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Christmas road trip - Page 7

post #181 of 273
Oh, I'll be along! I've always wanted to go to New Zealand. It's such a beautiful place.
post #182 of 273
When are we leaving for New Zealand? I'm anxious to get there! Most of the others are still at the picnic, it was very elaborate and I think some of our group are sleeping it off...
Jim, I did enjoy your New Year's Eve party! You dragons really can dance!!!!:LOL:
post #183 of 273
When will we arrive? Soon I hope! I'm sure my family has given up on ever seeing me again. I love whales and can't wait to see this gathering!
post #184 of 273
Thank you for reviving this thread! Well, I guess we're about to arrive at New Zealand. I don't know what's become of the rest of our colleagues, nor have I seen Jim lately. *is worried*

post #185 of 273
Oh, I'm so glad to get out of the ice and snow in PA! It was nice for our trip around the world with Santa, but enough is enough. What's on the agenda? I'm sure Lorie and the others will be along soon.
post #186 of 273
I saw Jim and Thirtysilver at the local pub the other night. I should be seeing them again tonight, so I'll let them know that we will be leaving soon.
I think they thought that the trip was cancelled so I know that they will be glad to hear that the itinerary is still on! Are the others on their way? Maybe we should send out a scout and try to gather them together.
post #187 of 273
**out of breath**
I came running as soon as I heard our trip to New Zealand was on again. Where is everyone else??????
post #188 of 273
Im right here!
Everything is prepared for our New Zealand trip!
post #189 of 273

Alright! I'm ready to fly. All's aboard that's comin' aboard!

One last look back at beautiful Easter Island . . .

Such a beautiful day, perfect weather for flying.

. . . Or sailing.
post #190 of 273

Ahh . . . the beauty of the ocean.

I'll tell you a little about whale song while we fly.
No one knows why, or even how whales sing. Whales don' have vocal chords, so many have assumed that whalesong comes from air being compressed through the animals' massive sinuses and respiratory system. However, no bubbles are produced when whales sing.
Only male humpbacks sing. This leads some to believe that the singing attracts mates; others believe that the singing is a way of establishing territory. Like a whale saying, "Stay away, I swim here."
Whale songs are not random sounds, they are long and complicated compositions with repeating themes that can go for hours . . . even years. Some whales have been heard, in their mating grounds near Hawaii, singing songs they sung there five years before.

Look! We're appraoching the gathering!

Amazing to think that these massive creatures feed on such small animals.

Krill are what balleen whals eat. They biggest are only 6 cm long!

You can go here to hear some amazing humpback whale sounds! Just click the second yellow button!
post #191 of 273
That whale concert was most impressive, ThirtySilver! Thanks to you and Jim for bringing us here. (I really like those low-frequency notes, rather like lions growling.)

It's great to see everyone coming together again! I'm happy Kiwideus is with us, so we can learn about New Zealand. So, where shall we go now that we're here? A bit of night life, perhaps?

post #192 of 273
If we wish to try out the night life in New Zealand, then I recommend we go to Auckland, where its always hopping!
post #193 of 273
Thread Starter 
I had to return to real life for a while. It's not as much fun there as I once thought it would be. Glad I got here in time for the whales, they are amazing creatures. Once again, I'm off to real life, and a stack of papers to grade.
post #194 of 273
Kiwideus, lead on! Bren.1, why not come with us and bring that stack of papers? Whilst we have a good time, you can sit in the corner grading away! Maybe Jim can help you, too.

post #195 of 273
My favorite whale sounds are the long, mournful howls.
Whalesong is, in my opinion, the most beautiful sound in nature.

Bren1. -Jim would be happy to help grade some papers!
post #196 of 273
That's great! I know Bren.1 will join us now! Jim is a regular handydragon, isn't he?

Say, perhaps we'd best check with Kiwideus to see if Jim needs any licenses for flying or otherwise being at large here in New Zealand. Might you be required to obtain a Dragon Permit? Mind, it's discourteous to mention such things in front of Jim; but I wouldn't want him inconvenienced because of some bureaucratic oversight on our part.

post #197 of 273
Well, I checked it with the New Zealand Embassy, and as long Jim does not have any nuclear power as NZ is nuclear free, then he will be okay. Otherwise he will need to contact the Prime Minister, Helen Clark and discuss what we need to do.
post #198 of 273
Mr. Cat -Yes, Jim's a jack-of-all-trades. You should see his cross-stitching!

Kiwi -I'm pretty sure that Jim's fueled by all natural energy.
I know there's no ban on magic in New Zealand.

Is Aukland named for the bird, the auk?

The Great Auk . . . hunted to extinction.
post #199 of 273
I am not sure where Auckland got its name from, but I will find out.

No ban on magic in New Zealand. Actually we used to have a wizard in New Zealand. He retired and moved to Australia.

Here is the Wizard

post #200 of 273
This is a beautiful city. I'm going to give Jim a break from grading all those papers by taking a walk around the countryside...
I hope he doesn't scare any of the locals.

here is a sketch of us taking in the sites

no one seemed to be surprised to see a girl walking a dragon....
post #201 of 273
Well, what with having had a wizard and all I suppose the people here don't find a dragon out of place. Although, I'd imagine there might be the occasional passer-by who'll stop and ask questions. Maybe you two will get some free drinks! If you do, call us on the telephone: I've always wanted to enter a public house and say "I'm with the dragon."

post #202 of 273
I am sure that people will stop and offer Jim a drink. Probably also the person who is with Jim will get a drink.
Ask for Steinlager or DB Draught if you are beer drinkers.
post #203 of 273
Heres a steinlager for Jim:

post #204 of 273
Maybe we will meet some people and let them know about The Cat Site as I haven't seen many folks from New Zealand!
Wow the weather is great! It's cold and foggy in my part of California right now! Glad I'm here instead!
post #205 of 273
Lisa and I don't drink, but Jim's no stranger to pounding a few back.
Of course, he never drinks without his helmet.

I'm more of a Coke head . . . as in Coca-Cola.

Tell me, how similar is the New Zealand accent to the Aussie or the British accent?
post #206 of 273

I'm not sure where Thirtysilver is, but Jim seems to be out of control! I'm afraid if he keeps putting it away like this, he won't be able to fly for awhile...He really likes to party and the locals really seem to like him! They keep buying him all the food and drinks that he can put away! Can anyone see if they can try & talk to Jim? He isn't listening to me right now...

post #207 of 273
Oh, my! *goes to look for Thirtysilver*

post #208 of 273
Thirtysilver, here is some information about our kiwi accents:
(From www.emigratenz.org)

Accent on New Zealand and Australia

New Zealanders don't like it when foreigners tell them their accents are just the same as Australians'. And once you've been here for a while, you'll realise they aren't. Pick up some tips about the accents of New Zealand English.

New Zealanders like to think of their country as classless - a country where everyone has the same accent. They will admit that the Southland accent is a bit different, owing to the large numbers of Scots who settled there. Southlanders tend to roll the "r" sound in their speech. Of course, many Maori also speak English with a distinct accent - and the difference between their more staccato way of speaking and other New Zealanders is quickly heard. There are other differences, but before we look at these, I'd like to answer the question: 'Why do New Zealanders and Australians sound so similar when they are separated by a sea that takes three hours to fly over?'

The answer, although not widely advertised in New Zealand, is straightforward. The first English-speaking settlers of New Zealand were Australian seal-hunters from the penal colony of Port Jackson (Sydney). Later settlers were mainly British. The New Zealand accent grew from an Australian foundation spiced with inputs from the different regional accents of the British Isles - English, Scots, Welsh and Irish.
Did you come here to die?
British Army Officer

So, what are the sounds in their speech that make New Zealanders sound like New Zealanders?

The first sound that comes to my mind is one I noticed a few days after arriving in New Zealand. I was standing in a queue at the bank listening to the young woman behind me. I wasn't eavesdropping you understand - I just couldn't avoid hearing what she was saying. She was talking to her friend about the "cheek" she was getting. I soon realised that she was neither talking about a part of her anatomy nor about someone's sarcasm towards her. She was talking about the cheque (U.S. check) she was there to collect. There is a tendency in New Zealand English to shorten the long 'e' sound found in beg, said and leg, into a short 'ee' sound of the type found in seek, leak or peak. So when a New Zealander tells you to do something 'ageen', you know they want you do it 'again'.

It's worthwhile pointing out that this tendency to shorten the 'e' sound varies widely between speakers - and, to my ears, is heard more often in the South Island than the North Island - but this might just be my impression.

To illustrate the second difference, I'd like you to cast your mind back to an old favourite from children's 'learn to write' books, the infamous "The cat sat on the mat." The pronunciation of this sentence might seem straightforward enough to you - lots of "ah" sounds of the type a doctor might ask you to make during an examination. To a New Zealander, however, the doctor is entirely absent from consideration. In fact, a New Zealander will say, "The cet set on the met." If you haven't noticed this before, listen out the next time you hear a New Zealander speaking and you'll hear it.

Moving on again, the next two sounds that come to mind are found in both New Zealand and Australian English. The sounds are best illustrated by a joke. The scene is North Africa, at the height of fierce battles in World War 2. An Australian junior officer meets a British senior officer on the front line. "Good morning young man," says the British officer, "Did you come here to die?"

"No Sir," replies the young Australian, "I came yesterday."

To British ears, our heroic young Australian would sound like he said "Oi kime yester-die." The butt of the joke here is how, to British ears, Australians (and New Zealanders) pronounce "day" as "die" and "lay" as "lie," etc so that "today" becomes "to die." Of course, British people with a Cockney accent also come close to pronouncing "day" as "die" and the Cockney influence is certainly the source of the sound in Australian and hence New Zealand English. The way in which 'i' becomes 'oi' is very much more an Australian pronunciation than a New Zealand one. Some New Zealanders can sound very Australian in this regard - for example Helen Clark, the current Prime Minister of New Zealand. I'm not quite sure why New Zealanders vary so much in this - it doesn't seem to be a regional variation.

Finally, the true clincher to decide whether you are listening to an Australian or New Zealander lies in the pronunciation of the letter "i" in the famous fish and chips test.

If your companion likes eating "feesh and cheeps," he or she is Australian.

If, on the other hand, they prefer "fush and chups," you are undoubtedly dealing with a New Zealander.

Have fun.

When my dad came here to visit, a lot of people thought he had an english accent.
post #209 of 273
Kiwi -That is really very interesting. I don't know much about New Zealand, but it's good to be able to count myself a little bit wiser thanks to your expertise.

I have always been facinated by accent variation within the English language. I once had a friend who lived in Australia. When she came to visit, I was facinated by her accent. Where I would say "nineteen-ninety-nine" she would say "nointain-nointy-noin." I loved it.

And, about Jim . . . dragons are resilient creatures. What may seem to be excess to us is nothing to a dragon. For awhile, when we'd first met, Jim would go out and kill me whole herds of cows to eat for fear that'd I was undernourished. Dragons can eat and drink tremendous amounts. Once Jim has had his fill, he'll stop. Trust me!
post #210 of 273
DragonLady, I really like the countryside here too, and the NICE WARM weather. Back home in Minnesota it was 50 degrees above zero on Tuesday and Wednesday. Today the weather is a lot different. An artic cold front has moved into the area causing the temperatures to suddenly drop 30 degrees, there are also strong gusty NW winds which make it seem much colder than it actually is, and it's going to get even worse. (Unfortunately, this is what the weather in Minnesota has really been like for the past few days).

"Artic cold front"....YUCK!!!!!!

I'm SO GLAD I'm in New Zealand!!!!!!!!!
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