Archive for January, 2006

by Angela
on Jan 31st, 2006

Flying Solo in Christchurch

Well yesterday was my first day alone in Christchurch. Jim left for Japan at 4:30am. It was a beautiful 75F, sunny skies and light breeze (this statement is written for all those who are reading in Peoria, IL). Since my work hours are now split between US and India, I left work at 2:30pm. I went home and invited my neighbor for a walk. She agreed even though she just had a busy day in the garden. I met her daughter, who is a pilot. Way to go girl :). So off we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Ngaira and I were doing pretty good on the flats until we had to climb up the hill on Penruddick Rise to get back to our house. All and all we made in back to the house . It was fun. I wonder if Ngaira would agree to go for a walk again ;).

Unfortunately the closing for the evening is getting back to work and conferencing with India. Well, such is life I suppose.

Hi to all in Peoria.

by Jim
on Jan 21st, 2006

Painful pizza

“Winnie Bagoes” was highly recommended as the best pizza in Christchurch and we finally got around to checking it out. Very good indeed, though we didn’t get the recommended pizza type (“The Kiwi”) and went instead for The Spicy Lamb. We both agree that it was probably the hottest meal we’ve ever had, and we both like spicy food. Sadly some of it was left on the platter, but after a certain amount of sniffling and crying you’ve just had enough. I think this place holds a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to trying some of their other pizzas. Too bad so many shops in the US haven’t accepted that more than pepperoni and cheese can top a pizza.

by Jim
on Jan 18th, 2006

C’est La Vie in Akaroa

We had a nice time in Akaroa. The town is a tiny tourist spot that was originally settled by the French and now tries to stay French in appearance (i.e. the Bon-Email internet hut). Of course it’s main asset is the beautiful harbor that it’s set in, so most accommodations and dining are right on the water. Aside from the few cafés and shops, there isn’t all that much to do in the town. The big draws seem to be the various harbor tour companies which offer various permutations of sight seeing, dolphin seeing, penguin seeing, swimming with dolphins, etc. Just a plain vanilla harbor tour was highly recommended to us by a non-Akaroan and we signed up for that first thing on Saturday, but to our disappointment the tour was cancelled due to bad weather. The water was indeed choppy for the 30 minutes before the planned departure, but shortly after the cancellation everything calmed down and would have presumably made for a nice trip.

Akaroa is definitely a day trip, and fortunately there are shuttles to and from Christchurch which provide just that. I’m still keen to get on the harbor, but we’ll probably forego the hotel and will definitely pick favorable day for boating.

by Jim
on Jan 13th, 2006

Off to Akaroa

We’re heading off to the picturesque town of Akaroa for our 2nd wedding anniversary tonight (Friday). We’ll be coming back on Sunday and I hope to have some picturesque pictures to post on Sunday night. The weather forecast is favorable and we’re both looking forward for a little forced R&R so this should be a good trip. With so much to set up at home as well as a lot of work work, it’s been a bit hard to unwind. Akaroa’s population is only 650 and various words of advice have been: “Not really a hell of a lot to do there…”, “Bring a deck of cards…”. Sounds good to me! The only electronics allowed passage are my cellphone (which goes basically unused), and my MP3 player. Laptops are strictly verbotten.

Free Stock Advice

And on a completely unrelated note, I’m going on record that I think the meteoric stock rise of Google is over. That stock (which I once owned) has been inflated by some nice sounding deals and a lot of “they can do no wrong” enthusiasm. The consensus seems to be that they had a comparatively weak showing at the recent consumer electronics show, and their latest video and “expansion pack” efforts are sorely lacking. I’ll stick my neck out here and say they’re peaking right about now ($464).

by Jim
on Jan 11th, 2006


Quick note: Angela and I both have accounts on Skype now, so feel free to give us a friendly VoIP shout if you’re so inclined.

by Jim
on Jan 8th, 2006

My better half

…has arrived! Angela had a long (but fortunately direct) flight from Singapore to Christchurch and arrived Friday around noon. She had a lot of fun in Malaysia with her family, including BBQs and lots of shopping. Naturally she couldn’t wait to emmigrate to an altogether new country and go back to work!

As I thought might be the case, my expedient decorating needed a few tweaks here and there, and it was definitely time to hit the supermarket properly. It seems like that’s pretty much been the standing todo since I got here: go shopping every single day for common, miscellaneous items that you take for granted. Receiving our air shipment will be a big help, but that’s probably going to take at least another week. In the mean time, many thanks to everyone who has lent us dishes, utensils, pots, pans… and the list goes on.

by Jim
on Jan 3rd, 2006

Finally a site feed

This is neither NZ related nor particularly interesting to most people, but this site now has an ATOM feed. If you see an icon resembling this in your web browser or email client, you should be able to drag it to your toolbar and effectively subscribe to the site. When new postings appear, you’ll see them in your browser bookmarks or email program. The site feed URL will be in the Links section for reference.

by Jim
on Jan 2nd, 2006

Go the Utrillo!

The French “Utrillo” will carry our container from Norfolk to Auckland from 13 Jan -> 03 Feb. I’m not sure how the stuff will then get to Christchurch, but that will take until 11 Feb.

For those interested in such things, the full route for this ship that just keeps going around the world is copied below. You can ride along (in a fairly nice cabin, not container) on the 84-day journey for about $13,000.

Utrillo Itinerary
Tilbury, UK; Rotterdam, Holland; Hamburg, Germany; Le Havre, France; New York, NY, Norfolk, VA and Savannah, GA, USA; Manzanillo, Panama; transit the Panama Canal; Pepeete, Tahiti; Auckland, New Zealand; Noumea, New Caledonia; Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle, Australia; Singapore; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; transit the Suez Canal; Damietta, Egypt; Malta; La Spezia, Italy and back to Northern Europe

by Jim
on Jan 1st, 2006

A room with a view

I’m happy to say I’ve rung in the new year in the house. Chris had the good idea to just go and rent some furniture, so we rented a trailer and got things moved in Friday night. With a bed,table, TV and internet I’m pretty much set! On Friday night we had a beautiful sunset, and here’s a snapshot from the 2nd floor of the house:

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