Category Archives: Education

On Being Happier

You probably have experienced more than once that feeling, be it after a birthday, a vacation, the beginning of a new year or a random occurrence, when you realize that you want to and/or need to change. The last couple of years have been rather comfortable, I don’t owe money, my micro-home has come together nicely, the firewood is sorted for winter, visited family and friends in Europe twice, became a keen photographer and other good stuff happened, too.

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Simple Off Grid Home

I made a short video using the photos taken during the building process of my small, off-grid home. All the materials were brought onto site using a quad and the major tools used were: hammer, nails, circular saw, protractor, calculator, tape measure, theodolite and a level. I certainly learned how to hammer a nail in.

After building the foundation, I spread the word that I need someone to help me with building the rest. A dream came true when a seasoned man showed up on beniSland, a very experienced builder, man of god and good friend. He taught me how to build and when times were stressful or confusing, he just smiled and we moved on.

The music (Persian march) is by Johann Strauss Jr.

Improving New Zealand’s Fish Stocks

If you’re interested in the state of New Zealand’s fish stocks, you’ll find an enourmous volume of publications from government and ministry of fisheries claiming that they are on the rise, improving in quantity and quality. NZ fish and commercial fishing methods applied are up with the world’s best.

Well, I’ve lived 13 years in New Zealand and one thing every immigrant learns quickly is that New Zealand is world class in EVERYTHING. Full stop. I believe we also make some of the best mozzarella cheese worldwide.

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Pushed Around Like Clouds

Dear friend,

sometimes we are pushed around in life by forces outside of our control. We might feel, as a result, a lack of consistency, shape and even ability. These emotions can have negative impact on our lives. How we deal with this realisation or feeling is the aim of this post. But let us take a figurative step back and think of clouds. It has helped me and it might do so for you.

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Elcold Chest Freezer XLE 130 L – Performance Review

In early October 2015, I installed a photo voltaic system for my off grid home (Solar Power System Design Part III), and the plan was to design it in such a way that I can power a chest freezer all year round without a worry. After reviewing different manufacturers and respective freezer models, I concluded that my number one priority would be low power requirements.

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Solar Power System Design – Part II

I’ve been contemplating about what to buy for the last month. Its worthwhile to view installed renewable systems and talk to the owners about pros and cons. There is a lot of bullshit published on the Internet, the vast majority being copy and paste articles which are neither detailed nor discuss alternative solutions.

As mentioned in the Part I, the design of my Power System depends vastly on my budget. Ideally, the main focus will be the power requirements, but like anything else I’m doing on BENIsLAND I cannot afford what I want nor what I need. This project will also be a compromise, and I explain my rationale for each electrical component in the following.

This, following articles, including downloadable material to which I link to, shall NOT be treated as advice, instruction or a form of guideline for any sort of power system.

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Solar Power System Design – Part I

I’m designing my offgrid solar power system at the moment. The plan is to get my head around what I need, locate a supplier for those components in Auckland, consult them, negotiate a price, take the car on the ferry to town, bring the equipment back to the Island and install the system.

The plan ends with me sitting on the deck in the sun, enjoying a cold beer and feeling proud of myself.

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Trapping Rats With Soap – Great Barrier Island

I don’t like rats. Although they are kind of cute and not necessarily a dirty animal, they are a pest. From observation I know that they are great climbers, quite nifty and very sociable. I have started trapping them around the shower area and the chicken run. It kind of started a few months ago with me having a shower and watching one walk past. Further, whenever I left soap anywhere near the shower area, they had a solid go at it. If they love soap, why not using is at bait? Continue reading Trapping Rats With Soap – Great Barrier Island

Double Rainbow – Great Barrier Island

double_rainbowI was waiting for the best moment to step out of the warm cabin to walk through the muddy path to my kitchen and prepare a feed. Three days of heavy rain and gale-force winds had fine-tuned my observing skills to ‘forecasting’ those brief moments where I could go outside without being exposed to the worst of the storm.

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