In the beginning Oz was cursed with British bread: white, without form and void; and darkness was on az's face. And moldy spirits were hovering over the bakery shelves.

Then az said 'Let there be Rye!'; and there was rye bread. And az saw the rye bread, that it was good; and az divided the Real Bread from the White Crap.

 fresh rye bread fresh rye bread

Life would be so much less nice without my bread maker and decent ingredients.

[ published on Tue 18.06.2013 21:55 | filed in interests/au | ]

as of this moment, and after an unwelcome parting gif^W^Wbit of extortionist bank fees i'm now the undisputed, debt-free owner of my house: i finally paid off my home loan and got the house and land title transferred.

it's a good feeling not to owe anybody anything *happy* :-)

Update (Tue 30.04.2013 20:47):

"ANZ's profit swells" it said in the news, and no surprise: this bank's greed knows no bounds.

To close a paid-out home lown and get the title to your property back you have to pay them:

  • $160 as "Production Fee".
  • another $160 as "Lodgment Fee".
  • and $137.10 as "Government Registration Fee"

oh, and by the way, the registration fee doesn't mean that the title is actually transferred do you; no sir, we do no such thing: for that purpose we recommend you lodge your documents ASAP and by yourself with the Land Registry Office, for another measly $152.10. WTF - what did i pay you $137.10 for, then?

disgusting bloodsuckers!

[ published on Tue 23.04.2013 16:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

There's not too many of them (10 in Queensland versus 17 in Austria), many of them are mobile (rescheduled if they should fall on a weekend), and some of them are handled really oddly, for example Easter:

Good Friday: everything is closed, and I mean just about everything including bottle shops.
Saturday: everything is open.
Easter Sunday: everything is closed again (didn't check the bottle shops though).
Easter Monday: everything is open again.

[ published on Mon 01.04.2013 11:50 | filed in interests/au | ]

That's very good to know. For the first time in 12+ years I saw a snake near my house this morning: it was sunbathing/slithering through the branches of a bush just outside my kitchen window. I saw it only because I thought 'hmm, I'll have to cut that back soonish...wait a minute, what's that?'

After a brief bit of online investigation I found out that it's a common tree snake, which is not poisonous according to Wildlife Queensland; its colouring was actually quite beautiful (similar to this blue-green one). Mind you, I still don't plan on going anywhere near the critter...

[ published on Tue 05.03.2013 11:16 | filed in interests/au | ]

As of a few days ago I no longer work for said uni, and I never cared about the sheep.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 27.12.2012 11:01 | filed in interests/au | ]

Snow causes havoc across eastern OZ :-)

[ published on Sat 13.10.2012 12:50 | filed in interests/au | ]

Yesterday I had yet another punctured car tyre, this time two for the price of one: one nail (not through) and one fat screw (all the way through). Luckily it was a slow puncture and I found it in time, repressurized the tyre and put in a quick trip to the local repair shop ($15).

This must be at least the tenth puncture in eleven years in country, which is gazillions more than I've had in Austria: looks like punctures are a part of the Australian way of life, too :-)

Weird. We drive slower here and the roads aren't that bad so why the all damn holes? I think it's because the buildings here in Southeast QLD are mostly constructed of wood, and most tradesmen drive utes without canopies over the cargo bin and are pretty messy with their gear: all the punctures I've had so far were caused by spiral-shank nails or by drywall, roofing or other wood screws.

[ published on Wed 22.08.2012 10:01 | filed in interests/au | ]

I really like this lovely small gem of common sense, uncommon in this century of propaganda and threat exaggeration:

"That is, if the conduct complained of would not amount to an offence if it occurred off-line, then it is not an offence simply because in a particular instance it was undertaken with the aid of digital technology."

"For example, complaints have been received about comments posted on Facebook which are abusive or harassing. If this behavior occurred in a public place it would not be a reportable offence," said Acting Inspector Luke Manhood.

Fan-TAS-tic!

[ published on Sat 14.07.2012 16:38 | filed in interests/au | ]

There are people who pull off pretty amazing stunts, like getting lost for three days/four nights in a fairly small national park just inland from the Gold Coast.

Somehow I can see only one explanation: she must have been wearing her bikini over her eyes :-)

[ published on Sun 18.03.2012 16:03 | filed in interests/au | ]

Last week Aldi OZ had an especially odd item on special: blood stain removers, 8 units per pack.

 aldi for serial killers

Just how did I survive for 39 years without such highly crucial, essential stuff that you need every single day?

(Maybe it's because I have a spade. Then, maybe not.)

[ published on Tue 31.01.2012 22:02 | filed in interests/au | ]

I like gumtree quite a bit: it's free for private ads, no registration required, simple email-based access and best of all it works. When my nephew visited we needed a car seat for him, and the second ad I responded to worked out. Now that Emil is back in Vienna the seat is surplus. I posted an ad two days ago, had four responses within 24 hours and sold the seat today (for the same amount as I paid two months ago). Very nice.

I just hope ebay (who own gumtree via some subsidiary nowadays) don't stuff this service up...

[ published on Fri 02.12.2011 09:56 | filed in interests/au | ]

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.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ 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...]
click here for the rest of the story...

[ 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.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 23.12.2010 22:18 | filed in interests/au | ]

Concrete apparently doesn't cut it anymore, We Must Have More Sandstone.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ 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.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ 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.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ 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.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ 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 | ]

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