…Uhg…Too Hot!

P1000366We took the dogs for a walk to Wadestown this morning, and the heat really got to them.  Even though most of the walk took place in the shade of the trees, they both got quite warm.  Walnut was hilarious, as he paced himself really well.  He was always about ten metres behind, just taking his own sweet time.  Angus, being Angus, ran virtually the entire way there, and had to be carried back for about 1/4 of the walk.
We met up with a really nice hound cross at the end of the walk, and that seemed to help invigorate the dogs again.

Where's My Kindle?

One of the things that I have been craving lately, gadget-wise, is a Kindle.  I don’t want a smart phone, or a netbook…ok, a netbook would be cool, but for the most part, I really want a Kindle.  For a while, I didn’t think I would be able to get one, because of the high price tag.  Now however, Kristie will let me get a Kindle if I transcribe all of her PhD interviews for her.  That is so cool!  I was going to do that for her anyway, but now I get a cool reward.
The problem that I hadn’t anticipated however, was the fact that the Kindle is not available anywhere but the US.  This is due to the method of connectivity that it uses, known as Amazon WhisperNet, which uses the Sprint network.  There are plans for a launch of the Kindle in the UK, but there have been various delays, and there is no definitive deadline as to their availability.
Without the WhisperNet, the only way to get the content you need for the Kindle would be to use a USB cable and download the information from your computer.  This would be acceptable, but wouldn’t be the most expedient method of getting the content I want.
I am hoping, that by the end of the transcription process, which should take a fair amount of time, that the Kindle will be available in more markets than just the US.

What We Got For Christmas

15:36 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

Here are some of the things that we got with the money that Kristie’s parents gave to us for Christmas.
A couple of the items that we bought with the Christmas money was a new wall clock and a picnic blanket.   The picnic blanket is really cool, as it rolls tightly, and is bound by a carry on strap.  Also, the underside of the blanket is lined with plastic, in case you are on wet grass or sand.

We got them from this new store called Dogs Breakfast Trading Company.  It seems like a toned down version of Jysk, which is a toned down version of Ikea.  There isn’t near the amount of items available, but the prices seem to be reasonable, and the items they offer are quite fun and free spirited.

ClothesIn addition to this, we both picked up some new clothes.  I got a new shirt from a store called Line7, and Kristie picked up a jacket from David Lawrence, as well as a pair of shorts from Sussan.

FlipperFinally, we bought a new spatula from Farmers, when we were purchasing our new bread maker.
Here is a tip for those just starting out, and looking to purchase items for their new home: Buy quality!  We bought some cheap spatulas, and the basically kept disintegrating when we would use them on a hot surface.  This new one is much better, it is silicone, and very flexible for those hard to flip pancakes!
Thanks Don & Jeannet!

Day is Done

MachineWell, the weather kind of got better towards the end of the day, Kristie and I went to Te Papa to view the Colossal Squid exhibit, but it was an absolute madhouse in there.  There was a huge line up just to see the squid, and that didn’t include the shoulder to shoulder crowds that were throughout the museum itself.  In the end, we decided to leave as it wasn’t worth it.
There is another exhibit that I would like to go to before it leaves Wellington, and that is the Leonardo Da Vinci Machines exhibit at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Art.  The exhibit has over sixty, working, interactive models that correspond to Da Vinici’s sketches.
It will be in Wellington, until February 15th, so I will pick a day, after I am back on my regular work week.

Here King! Here Boy

08:37 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

TudorsWe’re about 3/4 through season one of the Tudors, and maybe it is just me, or maybe it is how the portray Henry VIII, but it seems to me that the biggest accomplishment of this king is the fact that he pretty much screwed anything that wasn’t nailed down, and he managed to switch allegiances, just as fast as he switched mistresses.
“I love the King of France…I hate the King of France.”
“I love the Emperor of Spain…I hate the Emperor of Spain…I wonder what the French King is up to? …”
Ok, the quotation marks don’t actually denote the true dialogue of the movie, but it is pretty much what he was all about.
They don’t go into any detail, at least in this season, about what kind of a King he was; what he did for his people, what good he did while he reigned.  Maybe, he didn’t do any good.  Maybe he was as self obsessed as they portray him.  I just think if your going to make a series about someone, you may want to delve a little deeper into his life.

Nice Relaxing Sunday

08:27 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

Cloud over WellingtonThe weather here in Karori, didn’t look like it would evolve into much today, but luckily, we were proven wrong.  When we first got up in the morning, the winds were quite strong, and the clouds were quite dense; after looking at the forecast, we thought we were in for a pretty sour day.  Like so many other days here in Wellington, the day proved to be unpredictable.
After breakfast, we decided to take the dogs for an early walk into Wadestown.  During the ten minute drive from Karori to Wadestown, we noticed that the further along we went, the clearer the skies became.  By the time we got to Wadestown, the sky was pretty much blue, and fast moving clouds.  It was quite warm there as well.
After an hour long walk, we dropped the dogs off at home, and headed down to the Farmer’s market on the waterfront.  It wasn’t nearly as busy as it had been in the past, and there were fewer merchants as well.  We wanted to make a fruit crisp for dessert tonight, so we bought some mandarins, nectarines, strawberries, and some rhubarb.  After we had finished up at the Farmer’s market, we took another long walk along the waterfront.  All the while, the sun was getting warmer, and the sky was getting clearer.  By the time we arrived back at the car, the day had pretty much morphed into a spectacularly sunny day.
As it was quite warm out, when we got home, we decided not to cook a meal, but instead made a chickpea salad, with pita’s and tzatziki.  Dinner was quite easy, and quick, but it was a wonderful meal for such a warm day.
After dinner, we brought the dogs to Wadestown again for another walk.  We weren’t expecting too much from them, as they had already spent a long time in the sun, exercising, but they surprised us.  They made it through the entire walk without incident.  (Many times when Angus has had enough, he demands to be picked up).
When we got home from the walk, we decided to make the crisp, as the evening was settling in, and it wouldn’t be too bad to turn on the oven.  About half an hour later, the crisp was ready, and we ate it up, with vanilla yoghurt.  While it was cooking, and a little further into the evening, we watched a couple of episodes of the Tudors.  Not long after that we decided to head off to bed.
Not an exciting day, but a very relaxing and enjoyable day.

Oh Well, That's Wellington

HatWe had planned on heading off to the Kapiti coast today, to do some fun and frolicking on the beach, but in just a few short hours, the forecast has changed from Glorious to cloudy and windy.
We think Walnut worked his weather magic in order to sour the deal, as he knew he could come with us to the beach.  We just can’t prove it.
Hopefully the weather turns brighter tomorrow.

Boxing Day Shopping

BreadmakerWe weren’t originally planning to go shopping for anything meaningful on Boxing day, but yesterday our bread maker bought the farm.  For the last couple of loaves that we’ve made, we found that the top was sinking, after we took it out of the pan.  The final loaf had virtually the entire thing collapse in upon itself.  It was like there was a mini black hole within the loaf.  While this is entirely possible, it is not very likely as black holes usually exist towards the centre of galaxies, rather than the outer arm, where we reside.
Upon closer examination, I found that the heating coil, wasn’t very hot to the touch.  I know this, because I often put my bare finger onto the heating coils of recently used bread machines.  Anyway, as Kristie and I use our bread maker virtually once a week, we thought that boxing day would be a good day to purchase one.  Along the way, we also bought a few clothing items for ourselves.  Kristie bought a pair of capris pants, a little sports jacket number, and a pair of water proof pants.  I purchased a new short sleeved, button up shirt, and a new silicone spatula.
The day was wonderfully warm, and we took the waterfront home.  Along the way, we saw the silhouette of a sting-ray, or some kind of ray, gliding through the water.  It was about four feet across, and just drifted effortlessly through the water; It was really cool.
To all my Canadian Friends and Family, have a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Meal Update

04:25 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

Flat CakeSo, after forgetting to put Baking Powder into a cake we made last night, I was under the impression that as long as we had self rising flour, it shouldn’t be that big of a problem.  Kristie, the more practical of the two of us, thought it would be a huge problem.  To her credit, it turned out to be a problem, but I wouldn’t say it was a BIG problem, because the cake remained flat as a pancake.  Therefore, how could it be a big problem, if the cake was small.
So using logic, I think we can both claim victory in this one.
In interest of full disclosure, I am to tell you that I was the one that forgot the baking powder.

Merry Christmas

Its finally Christmas!  AFter working our butts off for the last couple of months with extra hours at work, contract work, and trying to keep the house clean, Kristie and I finally have a bit of time off for the holidays.  We both have 12 days off…well, 11 now, but the point is we’re actually getting some time off to relax.
It was pretty rainy on Christmas eve, so we just rented a movie (The Tudors).  Today is Christmas day, and we pretty much did whatever we wanted…which wasn’t a whole lot of anything.  We got up this morning and opened the two parcels we had received from Kristie’s sister, Brooke and my Mom.  Brooke had given us a two DVD set of Curb Your Enthusiasm (season 1 & 2), and my Mom sent a care package of some of the things we can not buy here: Non-Roll on Deodorant, Fruit of the Loom Underwear, Floss Picks, and an Ikea cheese grater.  Kristie's parents sent us a parcel too, but as of yet it hasn't arrived (Christmas is a very busy time at the post offices), on top of the present that hasn’t arrived, they also sent us some cash...which did arrive..and was spent.  Kristie's sister Janelle gave us a gift certificate for the website "ShopNewZealand," which is really cool...we bought stuff from there last year too.P1000316
Kristie and I didn't exchange gifts this year, but we just finished purchasing some Eddie Bauer clothes online, and bought   Hopefully  in about 6 weeks it will arrive.  This is the second time that we have ordered from EB online, and if we are as satisfied as we were last time, it will not be the last.  Even with the exchange rate, we do much better than buying in stores here.  Anyone who is interested in starting an Eddie Bauer franchise here in NZ, please let me know.  We also spent the gift certificate that Janelle had given to us.  We bought a whole bunch of food items that we just wouldn’t normally buy for ourselves, like infused cooking oils, sauces, and spreads.  We’ll have to make some special recipes with it.
After our online spending spree, we took the dogs to the botanical gardens for a walk.  By the time we got there, the sun had started shining once again, so it was nice and warm for our walk.  In fact, the dogs started to get pretty pooped by the time we neared the end.  The gardens were loaded with people enjoying the weather, and it seemed every other person was enjoying a picnic lunch.  Speaking of lunch, Kristie and I were looking forward to having a nice sandwich made with freshly made bread, from our bread maker, but it seems that the heating coil in the bread maker had conked out, so we have to purchase a new machine on boxing day.
Tonight we will be making the traditional vegetarian Christmas dinner of Pumpkin-Walnut-Chickpea burgers with potato wedges on the side!  Mmmmmmm…. To end off the feast we are making a brownie recipe that we found in Looney Spoons.  As for the traditional Christmas movie, unlike Canada, the movie theatres are not open on Christmas day so our long standing tradition of going to a movie on Christmas has to be postponed until Boxing Day.  Technically, it is still Christmas in Canada, so we're still keeping up the tradition.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Holidays On The Way

Well, its only three days away from Christmas.  For the last month, I have been filling in at work for the Office Administrator, while she is in Egypt.  That means, on top of having to get all my work done, I am also working two extra days a week trying to get her work done.  To be honest, I didn’t think it would be that much of a burden, but you should never under estimate the ignorance you have of another person’s duties.  I don’t think it would be all that bad if I could focus all my efforts on her duties, but splitting my focus continually for the last month has been quite taxing.
Added to this, the fact that Kristie and I are coming to the end of a long contract with the University of Alberta, where we spend a couple of hours a night working on a database, and I can just taste this holiday!
The picture above is the little Wicker Christmas tree we bought for ourselves.  As you can see, there aren’t very many presents… I’m looking at you family and friends!

Welcome to the Vespa Diaries

09:38 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

Note: This posting was taken from my old blog.
I have decided to start up a new blog.  Some of you may know that I have had about three on the go, and all of them were getting neglected due to time constraints.  So rather than neglecting three blogs, I thought it would be much more expedient to roll them all into one, and neglect them all as a whole.
This blog will contain all of the info from the other three blogs: Live in NZ, Maple Walnut cartoon, and Pics and info regarding riding around on the Vespa.  At times, it may seem a little one sided, but it will be a true reflection of my ADD.
I would like to write much-much more for my first new entry, but I am afraid that it is almost 12:30 in the morning, and I have to work tomorrow.  So as you can see, I am already well ahead on the path to neglecting my blog.
See you all soon.