04 September, 2012

What a rip-off (not to mention, BAD service!)!!!!

Several weeks ago, I discovered that my air-conditioner wasn't working... It was the exact problem that happened when under warranty, the 'mother board' has gone!

So, I called Frost for a repair guy to come out, and was told of the charges... In essence, a call out fee then in 15 minute blocks... He came and the clock was on, I told him what the problem was and told him what needed to be checked... Anyway he looked around here, and there... And then, just into the second 15 minute block, he THEN looked at the motherboard, and then concluded that yes, I was right, and that it was gone... He then went on to say that it would be cheaper to simply get a new unit, and suggested brands that they stock...

I listened to what he had to say, but still requested a quote on a repair...

A few weeks later, having not heard a word, I called them up asking as to the status. I was tol that, "we have emailed and left messages with the supplier, and that they are not replying... But, we can sell you a new one, but would need to visit and quote accordingly, but I'd be looking at $3,800"! I replied back by saying, "ok, the loungroom faces west, there's a 4m verandah that stops sun hitting back wall. All walls are insulated and as is the roof space. It is also a 40m2 area, and the current unit is a 7040/7700 heating/cooling BTU' But he still wanted to come out and quote. Anyway, after a couple more days, I called DeLonghi, I obtained a part number and a supplier nearby where I could purchase one for $325, which I forwarded to them in an email...

The following day, I got an emailed quote to repair, $1,100! They outlined that the part quoted needed additional parts, and that, with labour, totaled out at the $1,100!

So, after helping my neighbour cut down my Mulberry Tree (will post about that seperately), I proceeded to take out the part, drive to Wetherill Park (c. 10 minutes), collect the new one, drive back home and install it... All up, an HOUR of my time (including driving) and my Air-conditioner is working again!!!

Old 'Motherboard' unit

New 'Motherboard' unit wrapped in plastic

Hoo roo for now...

29 August, 2012

28 August, 2012


Today is just a boring day at work, really, it is!!!

You see, this is my boring view, looking out of my office, bad isn't it!!! :p

Office View

In all seriousness, its a busy day today, and I am only now just having lunch! I am in the middle of a briefing note, and by the time I have it finished, I will be looking forward to getting into the city later tonight! It should be a fun night, or at least, I hope so!!

For morning tea, I normally have a toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich, but today, I had the chipolata and scrambled egg wrap which was very tasty...

Morning Tea

Hoo roo for now...


27 August, 2012

The weekend that was...

It was a weekend of highs and lows, and in the end, a bit of a blurr actually... It all started friday, which was a simply stunning day weather wise, and in the late afternoon, there was a definate 'spring feel' about it.

Saturday, I was up semi early apart from a neighbourly issue, but that's an aside... The main thing for the day was to get to the SCG and to watch the Swans AFL game. This was to be a high, but alas, in an absolute cracker of a game, it was a last minute loss against Hawthorne. For weeks, I had been looking at getting a guernsey, and tonight I was in luck, as they were having a sale and it was reduced from $90 to $65, yay me!!

Swans Sale


SCG with Grandstand removed

Being part of a group of people and talking and catching up, made it difficult (not to mention the lack of suitable service at the game when a concentration of people demand service) I was quickly running out of phone power. I was delivering score updates to many people at the end of each quarter. It was a real 'nailbiter' of a game! Sitting in the cool, even with suitable clothing, gave me an almighty back ache, so I was glad to get home, heat-pack, and lie flat...

Sunday was another nice warm sunny day, and it was off to catch-up with some friends. Whilst the kids went into the play areas, we sat and chatted and soon we had some lunch. I had a hotdog and wedges... Soon enough, it was time to go, and I was heading to ANZ Stadium for the footy, different code this time - NRL.

However, along the way, increasingly, a headache was gaining momentum, and by the time I got to Silverwater Rd, I turned around and headed home... Soon after, I was being (physically) sick, and ended up sleeping off most of the afternoon...

MM Wedges and Hotdog

So, that was, the weekend that was...

By the time I got back to the car at Central Station

Hoo roo for now...


24 August, 2012

Its Spring!!! (with these temps anyway!!)

You'd almost be forgiven if you were to think it was spring already... Afterall, Wednesday it was 26 degrees, yesterday almost 30 (29.4) with the 'normal' (summer) thunderstorm! And today, which is just glorious by the way, is just another day in paradise...

Red White and Green Spring Walk

Parrot Tulip Spring Walk

I hope this weather continues, its a weekend of footy, doing the lawns at home and a bit of a tidy up as well, but I am hoping to get a ride on the bike in as well...

Hoo roo for now...


22 August, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 56 - Norwegian Weeds


Hoo roo for now...


29 June, 2012

Day 11 - Prague Botanic Gardens

Today, it was all about visiting the Botanic Gardens in Prague... but the Gardens I visited, were the ones attached to the University of Prague, and had more of a science feel to it; not necessarily a bad thing either...

It was a small, eclectic Garden, long and narrow, and had both a working glasshouse for operational use, as well as another one for visiting public to enter.

Potted Palms

Potted Trees Prague Botanic Garden

Prague Botanic Garden Glasshouse

A lot of the trees were in pots, making them easier to 'bring in' when not the best weather in the winter. the lawns were sweeping in nature and generally a very pleasant little garden. However, it was doing the hayfever NO good what so ever, and after cutting short my visit after talking with some of the staff, I headed back to the city and to get some medication, and some lunch!

Lavender and Roses

Hydranger and Bee

After lunch, I headed up to the Prague Castle! It was by this stage, quite glary on the eyes, and it was warming up nicely as well... I caught the Metro to Malostranska, and then the tram to the top. When arriving, I walked past the Princesses Garden, which was a butiful garden! There was a 'Birds of Prey' corner, and they had some magnificant birds on display. You could have your photo taken with one of them, the larger the bird the more it cost, but I wasn't into getting my photo taken! They were also very much against YOU taking a photo of the birds, and as I din't have my long lens with me, I was unable to get a shot :(

After a quick walk around, it was time to enter the Castle itself, and more importantly, into the St Vitus Cathederal.

Prague Metro - Malostransk√°

Princesses Garden - Prague Castle

St Vitus Cathederal - Prague Castle

After the brief look inside, I walked down the long subtle staircasr towards Malostranska Metro station, and along the way, stopped to get some photos of the overview of the city.

Prague City Center

Castle Wall

Staircase Down...

I potted around the city for a good while whilst JP was at work. The plan was that when he finished at 7pm, we would catch up for dinner at the local pub where his spotters club have the get togethers! I caught the Metro up to where we were having dinner. Dinner was fantastic, and not that badly priced either!

After dinner, we strolled across some of the bridges in Prague, there was some buskers about, some great and some, well, they were there... It was getting late now, and whilst the sun was low, it was still quite light, but it was a great final night in Prague...

Hoo roo for now...

28 June, 2012

Day 10 - Airside spotting at PRG!

Ok, this was a definitely a 'highlight' of the trip... It isn't every day you can get THIS close to the action!!

We arrived at the airport after having breakfast in the hotel, it was served down in the cellar, which was full of lovely lines and arches of old stone (propped up by new here and there...). We caught the Metro and then the bus that links the Metro to the Airport. But, we had to get out at T3, which is short and on the opposite (almost) side of the airport. It was the old terminal, and it is now used for FIFO and charters as well as General Aviation! We were met by the guide, and as it was just us, we were going out in a car as opposed to the bus, which had its pluses in that we could get to better locations and out for a longer period as well!

Soon enough, we were driving along what was the old runway, which is being used for GA parking. Low and behold, there was an Australian registered aircraft out there!!


Prague Airport Spotting

VH-LAL a long way from home - Sitting on the old runway in Prague!

We then headed along to the cargo ramp, where an all white (boring) China Airlines Cargo B744F was being loaded. This will be good to get as it departs!!

JP and the China Airlines Cargo B744F

B-18722 China Airlines Cargo B744F - PRG

We then headed to a little spot, where we set up for a good couple of hours, and mainly spotting small (A320 and B737's) jets and the odd props (ATR's) taxiing past and or departing. It was fantastic as a lot of the airlines were all new to me! The lighting was being difficult, but hey, it was middle of the day and I wasn't going to complain, and I got some good results!

CSA Logo Jet departing PRague Airport

AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines B735 UR-AAL - PRG

BMI Baby

We then moved (a little) so as we could get both the B744F and the Emirates B773 departing. After the EK taxied past, we had to get into the car, move, in order for the B744F to pass us, as this is an operational (and safety) requirement. It didn't take either of them to long to get to the end of the runway and soon departing!

EK B773 to DXB

China Airlines B744 Freighter departing PRG

The day was fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, thanks JP!

We then headed back into town, and dropped of the camera gear and then a freshen up. We were meeting up with JP's dad for dinner, at a Mexican restaurant nearby! It was great to catch up with his dad again, as it was last December, in Rome, where I last caught up with him for dinner!

What a day, lots of great stuff done and lots of good company... Totally exhausted, especially as now my hayfever was ramping up... I am over the sneezing and constantly running nose and itchy eyes.
Hoo roo for now...

27 June, 2012

Day 9 To Prague via Amsterdam

I woke up early today, as I was having breakfast with a colleague from Ireland (Dublin) and we were catching a cab together to the airport at 7am... Breakfast was nice, and during the breakfast, the new Chairperson from Greece, asked Alan if he could do the 'Field Days' next year!! YAY, a trip to Dublin next year is now on the cards, as well as Beijing!

Anyways, we got into the cab and then headed to the airport. The cab driver was quite a chatty chap, and we spoke about the economy and so on, and before to long we had arrived. It was quite a small airport, and I now understand as to why it was cheaper to fly into Oslo as opposed to Kristiansand! The facilities and terminal itself, were still stuck back in the 50's or 60's! I was having some small difficulties with my check-in, as I was on a flight into the Czech republic via Amsterdam. It ended up that the gate agent was trying to check me in via a new system, and it wasnt letting her! Eventually, I was checked-in (rather early) and she took carriage of my bag and I entered through the security check. To show just how small it was, I had met the agent at the check-in, security, at the gate and then she handed the inventory to the flight deck!! She was one busy lady!

Departure from Kristiansand was a very quick departure, the Captain spooled up to full power and then released the brakes and almost slingshotted us into the sky! The flight was pretty smooth and before long, we were arriving on Amsterdams furthest runway, the Polderbaan! I had read that at times, it takes longer to taxi to/from the runway, than what it does to actually fly across the channel to the UK! Today though, the Captain was in a hurry and we only took around 20 minutes,

Clearing security was a fairly easy process, as it is when travelling intra-Europe, and before long I was waiting for JP to arrive from Prague. His flight arrived and we cleared security together and went to the KLM shop where he purchased an Airforce ! model and then we went to the viewing deck; which is simply an amazing place!

It was soon 'time-to-fly' and needed to clear security, and this is where I came into grief... Security officer was far to busy chatting up a pair of blondes, to inform people, me, that they need to take out cameras... I had already taken out laptop, I know the 'drill' by now, and sent my bag through to be x-rayed. On the other side, I was asked if the bag was mine, and did I know what was inside it... Yeah I do, and at this point I would NOT have had an issue, but had a) the guy on the otherside mentioned it, I would've taken it out, and b) as the guys on this side were talking in Dutch, I asked they speak in English so as I know what is being said... It got a little heated as I wanted to see where my gear was going instead of asking silly questions by the security... Afterall, its c $10K of gear! After it was done, I grabbed my gear and we left for the flight...

Gear x-rayed AMS

CSA Wingtip
The flight to Prague itself was pretty good, a new airline for me, and a new destination! As JP was now living in Prague, I followed him to the bus, then Metro and to the hotel I had booked, which was right in the middle of the town and on the Metro station! It was late, and we had dinner and hit the beds...

Hoo roo for now...

26 June, 2012

Day 7 & 8 Kristiansand...

Well, for the next two days, it was all about the conference. It was a very good conference in that the main theme, was all about Sustainablity. The actual presentations were great, informative and very well presented. I really enjoyed some more than others though...

On the afternoon session, we took a bus trip to Landvik, Bioforsk's turfgrass research facility. The bus trip was very pleasant, through some wonderful countryside, and we were told about how the Lupins along the roadside were an introduced weed species. its funny how what is seen as a plant is actually a weed elsewhere!

Soon enough though, we arrived, and we were greeted by a light shower... Refreshments were ready for all of the delegates, coffee, open sandwiches and strawberries - YUMM!

Shortly after, we were asked to take a manual of the site, which was to be a 'notebook' for the afternoons tour. On the cover of each notebook, was a coloured dot, which became your group. There was 5 groups that went about 7 stations.

Turf Trial Plots - Landvick

Turf Trial Plots - Landvick

Turf Trial Plots - Landvick
Now, luckily (for our group) we were to be at the second last station, which was the closest to the research facilities administration and where we met and had refreshments earlier. We were out in the middle of the field, when an almighty crack of lightening, followed almost immediately by the loudest crack of thunder. Some of the American guys in the group announced that they were heading in (from Tornado ally perhaps?) and after a few more cracks, the rest of our group was walking through the Strawberry and Asparagus field in the search of shelter... We just made it inside and then the heavens opened!

Turf Trial Plots - Landvick

Approaching Storm - Landvik

Asparagus Trials - Landvik
After the storm passed, we joined the buses and headed for the BBQ for the evening, where the food there was simply amazing...
Hoo roo for now...