Thursday, 31 January 2019


Method 4.   Do you see the three photos below

Addendum to today’s post

Please read this in conjunction with today's earlier post.

Jan (she who must be obeyed) and KevinToo have both mentioned they cannot see the photos in the post I published earlier today.
Jan is using her Android tablet and Google Chrome.
I am using Opera browser (my usual browser) on the laptop and can see the photos. 
If I use Firefox on the laptop I do not see the photos.  But I do see the photos from the previous post (Wed 30th). 
If I use Google Chrome on the laptop I don’t see today’s photos but I do see those from Wednesday and earlier. 
When I load Blogger and look at today’s post the photos are there.

Below is the screen dump from blogger

So my Method 3 allows me to insert photos into Open Live Writer and when I publish the post from Open Live Writer the photos appear in the editing screen of Blogger.   However Blogger WILL NOT show the photos on some browsers.

This has happened in the last 24 hours and it has to be Google.

I'm looking for answers and a solution.

As an aside.  If any readers have been using Google+ please note Google is abandoning it on 2 April 2019 and all data will be deleted.  If you have data on Google+ which you want to retain you need to move it somewhere else before that date. <info>

Lifespan and more on the shed

Another 3 hours working on the shed lining before the temperature drove me back into the air conditioning.  It was in excess of 40C inside the shed which meant frequent water breaks.  I now have the timber framing installed to one wall.

This has been taking longer than usual because I’m attempting to use old scraps of timber.  Jan noticed a packet of metal right angle brackets in Aldi when we were food shopping on Wednesday and I immediately grabbed a pack thinking I could use them to secure the timber to the horizontal metal ‘C’ section.  They worked, I’m now wishing I’d purchased a second pack.  This wall still needs the insulation and plywood lining.
I also managed to fit the waterproof switch to the rear wall of the shed.  A piece of plywood was glued to the inside of the wall to provide some strength.

This gave me something to fix the switch against.

I used Sikaflex to ensure the join against the shed wall was waterproof.  The switch is for a future swimming pool.  I’ve deliberately located the shed a metre away from the boundary fence so it would leave a space for the pool filter and pump.  Hopefully the shed will muffle most of the noise.

Now if you were wondering about lifespan this may explain everything
On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
And God saw it was good.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"
And God, again saw it was good.
On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed it was good.
On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."
But the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."
So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves.
For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family.
For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.
And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you.
If you are looking for me I will be on the front porch

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Red Sky at Night

What’s the expression…. “Red Sky at Night – Shepherd’s Delight.  Red Sky in the Morning – Shepherd’s Warning.

A very red sky as I was returning home from my walk yesterday evening.


The problem was…… The sun sets in the west and that photo was taken to the south!  Has the earth slipped on its axis?

Today I decided to treat Jan to a meal out.  Obviously I had to find somewhere really cheap and unfortunately the charity soup kitchen was closed.  We ended up jostling with the other grey wrinklies in the queue at Sizzlers.  This is where for a fixed price you can each as much as you want from the salad bar.  The salad bar includes soup, pasta and desserts.  Drinks are extra, so we take along our own water. 

By the time I took the above photo I’d stuffed myself with soup, two helpings of main course (mostly crab sticks) and a dessert of apple crumble with ice cream.  Full as an egg….. which is probably why the photo is out of focus.   I really need to starve myself during the previous 24 hours.

Naturally the idea of working on the various projects in the afternoon didn’t appeal.  However the postie delivered my Chinese ‘knock-off’ Anderson plugs while we were out, so I decided to complete the last of the trailer wiring.

This last part is the wiring for the fridge which has a 12V cigarette type plug on the end.  A female cigarette socket is $20 and being a cheapskate I didn’t want to go down that path.  The replica Anderson Plugs cost $13 for 10.

I sweated and burped for a few hours in the afternoon wiring finally fitting the plug before testing the setup.

As you can see; I found an old lead with a female cigarette socket on the end.  The fridge male socket connects to it.  One the other end I have two Anderson Plugs which connects the trailer 12V battery to the fridge.  That’s the last of the trailer wiring.  I’m now waiting on the router bit from China so I can finished the trailer upper floor.

Meanwhile we stopped at Bunnings enabling me to buy the last of the timber framing for one wall and a waterproof switch for the future pool pump.  Have I previously mentioned Jan wants a swimming pool? 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Have I found a solution?

Thanks readers for letting me know you could see both photos in the last post.  Maybe I’ve found a solution to the problem.  But first; what is the problem. 

Basically it has been caused by Google abandoning an API used by Open Live Writer.  In simple terms an API is a protocol which enables two separate programs to accept information.  Open Live Writer was written using a Google API which enabled photos inserted into OLW being accepted by Google into Blogger.  Google has abandoned the API which means the OLW photos aren’t recognised and the post is rejected by Blogger.  Leave out the photos and the API isn’t required so the post will be published.  In order for OLW to work how it used to the developers of OLW will need to re-write OLW to include an new Google API.  That’s a big task for a group of volunteers.  And what stops Google from abandoning that API. 

So what is my 3rd method.

1.  You need a Google Photo’s account where you place the photos you want to include in your blog post.  In Google Photos I’m creating a new photo album for each month. 

2.  I share this album by clicking on the 3 vertical dots on the menu bar and select share with everyone.  I’m not sure if this step is necessary…. but I’m doing it!

3.  Upload photos to Google Photos

4.  Have both OLW and Google Photos open.

5.  Start writing the draft blog post.  When you get to the point where you want to insert a photo go to Google Photos and click on the photo you want to insert.  This brings up the photo into it’s own screen.  I’ve clicked on the photo of the trailer freezer.

6.  Right click on the photo to bring up the popup window and left click on “copy image address”

7.  Go to OLW and click on the ‘Insert’ option on the Toolbar.  Click on ‘Picture’.  Click on ‘From the Web’.  Right click in the address field and paste the address you obtained from Google Photos.  The photo should appear in the preview box.

8.  Click on the ‘Insert’ button to insert the photo into your blog post (as seen below)

For those of you using OLW please let me know it this works for you.

My assumption is this method obtains a different API from Google Photos which is then inserted into OLW.  The photo in OLW is then recognised by Blogger.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Method 3–Do you see two photos

Thanks for the photo feedback to date.  This is my 3rd method for inserting photos

into Blogger via OLW.  

The Missing photo

Please leave me a comment if the missing photo from the last post is now showing below.  If you can see the photo then I suspect I made an error yesterday.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Shed

The exterior of the shed has now been completed and I’ve made a start on the first fit electrics

I’m not in favour of 240V cables being close to metal.  Yes, the cable is double insulated, but I just have this thing about electrical safety.  After a trip to the hardware we are poorer but I did have the necessary plastic conduit and fitting to complete the pre-lining wiring.

The right side of the shed will have a long bench with drawers below and cupboards above.  The drop saw will be fitted towards one end.  I’ll also need a power socket for recharging portable power tools.

The right socket is for the drop saw and left for general use.  All the cables are run through pvc conduit.

My heavy work bench will go against the rear wall.  The carpentry vice at one end and the engineering vice at the other.  Only one power point, however there is a second, separate wiring circuit here which will be the power supply to the pool pump and filter.


This is only a temporary location for the drop saw.

I’ve also installed one lighting circuit for LED strip lights.  you may have noticed the ceiling has already been insulated.

The left wall will have a tool shadow board.  I plan to install the switchboard where the arrow is pointing in the photo below.  The light switch will be just to the left of the photo.

I always knew the shed would need to be fully insulated.  It was like an oven during the fit out!  My next stage is to install an interior light timber wall frame which will hold the glass wool insulation in place and provide support for the plywood lining.

This is a first draft of my planned drop saw bench done in Google SketchUp.

The final location of the saw will be further to the right and I haven’t shown the drawers underneath the bench.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Freezer and the Solar

The 12V computer fan has finally been installed in the trailer freezer compartment.  In the end I had to remove the freezer in order to drill the holes for the mounting block   The fan is wired into the freezer power supply so it will automatically run when the freezer is turned on.

With the fan and freezer rumbling away I thought it might be opportune to see what was happening with the solar panels. 

Freezer on the left and solar panel input on the right.

Battery voltage is 13.6V and the freezer is using 4.43amps.  The solar is producing 3.02amps which is less than the freezer is using.  However the solar meter is measuring the power before the MPPT controller.  Note the voltage is 19.55V.  A more accurate check on what is happening is the Watts which are shown at the bottom right of both meters.  The freezer is using 60.2W and the solar is producing 59W.  The battery is already fully charged which leads me to believe to solar can’t produce any additional power as the battery won’t accept it. 

To test the above theory I started the second Engel fridge.

The consumption rose to 77.2W and the solar input to 91.2W.  So the solar panels will produce more power if there is a demand.  Total solar capacity is 300W which should produce a maximum of approximately 20 amps.  At the time of the photo they were producing less than a third of their maximum capacity.  This should mean there is plenty of surplus solar power to recharge the 150Ah battery when I’m on a trip.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

The ‘Man Cave’

I’ve given up watering the shed concrete pad as there has been no sign of growth.  Today 80% of the man cave components were delivered allowing erection to commence.

I’ve commenced calculating the insulation, plywood lining and wiring requirements.  Provided the weather stays dry, the shell should be completed tomorrow allowing me to make a start on the interior.

Meanwhile Jan has been baking bread.  The smell of freshly baked bread compelled me to enter the kitchen.  After some pathetic pleading and wining an end crust was cut for me.

Which I then managed to smother in a layer of homemade butter…… Delicious!

Well that led to a lunch consisting of a tomato sandwich.  Devine!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

2nd alternative for inserting photos into Open Live Writer

Mick & Pip (nb Oleana) mentioned my previous “work around” for inserting photo’s into Open Live Writer was cumbersome and I agree with them.  The issue is managing to get the photos to have the required “credentials” from Google before inserting them into OLW.  This is because Blogger (eg Google) wont publish the post unless the photos in the OLW post have the credentials (my term).

I’ve discovered another method which is slightly simpler (again my term).  This method requires the photos to be uploaded to the Google Photos application.  Google Photos is the successor to Picasa so if you previously used Picasa then you should find your original Picasa photos in Google Photos.

Using Google Photos you can create albums and upload photos.

The work around I have identified requires both Google Photos and OLW to be running in separate screens.


1.  Load Google Photos and upload your post photos

2.  Load OLW and commence your draft post.

3.  When you get to the point where you want to insert a photo switch to Google Photos and left click on the photo you want to insert.  This should bring the photo into its own screen.

4.  Right click on the photo and select “copy image”

5.  Go back to OLW and place the cursor where you want to place the image.  Right click and select the “paste” option.

The photo should be pasted into the post.

Repeat the process for subsequent photos

I have tested this process and my OLW post was published by Blogger.

Photo Test

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Open Live Writer Photo Problem

If you are like us and use Open Live Writer (OLW) as your blog post editor then you may have recently experienced a problem publishing posts from OLW if they have photos.  From my research it appears Google have made one or more changes which has resulted in posts containing photos being rejected.  Specifically, Google is closing down Picasa and moving to Google Photos.  OLW is programmed to work with Picasa.  Therefore the OLW developers will need to modify OLW.  This is just another example of Google forcing people to use their products.

I think I’ve found a rather clunky work around.


1.  Load Blogger and create a new post

2.  Insert all the photos you want in OLW into this new Blogger post (don’t enter text and don’t save the post.  No requirement to give it a title as it’s only temporary.

3.  Load OLW and create your new post.  When you reach a point where you want to insert a photo change to Blogger and right click on the photo you want to insert.  Select the option “Copy image address”.

4.  Go back to OLW and select the picture icon on the toolbar.  Select the “From the web” option and paste the address you copied from Blogger.  The selected image should appear in the preview box

5.  Click the “insert” button.  The image should now appear in your post.

6.  When you have inserted all your photos then close and delete the draft post in Blogger

7.  You can now complete and publish your OLW post.

Effectively what you are doing is transferring your photo into a Google product (eg, Blogger) where is obtains a Google API.  Then your are transferring the photo address (and approved API) to OLW.  Google Blogger then accepts the post.

This is a longish work around but I do find OLW a better editor than Blogger.

So here’s my test photo.

I don’t particularly like the man’s moral compass but I did find this funny.

Friday, 18 January 2019

First attempt at spray painting

With the temperature forecast to exceed 40C tomorrow it seemed like a good idea to make the most of today’s slightly cooler morning and paint the fence.  I’d pressure washed the fence last year and been delaying painting it because of the thought about all the effort it would take.  However Aldi had an electric spray gun for $29.99, which seemed an easier option over a brush or roller. 

This is my first attempt at spray painting, so the fence looked like a good first project.  Moreover, I need to paint the fence where the shed will be as it will be impossible to do this once the shed is erected.

OK, I cheated.  My first effort only had the spray gun full of water.  Confident I knew what I was doing I then decided to use paint. The first step was to wet down the cement fence.  The idea being a wet surface would reduce the amount of paint absorbed by the cement.  It also cooled down the surface.

This photo shows the old and new surfaces.

Jan had chosen a light grey water based paint.  I hadn’t realised how noisy the spray gun was going to be and after the first refill I used ear defender in an effort to retain what little hearing I have left.  I managed to get the rear boundary fence painted before lunch.  It was then too hot to continue.

I’m rather pleased with my finish and was delighted just how little paint I’d used.  Only two more sides to go.   

Now this appealed to me

After 10 years, the wife starts to think their child looks kind of strange so she decides to do a DNA test.  She finds out that the child is actually from completely different parents.
Wife: Honey, I have something very serious to tell you.
Husband: What’s up?
Wife: According to DNA test results, this is not our kid..
Husband: Well you don’t remember, do you?? When we were leaving the hospital, we noticed that our baby had pooped.  Then you said: “Please go change the baby, I’ll wait for you here.”  So I went inside, got a clean one and left the dirty one there.
Moral: Never give a man a job that doesn't belong to him Smile

Thursday, 17 January 2019

The Drill and the Carpenter

I can (almost) feel sorry for Theresa May.  In attempting to appease everyone she has pleased no one!   If it wasn't for the ‘Back Stop’ then she might just have got her deal over the line.

My feeling is another party in government wouldn’t be able to negotiate a “better” deal.  Moreover I suspect the EU bureaucracy is (and always has been) manipulating for a second referendum.  It’s a well proven strategy.

On to more important things (for me).  I’ve cut out the plywood upper floor for the trailer using the Makita plunge saw and rails.  Last time I did this there was some bad “tear out” on one side of the cut.  This time I’ve tried to overcome that problem by running a line of masking tape down the off side of the pencil line.  The idea is the masking tape will eliminate the tear out (chipping of the cut edge).

The edge is masked

The cut has been made

The idea was a failure!

Fortunately I’m getting slightly smarter and ensured the “clean” edge was on the piece of plywood I wanted to use.
The next step was to mark out my hole matrix using the Paft guide tool.

A combination of the tool and Pythagoras enabled me to drill a matrix of 3mm holes at 100mm spacing. These holes will eventually be enlarged to 8mm.  however I first needed to turn the board over and rebate the underside of the holes.  This minimizes the splintering of the under surface when the larger holes are drill from the top side.

All the small cut outs were then done.  The ply sheet should be a snug fit, but first I have to enlarge the holes to 8mm.  I plan to do this will my plunge router.  But I don’t have an 8mm V groove bit.  Ebay China have them for $1.67 with free delivery.  However delivery won’t be until the end of February.  There is an Australian supplier, $44 plus postage.  Guess I’ll be waiting!

The last two days have seen regular 40 minute interruptions as I run out into the heat to spray water on the shed concrete slab.

As you probably know, heat builds up in concrete when it’s setting (curing).  If you don’t control the heat the concrete shrinks and cracks.  It’s been very hot the last couple of days which means I’ve needed to regularly water it.  actually I’d better go out now and wet it………..   I’m back.  Phew… it’s hot out there and forecast to be even hotter this weekend.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The Heatwave Continues

Whilst we are forecast to have a relatively cool day with the temperature around the high 20’s or low 30’s the other mainland States are not going to fair as well with 40C being the norm.  I do feel for one small town in South Australia where the mercury is predicted to reach 50C.

Yesterday it was a case of working on the trailer for short periods with long intervals cooling down under the air conditioner drinking beer (one has to rehydrate).  The air-con is certainly worth it’s money and we’re also very pleased it runs on free solar electricity.

The lower compartment of the trailer is almost complete.  I need to make a wiring connection for the fridge and do something about the gap behind the kitchen [B].

trailers lower

The storage box with the side opening door has fitted behind the fridge [C] and the original two storage boxes I made for the August outback trip fit snugly alongside [A].  Both these boxes are 400mm cubes which leave me a 400 cube void behind the kitchen (red arrow).

I’m thinking this might be an ideal location for the gas bottle which is currently attached to the outside of the trailer.  This is a land to which people were transported for stealing a loaf of bread so an unsecured gas bottle would be fair game. Smile

The problem is the maximum height is 400mm and the gas bottle exceeds that.  Then I realised the box slid on rails which means there is a 30-40mm gap underneath them.  I could cut a circular hole in the base of the planned box lowering the height of the bottle inside the box.  But it’s just too hot to go out and do any measuring.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

The Slide and the Wall

I’m attempting to get a little more frequent with the blog posts.  This hasn’t been helped by the weather as the long hot days mean I’m usually only able willing to spend an hour in the morning and late afternoon outside.

The drawer slide is almost completed.  A piece of carpet has been glued over the plywood at the front where the fridge will sit.  The back half will remain bare as it will form the base of a locker I’ve built.

IMG_3186 As you can see in the above photo the drawer doesn’t fully extend out of the trailer.   Access to the planned rear locker obviously won’t be available from the front of the drawer because the fridge will obstruct it.  Neither is there access from the top as there will be a plywood ‘floor’ between the upper and lower half of the existing compartment.  I’ve therefore made the locker with side access.

This next photo shows the side of the locker which will face towards the inside of the compartment. 


And this is what it looks like in the open position.  No floor as it will be glued and screwed to the plywood drawer slide.  I think it probably needs an upper drawer.


Now about the wall.  Jan noticed this next photo on Farcebook.  Smile


Many years ago I was single and living in barracks.  One of my room mates was missing his right foot which had been blown off by an anti-personnel mine whilst in Vietnam.  The irony was the mine had been made in the USA. 

One Australian Army Commander decided to deny the enemy freedom of movement by laying a large and long minefield.  In doing so he breached one of the key principles of constructing an obstacle.  Any obstacle must be under continuously observation!  This minefield was so big and long there were insufficient troops to watch it.  Consequentially the obstacle just became a large warehouse for the enemy to collect mines.  Which they then used to kill and maim Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

The Israelis have also constructed a barrier between the Egyptian Sinai and the Gaza Strip.  Despite continually watching it they haven’t been able to prevent the Palestinians from constructing multiple tunnels under the obstacle.

I repeat.   A barrier has to be continually observed.   The USA-Mexico border is 3145km.  Assuming you need on average a watch tower every 500m which means it would take approximately 75,000 people to watch the wall 24/7.  That’s just the number of static observers; additional mobile patrols would be required.

I don’t doubt this has been explained to President Trump.  However he continues to persist; despite the fact the wall would be hugely expensive and not very effective.  But then this isn’t about a wall.  It’s about keeping a campaign promise…..


Friday, 11 January 2019

But I have been busy

It’s a week since the last blog post.  But I assure you I’ve been busy.  There was some spare space behind the trailer freezer and I decided to utilize it for storage.  This necessitated the manufacture and installation of a partition.  What seemed like a relatively simple task eventually occupied two days as it turned out to be much more complicated than I’d anticipated.  Mostly this was caused by the need to thread the nuts onto the small machine screws.  My eyesight isn’t what it once was and I kept dropping them.  At one point I almost gave up, but then stubbornness set in.  


If the freezer is to work efficiently then it does require a surrounding air gap.  I’ve tested the temperature inside the steel compartment when the freezer isn’t running and discovered it reached 37C.  The freezer will struggle at that temperature so I started thinking about ‘forced airflow.  The compartment has an air filter on either side.


Inside of filter


Outside shroud over filter

Hunting around in the garage I found an old 12V computer fan.  I then made a mounting block from scrap plywood.  The mounting block and fan will fit over the internal side of one of the filters and be connected to the freezer 12V power supply.  It will blow air out of the freezer compartment and (hopefully) suck air in through the opposite filter.


Inside the lower half of the main trailer compartment I’ve completed the trial fit of the 2400mm long heavy duty drawer slides.


The 12V fridge will fit on the near end of the slide with a small storage cabinet behind.  Everything has been made.  I’m just completing the trial fit .  My major issue its once again the small machine screws and nuts.  However it should be completed by the end of next week.  There will be one outstanding issue; the 12V wiring to the fridge.  The cables will need to move backwards and forwards with the fridge, but not foul.

The solar panels have been charging the trailer battery.  Well to be truthful the battery is probably fully charged with the panels only adding between 0.1 – 0.4 Amps (float charge).

I’ve also dug the trenches and installed the underfloor shed pipework in preparation for the laying of the concrete slab.  I had the area nicely level and flat, then Molly decided it was a great place to play and DIG.


The orange pipe is for the power to the bench saw whilst the white is a 100mm sewer pipe.  NO, I’m not installing a toilet in the middle of the shed floor!  It’s for the sawdust extraction system I intend to make and install.

I should probably describe the problems I’ve had with the Raspberry Pi, but that can wait.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The indicative cost

With nothing better to do I decided to analyse the electricity bill

During the previous billing period we purchased 1052kWh of electricity.  For the current period we purchased 356kWh; a reduction of 66%. 

Our latest electricity bill was $4.65. However that includes some credit for a small amount of solar power we sold back to the utility company during the previous period.  If I deduct that from the current bill then our bill would have been $12.62.

In summary, we purchased 356kWh and sold 2062kWh.  The purchase price from the utility company is 25.752 cents kWh and the price they buy our solar is 7.135 cents kWh.  So we sold them $145.22 and purchased $91.68.  However they also charged us a connection fee of 92.3175 cents daily ($53.54) and GST (VAT) of 10% on the total.  The connection fee was the amount that moved us from credit to debit.

If I use the previous period consumption as a baseline (1052kWh) it would mean we have a daily average of 23.55kWh of surplus electricity.  This is sufficient to supply a 15kW battery which would enable us to be self-sufficient. 

However as you can see from the above figures our major electrical cost is the connection fee.  Current government regulations prevent a home owner from disconnecting from the electrical network.  So even if a battery was a financially viable option (it currently isn’t) we wouldn’t spend the money (approx $10,000) to save $12.62 every two months.  A battery will only be a viable option when they become cheaper AND the government allows home owners to disconnect from the network.  I don’t see the latter happening!