Monday, March 31, 2008

Pukekohe Park Raceway on my SV650

My first ever day on a race track on my motorbike. I was scared shitless the whole time! It was an open track day, which means that anybody can show up and ride some loops for $90 bucks, everybody together.

I was invited by James who gave me a pre lesson on the track and curves. I didn't remember a bit of it. One guy on the track told me to think about gearing but I couldn't remember even that. On the first run I was just concentrating on holding a steady line on the track so that people could predict my movement and race around me.

On the second run I did a little bit better. During the break I took a mini nap and decided that the only thing I wanted to work on was counter steering and counterbalancing my weight on the foot pegs.

By the third run I knew all of the corners and how they should feel in the curves. I was confident to push my speed limit and went up to 170km on the flat straight stretch. This means I broke my own personal boundary of going over 100mph.

Later I was sitting on the guard rail and another biker came up to me and told me I was really brave for getting out there. I was thinking either that or really stupid in my head.

Somebody ask James why his bike is so dirty, I thought that enduros were for off-road?

That is my blue SV650 in the back.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Zombie Jesus Day

Easter... when Jesus rose from the dead... and we all know what a person is when he rises from the dead...

Next year we are having a zombie themed party on Easter. Maybe we will make some brain shaped easter eggs and have a "Zombie Jesus Day Brains Hunt".

Good Friday Run in the Auckland Domain

Last Friday as the sun started to fade I had to kick start my lazy, pms bitchin', cranky ass and go for a bloody run in the Auckland Domain. I did a couple of rounds around the domain before it started to get too dark (map). I usually run up and down the grass hills to save my knees from pavement pounding

There were numerous 'unofficial' games of soccer and rugby going on. As I was running up Pukekaroa hill the full moon popped over the hill and a rugby team started to do a haka chant.

The Pukekaroa hill is famous as two warring Maori tribes came to a peace deal so the new European emmigrants set aside the land (very nice of them to do that). Here's a picture of the totara tree commemorating the first Maori king Although the concept of a Maori king is a European construct as the Maoris didn't have one leader until the Europeans came, anyhoo...I've digressed from my run story.

I guess the moral of the story for me is; I guess it's OK to pop pms induced candy-coated ibuprofen if I have my period on a full moon, which has been occurring quite regularly, makes me feel healthy and connected to the stars... And it's OK if I get to see a bunch of cute Maori rugby players doing the haka under a full moon in the Auckland Domain...just for themselves (and me!).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"No photography permitted" sign is missing exclamation points!!!!

At the Kumeu A and P show I noticed one table of crappy handiwork had the silliest sign on it. "No photography permitted.". Hmmm... So I am going to photograph these little New Zealand flax wallets with stones on them and then I am going to go home and spend the time to figure out how to reproduce them and then come back to the Kumeu A and P show next year and sell them and put her out of business. Yup, thats exactly what I am going to do.

Or maybe better yet, I will take pictures of the silly sign and post them on the internet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shot of Americana

We met Margaret and Darren via the blog, they moved to NZ just after us, and we've been hanging out since. We went to the cheesefest together and they've blogged about it as well.

There's something about hanging out with americans that is comforting. Out and about in Auckland on a day to day basis its a myriad of internationals; south africans, pommies, irish, asians, indians, eastern europeans, and a few token kiwis.

There's a lot of nice people in New Zealand, it's a great place to meet other internationals, but sometimes it's fun to hang with other americans.

We just bought our tickets for a mega trip back to the states from aprox. June 24- July 11th. I suppose we'll get a major americana shot in the arm then.

Saturday, March 15, 2008



Adam took this picture at the fair. It was so funny and terrible at the same time. The evil carnie just kept the ride going and going and everybody was watching and laughing. Luckily she caught on stopped crying and the carnie let her off.
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Strummin' the blues with my Ukelele

I'm nursing a hangover this morning. Although I shouldn't talk about drinking too much, cause then my mom sends me a stink eye, yet nicely worded e-mail.

Went to see Iron and Wine last night and it totally sucked, which totally sucks cause I really like all of their albums (except for the opera one). Adam aptly described it - they usually travel with an eight piece band, came to NZ with six piece band and didn't fill the gaps very well.

On that note here's my ukelele! I didn't want to talk about my beautiful $50 ukelele, cause I wasn't sure if I would like or even be good at playing it but I think I have potential??! I've been learning new songs with Adam. I think I'm OK with it, but I need to start learning how to sing. I need a lot of work there. It's kind of fun playing depressing songs on the happy sounding ukelele, though proly not suitable for serious blues tunes.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Auckland Cheese Fest more like Auckland Snooze Fest

I need to say that I really enjoy most kinds of cheese. Soft cheese, hard cheese, mold ripened, flavored cheese, blue cheese, pump cheese for nachos at Circle-K. You name it, I will eat it so when I heard that there was an Auckland Cheese Festival where you pay $35 and eat as much cheese as you want I got fairly excited.

The doors opened at 5:00 and we thought that we would get there early to beat the crowds. At 5:00 the place was already packed as it looked like they oversold the venue. It was so packed that you would have to push your way to the front to get a couple chunks of cheese and then scamper off to a quiet corner to nibble on it like a scared mouse.

Another huge problem that I had with the cheese there was that it was all mid-level supermarket cheese quality. There was one whole table that was just Fontera cheddar. This is the basic utilitarian block cheese for burritos. I taste that every day. The brie was below average quality. There was some decent hard goats cheese but I kept coming back to the fact that the cheese tasting table at the French Market in Parnell was substantially better quality and selection.

The $70 that Roberta and I paid to taste some grocery store cheese was completely overpriced. All 5 of us should have spent that money on cheese from the French Market and had a party instead.

The only good part of the night was that Darin, Roberta and I went to the casino and put $40 down on Roulette and came out $70 ahead which dropped the overall price of the night to a much more acceptable level. Roberta picked the winning number of 21. We are going to be dragging her back to the casino against her will.

Wow, my first real rant post. It feels good. Expect more of these.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Strategy games...

I took an onliine personality test online. I got it from linkfilter but I lost the link (first i've taken since college). Anyway, it said I was a strategist. We've been having thursday night strategy board games, with some competive types. We've been playing all those games that are based on city building: Carcasone, Settlers of Cattan, El Grande (one of Adam's new favorites). Sometimes work is kind of like ok, "a city will go here and we will connect it with this". Just more crap to process in the real world... anyhoo...!

I just couldn't believe all of those games had wiki pages?!? Gamers are nerdy bunches...

Monday, March 03, 2008

3 Year Old Girl - Oldest in Africa

I love the Ted Talks series. Adam and I don't have TV so if I get bored I'll go to Ted Talks for something interesting to watch.

This latest one is about an archealogist in Africa who found one the oldest human species in the Badlands in Africa. What makes it interesting is that he draws parallels with what Africa is going through now. good stuff...though it is twenty minutes..

Saturday, March 01, 2008

American's Cup Sailing Trip

We went on a sail trip and we got to go sailing on the boats that won the America's cup. I had a good time practicing pirate speak when the let me steer!

Of note, the family of Sir Edmond Hillary were spreading his ashes in the Auckland Harbour while we were out on the Spirit of New Zealand training boat. I feel like a local now.

From the AP:
In his book "View From the Summit," Hillary wrote that he did not want his final resting place to be in some crevasse on a mountain, observing that he had "been down too many of them for that to have much appeal."

Instead he wanted his ashes to be "spread on the beautiful waters of Auckland's Hauraki Gulf to be washed gently ashore" on the beaches near his birthplace.

"Then the full circle of my life will be complete," he wrote.