Relevance of a blog?

Filed under: General - Mark @ 11:18 am

 

So, back in 2002 I started this blog as a way of communicating with people I no longer lived near. I don’t know if it ever fulfilled its original purpose, but I’m wondering – do I want to keep this place?

A lot of things have changed in my life since I last posted here. Mainly the birth of my son Levi. And although I have no issues with him reading anything I’ve posted here when he gets older, I’m not comfortable talking about him in such a public forum, as I take privacy fairly seriously and he may not appreciate me talking about him when he’s older.

Also, I haven’t updated this site in over 6 months. And do I miss it? Not really. I think about it occasionally, but that’s about it. I don’t ever feel guilty for not writing in here, I don’t feel compelled, and the mood hasn’t really struck me at all lately.

So, I doubt I will ever be back here. It’s been a long, good 8 years, and in the future I may enjoy (or cringe) at reading what I wrote in the past.

I’ll keep the domain active, but that’s really about it. As it stands, Facebook is a much better platform for communication and thoughts than this place was, and if you pay a visit to your privacy settings, a lot more private that here as well.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Add Comment (0) | 10/1/2011

 

 

Bricks and mortar

Filed under: General - Mark @ 12:25 pm

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love owning my own home. Being able to modify it, and over time building equity. But gee it’s also depressing.

I decided to make a graph of how much damange we’ve been able to do to our outstanding mortgage amount over the last 9 months.

(Orange is actual, black is average)

It’s so depressing, one step forward, 0.9 steps backwards. When the orange gets past -250k (and stays there), I’ll be a bit more happier. That was my 6-month goal. Missed it by about 4 months, but unexpected babies can do that! Well worth the cost though.

So, what does this mean for the future? Thanks to excels ability to see into the future:

(Blue is what we’ve done, purple is projected until $0 balance)

Puts things in a bit of perspective…

Add Comment (1) | 14/5/2010

 

 

Not Happy, Mum

Filed under: General - Mark @ 9:29 am

 

Not happy Google Australia – the following “suggestion” has absolutally no place in our country.

Feel free to make it a Synonym.

Add Comment (1) | 20/4/2010

 

 

Too tired

Filed under: General - Mark @ 12:53 pm

 

I’ve just been too tired to post in here lately. I make no apologies for this though. My doctor even said that I’ve been over-worked and highly stressed, and to take it easy. Which is easier said than done when I took a sick day because I was down with the flu and I ended up having to come into the office for 4 hours because the firewall died and I’m the only one who can replace it. Sigh.

Add Comment (0) | 14/4/2010

 

 

Funniest demotivator I’ve seen in a long time

Filed under: General - Mark @ 1:25 pm

 

Add Comment (0) | 19/3/2010

 

 

Rada

Filed under: General - Mark @ 7:17 am

 

Well, I promised photos, so here they are:

Add Comment (2) | 14/3/2010

 

 

Mass Effect

Filed under: General - Mark @ 6:45 am

 

I love non-linear gameplay. Deus Ex, Deus Ex: Invisible War… and that’s about it really for FPS.

So how then did I miss Mass Effect? I notice that Mass Effect 2 has been released to huge hype and mass fanfare. I’d never heard of it. How? How did this happen? How did I miss the original Mass Effect?

Anyway, I went out and got me a copy of Mass Effect (2007). And it’s fantastic. And because it’s 3 years old my PC runs it at max-settings. If Mass Effect 2 is even half as good as Mass Effect, it’s worth the hype. And I’ve only played Mass Effect for about 3 hours so far!

Oh yeah, I picked up my car. Finally! I’m still not 100% convinced it’s not a lemon, but man, it goes HARD. It’s not as quick to launch as the commodore, (because it’s 4WD) but you get it in the wet and it will destroy a Ford XR6 or a Commodore SS. They just sit there spinning their wheels while I’m off and away.

I thoroughly enjoy the creature comforts as well. In-dash stacker, climate control, comfy seats, electric windows. These things all sound pretty normal these days, but coming from a povo-pack Commodore I can hardly believe that these two cars were built within 12 months of eachother! In its day it would have been the bee’s knees.

Photos will be coming soon, as soon as it stops bloody raining!

Add Comment (1) | 9/2/2010

 

 

AWD here I come

Filed under: General - Mark @ 5:57 pm

 

I pick up my car tomorrow! Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay

Add Comment (2) | 5/2/2010

 

 

I hate cheques

Filed under: General - Mark @ 1:41 pm

 

After all this bloody chasing the NRMA, we finally got the cheque for my car yesterday (Total days late: 13).

The thing is, on the 27th, they swore black and blue that the cheque was in the mail, to the correct address. When we received the cheque, guess what. It was dated the 29th. In the mail my ass.

Speaking of which, what’s the deal with everyone wanting to pay me by cheque? I’ve got three cheques from the NRMA and a cheque from the RTA. C’mon. If I wanted to pay YOU by cheque, one of two things would happen:

1) You would laugh at me and tell me to go away
2) You would charge me an exorbitant processing fee

This immense double standard means:

1) It’s OK for you to delay you giving me what is rightfully mine, but it’s not OK for me to delay giving it to you
2) My time is worthless. If you charge a huge fee for processing a cheque, you’re saying that it takes TIME and your time needs to be compensated for. This is fair enough I guess. But when you refuse to compensate ME for MY time at the other end? Not fair at all. It’s basically spitting in my face and telling me that your time is important but mine is worthless. In fact I bet it takes me longer to bank a cheque than it does for you.

In related news, thank God for BankWest. Rather than just talking about being nicer, and friendlier, they actually are. Their North Sydney branch opens at 7.30. In the morning. Which is brilliant because 7.30am is exactly when I walk past their branch every day. Which means that I didn’t have to waste my lunch break walking back to the bank and waiting to get the aforementioned cheques banked. And the girl who served me was far too chirpy for that time of the morning.

Their plants don’t talk back to you though. Which is a bit of false advertising. But I guess it’s a small price to pay for convenience.

Add Comment (0) | 2/2/2010

 

 

The day after the day after

Filed under: General - Mark @ 8:44 am

 

Well, I woke up on Wednesday without a hangover. That was nice.

The block BBQ was really nice. Had a great time. About a dozen people turned up (which is a good effort as there’s only 10 apartments, so that’s about half of the people living here), we sank a few beers, had a BBQ and a chat. Went from 4 till about 8, which is just the right amount of time I think.

My cheque from the NRMA still hasn’t arrived. It better arrive today, because if it arrives on Friday, I won’t have time to bank it until Saturday, and Saturday is the day I’m hoping to pick up my car. So that doesn’t quite work. It’s really really starting to give me the shits. I wonder if something like this will happen next time I go to buy a car.

Add Comment (0) | 28/1/2010

 

 

Happy ‘straylia day

Filed under: General - Mark @ 6:55 am

 

It’s Australia Day, I’m stuck at home cos I don’t have a car, Angela is at work till 4, and I’ve got nothing to do.

There’s a building BBQ at 4, thankfully, so I won’t be alone all day. But I was invited to another BBQ lunch which I’ve had to forego because I can’t get there :(

Add Comment (0) | 26/1/2010

 

 

Delays

Filed under: General - Mark @ 7:13 am

 

Well, I was meant to pick up my new car on Saturday, but it didn’t happen.

Why? Because the NRMA sent my settlement cheque to the completely wrong address. Which means that they have to put a stop on the cheque, and only once that’s been confirmed will they send out a new one. And because it’s a public holiday (‘stralia day) tomorrow I might not get the cheque until this friday, and that’s bullshit because it means it won’t have cleared by this weekend which means waiting even LONGER. Graaahhhhh.

Add Comment (0) | 25/1/2010

 

 

Moving on

Filed under: General - Mark @ 7:10 am

 

I’m not one to mess around. If I want to do something, or I need to do it, I generally go out and just get it done.

After keeping an eye on Pickles for the last few weeks, there’s been nothing particularly appealing come onto their market in my price range for replacing my car. There were two VY Executives, but they had high k’s and high(er) prices. There’s a crapload of Falcons for private sale, but after driving my hirecar for a week I’m just not sure I’m willing to accept that massive fuel consumption. And they almost ALL have the shitty 4-speed auto, nobody seemed to option the 5-speed, and the 6-speed ZF box’s are all $10k out of my price range.

So, after a suggestion from Dad, I went looking for Mitsubishi Verada’s. We had one 10 years ago and it was a great car. We went to the NT in it, towing at that, and it had a huge back seat and a big boot.

In 2002-2005, they did all wheel drive (AWD) version of the car. It has the same 4WD setup as a Mitsubishi Evo (and that’s about where the similarity ends), which means that it’s a 50:50 split between front/rear power. Same engine, same interior, some outstanding Mitsubishi quality. 154kw, big boot, smooooooth Fuzzy Logic gearbox (which means that when you want to drive like a maniac, it knows, and adjusts its gearchanges to suit). (much) better fuel economy than the falcons and commodores too.

These are just the photos from the website I bought it from. It was a car due to go to Auction on Wednesday, but these guys seem to offer a fixed price on almost all their vehicles for private buyers.

It’s in average condition. 140k’s, bodywork is straight, but a few scratches which should buff out. No service history, but according to the sticker it had a new timing belt 12 months ago. It’s in desperate need of a service, and the inside needs a good detail. The drivers-side window sticks, the boot release doesn’t work, and the dashboard is showing an error code (I think that’s just because they replaced the battery and it’s missing its security codes). Now all that makes it sound a bit dodgey, but the fact is it’s all covered under warranty.

By the time I pick the car up next weekend, all those problems will have been fixed, the car will have been detailed and polished. And for the price I was looking at, beggars can’t be choosers. It came in for almost the exact same amount as the cheque I’m receiving from the NRMA so I struck it lucky too.

Here’s to hoping that the 4WD system doesn’t blow up in my face and that it’s not a lemon!

Add Comment (0) | 17/1/2010

 

 

It’s just not worth the effort

Filed under: General - Mark @ 12:03 pm

 

Don’t ever write your car off. It’s too much work. Calling the insurance company, call the police, call the insurance company back, speak to the assessor, argue about your entitlements, visit a shed in the middle of nowhere on a hot hot day, tremble with fear every time you go out in your hire car incase you crash it, searching for a new car, dealing with slimey car dealers, BLAH

Add Comment (0) | 14/1/2010

 

 

Goodbye faithful steed

Filed under: General - Mark @ 9:19 am

 

I remember the day I first picked it up. It was a difficult birth. The RTA screwed up the blue slip, which delayed its registration by 3 weeks, and because it had no plates I was accused of stealing shit the very first day I got it. And the because of that, the security guards at Liberty Grove knew who I was and thus I didn’t even get a SINGLE DAY of illegal parking leeway.

First photo of my car

But since that day, we shared almost 100,000km of travels. Noosa, Evans Head, Melbourne dozens of time, Adelaide, all over north and south NSW. Lots of great memories in that car. It was sturdy and faithful. It NEVER broke down, not ONCE. It purred when you gave it a service, and got grumpy when you didn’t. It had its faults (dual-mass flywheel anyone?) but we worked through them together.

And yet, no more. At about 3 o’clock this morning, my faithful steed was killed.

Dead!

A drunk driver fell asleep at the wheel and planted himself squarely into the back of my car. Not just the back though, the back on the side. A rear shunt would have been recoverable, but now the rear suspension is snapped, the diff is broken, one wheel points to the sky, the other wheel is pointing sideways and is cracked all the way through, the chassis is clearly skewed, the boot is sealed shut, the inside portal is squeezed shut, and only the passengers door opens (because of the twisted chassis).

It hurt my heart to see him on the back of that truck.

R.I.P. my friend

29/6/2005 – 07/01/2009

Add Comment (0) | 7/1/2010

 

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