Archive for the ‘E’ Category

New Puppy

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Shelly finally convinced me that getting a dog wouldn’t mean that we would become house bound social slugs (as opposed to social butterflies - not that we do much flying).

Our new addition to the household arrived on Saturday. She is a chocolate border collie and is named Keira (after much debating between that name and Brenna).

So far so good. There haven’t been too many accidents in the house and she pretty much sleeps right through the night. Keira is a beautiful puppy and is very fluffy. She also has very pretty markings and is very laid back.

Shelly has already started clicker training so in no time she’ll be smarter than me :)

Buying a New Car

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

I’ve been looking to buy a new car for some time. The Civic SiR hatchback that I have is fantastic but it’s just too small. On too many occasions lately it’s been such a pain in the arse to move stuff around that I am splashing out and buying a Subaru Legacy GTB station wagon.

I’m pretty pedantic when it comes to cars. My Honda Civic is probably one of the best examples of it’s kind in New Zealand. The interior is near on perfect and the exterior still looks great once it’s been washed. So, when hunting for a new car, it’s presentation was always going to be the deal breaker. I found over 12 cars on that matched my criteria (1996 - 1997, white, manual, reasonable kms, and in good condition).

Good condition is just so hard to convey in a photo. Many of the cars that I eventually viewed looked fine in the photos on trademe but looked pretty average in real life. You can usually tell a lot about the life a car has had by the small things that people overlook. Yes, you need to have straight panels, a flawless interior and all that other big stuff, but you also need to look at the small stuff. Grooming of cars these days makes this harder since years and years of gunk can be steam cleaned away - they don’t get everything though.

For example, car groomers will often miss areas where a car fanatic would always keep clean. They’re only getting ~$140 to clean the car so they aren’t going to try to get it back to showroom cleanliness. They’re just going to clean it enough that only the most stringent purchaser is going to notice. Bits that they might miss or do quickly are areas like the painted bits on the inside of doors. If these aren’t clean, then chances are the car never really got a regular clean by the owner. Also, the painted area around all the door hinges (don’t forget the boot) can be a good indicator. If these areas have just had a once over by the groomer there will still be cruft in the bits that a quick wipe can’t reach.

Other things to look for are superficial parts that have gone rusty. One of the cars I looked at was pretty good except that it had heavy rusting of things like the window wipers, the ends of the rear gas struts (which hold up the boot), and the small clips on the front bumper where the number plate would be attached. Perhaps this isn’t a big deal, but if small components like this are heavily rusted then it’s likely to have lived in a reasonably harsh environment, i.e. in some seaside town in Japan. Look carefully to see whether the exhaust is rusted out anywhere with problems like this.

Moving on, I eventually found a likeable dealer with a car that was in really good condition. I payed more that I was oringinally intending too, but I’d spent several days worth of time looking at average cars that I wouldn’t be happy with long term in the price range I wanted. Actual purchase price isn’t really the main issue with cars these days anyway. I’ll own the car for 3+ years in which time I’ll probably put in over $7k worth of petrol, $5k worth of insurance and weeks and weeks of time spent driving. Spending an extra $1k or $2k for the car that I really wanted wasn’t really that big of an issue for me.

It almost seems like fate that I was supposed to buy the car. I’d found one in the morning that had great potential that was more than I wanted to spend so I said I would carry on looking. I then went to another dealer that had one in poor condition, and then onto this dealer. I was looking at the GTB they had advertised when they mentioned they had another one just arrived. Seemed too good to be true: great condition, good mileage, new tires, tints, Recaro drivers seat (the standard seats don’t have very good lumber support and not as bigger bolsters as I would like), twin air bags, and they were willing to do the cambelt change. After a bit of haggling (which I’m not great at) we ended up with a price that we were both happy with. Sign some forms, pay a hefty deposit and voila, I can stop spending time looking for a new car.

So, with a brand new car (well, second hand really) on the way all I have to do is decide what to do with the Honda…

At this stage I’m leaning towards spending a little bit of cash on it to do some club days at Pukekohe Raceway.

Today is a good day

Saturday, July 2nd, 2005

Some days just seem fantastic. Today was, and will hopefully continue to be one of those days.

I woke up after a nice 9 hour sleep and it was beautiful and sunny outside. I didn’t have any preconceived plans for the day so took stock of all the things on my personal todo list..

I hadn’t been to the gym for a while, but didn’t want to drive to the gym since it is near work in town. So I decided to go for a walk and do the exercise trail at nearby Craigavon park.

The walk to the park was great. Sunny day with no clouds and that nice brisk winter chilled air around. All good. Did the exercise trail without any drama so the gym must be helping.

And then when I got home the house felt much warmer than it normally would. That must be the great new HRV home ventilation system that was just put in - excellent.

Then a quick protein shake and snooze in the sun in the bedroom. Nothing beats a snooze in the sun…

Then out for shopping to pick up a few small things. Found everything I wanted and some other things that I had been looking for a while but hadn’t found. Magic.

Then home and my brother turned up for some help with his car. Setting the ignition timing. That all went smoothly.

And now the house is a toasty 18 degrees after having the 22+ degree air from the roof circulating through it.

Now to do some painting in the kitchen before Shelly gets home so it looks like I have at least done something productive for the day. Somedays you just need to chill out and not doing anything significant. Today was one of those days.

Luverly juberly.

It’s my birthday

Monday, June 6th, 2005

Yay, I think. 28 years old now. Only 2 years until 30. Many years ago I had all these grand plans that I wanted to have accomplished by the time I was 30. Now there’s only 2 years left and there’s still some pretty big ones that haven’t been crossed off…

Creating physical things is so satisfying

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

I work in the software business. The fruits of your labour is a CD that contains an installer, some documentation, and ultimately users interacting with nothing more than different coloured pixels on a computer monitor. It seems so … um … un-real. If you turn off the monitor, poof, it all goes away. There’s nothing to hold, feel the weight of, push or click or turn to get things done.

Lately I’ve been working on repainting our kitchen and, although the work is somewhat laborious, at the end of it there will be a beautiful kitchen to be admired every time I go into the kitchen. You’ll actually be able to see the blood, sweat and tears (not literally luckily) that went into the transformation. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to think that you were able to, and did, do that work to create something real.

At the same time during the repainting I’ve often thought how frustrating it is to do all the repetitve bits and pieces. For example, there’s three doors that I am working on at the moment. Once I’ve finished one it would be nice to just go Ctrl-C, then Ctrl-V twice.

Perhaps that’s why I stay in the software business because the repitive nature of physically creating things is just not my cup of tea.

Long time, no post

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Well, even though I had the best intentions of blogging it’s obvious that hasn’t happened. And, it’s late already this evening so there’s not much going to be posted tonight. However, I am going to set up this as one of my home pages so hopefully that will prompt me to write more…

Health and Wellbeing

Monday, December 27th, 2004

I am unfortunate to have come down with some stomach bug thing on Boxing Day…

Isn’t it strange how all of the stressful things in life seem to go away when you are feeling a long was from 100%. Makes you realise that your health is something that you shouldn’t take for granted and helps put all of lifes problems and issues into perspective.

I watched Oprah’s Christmas Special (man she does some amazing things) and was astounded to find out how many people in Africa are dying from AIDs. One particular statistic was that an orphan in created every 14 seconds because their parent(s) have died from HIV. Truely shocking.

Anyway, I’m starting to feel better today and might be able to get out of the house to take advantage of all the Boxing Day sales at the moment.

Holy Hail

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

This morning I was woken up by what sounded like big fat rainy hail. And big and fat it was… It’s the biggest hail I have ever seen in my life. The largest pieces of hail were probably 20c sized. Probably not all that big compared to hail around the world, but definitely bigger than what hail normally looks like in Auckland.

It probably only hailed for a couple of minutes but the ground outside looked like it had been snowing. I would have taken a photo of it, but Shelly had my camera at work.