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Hickinbottom’s Aussie Ramblings

Archive for July, 2008

Nice….!

Posted by captainbeaky on July 27, 2008

Ah….its been such a different weekend. No houses, no rushing, no disappointment. It all started last Friday……

I managed to win an auction for a Macbook Air on Thursday night, and arranged to collect the thing in person from the seller on Friday night. Wasnt in a very nice area, and I was suspicious about his plan to “meet outside a shop”, but my fears werent warranted and the deal went without a hitch. Im typing this post now, from it. Its damn nice, light, doesnt run hot, and the new OS, Leopard has some great features. The biggest thing that impressed me was the migration assistant. I connected my old Macbook to the new one, ran this program, and it transferred all my files, fiolders, music, photos, applications, personal setting, and even passwords for interent sites without me doing anything. Brilliant! I used to hate the inevitable re-installs with PC’s and now I dont have to do one ever again. Mightily impressed. 

Saturday was a lazy day, as I spent most of the morning, well, ALL of the morning in bed playing with my new lappy! Went into town a bit later on to try to get a case but they were all pooh (should have trusted my gut instinct and gone for eBay!). Went out for some tasty hearty food last night and had the nicest bread pudding Ive had in ages for dessert. 

Today has again been lazy, well……not so much. Its been tidy up day so now we have a clean kitchen, and a clean-ER front room! Oh, and I’ll try to make Sunday night blogging a regular thing from now on. I know its been sporadic over the past few months, and it needs to be more structured and thats teh best I can do. If anything spectacular happens during the week, I’ll make a post, and I intend to keep my Facebook/Twitter status current at all times.

So there you go, I have a shiny new toy to play with, and we both feel de-stressed. Job done!

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The (shit) News…..

Posted by captainbeaky on July 22, 2008

So the past few days Ive been a bit secretive as I hoped to surprise everyone with good news….no such luck. Here-in is the short version of events. 

1 – Saturday – saw nice house in Yarraville and found it was a good price. Estate agent said would consider ending before auction for right offer. 

2, – Sunday – mulled over the house and decided to put an offer in, pre-auction.

3, – Offer was rejected by vendor, so asked what price they were after to end early.

4, – Vendors changed their minds and said they wanted to go to auction. On the strength of a load of sticky-beaking on their first inspection day (Saturday)

Bloody idiots. We offered a veritable blank cheque, settling in 30 days and a hassle free purchase. No. Thats not good enough apparently. The greedy fuckers would rather see how much money they can get by going to auction in a market where interest rates are at an 18 year high, the housing market has slowed to a standstill, and auction clearance rates are at 60%. Stupid, stupid people. So bollocks to ’em. I might get in touch before the auction, but I would soon as spit on them as give them money right now. We’ll see. 

Anyway, Im not thinking about it now. I’ll only get wound up about it all over again. Off to see Batman tonight so hopefully it will live up to the hype. Im hobbling along everywhere thanks to an ingrowing toenail. Im persevering with it right now as Im not sure whether I have nail wedged in my toe or whether Ive just irritated the skin under my nail by cutting it hideously short. Dope! Time will tell! 

Will post more if anything changes……..

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Maybe tomorrow…..

Posted by captainbeaky on July 21, 2008

Sorry to get your hopes up, but “things” are still up in the air at the moment, so bear with me for 1 more day. I’ll know either way tomorrow so will definitely make a post.

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Supa Kwik Update

Posted by captainbeaky on July 20, 2008

Just a quick tone to say we did indeed do house inspections and it went well. I dont want to say anymore until Ive spoken to a few people tomorrow, so I’ll update properly then. Dont want to jinx it!

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In the “bleak” midwinter….

Posted by captainbeaky on July 14, 2008

HA!!! Its been a fantastic day here in Melbourne. Had the day off (as its a rostered day off at Boeing) and godamn have I been lucky with the weather. Woke up at 9 and it was lovely and sunny. After a brief bit of interneting, left the house with iPod in tow and got the tram into the CBD. As if by magic, my ipod was picking out songs on shuffle that I hadnt heard in months, and put an extra smile on my face. After arriving in town, had a brief wonder around then got my ticket to go see Hancock, and again, I was impressed.

Its been the only “blockbuster” Ive seen recently that I havent got bored with and started checking what time it was. Smith wasnt annoying, or big headed or too yehaw-yankee-doodle-dandy as he’s been in most of his other films. Not too sugary or predicable either. A solid 8/10 I reckon.

After the film, it was off home and a walk along the beach while the sun was still out. Got back around 4, and rolled straight into a nice session of Rock Band drums. Had a stroll outside again at 5, watched the cockatoo’s sqwuaking at me from their palm tree homes, observed the 14 dogs playing together in the park, and met Becca for coffee and a cake after her day at work. Now at home, looking over the menu for the posh pizza place and deciding what to have for tea, while watching last nights new Top Gear. The days dont come much better, so Im gonna scoot now before I ruin it! T’raaaaa!

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House/Game/Film

Posted by captainbeaky on July 13, 2008

Yesterday, we spent the day around Yarraville, looking at houses that were open for inspection. We had 5 to look at, all of which looked promising on paper…..which quickly changed once we saw them! 

House 1 was nice, but opposite a train line. House 2 was very nice, but is at the extreme end of our price range. House 3 had all the DIY done by Frank Spenser. Wonky floors, cracked plaster, pink bathroom suite, mismatched skirting boards – it was a joke! House 4 was ok but very dark inside, and house 5 was ok, but needed a lot of structural stuff doing to it. I left the day feeling somewhat disappointed, but it is only the 1st time we’ve looked around the place, and Ive already got some more properties earmarked for next weekend. One good thing to come from it, was that we had a wonder around inbetween inspections and found a load more nice shops. Just helped to seal the deal as to this definitely being an area we would like to live in. 

On the games front, Rock Band drums have been ruling most of my time. However, as they are quite noisy to play (even with sound softening pad) I dont play them when Becca is around….which is a pain! However, tomorrow is a flex day at work so I’ll get some quality time on them then. BF:BC is also taking up a lot of my time, as Im begining to think the gunplay is second only to Black, in terms of satisfaction. Battlefield has always been about on foot and vehicular combat, but I find myself avoiding the vehicles now as the first person stuff is so damn good. The guns feel and sound right, and like Black, have a tangible “weight” to them. Between these 2, Ive also managed to cram in some Katamari as a spot of light relief, and Ive tried the Topspin 2 demo, which at some point I will buy. Not now though, as Ive already got too much to be getting on with. 

Films wise, ive not really seen anything new, just been catching up on some stuff that we’ve had downloaded, so for the record….Spiderwick Chronicles – enjoyable family style entertainment. A good Sunday afternoon film 7/10. Porco Rosso – had it to watch for ages and really enjoyed it. Like a lot of Ghible films, it doesnt really go anywhere, but its captivating all the way through. 8/10. Futurama:The Beast with a Billion Backs – has some really funny moments, and has some really hard sci-fi moments where the story goes a bit poncy. Still, miles better than the Simpsons movie. And has some awesome Steven Hawking moments. 7/10. 

Thats really about it. The weeks are flying by and I cant believe we’re fast approaching a year out here. Its quite cold here now (well, about 10 degrees, but it feels relatively cold), but its the height of Winter so I guess its to be expected. 

Oh, and for the record, its well known Im an Apple fan, owning a couple of Macs and an iPod Touch, but its got to be said that Im sick to the back teeth with bloody iPhone iPhone iPhone everywhere! The hype is WAY too much and has saturated everywhere. I hope the world gets over the fact that  its just a phone quick smart!

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Fat & Happy

Posted by captainbeaky on July 7, 2008

I sit here quite content, with a belly full of home made onion soup with cheesy crouton, after watching download highlights of what was probably the best tennis match Ive seen (last nights Wimbledon final). Really pleased that Nadal one and really deserved it. However, I digress. Im also content because of our renewed interest and enthusiasm in houses. 

Saturday, after spending a criminally long time in bed, we drove over to Yarraville to meet up with one of my mates from work who lives over there. She promised to show us around and give us a tour of the area, and she delivered on every front. Yarraville seemed like just what we’re after, being charming, small and having none of the increasingly annoying hordes of visitors that come to St Kilda every weekend and inhibit your daily goings on. Lots of nice little coffee shops, a big pub on the corner, butchers and bakers, 2 supermarkets and an old art deco cinema. The surrounding areas were a mixed bag. Kingsville and Seddon are close enough to Yarraville to be a walk away, and are both nice too. Footscray seemed a bit run down, but no more so than the arse end of Wolverhampton or Birmingham. My mate took us to a couple of big parks in the area too, which were amazing. One park had a lovely little pond and stream running through the middle of it, and if it werent for the cockatoo’s screeching, you could almost imagine it being a summers day out in the country in the UK. The other park was massive! It was an old quarry which has now been partially filled and is a lake, while the rest is kinda forest-ey full of mad giant water fowl, that are probably venomous or something! Anway, overall, were totally sold on moving over there, and are looking at houses to book house inspections for on the weekend, nearly all of which are old weatherboard style houses with ornate ironmongery on the frontage, and picket fences around the front garden. Like our own little fairytale house! Cant wait!

As for stuff going on this week, theres not much really. Were off to see a doublebill at an old arthouse style little cinema on Thursday (Ironman & Spiderwick Chronicles) and Id like to see Hancock and Speed Racer at some point. Rock Band is still thrilling me with the download content, and it seems like Im finally starting to get the hang of that damn tricky 5th button! GTA is still keeping me going with stunt jumps and pigeons aplenty to be found, and BF: Bad Company is great, but its really intense, so I wont allow myself to play it too close to bed  time as Im wired afterwards! 

Macbook Air bargains on Ebay seem to have dried up, and Im toying with waiting a bit and holding out for a Macbook Pro. There are rumours of a case redesign floating around today, so Im hoping its not too far away. I dont really need the power of a Macbook Pro, but it would be good to compare the MBA against. We’ll see. Im spending more time having a lie in on the net rather than with a book, so a light mac would help. Speaking of net stuff, if youre an internet nerd like me, have a butchers at this and see how many your recognise. Good song too!

Anyway, thats it for now. Im gonna get off to watch the last Dr Who and Youve Been Framed. T’raaaaa a bit!

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The Undiscovered Country……..

Posted by captainbeaky on July 1, 2008

The housing market here is still shockingly slow, especially in the Southeast suburbs where we’re looking. So just out of interest, I searched for properties in the West, specifically in a nice villagey place we’ve already been to called Yarraville. And you wouldnt believe what you can get. 

In St Kilda, or Elwood, for $460k you get a smallish 2 bedroom unit with a small balcony. In Yarraville, you get this! Amazing eh? And thats just the tip of the iceberg. It will have implications about getting to work, as we will both be reliant on smooth flowing traffic on one of the 3 bridges over the docklands. And Becca will be further away, so driving will be essential. However, if it means we can get a fantastic house, in an upcoming area with a big garden for dogs, then I think its worth it. One of my mates at work lives in Yarraville so she’s gonna meet us there on Saturday and show us around. Im hopeful, excited and amazed that we may be able to get something that we previously thought was impossible to attain. 

Thats about it. Im packing in the overtime while its available this week, so Im pretty tired. I getting in a bit of time with games, but cos I dont really want to think, Im just finishing off the odds and ends in GTA. Not much to report really. I’ll keep you posted on our Yarraville exploits. 

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