Bunker bulldust day 45

Esperance

Esperance. Looks nice!   Photo: ABC website

Missed a day, but no worries. Beeeyoootiful day today. Sparkling autumn weather, 24C and a cloudless blue sky with no wind. World’s best climate.

1st of May, my first hot shower for the summer this morning.

Another power failure today, about 3.10pm. Only about 5secs but it lost me a small amount of work. What’s going on?

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The new cleaner came yesterday but at 11.30am despite telling me 10am. Oh well, close. No explanation. She’s Vietnamese, about early thirties, husband and two kids, passable English but not fluent.

Her work was just OK. She works too fast, leaving water and wipe marks behind, missing things, but she got through a fair bit and I’m glad it’s done. I’ve had to go back over some of her work, but it’s easier now. I’ll probably get her to come again but not regularly.

However, when she finished I asked her to confirm her rate – on her note she wrote $20 for 2hrs. She confirmed it. I said, no, that’s too low and tried to give her $40. She refused it! I tried to give it to her but she pushed it away. I tried to give her a $5 note as a tip but she refused that too. Remarkable and it makes it more likely that I’ll get her back again.

That contrasts with an ad I answered about six years ago: two ladies, $30 per hour, min two hours. OK I said. So they came and did two hours. When I went to pay $60, “Oh no, it’s $30 each, $120.” Crikey! They could see I was shocked and tried to make excuses, but I had to pay the full amount. Needless to say, I didn’t get them here again.

Likewise, about 2015 I got a guy to come and quote me for a yard cleanup. He came and looked, then said $300. I said “That’s for 3 hours?” I thought he agreed so I expected three hours work from him. Even that would have been $100 an hour, way above the going rate!

But when he came and did the job, he did it all in less than 90 mins. He did what I expected, but he said “$300”. I said, “But I thought you would be here for 3 hours!” “Nah, mate, I quoted you for the job, $300.”  Bloody hell, that made his rate $150/hour. I just had to pay it. I included a note with my payment, “Never again!”  He didn’t like that and wanted to argue about it, but I just cut it off. And I have never again used him.

Again, in about 2015 I got a reticulation company come to get my retic going. It had low pressure and wasn’t spraying properly in many outlets.

A guy came and spent about 2.5 hours. He found a leak and fixed it, replaced all the  sprinkler heads in the garden beds and a couple in the lawn and reprogrammed the controller. It hadn’t been possible to get a quote beforehand because we didn’t know what needed doing. The bill? A bit over $500! I nearly fell over, but the work was done, it was successful, I couldn’t object. So when the Water Corp wants me to get a retic installer to fix the leak in the joint near my meter, I’m very wary. I think I’ll let the lawnmower man do it at $60 an hour.

Likewise again, I got a plumber to come and fit my new kitchen sinkmixer tap a few months ago. Stupidly, I forgot to ask for his price beforehand. He was here no more than 30 mins and when it came time to pay, it was $150! He hadn’t used any materials – I had the new tap already here – he just got under the sink, not even needing any special tool, which I thought it would need. In fact he really needed some small rubber O-rings but he didn’t have any! He had to use thread sealing tape and we hope it holds. There was nothing I could do but pay. And plumbers wonder why they are regarded as so expensive. Grrr.

I also think I was right royally ripped off when I had my rear garden and lawn rearranged a few years ago. Despite telling him what I wanted in things like limestone blocks and paving slabs and the type of lawn, what I got was what he wanted me to have, because that’s what he was used to supplying and had in stock. It’s OK, but it’s not what I wanted. But once it’s in, it’s hard to ask him to rip it out and do it again.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking I’m being ripped off over and over again.

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Speaking of which, I’ve just been out and bought 2x 10m lengths of speaker cable. It’s reasonably heavy stuff but nothing special. $4.95 a metre! $90 for the 20m. Holy smoke. It’s only thick figure 8. Even coax is not that expensive. And the plugs that go on the ends are $4.95 each. I need eight = $39.60. Ouch.

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I’ve also bought a two bay SATA hard disk enclosure at Jaycar:

XC4688-2-bay-usb-3-0-sata-hdd-raid-enclosureImageMain-515

It’s not a NAS (Network Attached Storage) as it’s only USB3 and doesn’t connect to a network, but it does RAID 0 and 1 and JBOD and will allow me to back up to some of the spare SATA discs I have on the shelves. $99. I’m still looking at NAS boxes but they are very expensive.

In fact, ASUS, the motherboard, laptop and monitor maker has tempted me into buying their offer of 1TB of web-based (cloud) storage for US$13.49 for 1 year. It looks like a reasonable deal to me so I paid up and within 10 mins I was uploading my D:/Data folder, which came to 703MB. It only took about an hour (5Mb/s connection), so that’s a good thing. There’s an Android app for the phone, so I can access any file wherever I am on my phone. Bloody amazing.

 

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