Nikon have announced the D90, the successor to the D80 that Fred and I have. One killer new function: movies. Yes, that’s right: a DSLR with movie functions. Looks like a really, really nice bit of kit. More here.
- 3″ monitor (the same as the D300 and D3)
- 850 images per battery charge
- HD720p movie capture
- Scene recognition and face detection
- Live view mode
- Geotagging of images with optional GPS unit
- 12.3 megapixel image sensor
- US$1299 with 18-105 VR kit lens
As promised, a couple of shots of the snow I encountered on the way to town this morning. I’ll get some more up on to flickr in the next day or so.
It is really, really unusual to have snow on the Calder. Mt Macedon certainly has dustings of snow fairly regularly at this time of year, but to be this low down is rare. I’ve certainly never seen it before.
Sunday night’s Grand Prix is being held in the streets of Valencia. It’s the first race on the street circuit, so it’s a bit of an unknown. I went to www.formula1.com to check out the circuit map:
All looks very good. It’s interesting that turns 2 and 3 are so close to each other. When you hover over those points you get a bit of info about each one:
Yes, that’s right. 100km/hr difference between the two corners.
It was very cold when I left home this morning. The sky was pretty clear though (in fact, cloudless) and there was no hint of frost. I came down the Calder and somewhere around the Carlsruhe area there were some signs of ice on the road. Pretty soon it was snowing and visibility was down around 100 metres. Everyone was crawling along; lots of people were stopped and taking photos with their mobile phones. I had the D80 with me so I pulled that out; I’ll try and get some photos online tonight when I get home. There has been snow on top of Mt Macedon recently, but to snow on the Calder itself is pretty unusual.
Found a picture of the sportwagon in the Karma Metallic that Lisa chose. This is the Calais, but I’m pretty sure the color is right.
Today is a very, very frustrating day. Some high up manager at work decided it was a really clever idea to have an email free day. Two certain outcomes:
- No-one is answering any questions, so productivity has plummeted.
- Phone bills will spike. People still need to communicate.
Dumb idea. Trade one form of cheap and easy communication for another that’s a pain in the backside and expensive.
While Lisa adores her SP20 it’s just too small for her with two kids and a couple of aging parents. It’s also just nudged over the 7-year-old mark, and although it’s still a great little car, a replacement is required.
The journey to selecting the car has been a long one. For a long time we were fairly certain that a Prado was the right choice but we just couldn’t get the numbers to add up; there was no way to get a new Prado with the stuff you want (aircon, cruise control, etc) for under $50K.
Then, about 6 weeks ago, Holden launched their new Sportwagon range. They’re not as big as the Falcon wagon (but that’s fine, because Lisa doesn’t want too big a car), but they’re a lot bigger than the SP20.
The car looks good and packs a heap of the modern safety stuff that Lisa wants to protect our little eggshells with — side curtain airbags in particular. It’s also got everything you’d expect in a modern car: ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, traction control, airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, seatbelt load limiters… the list goes on. It’s a much safer car than the SP20. It also includes a bunch of nice luxuries: bluetooth integrated into the audio system, MP3 compatible six-stack CD player, iPod connector, etc.
The next choice was which model. Holden offer 7 different model variants from the cooking model Omega through to the top-of-the-line Calais V. Lisa really wanted a manual car (which I can understand) and that limits you to either the SS or the SS-V. The SS-V didn’t offer enough for the extra $7K (plus it made the price a little too high for us) so we’ve gone with the SS.
It was a difficult decision. Buying a 6.0 litre V8 in these times of high petrol prices isn’t the cheapest thing we could have done, but we’re sure we’ve made the right choice for a number of reasons.
First, this car will do us for another 5-7 years, and when we buy the next car a performance V8 will be unaffordable. We’ll all be driving hybrids because fuel will be $582 a litre. This is probably our last realistic chance to get a car like this. Our kids certainly won’t be driving this sort of vehicle.
Second, fuel economy is surprisingly good. They’re rated at 13 point something litres per hundred, which isn’t that much higher than the Falcon wagons that Dad and I drive. Given that most of Lisa’s driving is country she’ll see much higher economy than that. One reviewer of the car recently saw 9L/100 on a country trip; from a 270kW V8 that’s pretty good.
Sure, an LPG dedicated Falcon would have been cheaper, but so would a Camry or any other number of cars that just don’t excite you at all.
You have to buy a car with your head, but your heart has to have a say too. We do have to think about dollars, but we’re not dead yet — life has to be lived. We’re both petrol heads at heart, and neither of us would like to be sitting in a nursing home wishing we’d had at least one beasty V8 in our lives. While I’m on a reasonable salary and I have the opportunity to package a car like this we’re going with it.
Google recently launched a new service called ‘Google Insights for Search‘. You enter a search term and it gives you insight into the historical interest in that search term. You see interest over time, related search terms, and importantly, regional interest.
I couldn’t resist trying ‘Andrew Lighten’, but it said the search volume was too low. Humanity hates me.
Undaunted, however, I tried ‘Andrew’, figuring it would be a wider search. Bingo.
Interest in searching for ‘Andrew’ has declined over the last few years:
Geographically, Australia is the most interested in searching for ‘Andrew’:
Quite different for the regional interest in my wife.
Update: Someone has used to this to map the popularity of programming languages around the world. [August 15th]
Many of you know I’m British by birth, and came out to Australia when I was 6 years old. A few months back I asked Mum about the date of our departure from Britain: July 13th, 1973. We arrived here on the 15th.
Today is kind of special because The Kid is the same age I was — to the day — when we made that trip. To celebrate we’re having a classic British lunch: roast beef with all the right trimmings.
Lisa and I were just settling down to watch the pilot episode of The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency last night when the pager went off. There was a single car accident out toward Dunolly. Two people were already out but the rear seat passenger was trapped.
This is a shot of what’s left of the car after we bent the roof back to get the passenger out.
All three people in the car were very lucky; they left the road on a fairly wide bend, chewed up ~100 meters of dirt embankment, cleaned the branches off one side of a tree and came to rest in the branches of the next tree along.
I have no idea what speed they were doing, but it’s pretty safe to say they weren’t gently and safely cruising at 95km/hr. I think that the police might have ticked the ‘[ ] Speed’ box for this one.