New Zealand – Day 2

jaycyn

We woke up around 4 am due to the jet lag. Hopefully by tomorrow we will have our sleep cycles under control.

On this day we were scheduled to spend it in Auckland City. Frankly, Auckland is not all that exciting. It’s much like any other big city and we’ve seen plenty of big cities. As we pondered our options Cynthia found a brochure in our literature that talked about Waiheke Island which is only a 40 minute ferry ride from the harbor here in Auckland. We thought we would give it a go and off we went.

waiheke

Buying tickets for the ferry we spotted (and Cynthia photographed) this sign.

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They are very protective of the island and don’t want any pests carried over. Cynthia pointed out that if she had any skinks hidden in her bag they came from New Zealand and not from home.

We boarded the ferry, skink free, and before we knew it, we were at Waiheke.

The sky was overcast but we didn’t let that stop us from renting a car and heading off to explore.

Right off the bat, we were overjoyed with our decision. The island is relatively small and filled with twisty, turny roads. Each turn brought us to something amazing. Beaches, hidden coves, hills and valleys…

Waiheke

Man O War Bay - Waiheke

Cynthia was happy to see her first sheep of the journey and she captured this wonderful image of two lambs.

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We had a great time exploring the island. Though small, it was sometimes confusing and we did get a little lost…

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(photo by Cynthia)

But we didn’t mind because we knew it was a small island and we’d eventually get back on track.

We wrapped up the journey at a lovely little restaurant with a deck that looked out over one of the many bays on the island. And toward the end the sun even peeked out and gave us a glimpse of the the true beauty of the island

Waiheke

The restaurant also featured some rather fearless seagulls which swarmed the table as soon as we got up to leave and devoured all of our scraps.

Seagull Want My Food

While waiting on the ferry to go back to the mainland I did manage to drop and smash my iPhone. Fortunately there was a repair shop near the hotel and I was back up and running in less than an hour after returning back to base.

We took some time and got some rest before heading out to dinner and going to the top of the Sky Tower which towers some 1076 feet over the city and offers some amazing views of Auckland.

Sky Tower - Auckland

View From The Sky Tower

It was pretty cool to see, but we didn’t stay long as we are pretty tired and have a big day tomorrow as we head off to the Bay Of Islands in the north.

Arrival New Zealand

Greetings From New Zealand

We made it to Auckland. The flights were uneventful for the most part. The first leg from Houston to Los Angeles was delayed by about 30 minutes which was not a real problem as we had plenty of time before the flight from Los Angeles to Auckland.

We arrived in Auckland quite early, but the hotel allowed us to check in right away which is always a huge bonus, especially after over 20 hours of travel time.

We did get some sleep on the plane so were were not totally wiped out when we arrived, but we’re still tired and taking it easy today.

1971 Cutlass Supreme Restoration – Part 2

After the first phase of restoration on the Cutlass I took a small break. The Cutlass was drivable and running great, but there was a the matter of an oil leak in the rear main seal.

Repairing it meant pulling the engine. It was suggested by my mechanic that if I was going to do this I might as well replace the timing chain. The summer heat was not conducive to driving so before long I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and get the main seal replaced.

While the engine was out I was talked into a paint job and some Hooker performance headers. Since the engine was out I only paid for the parts, which wasn’t all that expensive.

I have to say, the GM 455 never looked better.

My Freshly Repainted Big Block 455

My Freshly Repainted Big Block 455

Pork Inception

Cynthia was given a recipe for honey glazed, bacon wrapped pork loin. It was easy to make and it came out very well. I thought it might be a little disgusting, but it ended up being very tender and flavorful

Bacon Latice

Rolling up the pork loin

Wrapped and glazed

Enjoy

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it’s a bird

Cynthia and I went outside Friday evening and we heard a very loud, very distinctive squawk coming from the neighbor’s tree. After a minute a green Quaker Parrot flew out and landed in another tree. I tried to coax him down, but he was very timid. After I started to walk away he flew out of the tree and landed on my shoulder. Obviously this is someone’s pet. Cynthia has named him Murphy.

Murphy

San Diego Comic Con – 2015

San Diego Comic Con 2015

My first visit to the comic book convention to beat ALL comic book conventions. San Diego Comic Con International. It’s nearly impossible to describe how big this event it. 130,000+ attendees over the 4 days of the convention. I arrived on Thursday and flew home on Sunday. During the 3 days I was at the convention I walked a total of 22 miles tromping around the convention center and the surrounding area.

Dark Helmet - Spaceballs

Every conceivable vendor was there. All the big toy makers and publishing houses as well as TV and Movie studio reps. The big discussion panels for shows like Dr. Who or the new Star Wars movie were attended by throngs of fans who camped as long as 48 hour in advance for a chance to get into the panel of their dreams.

Cosplay

I was less dedicated. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t things to see and do. I explored the show floor, bought a few souvenirs and even got to photograph the press event for the FX show “Archer” which featured most of the voice actors for the show.

Cast Of Archer

My favorite part of the show is all the fans dressed in costume. I am less enamored of the “serious” costumes, but I love the whimsical stuff.

Force Choke Pool Party

Pulp Fiction Meets Star Wars

All in all, a great event if you can get tickets. And try not to take things too seriously…

My Little Pony

1971 Cutlass Supreme Restoration

The Cutlass has been sitting up in the garage for the last 6 or 7 years. Unstarted, with a dead battery and two flat tires. I finally worked up the energy to have it removed from the garage and towed to a mechanic. All fluids flushed, new tires, new intake manifold, new carburetor, new brakes, rebuilt transmission, new top, new air cleaner. A lot of work over a long period of time, but she’s running. There’s more to do, but I don’t have the money right now. She does run real good, though. Need some cooler temps to enjoy it.

Towed Away

Interior Before

On The Rack

Interior After

Top Being Installed

Top Complete!

Edelbrock

Edelbrock

Air Cleaner

Rosco- My 1971 Cutlass Supreme

Houston Flood – May 25, 2015

It rained and rained and rained all night. Water got up into the yard, but did not get into the house. We lost power about 1 am and it wasn’t restored for 24 hours. Fortunately it was not terribly warm the following day. We lost everything in the fridge and the deep freeze.

West Houston Flood 2015

Kaufmann’s Posographe exposure calculator from the 1920’s

Kaufmann’s Posographe is an analog mechanical computer for calculating six-variable photographic functions to determine exposure time for taking indoor or outdoor photographs, depending on which side you use.

From the History Of Computing site:

poso1At first glance this is just a small rectangular plate, about 13 x 8 cm, covered with dense scribbles, with seven pointers fixed to its frame. Then you realize that the pointers are not fixed, but can slide on the frame… and then you note that they are somehow interconnected — moving any of the small ones will move the larger one this way or that. Strange. But when you see the diagram of the inner mechanism you realize what this is, and it can take your breath away. Kaufmann’s Posographe is nothing less than an analog mechanical computer for calculating six-variable functions. Specifically, it computes the exposure time (Temps de Pose) for taking photographs indoors or out (depending on which side you use). The input variables are set up on the six small pointers; the large pointer then gives you the correct time. The variables are very detailed, yet endearingly colloquial. For outdoors, they include the setting — with values like “Snowy scene”, “Greenery with expanse of water”, or “Very narrow old street”; the state of the sky — including “Cloudy and somber”, “Blue with white clouds”, or “Purest blue”; The month of the year and hour of the day; the illumination of the subject; and of course the aperture (f-number). For indoor photos, we have the colors of the walls and floor; the location of the subject relative to the windows (depending also on the number of windows, and indicated by the little diagrams); the extent of sky in the window, as seen from the location of the subject (again illustrated in little pictures); the sunlight level outside, and how much of it, if any, enters the room; and the aperture. The output indicator actually has four points, designed to show the respective exposure times for different emulsion types.

The first one I came across was the French version which seems to be the most common version. I found it at a shop in Paris, via their Web site. I was able to have a friend in Amsterdam contact his friend in Paris to go to the shop and purchase it for me. His friend delivered it to him and he brought to me in Texas when he came for a visit. It has its own carrying case and it is quite ornate. The second one I acquired is the English version and is apparently a bit more rare.

Le Posographe Case

Le Posographe - Exterior Photography Side

Le Posographe - Interior Photography Side

Le Posographe Detail - 6

Later, I came to find out that the device was made not only in French, but German, Spanish and English. After a bit of searching, I found the English version

Le Posographe - English Version

Le Posographe - English Version

Le Posographe - Detail 1

Le Posographe - Detail 3