Saturday, February 28, 2009

Roast on the Weber - step by step mouthwatering photos

Step 1:
Buy some meat - in this case, a few pieces of beef rib, and kangaroo roast from Woolies.
Good for you, good for the Environment...

Let the charcoal burn for 35-40 minutes, then shift the coal holders to the side, and put the drip pan underneath.

Put meat on roast holder and put the lid on. This is what it looks like after 10 minutes.

After 50 minutes, add the mushrooms (marinated in special sauce)

Final product after 1 hour and 15 minutes in the Weber. Chow down.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What I would do with the stimulus package

Let's make it clear: I do not support the idea of a government cash handout.

Debt-ridden citizens will buy more plasma screens and things they don't need. They will not create one single job by blowing their $900 within a week. The only people scoring from this would be the shareholders of the large retail companies – Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, and so on.

This has been confirmed by the previous $10 billion give-away. Apparently Christmas shopping increased slightly - so what? Who's going to get a job because of that? Christmas is long gone, and nothing has changed, except the government telling us we need to blow more money to save the country. This logic amazes me.

I am no expert. I just look at things and wonder. So here is my idea:

Australia's economy is supported heavily by the mining sector. This is where the boom started, and this is what ended the boom. Ravensthorpe mine closed the other day. Where were the billions from government? Couldn't they save the mine with some of this money, by investing into it?

Now, here's what I would do:

Resource prices are low at the moment. The government can spend $30 billion buying minerals from mines in Australia at fixed prices. These fixed prices should be slightly higher than the current market price, and should be calculated in such a way as to keep mines alive, without them having to fire people, but also without them making excessive profits.

The government can then stockpile these resources. This alone would create many jobs.

Once the global market recovers, or as soon as metal prices rise above the fixed price level, the government can sell off these stockpiled resources and actually make a profit from their investment.

No mine would be forced to close down, no jobs lost in the mining sector, and the government would sit with a heap of wealth that no other country in the world would have.

This would be an INVESTMENT, in stead of a cash handout that has a 5% chance of creating wealth and an even smaller chance of creating jobs.

Now that's what I would do.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The other end of the Big Move down Under

On 29 August 2008 we signed off the papers when our container doors were sealed in Windhoek. On 28 January 2009, we finally packed out all our stuff in Perth.

We landed in Perth on 18 September 2008, and rented a house in Hocking. Just before our container finally was cleared by customs, we decided to rent another house in Darch, right next to the school. The container was kept in storage until now.

This means that the last time we saw any of these items was at least 5 months ago. We have been getting used to surviving without all of this, and I would have preferred the insurance payment in stead of all this junk. If the Somalian pirates got hold of that ship, it would have saved me a lot of trouble.

Now suddenly I see things that I've already forgotten. And all the emotional baggage that comes with them make you feel depressed. It's nice to see some of the old things, but some of it is not so nice, it just brings back stuff you've already forgotten.

It is amazing how much junk you can accumulate in a few years. We gave away four loads of junk in Windhoek, and sold a whole bunch of things, and we still ended up with two 20-foot containers on our doorstep. A lot of these things could just have gone back to the garbage bin, and we wouldn't even have missed them.

Some of the junk we gave away in Windhoek.

By the way - our stuff in Windhoek was loaded into one large 40-foot container. When it landed on the pavement in Perth, it was in two 20 foot containers. Someone had shifted all of our stuff over into these two containers:

The original 40 foot container in Windhoek

The two 20 foot containers that landed down Under.

Three friendly men arrived with the containers, and they unloaded the whole lot:

One of the big moments were when Celesti's piano was finally standing in the sitting room. She immediately tried it out, and we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that 5 months inside a hot container - over 10000 km in all sorts of wheather conditions - did not really tune it out that much!

I had to struggle to get my internet connection back on line again. The modem had decided to die on me, and it took a while to get everything sorted out again. And the Foxtel installation couldn't happen, because I need permission from the owner of the house, and he cannot make a simple decision in a few days' time.

The first day of moving was chaos. Vonnie and I had to drive around with furniture and stuff from the other house, and at one stage we did the African thing and loaded the dinner table onto the car's roof. We worked till late at night to get everything done.

The children demonstrated how we all fealt after this long day: