Thursday, July 29, 2010

piwi the kiwi

/ click here to read the article and see the video /

check out my treadmill apparatus being used to help rehabilitate a kiwi who had broken legs!! it even made national news yesterday. figures it's the one day i don't watch the news...

and i had no idea about this! actually, that's not entirely true, i knew my supervisor was using the treadmill experimentally for rehab, i just didn't know it was getting so much attention. and (being the small world that it is) the physiotherapist in the article is the one that reuben's mom works for.

all very cool and i hope i can be involved in some of the rehab work sometime in the future... you know, in my spare time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

long time no blog

/ front of te manawa art gallery at sunset /

finally! a big long post about what i've been up to these past couple weeks...

well, it’s no secret that i’ve been quite busy with my new job and still doing some hours at the school. i do three mornings and a full day saturday at ross and then the rest of my time is spent at the museum. i work til 6, which isn’t too bad since most people leave around 5:30 anyway.

/ searching for native fish in the kahuterawa stream... still in my work clothes /

i’ve basically been involved in all sorts of fact-finding and researching missions for everything having to do with the manawatu river as well as water in general. i’ve had a walk through the space with the designer once and while the exhibit isn’t massive, it is pretty extensive and will be fitting a lot into one place. because it has a lot to do with kids, there are a lot of fun interactive parts like a mini climbing wall and water-related games.

/ birds sorted out for the dioramas /

one of my first big projects was putting together dioramas that reflect different parts of the region – a semi-swamp forest, a riparian margin (a strip of vegetation next to a waterway), a lowland forest and the estuary. the ‘stories’ behind each were sort of already done in the past but i had to finalise a species list (some of the birds that were originally put aside for the displays were all wrong) and write text for the displays. i still have to go find lots of bugs and shells and things from the collection store to finish off the lists. i’m on a mission currently trying to find a local (or within nz) company that can make some fake plants for the dioramas, but not having much luck. anybody out there specialize in made to order artificial native plants??

/ herbarium fern specimen /

another project was getting a botanist from massey in to identify a bunch of herbarium (pressed plant) specimens that were donated to us from one of the local universities. we’ll be putting together a big book for people to look through and we’ll also be getting local schools to be making an herbarium collection themselves, which we’ll include in the display.

i’ve also been doing lots of work putting together content and facts for an ‘ecohouse’ where we show the importance of conserving water in the home and giving tips on the best ways to use and reuse water. this part is a lot like the work i did at the whanganui museum a couple months back.

/ brown trout (i think) from our fish spotting expedition... we were looking for kokopu /

and my most recent project is sorting out the details for the live animal displays. there will be golden bell frogs, cave weta, fish (of various sorts, not positive which ones yet) and katipo spiders. the wildlife act has just changed recently so i’m not positive we’ll be including the spiders now as they are classified as endangered. these little guys are related to the black widow spiders and they live in the grasses on the sand dunes at the manawatu estuary. this is probably my favourite part so far (dioramas are a close second) as it’s animal husbandry related stuff, which is much more my area of expertise. i just finished writing up a job description/proposal about who they’ll need to hire to take care of all of these animals (maybe me??) once the exhibit opens. to be honest, i don’t think they’re anticipating it being a very big job, but seeing as cave weta are difficult to keep in captivity and katipo might require permits, it’s going to be a fairly significant and important position. oh yeah, the cave weta are going to actually be in a cave with glowworms and everything… not exactly sure yet how that’s going to work with people still being able to read text panels… but then again there’s a lot I don’t know.

/ insects i need to sort for dioramas /

at ross today i just finished evaluating science fair projects. some better than others… only one out of the dozens i looked over was really worthy of going into the regional fair and some were just plain shocking… then again, i’m sure my science fair project wasn’t all that impressive at age 12 either and i think i turned out ok. i also had my first day of teaching the dance academy, which went pretty well despite the fact that i was late (more on this later), forgot my notes and pretty much forgot everything i before. i’m doing a mrs. weigelt tribute and choreographing to the wear sunscreen song :) i think i might have to look at the video again and steal some moves because choreography is sooo not my strong suit. i think the girls are having fun though, so that’s all that counts.

in other news, we had to rush aston to the vet this morning because he’s been pooping in random places in the house and meowing like a pathetic cat every time he tries to pee. turns out he has cystitis, poor thing. and now he’s going to be a ridiculously expensive fat cat

who’ll need special food and everything to try to make sure the cystitis doesn’t come back. aren’t pets great?? lucky he’s so damn cute. here’s proof:

/ awwwwww /

ok, off to bed. now that i have this big post out of the way i can start blogging more regularly again... hopefully!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

/ LOVE this photo :) via santa barbara chic blog /

sorry for the lack of posts lately - so busy, busy, busy!! today has been full of brunch with friends, planning with the future in-laws, skyping the fam, teaching reuben algebra, chores, correcting thesis and so much more!

i promise i'll do a post about the new job soon!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

news to me

/ how much do i LOVE this dress? via suicide blonde /

just a few interesting things in the news here lately (i know, it doesn't happen often):

new zealand's rex bionics launches bionic legs for paraplegics. absolutely amazing! you must watch the video, you can tell this guy is just beaming.

moko the friendly dolphin died, but autopsy can't tell why. i wouldn't be surprised if someone did it deliberately, but let's just hope it was a natural death.

kiwi cyclist headbutted by australian in tour de france. i usually never pay attention to sports, but since i worked with this guy's wife at kiwi encounter and he joined our christmas party celebrations in 2007, i usually listen if he makes it to the news.

anti-whaling activist released from jail in japan.

Monday, July 12, 2010


we've booked our wedding venue! the website didn't have many pics so i googled and found some more:

grounds behind the winery

main building

view of the grounds from the steps

closer view of the reception building

inside the reception area

reception area set up for dining

dance floor

one of the indoor areas available as a wet weather venue for the ceremony

reuben and i started to hash out some details and to dos last night and i think i'm looking forward to working on decorations and flowers. mom made a good suggestion to look for some cool native flowers - i do love pohutukawa!

/ pictorial webster's dictionary via antler blog /

we also decided to have a little engagement party next month, so more planning to do!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

hot hot hot!

/ that's amore dress on modcloth /

frederick's heat wave even made the news in denmark! can you send a few degrees in this direction? thanks.

Monday, July 5, 2010

water water everywhere

/ aquaponics concept tank via the cheap vegetable gardener /

first day of work today was pretty uneventful. mostly just trying to remember the layout of the massive building that is under massive amounts of construction and trying to remember everyone's names! and then i read the 137 page exhibit description. twice. and then i read all of the company policies - even the one about smoking despite the fact that i don't smoke. finally the curator gave me two tasks that i finished already, sooo i'm interested in finding out what i'll be tomorrow!

so far the only thing i'm not a big fan of is that it's all pc computers :( oh well.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

venue visits

/ rose /

we started our day at te awa winery in the frosty 4 degrees - brrrr! it was cute, but nothing that blew us away. just an adorable winery cat named rose :)

/ breakfast in hawkes bay /

we stopped for breakfast in front of a marina before going to our next venue. to be honest, it was so sunny that it took most of the chill out of the air by the afternoon - beautiful!

/ just reuben looking cool in the sunshine /

/ lounge and bar area of old church restaurant /

next stop was the old church restaurant, which looked really amazing on the website and even on the outside. and then we went inside. the best word to describe it is just GAUDY. it looks great in the photographs, but kind of in the same way that you can put on a layer of foundation, bright lipstick and fake eyelashes and the over the top look ends up making you great on film. there were plastic crystal chandeliers, mirrored tables and candle holders, and enormous chalices in every inch of the place. WHEW!

/ villa at the old church restaurant /

the place did have a few redeeming factors, like a self-contained villa with four bedrooms, lounge and kitchen right next door to the restaurant which could be rented in conjunction with the ceremony/reception. unfortunately, there was a minimum $14000 spend, which we can't quite justify for the number of people we're likely to have attending.

/ reception area of church road winery /

next on the agenda was church road winery, which i realised was one of the wineries that mom, dad, AD and i visited when we were in the bay in 2006. from the front it doesn't look like much, but in the back it opens up into a big lawn and a hill with grapes and a set of big white stone steps up to a set up wooden doors into the reception area.

the space just happened to be set up for a function, which was really convenient for picturing a setup of about the same size. i even liked the black tables! about half the room is taken up by wine barrels so it gives a great rustic feeling. they also have a wine museum which is built into the old wine vats under the building which they can set up/have open during the cocktail and canape time to help keep people entertained while photos are taken.

/ wine barrels in reception room /

needless to say, we were pretty impressed :)

/ reuben and his chocolate dessert /

we rounded off the day with lunch at mission estate winery before our visit. food and drinks were great, but the events planner wasn't there and failed to set up a replacement to show us around so one of the waitstaff had to fill in for her and she didn't really get us very excited about the venue. and reuben hated the blue carpet, haha. it certainly didn't have the same kind of charm that it did when we visited in 2006.

Friday, July 2, 2010


/ my colour inspiration board /

had a meeting with susan from susan siu photography - such beautiful photos! i think reuben and i are still on the website somewhere..

between that and looking forward to our venue visits tomorrow, i've been in the wedding mood, hence making the inspiration board above. i'm liking the cherry, seafoam and cream combo.