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47 responses to “Lazy Sunday”

  1. Paul Norton

    I’ve chopped my potatoes and sweet potatoes into big bits and put them in the oven.

    As a south-east Queensland AFL watcher, I’m pleasantly surprised that the Brisbane Lions have grown a spine and provided some interesting contests in their past three games, and that the Gold Coast Suns are progressing well for an expansion team.

  2. paul burns

    Reading Dane Kennedy’s The Last Blank Spaces. Exploring Africa and Australia. About 19th century explorers in Africa/Australia. So far, its enthralling.
    Yesterday watched a couple of episodes of series 5 of True Blood. Its okay, I guess.

  3. Ronson Dalby

    Just filled a prescription at the chemist for a regular med and for the first time a generic is available – $16 instead of $39. Nice saving.

  4. indigo

    Watched this, from Aljazeera, Restoring Rangoon

  5. akn

    Spent the day high in the hills with The Strapper chainsawing firewood in old forestry coups. All that money I spent on therapy and all I really needed was a decent sized Huskie. Doing things like that is one of the reasons I moved to the bush; its a more direct relationship with nature. Old logs to cut up for heat in winter; no throw of the switch for warmth. Self care takes physical effort.

    The Strapper is a gun hand with a chainsaw and handles a fourbie on a goat track with aplomb. She’s a pure Aussie sheila, a hoot, and someone to trust.

    Beauty.

  6. Terangeree

    Rostered to start work at 1.25am, and all turned out to be a comedy of errors which saw me being paid to sleep for five out of ten hours while waiting for things to be fixed.

    Daughter wanted to go to the beach to try her “new” sandcastle bucket, and son wanted to see Tallebudgera again, two days after he came back from the Grade Seven School Camp — so we went to Tallebudgera to build a metre-high sandcastle and play interstate tiggy at the Point Danger Lighthouse.

  7. Jumpy

    Me ? Golf.
    Apparently after not playing for 3 weeks, and having a red hot go, I should try playing left handed.
    Great company though Dad ,John, Karen and I versus the course.
    The course and gusting 25-35 knot winds won the day.
    Next Sunday? revenge!!

  8. philip travers

    i AM JEALOUS. All I really did today was used an old table tennis table I fixed up to warm the clothes up to fold.Hoping to find new uses for table tennis tables in videos. Lots of earthquakes occuring in the Los Angeles area.VIPs moving out,according to a site at Rense.com last night.

  9. Graham Bell

    Went to the Lifeline Book Sale at Rockhampton Showgrounds yesterday; found a couple of nice surprises. Despite the negative stereotypes so fashionable in MelbCanSyd, people here are literate and informed; they are not rednecks and boagans.

  10. Russell

    Have struggled through another Sunday and finally achieved serenity with the help of a magazine and some chocolate.

    First I found that the beach had disappeared, with the water up to the sandhills, and I had to trot along half in the water; then swimming back I encountered great drifts of sea weed and had to go out and out – since the spate of shark attacks I’ve stayed right on the edge – being out so far was a bit too thrillingly reckless for my liking.

    Then, at home in the garden I decided to move the gerberas to a sunnier spot and stepped on the garden fork, suffering a nasty gash. It’s a strange thing, even living alone, my first response is always “who left the bloody thing here?” – there’s some satisfaction in the verbal trick of implying that someone else did it.

    Then guilt led me back to the abandoned Wittgenstein – I couldn’t bear to read any more about the impossibly self-centred creep – but a chapter later I decided to go for pleasure with a Monocle magazine and some Lindt cooking chocolate (all I could find).

  11. mindy

    I hope your tetanus shot is up to date Russell. Yes, I am watching Jabbed on SBS.

  12. Fran Barlow

    Ok .. it’s Sunday morning and I’m in the market for a side-by-side fridge-freezer. This is a field of knowledge where I know very little.

    Ideally, the combo doesn’t exceed 910mm in width (but I can check that out myself). I’d basically like to know the brands to stay clear of. I’ve heard bad things about Fisher & Paykel (noisy, poor build quality, poor after sales service). I don’t need an ice maker or filtered water. I’d like not to spend more than $2000 new. I have two weeks to buy one though I suppose I could make do with my own combo of separate fridge and freezer if I want to find a place for the latter.

    Any guidance would be valued.

  13. BilB

    They don’t exist yet in the format that you are needing but while you are in the market stir up the retailers by asking for an upright fridge with Eutectic storage.

    Such a fridge will allow you to operate the fridge from your rooftop solar panels very significantly improving the functionality of your solar.

    http://www.4x4equip.com.au/showProduct/TS-0010

    This is one thing that the government should be requiring manufacturers to make available within the next six years.

  14. Ootz

    Fran, according to Choice, which as a good consumer, you should be a member of …. http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/household/kitchen/fridges-and-freezers/fridges-review-and-compare/page/what-to-buy.aspx
    Top rated models (read comment section too)
    – LG GC-P197DPSL $1999, Rated 81%
    – Haier HSBS582AS (could be an F&P clone) $1099 Rated 75%
    – LG GC-L197STF $2199 Rated 75%

    Was looking forward to a few hours in the vegies. However, the de-amalgamation issue is heating up again. An utter disaster for our new/old shire, to which the great unwashed here is only waking up to now, well into the transitional period. I have committed myself to establish a structure and agenda for a new residents group to assert some sanity and accountability.

    Thank you Premier Newman and Minister Crisafulli. You sold us out with this totally irresponsible decision to let the vote and process for de-amalgamation to go ahead the way it did, given the demonstrable fraud that the proposal and campaign for de-amalgamation was and our dire financial future, as clearly stated by your own treasury. What for, a handful of promised votes towards a regional seat in the backwaters?

  15. BilB

    I take it Ootz that the financial disaster that you are facing is in the cost of reconstructing a management structure that had been dismantled in the earlier amalgamation process. Is that correct?

  16. mindy

    Fran we have a Westinghouse side by side which we are very happy with. The stainless steel version is about $100 dearer than the white, but if you offer to pay cash you might be able to get a good deal, especially this close to 30 June. We decided that the water and ice maker too up too much of the inside space of the fridge/freezer.

    I am not a fan of LG appliances, having had some issues with them in the past. I have not owned and LG fridge however, so they may be better constructed.

  17. Paul Norton

    My humble abode has become a crumble abode, and will become a tumble abode.

    The building in which I reside consists of an ageing weatherboard house that at some time has been restumped to become an upper floor, and a solid brick bottom floor constructed below, with concrete paving all around and a negative gradient from the level of the street frontage to the bottom floor. The entire building is now being let out as five flats.

    A tree has begun to sprout through through the brickwork at the side of my flat adjacent to the shower recess, and evidence from the plumbers indicates that the pipes in the vicinity of where the tree is growing are cracking, causing periodic blockages. On inspecting the building I have discovered that there is no access under the house to allow for a direct attack on the tree, the pipes, etc., meaning that any attempt to remove the tree and replace the pipes will require partially demolishing the wall and digging up the concrete paving. Because the tree is growing out of the wall facing the street where the negative gradient is at its steepest, this will create considerable difficulties of access for excavation machinery.

    I have drawn these matters to the attention of the agent, and will be interested to see what action the owner intends to take.

  18. David Irving (no relation)

    Prolly time to move, Paul.

  19. akn

    My mother died last Monday. In a public hospital, warm and clean, after a botched suicide attempt at age eighty four.

    She was a difficult person.

    I am delighted with the care she received from the nurses who shifted her fourth hourly morph to hourly thereby ending it without undue pain and suffering.

    Angels.

    After more than thirty years of working as an RN I am very grateful to see that the same values that I learned as a public hospital RN, ones that are deeply humanist, have been sustained.

    Today I said farewell, for a while, to my daughter who is off to America on a right of passage.

    Such is life.

  20. Sceptic

    Best wishes Akn. The death of a parent is a difficult time. I remember being assailed by all manner of unexpected emotions. I felt like a little cork bobbing on the open sea, going under and coming up again. It doesn’t make it any easier when a child leaves home as well. That happened to me too. Best wishes again.

  21. akn

    Ta mate. All the best to you too, as well.

  22. mindy

    Sorry for your loss akn.

    I hope you can enjoy your daughter’s stories of life in the US without worrying yourself too much. I am quietly dreading that time, which while not in the immediate future is not too much farther off as children grow up so quickly.

  23. akn

    Oh well, Mindy, the US! From here, psycho central. However, the US is full of good lefties, ones the MSM never tell us about, and she’s in their arms from now on. The US left seem to survive by being co-op members, greenies, people who give a shite, Mother Jones and Atlantic subscribers, gun deniers, readers of Studs Terkel, of Michael Moore and so on. They’re ok by me.

    You grow a warrior and hope for the best.

  24. Russell

    AKN – it’s a good thing that she lived long enough for her grandkids to know her as a person. And for you, the good thing is that you don’t have to worry about her anymore (the frailer, the more to worry about) – though, of course, she’s part of you, and will always be in there!

    Nurses are always at the top of the Morgan poll’s most respected professions. When my mum was going in and out of hospital she was (being intensely private) always keen to move from the public hospital to the private, very expensive, one next door. But for all its shabbiness the care from the nurses in the public hospital was soooo much better than what she got from the carers? assistants? (I didn’t see many nurses or doctors) in the luxurious private hospital.

  25. Fran Barlow

    Thanks for the tips on the fridge-freezers … reporting back.

    Hubby and I went to Masters home centre in Chullora — one of the few that carries the Haier SBS582AS. As it was most of $500 cheaper than its similarly sized competition, it had a fair head start and it looked a good unit. There was even one on the floor with some entirely superficial dings on it at $894, giving it an even bigger lead.

    One the downside, its energy usage was quite high and when you looked inside the freezer compartment, despite having more theoretical storage space than our standalone Fisher and Paykel 210, it seemed smaller — possibly because some of the space it was counting was in the door cavity as shelving — meaning that much of the extra space was void space. It actually used 27kWh per annum more than the slightly larger and rather more expensive Westinghouse. (630kWh v 603kWh). The Westinghouse (the one mentioned by Mindy above) also had more useable space but in silver with “anti-fingerprint” finish cost $1488. If we went for white we could have the same unit for $1299.

    There was another machine on the floor too ($1194) — the last of its kind as it was a discontinued line but it looked a little the worse for wear and we wondered why it had been discontinued, so at this stage we will probably pay the extra for the Westinghouse as we are more confident we can fit all of our frozens in. It would have been much better if the manufacturers had designed it without door-based storage. For the life of me I can’t imagine why they went that way. Who needs door storage in a freezer?

    The most expensive fridge I saw was nearly $13000. I was stunned. I just shook my head. I saw a few for $4800 too and that was mad enough. I began to wonder why one would pay that much. The $13000 job looked like an old mainframe. It was a monster — presumably designed to elicit ‘fridge envy’. The $4800 job simply bathed you in light when you opened the double doors top and bottom. I briefly felt really important — like some sort of demi-god — and suddenly I understood the design rationale as I gazed at the wine chiller and recalled that I don’t drink and find it odd that anyone who did should need to have more than one bottle of wine at one time.

    It’s an odd world we live in. Thanks once again to those who pitched in with advice.

  26. Fran Barlow

    Just saw your post AKN … I’m terribly sorry to learn of your loss. I hope that you have the ready support of people who care genuinely for you right now.

    My best wishes at this difficult time …

  27. Russell

    “Who needs door storage in a freezer? ”

    That would be for keeping all your little tubs of Maggie Beer ice-cream neat and accessible.

    I just bought a new fridge and was instructed by a nephew that I had to buy Electrolux because they were the best, environmentally. I went into the shop with that intention but came out with a Panasonic – apparently second best at energy consumption – because the Electrolux had a ‘get-down-on-your-old-knees-to-open-it’ freezer door, whereas the Panasonic had a pull out drawer.

    The Panasonic has a disturbing light – no doubt energy saving – that reminds me of those strange blue lights in public toilets that are supposed to stop drug addicts being able to find a vein. So, you get to feel sleazy every time you open your ‘fridge door! I think it might be worth trashing the environment for a fridge that can make you feel like a demigod.

  28. Fran Barlow

    Russell:

    That would be for keeping all your little tubs of Maggie Beer ice-cream neat and accessible.

    Couldn’t you contain them in a tupperware dish in one of the drawers?

  29. Brian

    Sorry to hear, akn.

    I’ve been thinking about such matters lately. My mother passed on 30 years ago in 1983, and my wife’s mother in 1995. Since then we’ve been in the front line. I have four siblings, my wife three and all have partners, making 17. One is in his 80s, three in their 60s and the rest in their 70s, and we are all still here.

    In the past weeks three have been/are in hospital with serious issues. Earlier this year I was together with my siblings at a family reunion almost certainly for the last time. My wife is thinking of bringing hers together and we are not sure it can be done.

    Yesterday I saw Mark for about 10 minutes to retrieve an esky, pick up his loans to be returned to the uni library and such. He has been working 12 hours a day and is about to take off to Europe for six weeks, which is possibly why he hasn’t been reflecting on Australian politics.

    Tomorrow my brother has his pacemaker installed, and will be very happy to return home, not happy though that he can’t use the welder any more.

  30. Russell

    “Couldn’t you contain them in a tupperware dish in one of the drawers?”

    Tupperware?! Not since I de-plasticised the house – even the lunch-box I take to work is glass. I would find it reassuring to see all the varieties of my little Maggie Beer ice-cream tubs lined up neatly in the door. Not that I have a door, but the previously mentioned drawer. But the only things in my freezer are ever ice-cream and frozen berries.

  31. Helen

    Sorry to hear about your mum, AKN. Glad she had a good death, too.

  32. Helen

    Had a fabulous Sunday cleanup in the spare/guest room – can now wheel the bike in / extend the couch bed without moving stuff. Various items moved to the back of the car for the op shop bin. Is it a thing about getting older, this delight in getting rid of stuff? (But I don’t get enough of it.)
    Went through a few songs for my new outfit the Lucilles, formerly the Joelenes, with headphones and the Joelenes EP In Search of Gympie Gold (4 of the 5 songs are being taken to the new band.) Fun! Then made chicken burgers with mint, spring onions and a yoghurt-sour cream sauce from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, which was a birthday present. This was a hit and will probably be a family staple. Served with chickpeas, tomatoes and the rest of the mint in a vinaigrette and flatbread.

  33. akn

    Brian, thinking of yourself as in ‘the front line’ is useful and funny!

    I wish, after all of the death that I’ve witnessed, that I had something sage to offer. But I don’t. I do have some funny stories about wonderful humans facing it down. Like Izzy, an ancient Jewish psychotherapist I once attended at a Jewish nursing home. The encounter went like this:

    ‘How are you Izzie?’
    ‘Not so good’
    ‘What’s wrong?’
    “I came here to die’
    ‘And?’

    He then says ‘It’s not happening’.

    The first time I wrapped a corpse was under the supervision of an RN who was old enough to have served during the Crimean War. In those days nurse training was an apprenticeship under women’s tutelage. She treated the corpse with immaculate respect. I don’t know how you teach that from books.

    Plan ahead so far as is possible but allow for contingency and the unexpected!

  34. Ootz

    My sympathies AKN. As Sceptic mentioned, be aware that unexpected emotions, which can suddenly pop up with these ‘generational shifts’. This happened to me too when my mother died few years ago. If properly acknowledged these emotional hiccups can be insightful life experiences and healing. Take good care of yourself.

    BilB @15 “reconstructing the management structure” is an important and costly aspect. There is also duplicating operational infrastructure and licensing , such as in IT (estimated cost $3M) as well as upgrading major infrastructure with a reduced ratepayer base. For example, the sewerage system has been neglected for 2 decades and has been technically operating illegally for the last few years. We are looking at $30m upgrading costs, on top of the estimated $8m de-amalgamation cost, for a Shire the size of Tassie and approx population of 20k. While the State Government made it abundantly clear that it has no funds available and we are on our own. After all, that was the motivation of the Beatty government to amalgamate, so it can extricate itself from funding Local Governments, while at the same time legislating statutory obligation for LGs to regularly audit and upgrade their infrastructure. Thus, Queensland Treasury has assessed our new/old shire as being financially in a very weak position and not sustainable. The process and legislation for de-amalgamation established by the Newman Government was extremely sloppy. This enabled for an ugly and fraudulent pro campaign to get the vote. Only now a growing number of pro d-a voters start to wake up and realise the consequences. Thus, I am now in process to establish the frame work for a rate payer association as a instrument for damage control (prevent the lying b****s getting elected into new council) and to regain some integrity and transparency on LG level.

    Still, found some time to harvest Pineapples, Bananas and a bucket of Basil to be processed into pesto. Also potted up Strawberry runners, all very life affirming stuff and recharging mental energy.

  35. Brian

    akn, sometimes I can find words and sometimes I can’t. For the family reunion I did a lot of writing about the old days, including the stories of each of my parents. My mother in particular had a life that you could write a novel about. This was about my father’s death:

    The next milestone was the saddest of all. In April 1965 in Brisbane, in a bus within sight of the Brisbane General Hospital, Dick suffered a heart attack and died. He was only 66 and she 56.

    They had come to Brisbane to see a specialist about Dick’s heart, having experienced angina pains. The appointment was delayed a week, so they were on the way to Buderim to fill in time.

    Prior to getting on the bus they had bought a new hat for Dick at McDonnell & East. Molly took it back to them and told them he wouldn’t need it after all.

    Molly was fluent on the organ and many an hour had been spent with the family singing songs around the organ. On the morning of the funeral she sat down at the organ and played and sang the old songs.

    On the front verandah she told Brian that the last few years had been the happiest of her life.

    The last few words went like this:

    Matron reported that at the end she opened her eyes to see four worried faces gazing at her. She said, “Oh, I’m alright!” and then closed her eyes for the last time.

    She really didn’t want to be a bother to anyone.

    If the tears come, let them flow. I can’t abide the word “closure”.

    On my mother’s death my sister said, “Now she is free to be with us all”. In a way she has been. She still turns up in my dreams.

  36. Russell

    Some friends have just called to invite me to go to see Gatsby (it’s a holiday in W.A.) and I have to admit to thinking “if we weren’t old fossils we’d be going to a Gatsby Party, not the movie”.

    Yes, Such is Life.

  37. BilB

    The lying B stads are the real problem. Their main game is usually about real estate manipulations for maximum profit.

    What I would suggest is talk to the Kiwis. Christchurch city council (regional council) prided itself on achieving best possible price on public works. Very important to be aggressive on this one, Aus councils are seen as an easy mark for ripoffs and I can tell you how some of these work based on what happened here in the blue mountains.

    I have a friend in Perth who is a civil engineer and expert in roading, sewerage, and dams. He is the consumate administrator, brilliantly efficient. His company managed the roading around Dunedin for many years. What I would suggest is that you need a consultant advisor for a period. On financing advice I have a mate who is an expert in finance who was and aid to Frank Crean all those years ago and who is, at 85, building a major piece of software for a large mining concern. One of the sharpest minds on the planet. All you need is a few words of really solid advice on that one. He lives in Dungog.

    Take a few pages out of Ashburton Council’s book. This council had a tree management programme that made rates some 17% lower than they would have been without it. They planted out every bit of spare council land with commercial trees which were managed and harvested for profit, and there is some amazing affordable software to make this easier, I believe.

    My Brother Rick has a business that specialises in disbursing funds (collecting) for the cheapest possible price. Might be worth a call, though he is very hard to get hold of.

    You should look at practical rethinks on how to do things. For instance I once designed a lawnmower that clipped to an Ag bike for mowing council bits and pieces. It worked like a side car and was raised for moving between sections on the roads, and lowered for mowing, and could also be unclipped for hand pushing around the awkward bits that could not be designed out. It was intended to replace the regular mowing team of 2 or 3 guys with a truck, trailer, and expensive ride-ons. It was good for youth employment.

    If you can attract an urgent NBN install then you might even be able to minimise the council chambers thing with a distributed casual workforce of farmers wives, and work at homers.

    Think of it from the positive view point and may actually be much better.

  38. FDB

    Sorry to hear about your mum AKN.

    And I’ve just heard from Perth that my Gran’s dead. Nearly made the century, stone deaf since the late 1970s and still living in the family home, doing her own housework, cooking and gardening. Deadset legend.

  39. BilB

    And one other thing that you need very early from your consultant engineer, Ootz, is a book (spreadsheet) of standard process costs tailored for public works and council operations adjusted for local living costs.

    This seems to be a year for the thinning of our ranks, FDB. I’m going to a funeral tomorrow for a guy who had a sheet metal factory a few doors away.

    That was a nice family touch there, Brian.

  40. akn

    FDB: the sheer numbers impress. All that life. Good on yer gran.

  41. FDB

    She was still teaching other deaf folks lipreading into her nineties.

  42. Russell

    I can report back on Gatsby: given that I’ve only really been to the movies once in the last 20 years, “Lincon”, and don’t have TV or video, I will have an uninformed critique, but perhaps also a fresh view since I’ve never seen any of the actors, or know the director’s habits ….

    This Gatsby is in 3D, You would think that the purpose of 3D was to make things more realistic but I found it did the opposite and made everything unreal, a fantasy world. Given the sets, I think this fantasy look was deliberate. I’m guessing that the director thought there would be less distance between fantasy and the mythic themes of the novel.

    In that case it may have been better to find an actress like Mia Farrow (the Daisy I remember from the earlier film) who was so dreamlike she looked like she needed a blood transfusion. The earlier film was dreamy, but also more realistic, more like the novel. The new version is a bit like playing Rachmaninoff as fast as you can with your foot planted on the sustaining pedal, hoping to achieve transcendence by sheer volume. It’s not a bad film because the novel is just so good, but I think I’d prefer the Redford/Farrow film.

  43. akn

    Lip reading. Whoa. Do you know about the history of lipping and singing?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sign_language

    Lippers are really sophisticated communicators. Good lippers are very rare. An old mate of mine was a lipper, before getting implants; he lost his hearing due to firing anti-aircraft weapons mounted on the back of fourbies in Lebanon during the civil war. No ear muffs, eh?

  44. FDB

    Gran was adamant that she wouldn’t learn to sign. She saw it as an imposition on everyone else, where they had to learn a whole new way of communicating for her benefit. And the flipside of course, where you can only communicate with those who speak your language.

    Only in the last ten years or so have I realised that she was extremely unusual. I guess previously I somehow imagined it was a skill anyone could pick up. It would annoy me that growing a beard meant I had to repeat myself or face her more squarely.

    But she was determined to minimise the effect of her disability on everyone else, and did an incredible job of it. Thanks to her efforts, both my father and I have been able to sport majestic beards and still communicate with our matriarch.

  45. Helen

    I’m sorry to hear about your Gran, FDB. Sounds a lot like my wonderful mum, who is still going.

  46. paul burns

    Condolences on your Gran, akn. Hope you are okay.

  47. jules

    akn, FDB, all the best. Here’s to your mum and gran.