May Goals

May. 2nd, 2016 09:42 am
thewhitelily: (Lily)
So, I had a few March goals for Futureproof, but... well, I didn't quite get there for several reasons.

I mostly mucked around with character charts and trying a single crucial scene a few different ways, to sort out a particular character relationship issue which has a huge impact on the plot.  I still wrote about 5K words on it this month, but... yeah, I'm still trying to work out how much to change it to improve things down the line--and what to change, because it's all a complex thing where I pull one string and the whole thing warps in one direction or the other.  I feel like if I find the right string or set thereof, it should just all fall into place, but... to be honest, I probably just need to force it through.  I'm not very good at doing that.  But I'm giving it a rest for the moment because...

I'm currently working on the BBC Sherlock Rehabilitation fic, which I've written 6K on in the last couple of weeks.  I'm still expecting to end up around 10k total by the time I'm finished fiddling with it, and I reckon I should be able to finish it and get it off to beta before the end of this week, because I'm really not that far off complete framework.  I've only got a few bits to fill in left, really, and my aim is to get *that* done by the end of today, finish the framework, and then spend the rest of the week polishing and bouncing it off my beta.  Possibly not realistic to have it posted by the end of the week, but hopefully no more than another week after that - then I want to get back onto my March goals for Futureproof.

The other distraction, in addition to what's going on with my mum, who has about until the end of the month before she's allowed to weight bear on her leg again, Hubby and I are having Big Serious Discussions about the Future.  Or mainly, Hubby stressed out of his mind and hiding under a big rock pretending it isn't happening while I draw up charts on the whiteboard and try to analyse the unanalysable.  There's a... decision coming up, a fork in the road.  And one way means a lot of stress on him and probably less time to write for me and basically taking the risk on our family of wiping out everything we've built--but seems to really be the better decision financially and with family politics, and it's mainly the fear holding us back.  And the other way means disappointing a lot of people, and... isn't necessarily safer or lower stress, but... it does mean we wouldn't have to take on the weight of a very, very large loan.

Do we want to buy out the family business when Hubby's parents retire, that is the question? Which is two parts, really: do we want the business at all or should they sell it to a third party, and if so... do we want to buy it for lots and lots of money.  Being as it's a family business, we could possibly also officially take over without the very, very large loan.  But taking the very, very large loan has major financial advantages for tax minimisation for the family clan as a whole, and leaves us at an excellent tax advantage for the future, no matter how the business tracks long term.  But... all the risk is on us.  And, it's not like it's a big risk, because we know the business is sound and long-term viable, but... we're talking big, big dollar figures here, figures that dwarf all the equity we've worked hard to build up over the last fifteen years since back when I was working five jobs at once while I was at uni. At least, for the first time, it's being presented as a decision we need to make, rather than an assumption that we will.  Did I mention that the loan would be large?  *sigh*

Okay, back to writing proper.  This is my least favourite stage of writing any story, but if I can get my head into gear and complete the framework today, it'll be done.  And done with it will be a good place to be
thewhitelily: (Default)
Surely there's an obvious pattern here?

Graph here )

I'm forecasting rain for Friday and a clear day Sunday. And I refuse to admit that today's xkcd might be at all relevant.

PS: Averaging 21.7 kWhpd = $9.01 = $3.88 clear profit per day = actually $2.12 per day until the electricity company gets its act together and properly connects us up (apparently in ANOTHER 2-3 weeks time) and the credit card bill comes due (tomorrow). Theory aside, we're about to go negative for a little while. :P

S Day

Sep. 2nd, 2010 09:16 pm
thewhitelily: (Default)
So Tuesday was the big day when 30 solar panels made their way onto our roof. So far, we've been pretty happy. Yesterday was the first full day in operation and Brisbane really turned on the weather which was, aside from smoky haze from some bushfires and some afternoon cloud cover, a clear and sunny day.

So: let's see some real figures... )

We've yet to see what the next electricity bill actually brings, we've yet to see how long the government rebate lasts (if it went away tomorrow and electricity prices didn't rise, we would pay off the panels in 28 years rather than 8), and we've yet to see how the panels last the test of time. For the next 10-15 years (depending on the part) they're simply under warranty. Research suggests we shouldn't expect any problems for significantly longer than that. Accidental damage (hail/storm/etc) is covered on home insurance. Zombie attack doesn't seem to be covered anywhere. I suppose we shall just have to wait and see.

But for the moment, I am very pleased indeed.

Edit: Figures updated when I realised I had the feed-in tarriff wrong - it's 50cpkWh, not 40.
thewhitelily: (Default)
It all started because our hot water system is leaking.

Well, I say our hot water system, but in fact it's only one of the three that the previous occupants/renovators of the house felt was appropriate. It's good in some ways, because it means that with the tank right outside whatever tap's being turned on, hot water appears practically instantaneously. It's bad in others because... well, there's three aging hot water services, each of which chew electricity and break down and require repairs.

So, one of our hot water systems is leaking. And rather than spend a couple of hundred dollars getting a plumber out (twice, because he'll never have the right parts the first time) to tut-tut on the shoddy workmanship of the previous guy and stop the steady leak of water, greenhouse gasses, and money down the drain, we thought we might look into getting a solar hot water system installed. Queensland's great for solar hot water. Plenty of sun, plenty of hot weather. Not too much difference between the length of the days, so it's not like you only get hot water in summer, either. I grew up with solar hot water, which always kept us plentifully supplied, despite being installed at least twenty-five years ago. While we're at it, we thought we might look into getting PV cells (solar electricity) installed as well.

Investigations proceed... )

So... We've made the decision. We've ordered the system. We've signed all the papers. We've paid the deposit. Solar hot water will arrive on our roof in around a week. 5.4KW (the biggest system these guys have ever installed) of PV panels will take more like ten weeks.

I'll let you know how it goes.
thewhitelily: (Default)
I'm told that the accumulation of material possessions cannot make me happy.

Hmmm. Let's count.

Things currently making me outrageously, deliriously happy include:
• My awesome, awesome house. It's spacious, it's beautiful, and it's increased in value by about a third since we bought it. Three years later and I still walk in every day, look around and say: "Yeah. Win."
• My roomba vacuum robot, which putters around cleaning my awesome, awesome house while I'm at work or asleep or victoriously watching it and imagining building a robot army to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!
• My new Toyota Prius (well, second hand, and five months old even to me, but from 2007 which is years newer than I've ever had) which is shiny and white and has brakes that work and which we actually put a steering wheel lock on rather than, as we did with its predecessor the '95 Festiva Trio, leaving it unlocked on the kerb with a sign saying "please take me".
• My Taekwondo trophy, with its shiny little gold-painted figure kicking arse on top.
• My manuscript of Futureproof, currently standing five scenes shy of complete second draft.
• My investment unit, which settled two weeks ago and, despite being highly negatively geared and currently scarily untenanted, I have great confidence was a fabulous deal chiefly thanks to my awesome negotiation skills and ability to be a super-bitch to a real estate agent.
• My new Westpac financial accounts, which through a combination of lesser fees, lower interest rate, and better rewards, will save me approximately $1,800 per year over the Commonwealth, as well as providing me with a significantly more convenient account structure.

And then there's this... )

In any case, I hope it continues to help, because tomorrow (well, this morning, it looks like, since I'm a slow typer of LJ posts) Hubby and I are off on another trip to the US, this time to California, Nevada, and Arizona. Mostly national parks so, if it turns out that the experience is only just beginning, at least I’ll have something to take my mind of it and, if necessary, can look at the pretty view as I vomit into a pretty bush.  I’m sure Hubby will be glad of the opportunity to add a little authenticity to otherwise generic picture-postcard photographs. :)

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The White Lily

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