24 April 2009

Another trip away

I just got back yesterday from another trip to Armidale.

I was away for ten days this time for two res schools at the uni, animal behaviour and intro to geographical information systems, both very interesting subjects.

Next Saturday I have to head down there again for another res school, this one is conservation biology andd is being held about 130 kilometres from Armidale at Mt Hyland Wilderness Retreat. I'll be spending one night in Armidale, then driving to Mt Hyland the next day.

As I had a day off between subjects last Saturday, I thought I'd drive out and have a look at the route to Mt Hyland. Someone in my class had asked about the drive there and wondered if it would be okay to take her little Hyundai. Our lecturer recommended she go on the minibus instead and I can now see why.

Our Subaru Forester will do it okay, but I don't think I would have taken our old Subaru Impreza. I'm not even sure I'd take my brother's Honda CRV.

Here's a few piccies I took on the day.

The first water crossing, more of a ford than a creek.

I'd just got back in the car after taking the previous pic and saw these guys waddling toward me.

I can't help thinking this would be a bit slippery in the wet.

The second water crossing. This one came up over the door sills. I'd be taking the minibus if I had a smaller car.

10 April 2009

It's pick on Richard Wilson day

If you've ever watched the old series, "One foot in the grave", you're familiar with the catchphrase, "Oh I don't believe it!"

Poor old Richard Wilson has had to put up with strangers coming up to him and reciting that line ever since Victor Meldrew was killed off in the series.

Anyway, I was watching Father Ted tonight. At the beginning of the episode Father Dougal had been watching One Foot in the Grave and kept reciting the line, "I don't believe it", much to the hilarity of both him and Ted. They were visiting the mainland and were planning to visit some caves while they were there.

Well while they were there they noticed that one of the other tourists was none other than Richard Wilson. Much was made in the episode of Mr Wilson being totally pissed off with people thinking "I don't believe it" was funny when they saw him, to the point he got quite violent toward Father Ted. Here's a link to part of the episode featuring Richard Wilson himself.

Well I watched No Heroics after that, then there was a short link into the next show provided by Ardman's "Creature Comforts" The animals on the show were all talking about impersonations. It finished off with three crows trying to do a Frank Spencer impersonation. From that they went into a Victor Meldrew impersonation.

I just about wet myself.

I hope Richard Wilson isn't in the country at the moment.

Incidently, if you have a Tom tom satnav, you can get a Victor Meldrew voice for it. I want one, except we have a Garmin.

02 April 2009

Being eco-friendly

... or at least trying to.

A couple of years ago, Donna and I bought a 2600 litre rainwater tank to use for irrigating the garden. Literally within half an hour of us getting it all hooked up it bucketed down rain. It was a quarter full by the end of the storm.

Last year, the state government announced that they were going to bulk buy a thousand 1kW solar systems and asked for expressions of interest for those householders that wanted them. Because it was a bulk buy and because of the federal government rebate for solar energy, they reckoned it would end up costing us about $1500 for the complete, installed system.

That was an opportunity to good to pass up, especially since the system feeds back into the grid. This means that any excess energy we generate, we get paid for by the energy company.

Well I sent in our expression of interest as soon as I heard about the deal, so did about 5000 other people. They stopped asking for applications after only two days. Because there were only 1000 systems available they had to have a ballot to see who would get them and we were lucky enough to be one of them. In fact, we turned out to be even luckier when they finalised the price. All we had to pay for the complete system was... wait for it...

$185. That's right, one hundred and eighty five dollars.

Well they completed the installation the other day and guess what. It's bucketing down rain at the moment and has been since about midnight. It's so gloomy at the moment I've had to turn on the living room light so I can see to study. We're under that blue bit on the weather radar picture, about a third of the way between the centre of the pic and Cape Moreton.

I guess we won't be generating any excess energy today.

At least we aren't out delivering junk mail in it, although the next lot will be dropped off soon and I'll have to go out and bring it upstairs.