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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Road trip

So I decided randomly to enjoy a road trip with Ben and our new American friend Brian. They had already planned to go and I just decided to not work for my last week before my concert job and go with them. I am really glad I did! When we left Auckland and started driving to the Coromandel  it was dumping rain! It was raining so much and so hard we couldn't even really camp in our tents. By the time we got to town it was dark anyway so we managed to find a B&B kinda place and stay there for one night. It was really nice to be out of the rain!

After that, the rain cleared up and we drove on towards Roatoua but we camped for the night at a free but not so great rest stop. It was not amazing at all but it got us by. We also had the chance to camp at a really great spot that was at a scenic overlook. (the town that smells of sulfur) and on the way we stopped at Mount Mounganui and climbed it. While we were there we walked around the town for a while and directly after we got off the mountain we were so hot we ran right into the ocean! The water was cold but so so refreshing.

The next day we continued on to Taupo and we camped in the middle of the forest! We found an unused (or so we thought) logging road and we went way way back and we managed to find the perfect I mean perfect camping spot right on the lake! When we got there we were alone and we thought it was totally amazing but then a few people showed up and told us it was Maori land. Apparently the lake was a sacred burial ground for their dead after a huge massacre happened. It was kinda creepy being there alone and sleeping next to this lake of dead people but we managed.

A little later in the night a Maori tribal representative showed up and told us we weren't allowed to camp there. We weren't aware at the time that the land was tribal land but he was not a murderous killer nor was he a uncivilised savage he even drove a truck. He was nice enough to let us stay the night as long as we promised to take away our rubbish and not get in the lake. (we didn't swim and we did take our rubbish). So while it was a little creepy being there we had GREAT weather that day and an AMAZING spot. I have some great pictures.

After the few people left that we there it was just us and nature and for a good while we could see SO many stars! We just relaxed with some beers and cooked dinner and just had a great night. I still consider myself a non smoker but, since I have been here in New Zealand I have smoked a true Cuban Cigar (not illegal if you aren't in America hehe) and last night we had cigarillos. I can't say I am a big fan of smoking but it was nice just to relax with Ben and Brian and just shoot the shit. It was a great day and a great night.

The next day we packed up and headed to Lake Taupo. We are here because we are meeting 120+ couch surfers and we are going to do the e Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It is going to be a great time and I am also celebrating my belated birthday party here! I can't wait :) It has been a great road trip so far and SO good to get out of Auckland for a bit and have a last blast before we start working hard for the next month and half.

Soon we will be back in the city and back at work but for now the fun continues.... I will update you more as I get it. All is well so far :) Please forgive my spelling mistakes there is a lot of Maori (the native people of New Zealand) names that I can't pronounce much less spell correctly even though I try my best.

Yall take care,Tyler

P.S. South America  will be here before I know it and I am so excited for April!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Aussie Floods

I know I am late on this because I have known about the floods in Aussie for a while now but only now am I getting the time to blog about this. Apparently it is even newsworthy in the States! Since I lived in Brissy for six months and I still have many mates there I was quite worried. But, I have checked on all my mates and they are fine which is great! The area that is actually flooded is near to where I actually lived. It is all very sad :( I do hope things get better soon!

I am back working construction at Britomart for now until my concert job starts in Feb. It isn't as hard as the rail job but nor does it pay as good. I am just constantly amazed at how many guys at work wear NO hearing/eye protection when they totally should! You only have one set of each yet they just go on like it doesn't even matter! I have seen guys jackhammering with NO ear protection OR eye protection on! Officially on the books its illegal for them to work like that but in reality the bosses seem to think its their choice.

Did you know that in less than 8 hours of exposure to a jackhammer you can potentially go deaf? I always wear my muffs! What else? Soon I will go on a camping trip with CS and it is going to be fun! The weather is still up and down here, when its hot its hot and when its rainy its rainy! I seem to have lost all of the weight I put on at the rail job, no surprise there lol

Oh ya, movie reviews! I have seen Unstoppable the new Denzel Washington movie about the runaway train. Without giving too much away for those of you who haven't seen it, it was surprisingly good considering the whole movie is based around them chasing a runaway train lol. It made it even better for me because they actually used rail road terms and I knew what they meant and I could pick out all the outrageous movie theatrics involving the rail line that would never happen in real life lol.

I also saw Love and other drugs (it was the girls choice lol) it was about a guy who gets into pharmaceutical sales to start selling Viagra when it first came out. Then he falls in love with a girl and blah blah. It sounds typical but really it had some good twists and I actually enjoyed it. On top of all that Tues as well as being cheap Tues at the movies is also cheap Tues at Domino's so good food had by all :)

I smoked my first true Cuban Cigar (not illegal if you aren't in America ;)  ) it was not as amazing as I had hoped and I plan on staying a non smoker. At least I can take it off my bucket list now.
I guess that is all for now. -Tyler

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just a few other things....

So I wanted to mention a few more things now that I have a bit of time. It seems my week long job jackhammering concrete ended after 3 days. Unfortunate but what can you do? Apparently the six of us guys knocked it all out. I have come to the conclusion that I really hate jackhammering. It is deafeningly loud even with hearing protection (without ear muffs you seriously can go deaf) there is concrete dust everywhere and that jackhammer is so frickin heavy it will throw you all over the place if you aren't careful. Not to mention my entire body is sore and I was so freakin dirty today!

I have gotten to use a lot of different cool tools since I have been working construction here in New Zealand. I have used a thumper to compact dirt into the ground (that really threw me around!) a jackhammer,an angle grinder,concrete saw,concrete drill and much more. All new and exciting skills for me :P 

Working in the cold rain and mud really sucks badly but you gotta get the job done. I worked with two guys who didn't use eye OR ear protection on the jackhammer. Of course it is their choice but I just think that is idiotic. Well when they go deaf and blind it will be their own fault.

On a more positive note I got all my errands done and I seriously think I saw Forrest Whitaker on Queen St today lol. If it wasn't him he has a twin! Tonight I have a farewell party for a friend and it is movie/pizza night. I have a busy schedule haha. It won't be long before Ben and I are in South America!

I know there is more I could write but I am blanking it. I have nothing. Yall take care,Tyler

Its already almost Feb!

Well now that I have that concert job starting in February it looks like Ben does too! I recommended him and they took him on too. Since my last blog I haven't done too terribly much but I have been out to a farm with some new CS'ers and met a ton of new people! We helped bale up some hay and in return we got to swim in a really cool waterfall and eat a huge BBQ! It was great to get out of the city and into the country.

Everyone I have met so far has been great as have my new found friends and I even found out that I share my birthday with Amanda only she is one year older than me. I don't know if I have met anyone who shares my exact birthday.

I have been doing some more construction work in the city just making a little extra cash before my concert job starts in February. We are jack hammering concrete pillars at the moment. It is dirty hard work but it pays. Keeps me busy at least but, it is no fun in the rain! My high paying rail job is over :( but those hours were really killer!

Apparently this concert job is going to be one month long and really full on but the pay should be great and the bosses seemed cool in the interview. I hope it goes over well. Tomorrow night is our weekly movie night/Pizza night and Wednesday is drink night along with me working all week so I have a full on week.

Yall take care,Tyler

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ben has arrived!

So my best mate in all of the southern hemisphere got here on the night of the 11th. Since then I have helped him set up a bank account,tax number,mobile phone and gotten him (hopefully) a job. Along with all that, he is crashing at my place for the moment and we have been interviewed for Japanese TV! How cool is that?! haha.

I have enjoyed a little time not working since I worked so full on with that rail job but soon it will be time to find work again. I have confirmed working setting up concert stages in February to March but, I am going to need a little something between now and then. I am sure I will find something.  I took Ben to his first CS Drink Night last night and we had a good time. I have given him the city tour and introduced him to all my friends.

It is really good to catch up with him again and gear up for South America in just a few months! I will have my belated birthday party at the end of this month so it should be good fun. I have met tons of people here so it will be a blast! really thats all I got for now.

All is well here :) yall take care,Ty

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Its over.....

Finally after 15 days I can rejoin the real world! I made some good money but I worked super hard! Basically all we did the whole time was dig holes and put in foundations (slabs) of concrete for the power poles to be raised up on. It is much more complicated than that but that is very simple terms. I mostly did prep work for the holes before they were drilled by the digger but I did a little bit of everything really. Just alot of this and that. Here is some stats on my job. They did provide us with free food and water which was good.

Days of work: 15
Days off: 1
Hours worked: 156
Breath Tests passed: 15
Random drug tests passed: 2
Number of clothes washes done: a lot
Kilometers walked on the rail line: Hundreds
Amount of water drank: 45 liters/ 11.25 gallons
Amount of Subway eaten: 15 times
Chance I will go to Subway anytime in the next 6 months: Zero.
Weight gained: Almost 3 kilos/5 pounds! (all that subway)
Days worked in the pissing down rain: 1
Tan increased: 100%
Work experience gained:100%
Chance that I ever want to use a jackhammer ever again: zero (that sucked!)
Chance that I would wake up at 5:30am on my first day off: 100% lol
This first day off: PRICELESS!

I worked hard but got paid good and really enjoyed everyone I worked with which was good. I hope to keep working with them we will see how it goes. It was super hard but worth it really and I got some great work experience on the rail line. -Tyler

Monday, January 03, 2011


Work has been getting better lately. It was rough for me at first and I didn't feel as if I fit in or it would be a good fit for me. But, after the first few days I started to get into the swing of things and everyone started to get to know me. It became easier for me and now everyone is really nice and helpful. The work is hard there is no question about that and the hours are long but, the pay is good so it is worth it. I have had a few issues with my hours and my pay but I have rang my labour agency and I am getting it all sorted so no big worries there.
I actually have transitioned into a new job role that I like very much. It isn't extremely physical but, it is really important and I enjoy doing it and I have learned it well so far. Basically what I do now is do all the measures for the cuts  that they dig. In simple terms I have to help measure out everything so they know where and how much to dig before they lay the foundations (slabs) for the actual power masts to go on. So we need to do our job right to make sure everything that follows is right. All of the measurements are in metric so I have an "assistant" to help me with my measurements and math but, I direct the digging crew and tell them where to dig and I do the physical measurements. There is 3600 of these cuts to get done before the project is finished so it is a big job but, we are just contracted to do this over the holiday period while the trains are stopped. Once the trains start running again mid month they will be working only on night shift again.

I also wanted to make a special mention of my site foreman Rob. He really is a good guy. He seems to really care about all of us guys and he actually remembers my name (I have worked on site's where they dont even care about learning my name) and he really listens to me if I have any suggestions or concerns. Not only that but, he buys us lunch everyday so we dont have to pay for any food. For New Years Eve he let us knock off early and he bought us a special lunch and even some donuts! We get breath tested everyday before our shifts so no alcohol for us but, on new years eve after work he bought us all a beer. It is really nice to work with good people, it makes a big difference working these long hours.

This is hard dirty work with long hours but I do enjoy feeling that I am making a difference to the Auckland Rail Line and helping to get it better for the people of Auckland. The only complaints I have is sometimes we have to wait around for certain decisions to be made because the chain of command is very large and when you need a decision on something,sometimes it takes a long time to get your answer because it has to go all the way to the top and back down again. That is a little frustrating. We have also had 1 person fail a breath test and 1 person fail a drug test but other than that all is good as gravy and I am happy. Today (Jan 1) is my only day off so I enjoyed it with friends but I will be back at work tomorrow until the 9th of Jan and (maybe) longer. I got another job offer starting in Feb and going until mid march to help build up and tear down sound stages for a concert series all over the north island. It is good money and a great way to travel for free so I think I will do it. Things are looking up for me now :)

We have had 2 people fail drug and/or alcohol tests (we get breath tested every morning before shifts) and we have had some guys come onto site dressed like us (workers) and try and steal stuff to resale it. (They got busted because they were wearing shorts and we aren't allowed to wear shorts. We have also had some kids break in after New Years Eve and break all the windows out of one of our diggers. We have had the usual drama's with delays and stuff. It is frustrating but nothing SUPER major and no big injury's so I guess all in all it has gone pretty well so far. By the time my contract (most likely) expires on 9 January I will have work over 150 hours in 14 days! But it isn't so bad. It is good money and I am happy once they sort all my pay issues out ( being worked on supposedly) I will keep on top of it though trust me!

My new years eve was great. I was just out with three other good friends but we had an awesome time. We saw the fireworks at the sky tower and had some drinks in the city. I cant believe 2011 is already here and I have already been gone for 14 months now! New Years Eve last year in Sydney has come and gone already. Time just flys! Ben will be here soon and before I know it, it will be time for South America! It will be good to see him again though. I am really enjoying my time here though. I am not a fan at all of the "four seasons in one day" weather in Auckland but other than that I really like it here.

I also had a great birthday. I went out with my friend Debs, I jokingly refer to her as my Auckland girlfriend because while we are just friends I have gone out with her and been in more date type situations than any other girl here in Auckland haha. We had Mexican food that was actually decent but since I was working the next day I limited myself to one beer and a margarita. It was a good relaxing evening though. We ate out at the viaduct (harbour) and had a great view and great weather. Debs and Nadia even got me two shirts for my birthday and I was really touched that they actually got me something. Today for my day off we went to Mission Beach and had a (longer than expected walk there haha) but it was a good day we also hung out with our friend Daniel from Sweden so it was good to see him again, he also went out with us for New Years Eve so it was good times had by all.

Just a little shout out to all my family and friends back home but I hope your New Years Eve and Christmas was great and all the best for 2011. I also want to give a mention to Abbie (in case your reading this) happy birthday Abs and I am sorry I wasn't there to share it with you this year. Maybe next year ;) I will be home eventually haha.

Yall take care,Tyler (I cant believe I am 26 now!) 30 will be here before I know it haha