Thoughts of a geek

1 November 2009

Walks, muesli and sheep

Filed under: Me, Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — qwandor @ 11:12 pm

Well I asked the Twittersphere for suggestions of what I should blog about, and sure enough the Twittersphere obliged. So here goes.

fibby17: some of your more interesting recent walks?

Well, let me see. The most recent walk to speak of was the Skyline walkway. This is a walk I had been meaning to do ever since a group of us walked up to Mount Kaukau early last year and some passer-by pointed out and recommended to us the Skyline Walkway. I finally organised it for Saturday 24th October 2009.

Charlotte, Frith, Chris Nimmo and Hannah came. I was hoping to have more people, but they were otherwise occupied or pulled out or did not turn up. We (except Chris) took the train out to Johnsonville to start the walk, except that the train was really a bus. We were amused when the driver offered a lady a free ride near the end of the route and she asked him how the buses were that day, to which he replied something along the lines of “Good, but I am a train today.” Chris was to meet us at the start of the track but after looking up his cellphone number on Facebook and a few SMSes and calls back and forth he said that he would meet us up Mount Kaukau instead. We made a start, with a little initial confusion about where the track actually went.

After a little while we made it up Mount Kaukau but found no sign of Chris, and he was not responding to SMSes or phone calls. We waited and ate a little, and finally made contact with Chris and he turned up about an hour after we got there, with wet hair and shoes and a number of scratches. Apparently he had somehow taken a wrong turn and decided that the best solution would be to bush-bash his way up another side, via much gorse and a stream. After a little while longer for him to recover we raced onwards down the other side, shortly to detour off the track to climb a little rocky knoll, admire the view and take photos. We came across a full possum trap beside the fence, into which Hannah insisted on looking, only to be predictably disgusted at the possum’s head inside. There was also another older dead possum to the left. The detour completed we continued on along the proper track, talking a little about possum shooting for fun and profit.

At around 1:00 pm we stopped for lunch (people’s own packed lunches plus the apple muffins I made, chips and scroggin brought by Charlotte and Frith respectively). Lunch was followed by a lovely lie down in the sun, enjoying the view and watching two people bike past in opposite directions. I did not envy them.

By and by we continued on, narrowly avoiding the wide road down to a certain suburb (Or was that before lunch? My memory fails.), and taking turns to flick the track markers as we passed them. We later stopped at the remains (just a chimney) of an old house, and discussed windfarms. After a while more walking we reached the end of the track at Makara Hill Road, and headed down to Karori Park to lie in the sun and rest for a little while. Our plans to play in the playground were thwarted by the large number of small children already doing so. Children really should be banned from playgrounds, it seems quite unfair to the rest of us. We wandered back along Karori Road, some buying icecreams and such, and people went their separate ways one by one.

All in all, good fun and good company. The weather turned out really well too, overcast to start with and sunny later, but a nice breeze so as not to be too hot. Photos can be found on Facebook.

There are more walks I could talk about, less recent. Walking around the outside of the Karori Sancuary in the rain comes to mind. Oh, I guess the Interface geocaching trip could count too. Those were both a while ago though. There have not been enough walks lately. Come walking with me!

Anyway, it is late and I should attempt to sleep, so I will not say more about these walks just now. If you want to hear, talk to me. Not that I expect to sleep much even when I do try; sleep has proven particularly hand to find lately. This is most unsatisfactory.

yomcat: Burnt Muesli.

Yesterday afternoon I baked a cake for my flatmate Stevie (who turns old today), and also some muesli for myself. As the cake was on the middle of the oven I put the muesli on a shelf below it, almost at the bottom of the oven. I normally cook the muesli on the middle shelf. I was surprised to find that the muesli seemed to get more burnt on the top than usual (not badly, but noticeably); I had expected that it might get burnt on the bottom, being closer to the bottom element and all. A little discussion on Facebook ensued:

Matthew Kiernan: is there an element near the bottom?
Andrew Walbran: Yes. But I would expect it to get burnt on the bottom if it is near the bottom, not on the top.
Matthew Kiernan: maybe the tray isn’t absorbing heat very well, and convection is carrying the hot air over the top of the tray.
Andrew Walbran: It still surprises me; I would expect the radiant heat to be more of a factor in burning the top, and that would surely be stronger when it is higher up in the oven.
Matthew Kiernan: sounds right, I suppose it would depend on the oven setting – grill vs bake, and I suppose fan forced air is always a factor
Andrew Walbran: Yeah, it was on fan bake. I should also note that it is an electric oven.

Clearly I have an exciting life.

simon_w: sheep.

Well, there were no sheep on the walk mentioned earlier in this post, but there were some cows. We walked right past a couple of them. Oh, my flatmates were watching TV a short time ago and there was an advertisement for sheep. For this place I think, a (live)stock market. Apparently wild venison mince is marginally cheaper (or was it marginally more expensive?) at Moore Wilsons than lamb. Richard is planning to make us some venison burgers sometime soon. I hope that it will be on a night when I am home for dinner (hint hint). Oh, and electric sheep is a very cool screensaver. If somewhat addictive. It is named after the Philip K. Dick novella, of course. I do not think I have read it, though I have seen Blade Runner. Perhaps I should get back into reading books. shoeshine was recommending a certain novel to me the other day (I do not have the name in front of me on this machine yet, and it escapes my mind; apparently character-driven sci-fi set in some sort of post-apocalyptic future from memory).

Tibi placet?

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8 Comments »

  1. Electric Sheep is a very very cool screensaver.

    One thing I’ve learned in my job: No matter how many kids there are on the playground, there’s always room for adults 🙂

    Comment by tommo39 — 1 November 2009 @ 11:55 pm

  2. Where’s the rugby?!

    Comment by A.J.Chesswas — 2 November 2009 @ 6:10 am

    • That might feature in my next post. Twitter takes priority over Facebook. (-:

      Comment by qwandor — 2 November 2009 @ 7:16 am

  3. ah yes, I encountered the cows when I did the walk on the 31st. They were so friendly I had to squeeze past them on the track 😛 – One even let me pat it on the nose.

    Comment by Matthew Kiernan — 2 November 2009 @ 7:59 am

  4. Your life is awesome.

    Comment by yomcat — 2 November 2009 @ 8:10 am

  5. When you say “the remains (just a chimney) of an old house”, do you mean this? I read somewhere (cannot remember where) that it was built specifically for the purpose of making tea for men working out in the paddocks, and was never attached to a building.

    No doubt you also noticed the turnoff to Otari/Wilton’s Bush. From there to Karori Cemetery is a lovely bushwalk, well worth taking in high summer.

    Comment by fibby — 2 November 2009 @ 8:53 pm

    • Yes, exactly that one. That is an interesting story, and would certainly explain why there were no signs of the foundation of the house or anything apart from that. We were arguing about whether the house would have been for a farmer or a forester. See these photos: from a distance, closer.

      Indeed we did pass that turnoff. Wilton’s bush would be a nice place to do more walking, I guess that should go on the list for this summer.

      Comment by qwandor — 2 November 2009 @ 9:09 pm

  6. […] Java, PHP, programming, Ruby, rugby, software — qwandor @ 10:33 pm Continuing on from my last post taking suggestions from Twitter, today I will be blogging about topics suggested by people on […]

    Pingback by Rubgy, a safe technical topic, and baking « Thoughts of a geek — 4 November 2009 @ 10:33 pm


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