October 23, 2007

Some more photographs

I still can't say yet exactly what's happening with my scanning project yet, unfortunately, though it's heading along the lines of good news at this stage. In the meantime, here's some more photographs to keep everyone occupied and believing that I'm really alive still at Penn State. Really. Anyway, here they are:

  1. There's this really nice statue outside the Business Building at Penn State.

    I was rather taken aback by this statue outside the Smeal College of Business. The building itself uses a lot of glass windows, and methinks is quite pretty in places.

  2. There is some random fountain, outside the Forum Building.

  3. I was lucky to catch the sunset outside Sheetz, on North Atherton Street, State College, one evening.

    State College and University Park are very fortunate to have some very pretty sunsets through the year, sun or snow. Rain, too -- sometimes.

  4. Notice something about the bookshelf labels?

    I was at the local Barnes & Noble in State College, and the person with me and I noticed that Love & Sex and Sexuality were both next to Addiction/Recovery.

    Oops, maybe?

Anyway, that's probably enough for now. And I'm still alive. Yay! More photographs later!

September 26, 2007

Back already

Sometimes I wonder if I do forget that I'm back in the United States. Proof that I know I am, though:

  1. The first reason is that I visted Stanford University.
  2. I also visited Tempe, Arizona, which is incidentally one of Lower Hutt's sister cities. So here's a random photograph from Tempe.

I'll put up some more photographs soon, and hopefully I'm allowed to make some announcements on what I'm doing next for my book scanning work.


August 27, 2007

Classes starting!

Well, I'm back at Penn State University Park. Things are going quite well, mostly. I've visited family in San Francisco, visited friends in Tempe, I've got my luggage and summer storage (and thus room) somewhat re-unpacked (well, just unpacked for the summer storage), I've checked that the Ethernet socket in my room is obviously now working, my US phone numbers now work sort of properly (or, they just bearably work), I've had pre-semester meetings with supervisors, I've remembered how to catch buses around here, I've remembered how to use the dining halls and the associated meal plans, I'm finding out my favourite bus stop has been removed in favour of a bigger one in a less useful (to me) spot, I'm trying to remember to call home, and I'm tired after all of that (and then some things I'm not going to tell in a public diary). I'm helping with some teaching and research this term, among the big changes about to happen in my life (the other one I'll admit to here is being starting to enjoy the US university style).

I guess that's the end of my winter vacation in New Zealand, then. Or was that my summer vacation?

July 7, 2007

A busy life, but another Project Gutenberg book is now finished!

Yes, it would appear that the first Māori language text to appear on PG has appeared. Yay!

Now available in glorious markup on Project Gutenberg is Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary. The S27(1) site also has some nice goodies in its Hinemoa section that might be worth checking out, too.

After a really interesting lesson in the macronisation of Māori over time, it's been great to finally, with the help of DP (plus some very helpful advice from Winifred Bauer at VUW), take part in getting this on to PG. The PG upload, it may be worth noting, preserves the text as published, with no corrections made; there is an 'unofficial' version of sorts, if this is required; see my S27(1) site's Hinemoa section for more details about that.

(By the way, life has been busy lately. If you don't know already why I haven't done much in the way of the diary for a while, you will soon know why, once I can say officially what's happening.)

May 30, 2007

Welcome back to New Zealand, locked mobile handsets!

Coincidentally, I hear of a certain something while I am looking for a new handset to use on Telecom NZ's CDMA network (think worn out buttons) -- the sooner I get it the better, as Telecom are going to make it obsolete by moving to GSM, or the network type Vodafone NZ currently use. (Albeit for voice they're using GSM for, anyway, it seems... data might run on something else if I read things right. If I have.)

Which can only mean one annoying thing for someone like me -- I'll have to put up with locked handsets once again. It's something I recall Vodafone did when I had my first (prepaid) handset with them (oddly, that Alcatel One Touch Easy was locked so that their postpaid SIM cards couldn't use it, though I see that Telstra Australia still do that sort of thing), but I found that by the time I got mine, they were already it seems giving out the unlock code for phones at that time fairly readily (I recall being told at the time that they didn't bother with locks anymore because handset subsidies were no longer being made; it also seemed they weren't too worried about losing roaming revenue from customers putting overseas operators' cards in while overseas). Doubtful they'll be doing that once Telecom gets their GSM act together.

Sure, I want phone companies to recoup their handset subsidies, but I don't want even a slightly confusing unlocking regime like that used in Australia (what I dislike there is at least two carriers' attempts to extract money after what would seem to be a reasonable length of time). The best I've had so far for locked handsets is T-Mobile USA: 90 days' account standing and they give it to you the unlock code with no questions or fee. At least that's what they told me when I signed up. (Which I should check seeing I have an 850/1900 MHz handset somewhere they sold me that's ripe for asking about. Too bad what I have read about Telecom's proposed network build doesn't mention whether it'll work on their network if it does end up using 850 MHz for voice. Gut feeling says no, though.)

So, the returning spectre of locked handsets to New Zealand would appear to be imminent. Tasty.

May 8, 2007


I reappear in NZ next week!

I think.

At least I will when I get around to packing my belongings for the suitcases.

And summer storage.

And my semester of short entries will end on my return. Hopefully.

(Note to self: apparently the cabin baggage allowance on Air New Zealand has changed. Sigh.)

April 30, 2007

Another patch in the works

Oh, brilliant. I'll need to load up another blasted time zone patch, so my computers back in NZ don't get too confused. That's in addition to the one I already had to install for dealing with the US changes, too.

Now, will all the major operating system vendors issue patches in time for the 4,182,612 people that will be directly affected by this, I have no idea.


April 23, 2007

25 degrees!

Yes, I'm still alive, just. But right now in University Park at 5.27 in the afternoon on Sunday 22 April, PA, it's 25 degrees Celsius. Egads.

I'm a bit too busy to write much right now, though I will try to. Next semester (autumn) should be better.

February 18, 2007

Holey road

Oops. Looks like Curtin Road's gone holey. Just outside the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center (and the Palmer Museum of Art, also in the Curtin Road to Allen Road area) no less, too.

My puns are really bad, aren't they?

February 14, 2007

Finally! Snow!

Finally! There's a decent amount of snow in University Park/State College, PA, according to AccuWeather right now (and by my own observation, it's lots of snow), like real snow. Inches of it. Lots of it. Well, around 5 centimetres to 10 centimetres or so of it in patches. Enough to go walking through with a good crunch in places (when using some good boots, anyway). In sub-zero temperatures (that's metric I'm thinking of, by the way, though we've had sub-zero in Fahrenheit, too, on the odd day, if I recall correctly, though not today), too! :)

AccuWeather also say on their video forecast for State College there could be a foot of snow in places, too. This will be interesting, albeit for the first time if not the subsequent snowfalls! :) That said, their warnings page for State College at least looks serious on first impressions, though. (Some of the other videos are, uh, undescribable, though -- take the fun Confessions of a Weather Girl and their bloopers, for example. I'm not sure what I make of Battle of the Weather Girls, though. Something seems odd about it.)

I now know what snow can also mean -- WMNST 250 (Sexual Identity over the Life Span) is cancelled tonight. :( I was looking forward to tonight's class, but there's always next week. :)

Photographs of the glorious snowfall later tonight, methinks!

February 4, 2007

Nailing jelly to the wall

Tried nailing jelly to the wall? Don't bother, the advice would appear to say.

It'd appear the exception is to be found in concentrated jelly cubes. Which, last time I checked, one can't find in NZ. Those just stick to the wall, but can be nailed, anyway. But, as the advice author says:

This is called "cheating".

Another reminder, after going to see the Vagina Monologues for WMNST 205 last night: I should be studying, I should be studying, I should be studying... [instead of looking at articles on nailing jelly on a library laptop!] Anyway, the play was an interesting empowerment of women's sexuality -- because it took not only a positive look, but also a multicultural look at sexuality, including, well, rape.

Not a bad week overall, then. Lots of study has been done. Yay!

But there's still more to do.


January 31, 2007

Still alive

Yes, I'm still alive. But I'm trying to be responsible (as usual, of course) and I'm doing my school work first.

I can't say the same thing about the DSL router back home in NZ, though. I heard this week that 'something happened' to it (of a brand that shall remain nameless for now). No, it wasn't coffee (or anything the folks back home did; it definitely wasn't their fault) -- suffice it to say that this is definitely a warranty job. :(

Ick. :(

January 21, 2007

Snow to an inch, apparently

As of tonight (Saturday 20th January, EST), AccuWeather for tomorrow night has forecast for University Park, PA that it will be Mostly cloudy with snow, accumulating a coating to an inch. Maybe I'll finally get lucky and have enough snow to romp in! (The afternoon doesn't sound more hopeful, but would appear to be a likely contributor to the hoped-for inch, which a forecast of Mostly cloudy and cold; a little accumulation of snow late in the afternoon, whatever that's supposed to mean.)

If not, I went to the snowtube hill at Tussey Mountain with the Newman Club tonight. Finally I can say I went to a snowfield. I'm told however most of the snow there tonight was probably 'fake'/machine/artificial snow. Sigh.

I only want to see lots of snow once as a novelty! I'm guessing more than a few times it'll become a bit of a nuisance. But still... I want to see a good amount of some.


I'll return to regular diary stuff when I realise how heavy the course load is. Still deciding which classes to keep to keep a sane course load. That would be the hardest bit.

January 9, 2007

All I came here for was the snow...

...And one week later, it's still not come. (Though a free t-shirt was given to me by the bank I signed up with, but no jokes on it about snow.) Which I'm told wasn't expected to happen.

Unless I was mistaken, there was a flurry earlier, but hardly enough for me to call it my first romp in the snow.

Even New York City's got the same issues. I picked up the dead tree edition of Saturday's New York Times to find on the caption of a photograph titled With Mild Winter, the City Revisits Fall Fashion and the Record Books:

Karen Flagg with her 3-year-old son, James, on the swings at the Bleecker Street Playground in Greenwich Village. New York City, basking in warm weather, hasn’t gone this long without snow since 1878.

The article is also online.

Other stuff from the same paper, and online:

January 7, 2007


Well, dialup works. Photographs might take a while longer to put online. Oh well. Hopefully in-room Ethernet will be up soon, but it looks like that soon will be some time after the middle of the month. Sigh. At least dialup will do for now! :)

January 4, 2007

Arrived at Penn State -- more to come later

After a lovely Celebrate '06 conference, I've appeared at Penn State for the exchange from VUW. I don't have many photographs of the campus yet (well, it's big, really big and takes up half of the centre of the town it resides in for one thing), so I'll write another entry here in tph about that and more Celebrate '06 stuff later. Bear hugs!

January 2, 2007


It's not often one skips town temporarily to go to a conference.

I've been at the Celebrate '06 conference for the last few days. Amazing! It's interesting how from a (smaller) country that such a conference appears so big compared to a Student Christian Movement Aotearoa conference. I mean, we'd be like a front row of this one in comparison of numbers.

[Quick addition: Due to numerous requests of others attending, I now have a Facebook profile. Add me if you'd like if appropriate. Thanks!]

The sea of people was, well, huge:

Pre-dance dinner, Celebrate '06 conference: this was just part of the room!

New Year was fun. Fireworks on the waterfront. Lots of fun. Bourbon Street was confusing, though. I went to see the fireworks with a group of people. Here is one of them. Nice people all around!

Fireworks for New Year! The people I was watching them with, one of them in this photograph, seemed equally impressed as me.

The previous night, there were the 'Regional Olympics', I'm presuming for a bit of pride in one's region. Because ibiblio at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provide room for my non-profit web concerns, I joined South. They won! Yay!

Fun after winning the Regional Olympics: yeah, this was the South team!

Of course there was lots of learning about how various churches' student groups work. Of particular interest to me was the National Catholic Student Coalition -- there's a national study body as opposed to the lack of any that I am aware of in New Zealand/Aotearoa (alas). I hope there really is one that I'm just not aware of. Would be a useful group.

There was a good reason that Sophie Snowfield Kenby-Bear of the Bear Committee showed up to the conference. Breaking gender and age roles for carrying bears. Seriously. Here's an example of what she was up to. More examples later on as I have time while in State College.

Sophie Snowfield Kenby-Bear meets humans. She enjoyed it, judging by this example.

Today I go on to State College, Pennsylvania, to go to Penn State for spring term only on exchange with my home teachers' college/university. This will be fun, I hope. Yay!

I'll write more about the conference and post more photographs as I have time as I settle in -- no time left. Hotel wifi at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside seems rather oddly priced. At least I can listen to some live Radio New Zealand streams -- ah, government radio -- well, National Radio.

December 25, 2006

A reason for me to finish packing sooner

I've been packing so busily I didn't realise it became Christmas Day less than twenty minutes ago; I really should finish soon so I can enjoy it (and to sleep first, perhaps). At least that's what our Santa-friendly US-Canadian military agency's NORAD Tracks Santa service just posted, even with some videos:

This is another sign that I should hurry up packing. Not only does the site have videos, they still run a phone-in service. Well, if you live in North America and can get at the toll-free line. The live tracking map, however, either isn't ready yet or shows Santa really hasn't left the North Pole. Heh.

Damn. I should be packing for Penn State and Celebrate quicker.

Merry Christmas!

On other interesting (depending on personal preference, I guess) news, any volunteers to go over and check (and add) the hyphenation and macronisation (for the te reo Māori section) in Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary, as I get it converted in to an e-book through PG/DP?

December 20, 2006

Things not to do -- or, at least, avoid -- at graduation

Last week's fun times at the Victoria University of Wellington and Victoria University of Wellington College of Education graduation ceremonies were interesting. Notes:

  1. If in doubt (or in possession of a hunch) about whether any of one's students or academic staff colleagues are graduating or not in a particular ceremony, book a seat and gown anyway.
  2. You'll possibly want to avoid being at the front of the staff procession.
  3. To repeat it, in text: avoid being first in the staff procession in to the Wellington Town Hall.
  4. If you are, enjoy being the last out.
  5. If applicable, try to ignore the fact you're going on leave for four and a half months to go on an exchange with VUW to Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, US.
  6. Pack them bags!
  7. Bags, what bags?

(Disclaimer: It's actually not bad at all being first in -- and last out -- at graduation. But, my point is, it's definitely interesting in a good way.)

That's probably enough for now. More later after I've packed. See you in two weeks, Penn State!

(Which, while I'm at it, I should memorise the VUW and WCE mottos in case it comes in handy at PSU. WCE even had two at one stage, I recall (one Māori, one Latin, I believe). Then again, it'd more time to collect them, being nearly 20 years older than the rest of the university and all.)

And yes, see you all back in Wellington in mid-May. Sniff.