Monday, April 27, 2009

New Zealand Dolphin Adventure

About half-an-hour away from Steph and Lance's farm is the Bay of Islands. It's a huge bay filled with little volcanic rock "islands" formed eons ago. Some are puny; some are have homes on them.

We took a boat tour looking for dolphins to swim with. There are about 450 dolphins in the Bay of Islands, so they were easy to find, but they had their babies with them. The survival rate of baby dolphins is low, so swimming with them and disrupting their feeding habits is dangerous for the baby. The captain offered the entire ship the opportunity to get in the water in the bay and swim anyway, away from the dolphins. Mary was the only one who voiced interest (out of 150 people). They insisted she could, but she shied away (if only her husband would have done it with her :)

One of the "islands" is pretty infamous - it's called the Hole in the Rock. Over time, the ocean has eroded the limestone portion of this island. We literally drove through the hole. You can see in this pic (click on it to make it big) that we're looking at a sailboat through the rock.

For lunch on the tour boat we stopped on an island with a restaurant for some awesome fish and chips (I think the best we had all trip). We took a little walk on the island into a sheep field. It was difficult dodging sheep dung! The island we were on was centrally located so we were able to see quite a few "islands" in the bay.

More NZ Dolphin Adventure Pics

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We have a new radio station

It's an oldies station - 97.9 FM. I dressed up as Elvis with three other employees today and we tried to get people to listen.

Congratulations Runners!

Congratulations to all of our friends:
Congrats Madelyn! You finished the kid's race - every kid's a winner!
Congrats Wilma! 5K in 57:45 walking (and after falling and cutting her forehead)
Congrats Brian! Half-marathon in 2:08:17 PR!!
Congrats Maggie (and her boyfriend) - Half-marathon in 2:16:13
Congrats Dot! Half-marathon in 2:24:34 - pregnant!
Congrats Wallheimer fetus! Half-marathon in 2:24:33 (it crossed just before the rest of Dot's body).
Congrats Ben! 26.2 miles in 2:28:29 PR!
Congrats Chris! 26.2 miles in 3:39:23!
Congrats Ryan! 26.2 miles in 4:06:13!
Congrats Amanda! 26.2 miles in 4:06:13!

The Marathon Aftermath

All-in-all, the Illinois Marathon was a huge success!
Chronological details:
- Friday, Marti, Terry, Wilma, Kathy, Daphne & Bridget, Sarah, Chris, Madelyn, Laura, & Bridget came to town. We had a pizza party (Papa Del's) for Evan's 1st birthday. I mention that the pizza was Papa Del's because it's the best pizza...
- Dot and Brian stayed with us to run the half-marathon. They missed the pizza party.
- Mary missed out on all of it (church, pizza, nieces and nephew, D&B) because she was working at the marathon expo until 11:50pm.
- Mary made it to bed after midnight. She woke up to go back to work for the marathon at 3am.
- Mary called me at 5am and asked me to run to Walmart and buy 200 feet of hose for one of the air stations.
- I got to geek out and hang with Bart Yasso, Dick Beardsley, and Coach GP at the finish line for four hours. They even let me get on the microphone and help "bring the runners in."
- At 4:30pm, the entire Nutter and Anderson clan had dinner at Chevys (inc. Arnold, Tina, Ray, and Collen). The only person missing was Mary - still at the marathon.
- Mary got in home just in time to shower and get ready for my confirmation.
- After confirmation, Mary and I mingled at the church until 11:45pm.
- Mary finally got to bed after midnight.
And it's all over...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How To Go Pig Hunting (by Rob)

Step 1: Let the dogs loose
Step 2: Run around in the thick forest for 2 hours
Step 3: When the dogs are barking, they've found a wild pig
Step 4: Slice the boar's throat
Rule 1: No talking except the quietest whisper
Rule 2: Try not to be upwind of the pig

Lance's neighbor is a pig-hunting expert and it sounded like fun to me to run around in a forest for 2 hours (slicing a pig's throat, not so much). Chris came over with five hunting dogs. We drove out near some native bush on the Oliver farm and let them loose to get the scent. We started walking to the bottom of the hill.

In a clearing in the bush, we almost immediately found a fresh pig print. Chris (expert hunter) noticed the pig had been eating some berries off a nearby vine and rubbing itself on the bark of a tree.

I joked to Lance (in as quiet a whisper as I could manage) "We should just wait for the pig to come to us." 30 seconds later, I spotted the boar bounding through the trees. 20 seconds behind the pig was one of the dogs, and another... The hunt was on!

We climbed the largest, steepest hill in the area so we could have a birds-eye view of the lay of the land and could hear the dogs easier. I know it was the largest hill because there was a little sign-post on top that means it's the largest hill (they use it for surveying). And we waited.
And waited.
And waited.
Then a dog came trotting up the hill to us. Not a good sign.
Then a second dog.
Then, a third dog came limping. It's white fur was pink from it's own blood. Apparently it had caught up to the pig, tussled, and got poked in the side twice by the boar's 3 inch tusks.

The hunt was over. Chris whistled and made some noises. The other two dogs came bounding up the hill, and we decended back to the truck.

At least I got to see a wild boar, and I didn't have to slit it's throat.

Had we got the pig, we would have had to carry it to the truck like this:
147 lb

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Late/Returned Mail (by Rob)

1. Before we went to NZ, Steph and Lance went on vacation in South Africa. They sent us a postcard saying "We're having fun, can't wait to see you in NZ!" They returned home to NZ, and we arrived five days later. After 18 days in NZ, we returned to the USA. A week after being home, we got the postcard.

2. On Monday, we got an "undeliverable" piece of mail returned to us. It was to Nutters in Indiana... not sure what the problem with the address is. The mail: a Christmas card! Just now returned!!! So, Nutters, Merry Christmas!