The light instal­la­tion is com­plete, I put it in last Sat­ur­day. That means I’m no longer a fail­ure at life, well not a com­plete fail­ure just a 50% fail­ure. And if there’s one thing I learnt from my Engi­neer­ing degree, 50% is a pass, think about that next time you put your life in an Engineer’s hands (fly­ing in a plane, dri­ving a car, walk­ing over a bridge or switch­ing on a pow­er point).

The design worked a treat and the client was hap­py. I’m not sure what they were expect­ing but they seemed a lit­tle over­whelmed with a cus­tom solu­tion that per­fect­ly fixed all their prob­lems. It makes me won­der what they thought I was doing when I spent over an hour talk­ing to them about what the issues were and what they need­ed.

Even the instal­la­tion went fan­tas­ti­cal­ly even though there were a few lit­tle things I hadn’t ful­ly thought and maybe a vital tool I for­got. For­tu­nate­ly Kei­th agreed to come along and brought his ute full of tradie gear so I got away with it. With him tak­ing the lead on the install it even looked like a real­ly nice pro­fes­sion­al job. I know I can do most of the things an expe­ri­enced trades­man can do but it’s like the dif­fer­ence between me cook­ing out of a recipe book and a pro­fes­sion­al chef, both end prod­ucts could be described as food but only one bears any resem­blance to the pic­ture.

There was a bit of iron­ic excite­ment, I was there installing a light designed to pre­vent the quadraplegic client from burn­ing him­self. While at the same time he decid­ed to burn a let­ter and man­aged to set his foot on fire, I heard him call­ing out and looked out the win­dow to see flames climb­ing up his leg. I man­aged to stop him burn­ing with only a lit­tle dam­age to myself, main­ly due to the plas­tic fab­rics. Unfor­tu­nate­ly he end­ed up with a huge blis­ter cov­er­ing most of the top of the foot, at least he couldn’t feel it.

The only think I for­got to do was take some pic­tures. So this is anoth­er bor­ing lump of text, here, have a pup­py.

Box of a puppies milk, complete with a picture of the puppy it was stolen from

Milk for sadists, stolen from 100% organ­ic pup­pies

In praise of Bunnings

I want­ed a three bulb halo­gen light fit­ting, prefer­ably run­ning at 12V. Beyond that cheap­er was more impor­tant that pret­ty and — because I want­ed to play with the wiring — often bet­ter. I priced a few dif­fer­ent options:

  • $100 South­side Light­ing, Fysh­wick
  • $90 Project Light­ing, Tug­ger­a­nong (With spe­cial TADACT dis­count)
  • $52.70 Bun­nings, Fysh­wick (240V)

It end­ed up being a bit of a no brain­er. I under­stand it’s hard for a spe­cial­ist to com­pete with a mas­sive chain like Bun­nings and I agree with sup­port­ing bet­ter ser­vice. Frankly though I would have got­ten bet­ter ser­vice from an illus­trat­ed cat­a­log than I got from South­side Light­ing, maybe even some pret­ty mod­els too.

The dim­mers I used are designed for stand­ing lamps and came from South­side Light­ing. Mind you the prod­uct I was quot­ed wasn’t in stock, they did how­ev­er have an almost iden­ti­cal one that was $15 cheap­er. Cat­a­log wins again… if I had known about the cheap­er one I could have brought the quote down to $200.

To fin­ish this up and bring it back to Bun­nings. I also dis­cov­ered this week­end that it’s 1/3rd of the price to buy a cheap exten­sion cable than to buy wire and a plug. I love mass pro­duc­tion.

Wandering further off topic

I think we are going to see the end of most of these spe­cial­ist shops and I couldn’t be hap­pi­er. When a decent web­page can tell me every­thing I need to know with bet­ter ser­vice, they’re doing some­thing wrong. The costs are just far too high to jus­ti­fy in the mod­ern age, these are large shops and Project Light­ing had four staff work­ing when I last went in, for two cus­tomers (includ­ing me).

How long until some­one moves through and eats their 100% prof­it mar­gin with a local online ware­house. And why aren’t I doing it?

Maybe that could be October’s project.