Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.


Amazing Sun Facts.
April 30, 2008, 9:26 pm
Filed under: Happenstance | Tags: ,

The shortest day of the year in Auckland (June 21) sees 9h, 37m and 33s of sunlight.

The shortest day of the year in Guelph (December 21) sees 8h, 56m and 22s of sunlight.

Therefore, the shortest day of the year in Auckland is “only” 41 minutes longer than Guelph’s.

Tomorrow, the next great residential move of my life is happening.  I am off to Auckland’s North Shore.



No Longer Stranded.
April 28, 2008, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling

It took two days, but I finally got off of Great Barrier Island.  It’ll make for a great story when I write it up later this week, but it’s 9:30 PM here and I need to be up at 5:30 AM to call home and I have a half-hour’s worth of laundry sitting on the couch next to me…

Rest assured, it’s been a lovely weekend, but the blog has to suffer for another night.



Anzac Day.
April 24, 2008, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Happenstance | Tags:

NZ Friday is Anzac Day.  It’s exactly like Remembrance Day, only with fewer poppies on lapels (they have those here, but they are not nearly as ubiquitous as they are back home).  It commemorates the (for British Empire forces) disastrous attempt to secure a supply route through the Mediterranean to Russia.  The initial Allied invasion was April 25, 1915.

It was the first major military engagement for the new Australia and New Zealand Army Corps – or Anzacs.  Of interest, Newfoundland regiments were also involved.  For the Anzacs, it was a disaster.  Over 10,000 Anzac troops died, with another 25,000 wounded.  The defeats rocked the confidence of a young Australia and a proud New Zealand.  Sort of how like Dieppe might sound to people who care about history in Canada.

April 25th is a national holiday in both Australia and New Zealand, and are national holidays.

To remember, I am going on another vacation for three days to the Great Barrier Island.  I will be back in three days and will try and post accordingly.  But I also have an 18k run planned and Canadian work to do, plus I’m behind on my New Zealand work hours as well.  Plus, I need to take another stab at the 20 minute 5k on Tuesday and Henry Rollins is in town on Wednesday.  Should make for an interesting week ahead in my life.



$30 in Free Pizza.
April 21, 2008, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Happenstance | Tags: ,

As you probably do not know, I have been on a door prize drought at Tuesday Night Run Club (“the Loaded Hog 5k Race Series”) for four months now.  As you should know, we have a radio on most of the time in our open concept office.

When the bosses disappear during the day, I am apt to make repeated phone calls to local radio stations in vain attempts to win a prize of some sort.  I usually don’t know what I’m even trying to win most of the time.

Today, my luck changed.  After my usual accomplice in calling had left for the day, the Five O’Clock Knock Off contest on The Rock came on.  Here, the radio station plays two songs and the first caller through has to guess what theme the song is communicating.

And I won.

The song was Green Day’s “Holiday” off of the fantastic, essential-to-own, modern rock opera American Idiot.  I figured the theme was that the morning show team was away on holiday for the week, but the phone kept on ringing so I put the call out to the office, “Hey, who’s on holiday this week?  Did somebody’s vacation start?”

After about ten seconds, our newest hire mentioned that most school students started a school holiday this week, which would explain why I’ve been seeing more teenagers around lately.

To my shock, the radio station actually picked up and said, “So, mate, what’s the theme?”  I said, “It’s a school holiday!”  I was right.

I won $30 in pizza vouchers to Hell Pizza, which is like Little Caesar’s I imagine (we have Domino’s here).  They should arrive in the office mail on Thursday.

Hooray for me.  In other news, my cellphone is still on the fritz.  I’m not impressed that my provider has yet to mail through my new SIM card to me.



The Incomplete Simile.
April 19, 2008, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Happenstance | Tags:

I haven’t lost my Canadian accent. But when alone, I have been trying to pick up a New Zealand accent for a few reasons:

  1. I need to prove that I learned something down here;
  2. I need to impress friends and family with my linguistic prowess when I get home;
  3. The cute foreigner angle impresses Kiwi birds;
  4. The extra material will be helpful for flirting back home;
  5. I think it would be a neat souvenir.

The accent isn’t entirely perfect.  I think I sound like an impersonator of my boss most of the time, and when I don’t sound like a planner impersonator I think I sound like a person who is faking a New Zealand accent.

My only alternative is to pick up some slang.  And the last few weeks have been very good weeks for picking up slang.  One particular example that I think has been getting worse (in that I have heard it more lately than ever before) is what I call…

…The Incomplete Simile.

Similes are comparison statements.  My dog is cute as a button.  The Blue Jays are hitting like my minor league baseball team from 1995.  I run like a fat gazelle.  Seeing the Senators knocked out of the playoffs is as sweet as the Leafs actually getting to the playoffs.  The New Zealand twist is to not complete the simile.  In effect, this turns the phrase into a superlative.  It doesn’t work with the “like” phrases though, only the “as”.

Using the Senators sucks example above, dropping the conclusion gets you “Seeing the Senators knocked out was sweet as”.  The Maggie line becomes “My dog is cute as.”

Makes sense, eh?

The most common examples of The Incomplete Simile I have heard are:

  • Sweet as (measure of awesomeness);
  • Easy as (simplicity);
  • Cheap as (cost), with a full on statement being “Cheap as chips”;
  • Slow as (time for delivery or receipt of something);
  • Wet as (pretty straightforward);
  • Fat as (pretty straightforward);
  • Hungry as (a common one for me);
  • Tired as, sleepy as (also a common one for me);

Although this approach to slang seems to have worked for me in almost every circumstance possible.  Perhaps that is more a function of my coworkers and associates being accommodating as, but I reckon (“reckon” being the everyday replacement for “think”) I may be on to something here.



Canada on Strike.
April 17, 2008, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Nothing in Particular, Television | Tags: ,

As you won’t know, episode 1204 of South Park is entitled “Canada on Strike.” It parodies the Writer’s Guild of America strike.

There’s a running gag through the episode. Somebody turned it into this music video.

Alternate link.

You do know you can now view whole episodes online at the revamped South Park Studios, right?



Mostly Work and Little Play.
April 17, 2008, 9:40 am
Filed under: Happenstance

Not a terribly interesting time of my life right now.  I’ve even neglected my ambitious gym and running plans (marathon training began in earnest this week, in theory).  And that’s what’s up.  And to think, I actually have things I want to talk about: new suburban digs, Melbourne trip, flights home, the commuting life, some neat-o Kiwi diction, …

22 minute drive in yesterday, 32 minutes today.