Going green, Home life

CFLs – an everyday household object that is almost impossible to dispose of properly

The entire country converted to Compact Fluorescent Light-globes years ago, which is great, as they use much less energy and have a longer life. Well, if you use them properly. For instance I don't use CFLs in the bathroom/toilet, as these lights are generally on for short periods of time, and CFLs are better when used for 15 minutes or longer. And the greenhouse gas reduction might be overs

Home life

Live-blogging the plumber

Drain has been blocked for a while. Sometimes it clears itself. Not this time. I couldn't find the plumber's details from last time, and ended up ringing Drains Direct. (How could I blog the plumber's visit, yet not keep track of his contact details? How stupid of me.) 8am. Plumber arrives. Wants to look at sewerage plan. Fair enough too. Why did I not think to have this on hand? Plan sho

Home life

The central heating stopped working

As you can see, I just love getting up in the roof and having to try and get the heater working. Not that it happens often, but yesterday the heater stopped going. Following the relighting instructions, the pilot will light, but after waiting the specified minute to switch it to full On mode, goes out again. Argh. Waking this morning, the house had cooled to 11 degrees overnight. Some

Bentleigh, Home life, Melbourne, Photos

The week in house maintenance

It was house maintenance week this week. I took a couple of days off to do some de-cluttering and get some people in. Hard rubbish got rid of two old mattresses, three former recycle bins, a big plank of wood, an old fan and two disused old bicycles. Amusingly, between putting stuff out/booking the collection and having it picked up, one bike disappeared, then came back, then the second went. On

Going green

Going solar – when should I jump, and how many panels?

Pondering adding to the solar hot water on my roof with PV panels for electricity generation. My last electricity bill says I used up 659 kWh in 92 days, costing $187.61 (only including the cost for power and the 100% GreenPower surcharge; excluding the $76.41 service charge which I'd incur no matter how much power used)... that adds up to 2614 kWh in a year costing $744.32, or about 28.5 cents

Going green

A record 9 days above 30 degrees

Thank goodness that scientists aren't warning of any kind of permanent warming of the climate that might prove, y'know, dangerous -- otherwise a record-breaking run of hot days might be a tad alarming. One shouldn't jump to conclusions of course. As Jon Stewart quipped: "Global warming is a total hoax. And I'll tell you how I know. Because it's cold, today, where I live. That's jus' scie

Consumerism, Home life

Where is it made? Advertising implies NZ, but the box says China.

We upgraded the kids' beds to King Single... because they're both getting big. Unfortunately the place I bought the excellent old bunk beds years ago ("Chunky Pine Bunks") seems to have closed down... a real shame because all I wanted was fairly plain, but really sturdy beds. I hunted around and eventually found these: Good price, looked sturdy. I went in and checked them out in perso

Consumerism, Home life

Robot vacuum cleaners

I was chatting to a work colleague about birthdays, the amazing fact that we're now well into the 21st century, and what happened to the promise of robots who would do the housework? Of course, we have dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers... and then she said she has one of those robot vaccuum cleaners. Apparently it works wonders in a flat with floorboards and cats that leave hair everywhere.

Home life, Net

Oh no! Home Interwebs is down

Disaster! No internet at home. Yesterday iiNet/Netspace had major outage in Victoria. It was eventually fixed, but even after a modem reboot we couldn't get back online. Then I noticed the home phone (yes, I still have one of those) was getting no dial tone. My assumption initially was that this was just an unhappy coincidence; I'm unclear as to how a widespread ISP outage would somehow affect a