Seasons greetings 2016


Climate Plus wishes you a pleasant Christmas/New Year and health and happiness for 2017.

This morning I slept, so I’m feeling excellent. It’s cool for here with a steady patter of rain on the roof which always makes me feel good. I hope to keep blogging as time permits.

Last year I could look back on our magnificent trip to Europe – 35 days and really five holidays in one. At Christmas last year I added some more highlights from the trip, finishing with this lovely symbol of hope, from the last night of our formal boat trip, but actually our second last night in Budapest. It’s one of the support statues to the Liberty Statue, a highlight of our “Budapest by night” excursion:


Around that time the path was being closed to asylum seekers. Ironically, I have heard that the early settlers in Hungary included people from Syria.

This year our big event was the renovation of the kitchen, 35 years in the making. This was the old kitchen, after the deck was put on in 2002, and the bay where the old stove recess had been was extended. It’s the only kitchen I’ve ever known with four doors, which makes a sensible layout difficult:

When the old kitchen was ripped out, this was the scene:

Not sure what happened with that image. I’ll try to fix it. The camera has a significant parallax error at the best of times,

Here’s what we got:

Hard to photograph but the best we can do. Bench and cupboards are white. The first two images show something of our lovely bushland outlook you now get while standing at the sink.

For about six weeks our kitchen goods were dispersed, mainly on the deck, the lounge and also in dining room.

At the end of my European trip post I said:

    A medico has told me that I should expect to wait a month to get over jet lag. The whole trip seems like a dream now and reality is setting in. My body chemistry was in a bit of a swirl for other reasons before I went away, so it is yet to be seen what kind of equilibrium emerges.

In fact it took about nine months to find some kind of equilibrium. Just what happened will remain a mystery. The best guess is that my system was upset when I stopped taking a 1mg prescribed pill that I had been taking for years to help me sleep. I stopped because they don’t make it anymore. It’s amazing what a pill one 71 millionth of my body weight can do.

During the trip, my sleep patterns were shot, I lost about 5kg in weight while eating to excess, my knees were wobbly at times and my hands started to shake enough to make it hard to sign my name. Plus I had balance problems, and some heart arrhythmia.

Blood tests on my return showed that my thyroid was a bit elevated, and I may have had a thyroid storm while away.

Bit by bit things have been sorted, so my highlights for the year were health highlights.

The first real highlight was when I had to do a stress echo test, back in April, and aced the test. I stayed on the treadmill for 11 minutes with much the same heart rate as two years earlier. My heart performed just fine under stress. That was at a time when balance problems meant walking across the room could be a challenge.

So I’m spending a fair bit of the day doing various exercises, and the pharmacy gets a fair bit of my loot, but every day is new, so we’ll motor on while we can.

In many ways I’m a bit glad 2016 is over.

I’ll leave you with this image, sent to me by John D, of Santa’s problems, where old technology meets new:

We sincerely wish you a pleasant Christmas/New Year and health and happiness for 2017.

24 thoughts on “Seasons greetings 2016”

  1. Thank you Brian.
    And to you and yours the Wisdom, Liberty and Good Health to pursue all the good that is in you.
    Merry Xmas Climate Plus folk.

  2. Thanks for the link and the comment, BilB. Your comments are, as usual, interesting and most welcome!

  3. Good luck and good health in 2017, Brian.
    One of the (many) things I admire in your blogging is that you worked hard and presented clearly, with nary a mention of these troubling symptoms until now.

    Was it that one extra glass of schnapps which burst the dam of your reticence?

    All best wishes to you and yours in this season of peace and goodwill.

    I hope JohnD, engineer and blogger extraordinaire, doesn’t circulate that image too widely, lest thousands of outraged children become fervent opponents of wind energy – or at least, human harvesting of it.

    Merry Christmas to all!!

  4. Thanks, Ootz and Ambigulous.

    No it wasn’t schnapps. I looked at what I wrote last year, and it’s been a very ordinary year. We kept getting Christmas letters from people who led exciting lives and had been everywhere. We also met up at a party with people we don’t see all that often. Everyone, it seemed, had been somewhere and was dashing off somewhere next year.

    I was just recording faithfully how dull our lives have been.

    Anyway we had two Christmas lunches. Yesterday we had my son Mark and my younger son only made it to desert, so today we repeated it with both present. Today my wife brought out the treat:

    It’s a Belgian beer, KwaK, with 8.6% alcohol, darkish, malty and very tasty!

    Here’s another one of Santa’s woes, from Mark’s Facebook:

  5. My belated Christmas Wishes are not because of abysmal internet disservice here at all but because I must have been using the Julian Calendar by mistake.

    Hope your Christmas, like your renovation, was superb.

    Now, back on the Gregorian Calendar, in time to wish you and yours a rip-snorting New Year (actually, Sylvester or Hogmanay), a tranquil New Year’s Day and health, wealth and happiness throughout 2017. 🙂

    b.t.w., Air Safety investigators have determined that the operator of that 8-reindeer flying sleigh breached regulations by flying below 500′ except when taking-off or landing, or when engaged in crop-dusting operations.

  6. Thanks Brian.

    Travel can be wearying when you’re not doing it yourself. Our Europe trip had to be cancelled mid-year for unanticipated medical reasons.


    But Victoria is a lovely State to explore, lots we haven’t seen yet.

    Life can be wonderful, with the right company.
    Your renovations look very good indeed. Terrific bushland views.


  7. Graham,

    I think you’ll find the new regs for sleighs are still with Civil Aviation. Revising the airworthiness certification procedures. Could take Mr Claus many years to comply, being a non-resident doesn’t exactly help his cause.

    Still testing the reindeer for max lift capability. Doubt cast on lift/weight ratios and frequent erratic brief landings. Chimney entry breaks many terrestrial regs.

  8. Ambigulous, sorry to hear about the cancelled trip.

    I should get up on the roof and take a photo of our back yard. Here’s a sundry pic taken to test the camera we bought before we went overseas in 2015:

    We are 7km from the GPO, as the crow flies, but if you walked into the bush behind us you could walk to the Carnarvon Ranges in bushland, only crossing a handful of roads. That would be about 700km.

    Our block is only 24 perches, but it’s like a private resort down the back.

  9. Brian, a Google Earth screenshots can be taken from angles other than straight down and various hights.
    Just an idea.

  10. Brian

    I think next time I clean the solar panels I’ll take the camera up.

    Be careful with that, I worry too many folk without training and experience are risking their lives gallivanting around on roofs without the same safety measures mandated for those of us that work at heights as part of our day job.

  11. A few decades ago, there was a suggestion that the risks of solar energy harvesting were not accurately estimated, (and hence downplayed, e.g. vis a vis nuclear power) because deaths of plumbers, electricians and home owners in falls from roofs or ladders, were being ignored.

    I share your safety concerns, J.
    I try to clean our panels by spraying with hose water from ground level.

  12. Good advice Ambigulous, or pay someone that has the correct qualifications.
    The likelihood is possible and the consequence is catastrophic.
    John D would know the unacceptability of that.

  13. Yes, Jumpy, I know what you mean. On a couple of occasions, working on properties I’ve been asked to clean gutters and stuff. On two occasions after I did it I said, not again.

    We had a great plumber at one time, but then he fell off his daughter’s garage, broke his pelvis, and that was the end of his plumbing career.

    Our roof is actually pretty OK, and I’m not allowed up there unless someone, who must be obeyed, is holding the ladder.

  14. Ambigulous, you might remember the Robert Merkel did a post looking at how the deaths during the pink batts program were actually below the industry average at the time.

    I recall a radio program some years ago that said the deaths in the building industry were about one a week. Probably less now with all the OH regulations.

  15. Ambigulous: Sorry about curtailed trip to Europe.

    Wonder if the airborne sleigh of Mr S. Claus . could be squeezed into the gyrocopter regulations because of some similarities in performance. Agree about chimney hazard though. If all else fails, Experimental, as it is one of a kind.

    Jumpy: You are right about roof hazards – humans don’t bounce very well.

    Brian: A million dollar view – and all sorts of birds and little animals thrown in for good measure.

  16. Gutters are a fire hazard and cleaning gutters is not particularly safe even if done by someone who is trained. I wonder just how many gutters are cleared by handy men who are not trained.
    Gutters should be removed and alternatives used to avoid water getting under houses or eroding the land.

  17. No wuzz, Graham.

    I am now banned from garden ladders. Because of risk, not actual injuries.

    I recall seeing my Dad, in his seventies, do a spectacular mid-air somersault off a long ladder that he had rested against a tall backyard tree. He was shaken and stirred. No injuries, but he didn’t bounce.

    John, when we lived on a bush block, regular gutter cleaning was needed for fire safety and rainwater collection. Could have done without that job.

    Sleigh as gyrocopter? Only if Mr Claus wears one of those silly hats topped by a toy propellor. I advise him not to, for the sake of retaining any shreds of dignity he has.

    Yes, Brian: Robert Merkel was right about those workplace deaths. As I recall it, the argument was that widespread installation of rooftop solar must lead to more humans clambering over roofs, for installation and maintenance. Ergo more injuries and deaths. But I’m not sure what estimates were suggested.

    This was several decades ago. No doubt safety regs and safety equipment and safe working awareness has improved markedly since then. At least in Oz.

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