Personal News

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Alix and her Dad's crummy situation.
More buck passing between government departments, sadly.
Alix is a friend (through a friend) and was to have attended Liz'n'I's wedding except for a marvellous complication on the day. We did manage to catch up with her immediately afterward, however.
You go girl.

Well, we made a bit of a trip of it and headed over the Rimutakas yesterday to Masterton for Wings over Wairarapa. (Actually we headed over on Friday afternoon and overnighted in Masterton, which was nice... )

Wings over Wairarapa is the regions big airshow. Having not been to one in a bloody long time it seemed appropriate, especially as it's relatively handy to home (an hour or so's driving time).

So I took a buncha photos and vids. Enough that it was lucky Liz took her Eee, we downloaded a full gigabyte of images and vids at least 2 or 3 times...


Sample from Gallery 1 - Yay the Sioux... !
...


Sample from Gallery 2
...

And then enroute home there was a nice line up outside of Carterton Fire Station:


Carterton 621
.

Click on the links to head through to the galleries of images from each session.

Twas a great day, Liz and I are both rather sunburnt (despite sunblock... !) and it was a great day for an airshow. It's on again today, though reportedly with high clouds greying up the place and a much lower temperature. (That may be both good and bad...)

The RNZAF Display was pretty cool - interesting to see an Iroquois dropping a car from height.. ! and there were some great displays by some very interesting privately owned aircraft. A real bummer about the two-seat Spitfire having crashed out on Thursday... !

(Interesting to see that aircraft under private ownership may even be perceived as having more firepower than the RNZAF... )

Updated, Youtube First Vid is up:


I didn't realise how leet Masterton really was!!

I figure I should put something in here now that the new year is upon us, and we're back at work this end.
I guess an update of a more personal nature is probably called for - but that'll have to wait. ;-)

Don't forget to add a second tonight when you're counting down!!

Wishing you all the best for 2009.

All the best of the holidays to everyone who reads my little corner of the web. I hope you're having a good one.

Well, after getting my Warrant of Fitness (requiring a wheel bearing be replaced) I noticed a weird scraping noise coming from the rear left wheel - on braking only.
The mechanic I used for the WOF couldn't shed much light, and after driving on it for a coupla weeks and noticing it wasn't going away like I was told it would, I started looking at it a little closer.
Suspicious about the state of the brake pads I took the car into Midas Porirua.

The Verdict: Rear pads worn out, and all four brake rotors below their minimums, requiring replacement.

They indicated to me it'd be around $110/wheel for the rotors plus the cost of pads and rotors.

I booked it in for next pay day and started balancing figures to put the money away. $500+ was going to make a dent.
On the day I dropped it in I receive a phone call as i'm enroute to pick it up: The rotors ordered in by Midas are the wrong ones, and theyre hunting for the correct ones. Call you back soon.

So I head back to work.
An hour later the call comes in: The only correct rotors are OEM from Toyota, and are ~$500/wheel (!). For the interim the old parts are to put back on and i'll be able to drive the car home. They assure me theyre checking into the price situation.
A few hours later as I reach their office at end-of-business they tell me they've managed to negotiate the price down to closer to $110/wheel. Bloody good stuff!
All are very suprised by the cost of the rotors, but it appears theyre ex-Japan and made of gold, or something.
So I make a further booking for when i'm back from my overseas trip. That was this week.
Car went in on Wednesday, and I negotiated with the guys to split the work up: Rear Pads plus Rotors this fortnight, front rotors in 2 weeks time. That way I can afford the work. The response? No problem.

Aside from my initial annoyance that the state of the pads + rotors wasn't pointed out when I had my WOF done (at another outfit in Trentham who will remain nameless), I have to say that Midas really went above-and-beyond to help me on this. By all appearances they've essentially taken a loss on the cost of the parts, to make sure I got a good deal; they ordered the parts in on what was nothing more than my verbal agreement that i'd buy them, and they happily agreed to defer some of the work for 2 weeks without adding a penalty in dollar terms.
The service i've received has been professional, friendly and very helpful.

So they deserve a big plug. Well done Midas Porirua. I'll see you in a week or so for the second half of the job. ;-) And considering the amount of stick people give the big chains, i'm going to recommend you to anyone who asks.

Oh, and today the car had a Birthday of sorts:


Before...

... and after

Well if you're not in NZ you may not be aware we just had our General Election, and with that the Labour Party and Prime Minister Helen Clark have been trumped by the new Prime Minister Elect, John Key and his National Party.
Worth marking; Helen Clark did achieve some great things in her time, but it appears NZ'rs wanted change.

What will be interesting over the coming days and weeks is how our Mixed Member Proportional system generates a government.

Also interesting to me... our local electorate of Rimutaka - a seat I understand that's been a very safe Labour seat for some time - was won by Labour by a very slim majority. The Labour MP - replacing the Hon Paul Swain who has stepped down - is a 'new guy' and it'll be interesting to see what transpires locally.

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