Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Heaven preserve and protect me

Heaven preserve me from well meaning friends and relatives who set up the computers of their parents and elderly acquaintances.

I have a client at the moment who owns a computer which is both slow and messy and which, moreover, refuses to do what I ask of it.  The icons on the desktop are tiny and when I tried to set them bigger it wanted to reboot (which we didn't have time to do because it is so slow) and its home page is simply 'about.blank' which, according to google is the result of the computer becoming infected with something and her virus scanner, Bitdefender, clearing it and removing her home page.  I have printed off some instructions telling me how to put it back again but her virus scanner is out of date.  This is a problem with trial versions of things  -  they run out.  She has two urgent messages on her computer telling her to update the virus scanner and according to the page of instructions I found, she needs to scan and clean her computer before anyone can reinstate her home page.

I would recommend a technician and a more well-known virus scanner to sort it out ... I can't.

I have managed, after much swearing and gnashing of teeth, to install TrendMicro and MS Office on my Windows 8 laptop and then I found that there were 20 emails in my inbox which refused to delete.  Himself solved that by dragging them into the deleted folder.  I had tried using the 'move' button to do this and it didn't work so I was resigned to having them there forever.  The newer emails delete as they should.  And now my internet connection to the Windows 8 computer (hereafter to be referred to as minimagnus) keeps dropping out.  I think that this may have something to do with the facility with which it connects itself to the COTA network or maybe my modem just doesn't like having to do the extra work.

I love computers but sometimes they drive me spare.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I don't believe that any Local Council ...

The law pertaining to the registration of cats comes into effect in six days.  When I first went to register the babies last week the forms were not yet available but the girl behind the desk promised to post them when they arrived.

I received them a couple of days ago, filled them in with all the relevant information and have just returned from the Council Offices.  Despite the fact that the law comes into effect next week I was told that no registrations will be accepted or processed until the middle of November.  Why??  I can only ascribe it to gross inefficiency, something I have frequently noticed over the past two years since I moved to Claremont.  I have been dealing with the Cottesloe council for decades and they have always been helpful and efficient; I am unaccustomed to this level of inefficiency.  I am starting to seriously believe the rumours about how and why the old council building burnt down.

Anyway, the forms and all the required documentation are there and waiting for mid-November.  I can't see that much will be done about unregistered cats unless the rangers are better at their job than the office staff.  But I will comply with the law ... I have even bought collars for them but they will only be for 'best' if I take them out to the park where they will be firmly tethered to the kitty-carriage anyway.

I have picked up my new spectacles and am testing them.  I have found that with the new correction I am having to move my head differently to see the correct distances with the multifocal lenses.  But already I am accommodating to them and I can even see the computer screen without my computer glasses.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I have decided to start knitting the yarn I spun from the 'Storm' rovings but the swatch seems to think that it is about 11-ply which is just thicker than Aran.  I have knitting needles left over from the olden days and new ones which I have bought recently and I should have the correct size to start knitting the ribbing band but it seems to be the one and only size which I don't have in a spectrum from 2mm to 20mm; I don't have any 5mm needles.  So I am going to have to make another trip to Woolylatte tomorrow and get some, unless, by some miracle, the set which I ordered about six weeks ago (and which was out of stock) arrives to save me. is amazing.  I put my parameters into the pattern search and came up with pages and pages of vest patterns for Aran so I think that I simply need to knit a size smaller than I should to accommodate the slightly thicker yarn ... or I could go up a needle size and then I could start straight away with the right sized needles but that would mean knitting another swatch to get the ratio  -  not a particularly onerous task and the finished vest might be better for being a bit looser.  One of the problems I have found that knitters of homespun are prone to is knitting on too-small needles.

I've finished spinning the first bobbin of black corridale but haven't started on the next one yet.  I have downloaded a couple of books onto my Kobo and they are tempting me. And today was sterilising litter tray day and should be cutting claws day as well but the babies slept so peacefully all day that I decided not to disturb them or Poppy would start yowling for tummy rubs.  She has a particularly strident voice which is hard to ignore ... although she does stop if I tell her to.  Only she looks so hurt when I do that which makes me reluctant to shut her up.

There is still nothing from the Claremont Council regarding registering them and they have to be official by 31st October.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Claremont Council? What council? A big girl's blouse, more like ...

All cats in Western Australia have to be sterilised, microchipped and registered by 31st of this month.  I have just got back from trying to register my two and the Council hasn't even got the forms to fill in yet!!!  I have always found them hopeless to deal with but this really takes the cake.  They have taken my name and address and will post me a form when they eventually get around to getting them.  *sigh*

I took one of my camisoles out of the drawer yesterday, intending to wear it, only to find that both shoulder straps had been eaten.  It would have happened a couple of weeks ago from memory, so hopefully the straps have digested by now and won't cause any problems in the future.  In the meantime I will either have to replace the straps with something or throw away the camisole.  I have already bought a rather nice apron for spinning and hopefully the ties are not suckable.  nevertheless, I am keeping it in a pillowcase with my spinning.

I have been very lax about getting on with spinning the black corridale, what with a house guest and a generally achy body which seems to be recovering now so I need to get back to it.  Especially as I received the first 100 ounces of the Rosewood dyed tops from America with another nine to follow when the producer has time to do it for me ... and my Turkish spindle from The Isle of Wight arrived today as well; and the extra 200 gms of 'Storm' are on their way from New Zealand so I have plenty to keep me busy .  But I need to go out and buy some more knitting needles; I seem to have every size but the one I want and they are straight metal ones and I have got used to using the round ones.

Here is a picture of one of my plaits of 'Rosewood'.  I hope that I will have enough to make a jumper.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A glutton for punishment

I have ordered another 200 gms of 'Storm' after days of wondering if I ever wanted to tackle spinning it again; but I realised that I really don't have enough to knit anything meaningful from the 500gms which I have spun.  A scarf or a pair of mittens is about all I would manage and there is a vest which I would like to knit with it.  So I will gird up my loins and tackle some more of it.  Spinning a kilo of plain black will probably call for a bit of light relief anyway, especially since I seem to be spinning much thinner with the more easily handled fibre and therefore it is taking longer.  I am still waiting for my set of bamboo needles, though, and might have to go shopping for some since I finished the Quaker Stretch Scarf, which turned out better than I had expected.

I have had D1 staying with me for the last few days while she attends a conference here in Perth.  She will be leaving for the airport straight from the conference tomorrow and I will be spending the day with my brother-in-law's widow.  (Himself says that she is NOT a sister in law although I disagree with him on that).  She is over from Melbourne and has a few things she needs my help to do.  She saved my sanity when I was in Victoria when my sister was ill so I feel I owe her just about anything she asks of me and giving her a day of my time is very small beer.

I promised to post a photo of the cats on their second birthday but they refused to either pose or to jointly get within camera range so I have taken a picture of them this morning, asleep on top of Parsifal's igloo which he prefers with the top squashed in.  I am allowed to restore its igloo shape so that he can have a quick smurgle in it but then he jumps on the top to squash it in again. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Black on black; eyestrain on eyestrain

I have started spinning the black corridale tops and I am going to have to rig up a light in order to see when to move the hook along.  But that is nothing compared to the difficulty I had spinning the "Storm" tops ... which turned out surprisingly well after all my complaints.  I am even considering getting some more because there really isn't enough to knit anything but a scarf and one can need only so many scarves.

I have ordered about a kilo and a half of painted tops from USA and with luck that should be enough for a sweater.  But I need to finish with the black corridale first and as spinning it is a piece of cake after "Storm" I am spinning finer and should have enough for a jacket of some sort.

The cats have taken over the woolly jacket I bought to put on when the sea breeze whistles in so I need another one; although summer is on its way  -  sort of. 

It is the cats' second birthday tomorrow so I will take a photo of them and post it.  Parsifal is quite a big cat and very chatty with a huge vocal range.  Poppy is quieter and is the first cat I have ever heard actually say "mieuw".  She is very cuddly and is always curled up on the bed when I wake up in the morning and she has finally accepted that being brushed is a pleasurable pastime.

D2 has both of her cats back and Chloe is recovering from her near-death experience.  Willow has a cut on her nose and a bit of a limp after falling eight floors down onto a shade sail which must have broken her fall.  I am really glad that my cats' breeder insisted on me having my balcony screened as cupboards and apron strings are hazards enough without having to worry about Falling Cat Syndrome.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bhangbhangduc! (with thanks to Terry Pratchett)

There was high drama today when a drink driver did a U-turn into the oncoming traffic on Stirling Highway in front of my apartment, hit a Mazda driven by a very young girl who must have been shattered , veered off the road and hit three police officers who were walking along the footpath minding their own business.  He failed a breath test and when his car was searched drugs were found so he has been taken into custody. 

The highway was blocked off through Claremont, there was crime scene tape across the road, dozens of police and cameramen ... and three helicopters circling overhead.  I spent some time this morning watching the proceedings and drinking coffee.  I had a bird's eye view.

This afternoon Herself, Himself's brother and his wife, who were in the area dropped in to meet the cats.  Parsifal disgraced himself by making a small puncture hole in the wrist if Himself's brother's wife but I think that he only wanted to sniff her hand and she kept on moving it away.

And this evening I helped D2 to bath her poor little cat, Chloe, who was missing for five weeks and is still too weak to manage herself to the litter tray.  She is pitifully thin but getting good care so I hope that she makes it.  She has been in hospital for the last week, on a drip, so mobility was going to be difficult for her anyway.  When I got home Parsifal sniffed every last square centimetre of the hand I used to hold her while D2 shampooed and rinsed her.  He is a very curious cat.

I have finished spinning the "Storm" yarn and it is dry and skeined.  It actually turned out rather well but no more commercial blends for a while.  I have a kilo of black corridale which I can now start on and that should be infinitely easier than '"Storm".  I was going to start to knit it but realised that I needed some circular needles in the correct size so that will have to wait until after the Royal show is finished for the year as it is not a lot of fun driving around the area while some of the roads on the other side of the railway line are closed.  Maybe next week ...