Archive for the ‘Raves and Reviews’ Category

Solar Powered

January 17, 2010

As most who know me are already aware I’m a bit of a greenie. I say ‘bit’ because I am not a Nazi who runs after people verbally abusing them for not recycling like me. I do however rule over my house with an iron fist of environmentalism: “Do we really need this light on in this room no one is in?” Is possibly my most frequently said phrase at home (except perhaps for “I love you” since I am a hopeless romantic who never shuts up). We turn the power off at the wall for the TV/Playstation/360/Surrond sound/channel splitter whenever we go to bed and make sure it’s off when no ones at home too, since other wise we would have six items running on stand-by power. Now this is where my claim at being a ‘bit’ comes in, because I have no idea how much power that saves, all I know is it saves some and that’s good enough for me.

We recycle, I use ethanol fuel, even though we have air-con I try hard to not use it unless the breeze from a fan is simply not enough, when we bought our tickets to Japan we paid the extra charge to buy back our carbon emissions for the flight, I even stoop to pick up litter on the roadside and carry it to the nearest bin, even though some of my friends worry over what germs I might be touching by picking up the rubbish.

Now, however, I have done what I believe to be the feather in my greenie cap. Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I purchased solar power panels. Not just a solar hot water system. Pffft! No! We bought solar power panels so our house is utterly solar powered, everything from our entertainment system, to the fish filters to the clock at our bedside. I could ramble on for quite a while about which of the three main technologies of solar panels we purchased, but suffice it to say we purchased the superior version (mono crystalline panels if you need to know the specifics) because you might as well buy the best if you’re going to invest this much.

My favourite part of all this – aside from never having to pay $300 power bills any more is that any power we don’t use can be fed back into the power grid, thus meaning someone else gets to use my cleanly created power and I get paid for the power I feed back into the grid.

Obviously the investment cost a reasonable amount for initial outlay, but I honestly think it’s worth it, and not just for the savings it will provide me in the future, but also what it does for our world.

The reason I blather about this in a public forum like this is not so much for self-promotion (I’m already awesome, don’t need to prove it ;p ) as for the promotion of the company I purchased my panels through. I think it is important to promote them for two reasons.

Firstly, with the Australian government offering sizable rebates for making such installations there are more than a few questionable companies who’ve sprung-up virtually overnight to take advantage of this and will no doubt vanish shortly after the rebates dry up disappearing and taking any warranty you might have been offered with them. The company I used: Modern Solar, has been in this line of business for thirty years, so has experience and longevity, thus you can feel pretty confident that they will be around the full 25 years of the warranty they offer on their panels.

Secondly, the sales person who helped us was thorough, answering every question easily and explaining everything clearly without sounding to high-handed about it. The service was as superior as the product itself.

I want others to do this also. I’m not usually a pushy person, I’ll tell people if they ask, but I won’t get in anyone’s face about it, and while I don’t really deem this as ‘getting in anyone’s face’ it is a bit more out there than I usually am.

For those of you in Australia who would like to know more, I suggest visiting http://www.modernsolar.com.au

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Looking Forward to Falling In Love

January 4, 2010

I’m a little worried about they way everyone is behaving towards the new Doctor.

I’ll freely admit, I’m worried I won’t love this new Doctor as utterly as Tennant’s Doctor, but the way everyone is talking it seems most people have already decided they don’t like Matt Smith, which I can’t quite figure out, since he’s only been on screen as the Doctor for about a minute so far, so how have people already made up their minds about him?

I think it might be like the response of a petulant child when they have to face change. They loved the old toy and rather than actually trying the new one they instantly decide it couldn’t possibly be as good as its predecessor so don’t even give it a chance.

It upsets me a little to think that this poor guy has to face lower ratings simply because no one wants to even try and see if the new series will be good. For all we know Matt Smith might be truly amazing. In fact, I’m quite looking forward to him after watching him worry he might have regenerated into a girl because his hair is long.

I remember watching Eccleston regenerate into Tennant and wondering who this skinny, metro-looking guy was, but as I came to know him a little better I fell in love with him. I’m very much looking forward to falling in love with Smith’s Doctor too.

Wow, I hope my husband doesn’t read this blog and get worried ;p

Now, to move away from yesterdays entry a little. We saw Avatar tonight (FINALLY!). Up until now work schedules, tiredness and general lack of drive kept us from getting out to see it, and even tonight we went initially for the 5:15 session, but it was ridiculously packed, and we ended up with side seats way up the front – a terrible position – so we ended up walking back out before the trailers even started and decided instead of the packed 5:15 session we would try the 8:40 session, so swapped our tickets and were rewarded with the ideal middle of the middle seats (where we always sit) and had a fabulous view.

Of course we saw it in 3D, was there really any other way to see Avatar? I quite enjoyed it, but found it lacked enough power to make me cry at the appropriate moments. The storyline was rather standard – not meaning to be harsh here, just stating facts – but the main characters were enjoyable and the graphics, well do I really need to say how stunning they were? I was impressed with the phosphorescent night time jungle, the designs of the wildlife, both flora and fauna, of Pandora and was thoroughly impressed by the imaginations that spawned this vivid and believable world. More than a small part of me finds it is quite possible that this luscious planet is waiting out there somewhere in the universe to be discovered.

The greatest part was beyond doubt the Na’vi themselves. Something in their feline movements really captured my imagination and inspired me, but since it’s midnight and I have to open the shop tomorrow, I don’t really have the chance to pursue my inspiration at the moment so we will just have to persevere for the morning and hope my inspiration holds on till then.

Nostalgia for the Future

January 2, 2010

I love a good cry.

I don’t cry much in my life itself, but I cry like a baby during movies/tv shows/comics/books. I love knowing that someone out there has created a character that I feel so strongly about that their death/sacrifice/heartbreak moves me to tears. Sometimes it can even just be a bittersweet scenario that blurs up my vision.

There’s just something so liberating about it. Perhaps because I force most of my emotions down during the day, ‘put on the retail mask’ for work so I don’t tell the rude customers to sod off while they yell their head off at me for something that was neither my fault nor even remotely within my control.

It’s bizarre that I revel in the sadness. I so deeply enjoy the damp cheeks, reddened eyes and irregular breath that I try to mute for the sake of those around me, that sometimes afterwards I wonder if I should perhaps see a psychiatrist over the issue. I’m generally a chipper person, mostly good moods, the occasional cranky spat (who can claim they never crack it ever?), but generally a cheery and positive girl. So much so I even take pleasure in crying! Yet you’ll find I very VERY rarely cry over events in my own life.

The reason I bring all this up is because I just spent the last half an hour crying my poor eyes out, turning my sweet cheeks sodden. Why, you ask – all a-quiver with curiosity – that is simple. I just watched the Doctor Who specials.

My husband and I resisted temptation and held off watching the Christmas special this year until the New Years special was ready, because neither of us are fond of cliff hangers. So we sat down this evening to enjoy them and as expected they were brilliant.

I’ll give you all a polite SPOILER WARNING here, even though I imagine most fans have already watched it, and most of what I’m going to say the vast majority of the odd few fans who have still not seen it will have been able to figure out about as much as I will say, but anyway, heads-up, because there’s spoilers approaching.

From the moment the Doctor was standing there, trying to decide which person he had to kill my eyes were getting damp, and when the Master bravely sacrificed himself they slipped over the bottom lids of my eyes. Then the second the Doctor had to face the decision of sacrifice himself or Donna’s grandfather I just started bawling. When he didn’t regenerate on the spot I regained some composure, but as he went and said his farewells to all those special people to him my tears became a torrent once more, even if I was laughing though the rain when he was seeing Jack and grinning like a fool as he took his last look at Rose.

It was just so precious, sweet and perfect. If I were wearing a hat I would take it off in your honor Russell T Davies. Gimme a second, I’ll run to my room, grab all of my hats, put them all on at once and take them off one by one for you!

I did like getting a little glimpse at the new Doctor, but I’m still full of apprehension about the new Doctor. I loved – no love, still present tense – David Tennant’s Doctor so much I’m not sure I’ll be able to love the new Doctor as deeply. I’m sure he won’t be horrid, no casting agent would be silly enough to select someone who could not act well, and we’ve already established how I feel about the writers! So we’ll be safe, I’ll like him, but will I love him? The anticipation is almost titillating!

I’ll admit freely for you all, I have only watched the newer Doctors, Eccleston and Tennant. When I was a child I saw an episode of an earlier Doctor, and the Daleks scared my eight year old self so bad I used to rush to the TV and switch it off the second I heard the opening music, an aversion which stuck with me for years until my lovely husband sat down one day almost two decades later and asked me: “Have you ever seen the Doctor?”.

Together we’ve been hunting down dvd’s of the older episodes so I can watch them and hopefully love the older Doctors also. I’m looking forward to stumbling across the episode that terrified me as a child.

Nostalgia for the future. How unique. How the Doctor.