Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spinning back into control

Today I had a holiday from the Computer Lounge so The Doctor would have had to cope with the lady who wants to send anonymous emails. All power to him; I will be interested to know how he went and if she tried that suggestion on him. And even more, I want to know if the computers have been fixed as The Administrator was writing out a cheque to pay the techie to come and fix them ... not before time.

I decided that, instead of wasting time today I would try to get done some of the things which I have been promising myself for months so I dusted off Himself's vinyl-to-CD machine and processed a couple of records and - more to the point, I unwrapped my spinning wheel, greased it and started plying the bobbins of spun fleece. I managed one of the two because my rhythm was way off and the wheel was stiff. As well, I couldn't get the tension right - something which needs some serious attention. The wheel is actually supposed to have a double drive band but I have converted it to Scottish tension because it is easier to control ... but the tension screw keeps on loosening itself. I need something better than a toothpick jammed in to stop it moving. And moths have been at the fleece so everything is now in plastic bags with naphtha flakes. Once I have plied the second skein I can start on the black alpaca which has been sitting in its bag for years; home grown by Rosemary1 and her alpaca, Clare.

I must see if D3 wants to come to the Royal Agricultural Show with me in September and see if we can buy a couple of fleeces as I would like to get back to spinning and knitting. One day I will commission a sideways wheel for myself; one day ... !

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bouncing off the walls

Yesterday afternoon I realised that my balance was off and I was feeling nauseous. This has happened before and last time it happened I ended up in hospital so I phoned D2 for help and retired to bed. She arrived and gave me an injection of stematil, after which Boy-Cat and I curled up together and slept for 15 hours. I got up at one stage and had a bite to eat and a quick shower and I was vaguely aware that he got up a couple of times during the night but we both woke up much refreshed this morning. I was still bouncing off the walls a bit but that has improved during the day and I am back to normal again.

Obviously, it was an attack of the short-acting Menière's Disease, rather than the long lasting functional labyrinthitis, which is cheering because I can cope with an occasional day in bed but not months and months of feeling dreadful; and I have all the medication I need - it is just that it is impossible to give myself an injection when I can't focus my eyes.

Boy-Cat has decided that I need looking after and since he no longer has his little sister to curl up with I am the one in the firing line. Whenever I sit down he climbs into my lap, he tells me when it is time to go to bed and then crawls in with me, orders me to groom him after his breakfast and generally lets me know that he has my welfare at heart. He is a lovely and loving cat but it all gets a bit much and I have had to deal out a small amount of 'tough love' to give myself some quality time. I hate doing it but it has to be done or I'll never have a moment's peace ...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Email mania

I had a real doozie of a client at the computer lounge yesterday. She was supposed to see The Doctor but the Boss didn't want to get him in for just one client so I got her instead. As usual, I asked her what she hoped to use her computer for and she said that her main aim was to be able to send emails. Later, it transpired that she wants to be able to send anonymous emails to expose corruption. She doesn't want the emails to be traceable to her. I said that it was impossible, that all the online email hosts made the users agree not be send nuisance emails and that an anonymous email was likely to be sent straight to the spam folder, but she said that all people had the right to expose corruption. My response was that if she is not brave enough to put her name to the accusations then her emails would probably never be read.

We shall see. I certainly won't help her to open an online account and if she managed to do it on her own at some stage then I won't be in any way responsible.

My other client is a sweetie but her computer, which she brings in, is a messy mish-mash and I can't sort it out, particularly since she can't connect it to the network. She lives close by and I may pay her a visit and see if we can get things working better. Her twelve-year-old granddaughter phoned her IP and sorted out her password (the one she had was impossible to remember) and perhaps the grand-daughter could sort out the rest for her. One of her problems is a trial version of MSOffice which is about to run out and that is the email which she has been using. She can't understand why she can't keep on using it ...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grrrrr ...

The roof on my shed has been leaking for some time and eventually I decided that, with all the rain we have had recently, it was time to get it fixed. I got a couple of quotes and organised to have the job done. However, with all the rain the contractor was very behind with orders and it wasn't until today, five weeks later, that the work was eventually done.

Notwithstanding, on 14th July, I received an 'overdue' account. Fearful of my credit rating I phoned the company and they assured me that it was a computer error. Today, an hour after the work was completed, I received another, rather threatening, 'overdue' account, posted on 17th July. Again I phoned the company and was told that they had received 'quite a number of similar phone calls'. The accounts are generated automatically, according to the woman I spoke to ... but wouldn't you think that they would have something in place to tell the computer when a job has been completed!!!

The weather has been very wet - with gales, hail, thunder and lightning - just like the old days. I really don't believe in this "global warming' which has morphed into "climate change" which covers all eventualities. We are just coming out of a mini-ice age which peaked in about 1660. Naturally the world is going to warm up. *sigh*

Our fearless leader has cooked up a carbon credits scheme whereby polluting companies buy the right to spew out pollutants and then the Federal Government compensates them so that, in fact, the government is paying them to pollute and will be paying out more than it gets from the sale of carbon credits. In effect, us taxpayers are paying companies to pollute ...

This is a great place to vent. *grin*

Monday, July 6, 2009


This week we are having a Council Collection and at the weekend everyone along the street was busy putting garden cuttings and unwanted goods on the street verges. The scavengers were out in force so we all started early to give them time to go through our stuff and take it away before either the council or the weather beat them to it. I chatted to several of the scavengers, including one man who wanted a particular part from my dead microwave oven. He didn't take the whole oven as I had expected but ripped the back off and raided its insides. Most of the good stuff went early - so much better to recycle like this than to have it taken away and used as landfill.

Mr Next-door from up the hill said that he felt an obligation to put stuff out to be recycled. I must say that I don't feel that strongly about it but spent some time making hard decisions about what I would realistically take with me when I move, and parting with some much-loved items.

The next-doors at the back - I don't know their names - have some olive trees in their driveway which they keep clipped on their side but allow them to grow uncontrollably over my roof and gutters. I have tried several times to speak to them about their responsibility to keep their leaves out of my gutters but they never answer their bell. So, last week I dropped a note into their letter box and asked them, in view of the fact that the council would remove the cuttings, to clip the trees on my side.

I didn't expect any response as I had assumed that they must be 'grey nomads' who went north over winter but this morning a huge truck with a mulcher on the back arrived in the back lane and, although I haven't looked yet, I think that the trees have been removed altogether. Yeah!! They are messy and definitely not suited to a narrow garden bed between a stone wall and a driveway so perhaps my note prompted them to get rid of them in order to plant something more suitable.

I, for one, am not sorry to see the last of them.