Front Engine Mount

I thought it’d be a tad easier than it turned out to be, the biggest issue was trying to get a socket that would go over the bolt, onto the nut, on the front mount.

The bolt carries the weight of the engine onto the mounting, and the mount places that weight on the frame, the rubber in the middle stops vibrations from the engine rattling the crap out of the frame, and our old mount had a big rip in it, allowing the engine to bounce around inside the mount.

So, the new mount has reduced that ‘bouncing’ around significantly, however, the last mount wasn’t old at all, wouldn’t be more than 18 months or so – far too soon for the mount to fail.

The report from the mechanics suggested that the others being soft were responsible for it’s premature failure (they could have perhaps suggested replacing the other 3 at the time the front was done before).

Anyway, the new front mount is in, I took it for a test run, the mount remained in place (phew).Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

The process of replacing the mount was a matter of jacking up the engine using a trolley jack, with the car sitting on car ramps to allow enough room under it. The jack was to support the weight of the engine so the mount could be removed! My bigger concern was whether the new jack (rated to 2000KG), would hold up to the job, it did well.

Tomorrow, the plan (assuming ‘rain’ actually means ‘very small drizzle’) is to replace the engine, transmission and rear mountings, so that they are all relatively the same age, and shouldn’t experience another failure.

I didn’t need to do all 4 though, because theoretically, if I got 18 months out of the other, and the car is used for another 5 years, I would still be better off just replacing the front. But I’ve become a little more passionate about it (heh, we’d nicknamed it ‘rattles’ beforehand).

The rust issues are all addressed, with exception the bonnet, which I sorted today, but still need to clean up the ‘blobs’ of rust converter that set on top, and then polish it up.

I had an idea of respraying it, but I have some concerns as to the quality of my finish as opposed to a professional finish. I’ve seen amatuer resprays, where the car looks like it has a matte finish, think, VN Commodore, respray, no badging, crappy spray job makes them look stolen.

The power steering and alternator belts are being done since the Engine mount is in the way of them, and so whilst the suitable oppourtunity exists, we’ll have fixed the minor cracking in the belt. The alternator belt is fine, but replacing it has the benefit – I won’t need to do it later.

I’d love to fit the interior out with 2 x 7″ LCD screens on the back, a foldaway screen in the front, a car PC under the front passenger seat – run movies out to the kids at the back, GPS to the front! It could be done, but the expense isn’t justified for what little short driving we do.

The other idea I had was converting it to an electric, but the batteries and work involved again outweighs the benefit because the batteries would be worth more than the car. Conversions roughly cost $10000+. Batteries last about 5 years.

The other item was front ‘fog’ lights, we have the ability at the bumper for them, but I can’t track the lights down easy enough in my searches – the left side found a post in a railway carpark and cracked.

I fixed a screech in the backdoor hinge today too, it’s amazing the results WD40 (well, the super cheap equivalent) can provide!

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The fence, the tree.

The fence on one side might be replaced in the coming weeks / months as the owners of the townhouses look to fix their driveway (it’s eroding on the slope).

The tree at the back, the one we wish to have removed for a few other reasons, will be an issue with the planned retaining wall and 6ft fence. So we are hopeful of seeing the approval notification in the coming days, and then arranging for the tree to come down.

The space then made will be used for the chicken house, the trampoline and swing set will move that side, and the remaining free space for better placement of trees and vines.

The plan for the front yard (largely neglected since we had the house recladded back in April), will have two trees (hopefully we can work in them with the replanting of natives requirement we will almost certainly be required to do). The intended trees would have to work in well to give us some privacy at windows height. The front gardens are getting redone, I’ll plant out some colours there, and am waiting on some LEDs to arrive from eBay so we can rig up the garden lights with a Christmas theme (and revert back when Christmas is over).

The vegetable garden is showing some growth – the kids have harvested and ate 3 cherry tomatoes so far. The vine was a little cramped in the shorter, 2x1m garden we built for them, so I moved that to a trellis to the side, which should increase yield and give them some more entertainment from that plant.

The Zucchini plant is a dominant one, in our 3x1m bed, it’s taking up a good large portion of it – around 1m x 1m, it’s leaves covering it’s neighbouring plants. We can’t plant them that close ever again.

The fruit trees are still holding their ‘buds’ with the one lonely apple showing much more growth and a more apple like shape, with a granny smith colour (it’s a “Jonathan” apple – so will go red).

Our potato ‘bins’ (yes, literally planted in two 60L rubbish bins), are massive, with one bursting out of the bin, and it’s neighbour not far behind.

Our carrots are unreal – nothing like what a carrot from the fruit shop is – they’ve got the green growth at the top, that’s huge!Watch Sugarbabies (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Our strawberry plant has two runners forming on it, so we’ll have even more strawberry plants to add to the current two.

Lettuce is dismal, it might be recovering but it looks poor. Cabbage has shown signs of recovery after the caterpillar attacks. Sunflowers are massive, some really look ready to flower..

Expanding our ‘farm’ is something we might end up doing, the Zucchini are massive, we don’t have Pumpkin (not that we use it tho..).

The next batch of seedlings have been planted today, and there are just 4 weeks until the current plants should show their true ‘colours’ (as in, yield, harvest of the full lot is due by end of December).

The lemon of the lemon trees looks nothing like the one we bought. It’s got much better growth on it, than what it had when we bought it, but it’s been that way for a while now. I think Citrus (or is it trees in general).. don’t show much signs of growth on a regular basis – not as often as the sunflowers that’s for sure – those flowers are massive.

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Rust, mounts, oil leaks, and belts

I’m fairly sure that is pretty much all that we could have wrong with our car at the moment.

The rust I hit on the head mostly last weekend – Rust converter after cleaning it up, and let it dry out. Now it needs touch up paint, but we should not fail rego in February again.

The other issues we found with the car recently (I had it serviced back in September after some twit in a Bunnings car park decided to not watch where he was travelling), the front engine mount has broken again – this was replaced last time due to the engine bouncing around when changing gears apparently. They didn’t think at the time to replace the others “they are soft”..

Then we have the spark plug cover leaking oil, it’s a slow leak, but none the less, a leak. They cleaned it up back in September, and we found it leaking again, I showed them as I asked this week, for a quote on the mounts, and they claim a hairline crack. I had a look at it this afternoon, and found one of the bolts in the cover has come undone – this wasn’t the case when I asked back in September.Watch Boost (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

The other issue is the idiots didn’t think that when they were replacing the timing belt, which involves ripping practically all the accessories out (i.e. alternator, air compressor, etc), to replace the belt on the power steering at that time too. It’s a $9 belt – would have saved some labour if they did it then. “Hey, the belt is $9, the labour later will be $100 – do you want us to do the belt now?”….

And it’s more evident now that the only person who will look after (if looking after is what we could call it), the car.

It’s got paint damage from various issues, such as, the first day I got my license, in a carpark we got the side mirror scratched slightly.

Then a few weeks later, someone wasn’t watching as they were reversing and got our car (it’s ‘look over your shoulder, not out your mirror’) – the back door had a scratch, painted up OK.

Then we have the other incident where some #@$* at Toys R Us some time ago took her mini van, and hit our car on the way out – Typical Hit and Run.

Then, we have the Bunnings incident where I was proceeding through a carpark intersection and the old fart got my rear.

The car suffers from a leak, I got under it on the weekend, and it’s got oil all over the place.

The quotes for just the mounts were $800 and $700 from two different mechanics. I priced up the mounts, I can get them retail at $484.

So, the plan at the moment – short of replacing it (Money only goes so far, and having debt at high levels we have, with more spending planned is ‘fail’), is to fix the key issues.

So I’ll get a jack, I’ll get the engine supported, I’ll rip out the old mounts, put the new ones in, then I’ll replace the power steering and alternator belt (since for 1997, the car still has that touch of ‘crammed’ in design common in newer cars apparently).

With that done, I’ll then clean up the bottom of the car and monitor for what ever is leaking, and screw down the spark plug cover.

With the rust then painted over, the car should run pretty decent, until something else gives in! Then it’ll go for a road worthy in February – and fail again?

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CBA’s rate hike

We are with CBA, and so therefore ‘impacted’ by the recent decision to increase rates by 0.45%.

The news isn’t welcome news, we’ve taken on a bit of debt to accomplish much of the changes this year. However, in a free market, you can simply ‘up and leave’. And I maintain that view.

If one doesn’t like the rate they are paying with their bank, go find a better deal, and then go for it, or if going for it isn’t desired, go to the bank and see if they want you as a customer (then you’ll know your true worth).

If we really did pay off this mortgage inside of 8 years, the bank would make a nice $60k off us – for next to no work. Not a bad deal. However, if we take 30 years to pay it off (what the contract says), they would make in excess of $255000 from us (just about 90% of the original loan) – an incredible outcome for them.

A sustainable solution to the loan is not to regulate banks. They’ll harp on about increased costs due to regulation (hey, that sounds familiar!) – or that regulation disrupts the free market, interferes with competition.

Unregulated markets work, they must, the laws of supply and demand self regulate the market. If you regulate the interest rates applicable, you end up with issues in supply and demand (not enough money to loan due to low rate of return, or too much demand, therefore too much money on loan).

The rates will go higher eventually, but I’m reluctant to fix the rate as the impact of that means the rate when it does drop, will cause us to lose out (and we have limits on redraw balances under that scenario, forcing us to have a higher balance).

We’ll manage, but if push comes to shove, we’ll need to chase out the best deal we can from other banks, and bargain with CBA for a better deal. They impose charges to break the contract, and then you have fees payable to refinance – so moving away from them isn’t likely to happen.

We had considered moving away from them before, when we were looking at the renovations to increase the loan, however, it became apparent a personal loan was more useful and represented our intentions better – so CBA caved in and gave us the loan.

Thinking back on it, I never really thought I would take on debt, I was never ever a fan of it – never had a credit card until we decided to buy a few things online – and that was all small.

So is debt sustainable? Probably not, it can be used to do great things, but the great things you can do with debt lose that achievement feeling you would otherwise get if you saved up for that very long time, and bought it!

The real reason we aren’t in a deep hole is because we have what is called ‘self control’. We don’t necessarily need $9000 owing on the credit card, it’s entirely within our control to simply put it away. The second reason is the tight cost management employed through my finance tracking setup that monitors every aspect of spending. This system ensures that jumps in prices are easily caught on and kept in control.

Without that system, we’d have to wait for the statement, and then review it, and even that wouldn’t categorise the spending, and show aggregate grouped figures – so it would grow out of control. I didn’t even put it together for that reason – the real reason I put it together was so we could find any transactions we didn’t recognise (with anything that was common / regular / normal, automatically categorised).

Debt is good, it is, if you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

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Pest Free!

We managed to sort out the issue with the caterpillars – garlic spray.

A mixture of vegetable oil, garlic and water did the trick nicely, the caterpillars don’t like it one bit, so that should save the cabbage, tomatoes, and lettuce from the feasting.

The next issue dealt with yesterday was the rainwater tank performance problem – as I suspected, it was the hose fitting used that had one of those ‘auto’ stop valves used to cut off water flow when the fitting is taken out. I didn’t check, we lost what appears to have been about 750L because of it. The other tank showed that it overflowed, one corner of the collapsible tank had water overflowing out the zip on it.

We then spent some time shifting about 25% of the overfull tank to the not so full tank to allow for what was supposed to be rain last night, it didn’t happen – but it’s supposed to happen tonight and tomorrow (unfortunately, during the day).

Today, we spent some time moving over some Marigolds, a companion flower for tomato plants. Our Zucchini plants are flowering, and growing – they seem to be a massive plant – our 3 x 1 beds would be better off if they only had 3 in them – the downside to that is nothing else would comfortably grow in that space! It might be the case we look at alternative plants to Zucchini which allow for more plants, Zucchini isn’t a bad plant, because it seems you’ll get about 10 off each plant, but the space they take up might be better with carrots for example.

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What is the future of the ‘traffic jam’?

There’s one issue I’ve throughout my life never really experienced ongoing, and that is a large traffic jam, like those common in capital city areas – for example, the congestion in Sydney roads.

I work from home, so I don’t have to drive my car to work and back each day, losing approximately 3 hours of personal time in the process.

Not everyone is so capable of doing such a task (and it’s not without negatives), however, I then look at the situation that might be, the congested roads into Sydney. What is the sustainable solution to that?

Obviously we can’t keep piling cars on the road, and there’s only so many more band-aid lanes that can be patched on before you really can’t make the lanes any smaller.

Public Transport. That’s the sustainable solution to this, perhaps. There’s a carrying capacity to a train however, and only so many buses can fit in one space at any one time.

It must be the case then, that more of the tasks currently taken up by humans travelling that daily grind into the city, are in fact tasks they can do remotely, or tasks that don’t require them at all.

But, we can’t just sack a large percentage of people, else the financial system would collapse. And I’m sure the RTA depends on a large percentage of those cars being registered, and BP/Mobil/Shell/Caltex all require that precious fuel income, else they’ll have to drop the price of fuel  – right? (or so the story of supply and demand goes).

And if we did manage to find a solution to all those issues, what to do with all the vacant office chairs, PCs, and office space in the city that would be largely unused? All those people, who use work for social purposes, etc. will need new places to gather.

I’ve just reminded myself why I enjoy working at home.

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What does it mean?

I had looked at this issue with my partner recently, whilst addressing the consumption of meat.

What does “sustainable” mean?

Sustain – this means to continue, to ‘go forth’.
Able – ‘ability’.

So, sustainable is therefore the ‘ability to continue’. This is a pretty basic definition of it.

Place the ‘un’ prefix in front of ‘sustainable’ to form ‘unsustainable’ –  ‘not being able to continue’.

That’s as basic as I can break that down I think.

So, the path for me, was to look at what consumption was occurring, identify what could change, and then put in place sustainable alternatives to that.

The entire list with the mini tasks and all would not be complete, however a rough form of it is:

  1. Installed Solar Power Panels
  2. Installed Apricus Solar Hot Water
  3. Changed the previous P4 server to one using an Intel Atom chip.
  4. Turn off all computers from the wall, standby power is higher than the energy to flick the switch.
  5. Installed a wireless energy monitor, to keep monitor of the power usage.
  6. Create, and plant garden beds to provide fruit and vegetables for us.
  7. Insulate the walls to reduce discomfort from winter.
  8. Rip up the carpet and move to floor boards.
  9. Install rainwater tanks on the shed and granny flat.
  10. Use the laptop for the remainder of my work day that doesn’t require the computer.
  11. Reduce meat intake and source protein from other forms of food.

The list is very rough, we also have chickens in planning, fruit trees are growing already but will benefit from more sun.

As to meat reduction, this one came once it was considered that a bit of meat goes through a pretty extensive process to get to the supermarket, and so wasn’t really something that we could contribute to.

Careful thought was given, before recognising that we could reduce, but must not (and I say must as key), meat consumption. We don’t need excessive amounts of protein, and likewise, we can source protein from other items of food anyway (such as eggs, cheese, and some vegetables). Vegetarian meals were the perfect place to look for meal alternatives, however, that isn’t to say we will be vegetarian – as meat will still form part of our weekly meals.

The overall impact in these changes isn’t easily measured as far as I know. I’m not noticing any serious impact – the biggest impact noticed so far was the recent drop in energy consumption, from 393kWH over 30 days, to 260kWH as I look at it now.

So, the meal changes aren’t noticed, the garden isn’t an annoyance, but more of a enjoyable task, the solar power and water take care of themselves with minimal maintenance needed.

We reduce our gardening dependence on town water with the tanks (and strange but true – our garden uses more water than we do in the house). This isn’t a noticed impact though, as the tank makes filling up the watering can far easier and faster than the tap does.

Inspecting the plants/ removing the figs and leaves is a bit of a task, but it’s not without benefit, we see all the growth resulting and helps us find issues (assumably), faster than if we ignored them.

There’s adjustment, but it’s hardly a massive impact on us, maybe it is because of our ability to adapt – or the desire to change is strong.

I’ll Google around, see if I can find some way of measuring the impact of the changes above, compared to the beginning of the year, and then compared to 2 years ago (where I gave absolutely little care as I was blinded to the issues surrounding consumption).

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NSW Solar Bonus changed

The NSW government has managed to gather all of it’s collective stupidity and replace the 60c per kwh gross feed in tarriff with a new 20c per kwh gross feed in tarriff.

We aren’t impacted directly by this, as we did our install and got grid connected – however, there are likely many others who didn’t get the oppourtunity to due to excessive demand.

The 20c per kwh rate is pathetic. As part of the upgrade to a gross meter, EnergyAustralia (and others) require new meters to be installed on the house supply. It’s not a technical limitation or anything, as you can happily consume power from the grid, seperate to the gross meter. The gross meter simply records the power inverter, out to grid, power from your solar install doesn’t actually flow across the house meter.

Time of use has 3 rates, shoulder, peak and off peak. The peak rate is 40c per kwh, and that’s 2pm to 8pm (i.e. when most are looking to use power). To pay 20c for solar power, and then charge 40c for peak consumption is stupid.

There is provision to opt back to the standard rate, however, the off peak rate of 8c would be lost tadalafil 10mg.

I thought ahead with this and got our CurrentCost meter installed so we could kill off most of the load in peak (and overall).

A better option would be to index the solar rate at a 10-20% premium above the peak buy rate – thus maintaining a ratio between the rates – if peak increased, so will the solar bonus.

I doubt there has been much of an environment or economical impact assessment done on the decision either – the decision will reduce or even eliminate demand (after midnight). This will cause many to reconsider – an investment in solar that takes 12 – 15 years to pay for itself will be on the opposing side of the ecology and economy coin – no one will wish to wait that long for it to pay for itself. Hell, the warranty on many of the inverters is 5 years.

I’m fairly sure I’ll be voting out NSW state labour on the basis of this decision.

By no means is solar our only solution, but to be paying for the power at a rate that is less than the rate they sell the power is stupid. It isn’t encouraging investment in solar power. It won’t free any funds for nuclear options either.

Power bills will inevitably continue to rise due to the issues surrounding Peak Oil and Climate Change, issues that seem to get ‘some’ attention – but not the right attention.

If they had of impacted the existing users with this rate change, I’d have bought up some lead acid batteries, charged them up from solar and off peak, and when we had enough data proving solar was sustainable enough, cut the cables to the pole – go off grid completely.

Our coal plants aren’t sustainable – as coal will eventually run out, or carbon tax increase costs of business. It’s already in the power plant interests to change and build out new infrastructure – no government funding necessary (as the carbon tax, introduced, would see them benefiting from no carbon tax costs).

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Interesting Quotes

A short list of quotes I’ve found.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

“Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children” – Kenyan Proverb

We all have our futures financed on the world our children will live in. To neglect it, is to neglect your children.

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. ” – Albert Einstein

This is true – you must change your thinking completely to solve a problem. A fix using the thinking that created the problem will only ever be a band-aid. And yes, Einstein is responsible for that one.

“Speak as though it were the last sentence allowed you.” – Elias Canetti

This is one of the toughest I can think of – I certainly doubt I’m that good at holding my tongue at the moment. A self reflection on how I give little thought to my fellow man. Oh well, next quote (a reminder of how little I think of doing something about that problem).

“Do less, with less.” – Viridian Design Manifesto

I would have thought it should be ‘do more’ with less (because consumption of natural resources is a problem). I had thought of “Veridian Dynamics” the fictional company Ted, from TV shot “Better off Ted” works in reading that.

Reusing or repurposing is the right solution to consumption issues, as is recycling. I read on a forum (probably whirlpool), that the 3Rs are “reduce, reuse, recycle” and recycle is the LAST one for a reason, because it’s the harmful option. And I agree, reducing consumption is nearing perfection – with exception that consumption is still not sustainable in higher than design volumes.

“Don’t follow trends – start trends.” – Frank Capra

I wonder if Apple, Facebook, and the like have heard of this one? – I’m amazed at myself now too – I thought I’d easily have had the latest tech by now – years ago, this applied to mobiles and the like, now, you’ll be lucky to have a mobile number for me, let alone reach me on it (it’s been turned off for about 6 weeks or so now, prior to that, off for about 2 years and lost for another half year on that).

“A wise man changes his mind; a fool never will.” – Spanish Proverb

And I think of so many different times this has applied and applied very successfully, work is a key item, parenting is there too. This and Einstein’s “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” could not apply more in many situations I’ve encountered.

“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” – Terri Swearingen

A very good reminder that we need to ensure we don’t ‘bite the hand that feeds us’ so to speak. This planet supports our survival – we as humans do so much to destroy it, and our co-inhabitants.

“Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.” – Cree Indian Prophecy

This has been a quote that I’ve heard many times – so it’s stuck in my head – I consider it one of the best (likely because I’ve heard it so much), we can’t eat money – yet, Ecology and Economy face opposite sides of the same coin. We really only take the planet that supports us, below the almighty dollar. Profit still rates higher than the air we breathe, and our fellow human beings. Fixing man’s destruction of wildlife, still rates below innovation in technology.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This is another quote that is true. I think my comment above, that technology rates higher than fixing destructive behaviour, or previous destruction, endangering our co-inhabitants. An iPod, iPhone, Plasma TV, all rate higher than fixing the destruction of Scrubtits, Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats and Grey Nurse Sharks. Each of the 3 endangered animals, have a longer lifespan than the warranty period of an iPod, iPhone (amazing, 24 months finance, on a 1 year warranty) or Plasma TV.

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”  – Thomas Edison

Edison is responsible for that quote – and we still haven’t mastered solar technology at levels that have eliminated coal and oil consumption – because ecology and economy are on opposing sides of one coin.

“Out of clutter … find simplicity. From discord . . . find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. ” – Albert Einstein

This is another quote, so true – I’ve on many occasions been able to find a new start from a bad situation. Triumph through adversity.

“Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge. ” – Thomas Edison

An interesting quote that reminds us, that nature will always be superior – laughing down upon us attempting to master it, and hold it’s forces, as opposed to working with its ecology, seeing ourselves as part of the big picture – instead of above it.

Is the human species really intent on the path of ‘f#$king themselves’ (by f$#king the planet that supports them) ?

And I’ll add one here to the list: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

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The floorboard oil, and rainwater!

Last weekend, the efforts began to oil up the floor boards in the house – they were sanded, and ready to oil with a 50/50 mix of Orange Terpene and Tung Oil.Movie Get Out (2017)Movie Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

The mix worked well, the house stinks of orange, and the oil is on the floor. The problem I have at the moment is that the oil is no longer soaking into the boards (after 5 litres). So, we have pooling on the boards that needs to be rubbed away, and dried.

It won’t dry if the weather is raining. We are off to Bunnings today to get some rags to rub the oil in, and hopefully we’ll see some dry weather soon.Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

The rain isn’t all bad news though, our solar generation is going to be poor, the floorboards won’t dry, but the garden beds are getting a good drink of the nitrogen rich rain, and since I managed to get one of the 1000L collapsible rain water tanks setup, it’s filling up with the clear gold from the granny flat’s roof! I checked earlier and the tank seems to have a good amount of water in it – apparently for every 10mm of rain fall, up to 250L can be collected.

I reckon we’d get more too if I glue shut the weep hole in the bottom that allows water to get away – the issue is, the rainwater diverters are designed to be used for garden beds – they collect some water and send it to a garden bed. I’m using them to collect to the tanks.

The shed has round downpipes so needed adapters to be glued onto the rainwater diverters, and I didn’t get the second one of those glued together in time. Today, I glued the weephole shut and the round adapters to the other diverter – when it’s dry I’ll cut the downpipes, paint them with rust preventing paint and fit the diverter.

The rain causes the plants to take off (due to being nitrogen rich from my research), and so will be more beneficial for the  plants – nothing else needs to be considered with the rain either, as that’s what falls on the plants when it rains anyway.

The collapsible tanks collapse too easily – they will hold and build out with water in them – but when empty, they fall over. I wanted them to stay ’round and upright’ all year round.

I can think of a few ways to do it – one of which is find a way to exert force at the top of the tank, to push it out, the other is to remove some of the standard feet, and get some stakes, place them in the ground and that keep them shaped out.

Our garden has another issue too – we are out of space in the sense that the planting needs to occur monthly for some crops, but harvest is some 3 months – there’s a good 8 weeks before the first seedlings will fruit and the next seedlings will be ready to plant (and likely suffering due to the pots they will be in).

Perhaps expansion will be necessary – I’m not yet clear on the full yield of our efforts – and whether this will be too much, need expansion or be ‘just right’.

If I used our Zucchini plants as a guide, we have 20 or so of buds on those that will grow into Zucchini, properly cared for – after which the plant would continue to fruit, hopefully for a second crop before the plant will expire and need replacing.

Companion planting still hasn’t happened either – we need to do it but seedlings have not began / just beginning, so we’ll have to progress more in that area.

Unfortunately, rain means we aren’t capable of doing much in the garden!

So, I’ll have to find time to fix up the hot water system sensors, and get the solar data pages live – soon. The hot water has worked really well lately, I’ve seen it top out at 70oC regularly lately, a sign of our impending summer.

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A new approach

Each time a problem comes up, we find in some cases, a fix can be implemented, and others, drag on due to external factors preventing resolution.

One such issue for example, is our back tree. I saw yesterday, that our garden beds were shaded to 11am, and then 1pm we were drenched in rain.

I know that 4pm, the sun over the neighbours fence and tree causes shading as well. To be productive, it needs a good 6 hours of sunlight a day – something it is just barely getting, and so needs to be improved upon.

The easy solution is to lose the tree, and therefore the shading, if it weren’t for the council legislation that requires approval for removal and extensive pruning, and the criteria aren’t easily satisfied, and then the issue of pricing it’s removal / heavy pruning.

The same sort of logic came up in work lately as well – I’ve had a severe dislike of my current task for a little while now. But then it’s work from home, so it’s not all bad – it’s just not very creative, it’s boring. An issue was stemmed within my tasks, and difficult to find a path through.

The ‘difficulty’ though was indeed in my approach to it – I let frustration get the better of me, that impacted my attitude, and so the approach was way off the mark.

A fair bit of thinking later, and I concluded a new approach was necessary, the solution? Don’t let frustration get the better of me – and so, the attitude issue self corrected, the method to address the issue couldn’t have been more perfect, and the issue seems to be addressed now.

Of course, when it comes to addressing problems, there are many solutions often, and so the solution could be to ‘fix the problem’, ‘remove the problem’ or ‘move the problem’. The problem wasn’t fixed or removed, but that’s not for me to concern myself with! The problem is moved – out of my sight (out of mind).

This hasn’t ‘dissolved’ the issue, but moved it, in a sustainable sense, the issue isn’t addressed –  but in the frustration, the band-aid solution works well!

Now, if some sort of thinking would apply for the tree issue. I could take out the shed, and plant out the yard space that provides, which will solve a lot of our shading issues, but then the storage it provides.

Moving the shed down the drive way further, is a solution, but a costly one – building a new shed will require council approval, so cost a lot (the actual expenses of constructing a standalone shed are pretty reasonable – treated timber, dynabolts, roof sheeting, 2 roller doors – fixed!

The tree is far easier to attack, take out the large branches, take out the tree, and then plant a few smaller ones in its place.

We’ll need to see what removal quotes come in at – and still seek out other solutions (if there are any).

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Is that really sustainable?

A random thought more than anything else – I’ve been pondering about sustainable behaviour and the like lately (unrelated to anything else, just pondering).

The question comes about when you look at the use of oil, for example in motoring, is that activity really sustainable? What happens when the oil dries up?

But the same question can be related to anything really.

A business, choosing to cover losses with debt – is that really sustainable? Obviously it isn’t, but a band aid, assuming future growth on the horizon might help them ‘sustain’ their current operation – but it’s not sustainable, eventually the debt needs to be repaid, and if there is no growth related to that debt – it will result in the business selling off / entering bankruptcy.

The same question comes to mind in other areas too, if we were to look at real estate pricing, as examples, increases are followed by decreases, as the market will only pay so much.

Just today I was thinking how sustainable is the current ‘currency’ we use to pay, it’s related to inflation – there’s only so much we can ‘inflate’ before something will go pop. Real Estate itself is a bit of a tricky choice. A loaf of bread likewise somewhat tricky. They all find themselves tied into supply and demand, and other forces.

I’m trying to point out here, pretty poorly, that our finance system, can only rise in value so much – we can’t keep printing money. Our governments can only go so far with so much debt, before their creditors will call on them to make payment.

If, for example, the value of our dollar suffered, we could see creditors asking us for money, we don’t have – it’s not likely to happen though.

The  band-aid solutions to real issues will not dissolve the actual problem, it will merely move it, cover it, hide it, subtract attention from the real problem, leaving it there to grow into a bigger problem if unaddressed.

I then considered another issue, that of food –  I remember reading an article at some point recently, it showed dollar figures of what we pay for food ‘thrown out’ to what we ‘donate in money’ to third world countries.

And I was amazed to see, we donate in the Millions, yet throw out in the Billions. And the ‘throw out’ isn’t half eaten food, it’s best quoted here, on a website created by our local council:

A 2005 paper by The Australia Institute (Wasteful Consumption in Australia) found that Australians waste over 10.5 billion dollars annually on goods and services that are “never or hardly ever used”. The majority of this is food purchased and thrown out (over 5 billion dollars per annum).

The figures are incredible – 5 billion in food thrown out, yet just millions in donations for food to those who need it most. If I were one of those receiving the ‘millions’ in donations, I’d want to come over and start taking that food and using it.

In fact, it’d be worth setting up a food safe bin just for that specific purpose, collecting all of that, and sending that on – after all, there’s apparently billions of dollars of food in that! Amazing how people manage to give more to a tip, then they do to fellow human beings.

This is highlighted by the somewhat one dimensional thinking taken, when you go shopping, you might do so with a shopping list, you might not – you’ll buy what you think you’ll eat, and without any care for the ‘source’ of that item, consumption then becomes addictive.

The other end of the purchase is no different, a wheelie bin happily consumes that of which you purchased with little consideration as to ‘source’ and takes that away to a ‘destination’.

The consumer here sees nothing else, just that they wanted milk, the milk sat there unused (they changed their mind perhaps), 1 week later, it’s in the wheelie bin, with no care as to where it goes.

The origin of the milk is complex, despite being simple.  A cow is born, the cow is fed grass from grazing land cleared of trees for that specific purpose. A farmer oversees their growth into a milking cow, where they are then rounded up (using a tractor), and milked (not using hands, electric pumps), the milk then processed, and chilled useful content.

The chilled milk is then placed into plastic containers (again, created for the only purpose of carrying chilled milk), and trucked in a refrigerated truck to shopping centres or storage facilities.

The container containing milk is chilled in the shopping centre, or storage facility, where it may (or may not) then be purchased, and transported to the end location, where it is again, refrigerated (or thrown out as expired milk).

Then, it may or may not be used.

I doubt many look past the bottle of milk is anything more or less than just a bottle of milk, so the full impact, full resource usage to get that milk bottle is ignored.

This I don’t believe is sustainable, because, cows are being bred faster than they should be, to fulfill the farmers craving for profit, from the milk. As above, a bubble goes pop.

Land is cleared for the only purpose, to feed those extra cows. Land which may eventually be desired for accommodating purposes for those who do not have accommodation. As above, a bubble goes pop.

The extra trucking requirements for that extra milk causes oil consumption to increase. Oil is not a limitless resource. A bubble goes pop.

The extra coal (in the case of coal power) to keep that milk refrigerated (for it’s eventual purchase or ‘binning’), again – A bubble goes pop.

The milk container is not recycled? Land fill. A bubble goes pop.

So, we waste so much, we consider so little (as above, data shows billions of dollars thrown to the tip, just millions to fellow humans), this isn’t something that can easily be sustained – not in my view anyway.

The solution? I’m not yet clear on.

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Oils ain’t oils

When it comes to flooring, we had the choice of leaving the carpet in place (but it was later discovered to be rotted, black in areas), laying new flooring over the old, or polishing up the old.

The choice to use the old boards was made after we saw it wasn’t all that bad, a bit of sanding to remove paint, a few (hundred) staples to remove, and the job is nearly done.

Tomorrow, I’ll sand them back ready for oiling.

We had a good think about oils, Howard Products have a Tung Oil product which is ready to apply, a mix of Tung Oil and Orange Oil, both naturally occuring products, and offer the same transparent finish. A bit more looking into it and we found this other product, Wood Oil, from The Wood Works.

The decision to avoid polyurethane based products is an expensive one – we need about 7L of oil for the flooring areas we are doing, and this comes at $180 delivered (savings compared to Howard Products, Orange Tung Oil, at $270+).

Polyurethane finishes (e.g. CFP from Cabot’s), would have come in cheaper, $110 for 8L from Bunnings, but then the floors would have had a fake feel, and in looking into it, polyurethane, once cracked, would see more issues resulting in a sanding later on.

A natural oiled floor is easily fixed – just a little more oil, a little more buffing – fixed.

So, this weekend, we clear up – apply the oil to the floors, and repeat every 24 hours for the next 3 days. Move back in – no more need for anything other than a quick broom and maybe a mop and water for clean up.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

The boards, in the bare form do actually look pretty good, so assuming the transparent finish is achieved with the oil (or close enough to it), they won’t attain a brown varnish like finish.

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The tree

We have a tree in the back left of our place, the tree has a short trunk, but branches that expand nearly the full 15m of the block.

A week or so ago, we were wondering where the chook pen was going, and our garden beds have so much growth that we now need to relocate all the vines over to the back fence to allow room for the growth to actually complete.

The tree, was the first thing I looked at and ended up with the conclusion, it must be cut back and eventually go. A few branches came off, there’s signs on the tree where others have also taken off branches, much thicker then the few we’ve seen come off.

I wanted it gone, it would free up so much more of the backyard, and make natural light to the new fruit trees better, and allow for expansion.

But then, the tree has just as much a right to exist, as will our fruit trees, so the issue was to decide why get rid of it, and if we could even consider getting rid of it.

It turns out our council has policies in place to protect pretty much all trees bar a few pests (we don’t know if ours is in the ‘pest’ category), And anything above 3m gains that level of immunity.

The tree is probably already in our sewerage pipe looking at it – but even that’s actually not good enough, they would want to see an expert report stating it’s in danger of destroying the sewer main, and if so – is encasement of the mains an option.

i.e. We’ve got more hope of getting the entire sewer system moved then we do of that tree simply going.

They do stipulate on the application form too, that you may be required to plant natives if they do approve an application to remove a tree.

I decided against removing it, the costs would blow out, and not only that, the chooks would benefit from shade.

So another good look out there this afternoon revealed an alternative solution – we keep that tree pruned back and try and control it’s leafy growth some more (short of treating it with Round Up – which would probably do nothing to it anyway), Our fruit varieties are the dwarfing varieties, so we need only them to grow 1.5-2m tall, and if we keep the growth at the bottom below 2m from the top tree, the sun is still plenty as the north and west gets right in under it, where the trees will be, providing shade to the chook pen.

That then frees the back fence, but there’s a shady issue generated by the raised garden beds, that would mean the vines, whilst grow, not as well – so Reject Shop have containers – $12, they are about 400mm high – exactly what we made the raised garden beds at.

5 or 10 of those, the trellis screwed down, some pest management for the snails and the like that seem to eat the leaves, and we should be all set for that entire space.

The tree lives on, the birds can play in the tree, our fruit trees grow, the chooks get shade – all seems too good.

Well, it is if you don’t like leaves dropping on your plants (think cross contamination). The fruit trees should be more tolerant though, and we are out there daily anyway, so it’s not a massive management issue.

Saves the tree, right? I’m not convinced it should stay, but until we can find a solid reason for it to go, it should probably stay where it is. Council charges $110 for an application to remove it, and what I’ve been reading, it’ll probably fail (no solid reason for it to go).

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Staples, staples, staples…

We lifted up the carpet in our hallway first.

My expectation was that the floor boards outside the bathroom would be wet, soaked, water stains visible – even possibly rotted around the edges.

Not so – they actually are pretty dry and look good. We can’t say that about the carpet though, so full of dust, dirt, sand, stained, and … crap- We had THAT on our floors.

The floor boards have paint, where some careless @#!$ had forgot a drop sheet, and so the ceiling white needs to be sanded up, along with the skirting board paint sprinkles.

That’s all OK, I got some 80 grit sand paper specifically for the paint spots we found, the sanding, whilst a little time consuming is OK.

The oil we plan to use (but are yet to actually decide on), is a product called “Orange Tung Oil“, which is a blend of orange oil and pure tung oil. Tung oil has benefits over linseed oil, and the orange oil, apparently will make it apply easier. It’ll be all natural as both items are natural products to begin with.

We’ve asked a few questions of the supplier, to see if the finish will be as smooth as a polyurethane finish, or if we could achieve a similar result, and to clarify the required amount of oil.

My partner had the idea to rip up the carpet, no idea what her thoughts were, but she sold it to be on the basis we’d have little problem cleaning it. The lack of dust will make the job worth it. A simple sweep.

The kids love it too, the first night was the hallway, we had it relatively clean, the kids used that as the play area instead of the carpeted, 4 x 3m play room.

The devil is in the detail though, the floor boards all have staples around the outside from where an older carpet installation had just been ripped out, and staples left, then then put the newer tack style stripping down, and laid the carpet on top of that.

So, we have to pull several staples out, and try and do so with minimal damage to the boards.

The other issue, floor boards and echo. Sound bounces right off them, and so our hallway has an arena or basement effect when some noise is going on, this became very evident to the kids, who decided it would make a great area for making noises of insanely high decibel values.

Today, we finished the playroom, which was actually pretty good with the orbital sander, and the lounge room, which had a disturbing black, dark patch in the corner. We had our lounge there, so it wasn’t us. The tenants in here had a coffee table with a LCD screen above it, so perhaps they spilt something there – it stunk.

The floors now are pretty clean, we had the kids running circles around the lounge room for the afternoon (again, noisy), and that remains empty, so we setup camp in the playroom at the moment, which is a much more cosier, more comfortable place for a lounge room. Too bad it’ll be the Kitchen in a few years.

They appear to be Cypress Pine boards, so will clean up and the Tung Oil will give it a transparent finish tadalafil tablets.

No vacuuming, no stains, quick water clean up, no dust build up, easy maintenance. I can’t scientifically say “Better Air Quality” – the carpet holding as much ‘crap’ as it did, would suggest we would have better air quality. Aside from the noise (and the job made that much more difficult with hundreds of staples to remove), I’m not sure of any serious negatives.

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Floorboards – Better than carpet

So far in this house, we’ve:

– Replaced the previous super-six roof with a Colorbond roof, complete with R1.5 insulation (the ceiling was already insulated).
– Replaced the hot water system with the Apricus Solar Hot Water collector.
– Replaced the previous windows and jail bar security bars with new Sliding windows, and Invisiguard security screens.
– Recladded the house with Weathertex timber, replaced all eaves and painted the house.
– Installed a solar power system, switched over to Time of Use metering, and added a wireless power monitor.
– Created a food forest out the back.

The next idea on the horizon is to rip out the carpet of the common areas of the house, and clean up and polish the floor boards.

The idea here being that carpets typically trap and build up what lands on them over time, they hold dust, require vacuuming and stain easily.

The benefits which sold the solution to me were – less vacuuming, a cleaner house, no worries when the kids spill something on the floor.

The only concern I had was temperature related, in that in winter the floors in this place can be pretty cold. The solution to that is to install underfloor insulation, which would effectively create a ‘container’ situation, keeping the heat we generate inside the house.

I’m not sure we’ll do the insulation just yet, as a rug in winter could do just fine – we don’t know yet.

The walls and ceiling need a sand and also need a coat of paint when we finally get around to it – but for now, our walls remain the same color – a very strange shade of yellow, painted around furniture (the cupboards obviously were too much for them to move!).

The floorboards will be interesting, we haven’t yet exposed them, which hopefully can be done tomorrow – clean them up, and see what we have to work with.

I’ve done some looking into it – we’ll likely need some putty to match the color, and a lotta sand paper to sand back the old floors.

Once done though, and stained up, it should look OK. I doubt it’ll look too out of place with the desired effect we are aiming for by completion – whenever that comes around.

Remaining on the house though, the interior needs to be painted up as above, the front needs gardens planted, and lighting done so we can see (apparently the stairs I put in aren’t easy to see in the dark – I plan LED light strips under them to solve that). The fences down both sides are a fair bit degraded.

The fencing on one side is that of townhouses, who have a concrete driveway that is falling apart. Our oldest child has become acquainted with the neighbours kid which then later revealed the driveway actually shifts when they drive over it – Let’s hope for their sake the concrete doesn’t end up through the walls. The fence itself is pretty bad, falling over itself, but the driveway repair (whenever they eventually do it), will necessitate fencing repairs as the driveway is right up to the fence.

The front needs a fence after a few weeks back, a drunk felt it right to sleep on our front steps. I wouldn’t have thought they were so comfortable.

Then, we need to look into plans for the shed and granny flat. I doubt we’ll rent the granny flat out again, we’ve had some interesting experiences with people there. The 3 differing people we’ve had in  are at odds with our ideas on consumption – it’s not a cause of argument though, with those who did live there all leaving of their own accord for their own reasons.

There is plans for chickens too apparently. There’s a massive tree out back which I cut back significantly last weekend, but still, it’s branches drop leaves with blackspot on our garden beds. I’m far from a monkey, so it might end up going or a lot smaller in the future.

The rainwater tank is a tough one. I can’t find anything worthy of the location behind the shed for anything reasonable. $99 for a 210L tank. That’s not great at all. I’m wanting something in the 5000L range, but it has to be slimline to fit comfortably between the bottle brush tree (live and let live) and the shed.

I can’t wait for a dog though. I’m still waiting for our youngest to grow enough to be a fair match with any dog we later choose, but a dog is a must. Something needs to finish the chickens once and for all.

It’s fairly clear to me that planning this is going to be a very tight exercise. For example, the extension is a must. The kids need their own rooms, it’s a two bedroom house at the moment. The extension is also a must. I need somewhere to kick back and ignore everything after work. The fencing is falling down, it’s pretty clear it’s not going to survive much longer – but I wouldn’t care much if it was down as I’ll just patch it again with a picket.

The rainwater tank will help conserve water – this will be more and more important as summer creeps up.

I can’t see much wrong with our plans, costing is where the issues will be when we finally reach that point. Cutting the costs of the plans will mean a lot more of the work gets done ourselves. I’ve sworn to not do anything structural myself tho. But we can save by doing the plasterboard, fitout, painting, etc all ourselves (when that time eventually comes).

I search my music collection for “Paradise” (the outcome desired of all the planning). The first result is “Amish Paradise” (Weird Al). Perhaps that’s significant.

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Effective Pest Control

We found our first pest today. It was eating the leaves on the apple trees.

I noted it yesterday after seeing the leaves had a few holes and signs of being incomplete, nothing was on them, nothing in the base of the black rubbish bins we specifically chose to house the trees in.

The pest was a snail. It was monitored today, scaling the back fence, reaching the tree leaves, then advancing to eating them. I think my partner fully understands the words “Snail Mail”, having seen the pace of the snail and also dealt with Australia Post.Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

The solution to it was very simple. The bins have ‘ridges’ where the rim of it is. The snail can’t possibly conquer it. The fence was obviously utilised since it was capable of advancing to the leaves.

Pull the pins back away from the fence, the snail can no longer reach the leaves. Remove the snail from the tree, solved.

There’s a lot of growth showing on the plants since we started them as seedlings, they did go through a slow patch after they were well and truly out growing the punnets and pots. In the ground, everything has taken on new growth.

The lettuce now has a lot more leafy growth on it, and is far greener. The sunflowers have grown significantly, but still could be fit to be rated seedlings. The Zucchini leaves have shown the most promise of them all, reaching about 6 times the original size in the mere 2 weeks. Tomato seedlings have doubled in size.

The trees are the best, showing all new leafy growth at the top. They moved in just last weekend, and all show fresh growth (the nursery leaves had a water residue on them, not present on the new growth).

This weekend, I’ll try and get the trellis in for the already flowering tomato and passion fruit plants so they have something to climb on.

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A vision

not necessarily of what might eventuate, but a vision none the less.

The vision is that of what our planned renovations will make possible.

The large open plan Kitchen / Dining / Lounge area will open up to a back deck area, at the back, in the middle, a BBQ waits.

Some wireless speakers to get audio out to the decking area, the source of the audio? Anything from FM Radio, to MP3s to streaming.

To the front, middle, of the decking area sits a retractable screen, it’s for a projector that will sit on the ceiling near the loungeroom. Face it out at the screen.

The doors are bifold doors, they will open up the entire area – allowing plenty of cooler air from the southerly breezes we get in the hotter summer nights – it’s actually hot right now, the Windows open allow more of the cooler air to come in, and the hot air to escape, but it’s still not the right temperature.

The back area will make a perfect spot to relax in the heat of the day, and when night sets in, fry up some sausages on the BBQ, serve with drinks in the outside area.

By then, it should be cool enough to move to the loungeroom (or flick on the projector), and watch a movie.

It’s a vision, i’m liking it. Then again, so are the more unrealistic visions, for example, paying off this place in 8 years. Yeh, right.

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Forest of Foods

.. in the making.

My partner bought some interesting points to me recently – this article is one of the few showing the benefits of growing and maintaining your own fruit and vegetables.

The other angle is pesticides, sure, you wash the food, but the soil the food is grown in isn’t the best. My thoughts there are pesticide + pesticide = double the pesticide.

Farming practices aren’t the best for the planet – the above link shows the wider picture of just what going to the supermarket to pick up 1 apple contains.

The loss of nutrients is incredible as well:

In terms of loss of nutrients consider the tomato:

  • Green harvesting loses up to 25% of its nutrients
  • Transporting loses up to 25% of its remaining nutrients
  • Storage loses up to 50% of its remaining nutrients
  • Canning loses up to 83% of its remaining nutrients
  • Cooking loses up to 50% of its remaining nutrients.

This leaves the tomato with 2.39% of it original nutrient content.

I wonder if we’ll ever see fruit and vegetable signs in the shops that state ‘2.39% tomato’.

<a href="”>HappyEarth is a website maintained by people in Wollongong – they’ve taken their 900m2 block and planted it out massively.

The link shows what does make sense, “You are what you eat” is the old line I associated with it. I wonder what Farmer Joe does to improve the soil / crop / his profits.

We don’t wish to deprive the kids of that backyard space, so about two weeks back, I built 5 raised garden beds out of Colorbond and Merbau Decking material – the price worked out much better than buying the smaller and awkward Bunnings variety and the material is perfect for the purpose.

The design is chemical free – we are going to use absolutely no pesticides, no treatments that aren’t natural. The nutrients the plants will source from worm compost – which is to be setup.

We started the seedlings back in August, the seedlings took off like lightning, growing out of the punnets and overgrowing the pots we bought to start the seedlings in – a sign that at least, we can get seedlings moving.

It’s not a far stretch to get a seedling tomato vine into a full grown tomato vine, likewise for the various other edibles that can be progressed.

Food production holds a massive impact on the planet at large, the farming process is flawed in that manner. Transport and keeping foods frozen long enough for someone to pick the ‘freshest’ from the week or months old pile is wasteful.

We hit one fundamental issue back in the planning stages – what do you eat when the particular food is not in season. Apples aren’t out all year round, likewise, Potato. So, to eat when it’s not in season – what do the supermarkets do? Buy in from where it is in season ? Transport. Freeze last seasons stock in advance? Wasteful!

So, we plan to change eating habits too – seasonal. If it’s not in season, you shouldn’t be able to have it.

And I thought more about that. What did the aboriginals do for such food ? They lived off the land, no shops – no freezers. They must have only ever ate seasonal foods – along with the hunted fish and meat they did not mass produce.

There is the waste of the mass produced items going off – in the event they are not consumed – no one wants mince that’s green. Likewise, Bananas that are black aren’t ideal – so they get wasted, the whole farm, harvest, transport, package, freeze, transport, display processes are all wasted if they end up in the bin.

The rainwater tank is the next idea to be pushed in – then if it’s not sunny, and raining, we are at least getting benefit from it.

We’ve got some fruit trees further back that we’ve added – two apples (they need em for pollination), mandarin, orange and lemon. The lemon tree was truly the lemon of the lot, with barely much leaf growth on it – the ones it had at the nursery were all pretty brown. There was some light new growth on it (that was pretty good), I figured I’d try and save it as opposed to one which had some more greener growth.

We won’t be able to get anything out of the trees for at least 6 months – so it’s got time to be revived.

We’ve looked further into it before we decided to go ahead – mostly at the impact it would have – then the desired growth and harvest numbers, and lastly the financial benefits derived.

The impact it would have wouldn’t be a lot – on a worldwide scale our minute change would only mean we are not contributing to the larger problem. We would however be slightly more self sufficient, so that was a plus.

The desired growth and harvest numbers were to be enough that there was a meal possible out of the forest grown for the week, with excess allowed for plant failure. I figured seeding weekly would allow for enough – turns out that was too much, we have watermelon seedlings occupying a 2m by 1m bed with exception 6 rockmelons (we planted them close together). We saw reports of Bananas – 125KG of them off the one bunch – Amazing.

Whilst it’s always going to be the case that this will work (else I would not have started). The project / experiment will be how far can this go, to removing demand for packaged and processed foods?

This website here, links to an experiment they conducted back in 2005. A very interesting read. It’s notable they broke their self imposed rules a few times (they wrote about them, but they don’t count them as they should do).

The short of that was they tried to live without spending a dollar. The test would be interesting if they didn’t focus on dollars, but I think it shows that one can manage to live in a world without currency, if they first have established a source of a replacement.

Take a dollar, replace it with a corn kernel, take a corn kernel, replace it with a lettuce leaf – etc.  That would always happen if the world at large lost faith in currency, the people at the top with the most money would be at the bottom, the farmers who grow the most used resources would be toward middle to high income earners, and the highest would be those who needed nothing at all.

I’m probably off the beaten track here now.

We’ve looked into it extensively, the benefits are hoped to be:

– More nutrients that our bodies require actually reaching our bodies.
– Less waste caused by supporting practices that aren’t ideal.
– Some adventure and self education in plant life.
– The kids get a better idea of how to be self sufficient (if we ever reach that ultimate goal).

We’ve got the backyard space for it, we would be nuts not to.

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Intel Atom Server setup

I was previously running a pentium 4 chip in my home server (it was a retired box). This was consuming a large amount of our power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In an effort to conserve that, and because the payback on the hardware is somewhere between immediate and ‘months’, I decided I would change over to a newer Intel Atom chip.

The Atom chips have a thermal design power of 10W, compared to the 90W of the previous Intel chips, the Atom is a perfect replacement.

The first step to migrating was a temporary holding case for it. Can’t use mine, work requires I have a computer to use – and I can’t stand the laptop for that. I can’t take the oldest kids machine, he’ll cry too much. The current server case was housing the live server – so eyes off that. The remaining case – my partner’s. She can survive on the Ubuntu laptop for the very short 2 week time it will take to migrate!

So, I started taking the migration approach to taking one box and moving it to another, mashing the Windows Server and CentOS virtual server into one Ubuntu power house.

The mail server was first, the one thing that matters the most is email. The databases followed soon after (so once done, I figured I’d stop blogging as the database would need to be updated again..). Then web sites followed soon after. The firewall rules followed next. I didn’t forget DNS (did I?).

The VNC items were next, and then the customisations that make the operating environment, an operating environment.

I had little time that I could put into it, we had another project we kicked up into for our ongoing sustainability adjustments. So, it took a little longer than it should.B

Mail has been working, I was a bit worried about spam impacts, postgrey greylists what the blacklists don’t already have. And there so far has been 0 (zero), spam. A massive improvement to the previous.

I dumped RSS2Email (a tool I was using to turn RSS feeds into emails), after we later decided Thunderbird’s Blogs & News would suffice. Evolution RSS was buggy previously, but now it’s running nicely – so I’ll stick with it there.

The next setup was the proxy, we now have 3 PCs on the network which run Ubuntu, and the next one will join it (when I can get her to convert over – should be easier now that she’s experienced it for 6 weeks, 4 weeks longer than anticipated).

The long weekend made the ideal time to switch over, the name of the new server? “Reactor” – yes, the Atom Reactor now provides the key online services.

I would have thought the chip not as capable, but it’s great for 1.6Ghz – the server of course doesn’t need to peak at that – it’s often lower, but it’s got that room.

I have actually noticed it’s more snappier at processing requests too, maybe that’s related to the virtual machine the other box was.

I’ve taken the ‘no to root’ approach, I used very little root access to set the box up, and services that don’t need root access, just don’t get it.

I rewrote my monitor script for checking other boxes from PHP to Perl, and turned it into a daemon, a very small learning curve, and it beats cron executing every minute.

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Election 2010: Tony Abbott’s confidence

In all the segments of TV and radio, containing Tony Abbott, he doesn’t seem very confident.

What have the Liberal party hoped to achieve by having Tony Abbott as their ‘leader’ ? He lacks the confidence in his answers to simple questions, and as is typical, dodges many of them.

Julia on the other hand is a very confident speaker. Ask her any question and she’s pretty well on the ball with a response, no buzz words, no ‘umm’ or ‘ahh’, just clear responses that address the question.

This is far from a +1 to Julia, it is simply pointing out that Mr. Abbott is a crappy public speaker, could use a bit of confidence and a bit more understanding in the issues he is apparently supplying answers to.

Watching ABC last night, the question was put to him on the thoughts of why does he not approve of the NBN fibre network, when it would deliver faster speeds, far into the future?

His answer was far from addressing the question, he did indicate the investment should be done by commercial entities and the government should be plugging the gaps, but that’s not what the issue being addressed was that it would deliver faster speeds far into the future.

Think of buying a fleet of 2011 cars in December, and replacing them in June because they have 10000ks on the clock. That’s what I expect will happen with wireless in the future, demand will increase, inevitably into the future, the internet is far from being torn down, demand is far from reducing. Growth is inevitable.

Provisioning a network for that is perfect, we won’t have to put much into fibre investment in the future if we put it together now – but he seemed to not capture that point. NBN carries with it many other good points of use to our government.

As the speeds are faster, more and more people can get what they need done without taking the daily commute to the office – this causes less traffic congestion (in theory), and less carbon emissions – saving our Kyoto dollar.

As the speeds are faster, more medicine can reach more places, faster – it is possible for doctors to be doing more remotely for example.

Education – the obvious. Students today already have internet access at a very young age – the internet was still barely breaking in when I was at school – now, it’s pretty much everywhere. There’s masses of content out on the internet, and it’s useful to people of various ages, including students of age 6 to students of age 26. They all have varying interests, all of those can be explored online – with the world as the limiting factor.

To educate future proof Australians they are going to need content that is ‘from the future’ the best way to get that is to get our kids content straight off the world stage, and the best way to do that is via the internet – no postage needed.

I’m sure there are many niche areas of education for example, that can’t easily be met at your local university either – the internet addresses these, this can prompt advances in medicine and innovation.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Tony just didn’t seem to get the concept during the segment of TV – if private sectors do it, they might be more efficient, they might have the better budgeting, but they won’t be looking for the benefits the government gains noted above. They’ll be looking at the almighty dollar. The targets who could benefit won’t get it (price), and those who can get it, won’t benefit from it.

He also dodged an answer surrounding economics, surprise, surprise. He was asked where the funds for paying the debt would be coming from, his answer did not address it – it was phrased to him in different ways.

I’m tired of the political ads. Scare campaigns. I’m more worried though at the ability of people to express their reasons behind their votes. Tony won’t win if you asked me – Julia is likely because of the popular vote surrounding ‘first female PM’. It’ll be amusing to see her as the first PM, be voted out months after. But I doubt it’ll happen.

It’ll be even more amusing if we see Bob Brown were to be our PM! Then again, he does share similar facial characteristics to former PM, Paul Keating. I did Google Image search it to be sure!

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The Customer Is Always Right, Right?

Even if the dumb fools are wrong, for a business to survive, grow and demonstrate a customer commitment, they have to hold even the most difficult of customers highly. The customers, ultimately pay the bills.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

One thing I learnt many years ago, is just how strong word of mouth can be. The influence of viral marketing is still not as great as simple word of mouth. Word Of Mouth is the single best form of marketing out there.

I’ve had a negative experience recently, and I’ve tried very, very, very hard to resolve that with them. They have ignored many emails and fax requests to them to address simple issues about something we purchased.

They read the emails – we’ve got read receipts confirming that – and we’ve even got emails showing the hand off of the issue, however, it gets ignored.

I won’t go into the details of it, because it’s now the target of a Fair Trading complaint – they had ample warning that it was going to go there if they failed to respond, they didn’t. To be exact, I indicated to them that the alternative to responding and resolving the complaint would involve ‘more than 3 specific actions’ – and I’m committed to it.

The Fair Trading complaint is just the beginning of resolving this issue, once that’s resolved. The company involved also has broken certain regulatory aspects of another body they are a member of, we’ll get to that after. I’m going to set about a few other items that should in theory, see the issue gain the right attention.

Word Of Mouth is the best form of marketing. I can only tell so many people about the negative experiences. But that’s OK, I have other, more interesting, concepts that I’ll use to compliment word of mouth.

I’ll even collect enough data on it, and once complete, publish it. The even more amusing bit is, the resource used, is actually advertised by the company involved.

If I were the responsible party of that business, I’ll have definitely addressed the issues raised, it’s not like they were overly difficult to address either – it’s a case of looking at what we have in writing from them, comparing that to what actually happened and proposing a resolution. All up, maybe 30 minutes of time. Piece of piss.

Even if it were to take far longer than 30 minutes, a simple “We are looking into this” would give them some credit, and probably have averted the complaint to Fair Trading and reduced my desire to research and determine other methods of resolving the issue – I would have simply waited!

There are businesses out there that do care about customers, I have to say though, the best service comes from sole traders, they own and run the business, you quickly get an idea of the person, whether they know their shit or not, you get a fair dinkum price, and if there are issues, they’ll probably take the time to sort it out, rather than ignore you and try to hide behind the company.

Some companies though, do have complaints teams in operation. I’ve seen this in banking and telecommunications. I know Australia Post has one but it’s not very effective!

Resolving customer complaints is rarely difficult, it’s a case of looking at what the customer is having issues with, thinking about whether they are right, or wrong, and in either case, proposing something that quells the complaint – be it a small gesture of good will, to canceling the entire transaction. Costs of doing business really.

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Election Time Again

And I’ve got no idea who is worthy of my ‘valuable’ vote.

Personally, I’d make voting a lot of user participation. Then, it’ll become a mess for the politicians to try and convince people that:
A) They are worthy of voting for.
B) That they are also worthy of enrolling / committing to vote for.

This way, people aren’t forced to donkey vote.

It doesn’t stop the issue of populist crap, like the old Kevin 07 garbage that encouraged voters purely due to a catch phrase.

The Chasers War On Everything did a “.. and this person voted” peice in many of their episodes which spot on described the issue. People vote, but that may not necessarily mean they have the intellectual capacity to exercise their democratic right.

I’m also tired of the scare campaigns. WorkChoices was and is one of the most commonly used scare campaigns deployed by political parties.

When you look at the ‘overview’ of what WorkChoices was about, it wasn’t exactly bad. It put the negotiations of wage, conditions, in the hands of employer and employee, under a binding agreement – the way it should be!

We all buy services and products from various organisations, many of which form a contract, even if no physical contract is signed. It shouldn’t be any different in a workplace level.

The argument against this is where larger corporations or immature management are involved, such as Telstra for example, who may not be so willing to negotiate a rate with a singular worker, as an example. But, if that’s the case, surely it wouldn’t be far fetched to have no one signing agreements with that company, forcing the required changes for them to adapt.

That wouldn’t happen though, too many people depend on the nanny state that this country has already become to push them through the most basic things in life..

I’ve looked so far at the Labor and Greens policies, some good, some not so good, some aren’t really policies at all. As I was going through though, I took the view that anything I thought was crap would take them from a 0, to a negative number. Nothing was to ever be so good to get them past 0.

Therefore, the negatives only were counted – this way the stuff that either didn’t matter, or was good, didn’t form part. ALP scored -3, Greens -2.

The vote-o-matic (without seeing any of it’s logic), gave the decision for me, to: Australian Greens, Socialist Alliance, and Australian Labor Party.

Strangely, that did reflect my views upon reading their websites. Socialist Alliance is too pie-in-the-sky to become reality. Australian Greens could get the vote, but on a national scale, it won’t matter much. Australian Labor Party – makes sense to what I’ve heard for policies, but that’s because Abbott, to me, has kept his mouth shut – a lot.

The campaign for Liberal has mostly been (at least in my view), “End the wasteful spending”, and then attacks on Labor. What I want to know – and all I want to know – is what spending will they do ? Where will they invest for our national future? Julia – is at the very least, giving us that in the advertising.

The Liberal website was down for considerable time so didn’t get a chance for a review.

On the note of the election too – Locally, we see very little campaigning by the local members – they have their faces now plastered up around all the streets locally. Some of them on the back streets, but then, I see their faces and wonder – what have they done ? Not enough.

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Garbage In, Garbage Out

… so the ancient Charles Babbage once authored.

Data Validation is a very, very, very important aspect of any user facing application, be it a website, be it a program, be it a simple calculator. The data must be validated to ensure it conforms to the expected input, prior to being used for logic processes and resultant output.

So, when I recently went through some data and saw such elementary and simple things like postcodes not being checked against ‘states’ and suburbs spelt incorrectly, I was immediately thinking – who the heck gets paid to write such garbage..

Unfortunately, that is the case, and as is the reality in many workplaces, one which isn’t easily overcome.

I’ve always held the view that a user, be it malicious, incompetent or just plain lazy, can and often will supply applications (website pages, actual programs, scripts, anything) with garbage data.

The responsibility for testing the validity of that data lies wholly with the application author, and where they fail to do that, they’ve failed in the development of that application.

.. Another reminder of the complete incompetence of some of the people who somehow manage to hold jobs in Australian workplaces for so long.

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Effects of cloud cover

Yesterday, I noted the solar system was producing around 1000W maximum, today was different.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

The clouds were out in full force today, as the drips show, and the peaks were not ~1000W, but rather, 1500 then 500, as the clouds blocked and unblocked the sunlight.

Hot Water on the other hand is largely not impacted by clouds, because it relies on heat, of which a colorbond roof typically gets plenty of from the Sun (heats up quick, cools down quick).

Winter isn’t the best time to be checking performance, but I’d like for a few more cloud free days like yesterday, to figure out why Solar Power doesn’t reach its peak on cloud free days.

My temperature sensors arrived today, so will try and get those on the Arduino tonight (after getting the new motherboard up and Ubuntu installed on the server), and run a test of having it and the piezo transducer on at the same time.

I pondered earlier today, how it would be nice to have an endless budget and lots of land. Reminds me of a property we noticed on eBay some time back, in a bushland setting – it was tempting, if it weren’t for the location and lack of work such a location would involve.

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A cloud free day

Today was the best day I’ve seen for our solar system in a while, it’s cloud free, the temperature is moderate – not excessive.

We broke 5kWH instead of the more desired, 6 – 7 I anticipated based on the design of the system and the figures we were provided. We’ve had pretty much cloudy days and rain for a while.

Our Solar Hot Water system is showing better signs of life today too, having previously exhausted all the hot water when our granny flat resident assumingly sucked it all down in one day last week.

I’ve been playing with an Arduino, and some DS18s20 sensors to capture temperature data, but, in the process have caused two sensors to break, so waiting on the replacements to redo that – the plan will be to check the accuracy of the sensors of the hot water system, and gather an idea (using temperature sensors and piezo transducers) of consumption of house and of the flat over time.

I’ve had a CurrentCost CC128 (and a plug for Grant at Smart Now for his fantastic service) in for a good while now (about a month I think), because part of switching to solar meant time of use metering from Energy Australia. The Current Cost meter gives us amazing power over our consumption in that sources of waste are very easily identified. The general rule is: If you aren’t enjoying the consumption / it isn’t necessary, off it goes. The server is getting an upgrade to a Intel D510 atom setup as a result – 10W compared to the 100W base it has now has got to be good.

Time of use penalizes high usage during the 2pm – 8pm period weekdays, while gives us a good off peak rate for our usage in the 10pm – 7am time frame, which is just a matter of adjusting to – Don’t bother using washing machine, or oven til later at night – works well!

We consulted Energy Australia for a quote on the metering for the flat, I was hoping to have that seperate so we could get a solid idea of our own consumption, and not so much as billing for the flat seperate, just an idea of our own relative to the bill.

They wanted close to $600 for it – stuff that.

The clamps are easy to install behind the panel, but I won’t detail that here for obvious idiot prevention reasons (and it’s actually illegal, apparently, for someone not licensed in NSW to go behind a panel – meh). I’ve got a house clamp – covers two house circuits, lights and stove, a clamp around the flat (which has a 400V fuse..), and one on the Off Peak feed to the hot water system.

The device captures data transmitted to it wirelessly (using the 433Mhz range) and the other end attaches to my server (which is always on) so I can graph and monitor it using rrdtool and the bash script I put together, shouting the data over the broadcast address of the network, along with a gnome, python applet in Ubuntu.

The Aurora Inverter has RS485 attached to it, with Cat5e cable attaching to an RS485 to RS232 adapter, and responds to queries of it’s usage / generation.

At this time, 5.16kW out to the grid and as the graph below shows, unaffected by cloud cover today. The result could have been better, the peak should have been closer to 1.52kw, but barely broke 1.0 for some unexplained reason. The graph shows input to the Aurora Inverter, so output is of course, less.

<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-822" title="Power Graph" src="×78.png" alt="" width="300" height="78" srcset="×78.png 300w, go now.png 781w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

The Hot Water is also of interest because of the rain performance issues. The temperature on the roof was peaking at 70oC today, and the tank (measured at the bottom, not the top, was 58oC.

The thermostat is set to 65oC, so there should be very little work by the electric element required, and therefore a reduced amount consumed (in theory – I will check).

The purpose of the monitoring of the hot water is to determine how it responds to temperature changes, and that will allow appropriate configuration.

It’s not unheard of for installers of solar products to get it wrong – in the case of the Apricus systems, putting too much compound on the roof or tank temperature sensors, meaning it thinks it’s colder than it actually is. I plan to test that theory by the return pipe, as it should get as hot as the water flowing through it (which I will test by the tempering valve, set at a poor 45oC – so I can check the pipe in relation to that!).

Update, our hot water normally heats up at 10.20pm, it did today (after the house has all had showers, etc), and it finished at 10.55pm (assumption here is that the temperature is spot on, and a less amount of energy used – cause the Sun heated the water). Our tenant in the flat isn’t exactly a conservative person, it would seem.

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Broadcasting over the LAN

I had an issue recently where I wanted some data to get to all machines, all at the same time. The data would not be requested – I needed the data as it came in – from my CurrentCost meter – for purposes of testing around the house on the laptop.

The solution was to setup the bash script to echo the data it was collecting (for MRTG purposes), to go out as a UDP broadcast packet to the network.

It was annoying to setup, because current versions of netcat differ to those I was using originally, and eventually found the need for a timeout wait on the netcat command.

It works great tho, and spawned the next idea of an Applet to monitor the Aurora output, the CC128 consumption, and anything else I want to spit out on any part of our local network.

It’d work great as a file copy mechanism too – base64 encode each file, and send that way. Each machine on a network typically receives broadcast packets, and so it’s no issue to spread the same data to all machines at the same time (instead of sending it to one machine at a time).

I like the idea of it – and am amazed I didn’t come across that before. It gives me the data on as many machines as I care to have listening for it – and is relatively reliable (if I wanted guaranteed, I’d not be using wireless..).

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The front yard.

I last wrote about the front yard’s large wet hole, I’ve since proceeded further with that, and now we have the treated pine posts in.

4 posts, standing upright in concrete that set pretty quickly. I did that about two weeks ago.

Last weekend I got very little done, that’s because I spent some time putting together some temperature sensors I got and set about testing them out. I’m keen to determine the difference in how the house responds and the room temperature over time.

The sleepers and besser blocks have been cluttering the front yard for some time, I plan to reuse the besser blocks as mini planters for the kids – who will love to grow some small plants in them.

The sleepers are to be cut to size, and bolted to the posts in the ground, where we’ll then get some more treated pine (or perhaps a hybrid of some sort 🙂 ) and get that setup as our stairs.

Then, the front yard needs some color – so we’ll need to eventually look at some plants for that to tidy that up. Before or after the fencing tho..

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Programming Languages

There are many various languages about, and which one to use for a particular purpose is a decision in itself.

I’ve got many choices when it comes to putting something together for a particular purpose, for example, recently, I’ve been using bash to handle simple tasks.

PHP was my previous language of choice for anything, complex or simple – it’s a great scripting language of course, and more capable then a bash shell script. It’s mostly used as a web server scripting language, but that never stopped me making several monitoring scripts, and some asterisk AGI scripts using it. I’ve also used it for other purposes like any shell – working a list of 200 domain names at one point for a specific task – wasn’t worth writing a file.

Then there is Perl, another good language. I’ve dealt with it before, and could still create with it. I haven’t used it recently, because of a lack of purpose, I don’t have a need for it – but much of what I’ve done in PHP could be replicated in Perl, and likely better. I do have a perl based IRC trivia bot that is reasonably solid – I’ve hacked on some MySQL concepts to it as well.

I’ve also worked with Visual Basic and VBScript – Microsoft specific languages, incompatible with Linux without resorting to Wine is a serious negative – but on the other hand, it’s a very readable language.

Java and Javascript – I’ve not dealt with Java before, and have no plans to, however Javascript, has always been a must to know, and with the introduction of AJAX and other similar web browser interactive concepts, it remains a very relevant language.

We have .Net (the reinvention of visual basic, introduction of C#). I have no idea why anyone would desire .NET, it’s not cross platform, it’s another language to learn that could have an expiry date any day now (just look at the original Visual Basic.. ), and closed source. I’m certain people have developped some great applications with it – I’ve used it once, for a payments page, the IDE was nice, the code read well – but I’d have rathered PHP – which is cross platform  and doesn’t seem to have a use-by date.

Then, I’ve now recently come across Python, and it’s a fantastic language, it’s cross platform. In just this week I’ve managed to make a simple application listen for UDP packets on broadcast, and send out libnotify alerts on my ubuntu machine. I use it so I don’t need to run netcat and monitor it there!

I’ve dipped into C/C++ before – it’s a far more proven language, being around for a much longer time and still in wide use (oh, and it’s cross platform). It’s not very readable, but I’ve heard around circles that if you can learn C / C++ you can learn Java. The structure of the code is very similar.

There are many different languages out there, from my view, I’d have thought you’d need to be multilingual.

I now ponder, for those who seek to start a true career in programming, what language do they master – why would they?

For me, I’ve got no problems picking up languages, but to master one is to commit to it for a longer term – and to me, Python is there, Perl is there, PHP is there, Bash will be there. .Net certainly will not be there – it’s too much of a risk.

With open source languages, and the fact they work cross platform (meaning I can load up PHP on a windows server, and a Linux server), there’s no reason to doubt the viability of  the language.

There’s not many ways one can set about mastering any particular language however, most industries I can think of will be using a combination of many – and we

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Beware, Large Wet Hole

The besser block steps were never going to work out, so I want to start doing something that will work – the besser blocks reassigned to the kids for planter boxes.

I’ve been playing with some different methods of putting the steps in, but am ensuring they comply with the BCA, which sets standards for risers, goings and slope relationship.

The new idea – chuck in some treated pine steps, which should be relatively easy – supported by concrete in the ground, posts come up, bolt to the stringers, to which the treads fill the middle.

Some oil to change the look from treated pine to merbau hardwood (or similar, to match our threshold), and it’ll look really good (so I figure).

The holes for the posts were dug, 30cm down,  but I’m putting the posts down 15cm, as that should be plenty, and leaves me enough to do it out of one 2.4m length.

After I dug the holes out, I went back to the first one, there was water sitting in there – but it hasn’t been raining, so I see the water is seeping downhill, which matches the tiny slope that our block has. The holes filled with water wouldn’t be ideal to set the concrete in, so I’ve had to call it a day.

I took the sleepers which were to serve as the stringers, and put them over the holes. Put the current besser blocks on top of them.

The concrete slabs that were the original treads, placed in front of it, and a sign, “Beware, Large Wet Hole” currently sits on that with bricks holding it in place to ensure no one is dumb enough to fall into the wet hole.

Hopefully, next weekend, the hole will be dry, and we can then set about inserting concrete (quick set!), and levelling the posts, ready to later, determine how long and how to cut the stringers, and later, chisel them out for the possibly, treated pine sleepers – less we find hardwood, to go in between and coachscrews hold it into place.

My partner finds some sort of issue with the sign.. Maybe it’s due to it being made of paper, and so won’t hold up to the rain.

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