Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thieving pilot jerks

Remember that amazing helicopter ride I went on? Well it turns out that the pilots (both the guy that took us in and the guy that brought us out) are jade thieves. Jade, also known as greenstone here or pounamu here is sacred to the Maori people of New Zealand. They are not Maori and have been stealing and selling it for years. Check out the story and their sketchiness here.

Surfs Up Dude!

Back from Oz and back to work :( But while we were there we had a great time! We flew home Sunday evening, so we took full advantage of the morning/early afternoon and took a surfing lesson! I'm not gonna lie, the waves were no tubes like the one pictured above. All-the-same Blue and I were able to ride some in. Along with the waves, we also caught some knarly sunburns. Bummer dude. At least it was on the last day of our vacation, dude.

Oz (I'm not sure if that is a british or a kiwi term, but it means australia. I'm pretty sure I never heard it until we moved here, but I like it) was pretty great, once it stopped raining and the sun came out! It's a big place with many many things to see and do. We kept our trip pretty coastal and even took a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, my first snorkeling experience, can't say it disappointed. I hope to put up some pics soon, but for now I'm trying to catch up on laundry and put things away.

On a knitting related note. I took the socks I am working on, on the plane. No trouble getting out of NZed. Getting out of Oz however was a different story. They told me that knitting needles were a big no-no because they are a long pointy object! Surely not my turbos, they could never hurt anyone! Plus I have called (only in the U.S. of course) about knitting needles before and given the ok, nor have I ever had a problem flying with knitting needles. So the security guy was consulting security guy #2 and thankfully they decided that my beautiful little turbos were no more dangerous than a pen - phew! So I didn't end up crying like I thought I was going to. I don't think they sell turbos here (plus it was 2 pair) and they are just too expensive to replace. They are safely resting next to me now. From now on they are going in checked luggage which is too bad 'cause I usually only end up knitting on the plane.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


While at the local library, I.D. magazine caught my eye. On the cover was a hand-crafted wedding gown (out of recycled plastic). Being in the midst of planning my own wedding, I added it to my stack. I finally got around to thumbing through it the other day and found everything in it interesting; the pictures, the articles, even the letters to the editor. Being a scientist and not an artist, I had never stumbled across this bad boy before and am ever so happy I did. However, their webpage does not even remotely stack up to the magazine itself (or at least the issue I checked out).

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Waitangi Day!

This is a video from the helicopter.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Need. To. Vent.

So there is this guy at the gym that always hogs the stations, machines, benches, basically anything and everything you need to use, at the same time! I commented to blue about him one time and he says, oh you mean little arm guy? Me, I'm like, wha? He has a little arm, I never noticed, I'll have to check that out. So I filed that away until my next encounter, sure enough, he does have one short arm, whaddayaknow.

Anyway, today was no different than any other day in little arm guy world, he's hoggin' again. Two sets of free weights were sitting on the bench I needed to use so I chipped away at the usual exercises, checking back to see if the weights have moved and to confirm that indeed it is little arm guy. Well time kept ticking away and I got through everything except for the few exercises I do on the bench in the free weight area. Check, weights still there. And I says to myself, "self go move those and get on with it, he can't be hoggin' all the time like that, it's a small gym after all. What does little arm guy thinks he's special because he has a little arm? or perhaps for another reason unknown to you." So I go over and move the huge weights, one at a time, with two hands for each. Sure enough, as soon as I get them down to the ground, little arm guy runs over to let me know he was just about to use that. And I say to little arm guy (in my nicest voice ;), ok, but could you please not just leave your weights here to "save" the bench (no I didn't do air quotes). And he tries to rationalize with me, like I don't know he does this all the time while he goes on multiple other pieces of equipment, he tells me that it is OK to go and have a drink of water and then come back. So of course I have to say, "but you don't just go have a drink of water and come back, you go and use other machines. It's a small gym and other people may want to use the equipment you aren't currently using." And he says, "yes they may."

So I put the weights back that I was going to use, realize that I would just have to stand there and wait some more for little arm guy in order to complete my workout, and I leave. I hate confrontation, but I'm not afraid to use it necessary situations such as these.

On an up note, I went to yoga today at lunch and it was lovely. Blue's advisor was in the class and it took me a while to compose myself (aka not giggle myself into a stupor).