Xmas Dinner #1

23 12 2007

The holiday season is well and truly here.  Xmas dinner #1 was last night.  I am well and truly stuffed (bleh) but it can’t be helped.  All dietary conservatism goes out the window…  With things like egg-nog freely available there is simply no way to resist.

It’s always good to hang out with your friends.  Often you will spend more time with people you don’t spend the time you should with throughout the year.  It makes you thankful for the friends and the life you do lead.  Things could be much worse despite the crises that seem to be entering our lives at the moment (See last couple of postings and add our Furnace quitting on us to the list).

Other activities included cards (rummy, but I don’t play), various weird WII games along with their creepy avatars (It’s a neat concept but I’m not 100% sold on the Nintendo WII just yet) and Trivial Pursuit.  Trivial pursuit is especially pointless for me due to my complete lack of pop-culture knowledge (I guess it was the 90’s edition, apparently I was completely AWOL during that time; additionally I learned that having notseen Grease is apparently a bad thing if not completely shocking!).  It was still fun though as it’s the company you are after really.

A chance for a bit of escapism from your every day life!  Roll on Christmas!

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Crisis? What Crisis?

20 12 2007

Meh!

The crises seem to keep piling up.  There are several.  One of which I alluded to in my last posting (that of the not-so-well sugar glider Taz).  This in of itself is pretty depressing because when small animals get ill it usually progresses very quickly one way or the other.  So far she’s holding out well but still is not her old self.

Last month I also had the fun of experiencing my basement flood for the second time in 11 months.  My insurance company is going to love that.  Insurance companies generally don’t like unlucky people.  Both floods were caused by the stupid humidifier in the basement.  Different causes but both involved the failure of a 50 cent part that would result in $15K+ worth of damage (carpet gone, drywall, etc).  Insurance companies generally don’t like unlucky people. 

The restoration guy who turned up to sort out the flood the second time was the same person I dealt with first time around.  He even turned up with a map of my basement “from the last time” which was kind of funny.  Ironically the renovations and repairs from the flood first time around were just nearing completion when the second one hit (and the second one did more damage than the first!).

To complicate matters further I have a hot tub in my basement.  It was one the reasons I bought the house in the first place as it was kind of a neat feature that I did enjoy although I did not use it all that much.  It’s been sat in my basement empty since the first flood and I’ve only tried to fill it and get it working again recently.  I discovered it had a small leak and had a hot tub type person look at it and fix it.  Now that I’ve watched him repair the problem I’m pretty confident I could do it myself as it looked pretty straight forward.  We got it filled and started the pump/jets going to test it and it looked pretty good.  About 15 minutes later I noticed a small leak in the pump unit, and then another small leak by one of the jets around the back.  I assessed these problems and I could probably fix it but given:

  1.  I’ve had 2 floods in 11 months
  2. The hot tub is probably pushing 20 years old (including mostly original parts)

I’ve had to think long and hard about this and I have decided to get rid of it out of my basement.  I’m pretty choked about that as it was one of my favourite features in my house but I feel like I am REALLY tempting fate keeping it around and thought best to be rid.  I could fix the problems I have found *SO FAR* but who is to say there won’t be more and given the age of the unit I can’t say it’s all that unlikely.  Sad 😦  It’s a shame but I just don’t trust it down there as I am a little paranoid about anything with water in the house at the moment.  On the plus side this will enable me to take a wall out of the basement and I’ll have room for a pool table and it will open up the basement as a whole so that is a pretty decent consolation prize 🙂  Hopefully the restoration people can start work soon so I can get my basement back in order and my girlfriend can get her office back!!  Right now she’s setup her computer in the living room on the dining room table which makes dinners an affair best done on the couch with TV trays.  So there is a hot tub going to a good home cheap if anyone is interested.  It is fully functioning, I just don’t want it in my basement.  If someone was so inclined there is nothing stopping them from setting it up in their yard if they wanted to build some housing around it!!!

And now for some obligatory cuteness (also if you were wondering what the hell a sugar glider looks like!).  Here is one of our Gliders Taz in her snuggle house (that’s a photo of her next to me whilst I was writing this).

Taz!

and one of our babies (Tate) in my shirt pocket

Tate in my pocket





The art of blogging…

19 12 2007

Two of the hardest things I find about blogging are:

  1. Finding something interesting to say.
  2. Finding the time to put it into some sort of coherent fashion to post.

Like most people I have opinions on a variety of things.  Some things are best left unshared and others can be interesting catalysts for discussion.  Most of my posts so far have just been amusing or useful things I have found on the net that I thought were worth mentioning.  I don’t really discuss much about what I think or feel or what goes on in my world.  Reading about how people blog and what makes a successful one usually involves having a personal element involved which keeps your readers interested and gives your blog a more personal touch.  I’m not expecting to become the next big hot blog that gets a mention on the radio or on a news website.  This is more a personal thing for me and a bit of a hobby I am trying to explore and I’ve generally been somewhat an introvert most of my life so perhaps this will give me a successful way of expressing myself that I have not previously tried. 

I’ve found a good blogging time for actually putting my thoughts into writing and getting it posted.  So that’s one of the two issues potentially dealt with if I can keep it up.  We have three sugar gliders that require playtime in the evenings and I’ve taken to bringing my laptop into our “glider proof” (if there is such a thing) room and using this as my blogging and misc net surfing time in the evenings when it’s my turn to feed and play with them.  Using the wireless network to tune in to our iTunes jukebox machine in the living room which supplies the atmosphere 🙂  We’ve recently got two baby sugar gliders and they are cute as hell and very curious.  They seem to like running over my keyboard but are not really heavy enough to type yet (unless they jump on it off my head!).  Maybe if things get slow I’ll have them post for me.

Finding interesting things to talk about may be more difficult.  As I’ve mentioned in previous postings I generally listen to a lot of BBC podcasts which always give me food for thought (for example the forbidden lego book in a previous posting came from a mention of it on such a podcast).  The political and documentary ones in particular make me think and can cause a range of emotions in me (the story they did on Burma awhile back was especially sad).  I am a total internet news junkie!  Maybe I’ll try to put what I make of it all into words.  The web has loads of interesting things and developments that are worthy topics of discussion.  All the Web 2.0 sites out there (user defined/driven content) such as Facebook have caused quite a stir and, yes, I am on facebook I’m afraid to say.  It’s not quite as addictive as it was when I first started but I do check it daily!

For now I should go pay attention to our older grumpy glider Taz!  She’s sulking in her cage and probably needs some coaxing to get her out.  I don’t think she is all that well at the moment; she’s gained weight and is sometimes a bit lethargic.  Vet has looked at her and reckons her liver may be a bit dodgy and she’s somewhat constipated so I’m giving her the equivalent of Glider-Ex-Lax.  I hope she gets a bit perkier soon; I miss her bratty self.

(as an aside, speaking of technology, with my little word processor I use I’ve just had to add “Facebook” and “podcast” as allowable words, lol).





Lego for the rest of us!

14 12 2007

I was listening to a BBC news podcast on the way to work and they did a review of a book called “Forbidden Lego”.  Lego for the rest of us!  Apparently these were plans for lego sets/building instructions that were canned for various reasons… the fact they were viewed as dangerous being one of them.

 This ex-Lego engineer (why would anyone be an ex-Lego engineer… that sounds like one of the most fun jobs on the planet) has published a book with some of these “forbidden” plans for you to try.  Looks like fun!  This book is in the top 500 sellers list on Amazon.

Forbidden Lego Book

I looked up the book on the net when I got into work and the page even has a you tube video demonstrating the fully automatic lego gun you can create…  Click the picture to follow the link 🙂





Dell joins the war on terror!

4 12 2007

I was looking up the specs for the CDRW drive on my work Dell laptop.  I found a Dell support site that gives the information I was looking for.  Fortunately, for our safety, they also had an interesting clause at the bottom regarding “export” regulations.  It reads as follows:

Customer acknowledges that these Products, which may include technology and software, are subject to the customs and export control laws and regulations of the United States (” U.S.”) and may also be subject to the customs and export laws and regulations of the country in which the Products are manufactured and/or received. Customer agrees to abide by those laws and regulations. Further, under U.S. law, the Products may not be sold, leased or otherwise transferred to restricted end-users or to restricted countries. In addition, the Products may not be sold, leased or otherwise transferred to, or utilized by an end-user engaged in activities related to weapons of mass destruction, including without limitation, activities related to the design, development, production or use of nuclear weapons, materials, or facilities, missiles or the support of missile projects, and chemical or biological weapons.”

I’ll sleep much better at night now knowing my CDROM won’t be used in the design, development, production of nuclear weapons, WMD, etc.

You can see the original site here