Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.

More Stories About Gas.
July 7, 2008, 11:37 pm
Filed under: In the News | Tags: ,

So I’m riding the bus home with my Pizza Fresco pizza and I notice that gas is for sale at the BP for 218.9/L tonight.

You might remember that when I landed in Auckland that gas was 150.9/L.

This is me mailing in a post because I spent the weekend working and tonight packing.  I’m going to be idle for a few days while I’m getting back to Canada, but I will definitely keep blogging about New Zealand until the end of July.  Then I need to figure out what to do next…


Truck Strike! Part Two.
July 3, 2008, 7:29 pm
Filed under: In the News | Tags: , ,

My site traffic has tripled since I did up that itty bitty post about the truck strike.  So you are aware (and I can be all disclaimer-ish in the future), I heard the supposed route from a radio DJ who was interviewing a trucker at 9 PM while I was plodding my way through actual work at the office, so it may or may not be 100% accurate.

Even so, if this thing does in fact hit critical mass (and the police sure think it will), the bulk of the central city will be gummed up, as will the motorways (especially the Harbour Bridge).  The original route I forecasted is two posts down.

It’ll be a futile effort driving tomorrow morning.  You can join me on the Devonport Ferry on (hopefully) one of the 7:00, 7:15 or 7:30 sailings (I’ll be the one with a chocolate pastry and Phoenix juice) if you like.  And I will definitely be bringing a camera along.

NZ Herald coverage of the Auckland truckers strike.

Working Days Versus Calendar Days.
July 3, 2008, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Ask a Canuck | Tags: ,

Nancy indirectly asks for a countdown: “Time for, ‘Holy Smokes, I’m returning to Canada in X sleeps.

The answer is seven sleeps.  This is my first public pronouncement of this fact. 

More importantly, I think this raises a neat thing I haven’t talked about yet.  In Ontario, planning milestones are marked in calendar days.  As in, “Council has 90 days to make a decision on the application“.  In New Zealand, planning milestones are marked in working days.  As in, “Council has 20 working days to make a decision on the application“.  What exactly is excluded from the notion of a “working day” is defined by a regulation to the Resource Management Act 1991: statutory holidays, Saturdays, Sundays and a two week period around Christmas. 

Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I suppose.  But I like the quirk.  I think it’s neat.

Truck Strike!
July 3, 2008, 12:22 am
Filed under: Get Involved! | Tags: , ,

There is going to be a truck strike in Auckland during the Friday AM rush hour.  It starts at 7:30 am and they are doing loops around the CBD.  I think they are running along:

  • K Road,
  • Albert Street,
  • Customs/Quay Street,
  • Anzac/Symonds Street.

I am quite glad I’m doing my part to reduce road dependancy by riding the ferry again as usual (circumstance)…along a non-major arterial (lucky).  So if you happen to live in Auckland and you’re reading this, plan ahead accordingly for this Friday (4 July).

Canada Day.
July 1, 2008, 3:51 pm
Filed under: Get Involved! | Tags:

One of my coworkers did remember that it was Canada Day this week.  You don’t really miss the holiday so much until it’s gone.

  • Barrie, 2006 – I unpacked all of my leftover moving boxes and there was a huge thunderstorm.
  • Barrie, 2007 – Craig came to visit and we survived the whole lot of nothing that is Canada Day in Barrie.
  • Auckland, 2008 – I’ve just uncovered a Canada Day pub quiz at The Drake in Ponsonby that starts at 6:30pm. 

June 27, 2008, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling | Tags: ,

I heard Rotorua described as “the Niagara Falls of New Zealand” on a few occasions.  I’ll agree with that to a point.  The shopping district is full of souvenir shops and daytime hours only, and it is the forces of nature that draw people to the area.

Rotorua sits on a key geothermal hot spot, so the area is full of hot springs and geysers.  It was in this area that the legendary volcanic eruptions that created many of the North Island’s larger lakes (and saddest stories) occurred.  There is a high sulphur content in the water, and much of the city smells like rotten eggs.  Even the surrounding countryside has the odour, as evidenced in my drive from the airport.

(Edited to add: the sad story referred to above is the Mount Tarawera eruption.)

rotorua 053

Full album here.

European settlement occurred in the late 1800s, drawn to the hot springs as a health care and spa retreat.  The main bath house is now a museum.  In the photo album you will see a picture of the old bath house and adjacent Government Gardens.  This was an old banner photo of mine from back in January and February.

Maori settled in the area several hundred years ago.  The springs made for good cooking; in fact, the surface of the earth is so warm that it flows through your shoes and up into your body in places.  Rotorua is a centre of Maori culture and settlement, and there are several places that offer a Maori village experience.  Any visitor to a Maori marae (sort of like a “village centre” in that village life focusses upon it, it is a very spiritual place) is challenged by the community. This involves facing/manning up to the aggressive moves of the community’s warriors and, after all is said and done and you are not classified as a threat, accepting their peace offering. Hard to describe, and great to experience (way beyond touristy tacky…way beyond…). This is what it looks like. 

Alternate link

(Editor’s note: This is my 150th New Zealand post.  I’ve been in New Zealand for 278 days – in fact, my 400,000th minute in New Zealand was spent in bed this morning – including today.  I’m moving at an every-other-day posting rate.  Awesome.)

How My Run Went in Wellington.

I forgot to tell you about the run!

I ran next to the Wellington Marathon Suit Guy for about five minutes before he pulled away at the 6k mark.  I am so glad I was not in frame for the picture.

As for “how was the run,” it was 11 and rainy for 15k out of the 21k – I could’ve used boots, my feet were soaked through by 6k.  I was running a 1h40 pace through the 8k mark, but then I was clear soaked through and the nipple chafing began (remember that The Office episode where they did the Fun Run and Andy taped cotton balls to his chest?), then my iPod broke down due to wet and cold and I lost my pacing ability, and then the gusty winds picked up on the return leg (so much so that I felt more stationary than barely moving from 12k through 16k).

  • My first 10.5k I finished in 50 minutes – 303rd out of 1400+ runners and on target for 1h40!
  • My last 10.5k…yeah, 1h01 – 850th out 1400+ runners!
  • Overall 569th at 1h51m19.

It must’ve been one of the most positive split times of the day.  That’s a bad thing, by the way.

I threw away my running shirt, it was so wet and bloody across the chest.  No way that stain was coming out.

I also won (as a spot prize) a $150 “consultation” at a local gym.  I traded it for vouchers at a shoe store, which I gave to a coworker here because she always asks me questions about running.  Maybe this’ll get her started (or at least into professional race-walking).

Overall, I am actually really happy with how the run went.  If I had done a better job of eating in the days before the race (and not working until 10 PM four of the five nights that week) and had the weather been more favourable (on days like Sunday was, I don’t normally even go outside), I betcha I’d’ve made my 1h40 goal.

I am so looking forward to not doing any serious running for a month (Sunday mornings only, and probably only if weather permitting, and one night a week MAX).  I look forward to dominating in Barrie in a little under a month’s time.