Monday, May 23, 2011

Adrenaline Man

I wasn't sure I could ever do it but with 40 coming up this week and Ryan from MN visiting it seemed like the right time to try throwing myself off a perfectly good bridge.

We each did the 40m (131ft) jump from underneath the middle of the Auckland Harbour Bridge with Anne up there watching, too!  Although shuffling up to the edge made my heart race the entire experience was amazing and exhilarating. I feel like I could do it again - and I'm sure I will!

Highly recommended, even for someone with a bit of a fear of heights like me. It's fantastic. Here are a couple of photos and a video as the proof!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Posting Comments

Some of you have seen our blog and wondered how to comment on certain postings.  For those of you who are unsure how to do that, here is a quick guide.

At the end of one of out postings you'll see something like "1 comments" as a link.  Click on that to see any existing comments or to post a comment.

At the bottom you'll see the "Post a Comment" edit box and underneath that will be a drop-down labeled "Comment as:".  You have a few choices there and if you happen to already have any of those types of accounts then select that.  The most likely candidate is Google Account and if you already have gmail or a blog account already then you already have one.  If you don't have any of the choices (that you know of ) then I would suggest creating a Google account.  It's free and you don't need anything other than an email address and a password.  And it doesn't have to be a gmail address - it can be anything.

Click here to create a Google account if you would like to create one.

Once you have created your account then select "Google Account" in the drop-down and type away.  Click the "Post Comment" button when you are done typing.  You may be prompted for your email and password.

That's it!  Post away.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ain't Kiwis Great?

My contract at work it stipulates that the University MUST provide its employees with tea, coffee, sugar, and milk.  Not just the opportunity to buy it, mind you; they must provide it!  So upstairs in the break room there is a wealth of free beverages:  three different kinds of milk, filtered water, coffee a'brewin', tea bags, constant boiling water, and hot chocolate, not to mention spoons and cups.  All replenished daily.  Not too shabby...

How to Speak New Zillund, Part 3 of 3

In the A - Z of figuring out the vowels and other nuances in the New Zealand accent, here is part 2 (S - Z)

S is for Sucks
The number after five.

T is for Tin
The number after nine.

U is for Undies
West Undies. Good at cricket.

V is for Volley
Area between two hulls.

W is for Windy
A girl's name.

is for Xylophone
It's the same in any langwudge.

Y is for Yuppie
An expression of delight.

Z is for Zed
How you pronounce the letter Z.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Speak New Zillund, Part 2 of 3

 In the A - Z of figuring out the vowels and other nuances in the New Zealand accent, here is part 2 (J - R)

J is for Jug
Type of Irish dance.

K is for Ken's
Popular holiday city in Queensland, Australia.

is for Lust
Something you write before going shopping.

M is for Milburn
Capital of Victoria (Australia).

N is for Nutter
To have a yarn.

O is for One Doze
A pane of glass in a wall.

P is for Pigs
Found on a clothes line.

Q is for Quad
Slang term for a British pound note.

R is for Rung
Piece of jewelry.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Speak New Zillund - Part 1 of 3

I saw this on a clever poster at a shop and loved it so much I figured I better pass it along.  In the A - Z of figuring out the vowels and other nuances in the New Zealand accent, here is part 1 (A - I)

A is for Arm
Uttered when thinking.

B is for Bull
What you're charged for the meal.

C is for Cuds

D is for Donut
Long version of don't.

E is for Ear
What we breathe.

F is for Fush
Sea creatures.

G is for Guess
Used for cooking or heating.

H is for Hull
Land which isn't flat.

I is for Ice Cream
What I do when the All Blacks lose.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Royal Nerds

If you've stopped laughing yet here is the tale of the photo.  Oh, need more time?  OK.

So we were invited to a friend's birthday party.  His last name is King and wanted to do a king/queen/royalty themed party.  So everyone was supposed to dress up.  So as usual we went overboard and went to a costume store and decided on the Beefeater and Anne Boleyn getups you see here.  Despite your mocking we looked pretty good, *I* think!

Other costumes included the birthday dude as a king (naturally), his wife as the Queen of Hearts, a woman in a very convincing Prince getup, a woman as Michael Jackson (King of Pop), a queen bee, princes and princesses, and The Lion King.

And here's the thing - these people aren't even nerds like us!  Just regular people who like parties and adult beverages!

OK, fine.  We're still nerds.  But CLASSY nerds.  :-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Last Set - Taupo

"Craters of the Moon"
After leaving Tongariro National Park we spent our last night an hour away at a B&B in Taupo overlooking the giant Lake Taupo (bigger than Singapore and a volcanic crater itself).  The weather was too foul to bother taking any pictures of the lake, but we did go a few places in the wind and rain.

The poorly named Craters of the Moon (sounds like a tourist trap with gift shop knick knacks and overpriced admission for something lame-o, right?)  It's a pocket of active thermal activity that was actually very cool to see.

Between that, a brief visit to Huka Falls, lots of relaxation, and power failures due to the wind blowing trees on to power lines, it was a fun last day!

A few photos are here.


Monday, May 2, 2011

More Tongariro National Park

What is this new devilry?
I've posted another set of photos from around Tongariro National Park (other than the Crossing from the previous post) here.

We hiked on several trails and saw waterfalls, rivers, wide open lands, and forests.  And of course the volcanoes.  We also went up to where the rocky ski fields of Mt Ruapehu will be in winter and were enveloped in clouds but it made for some very atmospheric surroundings amongst the craggy rocks.  Does anyone else think it odd to ski on an active volcano??

Coming soon: the last set of photos from the Lake Taupo area.

Tongariro Panorama

Click to enlarge

As a supplement to the posting below, here is a panorama of the area the trail goes through. From the start point shown the trail winds up the valley towards South Crater which in the saddle between Mt Tongariro and Mt Doom.  Getting to South Crater takes about 2 hours so there is a lot left after that. The trail continues on the other side of Mt Tongariro (and out of view).

Mt Ruapehu (farthest away) is the largest and tallest volcano of the three (9100 ft/2800m) and is a ski area in winter.  It last erupted in 2007 and just weeks before we arrived the water in its crater lake heated up significantly so they raised the alert status one notch - but it has since cooled and so no worries. :-)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Tongariro Crossing

Mt Doom - The Tongariro Crossing
 We took a long Easter holiday weekend and drove to Tongariro National Park.  The highlight was doing the 8 hour Tongariro Crossing, called the best day hike in New Zealand.  Tongariro is in the middle of the North Island and has three prominent, active volcanoes and The Crossing traverses between two of them.  (One of them is the forboding cone shaped Mt Ngauruhoe which is used as Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings.)

It's an amazing area and the hike was absolutely a wonder.  I've never seen anything like it.  I've posted some photos from the trek here so take a look if you like.

Coming soon: photos from the rest of our Tongariro trip.

Emerald Lakes - The Tongariro Crossing