Monday, August 11, 2008

Stop The Presses

Stop The Presses!

I bought petrol tonight, and it was under two dollars a liter! Sure I had to use a discount coupon, and even then it was only $1.989/L, but still worth celebrating I thought. Now this week I might have a little money left over for cheese...

While I'm on the topic of petrol, time for a rant. I don't really mind that the price of petrol is going up. I know the world is running out of oil. (Doesn't explain cheese though - what's up with that? Damnit I'm getting sidetracked). What really gets my goat is the fact that these places still call themselves Service stations. I can't remember the last time I got anything remotely resembling service at one of these. In fact they make you do everything yourself. And they're so paranoid about people doing runners that everywhere is Pre-Pay. Which means me having to line up TWICE. Once to say "I'd like to top up my car at pump seven please, I promise I won't run away" and then again to pay. (What's next? Pre-Pay CHEESE? Sorry, tangent again). And why are the lines so long each time? Because there is only one munter of a staff member when you have forty-three pumps, a mini supermarket AND a coffee shop to run.

(calming breaths)

One day. The people will revolt.

(end of rant)

The other bit of excitement for us today was going in to the travel agent to pay up the balance of our air fares and safari tours. No going back now! Can't wait until the tickets arrive. Only 45 days until takeoff now!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Look Out Tiger Woods

Sunday was a corker day, and we decided to head off for a game of Pitch 'n' Putt. Just like regular golf, only smaller.

Competition was fierce, but I managed to win at the end of the day, with a staggering 55 (par was 27) versus 57 from Juliet and 60 from Zac.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

I see that they are now making a NZ version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? I'm looking forward to that show. Sadly I know my own non-existent sports knowledge would doom me to fail.

Anyway, Zac, Frosty and I got our own chance at being millionaires tonight at a Millionaire's Night Out, hosted by Innovation Waikato.

Thirty bucks entry got us a cheque for a million at the door. Then we took the cheques to the croupier and he exchanged them for... ten chips. Yep, ten. Minimum bet is 25 grand is this casino boys and girls. High-rollers all the way.

With BlackJack, Roulette, a Winning Wheel, Crown&Anchor and Texas Hold 'Em to play, we knew that the poker was our best bet for becoming rich. Only Frosty managed to secure a spot on the table to start with though, so Zac and I tried our hands at BlackJack. Which it turns out is not so fun when the dealer gets 21. Again. And again. And again.

So a wee bit poorer we pushed our way through to the poker table, and saw that Frosty had already tripled his pile of money. We played for a while, constantly dribbling money away until finally I had a good hand. I had King/Ten spades in the hole and there were three spades on the table. A king-high flush. The bet kept going up, until (just about wetting myself) I pushed my last chip - the big half a million I'd been saving - on to the table. "All in".

Time to show the cards. I triumphantly show my King/Ten for everyone to admire, which they do, until the next guy flips over his Ace/Jack. Of spades. An Ace-high flush.

I think I just about fainted. I was pushing away from the table to stagger away when someone called out hey - you won! Turns out the guy who beat me had less money, so couldn't match the bet. So he couldn't win it all, but only up to when he stopped betting. The rest was mine! I think my hand kept shaking for the next half an hour.

I finished on about 5 million, while Frosty topped 12 and a half. Zac risked it all on the last hand of the night and lost it all. Sadly we didn't win any prizes, but a great night was had by all.

There's a photo of the three of us somewhere amongst this lot.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Mellow Yellow

So this is my exciting new camera, all ready to take away to Africa.

It's just like the one Toni got ages ago, except hers was pink and mine is yellow.

I bought it from Expert Infotech, an online store based in Auckland. I highly recommend them - lowest price and good service.

Speaking of lowest price, I found them on PriceSpy - which is another handy website.

I've been looking at the camera for a while, and after seeing it online for over a hundred bucks better that anywhere else I'd seen it I decided to purchase it then and there and pick it up while we were in Auckland last weekend. In case you didn't know, I'm cheap :-)

So on to the camera itself - it is 8MP (which is crazy in that my giant digital SLR from a few yeards back is only 6MP). It also does movies, has a whole host of specialist settings like "BehindGlass", "Fireworks" etc, and the menu system seems to be really easy to get around.

It also has a panoramic photo-stitching feature which seems even better that the one on my old Canon camera, which I loved.

But the real beauty of this camera is that it is waterproof. No extra housing or anything required - waterproof to 3m straight out of the box. That's a real plus for me. Not that I really intend to be submersed in water during my holiday, but then, I never do! I also figure that if it keeps the water out it must keep dust and sand out too - and I'm gonna be encountering plenty of that I'm sure. Plus there's the ever present danger of dropping cameras into toilets.... (hey - it happens a lot thank you very much)


Thursday, August 7, 2008

The End Is Nigh

Made it through three nights, and Juliet is back tomorrow so I can go back to eating decent meals!

I've been filling my bachelor nights with movies recorded long ago (I love hard-disk DVD recorders). Tonight was "Love Actually". Which I have to say is an absolutely fantastic film. Such a great cast, and so many interwoven storylines. And where else can you get pure honesty like "come on then, let's go get the shit kicked out of us by love".

See you tomorrow with a review of my shiny new camera!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Well, two days down and one chicken dinner.

Eating my own cooking is probably good practise for Africa anyway eh?


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Juliet has gone to Taupo for work again, for three whole nights! That's three dinners I have to make myself (panic!).

If blogging stops over the next few days it'll probably be because I've gone feral.

Although I managed tonight OK, but even I can cook sausages. Tomorrow night will be far more challenging.... chicken!


Monday, August 4, 2008

The Pox

Went along to the doctor this morning for our follow-up jabs. Juliet and I both got our second Rabies shot. The rabies one is quite exciting actually, as it is bright pink and they inject in just under the skin so your skin swells up in a little pink bubble. We've still got one more to go, so I'll try and get a photo next time.

Also my blood test results were back. I'm already immune to Hepatitis A, however not so lucky with chicken pox. Turns out the good fortune to not get infected with this disease as a child is actually bad fortune, as it's even nastier to get it as an adult. (It doesn't go as far as making you sterile though, as some other childhood diseases can do to adults!). So that's more injections for me! One today, and another in six weeks. I would have preferred her to not read out all the possible side effects though!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Requiescat in pace

Well we are back from our weekend in Auckland - with many stories to share... but none quite so urgent as this one.

We arrived home this afternoon at four PM to find our beloved letterbox looking like this:

The very same letterbox we made ourselves, of our own design, our own sweat and blood when we moved into our new house! Don't believe me? Here's proof:

We've done some patchwork to keep him stable and comfortable for the next few days, so he'll be able to continue his much loved job of collecting our mail and directing people to our house for a few days yet, but we know he'll never be the same again. We haven't got up the courage yet to sit down with the letterbox and tell him he'll need to be ... replaced.

We suspect the extremely high wind was the culprit, so the new model will be uber-reinforced. We have the technology.

I'll have to sign off there, and go find a quiet place to reflect on the good times we've had.

And here's us and our letterbox on better days, the way we'll always remember him.

Requiescat in pace, letterbox. Requiscat in pace.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Magic Slippers

I see some people are stumbling across my blog - which makes me think - what the hell are you people doing? I haven't posted for months! But it's nice that you still do check every now and then. Special mention to Karl, who managed to comment on the first post almost before i finished writing it.

But you aren't posting your top five destinations! (Except for you Toni - thanks :-) )

Where do you really REALLY want to go? Where would you be looking for the next plane to if you won a hundred billion dollars? (But not a hundred billion Zimbabwean dollars - unless your wildest dream is buying four oranges....)

My top destinations at the moment would have to be:

Iceland. Sit in natural hot pools with snow and ice all around... look across a canyon from one continental plate to the other ... cool :-)
Egypt. Definitely gotta see the great pyramids, and I don't know if you can get inside them these days, but surely a hundred billion has got to get you past some red tape?
Thailand. (and no, not looking for lady-men either). After Margaret's tales of Thailand I really want to go there. Ride elephants, pat tigers, stay in 5 star hotels for about $1.25.

I'll have to back to you about the other two....

And keep guessing on the women's cricket thing too. I can tell you all guesses so far are too recent. Head back in time...


PS: We're going to Auckland this weekend, so apologies if there is a gap in the posting.

PPS: If you missed the point of the title - I was going for a Wizard of Oz thing, tap your heels together and go wherever you like.... Well it made sense to me.