Thursday, 3 January 2013

Straight to Summer

And so, back to reality once again, things started off slowly. The highlights being winning some free tickets to a movie -Kiwi Flyer - a New Zealand movie, aimed at kids, but entertaining enough for adults, about a trolley race in Nelson. I really enjoyed it, and think it's going to be one of those movies that will be played every Christmas on TV because it ticks all the boxes.

I also did a trip up the Coromandel with dad and one of his suppliers to deliver some toilet paper and other supplies to camp grounds up there, that was quite nice as I hadn't really been that far up, and it showed me a couple of good places to camp.

The Waikato rugby team happened to win the Ranfurly shield in about the second-to-last challenge of the year, so I decided I would go and watch the last game which was at Waikato stadium. It turned out not to be too expensive, and it wasn't packed or monitored, so when it started raining, I moved up into the covered part of the stand. My mate Dave and his dad were there too, so I ended up hanging out and catching up with them.
For the momentous occasion, I fashioned a poncho out of some PVC signs that came on a roll, that I had picked up for free at a garage sale in about 2001. Anyhow, Waikato was victorious on the day, so all in all it was a good year for Waikato rugby.
The rest of October was fairly uneventful, I did some deliveries to Morrinsville, caught up for coffee with some old classmates from tech, and renewed my gun licence. The biggest news was probably becoming an official employee of Waikato Cleaning Supplies. I am mainly doing the accounting side of things, entering invoices into the computer, but also answering email queries, the phone, and serving on the counter as required. One of the things I am going to implement in the quiet patch in January is making our packing slips computerised, essentially cutting out a whole lot of double-handling. Something I have already sorted out was the backing up process - what was happening was at 4:30 everyone had to be out of the system while someone manually backed up the server. I found it a pain because you couldn't really do anything from 4:30 then, and I figured it should be able to be done automatically. So now it's just a case of swapping a portable hard drive each morning.

November began slowly, the highlights early on being going to the CBD pub with Ron & Bevan and having all you can eat chicken wings on "Wingsday Wednesday". Part of that included a challenge if you were up for it of eating 6 really spicy wings in 3 minutes. Usually I'm not a fan of super hot things, but I was keen and wanted to challenge myself so I did it and got the free t-shirt. It's funny how proud of myself I was at winning another eating challenge (you may remember the 25oz steak in 25 minutes at chakalaka in London - which really wasn't that hard) but it's all about celebrating the small victories. Anyhow, that was the preliminary celebration of my birthday, two days later.

On my actual birthday we (mum, dad, Suzanne, Bevan, & I) went out to Keystone, as I am a loyalty card holder of their parent company, so they sent me a $50 voucher to use. For dessert we went to an Italian place, which was OK, but half the stuff on the menu wasn't available.

On the Sunday, Bevan & I went to Auckland to the Big Boys Toys expo. It was OK, a bit better than the last time I went in 2008, which I think was scaled back due to the recession, but it still wasn't as cool as how I remembered it the first time I went, but isn't that always the case.

On the 22nd mum, dad, & I went and saw Nigel Latta talk at Southwell as a fundraiser for ...... I had read two of his books last year, The Politically incorrect guide to Parenting, and ... To teenagers, which I found good books. I found his talk a little bit of a disappointment, I'm not sure what it was, whether it was too rehearsed, or whether he put too many swearwords in there, or the occasional "political" swipe at something.

The following weekend I saw there was a fun run/walk around the lake which was raising money for a charity called Dream chasers. Basically there was a boy who died of Leukaemia, they hadn't been able to match him with a suitable donor for a bone marrow transplant because of his Maori ancestry (IE a match is rarer). Anyway his parents set this charity up to raise awareness - and they were only about my age.
So, anyway, I decided to do the maximum walk - which was 3 laps. There was a couple and their mother I think that also were doing 3 laps too, so I talked to the man and had a great conversation about travel, genealogy, and all sorts. Sadly they reneged on the last lap, but I don't blame them as they were carrying a kid in a backpack as well. Anyhow I went on to finish the third lap, but I think most people had done their one or two and gone home by the time I finished. However on the upside I got a free drink and several cupcakes at the end of it. A friend of mine had organised a social walk around the lake later that day, so I walked halfway round again to where we were going to meet, and chilled out there for about an hour. When he and a few others came we did a lap, then had a milkshake and chatted.
That night my parents and I went to Monique's 30th - I grew up with Monique and her sister Christine, who if you go and look at the entries for February 2011 & 2012 respectfully, they are both mentioned as they were the brides at the weddings I attended.

On the 27th I went to a men's dinner at our church. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as it was a cricketing guy, however he talked in such away that it was actually quite good, I think it was his humour and the applicability of it, ie it wasn't all about cricket, more his life experience. Similarly I enjoyed catching up with some of the old guys from our old church at Naike, it seems cool to be able to talk to them now with so much more to relate to.

I believe on the Thursday I popped over to Matamata because there was an opening of the I-site over there, which had been re-done as a hobbit hole (Matamata is just down the road from "Hobbiton" the set location of where they filmed the shire scenes in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
At the end of the month I went down to new Plymouth to catch up with Dave and Sandra, and their kids. It was nice getting out of my world for a weekend, but I also started to appreciate that I'm not as ready for kids as I thought I was. I took Luca a book and a small torch that we sell at work - he barely let go of the torch all weekend (nor turned it off) & had the book read to him at least 3 times. On the Saturday we all went to the Egmont visitors centre, had a bit of a walk, and had some lunch there. Sunday it was pouring with rain, and they were having an open home to sell their house, so Sandra and I took the kids out for lunch while Dave played host.
Mid December I went to the Tamahere markets one Saturday - something I've never gotten around to doing. It was interesting, I bought a couple of books and a packet of tomatoes to chew at my convenience.
On the Sunday I did a cycle safety thing, that the council was putting on for free. I figured I probably knew it all already, but would probably pick something useful regardless, which I was right - particularly when turning around to check what other traffic is there I had previously found I wouldn't be able to stay straight, despite not having that issue when I was a kid. Essentially what was I doing wrong was keeping my arms straight and almost locked, where as the idea is to bend your elbows for maximum effect. At the end of it I felt good, it was like I was one with my bike again, like I would have felt as a kid (admittedly the next day I had really sore forearms from being a kid and bouncing the front suspension/attempting wheelies/jumps)
Because where we did that was just around the corner from my aunties I went and visited her and had some lunch. We had a good chat and I tried to fix her skype but didn't have any luck.
Later on I went to a gathering at a pub which was doing $5 pizzas, which was all good.

Other than that, I took Suzanne and Jordan to dog Obedience one night, then dropped Suzanne at Bevan's work do, and Jordan home.

Our work do was on the last Friday before Christmas. We finished slightly early and had a BBQ which was nice.

That night we headed to the beach with Nana. It was nice waking up the next day and already being there. I had organised that on the Sunday we would go and visit her cousin in law in Whakatane, and take the family bible back, we all went down there, but I have ended up holding onto it. The following day I took Nana to meet a distant relative of her's, someone I have been chatting with via email for a while. This lady has researched our common ancestral line well and had a bit of information, most I had gathered from previous emails but she is going to send me more of it soon, and it was in a well presented format, almost booklet profile-like, which is what I want to do in regards to some of my ancestors, so the information can easily be stored, accessed, and past on.

Christmas day was OK. For the four of us it felt almost too much like hard work. I actually enjoyed the remote control car I got in my work present the most. On the concrete in the shed you can make it do awesome skids, almost 180degrees.

On the 27 and 28th we were back at home at work, and then came back that night.

In the following few days I had a few swims and managed to fix the lock in my car.

For New Years I headed up to Auckland. What was really the highlight of the trip though was finding a set of rear speaker panels for my car at a wreckers. I had searched for ages, including several scourings of Hamilton, at least one scouring of Tauranga, and a scouring of Christchurch while I was there.

I returned to Papamoa the next day. Since then I have had a couple more swims, caught up with a few people, and today took the McDonald family bible to be rebound.

Not much planned for the next few days. Much of the same, hopefully will get a bit of exercise in there as well.

1 comment:

  1. hahaha, no one is ever 'ready' for kids! but luca sure does love that torch! looking forward to catching up when we are back in hams. take care :)