It’s been a bit quiet here on the blogging front, especially the English side of things as I posted a Hungarian article after the first EQ-related one, mainly summarising what was available in the local newspapers for Hungarians.
So there is a variety of tidbits/news from this half of the world. One is that the past week and half has been decreasingly shaky in terms of the earth moving around, which is good, albeit officials are keen to point out that their models show a reasonable possibility for destructive EQs over the coming year – a pretty vague thing, really.
The office has been closed for almost two weeks now and it will remain closed for at least another 6 (!) weeks, if not more. This has to do with asbestos in the building, which has been shaken up by the recent events. To ease the problem a “business continuity site” has been set up in a nearby office, which, depending on the positive or the negative view taken either resembles a sweatshop, or it’s “better than nothing”. The less good news is that according to circulating legends (which have so far been largely correct) the company is now considering setting up an extended temporary office somewhere in the Hutt, which, for readers more familiar w/ say the London area is like setting up an office in Reading or Luton. FML really.
Since most days (I’ve been actually working from the BCS recently) I’ve spent not really doing much I had to come up with activities. This therefore mostly meant days revolving around (sourcing) furniture and socialising whenever possible.
Furniture then. I’ve gotta say, the real world ain’t Sims. For whoever’s not familiar w/ the PC game series, it’s a life simulator, which involves a lot of things but I’m now specifically thinking about beds in it. So the way it’s laid out in the game is that you can buy a variety of beds for your sim (player) that have a comfort level and a price of course, and the more comfortable, the more expensive, and the better sleep you get. Bam! Simple as that.
Not in bloody real life. I’ve been hunting for beds for a while now and I have no clue what I want, aside from the size and a budget. I want big, cheap and comfy. [who doesn’t?]. It’s very complicated to compare items because lying down in a showroom bed for two minutes is really not the same as sleeping in one. I also can’t really compare firmness too well. I remember that I want something more firm than medium. Eventually I ended up settling for something that’s budget, but not the least expensive. The other reason for being on a budget is that I’m essentially trialling NZ. If I decide to stay here forever, I’ll get a better bed.
Decent desks are almost impossible to find, at least the size I want. Given that my monitor is a not-so-meagre 32″ I need a desk that’s a metre deep at least. The trick to this is that only “workstations” (the local name for office desks that look like they can be squeezed into a corner based on their shape) are large enough to satisfy this requirement and they’re priced…well, “corporately”, meaning they’re bleeping expensive. Eventually I managed to get one from the local charity shop, but since I’m only moving in 3rd December, it will need to be stored, meaning the desk will cost just about as much as storage and delivery – still it will be very favourably priced altogether.
As for socials, I’ve been keeping myself active. Went to an Indian foodie meetup, two language exchange meetups a German conversation breakfast meetup, and also a tai chi event, which was quite something, considering that 1) I’ve never done tai chi, and 2) the whole thing was in Mandarin (Chinese), which I don’t understand at all. My Chinese doesn’t go any further than nĭ hăo and even that I had to google because I don’t remember the accent marks top of my head. It [the tai chi] went comparatively well. I also walked a whopping 32km one day in town between home, the Chinese consulate (for a travel visa – funny thing is, their website hasn’t been recently updated as the original address has a big Chinese flag waving on it, as well as a note saying that from January 2014 they’ve moved to a place about 2km from the original one)., the office, a bank branch, the office again, the alternative office, home, the tai chi place near the Chinese consulate and home again.
Less on the social note but on Tuesday I decided to visit the zoo. Clearly the end is nigh. It was cute – and rather small. Tbh I think the poor animals here are suffering more than most of their counterparts in the rest of the civilised world. In the unlikely scenario that the weather is decent, the sun is so strong that’s unbelievable, and in any other case it’s either a windstorm, a rainstorm, or an earthquake-storm (whatever), or all at the same time. I’m a bit funny when it comes to zoos, I keep going to them yet I don’t actually like or care much about animals, plus I’m marginally against keeping animals locked up so…go figure. In addition to this, given that once you hit the age of 30ish, chances are you’ve seen a dozen giraffes, emus and whatnots live, and about five zillion more on some form of digital projection, zoos become a bit less of a hyper-exciting bit of entertainment. At least the Wellington Zoo has a kiwi or two, which, considering the location isn’t a proper shocker. A note on photographing these little furry bastards: since they like almost complete darkness, and keep pecking at the ground, unless you have a Nikon D5, don’t even hope for non-blurry, non-epic-noisy photos. If a D810 can’t do it with a 70-200/2.8 lens, we’re all doomed.
The place overall doesn’t have a large variety of animals though. The one thing I did find rather interesting is the semi-public vet centre, where the zoo’s vets do their work and the visitors can observe and ask questions from them. So while I was sitting around, they were x-raying a lizard of sorts in a box. That was new.
Other bits of activity that I did involved me going to the Weta Cave, which is a mini museum of the Weta Studios where you can buy incredibly expensive small replicas of whatever things Weta has gotten itself involved with (mostly the LOTR/Hobbit films and a few other less famous ones). I mean, (apart from the crap framing as I didn’t make a step backwards), what’s wrong with having a dwarf lord on a pig at home?
In even “more other” news, the house where I’m currently ongoingly staying w/ airbnb (actually I’m now being sublet a room, the same one I have been in, just not via ABnb) has been somewhat fixed, meaning we now have a working front door and the window that fell out weeks ago has now also been fixed. I have furthermore lost count of who is living here and who isn’t, as half of the house has moved out and the other half has been given to other Airbnb people. Frankly, if the yeti spent a night in here we wouldn’t notice. On top of all that, I’ve been fighting with my laptop, which has been misbehaving. A recent update to Windows Insider completely cocked up my network traffic on the standard protocol (HTTP), and after I found no other alternative, I had to reinstall Windows. Unrelated to that, my laptop’s charger decided to move on to the eternal charging fields, so I had to manage a new one somehow. (Hint: if your battery suddenly doesn’t charge, and the max CPU output is around 800MHz and/or around 30% of the max, check the BIOS if the AC adaptor is recognised properly/at all. If not, get a new one and temporarily turn off SpeedStep if it’s possible.)