b3ta.com user Brundy
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» Hidden Treasure

When I was a kid I once found thousands of 'liquorice bullets' scattered under a tree at my uncles country property. I couldn't believe my luck, what a treasure!

They didn't taste right so I showed my mum, she informed me they were actually possum poos.
(Sat 2nd Jul 2005, 15:57, More)

» DIY disasters

DI- Why?
My job (as a professional builder) is to fix up DIY-gone-pear-shaped type jobs. Oh yeah, you know, the ones where the home improvement shows make it look incredibly simple to install your own skylight but tend to miss out the important roof engineering aspect of the job and rather just skip to footage of the magnificent finished product? As an example, I just finished repairing a skylight-gone-wrong where the homeowner decided to cut through a roof truss because it was "in the way". Total cost of just getting me (or similar) in to install the skylight: ~$500, total cost of getting me in to fix up the damage caused by a DIY attempt: $9,000-odd so far and I haven't even gotten all of the subcontractors invoices yet. (roof line drops, rain comes in through massive cracks in tiles that have crushed themselves due to massive power of roof line dropping, water pipes split due to roof joists pushed out of place from truss pressures, water running down wall cavities undermining foundations which then require underpinning etc etc... it adds up.)

I have some simple bits of advice for DIY house modification types:

1) Get a professional in
2) Get a professional in
3) If something looks like it's meant to be there, don't cut through it. If a professional put a structure in place while building the house, err on the side of caution and assume it does something useful.
4) Ask someone who knows what a load bearing wall looks like before getting your sledge hammer out.
5) Building regulations are in place for a very good reason, do not simply treat them as "advice"
6) Get a professional in.
7) Roof engineering is complex. You're dealing in tonnes when it comes to weight. You're dealing with weight that has to transfer to very specific places so it can be carried down to earth. Roof trusses and load bearing walls are not there just to look pretty (I think they look pretty), they actually do things!
8) If you remove some wall coverings and expose the house frame and you see a beam rebated into the studs on an angle, please don't cut it. That's called a wind brace. It stops your house listing in the wind. Please, don't cut it. Please. You need it. Simple rule of thumb: if a piece of timber in the frame looks like it might have taken a bit of work to install, you can assume it wasn't just put there for a laugh.
9) Yes, I know the storm water connection is close to the surface whereas you have to dig very deep to reach the sewer, but please don't be lazy and send your sewerage into the storm drain.
10) Putty and fillers are cosmetic, they're not structural.

Of course, I am being a bit harsh, another part of my job is fixing up so-called "professional" trades bodgy jobs.
(Tue 8th Apr 2008, 13:37, More)

» The most cash I've ever carried

$150 million
I once drove a truck containing $150 million!

...I was working for a printer and it was a delivery of fake money for a board game company, BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT!
(Fri 23rd Jun 2006, 3:35, More)

» It's not me, it's the drugs talking

Once, while on some particularly strong acid, I went to the toilet and saw an entire symphony orchestra playing in the bowl. I watched them play without a care in the world for a few minutes and then proceeded to piss all over them. I will never forget the look of terror on their faces, that scene caused my one and only 'bad trip' in my long acid career.
(Fri 16th Dec 2005, 6:35, More)

» Your Revenge Stories

Long but nice
This is one I heard about, but it's great so I'll tell it.

Years ago an electrician I knew was ripped off $20,000 by a builder he did some work for. The builder just flat out refused to pay, and due to crazy building laws at the time, the electrician knew there was nothing he could do about it.

Refusing to take the loss on the nose, the electrician proceeded to launch an annual campaign against the builder that lasted until he'd felt he'd equaled his loss. This campaign included:

* Emptying can after can of 'expanding foam' up the exhaust pipe of the builders expensive Jaguar car. The electrician used enough foam to force it up the pipe into the block. When the builder started his car, the block shit it's pants and blew apart. It's reported that certain parts attached to the block flew off with such force they pierced the bonnet on their way skywards.

* For many years, on both Christmas and New Years Eve, the electrician would cruise over to the builders house with his monster F100 ute, attach a chain to the main water meter with the other end attached to the ute and then rip it out. Given that the times were right before long public holidays, the builder would go without water for up to a week during Christmas and New Years.

* Filling the builders letterbox with quickset concrete. The builders letterbox was embedded in a massive brick gate pillar, so each time he had to practically destroy the pillar to repair the letterbox.

* And finally, the electrician would drill a small hole in the builders electronic gate opener and pump it full with sialine solution. Since it was housed in a waterproof box it would fill up nicely, then be completely shorted out and rooted when it was used.
(Fri 14th May 2004, 10:34, More)
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