Saturday, January 20, 2007

Camera Rainwear

As I found out first-hand, the weather during New Zealand's summer is notoriously unpredictable. See for yourself:



This of course doesn't bode well for my habit of carrying around a somewhat non-cheap camera to capture memories of all that troublesome weather. Luckily for me, Jayita had done her homework and warned me of the possibility. So, the day before our flight, I hove off to Keeble & Shuchat --- the local camera experts in Palo Alto --- for some advice, and the brilliant man there introduced me to the Kata E-690:


Ok, I'll admit it isn't pretty, and even on a good day, looks like bondage-wear for the camera. But at around $40 it's been dashed worth it for all the shots I've been able to get without worrying about rainwater/seaspray/bird-droppings mucking up the works. It also means I'll be prepared for rain during the next California wildflower season. The only drawback is that you can't use the camera strap when it's in this, so that means you're holding on to the body of the camera the entire time. I counter this by holstering the entire contraption in my case (hanging at my hip) when I need a break.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Zealand

So that was the best vacation yet. If you'd been paying attention to my bragging over the last 3 months, you'd know that the missus and I toodled off to New Zealand over the holidays. Some of the highlights:

Auckland city:



Sailing on Lake Taupo:



Kayaking/hiking in Abel Tasman National Park:



Spending the night on a boat in Fiordland:



Getting to see some rare critters first-hand:



I am of course leaving out large swaths of description of the what-happened-where nature; partially because I'm lazy, but more importantly because the dear lady has graciously cataloged the entire saga in her trademark detail. See more pictures here, and read about it all here.

I should also mention that the wife was responsible for all the planning, while I chipped in with all the driving. This worked nicely since if it had been the other way around, we would've done nothing more interesting than drive around very slowly for 3 whole weeks.