Cross Tasman Travel

January 7, 2009

I am currently doing some work for a really cool Sydney based biotech, great people and great technology. That is not what I want to comment on though. It is the startling difference between the two major airlines traversing Auckland and Sydney.
I am a frequent flyer with both but have a higher status with Qantas which gets me into the Qantas Club so I tend to frequent that airline more. Air New Zealand however seems to kick Qantas service in so many ways. Lets just list a few of the differences;

  • the QF 767s  have only the old big movie screens whereas ANZ 767s has the movies and games on demand that start before they even close the doors
  • ANZ767s seem to be younger than QF767s.
  • ANZ staff seem to have a much more helpful and sunny disposition even when you get on board at 0630 AM.
  • My impression is QF tends to leave late and arrive late more often but I don’t have data to back that up
  • Both seem to be about the same re luggage delivery but I notice ANZ seems to be quicker in Auckland than QF
  • Food on ANZ is an order of magnitude better and less homogenised glug
  • Wine selection on QF is an order of magnitude better than ANZ

I am leaning towards ANZ but don’t want to fork out the $700 to join the KoruClub when I already have access to the Qantas Club and believe me it is a godsend some mornings and afternoons.  On the horns of a travel dilemma.

7 Worlds Collide

January 5, 2009

Like many of the other victims of hard drive damage I joined the Diaspora of Burgers who have fled from the demise of JS here. Long may the adventure continue.

For my first post I wish to report a most excellent concert.

7 Worlds Collide is a project of Neil Finn (ex Crowed House, ex Split Enz) started in 2001. He has collected an eclectic group of musicians to put together an album to benefit Oxfam. The show my reason for living (copyright BarnesM) and I saw lat night was excellent.

Firstly the players

Neil Finn and his two sons Liam and Ellroy.

Don McGlashan and Bic Runga – two stalwarts of the NZ music scene

KT Tunstall, four members of US band Wilco

Radiohead’s Ed Obrien and Phil Selway and

Johnny Marr and his son Niall and daughter Sunny

All these players drifted on and off stage in a seemingly random fashion that not only worked but coalesced like a well boiled egg.

We were treated to 28 songs over a three hour period (a small break in the middle to refresh our mineral waters). Opening with Distant Sun from Crowed House the show was a delight that ran through individual works by all of the above. Highlights for me were;

Ø      Johnny Marr – that man and guitar are one

Ø      Neil Finn singing Radiohead’s Bodysnatchers with Ed Obrien using the guitar like a weapon of violence

Ø      Jeff Tweedy doing Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees

Ø      Niall Marr doing a Stirling if somewhat adolescent version of the Hunters and Collectors classic Throw your arms around me.

Ø      Phil Selway giving us the first live version of a self-penned song the title of which I didn’t catch

Ø      Tunstall and Runga bought down the mood for a little while with a murder ballad of gothic darkness

Ø      Finn, Marr and Obrien delivered a version of the Smiths’ There is a Light that Never Goes Out that had the crowd singing along

Ø      Finished with the strangely appropriate version of Thunderclap Newman’s Something in the Air in the night’s encores.

If there were any tickets left for the two remaining shows in Auckland I bet there aren’t anymore!

Hello world!

January 5, 2009

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