Archive for May, 2012
I came to NZ to do one thing and that was to meet Bret McKenzie.
As you probably know I won a charity auction with Oxfam NZ as part of their fair trade fortnight campaign to have a coffee with Bret.
So I booked some flights and a hotel and waited for confirmation of the exact time and place.
the noob (brother in law) decided to come along for the ride and so we flew over together on monday night to windy Wellington. I’ve been to Wellington a few times before and NZ several times. I love this country soo much.
Yesterday we did the tourist thing and pottered around the city, cablecar, ferry, walking around, searching fro free wifi.
Then today at lunch time I met Bret!!!
I wasn’t heaps sure what to expect, but I was pretty certain it would be a quick hello, good to meet you. then pose for a photo on that’s it. It was nothing like that.
Lynda (from Oxfam NZ) was waiting in the cafe when I arrived, we chatted for a bit and not long later Bret walked in with a guitar case slung over his shoulder, we stood up and greeted each other.
The chatting was easy and free flowing, we all laughed at each others jokes and told stories of our lives. After a while Bret asked if if we had eaten (no). So we ordered a few pizzas and kept chatting away. After one if his stories I made some joke and he laughed then followed it up with “I’m going to use that”. So pretty much I write for the Conchords now, please talk to my agent.
The pizza was eaten we kept chatting away, Bret has even offered to get me in to the Opera House gig in Sydney in July!!! He was the nicest easy going guy ever and it was a super afternoon. We ended up chatting away for about 2 hours and finished the time with some photos and the handing over of the guitar. (Which Bret had bought this morning from his favourite Wellington guitar store). It’s cool and signed by hime and Jermaine.
After a long lunch Bret had to go as Jermaine was texting him to get back to rehearsals for their tour which starts in a week or so.
So we parted ways and I was and am a very happy boy.
To celebrate noob and I went to Parliament house and watched some debating in the chamber. Nerds!
Tomorrow I’m coming home.
Tomorrow I’m going to my favourite country in the whole world.
I have nothing to rant about.
** Updates at the bottom of the post **
Turns out I’m not very good at writing my Sunday rants in time for posting on Sundays.
Oh well, Sorry B.
This morning I was playing around with Oscar, we were using a mouse pad like a frisbee and throwing it at each others heads across the room. It was good fun, but like all good fun it stops being fun when someone gets hurt. Well it stops being fun for the injured and suddenly becomes more fun for those who did not get hurt.
I ran up the stairs very quickly, I was only wearing socks. Actually I probably should clarify that before you call DOCS. I was only wearing socks on my feet. So it was a tad slippery as I dashed up the stairs.
So of course I slipped and stacked it a little on the steps. I hurt my toes quite a lot. there were all stinging for several minutes. After the initial shock pain one toe remained very sore.
Whilst this was happening Jenny burst out laughing (supportive wife 101). I was crunched in a ball on the stairs saying things like “this really hurts quite a lot”. Jenny kept laughing, every now and then pausing to say “are you ok” before resuming laughing again.
thankfully the son cared, Oscar came up and gave me a hug and told me I would be ok. He also kissed my toes.
Not long later we headed for the shops, I slipped my sore toe foot into a shoe. It hurt, I hobbled up the hill, it hurt. I hobbled through the library and shops. It hurt.
We went to get some lunch, due to my sore toes, I deserved chicken burger. So I went to Oporto and ordered a meal, waited for it and returned to the table with wife and son.
On opening the burger wrapped I discovered they gave me the wrong burger, so me and my sore foot headed back to get it replaced. On returning to the table I discovered Jenny had eaten over half my chips. This made me a bit angry, this anger was increased when unwrapping the replacement burger to discover it was also wrong.
I ate my remaining chips and the wrong burger.
I hobbled home.
I tried to have a nap while Oscar played in his room. I couldn’t get to sleep. My toe hurts.
I reckon it’s a broken toe.
Worst day ever. What an you do to help a broken toe, nothing.
I want chips.
I went to the Doctor today, who then sent me for x-rays.
Turns out I have fractured the toe and need to strap it to it’s neighbor for 6 – 8 weeks.
On Monday the 28th May I’m going to Wellington, New Zealand.
At an undisclosed place and time in the following days I will be meeting Bret McKenzie for a cuppa. (I say undisclosed, but really I know exactly where and when, but you don’t.)
Bret and I will laugh and chat and he will say “Oh Howie, this is great just hanging out, here have a guitar signed by me and Jermaine”.
About 2 weeks ago I saw a link on twitter for an online charity auction to meet up with Bret.
I clicked the link and noticed the auction website (TradeMe) allowed bidders from NZ & Australia.
The current bid was $1510 NZD so I made a bid for $1520. with over a week til the auction ended I knew it wouldn’t last and was just a silly thing probably so I felt I was part of it.
After leading the bid for a few days I decided to tell Jenny that I may have bid on an Oxfam charity auction and that my bid was leading.
I think her response was something like “you idiot, you won’t win”.
Well I did. With a few extra bids placed in the last 5 minutes of the auction.
So I’m off to meet Bret.
I’m excited and a bit nervous too, I don’t want to be all shy and noobish, and don’t want it to be all awkward. Maybe he’ll give me a job.
I’m partly nervous because he is really funny, and I really really really like the stuff he does and that is a bit daunting, also people often say I’m funny, and see myself as a funny(ish) guy but nothing compared to him sheesh.
Yesterday the NZ Herald interviewed me and today they put it online.
you can read the article by clicking the picture.
In case you somehow missed the video Oscar and I made for Mother’s Day, here it is again.
The 4th video in our little series of father son productions, this one has a Mothers Day theme for 2012
On Friday after coming home from the lovely fair trade breakfast mentioned in the last post I logged in to internet banking to pay our rent.
As I was scrolling through I noticed two odd purchases. I love internet shopping and a lot of the stuff that Jenny and I have has been bought online and some times strange thingsd appear on my statements but then we realise it’s something we have bought and the place just has weird trading names. But this time there was two pending transactions from places I have never heard of. I did some googling to see if I could find out what they were. Turns out I have had some work done on my car in the USA at a place with car technicians, and I have also applied for a visa online through third party website that helps people apply for visas and passports, also in the US.
What kind of idiot uses stolen credit card details to pay for a passport / visa ?????
anyway I called my bank and they agreed that these transactions were probably not made by me, but as they are pending they couldn’t look into it deeper until the money has actually been withdrawn from my account. (Which can be up to 8 days after the card authoraisation).
The canceled my card so no further dodgy things can happen. But that is very sad. I’ve had the same card number since Visa Debit cards came into being. It’s my number and now it’s gone. Jerks.
Anyway with a canceled card it means I don’t have easy access to my account until the new one is sent in a few days. Which isn’t a big hassle as we still have Jenny’s account but actually it turns it it is friggen annoying.
Yesterday Jenny was having a day off so Oscar and I decided to get the train to Brooklyn and hang out down there for a while, have lunch, play in the park etc.
We went up to the station and I had enough cash for the ticket but that’s about it.
In Brooklyn we headed straight for the playground and Oscar and I played for a quite a while before needing some lunch.
First stop was the takeaway that we like the most. I ordered a burger each and some chips and a drink then when I produced my card the man said he couldn’t find his eftpos machine.
A little bemused I asked where the nearest ATM was and he directed me to the pub. Oscar and I headed off to the pub and low and behold there was the ATM. I put in the card for jenny’s account and the machine rejected it I tired again and again and again. I guess the ATM doesn’t like ANZ. We then went to the general store where the man said I could get cash out if I spent $10. I didn’t really want to do that so he suggested we try the post office.
I went to the post office and asked if I could withdraw some cash monies, the man then asked what type of card I wanted to use, I said ANZ to which he replied. Sorry ANZ doesn’t let you withdraw cash at the post office. Sp back to the general store we went while our burgers would have been well and truly cooked by now and OScar spent the whole time asking questions like “why didn’t the ATM work? Can we get some money now? Why can’t we get money at the post office? etc etc etc.
The man in the general store on our return made a new deal and said we could withdraw some cash for $1.50. So he got $1.50 and we went to pick up our luke warm burgers.
We got our burgers, sat down and Oscar said “I don’t want a burger”
This post was written on Sunday intended to be a Sunday rant but we have had no friggen internet for 3 days!!!!!!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a business networking breakfast hosted by Fairtrade Australia & NZ. As part of Fair Trade Fortnight (which is May 5 – 20).
It was at Customs House in Circular Quay which I have never been to before. It has the coolest 3D model of Sydney ever. You walk over it as it’s under the glass floor in the lobby.
Anyway it was a nice morning, There were people there representing major corporations like Woolworths and Cadbury, and there was me a little market stall holder.
It was a ‘stand up’ breakfast, which when I first read that I thought it was some kind of advocacy statement and we would eat breakfast standing up for the poor. Turns out they just didn’t have chairs.
The keynote speaker was Craig Foster, Former Soccaroo and SBS Commentator, sports analyst etc.
I’m not a huge fan of soccer, in fact I don’t really like it at all but I have loved Craig for many years. He has the best head of grey hair of anybody in the world. I have wanted grey hair forever, I think it’s the bomb. So potentially meeting my grey haired idol was pretty exciting.
Turns out I did meet him, and Grant who I with gladly brought up my grey hair drooling of Craig, which at first I was a little shocked by but Craig enjoyed it, He told me the grey hair was good but he worries about his grey eye brows.
It was great to hear about the growth of fair trade sales in Australia and the expansion of the range of products available.
One company that caught my eye at the breakfast was ‘Nudie Jeans Co‘. not all their range is fair trade, but they are on the way. All their stuff is organic already. Check them out. They have some stores in Aus.
Buy Fair Trade – Good Things Will Happen !!!!!
Oh crap, I forgot to do a post on Sunday. Poor B would have had nothing to read. I should not deprive my one reader of his weekly post.
On Sunday I returned home from my week away in WA. So yesterday was family day.
Oscar was happily playing in the playground whilst the wife and I sat on the outside of the fence enjoying the sun and occasionally losing sight of the boy.
Jenny for some reason thought it might be a good idea to enter the fenced land of children and interact with the son and maybe push him on the swing.
I remained on the rug and laid down for a little and much deserved nap.
My nap was interrupted by two sharp pricks behind my knee followed by a rather large amount of pain.I quickly sat up and flicked off the little prick that pricked me and rocked back and forth for a while in pain.
Having the eyes that I have I wasn’t exactly sure what attacked me but on closer inspection of the rug there was a bunch of MASSIVE ants with green heads. Turns out there is an ant called the Green head ant. You can read about this little monster here. Rhytidoponera metallica.
One thing it says in this wiki page is that the pain generally lasts from 5 minutes to two hours. IT’S BEEN A DAY AND A HALF and it still friggen hurts….a lot.
Also you can tell it’s a pretty hardcore Ant when you read it seems to have legally changed it’s surname to Metallica!
I’ve taken Phenergan and Telfast in the last 24 hours, and it still looks like this.
Jenny reckons I should see a doctor, settle down Jenny, I was bitten by an ant not an Alsatian…sheeesh. What am i some kind of pansy?