It's Hammer Time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce, with much pompocity/honour/fanfare/lateness, the much anticipated


Be warned, it's not for the faint of heart, or those that disdain loud hammering.
Commencing at 8pm local time at 71 Pohutukawa St, Woburn, Lower Hutt (Morgan Davie's house).
All are invited, bonuses are given to those who come in character as their favorite World Nails Federation athlete/entertainer.
Think WWF-style character/personas. Awesome.
Perhaps bring some beer as well, as it'll be the necesary drink to play.
Hammer and nails will be provided.
Questions? I hope not, but email them to dartanian66@yahoo.com, or txt me at 021 666 087.
Come and bring the pain.

And please, Hammer don't hurt 'em!


Happy Wedding

I had the honor of attending THE wedding of the summer. I thank Matt and Miriam for letting me attend- I would of crashed it anyways.
Also, on a more self-cenetered note: Thanks for letting me have an opportunity to grace Wellington with my violet dress shirt, as it was the one piece of clothing I had brought with me that I hadn;t worn.
Thanks Morgan for having a Toronto Raptors baseball cap with which it went so well with.
Thanks to Anne for letting me wear it.
And thanks to all the American high schoolers going to Prom to make that look fashionable!


Back Home

As in Wellington. Great trip. Many great stories and memories.
Beginning of the last days here.

I hate it. But it must be done!

Much crying will be heard from the people!


Aoraki redeamed by Bob Ross Bay

After the city of Dunedin, and all it's unparalled beauty, I mean, plainess, I was quite excited to travel to Aoraki, or Mt. Cook. It's, as you know/guess the highest point in NZ, and the cool thing about it is that you can drive nearly to the top. But that does take away a massive amount of "impressiveness" that say, a Mt. Fuji has (or one of those "cone" ones).
I got there late in the day, and light rain started hitting my windshield as I had been passing the lake that I can best describe as "the color of my Alfa Romeo that Aki totalled." The official name for that paint was "sea-foam green." It was beautiful. The car. And, well so was the lake.
So my main concern was: get a spot sheltered underneath a tree, you know, the whole rain thing. Wind was not an issue.

And then it got dark.

And the skies cleared up, to reveal glorious constellations that I know none of, and the wind picked up. Something fierce. The whole underneath thing should have been behind. I couldn't change my location in the dark &wind anyhow at this point, so I decided to try to make out the night. For anyone who camped at Leon's birthday, it was stronger than that.

All night, I kept worrying the tent was going to come undone in the ground, and I'd be left with no fly. The fly kept whipping hard against the tent, and I never slept. I got out at about 2 am and checked the pegs in the ground, and they were fine.
And then at about 6 am it happened, like a 600 pund sumo wrestler charging into my tent from no-where, 2 of my 3 poles snapped. I heard them go, and then a wrip, as one of the poles tore the nylon. I was f-u-c-k-e-d. I had to push all my weight agianst the wind, and tried to put my pants on when it subsided enough.
I got out as soon as it began to show light, and packed it up quickly/poorly. I hopped into my car and drove to the mountain view point walk, and was the only one to see the mountain top luminate 1st thing in the morning. I sat enjoyed it, until the sun hit me, and I went down to the car and made coffee and grilled cheese for breakfast. When all the tourist buses started showing, the clouds rolled in, and hid what I saw while they were still sleeping.

I was rewarded.

I drove an exhausting, and often un-interesting drive to Banks peninsula, which was formed duirng 2 volcanoe explosions. The ruggedness of the steep slopes reminded me of the shape of Fiji. Not as warm though. I found a remote beach, and when the sun set, the clouds over the bay had a softenss to them that reminded me of Bob Ross, the whole scene was his. And over there was a "happy little tree." I had supper, finished my Maurice Gee book (it was choice) and went fast asleep in my car as soon as it was dark.

And then I came into Christchurch today, which is having it's International Buskers Festival.
It's pretty cool, seeing some of the acts. I think I'll only be here 1 night, and head to Hanmer Springs tomorrow. It's strange being in a city after I've adjusted to the sticks. I always said I'm a city boy, but camping has made me re-think that idea. I suppose I'm still city though, until I wrestle and defeat the bushwackers. Then...

Some stuff:

Bob Ross. Watch him do his magic.

The Bushwackers even had figures made of dem. They also had 3rd guy and were know as the "Sheepherders." Love it.

My dad also has uploaded pics from his album on his trip to Central America. Anyone unlucky enough to not know him can see how he's obviously travelling solo, as there's only 2 pics of himselft in 89 uploaded. View the album!


Dunedin Dreamz

Here I am in Dunedin. I have sent Morgan home, he was really harshing my NZ buzz....no, it's been quite a different trip since he's been gone, I've been listening to music really loudly and singing along to it....wait, I did that when he was in the car too.
I came down from Central Otago stopping in the prime stonefruit growing region in NZ. I ate lots of cherries, nectarines and apricots. No peaches. I also stopped in a small town that was essentially the place that started the great NZ gold rush in the 1860's. I kept thinking I was going to find a fist-sized nugget, but then I read an informative information display (it did its job!) and read that they found the gold pieces, and then reworked all the leftover earth 2 more times. That basically means that everything is gone.

I was sad when I realized I was not going to be the finder of a gold piece the size of my fist...

I then came down to the Otago penisula, which is a rugged piece of land that's home to many animals, notably Royal Albatross, NZ Fur Seals, 2 kinds of penguins, a couple different kinds of sea lions and many other birds- like seagulls! I did find one deserted beach that had me and 5 sea lions on it. There was a big bull that I got to about 30 feet from. It was crazy fat.
Then I had a strange friday night. I went down to the local to watch the cricket, and I started to talk to some locals, who invited me to a house party. Oh man, it was crazy- a bunch of "average kiwi blokes" in a garage drinking beer and telling jokes. I had one guy first tell me he thought I was a good guy, then he got drunken angry at me & I couldn't understand what he was saying (he had had throat cancer, so he sounded hoarse) and then he drew me a picture of a kiwi that was quite good. And then he tried to take back the picture....
It was a new experience in NZ.
And now I'm in Dunedin, spending the weekend, and hopefully I'll be able to find somebody to share petrol with/get a new partner in crime.
So, Monday I set out for Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then to Christchurch, and I drive up to the Picton ferry on Thursday and'll be back in Welly by 10.

Morgan has posted some of the pics he took online, and you can view them here.


Milford Onwards

Milford Sound was incredible. There are many superlatives one can use to describe it, but unless you've seen it for yourself, you don't know. It was awesome!
The boat trip (which was the 1st super-tourist thing we've done so far) was 1.5 hours of viewing massive rock faces and waterfalls. The clouds burned off, and it became sunny and mildly warm. Perfect weather. We then drove south to Te Anau, got wild venison pies, and saw a takahē, one of those birds they thought were extinct. Morgan was pleased.

We then kept driving, seeing nice, scenic country, caves and threw an impromptu dance party when my car rolled over to 200,000 Km on the dial.
We found a remote lake at the end of a 32km dirt road that turned out to the deepest lake in NZ. Then we camped near by the lake, eating stirfry and being entertained by some camping family's kids' wacky stories by the fire.
We're in Invercargill now, and I only have a few more days left with Morgue. It'll be wierd without another person in the car, so I'm planning on finding someone (hopefully) in Dunedin while I'm there for Robbert Burns night, celebrating poetry like this:

Rattlin', Roarin' Willie

As I cam by Crochallan,
I cannilie keekit ben;
Rattlin', roarin' Willie
Was sittin at yon boord-en';
Sittin at yon boord-en,
And amang gude companie;
Rattlin', roarin' Willie,
You're welcome hame to me!

I have no idea what that means. I just plan to drink scotch and eat haggis.....


From the Road

Here I am in Milford Sound. It's raining, and except for yesterday, it's been drizzling. I am at the end of the road it seems, literally. Once you hit here, all you can do is turn around and go about 2 hours to the next town.
A recap so far:

Wed afternoon, Morgan and I head out from Wellington, take the ferry, and drive to a sand-fly ridden valley in the middle of no-where. We're the only ones at the campground, and our excitement for the trip cannot be shaken by the swarms of vampire-like bugs.

Thurs, we drive through the spectacular Buller Gorge, which is as rough a cut as you can drive through. The walls feel like they're gonna fall on top of you. We continue onto the west coast, stopping in Greymouth, and drive right through Barrytown.
--> sidenote: the crazy, knife making dude in Barrytown sold out. He has signs, websites and we just kept driving, disgusted after being so excited.
We drove down the coast and camped.

Friday, we drove to see Pancake rocks, and the blow holes that didn't blow. We stopped at both Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, which were spectacular, and one of the highlights of my time in NZ. Massive blocks of ice is all they are, yet it's really cool. Then to a rocking Friday night in Haast, which included a shower, breaking a frisbee, and shutting down TWO bars. The only 2 bars, and we were in bed by midnight. It was a place of about 400 people.....

The drive to Queenstown was super scenic, and as we rose over the pass, we saw waterfalls, the Blue Pools, which are exactly what you imagine, except bluer. Then some large lakes, as big as Lake Washington at least, and the nice Wanaka. The sun was out and it was warm. Summer weather indeed. From Wanaka to Queenstown, it's a lot of orchards and vines. We stopped for some just picked cherries and they didn't disappoint. But Queenstown did.
Every backpacker says, "QT is awesome, it's so much fun." It was crap-tacular. A tourist trap with no good bars, and the rain returned. There was a national rugby sevens tourney, which was free to watch, and we did a bit. But we coped with the lack of character by drinking the whiskey Hanukkah Harry bought us for X-Mas and playing cribbage.
We left QT this morn late and were glad to leave. Once again the drive was highly scenic. This place is great. The road to Milford Sound is intensely narrow and curvey, and there are more waterfalls, and kia birds. They're the ones that try to pull stuff off your car, and were going for my windshield wipers. Then through the 1.5 km tunnel to the sound, and we're here.

we're probably gonna stick around here for most of the day tomorrow, and ultimately head to the far south/Invercargill.

I hope everyone has a good time doing what have you.


Late Add

I am planning something, and it's going to be good I was looking for images to help with the project, but it's amazing what you can find on the internet.

Poor Kid.



The Shihad concert rawked, hard.
I thank all who were there to make it fun. They were far better than I thought they'd be, honestly.

I've just packed for the trip to the great South, so I'll be away for a few days/weeks. It'll be unknown the time I'll be spending at a computer whilst down thar.

So hang on, I'll be fine.

It's gonna be a good one.


Photos From Thanksgiving

Wow. I know y'all are saying WTF is up with the delay dude?!?

Well, these photos were sent to me from Sadie who is living in Lidköping Sweden. That takes time. Anyways, this day is a fond memory indeed. To those of us who took part: Thanks and have a drink in our name!

My Speech was magic.

Ben, of Piñata smashing fame.

Our Indian Princess, Dancing Rain.


Laura on the rope swing.

Jon Ball. Drawing. Nobody could guess what it was.....it was RESPECT!

This is literally the BEST photo of Leon in the bunch....

Broke dick pilgrim.

The hat has an enchanting effect on people who look into the golden scorpion's eyes!



Vagabonds and facial hair.

Starting to make preperations for the trip to "Da" South Island. Leon has dumped his stuff on us, which is a pirate's booty of capming supply. What can I do with a gas cooker and a wok: Morgue WATCH OUT!
I need to get some other stuff in my clutches before we head, like fishing line and hooks. I also want to see if I can get a book on foraging in NZ. I plan to roam the south like a vagabond. Except without the smell.
Also, I cut off my beard, and am actually attaining my New Year's resolution (new facial hair). This is what I'm all about: setting realistic goals. Last year my NYR was putting man on mars-NOW. And you all know how that's turned out....or do you?!?!

hmmm....what else....finished our D&D game last night, which was great. I could tell people were beginning to perhaps become weary. Or maybe it was still fatigue from our epic day Tues. But we had to get er done for Leon, and we did.

Shihad this weekend. Get ready to rawk!


Happy New Year

If the start of my year is any indication of the upcoming year, then it will be sad and boring, and filled with cold.
The evening started pleasant, with a small gathering at a house party. Good conversations and me not knowing the NZ-centric questions of the NZ trivial pursuit.
Time escaped me, and I found myself in the same spot for midnight, when Ihad honestly hoped I would be at some crazy, single-women filled shindig. Alas.
When we left after midnight into the city, we stopped 1st at a party that had either never exhisted, or ended at about 10:15, or was being attended by ninjas. There was no sign of life.
Then we went to a party at a derelect crack-house with people who were on a drug-fueled level I've never even closely attained. And the cold and rain sucked too.
Home at 2am.
Oh well. I guess it's ANOTHER omen to show why I'm not supposed to be in NZ.

Dude, Aotearoa: I get it! Leave it alone all ready.