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?



Xmas with family
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!

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.