November 2010, Do I look like a Dad?

November 2010. This month I pretended to be a Dad, bought another VFR and made my way back to Canada for a short visit.

First, pretending to be a dad. I picked up some work in front of the camera as a "Cool Dad" for Rebel Sport's November catalog. Ok, I added the cool, but I think the shots say it all. Looking at the photo with me and the kid I think we did pretty well. It was definitely the hardest part of the day as the kid kept kicking me in the ankles for real as I held him back from the ball. A sacrifice for the trade. In the end we shot for different scenarios, two of which I have posted below.

A lovely jog on the beach...

Next up in the month was a return trip to Welly yet again to pick up another bike. WHAT? Yep, another bike. I wasn't planning to buy another one, but the deal was way too sweet to pass up. A very tidy 2007 VFR with a rack for a very good price! Although it took the guy a while to count the cash eventually I made the purchase from Wainuiomata. Seems like I'm in Welly every other week and feels like I'm always buying a motorcycle too. That's not such a bad feeling. As always a nice stay down in Welly with Dave and Sarah and a good ride back up to Auckland.

I managed to sell the 1998 to a guy in Auckland in the middle of the month a week after I returned and right before I got on a plane to Canada.

At Raukawa Falls along Hwy 4 from Wanganui to National Park. Taking a pie break.



Back to Canada for a visit. I got a screaming deal on a flight from Auck to Van so I jumped on a plane and went back to see everyone in the freezing Northern hemi (actually it was only Calgary that was freezing at the time). It was nice to be home and surprisingly nice to experience
-25C with a half meter of snow again since I had not felt winter in 4 years.

Not long in to the trip I came across the "new" anal American security procedures at the airport as a result of the ink cartridge attempts 2 weeks before. In the photo below the sign on the right says "US flights". So what does the sign mean? Well if you are travelling to the US you now need to go through door number 2. What do you win? Well, after putting your belt and shoes back on and everything back in to your pockets, including your deadly pen that could puncture a windpipe, you are asked to enter the US corridor 100 m down the track where you get to enjoy a body scan that shows everyone all your bits and pieces which I'm sure is medically safe. Oh, poor travellers going to America. Fortunately I have yet to experience this and hope I never will, yeah right.

The sad reality is, just like all the other Airline security policy the US started, it won't be long until the world falls inline, the sign is removed and we all get to enjoy a body scan. Until then I plan to avoid flying to the US! Thanks America. Hope I can get through the US on the motorbike before these things are in place at the borders.

After the little sad moment at the airport I was back to enjoying my experience. Look at that...ahhh...

Oh no! What is going on with this -25C. The week before it was 5C and I could have rode this guy. I guess we will have to wait until 2011!

Shot of our snow filled back alley in Calgary.

My mom and I chilling on the way to go shopping.

Bought some goalie gear. Sorry, I just had to add this photo especially for those who don't know about ice hockey (I would also have a shirt on in a real game)

Proof! This is at lunch and it was actually -30C over night.

Cold and snow informative videos, yeah right...

I can see my breath.

Driving on ice.

Melted snow and gross roads.

Bill Reid's famous Spirit of Haida Gwaii sculpture in Vancouver Airport. It's very impressive (that shot is for you you Donna)

Bye Canada!

October 2010, Not my Porsche, Filming, Playing, Halloween

Fun filled October saw me return to Wellington for some Porsche racing, picking up of another motorcycle and helping my mate Philipp make a short film. After Welly I returned to Auckland to begin jamming with two friends and enjoy a foreign halloween.

Got to Welly at the beginning of the month where I was hosted once again by Dave and Sarah. Great new place right on the water! It felt like being at a vacation resort with a view like this.

I planned to stay for a couple of days in order to see some people, go up to the Races near Palmerston North and pick up my next VFR. My 3 day trip turned into 2 weeks because my mate Philipp asked me to be his 1st AD for the short film "Oh Boy". Good film experience and fun creating with Phil was worth the extra time in Welly. Not to mention the couple of nights out bowling with Dave and a couple good meals back at the house. Oh, I do miss Wellington!

First up on my tirp was a Day at the track watching Geoff's dad run his Porsche GT2 in a couple of races at Manfield. Caught a lift up with Geoff and his mates to pick up the VFR and see some racing. Picked the bike up from a dodgy lady selling on behalf of her boyfriend in Aussie. Found it in good enough shape to take it and proceeded back to the races. Had a nice opportunity to get right in to the garages and along the starting wall. Of course in NZ where there are few rules, events like this can be very up close and hands on. Unfortunately I was not able to ride shotgun with Ian. Damn.

Ian Hayr and his Porsche GT2 sponsored by Geoff's company Maltbys.

Great to get right in there and see these machines. I had to take the steering wheel off to squeeze myself into the narrow bucket seat. Next time I'm going for a spin.

Quick vid of Porsche race start.


Quick vid of open wheel cars at track level.



Back in Welly with the bike I started working on "Oh Boy" a short film by Philipp Bodo Christian Kehm (soon to be a huge director) which is part of 41 South's 9 film collaboration. It was a pleasure to work with a young crew with lots of talent. I believe the shoot went well and look forward to seeing the final product. It was great to receive such praise for my work as 1st AD which can be very stressful if things go wrong. Fortunately everything went right, even the weather!

Director
Philipp Kehm
1st AD
Brad Costa
2nd AD / Producer
Anika Bratzke
DOP/Cam
Aaron Dickson
Cam Assist
Graham Smout
Gaffer/Grip
Sam Harris
Gaffer/Grip
Tibor Nagy
Sound
Alex Lee
Boom
Sam pruttz
Continuity
Marian Angeles
Art Director
Claudia
Make Up/Wardrobe
Kerry Taylor
Unit
Rene Le Bas

Great shot of main actor Ralph Johnson. He was awesome and a delight to work with.

Shot from the crane.
The crew hanging around Cristof's great crane invention.
Some of us in front of Dave's house waiting for something? Aaron, Rene, Marian, Ralph, Philipp, Kerry, Graham, me


After the filming was complete and a day or two to relax I set off back to Auckland on the new VFR. Thanks as usual to Dave and Sarah for having me.

The bike performed really well and I was blessed with a mint day as you can see. Shot of the bike in front of Mt. Ruapehu (North island ski field still open this late in the season!)


Band and Halloween

Shot of the newly formed band as we play to the ocean and surrounding beauty a top Piha on the West coast 30 min out of Auckland. Vikram, Mike and me.


Halloween 2010. I was trying to be Bork from the Muppets, but looked more like Mario or Luigi! I needed more eyebrow if that's possible! A good Halloween party held by Erika. Mostly foreigners as the Kiwis don't quite get this experience yet.

After some costume mods and finding my long lost mustache mates Lenka and Marco.



What's next? Another VFR? A trip home? Stay tuned.

September 2010, New Bike, Fancy photos


September 2010 and I'm still in NZ. As most of you know my plan was to be on a motorbike riding from Canada to South America which meant I would be back in Canada preparing in September. Plans have changed. At the moment I am in the middle of creating a TV show which has a good chance of happening, but I can not confirm this yet. Regardless, whether it does or not I am learning lots about the TV industry and have decided to play this thing out. That means this month I have bought a new bike, got to go to the Qantas Awards show and have been involved with some fancy pictures.

Another VFR! With my plans unknown I was poking around on Trademe and came across a little red VFR for a good price in Palmerston North (small town with few buyers around). I decided to snap it up on the online auction and pick it up on a trip down to Welllington which will happen in early October. Stay tuned.


In the middle of the month I was invited to the Qantas TV awards by a friend from TVNZ. I was very happy to go and didn't mind flipping the bill for a one night suit hire since it is the NZ version of the Oscars with a red carpet entry and all that. A great chance to bump elbows with local celebrities and get my hand on the pulse of this industry, especially in Auckland which is more TV based than Wellington. It was a good night and I think I filled my role as arm candy for the eve with out a trip or fall.

Mate of mine Thomas Robbins accepting the first award of the night for the Web Drama "Reservoir Hill" that I worked on in 2009 (had to sneak the photo from my phone so I didn't look like a tourist).

Running into a friend of mine, Rachelle, at the bar outside the theatre.


Some shots of me in the evening suit earlier in the day that were taken by an aspiring photographer Ahmed.




Later in the month another photo shoot with another aspiring photographer Nic Fletcher. This one was very stylised with a Gattaca influence.





Other things...

Flatmates Cuzzy and Pete having a cuppa on a sunny day.



August 2010, Hockey, Hockey, Hockey

August 2010 was mostly hockey with a bit of decision making..

For those of you expecting me to return for my Canada to South America trip in September I don't think it will happen this year. Of course there is still an outside chance I will return in early Oct and bolt down to SA, but more than likely I will stay the summer in NZ, complete my residency and then, hopefully, set out for South America. The trip has been postponed also due to some work opportunities here, namely creating a TV show and importing Caravans. Nothing much to say on that at the moment so stay tuned.

Hockey. As most of you know I moved up to Auckland in March with a strong urge to play hockey and lots of it. I was expecting to step in and start playing goalie for a team with the odd game as a player. However, that was not the case as Auckland has a lot more hockey structure then I expected. Everyone has a goalie and doesn't really need players either. From April to the end of August I played less than 10 games in net and found my self begging to play as a defense man for who ever would take me. In the end I joined a Div 2 team, the Eagles, as a player and became one of the stars of the team being a backwards skater and all. Division 2 has a mix of kiwis and social canadians who can play at a pond hockey level. It is fun, but our team is usually dominated so it's a bit frustrating at times. Also, finally in August I was called up to play with a Div 1 team, the Trappers, and enjoyed a couple games playing some of the semi-pro NZIHL players who also play in Div 1. Much faster than Div 2!

Shots from a game with the Trappers vs Pirates.

In NZ they never use the doors on the bench, at least definitely not in Auckland. I think it's because the doors don't work and/or they could be copying the NHL. Thanks for the photos Marlene.


What skill, holding it in on the line

Trust me I am marking a guy, it just doesn't look that way.

Good sports always shaking hands at the end of the game. Even the refs!

A game between the pipes. I actually played a double header, first for a div 1 team and then for a division 3 team. I lost the div 1 game 5 - 1 and won the div 3 game 2 -1. The opponents in the div 3 game complained that my skill was too high for their game as I made a lot of saves and they really should have won. It was a nice backhanded compliment. Apparently I found out you can only play in 2 levels.


The dark side. In need of cash to pay my hockey fees and not wanting to stand on a street corner I inquired about being a paid referee. Something I would never have thought about in Canada because of the regulations and know-it-all players. In NZ this is different and easier. I felt I could just wing it based on all my hockey experience and I think I'm doing ok. Of course I am learning to and couldn't believe how much you have to shift your mind. So far not too many bad situations, but don't ask me to ref rugby!

The young ones are fun to watch and ref.


Coming up in the next episode, something I'm been looking at on Trademe...


Other things...

Snow Planet is an indoor ski field on the northern end of the North Shore. $55 gets you a pass for the entire day and night. This would be great for first timers and runs all year round.



July 2010 All about the water


Whether it was on the ocean fishing, on the slopes skiing, getting rained on at a rugby test, partying on a boat in the West Harbour or sailing in the East Harbour the month of July was played out to a water theme.

Early in the month Pete, Jimmy and myself finally got out in Pete's zodiac for a fish. Sure it was winter, but the sun was shining and the water was calm (enough) so we entered from the beach in Army Bay on the Whangaparoa peninsula about a 30 minutes north of our place for a 5 hour attempt at some fish. Great scenery and some fun moments made for a good day out. Plus, a blast around on the unsinkable zodiac as an added bonus.

Video of Pete's fishing tradition for the first person to get the first catch.



In the middle of the month a trip back to Welly was in order to see the All Blacks play South Africa. This game was part of the Tri-Nations rugby which pits NZ, Aussie and South Africa in a 9 game tourney with the winner obtaining the title for the year. Considered the best rugby in the world.

Side track: On the way down Ben and I had a quick stop in Turoa for a ski on Mt Ruapehu (an active volcano right beside the Tongariro crossing which I did in Feb 2010). My first time skiing in NZ.

To sum it up the condition were poor and with only a half day to ski I opted for the trial run package which had an admin fee of $10 if you wanted to return your gear and get your money back. With rainy conditions, poor equipment and a lack of love for skiing I got my $10 worth, returned my stuff and got my $95 refund which would go towards beer later on in Welly.

Ben and I taking in the beautiful rainy conditions. The sunnies are not because it's sunny!

Can't remember what these things are called. They aren't uncomfortable, but just seem wrong.



Video taking a lift up at Turoa Ski field.


Ben in action on the path back to the chair lift.


Haka time, and the NZ All Blacks vs the South Africa Springboks July 17, 2010. Game 2 of 3 where the All Blacks had a 1 game lead from their win the week before. Unfortunately I couldn't get a ticket to the Auckland game so I made me way to Welly.

A spirited affair with the expectation that the Springboks would be very strong and ready for the ABs this time.

Check out the crafty All Blacks display in the crowd

Video of the world famous Haka which is performed towards any NZ opponent before a match. I recommend you watch it.


A full Westpac Stadium.

A bit of the action.

A well desired AB victory with some great passing and great scoring. Again the ABs were too much for the Springboks and never seemed to miss a beat as they lead the entire time.

Although it was Phil and I at the game, here's the rest of the crew after for drinks. Jemma, Phil, Ben, Jane.

In the tour guides they suggest that the country lives and breathes with the ABs, but I haven't noticed that to be the case. To be fair it is not the World Cup, but I sure enjoyed it. I expect the Cup will bring everyone out next Sept 2011 (hosted by NZ). That should be awesome!


Back up in Auckland and on the water again I got an invite to a party on a boat anchored in the middle of the West Harbour. Although it was late I figured the mission of rowing out to the boat and getting the views of the Sky Tower and the city were well worth it. We made our way to the boat via a dingy who's motor would have gotten us there in a few minutes, but unfortunately was out of commission. Instead we used manpower to row the 20 min, fully loaded, to the party boat.

7 people in this!

Water was slightly chilly.

One oar each was not perfect, but interesting regardless.

The Harbour Bridge turned out pretty good considering it was at night and the boat was pretty rocky.

Looking South at the Sky Tower and some of the Harbour Bridge

On Nathan's party boat as he takes a bird's eye photo of us.

Sorry, no video of the party boat as it was pitch black.


Near the end of the month I finally got on a sail boat in NZ. I can't believe it had taken this long and what better way to get amongst then a full on race!

Through a friend of a friend I was put on to Rupert the captain of High Octane. Rupert has been sailing for years and then some more and had just returned from 3 months of sailing in the Mediterranean where he has another boat. Cool! Anyhow, I was asked to join and I jumped at the chance even though I would be used mostly as weight transfer.

I got to the boat and helped prepare for the race, jumped on and spent a couple hours in the East Harbour amongst the other avid sailors and boats in the Auckland community. We had a fantastic day considering it is usually raining in the winter. A great first time with lots of sun and definitely not the last time. We finished 6th in the top grade which was good.

Shots of boats behind us from aboard High Octane during the race


A couple of boats in front of us.

Crew relaxes after a job well done.
Richard, Pippy, Rupert, Kristin, Mark, Katrina, Rob and Jeff



Other things...

Gladiator auditions for Spartacus (new show on American TV, you will hear about it as it is very good!). A 3 hour test of coordination, fighting and listening. I thought it would suck, but it was so fun as we even got to play with wooden swords just like in the show, oh yeah.

Unfortunately I was not allowed to take video so this is all I have.



Wellington second floor port-a-loo on an over hang. This just seems like a bad idea.