Friday, June 29, 2012

Another Bad Hair Rant

Should I avoid another bad hair day by..?

Hmmph. Dunno. This week has not panned out as a balance of good v bad.


I have been trying to help out a friend, and by their absence and lack of telepathy, I have on one hand been not exactly clear in my communications, which left me feeling an idiot at not getting a good Idea of what is required because what ever I have done, it's not quite right or clear and I am confusing people. I know I like to think I am smart, but at the moment... I think I am on the right track now, but also think that a third party might be better employed at the [or for the] required expertise. I hate that, I like to help out and excel in that endeavour, or any for that matter. Kludging not a good trait notwithstanding that I can do that too. Should I have another bad hair rant at my friend- nah, I believe I have to see from their point of view that they really would like to do the chore themselves, but circumstances... Marvined.


The low paying jobby I have has not been exactly heart warming or well paid for the amount of time and effort needed for that either. I really feel like with a brain the size of a planet, and my expectations, the world could be left turning the wrong way. Marvined. And the environmental factors left me seething when the co-workers supplying me with work, did not get things right and I had to walk a few extra meters and get them to get their act together so I could achieve more with less effort myself...

This does not sound good I know, but these days time is money, efficaciousness is not highly rewarded  but enormously necessary and mental state [happy now?] not regarded as required. It appears.

Close, relatively

Then on the family front this month: My dear brother and family are off skiing in a better place and cheaper too. My sister is nearly too busy to go visit, her time is like mine- busy [family, work], and/but/or with the the added twist of a four o'clock start in a week [here you should be able to hear the Simpson's catch-cry of "Ah ha!" or Muttley-like]. Ah well...  My dad and another brother have gone and bought a little yacht to do up, be nice to live that much closer so I can join them on Port Phillip Bay more than maybe the once a year I see happening. Then the youngest brother is off accross the continent to look after his boys racing their Karts in a national championship. And my baby sister is cooling her heels, waiting for the fiance to get home from the rails... And #1Son is visiting NY and the nearby N.Falls for his birthday next week.

Thursday... The washing machine, another bad hair day there! 

The power switch thingo panel in the hall [with the short circuit detector or earth leakage trip detector] tripped Mid Spin of the washing cycle... Last spin anyway. Marvined.

 I spent half an hour or more traipsing about the house going backwards turning off wall switches in each room to track the infidel, and forwards flipping the detector switch back on. I did not want it to be the refridgerator, but at the same time hoped not the bloody clothes washer either. Cannot afford new ones this month of either after the last six months. Bloody Consumer Society, love it and hate it. The thought of a major electrical problem in the house wiring had me edgy too- what about the TV shows I like? See, I am as shallow as... Ended up being the washing machine.

I can sometimes repair stuff around the house, but RTFM was not going to help me out here.

Not happy Jan. It maybe one of the last things in Tarn's "dowry", but I would like to be able to keep things a long time, especially the washing machine. [The drier is out side awaiting its destruction. Or recycling...] The poor old washing machine, a trusted brand, maybe on its last legs too. The repairer will "be straight on to it".When he has time.  Marvined again. I may have to borrow my sis-in-laws machine this weegen? At least the winter holiday break means no school clothes needed for a few weeks, as long as we have enough socks and underwear to last until Buckies verdict on the machine...

Weegen for the boy

I see that as I get older, the care and avoidance factors conflict when it comes to supervising young adults and their Friday Nights Out. A small party turns out not to be, the backyard late night weather turns cold and loud [unfortunately not  rainy- bugger]. I end up having to say to the 2am laggards that don't/can't/won't go to the shady nightclubs- if they really want to be able to come back here at least another time, then they better go home now, and they were smart enough to scat in ten minutes.

The detritus got up late... with bad hair, Ah Ha.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Okay after all

Stout is Okay After All

The chocolate stout batch has worked out okay after all.
Which is good, because I did not really want to convert it to some thing else.

And tastes good too!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Gross Fishing

Cleaning and Gross Fishing

This is not that it's really a family oriented blog of good and bad news etcetera.

If you know about this or this you know I get cross with the shower sometimes. Like: When the plug hole is PLUGGED by child hair (or even the grey, ok). Or when the drain gets grown into by roots of grasses or vines or trees. Or going gross fishing, cleaning wise.


Showering at full steam (haha..) the footwell starts to fill, threatening an overflow.
Not again!
Pull the wad of hair from the plug hole...?
Still filling.
Not filling due to that pitiful wad of [LONG!] hair.
Need to do something else, check that the drain outside is not overflowing. Again.
Hmmm. Ah well. I'll get to it someday.


Half naked and ready for a shower. Hmm, filling again.  And while the blockage is on my mind I streak outside to grab some speaker wire from the Alcoholery.
Once back inside safe from prying eyes, I bend the speaker wire into a semblance of a hook and poke it down the plug hole. Deep Deep Deep, and pulled out some hair from the U-bend.
Not so good an Idea Marvin.
Return to the Alcoholery for.... dadadadadadadda dem... [drum roll]----
hanger and a pair of pliers
Bent wire to suit. Slip it down the plug hole, and lucky for me the "strainer" piece comes free. Because as I rotate the fencing wire kludge type hooking device and pull it up....


No NO NO Not "Some one's".
Just a gloopy hairy soapy smelly MESS of, well, everybodys' HAIR!
Not funny dude, but I did not run screaming dripping to the trash can. Just like... naked.

That's just Gross Fishing for ya!

Gross cleaning time

Gross cleaning time


Cos the family members expect it to be done by some one else... The Gross cleaning time is when I get to it, argh. Weird, you have to laugh, other wise the shower overflows...

Almost a full pony tail worth of hair in the U-bend, oh gross.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

tingle in my left leg

Tingle in my left leg back after absent almost a year

Cold and Twinge, another diary entry on symptoms

As I sit at my desk at lunchtime, I noticed that the symptom of a cold damp feeling is back on the skin of my thighs.  Was not like that yesterday as much. It is winter, yes, but not that dang cold in the house. Check my weather station!

And then, to see what else may be going on... I nodded my head and there was a tingle in my left leg! Again, like last year. As I test it now, that feeling is not there. The cold is, like a mentholated cold rub.

This time the tingle was just below the knee, the left side, on the outside, next to the calf muscle. In the skin more or less. Like when you have feeling coming back after a dental intervention with your mouth an lips, or recovering from a pins-and-needles session, just that twinge in the leg. Not like knocking your elbow's funny bone type feeling.

Great. But would you guess what is really weird?

Earlier today I got a call at 8.30am, from the transportable* MRI people, to book a session for the what may become an annual event, "Scan Tony's Head for more MS scars". With the last scan, it could be seen there are only a few peas sized blebs inside my skull, and a shading in the spinal cord in the neck.

Now how coincidental is that?

Booked for August, yay me.

*Where I live is about an hour from the nearest institution that has a MRI clinic, BUT the local hospital does have a visiting MRI that is transported about the region, which is so so convenient for us country folk, oh yeah.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So well and buggor

Missed the Action

I have been looking forward to watching the transit of Venus across the sun for nearly a month.

And missed it. Because. Work!
And catching some flood events around our town!

I pulled the El Cheapo Telescope from the lounge to the back dor last Saturday in readiness for today, Wednesday 6th June.

Forgot all about the transit while I rushed around town today. By the last shift, snowed under that I missed the transit action by half an hour...
But got some pleasing pics of some floods too:
Port of Sale, amenities Not...
New Footbridge over the Thompson

"Rapids" near new road bridge over the Thompsn R., Princess Hwy 

The billabong  being filled, near my sister in laws place

Another flooded billabong near the cemetery up from the saleyards

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In rememberance

It Has been five years since the Kerang Rail Disaster in Victoria.

This accident where a truck driver purportedly did not see the signals, nor the passenger train moving through the highway and rail intersection, colliding with it, killing several travellers on the way home. Sun, or truck noise? Who really knows.

One of the passengers killed in the accident was Tarnia's Aunt Ursie, a lovely person who used to call us out of the blue and fill Tarn in on the local gossip in Tarnia's old home town in the north of the state. The Mallee, a vast dry climate agricultural region of wheat, sheep and also grape and citrus. And hardy people.

After Tarn's death, I had my in-laws's with me,  and it was always good to say hello to her. Her brother, my father in-law, he would have a quick chat- phone calls cost money you see. But others like Bev, as Tarn did, liked the gossipy family calls, we were so far from them. I would fill her in too on the kids achievements and all.

She is missed by many people, especially her children.

To Ursula, a real nice ol' girl.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Woeful Dark Ale

What went wrong? What made a Woeful Dark Ale?

The constituents too old?

two dead soldiers and a craye or two of Woeful Dark Ale
Three weeks ago, I decided that time was up for a new stout batch.

Digging[true] through the Alcoholery's cupboard, on the shelves were a can of Oatmeal Ale mixture, some old dark liquid malt, bag of lactose and a bag of glucose. And a bag of choclate'd malt grain. And liquorice essence. Should be enough to make a dark ale at least.


I wanted to make a "Whitbread/Mackesons Milk Stout" type.

This would have to do.

The can was at least four years old, so the yeast was probably not going to work.
The malt was looking a bit sad. So I boiled the lot up, grain was pressure cooked then rinsed through, and the can instructions said it made enough for only ten litres. Whoa- but I thought with all the extra stuff, made it up to about 25 litres.

Added the yeast and        nothing.

Down to the homebrew guy, got some more yeast and verily started again. A slow ferment this time, v e r y s l o w...

A week later, tasted okay, racked to another 30 litre vat to settle it out.

Should have been sooner, sue me, but also let that vat sit for a week too. WRONG move. Two days should have been enough.

Worked out at about 5% on the vinometer.

Bottling the lot was easier said than done, and the capping was difficult too. I think the rigid old capper has gone too bell shaped to seal the caps onto the bottles properly. Because...

Last night, cracked one bottle  in order to share with eldest progeny, and then a second in disbelief. The dang ale/stout was FLAT!

No carbonation after almost two weeks.

Either the seals are buggered, or there was no yeast left in the liquor to carbonate with the teaspoon of sugar per bottle.

Looks like a batch to d'stil from, at 6% should recover something from the odd 25 liters.

If you make home brew- any suggestions? What went wrong with my Woeful Dark Ale? I welcome some comments on this.

too quick

Paid that day 
Bill for gasman

When I got the bill for the last tradey to do a job for me, I thought he would appreciate a quick payment.

The snail mail bill arrived a few days after the job was done (done in less than one hour remember!) gave me another seven days to pay it.

"Sticker shock" shocked me as well. Bugger! For that little job?

Nah, whatever, I thought I would do the right thing and go into hock on the check account for him vis the 'net, and sent off a appreciative thank you email too as well.

Nada back.

Hate that.

By the way.

You saw what they (tradey with a helper) did, with a ten to fifteen minute "consult" over old instant gas water heater: everything was working so just replace cover with a shoppè made one (in less than 20 minutes), and while they were there replace a stove top, also way less than 20 minutes. The stove top had been waiting for nearly 15 months. The last quote to install was excessive, but then...

The hourly rate for this huge job was:

 150 buckaroonies....