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Everything posted by Eera

  1. Eera

    Five days of Quarantine

    You can lease multiple cars - I had two on the go prior to one lease expiring. The lease companies will bombard you with numbers showing how it's a huge advantage to you, but take the numbers with a huge grain of salt as they are assuming that you are comparing like for like - the same insurance, the same fuel costs etc. It doesn't work like that in reality and there aren't the large financial advantages there were a few years ago before the FBT rules were changed.
  2. Eera

    Five days of Quarantine

    It doesn't any more - a couple of years ago the FBT rules were changed which means novated leases now come partially funded from after-tax contributions; I pay more post tax than pre-tax on it. Plus you're pretty much locked into the servo brand and the insurance that the lease people dictate - it currently costs me considerably less to insure an Evoque than it did a leased Tucson because I can bundle my insurance. The advantage is basically you have a kitty automatically put aside and really don't have to worry about it too much - providing you don't go over the items they list which are commonly 4 new tyres in the lease and X many km per year in fuel etc. If you do, you have to make up the difference; if you don't you get it back (fully taxed) at the end of the lease. I've had four novated leases but won't have another one, there's no longer the advantages that there were.
  3. My auntie was the congregational leader of the Sisters of Mercy (basically head nun of her faction in Australia), and because there's not many of them around these days they had spare room. It was cool because she's one of those get-out-there-and-help-the-community sorts and had set up a drop-in centre for indigenous and islander people in Mt Druitt, with a bush tucker garden and storytelling area - so the indigenous youth could reconnect to the elders and their heritage - though it was open to any ethnic group who wanted to be part of it. I volunteered there while I was unemployed and met some wonderful uncles and aunties. We also got the local supermarkets to donate their day old bread and damaged tins etc instead of throwing them out so that anyone who needed food could come and get some.
  4. Intended to go to Kalgoorlie of all places (I like big holes in the ground). Missed the job I was going for as I was travelling in Tanzania when the interview came up. Ended up staying in a convent in Sydney, couldn't get a job in any of the cities, ended up in the regional tropics, been here 16 years now. Every time we go back to visit any of the major cities I'm very glad I'm where I am - can't image living in one now.
  5. Eera

    wildlife photos - show us what you got

    Had the exterminators in and ended up with window tracks full of dead bugs. Had a great old time with ultra-macro.
  6. Eera

    Camping and Caravanning in Australia

    Ended up putting in an order yesterday; 15 foot in travel position, expands out to 19 feet with electric annex etc. Looking forwards to getting it and actually being able to get away in wet season - aircon, hurrah! March is ETA at the moment.
  7. Eera

    Aircon queries?

    Or just set it to dehumidify instead. Depending on where you live just taking the moisture out of the air makes a massive difference and it doesn't get too cold either - I find aircons generally are way too cold but by just drying out the air it becomes pleasant, and it costs much less to run as well (caveat: I live in the tropics where you can chew the air in summer, don't know how well this works down south but give it a go - you never know)
  8. Eera

    Aircon queries?

    Actually, from memory it was the return pipe that was icing up, and that was because the internals were filthy and the fans weren't effectively blowing the cold out so the refrigerant returning to the compressor was still cold. It was the comprehensive clean that sorted that issue.
  9. Eera

    Aircon queries?

    If it's icing up it's technician time, we had that issue, I can't remember what it was but it was an easy fix - might have been low refrigerant. Also often just cleaning the filters isn't enough - especially if you've got one near to the kitchen; you need a periodic proper clean when the tech basically dismantles the unit and hoses it out. Doesn't cost much, about $80. The amount of crap that comes out of them is amazing.
  10. Eera

    Camping and Caravanning in Australia

    Does anyone have a hybrid camper? Looking to upgrade from our camper trailer because where we are, dry season is kids' sport time, and wet season is basically our free time - and packing up wet canvas in the rain is miserable. The relative compactness and outdoor kitchen appear to me more than a full size caravan does. Going down to the caravan expo at the Ekka, end of the month to check some out.
  11. Eera

    Holiday plans - where to ?

    Our NZ ski trip was cancelled a couple of weeks ago (probably for the best, since found out Remarkables are only currently operating lifts on weekends and school holidays). Instead we transferred our credit to Norfolk island in late October. We are supposed to be skiing in japan in January but I'm not overly hopeful that's going ahead; and next year I'm booked to go on a photography trip around Galapagos islands and Atacama Desert, but again, I'm not hopeful that it's going to come off. Instead We are thinking about going to the places in Australia that we've talked about going but have put off because we could go overseas instead - Kimberley, Lord Howe, Winton etc.
  12. Eera

    Aircraft fleets

    They would have originally assigned the aircraft to the route a long time ago. Once the flight dates are actually near they'll likely just use whatever is going to be most economical for the numbers booked. Looking on Plane Finder they are currently using 777s on the DXB-PER route.
  13. Eera

    Aircraft fleets

    I just found out I can do that with Plane Finder. Never liked them simply because discharging 550-odd people at a time caused huge congestion in immigration; and when you looked out the window all you see is wing. Super impressed with the A350 though.
  14. Eera

    Aircraft fleets

    According to The Points Guy (as of 4 days ago when the article was written) every A380 in the world is currently grounded apart from those operated by China Southern.
  15. Eera

    Sunset/sunrise Photos

    Took this pretty much bang on a year ago in Chile. One of my favorite photos.
  16. Eera

    Day to Day Diary of Coronavirus/Covid-19 2020

    I lugged close to $20k worth of microscope home to do work, found it was far more fun (and really distracting) doing macro shots of dead bugs instead. Arguing that it's teaching the kids science, but in reality it's me mucking around.
  17. Eera

    Rent to own?

    https://www.realestate.com.au/advice/rent-to-own-home-schemes/ Seems like a lot of hassle with a lot that can go wrong. The article points out that you're not on the title, if the landlord goes under and the house is repossessed you'll likely lose what you've paid; and should you not be able to get finance at the end of the rental contract you will lose what you've paid as well. It also says that generally you need a deposit to sign up, and may be required to pay maintenance and insurance etc. Doesn't sound too dissimilar from a mortgage without the security of title.
  18. Eera

    Horses in Australia

    It was one of those dumb "how did that happen?" things. I was dismounting him in a flat paddock and as I touched the ground somehow my ankle rolled and fracture dislocated both tib and fib. Othopaedic surgeon said it's the sort of injury they associated with high impact sports like speed skiing, I did it dismounting a still horse in a flat paddock! No long term effects though; luckily didn't damage the cartilage and have had the pins removed since. No loss of motion either.
  19. Eera

    Horses in Australia

    here is is in the blue bandage. At one point we had three horses with bandaged legs in the same paddock; The Field of Broken Thoroughbreds it became known as. For the itch I used to use permiterol solution; it was diluted in a spray bottle and just applied to him while grooming, it also kept the bot flies off him. I had groomed him about an hour before this photo, big bugger loved muddle puddles!
  20. Eera

    Drug and Alcohol certificate

    My bad, I misread that she *needed* to get D&A, rather than needed *training* to perform D&A. $650 seems to be about the standard; a quick look and you can get various permutations from $500 to $900. To go back to the question, if you are employed on the grounds that you have certification to undertake the test and it's a condition of your employment, it's your expense. If you get a job and they then ask you to do the training to extend your areas of work, generally it would be your employer's expense. As an analogy, we employ people on the grounds that they have X qualification, if they don't, we aren't going to pay for it. Once they have fulfilled that requirement any additional training they need to perform the work we require of them, we pay for.
  21. Eera

    Drug and Alcohol certificate

    The D&As we get done cost about $25. If it's the same sort (blow in the bag, pee in a cup, gives indicative positive / negative for 6 or so drugs) You don't need them to be done in a pathology centre; we use Totally Workwear. When a non-negative result is found then you go to a path lab where they determine the level of drug in ppm or whatever, that's probably the expensive one.
  22. It's not too much of a problem: I have a friend who I'll call Maria del Carmen Jerros Mello (not her real name, just for explanation purpose), there's a heap of permutations of her name and she gets mail and cheques etc issued to any and all of them. She just has a letter signed by a JP explaining that she can be called any of them (with a list) and shows that whenever she needs to do anything official.
  23. Eera

    Horses in Australia

    I had a Thoroughbred who was a fairly high-level dressage horse; he never raced as he was 17hh and physically too big (and dopey) to fit into the stalls.was the softest thing ever. We are lucky around here to have pretty good pasture so I only every had to supplement his feed to keep a bit of condition on him; lucerne was his favourite, so once a day I'd mix a bucket of lucerne with soy and vegetable oil. Downside is that we have Queensland itch which he suffered with unless I treated him over couple of days. Unfortunately I had a bad accident on him which involved two plates and 17 screws being inserted in my ankle and I completely lost my nerve. He ended up being sold to a lady from Emerald who's house opened up onto her paddock - she sent me a picture of him in her kitchen eating the fruit off the table, cheeky bugger. Still miss him but he's with a good owner who updates me on what he's up to.
  24. Eera

    What do I do for Xmas day?

    Most of the hotels and clubs have some kind of christmas lunch on if you don't want to spend the day by yourself. Magpies always does a pretty good one. I'd imagine Airlie would have a pretty good thing going on with all the backpackers away from home, though you'd probably want to book accommodation; I know the island tour boats are running (got a mate getting triple time as a first mate that day) so you could spend the day cruising the Whitsundays in company and have christmas lunch on board?
  25. Eera

    Keep studying (PhD) or trying to work

    Ahhh, I fully understand what you mean now, yes study and work is horrible. I did mine as I wanted to get into full time academia, long story short - no jobs, no prospects, went into engineering consulting instead. I was 27 when i left full time study but I got my job on the strength of having run a testing laboratory for the last two years while doing research, the actual PhD was irrelevant and TBH I've never referred to it since. You are totally right about the local experience thing; we've found that to mean far more to Australian employers than actual qualifications. When we are looking at resumes from people applying for jobs, we look at their work history first, then their qualifications. We favour someone with say, a Masters and work experience over someone with little experience but higher degrees..