STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Friday, December 30, 2005


If you've been hanging out for me to write a new blog post, I'm sorry but this isn't going to be it. This is just a post of nothing so that people will know that not only am I not dead, but I'm having a hard time putting any coherent thought together for this blog. So nothing yet. Sorry.

Hopefully I'll get it together sometime soon...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

This is a call

This is something that needs to be said publicly I believe, for the sake of all the people who are frustratedly trying to buy houses while sellers are wondering why they can't get their properties to sell:

If you own a house right now, and are thinking of selling it off, be aware that your house is probably worth AT LEAST $50k less then what you (and most likely your real estate agent) think it is. Now, I can already hear some of you going "not me - I already made a conservative estimate". If that's you, then you're exactly the people I'm talking to. A 2 bedroom townhouse in North Richmond IS NOT worth over $250k at the moment. Actually, I'd be more inclined to go with $200k. And yet I got an email this morning advertising a 2-bed townhouse with zero backyard in that suburb for $299k. It seems to me people who are selling at the moment are about 18 months behind the actual market.

Note that when I say "worth", what I'm saying is "what you'll be able to get someone to pay". The word "worth" unfortunatley seems to collect things like sentimental value, and the percieved value increase of certain renovations the owner might be especially proud of. Let me tell you something as a buyer: I DON'T CARE that you recently retiled your bathroom - your 2 bedroom unit in Kingswood is not a great buy at $220k. It's a crap buy. A retiled bathroom would just make it a little more bareable if someone forced me to buy your unit at that price. I can retile a bathroom myself - I just have trouble making land and houses materialise out of thin air.

We're in a property slump at the moment, and personally I'm just hoping that people selling will start to realise that if they absolutely have to sell, that they're going to have to accept less. Prime example? This property. We went to the auction on this property, and the vendor put in a bid of $235k. The property didn't sell. So what does he do? Relists it at $279k. One word for this: baka. Do you think he's had a shread of interest since? According to the agent we spoke to, no. Surprising? Ah, no. It didn't sell at $235k, it's sure as heck not going to sell at $280k. That's just common sense, right?
The blurb on the property says:
We will give you this affordable, centrally located three bedroom cottage. It has to offer YOU, three generous sized double bedrooms, with high ceilings, with informal and formal living and polished floor boards with air-conditioning, all being conveniently located within walking distance to schools and public transport, and with a low maintenance yard and a carport.
What more could we offer?

How about a REASONABLE LISTING PRICE, perhaps? Bah.

Meanwhile, our search for a house continues. We've made offers on several properties, all of which have been rejected. However, all those properties are still on the market. The only thing standing in our way is not other people making better offers - it's sellers not willing to accept reality. So this is my call to all those selling property: Face reality, or take your house off the market. I don't want to waste a fortnight haggling with you when the truth is you still think you can get more.

Here endeth the rant. However, for something completely unrelated, I found this article on Hammerspace which is well worth a read. Yay for hammerspace.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Moving on

I'm leaving my job - it's official. This is one of those both "hooray" and "boohoo" moments. The "hooray" bit comes from the fact that most of you know I've struggled somewhat with various bits and pieces around my workplace. I'm really excited that I'm moving to a new job based on being offered one. Having someone say "You're awesome, come work for us" is great.
However, the "boohoo" bit is due to the fact that I've done in my workplace what I've done in most other departments of my life, and that's procured myself a small circle of friends. There's people I will miss incredibly. Most of them have a slightly cracked sense of humor, which is why I think we get along. The thing is that it takes a long time to discover people of this persuasion, because most of them won't whip out their crazy side anytime before you've known them a year or so. Makes the whole friend-making process a little harder.

Because she'll probably read this, I have to say Meg is one of the St Paul's "people I'll miss". You're tops Meg. :) Whenever you'd drop by our staffroom, the day would always lose any mundaneness it was attempting to harbour. I mean - you named your laptop "Watson". That's just cool. Even though Watson was crap, and we hate him now, it's still a funkyhouse name. :) I hope Isabella treats you far more kindly, and that the IT guys give her plenty of TLC when she needs it.

Liz, even though she won't be reading this, is someone I've really appreciated. I usually drop into Liz's office at least once a day and chat to her about... well, often nothing in particular. We have "similar, yet different" music tastes, and both like things that are slightly warped. Like the Telefunken song(don't ask). I even taught her some l33t. There's nothing quite like having the Assistant Principal's 30-something year old P.A. yelling "w00t!" about getting U2 concert tickets, and knowing it was ENTIRELY your doing (on both counts, actually - but that's another story). Heheheh... the world shall be conformed, I tell you.

Then there's Geoff. He's the Business Manager, and he's the most genuine guy with a genuine heart to do good stuff for God. If I were him, I would have packed up and moved on AGES ago with some of the crap he's been dished out. I really enjoy talking to him - he sort of reminds me of my Dad, and anyone who knows what I think of my Dad will know that's an ENORMOUS compliment.

I have to mention Patsy also. Patsy is the Principal's P.A., and I mention her mainly because she would make me coffee. You can't beat having the big boss's P.A. make you coffee, really. Oh, and she offered to lend me her Mazda MX5 if I ever felt like a spin in a sports car. I wish I had that offer on paper now... :)

There are plenty of others, but this blog post is so limited in audience that I really shouldn't continue. Needless to say there are a handful of people who made my life at my current job so much easier, and some that I'm only now starting to get to know, and yet I'll have to leave things where they are. So even though most of them will never know, I'll be praying for them that God will bless them in 2006 and on into the future. They've made an incredibly difference in my life, and I just hope I might have done a little of the same in theirs. Actually, I might just send around one of my "trademark funny emails" before I leave, just to say goodbye.

OK that's it. I'll post something more interesting shortly, I promise.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bogged Blogging, and the Ranter's Top 5

I can't come up with anything worth posting. I've actually written two little ramblings that I've deleted because they're increadibly dull and boring. I'm going to post this as a placeholder, and come back to it when I get home and try again.

While this is happening, could I perhaps request the following of my semi-regular readers? I'm interested to know which of my posts you've most enjoyed. I've been blogging for a little under a year now I think, and I've written nearly 100 posts in that time. I'd be keen to see what has grabbed your attention or what you've most enjoyed reading. The comments are open, and if you'd like to include links to the post(s) you're referencing, that would be nifty. I'll publish my "Top 5 posts of 2005" when I get at least 5 responses. Either that or I'll just choose myself.
So ner. :P

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Culmonation of Random Thoughts

This is another of those "a few thoughts that don't deserve a whole post" posts. So here's some random thoughts.

My friend Noel has a blog! It is common amongst my friends for us to presure the non-initiated into getting blogs, and we have finally suceeded in another conversion. MWAHAHAHA!!! Anyway, here for your hyperlinked pleasure is Noel's blog. Make comment, enjoy and encourage him to continue.

Today I heard my boss organising a plot and a tombstone for his father. This is a concept with which I struggle, as it's pretty much an inevitability that I too will be doing this one day for my own parents. There's a little bit more to this as far as I feel about the whole situation, but I wrote it and then decided it would be more respectful to keep my thoughts to myself.

This week I read a discussion between Mac and Windows advocates about the possibilities for OSX and the new Intel Macs. This quote came about during a discussion about whether people who liked OSX, if it were possible, would buy cheaper PC hardware from say Dell, and then run OSX on that. The comment that one Mac advocate made just affirms my belief as to why Apple Mac continues to turn a profit:
"I still wouldn’t buy OS X for my PC. I would buy a Mac. The design of Mac alone makes it worthwhile."

Mmm - so you'd pay more for the same machine because of the design (and brand, obviously). It's like paying $50 for a $10 t-shirt because it's ripped in a trendy way and says "Rusty" or some other brandname across the front. Beige boxes are ugly, but nobody pays extra for a beige box.

We've decided to go to Hawkesbury Valley Baptist Church for now! We've given ourselves six months to find out if it's where we'd like to stay, but we believe there is a lot of scope for us to serve, and we really like the attitudes and motivations of the leaders. We believe from what we've seen that they hold simular beliefs to us about the role of organised church in the lives of the Church proper - that is, the Body of Christ; every believer. I'll post more on this as we go along.

Well, that's about it for now. More to come, I assure you.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Clouds of Darkness

I think pretty much everyone has had one of those days where things go really wrong. It might not be something specific to you, but the day is full of disaster - and it descends on you like a thick cloud of blackness. Today is one of those days for me. This morning, I found out the following:
  • My boss's dad (who I know personally, due to him working with us on occasion) is dying of cancer. We've known for a week or two, but they've been praying he could have one final Christmas with his family. This morning they announced that he's taken a turn for the worse. They don't think he's going to make it that far.
  • An old friend's brother was killed in a motorcycle accident on the weekend. This in itself would be somewhat disturbing, but to add to it I'd only recently stumbled across his personal webpage and was happy to learn he was married. (EDIT: This paragraph previously claimed he also had children, but I found out I had confused him with another friend.)
  • We'd been trying to buy a particular house, and this morning we learned that someone had made a higher offer on it over the weekend. We were already at our limit, so we're stuffed. This would be OK, except that the market is really quite thin, and we really want a house, and this one would have been great.
  • People are being generally difficult at work. It's the last week of term, and people seem to be under a lot of stress. They are then asking stupid questions and making ridiculous assumptions. When those assumptions turn out to be false, they call me and irately ask me why it won't work the way they want it to. Personally, I'm tempted to forward our office phones to each other so that no one can get through.

OK - enough for now. Lets just say I'm not real happy today. Thought I'd share.