The laundry and the water heater are renewed and I'm declaring the renovation work in this place done, finished, over. (I know, I know, famous last words and all that - but at least I don't plan any further biggies). Here are some photos of the exercise.
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[ published on Wed 14.09.2011 00:55 | filed in interests/au | ]

Not bad: since the new meter went in, I consumed electricity worth $81 - and received $43 credit for the energy my solar panels created.

[ published on Tue 13.09.2011 23:30 | filed in interests/au | ]

..of those high-energy photons, please! Ahem. On Monday the sparkies performed the solar installation on my roof (6 big panels for a nominal 1.5kW of lovely solar electricity).

We'll see how much of my energy needs that will take care of (it won't be all for sure; I usually need about 11kW/day and a 1.5kW installation won't provide more than 60% of that) - but the feed in tariffs for exporting energy to the grid are good (so far): you get quite a bit more for your exported kW than you pay for consumption.

Now I just need to wire up the inverter's serial port and start logging performance with rrdtool...

[ published on Wed 01.06.2011 11:51 | filed in interests/au | ]

Well, if I was a letter I'd also feel like being abandoned after having those two parasitic muppets pasted on me.

 parasites on stamps

(for my few colonial readers, Karl Kraus said "In Austria, sending a letter means to abandon it". He was obviously not enamoured with the ÖPTV's services, and used the nuances of German to the limit: "Aufgeben" means both posting a letter and abandoning something (as in: all hope), and "heissen" is good for both expressing "is called" and "has the meaning of"...)

[ published on Fri 06.05.2011 19:24 | filed in interests/au | ]

[not exactly new but still quite funny. I've got to say it also works for longtime non-citizen residents...]
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[ published on Fri 18.03.2011 14:24 | filed in interests/au | ]

...or any low-lying places around Brisbane. Here on the Gold Coast things are quiet, no flooding anywhere. But with the crappy weather of the recent weeks just about anything starts growing mould and mildew. I'm pretty sick of the humidity...

[ published on Tue 11.01.2011 19:04 | filed in interests/au | ]

Tomorrow I'm going camping for a few days. The weather forecast is pretty average but it'll be fun nevertheless. I'm going to join up with some friends at Bundjalung National Park (in the Black Rock area - camping right behind the dunes and the beach) and I'm loaded for bear, gear-wise.
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[ published on Thu 23.12.2010 22:18 | filed in interests/au | ]

Concrete apparently doesn't cut it anymore, We Must Have More Sandstone.
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[ published on Mon 02.08.2010 15:37 | filed in interests/au | ]

This is a blatant commercial plug but I don't feel bad about it.

After ages with Voodoofone I've moved over to different gang named ThinkMobile (while keeping my number: porting works fine in this country). They resell both Tel$tra and Voodoofone, but with very decent customer support and both better features and price (for low-volume users like me) IMHO.

ThinkMobile is fishing for new customers and is happy to give both newbie and referrer $24 credit each. So, if you want to do me some good why not join up, quote MATES and my name and we both benefit a little?

[ published on Thu 29.07.2010 17:50 | filed in interests/au | ]

Last weekend Conny and I spent with Pete and Wendy, Jasper and Ula camping in Bundjalung National Park, 2 hours south of here. We camped in the Black Rocks area (open camping areas, state-owned and non-commercial, hassle-free and not too pricey). At this time of the year it's also pretty much empty of people.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 28.07.2010 22:34 | filed in interests/au | ]

Today we have: one member of the Victorian parliament, this Kavanagh troll, publicly requesting that Cat Stevens^W^WMr. Islam should not be given a visa for visiting Oz - because "He has not said I do not support killing anybody for the expression of their beliefs".

Never mind that the Oz powers are happily ass-licking war mongers like G.W. Shrub who supports killing anybody for any silly reason, but the musician, oh he must be Exceedingly Evil. (Right. I don't like his sugary music much either.)

So, how about all the people who have not stated that they don't support dousing stupid politicians in petrol and lighting them? And what about those who haven't said they don't support our new weevil overlords? And what about those who haven't said they don't support skippy's misdeeds? And what about those who'd dream of a plague that takes out every single politician attempting to represent more than 50 people? (FSVO 50)

...

...picture az wandering off to code a tiny bit of perl for listing the infinite number of things which one has to say one doesn't support before being let into Kavanagh's Kave...

[ published on Fri 28.05.2010 21:11 | filed in interests/au | ]

For the non-natives: the proper word is "mechaniker", and this spoonerized version Stems from "machen" = to make or create and "hinig" = broken. Unfortunately the mangled version is appropriate much more often than not.
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[ published on Wed 28.04.2010 14:12 | filed in interests/au | ]

...when I will have paid off my house loan. This week I've reached a milestone towards that goal: the outstanding amount is finally in the five-digit AU$ range.
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[ published on Wed 21.04.2010 13:24 | filed in interests/au | ]

Bremst er sich ganz furchtbar zsamm,
hau ich mir den plutzer an.

ahem

and now for something...completely...different.

(ahoy, captain bligh! more moronic politics, pleeeeease!)

[ published on Tue 21.07.2009 21:45 | filed in interests/au | ]

Queensland, with a reputation for having an overlarge share of rednecks and toughs, manages to properly jail a corrupt politician.

Austria, on the other hand, always manages to find new excuses for not even prosecuting the lying bastards.

So which place is more sophisticated, cultured, decent?

[ published on Fri 17.07.2009 18:29 | filed in interests/au | ]

Sounds like a veritable gourmet, this croc. The wording of the copper's statement is a gem; very "unfortunate" that the croc didn't reduce the human genepool a little, eh?

[ published on Mon 15.06.2009 18:37 | filed in interests/au | ]

...unless yours is made from porcelain, weighs 15+ kgs empty and has no tank.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 29.04.2009 23:45 | filed in interests/au | ]

Apart from two minor bits of work I consider the bathroom done. Here's an update of the most recent work and a few pictures.
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[ published on Thu 16.04.2009 18:47 | filed in interests/au | ]

Grouting tiles seems to me the most perverse building-related type of work: first you do your best to goop up your Nice New Tiles, (wait 30m), then you do your best to wipe and wash off most of the bloody gunk again.

Combined with my "love" for cleaning this is not a happy exercise.

Still and all it was to be done, and so I spent this arvo first prepping and then grouting all the bathroom walls. No photos right now, because during the work I was way too busy for snapping pix, and afterwards I had the joy of cleaning up the mess, and now I'm too tired.

[ published on Sat 11.04.2009 22:46 | filed in interests/au | ]

Just a quick update on the disaster zone progress: no new troubles anywhere, and I'm happily working off the remaining todo-list.
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[ published on Tue 07.04.2009 10:22 | filed in interests/au | ]

After work on Monday Rob dropped by and gave me a quick jump-start on the tiling. Unfortunately he didn't have a lot of time so the actual doing was up to me, myself and I.
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[ published on Fri 03.04.2009 23:55 | filed in interests/au | ]

Last time I spoke to Conny a few days ago she had seen the progress report and said she was "scared": she didn't quite use the words "disaster zone" but she said it "looked worse than mum's" house^Wconstruction site (which I really, really doubt - I for one knew exactly how much work this would be - and how to do things mostly solo).

Anyway, this here progress update is dedicated to my lovely daughter, to alleviate her worries :-)
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[ published on Sat 28.03.2009 16:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

Since last Monday's progress report a lot of further progress has been made. If all goes well Rob will help me getting started with the tiling around this weekend. Read on for the gory details.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 24.03.2009 22:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

(See also: Hinterholz 8.)

Well, there is progress in my bath, not stellar but not to be sneezed at either.
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[ published on Sun 15.03.2009 23:26 | filed in interests/au | ]

Oh how I hate the cheap bastards who built this place! The QLD building codes seem lax enough already and still these folks didn't leave many building sins uncommitted.


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[ published on Mon 09.03.2009 15:07 | filed in interests/au | ]


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[ published on Thu 26.02.2009 17:04 | filed in interests/au | ]

should you ever have any excess baggage to ship overseas, use anybody but worldbaggage.com.au: they're bumbling fools and waste time left and right.

after one primary mistake on my side (not realizing that the qantas freight office is n/a on a saturday, when conny left a month ago) i was in need of getting her second suitcase to vienna, somehow.

qantas would have wanted $1300 for sending it with her as excess baggage (that's for 18kg...as her ticket cost $1500 i conclude that the humans themselves are treated as worthless encumbrances while their baggage is worth gold...to qantas). pack and send quoted a ridiculous $550, and qantas themselves would have charged $350 airport-airport (as the unaccompanied baggage discount is only available when you submit your unaccompanied stuff before you leave yourself) - and you'd have to pick the stuff up at the vienna airport, home of truly obnoxious customs bureaucrats.

worldsnails looked fine, at $305 or so for airport to door and so i booked the suitcase with them, hoping for speedy delivery for my good money.

that was on the 19.1. as an aside, they shafted me nicely with insurance fees (their online calc doesn't reflect what they really charge and the fine print was suitably badly worded to trick me out of a nice extra $150...my own mistake).

on the 21.1. i learned they had lost the paperwork, so i resubmitted that. on the 22.1. i finally got the rotten bill.

and then...nothing, for a very long time.

on the 9.2. the first signs of life reappeared, as in "the suitcase is somewhere around amsterdam". after the customary wrangling with the fucking austrian customs the suitcase was finally delivered on the 13.2.2009.

19.1. to 13.2. - even carrier pigeons would have been faster! not even australia post needs four weeks for airmail from oz to at.

[ published on Sun 15.02.2009 22:42 | filed in interests/au | ]

cheddar rubber: from $7.5/kg
the absolutely cheapest camembert: $21/kg
blade or rump steak: about $8.5/kg
whole rump: about $7/kg

As you can see QLD is a good place for carnivores and a bad place for cheesivores (or at least not for people on a reasonable budget). Fortunately I like meat, and so does Conny - if it comes in the right form. This is about one such form: dried meat goodness.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 15.01.2009 12:46 | filed in interests/au | ]

...of blue bread here in Oz, it seems:

"AGB International...has recalled 13 brands of garlic bread after learning that the bread turns blue when heated."

Come on! Finally you've got at least some fun bread in this dreary place (dreary where Real Bread is concerned) and you do what, recall it?!? Spoilsports.

[ published on Fri 22.08.2008 11:17 | filed in interests/au | ]

What a pity, it could have conveniently lost the Christian Chief Tosser out that nice, big hole. Instead they had to make do with losing some luggage, when the aging 747 lost a fair bit of its fuselage structure in a Earth Shattering Kaboom.

[ published on Fri 25.07.2008 22:06 | filed in interests/au | ]

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