29 July, 2005

IRA says armed campaign is over

On one hand we now have a new problem facing the world with International Islamic Terrorism causing problems in London and elsewhere, and on the other hand one of the UKs most feared Irish Terrorist groups has said that "the Armed Campaign is now over.." 

The statement made by Gerry Adams on the 28th July basically says:

  • All IRA units ordered to dump arms

  • Members ordered to pursue objectives through "exclusively peaceful means"

  • Arms to be put beyond use as quickly as possible

  • Two church witnesses to verify this

  • Statement followed "honest and forthright" consultation process

  • Strong support among IRA members for Sinn Fein's peace strategy

  • There is now an alternative way to achieve goal of united Ireland

  • "Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever"

Great News.. Lets hope this will not be like all other previous statements and end up being ignored by a few diehards, who don't want to lose there protection rackets / drugs ring / other criminal activity because of this..

UPDATE 02 Aug 05 - Demilitarisation of NI to be complete by 1st Aug 2007 with troops cut from 10k to 5k, the NI based Royal Irish Regiment disbanded and Counter Terror Laws for NI repealed.

Anyway still waiting on the Garage to get back to me about these nights I might be doing.. and Zena goes away on her travels in 4 days!! Flying to Vietnam and then on to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore before she comes out to meet me in NZ on the 13th September.. CAN'T WAIT for her to arrive here.. x x

26 July, 2005

Cardrona and jobs

Trailmap_cardrona Well the Hotel I am working in is suffering the same problems that the rest of Queesntown is suffering..  lack of snow, therefore affecting visitor numbers. So in its wisdom it has decided to cut my hours this week from 40 to 0..

Which Sucks..

I questioned this with both my Restaurant Manager and the Housekeeping Manager, and they both said "Well, we can have you on call just in case.." whatever.. Anyway it allows me to go out every day this week and do what I am here to do anyway.. SNOWBOARD!!

Today I went to Cardrona, which is a resort not part of the NZSki.com package, about an hours drive towards Wanaka. It is an amazing resort, but more about that in a minute..

My Restaurant Manager realising that I have no hours this week was very kind to have a word with a friend of his who works at the garage up the road, and this morning I went to see him for an interview for some hours they have there.. I did get told that it was nights work, but I was a bit worried that I would be required to work every night of the week!! I dont think so.. So I spoke to the manager of the place, and she asked me what I am after. I told her that at first I am after weekend nights, and a possibility of extending these to more in the future (yeah right..) Anyway should hear back on Thursday

Img_0851 So Cardrona!! In one word SUPERB!! big wide motorway runs, sun shining all day long! great park and halfpipe (not that I was doing a lot there) .. and some truly great opportunities for powder riding!! Just need snow now!! Went with Roxy Steve and Nick (great Canuck skier, straight lines every run!) and just bombed up the park and all over the runs all day.. so many brilliant riders there, and they even had a comp on for kids today.. a bit of slalom and also later on some boarder cross..

23 July, 2005

Better Snow and night riders

Img_0806 So I am back snowboarding as you may know, but the problems now are not my fault!!

We have hardly any snow in Queenstown!! Yes, since the Remarks and Coronet have opened NZ has 28% of the normal snow so far.. this as you can imagine, is causing the mountains to be showing a few rocks and tussocks everywhere!! its also icy and hardpack .. which aint that great to ride!

even so, I am still getting some great days out!! Thursday saw me and Mike riding up at the Remarks, which is by far the best resort in Queenstown. Sunny Blue sky days, meant the snow was slightly slushy.. but better than it has been in ages!! Friday saw me, Mike and Kate up at Coronet for the afternoon.. sessioning all the lifts and the terrain we havent managed to get to yet!! I can see now why, that if Coronet had a good dump of snow its really good!! Best days riding yet..

Oh yeah Coronet does Night riding on Friday / Saturday evenings so we stayed up to see the sun come down... beautiful

One Last thing - We are getting bloody evicted from our house!! how annoying! The house has been sold to some assholes that want us out on the 22nd August. We have asked if we can stay an extra month, but they are saying NO!! what are we gonna do?? does anyone have any friends in QT that I can possibly stay with for a month??

Friends networks

Friendster, Bebo, Hi5, Orkut, Myspace, 43things .. does anybody join these friends networks?? stupid question really, when I am a member of four at the moment..

But why did I join?? I guess its because I am very interested in this connected world of ours. I have always tried to get into internet crazes, the so called "killer apps", early even if I never really use them to the full advantage. I joined Hotmail early on, along with a load of other free webmail accounts. I dont use my any of them anymore except for my gmail.. I joined ebay as well, but i have a user rating of 4! (even Zena has a higher user rating, and she joined years after me!! but she loves to shop...) I have listened to podcasts, and I am writing my travel journal online..

but friends networks?? the network with the most people I am connected to is Hi5, but you have a look at my friends friends and they all seem to be a lot younger.. Bebo is clever and reminds me of friends birthdays and people can put up pictures and online journal entrys.. but no-one really uses it anymore.. the last time I logged in (before a few minutes ago - its changed for the better) was before I came away. MySpace and 43things are two I have just joined. But I cant be bothered to send all my friends I have through Hi5 and Bebo, another request to join my friends network..

Apparently the best one to join is Orkut. Recently in the news because some Brazillians are using it to trade drugs online !! Its NOT the reason I want to join, its because its closely affiliated to Google, who seem to be getting most things right online at the moment. Trouble is you cant just join them. You have to be invited!!

Oh yeah, if you want to join me on my Friends networks then click on the following links for each one...  >> Hi5 - http://www.hi5.com/i?l=XNE35A8  >> Bebo - http://www.bebo.com/invite/4808936a5068489b  >> MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/22593992  >>  43things - http://www.43things.com/person/jezarnold  >> 

Also if you want a real good email account (much better than hotmail or yellowsnow email) let me know..

UPDATE 25 July 05 - Well here I was in the internet outpost the other day, just typing up my blogs and stuff, when I glanced over to what my neighbour was up to.. she was on ORKUT! she was this brazilian girl, I have never met before, but I asked her to invite me to ORKUT.. Sweet!! so if you have invites in your inbox from me for ORKUT go and check them out.. if Carlsberg designed Internet apps, then it would probably be the best in the world!!

21 July, 2005

New change for the Blog

What do you think of the new change? it allows me to put all my blogs and photoblogs on one page and then you can access my different blogs from one site..

if you dont like it, then add this address to your bookmarks / favourites http://arnold.blogs.com/thirty , saves you seeing the new Home page!! also you can all see all the pictures taken on Kates birthday here

How is everyone?? I went snowboarding today, and it was bloody great!! Also I have been pointed in the direction of this great new game..  SHOE GOLF !! its a classic, future olympic winner!! check it out... a

19 July, 2005

Kates 26th Birthday

Img_0715 Sunday 17th July - and good mate Kate (pictured on left, looking drunk) celebrates her 26th Birthday..

its decided that Kate wants to have a Bad Taste night for the bash at our house, so its up to everyone to sort out those terrible outfits for the night.. I pop down to the Salvation Army on Saturday to get a real bad shirt, but its closed!! so wander around town for a nose in the shops to see if anything catches my eye. The ALL BLACKS shop has been selling a lot of the Lions Rugby stuff off at cheap prices recently, so this may prove fruitfil. Sure enough, a $100 Hawaiaan Lions shirt has been reduced to $10 (4 quid!!).. so its gonna have to be that!!

Img_0685_1 << Drinking Pride of the South SPEIGHTS.. mmm (with new mexican tache!!)

Anyway 8:30pm and me and Mike are the only ones at home wondering if anyone is gonna show up, including Birthday girl. Kate shows up and is impressed with Mikes skills at sorting the house at.. and proceeds to open all her pressys!! I will let Kate tell you what she got, but I gave her Dodgeball on DVD.. 9:30pm and people start showing up!! Chris and Sam are looking top in some dodgy suit and a rescue Jumpsuit.. but I thinks it Kate who steals the award, with some red leggings she used to wear clubbin about 8 years ago, a polka dot top and a stripey dressing gown!!

Img_0748About 30 people show up and luckily all congregate in our kitchen to drink booze. Party goes really great, and its fun to watch Mike and Kate get more and more drunk through the evening. Mike shoots to bed at 1, with Kate following about 1:45 ..  all in all a great nite

(see www.flickr.com/photos/jezarnold ) for more pictures!!

16 July, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

0747581088In the previous book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the last chapter, titled 'The Second War Begins,' started:

In a brief statement on Friday night, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge confirmed that He Who Must Not Be Named has returned to this country and is once more active. "It is with great regret that I must confirm that the wizard styling himself Lord — well, you know who I mean — is alive and among us again.."

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes up the story of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at this point as Voldemort's power and followers are increasing day by day, in the midst of this battle of good and evil.

New Zealand 11:01 am and Harry Potter 6 goes on sale at $29.99. As I am at work I have to wait until this afternoon to go and get it, but after reading the first couple of chapters, I can honestly say its gonna be great!!! Does anyone wanna know who dies? or any other HP secrets that you cant be bothered to read about?? email me.. I dont wanna ruin it for those ho have not read it yet!!

Myvpimped_fiat <<< Also Jasper emailed me today.. these are priceless emails.. very rare!! His mates had his car pimped in MTVs "pimp my ride".. check it out!!jokes...  Anyway gotta go and get ready for work!! will have photos of Mike on the rails at Coronet Peak soon..

15 July, 2005

Avalanche dangers

Jez_30th_party10_1 Zena sent me some great pictures today of the 30th Birthday Party I celebrated in Southampton.. << this one here is of the Pinyana the Yellowsnow Guys got me, and my attempts to smash it open with a rubber baseball bat!! hilarious!! (More at www.flickr.com/photos/jezarnold ) Have you Southampton guys got any more?? email me if you have please!!

So I have been back snowboarding more here in Queenstown. Me, Mike, Kate and J9 went up the Remarks yesterday for some powder riding. As we got there we met up with Josh & Galena (two great American skiers) and Steve (a shit hot kiwi boarder).. They all work in Browns with Kate and J9, and Galena is a pretty damn good extreme skier. In fact she got to number 4 in the World rankings for women extreme skiers at one point.. they are off hiking, and ask if we are. As i am still getting back into this snowboarding lark, I dont really want to do the big runs just yet (later in the season) .. so we say nah

We have an excellent days riding with a few powder runs got in, but I get really tired about 3 hours in and jack back to the car to rest my weary legs, and once the others have finished we head back to the house.

Watching the news a bit later, one of the storys is "Backcountry riders beware!!" with a story about an avalanche in the Remarkables, where a Snowboarder got carried down the mountain after setting off an avalanche. Shit we think.. didnt hear about that!! we thought we saw it, but after speakin to Galena we realise that was not the one..

Josh, Galena and Steve hiked up to drop in on some great run and after Steve and Galena had been it was Joshs first run.. Dropped in and next thing he knows, he has set off this avalanche and he is being carried down the mountain on it. Two cliffs he goes over, and gets buried a few times but ends up buried to his waist. He gets digged out quick. Ski patrol close that section off for a bit and check out the dangers..

Josh is safe... Thats the main thing

He is a very good skier, but today he wasnt wearing his tranceiver, whilst the other two were. Just for future reference, i will be wearing the one Olie got for my 30th Birthday EVERY time i am riding powder on the Remarks or elsewhere. I think Josh will be too...

14 July, 2005

In Case of Emergency..

Congratulations to the Met, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade,the Security Services and all the other agencies involved in the response and rescue, and the following investigation for last Thursdays devastating attack on the nations capitals transport systems, for their outstanding work..

I salute you

Today is seven days since the attack and London is stronger than ever. Those I know in the big smoke have told me that apart from a few assholes who are being racist and discriminatory to the muslims in the UK and in other western cities, London is dealing this in the best way possible. Calmly, resolvedly and efficiently with the majortiy of people continuing there lives as usual.

I have had a read of personal experiences of survivors from the explosions, and every one has bought tears to my eye. These are normal people like you and me who have been touched by something horrible. It makes me sad to hear that its suicide bombers who have done this. I have always thought of Islam of being a great religion, but I just cant understand where within the Koran it says killing yourself and also others is a way that you can enter paradise...

The way that the Police and Ambulance service are identifying some people is through there mobile phones. East Anglia paramedics are launching a national campaign with Vodafone to store an ICE number on your phone. ICE = In Case of Emergency contact ... it would help both victims and the families easier if this is done. I am putting in my numbers now. Zena and Mum/Dad are my contacts..

Icelogo Eight out of 10 British people carry no next of kin details. Yet 80% carry a mobile phone, most of whom have it on them all the time. There is no simpler way of letting the emergency services know who to contact should you be involved in an accident than by using ICE.

Standing for In Case of Emergency, ICE will allow ambulance crews and police officers to quickly contact a nominated person who can be informed of the incident.

    • Type the acronym ICE followed by a contact name (for example, ICE - mum or ICE - David) into the address book of your mobile phone

    • Save their phone number

    • Tell your ICE contact that you have nominated them

The BBCs coverage for the London Explosions can be found here.

On a slightly diferent note Danny Way has managed to jump the Great wall of China on a skateboard. Full details here.. (very porn movie sounding website..)

11 July, 2005

We Defy Terrorism

We pledge to assemble in London in a public demonstration of respect to the victims of the July 7 atrocity, defiance of the murderers who carried it out and solidarity with the people of London.

This pledge was started by theSharpener group blog, and is being hosted onPledgebank. To sign it, go here.

09 July, 2005

Back Snowboarding

Its Saturday afternoon here in Queenstown. I am still in shock over what has happened in London. Someone at work this morning said "England should send all its foreigners home.." , I didnt know what to say!! So I proceeded to lecture her on why they have as much right to be there as we do.. blah blah! I am sure some of you have heard this rhetoric of mine before, so I aint gonna repeat it! I soon realised that I was going off on one, so I shut my gob..

It saddens me, that the death toll is rising daily. Its 50 now. Some websites are saying its the work of North African Suicide bombers.. does anyone really know this early? Why cant the news concentrate on the human angle? and how London is getting back to its feet already? its a sad fact of life, but scare stories kep viewers glued to the screens..

Anyway I shouldn't dwell on this subject too much.. you readers are here to read about whats happening on my travels, not here me rant about politics...

Img_0544 I AM BACK SNOWBOARDING!! after a 3 week break ( or is it 4 ? ? ) I went up to the Remarkables yesterday. Billed as a true Kiwi alpine resort, it looks a lot better than Coronet at first glance. Lots of free riding terrain, some hikes to some great off piste, a brilliant X-Box freestyle park and some nice wide runs! also a lot more vertical drop than Coronet.. However yeterday it was hard pack, and pretty sketchy at times! you should have seen me!! every time my board moved, when it should'nt have, I was clutching my left arm just in case I fell!! hahaha!

Anyway it was an awesome day.. not amongst my best days riding, but good to be back on the slopes already!! remember it could have been a lot worse!

Went to bed early last night, and got up early this morning for my terrible House Keeping job. God i F**kin hate this job with a passion. I just feel really down every time I go to work and do it, but the waitering/bar job really makes me happy!! weird eh? two different jobs at the same place, and such different feelings? if i get more hours waitering, or another job elsewhere I am quitting it!!

Anyway School Holidays have just started in NZ for the next two weeks, so the hotel is gonna be full of annoying kids running around without there mothers about telling them how to behave.. I have been cleaning the kids rooms (who we had in last week) on my last housekeeping shifts, and one of the little shits constantly wets the bed.. as my job is making beds, cleaning windows and generally keeping the bedrooms tidy, this particular shit is doing my head in!!

Please give me more waitering hours, so I dont have to do the housekeeping anymore!!

08 July, 2005

07 July 2005

Just realised something.. here i am in queenstown, probably as far as i can be away from London, and yesterday i was thinking how proud i am of London for getting the Olympics in 2012. I was thinking that its 7 years away and by then i will be back home in a career and preparing for my (future) kids to go and watch some athletics...
I got to work last night, and was slogging away. I was listening to the radio in the kitchen and i heard that the Underground is closed.. odd, don't normally hear that on a NZ radio station..
Londonbus070705Later on someone dashes in, and wants Sky News on NOW... thats when I first hear about it.
My first thoughts were with family and friends who I know are still living in the big smoke.. I hope they are not part of it.. (olie and toby are both fine, both saying it was a very strange day)

Then I was thinking wtf... why? why London? why anywhere? why was it not prevented?

My condolences to the families of the deceased and wounded.. may they RIP

Here are some links.. BBC <> Wiki <> Flickr <>

Some things we must take into consideration is that if anything was going to happen in London by Al-qaeda, then it would have probably happened on the tubes. The police, fire and ambo's had a huge practise run recently and it was to do with an incident on the Underground. At least we know that our emergency services dealt with this properly.

Heres what we can all do now...

Don't become scared of going outside. Don't blame or become hateful towards Muslims. Don't trust the government blindly, although do give them your support.

07 July, 2005

06 July, 2005

04 July, 2005

Snowboard blogs and websites..

Just having a nose on the internet for "Snowboarding" and have come across these blogs.. have a look if ya want!! some are good, some are crap!! (I bet if they find mine, they would say something similar!)

Snowboard Info  -  Lost in Transportation  -  Snowgo  -  Making Tracks  -  technology 'n' snowboarding  -  Colorado Ski and Snowboard  -  Megeve Ski  -  Chatter News  -  Skiing Gadling  -  Summer Blues  -  iRide  -  Sunflowergirl  -  SnowBlogs  -

And also heres some from my Favourites.. more on them when I get a chance!!

Insure and Go Insurance <> Ski-Insurance.co.uk <> Snow-Forecast.com <> Travel Insurance - Dogtag <> Direct Travel Insurance - <> Ski and Snowboard insurance <> SkiMaps.com <> Ski Club of Great Britain <> Snow-Forecast.com <> Welcome to the all new ski-injury.com <> Snowboard Workout program <> Natives <> Snowboard Club UK <> Soulsports <> Powder Magazine <> The Club des Saisonniers <> The Snowboard Journal <> Board the World <> Snowboarding on MountainZone <> Transworld Snowboarding.com <> About Snowboarding <> Snowboarding & Snowboard Info Portal <> GONEboarding - UK <> Ski holidays <> Newschoolers <> Off-piste Skiing and Snowboarding News <>
highland-instinct.co.uk <> What U want to know about snow <> WHITELINES.com <> McNab Mountain Sports: Advice <> AdrenalinTrip Forums <> Telluride Sports <> Waxed Snowboard holidays, ski resorts & gear <> siklink.com -<> SKI Magazine ~ The Magazine of the Ski Life <> Peak Leaders <> CHEAP SNOWBOARDS <> Webcams in ski resorts around the World <> When Hell freezes over.. <> pee <> YellowsnowUK <> snowHeads  <> Powderroom <> ski et snowboard freeride et freestyle <>
Snowboarding UK FORUMS <> Freecarve.Com - Snowboard Alpine Carving <> Bomber Online <> Frequency the Snowboarders Journal <> Guardian Winter sports <> Method DVD/Mag! <> Off-piste Skiing and Snowboarding News <> The Carver's Almanac <> Avalanche.org <> Avalanche.Net NZ <> Transworld Snowboarding.com <> Action Sports Video <> TETON GRAVITY RESEARCH <> Salomon <> nzski.com <> Avalaunch <> SkiCentral <> Snowboarderguide <> ROME SNOWBOARD DESIGN SYNDICATE <> SnowboardersSuck.com <> Snowblogs <> Parklife... <> Snow co NZ <> nzski.com season pass <> snowboarding in NZ <> New Zealand Mountain Safety Council <>

one of the best British sites out there is Snowboard club amd its links page is worldclass..

By the way if you know of any more good Snowboard blogs or websites .. let me know!!

Whats my job like?

Monday morning and my alarm wakes me up at 05:45.. I haven't seen that time of day for ages!!

The reason I am getting up at this godforesaken hour is because today I start my new job as a waiter/barman. Last thursday I started as a Housekeeper, more about that in a bit..

Waitering.. So whats it like? Well I have only done a morning shift so far, but it seems cool. Free meals, of course! Basically as Breakfast is always a buffet, its a bit like being there to provide any assistance and of course get other tasks done as they are needed! like cleaning... My shifts hopefully in the future will involve an early start for the morning shift, and then back in at 18:00 for the evening shift.. 10 hours per day at $12 per hour

Housekeeping.. Now this job sucks!! The people I work with are fine, but the Executive Housekeeper thinks I am there to do all kinds of hours.. I spoke to her on my second day, saying that I can't do Thursdays / Fridays as this is my weekend. I am in Queenstown after all to do some snowboarding!! She responds by saying if I dont want the job, then you may as well leave... I would have done, but I need the cash!!

Anyway I have been working as a Housekeeper for 4 days now and it gets no better. There is a time limit in NZ for cleaning and it should take one person 30 mins to do a room, and two 15 mins. So they give me and someone else 20 rooms to do (5 hours work) and we finish 30 minutes early... The Boss says well go and book off duty.. Thats your reward for getting the job done quickly = the loss of $6.00 (1/2 hrs work) ..it sucks!!

Bring back West Mercia I say!! or a lottery win (last week 2 numbers on 8 lines.. there is only 40 numbers to pick!! I am terrible..)