Posts tagged ‘new zealand’

Sep 2010
1
The Rock 1000 2010

So, my current favourite radio station of all time, EVAR (part 1) has just finished its yearly 100 greatest Rock songs of all time…

  1. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
  2. Metallica – One
  3. Foo Fighters – Everlong
  4. Tool – Sober
  5. Metallica – Enter Sandman
  6. Shihad – Home Again
  7. AC/DC – Back ‘n’ Black
  8. Guns ‘N’ Roses – November Rain
  9. Pearl Jam – Black
  10. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird (Fixed spelling… you can’t trust anyone in this copy/paste world…)

So, how many surprises do we have in there…?

Well, Rage is currently loved more than usual (even in NZ) following the shafting of Cowell last Christmas. With the exception of Shihad and Tool (neither of whom I’m heard of before) it’s all pretty much as expected. In fact, Freebird is the only one of those tracks that wasn’t in the top 20 for last year’s chart.

How many new entries were there in the top 100? It’s a depressingly short list…

  1. I Am Giant – City Limits
  2. Slash – By The Sword (incredibly forgettable, IMHO)
  3. I am Giant – Neon Sunrise(which I think is a better song than City Limits)
  4. Rise Against – Saviour (another great song)
  5. Disturbed – Inside the Fire (urgh…)
  6. Slipknot – Snuff (It’s slipknot…. that’s all you need to know)
  7. War Machine – AC/DC

Wait… what? War Machine was released 2 years ago. How did the fans of AC/DC take two whole years to get that into the top 1000?

Strangely, one of my favourite tracks on The Rock (American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem) didn’t make it onto the list at all.

Most depressing of all is that U2 managed to get 21 tracks in the top 1000. Still, at least they didn’t manage to get higher than 93…

The next batch of photos, this time from Taupo towards Tauranga…

Taupo, Craters of the Moon

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You know what…? I got bored with writing about NZ. Don’t get me wrong, I love the country and love going through the photos. The problem is that I loved it too much and there’s not enough people interested in what happened to spend time moping about how I want to go back out there. So I’m going to image dump…

Napier Aquarium

Lobster man, lobster man, does whatever a scuba diver can...

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Here’s a quick question for you: How do you turn a three and a half hour journey into a seven and a half hour journey?

Go to New Zealand and make a ‘minor detour’ to visit a beach…


View Day 8 – Greytown to Napier in a larger map

This bit was supposed to take 45 minutes. That ‘little detour’ to the coast made it closer to 4 hours. Read the rest of this entry »

After the last monster post, you’ll be pleased to know that this one is a nice short one.

Monday in Wellington was something I was looking forward to for the most perverse of reasons – I wanted to see a traffic jam. Seriously, not only is Wellington New Zealand’s second largest city and the country’s capital, it’s wedged between a bay and a mountain range.

Monday morning got us up and about in a rather more organised manner, and had us out looking for food by eight am. A couple of doors down from the hotel we found the D4 bar, where we sat outside on the canopy designed to keep the pedestrians below in the shade. The food was good but irrelevant to this…

“When,” we asked the waitress, “is rush hour?” Read the rest of this entry »

I’m not doing a very good job of getting this done in a timely fashion. Thankfully my readership is 2 3, so it doesn’t matter too much…

A sunny Sunday in Wellington…

It’s probably an apocryphal tale, but there is a famous story about the Brits and the Merkins playing war games in the North Atlantic against a computer controlled enemy. The theory was simple enough – one team against the other and if your ship was ‘destroyed’ you shut he hell up and played dead. The computers aim was to get supplies from one side of the battleground to the other, while the humans had to stop them.

It all went well enough, and everyone had lots of fun and drank lashings of ginger beer with their lunch. Until they tried to work out what the computer had been up to. Statistically it was getting through more frequently than it should have done. And it was always losing the same boats early on in the battles.

It took time, but they worked out what the computer had been up to.

It had ‘realised’ that its convoy was as strong as its weakest member. So it was intentionally sacrificing the same weak ships over and over again so that the rest of the convoy could hammer on ahead unhindered.

You may be wondering why I’m telling you this. You’d not be alone. Read the rest of this entry »

I was about to tell you that this bit was boring. The problem is that I think I said that about yesterday too, and that’s really not fair.

The run from New Plymouth to Palmerston North was a wonderful run across a south facing coast, with some lovely countryside to the north and incredible seas to the south. The view ahead of us was of a glorious mountain range. But we got very few photos, so it made it quite dull for you to read about – unless you fancied reading about how incredibly incredible everything was and how stunningly stunning the views were.

As you can see on the map, the road from Palmerston North to Paekakariki takes a very promising route down the western coast across open plains between the incredibly incredible mountains and the stunningly stunning ocean. Between being the important word… Read the rest of this entry »

Fairly early on in our plans for New Zealand I decided that I wanted to go to New Plymouth. People I spoke to back here looked at the map and told me that I was a lunatic. People on the internet pointed at the volcanic bits in the middle of the island or the huge expanse of the south island, and told me I was a lunatic. But I was determined – I wanted to go to New Plymouth.

When we got to Auckland we spoke to a couple of people about our plans. Some expressed pleasant surprise that we weren’t blasting from Auckland to Wellington to go do big town stuff. Others told us it was one of the best things we could do.

I’m glad we went. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you ready for the next thrilling instalment of the SodiumLights whirlwind tour of Kiwiland…?

Day three and we’re leaving Auckland for the coastal town of New Plymouth. This news amuses some who tell us that no-one goes to New Plymouth…

For the sake of my sanity (I’m currently fighting a migraine that started while I was in New Zealand 4 weeks ago) we’ll break this into three parts. Each part is more exciting than the last. Well, each part has more photographs than the previous one. Read the rest of this entry »

First up, lets all just say “Woo! Isn’t that impressive!”.


View larger map

If, of course, you don’t think it’s impressive, don’t bother. I’ve already said “Woo!” enough times to make up for you unimpressed types.

Right, moving on…

For reasons most (all) would associate with masochism, we decided to go play in the traffic again. Specifically, since every country claims that its roads grind to a halt, we decided to go play in rush hour traffic. Read the rest of this entry »

So, I’ve largely recovered from the flight, and I have an OU textbook to avoid. What better time to start the holiday memories…?

We flew out from Birmingham International on Saturday night. We landed in Dubai Sunday morning, and took off two hours later for Brisbane. An hour layover and we’re on again, this time to Auckland. It’s nearly 30 hours later, we’ve had about 4 hours sleep and it’s now lunchtime Monday. The brain is no longer working.

Auckland Airport is a marvellous thing. Sure, Dubai terminal 3 is a magnificent structural phenomenon, with walls of glass and two Oases, but Auckland is full of Kiwis. Somehow it’s completely alien and completely at home. I mean, we step off the plane straight into an immigration queue – but it’s efficient. It’s like the twilight zone.

The various officials are happy too. Back in Australia the security staff all looked like they’d had exceptionally bad news and were waiting to take it out on someone (and later on in Birmingham we’d walk into a world full of automatons) but here the immigration guys joked with us about what we were doing. The biosecurity lass was even cooler – we ticked just about all the red boxes we could find on the biosecurity form (food, plant matter, hiking boots, animal contact, living on a farm, smuggling wood, liking Marmite) and she cheerfully worked down the list before telling us that we could go on our way. Read the rest of this entry »