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Ouch, rates time.

Another year and another solid increase. We can do nothing more than pay whatever they ask or lose our house, we can't shop around for a better deal or query why every year it increases more than the consumer price index.

It's a captive market where productivity isn't linked to profitability.
I've put an older rates notice here to show how much things have risen, back in 2004 the rates were too high, now it's ridiculous and must be reaching the breaking point of many home owners.
Note too that the pensioner rebate off the main bill hasn't changed since Noah was in short pants, the State government rebate was $180 ages before 2004, so much earlier that I can't recall any changes, my guess is that the $180 goes back to the Joh era before the '90s, our greatest era because we were proud to live in Queensland then.


Of course something had to go wrong..

Just to ruin my bliss. The monitor on the old computer won't turn on, a quick look shows the classic sign of bulging electros (the cylinder thingies in the lower left of the pic) in the power supply circuit, so I'll replace them and keep my fingers crossed.

Monitors are pretty cheap these days so I don't want to throw too much money into it, the charring on the board from the backlight driver makes me wary of putting good money after bad.

These have made me very far.

I've suffered chronically from acid stomach, heartburn all my adult life (and probably longer) and have usually resorted to antacids when the pain is too harsh, being a cheapskate I used Bicarb soda. Anyway the Doc. prescribed these for me ages ago and even renewed the script despite me avoiding them due to thinking they were merely expensive antacids. How wrong could I have been? these actually work to reduce the production of acid in the first place, and I've had no pain at all since I started taking them a few days ago.

It's an amazing feeling being able to have a beer without pain, and go to bed without a few doses of agony. I just hope no side effects crop up to ruin my joy.



In experimental mode I bought an electronic fluoro ballast fitting from China to see if it was worth pursuing another way of reducing power bills.

Using my what is probably unreliable power meter it appears to be using a fair bit less power than the old style. Hopefully mega will throw a comment in here?

Of course in a nanny country like ours I'd probably face a few years jail plus a million dollar fine if I ever connected it, but I love a good tinker.

Happy Birthday to the French today, I wonder what fancy stuff they'll have to show tonight in that pushbike race Grace and I stay up to the wee hours watching.


Yearly trim.

They cut the sugarcane field behind us on Friday.
It's only glorified grass, so with the help of a bit of fertiliser and weedkiller it'll just grow back ready for another trim in a year's time.



Even saved money by leaving off the 'A' and saving ink.


Even expensive specs don't like being run over.

I found these eyes on the road outside our place this morning, dunno how long they've been there but they're cactus now.

I looked them up and even at the budget place I buy eyes from they're real expensive, probably more so if bought locally, which was likely. have them at near $170, myself I can't see any real difference between their $12 frames and expensive ones like this, and I suppose neither do vehicle tyres.

Anyway if the owner spots this, come and grab them, but they're only good for an art piece on your wall.