Monday, August 26, 2013

Transmission baby!

I didn't end up dodging the germs. I've been hacking, coughing, and wheezing for the last week now. The sneezing has stopped but the coughing goes on.

The car needs a service. MOTH has done a list of the parts needed and we've gone to our preferred supplier to get pricing. Time comes to get them. MOTH thinks he'll get our local mechanic to do the work though. MOTH goes for a quick chat with him and the yard is full of vehicles. He must have a lot of work on. MOTH starts the work himself. It takes a while and he hasn't completed it by end of day.

Guess what, he says. I made a mistake. Oh? Yes, it seems I've emptied the wrong sump. The tale comes out. He completed the oil change, and started the car but it wouldn't reverse without effort. Suddenly the penny dropped and he realises he had drained the transmission fluid and topped up the oil. Without draining it. Oops.

We've picked up a lift to join the Club at the shops. Special K asks about the car trouble and I tell her that he'd drained the transmission fluid and realised he didn't have replacements. She's happy with that. I think MOTH may have mentioned something a little different to Wombat as he has picked up the chant and soon the truth emerges. MOTH has drained the transmission fluid and topped up the oil by mistake. Everyone is in fits of laughter. Wombat ribs MOTH about "Mr Fixit" and I laugh. I tell the tale of the running joke between Elder, Teen, and myself about his fixit skills. Don't worry, Dad will fix it! Groans, facepalms abound. Most of the time his fix it works, but his work could be considered a little slap dash by the girl's standards. Sometimes, fixing it actually made it worse. *giggles*

It seems MOTH didn't know this, and has now vowed to never fix anything again.

Uh oh.

The Club thinks this is hilarious.

So, we need to purchase the transmission fluid. There is a suppler fairly close but we don't have transport. I check the web to see where there are other stores. Wait. There's one a couple of suburbs over and it's on a bus route. We decide to head out on the bus together. When the day dawns, I'm not sure since I still have the headcold/cough thing happening and I'm not feeling chirpy. We go anyway and have lunch over there. It's a great way to spend an hour or so.

I go to bed feeling edgy and somewhat uneasy. I don't know why. I'm awake at 1am and can't seem to get back to sleep. I get out of bed and fetch the phone so I can play a game. I get a text. It seems that the Teen and Harry have gone their separate ways. I'm somewhat startled and can't go back to sleep. I'm awake now, so I leave the bed *again* and head to the laptop. Playing Bioshock and the next thing I know, a couple of hours have passed and I've played through the finale. Whoo! It's a great game. Have a look at it if you haven't already.

It's been a while but I think I'll cook a roast lamb leg. I've never managed to master the art of crispy potatoes if I do them in the oven. The only way I've managed to get them crispy is to shallow fry them in oil. Just like Ma used to. Maybe one day I will master that. I can cook a roast okay though, and it turns out well. However, although I like to cook, I would really much rather bake. I'm still determined to try making croissants. Properly. With lots of layers and the 2 day process. Yeah! I think I'll master that and go for world domination. Through sweet pastries...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gymnast: One who is trained and skilled in gymnastics...

Sometimes I have occasion to wonder if this is something the old bod desires without necessarily telling me about it. I seem to have put something out in my neck. Or done something to my shoulders. In my sleep no less. Certainly I can't recall having done anything to have set it off.

Though I might have made it worse today. Jerome broke out. I've been letting him roam a little while I peg out washing. He's gotten to the point that starting the machine or picking up the laundry basket begins the let-me-out-now dance. Jerome, not me. *ha!* He even stands still while I put the collar and bell on him. He doesn't wear it indoors. We go out together and I let him roam around the yard unsupervised for a little while. Today, I stepped outside with the second load just in time to see him launch himself at one of the native birds. With his bell and collar still on! I managed to hold him down while the bird got away. I pegged washing. He hung around. No, he roamed near my feet. Suddenly there's rustling on the other side of the fence and Jerome and the Next Door cat start yodelling at each other. Jerome walked down the fence line and suddenly jumped. I lunged and Jerome went over the wall. I just went over, and jarred my shoulder at the same time. See. Gymnastics.

I was a bit worried, but a couple hours later he sauntered back, nonchalant as you please, to wait at the door for admittance. Moseyed to his dish, turned up his nose and flopped on the floor to await a fresh food refill. Darned cat.

The Elder informed me she was coming to collect her gear. Whoo! It turns out though it's only her and Burrich in the Rio. So she isn't collecting ALL of her things. They come in Sunday afternoon. It's great to see them. They are tired so they sleep a little. She's trying not to sleep too much so she isn't up all night. They are off to bed early.

They head out to the city and the Ekka today. Things are quiet. They aren't home for dinner.

I've been wanting to go into the city while I'm on leave. Not for any particular reason, just because I like to do this for something different. MOTH asks me if I want to go in on Sunday. Why Sunday? Just cause. Who are you meeting? No one! I'm suspicious but let it drop.

Elder wants to stay an extra day but Burrich has to work tomorrow. With some gentle prodding they sort through some stuff and pack as much as they can in the car. Our garage is still full though. I've got a plan for that. If I repack some stuff I can probably make some space. I notice that when they packed up, they have thrown stuff in boxes without labeling things. Or packing properly. Some stuff can be combined in other boxes to make a smaller pile. I've started, and moved a couple of things and made quite a dent already. They head off at lunch time on Tuesday.

The rest of the day and Wednesday is quiet.

Thursday Teen and Harry arrive, fresh from their travel to New Zealand. Both of them have thick rattly coughs. And complain about the heat. But I guess that's to be expected when you come from snow to 27C temperatures. They've brought me chocolates from the Cadbury factory and MOTH a silver fern coffee cup. We giggle over the gifts they've brought for their friends.

Teen and Harry head into the city the following day and all is quiet. Seems to be a repeat of earlier in the week! Saturday morning we watch a movie, they repack and we head out to the airport. This time we don't accidentally detour and we stick to the tunnels all the way through. Yay!

Sunday we start the morning with a gathering of the Club. There is lots of laughing and digging at each other. Special K is there today. It's always rowdier when she's there. MOTH and I catch the train into the city. I investigate a new *to me* comic book store. I have plans to visit Dymocks later. And my usual comic store. MOTH leaves me at the new comic store as it's two flights up with no lift. We meet back at the food court where I find MOTH drinking a coke.

After a time, he ducks off somewhere and leaves me at the table. Someone taps me on the shoulder and I look up. It's Sapphire and her baby Jelly Bean! And her parents! She's holidaying over this side of the country at their place and thought she'd sneak in a surprise visit. Jelly Bean is seven months old now and I've not seen a happier baby. He giggles, and bounces on my lap. He smiles, chews on his fist, and gurgles. He even takes a nap on his mum's chest in the middle of the food court. We sit, have lunch and chat for a couple of hours. JB didn't even whimper during that time. I am impressed. She's managed to snap a couple of photos before we go our separate ways.

I head off to find my usual comic store. They've relocated and I'm not sure which end of the street they are. I think we've gone too far. I turn and look down the street. Wait! There's the sign for the shop they are next to. It's HUGE. How the heck did I miss that? I pop up the stairs and browse. MOTH heads to the nearby camping store. I buy volume 4 of the Basilisk Kouga Scrolls manga, and it's not till we are on our way home that I realise I've forgotten to visit Dymocks.

I'm toying with the idea of playing Minecraft. Yes please Joe, let me know what server you are on. Elder plays as well but doesn't play online. I'll have to delay the purchase a little though as I think I need to give these shoulders a rest! And I'll be busy dodging the head cold germs MOTH is blowing about the house right now. Thanks for the extra gift Teen!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Viva la Steam

I have been having a great time with the laptop. Hopefully I can make the most of the time I have left before I go back to work gaming, gaming, and more gaming!

At the moment I play Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. Both of these games run through a Steam account which is I guess similar to a Batttlenet account. It means that I'm playing "on line" instead of running a DVD on the local computer. Zman is thinking of talking me into setting up an account to play Star Wars: The Old Republic but I could only play on a free account. This doesn't give me full functionality so I don't know how I'd go. I've been asked if I play Minecraft. I think Bestie's boy would be uber happy if I did because it's his current obsession. I've looked at Burrich and Elder play it but my eyes keep trying to go square.

We thought of going out for dinner for our anniversary, and asked if anyone wanted to join us. It's the wrong fortnight really as no one had yet been paid. MOTH thought that perhaps he would like to go to the movies instead. We hadn't yet seen Pacific Rim *ha! i typed rum just then. one of those slips???* which is the movie he wanted to see when we ended up at The Lone Ranger. We decided to catch the 6:50pm session. We ate a quick meal before we left. I can't remember what it was nice. Something simple. I had hoped for a take away but it was not to be. MOTH really seemed to enjoy the movie. I thought it was okay. I think it's based on a game. Or maybe a game is based on the movie? There were some funny one liners, mostly from the dynamics of two of the mad scientists. One was played by William Defoe. Brilliantly, of course. Ron Perlman also enjoyed his part in this movie.

We celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary with dinner at home. We've asked John and Special K to join us. I don't mind as they are good company. Special K says she'll bring the wine. I don't mind but would have been just as happy if she didn't. She drinks red, I prefer a sweet white. Yesterday we've picked up a huge lamb shoulder roast. I think it's about 2.5 kilos worth. A lot of bone in it though as it includes the ribs and shoulder blade. MOTH slow cooks it and serves it with his stuffed potatoes, baked carrot and pumpkin. I've prepared lemon sago for dessert. It's served with cream and custard. We laugh a lot. They don't stay long and Special K offers to help with the dishes. I've told her not to bother as we have a dishwasher.

As far as the dishwasher goes though, I've broken out my special dinner ware for the occasion. So special in fact that when we moved here about ten years ago, it was packed for transport and never unpacked because I no longer had space for it. I wasn't sure where it was, except in a box in the garage. MOTH decided to look for me and found the box it was in. Very easy to find actually, it was close at hand.

Of course, the set couldn't go through the dishwasher. Darn. This set used to belong to my grandmother. I think it may have been a wedding present. It's about the same age as MOTH. The glaze is a pretty yellow and it's adorned with violets. I've wanted it for many years and when I turned 18 my mother finally gave it to me. It's mark says Royal Staffordshire Honeyglaze.

I love it to bits. I think pieces of this set are collectibles so perhaps I can find various bits and pieces on the net somewhere for sale, like a creamer jug and serving platter.

Out of the blue today, MOTH decides he wants to go for a drive some suburbs over and look at Harley Davidson motorcycles. I'm dreaming out the car window and not taking much notice of our surroundings. We arrive in the area but as usual, MOTH isn't quite sure where the shop is located. I looked at Google maps on the smartphone but as I found a map MOTH spots the shop. There's plenty of bikes to look at along with various items of merchandise. I contemplate buying a collar for Jerome. It's pink. Black words on it say "BAD TO THE BONE". It's really for a small dog but it's adjustable. MOTH says I shouldn't buy it. Pink isn't the colour for a black cat! It should be a black collar. I laugh. I toy with the idea some more but don't buy. MOTH looks at the bikes some more and chats to some of the staff. He's not going to buy, but it's nice to get out and look. Bikes are in his blood after all.

The bike he likes the most has a $50K price tag.

On the way home I ask why he wanted to drive out today. No particular reason. It's just that while I've been on leave, the fuel tank has barely left the full mark. It's payday soon and we'd be looking for a refill so yeah, why not get out of the house. That's fine by me.

When I get home, I leave a message to let Teen know about the collar. She tells me to give MOTH a punch as she thought I should have bought it.

The Elder lost someone in their circle to suicide on the weekend. She didn't know him well, but others she knew did. A young local boxer with a very promising future. She chatted to MOTH about it. He reports she was feeling very uncomfortable with this one. She spoke to him on Saturday. I looked in his eyes, she said, and I knew. I just knew. I could see me in his eyes. I wanted to reach out but I didn't know him. She's feeling better about it now but I was worried that she would get caught on the "what if's, if only's". Love her to bits and it can't be easy.

The Teen is living it up in New Zealand at present, on holidays with Harry and his parents. She doesn't have much access to wifi so I'm not getting a lot of updates. She's in the snow and having a marvellous time. I'm almost jealous, but my preferred place to travel is north. England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Las Vegas. One extreme to another for me! MOTH would love to visit Asia. Just like peas in a pod we are.

I believe there is a possibility that Elder and some friends might be descending at some point this month to collect some gear, though I think I've mentioned that already. I think I shall be happy with this. MOTH thought it would be good because then they could attend Ekka with me instead of him *wuss*. However, since I've bought the laptop I no longer have the funds to go party. Ah well...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

What's new pussycat?

I have been letting Jerome outdoors with me when I go out to peg out the washing. Now he keeps asking if he can go out. I tell him No of course. I mean at this point he's not collared and I'm not sure he won't be jumping the fence. Mind, these days if I pick up the laundry basket or even put a load in the washing machine he begins his song and dance to be let out. I used to take him out for a few minutes while he was in the harness but now he's out without harness but only while I'm out. The little terror doesn't like coming back in though and often runs just far enough to be out of reach when you try to pick him up to come back in. I'm hoping that if I give him treats when we go back inside that he'll learn that coming indoors isn't such a bad thing.

I've had my second session with the counsellor. She thinks I'm doing very well and we've agreed that I don't need any further follow up until after I return to work. My doctor has extended my leave until the beginning of September. She's also happy with my progress, my K10 score having dropped to 20 last visit from 38 at my first. She laughingly suggested that my best route to recovery is not to work at all. Ahhh, if only!

I'm getting out of the house more frequently, though not today. I was going to redye my hair, but now I'm not sure I really can be bothered. If I rebleach the regrowth it might be the last time. I'd love to be all grey but there isn't really enough grey to work that. And while the top might be light brown, it's still very dark underneath.

I've been enjoying my time with the Club while I've been on leave. I now consider myself formally one of the group - Special K has whupped me with a rolled up magazine because I gave her cheek. This caused much laughter. Sometimes the old boys even forget I am there and tell raunchy jokes they don't normally consider fit for ladies ears. *not sure i've ever seen a lady there though!*

So right now, I'm feeling the best I have felt for years.

Wombat suggested we all go out to dinner. A couple of the club are members of one of the local Services Clubs. They recommend the meals and we've been thinking of doing it for a while now. MOTH and I joined up as social members but are still awaiting final approval. The committee meets once a month to decide membership applications. And Wombat was right. The meals were very very good. I had sizzling garlic prawns, MOTH had ... barramundi I think. He thought his was ok, I really enjoyed mine. And I ate most of it too. The two mains, a can of coke and a bottle of Bundy red and cola came to just under $50. Which I think is ok for dinner for 2. Oh, and it was a Thursday so dessert came free with dinner. A small slice of cheesecake with icecream.

The company was great that night, Wombat even brought his wife and everyone told stories, laughed, gave each other a hard time. Even Wombat. I enjoyed it so much that MOTH and I are thinking of going back for our anniversary dinner.

I had been toying with the idea of getting a KitchenAid bench mixer with my tax refund. Or maybe a washing machine. Then I also wanted a GHD hair straightner. And to go to the Ekka. For those not in the know, that's our "show" with show bags, stage shows, food halls, art and craft, side show alley, equestrian events, showing cattle and other livestock, dogs and cats. It goes for a week and gets thousands and thousands of visitors through. I ended up putting all that aside and purchasing a new laptop. One I can use for gaming. Not something I need but something I will definitely get use from. The laptop is big enough for me to use as a desktop *ultrabook it's not!* and the iMac has been moved to the guest bedroom where I can still get to it if I wish. MOTH's laptop is an ultrabook, so small and light. Mine has something like a 15 or 17" screen and weighs a tonne in comparison.

The Elder is getting grumpy as her security job is not giving her shifts and she's busy trying to maintain a house and pay her bills. The only work she has at the moment is her work as a bouncer at the local nightclub. This though is the one she loves the most so I'm hoping that continues for many, many, and many more shifts.

The Teen has headed out to New Zealand for a holiday in the ski fields with Harry and his parents. It's her first time overseas and joy of joys, the departure flight was delayed several hours due to fog at Christchurch. At least, I think that's where they were headed, on the way to Queenstown. Or something like that. Her father in law has threatened to get her on the zipline, so we'll see how that goes. She's pretty excited to be there.

MOTH cooked one of his favourite dinners on Wednesday night. I had bought rhubarb last shop and thought I had better make the crumble he requested. He'd been out with the Club that morning and came home, telling me we would have an extra dinner guest. Apparently he made it sound so good that Stan was impressed and he would be arriving for dinner. Not a problem, we could do extra mash and cabbage and the crumble was big enough to stretch to three. Last time I made white sauce I kept some of the base. All I had to do for dinner was reheat and add the onion. I'll have to do that again next time! Stan really enjoyed his meal and dessert. MOTH enjoyed the crumble as well, eating most of it in two helpings. Yep, guess that might be requested to be made another time.

We might go out for dinner for our anniversary. The Services Club of course. I've mentioned it to the others if they want to join us, but it's not their pay week so they may not. Special K made us laugh as she had thought it was Thursday not Wednesday today. We wondered why she was with us on a Wednesday.... She tells the tale of getting ready to go with her brother to his specialist appointment. The time comes and goes but he doesn't show. Eventually she discovered she was ready on time ... just not the right day. We have a lot of fun laughing at this. And shall for some time yet...