Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'll top up the oil in 30 seconds

Yesterday's near disaster. The Provisional Princess drives my car more than I. So when she was asleep on Christmas Eve, ie before the crack of noon, I borrowed my own car to do some Chrissy shopping. The noise from the tappets was frightening so I made a mental note to add some more engine oil ASAP.
Zip to Christmas day and I am downstairs in my suit and tie topping up the oil before heading off to lunch. I prepare everything just nicely so I don't spill a drop of oil on my lovely powerful, if leaking, 1.8L Hyundai motor... or myself. The filler cap removed and general area wiped clean, the funnel is wrapped in a oil cloth to guard against drips, the bottle of oil ready to one side, dipstick checked and clean, my tie tucked into my shirt and a spare oily rag ready to catch drips from the oil bottle. I open the screw cap of the oil bottle I notice, just in time, that the seal on the bottle looks wrong, the colour isn't right. My hand freezes above the funnel.
It's 30 seconds. An acid wash that one normally uses to clean paving... I can only imagine the effect pouring eve...n just a smidgen of acid into my motor. Perhaps it would have corroded, beyond repair, the insides of the delicate machine... or perhaps simply exploded and let me off lightly.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Solar, Kitchen or Ski juggling act part 1

I broached the subject of solar power this morning (Mothers' Day) with The Minister of War and Finance.

I've been looking into installing a 1.5kW system on our heavily shaded roof. The guys over at Sydney Energy Cooperative have been very helpful with quoting and providing efficiency information. After RECs the system will cost us about $6000.

Back to this morning...

After the discussion over eggs Benedict I think I have the following options.

1. No solar power but new kitchen and ski trip to Whistler*.
2. No kitchen until mid next year but have solar power & trip to whistler.
3. Kitchen, solar power but no ski trip to Whistler in January.
4. STFU** and eat my eggs***.

Upon reflection, I think she said the "3. Kitchen, solar power but no ski trip to Whistler in January." was out of the question. I seem to remember too that there was a stern look to go with it.

I think option "2. No kitchen until mid next year but have solar power & trip to whistler." is the way to go.

Problem is, the kitchen needs a new cooker and the one I want is about $2500.00. To repair the existing one is $800.00 but if I am going option 2. then the $800.00 is a waste for just one year. But to install the new cooker means destroying half the kitchen. Chicken and the egg. Bummer. Looks like I might have to work on option 5. half a new kitchen and solar power and trip to Whistler.

*A once in a lifetime trip; well, twice in a lifetime but the first was a long time ago.
** She didn't really say that on account she doesn't swear, but you get my drift.
*** Actually, I had the mushrooms, she had the eggs.