Hail Ceasar [sic]!

Our new black (actually very dark brown) stud male from Australia:


We’re assuming the previous owners spelled the name, er, differently to make it stand out in the database. Like naming your kid Wylliam or Sherrin.

Road Trip

Last week I took the first big road trip in the new Ute, up to Auckland along with Zane. Of course, this could not be a simple, direct trip. Oh, no, that would be far too easy! Many side trips were added, and while much got done, it was all quite exhausting.

Wednesday we left bright and early. Went over the Rimutaka hill and up to Carterton where we picked up a pony-drawn cart a friend in Auckland. Then it was up to Paihiatua to get the radio on my newly purchased ute replaced by the dealer. Then it was up to Dannevirke to pick up a checkbook for a later purchase. Only then could we zoom our way up to Auckland.

Passing through the TVZ (Taupo Volcanic Zone) with a excited geologist leads to constant commentary about every hill, dome, road-cut, lake, etc. I leanred quite a bit of NZ geology… and I learned that I don’t want to lie anywhere inside the TVZ. The ability of really biog volcanos to go up with so little warning is a bit daunting. You can engineer a building to have a reasonable chance at surviving and earthquake, but there is really not much you can do when you get buried in 20 meters of 700C ash. (…or get smashed by a lahar, or smahed by house-size flying boulders,  or get eradicated by a super-sonic pyroclastic flow…)

In Auckland we had some successful looting. OUr friend works in a big lab complex, and they are disposing of old and unwanted gear. We happily scrounged glassware, microscopes, a few cabinets, and a centrifuge of unknown safety/effectiveness (always good when it is labled “do not use”)

On the way back we fossicked for obsidian around lake Taupo, and picked up 30 years of back-issues of American Rifleman magazine (for the gunsmiths in Zanes family). Then it was a rush down to the Waiuru army museum before they closed. They were selling a bunch of old 19th-century style uniforms that had been made in ~1903 for a royal visit or some such. Very spiffy stuff! Including 3 busby’s made from actual black bear fur.  With the large stack on uniforms loaded on board it was back to Danniverke to spit the uniformes with Dave (from whom we had grabbed a check the day before). Then it was back to Wellington.

A long drive. A long trip. But very full of accomplishments. And I must say the new(er) ute is a much mroe comfortable ride, and having a stero that works is good, too!