CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby piqaboo » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:38 am

Hotel rooms with electric mattress pads on the beds, electric kettles, and milk in the minifridge.
Altoid feeding a lamb at the agrodome
chatting with the son of one of the agrodome founders and realizing I'd probably seen his dad on stage the first time I came to NZ 25 years ago
Altoid feeding anything - she just lights up with it. RAinbow Springs in Rotorua and the Agrodome ditto both provide ample opportunity for that.

Along with the heli pilot, Altoid has invited one innkeeper and a mother/daughter from the fish n chip shop to her birthday. The innkeeper would have accepted except that we'll be several hundred miles away then.
Altoid is concerned that she'll make friends here and then will miss them too much when we're home and so we'll have to come back a lot. OT is craving his motorcycle - the roads have been very interesting; scenic and winding and lightly traveled. I want to spend more time shopping, but then, I always do!
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:00 pm

I have very little to add to that, except that it's GORGEOUS here, and the NZ Opera has already replied to my inquiry; they'd love to hear me.

Oh yeah, and my 'n' of Canadians who love their health care system has gone up by four so far. One couple to the point of saying they'd *never* move to the US because of our crappy health care system, and our insane attitude about guns. They travel often to the US, have relatives there, and took pains to avoid traveling to the US during GWB's time in office.

:twisted:
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby dai bread » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:46 pm

rosemary & honey pastry from a small bakery in the town called Bulls

They also have milk. NZ is the only place in the world you can get milk from bulls... :wink:

As for NZ Opera, NZ is chronically short of tenors. Opera people would love to hear from anyone who can get anywhere near the range. They'll love O.T.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby Shapley » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:38 am

Massive Earthquake Shifts New Zealand Closer To Australia

Depending on which route they take, OT & Piq may have a shorter trip home.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby barfle » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:03 pm

I made a stop in Auckland on my way back from Sydney sometime in the 1980s. I did get off the plane and bought a T-shirt with a tiki on it (which I still have).

So I can honestly say I've been to New Zealand, although I never got through customs. It would be nice to go back, this time getting more of the flavor of the place. How's the mutton? Or is that just another legend we yanks are subject to?
--I know what I like--
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby dai bread » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:23 pm

It's another legend now, Barfle.

When I was a boy, my mother used to boil mutton for dinner. Occasionally she'd roast it, and even then I preferred the roast. Then my wife put rosemary leaves on it when she roasted mutton, and that improved it immensely.

Nowadays you get lamb in the supermarket. Maybe hogget if you look. I haven't seen mutton for years, though I expect I could get it if I went to a specialist butcher rather than a supermarket.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:10 am

From what I've seen so far, for the amount of sheep and deer farmed here, there doesn't seem to be much of it on the local menus. Just sayin'...

We were computer-less for four days. Piq's laptop hard drive died, taking all kinds of data - including all of our trip photos taken up to that time - with it. A computer shop in........INVERCARGILL(!) was able to install a working hard drive to get us through the remainder of the trip(thank you, MicroSoft :curse: ).

Still having a fantastic trip, and Invercargill is my favorite NZ town so far. We had clear weather, and were able to see a lot of Stewart Island from Bluff. Fjord-ing in Milford and glow worm-ing in Te Anau. We're now in Dunedin for three nights, and may try to see Adrian Mann's 18-foot hand-made grand piano in Timaru on the way to Christchurch.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby piqaboo » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:31 pm

The guys in Invercargill somehow left the computer unable to run DVDs. Altoid is verklempt.
Me too; this beast was brought mostly to get us thru the long flight home.
OT sent them an SOS email.

Oddly, since we got it back, I also cant log in to my remote access work email, which is my main email. ah well. travel, adventure, and all that.

We're seeing lots of beef, much chicken, some venison, nearly no lamb on menus (granted, we are eating at very low end places mostly). On the ground, lots of sheep, few lambs (lambing starts officially in August tho we saw some early babies out there), many cows, a goodly number of various deer, almost no chickens.

Yesterday we kept seeing pairs of hawks and of the marshbird... want to call it a purple gallinule but that's not its local name. ?pukake?

Shopping around for lodgings is kind of fun and has really paid off a few times.
We'll drive down the road stopping at 5 hotels, seeing 5 fairly equivalent 'rooms' and getting prices as follows: 170, 175, 145, 135, 100. This from hotels less than 200 m apart.

Glowworm caves in Te Anau were a big hit. Altoid wants to go back. Yesterday's hours in the car did not register. She wants to go back this morning.
Te Anau means something like 'cave of the rushing waters'. There's a nice walkway thru a cave with stopping points to admire the hole being built as an alkaline lake seeps thru, the striving stalagtite "Percy" (all 3 cm of him), a waterfall etc. Tho the sides are well strung with cables to keep folks in, we had Altoid firmly sandwiched between us the while, and OT was holding her hand so firmly I am surprised he could relax the muscles to let to at the end. (This was noted in appreciation). That water is cold and moves rather quickly in spots. The glow worms themselves let off little roundish spots of blue light (Altoid saw more colors than that). Its magical.

Last time I went thru, I didnt think about earthquakes etc. This time, I kept wondering. And noticing how the mildly acid water eats away at concrete footings, etc.

We're hoping to see penguins today. Fingers crossed - I dont think Altoid will handle disappointment on this issue well. She's handled a lot of it, but I think she's about reached the top.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby dai bread » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:19 am

Pukeko is the bird's name.

I've been looking at the calendar. We won't have you with us much longer. :(
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:46 am

We had a beautiful day in Dunedin! It was topped with a visit to Penguin Place at the end of the day, where we saw something like a dozen yellow-eyed, penguins, coming in from the ocean for the night. The park was set up with camouflaged blinds and covered trenches(a la WWI) to enable us to get within a few feet of the penguins as they waddled past. Our guide mentioned in a very offhand manner to a few of us at the end of the tour that we had a very lucky tour.

Yes, DB, we'll be leaving soon. I hope we get to see you again in Auckland. I'll e-mail you with the details of our stay there. There may be a fellow internet piano nerd from Wellsford joining us at some point in the period as well. A really nice guy by the name of Brian Becroft. He's the proud owner of a Bosendoerfer Imperial; a 290cm(concert) grand with 96 keys instead of 88.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby dai bread » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:06 am

I drool, O.T. I've only heard a Bosendoerfer once and considered it much nicer and more mellow than the Town Hall Steinway I'd been hearing up till then. I forget who was playing it.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby analog » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:13 pm

He's the proud owner of a Bosendoerfer Imperial; a 290cm(concert) grand with 96 keys instead of 88.



I envy you folks who know much of such things.

I believe i saw one once, at a concert where Daniel Barenboim played it.
I lack the sophistication to be aware of its tone. However the music was so exquisite i could close my eyes and literally "see" the piano with this huge stream of notes flowing out of it, as in an animated cartoon. A most pleasant hallucination with no chemical assist.
As I recall he played something from Ma Vlast (Forests of Bohemia i think), and a lively Mozart piano piece too.
23 years later it is still one of my best memories.

The extra keys are on the low end? Seems to me one of Bernstein's educational shorts for kids demonstrated such a piano and its lowest notes were below the audio range of television sound equipment of the time..

a.
Cogito ergo doleo.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby OperaTenor » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:43 am

That's right, the extra keys are at the bass end, and stand out as they are reversed in color; the naturals are black.

Image
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby dai bread » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:10 pm

I wonder how it would handle a transcription of the opening of "Das Rhinegold"? Is one of those extra keys a nice low e-flat?
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby OperaTenor » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:25 pm

We had a splendid afternoon and evening in Auckland with DB yesterday, and are now making last-minute preparations to go home.........................sadly......

A truly magical country, and exceptional inhabitants.
"To help mend the world is true religion."
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby dai bread » Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:11 pm

We seem to be a Mutual Admiration Society. I had a very enjoyable time, and I hope the Tenors come back soon.

I must do something serious about a trip to the U.S.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby piqaboo » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:07 pm

Dai, you are welcome to set up your West Coast base with us.

Dai took us to the top of the world (ok, the top of One Tree Hill, if I read the sign correctly).
What a view! Altoid liked knowing about all the volcanoes visible from there.
There was also a proposal for marriage written in large stones, best viewed from above. That looked like a lot of work to build and present! Not many women get that much in the way of rocks!

I was a bit under the weather for our trip home. I blame lack of sleep - it couldnt have been the two bottles of wine we shared w Dai. :wink:

From check in to arrival, the trip home was uneventful. We can recommend a shuttle driver for any who plan to go to Auckland in the future. He's willing to serve as a guide to the city as well. Nice guy, good driver, good rates.

We managed to fit in a last minute dash (literally, on foot, walking as fast as we could) to the grocery to pick up chocolate bars and other souvenirs before catching our ride to the airport. Even the large bottle of kiwi juice made the trip safely.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:26 am

We received a lovely calendar in the mail the other day, all the way from New Zealand!

Thank you, Dai!

:)
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby piqaboo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:44 am

Anyone else notice the b.com banner advertising an insanely good price for a trip to NZ ?

Altoid's been waiting patiently since our return to the states for the local butterfly exhibit to open. She was enraptured by the one at the museum in Dunedin (Otago musem?). The local one runs only 3 weeks, coincident with school spring break, so its mobbed. We went 3x. The last time, a monarch sat on her hand for about an hour, at which time I called it quits, and she did her best to hand the beast off to another child. They arent allowed to touch them, but its ok to put out a finger for the bug to crawl onto if its on someone else already.

49 more weeks, and we can do that again.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: CALLING AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Postby dai bread » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:36 pm

Next time you come, stop off at Butterfly Creek on the road out of Auckland Airport heading south and east. They have tropical butterflies of all sorts. There are several monarch butterfly houses around too, in different parts of the region.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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