Sunday, April 30, 2006


These are a very New Zealand thing: Feijoas.

They grow all over the place down here and fall off the tree by the boatload at this time of year. Kel's aunt gave us a huge bag of them.

I'd say they tast a bit like a tart pear and definitely have the same sort of gritty texture. They're related to guavas so maybe they really taste more like a guava, but since I can't remember ever having a plain guava, I couldn't say.



File Under: New Zealand,

New Neighborhood and Random Stuff

So here's a (badly stitched) panoramic of the new neighborhood as seen from across the street and up the hill.

On the left is the North Harbour stadium, center (with the red roofs) is Massey University, and on the right (white buildings near the horizon) is the old neighborhood.

New Neighborhood

I also found an upcoming event which might be a good break in for a new kayak and a new mountain bike:

Whakatane Great Outdoors - Montys Revenge
Bush Run 12km MTB 23km Kayak 20km
June 24th

I can't find entry stuff online, but we should be back in Whakatane sometime between now and then.

And now the random part . . . some pictures of the mantises which were everywhere in Whakatane two weekends ago.


File Under: New Zealand,

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Upcoming Events

Sadly I still haven't done any outoor stuff down here yet (other than some local trail running). I'm just not feeling comfortable with splashing out on new equipment until I have a job. All I've really done is drool over my research on local parks and event calendars.

That said, if my interviews go well in the next few days, I may pick up a mountain bike at one of the fall sales. I'm feeling better about driving, so I think it's time to hit some of those parks.

Here are a couple events I've been watching:

Cambridge to Hamilton Kayak Race and Cruise Sunday May 7th.
Definitely not going to have a kayak by then. I could just get a kayak rack and rent a boat, but I'd better make up my mind pretty quick, registration deadline is May 1st.

The Ohope Ordeal Saturday May 27th
This one's a bit more likely. It's right in Kel's hometown. So if we're in Whakatane that weekend I've got no excuse. Back in Minnesota, I'd have happily driven there and back for the day (3hrs), but over here it takes over $100 of petrol to get there and back. :-(

This one I would LOVE to do, again right in Whakatane, but I'm not physically ready, I'm missing half the gear, and I don't know 3 other crazy people down here.
Whakatane Great Outdoors 24hr Adventure Race May 12-14th.

This one's a no-brainer, all I need is a new pair of running shoes. I discovered last fall that I can just get off the couch and run a marathon, but I think I'll train for this one. ;-)

Auckland Marathon October 29th.

File Under: Adventure Racing,

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Zealand Birds II

As I'd mentioned in a previous post, I'm working on collecting (decent) photos of as many New Zealand birds as possible. I've got two more to add to the collection:





The Tui is also the symbol of a local beer (haven't tried it yet).

I also had a perfect shot at a Wood Pigeon (a.k.a. Kereru) yesterday. It was sitting on a branch about 5 feet from my car! (Imagine a pigeon the size of a Red-Tailed Hawk.) Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera on me. That'll teach me to keep my little Fuji point-and-shoot in my pocket.

File Under: New Zealand,

Moving Photos

So here's the old place:
Old Flat

Old Flat

Here's the new place before moving in:
New Flat - Before

New Flat - Before

I love the huge sliding doors at the new place. They open most of the length of the room, so the living room is practically outside! The view is great as well. Wooded hillside all the way down to a creek at the bottom of a ravine. On the other side of the ravine, mixed woods and pasture of some sort. It looks like there's some trails out that way. I'll have to do some running over in that direction. I've already discovered a set of trails that follow the creek through a big preserve.

Here's the new place after moving in (plus some new furniture):
New Flat

Up the hall (to the right in the photo) are two bedrooms (pretty standard apartment rooms) but we now have plenty of closet space.

There's a nice view of the neighborhood from the hill out front. I'll post a few pictures from up there later.

File Under: New Zealand,

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Moving again

Fun, fun fun . . . we're moving to a bigger place just up the road. Still in Albany, not far from the Speight's Ale House. :-)

It's a really cool place. I took some before pictures while it was empty. I'll post them and some after pictures once we're done moving. That should be Thursday. I may have a job interview lined up for Friday. This weekend I may start on my PADI certification.

File Under: New Zealand

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Warcrack Withdrawl

Nooooooooo! ! ! ! !

Over 33.6 I'm looking at a minimum of 23 hours and 45 minutes to download the latest patch for WoW. Damn. That's not gonna happen anytime soon.

On a more productive note, I talked to a recruiter today. Looks like there are a few really nice positions close to here. Agents work on commision for placements down here, so they told me to relax and they'll bring jobs to me! Sounds great. Time to take the suit to the dry cleaners to get the luggage rumples out. ;-)

File Under: World of Warcraft,New Zealand

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NZ TV Commercials

New Zealand TV has a few fantastic commercials. I love these Trumpet Ice Cream "Simplifying Summer" commercials. Maybe it's because the narrator sounds like the voice of the Hitchhiker's Guide from the old BBC radio production. Anyway, check them out, hilarious:


Hair Whip

I haven't seen the other three in the series yet (curse this dial up connection) but I'm sure they're on par with the first two.

Go In The Ocean

Stomach Hold In

Pop Out

File Under: New Zealand,

New Owner's Manual . . . .

Doh! The whole thing is in Japanese. On the bright side, it does have lots more pictures than the typical American car owners manual. The colorful ones in the "Safety Tips" book are particularly nice:

Safety Tips

Japanese CRV Owner's Manual

I hope Honda has Owner's Manual PDFs on their site.

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Vehicle

So here's the new vehicle.
1996 Honda CRV
By the way, this photo also shows the parking lot of the current flat and a pretty good example of the weather we've been having here this week: warm, partly cloudy, scattered showers.

I took it around on a few errands this afternoon. It's not as hard as I was expecting driving on the other side of the road and handling the roundabouts. The automatic transmission definitely helps. My main problems are remembering that the blinkers are on the right side of the steering column, and merging in and out of the bigger multi-lane roundabouts.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Back Online (sort of)

Wow, I never thought I'd find myself poring over modem logs looking at this stuff again.

Recv: CONNECT 45333
Interpreted response: Connect
Connection established at 45333bps.
Error-control on.
Data compression on.
Read: Total: 167, Per/Sec: 0, Written: Total: 557, Per/Sec: 16
Hanging up the modem.
Hardware hangup by lowering DTR.
Detected CD dropped from lowering DTR
Timed out waiting for response from modem

I thought I was done with that sort of thing in the mid 90's. Kelhi's laptop connects just fine, but mine seems to have some kind of difficulty with her ISP. In any case, after dialing connection after connection, listening to the modem screech, and poring over the modem log, I've found a way to get a reliable connection, if not a fast one. So here I am dialed in at 31.2 kbps with all the V92 features turned off and my modem in "safe mode". *sigh*

As I'd mentioned previously, it's been a busy first week down here. The morning I arrived, we went to look at a couple potential new flats.

The first one we looked at didn't make much of an impression on us. But the second one (in the same block) was fantastic. It has a huge open main room, with sliding glass doors and a long balcony running the length of the room. We jumped right on it, we'll be moving in the week after Easter. (Oh, joy! Moving again!) ;-)

At least we can order broadband once we get there. :-)

Sunday, Kel had a badminton match with the Indonesian team up in Orewa.
4-2-2006-Badminton 025
(B.T.W. Flickr is great fun over dial-up)

Monday we played squash after work. Fun game, but Kel and her friend Dubravko are both pretty good at it. I'm still sore, 4 days later.

I opened a couple of bank accounts down here, but getting money over from the states is proving to be a pain. I think the easiest way is going to be to have my parents stop in at the old bank and authorize a transfer.

Once that goes through it's time to shop for a car and to start getting used to driving on the other side of the road.

Think I'm going to go for a run now. I need to poke around the neighborhood a bit so I don't get lost so easily.

File Under: New Zealand,

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Kia Ora New Zealand!

Just got in on Saturday. The flight was about what you'd expect. I know I dozed off here and there, but I don't think I really slept. However, I did finally get to see the newest Harry Potter movie. ;-)

Already it's been a busy weekend. More later.

File Under: New Zealand,