Results tagged “Drama” from Kazza the Blank One

Road Trip

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So last week the real estate agent for my Sydney flat called up:  The current tenants were leaving.  But the flat is pretty much a disaster.  

I knew the vanity needed replacing but I hadn't been up in a couple of years, and the estate agent said I pretty much need to renovate the entire place.

Sigh.

So yesterday Chrissie accompanied me on a road trip to Sydney to have a look.

We left before eight, had a pitstop at Goulburn maccas for loo and snackages.  

Drove on through to Sydney, and had lunch at Rockdale Plaza.  I was thinking I could get something *other* than maccas, but ended up having it anyway.  Oops.

Then to the flat.

The tenants had mostly moved out, but still had some stuff left, and the place hadn't been cleaned at all yet.  But it was pretty sad.  The walls were covered in grime.  There were holes in doors (which tenants will have to pay for).  The blinds had been destroyed, with dodgy curtains in their place.  Several light fittings were broken.  Several windows were broken (one with broken glass, another couple just wouldn't even close properly - how did they even manage that????).  As I already knew, the vanity is pretty much completely destroyed.  The shower, which was perfect when I rented it, was covered in mould.  The cistern was leaking quite a lot and the plastic had yellowed and scarred.  But the worst was the kitchen.  Pretty much all the cupboard doors and draws had water damage and all the chipboard had swelled up.  So the whole kitchen (minus the stove and oven which are fairly new) is going to need to be replaced).  And I've still not decided about the carpet which is somewhat worn, but not completely destroyed.

Destroyed vanity

Shower mould

Kitchen cupboard doors

Fricken hurrah.

The estate agent is happy to organise it all, but it's going to cost a fortune.  The good news is I could probably get $100 more a week with fresh everything, so would probably get my money back after about four years or so.  

After seeing the flat, we popped down the road and Chrissie did her tax with her accountant.

Then we dropped in to visit Aunty Di (her aunt, not mine ;) ) and Uncle Graham.

Then we dropped in to Ansto to visit Chrissie's dad, who I hadn't seen except very briefly at Dad's funeral, for over twenty years.

Then we came home.  Via a pitstop at Maccas at Sutton Forest for loo and snackages.  Three visits to maccas in one day.  Whoops.

Got home around 7 and collapsed with some wine.

East China Sea GPS track

In case anyone missed me.. I've been cruising the East China Sea .. (see link in Holiday Blogs section).

So we got back on Sunday morning (thanks to Chrissie for picking us up from the airport!!).  While we were away they'd had problems one night with the alarm (went off for no good reason, and they couldn't find a spider).  There was also a problem with the back door not locking properly - the door has warped a little, possibly from all the humidity from the evaporative cooling, and so can't be locked unless you push the lock up quite hard.

Also, the internet was dead.  Something to deal with later.

Went to pick up something for lunch and for dinner.

After lunch I slept for about two hours, the sweetie most of the afternoon.  

I had a go at fixing the internet.  Rebooting the router didn't help.  Nor did rebooting the wifi (not that I thought that would do anything, on account of my pc is wired, and it wasn't even getting an IP address).  So I kicked the switch.  And everything came back.

Mostly.

My computer got an IP address and got back on the network.  But the NAS never came back.  Rebooted it.  Cold rebooted it.  Nothing.

We've had no end of trouble with all the Cisco gear we bought a few years back.  The 887 router just couldn't deal with our crappy phone line and would drop out and not come back til it was rebooted.  The WAP was pathetic and also kept dropping out.  We replaced both of them.  Now the switch has crapped out.  Anyone have any gigabit switches going begging?

Cooked sausages for dinner and we had a very early night.

And then woke up at 4:30 to the sweetie having a massive diarrhoea attack.  He was sick all day the poor thing.  I'm guessing a gastro virus picked up at the airport or on the plane.  So now it's the ticking time bomb of will I get it too..

Tonight I cooked myself dinner and gave the sweetie rice crackers for dinner.

And then fought with the NAS some more.  The thing has two network cables, but neither were giving a link light.  Given that the switch had spazzed out, I tried plugging them into a small 100mb switch we had lying around.  Sure enough, got link lights and the thing just started working!  So now I'm copying photos off the laptop at 100Mb/s (well actually about 9MB/s).  I really need to console onto the switch and find out what's up with it.

And we also really need to get our internet fixed.  Last night it was practically unusable.  It was a lot better earlier this evening, but has gone back to being almost unusable.  *sigh*

Pool Dramas

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Last summer (or possibly the end of the summer before) I was getting frustrated with the chlorine we had taking forever to dissolve, so I thought I'd pay a bit more for a different variety (which did seem to dissolve a bit better).  Last summer I had issues with algae, but I attributed this to me being a slacker.  Towards the end of the season I think we added too much chlorine at one point, and the pool got very acidic.  It was so bad that the test kits didn't work at all - all the colours were comletely wrong - off the scale!  So at the beginning of summer I added some pH up and things returned mostly to normal, although I did notice the buffer was a bit high.  I wasn't sure why that was, as I hadn't added any buffer this summer.  But given that the pH changed the colour of everything I wasn't sure what to believe.  Anyway, at Christmas the pool had gotten a bit green, but again I attributed that to being a slacker and letting the chlorine get a bit too low for a couple of days.  So treated with flocculent and vaccuumed to waste and it cleared up.  From Christmas on I've been super diligent with the chlorine, and kept it within range the whole time.

But the pool just got greener and greener :(:(

So this morning we took a sample in to get tested.  Turns out the buffer is actually *super* high and even though the test strips say there's chlorine, there was actually very little.  Hence greenery.  Turns out the chlorine we bought has buffer built into it, and so it's been building up higher and higher.  Fricken great.  Pay more for something that actually makes the whole situation worse :(:(

So basically we have to vacuum to waste all over again to try and get the buffer levels down.  

*sigh*

Catchup

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So aside from a plane blog entry, I haven't blogged in two weeks.  Whoops.

Monday two weeks ago I took a six hour lunch and finished a photo project that I'll get online soon.

The next Wednesday we won another damned trivia night.  Even without DC's help.  So will run the next one, which could very well be the last.

The Friday that week I went to Chrissie's for dinner.  She cooked a really nice pumpkin, gnochhi and sage dish, and for once we actually watched a movie (usually we talk about watching a movie but then just end up chatting all evening).  So watched Independence Day.

Pumpkin gnocchi sage

Saturday Chrissie brought up her steam cleaner to attack the bathroom.  

Bathroom before

Bathroom before

I'm too short to see this so never actually knew how bad it had gotten
Bathroom before

So I made lunch (as you do).  I cooked up a bit of a hanami lunch - teriyaki chicken wings, tuna sushi and okonomiyaki.  There was heaps of food and Serena had been planning to have lunch with Kit so invited both of them up as well.

This was my first ever attempt at sushi!  It turned out pretty well
Sushi attempt 1

Hanami lunch

Chrissie finished up in the bathroom later in the afternoon, and Zac mowed the lawn.

Bathroom after

Bathroom after

Bathroom after

On Sunday I went to pick up the sweetie from the airport.  And sorted Zac's Lego which Chrissie had brought up.

Monday I wore new jeans to work.  But backing up a little.  I am thoroughly sick and tired of paying a fortune for Jeanswest jeans that only last a year.  And I hate that you can't get decent quality demin in girls jeans anymore.  Why don't they make girls jeans in *real* demin and not that thin crappy stuff that is the only thing you can get now??  #hate  Even at 40% off, Jeanswest jeans are still pretty expensive.  So I thought screw this, and tried somewhere cheaper.  I tried Target first, but there was only like one style of jeans there that weren't already ripped to shreds.  wtf??  What idiot fashion designer thought that would ever be fashionable??  At least the idiots that wear jeans like that will look back at photos of themselves and wonder what in the world they were thinking.  Suckers.  So nothing at Target so tried Kmart.  Found some clearance jeans that were $7.  Each.  And they were more comfortable that the Jeanswest jeans as they have a slightly higher cut.  The next day I took them to get tailored and they were having a special - $10 jeans hemming.  So for $68 I got four pairs of jeans in the right size.  Normally that would be the cost of *one* pair of jeans.  So even if these cheap ones only last a quarter as long, I'll still be ahead.

Thursday we went down to see the two day old chickies!

Chickies

Chickies

Chickies

Friday the sweetie and I went into town for dinner.  We ended up at Jamie's Italian, which I'd never actually been to before.  The service was pretty slow but the food was delicious.

This crispy squid was crunchy and delicious
Jamies Italian

These polenta chips weren't bad, but quite heavy.  Nothing like the awesomeness of the polenta chips we had at Pandanus on Lord Howe Island in 2007.
Jamie's Italian

Stu's Pumpkin Panzerotti.  I only got the smallest of mouthfuls and then got distracted by the waiter, shoulda had a bit more.
Jamie's Italian

This spaghetti carbonara was sooo tasty.  It's making me hungry just looking at it.
Jamie's Italian

Salted caramel and chocolate sundae
Jamie's Italian

After dinner (it was getting a bit late), Stu took me around to finish off the night shots for my photo project.

Saturday we had Nat and Andrew over for hanami lunch take two.  Same menu basically, although sushi options modified slightly for the fussy eaters :P

Sushi attempt 2

Okonomiyaki (Lisa's recipe)
Okonomiyaki

We chatted all afternoon and then put on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade which was fun.

In the evening the sweetie and I watched The Silence of the Lambs, which I hadn't seen in years and Stu had never seen.

Sunday was more food shopping, and more Lego sorting, with a roast dinner thrown in as well.

Lego Palette

Lego angles

Sunday roast

Also yesterday we realised that our sewage pipes were blocked.

Oh crap.

Literally.

Oh crap

So called Six Star Hot Water this morning and the same dude who replaced our hot water system came out and brought an eel.  He dug through a big clump of roots and everything started flowing again.  He said we could spend $5-10k getting it all dug up and fixed, or just spend the few hundred dollars every couple of years to get it cleared with an eel.  So we'll probably end up doing that.

Other than that, today was just Lego sorting.  In fact I only left the house to go hack a portal.  Step count will be a bit sad today.

Oh, and I blogged.  Finally.

Exhaustion

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Sunday I got sick.  Felt like crap.

Monday morning I still felt like crap and had a sore throat and a bit of a cough.  So stayed at home and rested (in front of movies - Star Trek Into Darkness and The Martian) and attempted to doze (failed).  Of course since I'd rested all day I didn't actually feel tired on Monday night did I?? Took hours to get to sleep :(

Tuesday felt somewhat better (although super tired) so went to work.  Had pizza with Potty and Jake in the evening and watched Independence Day.  At 9:15pm, possibly as a result of power surges from the storm (various parts of Canberra lost power) our main power circuit tripped.  Flicked it back on.  Then at midnight it tripped again.  Disconnected the printer even though I knew it wouldn't be that.  At 2am it tripped again!  Gah!  Having been expecting it to keep tripping, I really didn't sleep at all.  At the 2am wakeup I disconnected the big fish tank.  As I was pulling the power, it tripped again!  So fairly likely it was that tank doing it.  Managed to sleep the rest of the night, but was a zombie today.

Oh also at 2am two random dogs came to say hi when I went outside.  Never seen them before (for a second I thought one of them was Petal).  No collars on either of them so couldn't call the owners.  They wanted to come inside but our house isn't setup for it so left them be (my nerves were frazzled enough I couldn't really deal with random dogs in the middle of the night).  Hope they made it home ok.

Tonight we went and got a new heater for that tank (it's always the heaters that do the tripping).  So far so good.  Is there some device you can get that will trip the power before the whole house circuit breakers trip?  Aren't those power boards with surge protectors meant to do that sort of thing?

Also sad is that my computer doesn't seem to recognise the UPS anymore.  It knows it's there, but doesn't recognise when it's gone onto battery mode :(

Busy, Insomnia

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Last night was get home, cook dinner, eat dinner, watch an episode of Homeland, go for a walk with Chris and Ben, and by then it's a quarter to nine, and I still wanted to process a day of photos and needed to wash my hair.  So only just made it to bed by 11pm.

Veggie baking

And then woke up at something like 4:30 with a brain that wouldn't SHUT UP! and only a bit of broken sleep after than.

Tonight was get home, cook dinner, eat dinner, watch an episode of Homeland - and that's in between drama of people with broken down cars and freecycle people all competing for my time as well!  Gaaahhhh!!!  Drama.

Not as bad as Chrissie's dramas of course, with aforementioned broken down car (which isn't even her car).  Petrol gauge was broken and after having been assured that the car had plenty of petrol, it didn't, and she ran out of fuel.  Fun times.  Not.  Especially in peak hour traffic.  Fortunately her neighbour was able to rescue her.

And now it's nearly 8pm.

Better get stuck into the photos I guess...

At least it's Thursday tomorrow!

And here's a photo of a cockatoo, taken way back in February..

Cockatoo

Drama

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Blink.  Whoops a week goes by.

I've been so busy at work I've barely had time to breathe.

Other than that, people drama is getting me down.  Sometimes I think maybe I should just go be a hermit somewhere.

Thursday night was nice though - bit of a farewell for Klaus.  Friday I wasn't feeling sociable at all, although we did end up going to Kit's for a while.  

Yesterday we had a pretty quiet day just doing housey stuff.  In the evening we watched Good Morning Vietnam, which the sweetie had never seen.  But aforementioned people drama came up again, even tho we weren't dealing with it directly.  Just made for a strange sort of a night.

I made these spinach and cheese pastries using some quite dried up puff pastry sheet's from Kerry's.  They still turned out pretty well we thought.
Spinach ricotta pastries

This morning I went with Chrissie to see the balloons.  But this was after hurty kept me awake for two hours in the middle of the night, so I only got about four hours sleep :(  Collapsed back into bed for a bit when I got home.  Good thing we get an extra day off this weekend.

Car Dramas

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We had Stu's car serviced the other week.  But there's plenty of issues with it, and Stu has been wanting a new car for ages, so we thought it might be time to get him one.

But my car's overheating problem came back as well, so I took it in to get looked at and hopefully fixed before my next Sydney trip, which was last week.

Turns out it's the head gasket :(  Coolant is leaking into the cylinders, which explains the loss of coolant without any noticable puddles.  So I'm looking at $1000-$1500 to get *that* fixed, assuming it hasn't caused any more serious issues.  Super super bad timing.  We really don't want to be buying two new cars at once.  And I needed a car to get to Sydney that weekend.  hrmm.

So I'm still debating what to do.  Most of me wants to get it fixed, because for $2000 I could probably get my car working again.  A new car, or even a brand-new-second-hand car would still see me out of pocket a lot more and then I don't know what I'm letting myself in for.

*sigh*

@CLBradley very nicely loaned me a car to take to Sydney, which Stu appreciated rather a lot, as it meant he didn't have to take the bus to work that week...

Camera Dramas

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During our Turkey trip, I started having focussing issues with my camera (actually dad's camera, but my old lens).  Especially in low light, and mostly at full wide angle.  I had a quite a few failures, and it was most frustrating in the basilica cistern to get any photos that would work.  If I persisted and changed the focal length it'd usually come good.  But quite disappointing.

When I got back I didn't use it all that much, as I mostly use my phone for photos.  But I took it to the poultry show and it was having even more issues.  A week later and it was pretty much dead, completely unable to focus.  Even in bright light, it would just chug the motor back and forth and simply not focus at all.  

I tried taking off the UV shield to have a look, but it was wedged on pretty good - one side had jumped a thread by the look of it.  I think it might have happened in Turkey when I was taking photos out the bus window.  We went over a pretty decent bump and the camera got shoved nose first into the window.  I think that might have been what damaged it.  

I've seen youtube videos of people pulling apart the lenses to replace the auto focus flex cable, but it might not even be that.  There's definitely something loose in there though, as it rattles a little when I tip it upside down and back.

So it's all very sad.  Can't decide what to do - either get it fixed, get a replacement, or go the L series 24-105 .. which has less range on it than my 18-135, which is why I've been reluctant to get it...

Natrad Belconnen

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So after my car-overheating-debacle the other week, I thought I'd better get it checked out before going up to Sydney again.

So I took it to Natrad in Belconnen.

The good news: they couldn't find anything wrong.  The bad news: they couldn't find anything wrong.

So that's a bit of a poo and it means I don't actually know what's going to happen next time I go to Sydney.  All I can do is take a few bottles of water and hope for the best.

But the lovely thing is that Natrad didn't charge me anything, even though they tested the car and looked all through it for any problems.  That alone is enough to make me want to go back to them for any sort of radiator/cooling problems in the future!

Pretty crappy night tonight.

Well it started off all right.  Went to Alice's with the sweetie for dinner which was nice.

On the way home I started getting anxious about stuff I have to do and unknowns I have to face and strangers I have to call.

At home we found that the third brake light on Stu's car wasn't working.  After we had just gotten the car back from a service *today* in which they assured us it had been fixed (this was the second time they've looked at it).  So I'm like, you've got to be kidding me.  One more stress.  More money wasted.  More hassles.  I mean I like Mick and all, but sometimes I think he's not a particularly good mechanic :(:(

The Old Reader has died, hopefully only temporarily.  They did a migration to new hardware on the weekend and it all failed in a heap today.  They're still hoping to get it back within a couple of days.  So using Comma Feed in the meantime which has all the same stuff in it, but isn't as good as a reader.

And then the real drama started (yeah the rest of it was just a warm up).

I tried booking the lunch I'm having on Saturday.  But because there were more than ten people coming we have to choose a set menu and pay $20 deposit each per person.  Except I don't actually know how many people are coming yet because quite a few people haven't rsvped.  And it's fricken expensive - with a set menu there's no choice of having a smaller cheaper meal if you wanted.  And heaven help you if you're vegetarian.  And also, because they're a "restaurant", people can't just pop in for a while during the afternoon for a drink - they have to dine as well.  So I've had to change the plans a bit, and then email everyone again asking *again* for rsvps. 

I fricken *hate* that sort of drama.  It's made me stressed/depressed about the whole thing.  

*sigh*

Oh yeah, and I forgot to call dad *again* tonight.. wonderful daughter I am .. *not*

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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