Saturday, January 23, 2016

"trust me, I'm a landscaper"

I know that it has to get really bad before it becomes great. The way our house now looks all around it is outrageous though. We had an incredible storm here yesterday. The landscapers were busy and I just went for a quick shop to the local shopping centre. I could see the dark clouds approaching but didn't think much of them. While shopping, I could already hear the rain on the roof but didn't realise how bad it was:

I have to say that I have never seen such a heavy rain before. Within minutes, a little river was entering the shopping centre through the doors and beautiful waterfalls were flowing down the ceilings. Who did build that roof, one would think?

yeap, these buckets will help ... you better turn off these bloody lights ...

The lights turned itself off after a while and it was dark. My car wasn't parked too far away but with the lightning strikes hitting right next to us, the big trees around and the amount of water on the ground it wasn't the best idea to try to get to the car...

Few minutes later pieces of gyprock started falling off the ceiling and there was more and more water on the floor. Staying there didn't seem like a great idea either. So shoes off, wait for the lightning strike to hit and run to the car before the next one strikes. Running was tricky bare-feet, on the slippery ground but I made it to the car and was safe. Unfortunately not all were lucky. A 39 year old man was killed by lightning strike out of the same storm not far away from us. Thunderstorms are no joke here...

Driving back home I really appreciated my little 4 wheel drive "eastern suburb housewife SUV". The low floor cars were getting water in. We live sort of on the foothills and the water from the hills was forming rivers down the streets. This is why there was so much of it. Rubbish bins were swimming down these rivers too. Friday is bin pick up day in our area to they were all out on the streets.

I got back home to a battle field that the landscapers left in a hurry leaving everything behind. Even the bobcat!

It started drying out today but the humidity is still up so it's gonna be a slow process. This may delay the works and our beautiful garden with golf course style green grass.

There is not much we can do but wait. The boys were playing some very serious and loud music while at work yesterday. Today, we found their abandoned professional sound equipment. Don't know why but I find it very funny:

Because it's so hard to imagine how the ready product will look like, we thought it would be good to have this little photo diary of the garden works to be able to compare the before and after photos. Can't wait for that day to come.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Doctor's engineering

We are back home, working and enjoying the simple city life.

We drove all the way back from Benalla in one go, managing to rig the glider in Waikerie on the way. Good effort but we arrived exhausted after 1000 km drive.

We all know that 29's get spar bumps. They seem to be more visible when you leave your tanks wet, even with the dump valve and filling cap open. They just don't dry out properly by themselves and develop these ugly looking bumps. You can tell exactly where the spar is. Not that it affects the performance that much. With our skills we're not able to get the maximum performance out of these gliders anyway. They look ugly though. We've been negligent for the first year and didn't do anything about our bumps. They turned out to be quite significant during the recent annual inspection and it was time to act.
All our friends have some sort of a tank-drying equipment. Usually these are old CPU fans with some kind of arrangement. The idea is to place them on the top opening leaving the dump valve open. They then suck the air out of the wing creating a constant air flow through the wing and drying the tank completely. And guess what? They do work and the spar bumps disappear as the wings dry out.

So we ended up developing a system based on what everybody else had but adding a little bit more TLC and engineering standards to it. So here it is: "Doctor's certified tank drying device". He's a smart and handy cookie this Ziggy, I have to admit.

CPU fan and some plumbing parts from Bunnings

The whole system connect into a regular power point but can also be run off a 12V battery. Should we get it patented?

In the meanwhile our house is a mess again. The landscapers have moved in and are creating mess beyond comprehension. Ziggy keeps saying that it will be awesome once they finish. It's still hard to see through piles of pavers, dirt, mud, tree roots etc. And this is just the back and the side of the house. The front will be next and even worse as they will be ripping off all the concrete from underneath the carport to replace it with old red bricks.

the beginning of the mess

We can't wait for the final results. In the meanwhile we can admire this amazing view from our dining room:

I have to admit that I'd love to have a play with this little bobcat. I've always wanted that :)