Notes from the bunker day 11

Japanese beer barrels. Makes ours look very crude. © PJ Croft 2020

Well, I must admit I’m starting to feel a little restricted, confined. Not that I would have done much on a Saturday anyway, it’s just the feeling that no matter what occurs to me, if it involves going somewhere, I can’t, or I shouldn’t. I’m sure I don’t have to explain it to you, we’re all in the same boat.

Being a Facebook Marketplace addict, there are several items in my Saved list that are sorely tempting and a few more have cropped up today, but really, is it worth the risk? It’s just as well, because being a bower bird, I’ve got to stop bringing things into this house! I’m crazy. I have far more than I need and storage is a problem. I was going to write “becoming a problem” but too late, it’s already happened.

There’s a marvellous pair of big UK brand loudspeakers for sale in Wembley that I would love to buy, asking $2,500, but I already have three pairs of good hi-fi quality speakers. How many do I need????

My third bedroom is effectively useless due to a very large ex-TVW7 VTR which is awaiting repair. Five years so far.

And my old 32″ Sony LCD TV – still good, too good to throw out, but just sitting there (covered up). I have in mind to install my old wall mounting swing arm so that I can mount it and use it in this room, but it requires drilling eight holes in this Fastwall wall and although I can do it, I’m not sure I have the right bolts and if I haven’t, going to the hardware shop to get more has to be weighed up. Probably not a problem but I don’t know.

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There’s a good joke on Facebook today. What should we be drinking? Quarantinis. 🙂 🙂

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That’s the thing, are we under the same strict lockdown conditions as NSW or Victoria? I know we’re not supposed to go out, but are we prohibited? I don’t know.

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For some reason, shopping trolleys are accumulating (flocking?) on the street around here. There are eight across the street from me now and at least one more in the alley behind my house. Are deliveries not happening? Do people feel they have to use trolleys to get their bulk purchases home?

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It’s occurred to me that one thing I could do is buy some seeds and plant some veggie plants. I would have gone out and possibly bought seedling punnets, but I don’t know if I can at the moment.

I got on-line yesterday and boy! everyone must have the same idea. There are a few Perth seed companies who say they can supply whereas ES companies can’t due to WA quarantine laws.

But almost every normal type of veggie seed is sold out. There are a few with odd names, odd varieties of well known veggies, so I managed to make a shopping cart of six types at $3.95 a packet, and they are ordered and on their way, I hope. They say new stocks are always arriving. I hope so. I’ve ordered tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, peas, … that sort of stuff. I already have lots of chillis, much more than I can use.

My lime tree is producing lots of new limes at the moment, small so far but they’ll grow nicely. Could it have something to do with the way my reticulation is working properly now and it’s being watered regularly?

Which reminds me, I have to go out to check the retic controller (I think the clock/day/date has got out of sync) so I’ll have to negotiate with the wasps that have built their nest inside the swing out door. I did it several weeks ago and as long as I went slowly, it went OK, with wasps even landing on my hand and wrist sometimes without getting upset. Nice wasps, nice, nice wasps…

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One effect of this isolation is that I’ve got the TV on in the day time, something I normally don’t do. I finally got off my backside for two short sessions on the treadmill this morning and watching TV makes the minutes pass.

I’m looking forward to hooking up this SACD/DVD player and high power Sony amplifier. That will make it easier to watch DVDs and listen to hi-fi CDs, something I don’t do much of.

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I mentioned yesterday that I need a source of power for my CPAP when the mains fails for long periods. Until the last few days, that was a very rare event, but with two outages of 5 hours or so, and the possibility of more, it’s no longer academic.

Therefore it was serendipitous that I picked up the January issue of Silicon Chip to find a full article on this very subject. The author needed a reliable backup battery source so that he could open the shutter over the entrance to his house in Sydney. No mains power, no entry to his house.

I haven’t absorbed the article yet but his research told him that a petrol generator was no solution (storage of fuel for long periods and it “goes off”, even in the tank of the generator). His conclusion is that AGM (car) batteries and an inverter are the way to go – I think. I haven’t finished reading yet.

But whatever the solution, it won’t be cheap. At least $1,000 I think. More on this to come.

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I’ve always been favourably inclined to QANTAS, being the great Aussie icon airline, but I’m becoming very angry and upset with them.

First they “stood down” most of their workforce with virtually no notice and without pay.

Then today it’s been announced that they’ve told all their staff who were on paid sick leave or carer’s leave that their pay also stops, now. No notice.

Can you imagine the stress this would be causing? Some have cancer, or their partner has cancer, quite possibly caused by working as flight crew on aircraft (cosmic radiation is high energy particles from space which can penetrate the metal skin of aircraft and can cause cancer, and is especially prevalent at high altitudes where the shielding of the atmosphere is not as effective. This is a well known hazard of being flight crew.)

Rightly, their unions are saying “Hold up there! This against the law.” QANTAS says, well if there’s no work, then these employees are not employed by us, so we don’t have to pay them. The unions are taking them to the Fair Work Commission. Go unions!

Great Aussie attitude. Great Aussie Bastards.

6 comments on “Notes from the bunker day 11

  1. Hi Peter, you would need deep cycle AGM batteries, not car batteries for using with an inverter. Is that what you meant?

    • Pete says:

      Yes, I was being loose with my words there. As I said, I haven’t finished reading the article yet so no doubt it will straighten me out. These batteries are very expensive though.
      Annoyingly, my CPAP uses 24V DC. I don’t relish having two 12V batteries by my bed.

  2. Pete says:

    I’m not worried about safety, just the sheer bulk of two lead acid batteries and charger. And that’s just for my CPAP. It doesn’t allow for the rest of the house in a major power failure situation.

  3. I wonder why it’s so bad where you live, getting power outages, I mean.

  4. Pete says:

    Oh it’s not usually. There was a long 5 hour one about four years ago. I had just about relaxed and come to regard this as being a good area. We just had those two last week a day apart. Obviously there was a faulty component in a switch yard (?) and their first attempt at replacement also failed. It happens, I know from experience in electronics.
    My concern at the moment is the possibility of more power outages if this pandemic ramps up even more. Power station employees calling in sick? Unable to get to work? Probably won’t happen, but once I started thinking about CPAP power, it led on from that.

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