Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.
The NICTA lab where I work finally moved offices into a newly constructed building in September.
The new building’s great – it’s such a nice change to have some natural light, and they’ve also installed a world-class coffee machine in the lunch room. The “designer rust” panels on the side of the building tend to polarise people, but I love them.
There were a few teething problems. For example the “green” automatic office lighting switches were insensitive and on a short timer. That caused plenty of comedy moments with people having to regularly stand up and wave their arms around to escape from the darkness into which they’d been plunged while they working. But that’s all being sorted out now. Some of the finishing decorative touches are being applied internally.
All we need now is a grand opening!
We moved house mid-year, away from convenient-but-noisy Leichhardt off to green-but-distant Thornleigh.
We were first home buyers. The increasing rental prices and soft purchase prices had been slowly changing the economics of rent-vs-buy decisions in Sydney. It might still not have been wholly rational to buy, but non-monetary issues tipped us over the line – issues like control over our own space, and slack landlords. That made it hard to deal with quality of life problems like rampant peeling paint, recurring mold, and increasing plane noise.
The subsequent financial crisis has put us in an interesting situation. Inflation is high (good in principle for home value) and interest rates are falling (good for repayments), but in practice home values are falling (bad) and unemployment/job security is worsening overall (bad). What will happen next? The only certain thing is that things will change! Still, the macro-economic issues aren’t as important as our individual circumstances, which seem to be fine at the moment (touch-wood).
As a place to live it seems to be working out fine. It’s great to have a back yard and a leafy environment. We can (and have begun to) do massive amounts of work inside and in the garden! But now we have the satisfaction of knowing we’re improving our own home value and not someone else’s.