April 12th 2007
So my second son Joel was faced with a decision. He had Christchurch two offers after leaving Xantrex in Vancouver. Leading the European market entry for a New Zealand wind turbine co or being a brewer- engineer with New Zealands largest brewer. For a mechanical engineer it was an easy decision, he is now brewing Steinlager, Guiness, Kilkenny and 26 other brands in a 100 plus yr old brewery. His job, lead them into more modern methods, and on weekends mountain climb Mt Cook with his boss.
Christchurch has the no 1 Antarctic display in the world. The bulk of the worlds Antarctic expeditionsleave from here. Well worth the time. By this time Amanda and I had bought new sweaters, this place is as cold and wet as Vancouver! Good prices on made in China New Zealand wool sweaters, go figure.
A sunny day at Taylors Mistake and Sumner Beaches helped, sort of felt like a sunny day in November at White Rock
Went to a Christchurch Crusaders pro rugby game. Some context – Christchurch is about the size of Victoria. It has a pro rugby team ( no one in the Super 14 league (AUS, NZ and South Africa) with 8 All Blacks ( NZ National team) members on it. There are four other Pro teams in NZ (4.4 million people). My son, Joel plays on one of 400 senior teams (two squads for a team) in Christchurch. Perhaps the 395th worst team. His comment is that 15 of the team members could play on the Cdn national team. This from a low level beer league team! What a club house they have! He gets a full sweatsuit, cleats, game and practice jersey and full kit, an after game dress shirt and in his second year a tie and team blue blazer. He pays nothing to play. as it is a fully sponsored team.
To the pro game. The stadium holds 60 000 people. Since they were playing the Western Australian team from Perth attendence was way down to 50 000. Like the Canucks playing the last place team. Had it been a Duneeden NZ ( like Vanc vs Calgary) match-up we could not have got our $16 tickets. The noise was like a BC Place Grey Cup game Vanc vs Calgary , complete with galloping Crusaders on horses flying around the field, fireworks and flames shooting out of the “castle’ for every point scored. Christchurch won 39 to nil. It was a great nite out for all ages. no drunken fans, but lots of $1 beer being drunk. Tremendous atmosphere and yes really really good rugby. The next day on the plane to auckland I asked this elderly grandmother had she heard about the game. “Yes, we really walloped those Aussie $%#&^^*& did’nt we?” A popular tee shirt says, ” Support two teams, New Zealand and anyone else playing Australia.” Everyone, evne those who do not play know about rugby and can participate. We could learn something about competitive spirit.
Good ideas from New Zealand?
All bus stops have timers showing when the next bus is due.
Selling beer and wine though grocery stores drives prices down and reduces brewery/winery profit margins. Selection is improved, hours are better and the consumer nets out. Tellers already age check cigarette sales. Beer at $1 per bottle kills the incentive for brew your own shops. We could shut down all the BC liquor stores! Tax is still tax.
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