March 28, 2008


I went to see the stage-show of Oliver on Wednesday, it was a lot of fun :) I kinda wanted to take the Artful Dodger home with me. Well done Sok!

The other Sock also did well yesterday, we had our first dog training class and found it really good. As I suspected, I learnt a lot even in the first session. Already a number of things I'm like "duh! why couldn't I work that out!" - it's so simple once someone who knows what they're doing explains.

I have a little infected pimply thing right above my eye that it somehow managed to make my entire eye sore. Silly eye.

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March 25, 2008

Take Off In German!

I just found a 'Learn German' thing on CD that I bought ten years ago and never used. So I've put it on my walkman to see if I am more scholarly than a decade ago. I've always wanted to know German but that's not the same as wanting to learn it.

Today I will go to see the doctor with vague complaints about annoying symptoms he can do little about without making other things worse. I live in hope. Perhaps one day a doctor will say "Oh! It's obviously X. Take this pill once and it will go away and you will feel fine and normal forever." (It could happen. It happened to a friend of mine. Ten years of being told she was nuts and then they worked out she had undiagnosed diabetes and brain tumour, which they removed and now she's fine.)

I think I have worked out what I was doing wrong with the shower... the gas thingy doesn't like it when I move the shower dial from 'super hot' to 'warm' and responds by shutting off the gas, which of course moves the temperature automatically to 'rather cold'. So it appears I have a choice of boiling or chilled water, delivered in a scalding dribble or semi-enthusiastic spray. Luckily I have learnt to shower in 60 seconds flat!

The hens are awesome. I really like chickens. I have never eaten so many eggs in my life. But the bit I like most about chickens is when they run they look like people running with their hands tied behind their backs, and that is just inherently amusing.

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March 22, 2008

Goats and Sheep and Possum

I have two goats - a lady goat and a baby goat. I admit that originally I thought the bearded lady was a man and the smaller one his consort... I realised my mistake when "he" started to suckle her. So now I have a bread-eating Ladigoat and nervous Natasha the baby goat around.

In other, potentially sadder news, I think one of the sheep is fly-struck, it looks very miserable to me. So I have arranged for the landlord and a gun to come up today. If the sheep is indeed as sick as it looks to me, I might have to shoot it I think. At least shooting sick stock is quick and painless, because the chances of missing the animal are minimal and you can shoot it right in the head. However, how will I dig a hole to bury it? The ground is so hard and full of rocks. Poor sheep. I hope I don't have to shoot it. Hopefully sheep always lie on the ground looking desperately miserable.

The girls that own the horses came up yesterday and we went for a short ride. They have a blue heeler that came with us, dashed up a bank and returned triumphantly with a newly-dead possum in its jaws. They said when they go away and don't have anyone to feed the dog, it just feeds itself with possum and rabbit! Very convenient. It's kind of a pity that Sock is soft-mouthed...

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March 19, 2008

Humiliate Me, Please Dear

I am so heartily sick of the 'sex and governance' stories coming out of the USA. I especially hate that these men are dragging their wives into a public humiliation because of their jobs. Imagine having to stand up at a national news conference and listen to your husband admit to multiple extra-marital affairs - and then out you for the same behaviour!

ALBANY — Less than 24 hours after he was sworn in to replace a governor who left office in disgrace because of a prostitution scandal, Gov. David A. Paterson admitted that he had had relationships with women other than his wife, including one who is on the state payroll.

Paterson made the disclosure at a news conference at the State Capitol, accompanied by his wife, Michelle, who Mr. Paterson said had also been unfaithful. -

Sounds like a prince, don't he?


I see in the herald (egg story) that they are advising people to wash dirty eggs before opening them. But I've read many other places that you shouldn't wash eggs, cos they're porous, you should just wipe them clean with a damp cloth. The article does mention that, but only at the very end, and it totally contradicts the rest of their text.


Heather Mills... man, what was she thinking? Quite apart from everything else, surely she must realise that trying to make out Paul McCartney as a bad person (even if it were completely true!) would not go down well at all in England. You don't badmouth Princess Di and you don't bag on the Beatle who lost his lovely wife to cancer.


Now my favourite claim of the day: The ricin is for self-defence, officer.

The man at the center of a ricin scare at a Las Vegas motel said he never had any intention of hurting anyone with the deadly biological agent [...] He just confirmed that it was not intended for anybody,” Erich Bergendorff said. “It was something that would be used for his own purposes, for self-defense.” -

Ricin?! For self-defence?! No, really, the sarin gas was just for show'n'tell

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March 18, 2008

Flat Drama

I am covered in very tiny beetles. No, really. I don't know where they come from, they appear to do no harm, and they are very difficult to squash.

In other news, the chickens have ventured forth from their van! I had to physically escort a hen from her perch on a discarded 40 gallon drum back to Hotel Van last night. It's great, I like to see them scratching around and dust bathing, not just sitting in a pile of wood shavings!

I never realised how the moonlight can cast shadows until I moved out here. It's so bright at nights I can walk to the bathroom without a lightstick.

Solar energy is really kind of magical. I love to think that my lights, laptop, music and TV are nuclear powered. How subversive! I want a sticker for my car saying 'This car runs on very old sunshine' and a sticker for my house saying 'Nuclear powered and it feels so good'.

This place does feel good. Even on a shitty awful day when I'm vomiting and seizuring and in a lot of pain, it's still nicer to see tree ferns and bush out the window rather than concrete and steel. It's not a logical place to live in terms of petrol prices and access to medical services etc, but it is beautiful and emotionally healing.

God, dramas at my old flat. One of the flatmates broke into and robbed a pub, came home and had a fight with another flatmate. He then broke into the guy's bedroom, stole his stuff and then tried to set the bedroom on fire. He was evicted, arrested and released... and then came back to try again! He's sending threatening letters to flatmates and landlord about more to come. Scary shit! Glad, so glad, I moved out already, or right now I would be hiding in a hotel somewhere desperately finding somewhere safe to move to.

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March 17, 2008

The Land, She Cry For Rain

Well seriously, it is a bit dry. Remind me of this complaint in about 3 months when it's pouring and the land is slipping merrily down the hillside. It is good weather for the solar panels tho. Every lack of cloud has a ni-cad lining :)

One of the sheep head-butted Sock yesterday. Quite brave for a sheep! It must have hurt but she didn't seem particularly bothered. Today I am going to do my best to patch the fence enough to keep sheep out of the proposed 'garden'. Ah ha ha ha! This, I suspect, is why barbed wire was originally invented. Sheep are remarkably nimble.

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March 16, 2008

Vertical Hold

Last night I found the vertical hold knob on the back of the TV and now the picture has stopped rolling. Huzzah! Can still only get 2 channels though.

The whole mixed-up daylight savings thing is very disconcerting. I wonder if they will stick with the longer hours, and how long it will take to patch all the software?

I'm unreasonably tired after spending an hour and a half chasing horses yesterday (well, finding them. They weren't really moving very fast but there are a lot of hills and a lot of trees. And gorse. Lots and lots of gorse.)

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March 15, 2008

Radio Love

Does anyone know stuff about boosting radio reception? If I were to build a big tower would that improve my muffled and static-filled FM (AM isn't good either but I don't care as much), and if so, whence a tower? I don't want to spend lots of money if the large hills mean crappy reception regardless of effort, but I'm willing to make a project of it if there are likely rewards.

Water problems again yesterday (this time a horse stood on the line) but fixed now I think. Migod petrol is expensive. I wonder if I could solar-power the car? (veeeeeery slow, especially on cloudy, hilly days).

The hens refuse to range. They just sit there in the coop, eating pellets and drinking water from their pretty red drinky thing. They look at the open door and disdain the buffet of life. They were free-ranging when I got here! Supplemental feeding has made them lazy.

Still thinking about that goat. It now has a potential name: Natasha. Perhaps I will ring Lindale today and see if they have little female goats who want to be named Natasha? But how would I get her home? How big is a 'baby' goat? And would she almost definitely run amok?

Did you know? The origin of the phrase to say someone is 'doolally' (or a bit nuts) is kind of similar to the way the word 'bedlam' entered our language. There was an asylum in Africa called Doalalie (or something close to that) and the word got Anglicized and the meaning broadened. I always thought it was just a weird English slang!

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March 13, 2008

Back To Dog School

After several years now of sporadic efforts to correct Sock's many behavioural problems I have decided to sign her up for classes. We start in 2 weeks. I suspect that as much (if not more) of the training will be about correcting my handling as changing the dog! But that's fine, as long as I get enough insight to change her behaviour, which will make her life better - I can take her more places if she's better controlled and she'll be happier too. It might take more than one term of classes though.

Seriously considering buying a goat. Or, if anyone got one of those goat vouchers for Christmas this year and has yet to redeem it, I'll gladly take it off your hands ;)

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March 12, 2008

Up With The 20th Century

Well after weeks of hating the buzzy phoneline I finally asked Telecom to fix it... and found out it was their fault after all. Apparently the cable 'down the road' was the problem and therefore the same fault would have been affecting the neighbours too. I bet they all thought it was their problem and were putting off having it fixed too! So the phone is now normal and quiet and the internet speed has doubled. The poor telecom man will not need a holiday this year - the workout the driveway gave his heart will do him just as much good. He was so scared of getting back down again he asked me if I had a tractor! Sadly, I don't. (Yet)

Went into Wellington yesterday and had my first therapy session which was horrible but good - probably more challenging in half an hour than the last 6 months in Chch. My Chch therapist was very good but this woman in Wgtn is just excellent, violently expensive but completely worth it.

I'm liking my new solar panel. I hope it is working because you really can't tell by looking at it.

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March 07, 2008

Dream A Little

You know you've moved house when your new lifestyle starts messing with your mind! Last night I had a dream where, if your laptop runs out of battery and you don't realise, then the battery symbol turns orange and starts saying things like 'Battery Decomposing' and giving warning windows like "Doh-h-h-h-h-nuts! This is serious!". I don't know if the computer pulled through because I woke up.

Yesterday I bought a solar panel. Today is cloudy. That seemed more profound in my head.

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