Happy? Valentines Day

Pigalinas know how to make Valentines Day lovey-dovey. Last year we watched the romantic comedy “12 Years a Slave”, this year we watched the up-lifting “The Skeleton Twins”.
“Hilarious” the poster said, “Really funny”. Don’t believe it.

Seal Spotting at Taiaroa Head

We headed out to the end of the Otago Peninsula to investigate what is there, as it has been many years since we did.
Pilots Beach held a wealth of seals and they were not scared of humans – sunbathing on the rocks within feet of the many people. Living at the site of one of Dunedin’s most popular tourist attractions (the albatross colony) will do that to you.
The other side revealed steep cliffs with a view of the lighthouse and numerous nesting birds. We didn’t spot any albatross but I can confirm you can see some good sights at the end of the peninsula without spending any money.

Waitangi Day at Nitro Circus

Waitangi Day and the country was on holiday. In Dunedin it rained constantly so it is a good job we have a covered stadium (take that stadium haters…). Nitro Circus came to town and they were spectacular. I didn’t get any photos of the action as I didn’t want to miss any of the action and there were plenty of other people taking shaky videos and grainy snaps.
We saw a backflip on a motorbike with four people riding it, a front flip, wheelchair backflips, triple backflips on BMX and so much more.
Mr Pigalina had pondered if two hours of flips and tricks would get a bit boring, it certainly didn’t!

(The only bit I would change was the irritating family in front – kids throwing food, oblivious dads and one drunken mother who spent the whole show taking selfies and texting.)

Seagull Discrimination

It turns out it matters what colour you are if you are a seagull in New Zealand, and I’m talking beak colour.

There are three types of seagull in New Zealand – as far as I have determined – yellow beak big ones, red beak and black beak.  I am not sure which colour makes you the most important but *spolier* it’s not red.

Today on my way to work a seagull was sitting on the grass next to the footpath.  It didn’t make any attempt to move when people walked past so I knew something wasn’t right.  I went to touch the bird and it did move, and then I noticed that both of its legs were out behind it and it was “sitting” on its belly.  There was no way it could fly away as it could not push off the ground with its legs.

I called the Department of Conservation (DOC) hotline for injured wildlife.

“Do you help seagulls?”

“What kind is it?” they asked

“One of the ones with the red beak and red legs.”

“No, try the SPCA”.

I then had to find the number and call the SPCA “No we don’t, try DOC.”

“I just called them, they said to call you.”

“Tell them that you are in Dunedin, the Dunedin branch helps those kind.”

I called DOC back again and the lady didn’t sound very interested, I explained how the SPCA had said that the Dunedin branch helps them so therefore I had called back.  She asked if I could take the bird to the office – no, not without wrangling into my cardigan and carrying across busy roads and a few blocks.  She logged a job with them and said that they would call me back and instructed me to call the Dunedin office myself also.  I did.  They were shut.

Just as I was hanging up a young man appeared.  He asked if the bird was hurt and, as if to demonstrate that yes it was, it scooched awkwardly across onto the footpath.  I told him the saga and he said that his mum had helped lots of injured seagulls out so he would take it home.  He threw his jumper over the bird and said he would head home to feed it up on cat food.  After declining a ride he was gone, bird in arms.

DOC did not call me back until almost 40 minutes later when I was at my desk.  I would have been late for work, and would have stood on the side of the road for close to an hour.  When I told them that the bird had been taken by the kind boy the woman said “It probably won’t heal.”  “He will make it comfortable anyway.” I replied.  I know your game DOC, you would take my injured bird and kill it without letting it rest on a nice bed scoffing cat food before it goes!  At least it got taken in by a family that cares, even if its days are numbered, not left on the side of the road for hours by the organisations supposed to help creatures.

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Lego Millennium Falcon, A Construction Story

I got the Lego Millennium Falcon from Mr Pigalina for my birthday. As yesterday was also Father-in-Law Pigalina’s 60th birthday I had to move my initial birthday celebration plan to today – build it and watch the original trilogy. Bliss. (I was going to wear my Princess Leia robe just to be super nerdy, but it is too warm. And I am also too fat for my X-wing Starfighter t-shirt from 5 years ago…)
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You may notice in the above picture a typo – yes, it should read ages 9-33 but we all make mistakes. Now to put on “A New Hope” and begin.

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Inside are fifteen bags and two A4 booklets. All bags but one are numbered. There are three bag 1’s. The booklet indicates that I need to locate Darth Vader and the other characters.
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Found them! Under Darth’s helmet is a grey burned face and if you rotate Luke’s head he is wearing a little visor so that he can train with his light-saber.
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The unmarked bag was actually also a bag 1, off to a confused start…
Maaaaaaaaaaaan Harrison Ford <3 Must concentrate on Lego and not Han Solo on screen.

1 hour in brought lunchtime and the end of the group of bag 1's!
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Back to it and the details of the interior are taking shape. 1st sticker applied on the holo-chess (sorry, uber-nerds, “Dejarik”) table. Don’t make me apply stickers! Not when wine is a part of the build! Next the interior control panel started to take shape.
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End of “A New Hope”, time for “The Empire Strikes Back”. The rounded edges are going on, the blue thruster on the back goes into place and I take the first of many moments to stop and marvel at how incredibly clever the design of this thing is.
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I also begin to marvel at how Kiwi Boba Fett sounds in the remastered versions of the movie “He’s no good tuh me did”. A quick google revealed they were re-recorded by Temuera Morrison. Sigh.
Onto Book 2 and bag set 4!
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Time to flip the model upside down and add some feet, guns and a slidey back and forth bit, the purpose of which I am unsure of.
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Now time for “Return of the Jedi”. It’s all taking shape mid bag set 5 – roof going on!
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Only bag 6 remains, the cockpit needs to be completed!
Annnnnnnnnnnd we’re done! About five hours after I began it is finished. The level of detail is fantastic, Luke’s training orb, the holo-chess table, tools in a tool holder, the central control panel – everything has been so well thought out. I am amazed how well and easily the whole thing came together and loved how enjoyable the build was. Good work Lego! And good building Me! An afternoon well spent, thanks Mr Pigalina for the Birthday present! x
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