Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Two weeks since a post. Tsk, Tsk. Life has been a blur of new things. Carefully labeling the fuel cans in the barn so that the brush cutter doesn't get four stroke up its innards. Nor yet the quad get filled with 2 stroke. Then there's the mower.

I inherited a Shibaura SE4000 42hp tractor that had strapped to its PTO the scariest and most inappropriate mower I have ever seen. Hundreds of kilograms of offset flail mulching mower that would reduce a field of telegraph poles to matchsticks as soon as look at them was what I was supposed to mow the (admittedly very large) lawn with. Well I did once and had to go for counseling afterwards. This thing was all very fine and dandy for mowing under vines and mulching prunings when the property was an orchard but it was all wrong for turning aforementioned front lawn into the best short game practice facility this side of the Black Stump. Apart from being the wrong sort of mower it was too big for the tractor and it was offset - offset by about three bloody feet. Have you ever tried reversing an 'L' shaped vehicle through a shed door that is too narrow for the whole contraption but can accommodate each limb of the 'L' individually? It's enough to get me to take to the strong drink. Add to this the news that the damned thing needed a new set of blades and they would set me back the fat end of eleven hundred notes and it was a no brainer.

The WMD has gone. It was replaced yesterday with a brand spanking (red) Fieldmaster three rotor topping field mower. Now this is a whole lot better on all sorts of levels. Firstly you can reverse it back into its shed in a straight line. Second it actually mows the grass like what a mower should instead of gouging great parts of the countryside up and spitting them out as potting compost. We are not there quite though. The Shibaura has been orchardised - lowered, (I own a lowered vehicle) has smaller fatter tyres and a few other bits and pieces I don't understand. This means I have to get new restraining chain brackets attached to the rear of the PTO crankcase so I can have internal instead of external chains. External chains would just cut great holes in the tyres. The height of the two lower arms on the three point linkage isn't right as the mower raises on the hydraulics with a marked list to starboard and I suspect the top link is set (by me) at the wrong length as the skids don't 'float' over bumps like they should but dig in. Oh, and I need weight (and I mean heaps of it) attached to the front of the tractor as steering is light at the best of times and disappears completely when the mower is 'up'. Still Gatman's can sort all that on Monday. The lawn is mowed and it is all rather good fun.

What has distracted me long enough from all this agricultural and pastoral stuff to put finger to keyboard? I let the the mandatory fuel efficiency labels to be placed on cars pass me buy. If you want to buy the Jag and ask how fuel efficient it is you will be told 'Not at all, a dyed in the wool gas guzzler. And, you can't buy it now just because you even asked'. No the event that has stirred me from my blogging torpor is Earth Hour.

This bit of politically correct bollocks starts in sixteen minutes time. We are supposed to turn off all power for an hour to show we care about how we are destroying the climate with our profligate wasting of energy. There was a piece on the News about it just now. (I seem to have stopped reading the newspapers now that they don't arrive at Marmite soldier time - I might even cancel my subscription.) It is being pushed by the usual earnest worrying type that are always in the forefront of this sort of crap. What a load of nonsense - even they admit it will make no difference to overall global power consumption. The news reporter even had a spokesman (sorry spokesperson) from a hospital regretting they would be unable to join in as it might be dangerous. Spare me.

Well it may come as no surprise to you that I will not be turning of anything in eleven minutes time. On the contrary I will turn on every light in the house - and the barn. It is a warm(-ish) night so I will turn on every fan I can find. I think I can fire up seven televisions, six computers, three printers, a microwave, two ovens, three electric jugs, a toasted sandwich maker, two food mixers, a dishwasher, washing machine, clothes drier, four heated towel rails, four bathroom underfloor heating units, five mini stereo/ghettoblasters and that's just the house. Off to the barn and I'll have the bench grinder going (a few hooks to sharpen, you understand), the drop saw savaging some planking, a heat gun straightening some lure skirts and a couple of electric drills doing nothing in particular. Whilst I'm over there I'll fire up the quad and get the brushcutter ticking over in case I run across some emergency thistle clearing in half an hour's time. Then it'll be back to the garage to start both cars. A brick on the accelerator of the supercharged V8 should keep it at over fifty litres an hour with no problem. It's at times like this I regret selling the Landcruiser. I'll then spend the rest of the hour walking up and down the drive to ensure that the sensor lights on the drive don't time out and go off.

Sod off you stupid, stupid morons.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I blandly announced six days ago that I was 'back on the planet' and that normal service was about to be resumed. Normal service was to be commenting on wastes of space in who pretend to govern this country, going fishing and keeping a weather eye on the cricket. Well I have achieved none of the above - oh, I did have a bit of the cricket on for a while this evening. England's wicket keeper, who is about to score a ton, will be a good player when he leaves primary school.

It is the middle of March and I haven't been fishing this year yet. Am meant to be going for my regular 'best week of the year' on Saturday but forecasts of 25-35 knot sou'easters would seem to say otherwise.

What of SWMBO, Cullen, Keith Locke, Bovver Boy, Chris Carter and the rest of the wastrels? I see they are all behaving as badly as ever. I see they are lying like flatfish about anything and everything. ING has stoppped paying out on some of their products and History Boy assured us that the US sub prime collapse wouldn't affect The Peoples Republic of Aoteoroa. More evidence, if it were needed, that he is an incompetent git - and I hear talk that he is plotting to roll Helen. I read of all this and I really couldn't give a stuff.

The change in life from suburban beach to rural is more profound than I thought it would be. We are only twenty minutes (if you travel at 0330) from our previous whare but the difference is vast. It is not so much the fact we are in the country and it is quiet (oh, is it fabulously quiet) and the nights are proper dark (it is blacker than the inside of a cow once the sun goes down). The thing that is fascinating me is the mixture of the old and the new. The balancing act we now have to perform between the rural traditional (what is the interval between spraying glyphosate and it being useless in a rainstorm) and the absurdly hi tech. I have spent $900 on cabling for one TV today which boosts the price of a high end LCD telly just a tad (but the result is stunning). I am swapping out a huge mulching mower (and I am talking seriously huge - it would reduce a field of telegraph poles to sawdust) for a pasture topper. I thought a pasture topper was an ice cream three weeks ago. And then I gave up trying to get a network printer running through the high speed switcher and decided to use it as a USB device and make it a shared printer wirelessly. I purchase a pair of Red Bands on the same trip as I get a fax machine.

I am loving it all (I even did a couple of hours of daytime job this morning) but I have come to realise that I couldn't give a fat rat's backside as to who is going on a junket to the Czech Republic. They are welcome to it I'll happily stay on my 11.8 acres north of Auckland and make some lures in my barn, or do a spot of spot spraying or get the tractor out or wirelessly listen to Kirsty McColl on the Polks in the rumpus room.

'Old' normal service has not been resumed and is unlikely to be. I am not sure what 'new' normal service is going to be. Early indications are that it will be much more betterer.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back on the Planet

Some of the more observant may have noticed that there has been no new entry on this blog for a couple of weeks - good job too I hear you cry. I have not been struck down with a sudden attack of rampant sloth but have been in the process of moving whare.

The Obalds have move from here

to here

and I have to get the hang of driving one of these

I haven't seen a paper for ten days, only got access to the Six O'clock News yesterday and have had the internet back for 48 hours. I have to admit being walled off from the wastrels who wold waste my money wholesale has been very relaxing and pleasant. But all good things must come to an end and I suppose I must give my attention to the ways of the world again.

But before we do that I have some lures to make, a couple of paddocks to mow and 476 cardboard boxes to unpack.