Journal

Exotic black flower 14 March 2006

My *sweet* little camera is broken. I am so bummed. I think what happened is that something was dropped on it, or it was (unknowingly) stepped on! I pulled it out tonight to take a group shot at dinner, and found an exotic-looking black flower on permanent display with delicate lines through it.

I had been carrying it around most days, in the zipper pocket of my pants, but today I left it inside my fanny-pack, inside my carry bag, inside the new house’s garage where we keep all our stuff during the day (it is built first, for storing paint and stuff). As has happened a couple of other times, one of our team graciously carries all our bags out and puts them on the side of the driveway when we finish, so we don’t have to navigate around stuff as it gets stored in the garage overnight to get our stuff. I don’t know if that is when it happened, or earlier, because I used it today at noon and it was fine.

At dinner when we were getting group shots, I pulled it out and saw the “flower” – it comes on and the view screen lights up, so I took a photo anyway using the viewfinder, then decided I should remove the battery and card to protect them. So we tried my card in another camera, and the group shot did not take, but the ones I took at noon were there. Then I noticed that it is bent slightly along the frame around the view screen.

Dang – I love this camera! It has recorded some great adventures in even so short a time since Lester gave it to me for my birthday. And now it will not be able to record my Tongariro Crossing next week. I am going to try to find a disposable digital camera, but of course it will not be the same.

I painted and sanded yet again today – I had no idea how long this part of building takes!!! I hope to be able to spend part of tomorrow, our last work day, at the new site. Painting is where our building inexperience really shows – it is very difficult to paint well with a roller, as I discovered personally, and very difficult to “fix” walls that have supposedly had a final coat of paint put on cockeyed!!

On Thursday the team heads for Rotorua for “R&R”. It is a volcanic area with steam baths and mineral pools, and is aMaori cultural and art center. I am READY for a massage and mineral bath!

Another funny expression: “rostered” – mean scheduled. And here are some fun facts about NZ:

* In the movie Star Trek: First Contact, when Picard shows Lily she is orbiting Earth, Australia and Papua New Guinea are clearly showing, but NZ is missing!

* A New Zealander invented the tear-back velcro strip, the pop-lid on a self-sealing paint tin, the child-proof pill bottle, and the crinkle in hairpins so they don’t fall out.

* More rainbo trout in the 2kg to 3kg category are caught annually in NZ than in the rest of the world put together (I must remember to order it next time out!) – and it is illegal to sell trout; you can only eat trout that you catch. (But get this – prostitution is legal in NZ, So, you can sell sex, but not trout!)

And last, but not least – this funny story: I may have mentioned that the young doctoral-candidate that designed the second, experimental-design house we are working on is on site every day, and is very good looking – very tall, lanky, tan, curly-brown-haired, about 25, and very low-key and personable. Several days ago, a couple of the young women on our GV team (who shall remain nameless), were asked where they would like to work that day. Their response was that they would like to work on the experimental site, because they wanted to enjoy the view. No one thought much about it, until later, when they were talking about it during break, laughing as they recounted their response, and explained that Graham was “the view” – just as he walked up behind them! Obviously, his nickname became “The View”. :)