This Blog

list

I’ve got a list

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listI haven’t blogged for a while, but have a heap of reviews ready to post soon, including:

So watch this space.

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waiting sign

It’s been a while eh?

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For my regular readers (yes both of you), you may have noticed my blog posting has been rather slow of late.

This is partly due to the fact that I have done heaps of traveling in the last 3 months (Italy, UK in Nov, and then Canada/US for 5 weeks in Dec/Jan 2012).

Anyway, enuf excuses, you’ll see a whole bunch of posts in the next day or 3.

Black and White Version: Yes, I am blogging again :-)

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An update

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One pup hit by a car (she’s OK, but will be a slow recovery), two major earthquakes in my city (both rather close to my house), and three weeks on the road (visiting almost every city in NZ) .  That was the last three weeks for me!

Anyway .. more blog posts coming this week on:

All will be posted this week – so watch this space.

Black and White Version: Reviews, opinions coming soon!

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i love chch

I live in Christchurch and love it!

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I have said this personally to people many time in the last month or two, but wanted to states it here really clearly:

I live in Christchurch, and while having two major earthquakes in six months sucks, I love the city, think it has a great future ahead of it, and I personally have no intention of moving.

Sure, having no running water for a few weeks was annoying, and having no power wasn’t much fun (although candles makes it kinda fun), and the roads from home to work are like driving a slalom course – but this is all short term stuff.  We now have water*, power, and sewage (at least 95% of the city does), and roads get better every day.

* The water is even drinkable now! Sure, it tastes like Auckland water (aka is sucks), but at least we don’t have to boil it anymore.  Give it six months and it will tastes like ChCh water used to (i.e. it wont taste at all).

The council, and civil defense and central government are doing an AWESOME job of getting things back to normal, and I see so much potential for Christchurch, so I am here for the long haul.

That is all.

Black and White Version: Christchurch ROCKS!

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Christchurch Earthquake – part II

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As most will now know, Christchurch (my home town) had a major earth quake on Tuesday 22nd February 2011.

There are many great resources on the net, and I don’t intend to duplicate them, just tell my story.

(Aside: More typos than usual in this post I am sure.  I just wanted to get it out there while I had the generator running.)

In case you are after more info here’s some great resource sites:

  • GeoNet (shows quakes history, location, size etc)
  • Canterbury Earthquake (up to date info for locals)  Everything from water, to petrol station info, to updates on repairs.
  • For Government Welfare/grants: Call 0800 77-99-97

There is also plenty of good news coverage:

Anyway, what’s my story?

First and foremost, I am safe.  My family is safe, my pets are even safe. Both my house, and where I work is very close to the epicenter of this quake.  I live in Sumner, which was hit very hard.  But luckily I live on a hill made out of rock, and a house made out of metal (yep I said metal, that’s what the walls are made of).  So, while I had almost every glass, plate and bowl I own smashed, and motorbikes tipped over, and garage shelves emptied onto the floor, the house is fine, nothing structural that I can tell.  No cracks even.

Still no power (although fixed that with a diesel generator), still no water through the taps (bottled water does the trick for now), so life is far from normal.  Driving a trip to get something like food or petrol takes me 3 hours round trip (normally would be 15 min).  Partly coz I need to go further (nothing on my side of town open yet), but mainly coz of major traffic jams, as so many roads are closed.

Work is a different story.  Will be a MAJOR mess.  Busted fish tank, computers everywhere (smashed) but looks like everything that is vital is still OK, and we hope to be back in their Monday, and back up and running (even if it is remotely) some time next week.  Lucky we have UPS back ups for things like the alarm and other essential services.  That will last a few more days, and power is expected on tonight.

What’s clear to many that survive the quake along with their friends and family is that despite all the busted homes and work places, it’s just stuff.  I say that with all my heart.  I lost 100+ bottles of wine – so what? I will buy some more.  I lost dozens of glasses and plates – big deal, Briscoes has them on sale next week I am sure.  My bike fell on the ground and needs a new indicator – so what?, it’s called order a new one. All that matters at a time like this is that me, my family, my friends, (and yes, my pets too), are safe.  Everything else is just stuff.   I am not going to pretend I know what it’s like to lose a close family member or friend from an earthquake – coz I didn’t lose any.  But I do know I am lucky, and my family and friends were too.

I will share one last thing with you – where I was when the quake hit.  I was at the gym.

Just got out of the shower, walking in my towel towards the locker area.  I was thrown from side to side in the corridor (it hit REAL quick, so no build up warning), and then I remember thinking “oh fuck this is big” and then saw the ceiling beginning to split way from the wall above me.  I ran for the locker and I remember thinking my sense of self preservation and my sense of modesty were fighting each other (remember I was naked other than a towel).  By now the 1st wave of the quake had stopped, and the building was standing, so a quick decision was to put on trousers and then leave REAL QUICK.  So I did that – threw all my stuff in my gym bag, and grabbed my shoes and socks and ran for the door.

But the escape from the gym by road was just as unnerving.  As we (me and a friend from the gym, he was driving) drove away from the gym the road turned to a river real quick (a river of sewerage, we could smell it!).  Cars dived headfirst into newly created pot holes that swallowed the front of the car.  Anyone in the car scrambled to get out.  I figured they were doing us a service, as anyone behind them now knew to drive around.  We go over this quickly when the car in front dived forward and was trapped.  We went 90 degrees, and drive though the local supermarkets garden (thanks Countdown!) and went for high ground.  By now the river was almost a foot deep, and only a few cm below the doors of many cars.  After 30 or so minutes we found an escape, and after grouping together 3 other cars, we went in convoy to try to get back towards town (in our case towards Opawa – only 1km up the road).  That took us some 30 minutes as 75% of the roads were impassable due to similar issues – sewerage flowing across the road, and massive potholes (and the two put together means we couldn’t see the potholes!).  Anyway, made it back to work to see the damage, which was severe, and then spent the next 4 hours TRYING to get home.  Didn’t work, since all roads to my place closed.  Picked up (well, almost rescued, since his place was demolished) another friend, and went to his mates place.  The rest is history.

I do also want to say, it very clear the Richter scale doesn’t work.  This 6.3 did WAY more damage and far more violent that the 7.1, and it wasn’t just coz it was closer. It was shallower, and hit areas that rebounded off low bedrock.  Anyway – my new earthquake scale I invented a few months back worked much better.  Most agreed it was a very clear FUCK ZONE around most of Christchurch that day! (read the post if that doesn’t make sense).

Black and White Version: I am fine, so are my family, friends and pets.  Lots of stuff broken.  But it’s only stuff.

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thai-logo

It’s been a while .. and here’s why

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Hi Honey, I’m home!

It’s been a while since I have posted here, since I have been a wee tour of the world.  Well not quite the whole world, a holiday through 4 countries: Canada, Germany, India and Bangkok Thailand (thanks Glen – Bangkok isn’t a country!).   The emphasis was on Canada and India time wise.

But while I haven’t been blogging (I prefer to holiday first and blog after the fact), I have a whole range of post ideas coming up, including:

  • Why Kiwis should NOT get the so called “Visa on Arrival” in India (Now posted)
  • The black and white travel low-down for India
  • The black and white travel low-down for Canada
  • The black and white travel low down on how to bargain in places like China, India and Thailand (although they all do differ)
  • Why I think coffee is crap in certain countries
  • A review of Thai airways (completed – found here)
  • An update on Lufthansa (and it’s way better than it used to be!)
  • Why taxi drivers in Bangkok are so annoying (a bitch post)

Oh, one more post will follow too – the updated review of the Golf-R, since I get mine in 2 days! (only a 6 month delay!).  So I might be doing a wee test drive – for the whole weekend :-)   Update: Updated owner’s review of the Golf-R here.

Black and White Version: I have been away, but back.  Posts to follow.

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Online News

Stuff I read online

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Here’s a wee list of stuff I read online

Daily (or almost):

Most days (or like to keep up to date on):

And for good deals I check these out a lot:

And just good blogs/opinion every week or so:

Black and White Version: There is lots of cool stuff online, trick is weeding thru the crap! :-)

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kiwiblog

Kiwiblog and DPF’s reaction to a dole bludger

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I read KiwiBlog quite a bit, in fact I think it is both my most read blog, and also the 1st NZ based blog I read.

Often DPF (the Author – David Farrar) says lots of stuff I agree with, and while I have occasionally blogged about similar things, especially when the media get lazy and start making stories up, like the sometimes do.  Anyway, this time I actually want to blog about what DPF said, coz it’s just classic (and IMHO a very Paul Henry moment (where someone says what everyone else is thinking).

The background:

The Dominion Post runs a story about how Creative NZ and Wellington City Council jointly funded an unemployed guy to $40,000 to promote the virtues of being unemployed:

Tao Wells, 37, advocates the opportunities and benefits of unemployment and says it is unfair that long-term beneficiaries are labelled bludgers for exploiting the welfare system.

The reaction:

Laughable (and sad at the same time) eh?  Well it was DPF’s reaction that was even funnier (and SOOOO spot on).

It’s unfair that I have to work 60 hour weeks to fund your fucking life style, you bludging wanker.

But it gets better.  The Dominion Post reported the guy’s dole was cut:

Late yesterday afternoon his benefit was cut off after Work and Income learned of the project.

And was quoted saying

Wells denied his pro-unemployment stance was hypocritical when he was being paid $2000 for the project. “We should never be forced to take a job. If you’re forced to take a job it’s a punishment. If a job’s a punishment then society must be a prison.”

To which DPF replied:

Listen Mr Fuckwit, you are not forced to take a job. So long as you don’t want those of us who do work to pay you a benefit, you do not need to ever work again.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Black and White Version: The unemployed shouldn’t be forced to do anything.  But to get a payment from the taxpayer, they can, and should.  To paraphrase DPF “Get a job fuckwit”.

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Search Engines

Most unusual search term to find this blog

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I regularly check my WordPress site stats to see what search terms are used to find my blog, as well as who else is linking to it.

I was rather surprised to find this search term was used to find my blog (on more than one occasion) yesterday:

www fuck me black mensex

Perhaps more concerning (or is it amusing?), one of my posts came up at the top of the search for these terms!

You can see the full search here. Oh, and for it to show in my stats, the searcher has to click on the link to my blog, so I am thinking they might have been disappointed when they got to my blog.

PS: Is mensex one word?  I always thought it was two. :-)

Black and White Version: It takes all sorts.

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August blog – 50th

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According to the latest NZ blog stats this is now the 50th most read blog in NZ (well 50th most read NZ blog in NZ).  May was 267th, June 69th and August 50th .. so getting there.

I mentioned last month that whiteandblack.co.nz was tracking as high as 28th for a while due to a few high profile posts (iPad/iPhone stuff mainly) but I purposely wanted to lay off posting about Apple for a while – this isn’t an Apple blog, its a blog about STUFF :-)   So yeah .. more stuff now :-)

Black and White Version: WhiteandBlack.co.nz is now 50th, happy with that, no new target for now.

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