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02 July 2007




Where's Alastair?

Fortunately the reason for my extended absence from this blog is not a tragic one. I've just been busy, is all.

Firstly, I got a new job. As with the last job I'm not going to say too much about it, or identify the company. Suffice it to say that I'm doing stuff with compressed video for the broadcast industry, and it's really interesting. Lots of customers, great technology, some software engineering, err, challenges.

One other thing I can say about the new job is that involves a lot of air travel. But I'm here to claim that my work's air travel is the least onerous that you could possibly experience and still be leaving the ground on a regular basis. I'm talkin' 2 hours door-to-door, people. This miracle is brought about because home and work are close to their respective airports at either end. Very close.

After working out how not to bump my head on the door of a Dash 8, I actually prefer flying in these than in Real Planes. It feels more like actual flying. You are closer to the ground, get some great views -- even the landing gear, as it touches down -- and generally enjoy the experience more.

Anyway if the new job wasn't enough to keep me busy, I have also been through the experience of selling a house. This would not ordinarily be blog-worthy, except that I wanted to convey the giddy feeling of disbelief that we experienced during the auction. The estate agent did his preparation and we ended up with a huge crowd of people. The price went up steadily until it passed reserve, and then ... kept on going. We stood there trying not to look conspicuous as our jaws dropped further and further while the price went higher and higher. Each bid became a new plasma screen or an overseas holiday. In the end we made over $50,000 over the reserve price on our humble 2 bedroom unit. Much rejoicing was had.

Was it a good investment? Probably not. In over 7 years, the price went up 40%. I don't know what annualised rate of return that works out to be, but probably not more than the share market over the equivalent period. Still, the property market in Sydney has been famously flat for the last 5 years or so, overall not too bad.

Now, to clear that blogging backlog...