Wednesday, 29 October 2008

House progress

It's happening - Trev's up on the roof everyday - the big common rafters he's beaten back to 8 remaining out of 37. He has a three rafter a day challenge, so hopefully not to far away before it's nil. They are all 'birds mouth' joints, and Trev enjoys measuring them exactly so that when they go up they fit snuggly, or as I hear him exclaim from the roof line , 'Fit like a finger up a bum!' - not sure where he got that particular expression from.

Then 24 creeper rafters on the roof hips, then its roofing mesh, sisalation, battens, insulation, sisalation and roofing iron. Then, later on down the track Solomit straw panel lining inside the house. All up 8 layers or levels of building - no wonder Trev tends to focus on the undone rather than the completed.

I've been home for the last month, so good to be able to do some of the dogs body work. We had hoped to have the roof completed by Christmas ... still possible, good weather and back providing.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The White Stuff diet ends...

It ends, and not before time - it was getting very difficult - it's the last few days that are always the hardest. But it was worth it - I've discovered how much energy I have when I'm not eating sugar and wheat - since I've gone back to both I've noticed a quick decline. So I'm going to reduce my intake of both till I find a happy medium (supposing there is one). I lost a kilo, which was a nice side effect, and I'm still eating more fruit as a snack rather than a roll or sandwich. We had a little bit of an outbreak of chocolate, but really, it's been good to break old habits.

While salt reduction was the hardest - by far. Which was a surprise. We did reduce it, but roast vegetables were always dusted off with a bit of added sodium. a serious addiction. However, whether it was the added energy and the additional running around I did or reduced salt my blood pressure levels dropped quite significantly. The time period coincided with a month off work, and starting on co-enzyme Q10 capsules, so not too sure that I can lay the benefits all at the white stuff diet.

We mucked up, of course, almost goes without saying. Someone handed me a lemonade on a hot day and I drank it, not till I polished it off did I have that, 'Oh', moment of, 'that tasted good because it's loaded with dissolved sugar.' Doh! Trev got up late one night and smuggled a vegemite roll into his maw - but ended up admitting to it.

Wheat is difficult because everything seems to have it incorporated somewhere - almost all lunchtime items are bread based and it takes some thinking ahead to not end up losing weight simply because your food imagination completely fails you. Sometimes it would be nice, when tired, to whip up a dinner of pasta, or homemade pizza, or just soup with cheese toasties. Still, one night Caleb decided to help out and made us a lovely chickpea curry that we're all keen on. Thanks Elliot from Rollercoaster.... a definate 5mmm, out of 5mmms.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Smart Burn

Found this in the local hardware store - some of you might have seen it on the New Inventors where it won an award. I'd LOVE to know how it works, as without knowing the science behind things I tend towards the skeptical, especially with such an impact as this has. It's a short metal tube with 'something' inside it that is placed in the firebox of a wood heater, but not near direct flame. It reduces carbon emissions from the chimney. While not an answer to burning unseasoned timber any reduction in emissions has got to be a good thing. So we spent the $45, cleaned out the chimney so it had a clean start and we'll check again in three months to see if there is any reduction in soot. We'll let you know. If you've already trialled this product please let us know how you feel its spiel holds up to reality.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Mass Extinctions Underway

This is from The Australian newspaper - you can read the full article here The story leaves me feeling despondent and strangely, for me, mute.

Mass species extinction 'is under way'
October 03, 2008

PARIS: Earth's animal and plant species are vanishing at unprecedented rates, evidence that the planet is facing a tsunami of mass extinction, experts gathering for a global conservation conference have warned.

Whether through habitat loss, pollution, hunting, or indirectly by global warming, humans are squarely to blame for what may be the first major die-off in 65 million years, they say.

From Sunday, more than 8000 ministers, UN officials, NGOs, scientists and business chiefs will brainstorm for 10 days in the Spanish city of Barcelona on how to brake this loss and steer the world onto a path of sustainable development.

The World Conservation Congress, held every four years, will also release an update on Monday of the famous Red List on biodiversity, deemed the global standard for conservation monitoring.

“The evidence is overwhelming - and we have really good data now - that what we are seeing is probably a mass extinction,” the sixth in 450 million years, said Michael Hoffman, a mammal expert at IUCN who worked extensively on the Red List.

The current pace of dieoff is 100 to 1000 times higher than the so-called “background rate” of extinction - the average rate, over millions of years, at which species bite the dust.