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  Monday, 29 September 2003

Yesterday it rained all day so no kayaking or kiting.  Instead we scouted some new water for a trip next weekend (weather permiting, finger crossed, etc). The Motueka river is the target this time. Devon and I, and the three dogs,drove along a 20 or 30 km strech of the river on Sunday afternoon. We found a place to put in near the Baton bridge. (I used to live in a bach on the river bank about 100m down stream from this bridge and had seen kayakers going by all the time.) We then drove the next 30km or so and found plenty of potential take-out spots and scouted a few 'fun' looking rapids. It all looks like pretty good beginners whitewater.

A plan has been hatched for a trip down the Clarence River at Christmas/New years. This will be a 3-5 day trip along one of New Zealands longest rivers camping along its shores. Still in the very early planning stages at the moment but should be a memorable trip.

With the Clarence trip in mind I went to the Plastic Welding place in town today to see about getting an extra storage hatch put in the back of the kayak to stow tent/sleeping bag etc. Will be done around Wednesday. I'm not sure what cutting holes in my kayak will do for its warrenty, but what the hell.

8:17:35 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 27 September 2003

A new sunset for my desktop wallpaper. This is also of 'the Cut' like Tuesdays photo. I'm beginning to think this might be a good location for this idea.

8:15:06 PM    Comment []

Remember Sasha? She's growing up fast. Here she is today (especially for Fi).


I still think my dogs cuter though...


7:54:06 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 25 September 2003

I've been shopping. I shouldn't have been... I should be saving for the house. I really needed new shoes though, the old blue van's have been relegated to kite buggy shoes now. I have the new shoes on now to wear them in. I don't think I've ever owned khaki shoes before.

I bought a new phone extension cord because Sasha chewed my other one last night.  I also ordered a new kite for my stack. I will soon have 3 excaliburs to fly together. I also booked in a test fly of a 6.3 meter, bent-spine, C-Quad which is second hand and currently being rebuilt at the kite shop. (Apparently the 'bent-spine' means the nose of the kite curls forward slighty which makes for softer power and less luffing.) I have 'first dibs' on buying it when its ready.

I bought some thigh straps for my kayak. Because it is a sit-on-top kayak (a perception-freedom), as opposed to a sit in one, the thigh straps allow you to lock yourself into the seat for better balance and control in whitewater and surf. I'll be able to learn how to roll now. I think a couple of pool practice sessions are needed.

I didn't buy a helmet though. I looked at them in 4 different shops but haven't found one that fits well and is suited to both kayaking and kite buggying. The closest I found was in a skateboarding shop of all places but they didn't have one big enough to accomodate my head! d: (

As I was wandering through 'The Warehouse' I spotted roller skates for sale. Not the inline/rollerblade type, but the old four wheeled 1960's style kind with a modern look. Made in China, the marketing on the box either lost something in the translation from Chinese to English or these skates do some remarkable things...

Create My Mind???? I almost bought some just to see what that would be like! lol

2:22:09 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 24 September 2003

Today has flown by. I started work early this morning in the hope of finishing early to go kayaking again. Went out to Cable Bay about 4pm where that nor-wester was back again. Devon met me there and we thought about not going,  because of the wind. After a little thought we went for a quick jaunt to play in the 'training waves' out in the bay. A lot of fun and some good exercise to.

Then it was home for a change of clothes and a shower, then back to town to do the grocery shopping and attend another real estate auction. 15 houses being auctioned this time and again, there was nowhere near enough seating. There were at least 200 people there and half of them were standing! Luckily the two houses I was interested in were  number 3 and 4 so I didn't have to stand for long.

8:33:17 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 23 September 2003

As I wrote yesterday, the flu and the weather have kept me from kayaking lately, so I making up for it this week. I went for another paddle after work today. I met Devon down the waterfront and we paddled out through the harbour entrance (or 'the cut' as it is known locally) into a 1 meter swell and the same stiff nor-wester from yesterday.  We went around Haul-ashore Island and back to the yacht club where we had launched. Only a short trip, but the perfect end to another day in paradise.

As we packed up to leave we were treated to this moody but spectacular sunset...

The large (1024x299 pixels) version is now my desktop wallpaper (looks best on a black background).

8:48:05 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 22 September 2003

I finally managed to get the kayak wet today. Its either been the flu, to windy, or raining, or that annoying thing I call work gets in the way, since the Rotoiti trip. I finished work a 3pm today. There was a slight nor-wester bowing but not enough to put me off. The sun was out, that was enough for me. I was on the water at Cable Bay by 4.30. By then the wind had gone and it was a beautiful evening.

The view from my kayak at around 6.15 this evening.

8:55:49 PM    Comment []

  Saturday, 20 September 2003

Remember the 20c arcade games. There used to be an arcade in our neighbourhood. A little windowless room around the back of the dairy. It was filled with about 15 machines  that played their little theme tunes over and over begging you to spend your hard earned coins. I could make 20c on a game called Gyrus last for half an hour at least.

I found this little ditty the other day and it bought the memories flooding back. See how many games you recognise. Here are the ones I can name for starters...

Donkey Kong (the gorilla is kong), Pacman (easy one), Cube-it, Bomberman, 1942, The Glob, Alex Kidd, Hyper Olympics (another old fav), Space Invaders (the Daddy of them all), Defender, Galiga, Break-out, Street Fighter, Time Pilot, Frogger, plus a few more that I recognise but can't put a name to.

Even now just hearing one of those little electronic jingles is like the smell of playdough to me.... takes me straight back to my childhood.

10:01:50 AM    Comment []

  Friday, 19 September 2003

Last day of the school term today. Yeehah! Even though I still work through the holidays it means I can work from home alot of the time and when I am at the office (school)  theres hardly anyone around to bother me. The next two weeks should be quite productive.

5:19:13 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 18 September 2003

I went to a real estate auction tonight. I feel sick.

One of the places I looked on the weekend was on the block along with three others. I had no plans to bid, just watching. There was about one hundred people there and seating for sixty.

I hate these things. An auction is such a vulgar process. As I stood at the back of that room I felt surrounded by greed.

I think that I have an abnormal perception of money. Perhaps it should mean more to me than it does. Am I alone in the feeling that money or assests have absolutly nothing to do with success or happiness?

9:12:48 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 17 September 2003

I went to the movies last night to see The Italian Job and loved every minute of it. Theres nothing like a good, imaginative, heist movie for entertainment value. If you liked Oceans Eleven or Heist like I did, you'll like this one...

Unfortunatly my flu has given way to a horrible chesty cough. I know whats its like when your at the movies and someone in the theatre has an annoying cough, so I found myself waiting for the noisy cars chase and gun fight scenes to have a good throat clearing hack.  Luckily there were plenty of those.

5:57:39 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 15 September 2003

get your mords wuddled..

"Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

Well, I dunno. It's better than l33t sp3ak, and definitely better than drpng rndm vwls frm yr wrds, txt message styles, but I'd still prefer to read people who are making honest attempts at correct english. I guess this is an interesting exercise in cognition. [The Scroll of Emptiness - The potential value of emptiness is infinite.]

Just goes to show... good spelling is overrated

11:18:44 AM    Comment []

I'm still at home with the flu today. Dam thing just won't go away. I'm going stir crazy couped up at home so I'll have to get out in the sun for a walk to day at least.

I did a bit of house hunting on Sunday. I've been wanting to buy my first home for a while now, but the market in Nelson has just been going crazy over the last year or so which makes it an uphill battle. Its not uncommon for properties to sell for twice the government valuation. There was a month last year when property values went up 20%, in one month! Things quieten down over winter but with summer just around the corner the next influx of loopies (sorry, 'tourists') will see things taking off again.

I have the feeling that if I don't buy something soon, ownership will be out of my reach. I looked at one place that was the bottom of the scale (an attached, two bedroom flat in a group of five). Another house which was right in my price range, had a single garage workshop, and was not attached to any other buildings, but it was in a pretty grotty area. Then a third place which was just totally out of my range (and overpriced too). I showed up at the last open home hoping that it would within the upper limits of my price range. It was in the area I'm living in now and had a little house and a nice big section. I was shocked to see thay were asking for offers starting at just over double what I could afford! How despressing. Never mind... will keep looking. The right place, at the right price could be just around the corner.

10:23:47 AM    Comment []

  Saturday, 13 September 2003

Flu or no flu, today had some of the best kiting winds we've had for months. 40kph northerlies were predicted and thats what we got. Rabbit Island beach is probably the best beach in the Nelson region for kite buggying and it runs pretty much east/west so a northerly wind is perfect. When the tide is out like it was at about 4.45 this afternoon it is a huge beach of hard packed sand.

My flu was worse today but with a head full of paracetamol (thanks Lemsip!) I wrapped up warm and headed out to Rabbit Island at about 3.30.

Todays top speed : 44.2kph
Average speed: 24.5kph
Distance travelled: 22.2km
Smiles : Ear to ear :D

I now feel shattered but happy. Another early night coming up...

9:35:26 PM    Comment []

  Friday, 12 September 2003

I came home a lunchtime today. I've caught the flu from somewhere, just in time for the weekend. Great. Early night tonight and hopefully I'll be on top of it tommorrow.

7:16:36 PM    Comment []

  Thursday, 11 September 2003

I am a supermarket queue jinx. A checkout Jonah.

Its true! It happens almost everytime I shop. It doesn't matter what queue I choose, it will always be the one where the till flips out and won't work properly again without a visit from the shift supervisor (who is always incredibly busy just then). Or the person in front hasn't got enough cash so they want to pay for some with a card and the rest with cash and the checkout operator hasn't got enough brains cells in action to figure out how to do that.

This is not in my head. I know everybody says the other queue always seems to move faster but this goes beyond that... Its not funny.

Today for example I joined a queue which had two people in front of me.  As soon as I turned up the checkout operator rang for the supervisor (not sure why). She then stood with her hands on her hips and waited, rang again and waited, rang a third time and waited.  Her till wasn't behaving  and apparently needed the supervisors magic key to correct it. Meanwhile two people had queued behind me, got sick of waiting, gone to another queue, been served and got on with their lives. I had already unpacked my 15 items (3 to many for the express lane) onto the conveour belt so moving queues was not such an easy option for me (although I did consider it). When the first dilema was finally sorted the guy in front of me got served and I got hopeful. About then I spotted someone I knew from work being served a couple of lanes down, who I had seen them walk into the store while I was queuing in the same spot.

Then came my turn. My frozen foods were starting to make little pools of water on the conveour belt by now. The till behaved itself while the stressed looking checkout operator swiped my purchases through. Then I did a stupid thing. I presented a $5 manufacturers coupon (I bought some off soup a while back and they had compensated me with this coupon). Of course the operator had no idea how to process this thing, but not wanting to spend another 10 minutes waiting for her supervisor to show she gave it a go. She stuffed it up. Another 3 rings for the supervisor, another long wait, (meanwhile several more punters join the queue only to leave for greener pastures). Finally she arrives again with the magic key. She deftly inserts her key and twists it just so, scratches her head, jabs a couple of buttons, with obvious skill and precision, and we are away again.

As I finally pick up my bags to go I hear the poor girl behind the counter mutter under her breath "get me outta here...". I don't think she meant anyone to hear it, but I did. I told her to hang in there and have nice day tommorrow instead. I think she almost smiled... or it might have been a grimace.

So if you ever see me in the supermarket, steer clear and definatly don't queue behind me... they see me coming every time!

6:16:24 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

The Nelson International Film Festival is on at the moment. I was hoping to see this film. Today is its last screening for the festival and I called into the Suter Cinema on the way home at about 4pm to grab a ticket.

me: "Could I get one ticket for the 6pm screening please?"
suter: "I'm sorry, I can't do that."
me: "Oh... is it sold out?"
suter: "No no... but you will need to arrive early and be prepared to queue for about half an hour. We'll try to have two staff on to move you through a little quicker."
me: "huh? I can't just buy a ticket now and show up at screening time?"
suter: "Its been a very popular movie. This is its last screening."
me: "Never mind..." I walk out shaking my head.

Screw them. There I was two hours before screening simply wanting one ticket to see a movie, but apparently I hadn't earnt it by queu-ing in the cold for a half hour. GET WITH THE PROGRAM SUTER!

Its a gawd-awful website too by the way...

7:15:07 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 8 September 2003

I have officailly declared today a slackers day. I must have gone to bed last night without doing my usual Sunday evening psyche-up for Monday because when I woke up this morning it still felt like the weekend. In my half-awake state I just rolled over and dozed off again. An hour later it dawned on me that it was in fact Monday so I rolled out of bed, called the boss and applied for annual leave... today.

Its a teacher training day today (so there won't be any students there). I think I'll spend the day web-surfing, blogging, and playing counter strike, because it raining outside and I feel like a slacker!

9:03:54 AM    Comment []

  Sunday, 7 September 2003

Under a grey sky we made the trip to Lake Rotoiti today. On the road by about ten, we got a few drops of rain on the windsheild on the drive up to St Arnaud. The rain had stopped by the time we arrived at the lake. As neither of us had been kayaking much here before, we decided to paddle along the western shore for an hour and a half, then cross the relativly narrow lake and return along the eastern shore. Being in the middle of a national park this area is pristine, untouched, native forest. It reminds me of middle earth.


Looks like Orc country!

One the way home we stopped and checked out the source of the Buller river. It starts from the west bay of the lake and the first 2 kilometers of it is one of my goals for summer kayaking. Its mostly fast class II and III and its really just one long rapid. Today we just walked the first 300 meters or so along the shore to check it out. Look's like fun... but too cold today!

7:49:22 PM    Comment []

I managed to get a bit of kite buggying in yesterday. I was going to go kayking but too much wind meant flagging that and heading down to the Wakapuaka sand flats for another go with the kites. This time I found a dry patch of ground right out in the middle that provided enought traction despite the recent spring rains.

Devon bought his dogs down for a run. Jack love chasing kites and will literally run after them until he drops and can't chase them any more (we'll usually stop him before then - when we think he's had enough).

Thats me just bringing the kites in to land.
The two kites fly together in a 'stack', one behind the other like a biplane.

While Jack chases the kites Kaycee runs beside the buggy

Jack looking pretty exhausted after about half an hour of non-stop kite chasing.

I'm going up to lake Rotoiti today for a kayak... news and photos later.

7:40:39 AM    Comment []

  Saturday, 6 September 2003

Dam, I should clean my bathroom more often! I hate that job but the longer you leave it the worse it gets... I feel like I can't breathe from inhaling to much shower cleaner. That stuff is nasty!

Its about time someone invented the self-cleaning bathroom.

12:16:36 PM    Comment []

Dear spammer.

I don't know what you've been told about me but...
I don't suffer from bi-polar mood swings (I don't even know what they are), and I haven't got a spare 20 pounds to lose, I don't want (or need) any viagra, and even if I did I don't think I'd have any trouble getting hold of some. I gave up smoking years ago without the help of any magical patch, and I'm perfectly happy with the size of my penis (thank you very much for caring). As I live in New Zealand, I'm hardly likely to be interested in special offers that are open to citizens of USA only, and I pretty sure the American government hasn't got 20,000 dollars set aside for me. An illegal cable descrambler is not going to be much good to me as I don't think the cable gets this far... does it? Why the hell would I want to 'print my own postage' when I've got email, and if your wife is horny you shouldn't be emailing me about it! My credit is good and I think one credit card is enough, since I don't have any creditors hounding me. As for all the other really important email you send me, as irresistable as the offers may be, they last an average of 0.035 seconds on my screen (and I'm not a fast reader). please remove me from your mailing lists and get a real job (you might need to learn to spell first).

There.... I feel better now. :D

10:49:29 AM    Comment []

  Thursday, 4 September 2003

Apparently today was international penis day. I have a few questions...

  • Who makes up these stupid days?
  • Why? Are there people somewhere in the world who are somehow unaware of the penis? Does it really need all this advertising?
  • How should one celebrate International Penis Day?
  • Whens nipple day?

10:10:42 PM    Comment []

  Wednesday, 3 September 2003

I was watching the skys all day at work today. Judging by the trees out my window there was a clean nor-wester blowing all afternoon. After work I stopped at the beach to see what the wind was like there. A lone kite surfer was out there and although it looked like he was still learning, the wind was good. Unfortunately the high tide meant there was not enough beach to buggy on. I went home and loaded up my two excaliburs (2.2 meter delta kites) and my kite buggy and drove to the Wakapuaka sand flat. This place is a really realiable place to buggy when the beaches are out. In summer the surface is hard sunbaked mud/sand. Unlike a beach theres very little fricton and speed is easy! I've given myself some really good scares there trying to beat my own top speed record. I've a bicycle speedo fitted to the buggy and calibrated to suit. My best 'score' so far is 52.5kph ;)

Today was different though. By the time I got there the wind was.. er...indecisive at best, and I hadn't counted on all the surface water. We've been getting spring rains, mostly at night for the last few days. When its been raining the surface there gets really slippery. I tried buggying and it was fun for a while but there was very little traction so I kept getting pulled sideways. Mud would flick up from the front wheel into my face (theres usually no need for a splash gaurd here) and then it started to rain...

Kaycee had a good time chasing the kites (as always), so all was not lost. Hurry up and get here summer!

9:31:43 PM    Comment []

  Tuesday, 2 September 2003

In appreciation of the warmer weather tonight I went for a walk in the dark. There was just a thin sliver of a moon that seemed to throw out more light than it should. I could only see half the stars; one side of the sky was covered with a shapeless bank of grey cloud. There isn't a street light with a few kilometers from here, and the few houses there are in this valley aren't real big on outdoor lighting, which means theres always a good view of the night sky from here. Its a nice way to end the day...
8:56:58 PM    Comment []

I just watched Blue Crush one video. Actually I bought the video. I was going hire it from Video Ezy in Nelson when on the way to the counter I saw an ex-rental copy for sale. Hmmm, hire it overnight for $8 for own it for $14? So I went through the boxes full of tapes for sale and bought half a dozen, some as cheap as $3. Now I'll watch them all a few times then take them down to the Hira store.

The store used to have a video guy who came once a fortnight as changed the selection of about 20 tapes. He stopped coming because it wasn't profitable enough (I must be the only person in the area that rents from them). So now they are building up their own collection of videos for hire. I buy them, watch them, then on-sell them for the price I bought them for. Pretty slick deal, I think! and I get to keep them for as long as I like.

Blue Crush has some awesome surfing footage in it. Makes me want to go out and get pounded into a pulp by 30-foot walls of whitewater (not). The weak story line was more than made up for by the relentless action and absurdly attractive cast!

One video down, five to go!

7:54:24 PM    Comment []

  Monday, 1 September 2003

Some time during the weekend the Canteen and Gym at work were taken to by vandals. Both buildings were tagged and a ranch slider smashed.  This is the second time this building has been hit in less than a year. Last time it was burgled the police arrived on Monday morning after the break in was discovered to fingerprint the place. As the officer was dusting around the window ledge where they gained entry, he overheard the culprit, outside the window bragging to his friend about the breakin. He walked outside and asked to 'have a word...'

But it seems as one idiot is caught another is waiting to take his place. I hope when these taggers are caught we are all allowed to go around to their place and write our names all over their stuff!

7:57:54 PM    Comment []

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