Water hammer

15 11 2016

Recently the hot water tap in my kitchen had developed serious water hammer, a vibrating, thudding sound through the pipe once the water got hot.

And I couldn’t get the mix right in the shower either. A slight turn of the taps one way, and it was too cold, and a slight deviation the other way, too hot.

However, the gas lines were replaced last week, and I had to re-start the gas hot water manually.

After doing that, I discovered that both problems had vanished.

So if you’re having difficulties, try adjusting the temperature at the hot water service before messing around with washers or any other work.


Introverts at Weddings

18 08 2016

Often, a person has vegan friends, who are easy to cater for at a wedding reception,  it’s practical to assume a vegan or vegetarian will be attending anyway, so people have a choice.

But I find that introverts are generally over looked.

We’d tell you, but we’d rather not be any bother.

Going to the Wedding itself is generally not that much of a concern, Churches at at least fairly quiet and comfortable… even if you are an atheist.

An outdoor wedding, if the weather allows, is even better.

It’s the reception afterwards which is tricky.

A wedding reception is a giant affair which extroverts lap up, but we introverts find very confronting.

So I thought I’d offer a few ideas for consideration.

We do want to be there, you’re very likely a good friend who we cherish, and you probably already know that I’m (We’re) as quiet as a church mouse. The celebration is going to be a stretch for us, but we want to meet you half-way.

It might be wise to seat us with someone we know very well and get on with. I once had a friend who thought that I should be seated well away from my Parents and sit with some of his friends, who were lovely, but I didn’t know them at all, and it bothered me.

After I ate, I really wanted nothing more than to escape. I love music, but I love it when it’s coming out of speakers and I have the controls in my hand.

I don’t know if it’s an introvert thing, but I dislike loud music, I like clarity and quiet.

Escape at a reception often consists of two options, hiding in the lav or going outside. the lav is usually bustling with people needing to pee or freshen up, so it’s not ideal, plus it’s holding things up.

Going outside might be ok, but it might be cold, dark and a bit spooky.

What’s needed is an escape room, if you’re an extrovert then you probably have a “chill out” room in your mind… people lounging around, soft blue lights, chill out music… no.

What I have in mind is a room with soft furnishings, possibly with a few bean bags on the floor to sprawl over or crawl into.

A table with a few goodies on it, cakes, bikkies, wine and a nice warm pot of tea.

Some books perhaps, and wi-fi.

If it’s not too cold, an open window would be lovely.

I personally wouldn’t mind if others joined me, and that we could have a conversation and share some tea, that is my idea of mingling.

Plus if someone has had enough, I don’t mind nursing them for a while either… not because they’re drunk, that’s entirely different.

It doesn’t have to be fancy either.

What are your thoughts?


Pirate of the Airwaves

16 08 2016

My favourite theory about Piracy is that if many people could pay for what they downloaded for free, they wouldn’t bother buying it at all.

Which means that neither the artist or record company would be affected.

I might be wrong, but if you’re not totally sold on an album which will set you back $20, then why buy it at all?

Some of you know that I buy fancy limited edition vinyl records, I do so because they’re a kind of souvenir which is special and I can only get for a week or two before they’re all gone.

I don’t play these records, in fact I don’t even own a working turntable.

If I want to listen to music then I’m perfectly happy listening to something on YouTube or some streaming service, even the radio.

And that’s what I wanted to talk about.

I listen to a classic rock station at home, and I find that certain names pop up frequently, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Queen and David Bowie to name just a few.

Now I don’t know if anyone has considered this before but, If I am really keen on a particular artist, and their songs are played about twice a day on the radio, then what reason do I have to go out and spend $20 on a CD?

Sure the radio station pays royalties, and quite a lot actually.

I tried to run my own radio station from home at one point, but the licence fee was a killer, and that was partly why I shut it down, the other reason was that I never thought it would take off anyway and knew I’d get tired of it, which of course I did.

But do the royalties give the artist (or should I say their record company) as much as if the public went “Gosh I love that band, I really must buy one of their CDs”?

It’s a very fine line, you promote yourself online, or on the radio which helps people remember you and your music, and perhaps even buy it.

Or they hear you too often and don’t buy your work at all.



For Art’s sake

14 07 2016

My Mother would sometimes talk about art, She didn’t like Abstract because she “couldn’t make head or tail of it” and to be honest, I find it difficult to understand too, I’m sure a lot of people are in that boat.

But one day I understood something about my Mum, which was a bit of a revelation and it started during a conversation about art.

Mum liked pretty art, portraits, or landscapes, or kittens. She didn’t like art which was in any way confronting. Of course I knew that, but the light-bulb came on and I asked her a question.

“Mum, you do realise that art isn’t just supposed to be… pretty… don’t you?”

The look on her face told me that that was indeed what she thought.

So I told her that art is supposed to invoke an emotion, any emotion.

Fear, pain, grief, joy, love, hate, fear, loss, pain, lust and so on.

There had been one notable work at the time, called “Piss Christ” which she thought was really wrong and shouldn’t have been made. Mum had been bought up as a Christian, and I’m sure it irritated bits of her.

If you see a work of art, or indeed hear it if it’s music, and it causes an emotion to float to the surface, then it has done its job, and if people talk about it, well that’s even better.

Piss Christ had been discussed and condemned by articles in most of the local rags and by reports on the television news, therefore it had been successful.

Though what it was trying to say remains a mystery to me, and that’s alright too, art doesn’t need to be explained.

Do you remember seeing country singers on TV years ago? They’d come out onto the stage and sit on a stool, and tell a short story about the song they were about to sing, where they wrote it, and what it was all about, I always found that a little strange.

Let the viewer or the listener decide what the art is about, otherwise you turn people off

“Oh really? it’s about X?, I thought it was about Y… I’m not interested anymore”

Of course I remember Glen Campbell telling a story about a fan who didn’t like that gory song about the man’s body hanging on the wire… Wichita Lineman.

I wished I had woken up sooner and told Mum about this, perhaps it would have opened her mind to these things a little better, but I couldn’t always explain things all that well either, that ability seemed to have emerged much later.



Making a pledge.

11 07 2016

There’s a company out there which produces recorded work by artists, which lets the artist talk about their idea, and if the fans like the idea, they can pledge (key word there) money to the project. If the artist raises a particular sum, then work can begin on the project.

In theory it sounds wonderful, and ought to be, as a vinyl collector I have seen some great ideas bought from dream to reality.

I have bought a few items myself.

But here is where the problem is.

Their treatment of the product during packing, and the packaging of the product itself, results in damaged items upon arrival.

In one case, a print costing around $100, was man-handled and tossed in a tube that was far too big for it, It arrived in very poor condition.

Other members who were on the site’s forum had the same trouble.

Another recent package involved a 7″ single, which was put into a paper and bubble wrap packer and sent from the UK to Australia, it’s a wonder it made it at all.

As a result, although I’d like to support Artists who are using this site, I doubt I’ll buy anything from there in future, unless there’s a clear message to say that great care while handling and packaging of our items will be a priority.


Truth and lies

21 06 2016

People talk about Belief as though it is something which is true, but they are either mistaken, or wrong.

BELIEF is when you believe you have $100 in your pocket, and drive off to the shops, which are a fair distance away. You run in, choose your item and put it on the counter… you reach for your wallet or purse and discover that you only believed you had money with you.

Belief can be a very bad day indeed.

While a FACT is when you check your wallet first, see the $100 note is definitely in there and go off to get your item.

The Wizarding World

28 05 2016

We’re fast approaching a time where humanity will split, mostly due to our ideology. leaving those of us who accept science and rationality on one end, and those who believe in magical things such as religion and astrology on the other.

Some reading this now, may imagine the Wizards would be exceptionally clever, but it’s not so. a simple acceptance of progressive ideals is about all that’s needed, just a back turned on the silly, cruel and greedy.

Why waste our time, hammering truths into those who won’t accept it, the circular argument over what a theory is, for example,  gets us nowhere.

Perhaps it’s time to leave some people behind, and gather together friends and colleagues who will listen. Perhaps we can build a better world for ourselves and for those left behind?

Wolfie Rankin.