|Tuesday, 4 September 2007|
Winter Hols Over Allready
Lady Newcastle and I are back in Hamilton now after a 10-day jaunt down to the Middle Island. We had four days with my Bro in Waimate, a splendid little town about half way between Timaru and Oamaru, then took a rental car on a tour of the South Canterbury and Otago districts, before returning to Christchurch and our flight back up to the Tron.
While in the Queenstown/Wanaka area we managed to sneak in three days of skiing on the awesome Coronet peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone fields. The weather was bloody marvellous, our skiing form was fantastic as usual, and the snow conditions were passable.
We are both slightly annoyed however to discover the region is currently receiving a massive dose of fresh snow as we speak. Bloody typical that there should be a big dump *after* we've been on our winter holiday instead of before
But beggars cant be choosers. And as they say.. "a bad day skiing is better than a good day fishing" ... no wait a minute, that's not quite it?
While we were gone I notice you useless buggers let those one-eyed Cantebrians steal the bloody Ranfurly shield out from under your noses. I hope you're pleased with yaselves. We had the misfortune to endure the sorry episode in a Speights (of all beers) pub in Wanaka with a couple of dozen locals for company who didn't seem to care much coz it wasn't Otago or Southland playing.
Enough about Rugby though, I'm sick to death of the whole world cup build-up, lets just get it over with and win the bloody thing.
|Friday, 8 December 2006|
WARNING: DO NOT STARE INTO LASER WITH REMAINING EYE (link)
In the 1st week of December and straight after getting back from our honeymoon I was back on a plane and heading over to Melbourne for the 2006 Open-source developers conference, aka OSDC
If your reading about it on this site you probably aren't the sort to be interested in the technical-details but the conference was generally friendly, informative and casual (who cares if its not quite as slick as North American ones when the fees are so reasonable). Attendance seems to have been about 200 or so, there were about 8 non-aussies according to a show-of-hands in a keynote.
A nice touch during the formal opening of the conference was a firm request that no language-bashing occur with some suggestion as to what was bashing as opposed to general ribbing. I'm not sure how much tweaking of presentations this resulted in but the conference generally did have a very positive nature.
The three day conference kicked off on Wed 6th December and was preceded by a day of tutorials which were lightly attended, maybe 10 people in the two tuts I went to. I guess most folks were there for the conference proper. All in all an excellent conference, definitely one to keep in the calendar for next year.
An added bonus was hooking up with an old mate, Dunny. He's a Melbournite that I knocked around with in the UK when a bunch of us were living over there, and it really was just like old times, giving the liver a good thrashing, and propping Dunny up when he got so pissed he couldnt walk any longer. Excellent fun, shame it was such a brief visit.
|Thursday, 30 November 2006|
Aitutaki 2006 - Rarotonga
Initially I had romantic notions of taking responsibility for planning our honeymoon and after some consideration was convinced that one of my ideas, Stewart Island, would be just the ticket. Thank God I asked a couple of sheilas what they about the idea coz they unanimously shot it down exclaiming Kym would hate the idea, on no uncertain terms.
So much for mens intuition, or a kiwi destination.
When Kym and I started to consider honeymoon options we came up with all sorts of erratically priced and scaled location ideas, everything from Australia, to SE Asia, to Canada for a ski holiday, but everything just seemed a little busy for what we were hoping would be a nice relaxing break.
As a kid I was lucky to have generous parents who (reluctantly no doubt) took us brats a few overseas holidays to places like Australia, Norfolk Island and Fiji. Kym had been to Rarotonga before as well so the idea of a quiet pacific Island came to the fore as a target for the honeymoon.
After consuming a few brochures and reading up on stuff on the web we settled for 7-days on Aitutaki, a wee slip of a reef type island wrapped around a Lagoon a 30min flight north of the main Rarotongan island.
When we arrived on the main island of Raro for a night before transferring out to Aitutaki we were both thinking "jeeze, this is great, can it get any more laid back", and as it turned out, yes, it bloody can, so far back the Tequila runs out the top of your mouth your head is so far back
By christ it was a great place. The locals were friendly, we had a funny little bar withing walking distance called "The Crab Bar", the weather was fantastic, the water was crystal clear and warm, the coral was pretty healthy and fish abundant, it was just so bloody relaxing.
The program for each day was exceptionally taxing, and tended to following something very much like this for pretty much all of the 7-days we had on the Island...
|Saturday, 18 November 2006|
And the big day hath gone-ethAs of 18th November Kym and I are now officially Mr and Mrs Stringer.
To cut a long story short, we had a fantastic day. Thor, Jupiter, Zeus and Indra all did their best to put a damper on things earlier in the morning but by action-time it was relatively clear and it stayed that way for the rest of the day
I'm not often accused of being a stress-merchant but I have to admit to being a little bit on the freaked-up side on the morning of the event. Ever the traditionalist Kym had stayed the night at her mums, and the cat wasn't really helping any, so by the time the lads turned up for a quick beer and photo shoot I was starting to get a little rattled.
Things seemed to lax out a bit with company but then we ended up running late getting to the venue (despite having a driver trained in high-speed pursuits), fortunately thought we managed to burst up the hill out of sight of the approaching limo and had time to catch our breath before her Ladyship (and team) arrived on the scene.
Kym looked awesome. She's very appearance-concious at the best of times so I can only imagine the horrors poor Dennis had to put up with round at his place while the girls were getting ready in the morning. She seemed more nervous that I was, mind you I cant really blame her for worrying about spending a lifetime putting up with me.
The ceremony, reception, dinner and booze-up all seemed to go swimmingly. No point in thanking any individuals coz that was done on the day, and in the speeches (which were hilarious), suffice it to say it was a great day that was bizarrely over in a jiffy.
The big day hath cometh
Well this is it. The big day hath cometh.
Kym and I are tying the knot this afternoon down at Hamilton gardens. Everything is as organised as its ever gonna be, I've ticked the last to-do items off my list, shoes are polished, speeched rehearsed, and the boys are on their way round to provide moral support, assist with hair sculpting and transport to the venue.
Cock and Vike emailed me some pearls of wisdom this morning, Dave said:
and Matt volunteered...
Both sensible lads, and the sort of valuable advice I would expect from them on a day like this.
|Tuesday, 17 October 2006|
Toilet Time - one of Lifes little pleasures
When I first left school and started work I used to look forward to getting into the office at a reasonable time so I could saunter down the corridor for a nice long session with my friend the Toilet.
We'd hang out together for the first 20mins of the day, sharing a comic or newspaper, maybe playing a handheld video-game or break out the travel-chess board. Other "busy" folks would come and go in adjacent stalls but me and Toily would chuckle to ourselves then happily wallow on in our friendly little cloud of aromatic air-born particles.
The beautiful thing was that there was no rush to this morning ritual, it was a calming, peaceful, rewarding exercise that set the scene for the rest of the days labors.
Roll forward 10 or 15 years however and its dawned on me recently that I have become one of those in-and-out people I used to mock. Ablutions have become a hurried task rather than a pleasure. It seems I'm out of the stall before you can say twin-ply-rollex.
What the hell has happened? Has this modern life really become so rushed and complicated that we blindly deny ourselves simple pleasures without consideration?
I say its high time (so to speak) that we take back our right to leasurely bathroom breaks, dont give in to employers draconian demands that visitations be done on your own time or to some artificial schedule. Speak to your union rep if your worried.
Its time to Take back the Toilet !!!
o Steam motorcycle
o UFO Area: Our Special Reports
o SOA Facts
o xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe
o Helen Clarks marijuana speech 1994 Waikato University