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  Sunday, 31 August 2003

We've done it!  We've paddled right around Pepin Island in one trip. Its not that far but you have to get the tides just right. We left on the high tide as there is not usually much water in the esturay where we started today. Actually it was just before high tide becuase we had to wait to 10-15 minutes at the esturay mouth for the tide to change direction. We weren't to keen on padling against the still incoming tide through that narrow gap when we could wait a while and have it push us out!
Craig enjoyed himself and provided a laugh when we were exiting one of the caves along this coastline. As he was going through a particularly narrow cave exit he went to make a quick correcting stroke and somehow managed to firmly wedge his paddle between the to rock sides. Of course the paddle came to a quick stop, but his kayak did not, leaving him doing a rather awkward looking impression of a water-bourne limbo dancer. I took a bit of effort to remove the paddle. He had certainly jammed it in there good!

He are some pictures from todays adventure...

Heres Devon and Craig demonstrating the best way to launch from a steep stone beach. Just sit and slide! Recommend for plastic kayaks only.

4:40:50 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 30 August 2003

I got out for a paddle this afternoon... I am happy now. It was a blue sky day here in Nelson. Devon called around after he finished his deliveries. We were hiting the water at Cable Bay at about 3pm. We paddled back towards 'the Glen' and Nelson for a while today (just because we had never been that way before), but as soon as we got around the point and out of Cable Bay the coast line became alot less interesting. We decided to turn and head straight across the bay to the eastern tip of Pepin Island, then after a stop at this beach again, we paddled back around the coast (at a leisurely pace) to Cable Bay. Home by 6pm... fish and chips for tea tonight.
A few snaps...

This shot is now my desktop wallpaper. Heres the 1024x768 version.

Pepin Island is the big chunk of rock in the background.

We are planning to paddle right around Pepin Island tommorrow. We'll leave from the land bridge right on high tide, from the esturay side.  Then we'll be able to ride the tide out of the esturay, paddle around the island, to arrive back at the vehicles on the seaward side of the landbridge. Devon's brother in law, Craig, who is visting from Christchurch is coming with us.
Next weekend we are hoping to make a day trip to the Nelson lakes (weather permitting).

8:22:41 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 29 August 2003

Just been finishing up some work for my friends at Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures. I used to share a house with these guys, Brenda and Jason, before they were married and I was the photographer at their wedding. A great couple who love what they do, and do it well. 
I have just revamped their website, with just some new photography to be loaded this weekend.

Abel Tasman National Park is a pristine slice of New Zealand. I been there a couple of times in recent years, only once on my kayak. Earlier this year I did an overnight paddle from Marahau to Cyathea Cove, and back around the outside of Adele Island and Fisherman Island the next day. Vowed to do it again this summer.

First Daffidols are flowering around home this week, so spring is here ...and summer is coming!

4:54:46 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 27 August 2003

I've had an idea swimming around in my head for a while (a few years now I think). I remember the day this idea found a little corner of my brain to set up camp in. It came from a movie or TV program the name and details of which are long gone from my memory. One of the minor characters in this movie had a photographic project he called 'his lifes work'. He wasn't an artist, in fact he was something ordinary like a butcher or greengrocer, but his hobby was photography. Not just any kind of photography but something very specific. Every day at 8am sharp, he would be on the same spot, at the same street corner, with his camera set up on a tripod. At precisely 8am he would take a picture, then pick up his gear and carry on with the rest of his day. He did this every day, day after day, year after year. No matter what else was going on in his life or the world he would take the same few minutes every day to fuel this habit. The photos were arranged in albums in the precise order they were taken which were stored away with care.

In one scene from this movie he shows his 'lifes work' to some friends. They begin turning the pages slowly but after only two or three pages their pace quickens until they are flicking through the pages far to fast to be looking at each picture.
"They're all of the same thing!" they exclaim as though demanding an explaination.
"But they're not..." came the reply. "Slow down."
It is only after they slow down and begin to linger on each photograph do they begin to realise that each one represents a day. A day in the life of this man and his surroundings.  Indeed they were not all the same, in fact it would be a safe bet that this guy could take this 'same' photo every day for the rest of his life and never, ever get two photos that are the same. Some days it raining with shiny roads and umbrellas everywhere, another day a hurried pedestran blocks the view as a blur, a truck in the intersection, a storm cloud, new buildings, old trees, litter in the wind, people, life...

For some reason this idea struck a chord with me. I could understand why this guy would want to do this stange thing. I can also understand other peoples reaction to it. So often in our busy lives we feel like we are living the same day over and over. We feel 'stuck in a rut' or its 'same shit, different day'. By taking these photos in the same place, at the same time, with the same camera every day this man is proving to himself (and anybody else who can slow down long enough) that no matter how predictable and monotonus this life becomes, we are still hurtling through time at an alarming rate. Nothing in this universe is standing still or ever will and we are all a part of it. The only thing that keeps this whole thing balanced is change. Constant change.

I am thinking of taking this idea and doing something with it. Its just something I'd like to explore. I have yet to finalise it in my head and writing this is part of the process I think. I have my eyes peeled for a location that would lend it-self well to the idea. A 365 day project seems like a good place to start. One place, one time, for one year.

Stay tuned.

7:30:49 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 26 August 2003

Lord of the Rings part 2, "The Two Towers" was released on DVD and Video at midnight last night. Shane has bought the DVD and video already. I just watched it for the first time. I didn't see this one on the big screen this time, but now that I've watched it on video, I wish I had.

In honour of this occasion I present this little gem. Lenard Nimoy (aka Spock) singing a "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins". Eat your heart out Peter Jackson!

10:39:48 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 25 August 2003

Pictures of Devon's new puppy Sasha and the older one Jack teaching hear a thing or two about how to play tug-o-war. (taken with my shiny new digital camera of course :D)

Sasha is her name and shes 11 weeks old.

Jack is six he's already taking orders from her...

9:25:52 PM    Comment []

My shiny new digital camera arrived today. I bought one on I've never even bid on an online auction before but I had used a camera like this (the Art deptartment at work have one) and knew how compact and easy to use they are.  I paid the money into a complete strangers personal bank account on Thursday night (kind of a nerve-racking thing to do) and was releived when the package arrived today.
This thing is tiny! I bought it for its size as I'm sure to take it everywhere. It fits in my wallet. Here is a picture of my old camera and the snazy new one.

...and it takes way better pictures, and its also an mp3 player and dictaphone (although I can't see myself standing in public places talking to my camera!), and it takes 30 second video clips..... I like new toys! :D

6:59:37 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 24 August 2003

The horrible SE winds have passed and today was great weather. Devon and I went kayaking from Cable Bay around Pepin Island. We were on the water by about 1pm with the low tide due just before two. I like this strech of coastline at low tide. The rock formations seem that little bit higher when the waters low. The swell wasn't much today so we were able to paddle into a few caves and explore the coast close up.

Heres a few pictures...

The beaches were a bit crowded... but me made do.

Devon, about to go through the arch.

Some of the local bird-life.
There are huge colonies of these guys on Pepin.

The entrance to a cave

Inside the cave.
Thats Devon just coming through the entrance.

This is four photos I stitched together in photoshop. This bay is bueatiful. I'm going to try snorkeling here in the summer!

6:06:32 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 23 August 2003

I pruned my grape vine this afternoon in preparation for the inevitable spring growth thats just around the corner. I'll have to drag out the lawn mower soon.

Before and after.

I think I missed my calling... I should have been a hair dresser.

7:30:54 PM    Comment []

Man is it windy here today. Its been blowing half a gale from the SE all night and all morning. In the little valley where I live the wind doesn't blow constantly, instead it seems to swril around and blow from every direction at once. It'll be almost dead clam one minute then you'll hear a big gust rolling up the valley like a sunami; then it'll blow like ... a really blowy thing, for 30 seconds or maybe a minute, then its gone as quick as it came.

Last night the gusts were so loud that they would wake me up before they hit the house. Just the strange wooshing sound, as the gusts pushed through the treelined valley towards my humble abode, was enough to rouse me. I'd wake just in time to hear the roof creak and moan as it clung to the house, waiting for the gust to pass. The windows were rattling. The front door was creaking. Theres a huge tree at the back of my house that is a 'self-purning' variety. Every time we get winds like this it sheds heaps of smaller, weaker branches. Some of them aren't so small. At least they don't sound small when they hit the corrugated iron roof in the middle of the night.

This morning there was little damage. The trellis against one side of my garden shed had been 'rearranged' by mother nature and a small tree over the back fence had been blown down. I picked up heaps of branches and debris from the lawn. I took Kaycee (my dog) for a walk up the valley and saw at least 5 other trees down in just a few kilometres.

If this wind was coming from any other direction but the south-east, I'd be grabbing my kites and kite buggy and heading for the sand flats or a beach. Now, I don't know if this is possible but the SE wind SUCKS! (I know, I know... that would make it a nor-wester, haha). At any of my usual kite flying sites it just makes for a blustery, bumpy wind thats dragging you sideways, out of control, downwind one second, and is gone the next letting your kites just drop like leaves from the sky. Last time I tried to kite buggy in a SE wind I lasted about 20 minutes, got my ass kicked all over the beach, and gave up in disgust. I lost my car keys that day too, which further tainted the experience.

Kayaking is out of the question today too, I'd get blown to Australia. Dam, I'm running out of excuses not to catch up on some work. Oh.. I know. A new beta version of CounterStrike is out. That should fill in a few hours of my Saturday...

Heres a few more pics from our walk this morning...

1:10:40 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 22 August 2003

Our very own (New Zealander) The Mad Butcher, had his website featured on The Daily Sucker (20 August) courtsey of I've never actually seen the site, it appears to have been taken down for now. Looking at the comments  about this post, it sounds like it was pretty bad!

Maybe we should watch with baited breath to see what he comes up with to replace it?

On second thoughts... I think I'll just forget all about it.

5:47:41 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 21 August 2003

This made me laugh (almost made my coffee come out my nose!)
The question has to be asked, however; how (and why) does something like this get made? What strange universal force has sponsered the effort has obviously gone into this creation? ...and what were they smoking at the time?

ps. Heres another fine creation from This remake of Destiny's Child "Independant Women" is truely original!
If Destiny's Child were kittens from Northern England, this is what they would sound like. I think that the grey kitten has definate solo career potential!

9:37:18 PM    Comment []

I just got a nibble from the welchia worm. I thought something was up when I couldn't connect to windows update this afternoon (when I heard there was a patch out). My anti-virus software is updated daily though so it got splattered as soon as it wiggled. Got the fix it tool running now, but I think its dead (RIP).
9:02:40 PM    Comment []

I was surfing around today looking for kiwi bloggers. I found a kiwi bloggers webring! I think I'll join it soon... as soon as I have had the chance to read a few.

While I was searching for kiwi bloggers though I found this artical in the New Zealand Herald (written back in December 2002).

I think the writer of this artical, while they have some good points, has totally missed the reasons for a personal blog. I'm not talking about magazine style, journalistic blogs. Obviously, if you get four  talented, experienced, professional writers together to comtribute to anything literary, blog or otherwise, its probably gonna be worth a read. I'm talking about the 'personal web diary' style of blog. The ones written by an individual, just for the hell of it. These are my favourite kind of blog. Yes, they are often pointless and inane but they are also often incredibly honest and down to earth. Many are intensely personal and obviously that person's 'outlet' for their genuine thoughts and feelings. Others are simply a way to comunicate with like minded people and friends (the people that get your 'insider' jokes and want to know all the little things that make up your day).

I think that most of these personal blogs are there for the same reason mine is; for the writers own entertainment. I blog to amuse myself and secondly, to meet people who I might otherwise never have a chance to know. Ok, I not a journalist; hell, I can't even spell but that isn't important. So far I haven't had a single comment left on my blog, but thats not important either. What is important to me is that I take a little time each day, to order my thoughts, reflect on my experiences, and remember what it was to be me, today, at this moment in time...

Blog badly and enjoy it!

5:26:36 PM    Comment []

On average there are 8 peas in a pod. Now you know.
8:50:56 AM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 20 August 2003

I added my mug shot to my site template today (left). Taken by me with a bit of help from the bathroom mirror.

I like to know what a blogger looks like so I guess everyone else does too. The site is starting to take on a bit of my personality now... but I feel like it needs a bit more colour. Stay tuned....

Oh and btw thats Kaycee, my fox terrier in the page background. Yes, those are her real ears!

6:19:22 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 19 August 2003

I have changed the name of this blog to "CoffeeWaffle" because...

  1. it rhymes (oh... hang on, no it doesn't. But it looks like it should.)
  2. it just rolls of the tounge when you say it
  3. it sum's up pretty much what I'll use it for, I drink to much coffee and then waffle
  4. everyone elses blogs have cool names
  5. it sounded like a good idea at the time

Change is good.

(for those northern hemisphere folks 'waffle' is kiwi/aussie slang for talking nonsense)

8:40:12 PM    Comment []

I spotted this quote today at work. It was taped to the door of the Physics lab.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in a final sense, a THEFT from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and are not clothed. - President Eisenhower

and beneath that in bold...

There is nothing more important in this world than disarmament!

If only the rest of the world felt the same way...

3:26:02 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 18 August 2003

I often watch movies two or three times in a row (within the space of a couple of days) but without really watching them. I'll be in the room, but I'll miss parts because I'm distracted by other things; email, cooking, dog, etc. Each time I watch the movie I see parts I've missed before, and the order of things get a little mixed. It gives everything a Quentin Tarantino flavour which I enjoy for some reason.
I've discovered this evening however, it doesn't really work on Jackie Chan movies...

8:48:19 PM    Comment []

I went for a paddle yesterday. Shane (Devons brother) came along and as it was right on high tide (and a mean SW wind was blowing across Golden Bay) we decided to see how far up the mouth of the Maitai river we could get. The river meets the sea right by the central business district so you can literally paddle right through town. We got as far as the Riverside swimming pool before we got beyond the reaches of the tide and were faced with a steep shallow rapid. I was surprised to see half a dozen whitebaiter lining the banks. One of them asked us if we had seen any whitebait. We hadn't. Apparently none of them had either... perhaps the chance to spend a few hours parked on a treelined river bank, doing very little but watching the river slide by, was what lured them all there?

5:18:38 PM    Comment []

This was filmed on the 44th  floor of the World Trade Center in 1998. A retired Army colonel, veteran of combat in three wars and a survivor of the 1993 bombing of the twin towers (in which he saved the lives of hundreds of Morgan Stanley employees),  Rick Rescorla speaks of the future of warfare. Direct quote; "Hunting down terrorists... this will be the nature of war in the future...". 


5:00:45 PM    Comment []

  Sunday, 17 August 2003

Whatever the passtime or sport everyone agrees it more fun when you naked! Kite flying and buggying are no exceptions it seems.

And then there's this site.  I like kites.... but these guys really, REALLY like kites.

5:39:43 PM    Comment []

This story made interesting reading. Imagine robots who can simulate the process of evolution. Redesigning themselves for a given task, producing new prototypes of themselves, eliminating the weak and defective designs after testing.... sounds like the prelude to a terminator movie don't it? Well its starting for your lives!

Seriously though this is some 'outside the square' thinking! These things have reproduced (or at least simulated) the process of evolution in a matter of days. Makes you wonder what could happen if they had a couple of decades to 'perfect' themselves.

9:41:28 AM    Comment []

I hate it when  that happens...

8:28:25 AM    Comment []

  Saturday, 16 August 2003

"Scientist to use scent to attract sex-crazed giant squid"

Now just try to resist reading the whole story :}

10:14:10 PM    Comment []

This is my new desktop wallpaper for today. What a wild shot! I have to try this one day. Its like power kiting run amock!
9:48:23 PM    Comment []

Just been for a paddle around the NE side of Pepin Island which sits between Cable Bay and Delaware bay. Its only about 10 minutes drive from my place.

We are so lucky in NZ to have access to coastline like this, but it might not always be the case. There is a debate raging in NZ at the moment over ownership of the foreshore and seabed. Basically one side wants owership (or garudianship, whatever that is) of foreshore and seabeds to be in the hands of Maori while the other thinks the crown should retain ownership on behalf of all New Zealanders.

Its like listening to two fleas arguing over who owns the dog they're on.

I just hope I always be able to paddle to places like this without having to pay a fee...

Delaware Bay Looking towards Pepin Island (I saw some dolphins playing in that surf as I was leaving... about 10-15 of them at least.)

A blowhole in the rocks. This one was making an impressive 'boom' today.

I've paddled right into this cave on previous trips. The waves were a bit large today though. (Its bigger than it looks.)

Thats me...

Incidently.... this site and its petition has been the fastest growing online petition in the WORLD. Feelings are very strong round here about this one.

5:22:30 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 15 August 2003

Now heres a slick bit of web design courtesy of I want to be like them when I grow up.

Kind of makes me proud to be a Kiwi...

10:46:00 PM    Comment []

I want one!
11:34:40 AM    Comment []

Are you sick of spam? Would you like to DO something about it? Well, if you can't beat them, you can join them at the 3rd annual nigerian email conference ;)
11:13:16 AM    Comment []

  Thursday, 14 August 2003

I have justed palyed about an hour of Counter-Strike while listening to Barry White's All-time Greatest Hits ("We got it together, didn't we?....").  This made a strangely theraputic combination.

I've had microwave macaroni cheese for dinner, and I've got a day off work tomorrow (MHD*). Which means I'm starting a three day weekend! Life doesn't get much better than this!

*MHD - Mental Health Day: A self imposed holiday from anything remotely like working. Can be taken as annual leave  or as sick leave (this is up to the emplyee but discretion is advised in the later).

7:23:23 PM    Comment []

I added a link to my gallery of digital doodlings... 'Desktop Decor'. Theres also a link to an older site, one of the first websites I ever built. I should burn it onto a CDRom for prosperitys sake one of these days. Isn't it funny how a web site never really gets finished. Theres always one or two more things you're going to do on it....
5:40:20 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 13 August 2003

 this little test , today I did....hmm

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I got my Friend Devon to do it too. Unfortunately he turned out to be...

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Darth Maul!!! now destroy him I must.

6:57:05 PM    Comment []

Well its seems the Blaster Worm I heard about yesterday wasn't a hoax, but I had nothing to worry about any way as both the machines I use for work were patched and my good old W98/Linux machine was oblivious. Nobody seems to write viruses for W98 anymore :(

The critical update that takes care of the vunerability was released way back in July but it seems 'Critical' just isn't a strong enough word for some (read 'most') people.

I work as the Webmaster for a NZ School with around 1400 students and I guess a couple of hundred staff. About fifty of these staff lease a laptop which they use for work and personal use. I have just spent most of the day crawling through registries of many of these laptops because the owner/users didn't think they needed any critical updates (or claim they didn't know, or just don't care). The worm was realeased onto our network of 400+ W2000 and  WXP machines. It didn't get very far and thankfully cleaning it up was relativly easy, BUT it shouldn't have happened and it could have been a lot worse.

Windows XP automatically checks the internet when it is connected and informs users when a critical update is available, not to mention our Network Manager emails all the staff who own a laptop that gets connected to our network, to not only inform them the a critical update is out, but also points them to a location on our network where they can download it in a few seconds.

Again it seems 'Critical' just isn't a strong enough word. I still found several infected computers today and know from the phone calls that there were simalar experiences all over town.

It seems amongst all the spam, banner ads, hoax's, and pop-up windows, people have learnt to filter out a little too much web noise.

6:38:04 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 12 August 2003

I watched the movie Gladiator tonight. I'd seen it before but dam thats a cool movie!

10:33:00 PM    Comment []

Heard a news story on the car radio one the way home from work today. Some 'techie' had rung in to tell every one running a Windows XP machine to "stay off the internet for the next 24 hours!" by order of M$. Apparently their servers were dishing up malicious code to all XP systems who automatically checked for updates. If you've got the virus your machine would count down from 45 seconds then power off. The mysterious radio 'techie' guy's advice if you have the virus was to wait 24 hours then do a google search for MS Blast. That should tell you what to do next...!?!

This must be a hoax I thought...

But just to be sure (to be sure) I fired up the 266mhz Windows 98 machine in the bedroom and took the mysterious heros advice. Maybe he ment this?

As a result I've spent half the evening trying to get Radio to run on W98 (instead of XP on the laptop) as the Blaster worm only affects W2000 and XP. Got it going now... but for a while there the setup was asking me for a "USERNUM". Not sure what that is but I don't like the sound of it...

10:24:21 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 11 August 2003

YEEES! Full artistic control. Total access to the source code. Love it!

Right... I'm going to have a photo of my dog as a tiled background.... as many animated gifs as I can find... and top top it all off I'll recolor the browser scroll bar... um ... and embed a really annoying, looping backgound soundtrack... I love web design! lol

7:58:44 PM    Comment []

Well I managed to find a nicer 'theme' but I hope I can build a custom one at some stage. A bit more reading to do I think....

7:38:15 PM    Comment []

I'm trying out this Radio software to create this blog. Its been really easy to set up. I am concerned however that I might be stuck with a stupid cactus-on-a-coffee-cup graphic on my blogs pages forever. I hope it lets you design your own pages.... I hate themes!
7:30:39 PM    Comment []

A new blog is born!

After only learning about blogging last Wednesday (at a TUANZ conference in Wellington) here I am creating my own. I have thought a bit about why I am creating one but have decided on only one thing... it is for my own personal satisfaction and no other reason.

 A means to collect my thoughts (or lack of them). A personal diary. A record of not only my travels on the internet but my journey through life.

In the last 6 days since I first heard the term blogging I have been reading a few and I'm amazed at the honesty and candor of some people. These matchbox sized soap operas are far more addictive than any TV program I've ever seen because they are written by real people, for their own personal satisfaction. Not for money fame or regognition... just for the hell of it. Sure there are many kinds of web logs but these are the ones that have been bookmarked in my browser. These are the kind of weblogs that have inspired this weblog-newbie into starting my own ( and are two blogs I'm already reading daily... thanks guys, you are inspirational).

Maybe along the way my writing will improve to...

7:26:23 PM    Comment []

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