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-8 overnight!

By johnboy - 29 July 2011 79

tuggeranong creek

The cycle into the Eagle’s Nest this morning was spectacular and bracing.

The Weather Channel reports that it got down to -8 overnight, the coldest in 17 years.

Todd sent in these pictures of Tuggeranong Creek frozen over.

frozen tuggeranong creek

tuggeranong creek

What’s Your opinion?


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-8 overnight!
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interested_bystander 2:39 pm 03 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

interested_bystander said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Thumper said :

I have vague memories as kids getting up to mischief that seemed to annoy the penguins there

There were nuns in Page?

Not rock solid on it Thumper but I recall being chased/grouched by them all trussed up in black during one of the school holiday non-overlaps. Kind of thing that sticks in a 6yo’s memories, so don’t think I’m imagining it… Very early 70s.

Oh St Matthews had nuns all right. I have less than fond memories being punished with the willowy end of a feather duster by Sr Mary Leo for arguing with Fr Cusack in Catechism class (well, THEY taught me how to question the logic – or lack thereof – of an argument!). And Gungahlin Al, my mum taught at Page for the whole of its existence.

And I remember when there was a minus 12 in Canberra. Think I played netball at Southwell Park that night and needed to go to the Old Canberra Inn to thaw out afterwards!

Nice to have it confirmed.
Talking about memories that stick, I was in Page public school for a while until Scullin opened. I remember in class one day it started snowing outside. The class was all excited but the teacher just shushed everyone saying “anyone would think you’ve never seen snow before”. Well durrr

Haha…that could well have been my mother. She grew up in Jerangle…a small village midway between Michelago and Bredbo and snow would not have been an infrequent event in her childhood. I recall being annoyed by her Monty Pythonesque tales of walking to school, barefoot, through the snow. And now I hear myself boring my own daughter with stories of trudging through thick frost wearing poodle socks, jesus sandals and a bum-freezingly short school dress (oh, the fashions of the seventies) en route to Belconnen High!

aidan 2:13 pm 03 Aug 11

Watson said :

My hightest winter quarter bill of $800 is usually for the July to September quarter.

I get my ducted gas heating to come on an hour before I get up and then it is still only around 14-15 degrees in my house.

I’m just trying to make you feel good about putting more insulation in! Even if the result is not as good as you hoped for, it must still make some difference.

Well thanks for the pick-me-up. But when I read things like this:

Classified said :

Our house is toasty warm in winter (after a weekend away mid winter our inside temp got down to 13 degrees, and 20 mins of ducted gas heating had it back to a warm 21), but during summer we generally only have a couple fo weeks where we actually need aircon.

It makes me think I could do better. Mind you, is that 13 -> 21 during the morning, afternoon or evening? We couldn’t do that sort of temperature rise on a cold morning, but maybe in the early evening we could manage that. Which again makes me wonder if the ducting is all stuffed. I have been under the house a fair bit and it does look quite black and a little tatty.

If the sun is out (like today) we don’t need to use heating at all during the day, which is great.

Watson said :

I heard a snippet on 666 today about new houses and energy ratings. They claimed that once you get up to 8 stars, you virtually don’t need heating or cooling in Canberra’s climate. Wow! But it significantly pushes up the price of the houses, so most wouldn’t be able to afford the up-front cost.

We all hear that, but I’d like to have some solid numbers from someone like Gungahlin Al. What is your place rated Al?

I’m skeptical about the summer performance of some places (not Al’s) because I’ve seen plenty of new places with no eaves and massive western glazing, and by definition they must have met the 5 (or is it 6 now) star rating.

Gungahlin Al 1:26 pm 03 Aug 11

interested_bystander said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Thumper said :

I have vague memories as kids getting up to mischief that seemed to annoy the penguins there

There were nuns in Page?

Not rock solid on it Thumper but I recall being chased/grouched by them all trussed up in black during one of the school holiday non-overlaps. Kind of thing that sticks in a 6yo’s memories, so don’t think I’m imagining it… Very early 70s.

Oh St Matthews had nuns all right. I have less than fond memories being punished with the willowy end of a feather duster by Sr Mary Leo for arguing with Fr Cusack in Catechism class (well, THEY taught me how to question the logic – or lack thereof – of an argument!). And Gungahlin Al, my mum taught at Page for the whole of its existence.

And I remember when there was a minus 12 in Canberra. Think I played netball at Southwell Park that night and needed to go to the Old Canberra Inn to thaw out afterwards!

Nice to have it confirmed.
Talking about memories that stick, I was in Page public school for a while until Scullin opened. I remember in class one day it started snowing outside. The class was all excited but the teacher just shushed everyone saying “anyone would think you’ve never seen snow before”. Well durrr

Watson 12:50 pm 03 Aug 11

aidan said :

I think you mis-read. My last quarter gas bill (Apr-Jun, so only half the winter) was FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS ($400). My summer gas bill was FORTY DOLLARS ($40), i.e. just the supply charge and a little for the gas hob. So my heating cost will be THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS ($360). I expect another similar bill for the rest of the winter.

I don’t consider this to be a good result.

On the -8 night in question I don’t know how cold it got inside (I didn’t get out of bed until it had warmed up), but I’d guess it had to be low 12 degrees, maybe less. It is/was routinely high 12s/13 when -3 to -5. On those very cold mornings it takes 40 minutes to warm up to 17. I wonder if I need new ducting, it is 17 years old.

I completely mis-read that indeed. Apologies.

My hightest winter quarter bill of $800 is usually for the July to September quarter.

I get my ducted gas heating to come on an hour before I get up and then it is still only around 14-15 degrees in my house.

I’m just trying to make you feel good about putting more insulation in! Even if the result is not as good as you hoped for, it must still make some difference.

I heard a snippet on 666 today about new houses and energy ratings. They claimed that once you get up to 8 stars, you virtually don’t need heating or cooling in Canberra’s climate. Wow! But it significantly pushes up the price of the houses, so most wouldn’t be able to afford the up-front cost.

interested_bystander 12:40 pm 03 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Thumper said :

I have vague memories as kids getting up to mischief that seemed to annoy the penguins there

There were nuns in Page?

Not rock solid on it Thumper but I recall being chased/grouched by them all trussed up in black during one of the school holiday non-overlaps. Kind of thing that sticks in a 6yo’s memories, so don’t think I’m imagining it… Very early 70s.

Oh St Matthews had nuns all right. I have less than fond memories being punished with the willowy end of a feather duster by Sr Mary Leo for arguing with Fr Cusack in Catechism class (well, THEY taught me how to question the logic – or lack thereof – of an argument!). And Gungahlin Al, my mum taught at Page for the whole of its existence.

And I remember when there was a minus 12 in Canberra. Think I played netball at Southwell Park that night and needed to go to the Old Canberra Inn to thaw out afterwards!

aidan 11:57 am 03 Aug 11

Watson said :

aidan said :

We’ve got an old brick veneer, but have blow-in rockwool wall insulation and heaps of ceiling insulation. I’ve draught-stripped the place up the wazoo and have recently reorganised the internal spaces so we have lovely sunny north facing living areas, but still the winter gas bill was $400 (up from $40 in summer).

If your winter bill is only $40 more than your summer bill, it is safe to say that it isn’t the heater that is the problem. Maybe your hot water?

My winter bill in my badly insulated and barely draught proofed rental is more in the vicinity of $800. Doesn’t include hot water. So you’re doing alright!

I think you mis-read. My last quarter gas bill (Apr-Jun, so only half the winter) was FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS ($400). My summer gas bill was FORTY DOLLARS ($40), i.e. just the supply charge and a little for the gas hob. So my heating cost will be THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS ($360). I expect another similar bill for the rest of the winter.

I don’t consider this to be a good result.

On the -8 night in question I don’t know how cold it got inside (I didn’t get out of bed until it had warmed up), but I’d guess it had to be low 12 degrees, maybe less. It is/was routinely high 12s/13 when -3 to -5. On those very cold mornings it takes 40 minutes to warm up to 17. I wonder if I need new ducting, it is 17 years old.

Holden Caulfield 11:32 am 03 Aug 11

I don’t remember any nuns there, but I left halfway through Grade 2 when we moved interstate so my memory is not that detailed.

I do remember winning the class cup sweep with Gold’n’Black in 1977. Only thing was they were teaching us about betting odds, bless ’em, and so I actually got less money than the person who had the third placed horse. That was a tough act for a 5yo, haha.

Gungahlin Al 11:11 am 03 Aug 11

Thumper said :

I have vague memories as kids getting up to mischief that seemed to annoy the penguins there

There were nuns in Page?

Not rock solid on it Thumper but I recall being chased/grouched by them all trussed up in black during one of the school holiday non-overlaps. Kind of thing that sticks in a 6yo’s memories, so don’t think I’m imagining it… Very early 70s.

Thumper 10:59 am 03 Aug 11

I have vague memories as kids getting up to mischief that seemed to annoy the penguins there

There were nuns in Page?

Watson 10:47 am 03 Aug 11

aidan said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Gee Al, is it actually possible for you to post without telling us how awesomely f***ing great your place in Gungahlin is?

As much as I admire your commitment to sustainable housing it does get seriously tiresome.

Count me out. In fact, Al, I reckon you should do a web page with monthly stats about min/max temperature and maybe power usage. It would give a real benchmark for what is achievable.

Shows like “Grand Designs” drool over passivhaus designs, and claim “almost no heating costs in winter”. Well I’d like to know how much “almost none” actually is. I know yours isn’t a passivhaus, but it is very well designed.

We’ve got an old brick veneer, but have blow-in rockwool wall insulation and heaps of ceiling insulation. I’ve draught-stripped the place up the wazoo and have recently reorganised the internal spaces so we have lovely sunny north facing living areas, but still the winter gas bill was $400 (up from $40 in summer).

If your winter bill is only $40 more than your summer bill, it is safe to say that it isn’t the heater that is the problem. Maybe your hot water?

My winter bill in my badly insulated and barely draught proofed rental is more in the vicinity of $800. Doesn’t include hot water. So you’re doing alright!

aidan 10:17 am 03 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Gee Al, is it actually possible for you to post without telling us how awesomely f***ing great your place in Gungahlin is?

As much as I admire your commitment to sustainable housing it does get seriously tiresome.

Count me out. In fact, Al, I reckon you should do a web page with monthly stats about min/max temperature and maybe power usage. It would give a real benchmark for what is achievable.

Shows like “Grand Designs” drool over passivhaus designs, and claim “almost no heating costs in winter”. Well I’d like to know how much “almost none” actually is. I know yours isn’t a passivhaus, but it is very well designed.

We’ve got an old brick veneer, but have blow-in rockwool wall insulation and heaps of ceiling insulation. I’ve draught-stripped the place up the wazoo and have recently reorganised the internal spaces so we have lovely sunny north facing living areas, but still the winter gas bill was $400 (up from $40 in summer).

Gungahlin Al 4:05 pm 01 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Gungahlin Al said :

You were in Page school too before Scullin opened? We must have lived very close. Parer Place here.

Chewings Street, but I went to the dirty micks’ school.

I have vague memories as kids getting up to mischief that seemed to annoy the penguins there…

Holden Caulfield 2:43 pm 01 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

You were in Page school too before Scullin opened? We must have lived very close. Parer Place here.

Chewings Street, but I went to the dirty micks’ school.

shadow boxer 1:23 pm 01 Aug 11

It’s a bit of a myth the no trees in Gungahlin thing, they will come in due course, my street tree from a sapling 10 years ago is now about 40 foot high and quite healthy. They lost a lot of young ones in the drought and water restrictions but they are replated now.

It’s not that long ago that my mates and I used to joke about Isabella plains being aboriginal for treeless plain where the wind never stops. Nice area now.

Then again maybe it was a long time ago……

Holden Caulfield 12:58 pm 01 Aug 11

I hope yellowsnow doesn’t think Gungahlin is the only residential area in Canberra, or anywhere for that matter, that wasn’t a “brick, concrete and bitumen ecological desert” a few years after it was built.

Points are valid, otherwise.

Classified 12:48 pm 01 Aug 11

Watson said :

yellowsnow said :

re Gungahlin Al’s miracle house — I lived in Gungahlin, and yes the houses are marginally warmer in winter, but in general far far hotter in summer (Al’s house is perhaps the exception which proves the rule). Which is why every house up there seems to have aircon buzzing away all through summer, while the streetscapes are parched, treeless, grassless, offering little shade or cool respite except for those people cocooned in their densely packed airconditioned houses or SUVs.

People often talk about the sustainability of new houses and new suburbs — don’t believe it! The carbon footprint of cutting down woodland/grassland/pine plantation to make way for brick, concrete and bitumen ecological deserts is immense. Constructing contemporary houses is v energy intensive (just wait and see how much costs go up under a carbon tax, which doesn’t even consider land use change/land clearing). And that’s before you take into account aircon costs, and the vast amounts of energy expended commuting to work, or even trips to the local shops. Not that i’m passing judgement of these houses or lifestyles. Free choice is king. What I’m suggesting is that people shouldn’t pretend they’re ‘sustainable’.

If it’s sustainability you crave, and you really want to show off your credentials, much better to live in an apartment or to retrofit an existing, centrally located house with enough space to grow vegetables. Alternatively, get a rural block, plant lots of trees, grow your own food and use a horse or bike for transport. I’m actually surprised more Greens politicians don’t choose the latter option, but I guess pollies are by nature hypocrites, and Bob’s mob is no exception.

That makes very little sense unless you are suggesting to replace all houses in Inner Canberra with high rise apartment blocks. And – unless you are also suggesting that we cram all the office buildings in Canberra into the Inner North area – lots of the people living in those centrally located apartment blocks would still have to drive to work.

You have a point about removing trees. I was lucky enough to buy in a Gungahlin development where they intend to keep most of the significant trees and have designed the streets with street trees in mind. Not much space for backyard trees though, but if we would allow for bigger blocks there, the urban sprawl would extend even further.

I also don’t buy your argument about the hosues that are warmer in winter being hotter in summer. It makes no sense. Isolation is isolation and it will keep the cold as well as the heat out. As long as you shade your Western facing windows, which is easy to do.

Our house is toasty warm in winter (after a weekend away mid winter our inside temp got down to 13 degrees, and 20 mins of ducted gas heating had it back to a warm 21), but during summer we generally only have a couple fo weeks where we actually need aircon.

Watson 12:15 pm 01 Aug 11

yellowsnow said :

re Gungahlin Al’s miracle house — I lived in Gungahlin, and yes the houses are marginally warmer in winter, but in general far far hotter in summer (Al’s house is perhaps the exception which proves the rule). Which is why every house up there seems to have aircon buzzing away all through summer, while the streetscapes are parched, treeless, grassless, offering little shade or cool respite except for those people cocooned in their densely packed airconditioned houses or SUVs.

People often talk about the sustainability of new houses and new suburbs — don’t believe it! The carbon footprint of cutting down woodland/grassland/pine plantation to make way for brick, concrete and bitumen ecological deserts is immense. Constructing contemporary houses is v energy intensive (just wait and see how much costs go up under a carbon tax, which doesn’t even consider land use change/land clearing). And that’s before you take into account aircon costs, and the vast amounts of energy expended commuting to work, or even trips to the local shops. Not that i’m passing judgement of these houses or lifestyles. Free choice is king. What I’m suggesting is that people shouldn’t pretend they’re ‘sustainable’.

If it’s sustainability you crave, and you really want to show off your credentials, much better to live in an apartment or to retrofit an existing, centrally located house with enough space to grow vegetables. Alternatively, get a rural block, plant lots of trees, grow your own food and use a horse or bike for transport. I’m actually surprised more Greens politicians don’t choose the latter option, but I guess pollies are by nature hypocrites, and Bob’s mob is no exception.

That makes very little sense unless you are suggesting to replace all houses in Inner Canberra with high rise apartment blocks. And – unless you are also suggesting that we cram all the office buildings in Canberra into the Inner North area – lots of the people living in those centrally located apartment blocks would still have to drive to work.

You have a point about removing trees. I was lucky enough to buy in a Gungahlin development where they intend to keep most of the significant trees and have designed the streets with street trees in mind. Not much space for backyard trees though, but if we would allow for bigger blocks there, the urban sprawl would extend even further.

I also don’t buy your argument about the hosues that are warmer in winter being hotter in summer. It makes no sense. Isolation is isolation and it will keep the cold as well as the heat out. As long as you shade your Western facing windows, which is easy to do.

Hank 12:08 pm 01 Aug 11

Have to admit I see similarities between Captain RAAF and Ralph…

Ralph Wiggum??

yellowsnow 11:14 am 01 Aug 11

re Gungahlin Al’s miracle house — I lived in Gungahlin, and yes the houses are marginally warmer in winter, but in general far far hotter in summer (Al’s house is perhaps the exception which proves the rule). Which is why every house up there seems to have aircon buzzing away all through summer, while the streetscapes are parched, treeless, grassless, offering little shade or cool respite except for those people cocooned in their densely packed airconditioned houses or SUVs.

People often talk about the sustainability of new houses and new suburbs — don’t believe it! The carbon footprint of cutting down woodland/grassland/pine plantation to make way for brick, concrete and bitumen ecological deserts is immense. Constructing contemporary houses is v energy intensive (just wait and see how much costs go up under a carbon tax, which doesn’t even consider land use change/land clearing). And that’s before you take into account aircon costs, and the vast amounts of energy expended commuting to work, or even trips to the local shops. Not that i’m passing judgement of these houses or lifestyles. Free choice is king. What I’m suggesting is that people shouldn’t pretend they’re ‘sustainable’.

If it’s sustainability you crave, and you really want to show off your credentials, much better to live in an apartment or to retrofit an existing, centrally located house with enough space to grow vegetables. Alternatively, get a rural block, plant lots of trees, grow your own food and use a horse or bike for transport. I’m actually surprised more Greens politicians don’t choose the latter option, but I guess pollies are by nature hypocrites, and Bob’s mob is no exception.

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