Friday, December 30, 2011

No notes! What am I gonna write about now?

It's really really hard to keep to a routine if you aren't in the right place I've found. I'm not at work so I've missed updating my journal. Whoops....

And I've discovered I've not kept notes for the last week. Or two. Oh dear. I knew those holes in my memory were going to give me trouble one day.

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We're basking in the warmth of the water. Yes, the system was finally fixed. It's amazing what you don't miss till you haven't got it anymore. MOTH talked the plumber into fixing the mixer tap in the kitchen while he was about.

HOT WATER! And quickly too! I'm wondering how we'll go in winter. I suspect cold showers will abound. We tend to get hot water in summer and cold water in winter. Yay for us!

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I think I know why I have no notes. I didn't take my 'notepad' with me to work. But just realised I have notepad on my phone. *duh* But no, notes not there either.

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Friday morning 23 December seemed to fly. Permission to take an early mark *noon* and of course that's when everything needs to be done that morning, right? A plea to MOTH for a lift and he obliges. Wonderful wonderful taxi man. I make it out around 12.30pm.

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The oven gets a workout Christmas Eve. A roast duck and then roast pork. They are going to be served cold the next day. With salad. I'm so adventurous with my Christmas menu! There is no point really. The Teen, MOTH and I are lucky to make it through a packet of cheezels, a packet of twisties, the duck, some salad and the pork.

A quick nip out to the shops to pick up some last minute supplies and I decide I would spend the voucher that I had been told to open earlier. Yes, I was! Mother told me to open it. She did.

I come home with some new clothes and a little bit of change as well *is happy*.

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I find a text from the Teen on Christmas day. Sent just past midnight. It's Christmas Day, can we open presents now?? Cheeky thing.

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We have breakfast first. Bacon and eggs on the barbecue. I decide to give everyone the day off and load the dishes into the dishwasher for the day.

Usually Teen insists on MOTH donning the Santa hat and giving out the gifts one by one. A hangover tradition from my childhood. This year she throws herself on the floor at the tree and starts handing them out to everyone as she goes through looking for hers. I take my time, as usual. I think I've done well this year.


Although I don't have a photo of my WoW mouse mat or my vouchers ...

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I've been busy planning what DVDs I shall get with my vouchers. I have a list; when I get to the store in question I'll know what I'm looking for. Usually when I get to those places the choice is overwhelming I can't remember what it was that I wanted.

I end up with Serenity, Sherlock Holmes, Constantine. Also Transporter 3 *yaaaay! jason!* Red Riding Hood, Prince of Persia. That should keep me out of trouble for a little while.

The rest of the day is spent at Besties with her family. Bring your leftovers she says. That's difficult, the only leftovers we have is a little pork. And some duck, but she's not getting that! It's also a chance to catch up with a couple of her friendly neighbours. And another set we haven't met before. We leave as it's getting dark; MOTH doesn't like driving in the dark and when we look at the clock in the dashboard, we've been there for 7 hours!

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MOTH went for a sleep test last night. He's not sure what the results will be as he didn't get much sleep! I couldn't get comfortable, it was too noisy... Ah well, I guess we shall see.

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Today I plan to see how well the mixer works. Letcha know how that goes. When I figure out what pan to use since I don't have the required size or shape.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time drags on as we wait for The Fat Man

At the start of each Christmas I am full of Bah! Humbug! But as the tree goes up and I lay the presents round it, Scrooge fades into the background and I start to get a little excited.

Probably a little too excited as I've opened two of my presents already. Relax! One wasn't wrapped and the other ... well, the giver told me to open it. Now I'm busy planning how to spend it!

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The house is full again for the next month. It's amazing how much difference one person can make. The espresso machine is getting a full workout. She needs the practice after all. I'm beginning to think I can't keep up with the milk quota.

But I don't mind.

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The Teen introduces The Mexican. He's her new boy. Quiet but not overly so. We met briefly at the airport and again when she asks if he can stay over. Four of them land on my doorstep but I don't have to feed them so I'm not worried. The lass with them is one of Teen's best friends who has recently made the permanent move south. It's the first time we've met face to face. They crash on the couch and settle in to watch movies for the evening. Teen laughs that M feels at home already. M calls back that she does. Very much.

I leave them be and retreat to MOTH's end of the house.

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I'm on the bus on the way to work. *whoo! something different* I spend my time staring out the window watching the traffic and noticing how the bus sways when you get a bit of a wind underneath it. We are travelling in the inside lane and a truck goes flying past us.

The driver is yapping on the phone. And it's not hands free.

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A passenger in the bus is becoming annoying. Why can't the bus have a quiet zone like the train? Preferably the whole bus. The man seems to be listening to something and he must have his headphones up loud. It sounds like something from Bollywood at first, but it just goes on and on warbling up and down the scale in one continuous effort. It must be a prayer chant. Or something. I try to look his direction without being too obvious. I don't think he's using headphones at all.

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We're all at the stop in the afternoon waiting for our bus to come in. Quite a crowd of us. Taxis pull into the stop all the time - I've seen bus passengers tell the taxis to rack off. A taxi pulls in. And sits there and sits there with the passenger door open. The bus has pulled in right behind him but he can't open the doors; he's too far down and close to the corner. The taxi sits there. The bus sits there. The people waiting tap their feet.

Eventually I'm second on the bus and the woman in front of me remarks to the driver that he was very patient. He grins at her. Yes, I was very patient. Did you see me being patient? We all laugh.

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We're headed through one of the stations on the busway. *lot of bus stories this week* and I hear an alarm going off. Odd. I glance out the window and on the other platform is a bus; alarm going, hazards flashing. He seems to be on the two way to base.

The 'destination' screen at the top of the bus shouts HELP!!! CALL POLICE!

I decide not to....

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I get in the shower and it doesn't seem to get warm. That's a bit odd. No one else is awake so I don't worry about it too much. I mention it to MOTH when he gets up.

Yep. Hot water system is on the fritz. Again. The realtor is notified and the plumber turns up for a look. Apparently that valve was only replaced in August. He doesn't have the right part. He should be back tomorrow with the right one.

Tomorrow has arrived but the plumber has not. No hot water again today.

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The Teen has decided to stay over at Mexican's place. Or at least, where he's staying while visiting. At least there she can get a hot shower! She asks and we drive them over. The trip takes less time than expected.

As we do the u-turn to head up the street after dropping them off, I see the parents sitting on the verandah. Oops. Maybe they wanted to meet us? MOTH didn't see them at all until he'd driven off but he's not going back. Besides, Teen never said come in and meet them *her usual thing*. I've sent a text to Teen to apologise. Apparently they had wanted to meet us! Whoops!

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Still no hot water. Modern tech has spoiled us. I have decided that I detest washing up when I have to boil the jug to get hot water. Aaahhhh who am I trying to kid? I hate it anyway!

Monday, December 12, 2011

An Affair To Remember

Secret Santa at work this week. For the ITS Christmas party. I have no idea who the person I've been allocated is, but some research via the organiser revealed to me that he likes the old Hollywood classics. Managed to find one within the allocated budget too!

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I'm walking up the foot path and just about to enter my front yard when I spot a movement out of the corner of my eye. A brush turkey chick is in my front garden! Luckily it's only a chick - I'd hate to think of the damage an adult could do to my retaining wall. Here's one someone has prepared earlier....
I move slowly and follow it around the garden for a bit. I like to see what they are doing. Suddenly it takes off for the higher branches of the shrub. Oh yes, I'd forgotten they can fly. *these chicks are fully self sufficient from hatching and can fly within hours*

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I'm heading for the bus stop just down the road. The day is a little grey but hasn't reached drop dead humidity yet. As I pass beneath the shrub/tree/whatever that hangs over the path, I hear the wrens beautiful song. I pause but I can't see them. *easy to miss a patch of bright blue in among dark green right?* Now I know that summer is definitely here.

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I'm in the city and staring out the bus window at nothing in particular. I watch a tall, well shaped young man who seems to be talking to a youth walking at his side. They are dressed similarly, although the youth has sleeves on his white shirt and the man does not.

Suddenly they pause and the man lifts the youth to a standing position on his shoulders and they continue to walk down the street and cross the road!

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For something different I take the train. A woman gets on and the first thing I see is her trainers. The most amazing trainers I have ever seen! Purple! Yellow! Pink! Green! All washed together like a very shiny oil slick.

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There are bike lanes on some of the roads along the bus route. I think they should never have been put there. The road is narrow and the bus can barely fit by the parked cars. Usually the cyclists keep going while the bus slows to a crawl. There isn't any room to pass the cyclist as they continue their slow and sometimes wobbly way up the hill.

Today the cyclist pulls over and lets the bus past.

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The work Christmas party is this week. I need to get a present to contribute to the Secret Santa. I RSVP'd in the affirmative and would decide on the day how much time I had and if I would go. But hey! Secret Santa and now I feel obliged to attend.

So. ITS is a big place with over 200 employees. I have no idea who the chappie I have drawn is. The organiser is helpful and tells me some information. I'm not certain though how I can get something he might like on a budget of $5. I know they say these things are supposed to be fun but I really can't stand the thought of giving someone something cheap and of no use at all. Or getting one in return either.

I am looking to do a couple of things while out and I look to see if I can find a Sanity music store that's close. There are a couple and we decide to head for one of the shopping centres we've not been to for ages as it is likely to be less busy than the bigger ones. Parking at some of them can be a hassle this time of year!

No parking problems and in we go. Oooh, look, at BWS. Let's see if they have the apple cider I'm looking for. Yes! They do! I don't have to head out of our way to find the nominated supplier after all. We find Sanity and look about.

An Affair to Remember. Is that one of the blockbusters? Too bad, it should be. It has Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr in it. Good enough. And bonus? It's $4.99.

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The Teen is flying in tonight. It's been storming briefly but her plane is delayed. She's a bit worried, hoping it won't be grounded. They'll text when they board. And that works for me. MOTH has decided we'd leave at 7:15pm. I let him know the plane is delayed and they'll text when they board. Ok. And we leave at 7:15 anyway.

A forty minute or longer wait for us at the airport. I ask if he wants to go upstairs and get a drink. No. I'm a bit ansty but he's determined he doesn't want to go through security. Being a little familiar with the layout of the terminal, I know where I want to go but he wanders aimlessly *i detest aimless. unless it's me* around the Qantas end of the terminal. The only place we can wait is near the baggage carousels. We wait. The plane is still almost 15 minutes overdue. Luckily, Teen is paying for the parking. Again...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Another week.

I cried this morning. On the bus. On the way to work.

As the bus pulled into the tunnel toward terminus, I could see the ambulance and police working desperately, administering CPR to a man lying on the ground. I could see him. I could see them working hard to revive him. I had to walk past a few minutes later to get to my next stop. They were still working.

I don't know this man. I don't know his family and yet ... it was devastating. Totally.

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Harvey Norman VIP night. I RSVP'd for MOTH and invited myself as well. The crowds were rolling in by 6pm for the opening. A crush through the door and we were in. I steeled myself for much pushing and shoving and people just throwing goods at themselves but the crowd is well behaved.

MOTH and I weren't sure what we would get but it was fun just wandering around looking at things. The kitchen showroom is working as they prepare hot nibblies for the customers. The line is very long and although we are up the front it becomes a free for all when the food is released from the oven. I manage to grab two small portions of a sausage roll and usher ourselves from the crush.

MOTH has been looking for an electric shaver as normal razors and blades are way too expensive these days. He can get one or two shaves from each blade and at something like $20.00 for the razor and the same again for four blades the shaver might be better value!

We eventually find one. Originally priced at $108 and reduced to $58. Half hour wait in line and we're out.

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We start to think about the work Christmas lunch. I don't know where the tales of wild office parties come from but they certainly don't originate here. Not even for the whole department, let alone just our section.

No one has started coordinating it yet. Time is running out and venues will be thin on the ground at this time of year. No decision is made by the end of the week.

Possibly even the date is flexible. I'm not going to run it down; I'm quite happy to let it go this year. It means finding a way to get to the venue, chasing up stragglers, coordinating menus, fighting the whole split the bill thing. I really hate that whole idea. It seems to be becoming the norm and socially acceptable but I really really balk at subsidising someone else's lunch.

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There is a possibility the office may be moving. The building is scheduled to be refurbished and all occupants will need to find alternative accommodation. Our lot seems to be pushed to another old, mostly defunct campus. It's not close to civilisation and certainly not close to food. We go out for an inspection of the site. Admin2 and I seem to be alright with where we are slated to go within the new office surrounds.

GM won't let us have the staging area we want though. He's very stubborn about this. We have permission to use the boardroom for such things. However, we didn't seem to be able to get the idea across that although we only do these things once or twice a year, it takes several days to complete the job. How can we leave things all over the boardroom table for a week or two if people want to use it for a meeting? He flat refuses to back down.

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The Christmas function for the travel bookers is on this week. I've not been to any of their Christmas parties before. Admin2 isn't going and neither is my boss. I arrive in good time, get my name tag and my bright orange you're-allowed-in-here band. I'm greeted by one of the Campus Travel staff who settles me in with a glass of wine.

Eventually a face I know appears. She has a guest in tow. We sit down and begin with the glasses of wine and the chatting. It's raining tonight but the verandah is covered. Eventually some food comes out. It's become so busy that I am more or less trapped in my seat as everyone stands around me. I miss out on that tray of food. Eventually I have to go and track down a waitress to get something to eat. Great. Pad thai. A vegetarian meal. By the end of the evening I've managed about 5 glasses of wine but only two meals. Both pad thai.

There are prize draws, some smaller some larger. The guest wins a trip to New Zealand. Not bad for a tag along!

Too much wine and not enough food when you don't drink much isn't a great combination. I call MOTH to collect me. It's a long drive and I don't want to face an hour on the bus. He's totally wonderful and comes to my rescue. I have to stop off and get something to eat on the way home.

Straight home and tumble straight into bed.

MOTH tells me next day that he thought I did ok. I didn't look or act drunk. I'm sure I was. I was pretty impressed with myself for making it down the stairs to go find the car without falling over or staggering much.

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Christmas gift shopping today. I have finally decided what to get some of them so I have to research which shopping centre is going to have all three stores I need. The closest one is further away than we normally go. It's been a while since our last trip there so I'm looking forward to the change of scenery.

Everything is done, now I just have to wrap and post. That's the annoying part now that we are scattered to the four winds. And finding something nice that is small enough to post!

The budget is much leaner this year *long gone are the days when a $50 present for the kids was done without thought!* but I've managed to come in under.

Ma keeps pressing me to do vouchers. Vouchers are fine but I'd much rather buy a cheap present that looks expensive than let people know just how cheap I really am. Heh.

Really I MUST start earlier next year. Too bad if I have to let a bill slide for a while...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday-itis

Another week and as the stores continually like to remind us, Christmas is drawing near and it's time to spend up big!

Which really annoys me cause I'm never prepared for Christmas. There is always too much year left over at the end of my budget.

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The lease on the house is due for renewal just prior to Christmas. I don't know quite how we managed that but yes, we moved on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago.

MOTH asked what we wanted to do. The rent is expensive *it takes almost half my wage each fortnight* but I really love the location of the house and moving is such a huge huge task. We decide to take the lease for another 12 months. I think we might like to take longer but they no longer allow leases to extend beyond 12 months.

The landlord has decided to rent again at the same price which means no rent increase and I don't have to find the extra bond money just before Christmas. Whoo!

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Christmas shopping has barely begun. Funds are short as always and I just can't seem to get organised to begin earlier in the year. I have managed to get gifts for Elder and the Teen *heaven knows what she shall be named next year. she's no longer a teen then* and one for my nephew. Just two nieces, two siblings and one partner, two parents to go. My wallet is weeping just thinking about it.

Nephew's present arrived from the USA with astonishing speed. Order place night 1; parcel delivered day 4. Very fast service!

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Elder has decided to give MOTH and I an early Christmas present. We have cable tv *foxtel here in oz* set up in MOTH's room. She is paying for an extra box to go in my room. Yay! Foxtel confirms that the tech will arrive on Saturday somewhere between 10am and 2pm.

I vacuum the floor. The tech has to have somewhere clean to work! There is so much cat hair trapped in the carpet. Elder phones early Saturday morning. The tech has phoned to say he'll be on his way. It's 8.45am.

He arrives not long after. Tech works quickly and gets the box installed. Fortunately there was an existing point in the wall so no extra drilling etc is required. He replaces the outlet with one that needs to be earthed. The new box is standard which means I don't have IQ so can't pause, rewind or record. That's disappointing but I can live with it.

He's hooked the box to the tv and it goes through the surround sound. Sweet. He climbs to the roof and adjusts the dish so the signal is 'perfect' *MOTH's words* and he recables MOTH's so that his too goes through the surround. MOTH is totally wrapt and says that he is very, very impressed with the tech.

The day is spent watching the box.

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Sunny and his friend pop round for a visit and to introduce their latest family member. Her name is Spirit.

She is a very tiny 10 week old ragdoll kitten.

Jerome and Sheldon weren't so impressed. I wonder if this is the first time Sheldon has seen a cat other than his litter mates and Jerome. I don't know his history.

She doesn't see them at first but they surely see her! When she does see them, she arches her back. Jerome hisses at her then leaves the room. Sheldon hangs around, watching like a hawk and growling occasionally. I'm a little worried he might try to beat on her but although he's very tense he keeps his distance.

As the boys leave, she begins to meow; a tiny little barely audible squeak. So little! Shame they grow up really...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh Lordy!

I realised this morning that it's November 21. Where did this year go?

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I'm staring out the bus window at the River. It's brown as usual and I wonder if both it and the Fitzroy flow upside down. But look! There's a kayak on the river. I sometimes see rowers but this is the first time I've seen a kayak. And it's bright yellow so a little more difficult for the Cats to run over!

Unless you're MOTH of course. Then wearing a bright yellow polo and being on a pedestrian crossing is not enough to save you from being bumped/hit by a car driven by a woman using a mobile phone.

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One of the GTs tells me he has a new wallet. He tells me it's a bad mofo and pulls it from his pocket and shows me. It's a Bad M'F*ker Wallet. Totally awesome. We laugh about it and trawl through YouTube for the appropriate scene from the movie. If you have seen Pulp Fiction you will know what I'm talkin' bout.

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I get on a different bus this morning and I'm first on. Excluding the driver and his escort that is. He must be learning a new route. We get to a stop with a woman and a toddler and a pram. I'm not paying attention until I hear the driver calling out. I look and the escort is out of the bus trying to fold the pram while the driver shouts instructions from the driver's seat. He laughs. Ask me about that he says and I'm fine. Ask me about anything else and I haven't got a clue!

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I'm staring out the bus window at the River *de ja vu anyone* and I see a 'flock' of cyclists on the path below. One leads and the other two follow. Odd. They are all dressed the same. I don't often see that. Oh wait. They're police. On cycles. No wonder they look the same!

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I book travel for staff at work as part of my job. I book for the managers and occasionally for other staff; very very rarely for Admin2 or myself. Prior to the new service that is part of my task we never traveled beyond our own conference.

As a travel booker, I make sure that I get to attend all the information sessions/morning tea events that the travel agent has. Most of the time Admin2 comes with me but just lately I made the mistake of inviting my supervisor and now she is on the invite list. Personally I get a little peeved because I regard these little outings as a reward for a stressful part of my job that goes unrecognised any other way.

This time one of the hotel chains that has a contract with the travel agent to service my employers travel requirements has just recently refurbished. We were invited to attend a viewing and a lunch. Brilliant! Supervisor was away so it was just Admin2 and I. She couldn't go on the day but I managed to find someone to take her place.

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Up to the room for a viewing of the King room. Drinks on arrival at the room while our second 'hostess' explained the refurbishment and fitout. The chain had conducted a survey of what guests wanted to see in a hotel. One of the things they found out was that with a vast majority of couples the woman sleeps on the right side of the bed with a soft pillow, men sleep on the left with a firm pillow. That is why the hotel rooms are set up with firm pillows on the left, soft on the right and the pillows are labelled for you.

They use a shower curtain that has been specially designed. The rail is curved. The curtain has a thinner fabric at the top to allow natural light in and a double layer so that one side goes outside the bath and the other inside. The inside bit can be ripped off and disposed of so you are getting a fresh curtain each time.

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Up to the conference area for lunch. This area is large and spacious but not anywhere near large enough for our conference requirements. Lunch is served after a small presentation from the hotel chain. I have chicken topped with brie on a pumpkin risotto. Delish! Dessert comes out as an alternate drop. I have the macadamia tart. I think I'd prefer the chocolate mousse but the tart turns out to be very good.
We get a lift back to work in a Suzuki Swift. I'm surprised that the head rests on the back seat are not flush with the seat. Even I would have to adjust it if I were to spend any time in the back seat!

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Time for a treat I think. Our local cinema offers members an occasional discount to a selected movie. This week it's The Three Musketeers. I think it should be good. Especially since the ticket is only $5.50.

The movie is a rollicking good adventure with well choreographed fight sequences, action played for over the top on occasion and the baddie gets his just desserts. Throw in a few good laughs and you have a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Titus Groan

Gormanghast. Brilliantly different. Although I've only seen the tv series. And not all of that either because something interfered with the recording and blew it all to bits. We're talking VHS here people!

I was thinking of this because I was groaning. Monday morning and all.

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I've mentioned that I was away booth minding for some of last week. It was good to be home but I didn't enjoy the flight as much as I might have. There was some turbulence due to cloud cover. And for the first time flying, my feet looked like balloons. I had to spend the entire flight flexing my ankles and calves and bouncing my heels up and down to keep it at bay.

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Checking in is much better when you know how to do it. And you have someone to travel with who has flown many times. And who also has access to Qantas Club and can get you in as a guest. Free food! And drinks!

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I decided to hell with the budget, let's do something different. Breakfast in the city with MOTH and the Teen. Topped up the go card and then tried to find a place to eat. We trudged past a couple of places and couldn't find something that appealed to all of us. Teen didn't want 'breakfast food'. We settled on Coffee Club. The big breakfast for him, shared nachos for us. Caramel cheesecake for me. Mugachino for him and mocha frappe for her.

The sun was shining, we were under shade and a light breeze came up from the river. Beautiful.

We cruised a couple of shops Teen wanted to look at. MOTH wasn't allowed to accompany us into one of them because he wasn't cool enough. I'm not sure what he thought but she had a huge grin. In we went and I looked at the stuff she pointed out - baseball and basketball jackets and caps and trendy shoes. Oh look, I say, that's got a nice design on it. She looked at me and hurried me past the shoe display. See what I did there? I slipped a little 'embarrassing dad' into the mix. She laughs.

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The Teen decides to fly home. Do you want me to come in with you, get you through to the Security point and nick off? Gosh no, I haven't flown by myself before so I want you to come with me. Oh. She offers to pay for parking *so not cheap!!* so we're set.

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Chattering in the car on the way to the airport. We have some time up our sleeves but the traffic is heavy and MOTH is beginning to worry. The flight departs at 3:40 pm. She has to check in an hour before she flies! Well, that's a good time but it's just a guide. They won't board before 2:20 or so, just as long as she checks in before then. Oh. He relaxes a little. Soooo, I say. Do you have your ticket? Silence. Then she bursts into tears. Oh dear .....

MOTH suddenly changes lanes. We don't have time to go back for it. We'll just have to hope that she can check in without it. I really need the reservation number. I investigate several options for checking in. After all, what good is an e-ticket if you still have to present the itinerary? Kind of defeats the purpose. After a while, she lets me know she has the receipt from the booking. It has the reservation number on it! We're set.

Check in at the kiosk and all is good. She can breathe a sigh of relief and we just have to get through security.

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The bag is through. Whoops. No it's not. Through again. It sits there and the chappie does nothing. Guess it's ok. The deodorant has to go back in. You can have it, says the Teen. No point, says I. I've not got anything to put it in. But I won't be able to zip the bag again. I roll my eyes and put the can back in the bag. Zip it up and the woman with the explosives wand calls us over and we have to unzip the bag again.

Sheesh!

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I'm up early. Haven't played WoW all week and I want to catch up a little.

MOTH mows the back lawn. It's a rough job because it's uneven and the grass is patchy. The side lawn has already been done.

MOTH mows the front lawn. It takes about 5 minutes. It's a very small patch of grass that!

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Over to visit Bestie and her hubby. He's been in hospital to remove a small piece of disc that has been pressing on a nerve in his back. It's far easier to visit at home than in the wards. Morning tea is the go. A cheese platter and dips.

It's a half hour drive over, and we visit for an hour and a half. Or something like that. Don't want to tire the old boy out!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The odd photo


The bath/shower/spa that was so narrow one end that I could _just_ sit down...


Inside the Elephant and the Wheelbarrow. The ceiling is a stained glass pattern but I couldn't get a good photo...


The Gold/Silver sponsor area. We were exhibition sponsors so tucked away in a different room...


In the city, see the tram go by...


Pellegrini's! This place is apparently a local institution. A long narrow shop where you order Italian and sit on stools at the counter to eat. It was full so we were shown to a communal table in the kitchen...


My dinner on the table in the kitchen. A little bland, but hearty. The granita made up for that, as did the view while he ate his meal and chattered away in Italian to the woman who was cooking...


The foyer decoration of the conference venue. I'm looking at it from the balcony on Floor 1...


The departure gate at the airport on my way out. Telstra sponsor this area. Chairs, coffee and lots of signs. Possibly wifi too but I was busy reading...


Visitors! ...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I'm late! To update my blog!

I usually update on a Monday, but this one has been a little busy!

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A sad day. A very sad day. There is a construction site across from us. One of the workers was fatally injured. I heard nothing and only found out that something was amiss when one of the GTs mentioned that the Ambulance and Fire Brigade were in attendance. I hoped the man would make it, but it was not to be.

The television has only just begun running advertisements for Safety Week. I cannot imagine kissing MOTH goodbye for an ordinary work day then not having him return. I cannot.

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First on the bus this morning! Yay. One of the regular routes is running a more frequent service. I usually choose not to ride this one - waaaaay too many school kids. But I bite the bullet and jump on. Hardly any kids on this route today.

I sit on the left side of the bus. The next series of passengers also sit on the same side of the bus. How interesting would the bus ride be if everyone sat on the same side? Would we tip over, or at the very least, lean heavily to that side? Hmmmm. These things keep me occupied until others get on and the load evens out.

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I'm taking my regular route home and day dreaming as I walk down the stairs to the railway platform. A face drifts past in the crowd and I think he looks familiar, but no, it couldn't be.

Sol! he says and Yes! It IS him! Richard, from my old town; someone I haven't seen for some considerable years. He still lives there and the chances of a random meeting on a train platform are slim. My train isn't due for another ten to twelve minutes so we chat while I wait.

It was really really good to see him.

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The Elder and the Teen return home; Elder to collect some belongings, the Teen for a visit. Elder has brought her latest with her, a shy quiet young fellow I'll name Burrich. He's younger than she *why do my kids always pick younger ones???* but I guess that's alright. He has a job, is quiet and polite and doesn't seem to spend his time with cars, booze and parties like a lot of them. Teen really likes him too so I guess he can't be bad.

They arrive fairly late Friday night and Elder and Burrich plan to leave early Monday morning.

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I am in a different capital city for work. Boring, boring stuff being a Booth Bunny at a conference. I did get to spend one day with the girls before I had to leave though.

Taxi to the airport and we went the toll way. >$100 later! Glad work has provided cab vouchers! Check in at the airport has changed somewhat and I am a little stressed. I've not flown without another workmate before and it was several years ago so I'm feeling a little lost. The flight wasn't bad in spite of a heap of kids on the plane and I spend the flight reading.

Check into the hotel and the buggers have swiped my credit card for $100. So. Card now overdrawn and any money I had planned to spend for meals etc the conference didn't provide now also gone. Stupid, stupid, stupid hotel policy. How would it work if you went into a department store and they swiped $100 on a card 'in case' you purchased something? It just wouldn't go over so why do we let Hotels get away with it??

The GT I am here with and I decide to ride the tram into town. Fun trying to get the ticket on the tram. I'm surprised how dirty and vandalised it is. I can barely bring myself to sit on the seat *i have this thing about upholstery* but the ride is interesting. We walk the streets for a little while before returning to the hotel. The return tram is newer, in much better condition.

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Dinner in the city, having been joined by another workmate. We choose Pellegrini's. Atmosphere galore! Plain, hearty Italian fare. But the place is full and we are shown to a communal table in the kitchen. Brilliant! We are served what seems to be a watermelon granita for drinks with dinner and I eat while I watch the woman prepare meals. She is very fast. I have a photo but no way to upload it at present. I'll add it later.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday morning confusion

The ducks finally hit the water on the weekend, but not without a small amount of drama. Someone decided to set the $10,000 duck free and it was found floating some hundred of metres downriver. He was brought back home, the race launched, the PA Research Foundation raised a bucket, and someone lucky won a car.

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I transit through the city in the mornings on my way to work. Not because I have to, but because I love the bustle and I don't have to fight students for a seat. I'm standing at the lights and the woman standing next to me is wearing a soft knit dress with a black bodice and striped skirt. It's about knee length, a little higher. And as my eyes travel down I see she is wearing black leggings .... and black socks. Teamed with lovely strappy silver sandals with a mid heel. Wtf?

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There's a man on the corner selling raffle tickets. I've not seen him for ages. He suffers from cerebral palsy and he's possibly very confronting for some. Most people seem to ignore him, some are downright rude. I just smile and shake my head. I do find that I am uncomfortable, even though any ticket seller makes me feel so. I wonder why this is.

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Daydreaming out the bus window when I catch sight of a sign in a little grassland area "Laughter Park". Laughter Park? What the heck? Oh wait ... it's Laugher Park ...

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The student who has been working in our office has finished his project and today will be his last day. I did not realise, thinking he would be here till the end of the year. He brought in a cake.

I pronounced it chocolatey and good.

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I know I take my chances but as a regular public transport user I still get really pissy when I get missed by the bus. I see it coming down the road. It's still a way back - is it the right number? Yes! It is. I hail the bus and dig in my bag for my pass. I look up. There is no blinker on. I signal again. Still no blinker. I SIGNAL AGAIN. WHAT, ARE YOU BLIND? I think there's still a small amount of room for the bus to pull in although it might actually come to a halt just beyond the designated stop. A last second wheel swing and the driver decides, nope, no room. He shrugs at me through the closed doors and continues driving down the road.

LOSER! Learn the stops on your route.... It's 20 minutes till the next bus.

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I can hear a lot of noise outside today. The office is on floor 3 but only 2 flights above ground. It turned out to be about 7 male students playing some form of handball on the concourse. Wow. I thought there was a crowd.

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There is a crow and a magpie, duking it out on the footpath. I don't know what started it and I wonder what will finish it. Which one would win? It's like asking if Jet Li fought Bruce Lee?

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I decide I'm going to treat myself to lunch, seeing as I actually have a couple dollars in my wallet. I decide on a sausage roll and front up to the bakery. They're dressed for Halloween. Yay. I'm served by a zombie. I try to make up my mind if I will take a photo. I chicken out and head back to the office. Froggy and Elder tell me I should have so I head back out.

Oh darn! They've decostumed and I can only photo these two.

Peter Pan had a lovely accent....

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I thought I would spend some dollars on an 'on demand' movie from Foxtel. It kept telling me I needed to have an active telephone line. I can't figure out what the heck it's talking about.

I grab a voucher for the local video store and go for a look. Dammit. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is all out. I find another instead and when I head to the counter I ask the girl if a copy has come in. It has so I grab it. Turns out to be cheaper than on demand anyway.

I'm glad I didn't see Battle in a cinema. Oh my good goodness, it would have been the wettest cinema ever! I tried so hard not to cry in places!

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And now for something completely different ... a photo of my flat black cat, Jerome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The duck

Yes, the duck is still there. I think about getting a photo but the bus is never stopped where it might be visible in a camera.

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I like catching the early bus during the spring/summer. Positively detest it in winter. In summer the sun is peeping over the highway and everything is cast with a golden glow. There is plenty of greenery beside the highway, open areas between the roads with grass and trees, or untamed bushland. This morning there are cockatoos ground feeding on one of the open spaces. That's something I don't get to see every day.

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The suburb down from mine seems to be growing at a rather phenomenal rate. New houses are springing up everywhere and I miss the odd glimpse of wallabies, peeping through the long grass at the bus as it goes past.

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I glance up as we head along the highway to the shopping centre a couple of suburbs over. The light pole swoops over in a graceful arc, artfully decorated by several galahs lined up and looking down.

I wonder what they are up to. If they were corellas, I would suspect they are 'bombing' unsuspecting cars.

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I applied for a position outside my current work unit. I found out yesterday I didn't get it.

Totally devastated as I think I would have done really well. I think I'm ready for new and exciting. I guess though that I should be thankful. I did make it as far as shortlisted for an interview. The lass who gave me the news told me I interviewed really well. Surprising because I thought I flubbed it.

The successful applicant has experience in a field *ok, so it was mentioned in the job description, but desirable not essential* relevant to the position that I don't. I imagine in fact that very few people would have this experience. I'm not quite certain how it would fit into the job aside from making people feel like they were dealing with another funeral director!

The position was Bequest Coordinator and oversees the Body Donor Program among other things. See. Interesting and exciting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fast lane? Ha!

A season of wild weather is upon us it seems.

Rain every so often, but this time it's full on. I'm tucked up safe in the office but MOTH is home to witness the fury. *think he told me he jumped once or twice* Thunder. Lightning. Some small hail. Rain. He tells me the rain was dumping down and the wind was blowing so hard it was virtually horizontal. Sheldon was a little tense, Jerome was totally relaxed and MOTH eventually found Freddy hiding as far back as he could under a shelf in the garage.

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The next day I can see lots of debris on the paths that show me where the water ran off. The waterfall in the creek is flowing well.

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Cruising along in the bus I see two mynah birds telling off a crow. They dive and swoop as the crow hops about, obviously frustrated. And cranky.

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The bus comes into the stops ready to let us off. There is a taxi in our designated stop dropping off a passenger. The driver sits and waits for a few minutes. Eventually he gets impatient and uses the horn. The taxi pulls out.

Stupid taxi. The rank is about 50 metres down the hill. If that.

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It's going to be a noisy week. The floor above is scheduled to be refurbished and demolition is due to start soon. Or ... this week. It sounds like it's directly above. The refurbishment is supposed to take some time. Hopefully it doesn't become too unbearable. *but then again, it might be a good excuse to work from home if it does*

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I've been feeling a bit off colour lately and so very very tired. I've a little windfall *elder paid me back. i should bank it but it might be put to a better use instead* so I might treat myself to a very rare bout of retail therapy. Maybe if I dress up for work I might feel a little better.

I seem to have only one pair of work shoes these days. The sketchers are for winter and the style doesn't suit all my clothes. MOTH picks me up from work and we stop off on the way home. I've seen a pair of shoes the other day that look interesting and for a bargain price. They're still there! And WHOO FRIKKIN HOO! My size. I might get a second pair - dressier ones. And a couple of steps away, there they are.



That hasn't taken long at all. And only $40 down. I usually can't make decisions when I buy shoes. Too many to choose from.

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Off to visit Butterfly Garden to catch up with her and my sibling Froggy. Have to do something to kill time while waiting for the plane, right?

Butterfly and I have not seen each other for many, many years. She hasn't changed much. Got to meet her other half for the first time.

It was after lunch so we ate cake and drank cold softdrink. And talked a lot.

MOTH very generously let me drive home and we made it. The sky is getting dark and I didn't get lost *in spite of Karen's best efforts* and we're indoors safe and sound before the storm hits.

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My wardrobe needs a new addition as well. I have no 'work' blouses. Plenty of polos, t-shirts and other knit tops. But only one button blouse. MOTH decides to come with me to shop. I warn him it will take ages. I can't buy anything off the shelf without trying it on first, and it takes a long time to find something that fits.

He's cool with that. Unlike a lot of blokes, he doesn't mind shopping.

We start at Kmart. We find ladies wear ... and they have a rack of blouses. Only about 2 racks though mind. But there at the front is a button blouse. In my size. It's the only one of my size. I go to try it on. It fits almost perfectly. I decide to buy because I know darn well that if I put it back to come back to later, it will be gone.

So, shopping done ... in about five minutes. Anticlimax!

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PS. That duck is STILL there............

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I've already posted for Sunday

So I'll just round up for the rest of the week.

Such as it is. I've only made 3 notes!

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We go past the River each morning on the way out to Campus. This morning I see there is a HUGE inflatable ducky on the water. A rubber ducky. He brings to mind the Ernie song. *starts humming rubber ducky you're the one* I'm not sure what it's there for. Maybe for the duck racing thing that happens every so often? It's a fund raising thing where they release thousands of numbered rubber duckies into the water. I think first across some line or another is the winner.

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It's still there today....

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I'm catching the bus home today. As opposed to the train. The driver stops in the middle of the busy street, right next to the taxi rank. One of the cabs has it's rear out in the traffic. Maybe the driver is upset because it's blocking the way.

He pops open the bus door and he and the taxi driver greet each other like old friends. They lean toward each other and shake hands through the bus door. A few words exchanged and we continue on.

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Jump on the bus from a slightly different stop this morning. I've come in by train. The driver waves us on and it's yahoo! A free ride this morning as it seems the card reader isn't working.

And I've just realised ... hope I remembered not to swipe off. But now I think on it, hopefully it wasn't working so I couldn't swipe off ...

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Thunder and lightening throw themselves around the sky this morning and I snuggle further under the doona. Luckily I don't have to get up. I lie there and listen to the storm; a song from Kenny Rogers begins to play in my head.

The intermittent storms continue through the day. MOTH heads out to the Village. I'm smart. I stay at home.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday morning. In pictures.

Played WoW...

Listened to music...

Ate breakfast...

Fed and watered the cats, changed their litter and broke up an argument...

Checked the rumpus room for tidy...

Fed and watered the dog...

Made a cup of milo. It went cold...

Put a load of washing on...

Cat 'helped' me make the bed...

Whinged about the neighbour's yappy dog...

Checked the dog blanket was on the way to dry. He put it out in the rain yesterday...

Did a poo run and debated tidying up the rest...

Pulled out some prickles. it's that time of year...

Brushed the dog...

Fetched Jerome the escaped feline...

Up to the Village...

Spoils...



And all before 11 am!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Back to the grind

A big week in some ways and yet not so big in others.

It's school holidays this week and I can't believe how quiet things get. Traffic thins out, foot traffic on campus is ... almost non existent. I think I like it.

It's spring. Of course. And the wildlife certainly know it. Zman and I walk past the lake on the way from the car park to the office. Wait. I hear cheeping. We pause and sure enough, the water fowl hatchlings are out of the nest and taking a dip in the water. Zman is rapt and swears he's never seem them quite that little before. We watch them for a few minutes before continuing.

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The mynah birds are a little active. There are a couple of them on the ground. Oh no! They are babies! They must have jumped from the nest. Their flight feathers aren't developed enough for them to get back up. Mamma and Pappa are still hanging around and it looks like they are trying to lift them on their backs to get them to the nest. It's really not possible as they seem to be nesting in a gum tree. Not sure what to do but leave them there.

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I am just waiting for the ducklings to start appearing. One wood duck pair seem to have a huge clutch of little ones in tow each year but so far I've not yet seen them.

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We park in the undercover park and Zman goes to lock the car. He can't find the keys. It has a push button start and no actual ignition. The car still starts so he assumes that the proximity key must be around somewhere. We look under the seats. Check his bag. Check my bag. The glove box. The back seat. The boot. Under the front seats. No go. He can't find them anywhere and comes to the conclusion the proximity probably only works after the car has been locked. Or something. The only option is to go back home and see if they are there. I go to work, Zman heads back home.

I get a text about half hour later. Yep, they were on the kitchen bench.

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If Zman finishes his tasks, it's his last week at work. Next week will be leave then he moves on to a new job. It means I go back to catching the bus or train everyday. It also means I have to find extra money for the fares. Zman drives me to work each day in exchange for $20 a week, and I kept a little for the 'go card' *electronic ticketing for public transport* in case of emergencies. Just lately he hasn't been doing French lessons so I've not even needed the emergency money. Now I have to go back to spending $50 a week on public transport. *shakes fist in his general direction* How dare he!

Actually, I'm happy for him and wish him well in the new job.

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His going away lunch is at Montezumas. Mexican obviously. I've only dined there once before and enjoyed it. He tells me to have the Mole something or other. Chicken in a chocolate sauce. I'm game. It turns out to be a chicken maryland, covered in a thick almost gravy like sauce. It has chocolate, but also herbs and other things as well so it's not like pouring topping on the thing. The bed of rice is spicy and the coconut coated banana and pineapple ring lend a lovely touch. I really enjoyed it.

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We've done the collection for his present. Admin 2 isn't sure we have what we need to get what he wants *the star wars boxed set on blu ray* but another workmate volunteers to contribute extra toward the difference. I put in my contribution and count the money. I count it again. What the heck is she talking about? No extra needed; there's enough and a little extra. I get the job of buying the present. I don't mind cause it means I get picked up from work. Whoo!

Wrapping it presents a small problem. I decide that plain brown paper and string will work. *bursts into song, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of his favourite things* Sheldon tries to help. By batting the very curly paper and eating the string.

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The present goes down really really well. He knows how much it cost and is really stunned that people were that generous.

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Here's a photo or two of the lake we walk *sigh. walked* past each morning.....


Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh yes, I knew I forgot something....

I boiled the jug to wash my mug and make a coffee. And I have not.

A very quiet week while I've been off. Haven't really gone anywhere. I've been sleeping a lot. Up at 6am, dozing by 10 am and then an hour minimum again in the afternoon. And back to bed again by 10pm but usually earlier.

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An adjustment to my medication left me feeling alright the first three days or so but lightheaded on day four. It's gradually worn off over the rest of the week. But I am still tired enough to drop off at a moment's notice. Narcolepsy, here I come.

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Froggy has been busy at work so we haven't had a chance to chat much. Which works out well I'm supposing since I would have been asleep for most of it.

She will be coming for a very quick visit next weekend so in the course of conversation I asked if she was bringing pillows. Nope. Dang. Going to have to do something about that.

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Off to Target to investigate their specials. Buy a single pillow and get the second for $5. Excellent timing, thank you Target. I dash out and buy two pillows. Now the bed looks complete.

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I remake Elder's bed while she is away. Chances are high that she will not be returning except for a weekend dash to pick up some belongings and possibly Fred. She has been living at home since March and only managed to grab 2 or maybe 3 job interviews. She goes away for the weekend and manages 4 job interviews and 4 job offers. Now she needs to decide which one/s she wants. None of them are full time I believe.

The bed is a mammoth task. I can't move the bed and it's close to the wall. It feels like it takes almost an hour to get it done, and after that, I'm done for the rest of the day.

----------------------------

I settle in to watch something on the Crime Investigation channel. Foxtel or cable if you will. But when it comes on, the tv is set to ABC. I don't know why. A program is on that catches my attention. It is The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, based on books by Alexander McCall Smith. I've read some of them and really like them. An hour and a half later it finishes and I'm still watching it.

Sunday night's crime didn't get a look in this week.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Has it really been a week?

Has it really been a week since Elder finished the course? Wow. That's hard to believe.

Back to riding with Zman this week. He's finished his holidays and is back to work.

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A new team mate is making things difficult. One of the GTs has become the back up person for one of my tasks. Which would be fine but he spends way too much time checking up on what I'm doing instead of leaving me to get on with it. Admin 2 and I have come to the conclusion he thinks he's being helpful but ye gods, I just wish he would leave me to get on with it.

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Zman handed in his notice today. Sigh. Guess that means going back to the bus each day. Or maybe the train. Which in a good way might give me a little fodder to write with here. A lot more expensive as I don't get off easy with just a little for emergency bus rides and $20 a week for Zman.

I think he finishes up in a week or two. He tells me the GM hasn't spoken to him much since he resigned. Which doesn't surprise me really.

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We see a lot of army vehicles cruise past on their way out to the range. This morning there are some troop carriers. Zman and I think they are. Not long after there follows some different types of vehicles. Mobile antenna farms complete with helmeted personnel with heads out through the hatches. I haven't seen many of those pass by before!

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Appointment with the doctor to follow up blood test results. Iron is still very low although not yet at the point of deficient. At this point she's happy to keep up with supplements instead of another round of injections. *breaths sigh of relief* I am still so very very tired though. It could be a number of things. One possible scenario is that I am too stressed at work and it is bringing me down. *sorry froggy! i know you are too* I have next week off work, and a change in my blood pressure medication.

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An email to my supervisor lets her know what's going on, along with a request to review my workload when I get back. I did take on the new task *which i have been told several times that everyone appreciates immensely* but only because my other work *organising travel* would decrease. Which has definitely not been the case!

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MOTH picked up his laptop late this week. Finally. I have my mac back. *grin and happy dance* My regular WoW toon's guild has missed me it seems. I have a 19" flat screen monitor on loan from work and we buy him a keyboard to go with it. He's very happy with his new set up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Better late than never

Or not. Cause your world relies on what I write. Ahem. It does you know.

Another week of catching the train. Being ready by 06:45 each morning is a bit of a drag but I like the whole getting in to work early.

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I see a workmate *same floor, different department* on the train. She drives from several suburbs away to catch the train from my stop. The station is better. She wants to chat a bit. I don't. But I'm polite like that. Luckily once we are under way properly she goes back to her book.

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Elder and I ride the same carriage. And chatter a lot. She's only sharing till the next station and it's sort of boring after that. I often travel past where I should detrain because I like travelling on the train. It also means I don't get to work as quite as early. I love being in the city in the early morning rush. I would like it much better if I could sit at one of the restaurants and have breakfast while everyone else rushes past.

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Zman is back to work next week so I'm enjoying going back to public transport this week. So much more expensive but I really do enjoy it. Am I totally strange?

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It's an office clean up day on Thursday. Everyone is supposed to put aside their work and just clean up. I know this is going to take more than one day. How can it not? The office is a total junkyard and part way through the day I wonder if it is any better than it was.

I spend most of my time going up and down the stairs as I carry stuff out to the recycling bin. There is a big skip for cardboard waste at the front of the building. It all has to be flattened before going in and this seems to have fallen to me. I can only carry a small amount at a time so I alternate between stairs and lift, depending on the size of the flattened boxes.

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Totally down with a headache today. Must have been too much dust and things yesterday. Sore hands and a swollen ankle to match. I knew cleaning was no good for me!

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Elder's last course day this week. She's stoked. She has to drop in some paperwork to be sent off in the morning then head off to the last of her class. She's done and dusted and full of future plans.

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While waiting to collect her I play with the camera on the phone and take a pic of a building across the road. I crop it and I think it looks pretty good considering it's only on a phone.


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Leaning on the railing and a car stops at the lights on the corner. The bass is so loud I can feel it vibrating the railing I'm leaning on.

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I think I'll do Indian for dinner tonight. Korma *sorry from a jar* chicken with some rice and bread. Something that looks like a tortilla, but has a completely different name. Followed by gajar halva for dessert. I make the halva early afternoon and put it in oversized coffee mugs for serving. There isn't much left over! It is made with grated carrots, milk, evaporated milk and cardamon pods. It has a caramel like taste and is great served with vanilla icecream.

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A little cooler today. I need to wash my hair but I'm too cold to get in the shower. Washing needs to be done too. Nah. It can wait. I shower after lunch when the weather is a bit warmer. The washing doesn't get done at all. Brilliant day.

Monday, September 05, 2011

I miss my hols!

Nothing of note this week.

Well, not much.

Zman is on holiday so I have been catching the train to and from work. This works well because Elder is doing a 2 week course so we leave home early enough to get an undercover park at the station. An accomplishment I must say. By the time a person arrives an hour later, you are lucky to find a spare space in any of the carparks.

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I'm the first in the office this week and I like the quiet. It's usually about 20 minutes before the next person comes in.

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Two follically challenged chaps got off the bus at the same stop. I'm pretty certain they weren't related but as they walked by the bus window, they looked so similar as to be very closely related.

It made me look at other chappies and I wonder if certain face shapes are the ones to go naturally bald?

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Two young men in full Arab dress are on the train home. They get off at a most unlikely railway station. It's the first time I can recall seeing something like this outside TV or the airport. I wonder where they are going and what's the occasion.

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Zman takes time out to come help MOTH with his laptop. It gets a rebuild. It's working much better now. The next day it dies again. Perhaps it's the hard drive. Meantime, he's taken over my Mac. Can't live without his Facebook!

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An invitation to Riverfire arrives from Bestie. I'm not feeling like leaving the house so I decline. Elder is out most of the day, MOTH plops himself in front of the computer. I am reading a book. An actual paper copy. It's slow going - the story is good and I love this author but my appetite for reading has lost of some of its edge. The author is Neal Asher, his genre is sci-fi. It just doesn't sound like sci-fi.

Roast pork is on the menu but it's still frozen when I put it into the oven. It's been sitting in the fridge to defrost since Thursday. It takes a little longer but I manage to cook it without burning it or drying it out.

Riverfire is on the TV in the background but noone is paying much attention to it.

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Father's Day. I'm up at my usual time and everyone else is asleep. I relish the quiet. I'm not sparkling today and I flop out in the recliner to catch up on some recorded viewing that I've not watched for a while.

I call my father and chat for a while. MOTH makes it out of bed. I have made an agreement with Elder to let her sleep in till 9am.

MOTH doesn't eat breakfast but I make him a cup of coffee. I go to play WoW for a little while. An hour or so and I'm back off to the recliner. Interruptions are annoying me and I can't concentrate on the game.

I haven't presented MOTH with a gift today. He has his present already. A set top box. It's so very tiny compared to what I usually see in the shops. He's set it up several days ago and has been using it. It means he can now watch TV in his study with no outside noise or interruptions.

He's rearranged his room to suit and he's very happy.

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Elder flies into a panic. Comments begin to appear on Facebook on Sunny's page and offering condolences on hers. A young man has fatally fallen from a balcony last night. He has the same name as Sunny. She cannot contact him or his housemate by phone. We find out later Sunny is fine and she breathes a sigh of relief.

The young man's name hasn't yet been released and I wonder how the grapevine finds out these things so quickly.

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Wild Boys begins tonight. The shorts look interesting and I'm going to have a look. Fist ad break I head off for a shower. And change back into my jammies. Yep, I've been in them all day. Darn. I've missed quite a bit of the show.

Judah comes over to borrow my printer. We chat for a while. He gives me a lot of posters for my wall. And I miss most of Bones.

Dangit. I'm off to bed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday Friday Friday

Well done Elder for ruining a perfect record. I've managed to avoid that song since the beginning of the furor, then she plays it in my hearing while using her iPhone. Sigggghhhhh

This week has been a little quiet. Taking last week into consideration that is!

MOTH arrived back home on Wednesday. Elder joined me on campus so we could go together to meet him. I finished work early and we headed out. Turned out the train was half an hour late coming in, so we consoled ourselves with some KFC chippies and gravy while we waited.

We found him in the crowd and Elder arrived at his side first. He held up a finger and told her that I cam first. *nnnnaaawwww*

Off to collect the baggage and I couldn't determine which one was his. They all look the same these days! Ours has a tell tale difference but hadn't been placed on the carousel so that was visible. I had to wait for MOTH to claim it himself.

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This week I thought I'd try the whole shopping list app for the two major supermarkets. I think I like the Woollies one best, but it works for both of them. Each app has a built in scanner that uses the phone camera and you can scan bar codes to your shopping list. It adds the product from their database and hey presto! Shopping list. With images of the item even. It was actually a lot easier than trying to juggle a written list, pen and calculator.

You can also use it to check weekly specials and the Woolworths one can use the GPS locator in the phone to tailor the list to match the aisle layout of your 'local' store so each item is grouped according the the aisle they are in. So easy! Maybe the Coles one can do that too but alas, my local store is too new to be included in their database.

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Early finish on Friday again *wow. really short week this week. going to have to think about how to make up that lost time* as I head off for a doctor appointment. She has moved into new premises after the last one closed suddenly.

The new surgery is attached to a local shopping centre and is very much an upgrade on her old one! Although it was sad not to see the smiling faces of the girls at reception. She seemed very happy to see us. Elder, MOTH and I decided to all go at once since the new surgery is not located in our suburb.

MOTH also tells me that he thinks the QML (pathology lab) that was located next to the old surgery has also been closed. That is so very inconvenient. The nearest one now is located at the back of my suburb and will now be very very busy! My usual one I could turn up at 7.45 am for an 8.00 am start and get in to be seen in the first ten *no appointments, just take a number*. Handy when you have to do a fasting test!

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Saturday MOTH worked on Team Shitbox while Elder and I went out to pick up some things. It needed a water pump replaced. We dropped him off at the shops to get some scripts filled and walk home *yay for living 10mins walk away from everything!*.

We headed out to the really big shopping centre a couple of suburbs over. It does mean a bit of a drive and there is another large centre between home and that one. But no, the store she wanted to visit didn't have the necessary facilites in the closer centre.

Uh oh as we notice the flashing sign that says ACCIDENT! EXPECT DELAYS! Brilliant. The drive usually takes fifteen to twenty minutes. Today it takes us forty-five. Being nearly mid morning when we arrive I suspect that finding a park will be something of a task. It's not!

I help Elder spend her tax refund. There is a cute young bloke in the Smiggle store. Elder and I are looking at everything and start quoting memes. She wants to buy ALL the things. There's a giggle from the back of the store and the cute bloke comes asks if he can help her buy ALL the things.

She wants a new phone case. There is one she has her eye on that is very very similar to mine. I point her in a slightly different direction and ask the shop assistant how much. He tells and pulls the case out to show us. I touch it and not only are the red bits glittery, the black bits are FURRY! I point this out to her and she balks a little. But they're FURRY! You can't go past it! FURRY! The sales assistant is giggling; Elder grins at me and buys it.

It's really pouring when we get back out to the car park again. We head for the car and watch vehicles driving round and round trying to park. Someone pulls up close and I point down the road. The window pops down and the driver grins at us. He's happy for the park *timing!* and his grin is cheeky. We leave and join the crush. Except I'm trying to get out, not in.

Meanwhile, MOTH has not been having a great time with Team Shitbox. He managed to get the pump changed over but now it leaks like there's no tomorrow and he's managed to tear a hose to boot.

He's not happy. Never mind, the seal probably slipped is all.

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Sunday I let Elder sleep in till about 9.00 am. MOTH goes to the shops up the road and when he comes back, the two of them tackle the car together. There isn't as much swearing as I thought there would be. I guess as wife I get the privilege of bearing that when trying to assemble something with hubby!

I make them lunch *he comments that the leak seems to have been caused by the gasket slipping* and after they've cleaned up we head out to see if we can find a replacement for the torn hose. This hose is not rubber and seems to be made of wire and some papery substance. We get over to the shops and MOTH parks in front of Amart All Sports. What are we doing here? This is where we need to go isn't it? We shake our heads and it seems he's just a little confused and they don't sell car parts. There is a Supercheap in the same row just a little further down. That's where I meant to go! Elder and I shake our heads. We were chatting while he was driving. Can't do more than one thing at once!

They have something similar to what we need. We buy two - just in case. They don't seem very long but they aren't cheap either!

They work on the car again and all seems to be in place. Team Shitbox is now back under the tree where it belongs.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Time flies when you're having fun...

... so they tell me.

The Elder returned Monday afternoon. I had thoughts of going in to the station to meet her but decided I'd keep the train fare in case I could talk her into the Ekka. You know, a kind of spur of the moment thing.

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She didn't need much convincing! I don't like going to Ekka on People's Day. It used to be waaaay too busy. So we decided to tackled it on a Tuesday.

First stops, Animal Boulevard and the main arena to see what events were on.

We love to look at the baby animals and the horses and the cats and the dogs and the chickens and the animals! The poultry pavilion is incredibly noisy. Unfortunately, there were no puppies to look at when we went through that pavilion. Ah well.


The horse pavilion always has many fine examples of different breeds. Elder drools over Clydesdales. There is an interesting display of various modes of horse drawn transport.



Just for something different we decided to try the Woolworths Fresh Food pavilion. There was a cooking demonstration that The Elder wanted to look at. I've been to the Ekka many times but never stopped in there. WOW! It was amazing! Food. Glorious food! Cupcakes. German bakery. German sausages. Chilli. Wines. Seafood. Lebanese. Cheese. Dairy. Whoo! Finishing sauces and vinegars. We sample some things but spend a lot of time wandering.

Showbag pavilion of course. Ma had some orders so we went through. It was ... crowded. Of course.

We stayed for some of the night time entertainment and wondered at the many silly people trying to get into the grandstands with prams. There are no ramps only many stairs.

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Wednesday is a public holiday and we don't expect shops to be open. We took Fred for a walk up the road and 'cashed in' a winning Magnum stick. No winners this time. And I didn't share mine with Fred on the way home either.

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Thursday we spent out and about paying Elder's bills. I went to the library while she attend her Job Search network Thursday thing. Not much else went on except some housework. Wonderful stuff that, I can't get enough. *end sarcasm*

A parcel from Ma arrived. We didn't hear anything - Jerome began growling and walking toward the front door. Sure enough, the doorbell rang. Good watch-cat.

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Friday we're back out at the Ekka, catching up on all the pavilions we didn't get to see last time. And mostly to bring some extra cash with us to check out things at the Woolworths pavilion. We wandered spent more time there and wandered about really looking at things and taking free samples. Things we didn't do last time. We purchased a finishing vinegar with a black cherry flavour. It's very palatable, considering I don't like vinegar! It came with a free sample of white chocolate mousse. With a topping of some fairy floss that looked like wool and tasted wonderful. And the chilli stand was very well tested. We purchased a chilli/wasabi/mustard paste called double trouble. It's hotter than hot english.

We found the craft pavilion and I bought some delicious smelling soap. I gave Elder the one called Apple Jack *she has a thing for my little ponies* and it smells divinely of apple pie. Apples and cinnamon.

We checked the animal nursery and were just in time to witness the birth of a lamb. They have a special arena set up so that people can do just that.

We checked out the Agricultural pavilion and looked at the displays of fruits and veg. The winner of the biggest vegetable was a pumpkin of considerable size. There were hibiscus flowers and orchid displays. And a magic garden to boot.


We wandered through the dog pavilion and looked at the various breeds of dogs. Not an awful lot there - I suspect most of the showdogs had competed earlier in the week and gone home.

I decided not to stay for the night time entertainment that night. I wasn't dressed for the cold.

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Saturday was quiet and we made plans to go out for dinner. A friend works in a restaurant a suburb over and we've never been to Montezuma's before.

I wrapped Ma's showbags in the box she posted my parcel in. How considerate of her to send me a box that I could use. It's too late to post it now.

We had decided in advance what we would order but changed our minds when we got there. We shared a taco platter and a small bowl of salad and followed through with icecream topped with liqueur. Elder chose coconut rum and I chose Kahlua. Delish!

The place was bright and noisy, the service fast and extremely friendly. We'd been there an hour before we realised it. Our friend worked the bar and since we were seated close we got to chat with him occasionally while he made drinks. He was very busy!

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Sunday was recovery day as we wound down from the week. We spent a lot of time in front of the telly and napping.

All I have to do now is convince Elder to post that parcel...