BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Well, last night in Vancouver! I won't be posting on this blog for the next 5 1/2 months, so if you are wondering what Emillie and I are up to, visit our bike tour website .
Cheers!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Results are... I pass my thesis defense with minor revisions!! Woohoo! The presentation today went very well, with all the prof's returning nothing but constructive criticism.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I'm now TWICE an uncle with my new nephew, Gavin, earlier this week. Yah to Dina and Ben!! We'll have to chat when I can come down to visit!

Thesis defense is tomorrow. I'm all set for it. Then a few revisions (hopefully) and I'm done!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Cleo is gone. She's off cavorting with some hopefully friendly male geckos. We couldn't find anyone in Vancouver that could take care of her for when we are in Europe, so we put an ad in the Buy and Sell. John in the West End took her, and is hoping to get her to mate with a male that he has... we might be able to pick up a baby gecko when we get back! Anyways, her cage is empty... very sad. I took a few pics of her before she left. I put one of the pics as a test in our 'new' touring blog for Europe... getting all set for the trip CAN'T WAIT!

So we have a new digital camera (thanks Mom and Dad!!!) to use when we're there. It's working great, and the battery life is way better than we were expecting. It's a Samsung Digimax 300, by the way... good bang for the buck. We'll decide on the trip whether we entirely endorse it, but so far so good.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Updates are coming in slow now, but I'm still kicking.
Handed in my thesis to my committee yesterday. Good to have that away; the defense on the 18th should be a go now.
Still working on getting our trip in order too. Almost there! We can taste it! Got our first hostel booking (Amsterdam is REAL busy in July! It's crazy!). Have to replace our rear wheel as well. There were some hairline cracks in the rim... it'll go at sometime, so we decided to replace while we had control.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Just came back from a trip back to the Gar. Primo! Needed that. It was great to see Dina, Ben, Mom, Dad, Michele, Tristan and Fred.
Thesis due by Friday... almost done! Defense is TENTATIVELY scheduled for June 18th.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Emillie and I are set up at my bro's now, downtown in Yaletown. Sweet digs! And one of the best bike parking I've ever had!
We're about to do the last move of stuff from Emillie's parents to the new condo.
I'll send out the address soon.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Iiiii'mmmmmmm baaaaaack! Just a few hitches on the flight home (like the flight from ChCh to Auckland was cancelled!), but I got home just 2 hours later than expected. Just taking it easy for the next few days and settling in. We can be reached on the cell phone for the next few months while we're staying at Pete's.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Just received word that my first conference submission to the Personal Indoor and Mobile Research Conference in Barcelona has been accepted! So, I'll be in Barcelona between Sept 5th and 8th this year! Cool eh?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Sweet As!! So, we spent Friday night in Reefton, a little gold mining village in a valley just before the true West Coast. Very nice! Braided rivers everywhere. The three of us, Read, Garth (our guide) and me, left early Sat morning to hit the water. We each caught 1, 1.5 and 2 lbs., and Read got a massive 6 lb. on line (for a second!). It was amazing... I mean, this fish is the grandpa eh? Huge, and knew that he was in trouble. Broke the line without a problem.
Well, entering my last week in ChCh. I'll be seeing all you Canucks in the next while eh?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Welllll.... no rugby game for me, since the fishing trip is gonna probably take a bit longer than anticipated. We'll see, but it's not looking hopefully. But the trip is gonna be sweet! This buddy of mine has a friend on the West coast who is a guide, and he's gonna take us around. Primo!

This past Sunday I went to Hanmer Springs hotsprings. It was soooo nice... unique too, since they have like 6 different temperature pools, and you can REALLY tell the difference! Went there at night, so it was slightly foggy; the best for hot springs eh?

Well, coming near the end! I leave ChCh on next Friday morning (the 30th). Back to where the sun is!

Already got a trip planned to visit Dina and Ben, Mom and Dad, and Meesh, Fred and TJ. Kinda fly by wire, but it's on the long weekend, 1 day in the loops, 3 nights in the Gar and lunch or dinner in Kelowna, probably not the night, but our options are open. Emillie, me, and two of my lab mates from SFU are on the plate right now.

That's nuff right now...

Monday, April 12, 2004

Mellow weekend this long weekend. Finally made my visit to see the Kiwi bird. Went to Willowbank on Sunday and saw 4 giant brown kiwi. Awesome! Quite an odd bird, and I can see why they are such an icon. Never seen anything like it. It was very surreal, being in the nocturnal house with 4 kiwi running around, each about the size of a basketball with a 6 inch beak diving headfirst into the ground searching for worms. They have such the oddest movement I've ever seen! Also saw the Tuatara, an indiginous lizard that is touted as the last remaining dinosaur. About a foot long, and not too active, but supposedly can live up to 300 years! Crazyness...
2 weekends left! Getting close to the end over here. On my last weekend I'll most probably be the busiest, hopefully seeing a Bulls vs. Crusaders game at Jade Stadium (rugby) and going over to Westland for a bit of fly-fishing. Can't wait! Been a while...

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

On Saturday, I was cycling to Akaroa in my bike shorts and shirt in beautiful, 15+ deg weather. Today I cycled into work in rain, freezing my hands, at 3 deg. Weather systems here are quite fickle!
Yeah, last weekend, a friend of mine and myself cycled from Christchurch to Akaroa to stay on Sat. night. Awesome ride. Was a little drizzly on Sunday for our ride back, but bearable. The Summit Road is highly recommended on a clear day... the bay (if that's what it is called, don't remember) where Akaroa and Duvachelle are located is amazing, and the road also pops in behind some hills to get a view North and East of the ocean. Unreal... I'll have some pics to post when I develop them (no digital cam anymore!).

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Only 5 weeks left! It's getting time to step up the thesis process seems :>
And after 4 months and cycling throughout Canterbury and driving around the South Island, I finally found a different and VERY important driving rule difference between NZ and Canada... besides riding on the other side of the road. When turning left (right) at an intersection, the person crossing your lane, ie. turning right (left), has the right-of-way!! Opposite to everywhere else it seems, and a source of most intersection accidents with foreigners.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Finally put up my last roll of pictures! They are mostly of my cycling of the Port Hills (about a 40km? round trip from Christchurch on bike) Check them out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Hey ya'll... check out the touring website that Emillie and I have been working on together. It's replaced the old cycling website I started. Links on the bar on the left. Have some old cycling pictures posted under our past trip Gulf Islands 2003 (in the Blog) too.

Made my first batch of borscht in NZ. Worked out pretty well I'd say. I gotta get this think nailed down soon... could be handy in Eastern Europe! Emillie and I are relatively unsure about what food we'll be able to find there.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Not much going on at the moment. I will be posting a few more pictures from mine and Emillies trips during xmas and a bunch from an afternoon I spent in the Port Hills.
Still looking for possible cheap tickets to Brisbane Dina, but even the corporate discount I can get through work is at $400 (plus I can't use it until I after mid-March, which isn't much good, eh?).
Claire, Emillie's sister, should be arriving in ChCh somewhere around March 20th. That'll be fun. Otherwise, I might take a long weekend in Wellington to say I spent some time on the North Island. Plane tickets are around $55 one way if you go during the week. Not too bad! So if I don't go to Brisbane, I'll be visiting Wellington fer sure. It's supposed to be the art and funk capital of NZ, with a street that seems a bit reminiscent of my beloved Commercial Drive (it's called Cuba Street!).
Later all...

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Sweet as! I won some tickets to an improv play for yesterday. Went with a buddy from work. Very nice! It was at the local Art Club Theatre (http://www.courttheatre.org.nz/). They started with getting the improv terms from the audience (like "name a country" and "give me an object you buy at a grocery store", etc.). Then they modified their script to fit in all the stuff they gleaned from the audience on the fly. Very well done. Even had a live DJ; the DJ started a techno radio station in ChCh a while back, which is where I won my tickets from. The DJ did all the sound work. Pretty cool to see him trying to match these two improv actors actions with special audio effects.
Highly recommended!

Monday, February 23, 2004

Bummer. No more pictures for me. I lost the camera. Dropped out of my pannier.
Went surfing yesterday. Was good fun, and will hopefully head back out in the upcoming weekends.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Fairly slack weekend. Went to karaoke for a friends bday; good times.
Emillie and I are inching ever closer to our summer goal. We now have our tickets booked. Next is passport visas. :>
Last week I also gave my first tutorial at Tait. It went well, except for that it was on a boring and very detailed subject. Gives them some good notes to work from in the future though. My other tutorials should be funner. And I'll probably put something to spice it up, ala one of our ENSC profs. If anyone out there has any good ideas on how to spice up the boring bits, drop me a line.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Done. Got my Routeburn pics up. Check out the album (album A) (album B).
And if you want to see semi-professional pictures, this guy did the exact trek we did, only in reverse, and he took two extra days. haha. Anyways, he's got some of the great pictures that my little digital camera just couldn't produce. I only published the ones that look semi-decent. Specifically, check out Harris Lake (that's the mountain tarn that I forgot to get a decent photo of).

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Well, I made it back alive! Looked doubtful for a while... the 2 guys I went with train for this stuff! 12 hours for my first day was a bit much for my body I think. Paid for it with a very tired and fed up knee... it decided to seize up on the last day. But I made it out with a good walking stick, and since it was only a final 3 hour walk, it wasn't too bad.
I'll post up some pictures when I get a chance to sort through them. Most didn't turn out well, since it was overcast for the first, and longest, day. But there's a few that are worth looking at.
And Queenstown is quite nice. We just stopped for lunch on Sunday. Very much the tourist spot. And I could definitely see the attraction for anyone under 30 who is backpacking around... very trendy, party scene.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

This weekend kinda bit. It rained the whole time and all of my plans fell through. So Sunday, to avoid getting cabin fever, I decided to go to a Transport and Science museum. Interesting idea, but very mom and pop... a Russian in the guestbook summed it up perfectly: "seems like you just put your junk on display. Nice and old junk, but still junk. Good collection!". Granted, they had a very good collection of old cars and wagons. Everything else is a shambles. Could barely fit into some of the rooms, it felt like! And the lighting was VERY poor, hence I only had a few pictures that turned out on our mini-digi-cam.


None of my buggy/carriage pictures turned out (they were really old! and in good condition), and most of the car ones didn't either. Although thankfully, the one I really wanted to turn out did! I was impressed by this... an electric car from 1980. In production! From New Zealand!? Never caught on, and I gather they went under from trying...





here is the plaque for it...





When I exited the carriage 'barn', I ended up attracting a few followers...








Highlight of my trip! Finally, for good measure, here was another cool item. A one-handed, pedal wheelchair! Steer with the left hand, pedal with the right. (the picture almost turned out... see if you can find the hand crank! It's on the right hand side, almost at head level)





Friday, January 30, 2004

Now it looks like my little Kairkoura road trip is going to be delayed :(
However, that's because I may be going on a tramping (hiking) trip to the South of the Island!! :>
It's called the Routeburn...
and no, we're NOT taking the tour from the link above... we're just renting some huts for a few bux a night. This link might give better info, since it's by the govt.
Plan to leave next Thursday night, hike Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and return Sunday night. Pretty packed trip, but I'm not planning it. Going with Stefan, another Brad, and someone else (don't know them yet) from Tait.

And here are some pics, for fun. The first one is to show off the surrealist quality that our camera can take on sometimes. If the lighting is just right, it really mucks up the CMOS, I guess (have to ask the semiconductor guys at the lab sometime...)





And this one is for all you activists out there. The sign says "Civil Defence" with an arrow pointing left. I guess it's someone's way of making the point, but the funny thing is that it's right by a school... guess they have some fairly liberal teachers.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Well, change of plans. No more Dutch. I have had too many people (and myself) telling me that Dutch is not worth it. I think it's true, since we'll only be in Belgium and Holland for a few weeks. So, I'm gonna focus more on German. And I'll take an Indian cooking course instead! Should be fun. They're doing the whole spectrum... meals, appies, dessert. Starts in a few weeks.
Kung-fu is going well. The new style is really nice. And everyone is super friendly. Turns out that 90% of the students are... students! Grad students and such.
And my first conference paper is on it's way. I'll be sending it in for submission in the next few weeks. Hopefully it gets accepted. Then Emillie and I will have to start planning out how we plan to get to and from Barcelona. The conference is in mid-Sept., and we plan to be near Poland at that time. So we'll probably train (or find a cheap flight) to Barcelona just for a week. Anyways, it'll be interesting to see how it works out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I'm getting all setup for stuff to do in my open evenings... so far I've enrolled in a Dutch course starting in a few weeks (getting preped for our biking start in Amstredam) and will be attending a Kung-Fu class twice a week. Looks like fun... it's again a new style, different from the last one I did. Very relaxed atmosphere, which is key (reminds me of Master Sutherland's class in Robson). A friend from work introduced me to it, so I even have a built in sparring partner (:>), as long as I don't hit too hard, anyways...
http://www.taichichuan.co.nz/
That's the link. Also plan to go to the friday Buskers evening show. Should be fun! The festival ends this Sunday.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Hello everyone...
well, the International Buskers Festival is on right now in Christchurch. I've seen a few acts so far. A contortionist, and woman rolling in a hamster wheel (she was quite good, entering and exiting the wheel while it was rolling), and a yo-yo exhibitionist. Here are some pictures of the yo-yo guy (and one of the yo-yo girl).


The first is of the yo-yo guy with a "looong" yo-yo.



And one of their finale, with both yo-yo guy and gal.



Finally got over to Lyttelton. I went on a trip this past Saturday afternoon. It was nice out, and I just had new gears put on my bike (finally! I can change 1 gear at a time!).

This first pic is at the pass between Lyttelton and Christchurch. Man, is the way down ever quick... I had a wind at my back for the whole way down, and could have easily passed the cars I was following.



This one is looking down the bay towards the Pacific, after getting down the hill.



And this one is looking in the other direction, East.



This is a pic of a little inlet on the way up the bay to Lyttelton. Thought the boats were cool.



And here is a village across from Lyttelton. Can't remember the name right now...



Lyttelton is older than Christchurch, and has nice buildings, but it's rather compact and has no central area to take a photo of (that I found, anyways). It is the main port for the South Island however, and thus has a lot of activity. I thought that this loader was interesting... it was capable of stacking 3 railway boxes on top of each other. The drivers were as frantic as ants, unloading a freshly arrived cargo ship.



And on my way back, I went through Sumner. Here is a pic of Sumner as viewed from the top of the pass.



Later all.



Sunday, January 18, 2004

Well, if anyone's noticed, I've finally added mine and Emillie's Bowron lakes trip photos in a photo album. Just a few pics that I chose. We were on the lake circuit for 6 or 7 days at the end of July this past summer. Good times!

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Not too much going on right now... it's just too hot outside! I'll hit the beach tomorrow.
I'll be putting up some pictures from our Bowron lakes trip this summer 2002. A little late, but better late then never. And my fish Gus died :< He was kinda acting weird since I got him in any case... ask Emillie. Well Jack and Meg are doing ok (named for the white stripe down one of Meg's sides). Think that Gus, who was a Bronze fin-tail goldfish, just had too much excitement on the trek back from the pet store. We had them in a bag on the handlebar of the tandem.
Oh, and I'm finally getting started in my languages for our Europe trip. Guten tag! Ich bin au Vancouver. Ich wohner au Christchurch.
Need to brush up on my Russian too though... ochen trudnaya, kogda ya chitaet v german ee russkee!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Posted another album of mine and Emillies road trips to Akaroa, Castle Hill Basin, and Nelson, with our beach trip to Sumner as well. Check em out! Real cool pictures of Castle Hill ( Emillie, you're right, I love this little camera! )

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Emillie has been here and gone. I'll be putting up the latest pictures of our car trip to Nelson, and our daytripping around the Plains. Now that I have the funky new digital camera, I'll be posting pictures all the time! Happy New Year everyone!