BlakJak's blog

Yeah, i'm getting old in a day or two. :-) So in celebration we had a few friends around tonight for some food and drink, and to share in this remarkable birthday cake that my good wife made for me this week.

What can I say? It rocks. Or Rocked, until we performed a 'front cut'. ;-)

We also found one of the best uses ever for an iPad.

A brief outage to service tonight between 8.30 and 9pm (not all of that time, but some of it) due to an apparent power hiccup affecting Wellington CBD. Took the opportunity to run some upgrades when restoring services. All should now be well.

So yup... we're well and truly here, and I think our Auckland-ness is finally sinking in. :-)
We're baaaaaaaack!

New place to live (Birkdale, on the Shore, a suburb i'm still making my mind up about...)
House is nice, though.
The new car I picked up as a work-hack finally gets infront of my camera:

For the firetruckspotters out there. (Additional pics by clicking on either the link or photos below...)

http://gallery.blakjak.net/v/FireStuff/Incidents/2010/0714PFAQueenSt/

.

Yeah, this is annoying. Heard a rumour via Geekzone that Telecom were announcing their CDMA 3G network (EVDO) closure before end of 2010. Shortly thereafter Telecom NZ confirmed via Twitter: http://telecom.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2095 has the details.

(They've further gone on to say that CDMA itself will go away "Mid 2012" which I suppose I can understand given the move to XT (WCDMA) and that's a reasonable amount of notice; it's a typical cellphone's lifespan of 2-3 years.)

What grates me is that we've got an EVDO T-Stick which we bought as part of our home business; it's got 1GB/month of data at a flat monthly rate and we had to take it over a 24 month term. That was the only option available to us at the time (that was reasonable; it was a free purchase in return for the 2 year contract) - had we known that scant months after the expiry of our 2 year contract that the device would become a brick, perhaps we wouldn'tve bothered?

As things have worked out we're now re-evaluating our desire for 3G broadband; it's been handy but we've never come close to using 1GB in a month and it's a cost we can't therefore justify. I was hoping we'd wangle a deal for a conversion to prepay, but of course, they don't offer the T-Stick on a prepaid deal on EVDO, so we're back to having to spend more money on hardware to get something supported.

Time to look at Vodafone. Or perhaps 2degrees, if they'd get some prepay data hardware supported. Maybe Vodafone hardware then move over...

Sorry Telecom but moves like this don't endear you to your customers.

Possibly the most ambitious Cadet Expedition ever?

Great to see, and especially interested in the involvement of Amateur Radio as well. Hats-off to TS Talisman!

So it's a done deal; I have a new job in Auckland and the family are moving - this week - so i've flown back down (having started work in Auckland a month ago) to help pack up the house and 'finish up' with our Wellington business.

That business includes Laura's last day at Kindergarten (now completed... one of those happy-sad events!!) - Lauras (pre-emptive) 5th birthday party (tomorrow) and then a bout of frantic packing, before the moving company shows up on Monday to pick up our stuff.

Tuesday, road-trip ahoy.. to Auckland via Wellington Airport (our kitties are being flown up).

So yes. Been at work a month and i'm already taking a week off - but with good reason! :-) And i'll be very glad to have the family with me (i've missed them heaps!)

Anyway, about the photo. I follow @flyairnz on Twitter and was fortunate enough to score a limited-edition T-Shirt comemorating Air New Zealand's first flight ("ZK-AMA"). It arrived a few days ago. I figured that my AirNZ flight home to Wellington (likely to be my last flight for a while!) was an ideal opportunity to 'christen' the shirt.

Even more interestingly, I had seat 1D (front row, isle seat) and the Purser had one of those faces that I was sure i'd seen somewhere before. Turns out, I had... on the now famous Body-Painted in-flight safety video. So noting that the AirNZ Twitter folks wanted pics of folks wearing their shirt, it seemed like an obvious many-birds-with-one-stone opportunity.

Geoff was great to talk to and very helpful during the flight, and as usual, AirNZ's service was excellent. Must admit i'm going to miss having semi frequent occaisions to fly with them.

I don't usually rant about the Government, but this annoys me no end.

After yesterdays news that motor vehicle registrations would be going up substantially - particularly for motorcyclists, utilities, light vans and so on - I can't say i'm also surprised to hear that Fuel Prices are also going up thanks to the Emmissions Trading Scheme.

And yet a part of me is still shocked. I wonder if the Government realises that when the net result is negative, the taxpayer is no better off?

Yes we've had tax cuts. But we've had taxes move to other places, and in the end, are we truly better off?

But wait, there's more. The Prime Minister is quoted as follows:

"But Mr Key said taxpayers would still be ahead as wage increases were expected to outstrip overall inflation."

Wait. Government is now promising folks pay rises?

As a former government employee, I can tell you right now that I havn't seen an inflation-related wage increase since early 2006. And i'm under no illusions as to whether these are promised at all, to be honest. I'm more likely to negotiate a salary increase by way of performance, than to see any sort of committment around adjustments due to inflation!

The article linked above seems to be noticing a similar trend, as the reporter notes: "Households and businesses also face other rising costs in the form of October's GST increase, and higher ACC levies and vehicle registration fees.". Yet the above quote from Mr Key is a direct response to this.

What planet are you on, PM? When it comes down to it, consumers are hurting because of increased cost-of-living all over the place. Don't be under any illusions that a reshuffle of _how_ the money is collected is going to in any way improve the situation for joe-public, especially when you're taking on new, taxpayer-funded initiatives like ETS. I don't disagree with the need to start taking the cost of managing our environment into consideration - but lets be realistic, please! This is going to hurt a lot of people, and no amount of pulling-the-wool is going to change it.

Went noseying for lunch on Saturday when I was in the Wairau Valley on the North Shore.

Came across an 'open 7 days' bakery. *cough*

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Now... last time I checked... 7 days literally meant... Monday to Sunday... and yet we can see that (at the time of signwriting last update) this joint was most definately closed on Sundays. At some stage more recently they've obviously taken to closing on Saturdays as well (thus the paper covering the signwriting, instead of getting it properly done).

So our '6 days' bakery is actually only open '5 days'. Good grief, mate. stupidmuch? How about fixing your signwriting up so that it actually portrays your services accurately, instead of making you look awful .. well.. silly?

Apologies if anyone noticed the blakjak.net outage during the above timeframe; it appears the server simply 'ran out of juice'... It has been rebooted and we're looking into why it hung, and what we can do to prevent it occuring in future. An upgrade may well be on the cards. :o)

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