I’d Like The Challenging Of Losing 100kg, But I’m Too Lazy To Put On 100kg First

I quite enjoyed the first season of The Biggest Loser (but didn’t bother watching subsequent seasons).

I’m quite a competitive person and I would really like to do a challenge like losing 100kg of weight.

If I could snap my fingers and become 186kg, I’d do it right now.

But the thought of all that work of over-eating and under-exercising for 6 months to get there?

No way.

I’m too lazy for that.

How Does Insulation In Your Roof Keep You Warm In Winter And Cool In Summer?

This doesn’t make sense to me.

Is it magic?

I just got the ceiling of my house re-insulated this week so I asked Sam at InsulationPlus how it works.

This is how he explained it to me:

On a hot summers day, the air in your ceiling gets very hot and if your layer of insulation (eg PinkBatts) is thin or has gaps, that hot air gets pushed down into your living areas, making your house hot. On a cold winters day, the air in your ceiling is cold so when your insulation is thin or has gaps, the warm air from your living area gets sucked up into the ceiling cavity.

So it seems to me that air doesn’t like to have hot and cold patches it likes to be an even temperature in whatever space it occupies.

A lot like my wife actually.

P.S. Thank you to the New Zealand Government for the EECA “Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority” EnergyWise programme, through which we got $2381.56 of ceiling & underfloor insulation for just $952.62.

Booo-ya!

And thanks to the team at InsulationPlus Limited, Tauranga:

  • Sam who did the initial inspection and will be coming back in the next few days for the final sign-off. Really nice guy who explained my options clearly. A real pro.
  • The 3 guys who did the actual installation on the day (can’t remember their names sorry). They worked fast, finished ahead of schedule, and performed a top quality job
  • And especially to Bob, the owner, who rang us several times to make sure everything was going smoothly. Amazing service.

What To Do With Free Post Envelopes

NZPost Freepost EnvelopeEven thought most of my household bills come as pdf’s via email these days (Genesis Energy, Vodafone Internet), some still come via snail mail (Telecom phone line, Kiwibank MasterCard).

Those snail mail bills often come with a freepost envelope included.

Next time I get one, I’m going to:

  1. Cross out the address on the front
  2. Write my brothers address on it instead
  3. And put a post-it note inside that just says “Cher!”

What are you going to do with your next freepost envelope?

Write a letter to your aunty perhaps? Or to yourself so you can time how long the letter takes to arrive?

How Come The Price of Pizza Has Been The Same For 15 Years, When Everything Else Has Doubled Or Tripled In Price?

I guess they are only “regular” size rather than “family” size.

But still, $4.90 for each pizza?

Wow.

That is less than I was paying 15 years ago.

Surely I can’t even buy the same quantity of cheese that’s on top, for cheaper than that from the supermarket?

How much has the price of petrol, milk, flour, salt, bacon, chicken… EVERYTHING gone up by in the last 15 years?

Double?

Triple?

Growing Vegetables In Your Own BackYard, Does It Provide A Viable Return On Investment?

I have felt guilty for a long time about having a raised vegetable bed at the back of my property (that the previous owners installed), but only using it for grass clippings.

After months of “encouragement” from both sides of the family we finally agreed to get into it.

I was a little shocked at the pricetag of the first trip to a garden centre at about $80 and wondered even then if we were going to get a return on investment.

Here’s is a break down of our expenses and our harvest over the 3 month period.

Expenses

  • Bag of Compost: $20
  • Pots: $20
  • Seedlings: $3 x 15 = $45
  • Pesticides: $6 x 3 = $18
  • Water: 300 litres x 90 days = 27 m3 (27,000 litres) @ $1.24/m3 = $30

Total: $133.00

Harvest

  • Bok choy x 9. Value each $3 x 9 = $24
  • Lettuce x 5. Value each $3 x 5 = $15
  • Brocolli x 2. Value each $3 x 2 = $6
  • Cabbage x 2. Value each $3 x 2 = $6
  • Potatoes x 1.5kg. Value $5
  • Silverbeet/Spinach x 2. Value each $2 x 2 = $4
  • Cauliflower x 1. Value each $3 x 1 = $3
  • Beans x 150grms. Value $0.50

Total: $63.50

Return on investment = $63.50 – $133.00 = -$69.50

Conclusion

Backyard Vegetable Gardens of this size are not viable based purely on the expenses and harvest, without taking into account the opportunity cost of the labour component, which can be calculated as follows:

Labour

  • Watering: 20mins/day x 60 days
  • Sewing/harvesting: 60mins x 10 days

Total: 1800mins = 30 hours @ $100/hour = $3,000

Can I Recycle My AA Batteries In New Zealand?

battery-recycling

I’m not talking about car batteries – those you can take to any metal recycler and get about $2 for them.

I’m talking about non-rechargeable AA batteries (and battery sizes AAA, C and D).

All my AA’s are rechargeable except for the ones that come free sometimes with some electronics.

Like me, do you feel guilty when the non-rechargeable batteries are spent, and you throw them in the bin?

I’ve been told that especially the ones with mercury in them are hazardous to the environment, so what can we do with them?

Can we recycle them?

And more importantly is it free to do so? (If I have to courier them somewhere or drive 10km out of my way to deliver them to a collection point, forget it.  I’ll just throw them in the bin).

So what’s the solution?

I propose that household batteries are added to the list of items we can add to our recycling bins.  Surely someone can make a few dollars down the line by harvesting the metals from them?

What do you think?

Blood Doping – The Truth About Blood Doping For Enhancing Sports Performance

teddy-bear-blood-bagIn New Zealand the word “dope” commonly means “Marijuana”. And in the news we often hear of sport stars being caught cheating in events by “doping”.

Therefore one might assume that somehow these athletes have been using Dope to enhance their sports performance.

That is not the case.

In full, the term is “blood doping” and is not as evil as it sounds.

The atheletes are not injecting themselves with drugs at all.

They are injecting themselves with their own blood.

Yes, that’s right.

For months before their big race they:

  • Transfuse their blood
  • Increase the concentration of Red Blood Cells (mainly by removing water)
  • Freeze it

Then the blood, high in Red Blood Cells, is thawed and pumped back into their blood stream before the race.

Why?

Because Red Blood Cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, and more RBCs in the blood can improve an athlete’s aerobic capacity (VO2 max) and endurance.

RBCs can be concentrated, frozen and later thawed with little loss of viability or activity.

Interestingly, a similar affect can be achieved by training at high altitude. The body compensates for the reduced volume of oxygen in each breath, by producing extra RBCs so the lungs become more efficient at extracting oxygen from every lung-full.

But it’s expensive to go and live and train in the mountains for months at a time.

Does Anyone Use The Coffee-Type Indicators On Paper Cup Lids?

black-coffee-cup-lidI think the little press-down indicators on the top of the lids for paper cups are a brilliant invention.

For example, let’s say you are going to McDonalds and you are getting 5 hot beverages:

  1. Black coffee
  2. Black decaf coffee
  3. White coffee with sugar
  4. White decaf coffee
  5. Hot chocolate

If the McDonalds staff member pressed down the appropriate buttons on the plastic lids, you can see at a glance which hot beverage is which.

So why don’t staff ever use them?

Annoying!

And another one: Many pizza boxes have similar indicators on the side of the box. And example is Hell Pizza.  They have every flavour of pizza listed on the side of the box, all the staff member would have to do it circle the flavour with a pen.

A few times I’ve had parties when we’ve ordered 6 or more pizza’s and it would have been very handy to actually know which flavour we had in front of us.

But Hell Pizza employees never mark the pizza flavour on the side of the box either.

Annoying!

I just feel sorry for the dude that invented these things, got them accepted into mainstream but they don’t get used in practice.

Shame.