End of year 2012
2012: all I can say, what a good year it’s been. Average, but good.
I dated a nice guy for a few months. It didn’t work out due to distance, and due to my future plans.
I went back to Canada for a few weeks in August, after a wait of several years. I got to see friends I’d missed a lot, and although I missed out on seeing some others, they’re on my list of people to catch up with next year. It was utterly amazing — and surreal — to go back to what I consider to be my second home.
I’m still a customer service consultant for an overseas-owned bank. It’s a job I enjoy, and one that entails constant learning and growing.
I met people, and became good friends with them.
As for next year, who knows what will happen?
I’m going to keep working hard. I’m going to travel back to Canada. And I’m going to continue on the path to becoming a better man.
Language is fascinating and weird…
Language fascinates me constantly. Despite the fact that New Zealand completed metrication 36 years ago (based on the passage of the Weights and Measures Amendment Act, December 14, 1976) we’ve still retained traditional phrases, terms, and other words derived from imperial measurements:
- “That’s miles away”
- “That beats it by a country mile”
- “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
- “I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole”
This is all notwithstanding the fact that New Zealanders still refer to their height in feet and inches (without having any idea of the relative lengths of feet and inches), babies’ initial weights are recorded in pounds and ounces, wheel diameters are described in inches, and the fact that computer monitors and the old diskette sizes (3.5”, 5.25”, etc) are also described in inches (although this is probably due to a lot of the early development of the computer industry taking place in the USA).
It’s a testament to the inherent linguistic gradualism in English. In fact, the lack of compulsion, linguistically-speaking, made the conversion to metric less “scary” by making people realize they wouldn’t have to change the way they speak due to the introduction of a new measurement system. Some day, the linguistic conversion will also be completed, but in a small way, it will make things a little less interesting and quirky.
So, for now, my domain name (danburt.info) has been forwarded to this blog. It’s only a temporary measure until I can find decent web hosting for my site (thanks to Apple’s “awesome” decision to stop providing web hosting by not carrying it over from Mobile Me to iCloud on a permanent basis).
2011. What a year!
It’s really rather hard to believe that yet another year has just about come to an end. It’s been a particularly interesting year, and while it hasn’t always been easy, 2011 has, by and large, gone well.
At the beginning of the year, I was — yet again — working at the grocery store I had been working at years previously. Although the job wasn’t particularly intellectually stimulating, it paid the bills, and I had — and still have — friends there. While grateful to have a job, it was also time to move on. That move didn’t come until August 1st…
I started my new job at the bank, after going through a relatively simple hiring process, thanks to my mate approaching me about it. The training was thoroughly challenging, and at times, I did feel like leaving (even now, in December, it’s a constant learning process, but at least there’s some sort of improvement). During training, our little training group suffered a terrible, heartbreaking loss: one of us decided to take his own life. What was interesting is while I felt he was almost too confident when he was alive, it was fascinating to learn that he had an incredibly rich and deep spiritual side. Lesson learned: do not take people at face value again.
This year, like others, have been bereft of any romantic activities, and that’s absolutely fine. Things will happen when they’re mean to happen. Maybe next year…
2012 will be a good year! Here’s to another chapter of my life.
R.I.P. Jack Layton
Today, I was saddened by the news of the all-too premature death of Jack Layton, the leader of the NDP, and Leader of the Official Opposition in Canada’s House of Commons. I can’t help but feel sad, and a little bit lost at the passing of a personal political hero.
However, two days before his passing, he wrote a letter to his fellow Canadians, urging to keep up the fight, and to never give up hope. Even in death, Mr. Layton is hugely inspirational. May the NDP grow from the strong position that he left the party in, and continue his legacy.
From the great man himself:
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
It’s cold nights like these that make me wish I had someone to share my life with — someone to not only keep me warm, but someone to make me laugh, someone who knows how to provide good conversation, etc. Even though phrases such as, “Don’t go looking for someone, because it’ll happen when you least expect it,” and, “Work on yourself before entering into a relationship!” are at least semi-true, it’s still hard.
Three years, damn it. Normally I don’t think about this, but tonight it just seems to be tearing me up inside.
Is the government being sneaky?
So this article on Stuff set my Spidey-senses off (apart from the fact that it’s part of a National Party government announcement), in particular this piece of information:
Among the projects confirmed were:
* $1.6 billion in the development of Auckland’s metro rail system, which comprises:
* $600m for Project DART
* $500m for the infrastructure required to support electrification
* $500m loan funding for the purchase of electric trains
* $400m on Wellington’s metro rail upgrade, which has included double-tracking to Waikanae and the purchase of 48 new two-car Matangi trains.
* A further $88.4 million for upgrades to the Wellington metro rail network as part of a funding and ownership package with the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
These are not new announcements, although it seems that they’re designed to make the public think they are. In fact, the Matangi EMUs are already being rolled out as of the time of this post.
It would also be super-awesome if the journalist writing this article could get their facts straight in relation to the introduction of the last EMUs in Wellington:
Joyce said the spending represented “by far the most significant investment in public transport infrastructure” since new trains were introduced in Wellington in the late 1970s.
They were in fact rolled out in 1982, albeit ordered by the (then) National government in 1979.
Change of plans and change of job
After having planned to move to Melbourne, Australia this year, it seems that things have changed (for the better). I have now been hired by an internationally-owned banking organization, and will be starting training on August 1st.
Inevitably this means staying in Wellington in the medium-to-long term, although it’s possible that a transfer to Australia will be an option after completing at least a couple of years’ service at the Wellington call centre.
A change of job means many positive changes for my life: aside from the extra freedom that a pay increase will afford me, I will be able to progress further within my career, be challenged on a daily basis, and will most likely learn something new every day. My new workplace also has union representation courtesy of Finsec. Working for an international organization like the bank is the key to a better, and brighter, future. I anticipate — nay, relish — the challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in the next year or two.
Now I shall conclude this post with three important words that succinctly summarize my attitude: BRING IT ON!