September 2023 Update

I thought I’d do an update on my current status and what I’m up to.


Unfortunately I got made redundant from my job at Sharesies in March. This was part of company-wide layoffs that saw about 30% of all staff and 50% of my team get made redundant. I was very sorry to leave, it was a great company with great culture and I was working with a great team.

I’m still using their product for my share investments (mostly Smartshares Exchange Traded Funds) and I have a small number of shares/options in the company.

After a job search I started at a new company in April. It is a fairly large company with a complex internal system so I’ve spent the last 5 months getting my head around their internal systems and tools we have to use

My team is part of a global “follow the Sun” operations department so we get a handoff from the US when we start and handover to Ireland at the end of the day. Unfortunately timezones mean I start at around Noon and finish at 8pm and also have to work one in four weekends.

The new company has a pretty good culture, although since it is large there is a lot of corporate overhead. My first month was spent doing something like 40 training courses and that didn’t even cover much of my day-to-day.

Covid / Getting out

My job at Sharesies was 100% work from home so I only spent one week in the office the whole 18 months I was working there. My new job however is a fairly strict 50% in office so I go in 2 or 3 days each week. They do have free food in the office.

Outside of work I still mask on public transport and for most shopping trips. Currently the covid numbers are fairly low so I do about one cafe visit/week. I’ve also been going to Auckland Thursday Night Curry although my new shifts make this difficult.

New Zealand has eliminated all anti-covid measures (such as mask requirements) and we are currently between waves. However there are still a steady number of hospitalisations and deaths so I’m not in a hurry to increase my exposure, especially in places like the supermarket where there isn’t a lot of upside.

I haven’t yet caught covid, but I have caught a cold and persistent cough in mid- 2023.

Weight Loss and Exercise

Between July 2022 and March 2023 I was on a fairly strict diet to lose weight. I was consuming around 1000 Calories/day by just having a couple of small meals each day of potatoes, plus some cheat meals etc.

Peak was losing around 1kg/week but eventually the diet petered out with my new job etc. Overall I went from to 107kg to 79kg. But have put on around 6kg in the 6 months since. I might to a blog post at some point on my diet experience.

I also was using a rowing machine and doing lots of walking. This has been reduced since my new job and the cold winter of 2023.

I am planning to try and restart my diet and do more exercise.



I have not played any in-person Chess since late 2021. Unfortunately Chess is a high-risk activity for Covid. Lots of Kids and you are in a crowded room for hours at a time.

My new job also involves me working evenings so it will be difficult to play evening Club chess.


I am trying to get more involved with Tolkien Fandom. I’ve join The Tolkien Society and subscribed to their magazines. I’m trying to work though them as well as back issues.

I attended the Ausmoot conference Online in 2023 and I am considering attending in person to Ausmoot 2024. I took an Online course on the Silmarillion also listening to various podcasts.

Unfortunately my regular conference was last held Online in 2022 and it looks like it will not be run in future. This means the Sysadmin Miniconf I’ve helped run since 2006 will probably not be held again.

Linux Australia has created the Everything Open as it’s new flagship conference. I didn’t attend in 2023, although I may in future.


I’m still interested in Public Transport, especially Greater Auckland. I’m working on a new article or two on the subject although switching jobs has delayed things.

I’m still working to improve my programming skills

My proposed Business idea hasn’t progressed beyond the planning stages. I have things mapped out but the main gap is getting my programming skills up to being able to create a Django website to host it.

I’m still listening to Audiobooks and also doing around 30 minutes a day of reading books.

I’m still using Twitter but I’ve also joined the BlueSky Social (login required to see my account).