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oct 26, 2000
Landing in Oz, drive to Canberra, and a Kangaroo welcome ... (more)

oct 24, 2000
Train to Auckland- Parnell sites and Waiheke Island ... (more)

oct 21, 2000
City scenes and a run for rings in Wellington ... (more)

oct 19, 2000
Sunny in Abel Tasman and fine wine in Nelson ... (more)

oct 17, 2000
Hokitika, Punakaiti, beaches, pancakes, horses, and caves ... (more)

oct 15, 2000
Wanaka and rainy days at Franz Josef Glacier... (more)

oct 14, 2000
Natalie arrives! Te Anau & a night on Milford Sound ... (more)
october 30, 2000
photo here On Friday (that would be October 27) I was in work mode as I went in to the CIT Southside campus where I got set up with a desk outside the office of John Smith, the Head of Teacher Education and Learning Solutions (TEALS).

The PC there was a maze of logins through various servers and proxies and other Windoze NT hurdles, but once in my plan was to leave the computer on until it "fell over". Indeed. photo here I try, try, try, not to get into computer platform wars, but I love the simplicity of my iBook because I can get down to business with it, not wait for it to boot up.

photo here In fact, Lowan's Oat and Honey (like Cheerios) the local cereal I have been eating in the morning (and reading the box thereof) has an iMac for a give away prize. Cool- Stevie J has given us iCereal.

today's photos
- all photos   o o o o

o o Canberra
starting at #6
o o CIT

Before I left New Zealand, I had signed up for Australian Internet dial up service from Big Pond, technically the government tele-monopoly, Telstra. But it was not yet working when I arrived. Upon calling them, they had held my account set up because I did not provide an Australian phone number. Duh. I do not have one. To make it happen, I had to give them a phone number of one of my hosts. Then I was connected!

photo here In the afternoon, I was invited to give a short talk about Maricopa to a class that is part of the TEALS professional development track-- the class is for teachers interested in flexible learning / online teaching. I gave my best effort at the 20 minute overview of Maricopa, what we do, and our way of offering distance learning. They seemed pleased with what I said (often i feel like I am speaking so generally since Maricopa is such a big diverse system!)

Friday evening was homemade pizza night at Allan's home. We watched that Nicholas Cage movie where he plays the morose ambulance driver. A few months ago at home I had fallen asleep halfway through- this time, I fell under two thirds the way.

On Saturday morning, Allan and Jen took me for a driving tour around town. We saw the large modern mansions along Mugga Road and then drove to the summit of photo here Red Hill for a view of the center of town, the Parliament House. The name of the city comes from the Aboriginal word for "meeting place"-- the city was built from scratch in the 1920s. Once Australian states decided to form a commonwealth in 1901, both Sydney and Melbourne vied to be the national capital, but someone wisely said, "Let's put it in between, where there is nothing." I was told the site was a pretty drab limestone plain, which makes the greenery I see today that much more remarkable.

The center of town, Parliament House, is a modern looking structure with metal struts holding the flag above a green domed hill, beneath which houses the three government branches, Executive, a Senate, and a House of Representatives. The rest of Canberra City is laid out in streets that form concentric circles around Parliament House along with "spoke" streets that radiate outward.

photo here We drove past a monument that was a gift from the United States to honor the cooperative history of armed defense between the two countries. It is an eagle perched on a high vertical rock, but to the local, it looks like the cartoon character Bugs Bunny. Make your own mind up on this one!

photo here Our next top was the peak of Mount Ainslie, which has magnificent view looking out over the War Memorial, down ANZAC Parade, and to Parliament House. There is also a good view of downtown Canberra, the place we headed for some mid-day coffees.

The next peak on the tour was Black Mountain, a hill of Eucalyptous slopes capped by the long white photo here Telstra Tower, a high antenna for satellite dishes and such. It also has a revolving restaurant and an observation deck that affords more panoramic views of the region. I was told by a local that some call this the "Hypodermic on the Hill".

photo here On Sunday morning I headed out to Lake Burley Griffin which graces the middle of town. The lake was formed by the damming of the Monlonglo River and is named after Walter Burley Griffin, the Chicago architect who designed the city's layout. The lake side includes views of the main government buildings, its national museums, many parks, and other recreational activity areas.

photo here I rented a rickety one speed yellow bicycle from "Mr Spokes Bike Hire". When I signed it out, "Mr Spokes" noted the photo of Natalie in my wallet and said, "Hey, mate, she is 'swishy'" (that is a compliment, I think!). It was a great two hours of riding around the entire lake with everything from dramatic building views to fast downhill descents through pine walled paths.

photo here In the afternoon, I joined Allan and his family for a visit to the War Memorial, which combines a tribute to Australians who have given their lives in war (names on the walls like the Viet Nam memorial in Washington DC) plus a tomb of an unknown solider in the Hall of Memory.

photo here Friends and families scan the role of inscribed names and place red poppy flowers adjacent to names of those that they knew. Like other memorials, the sheer volume of names and people represented is staggering and hopefully sobering.

Inside the museum is an impressive range of displays covering the major wars that have involved Australians, including World Wars I and II, Korea, Viet Nam, and the Gulf War. The museum has a nice variety of displays including video, audio, animation, artifacts, letters, and rooms that simulate battle conditions. The aircraft room is most impressive, with full sized fighter planes from World War II.

photo here In the research room, Allan uses the computer archives to show me the photos he took as a Navy photographer in the 1960s, from a major incident where the ship he was travelling on was accidentally rammed by an air craft carrier.

photo here On Monday, I got a chance to visit the Bruce campus of CIT. It is very modern, set in almost a forest of eucalyptous trees and nicely adorned with large steel sculpture. For the afternoon, I joined John for a meeting with the Flexible Learning Committee, which represents efforts from across all of the CIT campuses. They were interested for input during their agenda of strategic planning as well as an overview about Maricopa (I referred them to my online presentation, slightly and appropriately altered from the earlier one I had done in New Zealand).

And that brings me up to date, one day shy of Halloween. Trick or Treat ("mate!") photo here Just check out these costumes!

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