Monday, July 31, 2006

USB Drive Annoyances

If you plug in your USB drive, the drivers install properly, but it doesn't appear as a drive letter, it might be conflicting with an existing network drive.

The solution is to go into the Disk Manager (Computer Managment) locate the storage drive, and change the drive letter.

Driver conflicts can usually be solved by removing the device from the device manager, then plugging it back in again.

File Under: Technology,

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Busy Weekend

So I finally have some free time to catch up on my blogging (more on this in a moment).

Sky Tower, Auckland
This weekend started with Kel's work party downtown. Partners weren't invited, but we decided to go out afterwards. So I picked her up at the party, and we went up to Sky tower for dessert and coffees.

Kel in Sky Tower

Saturday, I spent the morning finishing (mostly) a shed I'd been building to put in our parking lane. About mid afternoon, we headed out to the Bay of Plenty. I was planning to ride in the N-Duro mountain bike race in the redwood forests of Rotorua, so we planned on spending the night at Kel's mother's place in Whakatane (about 45 minutes away).

Matamata Sign On the way we passed through Matamata, near the location where they filmed The Shire scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies. We'd stopped for ice cream, so I just had to grab a photo of their sign.

Sunday morning, we got up and headed into Rotorua. As I'd mentioned previously, I've just purchased a new bike. I was also using disc brakes and clipless pedals for the first time on a mountain bike. You can probably see where this is headed. ;-)

So the race starts, there were a couple hundred riders in the 25k race. It begins with a long uphill climb on doubletrack forest road. Then it gets into some winding switchback singletrack (a lot like Lebanon hills). Then another long uphill climb on a forest road.

N-Duro 2006After that there was some clay mud rolling singletrack. After this stuff my shoes were so packed with mud I could barely get clipped in. Not that it mattered too much, we soon hit wicked downhill mud slopes where the track down the middle was a steep 'V' carved into the mud. You just had to settle your weight way back, and keep a good grip on the brakes.

I was doing pretty well with the terrain (not so well speed-wise), but I started getting sloppy as I could see the end of the technical stuff approaching. Down the last hill before we hit open road again, there were a series of log drops in the trail. One of them had a little banked turn immediately after it. I went off the drop, botched the turn, and went over the handlebars. This isn't a huge problem, I'd already fallen a couple times. But unfortunately I landed with my arm out, and felt a sickening jolt of pain in my shoulder as I landed. Still not a problem, I'm thinking, my shoulder does this disturbingly often. I've done it several times kayaking, and it always pops right back in.

As I tumbled to a stop and sat up, I noticed that my right arm wouldn't move. I could feel my fingers, and my lower arm would move, but I couldn't lift my elbow from the side of my body. As I sat there, I noticed the first aid guy sprinting up the hill. (Luckily, I'd taken my header not 50 meters from the aid and water station.) He stopped and looked at me, asked me a few questions, and felt my shoulder. He immediately said "That's dislocated mate.". Sure enough, when I reached over to feel it, there was a big squishy feeling space where my shoulder should have been.

So they loaded me into a van, and took me down to meet an ambulance at the race start/finish. Kel grabbed my equipment and headed to the hospital after us.

My Ambulance leaving the race.  :-( At the hospital, they had me roll over on my front, hang my arm over the side of the bed, and they taped a sandbag to my wrist. After a few minutes, (and some nitrous assistance with relaxing my muscles) I felt the joint settle back in. It immediately felt about 90% better.

Today it's feeling stiff, and a fair amount worse than the times I've popped it on my own, but it should be back to normal before too long. The doctor recommended that I keep it low and close to my body for a couple weeks, then talk to an orthopaedic surgeon.

I think I'll be keeping the mountain bike on happy little forest roads for a little while, and my next few races will be on my own two feet. ;-)

File Under: New Zealand,

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Piha Mud-Fest 06

Piha Mudfest AftermathYes, this was 4 weeks ago, but it was my first big sporting event in New Zealand. In fact it turns out that it was the largest event of it's kind ever held in NZ.

Piha 06 Race Report

For those of you unfamiliar with the sport of orienteering, a rogaine is an orienteering meet in which you can visit checkpoints in any order you like. There is a time limit, and checkpoints are worth varying numbers of points depending on their difficulty. Whichever team collects the most points within the time limit wins.

The race we did was 3 hours, we pulled in 350 points, placing us in the lower part of the men's open division, but solidly in the middle overall.

Piha Sunset The race was held in Piha, on the west coast about an hour from Albany. It's one of New Zealand's surf beaches. Very cool area, I'll definitely have to head back there sometime.

After several days of rain, the course was quite muddy. People climbing and sliding around ahead of us had churned everything into a sticky mess and made all the downhills into slides. Good fun!

That said, after stopping to check out the beach on the way home I'm not sure why it seemed like a good idea to spend the day scrambling over slippery rocks and roots in the Waitakere bush when we could have been running on the beach. ;-)

File Under: Adventure Racing,

Monday, July 03, 2006

Quick Update

Right, I realize it's been quite a while since I've posted anything. At the moment, I've only got time to put in a quick update, but here are the headlines:

  • My work permit and work visa are all done. I don't have to do anything regarding immigration until just before my passport expires in 2008. (Woohoo!!)

  • I ran the Piha Rogaine (which turned out to be the largest ever in New Zealand). That was good muddy fun!

  • I bought a mountain bike: Giant XTC 3

  • I ran the King of the Mountain Half Marathon down in Mt. Wellington: I came in 50th (of 134) with a time of 1:57

  • I'll try to put in a post on each of these in the next day or two. I've also got some new photos to put up as soon as I can get around to pulling them out of the camera.