Saturday, October 25, 2014

The babies turned three years old a fortnight ago. This is for Carole ...

The babies turned three on 12th October and I wanted to post a birthday photo but couldn't catch them either static or together.  I now have a photo for Carole, in case she still reads this blog and wonders how they are getting on.

They usually get on very well but Parsifal is a bit of a bully and Poppy purposely stirs him up and then shouts for help.  But they mostly sleep curled up together  -  the exception being when I am in bed in the morning when Parsifal slides down my back under the covers and Poppy lies in the angle between by legs and tummy outside the covers.  Between the two of them they pretty well have me pinned down; I can't roll either way and have to perform some rather extraordinary gymnastics to extract myself.

I have decided that they need to get used to wearing their harnesses just in case the unlikely happens and there is a fire.  They both get very excited when I produce the harnesses but Poppy prefers not to leave the apartment while Parsifal likes to go out into the corridor and roll himself up in the lead.  Really, walking them in their harnesses is the least of my worries; as long as I can get them dressed they will be safe in the Kitty-carriage if I have to take them down the fire escape and they are getting very good about being dressed.

Parsifal has almost grown out of his pica and hasn't eaten anything unsuitable for a couple of years which is probably as much to do with the fact that I make sure that there is nothing unsuitable for him to eat and, of course, he has his blankie to smurgle on and that seems to satisfy him although he still seems to need permission to get started.  We actually have two identical blankies  -  he prefers them clean.

The two of them mostly sleep on top of Parsifal's igloo which, whenever I restore it to its igloo status he jumps on and flattens the top down again.  He is quite capable of lifting the top up himself and occasionally does so if he decides to have a nap inside it.  Poppy has her own igloo which she retires to after she has shepherded me into bed and assured herself that I have been given the right amount of kneading and snudges.  She is a very cuddly little cat.

They are groomed morning and evening and line up for this when I scoop out their litter trays but even this doesn't stop drifts of black cat hair from drifting all over the apartment.  I opted for black cats because I wear a lot of black but didn't factor in the light colour of the carpet and tiles.

Here is a photo of them.  It doesn't show their glorious orange eyes because to catch them when they are not moving rapidly I have to catch them when they are asleep but I assure you ... Parsifal's are mandarin colour and poppy's are a bit closer to the Burmese yellow.  Click on the picture to enlarge it:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yes, size DOES matter

The day before yesterday I skeined, washed, snapped and dried Skein II of my Twilight colourway using my new skeiner.

I set it onto 60" which is what I had always thought the skein size from my niddynoddy produced but the skein turned out to be short and fat so with the next one I am going to have to take the skeiner to its maximum which is 70" and hope that it will be closer in size to the niddynoddy skein.  The fatter skein weighs about 20 gms more which is fair enough since it is fatter but I am now clueless as to how long the yarn is on each skein; clueless as to how long I have been assuming a 60" skein and calculating the length of the yarn from that.

Luckily the day before yesterday was a very hot day and the skein dried quite fast but gnerally the fatter the skein the longer it takes to dry  so thin is good.  It won't matter at all as far as knitting goes but the shorter skein is harder to make into a neat twist.

My dishwasher is working well and so it should since, except for its outside casing, I have virtually got a new dishwasher.  I must say that it is nice not to have dirty dishes all over the bench as there was nowhere to hide them and they collected up even though I was washing up by hand every day.

I had one ring-in client yesterday at COTA.  I was told that he was having problems with his Hotmail account and needed a bit of help and he also wanted to start doing online shopping.  The Hotmail problem was simple to solve  -  he was putting in the wrong password and when I asked him to try again, much to his surprise, he went straight in.  His other needs were to get his pre-paid dongle to work (I suggested that he get Optus to talk him through setting up his computer) and he had no credit card so I sent him off to talk to his bank about credit cards with a view to an account especially for using online.  Interesting stuff and I am hoping that I will be able to help him, maybe, to open a PayPal account -  or at least how to manage using a credit card online.

I am using Firefox at the moment so hopefully I can post a photo of my two skeins of Twilight so that you can see the difference in size.  Watch this space for Skein III which will probably be a different size again.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Dishwasher is alive and well

The serviceman came two days ago and fitted a new pump onto the dishwasher and I have just run my first load through it successfully.  It now has a new module (the first serviceman diagnosed a faulty module) and a new pump (the second serviceman correctly read the error message and ordered a new pump).  So it is almost a new machine.

The kickboard which gave so much trouble to remove fitted back into its space so tightly that it will never need any fastenings to keep it in and will be easy to remove in the future if needed.

D2 is coming around today to borrow my BIG suitcase.  She says that she is going to Japan but I am terrified that she actually plans to go to Africa and is not telling me because she knows that I will worry.  No doubt I will eventually find out but it is a niggly worry.

I have no clients at COTA at the moment.  The woman who was booked has cancelled and the problem with the booking system is that it is not flexible so that people are booked in months ahead and by the time their turn comes around they are off doing something else and the booking receptionist doesn't seem to feel that she can slot someone else into the space.  By the end of the year we have virtually no-one coming.  I must say that it is nice to be able to sleep until I wake up naturally instead of setting my alarm clock but the whole system is wrong.

I have almost finished spinning the second skein of the Twilight Colourway and my new  windmill skeiner arrived from America on Friday   -  very good timing.  I can now retire my niddynoddy and use the skeiner which gives four skein-size options.  The niddynoddy made 60" skeins so I will stick with that unless I see a reason for making then larger; smaller will never be an option at this stage.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My dishwasher is still dead, but ...

The repair man is coming tomorrow afternoon with a new pump for my dishwasher and hopefully this will be the end of it, the dishwasher will work again and I can devise a way of putting the kickboard back in place with an option to remove it again if necessary.  Watch this space.

Yesterday I went to a meeting of  the 'Retired Physiotherapists Group' which is usually held on a Thursday  -  my teaching day  -  so I haven't been able to get to a meeting until now.  I sat next to a woman who used to run classes about relaxing hyperactive children  -  called "Jelly-time".  She is into another weird (?) thing called 'Laughter Yoga' and was handing out pamphlets to everyone there.  There is a group just a hop step and jump from here but I am not sure that I really want to explore it.  It is held on Wednesday mornings which is a good time for me but I am waiting for some feedback from the yoga site on before I commit myself to anything like that.  Straight yoga is enough for me.

I have no clients at COTA at the moment; the person scheduled for the next four weeks has cancelled.  This tends to happen towards the end of the year because a lot of people book at the beginning of the year and by the time their turn comes around they have forgotten or gone somewhere else.  The booking system needs an overhaul but I only ever meet up with the booking person at the annual Christmas party.

The power was turned off for an hour in the wee small hours this morning and I assumed that the powers that be would take the opportunity to plug the wall behind plate around the button which opens the outside door but the plate is still threatening to fall off and since the button is electric with wires going in an unknown direction there is no way that the screws can be plugged in without turning off the power and wearing rubber-soled boots.  More and more Multiplex shortcuts are appearing as time goes on; there is still a puddle on the fire escape which I reported two years ago.

And Parsifal caught his first cockroach this morning so the wildlife is gradually establishing itself; I have a little orb-spinner on the balcony which I have welcomed but cockroaches are a different matter.  I was mean enough to take the cockroach away from Parsifal  -  I really didn't want him to eat it.