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Monday, April 30 2007

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Land of the Long White Sheep (Part 2)

Breakfast

We found a nice place to have breakfast in Queenstown - which of course is the most important part of any holiday...

Cafe
Breakfast

Buying Underwear

New Zealand's reputation for sheep meant that Yuko had to buy something made of wool. So, as we anticipated cold weather in the next few days, she decided to buy some Merino Wool underwear at the sports shop below.

Then, as I was studying the map in preparation for today's long drive, she changed her underwear in the car. This incident can be seen in the accompanying video.

Shop

Driving

We spent the next few hours idly making our way from Queenstown to Mount Cook. It's a 3 hour drive, but we did it in five - stopping frequently to sample the coffee.

Today's Route - Queenstown to Mt. Cook

Road

At Cromwell, we saw some big fruit...

Big Fruit at Cromwell

And we stopped at a small town where Yuko bought a coat made from dead animals from this man...

Yuko with a Man

Sheep

Later in the day we saw some sheep and decided to stop to take pictures. It was just three sheep - two adults and a lamb.

Sheep
Sheep Photographer

But as we neared Mount Cook, we had a true close encounter...

Mount Cook

We eventually arrived at Mount Cook. Our destination was a small village of hotel/motel type buildings at the base of a snowy mountain which might have been Mount Cook.

Some Mountain

We are staying at a motel belonging to the Hermitage. The main bit (below) is a big hotel and it's where we have to do most of our eating and drinking. The places is isolated from civilisation with no shops or restaurants other than those in the hotel. So we are expecting to be ripped off...

The Hermitage - our accommodation - Note Edmund Hillary standing out the front

The hotel restaurant. This is the cheap one where dinner is only $50/person

From Message
Abel
25/05/2007
5355 Days Ago
a bad job

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11/07/2008
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A Poster
11/07/2008
4942 Days Ago
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Sunday, April 29 2007

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Queenstown

This is Queenstown, in the South Island of New Zealand...

Getting High

In the morning we got high by jumping in a cable-car thingy and ascending to the top of a mountain. There, we enjoyed a spectacular view of Queenstown.

Queenstown from a high place

The High Noswonkys

Nautical Adventure

This is the Earnslaw, a small steamship about the size of a Sydney Ferry...

Yuko with the Earnslaw

We took a 90 minute cruise on this vessel on Lake Wakatipu.

Yuko falls asleep on the boat

We visited the wheelhouse and the captain offered us control of the ship!

The Noswonkys in control of the ship

The smoke is coming from the ship's funnel - not the mountain

Our hotel viewed from the boat

When we returned to the dock, a truck of coal was tipped into the bowels of the ship.

Global warming in action

Then we saw the world's second biggest Kiwi...

Kiwi

Koreans

In the evening we went into town to find some food. After parking the car we spotted a gaggle of Korean tourists disembarking from a tour bus. So we followed them and they led us directly to the best Korean restaurant in the town...

Korean Restaurant

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Saturday, April 28 2007

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Crossing the Tasman

Today we crossed the Tasman Sea to visit the Land of the Long White Sheep.

We took a taxi to the airport for our 10am flight with Air New Zealand. After checking in, we had breakfast and coffee (see top picture) at an airport cafe.

Yuko in the Taxi

While waiting to board the plane, I found some money between the seats. You can't beat free money...

On the plane they gave us something from New Zealand to suck

The wing and snow covered mountains of the South Island

Our destination was Queenstown on the South Island. As we made our final landing approach it looked like we were going to crash into a mountain - but we didn't. The airport at Queenstown is tiny - basically a cow paddock.

After going through immigration we had our carry-on luggage X-rayed again. I wondered why they were X-raying bags after getting off the plane - but it was to check for illegal imports. They flagged Yuko's bag because it contained a cylindrical metal object. They asked her what it was and she said "fish in a can". I thought she was going to be in trouble because she had already told customs that she wasn't carrying any food. But they didn't seem concerned about it and let her go without even looking at the can.

Queenstown Airport - there's no sign saying "Queenstown"

We then picked up our rental car - a Toyota Camry - and made our way to our hotel in Queenstown.

Our hotel at Queenstown

The hotel overlooks Lake Wakatipu...

Lake Wakatipu

There was an internet port in our room. The cost was $0.60/minute which seemed a bit expensive. Then we discovered that they have computers in the lobby. You just put a coin in the slot and you get internet at $1.00 for 10 minutes. Yuko was very excited.

Yuko uses the Internet

From Message
Great work,webmaster, nice design!
6/05/2007
5374 Days Ago
Great work,webmaster, nice design!

From Message
Laughing Mole
6/05/2007
5373 Days Ago
Was that your impression of a New Zealand accent in the video? [p] We stayed in the Crowne Plaza, which seems to be about 200m up the street from Rydges.

From Message
Webslave
6/05/2007
5373 Days Ago
Yuko will demonstrate the NZ accent in part 2.

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Friday, April 27 2007

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Last Day

Today was my last day at Analytical Models. Although I have enjoyed working there, I gave notice 4 weeks ago after being offered a position at a well known financial company in the city. I will start my new job on May 7th.

Vehicle

Driving home I witnessed a bizarre sight...

From Message
Great work,webmaster, nice design!
6/05/2007
5374 Days Ago
Great work,webmaster, nice design!

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18/01/2012
3656 Days Ago
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Thursday, April 26 2007

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Bondi Junction
Parrots

Wednesday
Monday
Sunday

Koala and Bilby at Parrots

At lunchtime I drove to North Ryde to meet two native animals for lunch. We met at the Stamford Hotel and had lunch at the bistro there which is called Parrots. It's a longish drive from Bondi Junction, but with the Lane Cove Tunnel now open it's motorway conditions almost all the way and it only takes about 20 minutes if the traffic is cooperative.

Koala and Bilby

Bunnies at Parrots

Food

View

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Saturday, April 21 2007

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Yuko Gets Published

Some of Yuko's photos from her recent job have been published in the journal Japaralia. This is a locally publish magazine for Japanese readers. However the main publication will be in another magazine published in Japan.

The big photo on the left, the one at bottom right and several of the small ones are Yuko's

At Epitome, Yuko told the manager, whose name is Harley Davidson, about her photographic odyssey.

Yuko tells her story to Harley Davidson

Walk

Earlier, I went for an early morning walk...

Standing on a stone wall in the bay

The College flouting the water restrictions - or is it recycled???

And I saw a black chicken in our driveway!

New Camera and Bridge Chaos

It's two and a half years since I bought my camera so I decided it was time to upgrade. When I mentioned this to Yuko at Epitome she became excited and said "Let's go to the camera shop now!" So we did.

But it was not without debacles.

We proceeded innocently onto the Harbour Bridge only to be stopped in gridlock just after entering the arch. The traffic didn't move for a long time and the overhead lane indicators showed only one lane open - although it wasn't moving.

After a while people started getting out of their cars and taking their clothes off...

Later we learned on the TV news that the holdup was caused when an elderly woman collapsed while doing to bridge climb. They had to use a cherry-picker to bring her down to the roadway.

Wagamama

But we eventually made it to the camera shop and I purchased this camera...

Then we went to Wagamama, a pseudo-Japanese restaurant in the Victoria Galleries building....

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Friday, April 20 2007

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Friday
Thursday
Tuesday
Monday

Buggy

Nothing has happened for the last few days - except that I've drunk coffee (see above) and on Monday I saw a buggy while driving to work. It was very exciting indeed...

From Message
xlnqu
10/05/2007
5370 Days Ago
[url=][/url]

From Message
mcpjv
10/05/2007
5370 Days Ago
[url=][/url]

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Sunday, April 15 2007

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Epitome
Airport

Radios

Mother likes radios and she has a lot of them. One of her radios was not working and I was unable to fix it, so she asked me to buy her another two. I found a couple of small radios at two of the $2 shops at Lane Cove and Mother was very happy...

The big broken radio and two new small ones

Yuko Returns from Bananaland

Yuko and her Sydney-based boss Yasuko flew back from Brisbane tonight. I picked them up from the airport and we gave Yasuko a life home to North Sydney.

Yuko with a gift from the Queensland Government

Then we went to dinner at Yellow...

Yellow food

And Yuko gave me a present...

Yuko gives me a present

The photo shoot was successful and we expect to see some published results soon.

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Saturday, April 14 2007

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Saturday
Friday
Thursday

Mother

Yuko is still in Brisbane. She has called me saying that she is extremely busy and they are working 12 hour days. Meanwhile... Mother invited me to her house for dinner last night...

Mother

Lane Cove Wildlife

Today I went walking in the local bushland. It's surprising how diverse the wildlife is in the heart of suburbia - even the apes are thriving...

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Wednesday, April 11 2007

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Yuko Debarks to Bananaland

Today was the third day of Yuko's photography job. After a hard day's work shooting photos in Sydney, Yuko and her two bosses boarded a flight for Brisbane. They will continue the job there until Sunday.

Yuko had to meet them in the City, so she drove to Lane Cove and caught a bus from there. This meant I had to walk to Lane Cove in the evening to pick up Belinda. Although I didn't know exactly where Yuko had parked, I found Belinda quite easily as I drove past on my way home from work.

Belinda parked on the road at Lane Cove (Note alien spaceship in the background)

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Monday, April 9 2007

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Monday
Sunday
Saturday

Yuko's Photography Job

Yuko's card

Today, Yuko started her photography job. It's a six day shoot for a Japanese magazine. A rep from the Magazine is visiting from Japan to gather material on the subject of visiting Australia to study. They will visit various English Colleges in both Sydney and Brisbane where they will interview staff and students about their experiences. Yuko will go with them and take photos to go with the text.

For the first day (today) Yuko had to meet the coordinators (one from Japan and one from Sydney) at a students' lodge over at Bondi. Although today was a public holiday, I was working, and as I work at Bondi Junction, I gave Yuko a lift to the place.

Yuko ready to start her job

When the day's shooting was over, they dropped Yuko back at Bondi Junction, so we had dinner together at a Thai Yong which is very close to my work. She told me that she had worked very hard travelling all over Sydney taking photos. But it went very well.

Thai Yong
Yuko - happy with the shoot

Food at Thai Yong

Work

Meanwhile, I've been working through Easter (except Good Friday) with four of my colleagues. We had free Japanese food (at Ramen Kan) and free marshmallows all weekend...

Free Japanese Food
Ramen Kan

Free Japanese Food
Free Marshmallow

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Good Friday II

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Driving Through Tunnels at 500 km/h

The Lane Cove Tunnel has been open for a couple of weeks so I thought we should drive through it while the toll is still free. I built a rig for my camera and shot the following video which contains not just the LCT, but a couple of bonus tunnels too - all at 500km/h!

The camera rig in the car

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Friday, April 6 2007

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Good Friday
Good Friday

Thursday

Smashing a Bunny at Easter

I received this golden bunny as an Easter gift...

Although Easter eggs and Bunnies should be saved for Sunday, we decided to smash it and eat it today anyway...

Tamarama Photo Shoot

Yuko has landed a photography job! More of this later... but today she wanted to practice in preparation for her upcoming six-day shoot which starts on Monday. So we went to Tamarama beach...

Yuko with her camera and other equipment (in the bag)

At Tamarama we saw a filthy sofa...

Filthy sofa

I acted as a stand-in model so that Yuko could practice her photographic skills. Then she bought me a cup of coffee at a Bronte cafe...

Tamarama
Yuko at the Bronte cafe

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Wednesday, April 4 2007

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Wednesday
Tuesday

Monday

Rain

I was driving to work today when the weather suddenly turned from sunshine to a freak rain storm. I later learned that this was a tiny storm which was confined to just the Bondi area and cause local flooding and minor havoc and mayhem.

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Sunday, April 1 2007

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Blood

On the way to Yellow, Yuko fell down flat on the ground and sustained an injury. I wasn't with her at the time as I had debarked to purchase a newspaper. For this reason, the incident was deemed to be my fault.

Blood gushes from the gaping wound

Wood

I went walking and noticed two things...

First, I came upon the site of a noble tree, which once stood as a monument to nature's grandeur, but which had now been reduced to a pitiful stump!

Then, a little further on... crass wooden picnic tables had been erected in the park at TamBayRes!

Are these events connected????

Wood subtracted
Wood added

Shelf

Mother's shelf collapsed recently, and today I finally got around to fixing it. I am not generally a handyman, but I gave it a go.

First I went to the hardware shop and purchased some brackets (screws included).

After

Then I wielded a screwdriver and succeeded in stabilising the shelf in a near horizontal orientation. The shelf still sags a bit, but at least it can support tiny loads now.

Before
Brackets

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