Monday, April 23, 2012

Blogger has ... changed

Well, I'm sure they said it would but I am always slightly startled when the page looks different.

It's a bit of a pea-souper on the way to work today. I try to take a photo but I'm either getting no red lights or they change before I get the camera aimed. Why does that always happen? And how come it never looks as foggy in photos as it does in real life? Oh, my life's conundrums!

An invitation arrives in my inbox last week. To a cocktail evening at one of the hotel chains. I don't normally accept but this time I think I might. It has come from handing over my contact details while attending the travel expo last month. Was it last month? Or is the passage of time fogging my sense of life's direction? Ah well, no matter. I don't want to go by myself though. I've dismissed the idea of inviting Admin2. She wouldn't accept anyway. My supervisor, C has been ultra stressed lately so in the interests of self preservation I have asked her. It's on this week and I'm looking forward to it.

A taxi into the city and after waiting for C, we're away. As soon as we hit the venue door we are greeted by a very chirpy gentleman who escorts us inside to the sign in table. By the time I chat to the lass there, sort out my name badge and things, C has disappeared. I'm not worried 'cause I know exactly where she will be - at the drinks table. I find her there, we vote on bubbly, and meet some more very friendly Rendezvous staff. C and I stand together and are soon joined by other staff. They are all circulating and so very very friendly. C and I grab some nibblies from the circulating plates and gravitate to the outdoor area to admire the cityscape. We chat for a while then notice there seems to be a speech going on. The speech and prize draws over *i didn't win anything. hardly a surprise there* and everyone is directed outdoors. They have a surprise for us...

Everyone goes back inside for more food and drinks but C and I stay outside. It's a beautiful night. Soon we are joined by Roger, the bloke who greeted us at the door. He is from Christchurch and is very, very chatty. We sit and talk for ages. Something comes up about anniversaries and I mention I am looking for ideas for MOTH and I. *it's not till august but i want to begin examining my options* Soon C has to leave for another engagement and Stefan has joined us at table. Roger mentions to him about anniversary plans and Stefan offers some suggestions.

I think I've had about 4 glasses of bubbly by now. Roger asks if I want another, and talks me into trying a white wine. He leaves to get it and is gone for some little while. Stefan and I chat some more, with the occasion passerby stopping to chat to him. Roger returns - with a coffee. Gosh it's a great coffee. Not too hot. The crema is perfect and two sugars is just right. And absolutely no bitterness in the coffee at all, only flavour. PERFECT!

It's nearly 8pm and everyone has left *i'm still outside and didn't notice* and now the Rendezvous staff are all heading down to dinner. Roger, Stefan and I say our goodbyes and perhaps the bubbly has affected me more than I thought. I allow myself to be hugged and kissed before I head out to catch a taxi home.

A couple blocks walk and as I get to the rank I'm hoping that the lead is a silver service. Nope. Just an ordinary one. I get in and am very pleasantly surprised. It's a little worn but CLEAN! Very, very clean. Seat covers and all. I tell him when he drops me off that it was a pleasure to ride in such a clean cab. He seems pleased.

I have caught the bus directly to the office this morning, rather than to campus. I'll catch the shuttle over so I don't have to take extra stuff with me. I have arranged to collect something from another ITS staff member while I am there. I do my usual task then pop over to her office to collect the CD. We have a little time so we go to have a cup of tea and stand out on the balcony. Relaxing. I check the time; it's 11.26. Time to head for the shuttle. I get there and the driver is ready to depart and isn't looking he begins to close the door in my face. I knock, he opens it and says something cheeky. I look at the clock at the front of the shuttle. It says 11.30. Seems my time is a couple minutes slower than his!

The trip back is slow; there seems to be a car full of tourists out for a Sunday drive on a Thursday. They are doing 40km in a 60km zone and no passing opportunity. Up to a corner then suddenly decide which way to go. Swing really wide on the wide sections of the road but don't pull over. The shuttle driver is frustrated and shaking his head. There are a couple of comments from other passengers. But we get there.

Usually MOTH drops the scripts off at the chemist before joining the lads while he waits for it to be filled. I'm with him today and we've settled in the corner before he's gone by the chemist. After everyone has gone their separate ways we head to the chemist only to find there is a 25 minute wait. We're standing outside and for something different I decide to look in the bottle shop. I talk MOTH into coming with me. We're walking through and I see 3 bottles of wine I like. I ask MOTH if I can get one. He's feeling generous and tells me he hasn't quite blown the budget so yes, get one. I can't decide which one I want. Get two he says. REALLY? Yeah, why not. So despite the fact they are about $17 a bottle, I buy two.

One is cold so I put that one in the fridge and the other in the cupboard for another day.

I don't do much else on the weekend. I see in my email that Blizzard have offered me a spot as a beta tester for their new expansion pack. I'm excited because I think it will be a while before I can afford the expansion pack once it's released. I look at the specs. Ok, I need 10GB of free space. No problem there. I set to download and see that it is telling me I'm actually downloading 18GB of stuff. Whew. That's going to take ages! *maybe we are spoiled and think that ADSL is too slow? i'm not sure but ADSL+2 isn't available in our area so mighty downloads just seem to creep. glad we don't do dial up anymore!* I let it install overnight.

Alright! Ready to check this out. Everything is going fine until everyone else arrives to do the same quest at the same time. And people aren't waiting their turn and blocking the quest objective, a small brazier required to light a torch. Because you can see everyone else's character, imagine them all crowded around the brazier, six or seven deep and you can't click on the brazier because you can't see it. There are other questors trying to get people to back away so we can all have a turn in a multitude of languages *and being completely ignored*, people who are lining up to wait their turn, people who are completely disregarding the line and pushing around the brazier, and people spamming the chat trying to get a macro to work which clearly isn't. There are people complaining they've been at this for hours *it took me a couple* and the situation hasn't changed for them. The first time, I got to within a couple of the head of the line and everyone abandoned the line. I guess the line was rather futile since everyone was pushing in anyway. I tried again later but it was just the same. Eventually I got it completed using a mild 'cheat' from the first time I was there. I'd tried it then but couldn't get it to work because I wasn't fast enough. This time I must have been because I got the torch lit and I was away!

MOTH talked about purchasing some necessaries. I mentioned that I would like to purchase an ebook. Or a set of 4 novels for $27, otherwise it was $10 each. Volume 5, I said, was $14. Just do it, he says. Later that afternoon, I had forgotten and MOTH reminded me. Later again he came to me and said I may as well purchase Volume 5 as well. *falls off chair*

I shut the computer down and realised I hadn't made the purchase. I boot up again and do it. Oh my!

I have the iPad with me today - so much reading to catch up on!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back to the grind...

Holidays are over and it's back to work tomorrow. I've spent the whole week at home. Doing not much of anything. I swear if MOTH hadn't forced me out to the shops I would have never left the house.

Up to the local shopping centre. For no particular reason I think. We meet up with the old folks. I don't know if I've named them. John, Stanley, Wombat and occasionally K and S, the daughters. Today we arrive at the shops around 9am and it's nearly lunch time before the group breaks up. K is there today and I laugh a lot as she gives MOTH a hard time.

MOTH and I get an invitation to the movies to watch Titanic 3D. I appreciate the invite, but alas I shall be back at work when they go. MOTH helps them sort out the timing of the screening they want to attend while I merrily chatter to Stanley. I have seen the movie once, and that once was enough. I'm not keen enough to sit through it again, let alone in 3D.

I have spent the week off and on doing a spot of weeding in the garden. Mostly trying to thin the ferns that are choking out the gazebo. I don't dig them out, but pull them out a couple at a time. The garden bin is full and I have to stop to wait for it to be emptied. That won't happen till the end of the week. I look about, but I can't really see where I've managed to make a dent. Luckily it's been raining off and on all week so the soil is softer than usual.

One of the posters on my rumpus room wall has decided to release it's moorings. I don't really care and haven't really endeavoured to pick it up. Too late for salvage now - Jerome found it and has chewed a hole in it. It would have served me right if it were one of the ones I really wanted.

Splurged a bit this week and grabbed a couple of dollars to get some dvds. On a Tuesday, and all dvds are only $1.95 to hire. Gotta love cheap Tuesdays. If I timed it right, Tuesdays could mean heaps of dvds and $5 pizzas for dinner. Sounds like a plan for the future. Shame MOTH doesn't like pizza.

So. Puss in Boots. Funny! There's some adult humour thrown in there as well. They're getting better at it - imagine Humpty Dumpty in a gold lame suit, no underwear and complaining of chaffing.

The Priest. Some sort of post apocalyptic or futuristic setting? I'm not certain. A faction of the Priesthood have killed all the vampires, blind animalistic things with no resemblance to humanity in any form. The Church has disbanded the warrior priests and insist that vampires no longer exist.

Xmen: First Class. The prologue to the other movies. Pretty much to formula but I enjoyed it and a great time waster.

Gran Torino. Wow. If you haven't seen this one, get and see it. Wow. I did cry. Quite a bit.

A visit from Zman today to hand back the modem. I had to bribe him with fresh scones, but he did arrive. He stayed for about three hours, just chatting. And eating scones with jam and cream. It was good to catch up.

Time to install the modem today. Uh oh. The computer recognises it. The lights on the modem that need to be flashing are flashing. But there is no internet connection. I can't figure out what is wrong. Diagnostics aren't picking up any problems. I send Zman a text to let him know and ask if he had changed any of the settings. And plug the old modem back in again. Zman phones back late in the afternoon and talks me through some diagnostic things. All it does is confirm it's not working. He thinks there might be a problem with the DNS setting. Riiiiight.

I think maybe MOTH might want to phone Telstra tomorrow to sort it out. We plug the old modem back in again. But it doesn't seem to work. MOTH is despondent. I switch off my computer. Later I switch it back on but Airport doesn't seem to want to pick up the network. I turn it off and back on again. Eventually it picks up and all is good. I tell MOTH that he can use my computer. He can't get his to recognise the modem. I go to look. Switch it on and it's there. It works fine. I can open the browser and connect. MOTH is much happier.

I convince him to cook dinner this evening. Steak on the bbq. It's lovely and I've done the dishes. Time to kick back with a bit of Poriot tonight I think.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter chocolate time!

It's been a very quiet week. Happening wise. I've been slack on the notes front, so if you smell smoke it's me trying to remember what I've done this week.

Conference preparation is ramping up this week. Oddly enough - or perhaps not that oddly at all - work has employed a full time conference helper for the next three months. I have reminded the temp that if she has too much work to pass it to me. About 40 - 50% of my position description is conference stuff, but I think maybe my supervisor has forgotten that. Even though I ask every so often what she wants me to do.

Plenty annoying and bringing the serious job searching a little closer.

I've caught the bus this morning. It's not a long bus today, but I have managed to grab a couple of those. Yay! I always go right down the back. Each morning as we travel through the city we pass a Synagogue. Sometimes I have seen a gent outside wearing his yarmulke. This morning I see an Orthodox, complete with black suit, white shirt, broad brimmed black hat. The only thing he was missing was the long curly sideburns. I wonder what role he plays, if any.

Second to last stop and the driver calls something back to the passengers who aren't de-bussing. We all look at each other, as strangers do when they aren't sure what is going on. It turns out she is getting us to swipe our go cards at this stop as the reader is about to die. That's helpful of her as not swiping incurs a penalty of $5. A bit excessive when the trip is less than that. You can claim it back from Translink, but that's a bit of a convoluted process.

A short week this week because of Easter. Late night shopping on the usual day - Thursday - and the shopping centre is packed by the time we've finished. I finish work early because I start early so we have it over and done with by 6.30pm. Yay for our cleverness.

I think about making cupcakes, but only I would eat them so I don't think it's worth it. Maybe I will make them before I return to work next Monday? I'll think about it some more.

Easter Sunday dawns and I give MOTH his Easter present. A block of Coles milk chocolate. He thanks me and droops a little. I didn't get you anything for Easter. Never mind, I say. I got myself a block of Coles milk chocolate as well.

It's now Tuesday and I've just opened it today.... Who am I and what have I done with myself??

Monday, April 02, 2012

Crazy days

Some days, it just seems like every fool and his dog is loose on the road. Someone did a 3 point turn, just below the crest of a hill near the lights this morning. We had red so that must have meant he was crossing against the green? Some drivers have no idea.

Not like this driving school. Obviously they have some idea. Mostly about what they might be capable of. I wish I had had the time to take a photo. "Dang Driving School". Has a nice ring, don't you think?

It's a bus day today. I'm early. Almost too early. I've decided that I have worked my full day and see if I can catch a bus slightly earlier than 3.50pm. Sure I can. 3.12pm. I ask permission to leave at 3.00pm and I wait at the bus stop to go into the city to catch my bus home. One of the GTs sees me and crosses the road. He has an appointment and tells me he will give me a lift. Don't argue! he says. Okay, if you insist! So I'm in the city and waiting for my bus. Along comes a likely young lad, headphones on, using his shoulders and arms popping and locking along to whatever tune he's got on the 'phones. Assuming of course they are plugged into something! I notice people are giving him plenty of room.

I'm driving to work and I'm in the 'office' stretch. I can't call it home really. The shuttle bus goes by and I'm distracted long enough to glance at it. Eyes back to the road as I come around the bend and ... holy cow! There's a pedestrian!! She's crossed just around the bend and her clothing makes her blend into the background a little. She's made to the the other lane before I'm anywhere near her but geez! That was a little too close for me.

I'm coming home and I've hit the long smooth stretch. Some of the roads are shocking, but not this piece. There's a fire and rescue field services van. A tall white one. It crosses to the lane in front of me and I think nothing of it. It transitions out of my lane to make a right turn and HOLY CRAP! The ute directly in front of it which I could not see AT ALL is at a complete stop! I'm soooo glad that I don't tailgate! I didn't realise how much of my vision that van actually blocked. Luckily I am able to slow down without screeching brakes but had I been any closer to the van it might have turned out so different!

Exciting week on the road, eh?

The office refurbishment is nearly done. Only the swipe access on the internal door to activate and the removalists to come shift our stuff back to our floor. And then it's finished. Oh wait. The conference room has to be set up again and a whiteboard or two hung.

Friday! I leave for the day and I'm heading to my car when a truck pulls up outside the gate. Think nothing of it and get into my car. And the truck pulls into the driveway. It's collecting the skip and now I'm stuck till that's done and he leaves. That gate is one vehicle only access. Sigh.

Dang! I've missed the show I wanted to watch. I had been gearing up for it all month but at the last minute, completely forgot and watched Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Luckily for me, Foxtel replays things at regular intervals on most channels so I grab the guide and note it's on again the next morning. I settle in to watch Lynda LaPlante's Above Suspicion: The Red Dahlia. And I notice that all through this story line, the coppers and others all claim to have never heard of the Black Dahlia. Not playing this one for real, are they!

It's a quiet day today. It usually is, but I feel a little restless. I pace up the hall to talk to MOTH a few times. I make him lunch. I lean over the bathtub to open the window a little so Jerome can look out. I find myself clambering over the sides of the tub to pull the lace curtain down for a good soaking. The soaking water goes black quickly. Is it really that long since I washed curtains?

Curtains soak overnight and I put them through a wash cycle the next day. I put out some birdseed. MOTH goes up the street to purchase some things to have with dinner tonight. It's left over roast pork, sliced inch thick and charred on the bbq. MOTH asks me to make a butterscotch sponge pudding, a packet mix he bought a couple of shops ago. Go on, he says, it's a chance to give the mixer a go. Due to some trouble he has had with unauthorised transactions against his debit card his has been deactivated and I give him mine to purchase the goods. He comes back, shaking his head. He's only bought half the things he wanted. It didn't work. I was so embarrassed. You'll have to call the bank he says. It said 'contact bank'. Suddenly I'm hand to mouth. I've just realised I've given him the wrong PIN! No wonder it didn't work. Uh oh.

Luckily the card is only locked out for 24 hours.

Oh, my week has been so exciting!