Thursday, January 12, 2006

Several posts in one

Well. It's only a short time into the New Year and already all manner of crazy things have happened.
It's been a while since I last posted, so a catch-up is in order.

I didn't pass all my exams last year, but that's life. Six out of a possible eight isn't too bad, although I should have done better. Thusly, I can't progress to the second year of the B.Eng.Tech course. And the papers I must resit are run in the second half of the year. This leaves me with two core options: Sit another paper in the meantime and keep up the study habit, or do more hours at work and become essentially a full-timer. More news as developments come to hand.

I got to spend some time with my family over Hogmanay (New Year), which was great. This meant borrowing my very generous flatmate's car and driving for seven hours to get to where my parents live. Cool. I used to drive long distances when I was a rep, so this was no sweat. Except for all the frickin' stupid folk that happened to be driving the same road. Not once, but twice I was overtaken around blind corners by motorcyclists who must have been doing well in excess of 110 kmh. (I was sticking as closely to 100 kmh as our car and the conditions would allow.) Another motorcyclist hovered about five feet from my rear bumper for a long time before we reached a straight and he shot past. Had I have had any reason to brake even moderately, he would have been through our back window and out the front. I was overtaken by a total fool in a 4wd towing a trailer while I was doing 100 kmh. What's the speed limit for vehicles towing trailers? 80 kmh. Then there were the campervans. I hate - no, really hate - inconsiderate drivers. They had ample opportunity to stop at one of the many bays they passed, but no. They just kept chugging along as the queue of vehicles behind them grew longer and longer.

I should point out for those of you who have never been to New Zealand that we don't have motorways (except for near the main centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch), and that the majority of New Zealand's roadways are winding single lanes, as the geography dictates it to be so. Hence the frustration of having to sit behind some fool for nine or ten kilometers of the Kaikoura coast when there are pleny of bays to pull into.

Half the reason for the visit to my family was to pick up some of my brother's things, as he moved down to Christchurch to find work. This meant that I got my guitar amp back from him, which I was pretty happy about. I have neglected my guitar playing for too long. I bought a midnight blue Epiphone Les Paul last year, and have only now been able to plug it in and hear its wonderful tone the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

A couple of weeks ago, my boss showed me how to pick my cycle lock. Yes, my boss. I was dumbfounded. I had cycled to work, and left by bike chained up outside. As we were closing at the end of the day, he offered to give me a lift home. This meant throwing my bike in the back of the car. By the time I had finished locking up, my bike was in the car: He had cracked my lock in about twenty seconds. He showed me how it was done, and I was amazed. Anyone could have stolen by bike in hardly any time and with total ease. So today I went out and bought a lock with a key, and intend to use both in future. The combination lock still has deterrant/hassle value.

I've eaten far too much and drunk quite a lot of good beer and whisky over the last month, and generally had a great time. Luckily, my parents gave me a squash raquet and beginners ball for Hogmanay. Both my father and brother are keen players, and I'm quite looking forward to playing them in future. Coincidentally, my flatmate's father was the New Zealand junior squash champion in his younger days. Squash is certainly a great way to get back into some excercise.

Here I leave you for today; I wish you all a fun and fruitful New Year.


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