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A blog about the current moment…

Link to more entries: Errata, Life, Humour, etc.

It is just my imagination or is it that an email that starts with “Good points you brought up.” often end up as thinly wrapped instructions to “please change sections X, Z, B, C, D & Q, M, O.”

Grumbly thursday.

2020/07/08 19:19 · skys

Apparently – at least in this organisation – “security by frustration (SBF)” is a thing…

PS: My opinions are solely my own, and are not necessarily representative of my employers, etc. etc…etc… (obviously).

2020/07/06 16:31 · skys

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”

Philip K Dick

2020/05/18 23:43 · skys

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

I'm confused.

If his way is perfect, why does he need to be supplicated to do his work better?

If his work is perfect, why do we have to ask him to change the course of nature?

If his creations are perfect, why negative outcomes?

If he is perfect, why does our prayer and supplication work? How? Does it work on his/her vanity? Is it based on judgment, and therefore correction of his perfect plan? Is it based on payment and sacrifice? If he/her is perfect, don't they already have everything needed?

If outcomes perceived as negative are planned outcomes from a perfect creation and plan, then nothing is bad, so is nothing good?

If creation is a perfect plan , it is is not improvable, therefore it is imperfect? Therefore…?

The same issue with reincarnation though. How was it decided that a louse was lower on the pecking order of dogs and dogs were below humans, and human arhats are the last stop before enlightenment? Couldn't a dog, who has already learnt to be carefree of most worries, who also conquered worrying about food and sex, be more considered more enlightened than us with our myriad of hungers and desires?

Why are people so impassioned with ensuring others have a faithful dependency on another entity than themselves? Is it really compassion and sharing – or an fear of being the last person in the crowd who isn't responsible enough to live with our own self-understanding of our list of weaknesses to invest in strengthening?

Using logos instead of mythos is difficult and lonely.

2020/05/01 19:02 · skys

Ain't it ironic how so many ordinary people dream of becoming famous actors, when everyday most are already acting.
And people in the movie industry try to act as ordinary people.

2020/05/01 18:53 · skys

House Building

The Australians have been in the news again. This time it's about them fighting over toilet paper in the market aisles.

Which has got me to wondering how many liters of water we would need to flush toilets and keep the showers going.

For one, an average shower, unless you are a teen, lasts 8 minutes. An average shower spews out 8 litres/minute. That's 64 liters/shower. Of course, if you have teen girl, pre-employment, when time is immaterial, but fake-nature smelling soaps are, showers can be as long as 20 minutes, and if they had it their way, they would have a shower head that spews out 24 litres per minute. 280 liters/shower would be their norm.

The other favorite habitat of a teen girl appears to be the Bathtub.

Bath taps range from 10-16 l/m. Filling 2/3rd of a 180cm long bath (having a 275 liters volume), means 180 liters. So it can take 180/12 (=15) minutes to fill. And one can then spend an hour soaking listening to music from a cellphone. Sounds about right, from what I've seen.

Finally, it's worth knowing that the average tap in front of the makeup mirror delivers 6 l/m.

Of course, I could keep on thinking my way through the other rooms of the house, or skip all that and take LearnNZ'stats that – in New Zealand – the average person uses 227 liters of water per day:

  • Toilet = 86 liters per day
  • Bathing and hygiene = 68 liters per day. According to the above, they're not counting teens… (somewhere between 180 and 280, so 230).
  • Laundry = 36 liters per day
  • Kitchen = 32 liters per day
  • Housekeeping = 5 liters per day

That's interesting. 227, adding in the teen factor – which is admittedly only 1 out of 3 (2 parents, 1 teen) in this household, adds another 75 liters per person. Let's round it all to 300 liters.

Of course, there's also outdoors summer stuff - watering plants, filling wadding pools, etc. Add another 300 liters a day, but not every day. Let's say 150 liters a day.

450 liters per day, times 30 days a month = 13500 liters/month. 13500 liters/month, times (worse case scenario) 4 months of drought, equals = 54000 liters of water needed.

Which means 2 x 25,000 above ground liter containers should do the trick. 3 would more than enough (although that would mean 5 to 8 of the largest underground storage tanks…pretty expensive).

This aligns with advice that one should consider using at least 30,000 litres of storage, although if you also are planning on a lot of gardening, 3 x 25,000 would be more appropriate, as 4x30x650 is a lot of liters.

And how much roof is needed to fill that up again? Well, I found out that in Wellington it rains 247 days a year, dropping a total of 1243mm (sounds about right – for all it's self-hype Wellington truly is a wet blanket compared to the South of France…90 days, 550 mm).

1 mm of rain over 1 meter squared of surface = 1 liter.

So…1243/12 = 100 mm per meter / month = 100 liters / month is delivered via 1 meter squared of roof.

So I would need - to refill 55,000 liters of stored water - a minimum roof size of 550 sq.m if I wanted to refill in 1 month. Or over 2, 275 sq.m, over 3 months, 185 sq.m, and over 4 months only 140 sq.m.

That works. At least until global warming really kicks in. But it's worth knowing that the absolute minimum I should constrain designs to is 50,000 liters of water storage (preferably 75,000 liters) and a house size of no less than 140 sq.m of roof.

Fine. We've covered the basics. But let's get back to that issue of Australian ladies fighting over toilet paper for a second.

The following is a bit delicate – but it's important in the context of the Corona virus question.

When looking up the matter I came across a thread where they were discussing the the fact bidets are not common in NZ. I'm interested in this question because – especially in these times – using soap and water (and presumably singing Happy Birthday for 20 seconds..?) would be more hygienic than using “smudgers” (presumably because – as someone at some point in the thread so vividly described – sometimes “using toilet paper is like trying to wipe peanut butter out of a shag rug”.

I leave you with that thought. And am adding 10l/person/day to the above equations and adding bidets as a must in the house plan…

PS: https://home.howstuffworks.com/bidet.htm?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=feed

2020/03/14 19:48 · skys

The Australians have been in the news again. This time it's about them fighting over toilet paper in the market aisles.

Which has got me to wondering how many liters of water we would need to flush toilets and keep the showers going.

For one, an average shower, unless you are a teen, lasts 8 minutes. An average shower spews out 8 litres/minute. That's 64 liters/shower. Of course, if you have teen girl, pre-employment, when time is immaterial, but fake-nature smelling soaps are, showers can be as long as 20 minutes, and if they had it their way, they would have a shower head that spews out 24 litres per minute. 280 liters/shower would be their norm.

The other favorite habitat of a teen girl appears to be the Bathtub.

Bath taps range from 10-16 l/m. Filling 2/3rd of a 180cm long bath (having a 275 liters volume), means 180 liters. So it can take 180/12 (=15) minutes to fill. And one can then spend an hour soaking listening to music from a cellphone. Sounds about right, from what I've seen.

Finally, it's worth knowing that the average tap in front of the makeup mirror delivers 6 l/m.

Of course, I could keep on thinking my way through the other rooms of the house, or skip all that and take LearnNZ'stats that – in New Zealand – the average person uses 227 liters of water per day:

  • Toilet = 86 liters per day
  • Bathing and hygiene = 68 liters per day. According to the above, they're not counting teens… (somewhere between 180 and 280, so 230).
  • Laundry = 36 liters per day
  • Kitchen = 32 liters per day
  • Housekeeping = 5 liters per day

That's interesting. 227, adding in the teen factor – which is admittedly only 1 out of 3 (2 parents, 1 teen) in this household, adds another 75 liters per person. Let's round it all to 300 liters.

Of course, there's also outdoors summer stuff - watering plants, filling wadding pools, etc. Add another 300 liters a day, but not every day. Let's say 150 liters a day.

450 liters per day, times 30 days a month = 13500 liters/month. 13500 liters/month, times (worse case scenario) 4 months of drought, equals = 54000 liters of water needed.

Which means 2 x 25,000 above ground liter containers should do the trick. 3 would more than enough (although that would mean 5 to 8 of the largest underground storage tanks…pretty expensive).

This aligns with advice that one should consider using at least 30,000 litres of storage, although if you also are planning on a lot of gardening, 3 x 25,000 would be more appropriate, as 4x30x650 is a lot of liters.

And how much roof is needed to fill that up again? Well, I found out that in Wellington it rains 247 days a year, dropping a total of 1243mm (sounds about right – for all it's self-hype Wellington truly is a wet blanket compared to the South of France…90 days, 550 mm).

1 mm of rain over 1 meter squared of surface = 1 liter.

So…1243/12 = 100 mm per meter / month = 100 liters / month is delivered via 1 meter squared of roof.

So I would need - to refill 55,000 liters of stored water - a minimum roof size of 550 sq.m if I wanted to refill in 1 month. Or over 2, 275 sq.m, over 3 months, 185 sq.m, and over 4 months only 140 sq.m.

That works. At least until global warming really kicks in. But it's worth knowing that the absolute minimum I should constrain designs to is 50,000 liters of water storage (preferably 75,000 liters) and a house size of no less than 140 sq.m of roof.

Fine. We've covered the basics. But let's get back to that issue of Australian ladies fighting over toilet paper for a second.

The following is a bit delicate – but it's important in the context of the Corona virus question.

When looking up the matter I came across a thread where they were discussing the the fact bidets are not common in NZ. I'm interested in this question because – especially in these times – using soap and water (and presumably singing Happy Birthday for 20 seconds..?) would be more hygienic than using “smudgers” (presumably because – as someone at some point in the thread so vividly described – sometimes “using toilet paper is like trying to wipe peanut butter out of a shag rug”.

I leave you with that thought. And am adding 10l/person/day to the above equations and adding bidets as a must in the house plan…

PS: https://home.howstuffworks.com/bidet.htm?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=feed

2020/03/14 19:48 · skys

I've just got off the phone with HirePool.

They'll be delivering an 8 tonne digger in 24 hours. Bigger is better they say (this time with steel threads, which don't come off as easily as rubber threads).

PS: I'd like to bring your attention to the fact that it was always the right track that came off. Which I believe makes it highly improbable that it was human error. Probably was just had a lemon track that was time to be replaced. Happens. No biggie.

2020/03/10 05:31 · skys

AB Solutions put the tracks on again…

We discussed causes and there was a bit of humming and uncertainty and they wondered if the track was shot, or if the track was half-shot and the rocky terrain might be a problem.

So after they repaired, and considering nobody could tell me if I was doing anything wrong, or if the digger needed some work I told Kennards (the owners of the excavator) they could come and collect it.

Considering it was now Friday, they could not get out there and I was going to have a large paper weight on my property through till Monday.

So the machine sat there and…and…and these machines are so expensive…that you just can't leave a machine like that alone…when it's free!..

And I fell to the temptation.

I went back to work, promising myself that I would avoid doing any reversing (as that was the move that was always causing the track to come off), and the pad pad for a future house at “Two Trees” …

This is the view from the living room:

And of course… Happened again.

But since I had said I wouldn't touch the machine, I couldn't exactly call Kennards or AB this time, I had to go buy a chain and emply my my trusty specialists.

Specialist #1:

And Specialist #2:

And this time we thought ahead and bagged the dog poo:

So that when we used the blade to push in the idler it was a smooth operation…

And when we hooked the chain around the track just as Francois did twice…

We got the track back on by ourselves.

I sheepishly returned the digger to the place where AB had left it, and we congratulated ourselves.

A week ago I was barely able to use a paper clip without stabbing myself, and here we were, whacking away at bushes and taking out shrub and taking down fences and putting on 400Kg tracks onto 5.5tonne excavators…

Pretty cool…. (Note that the following photo is photo-shopped to make my gut look a little bigger and middle aged to make it look a little more realistic).

All in all another nice day.

Note that In the meantime, back at the apres-ski lodge, the other assistants were totally unaware of it all…

But glad they could enjoy their holidays. They both deserved it judging from their grades.

2020/03/10 05:30 · skys

We whacked away at the track with my crowbars and his sledge hammer. For at least a couple of hours, with him talking about all these techniques he'd heard would work.

Helen was pretty good with that sledge hammer.

But in the end it was a wash.

Next day, Tuesday, up came the pros from ABSolutions.

Francois (on the ground) and Cam (backside). Francois moved to 6 months ago from South Afrikans, where he was used to excavators that are 20 x bigger than my toy, and nothing can be moved by human labour. So he very elegantly used the machine against the machine, using the bucket to push in the idler to give us the slack we needed and then put a chain around the track and used the stick and boom to pull the track onto the sprockets..and then the same with the idler.

Frankly, it was practically poetic and graceful. In a muddy, clumpy, kind of way.

But I was giddy! With my digger back, I could roar across the hills and catch up on 2 precious days lost.

So I sped back and forth to cut the rest of the path and was getting somewhere:

But…life is cruel.

And it happened again on the same track.

It's embarrassing. Going to have to call back AB Solutions to help out again.

But I'm starting to think of the digger as my Stephen King thing…

2020/03/10 05:20 · skys

The digger was still missing a track.

So Gareth came up to help, on a National Holiday, no less.

Gareth was sure we would succeed. Then again, Gareth had never done this before.

We whacked away at the track with my crowbars and his sledge hammer. For at least a couple of hours, with him talking about all these techniques he'd heard would work.

I asked him where he was getting his information. He mentioned brushing up on a web page before coming up.

Ah.

Helen got in on the fun too and turned out to be pretty good with that sledge hammer while we both strained at the crowbars, trying to not show each other, or the lady in our presence, that we were actually about to bust a gut.

But in the end, it was a bust. The digger was still missing a track.

Gareth was wrong.

2020/03/10 05:15 · skys

First thing this morning, read the manual.

Page 83 showed how to open the “nipple” (who comes up with those names?), in order to let out the hydraulic grease from the track, releasing the tension and getting some slack, then put the track back on. The graphics and the text were very clean and straight forward looking.

So off to Bunnings to get a crowbar and some adjustable wrenches.

Then up to the field. Fog. Lightly Raining. Mud. And digger still in the ditch with no space to move in close to work on the track.

An hour spent to move three meters forward and one meter to the left.

Finally got the space I needed to lift that side of the excavator off the ground and see what's what.

It's muddy is what.

But I did found the nipple in the mud.
Except the nipple is hard and won't come off for 10 more minutes.

Finally use two wrenches and the thing comes out. Turns out that nipple is just a fancy name for a nut.

Then the grease starts oozing out slowly like blue dog poop.

Funny enough, unlike the nice drawing in the manual, nothing else happens. Track remains highly unmovable.

Is raining lightly, every time I look upside down into the underside to see what's going on my glasses are either trained out, misted up or simply slide off into the mud.

Clear off the tracks, scraping away with a crow bar, mud falling down on everything, including lunch.

Still doesn't move.

I call up the service center to ask about that. He asks me if I have a strap and sprocket to pull the track sideways. I don't.

He then suggests I use option two other tools: grunting and swearing.

An hour later I call Helen to go buy a strap and sprocket,but she says she can only do that after laundry, in an hour. More swearing.

Move on to taking more of the #6 staples out of the deer fence as we will be taking down about 60 meters of the stuff later in the week.

Helen shows up. With a strap. The strap is marvelous. The most expensive marvelous strap in the world that can lift 30 tonnes. So marvelous that I have no idea how to use it.

Is now 4.31 pm. I call the service guys again. Turns out that they closed at 4.30.

At which point I decide that with mud in places I didn't know mud could get in to, with feet as cold and wet as of is I'm walking around with foot basins on my feet and I've been beaten by a 59 dollar strap, that it was time to go home.

Stopped on the way home at the liquor store. Even though I did not succeed I DESERVED it.

2020/03/10 05:05 · skys

Well, so there I am with the rented 5.5t excavator (because there was no 8t, as I was recommended) – having luckily spent the previous evening reading up on how to use them. Turns out that was lucky, because the guy who was suppossed to show me how to do things… didn't show up.

One small issue, the neighbours were curious and came over to check things out.

And would not go away. Had to hang out with them a while. Opinionated bastards called Paddington and Buster. Swinging their horns around ( to show that they didn't like me touching their head, belly fine though) a bit too close for comfort.

Finally started up after watching an expensive hour go by and they left when the dust started flying.

Things were going smoothly, and time flew by, although near the end of the day found out that treads can fall off. Bummer. Having to get a neighbour to come out and show me how to get it sorted out first thing in the morning.

Day 1 off 4 finished. Going to bed.

2020/03/10 04:51 · skys

So the last time I got into a digger (or excavator) I nudged one (or five) posts of the deer fence between the property and the neighbours.

So I've been looking into upskilling in that area too.

2020/03/10 04:29 · skys

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2020/03/10 05:33 · skys

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