June: back to normal non-teaching term, writing paper after paper

Posted by Patrick Lam on Saturday, July 1, 2023

Table Of Contents

Let’s try to get this post out earlier. I’m starting it on June 27. I could be writing papers right now, but it’s 11pm, and I try to avoid that when I can. I write papers all day and I write blog posts all night.

June has been pretty routine, with one hiking trip to the Atene Skyline Track in Whanganui National Park, and one judo trip to referee at the Australian national championships. Then I’ve just been writing papers for the rest of June.

I got around to measuring just far up the hill I live. The bike ride includes 126m elevation gain in 1.64km, with the steepest part being 40m in 300m. Oof.

Brisbane CityCat; spiderweb on Atene Skyline; kereru at Bushy Park; Kelburn Park in the morning; Raumati Beach.

COVID

No revolutions this month either, but more knowledge. In NZ we are seeing slow declines, backed by wastewater numbers. I heard there is a surge in Japan.

Professional

Full steam ahead on revisions to our Empirical Software Engineering paper (now resubmitted) and an invited Journal of Systems and Software paper.

Worked on 20 days; nominally 22 work days in June. Non teaching terms are indeed less intense than teaching terms. There were some days with lots of writing and some days where I was… preparing to write. That always happens. Hard for me to avoid the preparation time.

Grad students/mentees

Let’s say that I talked to students/former students/prospective students on 6 days (not counting Discord chats) and mentees on 4 days.

Research

Paper writing, as seen above. I sent a draft of some sections of my upcoming Discovery Grant application to the university’s Research Office for feedback.

After I submit the JSS paper and after jury duty, I’ll be working on a talk for Oracle Labs.

Teaching

I hosted the online part of an Open Forum about AI for the Faculty of Engineering. We talked about possible implications of generative AI for our courses. It sure can create text.

Collegiality

Just some FAUW work. We’ll see what happens with that.

Trips

A judo trip (as well as a local judo tournament) and an outdoors trip.

Australian Nationals, Gold Coast, June 9-12

Somehow I felt it was less stressful than the Canadian nationals. Anyway, I had a good time refereeing at these nationals, with fighters I didn’t know at all. The Australian nationals are over 3 days and start at U12 I think. Canadian open nationals start at U16 but also include ne-waza-only fights (ground) on a fourth day.

I flew in to Gold Coast, which is about 100km from Brisbane, via Auckland. This required a 6am flight from Wellington. I biked to the airport at 4am. Biking back home up the hill was a bit beyond me and I pushed the bike. Gold Coast in June is temperate, around 20C and sunny. I tried to see some birds and did see blue-faced honeyeaters and rainbow lorikeets, but my time was pretty limited. Also rode the trains around Brisbane. Only got lost once. Brisbane transit seems relatively functional. It is bigger than Auckland and has far more trains.

My bike at WLG; Gold Coast; palm trees at OOL; the beach; after the final; two lorikeets in Brisbane; judo at Shin-gi-tai.

Whanganui National Park/Atene Skyline, June 16-18

This would be our first chance to get out on a longer trip since my return to New Zealand. Looking at nearby hikes, I found the Atene Skyline track in Whanganui National Park, which was reasonable driving distance from Wellington.

It was almost winter solstice and the walk is advertised as 6 to 8 hours. Typically we land right in the middle of the predicted times. Sunset was around 5pm, so I figured it would be best to be on the move by 10am; we made it to trailhead by 9am. I think the most scenic part was the first part up to the Atene Viewpoint and just a bit beyond, especially in the morning with the undercast. I was pleased to finish in just under 6 hours including lunch.

Overall, a good first visit to Whanganui National Park, one of the last ones on the list for me to visit. I hope we can do the Whanganui River Journey this summer.

The next day, we went to Bushy Park. It’s also near Whanganui, but in a different direction. We had breakfast again at the Wanganui East Breakfast & Cafe and headed out to the fenced sanctuary. We heard a lot of birds (maybe even a rosella) and saw saddlebacks (no pictures), fantails, lots of robins, tui, and I had a kereru dive bomb me. Vague flash of a hihi.

Fantail; Whanganui River from holiday park; view from Atene Skyline track.

Travel planning

Although there are some trips I’d like to do in the next few months, there’s still some job uncertainty with MP. I did travel planning for the Atene Skyline trip, which was easy; the Auckland International Open (if jury duty doesn’t stomp on that trip); Petrel Station in Northland; and the NZAC Leading Ice course. Also Somes Island camping trip for Matariki weekend.

International travel planning: IJF/PJU referee clinic in Calgary in September, with stops in Seattle and Squamish. Manitoba Open and Ontario Open in October. Thinking about SPLASH in Lisbon.

Movement statistics

More walking than May, but that’s not saying much. Only one day hike, really. 20% below the monthly average from 2021/2022, but in an average month I have more multi-day hikes than this June; those drive the numbers up. Surprisingly large amount of biking for Wellington. Driving was to get to the hike mainly, plus to the Wellington Open and around Gold Coast. And assorted Brisbane (mostly) and Wellington transit, including a ferry this month. One medium-haul flight to Australia.

  • 🚶 Walking: 102km on 20 days
  • 🚲 Biking: 119km on 13 days
  • ✈ Plane: 5,488km (WLG-AKL-OOL, BNE-AKL-WLG)
  • 🚗 Driving: 859km on 9 days
  • 🚌 Bus: 38km on 3 days
  • 🚆 Train: 53km on 3 days (Wellington and Brisbane)
  • ⛴ Boat: 1.7km (Brisbane CityCat)
  • 🚡 Cable car: 0.6km (1×)

Walks

  • Atene Skyline Track, 16.5km (2.2km road to close the loop), +/- 750m. Nice undercast and good views to first viewpoint. Locally famous trail run. Steep but well-formed.

Also a couple of smaller walks: around Porirua, to Wrights Hill, and on the Paraparaumu beach.

Pictures

Lots! Cleared some 2021 backlog and did a bunch of 2023 pictures. Didn’t touch any 2022 pictures.

Abel Tasman Coast Track, September/October 2021 (finally!)

Cleopatra's Pool; Medlands Beach; weka and chicks; inside Awaroa Hut; Awaroa Inlet; phonebooths.
Rocky outcrops; sunset over Separation Point; Whariwharangi Hut in the morning; welcome swallow; Able Head; Long Island; back over Island Bay.

Japan, February 2023 (last remaining set)

Nakasendo: wagon, more water wheels, mirror, breakfast at Kameyama

West Coast Tour, May 2023 (not quite everything, but almost)

Seen enroute to Eastern Sierras: heart snowpatch; top of Devil's Slide; pond and forest near Cleveland Dam; from Allen Building on UW campus; ski touring up Rainier; enroute to Eastern Sierras; 46km on this bike in Seattle; Rainier summit
Run like a Mother BC in Nelson; Gladstone?; Nelson; Pacific Coastal desks at YVR South; Squamish Public Library; The Chief; fire in Chemistry?; aircraft in YVR in the morning; my stuff @ YYZ.

MP visits Canada, April 2023 (last two albums)

Gold Coast/Australian Nationals, June 2023

Atene Skyline/Whanagui, June 2023

The List

One more substantive 2021 album. I guess I should clean up the other one-day albums too, but there likely aren’t too many good pictures from them. Did not add any June 2023 albums because I processed them all in the month (except for the Wellington Open).

  • [January] Zealandia, January 4/14/18/Wellington Butterfly (23), Zealandia (April, June, September, November), Wellington Sunset (November), lens tests (November)
  • [September] Paparoa Track & the Glaciers (7)

Backlog from 2022:

  • [January] Walking around KW
  • [February] Reading week trip to Montreal
  • [April] Northland (6)
  • [May] trips 1 and 2 to Montreal
  • [July] Vancouver (2)
  • [August] Brisbane airport walk
  • [August] Colonial Knob
  • [September] Napier (2)
  • [September] Motueka (2)
  • [October] Queen Charlotte Track (6)
  • [November] New Plymouth (4 days with more than a few pictures)
  • [November] Radome/Red Rocks
  • [November] Remutaka overnight (2)
  • [December] Kereru (03/12), Zealandia (05/12)
  • [December] Auckland
  • [December] New Lens Day
  • [December] Wanaka Grebes (6)
  • [December] Gillepsie Circuit (4)
  • [December] Mueller Hut (2)
  • [December] Glacier iceberg kayaking
  • [December] Omarama

The 2023 pictures list is for now quite short:

  • [January] AMC (6)
  • [May] West Coast Tour (3)
  • [May] Montreal and NZ (4)
  • [June] Wellington Open (1)

June posts

Here are the June-dated posts, even if they may have appeared in the May summary.

Miscellaneous

Acquisitions

We did get an ebike for MP but that’s not really my purchase. I did get new brake pads for my bike, because the old ones were kind of scary. The guy at the store kindly installed them for me. I think I had them on backwards or something.

Sports

Fought in the Wellington Open (silver in SM-66), refereed all weekend. Judo practice 6×, including once at Shin-gi-tai in Sydney. No climbing; meant to go on June 30th but didn’t make it.

Restaurants

Wellington:

  • Boundary Tap & Kitchen: standard place for dinner after the Wellington Open in Raumati Beach
  • Kisa, flavours are kind of subtle, good cured market fish and really good tahr kebab; eggplant not as tasty as I’d hoped.
  • Caffe Mode: Just pointing out that they have mochi (which is actually from Moore Wilson’s, they told us).
  • Mediterranean Foods Trattoria & Deli: the correct pizza

Gold Coast/Brisbane:

Whanganui:

Lamb shoofta pizza; ghaymeh; breakfast buffet at voco Gold Coast; Sri Lankan seafood curry; banh mi; mixed plate from Kebabholik; food from Tasty Indian; Judo Canada cupcakes from May; bangers and mash; NZ judo cupcakes; tahr kebab; quatro stagioni pizza from Mediterranean Foods.

Volunteering

Refereeing at Wellington Open, Australian judo nationals, OAC, FAUW. The OAC is working hard on a letter campaign for climbing in parks, which is a Hugo site linking to Action Network for sending emails.

Books

I borrowed 7 books from the library, and I’ve read one of them so far.

  • Brian Parkinson. Explore New Zealand Nature: A Natural History Road Trip. 2022.
Fantail; Whanganui River from holiday park; view from Atene Skyline track.

Parkinson describes, of course, birds, but also trees, weta, and sometimes rocks all around New Zealand. He also points out the natural history part, where there used to be a lot more birds than there are now, especially the huia. He provides a fairly comprehensive tour of New Zealand. I really have been to most of the places that he describes, plus some others—especially the ones that aren’t accessible by road. Some of the places (e.g. Mana Island) are normally inaccessible to normal people.

Doing this as actual road trips would be, for me, the worst. But I definitely would be interested in stopping by some of these places for a second visit should I happen to be in the neighbourhood. Probably I wouldn’t actually see many of the birds he mentions. But it’s worth a try. And I could learn more about trees. I know many birds, but I’m pretty hopeless with NZ plants.

This book looks to be worth owning outright; the blessing and the curse of the library book is that you’re not supposed to keep it. That’s great when it’s one-time-use, less so when it’s reference material.

Conclusion

Just plugging away at research, which is nice. Need to get to some more travel planning for the next few months around New Zealand.