Sunday, April 29, 2007

Rotorua Marathon

I completed the Rotorua Marathon on Sunday with a time of 4:50:45.

The conditions were rough. We started in rain and a temp of somewhere in the low 60s. I think it rained through the whole first half of the run. Needless to say, wet feet aren't so happy after 4 hours of running. It dried up and the sun came out for the second half, but I'd rather have it the other way around. My training was lacking once again, I definitely need to find some people to run with down here.

Kel and I stayed at a bach(Kiwi for Cabin) in Rotorua for the weekend, I'll put some pictures up soon.

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup Semifinals

New Zealand (Black Caps) are playing Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals tonight. They've been to the semi four times, but never made it through to the finals.

We're planning to stay up to watch the game at a friends place. It starts at 2:30 am NZ time and will probably run through to 10am or so . . . should be good fun if it's the game everyone is expecting.

NZ Herald Headlines

Here's the matchcast from the official site:
Cricket World Cup 2007 Matchcasts and Scorecards

The next semi game is Australia vs South Africa tomorrow. If NZ wins this one, and Aus win that one, there'll be one hell of a ruckus for the final.

Naptime now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Caledonia

Oh, can't believe I almost forgot: we took off for a weekend in New Caledonia just after Valentines day. It's nice to have all these little islands around, Samoa and the Cook Islands are next on the list I think, or maybe Norfolk Island, Kel has some relatives there.

New Caledonia Bar

News from Back Home

Two items of interesting news from the Star Tribune in the last couple weeks.

First is that my old National Guard unit (2nd Battalion of the 147th Assault Helicopter Brigade) is headed to Iraq soon. Before they go, they're training for a few months at Ft. Sill Oklahoma, which also happens to be where I did my Basic Training.

Guard unit will Head to Iraq, fly helicopters

Second is that my old employer (where I worked for 10+ years before moving to NZ) is making headlines. Even before I left, the merger with the GMAC sister company combined with the sale to Cerberus group was sounding like a real pain. Then in the last few months, problems in the U.S. subprime mortgage market started making headlines way down here. All along I've been hearing stories from friends about things getting messy, but I think this is the first time I'd seen articles specifically about our old RFC branch of the business.

CEO Paradis to join ResCap exodus.

ResCap to cut 1,000 more jobs.

From NZ:
New Zealand Herald: Mire Grows Deeper at GM.

New Zealand Herald: Mortgage crisis paralyses US markets

"GMAC LLC, a lender owned by General Motors Corporation and Cerberus Capital Management LP, on Tuesday said its ResCap mortgage unit posted a $651 million fourth-quarter loss, and "sharply reduced" its exposure to nonprime loans."


B.T.W. Thanks to Aldo for sending me the article on Bruce.

File Under: Minnesota,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Catching Up

It's been forever since I've posted what I've been up to, so here goes:

We went to see WWE Smackdown a few weeks back. It's the first time they've ever come to New Zealand. It probably wouldn't have been a big deal to me back in Minnesota, but down here it's like Halley's Comet coming around! Plus it reminded me of home a bit. Anyway, good fun, The Undertaker was there. I'll add some blurry cameraphone pictures later (promise).

On the same note, we also went to see the Pet Shop Boys, also on their first ever visit to New Zealand, more phone pics for that one. I'm kicking myself for not bringing my little fuji 5mp for that, I should have learned my lesson back at that All Blacks game.

Steppenwolf were supposed to come down too (yet another band that's never been here). Unfortunately, they cancelled, with no sign of a rescheduled date.

Red Hot Chili peppers are coming this week. You can imagine the hype that's pouring out of the radio, I think Peter and Rich probably heard piles of it when they were here way back in November! We're not going to that one (not this time anyway), they'll be back, I think a at least one of them owns some land down here.

New Zealand's Cricket team (the Black Caps) are in the semi-finals of the Cricket World cup, along with Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa. There should be some good games in there. NZ vs Australia is always a grudge match. They play them for certain in the last Super 8 game on the 21st. They'll play them for the final if they can win their semi final game. If I get some time, I'll post a cricket primer for all you Minnesotans. According to my brother ESPN 8 (The Ocho) should be playing all 8-10 hours of the final match. ;-)

You can follow along online if you don't get The Ocho:
Cricket World Cup 2007 MatchCast

Most of you probably know we're planning to visit over the holidays this year. Current plan is Christmas in the cities, then New Years party up north in the Brainerd area (ala the good old MLK weekends of yore). Excellent news for visiting the states is that the Kiwi dollar is at a 25 year high!

NZ Dollar Reaches Record High

I just need to make sure I book all our big ticket stuff before it drops. It's up about 10-20 cents on the dollar from when I arrived.

News for those of you who might be planning a trip down here, the NZ tourism office has release a layer for Google Earth full of points of interest around the country:

100% Pure New Zealand Layer in Google Earth

Upcoming events:

I'm doing the Cateye Moonride the second weekend in May. That's a 12 or 24 hour relay/lap race around the Rotorua redwood forest mountain bike trails. Same place where I dislocated my shoulder, but definitely not the same trails. That reminds me, I'll post some pictures of Peter riding those trails here, at the moment there in Flickr, but not well labeled.

Gotta run, more later.

File Under: New Zealand,