Friday, January 20, 2017

Free mathematician required

The self watering pot for our tomatoes cost $30 and I suppose another $10 for potting mix and the two seedlings, total of $40.

We have had three ripe tomatoes from the plants, each weighing 15 grams, so a total of 45 grams, or 0.0045 kilos.

So, how much per kilo have the tomatoes cost? Obviously the price will go down as we harvest more but I think they will be very expensive tomatoes.

Warm and fluffy or.....


Damn, the alligator video was shown on tv news here, so everyone has now seen it. Is it real? It is not the shape I imagined alligators to be, quite different to our crocodiles.

Well, you will have to make do with some cute fluffy kittens then if you've seen the alligator, if the video works. It is the first time I have tried to put a non YT video in a post.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Connected to the NBN - the verdict

While the day of connection went painlessly, subsequently things became quite difficult. I changed the given password at the TPG website and so managed to stop our internet. That was the worst and took the most time. The call centre, in the Philippines I think, were ever helpful and patient about our non working internet. Had I told them at the beginning that I had changed the password at the TPG website at the beginning, it would have been resolved much faster. How was I to know that was the cause of internet ceasing? It seems you have to change your modem password too.

Then our phone that could only make outgoing calls stopped working altogether. R was a little distressed as he thought his fave sister would call for the New Year. Sure, enough, she sent an FB message, has your phone been disconnected? The Brother Friends called to wish us happy NY, and they received the same message. More time spent on the phone and then a call back from techs that porting your home number can take a five working days. R was not impressed. An email arrived that told us all had been completed for the change over. Not so, but I was prepared to wait, and hey, no Mother in my ear for a week. R insisted I call back to TPG about our non working phone, but it seems even in the Philippines they celebrate New Year's Day, and the call centre was closed.

I called again the next day and as I was going through the process over my mobile phone, (I always made sure they called me) suddenly the lass said, (paraphrasing) 'eureka, I will call you back'. She did, half an hour later on the home phone and it was working fine and has continued to do so.

With the password having been reset to factory setting, R still wanted to change it to our own. Predictably, changing the password at TPG again broke our internet, but I was a little more knowledgeable and the matter was quickly fixed after a short call.

Should you have to go through all this rigamarole? No, of course not. Is the end result good, yes, and I pleased we have done it and are saving $50 a month and have a superior service.  While web browsing is only marginally faster, downloads of files is much faster and uploading, say when you upload photos to your blog or Flickr, it is gobsmackingly fast compared to Telstra's service.

In the small print below the graphs, how annoying that our own, former government owned, telecommunications company uses the American date format. I suspect this local speed test is a bought off the shelf USA product and slightly adapted.

Anyway, bite the bullet and do connect if the NBN service is available to you. You will have to do it at some point anyway. If you are as I was, a rusted on Telstra faithful, it is very liberating to be free of the shackles of Telstra. Oops, my modest shareholding in Telstra has dropped in value again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A bit of environmental outrage

The Netherlands is now running all of its electric trains using wind power to generate the electricity. Believe me, as I have seen them, there are a lot of wind turbines in Netherlands coastal waters. Australia should be generating all of our power with wind, wave, hydro and what Australia is known for and has in abundance, sunlight.

Because onshore gas production has been banned in the State of Victoria, a little scare campaign has been underway by those with vested interests in increasing the price for natural gas we pay. Apparently because of a 'gas shortage' we will have to start freighting gas from Queensland and it will cost a lot more. Phewy. Our gas comes from Bass Strait off the Victorian coast. When I was but a lad, I remember hearing that there was enough gas under the seabed in Bass Strait to last us thousands of years.

I should have saved the name of the author of this little gem. Whether true or not, I do not know, but politicians and those who lord it over us wonder why the public is fed up and cynical.

There's a neat political game going with France and Czech Republic selling reliable base power to Germany and Austria while the latter two can promote their own "green" energy policies - including opposition to nuclear power - and look nice and virtuous (while cooking their dinner using nuclear power from the country next door). Two countries get money, the other two get political kudos. Everybody is happy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tasteful Restraint?

Where is the most ornate old theatre foyer in Australia. I think Victor may have discovered  a strong contender and I would be interested if anyone can mention a more ornate theatre foyer in Australia. Note, I don't use the word beautiful. That is in the eye of the beholder. Art Deco is more my style. I remember being very impressed by Sydney's State Theatre where we watched a film soon after the theatre was restored to its former glory in about 1983.

While it is not longer used as a theatre, the foyer is.....well, Victor has the information on The Regent Theatre in Brisbane and some terrific photos.

Here is a tease photo.