Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.


Flight of the Conchords.
November 30, 2007, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags:

Introducing the 2007 Wellingtonians of the Year and New Zealand’s fourth-most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo, Flight of the Conchords.

Perhaps you have seen them on HBO.  This was the first song of theirs I ever heard, on the radio at 4 PM last Friday.  “Business Time.”

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Victory Doughnuts.
November 27, 2007, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: , , , , ,

By now, you should have realized that my Saskatchewan Roughriders are Grey Cup champions. This is so awesome. I am proud to say that I did not cry when the final whistle went. Almost, but not quite.

To celebrate this little piece of Canadiana, my workers sent me out to buy the most Canadian thing possible to celebrate the win, and to thank them for me streaming the radio feed of the game online all day long.

Victory Doughnuts.

Photo_112607_0021

There is only one doughnut shop here that I know of, and it’s a Dunkin’ Donuts on Queen Street. Sure, it’s an American chain, but short of buying everybody a double foam latte from an Esquires Coffee House (and I don’t drink coffee) this was about as inclusive a gift as I could think of. The doughnuts here are fantastic: less oily than you-know-where, and seemingly fresher than you-know-where. Is that because they don’t use frozen dough here? Perhaps. Is it because I am certain that the Boston Creme filling is less fake than back home? I don’t know.

All I know is we ate 11 of the 12 doughnuts in front of us, and I was absolutely beaming with pride. And in case the font is too small, the computer screen says “Riders #1!”



ADRA Half Marathon: Sunday 25 November (Updated – A Summary).
November 24, 2007, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Get Involved! | Tags: , , , , ,

As you were enjoying lunch yesterday, maybe shovelling snow or snuggling up in front of the fireplace, I completed my first ever half marathon.

1:48:31. 138th overall, 29th in my age group.  ADRA race results can be found here.

The ADRA Charity Run starts in the Auckland neighbourhood of Mission Bay (awesome beach and waterfront commercial strip, great eating). I’ve never done 21 kilometres before. I did 20k last Sunday in training, but got lost and then pulled my left hip flexor and walked the whole way home, so it wasn’t a pure 20k.

But it was fun. The race is run along a fantastic stretch of Waitemata Harbour, starting in Mission Bay and heading uphill into St. Helier’s, back through Mission Bay to the commercial port (turnaround at The Strand), and finally back to Mission Bay. Refreshment stations were provided along the way, although I pretended to be a serious runner and carried some gels and my own faux-Gatorade with me this time.

And a hoot it was. I somehow ended up in the front third of the pack at the start and panicked a little on the inside thinking I would be moving at far too fast a pace. But luckily all the really good runners were right up front to start, plus they didn’t draft behind me which is my weakness in terms of sticking to my plan. Which of course, didn’t stop me from drafting other runners, but I’m not a very nice person. No walk breaks – I was planning on taking four – and only one stitch (cramp in the side, which I only ever get on the right side) the entire time. And yes, I got passed a few times and passed others a few times. It made for a fun cat-and-mouse game in my own mind.

As for pacing, I have upped my running to 14-and-1s at the start (times three), cycling down to 11-and-1s approaching the finish.  And for the ones, I’ve upped the tempo to a really really really slow jog because it feels weird down here walking – nobody else does.  I prefer standing out by wearing headbands or Hawaiian shirts as opposed to taking walk breaks.  I’m weird like that.

22 and sunny, winds only really strong in a bad way between kilometres 12 through 15. Fortunately that meant kilometres 17 through 20 the wind was at my back and my legs didn’t hurt so much. Kilometer 20 to 21 though…worst feeling ever during.

But pretty awesome afterwards.

Today was a personal best distance and I think I have a pretty tough p.b. to try and match. Best of all, I can now finally take some time off from running to enjoy life and my result. Well, it’s more that putting weight on my left foot sort of prevents me from doing anything really meaningful. I’ve been watching “The Office” reruns most of the afternoon after hobbling over to Pizza Fresco for dinner.

Wonderfully successful day. Congratulatory messages always appreciated.

ADRA Half Marathon.



Movember Update.
November 22, 2007, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Get Involved! | Tags: ,

Oops! I completely forgot to post one-and-a-half week ago’s Movember update. In any case, were at Day 22, and I have only 10 days left with this permanent soup strainer. I don’t know how my pal Sal does it (or how my Dad did it for so many years), because I am devoting significant time during the day to tug and scratch at my facial accessory.

mo 22 nov

Come on December 1st…and not a moment too soon.



Canadian Invasion.
November 21, 2007, 5:49 pm
Filed under: News from Abroad | Tags: ,

I doubt you’ve heard about this one at home, but here is some anecdotal evidence confirming that international buyout bids work both ways.

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (where our roughly $25 a pay period goes) has launched an all cash bid for 40% control of Auckland Airport.  I’ve linked to this CNBC article which contains all the details.

Apparently, CPP has been trying for years to buy shares of the Airport – a publicly-traded company with most of the shares owned by local Councils (same difference as “municipality”).  This is their most serious offer to date.

Obviously, airports are a good business in the world of $98-a-barrel oil and our retirements would be made a lot more comfortable with the steady revenue that airline landing fees can provide.  There is a $25 departure fee on all international flights, and I’m sure you can imagine just how many international flights land in Auckland when it is the only airport in the country truly able to handle such flights (there being “no demand” from Christchurch, sayeth Air New Zealand).

Just another interesting way that Canadians are trying to make a difference in New Zealand.  For other examples, refer to:

  • Shania Twain’s purchasing of a big farm, which the locals aren’t too pleased about
  • How they play Nickleback three or four times a day on the new rock radio station
  • Arcade Fire playing Auckland’s Big Day Out Festival


2007 Grey Cup – Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg
November 19, 2007, 3:40 pm
Filed under: News from Abroad | Tags:

Only one thing worth writing about today 🙂

G&M writeup.



Some Pretty Shocking TV.
November 18, 2007, 12:41 pm
Filed under: Television | Tags: , ,

There are some crazy television commercials here. For an air freshener, for instance: