Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I'm whispering - not wishing to jinx it

But there has been no noisy parties from our noisy neighbours since last Wednesday. A whole week without any noise. This is a record of some sort.... long may it last.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Blog Spam

To those anonymous people who put comments with links to their sites...

1 I usually delete them
2 I NEVER look at the links
3 If you bothered to say something that actually referred to the post you commented on I might be inclined to leave them...
4 If you aren't a real person you won't be able to comment any more since I have enabled word verification.

Not that I suppose you even read the blog in question before posting so you won't read this...

I'd show you a photo

of the guest bedroom stacked to the ceiling (almost) with the contents of my study. But somewhere in there are all three digital cameras I currently have in my possession.

Husband tried to move my favourite bookcase without emptying it and it collapsed into a heap of wood and books (but he feels guilty enough to let me buy a bigger one so it isn't TOO tragic, and actually it was only my third favourite bookcase as the two favourite rimu ones grace the living area - I just said it was my favourite when it collapsed to ensure he fully comprehended the enormity of his error.)

So the study is now empty and half ready for painting.

I'm not sure I will ever get it sorted out again....

Yesterday we took 11 trailerloads of firewood from round the property and stacked it in the woodshed which now has about three square feet of spare room. I'm guessing that there is about 5 cords of wood in there, and still a fair few uncut logs lying round the property. I think we will give the rest of it away to anyone who wishes to cut and carry it. With a couple of dozen large eucalypts around the place and about 50 more planted over winter I doubt we will have a firewood shortage in the near future. My legs ache from all that exercise yesterday. Strangely enough my arms and shoulders don't.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The cheek of some people!

Further to our fall out with the neighbours...

We've had some guys with chainsaws and logsplitters in yesterday and today cutting and splitting some of the wood that is lying round the place for next winter.

One of them came in to report that he had cut and split a large log over in our back paddock when the neighbour... the noisy one... came up to say that it was his log!

Don't think so!

Guess we should pick up that wood asap...

And now I have broadband in the garden

and the garage, and halfway down the paddocks, and maybe (given that the cordless works) even at the neighbours.

Wireless rocks!

Just off to set up my security and see if I can get the laptop connected to the printers...

I surf so fast...

Ha! I have broadband. Now I'm not sitting for hours waiting for pages to load I will be able to:

1 Watch more TV
2 Do the housework
3 Write more on my blog
4 Get more exercise
5 Talk to my husband...

And I can ring my mother and check my email at the same time!

How awesome is that!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's war!

We have, on the whole, awesome neighbours. It's a caring tight knit community without anyone getting in your face. Tools and trailers are borrowed and returned, stock are rotated round the neighbourhood so the poorest doers get the best grazing, drenches and other items best bought in bulk are shared, and every now and then we have a drink together.

Except (and there is always an except isn't there) for one lot. Who have mates with gang patches, and a different perspective on life. They don't have any stock, instead they have a great collection of weeds - probably sheltering plantings of things it is illegal to grow. And a collection of abandoned vehicles, and some dogs that they don't necessarily control. The house is in a state of advanced lack of maintenance. In fact it lacks doors and windows because they have been broken and not replaced. All of which would be fine (except maybe the dogs) if they didn't otherwise bother us.

When we first moved in they didn't bother us a lot. They had the occasional party, but not too frequently, and they came over and borrowed the phone every now and then, but only made local calls.

In the last month or so they have been living a lot harder, the parties have increased in duration and frequency - now up to two or three a week - and the stereo has got so loud that we can't sleep through it with all the windows shut (they must be extremely deaf over there as they are a reasonable distance away). On top of the music the occasional fight breaks out and there is more noise as they smash the house up some more and scream abuse at each other or just scream. We stopped letting them borrow the phone after the toll bill came in so they go up the road and make toll calls on another neighbours phone, a woman on her own who is too scared to tell them they can't use the phone until they pay the toll bill plus some more for next time, which is what we did.

The scary bit is there are children in that house... who are absent when the school bus does its run on the mornings after a party...

One of the neighbours called the dog ranger as she watched five dogs as a pack wander through everyones property snapping at the heels of every animal they found on the way while their owner watched them and made no attempt to call them back. The dog ranger came out, unfortunately found only two dogs present but removed one unregistered one.

So I got stroppy and told them I would shoot any dog I found on my property. It probably wasn't a good move... (especially as I don't have a gun so can't follow that through) as I was treated with a fair amount of disdain for my efforts.

Now we are taking turns round the neighbourhood ringing noise control on party nights. Sometimes we don't get it right and noise control is inundated with complaints every ten minutes. The first time we did it they went out and rang back to say they would not be going back without the police. We replied that they should call the police then as the stereo was still going. They didn't that night. The next party they did turn up with the police. Which was effective and silence descended. But obviously they had some beer left over because they had another one two nights later. And when the cops and noise control showed up there was too many of them to enforce the peace and the cops retreated. (we suggested to them when they reported this to us that they should not tolerate threats of violence to police and tear gas or the armed defenders was a good solution...) at three in the morning, in need of sleep, and due to get up to go to work again in three and a half hours, they were lucky I didn't have access to a firearm because if I had had I would have used it. The next day I picked a couple of dozen bottles, half a dozen hard boiled eggs, three or four plates, an onion and a TV remote out of the horse paddock. I took great pleasure at hurling the remote into their watertrough, luckily none of the bottles were broken and the horses tend to stick to the other side of the paddock... but I was not amused and told the police about it among our other chats. They have suggested to the council that the state of the house makes it uninhabitable and they should be issued with an order to repair or vacate it but the council isn't that interested.

Last night they had another party. "It's only Wednesday" said the girl at noise control as husband took the cordless phone outside so she could hear the noise. He explained that he didn't think the day of the week mattered a lot to people who didn't work anyway.... so eventually a lot of cops and the noise control turned up and the music stopped for half an hour before it restarted. The police have a few more thoughts on the matter but I was too tired this morning to take in what they were planning to do next.

Went outside shortly after this discussion to find someone has rammed our mailbox and flattened it during the night. Must have been an accident.... yeah right! As it was attached to a 4 by 4 post I hope the vehicle used sustained some good damage.

Not sure who is going to win this one...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm glad my children have grown up

We have had a two year old (and his parents) staying for a couple of days.

I am so pleased I no longer have a two year old... and that I am never going to have another two year old.

This one was generally pretty good natured but not overly disciplined. Actually I think I became somewhat unpopular when I told him sharply not to argue the other night... maybe I was less intolerant when my kids were little, or maybe mine didn't argue with me, I can't remember. Anyway I am too old to put up with repeated "No"s to a perfectly reasonable request.

Nice to see them come, nice to see them go...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

There is no loss without some small gain....

I was facing two more doses of chemo, nasty nausea creating stuff that takes a looong time (6 hours) to drip into you. Boring all round.

But I won't be getting them now, because the latest scan indicates they aren't working any more (the first two doses had a good result, the second two didn't halt the tumour at all).
So it's time to try something else and I don't have to have the last two doses. Which is a relief in a way because I wasn't looking forward to them.

It appears I gained 14kg and lost all my hair for nothing... the new drugs have only minor hair thinning and loss of appetite possible side effects, so maybe we'll reverse that.

It isn't over yet, not by a long shot.

Just right now it feels very bad...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Yesterday I was going to write an "I hate Telecom" post

And it would have been here now had I not fallen off my dial up internet connection and lost it.

And things have moved along - today I feel far more charitable about them.

Yesterday I rang the "Xtra get broadband" phone number. I was put through to Brian. Now I can only advise that if you ring Xtra and get Brian that you hang up and call back later. If you are inclined to high blood pressure, heart problems, hyperventilating or similar I suggest you have your medication on hand before you attempt any conversation with Brian. In short Brian is a bumped up little smartarse.

Anyway I got Brian. I explained with reasonable civility that whenever Xtra ran a line check on my phone line they found I could not have Broadband because I was too far from the exchange, but my neighbour had it so obviously I wasn't too far from the exchange.

"Is this a near neighbour or are you talking about someone a couple of kilometres down the road?" asks Brian with just a hint of sarcasm.

"I am talking about 5o metres away, close enough to use our cordless phone at their place."
"Well you must have a good cordless phone!"
Still feeling reasonably civil I tell him that since it cost $99 three years ago and is still working fine I do consider our cordless phone a good one, but I wouldn't call it a state of the art appliance.
"hmm" says Brian. "They probably have satelitte, what's their phone number?"
I tell him their phone number.. I wait while he looks it up. "Yes they MIGHT have Jetstream" he says in due course. "But that doesn't mean you can have it as the tests say it won't work on your phone line, so you can't"

"Well could you explain to me what the difference is, between them and me, because I cannot see why it should work at their place and not ours, if there is a fault in our line perhaps someone would be good enough to fix it for me. I don't understand this. "

"No, it's just the way it is, you can't have it, we aren't obliged to supply you with anything, or fix anything. This happens all the time next door neighbours often can't get what their neighbours get. You should go and live in town then you can have Jetstream. Otherwise you can have satellite, every single person in the whole country can have that. I spend all day talking to people like you."

Something snaps at about this point. "Do not tell me where I should and shouldn't live thank you, I am not prepared to pay for satellite installation, and I want to talk to your supervisor."

"Why? She'll tell you exactly the same thing. We don't have to provide you with anything, I don't even have to keep talking to you. Anyway you can't talk to her she's not available"

"Right well give me her name and email address. And your name"
"Why? It won't do you any good, you won't get broadband."
"At this point I don't care, I am going to complain to someone."
"Well it is a waste of time."
"As I said I don't care, I am going to complain. Can I have her name and e-mail address and your name?"
So he gives me his supervisors name and e-mail, but won't give me his surname. In the end he gives me his employee number. In between every detail he tells me that I am wasting my time, I will not achieve anything, and I am not entitled to anything anyway so I have no right to suggest that they should be providing me with anything. I thank him somewhat abruptly and hang up.

I e-mail his supervisor. This is made a little difficult by the fact that he appears to have given me an e-mail address that doesn't work. Mind you I could have written it down incorrectly between being told I am wasting my time and everyone else will tell me exactly the same thing. I play with the spelling a little and get the right e-mail the third time. Supervisor must have only been out for a short time because she replies immediately advising she will refer my case to the technicians to see if anything can be done, and she just so happened to have my conversation with Brian recorded as part of the random recording for training they do, so she would listen to it later and look into my complaint that he was rude and unhelpful. There is some small satisfaction in just complaining about Brian, even if I never get broadband.

Get home this evening and there is a phone call from the supervisor asking me to ring her so they can organise a installation of Jetstream to see if it will work at my place. I'm still taking this in when the phone rings and it is the evening shift supervisor who had inherited the problem when the morning supervisor went home and thought she would just ring me on the off chance she could catch me. She is very very sorry about Brian. Lots of people with more authority than Brian have now listened to the tape of our conversation and they are all somewhat amazed and quite appalled that he spoke to me like that. Further training will be applied to Brian immediately as he cannot treat people like this. I smirk but am extremely gracious in accepting the apology.

Now lets sort my broadband installation out.

They are coming next week to install Jetstream to see if it will work. The line is marginal but it could well work fine. We may need a special modem, but will try the standard one first.


(And Brian..... up yours)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Now I am furious

Remember Telecom - who couldn't supply me with any form of fast internet access unless I coughed up $3000.

Have just had the neighbour over to borrow my PC to send piccies of their new baby to her grandparents as their 'puter hard drive has died.

"Slow internet connection" he says "I've got really used to broadband"

"Have you got broadband?" I'm stunned and stuttering. We are so close our cordless phone works at their place....

"Yeah, had it for about a month" he says.

"At your house... did it cost you $3000?"

"Yep at our house" now he's looking at me as if he has just decided I'm a bit simple. "No, didn't cost anything, Xtra are offering a deal at the moment, free modem and connection."

Telecom - just you wait... it was a month ago that you told me I couldn't have it. Boy are you going to hear from me!

I hate those meeces to pieces

The first ever pet I had - at three years old - was a little white mouse. About two weeks after I was given her she produced 11 little pink (but turned white) babies. So mice don't particularly bother me, in that I don't jump when I see one, and will quite happily hold one.

But there are limits.

It's raining again and avoiding the housework I went to carry out some rearrangement of the shed that holds horse gear and feed. Well overdue rearrangement I might add.

When I was a pony mad child /teenager I had a miserly father who refused to buy me any horse gear. Now that is not STRICTLY true, I had more than adequate and often indulgent parenting, but I ended up with a complex, brought on by sheer jealousy of those uppity little girls at ponyclub who had every single piece of horsegear ever invented, and a horse float, while my horse had the basics and we had to hitch rides if we wanted to go anywhere that wasn't within hacking distance.

The result of this is I have been buying horse stuff ever since, and the collection is now rather large. In fact there are 27 horse covers for three horses - two of which would probably never notice if they never wore a cover at all. So this is the level of indulgence I have reached now I am in possession of a reasonable amount of disposable income. This is probably not good when I contemplate it.

So I've been down in the shed sifting through covers, and saddles, and bridles, and halters, and the 20 lead ropes there appears to be, and grooming gear and .... well most things really. From the mess there are a large number of mice living in there. I only saw two - or maybe three - live ones though. One that was living in the lining of a cover in a carefully chewed hole lined with bits of hay, I flicked him or her outside, and the one that was living in a saddle blanket that ran up my arm, over my shoulder and down my back to escape - which sort of produced the eeeekkkk factor I don't normally have.

Mission accomplished and some order emerging from the mess I went to get some lunch leaving the burmese on guard in the shed. He turned up about five minutes later with a live mouse (not sure if this is one of my originals or a new one he found) which he promptly let go beside the freezer. So that's where it is - under the freezer.

I found a couple of dead ones too. Husband suggested they died from shock at finding so much food in one place.

My next mission - to find and set some mouse traps.

Friday, September 02, 2005

On a (redecorating) roll

We now have the freezer in the dining room, the washing machine in the middle of the floor, the shelving that used to be on the laundry wall out on the verandah, the cleaning products in several new places....

And plaster and dust everywhere in the laundry.

After that I'm told it's the guest bedroom and then my study (nooooo... I'll never find anything again)