8.31.2005

Everyone's headed back to SJU, and I've started getting the SJU admin. spam again. Makes me a bit home/school-sick, especially realizing that last year was my last season of the leaves changing in the arboreatum and football games and all of those sorts of things. No season at St. John's can compare with the fall.

*sigh*

On the bright side, I am looking forward to the climbing trip down to Christchurch; should be quite the adventure.
Not the bible is really excellent.

And I have a cavity.

And I'm getting excited for the christchurch climbing trip.




I'm pretty sure none of those are related.

8.29.2005

I found this online today. Wow.


"I like to fill my tub up with water, then turn the shower on and act like I'm in a submarine that's been hit.


god, i'm a loser"




and one more:





When I was five, my older brother accidently broke our teacup poodle's neck by spanking it off of the couch.

The next day, the entire family rushed to the pound and replaced it with a used wiener dog.


I was so happy. I played with our new dog for hours, until it crawled underneath the coffee table totally exhausted.


Like a midget army soldier, I crawed in after him and began to smile at him directly in the face.


Apparently, the little wiener didn't like that too much and quickly began to use my nose as a chew toy. I screamed so loud, our dog had a heart attack and died later that evening. I don't even think we had time to name him.


2 dogs in 2 days. I just love dogs.
What happens when you take a kid from the midwest, used to living 3,500 miles from the beach, give him a bus ticket and send him to one of the best surf beaches in the world all by his lonesome? He learns things. Like:

1) Waves look a lot bigger when you're paddling into them than they do from up on the boardwalk

2) The whitewash from a broken wave can be over your head

3) 9ft waves are HUGE

4) Being nice to the hostel staff can get you far

5) Drunken rugby players will take your dry top, forcing you to chase around the hostel and miss your early-morning tide

6) Offshore winds will try to push your boat out into the ocean

7) Breaking 9-footers are powerful enough to implode your skirt and dump you end-over-end onto your head

8) If you lose your contact lens on a windy beach you will never, ever find it.

9) It's possible to transport your 6ft kayak by bus and sweet-talk the driver into not charging you for it

10) If you have a 40lb boat and a 60lb pack full of wet paddling gear, you shouldn't opt to hike the couple miles home instead of calling your flatmates. Straping the kayak to the pack won't work. It will still be heavy. You will be sore the next morning. Trust me.



It was quite the weekend.

8.24.2005

I found a great site, live365.com, which has a bunch of streaming radio stations. I was getting a bit tired of all of the music on my iPod, and some of the punk stations are really good.

I just read a story on boatertalk.com about a death on the Salmon river and this, combined with the worries of my family and girlfriend about my swim last weekend, made me reflect a bit on kayaking. Most of this unfolded in a conversation with Courtney, though the boatertalk article prompted me to work it over a bit more.

The more I think about it the more I've affirmed my decision to paddle. A glance at the stats shows that in all of paddlesports the deaths per year are in the low 100s. 60% of those deaths were in cases where the paddler wasn't wearing a PFD, and well over half constituted canoe deaths. On top of that, every rapid I scout I consider huh, is this rapid going to kill me? If it looks like it will, I won't run it. I trust myself and my team on the river.

I figure there's still a better chance I'll die from a car crash, and driving isn't nearly as much fun as paddling.

Anyway, enough talk of death. This isn't Hoffman's blog after all...



Not sure what's on for the weekend yet; I may get out and catch some surf if I can't put together a whitewater trip. Looks like a road trip around the south island may be in order for midsemester break, but that's a bit up in the air as well.

8.22.2005

I've been rocking the Avril Lavigne today. Not quite sure what that says about my state of mind.

My buddy Kyle is engaged now. Good for him. Apparantly he started the proposal by asking his girlfriend "if she'd like to be buried with my people." Ah Kyle...

Yesterday I had an experience that just about epitomized my experience here; I was waiting outside for my ride to the river to show up, outlining an essay I had to write and listening to the newborn lambs in the paddocks beyond the dorms baaaa to their mothers. It was sunny, and the mountains beyond the sheep paddocks were clear in the distance.

The little lamby-lambs are really cute.

8.21.2005

Had a hell of a weekend, trip report up here. Kickass kayaking, 23 foot falls, big swim, exciting stuff. In other news, things have been going pretty well. I've been coasting as far as school work goes, but it sounds like I actually have to do stuff this weekend. Oh well.

September break has jumped up on me; I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I want to get to the south island, but I'm not sure what I want to do when I get there.

I've been writing some and I've been getting work done on the law school apps, so that's good. Otherwise, things are generally peachy.

8.15.2005

Photos from the weekend are up.

Oh, and last night I was almost attacked by a black swan. The two swans in the pond on campus have baby swans (not goslings, but what?). They're cute little gray puffballs. Anyway, I was walking home from the alpine club meeting and didn't see them until ma and pa started squawking at me and coming at me. I almost took a swing at them with my bag but realized that an international student killing a black swan on campus probably wouldn't be looked on too fondly.

8.14.2005

Had a really good trip this weekend with the Ruiahene and Hutt Valley whitewater clubs. Two rivers, both Grade III-III+. I ran them both in my little Rad, which turned out to be a pretty decent little river runner. It was a good group of paddlers, though there were a lot of them (20!). I'll have more photos and story when I get around to typing them and getting the photos sorted; I'll post them over here.

Oh, turns mohagano is actually mangaho. Good to know.

Let's see. In other news, Courtney is moving into an apartment in Newport Beach and starting a job in a theatre pretty soon, so that's exciting. I'm still pretty much coasting along as far as classes go, though I think at some point I actually have to do some work this week. And yeah, more paddling next weekend. Wahoo!

8.11.2005

The photos from mohagano are in. More on my paddling site.
I had a wonderful milkshake the other day. Wonderful. I've been writing a lot too, which has been good, especially since I have to turn in a thesis when I get back to Minnesota.

The other day I attended a drama club meeting, and it looks like I'll be bringing the 24 hour theatre festival to New Zealand. It worked really well when we ran it at CSB, so hopefully it will run smoothly here as well. I'm a little worried about getting enough people to turn out for the thing, but by the looks of it I get to be the brains of everything and deligate the publicity to other people. Should be a good time.

Some friends and I are also looking into chartering a sailboat in Able Tasman national park (north end of south island, lots of little islands and harbors). I sail, and one of my flatmates is a bit sailor who's itching to get back on the water, so we may be able to make things work pretty well. The boats aren't astronomically expensive either. We'll see what works out.

8.10.2005

I've set up a new site primarily for my paddling while I'm here on the request of a buddy back in the states. I'm sure some posts will be pretty much doubled up, but I'll probably skim over the paddling info a little bit here and go more in-depth into trip reports and such there.

http://www.paddlehard.blogspot.com

8.07.2005

A couple more photos of Damo at Mohagano:

I'm still sort of stuffy, but the whole feverish-sickness is pretty much gone. It looks like I'll have paddling road trips set up for the next two weekends; in the process of heading to rivers I'll manage to see most of the north island. Pretty good way to travel if you ask me. Other than that not a lot is going on; a bit of reading/writing/studying/climbing/cards/movies/etc., but nothing too out of the ordinary.

8.06.2005

Bah. So I've been sick the past couple days; it started as a flu but has evolved into a head cold. I think I'm on the upswing at least. Haven't done much as a result, though I got some writing done the other day.

Oh, and don't ever see the movie Swordfish. Your time can be spent better somewhere else.

8.02.2005















More photos from Mahagano. This is Damian, one of the locals I've befrinded.

Yesterday was a lot of fun, I got to climb and paddle in the same day. Sounds like I'm doing some paddling today too. Yippie! We're also planning on doing a road trip in three weeks. If all goes as planned we'll be running the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the southen hemisphere (7 meters). Should be a good time. Classes and everything are going pretty well; I've started law school applications for my short list schools (Berkley, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, UCLA, Pepperdine, Lewis and Clark), so that's all kinds of fun.