Hyatt Regency Auckland

One of my recommendations if you are traveling to Auckland is to stay at the Hyatt Regency Auckland.

Yes, it's a bit 'corporate' and wouldn't be a recommendation if you are looking for a romantic getaway in the City of Sails, but it's a reasonably priced hotel (so it will satisfy the company accountants) and if you ask to get a room in the new wing of the hotel, you'll enjoy a huge room with the bedroom separate to the living area and a cosy kitchenette. The icing on the cake is the big-assed flat-screen TV in the living room. Nice!


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:54 AM, ,

Lotus Esprit

It thankfully sounds like Lotus is continuing their product release. Following on from the Evora, next in line is the reincarnated Esprit.

AutoCar report that both a coupe and convertible are in the works.

Motor Authority reports on the power being sourced from Toyota (Lexus) and that makes a lot of sense given their past Toyota alliance. They suggest that "the 500hp (373kW) V10 engine, which is set to debut in the Lexus LF-A supercar next year, would likely be reserved for a range-topping model, while a mid-spec model would get the IS-F’s 420hp (312kW) V8 and an entry-level model would pick up a 300hp (225kW) version of the 3.5L Toyota V6 from the Evora." Sounds fantastic!

I have to say the renderings look fantastic - especially the convertible below.

I had looked at buying the V8 Esprit back in the late '90s. In the end I just didn't want the high-cost of running the beast... but it was tempting (the example I looked at was in great condition and a bargain price) and remains a dead-sexy car!

Fifth Gear did an amusing 200mph project with an Esprit S4S. Check it out here:


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:54 AM, ,

Where to leave your car at Sydney Domestic terminals

I know, a blog about where to park at Sydney's Domestic terminals isn't exactly the most exciting of topics, but if you do many day-trips from Sydney, your choices of transport aren't as simple as you think.

Firstly, do you take a taxi?

For day trips, I've found the price of a cab each way to be comparable to parking but without all the annoying stuff you get with a cab. Actually having the car there when you want to get into it is a plus. Beyond that, how many times have you jumped into a cab in Sydney, only to have immediate concerns about the road-worthiness of the vehicle, the ability of the driver to either speak English, know what they are doing or use deodorant?

As for parking, there are a number of options at the airport as you can see from their website.

Assuming you don't have the time (or are inclined to waste what time you do have) on self-parking, I'd recommend Pronto's Valet parking. You drive straight into the car park, which is conveniently sandwiched between T2 and T3 terminals, and leave them your keys. Easy! Retrieving the car is just as easy, especially if you ask nicely and have them leave you car right in front of the pay station :-)

I used to use Qantas Valet parking as it is in T2 itself, which should theoretically make entry and exit rapid - but it rarely turned out that way. There seems to always be a queue when picking up the car and I've only had my car waiting as promised once. To top it off, where as Pronto keep your car in under-cover parking (which anyone with a dark coloured car will appreciate), Qantas use the long-term car park (or something else out in the open) as a holding area. Not happy Jan!


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:39 AM, ,

Be one of the smart people

Having recently joined a new organisation, there is a fair degree of "getting up the learning curve" with respects to the solutions we can offer customers and the sort of value they should expect.

Entering a new environment where customers, colleagues and competitors (sometimes) know more things than you, especially when you are looked upon as a trusted adviser, is incredibly daunting for anyone.

That why Seth's advice in When smart people are hard to understand is basic, accurate and well worth practicing.


posted by Lee Gale @ 6:48 AM, ,

Updated video content

Over the past few months, I've endeavoured to share video content for all car blogs made.

Well, it turns out that these videos on You Tube weren't 'approved' by the BBC and were removed. In the process of going from 'less' copyright friendly to 'more', the BBC began posting their content on You Tube.

As such, I've updated the original blog posts below with the updated content:
They've also now enabled embedding - yay!


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:59 AM, ,

Berkshire’s Munger Favors ‘100% Ban’ on Credit Swaps

Since I blogged The Finance 2.0 Manifesto, no one has been able to adequately and comprehensively explain to me the key reason naked short-selling should not be more heavily regulated, let alone exist at all.

I'll accept the answer "it's beneficial for market liquidity" as a reason for it's existence, but I'd point the recent periods where this practice was suspended in some markets, and we experienced reduced volatility, as evidence for it's need to be regulated.

A product similarly 'suspect' to the practice of naked short-selling, is the Credit Default Swap.

Whilst I'm merely a voting Australian pleb in the scheme of things, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Vice Chairman Charles Munger said he supports "an outright ban of credit- default swaps"

Time will tell as to whether these instruments are more closely regulated. In Australia, the restrictions have been lifted so I guess we'll find out how useful they are in "ensuring market liquidity". Hopefully we don't see a return to the casino antics as written about in Liar's Poker.

Image by plrang


posted by Lee Gale @ 3:06 AM, ,

Corporate Confidential

I purchased Corporate Confidential by Cynthia Shapiro from Amazon along with a whole other bunch of books just after I left Adobe.

I can't say I remember what it was about the book that interested me... I think it was a review in a magazine or online. I figured at the very least, any book with a sub-title of "50 Secrets Your Company Doesn't Want You to Know---and What to Do About Them" would be worth reading.

I guess the section "Secret 2 - Layoffs aren't what you've been told" was of interest to me at the time, but I can't say this chapter or any others were particularly revealing for someone who's spent the majority of their career working for American corporations. If you have been similarly working in the matrix and any of these concepts are new, I'd be worried about your awareness of your surrounding environment.

Having said that, there were some useful pieces of information worth keeping front of mind. For example, in the section I've already mentioned above, the first danger sign is where you are highly compensated compared to others. Whoops.

There are many axioms you'd find in Winning, and several other books. In fact, this book positions many of the topics in Winning including a company's real drivers (hint: it's NOT giving you flex time for the fun of it!) and tips for managers (particularly the one I last referred to in The seven habits of a typical bad manager : "praise in public, correct in private"). The section "Secret 50 - Winning is everything" should ram home my point about the parallels. :-)

Another book I'm yet to blog about, Life's a Pitch, echoes the point that "everything is sales" when it comes to influencing your career path within an organisation.

Finishing the comparisons with other good books, echoing Tim Ferris' advice in The 4-hr Workweek, is the section on methods for high-level goal achievement. Simply, it's about writing them down, dividing them into manageable steps and getting on with them! It's worth revisiting To-do lists where I've written about this before.

An interesting section that I've not had to deal with in my career, was "Secret 30 - you can have an office romance without breaking your career". The advice provided is interesting considering that so much of our lives are spent in the workplace that it's inevitable people will be attracted to people they work with.

On reflection, it's interesting to apply some of the thoughts in this book to issues raised in The Price of Loyalty. You'd perhaps argue against that book's central theme - that Paul O'Neill was not rewarded for his loyalty - because he wasn't 'loyal' the the one person he needed to be - his boss, George W. Bush (or Dick Cheney depending on your views as to who was running that show).

Overall, this was a good book that is a quick read (~190 pages) that will definitely reinforce the messaging in the other books I've mentioned here.

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posted by Lee Gale @ 2:48 AM, ,

Lexus LF-A

According to AutoExpress, the Lexus LFA is going into production! Further:
"The two-seater flagship will feature a 600bhp V10, giving 0-60mph in less than four seconds and a 200mph-plus top speed. Expect a light carbon fibre body with a pop-up wing, rear-wheel drive and an F1-style paddleshift box."
Very yum! I'm glad they aren't pulled the same stupidity that plagued the NSX, specifically the underwhelming engine.

Worldcarfans has news of the prototype lapping the Nurburgring.

As yet there appears to be no news on price and exact performance figures. Looks like competition will be hot for buyer's with the F450, baby McLaren and Audi R8 V10 also new on the scene.


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:07 AM, ,

LinkedIn’s native iPhone Application

A recently addition to my iPhone is the LinkedIn app.

Great features of use to people out on the road are the address book, searching and your LinkedIn messages.

The search feature is useful whilst in meetings - just type in a name and see if you are connected!

Checkout the video of the app here:

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posted by Lee Gale @ 1:52 AM, ,

Great advice. Period.

As usual, Seth Godin - author of All Marketers are Liars - provides a hard hitting perspective on how you are investing your time in his blog Why am I here?, that is very much in line (but slightly more succinct, punchy and fundamental) with what I blogged in Are You Spending Your Time the Right Way? and definitely central to Tim Ferris' views in The 4hr Workweek.

See how powerful that question is by applying it to your next meeting.


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:34 AM, ,

More Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Following up from my previous post on the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Auto Express gives us an update which answers the big question: what’s the car like to drive?

Sadly, it hasn't made it's way to Australia yet and may be a while yet coming due to the current environment here for car sales. :-(


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:06 PM, ,

Follow me on Digg

Keep track of what I'm reading via Digg.


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:02 AM, ,

Blog status update

About a month ago, I blogged it was Time for a blog review.

Fast forward to now, and I've worked on the labels for stories to provide more granularity and streamlined some of the menus.

I've still got to get the labels more accessible to everyone... Drew's helping me do that with a label sidebar but I've yet to install it. :-)

I joined Digg in an effort to better share & comment on good articles I'd been reading. They previously had a connection from your profile to your blog so you could publish from Digg to your blog. After two failed attempts to connect to my blog and two support cases logged with Digg, this option seems to have disappeared.

So, it's back to the drawing board on how to share this content with you :-(

Image by Svilen Mushkatov


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:04 AM, ,

The seven habits of a typical bad manager

I came across the article The seven habits of a typical bad manager in one of the LinkedIn groups I'm a member of.

I think we've all had the misfortune of dealing with bad managers at some point in our career's, but as with anything we experience, it's important to use it as a learning experience.

I can think of two distinct experiences with bad managers in my career. Both were 'new' managers - that is they hadn't managed more than a single person before in their career's.

The first was just bad because they were green and did most of the things in the article above. He just focused on the wrong things, despite his good intentions and care for his team. He focused on what time I started, ignoring the fact I'd been working until midnight the day before, and then admonishing me in front of the team. Like it matter's what time I started if I didn't have meetings! Where is the credit for the hours put in and work accomplished? And don't EVER deal with an issue in a team meeting that is more appropriate in a 1:1 conversation.

I learned a lot about managing upwards early in my career.

The second bad manager was similar to the first in that he was also 'green'... but he was different in that I don't think he gave a stuff about the team. My perception was that we were all 'tools' for him to propel his career. I don't have any problems saying that working for him was singularly THE most difficult year of my career & life. I learned a lot but this experience cost a lot - for both myself and other members of the team.

Thankfully, the first managers I reported to in my first job at JP Morgan were fantastic and nurtured me. Without this foundation, I'm not sure I would have learned as much from the bad experiences.

I've blogged about some great resources for people dealing with difficult managers. In Winning, Jack Welch takes readers through a discovery framework through which one can determine if it's them or indeed the manager whom the issue really lies. If it is with the manager, Jack suggests you can either 'put up' or 'shut up' or leave. In Who Moved My Cheese?, readers gain insight into dealing with change that you'd have to undertake by leaving an organisation.

More importantly, in First, Break all the Rules, aspiring or current managers learn how to change their style for building and nurturing their teams.

There are some other highly amusing Additional Seven Habits Articles from Dudley B. Dawson:
1. Seven Habits of Highly Effective Slackers
2. Seven Habits of Highly Annoying Emailers
3. Seven Habits of Disrespectful Work Poopers

Checkout these Demotivational Posters at

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posted by Lee Gale @ 1:50 AM, ,

Ferrari F450

According to AutoExpress, this is the Ferrari F450 (codenamed F142) - the replacement for the F430.

Apparently, "the new car will get a larger 4.5-litre V8 engine – hence the name – putting out around 500bhp thanks to modified mechanicals including a higher rev limit".

It's also a good bet that this engine will be connected to the double-clutch gearbox, also found on the brand new Ferrari California.

I would buy an F430 Spider any day of the week (if my bank balance afforded it... and in the middle of the GFC, has 14 F430 Spider's for sale right now!) but this looks even sexier! There are very strong hints of the McLaren F1 in this car, particularly the rear haunches.

Honey, we're going to have to mortgage the house so I can buy one. :-)


posted by Lee Gale @ 3:18 AM, ,

Polaris by Desktop Reporting replaces Google Analytics

Last year I blogged about Google Analytics Reporting Suite brings Google Analytics to the desktop, an app I used to analyse my site traffic.

This is now out of beta and is called Polaris.

Polaris is a cross-platform desktop widget for Google Analytics. With 8 standard reports it's the easiest way keep your data always instantly available. The rich interface and swift navigation make it a pleasure to use.

Polaris is a free download for everyone who manages one website profile. For those who are managing multiple profiles, the upgrade to the full version is $15 / year. Both the free and the full version will get regular free updates with new functionality and features.

It doesn't quite have the features I found most useful from the beta suite. Dopac, coming soon, will apparently take the original experience to the next level and brings a lot of new concepts to the table.


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:32 PM, ,