Tuesday, August 31, 2004

First day of spring

Today is officially the first day of spring in New Zealand. Too bad the weather sucks outside, but still. To celebrate the last day of winter I went to bed at 9pm last night.

I got home from work and went over to Simon's for a little while, but then Si and Daryl were watching Home and Away, so I had to remove myself. After that I watched Mystic River with Mel and then cleaned my room and went to bed.

It sucks that Ben and Mel sold their washing machine. Now I am without one. I don't have any more clean socks so I am gonna have to go to the laundromat tonight. Boo to that.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Geekin' it up!

Yesterday we went to the new Pattaya Satay House for lunch. Excellent Thai food. I hadn't eaten any Thai in a long time and I missed it.

Anyways, in the afternoon I managed to get our bare board booting now. It boots using some assembly code that my boss wrote. I had to tweak it a little bit and fix a few bugs though. Once that was done I wrote a little test application in C to turn on and off the LEDs on the board, set the jump in the assembly and it worked! So now booting out little Intel XScale 80321 is working and talking to the SRAM nicely and we can run C code on it. Whee...

Last night I went home from work a little late. All that excitement made me stick around. Just hung out and watched some tv and chatted it up with the flatmates.

It pisses me off sometimes that people twist stories to suit their needs. There is no need to change the way something happened. A little embelishment is cool usually because it makes the story more exciting, but to change what actually happened is rediculous. Some people just need to grow up I guess.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Weekend after weekend rocks

Friday night I went home from work and chilled out. Didn't do much of anything. Just planned a trip with Simon and Gareth to hike on Saturday then watched a movie back at the flat.

Saturday morning we got up and the three of set off at 8am. We found the Te Toto track a little ways south of Raglan and started climbing Mt. Karioi. It took us about 3 hours to summit. Good climb, rather steep. Here is a shot of Gareth, Simon, and I about halfway back down the mountain in the afternoon:

Saturday night I went out with the flatmates to Valentine's. Such a crappy buffet. I much prefer the one at the US Niagara Falls casino even though I got sick there. The food at this place was crap and there was little selection. On the other hand it was a fun time hanging out.

Sunday morning Gareth and I got up at 5 and left Hamilton about 6 to head to the mountain. We made it down there and got 3rd chair on the National lift. Had a fantastic day riding. Took some runs in the halfpipe too. It has a good shape, but not quite tall enough. In the afternoon the Knoll Ridge T-bar opened so we got some sweet powder runs up there. After that we decided to hike up the the Pinnacles Ridge. Here is my favorite shot of the weekend. It is Gareth walking across the sluff from a pretty good sized avalanche that had fallen with the Pinnacles in the background:

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Friday - sushi day

Work is pretty sweet on Fridays because they buy us lunch. This week we are getting sushi. Fun times!

Last night when Si and I went rock climbing I smashed my hand into one of the rocks on the wall. My whole hand is swollen now and really hurts. Oh well... at least nothing is broken. Afterwards I went home and my flatmates had eaten a bbq. I ate some of the leftovers.

Tonight I am gonna crash out early so that I can get up early and check the weather down at the mountain. Looks like it is gonna be crap tomorrow, but good on Sunday. I think I will go tramping tomorrow then ride on Sunday. Sucks though because Simon can't go tramping tomorrow. He has to work, although he might be able to tramp in the afternoon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Past the hump

Yesterday I finished up a project I have been working hard on for a few weeks here at work. Psyched that I did. I was going to go see Citizen King last night, but ended up not going. Instead I went home and just hung out there for the evening. I watched The Big Bounce. That was a pretty funny flick.

Two more days and it is back to the snow...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Corporation

Last night Simeon and I watched the Corporation. Good flick. A bit long towards the end, but they certainly made some interesting points about major corporations. Citizen King is on tonight. I think I will go see it.

I win!

This morning I emailed a photo I took at Whakapapa to photos@snow.co.nz for their "Photo of the Day" thing and I got an email back saying they wanted to use it. My photo is now up on their homepage at http://www.snow.co.nz. If it is not shown there, here is a more permanent link to it on their site: http://snow.co.nz/gallery/photo.asp?categoryKey=196&imageKey=1060

Just in case it disappears from their site someday, here is a copy of it: Downhill Ski Club at Whakapapa

Monday, August 23, 2004

Spa time

Last night when I got home from work Amanda wanted to go bowling so my whole flat said they were keen. About 2 hours later nobody wanted to go except Amanda and myself. Then Matt called and wanted to have a spa, so in the end Ben, Mel, and I went over to Matt's and had a spa. Definitely a good time as always.

Tonight The Corporation is playing at the film fest. I am planning to do it up and I think Ben wants to go too...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Good weekend... much tramping

Friday night after work I went home and hung out for a little while. Ben, Mel, and I decided to head down to Te Kuiti and stay with Ben's mate so that the drive would be less in the morning. Harris didn't want to come down.

Saturday morning we took off for the snow at about 6:15am and got to Whakapapa at about 10 past 8. Rode all day. The snow was pretty decent and there was lots of it. Not many rocks showing through anymore. I started over on the West Ridge Chair. I took two runs over there before they managed to get the Far West T-Bar dug out of the snow and moving. On my way up for my 3rd run I got on that. From the top I just started walking. I wanted to walk up a ways to see if I could find some better snow up there.

About 15-20 minutes into my walk a cloud blew in. It was really dense and I couldn't see anything. I knew that if I had to get down I could just follow the valley to the east of the ridge I was on. I sat down for a few minutes and tried to wait out the cloud. It did blow out after about 15 minutes so I carried on. There were some other people tramping up along the eastern ridgeof the Whakapapa Glacier. I went right up the glacier instead of taking the ridges.

After another 30 minutes of walking (and taking a lot of breaks as the altitude was getting to me) I came across a guy coming down. He told me that Crater Lake was just over the ridge from where I was so I headed over it and sure enough. Absolutely incredible. Very beautiful up there. I hung out for a little while, but I had to meet Ben and Mel back at the base for lunch, so I rode down. Unfortunately the best snow I got was about 5-10cm of fresh. Most of the time it was rather icy. Glad I did it though and now that I know it isn't a very hard climb I will be doing it more often.

For the pictures of my adventure: http://picasaweb.google.com/ldm5180/20040821?authkey=DY7HEEkpad0&feat=directlink

After riding all day we checked the weather and it wasn't looking good. Ended up just going home to Hamilton instead of trying to stay somewhere because we didn't think there would be much skiing on Sunday.

Sunday morning Simon and I got up early to go hike Mt Pureora. Good thing we hadn't tried to go skiing because everything was closed. Simon and I got up Pureora, but couldn't see anything because we were in the clouds. It was a good tramp though and we both enjoyed it.

Pictures are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/ldm5180/20040822?authkey=yqTFxkVOcLI&feat=directlink

Thursday, August 19, 2004

One day til snowboarding

It is winter and I haven't been snowboarding in over a month. Sucks. Either the weather was crap or I had something else I had to do. I am going tomorrow though and it looks like the weather will be good. Now we just gotta hope that the huge dump of snow hasn't turned to ice.

Went rock climbing with Simon last night then over to Kenny's to change the oil in my car. He couldn't figure it out though and said we will have to do it on a weekend sometime because it is up under the exhaust manifold. Stupid car... Maybe I will just take it someplace and have it done. We hit up Sun World for dinner.

I got a package yesterday from my grandma. It was all cookies and food and stuff. Random, but the cookies are all homemade and really good.

I think Harris and I are gonna leave at 4am to go down to the mountain. That way we will beat the crowds...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I'll continue doing without

I saw Super Size Me last night at the film festival with Simeon and Kenny. Loved it. I am glad that I have abstained from McDonald's now for over 3 years. I will keep on that track.

Afterwards we went to Spirit'd to play some pool. Aimee's friend got her wallet stolen. Other than that it was an awesome night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Art is hard - so is software

Current music: Outkast - Love Hater

I am really having a hard time with a peice of software I am writing for work. I made an original design according to the hardware I was writing it for, then the hardware changed. Now my design doesn't really work. I should just redesign the software, but I am under some serious time constraints. Ugh... I guess I will just look at some pretty pictures like this one:
Mom and Dad walking up to a lookout in Lindis Pass

Maria Maria Maria

I went and saw Maria Full of Grace last night after work. It was really good. Very intense. Unfortunately, it was described as being like Traffic, but it was nothing like it. I think that might have turned people off from it. I felt a bit queasy a few times during the movie and it felt so real that when I left the theatre I felt like I was doing something illegal by living abroad. Qwazy!

I think tonight is gonna be Super Size Me night.

It is snowing like crazy at the mountain... almost a 3m base depth now. Pumped to ride this weekend if the weather clears.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I got Stoked

Current music: Death Cab for Cutie - Your Bruise

I was shocked last night. I couldn't find anyone to go see Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator. Damn, in the States all my mates would wanna go see a film like that. Well, like I have told Beth, I guess I will just have to keep searching for the right group of friends. Not there yet... I have some good ones, but they are all poor students at the moment, the rest are just not the right ones.

It is a good film. Not as good as Dogtown and Z-Boys, but good. It was made in much the same style. I think I am gonna go see another one tonight, not sure which though. Maria Full of Grace is playing as well as The Barbarian Invasion and Citizen King.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Relaxing, non-productive weekend

I was planning to do some snowboarding this weekend. Saturday I didn't bother because it was too damn windy and yesterday everything was closed. Kinda sucked, but thems the breaks.

Friday night I went to a show at Revert with Gareth and Sarah. The Coolies and Die, Die, Die played. Both bands sucked, but Revert actually pulled the power on the second band because they were "too loud." Pretty lame venue to do that.

Saturday I just hung around all day. Hamish and Amanda (our new flatmates) moved in. They seem pretty cool so far. In the evening I went to Youth Zone to watch 21 Guns and some other local bands which were all pretty bad.

Sunday was another lazy day. I got up late, made some breakfast, then went right into making some guacamole for lunch. Ben and Mel came home from Whangamata and wanted to go into town to look at packs. We were there for a few hours and they ended up getting some awesome MacPacs for $310 each. Awesome pricing. I can't believe the deals those two get on stuff. I bought a Pak-Safe wire mesh thing for storing my pack at hostels and stuff like that. Since I got it at the same place on the same day, the guy gave me a sweet discount and I am getting a $130 thing for $89. I love it...

Last night we all hung out around the flat. Matt came over for a while. Overall... not a very exiciting weekend.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Stupid ears

Current music: Jejune - Early Stars

I went to the doctor yesterday because my ear was killing me. It turned out that the damn pimple I had caused a middle ear infection. Now I am on antibiotics for that...

Last night I stopped by Sarah's on the way home and hung out with Gareth for a while. Kenny and I were gonna go play some pool, but that never happened and I ended up just sitting around at home all night.

I want to go riding this weekend, but it looks to be gale force winds on the mountain. I think I might just go hiking with Simon instead.

There is a show tonight. That should be cool. Haven't been to one in ages.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

My ear hurts

Ok, so last night I went and had a spa at Matt's house with Ben and Mel and some other people. That was good. Afterwards we went home and went to bed.

My ear had been aching like it has a pimple in it. I woke up in the middle of the night and I actually couldn't hear out of my right ear because it had closed off because of the damn pimple. This morning it was really killing me. Ben looked in my ear and couldn't see anything. Finally I popped it using a q-tip. More and more crap kept coming out. It felt like my brain was leaking out of my head. Right now it is still hurting and a bit closed off, but not nearly as bad as it was.

So I am here at work and first Holly told me she was thinking of me last night because she saw Mogwai and the Rapture play. Then Meghan told me so was thinking of me because she is back in Buffalo and drove past the Pizza Plant. Maybe it is kinda like my ears ringing... when people think of me my ears fill up with zits... Damn it. Stop thinking of me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Parents are gone

I left work yesterday at about 2:15 and drove up to the Auckland airport. My parents had just finished checking in when I got there. I hung out with them for a little while until they had to board and we said goodbye.

After that I went into Auckland and went over to Bubba's house. The girls, Steph and Cath, wanted to get Indian take-aways, but Bubba wasn't keen. We ended up having a great dinner with Steve at the Thai House in Ponsonby. Best peanut sauce ever...

After that I drove home. I was so tired on the drive, but I made it. This morning was pretty hard getting out of bed though.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Seeing my parents off today

Today is the day my parents leave NZ. They went out to Waiheke Island yesterday and did some golfing and stuff. Today they are spending the day around Auckland. I am going to leave work in about an hour to go up to the Auckland airport to see them off. It sucks that I won't see them for a long time now, but it was good to have them here.

One of my favorite views that I have seen in this country (well, it always sticks out in my head) is of Lake Hawea on the South Island. I drove through there a few days ago with my parents and it was really cloudy, but still magnificent. Here is a picture I took there this time...

This is what it looked like last time I was there with Mike about a year and half ago...

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Back at work

Here I am back at Endace. Had an excellent week with my parents tripping around the South Island. They are in Auckland right now probably on their way out to Waiheke Island.

We watched the All Blacks game the other night in Christchurch in a really crowded place called the Holy Grail. Good times. In the morning we got up and took a trip out to the Warehouse and stuff like that then to the Chch botanical gardens then out to the airport. We flew up to Auckland and got there about 2:30.

I had to walk a long ways to go get the car then went back and picked up the rents at the terminal. We went into the city and dropped our stuff at the hotel. Neat place for real cheap on Beach Rd down by the water. From there we went out the Mt. Eden then to Mt. Victoria. Awesome views from both, but it was windy as.

We tried to go to Delicious for dinner, but they were closed because it was Sunday. We called Bubba and he recommended a place called Toto's near the Sky Tower. We went there and it was really flash, but not too expensive. Good food! Hit up the casino after that and played the pokies and some roulette. I am not a roulette fan, but Mom and Dad wanted to play so I did too.

Drove home after that. Got back about 11:30pm and now I am here at work. I think I am going to drive up to Auckland and surprise them at the airport tomorrow afternoon. Maybe I will call up their and arrange to pick them up at their hotel instead... hmmm...

Friday, August 06, 2004

Back in Christchurch

Here I am back in Chch. We have had a few bummers, bust mostly good times since I last wrote. Mom and Dad had a blast at their Walter Peak High Country Farm trip. They saw a sheep shearing and had a reserved table at dinner with private service.

The next day we were going to go to the Milford Sound. Fly there, do a cruise, and fly back. Unfortunately, the weather sucked in Milford. It was a nice day in Queenstown so Dad and I went golfing instead at the Queenstown Golf Club. It was really good! That night we went to The Cow for an awesome dinner and met Louie and Dan at the Loaded Hog after dinner.

In the morning we left early to drive to the West Coast. It was rainy and crappy. Had a good drive through Haast Pass. Too bad for the rents that the weather wasn't good, but it was neat for me to see it in different weather. We had dinner at Alice May's. It is a pretty hoppin place in Franz Joseph Township.

Yesterday we were going to do a heli-hike on Fox Glacier. Again, the weather sucked. Our heli-hike was cancelled because the choppers were unable to land on the glacier. Instead we did a scenic flight. It was really awesome. We ate at Alice May's again for dinner...

Today we drove from the West Coast into Chch through Arthur's Pass. What a drive that is. We had some fun with the kea at the top of the pass. Now we are in Chch. It is a raining a little bit and there is some kind of snowboard rail comp going on in the square. If it wasn't raining I would go out there and watch it.

The All Blacks are playing the Wallabees tonight so we are gonna go to a sports bar and watch the game. Tomorrow we fly back up to the North Island and spend the day in Auckland. After that I am heading back to Hamilton and the rents are staying in Aucks until Tuesday night before flying back to the States.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

In Queenstown

Well, we have now made it to Queenstown. Right now my Mom and Dad are out on a cruise on Lake Wakatipu and having dinner at the High Country farm. That was my present to Dad for his birthday.

When we left Christchurch we went through Burke's Pass to Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, and Twizel. Amazing weather and views. Been having a great time.

Dad has this thing about getting pictures with cows and sheep, but whenever he goes to the fence they just run away. One time he went up the fence where there was a paddock of cows. All the cows starting running. When they got far enough away they stood there and stared at us. All the other cows from the rest of the paddock also came and stood in a huge, silent line. It was hilarious.

Twizel was boring. We stayed in a nice lodge and had a good dinner at the cafe the girl from the lodge works at.

This morning we left Twizel and drove to Queenstown. We stopped along the way in Tarras and I bought Stacia a birthday present. We also stopped at the AJ Hackett bungy site and watched some people jump off. Once in Q-town we went up the gondola and had a look around and did some alpine slide action.

Tomorrow we are taking a flight out to the Milford Sound and diong a cruise over there then flying back to Queenstown. Should be a pretty awesome day!

Sunday, August 01, 2004


Well... I went to Auckland on Friday after work and saw the Bleeders, The Have, and Deja Voodoo with Bubba. In the morning I went out to the airport and caught a flight down to Nelson. Too bad my flight was cancelled. I had to wait 3 hours to get a differnt one. I finally made it to Nelson at 12pm. We drove from there to Christchurch.

Today we spent the day around Chch. We went up the mountains on the outskirts of the city that the gondola goes up. We drove though. Dad and I went out to the driving range and hit some balls. It was a good time.

Tonight the rents are crashing out early. Too bad I don't know people in Chch to hang out with. Tomorrow we are going to Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki then staying the night in Twizel. Can't wait to get back into the Southern Alps.