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Thursday, 14 November 2019 Dereel Images for 14 November 2019
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Davey stays all day
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Kim Stanley brought Davey along today early, and he stayed the whole day. I was a little apprehensive, but after initial excitement he calmed down nicely, and things went well. About the only issue we had was when walking the dogs:


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He's old and has injuries, which have the interesting effect that he walks in a lateral gait, somewhat ambiguously called pace in English. In horses that's a relatively fast gait, but he does it even in a walk. And we were concerned that he wouldn't make the whole 2 km that we normally go, so we returned after about half way. Kim later told me that he should be able to make it; we'll see next time.


Piccola vents frustration
Topic: animals Link here

Piccola wasn't happy about Davey being there, of course, though she was obviously not overly afraid. Clearly he just disturbed her comfort. And at one point, she vented her frustration with a swipe—at Nikolai, her favourite, and an innocent bylyer. Why? She had to hit something, so she hit something that wouldn't hit back. Niko whimpered and looked sad.


Xanthorrhoea in flower
Topic: gardening Link here

The Xanthorrhoea in Grassy Gully Road are flowering:


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Why are they always so twisted?


Planting tomatoes
Topic: gardening Link here

Somehow the weather isn't very spring-like at the moment, quite unlike further north, where they've been having some of the most devastating bushfires ever experienced, especially for so early in the season. I've been holding off on planting the remaining tomatoes. But it's still mid-November, almost summer, so they had to go in. A good thing, to: I had put them in a container when they were in the lounge, and outside it had filled up with water. Planted a „Riesentraube“ (which proves to be a cherry tomato variety) by the wind break at the north-east of the house, and an “Oregon Spring” round one of the arches:


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I wonder how the “Oregon Spring” will do on the arch.

While I was at it, also spread nearly 5 kg of fertilizer in the garden. I've had another case of a plant nearly dying, like this Coleonema pulchrum:


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There have been a number of those, including with relatively hardy plants, and I've only ever seen it here in Stones Road. My current hypothesis is that it's lack of nutrition.


Preparing for NBN complaint
Topic: technology Link here

As if yesterday's outage wasn't enough, today I received a new announcement from Aussie Broadband:

NBNCo has let us know that they are planning network maintenance in your area, and that your service at <strong>29 STONES RD, DEREEL VIC</strong> will be affected.<br>

The details are:
  - Start date and time: Wed 4th December 2019 07:00 AEDT
  - End date and time: Thu 12th December 2019 20:00 AEDT
  - Window: 205.0 hours

You may experience the following interruptions during the maintenance
  - 480 min
  - 480 min
  - 480 min
  - 480 min
  - 480 min

Another 40 hours! When will it ever end? But clearly it's finally time for a serious complaint. That would be with the Telecom Industry Ombudsman (TIO), and to do that I need to confirm that I have exhausted other attempts. What happened to that complaint I put in months ago? Back to my saved mail and found:

Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2019 14:28:59 +1000
Subject: Fault #6275739 created

Was that the one? Off to look at my ticketsfaults on Aussie. Only one, entered on 12 April 2019 and now closed. Where did the fault go?

Checked in my diary for 3 July 2019. Yes, that was the occasion. Why is there no record of it on the Aussie support site?

Wrote an email to support about the matter, with the payload:

I've tried to access this fault number on your web site, but it's not there. It appears to be related to the complaint that I refer to at http://www.lemis.com/grog/diary-jul2019.php?subtitle=NBN:%20three%20days%20planned%20downtime!#D-20190704-050320. At the time I was complaining about the perpetual NBN outages, and I was told that you would forward my complaint to the NBN, and that I would hear from them.

I have not heard from the NBN, but I have experienced even more outages, and they appear to be on the increase both in frequency and in duration. Since 17 September I have had 13 outages, mainly in the daytime, with a total duration of 25 hours service interruption. I have just been informed of yet more outages, a total of up to 40 hours between 4 and 12 December.

This is absolutely unacceptable. I have been using the Internet for 30 years now, and I have never had a service that has been nearly as bad. The fact that it's deliberate just makes the matter worse. I appreciate that Aussie's influence is limited, but it exists, and I would appreciate that you do something about it. At the very least I would like to know:

  1. Why this fault reference has apparently disappeared from your web site.
  2. Why the NBN finds it necessary to continually disrupt their service on such a frequent basis.
  3. What the purpose of the interruptions is.
  4. When it will finally stop.

Please ensure that I have a response by close of business, 29 November 2019. If not, I will file a formal complaint with the TIO.

The response was not encouraging:

It usually takes us between 24 and 48 hours to respond to an email ticket.

If it's urgent, we suggest either:
* giving our friendly Australian team a call on 1300 880 905 (8am to midnight Australian Eastern Time), OR
* logging a fault via the MyAussie app or portal

OK, why does it take them up to 2 days to respond to email, when they can handle things on the phone much more quickly? I've been very happy with Aussie in the past, but I'm beginning to wonder whether that's now literally in the past.


Friday, 15 November 2019 Dereel Images for 15 November 2019
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Powercor loses to NBN
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Wednesday's planned net outage wasn't the only one for the week. Today Powercor tried to match the NBN, with a planned 6 hour outage. That loses automatically, since the NBN outage was nearly 6½ hours. But they were only able to keep it up for 3 hours, 42 minutes.

More to the point, though, was the question: “How do I weather the outage?”. Yesterday evening I changed the inverter settings to charge the battery from grid up to 95% charge instead of the normal 40%, but I couldn't find the setting for minimum. There are two that come into consideration: “SOCmin: Minimum limit for switching to standby” and “SOCrecx: Value to generate voltage in the loads”. The settings (20%) match, but somehow neither seems to be related to “start charging from the grid when SOC drops to this value”. So I left it as it was, and it was only by chance that the battery had 98% charge (grey line) when the power went out at 9:7:29:


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And that's the way it stayed. The power came back at 12:49:16, but it's only visible on that graph by the grid feed-in that started then. We didn't need any significant grid power until evening, though the inverter did its usual low-level to-and-fro between grid and inverter.

Could it have been different? Yes, of course. Firstly, we knew about the outage, and I was waiting for it. Otherwise we could have been running the air conditioner and not notice the problem until it was too late. Surprisingly, I did receive a warning message from Ingecon:

Date: 15 Nov 2019 01:00:45 +0100
From: ingeras.noreply@ingeteam.com

Serial number Start End Description Type
0AM172B16A22 (E10017220395) 11/15/19 9:07:38 AM Grid voltage out of range Active for more than 1h

Apart from the incorrect date format, it's interesting that it decided that the power failed 9 seconds after it really did, and that the message wasn't sent until 11:00, nearly 2 hours later. And this was the only message. Nothing further when it continued, or when it finished. Basically, not much use.


More garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Mick Solly around this morning to finally finish the first lawn mowing of spring. And he didn't bring his ride-on mower with him.

But he managed to tidy up relatively well with the push mower and whipper-snipper. Here before and after:


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The down side is that that's the last of the green grass for this year.


Boobialla after all
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

For some time I have been puzzled by this bush in front of the shade area:


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What is it? Lorraine Carranza took a cutting to Formosa Gardens and came back with the information that it was Boobialla, poisonous, and that we should get rid of it.

Was it? Is it? I did some research at the time, but for some reason didn't mention it in this diary. But finally it's flowering:


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Yes, that's clearly Myoporum insulare, better known as Boobialla. Should we get rid of it? Maybe. Not because it's poisonous, but because it's far too big, and the flowers are barely visible. But it's too late this year; it'll come out in the autumn.


Still more flash pain
Topic: photography, gardening, opinion Link here

The photos of the Myoporum insulare were an absolute pain. I took the first two with available light, but it was clear that that wasn't enough. OK, that's what I have the mecablitz 15 MS-1 ring flash for. Put it on the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm f/2.8 Macro and the Olympus OM-D E-M1, along with the FL-LM3 to trigger the flash, and off to take photos.

After 6 attempts, I gave up. The flash didn't fire. Dammit, I've been having issues with (electronic) flash almost since I first got one. Why is it such a pain?

Afterwards, a more rigorous examination showed:

  1. The Olympus FL-LM3 that came with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II doesn't work on the OM-D E-M1 Mark I. Why? It relies on power from the camera. But so does the FL-LM2 that came with the Mark I. Other flashes work on the Mark I, but not that one. And of course that was the combination I had tried.

  2. But that's not all. Unlike the FL-LM3, the FL-LM2 doesn't have an on-off switch. You need to lift the head to turn it on. I had guessed that the FL-LM3 might have been part of the problem, and tried the FL-LM2 without “turning it on”.

  3. The FL-LM2 uses the old accessory port that went away a few years ago, so it won't fit on the E-M1 Mark II. It does fit and fire on the Olympus E-PM1, but the results suggest that it hasn't synced correctly. I have enough pain with flash without chasing down that one.
  4. The mecablitz doesn't fire just because the trigger flash fires, at least not when set to understand the Olympus flash protocol The trigger needs to be set in remote flash mode. That wasn't the case in the image that I finally used, but fortunately the exposure was adequate.

  5. There is a difference between “On” and “off” in the remote flash menu for the E-M1 models. Here an example, without any other flash, showing what you get if you press the shutter while looking at the LCD display:


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    Clearly “off” is a relative term.

Why is this all such a pain? 55 years and still not there.


A new home for Wotan
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Wotan (and despite his Icelandic breeding not Oðinn), once Yvonne's favourite horse, injured himself years ago and is no longer rideable. Yvonne has found a number of homes for him, but somehow they all didn't work.

She didn't give up, and today Danielle Teo and two daughters came along to look at him. They're not overly experienced with horses, but Yvonne is happy with them, and there's a good chance that he will go to them in the near future. But nomen est omen: Oðinn was the wanderer.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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