Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010, end of the year in site, insight, no no- In Sight u ijit


The Last Few Weeks...tiring.
Kids started Holidays, and then I was frantic; should I really buy this or that?; and the cards [over 50...] were not sent as I promised myself, and as someone else says- Email them!
I did not. Do either...

Family Crew bar one
Anyway, Last Weekend, my lil sis invited all 27 family members on her side and four of her other half's family to Christmas Lunch at her newly built house-  it was also a house warming! They had it built over last winter after much hand wringing and wishing, NOW they were in. And We Were All There [bar one].
We arrived the evening before, as lil sis would love to be in on the unwrapping early Christmas Morning with her nieces. It had been a long drive after work, and by 10pm, it was hard to be socializing with new people- so was not at my best. But a beer is a beer! Midnight rolled around, and the children asleep. Ahhh.
Christmas morning. I had made up a guacamole dip, and had some Mulled Wine simmering to add to the smell of the roasting meats filling the house- so very pommy in a way, I though, cos the day was cool, so it sort if matched. Anise, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, sugar and my favourite home made shiraz/syrah. I liked it, and no one really came up for a taste... Strange, but other wise, what a lunch.
There was beef, lamb and pork roasting merrily away with my frazzled maybe-soon-to-be-brother-in-law worryingly swapping the trays from oven to BBQ.
Family members piled in and given a guided tour. Cars unloaded. Food presented to the hosts and prepared. The older grandchildren- seven 15 to 21yrs olds- took up a whole room- chattering away. Parents and Pa and Nan were in the family room- wittering away. The younger grankids were busy catching up too. A very loud buzz.
My brother said "Kids up front, serve yourselves" after he had spread out some crustaceans and carved up the meat. Roast taters, sweet taters, and salads. Gravies and sauces and cranberry spread. Lunch was on.
So by the time the Big people got to the meat trays, there was not much left...
It was decided for Next Year, Big People First. Ah, kids, give 'em an inch...
But we all had enough in the end. Dessert was Pavlova, thanks Ree. And Liz had the pudding. Me oh my. Full as.
Anyway, before we all managed to settle down to digest a large meal with some ales, as host, Lance (he is a road bike racer- hence...) wanted to play Cricket with his new bat, ball and wickets (quarter sized- but what can you do?), so all the guys and grandkids were persuaded to come out and play...  The grandkids of the female side went to the park, and the males to The Oval, with the Uncles. Meanwhile two of my brothers were going over PT's new BMW m'bike... so they were The Late Uncles.


Action and Inaction...
Quite funny, watching a coupla pudgy middle aged dads trying to run tween the wickets in front of the younger crew. Well, I thought being as full as a goog and not even drunk, the running was hard, so there. Specially after a hard hit ball, I tell you! And the grandkids loved to hurl- I mean Bowl- the ball at you!
After all that fun, we returned to the hoose for pichas in the nearly finished backyard. See above.
And then wondered whether to fit some more food in...
And that was Just Christmas Day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DIY and activities monthly tally

Hmm. So far:

Webcam for weather watch project- failed- cost 54 dollars, software dependent... too hard.
Got a 10m USB cable tho!
Cracked car headlight, (too generous to senior staff!) got for $125, install...on hold, and:
Waiting on another bill for a cracked tail-light...

Garden Hedge and path- 17 plants- ten in- no path- started it anyway
Find spectacles in long grass at night- fail; new eyes midday & success due to a senior staff member.

Directors chairs two of, very wobbly; cannabalise seat and back; renew one not so wobbly- uncomfortable though; tight, hard...[at right above- new table middle- usual chair at left- comfy]

Garden hose trigger spray- oh, it is buggered, thanks for telling me junior staff: $4.95 to replace!!! Okay then.
Xmas tree- find, choose...chop down, $25, transport home, junior staff decorate, director to put up lights.!
Xmas lights- failing- too many to test- too old anyway, have to upgrade quality? I mean, 200 wee bulbs!?
Portable vineyard- watering, and cursing vivacious growth! Cuttings doing well. Fertilised. Sprayed.

Created backyard fire place for staff parties from old laundry machine- Nice One Dadda! The shelter is a bit cramped, but temporary...

Started on vitamins/fishoil/glaucosomine/good bacteria capsules.
Want to see a dentist for some CAVITIES.

Attempt to find out why a junior staff's computer screen (LCD) wont work, but a CRT does...??? Fail due to pc glitch, the "manufacturer/repairer/sales person" could not see a problem... Yet. But cheap as you get- expect that.
Three working LCD screens tested on it have a few moments displaying the desktop then No Signal- but a CRT keeps displaying- any suggestions?

Not DIY, but- over spent on the kids for Xmas- bugger, by 100% or more, Good Intentions my fat ass! If these practical gifts are not utilised- I will...I will...just...just...EXPLODE. Should be fun. So.

So Xmas cards are out of the budget, sorry dear reader.
Long list too. Family listing was forty or more, and friends same. Good thing, the Internet, I can send out Gigabyte Sized Family Movies instead...Enjoy!
Seriously- a message anyway, and Next Year- cards first in November, budget a hundred bucks and A4 size envelopes with A6 cards... Leave time to buy presents for Xmas Eve (nothing left in the shops to buy...! Cunning!)

So have sat on behind after all the above.
Ran out of reading material.
Started on the Bourne Trio Video Pack.
Slowed down alcohol intake- reduced nicotine intake a wee bit.
Nah, but will cut to zero New Years time...
Health kick (capsules etc), no results as yet... farting a lot tho.

Started school kids Summer Holidays- 17th December to February 4 new projects for staff...? What to do?

Okay.

Well.

TIDY YOUR ROOMS!!!!
Dentist.
Xmas with family
Adelaide?
Cricket For me and a senior staff member.
Pool time- if #1  item fulfilled?

Ah- holidays

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good news...

Zacandander the Panda has finished thirteen years of, no fourteen, no fifteen years of  "educu-mackashun", that is, over half by public- and six of private-schooling.

Which, according to some people, means that there goes out the door, "one family home equivalent"...

He has been doing well, not fantastically fanatically frantically head down and bum up, but steadily.
Like. Plod on, McDuff.

He "knew" his abilities would not go further than what he could beat them up too, (sucker! pretty sure he could have stretched it out a bit more), but even I would not force it- I just wanted him to see the chequered flag, to sweep through, with deserved laurels resting on that shaggy head.

And,  Achieved more than he told me he was EXPECTING. Oh.

Dang sure his mum would have been even prouder than me. I sure am. Prouder than anyone.

But now what?

A month to know where to go.

Onward and Upward Zack. Onward and Upward.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Claim Marvined

Ah woe and wow- to just have a brain AND concentration saves time if both used together.

That stitch in time thing means something to some people- obviously not me.

I wanted to file a claim this morning, and got logged in STRAIGHTAWAY!

Well, good omen.

Proceeded to fill in the blanks as best I could, like DOH, yeah, easy.

Answered the usual questions, and tabbed YES NO where needed.

Without reading one question and the context...

Thought I had finished, printed transaction.

"DETAILS NOT CONFIRMED>SEE  or CALL someone" on the receipt.

I had Marvined myself- magnificent self-confidence smashed to smithereens.

Bugger- log on again- nah- SEE/CALL SOMEONE.. Again?

'Roight'. Needed to sort this out or no money at the ATM!

Called- robot wants too many details for the effort of a new registration (even though it understand English quite well!)- where is a person when you need one? Hang up.

Jump in the jalopy and race down to SEE SOMEONE about the buggered up transaction.

Waiting. See a different queuing sign- rock up to that one as it was 'empty'.
"Nah, ya have to go back to that queue". Wait. Wait. Same person comes back over, sees me, says "over here mate". Yeah?  Okay to talk to you now? Good.

Explain my Marvinedness, and I wonder aloud about me and stoplights, losing IQ (person says you never lose that- YEAH?! Should I have said any of that?)

So we proceed to clear up the wrecked claim form. Success. A bit of human interaction and there you go.
With a little frown, I was warned to not muck it up again or - what? Wait in the queue again next time?

I think it was a joke- there must be people as bright and/or dumb as me out there?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cool cat back

As I expected, picking up a traveller does not mean that the timetable is followed.

Frazzlerdazzler messaged 'call me' or something- "Yeah?"

Delayed take off. Excellent.

Messaged back about ETA- didn't get sent... my bad.

Well, I did have two beers at dinner, thought that a small cocktail at 9.00pm would be okay, and settled back to listen to some music as the TV program was shot to hell, but the PVR had that under control, and I would  walk down to collect the prodigal son, three blocks.

Rain. And I lost a speaker (DIY). Oi Oi Oi!!! Rrghgrr!@*^!!!

Anyway, zoomed down in the wagon to pick #2 at about half twelve, waiting for the bus listening to a quiz program that I should have rung into- [some people are so dumb...].
But then , there are the REGULARS!
"Hi Tony blah de blah!?"
"Oh hello Joe Blow, ow r ya?"
Another parent was also listening to it, and we would chuckle at the same time at some points- funny that.

Point is, Nightlife has been around as long as my firstborn started kicking me through Tarns' tummy. And it's definitely interesting too. But if you are real quick, these days the resources of the WWW can make it or break it as far as getting through to the final question. Well, I think so! And you can have a think tank sitting round the phone too!

So---
Frazzler alights from the bus and takes his time to see off the other guys and The Friend. He was a bit quiet on the way home. He gets back, and then the dam overflows, and bits and pieces escape. Amazing how quiet the house was without him. The photos below were first shown me via the wittle scween on the bak of the camera- AH- Na uh- lets put them on the Tv screen- Oh Yeah, Soooo much better.

So we finally got to bed by nearly 2am and I had to go to the polling booth at 7:30 to help out- Rrargf#$%!

I gathered that he had had a really good trip- no hassles, a skating graze for a souvenir (teens- they had to pick one skateboard up no matter the type along the way so not to be bored...), hit a skate bowl for lunch, got rained on, climbed a mountain, travelled on nearly everything but a train ... I am so glad I got him on it, but I think if his best friends were not on it, he may not have gone!

The new camera he got for his birthday was well used. Some great little pics of shops, birds, mountains and the Gang. Tassie (Tasmania). No real order, from north to south. By FKF 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Visited by an alien in the bedroom....

After a shower, I wandered back to my room.

In the corner of my eye there was a WT?

A cicada pupae had found its way into my bedroom and shed the exoskeleton (argh- where's That?) and then crawled up the materia lto firm up the body and dry out the new wings on my bed's canopy (yeah yeah- but not poofy- keeps cold draughts from falling on me in winter- True!) .


I grabbed it and released it to the wild, where upon, as the day heated up (sub tropical again today), it joined in with all the other bastards to crick away at about the sound of a small plane going past.... can hear them over the sound of the car when driving down the street too!

I went out to record them and found this one fluttering about like a big--- baboon? nah, bumble bee! The birds around here love them to death...



I think they love it when the temperature gets to at least 20°C, currently 24°...
It would be good to add a recording of the cacophony, but alas, and lucky for you, it does not come across well at all.

hack it up and...

I retrieved an old washing machine from a dump list the other weegen, for the sheer pleasure of wrecking it so I could use the bowl as a fire pit in the back yard.

Two hours of swearing and WT*?


Managed to fill a small jar with useful maybe screws and bolts, and the water pump and main motor.

I was thinking by the end of it all, that it would make a great sieve for a new grape press- it is stainless steel after all, but then I would have to build a new frame as it is bigger than the present basket press frame. Bugger.

At the least, I may end up reclaiming some lawn, and have something to stand around at party time.

diy week- hifi

Last weekend, I wanted to listen to some old LPs lying around back from college times.
I usually crank it up after visitors have left, and there are still a few beers left over in the fridge.


The sound system has been going since the late 80's, and still sounds ok to me!

Firstly. Nearly two years ago I was astounded to hear CRAP coming from the (Pioneer) speakers!

Absolute crap!!!

What have the kids done to my HiFI, oh woe is me.... Took the covers off.

The rubber membranes holding the paper cones to the frames had gone hard and disintergrated!!

Three visits to the Electonic Barn and waiting a week for new rubber supports(?) or mountings(?) and forty dollars later, I had my sound back.
Yay me! Worked really well!
The high end music shops would have to wait a Long Time Now for me to buy new speakers!

So last weeegen.
Waiting for #2 to get off the bus, late.
Chilling out with Rumours blaring out- but in a funny way.
No matter what the right channel sounded weird- so off with its head, I mean cover.
Touched the woofer- NO VIBRATIONS AT ALL.
Shed- screwdriver- check the wires had not come off it.
No. Oh Oh.
Go get the multimeter.
No batteries- Rghah. Replace same.
Test- Nothing- the speaker was dead. DEAD. Ahhhhrg.

Monday. Back at the El Barn- "Can you? How much? and When? or this type?"
House- search for the f manual- yes- twenty five years later- the manual was at hand! Hm. The old speakers was this spec, and the old amplifier that spec, maybe need a better spec on the speaker? Make that TWO if upgrading, so back to Rob-
"yeah mate, old specs are these, should I upgrade"
Replies, of course:
"Yes, I think you better not go the forty, but the eighty watts pair for $130, just an extra $20?"
"Ah. Ok then. And pick up when...?"
dead woofer driver

If this worked, again the sound shops would miss out- although I always wanted 12" Tannoys in fridge size speakers, or Bang n Olfesun systems, or Bose types, the leetle boxes aroon the room... for several thousand dollars mind- but. Really don't use it that much or party too wildly to justify it... yet.

Wednesday- Rumours(LP) boomed out with hisses, clicks and BANGING out the drums sound. Sweet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cats away...part one

Missed my #2 this week.

Orf wif sum uvvers to c sum two heted wednecks ovah da wadah wear da old convicks use to be...

First time for a while that Frazzlerdazler has been out of this state. He had been to the capital for a junior school trip. This time it was like a movie- trains planes and automobiles, NOT- to go to Tasmania.

Omnibus, big ferry, coaches, planes, omnibuses, van.

What ever spending money loved ones gave him was nearly all gone before he went- IE pay pals back for the show last month, get the mobile phone credit, $30 for a meal on the ferry... blah de blah de blah, only "forty" buckaroonies left on the last few nights.

I think the exercise was not only an educational excursion, but also to bring back as much as he could from a visit to the chocolate factory included in the tour. The tour accomplished, the empty luggage a reality...

So while the Cool Dude was away, we had a quiet time. The grocery bill was halved. No grumpiness from the corner. A relatively calm yard where the grass could grow back around the dis-used quarter pipe, ramp and fire pit. Dust gathered on the veranda lounges.

I just have to pick the cat up at 11pm, so no drinkin' tonight Jack!

marvined by the plumbing

As you know by now, I like cutting out the experts, and fixing or doing home improvements all by myself. It is not rocket surgery.
However.
The previous owners (in the 1980's) of my place of residence  [as of 2010] liked to make sure that the new owners (them and us) enjoyed a modernised Victorian/Edwardian type built house (1913),  but without the outside facilities! The was only  a modicum of electrical outlets around each and EVERY room. Like- ONE!? There was a wine cellar, irrigation for the garden and fruit trees and a garage to garage a Mini Minor {FYI  a very small car}. And  Tool Shed. ( The to be Alcoholery!)*
So an eon ago, the renovations were that the laundry and bathroom facilities were combined within the house, but in a room large enough to swing a cat by it's tail- fair dinkum, (just pivot upon one foot!). And a legacy hot water system. Another story.
Past readers may remember I cleaned the bathroom outfall recently. To great success IMHO.
Last weekend I took it upon myself to clean the U-tube of the shower as egress of the waste water was slowing down again, and having five people shower (almost) everyday, meant that hair was a problem, to be cleaned up by the adult - later on of course... 
A newish wire clothes hanger was undone and rebent (old ones are too stiff) as a hook for this jetsam (it doesn't float). At least that worked, but - not a lot was gained. The outflow was Still slow, and puddling up towards my ankles.
The old maxim of if it works leave it----- I still don't leave things alone even if it looks okay even a small bit...
So under the house I went, with the trusty tools of old- they worked last time anyway. It was not gunna take that long, three little plastic couplings! But being plastic plumbing pipe, it looked now like it would only handle one more monkey wrench - especially being recessed in the floorboards immediately adjacent to a bearer. The tools were difficult to use. Got it apart.
I cleaned out NOTHING from the pipes, NOTHING.
And then, would it all connect up again without a LEAK. BAH, NO-  so it could wait. Two hours Saturday, no tools could tighten the fittings, diy shops shut. Surely the o-rings were in place? Course- who would leave them out, or back to front? Baths only- at least that drains after you have finished.
My shoulders ached for NO reason early Sunday morning- what had I been doing lately for that!? AH! The DIY under the house- where I had moved the bricks to make room was still only enough to slide in under the flooring from the wine cellar, and on Saturday, it was uncomfortable, a bit. Would middle teenaged second boy have to have his first bath in years prior to Leaving for a Tassie trip via a ferry at lunch time... So try a another time to tighten up the ferrules. Nah- Bath time mate. Then drop him off at the city/ferry bound coach with a bunch of other kids. See you, be Good and have a good time, BYE!
Then to the shop.
Sunday. Two hours! - had to buy a tool just for plastic fittings at near closing time...
Still LEAKS! Even with another hand (#1 son) "up there" in the shower to apply torque, no success.
Monday, still no success! Another tool to make sure that one fitting was sealing the gap between the shower floor and the outlet. Forty dollars down. Six hours time. Shoulders sore enough to make me cringe on lifting my arms. Bugger it.
Tuesday. I was already down the street, and with no deliveries to do, why not get some NEW FITTINGS? $20 only!!
Got back . Half naked to change into grungy clothes, I was about to Get Back Under The Floor at 10:30am, and a little knock on the back door?! I had to cry wolf to a friend who would have loved to have had a coffee and so with a "Please let me fix this before I get a bulldozer in?", I missed out on a coffee break and was left alone with the Beast Under The Floor. Again.
The new fittings! But I could not get one old top one out! Well, they screwed together at first. Better to leave that one... Sawed and chiseled the bastard piece that would not undo with any cajoling, swearing or brute force on the specially bought tools... Had thought to use a little jet flame to melt the lot! Hmm mm. Nah, get going mate!
An hour later- no nearer to tightening up that last few turns!!!! COFFEEEEEEEEE
Work interrupted a fair bit of swearing a little later....
SILASTIC!!! Looked like that was the only way? NO!!!
So it was tightened up by 1:30pm. 
LEAKS...... @#$%^&* !
"SILASTIC!!!!" I replied to my really annoyed tired perplexed and by now lazy bloody self!
Where? EVERY JOINT YOU IDIOT!
Seemed to work. So nearly ten hours later and down about sixty bucks, I think I tamed the Leaky Beast I had created
Had a shower and went off to band practice with the twins, with a drop of water hanging off the U-tube. More silastics rather than hysterics, me-thinks...

*The Forever Bride did not notice  discrepancies, and anyway, we could always add a ensuite anywhere we wanted to! Sure.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A last performance Concert from #1 son

Friday 15 October
After a night of YA party'ing on I am doing the middle-aged thing of playing My Music to Myself, as loud as I think I can...and trying to put down thoughts.

Anyway, there were, after a concert, a few YA's at my place:

Young adults taking over the lounge because they (the muso's have finished their last Spring Concert)...
The Big Plan was to have a party with chiminea or a bonfire in the front yard for the muso's, with music, loud, mp3 type of thing (if younger brother allowed #1 to use his 'hifi'!!).
BUT- it was bludie COLD, so in the house it was decreed-------- after the fact....

Earlier:

Eldest may have have done his last performance as a brass player- euphonium.
I asked the kids- girls- do you want to come along too? YES (there is food). #2, nah, it's okay.

The Concert-

From a distance, I can see him playing.

As I lean against a wall to take a shot without a good enough flash,
He is there, cheeks tight, concentrating, playing great music.
I think he is enjoying it, or is he?
Eyes going again...
There are a lot of his mates in the program- God I hope he wants to be there..

And as always, overall,  the music at Spring concert is outstanding.

I realise that I forgot to to let his grandfather know- and I try to rationalize- would he really have liked it?
The last time he came, he said it was okay, I think.
Omg, another Marvin moment, but I think #1 is playing again later before the end of the year, I have to be on the ball for the next time!

It was a great night out. All the presentations were great. (The Rap to the teachers was recorded, Pat.)
#1 received an award too, for being there, for 6 years in the music band!

Once home at 11pm, the girls went straight to sleep, but #2 was observing... the YA at play...

I had a few (to get over none for a few days!), but before hand, #1 asked me to keep my intake down, just in case- OK(?), all right I said.

That was not needed.
I think they out did themselves in what they could not achieve up front. All asleep before 3am!
As I posted FB- anyway-
I am still here, they are out of it at the moment- but not because they did not have a good try!

I have bought some tobacco- and had a few cigs tonight with home-brew beer and bundy.
Sorry Louise, not weak, but want to see if I need it, with drinks doesn't help..

Sorry?!
No, GF, and it's my life. and it ain't gowin' to plan anyway.

Besides all my shite, I saw a very mature YA tonight, or two even
I like his friends.
And #2 may be the same, after all the shite from him- he is adorable too.

Tears instantly but- the four of them are worth it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

At Last, A grrreat Sailing Sess-shon

Cup Day, first Tuesday in November, I was asleep by 1am and up at 5.45am.


I was going sailing. The weather had not been that great for me for ages- I need a good breeze from the south west, not WSW or SSW, just SW. My younger brother, Sime, had been on the blower a few times over the last few weeks about going south to my favourite sailboard sailing spot in Australia and getting wet and tired.

I retired hurt from the field with sore ribs (suspected fracture?) last year. After crashing out after a catapult at speed I had returned to shore for a snack and figuratively lick my wounds. When I returned to the waters edge for another speed run, I could not raise the boom above my shoulders. Owwwww! "Limped" home 150km and tried to not cough, sneeze or even laugh for a few weeks. I have only been back once since then.

Last weekend- I got out all my speed sailing gear. My board is a a 'Speed' slalom type, early nineties. A 5.9m2 course racing sail by Neil Pryde. A30cm slalom fin. A speed seat/waist harness. Carbon fiber lightweight mast. A thin boom. And spares. Floss and needle. Screwdrivers. Socket and knife combo. A few spare sails and masts and booms. Spare board, a Fanatic Cross 100, hardly ever used, as it is a bump and jump freestyle type. Did not check everything though.

All loaded into the latest sailing vehicle, a Mercedes 2.9L van. Easily.



West, entrance more to the left.
Tide was IN.
East, speed course around a little bit more.
Fueled up and left by 6:55am, and arrived at 8:30 with a full tide, up to the tree line, so I eased the van around the beach in shallow water. First to arrive! Sime messaged, he had left the big smoke, would be there in 90 minutes. He was not going to miss much, the wind was sketchy and slight from the NW.


I thought to rig two sails to match conditions, the racing rig and a smaller 4.5m2.
Hitch! The spare masts were incorrect for the chosen sail- too big or too small= ERGH!! Ah well, just have to de-rig the big one if I had to. Marvined.

Then the harness lines turned out to be shot! Tried to fix or replace them, but I was out of luck, I would have to just carry on with what I had.

Sime had a few friends there too by lunchtime.
He encouraged me to ask to try a demonstration board and rig- Lightwind short board (ultra wide!) and a 8.5m2 sail! It was suggested that since I had not been out for a while, I better try a smaller setup- OK.
One run was fine- I had not lost my skills- came back without falling in. Now for that big rig.


I was gob-smacked. As I sped back up the course, I was thinking,

                                       GET THE CREDIT CARD!

It was great, and on the edge of my capabilities, I did not have weight enough to hold down the rail, I could not steer quick enough among the other Slower Sailors! Specially ones that capsized in front of cos they did not realise I was THERE. But I did not crash out, or try any smart maneuvers either.

I want that setup. Me and my old board and sail let me down along with the slow conditions and my own unfitness. I spent more time swimming to the bank than actually sailing. That's the rig below- once set up right, it still does a good job.
January 2000

I need new harness lines too, they are in the post- but I will not get it in time for the weekend!

Can't wait for another sess-shon!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Red Flower



Tarn's aunt- Dorothy- left a little flower cutting from Swan Hill in our front yard one year on one of her many visits. I think it is a GERANIUM*. When the house had a spare bed she was welcome to stay- a fellow smoker and fine red wine drinker, course she was!

For the life of me I cannot remember when she up and planted it, but it may have been after we lost Tarn.

So ten years later, there is this little cutting has grown to six feet high, with these intense red flowers. Only two or three blooms this year so far. It is crowded in with some other plants, but faithfully grows skyward year after year.

The story of it goes back to Nana's (her mother) garden in Swan Hill, where Dot originally had gotten a cutting. When Dot had bought her own flat, then a house, this plant followed.

And now we have it too.

*My Mum and her Sister Corrected me straight away....

DIY complete

Finished at last.
Satisfaction not 100 percent, but looks great and works.
Three trips and a half out there.
Including two more trips back to the hardware store. Bolts. Hammer Drill.....

How long does drilling a hole in a brick take?

Well, six holes as I did do two in the wrong place...

Answer- bloody too long!

so--
DIY tools need to be better than present belongings!
Have to RTFM with spectacles on too.
Give up when approached when really a more proficient and sue-able person should do the jobby.
Well, nah, will do practically anything worthwhile nearly anytime, lookem whaten Oim' doum!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

got it wrong, again. Twins. The Fun of it.

Had to guess which twin (niece) was in a picture the other day....
I got it Wrong- They are different and I know I can tell one from the other! Usually.
Took along while mind you, like by the time they were in preschool or sumpin, but that particular pic got me! Do'ing.

T'ankgott, it was not one of my cousin's twin boys, but they are not on the net yet. And one is taller- just have to get the mnemonics right... Again.

We have three sets [20042008] of Identical twins in my paternal grandparents descendent's line.
[I was swayed to say Nyah Nyah Nyah HOWZAT BABY!! but I won't.][ I did- same again- Ny...]
Go back and read again.
Got it? [Got to check my maternal ancestors side too one day- but I think there are none so far.]
So what are the connections if any?

Paternal great-grandparents?
My dad's mother had twin sisters, of which only one survived, [identical or fraternal- dunno]- and she had a child, my 2nd cousin Michael- a black sheep to all intents and purposes- will have to investigate that one day, no twins there.

Back to a point may be. My folks have two sets of twin grand daughters out of sixteen grandkids.
I have twin daughters, my brother has twin daughters and my cousin has twin sons.
I warned my younger brother's wife. Three years ago. Lucky- just Ashlea. My sister has no twins. My youngest sister has to know the [D]anger? Another brother has avoided the lottery, so far.
In fun.

Because- I did not cause identical twin progeny as far as I know,
Unless at conception at that Particular time:

  • I had provided some energy to promote Identicalness Spermozoa into my wife's womb , 
  • Conception by Moon Phases Just For Girls or 
  • too much     energy???

( Dee- I have an extra girl at "times", pick one please?)

As a certified geologist (- or is that certifiable?), I know that fraternal twins are the result of two eggs and Identicals are due to----- hmmmm Cosmic Rays? Bad Luck.. or what?
Whoops- I have too many acquaintances (with twins also) that will say that Double Trouble is also Double Fun! Or would they?
Okay then, "You Tidy Their Damn Room"- I just see twice the mess!
My dear inlaws and cousin would [SHOULD!?] agree that 'doublemess' not that much fun, people...


Just to mention- before the girls were born, Tarn had the ultra-sound scan- out of town- a special 150km trip. The lady doctor was pleased as punch to say "Looks like twins people, congratulations!"
None taken- Tarn burst into tears, confusing the hell out of me, and I never remember her explaining why. I was happy. And then confused. But eventually it was okay- just regretting the motorbike I had bought, because now we actually needed a larger passenger vehicle instead of a boys toy.

After that we had the amniocentesis just to ensure that as older parents there were no developmental in-utero problems. There were none. And we found out gender too. I could not wait to spread the great news- Tarn was getting her girls! I did tell a few people, and then I Was Told To Not Let Anyone Know We Knew. Whoops. Quick re-call around and a cover up. Tarn did tell my dying grandfather on his deathbed, so was I squared away? I hope Poppy died happier for that little secret.


Orroight- the co-incidence (this week) really is that I had to negotiate(?) was that another celebrity had twins- and I wished Tarn was here to give me a pointer as to whether I should Scoff at it all, or commiserate with them... if you don't know- my Tarn was an avid Hello reader (and here), so much so I made sure of her happiness by subscribing to it, bugger the expense.


Of course if it was a male celeb, phwa! So what! Dunno of any- suggestions anyone?

But really, when a fav Female star has twins- I reckon I am ['WE are' She would say!] in the 6° of Separation Type Club, don't you? Check it out. Ms Roberts for one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

good kids or what

Tonight my boys were doing grown up fings.

Fraxlerdaxler is a vice captain at his campus of years 7-9.
His SLC have been organising a social for - a long time, lets say.
He had a busy day, being on stage at a school gathering, then "decking the hall" for a do tonight.
They had scrounged old LP covers from the opportunity shops around the town and plastered those up around the hired dance hall in town. Some balloons too. Organised teachers and a security outfit to help out. And one of the guys was the usual DJ we have around here when the boy has friends over for a Sesh with their bikes on the quarter pipe and ramp. NO- the yard is not big and the neighbors too close, but when 15 year olds are singing out loud to songs that I did too,  twenty plus years ago, I just wonder...
Anyway.
According to a little rehash of the night between us- it was okay. He done good.

#1 Son was BUSY after school- being the LAST DAY EVER, apart from tomorrow...
Muck Up Day.
Tonight- he did his job, then I was dragooned into driving him around town- moving (the junk collected surreptitiously when hard rubbish is left on the street ) stuff around town and picking up more stuff before dropping it off for a Fort on the Quad at school- heavens knows what the plan is- but vuvoozulas(?) and silly string and air horns are involved. Tomorrow. Pity the teachers. I could not get to what they do!
Then a special Get Wasted at a friends place WAY out of town after dinner In Town.
See? Busy.
Then a click of the door at 1:30am..??? He was / got bored after apparently copious amounts of J.Beam and cola? A not so great night out.

So two debriefs on an auspicious night out for the YAs.

Felicitations to all, I feel good for my nearly complete caterpillars.
Pictures may be added. Later.

Monday, October 18, 2010

ABC- peoples stories- aka "Australian Story"

After reading a blog today, I was ever set up for a TV show.
Tonight I watched another heart touching story.

Another struggle over/with life's inequities.

A medal winning father lost to a young child, hopes achieved, and almost dashed.

It is not that I do not want to know about her life.
But that this battler had a hard life to a degree, losing her father when young, and getting through her latest battle- loss of a sibling just when she was at a peak of her career- while competing at the Athens Olympics. Her sibling lost in an accident as a young married father of two. Like my wife. Single automobile accident.

Like show business- the competition was still on- but how did she really get through that?

Coaches persuade you to.
Well, to give it great thought in a now or never situation, as it were.


The grieving can be used to motivate, or use you.


And then went on with the help of her family and friends to be a medal winner at the latest Commonwealth games. Watch out London!

Just another tear jerking experience for me maybe, but the kids let me alone enough tonight that after it finished, I was okay to bid them goodnight without a "loss of face"(?)... They have to catch me first- but I am thinking it will be easier as time goes on to show that side of me to them.


I have had that coaches' persuasion- from my wife's family and my family after losing my life partner-
that no matter what- 
life still has to/will /does go on, with or without you.

One of those in my large family circle gets through the loss of three immediate family members like -  hmm. 
Another inspiration. She can/does/has, like me. Let her show you


Almost, not every day, there is a reminder somewhere/somehow, and a catch in the throat or the wiping of the eye, of losses experienced.

For me, it is for what her kids cannot have, that we had for a little while our special person.
And what I have. Had.
A box of birthday or Valentine Day cards appear from a shelf. 
Someone says "She is so like Tarnia".
Our eldest finishing high school.
My in-ability to consider a new partner, maybe never again, haunts me. I am so selfish.
The girls at the edge- precipice- of menarche.
The shoe box (yes a box of ) photos gets dragged from it's hidey hole (not!).
Frazzlerdazzler getting good grades to impress the young teachers in the math and science classes - !?! And wanting an electric shaver at 15.
Catching up with long lost college friends. To tell the story again.
Sad Australian Stories.

Being somewhat geeky and a loner, I can get so Marvined I can gloss over/bumble through the day with a to-do-list longer than the Australian National Anthem- something I don't understand but will stumble through the best I can.








Thursday, October 14, 2010

diy and marvined

As posted back awhile, I was engaged for a job that I could not finish at the time..
A few days ago, I returned to finish it orf wif a new tool or two.

Unfortunately, I installed the mounting device wrongly, I.E. did not RTFM.
This meant that it had to be removed and remounted in the correct place.

Marvined by thinking that the installation was so easy, did not have to RTFM,
Just went ahead, measured by sight and and and...

Unfortunately, (again!) the mounting device has to be destroyed as it is Stuck.
This means a pic to prove!

Anyway this also means more time away and another few tools.
The van will soon be a toolbox on wheels.

I must fix the "DIY" soon, to be trusted for future jobs, but...
I don't think the time/motion/distance/satisfaction equation is going to be positive.

Two skun knuckles- hurt. Wasted diesel. Got some new tools!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

marvined

Hi, my other name is Marvin

Me. Always thinking, not Einstein's type of thinking of course.
Easily distracted. Does that or this deserve a quick witty remark or put down? Do I have to smile? Can I smile? Don't! Well, that is a new life lesson for another day, but oh yeah, marvined.
I think about all sorts of things. Unless I am engrossed in an activity that requires actual supervision of the extremities or the concentration of achieving the immediate goal like avoiding the cretins that the government lets loose on the public roads, I.E. everyone but me.
Just like Marvin*, with a "brain the size of a planet" and his problems and chores that are of minutiae compared to what he could do, I think too much if left to it, unless I can quickly doze off. Or do this- it seems a way to let off a lot of steam, I tell ya.
I categorise these under pondering, shower ponderants and uncategorised/able.

How marvined am I usually when relaxing at home:

Well, when I am in My Area (Children kept away) I check out crap like this or Facebook or in-boxes and or my weather monitor whileI  watch my TV shows [I will ween myself as soon as they get rid of attractive actresses, funny series's and/or good enough drama shows]. And /or listen to the local radio station as well for news or comment. But not for music anymore- weird. I can categorise TV shows into a few types of attention grabbing levels.
  • Solitaire (Spider)
  • Web Surfing or playing Railroad Tycoon Deluxe (from 90's about)
  • Email check ad break
  • snail mail check in an ad break
  • kid check in an ad break- "BED TIME!"
Now this can be explained thusly-
Solitaire means I can follow the show using a sorting side of my total brain capacity while concentrating on the story, unless the scenery is interesting, like some great photography of the Sphinx or some blue green turtles doing nothing, near a surf beach where volleyball might be on...
Web surfing means that the show is not that interesting  or does not need to be analysed in great depth, because the web surfing or PC use in general is the main activity instead. Like now, the radio world news is on.
Hang on- I appear to be doing a womanly thing here, two or more things at once!! Wow! Coz I am probably supervising the fighting (and fit) children too.

Marvined with hoose werk.

Och, better do the vaccuming. Bugger, the bloody kids left this out... was that the mail man? Better check the mail and emails... surfing, and then, bugger- the vacuuming job, the kids will home soon- dang, forgot to hang out the washing... Or need a hammer and nail for a picture. Out to the garage. Oh oh- the wine needs racking off, won't take a min... Then tipity tip tip tap- bloody hell, is that rain? The clothes!!! And the bills or mail to go to the post office. Oh well, next time I go out? Look at date due- JBC! GDI! Rip orf doon the street anyway...Oh the time, I gotta be at work, bludy heck!
The list placed on the fridge under a magnet (I recommend cleaning magnets for glass fish-tanks: BIG) is getting old, frayed, wrinkly, smelly and nearly completed, ready for a new one. It takes years but then it is done. Being Marvined all the time, there is no real priority given to items on a list. Cos a few a pretty expensive! A new roof. The large branch over the veranda. A new double garage. Gardening. Vegetation under the power line. The noise under the car. The car climate display. The bloody yard. Lawns. Mosquito spraying.
It is not a hard life- I am coping with more work which is a good thing- as long as I am not distracted with thoughts- last week there was a a mistake, not bad, as I was thinking of how I was going to do the job, and not thinking of the job at hand right then! Ah well.

When DIY wont, a comic tragedy of errors.

Asked a few days ago to help out a friend out with some DIY around their Bran Noo Hoose oota toon. That is, the next town.
Confidence misplaced I am thinking and saying, but no! Okay then.

After lunch today, did some homey stuff- laundry, garden, PV* stuff, then sorted out the job tools- this? or that? power cable- nah.
She called, late, to organise a pick up. Okay.

Waited for a pick up. Late. Drive to hardware store, checked the list, RTFM etc.
Shopped for the screws and bolts, okay. Noo mailbox at next stop.
Go home first? No. Drive on.

Oh oh.
Forgot cell phone- need it?
No. Drive on driver.

Ten minutes uncomfortable small talk.
Outskirts of town, before the bridge.
Oh oh.

No tools!

That was the point of going home first, you idiot-self!
To driver, Sorry, but I forgot the tool box, but I will drive my car back out? Sorry. It's okay?
Right.
Get back, say see ya later, and sort out the tool box, stuffed in the back, and eldest cadges a lift into town. Forgot to grab cell.

Drive on out again. 3pm now. Door locked- waiting again.

So. Mount a mail box? Here? Okay.
Yeah. Off to a power point. Drill 4 holes.
Back to mounting point.
Screw in but holes too small...
Back to power point and drill.
Back to fixing point.
Three screws in.
DA DAH! How's that? Yay me!
Last screw- a gap. Bloody hell.
Bugger it. Leave it- its fine- just have to bring a power cable or cordless drill next  time I visit for One Last Thing...

All righty then.

Laundry line- Yeah I can do it. Back brick wall. Easy Install!
Nah. Wrong drill, and drill bit.
One hole. 30 minutes.
Next hole- NAH, won't penetrate. Brick too hard?
Is it worth 150 bucks for a new drill and bit to do it properly? For 'free'?
Forget it! For now.
Maybe I do need some new tools?

Next job.

Mount the dryer in here up here over the washing machine. Okay, easy.
Knock knock knock - here! A noggin or stud. Good.
Drill pilot hole.
Nah.
No wood to mount the hanging plate. J.B.C.!!!
Proof- GAP behind the plaster board where it needs to go.
Another two drill holes later... Finally found the wood.
No good, the plate needs to be Here, Not There. Have to put a plank in.
Back to the drawing board Magoo. Cannot mount on plaster board!
Show the problem and talk about it. Drawing board.

Oh well, next jobbie?

The new HUGE flat-screen TV to be mounted on the wall?
I am saying NAH, I think I have done enough damage and dodgey shit work today, besides, it's knock off time.


"That's okay-  come back again when you can."

"Really? Well, okay then, see ya", weakly. Oh dear.

Get home, and #2 son says to me- "I called you".

Multiple Failures on my part- as do not want something to happen where injury will result, or utter humiliation at the dodgey job. Thank god I was not asked to do the painting out there. Well I was- but avoided the issue. Some how. 
I am sure I would have stuffed that up, even if it is so easy these days.

Gunna have to buck up there, boyo, and really do things properly.




*Portable Vineyard

Saturday, October 9, 2010

opposites attract?

If Tarn was alive today I think I would be able to say to her that some idiot internet dweeb had her pinned down to a T!
Apart from me being nerd too.

My attention was distracted the other day by a time-wasting* fun spreadsheet. 


Putting three DOBs in, I got the following lists below for people I knew.



I was Tarn's partner for her adult years and I can see her characterised below.
I read one and said- Yeah- I can see that!
It described my Tarn.
So I put another date in. And another.



Which after doing it, made me think, that pretty well anyone can put a list together of characteristics.
If you think of some one you k now well, on that list will be all/some of their characteristics anyway.
Especially something that reminds you of the times that makes you think of them, but reading a random collection, something will definitly tickle a memory, and voila- That Is That Person!


So I was sucked in, but- In a beautiful way too. 


I could see her in the list. 
It was a great reminder of my partner, who she was, what drove her, what attracted me to her.


(*Marvined)
===============================================================

If I disagree- ttt, and really agree with ttt. The most easily recognisable to me have a ! or ??!!


DoB (shes a LADY!) born on a Tuesday
* Stubborn and hard-hearted
* Strong-willed and highly motivated
* Sharp thoughts
* Easily angered
* Attracts others and loves attention
* Deep feelings
* Beautiful physically and mentally
* Firm standpoint
* Easily influenced
* Needs no motivation
* Easily consoled
* Systematic (left brain)
* Loves to dream
* Strong clairvoyance
* Understanding
* Sickness usually in the ear and neck
* Good imagination
* Good debating skills
* Good physical
* Weak breathing
* Loves literature and the arts
* ! Loves traveling
* High spirited
* Spendthrift 

Compared to me.... born Sunday Night- 8pm

* Thinks far with vision
* Easily influenced by kindness
* Polite and soft-spoken
* Having lots of ideas
* Sensitive
* Active mind
* Hesitating
* Tends to delay
* Choosy and always wants the best !
* Temperamental ?
* Funny and humorous
* Loves to joke
* Good debating skills
* Talkative
* Daydreamer
* Friendly
* Knows how to make friends
* Abiding
* Able to show character
* Easily hurt ?
* Prone to getting colds ?
* Loves to dress up
* Takes time to recover when hurt ?
* Brand conscious
* Executive 
* Stubborn
* Those who loves me are enemies?

And where it is really weird, is this characterisation of another friend, which was amazing! Not necessarily true tho.
* Fun to be with

* Secretive
* Difficult to fathom and to be understood
* Quiet unless excited or tensed
* Takes pride in oneself
* Has reputation
* Easily consoled
* Honest
* Concern about people's feelings
* Tactful
* Friendly
* Approachable
* Very emotional
* Temperamental and unpredictable
* Moody and easily hurt
* Witty and sarky
* Sentimental
* Not revengeful
* Forgiving but never forgets
* Dislike nonsensical and unnecessary things
* Guides others physically and mentally
* Sensitive and forms impressions carefully
* Wary and sharp
* Judge people through observations
* Hardworking
* No difficulties i ???

Eldest movin an groovin on

Well the #1 is orf agin to a Salefest music thing.
 "Can I have a 4 block lift?", and some blah blah blah, then,
 "Ta. See ya tomorrow!" at 3pm...???

We kicked some tyres together yesterday. First time. Will have to do it some more now that the sac school stuff is over, maybe let him give the van a whirl too.

Cat in the cradle thing? He will be gone as soon as.

OMG I will so miss him so much. Reckon Frazzlerdazzler definitely will. And the girls too.

Cars. I saw one that looks like a good deal for #1. Rang around, and did the net thing. Advice was get it checked for crash repairs, and make sure the waranty keeps going for new owner. Try to start from a lower price if its such a bargain, compared to what a dealer will give them. Good stuff. Only a 2 liter, 4 door white sedan. 'parently a lil goer!!

Maybe wait a week, then go back and make an offer for cash there and there...
Can always put it back in the bank!

I don't like saying 'no' to #1 anymore, or yellin' at 'im to do stuff around the house- he can vote g.d.i.! But still, he ain't payin' rent yet... After school ends, maybe I will loan him some old home spares: vaccy, microwave, coffee maker/kettle. And he can do his own washin'!
It's jus gunna be a pain in the rear, sorting things out til we know what he wants to do by Feb.

And then, I may even get the original Alcoholery back! Or will #2 claim it?

Bugger. 

And then there were three.

[BTW- maybe a repeat:
Room and board.
The board was a board
 to eat off in your room,
and then to sleep on.
How's that!?]

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weather II

Today has been extreme outside.
I love my weather toy.  Another perfect day in paradise... voila:
29° at the aerodrome, and 28°C IMBY, and quiet until a cold front arrived.Temperature Graph Thumbnail
It was presaged with some gusty winds and thunder from about 4pm, and at 10pm, Bang, the Westerly blew in at 35-50kmh!Weather Graphs
Pressure Graph Thumbnail   Wind Direction Thumbnail