself into trouble. But it was there where it started to hit in how enormous the damages really were.

Road may be open but that does by no means mean that they are still qualifiable as safe roads. It was as if we were riding the surf.

We drove up towards one of the fences that mark the cordon and when I walked out and looked at what seemed to be endless amounts of rubble, with a building here and there I simply was not able to shoot any picture and not feel like a complete @#$%&*!

Most of all it was then that I realized that no picture could ever do justice to what I was seeing there. My oldest son grabbed my hand and like me he was not able to say anything. Sure enough most of it can be replaced but I have serious concerns not just for those who have loved their loved ones in all this but also for those that had their livelihoods, their businesses (small businesses) in the struck areas: the dairies, the small boutique little businesses, coffee shops and restaurants that have been kept afloat by these courageous people with a vision, with a passion and which made Christchurch the lovely place it is. And I am sure it will be that same great place again but the road ahead, the road to restoration of people, lives and property will probably be long and steep.

Enough said, time to pray for the city and time to prepare for guitar students coming in. And in the complete faith that nothing is impossible with God, I pray for restoration of the people and city of Christchurch.

    Irritating Christchurch Earthquake Questions

    I so had enough of the small messages and posts about how come so many churches were damaged so badly? As if the last aftershocks were all about God trying to make a point to us. God had nothing to do with it: the earth did what the earth does. Those churches they were older buildings just like some secular icons in the wrong place. So no, God was not trying to make a point to the Anglicans and Catholics by destroying their cathedrals, as well as the baptists and other denominations.

    How come no one asks: how come some many church buildings did survive? How come he missed so many that, in biblical terms deserve judgment? Was God having an off day missing the mark so badly? God was not having a bad day, he did not miss the mark, he had nothing to do with it. If he was really after the churches, would he not have waited till Sunday morning if he was behind all this?

    Why were so many Christians gathering last Sunday in the churches that did survive or in other alternative places. How come so many, even those in the gravest circumstances displayed an amount of peace and love that many non-Christians could only dream of? Ah probably because you knew the obvious answers already: people gathered in their own or other churches either because they are trying to make up with an angry God or because they did not get the message or because they were after the free after service coffee and tea with home bake.

    I know that the Bible says that love is patient but please stop testing it with questions to which you already know the answer or that are actually not sincere.


    Earthquake Relief Scams Info

    As was to be expected some will see the earthquake as an opportunity to scam others. The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE) published a list of genuine Earthquake relief organizations including their banking details.

    I suggest to these organizations for any donation. Additionally a good a blog on earthquake relief organizations can be found on charity navigator here >>>

    Keeping the Kids Occupied with Earthquake Coloring and Activity Pages

    With schools closed and limited movement for the boys I had a look around for some coloring-ins or other printable materials /activities to keep the boys occupied. Since I bet there are others out there I thought I’d share the links I found.

    Here >>> you can find different separately printable activity sheets and a coloring page.

    Over here >>> on the AZBPS webiste you can download three “Master of Disaster activity books for level 1 to 3 students, (Grade K1 to Grader 6-8) consisting information about earthquakes to useful activities such as hazard hunts around the house and neighborhood to arts and crafts projects to even making your own seismograph.

    Here >>> I found a duck-cover and hold on coloring page.

    Here >>> you can download a coloring book featuring Tommy Tsunami and Ernie Earthquake with useful information on what to do before, during and after a tsunami or earthquake.

    And finally here >>> you can download and print a Earthquake Survival Program activity book for kids of about 11 pages.

    Hope this helps, I know it is working for me here.