Posts by Moz

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Back to a…, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Yeah, JAMC live in Christchurch were nearly as bad as Oasis in Wellington a few years later, drunk abusive lead singer, poor musicianship from the instruments, just meh. I recall Straitjacket Fits played before JAMC and were much better, even as someone who's not really into them. We left after a few songs when it became obvious that it wasn't going to get better, along with half the rest of the audience.

    I keep saying I'm not into boys with guitars but... and I'm going to say it again about JAMC. I like their later albums, and the less jangly guitar sounding songs. Darklands especially came together for me. Songs like Nine Million Rainy Days are just so melodramatic and self-involved that it's hard not to take it as satire, but it works for me both ways. "all my time in hell is spent with you", yeah, yeah, angsty teen boy, I get it, you're sad. Still good music though.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stories: Home, in reply to Francisco Blaha,

    I'm glad you're here and like it. Long may that continue.

    For me home is a mixture. Growing up we moved fairly often, but only within the little town I grew up in so I never changed schools, just houses. That and moving regularly when I was at uni have made me more willing to move, but also aware of the value of "stuff". I'm kind of itinerant, but I travel heavy.

    Or more accurately, I'm aware of the cost of replacing or hiring stuff when I don't have it because I got rid of it when I moved. So I own a bloody great steel-framed workshop bench with a 30kg engineering vice bolted to it, because that's something that I use a lot. Trying to fake it with a little clamp-on vice... doesn't work. And so on, until I have ~20 cubic metres of stuff weighing several tonnes. At least, I did when we moved from Melbourne to Sydney a couple of years ago.

    Place is likewise mixed. To some extent home is where my partner is, and that's Sydney. But we have a shitty house in a shitty location, and that doesn't feel like home. I'm hoping that building a granny flat will fix that, but right now there's a whole lot of "can't do that until the flat is built" in my life. The "garage" leaks but can't be fixed since it's is made of asbestos and while we wait to rebuild it my tools are rusting and I can't build much. I can't plant much garden because it's too likely to be damaged when we build. Etc, etc. It is, unsurprisingly, very stressful.

    My roots in NZ are more more tenuous by the day. That's largely because my partner can't move to NZ, so I can't either, so I'm only ever going to be a visitor. But I do like to visit.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    a declaration of war, that does not mean France – or the rest of the world – needs to return the

    Too late, war was declared 5, 10, 50, 500 years ago.

    This isn't good vs bad, this is peace vs war. And war is winning.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…,

    I know it's been mentioned before, but the quota for Maori MPs didn't seem to bring about the downfall of civilisation. The main downside to quotas I can see is that if we had quotas for idiots they'd fill up really fast and some existing MPs would miss out.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…, in reply to Sacha,

    When Sydney Morning Herald columns are syndicated here, it feels like a time warp.

    I remember that, back when it was better put together than the free community newspaper put out by our local real estate agents. It scares me that Key has brought NZ parliament down to a level where the Australian one seems quite sensible by comparison. Don't do that.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…,

    Living in Oz at the time I loved it when NZ had 5 women in the top jobs, because Australia was still trying to come to terms with a woman leading a minor party. Obviously the world ended and Australia fell into a fiery pit of doom as a result.

    Since then they/we have womanned up a bit, but it's still bullshit most of the way down. I wonder if that term will change to cowshit, or bovineshit once we get more women in power?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I too am worried that I might not become a Cabinet Minister because some grasping women who is more qualified than I am displaces me.

    It could be worse, what if she was also more competent?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The brownfields housng development is based around the train-and-bus station, on the Western Line.

    It doesn't take a lot in many cases. The Sydney light rail is a joke, but it's really making a difference along the corridor it's on. If it was done properly it'd be amazing, but even bad light rail beats the snot out of driving.

    One secret benefit of brownfield is that often the people adding value can capture that - government own the land, add the facilities, then sell off the newly valuable land. Much better than just letting people near the new stuff pocket the proceeds... especially when there's no capital gains tax on them.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len, in reply to izogi,

    I never appreciated how well served New Zealand is with public libaries, at least in cities, until I shifted to Melbourne for a few years.

    This. A lot. The magnificent Sydney Public Library rivals the Richmond Public Library for size and the Tapawera Community Library for service. I wish I was kidding. Where I live the libraries are not too bad by Australian standards, and are mostly different in the number of languages supported (book collections in at least five, other material in ten or more), which does unfortunately mean that there's less material in the languages I read. But I go along and use it, because the evil money worshipping cultists watch those numbers like vultures.

    I wish Auckland the best of luck staring down the national government on this stuff, it sounds ugly. But I have to say that from Australia the Kiwi approach of a few large councils per city seems to work a lot better. Over here we have a lot of 30,000-50,000 size council areas, even in major cities. Sydney has 38 councils and that really doesn't work.

    I am a big fan of someone saying "how many councils should we have? Or alternatively, how big should a council be? and working forward from that. Albeit the Nationals seem to have started from "we need more control over Auckland" which is bullshit and we all know it. Sydney has "we must destroy Clover Moore" as a parallel, if you want to really see something nasty (by NZ standards, if you want actually nasty we also have gulags)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Access: How many agencies does it take…, in reply to linger,

    Surely for water heating you'd choose a solar heat exchanger rather than converting solar into electricity first?

    Sometimes. For us in Sydney it's cheaper and easier to buy extra PV than go to the hassle and expense of either a heat pump system or "simple" heat exchanger. The problem with heat exchangers is that you have to run plumbing up onto the roof and service it there, and often you need a pump too. Extra holes in the roof are never a good thing, and putting a couple of hundred kilos of water up there is not great, and pumps.... pumps are unreliable and noisy.

    Purely from a cost point of view, we use about 2-3kWh/day each for hot water heating using a cheap resistive hot water tank. In Sydney there are very few days when we get less than 3kWh for each kW of panels on the roof, so we need about 1kW of PV each for hot water. With a smaller, better insulated tank I expect it would be under 2kWh each. The hot water heater is under $1000. That's a bit over $1000 each for 20 years of hot water.

    Going from that cheap water heater to a heat pump one is about $2000, but it only quarters the amount of electricity required and the warranty is 10 years not 20. So we need $750 less PV per person... and there are only two of us.

    If we went with evacuated tubes (heat exchangers) it's more complex, because we have to move the hot water cylinder, punch extra holes in the roof and again, the warranty is only 10 years. I'm using warranty as a measure of expected service life, so I'm mentally budgeting that we'll need to buy twice as many of them if the warranty is half as long.

    One minor factor is that we can't use the extra hot water from the heat exchanger, but we can put the extra electricity back into the grid. I prefer to do that rather than waste it, even though it costs us money to do that (we pay $1/day for the grid connection and get 5c/kWh, so we need to sell 20kWh of electricity every single day just to cover the cost of the connection. Or we could buy a $10,000 battery system (about 30 years of grid connection charge) and not have the connection.

    The grid question is complex because our granny flat uses the connection from the house, but if we want to feed more than 5kW of PV back into the grid we need to pay $2500 for an independent grid connection for the granny flat. So effectively the current connection is "free", but feeding power in costs money. We will probably have a 5kW inverter in the granny flat for that reason (but might still have 6kW of panels, so we get more power in the winter)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 60 Older→ First