Updated: 8/31/2005; 11:57:19 PM.
kZealand
kRadio went to New Zealand for Thanksgiving 2002
        

Wednesday, December 04, 2002


  10:13:58 AM  
I cleaned up the first batch of pictures so they look much nicer and thumbs are a better size.  They are still here.  Commentary to go along with them will follow soon.




Tuesday, December 03, 2002


  6:41:09 PM  
So there was a New Zealand saying which I couldn't remember which I had to ask of the Motorolan who pointed it out to me.  It is: "Good on ya mate, no worries, she'll be right.".  I think this pretty much summed up NZ in a nutshell.


  2:46:42 AM  
I will clean up the pics when I get a chance, many are dark as I look at them now.  The thumbnail size is less than good too.


  2:45:02 AM  

So without any commentary (which is needed as you will wonder why some of them are there) I bring you the first pics as they would have popped up last Friday night.



  2:25:53 AM  

Somethings which made me go hmmm.....

  • Open houses are schedule in NZ for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Town houses are not necessarily attached to another living area.  So some town houses we went to visit were really just houses which they called town houses.  Seems like they likely were really town houses but the Americanization picked up the attachedness of town homes. 


  2:18:58 AM  

So I will start with pictures.  I had these pics all up on themalms before leaving and the last night I even pushed them all up using a 28.8k connection.  Slowwwwww.

Unfortunately, there was a little mixup on the server where many moons ago there was some initial problems which left two similar folders on the server and I pushed all the pics up to the wrong place.  I decided it was late and Sheri had planning out our house hunting for the following day Saturday and we both decided to close our eyes and share pics when we get back.  So that is now.



  2:16:00 AM  
OK, now you can trust the timestamps.  We've been home Sunday and Monday although Sunday was pretty useless.  Monday better but it's snowing and the snow blower is still in the shed.  Ugh. 


  2:14:35 AM  
Home :-)


  2:14:13 AM  
Sunday, December 01, 2002


  2:13:49 AM  
American says you can't get good pizza in New Zealand. I said that I had gotten good pizza already. He asked where, I told him Winny Bagoes, he says this is the one an only place in New Zealand you can get a fairly good pizza. Would you believe the taxi driver from the airport told to go there ? Good luck and friendly Kiwis I think.


  2:13:23 AM  
Well Kevin has returned from last round interviewing. Mostly informational today as I had extensive questions about systems and the like. Finally got to meet with an American Motorolan (22 years) who I have failed to catch up with the last few days. It was amazing talking to an American about New Zealand. We were scheduled for a half hour and talked for more like an hour and a half.


  2:13:05 AM  
Sheri has driven up until now as always. She's on a train somewhere so wish me luck. Here goes nothing :-)


  2:12:49 AM  
Some band just cranked up outside in the Square. Playing Faith Hill's Breathe, sounds good, feels almost like home when the tunes come wafting in the window.


  2:12:30 AM  
Ed came through big time with the DOS commands to find stuff on the windows machine. This has helped me find personal web server stuff which front page wants in order to help me with pictures so I don't have to do every one by hand. Hopefully these will arrive for those back in the states soon.


  2:12:14 AM  
Things which make you go hmmmmm....

- Most restaurants say closing time is "late" yet others closed when you arrive.
- The check comes in some places to your table, others you pay at the till. We continue to struggle figuring this one out.



  2:11:59 AM  
Last night walked many blocks after the longest interview day to an Italian restaurant which closed at 8:00. We arrived at 9:00 :-(


  2:11:44 AM  
Sheri is off being a tourist today riding a scenic train towards teh west coast while I am headed to Tait for the afternoon.


  2:11:28 AM  
 
Wow, it is Friday already. The week has just flown. Spent a lot of time interviewing T and R and I am headed there for more low key discussions now. Yesterday I finally got grilled. Was there for 6.5 hours for two sessions. First 2 on 1 for about 2.5 hours, no breaks but went well. Then the rest with prospective boss until about 7:30.


  2:11:05 AM  
Friday, November 29 2002


  2:09:46 AM  
So still no pics despite having many cause creating the thumbnails and getting them up to the malms relies on front page. New version of front page won't install cause I copied the install disks to the hard drive but forgot the license key off the CD. Errrrr....so if I use the old version which is on here, it wan't personal web server running, it needs to be installed, want to go to control panel and install but control panel hangs the machine each time I try to start it. Due to this, I ran system file checker which then got me in the mess just desribed. I digressed. Back to travel.


  2:09:31 AM  
Finally found it hidden in c:windowshelpdesksfc. I knew the sfc but can you do a find from a dos prompt to find a file you are looking for ? me neither. Seems to me like I'd rather have a unix shell to work from....hmmmmmm.....a Mac with OS X ? This is why Gates sucks and Jobs doesn't. I return you now to your favorite travel blog.


  2:09:09 AM  
More major Windows problems :-( couldn't even boot to safe mode for awhile there. As we drove to the quarantine facility this morning, I was booting to DOS repeatedly searching fhe the magic file which system file checker replaced because it was "corrupted".


  2:08:51 AM  
Thursday, November 28, 2002


  2:08:03 AM  
Here is the article which came in my daily New Zealand newsletter Employers Short of Skilled Labour. Tait is the company I am considering joining :-)


  2:07:41 AM  
Oh and another moment, picked up a ham sandwich for lunch, seems safe enough for my limited American palette. Imagine the look on my face when I bit into it and found that there was asparagus on the ham sandwich. Oh boy.


  2:07:24 AM  
Another interesting site was the family next to us two way text messaging each other across the table with their cell phones. There is hope yet for this technology when mother and daughter are doing this and not father and son. I thought only Motorolans did this ? Note, they were using really slick little Nokia phones. Haven't seen a MOTphone yet. Not one.


  2:07:04 AM  

Wednesday, November 27, 2002



  2:06:34 AM  
Had a hamburger this evening on pannini, wife in American fashion asked about a bun for husband, no luck, pannini actually was quite good, it was the salsa which they put on the burger like barbeque sauce which was the surprise. Tartar sauce too :-(


  2:06:11 AM  
Excitement today ? Sheri and Kevin's first driving experience with the traffic on the opposite side of the road and the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car. Hopefully more time to tell the whole story later but ask Sheri about the turn signal location and one of those big orange construction cones which let's just say didn't fair well. Two grown adults with 40+ years of experience behind the wheel trying to figure out how to turn off the windshield wipers while staying on their side of the street while trying to be on time for an interview. We were a little late :-)


  2:05:55 AM  
 
Things which make you go hmmmmmm.....


  • No tipping.
  • Upside down light switches.
  • Every outlet has a switch next to it on the wall. Each and every one.
  • Walk signals at a stop light have audible beeping to signal you to walk should you not be watching.


  2:05:25 AM  
Time to wake sleeping beauty :-)


  2:05:09 AM  
They were selling CDs in the aisle at the airport. Go figure. Prices pretty good too. This was where the Pink posters first showed up plastered all over. Turns out she is in town starting tomorrow night. Field trip. Bryan Adams plastered all over for a one night stand coming in January.


  2:04:46 AM  
The weather ? they say it has been raining regularly for a week. Today ? perfect, sunny, cool and just plain perfect.


  2:04:31 AM  
Pizza ? good. Pink posters ? very good.


  2:04:15 AM  
Security ? Chicago was really on the ball. Screeners appeared to truly doing their job for the first time I have ever seen. It did not go slow either. We moved quickly until the random (?) checks at the plan where they seemed to be randomly searching every one of us. The hand held metal detectors worked incredibly well and went off for every little piece of metal from the watch to the button on my levi's. Checked the shoes too. Goofy stick their hands in the the shoes check but they were making all of us take them off.


  2:04:01 AM  
This reminds me of my thoughts on who designed these planes and it is obvious the bean counters are driving the requirements, cause it is certainly not the customers. Quantas will not be the airline of choice. I should probably point out that other than the miserable 13 hours in the middle, they have been otherwise fantastic.


  2:03:44 AM  
The middle leg ? I will never do this again. I have never seen a plane like this before. We were stuffed like sardines for 12 hours. Sheri said it best, "we worry about shipping animals in small containers but at least they have standards for how small they can be. They at least can move around. We need standards for humans." It was a leased plane from British Airways. I see why British Airways didn't want it. Never again, well at least until the trip home.


  2:03:28 AM  
Last leg ? Aukland to Christchurch went well too. Nice plane, sufficient room for a human and a short flight.


  2:03:15 AM  
Travel ? ORD to LAX was heaven on earth. Too many coach passengers (and United can't make money ?) so we got bumped to Business class. I have never seen anything like it in my life. I was like a lazy boy in a living room. I could fly anywhere in these digs. This is way too good to be true.


  2:02:57 AM  
The luggage has arrived :-)


  2:02:36 AM  
Crocodile Dundee hats everywhere, George Clooney hair cuts too.


  2:02:21 AM  
Parking = CarPark
Rental Car = Car for hire


  2:02:05 AM  
Restrooms = Toilets.
Escalators = Lifts.


  2:01:49 AM  
So some other random thoughts on stuff encounterd today.


  2:01:19 AM  
So when started typing, Sheri hit the bed and was asleep (and snoring) within 2 minutes. She since crawled under the covers still fully clothed. So much for her anti-jet lage diet.


  2:01:05 AM  
So no pictures here you say ? the camera got purged out of the carry on into the suitcase which is stuck in Aukland. Hopefully pics tomorrow. It is quite beautiful here. Really wished I had the camera.


  2:00:51 AM  
So much computer problems on this end. Mainly cause this kool little sony has past it's useful lifetime but Kevin is too cheap. Also all the current tools suffer from code bloat which means this little guy just can't take it. Blogger is working out better but multitudes of email problems in the middle here because some goof from TUG decides to start sending attachments to his mailing list. I am connected in Christchurch to what I believe is an Aukland number so I'm at 24k. Yikes. I miss my broadband.


  2:00:33 AM  
He decides life is too short to wait for my machine and starts calling Tait on his own. I throw out a couple of names, he asks for them and we find someone who knows of us and says there should have been someone to pick us up. They say they will call again and that we should go wait for them. Kevin waits now for both the person with the plaque (doesn't this look like tooth decay ?) and Bill Gates piece of junk operating system. In this race, Bill's OS wins. Probably a first for Microsoft. We wait and wait and wait. No plaque ever arrrives. We find just outside the terminal a taxi from the same company. The very nice gentleman driving pulls out his radio and calls to inquire about our first or second drivers who were to have been dispatched. Dispatcher says, heard of them but no one booked them and their is no one coming to get them (us). They advise that he take us, he obliges and we arrive here at the Millenium hotel about 20 minutes later. In route, Sheri and the taxi driver talk about right of way when driving on the wrong side of the road in cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car. It is different but seems doable to me. Sheri is not so sure.


  2:00:06 AM  
Now, we must find our way to the hotel somehow. The wonderful baggage guy asks if we have a contact at Tait who we can contact about the pickup. Kevin says yes but it is in his planner. His planner is his Pilot which he left home for lack of room in this carry on bag. This means we are using paper and the computer. I have all the data in my planner which is on the computer. We then proceed to wait for Bill Gates operating system to boot. This takes........oh....a long time. I then push the screen back to cut on glare and it pushes against the battery just enough to make break the power connection. This means we start the Bill Gates slow boot operating system again. At this time, the cheery guy is not so cheery and is chuckling while I explain that Mr. Gates doesn't think boot time is important.


  1:59:44 AM  
Tuesday, November 26, 2002


  1:59:14 AM  
So we arrive in Christchurch this morning just before 10. Sheri has said many times, repeatedly I might add, "I hope our bags get there", I was not worrried, seemed easy enough. We were to pick up our bags and meet the person who was to be waiting with one of those plaques which would say our name on it. Well, first no bags, just two lonely packages going round and round but ours no where in sight. Also, no person with our name on the plaques. Plenty of people with plaques, just none with our name on them.

We amble on over to our friendly Quantas desk, they send us to the baggage handling specialists and they say, did you check the bags in Auckland ? We say "no Chicago". They say, oh then your bags are going round and round in Auckland waiting for us to pick them up and get them through customs. They then start investigating while Kevin goes off looking for the plaque people.

Having no luck I return to the cheery baggage guy and Sheri who told them we had one green bag and two black ones. I say no we have 2 green ones and one black one. She has the brand new one which is green yet she says no it's black. Never the less, they say they have them in Auckland and ask permission to break into them to search them for bad things. We give the OK to do whatever they'd like and they say they will get them to Christchurch. They will need to get to the hotel, we can pick them up here or they will put them in a cab for us and pay someone to drive them to the hotel. We choose the latter.



  1:58:42 AM  
OK, this seems to be working better now. So we arrived this morning as planned well sort of as planned. Where do we start ? Hmmmmm.....let's start where I last saw our luggage. Chicago, checked the bags, kind of grumpy lady behind the counter at American Airlines, same airline of the last disaster we had travelling. Promised to never fly American again. Well, this was not our idea, you see we are flying Quantas but they subcontract to American in Chicago. 'nuff background, we check 3 bags and inquire as to when we will see the bags next, we are told they are booked through to Christchurch and that we needn't worry about them. Yeah right.


  1:58:26 AM  
 Hmmm...first attempt at posting failed. Try again.


  1:58:00 AM  
OK, so I decided rather than move immediately (which doesn't exist in this hotel room) I'd try another blogging tool while starting to blog on this little trip since I wanted to test drive Blogger anyway and what better time. I need something which is not going to bog down the machine and this should be an improvement.


  1:57:24 AM  
Monday, November 25, 2002


  1:54:47 AM  

OK, kRadio from New Zealand moved previously to Blogger.  Forget this post and just keep on reading as this has become a reconstruction of the facts, the names may have been changed to protect the innocent ;-)  The time stamps are irrelevant so ignore them.



  1:52:21 AM  

This will likely move to themalms.com soon as Radio is struggling desperately to publish these pages.  Until I get a place settled at themalms, I will see what I can get up here.



  1:51:18 AM  
We are here.  Here ? As in not there.  Somewhere a world away.  27 hours worth of travel away.  Christchurch :-)


  1:50:44 AM  

So Radio pages say you need 128meg of RAM.  This little machine has 32 :-(   So far it's slow but surviving.  Let's see what happens when we click post.



  1:49:44 AM  

Ignore dates here but you will find that the material flows in proper blogger backwards order.

We departed 11/23 and returned 12/1 early AM. 

First blogging was on kRadio and then moved to Blogger.  All moved here to consolidate and add.





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