Thursday, November 29, 2012

More hobbit mania

In the last post I showcased the "aviation" response to the hobbit with Air New Zealand and Wellington Airport, but yesterday's world premiere of the hobbit hit wellington in more ways than just aviation.

The below photo's are from The Dominion Post and show some of the hobbit mania that hit Wellington
The Embassy Theatre adorned with a Weta workshops sculpture of Bag End

Some giant trolls designed by Weta found their way onto the red carpet on Courtney Pl
Another Weta creation, a group of  hobbit shillouetes on the New Zealand Post building
The full 500m red carpet up Courtney Pl to the Embassy Theatre

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hobbits on a plane

Once again reprising their role as "Airline to middle earth" Air New Zealand have gone full tilt into "Hobbit fever" as has Wellington Airport "the middle of middle earth" and Wellington in general.

I've already shown you the Unexpected Journey inflight safety video but now its time to check out Boeing 777-319ER ZK-OKP in its hobbit decal as well as other hobbit things from Air New Zealand and Wellington International Airport.

The below photo and videos are from Air New Zealand via , Air New Zealand's facebook page & their youtube page.

The above photo's show OKP being revealed in Auckland then her in Los Angeles and London.  Air New Zealand, the below video is a time lapse of the application of the decals to the aircraft.  Also not the black tail with white koru and new font for the Air New Zealand titles - the first time this new livery has been applied to an aircraft

Air New Zealand have also added video's of J.R.R. Tolkein's Great Grandson Royd to their line up
See their interview with Royd HERE & staged footage of him checking in for his flight to Wellington HERE

Wellington Airport have also gone all out on their hobbit promotion the below photos are from their facebook page
 Inside the terminal above & the outside airside view below

They have also decked out their luggage collection area in the hobbit theme as seen below (source Air New Zealand's facebook)

And finally ZK-OKP landing in Wellington today with Hobbit cast & VIP's on board (source Air New Zealand facebook)

Friday, November 23, 2012

My HAL round 8 preview

Another big news week for the Hyundai A-League and football in Australia, in what is shaping up to be the “coming of age” season for the competition.  This week we saw the announcement of the new broadcast deal for football, and the possibility of one of world football’s biggest names calling Australia home.
The FFA has announced its new broadcast deal with Fox Sports & SBS for the Hyundai A-League and Qantas Socceroo’s.  Fox Sports will continue as the primary broadcaster with full live coverage of every A-League & Socceroo’s match until 2017, as well as the Australian rights holder for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.  SBS will have free-to-air coverage of all Socceroo’s matches and Hyundai A-League finals matches on a 1 hour delay, while they will also show live Friday night A-League matches.

Read the rest of it over at sportsfanAttic HERE

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Check out my sports thoughts

My thoughts are not just confined to my two blogs I also dabble in a little sports writing for a NZ based fan sports website Sports fanAttic

I tend to write mostly about Football, but do also write about cricket and occasionally a few other sports.

Check out my two most recent articles one looking at this weeks round of the Hyundai A-League
Turning now to the on-field stuff as Round 7 kicks off here in wonderful Brisbane, with the Roar hosting Sydney FC.  The Roar are currently sitting in their worst ever position having never previously occupied bottom place on the ladder, on the back of just the 1 win and 1 draw in the first 6 rounds.  

While the other reflects on the recent international friendlies
In Shanghai Ricki Herbert experimented with a new 4-1-4-1 formation which worked seemingly well for the All Whites, who despite going 1-0 down in the 32nd minute,  came back to equalise through Chris Wood in the 44th minute. 

Complient BT buses

As some of you may be aware from my other online presences I am a bit of a transport geek, and one of the things that interests me slightly (but nowhere near as much as aviation) is public transport here in Brisbane, both buses and trains.  So here's an article on some musings related to a story on the Brisbane Times website today (HERE).

It appears that a storm in a tea cup has broken out between Brisbane Transport the department who run the Brisbane City Council buses, and Queensland Advocacy Incorporated Chairman Ken Wade, & of course council opposition leader Cr Milton Dick has weighed in with his opinion.

Brisbane Transport has apparently written to the Australian Human Rights Commission seeking a five-year exemption from disability compliance for non compliant buses, due to their imminent retirement (before 2019) and the unfair financial penalty it would be for BT to repair them before retirement.

According to Brisbane Transport's application, hand rails and grab rails on 361 of Brisbane Transport's 1225 buses do not comply with sections of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002; the hand rails are either too thick or too thin, or inappropriately placed.
Cr Matic said 50 of those buses were due to be retired by mid-2013. A schedule in Brisbane Transport's exemption application shows the rest of the non-compliant buses are to be removed from the roads by 2019.
“All council's buses currently comply with the DDA and council is well ahead of the game when it comes to disability access," he said.
"At present, 86 per cent of the Brisbane Transport fleet is wheelchair friendly – significantly ahead of the 55 per cent end of year target specified under DDA legislation.”
Now this interests me as to which buses the report relates to it suggests that 361 will be retired by 2019 now below is a copy of the current fleet lists (thanks to for the information)

Now I assume the MAN 18.310 both Diesel & CNG are safe, as are the MAN NG313 Artic's, and the Scania L94UBs, and with the B12BLE & B7RLE fleets being brand new they too will be safe.

Obviously the B10M mk3 & B10M mk4 fleets being high floor are scheduled to go as they are non-compliant, but that only equates to 155 buses, so the question is which of the other fleets will go to make up the 361 needed?

There are another 206 buses that dont meet the compliancy, if you withdraw the B10L fleets that's only another 59 buses, even knocking out the other 'orphan' fleets the Mercedes O500LE's, MAN NG313 Artic's Scania K310UB6x2 tag's it still doesnt add up.

So if there are any Bus enthusiasts or gunzel's reading this I would be interested to here your opinions on this article and what effect it will have on the BT fleet in the coming years.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seal pup video at Ohau stream

I was back in New Zealand for about 9 days last month with a group of Brisbane Roar fans to see the game against the Wellington Phoenix in Wellington.  After a few days in Welly we headed south for a whistle stop tour of the northern half of the south island, one place you have to visit when driving from Blenheim to Kaikoura (especially when travelling with a bunch of aussies) is the New Zealand Fur Seal colony at Ohau point.

Just before the point itself is one of the best kept secrets, although it is now becoming a well known attraction, its a short walk up the side of the Ohau stream to the waterfall and pool where the baby fur seals play, grow & learn to swim.

Here is a short video I took showing the last of the baby seals for this season.

Today must be the day for signal failures

Both Brisbane & Auckland have experienced troubles today with signal failures effecting their rail networks.

In Brisbane Queensland Rail/Translink services on the Caboolture & Sunshine Coast lines have been plagued by signal faults near Bald Hills, with trains disrupted for quite sometime this morning, while they were again running 15 minutes late this evening due to the same fault.

In Auckland Kiwi Rail/Auckland Transport trains were delayed due to the loss of signalling stemming from a power failure at the Kiwi Rail headquarters in Wellington.

Both delays cause frustration amongst commuters who had their travel plans disrupted.

Read more about the QR delays courtesy of the Courier Mail HERE & the Auckland delays HERE