I had the AstraZeneca vaccination 4 weeks ago

I had my first vaccination on the 20th April, 2021 in Warrnambool and I had to fight to get it.  Unlike many people I know who are resisting getting vaccinated, my wife and I were keen to get the shot.  We had both turned 60 and had a serious medical condition so we were classed as 1B.  As no-one under 50 was getting AstraZeneca anymore it should have been easy.  But like nearly anything to do with the Federal Government it was a balls up.

My parents had already been vaccinated in Geelong.  They were lucky enough to be visiting their GP when a cancellation allowed them to get a shot earlier than expected.  My younger brother had been vaccinated as well as a front line worker in Melbourne.  My mother had no reaction to the shot but both my brother and father were knocked around for several days to a week.  We decided to get vaccinated a week apart in case of a reaction.

Knowing I was entitled to get vaccinated I used the government website to find a vaccination centre.  The website requested booking online.  There were many on offer that were mostly GP clinics but they would only vaccinate their own patients.  Many were very unhelpful.  The Warrnambool Vaccination Hub had online booking that didn’t function.  One clinic suggested contacting my own GP even though they were not vaccinating.  They informed me to head to the vaccination centre the next day and just join the queue.  So that is what I did.

When I arrived there was no queue but just a steady stream of arrivals about two or three deep.  There was no problem getting in and staff from start to finish were friendly, professional and made the experience easy and painless.  I was disappointed with how poorly the hospital ran the bookings.  Its website only allows bookings once the vaccine arrives yet there was no message letting you know that the booking format was locked until then.  On asking to book my wife in at the centre there was only an A4 page that everyone wrote their name on – it looked more like an office birthday card.  I know hospitals and clinics are seldom aimed at the patient experience but a little more care would go a long way.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Is Britbox worth a spin?

It hasn’t been in Australia for that long so I expect most people have not given Britbox a try. What is Britbox? It is a streaming service that combines shows from Britain’s ITV and BBC television services. I tried the free week and then paid for a month but by the end of the month I lost interest in what they had to offer.
The problem was very few new shows. If you want to catch up on old favorites or finish a series you never got to complete it may be for you but it lacked current seasons for many shows. If you are paying to watch the BBC you would expect to see current seasons as they are released but everything was one, two or more seasons behind. At the time the only top new release that I couldn’t watch was All Creatures Great and Small which was worth a month’s subscription on its own but after that the service fell flat for me.
So should you give it a try? Definitely. I am sure as they prioritise the service more and stop selling their shows to rival streamers they will become a must use streaming service. Also hopefully they will open up their archives and release a lot more shows from the past that were missing. For now, try a free week, pay for a month or two and move on.
If you want to catch really good british shows for now head over to Binge.

I’m disillusioned with solar

I was very enthusiastic about getting solar on the property I purchased.  I thought I had researched very well and was up with what I needed for my property.  Turns out I knew pretty much nothing.  The property was old and needed a lot of electrical updating including underground cabling, new switchboards and more.  The electrician was also a solar installer and I was going to get him to install a 10 kw system on the garage was the roof was renewed.

I wanted the system for independence.  The money saving was secondary.  I thought the solar could provide power if the grid went down but it turns out the solar system relies on the grid (although there are inverters rolling out that can supply some power recently).  So without a battery there is no independence and batteries are not recommended at this time.  

I was told that I would get my money back in 6 years or less which sounds promising until I spoke to other people I knew who had solar.  Two were told they could not put back into the grid because the grid couldn;t handle it.  They were told this after they installed and are unlikely to ever get their money back.I then found out that during winter (I am all electric including heating) the standard system of 6.6 kw would only supply enough for my hot water with a 9.6 kw allowing for a bit more use but during summer I would have copious amounts of electricity that I don’t need to feed back into the grid.  So basically I am producing electricity for the grid more than myself, no independence and no guarantee the grid will accept my excess.  Then the government suggested charging for putting electricity back into the grid and cutting off in peak times (when I finally have some power being produced).  It was the death knell on my dream of having solar panels. 
I am not suggesting I would never entertain installing again but it was unlikely.  I did get a change over switch fitted so if the power goes off I can run the house on a generator.