## Nifty Fifty

2 December 2013, 19:11

That’s a kakariki. My list of birds-to-get-good-photographs-of is getting short.

In case you’re unaware, today is my birthday. And I got a 70D (too hard to find a bad link). And a nifty fifty. One of which I will be using on the last excursion that I’m planning (I think I’ve been coerced into going on a holiday on the 28th) before I enter my thesis cave (expected exit: May 1 2014). The excursions will continue over this time, just Melissa will be organising them.

Since this is yet another new toy, I will be doing the obvious thing: Zealandia. And Melissa will have the 1100D to learn/play with. I’ll have to rejig my bag though.

The forecast looks average, which seems to be the best for bird-spotting. 021366055 like normal. We normally aim to got there by 1015, we can give rides, and it’s probably a cut-lunch day (which means going deep into the valley).

Oh, if anyone wants a postcard from Perth, I’m heading there on Sunday. So give me an address. As a bonus, I speak the language this time.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 06:11.
Gaze

## More Birthday (and more Zealandia)

21 November 2013, 19:15

That’s a not-so-little baby Paradise Shelduck from my most recent trip to Zealandia. Apparently it’s “cute”.

Anyway, due to late notice (this is my first night at home in awhile) and some other factors, it’s yet another trip to Zealandia this Saturday.

More importantly, an update on my birthday sleepover.
The main part is still driving up to the in-laws (no longer vacant, which is good) via the Wairarapa. Since Melissa potentially has dancing on the Saturday, the leaving time is ambiguous, but the aim is to leave by 3. That means leaving here, we’ll have to do some pick-ups on the way out. We arrive in Palmy at some un-determined time (probably too late for dinner, but we’ll sort something out), and then do stuff/sleep. There should be enough space at the in-laws to give everyone some rack space, and there is going to be cake and ice cream. After sleep, we get up, maybe have a fry-up, and get back on the road sometime. The arriving home time is flexible, with the current aim being mid-afternoon. Fun times to be had by all, even if you have to endure my music for a day or so.

The idea behind the photography competition-thing is to split into two teams (currently called Vestara and Xanthe, after the hardware employed). I have constructed a list of 500 words/phrases (that’s a real link), and I randomly split it in half, and then randomly ordered each part. So each team gets 250 words (or phrases, but mainly words), which they are to attempt incorporate into photos, with the caveat that each photo must contain at least one identifiable team member. Some are easy, some are hard, some require creative interpretations (so bring props). The winning team will be the team that gets the most words crossed off. This competition will run for the entire trip, not just the north leg, with photos being put on the Internet at some point.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 06:15.
Include [2]

## Birthday Basic Idea

11 November 2013, 21:13

It’s a heart from the fireworks. With a few filters applied (RAW is great). The ISO value was too high, so it’s rather noisy (can’t you see all those different coloured black dots?), but I’m getting better at this photography thing. Which leads nicely into the main topic of this blog post: I’m getting old soon. And I want to do something for a change.

Basic idea: Leaving Wellington at ~1500 on Saturday 30 November, drive to Palmy (selected due to free accommodation), probably via Waiarapa and the gorge, taking lots of photos (maybe teams with some sort of competition) and various other hijinks on the way, crashing at the vacant in-laws (maybe take a projector and watch a terrible movie), returning to Wellington (more hijinks, photos etc) by 1600 Sunday 1 December, in time for the Phoenix.

RSVP to me in any way you know how. By the 24th of November (I need numbers in order to finalise vehicles, because this isn’t a convoy).

Posted by Michael Welsh at 08:13.
Cower

## Dumped Explosions

4 November 2013, 18:45

My camera is back! This is a photo of a tuatara that’s scared of my shadow.

Melissa is leaving me again this weekend. So I’m planning on doing stuff without her. She leaves on Friday afternoon, and gets back on Sunday afternoon, so I have a little time to fill.

The plan at the moment is to go to Zealandia on Saturday (I can get one female (pretending to be Melissa) in for free, and anyone else in for \$8.75) daytime (maybe lunch in the cafe there, maybe cut lunch in the bush someplace), and then muck around until dinner, which I shall partake of in town (anyone for a date?), then it’s off to the fireworks down at the waterfront, and then I walk home to spend a night crying into my pillow. Sunday I sit at home and be bored. There’s also Friday night, which has potential for a date, or people could come here and make me cook for them (this option is also on the table for Saturday). However, if anyone is doing anything remotely interesting sometime over the weekend, I might be keen. Just ask. I’m not scary. Oh, my number is (021) 366-055. My apologies for the lack of links. I’m feeling too lazy at the moment. Posted by Michael Welsh at 05:45. Pose ## Stuff 25 October 2013, 17:40 Look, wedding presents getting attacked. It’s that time again. My birthday is coming up (as well as Christmas), and I’m actually looking forward to them, which is weird. Maybe I’m finally in a good headspace or something. Note: All links go to sensible places. Normal service will return later. And here’s the list. • Psych Bobblehead. • Huawei stripey. • A new YF shirt. • Canon EOS 70D (body only, but with a lens if you’re feeling nice). • Any Canon EF or EF-S lens or compatible accessory (such as a tripod or a flash gun, and some way to cart them round) I don’t currently have. For reference, I have a Canon EOS 1100D with two lenses, as well as an extra lens. • Suit. • Books. Both for reading and graduate-level mathematics textbooks. Pester me if you want subject matter. • Work clothes – I wear a 39 up top and 87 down low. • A handheld GPS device. • A black t-shirt with “I found one” printed on it. • A large (32GB+) USB 3 Flash drive. • A large (32GB+) SD card. • A camera backpack. • iPod speakers with a lightning plug-in. Posted by Michael Welsh at 04:40. Beautify ## Shorn Cache 22 October 2013, 20:46 To prove I was in France I took a selfie. There it is, in all its glory. Oh, last week we had a good time at Zealandia (which is now cheaper all the time, something like \$9 if you come with us), with the Hihi being a highlight. However, both Icarus and Kettch have really, really bad cameras, so no good photos exist. Hence the selfie above.

My camera is still out of the country (sad face), but it is due back soonish. Labour Day or something (Siri tried to convince me that that day was earlier this month. Stupid Australian.) On the plus side, this is a long weekend, so I get a day off the strenuous job of being a grad student.

I have two ideas for this weekend: First, some more geocaching on Saturday. This is the “normal” part of the excursion. I was thinking of heading to Thorndon or Karori or someplace like that. As before, I am open to suggestions. (021) 366-055 (look, formatted) is my number.

Secondly, it may not be obvious from that photo up there, but I need a haircut. I have an entire weekend in which to get one, so if anyone is interested, drop me a line.

We’ll also be watching the Phoenix game (1700 Sunday) on Cade, so you’re welcome to come watch that as well. If the demand is high enough, I have access to some sweet stuff at work.

Finally, well done to Simon for coming out of the closet.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 07:46.
Wash

## Shutdown Camera

8 October 2013, 20:33

As my camera is currently shut down in the States with Ivan, I am unable to take photos. So here is a shot of some chics with guns.

Last time, we had a good day out — went geocaching in Melrose and then got destroyed with Robyn on a high ropes course, followed by dinner for two.

This Saturday, we’re going to Zealandia, but without a camera. 021366055 if you want to come with us.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 07:33.
Theorise

## Late Discussion

3 October 2013, 06:50

That’s a shot of the sunset from Centennial Highway.

This is late notice (I’m not fond of typing at the moment), but a certain Ian Stewart, fresh from gatecrashing my parent’s house, is giving a public lecture on Friday 4 October (also known as “tomorrow”) at Rutherford House. It’s about mathematics (but not matroids, as he doesn’t really know anything about them), and is suitable for a general audience. It’s at 1730.

For more details (including a weird abstract, see the relevant MSOR page.

Also, congratulations to Dillon for getting ‘that thing Noam got’.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 17:50.
Keen

## Cameraless geocaching

24 September 2013, 21:37

That’s a shag. It has decided, for some silly reason, to nest right where everyone can see it. We also managed to disturb a pair of amorous kaka.

Ivan is taking my camera to Sweden in order to take photos of a Lamborghini, so I’m going to be camera-less for a month or so (a point-and-shoot just doesn’t do anymore). For the first of the camera-less excursions, happening this coming Saturday, we’re going to be geocaching, or going on a treasure hunt. The first one I want to find is in Baycourt, but after that I have no plans (and access to a car). So if there’s somewhere (general, not specific) that you’ve always wanted to make me go, now is your chance!

As this is rather open-ended, we’re going to be playing it by ear. So if you’re interested in coming along or just annoying me and Melissa for 20 minutes, contact me. The best idea is probably to text me on Saturday (021 366055) and see what happens from there.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 09:37.
Sidle

## Dvorak

19 September 2013, 08:41

I have just switched my keyboard layout to the Dvorak keyboard layout. Typing is really, really slow.

Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 20:41.
Tussle [5]

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