Monthly Archives: December 2008


I wonder if I have a photo of my guinea pigs. Surely there must be some at home somewhere. If I find one when I get back, I’ll scan and post it.

We had quite a few guinea pigs at different times: Wilbur, Honey, Wilbur’s mother (can’t remember her name), Snowy, another Snowy, Blacky, Basil and Manuel, B&M’s siblings…

I don’t think Pooka and guinea pigs is a good combination… no doubt Pooka would disagree.

I have a question

So why don’t we have hamsters as pets in Australia? And if we do, why have I never seen them? And what’s the different between hamsters and mice? And rats?

Oh by the way, my list of electronic things yesterday was not a list of the BEST things, just SOME things. I figured the iPod gets enough press as it is.

Some good electronic inventions

1. Flash memory
2. Hard-drive tv recorder
3. Barcode reader
4. EFTPOS (for the rest of the world, this is what we call it when we swipe our plastic card to purchase items from our savings or cheque accounts rather than our credit cards)
5. Keyless entry to cars
6. Lasers
7. Digital cameras
8. LCDs
9. Electromagnet
10. MRI

Unpunished Infringements

So on Christmas Eve, I did two illegal things in view of the police.

1. I passed a police car while I was doing 90km/h on an 80mk/h bit of road. We have double demerit points during holiday periods, and because I am still on a provisional license (three years!), my demerit barrel doesn’t have many points in it to start with. So this was quite possibly a BAD thing. Police cars beside the road generally mean speed cameras. Either the police were just stopped for a doughnut break or they decided that 90km/h really wasn’t worth the flashing lights and siren…

2. On my way home from church, I was driving up a long, windy, narrow road. There was a police paddy wagon in front of me. It was driving slowly. We approached another police car parked (illegally) on the other side of the road. The paddy wagon stopped across the road from it (illegally) so the constables could exchange pleasantries. Meanwhile traffic built up behind me. It was not legal for me to pass due to double white lines down the middle of the road. But it was getting silly. And the police seemed to adjust their cars so the visibility was better for me… so with trepidation I drove between them… waiting for the “WoooOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo”. But it didn’t come.


Electronic things that annoy me

1. Status bars on computers when they are downloading/installing things. They bear no relation to anything. Particularly the % ones. Sometimes the time ones are in the right ballpark. But “% complete” means nothing. The first 95% can take one minute and the last 5% can take an hour. How do they quantify it anyway?

2. The beeper and display on my microwave. When the selected cooking time has elapsed, it beeps three times. Reasonable. Sometimes it then beeps three more times about 20 seconds later if you haven’t opened the door – gimme a break! I know you’re there! Other times it waits 2 minutes or so to rebeep. But what makes me most mad is the display that says “your food is cooked”. How does it know that?! My food may be lukewarm or still frozen!

3. The idea of GPS for driving. I don’t want no stinkin’ machine telling me where to go! And taking a scenic route never did me any harm.

4. Devices that require the battery to be removed for recharging purposes. My camera is in this category. I like my camera. But I’d prefer it to just plug in to the wall.

5. The Sony phone that does not permit the user to turn off the “battery nearly dead” beep (probably multiple models? I thought the owner just hadn’t looked hard enough. But if the option’s there, it is hidden very very well).

6. Incompatibility of adaptors. I have a car adaptor for my phone that doesn’t work with my phone. It fits into the plug hole, is the same voltage etc, is recognised as being a charger. But my phone puts up a message to tell me that my phone is not compatible with this charger. Then there are all these non-standard plugs. Why don’t cameras all use mini-usb? Mine might actually… but my old one didn’t.

7. Stingy USB port allocation on MacBooks. How is two USB ports enough on a laptop? Wireless modem + mouse = no room for camera cable! Or iPod cable!

In other news, Pooka’s behaviour was exemplary today, in the face of two grandmothers, a cousin, an aunt and an uncle. And my grandmother likes her better than my cousins’ dogs (2 giant poodles and now a Wolfhound too…) because she doesn’t jump up. My other grandmother who doesn’t really do dogs, is also quite fond of her. She has named her walking stick “Pooka” because it never does what it’s supposed to. But having said that, when she told Pooka to sit, Pooka sat.

Jingle Bells to scare the cockatoos

So our neighbours have a passionfruit vine and there is a nice enormous bit on our side of the fence with loads of passionfruit. The problem with fruit and here is that there are lots of cockatoos in the area.

These are cockatoos

Cockatoos like eating fruit from vines. This is bad for our passionfruit. Pooka likes chasing cockatoos, which is good. However during the day, when they are most rampant, Pooka is often having a sleep. SO I have decided that I will hang bells or some other noisy thing on the vine. Not to scare off the cockatoos, but to wake Pooka up so that she goes and looks ferocious. Just need to get me some bells. Or some other noisy solution.

I was at Albion Park McDonalds yesterday and saw a sign that said McDonalds is putting FREE wifi in its restaurants. This pleases me. You overseas people probably already have such a thing, but at the moment most McDonalds’ have wifi hotspots where you have to get an account. But no more!

Last night at the 11pm service, the sermon went for under 15 minutes. It was the assistant minister’s Christmas gift to me. I was also pleased because the pastor asked what people would like to praise God for and one person said the internet (so she could keep in touch with her family overseas) and that was good. Oh and I got a good giggle when they did “O Holy Night” (the one with “Faaaaallllllllll on your kneeeeeeees” etc). That sort of song was not written for a Baptist congregation with no accomplished sopranos in it. I started chuckling from the beginning because I knew what was coming. Then it got to the last line with the very high bit and I nearly laughed out loud. I believe I saw the pastor have a chuckle as well.

Right now we’re waiting for Dad’s brother to arrive with his wife, daughter and mother (ie. my grandmother). Usually they drop off the grandmother and then go off to their own lunch with the other side of the family. However they usually take a couple of hours to drop her off and we get hungry. And I think there was a bit of a falling out on that side of the family. So anyway, they’re coming for lunch this year which solves lots of problems. If they ever arrive…

I forgot that we have more family coming over tomorrow for lunch. Bah and humbug. I just want to have a day dozing and doing whatever I want.

The uncle etc have arrived. I had better go and look sociable.

a black and hairy welcome

I have arrived home for my festive few days. Pooka was pleased to see me. She was also a bit damp and smelly (she may have rolled in something…. I have addressed the situation by blow-drying her, sprinkling her with talcum powder and giving her a good brushing. I read about that in the Reader’s Digest book “Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Objects” (or something like that). Not the hair-drying bit. But I figured that wet fur + talcum powder might end badly. Hence the blow-dry. I must say she tolerated it all rather well.

My plan is to go back South on Saturday sometime then do some emergency time Saturday night because we like emergency. And there should be some people to practise suturing on 😀

Now I am thinking about whether to go to he 11pm service. It being 5 past 10 and all. I would take Pooka but it’s a bit rainy tonight and she doesn’t like windscreen wipers… she’d bark the whole way there.

Let them eat marshmallows

I have been commanded to post something.

So this morning I had two pieces of toast for breakfast. Burgen Pumpkin Seed bread with fake butter stuff and raspberry jam (not my usual brand – they don’t have that at the local supermarket here). I think I had some Fanta Zero as well.

I think that Fanta Zero has been discontinued by the way. It was in the clearance trolley at the supermarket. That does not bode well. Sunkist Light seems to be staying in circulation.

I bought the paper when I was at work. The most pressing piece of news in most of the media today has been that Nestle is change the colour of Smarties. This upsets me. I like artificial colours. And I am fairly certain that if a kid is intolerant of the colours in Smarties, then they will PROBABLY also be intolerant to some other ingredients. Feed them white marshmallows dammit!

For lunch I had a chicken breast burger. It was rather nice. Oh and a brownie – it was VERY NICE.

I also diagnosed my boss’s computer problem as being due to his version of Office being too old (2000). For some reason, text boxes in Office 2000 don’t seem to be compatible with printers. Well, not the printer at work or the two pdf printer drivers that I downloaded to test my theory. I also made a pretty new roster sheet that has room for me on it so that I can get paid.

In other news, I am getting my little brother a Farmer’s Pack for Christmas. It has a goat, a piglet, a chicken and some manure in it. How could he not like it?

Out of the race already?

Hmmm I haven’t taken a photo today. I suppose it’s not too late… maybe I’ll just take more photos and put them on flickr rather than doing 365 days. I mean, that’s a lot of days. Would take about a year to finish!

I also haven’t done my laundry. I’ve been thinking about that for four days now.