New Zealand 13 – Coffee Wars

Remember the last post where I said snow was in the forecast? Well it actually did snow.  In fact, it accumulated quite a bit (not for New England standards, but maybe for Washington DC standards).  And yes, our Kiwi intern did show up, albeit a bit late 🙂

Our office was still up and running but, as I mentioned before, the rest of Christchurch decided to shut down! I tried to call a couple clients in the morning and I’m pretty sure they thought I was crazy for thinking they had made it to the office. It’s an ongoing tradition (started during a couple snowstorms last year) to go out for fish and trips on “snow days”–the fish market is the only place that remains open (along with KFC) during inclement weather.  Therefore, we all stopped around noon, gathered round the meeting table, and thoroughly enjoyed a bunch of fried goodness.

Parking Lot Blizzard

Wishing we owned ice scrapers…

Friday night we were due for another office outing. We discovered the small local community of Lyttelton was celebrating it’s annual Festival of Lights. I found a local restaurant that managed to take our 14-person reservation and we headed to the port.  The festival was a great time–the street was closed with your typical fare food venders,  performers (including a blue grass band much to the delight of some very excited coworkers…), hot mulled wine and fireworks! After watching the fireworks and listening, perhaps a bit too long, to the blue grass band we headed to dinner and kicked off a great start to the weekend.

Fireworks over the Harbour <-I’m getting a bit too used to New Zealand spelling

Not up to par with the Soggy Bottom Boys…

Saturday I met with a new cost estimator friend for a spa day. If I had to complain about one thing here, my Kryptonite is the hotel bed.  Luckily a trip to the spa managed to untie the past two months worth of knots.

Sunday was…SPORTS DAY. With the NHL in the Stanley Cup Finals, our Kings fans borrowed the office projector to stream the game live in the apartment. Unfortunately, the Kings didn’t pull through but at least they still have a chance. Luckily the game ended early enough for me to catch the last couple minutes of the Celtics/Heat game…I probably shouldn’t have even tried to watch considering how depressing the last quarter was. Oh well, everyone left the apartment a bit depressed that day.

Thank goodness for the projector

To conclude, I leave you all with…

~~Coffee Wars~~

I mentioned previously that New Zealand does not have drip coffee. Therefore, the TTNZ office has been utilizing a french press since it’s establishment. There’s always been a lot of grumbling around the office about the french press–especially the finely ground sludge it leaves at the bottom of your mug. Well something happened last week, because one coworker had finally had enough and he sent our intern on an errand to find a drip coffee maker. We all gathered round and collected our first drip coffee cup in several months to savor the taste. And you know what? It wasn’t that great. Maybe it was the coffee maker, the fact that we used a mesh filter versus paper, or perhaps we didn’t use enough ground coffee. I can tell you that there was not a bit of sludge at the bottom of my mug though.

So who wins the war? French press or drip coffee? I think I’ll stick with shelling out the $4 for my morning latte…

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No Sleep for the Weary

The week’s been rough.  Probably the reason I’ve gone over a week and haven’t posted.  I decided to check off one of the “161 Things To Do” (which by the way, the page has been updated on this site) and take a class I think is impossible for fun.  This class is — Non Linear Finite Elements.  I have no idea why I decided to take it, our entire program was required to take Introduction to Finite Element Analysis last semester and I HATED it.  The class was awful.  So all in all, the only reason I can think of why I now represent the 10% of the class that is NOT a PhD student, and is a female, is because a small ounce of me thought it might be fun.  And now that I’m done with the first homework, I realize it is kinda fun, in a freaky nerdish way, but the process is always the difficult part….one part of the process shown below:

my plate blew up on me

This week has been a week of <=6hr sleep nights.  I pride myself on 8 hours, so less than that has been a bit rough.  I’m still trying to not jinx myself for never getting the flu shot (counting the minutes until my mother reads that and calls me to yell about my health).

Now that I’m done with that rant, in other more social news:

Olympics – also aiding to my lack of sleep. Loving that USA is dominating in Nordic Combined.  At least we’re good in one form of cross-country skiing.

Home last Wkend – for a potential job meeting, to cheer on Cornell vs Harvard hockey,  & of course to watch Keith win the Hampton Half Marathon.  A great day to go to the beach.

first trip of the season to the beach

last few meters

Ithaca Eatery Counter – last night Roommate and I braved the Ithaca Snowpocalypse to practice our Cornell Birthday tradition–going out to eat at the WPI Alumni Birthday boy/girls restaurant of choice every time the glorious event occurs (I’m still bitter that my birthday fall AFTER graduation once I leave…).  Anyways, Birthday Boy Rick chose Bandwagon–a trendy brew house.  The atmosphere actually reminded me a bit of Stellas basement bar room.  Rick being a huge beer buff chose the place because they brew their own beer right there…literally…it was sitting in copper pots fermenting right in front of us! I ordered the famous cornbread waffles and chili.  Yes, it sounded rather gross but was so good!

Parentals are visiting next month, so if Roommate and I are lucky, we’ll add a few more places to the list!

Now onto a hopefully successful weekend – successful meaning: being able to find the last shovel being sold in Ithaca so I can get find my car in the snow outside.