The New Zealand Chronicles:Part 8 – First Day of School


First Day of School today.  Managed to find parking, which is a chore, as I believe I mentioned earlier.  It’s all a matter of timing.  Weta is located adjacent to the equivalent of an elementary school, so in the morning, some areas are no parking to allow for the little Kiwis to be dropped off for school.  If you arrive after morning dropoff, you can brave the parking spots.  However, you better have an alarm setup to go off when the schoolday ends.  The parking attendants are not kind when it comes to their parking rules.  This is their domain.  They ticket.  And the do it well.  Don’t even think that you can fool yourself into thinking, “I’ll remember.  I’ll just look at the clock, and remember”  No.  Doesn’t happen.  I suspect that I’m not alone in this.  I’ve found that I become completely absorbed in what I’m doing and won’t even look at a clock until I notice the sun has set.  So, my only sign that time has passed is that it’s dark when it once was light.

Went through morning Gollum dailies and  received my own workstation.  Most of the day was spent making sure I had the right programs, e-mail setup, and a working knowledge of the linux-based pipeline with Perl as the base language.  I’ve never used Perl, and have very limit experience in Linux at this point in my career.  But something that you learn, and I know that other people in this industry work on this premise, is that when someone asks you if something can be done, or if you know how to do it, you nod and say “Of course…” – and then you run back to you workstation and work like a motherfucker to find out how.  9 out of 10 times it works.  I’ve never been caught in that last 10 percentile.  But if you do, you blame the software and say it’ll take longer than you anticipated.

My office mates are John H, Geoff T, and Lisa W.  John is American and has been an animator for as long as I have.  Unbeknownst to either of us, we as been working at the same facility of a similar animated Barbie project at a place in Hollywood call RezN8.  Small world.  We would end up sharing plenty of war stories from the people we hung out with in similar circles.  His wife, Monica, is the HR department and helped me with negotiating my contract and all that nonsense.  Geoff T is a Aussie from Melbourne (I think).  A family man through and through with a mild personality, a good sense of humor, and can quote Looney Tunes almost as well as myself.  He’s also smart as hell, coming from an artificial intelligence research background.  Finally, little Lisa, is a Kiwi.  She’s a tiny Goth chick, with a cool sense about her, and dates a programmer of questionable sexual orientation to be dating such a potentially available vixen.  I’ll find out the details later.

These are to me my team for the next 6 months or so.  I’m a lighter on this.  I light.  These other guys are the Massive guys.  They act like God and make crowd of people do their bidding.  We shall see how we jive.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

I heard on the radio today a news blurb about tans and the harmful effect of UV rays.  Primarily, it was geared toward the fact that tanning beds are just as bad as the sun.  The report ended with saying “The only healthy tan comes from a bottle!”  Uh. Hmmm.  Somehow I think that chemically changing the color of your skin is going to have side effects — maybe not the same as UV exposure, but it ain’t natural.  The term “healthy” seems a bit misleading.  Kinda like filtered cigarettes.

So, when you are in a video store in a foreign country (albeit an English-speaking country), and you see a section that says “FOREIGN” — what exactly does that mean?  The video store I went into has a foreign section, but it doesn’t have U.S. movies there. Does the foreign section in say … Italy … have movies from the U.S.?  Would the rest of the video store contain only Italian films?  Its not like the United States is the most prolific film producing country — I believe India wears that crown.  The U.S. just has the highest amount of high profile movies, and so the largest number of movies in a video store is going to be U.S. releases (unfortunately, the most movies does not mean the best movies).  Has anyone been in a video store in a foreign country? I’m just curious how they section the store.

There is something strangely familiar about the sound of that the crosswalks make here.  I’m used to hearing the chirping bird sound to indicate to the blind that its safe to walk.  Here is a buzzing sound but I couldn’t place it until now.  When I was little — like around 3rd grade — they had (and still do I believe) an electronic circuit board that you could hook up different wires to make different things.  And the diagrams were all there to help you along.  It claimed that you could make an alarm clock, a transistor radio, a lie detector (!) — but it all came down to the same thing.  It just made this incessant buzzing noise. No matter if you made a doorbell or a flux capacitor.  Just the same buzzing sound.  This is the same buzzing sound coming out of the crosswalk lights in New Zealand.  So, if that circuit board is no longer available, I think it because Wellington installed them all into the crosswalk system.  If you are unfamiliar with the toy I speak of, just think of losing at Operation. Same kind of sound.

They should install buttons on the other side of the street that turns the buzzing off, so you can make an effort to run and shut the damn thing off.  Everytime it was time to cross the street, it’d be like a 15 yard dash by everyone involved.

I must sign off now and get to sleep.  I don’t want to be cranky on the morning and get into a fight on the playground.



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