A cold snap, firewood and a short history of chimney sweeps

Almost on schedule, a cold snap arrived, coinciding nicely with our completely running out of firewood. Oh you too, eh? I thought as much, queuing up on Saturday at the fill-your-own-boot firewood supplier. It took a while. Chatting to a friend on the same mission, I mentioned that the fire was not drawing very well. He then told me about an organic solvent you could buy from the hardware store. “You just get a good…

Continue reading

Six Prime Ministers and a potato class action

As the dry winter fades away, ushering in a hot and bushfire-prone spring and summer, here’s some sober reflections on ‘Single-use Prime Ministers’. I borrowed the single-use mention from a clever meme doing the rounds on social media, where, I might say in defence of the humble Kipfler, Sebago and Desiree, potatoes continue to be openly defamed. It might not be long before we see headlines where Tryhard & Associates, no win-no fee, mount a…

Continue reading

Solar no easy energy fix

Solar energy is great – we’ve got eight panels on the roof, a hot water system and a portable panel in the caravan. Pretty useless on Thursday, though, with ex-cyclone Debbie sending heavy rain our way. It would be great if we’d had a battery bank under the house to store the energy from the sunny weeks we’ve been having. But battery bank technology is yet to become affordable for the 1.6 million Aussies who…

Continue reading

Government buyback could solve power crisis

“If you’ve got money in your pocket and a switch on the wall, we’ll keep your dirty lights on.” So goes a song by American alt-country singers Darryl Scott and Tim O’Brien about coal mining and power generation. Their album Memories and Moments includes a version of John Prine’s Paradise, which remains the definitive song about the downsides of coal mining. That seemed a noteworthy way to introduce the potentially dry topic of energy, be…

Continue reading