March 19th, 2007

aussiepoida - Iterlectuaralist

Some travel plans, a credit card drama, LSK/Cambridge, a great bit of news, imminent events, a movie


As you can probably tell from the Subject, we have a bit of ground to cover today.... though if we put our heads down and get to work, we should be able to close off by lunchtime...yeah!

First Topic
Tracy and I are feeling the itch... and not the kind that can be scratched on a simple romantic weekend... I speak of the Travel itch! Combine the travel itch with some expiring Kris Flyer points, and you know we have to do something ASAP. Unfortunately, we can actually go anywhere (for more than a week) until September. None the less, we are planing and things are falling into place. For those that are not aware, we are going to NewNew Zealand for a couple of week. This will most likely to a self driving type of holiday, during which we'll be taking in some of New Zealand's Natural Wonders.

Our next world-trip is pencilled in for 2010. Exact details are yet to be established, and we are, naturally, arguing about the locations already. There are two locations that have been agreed on. Firstly - Dubai. We both loved this place when we visited it in 2003. We've been talking about going back for ages. We want to visit Dubailand (Who on earth came up with that name?!), which is set to become the biggest amusement 'development' in the world. It wont be fully completed until 2018, but it will be completed enough for us to enjoy it :-) Second is Switzerland - Mainly to catch up with family, though I'm sure we'll visit some of the countries Natural Wonders.

In regards to other travel - We are still hoping to visit Nigaloo Reef sometime in the coming months to do some snorkelling.... and I've been pushing to visit the New Nocia Monastery, which is the only Monastery in Australia. Its only a couple of hours drive away, so it will make for a lovely weekend road-trip.... I'm hoping to stay in the old Hotel, which is said to be haunted. It's supposed to be grand (I mean this in the sense of 'stature', not experience).

Next Topic
As outlined in my last journal entry, I went to the movies a couple of weeks ago to see Hot Fuzz. What I failed to mention was the little incident that occurred when I tried to use my Credit Card to collect the tickets I had ordered online. I walked up the the 'ticket collection' ATM, put in my card, selected 'ticket collection' from the displayed options and waited for them to be expelled. At this point, Tracy pointed out a sign above the ATM on the wall (so about 1.2m from the front of the atm) stating that tickets should not be collected using the ATM.... upon discovering this, I looked at the screen and found that the ATM had crashed and was re-booting. So I waited a while, hoping it would spit the card back out.. but it did not. I was rather shitty, since I wanted to 'quickly' collect the tickets. I called the support number that was written on the machine and spoke to a lady whom quickly informed me that my card has been destroyed and that I need to contact my back immediately to get the card cancelled, and to arrange for a new card to be sent out.... now that's pretty crap... one moment I'm happily walking into a cinema complex... the next I have to call the bank and cancel my credit card... Why on earth would they not simply disable the ticket collection feature? Apparently it is no longer possible to collect tickets at any of the Greater Union ATMs... damn them!

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haze and I finally finished veneering the C6 and TL6s. We had put them to the back of our minds for the last 3 weeks... we obviously needed a break from them. But now they are finally veneered and ready to be varnished. Its quite amazing how long this process is taking... dont get me wrong - I love it!... and if we actually worked on them all day, we could probably finish (veneering) a set in 2 - 3 days.

I've been unhappy with how the M4s and M5s have turned out. When I started this project, I wanted them to be glossy and shiny... but I discovered that such an effect is beyond 'me' to achieve properly. As such, for the front speakers, I have decided to go for a 'Satin' finish instead... and I love what I am seeing so far :-) Its still not easy to achieve perfect results, but the satin finish is a lot more forgiving to the eye. Once I've finished varnishing the ones I'm working on, I'll sand down the completed sets and give them the satin finish as well. Seems like a lot of effort (since they are 'done'), but I know it will bug me if I dont do it.

Speaking of Home Theatre - At this stage, nothing much has been resolved with Cambridge, regarding my issue described in my previous post. I am very impressed with their customer service however, and feel like they are looking after this issue properly. I told the guy that I am not interested in a 'quick-fix' and that I am happy to wait for a proper and supported solution. I should know more by the end of the week.

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Markus has decided to go into rehab! Yes, my bother has finally decided to take his alcohol problem by the horns and seek professional help to combat it. Details are a little sketchy at the moment (I'll know more on Wednesday), but he has quit his job and given his landlord in Harvey notice... he will stay at the clinic for a minimum of 3 months (longer or shorter, depending on his progress), after which he will remain in Perth (thank Christ) and look for a job. He shouldn't have any problems getting work, since he's skills as a pastry-chef are sought after. My main concern is actually where he will live once the program is over... though now that I think about it, I'm only concerned because I think he wont be able to afford the rent in the city - but since he wont be spending money on Alcohol, I guess money should no longer be a problem for him. Its hard to believe that after so many years, thinks may finally change with him. I'm glad he'll be moving back to Perth, since I'll get to see him more regularly :-) Good times.

(I grow tired of writing... but I've written the subject line and must honour it with content!!!! However, I will try to keep my writing more succinct from this point onward.)

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We had the first (of two) inspections of our newly completed house last Thursday. Tracy and I have no idea what to look for during these inspections, so we hired the services of Craig from All Set Services. He cost us $380, but I think it was money well spent - be picked up a lot of things that Tracy and I would have walked past and smiled at. We should have our second inspection sometime next week..... after that (if all is well) we should be able to move in within a week. Its hard to believe that we are finally at a stage where we might be moving in before the end of the month. We'll have to wait and see.

There are a few of things that I would like to organise (and finalise) prior to moving in -
1. Floor coverings in the bedrooms. I'm not too worried about the rest of the house, but I want the bedrooms done before we move in.. if possible.
2. Window Dressings - It would be great to get them done before we move in... I like sleeping in on my days off, and lack of curtains/blinds will make that rather difficult.. plus, I dont really like uncovered windows facing the road.. somehow feels unsafe.
3. The driveway cross-over... If we move in prior to doing this, we wont be able to park in our garage... this annoys me, since I wanted to use the same guy to do the crossover, as well as the rest of the paving around the house. The problem is that I wanted to carefully plan where the paving around the house should go. I guess we'll just have to hire him (or another guy) for separate jobs and spend some extra money

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I watched Dune for the first time last week. haze was quite confident that its fantastic, and it was. The special effects were pretty impressive, considering when it was made (1984) and the actors did a pretty good job (mostly). My only real complaint was the voice-overs. Every since Adaptation, I've disliked voice-overs. Dune 7/10

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I appear to be developing a unnatural love of Eclipse Mints! Can you blame me though? They are fantastic! Personally, I like the Spearmint, as well as the Cinnamon flavoured ones.... What about you?

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A quick word or warning - Dont buy cheap things, such as rechargeable batteries, from international sellers from eBay. Its just not worth it. I bout a set of batteries and a charger from a guy in Singapore a while back. The charger didn't work from day 1, and a couple of the batters no longer work either. The seller was more than happy to replace them - but he was not willing to compensate me for the cost of sending the goods back to him... which would have cost me $12. Now, considering I only spent $30 on the charger and batteries, $12 is just not worth it. I'm not saying the seller is a bad guy (though I guess he might be using this 'returns' issue to sell broken stuff), but if anything goes wrong with things of this value, you might as well just throw them away.... dont be a cheap ass, and spend an extra $5 to buy it in Australia!

Well, that's it from me. I wish you all the best,