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Welcome ;-) Help yourself to a cuppa, put your feet up and see if we've anything of interest to you:

Current list of offerings:
* A mountain of brass hooks and free banners   * A risqué take on climate change
* A lesson in using pallets for firewood   * A list of new business ideas, free to a good home
* A ratty tale on having more than one love   * A brilliant BBC science doco
* A NZ dog, Abu Doggie travels to Dubai   * A squeaky clean joke

A mountain of brass hooks
After having to bend over time and time again into skips as per many a mechanics purposeful design, we jumped at
the chance to buy a whole mountain of truck inner tubes that had never been used before due a fault in the valve.

Mountain of inner tubes on offer in Wellington
The rubber mountain image has been minimised to reduce scaring authorities but they need not worry as it has since been dealt to.
All that remains of our rubber mountain is a mountain of brass hooks that would make for beautiful ways to care for
and display the likes of clothes, hats, shoes and bags.

Brass metal valves from truck inner tubes
Currently still set in rubber, these brass valves would make for attractive retro clothes hooks if set into timber and could be
mixed with bicycle valves as a nice way for the two road users to exist side by side. We saved all the plastic caps so there are plenty to go around and can offer the longer J-shaped hooks for $2 each and the bicycle one's for 50c. They clean up real pretty and are built to last.

There is also a stack of 6x3m canvas billboard banners that can be offered at no charge.
If interested, let's chat >>>


A risqué take on climate change

The summer of 2015/16 in Wellington was officially a scorcher... a welcome change that arrived holding hands with an
increase in flies. Not just normal house flies or their prettier cousins, the blue-bottles but a whole lot of new,
looking ones never seen before. Hairy yellow cluster flies and fierce looking gadflies. But this is not about them.

It about a sight, or more so, a scene that was witnessed for the first time ever.

A fly or actually two flies as one on a cupboard door
It looks like a normal house fly right? Well it's not.

One fly becomes two fly's on closer inspection
On closer inspection, you can make out that it is in fact, two flys making out.

Two fllies on the run from mad camera lady
Affronted by this first time sight, yet in the name of science, also somewhat intrigued. Attempts were made to shoo them outside.
They opted instead for a magical mystery tour in the opposite direction and tried out all the rooms in the house.

Close up of two fly's mating
The lovers on closer inspection.

It didn't feel right to interfere anymore so left them be.
They were enjoying some 'summer lovin'. Danny and Sandy didn't need another song and dance made about them.

Not sure who was the star performer in Wellington's rendition of said musical; Danny for hanging on so well or Sandy for
including the added pleasure of a scenic flight? Turns out, both are worthy of praise as Google informs that flies
mate for between thirty minutes to two hours! Google could not inform on whether Danny would have helped
with his wings when flying about or if Sandy was left to do all the actual work which is what it looked like.

Also of notice during the unseasonably long hot summer, was how many more fleas were pestering the dog and
the increased amount of thistle's in bloom, setting seed. There are going to be lots of unhappy pets and bare
feet come next summer and thanks to Danny and Sandy's impressive effort~ a whole lot more flies too.
Kia ora climate change...

A lesson in using pallets for firewood

Pallet coffee table by Doobi of France.

Sifting out the nails from the ash.

Nail extracted from foot and hammer sized bruise on knee

Recycled dishrack from a wooden pallet.

1. Not all pallets are created equally. Some are ideally shaped for use as a coffee table that's not too tricky to make. This one was made by Doobi, who are based in Paris. Their beautiful range of artwork on the pallets makes the freight costs worthy of cosideration - noteably their Nina Simone design. If you don't know who Nina Simone is, get ready for a right treat of a sing-a-long on the joy of having boobies! >>>

2. If you have a handsaw for each of your neighbour's boys to use, their interest will quickly wane. Provide only one for them to share and they will hang around to help you all afternoon so they can be the one to use the saw. Brilliant.

3. These same children will talk with excitement about the new flat screen telly or X-box game they just got but not for very long. They talk far more often about how they wished their Dad had time to teach them how to build or that their Mum had time to take them to the park.

4. Wood ash is a good source of calcium, phosphorous and potash for the garden but spread it around lightly. Too much and you'll soon be forking out for new plants.

5. Sifting out the nails from the ash will net you a mere $0.10c per kilo from a metal recycler. Not quite the economic mining boom that Key has in mind but if seperated, both materials can be re-used.

6. Metal recyclers are required by law to record personal details such as your address, drivers licence and rego with every exchange. Make the paper work count by rounding up some other metals. The current prices are at an all time low but it's still worth it. By recycling, the need to mine for virgin ore is reduced and by doing so it saves untold energy, water pollution and possibly even the life of a miner or two. To not recycle metal is to be disrespectful of the environmental and social costs paid to obtain it.

7. If you opt to handsaw, one arm will end up way stronger and bigger than the other. It will look a bit odd come bikini season but if that's of concern in your life, then all's well.

8. Wearing jandals is not a good idea. A 6cm nail in your foot really hurts. Equally, loosing your grip on the hammer and whacking yourself instead hurts too. Big time when the bullseye turns out to be your knee.

9. Henry Ford said that cutting your own firewood results in heating yourself twice. He was right - it's a great work out, the lycra outfit is optional and you get to let loose with a hammer and have good come of it. That said, the resulting banging noises will create.the opposite effect for your neighbours and their barking dogs.

10. Those $10 entry-level saws will do the job but they go blunt quite quickly. Worth paying a bit more for a better quality one with replaceable blades. Alternatively, an electric drop saw with a wide clearance will make short work of it all but be careful of the nails. A) it makes a horrid noise when you saw through one and B) it's dangerous to have hot metal bits flying out the back or worse, have the nail break the blade when it's hurling around at top speed. Oops!

11. Look for the IPPC stamp to decode the letters on the pallet. HT DB means heat treated to 56°c, debarked and safe to burn. Avoid burning glued wood blends, painted pallets or those with the letters 'MB' - that means it was treated with methyl bromide fumigation, as all will be toxic when burnt. Green or pink tinted timber plus any coded HT with a number alongside are also unsafe to burn. Not just in an ACC best practice kind of way...think more along the lines of a silent protracted and debilitating illness. Yikes.

12. People with heat pumps have way more free time on their hands. They also have whopper power bills and pay to go to a gym.
If you want to have a go, best to do your collecting and cutting in Summer as in Winter, it can be hard to find dry pallets.

13. There's a fair bit of 'pallet love' going on around the world. See Recyclart and Christchurch's Pallet Pavillion.

A list of new business ideas, free to a good home

John Key happy as larry in a gondola.
  One: Wellington is ripe for some gondola's and long distance flying foxes. Imagine moon lit gondola rides over the harbour or commuters zooming through the air across the city. There are many ideal sites between the peaks and there's a fantastic line of sight at the entrance to Charles Plimmer Park and Vic Uni's Kelburn campus. Go on Key, you can afford it...
    Two: There's an opportunity for a few budding architects or landscape artists with a talent for illustration to market their skills by providing sketches of suggested home improvements next to the feature homes photographed in real estate catalogues. A quick visual sketch of how the home might look with a few changes wouldn't take up much room and could be good for all involved.
Innovative toilet designs.   Three: If industrial design or plumbing is your thing, we'e got some sketches available along the lines of a wall height adjustable toilet so that instead of all the icky toddler and elderly paraphernalia banging about, the height could be adjusted with ease to suit any member of the family. With an ability to go really low it would also help to address cultural differences for visitors and foreign students. Possibly it could even solve the whole seat up, seat down argument too - a design worthy of a nobel peace prize.
    Four: Demand for plastic as a commodity has surpassed aluminium and there's plenty of it being buried in our valley's or shipped to China. As it happens, there's a certain South Island aluminium smelter factory that could be up for sale soon with skilled workers keen to stay on.
A naughty dog in need of a new collar.   Five: A dog collar with an inbuilt mini camera and speaker system. For ease of seeing what the naughty ones are up to and to play a rank sound in dog waves rather than emit a horrible electric shock. Police could also put them on their dogs to scope out areas and use the footage in court cases. Search and Rescue dogs could also wear them in tight places and take instruction when surrounding noises are too loud to hear the handler. Besotted owners might also like this new collar concept to chit chat with their dog and see what it is up to whilst online at work. Admittedly, a poor cousin to just getting on with your work and going home early.
A gutter wand for every community.  

Six: Community tool libraries. There's toy libraries and book libraries and a growing number of bike libraries but why no tool libraries? Every suburb should have it's own gutter witch, allen keys, spanner set, car battery charger etc to loan out and reduce the need for everyone to buy so many garage ornaments. This is more of a business killer than a business idea but how nice would it be if people included in their will that a few handy items from their sheds be gifted to a community tool library if there were such a thing. Or maybe one of the wealthy by extortion Aussie banks could brand a range of tools and loan out as a tool bank. Although, getting back into one of said banks with a sharp implement could prove interesting...

Option to make recycling more fun.   Seven: A revamp of the residential recycling scheme. Not wanting to sound ungrateful for the service on offer - just sounding out an alternative to achieve a closer connection between the financial rewards of recycling and the residents doing the recycling.

Consider if there was no street collection service and instead supermarkets provided collection facilities on-site. Supermarkets have trolley staff already out and about keeping an eye on things so the facilities would be monitored and likely covered by CCTV cameras too. The money they raised could be shared amongst a pool of various causes in their community for good PR at little expense to them. Their existing brochures, posters and telly ads could also promote which cause would be getting the funds for that particular week. By transparently promoting the amounts raised, further volumes of recyclable materials would likely be diverted from landfill especially if the relevant charities acknowledged the difference it was making.

Another benefit on offer to the supermarkets would be the likelihood that those sites with facilities could expect an increase in patronage with people deciding to do their shop at the same time. Facilities at supermarkets would also mean items wouldn't need to be stored for a fortnight and go smelly for the sorters. There would also be no more bottles left out on the wrong week or plastics and papers blowing around our neighbourhoods after windy collection days.

Plus to compete for patronage, there would be an incentive for facilities to provide a wider range of acceptable items such as the likes of polystyrene for a bit of one upmanship between the two chains. The incentive would also exist for the facilities to be made fun with strongman carnival like games whereby you squash your can or plastic bottle to get a reading of how strong you are. A bit of fun could help increase the levels of recycling even further.

Our supermarkets are also in the unique position of having sufficient enough clout to bring about meaningful changes from their suppliers if they so desired. For example, if plastics No. 1 and 2 are the easiest to recycle within NZ and receive the higher price, then we could soon see suppliers swiftly changing to those packaging grades where possible, to appease their buyers since it would give the supermarkets access to more funds to distribute for PR and attention. There's something to be said for utilising their monopoly to our benefit...

Reader's business ideas sent in:

1. Healtheries's apricot and almond oils lasts longer than moisturizers and only contain ingredients safe enough to eat. The brown bottles they come in soon get messy though. If you wash out an empty deodorant with a roller ball and refill with oil it's tider to apply and carry when travelling. Healtheries if you like the concept~no hiking up the price eh.
Submitted by Shirley of Tauranga.

A ratty tale on having more than one love

Choosing between two loves
At ease soldier, I'm talking jobs, as in having one job that you like/love depending on the day, whilst whiling away in the direction
of another love. It's not all that different to loving two people. You don't want to choose, you want to mould them
together into one 'new and improved' combo deal. Wishful in the romantic sense, yet perhaps doable as a job.

Thing is, what if both jobs pay so poorly that you need to conjour up some love for a third?
Heaven forbid, (unless you're a male) it's like having three lovers on the go. It's not like you receive three times the love.
It's more like dividing yourself up into thirds, to be a third of a person here, a third over there and a third elsewhere.
Plus, pleasing three people (let alone managers) at the same time is hard work, if not impossible.

For the first love is to be a writer, a student of the allegory. Thing is, the write well, one must also read well and to read
well is akin to a dog in chase of its own tail - help is often needed to make ends meet. Or might there be another way... ?

Cartoon about a dog's tail leaving him as it can't take all the chasing

You get to decide if there should be more recycling, more alphabet sculptures or one more rat in the race for a 'proper job'.

Essay samples if interested in encouraging more writing:
1. To Korea with love from a German and a Jew: lived lessons on offer for divided people
2. Wellington 2016: an insight into living in the suburbs as a single, unwedded, childless woman
3. Conversing with the priviledged: exchanges with white male academics, post-50

The alternative is a combo deal of 'recycling books' in that, if you have something you need to read for work or study that you
haven't the time nor inclination for, I'll read it for you and summarize it into key bullet points with an argument for either side
so that you can have something to discuss when asked about it. I'll also provide a few key quotes from the text so you get the
'need to know' essentials summarized to better fit your busy schedule. Anonymity assured and speakers of English
as a second language are welcome as are those who need a more nuanced review of what's between the lines and amongst the gumpf.

Bingo bango... problem solved and one less rat amongst the morning commute.
Yay - click here to chat about this win-win solution.

A brilliant BBC science doco on the depths the West has been... and will go, for its love of oil
In a way, it's a doco about green waste recycling at its most devious. Mostly, it's a well-researched tale of the world's
crude masters and servants - a changing theatre with
insights on the players, the winners and the many losers.

The official means of viewing it via the BBC store isn't an option for NZ residents so when it 'magically' appeared online for free,
it was too good not to share the news. If you haven't come across Professor Iain Stewart as yet, you're in for a treat.
He's a beloved geo-science BBC broadcaster and the Director of Plymouth University's Sustainable Earth Institute.
If you're a fellow fan, high five ~ below is one of his finest documentaries yet.

A NZ dog, Abu Doggie travels to Dubai

Heather Taylor of Newlands, Wellington was after a special NZ gift to send her brother in law, Rob Taylor as he'd
sent many an interesting gift from his travels abroad. It was decided she'd send him an inner tube dog to
Abu Dhabi and that's how Abu Doggie came to be. Check him out on tour in Oman, eyeing up Nekhal Castle:
One of our inner tube dogs on tour in Oman to check out Nekhal castle

Built during the pre-Islamic times of the 3rd to 10th centuries, it is open to visitors for a mere Euro.
Here's what it looks like inside:

Inside view of Nekhal Castle   Roof panels inside Oman's castles tell poems and look uncanningly like those of a Maori marae
  Wooden panels on the ceiling tell of poems and bear resemblence to those in traditional Maori marae.

Abu Doggie off on adventures around the Middle East
Still wearing the girly bow we put on him, Abu Doggie is off to check out the Middle East's many other cultural heritage sites.
When in Oman, he should ideally dress as the Omani. Watch this space to see him in a mini keffiyeh like this one:
An example of a keffiyeh head dress
Till then, many thanks to Heather and her fun loving family who enjoy entertaining each other and
by proxy, educating those of us not able to travel to the East, or not open to the concept...

A squeaky clean joke

Recycling involes a fair amount of time spent scrubbing things clean.
It's fairly untaxing on the mind, so it tends to wander and wonder...
Duck soap holder and scouring pad
Q: What happens when the duck and the scouring pad are left alone for an overnight soak?

Scouring pad, rubber duck soap holder and baby rubber duck

Have a great day
Happy cycling and recycling

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