This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- The alarm failed to wake us again - this time set
correctly, but the time had an AM/PM mess up; luckily J' woke
up at the right time (again).
- A nice cooked breakfast, left them for various sight
in the local area. Headed to the Hukka falls first; lake Taupo
is really high above sea level, and so they control the flow
from it, holding the water at night and using it when power is
needed in several hydro plants. When we saw it the river was
roaring through a channel 15m wide and 10m deep (~2-3m deep
water perhaps), and going over the falls which were awesome.
The water goes a very bright blue/cyan colour, with beautiful
bubbles and makes quite a noise. The flow rate varies from 30
to 250 m^3 / second going over the falls which change height
from ~5-7.5m or so depending on flow. An impressive display of
the power of water.
- Went into the 'Volcano Centre' very worthwhile,
a couple of interesting films. The recent eruptions of Mt
Ruaopehu only (only) spewed out 0.2 km^3 of rock in it's
recent 1995 eruption whereas what is now lake Taupo in it's
mega blast chucked 150km^3 of debris into the air ... seen
as far afield as China and India (apparently). It's last major
eruption was relatively recent geologicaly ~400AD.
- Interestingly the biggest bangers are not the ones
that have time to form a cone shaped steryotypical volcanoe,
but rather ones in which there is a huge eruption of underground
pressurised rock, and then a collapse to form a caldera where the rock
subsides and often a lake forms; explaining Taupo's lack of
huge conical things.
- Then on to the 'Craters of the Moon' - an area where
steam bursts from the ground. Apparently this is a somewhat new
phonomenon caused by recent engineering; dams, drainage or the
thermal power station or somesuch. Either way, notable because
apart from the steam, large chunks of the ground occasionaly are
blown into the air leaving huge (15x15x10m) craters and mud
everywhere. Better than that, unwary visitors can sink into the
soft (>100degree C) soil, burning themselves badly - if they
stray from the path. Also, instead of 'last eruption 5 years
ago' or '400AD' it was 5th Feb 2001 - great fun.
- Onto another place, saw more of the same really,
but paid $15 for the pleasure. Then stopped at some boiling
mud pools at the side of the road; great fun.
- We (J') then drove a substantial distance across
the country west to Waitomo where there are some fine caves;
stayed in a hotel past it's best. One has to be slightly
concerned when each room comes with a can of 'Raid' bug
killer spray - but no hair drier. Good restaurant though.
- Back to bed, didn't even try to set the alarm.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (email@example.com)