Favorite New Zealand Expressions

While watching The Almighty Johnsons (a well-done urban fantasy set in New Zealand) on Netflix, I have been noticing some expressions. I’m listing my favorite here.

  • Shot through — took off (and didn’t come back) Easily my favorite new expression.
  • Getting your end away — Having sex — a bit like getting off
  • Nut bar — nut job
  • Munted — wrecked. Used as a synonym for pissed
  • Root (verb) – To have sex. Pretty rude.
  • Suck the kumara— endure hard times, lose, kick the bucket – possible origins being in death and thus below ground. A kumara is a sweet potato.

It’s also fun listening to the accent. It is kind of like Australian. Speaking of which, not sure which of these are unique to Kiwis and which are shared with Australians. I’m also trying to avoid any expression that I know are British (like “gutted” for “bummed out” or “pissed” for “wasted” (drunk) )

Kids shows that won’t drive you insane

All of these are on Netflix as of 03/21/2015.

  • Bo on the Go – Has a lot of Ska music. A Canadian import that tries to get your kid to exercise. Good animation.
  • Ruby Gloom. Goths who live in a haunted mansion. Refreshingly, the title character has a sunny disposition. There is a depressed character named Misery, but she is the only really stereotypical cast member. The music is a high point — many songs are strongly remininiscent of The Cure and other bands like that. Lots of references and jokes for adults.
  • Daniel Tiger. PBS show – Cartoon set in the Mr. Roger universe. A lot of emotional intelligence lessons. Music is OK if occasionally clunky.
  • Leapfrog series. Especially the CGI animation reboot. Good production values. There is a lot of merchandise Leapfrog puts out but it’s not pushed in the show.
  • Curious George. PBS Show – Newer version of Curious George. Theme song is a bouncy jazz number, with lots of jazz in the show.


I gave the Kindle Android app 1 star and rage quit

Here’s why:

  • The See in Store buttons has failed for over two weeks as of 08/19/2014 (including the version before full screen was added).  All I get is a blank gray screen.  I call it the Gray Screen of death.
  • The button that appears when you buy a book  (I think it’s “Read Now”) has never worked.  I always have to go the Libary page and Sync to get my book.  I think it’s like those walk buttons in New York that are not connected to anything.
  • About 20% of the time, Syncing to get a book looks like it works, then, when I open the book, Kindle crashes because it wasn’t really done downloading, even though the indicator bar filled all the way up.
  • No wishlist support at all in the app
  • Twice, my app lost all access to its books and had to be re-installed before it could do anything.
  • It took six months for the full screen mode to show up on my Nexus 7. My other book reader had it almost as soon as that feature was available.
  • One click ordering is bad – I prefer the enter password every time approach.  If I didn’t lock my tablet, I’m pretty sure my 2 year old toddler would have bought some books or apps on Kindle.
  • The recommendations keep on getting worse and worse.  I get a bunch of mainstream books recommended when I’ve bought 98% science fiction and fantasy – which Amazon knows. I have to switch to the more specific recommendations tab every time – it doesn’t remember that I never buy anything.  The old layout showed the recommendations immediately, even if they were mediocre.

I’ve decided to try Google Play books for the heck of it.  Here are my initial impressions:

  • The reader is minimalist with a nice page animation
  • Page turning is much faster
  • I have not been able to figure out how to send a sample from the website, only while in the reader
  • I like full screen mode (although Kindle has this now)
  • DRM still stucks

Update the first:  I don’t like the way the Google Play books reader sometimes highlights stuff in books (like Geographical place names). Very distracting.

Update the second (08/29/2014):  You have to “pin” a book for it to stay.  This makes no sense for eBooks, which are usually less than 1 Meg, and not for a tablet with Wifi only.  It make more sense for videos.

Also, I have found some books not on Google play, and bought a Kindle book that was much cheaper (around 50%) and read it without using the Android app; recently, I was willing to pay $0.50 more for The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks to read in Google play.