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Life’s a Beach

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Since my last post I spent another night in Paihia, caught the Magic bus back down to Auckland for a night and then took the Intercity Coach from Auckland to New Plymouth. I’m now in Opunake, a small beach town on highway 45, also known as the Surf Highway. The Surf Highway runs along the west coast of the North Island from New Plymouth to Hawera. I arrived in Opunake Sunday afternoon spending the weekend in New Plymouth.

My last night in Paihia was quite fun. I had spent the day just kind of walking around town, doing laundry, and mostly just relaxing. That evening I went to the bar below the backpackers for a couple of beers and met a couple of locals from Auckland, Mike and Adrian, who were in town for work for a few days. Both were sales reps and were in Paihia calling on clients. I had been sitting by myself in the bar when they invited me to join them. This was a little surprising, but the New Zealanders are a freindly lot. We chatted over beers for some time, and they were even nice enough to offer me a ride back to Auckland with them the next day. I had already booked my ticket on Magic, but thought I’d skip it and join them anyway since they had offerred to show me some more of the north coast and share a room with them in Monterey. Unfortunately, as the night wore on and we all got more drunk, we lost track of each other and never did work it out. It was all just as well though because after the hard night of partying, I wasn’t that keen on getting up early to leave by 8:00. So I stuck with the original plan and caught the Magic back to Auckland at 1:30, arrivng at my backpackers around 6:00 that evening. I stayed at a new place in Auckland called the City Garden Lodge, in a district called Parnell. Parnell is a cool little burb near the University with lots of shops and cafes. After I got checked in, I rang Gavin, my friend from the Habitat build, and we met at a local pub for a burger and beer. Gavin had just finished up his work at the University of Auckland and was preparing to leave that weekend for a 5 week trip to Dubai and Europe, and will be running the Paris Marathon next weekend. We exchanged travel notes and talked about the Habitat build some more, but called it an early night and I got back to the backpackers about 9:00 or 10:00.

[read on]

Feed me, Seymour!

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

I’m sure that my legions of fans would love an easy way to know when I post new content here, without having to remember to check my site every day. Enter the RSS Feed. RSS/Atom feeds are a great way to track new content on websites, blogs, and the like.

MSN, Yahoo, and Google all offer the ability to create personalized home pages, and you can add RSS feeds to these pages. When you add content to your page, simply look for “RSS” and add in the following URL:

You can also subscribe to feeds using other more elaborate tools called RSS readers, but this is the easiest way.

Feel free to send questions if you need to.

Happy Feeding!


Google is taking over the World!

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

OK, I admit it. I love all things Google. It started out with the simple search engine. Then Gmail. Soon I discovered Picasa, Google’s free photo software. And what about Google Maps with Satellite and Google Earth. It’s all here.

My latest toy is Google Talk. It’s a new messaging app that also lets you make phone calls over the internet for free. All you need is a broadband connection, and a speaker and microphone or one of those geeky telemarketing headsets. I’m going to see if I can make it work with a bluetooth headset, then I can get up and wander around while I talk.

I’m thinking this is going to save me a lot of money on calls while traveling. Pretty cool, eh?