How it started

It started with an ad. I was playing TrainStation2 on my phone; I’ve been playing it for about a year. And there was an ad for Raiz. Raiz offered a scheme where it’d track my spending, round up my purchases to the nearest dollar, and take those small amounts and invest them. I figured it was a painless way to enforce spending. Why not give it a go, and see what I thought? I started in July.

Raiz was chugging along. By October, it was in the triple digits, and I had selected its ‘Emerald’ portfolio – that’s its “green” option, with 72.7% in ‘socially responsible’ investments (RARI & ETHI).

At the beginning of October, I suddenly decided Raiz wasn’t what I wanted. It was an impulsive decision, but I decided to withdraw my few hundred dollars. (Spoiler alert: I reversed this decision after I’d withdrawn 90% of the money. So now restarting with Raiz while doing the other stuff I mention in this post).

A talk with Swump, and he introduced me to Pocket, from the Commonwealth Bank. Now, I am not the biggest fan of the CBA, but the Commonwealth felt more secure than Raiz, so I changed focus. I set up a CBA basic account, deposited the minimum to set up a CommSec account ($50) and started fiddling around with CommSec.

CommSec have a selection of seven basic portfolios for managed trusts, or ETFs. And one of those is labelled “Sustainability Leaders” so I dropped my initial $50 into that. But the list of companies in that fund piqued my interest. NVIDIA? Apple? Mastercard and Visa? Toyota? Call me crazy, but a car company, companies that make profit of customer debt, and the company behind the iPhone? Seriously???

A sidenote here – the CBA’s “Sustainability Leaders” fund has the code ETHI, which would indicate it’s one pillar of Raiz’s Emerald ‘socially responsible’ portfolio. Maybe these companies are more socially responsible than my generally uninformed opinion would think?


Sunday, I bought Panzer Corps 2. I played it most of Sunday and Sunday night. I decided it was definitely the game Lucius and I could use for our battles, so today I bought him a copy as well. It blew my budget for the week, along with a few other significant purchases. But hopefully by the weekend, Lucius and I can finally trial it in multiplayer mode.

The strategic map is useful for cutting and pasting and making a mess of in MS Paint, as shown in this from the current game I am playing against the AI.

Pfizer 1

I had my first Pfizer yesterday. Right after I had to go to pathology and give blood. So it was the day for being stabbed.
A day later, and except when I put pressure on the Pfizer site, I don’t even feel it. But they say the first Pfizer’s easier than the second. Let’s see?

An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age

Lucius and I want to try something.
We’re looking for a turn-base tactical wargame we can play against each other. The idea grew out of a conversation we had about the old Amiga game, The Perfect General.
But what game?
Really, what we’re after is Company of Heroes, but as a turn-based game.
At first, I liked the look of Valor & Victory. Maybe I still like it. But I’ve heard it does multiplayer poorly. And it lacks fog-of-war, which I think is an important criteria.
Lately, I’ve been looking at Panzer Corps 2. But again, I am worried how it translates to multiplayer.
Along the way, Eccles and Matt have been drawn into the plan. Of course, being Matt, he still has Perfect General, and consoles on which to play it. But when I look at it now, I shudder. Those graphics!

As best I can make out, The Perfect General was followed by a sequel – The Perfect General 2 – and after that came Panzer General, Panzer General 2, and then Panzer Corps.


I want to write. But right now, I feel I can’t. The ideas are churning around, and are too mixed up to come out coherently. So many topics. So many thoughts. So many observations, concerns, possible plans.

What I am grateful for right now is I have somewhere. Somewhere to write. Somewhere to be. Somewhere to live. Somewhere to think.

I have set up the second bedroom as an office. During the day, I work. And during the evening, I can watch shows, listen to music, relax. It is here I can write. Well, I could if my brain were more settled. But I at least have the place, the tools.

Here, I have the serenity I was seeking last year when I went to the farm. But without the solitude. Living downstairs from David and Pat, I am not alone. But I live as though I am. For although I have chatted to David each of the last few days, I got a haircut earlier in the week, and I am pretty sure Pat has not even seen it yet. It is the right mix between alone and not alone.

Maybe this is what peace is?

I’m thinking Oldbury

In 1820, in East Malling, Kent, John Holland was convicted of theft and sentenced to death. His death sentence was altered to being transported for life, and he was sent to New South Wales, arriving on the Speke in 1821.

In New South Wales, he was assigned to a landholder near Bowral – James Atkinson. Like Holland, Atkinson was a native of Kent and had named his farm Oldbury, after the farm where he grew up.

It’s now a pricey Bed and Breakfast.


Last year’s attempt failed. It failed because I rented the farmhouse on the understanding that Charlie would almost never be there. As it turned out, he was there all but about 5 or 6 nights in the year. And when Ec joined me out there, and Charlie charged us, combined, more than the total rent so that meant he was living there for free, that’s when things broke down.

This time, it’s different.

A proper, formal lease, with an absent landlord. A house yard with established gardens; and a paddock for livestock if I want them.

Sure, the house is old, on tank water, and there’s a bit of work required to get it all up to scratch. But I can have a long term lease (maybe buy it if I like it a few years down the track) and it’s not pricey.

I’m still assembling the list of things I need to move out there. Gumtree’s proving invaluable for that. But lease signing day is Friday 12th, and moving day some day next week.