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Family 2011 Family 2011  Rachel Guestbook 

Merry Xmas from the Knowlers

 

Cab cooking some yummy strawberry tarts. Hummm Thanks Cab.

So cute. Cab made me a card and took this photo. x

 

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Auckland Marathon 30th October 2011 -  I did it!!!

A good friend of mine, Lisa, text me in July and said ‘come on Steve; let’s do the Auckland marathon on October’ Silly me agreed and paid the $160 fee online. The following week I went to Rebel Sports and brought some running shorts, a tee shirt and some good running shoes. At home I put them on, loaded up the iPod with some favourite tunes, done a few stretches and roared off down my street. Well… I only just made it to the corner before I almost collapsed. I was leaning up against a fence gasping for air, it wasn’t even 500 meters from home, are you kidding. So I walked back home and though I have only got three months to get myself into some sort of shape to complete this Marathon. The following weeks I ran and walked 3 to 5kms. Then in a month I was able to run 12kms, so I was making slow progress. A friend of mine, Julie, brought me some protein powder and vitamin pills, so I tried them. Finally I was running 10km four times a week. The longest run I completed was 14kms, from home to Glover Park and back. It was a bit disheartening at times but my head was in the right place. My breathing was fine too (well after the first 2kms of each run, ha-ha) the problem was my knees and hips. After about 10kms I’d get heaps of pain in my hip joints. I Googled the problem and found that some good stretching helped, and I even brought a tread mill so I could run in the lounge on rainy days. Steve doesn’t like running in the rain. A week before the marathon I had an accident on my motorbike. Trish and I were off to Piha to take some photos and we came off around a tight corner. We went down a bank and I was trapped for 35 minutes under the bike. I managed to collect the handle bars on the way over and broke two ribs (4&5) and punctured my right lung. I spent the night in Auckland ICU and was discharged with some pretty heavy post-op medication. I was resigned to the fact that my marathon (in 7 days) was over. It was hard to breath and I didn’t want to take the big breaths recommended due to the pain. During this week off, I did go for a walk and a light jog and felt pretty good. My cousins from Invercargill, Martin and Jude, were coming to Auckland to stay with Cab and I the weekend of the run to see the Meat Loaf concert. Martin runs marathons so I encouraged him to get a ticket of Trade Me and run and support me. Martin managed to get a half marathon ticket, as I thought I’d be lucky to even complete the half - but I’d try. The half is 21kms and I’d only even run 14kms, so I though 21 would be pushing it in my condition. Well Sunday 30th arrived and Martin and I are up at 4am and on the ferry to Devonport for the start of the big run at 6.10am. I was feeling really positive and good. The run starts and I’m off, before I know it I’m past the 3rd drink station. 15kms wow this is further than I have even run in my life and I was feeling really good. No knee of hip problems, breathing was easy. Even my chest pain was bearable, this was weird, I’m sure I would have been hurting by now. I wondered if I had been caught up in the excitement of it all and was going to crash and burn at any minute. I wasn’t as I was still running my own race, at my own pace, I felt great. At the half way mark I decided to continue and complete the marathon. The second half was from Auckland City, along the water front to St Helliers and back to the city, finishing at the Grafton cricket fields. It was all flat and surely it would be easier that the first half… so I thought. I ran past a guy holding a sign ‘Pain is temporary, glory is forever’ it was so inspiring, I was having moments of complete joy, smiling and loving it. I started to notice my legs more and more as I past the drinking station at Mission Bay heading back into the city (33kms I think). At this stage I was drinking power aid, coke and water at every drinking station. I must have had a dozen of each drink, during the run. Funny, with all that liquid I never went to the bathroom all day. Only 5kms to go and I really started to feel it. I stopped at a drinking station and my body was now screaming to ‘stop running and walk’, and I did. I walked about 2kms over the last 5kms and had very little left for the huge crowd at the finish. My legs were like concrete and I felt ten times heavier, each step sent painful vibrations through my body. I crossed the finish line with a smile and wanted to collapse. It was amazing, I made it; it was awesome to stop running too, believe me. I drunk more coke and ate two bananas and received my marathon medal. Martin was there at the end and gave me a huge hug and congratulations – awesome mate to have your support. I hobbled back to the car and home to a nice hot spa and a couple of Summer Ale’s. Jude was looking after Cab and lucky dad got lots of hugs and kisses. Well I did it… a marathon – tick the box Steve! I feel so great to have set a goal and achieved it. Very satisfying and still very sore a few days later… Pain is temporary, glory is forever.


A nice long spa after the run.

 

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Rugby World Cup - 2011

Semi final, Eden park 16th Oct 2011. All Blacks winning against the Wallabies 20-6

An awesome time at the Rugby (Especially because the AB's won) Cab and I made it to Eden at 7pm, (two hours before the kick off). Found our seats, and they where awesome (Class A). Sat beside a French supporter with a few poor Aussies around us. Mostly Kiwis cheering for the AB's - the roar was deafening - bloody awesome.

A huge thanks to Rich and Lisa for the tickets. Cab and I will never forget this day. So generous and typical family care and love. Cheers.

Now the AB's just need to knock over those French buggars!!! Go the AB's.


 

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Skiing at Cardrona in Wanaka during the July school holidays. Cab and I stayed with my sister Stephanie and her family.

On the 3dr day Cab fell over and got a nice ride back to medical on the back of a ski mobile.

No damage done just precaution. We also had a nice drive around to Cromwell and Alexandria and stopped and seen the huge Clyde Dam.


Awesome -  you can see Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown) in the distance. Baden, Jack and Cab.

Cab and I went to Puzzling World in Wanaka

We went to fly back home to Auckland on Monday, but got snowed in and the Queenstown airport was closed. However we made the most of it and had a great few days in the Spa B&B in Frankton, We even had a fire place in our bedroom AWESOME. Cab played for days in the snow with a mate. A real highlight for the school holidays. Oh and work picked up the tab :-)

An awesome panoramic view of the 'Scenic ski run' from the White Star lift to the Cardrona base hut. Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown are seen in the middle of this photo in the distance.

 

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Steve's hand operation - I had a plate inserted after falling down the slippery wet fire escape stairs  at work in 2008. I broke my wrist and finally after 3 years pain I received the operation.


 

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Steve's new 2010 StarVmax Yamaha bike - Cab ready to ride.

 

The Yamaha Star VMax is one of the most unique and extreme motorcycles ever offered from a Japanese motorcycle manufacturer. For the 2010 model year the VMax is a special order model, I got number 117 out of 150 sent to NZ and Australia.

 

Year:

2010 Vmax Specifications

Price:

NZ$38,500

Curb Weight:

310Kgs (683 lbs)

Displacement:

1,679 CC

Energy:

Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I

Transmission:

5-speed

Engine:

liquid-cooled 65° V-4, DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder

Torque @ RPM:

17kg/m (123 lbs/ft) @ 6,500 Rpm

Top Speed:

+/-273 km/h (170m/h)

Horse Power @ RPM:

200 Hp @ 9,000 Rpm


StarVmax, 1700cc, 200HP, 275km\h

 

When Adam called me up for a quick ride on the Yamaha Star VMAX, I said, “Sure why not, I could use a nice cruise to relax.” Two days later I was at the Tauranga shop to pick up a 2010 model. Adam told me all about his ride to the office on the VMAX making crazy screeching and engine noises while jumping around the shop using words like “insane,” “un-friggin-believable,” and “oh my god!” in his usual frenetic and excited demeanour. Ok, Adam, so it’s quick for a cruiser, but let’s not get carried away here. I figured it must have been a while since he has been on a ‘Busa or ZX14. As I pulled away from the shop I decided to see what Adam was so excited about; I wacked the fly-by-wire throttle to the stop and – “OH MY GOD!”
 
 Let’s get straight to the point. This bike is fast, brutally fast. The 1679cc V-Four mill pumps out a rear tire destroying 197 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque. Once the adrenaline high wears off from that first crack of the throttle, riding the VMAX becomes an exercise in responsibility and restraint. It’s like riding a loaded gun. Be careful where you point it, and when you pull the trigger, you had better mean it. The VMAX makes the longest straight on your favourite mountain roads ridiculously short, brings far way objects near in short order, and basically blurs space and time.
 Although the engine is by far the standout feature on the Max, the chassis is also impressive. The brakes are just as strong as the engine. A Brembo radial-pump master cylinder mated to 6-piston calipers grab dual 320mm front rotors, while out back a single pot caliper goes to work on a 298mm rotor when your right wrist has bitten of a little too much. Brake feel is strong and progressive, and the ABS doesn’t kick in until it’s absolutely needed.
 
 Bending into the corners the 685 lbs of the VMAX become apparent. Turn-in is a bit heavy feeling, but once leaned over the sled holds a line with no sign of flex or wallow. The suspension is balanced and compliant when the road gets less than ideal. The neutral upright riding position is comfortable and will feel familiar to cruiser and sport bike riders alike.
 It’s difficult to find any faults with this bike, and if I had to nitpick I would have only a few gripes. The beautifully sculpted aluminium air ducts that supply the air to stoke the VMax’s fire hit me right in above the knees on the inside of my legs. I like to squeeze and push a bike around with my knees, so I noticed this immediately. Your riding style most likely differs from my MX derived habits, so I doubt it will be an issue for many. The super cool info display is too low to be useful most of the time, as you have to take your attention from the road to see what’s happening on the small LCD screen. The VMax is also very thirsty. The 4 gallon fuel tank will only get you around 100 miles at a time under the best circumstances. I experienced a blinking empty warning after just 77 miles. None of this matters, however, when you can lay down a smoking strip of rubber as long as Texas is wide any time you get the urge.

 

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In memory of Jafa.

(Just another Fluffy Aucklander) 

Jafa was our cat who was killed on our road Sunday 17th April. Jafa was about three years old (human years) and like most cats, had an awesome personality. She wouldn’t really meow but more purr when she talked. She loved us and we loved her. Jafa had the run of the place and we paid dearly owning her, as her diet was nothing but the best food and lots of hugs and love. She would sleep on my lap and I wouldn't move until she was awake lol. Over the past 3-4 months Jafa slept with Cab at nights and even slept all day on Cab’s bed. The afternoon sun would stream through onto Cab’s bunks and made for a lazy day of rest.

Saturday night I turned off the TV ready for bed and got reminded by Jafa that it was time for her feed. She used to hang around the kitchen at nights and block me from going up the stairs, as a reminder that it was ‘feed me time’. I put a can of food in her bowl and instead of hoovering it down; she followed me back into the kitchen. This was strange, so I got down on my knees and gave her a really good tickle and pat. She loved me rubbing her ears and whiskers and belly. She started to purr really loud and her grey fluffy hair started to fall out and a bit tickled my nose so I gave up lol. Such a cutie. I finally said “good night Jafa” and went upstairs to bed and Jafa went to her food. The following morning I got up before Cab and fed her, but she didn’t run down from the stairs or through the cat door. I thought this was strange. I told Cab and we started to get concerned a few hours later. I had a quick look outside for her and called for her. After lunch I thought I’d look down the driveway and walk along the street. My heart dropped as I saw what looked like a cat a few houses up the hill. Sure enough it was Jafa, she had been run over and someone had placed her gently on the grass verge. I felt instantly gutted and picked her up and spoke to her. I gave her a cuddle and kiss and carried her home. I went upstairs and sat Cab on my lap and told him I had found Jafa. We cried. A very sad day for the Knowlers as a little more love had left us. Cab didn’t want to see her but later did and gave her a pat as we lay her in the ground. We made a little memorial to her and screwed her name tag to the garden shed.

That night Cab and I hugged and cried again and then Monday morning Cab came in and we had more tears and cuddles and remembered her again. It was sad not to have her around my feet looking for food and cuddles that night and Cab struggled with Monday morning feed time. Cab has a really cool idea of getting a paving stone and carving in Jafa’s name and the date she died.

A sad time for the Knowlers as Jafa was a part of the family and will surely be missed. I know Carol and Toto will miss her dearly too. RIP Jafa – you were the coolest little cat I’ve ever known.


2008 - The Knowlers new kitten called Jafa (named by Cab, 'Just another fluffy Aucklander')

 

Jafa and Toto playing on the driveway. These guys are great mates and there is always heaps of Toto’s white fluff all around the place where the wrestling gets a bit serious occasionally. A funny pair to watch. Very sad for Toto.

Jafa never got so well fed with a pack of biscuits. Jafa's last resting place.

 

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Cab and I went to speedway with Garett and Sam. Covered in mud!


 

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Cab and dad camping at Hahei for the second week in 2011. A great 7 days with friends and adventures. Every day, swimming in the sea and lazing around at the beach. I got to read most of a book and even brown the skin in some places. One day Cab and I went on a Kayak tour from Hahei to Cooks Beach, stopping of at Cathedral Cove for a fancy coffee. We paired up with several Aussies and had a bunch of fun with them. At one point we all held onto one-another's kayaks and the tour guide and myself (being on the outside) held up a tarp and sailed the team downwind, cursing along at several knots.


Our camping setup and dad having a scuba dive at Gemstone Bay around to Sting Ray Bay. Got to see one sting ray but the best view was the French mum sunning herself on the beach lol. It was a hot day for dad...

 

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