Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Sunday 16 June 2024

Waihohonu Hut 2024

Previously we’ve had some great trips during the winter to Waihohonu Hut in Tongariro National Park in the central North Island, so I planned another one for this year. It went really well!

Saturday 8 June 2024

So You Want To Build A Browser Engine

If you’re building a browser engine from scratch just for fun, stop reading now and I wish you the best. If you want to build an engine that’s competitive with Chromium, and surpasses it in some respects, here’s my advice.

Sunday 2 June 2024

Real-Time Settlers Of Catan

25 years on Settlers of Catan is still a fine game, but can be tedious when you have to wait for other players to take long turns. In our family we thought “what if Settlers had simultaneous time-limited turns?” We implemented it with a few rule tweaks and a free app written by one of my children. It turns out to work very well! Every experienced Settlers player we’ve played with so far has found it to be a great improvement over the original game. We can finish a six-player Cities and Knights game in about 45 minutes of intense fun.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Auckland Waterfront Half Marathon 2024

I did the Auckland Waterfront Half Marathon again today. I didn’t have as much time to train this year, partly because of the canoeing trip last week, and I ran it slightly differently — starting at a slower pace and trying to make sure I could run the whole way. I’m pleased I achieved that. My final time was just slightly slower than last year — 1:51:35, with a nice steady pace throughout the whole run, so I’m reasonably happy with that.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Whanganui River Journey 2024

The Whanganui River Journey is one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks” but actually a three or five day canoeing trip. We did it before in 2016, and I’ve always wanted to do it again. We have a lot of new tramping friends now so this seemed like a good time. We did the full five-day version from the town of Taumaranui, through Whanganui National Park and ending at Pipiriki.

Friday 8 December 2023

Rees-Dart Track 2023

After the Caples-Routeburn trip, seven members of the group took a shuttle back to Queenstown and then flew home, and the remaining five stayed on in Glenorchy. Saturday 18 November was a rest day; the weather was excellent and we did some short walks around Glenorchy — the lagoon walk was lovely. We also rendezvoused with our sixth group member and prepped for the Rees-Dart track starting on Sunday. I always really enjoy these rest days: time to reflect on the previous leg and relax with friends while still enjoying the anticipation of another imminent adventure.

Thursday 7 December 2023

Caples/Routeburn Track 2023

My traditional South Island tramping trip happened a bit earlier this year. We spent five days doing the Caples and Routeburn tracks, November 13 to 17, with a group of 12. Then six of us had a day off followed by five days on the Rees-Dart track, November 19 to 23. I’ll cover the Rees-Dart trip in a followup post.

Sunday 3 December 2023

Abel Tasman Kayaking

In October my Pernosco co-founder Kyle visited me in NZ for a catch-up and a holiday. Kyle had never been to the South Island in previous visits so we did a two-week road trip, Christchurch to Kaikoura to Nelson to Westport to Haast to Arrowtown to Twizel to Christchurch. It was huge fun and we fixed some gnarly rr bugs along the way, with the help of Intel’s Processor Trace.

Thursday 30 November 2023

Mount Pirongia 2023

Three months ago, September 2-3, I led a small group of friends up Mt Pirongia again. Again, we had a great time. This trip was initiated because one person whom I hadn’t tramped with before wanted to join my Rees-Dart trip this month (blog post forthcoming!) and I wanted to do a reasonably challenging one-night trip with them first.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Blog Migrated

I've migrated my blog off Blogger to a Github Pages (Jekyll) site. All the posts should still be at the correct URLs.

I'm not supporting direct comments anymore. HN, Reddit etc absorb most of the comment traffic anyway. Old posts have their comments preserved.

The main reason to do this is to ensure the longevity of the blog content. The new setup is simple and I can easily move the hosting elsewhere if Github becomes infeasible at some point. However, the immediate motivation for the move is that Google has stopped allowing updates to "classic" sites.google.com, which I was using as my CDN for images. I figured that since I had to change my setup anyway, I may as well do a complete migration.