Cancer sucks

Looks like I’m going to be taking some bereavement leave soon. My Uncle Graham (Mum’s brother) is dying of liver and pancreas cancer. I never really knew him. My Mum is pretty cut up. He doesn’t have long to live. Mum got a call a couple of days ago giving him 12 hours to live, but he’s still alive. He’s holding on — stubborn I guess.

It’s going to be interesting. Graham wants his funeral on the local marae (Māori tribal complex) as his wife is Māori. Apparently Stuart my brother isn’t too keen about it. But we have to be there for Mum, it’s gonna be tough for her.

My heart goes out to you Graham. Wish I had gotten to know you better.

Fathers Day in Otaki

This weekend I went up to Otaki to hang out with my dad, Sunday being Father’s Day here in New Zealand. Saturday night Dad was in a Quiz Competition at the Levin Cosmopolitan Club. His team of four won a free handle each of DB Draught as a spot prize for the inflatable bleating sheep they had on their team’s table. His team came 23th out of 31 teams, but another team from his watering hole came 3rd and won $250. Was a good fun night out ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday I got up, gave Dad a box of chocolates for Fathers Day. We got dressed and went to find some geocaches. I had loaded the latest set of co-ordinates on my eTrex Friday morning, and printed out the cache sheets at work on Friday before I left, but I had left the sheets at work, so we tried to wing it. We tried to find GC39AF first; Dad thought it might be at Forest Lakes but when we got there, it was still 3km away; turns out it was on the beach. So we drove up to Levin to find a cybercafe – no luck ๐Ÿ™ So we drove back to home in Otaki and got my bags. Then we decided to hide a microcache out near Otaki Forks. Have fun finding that one, we had fun placing it.

After that we decided to drive me back to Paraparaumu so I could catch the train back home that afternoon. But on the way, I saw that we were about a kilometer away from a cache or two in Waikanae, and did we want to try and wing it without the cache sheet…? We decided to give GCC747 a shot. After driving around in suburbia down some cul-de-sacs we realised it was on the other side of these houses. Sarah spotted an alleyway and Dad and I got out to find it. At the end of the alleyway we discovered that the Waikanae River was there, and my fears were that the cache was 500 metres down the river, on the other side! Well, we walked 500 metres down the river and got within 40 metres of the cache and lo, the arrow pointed across the river. We turn back and head for the car. Next we tried GCC056, got to the spot the GPS thought it was, and it pointed to the middle of a Toetoe plant, aka Cutty Grass – ie, it cuts you if you walk through it. After searching for 5 minutes, we couldn’t find it – I don’t think we had the right location.

So we go get some fish and chips, eat it at Lindale, and decided to head to Paraparaumu and drive around the water front. We drove through Raumati Beach shops and lo, there was a book exchange with hi-speed internet access. We went in, printed out the cache sheet for GC38E at Queen Elizabeth Park. Drove to within 100 metres of it, got out, and walked down the tramway like the sheet said, and the GPS told us to stop and go into the bushes. We climbed a small knoll and my Dad spotted it! We found it! YAY! Dad was pretty chuffed, as after all these non-successes, he had proof that Geocaching is a real sport!

I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend… how was yours? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Welcome to my brother

My brother is finally on the net! Say hi to Stuart, and welcome him to the online community ๐Ÿ™‚ His screen name is “The Bison”

Wrong Headphones Syndrome

My mum just sent me a package for my birthday (Friday 14th Feb!) and I got my full over ear headphones that I lent to my brother over xmas back. I took them into work and took my walkman headphones out, you know the ones that have the band that goes over the back of the head? So I plug them in and listen to my MP3s for a while. Then as you do, you take them off to move around the office, and then I came back and put my headphones back on. Half an hour later I realised I’d put the headphones on that were unplugged, and had no music going… how mental is that? Ah well, they are now in my bag so I won’t make that mistake again! ๐Ÿ˜€

Back in town

OK, gotta make this quick:

20th Dec:
Said goodbye to Mel at the airport – she was flying to Christchurch. Caught the train to Paraparamu, Dad picked me up and we went to Otaki.

Xmas Day – saw my cousins at my grandparents place – was cool. Dinner was late because my cousins were late, and Dad got completely trashed from drinking and not eating.

29th December:
Dad and I drove to Napier. Went to the cricket with Stuart, my brother. Was pretty neat. Dad stays the night, leaves the next day.

New Years Eve:
Mum and I went up town for a drink. Bumped into Wayne, an aquantance of mine from my NCMT days. Fireworks, was a very good night!

Caught up with Guru Bob at his place. Beer and burgers (thanks Linda!) and a GeneRally tourney. Bought GTA3 for PC from Bob for Stuart’s Birthday.

Saw Harry Potter with my Brother – was pretty cool.

5th: Stuart and I get a ride to Palmerston North with my Mum, meet up with Dad, we buy clothes, and drive on to Otaki.

7th: Dad, Stuart and I drive to Wellington, go to Te Papa for an hour or so, lunch, my house, I discover Chris has bought a giant TV and DVD 5.1 surround sound system for his room, and Mark has bought an Xbox. Wow. Dad and Stuart depart back to Otaki. 7pm I get picked up by Mel’s flatmate Andrew (thanks Andy!) and we go to the airport to pick up Mel, we go to her place have dinner with her flatmates.