Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A much cheaper (but also slower) way to get new plants

I have been doing this for a few months, the success rate is not 100%, but might worth a try if you are interested in saving money and most importantly - can wait patiently :-)

I first saw this Yates Plant Cutting Powder in Bunnings and thought might be a good idea.

It's very simple, just follow the instructions and keep watering it for first few weeks and most of time it should have roots and starts growing. I think it also depends on the type of plant, which season, which part of the plant did you cut, ...etc, also heard that better avoid flowering season and pick the time which is not too hot/cold. You might have to experiment it a bit to work out the best way for different plants.

The photo below is the most recent one I did last week. The one on lower right hand side was the previous one a few weeks back (or months? can't remember...). Yes, I am a bit lazy/greedy and tend to squeeze too many of them into one pot...

And of course, you need to find at least a full grown plant to cut first... Will leave it to you to work that part out :-)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Qantas' decision to ground all domestic and international flights is ridiculous!!!

Got friends traveling overseas tomorrow morning, and we were all shocked to learn that Qantas ridiculously decided to ground all domestic and international flights indefinitely since this afternoon.

With tours and hotels all booked or other arrangements been made, imagine how big the impact is to travellers all over the world!

Unbelievable! Will never fly Qantas again!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

New state law change that could spark sales slump

Saw this article from Sydney Morning Herald about a state law change which:

"slashed the statutory warranty period for non-structural defects - such as painting, poor acoustics, faulty wiring, internal fittings and fire hazards - from seven years to two, and to six years for structural problems."

This is ridiculous and a horrible news to everyone. Although reducing a few years of warranty might sound like a huge saving to the builders - specially those who can't do their jobs properly - it's going to have huge impact to all consumers who were interested in building or renovating.

The report also revealed a shocking news which I never heard of:

"no home warranty insurance available to owners in blocks higher than three storeys"

Yes, that's what the article said. If this is true, wonder what would happen to those who already bought an apartment/unit that's higher than three storeys and found any problem with the property?

Gosh! The property market hasn't been that well in the past 12+ months, can't you guys who look after the law stop been so short-sighted and do some proper long term planing that's more beneficial to the general public?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Japan - 6 months after earthquake tsunami

Have a look at this post, see how much the Japanese people have achieved in just 6 months time. Just amazing.

I think this truly shows how strong the country is - not how wealthy or how high GDP is or how big the economy is - but how the whole country works together during natural disasters like this. Look at US, China and even Australia, definitely far behind.

Friday, 24 June 2011

[Others.058] Leaking caused by neighbour's construction work

It rained quite heavily for the whole week in Sydney last week, and in the weekend we went to a friend's house for lunch. Their neighbour at the back, who's land is at a higher level was building a 2 storey house.

Other than the non-stop annoying noise and dust, our friend mentioned about this leaking under their house during rainy days which only started after the builder installed an underground water tank between the 2 houses. And the photo below is what it looks like, you can clearly see water running from certain area while other parts were completely dry.

Suggest them to take some photos/videos and report to the council asap - specially before the construction work finished and the council issued the OC. Obviously it has to be somehow fixed and would be quite concerned if the water could cause any damage to my friend's house. Things like this would surely brought some delay or extra cost to any construction work.

[Others.057] The Original Reverse Clock

Saw this strange "reverse clock" the other day. Quite interesting and took me a few seconds to get used to it. Checked the net and I think you can get one for around $130. Quite expensive actually, in my opinion but it's fun if you have school age kids.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

[Others.056] Burst water pipe

One of our neighbor's water pipe burst right under their driveway the other day. The whole street suffered lost of water pressure and few hours later, completely out of water. The water pressure from the damaged pipe was so strong that it cracked and pushed the driveway up a few cm higher than the footpath level, some of the footpath also damaged.

Annoyingly, it took Sydney Waters about 3 hours to send someone on site. After some investigation, they digged a big hole on their driveway.

Have a quick chat with the guys and they said this is the smallest 4 inch pipe, and start talking about another incident where an 8 inch pipe burst, how much damage it caused.... We finally got our water after about 6 hours later.

Other than having the water back, What we were more concerned about is how are they going to fix the damaged driveway?

The next morning noticed the hole has been filled up like this... Also noticed a few yellow marks been sprayed on the footpath and other areas where the concrete were cracked.

At first we thought is that it? The driveway will be left in such an ugly condition?

Then last week, council parked a caravan at the front. Next day they started working on the driveway. They were quite careful, only did one half, wait for it to dry before working on the other half.

After a few days work. It's now a brand-new driveway and footpath also fixed too!

What our landscaper told us before is correct. If your driveway was damaged due to burst pipe or whatever reason, the council will only replace it with basic concrete. So if any of you thinking of extending your beautiful driveway paving all the way to the road might want to think again... Better off saving that for the back yard?

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

[Others.055] the incredible (house construction) project

Took this photo from my old iPhone 3GS, so it's a bit unclear, but you should get the idea.... It's for some sort of computer software project, but still matches what could happen during any construction project. And I am sure whoever built a house before would quite agree with this.

One of the point is, sometimes even the customer can't clearly explain what they want. How would you expect the result to be correct after the message been passed over through so many people and documented in different ways.

So make sure you double check and triple check every diagram, every line in the contract, take a lot of pictures, ask a lot of dumb/silly questions - yes it can be a bit embarrassing, but it's really rewarding if this can clarify if every parties involved are talking about the same thing!

Whatever the sales person told you - specially while he/she show you around - write it down and make sure it's correctly and clearly covered in the contract. Whatever promise/agreement you were told/made doesn't count unless it's written down in the contract!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

[Progress.162] 1400W is just not powerful enough

As mentioned in this old post last year, we borrowed a high pressure washer from neighbour to clean up the blocks in our garden.

We tried one of those sub $200 1400W Karcher one the other day from Bunnings. But the result wasn't that good as lots of stubborn dirt still stuck on the blocks.

Later checked Karcher web site and found that the old Karcher 300 M we borrowed has the power of 1700W.... Humm... may be 300W is indeed a huge difference... Checked Bunnings and found a 1800W one for $399, even has a 2000W one for $596. Will have a second thought on that...

Monday, 28 March 2011

[Others.054] Change of NSW Premier and Council Zoning

First of all, congratulation to Barry O'Farrell our new Premier for NSW. Hope the North West Rail Link, which has been promised since 1998 can be finished in the near future as planned.

Picture: Jeff Herbert Source: The Australian

For the Labor, on top of all those countless money wasting mistakes they had made, to focus on connecting the 2 existing lines of Parramatta and Epping is really dumb. Compared with those residents in North West suburbs who have no rail-way and only over-congested roads, connecting Parramatta and Epping will only benefit a very small number of people and probably save them 10-15 min of travel time, isn't that really obvious?? No wonder Labor would loose the election so badly...

The other change is the zoning changes. During an open house inspection in one of the house in our area a few weeks ago, a neighbour mentioned council zoning has changed. Lots of area used to be "2B" and allows construction of single dwelling or duplex (Dual Occupancies), has all been changed to "R2" and that will only allow "single dwelling houses".

Quickly checked our council's web site and indeed noticed new Draft LEP and DCP been announced (see this link), this document about Zoning also provides some high level information.

Not sure about your council, at least in Parramatta council, it's definitely more difficult to build duplexes or townhouses. Wonder if that could have any impact to the house prices.

If any of you are thinking/planning of building new houses, make sure you keep yourself up to date with all the latest council regulation/zoning changes!