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Cultivation:
Bhavatu sabba mangalam.
"May all beings be happy."
Vipassana meditation.
www.dhamma.org
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• Who: Eric Case FOAF
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« March 2002 | Main | May 2002 »

April 24, 2002

parking ticket

Lots of run-ins with The Man lately- aside from the visa renewal, I got a parking ticket downtown yesterday. NZ$12, NZ$10 if paid before 5/5/2002, of which I promptly took advantage. That's about US$4, quite amusing. Then, driving back from Tai Tapu today (on the way to the Banks Peninsula), they were stopping cars and doing compulsory breath testing for alcohol. Luckily intake of intoxicants isn't part of my routine anymore! But evidently drinking (and driving) is a huge problem here, as in most members of the Commonwealth.

Starting Friday I'm hiking the 4-day Banks Peninsula Track, finishing in time for another Vipassana course from May 1st-12th.

Posted at 18:06

April 23, 2002

chuck's cash

Holy #%&@!!! Chuck just scored $50,000!!!

But sorry Chuck, Kiwis (New Zealanders) aren't too keen on genetically engineered stuff.

Posted at 11:43

April 22, 2002

astrology

In case any of you are into astrology, I just put my chart online: http://mandarb.net/astrology/. Astrology has simply been popping up in too many conversations with too many other cosmic people to flat out ignore. I haven't a clue what any of it means (Sagitarius is ascendant? My sun and moon are both in Leo?), so feel free to fill me in if you do.

On the NZ front, The Man approved my 6-month visa extension, albeit with the purchase of a likely sacrificial US-bound plane ticket. Somehow EMR and I got through NZ immigration back in January with one-way tickets, which apparently _isn't allowed_. Nor will the travel agents here let one buy a one-way ticket to any country besides one's home nation. It seems the governments of the world aren't too keen on the whole "vagabond traveler" concept. "Must show evidence of financial support on a per month basis, must show evidence of onward travel." And on and on. Gotta keep protecting us from ourselves, so it goes...

Dad says it's just a matter of getting more creative, and he's probably right! At least now I've got 6 months to figure out the next visa renewal, rather than 6 days...

On another note, April has been pretty active on the birthday front. Happy b'days to: Krissy (pinky goes to lip...), Liz, Ali W. from Marietta (no picture, unfortunately), Kent, and Jay Bronchetti. If I missed yours, lemme know.

Posted at 21:49

April 20, 2002

camped at Lanara's

Gosh, it's been kinda quiet around here lately. Sorry 'bout that. I'm currently camped out at David's Godmother's place in Christchurch, waiting to hear from The Man about renewing my visitor's visa.

Marmot Zoom tent I picked up Ziggy (my tent) back in Queenstown after Beth's and my "divorce" (as we jokingly refer to it). It was entertaining, deciding who got what- being quite attached to Samson, she bought my half of the car, while I kept the cell phone, geek that I am. We split up the other communal stuff- laundry detergent, cooking gear, cuttlery, etc. But it also occurred to us that real divorces must be like this, only on a _much larger_ scale. Uggh.

Anyway... We had a great time seeing the Coromandel with Betty, though it was only a brief taste of all that's there. Of course I've got pictures, but those'll have to wait until I find another broadband connection. Beth took off for China on the 17th, and is heading back to the US a few weeks later.

If all goes well with the renewed visa, I'll be in New Zealand for a maximum of 6 more months. For some reason visitors can only spend 9 of every 18 months here. Gonna have to look for winter work soon though- the leaves are in the midst of changing color, lots have fallen already, and it's definitely getting colder.

Posted at 17:22

April 17, 2002

silicon valley spies

Fascinating.

Posted at 05:35

April 2, 2002

post-Waiheke

Looks like I did end up staying on Waiheke a bit longer than I originally anticipated... I think that tends to happen on islands. The jazz festival was excellent, my favorites were John Fohl (from New Orleans) and Christian Willisohn (from Munich). I stayed at Fossil Bay Farm with a great group of fellow travelers (hi gang)- Fossil Bay seems to magnetically attract cosmic, spiritual types.

Beth surprised me with an email that she's also in the Auckland vicinity after spending a few weeks traveling the North Island, so I'm gonna hang with her and Samson tonight for a last hoo-rah before she takes off for China on the 17th. She's also proposed spending a few more days together seeing some stuff up north with Betty doing a personal, guided tour. The jury's still out on that decision though- I've already postponed my flight back to Christchurch twice, and I don't want to test Delilah's patience too much. ;)

Posted at 07:49