Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weegen at the beach

Saturday Night- "Daaad..?"
Cant' be good...

Off the cuff, #2Son asks me in the evening,"Can you, me and Shane go to Sandy Point tomorrow for a surf like we talked about over summer?" IE, Months Ago..
Not a time for one on one exactly- but 4 hours with two young adults in a car... And, like- what? Tomorrow? [But me- oh oh- some speed sailing?]

Hmm. Dilemma. That day [and off cuff again], I had taken the gels and their friend out to the lake sans water craft- on the off chance, that the "Blue Green Algae poisoning the lake scare" had passed. Or not. Saturday itself was a hot steamy day and the gels Had To Go To The Lake so I "did not have to pay for pool entry"- HAH! 40km round trip and needed fueling up too...

Nice afternoon, no sunburn on the ducks. There was a fool on a skidoo there and that annoyed the hell out of me, the 5kmh speed limit near a beach was IGNORED. We were going to leave early- wondering where the water cops were as usual.

So organised the 300km round trip Sunday drive to the Best Sailing Inlet In The World. There is a nice surfing beach there too. Rang up my new sail boarding buddy to invite him for a surf down there too- "nah mate- work..." Bugger- on the weegen? Tough luck, too late, so made arrangements for a drink there later in the week. Shane was sms'd to turn up bright and early with surf gear... And made sure that the gels and their friend would make it to her place and stay there 'til we got back- giving them more pool money in the end... Went to see my old work place on the way home, the winery and vineyard had sure changed a lot since 2008!

Sunday: Took off 30 minutes behind schedule [not too bad], the learner driver taking us to fuel up the car first, then off for a drive, with board covers flapping.

 Waratah Beach, Sandy Point VIC, with the boys way off the the left

He made it there before lunch. Dropped the boys off with no real "warnings", trusting that young adults do not need that shit anymore- wrong slightly.

Drove to Shallow inlet and considered the next move. Conditions were slightly sail-able for a large board and sail- or kite sailing. Hmph. Read a book, checked some forecasts and observations on my new work tablet. By midday enough wind turned up that I could do better than the sailors already on the water- two of.

Rigged up the 5.9m2, and really enjoyed myself for nearly 2 hours. Quite a few successful jybes on the fluffy wind- pleased. The wind died out a bit, and I got pretty tired trying to raise the sail after falling in twice after a lull, so decided enough is enough! I was not going to get a tow in! Started to rig down once I got back to shore, and the wind came in properly then- Argh! No, Tone, home!

Went back to the surf beach and waited for the boys to come out. The waves were okay for them I think- they did not go out to where the bigger rollers were curling. There was a wave-sailor and a stand-up paddleboarder[?] out by the time we left. And the only accident was some sunburn on #2Son's legs and arms- after two sunscreen application as well! Organised on the way via mobile for some take-way fish-n-chips to be picked up at the same time the gels and us got home.

All up, the activities were great, out of the blue or off the cuff, a bit expensive   but you cannot take it with you...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another dust biting

and E&A visit,
thanks, but I try...

Now some people might think that with children it is poor form to expect frequent flier points for every visit to see a GP or for attending the Accidents & Emergency clinic at the local hospital for every nick/cut/temperature/broken-bone , or that I am not performing as a properly strict and helicoptering single parent preventing any sickness or accidents from occurring to the beloved immediate descendants, [take a breath], but...

This time:

It was after dinner, and the sun not yet set.
"See ya, I'm off to the skate  park!"
"Be careful and be back before dark!"
"Yeah, sure"

Watching the teev, later, with a wine in hand, playing solitaire, sun had set and no child...

"I'm back, and fell off at the quarterpipe" he intones, holding his wrists out...
"Uh oh- does it hurt? Much? Move your hands? Painful, clicking? Hmm."
"Yep, I think it's broken here and this one is bad too"

Hmm, again. "Nah, you don't look that hurt to me, let's just strap it up, cool it down, wait for morning and take a tablet or two, and sit down for a while and," I paused, " leave the bloody phone alone!"

He was not white from shock or puffing, he had not called for a ride to the A&E clinic, had walked home, so what else really could I do?

"Still painfull"
"Did you take a tablet? Did you not get the hint? Just go to bed!"
"Can you strap it?"
"Sorry, yes, of course. And leave the phone alone!!!"

After breakfast and extensive questioning of the suspect victim bloody teenager patient child, my #2Son, I called the GP clinic this morning for a visit and X-ray referral- "Nah, go to A&E"!!!!

Bloody heck, okay, off we go.

The wait was not that long this time, half an hour, some time for one on one [not really, still had the morning grumps myself!] and the result was:

 "JustOnly soft tissue damage towards the outside of the wrists, maybe a week or so of no extreme sports, or/and until he can rotate the wrists quickly without any pain..."

Like I thought, a trivial injury with no time off school.

Who said parents know nuthin about parenting and kids?

Closer to Harvest

late Summer

nearly Harvest time 


The Brix on the backyard grape vines- the Pinot Noir grape bunches, nearly only A bunch... is at 16 to 20... So harvest time is almost upon us. The bunches are mostly small, with small berries. And not approaching sweet or nice even! The garage grapes are less than 20 overall, so maybe mid March for picking as usual,

  The pots were netted last month because the birds thought it was the right time for Their Harvest, the buggers, but the kilo(!) or so they removed were not close to ripe, so HAHAHA hope they choked on the seeds- bitter as all heck and all. have to net that little bit earlier next year.

I do not think it maybe worth making a brew with the crop, it looks like only a few kilograms this year- sort of like last years crop- which I threw in with the Shiraz anyway. It will probably get mixed in with the garage grapes to make either a sherry style or brandy type drink.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Showery

Blurb to the Masses About
Hairy Plugholes...

Deserving some pat on the back, or cash, for a hair washing cure! YouHaveToLaugh at this one, or commiserate!

Having some complaints from some of my immediate family descendants growing up around me the past year, ie my kids, we have swapped to a well known brand of shampoo and conditioner, as some of us keep getting "rashes" from nearly every kind of shampoo and conditioner I contrive to either luxuriate in or save money on.

I kept saying- "Water too hot", "Too long in there", and "Really? Show me, nah, can't see it".

Well, actually, I think after using a well known brand or the Aldi sort-looka-like, the complaints from the bleachers have all but disappeared!

And even the plug hole has been clear of all detritus! Hair I mean. No long ones, grey ones, or short ones. Since start of the year anyway, that I recall. I used to pick the junk out and slap it in a corner and forget about it, and do it again, and manage to collect a fair amount each week. The WeirdOrWhat dirty left behinds are gone, hooray.

Being the sole cleaner stay at home dad, I used to get tired of the ankle deep tepid water gathering at my feet, thanks to the collecting "human hair balls" in the shower.. Laziness and necessity and money, cures all ills?

Figured after a year I could maybe call a hair saloon that creates wigs.

Not any more. Cured and Clean and Happy all round. Some trivial but absolutely riveting and amazing facts of our life.

One bad call for the week was, also to do with the bathroom, that there must be a leak under the handbasinsink, cos all the spare bars of new soap, including the expensive pandering ones were in a container, that collected the leak... Fifteen bucks worth of soapy waste... argh.

Friday, February 17, 2012

nearly Done

The sub woofer project nearly finished 
Paint or Veneer? 

Another piece of lounge furniture... back to the project

When it is ready

And the weather suitable
or not... won't matter.
It is solar heated.
With a view- stuff the sea side mate!

I may have to beg borrow steal or Buy this place.
For the kids of course.
Once it is ready and the bar is pre-stocked too...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

BBabby BBaboom BBBox

New DIY for the Living room Sound System
Let's see how many trips to the hardware store this time.

Two weeks ago, I was sick of the fan making a noise in the surround sound theatre thingo. A quiet peice in the movie or between songs through the apple tv, and the hum rattley type sound. It was worse than ever. This is the story of fixin and makin, with six trips to the stores and one internet order, sound stuff for the lounge. And Music Room

So I spent two hours pulling the subwoofer box and dice apart to constituent particles. Almost. Did you know that it needed 20 bloody little self tapping screws to hold the back plate on? No? Well, now we both know. And I do not want to pull it apart again! I removed the trouble-some little electric motor that had a loose axle, went to the electronic barn down town, and they ordered in a new on. Yep- it was in the catalogue!
A week later, I spent an hour putting it all back together. And it worked! Yay me!
With a modification: I spliced in wire to the sub-woofer in order to add a Bigger Speaker or driver, because after replacing my old stereo system woofer driver speakers with updated types, as one had gone bung, there was a spare 20cm/8 inch driver hanging around. See below, it is twice the size of the one in the silver subwoofer box next to it. And it worked too! But it does need a new enclosure...

After fixing the surround sound theatre thingo last week, I have got a new bee in the bonnet.

Therefore, This Week I Searched For Sub-Woofer Box Designs. OF course!
The internet is a woeful time waster... But plucking a design out was not that hard, and so next thing was... Wood panelling.
Thick 1" plywood or flooring type particle board type?
The plywood was lying around, not to the the size specified, but dang it, the woofer is only 20cm!

Bzzzzzz... Hiked around down town for bits and pieces- wood, screws, connectors. I think This Will be my crissy pressie from D&PD!

oh oh! The panel is too small?  Crap crap crap- wait, wrong one. That was the side!
On with the plan. A frame to be glued. Glued? Okay. Here we go.

Here's the work area. Obviously, I need to clean out the shed one day so if it rains, and there is another bee in the bonnet- it will be a dry bonnet... It was bright and warm, but fun. But it did rain a wee bit Sunday, so I was very squashed up in the shed with the drop saw at one stage.

Some tools not used for yonks so needed to be re-vamped- some WD40 here and there. And more... The drop saw kept giving no quite 90° angles. Because there was some gum on the plates, the same colour as the plates! Argh! And the power button. Hmph.

Completed project, with port. Apparently the port may be a fraction small. The spares lying around were not up with a 70 or 80mm port. Playing the apple tv through the theater sound system and the new sub-woofer sounds awesome! Ordered a plate amplifier [$179] for a proper sound- means another power supply... It won't be used a lot, but hells bells, you should soon be able to hear it as you pass down the street! Until that is added, it cannot be used with the JVC stereo, I tried, also warned not to, oops, but nah, needs to be amped properly, one thing I cannot be buggered to solder up myself!

Should it be a driver down or as shown. There are some rubber feet on it now, and it is driver down at the moment... With it ramped up, I think it is TOO much, like a click on the beat, as if I have over extended it...

Final dimensions

6ply 21mm thick cut to
34 x 34cm top and bottom
34 x 48cm sides
34 x 48cm front and back

3cm x 3cm  softwood for the internal frame
120 screws. or so.
silicone sealant, all internal
nearly full batten of rock wool
and an amp [ to be added, from here ]

Checking out the BBabby BBaboom BBBox in the music room with the 1988 Stereo System. 

The amplifier for the new speaker box arrived and needed some new wiring after some sound advice [baboom] from a specialist supplier, and deafened the kiddies and probably pd off the neighbors too.

Sounds awesome people, even while only temporarily attached.

 Finished up nearly by 18th February 2012:

See the bass on the SPL! Not 100% loudness either. Adjustable volume and signal output/crossover signal 45Hz to 180Hz and a separate input and output for the stereo system! The house needs to be tuned so the screws and nails do not pop out... Bugger the neighbors and their airconditioners!

Friday, February 3, 2012

On the road again

A Not a DIY Situation
I did try but!

Two weeks ago, I took my lil yacht out to the lil lake for some quiet time. The kids were all out with friends, it was sunny and a nice lil breeze from the northeast. Then it got windy...

You know the rest.

The catch up is that the broken down van had a problem at the repairers too! Poor guy was told by Mercedes that the Mercedes Vans [made in Korea by SangYong] have this special alternator and pulley combination- [the power supply and battery charger unit][BTW- a $1000 special!- that will fit. But they sent one pulley for him to fit because the mechanic knew that that was all that was needed. (3 x that in a sentence! Ha!) It did NOT. Back it went! He finally had to find one made for a Japanese 4WD to fit the "Korean built Mercedes branded vehicle". Cos he has seen this problem before. Wow. Anyway, $300 later, we are moving people. Yay. Cost the repairer quite a few phone calls, but good him. Owe him one.

He also told me that he could fix the sticky buggery hard to shift gear lever too. "Seen it before". Again!

Next time I win Lotto, I'll get it looked at. Like the LCD screen in the family car. Lotto. Later.

Year in Review-2011

All growed up

Hitting the half century this year and getting a balloon flight from the Family, rather than a weekend at a famous [within the Family] campground grog fest, has had me try to be profound about flying not drinking. Did not work. Which reminds me- I have to organise That Weekend away soonish before the ticket runs out... I try not to read the part of the paper with the "HatchesMatchesDespatches"- some people write too well for me to complete their memorials to their passed on relatives- makes me wince that I could not get it together to honour Tarnia that way- but the circumstances at the time were hard to handle. It may have been nearly eleven and half years ago now, still hurts to be reminded, but maybe I am so full of myself I was/am insulated from the grief now. The kids are nearly all grown up now or half way, but still they need some finishing touches, like acting on hints "dishes", "lawns" "room!".

But they are the nicest people I know.

Also this year-

My eldest boy hit university running rather than take a daggy trip around the world or buy a car. Successfully completed the first year away in the Big Smoke with his mates and only a few musical festivals, bar cruising and the associated hangovers... Cannot believe he will be twenty this year.

Second or Middle child started his eleventh year of schooling and two jobs after school. These jobs are to only be up with the Joneses- ie skateboard, "skatebike", clothes and shoes, girlfriend and an iPhone... A few hangovers, too early for my liking, and ignoring the 7:30pm curfew has me a little annoyed lately. We saw the Foo Fighters together so I suppose we have spent quality time together, at least once? As I have to let him drive my car or van for a mandatory 120 hours behind the wheel before you can take a car licence test... that must count too? We are still awaiting an invitation from the MCC for his junior membership- waiting for 16 years! A trip to Tassie and some surfing weegens were had during the year. Who says the government run schools are shite? Ejits would. He has been less of a handfull this year at home and school, so I think he is going to be a gentleman after all, indeed, his mum would be proud too, like me. I suppose he might miss his mum, but there is a GF and her mum, and his aunts of course. He is spoken highly of when his name comes up, I expect it was hand rearing and the denial of services goodies bike the phone works, and if no lawns are done, then no driving around on his delivery job!

The Twins have done their seven years of primary school now, and expect to get mobiles [or cell] phones and Facebook and Hotmail accounts this year as they approach the Teen Age. [Expect...] I think I will hold it off as long as possible- what can they do? They cannot leave home. Teen peer group pressure may crumble my resolution though. A mistake may have been made granting their siblings those privileges or RIGHTS[?] too early, ie in the first or second year of high school... Their teachers loved having them all year, and they had a good musical year too- brass band, choir and Taiko drumming. With little or no practice too. Means a quiet house... [Other growing stages are yet to hit them, praying to myself- just another year please.] My mum wanted to pay for piano lessons, but apparently the teacher was hard to get on with... All their friends keep them very busy, sleepovers and all that jazz. Putting up with six screaming preteens in the house is a little trying. Yelling out of my cave "ITS NOT THE SCHOOL YARD!" does not seem to work either. Youtube has a lot to answer to as well! It may be a hard start to the new school year as many of their friends are going off to different schools, but I hope that the friendships made this year will last for life.

The folks are still holidaying at the ocean, well, maybe the wrong word, Living by then, but, they are doing as best they can. The fishing, the river, the dog, the cat, the golf club, the shed, the boat, the kayak, the grandchildrens' visits, all close to their hearts. My little worry is that I am too far away to care for them more if needed- has it been worthwhile staying on in Tarn's house, and not moving closer? My visits are not often enough- which also goes for my visiting my siblings- they are all a long drive to go see from here. Or, I am finally living within my budget! But they are all well, and it looks like most of the grandchildren that have finished secondary school are moving on through to the universities. Six of them so far. And one to start primary school soon!

My sister-in-law has moved into their new house, the one I was looking after. They have had a successful year too, their girl growing up on two continents and appears to be taking it all in her stride. Her dad and partner are still going, popping in for a cuppa or dinner now and then.

Currently A New Year

Oh der Fred Marvin! Catch up!

The kids have started a new school year- #2Son his second last year of Secondary School, and the twins, #1gel and #2Gel have just started their first day at Secondary School. #1Son will soon start second year at the Big Smoke Uni, and in the meantime, has got himself a new single bedroom apartment. For the same price. With a kitchenette and ensuite. One glass and two plates, a set of cutlery for one. I think. Yesterday I dropped off some stuff for his place, but he did not want too much. Mugs, plates. BTW, next week he has jury selection!

The gels had a big summer holiday. Lots of sleepovers with mates here and away, heaps of swimming pool stuff. We did not get to the ocean beach even once. But we had fun I suppose. Sometimes- they had Six gels running around here, [which means I run to my man-cave and bunker in with some HM rum and coke and the teev ...] Movies. Xmas with their aunts and uncles and granparents here and there. But it was a cool xmas day. And filling.  Both times! Ta Dee and bro.

#2Son had fun- FooFighters, Big Day Out, lotsa skaten an' biken' an' time with his little cutey 'L'.

I took my lil yacht out. Once. I went to the pics once, to see A Few Best Men. (not that great, okay tho. Too Aussie).

Last week, me and the gels went around getting the new uniform stuff and school stuff. The dresses and jackets cost a small fortune, got two of each, a size 10 and a size 12 in case there is a growth spurt some time this year. Gotta be prepared! But the smaller size was tailored (for another small fortune) and they looks just fine. The downer was that some one suggested I really should have bought four size 8 instead. Pessimists. Whatever bonuses I received (ta everyone) for getting all this school stuff (for three of them) was not quite enough, och well, and still gotta get some clogs for the #2Son! I mean Skate-shoes suitable enough for school...

Yesterday [at 8am! After a 2 hour drive..] I got to see a specialist about whether I had MS or not. I have a mild case. There. And will see him again. Next year. And drove home from the Big Smoke after seeing Son#1. Back to a crazy work schedule, and then after that, More damn school supplies shopping! At least they had practically everything to start the new year off.

Bearded. After the Big day Out Weegen
Another one-on-one thing we have between #2Son and me is the learning to drive a vehicle... As he has a little delivery job around town, I have started to let him drive me around in order to get some hours up on his logbook. He needs 120 hours worth before he can do his driving test for a licence, and that is a lot of petrol man- work it out. Och well. There is the definite one-on-one time, even if I am trying to stop the car with my mental powers at times... So I thought that with two years, just an hour a week should be fine. Nah, give in a little, and it is two hours a week. Dang. Quarter of the way there already! And we are still alive too. Hmm.

Last weegen, he and his mate Max went to the Big Smoke all by themselves on the train to the Big Day Out, a series of Concerts by big bands and the lesser known newbies. I think he had a good time.  I bought him his ticket months ago and he only just paid it back to me just in time. He had worked his butt off for it too, or else! They stayed at my niece's place nearby, so it was all good- just a hop skip and jump- or 15 minute walk away. Really growing up noo!

I have been left alone in the house a few times the last few months. Strange. Getting close to the empty nest stage. Maybe get to have the house the way I want it. Clean, neat, tidy. Hmm. And just me?